This Is Not Good News

And don’t say “yeah, except for John McCain”….

Russian “aid”:

The Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and is using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday….

“Russian artillery support — both cross-border and from within Ukraine — is being employed against the Ukrainian armed forces,” [NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu] added.

Putin’s playing a very dangerous game, obviously, and we’re seeing the prescience of those who suggested that he hadn’t, or couldn’t, figure out how turn the knobs up and down on the nationalist wave he hopes to use to distract from his crappy governance.

Arthur_Devis_-_Gentleman_with_a_Cannon_-_Google_Art_Project

And with that bit of obviousness, I’ll stop, given that my analysis of Russian politics and the regional dynamics is worth not what you paid for it, but quite likely less.

Discuss — and may the more knowledgable among us lead us to wisdom.

Image: Aruther Devis, Gentleman with a Cannon, 1741

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265 replies
  1. 1
    El Caganer says:

    That’s interesting – over on the MSN site, all that’s mentioned are Ukrainian objections to the Russians’ moving trucks full of humanitarian aid across the border without permission. Nothing about artillery.

  2. 2
    Steeplejack says:

    “Gentleman with a Cannon.” I love those bland but “What the f—?!” titles.

    I also like the ones on those allegorical murals so popular in early 20th-century government buildings, e.g., “Science Bestows the Gift of Electricity on Commerce,” etc.

  3. 3
    Cacti says:

    Is this part of that “humanitarian convoy” that Vlad was sending?

  4. 4
    teiresias says:

    Meanwhile I have run into progressive pacifists openly hoping that Russia goes for an all-out invasion and I’m thinking “what the fuck has happened here?”

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Ukraine, Russia, and a link to The NYT?

    Talk about a BiP magnet.

    Preemptory Hodor.

  6. 6
    Trollhattan says:

    @teiresias: It’s clearly some kind of mental illness, or firmware run amok. Certainly bullshit with which I will not up put, and I have no qualms about saying so (thankfully, it’s a very small, if noisy cohort).

    “But, but, but, what about the Nazzis?!?”

  7. 7
    srv says:

    Enjoy your New Cold War, liberals, it’s your fault.

    I understand what this mess gets the EU, I don’t understand why the fuck we are playing. In GW1 & 2 we could at least get some objectivity from foreign press, but they have all gone Judy Millertime.

    It may just be that that ole NATO dog is now wagging its master’s tail.

  8. 8
    BobS says:

    May be true, might not. Given the amount of misinformation — or disinformation — we’re subjected to (the supposedly destroyed Russian military convoy inside Ukraine last week, American certainty of culpability for the Malaysian airliner shoot-down, American certainty of culpability for Syrian chemical weapons attacks, American certainty of the existence of Iraqi WMD, etc.), I think I’ll take a wait-and-see approach to the latest ‘sky is falling’ report.

  9. 9
    Belafon says:

    @srv: Are we doing anything other than sanctions?

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    no, there’s no danger.

    all Putin has to do is point to Iraq and ask “how is what you doing in Iraq any different from what I’m doing here?”

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax: My thoughts exactly.

    “The CIA decided, they wanted Vlad Putin dead. That son of a bitch Van Owen blew off Vlad’s head.”

  12. 12
    Trollhattan says:

    @BobS:

    American certainty of culpability for the Malaysian airliner shoot-down,

    Your failbot is working splendidly, Hodor!

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cleek: Well, for one thing the “Ukrainian fascists” (h/t Hodor) aren’t decapitating free lance photojournalists, so there’s that.

  14. 14
    teiresias says:

    Belafon:

    That’s all we can do, and that’s all we should do. Given that nukes could be involved, a military intervention is just not sensible.

  15. 15
    Pogonip says:

    @cleek: Because we’re Americans!

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    @cleek:

    all Putin has to do is point to Iraq and ask “how is what you doing in Iraq any different from what I’m doing here?”

    The obvious difference is that Russia has already annexed Ukrainian territory, which ought to make any further intervention in Ukraine deeply suspect.

  17. 17
    kindness says:

    Putin blows goats but what to do? Do I want the US to bomb them? No. Do I want US (or even NATO) boots on the ground? No.

    It’s kinda like the Cuban missile crisis. It’s too close to Mother Russia for us to do anything really unless we’re prepared to go all in. I for one am not.

  18. 18
    KG says:

    @srv: I stopped reading after the whole “moving Ukraine out of Russian orbit and integrating it with western Europe” because that one sentence suggests that what the Ukrainian people actually want is to be disregarded and it’s all about what “The West” and “Russia” want, people on the ground be damned.

  19. 19
    Waynski says:

    @teiresias:

    That’s all we can do, and that’s all we should do. Given that nukes could be involved, a military intervention is just not sensible.

    This. With the notable exception of defeating the Nazis, our foreign entanglements generally come to shite. The world needs to learn and understand that we’re not going to solve all of their problems.

  20. 20
    srv says:

    @Belafon: Sanctions are an act of war, but you don’t provoke a Civil War and the run away from it, do you?

    When Russian artillery joins the fray, do you think President McCain will run away?

  21. 21
    Steeplejack says:

    @NotMax:

    Srsly.

  22. 22
    Cacti says:

    @teiresias:

    Meanwhile I have run into progressive pacifists openly hoping that Russia goes for an all-out invasion

    Sounds more like they’re reflexively anti-American than progressive or pacifist.

    Putin’s Russian federation doesn’t even have the fig leaf of being nominally socialist. It’s a right religious authoritarian nation.

  23. 23
    srv says:

    @KG: Who cares what they want, it’s what George Soros wants.

    SOROS: Well, I set up a foundation in Ukraine before Ukraine became independent of Russia. And the foundation has been functioning ever since and played an important part in events now.

    ZAKARIA: Do you think Ukraine will be able to assert a kind of independence from Russia and an alignment with the West not — but not a specific alignment as NATO but a kind of orientation toward the West or will the Russians always stop them?

    SOROS: No. Putin will try to destabilize Ukraine, but the Ukrainians, the large majority of Ukrainians are determined to be independent of Russia. It won’t be easy because Putin has staked his regime on destabilizing Ukraine because it’s a threat to his regime in Russia. If you have freedom, free media and so on and a flourishing economy, that would make his regime unsustainable.

    SOROS: But it’s more than that. It’s a new theology. You saw the myth of Russian superiority. If you — those who watch Putin’s speeches, he actually has revealed this new myth of Russian genetic superiority. You might have heard that previously from someone else. It’s a new ideology based on ethnic Russian superiority.

    Putin is the new Hitler.

    What would Bob say?

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @KG:

    I stopped reading after the whole “moving Ukraine out of Russian orbit and integrating it with western Europe” because that one sentence suggests that what the Ukrainian people actually want is to be disregarded

    Isn’t there some evidence that that’s precisely what the Ukrainian people want?
    Isn’t that a plausible reading of the election results?

  25. 25
    Punchy says:

    Putin appears to be….Russian…to get his troops inside the Ukraine. I wonder if his military has a Donetsk, don’t tell policy like the US used to have.

  26. 26
    BobS says:

    @srv: @KG: Thanks for the link to the Mearsheimer article — it’s an antidote for a lot of the ignorance that gets displayed here on the subject of Russia and Ukraine, but unfortunately it looks like it might strain the attention span of some people.@Trollhattan: I must of stopped reading and watching the news the week all the evidence was produced. You have a link?

  27. 27
    Cacti says:

    @cleek:

    all Putin has to do is point to Iraq and ask “how is what you doing in Iraq any different from what I’m doing here?”

    The fact that the government of Iraq (regardless of what one thinks of them) has asked us to be there?

  28. 28
    MattF says:

    I suspect the MilitaryIndustrialComplex is cheering Putin on. Jobs, jobs, jobs, as someone once said.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    Obamacare Legal Foe Showed True Colors In 2010: ‘This Bastard Has To Be Killed’
    By DYLAN SCOTT PublishedAUGUST 22, 2014, 10:39 AM

    A recently surfaced 2010 quote from one of the major funders behind the latest legal challenge to Obamacare perfectly encapsulates the ends-justify-the-means ethos that is driving the litigation.

    The Competitive Enterprise Institute is helping to pay for the lawsuit, Halbig v. Burwell, which seeks to invalidate Obamacare’s tax subsidies being offered on the federal health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov. In 2010, CEI chairman Michael Greve made plain that anythingshould be done to stop the law. “I do not care how it’s done,” he said at the time. “I don’t care who does it.”

    Here is what Greve said at a 2010 conference hosted by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, where Greve is an adjunct scholar, as The New York Times’s Linda Greenhousereported this week:

    “This bastard has to be killed as a matter of political hygiene. I do not care how this is done, whether it’s dismembered, whether we drive a stake through its heart, whether we tar and feather it and drive it out of town, whether we strangle it. I don’t care who does it, whether it’s some court some place, or the United States Congress. Any which way, any dollar spent on that goal is worth spending, any brief filed toward that end is worth filing, any speech or panel contribution toward that end is of service to the United States.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....-be-killed

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Not Hodor, Hodor Jr. (BobS, not Bob in Portland). Why people who identify themselves as Bobs seem to be particularly susceptible to Russian propaganda, I have no idea.

  31. 31
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why people who identify themselves as Bobs seem to be particularly susceptible to Russian propaganda, I have no idea.

    Bob is a good, generic-sounding western name for Kremlin internet spammers?

    Kind of like your telephone tech support person in India whose name is “Steven” or “Debbie”.

  32. 32
    SatanicPanic says:

    @rikyrah: “political hygiene” – this creeped me out

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @srv:

    Sanctions are an act of war, but you don’t provoke a Civil War and the run away from it, do you?

    Ukraine is a sovereign nation. If Russia invades Ukraine, that ain’t a civil war, unless you believe Putin’s bullshit that Ukraine rightfully belongs to Russia because Reasons.

  34. 34
    Belafon says:

    @srv:

    Sanctions are an act of war

    If you’re going to make any response to Russia an act of war, then you might as well go advise Putin. My kids would love you: “You can’t take away my allowance, that’s an act of war.”

    I get the idea that Russia has gone back to the KGB because capitalism ran roughshod over them, but there are still boundaries that Russia has to observe, unless it wants to pay the consequences. The invasion of Ukraine is entirely on Russia and we have the right to try something to get Russia out, even if we’re not going to send troops.

  35. 35
    daveNYC says:

    @srv: Sanctions are an act of war? Someone seriously believes that is the case here?

  36. 36
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Belafon: srv might be mixing up sanctions and blockades. Blockades are an act of war, but sanctions are not. I think. Don’t quote me on that.

  37. 37
    BobS says:

    @Mnemosyne: I understand that not buying the Obama administration company line = “susceptible to Russian propaganda”. What’s the code for possessing critical thinking skills that only function when Republicans are president?

  38. 38
    ericblair says:

    @Cacti:

    Is this part of that “humanitarian convoy” that Vlad was sending?

    Yep, this is it. There’s plenty of video and pictures out there showing the convoy as mostly empty (big trucks carrying a couple of pallets of buckwheat that literally could have been loaded into a commercial van, for instance). Then there was a week of the Russians dicking around the ICRC and refusing inspections, and then driving them across the border anyways without approval by the Red Cross or the Ukrainians.

    Since the Russians seem hellbent on getting mostly empty trucks across the border without inspection, while Russian military materiel goes merrily toodling across the border on a daily basis elsewhere, most observers are wondering what the fuck is really up with this. It’s possible this is just a propaganda exercise for Russian media and they’re being huge dicks about it because why not; it’s also possible they’re using it to infiltrate/exfiltrate supplies and personnel. If they had really wanted a significant quantity of humanitarian relief to get to Donbass it would have been there by now with no drama.

  39. 39
    KG says:

    @Davis X. Machina: from what I’ve read, Ukrainians wanted to be more integrated with the West. Not disagreeing with that. My problem with the article was that it was written in a way that disregards the wishes of Ukrainians and instead treats Ukraine as a piece in a giant game of Risk. It’s one of those situations where the entire argument is framed as Us vs Them with no regard for the thing we are fighting over, when that thing is a country made up of actual people with an actual history and actual interests that are not perfectly aligned with either side.

  40. 40
    cleek says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    dead is dead.

    @Cacti:
    and the Russians can say, without being completely disingenuous about it, that the legitimate govt of Ukraine asked for help.

  41. 41
    Bob In Portland says:

    Here’s the official Ukrainian statement.

    Apparently, Kiev didn’t notice.

    Look, moving humanitarian aid across the border is a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, technically, and technicalities count. But the Kiev forces cut off water in Lugansk, it’s been out for about two weeks now, and to continue to shell the civilian population must be a violation of something.

    As far as whether or not there is Russian artillery within Ukraine (and I am referring to Russian military units, not origin of manufacture) I suggest that they must be deployed next to the imaginary armored column that Ukraine destroyed last week. Let me just say that if Russia moved a military unit across the border it would have been used immediately. They wouldn’t just park it across the border. There would be photos.

    Ukraine has been just about to win their war against terror for five months now. Merkel’s leading a peace conference in a couple of days, Ukraine is about to celebrate its “independence” (by offering itself up to the EU/NATO) on Sunday, and Kiev has been floundering to get a decisive win. Not only is Ukraine going to run out of gas (Slovakia cannot supply them if Ukraine doesn’t allow Russian gas to Slovakia) sometime this winter. Between the war in the east and the damage to the infrastructure Ukraine is on half-rations for coal and will run out of it in about forty days.

    That’s why we continue to have fantastic claims made by Kiev (and now NATO). Perhaps NATO still has a working camera.

    The obvious solution here is for a federated Ukraine, giving the east some control over language, law, law enforcement and trade. Eastern Ukrainians who have been denied food and water and who have suffered at the hands of the fascist militias will not be embracing any victory parades on Kiev’s behalf anytime soon.

    Meanwhile, the EU is going to have to figure out a way to pay for Ukraine’s gas in order for them to get theirs or get Kiev to freeze quietly and allow gas to flow to Europe. The US won’t get their base in Crimea, Russia may have to pay some kind of reparations to Kiev in order to get the west to recognize their possession of Crimea. The standard of living in Crimea has just doubled under Russia, so unless the CIA works overtime to get the Tatars to rebel things look to remain status quo there.

    There have been reports of ethnic groups around Carpathia getting restive, so Kiev has its problems throughout the country. The problems will worsen this winter. The war is only draining valuable resources.

    I also saw where the Netherlands is going to keep its findings on MH17 secret. I’ll hunt up the story, but some of you might want to ask yourselves why it’s over a month and we haven’t seen any of that solid proof that the rebels shot down the airliner. No civil or military radar from Ukraine, no recordings of the conversations between the tower and the airliner, no American intel satellite photos, and nothing from the black box. No witnesses to any contrail a BUK SAM would make.

  42. 42
    Cacti says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    srv might be mixing up sanctions and blockades. Blockades are an act of war, but sanctions are not. I think. Don’t quote me on that.

    Determining the extent of another nation’s trade or economic activities within your borders is a normal prerogative of Westphalian sovereignty.

  43. 43
    raven says:

    Back from the MOHS, so far so good.

  44. 44
    Cacti says:

    @cleek:

    and from the Russian POV, the legitimate govt of Ukraine asked for help.

    When the Dontesk separatist factions have a seat at the UN, that position might be remotely tenable.

  45. 45
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: But they’re disappearing them. Again, Kiev gives us no photo ops.

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    And right on cue, here comes BiP with a fresh list of RIA Novosti talking points.

  47. 47
    Belafon says:

    When I google “sanctions act of war” the top two results are:
    1) Wikipedia, which says this: “Embargoes are similar to economic sanctions and are generally considered legal barriers to trade, not to be confused with blockades, which are often considered to be acts of war.”
    2) and Ron Paul, which says they are.

    I can buy that putting the military near a country would be considered an act of war, but choosing not to send your money or goods? Is Russia’s closing McDonald’s an act of war?

  48. 48
    skerry says:

    @raven: Glad to hear it. Hoping for quick healing.

  49. 49
    cleek says:

    @Cacti:
    the deposed President asked for their help. and Russia has said that it considers his removal an illegitimate coup.

    so, from Russia’s POV, they can say that they are helping the legitimate govt.

    (no, i don’t believe them or side with them. this is about rhetoric, not legitimacy)

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    @Belafon:

    When I google “sanctions act of war” the top two results are:
    1) Wikipedia, which says this: “Embargoes are similar to economic sanctions and are generally considered legal barriers to trade, not to be confused with blockades, which are often considered to be acts of war.”
    2) and Ron Paul, which says they are.

    On one hand, you have 400 years of international law that say they’re not.

    On the other hand, you have Ron Paul and srv.

  51. 51
    srv says:

    @Mnemosyne: Sovereign except for Crimea and those, erm, eastern parts.

    If you people don’t think Putin will go “hot” then I suggest reviewing video of the “sovereign” South Ossetia & Abkhazia.

  52. 52
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Davis X. Machina: If you recall, the election that put Poroshenko in power was not held in the east and in Crimea, the places that elected Yanukovich. Candidates supporting the east were beaten by street gangs and withdrew from the election. Hardly the celebration of democracy that you seem to think.

    But remember, Pinochet was reelected several times, so the coup overthrowing Allende wasn’t so bad for democracy.

  53. 53
    Cacti says:

    @cleek:

    the deposed President asked for their help. and Russia has said that it considers his removal an illegitimate coup.

    But the separatists aren’t fighting for the reinstatement of the Yanukovych regime. They’re fighting for a self-proclaimed independent Republic of Dontesk.

    ETA: That would make them the ISIS of this particular conflict.

  54. 54
    El Caganer says:

    So now John Mearsheimer is a Kremlin stooge? They’re everywhere!

  55. 55
    piratedan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: not sure how that’s somehow a milepost marker when they’re downing civilian aircraft… granted, one may be a mistake and the other brutal personal murder, but both of those acts, intentional or not, have a tendency top get the attention of the big stick on the block, namely the USA.

    Is there a game plan for each… I think that the US and the EU hope to cripple Putin’s Russia economically (since it can do so) to bring pressure to bear to try and bring about the removal of Russian troops from Ukraine (if it will be successful, will there be enough object of shiny to distract the western press from keeping watch, stay tuned). As for ISIS, it may end up being a case of strange bedfellows as to who ends up aligning with whom. I kind of expect the ME to devolve into the religious sectarian violence pattern that mimics Northern Ireland as the factions of Islam square off, with the added element of the Kurds and some other Islamic factions attempt to gain control over territory and try and consolidate themselves in some fashion. The map is going to be fluid and some uneasy alliances are going to be made and change depending upon the atrocity du juor.

  56. 56
    ericblair says:

    @cleek:

    the deposed President asked for their help. and Russia has said that it considers his removal an illegitimate coup.

    That is, to put it mildly, debatable. On camera in February, Yanukovich ruled out Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine and that he wanted Crimea to remain part of Ukraine. Then a few days later the Russian foreign minister pulls out some photocopied statement that says that Yanukovich now requested intervention in eastern Ukraine. Yanukovich had several more press conferences from Russia with no media questions where he didn’t mention this little change of mind at all.

  57. 57
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor

  58. 58
    srv says:

    @Cacti: You forgot Viscount Philippe Le Jolis de Villiers de Saintignon.

    Westphalian is just another card for the white man.

  59. 59
    Cacti says:

    @ericblair:

    Yanukovich had several more press conferences from Russia with no media questions where he didn’t mention this little change of mind at all.

    Probably didn’t want the polonium pancakes for next morning’s breakfast.

  60. 60
    BobS says:

    @Cacti: You seem so well-informed — what is a good source of news of current events in Ukraine? @cleek: How was it not “an illegitimate coup”?

  61. 61
    Cacti says:

    @srv:

    Westphalian is just another card for the white man.

    To oppress the non-white nation of Russia?

  62. 62
    Bob In Portland says:

    @srv: Rerun the tapes. Perhaps NED-trained former president now indicted for embezzlement Saakashvili would like to see the first couple hours of that war.

    During that short skirmish in and around Georgia in 2008 the Russians made a bombing run parallel to their east-west pipelines. That was a clue to the US about what they were risking and what the game is all about.

    As I’ve asked here multiple times, do you really think that the US has spent a decade and a half in Afghanistan because Osama bin Laden once lived in a cave there? In the summer of 2001 after they got thirty million to halt heroin production the Taliban backed out of their deal for the TAPI pipeline. A few months later 9/11 and the cloud of wartime repression covers the US.

    Russia and its former “stans” have the biggest milkshake in the world. After Iran, Iraq, Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan et al you don’t think that that’s part of the plan? You don’t think that they don’t want to stick their straw in that?

  63. 63
    srv says:

    @El Caganer: Walt, Mearsh, Krugtron, what are liberals supposed to do?

  64. 64
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Cacti: I’ll just ignore the ad hominems and address people who want to talk about Ukraine.

  65. 65
    BobS says:

    @Bob In Portland: That was only until January 2009. Now it’s about democracy, self-determination, and humanitarian intervention.

  66. 66
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Cacti: Gee, another ad hominem. Yes, you can imagine that there are a whole division of Bobs out here on the internet, getting paid in rubles to weave their webs of distortion over poor Americans’ minds.

    Or you can talk about Ukraine.

  67. 67
    Paul in KY says:

    @Steeplejack: That was his own personal cannon.

  68. 68
    Paul in KY says:

    @teiresias: In that part of NYC where all the Russians live?!

  69. 69
    Bob In Portland says:

    @srv: I’d say that George Soros and Omidyar are the new Brown Brothers Harriman. Maybe like Prescott Bush one of them will eventually have US Presidents in the family.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BobS:

    Now it’s about democracy, self-determination, and humanitarian intervention.

    I agree with you there, except for your sad delusion that Russia is the one bringing democracy, self-determination, and humanitarian intervention to Ukraine. Nothing says “democracy” like that election in Crimea, does it?

  71. 71
    Paul in KY says:

    @ericblair: They are smuggling trucks into Ukraine. Maybe to use as troop transports later?

  72. 72
    BobS says:

    @Mnemosyne: See comment 26 — I apologize for the lack of a shout-out (it’s only because I didn’t know how to spell Mnemosyne), but it was made with you in mind.

  73. 73
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @BobS:

    How was it not “an illegitimate coup”?

    Because Yanyukovich fled town and told members of his own party that he was resigning. Then, as with many other things, he changed his mind. At that point, parliament voted 328-0 in favor of a declaration that he was unfit to be president. His own party voted to remove him. That’s not an illegal coup.

  74. 74
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Paul in KY: That was last week’s story. No photos.

    Russia is violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. That is significant. What does Ukraine do? Shell the humanitarian aid? Russia is making this move to force Kiev’s hand. Either sit down and negotiate or prepare to lose the war. I suspect that the rebels can go on forever at this rate and Kiev can’t. The rebels can’t win. Ukraine can’t win. Kiev has had the Spring and Summer to completely alienate the east. If Russia negotiates for Novorussia they will probably give Kiev the option of a federation, a fig leaf of unity.

    However, if Kiev mounts an attack on the humanitarian aid expect a quick response. It won’t involve any military ground invasion. Russia can thoroughly decimate the Ukrainian army by air. If that happens then Kiev can lose the war.

    Meanwhile, now that Kiev has passed a law to stop Russian gas transiting its territory, do any of you think that Europe is going to fight shoulder to shoulder with Kiev to keep their gas cut off?

  75. 75
    Seanly says:

    Has anyone else noticed that NPR seems to love Putin? Their coverage of Ukraine seems to distinctly discount the idea that the Russians have any plan for Ukraine. There just always seems to be a hint of Putin & Russia loving in their slant in stories coming out of the region.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BobS:

    Look, it’s not my fault that you’ve decided that Russia is Pure and Good and should get everything it wants, even if it means invading a sovereign country rather than letting that country make its own decisions. But you should probably realize that you look like an asshole for defending them.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Russia is violating Ukraine’s sovereignty has invaded Ukraine.

    Fix’d for truth. I hope you’re happy with this result, Bob — after all, you’ve been cheerleading for it for months now.

  78. 78
    BobS says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): He “fled town” on vacation? A shopping trip? To attend a football game?

  79. 79
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): No, he didn’t tell “friends” that he was resigning. Even if he did that counts a bupkis in a constitutional process. In order to impeach a president according to Ukraine’s constitution at the time there needs to be 75% of assembly voting in favor. Enough legislators from the east fled to make the vote, even under duress, only 73%. The courts ruled that it wasn’t a legal impeachment and the judges were fired.

    You may have missed those details.

    Generally when armed mobs seize power legal niceties are set aside for the moment.

    As for Poroshenko’s election, as I’ve said before, Pinochet was reelected.

  80. 80
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, invaded with water, medical supplies and food.

    Meanwhile our country is talking about bombing Syria. Has Assad given his permission or is the US just bombing a sovereign nation on its own? Or do we get a pass on what happens elsewhere while we’re so concerned about those folks in Lugansk not dying fast enough for you?

  81. 81
    Trollhattan says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:
    Am sincerely hoping Levenson has constructed some kind of Klein bottle here to trap them (2x for moar pleasure!) for good. Putin’s taking his shot, it would seem, while a good deal of the world is otherwise occupied. It would be nice to learn more without the distracting buzzing noises.

  82. 82
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have never believed that Putin was acting out of concern for Ukraine, or that he really was an ally of anyone there. If he were, he wouldn’t be fomenting an insurgency, he wouldn’t be sending in Russian troops. Putin is trying to finesse a hostile takeover of Ukraine, maybe as a starting point for a Soviet Union Mark 2, so that he can be leader of a superpower. I can’t think of another motive that makes sense.

    I suspect he’s moving troops into Ukraine because he’s figured the forces he’s been supporting are not up to defeating the Ukrainian military — the “Ukies”, as Bob in Portland calls them. But he may be fighting his way into a corner: with Russian troops inside Ukraine, there’s no way to deny he’s in a war of conquest.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Yeah, invaded with water, medical supplies and food.

    So if China showed up in Seattle tomorrow and said, Hey, guys, here’s water, medical supplies and food with Chinese soldiers to distribute it for you! that would not be an invasion, just them being good neighbors?

    Meanwhile our country is talking about bombing Syria. Has Assad given his permission or is the US just bombing a sovereign nation on its own?

    Changing the subject because you know you can’t defend Russia’s actions?

    Your buddy Putin has now gone beyond funding rebel groups and into an actual invasion of Ukraine. At this point, is there anything he could do that you would be opposed to? If Russian troops dissolve Ukraine’s parliament at the point of a rifle, is that A-OK with you because they’re all fascists anyway?

    Again, this is what you wanted. This is what you’ve been supporting for months now. Own it.

  84. 84
    BobS says:

    @Mnemosyne: However it is your fault that you’ve decided that I’ve decided
    “that Russia is Pure and Good and should get everything it wants” simply because I don’t bite at the US/NATO-driven narrative of events you’ve eagerly (and naively) swallowed hook, line, and sinker, but you should probably realize you look like a dumb-fuck for ‘understanding’ things that were never written.

  85. 85
    teiresias says:

    @Paul in KY: Surprisingly, no, although I’m sure Putin has his supporters in Brighton Beach. I’m talking the anti-war left, people who should know better. College professors and the like. The ones I know are basically old hippies and Old New Left types who read too much Chomsky and actually like Obama less than they did Bush 43.

  86. 86
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Mnem, why do you need to build straw men? BobS hasn’t ever said the Russia is pure. Meanwhile, you continue to demonize people who say, quite reasonably, the the US is involved in Ukraine for a reason, and that reason isn’t the fear of a Russian invasion of Europe. It’s like the rest of our recent wars, about controlling the world’s energy. Or didn’t you notice that either?

  87. 87
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Yeah, invaded with water, medical supplies and food.

    Were all the trucks inspected? A few trucks could hold a significant amount of military supplies (e.g. ammunition), at least significant to people running out. If a journalist picking a random sample picked such a (hypothetical) truck, the lock would be “stuck” or something.
    What’s really weird is that a random sampling by journalists (BBC I recall) found some trucks to be essentially empty.
    That suggests that it was never expected that anyone (red cross, border inspectors, journalists, or even the intended recipients) would even do a random sampling of the contents. Either that, or graft/corruption among the people who loaded the trucks, but that would be a pretty dangerous game to play, e.g. there might be complaints about empty trucks when the supplies were delivered. Is there some other obvious reason why some trucks would be empty?

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @teiresias:

    Why do those folks support an all out invasion by Russia?

  89. 89
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BobS:
    You’re the one who has all along taken it as read that Russia has a right to intervene in Ukraine, and to choose Ukraine’s friends and allies. Have you ever asked yourself, what sort of experiences has Ukraine had with Russia, that it would rather seek its alliances elsewhere?

  90. 90
    Trollhattan says:

    @teiresias:
    I run into the occasional Maoist who thinks of the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution as just so much breaking of a few eggs to make a Fabulous Egalitarian Omlette. They’re not terribly bothered that each broken egg represents ten-million dead Chinese.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @teiresias:

    I don’t bite at the US/NATO-driven narrative of events you’ve eagerly (and naively) swallowed hook, line, and sinker

    So what do you think is happening? In your own words. Is Russia an innocent player here who is merely reacting to threats by the Ukrainians, or is Russia causing events? Is the separatist movement a completely independent movement, or are they being supported and financed by Russia? Did the people of Ukraine drive Yanukovych out because he was corrupt? If not, what do you think happened?

  92. 92
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Perhaps you should offer up a moment of silence for democracy in Afghanistan. Since neither of the two candidates can resolve that mess we can expect a military leader, or a leader with military backing, to be put in place there. So much for the purple fingers there and fifteen years of war. Or don’t you care when the US violates international law? Just focus on the Ruskies?

  93. 93
    El Caganer says:

    @Bill Arnold: I had read that the trucks were only half-full because they couldn’t negotiate back roads if they were fully loaded. Like most of what’s going on over there, I have no idea whether that’s true or not. It’s rather remarkable how much bullshit is being propagated – it’s not even “both sides do it,” it’s “all sides do it.”

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Meanwhile, you continue to demonize people who say, quite reasonably, the the US is involved in Ukraine for a reason, and that reason isn’t the fear of a Russian invasion of Europe. It’s like the rest of our recent wars, about controlling the world’s energy. Or didn’t you notice that either?

    Yes, sweetie, I noticed that Ukraine has a lot of oil and natural gas that Russia wants access to. Strange as this may seem to you, multiple countries want access to oil and natural gas, not just the US.

    So why does it seem strange to you that Russia would invade Ukraine so Russia can continue to use Ukraine’s natural resources? Why is the US the only country in the world who ever invades another country to gain access to its resources? You may want to read up on who it was that controlled the Middle East until the 1950s (hint: it was not the US) if you really think the US is the only country that’s interested in oil and natural gas.

  95. 95
    BobS says:

    @teiresias: I’m sure those legions of “anti-war left, people who should know better…(c)ollege professors…old hippies and Old New Left types who read too much Chomsky” (what about Chomsky himself?) are all over the internet urging Russian aggression in Ukraine. Surely you must have some links for us.

  96. 96
    ericblair says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I have never believed that Putin was acting out of concern for Ukraine, or that he really was an ally of anyone there. If he were, he wouldn’t be fomenting an insurgency, he wouldn’t be sending in Russian troops. Putin is trying to finesse a hostile takeover of Ukraine, maybe as a starting point for a Soviet Union Mark 2, so that he can be leader of a superpower. I can’t think of another motive that makes sense.

    Frozen conflict. I don’t think Putin’s interested in a takeover of Ukraine as USSR v2.0. Kremlin doctrine has always wanted buffer states along Russian borders; if he does end up taking over Ukraine (besides the enormous unrest and cost), he’ll have an even worse set of hostile neighbors like Romania and Poland. Even he takes over eastern Ukraine only, it’s the same problem: Greater Russia would now border a pretty implacably hostile what’s-left-of Ukraine. He got offered up the Donbass on a silver platter after the separatists’ little referendum and basically patted them on the head and told them to go talk to Kiev.

    However, if he can keep eastern Ukraine in permanent chaos he’s got a weak buffer state along his border, plus the constant unrest makes it difficult or impossible for Ukraine to enter into any alliances or unions like NATO or the EU. This only works if he can keep the separatists under some sort of control, but historically speaking, giving advanced weapons to a bunch of violent irregulars (hi Afghanistan!) tends not to turn out very well.

  97. 97
    teiresias says:

    @Baud: Who knows? I think it’s reflexive distaste for the more horrifying parts of US foreign policy since WWII, honestly; they just go contrarian and believe any damn fool thing because they’re stuck in a Cold War mentality. In the real world, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis exist but they aren’t exactly popular, but looked through the prism of atrocities past like Operation Gladio, they’re seen as being in control with US/NATO blessings.

    The funny thing is, they complain about the US expanding NATO eastward. This is probably a legitimate complaint, but it also presumes that countries like Poland, Hungary (which actually does have a fascist problem right now), the Czech Republic, and OBTW Bulgaria and Romania which share the Black Sea with Russia and Ukraine didn’t have a legitimate interest of their own in turning westward. The firebaggers may have lost their shit when the US sent a warship into the Black Sea a few months ago, but you can be damn sure that Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey rolled out the red carpet.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s bizarre — why did my comment refer back to the wrong person? That should have been@BobS that it was directed to — sorry, teiresias!

  99. 99
    Bill Arnold says:

    @El Caganer:

    I had read that the trucks were only half-full because they couldn’t negotiate back roads if they were fully loaded.

    Closer to empty than 1/2 full if I recall the videos correctly. I have seen lots of heavily loaded trucks on back roads in the U.S., so this rings a bit false. Perhaps American back roads are better than Russian back roads? :-)

  100. 100
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Yeah, you may not want to use Afghanistan as your example of Russia being unfairly picked on by the US. There’s a reason some people call it the Soviet Union’s Vietnam.

  101. 101
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Mnem, why are you harping on innocence in world politics? Was America innocent in invading Afghanistan? Was the US innocent in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya and all the other places where we’ve dropped munitions over the last few decades?

    Are you really incapable of recognizing any of that? Was America innocent in threatening nuclear war over the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    Russia has interests in countries on its border. It has interests in selling its gas to Europe.

    But you keep clinging to the Cold War narrative that Russia is led by a madman who is set to conquer Europe. BobS is right. You really don’t get it.

    This has been America’s foreign policy: “Where is the oil and who do we have to kill to get it?” In places like Iraq, Libya, Yemen and now Ukraine we get locals to help us in the killing. When you think about ISIS today try to remember the Shia executions via power drills back in 2005 under our conquering forces.

  102. 102
    BobS says:

    @Amir Khalid: Being critical of US political/economic/military hegemony and provocation = “Russia has a right to intervene in Ukraine, and to choose Ukraine’s friends and allies”. Another deep thinker.

  103. 103
    El Caganer says:

    @Bill Arnold: Or maybe American trucks are built better – I have no idea. Like I said, I have no clue what’s really going on over there. For all I know, the goddam trucks could be carrying nuclear weapons. Or Central American immigrants with ebola. Or whatever.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    El Caganer says:

    @Mnemosyne: You see? The BS has even invaded the BJ comments section! (Of course, maybe there was some BS here to start with….)

  106. 106
    Anoniminous says:

    Anyone have any idea what the military in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuanian are doing? The only response I can find is Poland’s decision to amp-up their purchases of attack helicopters.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Mnem, why are you harping on innocence in world politics? Was America innocent in invading Afghanistan? Was the US innocent in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya and all the other places where we’ve dropped munitions over the last few decades?

    Not at all. But that doesn’t automatically mean that the Taliban were the good guys in Afghanistan, or that Saddam Hussein was a great guy, or that Assad isn’t slaughtering his own people. The world is complicated, and the US acting badly doesn’t automatically mean that the people we act badly against are therefore good.

    It is completely possible both for the US to be meddling in Ukraine and for Putin to be acting like an asshole in Ukraine by supporting “separatist” groups. Not either/or, but both together. This is what you seem to have a hard time understanding. Putin doesn’t get a free pass for invading Ukraine just because he’s also opposing US interests while acting in his own interests.

  108. 108
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: So America is innocent, that seems to be your operative word here, in Afghanistan because Russia. Thank you. A wonderful explanation. You know, isn’t this about the time you bring up Stalin or the Cossacks or what some czar did two hundred years ago?

    Forget good and evil for a moment, although when wars happen plenty of evil gets done.

    The bottom line is that you think Russia is led by an irrational madman who wants to impose a massive military invasion on Europe. Isn’t that what Saddam wanted to do, or did you forget the Poodle’s claim that Iraq had missiles that could strike London in 45 minutes? Isn’t that what ISIS wants to do? Isn’t that what Iran wants to do with its nuclear stockpile? Our State Department doesn’t even change the plot line. Maybe that’s so it’s easier for you to believe.

  109. 109
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Was America innocent in threatening nuclear war over the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    I’m guessing that on Planet Bob (pop: 2), the Cuban Missile Crisis consisted of Kennedy randomly deciding to blow up the world (presumably to get the sweet sweet oil inside), and no other countries were involved in any way.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Also, too:

    But you keep clinging to the Cold War narrative that Russia is led by a madman who is set to conquer Europe.

    Er, no. Putin is an asshole who wants Russia to remain an influential regional power, even if that means occasionally shoving his neighbors up against the wall to show them who’s boss. He has no interest in being the next Hitler, or even the next Stalin. But that doesn’t mean that what he’s doing is right just because it’s not on a Hitler or Stalin level of evil.

  111. 111
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    So…it’s bad when America “takes an interest”, but not when Russia does?

  112. 112
    Baud says:

    @teiresias:

    they just go contrarian and believe any damn fool thing

    Understandable. There’s a lot of that going around.

    @Mnemosyne:

    I don’t like to leave the boat. But if you’ve accurately described Chomsky’s argument, damn that’s dumb.

  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    So America is innocent, that seems to be your operative word here, in Afghanistan because Russia. Thank you. A wonderful explanation.

    No, you have it exactly backwards. America is not innocent … but neither is Russia. There are no innocents here.

    You know, isn’t this about the time you bring up Stalin or the Cossacks or what some czar did two hundred years ago?

    I dunno, are you going to get back on your hobbyhorse about how all Ukrainians are Nazis because of World War II?

    The bottom line is that you think Russia is led by an irrational madman who wants to impose a massive military invasion on Europe.

    Did you build that strawman yourownself, or did you have help? I think Russia is led by an asshole who’s willing to use force to keep his neighbors within his sphere of influence. He sees his dick shrinking day by day and he doesn’t like it, so he lashes out. The only person here who claims that Putin is the next Hitler or Stalin is you.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    It’s more of a finger-wagging The US is being hypocritical for scolding Russia screed that carefully avoids supporting Russia’s actions. Presumably Chomsky remembers how stupid he looked for defending Pol Pot back in the day and doesn’t want to end up with egg on his face if Putin goes too far.

  115. 115
    BobS says:

    @Mnemosyne: If you actually read that article and honestly think that’s what Chomsky wrote, I was wrong — you’re not ignorant, you’re just not too bright.

  116. 116
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m not going to prepare a list of “separatists” the US has supported in violation of international law (Kosovo, cough cough), so again if the US has interests in Ukraine, you think it’s merely to stop a massive Russian invasion or don’t you ever consider energy as a motivator for US involvement around the world?

    If the US can invade the Middle East and kill hundreds of thousands (maybe millions by now, we don’t keep count anymore) of innocents for our nation’s protection, can’t Russia have an interest in former parts of Russia with ethnic Russians or with strategic interests to Russia? If you want a quid pro quo then just consider Crimea in exchange for Guantanamo (although without the illegal detentions and torture).

  117. 117
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    From the linked article, “Russia’s annexation of Crimea was an illegal act, in violation of international law and specific treaties.”.

  118. 118
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    If the US can invade the Middle East and kill hundreds of thousands (maybe millions by now, we don’t keep count anymore) of innocents for our nation’s protection, can’t Russia have an interest in former parts of Russia with ethnic Russians or with strategic interests to Russia?

    So you think what Russia is doing in Ukraine is as bad as what the US did in the Iraq war?

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    if the US has interests in Ukraine, you think it’s merely to stop a massive Russian invasion or don’t you ever consider energy as a motivator for US involvement around the world?

    The US has been courting Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union 23 years ago. There are energy interests, but the US (and its European allies) also feel they have an interest in reducing the amount of power Russia has in the region. Obviously, Russia disagrees, which is why they decided to intervene to prevent Ukraine from joining the European Union.

    Not everything is solely about oil, Bob.

  120. 120
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think it’s a plus that Bob admits they are violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Baby steps, Mneme…

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Quote the whole graf:

    Russia’s annexation of Crimea was an illegal act, in violation of international law and specific treaties. It’s not easy to find anything comparable in recent years – the Iraq invasion is a vastly greater crime.

    and the two following grafs:

    But one comparable example comes to mind: U.S. control of Guantanamo Bay in southeastern Cuba. Guantanamo was wrested from Cuba at gunpoint in 1903 and not relinquished despite Cuba’s demands ever since it attained independence in 1959.

    To be sure, Russia has a far stronger case. Even apart from strong internal support for the annexation, Crimea is historically Russian; it has Russia’s only warm-water port, the home of Russia’s fleet; and has enormous strategic significance. The United States has no claim at all to Guantanamo, other than its monopoly of force.

  122. 122
    Paul in KY says:

    @teiresias: God, I hate those dicks! Thanks for the name: Brighton Beach.

  123. 123
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: Scratch a Russian, find a Tatar.

    Or, as the Russians desperately tried to tell Europe when the Japanese were kicking their ass in 1905…”hey, we’re white people, just like you! No, really!”

  124. 124
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    If the US can invade the Middle East and kill hundreds of thousands (maybe millions by now, we don’t keep count anymore) of innocents for our nation’s protection, can’t Russia have an interest in former parts of Russia with ethnic Russians or with strategic interests to Russia?

    Russia has an interest, undeniably, but just as undeniably it has no right to intervene in the affairs of what is now a sovereign nation. The US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were wrong, What Russia is doing now in Ukraine is not any less wrong.

  125. 125
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Crimea is Russian only in the sense that it was taken away from the Ottomans in the 18th century.

    East Prussia is “historically Russian” pretty much in the same sense.

  126. 126
    ericblair says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Er, no. Putin is an asshole who wants Russia to remain an influential regional power, even if that means occasionally shoving his neighbors up against the wall to show them who’s boss. He has no interest in being the next Hitler, or even the next Stalin. But that doesn’t mean that what he’s doing is right just because it’s not on a Hitler or Stalin level of evil.

    My read is that Putin wants Putin to remain in power, and that’s about the only long-term strategic objective detectable. For most of his time in office, he’s ridden an oil boom and made a deal with the Russian citizenry that if they keep their noses out of politics they’ll get wealthy. This is not happening anymore, and now it’s rampant nationalism that will do the trick, as well as some newfound politically useful religious bigotry and Russian ethnic superiority.

    He seems to be preoccupied with the threat of color revolutions, even though I doubt any popular uprising in Russia is in the cards any time soon. As far as the West goes, the Russian government seems to be more pissed off about not being taken seriously as a superpower than any actual opposition. Probably the biggest threat now is internal Russian separatism: since federalism and referendums were great things when they happened in Ukraine, people in places like Siberia and Karelia and Kaliningrad have started thinking it might be a good idea there too. Putin disagrees.

  127. 127
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why isn’t Tibet a more recent comparable example?

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    Okay, last example for the Bobs before I go to lunch:

    When oil-producing Venezuela decided to have closer relations with Cuba and Castro, the US tried to overthrow Venezuela’s president in a CIA-financed coup. I think that all of us here agree that that was a bad thing for the US to attempt, yes? Overthrowing the sovereign government of a country because you want their oil and don’t like their allies is not right.

    So please explain why what Russia is doing in Ukraine is quantitatively different than the US’s similar actions in Venezuela. Why was it bad for the US to attempt to overthrow the government of Venezuela but it’s good for Russia to attempt to overthrow the government of Ukraine?

  129. 129
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not all Ukrainians are Nazis because of WWII. Certainly not the Crimeans or east Ukrainians or the average Ukrainian on the street. Not many in Odessa either.

    But the US has a deep and long history with the OUN/B inheritors of Ukrainian fascist nationalism. They’ve cultivated it over seventy years, through the importation of about ten thousand fascist war criminals after WWII, through the civil war the US supported in Ukraine after WWII into the early fifties, through anti-Semitic anti-Russian propaganda through Radio Free Europe, through the Republicans’ ethnic heritage formations and the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and its evolution into little fascist movements all around the world. You seem to be totally unaware of the history of fascism in Ukraine or the fascist militias operating throughout the country, to include killing people in the east. Connect the dots: Propaganda Due, Operation Gladio, Chile, the 1965 coup in Indonesia, the cocaine coup in Bolivia, the generals in Argentina. Noriega. Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Shah, the decades of support of Saddam until he earned the goat’s head.

    This is why I told you to read Christopher Simpson’s BLOWBACK. But if you ever did read it you apparently didn’t absorb any of it. That’s why I directed you to the Russ Bellant interview in The Nation last spring, which would have given you a quick summary of this history of the US and eastern European fascism. Again, if you read it you did with your mind closed.

    And yes, I find the US supporting the kids of the folks who used to load up Jews in the back of trucks and then gas them by redirecting the exhaust, the kids who are dreaming of the glory of ethnically pure Ukraine, as pretty horrible. Maybe it wasn’t as horrible as the death squads in El Salvador or running dope lines to support illegal wars, or all the wars we’ve waged built on lies, but, yeah, it’s still pretty horrible.

    Ukraine is just another way that the US wants to get to Baku. It’s using fascists to do it. Until you figure that out you will remain ignorant.

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You know, it’s not like the lords of Muscovy, be they Romanovs or Bolsheviks, haven’t engaged in outright imperialism for oh, I don’t know, four fucking centuries. Somehow the Bobs seem to think that the Russians are pure as the driven snow at a gulag somewhere in Yakutsk.

  131. 131
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    And yes, I find the US supporting the kids of the folks who used to load up Jews in the back of trucks and then gas them by redirecting the exhaust, the kids who are dreaming of the glory of ethnically pure Ukraine, as pretty horrible. Maybe it wasn’t as horrible as the death squads in El Salvador or running dope lines to support illegal wars, or all the wars we’ve waged built on lies, but, yeah, it’s still pretty horrible.

    Interesting. Children are responsible for the crimes of their parents now? Or again?

    Mr. Ayers, who in 1970 was said to have summed up the Weatherman philosophy as: ”Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at,” is today distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And he says he doesn’t actually remember suggesting that rich people be killed or that people kill their parents, but ”it’s been quoted so many times I’m beginning to think I did,” he said. ”It was a joke about the distribution of wealth.”

    You a neo-Weatherman? Or are your posts a “joke”?

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  132. 132
    Belafon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Lots of people in the US, whether they are pro-US action or anti-US action, have a very US centric view of the world: Everything in the world happens because the US makes it so.

  133. 133
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    BTW, WTF?

    Guantanamo was wrested from Cuba at gunpoint in 1903 and not relinquished despite Cuba’s demands ever since it attained independence in 1959.

  134. 134
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: Jeez, Bob, Bandera has been dead for nigh on 65 years. He sure exerts a lot of power over you, like Saul Alinsky with the Republicans.

    Oh, care to remind the crowd how and where he died? Or what (and who) caused the split in the OUN that led to his rise?

    The funny thing is, in those areas of Ukraine where you seem to believe he is still somehow influential, his name is more or less a joke. People use it to make fun of Russians’ belief in the bogeyman.

  135. 135
    ericblair says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Interesting. Children are responsible for the crimes of their parents now? Or again?

    The United States is cheerfully supporting the architects of the Holocaust, and have been fomenting neo-Nazi anti-Semitic coups all over the world for decades. And has been slavishly supporting the government of Israel and the international Jewish conspiracy. Hang on, I’ll come in again.

  136. 136
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Hmm. You seem to be overlooking (and I agree it’s a small point) that the US financed and backed a coup overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine. I’m not going to explain it to you again. So is the US overthrowing Venezuela any different than it overthrowing Ukraine? Or overthrowing Assad? Or overthrowing Khadafy? Or overthrowing Mossadegh? Or overthrowing Allende? Arbenz? How about the US not allowing elections in South Vietnam back in the fifties?

    So, let’s examine this a little more closely. You believe that Russia is overthrowing the government in Kiev by supplying weapons to rebels in the east?

    How long do you think it would take Russia to militarily defeat Ukraine in a conflict? An hour? A day? A week? That’s not what’s happening here. It’s protecting the interests of eastern Ukrainians at the same time that it’s protecting its borders and playing chess with the US/NATO over who gets to supply energy to Europe.

    You seem incapable of thinking that there are reasons why the US does things. It’s like people believing that capitalism brings out the best in people. It’s not because the people in the State Department or the CIA are bumbling their way through the world. It’s about who controls the energy.

  137. 137
    Chyron HR says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    And yes, I find the US supporting the kids of the folks who used to load up Jews in the back of trucks and then gas them by redirecting the exhaust, the kids who are dreaming of the glory of ethnically pure Ukraine, as pretty horrible.

    Russia has, of course, been historically known as a safe haven for the Jewish people. That’s how it earned the famous nickname “Little Israel”.

  138. 138
    Bob In Portland says:

    @ericblair: Kids who are encouraged to believe and cherish what their parents believed under the banner of those who committed the Holocaust are not innocent. Odessa, my friend. Look at what side you are on.

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Well, that’s about as valid as thinking the Stonecutters rig every Oscar night.

    It’s amazing to me that other people in the world have their own lives and their own priorities and somehow the US has very little input into that. I thought everyone took their cues from some guy in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Appalachians.

  140. 140
    Gravenstone says:

    @BobS: You seem more engaging than BiPpy, I’ll grant you that. Not much brighter, but more engaging. Buh bye.

  141. 141
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: Cuba was never truly independent until Fidel came along, I guess. Then Cuba promptly found a new customer for its sugar and cigars.

  142. 142
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I can’t say I’m much of a Chomsky reader, but until now, I didn’t take pride in that fact.

  143. 143
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: It’s protecting the interests of eastern Ukrainians

    An open question, Bob. Since, by your own admission, you read no Russian, and have never set foot in Ukraine, how do you know what eastern Ukrainians are interested in?

  144. 144
    chopper says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Hodorsk!

  145. 145
    dr. luba says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Because eastern Ukrainians are lining up to fight with the “separatists” and defend their own interests.


  146. 146
    dr. luba says:

    Sorry, html issue–crappy old browswer at work, no preview or edit function. Meant to show this quote:

    In Strelkov’s recent video posted online, he said he “could never have imagined” that of the more than 4.6 million people living in the Donetsk region, only about 1,000 volunteers were willing to join his rebel army to defend Novorossiya: “We can see anything but crowds of volunteers outside our gate,” admitted Strelkov, whose nom de guerre means “gunman” and whose real surname is Girkin.

    It’s from last month, but that situation hasn’t changed.

    From this article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....yNkpS.dpuf

  147. 147
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dr. luba: You’ve got link/blockquote fail.

  148. 148
    Ernest Pikeman says:

    @Punchy:

    Donetsk, don’t tell policy

    ROFL.

  149. 149
    Cacti says:

    @Baud:

    I can’t say I’m much of a Chomsky reader, but until now, I didn’t take pride in that fact.

    Chomsky’s always had a bit of a soft spot for autocratic dictators as long as they were aligned against US geopolitical interests.

    He spent the late 70’s minimizing the extent of Khmer Rouge attrocities in Cambodia. Even after it became undeniable, he tried to weasel out of it by saying his defense of the Pol Pot government was accurate based on available information at the time.

  150. 150
    ericblair says:

    @chopper:

    Hodorsk!

    Ходорский!

  151. 151
    Baud says:

    @Cacti:

    An extreme or misguided viewpoint is still a viewpoint. Flatly asserting that Cuba became independent in 1959 is a flat out lie.

  152. 152
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The same reason I knew about death squads in El Salvador and the CIA-sponsored coup in Chile. And the false flag in the Gulf of Tonkin, and the WMDs in Iraq. How did you learn about them?

  153. 153
    Ernest Pikeman says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I run into the occasional Maoist

    Say what?

  154. 154
    teiresias says:

    @Anoniminous: This is why I’m not a pacifist. I don’t *like* war, it should be a last resort when diplomacy fails and even then be looked at as cleaning house and not a great and glorious cause, but Poland is one example of a country that didn’t exactly need prodding to join NATO and the EU and therefore has a vested interest in keeping Russia away. They’ve already got Kaliningrad on their doorstep (although from what little I know about Kaliningrad the residents wouldn’t be too broken up if they were taken away from Russia and either became independent or joined Poland or Germany). Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are in a similar situation, only more so because they were forced into the USSR more or less as an accident of geography. Tell them that they were coerced into joining NATO, I strongly suspect a majority, or at least plurality, of the population would respond with “So what? Better than being ruled by Moscow, and we have more in common with Scandinavia and central Europe anyway.”

  155. 155
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: They were marching in Lviv on New Year’s celebrating and calling for him to come down and lead them.

  156. 156
    ericblair says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Odessa, my friend. Look at what side you are on.

    Armed pro-Russian gang shows up at march before a football match in Odessa, starts knocking heads with hand weapons. Local Ukrainian crowd gets pissed, chases pro-Russian gang into building. Pro-Russians barricade themselves into building, start shooting crowd from the roof causing several deaths. Both sides start tossing Molotov cocktails, starting fires in at least four places in the building. Building and barricades catch on fire. Some locals outside attempt and succeed on getting some of the pro-Russian crowd out through the windows, while other pro-Russians drop shit on them from the roof. Approximately thirty pro-Russians die from the fire, the majority of them identified as Russian or Moldovan citizens. Pro-Russian prisoners busted out the next day by another pro-Russian mob storming the police station. That Odessa?

  157. 157
    teiresias says:

    @ericblair:

    Well, if we’re in Ukraine, wouldn’t it be more like Годорьск :-)

  158. 158
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    How do you know if you don’t understand their language?

  159. 159
    dr. luba says:

    @teiresias: Годорськ, actually;-) And GoT is hugely popular over there at the moment.

  160. 160
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: Not reason, method. What are your sources of information, other that RT? Seriously. You flatly state, over and over, “this is what eastern Ukrainians want.” But eastern Ukraine has a politically diverse population. Your statement is as foolish as saying “this is what Chicagoans want,” but it is also based on no primary sources. There are any number of Donbass-based Russian-language pro-Ukrainian web sites and newspapers. Did you see the attempt by your RT guy Graham Philips to lead people in liberated Sloviansk to toe his pro-Russian line, which met with complete failure? Now that the rebels have been driven out of Sloviansk (which used to be their stronghold) is peaceful. If people there were truly as opposed to the Kiev government as you seem to think, why are they not demonstrating that in some tangible way?

  161. 161
    teiresias says:

    31 August 1814

    You know, it’s pretty clear at this point that the Crown was entirely justified in the burning of the White House. It was a humanitarian effort to protect the interests of British subjects living in the occupied colonies from the oppression of the Washingtonist thugs that have controlled the Potomac, New York, and New England regions since the unpleasantness of 1776, and I’m inclined to agree with the noted Cambridge scholar Noe Cardozo that it’s about time that the Crown retake the Americas from the Washingtonists, since those lands are historically English anyway.

    Anyway, look how much they’ve been complaining about our occupation of the New Ireland colony. It’s obvious this whole provocation is just a sop to Big Lumber anyway. (And I will fucking cut the next person who uses the Washingtonist name “Maine”.)

  162. 162
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Cuba was never truly independent until Fidel came along, I guess.

    Made me browse wikipedia. :-) At least technically (and if wikipedia is to be believed), Cuba got mostly full independence in 1934 with the second Treaty of Relations, which abrogated the previous treaty’s clause allowing US intervention.

  163. 163
    teiresias says:

    @Bill Arnold: Sometimes I wonder — if the US hadn’t had such insane issues with racism, would Cuba and the Philippines be states by now?

  164. 164
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    But the US has a deep and long history with the OUN/B inheritors of Ukrainian fascist nationalism.

    And yet to you, bringing up the long history of the Soviet Union in the region — including Putin’s employment with the KGB — is old news, not even worth talking about. I mean, it collapsed almost 25 years ago! Why are we still talking about that!?

    But the events of 70 years ago. Now that’s relevant.

  165. 165
    burritoboy says:

    Um, my native city is Kharkiv (though I left as an infant). The mere fact that Kharkiv – which is just as close to the border with Russia as Luhansk is – didn’t want to break away should tell you that eastern Ukrainians aren’t some monolithic bloc. Many in Kharkiv (though not all of course!) have perceived the separatists from Donetsk as only interested in getting back at Kiev because the Kievites tossed out their boy Yanukovych (who was the long-time political boss of the Donetsk region). Also, since the current mayor of Kharkiv is Jewish (Kharkiv has always had a very large and historied Jewish community), it’s a bit puzzling why, if indeed the new government are a bunch of Nazis, why he would be a supporter of it (which he is).

  166. 166
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    You seem to be overlooking (and I agree it’s a small point) that the US financed and backed a coup overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine.

    And your evidence is … ? We’ve already been ’round the mulberry bush with your The US gave the coup $5 billion! when I pointed out that she said that $5 billion was the amount of foreign aid given to Ukraine since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. Do you have any other evidence that the CIA did this and not the people of Ukraine?

    It’s like you’ve never even heard of the Orange Revolution. But, then, it happened a whole 10 years ago, which makes it passé and irrelevant, unlike the events of 70 years ago, which are vitally important to events today.

  167. 167
    Roger Moore says:

    @Baud:

    Why isn’t Tibet a more recent comparable example?

    Because it doesn’t involve American wrongdoing.

  168. 168
    teiresias says:

    @teiresias: Also “something something something Venice Banksters”, because some of Putin’s US supporters are serious crank magnets.

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @burritoboy:

    Um, my native city is Kharkiv (though I left as an infant).

    Watch out — Bob in Portland has already decided that anyone who immigrated to the US from Ukraine did so because their family were Nazis. He’s accused Gin & Tonic of it I don’t know how many times.

  170. 170
    Mnemosyne says:

    Interesting that a familiar name shows up at the center of the Orange Revolution:

    The protests were prompted by reports from several domestic and foreign election monitors as well as the widespread public perception that the results of the run-off vote of 21 November 2004 between leading candidates Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych were rigged by the authorities in favour of the latter. The nationwide protests succeeded when the results of the original run-off were annulled, and a revote was ordered by Ukraine’s Supreme Court for 26 December 2004.

    Man, the CIA sure has been busy. That’s twice now that they got rid of Yanukovych.

  171. 171
    Roger Moore says:

    @teiresias:

    I don’t *like* war, it should be a last resort when diplomacy fails and even then be looked at as cleaning house and not a great and glorious cause

    War is evil. It may occasionally be necessary to choose it as a lesser evil, but it is still evil.

  172. 172
    burritoboy says:

    We didn’t immigrate to the US (not until years later)! We immigrated to what is now…..wait for it…… St. Petersburg, Putin’s hometown! Also, if my family were Nazis, I don’t think that my grandfathers would have won quite as many medals as they did fighting in the Red Army during WWII (one of them spent his entire life in it, and ended up a Colonel. I think it’s safe to say he would have been fairly surprised to learn he was a Nazi, especially after lobbing THAT many artillery shells at them.)

  173. 173
    Bob In Portland says:

    @ericblair: No. The actual Odessa.

  174. 174
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Can’t help lying, can you? I’d say building a straw man, but at this point I call you a liar.

    The US imported about ten thousand fascists into the US at the end of WWII, many under Operation Paperclip, many under the Congress For Freedom program. Are you denying that? Oh, and please point out where I said that every person who left Ukraine in the seventy years after WWII was a Nazi.

    Thanking you in advance for weaseling out of this one.

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Oh, and please point out where I said that every person who left Ukraine in the seventy years after WWII was a Nazi.

    So it’s only Gin & Tonic whose family must have been Nazis? Because you’ve accused him of that multiple times and demanded that he show you proof that they weren’t.

    Any other regular posters that you want to do a Nazi check on? There are at least three in this very thread who have admitted they know Russian and/or Ukrainian, so you must be suspicious that they only reason they know or learned those languages is because they learned them at their Nazi grandfather’s knee, just like you claimed Gin & Tonic must have.

  176. 176
    Karen in GA says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Very late to this, but I love that song.

  177. 177
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Stop trying to build straw men like Mnem does. If you say that the South, or the old Confederacy is racist, then you are condemning a whole region with millions of different people who each hold different positions. You’ll find more overt unrepentant racists in Brookhaven, Mississippi than in the Castro in SF.

    We know from the last country-wide election that eastern Ukraine, Crimea and Odessa voted for Yanukovitch and elected him. Yanukovitch was removed by a coup led by fascists. We know the long, deep history of fascism among the OUN/B adherents and their hatred of Russia. I think we can extrapolate that there is at least some support for the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

    I’m guessing that if someone took a poll of all Ukrainians a good majority would want this war to stop. But that involves disarming and breaking up the fascist militias and having the Ukrainian army stop shelling civilians in the east. I suspect that any doubts about the nature of the Kiev government that may have been held by some eastern Ukrainians have be confirmed.

  178. 178
    Calouste says:

    @teiresias:

    Cuba could have been possible, it’s close by and would be the 8th largest state by population.

    The Philippines is on the other side of the world (13 hours ahead of DC) and has a population 1/3 of the US. That just won’t work.

  179. 179
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: Are you defending the CIA or saying that they’re incapable of overthrowing governments in the same country twice? Tell that to the Nicaraguans.

  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    We know from the last country-wide election that eastern Ukraine, Crimea and Odessa voted for Yanukovitch and elected him.

    We know from the Orange Revolution that Yanukovitch tried to cheat his way into office at least once before. Still want to stand by your claim that his last election was totally legit and anyone who says otherwise can only be a fascist?

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    Are you defending the CIA or saying that they’re incapable of overthrowing governments in the same country twice?

    Yes, because it’s impossible that in 2004 the people of Ukraine rose up after an unfair election and demanded a re-do of their own accord. The only possible explanation is that the CIA made them do it.

    ETA: You had heard of the Orange Revolution before today, right? You weren’t so absorbed in the events of 70 years ago that you ignored the events of 10 years ago when coming to your assessment of the situation?

  182. 182
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Trollhattan: It’s been over a month. No information from the black box, no civil or military radar to confirm a BUK SAM launch, no US intel satellite to reveal a SAM launch, Kiev’s Ministry of the Interior is still keeping the conversations between the air control tower and MH17 secret.

    Trollhattan, you indeed are a true believer. Remember right after it happened how Kerry said he had absolute proof that the rebels did it? Where is that proof? How long are you willing to wait? Till after the Super Bowl?

  183. 183
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: So you’re defending the CIA. Okay.

  184. 184
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    No, I’m mocking the fact that you think the Orange Revolution was a CIA operation.

    Let us know when Bigfoot shows up — I’m sure you’ll get some great pictures of him.

  185. 185
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know. Gin speaks Ukrainian and refuses to mention his family background, he seems to be a true believer in US propaganda about Ukraine and seems to ignore the 70-year history of the US and fascists.

    I can’t prove that his daddy or granddaddy marched with the SS. Gin doesn’t like to share.

    What I do find interesting, yet again, is that none of the regulars here at BJ seem capable of placing a motive behind US actions in the world. Okay, we didn’t invade Iraq because of WMDs. Why did we invade them? We didn’t invade Afghanistan and stay for a decade and a half because Osama once lived in a cave there. Or because the Taliban are bad. We didn’t supply and train anti-Assad rebels because he is a bad man (since he was a bad man torturing the folks the US dropped off during the extraordinary rendition days). Why are we trying to overthrow Assad and not the royal family in Kuwait who’ve been bankrolling ISIS? Or the folks in the glass towers of Qatar? Or the House of Saud?

    And why does the US give a shit about Ukraine? Justice? Freedom? Democracy? Rule of law?

  186. 186
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the Orange Revolution here at BJ. So that’s another lie by you. You can’t help yourself, can you?

    However, if you go back to 2004 and 2005 there are plenty of people at the time who thought the CIA was involved in it. Look it up. They were not quite the fans of intelligence agencies that you appear to be.

    There were plenty of stories in the 90s about the CIA’s tentacles with reactionary politicians who returned to eastern Europe from the US after the Cold War. Many were trained by NED. Many were associated with Paul Weyrich’s Free Congress Research and Education Foundation. Are you a fan of Paul Weyrich?

    So, my dear Mnem, why does the US give a shit about Ukraine? What are American interests in that region? Any clue? Take your time and read up about Weyrich, and the NED. I’ll still be here.

  187. 187
    david miller says:

    Prof Stephen F Cohen gets an enormous amount of vilification in the US (“Putin’s Useful Idiot”, “he doesn’t think Ukrainians exist”, etc) from people like Chait, or Ioffe, or those who prefer Masha Gessen’s um weird diatribes, but his views are pretty congruent with those of realists like Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. He did an hour-long interview on August 19th with John Batchelor on his radio show which was very interesting (mp3 link, hour long segment).

  188. 188
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    What I do find interesting, yet again, is that none of the regulars here at BJ seem capable of placing a motive behind US actions in the world.

    I’ve placed plenty of motives behind US actions in the world, including in Ukraine. You just don’t like my proposed motives for Ukraine, so you pretend I haven’t proposed any.

    In fact, I’ve re-stated my proposed motives for the US towards Ukraine several times in this very thread. But I realize your single-issue blindness means you were unable to read or comprehend what I wrote.

    Gin speaks Ukrainian and refuses to mention his family background, he seems to be a true believer in US propaganda about Ukraine and seems to ignore the 70-year history of the US and fascists.

    The same applies to the other Russian and/or Ukrainian speakers in this thread. None of them have answered your quiz about whether they are now or have ever been communists fascists. So, using the same criteria you applied to Gin, they’re all fascists too, right? No other possible explanation, after all.

  189. 189
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    I don’t know. Gin speaks Ukrainian and refuses to mention his family background, he seems to be a true believer in US propaganda about Ukraine and seems to ignore the 70-year history of the US and fascists.

    I can’t prove that his daddy or granddaddy marched with the SS. Gin doesn’t like to share

    While Bob In Portland refuses to comment on rumors he drinks baby blood to sustain his life. I mean, I can’t be the only one to have noticed that baby disappearances in the Portland area have gone up in the last couple of years, can I? If Bob were opposed to such things, nay, not benefiting from such things, he would say so, wouldn’t he? I mean, I can’t say for sure what kind of baby blood extraction machines he keeps down in his basement, because I’ve never seen it, but because I’ve never seen I can’t say for sure what kind of machines are not being used in his place of residence, that’s for sure.

  190. 190
    chopper says:

    Has anybody said Hodor in a while?

    If not: Hodor.

  191. 191
    chopper says:

    Gin speaks Ukrainian and refuses to mention his family background

    That’s all I need to know.

  192. 192
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the Orange Revolution here at BJ.

    Yes, that was my point — you’re so obsessed with the events of 70 years ago that you dismiss events of 10 years ago, even when those events involve the exact same players.

    So explain it to us again, Bob — why is the post-war distribution of Nazis 70 years ago more relevant to the events in Ukraine today than events in Ukraine of 10 years ago?

    However, if you go back to 2004 and 2005 there are plenty of people at the time who thought the CIA was involved in it.

    People also think the CIA is installing RFID chips in their brains. OMG, it must be true if people say the CIA did it!

  193. 193
    PJ says:

    @Bob In Portland: I could answer all of those questions regarding motive, but they would simply be my best guesses or opinions. In the absence of evidence regarding motive, you, on the other hand, prefer to assume that the US has a nefarious purpose, one which is counter to the well-being of the citizens of those particular countries.

    I can tell you, with certitude, that I care about what happens in Ukraine because I do care about justice, freedom, democracy, and rule of law. And I certainly do not wish to see Russia reestablish rule over Eastern Europe (which also seems to be the wish of the vast majority of the people there.) Putin has shown that he has no problems with invading and occupying neighboring territories, not to mention having political opponents murdered, suppression of free speech, oppression of minorities, de facto elimination of democracy, and, most likely, terrorism against Russian citizens. Yet you see his actions regarding Ukraine as being perfectly legitimate.

  194. 194
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Okay, you want my sources. I’ve given background sources of the US’ history with eastern European fascists, the books to read, I provided a link to the Russ Bellant interview in The Nation. As far as day-to-day, I generally read as many English-language sources as possible. Certain ones, like the Daily Beast and the NY Times, pretty much tow the State Department line, so if the Times says that Russians again invaded Ukraine I’ll wait for pictures. Considering that the publisher of The Daily Beast is a former staffer for Rudy Giuliani and married into Herbert Hoover’s family, I don’t expect much out of his “news site”. I believe Beast was promoting pictures of the Russians bringing in a BUK SAM the morning of the MH17 shoot down but it turns out that the pictures weren’t anywhere near where the plane was shot down and were probably of a Ukrainian BUK. Plus there’s the problem of no contrail. But I digress.

  195. 195
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    So nothing from Ukraine, then? The actual country where all this is taking place?

  196. 196
    PJ says:

    @david miller: Masha Gessen, with her weird diatribes about a sociopathic gangster who has established a de facto dictatorship and who, to preserve his power in a declining economy, increasingly relies on stoking nationalistic anger regarding Russian speakers outside of Russia – why would anyone be concerned about a little thing like that?!

  197. 197
    Bob In Portland says:

    @PJ: How long are you going to wait for our motive for the Vietnam War? How long are you going to wait for our motive for Iraq? Afghanistan? Who do you expect to tell you the actual motive?

    By the way, you may remember that we were in Afghanistan for women’s rights. Remember the women with the purple thumbs? That excuse was for you.

    If you are for rule of law, and you point to Crimea, where were you when Yugoslavia was torn apart along ethnic divisions? The State Department argument that the Crimean return to Russia wasn’t legal because the whole of Ukraine didn’t vote on the subject is a less than overwhelming when you consider Yugoslavia. Did the folks in Serbia vote in any election to allow Croatia or Slovakia or Kosovo to leave Yugoslavia? Or didn’t you care about the rule of law back then?

    Despite all the Cold War fears of Russia launching a military invasion of Europe that seem to dance in the minds of BJers, they keep calling for peace negotiations and for a federalized Ukraine that would guarantee ethnic minorities protection. Does protection of ethnic minorities mean anything to you?

  198. 198
    Mnemosyne says:

    @A Humble Lurker:

    Bob doesn’t speak either Russian or Ukrainian. That’s what makes him an expert, unlike people who can actually read Russian and Ukrainian and look at the original sources for themselves.

    (Note: I neither read nor speak Russian or Ukrainian, but I’m not claiming to understand the region better than people who do.)

  199. 199
    teiresias says:

    @PJ: Masha Gessen is just bitter because she’s an out lesbian with a family and Putin, champion of human rights, signed off on draconian anti-LGBT legislation because reasons. I mean, what else would you expect from someone who moved to the US solely so she and her wife didn’t have their kids taken away?

  200. 200
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: So you discount America’s seventy-year relationship with Ukrainian fascists or don’t you know about it? It means nothing to you? Or you are sure that that relationship ended between the CIA, State and fascists in Ukraine? When? Wishful thinking or any proof?

    I remember being called paranoid when a ring of people that included an SFPD intelligence officer who did some TDY for the CIA that involved blindfolding and tying people to chairs and a former FBI agent were dumpster diving in my union’s trash back in the 80s. Why would our intelligence agencies spy on their own citizens? But I digress.

    If you don’t know about the relationship between fascists in Ukraine and our government, or just presume that it doesn’t exist now, then what is your point of arguing with me? Nuland said that the US spent five billion dollars for regime change in Ukraine. That’s a fuckload of cake. You even care where the money was spent? Was it spent on the fascists that they had a seventy-year relationship with or just generally on refreshments in Maidan? Has the US come out and admitted the intentional importation of war criminals after WWII? Is that what you’re waiting for?

  201. 201
    PJ says:

    @Bob In Portland: You’ll recall that the US had nothing to do with the break-up of Yugoslavia, which was caused by Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia wanting to get as far away from Serbian rule as possible. The US only got NATO involved after a few years of the Serbs’ ethnic cleansing became too much to take. Likewise with Kosovo – if the Serbs were not intent on ethnic cleansing of Kosovars, NATO would not have started bombing.

    So, yes, I am all for the protection of ethnic minorities, and there is no evidence the Ukrainian government is intent on acting otherwise. On the other hand, we did see plenty of evidence of ethnic Russians and Russian soldiers browbeating (and beating) Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians in the run-up to the election in Crimea, which was supervised at gunpoint, and thus clearly free and fair.

    You may continue to believe that Putin has only peaceful intentions for a stable and prosperous Ukraine, but, to date, he has shown little liking for Russian republics, like Chechnya, to go their own way.

  202. 202
    Bob In Portland says:

    @PJ: No. I am saying that there are logical national interests for both the US and Russia in that region, not the least of which is that Russia is actually in that region. What national interests for the US tend to be have more to do with our corporations than with the folks at the end of my block. In fact, I’d say from Vietnam onward the national interests underlying our foreign policy actually are against the interests of most citizens. How has Iraq served your interests?

    If you only hear one side of Georgia’s North Ossetia incursion then you remain ignorant. You do remember that Georgia claimed North Ossetia as its own and the Ossetians had voted for independence from Georgia, right? You remember that it was Georgia who crossed over the border into North Ossetia first, right? If you don’t understand Russia’s interests or America’s interests in the region, then you will forever remain ignorant.

    If Putin is merely a power-crazed mad man, then you will never bother to consider that he may well in fact be representing Russia’s interests. And they are pretty capitalistic interests. He wants to sell Russian gas to Europe. And he wants the US to stop fucking around central Asia.

    Now you answer me: Why is America fucking around central Asia?

  203. 203
    PJ says:

    @Bob In Portland: Do facts not matter to you? (Obviously not, duh.) Nuland stated that the US had spent that money on Ukraine since independence, over a twenty year period. That’s far less than the US has spent on other countries (hello Israel!). There is no evidence that the US is supporting fascist groups in Ukraine, none. If there were, you would have cited it to us. Instead, you keep harping that the US assisted Nazis after WWII. BFD (so did the Soviets, when it suited them.) You are living on persecution fantasies, where the US is out to get you and everyone else.

  204. 204
    Bob In Portland says:

    @PJ: Nothing to do with the breakup of Yugoslavia? And you know this because? Because you didn’t hear about any US involvement on the news? You ever hear of “Rollback”? I will grant you that Germany took the lead in destroying Yugoslavia. Now it looks pretty much like it looked in 1942.

    By the way, when NATO bombed Belgrade for two months to get them to give up Kosovo. No US planes were used?

    Please, for your own sake, read up on these things.

  205. 205
    burritoboy says:

    I can’t speak for anybody else, and I left the Ukraine a long time ago, but here is my opinion:

    Ukrainians aren’t especially opposed to Russia at all. I at least see Ukraine as ideally being a helpful bridge between Europe and Russia. That said, it’s not exactly surprising Ukrainians are more than a bit wary of Putin’s intentions at this point. And that’s not because we’re some kind of US or European stooges, but because lots of countries have been on the receiving end of Russian imperialism over the centuries and have the same worries. It’s certainly not just us, but the Georgians, Lats, Lithuanians, Estonians, Armenians, Poles and many other nations were not always treated well by Russian and later Soviet empires. Ukrainians aren’t more anti-Russian than many other people who have gone through this – if anything, Ukrainians are much less anti-Russian than many other groups! We’re more worried about Putin’s government than by some broad animus towards Russia or Russian people.

    Ukrainian people want closer ties to the EU because (at least, IMO) we see that our immediate economic future is most likely to be a manufacturing center importing primarily into the EU (not that Ukraine doesn’t want to export to Russia too! We need the money!). Ukraine has much less natural resources than Russia, but has a very large manufacturing sector. Ukrainians have been seeing that the Poles have been making a lot money doing manufacturing for EU consumers, and many people, me included, think this is the most likely way to grow our economy. Right now, Ukraine is quite poor and we need to find ways to grow the economy. Putin offered aid money, but no long-term solution for the economy.

    Also, many Ukrainians are Catholics and Jewish (about 8-10% of the population put together), and they are worried about Putin’s merging of the Russian Orthodox Church into the Russian state. For obvious reasons, many Ukrainians are concerned about this.

  206. 206
    PJ says:

    @burritoboy: Thanks for the perspective of someone actually from Ukraine!

  207. 207
    Bob In Portland says:

    @PJ: Who and what did they spend it on? Was she talking about money from the State Department only? Or was she giving a full accounting of all American monies spent in Ukraine since the end of the Cold War? Did this take into account politicians trained through NED here in the US? Did this take into account privately-held accounts like Paul Weyrich’s group? Did this take into account the CIA’s secret budget? Or Omidyar’s money spent there?

    Quite honestly, you have no clue whether or not Nuland was lying when she said five billion or that the money was spread over 25 years. You have no clue how or where the money was spent. You are saying that facts mean nothing to me when you don’t even know the facts. PJ, that’s pretty weak broth.

    Read this please. Then tell me when the US broke up with Ukrainian fascists.

  208. 208
    chopper says:

    @PJ:

    You’ll recall that the US had nothing to do with the break-up of Yugoslavia

    The US gubbermint is responsible for that too the CIA is behind everything. Why do you think it’s so hard to find Frankenberry in the cereal aisle? Fucking CIA.

  209. 209
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @burritoboy: Thanks.

    The religious aspects get surprisingly little coverage, it seems to me. But it fits in with things like what happened to Pussy Riot a while back.

    There are lots and lots of gears working here – as with much of life, it’s complicated. It would be nice if BiP would think about that genuine complexity, rather than seeing a 1-dimensional US / Nazi / CiA Boogieman behind everything bad in the world…

    Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  210. 210
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Halp! I said a FYWP word in #209. :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (KittyKat Riot doesn’t have the same ring to it…)

  211. 211
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m sure you read Farsi, right, Mnem? How many Afghani tribal dialects have you picked up? Speak Vietnamese? Have you prevented yourself from commenting on any of those countries.

    People have opinions about what happens in the world. They read books. They refer to history. They recognize trends. The MH17 seemed to be an obvious false flag when it happened. If you don’t believe in false flags as a regular part of our foreign policy then you wouldn’t suspect it, now, would you? Did the US lie to you about Libya? How about Egypt? How about Syria? How about Iraq? How about ISIS? How about Afghanistan, Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the Congo? Please separate the lies and the false flags from the truth and then show me why you think you’re getting the real skinny on Ukraine in the NY Times from some of the same reporters who cowrote with Judith Miller back in the color-coded days of our war on terror. Oh wait. You never answer questions, you only build straw men.

  212. 212
    chopper says:

    @burritoboy:

    That sounds like nazi talk to me, Herr Burritoboy

  213. 213
    Bob In Portland says:

    @chopper: chopper, what do you think the CIA does? Help old ladies to cross the street? Hold AIDS walks?

  214. 214
    chopper says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    They fuck over my Frankenberry dreams, at least. All with that pink milk at the end. Fucking CIA.

  215. 215
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: One night in the 70s I was getting drunk with a coworker out at Trader Sams on Geary Boulevard in SF. I had landed a job at the VA Hospital because I was a vet and at the time things in the economy were slow and I had to pay rent. My friend was a vet, too, taking night classes at USF and soon after our conversation left the VA and joined the State Department. He was sent to the embassy in Beirut and eventually married a “Rhodesian” woman. After we were both in the cups pretty deeply and were talking politics he said, “You know, Bob, some people think that the Nazis were on the right side in WWII.”

    He was a decent guy. He rooted for the Niners. He worked for the State Department (probably retired now, I’ve lost touch).

    About Gin? I have my suspicions but obviously I can’t prove anything and Gin is too cautious about giving up too much of his background. So Gin will merely be a cheerleader for the Poroshenko regime without portfolio.

    That doesn’t mean that the last seventy years of US-Ukrainian fascist relations did not happen and that people in the current government are not adherents to the racist nationalist philosophy there. In fact, it would be incredible if they weren’t. But they are.

    By the way, have you asked yourself why all the proof of MH17 is taking so long? Has it ever crossed your mind?

  216. 216
    Bob In Portland says:

    @chopper: chopper, you’re among grownups now. There will be a thread about breakfast cereals any day now.

  217. 217
    chopper says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    I have a friend who speaks Farsi, and hasn’t explained his family background. Should I worry that he’s actually a nazi?

    Signed,
    Worried in Atlanta

  218. 218
    chopper says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    chopper, you’re among grownups now

    Well, a bunch of grownups and one crazy Russian propagandist.

  219. 219
    Bob In Portland says:

    @A Humble Lurker: Please, give me a list of all the English language Ukrainian sources. I’ll copy the links and check them daily. I have gone back into the stacks of the Ukrainian Weekly. It seems they were always defending war criminals who were being deported, but the Ukrainian Weekly is US/Canadian.

  220. 220
    Bob In Portland says:

    @chopper: chopper, you should be singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Skip along now.

  221. 221
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Bill Arnold: As I understand, the trucks that have entered Ukraine were inspected. They sat there for a week and a half and the biggest complaint from the west was that they weren’t filled up enough.

    But if Russia were going to sneak in weapons after allegedly sneaking in weapons for five months without being caught, then why announce it to the world?

    There are several reasons why Russia is sending in aid to Lugansk. First, the water’s been cut off for a couple weeks now, the Ukrainian military has been deliberately shelling the civilian population and those people need relief. Second, Russia is getting tired of the ethnic cleansing that the Ukrainian army is waging against the ethnic Russians. As long as Russia parks its humanitarian trucks in Lugansk it makes it difficult for the Ukie army to continue killing civilians. And finally, if Ukraine does take military action against the Russians with humanitarian aid I would presume that Russia would destroy the Ukrainian army in one afternoon. A quick retaliation that nevertheless removes all the Ukrainian artillery from the war and leaves unfed and unarmed Ukrainian soldiers to fight the rebels in the trenches (not actual trenches). Sort of like what NATO did in Yugoslavia and Libya, and what it’s now proposing to do to ISIS.

  222. 222
  223. 223
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, that was my point — you’re so obsessed with the events of 70 years ago that you dismiss events of 10 years ago, even when those events involve the exact same players.

    How did I dismiss events of ten years ago? Link please. Or is this just another lie you’ve generated? Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

  224. 224
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: And you don’t even have to spell it properly!!!1

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  225. 225
    Bob In Portland says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Scott, all I got is the Google translator. English language please. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

  226. 226
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    The point is, if you don’t understand Ukrainian, or can’t find a Ukrainian source translated to English, isn’t all information you’re getting just second hand knowledge?

  227. 227
    Bob In Portland says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Is that what it is? I have pointed out Russia’s interests here, their monetary interests; I have speculated what the US’s interests are because we only get our stories wrapped in a flag. Please, don’t make me go through the list again. It wasn’t WMDs. That was a lie. It wasn’t Osama once sleeping in a cave in Tora Bora. It isn’t that Assad is a bad man. It wasn’t that Khadafy was a bad man.

    Please explain to me the reasons for the US’s last dozen or so wars. As much complexity as you need. If you are incapable of explaining the reason the US has spent trillions bombing and invading countries around the world, then, really, what are you arguing about here? Thanking you in advance, as always, for your complex response.

    P.S.: You’re not denying American intelligence’s 70-year relationship with Ukrainian fascists, though, are you?

  228. 228
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Bob In Portland: Seriously?!?

    Ok, try these. (No doubt you’ll have issues with them, but hey, this is what Google gives). You’ll have to linkify them yourself (due to the 3 linky limit).

    www_KyivPost_com

    www_ukrinform_ua/eng/

    www_day_kiev_ua/en

    un_ua/eng/

    (Replace underscores with periods.)

    That enough to get you started?

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  229. 229
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    How did I dismiss events of ten years ago? Link please.

    Great, so you’re ready with your discourse about the Orange Revolution and how it relates to what’s going on today? I though you’d never get around to it.

  230. 230
    burritoboy says:

    Chopper,

    I know your comments were in jest, but Kharkiv has a long history of opposition to racism and fascism. There has always been very many Russian-speakers in the city (almost half the population) as well as a very large Jewish population. Before Nazis destroyed it, Kharkov had the second largest synagogue in Europe. The current mayor is Jewish and was also opposed to Euromaidan, but he supported the city staying in the Ukraine. The city was almost entirely destroyed by Nazis in WWII and Nazis massacred maybe 100,000 civilian residents (many Jewish, but many others too). Many bad memories from Nazi occupation still after 70 years. The people of Kharkiv would not support a fascist government or one that oppressed Russian speakers.

  231. 231
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: On the chance this might be a genuine request, here are some pointers. No links, because my post will get moderated for too many, but you know how to use the Google.

    In English, sources which are not Ukrainian but also are not American, the BBC, The Guardian and The Telegraph all have reporters in the country. The Economist’s Eastern Approaches blog, and their Gulliver Cragg on Twitter. In fact, you really need to follow Twitter to get current events, so, as noted, GC, Maxim Eristavi, Roland Oliphant, Max Seddon. The Global Post (who employed poor James Foley) have a Moscow-based correspondent who’s frequently in Donetsk named Dan Peleschuk (also on Twitter.) English-language sources from Ukraine or Russia include The Interpreter, although you’ve already dismissed them, and Kyiv Post, the leading English-language paper based in Ukraine. You could read Ukrainska Pravda by feeding its pages into Google Translate, which will give you results that might be aesthetically and grammatically dubious, but informative nevertheless. For an eastern view, you could try the same trick with Novosti Donbassa. You could, of course, also read the official Web page of Ukraine’s President, in English here.

  232. 232
    Bob In Portland says:

    @A Humble Lurker: Humble Lurker, name the number of things you read about in the paper or see on TV that aren’t second-hand knowledge. Getting bad translations of any language is essentially inserting Google into the existing mess.

    Last week the NY Times reported that a Russian armored column had crossed into Ukraine and was crushed. The NYT’s source was the government in Kiev. Is that second-hand, or third-hand or some other-hand knowledge? Since the Ukrainian government has not produced any pictures of the smoking armored column, or any real followup stories about this and has since just moved on to other phantom events, does it matter how many are playing telephone from the Ukrainian border to the news stands in America?

    I mentioned that the reporter named Kramer and one of the others who writes frequently for the NY Times on Ukraine also cowrote articles with Judith Miller back in 2001-2. How much credence do you give them? Oh, and when did they stop lying?

    Thanking you in advance for telling me when those reporters stopped lying.

  233. 233
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I read all the British papers. I don’t do twitter. I have checked out Malaysian papers, and it seems that some in Malaysia are ready to blame the Ukrainian military for shooting down MH17.

    You don’t deny American intelligence’s 70-year association with Ukrainian fascists, do you?

  234. 234
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Bob In Portland: The volcano of verbiage you throw up when someone engages with you reminds me of my college days of attending Spartacus Youth League “educational seminars” on current events. Arguing with them was entertaining for a while, but it got tiresome quickly.

    That was nearly 30 years ago for me. I’m done with arguments like that.

    We get that you don’t trust the Ukrainian government’s position and statements about the situation there since February. We really do. But trying to make the discussion of the situation in Ukraine into some grand epic about all the evils of the CIA is stupid. You’re not convincing any of the posters here, AFAICS. I doubt that you’re convincing many readers, either.

    Don’t waste your time trying to bury people who disagree with you in an avalanche of non sequiturs, please. It’s tiresome, and it won’t work. Try to stay on topic. If you feel the need to write some grand epic on “real” US history and the CIA’s involvement therein, and your admitted speculation on related topics, put it on a blog and post a linky.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  235. 235
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: I don’t do twitter.

    Your loss. You wanted sources, I gave them. If you wish to ignore them, then don’t pretend like you’re well-informed.

  236. 236
    chopper says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    i’m not happy. the CIA came and took it away.

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    O.M.G., you guys. I was driving home and it suddenly dawned on me — how could it be that the CIA is simultaneously controlling all events but Putin seems to be acting on his own? There’s only one possible answer:

    Vladimir Putin is a CIA double agent, put in place to make Russia look bad.

    Think I’m kidding? Google “Gorbachev” and “CIA.” If they did it before, why couldn’t they do it again?

  238. 238
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Bob In Portland:
    Third hand, then.

  239. 239
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Mnemosyne: :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  240. 240
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Bob In Portland: BTW, you don’t have to “do” Twitter to read tweets. I don’t have a Twitter account either, but I can read them on the web.

    E.g. https://twitter.com/KyivPost

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  241. 241
    Larv says:

    You’re all wasting your time trying to have a rational discussion with BiP. This is a guy who thinks that the US government created HIV and unleashed it on the world because…reasons.

  242. 242
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Larv: The CIA told you to post that, didn’t they!!!11

    ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  243. 243
    BobS says:

    @chopper:Some of you “grownups” seem to have a soft spot for Joseph McCarthy.

  244. 244
  245. 245
    Bob In Portland says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Quite honestly, I don’t give a fuck if you suffer when you read my posts. I suffer, for example, when Mnem accuses me of saying things I’d never said. Non-sequiturs are a problem when you are trying to carry on a conversation with a half dozen people who misquote you or insult you.

    My position is that I am against our country’s foreign policy in Ukraine. But since we can’t agree that America’s foreign policy is essentially about controlling the world’s energy (and killing lots of folks along the way) I guess we can agree to disagree.

    You haven’t actually offered anything to the conversation so just feel free to skip my posts.

  246. 246
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Mnemosyne: You have a problem with considering that Putin is acting for Russia’s national interests?

    You’ve lied about what I’ve said or written numerous times today, but just for the hell of it, why is America fucking around in that corner of the world? Thanking you in advance for eventually asking one question I’ve asked you.

  247. 247
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m not pretending I’m anything. I am what I am. I find it actually strange that the alleged liberals here are still making jokes about the CIA having a hand in things like, oh, our foreign policy. Or domestic spying. (Okay, NSA is technically a separate entity now, but…) It’s a real knee-slapper that people have reached the age of adulthood and think that America’s foreign policy is only about making the world a better place not about someone maybe making money. People here have a rather incomplete understanding of fascism. Or that the America is the world’s policeman and only acts in the best interest of others, but sometimes we elect klutzes like Dubya and he fucks things up and Obama has to clean up things.

    I am informed about a number of things around here that a lot of BJers either have never heard about or can’t seem to process. I bet you know about the 70-year history of the US intelligence’s relationship with Ukrainian fascists, though. Don’t you?

  248. 248
    Larv says:

    I am informed about a number of things around here that a lot of BJers either have never heard about or can’t seem to process.

    Like AIDS being created the US gov’t, Bob? I only keep harping on that because it’s revelatory of your willingness to believe all sorts of arrant nonsense, so long as the US gov’t can be blamed for it. The reason we haven’t heard of these things is because they only exist in your fevered imagination.

  249. 249
    BobS says:

    @Bob In Portland: You suffer some of these assholes with a lot more patience than they deserve — that goes double for Mnemosyne, who is continually arguing in bad faith or else just really stupid. As far as the others, I too am surprised by the number of people here who –in their rush to demonize Putin — are seemingly unaware of or willing to overlook the activities of the NED (the kinder, gentler CIA) in Ukraine prior to the coup and who think that this time it’s different than Syria & Libya & Haiti & Iraq & Venezuela & Yugoslavia & Panama & Nicaragua & Grenada & Chile & Greece & Indonesia & Brazil & Viet Nam & Congo & Guatemala & Iran….Gore Vidal called it the United States of Amnesia for good reason.

  250. 250
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Bob In Portland:

    I am informed about a number of things around here that a lot of BJers either have never heard about or can’t seem to process.

    (Emphasis added.)

    You’re leaving out many other options, and I think the thinking you illustrate with that statement is part of the reason why your posts don’t generate the type of discussion you apparently are sincerely interested in.

    IME, if you want to have an on-line discussion – especially with multiple people simultaneously – you need to keep it restricted to a compact topic. Changing a discussion of Russian trucks crossing the Ukrainian border into one about Mossadegh or the Guantánamo lease or the children of Fascists isn’t going to help the discussion along.

    Topics turn over quickly here. People interested in discussion of the original post probably aren’t looking to discuss the 70 year history of the CIA no matter how sincerely you believe it is relevant. It’s not the topic.

    Honestly, I appreciate your posting here. Nothing is more boring than a discussion board where everyone agrees. ;-) But help us out here – stay on topic.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  251. 251
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: I bet you know about the 70-year history of the US intelligence’s relationship with Ukrainian fascists, though. Don’t you?

    Keep plugging away, Bob. I’m that itch you can’t scratch.

  252. 252
    BobS says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: But it is the topic — the US has a long and mostly sordid history of meddling in the affairs of and overthrowing foreign governments.

  253. 253
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @BobS: Sorry, but it’s not. The lack of engagement in BiP’s (and your) side issues by posters here is proof of that.

    Sorry.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  254. 254
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BobS: It isn’t the topic. Read Tom Levenson’s post at the top. Nothing about the legitimacy (or not) of the Ukrainian government, just about the (possible) movement of Russian materiel into Ukraine. Even BiP has admitted that Russian trucks, whether empty or full, moving into Ukraine without the government’s permission is a violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.

  255. 255
    BobS says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Yeah, sorry, but it is — looking at Ukraine outside of the context of US interventions and energy politics is foolish. As far as “lack of engagement”, you’re kidding, right? The entire fucking thread is one clown or another ‘engaging’ with Bob in Portland. But thanks for the advice.

  256. 256
    BobS says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah, I did read it, including the invitation to “Discuss”. Which we’ve done.

  257. 257
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @BobS: Sorry. A meta-discussion is not a discussion about the 70 year history of the CIA and fascists in Ukraine.

    HTH!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  258. 258
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @BobS: Shorter Bobs: because the CIA overthrew Mossadegh in 1953, it’s cool for Putin to destabilize Ukraine and annex its territory in 2014.

  259. 259
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I see what you did there. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  260. 260
    Bob In Portland says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: The seventy-year history referred to in the thread is this article.

  261. 261
    Bob In Portland says:

    I’d also mention that the above story’s lede, that the Russians were slowly invading Ukraine over the last several weeks, hasn’t got much circulation. Sounds like another candidate for the Memory Hole.

  262. 262
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Bob In Portland: Yes, I know. You’ve mentioned it several times. If you want to discuss it, the best place to do so would have been the Nation’s comment section. Since that closed for the article in March, I guess you’re out of luck.

    But all is not lost. Maybe you can straighten out William Horsley and his readers to the truth about what Putin and the US are really up to in Ukraine. I’m sure they’d be fascinated to be directed to read the Nation piece. Go get ’em, tiger!

    Good luck!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  263. 263
    dr. luba says:

    Whenever anyone brings up a Nation article, especially in the context of the current situation in Ukraine, I recall this observation by Susan Sontag (not exactly a crazy right winger):

    Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader’s Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation or the New Statesman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause.

  264. 264
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @dr. luba: :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  265. 265
    Cervantes says:

    @dr. luba: I was there in New York when she made that remark. It was inane then and still is. From Bertrand Russell’s critique of the Soviets shortly after the Revolution down to the end of the Soviet era, the Nation published more truth and subtlety on the subject than Sontag could bring herself to acknowledge.

    I can understand how someone who did not read the magazine might be impressed. Others have no excuse.

Comments are closed.