A Long Night in Ukraine

 

While everything else has been going on it is important to remember that events elsewhere in the world have not paused. Ukraine has been under sustained attacked from Russian backed/Russia’s Little Green Men for several days.

The deadliest flare-up in fighting in eastern Ukraine in 1 1/2 months stretched into a third day as the European Union labeled the violence a “blatant” breach of the stalled 2015 peace accord aimed at resolving the almost three-year-old conflict.

The military said Tuesday that Russian-backed insurgents pounded the town of Avdiivka, 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the conflict zone’s biggest city, separatist-held Donetsk, using rockets and artillery. Rebels blamed the shelling on the army. President Petro Poroshenko broke off a visit Monday to Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced concern at the security situation.

And:

Ceasefire monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, tallied 2,260 “ceasefire violations” on Sunday.

And early Monday morning, combined Russian-separatist forces launched a predawn artillery attack and follow-on ground assault on the Ukrainian-held front-line town of Avdiivka.

Ukrainian officials claimed the attacks were an attempt by combined Russian forces to derail the ceasefire by effectively baiting Ukraine into retaliatory actions, which could be used as an excuse for further escalations, or for propaganda.

By Monday afternoon, Ukrainian forces announced they had repelled the attack on Avdiivka, but combat was ongoing.

“The enemy continues to fire at our positions with heavy artillery and mortars,” Ukrainian military spokesman Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk told reporters in Kiev Monday.

The BBC reports that an evacuation is being planned:

Ukrainian officials are preparing for a possible evacuation of the eastern frontline town of Avdiivka amid renewed fighting with pro-Russian rebels.

If evacuation takes place, officials say up to 8,000 people could be removed each day from the government-held town, which has no water or electricity.

Shelling and the deaths of several more people were reported by both sides on Tuesday.

Each blames the other for the upsurge in violence.

It erupted despite an attempt to renew a ceasefire last month.

Ukrainian forces say the outbreak began when rebels launched an attack on Avdiivka, which borders land controlled by the separatists.

Seven soldiers and a number of rebels have been killed in recent days, and there have been civilian casualties on both sides but precise numbers are unclear.

The US’s official response is:

Cease-Fire Violations in Eastern Ukraine

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Acting Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 31, 2017

The United States is deeply concerned with the recent spike in violence in eastern Ukraine around Avdiivka-Yasynuvata. Since January 28, the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission has reported a dramatic increase in fighting, including with heavy artillery and other weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements. The fighting has caused dozens of Ukrainian military casualties and 10 civilian casualties. It has also left 17,000 civilians, including 2,500 children, without water, heat, or electricity. To avert a larger humanitarian crisis, we call for an immediate, sustained ceasefire and full and unfettered access for OSCE monitors. We also reaffirm U.S. support for full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

 

 

187 replies
  1. 1
    EriktheRed says:

    But we’ll get right on lifting those sanctions, right?

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    McCain, Graham and third third Stooge Marco “Curly Joe” Rubio will not let this Russian aggression stand!

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    We are all no longer Ukrainians now.

  4. 4
    🚸 Martin says:

    See, this is good dealmaking. Trump does nothing and Putin takes care of the eminent domain and demo. He’s never gotten a hotel location so cheap.

  5. 5
    Felonius Monk says:

    Donnie will not want to be outdone by his pal Putin, so my money is on an invasion of Mexico.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Thank you for this post, Adam.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yup. They are now calling Sunday talk shows, saying book me, book me.

  8. 8
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Christ, what a mess. At least the quoted U.S. statement was in Grownup English.

  9. 9
    p.a. says:

    Russians and Ukranians are both white. Bannon can’t decide who to support.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Why are the Ukrainians so opposed to their own liberation from the ruinous clutches of the NATO/EU/ECB octopus of hyper-capitalist exploitation? This is very shortsighted, and demonstrates extreme ingratitude towards their Russian brothers.

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sorry its delayed, I’ve been meaning to work it in, but things have been busy…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdL9wQdWZ9g

  12. 12
    SWMBO says:

    @p.a.: Russians. They have the most potential for chaos.

  13. 13
    Miss Bianca says:

    Fuuuuck. That is all I got right now. Think I’m gonna crawl into some old Superman cartoons from the 40s, just so I can listen to someone say “truth, justice and the American way” and try to remember a time when people *could* say that completely unironically.

  14. 14
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jerzy Russian: The quoted statement mentioned Russia a grand total of zero times.

  15. 15
    p.a. says:

    Adam bit off topic but defense related, my repost from below. Any info?

    Any more info on the Yemen raid? 1dead Seal, 6 dead kids, and a WH statement that it was ‘not successful 100%’. If they’re saying < 100% does that mean total clusterfuck?

  16. 16

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Marco has much better hair than Curly! For now…

    @p.a.: Which one is less, you know… bagely?

  17. 17
    chris says:

    The blogpost from Jester Actual is chilling.

    “You realize that Putin may have subverted our government just to become the richest man on the planet, right?”

  18. 18
    TheOtherSteve256 says:

    Donald is a disaster as Commander in Chief. So incompetent.

  19. 19
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @chris: What the fuck is that dude saying in this Tweet? “Killed or wounded in action numbers of Ukraine/DNR forces in Crimea for 2017 so far.”

    There’s no current military activity in Crimea. Ukrainian forces and DNR forces are on opposite sides. This shit makes no sense.

    From unconfirmed reports I’ve read, there’s a lot more DNR KIA’s than UA KIA’s, BTW.

  20. 20
    Mart says:

    Today I tried sucking on my thumb whilst in the fetal position, but this still did not help take my mind off it. Tic Tac Don the Con washed himself in Navy Seal blood today. There will be more blood to bath in. So much more. Sad.

  21. 21
    Lizzy L says:

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/31/trumps-grand-strategic-train-wreck/

    I am not qualified to opine on this, but it’s a long interesting read. Some relevance to this post.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @p.a.: I’m not sure if it was you I answered last night, but NBC has updated its reporting. One of the reporters highlighted that with: “what was the purpose”. And that’s the real question. What’s been released in the reporting is the stated purpose was intelligence gathering at an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula training compound/camp. So what I’m wondering is whether they thought they were going to make an entry into an empty or largely empty camp and it turned out that 1) it wasn’t empty/mostly empty, 2) it was sufficiently well guarded that a firefight ensued, and 3) this means there was a problem with the intel for targeting.

    Beyond that, I don’t have any more idea.

  23. 23
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman: While your first sentence is true, it is nevertheless important to keep in mind that it was a very difficult time in Eastern Europe, and “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” accounted for a part of that. When you’ve got Nazis on one side and Communists on the other, and you want to live, your universe of choices is rather limited.

    If you’ve not read Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands I recommend it.

  24. 24
    chris says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I didn’t get the Crimea part either. Other than that, total number of dead and wounded on both sides?

  25. 25
    NotMax says:

    Not to change the subject, just a heads-up in case Adam hasn’t heard or seen it. Reported that “elite forces from a Gulf state” were among forces sent in for the Yemen botcheration.

    (Gulf state: rhymes with Maudi Jarabia? Gotta be.)

  26. 26
    ThresherK says:

    @Miss Bianca: Those color ones Fleischers made for Paramount? I always loved the animation in them, but couldn’t decide the style of it. Art deco-ish. perhaps?

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There was a report today that Trump took an unscheduled trip to see the dead SEAL’s body return home.

    Now I’m wondering if Mattis bundled him onto that flight.

  28. 28
    danielx says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    From unconfirmed reports I’ve read, there’s a lot more DNR KIA’s than UA KIA’s, BTW.

    I hope so….I read that at some point in 2016 Ukraine had lost 70% of its armor.

  29. 29
    JerryRich says:

    @Miss Bianca: The 1940’s Max Fleischer Superman animated shorts had the Big Guy fighting for “truth and justice”. The “American way” was added for the TV series. I think the best of the 17 was “The Mechanical Monsters” (1941), the only one where he uses his X-ray vision.

  30. 30
    p.a. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: tks. no, wasn’t me yesterday.

    What are the odds this crew would admit a mistake anyway.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    p.a. says:

    @Mnemosyne: tRump went with his nurse/keeper Ivanka.

  33. 33
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Gin & Tonic: yes, the content is a different matter. Things have fallen so far that when I see a statement that is not embarrassing because of poor language and grammar, I see that as a good thing.

    I don’t see how anything good can come out of this mess, given the morons in charge.

  34. 34
    amk says:

    good luck, nato eewropeans. you’re gonna shit loada of it.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    @Miss Bianca

    Reminded to make mention that the actor who originated Superman on the stage died this week.

    @ThresherK

    Bauhaus-Deco?

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    We live in strange times. Last weekend I felt comfortable that the son and dil were going to Mexico in April for their vacation, instead of Europe, now I’m not so sure. Australia is no longer safe.

  37. 37
    p.a. says:

    @JPL:

    Australia is no longer safe.

    Never was: that fauna is Ka-ray-zee.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    ThresherK says:

    @NotMax: Oooh, I’m stealing that. Bauhaus more than Deco, a nice, clean purposeful minimalism to show off the saturated colors.

    If I’m gonna research with Yahoogle, “Streamline Moderne” also fits.

  40. 40
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Jim AcostaVerified account
    Source familiar with Trump foreign leader calls says the POTUS convos are turning faces “white” inside the WH.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @chris: Yep and yep.

  42. 42
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: They’re all white already.

  43. 43
    Rommie says:

    We’re going to be too busy smacking Mexicans around to bother with helping Ukrainians. Hey, we kicked them around before the 1st Civil War, let’s make a sequel! SMH

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: And a lot of French and Austrian and Poles and Hungarians and…

  45. 45
    JerryRich says:

    @NotMax: “It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman” was the very first Broadway musical I ever saw, in 1966. Of course, I am a lifelong Superman fan.

  46. 46
    sigaba says:

    That statement from the admin manages to never actually use the word “Russian” once. What’s the Trump theory for who the two sides actually are? Ukraine and ethnic Russians living in Ukraine? He going with the position that the Russian military isn’t involved?

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think he meant Donbass and entered Crimea.

  48. 48
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s like saying I meant New Jersey but wrote Virginia.

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I bet they still call him President though.

  50. 50
    GregB says:

    Meanwhile the Milo the Provocateur’s appearance at Cal-Berkeley has deteriorated into bedlam with fires and mayhem.

    Trump is making America great alright.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania…you’re in the on deck circle!

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: Nope, SecDef is in the PACOM AOR meeting with ally counterparts.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    Heard on the news that Trump threatened to occupy Mexico near US border if it didn’t keep ‘bad hombres’ out. And a report that the vicious loon wants to turn US anti-terrorism policing and security operations into an anti-Muslim witch hunt.

    Guy’s effing nuts.

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB: It’s always the right thing to do to punch a Nazi.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @p.a.:

    I guarantee you that Trumpy didn’t come up with the idea himself, nor did Ivanka, nor President Bannon. So who did? My vote is that it was Mattis’s idea.

  56. 56
    chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I cut my adult reading teeth on LeCarre, Deighton, et al. but this is going so far beyond their little conspiracies. I’m starting to feel that, by the time it’s all figured out, it will be much too late.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @p.a.: Lots of things can go wrong on these types of Ops. Even if the intel was right, these things can go south and when they do, they do.

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    @jl:

    Guy’s effing nuts.

    I called my Senator’s office today and said winning isn’t everything.

  59. 59
    Timurid says:

    @NotMax:

    That would explain the atrocity reports.
    SEALs wouldn’t line kids up against a wall and shoot them, but the Saudi Stasi certainly would.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @GregB:

    You can always count on the Black Bloc to make shit worse.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @p.a.: The Barbara Carrera role in Never Say Never Again?

  62. 62
    amk says:

    any one else has bj page loading issues on firefox?

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I didn’t mean literally. But I can’t see Trumpy even attempting a secret visit like that. That’s why I think someone outside of his inner circle put him up to it.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Ya think?

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It is, but stuff happens. Did you get my email the other day?

  67. 67
    GregB says:

    Can Nancy Pelosi sit Paul Ryan down and let him know that the stock market won’t be getting his paymasters big returns in the event of a global nuclear holocaust?

  68. 68
    Vince says:

    OT: Don’t know if this has been brought up in another thread. Leaked draft of “religious freedom” EO aka time to start shitting on LGBTQ people.

  69. 69
    Mary G says:

    Adam, please say this isn’t leading directly to WWIII. Ever since the president accused McCain and Graham, failed candidates, saying they were trying to do so, I’ve been worried. So much of what Trump says is projection and domination.

    And in more calming news:

    If you're feeling overwhelmed and anxious today, remember that this is Leland Melvin's official NASA picture. pic.twitter.com/cekUW47YEX— Rogue NASA (@RogueNASA) February 1, 2017

  70. 70
    Timurid says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m counting the minutes until CNN.com’s ‘ALIEN SPACESHIPS OVER NEW YORK’-sized splash headline about the Berkeley fiasco..

  71. 71
    jl says:

    Oh man, now I hear he yelled at Australian PM because Australia is threatening the US and pushing us around with some dumb fantasy shit, ‘bad hombre’ refugees we said we would take from Australia. Just heard a depressing report on Trump’s vicious idiot day.

    I hope some of this is fake news. But I’m not counting on it.

  72. 72
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Last one I got was about Humpty Dumpty. Sorry, I don’t always reply.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: That’s LTG Flynn and Dr. Seb Gorka.

  74. 74
    JPL says:

    If you live in a red state, call your Senators and mention that winning isn’t everything. When the President of the United States threatens another ally, it’s not normal. just sayin

  75. 75
    jl says:

    @Mary G: Trump seems to be planning a military occupation of Mexico to stop his fantasy of an invasion of Mexican ‘bad hombres; and revving up the horrid years of our Cold War with Australia, now that they are getting uppity and threatening us again. We’ll have our hands full. Everything will go terrific. Does Trump even know what a ‘Ukraine’ is?

  76. 76
    Mike in NC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Rubio got tapped for the Three Stooges spot because Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was defeated, thank God.

  77. 77
    Percysowner says:

    Hey! We may be about to Invade Mexico!. I mean that SHOULD require the approval of Congress, but the Repubs will cave if Trump decides he wants to take out those “bad hombres”. But don’t think this is just Trump being a racist, he’s getting all ticked off at Australia as well.

    This is not my country! And I may have to add calls saying that I oppose a war with FREAKING MEXICO!

  78. 78
    NotMax says:

    @Mary G

    Sadly, not inconceivable.

    Trelane has the biscuit.

  79. 79
    JPL says:

    @jl: It’s not fake news. There’s a good chance that tomorrow when we awake, other countries will release their leaders conversations with the lunatic.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne: I’m sure someone, LTG Flynn, SecDef Mattis, Sec DHS Kelly, Gen. Dunford, took him aside and explained that whether he likes it or not, wants to do it or not, barring some other emergency, its his job to be at Dover when the bodies come home.

  81. 81
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    And Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the crazed warmonger?

  82. 82
    debbie says:

    Who’s the bigger dipshit, Bannon or Gorka? I can’t decide.

  83. 83
    JPL says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Truth be known, she never was able to imagine the places that Trump would go. That in itself made her the weaker candidate.

    Although I doubt there is an office pool that had Mexico and Australia on the list.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Oh My God! That dog is eating Leland Melvin!

  85. 85
    Percysowner says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: No, she was an uppity bitch who had to be put in her place.

  86. 86
    Mike in NC says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Great book

  87. 87
    debbie says:

    @JPL:

    That’s the best news I’ve read all day.

  88. 88
    jl says:

    @JPL: When putting in phone duty for a certain candidate, I remember hearing idiots, both Trumper and Berner purity nuts explain to me that Trump would be less hawkish. Idiots.

    I told a Berner purity fool that I supported Sanders, so maybe I was pure enough to for him to listen to me, and if he thought Bernie was all wise and the only one, why was he not following Bernies god-damned instructions to vote for HRC.

    The Trumpers were just idiots. Sorry if that is not PC. I don’t think all Trump voters were racists, though I did think a majority must be clinging to at least some subliminal white bigotry. But, IMHO, they were all ignorant, arrogant and dim.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: I don’t know. I think its more likely to end up with a severe recession and the US being isolated and ostracized.

  90. 90
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mike in NC: Yup, Kelly was the second third Stooge, Shemp, replacing first Third Stooge, Lieberman

    (with all apologies to Curly Howard, who will always have a fan in the ten year old I used to be)

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: No worries, I’ll resend. Was just curious about your take on something and someone.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    I have to admit, Trump’s total dysfunction ignorance and idiocy are surprising even me. And I had very very low expectations.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    p.a. says:

    We’re gonna have to take a bullet for the world and hope Pence becomes Pres. It will suck as bad or more for us than tRump, but should save some folks outside the country.

  95. 95
    Mike in NC says:

    @Percysowner: The Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916 really didn’t accomplish anything.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    “But dead people are so creepy. Okay, I’ll go but you hafta promise we’ll stop for ice cream after.”

  97. 97
    jl says:

    @dm: I read that the Trump wig hut is going to cease worrying about white reactionary terrorism, and everything else and turn US domestic anti-terrorism programs into an anti-Muslim witch hunt. That can get a lot of people killed right here in a number of ways.

  98. 98
    JPL says:

    He’s tweeting

    Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq even after the U.S. has squandered three trillion dollars there. Obvious long ago!

    Our military is going to be spread thin. (Mexico, Australia and Iran). This is very bad news for Ukraine.

  99. 99
    Percysowner says:

    @Mike in NC: Sadly invading any country doesn’t have to accomplish anything except making Trump feel like a BMOC. Plus we didn’t have nuclear weapons in 1916.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    And Dolt 45 living in exile, sharing a communal bathroom with Snowden.

  102. 102
    jl says:

    @JPL:

    ‘ This is very bad news for Ukraine. ‘

    Trying to look on the bright side, do you really want Trump trying to help Ukraine? Things could always get worse. Way worse.

  103. 103
    Mike in NC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Growing up in the 60s, we spent many hours on Saturday mornings glued to the TV watching those guys.

    Today any one of them could be a US Senator.

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dm: I saw the reporting on that. It’s an interesting question, especially what DOD may or may not do.

    As for Drum’s piece, haven’t read it.

  105. 105
    Tokyokie says:

    @p.a.: Sure he can. He’ll go for the side that imposed a policy of genocide against the other side during the first half of the 20th century.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I think the base food court has a KFC.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    🚸 Martin says:

    One, as a UC officer I deplore the exuberance in the protests there, however, they chose a particularly suitable target. And nobody in UC is ever surprised when Berkeley gets rowdy. Maybe half an eye-roll.

    Two, realize the leaks about the Mexican and Australian phone call are coming from people inside the oval office. There aren’t that many people listening on that call, and everyone on that call should be bulletproof reliable to not leak.

  109. 109
    oklahomo says:

    @Timurid: CNN’s website has degenerated into complete shit. Every 10 seconds a new breaking news appears, and most of the sub-headlines look like the sensationalistic crap you’d see on World Net Daily. And the thing is just loaded with cruft and doodads that take forever to load.

  110. 110
    BBA says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Their faces, at first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale.

  111. 111
    Peale says:

    @p.a.: Yep. Kinda think so. Liberals will have to bite it as of course a war with Iran will be popular at first. I’m hopeful that his “Defeat ISIS By Easter” plan exposes him as a daft fool, as I don’t think we’re ready in this country for more “ground troops”. But the Bombs Away! Lets kills another hundred thousand so the world will respect us – that needs to be stopped even if that means “No Midterm Pickups.”

    Iraq will be first. Safe Zones in Syria. Safe Zones now in Yemen apparently. I can only hope that “boots on the ground” is still unpopular.

  112. 112
    Jay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    As RFE/RL notes, the Ukrainian’s have been “starting it”,

    https://www.google.ca/amp/www.rferl.org/amp/28268104.html?client=safari

    Even the WaPo had to grudgingly note the same.

    The only thing that has changed in the Ukraine since early summer, is that for some reason, political domestic, political foreign, strategic, the LPR/DPR Forces have been given the “okay” to respond to these attacks in kind.

  113. 113
    jl says:

    @efgoldman: I was merely a humble agent.

  114. 114
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hadn’t seen that. Check your e-mail, I have to rack out.

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Peale: Unfortunately, we’re dealing with people who think “as long as the boots on the ground aren’t anyone I know, it’s cool.”

  116. 116
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Even though he attended a military themed boarding school, Trump doesn’t know how to salute (photo)

    imagine the liburel media hysteria if Clinton did that.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peale:

    I’m not so sure that a war with Iran would be immediately popular. Trump’s actions so far have been freaking everyone out, including some Republicans, so I don’t think he can count on the kind of rally ’round the flag thing that W got.

    At this point, I think it would be pretty easy for the Democrats to pin a successful terrorist attack on Trump’s incompetence, so he wouldn’t be able to ride it through an Iraq-like scare campaign.

  118. 118
    jl says:

    @Peale: I don’t see how a war, that we would almost surely start, with Iran would be popular. (edit: I seriously doubt any kind of invasion or attempt at occupation, or oil grab of any kind land or sea, would go well, It would not be a repeat of Iraq War 1 or the initial invasion of Iraq War 2. People don’t get into a patriotic frenzy over murderous long range bombing campaigns of other countries.)

    And if Trump keeps it up, we will have to fight our way through Iraq to fight ISIS. I guess Trump will yell at the stupid generals when they can’t figure out a way for that to go just terrific and total winning so much we get tired of winning.

    Need to 25th amendment this vicious infantile lunatic.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: I am old fashioned, I do not think that civilians should salute. A nod of acknowledgment should be sufficient.

  120. 120
    Millard Filmore says:

    @danielx: Don’t get too far into any glee for a high body count on either side. The great tragedy of war is that for the most part, the wrong people die.

  121. 121
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jay: Yeah, Ukrainians taking Ukrainian territory back from invaders is really “starting” things.

    Dipshit.

  122. 122
    aussie sheila says:

    @jl:

    ‘Cold War’ with Australia????
    Christ on a cracker, Oz was an enthusiastic partner in the cold war-there has not been one US post war military adventure, that Oz hasn’t been part of- excepting the invasion of Grenada or something-but you-Munroe Doctrine and all that.

  123. 123
    jl says:

    @aussie sheila: That was snark. I know that we never had a Cold War with Australia. But maybe Trump thinks we did. I dunno. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    Edit: apparently it is not fake news that the idiot Trump blew up at the Australian PM for pushing us around. The US apparently had agreed to accept some refugees from Australia and that uppity fool expects us to keep our promise? Outrageous! This means WAR!

  124. 124
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jay: BiP, is that you?

  125. 125
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl: The METT for Iran sucks. It’s terrible tank country…mountainous and difficult to maneuver in. Logistics would be a total pain…guerillas everywhere sniping at supply columns. Air power’s effectiveness limited.

    Shitgibbon thinks this shit is like Risk. He’s an idiot. As noted above by Mr. Koch, stupid shit can’t even salute properly.

  126. 126
    Miss Bianca says:

    @ThresherK:Yes, the old Fleischer ones. The art is kind of Art Deco, yeah – and Lois Lane actually has some moments of serious bad-assery.

  127. 127
    japa21 says:

    My son, the HS social studies teacher is going bonkers. Just sent us a series of texts about everything. He talked about how most of the students are really worried and look to him for reassurance, apparently thinking that because he has a PHD he has some special insight. And because this is the subject matter of his classes, he has to watch this carp instead of of Sesame Street with his son. He is specially upset that no Republicans are speaking out. I mentioned maybe DeVos won’t be confirmed and he said that they are having her vote before Sessions so he vote for her and with Pence they will have 51.

  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Peale: It won’t. A war with Iran will spike the price of oil. The Iranians have the capability to sink an aircraft carrier, that’s what has them so freaked about the Houthi attack on the Saudi ship. GEN McCaffrey did an analysis on this several years ago for NBC that quickly leaked out:
    http://www.iraq-businessnews.c.....122012.pdf

    Iran’s response, largely asymmetric and irregular warfare, would be brutal:
    http://smallwarsjournal.com/jr.....-us-attack
    http://iranprimer.usip.org/res.....y-doctrine
    https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/IranReport_091112_FINAL.pdf
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World.....r-military
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304177104577314444082569820

  129. 129
    Tokyokie says:

    @aussie sheila: Years ago, I watched The Odd Angry Shot, and until then, I hadn’t realized that Oz had joined the U.S. in sending ground troops into Vietnam. Was it the only Commonwealth country to do so? Anyway, you have to be pretty stupid and incompetent to be able to screw up that alliance. But then you have to be pretty stupid and incompetent to believe that loudmouthed jingoism is the best way of protecting your country’s interests. Teddy Roosevelt weeps.

  130. 130
    Ruckus says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:
    Don’t try to make sense of it. You will only hurt yourself trying. And still have made no more sense of it.
    I wonder if Vlad told the Republican president, that he will pay off his Russian debts and make him rich if he backs up Vlad in whatever Vlad wants. Vlad gets us to stay out of whatever he wants to do and gets us to annoy/fuck with people he doesn’t like. It doesn’t matter that the con man is being coned because he’s a moron and Vlad sure doesn’t give a shit about any of us.

  131. 131
    oklahomo says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’ve been seeing shit like this pop up on twitter feeds, that somehow Kiev is to blame, for attacking the Russians and the pro-Russian separatists??? Is this some new propaganda push from the Kremlin?

  132. 132
    Jeffro says:

    @oklahomo:

    CNN’s website has degenerated into complete shit. Every 10 seconds a new breaking news appears, and most of the sub-headlines look like the sensationalistic crap you’d see on World Net Daily. And the thing is just loaded with cruft and doodads that take forever to load.

    Whaddya expect from the National Enquirer of 24/7 cable news?

  133. 133
    NotMax says:

    @Villago Delenda Est

    Will be welcomed as liberators, showered with flowers and pistachios. By Christmas there will be a square named after Dolt 45 in Qom.

    ;)

  134. 134
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @oklahomo: Yup. Anything out of Russia Today is pure Kremlin BS.

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @oklahomo: Yes, its all over ITAR and TASS. And they’re basing it on “German officials say…” It’s all propaganda.

  136. 136
    jl says:

    Ho-kee dokey. Of course the Australian flap is more absurd and insane and disturbing than I first thought. What was I thinking?

    Link below is a story saying that, as of Jan 29, Trump knew about the US-Australian refugee transfer, and had pledged to honor it.
    Then the idiotic and vicious immigrant executive order got in the way of the deal.
    Like, gosh maybe they hadn’t thought it all through, or something.

    Trump to honour refugee swap deal with Australia
    REuters WORLD NEWS | Sun Jan 29, 2017 | 10:21pm EST
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....SKBN15D0BR

  137. 137
    Ken J. says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Adam had some responses to my response of a few days aback speculating that Bannon’s promotion to the National Security Council meant that war with Iran could be months, or even weeks, away.

    At the risk of gross oversimplification, Adam’s view was that (1) the US wasn’t in a good position for a conventional war in Iran, and (2) if nukes were used on the Iranian nuclear sites, the US would have to respond to clean up the humanitarian disaster.

    My followup: I don’t think the Trump team cares if a conventional war with Iran is winnable. Going back to the Cheney era, and looking at the cited references above about the resources Iran holds for defending its position, I have believed that the Iran war plan calls for repeated nuclear strikes until the corpse of Iran stops twitching.

    Humanitarian relief? Not gonna happen. Tens of millions of dead Iranians is a feature, not a bug.

    At that point, with the USA established as Public Enemy #1 in the civilized world, we would enter a new era.

  138. 138
    jl says:

    Now the loon and damned liar Trump is tweeting this dishonest shit

    ‘Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!’

    I’m not going to link to anything directly from that miserable slime. So you can read it on Josh Marshall’s twitter machine right now near the top.
    https://twitter.com/joshtpm

    Edit: Trump is pathological and compulsive liar and swindler. Far more unfit for office than even I ever imagined. I thought it would take him a year or so to work up to this crap, probably after some of his dumb ideas blew up in his face. But he himself is blowing up in his own face.

  139. 139
    Redshift says:

    I have friends in Ukraine. Even though since election night I knew something of this sort was inevitable, it still makes me very sad.

  140. 140
    amk says:

    @Ken J.: um, a small niggle. the rushyan puppeteer is not going to sit on his ass while his puppet strays and does crazy shit like that.

  141. 141
    Peale says:

    @jl: This inability on the administrations part to differentiate between refugees, immigrants, tourists, students, asylum seekers and the undocumented…do they actually accept naturalization? Is naturalization illegal, too? Christ. You know Donald, once they come here with the government’s blessing, at one time that was known as being a “legal immigrant” and your side repeatedly said that you weren’t racist! No. You only wanted people to follow the law.

  142. 142
    Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire) says:

    Dear Aussies,

    Sorry about Dolt 45. He’s an idiot, and, yes, we know it. We really do love you. Except your spiders and snakes.

    Sincerely,

    ‘Murica

  143. 143
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ken J.:

    At that point, with the USA established as Public Enemy #1 in the civilized world, we would enter a new era.

    And that new era would be most easily labeled World War III, with the US in the role of the Nazis. Lucky us.

    @amk:

    I’m sure that Putin would be willing to sacrifice Iran in order to advance his other goals. It’s not like he doesn’t have a touch of Islamophobia himself.

  144. 144
    jl says:

    @Peale: Put the Reuters story and Trump’s BS lying tweet together and its worse than that.

    Not whether Trump is pathological compulsive liar. Not whether he is a total incompetent that may have no clue what is going on and can’t track stuff from day to day. Not whether he is a ruthless lying swindler or panicked fool improvising. Not whether his a truly infantile nutcase or a swaggering bully.

    The question is how much of each is he? What is the exact mix of all of the above? I’ve decided that I need to start bugging my Congrescritters about when they will take action to have this walking catastrophe waiting to happen impeached tried and removed from office, or 25th’d for the rest of his term.

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adria McDowell (formerly LurkerExtraordinaire): Don’t forget the dropbears.

  146. 146
    Peale says:

    @jl: He does not like poor people. Not that I didn’t know this. And not that a lot of people think that if we just drove away all the poor people, we’d be rich.

  147. 147
    jl says:

    ” Cleaning up the mess. WH to State to Aus US Embassy, says [Aussie refugee] deal is still on.”

    https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/827009351336464397

    Trump is a complete shithead.

  148. 148
    Peale says:

    @efgoldman: Its one of Iran’s chief exports. Apparently they know a thing or two about raising tree nuts.

  149. 149
    Peale says:

    @jl: Well, on the plus side, the camp conditions the Australians have set up are so poor that I doubt any of the hopeful refugees were on twitter.

  150. 150
    jl says:

    @Peale: CA Pistachio growers could tell Trump they are getting pushed around by Iranian tree nuts. Trump is a tree nut. He’d take that personally.

    Edit: and I guess the US is good at electing tree nuts. We’ve had two GOPer varieties since 2000. Sadly, they taste like shit and dangerous to health.

  151. 151
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Iran is historically known for its production of pistachios. Major crop there.

  152. 152
    jl says:

    And people on this blog, and Paul Krugman, come to think of it, are worrying that infantile loon could engineer and economic boom.

    I’m going to have to diversify my portfolio. Add gold, silver, platinum, ammo, lots of ammo, non-hybrid seeds! (who sells them these days? i think Beck is off the air and internet now) And maybe dig a bomb shelter. I’ll have to negotiate that with the couple downstairs. But, they have a big flat. We can work something out.

  153. 153
    amk says:

    @Mnemosyne: He may be an islamophobe but he is not an idiot.

  154. 154
    oklahomo says:

    @jl: Any booms he generates will not be economic ones.

  155. 155
    Yarrow says:

    This stuff is terrifying. The GOP in Congress needs to get him out of there and soon.

    #BREAKING Sky News sources say Donald Trump was 'yelling' during his phone conversation with PM Turnbull and hung up after 25 minutes pic.twitter.com/xqrebcOv84— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) February 2, 2017

    I can only imagine.

  156. 156
    Peale says:

    @jl: I agree. I know I’m down on things, and if Hilary were elected I wouldn’t be looking at the economy the same way. But she would have different policies. And a lot of Trumps policies are not expansionary. And since he can’t seem to calm the fuck down for 48 hours in a row, something will break. Its not like global economy just went “Poof” because he said “America First”.and we’re now free within this country to ruin everyone elses economy without consequences to our own.

  157. 157
    aussie sheila says:

    @jl:

    Better-it means that here, our Liberal (meaning conservative) PM Turnbull, is even more a laughing stock than he was. tRump is proving quite the problem for the local cons-a right wing rump of the governing Liberal Party really really wants to have our own version of tRumpism, and our very own tRumpist party, One Nation is right on board with the whole box and dice.

    Meanwhile north of 70% of the Oz citizenry supported Clinton in a (notional for us) matchup with tRump, and every sane person is s**t scared of a war in our region because of his general madness.

    He is proving to be a bit of a prophylactic against much more right wing populist nonsense in a number of countries I think-people are just gobsmacked.

    Looking good for a change of government here in 2019!

    That doesn’t help you lot though.

  158. 158
    Yarrow says:

    Who could have imagined.

    U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.

    As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.

  159. 159
    Jay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Minsk II says it’s a “neutral zone”, not up for either side to occupy, to act as a buffer, and heavy weapons are supposed to remain in OSCE monitored “storage”.

    Since May of 2016 the Ukrainian Military has been launching “creeping offensives ” to occupy the “neutral zone”, and has been using heavier and heavier banned weapons to try to achieve their “goals”.

    I alway’s find it funny how the American “center” loves their neo cons, Porshenko and foreign nazi’s, but hates Trump and his domestic nazi’s.

    Funny that.

  160. 160
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: I believe I did in comment 24 (emphasis added by me):

    I’m not sure if it was you I answered last night, but NBC has updated its reporting. One of the reporters highlighted that with: “what was the purpose”. And that’s the real question. What’s been released in the reporting is the stated purpose was intelligence gathering at an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula training compound/camp. So what I’m wondering is whether they thought they were going to make an entry into an empty or largely empty camp and it turned out that 1) it wasn’t empty/mostly empty, 2) it was sufficiently well guarded that a firefight ensued, and 3) this means there was a problem with the intel for targeting.

    Beyond that, I don’t have any more idea.

  161. 161
    jl says:

    @aussie sheila: Howard going too far didn’t learn them nothing?

  162. 162
  163. 163
    jl says:

    Looking at Josh Marshall’s tweeter machine, looks like status of Australian-US refugee agreement is complete chaos. No one knows what the F is going on. It’s on. It’s off. It’s on… It’s… WTF did Trump say now???

  164. 164
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: My editing window is over or I’d change it to “As Adam said might be the case….” It’s infuriating and terribly sad that such an operation was authorized without sufficient intelligence, support or backup. People died and they didn’t have to.

  165. 165
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay:

    Russia invaded Ukraine and it’s Ukraine’s fault for defending themselves?

  166. 166
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: Fuck you on the “center” bit.

  167. 167
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Not sure its surprising. You have a President with absolutely no experience with anything outside of his business who is convinced he knows everything. You have a chief strategist who’s military experience never included anything strategic, nor any land based operation. And you have a National Security Advisor who was an excellent Intelligence Officer in Charge for SF targeting, but who’s only actual general officer assignment at the strategic level did not go well and who, I think, still understands himself professional as a tactical level Intel Officer in Charge. So…

  168. 168
    Captain C says:

    @efgoldman: Iran grows lots of pistachios.

  169. 169
    aussie sheila says:

    @jl:

    Nope-they always live in hope that this time its gonna be permanent!

    They are ably abetted in this hope by the fact that the batty billionaire Sauron of the south, Murdoch, owns 70% of the newsprint media in the country.

    It’s unbelievable-but somehow Labor governments still get elected, and conservative governments still lose elections, state and federal. It’s the festival of democracy known as swings and roundabouts, but with compulsory voting, and preferential ballots, around 95% of people vote, and they are able to number their preferences, so that roughly, the party that gets the most 1st preferences and the most 2nd and 3rd etc; wins! In our Senate, the balance of power is sometimes held by one or more minor parties, and sometimes by one or more individuals. Sometimes the BoP is held by the right-wing formations, and sometime by the left-wing formations. Rarely if ever now, does one of the two major parties have a Senate majority in their own right.
    Neat huh?

  170. 170
    clay says:

    @Yarrow: Should we start keeping an Official Trump Death Count? Obviously, we’d need to distinguish between 1) Americans and 2) Everybody Else.

  171. 171
    Captain C says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m sure that Putin would be willing to sacrifice Iran in order to advance his other goals.

    One less oil competitor. Makes his more valuable, especially if he can get that Exxon technology for better Arctic drilling in before the inevitable real and figurative fallout and he has to dump Trump.

    ETA: Let’s make sure it doesn’t come to this.

  172. 172
    jl says:

    @aussie sheila: Compulsory voting, and sounds like Borda Count (you say ‘preferential’) elections. I like it.

    Hard to immigrate?

  173. 173
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Agreed. It’s the first significant fuckup that got people killed (that we know of). I fear there will be more and they will be worse.

  174. 174
    Captain C says:

    @Jay: How much do they pay you per post?

  175. 175
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: This is what happens when you don’t have a fully staffed NSC and you don’t have an Interagency Process in place.

  176. 176
    oklahomo says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I love the mad use of scare quotes and the overuse of apostrophes in “alway’s” and the simple plural “nazi’s”.

  177. 177
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jay: Vile puppet continues to support Putin’s aggression.

    Film at 11.

  178. 178
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Indeed. They are incompetent, among many other things.

    I saw that John Schindler is pretty much calling for the GOP to remove him.

    For the good of the Republic, our allies, and world peace, this psychopathic monster must be stopped. Now.https://t.co/QnDu3Tyum0— John Schindler (@20committee) February 2, 2017

    Trump is insane. We have proof now. He needs to be removed from office. Peacefully, one hopes. @GOP, you know what you have to do — do it.— John Schindler (@20committee) February 2, 2017

    Strong words.

  179. 179
    dm says:

    @Yarrow: What’s Yemeni for “Benghazi”?

  180. 180
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: He had an even more extreme tweet in that batch.

  181. 181
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dm: While Libyan Arabic and Yemeni Arabic are different, I’m pretty sure its still Benghazi.

    And with that I’m to bed.

  182. 182
    Morzer says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/no-gday-mate-on-call-with-australian-pm-trump-badgers-and-brags/2017/02/01/88a3bfb0-e8bf-11e6-80c2-30e57e57e05d_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpaustralia-815pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ae252ed352b1

    It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.

    Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.

    At one point, Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “this was the worst call by far.”

    Ain’t no room for doubt – the dude is bug-fuck gibberingly crazy.

  183. 183
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He did. I chose not to post it.

  184. 184
    amk says:

    @Morzer: would love to hear how his call with his puppeteer master went.

  185. 185
    Morzer says:

    @amk:

    “Hello, PeePee.”
    “Told you, Vlad, don’t call me that!”
    “So, you want I release tape of you and so naughty Russian girls,PeePee? Maybe it doesn’t go platinum, but I think we can guarantee golden.”
    “Mr. Putin, sir… there’s no need to be unreasonable. I never said you couldn’t have the Ukraine. All of it. Including the Texan bits.”

  186. 186
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax: No way. Head on a spiky pole. And Pence’s too. We’re never going to get respect for law and order in America back otherwise.

  187. 187
    Ken J. says:

    @Ken J.:

    (replying to myself)

    Late Wed night, Trump tweeted, “Iran is taking over more and more of Iraq…” Forgive me, I don’t know how to paste in the clickable tweet image. The article from The Hill said they had no idea what Trump is on about. So I continue to think the reduction of Iran is a high priority for the Bannon/Trump gang.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/ad.....ight-tweet

    I’m very sorry about Ukraine, but the situation in Ukraine is not going to lead to nuclear war, because the USA has sold the Ukrainians out for, most likely, Russian cash in Trump’s pocket. Trump has secured peace in our time. (*coff*) I expect the three Baltic nations have been sold too, even though they are NATO members.

    I haven’t slept well for 12 nights.

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