Yanukovich and Kabbah

by craig on March 4, 2014 11:08 am in Uncategorized

My old boss Mark Lyall Grant, UK Ambassador to the United Nations, is a deeply unpleasant man.  But he was quite right to dismiss Russia’s legal pretext for invading Ukraine on the basis of an invitation letter from ex-President Yanukovich.

The problem is Mark Lyall Grant is the last person in world to have moral authority to do this, as he was directly involved in drafting an invitation letter from ex-President Kabbah of Sierra Leone inviting Britain to invade Sierra Leone, which Britain then did.  Mark Lyall Grant said at the UN yesterday about Yanukovich that:  “We are talking about a former leader who abandoned his office, his capital and his country, whose corrupt governance brought his country to the brink of economic ruin”.  Exactly the same things could have been said about Kabbah, whose government had been massively corrupt – and was again when restored, and who issued his invitation to invade from a five star hotel in London after living in exile in Guinea.

The unspeakable horrors of the Sierra Leonean civil war have led to a lazy mainstream media accepting Sierra Leone as the “good” invasion.  But the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone were not a spontaneous outbreak of human evil, they were caused by the massive corruption of ruling coastal elites in both Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia, compared to the appalling poverty and lack of basic services and education for those in the hinterland.  It is one of the ironies of history that the elites were the descendants of slaves returned with the very best of intentions by the US and UK, educated and given much charitable provision, who controlled the state and then set to exploiting the hinterland tribes ruthlessly from the “hut wars” of the 1880’s on.  The eruption of massive scale diamond mining from the 1960’s on escalated levels of corruption, warlordism and violence and almost continual military rule.  Laudable attempts to foster democracy did nothing to lessen corruption.  The dreadful atrocities of the RUF and Kamajors were a result of the tribal eruption that ensued.

What the British invasion did was simply to put the old corrupt elite safely back in place, and make the minerals secure for western interests.  Even more valuable than the diamonds is Sierra Leone’s rutile mine, the world’s single most profitable mine.  Following the British invasion guess who suddenly became a director of that mine? Valerie Amos, who was one of the ministers who authorized the invasion, and is now at the UN in charge of pushing for war in Syria.

I always opposed the doctrine of “liberal intervention” and still do.  But those who invented “the right to protect” were stupid enough to believe that they would forever be the only military power strong enough to seize assets in other countries.  For the historian, the “right to protect” and “liberal intervention” are precisely the same as excuses given for imperial grabs throughout the millennia.

Invading another territory is wrong when the British do it, and it is wrong when the Russians do it.  It is quite simply untrue that ethnic Russians were under threat in the Ukraine.  International law always recognizes and deals with the government actually in power in the country.  If ousted leaders are accepted as having in the right to call in freeing invasion to restore them, the world would be in a state of perpetual war.

Plainly Russian actions are illegal.  They do have an agreed right to station forces in Crimea.  It is impossible to tell at the moment if the agreed numbers have been exceeded, but the Russian production of Yanukovich’s letter would certainly appear to indicate that.  But Russian actions in blocking roads and blockading Ukrainian military bases on Ukrainian soil are plainly illegal.

Russia is behaving as what it is, an imperialist thug.  The British and the United States indeed lack any moral authority to make such a statement.  But I do not suffer from that handicap, and nor do you.

 

 

PS The story of my Sierra Leone involvement is in my book The Catholic Orangemen of Togo.  This is available for free download in a number of places around the web, including here.

 

 

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320 Comments

  1. Yes the UK and other governments make a fuss about Russian military action, but UK PLC remains open to Russian oligarch Business As Usual:

    BBC: Ukraine: UK rules out Russia trade curbs?
    The government will not curb trade with Russia or close London’s financial centre to Russians as part of any possible package of sanctions against Moscow, according to an official document.
    The document, which was photographed as a senior official carried it into a meeting in Downing Street, says that “the UK should not support for now trade sanctions or close London’s financial centre to Russians”, while it confirms that ministers ARE considering – along with other EU countries – visa restrictions and travel bans on key Russian figures…
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26426969

    The “Good Guys / Bad Guys” posturing is essentially a distraction. Big Money know that their pet politicians will make whatever decisions are necessary to keep the money flowing. “Visa restrictions and travel bans” may be inconvenient, but they don’t stop that all-important flow of money.

  2. What Russia has done is maybe wrong, but then so are the countries who have been orchestrating the event.Russia has simply Reacted to the situation and in a most expected way.It’s their border, it’s Nato,the enemy !
    Just watched Putin answer a number of questions…. no teleprompter, no hesitation. He is a very cool customer. I can’t think of any western politician that could joust with him.
    And by using the West’s tools against themselves,he can always wave the precedent later on.
    Very interesting times.

  3. Yes – Alisher Usmanov, Roman Abramovic etc won’t be subject to any visa restrictions either, you can bet on that. They will pick on some civil servants and military officials with not much money and ban them.

  4. International law always recognizes and deals with the government actually in power in the country

    There can be dual power.

    Or a government on the hind foot can relocate abroad with its tail between its legs, as several did to London during WW2. De Gaulle was ‘recognised’ by London long before the whole of France was occupied by Germany. The Vichy government for a long time operated in unoccupied territory. It was recognised by the US. It was not recognised by the UK.

    ‘International law’ doesn’t tell a state what government it must recognise in another country.

    ‘Taiwan’ held the Chinese seat at the UN for decades.

    Ukraine is currently without a recognised ambassador at the UN. The UN Security Council does not have to accept recommendations from the Security Committee. It is obvious that the putschist government in Kiev is not in a position to assume the Ukrainian seat.

    The question of whether foreign powers were involved in putting the putschists into power in Ukraine is very relevant, and the answer is completely unambiguously and unequivocally YES.

  5. Correction! I typed

    The UN Security Council does not have to accept recommendations from the Security Committee

    What I meant to type was:

    The UN Security Council does not have to accept recommendations from the Credentials Committee

    I was trying to make the point that if the putschist government tries to assume the Ukrainian seat at the UN, they will be vetoed by Russia – and Russia is empowered by international law to exercise that veto.

  6. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 11:54 am

    DoNNyDarKo

    “Just watched Putin answer a number of questions…. no teleprompter, no hesitation. He is a very cool customer.”
    ___________________

    That sounds a little like hero-worship to me. “Coolness” as a sign of non-thuggishness – now there’s a novel criterion! :)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    N_

    “Or a government on the hind foot can relocate abroad with its tail between its legs, as several did to London during WW2.”

    _________________

    Most inconsiderate and unsporting of them! They should have let themselves be taken by the Nazis and shipped off to one of those nice KZs.

  7. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 11:58 am

    Craig

    Another good post and I’m glad that you’re hanging on in there. Predictable reactions so far, of course.

    BTW, (cf. third line from the bottom), I wouldn’t over-estimate many commenters’ moral compass if I were you.

  8. N_

    Yes, one of the governments forced to flee to London was the Polish one after Poland had been invaded by Hitler and Stalin acting together. That fact is completely absent from the history books in Uzbekistan. I very much doubt it is much taught now in Putin’s Russia. Does it exist in your own historical consciousness?

  9. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    PS

    “Most inconsiderate and unsporting of them! They should have let themselves be taken by the Nazis and shipped off to one of those nice KZs.”
    ___________________

    Or in the case of the Polish govt, to Uncle Joe’s nice GuLag or Katyn.

  10. I understand what you are saying here Craig, but I think we should assess the rights and wrongs of Putin’s actions not in idealist terms but in terms of the world we live in (which isn’t ideal). We live in and under an American Empire that has established all sorts of new and unofficial “laws”, that in practice take precedence over old fashioned ideas like “international law”. If Putin and Russia are to play the game with any real effect rather than resigning themselves to being one more client of Empire, they can’t be expected to abide by the law as it is written down but rather by how it is ‘interpreted’ by the other players. In that context, there is absolutely nothing illegal about Putin’s partial and strategic invasion of Ukraine.

  11. Joe,

    But if you accept realpolitik as the mark, then the same has to apply to everybody. So there is nothing illegal about the UK’s deportation of the Chagos Islanders also, for example. I prefer ethics to might is right.

  12. Habbabkuk, stop creeping to Craig will you? It’s embarrassing. You’ll be bringing him an apple next.

  13. “It is one of the ironies of history that the [corrupt ruling] elites were the descendants of slaves returned with the very best of intentions by the US and UK, educated and given much charitable provision, who controlled the state and then set to exploiting the hinterland tribes ruthlessly from the “hut wars” of the 1880′s on.”

    What were these “very best intentions”?
    Were these Western-educated African leaders taught/encouraged to resist Western exploitation of their countries?
    If not, best for who?

  14. ….m?

  15. Ангрысоба

    4 Mar, 2014 - 12:27 pm

    King of Welsh Noir!

    Hello there, tovarish!

    Yabloko? Я́блоко?

  16. Putin is just supporting the richest oligarch in Ukraine:

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

    Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych […] has an estimated net worth of $12 billion, which he is widely accused of plundering from Ukraine’s treasury.[5][6][7][8]

    As opposed to the third and fourth richest; see Oddie’s comment s starting here:

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/03/the-fashion-for-hypocrisy/#comment-443990

    I genuinely wish well for the people of Ukraine and their popular revolution; they have made huge efforts with much risk and personal sacrifice. But I strongly suspect that rich people have been paying for some of the public protest on both, or should that be all, sides:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromaidan#Pro-government_rallies

    Pro-government rallies during Euromaidan have largely been credited as funded by the government. Several news outlets have investigated the claims to confirm that by and large, attendees at pro-government rallies do so for financial compensation and not for political reasons, and are not an organic response to the Euromaidan.

    That’s on the pro-Yanukovych side, but you don’t get such well equipped or well ordered opposition protesters as these, nor indeed such good video production, without funding:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54uq_-5tkcY

    Those who are accusing the US government of influencing or creating the Ukrainian revolution have identified the wrong target. Money overrules politics, and that’s the problem worldwide.

  17. Ba'al Zevul (See You, Jimmie)

    4 Mar, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    Martin Rowson’s got it as usual…

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2014/mar/03/crimea-ukraine-russian-putin-rowson-cartoon

    I’m neutral on this one. Under the target’s an old Red Flag and an old Nazi armband. Morality has been abandoned by all parties in pursuit of realpolitic. As usual. So it goes. Cue selfrighteousness on all sides.

    But I wonder whose troops might be surrounding Faslane in the event of a ‘yes’ vote on devolution’s being followed by the ousting of Salmond?

  18. Let’s remember that someone was providing choreography services for the UK Financial Crash protests in 2009:

    http://www.killick1.plus.com/pictures/photo-op.jpg

  19. It’s a sticky wicket for sure, although I think that the party that responds to aggression rather than initiates it can be seen as holding some semblance of a moral high ground. If, as I currently understand it, Putin is taking action *in response* to an illegal US/EU-backed coup in Ukraine that threatens to disenfranchise a large section of the Ukrainian population that are ethnically Russian and which would ultimately be disastrous for all Ukrainian people, and at the same time acting to protect *existing*, tangible and legal Russian economic and military interests in Ukraine (rather than seeking to create new ‘interests’ at the expense of the Ukrainian people), I don’t think that can be compared to the many blatantly aggressive, destructive and entirely self-serving invasions of other countries in which the UK and US (and France) have engaged over the last several decades and which have left sovereign nations utterly destroyed.

    Basically what I am saying is that ‘the devil is in the details’ and I have repeatedly found that I cannot hope to understand what is really happening if I rely on broad definitions of what is right and wrong to understand what is really going on. Our ‘modern’ civilization appears to be far too fucked up, and involves forces far too duplicitous and covert, to expect to make any sense of it via that approach.

  20. Angry! Tovarish!

    Я́блоко? Isn’t it traditional to take teacher an apple?

  21. Ангрысоба

    4 Mar, 2014 - 12:55 pm

    King,

    Indeed, but I was attempting a play-on-words, by offering you an apple which also happens to be the name of a political party in Russia. Just trying to be funny, I was.

  22. The UN Security Council is not a court of law, and international law at best is quite a fuzzy bunch of stuff, so Putin has beaten the West at their own game when it was trying to pull the final rugs out from under him, and there is now little they can do about it, especially since he can bring about chaos if something causes him to cut off natural gas to the Ukraine and beyond or to intervene more in the Ukraine.

    Despite all the pious claims by Western powers at the Security Council, Putin has the initiative, as the lack of any real action by them, and the recovery of the markets and the ruble show.

    This does not recall now the Cuban Missile Crisis, but its aftermath where JFK’s covert operators had to figure out how to get back at its survivors.

  23. Realist Peacenik

    4 Mar, 2014 - 1:04 pm

    I’m not buying your argument here.

    In a world where powers far stronger than Russia don’t live by the principles of international law, it seems unrealistic to demand slavish obedience to said principles of a regional power like Russia. That’s because Russia has its own security concerns vis a vis much stronger powers that don’t follow these principles.

    There are the rules of the game as they are and the rules of the game as we all wish them to be. The de facto rules have been set by the U.S. and its allies, and it’s not within Russia’s power to rectify them on its own. Who the hell are you as a non-Russian to lecture Putin about playing by your wished-for rules when Western governments aren’t playing by their own rules? In the despicable context our governments have established, who the hell are we, as Westerners, to say Russia’s security concerns are invalid?

  24. “….the world would be in a state of perpetual war”.

    ???

  25. While I can take the point that a lot of “liberal intervention” and “right to protect” actions are no such thing, and I would agree that the Russian invasion of Crimea doesn’t get to first base, I am not sure that makes the case against “liberal intervention” never ever being acceptable. It is certainly not a position that many liberal philosophers would subscribe to. Would such a position have allowed Britain to declare war on Germany when it invaded Poland, would it allowed Tanzania to move into Uganda to remove Amin, would it allow action by 3rd parties/allies against those invading other countries, would it allow action to prevent the persecution/genocide of minorities in a particular country. And what is meant by “intervention” – are we just talking about what should be the last resort of military force or are we talking about the whole range of

    Yes I would like a world where the United Nations were the only arbiter on these matters but as currently constituted with each member of the security council being able to veto actions it really isn’t a position to stand up to any of the superpowers. It perhaps also ought to be recognised that international law as it stands really isn’t fit for purpose as it is either ignored or contains so many ambiguities that a helpful interpretation can usually be found – I would think that we need to get the ethical principles right first as generally I prefer the law to follows ethics rather than the other way around.

  26. Ангрысоба

    4 Mar, 2014 - 1:11 pm

    This comes from “Realist Peacenik”:

    There are the rules of the game as they are and the rules of the game as we all wish them to be. The de facto rules have been set by the U.S. and its allies, and it’s not within Russia’s power to rectify them on its own. Who the hell are you as a non-Russian to lecture Putin about playing by your wished-for rules when Western governments aren’t playing by their own rules? In the despicable context our governments have established, who the hell are we, as Westerners, to say Russia’s security concerns are invalid?

    And this comes from George Orwell:

    The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to the taking of life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defence of western countries. The Russians, unlike the British, are not blamed for defending themselves by warlike means, and indeed all pacifist propaganda of this type avoids mention of Russia or China.

  27. “I understand what you are saying here Craig, but I think we should assess the rights and wrongs of Putin’s actions not in idealist terms but in terms of the world we live in (which isn’t ideal). We live in and under an American Empire that has established all sorts of new and unofficial “laws”, that in practice take precedence over old fashioned ideas like “international law”. If Putin and Russia are to play the game with any real effect rather than resigning themselves to being one more client of Empire, they can’t be expected to abide by the law as it is written down but rather by how it is ‘interpreted’ by the other players. In that context, there is absolutely nothing illegal about Putin’s partial and strategic invasion of Ukraine.”

    Have you read 1984? You really have Newspeak down to a tee.

  28. Thanks Angrysoba for pointing out another example of Newspeak – we do seem to have attracted a whole new group whose skills in this regard are at a much higher level that those of regular “useful idiots”. I wonder who sent them?

  29. On the evil BBC website

    “Putin denied Russian troops had besieged Ukrainians based in Crimea – they were pro-Russian “self-defence” forces.”

    Good to see that the old Soviet tradition of bare faced lying is being maintained.

  30. Apologies when I said “bare faced lying” I should have said “Newspeak”.

  31. Ba'al Zevul (See You, Jimmie)

    4 Mar, 2014 - 1:52 pm

    Strategic Bases On Someone Else’s Patch…cont’d;

    http://images.nationmaster.com/images/motw/world_cities/guantanamo.jpg

  32. Craig- excellent post, shedding light on an episode in the late 90s I’d almost forgetten.

    Angrysoba- Thanks for mentioning Orwell. What relevance do you think his dismissal of Celtic nationalism has vis a vis the current expression of Ukrainian nationalism ?

    ‘Welsh, Irish and Scottish nationalism have points of difference but are alike in their anti-English orientation’

    and

    ‘One symptom of it is the delusion that Eire, Scotland or even Wales could preserve its independence unaided and owes nothing to British protection’

    Sounds very much as if your hero (and mine) was a ‘sphere of influence’ man.

  33. Thanks Craig, I’ve just downloaded Catholic Orangemen of Togo. A little bed time reading.

  34. Thank you for this post. I have no view on the accuracy of the Yanukovich letter, but I had been wondering about the correctness of terming this a Russian “invasion”, as I understand that existing treaty commitments still apply, and so a certain number of Russian troops were permitted in Ukraine.

    I’m sure some of what they are doing is outside the terms of what is permitted under the treaty, but I have no doubt that Britain would do exactly the same were there a similar insurrection, in somewhere like Cyprus. Basically as much as I wouldn’t trust Putin an iota, it’s extremely hard to take Western leaders remotely seriously on this matter.

  35. Anthony Blunt, Capacity Builder Extraordinaire

    4 Mar, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    Salone, sigh. Once the UK government installed their crooks, the UN did some very competent work in civil-society reconstruction. Arguably, it was too late. The US government is now corrupting civil society to play Spy Versus Spy.

    Genuine R2p might do Ukraine some good. R2P or the responsibility to protect (‘right to protect,’ a great jibe) is actually a perfectly reasonable synthesis of humanitarian law. Here’s the real thing: http://www.unrol.org/doc.aspx?d=2982

    R2P has gotten a bad name because the US government fixates on pillar III, intervention, to the exclusion of capacity-building and suasion. In their mania to justify armed intervention and forcible overthrow the US government engages in human rights distortion, in one more US breach of the non-interference principle. They see human rights not as a shield for humans but as a weapon for states.

    R2P can be pretty worthwhile. It has even developed the USA a bit. The International Baccalaureate is a brilliantly successful application of capacity-building to the insular US regime. UNESCO’s discreet arms-length involvement in Occupy is another.

  36. George Orwell is no yardstick and wasn’t immune to Western propaganda. He’s quoted above by someone as if it’s relevant to the current situation:

    “The Russians, unlike the British, are not blamed for defending themselves by warlike means, and indeed all pacifist propaganda of this type avoids mention of Russia or China.”

    Give me one example since the break up of the Soviet Union when the British or American governments defended themselves militarily against an actual threat.

  37. Ba'al Zevul (See You, Jimmie)

    4 Mar, 2014 - 3:11 pm

  38. Ангрысоба

    4 Mar, 2014 - 3:22 pm

    Give me one example since the break up of the Soviet Union when the British or American governments defended themselves militarily against an actual threat.

    Falklands.

  39. Yes, the false flag of liberal interventionism doesn’t wave when there is little economic/strategic value.

    Darfur? It’s been said there is no war against homelessness because there isn’t any money in it.

  40. “Give me one example since the break up of the Soviet Union when the British or American governments defended themselves militarily against an actual threat. ”

    Northern Ireland as well but even the act of preparing defence brings criticism from the anti-west pacifists which is not directed at other nations no matter how many aircraft, tanks, ships and submarines they build.

    If you want a clear example compare and contrast CND’s position on Iran’s civilian nuclear programme with it’s implacable opposition to that of the UK.

    http://www.cnduk.org/information/briefings/global-abolition-briefings/item/482-cnd-briefing-iran

    http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/nuclear-power

  41. Ангрысоба 4 Mar, 2014 – 3:22 pm
    “Falklands.”

    I spat tea with laughter. Brilliant.

  42. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    The BBC reports President rasPutin as saying that Russian intervention in Ukraine was a “humanitarian mission”.

    Funny!

    But look, let’s be clear about something. rasPutin can savour his mini-“triumphs” and the useful fools can cheer from the sidelines as much as they like, but post-Soviet Russia is as much a failure as was its Soviet predecessor. Economically (despite the wealth of its raw materials), socially, in democratic/rule of law/civil liberties terms, and even in human terms (it’s population is steadily decreasing with a low birthrate and increasing mortality rates). It may lash out from time to time, flex its muscles occasionally, posture on the world stage, but as a country it is like a broken-down old pug – going down…and out.

  43. Phil; Argentina; the Mouse that Roared. :)

  44. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 4:10 pm

    its population

  45. Ben, 82 was hell in London what wiv the Clash releasing a disappointing 5th album.

  46. “Habbabkuk, stop creeping to Craig will you? It’s embarrassing. You’ll be bringing him an apple next.”

    Quote of the day. Thanks. Mind you I don’t want it to sound like I’m creeping! He was last seen running home to mum with tears in his eyes and satchel swinging from his shoulder.

    Talking of the apple family (well not quite) inventor of the electric light-bulb, if you believe the unbelievable Russians, was Yablochkov. The light-bulb he invented is named after him and called Yablochkov’s Candle (Свеча Яблочкова). Talking of candles Thomas Jefferson said: “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”

    This blog is a source of light as is “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo”.

    Where’s my apple? Or should I be giving one?

  47. Putin quakes beneath your towering rage

    4 Mar, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    When Habbakuk is infuriated he pesters other commenters less. Close but no cigar with the simple-minded demographic determinism. No mention of the overriding factor: Russia is getting even bigger as the globe warms and the north thaws out. In a few decades most of the world’s productive land will be there. But they can always use more proles! Maybe Putin will let you drive a taxi there some day, if you petition him most humbly.

  48. Kempe

    Northern Ireland was an actual threat to Britain?

    The IRA was an actual threat to Britain?

    That’s even worse than the Falklands effort.

    Anyway, I think you’ll find that the Brits were managing both teams in that one, with an additional team on the sidelines should the game get too boring.

    That’s normally how it works.

  49. “EU scales down punitive plans against Russia”

    ““As for the unfortunate association agreement between Ukraine and the EU, whose fate triggered the current crisis, again the EU said nothing new, as nothing was said about the timeframe for the renewal of this discussion and the signing of the agreements,” Chizhov added.

    “As far as I understand, the dominating point of view is that the EU wants to sign it with a more legitimate government than the current one,” he added.”

    http://en.itar-tass.com/world/721924

  50. Herbie: Where will debt relief come in? The article doesn’t mention IMF’s insistence on austerity.

    I think that’s the big fly in the ointment.

  51. Give me one example since the break up of the Soviet Union when the British or American governments defended themselves militarily against an actual threat.

    Falklands

    Angry- a joke surely, given that the USSR was a going concern in 1982 ?

  52. “Northern Ireland was an actual threat to Britain?”

    Last time I looked NI was still a part of Britain so the terrorist activity there did represent a threat to it’s inhabitants, as it did to a lesser extent on the mainland.

    Of course if you believe it was all some sort of extended “false flag” operation that won’t make a lot of sense and there really is no hope for you.

  53. I can’t see what the arguing’s all about. I know I am a fathead idiot but the situation seems to be clear:

    NATO have been fanning flames of discontent. The Russians are sending in troops under the lie of a fascist coup. And it is a popular uprising by ordinary Ukrainians. All of these things are true.

    Now can’t we all simply agree that every government is evil?

  54. Ot

    Sorry for pacifists Ben and Phil

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0yvN45to8ZQ

    Captain Sensible
    Trip to Cornwall.

  55. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    “Russia is getting even bigger as the globe warms and the north thaws out. In a few decades most of the world’s productive land will be there.”
    ________________

    Interesting thought – a bigger land….with a smaller population. I wonder which will arrive first.

    Re my previous post, I should of course have said that THIS kind of Russia is going down…and out. A better one may emerge, God willing.

  56. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    Phil

    “NATO have been fanning flames of discontent. The Russians are sending in troops under the lie of a fascist coup. And it is a popular uprising by ordinary Ukrainians. All of these things are true.”
    ________________

    I liked your post (consider this to be an apple).

    But is there not a slight incongruity between your 1st and 3rd postulates? If there is no popular discontent, NATO could fan away all it likes but without result. Conversely, if there is popular discontent, then NATO’s alleged rôle would be unnecessary and in any event nugatory?

  57. Kempe

    NI as “some sort of extended “false flag” operation”

    That was the second half.

    The first half was much more interesting, and particularly so in terms of the issues we’ve been discussing over these past few threads.

    Ben

    The Russians seem to be saying that Western sanctions against Russia don’t amount to squit.

    But yes, austerity and shock therapy is the IMF’s game certainly.

  58. “Conversely, if there is popular discontent, then NATO’s alleged rôle would be unnecessary and in any event nugatory?”

    Midwifing, I think they call it.

  59. “Now can’t we all simply agree that every government is evil?”

    Yes, Phil, and that’s why it’s better for the peeps when they’re squaring up to one another shadow boxing.

  60. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    Herbie

    Wouldn’t you agree that midwives play a useful and generally constructive rôle in society? Taken overall, they surely add to the sum total of human happiness?

    ********************

    Support your local hospital (and midwife)!

  61. “Wouldn’t you agree that midwives play a useful and generally constructive rôle in society? Taken overall, they surely add to the sum total of human happiness?”

    They only call it “midwifing”, habby.

    The reality is much closer to bad parenting.

  62. You’d think before blathering on about Russians demographic decline one would first do a quick google search.

    In fact, Russia’s population is increasing and its birthrate, although far below replacement, is rising.

  63. Abby Martin takes Craig’s line:

    “RT host Abby Martin condemns Russian incursion into Crimea: on RT”

    Glenn Greewald discusses, and outs the other hypocrites:

    “The vast bulk of the commentary issuing from American commentators about the Russian military action in Ukraine involves condemning exactly that which they routinely advocate and which the US itself routinely does. So suffocating is the resulting stench that those who played leading roles in selling the public the attack on Iraq and who are still unrepentant about it, such as David “Axis of Evil/The Right Man” Frum, have actually become the leading media voices condemning Russia on the ground that it is wrong to invade sovereign countries; Frum thus has no trouble saying things like this with an apparently straight face: “If Russia acts the outlaw nation, can it be expected to be treated as anything but an outlaw?””

    http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/rt-host-abby-martin-condemns-russian-incursion-into-crimea-on-rt/

  64. Habba.traditional midwifery is the most apparent to those that know.

    What do we know? What we are shown and taught. Incredible reality,

    http://inamay.com

  65. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 6:42 pm

    CanSpeecy

    “You’d think before blathering on about Russians demographic decline one would first do a quick google search.

    In fact, Russia’s population is increasing and its birthrate, although far below replacement, is rising.”
    _________________________

    I did better than a “quick google search” – I checked out UN (WHO) figures.

    More importantly, your use of the link you provide is on a par with that of several other Eminences.

    1./ The link indeed shows that the Total Fertility Rate has been rising slightly since 2004 and rose more substantially between 2011 and 2012 – from 1,42 to 1,61. It also says “Rates below two children indicate populations decreasing in size and growing older”.

    2/. Your link does not, however, show that Russia’s population is increasing although that is the impression you seek to give. The effect of the lowish Total Fertility Rate on the total population is compounded by a steady increase in the mortality rate for males: Russia is the only European country where average life expectancy for males is dropping year on year.

    Therefore, you are wrong to claim that Russia’s population is increasing. It is falling.

  66. ‘Darfur? It’s been said there is no war against homelessness because there isn’t any money in it.’ Gracious as usual Ben; as Clark tells us ‘greenbacks’ overrule politics or as Craig admits realpolitik. We are conditioned to a material world that is why we accept ‘it as the mark’ omitting the subjective as illusory.

    Machiavellianism is clearly ‘de rigeur’ as in the involvements in Sierra Leone, Ukraine, in Libya, in Syria, in the Iraq genocide and in the ‘war on terror’ – we have forgotten history, forgotten perhaps the 18th century essay by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia and patron of Voltaire rebutting the cold selfishness of a nil moral dimension, instead applying the power of duality.

    Does consciousness reside in our brains? Maybe not. Ego resides in our brains. That fact give us a limited choice. We cannot convert possibilities to actualities. Who gets a choice results in a paradox, a mystery.

    Science proves we can communicate to each other without signals. We can connect intention through non-local or cosmic consciousness which connects all of us.

    Thinking in this way we realise a whole new meaning to the ‘ethics’ Craig favors over the ‘power of might.’

  67. Loved Kerry’s first move – giving personally the outlaw government in Kiev $1 billion in loan guarantees.

    Wonder how much of the humanitarian assistance will be going to Russia to buy essentials?

    Too bad that the Czar had to settle for Rasputin and not the real thing.

  68. https://twitter.com/BBCBreaking

    BBC Breaking News ‏@BBCBreaking 4m

    Russia test-fires inter-continental ballistic missile in southern Astrakhan region, state-run news agencies report #ICBM

  69. And Beijing has just justified its military buildup by adopting Russia’s two-prong approach when it comes to using it, not only protecting its territory and sovereignty but also to protect the area’s peace and stability, especially against American interference.

  70. Habbabkuk, 6:42 pm; just ‘cos it’s on fire doesn’t stop you fanning it.

    Your flies brackets are open, and have been for weeks.

  71. @AlcAnon

    I think this should be a wake up call. Times have changed since the end of the Cold War. Russia has advanced, economically and militarily. They can no longer be sidelined.

    Time to abandon America’s plans for a unipolar world and bring Russia into the fold with the influence their position should afford them. Give them their rightful place in the New World Order.

    There is no need for conflict, Russia would much rather partake peacefully in global decision making, so long as they are given the recognition they feel they deserve.

  72. AlcAnon/Squonk 4 Mar, 2014 – 7:25 pm

    I think it’s only sabre-rattling the intercontinental missile test at the Russian test site at Kapustin Yar (Kapusta is cabbage so before being commandeered by the military May well have been a cabbage-growing area).

    However, the Israeli missiles heading for Syria, were shot down by some alien force and I have to agree with Trowbridge, that Russia will not tolerate US intervention in what it considers its domain. All very worrying. Only the Yanks have ever used large-scale nuclear weapons, up to yet. Hope nobody else ever does.

  73. Yes, well said.

    “Liberal Interventionism” was always a fools errand and attended by lies and hypocrisy as well as much blood.

    It is often said that our politicos can’t see past the next election. I have started to suspect that they can’t see past the next expense account.

    Anybody could see that the ‘might is right’ mentality behind Lib Int gave those who will inherit the might in future years equal inheritance to the right. When that day comes, it won’t look anything like so funny. I hope I’ve left my body by then.

    Yes, Russia is wrong. So why set the situation up for them? Fiddle-face Kerry made a prat of himself and his boss last year over Syria and he’s doing the same again. (And don’t even get me started on their lap dogs in London). Sending diplomats to hand out packed lunches to people demonstrating – and subsequently shooting and throwing petrol bombs – in Kiev is so blatant and overt, one can’t help but wonder what they were up to behind the scenes. Depending on the genuine sentiments of the people of Crimea and the east (and I don’t know what they are, though clearly some would like union with Russia – quite possibly, even at this stage a minority) Putin could get what he wants and leave the Fourth Reich with a bankrupt and gas-free Western Ukraine. I wouldn’t trust any of our leaders with a mop and a bucket, let alone affairs of state.

  74. “Fiddle-face Kerry made a prat of himself and his boss last year over Syria and he’s doing the same again. (And don’t even get me started on their lap dogs in London).” Yes especially when it was revealed he and his wife and Assad and his wife had dinner together. Almost as bad as Blair hugging and kissing Gaddafi when he was shortly to betray him. A Judas kiss if ever there was one.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2408805/John-Kerrys-cosy-dinner-Syrias-Hitler-Secretary-State-Assad-pictured-dining-Damascus.html

  75. Phil,

    That every government is evil does not strike me as intuitively correct, but unfortunately I have to concede there is a very great deal of empirical evidence on your side.

  76. I agree Richard. I Hope you leave to a decent place. Getting to a ‘good’ place is problematic unless of course everyone can go there. We are all connected.

  77. That every government is evil does not strike me as intuitively correct, but unfortunately I have to concede there is a very great deal of empirical evidence on your side.

    Power corrupts, absolute power…

    Interesting article in Der Spiegel
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/russian-invasion-of-crimea-will-create-nationalist-problem-in-ukraine-a-956614.html

    New Government on the Ropes

    To be sure, members of the Right Sector — the Ukrainian right-wing militant group — have in fact anointed themselves the new keepers of order and are intimidating officials, police officers and state attorneys. In such circumstances, the transitional government in Kiev needs as much help as it can get to prevent Ukraine from descending into anarchy.

    The pain of a collapsed economy and the IMF about to be let loose in the austerity stakes plus a Russian bear loose in the woods. Bumpy rides ahead.

  78. Never before used prefixes being heard on USAF HFGCS (shortwave) network. More US planes than normal thought to be connected to nuclear contingency operations reported as being in the air on various forums by those who monitor aviation.

    Well I hadn’t planned on going to get some booze tonight. I think I will now just in case!

  79. MSM/politicians/officials are arguing your case 24/7, Craig, yet none of them bothered with any of the following. worthwhile blogs, which could be piling on the pressure in cases such as Sierra Leone or Israel (the list is long), too often take their cues from the official narratives, arguing for & against what the powers-that-be are doing or saying, in other words, being reactionary:

    it must be neat to be able to actually attack other countries as many times as you like, over any prolonged period you like, without world leaders bothering to even comment, & with anonymous officials merely rationalising your behaviour. five attacks since last year – where’s the MSM rage, the UN emergency meetings, the blogosphere?

    24 Feb: NYT: Anne Barnard: Israeli Warplanes Strike Near the Border of Syria and Lebanon
    Israeli warplanes launched two raids near the Syrian-Lebanese border late Monday, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency, raising speculation that Israel might have targeted a weapons convoy to prevent the Syrian government from delivering missiles to its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.
    Israel has struck Syria at least three times in the past year, according to United States officials, to prevent sophisticated weapons from reaching Hezbollah amid the chaos of Syria’s war. Neither Syria nor Hezbollah has retaliated.
    As usual in these cases, Israeli military and security officials refused Monday night to comment on the raid reports. Israel has maintained a policy of ambiguity in all the previous cases of strikes against weapons convoys or facilities in Syria or near the Syria-Lebanon border, refusing to confirm or deny involvement…
    American officials say that Syria provides a key route for the delivery of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah and has provided arms to the group itself.
    Hwaida Saad and Mohammad Ghannam contributed reporting from Beirut, and Isabel Kershner from Jerusalem.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/world/middleeast/israeli-warplanes-strike-near-the-border-of-syria-and-lebanon.html?_r=0

    Steinitz had another demand the same day – “Steinitz demands that IAEA publish shelved Iran report” – here he takes on Lebanon, with help from Reuters:

    28 Feb: Reuters: Dan Williams: Israel warns Lebanon to curb Hezbollah reprisals for air strike
    Israel warned Lebanon on Friday to prevent threatened Hezbollah retaliation for an alleged Israeli air strike on a site used by the guerrillas on the Syrian border.
    Israel has neither confirmed nor denied carrying out Monday’s strike, in keeping with its silence on at least three such attacks over the past year targeting suspected Hezbollah-bound convoys of advanced weapons from civil war-torn Syria…
    Israel has frequently promised to target Lebanon at large in any new conflict, noting that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim militia, had politicians in the Beirut government.
    “It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon,” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Friday.
    “It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist attack – whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind – on the State of Israel,” he told Israel Radio.
    Israel is technically at war with Lebanon and Syria…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/world/middleeast/israeli-warplanes-strike-near-the-border-of-syria-and-lebanon.html?_r=0
    28 Feb: Reuters: Dan Williams: Israel warns Lebanon to curb Hezbollah reprisals for air strike
    Israel warned Lebanon on Friday to prevent threatened Hezbollah retaliation for an alleged Israeli air strike on a site used by the guerrillas on the Syrian border.
    Israel has neither confirmed nor denied carrying out Monday’s strike, in keeping with its silence on at least three such attacks over the past year targeting suspected Hezbollah-bound convoys of advanced weapons from civil war-torn Syria…
    Israel has frequently promised to target Lebanon at large in any new conflict, noting that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim militia, had politicians in the Beirut government.
    “It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon,” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Friday.
    “It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist attack – whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind – on the State of Israel,” he told Israel Radio.
    Israel is technically at war with Lebanon and Syria…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/world/middleeast/israeli-warplanes-strike-near-the-border-of-syria-and-lebanon.html?_r=0

    peace & goodwill to all.

  80. “Never before used prefixes being heard on USAF HFGCS (shortwave) network. More US planes than normal thought to be connected to nuclear contingency operations reported as being in the air on various forums by those who monitor aviation.”

    I’m joining you. There’s a Russian drinking saying, Nichevo, Nichevo, zavtra budyet moloko, for which there is no direct translation but roughly means, let’s get pissed out of our brains, tomorrow we’ll drink milk, or more literally: nothing matters, tomorrow will be milk.

  81. Steinitz is a busy man:

    16 Feb: Arutz Sheva: David Lev: Steinitz: Approving Golan, Jordan Valley Map ‘Right Thing to Do’
    Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz praised the Treasury for approving his periphery benefit map, which includes the Golan Heights
    Among the areas included in the map are the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley, and Southern Hevron Hills, which, Steinitz said, was very appropriate. The idea of the map is to enhance the periphery, he said, and “anyone who wants to enhance the periphery without including the Golan Heights and Jordan Valley is discriminating between residents of the periphery…
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/177524

    when a former adviser to Pres Jimmy Carter can get this published in the left media, i guess you know you are immune from criticism:

    15 Feb: Huffington Post: Lawrence Solomon: Israel’s Enemies Are Too Distracted To Worry About An Attack on Iran
    Because the U.S. acts only in its own best interest, Israel cannot count on the U.S. to remove the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, either over the next few months in Geneva or later. So far, in the hope that the U.S. would come to its rescue or that the mullahs in Iran would be overthrown, Israel has waited rather than taking action…
    It now faces far more complex dangers than it did a year ago, two years ago, or five years ago. Continuing to wait – and to hope for the U.S. or something to save it — would likely only worsen Israel’s predicament…
    There is never a good time for military action but where Israel and Iran are concerned, now is always better than later…
    Most importantly, an attack on Iran now would eliminate a harsh condemnation from the United States, which is heading into mid-term elections, with the U.S. Senate up for grabs…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/israel-iran_b_4784019.html

  82. Russia’s case. lots more at the link:

    4 Mar: Russia Today: Russia is allowed to have 25,000 troops in Crimea…and other facts you didn’t know
    Ukraine’s statement at the UN that 16,000 Russian soldiers have been deployed to Crimea has caused a frenzy among Western media which chooses to ignore that those troops have been there since the late 1990s in accordance with a Kiev-Moscow agreement.
    Western media describes the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as if a full-scale Russian invasion were under way, with headlines like: “Ukraine says Russia sent 16,000 troops to Crimea” and “Ukraine crisis deepens as Russia sends more troops into Crimea,” as well as “What can Obama do about Russia’s invasion of Crimea?”
    It seems they have chosen to simply ignore the fact that those Russian troops have been stationed in Crimea for over a decade.
    Russia’s representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, reminded on Tuesday that the deal surrounding the Black Sea Fleet allows Russia to station a contingent of up to 25,000 troops in Ukraine. However, US and British media have mostly chosen to turn a deaf ear…
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underlined that the country’s military “strictly executes the agreements, which stipulate the Russian fleet’s presence in Ukraine, and follows the stance and claims coming from the legitimate authority in Ukraine and in this case the legitimate authority of the Autonomous Republic Crimea as well.” …
    http://rt.com/news/russian-troops-crimea-ukraine-816/

  83. Apparently the Russians told the Yanks that there would be an intercontinental test in advance.

  84. A fascinating post, Mr Murray. I hope it receives the wide attention that it deserves. By the way, readers here might also be interested in the discussion going on on this topic on the group blog crookedtimber.org .

  85. Sofia Kibo Noh

    4 Mar, 2014 - 10:05 pm

    As the Winter-Coup Olymics come to the end of the first fortnight the teams can look back with mixed emotions. Proud to have turned up, but, for most, heartbroken to see the chance of medals slipping away.

    The Neo-Nazis with their baseball bats, molotov cocktails and tin hats got off to an impressive start. Their manager Victoria Nuland had boasted that $5 billion had enabled her to do great things on the transfer market and told the world she expected them to feck both the Ukrainian Government and EU partners. For several days it seemed they would win all the medals. But a few careless laws, appeals to other terrorists to expand the party and a careless threat that they could put together a nuclear weapon in a few months caused unexpected awkwardness from large sections of Ukraine supporters. Some even threw their things out of the changing rooms they had been occupying.

    There was great excitement as the time for the Poker finals drew near. Sadly this event ended chaotically before it even started. The US team had brought only jokers and the Russian team captain “Prince of Darkness” Putin turned up with only a chess board and refused to play by the rules. US captain Kerry withdrew to the changing rooms and was last heard muttering incoherently about “freedom” and “sovereignty”.

    Meanwhile, in the Opinion Throwing event Useful Idiots team’s relentless game paid dividends as the Useless Feckers bored most of the spectators to death and the Mad Conspiracy Theorists were disqualified for the underhanded release of a banned recording of a genuine conspiracy between the US Assistant Secretary of State and the US ambassador to Ukraine.

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/february/09/victoria-nulands-ukraine-gate-deceptions.aspx

    Oh dear!

  86. John Goss, 8:20 pm:

    Only the Yanks have ever used large-scale nuclear weapons…

    The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t large-scale. They were A-bombs, which work on nuclear fission. H-bombs work on nuclear fusion and are hundreds of times more powerful. No H-bomb has ever been used ‘in anger’.

  87. George Soros and his Great Ukrainian Project:

    http://www.irf.ua/files/eng/AnnualRep_eng_FINAL_17_06.pdf

    The neo-Nazis in Government:

    http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Ukrainian-Jews-split-on-dangers-of-protest-movement-333907

    Not concerned, Habby? How very odd. You should be.

  88. “Apparently the Russians told the Yanks that there would be an intercontinental test in advance.”

    How much in advance they didn’t say.

    “We have been notified of this test earlier this week, it’s not unexpected,” a defence official told the AFP news agency.

    It’s only Tuesday.

  89. “Well I hadn’t planned on going to get some booze tonight. I think I will now just in case!”

    What are you drinking? I suggest your favorite single-malt with a quarter century waiting for your palate. No time for going cheap on yourself.

  90. Clark at 10.14 p.m.

    Agree there are much larger nuclear bombs (which is so frightening when you think of the death and maiming in Nagasaki and Hiroshima) but I meant that there were smaller nuclear weapons that have been used illegally in terms of international law, like depleted uranium weapons in more recent wars. Even these were deployed by NATO. By comparison Russia, and China, have remained passive observers of NATO theft through force. My guess (fear) would be that if any country is likely to resort to a nuclear war it will be the USA. It’s economy is on the blink (operating God knows how) and it is in a position where only by world domination and the continued exploitation of stolen natural resources can it survive. Unfortunately, like Germany after the arms escalation via its (Krupps) munitions’ factories it is left with little else but a stockpile of weaponry. That is frightening.

  91. “It is quite simply untrue that ethnic Russians were under threat in the Ukraine.”

    I dunno, when you’ve got Ukranian neo-nazi’s in cabinet, making vile talk about jews and Russians, there has to be at least some concern. I’ve no doubt this concern is used as a pretext by Putin, as cover for other motives, but this doesn’t axiomatically mean the concern doesn’t exist. Even if it’s just in the minds of the Russian’s in Crimea.

    I see a lot of posturing going on. I recall our ‘concern’ over the civilians of Libya, who were about to be annihilated, apparently. And indeed, many of them were, after we were finished destroying and looting. I take the point that what’s illegal for us is illegal for Russia, of course. But my disgust is still mainly reserved for the Western Neocon’s who have been destroying countries for 10 years. After all, this is where I vote and pay taxes. I guess Russia has to deal with Putin, when push comes to shove, not The West, unless anyone fancies a big old-fashioned actual war.

  92. The Monroe Doctrine should be a two-way street.

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

    “In 1836, the United States government objected to Britain’s alliance with the newly created Republic of Texas on the principle of the Monroe Doctrine. On December 2, 1845, U.S. President James Polk announced to Congress that the principle of the Monroe Doctrine should be strictly enforced and that the United States should aggressively expand into the West, often termed as Manifest Destiny.

    In 1842, U.S. President John Tyler applied the Monroe Doctrine to Hawaii, told Britain not to interfere there, and began the process of annexing Hawaii to the United States.
    In 1852, some politicians used the principle of the Monroe Doctrine to argue for forcefully removing the Spanish from Cuba. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded to the United States for the sum of $20 million, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, and Cuba (until granted formal independence from the US in 1902).”

  93. “Well I hadn’t planned on going to get some booze tonight. I think I will now just in case!”

    Just finishing off a can of Bank’s (Bonks’s they’m call it in Quarry Bonk) then I’ll be dry for forty days and nights to atone for my sins, so I forgive all those who have sinned against me, and hope Habby will forgive me his sins, hey, this Bonks’s ay half bad!

  94. “I think they sit there across the pond in the U.S., sometimes it seems … they feel like they’re in a lab and they’re running all sorts of experiments on the rats without understanding consequences of what they’re doing,” Putin told a group of reporters. “Why would they do that? Nobody can explain it.”

    President Putin March 2014

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiKF8JN1qmk

    “Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games and would invite the combination of nations around the world and indeed the United States will stand with the international community in affirming there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

    President Obama March 2014

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHkVM9ZbfeA

    [BEGINS AT 2:13]

    That is why I embrace[trust] President Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

  95. Mark,

    When I lived in the Isle of Man I met a retired merchant-navy sea captain and we got talking. He had travelled the world. The thing that stuck most in my mind was how he believed Russians to be closest to English people: polite, listening, queueing, tolerant and amenable. I do not know if he used any of those words but that was the impression he left me with.

    The impression I get of Americans based on Obama’s, and other presidents’ speeches, is one of arrogance. I realise this is not a fair comparison. And there are many thousands and thousands of US citizens who are lovely people and just as opposed to Obama’s arrogance as myself.

    However, I don’t doubt that the composed reserve in the hour-long questioning of Putin was from an invited audience, with questions already prepared beforehand. It is the way all politicians behave. They are not going to be caught out with a tough question for which an answer had not been prepared. They can often struggle even with prepared questions.

    I never watched it after I saw how long it would last.

    What I think is more powerful is the way the neo-Nazi takeover has divided Jewish opinion as witnessed by Mike’s link.

    http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Ukrainian-Jews-split-on-dangers-of-protest-movement-333907

  96. @ Habbababaqkiq

    Your link does not, however, show that Russia’s population is increasing although that is the impression you seek to give.

    No it does not, but if it had it would have been correct!

    Forbes Mag: Don’t Look Now But ‘Dying’ Russia’s Population Is Still Growing

  97. For anyone who fancies getting a bit more paranoid, here are the “unusual” recipients as reported by those monitoring USAF HFGCS over last 24 hours.

    “FOR VISUAL SIGHT”
    “FOR TYLER”
    “FOR DEVIL FOX”
    “FOR AMERICAN HOME”

    TYLER and/or DEVIL FOX have been suggested as E-6 TACAMO Aircraft (Looking Glass) on websdr chat. I haven’t a clue myself.

  98. John Goss, 11:18 pm; depleted uranium isn’t a nuclear weapon. You’d do better calling it a chemical weapon in terms of its side effects, because it’s its chemical toxicity that is so harmful.

    Depleted uranium is the waste product from enriching uranium. Natural uranium is barely radioactive; you can handle it with no ill effects. It’s a mixture of two isotopes; 99.3% U238 and 0.7% U235. The U235 is the fissile nuclear fuel and is used for nuclear weapon cores, but even that isn’t particularly radioactive.

    Natural uranium is enriched to increase the proportion of U235 to about 3% for use in nuclear reactors. This involves getting rid of some U238, and this is where depleted uranium comes from, so depleted uranium is even less radioactive than natural uranium.

    There’s a point here about half-lives; the longer the half-life, the lower the radioactivity. Half-life just tells you how likely it is that an atom will decay, and it’s only when an atom decays that it gives off radioactivity. The half-life of U235 is 703.8 million years, i.e. if you have one atom of U235, after 703.8 million years there’s a 50/50 chance that it will have decayed. For U238, it’s 4.5 billion years. So in a lump of uranium not many atoms decay per second, so uranium is not very radioactive.

    Uranium’s chemical toxicity is much worse than its radioactivity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium#Effects_and_precautions

  99. AlcAnon/Squonk, 12:59 am; has there been any more Russian activity, like the Woodpecker signal? The US would have to be crazy to nuke Russia over this. I reckon they’re just trying to scare the Russian government into submission by sending out scary orders and deploying forces. I prefer the Russian approach – just launch one ICBM; very no-nonsense. We’re more likely to know if the US is doing anything really threatening by monitoring the Russian response. That earlier Woodpecker was probably a systems test; it hadn’t been powered up for decades.

  100. BrianFujisan

    5 Mar, 2014 - 1:47 am

    All True Clark….

    But the A bombs were not used in anger either….Fabricated Anger Perhaps

    Alcanon… I hate how they KEEP using First Nations Names for their fucking war Projects…. i made a stunning Sculpture of [ Chief Looking Glass ]… on Earthlings foto

  101. Clark,

    Haven’t heard anything sounding like the Woodpecker today. But definitely yesterday I thought Woodpecker as soon as I heard it. Just waiting for Radio Moscow World Service to re-appear now and I’m back in the 70s.

  102. Fascinating yet worrying that so many here have bought the absurd Manichean narrative-conveniently media driven-that it’s NATO/US/UK versus Russia…

    Its all bollocks yet so many of you seem to have bought it.

    All sides mentioned above are working to the same end.

    Follow the real money.

    Think about it.

  103. BrianFujisan

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:13 am

    Squonk…

    Can you please delete my last comment…i can re- post Art from alt source

  104. Brian,

    I assume you mean post on squonk? Done.

  105. BrianFujisan

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:34 am

    Ahh Thank you Squonk…. i hope you looked at it first Lol…

    But it led to my Personal shit..i did not realize that… i thought it was just the image….
    Thank you…owe ya one.

  106. Brian,

    I did click your FB link but got a “This content is not currently available” error message.

  107. BrianFujisan

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:54 am

    AA… i’ll do it over at yours … i’m sure you will love it… Where to put your eyes….Stand by..

  108. “Overhang this is Out Phase(?)”. Is this USAF code prefix premier night?

  109. “Premiere”

  110. Ba'al Zevul (यह अच्छा जीवन)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 8:39 am

    F-15’s and V22’s up last night. Don’t think you’ll be hearing Woodpecker – it was an early HF over-horizon radar and has been replaced by Dnestr (VHF) and Voronezh (UHF) radars since 1989. And if we had any sense at all we’d stay out of this particular spat. The Ukrainians have far more awareness of the Russian mindset on the Crimea than we have, and in particular, Kerry and Hague have. They speak the language fluently, too.

  111. Ba'al Zevul (यह अच्छा जीवन)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 8:51 am

    “That is why I embrace[trust] President Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.”

    Mark, honestly.

    There used to be an old bat on the Pravda.ru forum – which tended to be even less concerned with facts than Pravda The Newspaper, and largely unconnected with it – who would post paeans of praise to “Vladimir Putin – God’s Anointed Autocratic Tsar”

    Exactly, but not in a good way.

    He’s a politician, Mark.

  112. Thanks Clark for the clarification. I can’t possibly argue against your knowledge, nor would I want to. Let’s just say then that the US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons.

    I know where to come if I need any knowledge on nuclear issues. :)

    I bet that smiley face does not work.

  113. I was wrong about the smiley face! :)

    “The crisis is not about Ukraine at all, but rather about putting the squeeze on Russia. It also serves as yet another distraction to switch people’s focus from one fabricated crisis to another, to prevent any sustained examination of the looming systemic failure of global capitalism. Nothing beats a fake revolution to preempt a real one.” Analysis by Gilbert Mercier.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2014/03/04/ukraine-the-new-cold-war-heats-up/

  114. Ba'al Zevul (यह अच्छा जीवन)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 9:28 am

    TACAMO home site – the Images tab has many pictures of white E6 comms planes (old 707’s, modified) for comparison with your sightings. But this link is to the gungho/management bollocks with which the very technical militaries seems to be prone – Frederick Pohl predicted something of the sort

    http://www.tacamo.navy.mil/vq3/vq3_home.html

    Team Iron Man – wireless ops in a very comfortable a/c, lol.

  115. Craig, I think you have misunderstood the position of those on the left who “support” Russia in the current crisis. Like you I have no time for Putin but as someone who used to work in the foreign office I’d have thought you’d have a greater sense of realpolitik. The sins of Russia’s imperial past are not about to be erased. The Black Sea Fleet is based in Crimea whether you like it or not and if you lead the Russian government you’d want to secure it too. The reality in Crimea is that most people there feel they should be part of Russia rather than Ukraine and this feeling would have been bolstered by the Ukranian mob declaring that Ukrainian is the only legitimate language.
    By continuing to oppose Russia, the likely outcome would be armed conflict in a country where a lot of people own guns and fascist sentiments are common. Do you really want to see people dying and suffering in order to protect a principle while the much bigger and more powerful empire benefits? Let’s remember how this crisis started.

  116. Russia allowed to have 25,000 troops in Crimea since 1999… & other facts you may not know

    http://rt.com/news/russian-troops-crimea-ukraine-816/

  117. What I find so depressing about Craig’s series of posts on events in the Ukraine is his resolute refusal to deal with – or apparently even SEE – the big picture. Russia too has a point of view. Craig characterises it as ‘Imperialist’ and Putin as a ‘Thug’, in a yah-boo manner reminiscent the John McCains and Victoria Nulands of this world – nice company eh?. It simply destroys his credibility in my eyes. Russia as imperialist empire-builder was undoubtedly true of the old Tsarist regime – even its successor and foreign-grafted Bolshevik model – but to frame present day Russia as ‘Imperialist’ when it is clearly fighting for its very survival as a State independent of the uni-polar globalist agenda powers, is not merely a stretch, it is either niave or willfully dishonest – take your pick (with ‘dishonesty’ likely a subliminal, cognitive-dissonance defence – ie the lines we cannot cross etc). Whichever, it is effectively in service to the globalist agenda.

  118. Understanding the Crisis in Ukraine

    March 4, 2014
    http://www.bollyn.com/#article_14573

    Sorry Craig but I don’t think you have it right this time…with respect.

  119. John Goss, thinking of what the US did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki makes me feel like crying; on occasions, I have. Oh, I know those two bombs only account for a small fraction of the deaths of WWII, I know the US couldn’t manufacture nukes fast enough and basically only had their bluff to project. It’s just the vast, overwhelming destructive force used against unprepared families. All those people, the young and old, their pets, their homes, all the links between them and what they meant to each other, all their love and care for each other, all just gone in an eye-blink, just flattened, smashed, vaporised, not a trace left. And then around them the survivors, seared, burned, irradiated and in agony, and everything they recognised just a second ago utterly obliterated. It’s unimaginable. And then America did it again.

  120. I personally would like to see justice done and see Putin’s name on a list of people awaiting trial at The Hague. Below Bush and Blair and all the others. Any other way would not be justice.

    While they can call water boarding “enhanced interrogation” and make it not torture they should not be able to call the Russian soldiers in Crimea an invasion. Take a look at some pictures of the D Day landings, that’s what an invasion looks like, take a look at the invasion of Iraq.

  121. Wikispooks and others, when you consider Craig’s perspective, consider his experiences. Consider the torturer Karimov of Uzbekistan, a typical product of the break-up of the Soviet Union and still connected to the Russian power base. Consider Uzbekistan’s torture and the Andijan Massacre. Consider all the asylum seekers Craig has helped to escape from that Russian-supported system, who would disappear and suffer agony if their government got hold of them again, just for speaking the truth.

    Craig has been much closer to the atrocious monster which is the Russian political system than most of us will ever be. He knows it in a way most of us never can, and wouldn’t ever want to. He only just managed to save Nadira from it. Read Murder in Samarkand again.

  122. Clark, I couldn’t agree more. There was a classic photograph of children trying to get away from the city with a little girl naked in the middle of the road. She survived, but the images of Hiroshima will never leave her mind. Here is another, because from the WWII, through Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia and all the more recent drone-strikes, there appears to be something in the US government psyche that makes them think that death and wounding of non-Americans does not hurt.

    http://www.hiroshima-remembered.com/photos/effects/image7.html

  123. Clark, my comment related to your previous comment not the one directly above it.

  124. Clark & John

    Yup, and the conventional fire-bombing of Tokyo – over 100,000 burned to death in deliberately created firestorm – was even more horrific, if such a thing is possible.

  125. Clarke

    I know you mean well but spare me the lectures please. “The monster that is the Russian political system” eh? Now precisely which ‘political system’ would that be?

    The Tzarist; the Bolshevik; the Yeltsin/Jewish oligarch financed-Russia plundering-Western backed coup regime of 1992-99 whose non-extraditable criminals now keep our ‘national game’ afloat and are thus lauded as heroes; or the Present one struggling to prise Russia from the Western maw?

    I can easily credit you with being plain naive. Much less so Craig.

    And I just listened to Craig’s last/latest?? political party spokesman Vince Cable on the subject. EXACTLY the same diagnosis “Putin the thug must back-off and stop supporting the illegal so-called self-defence militias” – ILLEGAL SO_CALLED SELF-DEFENCE MILITIAS I kid you not – “springing up in the Eastern ukraine”. If Cable had 10% the popular support Putin does he’d have something to crow about. Same goes for ALL our political leaders. Which planet do they, Craig and the entire western MSM – singling in unison from EXACTLY the same hym sheet – inhabit I have to ask myself? ZOB? Don’t you find it just an itsy-itsy-ITSY-bit odd?

  126. Hague has had talks with Kerry regarding the future of Russia. What this means is that Kerry has given him his instructions from our masters across the Atlantic.

    There is no way that Russia will send a senior politician to talk with an unelected government’s acting foreign minister of Ukraine. The stupidity of Hague believing that this might be a possibility shows just how naive our key representatives are. Our western governments, instead of offering open cheques for a government (of thugs and Nazis) that has overthrown the elected government, should be working towards elections, because that is what democracy is about. The west is trying to blow this up into something bigger than what it is. If those who have currently appointed themselves wish to stand for election then there is no reason why they should not.

  127. And here’s confirmation of what cognitively unimpaired followers of events in the Ukraine who studied the contemporary video and similarly knee-jerk western reporting were close to certain about about soon afterwards. It was NOT Yanukovych’s security police shooting at the Maidan protestors – and killing 13 policemen in the process; it was those orchestrating their own beloved protestors – classic Gladio-style black-ops stuff IOW.

    Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders – leaked EU’s Ashton phone tape

    Another pesky ‘Victoria Nuland’-like embarrassment eh? – but I’m sure A way will be found to rationalise it away. “It was all the fault of the victims” – or simply ignoring it.

  128. Thanks for the concern John much appreciated. Heads up from Jives – Cheers. Ashton’s leaked telecon is interesting…

    http://rt.com/news/ashton-maidan-snipers-estonia-946/

  129. Wikispooks, I’m referring to the Russian system that Craig has had to have dealings with, which he has written about many times, which plunged Ukraine into the lethal depths of winter by turning off Gazprom’s the gas, which has taken over the Russian news media, which throws journalists out of windows, which performed false-flag terrorism on its own citizens; need I go on? Do I need to find you links on this very site, this catalogue of Craig’s own experiences and insights?

    I know that the other governments are no better, and so does Craig. But you can’t let one criminal off just because some other criminal did something else.

  130. Another leaked phone call.

    Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders – leaked EU’s Ashton phone tape

    The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.

    “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet said during the conversation.

    “I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton answered.

    The call took place after Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25 at the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital.

    …Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.

    “And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” the Estonian FM stressed.

    Ashton reacted to the information by saying: “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”

    “So that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened,” Paet said.

    The file was reportedly uploaded to the web by officers of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) loyal to ousted President Viktor Yanukovich who hacked Paet’s and Ashton’s phones.

  131. Wikispooks you link returns to Craig’s blog but I would like to see what it is if you can re-link it. Thanks.

  132. Ah link already posted. Though I had refreshed the page but obviously not.

  133. Surely it would be a simple matter to ask Ashton and the Estonian foreign affairs minister the about this phone call and the info contained therein?

    Nazis behaving like Nazis is no longer news, I suppose…

  134. My friend in Kiev has responded to reservations, such as those expressed by Clark and Craig, that this incident was staged. His exasperation, that I am still apparently doubting the revolution as a spontaneous civilian uprising is clear. I do not in any way doubt my friend. I am going to summarise what I take from his email:

    This is a court case. The video makers knew what was happening and had time to plan in advance. This is why they could film the arrival of the defendant and the advancing column. Yes the protesters do glance at the camera but they are not used to being filmed. No big deal.

    Yes the production is slick but so what. Cameras are readily available and everyone has a pc to edit with. Do we think mobile phone quality provides authenticity?

    I think he says the marching and khaki are a result of national service which is mandatory in Ukraine. They have all been army trained.

    Here is a link to an English language report of the court case.

    My friend also explained that such “defence teams” did not exist at the start of the revolution and only started to appear as a result of Police violence. Police violence such as this from last December.

  135. wikispooks, 12:59 pm; your link seems wrong. Please re-post, preferably with more sources. I don’t want to rely only upon RT for that, no more than I’d rely on BBC for certain things.

  136. Clark,

    The actual audio of the phone call has been broadcast on RT – not just a transcript.

  137. This explains the US funding for these colour revolution/regime change things.

    In 1983 the CIA set up a group called NED which took over these kind of ops abroad, but did so publicly and under the guise of democratic improvement:

    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/02/27/a-shadow-us-foreign-policy/

  138. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    The Olga Bogolomets/Ashton story only seems to be sourced from .ru sites. And it’s far more likely, if true (pmsl), to be an intercept than a leak, so there’ll never be any independent verification. No-one ever said Putin was more truthful thasn (eg) Blair…

    I guess Ashton will deny it in due course.

  139. Phil (and please tell your friend in Kiev), I don’t doubt that most motivation for the protests is spontaneous. Whoever organised that group, they wouldn’t have been able to recruit so many volunteers without widespread popular opposition to Yanukovich and his administration.

    Note that the group in the video were using exactly the same shields as the police; echoes of “the same people shooting at both sides”, yes? It’s not the people I’m suspicious of; it’s the leadership. More and more, I’m suspecting convergence at the highest levels, with people’s justified grievances being cynically exploited.

    Arms dealers are notorious for selling to all sides. Conflict is always in their interest.

  140. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    Posted across AlcAnon’s revelation. Still sceptical. If not an utter fake, then an ultimately unattributable intercept.

  141. The Nazis apparently include members of the ‘Batkivshchyna’ Sergei Pashinsky and Yuliya Timoshenko. Considering that now there is talk that the sniper may have been from the opposition Pashinsky may be a suspect. In the boot of his car was a rifle with a silencer accidentally caught on one of the protestor’s videos. Sorry it is in Russian. But you get the picture. Before I am attacked by the usual suspects for being pro-Russian I reserve my opinion over this video. I am posting it out of general interest.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3e0_1392899402

  142. Makes you sound, Clark, as if you work for British security services where you imply unsolved ‘false flag’ operations are simply the work of the thug in Moscow when they are most probably the work of Anglo-American covert government – like the brutal murder of former KGB agent Alexandr Litvinenko who was threatening to blackmail Western leaders for, among other things, assassinating Swedish statsminister Olof Palme to trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the USSR.

    Then there are the killings of Gareth Williams, Gudrun Loftus, and Steve Rawlings, among many others.

    The thugs in these assassinations are clearly Western governments.

    And Putin is clearly getting what he wants in the Ukraine – resetting the clock about who governs it and how, and getting the EU to help solve its economic plight rather than NATO imposing its stooges in Kiev.

  143. That ‘phone call dates from February 25? So Ashton etc. have said nothing about it for over a week.

  144. Sorry about that – YouTube video – Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Catherine Ashton discuss Ukraine over the phone.

    It is also a compelling illustration of the ‘call in the middle of the night’ persuasion that was used to secure the parliamentary votes to ‘oust Yukanovych’ – and everything else that has occurred since.

  145. Trowbridge H. Ford, 1:44 pm; I’m a private citizen with no affiliation except to Craig’s blog. I publish my contact details. You, or anyone else, are welcome to come to mine and scrutinise my behaviour for as long as you wish; there’s a spare bedroom and I’d be glad of company.

    I did also write: “I know that the other governments are no better…”

  146. How long will it be before the BBC etc. mention the tape I wonder?

  147. That audio, which I have just listened to is damning, because it is between two supporters of the “new” government, which, I cannot see surviving, not only because of the allegations that the sniper was from the protestors but that according to Catherine Ashton they are not being open about investigating the snipers.

  148. AlcAnon/Squonk 5 Mar, 2014 – 2:03 pm

    Probably not too soon. Still it will go viral on the net so there is not much they can do to hide it.

  149. “I know that the other governments are no better, and so does Craig. But you can’t let one criminal off just because some other criminal did something else.”

    You can’t prosecute one criminal while not prosecuting them all.

    That is the very basics of law, that it applies to all equally, that no one should be above it.

    Put Bush and Blair in the dock for the invasion of Iraq, a real invasion that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and counting. Then you can talk about putting Putin in the dock for the pretend invasion that has taken the lives of none.

  150. Ангрысоба

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:11 pm

    Yeah, yeah. Fair cop on the Falklands. I bet I know which way you swung though. :P

  151. John

    Currently it’s being retweeted all over twitter. Although no major “Western” news agency has yet mentioned it at all.

  152. Thanks for the invite, but no thanks.

    I doubt that I could even enter the UK, given my unanswered complaints about MI5, MI6, and GCHQ, and if I did, I would have even stronger doubts about getting out alive.

    You have never indicated in particular anything thuggish about British spooks, only implied that Putin’s thugs did their apparent dirty work, making Putin much less of a thug.

  153. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    From the tape (RT transcript) –

    ‘Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.

    “And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” the Estonian FM stressed.

    Ashton reacted to the information by saying: “Well, yeah…that’s, that’s terrible.”’

    Olga Bogolomets? Oh, that Olga Bogolomets. No irons in the fire there, then.

    http://bogomolets.com/en

    She is alleged on her Wiki page to have encouraged her students to join the protests – though the link given contains no reference to her by name.

  154. Squonk, they will have no option. I wonder what the NSA think about it? They’ve been tapping phones for years. Have they released anything yet?

  155. The new government of thugs according to the audio comprise of people with a dirty past. I’m taking sides now, and have to accept that Craig has misjudged the new government.

  156. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ji-Magazine/116217188517404

    “Claim: Ukraine’s government is illegitimate or not representative.

    Response: The new government was approved by the Rada with 371 votes, an overwhelming majority of Ukraine’s parliament, with the support of all political parties except the Communists. Even Yanukovych’s Party of Regions (POR) voted in favor of the new government just days after he disappeared. While POR is not represented in the current government, this is a political decision and does not indicate lack of support for the policies of the government. In fact, almost all legislation passed by parliament since Yanukovych’s departure has enjoyed majority support from POR.”

    Lots more verifiable info there.

  157. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    BTW, as everyone concerned was probably using Kalashnikovs – how the hell would anyone tell who killed who? A medic in the street isn’t going to be digging the bullets out to check the groove pattern, either…

  158. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    Both sides have more than their share of dirty pasts, John. I wouldn’t take sides at all.

  159. Agencia EFE (Madrid) Just tweeted it in Spanish to half a million followers. That’s the first

    Link http://www.efe.com/efe/noticias/espana/mundo/filtran-una-conversacion-ashton-que-siembra-dudas-sobre-francotiradores-kiev/1/4/2256851

  160. Readers here may be interested in Prof Francis Boyles take of the events in Ukraine (if already linked to my apologies – I can’t read everything). I have quoted him on the Wikispooks dedicated Ukraine page – The part headed “A more disturbing ‘reality’ possibility”

  161. Oops, forgot a bit. That ‘more disturbing possibility’ concerns the big picture – ie the wood not the trees – that are the subject of my ‘stuck-in-the-groove’ complaints about Craig and the well-meaning but hopelessly confused elements of the western political establishment that refuse to see the elephant too.

  162. Ba’al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail) 5 Mar, 2014 – 2:25 pm

    I know. But I’ve been trying to keep an open mind that the protestors may be right since Yanukovich is a thug. The audio states that too.

    It is going viral at a rate of knots! Anything on the BBC yet? I don’t hear anything. It’s a classic upstaging of the Paris farce. I wonder if the Russian foreign minister played Hague and Kerry the audio.

  163. AlcAnon

    If the tape is authentic – and it may well be a propaganda fake – the Estonian is recounting something they have been told, and Ashton is saying “Gosh”. Ashton has no information on it. If the tape is genuine, it does not follow that what the Estonian is saying is true – it probably does follow that the Estonian was told it, but that doesn’t make it true.

  164. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    What I get from the RT fragment is that Bogolomets is saying everyone was shooting at everyone – no surprises there – and that this is being spun by RT. Whether genuine or not, whether complete or not, whether ‘leaked’ or intercepted by Estonia’s former owners, it still appears to have been released by Russia. The cynical mind instantly asks ‘why?’ The cynical mind does not have to ponder long to answer that.

  165. John Goss, 2:22 pm;

    I […] have to accept that Craig has misjudged the new government.

    You must have missed this from Craig:

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/03/the-fashion-for-hypocrisy/#comment-443918

    Herbie,

    Thanks, I am convinced. Very unpleasant people – rather similar to those who have been in power in Hungary.

  166. Craig,

    I’m aware it is not proof of anything other than the conversation occurred (which has now been confirmed as genuine by Estonian government) . However the reaction of Ashton to the news, sounded to me as if she already knew it and wished her Estonian colleague would shut-up. That’s just how it sounded in my amateur opinion.

    Anyway people can listen and make up their own minds. I don’t know what happened.

    Daily Telegraph has now mentioned it online. Says they got “No Comment” when the question was put to Ashton. No mention at all yet on BBC of course.

  167. Trowbridge,

    Are you really saying that as others in power have committed false flag bombings it is impossible for Putin to do so?

  168. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 3:16 pm

    Just had a moment to listen to the audio -FSB bugging technology has improved. Good audio quality. The Estonians really need to disconnect that Soviet-era wiring running across the border. But really, is it so surprising that some of the motley crew of wannabe – oligarchs who retired Yanukovich aren’t above murder in the streets? Ashton (who is canny enough to understand about insecure lines) doesn’t sound surprised, and neither would I.

    So the dichotomy becomes a trichotomy.

    1. All the Russians, even quite nice ones
    2. Evil Ukrainians
    3. Nice Ukrainians.

    Who gets to form the next government? Place bets now.

  169. Trowbridge H. Ford, 2:13 pm

    “You have never indicated in particular anything thuggish about British spooks,”

    I’ve supported Craig in his campaign to expose torture and rendition, much of it in collusion with British agents and authorities, for years.

    ” only implied that Putin’s thugs did their apparent dirty work, making Putin much less of a thug.”

    I was thinking of the “series of explosions that hit four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow, and Volgodonsk in September 1999″; so far as I know, British secret services were not implicated in that.

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

  170. Of course not, though Russia has always been far behind when it comes to ‘false flag’ operations, going all the way back to the JFK plot – what Moscow learned about, and hoped to see carried out at Castro’s and West Berlin’s expense.

    Back then, the USSR counted on power, stealth, and murder on ocasion to achieve its goals.

    It even knew about the ‘false flag’ operation to kill Palme at its expense, but took the necessary counter measures, thanks to Putin’s spies, to prevent it from being punished by it, or blamed for it.

    Since the Soviet fall, Moscow has been much more involved in ‘false flag’ operations. The most important one was the sinking of the Estonia, it seems, where Moscow wanted to stop Anglo-American stealing of its best military and intelligence technology, and make it look like some kind of accident.

    Believe it is why Sweden is still more anti-Russian than the rest of the West.

  171. Oh, Clark, missed your post while I was writing my previous one.

    When it comes to exposing rendition and torture of British terror suspects, still see no mention of GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd who was responsible for investigating it, lied to repeatedly about what was going on, and died mysteriously on Snowdonia when the whole cover up started unravelling.

    And certainly don’t believe that Moscow was behind all those bombings which put the Winter Games in jeopardy. Sounds more like CIA and the Mossad – what Putin had to go to the greatest lengths to defuse.

  172. Orangeman sold out on Amazon and £50+ for a used copy. I was thinking of ordering one as I read through a large part of it on line and in Foyles, and wanted to re-read what CM said re someone towards the end.

    Does Putin’s washing his hands of responsibility for his “local defence volunteers” unmarked army actually set a very dangerous precedent.

    Does it legitimise Gladio, private armies and other raggle taggle non-state or quasi-state forces?

    I expect to see wider use of unmarked pseudo free acting soldiers.

  173. Clark 5 Mar, 2014 – 1:42 pm
    “Phil (and please tell your friend in Kiev)…It’s not the people I’m suspicious of; it’s the leadership.”

    Clark, I shall not be passing on your message. Do you imagine the people in Kiev need you to tell them that they should be suspicious of the new leadership?

    Are you joking? I just cannot believe you are serious.

  174. Finally a mention by the BBC
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26445666

    15:30:

    He accused those behind the leaking of the phone conversation of trying “to discredit the new government of Ukraine”.
    15:29:

    Mr Paet said he had been making known to Ms Ashton the rumours he heard on a visit to Kiev, that snipers from both sides were involved in the killing of protesters in Independence Square last month.
    15:28:

    Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet speaks out over a leaked telephone conversation he had with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in which he discussed the events in Ukraine.

    Still no mention on BBC tv news yet.

  175. OT.

    “There’s A Huge Storm Rolling Over Sydney And The Pictures Are Amazing”

    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/theres-a-huge-storm-rolling-over-sydney-and-the-pictures-are-amazing-2014-3

  176. In all of these things you have to look at the context to see who benefits from the event.

    In this case, the Opposition, Yanukovich, the EU and the Russians, had just concluded a deal.

    They’d all excluded the Americans.

    As a result of these shootings the deal was scrapped, the fascists took control of security from the police and Yanukovich did a runner for his life.

    My money is on those who weren’t invited to the party.

    That’d be the Americans. They or their agents are the most likely candidates.

    Fuck the EU, indeed!

  177. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 3:49 pm

    ‘Mr Paet said he had been making known to Ms Ashton the rumours he heard on a visit to Kiev, that snipers from both sides were involved in the killing of protesters in Independence Square last month.’

    Rumours. Exactly. And his source – possibly the only one – was Olga Bogolomets.
    Here they are:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/12772064114/?rb=1

    And in this Feb 21st CNN report is Bogolomets alleging sniper fire. Without saying whodunnit.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/20/world/europe/ukraine-protests/

    Radio Free Europe got nearer than that –

    In video shot by Radio Free Europe, men wearing what appear to be government uniforms fired at unseen targets with automatic rifles and a sniper rifle with a telescopic sight. CNN could not immediately confirm their target.

    And RFE is funded by the US Congress. Is Obama hand in glove with Putin? Somehow I doubt it.

  178. “Mr Paet said he had been making known to Ms Ashton the rumours he heard on a visit to Kiev, that snipers from both sides were involved in the killing of protesters in Independence Square last month.
    15:28:”

    No. That’s not right at all.

    What he said is that the snipers were firing on both sides, police and protesters.

    Either he’s changed his story or the BBC have changed it for him.

  179. Clark 5 Mar, 2014 – 1:42 pm
    “Note that the group in the video were using exactly the same shields as the police; echoes of “the same people shooting at both sides”, yes?”

    Or maybe they just stole them.

  180. I’m no expert , but it sounds genuine to me. Why bother with the telephonists bits n pieces if its a studio job ?
    When the CIA did Obama, they didn’t always get the lip syncing right or the beard colour,but it was without any extra nonsense,like them ordering pizza or beer.Ashton sounds every bit as professional as she looks, and the Estonians for almost a week have been flagging the “unelected leaders” of Ukraine as being bad guys.Unelected !! It’s becoming the European way…. Greece , Italy, Ukraine…
    The recording’s been released for the same reasons they released the US ambassadors conversation. To show that they know and they can!! They might just let the NSA record, they log in ,download whatever they want. That would be justice wouldn’t it?
    If it looks like dog shit, smells like dog shit , feels like dog shit, and tastes like dog shit, then its dog shit !!! West guilty. The Russians are guilty of many things but this whole episode has that made in Washington feel about it.
    Meanwhile the western press ignore the biggest story in this because it isn’t in their script.Wonder what “consequences” Hague can come up with for the snipers paymasters ?

  181. I believe the author is missing or ignoring vital facts. Paul Craig Roberts seems to be the only commentator worth reading these days. Doesn’t shirk from telling it like it is.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/03/05/propaganda-rules-news-paul-craig-roberts/

  182. Ba'al Zevul (Nuke The Daily Mail)

    5 Mar, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    Herbie – What Paet said was actually pretty ambiguous – he was not expressing himself clearly -, and the RT transcript I quoted above shows it to be so. And it was second-hand.

  183. Curious that the BBC publishes the Estonian response to the tape before it has published any of the tape content (audio or transcript).

    Also the reference to “handwriting” being the same he made is said elsewhere to be a reference to the ballistic signature, identified on bullets that killed both police officers and protesters, being the same from analysis. Not having English as a first language he said “handwriting” instead of “signature”. Any linguists (or not) want to comment on that interpretation?

    If someone does have proof that the same weapon(s) were used to shoot both sides then that is very interesting.

  184. The Americans are on a roll.Come on!

    Kosovo,Bosnia,Jemen,Syria,Libya,Tunisia,Egypt,Sudan,Somalia,Baluchistan,Iran,Iraq,

    Why is Ukraine so far fetched?

    None of the new leadership has clean hands or less than a few million dollars.

    And US jump at them with open arms and wallets. Come on!!

  185. Herbie, I understood that too. The same people shooting on both sides. By the way, I did not get the impression that Catherine Ashton knew about it Squonk. When she said something like “I didn’t know that” it sounded genuine to me. Perhaps I am too trusting.

    Clark, no I did not miss that, but certainly Craig’s earlier posts, and most of his comments have leaned more towards the unelected government. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the interim Ukrainian prime minister has told the BBC (surprise, surprise) that the government is legitimate. Now my understanding of a legitimate government is one elected by the electorate, not one appointed by a conglomerate of MPs who elected themselves. The electorate does not just comprise people in Kiev, and not all of them are supportive of the rioters, as the article in the Jerusalem Post revealed.

  186. Ba’al Zevul

    No. He’s very definitely saying on the tape that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides. They were shooting policemen and protestors.

    And, you know what that means.

    If he’s now changed his story to what you quote above then I’m afraid that’s proof positive that some element of the Western interest was involved.

    My money is on those who were excluded from the deal.

    That’d be the Americans or their agents.

  187. “US Hypocrisy and ‘Regime change': The Simple Truth About Ukraine – Video”

    http://www.sott.net/article/274380-US-Hypocrisy-and-Regime-change-The-Simple-Truth-About-Ukraine-Video

    “The meddling of the US and the EU has produced nothing but chaos.”

    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/incompetent-imperialists-reign-in-ukraine/14734#.UxdNSc7Sgf2

  188. Andrew, the article by Paul Craig Roberts seems sound to me. I like his coined phrase presstitutes for MSM arse-lickers.

  189. He’s very explicit:

    “They were the same snipers killing people from both sides”

    from 8.28

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8#t=13

  190. The sniper was “somebody from the new coalition”. At least that was what Urmas Paet was told. But still no mention and in fact there is BBC bresking news that Ban Ki Moon’s representative has been seized.

  191. Let’s nail this one down — There are now neo Nazis in the Ukrainian Government, and “we” helped put them there.

  192. Obama might have gone to Sochi out of gratitude to Putin. Obama might also have stood with Russia’s leader against international terrorists that have taken lives in both America and Russia. Short memories hide the fact Putin persuaded Bashar al-Assad to eliminate his chemical weapons and then went on to ‘grease the wheels’ and thus pave the way for Obama’s opening to Iran and peace.

    We witnessed Putin’s games corrupted, contaminated by threats from Bandar-Bush and amplified by a tainted American media that gave terrorists an early victory and frightened untold numbers of foreign visitors including relatives of the athletes.

    The Sochi games will pass into history and left behind is an unfolding new cold war divide and instability far worse than the fractures of Georgia in 2008.

    When I embrace Putin I do so because I believe he is not a patron of terror, intimidation, shock and awe. He is not a murderer of innocent children in an illegal war, a war that displaced Iraqi families by the million.

    We all live in a ‘thugocracy’ for sure, creating fear, expoiting and embracing terrorism is licentious to the point of being pornographic.

  193. Mike, I did not help put the neo-Nazis in power and I disassociate myself from all coup d’état initiated by fascists with possible support from western governments with a known record for destabilising government.

    Mark I certainly prefer Putin to Obama, Cameron, et al.

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