Those Military Observers

by craig on May 3, 2014 11:42 am in Uncategorized

Now the military observers have been released, it might be helpful to clarify their status as an illustration of how both media bias and internet passions on both sides of the Ukrainian conflict obscure the truth.  If you think you get the truth on CNN and BBC you are not paying attention.  If you think you get the truth on Russia Today you are equally not paying attention.

It is wrong to call the men “OSCE observers” in that they are not on a mission initiated and organized by the OSCE.  The casual use of the phrase by almost all the mainstream media is not just incorrect, but culpable in that it gives a deliberate impression of neutrality and authority.

However it is equally wrong to characterize them as “NATO spies”, and they had every right, indeed a duty, to be in Ukraine doing what they were doing.  The purpose of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, of which the Soviet Union was a founding member, is to prevent conflict and improve governance.  (I have a dim recollection that some but not all of the Soviet Socialist Republics, including Ukraine, were individually represented when it was first founded as the CSCE. Ukraine, and of course Russia, has certainly been an important member since it became the OSCE in 1994).

I should say I strongly support the OSCE.  Those who claim it is an American or neo-con front have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.  I was invited to give oral evidence to the OSCE on extraordinary rendition, which I did.  That contrasts with the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee who conducted an inquiry into extraordinary rendition and refused to accept either written or oral evidence from their Ambassador who had just been sacked for blowing the whistle on the subject (Don’t you love Jack Straw and New Labour).  The OSCE do a lot of good work on protecting the Roma, and recently rebuked the French.  Their election monitoring work is first class – if only the UK government would allow them into Scotland.

A key OSCE treaty is the Vienna Document on Military Transparency of 1999.  Under this document, member states notify each other of their forces’ dispositions, and any member state can send verification missions of military officers to any other member state three times a year.

This is not some obscure or obsolete clause which was being used to justify extraordinary snooping in Ukraine.  It is a mechanism in permanent operation.  Russia, for example, sends military observers around UK and US installations all the time, and vice versa.

The whole point of the agreement is to make sure people know and are comfortable with where other people’s weapons are and what they are doing, so as to avoid wars starting by misunderstanding.  This is especially important in times of heightened tension.  So in times of escalating tension or unusual military activity, the agreement specifically allows for increased activity and extra missions to ensure people understand what is happening.  Plainly the disputes for control of Ukrainian military bases and their weapons were precisely the kind of situation where missions were called for.  So the observers not only had a right to be there, they had a duty.

 

Tweet this post

79 Comments

  1. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 12:07 pm

    I am not a little concerned that the release of the observers is a portent of even greater military involvement by Russia in the affairs of Ukraine. Given that the “rebels” are now shooting down helicopters with surface to air missiles, and much other supporting evidence, it would be otiose to argue that the “little green men” are not Russian military just as they were in the Crimea. My fear is that in the near future we will move into a phase where it will be badged Russian troops that will be involved and there will be no need for observers military or otherwise. It needs to be made very clear to Putin that if this happens then there will be a blanket freezing of Russian owned assets held abroad.

  2. Resident Dissident

    3 May, 2014 - 12:09 pm

    “I should say I strongly support the OSCE. Those who claim it is an American or neo-con front have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  3. An interesting test of whether RT is completely propaganda… they are currently reporting that civilians are being dragged out of their homes and shot in Kramatorsk.

  4. If what you are saying is true, why is OSCE Secretary General Umberto Vannier denying the mission is its, and that all the observers are NATO military officers, operating in plain clothes aka spies?

  5. The SG is Lamberto Zannier, an italian diplomat.

  6. Well said Craig.

    ‘The OSCE do a lot of good work on protecting the Roma, and recently rebuked the French. Their election monitoring work is first class – if only the UK government would allow them into Scotland.’

    First a slight groevl as I thought that the OSCE had sanctioned this team. What should happen now is that those 500 observers they are looking for to go to the Ukraine, are increased to at least 700, as one has to expect such kind of harrassment from uncontrolled Russian controlled separatists.

    The use of should launched missiles is worrying, I remember the outrage poured on to the west when it came out that we provided Stinger surface to air to the mujaheddin forces in Afghanistan.
    Far from trusting seperatists with such weaponry, I suspect Russian special forces, placed weeks ago, to be in copntrol over these weapons, using them on a case by case basis and on the instructions of the Kremlin.

    This is the same noncholance with which the western backed Saudi stooges supplying modern RPG and hand held missile’s to the rebells in Syria, we should condemn both as proliferating weapons which are being used indiscrimnately on civilians.

    The OSCE deserves our support, it is a positive organisation with a future in the world, not just in central Europe. I’d love there to be an OSCE led campaign to demand that UN countries accept the precautiopnary principle as a precursor to any attack or war, that says that an attacker should have plans in existence that safeguard and protect the civilian population from the ravages of war about to unleashed. Those who do not comply and show ignorance and kill innocent civilians, without having detailed plans in place, should be liable to an International war crimes tribunal. It was glaringly obvious that the State department and the Pentagon were not working together, had no plan in place to look after and maintain services for Iraq’s civilians.

    They fully knew what would happen and what was required, to plead ignorance of the needs would mean lying as the so called western allies have done this before, they did not adopt the Morgenthau plan but instead supplied Berlin via airlift as part of the Marshall plan.

    They knew exactly what was required in Iraq, but they wanted chaotic divisions on the ground which they could easily exploit, hence the continous tribal/religious violence that is tearing Iraq to pieces.

    Well there is nothing stopping OSCE members asking to monitor the Scottish Independence vote, the UK is partial to the 1999 Vienna agreement I take it.

  7. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 1:11 pm

    Could I ask those commenters on this blog who have, in the recent past, accused OSCE of being an American and/or neo-con front whether they have changed their opinion in the light of Craig’s post?

  8. “The whole point of the agreement is to make sure people know and are comfortable with where other people’s weapons are and what they are doing, so as to avoid wars starting by misunderstanding. This is especially important in times of heightened tension.”

    Agree, but where were the independent OSCE observers over Iraq, Aghanistan, Libya, Syria? We never heard of them at that time visiting these countries as supposed OSCE observers. Iraq was left to Hans Blix and the UN which ended in the death of Dr David Kelly. And what right has the US to interfere in European affairs funding coups? And training the coup-makers in Poland?

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/polands-hand-in-ukraine-coup-detat-trained-putchists-two-months-in-advance/5378655

    If you believe the OSCE is unbiased today you should listen to US Senator Cardin in this session co-chaired by another US senator. The message is pure MSM.

    http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?type=live&comm=csce&filename=csce040914

    You only have to look at the logo to see where the OSCE is coming from.

  9. I spent 5 mins on Google to try and find some confirmation of what Trowbridge H. Ford posted above…and came up with this. I don’t however know or understand twitter, but on the surface it looks legit – and in support of what he wrote

    https://twitter.com/OSCE/status/459747578297716736

    It starts…”1/4 Comms with military observers in Donetsk region lost.Team not OSCE monitors but sent by States under Vienna Doc on military transparency”

    Tony

  10. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    Mr Goss

    “OSCE”
    ___________________

    Organization for Security and Cooperation in EUROPE.

    And the remit of OSCE does not extend outside OSCE signatory parties. As Libya, Afghanistan, etc, are not.

  11. Trowbridge H Ford

    Because, you dumb fool who is evidently incapable of reading English, missions under the OSCE Vienna Agreement are missions between member states. They are notified to the OSCE and not organised by the OSCE. Just as the Russian military observers who visit the UK under the same agreement are not OSCE observers. But you have no interest in the truth.

    John Goss

    I am sorry but you also are being dense. The OSCE parliamentary assembly gets addressed by members form all member states, including Russia and Belarus for example – and even Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan etc. The chair revolves. I have addressed it myself. You could just as well show the video of me giving my address and say it is an anti-American organization, or of Galloway addressing parliament and say it is a left wing organization.

    The logo was unanimously agreed by all member states including Russia and it was designed, I believe, by a French consultancy. The original logo on which it was based was designed by the East Germans, then a member of CSCE.

    “Agree, but where were the independent OSCE observers over Iraq, Aghanistan, Libya, Syria? We never heard of them at that time visiting these countries as supposed OSCE observers.”

    That is because OSCE has no remit to deploy except to OSCE member states. It’s a mutual cooperation organization, not an alternative to the UN worldwide.

    Can’t you see how daft you are being swallowing every morsel of Putin propaganda without question?

  12. Tony,

    Yes, if you read that is absolutely precisely what I said.

  13. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    Mr Goss

    Furthermore, the US and Canada are signatories because if the presence at the time of US and Canadian troops in Europe (under NATO aegis).

    Even if the Soviet Union had been a purely Asiatic power, it would still have been a signatory (or invited to be a signatory) for precisely the same reason (troops in Europe under the aegis if the Warsaw Pact).

  14. For the source of my questions, just google Webster Tarpley’s articles on the alleged OSCE missions.

    As for Craig’s insults, deleting posts, and changing them to suit his prejudices against me, I think they speak for themselves.

  15. I still cannot see why the US should have a role in the OSCE for the very reason that you said the OSCE had no remit for observing Libya and other NATO failed states. Put another way, in what area of Europe is the USA situated?

  16. lucythediclonius

    3 May, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    Very quiet all round on the burning to death of 36 in Odessa is that not newsworthy?

  17. John,

    It had to be a member, for example, for the Russians to inspect its troops and weapons in Germany. if the USA wasn’t a member, I think the Russians would insist it was. It’s a historical anomaly, I agree. But it aimed at building confidence between countries and preventing war. Russia could leave tomorrow if it wanted, but it certainly doesn’t want to.

    The desire to kick the OSCE is silly. As for the amount Webster S Tarpley knows about the OSCE compared to me, it is like comparing my football knowledge to Ryan Giggs.

  18. John Goss, I would like to ask you again, what alternatives do you propose to the OSCE, and do you think that those observers at the sharp end will not have their own observations and perspectives, whilst Mr. cardin sits in the office reading CIA reports?

    The OSCE has in the past worked restricted, i.e inside those countries who were members. Libya was never a member of the OSCE, afaik, don’t know about Iraq, the clue is in the name.

    The OSCE has got what it takes to operate globally, but whether the superpowers will fully endorse its work, visavis their own ambitions, is questionable.

    This from 2004
    http://www.osce.org/cio/56296

  19. I found Tarpley’s interview about German military intelligence trying to drag OSCE into its mission, and acting for it, with Ukrainian government help, on occasion, more informative than what you posted.

  20. LOL

    H @ 1.34pm Mr Goss
    “OSCE”Organization for Security and Cooperation in EUROPE.
    And the remit of OSCE does not extend outside OSCE signatory parties. As Libya, Afghanistan, etc, are not.
    ~~~

    Ashton heavily involved in setting the whole thing off and the fanning of the flames in Ukraine, seems to have a different view of the OSCE’s remit to the one suggested above.

    EUROPEA. U.IO. Dublin, 6 December 2012

    Speech by High Representative Catherine Ashton at the OSCE Ministerial Council

    Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    ‘Last week I visited Central Asia, where we have a good example. We cooperate closely with our Central Asian partners to enhance security in the region. We are establishing a High Level Security Dialogue and discussing how to ensure that the use and management of natural resources, such as water or energy, can become a source of cooperation rather than tension. We are also addressing issues related to the rule of law and human rights without which long-term stability is impossible.

    And in my meetings last week we confirmed our common interest to promote a secure Afghanistan in a stable and prosperous region. And in this we will continue to work closely with the OSCE and its participating States’

    She continues:

    ‘We are also deeply engaged in the Eastern Partnership countries and well advanced in the
    negotiation of agreements that express our commitment to the political association and economic integration of our partners in the region with the EU. Our relationship is underpinned by the common values of freedom, democracy and human rights – values which are shared within the OSCE.

    In this context, the EU is also ready to deepen its relations with Belarus provided Belarus takes significant steps towards respecting the principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights.

    Mr Chairman, as you have indicated, protracted conflicts continue to pose a serious threat to stability in the OSCE region. The conflicts in Georgia, in the Republic of Moldova and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are costly, both politically and economically. And they also put limitations on international cooperation.

    We continue to play a key role in the resolution of these conflicts, by co-chairing the Geneva talks and participating in the “5+2” negotiations on Transnistria. The time has come in the negotiations for the parties to agree on the basic principles for a future settlement. The EU supports confidence building measures to help this process.
    Beyond this, the European Union’s main contribution to conflict settlement is to provide long term perspectives for the region by supporting democratisation and economic integration. We highly value the efforts of the OSCE to achieve progress in the resolution of conflicts and are ready to intensify our cooperation on this.

    The European Union also continues to be closely engaged with the Western Balkans. During my
    recent trip with Secretary Clinton, I stressed our commitment to the European perspective of the entire region. But, ultimately, consolidating stability and ensuring progress remains the responsibility of the leadership.

    I am personally committed to facilitating the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina to normalise their relations in order to secure the European future of both.

    I have also expressed again support for the European perspective of a united and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, more work needs be done.
    [..]

    Mr Chairman, we all have a strong interest in ensuring that this Ministerial meeting is a success. We look forward to working with Ukraine across all dimensions of the OSCE and would in particular like to encourage Ukraine to use its Chairmanship to advance the settlement of the Transnistria conflict.’

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/134083.pdf

    She is all over it.

  21. “It’s a historical anomaly, I agree. But it aimed at building confidence between countries and preventing war.”

    Well, I’m all for that. But the language of Cardin, all about Russian aggression and its invasion of Crimea, which after all was a peaceful, if for some unacceptable, change of allegiance, when the US/NATO has such an abominable recent history in creating ‘failed states’ is hardly impartial. And it is not the language of peaceful coexistence.

    I actually fear for Ukraine and its people. I fear it could become another failed state. Which it was not before the US-engineered coup. It’s economy was not good but had not been good for years. Now it is on the verge of civil war.

  22. What is the alternative to an OSCE that is talking when hot heads are acting prematurely?

  23. I listened to the ex Ambassador to Moscow this morning. He takes a balanced view of the situation which he sees developing into a civil war.

    Ukraine ‘sliding towards civil war’
    Duration: 09:48

    Sir Tony Brenton, former UK ambassador to Russia, assesses the situation in Ukraine.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ygr3x

    He speaks great sense just like our ex Ambassador to Libya did at the time of the USUKIsNATO invasion of that country, now left in a terrible mess.

    Before Sir Tony, Humphrys spoke to Clarissa Ward, an American journalist, who speaks of it being a propaganda war which it is and no irony then with her contribution and Humphrys’ obvious views. Brenton obviously thinks the sanctions are ridiculous.

  24. I was actually trying to agree with Trowbridge H. Ford, but having reread what Craig wrote, I understand the situation slightly better. However ““OSCE observers” in that they are not on a mission initiated and organized by the OSCE” seems to largely invalidate whatever purpose the vast majority of people and the media assumed was a state of objective independence. I guess I assumed, they would be roughly equivalent to the status of Weapons Inspector David Kelly – and yes I have read the book by the Liberal MP, and even more on the subject via Trowbridge’s blog a few days ago. So even that kind of assumed independence doesn’t necessarily do you any good if you end up dead for your efforts.

    In all of this mess, which is obviously highly dangerous, I perceive personal political objectives clouding objective truth from most commentators including all Western politicians and media. What is refreshing is the vast numbers of people, on major blogs in both the USA and the UK – seeing straight through these obvious lies, in conflict to what one might assume would be the individuals’ own political and tribal views taking into account where they are writing.

    Syria seems to have been a turning point, reinforced by the neocon coup in Kiev, where the obvious lies are no longer tolerated by those who can be bothered to think and respond.

    Tony

  25. This from a PDF by Marc perrin de Richambaut and ex civil servant with the OSCE, should answer John Goss queries. In this pdf he makes it clear that the OSCE is hampered by the fact that smaller member states can’t get to every weekly meeting in Vienna, or have the financial abilities to join their missions at all times.

    The pipers who pay for the venue, will be the one’s who play the tune, so to speak.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=OSCE+future+remit&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb&gfe_rd=cr&ei=rPJkU52RE4_M5AbQ6IC4Ag

    “The meetings draw on a multiplicity of
    professional and academic networks including NGOs that make a considerable contribution to the process of collective thinking within the OSCE. It is almost impossible for most participating states to be actively present at all these meetings due to a lack of human and inancial resources, leaving only the biggest participants with an overall view of the multiple activities taking place within the
    OSCE framework. In effect, only the United States and the Russian Federation have delegations which are large enough to follow every aspect of the ongoing debates. The bigger EU countries, Canada, Turkey and Norway adopt a de facto selective approach to OSCE debates focusing on a few topics and acting as chef de files within the European Union on a given issue.”

  26. “John Goss, I would like to ask you again, what alternatives do you propose to the OSCE, and do you think that those observers at the sharp end will not have their own observations and perspectives, whilst Mr. cardin sits in the office reading CIA reports?”

    This is a hard question.

    After WWII the United Nations replaced the old League of Nations. Unfortunately international organisations are only as effective as their member states, and the “victors” or “great powers” as they used to be known set themselves up with an advantage over other countries, in the case of the United Nations this manifested itself in the Veto, which any of the five permanent members can use to oppose a motion. Other countries are hardly represented, like South American countries, and certainly do not have the veto card.

    Our (UK) special relationship with the US shows that we cannot even get a UK resident, Shaker Aamer, back to the UK from Guantanamo Bay. The US is answerable to nobody. The US ignored a UN resolution opposed to a war in Iraq simply to steal Iraqi oil and cause a ‘failed state’ in Iraq. I do not believe the US, especially with its recent record, should have a place on any international organisation, or any bases outside its own borders. Then there would be no need for European countries to count the US troops in Germany.

    With the balance of power in the world today I do not think any European organisation can work effectively with US representation.

  27. So we can agree that there is no current organisation which could do this work better at present, can we John?

    Leaves to say that, working to change the organisation from within to try and introduce a new agenda is, ergo, the most logical solution, rather than creating another international bueraucracy which in years to come might falter due to the same financially restrictive access that is hampering the majority of OSCE countries today.

    Should the OSCE get sufficient funding from financially astute countries, to enable other countries who cannot afford the requiered rigmarole? well at least those countries who are in the spotlight of the OSCE?

    The CSCE and OSCE are determined by their mutual work and it is sad that a financial hurdle should disable a possible accord were it is most needed.

    That said, I’m disturbed by Marc Perrins internal research as it points to the stultification of an OSCE that can be usurped by moneybags.

  28. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    Trowbridge

    “As for Craig’s insults, deleting posts, and changing them to suit his prejudices against me, I think they speak for themselves.”
    _________________

    I think that Craig’s strictures indicate that even that saintly man’s patience has its limits.

    Think yourself lucky that that’s all you receive in exchange for your hair-brained posts, rather than a CIA-organized earthquake or tsunami intended specifically to take you out. :)

  29. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 3:30 pm

    Mr Goss

    “I still cannot see why the US should have a role in the OSCE for the very reason that you said the OSCE had no remit for observing Libya and other NATO failed states. Put another way, in what area of Europe is the USA situated?”
    ______________-

    Switch off Habbabreak and read my post at 13h40, you fool.

  30. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    Mary

    “H @ 1.34pm Mr Goss
    “OSCE”Organization for Security and Cooperation in EUROPE.
    And the remit of OSCE does not extend outside OSCE signatory parties. As Libya, Afghanistan, etc, are not.
    ~~~

    Ashton heavily involved in setting the whole thing off and the fanning of the flames in Ukraine, seems to have a different view of the OSCE’s remit to the one suggested above.”
    ________________

    If you’re intellectually capable of doing it, could you point us to anything in Ashton’s remarks which invalidate the facts that Craig and I have set out?

  31. can we not continue in the spirit of the OSCE rather than calling each other fools? surely personal antagonism and berating did not get the OSCE where it is today.

  32. That is, if one is interlectually capable of doing it……

  33. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    I advise all to re-read the Mr Goss’s post at 15h05 and note how slyly he attempts to divert away from Craig’s theme – the OSCE – into his usual anti-American rant : the pretext this time being US membership of OSCE.

    He truly deserves his nickname of the “Insolent Squatter”!

  34. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 3:49 pm

    Nevermind

    Look, I know you’d rather cut your tongue out than say a positive word about me but I know that you deplore deeply Mr Goss’s (and Mary’s) silly and wilful ignorance on the subject of OSCE. There does come a point in some of these discussions when you have to give the donkeys a well-deserved drubbing.

    (My apologies to any real donkeys reading this)

  35. Do not try and be silly now by telling me what I do and do not deplore, when your use of donkey speak, in doing so, does only increase the overall braying.
    end of, gonna plant some asparagus crowns now.

  36. H. I don’t normally waste my time replying to you but as you jeered at John’s mention of Afghanistan as an area of operation by OSCE I gave you Ashton’s words. Can you see the words AFGHANISTAN and UKRAINE mentioned.

    I love the ‘Craig and I’ bit incidentally.

    Anyway with all your advertised negotiating skills, why don’t you pop over to Kiev and Moscow and sort it all out.

    Nothing to say about the sensible Sir Tony Brenton I see.

    I will not be answering back. You like leading people up garden paths.

  37. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 4:21 pm

    “Sir Tony Brenton, former UK ambassador to Russia, assesses the situation in Ukraine.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ygr3x
    ___________________

    Well, Tony Brenton has his line on Russia/Ukraine etc and is regularly trotted out by the BBC to present it (which, incidentally, should please the Maries and Gosses as a demonstration of the BBC’s impartiality). But there are other equally distinguished former ambassadors to Russia who have a somewhat different take on developments. Example Roderic Lyne.

  38. “Should the OSCE get sufficient funding from financially astute countries, to enable other countries who cannot afford the requiered rigmarole? well at least those countries who are in the spotlight of the OSCE?”

    Nevermind, thanks for the earlier link, showing how it is harder for poorer countries to get representation on the OSCE.

    Please ignore comments from the one who does not know whether or not he supports torture or whether or not he is a Freemason. You’ll get no sense from that source.

  39. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    Mary

    ” H. I don’t normally waste my time replying to you but as you jeered at John’s mention of Afghanistan as an area of operation by OSCE I gave you Ashton’s words. Can you see the words AFGHANISTAN and UKRAINE mentioned.”
    __________________

    What is your point, exactly (with the above and with your original LONG post about Ashton??

    Yes, I saw the words Ukraine and Afghanistan. Ukraine is an OSCE member and as far as Afghanistan is concerned Ashton was speaking at the OSCE Ministerial and it is not terribly strange that she should throw a flattering (but in practice meaningleess) reference in OSCE’s direction.

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

    You are trying to defend Goss’s howler, where he complained that OSCE had not intervened in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and other non-European countries. But it’s not by cutting and pasting those 20 lines from Ashton’s speech that you’re going to be able to do so. Gamma minus, must try harder!

    That said, what exactly is the point you’re trying to make by quoting some of Ashton’s speech?

    Gamma minus, must try harder.

  40. “If you think you get the truth on CNN and BBC you are not paying attention. If you think you get the truth on Russia Today you are equally not paying attention.”

    This is from neither of those sources but shows quite clearly that MSM does not tell the truth. The Guardian and BBC come in for presenting misleading and inaccurate news. What actually happened in Odessa yesterday was that the pro-Russia protestors who were occupying union premises were burnt to death by the neo-Nazis who brought down the legitimate government of Ukraine. MSM has no shame and the news from Russia Today is much more accurate.

    http://nsnbc.me/2014/05/03/odessa-massacre-pushes-ukraine-edge/

  41. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    Goss

    You seem to be unhealthily obsessed about Freemasons. How else to explain your persistent questioning on whether or not I’m one?

    Did you know that both the Soviets and the Nazis were pretty down on the Freemasons? Question of mindset, I suppose :)

  42. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    3 May, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    Craig; can we really know whether or not the OCSE observers are spies. They are comprised of NATO member Nations.

    Are they de-briefed? Hmmmmm.

  43. “The Guardian and BBC come in for ‘criticism’ . . .” it should have read.

  44. Mary, I wonder if the ‘tacit torturer’ ever reads his comments to see how stupid they sound, as impartial observers might do, like the new people who came to the blog yesterday. They must think who is that stupid twat who criticizes everybody but never adds anything constructive! In fact when you think about it he is himself a torturer with his cutting tongue and comments aimed to cause hurt. (:

  45. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    3 May, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    Goss

    I’m perfectly happy to have impartial readers make up their minds about the stupidity or otherwise of my posts – as I’m sure they do with yours.

    They may also perhaps draw their own conclusions from the inability or unwillingness of certain posters to defend their points of view under questioning and challenge.

  46. eeeehhhaaarrrr

  47. Ben

    Of course they are from NATO countries. Just like its the Russians who are doing the same job inspecting in the UK, and not the Danes. I think you’ll find the Russians don’t do a lot of inspecting in Belarus.

    Are they spies? Well, they are openly and explicitly gathering information on the military and security situation. They obviously keep their eyes open, but as they are declared military personnel they don’t make the best spies.

  48. Germany is now covertly breaking by the misuse of OECD the assurance that the West gave Moscow when it negotiated its reunification – i.e., NATO would not expand to the east.

  49. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    3 May, 2014 - 5:48 pm

    Craig; Switzerland is Non-NATO, and using observers from a neutral country might have allayed understandable fears.

    Do you suppose they understood the boiling point in the Ukraine might be augmented by NATO participants, in spite of OCSE’s good reputation?

  50. http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/05/those-military-observers/#comment-455744

    That would be the Roderic Lyne of Chilcot fame I suppose. Known to you I assume. No good quoting BLiar acolytes on this blog Mr H.

    Another FCO messenger for our evil EmPyre.

    ‘Sir Roderic Lyne, another inquiry panel member, was British ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2004, while Blair was prime minister.’

    The best one can say of him is that he isn’t Gilbert or Freedman.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/does+blair+know+iraq+inquiry+members/3497547.html

    Script…. The Case of the Missing Report.

    Sir John Chilcot enters left, walks
    around the room, looks under the
    cushions and scratches his head.

    Sir John Chilcot, shakily… ‘Now where did I put the Chilcot Inquiry report? Oh dear me, where is it? I just can’t find it. It must have been thrown out with the recycling. What shall I do?’

  51. Ben,

    I am struggling with the cause of your incomprehension. The OSCE agreement allows member states to inspect each others’ military facilities, mutually, so everyone knows what is where and wars don’t get started by accident. So the Russians, for example, visit and study the American’s nuclear and conventional systems, all the time. Would it give the Russians more confidence if the Swiss did it for them? Err, no.

  52. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    3 May, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    ” The OSCE agreement allows member states to inspect each others’ military facilities, mutually, so everyone knows what is where and wars don’t get started by accident. So the Russians, for example, visit and study the American’s nuclear and conventional systems, all the time. Would it give the Russians more confidence if the Swiss did it for them? Err, no.”

    Yes I am dense and need it spelled out, craig. Why wouldn’t Switzerland, a non-NATO OSCE memeber be less preferable for inspections in Ukraine?

  53. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    3 May, 2014 - 6:00 pm

    ‘why WOULD they be less preferable…’

  54. At no time was the Ukraine individually represented in the CSCE. You may be thinking of how both the Ukraine and Belarus were founder members of the UN, alongside the USSR. No other SSRs were.

    The story runs that Stalin feinted a push for having 16 seats at the UN: 1 for each SSR plus 1 for the USSR (although in this account the Karelo-Finnish SSR seems to have been forgotten about somewhere along the line). This was a feint because the US needed the UN far more than the Soviets did, and Stalin was playing hard to get. I’ve heard that US diplomats even believed he might have trouble getting the proposal through the Supreme Soviet! Then, from the dimwitted US point of view, the wily Soviets were outwiled by the wily US side when the latter suggested that sure, Stalin could have 16 seats if Truman could have 49: 1 for each of the then 48 US states and 1 for the US. So the pushy Soviets were made to settle for a measly 3. Ha ha. If you’d believe that, you believe anything.

    In actual fact, the UN was of little importance to the USSR, and they couldn’t really have cared less whether they had 16 seats, 3 seats or 1 seat. The US needed a Soviet presence in the UN more than the Soviet leadership itself did!

    The big Soviet concession had already been made in 1943, when the Comintern was dissolved as part of the same development which put a Soviet presence at Bretton Woods. The law of value was officially declared to operate in the USSR – oh, and the USSR adopted a national anthem for the first time. Previously they’d used the Internationale.

    So the UN was founded and the US empire then advanced its interests on the other side of both oceans, often under UN colours, such as in Korea.

  55. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 12:29 am

    Craig; Please try harder to address the pertinent questions, rather than protecting your flank. Really. It’s disappointing.

  56. Ben

    Craig seems to have given up, and I am not sure that anyone is still reading this thread, but for what it is worth the reason that the Swiss cannot do it on someone else’s behalf is that the deal all OSCE countries signed up to was that countries have a right to make inspections themselves. If Russia thinks that US tank movements in Germany are suspicious, Russia is allowed to send its own military intelligence officers to see what is going on. Russia does not have to worry about finding an acceptable third party but is allowed to go right ahead and do it. This degree of military transparency was thought by the OSCE participating states to be essential to building mutual confidence. The whole point of the exercise is to gather intelligence. If a country now decides to limit the right of inspection, why should we trust them? Russia knows it needs the system to work and does not want to be forced to give up its rights in favour of the Swiss. So it is not surprising Russia has intervened to make sure the system carries on working. Russia is not going to propose handing the job over to anyone else even if the Swiss wanted it.

  57. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    ” Russia knows it needs the system to work and does not want to be forced to give up its rights in favour of the Swiss”

    Tim; Thanks for that.

    Obviously, as Craig suggests, I am dense. Please explain how having the Swiss (non-NATO OSCE) would be more objectionable than having NATO countries conduct the observations? Really. I am missing something here.

  58. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    Tim; Found the matter myself. http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/117163?download=true

    “Following an official invitation from the government of Ukraine, the OSCE/ODIHR has established an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to observe the early presidential election scheduled for 25 May 2014. Ms. Tana de Zulueta has been appointed Head of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM. The mission consists of 18 additional core team members based in Kyiv, and 100 long-term observers (LTOs) deployed throughout the country. The core team and LTOs come from a total of 27 OSCE participating States.”

    The decision was made by Kyev. How convenient for the West.

  59. Ben

    No – that Mission is an ordinary OSCE Mission, not the Military observers. Russia has, as I understand it, been demanding that the election is observed by the OSCE so Russia would have been furious if the EOM had not been invited.

    The whole point of the “Vienna Document” military inspections is that an Invitation is not needed. As Craig points out, the Russians can (and do) turn up unanounced to examine NATO military installations. As to why the Swiss cannot be trusted do it on someone else’s behalf. It was Lenin I think who said “trust is good, but security is better”.

  60. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 6:07 pm

    OSCE are primarily Elections observers, correct Tim? Were they prepared for a military role? So if not invited, what harm to bring in a Non-Nato Nation who is registered as OSCE member, like the Swiss. I seem to be going in a circle with this. :)

    Again, the trust-issue would imply Non-Nato is more trustworthy.

  61. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 6:17 pm

    “In 2014, Switzerland and Russia celebrate 200 years of diplomatic relations. Russia is a priority country of Swiss foreign policy. Relations between the two countries have become closer since the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007.”

    http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/reps/eur/vrus/bilrus.html

  62. Ben,

    You are positing it would be a better system if, instead of NATO members inspecting Russian weapons and Russians inspecting NATO weapons, it would be better for everybody if all inspections were by somebody neutral, like the Swiss.

    Perfectly respectable argument. But, as has been explained to you in great detail, it is not the existing system. Under the existing system of mutual inspection, the military observers were there perfectly lawfully and normally. I know you would much rather this was some weird manifestation of the West being evil, but it isn’t. Live with it.

  63. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 6:52 pm

    Craig; As you repeat your point, I will repeat mine. If the OSCE observers were not invited by Kyev, and considering the great mistrust between NATO and Russia, would it have been wise of them to at least TRY not to appear to be goats for the Ukraine and the West?

    Is this Occam’s razor, or is it necessarily complex to the point of mission failure for legalisms which must be followed regardless of consequences?

  64. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 6:56 pm

    Let me clarify; I use the word ‘ukraine’ in the context of the current leadership in Kyev.

  65. Ben,

    You are asking if we should suspend mutual weapons inspections under OSCE auspices because the participants look like spies, just as the Russian officers who regularly inspect Britain’s military facilities look lie spies. No, I think that is an extremely stupid idea.

  66. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    ” No, I think that is an extremely stupid idea.”

    Another misrepresentation, Craig. If OSCE is a fav of yours, you might applaud attempts to auger their credibility, in light of the environment they operated in.

    You are seemingly intransigent on some points. Stubborn rejection of untoward ideas is beneath your station in these affairs.

  67. The OSCE has no credibility problem that needs solving. You seem to be confusing the activities of the OSCE, such as the election observers mission, with rights which individual states have under OSCE agreements. I think that you will find that the EOM will include almost all OSCE nationalities including the Swiss. You seem concerned that the military mission might be thought to be an intelligence gathering mission. As Craig and I have tried to explain, that is not a secret it is the whole point of them being there.

    The Swiss, as current Chairman in Office of the organization are doing a lot already, and I don’t see why they should have to take on the entire burden of conventional arms verification also. Still it is not really for me to reply on Russia’s behalf, you could ask them whether as an OSCE participating state they would indeed prefer your way of doing things.

    Until that is agreed, the deal remains as the Soviet Union agreed it in the first place.

  68. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 7:45 pm

    ” You seem concerned that the military mission might be thought to be an intelligence gathering mission”

    It’s not what I think, it’s what I believe is the Russian suspicion, Tim . NATO is a bad smell to the Kremlin. If they didn’t want to inflame the situation, I would think the OSCE might take that into consideration. Why is this so hard to digest?

  69. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 7:49 pm

    If one were illegally assaulted by the FBI; would you want FBI agents brokering your settlement agreement? Not a perfect metaphor, but has some relevance, I think.

  70. Ben

    The Kremlin do not believe it is a spying mission. They have no suspicion at all. They know precisely who these people are, and what is the system under which they were operating.

    For propaganda purposes, they may want their people in the Ukraine, and useful fools like you, to suspect they are spies. No NATO forces have assaulted anybody in the Ukraine. Your arguments are utterly specious and not, I believe, sincere. I have never met anybody as stupid as you are pretending to be. You are just trolling.

  71. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 8:01 pm

    “The Kremlin do not believe it is a spying mission. They have no suspicion at all”

    And what is your reference for this?

    Name-calling won’t get you off this petard.

  72. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 8:57 pm

  73. Ben – for the Kremlin not to know about the Vienna Document inspection system they would have to be stupid. And I see no evidence of this. Do you?

  74. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 10:46 pm

    What is the ‘inspecting state’? If it’s Ukraine, wouldn’t they be the ‘inspected State’?

    If the inspecting State (UN?) can choose the inspectors, why would an objective oversight not recognize the sensitivities to NATO?

    Just askin’.

    http://dtirp.dtra.mil/tic/synopses/vdoc99.aspx

    “The inspecting State may invite other participating States to be part of the inspection team, but the size of an inspection team is limited to no more than four inspectors. The maximum time allowed for inspection activities is 48 hours, which begins when the inspection team arrives at the specified area. The inspection team may access the specified area by ground and air, except for areas or sensitive points where access is normally denied or restricted.”

  75. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    4 May, 2014 - 10:48 pm

    Sorry, Tim. That question is yours.

  76. Now the German Defense Minister has expressed the greatest relief that the OSCE party has safely returned, and the deputy leader of the Christian Social Union has criticized Merkel’s government for allowing the German military to get involved in Ukrainian problems which both sides of the conflict exploited..

  77. This thread is absolutely hilarious! Reminds me of Blackadder frustratedly addressing Baldrick and Prince George.

  78. Kelly ben Maimon

    9 May, 2014 - 1:07 pm

    Lol!

  79. Reminds me of what Molly told her husband many times on their radio program: “Taiin’t funny, Fibber.”

Powered By Wordpress | Designed By Ridgey | Produced by Tim Ireland | Hosted by Expathos