Crimea Referendum

by craig on March 6, 2014 12:02 pm in Uncategorized

The principle of self-determination should be the overriding consideration, and the Crimean Parliament’s decision to hold a referendum on union with Russia is something which always needed to be part of a solution.  But plainly  this month is much too fast, and a referendum campaign which gives people an informed and democratic choice cannot be held while the Crimea is under Russian occupation and those against the proposed union with Russia are suffering violence and intimidation.

The EU needs to move towards Putin.  An approach that sticks rigidly to Ukrainian territorial integrity being inviolate is sterile.  An international agreement is possible, if the EU makes plain to Russia that it accepts the principle of self-determination.  Agreement should then be reached on immediate withdrawal of Russian forces into their allocated bases in Crimea, and back to Russia if there are indeed extraneous numbers, and an international monitoring presence for the OSCE.

The referendum should then be scheduled for the end of this year, with guarantees of freedom of speech and campaigning, equal media access and all the usual democratic safeguards, again to be monitored by the OSCE.

The apparent pullback from violence has been very useful, but the diplomatic and economic fallout is still potentially very damaging.  Following the Anschluss, Hitler held a referendum in Austria within one month of the military takeover and received 99.7% support.  At the moment Putin stands open to a legitimate accusation of pulling precisely the same stunt in precisely the same timescale.

 

 

 

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232 Comments

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  1. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 12:11 pm

    Agree with you. And if Crimea did declare itself in favour of returning to Russia, so much the better – it would remove yet one more pretext for Russia to bully Ukraine into following its own failed model.

    I would also welcome a referendum in Chechniya. What say the Eminences?

  2. An apple for one comment maker.

    It is very quick but in my opinion it would not matter if it was this month, next month or next year. The majority is likely to be opposed to Ukraine governance and in favour of Russian. Russia must feel somewhat aggrieved that a gift was made of Crimea to the Ukraine and from its point of view it has been stabbed in the back by the mafia of Kiev.

  3. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 12:31 pm

    Tovarish Goss

    You seem annoyed that I agree with many of the things Craig has been writing recently?

    Or do you just object to me saying so? If so, please have a quiet word behind the scenes with the moderator.
    _______________

    BTW, if I were in the business of distributing fruit I’d definitely give you a banana. :)

    [craigmurray.org.uk: John Goss has no more access to moderation than Habbabkuk or anyone else.]

  4. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 12:35 pm

    Tovarish Goss

    “Russia must feel somewhat aggrieved that a gift was made of Crimea to the Ukraine”
    __________________

    I love that sift, understanding, cuddly kind of word : aggrieved. LOL

    Since the Crimea was gifted in 1954, and the Soviet empire and communism fell in 1991, it’s taken quite a time for the Russians to realise they were “aggrieved”.

    Always the useful fool!

  5. The Guardian article is all right except I would not call the Batkivshchyna party moderate. It contains elements, as well as the Timoshenko family, who are very close to the mafia and Zionists. One such is Pashinsky who was caught by his own supporters with a rifle and silencer in the boot of his car. He is my main suspect, as I have seen no others with rifles and silencers, as the assassin who started this coup.

  6. John Goss

    I am open to the idea there was sniping from the protestors side too; I am open to the possibility of false flag sniping as well. But there certainly was sniping from the police and security force side. It wasn’t any one man who “started this coup”.

    The Timoshenkos certainly are oligarchs themselves. I am afraid being “close to the mafia and Zionists” is the norm for politicians throughout the FSU – including Putin, in a very big way.

  7. Craig Murray. Yes, I’ve heard about the gun-carriers of the Ukraine and there seem to be a lot of them from many different factions. What worries me most is that this government that has taken over has not been elected – it has stolen power – and the west, whose hands in this may also not be bloodless, are supporting an illegal government. While the comparisons are not parallel I try to think what would have happened at the time of the Tottenham riots if the rioters had been offered money and the chance to rule if they attacked parliament and forced a change of government. As you said a few days back those who get to become leaders are rarely nice people. The Ukraine is in danger of becoming a tinder-box but my own feeling is that this government will not be in power long, or new borders will be drawn.

  8. That’s how to make more Russian territory

    1. Expel the Tatar majority
    2. Infuse a Russian majority
    3. Hold a free and democratic referendum just for that piece of Ukraine
    4. Presto! Crimea is yours.

    They did it in East Prussia after the Second World War, substitute ‘German’ for ‘Tatar’. As Blue Peter would say ‘Here’s one I made earlier..’ :)

  9. Ba'al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don't Read The Mail)

    6 Mar, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    Don’t know about ‘The Eminences’, but I’m neutral. And I think, all things considered, that Crimea is probably so Russian already that it wouldn’t notice the difference if it were formally Russian. Which is what I’m guessing is what Putin is after. As previously stated.

    But Craig has it. This is a mafia clan war, essentially. The deep involvement of the US neocon Nuland and her backers gives Putin as much propaganda as he needs on the subject of outside interference, while pulling the Sudetenland Gambit to justify his own intervention (as Hilary Clinton pointed out, to jeers from the historically blind). In the other camp, there are nationalists, some benign, some not so, and globalisers. But ultimately, this can only result in one bunch of oligarchs or the other parasitising the poor bloody economic infantry, as usual.

    The timing and legality of a referendum are peripheral.

  10. Professor Francis Boyle has described “a more disturbing ‘reality’ possibility” for the unfolding events in Ukraine:

    “I suspect this entire Ukraine Crisis had been war-gamed and war planned quite some time ago at the highest levels of US/NATO. Notice DOD slipped 2 US warships into the Black Sea just before the Olympics under a patently absurd pretext. In other words, what we are seeing unfold here is a US/NATO War Plan. They instigated the fascist coup against Yanukovich. They anticipated that Putin would then respond by taking over Crimea.

    “I suspect the US/NATO/EU response will be to introduce military forces into Western Ukraine and Kiev and thus make Ukraine a de facto member of NATO, which has been their objective all along. They have already anticipated what Putin’s next move after that will be. Notice also the massive anti-Russian campaign by the Western News Media working in lock-step with each other. Another sign that all this has been planned well in advance.

    “I suspect that US/NATO/EU figure that Putin knows they have this offensive, first-strike strategic nuclear capability with a rudimentary ABM/BMD capability so that at the end of the day he will be forced to stand down—or else. Compellence as opposed to Deterrence. Just like during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That is where this US/NATO/EU War Plan is heading on the assumptions that they can keep their deliberate Escalation Dominance under their control and that at the end of the day Putin will be forced to stand down just like Khrushchev did and for the same reasons. That would leave US/NATO/EU in control of at least half of Ukraine as a de facto NATO member state.”

    (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Ukraine_Riots_2013-14#A_more_disturbing_.27reality.27_possibility)

  11. Abe Rene

    I agree. Ethnic cleansing has a long squalid history. But resolving conflicts needs to be done on the basis that people are where they are now.

  12. An even better Guardian piece!

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/05/clash-crimea-western-expansion-ukraine-fascists

    So Putin wants Anschluss, while “our” corporate warmongers prefer divide and rule. One seeks unity, the other competing diversity.

    The disconnect at the heart of modernity. Discuss.

  13. John Goss

    An if the Batkivshchyna party is not moderate and Timoshenko is mafia – how would you describe the politics and business connections of the Great Leader?

  14. John Goss

    And in your haste to address the aggrieved Russia perhaps you might wish to spare a thought as to how the Ukrainian and Tatar minorities might be treated going forward – especially given the somewhat patchy record of your boys when it comes to its treatment of minorities. Seriously how good do you think live now looks for these poor people?

  15. ESLO

    Well actually the Tatars (Tartars) and Ukranian minorities have my sympathy. I hope they are treated well by the majority. But let us face it, if there had not been a mob takeover of the legitimately elected government, this would never have arisen. I do not agree with Craig about negotiations and talks should take place at where we are now. I would not have supported the Mark Thatcher led coup in Equatorial Guinea (2004) if that had succeeded either. And I doubt Craig would.

  16. Beeston Regis

    6 Mar, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    What do you make of this Craig? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEgJ0oo3OA8

  17. Beeston Regis, we discussed it yesterday at length, but thanks for keeping it in the public-eye. It has been largely ignored by MSM.

  18. I favor the immediate referendum, provided Russian forces withdraw before it takes place, and I believe they will. The referendum’s outcome is certainly beyond doubt.

    To wait until the end of the year will just result in Ukraine’s end, as others parts, especially along the eastern and western borders, will want to leave too, especially with American ultra-nationalist slike-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton playing the Hitler card when it comes to Putin.

  19. I’m looking forward to the referendum for the people of rump Ukraine on the question of the IMF’s terms and conditions. There will be one, won’t there?

  20. Ba'al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don't Read The Mail)

    6 Mar, 2014 - 1:54 pm

  21. The Austrians would vote the same way now.

  22. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:14 pm

    Trowbridge H. Ford

    If you tell me at least 5 substantial differences between Putin and Hitler I will be glad to educate myself on this matter.

    I for once can tell you about 5 communalities.

    1. Suppression of opposition and reducing legislative branch of power to rubber stamp.

    2. Confrontational foreign policy to straighten support at home.

    3. Support and encouragement of chauvinism and fascism (Russian in this case).

    4. Drive of hegemonic attitude towards neighbouring countries from Belarus to Central Asia and Caucasus.

    5. Masterly planned and executed provocations (similar to Wehrmacht solders dressed in Polish military uniform shooting German civilians).

  23. Ba'al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don't Read The Mail)

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    Actually, despite Clinton’s slightly clumsy exposition, there is an eerie similarity between the problem of a German-speaking population in a unified Czechoslovakia, and the Ukraine today. Then as now the US was prominent in its solution – or otherwise. Long before Hitler.

    ‘ After Coolidge became witness of German Bohemian demonstrations,[2] Coolidge suggested the possibility of ceding certain German-speaking parts of Bohemia to Germany (Cheb) and Austria (South Moravia and South Bohemia).[citation needed] He also insisted that the German-inhabited regions of West and North Bohemia remain within Czechoslovakia. However, the American delegation at the Paris talks, with Allen Dulles as the American’s chief diplomat who emphasized preserving the unity of the Czech lands, decided not to follow Coolidge’s proposal.[3]

    Four regional governmental units were established:

    Province of German Bohemia (Provinz Deutschböhmen), the regions of northern and western Bohemia; proclaimed a constitutive state (Land) of the German-Austrian Republic with Reichenberg (Liberec) as capital, administered by a Landeshauptmann (state captain), consecutively: Rafael Pacher (1857–1936), 29 October – 6 November 1918, and Rudolf Ritter von Lodgman von Auen (1877–1962), 6 November – 16 December 1918 (the last principal city was conquered by the Czech army but he continued in exile, first at Zittau in Saxony and then in Vienna, until 24 September 1919).
    Province of the Sudetenland (Provinz Sudetenland), the regions of northern Moravia and Austrian Silesia; proclaimed a constituent state of the German-Austrian Republic with Troppau (Opava) as capital, governed by a Landeshauptmann: Robert Freissler (1877–1950), 30 October – 18 December 1918. This province’s boundaries do not correspond to what would later be called the Sudetenland, which contained all the German-speaking parts of the Czech lands.
    Bohemian Forest Region (Böhmerwaldgau), the region of Bohemian Forest/South Bohemia; proclaimed a district (Kreis) of the existing Austrian Land of Upper Austria; administered by Kreishauptmann (district captain): Friedrich Wichtl (1872–1922) from 30 October 1918.
    German South Moravia (Deutschsüdmähren), proclaimed a District (Kreis) of the existing Austrian land Lower Austria, administered by a Kreishauptmann: Oskar Teufel (1880–1946) from 30 October 1918.

    The U.S. commission to the Paris Peace Conference issued a declaration which gave unanimous support for “unity of Czech lands”.[4] In particular the declaration stated:

    The Commission was…unanimous in its recommendation that the separation of all areas inhabited by the German-Bohemians would not only expose Czechoslovakia to great dangers but equally create great difficulties for the Germans themselves. The only practicable solution was to incorporate these Germans into Czechoslovakia.

    Several German minorities according to their mother tongue in Moravia—including German-speaking populations in Brno, Jihlava, and Olomouc—also attempted to proclaim their union with German Austria, but failed. The Czechs thus rejected the aspirations of the German Bohemians and demanded the inclusion of the lands inhabited by ethnic Germans in their state, despite the presence of more than 90% (as of 1921) ethnic Germans (which led to the presence of 23.4% of Germans in all of Czechoslovakia), on the grounds they had always been part of lands of the Bohemian Crown. The Treaty of Saint-Germain in 1919 affirmed the inclusion of the German-speaking territories within Czechoslovakia. However, over the next two decades, some Germans in the Sudetenland continued to strive for a separation of the German-inhabited regions from Czechoslovakia.

    (Wikipedia, sorry, but it’s concise)

  24. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    Beeston Regis

    Interestingly propoganded (if there is such word in English) matter. First of all I am positive that the hacking was not by Ukrainian KBG but very Russian KGB (similar to the hacking of Nuland’s conversation). Second interestingly the matter of shooting of both sides with the same weapons was referenced to the doctor who has stated quite clearly that she had no access to the wounded Berkut personnel, so she could not make a verdict of similarity of wounds. Thirdly (and this smells very fishy) Russian Duma (puppet parliament) is now enthusiastically investigating this (this looks to me like a bone that was thrown by Putin to his puppet parliament dogs).

  25. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    John Goss

    You said “But let us face it, if there had not been a mob takeover of the legitimately elected government, this would never have arisen.”

    Are you serious? Why could not you look further into the roots of the problem and not just a form? First of all I do question legitimacy of Yanukovich (as much as I question legitimacy of Karimov, Nazarbaev and other thugs). Secondly, the main reason of this all Crimea shenanigans is not what form of revolution has taken place (even if Yanukovich was dismissed by impeachment as Putin claims would have been legally) Russia would have acted as it is doing now. Understandable that Crimea is too important to Russia to risk even possibility of denial of stationing of Russian Black fleet there, so there is no question Russian reaction in a case of ANYONE running Ukraine without approval of Kremlin. Even after Orange revolution Russia had only calmed when received personal assurances that Black Fleet will not be touched, plus Russia was much weaker back in 2004.

    The only way for Kiev to keep Crimea under its authority is to submit to Kremlin. There is no other way. Every diplomatic initiative will be as useful as fart on the wind.

  26. Ангрысоба

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    Interestingly propoganded (if there is such word in English) matter.

    “Propagandized” might be the word you are looking for, although my very own spell-checker seems to have put a big angry red line under it.

    I notice that the Putinistas are all excited about the intercepted call between Lady Ashton and the Estonian foreign minister, although to me it seems obvious that he is reporting what are rumours among many of the protesters.

  27. Your commonalities reduce Hitler to almost our average tyrant, elected strongman and dictator.

    Putin has successfully avoided war when under terrific provocation, particularly when American attack subs wanted to sink the USSR after the surprise assassination of Sweden’s assassination, sank the Kursk by mistake while tracking it when the Chinese were looking into buying one, wanted to attack Syria after a ‘false flag’ gas attack, and hoped to set the scene for a similar domestic one during the Sochi Games.

    Putin is no war monger, only trying to work out national and ethnic problems so post-Soviet Eastern Europe can become a peaceful, prosperous place where Russia is given due recognition, not just a target for the neocons who want to get rid of it because of its potential.

  28. Uzbek in the UK

    One of the first things that Catherine Ashton said in response to the revelation by Paet was that there needs to be an investigation. It is how we like to think we operate in this country too. If there has been a shooting it needs to be investigated. You would agree with that wouldn’t you?

    ‘Interestingly propagandised matter’ but ‘Interesting propaganda’ would probably be better. :)

    I heard a terrible joke about what is propaganda.

  29. Ангрысоба

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    when American attack subs wanted to sink the USSR after the surprise assassination of Sweden’s assassination, sank the Kursk by mistake while tracking it when the Chinese were looking into buying one, wanted to attack Syria after a ‘false flag’ gas attack, and hoped to set the scene for a similar domestic one during the Sochi Games.

    It always helps if you invent examples of Western evil, in order to show off Putin’s magnanimity.

  30. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    One more thing.

    Defeat of Germany (in WWI) is the greatest mistake in history. Hitler

    Dissolution of USSR is the greatest mistake in history. Putin.

    Revanchism in both cases, perhaps?

  31. Uzbek

    I know what you are saying. We are pretty unanimous that just about all the Ukrainian leaders are thugs. But there has been an illegal coup, and those behind it are also thugs.

    Since you had a little risque joke “Every diplomatic initiative will be as useful as fart on the wind.”

    Propaganda is a goose with bollocks.

  32. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    John Goss,

    Honest thank you for English lesson.

    On a matter of investigation, of course I agree. But not by Russian (only). Lets set up commission comprising of some sort of international professionals (either European and Russian, or even better from elsewhere who would have less grounds to be biased).

    The only thing I regret to be reminded by this is DENIAL (greatly SUPPORTED by Russia) of such independent investigation of Andijan massacre. Reminder of that it seems that in this world some of us have more rights (usually comes with whiter skin) than others.

  33. Meant “Sweden’s statsministe”r in my previous post.

    Have you heard this knock-knock joke?

    President Putin to President Obama: “Knock. knock!”

    Obama: “Whose there?”

    Putin: “Crimea.”

    Obama:”Cry Me A Who?”

    Putin: “Crimea river!”

  34. As I see it the civic buildings and things need to be guarded by someone.

    So the only question is, who would the people of Crimea feel most intimidated by, Russian soldiers or Ukrainian soldiers.

  35. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 2:59 pm

    John Goss,

    Well I have spent a lot of time on this blog and I think most of the people here would prefer version of thugishness (if there is such word in English) of political establishment everywhere (including our own UK). But somehow we need to move forward. With thugs running the country we still have to demand respect of our rights and punishment of others crimes, etc.

    Illegal coup, perhaps. But surely this is not the reason of Russian intervention as you stated earlier.

  36. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 – 2:14 pm

    Trowbridge H. Ford

    If you tell me at least 5 substantial differences between Putin and Hitler I will be glad to educate myself on this matter.

    I for once can tell you about 5 communalities.

    1. Suppression of opposition and reducing legislative branch of power to rubber stamp.

    2. Confrontational foreign policy to straighten support at home.

    3. Support and encouragement of chauvinism and fascism (Russian in this case).

    4. Drive of hegemonic attitude towards neighbouring countries from Belarus to Central Asia and Caucasus.

    5. Masterly planned and executed provocations (similar to Wehrmacht solders dressed in Polish military uniform shooting German civilians).

    Uzbek your, English is amazingly good today

  37. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    Trowbridge H. Ford

    You said “Putin is no war monger, only trying to work out national and ethnic problems so post-Soviet Eastern Europe can become a peaceful, prosperous place where Russia is given due recognition, not just a target for the neocons who want to get rid of it because of its potential.”

    Interesting idea especially “only trying to work out national and ethnic problems so post-Soviet Eastern Europe can become a peaceful, prosperous place where Russia is given due recognition”.

    Now I am somehow convinced that employing your warmongering methodology one can conclude that Hitler was no warmonger either. He also only wanted to work out complicated post WWI ethnic problems, plus Jewish problems (using your definition of problem) and ensure that Europe become peaceful, prosperous place (it is actually written black on white in Mien Kampf) where Germany is given due recognition and not humiliated after WWI.

    Do not you agree?

  38. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    doug scorgie

    Thank you. I always feel embarrassed when lack of my English weaken my arguments.

  39. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:16 pm

    Fred

    If only Crimea was separate entity. But we know that possibility of it is equal to 0.

  40. I am not employing any kind of war-mongering methodology – just talking about the facts.

    Palme was assassinated to trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War – what Putin stopped by his spying in Washington, and the counter measures he adopted to stop it from ever getting started.

    The USS Toledo did sink the Kursk – what Clinton wrote $10 billion in Russian debt off in compensation for.

    In short, I don’t see anything much to compare Putin to Hitler, who was a master at making such ‘false flag’ operations to suit his most aggressive ambitions.

  41. Uzbek in the UK

    Your English is very good. I’ve always thought so.

    I don’t think that I have advocated Russian intervention, not in terms of occupation. If you can find somewhere I would be interested to see if I need to apologise for that mistake. However I do believe that like any power it would be seen as weak if Russia did not try to protect what it considered its interests. US bases are spreading like mushrooms. I fear for society. I do not wish to be controlled by Russia or the US. I see Russia and China, though I do not share their philosophies necessarily, as checks against US imperialism, and not only do I believe there should be a proper investigation into the Andijan massacre, but I have subscribed modestly to Michael Anderssons’ film on the subject. The west continues to support the Karimovs despite their dictatorial government. You cannot, and I don’t think you are doing, compare Uzbekistan to Ukraine. Or can you?

  42. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    Paul Rigby

    Your suggestion is certainly very appealing. But bankrupt states (or individuals) are usually not in a strong position to negotiate terms of their bail out.

    And why Ukraine is bankrupt? Not at least because its stronger neighbour (on the east) does not want to see anything challenging coming out of Kiev in either economic or political terms. One need to look at Belarus to see future of Ukraine under Russia.

  43. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:22 pm

    “I am not employing any kind of war-mongering methodology – just talking about the facts.”

    Me too. Just talking about the fact, that you despite your claim seem to ignore.

  44. Careful Craig. Killary got herself into a rhetorical bind when she compared Putin to Hitler. You don’t want to align yourself with the likes of her.

  45. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    In short, I don’t see anything much to compare Putin to Hitler, who was a master at making such ‘false flag’ operations to suit his most aggressive ambitions.

    Talking about “his most aggressive ambitions”. Not sure if this is NOT applicable to Putin (as you claim it does not). Can you please explain in details?

    Intervention to Georgia, pressure on Kazakhstan to join Euroasian union (by blackmailing Nazarbaev with Russian majority in the north), pressure on Azerbaijan (by keeping pulse on Nagorny Karabakh), economic pressure in Belarus (by making sure that potatoes are the only export from that country), gas blackmail of Europe to make sure Berlin and others (in Europe) are not so critical of anything they supposedly should be critical (according to Human Rights Declaration), making sure that all oil pipelines from Central Asia reach Europe ONLY by bypassing Russia, and so on.

    All these at least should make one thing about aggressiveness, do not you agree?

  46. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    Ben

    Lets talk about this comparison. I have already started. Why not notice black cat in perfectly lighted room?

  47. Ba'al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don't Read The Mail)

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:36 pm

    “Trowbridge H Ford” (here) ‘Palme was assassinated to trigger a non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War – what Putin stopped by his spying in Washington, and the counter measures he adopted to stop it from ever getting started.’

    ‘Trowbridge H Ford ( acc.Wikipedia), a former US army intelligence agent now living in Stockholm, among other bloggers, theorizes that Palme, as the UN mediator seeking an end to the Iran-Iraq war, was assassinated because he fell afoul of Iran-Contra.’

    Hmmm. Changed “your” tune a bit, haven’t you?

  48. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    John Goss

    There are certainly many differences between Uzbekistan and Ukraine but one striking similarity is in fact present. Both are experiencing pressure from former (present) big brother which leads to the stagnation (both economic and political) Status quo is what at least Russia wants. Return of USSR (direct control of former soviet republics including foreign policy) is what Putin is after now.

  49. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    John Goss

    You said ” I see Russia and China, though I do not share their philosophies necessarily, as checks against US imperialism,”

    Perfectly understandable. Balance of Power theory is still pretty much alive despite resulting in more than 400 years of almost continuous conflicts. I myself was more of Democratic Peace theory man, but your argument (and recent developments) convinced me that more nucs, more tanks, more warships, and more of things that can/will kill are needed to maintain life (I realise this sounds idiotic) on this planet.

  50. I agree Uzbek it does sound idiotic. Perhaps when the dollar crashes we can start again and put peace at the forefront. The hawks (whether the bald eagle or two-headed eagle) have had it all their own way for too long.

  51. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    John Goss

    Not to forget that the last Great economic downturn (1929) led to the largest death toll in human history. Considering quantity of nucs that both eagles (and a dragon and a lion) have at their disposal, I am not convinced that there will be many of us left to start things again.

    Or are you sympathetic to Lenin’s ‘I am ready to sacrifice 90% of population to let 10% live in communism’ (something like that)?

  52. The trouble is the west (US in particular) is in so much debt everything working people earn is going into paying it off. I was not talking about Nukes. I’m going to ignore your comment about Lenin because I think people on this blog know I have a great respect for the sanctity of life – all life, so much so, that while I think Muslims have been persecuted I support the recent request for the stunning of animals before slaughtering them, despite religious objections from Muslims and Jews.

  53. Haven’t changed my theories about the Palme assassination one iota.

    The Ira-Contra plotters, led by Ollie North, Navy Secretary John Lehman, and his pals had been planning shortly after Reagan took office to take out the USSR somehow, and when the Swedish statsminister stopped a shipment of arms through Sweden to Iran on November 17, 1985 – what resulted in the White House making claims which could end his Presidency – they decided to trigger the non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War at Palme’s expense.

  54. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 4:43 pm

    John Goss,

    Thank you for spotting my nukes misspelling.

    Sorry did not mean to offend you. It is just lefties (at least the ones I came across) tend to disregard sanity of life (and freedom for that matter) when it comes to the ideological domain.

    Talking about conditions of working people in US (and it the west in general) and not bringing into conversation conditions of working people elsewhere it is like talking about vegetarian dietary with cannibals. 1 billion Chinese, 1 billion Indians, 200 million Bangladeshi, etc, would HAPPILY swap with the lowest paid working class individual in the west. Hardship of exploitation by local elites (corrupt Communist party or nationalistic driven parties), is a lot MORE comparing to ‘hardship’ that western workers experience from their greedy bankers. We (westerners) of course be better off (morally) not to exploit these (non westerners) but who would agree to pay £20 for a t-shirt made in the UK as opposed to the one for £3 made in Bangladesh by 7 years old girl?

    Let be honest on this matter?

  55. The timing of the proposed referendum is indeed very hasty; it should be postponed, and will naturally elicit comparisons with the Anschluss, as Craig does here.

    Two points though-

    1.The 99.7% voting for union with Germany may have been a fantastic exaggeration, but does anyone doubt that a clear majority of Austrians were pro Anschluss in 1938 ?

    2. The Crimean parliamentarian calling for the snap referendum is himself of Tartar, not Slav, ancestry-

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

  56. Slightly off topic

    I’ve just been watching Cameron losing his bottle after the Brussels’ talks. He has the look of a madman about him. He is angry. I have never seen him so cross. He clearly did not get his own way, which was probably something more immediate. He says he’s not disappointed but his face and manner reflect something different.

  57. The EU, i.e. Frankfurt,is not an innocent and neutral party.

  58. Uzb: something wrong with your logic:

    And why Ukraine is bankrupt? Not at least because its stronger neighbour (on the east) does not want to see anything challenging coming out of Kiev in either economic or political terms. One need to look at Belarus to see future of Ukraine under Russia.

    So why is it Ukraine, this week, that’s more likely to default than Belarus?

  59. Could Res Diss and/or ESLO comment on this, given that they are very vocal in damning Putin when he is similarly authoritarian ?-

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-06/ukraine-update-pro-moscow-leader-arrested-donetsk-russians-block-border-cross-points

  60. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 5:27 pm

    Tovarish Goss!

    “Well actually the Tatars (Tartars) and Ukranian minorities have my sympathy. I hope they are treated well by the majority. But let us face it, if there had not been a mob takeover of the legitimately elected government, this would never have arisen.”
    _________________

    Translation for the non-tovarishes : they asked for it.

  61. Professor Lockerbie, Boyle is right. There were radiological-emergency things going on in the Irregular Challenges game, and more than one of the parallel games featured Ukraine funngames – of course they didn’t come out and say a coup was the trigger. The NWC work would be the tip of the iceberg.

  62. Uzbek

    What you say is right. There are a lot of individual life decisions which have consequences worldwide. Buying fair-trade tea, not buying Uzbek cotton and not buying products tested on animals are things we can all do, providing we know who Uzbekistan is selling its cotton to. But really it would better if exploited workers of these countries started trade unions and fought for better working conditions, higher wages and industrial laws. We did it in this country. Yes, some employers did provide better working conditions than others but if the workers had not fought for these rights we would not have them. I have been watching “Mr Selfridge” on Channel 3 and the unions could not convince the employees that it was in their interest to join a union. But Selfridge was paying them well and working conditions were good. However Selfridges in those days was a high-end department store and he could afford to pay them more. Other companies and industrialists were less considerate of workers’ rights.

    The Labour Party, which was built out of the trades’ union movement, just had the last nail banged down its coffin by Ed Miliband. A book I would recommend, especially when the big depression comes is “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” by Robert Tressell.

    I have not taken offence by the way.

  63. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 5:32 pm

    N

    Because Russia keeps Belarus on float. If only Lukashenko changes his course (or Belarusians drop him like Ukrainians did with Yanukovich) than Belarus will experience similar things (as Ukraine now). But I guess many here consider Lukasheno a good legitimate president. He is antiwestern of course.

  64. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 5:33 pm

    “Whose hobby is –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Jewish_Union

    (he has joint Ukranian-Israeli citizenship, and as befits a patriotic son of Ukraine, lives in Switzerland)”

    etc,etc…

    ______________________

    Only page 1, and the Jooos are here already!

  65. John Goss

    I think the minorities in the Crimea will be looking for something rather better than hope when it comes to their treatment by the Russian majority in Crimea. Russia, even post the Soviet Union, has a truly appalling record when it comes to the treatment of its minorities (and anyone who wishes to argue otherwise really is a useful idiot). International protection and formal undertakings will be needed and the arrangements need to agreed well in advance of any referendum, because the one thing you can be assured of is that any leverage for negotiation will disappear once and if the Crimea is incorporated into the Russian Federation.

  66. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    Old Mark

    Stalin was Georgian. But it did not stop him to become promoter of Russian chauvinism on a global scale. It even disgusted Chairman Mao (who was until then keenest supported of good communist course and inspired by soviet experience).

    History is full of strange things, and not at least collaborators.

  67. Stephen Morgan

    6 Mar, 2014 - 5:38 pm

    Propagandised should be propagated. Propaganda: that which is propagated, the term originally not having the modern negative connotations, but meaning education.al

  68. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 5:42 pm

    Tovarish Scorgie

    “Uzbek your, English is amazingly good today”
    __________________________

    As good as your punctuation is bad.

    But thank you for an interestingly profound reaction to Uzbek’s points, made with your usual good faith.

  69. Old Mark

    If this joker had tried storming State Buildings in Moscow he wouldn’t be here to tell the story. I hope the Ukranian authorities take a more lenient approach – and to date they appear to have done so despite the massive provocation that they have faced. I suspect that they know all too well that Putin, being the bully he is, is just looking for a cause to walk into Eastern Ukraine.

  70. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2014 - 6:11 pm

    “The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision. “

    “Of course, over time, even two armed blind men can do enormous damage to each other, not to speak of the room.”

    Henry Kissinger: The White House Years (1979

    I hate to quote a war criminal but the above seems to be true.

  71. “But plainly this month is much too fast, and a referendum campaign which gives people an informed and democratic choice cannot be held while the Crimea is under Russian occupation and those against the proposed union with Russia are suffering violence and intimidation.”

    – With respect Craig, you have zero authority not to respect their vote. What you have witnessed was democracy, irrespective of whether it followed the course you personally wish it to or not. Just like the Iraq vote was democracy. Personally I’m with Russell Brand on this and will not vote for a system that produces Iraq war votes or ‘integration’ with Russia. but you do, and hence you are bound by it. It doesn’t suddenly become invalid because it doesn’t follow the path that you see fit, otherwise you don’t really value the system – warts and all – that you say you do.
    There are very good reasons (and some bad) that this vote should have been taken quickly.

  72. History is full of strange things, and not at least collaborators.

    Uzbek in the UK- what evidence is there in Temirgaliev’s past to support your collaborationist smear ?

    I know, given your background, you probably have grounds to assume that non Slavs in the FSU who are pro Moscow must, by definition, be ‘collaborators’- but assumptions aren’t facts.

  73. ‘If this joker had tried storming State Buildings in Moscow he wouldn’t be here to tell the story’

    So, those who occupied government buildings in Kiev a fortnight ago are brave freedom fighters

    Those who seek to occupy government buildings in Eastern Ukraine today are ‘jokers’.

    Useful to get that learnt.

  74. ‘I notice that the Putinistas are all excited about the intercepted call between Lady Ashton and the Estonian foreign minister’

    …and the Natopolitans are all in full ‘move along, nothing to see hear’ mode.

  75. Uzbek

    “Sorry did not mean to offend you. It is just lefties (at least the ones I came across) tend to disregard sanctity of life (and freedom for that matter) when it comes to the ideological domain.”

    Bollocks!

    I think you’ll find that’s true of neo-cons, fascists, conservatives, and even liberals, I’m afraid.

    Grow up!

  76. Apologies for the typo above (‘hear’); Habba is doubtless crouched over his keyboard and ready to pounce on this gross error!

  77. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    6 Mar, 2014 – 5:33 pm

    “Only page 1, and the Jooos are here already!”

    Stop behaving like a child and show some respect…it’s Jews not Jooos.

  78. Oh yes lets bring Tovaritsch Hitler into it, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, now that should feel better now there there. So which part of Moldova/ Bulgaria Poland will be annexed next?

    What would Hitler say to all of this and why has his British equivalent Enoch P. not got a bombastic memorial statue of his likeness yet. Now where are my hobnail boots.

  79. Resident Dissident

    6 Mar, 2014 - 7:29 pm

    “With respect Craig, you have zero authority not to respect their vote.”

    I have not noticed much respect from Putin and Putinistas for the 1991 Independence Referendum when every region in the Ukraine voted by a clear majority for Ukrainian independence – the difference then is that the vote wasn’t made facing the barrels of Russian guns.

  80. “Agree with you. And if Crimea did declare itself in favour of returning to Russia, so much the better – it would remove yet one more pretext for Russia to bully Ukraine into following its own failed model.”

    followed by this:

    “Tovarish Goss!

    “Well actually the Tatars (Tartars) and Ukranian minorities have my sympathy. I hope they are treated well by the majority. But let us face it, if there had not been a mob takeover of the legitimately elected government, this would never have arisen.”
    _________________

    Translation for the non-tovarishes : they asked for it.

    So the Tartars that who now live in Turkey for some time have asked for it, have they? what a load of chickenshit comments here today.

    For the Crimean, Putin barebacking Parliament to undermine the rest of the Ukraione with a referendcum, when the agreement already stipulates elections later on in the year, is undermining Kiev’s interim Government.

    Habby, denigrating others does not grow you a spine, how about telling us, for the first time ever, who should be in charge in Kiev, since you are so up for undermining the Ukraine. Who will be in charge when you had your way? Kiev’s interim Government falls and the Crimean is Russian?

    Come on clever dick, be bold show us your calcified self.

  81. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 7:53 pm

    I do really hope that the quoting of a certain “Professor Francis Boyle” earlier today is not a sign that the Eminences are about to admit the said professor into their Panthéon of political and moral gurus (current false gods : the egregious Dr Paul Craig Roberts, the ineffable Professor Michel Chossudovsky and the insignificant Binoy Kampmark – he of the Commonwealth scholarship, last( har(d of in Australia.

    I must admit, however, that Professor Boyle would be in good company there. Among his various statements and views:

    * Hawaii should seek independence from the US
    * refers to the Israeli blockade of Gaza as a “genocide”
    * Obama was bought and paid for by the Zionists
    * fellow law professor Alan Dershowitz is a war criminal
    and
    * should be shipped off to Israel to strand trial there for war crimes
    * Israel is nothing more than a Jewish bantustan
    * Israel should change its name to Jewistan.

    I predict a bright future for the good Professor on this blog.

  82. “I have not noticed much respect from Putin and Putinistas for the 1991 Independence Referendum when every region in the Ukraine voted by a clear majority for Ukrainian independence – the difference then is that the vote wasn’t made facing the barrels of Russian guns.”

    – Either have I. So where do we go from here?

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    6 Mar, 2014 - 8:05 pm

    Nevermind

    I think you’ve misunderstood me : I was “translating” Kommissar Goss’s language into a clear version of what he really meant. It is he – not I – who believes that “it serves the Ukrainians right”.

    As for the Crimea : if they want to rejoin Russia and so vote in a free and fairly-conducted referendum, then OK. It would have the extra advantage of removing a Russian pretext for acting against Ukraine in the future. That said, if I was advising the Baltic states, I would say “don’t wait until rasPutin does a Crimea on you – expel those Russian bastards NOW”. I’m sure the Russians wouldn’t mind such a course of action, because they are experts in expelling populations.

  84. I especially enjoyed John Kerry raving about the chance with new democracy in the Ukraine and then almost tripping over himself saying that Crimea voting for a referendum to decide their future was unconstitutional and against International Law.But it’s okay to choose a President by counting hands in a crowd.The colours were turned up by the BBC to hide his embarrassment I think.
    It could be coo incidence but there was seemingly for the past 6 weeks much activity and excitement in a little round building in Gloucester.Am sure it was the new menu in the canteen and nothing to do with Ukraine.
    And lo and behold the FM of Estonia is now saying that what was clearly recorded and confirmed as what he said, was not what he really wanted to say.Somebody got their script wrong.
    The UK are all for sanctions as long as “the City” gets an opt out. Maybe that’s what gave Cameron his red neck and face.He was angry alright.Hague looks more and more like a ventriloquists dummy without the ventriloquist.
    Things are moving along for sure but not as NATO wants.Russia has too many good cards at the moment and the West is already blinking.And with that I’ll burst into song with “Georgia on my mind”.

  85. Now the Crimean parliament has voted unanimously to join Russia – something that Moscow will undoubtedly accept – and the referendum in two weeks is to determine aka ratify what has been done.

    Now the fur will really start to fly if the West is willing to go to war over it – what I think won’t happen.

    Putin looks like the big winner to me.

  86. “The UK are all for sanctions as long as “the City” gets an opt out.”

    Nobody is seriously considering sanctions except some idiot Congressmen in America who didn’t bother sitting down and doing the maths.

  87. “Nobody is seriously considering sanctions except some idiot Congressmen in America who didn’t bother sitting down and doing the maths.”

    True enough, but they do the polling math for local re-elections and they can go home and say they did something about xenophobists while Bankers do their numbers unencumbered. :)

  88. Stephen Morgan, propagating is what you do to plants to help their growth. You can buy a propagator to do this. Propaganda is what rich people produce to persuade others to accept something unacceptable. They can buy a politician to do this.

  89. Ba’al Zevul (Even Mail Hacks Don’t Read The Mail)

    If you know nothing about history, try to avoid wikipidia. All that you present seems superficially true, unless you ask yourself a simple question. Why should have been Germany awarded with a territory that had never belonged to it after having just lost a war where the Czechs were on the winning side (do not come up with the holly roman empire please)? If you cannot provide a sensible answer just ignore that gibberish. You probably have not even heard that Benes wanted to incorporate parts of Germany, Lausitz in particular, into the new republic. This was a crazy idea but it clearly demonstrates the balance of power at the Versailles conference.

  90. And the Devil said to David Cameron: “You see how rich Tony Blair is now after his wars in Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan. All this can I give you, if you do my will!”

  91. The neocon’s won’t like it, and thus we’ll get the usual strident anger from the usual suspects in the usual outlets. I begin to wonder if I should bother reading newspapers at all.

    Win Win for Putin. He should withdraw his troops, so will look moderate (which he isn’t). And the referendum will doubtless go his way. And the NATO\US\EU cabal will, again look like idiots – which they are.

    I did note one comment in the Guardian, which I paraphrase. Really, it doesn’t matter, it’s just a choice between different oligarchs, and they are all much the same.

  92. Craig

    “Following the Anschluss, Hitler held a referendum in Austria within one month of the military takeover and received 99.7% support. At the moment Putin stands open to a legitimate accusation of pulling precisely the same stunt in precisely the same timescale.”

    Bringing Hitler as a substitute into the match at the last minute of the game is, in my humble opinion, a clumsy attempt to substitute emotions for cool reasoning. You want to deny or at least bring in some doubt into our minds that Hitler was immensely popular in 1938 in Austria and in the so called Sudetenland where thousands of puerile females pissed into their pants from joy of a having the privilege to greet him (cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6mR1IYyKmo). I have seen better documents but cannot find them on the internet.

    It is becoming increasingly dangerous to say that Hitler was popular and it is only a question of time until any statement of this fact will become in the UK a criminal offense. Finally, it is pointless to contemplate whether he actually got 99.7 or perhaps only 80 percent of the popular vote.

  93. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 10:36 pm

    Old Mark

    You said “I know, given your background, you probably have grounds to assume that non Slavs in the FSU who are pro Moscow must, by definition, be ‘collaborators’- but assumptions aren’t facts.”

    Please read this about Rustam Temirgaliev. It is in Russian but you can translate it via google. He is not Crimean but Volga Tatar. I know for Anglo Saxons all Tatars are the same (as much as all other non-Europeans for that matter). But there is significant cultural, religious (in some cases) and historical difference (not to mention that it was Crimean and non Volga Tatars who were genocided by Stalin).

    http://politrada.com/dossier/persone/id/3949

  94. “I’m sure the Russians wouldn’t mind such a course of action, because they are experts in expelling populations.”

    It’s always so Old Testament with you, habby.

    Meanwhile, here’s that great American comedian:

    “Obama: Russia ‘stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people’”

    That’s his job

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/06/us-eu-sanctions-obama-russia-ukraine-crimea

  95. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 10:42 pm

    DoNNyDarKo

    Following your logic, let move 20 million Englishmen to Scotland for few weeks (just around Independence referendum time), move few British military divisions to boost Scotish spirit, and let them vote.

    We will of course most likely have quite an opposite effect to the one that is expected otherwise.

  96. Uzbek in the UK

    6 Mar, 2014 - 10:46 pm

    Herbie,

    I am quite grown up I think. Unlike you I lived under totalitarian authority and you have NO idea what it is like to live under constant threat of imprisonment or death. It is like in maximum security prison when you have to walk ONE line, one step left or right and you are shot dead.

    This world I lived in was created by mad lefties. Some remnants of these lefties are quite visible in some of the people on this forum.

  97. Sofia Kibo Noh

    6 Mar, 2014 - 11:07 pm

    Nakba and Awda as they apply to Crimean Tatars plus some interesting stuff re crimea through the eyes of Israel Shamir.
    http://www.israelshamir.net/English/Autumn.htm

    ‘It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes’? Jo Stalin (possibly)
    Decentralised, encrypted and secure referenda and elections now available to any group at minimal cost. Can we use ther genius of Blockchain / Bitcoin to find out what societies realy want.
    https://www.ethereum.org/
    This stuff may take a while to catch on, but it can’t be uninvented.
    Might this be another game changer?

  98. Uzbek

    Nothing you’ve said there, I’m afraid, undermines my point that neo-cons, fascists, conservatives, and even liberals

    “tend to disregard sanctity of life (and freedom for that matter) when it comes to the ideological domain”

    You seem to think this applies to lefties alone. You’re simply wrong. Your analysis of this problem is not deep enough.

    I do understand that your experience colours your view.

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