Putin and International Law

by craig on March 2, 2014 1:22 pm in Uncategorized

By sending troops into the Ukraine, (others than those stationed there by agreement) Putin has broken international law.  That does not depend on the Budapest Memorandum.  It would be a breach of international law whether the Budapest Memorandum existed or not.  The effect of the Budapest Memorandum is rather to oblige the US and the UK to do something about it.

The existence of civil disturbance in a country does not justify outside military intervention.  That it does is, of course, the Blair doctrine that I have been campaigning against for 15 years, inside and outside government.  Putin of course opposes such interventions by the West, in Iraq, Syria or Libya, but supports such interventions when he does them, as in Georgia and Ukraine.  That is hypocrisy.  There are elements on the British left who also oppose such interventions when the West does them, but support when Putin does them.  You can see their arguments on the last comments thread: fascinatingly none of them have addressed my point about Putin’s distinct lack of interest in the principle of self-determination when it comes to Chechnya or Dagestan.

The overwhelming need now is to de-escalate the crisis.  People rushing about in tanks and helicopters very often leads to violence, and here Putin is at fault.  There was no imminent physical threat to Russians in the Crimea, and there is no need for all this military activity.  Ukraine should file a case against Russia at the International Court of Justice; the UK and US, as guarantor states, can ask to be attached as guarantor states with an interest in the Budapest Memorandum .  That will fulfil their guarantor obligations without moving a soldier.

The West is not going to provide the kind of massive financial package needed to rescue the Ukraine’s moribund economy and relieve its debts.  It would be great if it did, but with western economies struggling, no western politician is in a position to announce many billions in aid to the Ukraine.  The chances of Ukraine escaping from Russian political and economic domination in the near future are non-existent – the Ukrainians are tied by debt.  That was the hard reality that scuppered the EU/Ukraine agreement.  That hard reality still exists.  The Association Agreement is a very long path to EU membership.

Both Putin and the West are reacting to events which unfolded within Ukraine.  Action by the West was not a significant factor in the toppling by Yanukovich – that was a nationalist reaction to an abrupt change of political direction which seemed to be moving Ukraine decisively into the Russian orbit.  Ukrainians are not stupid and they can see the standard of living in former Soviet Bloc countries which have joined the European Union is now much higher .  Anybody who denies that is deluded.  Of course western governments had programmes to encourage pro-western tendencies in Ukraine, including secret operations. It would be naïve to expect otherwise.  Anybody who thinks Russia was not doing exactly the same is deluded.  But it is a huge mistake to lay too much weight on these efforts – both the West and Russia were taken aback by the strength and speed of the political convulsions in Ukraine, and everybody is still paying catch-up.

Which is why we now need a period of calm, and an end to dangerous military adventurism – which undeniably is coming primarily from Russia.  Political dialogue needs to be resumed.  It is interesting that even the pro-Russian assembly of Crimea region has only called a referendum on more devolved powers, not on union with Russia or independence.  However I still maintain the best way forward is agreement on internationally supervised referenda to settle the position.  The principle of self-determination should be the most important one here.  If any of the regions of Ukraine wish to secede, the goal should be a peaceful and orderly transition.  Effective military annexation by Putin, and insistence by the West that national boundaries cannot be changed, are both unproductive stances.




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  1. The MSM have moved on so no worries. Today it’s all about the Oscars and what the dresses looked like, and the Pistorius trial.

    There was one banner saying that two oligarchs have been appointed as governors by the so called ‘interim government’ in Kiev. A reports showing Hague wandering around the Maidan barricades. He laid some flowers.

  2. Angrysoba,

    Ah. So now I understand your perspecive (at long last). We are now supporting “sides”. Please grow up and remove yourself from this discussion among adult people.

  3. Clarence:

    “So now I understand your perspecive (at long last). We are now supporting “sides”.”

    I was responding to Black Jelly’s post here:

    “Sorry either you are with the Ghouta gassing false flag (Kohn,Obama,Rifkind,Hague,Fabius,ec) crowd or you are with us (Putin,Assad,Lavrov,etc). One side has to be the devil and the other the good guys.”

    So any problem you have with invoking “sides” can be brought up with Black Jelly, if it is the principle that you object to.

  4. John Kerry – Ukraine – Meet The Press. John Kerry Denounces Russian ….

    11mins if you can stick it.

    Published on 2 Mar 2014

    john kerry ukraine russia meet the press mtp. John Kerry denounced the Russian movement of troops into Ukraine Sunday as “an act of aggression” and accused President Vladimir Putin of “possibly trying to annex Crimea.”

    “He’s going to lose on the international stage, Russia is going to lose, the Russian people are going to lose, and he’s going to lose all of the glow that came out of the Olympics, his $60 billion extravaganza,” Kerry said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

    He warned that Russia will suffer a loss of trade and investment if Putin does not reverse course.

    Russia has “major investment and trade needs” which are bound to suffer if Russian troops don’t leave Ukraine, he said. “There’s a unified view by all of the foreign ministers I talked with yesterday — all of the G-8 and more — that they’re simply going to isolate Russia; that they’re not going to engage with Russia in a normal business-as-usual manner…. The ruble is already going down and feeling the impact of this,” he said.

  5. I find myself agreeing with canspeccy and wikispooks, this is not a NATO affair, for more than one reason, NATO failed to have more than one plan, its always war. This is because NATO has become a coffeeshop for weapons manufactuirers trying out their new toys about to be sold to all that can pay.

    Germany has been involved in Russia and eastern Europe from the word go, meaning after the cold war ended they were giving ample credits to help Russia and other states, they keep a rapport at all times good and bad.

    I had to hold on to my muesli this morning on hearing Hague this morning talking about the values of sovereignty, what a wretching experience, I had to switch the radio off, does he really think that his waffle has any relevance?

    Not a single bullet fired in the Crimea makes me feel as if there is a start for negotiations and if Germany is prepared to do the talking, so be it.
    enjoy your day as I will enjoy todays showers in Gorleston.

  6. The Guardian are referring to those who have taken power in Kiev as a ‘fledgling government’. Hope that they have grown all their necessary feathers.

    This is the reality.


  7. Angrysoba @8.00am

    For once I agree with you; anyone who can insert this onto a thread ostensibly about the Ukraine crisis has a very warped worldview-

    ‘Ronnie Sullivan doesnt look one bit like the “chosen” deluded khazars, who routinely risk papilloma to snare beautiful rare bits of Welsh shikse!’

  8. @Clarence 7:48 – all

    For the avoidance of doubt and to clarify. I fully accept that CM is a honourable
    man and did not mean to imply otherwise. I accept that my ‘Godfather’ allusion about ‘being made an offer that cannot be refused’ is too open to the wrong interpretation and thus perhaps inappropriate for a post on its target’s own blog. However, what I mean – and tried to emphasise with the ‘subliminal’ qualification – is that there are lines that NONE of us can cross; either because of a crass overt threat per the ‘Godfather’, but more often as a function of the cognitive dissonance that doing so would generate. I believe that Craig’s former exalted position in the Establishment hierarchy renders him peculiarly susceptible to the syndrome in matters impinging on ‘patriotism’, that’s all. The irony is that his experience also gives his opinions a unique and seductive authority.

    All of that renders him more susceptible than most to certain kinds of ever-so-subtle and destructive pressure – of the kind for example that our illustrious Tavistock Institute is master.

  9. Wikispooks,

    Sound thoughts. I agree. But whether the stress of such conflicts has caused him to revert or whether it has induced a stress-induced dementia or even a more demonsrable physical disease has yet to be seen. Whatever, it is very sad for such a brave man.

  10. Wikispooks

    Or I might, on the other hand, just be opposed to military invasions. I don’t seem to have the patriotism blockage when I oppose British military invasions. So it is improbable I have developed one when I oppose Russian military invasions.

    I opposed:
    The invasion of Iraq
    The invasion of Libya
    The invasion of Georgia
    The occupation of Afghanistan
    US Drone Attacks
    Israeli attacks on Gaza
    Israeli attacks on Lebanon
    Russian military occupation in Dagestan and Chechnya
    The proposed western attack on Syria
    The invasion of Ukraine

    It seems to me that there is a pretty obvious common thread here.

    The people who have lost their marbles are those who support the use of military invasion, as long as it is by Putin. My marbles are all still there and working in a consistent way.

    Consistency seems to shock some people.

  11. As Mike Whitney wrote:

    In order to topple Yanukovych, the US had to tacitly support fanatical groups of neo-Nazi thugs and anti-Semites. And, even though “Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchynov has pledged to do everything in his power to protect the country’s Jewish community”; reports on the ground are not so encouraging. Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Natalia Vitrenko, of The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine that suggests the situation is much worse than what is being reported in the news:

    “Across the country… People are being beaten and stoned, while undesirable members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are subject to mass intimidation and local officials see their families and children targeted by death threats if they do not support the installation of this new political power. The new Ukrainian authorities are massively burning the offices of political parties they do not like, and have publicly announced the threat of criminal prosecution and prohibition of political parties and public organizations that do not share the ideology and goals of the new regime.” (“USA and EU Are Erecting a Nazi Regime on Ukrainian Territory”, Natalia Vitrenko)

    Earlier in the week, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a Ukranian synagogue had been firebombed although the “Molotov cocktails struck the synagogue’s exterior stone walls and caused little damage”.

    Another article in Haaretz referred to recent developments as “the new dilemma for Jews in Ukraine”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    “The greatest worry now is not the uptick in anti-Semitic incidents but the major presence of ultra-nationalist movements, especially the prominence of the Svoboda party and Pravy Sektor (right sector) members among the demonstrators. Many of them are calling their political opponents “Zhids” and flying flags with neo-Nazi symbols. There have also been reports, from reliable sources, of these movements distributing freshly translated editions of Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Independence Square.”


    Some headlines on Ha’aretz below –

    Jewish Agency: Emergency assistance to Ukrainian Jews could be increased
    Airlift ‘meanwhile’ not under consideration

    Ukrainian synagogue reportedly firebombed in first violence against… (Haaretz | Jewish World)

    Ukrainian Jews in Israel try to make sense of it all (Haaretz | Jewish World)

    Crisis over Crimea steals thunder from AIPAC conference

    Netanyahu in Washington: It takes three to dance the Mideast tango
    Prime Minister to meet Kerry, Obama and Biden on Monday, and is scheduled to address the AIPAC conference on Tuesday.

  12. Mary

    That there are neo-Nazis in Ukraine is not in dispute. There are neo-Nazis across the former Soviet Union, including Russia, which is surprising given history. You should ask Uzbeks about racist attacks in Russia. As far as I am aware, there are no neo-Nazis in the current government in Kiev. I think that the attempt to paint the current government in Kiev as neo-Nazi is intellectually lazy in a way I would not have expected of you. Your excellent ability critically to see through the distortions of western mainstream media needs also to be applied to Russian sources.

  13. Wikileaks,

    Craig’s latest response appears to confirm the diagnosis. Before the daggers come out, I am not a medical doctor but a PhD in biomedical scientist (Cantab). However I have checked my suspicions with 2 separate clinical colleagues – one with a special interest in mental health – and both agree that such a sudden switch in attitude and loss of critical reasoning represents a physiological crisis. As to what caused it I have no idea, but you maybe right.

  14. Craig, I apologise for the hasty allusion but trust it is adequately explained above. We have had quite a long – if arms length – association and I know you to be a principled and honorable man – your refusal of State honors is testament to both.

    However, my points stand.

    You are indeed opposed to military invasion – as am I – but to characterise what Russia has done – so far – in Crimea as ‘invasion’ is a stretch to put it at its mildest. IMHO this is very far from a comparison of equals – OTOH OTO sort of thing. Russia is fighting for its survival and it is very late in the day. As you yourself said a while back, Ukraine is hardly an old historic nation state and its incorporation of the Crimea was the product of obscure manoeuvrings by a Ukrainian Soviet PM – Kruschev. Its population are making their feelings about Russian military help clear enough for even the BBC to report, so just what IS all the fuss about? Rhetorical question that because it really ought to be as clear as the nose on your face.

    VoR reports there have been close to 700,000 ethnic Russians crossing to Russia in the past month so, regardless of the allegedly benign intent of the new Kiev rulers towards its Russian population (somewhat undermined by their first legislative act to remove the status of the Russian language), they are clearly not SEEN as benign by those affected.

    Your even-handedness would be commendable were we talking about protagonists of approximately equal strength here; but we are not.

    Also, I am NOT a ‘Putinista’. Just as I regard the 3 stooges (Stalin Roosevelt and Churchill) as at least the equal of Hitler in their Machiavellian evil, so I regard Putin as being on a par with most Western leaders in terms of peronal morality – the difference in the latter case being that, in the West, said leaders are so in-your-face obviously the ridiculous puppet mouthpieces of others whose identities are ALWAYS hidden.

    This whole thing is Far and away bigger than the ‘democratic aspirations’ of Ukrainians (who appear even more gullible than our own Sheeple). What depresses me so much is that, with all your high-level experience of Foreign affairs, you appear very reluctant (to put it at its politest) to acknowledge that particular elephant in the room.

    Best wishes anyway.

  15. Beautifully put, Wikispooks. I would slightly disagree with you on Putin who – despite his shady spook past – appears to be on the side of Christian morality and , to the chagrin of some. despises such abominations as “Pussy Riots”.

    But in this case the obvious and well-documented Western interference that promulgated this insurrection is so blatant that for CM to miss it is somewhat pathological.

  16. Craig: “Consistency seems to shock some people”

    Goodness, you still can’t see that you are comparing apples to pears; are you seriously putting on par the attack on Iraq with the Russian position on the Ukraine !? Are you seriously claiming that Russia attempts to contra the separatists/terrorists in Dagestan and Chechnya is comparable to Israeli attacks on Lebanon, rather than more comparable to the Troubles, or the attempts to counter ETA separatists, or even the War on Terror ?

    Self-determination is indeed a human right, and in an ideal perfect utopian World, every miniscule region would have the ability to function as a totally independent & self-sufficient entity, yet the stark reality, as illustrated by the Ukraine itself, is that some for purely factual &/or practical reasons some cannot exist on their own merits. This is even without going into differentiating between pre-mediated pro-active military aggression, and military aggression that is a reaction to an emerging perceived threat on ones very border, rather than thousands of miles away, or even declaring a whole continent as a sphere of influence, as the US treats South America.

  17. EVERYTHING is part of the cause n effect. And John “Botox” Kerry had better not dream of a Hillary like “we came we saw and Yanukovic died” gloat, the FSB has much more than that Nuland/Ambassador telecon up its sleeve. CM refuses to recognise the Russian response is simply an effect of the cause – the ouster of a LEGITIMATELY democratically elected Yanukovic. I simply refuse to doubt CM’s integrity and concede he may be seeing something us ordinary mortals are unable to comprehend?!

    But one thing is for sure, it was the demise of international order that started earlier World Wars. And we are at the brink – its not only Fuck EU it was Fuck UN when Rassmussen was dropping bombs on Gaddafy under the guise of an NFZ. Putin had then complained “who gave them the right to kill Gaddafy”, now its Fuck UN time from the Bear who cannot be expected to lie back and think of England now, especially as the rape was carried out in his backyard.

    Practically the issue boils down to – is there a countervailing force that can break ranks from the malevolent orbit of the Beast? It was CM Trodos doubts of the satanyahu 8200 intercept plus Ed Milliband in the Commons that prevented a Syrian adventure based on what now transpires to have been a false flag at Ghouta. This time we have a CM knobbled by pink jelly (or worse) and an Ed Milliband already under fire not to intervene. Its ominous.

  18. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:27 am

    “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests…..It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people.” John Kerry. And they say Americans don’t do irony!

    How can spending $5billion arming, training, supplying and paying wages to ultra-right nationalists be the path to a less corrupt democracy?

    Maybe one of his aides should tell him about the 13 million Russians who died last time round after the Bush family and other US financial elites funded the last great ultra-right take-over in Europe.

    Here’s context for the $5 billion claim:


    Here’s one “on the spot” perspective, from Ukrainian author Lada Ray:


  19. Some hastily-scribbled comments.

    1) Since November 2013, the Ukraine has been about to default on its debts. Default would cause banks to write off some of their assets and as a result, some banks might become insolvent. I don’t have to spell out what that means.

    2) Turkey too seems on the brink of default.

    3) All governments are corrupt. All governments serve private interests first. The aim of government is profit.

    4) Default means large profits for some. So do bailouts. So does meltdown.

    5) Russian capital has considerable influence in Germany. Everyone’s pissing themselves about Victoria Nuland’s ‘Fuck the EU’ comment; few are commenting on it intelligently. Few are even asking the basic questions: who released the tape? why now? It’s kind of assumed, without actually saying so, that it was the KGB, working independently of both the US and Frankfurt. Hey, I thought some people saw themselves as wanting to ‘look behind the news’? :-)

    6) Having played Frankfurt (‘the EU’) along almost to the point of accepting their ‘bailout’, Yanukovych chose to accept Russia’s instead. In this epoch of ‘wraparound’ news, a lot of people have forgotten just how extraordinary those events of November 2013 were.

    Then two months later, Russia seems as though the most it might get is the Crimea – which it needs for military reasons – and possibly some other territory but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Let’s name what we appear to have got, which is a Russian overplay followed by a withdrawal and a realistic consolidation. Then we can ask what we think the reality is and who might be doing what and why.

    7) Several dozen people got shot in the street in Kiev. But the powers that be, whether in New York or Frankfurt or London or Moscow don’t give a shit about that. You and I might do. They don’t. What works, works. One minute they’ll pay PR girls to carry banners. The next minute they’ll pay the neo-Nazis to shoot you. Do you think they give a fuck?

    Massacres like that are just one technique of the art of manipulation, of psychological warfare, of ‘politics’.

    Breathless BBC arseholes may talk about everything being ‘unclear’ and ‘out of control’. The BBC’s foreign news section works closely with MI6 and always fucking has done.

    In fact, events may well have been orchestrated. I repeat: city-centre massacres are just one technique of the art of manipulation, of psychological warfare, of ‘politics’. Those who order them to be carried out have studied the possible effects of their actions. From Paris to Mexico City, from Derry/Londonderry to Algiers… If it was Prague, windows might well have been involved.

    8) A lot’s been written about the CIA. Everyone knows that they, helped by their British bum-lickers with their offshore financial network, have been behind the ‘colour revolutions’ and ‘regime changes’ – all these terminologies for using psychological warfare to Enron the shit out of several countries.

    (Give people stockphrases. That was in Edward Bernays in 1928. Want to think for yourself? You have to recognise that shit and treat it with the contempt it deserves.)

    As well as the CIA, you have to factor in the KGB too. (The modern terminology is FSB/SVR, but I’ll use ‘KGB’.) For all the western propaganda against Russia, not many people are actually doing this. Not many people understand about the KGB.

    The KGB has a big share in the Russian ‘opposition’. Repeat: the KGB has a big share in the Russian ‘opposition’. It also knows its way around ‘international finance’.

    And it has no fucking problem cooperating with the CIA, or Frankfurt, or both, when it wants to.

    9) Democracy is an ideology developed as part and parcel of the bourgeoisie’s use of its mass media. Case study: Britain: as newspapers spread out to more and more strata of the population, those strata one by one ‘got the vote’.

    10) I am wondering whether the Russian ‘overplay’ was made with a view to speeding things up, so that in the event of a global financial collapse (which is inevitable, the only question being ‘how soon?’), they’ll keep the Crimea and their naval access to the Black Sea.

    There’ll be a referendum in Crimea at the end of THIS MONTH. (OK, I realise events may overtake it, but still.) That’s bloody fast. Take a look at Scotland, where the ‘independence party’ has been in ‘office’ for years and hasn’t even held its referendum yet. (Admittedly, the 2014 Commonwealth Games are a big factor.)

    11) These days you can’t even have a punch-up on a demo without half the people present getting their mobile phones out so that the footage can be published within a short space of time on the CIA’s ‘Facebook’ website or ‘Youtube’. (If that doesn’t mean that such a form of activity is largely under control, what does it mean? In 1968 in London at the Grosvenor Square demonstration, which many people hoped would set off a ‘May 1968′ in Britain, people carrying cameras got thumped – and fucking rightly too.)

    But that ‘global immediacy’ doesn’t say it all, not by a long chalk. You can still get a massacre in a European capital city and nobody who talks publicly has really got any proof of who was behind it. That means secret service involvement, which, if you are paying attention, you’d know anyway. The question is how to assign proportions of involvement among the different players.

    I can tell you – if you think that what happened in Kiev was simply that the police suddenly killed loads of people because government leaders told them to, and then you got a natural response, you’re bloody deluded. Study Budapest 1956, where the secret service shot at the police to start things off. Live bullets, dead cops. All that stuff is old hat in the Lubyanka, at Langley, and at Vauxhall Cross, even if it might be amazingly arcane knowledge in Blogistan. So don’t underestimate the KGB. They can pretty much do anything the CIA can do. (Including having warm relations with figures in the British money-laundering network.) Neither organisation has any ideology except what’s convenient. Both serve money-grabbing interests first and foremost. Did I say that before? Very probably both organisations have had stakes in the ‘colour revolutions’ and will also have stakes in the ‘colour revolutions with blood on the streets’ that may soon become all the rage.

  20. Well done, N_. About as near to the facts of the matter as these comments ever get. Agree.

  21. “We need €5bn by Friday or we go bust, Kiev tells EU”


  22. Angrysoba: ‘I was responding to Black Jelly’s post here:’

    I wouldn’t bother if I were you. Saves time and fury.

  23. What a berk. Wait for the next 86 years Mr Hague (except you won’t be around}.

    His facile statement – ‘The turmoil in Ukraine is the “biggest crisis” to face Europe in the 21st Century, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.

    He said Russia controlled the Crimea, in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, and warned of “significant costs” if its troops did not withdraw.’


    Confirmation of which century we’re in seems to be the theme from our leaders.

    “This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th century behaviour in the 21st century.” Kerry – Meet The Press

  24. Yes, Hague looks a complete prat.

    Macky, yes I believe there are a great many parallels between Russian occupation of Dagestan and Chechnya and Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    Russia was avowedly an Empire. Unlike the British Empire the Russian conquests were geographically contiguous, but they were no less colonised peoples for that. The conquest of the Caucasus by Russia was precisely at the same time as the expansion of the British Empire in Asia. Thankfully almost all of ours has been given back. The Russians, not so much.

    I agree there is a parallel with Chechnya, Dagestan and Ireland – but 1916.

  25. Having to be represented abroad by Hague is one of the most nauseating consequences of our electoral system.

    Hague tries to imitate, but only succeeds in parodying, Churchill. Rory Bremner emulates Hague with much more success here –


    …or is it the man himself? Very hard to tell.

  26. That’s quite an impressive ‘hasty-scribble’. I can see nothing substantive to take issue with either. Just a suggested qualification:

    I agree that it all boils down to money (material wealth) but the accumulation of wealth depends on control of resources – both human and natural. whilst it is the aim of the US-UK-NATO-block to globalise finance under their own monolithic control – the “World Community” as it is currently propagandised – they are not quite there yet and there remain VERY wealthy – and thus powerful – interests that either dissent, seek alternative control for themselves or are only half-hearted in their commitment/allegiance. Those interest are best characterised by reference to age-old cultural-religious allegiances. In the case of Ukraine, it is ancient Latin (Catholic) versus Orthodox rivalry with Judaic interests in a centuries-old role analogous to that or Rasputin to the Tsarist Court in BOTH traditions – they are the real experts at strirring the pot – or ‘leading every revolution against us’ as Theodore Hertzl put it.

    The globalisers today are a witches brew of occult (in its purist sense) Protestant-Catholic-Masonic-Judaic (with the Judaic assuming an ever-more dominant role). They are ranged in an unholy alliance against Orthodox-Muslim with China, India and the far orient wild cards to be dealt with later. The brew is particularly potent given the history of the peoples making up the Ukraine and it is precisely those divisions that are being fully exploited by the lever-pullers that really do understand them.

    As N_ rightly says, NONE of them could give a toss about humanitarian matters except in so far as they may be useful in herding Sheeple opinion.

    “Shoot a few protesters under a false flag?? – sure thing look what we did through out <a href="http://www.wikispooks.com/wiki/Operation_Gladio"Operation Gladio. That was in the heart of Western Europe over 20 a year span and we got clean away with it. Who the hell knows or cares about the 85 we blew to pieces at Bologna in 1980 now? – But that 9-11 thingy, whoaaah, that of course was the wicked Muslims – for now anyway.”

    Hey ho – we are ALL being led by our snotty opinionated noses because its just tooooo horrid to see things as they really are.

  27. “21st century”? Tell that to the Crimean Tatars! What happened to the Foreign Office’s ‘generalists’? :-)

    As for Ireland, this is from the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921:

    7. The Government of the Irish Free State shall afford to His Majesty’s Imperial Forces
    (a) In the time of peace such harbour and other facilities as are indicated in the Annex hereto[N_ note: the ‘Treaty Ports’], or such other facilities as may from time to time be agreed between the British Government and the Government of the Irish Free State; and
    (b) In time of war or of strained relations with a Foreign Power such harbour and other facilities as the British Government may require for the purposes of such defence as aforesaid.”

  28. And talking of snotty opinionated noses, try this for size

    It will surprise some here to learn that I not only attended that 1977 Conservative Party conference as a delegate and prospective parliamentary candidate, but I was also listed to speak in the same debate as trendy, Clean-cut, long-hared young Willie. He got called; I didn’t – otherwise maybe things would have turned out different eh?

    Thought I’d throw that little vignette in as an illustration of just how much one’s political understanding of the world – and one’s own country’s role in it – can change when freed from the need to climb the greasy pole and do some solid, honest agenda-free research – I have been lucky; that opportunity does not present itself to many.

    I haven’t bought a newspaper in 10 years; neither have I voted in the last 3 general elections (a principled abstention having far more weight than allowing oneself to be herded by the fantasy-tales of the party manifestos and spokesmen) – but I know more of where real power in this country lies than young Willie (on present evidence) will ever know. If that sounds arrogant I’m sorry but young Willie’s comprehension of these things seems to be stuck at his 1977 level – Like Blair, and all successful politicians, he does know who he must please and how though, the poor sod.

  29. @Craig, Are you sure you listed the Israeli occupation of Palestine in your previous Post ?

    Don’t really for the time right now for a discussion about the historic facts & unique conditions that pertain & characterize different Empires, but have you asked yourself why you automatically tried to compared some events with some farfetched others, when more logically similar examples were available ?

    For somebody who has had actual real immersion in realpolitik, your take does at best seem naïve, & perhaps even rather gullible in some respects.

  30. I’d thought that these Ukrainian neo-nazis and fascists hadn’t got any positions in this new Kiev proxy govt, but I was wrong:

    “members of Svoboda and the Right Sector occupy key positions in the areas of Defense, Law Enforcement, Education and Economic Affairs.”

    “Andriy Parubiy [right] co-founder of the Neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine (subsequently renamed Svoboda) was appointed Secretary of the National Security and National Defense Committee (RNBOU).”

    “Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Right Sector delegation in the parliament, has been appointed Parubiy’s deputy Secretary of the RNBOU.”

    “The Neo Nazi party also controls the judicial process with the appointment of Oleh Makhnitsky of the Svoboda party to the position of prosecutor-general of Ukraine”

    “Tetyana Chernovol, portrayed in the Western press as a crusading investigative journalist without reference to her past involvement in the anti-Semitic UNA-UNSO, was named chair of the government’s anti-corruption committee”

    “Dmytro Bulatov, known for his alleged kidnapping by police, but also with UNA-UNSO connections, was appointed minister of youth and sports.”


  31. doug scorgie

    3 Mar, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    Resident Dissident
    2 Mar, 2014 – 7:27 pm

    “You should be aware that Putin and the crowd around him have been long time admirers of the politics and economics of the Pinochet regime.”

    Not true ResDis.

    “I’m a supporter of Pinochet, not as a person but as a politician who produced results for his country. He was not corrupt. He supported his team of economists for 10 years.”

    That was the opinion of billionaire Petr Olegovich Aven a right wing neoliberal fascist of the Democratic Choice of Russia which is now the Union of Right Forces. He hates Putin.

    It’s a good job that Putin didn’t listen to him.

    Two other supporters of Pinochet of course were Ronald Reagan and Mrs Thatcher.

  32. “Very sad to have to say this since I have been an admirer for some time. But poor Craig appears to have lost his former powers of critical reasoning. I know that he has had medical problems that were heart-related, but while the loss of such capacity can come about due to oxygen deficiency, it is more commonly associated with specific brain tumours. If I were a close friend I would encourage him to undergo a CATscan quite soon. Wishing him all the best but no longer listening to his current nonsense.”

    You may wish to have your eyes and ears tested as well as your sense of common decency. Much as I disagree with Craig on many things I can appreciate the consistency and the quality of his thinking.

  33. Black jelly

    3 Mar, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    The Wolf Blitzers and Anderson Coopers are both allied in their God denial and have no fear of the Fire. We are being strangled by their combined forces of falsehood, a LEGITIMATELY elected Government has been overthrown and we have our very own truth warriors like CM now on the side of the perpetrators.

    Its really very very simple, if a well-rehearsed chorus of userers,pickpockets,militant hershey highwaymen,911 and Ghouta false flaggers,cookie monsters,drone-assassins,spin merchants,renditioners,NSA peeping toms,etc say Putin is the bad guy, then he MUST be a good guy.

    Sorry Craig but you might just have had one wee dram too many ! Or is it the pink jelly?

  34. “It’s a good job that Putin didn’t listen to him.”

    A 13% flat tax rate and cuts to pension and health spending suggest otherwise – to say nothing of his treatment of political opponents.

    Might I recommend a trip to the doctors to deal with the scales on your eyes.

  35. I should add that if Aven really hates Putin he has kept that quiet – I very much doubt that he would have prospered quite so much or have been appointed by the government to various bodies if he was expressing hatred of Putin. Democratic Choice supported Putin btw.

  36. What can’t speak can’t lie. Video of the re-taking of Kharkiv from the neo-fascists (as they are being called. My understanding is that Donetsk has also been taken back. Neither of these stories have made the BBC yet.


  37. Neither of these stories “has” made the BBC yet.

  38. Borders were changed in Kosovo, turning a province of Serbia into a quasi independent State!Not recognised by many.But the West,NATO ,US do !Big US base no less.
    The same bunch that against all international law invaded Iraq, Afghanistan,and bombed Libya back to the stoneage. On a daily basis invade the air space of independent nations and bomb their citizens,and they are calling the kettle black ??
    What Russia has done has been totally expected.The West promised that NATO would not brush Russia’s borders, and we know what’s going on.
    It’s a game of chicken and the west will back away.This was yet another crudely designed attempt to realign Ukraine to the West’s liking.
    Ukraine would be better off having an angry bear to protect them rather than being the front line of a NATO with no regard for them.I do believe they’ve been in this position before.

  39. Correction:

    I think these are not actually in cabinet posts:

    “Andriy Volodymyrovych Parubiy (Ukrainian: Андрій Володимирович Парубій) is a Ukrainian politician[2] and the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, appointed after leading the anti-government riots in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.[3] His deputy is Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh.”


    Still worrying nonetheless.

  40. doug scorgie

    3 Mar, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    3 Mar, 2014 – 8:24 am

    “Not a single bullet fired in the Crimea makes me feel as if there is a start for negotiations and if Germany is prepared to do the talking, so be it.”

    I hope your right Nevermind but watch out for a “false-flag” operation that can be blamed on Russia.

  41. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    3 Mar, 2014 - 4:39 pm


    ““Very sad to have to say this since I have been an admirer for some time. But poor Craig appears to have lost his former powers of critical reasoning. I know that he has had medical problems that were heart-related, but while the loss of such capacity can come about due to oxygen deficiency, it is more commonly associated with specific brain tumours. If I were a close friend I would encourage him to undergo a CATscan quite soon. Wishing him all the best but no longer listening to his current nonsense.”

    You may wish to have your eyes and ears tested as well as your sense of common decency. Much as I disagree with Craig on many things I can appreciate the consistency and the quality of his thinking.”

    Agree with ESLO.

    You may remember that when Mary called on Craig to post about Ukraine I introduced a note of caution onto the blog, saying something to the effect of ‘be careful what you ask for because it may well not turn out as you expected and so disappoint you’.

    And so indeed it came to pass. Some regulars came out in more or less civil dissent with Craig, other usually very prolific posters (Ba’al Zevul, Mr Scourgie, our young poetess, etc… mostly took care to keep their heads beneath the parapet, and yet others, unable to control their indignation and range, let fly with the insults: these ranged from ‘Craig has lost his marbles’ to ‘Craig has revealed his true neo-con nature and is part of the deep state, with a particularly shameful detour via ‘have you had a dram too much (at 13h34 above).

    If memory serves, it’s eerily similar – but on a grander scale – to the reactions when Craig came out with the statement that he was pro European Union. It was like the reactions of the Eminent guests when Sir Archibald Clark Kerr let off one of his renowned farts at a Washington cocktail party.

    Press on regardless, Craig. Most of your ‘guests’ don’t deserve you.

  42. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    3 Mar, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    DoNNyDarKo writes

    “Borders were changed in Kosovo, turning a province of Serbia into a quasi independent State!Not recognised by many.”

    Another good example of a half-truth, the poster no doubt relying on readers’natural trust (or perhaps laziness).

    In fact, as of now, Kosova is recognised by 108 out of the 193 member states of the United Nations.

    Most people would call that many.


    “Life is getting better, life is getting merrier!” (J. Stalin, ca. 1932)

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    3 Mar, 2014 - 4:55 pm

    “Ukraine would be better off having an angry bear to protect them rather than being the front line of a NATO with no regard for them.I do believe they’ve been in this position before.”

    They have indeed! Problem is

    – the Angry Bear didn’t make much of a fist of protecting them in 1941..

    – ..but made up for it in 1944 when the NKVD and the political commissars came back.

  44. habby says:

    “In fact, as of now, Kosova is recognised by 108 out of the 193 member states of the United Nations.

    Most people would call that many.”

    You weren’t saying that many more than that was many when it was Palestine.


  45. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    3 Mar, 2014 - 5:12 pm

    From N_ ‘s interminable musings:

    “In 1968 in London at the Grosvenor Square demonstration, which many people hoped would set off a ‘May 1968′ in Britain, people carrying cameras got thumped – and fucking rightly too.)”

    It’s interesting how people reveal themselves through the small, apparently insignificant details, isn’t it.

    1/. I happened to be there, but saw no cameras other than press ones. Were you there? Perhaps the chappie up the lamp post with a bird’s eye view of the proceedings?

    2/. Who was doing the alleged thumping – demonstrators or police?

    3/. Why do you think this alleged thumping occurred?

    4/. The recent incident where a newspaper seller was pushed by a policeman and died after he fell was caught on camera: this enabled a prosecution of said policeman. Do you think the fellow who did the filming should have been thumped, and if so, why?

    Looking forward to your rapid and reasoned response.


  46. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    3 Mar, 2014 - 5:15 pm


    “You weren’t saying that many more than that was many when it was Palestine.


    I believe I was asking how many states recognised Palestine and how many of them had diplomatic representation in Palestine (and where). Not quite what you claim I said.

    But feel free to rebut, together with the post in which I supposedly said that.

  47. Craig,

    “I think the ousting of Yanukovich was of doubtful legality. However if it were completely illegal, it still does not make it legal for another country to invade.”

    So – if not by force – how otherwise does one remove an illegally installed “Government” -given the practicalities of the situation ?


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