The Fashion for Hypocrisy

by craig on March 3, 2014 12:28 pm in Uncategorized

Hypocrisy seems to be massively in fashion.  This from William Hague renders me speechless: “Be in no doubt, there will be consequences. The world cannot say it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations.”

Then today we have the British Establishment at a closed event in Westminster Abbey in memory of Nelson Mandela.  Prince Harry, David Cameron, all the toffs.  I was never more than a footsoldier in the anti-apartheid movement, but I trudged through the rain and handed out leaflets in Dundee and Edinburgh.  I suspect very few indeed of the guests at this posh memorial service did that.  David Cameron was actively involved in Conservative groups which promoted precisely the opposite cause.

My first appointment in the Foreign Office was to the South Africa (Political) desk in 1984.  The official British government line was that the ANC was a terrorist organization.  I faced hostility and disapproval even when I tried to get action on appalling human rights abuses like the case of Oscar Mpetha (thanks here to Tony Gooch and Terry Curran, they know why).  I got in big trouble for asking how many black guests had been received in the High Commissioner’s residence in Pretoria.

Every day, on a day to day basis, my job involved dealing with members of the British establishment, its political, business and professional communities.  The entire tenor of those meetings was how to prevent economic sanctions, circumvent existing sanctions and prolong the economic advantages to the UK of white rule.  Support for PW Botha was axiomatic.  I have no doubt many of those people or those who worked alongside them are in Westminster Abbey today.

The final extraordinary outbreak of hypocrisy is on the British left.  Russian military invasion of Ukraine is approved by them, because it is an invasion by Russia, and not an invasion by the West.  They are precisely as hypocritical as Hague.  Both think it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations, but only by their chosen side.

Until 1917, Russia was an Empire, avowedly so.  Thereafter the Soviet Union was a non-avowed Empire. The Crimea, and the rest of the Caucasus, was not colonized by Russia until the 1820’s onward.  The reason Crimea has a majority Russian population is that Stalin deported the Krim Tartars as recently as the 1930’s.  That was an old fashioned, wholesale  colonial atrocity, precisely similar to the British clearing parts of Kenya for white settlement.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Russian statesmen like Nesselrode appealed to the British in particular, not to oppose their expansion in the Caucasus, because as he said like the British they were white Christian Europeans engaged in a civilizing mission among savages and Muslims.  It was precisely the same colonial motivation the British used.  There is no moral difference, or even overt difference in justification at the time, between British colonization of India and Russian colonization of Chechnya.  Because Britain happens to be an island, we think of Empires as something you get to by ship.  Russia’s Empire happened to be a contiguous land mass.  But Dagestan, Chechnya, and Tartarstan were none the less colonies, exactly as were Kokhand, Bokhara and Khiva, formed to make Uzbekistan.  Yet left wing anti-colonialism does not demand decolonisation by Russia, only the West. Gross hypocrisy.


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  1. And what if Kiev sends the military in to Donetsk Craig?
    Donetsk City Council declares itself sole lawful authority in the city itself-sole-lawful-authority-in-the-city-338120.html

    Or Kharkhov?

    There’s nothing ‘legitimate’ about the new Kiev regime
    Any more than there is in Egypt or anywhere else where elections have been overturned

  2. Tony

    You sound just like Willam Hague. “What if Gadaffi sends his troops into Benghazi?”

    The point is they are Ukrainians involved in a civil dispute with Ukrainians. It would be absolutely wrong for Russia to intervene, just as it was wrong for the West to intervene in Libya.

  3. The service is on live now on BBC 2. Archbishop Tutu is addressing the congregation. On this link I believe you can watch from the start.

    Zuma did not attend. He has gone to a Mugabe family wedding in Zimbabwe.

    Shame that the ANC liberation ended up with the likes of Zuma. Little has changed for the better in the life of the black South African, discounting those who have joined the middle class and have acquired wealth.

  4. I think this exposes one of the fatal flaws of all statist positions – its not about people, its about absolute power over areas of land.
    For the non-anarchist left (and possibly the non-Marxian), they too often take the same view as the right – the enemy of our enemy is our friend. Never mind that that ‘friend’ is a violent, right wing imperialist (or violent ‘left-wing’ imperialist).

    Its all about power for the elite, nothing about people and suffering. That’s sadly the same for those at the top of all sides in the Ukranian factions too.

  5. A bit more hypocrisy by you where you ignore English land-based imperialism at the expense of the Welsh, Scots and Celts, and Russian presence in the Ukraine since at least the 12th century when it was under attack by the nomads of central Asia..

    .And I an no British left-winger.

  6. Trowbridge

    The Kievan Rus were not just under attack, they were positively driven out to Muscovy in the 12th century. I agree with your point about English imperialism.

  7. As always Dmitry Orlov talks a lot of sense about this situation.

  8. I am not referring to the Kievan Rus but the Russians in eastern current Ukraine in the 12th century – what resulted in the appearance of The Tale of (Prince) Igor’s Campaign.

    It played the same role in the formation of Russian consciousness, as thevNibelungenlied and the poem of El Cid did in the formation of other European national consciousness.

  9. Phil,

    “More government, more bureaucracy, more laws, more police, more coercion”. I have consistently argued for less of all of those. I am deleting your comment as it is a deliberate falsehood.

  10. Trowbridge,

    We are referring to the same event, and they left and went to Muscovy. Yes, Ukrainian lands are a potent part of Russia’s national myth. But that is exactly similar to Israel in Jewish national myth. The fact your people were somewhere a thousand or two thousand years ago does not give you the right to it now, if you left in the interim.

  11. Craig, I hope I’m not being hypocritical myself. I do try to avoid that. Various things seem to be insufficiently differentiated from each other, both in thought and reality, leading to a lot of confusion.

    There is the economic system of the EU, insufficiently differentiated from the military ambitions of US-dominated NATO.

    There is the objection to the questionable manner of the change of political power in Ukraine, insufficiently differentiated from opposition to the popular movement for change in Ukraine.

    There is concern about the sudden shift in the power-balance between the the nuclear-armed powers of the US and Russia, insufficiently differentiated from support for Russian interventionism.

    Personally, I feel that opinions similar to my own are being widely misrepresented in a manner that serves pro-Western-corporatist propaganda. This is why I’ve been arguing on these threads against all mud-slinging, including accusations of “supporting the Kremlin” or “supporting the Neocon agenda” or whatever; it takes time and considerable reflection when composing a comment to differentiate between the various tangled strands I mention above. It is much quicker and easier for those who point the finger at others and accuse them of being “supportive of (whichever chosen) enemy”, and consequently such commenters can post several comments and malign several other commenters in the time it takes myself to compose a comment such as this.

  12. No actually it IS the cutting edge of political analysis, and I congratulate you, Craig, on persisting in analysing political events from an ethical perspective rather than in terms of discredited political dogmas. The dishonesty of contemporary politics is the fundamental issue, because constructive discourse is almost impossible when people conceal their own true motivations.

    At to the contemporary British Left, they’re about as dogmatic, inhuman, dishonest, and oblivious to reality as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and discussions with them leave me equally frustrated.

  13. Yossi

    Honestly, that is pathetic. Five of the seven bullet points Orlov starts with are quite simply untrue.

  14. Craig

    I notice that Kosovo and Sierra Leone were missing from the list of foreign interventions that you opposed – was that deliberate or do believe that there are genuine cases for liberal interventionism?

  15. Actually my last comment was in response to a comment that Craig deleted while I was writing it!

    But on another point, Trowbridge, yes obviously you’re not British of any political persuasion, as you apparently think that “Celts” are a specific ethnic group distinct from “Welsh” and “Scots”. But I don’t want to derail the discussion into a (probably fruitless) discussion of the complexities of ethnicity and ancient British history.

    As regards whether “the Russians” were in Ukraine or any other place at any particular time in the Middle Ages, such discussions tend to project modern national self-definitions onto the past where in fact nations did not exist in the modern sense of the word. Historical atlases are very misleading when they show states expanding and contracting like amoebas. Mostly these boundary changes did not involve any transfer of population- the peasants stayed put and were merely taxed, oppressed, raped, and occasionally massacred by a different set of mounted warriors. Nationality is a modern construct.

  16. Craig
    He has many contacts in Ukraine and seems to be closer to the ground than most people who comment. What do you think of his comments iro “Heaven’s Hundred” ?

  17. “There is the economic system of the EU, insufficiently differentiated from the military ambitions of US-dominated NATO.”

    Who is suggesting that the Ukraine joins NATO – I have seen no call from the Ukrainians to do so, and there have been several opinion polls where Ukrainians from all parts of the country have made it clear that they do not want to join NATO.

  18. ESLO

    No, I opposed Sierra Leone too – very actively indeed in the Foreign Office. I wrote a book about it! On Kossovo, I believe it was wrong too, but I was unfortunately so tied up over Sierra Leone I can’t pretend I paid much attention at the time.

  19. Congratulations, Craig, on a series of astute pieces of analysis. Both on the arrest of Moazzem Begg and on the Ukraine crisis, what your clarity of exposition makes clear is how hypocrisy undermines the authority with which many of the actors speak.

    There’s such an accumulation of self-deception that it would be an astonishingly effective ploy to detach the “nasty” label from the Conservative Party if Cameron were to say – “I now admit, with shame, that there was a time when I and most people in the Conservative Party, including Mrs Thatcher, supported rulers of South Africa such as P W Botha and dismissed Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. We were wrong. The reason why I made such a wrong call was… [I’ll leave him to construct a concluding phrase which does not reduce a genuine apology to an apologia].”

  20. Well, at least one of Russia’s greatest composers revived the myth in the 19th century when it was in control of Kiev, unlike what happened with other European national myths.

    The weakness of the West’s case against Moscow is now demonstrated by its not going to the UN over Moscow’s alleged unprovoked aggressions – what it would, of course, only lose while having its covert dirty tricks exposed.

    Wonder if Snowden has given Moscow some insights into what the Anglo-Americans have been up to there, starting with the Sochi Games?

  21. “as you apparently think that “Celts” are a specific ethnic group distinct from “Welsh” and “Scots”

    Haven’t you heard of the Cornish and Elmet?

  22. Craig, in your compendium of hypocrisy you have pointedly left out your beloved EU.

    Brussels is seemingly comfortable with members of Svoboda and Right Sector occupying cabinet posts in the new government in Kiev. Compare and contrast their current behaviour with the hissy fit they threw in 2000 when the Freedom Party (after gaining over 20% of the popular vote) obtained cabinet posts in the Austrian government, and Brussels imposed pointless ‘sanctions’ for several months-

  23. Pete, 1:29 pm;

    Actually my last comment was in response to a comment that Craig deleted while I was writing it!

    That’s one of the reasons I always preface my replies like I have this one.

    All: I do wish everyone would do the same; it helps to prevent confusion, unintended offence, and time wasted in responding to arguments that were actually directed elsewhere. It helps readers to look back in the thread to see exactly what a reply was in response to.

  24. ESLO, 1:35 pm

    “Who is suggesting that the Ukraine joins NATO “

    What matters in understanding recent Russain military action is whether the Russian government fears such a development.

  25. Old Mark

    Are members of Svoboda and Right Sector really occupying cabinet posts? Because I have repeatedly asked for examples, and so far the only examples given have been people who are not members of either, like Klitschko. I am not saying they are not, I am asking for the evidence as all I have seen so far is assertion.

  26. Hi Craig,

    Notwistanding the ilegality of the Crimean move, you cannot surely equate that with the Lybia affair. I mean, how many Texan-speakers live in western Lybia? How close is to Maryland? And so forth.

  27. Sure have heard of the Cornish, as has bard Peter Ellis, author of Celt and Saxon, The Struggle for Britain AD 410-937, but who are Elmet? Can only find them on one of his maps, near Liincoln.

    And don’t forget the picts, scone, inbbhir ris, etc., just to name a few others.

  28. Elmet is an area which was reputed to be the last stronghold of the Celts in England – Ted Hughes wrote the Remains of Elmet.

  29. What invasion Craig?

    According to the status of force agreement Russia can post up to 30,000 soldiers in Crimea. The normal size of its forces there is just half of that. If Russia wants to reinforce those it can do so without breaking any national or international agreement.

  30. lucythediclonius

    3 Mar, 2014 - 2:13 pm

    Are members of Svoboda and Right Sector really occupying cabinet posts? Because I have repeatedly asked for examples, and so far the only examples given have been people who are not members of either, like Klitschko. I am not saying they are not, I am asking for the evidence as all I have seen so far is assertion.

  31. My own hypocrisy compels me to delete my own comment

  32. lucythediclonius

    3 Mar, 2014 - 2:41 pm

    This article covers the Ukranian cabinet Ive checked a few of them and it seems authentic.


    ‘Yats’ is allied with Tymoshenko. A rose is a rose by any other name.

  34. Breathtaking hyprocrisy and duplicity. Western states have thought up this doctrine of ‘right to protect’ which they own and use to overthrow governments.

    Russia is not using this ‘right’ it is using it’s natural protection of Russian citizens and Russian assets.

    Geopolitics and world order dominate the minds of the elite, the banksters and corporates who pull the political strings. These zombies and their lackeys lack empathy and suppress past memory. They are dangerous, their minds overtaken by a Russia threat fantasy. They do not care about a single bit about you or I or Craig or the 3000 murdered in the Trade Towers or the Ukrainian people, just as they did not care one iota about the Albanians in Kososova in 1999, a conflict like Iraq in that NO UNSC approval was gained. In 2001 the UN refusing to admit this genocide just as we also witness the indefinate delay of the damning Chilcot inquiry on Iraq.

    Folks, this is one putsh too far, one violation too much. This cruel oligarthy of absolutism and totality must be ended by OUR power of intention. We are all connected in nonduality and we can make this work for us to change course from a path that can only lead to catastrophe and termination.

  35. Ben, 2:42; your first link doesn’t work due to the exclamation mark being omitted, but this party is described as social-democratic:!

    Your second link redirects to the Batkivshchyna page; they’re described as centre-right:

  36. “According to the status of force agreement Russia can post up to 30,000 soldiers in Crimea”

    Surrounding Ukrainian army bases? This is perhaps the most ridiculous apologia I have seen so far.

  37. “Are members of Svoboda and Right Sector really occupying cabinet posts? Because I have repeatedly asked for examples, and so far the only examples given have been people who are not members of either, like Klitschko. I am not saying they are not, I am asking for the evidence as all I have seen so far is assertion.”

    Yes, there certainly are cabinet members who are far-right, including Svoboda members. Probably the worst one, by the looks of things is Andriy Parubiy, who is in charge of national security of all things. The defence and police also look to have been put in charge of Svoboda as well, which is pretty scary stuff.

    I think we will have to wait until the elections so that we can see how the Ukrainian people vote.

  38. Another hypocrite is John Kerry “You don’t just invade another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.”

    Well these represent some US invasions. Just 34 from the Mexico war of 1846 but surely a lot more to come in the never-ending war on Islam.

  39. Dammit. Posted this on the wrong thread:


    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. There is a lot of hypocrisy to go around today.
    I don’t particularly condone the Russian annexation of the Crimea.
    Equally I don’t condone the western attempt to overthrow the government
    in Kiev.

    I support the right of the Ukrainians to self-determination, but when that
    is funded and fomented by external money and power then it is not a revolution,
    it is a coup.

    I strongly object to the Western media narrative that this all due to the nasty guy Putin. He may well be nasty, but no less so than the neo-cons in the Whitehouse.
    Sadly the Great Game is where nasty people go to play. Nice ones don’t do well there.

    I feel sorry for the 40 million Ukrainians who are having their world turned upside down to satisfy the egos of power elites in faraway foreign capitals.

  41. Clark;

    “In May 2013 “Svoboda”, “Fatherland” and UDAR vowed to coordinate their actions during the 2015 Ukrainian presidential election.[80]”

    FATHERLAND link above


    “The Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform of Vitali Klitschko (Ukrainian: Український демократичний альянс за реформи Віталія Кличка; the acronym UDAR/УДАР translates to “strike” or “punch”)[16] is a political party in Ukraine headed by retired[17] Ukrainian professional heavyweight boxer and the WBC world heavyweight champion emeritus Vitali Klitschko.[2] The party has an anti-corruption and pro-European platform.”

  42. The BBC have roped in Norman Smith to give out the anti-Putin propaganda now. He normally comments on parliamentary affairs in the ‘Houses’.

    John Simpson is also pontificating from the region as is his wont but I am not sure if he got into Crimea, burka wearing or not.

  43. to clarify this is Fatherland….

  44. It may be just a temporary alliance of convenience (the enemy of my enemy is my friend) for center-rght and rabid brown-shirts, but it does take the patina off their political vehicle.

  45. Craig believes that there are no neo-Nazis in the Kiev ‘government’ but here are these Swedish types arriving. Good job Breivik is under lock and key in Norway.

    Neo-Nazis Pour Into Kiev

    A stream of European jihadists have traveled to Syria to wage holy war. Now a group of European neo-Nazis are traveling to Ukraine to save the white race

    The Daily Beast was set up by Tina Brown, Harold Evans’ wife.

    The Daily Beast is an American news reporting and opinion website founded and formerly published by Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker as well as the short-lived Talk Magazine. The Daily Beast was launched on 6 October 2008, and is owned by IAC. John Avlon, an American journalist and political commentator as well as a CNN contributor, is the site’s executive editor, and Rhona Murphy is its interim CEO. Brown stepped down as editor in September 2013.

    The name of the site was taken from a fictional newspaper in Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop. On 12 November 2010, The Daily Beast and Newsweek announced a merger deal, creating a combined company, The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. On 3 Aug 2013 IAC, owner of The Daily Beast, sold Newsweek to IBT Media, owner of the International Business Times.

    > Etienne Uzac is the French-American co-founder and CEO of IBT Media, a New York based digital media company. Etienne started the company in 2006 with co-founder Johnathan Davis after completing his Bachelor’s degree at LSE.

    Etienne grew up in France and South Africa and while studying for college in London, he saw an opportunity to develop a truly global business digital media property. So he started International Business Times (, a business focused digital news property that now boasts over 20M unique users a month.

    Building on the success of IBTimes, the company started and now runs 12 other vertical news websites in the tech, health, Hispanic sectors and more. IBT Media also operates a premium digital video platform and portal. During the summer of 2013, IBT Media acquired Newsweek. All in all IBT Media O&O properties reach 40M unique users a month.

    Etienne is on the 2013 Folio:100 List


    Probably too much information but I wanted to see the provenance/ownership of The Daily Beast.

  46. “Russia is not using this ‘right’ it is using it’s natural protection of Russian citizens and Russian assets.”

    And who exactly has been threatened in the Crimea – apart from a few Tartars who have been beaten up and who can be ethnically cleansed at a later date when their propiskas have been checked.

  47. Improper use of ‘patina’ should’ve been ‘shine’.

  48. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 Mar, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    In a worrying break with riot etiquette crowds of citizens have stormed and occupied regional government buildings in eastern Ukraine.

    Ignoring the time honoured and respectable tradition of throwing molotov coctails through the windows they have schemed instead to erect wire-mesh window guards.

    They are demanding that their representatives meet to debate and vote on a motion of disobedience to the guys with baseball bats in the burned our government buildings of Kiev.

    Is this</a acceptable behavior?

  49. I still want to know, who are this lot?

    They are apparently equipped and trained well enough to confront the police. They have helmets and shields; some of the helmets are motorcycle helmets and maybe they took the shields from the police. Many have eye protection or visors. Quite a few have bullet-proof jackets, and some seem to have full Kevlar body-armour. The “commanding officer” has a two-way radio. But most of all they seem trained and under orders. This sort of force doesn’t look like a simple civil uprising. But on the next video, you can see that the uprising definitely has popular support. Look at all the food that has been brought by normal people. See the woman passing out snacks:

  50. I think it is Propooski (пропуски) ESLO.

  51. No question the popular uprising had some legitimacy as push-back on corruption, but I wonder if there is a neo-nazi version of CHAOS in events on the ground.

  52. We still haven’t been given the names of any neo-Nazis who are in the Cabinet. EU citizens can enter Ukraine without a visa – I don’t think the Swedish neo-Nazis were invited there to join the government. No evidence they were invited at all – if the report is true. 90% of reporting coming out of Ukraine on all sides is just propaganda.

    As far as I can see, Ukrainian politicians of pretty well all affiliations are even more sleazy than politicians generally are. That includes both Yanukovich and Timoshenko’s crews. Neo-Nazis are of course uniquely and especially deplorable. But as far as I can judge, to characterize the current administration in Kiev as Neo-Nazi is lazy and untrue.

    What I suspect to happen next is that Putin will stage an attack on ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine. Despite Gladio etc, the West has no monopoly on false flag attacks. The false flag apartment bombings blamed on the Chechens had a direct effect on Putin’s consolidation of power.

  53. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 Mar, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    A messy link there. Sorry.

    Here it is:

  54. Keith Crosby

    3 Mar, 2014 - 3:52 pm

    Come off it Craig, the US empire and the lickspittles you used to work for have been in Ukraine for more than a decade. Pot calls kettle black.

  55. “What invasion Craig?

    According to the status of force agreement Russia can post up to 30,000 soldiers in Crimea. The normal size of its forces there is just half of that. If Russia wants to reinforce those it can do so without breaking any national or international agreement.”

    I must say that these were my thoughts exactly.

    Russian troops have always been in Crimea. The Crimean people don’t seem to mind them being there. Last I heard there had not been one shot fired.

    To call this an invasion smacks of western hype and propaganda.

  56. John

    I think you will find that it pronounced propiski – I just made the plural from the singular in the usual anglicised manner. But yes Russia has retained the old repressive Soviet residence permit system.

  57. Who knows whether they were invited…

    ” The German government is encouraging the protest demonstrations being staged in the Ukraine by the “pro-European” alliance of conservative and ultra-rightwing parties. The “pro-Europe rallies” in Kiev and other cities of the country are transmitting “a very clear message”, according to a government spokesperson in Berlin: “Hopefully” the Ukrainian president “will heed this message,” meaning sign the EU’s Association Agreement, which Kiev had refused to do last week, in spite of massive German pressure. To gain influence in the country, Germany has for years been supporting the “pro-European” alliance in the Ukraine. The alliance includes not only conservative parties, but also forces from the extreme right – because of their strength, particularly in western Ukraine, where a cult around former Nazi collaborators is manifesting itself. The All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda” party is particularly embedded in the national-chauvinist milieu, under the influence of this cult. Over the past few days, the party’s leader has called for a “revolution” in Kiev”

  58. Clark,

    I am not sure who those people are in your video, so this is guesswork from looking at the shields they are holding. It seems it might be C-14, which apparently is a neo-Nazi group. The shields have the number 14 and then are followed by the word Сотня which means 100, or hundreds. I think that’s a popular word for a large group, with “sotnyk” being the head of such a group. So I guess the guy with the walkie-talkie is a Sotnyk. Maybe someone else will have a better idea, however. The word along the bottom looks like “Samooborony”, which seems to mean “self-defence”. However, take this with a pinch of salt. I could be wrong about that.

  59. “Allied in Europe with France’s National Front, the British National Party and Hungary’s Jobbik among others, Svoboda was previously known as the Social-National Party, an echo of the National Socialist, or Nazi Party.”

  60. In fact, it may simply mean Number 14 Self-Defence Battalion (Hundreds), and not have any attachment to neo-Nazism at all. But numbers such as 14 and 88 are sometimes used as not-very-secret code by neo-Nazis.

  61. I have seen no mention yet of the reason Russian troops are in Crimea.

    The interim Ukraine government passed a law removing Russian from being an official language. This outraged and scared the people of Crimea who are mostly Russian speaking, there was an uprising.

    I don’t see any reason for passing this law at this time other than to create unrest.

    The law has now been repealed but the damage is done.

  62. As to cabinet seats we have to ask; Is Congress or Parliament populated with acolytes of the leadership? It seems logical the same rings true in Kiev.

  63. Craig
    Still waiting for your views on “Heavens Hundred” ?
    In the meantime have a look at one of the revolutionaries intimidating a government official.

  64. Craig: “On Kossovo, I believe it was wrong too, but I was unfortunately so tied up over Sierra Leone I can’t pretend I paid much attention at the time.”

    That’s a staggering statement ! The most serious conflict in Europe since WW2, and you didn’t “paid much attention” !! I sincerely hope that there is no connection with your nonchalant indifference to NATO’s bombing of Eastern Orthodox Serbians, to your peculiarly focused hostility to the mostly Eastern Orthodox Russians, which would actually also tie-in with your past negative & disparaging remarks about Eastern Orthodox Greeks ?!

  65. “Concerns about Svoboda aren’t confined to words and historical associations, however. As reported by the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) in April, Svoboda thugs took part in an opposition demonstration against the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, and provoked a small riot in Cherkassy, a city some 125 miles southeast of Kyiv. Outfitted with T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Beat the zhids!,” the Svoboda goons’ provocation has, according to JTA, “raised anxieties among Ukrainian Jews fearful of rising xenophobia and racially motivated violence.” Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament, is quoted saying: “Svoboda lifted the lid from the sewer of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and it’s spilling out.””

  66. “The West must therefore urge restraint—not only from Moscow, but from Kiev as well. Any aid to the government in Kiev should be made strictly conditional on measures to reassure the Russian-speaking populations of the east and south of the country: respect for elected local authorities; restoration of the official status of minority languages; and above all, no use of force in those regions. In the longer run, the only way to keep Ukraine together may be the introduction of a new federal constitution with much greater powers for the different regions”

  67. OrwellianUK

    3 Mar, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    The caveat to this Craig is that although Putin is definitely at least bending international law and existing agreements, the reality is that those areas where Russian forces have entered are largely Pro-Russian anyway, historical ethnic cleansing aside of course. And as far as I can tell, so far the Russians haven’t fired a shot. If this were a Western Intervention, we’d be talking Shock and Awe in no time. I don’t think Vlad has any intention whatsoever in starting a war, but rather encouraging what is likely to happen anyway, which is a breakup of what is currently designated as the Ukraine into smaller states with Russia pulling into it’s sphere of influence the bits it wants, such as the Industrial East and Crimea.

    Any country would act to protect its interests against subversion by a powerful foreign state and this has been true throughout history, so if Putin hadn’t done this, he would probably be the first Autocrat in history not to follow the rules of what Global and Regional Empires do. Can we imagine for instance what the US would do if Russia and China engineered political unrest and a coup d’etat in Canada and installed their own puppet government there?

    I think what many on the so called ‘left’ are pointing out is that Russia has only chosen to take this action due to the ongoing machinations of Western Powers to dominate the world and Isolate Russia. No Western interference in Ukraine would have resulted in no Regime Change in Ukraine and therefore no reaction by Russia to protect it’s ‘backyard’.

    The difference here is that although we see Western backed NGO’s doing their dirty business all over the world attempting to subvert the sovereignty of nations, you won’t see Russia or China attempting this like my above example any time soon. It’s nearly always the West who starts it. When the US Empire has faded into history though, perhaps roles will be reversed.

  68. lucythediclonius

    3 Mar, 2014 - 4:52 pm

  69. the High Commissioner’s residence in Pretoria

    Is that a mistake, or did the Brits continue to use the term “High Commissioner” behind the scenes, even when South Africa was outside the Commonwealth?

    In the mid-nineteenth century, Russian statesmen like Nesselrode appealed to the British in particular, not to oppose their expansion in the Caucasus, because as he said like the British they were white Christian Europeans engaged in a civilizing mission among savages and Muslims

    Yes, but in the Crimean War the Brits didn’t bat an eyelid when they backed the Muslim Turks against their fellow Christian Russians.

    If today’s topic du jour is the Russian empire, as well as the Caucasus see also the indigenous peoples of Siberia whose cultures were crushed in way that is comparable in some ways to the experience of the ‘Indians’ in North America.

    Those Siberian peoples include the Evenks, who gave the world the word “shaman”. Last I heard, their life expectancy was 29.

  70. …and also of course Sochi, which is basically occupied territory.

    Occupied, that is, after the expulsions and genocide of the Circassians.

  71. Some of these Ukrainian fascist members of parliament are threatening Russia with nukes:

    “We’ll regain our status as a nuclear power and that’ll change the conversation. Ukraine has all the technological means needed to create a nuclear arsenal – which would take us about three to six months,” Svoboda party MP Mikhail Golovko said.

    The rhetoric, which contradicts the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty Ukraine signed in 1994, is not new for the Svoboda party, one of the driving forces behind the Maidan uprising. Its leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, already promised that the country would go nuclear while he was running for the presidency in 2009.”

    It seems that they could only manage a “dirty bomb” at the moment, but that would be ideal in terms of the kind of proxy war that the West wishes upon Russia.

    I wonder would that be reason enough for Russia to “invade”.

    Remember that some of these lunatics are now in government positions:

    You’ve got a fascist who’s now Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security Council, and another one his deputy. You’ve got another fascist who’s the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. Another one is running the anti-corruption committee and yet another who is minister for youth and sports, with all that that implies.

    “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.”

  72. Here’s why Chechnya is different from Crimea Craig.

    [quote] This is my big beef with the Chechens. Not their desire for independence. Actually, as claims for a historical right for independence go, the Chechen one was, in comparison to many others made in the former USSR, one of the most historically credible ones: unlike other peoples in the Caucasus, the Chechens have always resisted the Russian Empire, and while all the big cities in the Chechen plains were built by Russian Cossacks (including Grozny), the mountainous regions of Chechnia have always belonged to the Chechen nation. Simply put – the Russian presence in Chechnia has no other explanation then Russian imperialism and the Chechen desire for independence can only be considered as natural and just.

    No, the reason why I feel no sympathy at all for the Chechens is that from day one of their independence movement, they managed to be lead by truly evil thugs, cynical and bloodthirsty gang leaders with no sense of even basic human decency, truly the most vile and abject kind of human garbage ever produced by the Soviet society. All the Chechen leaders, and I do mean *all* of them, were truly monsters and yet the Chechen society naively thought that it could be lead by such people and not reap the consequences. Not only that, but for several years a very large part of the Chechen population actually enjoyed the orgy of lawlessness and violence that overtook Chechnia. Initially the victims were mostly ethnic Russians (and especially the Cossacks which the Chechens always feared and hated). But soon enough the lawlessness turned all of Chechnia into what can only be called a “black hole”. Eventually, of course, the Chechens reaped what they had themselves sown.

    I know for a fact that times when Russian military commanders, when confronted by Chechen crowds complaining about the destruction of their villages by the Russian military, replied: “Look, I am from Siberia and I miss my home. I hate this place and I would leave as soon as possible if I did not have to clean up the mess that you created. Where were you when many thousands people were kidnapped, murdered, tortured on video and in public squares, raped, when slaves were sold on open markets in central Grozny, when hundreds of innocents were held in zindans and when bandits were running your republic? It is because of you – the so-called ‘innocent Chechens’ – that I am here and that my men will have to eliminate all the thugs and murderers which you allowed to prosper and flourish in your society. If you could not clean your own mess, then shut up and don’t complain if we do it now!”

    And you know what? I fully agree with that.

    Yes, a lot of innocent Chechens died, and a lot of innocent Chechens lost their dwellings. But at the core – it’s their own fault. Call it karma if you want, or call it historical justice, but a society is responsible for the consequences of letting crazed murderers rule it. This is fundamentally true of the Germans before and during WWII, and it is true for the Chechens today.[/quote]

  73. Details are sketchy here, but if the report is true, the Russian side has just dangerously upped the stakes-

    If the Ukrainian forces are outnumbered and outgunned, why set a deadline for surrender ? The Russian forces who seized Pristina airport in the Kosovo conflict in 1999 were simply cut off from any sources of re-supply, and soon had no alternative but to hand the airport over to NATO forces.

  74. Meanwhile if Tsar Vladimir the Terrible wants to come up with a legal justifiction for invading/liberating Crimea and possibly East and South mainland Ukraine what argument might he come up with?

    If I were him I might try this:

    “The sole remaining legal representative in the Ukraine is President Yanukovich according to the Ukranian constitution. Yanukovitch has neither resigned nor been impeached. What’s happened is a coup with neo Nazi armed insurgents doing the heavy lifting. Thus, if President Yanokovich requests Russian military assistance to protect Ukranian nationals under existential threat from a cadre of anti-russian and anti-semitic Ukrainian nationalists who have gained significant influence in this coup d’etat, then this is not a Russian invasion, but an invitation of Russian forces into the Ukraine.

    Kiev either has the means to control the fascists but chooses not to or it does not have control of them, either way they are failing by their own measure to uphold the security of Ukranian citizens in the East and South of Ukraine. Russian intervention is therefore not being used to overthrow the regime in Kiev, but to protect. This is R2P – Responsibility to Protect as requested by the President of the Ukraine”

    Yanukovitch is safely in Russian custody just as King James II was in French custody after 1688. No doubt Tsar Vladimir could persuade Yanukovitch to issue such a “request” in return for safe asylum in Russia and maybe a financial payoff for him and his “family”

    Alternatively Vlad the Hammer could simply quote the Kosovo precedent. Yes the 1999 war can be justified as humanitarian intevention but the independence of Kosovo in 2007 was blatantly illegal. It should have remained an autonomous province within Serbia. When the West recognised Kosovan independence it was setting a very dangerous precedent that has come back to bite us as I predicted it would at the time.

    Vlad the Hammer can say “Shocking isn’t it my invading a sovereign state. Only the West is allowed to do that! I am shocked, shocked to discover that there is gambling in this establishment!”

  75. ESLO 3 Mar, 2014 – 3:57 pm

    Yes thanks for that. I didn’t even know about propiska. They issued us with propooski in 1982 (which can apparently pluralise as propooska). What is most interesting is that one of these near synonyms is feminine (propiska) and the other masculine (propoosk). Ah well, the joys of language.

  76. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    3 Mar, 2014 - 5:35 pm


    Thank you for another good theme, but please do be careful – you are really living dangerously and worse – sorry, I really mean better – endangering the lives of many who usually support you: as you know, people can and do die of apoplexy.

    Having said that, I encourage you to stand your ground the FCO couldn’t break you and the tiny rages of many of these smelly little orthodox leftists will not do so either.

  77. The ‘ultimatum’ reported by the Beeb in the link I gave at 5.10 has elicited a Russian denial-

    If THIS report is true, the Beeb were shamefully acting as FCO stenographers in the previous report.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  78. The BBC are still saying it Old Mark. Top headline on front page.

    3 March 2014 Last updated at 16:52
    Russia demands surrender of Ukraine’s Crimea forces


    Of course there is a direct line through from No 10.

  79. Off topic.

    Monday 3rd March ~ BBC4 10:30pm till midnight

    5 Broken Cameras is an intimate documentary filmed by a Palestinian father at the start of his youngest son’s life; the filming continues as his cameras are progressively broken as he and fellow villagers struggle against the brutal encroachment of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. It is compelling viewing. See it and know what is really happening in our lifetimes.

  80. BBC News Channel has carried the Russian denial of surrender ultimatum. However some journalists claim they heard the surrender demand over loudspeakers at the navy base. Another claim says it wasn’t over the loudspeakers it was a surrender demand over the radio. Elsewhere on another forum someone claims that it was a radio transmission from Cyprus pretending to be from Russian forces. Lots of contradictory versions of the story.

  81. “Russia’s speaker of parliament has said it is currently “not necessary” to launch military action in Ukraine. His comment came as Russia’s Black Sea Fleet denied it had given Ukrainian forces an ultimatum to surrender.”

    Not quite Iraq or Libya.

  82. “it had issued a deadline with the threat of an assault, according to Interfax, who had originally been quoting an unnamed Ukrainian official.”

    That old trick.

  83. OrwellianUK

    Personally I have no problem with the Ukraine breaking up, if regions genuinely want to secede (and are not under Russian military occupation when they make the decision).

    But I am not sure Putin wants that. The remaining Ukraine, most of it, would then be solidly anti-Russian and probably a NATO member in a decade. Personally I think internationally supervised referenda on their status in the several provinces ought to be the way forward – but I don’t think that is Putin’s idea at all.

  84. Robert

    You acknowledge the justice of Chechnya’s right to independence, but then deny it because they are led by bloodthirsty thugs.

    Err – we were led by Tony Blair. Vastly more blood on his hands than on those of any Chechens. So do you hate us too? It is a mistake to blame people for their leaders. Political leaders are almost always bastards. Ordinary people are always almost nice. That sums up what I have learnt in my lifetime rather neatly.

  85. Why Yanukovitch is still the lawful President of Ukraine

    Obviously law and morality are two different things but take a look at some of the Orange neo Nazis behind this coup.

  86. More fascist appointments to the Kiev govt:

    “Svoboda Party members have temporarily been appointed to the posts of Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Supplies, and Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources.”

  87. David Wearing

    3 Mar, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Nobody in my (100% anti-imperialist) left wing circles supports the Russian aggression, Craig. Don’t be misled by the increasingly embarrassing STW leadership and a few people on the internet. They don’t speak for all of us.

  88. Herbie,

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

    Robert, as I have said before, revolutions are illegal, that’s rather the point. But what it does not give is outside powers the right to invade.

  89. lucythediclonius

    3 Mar, 2014 - 6:55 pm

    Nice one Craig the reason you failed to spot the neo nazis in the cabinet is the party name and history is mysteriously lacking in say the telegraphs list of the cabinet.All the other members have the party in brackets.I think wikipedia editing is going crazy at the moment as well.

  90. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 Mar, 2014 - 7:01 pm


    It’s very complicated but I think I get it now, thanks to the “100% anti-imperialist left wing circles”

    I can mow see the dastardly Russian aggression for what it truly is.

    The old “Calm and Restrain” ploy. I know it’s a bit anticlimactic compared to proper “Shock and Awe” but I suppose it will have to do for today’s Two Minute Hate. Who are those Russians to threaten to break a monopoly on the use of desrtuctive violence as diplomacy anyway?

    Meanwhile in a sinister development Russia’s deputy foreign minister Georgy Karasin and his Chinese counterpart, Cheng Guoping, held consultations Monday and threatened the Free World by “stressing the need to continue the search for ways to resolve the situation in Ukraine, which would include wide participation from different political forces in the country and taking the interests of all Ukrainian regions into account.” Like the Feb 21 agreement or something.

    Wherever will they think of for their next act of aggression?

  91. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 Mar, 2014 - 7:13 pm

    More Russian aggression.

    “We have become accustomed to the daily accusations by the Ukrainian media of carrying out some sort of military actions against our Ukrainian colleagues,” Russian Black Sea Fleet representative said, adding that “those who want to pit us against each other in the Crimea won’t succeed.”

    Calm and Bore, the ultimate horror!

  92. “Robert, as I have said before, revolutions are illegal, that’s rather the point. But what it does not give is outside powers the right to invade.”

    But, according to Fred and others on here, the Russian’s haven’t invaded Crimea.

  93. Radio 4 extra today had a play on this afternoon one if the lady characters said to another “I will smash their face in!”

    Violence in society is everywhere we should not tolerate this use of language because it is vagrant assault on peace loving people.

  94. All this is about a bunch of criminals or to give them their official name “far right neo-conservatives”, they are just fighting amongst themselves for a bigger share of the planetary spoils and a higher degree of power in the coming neo-conservative NWO that they have planned for ALL of mankind!!!. Please remember who rules Russia, neo-conservative russian oligarchs, just the same as those who rule in the USA/UK.

    Remember, its how it works

  95. doug scorgie

    3 Mar, 2014 - 8:09 pm


    “The final extraordinary outbreak of hypocrisy is on the British left. Russian military invasion of Ukraine is approved by them, because it is an invasion by Russia, and not an invasion by the West. They are precisely as hypocritical as Hague. Both think it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations, but only by their chosen side.”

    Who on the British left is “approving” the invasion by Russia?

    Read this article from the Communist Party of Great Briton:

    Not a hint of support for the invasion.

    So can you name the names of the British left supporting this invasion?

    I am not a communist by the way and I don’t support Putin or the invasion but what happened is quite understandable politically.

  96. OrwellianUK

    3 Mar, 2014 - 8:44 pm

    Hi Craig

    I doubt that any of the various International Gangsters – Putin included – jockeying for a dominant influence over Ukraine will get everything they want, and that is a good thing, but I tend to think that Geography will trump here and the Russians will come out with the best deal. It did appear that the EU came up with a sensible plan that included Russia in the compromise, but the US decided to “Fuck the EU” and shot all that out of the water. That arrogance is likely to only entrench those opposed to US interests, including perhaps EU States who are increasingly irritated with being spied on and treated with contempt by Washington.

    Who knows, in a decade, it might be Russia coming into the European Union and the US ostracised as the “Rogue State” it so obviously is. After what I’ve seen in the last decade or so, anything is possible. In my view, there is unlikely to be any military escalation here, unless the West manages to provoke it somehow. Putin does not want a war and he will certainly compromise in order to avoid one. He merely wants to negotiate from a strong position.

    For those failing to notice, there are secessions and localisations going on all over the world. This is because the price of energy is forcing the world to downsize making the influence of large states and centralised governments ever harder to sustain. Everyone is becoming more regional and this is not just hard faced Nationalism. It makes economic sense in a contracting world.

  97. doug scorgie

    3 Mar, 2014 - 8:52 pm

    3 Mar, 2014 – 3:51 pm

    “What I suspect to happen next is that Putin will stage an attack on ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine.”

    Craig, Putin doesn’t need a “false-flag” attack but the west does.

    It is more likely to be against non-Russian civilians or Ukrainian armed forces.

  98. Britain has just pulled a hilarious “haversack ruse”.

    Anybody who doesn’t know what that means, look it up! :-)

  99. “Washington wants missile bases in Ukraine in order to degrade Russia’s nuclear deterrent, thus reducing Russia’s ability to resist US hegemony. Only three countries stand in the way of Washington’s hegemony over the world, Russia, China, and Iran.”

  100. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    3 Mar, 2014 - 9:13 pm

    Craig has done an excellent job in skewering the fashion for hypocrisy in political life in the real world

    After almost 100 comments on this thread – most of which are unfavourable to Craig’s thoughts – it’s perhaps timely if we were to skewer the hypocrisy of most of the commenters here in this unreal world. A hypocrisy to which I and a few others (ESLO, Resident Dissident, Anon, Kempe…) have been pointing for quite a while now and which I’m pleased to note Craig seems to have recognised as well.

    Let’s be honest – this indignation about “neo-Nazis” in the interim Ukraine govt is entirely synthetic. Most of the hypocrites don’t really give a damn about neo_Nazis: as evidenced by their constant support (cf threads passsim) of individuals and régimes whose actions are or were indistinguishable from those of neo-Nazis in intention and effect.

    Therefore, this (unsubstantiated) talk of neo-Nazis is just a stick with which to beat the new Ukrainian govt. So what are most of the lefty regulars really pissed about? The evidence points to two things:

    1/. a thuggish and undemocratically-inclined President of Ukraine – and, crucially, a soul-mate of thuggish, undemocratically-inclined President rasPutin – has been kicked out;

    2/. worse, the lefty regulars are convinced that the US and the West were responsible for this laudable development. In other words, what has happened represents – oh, horror! – a “victory” for the US and the West against the Kremlin pin-up. This is of course unforgivable.

    Case closed, I’d say.

  101. doug scorgie

    3 Mar, 2014 - 9:14 pm

    Old mark
    3 Mar, 2014 – 5:10 pm

    “Details are sketchy here, but if the report is true, the Russian side has just dangerously upped the stakes-“

    At times like this take what the BBC says with a pinch of salt – it is practically run by the security services.

  102. “But Russia’s Vladimir Putin is frustratingly wily for his opponents. For one, this protective principle is not to be confused with humanitarian intervention, an inchoate doctrine that admits, disingenuously, to no self-interest other than those of the “innocent” civilians. Rather, it is a principle based on intervention for reasons of nationality, otherwise termed the “doctrine of diplomatic protection.” Like it or not, Putin is playing by the book all strong powers have written over the centuries.” Binoy Kampmark analyses.

  103. Letter from Yanukovych presented to UN by Russians. Yanukovych asks for Russian military help.

  104. “Putin himself has not yet said much publicly. Everything has been done through his spokesmen. He’s spoken privately to many officials, but has not made any major speeches.

    That is a good point, and it reinforces my sense that we don’t know what his tactics are or what his strategy is. To what extent is this a plan, and to what extent is this an improvisation and largely a reaction to the rapid deterioration of the Russian position in Ukraine? The fact that he hasn’t said things that have locked him in is, to me, a glimmer of hope. And again, one thing it suggests is we shouldn’t give up on—however skeptical we are—the idea of negotiating something of a return to the status quo ante, where Russian troops would leave and you would have some kind of a joint Russian, EU, U.S., IMF economic package for Ukraine, which among other things would include some protections for the Russian speakers in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. That might be a long shot given where we now are, but I certainly would not give up on that kind of an outcome at this point.”

    IMO, any negotiation which includes the IMF won’t fly.

  105. Yanukovych is the democratically elected President of the Ukraine who was overthrown by the thugs in Washington and their stooges in London, as the disarray on the content as to how to respond to the coup demonstrates.

    Nothing is closed now.

  106. I had thought I was going to disagree with you at first, thinking FO expects a gentleman to lie for his country etc, read on thinking that although in your life you have paid the price for not playing the game you can’t really complain about no invite, read on about your RSA post, thought you have a good point to make there, and read on then on about the hypocrisy on the left over the Russian invasion of Ukraine I thought your bang on. Please continue to defy expectations.

    There is a childish article in this week’s Spectator by James Delingpole, who suggests that right wing news agencies should feed people what they want. Eeeehhmm they do, although the good thing about the Spectator is that it is not always as predictable as you might think (except for on fracking)

  107. Craig 3 Mar, 2014 – 1:13 pm
    “Phil, “More government, more bureaucracy, more laws, more police, more coercion”. I have consistently argued for less of all of those. I am deleting your comment as it is a deliberate falsehood.”

    Your repeated enthusiasm for the EU, and various other forms of government, would seem fairly described as an enthusiasm for “bigger” government (“bigger” being one part of my deleted comment that didn’t make your quote).

    I contend that “more bureaucracy, more laws, more police and more coercion” are an inevitable consequences of bigger, stronger, more government. Call for one and the others follow. I suspect you missed that and deleted over defensively.

    And by saying “deliberate” you assign motivation to me – something you often counsel others against. Hypocrisy lives in the heart of governments, some lefties and even some liberal establishment minded bloggers.

  108. “After negotiations with the European Union, and a parallel effort by Ukraine to secure loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) broke down, the Ukrainian government blamed the collapse of the agreement on the IMF’s push for severe austerity measures. Announcing the end of the negotiations, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov called the IMF’s austerity demands the “last straw.” IMF requirements listed by Ukraine include a wage freeze for public employees and large increases in home utility costs.”

    Heavy coercion is the only path for this tactic.

  109. Just me, 3 Mar, 2014 – 9:07 pm

    Yes, a good point about wanting a US missile base. Those who argue that they don’t would be advised to look at Poland and how that country has moved from the Russian sphere of influence and now has US military bases there. The Binoy Kampmark link in my previous comment mentions that at the time the shooting kicked off there were three ministers from European countries in Kiev “Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, France’s Laurent Fabius, and Poland’s Radoslaw Sikorski, were in Kiev during the shootings. The otherwise conservative Economist could hazard that their presence “may have facilitated a controlled collapse of Mr. Yanukovych’s rule.” “

  110. Yossi
    …In the meantime have a look at one of the revolutionaries intimidating a government official.

    Alexander Muzichko (aka Sashko Byliy) is one of the leaders of the “Right Sector” neo-nazi organization, also a member of the UNA-UNSO “Viking” squad. In 1994 he fought Russian troops in Chechnya.
    He was one of Dudayev’s body guards, the former Chechen president.
    Said to be connected to a unit of Shamil Basayev’s (who claimed responsibility for the Beslan school massacre in 2004, when 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children).
    Here he is talking about a weapons cache sacked from an army base at Rivne, saying they will be used against the Russian bases in Crimea (note, on 25th Feb).

  111. Only three countries stand in the way of Washington’s hegemony over the world, Russia, China, and Iran.”

    Except that the US lets an Israeli company, Magal Security Systems, handle some of the security at US nuclear installations, both civil and military. Mind you, so does Germany (civil).

    I think I’m right in saying that Russia doesn’t. (Corrections welcome.)

    Meanwhile, if there is a physical attack on ‘ethnic Russians’ in eastern Ukraine, I wouldn’t assume the Russian authorities are behind it.

  112. I see there is another Mike operating here (comment relating to 30,000 Russian troops). Jon/mod will confirm that I am Spartacus.

    Let’s hope this bozo doesn’t get any ear-time in Washington.

  113. “The overthrown president, who has since fled to Russia, was accused of mass murder, and the new government demanded his extradition (a dumb move, since Russia’s constitution forbids extradition). But there are serious questions about this interpretation of events: the special forces were never issued rifles and were never ordered to open fire on the protesters; there were quite a few special forces members themselves among those killed; the killings were carried out in such a manner as to incite rather than quell protest, by targeting women, bystanders and those assisting the wounded. The killings were followed by a professionally orchestrated public relations campaign, complete with a catchy name—“Heaven’s Hundred” (“Небесная сотня”)—complete with candlelight vigils, rapid clean-up and laying of wreaths at the scene of the crime and so on.”

  114. I rather think this particular deck-chair would be much better placed over there.
    Don’t you know, old boy.

    I can’t see why Craig mocks lefties. In recent months I have been surviving on 60 quid a week, thanks to a load of righties deciding to take charge, on a minority vote, and impose sanctions on the UK population. There has been no construction industry in the UK until election year. Where’s the Crime in Russia assisting a Russian majority in the Crimea?

    The Chinese banks assist the Chinese people to do business. What a weird’ old-fashioned socialist principle. But Craig’s mocking will surely itself be turned into an object of ridicule when China and its moral anchor of people power takes over the world. I’d give it 40 years.

  115. My other thought was whether we too could (or have) plans to be able to our troops out in their thousands seemingly at very short notice without insignia (and not by labouriously unsewing the stitches, which might be the British way) . If we did oh what horror there would be and cries of there goes G****o.

    What if Scotland wins the vote and there is then some financial crisis after a rejection from the EU, say the Scottish government are forced by circumstances or blackmailed to take the Ruble, there is a terrible crisis, and some unelected pro Britain group take over after a bit of a Scottish Maiden and ask Westminster (or Washington) to provide military support. Would that be ok?

    BTW not this is not said to put anyone off independence I am almost in favour.. The reasons I am slightly in favour include a love of the history of the border reviers, which when I think about it is itself a good enough reason for voting against. Border reviers ehhm romantic history here in Britain but it wasn’t romantic at the time. It was very bloody lawless and violent. Borders are good for conflict and conflict is sometimes as good for a profit as free trade…..but at a terrible price.


    What if Scotland won the vote, try to close all military establishments, a Labour UK gov is hesitant, the unthinkable happens at Westminster, and there is an army coup d’etat of England and a withdrawal from the EU (obviously not NATO). The English army go anonymously into Scotland guard the bases at the request of a middle of the night newly elected pro England Scottish leader, who has signs a treaty with Westminster to provide support? What then? Can / should the English army go in?

    We are all hypocritical and generally the need to stay sane helps keep the lid on.

    Finally, surely the posting of unmarked Russian guards and intimidation of Ukraine bases will have triggered a forfeiture clause implied if not express of the Russian lease. Why no Ukrainian 146 forfeiture notice and an application by Russia to the UN for relief from forfeiture. I am not trying to imply that English legal principles should apply everywhere.


    According to Global research, Svobada has 6 cabinet ministers.

    On Svobada FB page, they claim five. And no, I didn’t ‘friend’ them! Names below:

    Oleksandr Sych – Vice Prime Minister
    Andriy Mokhnyk- Minister of Ecology
    Ihor Shvayka- Minister of Agriculture
    Ihor Tenyukh – Minister of Defence

    Prosecutor General – Oleh Maknitskyy

    That’s just claims on the internets, but these are big hitter posts. . As to whether these individuals are hard-right neo nazi’s, further research would be required. That’s the thing, we are expected to be instant experts, because everything happens so fast, which is the advantage the Samantha Powers of the world have over (most of) us. She is an expert, and knows a lot about Ukraine, but she’s still a flint eyed neocon with, it seems to me, dismal judgement.

    I don’t know – or care – much about Ukraine, but I don’t like hard right parties, for sure. I’d take slight issue with Craig’s central point about ‘the left’. I just dislike the term ‘the left’, as it’s an over-arching term. I’m sure Craig is correct about sections of ‘the left’, of course. I am under no illlusions here; Putin is all self-interest, and Russia’s actions are illegal, just as The West’s actions have often been. Intesrestingly, his rhetoric is exactly the same as ours, when we are about to do something illegal. And it makes me laugh when Russian ambassadors – as here in Australia – get carpetted by people like Tony Abbott, who happily agree with everything the US does.

    And Hague is sinister, so I pay zero attention to anything he says. ‘I resign’ might get my attention, until then, my eyes glaze over.

  117. Resident Dissident

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:23 pm

  118. When it comes to the defense of hypocrisy, offense you seem to believe, is the best defense.

    It is disconcerting though after the US and its sidekicks and lickspittles have fought so many wars against Hitlers in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc., all in the name of democracy, to find them now in cahoots with Hitlerites in full Nazi regalia armed with chains and cobble stones in the process of destroying a democratic government.

    But, what the Heck, we the people are endlessly gullible.

    Heil Hitler.

    Will we soon have to applaud ethnic cleansing and rampant anti-Semitism in Ukraine?

  119. GutterTheQuantifier

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    Does anybody know where I can get hold of black and orange striped flags and/or ribbons?
    (This is a serious question, not a rhetorical point)

  120. Resident Dissident

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:38 pm

    Habba 9:13am I almost totally agree – my quibble is that you call the friends of Putin lefties when they are no such thing. There is a perfectly decent tradition of true lefties in this country who have always placed liberty and freedom above support for autocrats who oppose this country and other western democracies. The fact that they have now ended up supporting Putin who really doesn’t have a socialist idea in his head – and has practised a form of economics which bears no relationship to any recognised left wing model of economics at the same time as quashing the civil liberties of many of its citizens and treating non Russians within his empire with a contempt that is bordering on racism – really just demonstrates how far they has fallen from any socialist or left wing ideal. In future could we just refer to them as fellow travellers or useful idiots – I ‘ll let others decide which is which.

  121. Resident Dissident

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:40 pm

    “Does anybody know where I can get hold of black and orange striped flags and/or ribbons?”

    Find some yellow and blue ones and then soak them in blood.

  122. ESLO, Hen Gogledd is a great part of Britain’s history and I had not heard of Elmet so thanks for the mention I will read up on it (i am a bit sceptical at first), but surely come on they were Welsh, or more precisely they were fellow country men, compatriots, cydwladwr, one of the land, fellow company: Cymro. The Old / Hen North / Goglydd is another reason for hestitating to vote yes as parts of Scotland were Welsh speaking until the (12 . Another reason is the word Cymro which can not but imply unity not division.

  123. doug scorgie

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:45 pm

    I’ve just seen the BBC news regarding the Ukraine crisis.

    During the report footage was shown of Russian tanks firing shells and rockets being launched and lots of explosions.

    This was file footage of past Russian military exercises; nothing to do with the Ukraine so very misleading.

    Is this acceptable from the BBC?

    Craig and Habbabkuk what do you think about this?

  124. Habbabkuk,

    Will you wheesht with your little barbs in this thread please?

    There’s much good discourse here-of all stripes-but your little snideys just reveal you as a disruptor who puts their agenda ahead of decent engagement.


    Please overcome your mission and try and broaden a decent thread without your puff.


  125. Just Me – The Ukraine situation reminds me of a children’s story; Goldilocks and the three bears. In what seems an inoffensive and clean-handed scenario is really trespassing and selfishness.

    PCR is deluded by saying, ‘Only three countries stand in the way of [British] American world hegemony, two nuclear powers, China and Russia and a bag of nuclear knowhow-Iran, presently without the machined fissile material.

    In the Goldilocks story our young readers are so relieved she escapes out the window instead of being eaten by a bear. The moral reasoning of the story is therefore strung between self concern/preservation and transgressive social rule breaking.

    Self concern and preservation materialise into a sense of entitlement to that which does not belong to Goldilocks and we can equate this to British/American exceptionalism and hegemony.

    Globally it is this transgressive social rule breaking that is falsely called ‘violations of International law’ yet international law is relative, multi-disciplined and codified in and by the West. It is removed from Natural law or the law of nature which classifies social rule breaking. We can all apply these natural rules to move as one force and we are many. Expect us – we are the ‘hegemongers’ greatest fear.

    Who wants a ‘Goldilocks Planet?’

  126. Resident Dissident

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:54 pm

    ESLO’s comments about propiskas reminds of what I saw with my own eyes in Moscow a few years after Putin came to power. Near where I was staying I saw about 20 people, including young children living outside in some bushes – when I enquired who they were I was told that they were “chorny” (which is the name Muscovites give to those from the Caucuses) who had no propiski who had been evicted from their apartments by Moscows finest and were too scared to return in case they were given another beating. I am told that things have got even worse for immigrants in Moscow since then. For all those who bleat on about fascism and are prepared to give that label all so easily to Western governments – might I suggest that what I saw that day was far nearer to the real thing – and it all happened under their heroes watch.

  127. I found this article “Ukraine in Maps” in the New York Times quite instructive. It shows in clear perspective the ethnic and political divisions within the Ukraine.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert, but one has to wonder if, as Craig has mentioned, some readjustment of borders might be a realistic solution. But whatever is needed it seems to me that what the Ukraine and Russia need from the West at this time is help in resolving their differences, not finger pointing.

    The peoples of the Ukraine are entitled to a peaceful and fair solution, but one mustn’t forget that Russia is a great nuclear power. There has been a rush to judgement in the West. We are not so keen on democracy where the results are not to our liking, as recently in Egypt, and I can tell you that in my own experience both the UK and Canada have little interest in the rule of law where the establishment is against it. If we carry on in this vein of finger pointing and isolating Russia, we are going to blunder into a war eventually as we did 100 years ago; not perhaps this time, or even next time – but eventually.

  128. шах и мат

    3 Mar, 2014 - 10:58 pm

    NATO is sabre-rattling,

    but with a UNSC seized of the matter

    and a Russian presence that can effortlessly suppress exiguous Ukrainian forces, there will be no authorization for NATO-bloc force in Ukraine. As he did with Syria, Putin will loudly jack a shell into the chamber and calmly explain the UN Charter to the US of A. The US government will stamp their widdle feet and hold their breath till they turn blue. They will get over their tantrum soon enough. And someday they’ll grow up.

    This might just pry open more cracks in NATO. NATO’s a mile wide and an inch deep. The US is frantic to ignore UN Charter Article 53 but its NATO satellites have a lot to lose from aggression.

  129. Resident Dissident

    3 Mar, 2014 - 11:09 pm


    Funny ESLO should mention Elmet – as my family is from that part of the world around Hebden Bridge. Ted Hughes poems about that part of the world especially those in Remains of Elmet really are evocative of the area – and it is pretty easy to see something Celtic in his style and the rhythm of his work. In my youth I lived a number of years in Wales and have nothing but good memories – I even came top of my class in Welsh one year – so I must have some Celtic roots! Given that the Celts occupied the whole of England before the Romans and Anglo Saxons – and I’m told that most British people have some Celtic DNA – I suspect that are rather more English Celts around than some would like to admit. Would also be a good reason for throwing all this petty nationalism aside and voting No.

  130. “Putin will loudly jack a shell into the chamber and calmly explain the UN Charter to the US of A. ”

    Someone needs to explain it to him first, probably in words of one syllable so that he understands.

    Article 2, Paragraph 4.

  131. Quoting CM: “We are referring to the same event, and they left and went to Muscovy. Yes, Ukrainian lands are a potent part of Russia’s national myth. But that is exactly similar to Israel in Jewish national myth. The fact your people were somewhere a thousand or two thousand years ago does not give you the right to it now, if you left in the interim”

    This is the history of Russia that Russians like to repeat to themselves and anyone else who will listen. Conceived by Catherine the Great in order to aggrandise Muscovy, her new home, and to conceal that its origin was in fact in the Golden Horde franchise. There was another history of Muscovy before this new and much improved version was standardised on. In that history they did not yet call themselves Russians, did not lay claim to the legacy of Kievan Rus, admitted that ethnically they were a very mixed bunch with the largest portion being of Finnish-Hungarian tribes. (Ref: Vladimir Belinsky “Country Moksel”)

    Here’s a quote from Karl Marx, Google translate gets the gist across if your Russian is rusty:
    “В кровавом болоте московского рабства, а не в суровой славе норманской эпохи
    стоит колыбель России. Сменив имена и даты, увидим, что политика Ивана III и
    политика современной московской империи являются не просто похожими, а и
    Россия порождена и воспитана в противной и униженной школе монгольского
    рабства. Сильной она стала лишь потому, что в мастерстве рабства была
    непревзойденной. Даже и тогда, когда Россия стала независимой, она и далее
    осталась страной рабов. Петр I соединил политическую хитрость монгольского раба
    с величием монгольского владетеля, которому Чингисхан завещал покорить мир…
    Политика России – неизменна. Русские методы и тактика менялись, и будут
    меняться, однако главная цель российской политики – покорить мир и править в
    нем – есть и будет неизменной. “Московский панславизм – всего лишь одна из форм

  132. Sofia Kibo Noh

    3 Mar, 2014 - 11:23 pm

    Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin says ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has sent a letter to Putin asking him to use military force in Ukraine to restore law and order.

    “Under the influence of Western countries, there are open acts of terror and violence,” Churkin quoted the letter from Yanukovich to Putin in the third emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

    “People are being persecuted for language and political reasons,” Churkin read. ”So in this regard I would call on the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine.”

    He may be corrupt like so many elected presidents, but, like it or not, he happens to have been elected and, last time I checked his tenure had not run out. Is it legal and appropriate for an elected president to make such a request? Can any lawyerly commenters here clarify?

  133. шах и мат

    3 Mar, 2014 - 11:23 pm

    Don’t you worry, the Russians have 30 IQ points on their NATO counterparts from the highest levels on down the echelons. What Putin grasps is that some people run red lights unless there’s a cop at the corner to intimidate them. Putin will do what he needs to do to contain the most urgent threat to peace, the USA.

    Game over. Peace 1, NATO 0.

  134. Resident Dissident

    3 Mar, 2014 - 11:24 pm


    And a lot of Russians also have the blue spot. I of course come from an even more ethnically mixed up country.

  135. Resident Dissident

    3 Mar, 2014 - 11:25 pm

    “Don’t you worry, the Russians have 30 IQ points on their NATO counterparts from the highest levels on down the echelons.”

    Nothing like a bit of racial supremacy.

  136. OT.

    “NHS England patient data ‘uploaded to Google servers’, Tory MP says”

  137. no “expert” has been given more MSM Ukraine space than Yale/LSE man of the left, Timothy Snyder. on Democracy Now, he is given far more time than Ray McGovern:

    Amy “left” Goodman makes her position clear in the second sentence of the transcript:

    3 Mar – Democracy Now: Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, United States in Regional Crisis
    (2ND SENTENCE): Ukraine’s new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said Russian President Vladimir Putin had effectively declared war on his country…

    some excerpts:

    TIMOTHY SNYDER, Yale University history professor: Putin and his advisers and the Russian press have made very clear that they understand Ukrainian events not just as an expression of Ukrainian interests or ideas or aspirations, but as part of a decadent European civilization. And by decadence, they mean rejection of Christianity, advocacy of the rights of ethnic and sexual minorities…
    This revolution was started by a Muslim civil society activist. It has ended with a Jew as prime minister of the country…
    Putin will try to argue that all of this just confirms his own view that Russia is all alone as a kind of superior national civilization facing a world conspiracy which, depending upon the mood and depending upon the audience, is either made up of Nazis or gays…

    RAY MCGOVERN, retired CIA analyst: And when you have 65—count them, 65—projects in the Ukraine funded with $100 million, if I were a Russian, I would say, “Hmmm, looks like they’re trying to do with the Ukraine what they did to the rest of Eastern Europe,” what the U.S. pledged not to do, and that is to pluck these countries off one by one and have them join not only the European Community, but NATO. The Russians aren’t going to stand for that. And, you know, the people advising Obama might have warned him that you go a bridge too far when you threaten a strategic interest the Russians consider so sensitive as the Ukraine…
    Who is Geoffrey Pyatt? Well, Geoffrey Pyatt is one of these State Department high officials who does what he’s told and fancies himself as a kind of a CIA operator, because now the CIA doesn’t do much of this stuff, and so State Department have to do it. Now, who is he? He was in Vienna. What was he doing in Vienna? He was orchestrating the election of Amano, Amano to be head of the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, because they didn’t like Baradei, the guy that they tried to get rid of earlier. But they knew that Amano—and it’s clear from cables from Vienna, from Pyatt, released by WikiLeaks, that Pyatt was glowing and saying, “Amano is so happy for all our support in making him head of the IAEA, and now he’s asked us for a little bit more money, because he’d like to fix up his office.” I mean, it’s so apparent what State Department types now are doing, in a self-styled sort of covert action, political action sort of thing, so to create the right results. And the IAEA is a big deal, OK? Pyatt played a very crucial role in that, and now he’s doing the bidding of the likes of Victoria Nuland, who I would describe as a neocon, prima donna assistant secretary of state for European affairs who is doing our country—doing no one any good, cookies or not.

    ODDIE – i would add that Nuland worked in Clinton, Dubya & Obama administrations, & her husband, Robert Kagan: “was a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century. More recently, his book The World America Made has been publicly endorsed by US President Barack Obama, and its theme was referenced in his 2012 State of the Union Address.” (Wikipedia).

    who is the “left” of which Craig is speaking?

  138. Snyder’s cynical exploitation of gays, etc on Democracy Now is no accident:

    1 Mar: New York Review of Books: Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda
    Timothy Snyder
    The first was the gay conspiracy. This was a subject that had dominated Russian propaganda throughout last year but which had been essentially absent from Ukraine. Perhaps Ukraine could join in? Yes indeed: the Ukrainian prime minister began to explain to his population that Ukraine could not have closer cooperation with Europe, since the EU was interested chiefly in gay marriage…
    Enter a lonely, courageous Ukrainian rebel, a leading investigative journalist. A dark-skinned journalist who gets racially profiled by the regime. And a Muslim. And an Afghan. This is Mustafa Nayem, the man who started the revolution. Using social media, he called students and other young people to rally on the main square of Kiev in support of a European choice for Ukraine. That square is called the Maidan, which by the way is an Arab word. During the first few days of the protests the students called it the Euromaidan. Russian propaganda called it, predictably enough, the Gayeuromaidan…
    As the New Year began the protests broadened. Muslims from southern Ukraine marched in large numbers. Representatives of the large Kiev Jewish community were prominently represented. Some of the most important organizers were Jews. The telephone hotline that people called to seek missing relatives was established by gay activists (people who have experience with hotlines). Some of the hospital guards who tried to stop the police from abducting the wounded were young feminists…
    Yes, there were some Jews, and there were some gays, in this revolution. And this was exploited by both the Russian and Ukrainian regimes in their internal propaganda. The Russian press presented the protest as part of a larger gay conspiracy. The Ukrainian regime instructed its riot police that the opposition was led by a larger Jewish conspiracy. Meanwhile, both regimes informed the outside world that the protestors were Nazis. Almost nobody in the West seemed to notice this contradiction…
    The first Ukrainian protester to be killed was an Armenian. The second to be killed was a Belarusian…
    Bohdan Solchanyk was a young lecturer at the Ukrainian Catholic University, a Ukrainian speaker from western Ukraine. He was shot and killed. Yevhen Kotlyov was an environmentalist from Kharkiv, a Russian speaker from eastern Ukraine. He was shot and killed. One of the people killed was a Russian citizen; a number of Russians had come to fight—most of them anarchists who had come to aid their Ukrainian anarchist comrades. At least two of those killed by the regime, and perhaps more, were Jews. One of those “Afghans,” Ukrainian veterans of the Red Army’s war in Afghanistan, was Jewish: Alexander Scherbatyuk. He was shot and killed by a sniper. Another of those killed was a Pole, a member of Ukraine’s Polish minority.
    Has it ever before happened that people associated with Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, Armenian, Polish, and Jewish culture have died in a revolution that was started by a Muslim? …

    not everyone in the comments is buying Snyder’s analysis. it is so evidently as much “propaganda” as the “propaganda” in his headline.

    all worthwhile analysis should begin with the constitionality of the ouster of the Ukrainian Govt.

  139. Clark 3 Mar, 2014 – 3:41 pm

    “I still want to know, who are this lot?”

    The bloke addressing the others with shields etc is saying to them that they “must behave as befits peaceful demonstrators, without any provocations, like civilised Europeans”. He then repeats the same in Russian. The tone is informal.

  140. “Funny ESLO should mention Elmet – as my family is from that part of the world around Hebden Bridge.”

    A nice little drug town with an unfortunate tourist problem as someone once said.

  141. Evgueni, 11:55 pm, thanks. Is that all?

    Fred, 12:00 am, I entirely agree. Hippins Valley is a wonderful place to get stoned and follow down from Heptonstall on a bright day early in Summer.

  142. OT.

    “Cameron aide arrested in ‘child abuse imagery’ inquiry”

  143. Clark,

    Whoever they are, the affair looks to me entirely staged for the camera. There is a lack of spontaneity, of people looking around them, of excitement of the moment. It is all highly artificial.

  144. from the “right”:

    28 Feb: Breitbart: Palin Mocked in 2008 for Warning Putin May Invade Ukraine if Obama Elected
    Palin said then:
    “After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”
    For those comments, she was mocked by the high-brow Foreign Policy magazine and its editor Blake Hounshell, who now is one of the editors of Politico magazine.
    In light of recent events in Ukraine and concerns that Russia is getting its troops ready to cross the border into the neighboring nation, nobody seems to be laughing at or dismissing those comments now…

    Independent Journal Review: Mike Miller: Remember Obama Mocking Romney With This Comment About Russia During A 2012 Debate?
    In the heat of the 2012 campaign, during an October presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Obama ridiculed Romney over his concern about Russia as a “geo-political” threat.
    Obama attempted to paint Romney as somehow out-of-touch with 21st century geo-politics, suggesting (ironically, as we now know) that al-Qaeda was a bigger threat than Russia. “You said Russia. Not al-Qaeda. You said Russia,” Obama said regarding biggest threats. Then came this snarky blast:
    “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because…the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”…
    Incidentally, Palin has been consistently ridiculed for saying “I can see Russia from my house,” which she never said. What a tragedy that, as both Palin and Romney correctly feared, Ukrainians can now see Russians from their homes.

    from the “left”:

    1 Mar: The American Interest: Battle for Ukraine: Putin Smashes Washington’s Cocoon
    Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
    A Politico report calls it “a crisis that no one anticipated.” The Daily Beast, reporting on Friday’s US intelligence assessment that “Vladimir Putin’s military would not invade Ukraine,” quotes a Senate aide claiming that “no one really saw this kind of thing coming.”
    Op-eds from all over the legacy press this week helped explained why. Through the rose tinted lenses of a media community deeply convinced that President Obama and his dovish team are the masters of foreign relations, nothing poor Putin did could possibly derail the stately progress of our genius president…
    Too much of the Washington policy establishment looks around the world and sees only reflections of its own enlightened self…

    give thanx i am neither “right” nor “left”.

  145. шах и мат

    4 Mar, 2014 - 12:27 am

    Ha ha racial supremacy, you statists, you think everybody screams like Fay Wray whenever some random chump accuses them of being racist. In fact, Russians are only slightly smarter than Americans on average. The real difference is between a meritocracy like Russian intelligence and the ass-kisser culture of US government parasites. The bureaucrats are the stupidest ones – often they’re even military, which is the absolute bottom of the barrel (Who signs up to get their nuts blown off in arid lands?) – and they’re always sucking up to their social betters the death merchants, angling for jobs, MIPRing them useless projects to curry favor. Do you know these people? Have you ever had a clearance? They are losers. That’s why they’re losing now again.

  146. Sofia Kibo Noh

    4 Mar, 2014 - 12:42 am

    Representatives of Kherson, Nikolayev, and Odessa have appealed to Crimea leadership to be part of the autonomous republic if its powers will be enhanced after the referendum which is expected on March 30, RIA Novosti quoted the vice speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Sergey Tsekov, as saying.

    Can it be right for such important decisions to be left to the people who live there? Don’t they know how hard Victoria Nuland worked and how many dollars were spent to relieve them of the government they had mistakenly voted for?

    “In an eight minute, 46 second speech at the National Press Club sponsored by the US-Ukraine Foundation, Chevron, and Ukraine-in-Washington Lobby Group, Nuland boasted that Washington has spent $5 billion to foment agitation to bring Ukraine into the EU. Once captured by the EU, Ukraine will be “helped” by the West acting through the IMF.”

    Some people are so ungrateful!

  147. Now Professor Stephen Cohen in putting in the proper context on the media President Obama’s most undiplomatic conclusion to the Ukrranian crisis that Putin’s Russia is “on the wrong side of history” aka on the way out in the longstanding zero-sum game with it.

  148. Resident Dissident

    My point was a narrow one – that Craig was basing his analysis on a view of Russian history that itself is propaganda honed over the last 300 years by Russian state builders and designed to flatter Russian chauvinism. A logical consequence of this highly embelished and falsified history is that Russians must view Ukrainians and Belorussians as inferior. Indeed at the height of the Russian empire they referred to themselves as ‘Great Russians’ (Великороссы) and to Ukrainians as ‘Little Russians’ (Малороссы).

  149. Craig,
    If you look deeper into things then think again:-
    1. Look deeply into the neocons.
    2. The West’s provocations related to the context of the collapsing financial system.
    3. Crony capitalism, here there and everywhere ( ask Obama – Wall Street and the folks in Russia and Uzbekistan).
    4. And – the recent Exxon gas development issue.

    So – with the breach of sovereignty on Afghanistan – Iraq and Libya – then whose hands are clean?

    Hypocrisy? – tell me!


  150. Black jelly

    4 Mar, 2014 - 1:29 am

    Sorry CM, its a bit too late in your life to make a career change and turn into a midwife. Even if full training will be provided by Victoria “Fuck EU (and UN)” Nuland. If only out of respect for the 400 Alawite children gassed as props for Ghouta. Is that too much to ask.

  151. When I spoke to my friend in Illichevsk on Saturday night, his rough account of events on Euromaidan was this. Immediately following Yanukivich’s about-turn on closer EU integration, there was a student demonstration consisting of mostly young people from Kiev. This was entirely peaceful but was brutally attacked by the anti-riot outfit Berkut. However the brutality did not succeed and soon the young ones were joined in the square by their families and friends. At this time their demands were still limited to an apology, the sacking of Berkut command and a criminal investigation. But instead of reacting like a statesman and negotiating, the president continued with intimidation and force. The news meanwhile was spreading that some people were making a stand against the mafia-don president, which attracted others from further away. The longer this idiot president did not negotiate, the more trouble he was making for himself. Whether he really is that stupid, or he was directed from Moscow is a matter of speculation but my guess is he is that stupid. I had that impression already when he was first elected. You need to understand, this guy is a bandit, the opposite of sophisticated, with cronies who are just like him. When the momentum of the assorted oppositions in Kiev gathered, it was not just ordinary people that saw an opportunity but plenty of industrialists whose businesses are West-oriented instead of Russia-oriented. When looking for sources of finance for the operation of the Euromaidan, they are the most likely candidates. It is also a mistake to ascribe too much to the influence of the radical nationalist movements. They are a part of the opposition but not the dominant part.

    I am told that plenty of ethnic Russians living in Illichevsk supported the aims of Euromaidan. It is hard to imagine that they would do that if they thought that they were supporting nationalists. Where I come from the language on the street is Russian, so this should give pause for thought to those who claim a nazi coup has taken place. Unless they think that we can see better from a distance than the Ukrainians can see for theьselves.

  152. Thanks, Craig, for the spot-on analysis. As usual, you see through the BS on all sides of an argument.

    Where to turn for a solution, though? You can’t turn to the rule of law in a situation where law has just broken down. As you say, revolution is illegal and that’s kind of the point. That’s not to say that no revolution is ever justified or worth international support, but international law has been so abused in recent years that there’s little moral high ground to be had there, either. History? Again, it’s an enlightening analysis but gives little in the way of clear authority for current actions.

    Cling to some liberal notion of self determination and suggest votes in the various regions of Ukraine? In the current lawless situation with thugs, gangsters, corrupt politicians and Russians all with big interests in the outcome, I’d say that’s a bit of a pipe dream. Democracy is a particular solution to a particular set of circumstances. It’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to any problem.

  153. has the Financial Times (or Britain for that matter) ever met an oligarch it didn’t like? “tight-lipped” yet known for his “sense of humour”! well, the article made me laugh.

    Financial Times: Roman Olearchyk: Ukraine oligarch: Putin is a “schizophrenic of short stature”
    Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, who this weekend agreed to become governor of his native Dnipropetrovsk region as the country braces for a broader Russian invasion into eastern Ukraine, described Russia’s president Vladimir Putin as a “schizophrenic of short stature” for putting Russia and Ukraine on the verge of war…
    Speaking for the first time since taking over as Dnipropetrovsk governor, the Ukrainian businessman of Jewish roots first took a sharp shot at toppled Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, before quickly turning towards Putin.
    Kolomoisky, known as one of Ukraine’s most tight-lipped oligarchs, broke his habitual silence saying: “I will say it undiplomatically.”
    “We had our own big schizophrenic,” he said referring to Yanukovich, a tall man who towers over Putin.
    “But there,” he said, giggling and referring to Russisa, “is a schizophrenic of short stature.”…
    Kolomoisky, who is known for his sense of humour, went on: “He is completely inadequate. He has completely lost his mind. His messianic drive to recreate the Russian empire of 1913 or the USSR of 1991 could plunge the world into catastrophe.”
    Russia, he said, “will play this card… I don’t know… perhaps until Turkey blocks” the Bosphorus “to its oil tankers.”…

  154. a surprise?

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

  155. Clark 4 Mar, 2014 – 12:13 am

    They appear to be gathered in support of some protesters outside a court building. What I said before was the gist, there was some other detail like the time of planned action – 3pm, “lower your shields”, examples of what was meant by provocations – “spitting, barking, shouting”. The mission is stated as “to support our comrades” (presumably ones up in court). The lady with kids when she finishes singing she wishes them god’s blessing and an honest country and an honest judiciary. The song is an old Ukrainian cossack song, finishes with the words “we will give our bodies and souls for our freedom and show them we are of the cossack family” (in case you are wondering, the original Ukrainian cossacks were destroyed long ago since they were a threat to Moscow’s ambitions, only the folk memory remains. The abortions that you are probably picturing are the Russian Cubanskie/Donskie cossacks – descendants of Ukrainians settled on Moscovy’s southern frontier to police it for their new masters in return for generous land grants). The bloke in black speaking to the cameras is talking about the prosecution’s case being non-existent. At the end it appears the accused are aquitted and released, one of them briefly speaks of provocation against Euromaidan and then a voice is heard ‘don’t say any more, let’s go home’.

    The title is translated ambiguously as ‘leave no man behind’. Literally it is ‘So that no one is left on their own’. This may be a reference to the terror squad tactics used by Yanukovich police. Plenty of stories emerged of people being kidnapped from ambulances etc on their way to the hospital for treatment. There are still people unaccounted for even now. People were afraid to leave the barricades for fear of being picked off one by one, and this was probably justified.

  156. 3 Mar -RT: Rule by oligarchs: Kiev appoints billionaires to govern east
    One of the reasons for the Maidan protest was the influence the rich have on politics in the country…
    The newly-appointed Dnepropetrovsk governor is Igor Kolomoysky, Ukraine’s third-wealthiest man, with an estimated fortune of $2.4 billion. He co-owns the informal commercial group Privat, which includes Ukraine’s largest bank Privatbank, which Kolomoysky heads, as well as assets in the oil, ferroalloys and food industries, agriculture and transport.
    A former ally of Yulia Tymoshenko, Kolomoysky reportedly had a falling out with her and refused to finance her election campaign in 2010, which the ex-prime minister subsequently lost to Yanukovich. Kolomoysky was reported to be a principal sponsor of the UDAR party, which is one of the three fueling the street campaign to oust Yanukovich. Kolomoysky has a dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizenship and controls his business empire from Switzerland…
    The new governor of Donetsk Region is Sergey Taruta, who is estimated to worth around $2 billion, putting him among the top-10 wealthiest people in Ukraine. He heads ISD, one of the biggest mining and smelting companies in the world, and also own Donetsk-based Metallurg Football Club.
    Not a stranger to politics, he used to sponsor Viktor Yushchenko, who came to power in Ukraine after the Orange Revolution of 2004. Among his personal habits is a reputed love for luxurious jewelry and ostentatious gold statues, reports RT’s Peter Oliver…

    Nov 2013 – Telegraph: Oligarchs at war in the British courts
    Victor Pinchuk, a businessman who befriended Tony Blair, takes £2 billion row to London throwing spotlight on Ukraine’s murky world of money
    It promises to be one of the most expensive cases ever heard in a British courtroom — involving three oligarchs who have fallen out in spectacular fashion.
    At its heart is a £2 billion lawsuit being brought by a flamboyant businessman who bought London’s most expensive house and counts Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Sir Elton John and Damien Hirst among his close friends.
    On the other side of the court will be two fellow oligarchs, one with a town house in one of London’s smartest squares, the other who lives on the shores of Lake Geneva.
    The legal fees alone are likely to exceed £50 million.
    The case being brought by Victor Pinchuk against Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov is the latest court battle between oligarchs to play out in London, even though it revolves around the sale of state industries in Ukraine following the collapse of the Soviet Union…
    His opponents — Mr Kolomoisky, 50, and Mr Bogolyubov, 50 — are reckoned to be richer and more discreet than their rival. Mr Kolomoisky lives in Switzerland, and Mr Bogolyubov lives in Belgravia, central London. Both men, with a net wealth of about £5 billion, have given large amounts to charities, many related to their Jewish faith.
    The case revolves around the ownership of an iron ore mining business in Ukraine, dating back to a deal done — or possibly not done — in 2004…

  157. BrianFujisan

    4 Mar, 2014 - 2:31 am

    The Many Myriad Layers of it all…

    Who are these people Prof Michel Chossudovsky is telling of. First there’s Clark’s Mystery people, and then these…or are they the same ???

    The Blue Helmets comprise 35 men and women who are not Jewish, and who are led by five ex-IDF soldiers, says Delta, an Orthodox Jew in his late 30s

    Delta, who immigrated to Israel in the 1990s, moved back to Ukraine several years ago … He says he joined the protest movement as a volunteer on Nov. 30, after witnessing violence by government forces against student protesters.

    “I saw unarmed civilians with no military background being ground by a well-oiled military machine, and it made my blood boil,” Delta told JTA in Hebrew laced with military jargon. “I joined them then and there, and I started fighting back the way I learned how, through urban warfare maneuvers. People followed, and I found myself heading a platoon of young men. Kids, really.”

    The other ex-IDF infantrymen joined the Blue Helmets later after hearing it was led by a fellow vet, Delta said.

    In a bitter irony, Delta, the commander of the IDF militia unit was taking his orders directly from the Neo-Nazi Party Svoboda:

    As platoon leader, Delta says he takes orders from activists connected to Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist [Neo-Nazi] party that has been frequently accused of anti-Semitism and whose members have been said to have had key positions in organizing the opposition protests.

    “I don’t belong [to Svoboda], but I take orders from their team. They know I’m Israeli, Jewish and an ex-IDF soldier. They call me ‘brother,’” he said. “What they’re saying about Svoboda is exaggerated, I know this for a fact. I don’t like them because they’re inconsistent, not because of [any] anti-Semitism issue.”

    And then there’s the GAS….With all the Numbers that got me a wee bitty lost in there –

    Always Smoldering – Ukraine’s Gas Debts to Russia

    Defending Moscow’s December 18, 2013 agreement to provide Ukraine with an aid package estimated at about $15 billion, and cheaper natural gas through discounts and “gas debt forgiveness” estimated as able to save Ukraine $7 bn in one year, Vladimir Putin said the decision to invest $15 bn in ‘brotherly slavic’ Ukraine, and grant the gas discount was “pragmatic and based on economic facts”.

    With no shadow of doubt “the gas question” will feature in what happens in the present stand-off between Putin’s Russia and the west – and inside Ukraine – and will powerfully underline the energy economic interdependence of Russia and Europe.

    Also sure and certain, Ukraine will pay much more for its gas, and will have to face its accumulated gas debt, as the role of seaboard LNG terminals is given more attraction due to the present crisis, underlining the geopolitical risk of international gas pipelines.

    Full piece @

  158. I saw a reference to the date – 11 february, the place Khorevaya street, the court – Podolsky Sud.

  159. The majority of those who could be termed nationalists in Ukraine dream of ‘de-russification’. By this is meant usually applying the policies of russification in reverse – making Ukrainian the main or the only language in schools and universities, and the only state language. So that anyone wishing to get on in life would make the ‘right’ choice, just like they had to in USSR. These so called neo-nazis can be understood in this context, not the conventional one of antisemitism, xenophobia etc. Consider this – I have had to let my Ukrainian citizenship lapse because Ukraine will not allow dual citizenship, why – because if it did it may suddenly find a few million citizens of RF living on its territory, and perhaps as many of its citizens living in RF.

    The nationalists will be disappointed because the majority in Ukraine do not share their dream of phasing out Russian language. If they wish to save territorial integrity of Ukraine, they have to move on this question of language. They are beginning to realise it, the fools, after they angered the people in the East and South by suspending the minorities language law.

  160. Black jelly

    4 Mar, 2014 - 3:04 am

    Putin is proving to be more dangerous to the Synagogue of Satan than Kennedy ever was, he may meet the same fate. Massed ranks of synced sayanim in goose-step against him at HuffPo and the ENTIRE MSM?! He must be another Son of Man, seeing that so many of the devils are after his ass ! And with one boxer throwing low Ghouta,NSA,sanction blockade,NFZ,drones,etc punches time and again, we have a possibly knobbled ref CM, insisting Putin should fight fair despite the pervasive satanic chicanery of Obama, “liar” Kohn, “Fuck EU” Nuland & Co??!

  161. “These so called neo-nazis can be understood in this context, not the conventional ”

    Blanket generalizations don’t a credible argument make. Leftists are taking the hit for highlighting the fascist complexion of the current ruling class in the Ukraine and much evidence has been provided in that context. Your roots give you some latitude, but it’s wearing very, very thin.

  162. 13 Dec 2013: Tablet Magazine: Maria Danilova: As Pro-European Protests Seize Ukraine, Jewish Oligarch Victor Pinchuk Is a Bridge to the West
    The steel magnate—son-in-law of the former president and once a symbol of post-Soviet nepotism—now advocates for the rule of law
    Pinchuk initially stayed silent as protesters barricaded themselves in the capital this month, even though his television channels covered them energetically. (His father-in-law Kuchma, one of the targets of the 2004 revolution, has joined two former Ukrainian presidents in signing a letter of support for the demonstrations.) But in the last few days, as the government moved to violently disperse the encampments, Pinchuk finally broke his silence, showing up at the protest camp himself and praising the demonstrators’ spirit. “The most important is that Ukrainian civil society has shown its strength,” he told the Financial Times this week. “Nothing is more powerful. It gives me huge optimism for the future of our country.”…

  163. oligarghs: 1 people: 0

    great going Guardian. it’s only the Crimea situation that is causing the price rises!

    4 Mar – Guardian: Sean Farrell: Ukraine crisis sends wheat and corn prices soaring
    Price of wheat up by as much as 5.9% while price of corn rises by up to 3.7% in response to the situation in Crimea
    Ukraine has become an important crop exporter. It was the fourth biggest seller of corn last year and is set to be the sixth largest wheat supplier this year.
    About 85% of wheat milled in the UK is home-grown and the rest comes mainly from the European Union and Canada. Much of Ukraine’s supply goes to the Middle East and north Africa, and it is a bigger supplier of corn than of wheat…

    heard an interview with BBC reporter, Greg Palast, the other day. he described the protests in Venezuela & Ukraine as counter-revolutions by the 1% – their Occupy moment. he included Thailand, but i think in Thailand it might be the 1% protesting against the .001% (Thaksin)!

  164. Ангрысоба

    4 Mar, 2014 - 4:04 am


    Thanks for your comments. Inevitably, you will be criticized by people who see the hands of the lizard people in all this. It seems to me that most people who know what they are talking about; yourself, Uzbek in the UK, Craig Murray, Timothy Snyder, et. al. are on the side of the Ukrainian revolt against Yanukovych, those that get their information from Russia Today, Voice of Russia, and Global Research are on the side of Putin and his deployment of troops on Ukrainian territory. It seems to be no coincidence that the majority of them see conspiracy everywhere, except among ex-KGB agents – curiously enough – and that the majority of them are Truthers. Or in this case Pravders.

  165. шах и мат

    4 Mar, 2014 - 4:29 am

    Oh, no, there are conspiracies galore. You just got out-conspiracied, that’s all. When the red team kicks the blue team’s ass, the brass stops the game and makes it come out right. But life is not like war college. The enemy is not just another bunch of US dumbshits. The blue team looked out 3 moves and the red team looked out six. Ha ha, you lose. Maybe in ten years you get a do-over. Till then you say uncle and eat the shit.


  166. ” It seems to be no coincidence that the majority of them see conspiracy everywhere, except among ex-KGB agents”

    Well they do have a tape of Victoria Newland conspiring with Geoffrey Pyatt to overthrow the Ukrainian government and choosing who they would put in to replace them three weeks before the event.

    Wanna hear it?

    That recording was made public on Feb 2nd, they already knew the government would be overthrown, who the next Prime Minister would be and were deciding on who would be Deputy PM.

    If you don’t call that a conspiracy I don’t know what is.

  167. Craig,

    I only scanned your rant and didn’t bother to read the comments. But you might appear to be a little more of substance if you called the moslem inhabitants of Crimea by their correct name (Tatar) rather than a sauce.

  168. A much more sensible and balanced analysis from another ex-diplomat who remains sane:

  169. Listening to Samantha Power last night was like listening to the voice of reason for a few seconds. US hypocrisy knows no bounds.If they had stayed at home for the last 70 years then it might have made sense.They haven’t and there isn’t a country that hasn’t suffered from their interference or had a military base built.The US nose is in every bodies business.
    And Britain’s performance was no better. The rhetoric was bellicose and confrontational, and at the same time Govt ministers papers have been shown the opposite.”The City” does not want their applecart and Russian customers upset.They’ve been too good for business.
    Nothing will happen.The US;NATO Uncle Tom Cobbly are bogged down still in Afghanistan with tens of thousands of men and equipment, and their get out of jail free card is Russia.
    The democratic West has sunk to new lows in their support for the Nazi salute wielding thugs in the Ukraine.Snipers were shooting the police and yet our politicians support it and the petrol bombers as being legit.In London it’s almost impossible to demonstrate anymore.We don’t tolerate spontaneous peaceful protest,and neither does the US.

  170. Great comment DoNNyDarKo.

    For readers who want a truly (non British Empire) perspective I recommend:

  171. Apologies if this has already been posted but there are people here – and especially Craig – who ought to watch and listen to it.

    If you want to know what is really happening in the Ukraine and what is really behind it, it’s pretty much all in this RT 27 minute long video

    And it also seems that the only remaining constitutionally and internationally legal authority in remain has formally asked Russia to do exactly what it is doing.

    It is also pretty damn certain that the only thing holding the Ukraine together as a unitary state at this point is Russia’s continuing recognition of it. If that recognition were withdrawn there can be no doubt that there WOULD be civil war in short order and the state would fragment.

  172. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 8:30 am

    “Well they do have a tape of Victoria Newland conspiring with Geoffrey Pyatt to overthrow the Ukrainian government and choosing who they would put in to replace them three weeks before the event.”

    When lies are repeated it is necessary to nail those replies – repeatedly.

    The tape mentioned above shows AS Nuland discussing events in Ukraine with the US ambassador in Kiev. As Craig could confirm, it is not unusual for officials in Foreign ministries to discuss events in the country concerned with the ambassador en poste; this is one of the reasons why countries have embassies and ambassadors in other countries.

    Listening to the tape, you will hear AS Nuland expressing the opinion that Yats would probably be the best person to head the new Ukraine govt (given his economic and governing credentials) and that it would be better if Klitschko and one other person were not in the govt.

    Could those who claim the tape reveals AS Nuland and the US ambassador “conspiring” to “overthrow” the then Ukraine govt and “choosing who they would put in” please cite – verbatim – the expressions which prove those claims? Verbatim, please.

    As to the claim that the US has spent $5 billion to sugvert/overthrow the Ukrainian govt (with the implication that this has been spent recently), I think I nailed that particular lie on the previous thread, but it appears that I’ll have to do so again.

    This is the verbatim of what AS Niland said at her briefing (listen for yourselves):

    “Since Ukrainian independence in 1991 the US has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve inc-vested over $5 billion to assist the Ukrainian govt in these and other goals.”. (I also pointed out, for the sake of context, that US federal govt spending in fiscal 2013 ALONE totalled $3454 billion).

    As you’ll all be aware, the EU had several programmes in the 1990s – ie, after the fall of the Russian Empire in Eastern Europe – to promote civil society, good governance and the building of democratic institutions. So what is the problem with similar US programmes since 1991?

  173. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 8:36 am

    Resident Dissident (22h38, yesterday)

    You are quite right. I used the term “lefties” incorrectly (perhaps as ‘shorthand’)and am happy to accept your expression “useful idiots” as a better description of many of the contributors to this and the previous thread.

  174. doug scorgie

    4 Mar, 2014 - 8:47 am

    4 Mar, 2014 – 1:36 am

    “…so this should give pause for thought to those who claim a nazi coup has taken place. Unless they think that we can see better from a distance than the Ukrainians can see for themselves.”

    Evgueni, it’s called: not being able to see the wood for the trees.

    Meaning: If you can’t see the wood for the trees, you can’t see the whole situation clearly because you’re looking too closely at small details, or because you’re too closely involved.

  175. doug scorgie

    4 Mar, 2014 - 9:09 am

    4 Mar, 2014 – 2:16 am

    “The document, which was photographed as a senior official carried it into a meeting in Downing Street…”

    This is an old trick by the state to get information into the public domain by letting a confidential document get photographed by the press and make it appear as if it was an error made by some official.

    The same happened here:

    “A white document marked “secret”, which carried details of the operation being planned by MI5 and several police forces, was clearly visible to press photographers equipped with telephoto lenses.”

    And here:

    Photo reveals UK police arrest plan for Assange

    They really do think we are all stupid.

  176. Sofia Kibo Noh

    4 Mar, 2014 - 9:10 am


    You are correct to point out that commenters here are not “on the spot”.

    Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of the internet we can see what it looks like to those who are there. Here’s what it looks like to Ukrainian author Lada Ray.

    Of course there are others on the spot who believe that a New Age of peace and prosperity will be forged by Victoria Nuland’s ultra-right warriors.

  177. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 9:20 am

    Mr Scourgie

    “Evgueni, it’s called: not being able to see the wood for the trees.

    Meaning: If you can’t see the wood for the trees, you can’t see the whole situation clearly because you’re looking too closely at small details, or because you’re too closely involved.”

    Isn’t that comment just a tad patronising? This thread deserves better, surely?

  178. @Doug – Yes: it’s called the ‘haversack ruse’. Many old tricks continue to work. I don’t know whether you have read David Ogilvy’s Ogilvy on Advertising.

  179. The USA would love, if not to get its hands on the Ukraine, at least set up a military base there as it has done in Poland. For those US apologists who choose to defend a country that would never think of trying to destabilise another country, read this:

  180. O/T. Just thought you might like to know one of the three people arrested at the same time as Moazzam Begg, Gerrie Taharie, will appear in court today charged with I think the Midlands News reader said “activities in Syria”. The word terrorism was not mentioned.

  181. Ba'al Zevul (

    4 Mar, 2014 - 9:43 am

    Buggerlugs, 9.20: ‘Isn’t that comment (Doug explaining English idiomatic expression to someone whose first language is possibly not English) to just a tad patronising? This thread deserves better, surely?’

    It may deserve it…

    Buggerlugs, 8.36: ‘You are quite right. I used the term “lefties” incorrectly (perhaps as ‘shorthand’)and am happy to accept your expression “useful idiots” as a better description of many of the contributors to this and the previous thread.

    The thread is about hypocrisy. Splendid illustration. And wasn’t there something about “smelly lefties” earlier?


  182. Broken News Today. Jewish special forces involved in Maidan Neo-Nazi riots.

  183. It certainly looks like the Russians are in a stronger position. They’ve easily taken the part of Ukraine they are strategically interested in. They have the support of the local population and the local government and the area is pretty much still functioning in terms of economy and law enforcement. There’s nobody to challenge them on the ground and Putin’s not challenged at home.

    The US and Europe, on the other hand, are backing a dubious bunch who’ve just grabbed the power of a pretty much dysfunctional and bankrupt government and face massive intimidation from a very well-armed neighbour. The US and European voters would probably lose interest in the kind of serious support that would be needed to establish and protect this new government, even though they found the western media coverage of the “courage behind the barricades” quite compelling at the time. So there are already cracks in The US and European allies’ united front as they scrabble to protect their own domestic bottoms. How shallow.

    Having said that, I’ll take no part in the general US bashing that this situation seems to bring out in many commenters. Putin is undeniably a thug and a gangster and if I had to choose between living and running a business in The US or Russia then I’d choose The US any day. But that’s unfortunately not the kind of choice that the Ukrainian people are going to get any time soon.

  184. Black jelly

    4 Mar, 2014 - 9:59 am

    @Ba’al Zevul – at the risk of being termed both patronising and anti-semitic, what you have just pointed out is classic yiddish (as she was spoke in the Warsaw Ghetto) ! But Habba is only an amateur, Benzion Mileikowski is the master proponent with his annual cartoon aided shows at the UN podium. Its also called dershowitzery. The funny thing is the satanic devils think they are entirely in the right, its us dumb cattle who are not seeing the “truth” !!

  185. Ba'al Zevul ( :-) )

    4 Mar, 2014 - 10:10 am

    Much as I hate to break off an attack on the IDF, here’s the original article, which describes ‘Delta’ as ex IDF, and suggests that his motives are as much humanitarian as anything else.

    The rest is ‘interpretation’ by Chossudovsky, who founded Global Research International, which is to say the least uncritical of wingnut conspiracy theories.

    ‘Hakadosh Baruch Hu ‘ = God, btw. If that isn’t too patronising.

    Re. nsnbc, see here –

  186. David H, living and setting up a business in the US might be a better prospect than setting one up in Russia, I don’t know. What I do know is that America is an imperialist country determined to have a New World Order against the will of others. I do not like bullies, whatever country they lead. It is hardly credible that someone who rose to power through the KGB is likely to have a heart and I tend to share Craig Murray’s view about leaders:

    “Political leaders are almost always bastards. Ordinary people are always almost nice. That sums up what I have learnt in my lifetime rather neatly.”

    However, I am glad that there are checks and balances from BRICS countries, to stop the US cowboys riding roughshod over everybody. Our allegiance to these bullies has cost us our treasured legal safeguard of habeas corpus and the anti-terrorism laws have enabled the unjust incarceration of a lot of good men, who just happen to be Muslim.

  187. “When lies are repeated it is necessary to nail those replies – repeatedly.

    The tape mentioned above shows AS Nuland discussing events in Ukraine with the US ambassador in Kiev.”

    Events that didn’t happen for another three weeks.

  188. Its ludicrous, if the peeping Uncle Tom Obama had been watching only Nancy Pelosi undress in his US neighbourhood that may be acceptable, but the NSA devil has been watching Angela Merkels red slit panties as far away as in Germany !! And the shameless nilotic wants to talk about International Law, its just unbelievable, another world class Jantjie fog donkey.

    And we have CM on about Putin (and coming up with all kinds of diplomatic tales to whitewash the extremely revealing Nuland “Fuck EU” telecon – for yats sake !!), simply because he is beholden to a pink jelly ex-soviet satellite russophobe from kyrgistan or yiddistan or wherever

  189. Evgueni at 1:36am, 2:22am, 2:31am and 2:58 am; thank you for so much detail.

    Oddie, various comments, thanks for the information about the oligarchs in London.

    Craig, 12:25pm; thanks for the reply.

  190. Sofia Kibo Noh

    4 Mar, 2014 - 11:05 am

    Russia will abandon the US dollar as a reserve currency if the United States initiates sanctions against the Russian Federation, Presidential advisor Sergey Glazyev told Ria Novosti news agency.

    “We will be forced to go to another currency and create our own payment and settlement system. We have a fantastic trade and economic relationship with our partners in the east and south, and we’ll find a way to not only reset our financial dependence on the US, but come out from these sanctions with an advantage for ourselves,” he said.

    How about Bitcoin?

  191. Ba'al Zevul (Müziksiz hayat fenadır)

    4 Mar, 2014 - 11:12 am

    Craig said, ‘The final extraordinary outbreak of hypocrisy is on the British left. Russian military invasion of Ukraine is approved by them, because it is an invasion by Russia, and not an invasion by the West. They are precisely as hypocritical as Hague. Both think it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations, but only by their chosen side.’

    I guess dogma trumps morality every time; the British far-left historically regarded Russia as its political ally, while Hague is an absolutely devoted admirer of all things American which do not involve social concern. Abandoning morality is perhaps less hypocritical in Hague than in the far left, even. After all, he supported the removal of the democratically-elected Morsi in Egypt, and condoned the branding of the then-democratically elected Hamas as a terrorist organisation. I’d say Hague, though an appalling person and worse member of any government, is actually quite consistent.

  192. Russian government spokesman:

    An attempt to announce sanctions would end in a crash for the financial system of the United States, which would cause the end of the domination of the United States in the global financial system.

    Re ‘Delta’ in Kiev, never forget that it was the Israelis (who held two posts in the Georgian cabinet) who egged on the Georgians to invade South Ossetia in 2008.

    Does it sound crazy that the Israelis held two posts in the Georgian cabinet? Click here to confirm.

  193. The following article by Paul Craig Roberts is essential reading:

  194. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 11:27 am

    “Broken News Today. Jewish special forces involved in Maidan Neo-Nazi riots” (from Mr Goss)


    “Re ‘Delta’ in Kiev, never forget that it was the Israelis (who held two posts in the Georgian cabinet) who egged on the Georgians to invade South Ossetia in 2008.”
    (from N_ )

    I was wondering how long it’d be before we got onto Israel and the Jooos..

  195. Sofia, I don’t know whether bitcoin was a serious suggestion or one of Daddy’s little jokes but it made me smile. As to Russia abandoning the dollar, if China went along with it the dollar would collapse in a massive heap and all countries would have to peg to something else or create a new currency. China, owning so many US government bonds is unlikely to stab itself in the back, which is a pity. One day the dollar will collapse. It is already grossly overvalued and US debt is unfathomable. However, by some quirk of economic skulduggery, it is surviving. Satan’s miracle. It will hurt me when it collapses. It will hurt others a lot more.

    The US then might not be a good place to set up home and business.

  196. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    4 Mar, 2014 - 11:32 am


    “And wasn’t there something about “smelly lefties” earlier?”

    Yes, the full expression was something like “smelly little orthodox left-wingers”.

    A variant on the George Orwell expression, you know.

    If the cap fits…..:)

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