The Wrong Referendum, The Wrong Saviour

by craig on March 16, 2014 6:43 am in Uncategorized

I am not opposed to self determination for the people of Crimea; I am opposed to this referendum.  Nobody can seriously argue there has been a chance for a campaign in which different viewpoints can be freely argued, with some equality of media access and freedom from fear and intimidation.

Hitler invaded Austria on 12 March 1938.  The Anschluss was confirmed in a plebiscite on 10 April, just 28 days later, by a majority of 99.7%.  Putin has done it in less than half of the time, and I have no doubt will produce a similar result in the vote.  The point is not whether or not the vote reflects the will of the people – the point is whether the will of the people has been affected by military demonstration, fear, hysterically induced national psychosis and above all an absence of space for debate or alternative viewpoints.

There is no reasonable claim that Putin’s swift plebiscite is necessary because of an imminent threat of violence against Russians in Crimea.  There is absolutely no reason that a referendum could not have been held at the end of this year, in a calm and peaceful atmosphere, after everybody had a chance to campaign and express their position.  Putin has proved that force majeure is powerful in international politics, and there is every reason to believe that he could have finessed international acceptance of such a referendum in due course.  Germany, in particular, is much more interested in its own energy supplies than in the rights of Ukraine.  In twenty years in diplomacy, I never saw a single instance of Germany having any interest in rights other than its own national self-interest.  It is very likely such a genuine referendum would have gone in Russia’s favour.  But the disadvantages of open debate about the merits and demerits of Putin’s Russia, and his own self-image as the man of military prowess, led Putin to take the more violent course.

The vote yesterday in the Security Council should give every Putinista pause.  Not even China voted with Russia.  The Africans and South Americans voted solidly against.  That is not because they are prisoners or puppets of the United States – they are not.  Neither did they take the easy road of abstention.  The truth is that what Putin is doing in Crimea is outrageous.

What happens now is going to be interesting.  I greatly fear that Putin is looking to stir up as much disorder in Ukraine’s Eastern provinces as possible, perhaps with the aim of promoting civil war in which Russia can covertly intervene, rather than open invasion, but I do not put the latter past him.  Against that, I am quite sure Russia did not expect the extreme diplomatic isolation, in fact humiliation, it suffered at the UN yesterday.  I am hopeful Russia may step back from the brink.

The EU I expect to do nothing.  Sanctions will target a few individuals who are not too close to Putin and don’t keep too many of their interests in the West.  I don’t think Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovic need lose too much sleep, that Harrods need worry or that we will see any flats seized at One Hyde Park.  (It is among my dearest wishes one day to see One Hyde Park given out for council housing.)  Neither do I expect to see the United States do anything effective; its levers are limited.  I doubt we have seen the last of Mr Putin’s adventurism.

Human society is not perfectible, which does not mean we should not try.  I believe western democracy, particularly in its social democratic European manifestation from approximately 1945 to 2000, achieved a high level of happiness for its ordinary people and an encouraging level of equality.  For approximately 20 years unfortunately we have witnessed a capitalism more raw and unabated than ever before, and massively growing levels of wealth inequality, a reduction in state provision for the needy, a distortion of state activity further to line the pockets of the rich, ever increasing corruption among the elite and growing levels of social immobility and exclusion, a narrowing of the options presented by major political parties until there is not a cigarette paper between them and their neo-conservative agendas, and a related narrowing by the mainstream media of the accepted bounds of public debate, with orchestrated ridicule of opinions outside those bounds.  Democracy, as a system offering real choice to informed electors, has ceased to function in the West leading to enormous political alienation.  On the international scene the West has retreated from the concept of international law and, heady with the temporary unipolar US military dominance, adopted aggressive might is right polices and a return of the practices of both formal and informal imperialism.

But every single one of those things is true of Putin’s Russia, and in fact it is much worse.  Wealth inequality is even more extreme.  Toleration of dissent and of different lifestyles even less evident, the space for debate even more constricted, the contempt for international law still more pronounced.  Putin’s own desire for imperialist sphere of influence politics leads him into conflict with aggressive designs of the west, as for example in Syria and Iran. The consequence can be an accidental good, in that Putin has thwarted western military plans. But that is not in any sense from a desire for public good, and if Putin can himself get away with military force he does.  His conflicts of interest  with the west have deluded a surprising number of people here into believing that Putin in some ways represents an ideological alternative.  He does not.  He represents a capitalism still more raw, an oligarchy still more corrupt, a wealth gap still greater and growing still quicker, a debate still more circumscribed.  It speaks to the extreme political failure of the western political system, and the degree of the alienation of which I spoke, that so many strive to see something beautiful in the ugly features of Putinism.

 

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371 Comments

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  1. BrianFujisan

    16 Mar, 2014 - 7:12 am

    FFs Craig…

    Putin aint posting Snuff movie’s online,….

    And that’s the Mild stuff…BBW

  2. BrianFujisan

    16 Mar, 2014 - 7:42 am

    Mild stuff Meaning The Horrors of Syria…. Videos @ ALL OVER THE FKN place

  3. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:00 am

    “There is absolutely no reason that a referendum could not have been held at the end of this year, in a calm and peaceful atmosphere, after everybody had a chance to campaign and express their position.

    WHF Craig! Absolutely no reason? Aside, that is, from the illegal, coup installed thugs now ruling in Kiev, their puppet masters and of course Nuland’s $5 billion.

    Whether local militia, Russian special forces or a bit of both are responsible, isn’t it clear that what has happened in Crimea so far is the successful containment of the violent, ultra-right forces unleashed with our tax dollars and euros in Ukraine. Maybe we should deal with that issue before we criticise the Crimean referendum . It may not be perfect but it seems to be a perfectly rational and, so far peaceful, response to the latest episode of european fascism.

    As for the suggestion that while western capitalism might be bad, Putin’s version is worse. In this case, where is the evidence? Where are the bodies, the thousands of bomb-sites, the DU dust, etc?

    Isn’t the principle of self-determination the bottom line here?

    It may be hasty and imperfect, but today’s referendum “There is absolutely no reason that a referendum could not have been held at the end of this year, in a calm and peaceful atmosphere, after everybody had a chance to campaign and express their position.

    WHF! Absolutely no reason? Aside, that is, from the illegal, coup installed thugs now ruling in Kiev, their puppet masters and of course Nuland’s $5 billion.

    Whether local militia or Russian special forces are responsible, isn’t it clear that what has happened in Crimea so far is a successful containment of violent, ultra-right forces unleashed with our tax dollars and euros in Ukraine. Maybe we should deal with that issue before we criticise the Crimean referendum . It may not be perfect but it seems to be a perfectly rational and, so far peaceful, response to the latest episode of european fascism.

    As for the suggestion that while western capitalism might be bad, Putin’s version is worse. In this case, where is the evidence? Where are the bodies, the thousands of bomb-sites, the DU dust, etc?

    Isn’t the principle of self-determination the relevant here?

    If you were living in Crimea would you choose to be governed from Kiev by Svoboda​ userpers? In what circumstances could the Kiev government have more legitimacy than a post referendum one in Crimea?

    The underlying issue in seems to have been forgotten in the haze of anti-Russian indignation. That is, the Westernh habit of interference and regime-change in sovereign states. Venezuela next. If you were living in Crimea would you choose to be governed by Svoboda?

  4. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:05 am

    Oops! Sorry for doubling up there. Mod, please delete half!

  5. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:14 am

    “Whether local militia, Russian special forces or a bit of both are responsible, isn’t it clear that what has happened in Crimea”

    Only to the blind I’m afraid.

    What about the ultra right forces unleased on the Russian people – aka KGB/nomenklatura/Putinistas – but at least they are not using anyone’s tax dollars having awarded themselves a maximum 13% tax rate.

  6. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:19 am

    “The underlying issue in seems to have been forgotten in the haze of anti-Russian indignation. That is, the Westernh habit of interference and regime-change in sovereign states.”

    And what about the Russian habit of interference and regime-change in sovereign states – that you wilfully ignore (do you know anything about the recent history of Ukraine??). Or we could also talk about the Chinese habit as well?

  7. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:32 am

    Spot on, Craig, I’d agree with 95% of what you say.

    However, as you’ll have noticed already, the excellence of your post will not be sufficient to convince the usual suspects. The counter arguments put up to posts of this nature would never cease to amaze me were it not clear that the starting point of those counter arguments is one of anti-Westernism come what may. Why that should be so is , I regret to have to say, probably a matter for psychiatrists.

    Again: congratulations.

  8. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:33 am

    https://twitter.com/chessninja/status/444957585733455873/photo/1

    From yesterday’s “spontaneous” pro Putin demonstration – nice to see how the demonstrators were all issued with matching uniforms and organised themselves in nice orderly ranks and the USSR 2.0 was such a nice touch. I’m sure the fellow travellers and useful idiots will agree.

  9. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:36 am

    Strangely enough no comment on this from our resident Putinistas, who continue to enjoy the freedom of speech that they their hero is prepared to deny to others.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/13/us-russia-internet-idUSBREA2C21L20140313

  10. Michael Robinson

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:47 am

    “Human society is not perfectible, which does not mean we should not try. I believe western democracy, particularly in its social democratic European manifestation from approximately 1945 to 2000, achieved a high level of happiness for its ordinary people and an encouraging level of equality. ”

    I recommend to you the argument of Thomas Piketty, which is, in short, that the “high level of happiness…and an encouraging level of equality” were not the result of western democracy, but were rather the accidental consequence of massive capital destruction in the decades before 1945, and of the political space thereby opened up for massive capital redistribution in the decades after.

    http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/52384/1/MPRA_paper_52384.pdf
    http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/files/Piketty2013Cologne.pdf

    “For approximately 20 years unfortunately we have witnessed a capitalism more raw and unabated than ever before, and massively growing levels of wealth inequality, a reduction in state provision for the needy, a distortion of state activity further to line the pockets of the rich, ever increasing corruption among the elite and growing levels of social immobility and exclusion, a narrowing of the options presented by major political parties until there is not a cigarette paper between them and their neo-conservative agendas, and a related narrowing by the mainstream media of the accepted bounds of public debate, with orchestrated ridicule of opinions outside those bounds.”

    It is Piketty’s argument (and he has the data to support it), that everything you describe here is merely “reversion to the mean” for western democracy, not a deviation from the norm.

  11. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:51 am

    Putin annexation Part 2 appears to have already started

    http://nypost.com/2014/03/15/russian-forces-move-into-ukraine-on-the-eve-of-referendum/

    Perhaps the Putinistas might wish to get their justification in early – and while doing so perhaps they could let us know what they consider to be the acceptable limits of Putin’s expansionism – to the Polish border, to the German border, to the former West German border, to the Baltic coast, to Chisinau, to Tashkent???

  12. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:53 am

    And what is Michael Robinson’s argument for “reversion to the mean” when it comes to Russia?

  13. Michael Robinson

    16 Mar, 2014 - 8:55 am

    “It is among my dearest wishes one day to see One Hyde Park given out for council housing.”

    On the other hand, it’s also possible the disasters of the last twenty years are the predictable consequence of a compulsive, self-defeating message indiscipline afflicting the entire political left.

    Hard to say, really.

  14. Michael Robinson

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:03 am

    @Resident Dissident:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=861DJLR4Cek

    Meditate on the logos of the corporate sponsors until you get to the 4:40 mark, where the sponsor’s agenda is briefly aired.

    Capital accumulation is easiest when the capital is acquired cheaply, and there is no cheaper capital than distressed capital.

  15. The simple fact remains that Putin is currently the only block on Western ambition.

    Since Western ambition is now at nightmarishly Strangelove levels under American neocons, this has to be a positive thing for humanity as a whole.

    The West has thrown international law out the window and we now live in a world of trial by combat and cunning. The more observant Westerners will have noticed that increasingly we are forced to live in this manner in our own individual states.

    The only hope then is that Putin hold the fort until the other BRICS and non-alligned get up to speed, the Europeans unwind, stress the dollar, put the criminals on trial and start over.

    Sorted!

  16. One sycophantic comment-maker has been raiding the apple-barrel to set himself up as teacher’s pet again, having suffered some disgrace by having comments binned through not having done his homework. It must be pretty galling for Craig to have attracted such a bedmate.

    Under normal circumstances I would agree myself with the blog-post, although I do not think the comparison with Hitler’s invasion of Austria is valid because of the extraordinary circumstances in the Ukraine. To make the blog-post reasonable it is necessary to go back to primary causes of the referendum, that is, a load of thugs (this is not a popular rising but a western-funded coup) have taken over the legitimate government of the Ukraine. Once they are removed it is right and proper to argue the timescale of a referendum. But first it needs to be argued whether these gangsters, Nazis in fact, should be in power.

    There have been systematic lies from the start from our media, and the population of Crimea might well want to become part of Russia because that might prevent a similar western-funded coup in the Crimea. This is the truth. This is what should be argued in favour, or against, because this is what started it all. Even this morning the BBC had a Ukrainian liar who tried to tell the viewing public that there had been a Russian invasion of Crimea. The only trouble is the viewing public will believe it. In this video Nuland (Fuck the EU) is talking to her friends. Argue this. It’s the place to start.

    http://scgnews.com/the-ukraine-crisis-what-youre-not-being-told

  17. Given that no one can seriously argue that there has been anything other than a coup in Kiev the referendum is only to be expected. Of course Tartars are not happy and the West should keep an eye on their situation, but the real concerns are not the referendum but 1) who are those now in control in Kiev and how they got there and 2) whether Russia will try to extend its reach beyond Crimea over the east of Ukraine. There must be a risk of that and danger in it. Crimea itself is more or less inevitable.

  18. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:28 am

    Michael Robinson

    You of course didn’t answer my question – but fortunately the following comment did highlight something of what has happened in Russia:

    “Capital accumulation is easiest when the capital is acquired cheaply, and there is no cheaper capital than distressed capital.”

    Because of course this is exactly what Putin and his fellow oligarchs have done with Russian capital – which to a large extent they have then stolen from their foreign countrymen and sent abroad, placing it into “investments” such as One Hyde Park. Gazprom, and those who benefit from its cashflow, of course has no interest whatsoever in the Ukraine.

  19. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:31 am

    Herbie

    The one problem with your love in with Putin is that you will find the cure even worse than the disease.

  20. Some other perspectives:

    Charles Crawford –
    Ukraine, Russia and Europe
    http://charlescrawford.biz/N0RXWL854071

    It predates the Crimea moves.

    and today on RT, Neil Clark –

    http://rt.com/op-edge/crimea-artificially-created-crisis-838/

    ~~

    Nothing substantial from our man in Kiev, Simon Smith.
    http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/simonsmith/

    PS Has he got an amazing dancing bear? Anyone remember it?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8zI5xjwKYw

  21. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:43 am

    “To make the blog-post reasonable it is necessary to go back to primary causes of the referendum, that is, a load of thugs (this is not a popular rising but a western-funded coup) have taken over the legitimate government of the Ukraine.”

    I think I will place rather more credence on this matter on the views of Timothy Snyder who knows rather more of the history of this part of the world and actually visited Kyiv than a long standing apologist for all things Putin who freely throws the fascist insult at western governments and their politicians.

    “Even this morning the BBC had a Ukrainian liar who tried to tell the viewing public that there had been a Russian invasion of Crimea.”

    So where did all those well trained and equipped troops without insignia arrive from? However, much you try you will never get promoted to fellow traveller Gospodin Goss.

  22. Resident Dissident, argue against the video (did you watch it?) not what you consider my politics to be.

  23. Michael Robinson

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:47 am

    @Resident Dissident

    “Because of course this is exactly what Putin and his fellow oligarchs have done”

    Well, that’s exactly the argument in a nutshell. All the claims about democratic will and national aspiration and yadda yadda are merely sideshows and distractions to the realpolitik question of who ends up with the loot. The Ukrainian people are screwed either way.

    Personally, I agree with Mr. Murray on this point: Putin’s actions in Crimea are worse than a crime, they’re a blunder. All evidence is that he could have achieved everything he has there so far, and more, through widely-recognised proper procedures and with international legitimacy, but he appears to lack the self-discipline and self-awareness to play that game.

  24. Res Diss

    You’re quite simply a victim of neocon propaganda, as your many posts on this and other matters routinely show.

    It’s not about Putin winning. It’s about him blocking the fascist takeover until the rest of the world can combine and overturn their current hegemony.

    You’re wrong about the oligarchs as well, of course. He prosecuted many of those who benefitted from the neocon rape of Russia under a Yeltin drunk on neocon largesse, whilst others of them fled to the West.

    There’s a kinda pattern there.

    And, unsurprisingly you’re wrong about One Hyde Park, as this investigation shows:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/society/2013/04/mysterious-residents-one-hyde-park-london#

  25. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:50 am

    From the RT fellow traveller that Mary linked to:

    “But it was an artificially-created “crisis” as what was going on in Kosovo was a low-level conflict between Yugoslav forces and Kosovan Liberation Army fighters backed by the West.”

    What f***ing planet do these people live on. They’ll be repeating the line that the Holodomor was down to crop failures and poor administration next.

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

  26. It is so easy for those who would divert to take a sentence or two out of context as Resident Dissident has done at 9.43 p.m. and divert from the message of the comment – which is the video at the end. This is straight out of the trolls’ handbook, though of course I am not saying the Resident Dissident is a troll. I have known him make some good arguments. That comment focusing on me and not the video is not one of his best efforts.

  27. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:53 am

    “He prosecuted many of those who benefitted from the neocon rape of Russia under a Yeltin drunk on neocon largesse, whilst others of them fled to the West.”

    He prosecuted those who disagreed with him – disputes between mafia bosses are nothing new. The rape of Russia by his pet oligarchs has continued – the fact that you are in denial makes it clear that it is you who is the victim of propaganda not myself.

  28. I would go along with what you are saying, Craig, if the western media were reporting impartially. However, the reporting I saw on the BBC news yesterday wasn’t exactly balanced. It reminded me of Hitler’s statement regarding the matter of telling lies, and what people would believe… Putin’s Russia may not be everyone’s (anyone’s…) ideal of democracy either, but in this case it is the west that is supporting fascism, and inadvertently bringing all of the powers of their media to support that fascism. Yes, Putin could have just stood by meekly and said “people will see through the fascists”, but history tells us it doesn’t work like that, and journalists these days don’t seem to have a sense of history (or irony!)

    My understanding of the UN resolution is that it was deliberately worded to isolate Russia, and no self-effacing country could vote against. I’m surprised if only China abstained. I’ve never before understood how Europe could have allowed fascism to rise in the 1930s, but of course I now realise that the media were all powerful then as now, and they facilitated Hitler’s work. Churchill must have been fuming through all of this, as he could see what was happening with the growth of fascism – what about Guernica, for example – but he was consistently ignored… until it was getting too late and Hitler went into Austria. Even then “Peace in our time” was the mantra after Munich. Willheim Reich wrote an excellent book about this before Hitler even came to power. I know all this from when I was quite young because my great grandfather’s encyclopedias were passed down to me, and when I had to write an essays about Hitler, Mussolini, etc. I was very surprised at what I read… From then on I realised the importance of reading multiple independent sources.

    An alternative view… it is important to see both sides to get to the truth:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQW_Miknqt0

  29. 9.43 a.m. not p.m. What day is it?

  30. RD 9.43am

    ‘Mr Snyder is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.’

    That says it all. We know where he’s coming from.

    ‘Timothy D. Snyder (born August 18, 1969)[2] is an American historian. He is a Professor of History at Yale University, specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe, and the Holocaust. For the academic year 2013–2014, he has been the holder of the Philippe Roman Chair of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science [3] He is also affiliated with the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna[4] and the College of Europe in Natolin, Poland. Mr. Snyder is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_D._Snyder

    If Russia swallows Ukraine, the European system is finished.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/05/opinion/russia-ukraine-austria/

    What tommyrot. He probably favours this dangerous US/EU tie up, the TTIP.

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

  31. If Russia had not thwarted US ambitions in Syria, we would have seen a repeat of Libya in Syria. Instead Assad has been able to multiply his violations against human rights and dignity by many times, sheltering under Russia’s military and diplomatic umbrella.

    US and its AlQaida, whose leader Zawahiri visited the US last year, would have imposed a US Muslim Brotherhood despot like Muhammad Mursi, who would have implemented the US plan to control Islam through NSA spying and torture, taming the custodians of the Arabic language from speaking by the light of the holy Qur’an.

    I can see some justification in Putin using military pressure in Ukraine, because if the US gets its ambition, as it did in Egypt, military force has to be used anyway to reverse the Satanic evil of US-created Islamic-thought-crime, which like the star chamber of the Roman Catholic Inquisition, uses the privacy of your own home to indict you with crimes against the state.

    Nobody is deceived that Putin, former KGB leader, or his military might is an ideologically good thing. Nor have they been since the 1920’s about Soviet-style Communism. But anybody who thinks that USUKIS is a force for good in this world after the relevations of Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden or Craig Murray even, is also living in la-la-la-la land.

  32. Res Diss

    If you’d provide some evidence for your allegations rather than continually parroting neocon propaganda, that’d be great.

    Even something approaching argument would do.

    Thanks

    It might help if you focussed on what the neocon plan for the world actually is, whether you agree with it and what it would mean for all the little people out there.

    I’ll help a bit.

    Do you think, for example, that Russia, China, the other BRICS, even Germany and other European countries might be just a tad concerned at this unfolding plan for a New American Century, with all that it entails?

    Cheers.

  33. http://warisacrime.org/content/germany-says-no-weaponized-drones

    ” i never saw a single instance of Germany having any interest in rights other than its own national self-interest. It is very likely such.”

  34. Neil Saunders

    16 Mar, 2014 - 10:36 am

    Scottish politicians (many with constituencies south of the border and/or cabinet positions) have certainly welcomed (mass) immigration to England. Incidentally, why are open borders – which hugely benefit multinational corporations – perceived as “left wing”, while opposition to them is automatically glossed as “racist”?

  35. Craig seems to have allowed his usually excellent judgment to be clouded by embracing the notion that Moscow is the malefactor in the Ukraine crisis.

    This is not an attempt by the evil Putin to extend the frontiers of Russia. It is plainly a clash between an expanding US/EU/NATO and an autocratic Russia which remembers Napoleon, Hitler and George Bush II, has few friends in this US-dominated world and has been forced onto the defensive again (as it was in Syria).

    Putin may have miscalculated in his response to the bloodshed in Kiev – although that still remains to be seen and almost all the killings have so far taken place there, not in the east. But the question is: who was primarily responsible for the explosion of violence in Ukraine and what can now be done to calm the situation?

    (Few would deny that the Putin regime is abhorrent, although many Russians seem to support it. But so are plenty of other regimes, many of them bought and paid for by “the West”).

    p.s. here’s a short film about the ever-changing frontiers of Ukraine (since 1914) published by Le Figaro (a right-wing French newspaper). Interesting, even if you don’t understand the French commentary.

    http://video.lefigaro.fr/figaro/video/les-frontieres-de-l-ukraine-depuis-1914/3311392305001/

  36. The first measurement to bring about reasonable equality would be destructiontof tax havens and wealth re-distribution, possibly a global monetary reset of which international law could over see.
    Asset values should extend beyond the material and should return to the creator of all things beautiful and godly.

  37. Your apparent inability to see things from the perspective of Russia speaks volumes. Likewise your single-minded refusal to acknowledge the elephant in the room that I have pressed in comments to previous posts.

    Can you not see that your even-handedness about the alleged iniquities of Putin -v- the West are straight out of the Cass Sunstein playbook; they further that ‘elephant-in-the-room’ agenda of the US-UK-NATO axis to perfection. Is that REALLY your intent? or are you simply naive in matters affecting the basically honourable intent of the West?

    You say that in your 20-odd years of FO experience there was never an instance of Germany acting in anything other than its own self-interest. Just what are we expected to infer from that little gem I ask? Are we really expected to believe that somehow the same does NOT apply to the US, UK and Russia? IOW, your anti-German disposition is also of-a-piece with standard FO blatherings; quelle surprise! – for sheer crassness, you could certainly teach the Daily Mail a thing or two.

    Everything you say in this post furthers the agenda of the interests you so plaintively claim to oppose. It is not a question of lauding Putin as a latter-day hero as you so persistently and pejoratively impute to your critics; it is is simply a matter of his being just about the last and only forlorn possibility of halting the globalising US-UK-NATO military/finance-capital juggernaut – the elephant in the room that you so steadfastly refuse to acknowledge. All you SEEM to see is an alleged petty self-aggrandizing tyrant and let’s just ignore his being the most popular politician on the planet (the baby elephant you might say).

    For those with eyes to see – and frankly I suspect that does include you – this is about neither the Ukraine nor the Crimea referendum. It is about yet another ratchet in the ascendancy of that elephant.

    Anyone who seriously tries to equate alleged Russian imperialism with what the US-UK-NATO has been about since the end of WWII (and earlier) is either a willing Cass Sunstein acolyte or terminally naive. So which are you Craig?

  38. Will it be any different to this below if Scotland gets independence ?, I don’t think so.

    “George Osborne, David Cameron, and their London mayor mate, Bo-Jo may welcome this influx of dirty money, as far as I can tell, the Tories are very relaxed about the sources of criminal cash being deposited in the City, but it does no exonerate banks from ensuring the full implementation of the regulations demanding full due diligence on the sources and provenance of the funds being deposited, and the nature and quality of any PEPs seeking client status.”

    http://rowans-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/financial-conduct-authority-fails-yet.html

  39. I am no Putin apologist.

    But.

    Crimea has never sat too comfortably within the independent Ukraine and has agitated for as much autonomy as it could get for the last twenty odd years. I suspect that had today’s referendum been offered at any time since the break-up of the USSR, it would have passed massively in favour of rejoining Russia.

    So the lack of preparatory time is really a non-issue.

    I don;t ike the characterisation in terms of Putin’s adventurism either – he is reacting to events instigated by the EU, Us and Nato. The whole Crimea hoopla serves as a convenient distraction for far darker events happening in Ukraine proper.

    The Maidan crowd are most unhappy with the unelected interim government, seeing it as a replacement of one corrupt oligarch with another set of election-losing, corrupt oligarchs with a smattering of fascists for good measure. This government is going to lock them into an IMF adjustment programme that will pauperise them for decades.

    Now that’s a lack of democracy we should all be screaming about.

  40. By their fruits

    16 Mar, 2014 - 11:23 am

    ye shall know em, (the good prophets that is) !

    1) Preventing NATO bombing of Syria based on a ghastly false flag,an evil gassing of 400 children at Ghouta.

    2) Giving refuge to Snowden, and thereby opening the eyes of the ENTIRE world to the Beast mentioned in the Bible. A service to mankind of the highest level.

    3) Making public the Nuland devils’ conversations – “Fuck EU” and “sniping of both sides”. If CM stays patient Putin may well have saved the best leaks for last.

    4) Being an only brave countervailing force to a Great Satan gone berserk with its limitless dollar printing press – its NSA even knows what colour panties Angela Merkel is wearing on any given day ! Compare with a 1.3 billion population PRC that can only abstain from the action.

    CM needs to be reminded Putin is in power with a 60% majority, a figure most Western leaders can only dream of. And that Yanukovich with all his faults was in power with a higher majority than Cameron, an election overseen by the EU no less. A Putin that is standing upto the devils that overthrew Mossadegh,Morsi,Yanukovich,etc and very soon Maduro, can only be the good guy.

  41. Wikispooks

    The problem is you are ignoring the historical viewpoint. Russia is a massive imperial power. As I have explained ad nauseam the growth of the Russian Empire was precisely contemporary with the growth of the British Empire. For geographical reasons most Russian colonies were contiguous and most British were overseas. But Dagestan, Chechnya and Tatarstan are Russian colonies just as much as India or Ghana ever were British colonies.

    Britain divested most of its empire, (the process still needs to complete) and Russia has not gone nearly so far in the process. The War on Terror gave it backing for the continued suppression of its largely Muslim colonies. For you to say Russia is not an imperial power is ludicrous.

    My argument is that people like you are backing one imperial power against another instead of condemning them both, as I am plainly doing.

  42. By Their Fruits

    Strange, you missed 100,000 dead in Chechnya.

  43. “Strange, you missed 100,000 dead in Chechnya.”

    Lets not forget, millions dead in Iraq.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/13173659825/

  44. Paul Craig Roberts discusses Ukraine and intimately related matters.

    Amongst issues addressed:

    How the neocons have wanted war with Soviet Union/Russia since Reagan’s presidency. PCR was a member of that govt.

    How the neocons believe nuclear war is winnable. “What good are nuclear weapons if you can’t use them”, said William Krystol, founding member of PNAC. How Reagan fired the neocons, and prosecuted some who were sentenced, but later pardonned by Bush Sr.

    How the neocons have re-emerged and determined US foreign policy since the Clinton administration and they’re still there through Bush Jr and Obama.

    How neoconism is a family business.

    How neoconism seeks hegemony over the whole planet.

    How neoconism trashes domestic and international law, discussion, cooperation, preferring to use might and violence instead.

    How neocon political philosophy is no more sophisticated than that of the football hooligan. “All they talk about is war and winning”.

    How Russia, China and Iran stand in the way of the neocon goal of world hegemony.

    How the neocons use money to fund destabilising forces within these countries.

    How the short term payback in looting resources, and also other longer term economic benefits to the US enables the neocons to recruit a broader constituency to their program, which ultimately is to put NATO bases in Ukraine, weakening Russia’s capacity to resist ultimate hegemony.

    How the BRICS etc are hatching plans to abandon the dollar whilst they still have that opportunity.

    His views on a variety of military options and non options, especially for Europeans.

    His views on the economic situation and the delicate balancing act involved in maintaining the dollar.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhxZxL56B00

  45. Someone

    I have never forgotten the dead in Iraq. You do not honour them by your stance that dead Chechens don’t matter. Killing Muslims is OK if it is Putin that does it?

  46. Residents of the Crimea are taking massive sums out of their banks, why? with all this good will feeliong for the Russian Empire.

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/krim-krise-bewohner-haben-massenhaft-geld-ab-a-958787.html

    This from Christopher Clarke on the paralells between 1914 and 2014. And why the geo political p[aralells are totally different.

    “German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier conceded that the EU foreign ministers (himself included) had been too quick during the early days of the crisis to engage with the Ukrainian opposition and too slow to take account of the larger geopolitical issues that are entangled with the crisis. This remark exhibited a level of self-critical reflection and a readiness to adjust to new developments that would have been completely alien to his early twentieth-century counterparts. The statement issued by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso on March 5 following a meeting of the Commission to discuss the situation in Ukraine struck exactly the right note.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/christopher-clark-on-parallels-between-1914-and-the-ukraine-crisis-a-958692.html

  47. 1,000,000 innocent murdered in the Iraq war; 4,000,000 families displaced, after George W Bush rolled out the ‘war on terror’ after the planned twin towers operation.

    Putin took advantage of this scam after calling Bush with his sympathy after learning of the 9/11 attacks, graciously offered to help with the invasion of Afghanistan.

    Then Uzbek President Islam Karimov allowed the U.S. to build a permanent base, sensing that his new alliance with the war on terrorism would reduce world scrutiny of human-rights abuses that included gross acts of torture in Uzbekistan, like boiling humans alive.

    What other atrocities can we attribute to this terror con game?

  48. “The Maidan crowd are most unhappy with the unelected interim government, seeing it as a replacement of one corrupt oligarch with another set of election-losing, corrupt oligarchs with a smattering of fascists for good measure. This government is going to lock them into an IMF adjustment programme that will pauperise them for decades.”

    Precisely!

    Remember that Baroness Ashton told these pawns/protestors to go back to their homes.

    The West now had a govt it could do business with, whatever about what the protestors wanted.

    For good measure that govt has now recruited the fascist thugs into a 60,000 Ukrainian Defence Force which will ensure there are no more protests.

    Job done.

    How anyone can support what’s going on here is beyond me.

    I’d imagine they just don’t understand the full implications of it all.

    It’s a continued appeasement of US and neocon thuggery which may not end well.

  49. I agree with Craig’s analysis. However, the elephant in the room that seems to be overlooked is the fact that this joke of a referendum would not have happened had the U.S-instigated coup not been intended to isolate Russia from the outset.

  50. What sort of hell and high water, one wonders, will Baroness Ashton raise to ensure that the planned general election in the autumn will take place, how will she ensure that the ballot is monitored by someone reputable?

  51. The comparison of Hitler’s treatment of Austria and Putin’s of the Crimea seems ludicrous to me.

    Austria was a broken imperial power, like Germany, and when the victorious Western powers did nothing to stop his invading, it was hardly surprising that the Austrians supported him invasion overwhelmingly. To act as if more time about that referendum would have changed the result seems groundless to me.

    If Hitler had stopped then rather than going further with military aggressions, the Nazis might well have succeeded in taking over Europe.

    Putin has only used Russian power to support Russian ethnics from being taken over by non-Russians who support Western powers while trying to prevent non-Russian bits of its old empire from breaking away. He has good reason to suspect the West of wanting to destroy what’s left of Russia.

    And here too I see nothing changing for the better if the referendum were delayed in the Crimea.

    To make Putin sound like the German dictator is just another example of playing the Hitler card in discussions.

  52. Paul Barbara

    16 Mar, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    I agree with a lot of what ‘By Their Fruits’ aays. Check out ‘US caught planning terror attacks in Ukraine’
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/03/14/354594/us-planning-terror-attacks-in-ukraine/
    This is the usual MO that the CIA and other ‘Security Agencies’ have become adept at; the whole so-called ‘Arab Spring’ was nothing but a fomented ‘Regime Change’ scenario, funded by Soros, NED etc.
    4* General (ret) Wesley Clark, ex-Supreme Allied Commander Europe, is on video saying that in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 ‘Attack’, he visited the Pentagon to find out what was being planned, and was told the US was going to overthrow ‘7 govts. in 5 years: Iraq (they had already started bombarding Afghanistan), Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran’ (obviously the time scale has slipped). French ex-Foreign Minister Roland Dumas is on record saying that in 2009 he was told by two high British Officials that Britain (and France) were going to overthrow the Assad regime with mercenaries, and asked if he was interested.
    ‘Ukraine Protests Carefully Orchestrated: The Role of CANVAS, US-Financed “Color Revolution Training Group” –
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-protests-carefully-orchestrated-the-role-of-canvas-us-financed-color-revolution-training-group/5369906
    Identical ‘Street Warfare’ leaflets (except the languages), the first from Egypt, the second from Kiev.
    Re above link ‘US caught planning terror attacks in Ukraine’, the attack on an airfield with planes attacked is just like ‘Operation Red Rock’, where US Special Forces raided a Camboodian Air Base, destroyed a load of aircraft, left dead Vietnamese Sappers they had brought for the purpose (of making it look like a Communist raid) to get Lon Nol ‘off the fence’, and in the war on America’s side.
    Neither Putin nor the Chinese are ‘Angels’, but I thank God they are standing up against the marauding NWO Bankster War Criminal psychopaths/sociopaths.
    One last point: re Venezuela and Maduro, in 2000, eleven months before 9//11, Nick Rockefeller told Aaron Russo that ‘there was going to be an incident, and because of it he would see the US going into Afghanistan and Iraq, he would see US troops hunting through caves for Arabs, there would be a ‘War on Terror’, and after that the US was going after Venezuela (remember the 2002 Coup attempt?); well, the time-scale has slipped on that too, but the same type of sniper killings of both sides is occuring now (see ‘Aaron Russo – Historiic Interview’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3NA17CCboA

  53. “You do not honour them by your stance that dead Chechens don’t matter.”

    I was pointing out that both sides have killed many people. I NEVER said that “Chechens don’t matter”, you Craig have lied, so please don’t make things up!, makes you look an idiot.

  54. “There is absolutely no reason that a referendum could not have been held at the end of this year, in a calm and peaceful atmosphere, after everybody had a chance to campaign and express their position.”

    By the looks of it, it is very unlikely that the calm and peacefulness would have increased with the passage of time.

    Given that “the West has retreated from the concept of international law”, what could Putin get away with other than military force?

  55. It isn’t much of a referendum as referendums go.

    But it’s a darn sight more than the Palestinians get as Israel annexes more and more of their land, they get no referendum at all.

  56. Have to disagree with your claim that Russia has been much worse that the US Empire on the flouting of international law. That’s simply wrong. Russia is an imperial power, but compared to the US it is a rather small and ineffective one, at least in scope.

    I think the context is all important here. Russia is responding to aggression to protect its interests, not initiating it to secure new ‘interests’. To me that is very different from initiating aggression, which is the forte of the US Empire.

    Maybe it’s easier for me to take this approach because I don’t feel personally invested in the situation in any ideological way, unless the truth is an ideology. I am simply studying the situation and attempting to give everything its due based on the available data, past and present.

    In dealing with moral sticky wickets like Russian military or other responses to the situation and emotionally-charged issues like being anti-war and respecting laws etc. I usually end up applying the ‘law of three’ rather than relying on absolute rights or wrongs as defined by standard moral convention. The ‘law of three’ states:

    ‘There is ‘good’ and there is ‘bad’, and there is the specific situation which determines which is which.’

  57. Craig is simply putting out unbalanced guff now. No mention of the violent fascist led coup in Kiev? No mention that the fascist non democratic new government in Kiev voted to abolish the Assembly in the Crimea without a referendum or the fact that the UN voted to make any referendum in Crimea illegal? Nobody is saying that Putin is an angel but all perspectives have been lost in these latest posts

  58. “Craig is simply putting out unbalanced guff now.”

    Chris Jones,

    I agree!, I think Craig is undergoing some mental issues at the moment.

  59. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    Tovarish Goss

    “One sycophantic comment-maker has been raiding the apple-barrel to set himself up as teacher’s pet again, having suffered some disgrace by having comments binned through not having done his homework. It must be pretty galling for Craig to have attracted such a bedmate.”

    ______________________

    ??

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

    “Under normal circumstances I would agree myself with the blog-post, although I do not think the comparison with Hitler’s invasion of Austria is valid because of the extraordinary circumstances in the Ukraine.”
    _______________

    Yes, we know that argument – there are always ‘extenuating circumstances’, aren’t there :)

    “My client knows that rape is wrong, m’Lud, but the girl was wearing a rather short skirt, wasn’t she”

  60. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    Tovarish Goss

    “Resident Dissident, argue against the video (did you watch it?) not what you consider my politics to be.”
    ____________________

    In general I think it’s fair to say that posters reveal where they stand politically through the links they provide.

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

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

  61. “Craig is simply putting out unbalanced guff now.”

    Chris Jones,

    I agree!, I think Craig is undergoing some mental issues at the moment.

    So you speculate, someone, is that not something you should have learned about when you were young?

    Would it matter much to you if your own personal medical history is, at convenient time to us, bless, off course, be subject of debate amongst an international crowd here?

    or would they be rather interested in the issues of concern in this thread?

  62. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    Hurbi

    “You’re wrong about the oligarchs as well, of course. He prosecuted many of those who benefitted from the neocon rape of Russia under a Yeltin drunk on neocon largesse, whilst others of them fled to the West.

    There’s a kinda pattern there.”
    _____________________

    There is indeed. The oligarchs who cosy up to rasPutin still have a free run in Russia and have been neither prosecuted nor forced to flee abroad. Fact.

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

    Support your local ras-Putin approved oligarch!

  63. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 2:29 pm

    Resident Dissident

    “What f***ing planet do these people live on. They’ll be repeating the line that the Holodomor was down to crop failures and poor administration next.”
    _____________________

    They already have, through links provided. Cf posts and threads passim.

  64. My colleague in the States, Gilbert Mercier, issues a warning about how the US can end up shooting itself in the foot by imposing sanctions following the resounding referendum vote. He also thinks it will be a test of the BRICS alliance as an economic power.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2014/03/15/ukraines-crisis-economic-sanctions-could-trigger-a-global-depression/

  65. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    “It is not a question of lauding Putin as a latter-day hero as you so persistently and pejoratively impute to your critics;”
    __________________

    Whether that’s the question or not, it is a fact that rasPutin is being so lauded by many on this blog.

  66. John Goss; BRICS seems to lack mortar. China voting against, Putin dumping US obligations before the the coalition agrees it’s time.

    BRICS has a long way to go.

  67. http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/cyber-angriff-hacker-von-cyberberkut-legen-nato-website-lahm-a-958894.html

    Brüssel – Mehrere Internetseiten der Nato sind in der Nacht zum Sonntag Ziel eines Hackerangriffs geworden. Zu der Attacke bekannte sich eine ukrainische Hackergruppe.

    Die Gruppe mit dem Namen CyberBerkut teilte auf ihrer Webseite mit: “Wir erklären, dass wir heute um 18.00 Uhr eine Attacke gegen die Nato gestartet haben.” Die Nato habe auf ukrainischem Territorium nichts zu suchen, hieß es weiter. Die Erklärung wurde auf russisch abgegeben.

    FREELY translated this means
    More than one of NATO’s internet websites were target of an hacker attack on Sunday night. A Ukrainian hacker group owed up to the attack.

    A group with the name Cyber Berklut announced on their website that ‘we hereby declare that we attacked NATO today at 18.00hrs.’ it further declared that NATO should keep itself out of Ukraine’s territory. The declaration was in Russian.

  68. “So you speculate, someone”

    nevermind 16 Mar, 2014 – 2:26 pm

    I do not “speculate”!, you should read ALL the posts above before making your comment!, “is that not something you should have learned about when you were young? “.

    Read comment

    Someone 16 Mar, 2014 – 12:00 pm

    Then

    craig 16 Mar, 2014 – 12:25 pm

  69. “Nobody is saying that Putin is an angel but all perspectives have been lost in these latest posts”

    Well we haven’t been sufficiently acerbic when discussing the Sith Lord, so our condemnations of Putin fail to link him to the Chicago fire, or Tiananmen Square, making us complicit in his Crimean grab.

  70. even worse than speculate, someone, conjecture. Your point was irrelevant and your personal dig afterwards was spurrious reaction.

    Far from arguing the toss, I shall go into the garden for some dig digs.

  71. “Far from arguing the toss”

    nevermind 16 Mar, 2014 – 3:00 pm

    I am not “arguing”!, I am given the relevant facts!, which you seem not to want!.

  72. The situation in Ukraine has generated a tsunami of closed minded comments where most obfuscate the simple selfish human need of creating behemoth ‘bogymen’ for greed, gluttony and rapacity.

    Sir Roderic Lyne, a spurious spokesman for Chatham House fails to mention the irresponsible talk of Ukraine EU and NATO membership, preferring instead to dwell on a ‘strict conditionality’ to [IMF] funding Ukraine, invoking the economic ‘hit man’ approach favored by the West.

    http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/197743?dm_i=1TYG,2893B,EBBWWI,82K3R,1

    The west urgently needs to give a clear and unconditional assurance that it will help Ukraine to recover and for now there can be no question of Ukraine, or any part of Ukraine, becoming a member of either the EU or NATO.

    History tells us Russia abandoned its plan for missile bases on Cuba while the US agreed to withdraw its missile bases on the Soviet border in Turkey. What happened? Russia is now surrounded by missile defence systems – laughable.

    Straddling the wire ex Russian ambassador Rodric Braithwaite makes a weak contribution, invoking ‘democracy’ to real deeds somewhat void of truth and more towards exploitation of the Ukrainian people.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/ukraine-crisis-no-wonder-vladimir-putin-says-crimea-is-russian-9162734.html

    Putin is a mafioso, a hoodlum fighting the West’s proxy assassins, butchers and exterminators while their advocates sniff cocaine in the wooden panelled powder rooms of the politically elite temples, lodges and child abuse guest houses.

  73. If the ‘Maidan revolution’ had been legitimate…
    That is to say,had a democratically elected President been evicted via the ballot box, then Mr Putin’s moves would certainly be judged,as you maintain,illegitimate.
    However, we, Britain, Europe and the Americans,implicated up to the hilt in a (another) putch here, can hardly cry foul.
    May I remind you Mr Murray of;
    The ‘Fuck Europe’ incident.
    The ‘Ashton sniper’ incident.

    This is about regime change and moving missiles up to Russia’s borders.

    In a word Mr Murray, you are simply rooting for ‘my Mafia’ against ‘their Mafia’.
    It is a pity you cant see that it is a case of ‘a plague on both your houses’.
    Particularly Nuland’s and McCain,s whose short sighted actions are only going to perpetuate a world few of us want for our children.

  74. Austerity just seems like more corruption to the Ukrainian people, Mark. If the EU really, really wants Ukraine, let them fund the bailout and tell the IMF to go fish.

  75. Mark Golding – that seems like a fair and balanced assessment – can you maybe sit in for Craig for the next few posts on this issue perhaps, so that a balanced perspective can be put across?

  76. The ever hapless Jen Tsaki vainly attempting to defend the indefensible:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW1WDbDX7wE

    Even the Washington Press corps can tell a bullshitter when they see one.

    We should just surrender to Putin’s Akita now.

    The US is run by fuckin morons and we’re following them to hell:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N8zDnFBe9c

    What happened all those clever clever clogs from West Wing.

  77. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 3:23 pm

    “The ‘Fuck Europe’ incident.”
    ____________________

    Well, those who claim to suffer shock at hearing AS Nuland use the “f” word are very naive and have obviously never had dealings with the world of diplomats speaking with the microphone off.

    But of course their expression of shock are entirely synthetic.

    More concretely: “fuck the EU” is trotted out regularly by those who wish the US and the West ill, but it is never contextualised lest it reveal something less than diabolical. Could someone do us the service of reminding readers to the precise context (preferably by using the verbatim of the conversation, which is widely available)? Ie, why “fuck the EU” according to AS Nuland? In response to what, exactly?

  78. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 3:26 pm

    Mr Golding

    “Putin is a mafioso, a hoodlum fighting the West’s proxy assassins, butchers and exterminators while their advocates sniff cocaine in the wooden panelled powder rooms of the politically elite temples, lodges and child abuse guest houses.”
    _______________

    You should really consult a pyschiatrist. But at least you’re not dangerous.

  79. “What happened all those clever clever clogs from West Wing.”

    Herbie; I am curious as to who you mean. ‘Clever’ can cover a wide area.

  80. BRICS; A threat to the West.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraines-crisis-economic-sanctions-could-drive-a-fragile-world-economy-into-a-financial-quagmire/5373597

    ” Ukraine crisis is a major test of BRICS‘ geopolitical validity as an economic group, political force and potential military alliance. China, Russia’s biggest partner in BRICS, has been strangely muted about Ukraine and the Crimea referendum, urging for “restraint on all sides” and pushing for a political solution.

    During the emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on March 15, 2014, on a resolution to declare Crimea’s referendum illegal, China did not side with Russia by using its veto power but instead abstained from voting. China’s abstention does not fare well for the future of BRICS, as it plays into the strategy of the US and its EU partner to isolate Russia. China, by its abstention from the UN vote, and India, Brazil and South Africa, by their subdued responses, have already played into the hands of the US and its European allies. Will China and other BRICS members step in forcefully to stop the madness of multilateral economic sanctions?”

  81. Habby

    “Well, those who claim to suffer shock at hearing AS Nuland use the “f” word are very naive and have obviously never had dealings with the world of diplomats speaking with the microphone off.”

    No one cares about her using the word “fuck”. That’s just talking point cover to distract from what was really going on.

    The “Fuck the EU” relates directly to the scuppering of the agreement that had already been signed by EU, Russia and Ukraine opposition, from which the US was excluded.

    Then the snipers came…

  82. Ben

    I don’t see anything clever, in any sense of the term for Tsaki and the other idiot.

    I suppose the sad truth is that they don’t have to be especially clever anymore.

    Americans are stupid enough to make deeply inadequate enough.

    Current company excepted, of course.

  83. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 3:45 pm

    “I agree!, I think Craig is undergoing some mental issues at the moment.”

    By your comments you reveal more about yourself than anything else.

  84. the upcoming meeting between EU, Russia and Ukraine opposition from which the US had been excluded.

    Deal signed by above.

    Then the snipers come.

    “Fuck the EU”

    In a criminal case that neocon Nuland would be examined closely on what exactly she meant by “Fuck the EU”.

    It helps of course when the answer is obvious.

  85. “You should really consult a pyschiatrist”

    Have you gotten to this one, RD?

  86. Those who keep talking about “Fuck the EU” are doing exactly what the mass media want them to do, as this video I keep posting that nobody watches, explains. It was what came before “Fuck the UK” that was important. Victoria Nuland sucking up to the Nazi godfathers.

    http://scgnews.com/the-ukraine-crisis-what-youre-not-being-told

    I see the video stopped RD commenting on that particular topic.

  87. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    John Goss

    Resident Dissident, argue against the video (did you watch it?)

    Perhaps since it just repeats what has already been said – I would like to hear you arguments against this first

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-ukraine/

    Which of course comes from someone who knows rather more than you about fascism in this part of the world – and is not afraid to criticise those who support it from either side of the argument
    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/feb/24/a-fascist-hero-in-democratic-kiev/

  88. I wrote “Fuck the UK” in my last because we are part of Europe. Long may that continue.

  89. Sorry for the length…

    http://www.pslweb.org/liberationnews/news/eu-and-imf-spell-disaster-for.html

    “We only have to look at Poland, which is often put forward as an EU success story, to find clues about what would happen to Ukrainian workers under the umbrella of the EU.

    Because Poland’s Gross Domestic Product grew in the years following the 2008 recession, the capitalist press dubbed the country’s growth, which has since slowed, as the “Polish Miracle.”

    How did this “miracle” happen? What has the “miracle” meant for Polish workers?

    The GDP of Poland has grown as a direct result of German investment and EU aid, while the situation for working people has not improved. In fact, the basic condition of this investment is the guarantee of cheap labor costs. When the recession hit, German capital simply went across the border where wages are lower.

    The unemployment rate in Poland is 14 percent. One in 19 Poles are forced to leave the country to look for work—work that for the vast majority of emigrants is beneath their level of education and experience.

    At 25 percent, Poland has one of the largest low-wage work forces in the European Union, according to the European Union itself. In reality this figure is much higher because the EU figures a country’s labor statistics by country and not in relation to the entire EU. For example, a low-wage worker in Germany makes over twice as much as a low-wage worker in Poland.

    A staggering 35 percent of children in Poland now live in poverty.

    On top of all this, in order to join the EU in 2004, Poland enacted drastic market reforms that greatly eviscerated the social safety net.

    In other words, the EU, with the help of the IMF, has overseen the creation of Poland as a source of cheap labor for Germany and other European powers. Poland’s wealth has grown, but it has been diverted from the Polish masses to the German capitalist class.”

  90. Then there was the Latvian economic “miracle”

    http://www.gatewayhouse.in/latvia-economic-miracle-or-mangled-economy/

  91. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 4:17 pm

    I wonder did anyone hear bother to read what Craig said regarding the OSCE’s report on Yanukovich’s last election (we could of course point to his serial rigging of elections) before they start parroting their master’s voice on the subject.

  92. For a longer time-line on austerity; Japan. They, along with US and UK can print their own money, so it’s even worse for dependent economies.

    http://www.social-europe.eu/2013/01/japan-abandons-austerity/

  93. I just had a look at your second link Resident Dissident. Timothy Snyder’s second article is much better informed than the first you posted. In the second he demonstrates that the fascists were the previous Yushenko government (that of Timoshenko who has westernised the spelling to Tymoshenko in case she gets associated with Stalin) while he mentions in the first that Yanukovich had made reforms against this fascism. However he also writes:

    “Although Yanukovych rescinded most of the dictatorship laws, lawless violence by the regime, which started in November, continued into February. Members of the opposition were shot and killed, or hosed down in freezing temperatures to die of hypothermia. Others were tortured and left in the woods to die.”

    Of those deaths we know about according to the Paet/Ashton recorded call, were most likely caused by the Fascists who fired on both sides, and not “the regime”. In not making that clear he certainly knows less on that particular item than I do. Now would you kindly criticise the StormCloudsGathering video. They are the same Fascists from the Yushenko,Timoshenko government – which would then make everything understandable to all.

  94. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    “In the second he demonstrates that the fascists were the previous Yushenko government”

    No he doesn’t. This is typical lickspittle trick – whereby you think you can label someone’s whole political philosophy by reference to a single action – the equivalent would be me calling you a KGB thug and Mafioso for your support of Putting.

    “Of those deaths we know about according to the Paet/Ashton recorded call, were most likely caused by the Fascists who fired on both sides, and not “the regime”. In not making that clear he certainly knows less on that particular item than I do.”

    They are not the same deaths as referred to in the Paet/Ashton recorded call which was about snipers towards the ned of the Maidan protest. I very much doubt that Snyder knows less than you do – might I suggest you do a little more research on the protest rather than relying on your rather narrow sources of information.

  95. China’s abstention makes Obama ‘clever’ by one-half. 4 days before the UNSC vote.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-obama-china-agree-ukraine-sovereignty-22847822

    “The Obama administration is stepping up its attempts to court China’s support for isolating Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine.

    With official comments from China appearing studiously neutral since the Ukraine crisis began, President Barack Obama spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping late Sunday in a bid to get Beijing off the fence.

    The call was their first known conversation since Russian forces took control of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow Crimea region. It came amid signals that Russian President Vladimir Putin was hardening his position on Crimea, which is due to vote on joining Russia in a referendum this weekend that the U.S. and its allies have vowed not to recognize.

    In making his case, Obama appealed to China’s well-known and vehement opposition to outside intervention in other nations’ domestic affairs, according to a White House statement.”

    Uh, that last sentence…..huh?

  96. John Goss

    Resident Dissident, argue against the video (did you watch it?)

  97. Syria-UN-Putin-Cameron

    “..it has become increasingly difficult for us to source and analyze the casualty figures in order to update them,” Rupert Colville, U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    Last count 9,052 Syrian children killed – Human Rights Data Analysis Group

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/13/death-toll-syrian-conflict-93000

    Putin-to-Cameron

    “Who has the blood of children and peaceful citizens of Syria…one hardly should back those that kills the enemies and eat their organs and all that is filmed and shot – do you want to support these people…who wants to supply arms to these people?..”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFJ0fdvKlQQ

    Who needs a pyschiatrist[SIC]?!!

  98. It’s called ‘projection’ mark.. :)

    Why is no one discussing the Tartarus/Sevastapol connection?

    Too many ‘clever’ people for us to count.

  99. John Goss,
    I am in agreement with you:-
    “To make the blog-post reasonable it is necessary to go back to primary causes of the referendum, that is, a load of thugs (this is not a popular rising but a western-funded coup) have taken over the legitimate government of the Ukraine.”
    It is a bit naïve, to say the least, not to recall in the post-World War 11 era the long list of state sponsored terrorist interventions, and many destroying democracy and/or nationalist leadership which placed more emphasis on policies that sought to assist the masses and/or opposed the “banana republic” supplicant relationships. If I am to be doubted, just a few references:-
    Iran – 1953 – Mohammed Mossadegh – a nationalist leader with respect for Western style democracy, ousted in the first CIA sponsored coup. A direct link can be drawn between the overthrow and installation of the Shah all the way through to the 1979 revolution and the current US/Iranian tensions today. As a side note, it was the US that led the Shah to nuclear. He at first could not understand why nuclear when Iran was oil rich; the US convinced him that with nuclear more oil would be available for Iran to sell on the world market, thus providing the Iranian economy with more income. The training of nuclear scientists and sales of nuclear technology actually pre-dates the 1979 revolution and is not a post-1979 phenomenon just thought up by the Islamic revolution.
    Guatemala – 1954 – there was a democratically elected leader called, Jacob Arbenz who was overthrown in a CIA sponsored military coup. The point here, as with Mossadegh before him, being that as Mossadegh was aware of the undervalue of the oil Iran was selling on the international market and had determined to nationalize oil, and pay the Western companies fair market price for the acquisition process of nationalisation, so too Arbenz wanted to address the not dissimilar problem of foreign exploitation relative to lands and Guatemalan bananas. The CIA overthrow here – gave us the name “banana republic” for that is exactly what transpired post coup.
    There is a very long list that one can insert hereafter of similar acts of destruction of nationalist leaders or fledgling democracies, coming from the same source.
    …..Chile?
    Venezuela – 2002 – there was an attempted coup ( i.e. the vote and polls was not the route to power). Washington immediately recognised the coup leaders, but promptly reversed itself when it realised that the Latin American nations and the OAS would not sanction and/or permit recognition of the coup.
    All of this ( well not all – just a very, very truncated history) to suggest to all the analysts on this thread that the historical factual record runs counter to the declared formal narrative of “democracy”, “freedom”, and “equal rights for all”.
    Ukraine – 2014 – the “government” in Kiev is the product of a coup. Moving forward, the issue for the West is not one of democracy or the absence thereof. For, how can one have embraced the likes of the
    Svoboda Party? We are talking here about a political grouping that is as close as any could be to the actual original Nazi party and fascism – not any nationalism – nationalist socialist – of any decency.
    Again John:-
    “To make the blog-post reasonable it is necessary to go back to primary causes of the referendum, that is, a load of thugs (this is not a popular rising but a western-funded coup) have taken over the legitimate government of the Ukraine.”
    And – you are correct.
    What Herbie said also embraces reality and speaks to historical truths:-
    “The West has thrown international law out the window and we now live in a world of trial by combat and cunning. The more observant Westerners will have noticed that increasingly we are forced to live in this manner in our own individual states.”
    It has done so for a very long time, as I have here argued ( e.g. consider, if you will, the horrors of the Belgian Congo – human rights abuses in the millions – and the ouster ( CIA coup) of Patrice Lumumba).
    The point being not so much that the will of the people and/or any decent form of democracy is a bad thing. True democracy, if the leader does not toe certain Western and/or US lines, is not really given a chance. Even the EU finds itself supplicant to US foreign policy. Post the Soviet collapse, would it not have made sense to have disbanded NATO, then seek a negotiated global peace by decommission through treaty much of the surplus armaments and nuclear arms in the world. To the contrary the neo-cons immediately saw, with the absence of the Soviet Union opportunities for war, war, war and more war. If I am to be doubted, then please listen to this:-
    On youtube : Wesley Clark ( US 4 Star General ) US will attack 7 countries in 5 years.
    In the face of this type of evidence one cannot sensibly deny the willful militarism as it marches around the globe. But, who is the prime mover and who then is compelled to respond in the “great game”?
    So far as the pursuit of democracy in Ukraine is concerned, as one American President observed about their chosen installed leader – that he may be a “son of a bitch” but he was the United States son of a bitch.
    As it was yesterday in so many other countries – so too it is in Ukraine – unless we choose to ignore the history of what has actually transpired throughout the world.
    Craig: As a footnote: Where you state, “I believe western democracy, particularly in its social democratic European manifestation from approximately 1945 to 2000*, achieved a high level of happiness for its ordinary people….” I would take licence and complete the sentence with, “ accompanied by related levels of economic exploitation globally and a denial of rights in numerous countries around the world.”
    *So 1945 to 2000 ( to which you refer Craig), if we are to maintain a global perspective, I guess then we cannot remove and/or ignore the reasons for, the consequences of and the continued trajectory of “full spectrum dominance” projected into and around the world.
    CB

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