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

  1. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Yes John I watched the video which I’m afraid was the usual one sided argument that you prefer – in particular there was no reference to the violence against the Maidan protestors pre Feb 20 (there are films of the Berkun firing on protestors and numberous accounts of their torture of those they captured) , no reference to what their grievances were, no reference to the fact that the vast majority were not supporters of Svoboda, no reference to the fact that nearly all the senior positions in the Govt have gone to those who are not supporters of Svoboda, no reference to what the Russian govt was doing why all this was going on, no reference to the corruption of the Yanukovych regime. I could go on – but I suspect I am wasting my time, given I expect that you would be just a craven in supporting whatever provocation the Putin regime may draw up to justify it invading another bit of the Ukraine.

    Yes there were facists on the side of the protestors – but I think you forget that the same can be said of many of Putin’s supporters – Zhrinovsky was one of the first to visit the Crimea after its invasion of the Crimea.

  2. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:26 pm

    Golding

    Most of the blood of innocents in Syria has been spilt by your “lion” Assad often with Russian weapons provided by your other hero. That your backward Islamist friends have joined in is inevitable as flies being attracted to shit.

  3. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:30 pm

    Of course Putin is not above asking a few of his European “fascist” friends to come and rubber stamp his rigged referendum in the Crimea

    http://euobserver.com/news/123453#.UyL2MnERZfw.facebook

  4. Some interesting thoughts on the neocon backed fascist coup in Kiev, and a rare insight into the career of billionaire Ukrainian criminal Julia Hryhyan, better known to her fans as Yulia Tymoshenko.

    Before and after pics as well:

    http://annaraccoon.com/2014/03/06/uk-raine-terrain/

  5. Utter failure by all contrarians to conflate Putinlove and the Left. Projection into the black-and-white analysis leaves little self-awareness for subtle shades of grey. The lack of ‘heroes’ in this matter makes all arguments of self-congratulatory dicktator hatred shrink like my johnson after a cold dip.

  6. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:35 pm

    Clear Perspex ballot boxes in the Crimea – now why would that be??

  7. Vlad, be my Dad

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    ‘Contempt for international law’ is a bit tendentious here. Putin may well take an instrumental view of international law, as the US government does. For the Government of Russia, that would be a rational response to counter US advantages in illegal use of force.

    But with his Syria editorial, Putin introduced a hermetic US society to the UN Charter, the officially-suppressed supreme law of the land that almost no one in the USA has read. By informing Americans that peace is the law, Putin has made a unique contribution to jus cogens. Russia has a Commissioner on Human Rights in the Russian Federation – compare that to the US NHRI, a hopeless bureaucratic labyrinth fixated on discrimination to the exclusion of all other rights. Russia cooperates with human rights special procedures to a degree that would be inconceivable in the US:

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/RUSummary2010.aspx

    In progressive implementation of international law, of course Russia sucks. In respect for and compliance with international law, Russia sucks less than the US government. Putin’s not a messiah, that’s a straw man. Putin’s state is the only effective check on a criminal US regime that is the world’s most serious threat to peace.

  8. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    And of course here’s no option on the ballot paper for people to keep things as they are – democracy Putin style, just imagine if Salmond had thought of that!

  9. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:53 pm

    “In progressive implementation of international law, of course Russia sucks. In respect for and compliance with international law, Russia sucks less than the US government. Putin’s not a messiah, that’s a straw man. Putin’s state is the only effective check on a criminal US regime that is the world’s most serious threat to peace.”

    More moral relativism – and I suppose that makes Putin’s treatment of the Russians all ok? You will find that the same argument was common among Stalin’s fellow travellers and useful idiots – but he got found out eventually.

  10. @RD

    “Yes there were facists on the side of the protestors – but I think you forget that the same can be said of many of Putin’s supporters – Zhrinovsky was one of the first to visit the Crimea after its invasion of the Crimea”

    The Russians have a long standing deal with Ukraine to base up to 25,000 soldiers in Crimea. There has been no invasion thus far as they were already legally there. Check your facts.

    Again, Putin is no angel but in this case he is not the instigator or aggressor

  11. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    @Ben

    “Utter failure by all contrarians to conflate Putinlove and the Left”

    The real left don’t love Putin or other autocrats – remember Orwell.

  12. Ah, Res Diss

    “Of course Putin is not above asking a few of his European “fascist” friends to come and rubber stamp his rigged referendum in the Crimea”

    So soon back and again you’re gleefully posting propaganda as fact in an effort to mislead readers of the blog.

    I think you’ll find that many many politicians from Europe and elsewhere, of differing persuasions, have been invited to monitor the referendum, and they’ve been invited by EODE, not by Putin.

    Even Israeli observers have been invited.

    However, the French fascists FN have not been invited:

    “Précisons donc que le FN français n’a pas été invité par EODE.
    Nous n’entretenons strictement aucune relation avec le FN et nous ne changerons pas. Et nous ne les invitons pas pour des raisons liées à nos propres positions politiques. Et à l’activité politique de certains de nos administrateurs, radicalement engagés depuis plus de deux décennies contre les FN en Belgique et en France.
    Par ailleurs les positions de la majorité des responsables de l’extrême-droite française sont opposées à l’auto-détermination de la Crimée et en faveur des nouvelles autorités ultra-nationalistes de Kiev. Un conseiller de Marine Le Pen, Aymeric Chauprade a reçu une proposition d’invitation à titre personnel, comme géopolitologue, par le Parlement de Crimée et pas par la Direction d’EODE. Nous ne comprenons donc pas (ou trop bien) ses déclarations en ce sens. Ajoutons que 24h plus tard, la présidente du FN a désavoué à la fois le référendum en Crimée et son conseiller.”

    http://www.eode.org/

    It’d be a good idea if the mods took a closer look at your posting history. You seem only to post here in order to deliberately mislead.

  13. Res Diss the one-sided arguments, as you call them, in the StormCloudsGathering video have not been seen on MSM at all. Now that’s what I call one-sided. It is the same MSM media that supported the Iraq war that has not been reporting the facts. It is the same MSM that speaks on behalf of its extremely wealthy lobbyists (the banksters). I would like to have something favourable to say about news reporting, but apart from a few arts-related topics I am stretched to find anything. Remember I got criticised 24 hours after the Paet/Ashton recording that it had not made the news. Well I have news for you. It has still not made the news. Yet all the lies about Russia invading Crimea (when they are legally entitled to have 25000 troops there). When the referendum is ratified they will be able to station as many troops there as they want. What a cock-up in supporting the Nazis!

  14. “More moral relativism – and I suppose that makes Putin’s treatment of the Russians all ok?”

    More B/W simplism. How do you suppose power is achieved in global politics? It’s a cauldron of molten humanity wherein the dross metals rise to the top. Of course, that is true only in systems you have a problem with.

  15. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 5:59 pm

    “The Russians have a long standing deal with Ukraine to base up to 25,000 soldiers in Crimea. There has been no invasion thus far as they were already legally there. Check your facts.”

    Where in the agreement did it say that they could surround Ukrainian Army bases, go around in uniforms without insignia (I’m sure they will suddenly put them on tomorrow), or put up barricades on roads into the Crimea – don’t be so thick as to believe everything that Putin tells you.

  16. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:01 pm

    Hurbie

    Let me give you a lesson. It’s free.

    “No one cares about her using the word “fuck”.”
    _____________________

    So why do you and your fellow-Eminences keep referring to it? I don’t, Resident Dissident doesn’t, Uzbek-in-the-UK doesn’t – so why do the Eminences?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “That’s just talking point cover to distract from what was really going on.”
    ____________________

    Precisely. The Eminences keep making that talking point to distract from what was really going on, ie, the ousting of the corrupt, Russian puppet by a popular uprising.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “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.”
    ___________________

    Could you – or perhaps your friend Tovarish Goss, who claims to know the conversation so well – please show us, using the verbatim of that phone conversation, the relationship between that expression and the conversation that immediately preceded it. Just to demonstrate, using the verbatim, how that expression represented a desire to “scupper” the agreement.

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

  17. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:08 pm

    Hurbie to Resident Dissident:

    “It’d be a good idea if the mods took a closer look at your posting history.”
    _________________

    And at yours, Hurbie. Why do you take such exception to a poster who’s obviously not a parrot and a useful idiot?

    In blog terms, a call for censorship and/or banning is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  18. Who is the ‘real Left’? I’ll leave that to RD.

    http://www.logosjournal.com/orwell-and-the-british-left.php

    The Independent Labour Party

    When he did get involved in politics, Orwell chose to join a distinctively British body, the Independent Labour Party, which was towards the left and indeed the revolutionary flank of the British Labour Movement, but which had many distinctive approaches that Orwell shared. He was not as lonely a figure as an American socialist with similar ideas may have been, not least since socialism was in the mainstream in Britain.

    The ILP had left the Labour Party earlier in 1932, but still had a wide, albeit shrinking base, members of parliament, and indeed still had many close connections and sympathizers inside the Labour Party itself and the unions. Although the ILP considered itself revolutionary, it was by no means Leninist and was open and non-dogmatic in its beliefs, with a mixture of pragmatic belief in improving the lot of people now and a firm belief that things could and should get much better – without being too specific about the form that future society would take.

    It held what it called a “Third Way” position between Leninism and Labour Party right’s reformism, which is, of course, not to be confused with Tony Blair’s and Bill Clinton’s later appropriation of that title.

    The ILP believed that socialism could be brought about by an elected Labour Party, which could suppress counter-revolution “by ordinary legal power backed by a Labour organization, and could thus effect the revolutionary change to socialism.”

  19. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Herbie

    It is the Russian Government that is reported to have invited the fascists not EODE in the link I provided.

    John Goss

    I think you will find that the MSM media reported all the substantive points in that video as well as all the points being made by the opponents of the Iraq War. You clearly have something of a problem with media that report both sides of a story and allow people the free choice to make up their minds. I note you silence of the Russian govt suppressing bloggers who express alternative views to their own. Re Putin’s lie about the invasion of the Crimea I refer you to my previous response – which has also been made a number of times before by others including Habba and ESLO.

    Ben

    “It’s a cauldron of molten humanity wherein the dross metals rise to the top. Of course, that is true only in systems you have a problem with.”

    Just not true – I have no love whatsoever for the British Conservative Party or its Lib Dem supporters. Fortunately, I live in a political system where I can do something about them.

  20. @Resident Dissident

    “Where in the agreement did it say that they could surround Ukrainian Army bases, go around in uniforms without insignia (I’m sure they will suddenly put them on tomorrow), or put up barricades on roads into the Crimea – don’t be so thick as to believe everything that Putin tells you”

    So you agree that you were incorrect in your statement that the Crimea has been invaded?

  21. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:25 pm

    Ben

    The ILP’s MPs rejoined the Labour Party in 1947 and the ILP rejoined Labour as a pressure group in 1975 where it still exists to the present day

    http://www.independentlabour.org.uk/main/

    Orwell always made it clear that he was a supported to the post 1945 Labour Government.

  22. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:26 pm

    So you agree that you were incorrect in your statement that the Crimea has been invaded?

    Absolutely not.

  23. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    Hurby

    Thank you for drawing our attention to EODE – the “Eurasian Observatory for Democracy and Elections”.

    Taking a break from organising the triumph of Nazi-style fascism in Ukraine, I had a quick look at its website.

    It is, apparently, a “non-aligned NGO”.

    Leaving aside for a moment the memories which the word “non-aligned” awakens (you are probably too young to remember, Hurby), I noted the following:

    “EODE conception is that the EU on the one hand and the CIS – which Russia is the heart – on the other hand, are the two halves of the Greater-Europe from Vladivostok to Rejkjavik. They have a common destiny and are called one day to form a common state unity”.

    I’ll let readers draw their own conclusions from that blurb.

    CURIOUSLY enough, although the EODE homepage mentions the existence of a “Board of Directors” and a “Scientific Council”, it seemingly prefers not to mention who the members of these two bodies are.

    Could any Eminence – it doesn’t have to be you, Hurbee – perhaps enlighten me as to why Russia should be happy to have people from EODE observe the conduct of the referendum but not observers from the OSCE?

  24. “Is NATO a military organisation? Yes.”
    “Is it moving towards Russia’s borders. Yes.”

    The numerous pro-establishment trolls afflicting this comment facility constitute a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack on the site, preventing earnest discussion or meaningful debate and discourages user participation, I don’t for one moment believe these opaque popularity polls indicating the site’s traffic are reliable and not manipulated -that the site is moribund, stagant, toxic to all life, thanks to these sycophants is patently evident. Its effect on us dear readers is negligible, on one of the rare and increasingly more infrequent visits, are found the same tireless champions of privilege, the status quo and promoters nay apologists for unmitigated evils of inequality and abuse of ill-got power strutting their stuff as if they owned the joint, as absent of any significant change – the inception of the ideas and practice of demo-cracy or merito-cracy – which such craven worms would un-naturally abhor, casting them into the oceans of mediocrity which is their true lot, they do infact ‘own’ all of it, all of us are ensnared in their traps and wheels. See the previous topic on Scotland’s Independence Referendum, which has become an incestuous orgy of the usual suspects reinforcing each other’s highly-selective piss-poor pro-union talking points championing a feudalist exploitative hierarchy from which they expect or hope to receive some reward. We are many, they are few, despite the blustering fart-laden cacophony of the now dominant claquers serving the Empire and by deluded wishful-thinking that they can rise, serve themselves, who vie for attention. It may repel us dear readers, it’s effect on this blog’s esteemed and perhaps malleable Emperor is to sway his thought, stay his pen and doubt his instincts which service of the same empire, same rackets, already sought, quite openly to dull and diminish.

    New Moderators for Old. Dinner is served in the Long Hall, till later then fellow slaves.

  25. KILL the Messenger Film Release date OCT 10, 2014

    Kill the Messenger, Starring Jeremy Renner, is Coming in October
    Source: Focus Features
    March 5, 2014

    Focus Features announced today that Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner (Marvel’s The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy), will be released on October 10, 2014 in limited theaters. The movie will then expand on October 17 and again on October 24.

    The dramatic thriller is based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb (Renner) stumbles onto a story which leads to allegations that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications – and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life.

    Josh Close, Rosemarie DeWitt, Andy Garcia, Lucas Hedges, Tim Blake Nelson, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Wiliams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead co-star in the Michael Cuesta-directed film.

    Read more: http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=115609
    http://variety.com/2014/film/news/jeremy-renners-kill-the-messenger-set-for-oct-10-release-1201125790/

    YouTube Trailer AMC Theaters
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEPRbl7arMc&feature=youtu.be&a
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_the_Messenger_%282014_film%29

    IMDB
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216491/

    http://www.sandiegored.com/noticias/44601/Enrique-Camarena-s-death-is-blamed-on-CIA/
    Enrique Camarena’s death is blamed on CIA
    War of American agencies in Mexico.

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_24343140/ex-dea-officials-make-bombshell-allegations-about-kiki
    Oct 26, 2013 02:15:19PM MDT
    Ex-DEA officials: CIA operatives involved in ‘Kiki’ Camarena murder
    By Diana Washington Valdez / El Paso Times El Paso Times

    Background on Gary Webb
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022291453

    http://whosarat.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=163286

    http://www.scribd.com/benharper404040

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/111246977/Powderburns-COCAINE-CONTRAS-AND-THE-DRUG-WAR
    http://powderburns.org/testimony.html

    “There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, on the payroll of, and carrying the credentials of,the CIA were involved in drug trafficking while involved in support of the contras.”

    —Senator John Kerry, The Washington Post (1996).

    “Several informed sources have told me that an appendix to this Report was removed at the instruction of the Department of Justice at the last minute. This appendix is reported to have information about a CIA officer, not agent or asset, but officer, based in the Los Angeles Station, who was in charge of Contra related activities.According to these sources, this individual was associated with running drugs to South Central Los Angeles,around 1988. Let me repeat that amazing omission. The recently released CIA Report Volume II contained an appendix, which was pulled by the Department of Justice, that reported a CIA officer in the LA Station was hooked into drug running in South Central Los Angeles.”

    –U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters – October 13. 1998, speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives.

  26. Habby

    If you agree with Res Diss posting very obvious propaganda pieces, then I’d suggest you’re both useful idiots.

    ================================

    “Fuck the EU” in that context means that she disagreed with what the EU, the Ukrainian opposition and the Russians were in the process of agreeing, in order to avoid the shambles and further potential violence the neocons were creating. They’d excluded the American neocons from that meeting.

    After the EU, the Ukrainian opposition and the Russians had agreed a deal the snipers moved in to scupper it.

    That’s clear enough.

    The EU organised agreement was fucked.

    “Fuck the EU”

    You can put your own interpretation on her words as you see it, should you wish, and readers can judge for themselves whether it makes sense or not.

  27. @Resident Dissident

    Stick that head in that sand and proceed to stick fingers in ears

  28. ” I have no love whatsoever for the British Conservative Party or its Lib Dem supporters. Fortunately, I live in a political system where I can do something about them.”

    How’s that working for you?

  29. “Could any Eminence – it doesn’t have to be you, Hurbee – perhaps enlighten me as to why Russia should be happy to have people from EODE observe the conduct of the referendum but not observers from the OSCE?”

    I think you’ll find that OSCE declined.

    I think you’ll further find that Merkel and Putin have agreed for OSCE to monitor events in east Ukraine, this very day in fact.

    Merkel is having to clean a lot of American diapers these days. They think their bluff, bluster and bullying is grown up politics you see.

    She’s the mammie whilst the Americans are still playing cowboys and Indians.

  30. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:38 pm

    “How’s that working for you?”

    We’ll see in 2015 subject to convincing the electorate.

  31. Vlad be my Dadd

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    Res Diss, your comments are those of an ignoramus. Come back when you’ve read the prior review proceedings of each country by the charter and treaty bodies.

  32. “We’ll see in 2015 subject to convincing the electorate.”

    So far, not so well, then?

  33. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:43 pm

    @Chris Jones

    “Stick that head in that sand and proceed to stick fingers in ears”

    I think you will find it works better the other way around but I’ll bow to your greater expertise on such matters. Bet you think that the Russians were invited into Prague and Budapest in 1968 and 1956.

  34. “”Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country,” John McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    pot/kettle

  35. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:52 pm

    “Come back when you’ve read the prior review proceedings of each country by the charter and treaty bodies.”

    Already have – they say more about the UNHCR than anything else – perhaps you should read the reports on each country by Amnesty/HRW/Reporters without Borders/Transparency International/Bloggers that Putin is trying to ban and then we can compare notes.

  36. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 6:58 pm

    Vlad be my Dadd

    I would also be interested on your views of the working of the Russia Cyprus tax treaty and how often Russian oligarchs and those close to the President have observed the niceties of Russian Law when it comes to getting Central Bank of Russia permission before opening foreign bank accounts and holding investments in foreign companies, or have got the requisite permissions for the sale of those Russian resources that they have liberated from state control.

  37. Putin is corrupt and FUBAR, and less hampered by voter dissatisfaction, but his forked-tongue seems less reptilian than the duplicitous leaders of the West. That’s about all the Putinlove I can muster.

  38. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 7:09 pm

    I’ve always thought that a rather effective sanction against Russian’s worst elements would be an amendment to the G20 money laundering regulations that would freeze the bank account and investments of any Russian national until they could demonstrate that they had complied with Russian law by providing the necessary permissions – would be difficult for Vlad to complain about us helping to support Russian law. The Best thing is that Switzerland and all the tax havens would have to comply.

  39. Discussion is academic. Some will not like hearing that 93% voted in favour of union with Russia.

    Crimea exit poll: Around 93% back Russia union
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26598832

  40. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 7:20 pm

    Yes Mary – but I’m sure with a little bit of encouragement they can get that figure above 100%.

    Given that at least 36% of the population are ethnic Ukrainians and Tartars – would you say that a 93% vote – perhaps suggested that this was another Soviet election that didn’t reflect the views of the entire population. Perhaps Mary would like to comment.

    And how many voted for the status quo – well that is easy to answer – 0% because there was no such option on the ballot paper!

  41. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-05-21/news/mn-60465_1_black-sea

    “Ukrainian Defense Minister Vitaly Radetsky warned that “Crimea is part of Ukraine and we won’t give it up to anyone, no matter what it may cost us. Everyone should know that.”

    Western and Russian observers worried aloud Friday that the fight threatened to turn explosive.

    One diplomat in Kiev commented that “the only way Ukraine can stop (the Crimeans) is with the use of police power, and that runs the risk of confrontation.”

    Jubilant Crimean deputies applauded and hugged each other after an overwhelming majority of 69 out of 73 present approved the bill restoring a 1992 constitution, which puts Crimea’s relations with Ukraine on a foreign footing.

    Toward evening they went a step further by considering an appeal to Moscow and Kiev to allow Crimea to move toward rejoining Russia, the Interfax news agency reported.

    A worried group of dissidents in the Crimean Parliament warned that the vote on the constitution would lead to violence.

    “I am very afraid,” said Lila Budzhurova, an ethnic Tatar. “This vote has put Crimea on the verge of civil war.”

  42. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 7:21 pm

    And Mary – why do you think discussion is now academic?

  43. ” perhaps suggested that this was another Soviet election that didn’t reflect the views of the entire population. ”

    It never does; not anytime, not anywhere in the World. Oh…that wasn’t your point.

  44. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 7:31 pm

    Based upon the reported 80% turnout – a 93% yes vote suggests that 100% of ethnic Russians voted for Union with Russia and 38.5% of ethnic Ukrainians and Tartars – ho hum!

  45. On top of what has already been mentioned that MSM have not been reporting there was a plan through the US attache to Ukraine to cause false flag events and blame it on the Russians. Because Anonymous Ukraine released the emails it never came to fruition. But don’t put it past the Yanks to try something else. The Stars and Stripes, with all its sick history of sticking standards everywhere and claiming a new state, is a false flag itself. What else can we expect from them?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWkfpGCAAuw

  46. There is no reasonable claim that Putin’s swift plebiscite is necessary because of an imminent threat of violence against Russians in Crimea.

    How do you know?

    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.

    So Putin is stupid? I really don’t think so.

    You’re saying he’s wasting money using armed forces when he should have left the job up to his diplomatic service.

    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.

    Spoken like a true British diplomat. Also said by Brits about France. Always makes me laugh! Funny, when you consider that Britain is a dependency of those brash buggers in the US! Shut down Menwith Hill and then say it. Or sanction the US until it shuts down Guantanamo.

    Or here’s one – you know how the Brit media have sneered at Russia’s use of its veto on the Security Council? Well how about next time the US vetoes a resolution to help Israel (which for more than 20 years has been the most common reason that any country has vetoed anything at the UNSC) – how about, when it happens again, the ‘Brit’ government and ‘Brit’ media might criticise that? They haven’t got the guts!

    You also use the word “interest” in two different meanings in the same sentence.

    That’s the rhetorical device that classical scholars will recognise as antanaclasis. Here it confuses things.

  47. Typo. I typed:

    next time the US vetoes a resolution to help Israel (which for more than 20 years has been the most common reason that any country has vetoed anything at the UNSC)

    I should have been clearer by typing:

    next time the US vetoes a resolution which criticises Israel (which for more than 20 years has been the most common reason that any country has vetoed anything at the UNSC)

  48. John Goss @ 7.34pm “Wrong referendum, wrong saviour” and I gave the wrong link. Apols. This is the correct one.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_14/Operation-Independence-Continues-Anonymous-exposes-US-invasion-plans-in-Ukraine-7517/

  49. Was Yalta worth it?

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/14/world/europe/crimea-yalta-history/index.html

    “Many Ukrainians — including interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyk — think Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to expand Russia to the old borders of the Soviet Union. They say that if Moscow is allowed to annex Crimea, it will look hungrily to eastern Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. They lament what they saw as the West’s indifference when Russian tanks came within 50 miles of the Georgian capital Tbilisi in 2008.

    And they fear Putin will continue to do all in his power to stop Ukraine from knocking at the door of that “common European home” by seeking to join the European Union”

  50. @RD “I think you will find it works better the other way around but I’ll bow to your greater expertise on such matters. Bet you think that the Russians were invited into Prague and Budapest in 1968 and 1956”

    I’m not a defender of all things Russian. That’s not what this is about.This is 2014 and not the Soviet Union-bringing up 1956 and 1968 is silly.

    ps-the extra sand in the ears will help the buffering

  51. antanaclasis…..had to look it up.

    “”Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana”

  52. That’s not what this is about”

    Nope. It’s a Putinesca sauce for the pasta.

  53. Chris Jones, me neither. I’m not a defender of all things Russian. In fact Yanukovich having gold taps, a luxury yacht and private zoo disgusts me. It makes me think of Tony Blair and the Queen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8AYzc_Q9Us

  54. Right. Done.

    Now what about Puerto Rico.

    Perhaps the Russians can advise on that.

  55. “Now what about Puerto Rico.” The US rarely gives up turf unless for economic reasons.

    Bases in Germany, Japan, Korea and Iraq needed for global activity.

  56. I said some would not like hearing the result.

    ‘With polls closed, it is reported there was a turnout of more than 80%, with around 93% voting in favour of union with Russia.’

    ‘In a statement, the White House said: “As the United States and our allies have made clear, military intervention and violation of international law will bring increasing costs for Russia – not only due to measures imposed by the United States and our allies but also as a direct result of Russia’s own destabilising actions.

    “In this century, we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another.”

    Foreign Secretary William Hague also said the UK would not recognise the outcome.

    He said: “I condemn the fact that this referendum has taken place, in breach of the Ukrainian constitution and in defiance of calls by the international community for restraint.

    “Nothing in the way that the referendum has been conducted should convince anyone that it is a legitimate exercise.

    “It is a mockery of proper democratic practice.”

    He believed measures were needed to “send a strong signal to Russia that this challenge to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia will bring economic and political consequences.

    Mr Hague added: “Furthermore, any attempt by the Russian Federation to use the referendum as an excuse to annex the Crimea, or to take further action on Ukrainian territory, would be unacceptable.”‘

    I am sure President Putin is shaking in terror.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1226921/crimea-referendum-poll-93-percent-vote-for-russia

  57. Who was the greater enemy of the Public, Al Capone or J. Edgar Hoover?

    Viva la differance !!!

  58. @Chris – I think it can be useful to bring up Budapest 1956 if people then do some proper comparing and contrasting. In Budapest, secret police snipers killed ordinary police officers. The ordinary police responded by killing massed unarmed demonstrators. There is surely a lesson there. It is remarkable that so few commentators outside of the Ukraine are even mentioning the Ukrainian secret police, the SBU, which some call the ‘FSBU’ because of how closely it has worked with the Russian FSB.

    My view is that Russia overplayed its hand with the economic agreement, and that it then recogised that fact and decided to consolidate and fast. If they hadn’t, of course the putschists would have tried to create ‘facts on the ground’ (in current parlance) in the Crimea. Psychological warfare to that end had certainly already started.

    To recognise all of that, one doesn’t have to be the sort of person who insists that the only reason that Germany invaded the Sudetenland was to protect Germans.

    The rulers of Russia don’t want US warships in Sevastopol and they don’t want the Black Sea to become a US lake. I think they would be willing to fight a nuclear war to stop that.

    I have been pleased that despite the obscene yearning in the British and western media for incidents to occur in the Ukraine which are then followed by a hot and large-scale military confrontation (why? a chance to showcase weapons, as in Georgia? reasons of wider strategy? or getting pieces into the right position for an imminent western financial collapse?), this hasn’t yet occurred.

  59. Thanks for that Mary. I had a good laugh. Especially the US saying: “In this century, we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another.”

    So was that reserved for Iraq and Libya? Or does it go back to Hawaii? I guess Hawaii is so close to the coast of the US it is seen as being considered geographical territory. Hmm!

  60. ” (why? a chance to showcase weapons, as in Georgia? reasons of wider strategy? or getting pieces into the right position for an imminent western financial collapse?), ”

    Or padding the taxpayer bill by replenishing ordnance inventories?

  61. @N_ It’s relevant in that most of history is relevant then..?

    William Hague, Cameron and the US ‘leaders’ have all lost every single jot of credibility – they are simply a nightmareish collection of insane clowns spouting out a constant spew of toxic nonsense. They have gone passed the point of satire – the most hideous spitting image characterisation of these people would be pointless and would never be far fetched or garish enough to do them justice.

    When will this horrible pantomime end? and how can we draw the curtains on the act and put the horrible puppets away in a secured room?

  62. technicolour

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:05 pm

    Hold on, hold on. Although many aspects of the UK government have me frothing with fury, the UK did actually have a vote about whether to bomb Syria or not. Was that not a good thing, and a better thing that the warmongers lost?

  63. “CAUSE A NEW IRON CURTAIN TO FALL ON EUROPE
    And we have seen nothing of what Washington and Brussels would be capable of in this area. The Ukrainian crisis was probably triggered for no other reason than, ultimately, to force us to buy US shale gas (13), to sign the TTIP (without which the former can’t be sold in Europe (14)) and to justify a renewed increase of American-NATO military budgets (15) thanks to the restarting of a Cold War between the West and emerging nations (except for this detail that it’s the West which will be on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain this time).”

    http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-83-is-available-Global-systemic-crisis-escalation-in-the-US-reaction-for-survival-trigger-a-cold-war-to-make-it_a15801.html

  64. The transponders were also turned off on 9/11, Mark.

    The mystery deepens when you remember that planes can still be tracked via radar, but their descriptors would not show. This goes DOUBLE for military radar.

  65. @Technicolour That was a close escape and purely down to people power/overwhelming pressure from the electorate telling their MP’s to say ‘NO’ in my view. Without it most of those would have been happy to go along with another illegal attack..

  66. TTIP was to be the end-run around BRICS, someone, because the Petrodollar must not die. Gas shipped to Europe must be by ship and the US has few ports set up for CNG, but they are furiously working on it. If a choice had to be made, preserving the status of the dollar holds sway, IMO.

  67. Uzbek in the UK

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:22 pm

    Little summary of mad western leftie normative approach.

    US invades Afghanistan – is bad

    US invades Iraq – is bad

    Russia supports Karimov (after bloody murder of hundreds of innocent people) – is bad but not enough to condemn Putin, because he generally is good guy

    Russia invades Georgia – is GOOD as Georgian (according to Russian propaganda) shelled innocent Osetians

    Russia invades Ukraine – is GOOOOOOOOD as Ukrainians who in fact have finally decided to overthrow Putin’s suck-puppet and elect president that will care about Ukrainian interests (after 23 years of formal independence from Russia). But thanks to Putin’s propoganda that is the ONLY source of truth for western mad lefties Ukraine is run by fascists just like referendum posters show in Crimea.

    So death of Muslim Afghans and Iraqis is not accepotable but death of Muslim Uzbeks, Chechens and Dagestanians is quite acceptable, because Putin is a good guy.

    British Empire is bad, Russian empire (which is much elder than British empire and outlived the former) is good, because Putin is a good guy.

    Bending international law by US is bad, but bending internal law by Russia is good, because Putin is a good guy.

    Use of military force by US is bad, but covert Russian military operation (after all Putin accepted presence of Russian military in Crimea in conversation with Crimea Tatar leader in Kremlin), because Putin is a good guy.

    Intimidation by US is bad, intimidation by Russia (of every former soviet republic) is good, because Putin is a good guy.

    So, if only Putin sticks to his anti-western rhetoric, everything is acceptable for mad western lefties. Their enemy is in fact not inequality (which in Russia is times grater than in Europe), not denial of Human Rights (Human Rights in Russia is suppressed to lowest since 1991), not authoritarianism (democrat in modern Russia is abusive word), not imperialism (interventions to Georgia and Ukraine confirms Russian imperial missions). Their enemy is west. Everything and everyone who oppose the west is a good guy. And everything is acceptable if done by a good guy.

    And now spit your mad leftie bile.

  68. technicolour

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:23 pm

    @ Chris Jones – well, yes. Democracy, as we know it, worked, though still nothing to be complacent about.

  69. Craig; “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”

    The will of the people have indeed been affected, by the Coup in the Ukraine, by the sort who have been put themselves in power in Kiev, and by the animosity directed at them as signaled by the attempted ban on the Russian language; on a general point, are elections held in times of crises, or during war, not valid ?

    “I never saw a single instance of Germany having any interest in rights other than its own national self-interest.

    That is such a non-point, as you can substitute Germany with a host of other countries.

    “It is very likely such a genuine referendum would have gone in Russia’s favour”

    So if you believe that, you have to admit that the right result was delivered today.

    “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”

    Nice Conspiracy Theory; so Putin is afraid that he will come worse off in any comparison to the perceived Western Fascists Stooges !

    “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”

    That’s odd, didn’t you recently start a Post with the opening line “By sending troops into the Ukraine, (others than those stationed there by agreement) Putin has broken international law” ? You really do seem to be in a bit of two minds as to whatever Russia has invaded the Ukraine or not !

    “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 guess that the never ending war against the Third World escaped your notice, unless of course you think that us Westerners enjoying a decent standard of living at the murderous expense & ruthless exploitation of both other people & natural resources is our God given right, so doesn’t count as a cost.

    “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”

    Rather than Putin’s desire that Russia doesn’t end-up like Yugoslavia, or Iraq ?

    “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”

    I would suggest that you are imagining that the people who are understanding the realpolitik non-choices Putin has been forced to make, are also admiring his warts.

  70. Uzbek in the UK

    16 Mar, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    I am convinced that not many of mad western lefties believe in historical evidences of Holocaust (judging this by too many anti-Semitic posts here), and it is ,most likely waste of time to convince them of historical evidence of genocide against Chechens and Crimea Tatars (by Russia). It is very convenient to remove settled population to certain difficulties and (for many) certain death, and 70 years after allow (very different) settles population to vote on a matter of national loyalty.

    Centuries pass, people and cultures change but one truth remain. If one does not have enough power to deny the other temptation of conquer and submission, one will loose his land, his self and his life. Post 1945 world is finaly coming to existence.

    Western liberal social democratic (as Mr Murray highlighted it) order is coming to an end. The future is for powerful and intimidating nations. The ones who will have power to conquer and submit the others. Those who are not prepared be ready to give up your land, your self and your life.

  71. Flight 370 ended up in mainland China, according to flight aware.

    http://flightaware.com/live/flight/MAS370

  72. Uzbek in the UK

    “Russia invades Ukraine – is GOOOOOOOOD as Ukrainians who in fact have finally decided to overthrow Putin’s suck-puppet and elect president that will care about Ukrainian interests (after 23 years of formal independence from Russia). But thanks to Putin’s propoganda that is the ONLY source of truth for western mad lefties Ukraine is run by fascists just like referendum posters show in Crimea.”

    Sorry, I try to keep explaining that the Ukraine is not Uzbekistan. It does not have a single dictator. It has changes of government. The Fascist government, last but one, is the same one that is being backed by the west now. Why? You might ask.

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

  73. Our precious bodily fluids…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1KvgtEnABY

    This is the only answer I can give Uzbek.

  74. TonyM; “Is NATO a military organisation? Yes.”
    “Is it moving towards Russia’s borders. Yes.”

    That’s the realpolitik bottom line, all else is ideological &/or prejudicial point scoring.

    You shouldn’t be too surprised at the “numerous pro-establishment trolls” afflicting this Blog, because not only do they get so bored spouting bile to each other at Sites like Harry’s Place, that they come here hoping to pass themselves off and get accepted as serious commentators , but also Craig does unfortunately seem to share some of the same irrationality that they thrive on, especially Russophobia, and that deluded belief that Westerners who criticize their Governments criminality, are motived by self-hatred !!

  75. “that deluded belief that Westerners who criticize their Governments criminality, are motived by self-hatred !!”

    Come again? You’re saying that Craig, who openly and under his own name, has made a track record of criticising UK governments’ criminality, has the ‘deluded belief that Westerners…blah blah blah’?

    Time for bed.

  76. Macky

    If all that counts is realpolitik, and it is just two military powers squaring up to one another, why do you choose to support one of them?

  77. Resident Dissident

    16 Mar, 2014 - 10:22 pm

    “You shouldn’t be too surprised at the “numerous pro-establishment trolls” afflicting this Blog, because not only do they get so bored spouting bile to each other at Sites like Harry’s Place, that they come here hoping to pass themselves off and get accepted as serious commentators , but also Craig does unfortunately seem to share some of the same irrationality that they thrive on, especially Russophobia, and that deluded belief that Westerners who criticize their Governments criminality, are motived by self-hatred !!”

    Well I hoped that made you feel better – I really have no idea as to your motivations but please rest assured that my dislike of Putin is driven by a love of Russia and Russians rather than any phobia – and like Craig I believe that they belong with the Ukrainians as part of the European family of nations.

  78. What has happened to Ukraine’s gold reserves? Bearing in mind that the US is bankrupt, and that the week before the gold reserves were apparently stolen by the Yanks acting prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused the Yanukovich government of having stolen the gold reserves.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraines-gold…/5373446

  79. Critique has a role, but I prefer if people proffer something beside that lazy methodology. JMO, of course. I don’t want charges of ‘dicktator’ to emerge as a diversion.

  80. Relax, John. The phantom gold is alive and well in all our imaginations. My question is; WTF are they guarding at Fort Knox? Aliens?

  81. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    Another gem from N_

    “In Budapest, secret police snipers killed ordinary police officers. The ordinary police responded by killing massed unarmed demonstrators.3
    __________________

    Wrong. Secret police marksmen killed demonstrators and not ordinary policemen. And the ordinary police went over to the demonstrators, as did most of the Hungarian military. For Heaven’s sake do your research!

  82. “why do you choose to support one of them?”

    Craig; Can we not dissuade you from taking what appears to be an intransigent position?

    Do you subscribe to the notion (as exemplified by Uzbek, Res Des, and Hababkuk) that there are clear lines of demarcation, making black and white the new Spring fashion?

  83. BTW; What happened to the mod decision to ‘pre-moderate’ the bleatings of a certain species of sheep?

  84. @Uzbek

    Can you support your case without attributing to your opponents positions which they don’t hold?

    And you imply that throwing bile is bad, but you throw a torrent of your own.

    Personally I think (and certainly hope) that the west is not about to provoke a full-scale war in the Ukraine. I tend to think that had they wanted to hit Russia really hard during the Summer Olympics, they would have done it in the Caucasus. For example, Britain’s pals in that area could have done another Beslan.

  85. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Mar, 2014 - 10:38 pm

    Paul Barbara. 1 05 pm

    You put it in a nutshell: “…I thank God they are standing up against the marauding NWO Bankster War Criminal psychopaths/sociopaths.”

    A short list maybe, but it covers the main attributes of the string pullers.

    How democratic is the Crimean referendum compared to the unelected puppet government in Kiev?

    Why should Ukrainian people be ruled by unelected, west-sponsored and rabidly anti-russian fascists?

    As well as trying to understand the Russian perspective on Ukraine it seems like it’s up to us to encourage our own politicians to insist on something better than Svoboda to aid the Ukrainian population that the, not so covert, actions of our elites have cut adrift from any semblance of democracy.

    Putin (Prince of Darkness) may be a flawed figure (aren’t we all, aside from me?) but he is taking a stand for victims of Nuland’s coup, ethnic Russians and none fascist Ukrainians alike.

    How long is it since a referendum in Western Europe achieved an 83% turnout or a 93% mandate? No need to get the electorate to try again like when the Irish got their vote wrong in 2008. Maybe the EU should send researchers to Crimea to see how democracy can work.

  86. Craig; “If all that counts is realpolitik, and it is just two military powers squaring up to one another, why do you choose to support one of them?”

    Same as NC really;

    http://noam-chomsky.tumblr.com/post/17547861328/my-own-concern-is-primarily-the-terror-and

    BTW you could have confirm to Technicolour your view on “Lefties”;

    “The problem is that many on the left will ever accept any analysis which does not simply say “Western evil bastards, Putin heroic defender f freedom”. Anything else is “ignorant”.

  87. Sofia Kibo Noh

    16 Mar, 2014 - 10:44 pm

    Some good news from elsewhere in Ukraine. It seems the puppet government cannot depend on the Ukrainian army.

    “Most of the soldiers calmly reacted to the actions of local residents and did not initiate any conflict. Moreover, they stressed that they will not use any violence against civilians.

    However, seven young people dressed in uniforms of the Ukrainian armed forces, but without shoulder straps, armed with Kalashnikov rifles with silencers, began to force the unit commander to “obey orders“ to disperse locals and dismantle the barricades.
    Reportedly, a scuffle occurred as the unidentified men threatened the residents saying they “betrayed Ukraine.” The troops’ commander who defended the civilians was injured in the fight.”

    More here: http://rt.com/news/ukraine-east-military-block-198/

  88. Also from ResDes, I have had nothing but evasion on the issue of who the ‘real Left’ is.

    It is a major bone of contention and if the flamers are left to party over the remains, nothing remains.

  89. ResDes;”my dislike of Putin is driven by a love of Russia and Russians”

    Same as your love for Syrians to be bombed because of your “dislike” of Assad ?

    (

  90. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 10:51 pm

    I think it’s fair to say that this thread , together with previous ones on the same subject, has got the Eminences and various other disturbed people hotter under the collar than any other.

    I also note that it is these threads which have, for the first time that I can remember, resulted in unprecedented abuse of Craig: insults include calling him a drunkard, mad, angling for a return to the FCO and being in the pay of the neocons.

    I marvel at Craig’s patience and his ability to suffer fools gladly. Perhaps he is of the school of the chairman of an engineering company in the Midlands (this was in the 1950s or early 60s and I believe the company was called Hardy Spicer) who said of his workforce when they went on one of their frequent strikes “I feel sorry for them. They are poor dears”.

    ***********

    Ruble plunging, buy dollars!

  91. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    16 Mar, 2014 - 10:54 pm

    “Most of the soldiers calmly reacted to the actions of local residents

    __________________

    Makes a change from burly Cossacks whipping the female members of the Pussy Riot group, doesn’t it :)

  92. It could be my error for which I apologize if need be. N_’s comment was 2 hours earlier.

    mea culpa.

  93. I take it back.

  94. Just been getting a barrel of laughs from the barrel of apples. Time for bed.

  95. Craig,
    I admire your fondness for hitlerite scenarios of modern history. This must be, however, quite exhausting as documented by your slight confusion concerning topography. Hitler has not entered Crimea but Kiev. If you have any doubts please have a look at the latest decorations of Kiev’s townhall.
    http://croah.fr/corbeau-dechaine/le-portrait-de-bandera-devant-lhotel-de-ville-de-kiev/

  96. “Ruble plunging, buy dollars!”,

    If the rouble is plunging, you buy the rouble.

    It can only go up.

    Otherwise we’re all dead.

  97. Craig, did you not feel it worth commenting on the death of Tony Benn, without doubt, in our times, the finest politician this Country has ever produced? The ironic connection between him & your posting on the Ukraine, is that he was famous for stating that his socialist & humanistic ideals actually strengthen the older he got, as opposed to the normal trend that is supposed to be that many people start with Leftist ideals but veer more & more to the Right as they older; in fact there are many recent cases of this, starting with Christopher Hitchens, and now including Richard Seymour. I direct you to a MediaLens thread about Seymour position on the Ukraine, and would suggest that the criticisms directed at his Ukraine stance, in particular those posted by “gloriousrevolution”, could also apply to your stance, apart of course, from the motivating factor, as career minded Seymour has to worry about being “marginalized”, but as you are already marginalized to a certain extent, one is left wondering as to exactly what is your motivation ?

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1394980439.html

  98. Craig,

    the picture of Hitler is a nice hoax but Bandera was a prominent sycophant of Hitler and a war criminal.

  99. Never mind about the gold, good people… (whether or not you agree with Craig. This (below) is potentially even more serious.

    http://rt.com/news/yarosh-destroy-russia-pipelines-186/

    And let us not forget “fuck the EU”. I hope Angela Merkel smells the coffee and distances herself from this awful regime.

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