When Lavrov Was Right

by craig on March 17, 2014 1:50 pm in Uncategorized

When NATO forces attacked Serbia in 1999, killing many civilians, in order to establish the current disastrous mafia statelet of Kosovo, Sergei Lavrov spoke very wisely at the Security Council.  He said:

              Attempts to justify strikes as preventing humanitarian catastrophe were not recognized by international law, he said.  The use of unilateral force would lead to a situation with devastating humanitarian consequences.  No considerations of any kind could serve to justify aggression.  Violations of  law could only be combated on the solid basis of the law.

Attempts to apply other standards to international law and disregard other laws created a dangerous precedent, he said.  The virus of a unilateral approach could spread… the Council alone should decide the means to maintain or restore international security.  NATO’s attempt to enter the twenty-first century in the uniform of an international gendarme set a dangerous precedent.

He was of course absolutely right.  Liberal interventionism and the right to protect were extremely foolish and dangerous doctrines.  When propagated by useful idiots, even at their most high-minded they were never more that a repetition of the old imperialist “civilizing mission” of military attack to eradicate barbarous practices.  In fact they were brutally utilized as an excuse for resource grab and personal enrichment.

The Robert Coopers of this world have been hoist with their own petard, because it was always inevitable that others would use the same excuse in areas where they had power, to do what the US and its satellites were doing where they could.  If you promulgate that might is right, you cannot complain when someone punches you.

But that does not make Russia’s actions in the Ukraine right – rather it makes Lavrov a complete hypocrite.  As Lavrov said to the Security Council,  “the Council alone should decide the means to maintain or restore international security”, and the security council voted by 13 to 1 against the Crimea referendum.  It is beyond argument that the man is massively hypocritical.

The truth is that the western powers and Russia are both vicious in the field of foreign relations and have little real care for ordinary people and their rights. Russian actions in military occupation of Crimea (far beyond keeping an agreed number of troops stationed in agreed bases) are indeed illegitimate and illegal.

Let me add two more hypocrisies in the Russian position.  It is an offence carrying up to 22 years in jail to advocate the secession of any part of Russia.  There is no sign of any referendum on self-determination for the people of Chechnya and Dagestan.  I do not believe that in a genuinely democratic vote, there is any political proposition which would ever get 97% of the vote.  You couldn’t get 97% of any group of people to vote for free ice cream.  Interestingly enough, Putin is claiming in the Crimea precisely the same percentage – 97% – that Hitler claimed in his Plebiscite in Austria to ratify the Anschluss.

The other thing I thought wonderfully ironic is that I saw two representatives of the “international observer group” on Russia Today this morning, one Polish and one Hungarian, and both were from fully paid up genuine fascist organisations.  The Hungarian has been saying it is most unfortunate that the BNP couldn’t make it.

For the other side of this coin – western hypocrisy – see here.

 

 

 

 

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169 Comments

  1. Craig

    “I do not believe that in a genuinely democratic vote, there is any political proposition which would ever get 97% of the vote.”

    It’s rather more than a political proposition.

    It’s an existential proposition, which tends to focus the mind.

  2. I don’t understand why you are so determined not to mention the fascist influence in the “revolution”. What Russia is doing is following US and EU. The Russians have better reasons. You are also avoiding to talk about the role played by US and EU.

  3. You are being hypocritical when you act as if doing unto others as they do to you, and turn-about is never fair play in international relations, especially when Western powers use all kinds of manipulation, especially the USA, to get their way at the UN – which is not any kind of democracy, but a vehicle for only the five great powers to work together.

    The Security Council vote on the current crisis in Ukraine was successfully vetoed by Russia, with another great power, China, sitting on the fence, as I recall, to see how it all worked out.

    And Lavrov was certainly doing Putin’s bidding in both cases – what certainly undermines your comparison of him with Hitler.

  4. Trowbridge

    Deliberately disingenuous and rather pathetic. Lavrov’s point is that to intervene in another country you have to get the approval of the Security Council. Not only have Russia not got that, they have 13 votes actively saying they are acting illegally.

    Your pathetic point is the equivalent of saying that if 13 security council members had voted to condemn the attack on Iraq, and the US vetoed it, the US veto would have made the attack legal.

  5. Valueplus,

    As I have said repeatedly:

    a) I think Ukrainian membership of the EU is an excellent idea and I look forward to free movement for ordinary Ukrainian people and seeing Ukrainian shops joining the Polish and Lithuanian ones already in Ramsgate

    b) I think the effectiveness of US meddling in Ukraine is vastly overrated by people like you equally as by fantasists like Nuland. I don’t underrate the intent, but I should be fascinated to know by what mechanism you think Nuland mobilized tens of thousands of demonstrators – or do you think they were all a neo-Nazi cadre? I think the presence of far right parties in Ukraine is deplorable, but common to all of Eastern Europe including many of Putin’s allies.

  6. Craig

    “I should be fascinated to know by what mechanism you think Nuland mobilized tens of thousands of demonstrators”

    No one doubts the genuine grievance of ordinary Ukrainians, and that is easily mobilised.

    The neocons are quite expert at it now. Perhaps you haven’t heard of Gene Sharp?

    It’s Gene Sharp with added fascist muscle.

    Anyway, it’s not about what ordinary Ukrainians want, as Baroness Ashton made clear.

    The fascist muscle is quite easily organised primarily because like Al Quaeda they’ve been using them for years, in Chechnya, Dagestan etc.

  7. YouKnowMyName

    17 Mar, 2014 - 2:54 pm

    interestingly, if this ‘invalid’ Crimea referendum had been legally carried out anytime in the last 25 years then the result would have been the same. The fact that the ‘invalid’ Crimea referendum *was* carried out at all is purely blowback in apotheosic response to the $5B US specialised ‘investment’ in poor Ukraine over the same period.

    Living in Europe 13 hours drive from UA, not trusting Putin, I am of the sad opinion that the current Ukrainian debacle is a new shining example of a completely unintended, undesirable consequence of deeply covert operations. Thanks guys!

  8. The Western powers never got any UN approval for organizing the coup in Kiev, and Lavrov, working for President Putin, underlined the point when the Russians in Crimea organized its departure from Ukraine.

    And I see no backing down from your wild claims about Putin, especially that he would obviously incapacitate Yushchenko rather than just kill him if he really wanted him dead.

    He would never have gotten where he is if he behaved so stupidly.

    It’s something better suited to MI6, as Sasha learned so bitterly.

  9. Trowbridge

    Putin tried to kill Yuschenko. Damn near succeeded. Oh of course I forgot, Putin is a God, so he couldn’t have failed in the attempt.

  10. I’ve seen these Hungarian black-clad fascists on the streets of Pesc when I was there on holiday a couple of years ago. They are particularly violent thugs and make the BNP seem like choirboys by comparison.

  11. Craig

    “I don’t underrate the intent, but I should be fascinated to know by what mechanism you think Nuland mobilized tens of thousands of demonstrators – or do you think they were all a neo-Nazi cadre?”

    It’s easy. As you know the region I wonder that you aren’t aware. The western powers orchestrating the fascist coup in Ukraine bought some major soccer clubs in Ukraine with the fans as muscle.

    And Western powers also – as Putin said – did train extremists already years before the coup in Poland and Lithuania – even in handling weapons of war. And of course, to get the desired results of outrage the Western backed opposition also put mercenaries as snipers in place to fire on unarmed policemen and on unarmed protesters.

    That’s the russian view of the events, and as far as I can see, that seems to be largely true. At least the west hides something in regard to the snipers, if not, Ms Ashton would seriously demand an investigation of the sniper issue before promising the main suspects billions of Euros.

  12. Putin would never try to kill anyone, especially Yushchenko, with dioxin, just a chemical compound.

    He would use something more powerful, though not like polonium-210 which was used on Alexandr ‘Sasha’ Litvinenko, but he had no reason to kill the former KGB agent who was trying to blackmail those who had killed statsminister Olof Palme, and those who would listen that former agent UCHITEL aka EU Commissioner and former Italian PM Romano Prodi had worked for the KGB.

    Blaming his murder on Putin was just a case of MI6 and his fellow covert operators taking advantage of Russophobia when it mattered most.

  13. With all due respect, Craig… Whereas I have to accept that you are right on the letter of the law, there is also the spirit. That Crimea should be signed over to Ukraine by a voluntarist former head of Ukraine Communist party never sat well with either Crimeans nor ‘mainland’ Russians. That Yeltsin just gave it up – along with the rest of the USSR – for the sake of unseating Gorbachev was never happily accepted either. Crimea had a similar upsurge in the early 90s. Things were left as they were then just because the whole country was so traumatized and weak. Crimea stayed with Ukraine only until the relations between Kiev and Moscow were palatable.
    Now when Kiev made such a sharp turn westwards Crimea exploded – along with the rest of Russia-leaning eastern and southern Ukraine. This came as a chance for Crimea and Russia to right what they know to have been an historic injustice.
    The presence of troops did not really influence the outcome of the referendum. 95 percent sounds about right, in fact: about 20 percent (prob most Tatars and some ethnic Ukrainians) that did not vote can be assumed to be against rejoining Russia.
    That Ukraine should join the EU is not a bad idea, free travel and all, but is that on the cards any time soon? It’s a ruse. What the association agreement would mean for Ukrainian industry and farming in the short term is a separate issue altogether.
    But Nato making its way into Ukraine is a distinct possibility, hugely – and needlessly – upsetting the geostrategic balance. In fact that does not appear to have been an EU-US plan, they seem to have improvised their response to the developments in Maidan. Moscow, too, has had to think on its feet.
    Faced with this kind of problems Moscow would surely fight back. Accusing Lavrov is fine but he certainly should not be the only one in the dock.

  14. I’d vote for free ice cream.

    That important issue aside, what does one do then with a problem like North Korea?

  15. GutterTheQuantifier

    17 Mar, 2014 - 4:03 pm

    People who are surprised that Craig takes such a nonsensical, hypocritical stance on recent events in Ukraine and Crimea should reflect for a moment on the fact that his blog has continued to appear at this address for so long, unaffected by the insurmountable ‘technical’ problems that beset the rest of us when we test the alleged freedom of the internet; and that for the last decade-and-a-bit the establishment has tolerated his publishing all those juicy titbits of damaging information that were leaked to him.

    I remember thinking when I saw Craig address a Stop The War rally in Trafalgar Square in 2001, that he was either being very naive – in which case he would probably be dead within a year, either from ‘suicide’ or from a ‘previously undiagnosed heart condition’ – or else he was actually still working for the establishment but playing a long game.

    It seems my cynicism was warranted.

    This one-man pro-imperialist sleeper cell has now been activated.

    I predict an imminent U-turn on Assange.

  16. “I think the presence of far right parties in Ukraine is deplorable, but common to all of Eastern Europe including many of Putin’s allies.” – Really!??

  17. Lavrov also said, “If our Western partners say that Kosovo was a special case, we respond to that saying that Crimea is even more special. Crimea is a case that cannot be considered separately from history,”… “For Russia, Crimea means incommensurably more that the Comoro Islands for France and the Falkland Islands for Britain.” [translated]

  18. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    17 Mar, 2014 - 4:18 pm

    Bandelero

    “…already years before the coup in Poland and Lithuania…”

    _____________________

    Which coup was that, Bandelero?

    I thought I know Eastern European history rather well, but that one must have eluded my vigilant eye. So do enlighten me. Thanks!

  19. Craig

    While I appreciate the risk that you may wish to portray me as the useful idiot on the other side of the argument which demonstrates what a reasonable man you are taking a position between two extremes, I am not sure that I would go as far as saying that there could never be a case where “liberal interventionism” and the “right to protect” could not be morally if not legally justified. Yes I would prefer if it were all supported in international law, and if the intervention were to be taken on a multilateral basis with a properly defined mandate including what a clear exit plan once the wrong has been righted – but sometimes the law is an ass and just cannot be made to work. If the citizens in Crimea were genuinely under threat of their lives from Ukrainians in the same way as the Kosovans were from the Serbians and atrocities had been committed as in Kosovo, then I might take a different view of Putin’s behaviour in the Crimea – but really the two situations are not the same. I could remind you that genuine liberals such as John Stuart Mill have in their time argued for liberal interventionism within properly defined parameters.

  20. ” I think Ukrainian membership of the EU is an excellent idea and I look forward to free movement for ordinary Ukrainian people and seeing Ukrainian shops joining the Polish and Lithuanian ones already in Ramsgate”

    Craig; That’s exactly what Yats wants, as well as Yanukovich with all the warts (austerity) included.

    Putin doesn’t. I think we’ve found the gnat in the honey.

  21. Wasn’t austerity a major bone of contention in the People’s movement?

    Ahh…I digress.

  22. @Craig, How odd that you suddenly bring up the Yugoslavia example, as only a few days ago you made the astonishing statement that the NATO attack on Yugoslavia passed you by, because you didn’t pay much attention as you were too busy with the Sierra Leone situation.

    Before calling Lavrov a “complete hypocrite”,might it not be prudent to see if any Russian bullets are actually fired to match the NATO bombs dropped on Serbian, and that your “far beyond keeping an agreed number of troops stationed in agreed bases” actually becomes an invasion ?

    One other consideration perhaps to bear in mind when judging Lavrov, the US has always exerted pressure on the weaker members of the UNSC in order to get its way, that power is even greater now than it was in the 1990’s .

  23. I should be fascinated to know by what mechanism you think Nuland mobilized tens of thousands of demonstrators

    I thought she was paying them fifty bucks a day, in which case it’s surprising the mobilized only tens of thousands.

  24. The referendum in Crimea, unfortunately, is worth nothing. It would have been a good idea to have a fair referendum. Putin missed the chance.

    In Sevastopol region the number of votes reported was some 474,000. But the number of registered voters was only 383,499. http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2014/03/17/7019270/

    This is in spite of the tartar boycott of the election. Does it matter? Yes, of course, if you want a fair society where the people themselves are in charge.

  25. On a previous thread you said:

    I think it is very probable that, with a proper vote under proper conditions, as you put it – ie a genuine debate with all sides able to put their views and no armed intimidation – Crimea would vote to join Russia.

    So what is the significance of the exact numbers? Maybe only that the people running the referendum are a bit dumb, for even if the “yes” vote was 97% they should have faked it lower so as to avoid comparisons with Hitler’s win in Austria — although Hitler probably was genuinely very popular in Austria at the time of the Anschluss.

    In fact, I’m not so sure the 97% in Crimea was necessarily faked. At times of crisis entire populations can become highly polarized. Heck, even George H.W. Bush had a 90% approval rating at the time of the First Gulf War.

    You also said:

    I also think that would have been a good outcome. See my first post on this subject.

    Except now you don’t think that all’s well that ends well!

    Actually, it would have been better, I think, if the US had not engineered a violent Nazi-backed coup in Kyiv, but had rather left the Ukrainians to work things out for themselves. But once the West mobilized a bunch of murderous Russophobic fascists, it was inevitable that the Russians would resort to rough measures if necessary to protect their interests.

    The coup in Kyiv cannot be viewed in isolation. It was the first step in a long heralded assault on Russia, to be assimilated by the New World Order, slice by slice, prior to the take-down of China.

    But I certainly do not think that result would have brought a 97per cent majority – exactly Hitler’s plebiscite in Austria – in a region where abut 40% of the population is not Russian. I am amazed that none of the Putinistas exhibit no shame at the 97% claim.

  26. Oops, sorry, ignore that last para, if not all the others.

  27. CanSpeccy wrote: “In fact, I’m not so sure the 97% in Crimea was necessarily faked.”

    You must be joking? The secrecy of voting was broken by casting your vote in a see-through ballot box and without an envelope. I believe that you would object to that kind of vote in the UK. Rightly so.

    As you know, a large part of the electorate boycotted the referendum: the Tartar community, first of all. A number of the Ukrainian-speaking also did not take part, out of fear perhaps.

    Whatever the result: it does not represent what a fair referendum would have shown.

  28. CanSpeccy – The collapse of the Soviet Union was considered to have contributed to the prosperity of the US and its global hegemony.

    Disintegration and collapse of China’s current political system is a US vision. I myself believe a plan exists and some Western ’empty suits’ believe that China could be imploded by reviving American economic manufacturing muscle and narrowing her energy supplies.

    Thankfully that plan is beyond it’s ‘sell by’ date.

  29. @Axel

    You must be joking.

    Not at all.

    I didn’t say the vote was fair, I said that the 97% “yes” votes was not necessarily faked. You offer an interesting suggestion as to how a 97% “yes” vote may have been genuinely achieved. Of course the 97% is 97% of the votes cast.

  30. @ Mark Golding

    Thankfully that plan [for collapsing China’s economy] is beyond it’s ‘sell by’ date.

    Whatever makes you think that? The NeoCon morons, psychopaths and pathetic incompetents will go on bashing away at their plan for global hegemony until they’re all consigned to a looney bin.

  31. Craig, Yatsenyuk is being funded the same way Werritty was, through charities and NGOs. Apparently these charities can no longer be accessed online.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/03/the-arseniy-yatsenyuk-foundation-has-disappeared/

    The video from StormCloudsGathering (I won’t link it again) purports to show at about 7.45 minutes funding to the accounts of one of the NGOs:

    “You know the funny thing about the National Endowment for Democracy is that even though they call themselves an NGO they get virtually all of it’s money from the U.S. federal government. You can verify this by downloading their annual financial disclosures.”

  32. It is depressing to see how many commentators in the West, even those on the left, ignore the fate ot the tatars in the present chain of events in Crimea. In another era, May 1944, Stalin had almost 200,000 tatars expelled from Crimea.

    Earlier today this picture was taken. “Tatars out of Crimea” https://twitter.com/ilyamuz/status/445435387813453824

  33. I should have put the list of partners can no longer be accessed on Open Ukraine’s website. Mary first discovered this several days back.

  34. @ John Gross:

    Yatsenyuk is being funded the same way Werritty was, through charities and NGOs. Apparently these charities can no longer be accessed online.

    There are not just “charities,” they’re Chatham House, the public face of the Rhodes–Milner secret society for Anglo-Saxon world empire, NATO, the US State Department and SwedBank, among others. And Arse Yatsenyuk’s list of backers (sorry “Partners”) is still on line.

  35. The Legal insanity of certain US Presidential Executive Orders:

    ..the actions and policies of persons — including persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine — that undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

    Updated to:

    ..the actions and policies of the Government of the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine — including the recent deployment of Russian Federation military forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine — undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, and thereby constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

    Fukin bollocks!

  36. With Crimea Putin has managed to reverse all of Yeltsins follies, including bringing the oligarchs to heel. Now for Gorbachevs follies. As a God he will achieve that as well, just as a reward for giving refuge to Snowden. If he had not done so we would never have discovered Obamas leery smile at G8 was with the NSA knowledge that Angela Merkel was wearing red panties with a frontal slit that day.

  37. Axel the photograph could be genuine. If so it is a disgrace. However, for one photograph, which should be condemned by everybody, it does not amount to a pogrom and things should be kept in proportion. I could take you round Birmingham and show you similar racist graffiti.

  38. @ Axel

    It is depressing to see how many commentators in the West, even those on the left, ignore the fate ot the tatars in the present chain of events in Crimea. In another era, May 1944, Stalin had almost 200,000 tatars expelled from Crimea.

    Why do you find that so depressing when you and others on the left or right or whatever don’t give a damn over the fact that the English are being driven from their capital city and from other major English cities by a flood of East European and Third World immigrants?

    If London were to conduct a referendum calling for independence from England, there’s not a damn thing the English could do to prevent a majority “yes” vote.

  39. Mark; In the West’s parlance on the value of International Law…..

    “Some pigs are more equal than others” Orwell.

  40. Canspeccy, while you’re right in that those are the bodies making donations they are being donated through http://openukraine.org/ua which once had the list of supporting bodies (which I know are not charities) but no longer shows them as the link I provided demonstrates. The first link is like a screen-capture of how the Open Ukraine website looked before it ceased to be “open” and before they removed the funding bodies from their webpage (link above).

  41. @Russophile:

    With Crimea Putin has managed to reverse all of Yeltsins follies, including bringing the oligarchs to heel …

    On what grounds do you say he has brought the oligarchs to heel?

    Rather it would seem Putin has re-established the Tsarist system as it might have evolved into a constitutional democracy had it not been for WWI: i.e., a powerful central government operating in large measure through the aristocracy/oligarchy, whose privileges are conditional on their service to the state.

  42. damn, I meant “constitutional monarchy” not constitutional democracy.

  43. Another funding body of Yatsenyuk through his western-funded NGO is the Polish Embassy at Kiev which I have only just noticed.

  44. Vlad be my Dad

    17 Mar, 2014 - 6:23 pm

    “the Council alone should decide the means to maintain or restore international security”

    Hey, the Council did decide, in strict accordance with the UN Charter. Russia cast their P5 vote as provided for in Article 27 clause 3. Sucks, but there it is.

    Maybe now the US will see the point of the Small Five’s modest UNSC proposal curtailing use of the veto, which the NATO bloc torpedoed in the GA with massive arm-twisting and bribes. Maybe they will even think twice about the veto. Ha ha, just kidding, of course they won’t. For the US the UN is a soundstage or a weapon, when they’re not trying to end-run it illegally with NATO.

    One thing the Russians consistently do is table the option of pacific resolution of disputes. But that’s na ga happen till the US complies with the non-interference principle and renounces great-power confrontation. The Russians are not suicidal.

  45. John Goss

    You’re talking about NED, who were deeply involved in Ukraine, and operate in interesting countries all around the world:

    Basically it’s the CIA in civilian form:

    “A lot of what we [NED] do was done 25 years ago covertly by the CIA”

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/National_Endowment_for_Democracy

    “Seemingly every other day there was a new headline about the discovery of some awful thing, even criminal conduct, the CIA had been mixed up in for years. The Agency was getting an exceedingly bad name, and it was causing the powers-that-be much embarrassment.

    Something had to be done. What was done was not to stop doing these awful things. Of course not. What was done was to shift many of these awful things to a new organization, with a nice sounding name – The National Endowment for Democracy. The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities..”

    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_cia11.htm

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4332.htm

    http://www.ned.org/

  46. Anyway, it’s about time the Germans were given a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and kick the fuckin Brits and Frogs out.

    Neither the Brits nor Frogs are going anywhere economically without US sayso and are a joke in terms of where power actually lies.

    Both are a waste of space.

  47. Herbie, I’m sure you’re right. NED will get the same name as the CIA and then it will change again. We’ve seen it all before, NKVD, GUGB, KGB.

  48. I’m sure Lavrov was right about “Liberal Interventionism” He wasn’t the only one. Lots of people pointed out at the time that it would set a precedent. They were shouted down by the useful idiots of the “something must be done brigade” who let television do their thinking for them. The Clintons, Blairs etc. never had any intention of listening anyway (since they are so much more intelligent than the rest of us – in an egalitarian kind of way, of course).

    Now, somehow, people expect Russia to stand by after “peaceful” protesters gain power in Kiev by the tried and tested democratic process of chucking petrol bombs and shooting bullets, start threatening Russians, Russian speakers and pro-Russian Ukrainians (yes, there are some. I don’t know how many, but I know at least one personally) and all-in-all buggering up what was a workable compromise which most Ukrainian Russians were prepared to go along with – and had done since the end of the U.S.S.R.

    Calling Lavrov a hypocrite may be true (after all, how many of us are not?) but it’s hardly germane. It’s like calling anybody who opposes mass immigration or some of the policies of Israel “racist” or “anti-Semitic” respectively. It is a tactic to avoid answering most of the points they make.

    At this point, it is worth noting that Britain went to war twice in the first half of last century to limit German power in Central Europe. Well, that went well, didn’t it. Yet another policy of the British government meets with outstanding success. What kind of idiot in this day and age would try to limit Russian influence in Donbass and Crimea? It isn’t going to happen!

    The Crimean chapter of this sorry saga is over.

    So far, the only blood spilt has been in the overthrow of the government in Kiev a few weeks ago. Unless Western politicians start displaying rather more sense than they showed getting us into this mess, that situation probably won’t last. War in Donbass is a distinct possibility so it is time to start de-fusing the situation rather than putting all the blame on Russia and talking the situation up. Unless that is done, a lot of young men and civilians could end up dead and maimed.

  49. “With Crimea Putin has managed to reverse all of Yeltsins follies, including bringing the oligarchs to heel. Now for Gorbachevs follies. As a God he will achieve that as well, just as a reward for giving refuge to Snowden. If he had not done so we would never have discovered Obamas leery smile at G8 was with the NSA knowledge that Angela Merkel was wearing red panties with a frontal slit that day.”

    Well if you are going to tell a lie tell a big one. I don’t rate Snowden’s chances very highly if he goes back to the good old KGB days before Gorbachev.

  50. Vlad be my Dad

    17 Mar, 2014 - 6:51 pm

    “Lavrov’s point is that to intervene…”

    The words that Lavrov actually used were ‘strikes,’ ‘use of force,’ and ‘aggression.’ No doubt he chose his words carefully because that’s not what Russia has done. Russia’s got some chalk on their cleats, as the US torturers say, but they’re not yet clearly out of bounds.

    The Security Council is not the sole arbiter of strikes. Take the case of the US strike on Iraq, Operation Praying Mantis. From the US point of view, they were in strict compliance with the UN Charter, even tossing an Article 51 invocation over the UN transom as they went to war. The UNSC held still for that, as they were constrained to do, but the ICJ called bullshit, voiding US claims of self-defense on necessity and proportionality criteria. Perhaps the ICJ will have the last word here. If so, that’s great, the system works.

    In terms of the customary international law on aggression, use of force must be in manifest breach of the UN Charter. A veto’s not a manifest breach. Are Russia’s actions even use of force? It’s certainly interference. If the international community wants to clarify the ambiguities in this situation, the UNGA can pass a Uniting for Peace resolution.

  51. Macky

    You are astonished I talk about Kosovo when a few days ago I had little knowledge. It is called the capacity to learn, Macky, you should try it.

    Not only an I suddenly a US stooge for not agreeing with you, but now all twelve other countries at the UN security council which voted against Russia are US stooges too. Anyone who doesn’t agree with you is in the pay of the CIA, blackmailed by the US, or a Nazi. Weird that.

  52. CanSpeccy – The NeoCon morons, psychopaths and pathetic incompetents will go on bashing away at their plan for global hegemony yes, and in terms of playing catch-up will assign themselves to lunacy and suicide.

    I myself believe the U.S. has indeed ‘shot itself in the foot’ over Crimea and evolved the form and shape of global order.

    Since the US powers failed to impose it’s will in Iraq, authentic democracy is now de rigeur as revealed by Arab opinion that confirms U.S. and Israel as major threats.

    Iran under constant threat of attack has acquired according to my sources, a fast track nuclear deterrent. Further Iran has expanded its influence in neighboring countries while US and Europe have become isolated in punishing Iran for it’s threat to world order ‘stability’ i.e. by encouraging Chinese investment and trade; China now expanding military forces and ‘blue water’ Naval capability.

    No, US of A, privatising the planet is no longer an option – your good American citizens are indeed fucked off – fed-up with foreign intervention, income stagnation, corporate funded ‘democracy’ bailouts, too big to fail banksters and their risky transactions, a police state, anti-immigrant hysteria and the rise of neo-fascists and the ultra-racist right.

    Finally climate and environmental dangers(hydraulic and explosive fracturing) are threatening human existence.

    God promised Noah that there will not be another flood is indeed bull-shit.

    We leave future generations a cataclysm, misery and melt-down. And I am guilt-ridden!

  53. The Negroponte doctrine. UNSC votes by US wrt to Palestine/Israel.

    “On July 26, 2002, John Negroponte, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, stated (during a closed meeting of the UN Security Council) that the United States will oppose Security Council resolutions concerning the Israeli–Palestinian conflict that condemn Israel without also condemning terrorist groups. This became known as the Negroponte Doctrine, and has been viewed by officials in the United States as a counterweight to the frequent resolutions denouncing Israel that are passed by the UN General Assembly.
    Widely reported summaries of Negroponte’s statement (an official transcript of these closed-session remarks does not appear to have been released) have stated that for any resolution to go forward, the United States, which has a veto in the 15-nation council, would expect it to have the following four elements:
    A strong and explicit condemnation of all terrorism and incitement to terrorism;
    A condemnation by name of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, groups that have claimed responsibility for suicide attacks on Israel;
    An appeal to all parties for a political settlement of the crisis;
    A demand for improvement of the security situation as a condition for any call for a withdrawal of Israeli armed forces to positions they held before the September 2000 start of the Second intifada.”

  54. I don’t necessarily buy into the biblical tenor of Mr Golding’s last post, but I do think that the Ukraine situation may mark a watershed in the geopolitical status quo.

    For once the US is powerless to respond to another power calling its bluff.

    Until 1989 for decades we had a balance of power situation courtesy of the cold war.

    Since then we have had US hegemony, which opportunity it took to with a hamfooted giantism right out of some Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

    But now the US is exhausted financially and cutting down on its military.

    Its open season.

    With this in mind I applaud Richard’s post earlier. I don’t necessarily agree with his first or fourth paragraphs, but the fifth is the one that matters.

  55. sorry I mean the sixth, last

  56. Craig

    “but now all twelve other countries at the UN security council which voted against Russia are US stooges too.”

    It’s difficult for any country to vote in favour of an incursion, for obvious reasons.

    In that light the fact that China abstained is very significant, as I’m sure you understand.

    I’m sure they’d much rather have voted against.

  57. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    17 Mar, 2014 - 7:45 pm

    “Macky

    You are astonished I talk about Kosovo when a few days ago I had little knowledge. It is called the capacity to learn, Macky, you should try it.

    Not only an I suddenly a US stooge for not agreeing with you, but now all twelve other countries at the UN security council which voted against Russia are US stooges too. Anyone who doesn’t agree with you is in the pay of the CIA, blackmailed by the US, or a Nazi. Weird that.”
    ________________________

    There you go, Corporal Macky, you’ve been told.

    I also feel you should develop the capacity to learn. There is a lot of ground to make up – as Dreoilin noticed quite a while ago when she said you weren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  58. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    17 Mar, 2014 - 7:51 pm

    Hurbeee

    “In that light the fact that China abstained is very significant, as I’m sure you understand.

    I’m sure they’d much rather have voted against.”
    ___________________

    Why are you so sure? In the past China’s not hesitated to vote against US sponsored UN draft resolutions. Please explain if you can.

  59. @John Goss. Anti-tartar repression in Crimea is real and it is a disgrace. Unfortunately it is not an isolated fact. Just remember how Russia (Stalin as well as Yeltsin and Putin) have dealt with another muslim people in Russia, the Chechens. Extremely brutal suppression.

    And why should we have to side with one of the big powers (US or Russia) when they play their dirty game of influence? Remember how WW1 started. Ukraine is trying to rise out of its dependence and it is best served by our support to its democratic forces, not to the imperial schemes from either superpower. Putin’s annexation of Crimea is neither in the interest of the Russian or the Ukrainian population. I fear the worst.

  60. Craig, wrt Yugoslavia, you either somehow manage to misunderstand, or you chose to misrepresent, as my astonishment was due to the your statement of being too preoccupied to pay any attention to the most serious conflict in Europe since WW2.

    I did not call you or anybody else a stooge, I didn’t say you or anybody else was either in the pay of, or being blackmail by the CIA; rather what I did was to highlight a consideration that the Russians may have, that of the of weaker countries of the UNSC being pressurized by the US, because whetever you like it or not, there is a known track record of the US doing exactly that. Anyhow since you mention blackmail, let’s not forget that Wikileakes revealed that Hillary Clinton ordered American officials to spy on high ranking UN diplomats, & even ordered her diplomats to obtain DNA data – including iris scans and fingerprints – as well as credit card and frequent flier numbers. All permanent members of the security council were targeted by the secret spying mission, as well as the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon.

  61. God promised Noah that there will not be another flood is indeed bull-shit.

    Hmmm, this century bets are out at a rise between 29cm at best and 84cm if the melting of Greenlands eastern Ice cap accelerates this century.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/fear-of-catastrophic-sealevel-rise-as-ice-sheets-melt-faster-than-predicted-8440277.html

    Invest in a precautionary Wash barrier and tidal energy scheme, a Thames estuary barrier with a lock system and tidal energy scheme, a slightly smaller Orwell estuary, a substantual Severn barrier with tidal energy and a lock system, etc. etc.

    If we do not invest to safeguard the realm at home, neglect to buy time, when time is already becoming precious, with options diminishing, we will loose much of our estern seaboard to the sea.

    Using estuary barriers and tidal energy schemes, we can probably build three of them for the price of two nuclear power stations, will make the proposed new PWR programme, with all its known and unknown dangers, obsolete.

    At least they will be able to blame Fukushima for their own possible accidental releases, because Japan is unable to deal with the magnitude of its situation, with suggestions of releasing the highly contaminated water into the Pacific….

    Tokyo Olympics 2020? I somehow don’t think so. Maybe they want to talk to South Korea, now, and be really nice, a partnership to hold it there.

  62. Reluctant Observer

    17 Mar, 2014 - 8:33 pm

    What a disappointment this blog has become – it’s downgraded itself into yet another set of Official-Speak apologia for Western hypocrisy. One that has the almighty cheek to slander anyone not enthusiastically, unquestioningly, and immediately agreeing as fascists, Putin worshipers and BNP members.

  63. Vlad be my Dad

    17 Mar, 2014 - 8:40 pm

    See? This has been the Russian S.O.P. Deter illegal US use of force, then offer a face-saving option for Pacific resolution of the dispute.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/03/ukraine-us-pulls-back-agrees-to-russian-demands.html#more

    Pacifying the US government is based on the same principles as teaching Koko the gorilla to talk: confine the beast, then teach it how to interact with human beings.

  64. R.O. This blog hasn’t downgraded itself in the least. It’s always slandered anyone not perfectly PC as racist, fascist, Nazi, etc. It’s just that the humbug is more obvious now that it’s necessary to provide open support of racists, fascists and Nazis in Kiev.

  65. Resident Dissident

    17 Mar, 2014 - 8:52 pm

    “But I certainly do not think that result would have brought a 97per cent majority – exactly Hitler’s plebiscite in Austria – in a region where abut 40% of the population is not Russian. I am amazed that none of the Putinistas exhibit no shame at the 97% claim.”

    Canspeccy at last says something sensible and then he tells us to ignore it – face palm!

  66. technicolour

    17 Mar, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    Ah, ‘genocide in Leicester’ – that’s CanSpeccy. It’s happening there, didn’t you know?

    Having read all sides, I’m still inclined towards Craig’s (unanswered) question to Macky: why take sides?

  67. Craig,

    You keep reminding the annexation of Austria to Germany. And is and apt comparison as far as the obvious will of the people in both cases were. There were very few von Trapps indeed

  68. technicolour

    17 Mar, 2014 - 9:55 pm

    Meanwhile, the ghosts of murdered and tortured Chechens laugh hollowly at the sheer expediency of those who claim a moral high ground and yet rely on their nemesis to supply a resolution.

  69. Vlad be my Dad, that Moon of Alabama blog-post is a witty analysis of the Kerry/Lavrov agreement. Somebody’s written below.

    1 – 0 to Russia vs US

    And:

    Another way of stating the results of the referendum:

    1 – 0 Freedom vs fascism

  70. Ha! Talk of the PC crowd and here comes Techie uttering obscure innuendos and sinister warnings.

  71. CanSpeccy: it’s only obscure for people who are ignorant about Chechnya. I quite like your prose, but I suggest you brush up on your facts – much as you needed to do about ‘genocide in Leicester’. But failed to do, clearly.

  72. Vlad be my dad

    17 Mar, 2014 - 11:03 pm

    Not to mention 1-0 Peace vs Great-power confrontation

    Meanwhile, more special ed for the international community’s slow child:

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14383&LangID=E

    Human Rights Committee’s US review process. Good luck teaching them the law, but it will probably take Iskanders and PAK-DAs to get it through their thick skulls.

  73. Even John Simpson has acknowledged that Crimea will now be part of the Russian Federation. But this has been a bloodless change in geographical territory and it is a popular result so we should all be thankful.

    One of the problems with the United Nations is that the five permanent members have the power of veto. At one time or another they have all used it, though China and France less than the other three. Perhaps when the next international organisation comes along to replace the UN this will be taken into consideration. The trouble is we will probably have to wait for a world war before such a change will take place. Those interested in who used the veto when can find it here.

    http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/resguide/scact_veto_en.shtml

  74. habby

    I’m saying that the US and its allies abide neither in international law nor convention, other than when it suits them.

    This is a sign of their might.

    The little people must therefore sing and dance a jig.

    But yes, I’d certainly throw the French and British from their permanent UNSC seats and replace with Germany and Japan.

    This would better reflect the current balance of world power.

  75. I see Craig is still babbling on about Putin trying to kill Yushenko. Two problems with that theory. One, zero evidence that the Russians had anything to do with his symptoms and two, really no evidence that Yushenko was even poisoned. Look up dioxin toxicity. No professional assassin would use it, it is not that poisonous.

  76. I can see why Craig likes the Kosovo precedence. The Kosovo people were allowed to have a referendum to leave Serbia — Serbians excluded from the vote. Good precedent for Scotland.

    Problem today is that both the UK and US claim the Crimean vote to secede from Ukraine violates international law because the rest of the country was excluded from the vote. To be fair, the good people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland should not be excluded from the vote for Scottish independence.

  77. Ah, dioxins are not poisonous, that canard. Can’t remember which commenter tried this on most recently. Anyway, like radiation, not instantly, perhaps.

    Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/

  78. Lavrov and Putin are clearly hypocritical when they support a referendum in Crimea to legitimise a change in the status of that territory’s relationship with Ukraine, whilst denying the residents of their own contested territories, in Chechnya and Dagestan, the same opportunity. However, as the third paragraph of Craig’s post argues, the West has now been hoist with their own petard.

    The unipolar moment of the nineties and early noughties has clearly passed. The selective invocation of ‘international law’ as the arbiter of disputes, when it suits, was the modus operandi of the West in that era, but it won’t be for much longer.

    Russia’s actions to detach Crimea from Ukraine in recent days have necessitated the use of the Russian veto at the UN, which in turn has been followed by the announcement of sanctions against Russia by the US and EU. Did the actions of Turkey in its 1974 invasion of northern Cyprus elicit the tabling of a UN resolution by the US condemning this act ? Were punitive measures against the Turkish generals and politicians who authorised this act ever implemented ? After all, the Turkish invasion back then clearly breached the terms of the Cypriot independence agreement, to which Turkey was a partner-

    http://www.cypnet.co.uk/ncyprus/history/republic/try-guarantee.html

    Perhaps the Neocon eminences, Habba & Res Diss, can explain why Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 are so much more heinous than those of Turkey in northern Cyprus in 1974.

  79. Craig, I agree that the West is on very shaky moral ground when they condemn Russian actions in the Crimea when it was NATO air power which turned the tide in favour of the KLA in Kosovo and nobody in western governments makes any fuss whatsoever about the Israeli occupation and effective annexation of the West Bank in Palestine.

    However I’d be interested in your opinion on two points. Now the Budapest 1994 agreement which guaranteed the Ukrainian borders in return for giving up nuclear weapons has been voided by Russia do you think that Ukraine will try and reacquire nuclear weapons?

    And what is the prize in Russia’s annexation of the Crimea? They gain territory and a permanent presence in a naval base they already held but it’s at a cost of western sanctions and Ukrainian hostility and a very probable rearming of most of Eastern Europe against Russia. It seems a big risk for not a huge gain.

  80. Herbie @11.42pm

    I second that; the UK’s status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is an obvious anachronism.

  81. Freedom begins at home

    18 Mar, 2014 - 3:55 am

    Clearly Cameron (& Rifkind) are more concerned about their ilk, the recent Knesset like speech at Holyrood? Not in a million years, and CM may just turn out to be a very subtle gatekeeper judging from his Crimeanal behaviour.

    The Robert Burns Lament

    Fairweel to a’ ou Scottish fame,
    Fareweel our ancient glory;
    Fareweel e’en to the Scottish name,
    Sae famed in martial story.
    Now Sark runs o’er the Solway sands,
    And Tweed runs to the ocean
    To mark where England’s province stands
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.
    What force or guile could not subdue
    Through many warlike ages
    Is wrought now by a coward few
    For hireling trators’ wages.
    The English steel we could disdain,
    Secure in valor’s station,
    But English gold has been our bane
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.
    O would, or I had seen the day
    That treason thus could sell us
    My auld grey head had lain in clay
    Wi’ Bruce an’ loyal Wallace.
    But pith and power, till my last hour
    I’ll make this declaration,
    we’re bought and sold for English gold
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.

    https://www.facebook.com/LibertyEcosse/posts/463906023640230

  82. BrianFujisan

    18 Mar, 2014 - 4:00 am

    you just Cannot make it up…. Who the Fk would believe it all

    ” Obama and the lawyers who drafted his executive order did not notice that the way the order is drafted it applies to Obama, to the unelected coup government in Kiev, and to the Washington and EU regimes. The order says that any person “responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly . . . actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine” is subject to having his assets frozen.

    Washington and the EU are the only two governments whose personnel have undermined democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine by overthrowing the elected government and imposing an unelected one.

    Obama worshippers–yes there are still people that stupid–object when I call Obama the White House Fool. Yet, here is Obama or his lawyers proving that he is a fool by issuing an executive order that requires the property of Obama, Victoria Nuland, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, the UK prime minister, the German chancellor, the French president, the EU Commission and any number of associated persons to be frozen by the US government.

    Of course, Obama’s executive order will not be applied to those to whom it is applicable. It will be applied to those to whom it is not applicable–authorities who permitted the Crimean population to exercise democratic processes in order to determine their own fate.

    Washington has stood democracy on its head. Overthrowing Ukraine’s democratic government and installing a puppet regime does not undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine, but anything that allows self-determination to go forward in Crimea does undermine democratic processes.

    Clearly, the West can no longer be associated with democracy.”

    Obama Declares a National Emergency: Crimea Self-Determination Constitutes a “Threat To US National Security”

    By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts @

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-declares-a-national-emergency-crimea-self-determination-constitutes-a-threat-to-us-national-security/5373728

  83. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    18 Mar, 2014 - 7:50 am

    DougtheDug writes

    “And what is the prize in Russia’s annexation of the Crimea? They gain territory and a permanent presence in a naval base they already held but it’s at a cost of western sanctions and Ukrainian hostility and a very probable rearming of most of Eastern Europe against Russia. It seems a big risk for not a huge gain.”
    _______________________

    I’d agree with that – and refer readers back to Craig’s lead-in post for the thread entitled “Putin’s Victorious Defeat”.

    Tovarish Goss (above) quotes “someone” as saying

    “1 – 0 to Russia vs US”

    Well, if people must be silly enough to portray these events as a match of some sort, I’d suggest it might be better to wait a little: the match is not over yet. The Cold War saw the USSR score a few goals – but what was the final score?

  84. Brian, the Dr Paul Roberts’ article echoes my own opinion. I know there are dissenters, even those who claim to be on the left, but it cannot be argued against. Obama has turned democracy on its head.

    The United States has funded an illegal coup.
    The United States has tried to destabilise a legitimately-elected government.
    The United States has opposed a democratic referendum.
    The United States has imposed sanctions on a real democracy.

    It can be summed up broadly in the above terms.

  85. “Perhaps the Neocon eminences, Habba & Res Diss, can explain why Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 are so much more heinous than those of Turkey in northern Cyprus in 1974.”

    They won’t do that OldMark because it does not involve targeting an individual, unless of course they can attack you for making the comparison. Or they might try this once just to prove me wrong. Bring them on.

  86. Technicolour;”Having read all sides, I’m still inclined towards Craig’s (unanswered) question to Macky: why take sides?”

    Guess you missed this;

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/03/the-wrong-referendum-the-wrong-saviour/#comment-446377

  87. In memory of Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, while trying to stop an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) armoured bulldozer from demolishing Palestinian homes in the occupied Gaza Strip.

    “Never Forget”: for Rachel Corrie
    By Gary Corseri

    Barely a woman, twenty three years old–
    Soft, vulnerable…. Surely, the Monster
    Will stop in its tracks!

    She steels her will,
    Thinks of the tank in Tiananmen Square–
    One little man stopping a tank!

    Surely,
    They will perceive her love-resolve:
    To die in a great cause is to mortar–
    Not martyr–the Cause!

    She must not die!
    Cannot break her parents’ hearts–
    Back home! (She sees them now!)
    If only they knew
    How she had grown!

    They would understand…
    This other love that held her now
    In place, this love of home and place,
    And the Other,
    Of the faces, the voices, the laughter…
    Olive groves and sun-scented skin;
    The love she’d found for dispossessed:
    Children, fathers, mothers–also of her,
    Belonging to her, because
    Everyone suffering was One.

    It was hard to explain… but the Monster
    Truck was coming now–remorseless Caterpillar,
    Sci-fi bulldozer to scoop her up!

    It would stop in its tracks!
    Because a man drove it!
    A man who would see her,
    In her orange jacket
    Like a bumble bee!

    He would see she had to
    Do it—stand there in its way
    (Though its iron mouth gaped,
    Though its hard lips snarled.)

    To save their houses, olive groves… to save
    Herself! And these other selves–part of her
    And part of the one who drove the Monster
    Closer now, with droning, cacophonous,
    Tank-like clanking,
    And the sun in its panes like eyes.

    Surely
    It must stop, if she steels her will, is resolute,
    Peers in his eyes… surely… then… understand…
    He will–the suffering… the children… why she stood
    In its way–

    Barely a woman, bones against
    The iron tread, encircling,
    Winding, crushing, crackling,
    Bursting in sunburst light,
    In the dying light,
    For the sake of all.

  88. Why are other posters’ names being changed?

    DougtheDug
    Tovarish Goss

    etc etc

  89. “Perhaps the Neocon eminences, Habba & Res Diss, can explain why Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 are so much more heinous than those of Turkey in northern Cyprus in 1974.”

    It was the US who gave the long awited & promised green light to Turkey to invade & annex half of the sovereign country of Cyprus; Britain as a Guarantor Power wazs/is legally obliged to defend/restore the 1960 independence constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, but 40 years later, the remaning Cypriot refugees are still waiting to return to their homes & properties.

  90. Evil stuff in the Torygraph by the state asset, Con Coughlin.

    Ukraine crisis: we have to stand up to Russia – it’s a rogue state
    Any failure to respond to Putin’s unprovoked aggression would set a very bad precedent

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/9131313/Ukraine-crisis-we-have-to-stand-up-to-Russia-its-a-rogue-state.html

    ~~~

    Let’s have another war.

    Oh! What a lovely war.

    etc etc.

  91. Those who suggest the UK and France should lose their seats as permanent members of the UN Security Council and be replaced by Germany and Japan are wrong. Germany and Japan had no chance of becoming permanent members when the UN was formed, for very good historical reasons. They were also prohibited from having a defence budget for the same reasons. Economically this worked out well for both countries because that portion of their GDEs could be spent on more important things. (There’s a big lesson there because, until they were allowed military expenditure, their economies were the strongest in the world.) When a replacement for the United Nations is enacted, the countries to go should again be the aggressors and warmongers, so yes, France and the UK, but also the US. They should be replaced by a South American country, Brazil for example, and an African country, South Africa for example, an Asian country, India for example, and a peace-loving Australasian country, like New Zealand for example. The UN is a geographical mess in terms of representation. But the main one to go should be the belligerent US.

  92. Habbuy; “as Dreoilin noticed quite a while ago when she said you weren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer”

    I always have a little chuckle everytime you post that, as I enjoy the delicious irony when I recall that Dreoilin said that iro of a very simple point I made, that went completely over her head.

  93. Good post, but hypocrisy is what diplomacy and international relations is all about. It is the perfect illustration of how unfortunately the flaw in Rousseau’s social contract is that he who is best able to spin and disguise his lie wins.

    I have no idea how honesty and sticking to principles is supposed to work in the absence of a world policeman. We had a world policeman in America but over time more and more came to see them as increasingly self interested, and in any event they appear to have lost some of their former power.

    To some extent perhaps the Russians are slightly less hypocritical. If the west is behind Maidan in some sort of Gladio funding exercise it was nonetheless discrete, but Putin’s blatant use of unmarked Russian forces in Crimea whilst calling them local defence forces was far from discrete (i.e. slightly less hypocritical). There is an advantage in hypocrisy as the blatant act rings a bell for other s that its ok and from then that sort of conduct increases.

    For eg is it ok for security forces to assassinate or torture. We say its not and we have laws (or used to) to stop this but at the same time most of may say well sometimes in very particular circumstances it might be necessary, but we would rather not know, and trust that those who carry it out are restrained and act in our best interest etc. (reading John le Carre you have to doubt that though). If such conduct leaks out there is a fuss and rightly so because if it leaks out then we lose confidence in our morality, but moreover it risks becoming a norm.

    Putin’s use of unmarked defence soldiers only ups the risk of this in the west, which would be a very big step backwards. That is why whilst I recognize that Crimea going to Russia was an obvious consequence of the coup in Maidan the way in which is has occurred, whilst relatively peaceful (which is a blessing) is very worrying.

  94. Herbie, John Goss,

    Of course the UK should lose its seat at the security council. But the whole ides of permanent members with vetoes should be ditched as highly undemocratic. The Security Council as a deliberating body is a good idea: it should be selected by random ballot and operate on a system of qualified majorities (unanimity for Chapter 7).

    Dougie the Dug

    I think Ukraine has too much to lose in EU support if it turned towards nuclear weapons. I think Putin’s actions have been opportunist – he certainly wants to re-aggrandize Russia, and takes chances when they come. Long term, this one is a mistake.

  95. Former US intelligence officer, Scott Rickard, talks about how historically the US has funded coups and how they are currently funding the current coup in Ukraine. He was asked would the US continue to fund Yatsenyuk.

    “Sadly, I think the Americans are going to foot this bill. There is no way that the EU is going to be able to come up with that kind of funding. Russians have already offered $30 billion and that was probably the best deal that they were going to get. Even John Hulsman said in last week’s interview that you did, that they weren’t playing honestly or they just weren’t being serious enough, but the fact is that they just can’t afford it in the EU.

    So the Americans will end up footing the bill with the economy that’s totally busted anyway. The only reason it’s still alive is because they were granted global currency rights by the British Empire, after the Bretton-Woods conference, but it is total farce at this point, because it’s all basically paper money that doesn’t really exist in this world. They are just adding another piece of debt to the American fallacy of an economy.”

    He was further asked:

    “If they don’t have the money, then what’s the point of promising it?”

    His answer:

    “I think the Americans are basically going to float a blank check to play their cards, and hopefully the Ukrainian people will wise up and realize that they are basically taking ‘funny money’.”

    http://rt.com/shows/sophieco/ukraine-revolution-usa-support-246/

  96. Well, yes, I agree Craig, it would be better to remove all permanent members of the Security Council and get rid of the veto. Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt were to blame, and the UN as a world administrative body is not fit for purpose in its current state. Unfortunately it’s what we’ve got.

  97. Finian Cunningham’s take on the Ukranian end-game.

    http://nsnbc.me/2014/03/18/crimean-check-western-machinations-ukraine/

  98. DougtheDug; “And what is the prize in Russia’s annexation of the Crimea? They gain territory and a permanent presence in a naval base they already held but it’s at a cost of western sanctions and Ukrainian hostility and a very probable rearming of most of Eastern Europe against Russia. It seems a big risk for not a huge gain”

    “Putin realizes that derailing Washington’s strategy to control the Crimea will have serious consequences. He must now prepare for the typical litany of asymmetrical attacks including covert operations, special ops, arming Tatar jihadis to incite violence in Crimea”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/18/obama-backs-down-on-crimea/

  99. I think Craig would like this from Finian Cunningham’s article linked above.

    “European ministers met in Brussels on Monday to draw up punitive sanctions on senior Russian officials. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton referred snidely to the «so-called referendum» and dismissed it as «illegal under international law». That’s rich coming from «Lady Ashton» who has never faced an election in her life and who owes her entire political career to secret decisions taken by privilege and patronage.”

  100. Russophile

    No-no-no. We have a Hollywood world where Tzipi Livnis head can be digitally grafted onto a pornstar, dinosaurs ( considerably more elegant ) can digitally graze on the tropical forests of Jurassic park. But surely the leader of a high-tech nation like Germany would be wearing some kind of silver foil underwear to protect from thermal imaging. You project what you like where you like. I think our leaders know the score about IT capability by now. Don’t you think?

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