“There is appearance, and then there is reality.” Joe Bob Newman


My old friend Colonel Joe Bob was a true sage filled with such bon mots.  John Kerry would have benefited greatly from Joe Bob's counsel.

Folks, I remind that many of you were quite sure that Russia would not take military action and instead would rely on diplomatic and economic sanctions.  You were wrong.  The Russians did not "play it safe."  They intend to annex the Crimea one way or another.  Their seizure of the port of Kerch in the east indicates an intention to further reinforce their forces in the Crimea.  The big ship ferries will be used to move armor, artillery and other heavy equipment from the Russian mainland for the purpose of consolidating their position against a decision on the part of Kiev to fight for the Crimea or the likely Tatar resistance to come.

The Russians will be carefully considering EU willingness to cooperate with the US in economic and political actions that will punish them as much as Russia.  IMO it is unlikely that EU countries will boycott Russian gas or entertain seriously the notion of ejecting Russia from the G-8.  If that is the case then the chances will rise to well above 50% that Russia will invade the rest of Ukraine to restore what they see as the legitimate and constitutional government.  The purpose of this will be to eliminate the influence of anti-Russian political factions and ensure that Ukraine does not move into the EU or NATO.    Would the Ukrainian Army fight?  Probably they would but to little effect.  I doubt that Russia would try to re-absorb non-Crimean Ukraine.  The costs would be too high but the chance to smash what the Russians see as a US plot organized to eliminate Russia's role in Ukraine may well be so alluring that temporary occupation of the country may occur.

Against that background the pathetic bleating of the pundits is simply wrong.  The idea that history and human societies have something like organic life and that all of that has direction and motion is incorrect.  History is just things that happened.  It has no direction of change.  It does not really change.  People do not change.  Their motivations remain what they always were.  To speak of Russian action as being characteristic of the 19th or 20th centuries is inane.  The Russians are proving that to be the case.

The newspapers and 24/7 news bilge is today full of outrage.  It is meaningless outrage.  Russia has strategic nuclear forces sufficient to eliminate any threat of significant US military action and the Europeans will not sacrifice their worldly goods for the Galicians and the Crimean Tatars.

It is clear that Putin is unconcerned with hard words directed at him from the West.  The blonde BBC newsbabe said on Morning Joe today that she has now learned that a man who does not care what you think of him is difficult to deal with.  More people should learn that lesson.  pl


This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Russia. Bookmark the permalink.

172 Responses to “There is appearance, and then there is reality.” Joe Bob Newman

  1. J says:

    Kerry loves photo ops and hearing his own voice,

  2. Duncan Kinder says:

    The important factor – beyond our, and perhaps anybody’s control – will be the spillover from a destabilized Ukraine.
    The Balkans are a mess and the “Balkan Route” has long been used to smuggle opiates from Afghanistan as well as other illicit commerce into Western Europe. Greece, once a bedrock of stability for the Balkans, is suffering an economic meltdown. Kosovo is essentially a narco-state. Bosnia is experiencing unrest. Corruption is rampant throughout the region.
    The Ukraine’s turmoil will agrravate all of this.

  3. Oofda says:

    This is wreaking havoc with the Russian currency and stock markets. Forbes reports that foreign capital reserves for Russia are at a multi-year low. That may have some effect down the road.
    For Crimea, think Transistria, the ‘breakaway’ section of Moldova. Much the same scenario, where a section of a former Soviet Socialist Republic becomes a de-facto independent state.
    For the life of me, I don’t know why the media go to Sen McCain for comment on the Ukraine crisis. He was the one who stood in Maidan square with one of the leaders of the neo-nazi opposition. And he is one of those fulminating for ‘action’ – although he doesn’t really make any realistic sense. But he is one who has poured oil on the fire.

  4. Anon1 says:

    You don’t think Putin will move into the Russian majority areas outside of the Crimea. On the face of it, that would be pretty smart as it will leave a well organized opposition in Ukraine to put pressure on any government in Kiev in its relationship with Russia. Removing the Russian minority in Ukraine would give Kiev greater freedom of action.

  5. DH says:

    From the NYT yesteday:
    “Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.”
    Curiously phrased, and not politic of Merkel, if accurate.

  6. Burton50 says:

    Looks like some kind of build-up along the Russian/Ukrainian border in the northeast.
    According to the State Border Service of Ukraine, there is build-up of military equipment in Russia near the state border within Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Opposite the site of the Kharkov border detachment:
    – At railway station “Lesniki”, Voronezh region. Russian Federation, 9 echelons of military equipment (APC, IFV) arrived, which were unloaded in the territory, including artillery teams, which are located near the village of Liski);
    – At the junction of the departments “Pletenevka” – “October” in the direction of Bochkovo-Leninskoe at a distance of 1.5 – 2 km inland from the Russian border is 5 APCs, 2 car Ural and outdoor kitchen. Russian border outfits restrict the movement of the locals in this direction.
    Opposite the site of the Donetsk border detachment:
    – Department of Border Guard Service of the Russian Federation “Veselovo-Voznesenovka” have been placed on alert.
    – At the checkpoint “Veselevo-Voznesenovka – Novoazovsk”, entrance into the Ukraine of vehicles bearing Russian registration has been stopped.
    Opposite the site of Lugansk border detachment:
    – Locals for direction Millerovo – Dyakovo 3-4 km from the border there is accumulation of military equipment;
    – Near the junction of Lugansk and Donetsk regions 2 km from the border there is accumulation of military equipment.
    At the same time, according to the Consulate General of Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don, the Rostov Regional Governor of Russia ordered the deployment in the Kuibyshev region camps (people) to receive refugees from Ukraine. These actions of state authorities of the Russian Federation may be indicative of the Russian side preparing for a possible invasion of the territory of Ukraine through a land border.

  7. b says:

    “the chances will rise to well above 50% that Russia will invade the rest of Ukraine to restore what they see as the legitimate and constitutional government”
    I still do not concur with that. Russia will first try all other means to reinstall the Jan21 deal that three EU ministers co-signed. Economic pressure, unrest in eastern Ukraine etc.
    Today the (artificially) blond gas-princess is in Moscow and Putin will tell her her choices. The two made profitable deals before. They can make another one.
    Putin does not car so much what the “west” thinks. But he surely knows that going to Kiev means a guerrilla war in which the opposite site would likely get silent “western” help. He does not need another Syria right at his doorstep.
    Reinstate Yanukovich and a unity government, federalize the country and the constitution, new elections in December. If Russia can get that without a war there will be no war.

  8. dilbert dogbert says:

    Very off topic but I thought Col. Lang would like to see this photo essay about the Everglades Challenge:
    At least it is something to enjoy rather than worry about.
    Best to all at SST.

  9. turcopolier says:

    “Reinstate Yanukovich and a unity government, federalize the country and the constitution, new elections in December. If Russia can get that without a war there will be no war.” IMO to get that he will have to neutralize Russia’s political enemies. the only way to do that will be to temporarily occupy the country. pl

  10. turcopolier says:

    Very helpful. Pls keep it up. pl

  11. turcopolier says:

    You misunderstood me. Whether or not it is clever in the context of Statethink, IMO they will go into the rest of Ukraine as well as annex Crimea. pl

  12. JohnH says:

    “She was not sure he was in touch with reality.” Perhaps she was referring to Kerry? That would certainly be more consistent with Kerry’s record than with Putin’s.

  13. WILL says:

    Katty Kay- u could not make up a name like that.

  14. David Habakkuk says:

    Is there any confirmation of this from independent sources?
    You do realise, I hope, that everyone involved in this shambles is engaged in ‘information operations’. Those of the new government in Kiev are liable to be particularly unscrupulous, because they have got themselves into a whole, and desperately need to inveigle the West into giving them concrete support.

  15. walrus says:

    I heard Kerry Three days ago threatening trade sanctions, he used the word “trade” Three times.
    Has anybody pointed out to the Secretary the futility and studied insult inherent in asking a national leader to put “trade” ahead of what it sees as its security interests, not to mention its mythos?
    I have a mental picture of Kerry lecturing the Serbs on this subject in 1913 and Hitler in 1938.
    Also, from the Website Burton50 pointed out, our Julia thinks NATO is going to come and “save” Ukraine. Someone should give her a history lesson too.
    Google translate: ”
    Tymoshenko: U.S. and Britain will protect the peace in Ukraine
    3 March at 08:18
    Yulia Tymoshenko
    The former prime minister and leader of the “Fatherland ” Yulia Tymoshenko calls Ukrainian to rest and says that in the confrontation with Russia, ” we are not alone .”
    ” In this confrontation with Russia , we are not alone. In 1994, Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum from the U.S., UK and Russia to grant us full security guarantees in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons. Russia is grossly violated its obligations and has invaded our territory . But I ‘m sure that the U.S. and Britain will never break this memorandum and all possible forces firmly protect peace in Ukraine , “- said in a statement said.
    ” Putin understands that declaring war on us, he declares it including security guarantees – namely, the U.S. and Britain. Firm I want to say I do not believe that Russia has crossed that line , if crossed , it definitely loses. that this should be the basis for our national peace ” – said the former prime minister.
    “But today it is clear that if Ukraine joined NATO before , such aggression would in principle”

  16. David Habakkuk says:

    I suppose I am too much of an old-fashioned cynical Brit.
    In my view, the most spectacular ‘own goal’ of the amateur putschists — Vicky Nudelman/Nuland, Pyatt and their like — was to allow the Maidan people to depose Yanukovich.
    It seems that one of the few things in which practically everyone is united is in having complete loathing and contempt for Yanukovich.
    By reneging on the February 21 deal, the Maidan people branded their government as illegitimate, and by refusing to object, the U.S. and E.U. left their high-minded moral pretentions looking slightly hollow (irony alert.)
    From the Russian point of view, I suggest, the situation can now be played both ways. It could be that a reversion to the February 21 might seem their least worst option. However, it is not clear that they will expect that this likely to happen, at this late date.
    And, if the Maidan people and the West won’t play, then they are collaborating in the marginalisation of Yanukovich, which will suit the Russians just fine.
    As for a military campaign to restore Yanukovich. It could be that as Merkel is reported as suggesting, Putin is not in touch with reality.
    But unless that is the case, the last thing he is going to do is to send the tanks into Kiev to restore Yanukovich.
    Time will tell.

  17. harry says:

    Im assuming you are refering to Katty Kay. I remember her when she briefly worked for the Bank of England.
    I also noticed that b put out a story suggesting a reason for the Russian urgency to secure Crimea. White ribbons on their arms eh?
    Seems that someone in the west has a lot of what the French call l’audace!

  18. walrus says:

    The Russian response to this is going to be amusing I particularly liked this quote from Kerry apropos Iraq and Afghanistan:
    “you just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests.”
    I am also wondering if Cuba might entertain the basing of Russian missiles once again, probably not.
    From the Daily Beast: “Inside Obama’s Plans to Squeeze Russia
    The Obama administration is working around the clock to come up with ways to punish Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine. But will any of them work?
    UPDATE: The Associated Press reported Monday that Russia is already suffering some economic consequences of its aggression in Ukraine. The Russian stock market is down 12 percent, the ruble is falling, and the Russian central bank has hiked interest rates in an attempt to shore up the value of its currency.
    Behind the scenes, Obama administration officials are preparing a series of possible battle plans for a potential economic assault on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, an administration source close to the issue told The Daily Beast. Among the possible targets for these financial attacks: everyone from high-ranking Russian military officials to government leaders to top businessmen to Russian-speaking separatists in Ukraine. It’s all part of the work to prepare an executive order now under consideration at the Obama administration’s highest levels.
    The Obama administration came under sharp criticism over the weekend for not responding quickly or strongly enough to the takeover of the Ukrainian province of Crimea. Meanwhile, a team of State Department, White House, and Treasury Department officials worked to provide the president a menu of sanctions and other economic pressure levers that Obama might add to that executive order..
    Secretary of State John Kerry, who will travel to Kiev Tuesday, promised harsh consequences for the Russian government if it continued its aggression in Ukraine—and hinted at the economic retalation to come.
    “There could even be, ultimately, asset freezes, visa bans. There could be certainly disruption of any of the normal trade routine. There could be business drawback on investment in the country. The ruble is already going down and feeling the impact of this,” Kerry said Sunday on Meet the Press. “And the reason for this is because you just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests.”
    “In the long term, this will have a cost on the Russian economy. Some of those costs will be imposed by the United States, some of those Russian has already invited upon itself, and some of them will be international.”
    Several administration officials said Sunday that the process of sanctioning Russian would take time to implement and could take even more time to garner a reaction from Russian president Vladimir Putin. The U.S. also wants to work with European Union countries to make sure the sanctions are coordinated for maximum effectiveness, while also preparing a multi-billion dollar economic aid package for the new leaders in Kiev.
    The drive to find ways to tighten the economic noose around Putin’s neck is at the center of the administration’s strategy to not only punish Russian leaders but also to change their calculus about pushing forward with their occupation of Ukraine.
    “We’re beginning to review all of our trade and economic cooperation with the Russian Federation,” a senior administration official told reporters on Sunday. “What we see here are distinctly 19th and 20th century decisions made by President Putin to address problems… but what he needs to understand that when it comes to the economy, he lives in a 21st century world, an interdependent world.”
    The administration is already doing what it can do now to show Putin that the U.S. government is serious about its outrage over Russia’s actions in Ukraine. In addition to Kerry’s Sunday announcement that the U.S. has suspended preparations for the June G8 meeting in Sochi and might seek to expel Russia from the G8 altogether, officials said the U.S. has cancelled several planned bilateral events and is expected to cancel several more.
    A trip by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to Moscow has been scuttled. A Russian delegation to Washington for talks on energy cooperation has been disinvited. Planned Naval cooperation talks are now indefinitely postponed. Effectively, the U.S. has decided to put the brakes on all aspects of bilateral relations until the crisis in Crimea is further resolved.
    Administration sources cautioned that no decision has been made by President Obama regarding the path ahead for sanctions. But that the targets under consideration include not only the Russian government and military, but also organizations and individuals who can be shown to have helped or are helping foment unrest in Ukraine, both inside and outside Crimea.
    Even Russian business leaders could be targets for asset freezes and visa bans. Administration officials added that Russian companies were fair game for sanctions if they can be shown to have been involved in either the invasion of Ukraine, or the effort to destabilizing the interim government that replaced ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Russia last week.
    The administration is also considering whether or not to go after the Crimean separatists themselves, or just the Russians who are aiding the separatists. The sanctions could focus mainly on the situation in Crimea or it could cast a wider net, covering those responsible for unrest in other parts of Ukraine. The administration also predicts damage to Russia’s economic reputation, the investment climate in Russia, and further sliding of the ruble.
    “We’ll be taking a look at all these different elements, because in the long term this will have a cost on the Russian economy. The president was very clear in his word choice of ‘costs,’” a second senior administration official told reporters. “Some of those costs will be imposed by the United States, some of those Russian has already invited upon itself, and some of them will be international. So there are many vulnerabilities that will only grow if Russia does not take the right choice.”
    Part of the delay in devising the list of sanctions and making a decision is due to the fact that the Obama administration was caught by surprise last Friday when Russian paramilitary forces entered Crimea and began taking control of airports and other key infrastructure. The administration had prepared sanctions against Yanokovich and his allies, but those plans were quickly taken over by events on the ground when Yanukovich was deposed. Further changes on the ground could change the sanctions plan again.
    The other reason the sanctions are taking some time is because the administration is required to build an evidentiary basis for each sanction it wishes to impose. For an executive order, for example, the president must make a finding that the crisis constitutes a grave threat to American national security. Administration sources said that shouldn’t be a problem and past findings have been made following lesser provocations.
    “The expectation that this is going to change in 24 hours, that’s not real world,” a third senior administration official said. “This is a serious situation that the Russians have created, it’s going to take serious efforts to unwind it, and we are absolutely seriously engaged in the effort to do that.”
    Congress is also set to propose sanctions legislation this week. Sen. John McCain has proposed expanding the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act to punish senior Russian officials involved in the Ukraine invasion. The law is meant to hold Russian human rights violators accountable.
    “We must consider legislation to respond to this… The Magnitsky bill can be expanded for holding people responsible for these acts of aggression,” he told The Daily Beast in an interview Saturday.
    The view inside the Obama administration is that the White House can do a lot of the sanctions work on its own, without legislation from Congress, but that new Congressional legislation could be helpful, so long as it doesn’t contain a lot of items the administration is opposed to. For example, McCain also wants Obama to restore plans to build missile defense sites in Eastern Europe, which is not actually under consideration.
    One administration source noted that even during the Bush administration’s response to the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008, such an expansive list of punitive measures weren’t considered. “We’re considering going farther in Ukraine than we ever did in Georgia,” the administration source said.”

  19. jonst says:

    I think Kerry, his ilk, and the people running the show in DC now think, in fact, there IS NOTHING more important than ‘trade’.
    Unless it be appearances on Fallon et al.
    Col, leaving aside for the moment the fact that they don’t have the brains, the vision, or the guts, this would take…do think if DC and the EU drew a firm line, at a place the Russians could live with, and say to them, ‘beyond this point NATO will never go. Period.’ we could start, at least start, to stand down in this crisis?

  20. S.E. says:

    “DH said…
    From the NYT yesteday:
    “Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told Mr. Obama by telephone on Sunday that after speaking with Mr. Putin she was not sure he was in touch with reality, people briefed on the call said. “In another world,” she said.”
    Curiously phrased, and not politic of Merkel, if accurate.”
    Same “citation” in the main news here in Norway. This should probably make us wander if not Putin is crazy, because Merkel is obviously a very sane person. But:
    According to Die Welt, this is not what Merkel said, but rather that “Merkel habe mitnichten ausdrücken wollen, Putin verhalte sich irrational. Sie habe Obama vielmehr gesagt, Putin habe eine andere Wahrnehmung der Lage auf der Krim.” Which is something to the effect that she in now way wanted to say that Putin acts irrational, but that he sees the situation in Krim in a different way.

  21. turcopolier says:

    “A scrap of paper…” The point of my aphorism from Joe Bob was that there can be several realities and some may have more that is real about them than others. It is not at all sure that Putin’s reality is less real than that of the amateur fantasy putschists. Perhaps those who speak of evolution in human affairs are about to learn something about reality. as for the efficacy of economic sanctions we applied them savagely to Cuba, China, Iraq, and Iran. We inflicted great suffering but none of these states bowed to our will. To re-install what they might find acceptable in Kiev it would not be necessary to re-install Yanuchenko. As for having NATO draw a “red line,” this an invitation to crisis. pl

  22. ISL says:

    walrus: Given that Putin allowed Obama to save face with Syria, I believe that in this case, Russia was likely to not allow any face saving way out of Ukraine. If the daily beast is accurate, well, the US financial system is more shaky now than before the 2008 crash, and a commodity run-up, which Russia could do would push the US into default/massive QE again. The question then comes would china support russia or the US, and I imagine China will not support the idea that the US can veto chinese action in countries on its borders to preserve its own security interests.
    Of course daily beast could be all talk for domestic consumption, but given the lack of adults in the Obama Administration, I presume more equally well thought out planning from the administration that when it could not install Al Q in Syria it tried to install Nazi’s at the edge of Europe. So why is US foreign policy following a bad Hollywood script…

  23. Charles I says:

    Wow, detailed stuff. Was there any independent confirmation of the 150,00 man Russian maneuvers, did they happen either, isn’t this what has been reported as going on as exercises for more than a week now?

  24. Charles I says:

    Beggars the imagination – your top diplo being surprised after months of unrest that Russia had people on the ground in Crimea.

  25. Matthew says:

    Walrus: Why would this make Russia back down? Essentially, the USG is saying, “We took a strategic asset from Russia. Russia must accept that. Once we pull the Ukraine into the EU and NATO, Russia will have more NATO bases on their borders.”

  26. The Twisted Genius says:

    RT reports that a Ukrainian special forces unit in Kirovograd has refused orders from Kiev to deploy to Crimea. The headline refers to a regiment. The quotes in the article refer to a company. It’s hard to verify this information since, as David Habakkuk warns us, both sides are engaged in information operations. If true, this is a very bad sign for the new government in Kiev. Another bad sign is the condition of the Ukrainian air force unit at Belbek in Crimea. Out of 49 aircraft only 5 are operational. I also saw a video of Ukrainian civilians attempting to block several Ukrainian tanks on tank transporters reportedly heading towards Crimea. No violence, only some verbal exchanges and the tank transporters eventually moves on. Little things like this will have an effect on Ukrainian military morale.
    I think the Russian Defense Ministry is striving to keep this a bloodless operation. The actions we can see in Crimea supports this. Although the MSM is reporting that ultimatums and deadlines to surrender are being given to Ukrainian forces in Crimea, the Defense Ministry is denying this. They are demonstrating overwhelming force and giving the Ukrainian forces time to reason it out for themselves. That is information operations in practice, or as the Russians would say, the informational-psychological aspects of information warfare.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I recall several years ago in a discussion threat here Eric Dongens (sic. ?) told me that I did not inhabit the same reality as him.

  28. jon says:

    I don’t see what play the US or the EU has in this crisis. Russia has a lot of facts on the ground, while the EU and US have precious few nearby military assets. The supply lines to forces in Afghanistan are also widely open to attack or interdiction, placing our forces in the position of being hostages, as it will be so difficult to rapidly exfiltrate them by air. Russia may lose their place in the G8 and other international organizations, but do they really care? Russia, by contrast, exports a great deal of energy to the EU and the Ukraine, and is a major metals supplier to the world. Russia may face substantial longer term costs for invasion of the Ukraine or annexation of Crimea, but short of military attacks on Russian assets I don’t see much short term pain being inflicted.

  29. Babak Makkinejad says:

    James Jeffrey, a retired career U.S. diplomat, said:
    “All of us that have been in the last four administrations have drunk the Kool-Aid,” Jeffrey said, referring to the belief that they could talk Putin into seeing the western system as beneficial. “‘If they would just understand that it can be a win-win, if we can only convince them’ – Putin doesn’t see it,” Jeffrey said. “The Chinese don’t see it. And I think the Iranians don’t see it.”

  30. turcopolier says:

    Jeffrey apparently now sees that the reality of Washington/New York group think about human affairs was not very real. pl

  31. CK says:

    The time to buy is when there is blood in the streets; even if the blood is your own.
    Russian stock market down 12 … buy … markets fluctuate and victory drives to the upside.

  32. turcopolier says:

    “short of military attacks on Russian assets I don’t see much short term pain being inflicted.” Nor do I. pl

  33. VietnamVet says:

    You are correct. Once the Hounds of War are let loose and they will run wild until shot dead.
    The disinformation in Western Media is stark. Western involvement in the Ukraine revolt and the rise of the neo-Nazis is unreported; except, Martha Raddatz’s report on ABC last night was touched with hysteria. She should know. She is married into the DC Elite. NYT reported that Angela Merkel said Mr. Putin is “in another world”.
    This is not quite the Cold War all over again.
    Wall Street and City of London profits are now based shock capitalism; looting disrupted economies with cheap labor, deregulation and privatization. The only USA growth industry is war. World Unrest is directly caused by rising food prices due to corporate consolidation, climate change and overpopulation.
    What is most scary is that the leaders believe their own propaganda. All the Abrams Battle Tanks have been removed from Europe. It will be impossible for the Elite to give Russia Eastern Ukraine and prohibit Western Ukraine from joining NATO.
    Among the carnage and fog of war somewhere on the Polish border with nothing to loose facing regiments of Russian Tanks or on the opposite side decimation from American precision weapons, someone will use a tactical nuclear weapon and the world as we know it will end.

  34. Burton50 says:

    No, I have seen no additional confirmation on the troop build-up in the Voronezh-Rostov area. And you’re right, of course: the information war is reaching truly deafening levels. I have in-laws in Sevastopol’, so we have following this for months, trying to weed the facts out of all the garbage. I actually went looking specifically for this information because we also heard a rumor that the Russian armored units were already seen south of Khar’kov, a short drive from the border. No confirmation of this either.

  35. walrus,
    On and off, over the decades, I have warned people from Eastern Europe not to be daft enough to think that assurances of support from the West can be relied upon.
    And they go on believing that ‘krysha’ from the West provides good grounds for taking risks off which prudent people would fight shy.

  36. Matthew,
    It is nonsense to think that Putin does not care what the U.S. or the E.U. think.
    The problem is that they have backed him into a corner, and, being ineffably stupid, cannot grasp that they have done so.
    They have created a situation in which perfectly normal people in Moscow will calculate that, if they surrender the Crimea to a Ukraine run by Vicky Nuland’s little friends, they will end up with a U.S. naval base in Sevastopol.
    Moreover, if they tolerate ‘regime change’ according to Gene Sharp methods in Kiev, they will end up having to face it in Moscow.
    Accordingly, Putin is left with no option but to say ‘Fuck the E.U.’. The costs of not drawing a line at this point are so great the other considerations dwindle into insigificance.

  37. Babak Makkinejad,
    Sometimes sanctimoniousness reaches the point of complete craziness.
    The Russian ‘liberals’ invited the ‘best and brightest’ from Harvard in to reform their economy. The Chinese repressed the students in Tiananmen Square.
    In Russia, there occurred an economic catastrophe without parallel since the time of Stalin, while the security interests of the country were completely ignored by the West, and its leaders and people alike treated with ridicule and disdain.
    Meanwhile, the Chinese were treated with awe, as the coming superpower.
    And people like James Jeffrey think that if Putin does not see the ‘western system’ as unambiguously beneficial, this is a stupidity out of which he can be talked.
    As to the remark on Iran …

  38. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    “The costs of not drawing a line at this point are so great the other considerations dwindle into insignificance.” It appears that we agree. pl

  39. William Herschel says:

    From the NYT article on the “challenges” facing Obama:
    “But as an old nuclear-armed adversary returns to Cold War form, the consequences seem greater, the challenges more daunting and the voices more unified.”
    Since, shall we say, the earliest moment when it was possible to forget the fact that the Russians had participated mightily in the defeat of Hitler, perhaps been the ones who actually defeated him, the mind-set of the United States, instilled by “leader” after “leader” has been that the US is not just on the side of the good guys, but in the words of Lloyd Blankfein in another context, are doing “God’s work”.
    That attitude/belief system is what now is on the table. All the post-World War II American Superiority Syndrome is now face to face with a different reality.
    Can it possibly end well?

  40. DH says:

    Yes, for domestic consumption, especially this jewel, when considering Nuland’s coup incitement:
    “Administration sources cautioned that no decision has been made by President Obama regarding the path ahead for sanctions. But that the targets under consideration include not only the Russian government and military, but also organizations and individuals who can be shown to have helped or are helping foment unrest in Ukraine, both inside and outside Crimea.”

  41. DH says:

    Many thanks, S.E.

  42. DH says:

    So true.

  43. Fred says:

    ” But that the targets under consideration …. also organizations and individuals who can be shown to have helped or are helping foment unrest in Ukraine, both inside and outside Crimea.”
    Of course not Victoria Nuland and company because that $5 billion was for democracy and freedom, not formenting the change in government that led to the Russian response.
    I can see Ambassador Churkin at the UN explaining to Samantha Power that the reasons the Russian Federation is in the Ukraine – using all of her “Right to Protect” jargon she’s been spouting for years.

  44. Fred says:

    Yes, and at Harvard they still haven’t learned the lesson they taught the Russians or the Chinese.

  45. Fred says:

    Yes, the ruthless billionaires on WallStreet will cash in again.

  46. Matthew says:

    Col: But whose assets? The market beats down these Russian shares, and then the Russian government buys them at a discount. How is Obama punishing Putin? It sounds to me that we’re punishing ourselves–by which I mean our hedge funds.

  47. Ryan says:

    You will find this of interest:
    “GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — More than 50 U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and M2A3/M3A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles rolled into the Grafenwoehr Training Area this week as the final shipment of the European Activity Set.”
    Of course one armor battalion doesn’t make a tank army.

  48. kao_hsien_chih says:

    If there are such attacks, we’d be talking a whole other ballgame…the end of which we may not get to see.

  49. I find it of interest so little discussion of the communications war except by David H. My understanding is that an intense offensive cyber war between Russia and the Ukraine has been under way for days.
    According to nerdy friends Russia and the Ukraine house some of the world’s best cyber warriors and only China and the USA come anywhere close.
    Eric Snowden and NSA how is your surveillance going?
    Has anyone seen discussion of this war in MSM? Or blogs?

  50. kao_hsien_chih says:

    This is not quite the cold war, I think. It’s the Cuban missile crisis, with their version of Cuba, and we’re no Nikita Khrushchev.

  51. jr786 says:

    Out of linguistic curiosity: How did the ‘maidan’ get its name? Is it a coincidence of language or is it a loan word from Arabic? If the latter, how on earth did that happen.

  52. walrus says:

    Col. Lang, is there hope that Gen. Dempsey and Hagel can be our last line of defence and talk some sense into Obama and Kerry?

  53. turcopolier says:

    Yes, I thing so although the civilian media talk is getting more fierce by the hour. pl

  54. turcopolier says:

    “Maidan” is a word used across the Islamic culture continent meaning a city square or any open space such as the countryside as in “jaish maidani,” (field army). I think that “maidan” as a word is probably used in Kiev as a reflection of several centuries of Mongol rule in what is now Ukraine. By that time the Mongols had been converted to Islam and would have a lot of Arabic words “on board.” BTW “maidan” is probably not an Arabic in origin. It appears to have four radicals m-y-d-n. Arabic words usually have three radicals. If they have more or less they are usually of foreign origin. pl

  55. William Herschel says:

    From the same article, this more closely corresponds to what I am talking about:
    “Mr. Rubio, who opposed authorizing force in Syria, agreed that that conflict had serious ramifications for American interests. But he said the showdown in Crimea was about freedom itself and the hard-fought American victory over totalitarianism in the Cold War. In that sense, even Republicans who opposed Mr. Obama in Syria were pushing for a hard line against Mr. Putin.
    “The very credibility of the post-Cold War world and borders is at stake here,” Mr. Rubio said in an interview.”
    Either Rubio is absolutely correct in what he is saying, or he is living in a dream world. I don’t think there’s a middle ground. But maybe there is.

  56. Haralambos says:

    I recall Frank Rich’s piece during the early days of our Iraq “adventure” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/arts/30rich.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all&position= writing this: ‘The four other incipient V-I days were the liberation of Baghdad (April 9, 2003), President Bush’s declaration that “major combat operations have ended” (May 1, 2003), the arrest of Saddam Hussein (Dec. 14, 2003) and the handover of sovereignty to our puppet of choice, Ayad Allawi (June 28, 2004). And this isn’t even counting the two “decisive” battles for our nouveau Tet, Falluja. Iraq is Vietnam on speed – the false endings of that tragic decade re-enacted and compressed in jump cuts, a quagmire retooled for the MTV attention span.’
    That struck me as accurate, and this current adventure looks like ‘Iraq on speed’ for Putin and the ES and EU on Ambien. Apologies, Col. Lang and others, for not having a more nuanced and sourced opinion.

  57. Augustin L says:

    You are right Col Lang, the conflict is now perceived as an existential one by the russians. Here is what the saker wrote a few hours ago: ”There is also another phenomenon taking place. Unlike the the USA or Europe, Russians have a much longer attention span. While in the West nobody cares to ever remember that, Russians do remember the promise made to Gorbachev not to move NATO to the East, they remember the US bombing and invasion of Bosnia and Kosovo, they remember the West’s support for Chechen Wahabis and Jewish oligarchs like Berezovsky, they remember the West’s full support for Saakashvili’s attack on Russian peacekeepers and the people of South Ossetia, they remember the deployment of missiles all around Russia and they remember the war on Libya, and the US and EU sponsored butchery of Syria. And as one commentator put it yesterday, “this time it is not about Syrians or Ukrainians, it’s about us, we are next in line”.
    Time will tell but the russians at minima will probably send troops to the estearn ukraine.

  58. robt willmann says:

    On tap for tomorrow, Tuesday, 4 March, are two things.
    Secretary of State John Kerry is to be in Kiev, Ukraine to show “support” for, well, who knows really who the support is to be for–
    But before he is able to travel to see about that dangerous situation, he first has something more important to do, namely, to speak at the 2014 Policy Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) today at 5:00 p.m.–
    He will be followed by Sen. Charles Schumer (Dem. NY), House majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor (Repub. Virginia), and House democratic whip Steny Hoyer (Dem. New Jersey). Sen. John McCain spoke this morning and Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew spoke yesterday.
    The second thing is that a meeting is scheduled tomorrow in Crimea by the new group working on seceding from Ukraine. Whether they will move forward with creating a new state (a complicated process) or move to be annexed by Russia or something else will be interesting to watch.
    Also worth watching is to see whether any people from the International Monkey Business Fund (IMF) will be slinking around with John Kerry in Kiev. The IMF is supposed to be there doing a “fact finding”.
    It is difficult to read and sort through the IMF’s bureaucratese without a glass of good whiskey by your side.

  59. jr786 says:

    Thanks, Col.

  60. Vanasek says:

    Col Lang,
    I’m reminded of a quote from a Chinese general in the late 90s who said to Chas Freeman, Former Assistnat Secretary of Defense, something to the effect of, “In the end, do you care more about Los Angeles or Taipei?”
    Even if we did care that much about Kiev, it’s clear that we, the Europeans and the Ukranians don’t have any assets in place to stop a Russian advance.
    As you mentioned, I don’t see the Europeans agreeing to any effective economic sanctions (i.e. not buying Russian natural gas) because they aren’t willing for the people of Cologne to freeze for the sake of Kiev.
    Given there is no real penalty, why wouldn’t Putin prevent Ukraine from slipping out of the Russian sphere of influence??? Thus, invading is the smart move on his part, and I expect it to happen very soon and Yanukovich and the oligarchs to be back in power.
    Looking back, it’s amazing that the West and NATO were able to pry the Balts and Poles away from the Bear’s claws, but it looks like both Georgia and now Ukraine are a bridge too far.
    Funny thing is that if we weren’t so short-sighted in dealing with Iran over the past few years, Western Europe could of had an alternative supply of natural gas (via pipeline through Turkey) that really would have given the West lots of economic leverage against Putin. No wonder he paid off Gerhard Schroeder to be the public face of the Nordstream pipline and worked so hard behind the scenes to put try and put a halt to any alternative sources.

  61. The beaver says:

    Follow the money:
    including Brookings Institute ( read somewhere that Blair is his good buddy)

  62. Tyler says:

    The MSM coverage has been depressingly juvenile and pathetic. Listening to Hannity on the drive home I got treated to Ollie North and some other dork constantly referring to Putin as a “schoolyard bully”, a “thug”, and every other epithet in the book.
    This shouldn’t be surprising considering the state of the US populace in examining affairs outside of the Kardashians, TMZ, and every other distraction provided to a nation of children, but you’d figure they commentariat would know better, or at least LIE better.
    Checks and balances are good, including in foreign affairs. Of course, the likely thing is we’re going to double down on World War Gay and continue to chide Russia about ‘gay rights’ or whatever while continuing our obscene navel gazing into the hedonistic. We are showing the world the end state of what a liberal democracy looks like.

  63. Tyler says:

    Methinks Rubio is trying to shore up some credentials after he came out for the amnesty treason and his approval numbers went into the crapper.
    Coincidentally, that seems to be where we keep finding these R2P foreign policy idiots.

  64. nick b says:

    This is dated, it’s from 2012. But it talks about Russian cyberwar capabilities, with a focus on Putin and his relationship with Eugene Kaspersky of Kaspersky labs.

  65. Medicine Man says:

    There is an obvious third option, Mr. Herschel: That Rubio does not believe a word of what he’s saying.

  66. The Twisted Genius says:

    Funny you brought up cyberwar. I just read this morning that Russia took 13 Ukrainian nationalist sites off line. I guarantee they’ve done a lot more. Certainly their SIGINT is all over civilian and military communications in Ukraine. They’re at least as good as us in this field and, in Ukraine, they are certainly better than us. In addition to the considerable state capabilities, Russian nationalist hackers are, in my assessment, the best in the world. This is not opinion. I lived among these people (virtually, of course) for several years. The main difference between US and Russian activities in this field is that the Russians know when to STFU.

  67. Norbert M Salamon says:

    For all the hype about invasion of Crimea, I wonder does anyone has any indication that Russia has surpassed the 30 000 man power limit allowed it under the Ukraine-Russian Federation agreement?

  68. Alba Etie says:

    Mr Habakkuk
    I questioned how much the EU will stand together to enforce any type of economic sanctions against Russia – much less an embargo . The Swedes and Poles might wish to beard Leader Putin – but the Italians & the Greeks ? And all the while we are really really tempting the Gods of War doing this brinksmanship with the Russians . What if some of the Neo Nazi or other bad actors do some kind of false flag operation . This could all end badly for the entire globe . Makes me look and think seriously about a Rand Paul run for the White House 2016 .

  69. VietnamVet says:

    Thanks. 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division should be on the charter flights right now. If they are not it is dereliction of duty. While waiting at the airport the troopers might want to stream on their cells John Ford’s “They were Expendable” from Amazon to see what is in store for them.
    Sanctions won’t work. Russia is permanently in Crimea. They will infiltrate the Russian majority provinces and set up Orthodox Christian militias. What happens next depends if there is a diplomatic settlement agreeable to Russia. If not there will a war between two nuclear powers.
    Weekend NewsHour has a good interview on this with Stephan Cohen, professor NYU and Princeton, yesterday.

  70. NancyK says:

    Tyler, what exactly would you do if you were president? I am sincere in my questio. I just listened to Stephen Cohen on News Hour and was very impressed. I agree with you that more Americans are concerned about Kardashians, Dynasty Ducks and whatever mindless trash is on the TV then anything that is happening in the real not reality world.

  71. FDixon says:

    I believe I saw some mention above of Transnistria but cannot find it, so I apologize for not directing this post:
    Right on cue:
    Moldova Prime Minister Iurie Leanca — scheduled for a meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden — got an unexpected visit with President Barack Obama as well … Russia has strong ties with separatist movements in Moldova’s Russian-speaking region of Transniestria and has not met longstanding pledges to withdraw its soldiers from the country, which it committed to do in 1999.
    As per the 1992 agreement with Moldova, Russia has a right to keep 2,400 troops in Transnistria. However, as of 2006 the number of Russian troops was just 1,500, with between 349 and 385 of those assigned to JCC at any given time.

  72. Haralambos says:

    Dear Col. Lang,
    I recall a post of yours from several years ago about the logistics of supplying US forces in Afghanistan; sorry that I cannot dredge it up. If anyone has thoughts or information on how the US and EU will deal with this compared to Russia beyond what folks have posted previously I would find them very interesting and also informative as I imagine many here would. For whom is this “a bridge too far” in terms of logistics, public support, economic viability: the Ukraine, Russia, the US or the EU? I know these intersect, but it seems to me that Russia might hold the upper hand.
    One further question I have is, “Which population can sustain this, either economically or in terms of popular support?.

  73. Haralambos says:

    The recent events in the Ukraine resonate here in Greece: http://www.thetoc.gr/eng/news/article/ukraine-to-ban-greek-as-official-minority-language
    Greece is where I have lived on and off over 35 years.

  74. Medicine Man says:

    I may be late to the party, but I just read this charming Kerry quote:
    “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text.”
    Holy Hell that’s funny stuff.

  75. DH says:

    ” While in the West nobody cares to ever remember that, Russians do remember the promise made to Gorbachev not to move NATO to the East…”
    Fascinatingly, this was a gentlemen’s agreement. Strange that the President of the USSR wouldn’t have demanded it be put on paper.

  76. jonst says:

    I think Kerry’s trip to Kiev is a huge mistake. To say the least.

  77. Fred says:

    Sadly it is even worse in liberal la-la land of the blogs. Far too many under thirty poli-sci types still trying to kiss the professor’s ass. Of course their own asses aren’t on the line – fighting for their principles in Ukraine (or anywhere else) are for ‘volunteers’.

  78. The Twisted Genius says:

    Justin Raimondo wrote an interesting essay concerning Crimea. He offers a concise history of Crimean struggle for independence since the breakup of the Soviet Union. It’s worth a read.
    Also, much has been made of Ukraine’s voluntary surrender of their inherited nuclear arsenal. Before they gave up those weapons, the Ukrainians tried damned hard to break the codes on those warheads. They couldn’t do it. Only then did they give up those weapons. As Colonels Newman and Lang said, “”There is appearance, and then there is reality.”

  79. confusedponderer says:

    I read an article penned by George Soros, in which he scolded Merkel ‘for not doing more in Ukraine’.
    I think I finally figured out what the American rights real problem with Soros is.
    As long as Soros directs his energies at broaching civil society and perhaps regime changing and inflicting the free market on foreign countries and in particular commie leftovers, they’re d’accord with him. The poor unwashed people of the world need American uplifting, so he is doing the good work over there.
    His cardinal sin is that he does not understand that the US is exceptional! The old fool has not understood that all that talk of civil liberties, freedom and free market was a cold war fighting ideology, a creed not for domestic consumption.
    And that’s why you have the spectacle of loons like O’Reilly ranting and raving about his activities in the US.
    It’s all fine and well when you empower citizens to vote, but heaven forbid it’s the guys who’d vote for the other party.
    Soros acts squarely within the US foreign policy consensus abroad, but at home US conservatives give him no quarter.

  80. Mark Kolmar says:

    Putin has taken a half step too far into the old-time Russian aspiration.
    I am trying to look at the question of The Ukraine from the perspective of someone who would pretend to restore an empire long-gone or reclaim client states. This is a trade toward the past, against a productive future of economic integration with Europe and Americas. Sadly, they will trade a solid claim on a percentage of extraction rather than a gamble on value-add.
    It seems that Putin is willing to wager more on the “Near Abroad” in eastern Europe (or western Russia) than the land and the people can produce now, toward yesterday’s myth for tomorrow’s pride.
    It’s too far for me to evaluate the payoff to Russian oligarchs out of a 2-1/2 world junk heap in Ukraine, that nevertheless has a great deal of potential. Maybe the oligarchs can gain back through arbitrage what they lose from an unpredictable business environment for the Ruble.
    I understand the pride and practicality of the Russian fleet on the Black Sea in Crimea. U.S. and Europe can grant this fact without having to yield to old-fashioned, Russian territorial ambition.
    So Putin’s navy takes nominal control of territory that is already de facto Russian?
    Operations in Crimea are meant primarily to cause confusion. These are a hedge against disruption in Russia proper, even with near-term economic and political costs. U.S. and Europe have different goals and payoffs than the jumble of Putin’s Russian historical fantasy.
    This is a long way to say that U.S. and Europe have very little leverage on the cost/payoff in Putin’s game here.

  81. Ryan says:

    Indeed it has. Limbaugh’s show today was idiotic as well. When he wasn’t engaged in self promotion he was making comments how the military was here to “kill people and break things” and invoking “American exceptionalism” as a round about way of saying he wants the US to get involved in this mess with military forces.
    The other dork you heard Hannity’s equally stupid show was LtC Ralph Peters (ret). He doesn’t seem to realize that the stuff he was accusing Putin of is the same stuff the USG has been doing since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
    To North’s credit he did point out one thing that all these talking heads on cable and the hosts of neocon talk radio aren’t aware of. A high percentage of the supplies to US troops in Afghanistan move through Russia. Needless to say Hannity is clueless about this.
    It’s enough to make one’s head hurt. Cable TV and talk radio are open sewers of lies, disinformation, stupidity and ignorance.

  82. r whitman says:

    I am waiting for one person of any political status in the US to get up and tell the truth—We do not have an effing reason to get involved in the Ukraine. Its not our concern.

  83. On Boston TV Kerry was known as “liveshot.”

  84. J says:

    NATO is holding a meeting on the Ukraine March 4, under NATO Article 4. This is at the request of the Poles.

  85. William Herschel says:

    “Russia is effectively the world’s biggest energy supplier, exporting more natural gas than any other country and more oil than any other nation after Saudi Arabia. Russia is also the biggest exporter of industrial metals and the fifth-biggest consumer market globally.”
    And all the income from that trade goes to a very few people in Russia. Putin must be worried about regime change within Russia itself. Mirror image “military solutions” must be quite attractive in both the US and Russia. And they are…
    Europe, caught in the middle to say the least, may be the last, bizarre bastion of civilization. Slender reed? Nanometer thin.

  86. Kunuri says:

    In Turkish, “meydan” means public square, as in Taksim Meydani, in Istanbul. So it is kind of funny when commentators in the press refer to Maidan Square in Kiev as “Maidan Meydani”, like Major Major in Catch 22.

  87. Thanks TTG and completely agree!

  88. NMS! Reports from Ukrianian authorities picked up in EU indicate Russian deployment so far less than 20,000!

  89. IMO a wonderful comment! Thanks!

  90. MK! A great comment with which I agree!

  91. Tyler says:

    I wouldn’t have had Vicky Nuland mucking about in Russia’s near abroad and then act surprised when we got our crank slapped for backing the violent ouster of a democratically elected President.
    This is akin to us being indignant if Russia backed the ouster of Mexico’s president and replaced him with their own choice.

  92. Tyler says:

    The lack of intellectual depth and rigor on the part of the mainstream Right has been obvious for years, but the minute there’s a chance to go to war the same idiots begin to salivate embarrassingly. Currently listening to Mark Levin and its non stop KGB THUG KGB THUG as if the KGB was composed of soccer hooligans. Of course the thread that I notice between Hannity, Levin, et al is WHAT WOULD ISRAEL THINK? Speaking of that, he’s reading Washington’s farewell address in between boosting Israel. Hah.
    With the exception of Buchanan, there’s been a significant unwillingness on the part of many on the Right to recognize that Putin’s autocracy has many similar social goals as the paleocons. Instead you’ve got these cold warriors prostrating themselves in front of the gay altar, defending Pussy Riot and generally making fools of themselves.
    The sooner the Right can jettison the old fools dressed up as liberals and “deep” thinkers, the sooner we can build up an intellectual canon that makes sense instead of this neo liberal globalism spreading its legs in the name of “trade trade trade”. If there’s going to be a renewal, its going to have to come from the Alternate/Dissident Right.

  93. Tyler says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised – look at the idiots we have running the show: neo liberals who believe in bombing anyone who doesn’t believe in gay rights and abortions on demand. The lefties love the idea of military power being used to push their insane agenda. A world where leaders stand up and defend blasphemers like Pussy Riot (who should have faced a firing squad IMHO) is a world gone insane.

  94. Tyler says:

    No way! We’ve got to stage some more color revolutions and invite a few more countries into NATO! That’ll show those Russkies we mean business! Maybe send a few homosexual tranny diplomats to let them know the gloves are off!
    In other words the lack of actual sensible counsel is depressingly status quo for this country. As I said before a while ago, I imagine that in the NoVA area there’s a run on top shelf liquor as all these Cold War old hands watch the mess being made of what they worked so hard to achieve go up in flames.

  95. Tyler says:

    Let’s be honest: Soros’ line of particular insane globalist egalitarian nonsense is pretty much supported in spirit by many of the faux conservatives that populate the US. Like you said Team Red/Blue.
    Not that neo liberal tolitarianism is desirable.

  96. J says:

    Here is a video that is said to have been banned in the Western media’s regarding the ‘peaceful’ Ukraine Demonstrators:
    Украина Видео, которое запретили во всех Западных СМИ

  97. J says:

    Talk of sniper activity:
    Украина Снайперы Вести недели 23 февраля 2014 ДМИТРИЙ КИСЕЛЁВ ЕВРОМАЙДАН!!!!!! КИЕВ

  98. J says:

    There is definitely some info ops at play with the current imbroglio.

  99. Bobo says:

    Stephen Cohen was on that Brit Twits show last night providing a very sensible and calming picture of what is transpiring in the Ukraine. The Twit comes out and calls him a “Putin Apologist” which Cohen completely flips around. Oh! For the days of Larry King someone who always had an ear open so others could talk themselves into stupidity. Appreciate the tip as the man knows his stuff.

  100. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They will do that even if they harm them; they are all suffering – to varying degrees – the consequences of economic war against Iran but they are not leaving that war.
    EU Policy is a US policy-lite.

  101. Ryan says:

    Well, we still have Pat Buchanan.
    He has been speaking out against this idiocy pertaining to Russia for years.

  102. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think the entire approach of NATO to the Russian Federation after 1991 reeked of containment.
    I think it was un-necessary.
    It is perhaps too late to revisit the issue of European Security and I think the only satisfactory resolution for the Russian Federation would be the dissolution of NATO.
    You may find these useful:

  103. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Again, I take issue with the phrasing “US Foreign Policy Consensus”. For myself, this phrasing puts the entire burden on US while absolving EU states from their responsibilities in cases of Palestine, Syria, Iran, Yugoslavia, and now Ukraine and Russia.
    I think a better and more accurate phrasing would be “NATO Foreign Policy Consensus”.
    For example, within the “NATO Foreign Policy Consensus”, enemies of Israel are enemies of NATO – which seems to be supported empirically.

  104. Castellio says:

    They did what they intended. They had a fire sale of Russian state assets in a rigged auction where friends were funneled appropriate monies to buy.
    The current Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve, previously head of the Bank of Israel, played an instrumental role in the strategy.
    The neocons continue to run America. It is not good for Americans.

  105. Ryan says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Other than Pat, I know of no one of comparable status. Like you, I’ve also noticed that these mouthpieces find a way to work Israel into the mix. Some of this is simply a Pavlovian response, but I suspect the rest is pushing a script. What passes as the “conservative movement” today is nothing more than controlled opposition.
    It’s funny to listen to O’Reilly run his mouth about Putin and Pussy Riot. Bill refers to this “rock band” in the most general way and never tells his audience the actual name of the band or what they did to get them thrown in jail in the first place. Considering Russia’s history I think they got off lightly. O’Reilly’s hatred of Putin is pathological.

  106. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In regards to Justin Raimondo’s essay; I think this is business-as-usual as far as great power politics is concerned.
    I personally do not think it was necessary but the leaders of that politico-military alliance of 1 billion people – a.k.a. NATO – set themselves the objective of pushing Russia out of Europe – a futile undertaking when the past history of Europe is considered.
    We are observing a reaction now to that policy; Russia was pushed too far – in my view.

  107. Ryan says:

    You must be talking about Piers Morgan. He’s ghastly.
    Cohen’s latest article on Putin and Russia.

  108. NancyK says:

    Thanks for your replay, agree with you completely.

  109. DH says:

    I think you sell short the concept of buffer states and broken encroachment agreements. I would say it’s not being paranoid when they really are out to mess with your head (missiles in Poland, etc.).
    But as someone alluded to below, this also seems very wag-the-tail, for both Russia and the US.

  110. Matthew says:

    BM: It’s difficult to take tough action when your closest Ally is Russia’s biggest money launderer. See http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/03/uk-seeks-russia-harm-city-london-document

  111. Matthew says:

    Tyler: Globalism promises too much. The problem with building a “financial/knowledge” economy is it still depends on a real economy underneath. The Ukrainians naively believe they will benefit from the EU like Poland. Problem is, Ukraine will not be allowed to send its excess laborers to Europe (unlike Poland); Ukraine will not benefit from those laborer’s remittances to boost its national income; and the EU, which is broke, can only make money in Kiev by imposing the “shock doctrine” on Ukraine. And,unlike Greece, the Ukrainians will get no “front side” benefit of “reform.” As you know, the Greeks at least benefitted for a few years from cooking the books.
    Last year, I attended a speech where the ex-President of Mexico bragged about his country’s “low unemployment.” Well, that option will not be available for Kiev.

  112. Tyler says:

    Guys we can all relax!
    Kadena Air Base just hosted its very first drag show!
    Glad we got priorities in this here military.
    So what happens when the New Diversity Army meets the modern equivalent of the New Model Army?

  113. Ryan says:

    You’re welcome and thank you in return for the link. This professor impresses me.
    I remember at the time there was some stories about the removal of the armor from Europe. It wasn’t too long I found that story about the return.
    It’s funny. I have some books by “Victor Suvorov” (Vladimir Resum) where he wrote referring to the Soviet Army and central Europe “we like Europe” and will never leave. Well, they did and we can see who won’t leave. I’d love it for these countries to tell our “leaders” to take the troops home. The sainted WWII has been over for years.
    Yeah, 1st Cav. I bet TPTB wish now they hadn’t stood down 2nd AD back in the early 90s. They would enjoy the video as well.

  114. Tyler says:

    The Tribe seems to be pretty upset Putin stopped Obama from kicking off WWIII so they could settle a beef with Assad and the Christians he protects. Its also amazing how many of these R2Pers are Jews of the liberal bent, claim that they are non practicing, but spew out that tikka olam/heal the world bullshit as their excuse to meddle.
    Reilly is a whore constantly angling for the next wind (re him and amnesty), and I doubt many Americans understand what happened with Pussy Riot beyond “muh civil rights”. Meanwhile painting a swaztika or hanging a noose anywhere in America is a high crime that requires the expertise of the FBI and then gets hushed up when inevitably it turns out to be staged.
    Instead of welcoming Putin’s message of something other than endless Slutwalks and abortions, Reilly and the rest of the whores mouth empty platitudes. I shouldn’t be surprised – kvetching about Miley Cyrus gets you eyeballs, discussions about civics not so much.

  115. Anna-Marina says:

    1. The economic sanctions are already in action and this only makes the Russians into the supporters of Putin. Why punishing the general population by leaving some without a job (the suspension of technologies and machinery is part of the sanctions) instead of punishing the monied elites? Or this is too much for the moneyed US parvenus making political decisions re Russia’ bad behavior?
    2. The Crimean peninsula has been fought for by the generations of Russians. The gift of Crimean peninsula to the Soviet Republic of Ukraine in 1954 involved zero (0) of popular participation, just an authoritarian gesture. Russia does have its fleet on the Black Sea and 60% of Crimean population are Russians. There is going to be a referendum on March 30th. The referendum is an attempt at democratic solution in the context of dangerous escalation. This attempt seems as the most offensive for warmongers. And is it really surprising that Putin behaves opportunistically?

  116. Tyler says:

    And they kicked him out! That’s the state of the mainstream Right!

  117. Ryan says:

    Here’s a transcript of Lew’s speech to the traitors of (A)IPAC:
    While I would like to believe that Netanyahu is ticked off with the spotlight off this convention I note that he may very well be happy. (A)IPAC does its worst work in the dark to America without the benefit of scrutiny.

  118. Tyler says:

    I think this is the first time.

  119. Charles I says:

    The Putin’s in another world meme was repeated everywhere o the msm news last night.

  120. Charles I says:

    Perhaps he has a no-Western view of the value of paper.

  121. Charles I says:

    Well he’s already pledged $1bn of your credit. He will reinforce dangerous illusions while offering no real plan to regain the Crimea, and no doubt hopelessly embroil you in the recriminatory and incendiary politics aimed at new elections in the rump.

  122. Charles I says:

    Blasphemers, infidels, no doubt your Gods will sort them out, mine don’t care, but execution for hooliganism seems a bit excessive.

  123. Fred says:

    Meanwhile in Syria Assad has delivered 1/3 of their chemical weapons for disposal:
    In the US the left wing NPR says they are way behind:

  124. DH says:

    Short of Kerry being assassinated, this is par for the course. Sometimes I wonder if being a pompous windbag makes Kerry more useful.

  125. Ryan,
    If there was ever an example of the dangers of trusting defectors, Rezun/‘Suvorov’ is it.
    Although Robin Ramsay, who runs ‘Lobster’ magazine, is a leftist with his own biases, he is a thorough investigator and an honest man. What he had to say about ‘Suvorov’ in a talk given in 2001 is, I suspect, substantially accurate.
    (See http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/articles/security.htm )
    The study ‘Icebreaker’, which Rezun/‘Suvorov’ first published in articles in Russian in the late ‘Eighties, and then in English in 1990, is an attempt to rehabilitate the ‘appeasement’ view of the relationship between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union – also held by George Kennan.
    It prompted two book-length scholarly rebuttals: the 1998 study ‘Stumbling Colossus’ by Colonel David Glantz, probably the leading Western authority on the military history of the war in the East in 1941-5; and the 1999 ‘Grand Delusion’ by the Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky.
    Whether when he published ‘Icebreaker’ Rezun/ ‘Suvorov’ was again writing to please his ‘handlers’ in British intelligence is an interesting question. Among other things, his account allows elements in the British right to duck uncomfortable questions about their possible share of responsibility for the outbreak of the Second World War.

  126. crf says:

    Well, many of his other opinions are very kooky.
    But I agree with his analysis of the Ukrainian and Crimean situation.

  127. crf says:

    Maybe the west is running a double bluff with Russia. I think they know that Putin is concerned with protecting Sevastopol, which Russia cannot allow to be risked in any way. I think they know that his actions in the Crimea and motivated by this goal. So they know that his acting reasonably and predictably.
    On the other hand, they know that what he is doing is going to weaken him, the Ukraine, and his relations with other states on Russia’s western frontier. The west desires this.
    The US is deliberately provoking Putin. And he is playing along.
    On the other other hand, the lessons China, Korea, Japan and India are going to learn from this episode risks butchering the peace in that region. The US is a lynchpin of that peace, but the machiavellian nature of the US now on full display in the Ukraine will cause every nation in pacific to hugely discount the reliability of the US as that peace broker. I can’t see how any of that is in the US’s interests, because doesn’t the US genuinely desire territorial and governmental stability in the Pacific region?
    So the US play in the Ukraine may be too clever by half.
    Or maybe Kerry is just an idiot (He has form from his time in congress). I think Obama needs to fire him, find a way for Putin to save face, while having Putin admitting at least some joint responsibility in causing an unfortunate crisis.

  128. kao_hsien_chih says:

    If true, this will provide everyone with the way out, assuming that the Galician nationalists and their pals in Washington don’t want to turn everyone into glass. It is unlikely that Russians actually want to invade Ukraine per se, or occupy much of it, as long as they can get suitable guarantees that Ukraine will not be used against them. In the final arrangement, which, if it works, will likely be worked out by Germans and Russians–and to the exclusion of the US–Crimea will be effectively part of Russia and there will be some penalty to be paid by Kiev (I don’t think they’ll be required to take Yanukovych back, but some sort of accommodation of/guarantee for Russian/East Ukrainian interests will have be implemented). But there will be plenty of opportunity for such compromise to be torpedoed along the way.

  129. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I think one of the problems is the combination of militant secularism by the left and the trivialization of religion by the megachurch right. For many people around the world, religion conveys more than just convenient belief: it defines their identity, tradition, way of life, and “meaning.” It is something that they will fight and die for, and, at the same time, to kill and maim for, not just something to blab about loudly once a week. Jihadists take the idea of killing infidels seriously. Their adversaries know this and are willing to fight to the bitter end for their way of life. Russians will not look kindly upon blasphemers–and nobody in the West mentions that the jailed women are not even members of Pussy Riot, having been kicked out by the rest of their band! All these make no sense to the chattering classes in the West.

  130. Fred says:

    Even worse is the bloviating in the media yesterday about the ‘interim” Ukrainian government appointing “Western” billionaire kleptocrats to replace the “Eastern” ones because the “people” are more supportive of them. Obey your billionaire.

  131. kao_hsien_chih says:

    CIA seems to be advising the POTUS that Russian military moves may be considered justifiable under their treaty rights…

  132. Thomas says:

    “.. a recent graduate of Oxford, where he had been a member of the exclusive Bullingdon Club, a notorious drinking society known for its rite of wrecking the restaurant furnishings after raucous dinner parties.”
    First restaurants, then countries.

  133. Thanks for the link Babak!

  134. Thanks Matthew! Terrific link!

  135. FDixon! Is there a link to Russian agreements with the Ukraine on defense arrangements? No rush!

  136. J says:

    From Monday Feb. 24th:
    Max Blumenthal: Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?

  137. Thanks TTG! Article rings true to me!

  138. Matthew! Do the Ukraine and Crimea have a joint banking system and central Bank?

  139. rjj says:

    Does this guy not give a damn about his mortgage or his employability? Perhaps I am misinterpreting what he says.

  140. WH! Its not Civilization Europe defends it is its coffee houses and cafe society. Immigrants excluded of course!

  141. Thomas says:


  142. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Ukrainian nationalists do have a habit of assassinating meddling politicians from other countries, even those who (kind of) support their causes:

  143. DH says:

    “Despite, or perhaps because of, being a relative moderate in policies toward the Ukrainian population, and a supporter of peaceful cooperation, he was assassinated in 1931 by two members of the radical Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.”

  144. Thomas says:

    China will support Russia because they see what is going on. The recent terror attack in Kunming will be proved to be another instance of Saudi influenced ETIM striking at them.So the ally Saudi Arabia, whose wayward sons flew planes into our buildings and Riyadh responded by slaughtering sheep in celebration, sends more jihadis to keep attacking and the US blames China for it.
    Whenever they previously asked for verbal support from the State Dept on terror attacks, they received a lecture on minority rights. Last summer this policy led to one commentator question if the problem was an issue of competency or sanity? As we can see with current events it is both. Who would you trust and stand with?
    And with the way India has been treated economically and diplomatically, count on them to side with Russia and China in the future.

  145. Mark Gold says:

    UK not supporting any real sanctions on Russia as this hilarious leek shows: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/04/o-10-ukraine-sanctions-gaffe-city-profits-diplomacy-britain-russia . Too afraid of tanking their own economy by closing the City to Russian $ and crashing their real estate market.
    People carrying secrets should beware of telephoto lenses 😉

  146. Charles I says:

    They have their martyr Stepan Bandura.

  147. Will Reks says:

    Tyler, who actually believes that? Neoliberalism is more of an economic philosophy than a liberal version of neoconservatism. Those types of people would be Wilsonians or liberal internationalists. I know of no prominent thinkers or politicians who advocate going to war to spread abortion or gay rights. That would definitely be insane and it doesn’t really exist.

  148. Charles I says:

    yeah a month ago they msm reports were they were at 5% and running way behind. Who picked the June deadline anyway, surely we’ll be hearing more about it.

  149. Tyler says:

    Kerry, Powers, Rice… Hell, the entire foreign policy apparatus had a conniption about Russia being anti-pedophile. Unless you’re parsing words here demanding exact quotes.
    And neoliberalism IS a liberal version of neoconservatism – its the same idiots at the helm.

  150. Tyler says:

    When the pendulum swings back, its going to swing back hard.
    I don’t know of too many people who deface Mecca because the response would be just as severe, if not more so. We could use a bit of that sternness.

  151. Tyler says:

    Please specify what’s “kooky” if you’re going to paint with a broad brush other than Gawker style performance posting.

  152. Tyler says:

    I would say that Faith has been subverted by Mammon and the State. You don’t have to look at megachurches to see a corrupted institution. Check out how the Catholic Church in the US has become addicted to money for social welfare, the Lutherans import more Somalis for that sweet sweet refugee resettlement cash, and all the rest.
    What a mess.

  153. DH says:


  154. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the link. I will check it out as I have heard these accusations made against Resum and am curious to see the other claims. With “Icebreaker” I asked David Irving if he thought Resum’s claims about the existence of OPLAN “Groza” were true. He replied he did. I’ve read the book and some of it I find believable because I have been able to check it against other sources. Some of it not so much and I can see how an argument can be framed against it.
    I’ve seen some of Glantz’s writings on this, but haven’t looked at them in depth.
    Whether he’s a fraud or not, I will say this. “The Liberators” is probably one of the funniest books I’ve read.

  155. Tyler says:

    Or Occam’s Razor says that the US is lurching from response to response with no real clue what its doing since all of its primaries were busy in finishing school or schmoozing while Putin was making bodies go cold in Gorky Park.

  156. turcopolier says:

    David Glantz? certainly not a fraud. pl

  157. Ryan says:

    Krauthammer certainly is. He was on Special Report and O’Reilly’s clown circus. He and Bill were visibly angry at Putin, calling him a thug and other terms of endearment. Krauthammer wants to send troops over to Poland and fly more aircraft along the border of the Baltic countries. I have a better idea, send Bill and Charles over to Russia to confront Putin. After Bill gets through whipping him Charles can run over his mangled body numerous times with his wheelchair. That’s show him whose boss!
    If people really believe his show is “news and analysis” they never will grasp the reality of our situation with things like amnesty or cultural Marxism and who is behind them.
    Seriously, one thing I really enjoy about Putin is how he is able to pull the chain of these hypocritical, lying neocons and R2P lunatics. Some of this is downright funny to me.
    Dennis Kucinich was on, too. Bill thought he would make him look stupid but it turned out badly for O’Reilly. Kucinich didn’t pass up the opportunity to point out all the meddling done by the CIA, the NED and USAID. To these he added how the legal govt. was deposed by a mob. Bill could only respond with the “you’re blaming America” crap. There are a lot of things I disagree with Kucinich on, but I do consider him to be an honorable and honest man unlike O’Reilly and Krauthammer.

  158. Fred says:

    Even better the French are not going to cancel the sale of two Mistral class helicopter (assault) carriers to Russia.

  159. optimax says:

    Israel states that the antisemetic slurs spray painted during the Kiev riots were done by pro-Russian agents. This came out about the same time Bibi was talking with Obama. I wonder how much it cost us for Israel to support our propaganda.

  160. Tyler says:

    Yeah, Kiev can’t ship their lower class to a first world country right on their borders and then demand “rights”. Mexico’s hypocrisy in all things makes me sick.
    The liberal tolitarianism of the EU is still tolitarianism, which isn’t something a lot of Leftists have figured out.

  161. rjj says:

    DH – Putin press conference “optics” is interesting – no table, no podium, no barriers, no visible security sitting on same sort of chair at same level as press.
    is that standard?

  162. fanto says:

    Matthew, I agree totally with your comment. The role of Poland is that of US puppet, with the help of people put in their ruling circles by the US (his wife is Anne Applebaum, as noted here before); Poles use the russophobia now, but they may come to regret it. Instead trying to be independent from uncertain help of the West – they stupidly put all eggs in the Western basket, wait until they get fooled again (as in 1939).

  163. Ryan says:

    I didn’t say he was, colonel. What I wrote was I haven’t looked at Glantz’s writings on Resum. In due course I will.
    On the other hand I have read some of his books and am going through his book about Operation Mars, “Zhukov’s Greatest Defeat”. Glantz has done some excellent work in the department of forgotten history or in this case suppressed history. I’ve studied Barbarossa for years and the Soviet attacks in August and the offensive launched in November usually rate only a paragraph, if even that much. Paul Carrell, the author of “Hitler moves East” may have written about these, but I don’t remember, having read the book years ago in high school. I can well understand why the Soviets would ignore this, as Model kicked the hell out of “the general who never lost a battle”, but why the Germans either ignore it or downplay it is a mystery to me.

Comments are closed.