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Sunday, March 16, 2014


To no-one's surprise, Crimea -- home to many who speak Russian and hold to Russian cultural norms -- has voted to join Russia. True, the White House is speaking of "violence and intimidation," but we have no proof for such charges. Something like three-fourths of the Crimean populace showed up to vote, far more than the 50 percent needed to make the results binding. Afterward, the people celebrated. Nobody had a gun to his or her head. No-one has made any serious attempt to claim that the vote was rigged. The Crimean people voted precisely as one might have expected, given their growing resentment of Ukrainian rule -- for example, Russian-speaking Crimeans don't like the fact that their language has been phased out of classrooms.

How is this election being played on Slate?
What It Looks Like When Putin Steals Your CountryI
Hm. In 2003, if the people of Iraq and Afghanistan had been asked "Should the Americans go away now?" -- what kind of results might we have seen? Apparently, observing the democratically-determined will of the people is no longer what America stands for.
In the Los Angeles area, about 10 years ago? The San Fernando Valley wanted to become their own city. However it required a vote of all of Los Angeles to allow it to happen, and the rest of Los Angeles did not want the separation.

So the question is, if there is to be vote in Ukraine, should not all of Ukraine, including Crimea, vote as to whether Crimea should secede?

Same thing with the civil war in the U.S. The entire country would have to vote to approve the south seceding, no?

Why should it be different for Crimea?
Well, one argument would be that Ukraine itself has been part of Russia -- off and on -- for hundreds of years. I, for one, did not applaud the severing of the two back in 1991. But who was I, then, that anyone would listen to me on that subject?

I lived in the SF Valley at the time you mention, Alessandro. The Valleyites who voted in favor of secession were misled by an infuriatingly deceptive ad campaign. Basically, the sole purpose of the secession drive was to allow landlords in the Valley to jack up rents sky high by getting rid of L.A.'s rent control laws.

Those laws are themselves wholly inadequate, because they apply only to long-term occupancy in building built before -- is it 1975? I think that's the date. Somewhere around that time.

Primarily, the people who lived in rent controlled units were older folk on fixed incomes. Once people understood that the whole thing was a scheme to dump grandma and grandpa on the street, they turned against secession.
Putin is an arrogant suppressor, and the elections resemble the Old South, but how would we react if Puerto Rico suddenly got a majority of dissidents and Russia chimed-in on our turf? I suspect hypocrisy would once again prevail.

Interesting history, Joseph.

Have you been following this?
I am pissed at the steps the American Empire has gone to, bringing us closer to yet another war.
I still hold to the concept that Obama has been undermined by the Nuland/Kagan neo-cons embedded in the State Department.

If I am correct, we will see an agreement occur with Russia. Let them have Ukraine, that's what the locals want.
If not, we are in for a world of hurt.

Also, Germany is softening their language on the issue.
As has been discussed, there has always been a "third position" tactic generally used by fascists that would ally Germany with Russia.
Perhaps that is what the neo-cons really worry about.

Incredibly informative article on Ukrainian neo-Nazis written by a Ukrainian.

"The Nazis Even Hitler Was Afraid Of"

These quotes are from the woman who wasn't ultra-nationalist enough to get the job of Minister of Education in Ukraine.

"What is forced Ukrainization at the pre school level ? Irina Farion was a favorite for the Minister of Education slot, until a discussion behind closed doors in the Senate. Sergei Kvit from Trizub (Yarosh core group), a real Ultra-Nationalist, got the nod instead.

Here is Irina Farion speaking to a little child: What is your name? Misha. It's not Ukrainian. You are Mihailo!

And your name? Masha. You are Marusa. But my mom calls me this! If you want to be Masha, go to Moscow!

Don't call other children Russian names. It is degrading. It's like calling them an animal that lives in the woods and walks on all fours."
Dojo Rat

"Also, Germany is softening their language on the issue."

From George Eliason's article I posted a link to above;

"EU politicians that supported the Maidan Revolution are voicing concerns bordering on fear about how much control Ultra Nationalists have over the government in Kiev. Chancellor Merkel's government is telling her she can no longer afford to ignore the Ultra Nationalists in Ukraine. They are scared Germany will be responsible for setting up a new Reich."
Joseph, the Los Angeles (aka San Fernando Valley) Daily News was taking the position that the San Fernando Valley was not getting its fair share back from tax revenues. They would cite statistics showing that the Los Angeles was not getting its fair share from California, and that as a large microcosm of Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley was being shortchanged again.

I think the Valley voted for secession but lost when the other areas around Los Angeles had their votes added in.

Still would like to see the entire Ukraine area, including Crimea, vote to see if there is a majority in support of a Crimea secession.

Crimea wins either way, if they secede, they win, if the vote is no, it means Ukraine wants them. Think Sally Field at the Oscar Awards saying "You like me, You really like me."
Still would like to see the entire Ukraine area, including Crimea, vote to see if there is a majority in support of a Crimea secession.

Alessandro, I don't get it. By the same reasoning the Serbs should have been allowed to vote in the Kosovo independence referendum. They weren't, and the US and the West is refusing to acknowledge a Crimean referendum that has a similar political background. The UN explicitly provides for self-determination by population groups (although the preconditions are not altogether clear). But you can't dismiss a 97% referendum vote as having never occurred or having no significance.

We are now hearing media reports of Ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine harassing supporters of the central government. This contrasts greatly with previous media accounts that the harassment was the other way around! Still, it's a nice bit of Western PR spin. A bit like my local paper featuring a video on "Russian Nazi Skinheads". Nice one! When the Nazi inclinations of the new Ukrainian government start to gain traction immediately promote the idea that the real culprits are the Russians! Sheesh!

"Crimea wins either way, if they secede, they win, if the vote is no, it means Ukraine wants them."

Ukraine may want the real estate but not the people in Crimea.

Having Nazis running Ukraine is no small matter.

"According to translated news sources within the country, Ukraine interim representative threatened Russia with nuclear weapons, if Russia does not remove their troops from within the Ukrainian borders.

Mikhail Golovko said in a live interview that,“Russia can not win in this situation, it is a violation of all international norms and guarantees … If they are violated, we reserve the right to recover a nuclear weapon. Resume nuclear status and will be quite different to communicate, “ he said.

Golovko said that Ukraine has all the necessary technology to recreate nuclear weapons, for these purposes must be “3-6 months,”"

hat tip to Ian Welsh
Another very informative article on Ukraine at Consortium News, "Corporate interests Behind Ukraine Putsch" by JT Sottile. It describes the big American agricultural interests chomping at the bit to develop Ukraine food production.

The article does fail to mention that the International Monetary Fund package which Yanukovych turned down (resulting in the coup) called for ending the ban on foreign interests owning Ukrain's agricultural land.
Then the U.S. should have never had a civil war. the south wanted to secede, they should have been allowed based on the Crimea logic being used.

In a Ukraine wide vote, if Crimea votes 95% for becoming part of Russia, then the rest of Ukraine can vote no by a certain percentage and Crimea will still win.

Less than a majority in the rest of the Ukraine and Crimea still wins, lets have that vote.
Send something like this to your President or Prime Minister, and to the Russian embassy in your country:

"I'm appalled by your unqualified support for the populist coup in Ukraine, which has not received any validation through popular vote, and by your intention to punish Russia for the outcome of the blatantly more democratic referendum in Crimea. You do not represent me, in your rhetoric or your actions in this matter and I intend to make that very clear to diplomatic representative of Russia".
Kievan Russia, or Kievan Rus, is widely recognized as the birthplace of the Russian state. By the 9th century, Kiev was the main city of a Slavic state (the first Slavic state) that was a center of trade with advanced architecture and literature. It came to a final end about three centuries later when the Mongols invaded.

Sevastopol in Crimea is home to a Russian naval base so for this administration to cry and scream that Russian has armed forces in Crimea is ridiculous. And I really would like Obama to answer why he gave his approval to the ejection of the elected Ukrainian government when new elections were scheduled for the end of this year. Either you're for the democratic process or you're not. You don't get to pick which elections you approve of.

Nuland was appointed to the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian and European Affairs in 2013, well within Obama's terms of office. She was appointed even though (of because of, depending upon your point of view) she is married to Robert Kagan, one of the co-founders of PNAC. If he didn't know about her background, he should have.

A video of Vicki can be seen on youtube where she addresses the representatives of the corporations just itching to carve Ukraine up. A screen displaying corporate logos, including a big Chevron logo, is right behind her. Just search on her name and "Chevron". The speech was given last December, just before the putsch. "F&*^ the EU" Vicki mentions the $5 billion that the U.S. has "invested" on Ukraine while talking about "the European future" the people of the Ukraine "have chosen". And she really pushes IMF loans.

And what Felix said.

Fran G

So today (3/18) I’m listening to BBC news on the radio. Ukraine is the top item. And with bated breath they describe a Russian provocation, an event that just screams, False Flag!... A vehicle pulls up to the front of a Ukrainian military base and a bunch of guys in Russian military uniforms jump out and shoot one guard dead. Another is injured in the arm and neck, another has head injuries from being beaten with iron bars. And the commander of the base is kidnapped. This really sounds like the work of a disciplined elite military unit (sarcasm intended). Iron bars?

I can’t for the life of me imagine a possible reason for Russian commanders to order such a clumsy operation. I can easily envision though, an Ultra Nationalist group doing this as a provocative ruse to increase tensions. It’s right out of the playbook.

And from McClatchy News today, another event right out of the same playbook... actually a replay.

"KIEV, Ukraine — Apparent Russian snipers opened fire on Ukrainian troops in Crimea on Tuesday, killing at least one, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin officially asked his Parliament to accept Crimea into the Russian Federation."

Read more here:
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