The moment I saw this headline
-- "Ukraine ceasefire agreed at Belarus talks" -- my first thought was: "DC will find a way to screw this up." How's that
Merkel also confirmed that Putin put pressure on the separatists to agree a truce.
This turn of events places our propagandists in a bind. The neocons have portrayed Putin as the imperialist to end all imperialists. The American people cannot be allowed to know that Putin was the one who told the separatists to cool it.
The Voice of America
, in a rather desperate attempt at spin, is saying that Putin was "cornered" into a deal by "a rising fallout in Russia from Russian citizens dying in the fighting in eastern Ukraine." What hilariously hallucinatory horseshit! The Novorossia forces are winning in the field, the Ukrainian military is in horrible straits, and potential Ukrainian conscripts are fleeing the country -- to Russia!
-- by their thousands.
Moon of Alabama
believes that the new agreement won't stop the war. This (says MoA) is just the pressing of the pause button; the IMF will use its financial power to press Ukraine back out onto the battlefield.
I'm trying to be more optimistic. Poroshenko knows that he is running out of troops, that his people are sick of war, and that American hegemony has its limits.
The last-mentioned factor may be the most important. Germany and France don't want this war to continue, and are refusing to follow orders from DC. Zero Hedge
ran a good piece about all this the other day...
Despite John Kerry's denial of any split between Germany and US over arms deliveries to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier slammed Washington's strategy for being "not just risky but counterproductive." But perhaps most significantly is France's continued apparent pivot towards Russia... Following Francois Hollande's calls for greater autonomy for Eastern Ukraine, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has come out in apparent support of Russia (and specifically against the US), "we are part of a common civilization with Russia,” adding, "the interests of the Americans with the Russians are not the interests of Europe and Russia."
The BRICS alliance is solidifying, and the Europeans can see where the future lies.
Incidentally, Robert Parry published a good piece yesterday on the NYT habit of airbrushing out the swastikas
Though the article provides much color and detail – and quotes an Azov leader prominently – it leaves out one salient and well-known fact about the Azov battalion, that it is composed of neo-Nazis who display the Swastika, SS markings and other Nazi symbols.
But this inconvenient truth – that neo-Nazis have been central to Kiev’s “self-defense forces” from last February’s coup to the present – would presumably disrupt the desired propaganda message. So the New York Times just ignores it and refers to Azov as simply a “volunteer unit.”
What’s particularly egregious about this omission is that the connections between the Azov battalion and Nazism have been well-documented for months and even acknowledged by officials of the Kiev regime, who knowingly sent these and other extremists into the battle because they are the fiercest fighters.
Odd, isn't it? When "our" proxy warriors place actual SS insignia on their helmets, the NYT refuses to notice. If you ask about their swastikas, you'll be told: "Relax. It's nothing. Boys will be boys." Yet we are continually warned about a "new anti-Semitism" elsewhere in the world.
(Those warnings are old news. I recall reading a book in the 1970s about "the new anti-Semitism" which was supposedly sweeping through America. To prove that this imaginary problem was real, the authors pointed to the popularity of that notoriously Nazi-fied musical Jesus Christ Superstar
. As older readers will recall, that's the one in which Yvonne Elliman sings "I don't know how to goosestep.")