Thoughts on Ukrainian nationalism, Feb. 2014
by Patrick Muldowney

Over in Ukraine ‘Christmas gifts’ are being unwrapped and all sorts of stuff is coming out from under the shiny paper that everyone wraps things up in. Hard to tell the real value of the ‘gift’ even when out of the paper, but it’s virtually impossible while it’s still wrapped up in paper. What’s the value of a V8 ute to a 18yr old high school student compared to a 36yr old builder?

Christmas only comes once a year, but wise people acquire gifts all through the year and they are put away for that one special day. When the day approaches a tree is set aside and decorated in the current fashion. The hidden gifts are then wrapped up in that shiny paper and left under the tree for anyone to wonder about.

By Christmas Eve most of the gifts have arrived and the pile sits there overnight in unseen beauty. The mystery of the decorated packages is only solved in the frenzy of opening and sometimes not even then. ‘Have I got what I asked for?’ is the unspoken thought from the children.

The kids get to the task of unwrapping the gifts, even if a beloved grandmother that bought some of them during the year has been dead and buried for months. They unwrap what is there and then make of it as they will!

They may have received blank paper and paints. It may be a model; or a flag; or a history book written by somebody with an ‘interest in promoting human rights’; or even a book written by a person keen on free and fair elections for a proportionately representative parliament that are IMV the foundation of those human rights.  It maybe a Crucifix the old woman had thought a sacred object and when it’s unwrapped a discussion might start that leads all the young people into a more solid understanding that they just don’t share the old ideas.  On the other hand it might get put up on the mantle piece and everyone begin a fervent prayer just to get the old girl out of Purgatory.  Who knows what the naked apes of Ukraine are making of the 21st C.  What is evident is that they are divided over how the country ought to orient it’s form of capitalism.  I think the majority favor a western lean away from what many see as ‘the old foe’ and half of the remainder would want to get more distance between themselves and Putin types generally.

We all know from experience that just as people change so do the organisations that they set up. It’s only in Neverland where people don’t change.  Self evidently many Ukrainians understand (even better than Syrians) that Putin is their enemy and that any political leadership that draws their country closer to Putin is to be opposed and struggled against.

The Irish up against the English is the best example of how a national movement of the Ukrainians against the Russians ought to be thought about, right down to the massive loyalist presence in a concentrated part of the country. The National question is still being resolved in Ukraine and Georgia and right across that big slab of territory north of the Caucuses that Putin has been waging his ruthless city smashing wars in for years.

Al Qaeda sorts thrive in the swamp that Putin is maintaining. Putin has not changed course and is not part of the solution to the national questions; or the struggle for democracy; nor women’s rights; or gay rights; and so on. His nonsense is a blockage to the swamp draining that extends right up into the Ukraine and beyond that. East European development is way behind Norway and the rest of the exemplar Scandinavian countries – even if the Norwegians have to deal with rightwing terrorists.

Putin keeps Assad’s air power going and democrats want to see that it gets smashed to bits.

Because the strategic grand plan is to fight oppression by uniting the many to defeat the few, we look to the current demands of the Ukrainians as Steve directed our attention with respect to the Sunni demands in Iraq.

Whatever the past role of Ukrainian nationalism way back at the time Stalin was coping with his problems, the current struggle is a no-brainer because the Ukrainian people are against Putin’s Russia.  I guess that the largest block of Ukrainian people want their government to resign and they want new elections to form a new government to lead their country away from Russia and towards greater connections with western Europe.  If they got that outcome it won’t solve all their problems anymore than the problems are solved in Ireland, Spain or Greece and I suppose that is obvious to them as they can see for themselves how bad things are in those Euro countries; but at least they will be that much further away from the system that Putin is running!

As with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt there are more than just a few “very conservative” democrats in the Ukrainian context, and just as there are Salafi parties that are more reactionary (and less democratic) in Egypt there are the equivalent in this part of the swamp.

As Arthur said re Egypt;

‘Anyone democratic is inherently less reactionary and conservative than the various “progressive” parties of the secular opposition who actually want to go BACKWARDS towards the Mubarak era.  So emphasizing the conservative or reactionary character of the brotherhood is likely to give a misleading impression to people who are unaware of how bad the opposition to the brotherhood is.’

My view is that issues that blow up this big ought to have been brought before the people in Referenda. The situation is well beyond that now and new elections are now how the issues of the Ukraine can be resolved. There is that, or a reasonably quick descent into the civil war scenario.   I think the police and the army would ‘quickly’ shatter and the country then divide along the two ethnic lines.  The Russian dominated regions – absent Putin meddling – would after a few months or whatever time it takes would lose out to the Ukrainian nationalist forces but Putin would/will meddle.  Eventually we could then see Putin’s tanks cross the border in the manner that he did with Georgia a couple of years back.

It is a little different to Georgia, but the resolution of the national question is at the heart of the issue and these are both historically ‘Promethean’ movement inspired countries.

Anyway the new Pinochet in Egypt has more support I’d bet than does the current friend of Putin running the show in Ukraine, where I’m sure ‘it isn’t just the disgusting liberals and “left” that have faith in the army’ [but like Egypt] ‘if a Syrian situation can be avoided (as has been successful in Tunisia) then it is well worth trying to avoid it.’

Nations do want liberation and Putin works against them. Countries do want independence and Putin won’t let them have it, and as far as I can see the peoples’ do want a revolutionary change in the way they are governed by the knuckle-dragging-ruling-classes, and their increasingly inbred ruling-elites. Oh and Putin backs the Assad sorts!

Supporting the fight for democracy I have endorsed the COW liberation of Iraq. I don’t pretend there is a fight for socialism in regions threatened by Putin, but there is a struggle for national liberation and democracy. I have no trouble working out where to stand. As in the Syrian case there are unsavory sorts all over the place, but that was the way it was with the struggle for national liberation in Vietnam, and in Ireland as well for that matter.

62 Responses to “Ukraine”

  1. 1 admin
  2. 2 admin

    As per ABC 24 Australia – despite the truce an estimated 25 are dead amidst the most serious clashes between protesters and government troops. The Ukrainian parliament has banned the further use of live round ammunition, and EU sanctions are on the cards. Barack Obama is also set to implement consequences if things do not improve quickly. Elections seem to be the best way out of this quagmire that has seen the streets near Independence Square turn to a war zone.

  3. 3 patrickm

    It doesn’t matter whatever the exact numbers are because no one doubts that ‘many’ Ukrainians believe that their last elections were crooked. New elections are now set for May 25. Crooked elections aren’t any good, but that seems enough time to ensure that they are both free and ‘fair’ in current context (and also organized so that they are seen to be so) That whole process of course will be the focus of Ukrainian democrats and it would undoubtedly be progress on what the peoples of Ukraine have had up to this date. So I hope for progress and we will know soon enough what those next electoral developments are.

    After such a worthwhile contest no ‘socialist’, communist, Marxist, or radical leftist of any kind will get the numbers in the new parliament. They won’t get the numbers and they won’t even make a good showing and whoever does win will have zero prospect of ‘fixing’ Ukraine’s current capitalist economic woes.

    No good pulling down Lenin statues, or for that matter putting one up of Marx just to pull it down. Essentially conditions will continue along the same path of ‘suspended’ development as is Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy etc., with no Lenin statues and massive levels of unemployed youth, hanging around or the over 50 dead end to employment etc.

    Despite all those years of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary struggle that came out of the horror of WW1 and the civil war period, the country of Ukraine is no doubt most marked by that other period of massive suffering before WW2. (and then the backwards and forwards of that total war) but it’s a long time ago and new generations have new problems.

    Whatever happened in the past, large numbers of those people who believe that recent elections were an act of theft that gave them their hated last government finally took action some months ago.

    They wanted rid of their President and that’s what all the various demands reduced to in the end. The protesters have got their way and the issues for them are those of the present. 88 lives down and elections are now only one part of the way forward. Plenty of other people otherwise concerned about the way their country’s economy was going down the drain in 2013 took to the streets as well and they stayed there quite determinedly occupying some public squares etc., while the weather got cold and stayed that way.

    The fighters won and now they want a future.

    For quite a while no-one from the state wanted the public spaces handed back. Then the authorities ordered the people to go home. The state authorities were directed by the ‘elected’ government that paid them. The demonstrators wouldn’t go to their homes! They defied the authorities and directly challenged them with barricades and so forth. Then they fought and wore those authorities down.

    Who is being paid now and why? Follow the money. Why ought the police who they fought be paid and they who fought them not?

    Those that have paid with their lives last week have left their mark on Ukraine. Their comrades and families require that somebody pay a price in their turn. Who is responsible beside the kleptocrat president? Authorities!

    After such a drawn out test of strength we now know the result is the president no longer felt welcome in the capital or even in the parliament. He thought it best to flee and reporters don’t know where he is. He will turn up (eventually) but he might not want to I suppose. After all he knows what he did to his opponents and so he is now probably just concerned with his own future. He would have no wish to be arrested and tried for any crimes but by the time such people are on the run it’s generally too little too late.

    According to MSM reports his personal guards were shooting as they fled. He will be looking for another country and what’s more he knows that sooner or later he will be held to account in the west so he won’t go west.

    I reckon Putin would rather he was killed than turn up in Russia. But Putin doesn’t always get what he would like in his Christmas stocking. None of us do. Whatever happens he will try to make the best of whatever turns up. In the end Grozny has shown what Putin has the stomach for.

    At any rate no one assumes that columns of his Russian tanks (often built in Ukraine) will be crossing that western border any time soon. The world has changed considerably since those tanks drove on FROM Ukraine across Slovakia and spread out right across Hungary ten years after WW2.

    It was mid 1941 when the first wave of Hungarian tanks had come east along the same roads to crush Bolshevism and they were – it must be said – often greeted as ‘liberators’ in parts of Ukraine.

    That thinking changed in all directions as the conflagration of WW2 unfolded and that is so long ago now that babies born then are long retired now. This is not the first time statues of my beloved Lenin have been pulled down by Ukrainians.(with or without what would at least appear as good cause) On reflection perhaps genuine Leninists ought to have removed them many years ago and put up statues of Campbell’s soup!

    Whatever the status of statues, nothing is as it was before Christmas. Some people have started to think about revolution and perhaps read Lenin while others burn his books. In some parts of the country Lenin statues are being pulled down and in other parts they are being defended. Statues don’t just play a passive role in an active period either and on reflection the destruction of just one statue can announce the arrival of 30 years of ‘troubles’. There is not just one statue in Ukraine but I would bet there is a long march of troubles ahead for the Ukrainian peoples’.

    Over the protracted course of any ‘long walk to freedom’ the readers of books will get the better of book burners and build the new statues for the 21st C.

    The upshot is that after all that’s gone on since masses of people with all sorts of views took to occupying the squares months ago and working out their demands and their own protection etc., new elections are almost in view.

    The underlying issues that drove the people onto the streets will return. How are the bills paid? Why have some people got jobs and incomes and others line up for soup? Those who fought on the barricades could hardly be keen on allowing those they fought to keep their jobs and income and they themselves to remain jobless and once more really ‘out in the cold’, what would be the point in that? How can they protect themselves? Why do some people own so much?

    Unemployment has arrived as the issue of the time for the Ukraine. The heroes who faced the snipers and are still grieving for their dead are not about to learn how to run a society from Italy, Iceland, Spain or Greece and they know what lurks to the east. Nothing but tyranny and loan shark gangsterism lurks east.

    They are also not looking to the west for lessons on sustainable tyre burning and the benefits of a carbon tax. The silence from all the usual suspects of the western pseudoleft announces their difference like a bugle. If this revolution isn’t stamped with the mark of an enraged working class I don’t know what would be.

    Both the old leaders (one from the Oligarch class just out of a jail and the other an evident kleptocrat on the run) have lost any election winning levels of support. The people of Ukraine have moved on. But it is the deep state of the judges and police and so forth that have convicted and have released the political prisoners. It’s they that have directly let loose the snipers and THEY intend to continue in their jobs. Just as army thugs carry on as the ‘law’ in Egypt. Why ought they keep receiving their pay?

    Authority slipped directly into the hands of the armed fighters in Ukraine. The revolution requires more armed masses protecting themselves from the ‘authorities’.

    Compare the Occupy Wall Street protest and that airing of the 99% V 1% analysis. Whatever is thought of many of the people involved in that minor sleep out – this Ukrainian stuff is a serious insurrection by any measure. We haven’t seen anything like this in any other industrialised country ever and it didn’t drop from the sky either; it’s been built by a leadership schooled in the earlier ‘orange revolution’ experience. This revolution has been brewing, on and then off, for decades. I doubt that ‘it’ can all just go away with elections and IMF ‘money’ flowing to the new authorities.

    People take to the streets as a personal effort to air their frustration and build unity with others and this fight has sucked all manner of ‘frustrated’ people in, and has everyone talking and responding to each other. So everyone is trying to think!

    Hooray; the debates between them have run very deep and after months of all the talking the target for the frustration is undoubtedly the 1% Oligarchs and bureaucrats and the extended talking has isolated the 20% that directly or more indirectly served that 1%! The focus on the presidential ‘palace’ is just the obvious good stuff that points the way forward. Above all else the concentrated focus of the people’s hatred are the paid snipers and those that are also paid that ordered them into action.

    These events came as a surprise because the authorities thought that the cold would defeat the occupation and that they would go home! The ‘wise’ heads counselled patience. Revolutions were for spring and here they were in the middle of the freezing cold winter! By the time the authorities realised their mistake the initiative was already in the hands of the protesters. The cold favoured the protesters. The technology of rebellion was simplified.

    Ukrainian people in the vast majority don’t own Ukraine but they’d like to see new elections that were conducted in an above reproach manner. So whatever unfolds in the very short term I think such an electoral struggle is central to any revolution as it develops through the inevitable proportional power sharing arrangements.

    All that, will no doubt be good stuff and something for all manner of democrat to build on but still it won’t get the capitalist Ukrainian very far because capitalism is in trouble right across the world markets. Unemployment and the effects on the working masses is not going away this year in Ukraine and it’s these ‘minor’ problems that have more indirectly led to this stage of the democratic revolution.

    The economic crisis is still to break out and though it’s spreading country to country money still functions. What would happen if it didn’t? New authorities must still make their world function.

    The other day a friend said ;
    “Wow I did not predict the Ukraine as the next state to fall…
    Chechnya, Uzbekistan, Turkey even, but not the Ukraine. (it’s a bit like Lithuania revolting)

    If the ‘democratic revolution’ happens in Ukraine, then Russia is next? How does that reconcile with the filthy rich Oligarchy?”

    I’m not so surprised by Ukraine developments.

    I’ve long thought that countries that are still caught up in their struggle for independence – against whatever former imperial power was in the way of the progress, would continue to be the cutting edge of the struggle for human progress in the 21st C, and IMV the most prominent obstacle in the world was and remains Russia under the revanchist Putin.

    Back in August 2008 Georgia popped up as a new issue below the region of ongoing oppressive war north of the Caucasus and at the time I thought;

    ‘I think communists ought to argue that bourgeois democratic developments, and now flowering revolution that Georgia is experiencing (while Russia falls further into Putin’s gangster grasp) is a political distinction that has to be made not just in 2008, but from well before the 1990’s at least to the 1960’s.

    Georgia’s greatest allies are countries like Ukraine that face the same threat to their further democratisation. It is a Russian threat and the U.S. is now in favour of bourgeois democratic revolution spreading, and the alternative Democratic Administration of Obama will not be able to seriously reverse this trend in the Middle East or anywhere else.

    As social democrats or as communists we are for democracy. That is to say we are for voting in free and fair elections, and for proportional representation in representative parliaments(within a state with an effective separation of powers under agreed to constitutions).

    As communists we are for the establishment of “We the people”, and of course, we the people are for the suppression of gangsters, bandits and any other counter-revolutionaries resisting the achievement of these extremely modest aims. These rights are good for the peoples’ of Nepal led by Prachanda, and they are good for the country of Georgia with all the national minorities involved in both countries. (And they are good for the country of Iraq with the national and sectarian divides that are being struggled with in that area of revolutionary struggle)

    Putin and ‘his Russia’ is currently an enemy of the spread of democracy. Everywhere his army goes they oppress the people and hold back their struggle for democracy.

    Who else is resisting these aims in the country of Georgia and combining with Putin to defeat the country of Georgia’s various peoples’? What justifies any dismemberment of Georgia by Russian troops for these political forces? What is the policy platform of these forces evidently being supported by others on this thread?’

    We at Strangetimes were once asked “How does your analysis of bourgeois style democracy fit in with the Marxist concept of class dictatorship?” Now we are being taunted over the ‘right-wing’ leadership of the current struggle in Ukraine. Yet the requirement for a revolution in Ukraine is almost as self evident as is the requirement for the revolutionary resistance to the Syrian tyranny. Around the world there is a lot of ‘it’ about. Venezuela, Thailand, Greece, Egypt, Somalia through to Western Sahara. This era has the smell of revolution and people can ‘follow the money’ easily enough.

    The U.S. once produced a class similar to what is running around in Russia and the Ukraine right now.

    I have Putin in mind as the very symbol of what people are directly up against right across ‘the swamp’, but all us western leftists know they are also up against the oligarchs in the same way that the classes of the U.S. became pissed off with the degree of power that the ‘robber baron’ few wielded back when…

    Arthur has observed that a;

    ‘failure to correctly analyse how bourgeois democracy and class dictatorship are related strikes me as being very central to the absence of a communist movement at present. The sharp problem of being simultaneously allied with the bourgeoisie in some aspects and fighting it in others seems to have always resulted in swings between social democratic reformism and puerile sectarianism without ever producing the kind of advance Mao made for developing countries with the concept of New Democratic revolution.’

    One current fact is that there is no communist movement in Eastern Europe and as we can see on the MSM Ukrainian revolutionaries are having a grand time pulling down the odd statue of Lenin that is STILL hanging around after all these years since whatever revolutionary soviet union died out with Stalin, or if people prefer even earlier! If there was a statue of Putin around they’d pull that down but one must make do when pulling down states and statues.

  4. 4 patrickm

    Latest news is that Putin has given the crook safe haven. Well that’s good news. Putin had no real choice and it does him no real good either!

    There is an unmistakable revolution unfolding in Ukraine tending to level the place away from oligarch power and this brings some degree of common decency to the parliament.

    It must expose where people actually stand on various issues as they are now thrown up day by day and will no doubt clear out the worst scoundrels throughout the bureaucracy. It has good stuff well overdue written all over it. All western leftists side with this Ukrainian revolution in all its complexity and confusion and mess! I have never seen anything in any advanced industrialised country quite like this.

    Naturally Pseudoleftists are either silent or worry about NATO meddling, and Lenin statues being pulled down and tattered old five pointed stars being removed from the pinnacle of the Parliament building. There are all sorts of people contributing and that is exactly the environment that will suit democrats who are genuinely concerned with the well being of the masses. A perfect opportunity for any Marxists that are around, or start to sprout to contribute to any progress forthcoming from this round of struggle.

    I think Putin will respond to what ‘has gone wrong’ in 2014 from what he might see as a failure to act. He will take the reverse course and act ‘now’ after some sort of provocation or incident to ensure the ‘safety’ of all Russians and preserve all Russian interests. The result will be columns of tanks and they are already being prepared for this eventuality.

    Putin is not happy and in Assad manner is likely to blunder his way into a long drawn out disaster by using military force to undo the 1950’s Khrushchev border.

    As far as I can make out the numbers will continue to go against Putin either way this goes. All the ‘other’ peoples’ of the old empire will continue to be hostile to revanchist Putin and his supporters. More liberal Russians will continue to be revolted by the direction that Putin drags their people. I see no direction for him to turn to gain more mass support unless others make bad errors. The current revolutionary leadership are doing well in reassuring the Russian section of the population and warning Putin to keep his troops in their barracks etc..

    Putin has been around a long time and the Russian masses would be pretty sure by now he isn’t concerned with their well being. Assad hasn’t done him any good over the last couple of years. Gays and the more broad minded conservatives especially the internet gen youth could hardly be happy with him. He has been gathering a few enemies.

    The exposure of his kitsch cleptocrat mates is not doing him any good either.

    Any revolutionary with a perspective of proletarian liberation could only be happy with the fall of the current authorities and the bleating of Putin and his thugs. Putin and his crew has long worn out their welcome internationally among western ruling classes and their ruling elites.

    Inside Russia, the further away from Moscow the more Putin rules by terror and the more he is being struggled against but he still has a big support base and he has a good measure of the Obama era NATO countries leaders. They only look good by comparison but they all look real good by comparison to what this bastard has done for years in Grosny and what he has been and is supporting in Syria.

    This Georgian bourgeois leader is worth reading to pick up on the VIBE

    Because ‘times are tough’ there is a huge struggle for more democracy very noticeable in Eastern Europe. It’s not just that the swamp started draining after the political liberation of Iraq, it’s consequential over this period of time from all directions. This current movement for more freedoms comes with a multi-decades old history and baggage of the ‘wild west’ style freedoms gained after the collapse of the old -revisionist- USSR.

    I notice after Iraq the spread of the struggle for freedoms in the Middle East caused a massive disturbance to the stability of the region. Leftists without that perspective and often confused about what liberation is all about tend to focus on Tunisia and the one young man who had had enough there. His death undoubtedly caused the spark. As the old saying goes ‘everything is connected to everything’.

    Both perspectives are worth thinking about. But the liberals and conservatives of the mainstream and the pseudoleft that tag along behind them are turning their heads away and dealing with issues like Boko Haram is not on the agenda of western anti-imperialists and anti-war activists like the StWC. Just silence about Africa or another hands off chant.

    I note even Obama has had to promise to help in dealing with this lot.

  5. 5 patrickm

    Russian troops are taking control of key points and massive numbers of troops will now follow;

    the die is cast and the invasion and occupation of whatever Putin has decided to grab control of is now underway. It can’t be the lot. But it will be a very big chunk.

    Europe and the US will have to find ways to make him pay an economic price.

  6. 6 patrickm

    Never a dull moment with Putin’s Russia.

    If Ukrainians handle this patiently and move forward in small steps then Putin will gradually be isolated and be left looking like the thug that he is because this can’t just be about Crimea. The national divisions that have been in the Ukraine from the start are still there – but there are less Putin supporters now on both sides of his border and that will be the case when he faces elections again in 4 years time.

    IF the Ukrainian revolutionaries deliver more democracy and direct more efforts at solving the economic issues and they keep control of their hot heads, that’s an eternity in the current context; he is 61 now and I am confident that he will try to retain power for another 6 year term when he is 65 and if the trend continues he would have to rig the election to ‘win’. But what the world will look like by then well… What he requires is drama now. He wants an excuse and if he can’t get one he will create one.

    For now this is the most important type of map

    When it comes to the middle to long game the Crimea is only the first bite and the invasion of the ⅓ plus of Ukraine that Putin wants ‘back’ in the fold and in his tender care – for the sake of all Russians no less – is still to unfold. But come it will as the one area makes little sense by itself -you only have to look at the map to get the bigger picture that Putin will want to deal with.

    At some point, after laying claim to be the protector of all the Russian peoples’ in territories that the current Russian state borders, Putin will no doubt make the inevitable ‘I have no further territorial ambitions’ speech. But as GWB once remarked of Putin in deadpan delivery ‘with some leaders you never know if they are telling you the truth but with Vlad, you always know’.

  7. 7 steve owens
    The failed American adventure in Iraq has lead to American inaction over Syria and now Ukraine?

  8. 8 patrickm

    Would you mind attempting to connect the link to your sentence. The link seems to be just an attempt to promote your anti communism and spread lies about Stalin ‘killing’ Tartar peoples when they died during the events of WW2.

    Anyway it was your sort that actively wanted the US people to elect Obama and it is now evident that Tweedledee McCain is the leader that they would have been better electing.

    History is being made by the POTUS that is there. The pseudoleft and the realists are marching in lock step. Now what do you say ought to be done?

  9. 9 steve owens

    The link? Yeah sure. The US went on a big Iraq adventure that just failed.
    Now like their failure in Vietnam their failure in Iraq had consequences. The US became risk adverse because of their failure in Iraq. Now they do almost nothing to help in Syria and so more people die than necessary because the US is too tentative to do quite modest stuff. Now we come to Ukraine and the US flip flops into quite strange stuff sending a warship to the Black Sea and 6 Hornets to the Baltic. Really does anyone think that the US is going to take on Putin when they went to water over Assad.
    If Putin wants the Crimean peninsular no one will stop him, moving assets around by Obama fools no one. The US wont fight over a piece of territory where integration back into Russia is actually popular.
    You and McCain can do all the armchair generalship you want, you like him command zero forces.
    If McCain was President he would do exactly nothing.
    McCain still clangs like broken bell but hey the world is full of leaders who have no followers. (cough cough)

  10. 10 steve owens
  11. 11 steve owens

    More bullshit posturing
    Putin supports Assad because Assad lets him have a naval base in Syria.
    Anyone who thinks that Putin will allow the naval base of Sevastopol be walked into the anti Russian block aka NATO doesn’t understand Russian history. Sevastopol for gods sake. Cities in order of heroics in the Great Patriotic war go Stalingrad, Leningrad, Sevastopol I recon.

  12. 12 steve owens

    If you read this through to the end you will notice that the dogged defense of Sevastopol tied up troops that Hitler could have used at Stalingrad.
    Also there’s a nice picture of Putin paying tribute to those who defended Sevastopol.
    Oh yeah Putin’s going to give Sevastopol to NATO yeah get real

  13. 13 patrickm

    I don’t want to be unkind but there is a flavour of you talking to voices in your own head at the moment. ‘Oh yeah Putin’s going to give Sevastopol to NATO yeah get real’

    I’ve not said anything about Putin backing down. He has his own motives for this aggression and he will play this out as he sees fit. I have no need to get real. I just think that this issue will not stand still and everything go back to normal after a little while, like I think some people are wishfully thinking. I also think Putin has been predictable and predictably nasty.

    I have already indicated that this reminds me of the (long) Irish national question, but I think it’s far more serious and much could go wrong and could eventually see some minor events spin out of ‘control’ and into a wider conflict.

    I don’t believe that Putin ought to be let ‘get away with this’ either and have said so, though dealing with the issues ought not start with some sort of armed struggle. I think that hot heads and agent provocateurs are a real concern.

    I get the feeling that you think it would be best if Putin were let get away with it, is this correct? Whatever your views are the question was ‘what do you say ought to be done?’

    Just slow down a bit and remind yourself of why we are even putting our thoughts down and making them available. As I recall you said ‘we’ should at least keep this site clear of spam and ticking over even if we couldn’t think about what to do next right now. OK we are doing no more than that here, so stop with the above style, and at any rate it’s boring. Try to answer the questions because they are not anything that are self evident to me and the exercise can’t hurt us.

    You’re somebody with an ‘interest in promoting human rights’ and a person keen on free and fair elections for a proportionately representative parliament, and so am I. So let’s build our thinking up from there. Putin is playing democrat with a referendum what do you say about that?

    I think Russian outsiders are moving in to do Putin’s dirty business. He won’t let anyone in to see what is going down and the minority are being tyrannised and that is going to get worse. What’s more I can’t see how this will stop in the Crimean peninsula either. Consider also the reason that it became part of Ukraine – that’s the natural connection for most trade plus power, water etc.

    You say ‘Putin supports Assad because Assad lets him have a naval base in Syria.’ fine it may be as ‘little’ as that, but here is a point of U.S. leverage that I would like to see exploited over the next couple of years as this struggle unfolds. This is yet another reason for Obama to put more effort into the Syria debacle. I think we agree that the FSA type Syrians could stand more help.

    I think we might also both agree that Georgia and the region north of the Caucuses are hostile to Putin and now the entire border to Putin’s west is very hostile, and all manner of wise precautions and economic shunning will be his ‘just reward’ for his behaviour to date.

    Belarus is currently being run in the manner that Ukraine was when this round of struggle started back before Christmas. I imagine that the crook that runs that joint is not loved by very many of his people anymore than people anywhere love their politicians when they have been around awhile and times are tough and they are corrupt running dogs for foreign masters. But I don’t know the details of yet another country. It’s the usual plot I would have thought, but if you want me to admit that the devil is exactly in the detail fine I think we can agree on that.

    Russia has a growing internal resistance to Putin and this is bound to grow if the youth face the common problems that are currently spreading right round the world.

    Ukraine points to the big problem across all the old soviet territories. For example the 3 Baltic countries are loaded to the gills with Russians that Putin might want to ‘protect’, despite them not actually requiring it at present and half of them loathing him and all he stands for! He has repeatedly stirred Russian chauvinism up in the south why not stir north next? I don’t claim to know what is going to happen next but, Putin can’t in my view have yet another win and move onto his next target.

    Just try to answer the bigger questions and stop the anti commo slant just for now. Just remember the particular communists and fellow travelers at this site are very keen on genuine democracy and have a track record of deeds to prove it.

    You say;

    ‘The US went on a big Iraq adventure that just failed.’ and so Now like their failure in Vietnam their failure in Iraq had consequences.

    OK you just say what BUSH intended to happen and how that is not happening.

    Oil is out of the picture and installing puppets out, and he always knew that the place was a swamp that would end with islamists in power if elections were the way things ran. (because he was authoritatively told so) So what exactly are you saying Bush did not achieve, because despite all that he still ordered the troops in to depose the government and facilitate the elections?

    There was an entire political movement in 2002-3 that the masses took to the streets behind – essentially following the realists and liberals. It was huge and then almost disappeared once people understood that this war would NOT be like Vietnam and it wasn’t. The masses walked away from the movement and listened to the real debate then re-elected Bush, Blair and Howard.

    When they did put in the other Tweedle it looked much like the usual swap turnaround.

    You say;

    ‘The US became risk averse because of their failure in Iraq.’
    I agree that they are risk averse but this could be because of the cost of their success, no?

    Obama’s world view has left him consistently wrong footed IMV. For example he opposed the surge and so did the rest of the anti-war movement. If the U.S. failed as you say they have, then I guess you think that the surge failed and that Obama and the anti-war usuals were correct all along. Yet here is me still saying the cost was worth it and demanding that you compare the cost to Syria and stay away from the so-called high moral ground because it does not exist. Stop pretending that it does. There was never any cheap way for this regions ‘naked apes’ to get past their mass murdering oppressors.

    The extremely hard to accept truth is that the COW liberated the Iraqi peoples’ as clearly as did any WW2 army liberate anyone. For christ’s sakes look at Nth Korea right now.

    It was hardly wrong for the Soviet armies to defeat the horror of the Japanese armies AFTER dealing with the German, Rumanian, Hungarian, Finn and other rightist armies and lots of Ukrainians and Tatars and so forth in the west! Instead of spreading lies about bad old uncle Joe killing Tatars when they died in the course of this gigantic war that had no precedent and was unavoidable cast aside all illusions talk about genuine complexity and prepare for more genuine messy struggle.

    It is a classic conundrum for the ‘peace’ mongers of our time that the threat of a missile strike by Obama is producing the handing over and destruction of Assad’s chemical weapons. Those threats were credible because forces were moved into place to do the job and the attacks were really imminent. All of the required actions were opposed that finally brought the outcome the good of which can only be denied in Neverland in a private huddle of the pseudoleft; until one of the more idiotic members blurts it out publicly and shames all into turning away in silence.

    Obama sought to press a reset button with Putin’s Russia! How is that working out?

    You say
    ‘Now they do almost nothing to help in Syria and so more people die than necessary because the US is too tentative to do quite modest stuff.’

    ‘They’ is actually Obama; the modest stuff is to get dragged along to join with NATO and deal with the Libyan war. But the U.S. military did have to do the heavy lift. Or do you mean join with virtually all the world’s countries and make war to liberate Kuwait? That is modest stuff in my book.

    While there is a role for the drone war I am sure that Obama is not a good war leader what do you say to this thinking?

    You say;
    ‘Now we come to Ukraine and the US flip flops into quite strange stuff sending a warship to the Black Sea and 6 Hornets to the Baltic. Really does anyone think that the US is going to take on Putin when they went to water over Assad.’

    No I don’t think anyone does. But governments are not going to simply do nothing either. This can go in any direction. These military moves are very mild but it would be ‘strange’ if they did not make them, and that appears to be what you think would be preferable.

    You say;

    ‘If Putin wants the Crimean peninsular no one will stop him, moving assets around by Obama fools no one. The US wont fight over a piece of territory where integration back into Russia is actually popular.’

    I don’t know that integration back into the loving arms of Putin’s thug state is as popular as the Russian % of the population of that peninsular alone would indicate. There is a real flavour to the way this has NOT gone mass but instead has just been small bands of armed thugs who won’t talk etc.

    Keeping military discipline of the thugs has been the evident problem and so they are now being formed up in ranks and put in uniforms. The whole look of the blokes involved and the style is opposite to what we have seen in the rest of Ukraine in the Christmas period building towards the revolutionary overthrow. That different flavour is the whole ‘vibe’ of proletarian involvement in a bourgeois revolution. This Putin scam has reactionary bullying stamped all over it.

    You say;

    ‘You and McCain can do all the armchair generalship you want, you like him command zero forces. If McCain was President he would do exactly nothing. McCain still clangs like broken bell but hey the world is full of leaders who have no followers. (cough cough)’

    Don’t be ridiculous a contest of ideas exists and Obama had to talk before people voted for him. Ideas have to form up before people can talk and contest elections. The strong can grow weak and the weak strong so let’s have no more of that. The struggle to change people’s thinking could never be conducted with this attitude and you know it.

    IMV informed people know that McCain would be doing things differently even if you don’t. NOBODY seriously thinks the U.S. alternate ruling elite want war with Russia. But actions have consequences. It’s the old known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

    Just imagine the world’s theoreticians and analysts putting forward their thinking in an open honest and above board manner that people can freely choose to make use of or not. Then do so.

  14. 14 steve owens

    Look the Crimean Tartars were not decimated by the “normal” to and fro of war. Six days after the last pockets of German resistance were extinguished on the Crimean Peninsular Tartars were rounded up placed on cattle trucks and sent to inhospitable parts of the Soviet Union. Tartar members of the Red Army were demobbed at the same time. This wasn’t some occurrence of war this was ethnic cleansing, this was collective punishment because some Muslims had cooperated with Hitler and had been taken in by his promises of religious freedom.
    OK so you are not supporting war with Putin, then I guess you are not in support of America sending warships and war planes to the area.
    I really don’t care who rules the Crimea(unless those in charge couldn’t point to some sort of democratic mandate) I do care about people in the Crimea having their human rights observed.
    If I was a Russian Nationalist I would expect Putin to seize Sevastopol and want him shot if he didn’t.
    I don’t think any amount of hot air or sanctions will make Russia give up the Crimea so I will leave the ranting to those with an excess of hot air.
    Id be interested to know what strategies will work.
    As to Bush and his “victory” in Iraq, well may he say save me from such victories. Theres any number of ways to look at Iraq as a failure, the league table of failed states, the reflections of people who whole heartedly supported the invasion who now write articles explaining how it all went wrong. I think the measure of any success or failure is a persons willingness to do it all over again. Just as in Vietnam America was reluctant to put troops on the ground I think that it will be a long time post Iraq before any President voluntarily moves troops into harms way.

  15. 15 steve owens

    It does trouble me that Im conversing with someone who doesnt seem to know basic stuff about Russia. Like being unaware of Stalins ethnic cleansing. I mean you just have to read Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman to realise that world war two Russians took it for granted that wrong ethnicity during the war was a death sentence. If you read the part where the nice old German lady is sent away and everyone knows that she is dead as soon as she leaves.
    But you dont have to read Russian novels theres plenty of straight history oh yes I forgot “lies.”
    I met up with an old Communist who said Steve about Stalin you can believe Socialist sources or you can believe Capitalist sources, why would anyone choose to believe Capitalist sources. So in the end I guess he was right its what we choose to believe. Me I choose to believe what makes the best sense given the known facts but I try to uphold peoples right to get their beliefs from other sources.

  16. 16 patrickm

    I can’t think of any period where ‘co-operative’ economic decisions from financially stressed governments were more crucial for keeping a ‘sluggish’ world’s capitalism going than now. (read shit loads of developed countries with 60% youth unemployment and mass underemployment etc.) So IMV the probable peaceful measures that will be taken as the first part of standing up to Putin, could well tip the world into a depression if the world is not already sliding into it now. That is as bad and unpredictable from that point as it could get I would think.

    So I’ll leave aside the historical diversion you predictably plunge into, and focus on the fact that your current position betrays all the Tatars and Ukrainians and Russians who were doing just fine before Putin responded to an opportunity with his predictable Russian ‘Nationalist’ sentiment.

    Putin’s conduct has remarkable similarities to a familiar German dictator right down to the bare faced lying to the world.

    You say. ‘I really don’t care who rules the Crimea (unless those in charge couldn’t point to some sort of democratic mandate) I do care about people in the Crimea having their human rights observed.’

    The people there have just copped an unprovoked invasion by troops from ‘Mars’, without any flag or declaration of war just a flood of heavily armed Martians!! The world has had a giant Hitlerite lie thrown in our face and you don’t care?!

    Try this;

    ‘If I was a German Nationalist I would expect Hitler to seize Austria and the Sudetenland and want him shot if he didn’t and I don’t think any amount of hot air or sanctions will make Hitler give up the Sudetenland, so I will leave the ranting to those with an excess of hot air. I’d be interested to know what strategies will work.’

    Does that ring a bell yet?

    Years ago when Saddam was compared to Adolf people scoffed that he was no threat to world peace. Would you be comfortable scoffing at the comparison this time?

    I note BTW that Nazi Germany probably didn’t rank as a failed state (bloody good trains) and Syria is a failed state obviously. But here stripped of mealy mouthed words is your answer to a very specific question about Iraq.
    1. save me from such victories
    2. see the league table of failed states
    3. other people told me it all went wrong
    4. GWB is THE person and he would do it all over again but….‘I think the measure of any success or failure is a person’s willingness to do it all over again.’ and ‘I think that it will be a long time post Iraq before any President voluntarily moves troops into harms way.’

    Anyhow you are wrong about my view on the U.S. sending moderate numbers of military assets to Europe. Large numbers of warships and war planes and troops worked with Kuwait and Iraq and with only a few specialist troops Libya. Even disarming Assad of his chemical weapons (plus the troops on the border and doing all the training and satellite work etc.) required more than just a threat it requires a credible imminent threat. You don’t get to credible without taking the first steps.

    I also note drones are still working and Al Qaeda is still kicking on and the lastsuperpower continues to lose superpower capacities and confidence and military budgets are having to be cut. Diminishing U.S. power is nothing new for people who called a site lastsuperpower to indicate the direction that we thought it was all going! By golly it’s gone that way!

    Glad you have noticed something of the 21st C between the anti-communist novels. Now you might like to think about just how bad the ethnic slaughter could get in Africa (where you know Boko Haram slaughtered those kids the other day) unless some more real troops step in to actively intervene! You can stop spitting half truths and distortions about Stalin long enough to say you support the French intervention in Mali and you support the navies of the world dealing with the pirates, just before you get back to the questions you were asked to respond to above.

    As an aside you could note that Alawites in Syria will require protection as well as being the vast majority of Assad’s support and that the regime has to be defeated as part of the bourgeois democratic revolution. Ethnic cleansing is currently in progress in Syria and millions are being driven out of their homes and made into refugees and you want to play games about how many ethnic peoples’ ought to have been shifted back during WW2. As if these issues now were not real!

    Right now Assad is cutting out an enclave in Syria. It is an ethnic war NOW. Alawites won’t be able to keep what he is creating sans Assad! The refugees will want the right of return and will fight for it. No room for any hands off chant there!!

    That’s the sort of problem that you couldn’t face a couple of years back in Baghdad when someone had to deal with the real death squads let loose in the course of a real revolutionary change unleashed in the swamp. We don’t even have to think about the huge real problems of India and Pakistan. (when they didn’t have a Stalin to help sort out the mess) What sometimes had to be done when groups were literally at each others throats might have to be done some more. Don’t go getting caught out on another phoney moral high ground.

    You’re so busy bagging the Georgian – renowned for his expertise on the national question – and painting communists black to even begin to understand the real problems. For Karls sakes give over with the anti Stalin shit. WW2 saw peoples moved around on one side and gassed on the other and your beloved capitalists got the whole show going just like they did in WW1. I remain glad that Stalin led the winning side, but right now I’d rather think about how to stop Putin from furthering his imperialist capitalist agenda.

    As to your 10:16 pm you seem to have missed this sentence so here it is again. ‘Just try to answer the bigger questions and stop the anti-commo slant just for now.’

    Wrong ethnicity and wrong politics during the war was a death sentence and that is why the anti-communist set up Auschwitz and came for communists 1st and Jews 2nd.

    Putin is very keen on protecting Russians, just like the anti-communist was keen on protecting Germans. The peaceful gathering in of the Russians has me mindful of the ‘peaceful’ gathering in of the Germans.

    100 years ago WW1 started and the other night I was watching a show about it on TV the Austrians were hanging Serb children so get some perspective.

    We could think about ethnic slaughtering going on in Syria, and how it was unleashed in Iraq and how death squads got to work – and still do so now – and how this stuff is complex when conflicting ethnicities MUST be separated. Don’t try to pretend that this stuff can be done without a broad brush.

    At some points in the past various peoples’ had to be dealt with strategically (Germans before during and after ww2 for example) and must be separated from time to time is a reality that Stalin was well aware of and so are you.

    We could talk about nations wanting liberation and how to apply Stalin’s very useful work Marxism and the National Question – or we could allow you to escape the current reality of you selling out the Tatar people of the Crimea peninsula NOW with dust thrown up from the past.

    I choose not to let you sell out another lot of peoples’ without being called on it!

  17. 17 steve owens

    Firstly may I direct attention to the Washington Post which has run a number of oppinion pieces about the current Crimean situation.
    Secondly the Grossman novel is worth a read written by someone who was at Stalingrad and about how people coped in those circumstances.
    Thirdly I dont see that the Ukraine situation will lead to a problem of Capitalism. Once Ukrainians experience what intergration into Western Capitalism means then I expect for a period there will be more unrest in Ukraine.
    Fourthly Your idea that measures taken against Putin will tip the world into a depression just seems nonsensicle. The measures suggested are targeting the oligarcy and Im sure that travel bans might inconvienience people who populate Londongrad but just no more than inconveinience.
    Serious trade sanctions would hurt Western Europe and Putin is more likely to invoke them rather than be subject to them.
    The real threat is war and its a strange world but is it really that strange?
    Fithly The wellbeing of the people of the Crimean Peninsular is of concern but so far no lives have been lost and the authorities are conducting some sort of democratic process. My point was that I am unconcerned who rules Crimea, Ukraine, Russia or stand alone independant. What matters is the human rights of the people not the specific administrative structure.
    Lastly I think that there are some superficial similarities between Crimea and the Sudatenland in that both had majorities that favoured either Hitler or Putin but the difference that is significant is that giving the Sudatenland to Hitler significantly changed the balance of military forces in Europe (the Sudatenland having armaments factories and other military assets) while the significant military asset of the Crimea is already in Russian hands.

  18. 18 steve owens

    Patrick I know you critisise me for dodging stuff but you traverse so many topics that its hard to keep track.
    Look at your last entry and keep in mind that we are talking about the situation on the Crimean peninsular,
    You start with a prediction about the coming worldwide depression and then my betrayal of the Tartars, Ukrainians and Russians ok close to topic then its straight to Hitler a bit of a stretch then to Mars OK tounge in cheek back to the Crimea then the world tour Austria, Sudatenland, Saddam gets a look in then back to Germany and off to Syria the US almost steered us back to topic but bang we are in Kuwait and Iraq Al Qaeda appear then Boko Haram, Mali and of course pirates . How can we discuss the Crimea without mentioning pirates. Then Alawites yes its Syria again back to Baghdad, India, Pakistan, death squads, the moral high ground Auschwitz and round it up with some words about WW1

  19. 19 admin

    Steve, GET THIS the big picture is the whole picture…If there is any discussion of staying on track it will be done by a moderator. You have been warned it really annoys me and I am not very tolerant at present.

  20. 20 steve owens

    As I said Washington Post has some excellent opinion pieces maybe you prefer the Rice or Krauthammer pieces

  21. 21 admin

    Cohen piece suffers from anti-Stalinist blinkers as well. Anyone who puts Stalin and Hitler in the same reference as similarly inclined and equivalent is not worth the resources they use to pedal their revisionist propaganda. Personally I thank our lucky stars that there were the great Leninist thinkers who were able to lead the long suffering Russians to ‘victory’ in WW2.

  22. 22 steve owens

    admin Cohen states “but he is not Hitler or Stalin” and in the literal sense he is correct. I think that virtually everyone from liberals rightwards takes it as written that Stalin and Hitler were both equally bad murderous dictators.
    Socialists generally don’t argue this and see Hitler as way worst.
    But virtually any Liberal and any conservative will hold the wrong position on this and if we are going to read their stuff well its just a given.
    Myself I see Hitler as way worse and I can prove that I hold this view because I uphold the idea of uniting with Stalin to defeat Hitler where as I would never unite with Hitler to defeat Stalin.
    The irony is thats exactly what Stalin accused his opponents of doing.

  23. 23 admin

    OK. It is easy to get the wrong impression from your one-liners and the link. So, please don’t bother putting up Liberal articles such as this.

  24. 24 steve owens

    Im glad that the Ukraine crisis is being sorted out by adults oops maybe not. Dmitri Kiselyov on Russian state TV reminded viewers that
    “Russia is the only country that can turn the United States into radioactive ashes.” Hmm a little early isnt it to start talking about the nuclear option.
    Oh well at least on the US side sanity rules oops John McCain describing Russia as “a gas station masquerading as a country” Is this really how diplomacy works?

  25. 25 Byork

    Thousands of Russians have protested in Moscow in solidarity with the Ukrainians and against their common oppressor, Putin. “The Kremlin’s far-fetched “antifascist” pathos proved even more absurd when Russian state media touted “international monitors,” who validated Sunday’s Soviet-style 97 percent result in Crimea’s official annexation “referendum.” The head of this “international monitoring mission” was Mateusz Piskorski, a Polish far-right sympathizer who once headed a neo-Nazi magazine, Odala, that glorified Adolf Hitler and the “Aryan race” and promoted Holocaust denial. The “monitoring mission” in Crimea also included Belgian far-right politicians Luc Michel and Frank Creyelman, and Hungarian ultranationalist Bela Kovacs—all of them, presumably, also principled fighters against “fascism” in Ukraine”.

  26. 26 patrickm

    Apparently ‘What matters is the human rights of the people not the specific administrative structure.’

    Yesterday I saw a presumably Russian speaking man (and presumably Ukrainian citizen) lift up his balaclava and call on ‘comrade Putin’ to come to the assistance of those in the latest chunk of Ukraine who are all of a sudden ripping down the Ukrainian flag. Today, I saw another man keep his balaclava on and muff his lines admitting to being Russian and then correcting himself. Two days ago I saw (in a repeat of the Crimea episode) clearly well drilled ‘martians’ operating for all the world like Russian troops. They can’t be Russian troops because the Russian leadership has told the world that such troops are not in the Ukraine. They can’t be locals either because one of them would want to talk to the world and explain why they are taking charge just like our man calling on ‘comrade’ Putin.

    The whole world is watching a deadly pantomime where so far only a few people have been killed. It’s happening in one sense because there is no free press in Russia and so Putin can’t be publicly shamed out of office. The bourgeois democratic revolution has stalled in Russia and the world has to put up with his blatant gangsterism. After paying a pathetically small but ongoing price for his last acquisition Putin is responding and moving on, in his predictable and stupid manner and now his Russia will pay a far higher price and so on.

    Putin’s none too subtle push has come to a Ukraine shove back and so I expect Russian troops to now flood into Ukraine in hours. Who can be sure from the other side of the world, but that is what it looks like. It may be days away (things usually take longer that I think they ought to), but it won’t be weeks if the Ukrainian troops continue to move towards and within their eastern regions!

    What is going on in Ukraine right now is clearly not a revolution where the masses have taken to the streets. The masses have stayed home and that is where they will stay for now. There are elements on the streets and they have no legitimate demands that stem from their streets and lives. In contrast, the nationalist demands in Northern Ireland came from a clear, real civil rights struggle. No such struggle was evident and required in Ukraine streets. Moscow map makers are at work here! Putin’s thugs are at work, so naturally for the pseudoleft western governments standing up to Putin’s aggression is about to become the real problem. NATO expansion the real problem!

    The ‘martians’ if they did their job very well might have captured most of the territory with only a few casualties and those could of then as usual be ignored. ‘The real threat is war’ don’t ya know! But the ‘martians’ have not been allowed to dictate. They will be stood up to. That provides pseudoleft’s the opportunity to blame those standing up to the aggression for the war when the rest of the Russian forces cross the border and join in.

    What the masses take to be 21st century western leftism is as bankrupt now and as right-wing as was the revisionism ‘comrade’ Putin served in his youth. With phonies all over the western world presenting as left it’s no surprise that the masses of people have difficulty engaging in any sort of materialist analysis of world events. What would George Orwell make of this? Would he recommend unite and be prepared to fight? If ‘we’ don’t do that the powerful WILL pick people off one by one. Putin’s elite troops are now operating (as shown on TV for Karl’s sakes) as the powerful in another chunk of Ukraine. Realistically how are they to be resisted / fought?

    Putin’s diplomats are lying about all this right now but they are putting a ‘credible spin’ to what we nevertheless know is a blatant lie from our own eyes and totally justified inferences. What’s in it for us they say? It is not clear that these parts of the Ukraine would even vote to join Russia; they say; and that’s quite true. The pseudoleft know it as well. Sell out time has arrived yet again.

    Putin wanted to ensure that the new and revolutionary government of Ukraine was bluffed into not acting while he himself was acting from over the border! Some people watch all this and their silence is telling. They are Putin’s enablers. Putin does not want war. Why would he when he can just send in special forces to shove guns in people’s faces like little brothers who can get away with it, because his big brothers are all lined up on the fence just watching. ‘Turn away; come away; don’t get involved; you’ll just make it worse.’ That’s the way a hand full of petty gangsters can rule the neighborhood. Slowly the sell out develops. I get the feeling that soon it will be time for a history lesson.

  27. 27 steve owens

    At least its nice to know that Ukrainian politicians are a measured and considered group not prone to hysterical outbursts

  28. 28 steve owens

    OK so Tymoshenkos a nut job at least we can rely on the religious leaders to preach love and forgiveness or can we
    “The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Filaret accused Russia of “aggression” and “evil”.

    Russian Church Patriarch Kirill asked God to end the designs of those who wanted to rip apart Russia and Ukraine.”
    Not to worry I heard that the US is considering sending troops to Poland.
    I for one am never very happy to hear that anyone is sending troops to Poland it hasn’t turned out well in the past.

  29. 29 steve owens

    Patrick you are correct those Martians are Russians. Photo graphic evidence clearly shows a Russian soldier with a beard and a Martian with the same beard.
    And Putin thought he could get away with this.
    War cant be far away now.

  30. 30 steve owens
  31. 31 patrickm

    BTW Steve are you now prepared to speak out against Putin’s aggression in Ukraine? What do you think of my thinking from 6 months ago? Those ‘martians’ are still Russian troops! Do you accept that this is just a war behind a screen of Hitlerite lying, and that this is no way to move into a modern world fit for proletarian politics?

    Neverland is selling out yet another people while knowing perfectly well that Putin is a lying gangster that all democratic political forces should shun. Check out the brain dead lying censors at Kasama! ‘Maoists’ that follow the trot line over WW2 are just about as weird as it gets in the political junk pile that remains of the post 9/11 ‘anti-war’ anti-imperialist movement.

  32. 32 Red Blob aka steve owens

    Patrick I think your characterisation of Putin as Hitleresk has more to do with hysterical over reaction than sober analysis. This situation gains nothing from military escalation but this is the path that both sides have chosen.

  33. 33 patrickm

    So Putin is a blatant liar and you want to divert the question of what is to be done about the blatant aggression by squawking about what type of liar he is. As GWB pointed out with some leaders one is never certain if they are telling you the truth but with Vlad you always know.

    Give your sober analysis because this war that is underway got started by someone and it is being run by someone.

    I say the Ukraine politicians did not start an aggressive war to redraw the borders PUTIN DID! What do you propose to say about this?

    Am I to assume that the aggression of the Iraqi tyrant and your attitude to that redrawing of borders is the model that you are proposing to follow yet again?

    Why the Libyan tyrant can’t even drive his tanks around Libya but Putin can drive his through the Ukraine is beyond me!

    I say that this attitude obviously encourages aggression.

  34. 34 Red Blob aka steve owens

    Well there was a revolution in Ukraine. I think that after any revolution borders are often redrawn. It was clear that a sizable population in the East were unhappy with the new regimen, they were pro Russian and Im sure Putin was giving them material support.
    In this situation it would have been advisable for the new Ukrainian government to open up negotiations with the rebels there was stuff to discuss and the new government could have offered greater autonomy, federalism or just aknowledgment that the rights of the rebels would get a fair hearing.
    The government decided to invoke the military option which could have worked if Putin had stood aside but I never expected Putin to stand aside and low and behold thousands of Russian troops have decided to spend their annual leave in Ukraine.
    I cant see the logic of the Ukrainian government if they win militarily they will rule over a hostile population in the East. If they loose Ukraine could be set afire by war with a much more powerful neighbour and if they think that they can drag the West in well they are in for an even bigger shock.

  35. 35 patrickm

    You are wrong on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start but the key point is that you are once more handing the initiative over to the aggressor. You accept the narrative of the liar.

    1st this is not an internal breakaway being brutally suppressed by an ethnic majority from another region of an artificial country. This is not about Russian’s rebelling to secure their freedoms after suffering from ethnic repression. The kleptocrat that was overthrown who turned up in Russia protected by Putin is no longer even spoken about! There is no Russian Majority seeking Putin’s protection quite the reverse.

    You are returning to a style that sold out the Tartar people in the Crimea 6 months ago and now you want to sell out everyone that want’s to stay out of Putin’s revanchist gangster grasp. You don’t care that the numbers do not add up.

    The ‘rebels’ did not have the democratic numbers seeking Russian annexation for the local region! The rebels are the isolated thugs that are infiltrating from Russia under Putin’s plan and direction. Those that declared their independence were actually led by the Russian military thugs!

    You always find a way of leaving the aggressor smelling of roses. Instead of taking the initiative and discouraging aggression by demonstrating what a dumb idea it is by ensuring collective security as a policy against those who cross borders with the explicit purpose of annexing territory and securing greater Israel or greater Iraq or Greater Russia you make excuses.

    Now you are supporting Australian air power being deployed to Iraq to confront ISIL as it emerges out of the Obama led mess of Syria. Speak up. Stop fudging about the Ukraine government ruling over a hostile population. Demonstrate some way forward that can legitimately establish who has what support! You are excusing Russian aggression and you know it!

  36. 36 Red Blob aka steve owens

    All Im saying is that the rebels in the East could easily be over run by the Ukraine army but for the fact that Putin wont let that happen.
    Foaming against Putin will not stop him, the sanctions are a joke that wont stop him. If Ukraine ups the fighting they will come off second best. If they are expecting real help from the West then they are deluded. Their best option is to sit down and start discussing what they can salvage.
    This has not got anything to do with what I think is right but is just looking at the facts and suggesting what is likely to bring about a resolution. The other option is WW3 are you advocating WW3?

  37. 37 patrickm

    Your thinking demonstrates why the Vietnamese could never defeat the US superpower. Putin has bitten and now he wants to be left alone to chew. That is a very bad idea. Putin essentially thinks he ought to be in charge of all the territory of the former USSR or as much of it as he feels like grabing hold of and that Ukraine is not a real country at all. He has gambled the same way that the Iraqi tyrant did when he invaded Kuwait. He has nothing good to bring to the worlds people with this gangster conduct. If the world caves into gangsters then the world will always be run by them. Why do you use the NIC Red? It makes no sense whatever.

    Nations want liberation but this is not about any legitimate Russian liberation. Countries want independence and this country has been invaded. The people want revolution and Putin stands in the way.

    If the sanctions are a joke you ought to be advocating more sanctions! Putin is prepared to wage a very bloody war and cut out anything he wants. Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians know what that means for them if he can do to Ukraine what he has done to Georgia.

  38. 38 patrickm
    Northern issues 2 days after Obama gives his speech.
    Obama is attempting to stand up to Putin but it’s not very convincing.

    So – your time to shine – Steve. What’s to be done?

    For those of us who wish to see humanity continue a descent from the trees there is an obvious affront to the civilised peoples of the world happening right in our face. It’s an affront to even functioning at the pathetic level of a bourgeois democracy. It’s been thrown in our face by a thug tyranny straight out of Moscow. It actually looks farcical as it unfolds and the western leaders look gob smacked at the way Putin is treating them in the manner that they treat their peoples! But at any rate there is no real confusion across the planet. Putin’s regime is understood to be an aggressive bully regime that stands as a refutation to the western worlds functioning bourgeois democracies.

    The world is confronting what only appears as ‘mad’ in these bad gangster regimes like North Korea and we also have the alternatives to them ruling from an also reactionary perspective in Al Qaeda and ISIL etc. There is a spectrum of opposition to the functioning of bourgeois democracy. So progressives fight on 2 fronts.

    The way all thugs carry on is intolerable. That is something not to be tolerated. So at a very minimum they must be shunned. In this current situation ought not democrats of any stripe advocate that trade be shut down? Ought not sanctions be ramped up as a policy priority? Just as Israel ought be shunned ought not Russia? Ought not Europe reorient and pay the price NOW as a sort of investment? The former Iron curtain from Stettin to Trieste has moved vast distances east BUT ought not there be an iron curtain re-established this time from the outside? None of these countries that has emerged from behind that former curtain want a bar of Putin’s Russia. Even a Europe that has fallen into a massive recession that is showing no sign of ending; even with all that, looking east brings on nothing but a shudder.

    Moldova then Georgia and now Ukraine have Russian aggressions all continuing and because of the history of that vicious Czarist imperialism – inherited by the revolutionaries that put modernity on the agenda for a short while and now via whatever twists and turns are long gone from the scene and so this bygone era is NOT relevant – the Russian people constitute essentially unloved minorities in all the neighbors and regions that ought to be neighbors but are not permitted their freedom from decisions out of Moscow. What is a left view on all this and how ought we sum up what our thinking has been over this over as little as 8 months.

    Putin is redrawing borders as I said he would.

  39. 39 patrickm

    5 months further down the track in the struggle against Putin gangsterism and ‘your time to shine’ Steve has so far been a bit dim.

    Are you proposing that because there are Russians in the regions that Putin has designs over he be allowed to carve out whatever borders seen fit?

    The country he is now the effective dictator of is not just any old reactionary country it is a true empire. But Russia is not like Britain was when it was the workshop of the world it’s an extractive giant at a time when a boom has just gone bust and there is a glut of raw materials thrown on the international market.

    I understand Russia and China have just signed up to the largest ever trade deal or some such business. What do you make of this? Russia has a weak industrial base as far as any products that any consumer might want goes, but China provides virtually all of that in a one stop shop.

    Ought Europe and the US be pushing harder and increasing sanctions across the board? Ought progressives be demanding that sanctions be broadened and deepened or is it OK to let things slide and stay silent while the ruling classes attend to these things? Sanctions will after all cut both ways, and Europe in particular will pay a big price; but won’t the civilised world pay in one way or another no matter what? The Russians would shove back and this will include surprises as they get creative.

    Putin heads up not just an imperialist power but a massive military power; and is in my view rightly hated by the peoples’ of the world but are there any political forces in the west that are in your view pushing a form of appeasement currently? Would it not be appeasement in its purest form to do nothing while Putin makes war?

    What of trade sanctions? If they are to be ramped up will this be considered aggressive acts that might provoke further conflict? Ought the Russian economy be destroyed in response to his naked aggression? Is that too warlike a term to use?

    Is there going to be any red line placed in front of Putin in your theoretical proposal of how to move forward? Ought the young people of Ukraine now be learning how to use weapons?

    Do you think that Marxists like Mao – those that took a stand against revisionism and old style imperialism as represented by the US imperialists in Vietnam (and so on and on) – have been vindicated by the unfolding of events AFTER Mao identified the USSR as the greater danger to the peoples’ of the world? That is as a danger to those trying to move forwards with their various revolutionary struggles, especially to get to even the miserable level of achievement known as western democracy?

    Is western style democracy now in your view genuinely -generally at least- seen to be in the interests of and thus really advocated (at least for now)by the countries that formerly preached democracy and practiced imperialism such as the US, Britain, France etc.?

    Even if many parts of the world are not operating in any bourgeois democratic manner I think that we working people in the west are now dealing with a system called global capitalism. Greece and Spain are but they have however been fascist dictatorships in my lifetime and the ruling elites of both could attempt to revert to such systems. Do you Steve expect – given the Greek political developments and the economic proposals that are now being implemented for there to be a complete disaster in these and other countries in reasonably short order? Do you expect the Greek and Spanish economies to now implode further as the current creditors are dudded? And do you think this will rebound on those that promised that they had some sort of ‘answer’ if only voters elected them to do the re-negotiations of the loans?

    To me it looks a lot like the masses are thrashing about voting people out rather than these other politicians in. Perhaps throwing governments out after one term could well be expected now as the economic failures are going to be faster than the ‘usual’ political cycles.

    In short by this time next year do you think that capitalism and the capitalists will be doing better than now or worse? What about the number of proletarians with employment? Do you think sharing out the work with mass underemployment spreading the pain to be the next best bet for the owning class to stave off chaos from the mass of non owners?

    Do you think that the numbers of people across the globe who are able to be absorbed from pre- capitalist societies into a proletarian relationship to the means of production to be able to return to positive numbers – or do you expect the blockage to continue and those numbers continue to ramp up as they have done for a number of years?

    The general betting is probably on a worldwide economic downturn but the world markets never move in straight lines; after the 1st GFC has shown no sign of being all fixed up do you expect another GFC crunch?

  40. 40 Steve Owens

    There is a methadone clinic inside the rebel territories. Methadone is provided by an International charity and the government in Kiev has refused to allow this medicine to be delivered. The Kiev government has refused Doctors Without Borders access to the rebel held areas. The Kiev government has cut off pension payments to people inside the areas and frozen bank accounts. The Kiev government has stopped paying doctors in the rebel areas. The doctors in the Methadone Clinic have worked for no wages for 6 months.
    The director of the clinic referring to his patients said “This is essentially a death sentence for them”
    300 patients on the Methadone program in the Donetsk area wrote President Poroshenko and the health minister an open letter asking for medicine to be allowed into the area in December.
    As to austerity I have always argued against it. The EU is a living example of its failure. Contributors here are locked into a 19th C view of economics and argued that nothing could help where as I argued that stimulus would and has worked. Remember the arguments over banks only having weeks to survive? Remember the argument over Steve Keens idea that the Australian housing market would collapse in 2008? Remember the argument over Iceland? Remember the argument over China collapsing? Austerity is a horrible idea cheers to all the people in Europe who are prepared to make a stand against it.
    End Austerity now, demand a fiscal union, nationalise the banks let medicine into Donetsk.

  41. 41 patrickm

    So after a year of Putin’s naked aggression your focus is on the Ukraine government! What a surprise. Some sectarians from the dumbest depths of Neverland blame NATO expansion so I suppose your washing your hands of those bad Ukrainians ought not surprise me.

    BTW austerity is comming to a capitalism near you.

    Communists have no requirement for a system that produces this outcome but you want to pretend that the Greeks are not going to implode the system that they have got with this idiocy.

    I have no problem with the requirement to deal with the property question but you’re as usual in LA LA land.

    No wonder you can’t even attempt to string two coherent sentences together as ANY kind of narrative.

  42. 42 Steve Owens

    If the Ukraine government wants to convince the people of Donetsk that they should rule in Donetsk then they should be trying to find ways of making life easier for non combatants rather than harder. Theres no military solution in the offing so I would suggest talks.
    We have gone over this stuff a hundred times, a hundred years ago it was realised that financial crisis could be resolved by making the reserve bank the lender of last resort and by disciplining banks by either nationalisation or strict banking regulations Glass Stiegle and all that.
    Economies falter because those with money wont invest.During WW2 the US government raised taxes to the sky and ordered Capitalists to invest. Its not rocket science but it does take political will.
    Lenin was happy to work with factory owners but if the owners wouldn’t play their part well you just promote them to the working class.

  43. 43 patrickm

    1. Putin launched a war once the people of Ukraine had taken a revolutionary turn away from his anti-democratic Russia.
    2. Putin sustains this war with naked violence.
    3. Putin is intent on redrawing borders and continues his steady aggression with only this end in mind whatever the nationalist smoke screen. Standard imperialist conduct!
    4. Putin is the enemy of the majority of the people in the regions that he is invading. His thug army is busy enslaving a people that will never have the option to be free from Putin. Anyone who resists him will end up like that poisoned Russian in London; dead!
    5. Steve is appeasing naked aggression. This is very familiar.
    6. ‘Talks’ is your code word for surrender to Putin’s agression. You have nothing else to say other than to turn on anyone that proposes to resist the invasion and the imperialist redrawing of borders to suit the aggressor.

    As to your ‘Economies falter because those with money wont invest.’ You haven’t got a clue. Every day it is the responsibility of those that direct the flow of real funds to place them profitably – the problem starts when they can’t find anywhere for the flow and speculation bubbles start.

    A few decades of this is not going to be any more of a solution to a real crisis breaking out.

  44. 44 patrickm

    Putin did not ‘convince the people of Donetsk that he should rule in Donetsk’ he simply moved mafia style infantry into the city and shoved guns in peoples faces disrupting their life with terror from the very start of his war making. Putin started out with a military solution that you say is not ‘in the offing’ and then you say in response to his war making ‘so I would suggest talks’.

    That is the sum total of your further contribution.

    Throw some dust and sell out the revolution. You forget that there even has been a revolution.

    You first remind people of how powerful the mafia style forces are but you don’t call them that and that people had better do what they say because they can’t be beaten by any fighting because they are actually the remnant power of a former superpower. Thats what your ‘talks’ is all about otherwise you would have something to actually say. You have really NOTHING to say because you never want to be held to account.

    That you have nothing upfront to say about Putin’s interference and blatant aggression but focus on the Ukrainian government speaks volumes about your dead end politics. Your method is to sell out an independence struggle and back the imperialist conquest (for the sake of peace to be sure).

    You want nothing to do with this country because ‘countries want independence’ for you is nothing but a Maoist trap that contradicts ‘nations want liberation’. ‘people of Donetsk’ is whatever the region required by Putin in his map making. Donetsk is spreading with Russian tanks and you know that.

    This is NOT a mass based Nationalist struggle where an oppressed nation is struggling for national liberation – that is a fraud that Putin is fooling stupid people with and you are collaborating with the fraud.

    This is rather a revolutionary struggle against a countries oppression by a big neighbor.

    Steve reminds everyone that the government of Ukraine have areas – where Putin’s invading forces have invaded and taken power in parts of their own country – under siege! Well what do you know!

    Your whole methadone is classic sect silliness.

  45. 45 Steve Owens

    It is wrong to think that I support Putin
    It is wrong to think that I am against the overthrow of the previous Ukrainian dictator
    Ukraine had a revolution and consequently 2 Eastern areas rebelled.
    IMO the Ukrainian government was foolish to move against the rebels militarily because Putin was always going to support them thereby making a military solution impossible.
    The solution was always going to be through negotiation.
    My point is and has been that the Ukrainian government needs to show the non combatant population that it has their interests at heart. Cutting off pensions to the sick, stopping the wage payments of doctors and stopping the supply of medicine is not the way forward for anyone who wants to convince people that the government in Kiev will rule in the interests of all Ukrainians.

    As to speculative bubbles, well technically Australia is experiencing a real estate bubble right now. Is the government powerless to stop this? Well no, it could move against the bubble with broad brush strokes like raising interest rates or raising Banks capital reserve ratios or raising Capital gains tax, it could do targeted stuff like increase land releases, build low cost public housing, stop negative gearing, stop first home buyers grants, increase land tax, increase stamp duty or capital controls on overseas investments in real estate. The government will no none of the above because the ruling ideology is neo liberalism but this will change as nothing remains the same forever.

  46. 46 patrickm

    “I bought my friend an Elephant for their room, they said thank you, I said don’t mention it.”

    ‘It is wrong to think that I support Putin’
    Not many in the west openly support Putin and not very many ever openly supported Saddam Hussein, but just as you were not prepared to stand up to the latter’s blatant aggression against the country of Kuwait (except with some waffle about sanctions that others who were your firm allies at the time complained of as a terrible burden that cost the lives of innocent Iraqi children etc.) you are not now prepared to stand firmly against Putin’s aggression.

    You want to waffle about negotiations without any proposals. You were for capitulation under Putin’s steady and building threat. A year goes past and what do you now advocate?

    The ABC of struggle – and the only way to fight gangsterism – is to build a democratic force that holds some territory and then expands into the contested territory. If the democrats don’t expand the gangsters will. That is what struggle is all about. That is what the revolutionary transformation of Ukraine is about.

    Push will come to shove. It did from the start. The democrats took and held the public square and snipers attacked them. No region in Ukraine had a mass nationalist uprising against the oppressive Ukrainian revolutionary forces. That is exactly the false impression that the gangsters – led by the world’s most notorious gangster have fostered. You are spreading that false view as if the revolution is the problem and Putin’s gangster regime is not.

    This time last year you focussed on the Crimea when I was focussed on how Putin was going to continue to make aggressive war to carve out more territory as part of his reactionary nationalism – where he would like to bring all the Russians ‘outside’ back under HIS loving care! He has been making war all around him as a way of life for his entire life. He is the purest definition of a fascist thug standing in the way of democratic revolution, yet you Steve make excuses for him and cover his behaviour by explaining how there is no military solution to his aggression and that people have to TALK to him.

    You accept that he is a complete liar that is engaged in aggressive conquest but you don’t lay the stress on this fact. He is a liar as was Saddam – yet – to prove you are a vacuous waste of space that has learnt nothing about standing up to aggression you then say precisely nothing.

    You leave ALL the initiative in Putin’s hands.

    When thinking about Ukraine the current focus of some people – that are thought of as of the left – is to talk about NATO expansion east! That is part of their narrative of how the world works. Do you Steve think as some right wingers do that ‘Russia’ has legitimate interests, in what military bloc of countries Ukraine joins? Do you think that NATO is a dangerous imperialist bloc and expansionary moves into former Soviet countries – the Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and further moves into countries like Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine – are menacing and warlike moves against Russian interests?

    The leaders of Germany and France just met Putin in Moscow and the U.S. Sec. of State and VP are all gathering to deal with Russian aggression. What must they seek in actions from this liar?

    Talking is worthless with a liar as you know. What must happen? What actions are to be required of him? He won’t for example arrest and hand over for trial the ‘previous’ Ukrainian dictator. Are you implying that there is a current dictator or that all these leaders are essentially to be thought of as the same?

    The revolution ought to ‘become’ the government ASAP that is what revolutionaries want. That is to say that the demands of the revolution have to be followed through to the point of creating a government!

    You say ‘It is wrong to think that I am against the overthrow of the previous Ukrainian dictator’ and that ‘Ukraine had a revolution and consequently 2 Eastern areas rebelled.’ This is merely dust in people’s eyes, because then out comes your real point.

    ‘IMO the Ukrainian government was foolish to move against the rebels militarily because Putin was always going to support them thereby making a military solution impossible.’

    The solution was always going to be through negotiation.
    My point is and has been that the Ukrainian government needs to show the non combatant population that it has their interests at heart. [and Putin needs to do nothing other than continue to make war as he sees fit because he has a more powerful army! You literally have nothing that is up front required of him in your narrative!] ‘Cutting off pensions to the sick, stopping the wage payments of doctors and stopping the supply of medicine is not the way forward for anyone who wants to convince people that the government in Kiev will rule in the interests of all Ukrainians.’

    Putin’s gangsters rule in nothing more than a mafia style rule full stop. That is the sum total of what is going on in any region of Ukraine where the aggression is underway or being spread to.

    As the aggression spreads you refuse to draw any line and want talks with a well known thug and liar.

    Here Steve, your politics are the politics of the useful idiot. The world is not going to become more democratic under your ‘western peace movement’ methods.

    A war is underway and you are not proposing building any unity against the reactionary aggressor that is the Putin regime AND all the ‘rebels’ it arms and otherwise bankrolls.

    Ought NATO openly arm the Ukrainian government that is more democratic than what it has replaced?

    Ought all manner of sanctions be directed at the Putin regime and those that are currently in place escalated whatever this cost to western interests?

  47. 47 General Armchair

    Message to General Pieinsky from General Armchair. This conflict has gone on for almost a year. The Germans refuse arms and troops arguing that negotiations and required. The French have offered negotiating skills but no arms and no troops. The Americans god love them have supplied night vision googles.
    I suggest that you bring your imaginary divisions from the north while I work my imaginary divisions in a pincer move from the south.
    Boy wont Putin shit his pants when he realises that hes been outmanovered by 2 imaginary divisions.

  48. 48 patrickm

    Better get that attention span looked at.

    How many years after the Syrian war started did the first U.S. bombs start falling? How many years until the Jordanians got involved? Putin has been supplying Assad all along and that is not a good investment IMV.

    I first thought the Syrian war would be a very big war when casualties were about half of what the casualties are said to be in Ukraine right now.

    There have been 100’s of thousands of dead added while Obama dithered. There are millions of refugees and ethnic cleansing on a grand scale with barrel bombs clearing the trouble streets in a sort of neighborhood botch scheme. All this may well be just getting going in Ukraine.

    Whatever is getting going it WILL stamp its impact on the relations of the world’s countries for decades to come. Push keeps meeting shove.

    The key to the German and French stands that you are not supporting is that Putin is required to do things not say things. You as usual have nothing to contribute when directly asked.

  49. 49 Steve Owens

    One of us is delusional about the French German peace proposals. You think it is requiring Putin to do stuff and I think that they are redrawing borders to reflect the advantageous position that the rebels now occupy.
    “German government sources said the key problem for resuming peace talks was that the current front line no longer tallies with what was agreed at talks in Minsk, Belarus, last year. One idea was that a new attempt at a ceasefire should take in the current front line, which reflects rebel gains.

    For talks to begin anew, Kiev would have to accept that the separatists now control several hundred square kilometers more than agreed in Minsk — without Kiev having to give up its claim to these areas as part of the Ukrainian state.”
    Kiev is being asked to change their position not Moscow.

  50. 50 patrickm

    I understand what you think is a good idea; you are not complaining that the ‘Kiev’ authorities signed up to Minsk last year, it’s just that you now want them to sign up to surrender the territory acquired by the Russian army from the next level of attacks by these patiently advancing armed forces. You want them to hand over actual authority for this latest conquered territory to ‘rebels’ and then later on the next territory in its turn – you know that time will come because you know that Putin has a plan of acquisition obviously in play and the map does not yet make sense – and until you are quite sure that Putin has attacked and grabbed hold of ALL that HE requires your procedure is to blame the victim country and its government for not understanding that they should not only hand over the territory but also send to the territory all that the ‘rebels’ require in that territory for the well being of the peoples’ they have acquired with this territory.

    If at any stage the Ukrainians do resist the aggression when it happens – and it has and will again you will point out that there is no military solution and naturally if – or rather when that later aggression comes (after Putin constructs whatever excuse for his action) as Putin requires more territory (that his obvious plan requires to make sense) you will require ‘Kiev’ to agree to whatever ‘Moscow’ takes at that stage as well.

    You want Ukrainians to do this because Putin is very powerful and no one wants war with such a powerful and demonstrably aggressive fascist.

    You must think that the Germans and French require that as well, because that is what is happening in your view. Putin is redrawing the map of Europe with artillery and you know this is true but NOTHING is required of HIM in anything you propose.

    You only require that I not think that you support Putin.

    I think this style of peace-movement capitulationism may be the most pathetic of all the styles. You ought to have left it behind in neverland. As a cruise missile something or other you would be well advised to review ‘Long March’ thinking that communists are well known for. The weak can grow strong fighting, just as the strong can exhaust themselves and become weak.

    You might want to try to convince people that you have a method in mind to fight gangsterism but first you would have to point to the enemy and retreat with us progressives rather than stand on the side with the rest of the old gang still pretending that their sects are not dead but rather reborn as the ‘Syriza’ lunacy.

    So far you still have zero narrative. But remember you are supporting the U.S. bombing in Syria and IRAQ. So take a BEX and have a good lie down for now. Then have a try to think about fighting a revolution rather than just doing whatever Putin wants.

  51. 51 patrickm

    this from the BBC

    ‘Putin’s aggression’

    In his last tweet, Mr Nemtsov sent out an appeal for Russia’s divided opposition to unite at an anti-war march he was planning for Sunday.

    “If you support stopping Russia’s war with Ukraine, if you support stopping Putin’s aggression, come to the Spring March in Maryino on 1 March,” he wrote.

    Speaking earlier this month to Russia’s Sobesednik news website, he had spoken of his fears for his own life.

    “I’m afraid Putin will kill me,” he said in the article (in Russian) on 10 February.

    “I believe that he was the one who unleashed the war in the Ukraine,” he added. “I couldn’t dislike him more.”

    I don’t think the owning classes across the world will deal effectively with Russian fascism and that means Putin gangsterism.

    The world first took a lot of notice of the Ukraine about a year ago when 60 plus people were killed by the orders of the pro-Putin Kleptocracy. Since then Putin has ordered a war that has now killed 100X that and apparently ‘at least 1.25 million have fled their homes, according to the UN.’

    I don’t think people are in anyway shocked that he has had another political opponent killed and fully believe that he is ultimately going to continue with what he has been doing until it stops being to his advantage.

    The fact that Putin is a blatant gangster with the usual gross nationalist pretensions and there are plenty of such people around the globe can’t excuse any western progressive from formulating a general policy of what the west ought to be doing in response to his conduct. People ought not be turning a blind eye to such conduct and ought to want to shun Putin led Russia.

    The destruction in the Ukraine is exactly what I expected Putin to have both the appetite and the stomach for and there is no end in sight to this methodical aggression.

    The Russian millitary have been let loose in a war where Putin ultimately sets ALL the rules.

    Has NATO really overdrawn its current red line by accepting the Baltic countries as members and do people think that ‘volunteer war’ won’t ultimately break out in these countries. Gangster war only esscalates as it has in Ukraine because people stand up to the gangsters. Gangsters will not be stopped by any borders when there are good opportunities on both sides of pointless lines that they don’t believe ought be on the map anyway.

    How would NATO deal with the next stage of Russian aggressian after Putin’s thugs get shoved against? Nobody can see where this will meander.

  52. 52 patrickm

    The ground is now freezing up in Ukraine so the conflict looks like it might well be about to be unfrozen, ‘How would NATO deal with the next stage of Russian aggression after Putin’s thugs get shoved against? Nobody can see where this will meander.’

    I don’t think Putin is bluffing and clearly, the West is! Hope I’m wrong. But the Belarus rot is turning to a ‘favorable’ crisis/excuse and blackmail is being resisted so push is turning to shove and that is not a good sign! No one would be surprised if this conflict sprang to life!

    Very dangerous times for democrats if Russia and China are going to behave recklessly while Biden is floundering.

    Nice to see the Georgians and Turks getting on so well and the talk is about ending the Russian occupation

  53. 53 patrickm

    This is the best they can do! Democracy Summit!

  54. 54 patrickm

    After the Biden / Putin phone call and the Lavrov/ Putin visit to India for weapons sales we have the Liverpool conference of G’7′ that ups the warnings of what will be the consequences of any further attacks by Russia; and China is getting a run as well as Iran.

    I can’t remember a more dangerous tone to international relations ever. The Cuban missile crisis must have had a similar tone but it hasn’t got anything like this background and buildup and worldwide spread of push v shove issues.

    The western world has demonstrated with a lack of strategic unity after the attacks of 9/11, that it has no stomach for the protracted nature of revolutionary war.

    The liberal ‘managerial class’ and their woke poison is the direct enemy of any defence against the spreading fascism.

    In Australia, it’s important that the more openly conservative or less woke of the tweedle parties be returned at what will probably be the May election. National defence and resistance to the green cult that would otherwise harm the economic well being of the masses require that the Morrison Government be re-elected. Gladys running would have helped that so her not doing so is a pity. It is a big ask but the alternative is Albanese and the ALP!

    The openly rightwing has long been further left than the self-proclaimed lefts of the Greens or the ALP. So neither politics as business-as-usual, is not a stand that must just go ever on. Woke carryon requires a fightback!

  55. 55 steve owens

    I guess if you think that current tensions out point the Cuban Missile crisis then you haven’t heard of Vasily Arkipov

    Vasili Aleksandrovich Arkhipov 30 January 1926 – 19 August 1998) was a Soviet Navy officer credited with preventing a Soviet nuclear strike (and, potentially, all-out nuclear war) during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Such an attack likely would have caused a major global thermonuclear response.

    As flotilla chief of staff and second-in-command of the diesel powered submarine B-59, Arkhipov refused to authorize the captain’s use of nuclear torpedoes against the United States Navy, a decision requiring the agreement of all three senior officers aboard.

    In 2002, Thomas Blanton, who was then director of the US National Security Archive, said that Arkhipov “saved the world”.

    Just to clarify 11 US ships were involved in depth charging the Soviet submarine to force it to the surface.
    The senior officers held a vote about using a nuclear torpedo the vote was 2-1.
    Wake me when we get to that level of tension.

  56. 56 patrickm

    Russian troops are already regularly killing Ukrainian soldiers on the front line and I think they intend to start killing a lot more in the next round as soon as they get their pretext sorted. This almost frozen front IS being unfrozen by Putin and that can only result in a massive intervention if the Russians intend to force any backward movement from the Ukrainians and there would be no point in upping the rate of killing Ukrainians unless they intend to force a move from the Ukrainians. So 200,000 Russian troops going to work to force some territorial and other consessions out of the Ukrainians is at least ‘Very dangerous times for democrats if Russia and China are going to behave recklessly while Biden is floundering.’

    Biden is floundering and Russia and China are rather obviously behaving like typical fascist bullies.

    Democrats have to deal with the new world as Putin’s war-making shape it! There are people who think of themselves as leftists that will blame NATO when the next round of Russian aggression starts. I wonder what the half theorists will make of this next round. I will bet that any remnant Trots and the greenies will disgrace themselves as usual.

  57. 57 steve owens

    I think that to understand the situation we need to consider the Russian point of view particularly those who occupy the Kremlin. Russia fears invasion from the west. This dates back at least to Napoleon’s failed drive to Moscow. People in the Kremlin responded by developing a system of collective security but this fell on its face when German troops in WW1 occupied most of the western Russian empire. The leaders of the 1930’s sought new collective security arrangement but again this failed and they settled for a deal with the Nazis. After WW2 the Soviet leadership settled for a system of buffer states giving security extending beyond Berlin.
    Since the fall of the Soviet Union they have witnessed each of the buffer states being militarily incorporated into NATO an anti Russian military alliance.
    And now that the buffer states have been incorporated there are moves to incorporate ex Soviet republics like Ukraine.
    Putin may be the worse person on the planet but any Russian leader would have to respond to an anti Russian alliance that creeps closer and closer to the heartland.
    Putin may be a thug but he is not an idiot, he is faced with a western alliance that is encroaching on what he thinks is rightfully his. I expect him to take advantage of every opportunity to lie about what his intentions are but to confront NATO with the very substandard Russian military no that would make him a fool and he is no fool.
    Currently NATO stations troops in 3 ex Soviet republics as well as all the old buffer states. Countries such as Serbia a traditional Russian ally have been bombed into submission by NATO.
    Do you think that Putin doesnt notice this?
    Politics always has a personal side and I think that we should consider Putin’s history. His grandmother was killed in WW2 his father was badly wounded in WW2 his mother survived the siege of Leningrad although his older brother didnt. He talks of a story his father told of entering Leningrad only to see the piles of corpses of starvation victims. This sort of stuff must affect a persons outlook and may turn you into a bad person but a person willing to launch war to reclaim Ukraine well only if he thought that he could get away with it but I cant see how he could come to that conclusion. He wants to take risks but they are calculated. Annexing Crimea and eastern Ukraine were risks but bolstered by the fact that annexation was popular in both these places.
    Can he miscalculate well history is full of people who miscalculated.

  58. 58 steve owens

    Theres a saying that Im fond of, its amateurs’ talk about strategy professionals talk logistics.
    Heres a look at the logistic nightmare Russia would face if it launched an invasion of the Baltic states in an effort to present the west with a fait accompli
    Logistics are the key stumbling block in the fait accompli timeline. The railroad is wide gauge and usable, but the timeline is too short for captured railheads to be put back into operation. A dozen NATO air-launched cruise missiles fired over Germany can destroy key rail bridges at Narva, Pskov, and Velikie Lugi, shutting down rail traffic into the Baltics for days until those bridges are repaired. Logistic planners in Russian Western Command have to plan for a scenario in which Baltic states choose to fight a battle in their capital. Historically, urban combat consumes massive amounts of ammunition and takes months to conclude. During the two most prominent examples, the battles of Grozny in the Chechen wars and the Battle of Mosul in 2016, defenders tied down four to 10 times their numbers for up to four months. At Grozny, Russians were firing up to 4,000 shells a day — that’s 50 trucks a day.

    Even in a Baltic scenario, Russian planners have to consider the risk that Poland, which can muster four divisions, will launch an immediate counter-attack, trying to catch the Russian army off-balance. The Russian army would have large forces tied to sieges of Tallinn and Riga while fending off a Polish counter-attack from the south. The ammunition consumption would be massive. During the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, some Russian forces expended an entire basic load of ammunition in 12 hours. Assuming the same rates, the Russians would have to replace substantial amounts of ammunition every 12 to 24 hours.

  59. 59 patrickm

    More to go on with while democrats fight a war

  60. 60 Stephen Owens

    You do realise that I already posted this vid on March 6 on the War thread.
    A couple of interesting developments or at least one non development Putin has been reported as shopping around for Syrian mercenaries which is way earlier than I thought that he would need to plus no troops yet from Belarus.
    Russian trucks are reported to be having difficulties with their cheap Chinese tires. What can I say you got to buy quality.
    Reports that Russia has lost 2 generals ant that the Chechian assasination team was intercepted due to intel leaked by the FSB. Washington putting it out that they knew the exact invasion timetable because theres a rat in the FSB just to give Putin something to mull over (paranoid little prick)

  61. 61 patrickm

    My attempt at humour was too subtle. Please disregard!

    Look I have been very critical of western political and military figures for many years. Now many people agree with me. Merkel was a disaster! Obama was a disaster. Bernie Sanders would have been the most insane of all possible US presidents.

    The choice is now to ‘drill baby drill’ and pipe that oil! This is a very good show and a thoughtful contribution from a cautious german woman.

  62. 62 Stephen Owens

    Did I mention the unexpected absence of troops from Belarus this may be why

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