The Russians are coming.

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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby GrahamB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:04 pm

Listen to show 270 -poking the bear

http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/cs
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:49 pm

Well, for one thing, none of the Obama critics give a sh__ about the Ukraine or what the people there, or in Syria, want. Afa what the prez has said about what's happening there, it's only true that he shouldn't comment if one believes that he should say nothing or do something. In terms of addressing the actual fact of Russian boots on Ukrainian ground, who's saying that Obama should send troops? What would those same people say if he did? (Probably something like, "He did it without the consent of Congress" is my guess). Ok, what other options does he have? Sanctions would have to come from the UN. He could curtail trade agreements. He could ask to remove Russia from the G8. Or, he could send financial and military support to those Ukrainians who reject Russian intervention. None of these would receive a consensus of support from those who criticize Obama.

There is no number of civilian deaths in Syria, for ex., that would lead to support of American military intervention. On one hand, individuals in the same party condemn Obama for opposite reasons. Either he's doing too much, or he isn't doing enough. In reality, there's nothing he could have done to prevent what is happening is either Syria or Ukraine. Any president would only be able to respond.

At least the argument to give them the Crimea is realistic --even though I would disagree. Blaming Obama is just political masturbation. It must be ignored if any semblance of truth about what's happening in Russia and Ukraine is to be understood. For instance, the history of the Crimean peninsula is one of continuous conquest and reconquest by various powers. Russia's not after it because of Obama or the US. Russia's policy toward the region has not changed, and what caused the invasion are events motivated by people in the Ukraine. It's not necessary to take my word for it, either. Do a youtube search for what Ukrainians are saying.

Thirdly, what politicians say in public has very little to do with what is conveyed privately. What is said in the American public media is even less indicative. Iow, what we read has almost nothing to do with what happens. Saying that "we're not going to do something" never means that nothing is being done. Saying that "we're doing something for this reason" never means that anything is being done or being done for that reason.

For example,
Russian President Vladimir Putin obtained consent from the Kremlin-controlled parliament on Saturday to send the Russian military into Ukraine if he wishes, citing the need to protect Russian citizens and Russian-speakers in the neighboring state.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ukrain ... hed-n42611

Anybody heard of threats to "Russians" and Russian speakers in the Ukraine?
Btw, anyone recognize this particular argument?
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:42 pm

Yes, Hitler used the same argument for expanding the borders of Germany.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:46 pm

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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:29 pm

grzegorz wrote:Yes, Hitler used the same argument for expanding the borders of Germany.


Yep, for invading Poland, especially. First, there need to be reports of Ukrainian attacks on Russian speakers. It won't matter whether they are true or not.

Austria was annexed because it was considered part of the historical German homeland. Other regions were taken to provide "growing room" for the people. The hope was that the expansion would stop there. The Soviets thought so, too; they even agreed on it. The Brits made the same concessions "for peace" too.

Fwiw, I doubt that a world war or a nuclear war between either the US/Nato and Russia is unlikely. Civil war in the Ukraine is possible depending on the intensity of resistance to Russian occupation --if it comes.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby GrahamB on Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:29 am

Who is the aggressor? The obvious answer seems to be that it is Russia, but that is far from the whole picture. At the end of the Cold War, as agreed with the western powers, Russia disbanded the Warsaw Pact, its military alliance. But the United States and NATO broke their word to Russia, by adding most of Eastern Europe and the Balkan states to their own military alliance, and by building military bases along Russia's southern border. Ever since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the European Union (EU) and NATO have been intent on surrounding Russia with military bases and puppet regimes sympathetic to the West, often installed by 'colour revolutions'. In military expenditure, the US and its NATO allies outspend and outgun the Russian state many times over.

The war in Afghanistan, now in its thirteenth year, was fought after the West lost control of its erstwhile Taliban allies, who the US had supported in order to bring down a pro-Russian regime.

US secretary of state John Kerry has made strong statements condemning Russia, and British prime minister David Cameron has argued against intervention and for national sovereignty. No one should take lessons from people who invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and bombed Libya. Last year, these war makers wanted to launch their fourth major military intervention in a decade, this time against Syria. They were only stopped from doing so by the unprecedented vote against military action in parliament, with MPs undoubtedly influenced by the widespread anti-war sentiment amongst the British public. Nor should we place any value on concerns for national sovereignty and international law expressed by people like Obama and Kerry, who launch illegal drone attacks against civilians in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and beyond.

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon's statement that Russia is threatening the peace and security of Europe ignores a number of questions, such as the role of western imperialism in the region -- including direct intervention in the formation of the latest Ukrainian government -- and the role of fascists and far right parties in Kiev and elsewhere in the country. As in all these situations, we need to look at the background to what is going on.

The European Union is not an impartial observer in this. It too has extended its membership among the east European states, expressly on the basis of a privatising, neoliberal agenda which is closely allied to NATO expansion. Its Member State foreign ministers, and its special representative Baroness Ashton, have directly intervened, seeking to tie Ukraine to the EU by an agreement of association. When this was abandoned by the former president Yanukovich, the EU backed his removal and helped put in place a new government which agreed to EU aims.

The United States is centrally involved. It oversaw the removal of Yanukovich, and its neocons are desperately trying to develop an excuse for war with the Russians. Neocon former presidential candidate John McCain visited Ukraine and addressed the demonstrations in Kiev. As did Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs in the US state department. Nuland is most famous for her recently leaked phone conversation about micromanaging regime change in Ukraine, in which she declared 'fuck the EU.' Her husband is neocon Robert Kagan, who was co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, the ideological parent of the Bush/Blair war on Iraq.

The talk of democracy from the west hides support for far right and fascist forces in the Ukraine. They have a direct lineage from the collaborators with the Nazis from 1941 onwards who were responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Jewish sources in Ukraine today express fear at the far right gangs patrolling the streets attacking racial minorities. Yet the western media has remained all but silent about these curious EU allies.

The historical divisions within Ukraine are complex and difficult to overcome. But it is clear that many Russian speakers, there and in the Crimea, do not oppose Russia. These countries have the right to independence, but the nature of that independence is clearly highly contested. There is also the reality of potential civil war between east and west Ukraine. The very deep divisions will only be exacerbated by war.

Those who demand anti-war activity here in Britain against Russia are ignoring the history and the present reality in Ukraine and Crimea. The B52 liberals only oppose wars when their own rulers do so, and support the ones carried out by our governments. The job of any anti-war movement is to oppose its own government's role in these wars, and to explain what that government and its allies are up to.

The crisis in Ukraine has much to do with the situation in Syria, where major powers are intervening in the civil war. The defeat for intervention last year has infuriated the neocons. They are determined to start new wars. After the US failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, the neocons are looking for a defeat of Russia over Ukraine, and by extension, China too. The situation is developing into a new cold war. The rivalry between the west and Russia threatens to explode into a much larger war than has been seen for many years.

From http://stopwar.org.uk/news/ten-things-t ... xQuWykgHCT
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby gzregorz on Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:37 am

That was quite a lot. First off all countries which were invaded and controlled by the Nazis had collaborators even ones that weren't invaded like Hungary and Romania had people who contributed to sending people to the concentration camps. Let's not forget the gays and gypsies went before the jews. Now getting to Ukraine, in which they fail to mention why it is that the Nazis found sympathizers in Ukraine and is because that Soviets let up to 3 million Ukrainians starve to death while under Stalin's control, the choice was Stalin or Hitler. Can we blame some for not choosing Stalin? Besides which the nazis originally told them they were there to liberate them and being that the UK & France did little and next to nothing (besides declaring war on paper) to help the countries East of Germany while they were being steamed rolled the people there were desperate and trying to make the best decisions with what they could.

Just as today we don't blame every German for what happened during the war, I see no reason to blame every Ukrainian. Sure there are far right wing extremists in that part of the world just as there are in the UK country and in the US particularly in the eighties when skins reached a fever pitch, personally though I believe this situation had more to do with high unemployment for working class whites than it had to do with politics. I also believe this is the case today, yes there are racists skins but that rate usually goes up in places of high employment.

Personally I find the anti-war article patronizing. It states that the West violate the Warsaw pact by creating allies close to Russia's border. But the real question is, why should Russia be deciding the future of it's neighbors in the first place? That would be like a mother country deciding the future of its former colonies long after they declared independence.

As far as Syria, I believe the jury is still out on that one. We won't know until years from now whether or not we made the right decision. As fun as it is to say we avoided war the war is still going on there and just as the outside world turned its back on Rwanda this one too may come back to bite us in the ass.

Obviously the writer has a lot of information on that area, but somehow I doubt they've ever actually been to the Ukraine just judging from what was stated. Not that this should matter but I believe if they would have witnessed the poverty and desperation there they'd take a more objective view of things instead of writing an article with a pre-determined conclusion, my point is this is no different from the type of Russian right wing propaganda that RTV or Russian Television news would report.

I travelled around Ukraine, in particular in Kiev and I'll never forget how often my British mates and I were approached by prostitutes and how children would come running to us in the middle of the night in the freezing snow to beg for money. One of my mates eventually asked the kids (in the Polish he knew) why they weren't home and one responded that he didn't have a home. All I can remember is being so shocked and horrified that I just completely shut down all of my senses, it was as if I wasn't even there. I hope no one ever has to witness that kind of horror but that it is probably typical in any country where unemployment is at fifty percent. If you were Ukrainian and living under those conditions, don't you think you'd be out on the streets shouting for a change in government?

Seems to me you can be anti-war without blaming Ukraine.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:37 am

Now getting to Ukraine, in which they fail to mention why it is that the Nazis found sympathizers in Ukraine and is because that Soviets let up to 3 million Ukrainians starve to death while under Stalin's control, the choice was Stalin or Hitler. Can we blame some for not choosing Stalin?


Yeah, they saw the Germans as liberators at first, and many actively supported the persecution of Jews. Of course, eventually the Ukrainians were dealt with the way Nazis dealt with everyone else. They quickly became anti-Nazi.

Now, there are right wing nationalists in the Ukraine, Greece, Sweden, France, England, Italy, Russia and almost all European countries. They are generally anti-immigrant and often anti-semitic (against Arabs and Jews). It is also true that Ukrainian nationalists are anti-Russian. It simply stands to reason. So, placing the blame on European or Ukrainian (or Georgian, or Chechen) fascists and that the Russian are anti-fascist is just rhetoric.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:52 am

Trotsky on ‘The Ukrainian Question’ in Socialist Appeal, 22 April 1939 (via Counterpunch):

The Ukrainian question, which many governments and many “socialists” and even “communists” have tried to forget or to relegate to the deep strongbox of history, has once again been placed on the order of the day and this time with redoubled force…

In the conception of the old Bolshevik party Soviet Ukraine was destined to become a powerful axis around which the other sections of the Ukrainian people would unite. It is indisputable that in the first period of its existence Soviet Ukraine exerted a mighty attractive force, in national respects as well, and aroused to struggle the workers, peasants, and revolutionary intelligentsia of Western Ukraine enslaved by Poland. But during the years of Thermidorian reaction, the position of Soviet Ukraine and together with it the posing of the Ukrainian question as a whole changed sharply. The more profound the hopes aroused, the keener was the disillusionment. The bureaucracy strangled and plundered the people within Great Russia, too.

But in the Ukraine matters were further complicated by the massacre of national hopes. Nowhere did restrictions, purges, repressions and in general all forms of bureaucratic hooliganism assume such murderous sweep as they did in the Ukraine in the struggle against the powerful, deeply-rooted longings of the Ukrainian masses for greater freedom and independence…

Not a trace remains of the former confidence and sympathy of the Western Ukrainian masses for the Kremlin. Since the latest murderous ‘purge’ in the Ukraine no one in the West wants to become part of the Kremlin satrapy which continues to bear the name of Soviet Ukraine. The worker and peasant masses in the Western Ukraine, in Bukovina, in the Carpatho-Ukraine are in a state of confusion: Where to turn? What to demand? This situation naturally shifts the leadership to the most reactionary Ukrainian cliques who express their ‘nationalism’ by seeking to sell the Ukrainian people to one imperialism or another in return for a promise of fictitious independence…

Sections of the Ukrainian people have become so much small change for the Kremlin in its international calculations. The Fourth International must clearly understand the enormous importance of the Ukrainian question in the fate not only of Southeastern and Eastern Europe but also of Europe as a whole. We are dealing with a people that has proved its viability, that is numerically equal to the population of France and occupies an exceptionally rich territory which, moreover, is of the highest strategical importance. The question of the fate of the Ukraine has been posed in its full scope. A clear and definite slogan is necessary that corresponds to the new situation. In my opinion there can be at the present time only one such slogan: A united, free and independent workers’ and peasants’ Soviet Ukraine. -

See more at: http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2014/03/03/th ... OK5CY.dpuf
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Steve James on Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:09 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:13 pm

I find it interesting that no one brings up that the removed ruler of Ukraine took half the county's GDP with him or that W did absolutely nothing when Russia invaded Georgia.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby pennsooner on Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:29 pm

The countries that had been part of the Warsaw pact could not wait to hitch their wagon to the west and NATO. The sad fact is that the Russians have a history of creating their own paranoia by dealing so harshly with everyone they get involved with that they tend to be surrounded by enemies. Correct me if I'm wrong because I am not a professional regarding Russian history, but is there any group of folks living in proximity to Russia that does "like' them? I am not aware of any. Finns? Poles? Lithuanians? Latvians? Turks? Tartars? Non-Russian Ukrainians?

I don't think the U.S. should get involved militarily by a long shot. But, IMO Russia is wrong on this one, way way wrong. By the way, I'll bet Putin had something like this in mind as soon as we idiotically broke all precedent by invading Iraq on such flimsy grounds. That set the precedent for what is happening now.
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby Michael on Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:36 am

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

Russia Today
Published time: February 27, 2014 04:51
Edited time: March 02, 2014 19:57
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby wiesiek on Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:35 am

..."Anybody heard of threats to "Russians" and Russian speakers in the Ukraine? ..."

there was any real ...

Fact is that lot of "Ukrainian`s Russians " doesn`t like to became part of the empire again
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Re: The Russians are coming.

Postby grzegorz on Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:15 am

Exactly, that is the real issue.

That the Russians are using force where force is not needed which could easily escalate into war.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzsZ_aDSGBY
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