Category Archives: Russia

American Patriot Explains A Russian Patriot

Media, Neoconservatism, Paleoconservatism, Politics, Russia

No wonder the brilliant Pat Buchanan is nowhere to be seen on cable news channels imparting his considerable knowledge of history and geopolitics to American media ignoramuses. Much like Henry Kissinger’s well-informed, balanced analysis on Ukraine and Russia, smuggled into the Washington Post over the ignorant din made by the likes of Chucky Krauthammer—Buchanan understands and knows stuff. That makes those egos in the anchor’s chair look even more idiotic.

Writes Buchanan in “Is Putin the irrational one?”:

… if Putin is not a Russian imperialist out to re-establish Russian rule over non-Russian peoples, who and what is he?

In the estimation of this writer, Vladimir Putin is a blood-and-soil, altar-and-throne ethnonationalist who sees himself as Protector of Russia and looks on Russians abroad the way Israelis look upon Jews abroad, as people whose security is his legitimate concern.

Consider the world Putin saw, from his vantage point, when he took power after the Boris Yeltsin decade.

He saw a Mother Russia that had been looted by oligarchs abetted by Western crony capitalists, including Americans. He saw millions of ethnic Russians left behind, stranded, from the Baltic states to Kazakhstan.

He saw a United States that had deceived Russia with its pledge not to move NATO into Eastern Europe if the Red Army would move out, and then exploited Russia’s withdrawal to bring NATO onto her front porch.

Had the neocons gotten their way, not only the Warsaw Pact nations of Central and Eastern Europe, but five of 15 republics of the USSR, including Ukraine and Georgia, would have been brought into a NATO alliance created to contain and, if need be, fight Russia.

What benefits have we derived from having Estonia and Latvia as NATO allies that justify losing Russia as the friend and partner Ronald Reagan had made by the end of the Cold War?

We lost Russia, but got Romania as an ally? Who is irrational here? …

… If the people of Eastern Ukraine wish to formalize their historic, cultural and ethnic ties to Russia, and the people of Western Ukraine wish to sever all ties to Moscow and join the European Union, why not settle this politically, diplomatically and democratically, at a ballot box? …

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Which Is The Worst Mouthpiece Of Propaganda?

Free Speech, Individual Rights, Media, Russia, The State

It’s not RT TV. Russia Today reports openly and extensively on assorted proposals to restrict freedoms throughout Russia as well as on existing restrictions in that country:

“Moscow magistrate convict Russian nationalist of extremism” tells of restrictions and bans imposed by the Moscow City Court on an individual whose activities are viewed as “extreme.”

More headlines exposing illiberal restrictions: “Russia may criminalize multi-ethnic fights between individuals,” which is also silly. It is already naturally unlawful in almost all criminal codes to attack another individual unprovoked. This latest Russian proposal is just a species of the hate-crime legislation endured in Europe and throughout the Anglo-sphere.

Another of today’s RT headlines: “Opposition party proposes 5 year jail term for insulting patriotism.”

Social engineering is par for the course in the US, except that American leaders incentivize values in opposition to the traditional values Putin seems after:

“New Family Code to protect traditional family, religious values – key lawmaker.” The Russian “head of the lower house committee for family issues has described a new set of legislative amendments protecting the values shared by basic religions, and inspiring young people to choose marriage over cohabitation”:

Other possible changes could include outlining priorities in favor of traditional families and traditional family values. These include the concepts that have been supporting the Russian nation for over a thousand years – the union between a man and a woman, several children in a family, families uniting several generations and the deep connection between these generations.

Either way, shaping society in politically pleasing ways is not the role of the state.

Back to the point of the post: RT covers quite well what we in the US would and should consider the state’s encroachment on liberty.

Can you say the same about mainstream media stateside?

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UPDATE II: If We’re So Free, Where’s America’s Referenda? (And If We’re So Free, Where’s Our Right To Secede?)

Conflict, Democracy, Elections, Europe, Foreign Policy, Media, Russia, States' Rights

The pack animals of the American media and political establishment seldom fail to shed darkness on whatever topic they tackle. In that venerated tradition, the aforementioned will never stop to ask this: If we Americans are the freest people in the world, why are we not granted a right to a referendum on, say, that “little” legislative blip called Obamacare?

Yeah, I didn’t think the lap dogs and the sheeple cared to pose the question or confront the answer, against the backdrop of the Crimean referendum.

As Crimea exit polls stand, reports BBC News, “about 93 percent back Russia union.”

The quagmires in Ukraine and Crimea are no exception to the darkness-shedding rule. As observed in “Presstitute-Cultivated Ignorance On Ukraine,” “The struggle for Ukraine is a chapter in a series of US orchestrated provocations, which began with the expansion of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) eastward to abut Russia’s borders—an expansion pursued by Clinton, Bush and Obama alike. It gathered momentum with the US-backed attempts to incorporate Georgia and the Ukraine into the North Atlantic alliance.

The next stage in goading the Russian Bear consisted in American-funded NGO political-action groups—many of them backed by George Soros—flooding Russia proper. (“Purple” in Iraq, Blue in Kuwait, Cotton in Uzbekistan, Grape in Moldova, “Orange” in the Ukraine, “Rose” in Georgia, “Tulip” in Kyrgizstan, “Cedar” in Lebanon, Jasmine in Tunisia, Green in Iran, still un-christened in Russia and Syria: Dig around and you’ll find American activists à la Alinsky behind these “color-coded,” plant-based revolutions, blessed and backed by Foggy Bottom.) “A US-NATO military outpost in Georgia and missile-defense installations near Russia” completed the provocation.

Reporting from Yalta, Serge Trifkovic, whose commentary is often featured on Barely A Blog, was asked by NBC News to comment about the referendum underway in Crimea. He sent this along:

Serge Trifkovic, an American foreign affairs analyst of Serbian origin, criticized the United States’ involvement in the upcoming referendum.

“Nobody asked the people of Crimea if they wanted to be transferred from the Russian Federation within the USSR to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,” Trifkovi? said.

He added that it’s “richly ironic” U.S. leaders appear to be upholding the Soviet Communist Party’s legacy by insisting Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, while Russian President Vladimir Putin is “upholding the right of people to self-determination and liberty.”

Another BAB contributor, our friend foreign affairs analyst Nebojsa Malic, attempted to counter the prevailing propaganda in an interview with RT:

RT: They said Russia is violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. But what about the EU and the US politicians propping up the Maidan opposition before it came to power?

NM: I would say that a far greater violation of sovereignty is actually staging a coup and replacing an elected government of a country with unelected stooges, like the United States has specifically done with the Maidan opposition. There was the intercepted phone call, which we all heard, who the United States government was plotting to install in power. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened. That is a violation of sovereignty. Before that is resolved, nobody should really speak about any sort of other violations, real or imagined.

RT: The UK says the new government in Kiev is legit, while Yanukovich didn’t honor the February 21 agreement with the then-opposition and fled. Do they have a point?

NM: Who decides the legitimacy of these things? Normally it would be the Ukrainian people. The last time they were polled, they elected Viktor Yanukovich as their president. The crowd in Maidan didn’t have any sort of democratic legitimacy. What they did have is that they had weapons. And they had money from the West, and the diplomatic support of Western governments. And using those levers, they actually took over power by force on February 22. The agreement that was purportedly achieved between European ministers and President Yanukovich was violated by the Maidan protesters who resorted to violence and forced the issue. So honestly, for the Western governments propping up these rebels, to declare them legitimate is obviously expected. But they don’t get to decide the legitimacy of these things.

RT: We’ve seen how many people in Crimea aren’t happy with the Kiev leaders. Why is the will of the people not taken into account by Western nations then?

NM: Western governments generally don’t take will of the people into consideration at all, anywhere ever. The only will that matters to them is their own. So if they want to achieve something, if they want to carve up Yugoslavia or Serbia or Russia or Ukraine or anywhere else, they just find stooges that they can manipulate, install them in power, and then claim that the stooges’ decisions are legitimate because they represent a will of some phantom people or other. And that’s usually how they’ve been doing business for the past two decades. Sooner or later, somebody is going to have to stand up to them and say, “No, you can’t do this. This is against your own rules, this is against everybody rules. Stop.”

MORE of Mr. Malic.

Kosovo, South Sudan, The Falklands, Scotland and Catalonia represent “5 referendums that the West has not taken issue with.”

RT elaborates on on this bit of western hypocrisy.

“Let’s fret about our own tyrants” was and is my advice:

“It is possible that the vote in [fill the blank] is the product of widespread fraud. Real or not, this is none of the United States’ business. This county has been pulverized economically and constitutionally. American livelihoods and liberties have been put into peril. In case the advocates of muscular responses have failed to notice, we’re pinned down like butterflies by our own tyrants.”

UPDATE I: And If We’re So Free, Where’s Our Right To Secede? Just you watch the philosophical fascists that follow Lincoln’s example, as they proceed militarily against fellow Americans should these Americans attempt to peacefully secede. All in the name of … American freedoms, of course.

Jealous: “Crimea voters overwhelmingly approve referendum to secede from Ukraine.”

UPDATE II (3/18): “Crimea secedes. So what?” by Ron Paul:

… What’s the big deal? Opponents of the Crimea vote like to point to the illegality of the referendum. But self-determination is a centerpiece of international law. Article I of the United Nations Charter points out clearly that the purpose of the U.N. is to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”

Why does the U.S. care which flag will be hoisted on a small piece of land thousands of miles away?

Critics point to the Russian “occupation” of Crimea as evidence that no fair vote could have taken place. Where were these people when an election held in an Iraq occupied by U.S. troops was called a “triumph of democracy”? …

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Red Line Is Redrum For The Administration’s Street Cred With Neocons

Foreign Policy, Russia

Is drawing another red line in the sand a smart thing for Secretary of State John Kerry to do? Via The Examiner:

Kerry warned of serious repercussions for Russia on Monday if last-ditch talks over the weekend to resolve the crisis in Ukraine failed to persuade Moscow to soften its stance. … The U.S. and Europe on Monday would then unite to impose sanctions on Russia, Kerry told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Thursday during a hearing on the State Department’s budget.

Then again, Refuters has already noted that “Obama’s Syria ‘red line’ has echoes in his warning to Ukraine.”

This red line habit is redrum for the Administration’s street cred with neoconservative.

Yawn.


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Dumb Dogs of War

Barack Obama, Conservatism, Foreign Policy, Russia, War

“Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force.” Them’s fighting words belong to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Warbot conservatives want Obama to do something to Putin so as to keep them feeling like the world’s top dogs. Gates was addressing the incongruous nature of the continuous attacks lobbed by the warbots.


Via Fox News Sunday (the only show on Fox News to offer full
transcripts):

WALLACE: You’ve defended President Obama’s handling of the situation this week, but in January you said you thought that President Obama made a big mistake when he set the red line for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Here’s what you warn. “If you cock the pistol you’ve got to be willing to fire it.” By “cocking the pistol” whether it’s on the red line in Syria or giving asylum to Edward Snowden or other issues. You’re really — and then not firing it, you really don’t think that President Obama has emboldened Putin at all.

GATES: Well, all I would say is – what I was saying earlier in the week was simply that I thought in the middle of a major international crisis, that some of the criticism, domestic criticism of the president ought to be toned down, while he’s trying to handle this crisis. My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force, so I think Putin is very opportunistic in these arenas. I think that even if — even if we had launched attacks in Syria, even if we weren’t cutting our defense budget, I think Putin saw an opportunity here in Crimea, and he has seized it. You know, the ouster of Yanukovych was a big strategic setback for Putin, and — and I think it’s — it’s testimony to how skillful he is or how agile he is that he’s tried to offset that by the seizure of Crimea and throwing this whole situation into a very different — into a very different light, and I think that –


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‘Ukraine Bosnified, Putin Hitlerized’

BAB's A List, Democracy, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, Multiculturalism, Nationhood, Russia

Ukraine Bosnified, Putin Hitlerized
By Srdja Trifkovic

On March 6 President Obama said in Washington that the Crimean authorities’ plans for a referendum “violate the Ukrainian Constitution and violate international law.” “Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine. We are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratically elected leaders,” he added. “Crimea is Ukraine,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in Rome on the same day.

Interesting. Six years ago the United States enthusiastically recognized the Kosovo Albanian authorities’ self-proclaimed independence, which violated the Serbian constitution and violated international law. The legitimate government of Serbia was not included in any discussions which preceded the American decision. The United States initiated the redrawing of Serbia’s borders with an act of armed aggression in 1999, and then formally condoned it in February 2008, over the heads of Serbia’s democratically elected President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica. Furthermore, in September 2012 Obama’s then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “the boundaries of an independent, sovereign Kosovo are clear and set.” A few days earlier Obama himself claimed, incredibly, that “Kosovo has made significant progress in solidifying the gains of independence and in building the institutions of a modern, multi-ethnic, inclusive and democratic state.”

A President capable of thus characterizing that KLA-run black hole of thuggery and lawlessness – the worst-ruled spot by far in all of Europe – is beyond logic or reason. It would be therefore useless to point out to Obama that the government in Kiev has no legitimacy whatsoever, having grabbed power through a sustained campaign of revolutionary brutality and having violated the Ukrainian constitution and other laws in the process. Obama’s claim that the leaders of the regime in Kiev were “democratically elected” is unsurprising, however, coming as it does from a man whose hold on reality – at home and abroad – is becoming more tenuous by the day.

Lest we forget, on February 21 President Viktor Yanukovich and three Ukrainian parliamentary party leaders signed a “reconciliation agreement” co-signed by foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland – implying that their countries and the EU guaranteed the deal – and approved by a Russian representative. The document provided for constitutional reform reducing presidential powers, the creation of a government of national unity, early presidential election, and disbandment of Maidan armed factions. Far from disbanding, within hours those same armed factions forced Yanukovich to flee Kiev and stage-managed a parliamentary “vote,” worthy of the proceedings of the Supreme Soviet ca. 1937, which ushered in the putschist regime.

As Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on March 4, Yanukovich “had in fact given up his power already, and as I told him, he had no chance of being re-elected. What was the purpose of all those illegal, unconstitutional actions, why did they have to create this chaos in the country? Armed and masked militants are still roaming the streets of Kiev. This is a question to which there is no answer.” Well, there is one, and he knows it. As a BBC commentator pointed out on March 5, what makes Putin mad is the feeling that he is being deceived:

We saw that with Libya in 2011. Moscow was persuaded not to block a UN Security Council resolution on a no-fly zone to protect civilians. But NATO’s military action led to regime change and the death of Col Muammar Gaddafi – far beyond what Russia had expected. It helps explain why Russia has been quick to veto resolutions on Syria. On Ukraine, too, President Putin feels the West has tricked him. Last month he sent his envoy to Kiev to take part in negotiations on a compromise agreement … It remained words only. Less than 24 hours later, Mr. Yanukovych was on the run, the parliament removed him from power and appointed a new acting president from the opposition. The pace of events took Moscow completely by surprise. Russia says the February 21 agreement must be implemented. The opposition signed it, yet allows an uncontrolled militia of violent armed radicals send fear and loathing across a large swath of Ukraine. The US says the agreement no longer matters…

THE GHOST OF WARREN ZIMMERMANN – Washington saying “the agreement no longer matters” brings us to another parallel between the crisis in Ukraine and the conflict in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990’s: the role of the United States in subverting agreements that were meant to save peace. Similar U.S. subterfuges contributed to the outbreak of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina exactly 22 years ago. In March 1992 the late Warren Zimmermann, the last U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia before its breakup and civil war, materially contributed, more than any other single man, to the outbreak of that war. The facts of the case have been established beyond reasonable doubt, and are no longer disputed by experts.

Following the unconstitutional and illegal Muslim-Croat referendum on Bosnia’s independence (February 28-29), then-Portuguese foreign minister Jose Cutileiro persuaded the leaders of the three constituent nations that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be independent, but internally based on autonomous ethnic “cantons.” The breakthrough was due to the Bosnian Serbs’ acceptance of an externally sovereign B-H state, provided that the Muslims give up their ambition of an internally centralized, unitary one. Alija Izetbegovic, the Muslim leader, accepted the plan. Only days after it was signed, however, Zimmermann flew from Belgrade to Sarajevo to tell Izetbegovic that the deal was a means to “a Serbian power grab” that could be annulled. State Department later admitted that the U.S. policy was to encourage Izetbegovic to break with the plan.

As early as August 29, 1993, The New York Times brought a revealing quote from the key player himself: “Immediately after Mr. Izetbegovic returned from Lisbon, Mr. Zimmermann called on him in Sarajevo… ‘He said he didn’t like it; I told him, if he didn’t like it, why sign it?’” After that moment Izetbegovic had no motive to seek compromise. He felt authorized to renege on the tripartite accord, which inevitably ignited the Bosnian war. Cutileiro himself insisted later that, but for Izetbegovic reneging, “the Bosnian question might have been settled earlier, with less loss of life and land.” He also noted that “Izetbegovic was encouraged to scupper that deal and to fight for a unitary Bosnian state by foreign mediators.”

In the fullness of time we shall learn which “foreign mediators” played the role of Zimmermann in Kiev in February 2014. Whoever it was – Victoria “f… the EU” Nuland, her ambassador in situ Pyatt, or Kerry himself – the intervention was a malicious attempt to encourage one side in Ukraine’s multiethnic, multi-denominational mosaic to fight for an unitary Ukrainian state. If the result turns out to be the same or similar as that in Bosnia two decades ago, those “mediators” will have blood on their hands no less than Warren Zimmermann had blood on his. He died in February 2004, having greatly contributed to the death of a hundred thousand Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Muslims in 1992-1995.

“UKRAINE” AS “BOSNIA” – A key element in the Western propagandistic misrepresentation of the situation in Ukraine is the claim that it is a coherent nation-state of “Ukrainians,” which is subjected to an unprovoked foreign aggression. On March 6 the House adopted a package of “sanctions against Russia, and “lawmakers are also acting in other ways to show solidarity with Ukrainians.” Two days earlier John Kerry flew to Kiev to show solidarity with Ukraine’s new leaders. Everybody and his uncle, including various MEPs, Canadian MPs, etc. flew to Kiev “to show solidarity with Ukrainians.”

In exactly the same manner, in 1992 it was asserted ex hypothesi by the American (and to a lesser extent West European) political elite, and parroted ad nauseam by the media machine, that if there is a “Bosnia” there must be a nation of “Bosnians.” In both cases the claim was tantamount to the assertion, in 1861, that “the American nation” was resisting an illegal rebellion. In fact today’s Ukraine is like Ireland in 1920: impossible to survive intact, let alone prosper in peace, on the basis of the aspirations and assumptions of one community which are inherently incompatible with those of another. The rights of the legislators in the Crimean Peninsula, Odessa, Kharkov, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk etc. vis-à-vis Kiev are exactly the same as those of the Stormont were vis-à-vis the Irish Free State in 1921.

COMMUNIST-DRAWN INTERNAL BOUNDARIES – The problem of internal boundaries between the constituent republics, arbitrarily drawn by communist dictators in complete disregard of the wishes and aspirations of the people thus affected, has been the key foundation of the Yugoslav conflict ever since the first shots were fired in the summer of 1991. Even someone as unsympathetic to the Serb point of view as Lord David Owen, the EU negotiator in 1992-1993, conceded that Marshal Josip Broz Tito’s administrative boundaries between Yugoslavia’s republics were grossly arbitrary, and that their redrawing should have been countenanced before the issue escalated into a fully-fledged war:

Incomprehensibly, the proposal to redraw the republics’ boundaries had been rejected by all eleven EC countries… [T]o rule out any discussion or opportunity for compromise in order to head off war was an extraordinary decision. My view has always been that to have stuck unyieldingly to the internal boundaries of the six republics within the former Yugoslavia… as being those for independent states, was a folly far greater than that of premature recognition itself.

The manner in which Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine in February 1954 is a particularly egregious example of the communist border-changing. The shoe-banger must be having a hearty laugh in his current hot abode at the readiness of the United States to risk a major confrontation with Russia – a minus-sum-game if there ever was one – for the sake of upholding the legacy of his stroke of pen 60 years ago.

REDUCTIO AD HITLERUM – And finally, just as Slobodan Milosevic was the Hitler-du-jour during the Bosnian war, Vladimir Putin is becoming one now. His current transformation could be predicted with mathematical precision. Most notably, Hillary Clinton likened Putin’s actions in the Crimean peninsula to those of Hitler in the Sudetenland. On March 3 Zbigniew Brzezinski called Putin “a partially comical imitation of Mussolini and a more menacing reminder of Hitler.” (“We haven’t seen this kind of behavior since the Second World War,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, not that anyone cared.) Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) agreed with Clinton wholeheartedly. The obvious comparison, with Oleh Tyagnybok and other black-and-red Svoboda Party heirs to Bandera and the SS Division Galizien, unsurprisingly eludes them. These people are McCain’s good buddies, after all – every bit as good as the warriors in the path of Allah in Syria.

As I’ve noted in these pages before, the final corollary of various ad-hoc Hitlerizations is that we are all potential Fuhrers, and only by vigilantly guarding against deviant thoughts (“I like Americans better than Somalis”), emotions (“I enjoy Wagner’s Ring more than Porgy & Bess”) and practices (“I enjoy walking my German Shepherd in the Bavarian Alps”) can we protect ourselves from the lure of the inner Adolf. Having experienced the reductio myself – having been called “Hitler in full oratorical flight,” to be precise – I hereby wish Vladimir Vladimirovich a hearty welcome to the club.

*****

Srdja Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor for the Chronicles magazine


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