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Boardman writes: "If too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there's a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons."

Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to support EU integration in central Kiev November 24, 2013. (photo: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to support EU integration in central Kiev November 24, 2013. (photo: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)


US Provokes Russia, Acts Surprised to Get a Nasty Reaction

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

04 March 14

 

How crazy will Americans get over Ukraine?

f too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there's a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons. Everyone in power knows that's a potential reality, but the urge to demagogue the Russians is presently overwhelming honesty and caution.

Ukraine is NOT a real place. Ukraine has never been a real place, not in the sense that Madascar or Cuba are both undeniably real places with real edges. Ukraine has no real edges, just lines on a map imposed by some treaty or army over the past several thousand years. To speak, as the more pompous do, of Ukraine's "territorial integrity" is to speak of an imaginary construct, useful for blurring people's minds for political purposes.

Ukraine in recent years has been what the power brokers of the disintegrating Soviet Union decided to let it be in 1991. Ukraine has no coherent history as a nation. First inhabited some 44,000 years ago, most of the region's history is as occupied territory.

Russia's history of maintaining a military presence in Crimea is older than United States history. The Russian Black Sea Fleet has been based in Sevastopol in Crimea continuously since 1783. For the Russians, this is a crucial warm water port, currently leased from Ukraine till 2042.

To understand what this means to the Russians, it probably matters more to them than the United States would care if the Cubans decided to threaten the Naval Base at Guantanamo, and we know that wouldn't have a happy ending.

Is anyone involved in Ukraine NOT to blame for something?

In spite of its history as a subjugated non-state, Ukraine has managed something like a functioning democratic government from time to time in recent years. Now is not one of those times. The elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, was by all accounts corrupt, but he was elected. Although the process was somewhat messy, he was duly elected in 2010 with almost 49% of the vote, concentrated in Russian-populated eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Now Yanukovych has been deposed, perhaps justly, but by an unjust process spearheaded by a street mob and a disenthralled parliament. The parliament has appointed an acting president and Yanukovych is in asylum in Russia. It's not clear that Ukraine now has a legitimate government of any sort.

The Ukrainian presidential crisis, which is ongoing, is surely the result of longstanding, internal Ukrainian faultlines, ethnic, political, and economic. And the crisis is even more surely the result of deliberate, years-long interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine by the United States, the European Union, NATO, and other western forces, as Robert Parry has described. Ukraine appears to be the latest victim of those New American Century conspirators who brought the world such success in Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, and Syria (home to another Russian warm water port and their only Mediterranean base).

"KREMLIN DEPLOYS MILITARY TO SEIZE CRIMEA" - N.Y. Times headline

That front page headline in the Times is, perhaps, less inflammatory than others elsewhere, but it was five columns wide and deploying "Kremlin" that way is pure Cold War journalism. As for accuracy, it's close - even if it doesn't acknowledge that Russian troops have long been based in Crimea and "seize" is a hyperbolic rendering of an unopposed deployment which may even have been welcomed by most of the population.

The subhead - "REBUFF TO OBAMA" - is essentially propaganda, as it tries to make the president personally relevant to a situation that has its own dynamic. It's also propaganda insofar as it tries to make this an American crisis to which we're supposed to respond, rather than one we promoted for reasons that remain obscure.

The Times offers some idea of why Russia might be wary, but that's deep in an inside sidebar, not the front page story. The deadpan tone hides a host of implied threats to Russian stability and safety:

"Ukraine had accomplished some military reform with NATO advice, but since President Yanukovych said that Ukraine was not interested in full NATO membership, cooperation has lagged, the NATO official said. Ukraine has, however, taken part in some military exercises with NATO, contribute some troops to NATO's response force and helped in a small way in Libya."

In other words, the "pro-Russian" Yanukovych was contributing to NATO, albeit in a small way that might even have been part of a balancing act reflecting Ukraine's unfortunate but inescapable geographic location bordering both Russia and NATO members Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. As far as the NATO allies were concerned, Ukraine's effort to be a buffer state with good relations with all its hostile neighbors was not enough. Both NATO and the European Union were pressuring Ukraine to choose sides, NATO's side. How did they honestly expect Russia to react, sooner or later?

These provocations have gone on for years in different forms, apparently with President Obama's blessing, since he apparently did nothing, or nothing effective, to mitigate or even stop the relentless instigation of Ukrainians toward violence. In mid-December 2013, former Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich warned of the trap Ukrainian demonstrators in Independence Square were headed toward.

The fascist, neo-Nazi, ethnic cleansing forces in Kiev and western Ukraine do not control the government at this point, but they control the streets and they are the most armed and organized of the factions in Ukraine. They provided many of the shock troops in recent confrontations with police at Independence Square.

Concern about the possible rise to power of right-wing forces contributed to the decision by Crimean authorities to reject the legitimacy of the Kiev government and establish de facto control of Crimea as, effectively, a temporary independent and autonomous province of Ukraine. After that, Sergei Aksyonov, prime minister of Crimea, asked the Russians for help safeguarding the region.

Aksyonov also announced that Crimea would hold a public referendum on independence on March 30.

The government in Kiev mobilized the military to defend Ukraine and dispatched some troops to Crimea. There the majority of those troops reportedly joined the forces of the Crimean autonomous region.

"PUTIN GOES TO WAR" - New Yorker online headline, March 1, 2014

The usually brilliant David Remnick somehow sees this multi-faceted, low level, uncertain and ambiguous situation as a "war." Since no shot had been fired by the time he wrote about what he called a "demonstration war," that made it an especially interesting demonstration.

"Putin's reaction exceeded our worst expectations," Remnick wrote, suggesting that no one had realistic expectations. For this statement to be true, "we" must have been delusional. Remnick must know that a rational person's expectations when provoking a huge nuclear power would have to be extreme - or detached from reality.

What did anyone expect Russia to do in the face of perennial probes affecting its vital interests, real or perceived? Writing with a Cold War approach that denigrates or omits anything that makes sense of Russian behavior, Remnick compares the Russian deployment in Crimea to Georgia in 2008, Afghanistan in 1979, Checkoslovakia in 1968. He omits any mention of Sevastopol or NATO. He argues instead that this is all about Putin's psyche.

Without doubt, Putin's Russia has its horrors, but not everyone is blinded by them, any more than they are blinded by American horrors. Writing in Haaretz on February 25, before Ukraine fully came apart, Amatzia Baram wrote with clear-eyed analysis of the developing situation:

If Ukraine degenerates into chaos, Russia's naval base in Sevastopol will be in danger. If that happens, Putin may have an interest in seeing Ukraine split, for he will have no choice but to seize control somehow - perhaps with the services of a loyal Ukrainian politician - of Sevastopol and the surrounding area, or even of Eastern Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula where it is situated.

The United States does not bear the sole responsibility for de-stabilizing Ukraine and risking a nuclear power confrontation, but there is little doubt that if the United States had not been an eager co-conspirator in twenty years of increasingly reckless global expansionism we wouldn't be in this current quandary.

But here we are, headed into another media wonderland where the actual context of putting missiles near another country's borders is expected to elicit a reaction different from the one the Russians would get if they tried to finagle Mexico into a military alliance or base missiles in Canada.

Come on, people, keep your wits about you. American exceptionalism isn't always such a good thing.



William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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-110 # brux 2014-03-04 11:44
> If too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there's a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons.

The use of nuclear weapons? Do you really think so?

So, the world ought to sit by and allow Russia to invade any little country they like because it might lead to nuclear war?

So, where does that kind of thinking end? And how does it have anything to with American exceptionalism ... it was Russia that is invading Ukraine?

This whole premise is wrong, just another excuse to criticize America at the rare time when some other country is really much worse. Sheesh!
 
 
+95 # Archie1954 2014-03-04 12:04
Too much US koolaid! Try actually understanding the geopolitics at work here. Victoria Nuland let the cat out of the bag. She referred to the 5 billion dollars that destabilization of the Ukraine has cost. She and the US ambassador even went so far as to choose who would be the new president of the Ukraine so you can hide your head under a bushel or you can wake up and smell the coffee. Russia did not invade the Ukraine. the US destabilized it, planned and supported an illegal coup and then hypocritically blamed Russia for protecting its national security interests in the area. You must be brain dead not to understand what is plain to everyone else.
 
 
+33 # fenox 2014-03-04 12:24
Thé Ukraine part thé US neocons would like to become European, was a pro nazi région in 1940.
Those fighting thé elected government and police are mostly néo-nazis.
We'll gladly offer those thugs to América, but dont
ask Europe to include them into thé EU.
Offre them US citizenhip if you like .
 
 
+11 # Anonymot 2014-03-04 14:25
Why not? Just a few more neocons.
 
 
+47 # REDPILLED 2014-03-04 12:47
Nothing can really "justify" one nation invading another or staging coups to overthrow regimes, especially democratically- elected ones., as the U.S. has continually done since at least 1945 (see Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List – William Blum http://williamblum.org//essays/read/overthrowing-other-peoples-governments-the-master-list)

But understand the history of Ukraine & Russia. Ukraine, including Crimea, was once a part of Russia. It has been vital to Russia's security, being on Russia's southern border, for ages.

Imagine a coup staged by pro-Russian elements and funded by Russia, overthrowing the elected government of Mexico and installing a pro-Russian president in Mexico City, one hostile to the U.S. and ready to order all U.S. border police and narcotics agents out of Mexico, and stop trading with the U.S. but, instead, trade only with Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela?

How would the U.S. government react to that?
 
 
-40 # brux 2014-03-04 14:01
What you Kool-Aid drinking Anti-Americans would be saying if the US invaded Cuba because they wanted to take back Guantamo, as the article mentions, flies right back in your hypocritical faces like shit on a windy day. You're just picking the wrong analogy because it suits you without looking at the bigger picture.

You cannot solve problems with the US internally by railing against what it does externally ... it is a waste of energy, as apparently is trying to mention anything here without upsetting the blame America folks.

What a bunch of schmucks.

You think Vladamir Putin is anything like Barack Obama ... or democracy in Ukraine is anything like democracy in the USA, you people are so confused.
 
 
+45 # WBoardman 2014-03-04 14:23
brux writes: "...if the US invaded Cuba because they wanted to take back Guantamo, as the article mentions...."

Uh, no, that's roughly 180 degrees off what the article says.

The article says, referring to Sevastopol in particular:
"To understand what this means to the Russians, it probably matters more to them than the United States would care if the Cubans decided to threaten the Naval Base at Guantanamo, and we know that wouldn't have a happy ending."

Let me put it another way:
the US would likely go ballistic over a threat
to Guantanamo, even though it is much less significant
to the US that Sevastopol is to the Russians.

In other words, maintain perspective.

Democracy in US & Ukraine?
Their people rise up and depose a lawful president
who is totally corrupt --
and we can't even follow the constitutional process
to remove a war criminal who lied us into war....
 
 
-24 # brux 2014-03-04 22:50
You just let that waft right over your head ... rationalizing Russia's attack on Ukraine while you could be out in the streets protesting America defending the Panama Canal or Guam or Japanese bases or whatever. You folks are incapable of seeing objectively.
 
 
-1 # David Starr 2014-03-05 12:13
As a matter of prioritization, you don't recognize the biggest threat here, especially when looking at the international situation.
 
 
-2 # brux 2014-03-05 15:21
Which is? You always just wave vague generalities and notions of all-knowing superiority around, but you never come though with the goods.
 
 
+5 # David Starr 2014-03-06 15:52
They are not that vague. Maybe you have a problem in getting the gist of what I'm saying?

I do explain more in a later post below. Want more?

Superiority? Why don't you come down from your ivory tower? You seem to have been badgering others here as though you have a superiority complex.

Why don't you sedate yourself?
 
 
+27 # Anonymot 2014-03-04 14:39
The world is full of variations. That's how we grew to here. But as Germanic Superman we are sure that everyone should be our clones. I won't go into why not from an evolutionary logic of diversity and flexibility, but from the point of view like ego-maniacal. We prize our drug problem, the alcohol ones, the cults, the shrinks, the divorce rate, suicide rate, single parent stats, the dumbness we've grown with twitter and games, etc., etc.

We are no longer a shining example of anything. But our egos want to impose whatever we have. And what we have gets more frightening every day.
 
 
+5 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-03-05 07:14
Actually we are now a shining example of ego ;)
 
 
-16 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-03-04 13:14
brux! This is one time i agree with you. Life is full of negotiations. My experience was union/company and I was union. This is one example of our side negotiating from a disadvantaged position. The Ukraine borders Russia and it's similar to what advantage Cuba and Grenada was for us. Militarily, Russia has the advantage so the West must either buy Russia off or have a way for it to cost too much for them to use their advantage. Russia has never been a soft negotiator and I think we'll probably buy them off somehow. Anybody that thinks we're buddy/buddy with Russia is overlooking history. We don't need to be enemies but it's as good a description as any other. We are competitors, aren't we? This may result in some saber rattling but nuclear weapons? No winners with that!
 
 
-16 # brux 2014-03-04 14:02
Better not agree with me, you'll have angry -- >somethings< out there pretending to wave torches and pitchforks demanding your head be kicked through the streets.
 
 
+15 # ericlipps 2014-03-04 16:16
Quoting brux:
Better not agree with me, you'll have angry -- >somethings< out there pretending to wave torches and pitchforks demanding your head be kicked through the streets.

Oh, poor you, so persecuted in your virtue.
 
 
-17 # brux 2014-03-04 22:52
I don't feel at all persecuted ... negative votes from the people here mean nothing, most of them seem to have dementia or be mentally ill. Including you, nowhere did I say I was persecuted, just attacked and voted down. Yea! democracy ... no we know why it doesn't work and is so weak that most people do not even vote - because there are masses and masses of stupid people.
 
 
+4 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-03-05 07:15
Please ignore the troll, he still gets his paycheck.
 
 
-5 # brux 2014-03-05 09:18
And you are still broke, unemployed and whining. "Paycheck" .... did I forget to mention paranoid too?
 
 
+44 # wrknight 2014-03-04 13:27
We're not criticizing America, we're criticizing those hypocrites that believe it's legitimate for us to invade and occupy any country we chose, but if anyone else does it, that's evil.

Brux, if the shoe fits, wear it.
 
 
-36 # brux 2014-03-04 14:03
But, it's OK for Russia to do that ... you have your head screwed on backwards ... I think it's starved your brain of oxygen.
 
 
+14 # ericlipps 2014-03-04 16:21
Quoting brux:
But, it's OK for Russia to do that ... you have your head screwed on backwards ... I think it's starved your brain of oxygen.

Actually, no, it's not OK for Russia to do it--but let's be honest here. Before 1991, the only time in the last thousand years the Ukraine was "independent" was briefly after March 1918, when the Kaiser's Germany forced the new Soviet government of Russia at gunpoint to sign a peace treaty which divested it of the Ukraine and a number of other regions--the only such agreement between Germany and any nation the Western Allies let stand after the armistice.
 
 
-19 # brux 2014-03-04 22:53
So, I guess you are right on with Saddam gassing the Kurds who wanted an independent Kurdistan. No matter where you go you are supporting oppression against local people just to be Anti-American - you people are idiots.
 
 
+3 # David Starr 2014-03-06 15:58
@brux: Don't you sound as "pure as the driven snow."

You have a simplistic view of the international situation regarding the examples you put in your posts.

Read my post below. It is a little specific.
 
 
+3 # hwmcadoo 2014-03-06 11:22
Why the smart ass put downs. Is it a substitute for clearly stating you ideas?
 
 
+34 # WBoardman 2014-03-04 14:06
Presumably the powers that have them
will stop short of using nuclear weapons.
But the bellicosity of some in our government only
makes a sane settlement harder to achieve.

Ukraine is not a little country.
It is the largest country wholly in Europe, 46th largest in the world (about the same size as Madagascar).
With about 45 million people, Ukraine is 29th most
populous in the world (after Spain and Colombia).

It's technically correct that Russia invaded Ukraine, but
more precisely, Russia expanded its troop strength
already in Crimea to take control of that place
(which IS a real place in the way that Ukraine is not).
Russia did so without a shot being fired, and
remained within Crimean boundaries. Unusual.

In recent decades, Russia's invasions have been
far more rational than America's,
and far less self-destructiv e. They seem to
have learned from Afghanistan, we haven't learned
from their Afghanistan, or ours. Or Iraq. Sheeesh, indeed.

The US was involved in overthrowing the legitimate
government of Ukraine, the Russians are not
challenging that. The Russians are protecting what
they see as their vital interest. Would we be where we are
now if we'd let Ukraine be Ukraine?

Everybody needs a time out.
Ukraine needs to be left alone.
That's what folks agreed to in 1994.
 
 
+18 # in deo veritas 2014-03-04 15:40
RIGHT ON! And added to the list of our subversion of other countries who remembers the CIA taking out the elected head of Iran so that the corrupt Shah could rule?
The fools running this country (including those not elected) won't stop until a terrible lesson is learned with we the people paying the price for it. If nothing is done to control them then it will be just desserts. We have met the enemy and he is US!
 
 
+8 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-03-05 07:21
Remember the 11th of September?
1973?
Santiago de Chile?
Thankfully with now wireless phones ITT does not need Chilean copper as much as when it had to push the CIA into deposing another democratically elected president. And with Allende dying that day it cleared the way for Pinochet.
 
 
+25 # propsguy 2014-03-04 14:34
are you f**king kidding?? the world sits by and allows the US to invade any little country it likes and is actively pushing the world toward nuclear war! why do you think that should get a pass?

because we're the "good guys?"
 
 
+13 # cwbystache 2014-03-04 16:46
well, the world did sit by and allow the United States to take almost half of Mexico, without having to factor in nuclear end-of-life-on- Earth scenes.
 
 
+19 # mighead 2014-03-04 20:23
Question:

Who is instigating this???

Answer:

A US Group: The National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The group was founded by the CIA (Casey) in 1983 and has been active since then. The CIA's top PR specialist Walter Raymond was chosen to head up the NED group. The CIA denies any connection to the group.

The group is EXTREMELY well funded, EXTREMELY well connected politically and EXTREMELY media savvy...hence the 'slanted' press coverage of NED-led 'ventures' throughout the world.

NED specializes in media briefings for the press corps to get the proper 'spin' on their activities in their various 'countries' of interest.

Here is a list of topics on the NED site for the Central and Eastern Europe regions:
Albania
Belarus
Bosnia-Herzegov ina
Kosovo
Macedonia
Moldova
Serbia
Ukraine

They are currently also attempting to overthrow the government in Venezuela.

Recent NED 'successes(?)' include Iraq, Syria and the overthrow of Quaddafi in Libya...

They are also behind the Senate group insisting on sanctions on Iran before diplomatic talks take place.
 
 
+8 # mighead 2014-03-04 20:36
Question:

What is NED's plan regarding Ukraine?

Answer:

This is an excerpt from NED's longtime president, Carl Gershman's op-ed piece in the Washington Post urging the U.S. government to push European "free trade" agreements on Ukraine and other former Soviet states and thus counter Moscow's efforts to maintain close relations with those countries.

The ultimate goal, according to Gershman, was isolating and possibly toppling Putin in Russia with Ukraine the key piece on this global chessboard.

"Ukraine is the biggest prize," Gershman wrote. "The opportunities are considerable, and there are important ways Washington could help.

The United States needs to engage with the governments and with civil society in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to ensure that the reform process underway not only promotes greater trade and development but also produces governments that are less corrupt and more accountable to their societies.

An association agreement with the European Union should be seen not as an end in itself but as a starting point that makes possible deeper reforms and more genuine democracy."

In these comments and those above...I am freely plagiarizing Robert Parry's terrific article published in RSN 2/28/14 A Shadow US Foreign Policy

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/22314-focus-a-shadow-us-foreign-policy
 
 
+8 # WBoardman 2014-03-05 09:10
[quote name="mighead"]Question:

"The United States needs to engage with the governments and with civil society in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to ensure that the reform process underway not only promotes greater trade and development but also produces governments that are less corrupt and more accountable to their societies."

The United States should try that in the United States.
 
 
0 # mighead 2014-03-05 23:40
I preferred Gershman's words:

"...a starting point that makes possible deeper reforms and more genuine democracy."

for me...his "starting points" of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya...and now Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Venezuela, Ukraine...and who knows where all else...

are clear EXAMPLES of the 'deep reforms' and 'genuine democracies' his overthrows have engendered....

for me: Gershman's words are a clear map of his global intentions for the US...and he's been working on it for 30 years now...

I knew all of this was going on in the Mid-East...
I knew we were overthrowing everybody we could in South America...
I just didn't know he'd pick Ukraine as the next target for his agenda...
but I guess he's been 'active' in Russia all along...e.g., Georgia in 2008...I just didn't know it...

I guess I should have read his list of Central and Eastern Europe topics (targets) on his website:
Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegov ina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine.

Gershman's "promotes greater trade and development"... sounds to me like he's saying that once he destabilizes or 'democratizes' those countries...the n corporations are free to move in and take them over...
 
 
+79 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-03-04 11:59
Time to get the Neoconservative s out of "our" government. They have spent trillions of dollars and have only pissed off our friends and fueled our enemies. Of course, they continue to make money off of creating hostilities. Vote these leeches out of office.
 
 
+8 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-03-05 07:39
Unfortunately I am not sure how to vote the CIA and other shadow organizations out.
The last president who was pissed enough with it to threaten it was JFK and we all know how it ended.
 
 
+74 # Glen 2014-03-04 12:06
What excuse did the U.S. have for attacking Iraq, Afghanistan, for drone bombing Pakistan, and Africa? These are not countries that ever attacked the U.S. The list is long, too, Brux. The U.S. has killed millions of innocent people.

Call it what you will, but the criticism of the U.S. is very real.
 
 
-4 # brux 2014-03-05 09:17
Most national/intern ational actions are coarse, and kill lots of people. I am not defending the US or all its military actions ... far from it.

Have we taken military action in Ukraine? No.

Particularly disgusting the US history in Viet Nam, 2 million of that country killed and many more made miserable by US military intervention. And still, Henry Kissinger and others walk around free.

But, I'm sure I do not really need to remind you this is not Viet Nam, and it is not Iraq. You cannot win and argument ... well, maybe you can on RSN, by avoiding facts and arguments.
 
 
+6 # Glen 2014-03-05 12:05
OK, I went back and re-read your initial post. It appeared to me, and seems to many, that you were defending the U.S. in a completely different manner, when in fact, you were stating that for once, the U.S. is not the aggressor.

On the other hand the U.S. has been taunting Russia, placing rocket launchers as well as defense systems in a number of surrounding countries in that territory, continually notifying Putin et al. that we have ships and we won't take anything off them. Then there was the olympics and taunting Putin with it and those transgressions against the environment and money spent, and much much more. It was a relief when at least one country refused those rocket launchers and defense systems.

The CIA is always meddling and inciting rebellion and suckering Russia into acts that that might not have come to pass. Putin is now making it known that Russia will not let any territory or country control the Ukraine or any other nearby country, which the U.S. would if it could be pulled off.

So anyhoo, I understand what you were trying to get across, but we all do know the U.S. is NEVER innocent.
 
 
+1 # brux 2014-03-05 15:18
No one is innocent, so it makes no sense to examine innocence as a point of discussion. That's what Noam Chomsky does, he speaks from a point of absolutes, which is a great way to give people a heady vantage point but not a way to explain or parse what is going on in the world in a way that can make sense out of things, especially when applied unequally across the nations of the world.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2014-03-05 16:24
That's true, brux. Innocence, however, is a label that even the U.S. government would love to adorn themselves with, as a cape and cover for their covert ops.

Absolutes and essays must be heeded, however. When one is familiar with an author, one may then glean from the information what they will, avoiding hyperbole or whatever is included. Chomsky offers much research that we benefit from, keeping in mind the background of the man.

Everything is unequal, brux, and I don't believe even Chomsky is guilty of spreading the blanket of homogeneity across the planet.
 
 
+31 # listentome 2014-03-04 12:25
The one thing that can save is continual access to truthful and fully divulgent information by respected journalists. Snowden and the others have opened a door to reality checks that can curb old anti-Russian cold war hysteria if people will seek out the facts. However, action is also needed to stop yet another war in our name.

So very Tragic that after the Sochi top world athletes competed so honestly and cautiously with one another from most countries, this western plotting was going on. Sad beyond words.

The powers there all had agreed to elections, and if we had not "goaded" them into this, a safer future would be theirs.
 
 
+4 # karenvista 2014-03-05 14:31
And where do you think that all the hysterical "warnings about terrorist attacks" came from? Same tool that the government uses on us. It was effective enough to keep some of the athletes' families from going to support their kids in what may be a once in a lifetime contest. We have no shame.
 
 
0 # Caliban 2014-03-06 08:42
Let's be factual: the main warnings about terror attacks--and the main preparations against them--came from the Russians--as well they should have given that they have been the victim of many, including shortly before the beginning of the Sochi Games.
 
 
+45 # Kwelinyingi 2014-03-04 12:42
If it wasn't so scary, it would be downright hilarious. The world's leading outlaw lecturing Russia about international law and the illegal invasion of Ukraine has to rank as the ultimate in doublespeak. What gall! Even after criminally invading and now presiding over Iraq, a nation that has descended into sectarian bloodletting, we still find the gall to call Russia names. Even after "saving civilian lives" in Libya and destroying that country in the process, we speak with such forked tongues about "legality". Even as we continue to launch drone attacks for "threats to our national security by way of killing innocents and groups going to weddings", we remain so shamelessly hypocritical. Even as we take stock and come out outright winners as the most criminal country post WWII in the globe, renditions, rape, torture and incarceration without charge to boot, we still find room for moral drivel. If it does not make one sick, I don't know what will.
 
 
+10 # in deo veritas 2014-03-04 15:46
AMEN! How can any rational person expect God to bless America when our track record is so disgraceful? Too bad that one and all do not hear a thundering voice responding by saying "WHY SHOULD I"? What reasons could we give? In all honesty a dead silence.
 
 
+18 # Seadog 2014-03-04 13:04
I hope Obomber remembers that Russia is armed to the teeth with nukes and they can be re-targeted in mins. Just what we need Cold War II. I bet the arms merchants are all cheering. here we go again.
 
 
-24 # bmiluski 2014-03-04 13:05
Kwelinyingi.... .. if only you hadn't gone over board and called us "the most criminal country post WWII in the globe".......Th at's so not true and now has made your post almost totally irelevant.
 
 
+13 # Radscal 2014-03-04 22:54
What other country has come close to the U.S. record of countries invaded and democratically- elected governments "regime changed?"

Here's a partial list of countries the U.S. has sent fighting forces who "saw action in country."
Guatemala
Vietnam
Cambodia
Laos
Congo
Dominican Republic
Haiti
Cuba
Chile
Angola
Grenada
Yemen
Somalia
Angola
Afghanistan
Yugoslavia
Libya

What other country has invaded half that number? A quarter that number?
 
 
+8 # karenvista 2014-03-05 14:35
Don't forget Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela.
 
 
-3 # Caliban 2014-03-06 08:50
And how many of these has Obama invaded?

It's important to remember that "America" has different aims according to who is running it. The America of the 2nd Iraq war is not today's America, and it is plain stupidity to write--or think--of them as the same.
 
 
0 # WBoardman 2014-03-06 12:20
Obama blessed the military coup in Honduras.

He's hardly defending the elected government of Venezuela.

And what he's been up to in Afghanistan has been no good.

Then there American provocation of Russia
and de-stabilizatio n of Ukraine,
not to mention American nefariousness in Asia,
but of course those are not the same thing,
even if they look like variations on an old theme....

A more important question is whether it matters
what Obama thinks, or whether he's fully in control.
 
 
+22 # Vardoz 2014-03-04 13:09
Russia is horrible, Putin is a mafia look a like, but with poverty hitting almost half our nation, lack of jobs, the stripping away of our constitutional and civil liberties who do we think we are? We've got a congress whose only interest is to impoverish the majority while protecting the top and corporate interests, I think the US is trying to provoke a cold war with Russia to justify more military spending. We killed perhaps a million civilians in Iraq for oil, spent trillions, sold chemical weapons to Saddam and Russia backs the slaughter in Syria. There is a lot more then meets the eye. What if Russia stuck its nose into our interests which are ubiquitous around the world?
 
 
+2 # mighead 2014-03-04 21:01
I'm thinking the correct analogy to the Ukraine-Crimea situation here is:

What would we do if Cuba threatened our Guantanamo Naval Base???
 
 
+4 # karenvista 2014-03-05 14:40
Quoting Vardoz:
Russia is horrible, Putin is a mafia look a like, but with poverty hitting almost half our nation, lack of jobs, the stripping away of our constitutional and civil liberties who do we think we are? We've got a congress whose only interest is to impoverish the majority while protecting the top and corporate interests, I think the US is trying to provoke a cold war with Russia to justify more military spending. We killed perhaps a million civilians in Iraq for oil, spent trillions, sold chemical weapons to Saddam and Russia backs the slaughter in Syria. There is a lot more then meets the eye. What if Russia stuck its nose into our interests which are ubiquitous around the world?


We started the problems in Syria. It was on PNAC's list of countries we were to overthrow like Iraq, Libya, and Iran. We back the jihadists there and support our friends Qatar and Saudi Arabia in sending weapons to the Al Qaeda associated groups.

Syria under Assad was a secular nation with all religions respected. The people we back intend to kill or drive out anyone who isn't a Wahabi Sunni extremist.

That's our democracy for you.
 
 
+3 # Caliban 2014-03-06 09:05
Not that simple. In Iraq we drove out the Sunnis and put the Shiites in charge of the current Iraq government. In my opinion, the biggest error "W" made was invading Iraq in the first place, but the second biggest was in suppressing all Sunnis because Sadam was one and not insisting that the non-Saddamist Sunnis be given full participation in the new government.

Now we have ongoing civil war.
 
 
+3 # mgwmgw 2014-03-04 13:23
America objecting to the Russians invading is the pot calling the kettle black. However, there are some decisions that should be made about what to do next. America cannot decide what other countries do. We can decide what we do. We can talk or send Kerry to places, and be strictly symbolic. We can impose economic sanctions on Russia and travel bans. We can offer help of various kinds to Ukraine. Or we can effectively do nothing. No matter what we choose, people will have valid arguments against it at the time, and we are likely to look back and wish that we had done differently. We cannot undo the past. We can only decide about the present and future. The 1% will get richer because the politicians they have bought will make sure of it. Beyond that, it is not clear to me what America should do or will do. However, it is clear that figuring out what to do is more useful than reminding everyone of how often America has invaded places. Just think what it would be like if an enemy attacked America using drones....
 
 
+14 # wrknight 2014-03-04 13:24
There is nothing logical about using nuclear weapons, end point or otherwise.
 
 
-16 # sergeart 2014-03-04 13:39
Is this guy for real?
Or is he on Putin's payroll?
Ukraine is not a real place?
Tell this to 35 million Ukrainians.
Tell this to many million Ukrainians who died in the last several centuries to get their country independent.
How dare Mr. Boardman refuses the Ukrainians their nationhood?
Yanukovich, the ousted president was not a king. He was voted out by Rada - the Ukrainian Parliament and is no longer recognized by Canada, Germany, France and many other countries including the US.
Russian Special Forces are occupying the Crimea - internationally recognized part of the sovereign state of Ukraine. They are controlling airports, establishing roadblocks and storming Ukrainian army barracks - who by the way, were given orders not to open fire so not to provoke Russians. Mr. Putin just recently, without blinking an eye lied on live television saying that these uniformed heavily armed men in armored vehicles are "local militia". Unfortunately, there are several videos around where these men naively admit they are Russian troops.
This shameless barefaced land grab is absolute copy of Hitler's Sudetenland annexation in 1938. The anschluss of the whole country would be the next step.
The United States has not just the right but obligation to stop Putin from re-drawing the internationally recognized borders. And Mr. Boardman should stop telling lies and half-truths about Ukraine in order to push his agenda.
 
 
+11 # Agricanto 2014-03-04 13:55
I guess "his agenda" is the takeover of the world by Putin and the defeat of the freedom-loving heroic people of the United States and their generous multinational corporations?

The only "agenda" I see is that of the US neocons to redraw the map of the world in their own crazy image of what they think is right. They did such a good job in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya, why stop now? It's on to the Crimea where we can get regime change that will go all the way to Moscow.

I do so detest the right wing trolls that post on this board. If you don't like RSN regulars like Boardman, go watch Glen Beck.
 
 
-17 # sergeart 2014-03-04 15:17
It looks like you don't know a thing about Ukraine, Crimea and personally Mr. Putin.
All you care about is chasing "right-wing trolls" of your imagination.
Yesterday people in in 27 cities all over the world came out to demonstrate against Putin's ruthless land grab in violation of international laws and agreement.

I wish you could see these Ukrainians singing their national anthem and folk songs, protesting shameless and blatant Russian aggression.
It is not a matter of me "liking" or "disliking" Mr. Broadman. It's a matter of disagreeing with his opinion. And your ability to comprehend written word without knee-jerk reaction on key words and meta tags.
 
 
+18 # WBoardman 2014-03-04 14:47
Sergeart -- a friend warned me I'd be misunderstood like this,
but it was too late to make changes.

And I HOPED careful readers would understand the point
I was making about borders/boundar ies. Some are natural,
some are not. The post World War I borders were mostly
not natural and notoriously contributed to WW II and
continue to add to the miseries of other places to this day.
Even in the best of circumstances, drawing boundaries
for a country like Ukraine, that speaks 18 languages and
comprises who knows how many ethnicities, is hard.

A truly independent Ukraine, whether culturally tolerant
or federally buffered (or both) is devoutly to be desired.
Cultural and politically, UKRAINE is a very real place
with a long and fascinating history -- but it is not an
easily definable geographical place. Would that it were.

The broad strokes (if not the nuance) of your version
of recent events are consistent with apparent reality.

Because one tries to comprehend Russian actions
is not the same as approving of them.

My focus was on the belligerant, not-quite-warmo ngering
rhetoric coming from American officials and especially
American media, none of which strikes me as helpful,
least of all to Ukrainians still in Ukraine.

You accuse me of telling lies, which I don't do. When I get
something wrong, it's not because I meant to.
Disagreements are not the same as lies.
Tell me, specifically, what you think I got wrong.
 
 
-5 # sergeart 2014-03-04 16:10
The Ukraine borders are very easily definable. All you have to do is to look at the map or just simply type "Ukraine" in Wiki. These borders are protected by international laws. And also by several international agreements, including the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 signed by Russia, Ukraine and the US.
In this Memorandum Ukraine agreed to give up it's nuclear weapons in exchange of the security assurances to Ukraine from both the United States and Russia, which specifically mentioned the respect to the current borders.
I wish you would see yesterday demonstrations against Russian aggression. I wish you understand the pain of Ukrainians who understand they cannot withstand the Russians alone. They need help against the ruthless aggressor - who can provide this help but the US? Just to make you familiar with Putin's intentions - here is the exact quote from his press-conferenc e today:
"Listen to me. Just listen carefully. I would like to be understood in no uncertain terms by you. If we do make that decision -- it will only be for the protection of Ukrainian citizens. And just let any of their soldiers dare shooting at their own people. Behind which we will be standing, in back of them. Not in front of them, but right behind. Let them dare shooting at women and children. I would like to take a look at those issuing an order like that in Ukraine."
How do you like it? He's going to use civilians as human shields. And shamelessly admits it.
 
 
+5 # geraldom 2014-03-04 16:53
Quoting sergeart:
.........

In this Memorandum Ukraine agreed to give up it's nuclear weapons in exchange of the security assurances to Ukraine from both the United States and Russia, which specifically mentioned the respect to the current borders. .....


I removed most of your posting and left what I thought was cogent.

I believe very strongly that their needs to be completely fair, honest and accurate elections in Ukraine monitored by unbiased and independent monitors, but most of all, I believe that the Ukrainian people do not want to be answerable to or controlled by either the U.S. or Russia, as you seem to agree in the partial statement above, or do you, sergeart?

I don't want to happen to Ukraine what happened to the rest of the eastern European nations that were given their sovereignty, their freedom, their independence and their soul by Russia when Gorbachev allowed the breakup of the USSR in the early 1990s.

Virtually every nation that had been given their freedom, their independence and their sovereignty by Russia in the early 1990s gave them all away like cheap clothes to the United States. The govts of these nations now answer to the U.S. instead of their former master, Russia. What a total waste to give away your sovereignty. They send their young men and women, through NATO, to die in illegal U.S. wars of aggression.

Continued
 
 
+5 # geraldom 2014-03-04 16:58
Continued

If Russia had not intervened in Crimea as they did, that's exactly what would've happened to the Ukraine people, their government being a puppet government of the United States.

The U.S. would then have been allowed to construct U.S-controlled NATO bases manned by who knows how many U.S. and NATO troops right up against the very border of Russia.

The U.S. would not have tolerated that in its own backyard. Why should Russia? If the U.S. would've left well enough alone and not have instigated, supported and funded the coup d'etat against the Yanukovych govt in Ukraine, a democratically- elected leader, Russia would not have interceded the way it did.
 
 
-9 # sergeart 2014-03-04 17:23
First of all, the US did not instigate and funded the coup d'etat against Yanukovich. You are repeating Russian propaganda.
The coup d'etat was spontaneous act of direct democracy that started with peaceful Maydan movement - the analog of Occupy movement for several months before the police forces started the violence.

Second - read the Memorandum. Got to Wiki and type Budapest Memorandum 1994. There is not a word about Ukraine giving up it's freedom. It's about giving up nuclear weapons. And other countries respect of Ukrainian borders and security. Namely, the US and Russia. Which Russia violated in brutal way but the US must honor.
 
 
+8 # acomfort 2014-03-04 18:11
Quoting sergeart:
First of all, the US did not instigate and funded the coup d'etat against Yanukovich. You are repeating Russian propaganda.


The propaganda started with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland ADMITS WASHINGTON HAS SPENT $5 BILLION TO “SUBVERT UKRAINE” Google it!
 
 
-7 # sergeart 2014-03-04 19:29
Nuland admits US INVESTED 5 billion bucks.
The American investments in Ukraine are quite serious. Mining, banking, manufacturing and so forth.
 
 
+5 # geraldom 2014-03-04 18:58
There's ample evidence over and beyond the leaked conversation between Victoria Nuland and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, that a coup had occurred, the same kind of coup that the U.S. and the CIA used to overthrow the legitimate democratically- elected govt of PM Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, openly admitted by the U.S., the use of paid rioters in the streets. It's not as you say, Russian propaganda.

Before any so-called police violence started in the streets of Ukraine, it was the protesters who took over govt buildings and destroyed them by fire. The police didn't start the fires, it was the protesters. The U.S. govt, not for one minute, would've tolerated what the Ukrainian protesters were doing. If you want to see such a protest crushed, and very quickly, just watch it happen in the U.S. If you think that the Ukrainian police were rough, the U.S. govt would've made what happened in Ukraine look like a cakewalk.

I don't care about the Memorandum. As I said, the Ukrainian people should be free from any influence or force by either Russia or the U.S. And your statement that other countries respect Ukrainian borders is pure naiveté. A country like the U.S. hasn't respected the borders of any nation when you look at the history of the invasions the U.S. perpetrated against other nations that were no threat to us.

Continued
 
 
+2 # geraldom 2014-03-04 19:04
Continued

As far as Ukraine is concerned, the U.S. doesn't have to invade Ukraine to control it. It already does because the current govt of Ukraine is a puppet govt of the U.S. and will do whatever it's asked by the U.S., and screw the Ukrainian people.

The Ukrainian people do not want any U.S./NATO military bases on their soil or any U.S./NATO troops or weapons on their soil, but the current government, like all of the other eastern European governments who sold their very soul to the Devil himself, the United States, are not going to care what their people think. Against the wishes of their own people, the current Ukrainian govt will give permission for the U.S. to build those military bases in Ukraine along the border of Russia, and Russia will be justified to whatever it deems necessary to stop it.
 
 
+1 # sergeart 2014-03-04 19:48
OK, the United States are Devil himself.
Quoting Bin Laden?
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2014-03-04 17:26
[quote name="sergeart" ]The Ukraine borders are very easily definable. All you have to do is to look at the map or just simply type "Ukraine" in Wiki. These borders are protected by international laws.

Yes, there are borders on a current map,
just as there have been different borders
on many different maps in the past.
That is not my point, which you are not understanding,
or so it seems.
European borders have been notorious fungible
for centuries, unless it's Crete or Ireland or Crimea, etc.

I mentioned the 1994 agreement above.

Let's stipulate that Putin can be a nasty fellow.
The world has long had such folks.
Some even kill civilians with drones.

Who can provide help but US?
The help provided by US/EU/NATO is what provoked
Russia this time around.

Ouroboros.

How do you think the March 30 referendum on
independence/au tonomy for Crimea will go?
If it happens.
 
 
-6 # sergeart 2014-03-04 17:52
We are not talking about centuries.
Borders are legal matter right now, not historical. The territorial claims of 200 - 500 - 2000 years old should not be considered casus belli.
Turkey owned the Crimea peninsula for quite a long time before it was taken by force by Russia. Shall we consider Turkish claims?
Any try to re-arrange current legal borders by force is wrong.

Referendum is another matter. However any referendum with the presence of foreign occupants controlling all the vital points in Crimea including House of Parliament (Crimea is, actually autonomous Republic within Ukraine with it's own government) - is a laughing matter. Russia should withdraw all the armed forces from the peninsula except the Naval base in Sebastopol before the referendum is even considered.
 
 
-7 # sergeart 2014-03-04 16:12
- continue from previous post - Mr.Putin's appetite and the appetites of millions of Russians who are being zombied by state-owned television, go far beyond just the Crimea peninsula. They want all the Soviet Union back, they want Alaska back - I am not joking.

As for the lies and half-truths I mentioned in my previous post, I apologize if these were honest mistakes.
The Russian Naval base in Crimea was never under threat. The Russian Special Forces units who take over airports, establish roadblocks and storm army barracks are not part of the Naval base, they are not part of any agreement - they are occupational forces.
The neo-nazis do not control the government, as you rightfully mentioned, but they do not control the streets either. Maydan was a place for everybody - the place of direct democracy, there was no anti-semitism or ethnic tensions of any kind. In fact, there were Jewish brigades fighting the police along with ultra-nationali sts. And so on and so forth.

Also - name me just one neocon among Obama's administration. Someone in his stuff was in the Project for the New American Century? Leo Strauss' disciple?

If you think that America should not be involved in any foreign affairs, you are in the same boat with Pat Buchanan. In fact, it is a good time to do something right, not defending economical or geopolitical interests, but something morally right. To help a smaller nation to withstand a big bully for a change.
 
 
+10 # WBoardman 2014-03-04 17:47
sergeart -- thanks for specifics

* no, naval base was not directly threatened, but
given the dynamics of the situation, it was in play -- I see Russia protecting its base as a rational choice in an unpredictable situation. Legal?
No, but not much has been lately.

*yes, 16,000 Russian troops have reportedly come into
Crimea, and I don't doubt that. But the initial takeover
also involved Russian troops long based in Crimea
at several bases, no?

* neo-nazis seem to control SOME of the streets is what
I should have said, based on a very credible BBC video. As
I understand it, no coherent force controls all the streets,
and not just in Kiev.

* I'm aware of the heterogeneity of the Ukrainians in the
streets, I don't think I said otherwise.

* this was not meant to be taken literally --
hence "appears" -- but was intended to describe
the mentality apparently at work:
"Ukraine appears to be the latest victim of those New American Century conspirators who brought the world such success in Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, and Syria (home to another Russian war water port and their only Mediterranean base)."
Still seems apt.

* What I think is that America should have a responsible
foreign policy, not an imperial one. One consequence of that
would be to leave elected leaders alone and, for example,
let the people of Ukraine deal with corrupt Ukrainian presidents without foreign interference.

US opened Pandora's box...
 
 
-11 # sergeart 2014-03-04 18:08
US did not open the Pandora box.
Putin opened the Pandora's box when he twisted Yanukovich hands into not signing the Association Agreement with ES. All of a sudden, without explanation, after visiting Moscow Yanukovich decided not to sign despite several months of working on the agreement and his promises to people of Ukraine. The people had no choice but to go on the street and occupy the Maydan.
The Maydan did not occur because US instigated and plotted for it. It was a spontaneous act of people executing their right to revolt against the corrupt ruler who changed the constitution to obtain more power, bent to Putin's demand against the will of people and introduced draconian laws against people's right to express themselves.
You are repeating Russian propaganda.
 
 
-6 # brux 2014-03-04 23:28
I happen to know some Ukranians, and they are nationalistic, they get very upset if you call them Russians, and are all for Ukrainian independence ... which is supposed to be de-facto.

Nothing will come of this, least of all nuclear war, and it is foolish for the author to even mention it. Both sides are posturing, and business as usual protecting interests.

But somehow, for the RSN'ers when the US does it, it is evil, but when anyone other than the US does it - it's just fine and dandy, especially if it is seen as being anti-US.

Now ... does that sound like Liberals, Progressives, or a bunch of fake IDs out there BS'ing trying to make the Left look bad? Because I think this is what this site accomplishes.
 
 
-9 # sergeart 2014-03-04 16:25
And one more thing - Nuland did not appoint any of the members of the interim government. In her telephone conversation tapped by FSB she was merely trying to guess who's going to be in the gov.
The government was elected by Rada - the Ukrainian Parliament, which even included many members of old president party.
 
 
-4 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-03-04 20:13
sergeart! "How dare Mr. Boardman refuses the Ukrainians their nationhood?" Right on with that comment.
By Boardman's reckoning that the Ukraine is not a real place then what of America? Immigration into America where there were no borders or land ownership would mean there is no real USA.
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2014-03-05 09:22
Buffalo Guy is right,
in the very strict sense of the term as I used it,
the United States is not a fully REAL place.
The coasts are clear (as it were),
and the Canadian border has had a long stability,
but the Mexican border is still in play
in the sense that it's contested in spirit,
like so many Ukrainian borders.

Why do some people have such difficulty
separating the literal from the conceptual
without denying either?
 
 
+2 # Caliban 2014-03-06 09:20
The US/Mexican Border is nowhere seriously in play.
 
 
-1 # WBoardman 2014-03-06 12:10
Caliban misunderstands my reference
to the Mexican border being in play,
and ignores my explanation.

There may be no armies or lawsuits fighting
over territorial integrity,
but there is, as in Ukraine, living historical memory
of perceived injustice.

There is also, last time I looked, the equivalent
of a border war, with real killing going on.

Why do some people have such dificulty
separating the literal from the conceptual
without denying either?
 
 
+1 # Caliban 2014-03-07 13:20
I have no difficulty "separating the literal from the conceptual". But your comparison between the stability of the Canadian and the supposed "instability" of the Mexican border was expressed quite literally in the post that I responded to. More "conceptually", there is no sustainable likeness between the genuine instability of the Ukraine border area and the genuine stability of the both U.S. national border lines.

I get the point you were trying to make about the borders in the Ukraine/Crimea region, but the U.S is not a good example of similarity. That's all I was trying to point out.
 
 
-8 # brux 2014-03-04 23:19
You just cannot force reason on the people here, since the US is for Ukraine and against Russia, them the mindless dolts here must be pro-Russian and anti-Ukraine just to keep their Anti-American card ... it's really funny how predictable
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2014-03-05 09:23
A reasonable person would not
rely on manichaean thinking.
 
 
0 # Caliban 2014-03-06 09:22
Manichean thinking regularly dominates discussions on this board, as it has in this one. But it isn't "brux" who is doing it.
 
 
+5 # MindDoc 2014-03-04 13:40
I'm just back from a speaking tour in Moscow, where I met with university students & faculty, diplomats, and many 'ordinary people' of several generations. The theme of my talks was "Context and Perspective". It certainly was a surprise for me to observe just how much this would apply, in a powerful way, as the good will and feelings about Sochi gave way to ... this.

While I usually appreciate and agree with most analyses by Mr. Boardman, here I think there is a touch of hyperbole not necessarily reflecting the (non-historical ) context, including the conversation among *the people* who are watching and waiting, not from a US-centric perspective, but with concern about friends and family. Well-defined 'country' or not, it's sort of like arguing if Staten Island should secede from New York to join New Jersey. There is intellectual debate, geo-political & historical, and there is the daily experience of Russians, who include Ukrainians and mixed allegiances within families.

On the TV (about one day/news cycle ahead of the US), while in Moscow I watched live feeds of armed Ukrainian groups resisting Russian soldiers with bravado, interviews with the "I'm not really deposed" ex-President and the newly installed one. It's complicated. And it's not about America at all, at least directly. My impression is that Putin has admirers & detractors, along generational and nationalistic lines.

Nobody I met wants war. Post-Sochi events and the undoing of good will are... worrisome.
 
 
+20 # liteguy 2014-03-04 14:02
All of a sudden we are sending $1 billion dollars to the Ukraine while cutting food stamps and our homeless problem etc. Etc.
 
 
+11 # Anonymot 2014-03-04 14:51
A billion? ONE? We just caused the Ukraine to reject 15 Billion from Russia of the approximately 45 Billion they need. So who's going to make up the difference? The EU doesn't just print up money like we do. So we will. You'll love the new tax rates. Of course, at the rate our last administration and this one throw money down chuck hole, what's 15/20/45 Billion more?
 
 
+3 # karenvista 2014-03-05 16:20
Quoting Anonymot:
A billion? ONE? We just caused the Ukraine to reject 15 Billion from Russia of the approximately 45 Billion they need. So who's going to make up the difference? The EU doesn't just print up money like we do. So we will. You'll love the new tax rates. Of course, at the rate our last administration and this one throw money down chuck hole, what's 15/20/45 Billion more?


We've upped it to $15 Billion - about twice what we just cut from food stamps.
 
 
+9 # Johnny 2014-03-04 14:08
The New York Times, like all the controlled U.S. media, makes Zionist propaganda, not news, and thinks the idiot TV-watching masses will believe it because they have no other easily available sources of information, and they reinforce the lies in their ordinary face-to-face conversations with each other. And the Times is right. The mindless propaganda regurgitations of brainwashed Brux, Sergeart, et al prove the point.
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2014-03-04 23:11
Considering the influence Ukrainian neo-nazis are having now, I wonder how the Israel-firsters like Thomas Friedman, and most of the NeoCons are feeling about their fomenting this coup.
 
 
-4 # brux 2014-03-05 09:13
Everyone suddenly looks like a mean, scary Zionist when all you want to do is to cut the heads off people who disagree with you. Go back to the Middle East for the time you have left "Johnny" ... or Abdul, Mohammed or whatever your name really is.
 
 
+18 # HarryP 2014-03-04 14:09
The Russians are still furious that the US and Germany broke their pledge back in 1990, that after incorporating East Germany into unified Germany and NATO, there would be no further NATO expansion eastward. Three additional expansions nonetheless followed under each subsequent US, including Obama. Each time the Russians warned not to go further, their warnings were brushed aside.

With the incorporation of Ukraine and Georgia into the NATO, the semicircle surrounding Russia along its western, its most, important borders, would be complete. Moreover, the US is in discussions with all other East European states to join NATO. It looks as if Serbia (for historic reasons) is the only one willing to say "no." (Macedonia, for the time being, is being blocked by Greece.) Everything else is fair game.

Is Washington willing to give Russia an unequivocal pledge that there will be no further NATO expansion? That could go a way to diffuse the situation. It seems to be only chance (however slight) for Ukraine will get back Crimea.
 
 
+4 # karenvista 2014-03-05 16:24
Quoting HarryP:

Is Washington willing to give Russia an unequivocal pledge that there will be no further NATO expansion? That could go a way to diffuse the situation. It seems to be only chance (however slight) for Ukraine will get back Crimea.


This time Russia better get it in writing and duly witnessed and notarized. We can't be relied on to keep our word, as Gorbachev found out.
 
 
+13 # Sweet Pea 2014-03-04 14:48
It's a scary world that we are leaving for our children and grandchildren.
 
 
+6 # socrates2 2014-03-04 18:08
Hate to say this but "democracies (or is that capitalist states?) don't fight other democracies."
Rather, they are way too smart and cynical to use nukes on each other, ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Radioactivity would ruin the precious resources they're fighting over. After all, "war is organized theft" in the words of Jacob Bronowski.
Such democracies cynically maintain war at troop-killing, population-deci mating and profitable munition-sales levels. After all, the "hooray-for-our -side" runaway tribalists and their great-grandchil dren get stuck with the bill.
Such wars quell domestic discontent caused by elite-avarice. How? Misdirected anger. The poor of one country get recruited to go out and kill the equally-recruit ed poor of another country. It's the old Jay Gould/Bernays-i an game.
This is the 21st century, folks. Open the occasional History or Political-econo my book. Sometimes I feel Rosa Luxemburg died in vain.
Be well.
 
 
+3 # Renfrey Clarke 2014-03-04 18:13
Ukraine is a perfectly legitimate country with its own national language, culture and distinct thousand-year history. For close to a century from the 1780s all regions of present-day Ukraine, plus the now-Russian Kuban, had majorities of Ukrainians or of Ukrainian-speak ing Cossacks. The only major exceptions were Crimea and arguably, Kiev.
From the late 19th century large-scale immigration, together with aggressive Russification by successive Moscow-based regimes, altered this picture sharply. Nevertheless, the right of the Ukrainian government to control its whole national territory is clear both in international law and in the accepted political practice of the left.
Crimea has never had a Ukrainian majority, and its people are "accidental Ukrainians" by virtue of a bureaucratic decision, taken under Khrushchev in 1954, to place their region under administration from Kiev. The Crimeans have a sound case for autonomy within Ukraine, or should they wish,to secede.
Whether these rights will be respected by the new Ukrainian government isn't yet clear, and the Crimeans don't appear at any point to have been under real threat from Ukrainian forces. Putin's invasion has no legitimate basis, and the Russian troops should be withdrawn.
 
 
+1 # sergeart 2014-03-04 19:04
Absolutely agree with your perspective.
Just want to add that any referendum with the presence of foreign occupational force is by no means legitimate.
The Russians must withdraw and take their puppet government of Sergey Alekseyev nicknamed "Goblin" in criminal circles with them before any referendum is considered.
 
 
-4 # tclose 2014-03-04 20:20
It is distressing to see the range of opinions on this on RSN - from people who have progressive views, yet cannot come to agreement on whether what has happened in Crimea is "just plain wrong" or "not so good but understandable" . This is a real problem if people of mostly like views cannot view this from the same perspective.

The commenters that have a problem with William Boardman's viewpoint are getting slammed here; they should not be so derided, imo they are making some good points that all of us should respect. For example:

- Mr. Putin is showing his stripes. It should not make any of us feel good about this notwithstanding the assistance the US has or has not given to the sovereign state of Ukraine.
- Ukraine has valid borders agreed upon by various treaties. To say the "Ukraine is not a real place" is ludicrous and an affront to most Ukrainians.
- The incursion of Russian forces into the Ukraine autonomous region of Crimea is not lawful. One can argue whether the invasion of Iraq by the US was unlawful as well, of course; but that does not make the move of the Russian military any less unlawful.
 
 
-6 # brux 2014-03-04 23:33
Well, the argument about Iraq would be much more material, after all it was on the UN shit list for 10 years, and Saddam and his sons were looting the country and driving around raping and murdering the woman, etc. That does not seem to be the case with Ukraine, nor is it supplying arms or support to terrorists.

It seems ridiculous to see just how far the people here will bend over to twist and distort whatever the idea of Liberal and Progressive is supposed to mean to express the foolish and idiot opinions of most people here ... i.e. which can be reduced down to blame America first ... a phrase I really hate to be borrowing from the goofballs on the far right, but the folks here on RSN have breathed life into that phase like Frankenstein.
 
 
-4 # brux 2014-03-05 09:11
Oh God ... love it, would you two who voted me negative like to come back here and explain what is wrong with my contrast of Russia and Iraq - you chicken-shits?
 
 
+4 # WBoardman 2014-03-05 09:55
tclose writes:
"The commenters that have a problem with William Boardman's viewpoint are getting slammed here; they should not be so derided, imo they are making some good points that all of us should respect."

Actually, almost no one here is addressing the viewpoint
that prompted my article: that most mass media coverage --
especially American media coverage -- reduces a complex, multi-dimension , longstanding struggle to the level of goodguys v badguys more suitable for a Hollywood western.
That kind of coverage feeds the lack of nuance
(the inability to see more than one point of view in a nexus
that has many [too many?]). Even Rachel Maddow
immediately jumped on the Cold War stereotype bandwagon,
which doesn't enlarge comprehension, so much as freeze it.

Maybe the "real place" idea is too hard, but here's an
example of what I'm referencing -- the short-lived
Ukrainian State circa 1918 -- it even has lines on a map:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_State

Most places that we think of as places aren't REAL places,
they are human constructs.

The need to have someone to root for (the "which side
are you on?" mentality) runs into cognitivie trouble
in a situation in which there are no apparent good guys
in positions of power on any side of a multi-sided nexus
like Ukraine (with the possible exception of Euro-Maidan
governments in some oblasts; but they are, by definition,
marginalized to great extent).
 
 
+4 # karenvista 2014-03-05 16:46
I think the people giving your detractors negative marks are reacting to your points. Many have tried to reason with those people but their acceptance of U.S. media propaganda can't be educated out of them in a forum like this. Most of us know that they either don't have the actual information to make a rational decision or are ignoring it on purpose.

The phraseology that "Ukraine is not a real place" is very problematic. Most of us know that you are not questioning the fact that there is a place that exists that is called Ukraine. What you are really saying is that, ethnically, religiously, historically and linguistically the are now called Ukraine was patched together from various populations and regions that don't have very much in common. In fact, the east and west fought on opposite sides in both World Wars. As you say, the current boundaries of the country are a human construct.

Rachel Maddow has taken some ridiculous positions that have been alienating her audience. Me included. If she's smart (which she apparently it) she will admit her mistakes and revamp her positions unless she is being forced by management to report propaganda.

Lastly, we helped overthrow the government of Ukraine before during the "Orange Revolution." Every government we have installed or they have elected have been thieves and the country is bankrupt. They are a basket case and if the E.U. ends up with them they will just pick them clean through I.M.F. loans.
 
 
+1 # WBoardman 2014-03-05 17:38
karenvista -- bless you ;-)))
 
 
+3 # tigerlillie 2014-03-04 23:01
The hypocrisy and phoniness of both the U.S. and Russian governments in this situation is mind blowing.
 
 
+9 # AUCHMANNOCH 2014-03-05 00:50
Would somebody please tell me the difference between the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Egypt, Palestine and the Ukraine? Either we have democratic governments or we have dictatorships. This is the viewpoint of the U.S.A.

Hamas democratically elected government overthrown in Palestine. Well - that's OK. Big tick.

Muslim Brotherhood democratically elected as the government of Egypt overthrown. Well - that's OK.Big Tick.

The democratic government of the Ukraine overthrown. Well - that's OK too.

Clearly the U.S. government doesn't really give a shit about real democracy.It's a farce. Sure you can have the vote - as long as you vote the way the U.S.A. wants you to vote. If you don't? Well - its a real coincidence that your government will likely be overthrown.
 
 
-2 # hammermann 2014-03-05 05:18
Kiev: Sorry William, you don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about- I couldn't get even half-way through your drivel. Why do the hard core leftists on this site insist in framing everything in the world as US neocon plot vs decent liberal worldview- it really is annoyingly parochial, as dumb as going into Iraq when you can't find it on a map. I lived here 5 years and have watched these protesters work almost as a perfect commune- helpful, cooperative, generous, supportive, enlightened against this scumbag ex-Gov... and walk into snipers bullets to save their comrades.

Do you really think they're doing that or sitting in freezing miserable tents for months because of some neocon conspiracy or CIA money?????? Is that the only motivator in the world to your poor limited mind?? Maybe they have their reasons that have nothing to do with your particular obsessions. They were never a country?- you idiot- they were the ORIGINAL RUS with an empire 800-1200, that Rus then coopted as theirs, though Russia was much farther north and started later.

You decide what borders neighbors can storm over and take you prisoner- WTF are You? This could get very very ugly, it seems Putin wants that to happen, but Ukrs restraint so far has prevented a bloodbath.
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2014-03-05 10:08
hammermann
(in spite of his/her ad hominem attacks)

inadvertantly highlights one of the more awful aspects
that seems to be developing in the Ukraine -- the betrayal
of the Maidan by the powerful of almost all sorts --
not just Russia, but Ukrainian oligarchs, organized rightwing paramilitary, the US/NATO/EU/NED nexus, and
the present RADA which bends with the Maidan for now but
hardly seems one with it.

Most "countries" [not my word] are not "real places" [my
phrase} -- but we've covered that, to limited effect.
 
 
+1 # brux 2014-03-05 09:14
I happen to know some Ukranians, and they are nationalistic, they get very upset if you call them Russians, and are all for Ukrainian independence ... which is supposed to be de-facto.

Nothing will come of this, least of all nuclear war, and it is foolish for the author to even mention it. Both sides are posturing, and business as usual protecting interests.

But somehow, for the RSN'ers when the US does it, it is evil, but when anyone other than the US does it - it's just fine and dandy, especially if it is seen as being anti-US.

Now ... does that sound like Liberals, Progressives, or a bunch of fake IDs out there BS'ing trying to make the Left look bad? Because I think this is what this site accomplishes.
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2014-03-05 12:03
Comparing Russia invading Ukraine and the U.S. invading Cuba is not fit for a viable argument. Rather than two threats, there is a common threat.

There are different historical circumstances. It's ideological, where the U.S. has had a fondness for monetary empire for over 100 years, and this before there was a Soviet Union.

Combine that with the fact that the U.S. is the world's only super power nowadays. There's no equal comparison here.

The U.S. is currently on the offensive while Russia is on the defensive when looking at the international situation.

Ukraine is one of those former Soviet republics targeted for U.S. imperialism, with the attempts to bring it into NATO (which should have been dissolved since the Warsaw Pact was), the EU, etc., then taking another step to impose the U.S.'s model and with that World Bank/IMF austerity, privatization, etc., which continues.

Russia, on the defensive, is acting according to a foreign threat. Cuba, on the defensive, is coping with a foreign threat within its own borders, a naval base.

The threat is a common one: U.S. imperialism.
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2014-03-05 17:36
David Starr --

The US invading Cuba is NOT in my article.

The analogy is between a threat to Sevastopol and
a threat to Guantanamo.

In neither case would it be wise to expect
the Big Power to react kindly,
as one has already demonstrated.
 
 
+3 # David Starr 2014-03-06 16:05
@WBoardman: No negativity intended.

I thought it would be an interesting comparison, seeing Cuba close to the U.S. and Ukraine close to Russia.
 
 
0 # BKnowswhitt 2014-03-06 17:47
Obama got sucked in by the Neocon driven media critics of his admin and trying to be 'Tough on Terror' and show he's 'Tough on Foreign Policy' .. so now he's boxed himself (and the USA) in ... no options exist .. either withdraw your troops .. or suffer the consequences .. lack of misunderstandin g of the situation from Russia's view .. and and incorrect assessment of what's going on .. but let's be clear the Right Wing and Repukes who criticise his 'Foreiiiiiiing Policy' offer no refeshing solutions .. so ... it's the same authoritarian foreign policy that's gone on from USA point of view .. long standing ... USA has NO solutions to the problem ....
 
 
0 # BKnowswhitt 2014-03-06 18:33
And it's driven by USA 'interests' for natural resources .. Russia is protecting her's with exports of what is estimated to be 50% of her economy ... natural gas lines that go through The Ukraine .. simply that ... and Obama et al driven to take one side .. Putin to protect Russia's 'interests' more close to their border and more relevant to them there than anyone's bullshit discussions here in the good ole 'cooked media' and the falsely driven 'Good over Evil' decryers here in the USA ... Kerry is a loser .. on this one .. but at least we most likely won't go to war over this one like Bush/Cheney did with Iraq ..
 

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