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Parry writes: "Sometimes dealing with the waves of U.S. media propaganda on the Ukraine crisis feels like the proverbial Dutch boy putting his fingers in the dike."

Russian president Vladimir Putin. (photo: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian president Vladimir Putin. (photo: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)


Twisting Putin's Words on Ukraine

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

03 May 14

 

ometimes dealing with the waves of U.S. media propaganda on the Ukraine crisis feels like the proverbial Dutch boy putting his fingers in the dike. The flood of deeply prejudiced anti-Russian “group think” extends across the entire media waterfront – from left to right – and it often seems hopeless correcting each individual falsehood.

The problem is made worse by the fact that the New York Times, the traditional newspaper of record, has stood out as one of the most egregious offenders of the principles of journalism. Repeatedly, the Times has run anti-Russian stories that lack evidence or are just flat wrong.

Among the flat-wrong stories was the Times’ big front-page scoop on photos that purportedly showed Russian troops inside eastern Ukraine, but the story had to be retracted two days later when it turned out that a key photo – allegedly of several men “clearly” in Russia before they later turned up in Ukraine – was actually taken in Ukraine, destroying the story’s premise.

The other type of Times’ propaganda – making assertions without evidence – appeared in another front-page story about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s phantom wealth ($40 billion to $70 billion, the Times speculated) without presenting a shred of hard evidence beyond what looked like a pricy watch on his wrist.

However, in some ways, the worst of the New York Times reporting has been its slanted and erroneous summations of the Ukraine narrative. For instance, immediately after the violent coup overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych (from Feb. 20-22), it was reported that among the 80 people killed were more than a dozen police officers.

But, as the pro-coup sympathies hardened inside the Times, the storyline changed to: “More than 80 protesters were shot to death by the police as an uprising spiraled out of control in mid-February.” [NYT, March 5]

Both the dead police and the murky circumstances surrounding the sniper fire that inflicted many of the casualties simply disappeared from the Times’ narrative. It became flat fact: evil “pro-Yanukovych” police gunned down innocent “pro-democracy” demonstrators. Also consigned to the memory hole was the key role played by well-organized neo-Nazi militias that led the final assaults on the police.

More recently, the Times’ Ukraine summary has challenged Putin’s denials that Russian special forces are operating in eastern Ukraine (the point that the bogus photo scoop was supposed to prove). So, now whenever Putin’s denial is noted, the Times contradicts him by claiming that he made the same denial about Crimea, that Russian troops weren’t involved, and then reversed himself later.

For instance, in Friday’s editions, the Times wrote: “Mr. Putin has said there are no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. He made similar claims during the annexation of Crimea, however, and then later acknowledged the existence of a Russian operation.”

But that simply isn’t true. The Russians never denied having troops in Crimea, since that’s where they maintain a major Black Sea naval base in Sevastopol and had a contractual agreement with Ukraine allowing the presence of up to 25,000 troops. At the time of the Feb. 22 coup, Russia had about 16,000 troops in Crimea and that was well known as Crimea began to break away from the post-coup regime in Kiev.

On March 4, the Associated Press reported that “the new Ukrainian leadership that deposed the pro-Russian Yanukovych … has accused Moscow of a military invasion in Crimea. The Kremlin, which does not recognize the new Ukrainian leadership, insists it made the move in order to protect Russian installations in Ukraine and its citizens living there.

“On Tuesday, Russian troops who had taken control of the Belbek air base in the hotly contest[ed] Crimea region fired warning shots into the air as around 300 Ukrainian soldiers, who previously manned the airfield, demanded their jobs back. …

“The shots reflected tensions running high in the Black Sea peninsula since Russian troops – estimated by Ukrainian authorities to be 16,000 strong -tightened their grip over the weekend on the Crimean peninsula, where Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet is based.

“Ukraine has accused Russia of violating a bilateral agreement on conditions of a Russian lease of a naval base in Crimea that restricts troop movements, but Russia has argued that it was acting within the limits set by the deal.

“Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said Monday [March 3] at the U.N. Security Council that Russia was entitled to deploy up to 25,000 troops in Crimea under the agreement. Churkin didn’t specify how many Russian troops are now stationed in Crimea, but said that ‘they are acting in a way they consider necessary to protect their facilities and prevent extremist actions.’”

Putin’s Comments

Also on March 4, Putin discussed another public confrontation in Crimea at a Moscow press conference. He said: “You should note that, thank God, not a single gunshot has been fired there; there are no casualties, except for that crush on the square about a week ago. What was going on there? People came, surrounded units of the [Ukrainian] armed forces and talked to them, convincing them to follow the demands and the will of the people living in that area. There was not a single armed conflict, not a single gunshot.

“Thus the tension in Crimea that was linked to the possibility of using our Armed Forces simply died down and there was no need to use them. The only thing we had to do, and we did it, was to enhance the defense of our military facilities because they were constantly receiving threats and we were aware of the armed nationalists moving in. We did this, it was the right thing to do and very timely.”

So, Putin did not deny that Russian troops were present in Crimea. He even acknowledged that they were operational and were prepared to take action in defense of Crimean citizens if necessary.

Arguably, Putin did dissemble on one point, though the precise circumstances were unclear. When a reporter asked him about a specific case of some people “wearing uniforms that strongly resembled the Russian Army uniform,” he demurred, claiming “those were local self-defense units.”

A Formal Speech

Two days after a hastily called referendum, which recorded a 96 percent vote in favor of seceding from Ukraine and rejoining Russia, Putin returned to the issue of Russian involvement in Crimea, a territory that first became part of Russia in the 1700s.

On March 18 in a formal speech to the Russian Federation, Putin justified Crimea’s desire to escape the control of the coup regime in Kiev, saying: “Those who opposed the [Feb. 22] coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives, in preventing the events that were unfolding and are still underway in Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkov and other Ukrainian cities.

“Naturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress. This would have been betrayal on our part.”

Again, Putin was not claiming that the Russian government had no involvement in Crimea. He was, in contrast, confirming that it was involved. He continued:

“First, we had to help create conditions so that the residents of Crimea for the first time in history were able to peacefully express their free will regarding their own future. However, what do we hear from our colleagues in Western Europe and North America? They say we are violating norms of international law. Firstly, it’s a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law – better late than never.

“Secondly, and most importantly – what exactly are we violating? True, the President of the Russian Federation [Putin] received permission from the Upper House of Parliament to use the Armed Forces in Ukraine. However, strictly speaking, nobody has acted on this permission yet. Russia’s Armed Forces never entered Crimea; they were there already in line with an international agreement.

“True, we did enhance our forces there; however – this is something I would like everyone to hear and know – we did not exceed the personnel limit of our Armed Forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so.”

However, several weeks later, when Putin reiterated these same points, saying that Russian troops were in Crimea in support of the Crimean people’s right to have a referendum on secession from Ukraine, the New York Times and other U.S. publications began claiming that he had reversed himself and had previously hidden the Russian troop involvement in Crimea.

That was simply bad reporting, which now gets repeated whenever the Times mentions Putin’s denial of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. Clearly, there is nothing “similar” between Putin’s previous statements about Crimea and his current ones about eastern Ukraine.

Beyond sloppy reporting, however, something arguably worse is playing out here, since this distortion fits with the pattern of anti-Russian bias and anti-Putin prejudice that has pervaded the “news” coverage at the Times and other major U.S. media outlets.

Rather than show some independence and professionalism, the Times and the rest of the MSM have marched in lock-step with the propaganda pronouncements emanating from the U.S. State Department.

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Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+14 # taboogen 2014-05-03 18:31
This deconstruction of State Dept and western media crony entities like the NYT is always vital and RP's vigilance critical to keep check and balance as when he writse here :

"That was simply bad reporting, which now gets repeated whenever the Times mentions Putin’s denial of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. Clearly, there is nothing “similar” between Putin’s previous statements about Crimea and his current ones about eastern Ukraine.

Beyond sloppy reporting, however, something arguably worse is playing out here, since this distortion fits with the pattern of anti-Russian bias and anti-Putin prejudice that has pervaded the “news” coverage at the Times and other major U.S. media outlets.

Rather than show some independence and professionalism , the Times and the rest of the MSM have marched in lock-step with the propaganda pronouncements emanating from the U.S. State Department."

But this is all part of a long established program by the AngloAmerican consortium and longtime Jewish ownership of theNYT.
read TabooGenocide: Holodomor 1933 & the Extermination of Ukraine, for a closer analysis of the US propaganda stranglehold of preInternet America creating this current crisis in Kiev of the post Cold War era. www.taboogenocide.com
 
 
+35 # Activista 2014-05-03 19:48
What Parry reports - focusing on Ukraine, is only small portion of propaganda and censorship in USA mass media.
If NYT and the rest an lie about Ukraine, then imagine how truthful is the reporting about more complex issues - economy, environment - all is controlled by money - not the rest 99% .. PEOPLE
 
 
+16 # mighead 2014-05-04 05:53
When reading the NYT...
I 'quick read' the article...
and then go straight to the 'readers picks' comments...

The comments are generally FAR better informed...and usually 'call out' the NYT for 'biased' reporting...and often the comments are also far more 'up-to-date' on the subject than the articles.

One NYT article I read was busy reporting that the Kiev government had determined that Yanukovych had staged the snipers to shoot at his own police???!!! (apparently so he could oust himself from his own government???!!!)

Meanwhile...the comments were breaking the news of the Ashton-Paet call surfacing on YouTube and discussing a Ukrainian doctor saying that all of the shots were head and neck shots from above and all were the same weapons and ammunition...wh ich the NYT said was Russian...while the comments said they had been taken when the neo-Nazis overran a Ukrainian army barracks and weapons storage depot. (they're still living at the barracks!!!)

So I far prefer the NYT comments (Readers' Picks) to the articles.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2014-05-04 12:44
Back in 1965, I was at a Martin Luther King Jr. march in Chicago. That evening, I saw the TV news coverage of what I'd just seen, and it told a completely different story from what I'd witnessed.

Ever since then, I've asked people if they'd ever been participants or witnesses to an event that became a news story.

Then, I'd ask them if the coverage was accurate... not biased or subjective or even simply edited such that it missed important things, but was what the news media described true?

Of the couple thousand people I've asked over the years, barely a handful said news coverage was accurate. And most or all of them held beliefs that favored the coverage.

I ask everyone to extrapolate their own experience to all news coverage they read or see in the corporate news.
 
 
+24 # RMDC 2014-05-03 21:37
The NYT has always been the Washington regime's conduit for its lies and propaganda. There used to be a magazine called "Lies of our Times" and it pointed out all the lies printed in the NYT. I think the editors just wore out. the task was overwhelming.

It is time to just bury the NYT. Throw it in the dustheap of history.
 
 
+16 # mighead 2014-05-04 05:58
Along with the WaPost...and others!!!

Somebody said...if you can control the 'message'...you don't have to muzzle the media...

Apparently...the NYT and WaPost reporters go to the D.C. briefings...gra b any handouts...and rush out to publish the 'latest'...with zero analysis...in order to 'beat' the 'other guy' from reporting it first.

Also...any reporter or newspaper that doesn't publish the 'government line' loses 'access'...and that does wonders to keep the press 'in line'...
 
 
+24 # Far Left vanishing point 2014-05-03 21:41
America has no business telling the Russians anything. We exclude them and the EU excludes them. No wonder we have a crisis.
 
 
+25 # futhark 2014-05-04 05:36
When the United States pulls out of Guantanamo, perhaps I'll start listening to complaints about Russia seizing Crimea. How about giving the Cuban people a chance to vote on whether or not they want the United States to continue occupying Guantanamo?
 
 
+19 # mighead 2014-05-04 06:14
My understanding is that we just re-listed Cuba on the 'terrorist nations' list...and we're continuing our (60 years?) of sanctions against them.

Apparently, we do understand that they aren't terrorists...bu t we insist that they are harboring terrorists...

I WISH we could get the word TERROR out of our language!!! The minute we use it in any context it means there are no human rights or laws to worry about and it's okay to do anything we want to...be it drones, torture or prison without trial. It is used to justify the very worst in human behavior.

The minute Kiev calls the protesters 'terrorists'... you know what's going to happen next!!! A 'no rules' and 'no holds barred' attempt to 'exterminate' them.

If we called them by the more Jeffersonian term 'Federalists' - any action against them would be cast in an entirely different light!

It's time to quit using 9/11 as an excuse to demolish anybody and everybody we don't like.
 
 
+6 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-05-04 07:29
'Terror' first became a political term during the French Revolution, when the Revolutionary government cited it as the State's important tool for control.
 
 
+7 # Radscal 2014-05-04 13:02
Exactly! What is the proper term for a group of people who oppose a violent coup in their own country?

During our own Revolutionary War, we termed those Americans who opposed what everyone knew was a treasonous war as "Loyalists."

And it's not like the revolutionaries loved the Loyalists. In fact, they fought more battles against American Loyalists to Great Britain than we fought against actual British forces.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2014-05-04 12:58
Interestingly, Obama was just in the Philippines getting an agreement to radically increase our military presence there.

Of course, we invaded and took control of the Philippines as part of our "Spanish/Americ an War" in which we invaded and took control of Cuba.
 
 
+3 # mighead 2014-05-04 17:37
My understanding is that we're also FORCING the Philippines to maintain our base right near their major city that's been trying to get rid of us...apparently they've had it with our 'military' living in THEIR TOWNS!!!

But I guess we've forced them to shut up about us...don't want to know what we threatened them with to get that agreement!!!
 
 
+4 # Radscal 2014-05-04 17:48
From what I've heard and read, yeah, we're forcing our increased military presence. After the Filipinos overthrew our puppet dictatorship, they kicked most of our military out of their country, but.... THEY'RE BAAACK!
 
 
-33 # MidwesTom 2014-05-03 21:43
So if we keep assessing these illegal Mexican citizens in our country, do the Mexicans have the right to take over southern California in the majority Mexican neighborhoods? by Putins logic Mexico does.
 
 
+23 # albertchampion 2014-05-03 22:49
i would assert that mexico retains a valid stake in the ownership of so much of the southern usa.

we stole the territory from them in the 19th century.

theft does not disable a legitimate claim to ownership
 
 
+5 # Rick Levy 2014-05-03 23:30
There probably isn't territory in any country in the world that wasn't bought, stolen, or taken over by another country, and that most likely includes where you live, albertchampion. As for Mexico, using your "logic" the government there should return that country to Aztec rule.
 
 
+9 # Glen 2014-05-04 06:08
That's right, Rick. I've had this conversation before and your comments reflect the realities of world history. Let's remind everyone of that fact. Once again, there is no going back, but it would certainly show dignity and decency if those takeovers would end. Sadly, human beings, being what they are, will continue to wage war, and territorial theft.
 
 
+5 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-05-04 10:28
Yes, there is some "going back" that could be used. The people should be able to vote how they want to be ruled, and by whom. California was a state of Mexico. A few white men decided after the gold rush to have California become part of the United States. There was no vote of the people. I live in California and I want California to secede from the United States. We never voted to join the union but many of us want to get out.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2014-05-08 22:58
Quoting Rick Levy:
There probably isn't territory in any country in the world that wasn't bought, stolen, or taken over by another country, and that most likely includes where you live, albertchampion. As for Mexico, using your "logic" the government there should return that country to Aztec rule.


Yes, and the Aztecs took it from someone else ..... who took it from someone else .....

A while back there was a movement to "pay reparations" to the Lakota people for the White theft of the Sacred Black Hills.

My question was whether the White men should be properly be paying reparations the Indians (Lakota) from whom WE stole the Black Hills ?

Or should the reparations be going to the Indians (Arapaho and Northern Cheyenne) from whom the LAKOTA people stole the Black Hills - back when the Lakota migrated out of Minnesota into the Plains Country to begin with ?

Or perhaps to the tribes that "owned" the Black Hills before the Arapaho and the Northern Cheyenne came into being ?

This is a vacuous and stupid thought experiment.

To quote Chief Seattle, "Man does not own the Earth ....."

But men do "control" various geographical locations for a time. None in perpetuity, but for a time.

Those are just the facts on the ground.

There CAN BE no "original owner" to whom to return lands that are never actually owned (but only controlled) to begin with.
 
 
+12 # tedrey 2014-05-03 23:52
If you want analogies, make them equivalent. Suppose the elected president and administration in Washington is overthrown by protesters and replaced by members of the previous opposition, which then accuses anyone in the rest of the country who disagrees of being "terrorists" and sends troops to put them down. One thing is clear; force has replaced democracy. No wonder Ukraine (like Egypt)is up for grabs.
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2014-05-04 13:13
And don't forget that in this analogy, an adversary nation, like Russia had funded and guided the opposition party in the violent overthrow of the elected government.
 
 
-15 # Patrice Ayme 2014-05-04 00:16
I wasted hours reading Putin, and I can see exactly what portions of Putin Mr. Parry cut (as he quoted some passage immediately after some of Putin's most outrageous and grievous admissions, made in a 4.5 hour TV conference, which is available in translation from Putin's own propaganda machine).

I view the NYT as a plutocratic newspaper, but that does not excuse Mr. Parry lying by blatant omission.

Yes Putin sent who he called "little green men" and "very polite young men" and "very professional troops". Thousands of them, beyond the forces Parry talks about. And yes shots were fired, and people and officers killed.

Putin also said, at length, that Ukraine was Russia, and that the West wanted to destroy all of Russia, its "hugeness".

So Russians had to be ready for a struggle to death, and death for others was most attractive anyway. How much more fascist can one be?
 
 
+10 # Salus Populi 2014-05-04 00:38
Might you provide a link to "Putin's own propaganda machine" [sic]? That way, other readers can judge for themselves.
 
 
+14 # davehaze 2014-05-04 01:15
The Only war/conflict the NYT did not cheerlead since its founding was Reagan's 12 day Grenada war. That's it.

I take it as a given that they lie about near everything. I have boycotted them since they fired Sydney Shamberg back in the eighties for some simple truthful reporting. The NYT will not tolerate the truth. And yes you could say they are preferable to Murdock's NY Post but I wouldn't. The Post has less influence so does less damage.
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2014-05-04 13:16
The New York Times motto:
All The News That Fits The Narrative
 
 
+16 # janie1893 2014-05-04 01:26
what would the US do if another country decided to 'free' Puerto Rico from the clutches of the US?
 
 
+6 # tedrey 2014-05-04 13:03
With over 90% of voting Puerto Ricans agreeing to this in a referendum? The US would say it was invalid and would invade Puerto Rico.
 
 
-6 # ericlane 2014-05-04 03:13
I have a difficult time putting Putin on a pedestal. Yanukovich is kicked out of office and Putin immediately cedes Crimea. A farcical vote is taken. It was opportunistic and very aggressive. Now the same thing is happening in Eastern Ukraine. Putin is acting as if he can do anything he wants to another sovereign country. This is scary stuff. The consequences could be terrifying. I think Robert Perry is being a tad disingenuous. The New York Times may not be getting the whole story right but this is not about the New York Times. This is about what Putin is doing. And his behavior has been anything but diplomatic. He seems hell-bent on getting his way and consequences be damned. Not the kind of leadership we need in the 21st Century.
 
 
+4 # jojo5056 2014-05-04 04:57
ericlane--Quest ion 4U
Did you wake up this morning on the wrong side of the bed and all you saw was white (as in wall)? I hate folks who rant and don't give evidence :^(
 
 
-5 # ericlane 2014-05-04 05:15
Hi, jojo. Did I rant? I thought I was making a couple of points. What evidence do you want? The same as Robert Perry? Sorry I find Putin's behavior opportunistic and highly dangerous. I don't know what that has to do with ranting and raving, jojo.
 
 
-2 # Rick Levy 2014-05-04 19:40
Tell the truth to RSN power and get down-voted and attacked with ad hominem comments. Never fails.
 
 
0 # Rick Levy 2014-05-07 19:03
I rest my case.
 
 
+20 # mighead 2014-05-04 06:23
I'm not worried about Putin here...

I AM worried about what in the world MY government is doing attempting to start a nuclear WW3 in the middle of Russia of all places!!!

Apparently, our goal was to park NATO in the middle of Russia's naval FLEET!!!

What nut-job in the WH-StateDept-CI A-NSA and all the other US agencies thought this one up??? And better yet, who approved it??? You??? Me??? Congress???

As I recall...none of us were asked!!!
Probably because none of us would have said 'yes - go ahead'!!!

Last I looked...there were a whole lot of Russians in Ukraine...and ZERO Americans outside of our StateDept-CIA-N SA. So I DO understand what Putin is doing there and why he's concerned.

But I don't understand what we're doing there and why we're concerned!!!

Oh yes...I forgot...we're doing it for the Ukrainian people to bring them...what did we call it in Iraq??? oh yes...to bring them 'freedom and democracy'...
 
 
+5 # Radscal 2014-05-04 13:24
"What nut-job in the WH-StateDept-CI A-NSA and all the other US agencies thought this one up???"

President Carter's former National Security Advisor (the fellow who got the U.S. involved in arming Islamic Radicals in Afghanistan back in 1979).

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard in which he wrote, “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”
 
 
+2 # mighead 2014-05-04 17:39
you're dead on...

can't remember if it was Truman or Ike that started the first warnings about the 'military-Indus trial Complex'...

and we're still busy at it 50+ years later...only more powerful here...
 
 
+3 # Radscal 2014-05-05 11:15
Ike, in his farewell speech just before JFK's inauguration.

Of course, Ike also oversaw the blossoming of the Cold War arms race and the dirty CIA coups in Guatemala and Iran. He also advised JFK to invade Cuba in the Missile Crisis, so I love to quote his speech, but keep it in perspective.
 
 
+2 # John Escher 2014-05-04 08:03
See the lead story in the New York Times today (Sunday).
 
 
-4 # glyde 2014-05-04 10:45
Just where do you learn what Putin is doing if not the NYT?
 
 
+7 # Radscal 2014-05-04 13:20
I abhor Vlad Putin, but do you really believe he (and Russia more generally) would have ceded Crimea if the US had not funded and fomented a violent coup disposing an elected government?

It seems to me he is reacting to an obvious move to place an enemy state right upon the Russian border.

How would you want our President to react if Russia fomented a coup in Mexico?
 
 
+16 # mighead 2014-05-04 05:22
Sorry to say...

Our government scares me a whole lot more than Putin here...

He seems to be the only one in the whole affair that's acting rationally!!!

I certainly don't think we are!!! and I certainly can't understand why our government thought this was a good idea!!!

and the biggest losers...IF we don't nuke the world here!!! will be the Ukrainian people...seems we don't care about them any more than we did the people of Iraq...although we're saying that we're doing all of this for THEIR BENEFIT!!!

and somehow...it seems inevitable to me...that Ukraine will end up as a mirror image of the devastation and destruction we wreaked on Iraq for "freedom and democracy" and THEIR BENEFIT!!!
 
 
+10 # Sweet Pea 2014-05-04 06:56
Gee! You make us sound like a bunch of greedy-war-mong ering-busy-body s!
 
 
+11 # xflowers 2014-05-04 06:26
The whole mess in Ukraine has been handled badly, and as a result we've taken sides in a dispute reminiscent of the Cold War, which may have little to do with what is going on inside Ukraine. Their division is obviously deep and internal. The current predicament the country finds itself in was initiated by the coup of a democratically elected president. What will it take for opposition parties to realize that a coup is bound to lead to violence, which could have only been avoided by refraining from violence themselves and instead organizing politically against their opponent to beat him in the next election? The argument against Putin is that he's not acting consistent with the new norms of the 21st century. But overthrowing a democratically elected president is not consistent with peace and stability either. Who are these clowns in the Ukraine anyway who have cast their country into what looks like the beginnings of a civil war? The only thing that could have prevented this, I think, is if world leaders had never accepted the legitimacy of the an acting president installed in such a way. Am I naive? Maybe. Does what I say make any sense? I can see no other solution to this problem unless the new world order's definition of legitimate power is power taken by force even in democratic states, which casts us even further back into the past and if rewarded on track for a deadly future.
 
 
+9 # walt 2014-05-04 07:16
Once again, the big question to be asked...Who wants to see the USA squaring off with Russia?

Hint: 2003 and Weapons of mass destruction??

We all need to be seriously skeptical about this and all hints of war or military action. Americans should be tired of being manipulated and paying with our lives and dollars. That should be even more so now as our Congress tries to cut from our very own needs while agreeing to spend more for war in another country.
 
 
+2 # geraldom 2014-05-04 08:11
The following article just came out this morning and it is no surprise to me:

http://news.yahoo.com/cia-fbi-agents-advising-ukraine-government-report-101508429.html

It's entitled "CIA, FBI agents 'advising Ukraine government': report."

I knew that the United States and NATO are assisting the illegitimate government of Kiev, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of the so-called Ukrainian soldiers fighting the pro-Russian separatists in eastern and southern Ukraine aren't Ukrainians at all but U.S./NATO special ops.

My only question is where are the Russians? Where is Putin in all of this? Why is Putin throwing the pro-Russian separatists underneath the bus so-to-speak?

As usual, the United States is playing another game of chicken with Russia as it has done over the years, and as usual, the U.S. just happens to be slightly crazier than Russia. It appears that the Russian are more afraid of nuclear war than the U.S. and, as usual, the Russians have flinched first again. It appears that they are willing to give up control of all of Ukraine (minus Crimea of course) to the United States and its puppet military arm in Europe, NATO.

Vladimir Putin has completely capitulated to U.S. aggression. I do think that his high level of popularity in Russia will fall precipitously once Russia has become completely surrounded by the U.S. and NATO. I am completely disappointed in Putin for allowing the current Kiev government to get away with murder.
 
 
-2 # ericlane 2014-05-04 11:04
Harold, huh?
 
 
+8 # David Starr 2014-05-04 11:51
Quoting Futhark: "How about giving the Cuban people a chance to vote on whether or not they want the United States to continue occupying Guantanamo?"

YES.
 
 
+9 # jwb110 2014-05-04 12:00
Russia is a huge country. It covers 5 Time Zones. It has a large amount of natural resources and the West wants all of that. The NYT is no better than the Post and the News.
 
 
+8 # Radscal 2014-05-04 12:34
To those who believe the Crimean vote to join Russia was a sham, please note this was not the first such vote.

Just a couple years after the break-up of the USSR, an official vote was taken in Crimea in 1994. 80% voted in favor of breaking off from Ukraine and rejoining Russia. Obviously, that vote was ignored.
 
 
+1 # mighead 2014-05-04 17:46
Re: David Starr:

"How about giving the Cuban people a chance to vote on whether or not they want the United States to continue occupying Guantanamo?"

But if we let them vote...and it was 100% to take Guantanamo back...

where would we torture our POWs/terrorists???!!!

there IS a LIMIT to 'freedom and democracy' and democratic votes...and Cuba is DEFINITELY one of those limits!!!
 
 
0 # debbynicely 2014-05-05 18:34
I am sick to death of Parry and his commenters. A group of people who like to shout their heads off without doing the work that it takes to really know what is going on. If you wish to criticize the journalism of the NYT, The Wash Post, or any other serious newspaper, then you had better have studied the history as well as the current situation of whatever you are commenting on. Serious history - and journalism - is not an exercise in extremism. There are some elements of the journalism of the NYT which you have missed entirely. Yes, every historian is biased and writes from a point of view, but those who are serious have compelling reasons for what they write. Instead of reading to condemn, try to read to understand. I won't be wasting any more time on this blather.
 

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