When Russians Were Americanophiles

At the tail end of the Cold War, there was an incredible atmosphere of Americanophilia throughout the USSR, including amongst Russians.

poll-levada-russia-usa-approval

Blue – approve of USA; orange – disapprove.

Around 75%-80% of Russians approved of the United States around 1990, versus <10% disapproval.

By modern standards, this would have put Russia into the top leagues of America fans, such as Poland, Israel, and the United Kingdom. It was also around 10%-15% points higher than contemporary US approval of Russia.

The blogger genby dug up a VCIOM poll from 1990 asking Russians – that is, Russians within the RSFSR, i.e. the territory of the modern day Russian Federation – what they thought about Americans.

The poll was redone in 2015, keeping the same questions, which allows a direct comparison between the two dates.

What in your opinion characterizes the United States? 1990 2015
High criminality and moral degradation 1 15
No warmth in people’s relations 1 15
High living standards 35 12
Large gap between rich and poor 5 11
Racial discrimination 1 9
Highly developed science and technology 15 7
Success depends on personal effort 20 7
Free society 13 5
Other . 6
Can’t say for sure 10 12

I would wager Russian opinions on America were more positive c.1990 than the opinions of the average American on his own country today!

Is US government friendly or hostile to Russia? 1990 2015
Friendly 35 3
Not very friendly 40 32
Hostile 2 59
Can’t say 23 6

These results speak for themselves and hardly need more commentary.

Nowadays, of course, things are rather different. Suffice to say the numbers of America fans have plummeted, while the percentage of Russians with actively negative views emerged essentially out of nowhere to constitute majority opinion. According to other polls, Russian approval of the US rarely breaks above 30%, and the sentiments are quite mutual. Just 1% (that’s one percent) of Russians approved of US leadership by 2016. Although there were hopes that this trend would turn around after Trump, which seemed plausible in early 2017 and indeed seemed to be happening, this was in the end not to be.

What I think is more significant is that nobody likes to talk about it now, because it reflects badly on pretty much everyone.

Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making to end up within the borders of old Muscovy in exchange for… jeans and “common human values.” These figures testify to the complete and utter failure of Soviet propaganda, which spent decades spinning tales about American criminality, unemployment, and lynched Negroes only to end up with a society with some of the most Americanophile sentiments in the entire world. It also makes it much harder to scapegoat Gorbachev, or the mythical saboteurs and CIA agents in power that feature prominently in sovok conspiracy theories, for unraveling the Soviet Union, when ordinary Soviets themselves considered America the next best thing since Lenin and the US government to be their friend.

For their part, Americans would have to acknowledge that Russians do not have a kneejerk hatred of America, and that the “loss of Russia” was largely of their own doing. The arrogant refusal to take into account Russian interests after the Cold War, instead bombing their allies, expanding NATO to Russian borders in contravention of verbal commitments made to the USSR, and for all intents and purposes treating it as a defeated Power, may have made sense when it seemed that the US would be the world’s dominant hyperpower for the foreseeable future and Russia was doomed to die anyway – as was conventional wisdom by the late 1990s. And from a purely Realpolitik perspective, the results have hardly been catastrophic; the US gained a geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe, tied up further European integration into an Atlantic framework, and closed off the possibility of the “Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok” envisaged by Charles de Gaulle. On the other hand, in a world where China is fast becoming a peer competitor – with the implicit backing of a resentful Russia – this may, in retrospect, not have been the best long-term play.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.

 

Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.

 

Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.

Comments

  1. Well, this Americanophobia plays well for Americans, who afford a new arms race. Yes, you may think that America is deep in debt, but its creditors see it as an investment. When the Exxons of the West will milk the Siberian mineral riches, America will pay everything back. The alternative, a world where they would invest in Rosneft in order to get a share of the plunder of, idk, Gulf of Mexico, is silly. As we saw in the 80’s, the best form of war against Russia is not to bomb and starve Moscow. That won’t scare the locals. Let Kremlin do it instead.

    If Putin is not careful, if he doesn’t go low tech, low cost, the Americans will win the long game.

  2. Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making to end up within the borders of old Muscovy in exchange for… jeans and “common human values.”

    Your ’empire’ fell to pieces as rapidly as the Hapsburgs’ in 1918 and you had to expend handsome sums in an attempt just to hold onto Chechenya (populaiton 1.1 million). You have 150 million people as is and can do without having to stomp on recalcitrant minorities and to craft institutions which function in multilingual environments. You never had much of a constituency in Austria for attempting to reassemble the Hapsburg dominions and Hungary’s ambitions haven’t in the last century gone beyond attempting to capture Magyar exclaves.

    Look at the other principals in the 1st world war: overseas dependencies retained by them consist of a portfolio of insular territories which prefer their current status and whose total population hardly exceeds that of Switzerland. The only one which has retained contiguous peripheral provinces predominantly populated by minorities would be Turkey. You’re not injured for the loss of an opportunity to replicate the Turkish experience with ethnic cleansing (of Greeks and Armenians) conjoined to abuse (of Kurds). Everyone lost their empire, and they’re not generally the worse for it.

    You have a large national state. Kvetching that you don’t have Azerbaijan or Estonia is inconsistent with good sense.

  3. Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making

    What’s remarkable to me about that graph of opinion over time is how pig-headedly resilient Russian naivety about the US has been. Time after time it appears the scales would fall from Russians’ eyes after the US regime disgraced itself particularly egregiously (Kosovo, Iraq, Georgia), and within a few months approval would be back up to 50% or above. It took the interference in the Ukraine in 2014 to finally make the truth stick.

  4. See Thomas Sowell: recrimination is the modal human response to embarrassments and failures. Constructive activity (see Japan between 1867 and 1931) is eccentric but effective. Be Meiji Japan. Don’t be Latin America and don’t be the Arab world.

  5. US regime disgraced itself particularly egregiously (Kosovo, Iraq, Georgia),

    There are no disgraces incorporated into any of these events.

  6. Is this a gag post or do you blog while s**tfaced?

  7. There are no disgraces incorporated into any of these events

    That might be your opinion, but Kosovo and Iraq were openly illegal wars of aggression in which the US shamelessly flouted its own treaty commitments, and supporting Georgia was, like NATO expansion in general and numerous other consistently provocative US foreign policy measures directed against post-Soviet Russia, a literally stupid matter of turning a potential ally against the real rival China into an enemy and ally of said rival.

    You are perfectly entitled to endorse mere stupidity on the part of your rulers, but the fact that you so shamelessly approve of waging illegal wars counter to treaty commitments discredits any opinions you might have on such matters.

  8. Verymuchalive says

    Russians would have to acknowledge that they were naive idiots who threw away an empire centuries in the making to end up within the borders of old Muscovy

    Actually, present Russian borders are more those of Peter the Great, circa 1717, than Old Muscovy. Russia, unlike nearly all the Great Powers of the C20th, has retained its Empire – Siberia, the Russian Far East, Kamchatka, South Russia and the Crimea ( first acquired as recently as 1783 ).
    Once those dim-witted Ukies finally implode the Ukrainian economy, Russia will be able to gobble up the rest of southern and eastern Ukraine – all the way to Odessa.
    The places that seceded from the Soviet Union are places that Russians don’t want ( Northern Kazakhstan excepted ) and are urgently required to receive all those Central Asian immigrants who will be deported by sensible Russian governments in the near future. ( I exclude Armenians from the last clause )

  9. Yes, US had squandered a lot of good will in exchange for extremely valuable “geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe.”

    Incidentally, Soviet propaganda was never anti-American. It was anti-capitalist, an important distinction. Whereas in America, anti-Russian propaganda has always been anti-Russian.

  10. the US gained a geopolitical foothold in Eastern Europe, tied up further European integration into an Atlantic framework,

    Washington could get both by integrating and not alienating americanophile Russia.

    closed off the possibility of the “Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok” envisaged by Charles de Gaulle.

    It also closed off the possibility of an American-led Global North.

  11. That might be your opinion, but Kosovo and Iraq were openly illegal wars of aggression in which the US shamelessly flouted its own treaty commitments,

    We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq and both places had it coming.

  12. “Soviet propaganda, which spend decades spinning tales about American criminality, unemployment, and lynched Negroes”

    Now they can spin tales about the Trump admin lynching white gun owners…giving their jobs to Negros…giving their land to dogs that spread fleas.

  13. Felix Keverich says

    You have a large national state.

    Correction: Russian Federation is not a nation state. It is a rump state. Its Western borders are artificial, drawn by the Communists in the 20th century, they exclude those parts of Russia, which the Communists decided to incorporate into separate republics of Belarus and Ukraine.

    I don’t know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call ‘home’ – an actual Russian nation-state. Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it’s that all the land that’s historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

    PS: just because we had trouble holding onto Chechnya doesn’t mean that annexing Belarus will be hard. Sure, we can expect blowback in the form of Western sanctions, but I don’t anticipate much resistance from inside Belarus.

  14. Swedish Family says

    It took the interference in the Ukraine in 2014 to finally make the truth stick.

    Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia’s state-owned media. This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

  15. Felix Keverich says

    With that kind of thinking I don’t see how you can criticise Russia’s incursions into the Ukraine. At least Russia has an actual reason to fight a war in the Ukraine. US invaded and destroyed Iraqi state for no reason whatsoever. US interests suffered as a result of its ill-advised agression, they ended up empowering their avowed enemy – Iran.

  16. Felix Keverich says

    This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

    How do you see this happening? Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media? These people are smart enough to understand that whoever controls the media controls public opinion.

  17. Correction: Russian Federation is not a nation state. It is a rump state.

    Your ‘rump state’ extends over 6.6 million sq miles and has a population of 152 million.

    Its Western borders are artificial, drawn by the Communists in the 20th century, they exclude those parts of Russia, which the Communists decided to incorporate into separate republics of Belarus and Ukraine.

    It’s western borders are no more artificial than that of any other country not bounded by mountains or water.

    I don’t know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call ‘home’ –

    ‘Essential’? You just can’t get through the day without Minsk?

    As for White Russia, your constituency there has in its dimensions fallen by half in the last 20 years.

    http://russialist.org/belarusians-want-to-join-eu-rather-than-russia-poll-shows/

    As for the Ukraine, you’ve no discernable constituency for reunification. The constituency for a Russophile foreign policy weighs in there at about 12% of the public. VP’s three-dimensional chess game is going swimmingly.

    My own forebears discovered in 1813 that the residue of British North America was quite content with gracious George III, and our boys got their assess handed to them by them Cannucks. We got over it and so can you. Miss Ukraine is just not that into you. Best not to play the stalker.

  18. As for the Ukraine, you’ve no discernable constituency for reunification.

    You don’t know much about Ukraine.

  19. With that kind of thinking I don’t see how you can criticise Russia’s incursions into the Ukraine. At least Russia has an actual reason to fight a war in the Ukraine.

    They dissed you. La di dah. My own countrymen have put up with that from an array of Eurotrash and 3d world kleptocrats every time we open the newspaper.

    US invaded and destroyed Iraqi state for no reason whatsoever.

    No, we did so because that was the best alternative. The other alternative was a sanctions regime which Big Consciences were assuring the world was causing a six-digit population of excess deaths each year or taking the sanctions off and letting Saddam and the other Tikritis to follow their Id. Iraq was a charnel house, and the world is well rid of the Tikriti regime, especially Iraq’s Kurdish and Shia provinces, which have been quiet for a decade. You don’t take an interest in the ocean of blood for which the Ba’ath Party was responsible, but you’re terribly butthurt that politicians in Kiev don’t take orders from Moscow. Felix, I can taste teh Crazy.

  20. You don’t know much about Ukraine.

    Nice try at pulling rank. There is still no discernable constituency in favor of it in the Ukraine. The Romanov pretender in Florida might poll better.

  21. Felix Keverich says

    Your ‘rump state’ extends over 6.6 million sq miles and has a population of 152 million.

    Exactly, and you’re missing the point. Re-read my previous comment again:
    I don’t know of any Russian nationalist, who wants Azerbaijan back, but reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call ‘home’ – an actual Russian nation-state. Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it’s that all the land that’s historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

    Russians know more about these things than you do. The vast majority of us do not regard Belarus and Ukraine as part of “заграница” – foreign countries. Ukrainians and in particular Belorussians are simply variants of us, just like regional differences exist between the Russians in Siberia and Kuban’.

    http://russialist.org/belarusians-want-to-join-eu-rather-than-russia-poll-shows/

    I don’t care, because this isn’t a popularity contest. There were similar polls in Crimea showing majority support for the EU, just before the peninsula voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia. LOL

    The question that matters to me is will there be a vast resistance movement inside Belarus following the annexation, and to be honest I don’t expect one.

  22. We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq

    Except the UN Charter and the Helsinki Accords. The latter only with Serbia.

  23. Neither the Ukrainians nor probably the Belorussians want to join Russia. Get over it. You still have a big enough country.

  24. Felix Keverich says

    The way I see it “an ocean of blood” in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion, and it included plenty of American blood. Young healthy American men lost their lifes in Iraq, lost their their bodyparts (arms, legs, their nuts), lost their sanity, and as an American I can’t imagine that you were pleased about that. Certainly, most of your countrymen didn’t feel this way, they didn’t feel this war was worth it for the US.

  25. We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq

    The treaty commitment in question was with almost the entire rest of the world, namely when your country entirely voluntarily signed up to a commitment to “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”. If your country had retained the slightest trace of integrity and self-respect it would at least have had the decency to withdraw from membership of the the UN when it chose to breach those treaty commitments.

    And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts for weaselling out of their country’s commitment, such as a wholly imaginary entitlement for them to decide for themselves when there is a “humanitarian” justification for doing so, or make up wholesale fantasy allegations about “weapons of mass destruction” that even if true wouldn’t justify war.

    An entire nation state behaving like a lying ’60s hippy or a shamelessly dishonest aggressor.

    I’m sure you’re proud.

    and both places had it coming.

    A straightforward confession of lawless rogue state behaviour, basically.

    Do you actually think somehow you are improving your country’s position with such arguments? Better for a real American patriot to just stop digging and keep sheepishly quiet about the past three decades of foreign policy.

  26. Felix Keverich says

    The fact is neither did Crimeans really want to join Russia (polls didn’t show that), and yet our re-unification has been a huge success! I honestly can’t think of good reason, why we can’t go futher.

  27. @Mitleser: Would Russia have been interested in joining both the E.U. and NATO?

  28. Neither apply.

  29. “an ocean of blood” in Iraq was unleashed following US invasion,

    By various and sundry Sunni insurgents, who continue to distort and disfigure life in the provinces where they have a critical mass of the population. The Kurdish and Shia provinces are quiet.

  30. Do you actually think somehow you are improving your country’s position with such arguments?

    Depends on the degree to which my interlocutor lives in a bubble breathing in the air of his own mephitic resentments.

  31. And if anything Americans make their own shamelessness worse when they fabricate imaginary pretexts

    There were no imaginary pretexts. You need to get out more.

  32. Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia’s state-owned media.

    There seems no evident reason to look for another explanation for the drops in pro-American sentiment. They seem eminently justified by the US’s behaviour over the period 1990-date and perfectly unsurprising.

    What needs to be explained is not the sustained low opinion after 2014 but rather the remarkable recoveries after 1999, 2003 and 2008.

    In the west, opinion of the US was managed upwards with the Obama presidency because he fitted so well with US sphere establishment antiracist and leftist dogmas that he had almost universally positive (even hagiographic) mainstream media coverage throughout the US sphere, but with Trump opinions of the US are mostly back down where Bush II left them. It seems unlikely the Russian media would have been as sycophantically pro-Obama merely for his blackness and Democrat-ness, though, and of course he wasn’t around anyway in 2000 and in 2004.

    It’s understandable that following a particular instance of particularly bad US behaviour (such as Kosovo or Iraq) opinion of the US in US sphere states would dip dramatically (as it did, mostly) and then recover slowly to roughly its long term mean, because those crimes were not directed against the interests of US sphere states or elites. But they very much were targeted at Russia or its interests and disadvantageous to Russia and its global status. Russians had few excuses for failing to see that the US was an implacable and dangerous enemy from at least Kosovo onward, and yet they repeatedly chose to pretend to themselves that it wasn’t.

  33. This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

    Why are you assuming that the pendulum would swing back?
    The Kremlin is still playing nice with Western “partners”.
    The alternative does not have to be more pro-American.

  34. Felix Keverich says

    As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together, which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country. And now these Shia communities vote for pro-Iran politicians, who gradually turn Iraq into Iranian puppet – is this why American soldiers died?

    C’mon, Iraq invasion was a disaster for the US whichever way you look at it. That’s what happens when you start a war for the wrong reasons.

  35. Correction. It’s the elites that don’t want to join Russia. And the reason they don’t is because the West gives them goodies for being anti-Russian. This kind of strategy worked pretty well so far (for the West) in Eastern Europe and it will continue to work for some time yet. But not forever, not in Ukraine and Belorussia.

    That’s because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian. The rulers of Ukraine and, to a much lesser degree, Belorussia are trying to erect cultural barriers between themselves and Russia. Good luck with that, in the 21st century. It’s more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world. Eventually it will tell.

    Now, the question is if Russians will even want Ukraine back. This is not so clear.

  36. They do.

  37. Would Russia have been interested in joining both the E.U. and NATO?

    Integration into West is what Russians wanted.

    An example

    IF RUSSIA HAD THE CHANCE TO BECOME A FULL MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW, WOULD YOU BE FOR OR AGAINST THIS? (N=800)

    08/2009:
    For: 53%
    Against: 21%
    Difficult to say: 27%
    https://www.levada.ru/en/2016/06/10/russia-s-friends-and-enemies-2/

  38. German_reader says

    That’s just dumb. The reasons officially given for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – Saddam’s regime hiding weapons of mass destruction and being an intolerable threat to the outside world – were a transparently false pretext for war, and that was clearly discernible at the time. Saddam’s regime was extremely brutal and increasingly Islamic or even Islamist in character, but by 2003 it wasn’t a serious threat to anyone outside Iraq anymore…the worst thing it did was send money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers (bad, but hardly an existential threat). Admittedly there was the question how to deal with his regime in coming years, whether to eventually relax sanctions or to keep them in place for the foreseeable future. But there was no urgent need to invade Iraq…that was purely a war of choice which the US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences. If you don’t understand why many people find that rather questionable, it’s you who needs to get out more.

  39. What needs to be explained is not the sustained low opinion after 2014 but rather the remarkable recoveries after 1999, 2003 and 2008.

    Yugoslavia and Iraq were not that close to Russia and Russian elite was still pushing for Integration into West at that time. After 2008, “Reset” and Obama happened.

    It seems unlikely the Russian media would have been as sycophantically pro-Obama merely for his blackness and Democrat-ness, though, and of course he wasn’t around anyway in 2000 and in 2004.

    Keep in mind that Obama’s opponent in 2008 was McCain, that McCain.
    Just like Trump, Obama seemed like the lesser evil and not to blame for previous conflicts.

  40. Hungary joined NATO a few days (weeks? can’t remember) before the start of the Kosovo-related bombardment of Serbia. I attended university in a city in the south of Hungary, close to the Serbian border. I could see the NATO planes flying by above us every night when going home from a bar or club (both of which I frequented a lot).

    I was a staunch Atlanticist at the time, and I believed all the propaganda about the supposed genocide which later turned out not to have gone through the formality of actually taking place. But it was never properly reported as the scandal it was – it was claimed that the Serbs were murdering tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians, but it never happened. They might have killed a few hundred, at worst a few thousand civilians, but that’s different from what the propaganda claimed at the time. I only found out that there was no genocide of Albanians in Kosovo when I searched the internet for it some time after the Iraq invasion. By that time I was no longer an Atlanticist. Most people are totally unaware that there was any lying going on while selling us the war.

  41. and that was clearly discernible at the time

    Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes and made me question some previous policies, especially the bombardment of Serbia. I wasn’t any longer comfortable of being in NATO, especially since it started to get obvious that Hungarian elites (at least the leftists among them) used our membership to dismantle our military and use the savings on handouts for their electorate, or – worse – outright steal it. While it increasingly looked like NATO wasn’t really protecting our interests, since our enemies were mostly our neighbors (some of them). This kind of false safety didn’t feel alright.

  42. German_reader says

    “Yes. It was the thing which opened my eyes”

    Same for me. I was 15 during the Kosovo war and believed NATO’s narrative, couldn’t understand how anybody could be against the war, given previous Serb atrocities during the Bosnian war it seemed to make sense. And after 9/11 I was very pro-US, e.g. I argued vehemently with a stupid leftie teacher who was against the Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified, so I don’t think I’m just some mindless anti-American fool). But Iraq was just too much, too much obvious lying…and those lies were so stupid it was hard not to feel that there was something deeply wrong with a large part of the American public if they were gullible enough to believe such nonsense. At least for me it was a real turning point in the evolution of my political views.

  43. Russians know more about these things than you do. The vast majority of us do not regard Belarus and Ukraine as part of “заграница” – foreign countries. Ukrainians and in particular Belorussians are simply variants of us, just like regional differences exist between the Russians in Siberia and Kuban’.

    The last two sentences contradict the first.

    Russians tend to be rather ignorant of Ukrainians, and you are no different.

  44. Western Europe, with the best will in the world, doesn’t need more Slav/Muslim immigrants. Europeans would have never agreed to it.

  45. Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified

    Destroying the Taliban government, yes. Building “democracy” is just stupid, though. They should’ve quickly left after the initial victory and let the Afghans to just eat each other with Stroganoff sauce if they so wished. It’s not our business.

  46. That’s because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

    This is for them to decide, not for you.

    It’s more likely the culture will further homogenize, as is the trend anywhere in the world.

    Yeah, the culture homogenizes around the world, into global Hollywood corporate culture. In the long there, “traditional Russian culture” is as doomed as “traditional Ukrainian culture” and “traditional American culture” if there is anything left of it.

  47. The fact is neither did Crimeans really want to join Russia (polls didn’t show that)

    Nonsense, Mr. Clueless-About-Ukraine:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014#Polling

    Polling by the Razumkov Centre in 2008 found that 63.8% of Crimeans (76% of Russians, 55% of Ukrainians, and 14% of Crimean Tatars, respectively) would like Crimea to secede from Ukraine and join Russia and 53.8% would like to preserve its current status, but with expanded powers and rights…. A poll by the International Republican Institute in May 2013 found that 53% wanted “Autonomy in Ukraine (as today)”, 12% were for “Crimean Tatar autonomy within Ukraine”, 2% for “Common oblast of Ukraine” and 23% voted for “Crimea should be separated and given to Russia”.

    The takeaway is that Crimeans were satisfied being part of Ukraine as long as Ukraine had an ethnic Russian, generally pro-Russian president like Yanukovich in charge (2013 poll), but preferred being part of Russia to being part of a Ukrainian state run by Ukrainians (2008 poll, post-Maidan).

  48. German_reader says

    Totally agree, there should just have been a quick punitive expedition, trying to “fix” Afghanistan is pointless.

  49. That’s because the population of these places is Russian (no matter what they were taught to call themselves by the Commies.) Their culture is Russian.

    Believer of Russian nationalist fairytales tells Russian nationalist fairytales. You managed to fit 3 of them into 2 sentences, good job.

  50. Oh, Western Europe does not mind Slav/Muslim immigrants.
    In fact, they love them.
    They would not have agreed for other reasons without admitting them in public.

  51. As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together,

    The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country’s military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis:

    James Mattis’ 33-Year Grudge Against Iran

    That’s something that ought to seriously concern anyone with a rational view of world affairs.

    which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country.

    In fact the Americans had already admitted defeat and agreed to pull out before Obama took office. Bush II signed the withdrawal agreement on 14th December 2008. After that, US forces in Iraq were arguably no longer occupiers and were de jure as well as de facto present on the sufferance of the Iraqi government. The US regime had clearly hoped to have an Iraqi collaboration government for the long term, as a base from which to attack Iran, but the long Iraqi sunni and shia resistances scuppered that idea. The sunnis had fought hard, but were mostly defeated and many of them ended up collaborating with the US occupiers, as indeed had much of the shia, for entirely understandable reasons in both cases.

    Military occupations are morally complicated like that.

  52. Felix Keverich says

    I was referring specifically to Russian attitudes about Ukrainians. I know that among Ukrainians themselves, there is quite the confusion on this subject.

  53. As I recall the Sunnies and Shias killed and disfigured American servicemen together, which caused Americans to elect Obama and run away from the country. And now these Shia communities vote for pro-Iran politicians, who gradually turn Iraq into Iranian puppet – is this why American soldiers died?

    Your memory is bad. The three Kurdish provinces never suffered much. Political violence in the Shia provinces was finally suppressed over a series of months in late 2007 and early 2008. It was also contained to a degree in the six provinces with Sunnis. And that is how matters remained for six years. ISIS was active in those provinces which have had public order problems consistently since 2003.

    Iran has influence in Iraq. It is an ‘Iranian’ puppet only when unzdwellers require rhetorical flourishes.

  54. In fact the Americans had already admitted defeat

    Were we defeated, Iraq would be ruled by the Ba’ath Party or networks of Sunni tribesman. It is not. This isn’t that difficult Randal.

  55. Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

    I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

    But I have been told by Russians who ought to have some knowledge of these things that Putin and the wider regime were not so naïve even back in the late 1990s, so the case can be made both ways.

  56. reclaiming Belarus and Ukraine is absolutely essential to have a country, we could all proudly call ‘home’ – an actual Russian nation-state.

    In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime. Obviously there will have to be a militarized occupation regime and prison camps and a network of informants. A proud home.

    Again, what really matters here is not the size of the country, it’s that all the land that’s historically Russian should be fully within the borders of this country.

    Baltics were Russian longer than Ukraine. Central Poland became Russian at the same time as did half of Ukraine. According to the 1897 census, there were about as many Great Russian speakers in Kiev governate as in Warsaw. Take the Baltics and Warsaw back too?

  57. That’s just dumb.

    No, it’s just an argument you’re not used to having to answer.

    The reasons officially given for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – Saddam’s regime hiding weapons of mass destruction and being an intolerable threat to the outside world – were a transparently false pretext for war, and that was clearly discernible at the time.

    It was nothing of the kind. That was on the list of concerns Bush had. Bush’s trilemmas don’t go away just because Eurotrash strike poses and have impoverished imaginations.

  58. I was a staunch Atlanticist at the time, and I believed all the propaganda about the supposed genocide

    The concern at the time was that Serbia was beginning an ethnic cleansing operation contra the Albania population, but carry on.

  59. This is for them to decide, not for you.

    Yes, of course. Just don’t assume they will decide the way you think.

  60. Felix Keverich says

    These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless: most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

    I’m sure, support for reunification will go up in Belarus, if the Kremlin shows some leadership on this issue. We will find enough people willing to work with us, the rest will just have to accept the new reality and…go about their daily lifes as usual.

    The situation in Ukraine is different, it differs wildly by region and will require us to modify our approach.

  61. US started in a demented attempt at reshaping the region according to its own preferences.

    It did nothing of the kind. It ejected two governments for reasons of state. One we’d been a state of belligerency with for 12 years, the other was responsible for a gruesome casus belli. Now, having done that, we needed to put in place a new government. There was no better alternative means of so doing than electoral contests.

  62. Yes, of course. Just don’t assume they will decide the way you think.

    They’ve had ample opportunity over a period of 26 years to make the decision you favor. It hasn’t happened, and there’s no reason to fancy they’ll be more amenable a decade from now.

  63. Swedish Family says

    How do you see this happening? Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media? These people are smart enough to understand that whoever controls the media controls public opinion.

    They are indeed, but my assumption is that Russia’s present elite is, for the most part, corruptible. Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure — carrot and stick — to deregulate Russia’s media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West. Only a few days ago, we learnt that Washington ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia’s internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite’s plan for Russia?

  64. Were we defeated, Iraq would be ruled by the Ba’ath Party or networks of Sunni tribesman. It is not. This isn’t that difficult Randal.

    Well this is an old chestnut that is really just an attempt to abuse definitions of victory and defeat on your part.

    The US invasion of Iraq itself was initially a military success. It ended in complete military victory over the Iraqi regime and nation, the complete surrender of the Iraqi military and the occupation of the country.

    However, the US regime’s wider war aims were not achieved because they were unable to impose a collaboration government and use the country as a base for further projection of US power in the ME (primarily against Iran, on behalf of Israel), and the overall result of the war and the subsequent occupation was catastrophic for any honest assessment of American national interests (as opposed to the interests of the lobbies manipulating US regime policy). The costs were significant, the reputational damage was also significant, and the overall result was to replace a contained and essentially broken opponent with vigorous sunni jihadist forces together with a resurgent Iran unwilling to kowtow to the US as most ME states are.

    So the best honest assessment is that the US was defeated in Iraq, despite an initial military victory.

  65. Felix Keverich says

    The amusing thing is that American apologists for their country’s military interventionism like Art Deco more usually spend their time heaping all the blame on Iran and the Shia. As well as internet opinionators, that incudes some of the most senior US military figures like obsessively anti-Iranian SecDef James Mattis

    I suspect the reason this happens is because ambitious American officers know that hating Iran (hating enemies of Israel in general) is what gets you promoted. It wasn’t an accident that James Mattis was appointed Secretary of Defense – he is Bill Kristol’s favourite.

  66. Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia’s state-owned media. This would mean, as I suspect, that the pendulum will swing back once the Kremlin loosens its tight grip of the media.

    Definitely no
    American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

  67. Felix Keverich says

    US military is still butthurt over the Iran’s support for Shia militias, targeting US troops during Iraq occupation. Clearly, the Shias hurt them a lot, and it was very unexpected for the US, because Americans actually brought Shias into power.

  68. Fair points, though you seem to concede to the Russian elites a significant degree of competence at managing public opinion, in 2000 and in 2004.

    I am just taking into account that the early 00s were right after the 1990s when pro-Americanism was at its peak in Russia. Yugoslavia and Iraq were too distant too alienate the majority permanently.

    I was under the impression that Putin personally was still quite naïve about the US even after Kosovo, which partly accounts for his rather desperately helpful approach after 9/11, though not so much after Iraq.

    Why do you think did he suggest joining NATO as an option?
    Not because NATO are “good guys”, but because it would ensure that Russia has a voice that cannot be ignored. After all, the Kosovo War showed the limits of the UNSC and by extension of Russia’s voice in the unipolar world.

  69. Integration into West is what Russians wanted.
    An example
    08/2009:

    Since then, everything has changed

  70. German_reader says

    Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq’s supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction…which didn’t exist in 2003. Your statement that this was merely one item “on the list of the concerns” Bush had, amounts to an admission that this was merely a pretext and that the real object of the war was a political reordering of the region according to US preferences (which of course backfired given that the Iraq war increased Iran’s power and status).
    Calling me “Eurotrash”…oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you’re the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I’ve heard and read all that a thousand times before, it’s all very unoriginal by now.

  71. Destroying the Taliban government, yes. Building “democracy” is just stupid, though. They should’ve quickly left after the initial victory and let the Afghans to just eat each other with Stroganoff sauce if they so wished. It’s not our business.

    In fact destroying the Taliban government was both illegal and foolish (but the latter was by far the more important). It seems clear now the Taliban were quite willing to hand bin Laden over for trial in a third party country, and pretty clearly either had had no clue what he had been planning or were crapping themselves at what he had achieved. Bush declined that offer because he had an urgent political need to be seen to be kicking some foreign ass in order to appease American shame.

    The illegality is not a particularly big deal in the case of Afghanistan because it’s clear that in the post-9/11 context the US could easily have gotten UNSC authorisation for the attack and made it legal. Bush II deliberately declined to do so precisely in order to make the point that the US (in Americans’ view) is above petty details of international law and its own treaty commitments. A rogue state, in other words.

    But an attack on Afghanistan was unnecessary and foolish (for genuine American national interests, that is, not for the self-interested lobbies driving policy obviously), as the astronomical ongoing costs have demonstrated. A trial of bin Laden would have been highly informative (and some would argue that was why the US regime was not interested in such a thing), and would if nothing else have brought him out into the open. Yes, he would have had the opportunity to grandstand, but if the US were really such an innocent victim of unprovoked aggression why would the US have anything to fear from that? The whole world, pretty much, was on the US’s side after 9/11.

    The US could have treated terrorism as what it is, after 9/11 – a criminal matter. It chose instead to make it a military matter, because that suited the various lobbies seeking to benefit from a more militarised and aggressive US foreign policy. The result of a US attack on the government of (most of) Afghanistan would always have been either a chaotic jihadi-riddled anarchy in Afghanistan worse than the Taliban-controlled regime that existed in 2001, or a US-backed regime trying to hold the lid down on the jihadists, that the US would have to prop up forever. And so indeed it came to pass.

  72. Putin will be gone before 2024, and his successor will be under immense pressure — carrot and stick — to deregulate Russia’s media landscape, which will make foreign money pour into Russian media outlets, which will in turn lead to more positive coverage and more positive views of the West.

    There is no reason to assume that West will offer the Russian elite enough carrot to deregulate the Russian media order and the stick is just more reason not to do it and to retain control.

    What does this tell you about the Western elite’s plan for Russia?

    And you think that people in Russian elite are not aware of it?

  73. Felix Keverich says

    In which 25 million or so Ukrainians actively resist you, and another 5 million or so Ukrainians plus a few million Belarusians nonviolently resent your rule. You will reduce the cities or parts of them to something like Aleppo, and rebuild them (perhaps with coerced local labor) while under a sanctions regime.

    This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 – does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

    On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority – they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass. A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, “human rights activist” – these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare, they will just flee (like they already fled from Donbass).

  74. Swedish Family says

    In the west, opinion of the US was managed upwards with the Obama presidency because he fitted so well with US sphere establishment antiracist and leftist dogmas that he had almost universally positive (even hagiographic) mainstream media coverage throughout the US sphere, but with Trump opinions of the US are mostly back down where Bush II left them.

    I agree with most of this, but you leave out precisely why public opinion shifts. My, rather cynical, view is that media is by far the main driver in shifting public views, and so whoever gives the media marching orders is the Pied Piper here.

    An example close to home was the consternation among some of my conservative friends over the events Charlottesville. They knew nothing about the American alt-right, and still less about the context of what happened that day, yet they still spoke of what a disgrace it was for Trump not to distance himself from these deplorables. This was, of course, fully the making of Swedish media. The 1996 Presidential Election campaign suggests that the Russian public is no less suggestible, and so does Russian (and Ukrainian) opinions on the crisis in the Donbass.

  75. US nationalists like you

    He is not US “nationalist”. Agree with the rest of your post.

  76. while the percentage of Russians with actively negative views emerged essentially out of nowhere

    LOL!!

  77. ruled out signing a non-interference agreement with Moscow since it would preclude Washington from meddling in Russia’s internal affairs. What does this tell you about the Western elite’s plan for Russia?

    It tells me the reporters are confused or you are. There is no ‘agreement’ that will prevent ‘Russia’ from ‘meddling’ in American political life or the converse. The utility of agreements is that they make understandings between nations more precise and incorporate triggers which provide signals to one party or the other as to when the deal is off.

  78. Why would the Kremlin give up its control of the media?

    Why do people give up ‘control’ of anything? Because they cannot be bothered anymore.

  79. Soviets and Soviet Union were always in awe of America. You could see it in “between-the-lines” of the texts of the so-called anti-imperialist, anti-American Soviet propaganda. It was about catching up with American in steel production and TV sets ownership and so on. American was the ultimate goal and people did not think of American as an enemy.

    Then there is the fact that Bolsheviks and Soviet Union owed a lot to America though this knowledge was not commonly known. Perhaps one should take look at these hidden connections to see what was the real mechanism bending the plug being pulled off the USSR. There might be even an analogy to South Africa but that is another story.

  80. Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq’s supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction…

    No, that’s what you noticed in an amongst everything else being discussed by officials and in the papers at the time.

    which didn’t exist in 2003.

    It’s a reasonable inference the stockpiles were largely destroyed. To what extent they were able to ship stockpiles to co-operating third parties is not altogether certain. You know the stockpiles were largely destroyed because….we were occupying the country.

  81. , amounts to an admission that this was merely a pretext a

    It amounts to no such thing. That you have three reasons for doing something does not render one of them a ‘real’ reason and the others artificial.

  82. Two powerful countries beside one another are natural enemies, they can never be friends until one has been relegated by defeat. Britain and France were enemies until France became too weak to present a threat, then Britain’s enemy was Germany (it still is, Brexit is another Dunkirk with the UK realising it cannot compete with Germany on the continent). Russia cannot be a friend of China against the US until Russia has been relegated in the way France has been. France has irrecoverably given up control of its currency, they are relegated to Germany’s sidekick.

    China is like Bitcoin. The smart money (Google) is going there. Received wisdom in the US keeps expecting China’s economic growth to slow down but it isn’t going to happen. When it becomes clear that the US is going to be overtaken, America will try and slow down China’s economic growth, that will be Russia’s opportunity.

  83. given that the Iraq war increased Iran’s power and status).

    Do they have one more soldier at their command and one more piece of equipment because we had troops in Iraq?

  84. What stockpiles are you talking about?

  85. Johann Ricke says

    Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq’s supposedly hidden weapons of mass destruction…which didn’t exist in 2003.

    It was one of many reasons. You don’t set a guy on Death Row free just because one of the charges didn’t stick. The biggest reason was Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, which should have resulted in his removal from power. We settled on a truce because George HW Bush did not want to pay the price, and the (mostly-Sunni) Arab coalition members did not want (1) a democracy in Iraq and (2) a Shiite-dominated Iraq. Bush’s son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business. The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

  86. Swedish Family says

    American propaganda (itself without the help of Putin) were able to convince the Russians that America is the enemy. Propaganda of Putin to this could add almost nothing.

    Being Russian, you would be in a better position than I am to comment on this, but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose? This article might hold the answer:

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/

  87. Well, they can now send troops to Syria on land.

  88. Calling me “Eurotrash”…

    I didn’t have you in particular in mind.

    oh well, I get it, US nationalists like you think you’re the responsible adults dealing with a dangerous world, while ungrateful European pussies favor appeasement, are free riders on US benevolent hegemony etc. I’ve heard and read all that a thousand times before, it’s all very unoriginal by now.

    No, I’m a fat middle aged man who thinks most of what people say on political topics is some species of self-congratulation. And a great deal of it is perverse. The two phenomena are symbiotic. And, of course, I’m unimpressed with kvetching foreigners. Kvetching Europeans might ask where is the evidence that they with their own skills and resources can improve some situation using methods which differ from those we have applied and kvetching Latin Americans can quit sticking the bill for their unhappy histories with Uncle Sam, and kvetching Arabs can at least take responsibility for something rather than projecting it on some wire-pulling other (Jews, Americans, conspiracy x).

  89. Do they have one more soldier at their command and one more piece of equipment because we had troops in Iraq?

    Well, according to the likes of Mattis they certainly do. Have you never heard of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU), a large faction of which reportedly swear allegiance directly to Khamenei.

    Is that “victory” for you?

    An of course they now have a direct land route to Hezbollah, to make it easier for them to assist that national defence militia to deter further Israeli attacks. That’s something they never could have had when Saddam was in charge of Iraq.

    Is that “victory” for you?

    And they don’t have to worry about their western neighbour invading them with US backing again.

    Is that “victory” for you?

  90. And they can recruit more easily in post-Saddam Iraq.

  91. These polls vary greatly from time to time and depending on the group conducting them. These polls are meaningless: most ordinary people go about their daily lives never thinking about that kind of issues, when suddenly prompted by a pollster they give a meaningless answer.

    So according to you when hundreds or thousands of people are asked a question they are not prepared for, their collective answer is meaningless and does not indicate their preference?

    So it’s a total coincidence that when Ukraine was ruled by Ukrainians most Crimeans preferred to join Russia, when Ukraine was ruled by a Russian, Crimeans were satisfied within Ukraine but when Ukrainian nationalists came to power Crimeans again preferred being part of Russia?

    Are all political polls also meaningless according to you, or just ones that contradict your idealistic views?

  92. Brexit is another Dunkirk with the UK realising it cannot compete with Germany on the continent).

    No, it’s an effort by the British public to reclaim for elected officials discretion which had been transferred to unaccountable microbes in Brussels.

  93. Swedish Family says

    This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 – does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

    In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the “draft” mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder. (I’m not sure “draft” is the word I’m looking for. My understanding is that they are temporarily exempt from military service if they study at university or have good jobs.)

  94. Well, according to the likes of Mattis they certainly do. Have you never heard of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU), a large faction of which reportedly swear allegiance directly to Khamenei.

    You can get away with more by using the prefix ‘there has even been speculation’/

    An of course they now have a direct land route to Hezbollah, to make it easier for them to assist that national defence militia to deter further Israeli attacks. That’s something they never could have had when Saddam was in charge of Iraq.

    They’ve been supplying Hezbollah for 35 years.

    And they don’t have to worry about their western neighbour invading them with US backing again.

    Their western neighbor never invaded them ‘with U.S. backing’. During the latter half of the Iraq war, Iraq restored diplomatic relations with the United States and received some agricultural credits and other odds and ends.

    Iran will be under threat from their western neighbor should they have something that neighbor wishes to forcibly seize.

  95. Bush’s son ended up footing the political bill for that piece of unfinished business.

    No, Bush II chose to invade Iraq entirely voluntarily. There was no good reason to do so, and the very good reasons why his father had sensibly chosen not to invade still largely applied (even more so in some cases, given Iraq’s even weaker state).

    The lesson is that you can delay paying the piper, but the bill always comes due.

    This is of course self-serving fantasy. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq, but for some reason you preferred to listen to the words of the staring-eyed sycophant who happened to be Prime Minister at the time, instead.

    More fool the Yanks. Most everyone else honest on the topic was giving you sensible advice. Bush II (whose incompetence is now generally accepted) chose to ignore that advice, and committed what is generally now regarded as the most egregious example of a foreign policy blunder since Vietnam at least, and probably since Suez, and will likely be taught as such around the world (including in the US, once the partisan apologists have given up trying to rationalise it) for generations to come.

  96. Received wisdom in the US keeps expecting China’s economic growth to slow down but it isn’t going to happen. When it becomes clear that the US is going to be overtaken, America will try and slow down China’s economic growth, that will be Russia’s opportunity.

    https://www.amazon.com/MITI-Japanese-Miracle-Industrial-1925-1975/dp/0804712069

    Whatever.

  97. but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose?

    It is known – the minions of Putin translated into Russian language American (and European) propaganda, and putting it on the website http://inosmi.ru/ .
    The Americans also try: there is a special “Radio Liberty” that 24-hour broadcasts (in Russian) hate speech against the Russian.
    But it only speeds up the process (which will happen anyway) .

  98. Swedish Family says

    They’ve been supplying Hezbollah for 35 years.

    Only by air.

    For the last four years, Iran was shipping weapons and ammunition to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah through an air route. This method allowed Israel to identify, track and target Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah easily, as only few cargo airplanes land in Syrian airports every day.

    However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route, as it will be used by thousands of Iraq and Syrian companies on daily basis in the upcoming months. Experts believe that this will give Hezbollah and the SAA a huge advantage over Israel and will allow Iran to increase its supplies to its allies.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/12/httpssouthfrontorgfirst-iranian-military-convoy-enters-syria-through-land-route-from-iraq-reports.html

  99. German_reader says

    US elites and media are constantly freaking out about some Iranian “empire” supposedly being created and threatening US allies in the mideast…since you seem to put great trust in their credibility, shouldn’t that concern you? Personally I think those fears are exaggerated, but how can it be denied that Iran’s influence has increased a lot in recent years and that the removal of Saddam’s regime facilitated that development? Iranian revolutionary guards and Iranian-backed Shia militias operate in Iraq, the Iraqi government maintains close ties to Iran, and Iran is also an active participant in the Syrian civil war…would that have been conceivable like this before 2003?

  100. Why do you think did he suggest joining NATO as an option?
    Not because NATO are “good guys”, but because it would ensure that Russia has a voice that cannot be ignored. After all, the Kosovo War showed the limits of the UNSC and by extension of Russia’s voice in the unipolar world.

    Well you have to wonder if he was just trolling the Americans, or if he was really naïve enough to expect a serious response.

  101. Lord Weinstock said Britain could be de-industrialised in the EU, and how right he was.

  102. This is a fantasy. Look, the effective size of Ukrainian army right now is around 70.000 – does this look like a strong, united nation willing and able to defend itself?

    It was about 50,000 in 2014, about 200,000-250,000 now.

    Polish military has 105,000 personnel. Poland also not united or willing to defend itself?

    On the left side of the Dnieper truly crazy svidomy types is a small minority – they stand out from the crowd, can be easily identified and neutralised just like in Donbass

    Avakov, Poroshenko’s interior minister and sponsor of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, in 2010 got 48% of the vote in Kharkiv’s mayoral race in 2010 when he ran as the “Orange” candidate. In 2012 election about 30% of Kharkiv oblast voters chose nationalist candidates, vs. about 10% in Donetsk oblast. Vkontakte, a good source for judging youth attitudes, was split 50/50 between pro-Maidan and anti-Maidan in Kharkiv (IIRC it was 80/20 anti-Maidan winning in Donetsk). Kharkiv is just like Donbas, right?

    A typical Ukrainian nationalist east of Dnieper is a business owner, university educated white collar professional, a student, a journalist, “human rights activist”

    Football hooligans in these places are also Ukrainian nationalists. Azov battalion and Right Sector are both based in Eastern Ukraine.

    Here is how Azov started:

    The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named “Sect 82” (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] “Sect 82” was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, “Sect 82” occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local “self-defense”-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of “Sect 82” there was formed a volunteer militia called “Eastern Corps”.[18]

    Here is Azov battalion commander-turned-Kiev oblast police chief, Kharkiv native Vadim Troyan:

    http://i.imgur.com/Ccmn9MS.jpg

    Does he look like an intellectual to you? Before Maidan he was a cop.

    these are not the kind of individuals, who will engage in guerilla warfare,

    On the contrary, they will probably dig in while seeking cover in urban areas that they know well, where they have some significant support (as Donbas rebels did in Donetsk), forcing the Russian invaders to fight house to house and causing massive damage while fighting native boys such as Azov. About 1/3 of Kharkiv overall and 1/2 of its youth are nationalists. I wouldn’t expect mass resistance by the Kharkiv population itself, but passive support for the rebels by many. Russia will then end up rebuilding a large city full of a resentful population that will remember its dead (same problem Kiev will face if it gets Donbas back). This scenario can be repeated for Odessa. Dnipropetrovsk, the home base of Right Sector, is actually much more nationalistic than either Odessa or Kharkiv. And Kiev is a different world again. Bitter urban warfare in a city of 3 million (officially, most likely about 4 million) followed by massive reconstruction and maintenance of a repression regime while under international sanctions.

    Russia’s government has adequate intelligence services who know better what Ukraine is actually like, than you do. There is a reason why they limited their support to Crimea and Donbas.

    Your wishful thinking about Ukraine would be charming and harmless if not for the fact that such wishful thinking often leads to tragic actions that harm both the invader and the invaded. Remember the Iraqis were supposed to welcome the American liberators with flowers after their cakewalk.

  103. Only by air.

    How often has Israel shot down Iranian aircraft?

    However, now Israel will be incapable of identifying any Iranian shipment on the new ground route,

    Not buying.

  104. Does he look like an intellectual to you?

    The question reminds me of this:
    https://pics.onsizzle.com/two-of-these-people-are-actual-scientists-so-called-actual-20790218.png

  105. The share of value-added in industry as a share of global product has been declining for over 50 years. In the EU, industry accounts for 24.5% of value added. In Britain, the figure is 20.2%. Not seeing why that animates you.

  106. In fairness, the young Ukrainians I have spoken to avoid the “draft” mainly out of fear that they will be underequipped and used as cannon fodder.

    Correct. The thinking often was – “the corrupt officers will screw up and get us killed, or sell out our positions to the Russians for money, if the Russians came to our city I’d fight them but I don’t wanna go to Donbas..” This is very different from avoiding the draft because one wouldn’t mind if Russia annexed Ukraine. Indeed, Dnipropetrovsk in the East has contributed a lot to Ukraine’s war effort, primarily because it borders Donbas – ones hears from people there that if they don’t fight in Donbas and keep the rebels contained there, they’d have to fight at home.

  107. US elites and media are constantly freaking out about some Iranian “empire” supposedly being created and threatening US allies in the mideast

    No, they aren’t. The political class has been anxious about Iran because it’s sinking a lot of resources into building weapons of mass destruction, because key actors therein adhere to apocalyptic conceptions, and because it’s a weirdly (and gratuitously) hostile country.

    since you seem to put great trust in their credibility, shouldn’t that concern you? Personally I think those fears are exaggerated, but how can it be denied that Iran’s influence has increased a lot in recent years and that the removal of Saddam’s regime facilitated that development? Iranian revolutionary guards and Iranian-backed Shia militias operate in Iraq, the Iraqi government maintains close ties to Iran, and Iran is also an active participant in the Syrian civil war…would that have been conceivable like this before 2003?

    You keep alluding to things that cannot be quantified or even readily verified. Iran’s taken advantage of disordered situations in the past (in Lebanon), so it’s not surprising they do so in Syria. The disordered situation there is a function of the breakdown of government in Syria, not of the Iraq war. Whether any influence Iran has in Iraq turns out to be abiding remains to be seen. The anxiety about Iraq has concerned it’s inclination to subvert friendly governments and drop atomic weaponry on Israel. Not sure how their subrosa dealings with the Iraqi government further the latter (or even the former).

  108. Felix Keverich says

    LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types. And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

    The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them – no more than 10.000 in the entire country. I assume Russian security services know all of them by name.

    To deal with Ukronazi problem, I would first take out their leaders, then target their HQs, arms depots and training camps. I would kill or intimidate their sponsors. Ukronazis would be left decapitated, without resources, undermanned and demoralised, trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them. It will be a short lived insurgency.

  109. German_reader says

    No, they aren’t.

    The supposed threat of an Iranian empire is a common theme in interventionist US media and in certain think tanks/pressure groups, even five minutes of googling produced this:

    https://nypost.com/2015/02/01/the-iranian-dream-of-a-reborn-persian-empire/

    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/01/15/fmr-nato-supreme-allied-commander-stavridis-iran-will-be-imperial-power-due-to-iran-deals-golden-shower-of-money/

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/iran-and-the-imperialism-hypocrisy/

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/30/what-to-do-about-an-imperial-iran-middle-east-persia-regional-dominance/

    http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/may-clifford-d-the-new-persian-empire/ (btw, the Foundation for defense of democracies agrees with me that the removal of Saddam’s regime was to Iran’s benefit).

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/henry-kissinger-isis-iranian-radical-empire-middle-east-a7881541.html

    Obviously I don’t want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, though imo US policy in this regard has been rather counter-productive recently.
    Regarding the Iraq war, it’s probably pointless to continue the discussion, if you want to continue regarding it as a great idea, I won’t argue with you.

  110. I remember my dad telling me that the Carter administration was the highlight of America-love in Pakistan. Slowly went downhill from there and crashed at Dubya.

    Peace.

  111. LMAO, Ukrainians are nothing like Arabs. They are soft Eastern-European types.

    And Russians and Poles were also soft when someone invaded their country? Ukrainians are not modern western Euros.

    And in Eastern regions like Kharkov most of them will be on our side.

    Most pensioners. It will be about 50/50 among young fighting-age people.

    The best thing about Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as Azov battalion is that there is very few of them – no more than 10.000 in the entire country

    Maybe. Ukrainian government claims 46,000 in volunteer self-defense battalions (including Azov) but this is probably an exaggeration.

    OTOH there are a couple 100,000 demobilized young people with combat experience who would be willing to fight if their homeland were attacked, who are not neo-Nazis in Azov. Plus a military of 200,000-250,000 people, many of whom would imitate the Donbas rebels and probably redeploy in places like Kharkiv where they have cover. Good look fighting it out block by block.

    trying to fight an insurgency amongst the population that hates and despises them

    In 2010, 48% of Kharkiv voters chose a nationalist for their mayor. In 2012 about 30% voted for nationalist parties. Judging by pro vs, anti-Maidan, the youth are evenly split although in 2014 the Ukrainian nationalist youths ended up controlling the streets, not the Russian nationalist ones as in Donbas. This is in the most pro-Russian part of Ukraine.

    Suuure, the population of Kharkiv will despise their kids, grandkids, nephews, classmates etc,. but will welcome the invaders from Russia who will be bombing their city. Such idealism and optimism in Russia!

    It will be a short lived insurgency.

    And Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk.

  112. The supposed threat of an Iranian empire is a common theme in interventionist US media

    “Imperial” or “Imperialist” is a term of art among IR specialists referring to active revisionist powers in a given state system.

    The people you are linking to are a mixed bunch. One’s a lapsed reporter. Two are opinion journalists with background (one in the military and one in the intelligence services, or so he says), one has been out of office for 40 years (and, IMO, is engaging in the academic’s exercise of attention-seeking through counter-factual utterance; there’s little downside to that), and one actually is someone who has been a policy-maker in the last generation (and he’s offering a critique of the Iran deal, which was not a Bush administration initiative).

  113. Johann Ricke says

    This is of course self-serving fantasy. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq, but for some reason you preferred to listen to the words of the staring-eyed sycophant who happened to be Prime Minister at the time, instead.

    Who gives a damn what they think? These are the same countries that plunged the world into two World Wars that killed 100m people between them. Their blinkered and self-serving stupidity is a model for what not to do.

  114. I remember my dad telling me that the Carter administration was the highlight of America-love in Pakistan. Slowly went downhill from there and crashed at Dubya.

    I remember Gen. Zia on the front page of The New York Times ridiculing Mr. Carter in plain terms (the $400 million aid offer was ‘peanuts’).

  115. The Russians told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Germans told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The French told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The Turks told you there was no need to invade Iraq. The sensible British told you there was no need to invade Iraq,

    The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq. As for the rest, they all have their shticks and interests (and no, I don’t stipulate that you’ve characterized their opinion correctly either).

  116. And after 9/11 I was very pro-US, e.g. I argued vehemently with a stupid leftie teacher who was against the Afghanistan war (and I still believe that war was justified, so I don’t think I’m just some mindless anti-American fool). But Iraq was just too much, too much obvious lying…and those lies were so stupid it was hard not to feel that there was something deeply wrong with a large part of the American public if they were gullible enough to believe such nonsense. At least for me it was a real turning point in the evolution of my political views.

    The common factor amongst you, reiner and myself here is that none of us come from a dogmatically anti-American background or personal world-view, nor from a dogmatically pacifist one.

    As I’ve probably noted here previously, I grew up very pro-American and very pro-NATO in the late Cold War, and as a strong supporter of Thatcher and Reagan. I saw the fall of the Soviet Union as a glorious triumph and a vindication of all the endless arguments against anti-American lefties and CND numpties. I also strongly supported the Falklands War (the last genuinely justified and intelligent war fought by my country, imo) and also the war against Iraq in 1990/1, though I’m a little less certain on that one nowadays. I’m significantly older than you both, it seems, however, and it was watching US foreign policy in the 1990s, culminating in the Kosovo war, that convinced me that the US is now the problem and not the solution.

    When the facts changed, I changed my opinion.

    So I was a war or two ahead of you, chronologically, because I’m older, but we’ve travelled pretty much the same road. Our views on America have been created by US foreign policy choices.

  117. Felix Keverich says

    Again, supporting Maidan doesn’t mean you’re ready to take up Kalashnikov and go fight. Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It’s a fact.

    This is what typical Maidanist Ukrainian youths look like; these people certainly don’t look like they have a lot of fight in them:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA4uUZgDi6g

    They remind me of Navalny supporters in Russia. These kind of people can throw a tantrum, but they are fundamentally weak people, who are easily crushed.

  118. RadicalCenter says

    I haven’t heard either Russia, or the Right in the USA, alleging that African-“Americans” are taking white Americans’ jobs.

    Generally, I don’t know anyone in the USA whose complaint about African-“Americans” is that they are working.

  119. RadicalCenter says

    Similarly, it doesn’t seem likely that the US government will give up its control and influence over the “independent media” that many Americans still think we have.

  120. Who gives a damn what they think?

    Well history has proven them to have been correct and the US regime wrong on Iraq, so that pretty much tells you how far your arrogance will get you outside your own echo chamber.

    US foreign policy is pretty much a byword for incompetence even amongst its own allies, at least when they are talking off the record.

  121. RadicalCenter says

    Folks in Belarus shouldn’t make up their minds about applying to the EU until they speak with regular German, French, English, and Swedish people about the effects of the Islamic / Third World immivasion that the EU has imposed on them. My wife and I speak & correspond with Germans living in Germany frequently, and the real state of affairs for non-elite Germans is getting worse fast, with no good end in sight.

    Anyone who does not desire to die or at best live subjugated under sharia — and sharia run largely by cruel dimwits from Africa and Arabia — ought to stay out (or GET out of) the EU.

  122. Felix Keverich says

    It shocks me, the amount of supposedly ‘smart’, ‘educated’ people in the US, who seriously think “free press” is a thing.

  123. The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq.

    That was the staring-eyed sycophant’s work.

    The man who opened the floodgates to immigration because he thought multiculturalism is a great idea.

    As for the rest, they all have their shticks and interests

    Of course. Unlike the exceptional United States of course, the only country in the world whose government never has any axe to grind in the nobility of purpose and intent it displays in all the wars it has ever fought.

    You seem to be degenerating into a caricature of the ignorant, arrogant American.

  124. Johann Ricke says

    Well history has proven them to have been correct and the US regime wrong on Iraq, so that pretty much tells you how far your arrogance will get you outside your own echo chamber.

    “History” has proven no such thing. What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush’s underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury*, for which he and the GOP paid a serious political price. However, it’s also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone. While both communities seem to think that we should continue to bear a bigger chunk of the price of pacifying Iraq’s bellicose Sunni Arabs, it’s also obvious that they are not electing Tikritis or even Sunni Arabs to office, as they would if they were nostalgic for Saddam’s rule. The big picture, really, is that the scale of the fighting has probably convinced both Shiites and Kurds that they could not have toppled Saddam without the assistance of Uncle Sam. They could certainly not have kept Iraq’s revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

    • These costs were larger than projected, but small compared to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Whether or not Iraq can be secured as an American ally in the decades ahead, both the gamble and the relatively nugatory price paid will, in retrospect, be seen as a reasonable one, given Iraq’s strategic location.
  125. Sure, but the ordinary folks liked him – he seemed like a humble man with faith from humble beginnings. Pakistanis could relate to someone like that.
    http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/140926151139-17-jimmy-carter-super-169.jpg

    I was just a wee lad at the time, so I’m only conveying what my dad told me.

    Peace.

  126. RadicalCenter says

    Well, there is some reason to think that membership in the EU will become a steadily less attractive prospect.

    The substantial demographic changes sweeping northern and western Europe now will become far larger as (1) new “migration” occurs from Africa and the Middle East and Pakistan into Europe; (2) “family reunification” chain migration goes on endlessly from the same places into Europe; and (3) Muslims continue to dramatically outbreed non-Muslims in Europe.

    (Even if Muslims in Europe drop their total fertility rate to replacement, around 2.1 I think, the non-Muslim Europeans have TFRs like 1.4 and 1.5 and 1.6, the very definition of dying peoples.)

    And that doesn’t even account for the flight of non-Muslims out of Europe as it becomes ever more violent, frightening, chaotic, and impoverished. That flight could become a massive phenomenon. (We have acquaintances in Germany and Austria already mulling over the idea, with great sadness and anger in their hearts.)

    On current trends, what reason is there to think that “Germany” and “France” and “England” and “Sweden” won’t in fact be heavily Islamic / African (and in the case of Germany, Turkish) hellholes in the lifetime of many of us here?

    Granted, Russia has too many Muslims itself, and I don’t know enough to predict whether they will be willing and able to remove the excessive number of Central Asian Muslims (guestworkers or otherwise) from their territory. But Russia is not giving itself away to Muslims at a breakneck pace like the terminally naïve Germans, French, English, and Swedes are doing with their own countries.

    The point is, Belarus and Ukraine won’t be faced with a choice between Russia and the “Europe” that we still envision from the recent past.

    Belarus and Ukraine will likely face a choice between a tenuous independence that they lack the force to maintain, union or close formal affiliation with Russia, or a “Europe” where white Europeans are outnumbered, terrified, massively taxed to pay for their younger and more confident Islamic / African overlords, and ultimately subjugated and killed / inter-bred into nonexistence.

    The Europe that you are positing as an alternative to Russia, already doesn’t quite exist anymore. Soon it won’t exist at all in any recognizable or desirable form. Russia merely needs to be a better alternative than THAT.

  127. Fine. The EU is poorly constructed and a threat to self-government.

    Mr. Felix fancies White Russia is Russia’s property. There’s a constituency in White Russia for re-incorporation into Russia, but it amounts to about 1/4 of the population and is half the proportion it was 20 years ago. Kinda think it really shouldn’t be Mr. Felix’s call, but he doesn’t see it that way.

  128. RadicalCenter says

    Agree with much of what you say. With a big exception”: most Europeans ARE pussies who try to appease the Islamic and African aggressors and freeloaders they are importing into their lands at a furious pace. Besonders die Deutschen.

    At least SOME decent portion of Americans are trying to resist the Mexican and Third World takeover of our country. Albeit probably without success.

    Summary: we’re probably screwed, you’re almost certainly screwed worse and faster.

    Keep patting yourself on the back. But grow that beard now and bend over — and beat the rush.

  129. Belarus and Ukraine will likely face a choice between a tenuous independence that they lack the force to maintain,

    Just to point out that occasions where a state has had its sovereignty extinguished since 1945 are as follows: East Germany (1990, voluntary), South Yemen (1990, voluntary, but triggering an insurrection), Kuwait (1990, temporary), South VietNam (1975/76, conquered). Not real common. N.B. the Axis rampage in Europe and Asia during the War: the only thing that stuck was Soviet Russia’s seizure of the Baltic states.

  130. Why don’t you present us a photo of yourself, so that we can see what a true Russian warrior looks like?

    I think I’ve found one of you? 🙂

    https://youtu.be/IH3Hb6BAW5s

  131. German_reader says

    At least SOME decent portion of Americans are trying to resist the Mexican and Third World takeover of our country.

    30 years too late, though I’ll readily admit that I was somewhat impressed how normal US citizens managed to kill off amnesty proposals during Bush’s 2nd administration by lobbying their congressmen etc. Quite the contrast with what’s going on in my own country where people just meekly submit to everything.
    And I’ve never denied that many Europeans are quite decadent…they should certainly spend more for their own defense, maybe even bring back conscription.

  132. What went wrong in Iraq was principally Bush’s underestimate of the number of American casualties and the cost to the US treasury

    No, what went wrong in Iraq from the pov of any kind of honest assessment of an American national interest was that an unnecessary war was fought justified by lies that have seriously discredited the nation that told them, and that the results of the war were hugely counter to said American national interests: the conversion of a contained and broken former enemy state into a jihadist free fire training and recruitment zone combined with a strong ally of a supposed enemy state, Iran.

    Whether the direct material cost of the war is acceptable or not is rather beside the point. It’s a matter between Bush II and the parents, relatives and friends of those Americans who lost their lives or their health, and between Bush II and American taxpayers. If it had been achieved cost-free it still wouldn’t have been worth it, because it was a defeat.

    But it’s no accident that the costs of the war were “underestimated”. As usual, if the Bush II regime had been honest about the likely costs of their proposed war, there would have been a political outcry against it and they’d have been forced to back down as Obama was over Syria.

    However, it’s also clear that the Shiites and Kurds, an 80% majority, have no regrets that Saddam is gone

    Amusing to see you are currently pretending that what Iraqi Kurds and Shiites feel matters. It’s always entertaining to see just how shameless Americans can be at their game of alternately pretending to care for foreigners’ views (when they need to justify a war) and regarding foreigners with utter contempt and disregard (when said foreigners are saying something Americans don’t like to hear).

    They could certainly not have kept Iraq’s revived Sunni Arabs (in the form of ISIS) at bay without American assistance.

    Well that partly depends upon how much support the US regime allowed its Gulf sunni Arab proxies to funnel to said jihadists, I suppose. But most likely they’d have crushed them in due course with Iranian backing.

    In Iraq, IS were fine as long as they stayed out of the strongly Shiite areas in the south. They’d have quickly been whipped if they’d ventured there. Just as IS were fine in Syria as long as they were taking relatively remote land over from a government and army in desperate straits as a result of a disastrous externally funded civil war, but were soon beaten when the Russians stepped in and started actually fighting them rather than pretending to do so only as long as it didn’t interfere too much with their real goal of overthrowing the Syria government, American-style.

  133. I see that Art Deco got more active than usual. Seems that the destruction of Iraq is close to his heart. Several days ago Ron Unz had this to say about him:

    http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116171
    Exactly! It’s pretty obvious that this “Art Deco” fellow is just a Jewish-activist type, and given his very extensive posting history, perhaps even an organized “troll.” But he’s certainly one of the most sophisticated ones, with the vast majority of his comments being level-headed, moderate, and very well-informed, generally focusing on all sorts of other topics, perhaps with the deliberate intent of building up his personal credibility for the periodic Jewish matters that actually so agitate him.

    To which I added:

    http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/time-to-stop-importing-an-immigrant-overclass/#comment-2116402
    The quality and wide range of his comments are really impressive. As if it was coming form a super intelligent AI Hal that has access to all kinds of databases at his finger tips. And then there is always the same gradient of his angle: the reality is as it is; reality is as you have been told so far; do not try to keep coming with weird theories and speculations because they are all false; there is nothing interesting to see. His quality and scope are not congruent with his angle. All his knowledge and all his data and he hasn’t found anything interesting that would not conform to what we all read in newspapers. Amazing. If America had its High Office of Doctrine and Faith he could have been its supreme director.

    His overactivity here is somewhat out of character and after reading his comments here I doubt that Ron Unz would call him “one of the most sophisticated ones.” I also would take back the “really impressive” part too. Perhaps some other individuum was assigned to Art Deco handle this Monday.

  134. Speaking of US foreign policy stupidity and arrogance, the response to the latest evidence that Trump will continue the inglorious Clinton/Bush II/Obama tradition of destructive corrupt/incompetent buffoonery:

    US outnumbered 14 to 1 as it vetoes UN vote on status of Jerusalem

    And here’s the profoundly noxious Nikki Haley “lying for her country” (except, bizarrely, it isn’t even really for her own country). Her appointment by Trump certainly was one of the first signs that he was going to seriously let America down:

    The resolution was denounced in furious language by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who described it as “an insult” that would not be forgotten. “The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy,” she said.

    “It’s scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts,” she added. “The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the security council.”

    The real nature of the UN resolution the execrable Haley was so faux-offended by:

    The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would would back the text, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UNSC resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city’s final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

    But requiring Israel and its US poodles to act in good faith is surely anti-Semitic, after all. The real beneficiary (he thinks, at least) of Trump’s and Haley’s buffoonery was suitably condescending in his patting of his poodles’ heads:

    The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted: “Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump.”

  135. German_reader says

    Art Deco isn’t Jewish iirc, but an (Irish?) Catholic from the northeastern US. And I suppose his views aren’t even that extreme, but pretty much standard among many US right-wingers (a serious problem imo), so it makes little sense to attack him personally.

  136. Official justification for the Iraq war was concern about Iraq’s supposedly hidden weapons

    The fact that Iraq had no WMD was actually critical to making the claims that it had them. If Iraq had them it would officially relinquish them which would take away the ostensive cause for the invasion.

    I am really amazed that now 14 years after the invasion there are some who still argue about the WMD. Iraq was to be destroyed because this was the plan. The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria. The WDM was just an excuse that nobody really argued for or against in good faith including Brits or Germans or Turks. Everybody knew the writing on the wall.

  137. it makes little sense to attack him personally

    Yes, personal attacks are counterproductive but I can’t resit, I just can’t help it, so I must to say what I said already several times in the past: you are a cuck. You are a hopeless case.

  138. German_reader says

    The plan to reorganize the ME that consisted of destruction of secular and semi-secure states like Iraq and Syria.

    Has to be admitted though that Iraq became increasingly less secular during the 1990s, with Saddam’s regime pushing Islamization as a new source of legitimacy. It’s probably no accident that former Baath people and officers of Saddam’s army were prominent among the leadership of IS.
    Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

  139. German_reader says

    With all due respect to you and Ron Unz, but the idea that someone like “Art Deco” is an “organized troll” who creates an elaborate fake persona (which he then maintains over multiple years on several different websites – I first encountered him years ago on the American conservative’s site) to spread pro-Jewish views seems somewhat paranoid to me.
    I have no reason to doubt he’s genuine (as far as that’s possible on the internet), his views aren’t unusual.

  140. RadicalCenter says

    Agree with everything you just wrote. And please understand, I love the Germans and I’m angry at them in the way that you’d be angry at a brother who refuses to stop destroying himself with drugs or whatever.

  141. John Gruskos says

    The commenter using the name “Art Deco” is NOT an American nationalist.

    He is neocon trash.

  142. Northern Kazakhstan is/was ethnically Russian, since the 1700s. This should have been folded into Russia; the North Caucasus should have been cut loose. My opinion.

  143. Typical Russian mistakes regarding Ukraine: weak student-types in Russia are the main supporters of Ukraine in Russia, thus the same type must be the main pro-Maidan people in Ukraine. Because Ukraine = Russia. This silly dream of Ukraine being just like Russia leads to ridiculous ideas and hopes.

    As I already said, the Azov battalion grew out of brawling football ultras in Kharkiv. Maidan itself was a cross-section – of students, yes, but also plenty of Afghan war vets, workers, far right brawlers, professionals, etc. It’s wasn’t simply “weak” students, nor was it simply far-right fascists (another claim by Russia) but a mass effort of the western half of the country.

    Here are Afghan war vets at Maidan:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFkrOp2tUTo

    Look at those weak Maidan people running away from the enemy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtqQeJ315nw

    Azov people in their native Kharkiv:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPr3goxWm8Q

    Kharkiv kids:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiBXmbkwiSw

    Ukrainian youth is dodging draft en masse. It’s a fact.

    Dodging the draft in order to avoid fighting in Donbas, where you are not wanted by the locals, is very different from dodging the draft to avoid fighting when your own town is being invaded.

  144. Summer camp was in Kiev, but there is another outside Kharkiv.

    To be clear, most Ukrainians fighting against Russia are not these unsavory types, though they make for dramatic video. Point is that pro-Maidan types in Ukraine are far from being exclusively liberal student-types.

  145. Said a dude who invested in an Asian woman.

  146. Still hardly sufficient reason for the Iraq war though.

    What do you mean by that? Are you so out of touch? You really do not understand what was the reason behind Iraq 2003 war and then fucking it up when Gen. Garner was recalled and replaced with Paul Bremer who drove Iraq to the ground? Repeat after me: Iraq was destroyed because this was the only objective of 2003 Iraq war. The mission was accomplished 100%.

  147. A few points:
    – The Russians ALWAYS were Americanophiles – ever since the Revolution. Russia has been an American ally most often explicit but occasionally tacit – in EVERY major American conflict, including the War on Terror and excluding Korea and Vietnam (both not major compared to the Civil War or WW2). The only comparable Great Power US ally is France. Russia and the US are natural allies.
    – Russians are Americanophiles – they like Hollywood movies, American music, American idealism, American video games, American fashion, American inventions, American support in WW2, American can-do-aittude, American badassery and Americana in general.
    – There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.
    – The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government. Yanukovich was certainly a corrupt scoundrel. But he was a democratically elected corrupt scoundrel. To claim Russian intervention in his election is a joke in light of the CIA-backed 2004 and 2014 coups. Moreover, post-democratic post-Yanukovich Ukraine is clearly inferior to its predecessor. For one thing, under Yanukovich, Sevastopol was still Ukrainian…

  148. Art Deco is a Zionist, just checkout his reaction when you point out Israel assassinated JFK.

  149. Israel wanted Iraq destroyed, it was.

  150. I think this poll is the most relevant for assessing the question, since it covered different regions and used the same methodology.

    https://i.imgur.com/oU9AXLb.jpg

    Takeaway:

    1. Support for uniting into a single state with Russia at 41% in Crimea at a time when it was becoming quite clear the Yanukovych regime was doomed.

    2. Now translates into ~90% support (according to both Russian and international polls) in Crimea. I.e., a more than a standard deviation shift in “Russophile” sentiment on this matter.

    3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto. Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

    4. Central and West Ukraine would not be, which is why their reintegration would be far more difficult – and probably best left for sometime in the future.

    5. What we have instead seen is a one standard deviation shift in “Ukrainophile” sentiment within all those regions that remained in the Ukraine. If this change is “deep,” then AP is quite correct that their assimilation into Russia has been made impossible by Putin’s vacillations in 2014.

  151. Check out any American’s reaction when some random Londoner tells him Israel assassinated JFK.

  152. for-the-record says

    they [Germans] should certainly spend more for their own defense, maybe even bring back conscription.

    With all due respect, and making allowance for your relative youth, that is simply rubbish. Defense against whom? Russia? Iran? As your posts make it eminently clear, the real enemy of Germany is within, not without.

  153. The Maidan was a foreign-backed putsch against a democratically elected government

    Typical Russian nationalist half-truth about Ukraine.

    To be clear – Yanukovich was democratically elected in 2010, into a position where his powers were limited and where he was faced with a hostile parliament. His post-election accumulation of powers (overthrowing the Opposition parliament, granting himself additional powers, stacking the court with local judges from his hometown) was not democratic. None of these actions enjoyed popular support, none were made through democratic processes such as referendums or popular elections. Had that been the case, he would not have been overthrown in what was a popular mass revolt by half the country.

    There are two Ukraines. One is essentially a part of Russia, and a chunk of it was repatriated in 2014. The other was historically Polish and Habsburg. It is a strange entity that is not Russian.

    A bit closer to the truth, but much too simplistic in a way that favors Russian idealism. Crimea (60% Russian) was simply not Ukraine, so lumping it in together with a place such as Kharkiv (oblast 70% Ukrainian) and saying that Russia took one part of this uniformly “Russian Ukraine” is not accurate.

    You are correct that the western half of the country are a non-Russian Polish-but-not Habsburg central Ukraine/Volynia, and Polish-and-Habsburg Galicia.

    But the other half consisted of two parts: ethnic Russian Crimea (60% Russian) and largely ethniuc-Russian urban Donbas (about 45% Russian, 50% Ukrainian), and a heavily Russified but ethnic Ukrainian Kharkiv oblast (70% Ukrainian, 26% Russian), Dnipropetrovsk (80% Ukrainian, 20% Russian), Kherson (82% Ukrainian, 14% Russian), and Odessa oblast (63% Ukrainian, 21% Russian).

    The former group (Crimea definitely, and urban Donbas less strongly) like being part of Russia. The latter group, on the other hand, preferred that Ukraine and Russia have friendly ties, preferred Russian as a legal language, preferred economic union with Russia, but did not favor loss of independence. Think of them as pro-NAFTA American-phile Canadians who would nevertheless be opposed to annexation by the USA and would be angered if the USA grabbed a chunk of Canada. In grabbing a chunk of Ukraine and supporting a rebellion in which Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk kids are being shot by Russian-trained fighters using Russian-supplied bullets, Putin has turned these people off the Russian state.

  154. 3. Assuming a similar shift in other regions, Novorossiya would be quite fine being with Russia post facto. Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson (e.g., probably on the scale of Donbass unhappiness with the Ukraine before 2014).

    ‘Asumptions’ like this are what provide Swiss cheese the airy substance that makes it less caloric! Looks like only the retired sovok population in the countryside is up to supporting your mythical ‘NovoRosija’ while the more populated city dwellers would be opposed, even by your own admission (and even this is questionable). I’m surprised that the dutifully loyal and most astute opposition (AP) has let this blooper pass without any comment?…

  155. Felix Keverich says

    I think when answering this question, most people simple give what they consider to be the socially acceptable answer, especially in comtemporary Ukraine, where you will go to prison for displaying Russian flag – who wants to be seen as a “separatist”?

    In Crimea it has become more socially acceptable to identify with Russia following the reunification, which is why the number of people who answer this way shot up. The same effect will seen in Belarus and Ukraine – I’m fairly certain of it.

    Though there would be significant discontent in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson

    Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society. Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters. Most of them will react to Russian takeover by self-deporting – they have the money and resources to do it.

  156. Demographic profile of Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper resembles demographic profile of Navalny supporters in Russia. These people are not fighters.

    Repeating your claim over and over again doesn’t make it true.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion

    The Azov Battalion has its roots in a group of Ultras of FC Metalist Kharkiv named “Sect 82” (1982 is the year of the founding of the group).[18] “Sect 82” was (at least until September 2013) allied with FC Spartak Moscow Ultras.[18] Late February 2014, during the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine when a separatist movement was active in Kharkiv, “Sect 82” occupied the Kharkiv Oblast regional administration building in Kharkiv and served as a local “self-defense”-force.[18] Soon, on the basis of “Sect 82” there was formed a volunteer militia called “Eastern Corps”.[18]

    The brawling East Ukrainian nationalists who took the streets of Kharkiv and Odessa were not mostly rich, fey hipsters.

  157. Discontent will be limited to educated, affluent, upwardly mobile circles of society.

    So, even by tour own admission, the only folks that would be for unifying with Russia are the uneducated, poor and those with no hopes of ever amounting to much in society. I don’t agree with you, but I do see your logic. These are just the type of people that are the most easily manipulated by Russian propoganda – a lot of this went on in the Donbas, and we can see the results of that fiasco to this day.

  158. Russia and the US are natural allies.

    While geopolitically and historically it is true:

    a)Post-WWII American power elites are both incompetent and arrogant (which is a first derivative of incompetence) to understand that–this is largely the problem with most “Western” elites.

    b) Currently the United States doesn’t have enough (if any) geopolitical currency and clout to “buy” Russia. In fact, Russia can take what she needs (and she doesn’t have “global” appetites) with or without the US. Plus, China is way more interested in Russia’s services that the US, which will continue to increasingly find out more about its own severe military-political limitations.

    c) The United States foreign policy is not designed and is not being conducted to serve real US national interests. In fact, US can not even define those interests beyond the tiresome platitudes about “global interests” and being “exceptional”.

    d) Too late…

  159. Felix Keverich says

    I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis, it’s kinda funny actually, so let me pose as Ukraine’s “defender” here:

    This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine. These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes. They are despised, looked down upon by the normal people, pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian alike. A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft. It’s just the way it is.

  160. American music

    One substantial correction: generation which now is in power and defines most of Russia’s dynamics, age group of 40s-50s, was largely influenced by British music, not American one, despite its definite presence in cultural menu in 1960 through 1980s. British music was on the order of magnitude more popular and influential in USSR. The love for American music was rather conditional and very selective. Of course, jazz was and is huge among educated and cultured, but in terms of pop/rock if one discounts immensely popular Eagles (for obvious reason), Donna Summer or something on the order of magnitude of Chicago, British pop-music was a different universe altogether. Beatles, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple or even British Glam were immense in 1970s, not to mention NWBHM in 1980s. One would have more luck hearing Iron Maiden blasting from windows somewhere in Russia than music of Michael Jackson.

  161. Felix Keverich says

    The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power. Azov is simply a gang. And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs, so I don’t expect Ukronazis to pose a major challenge.

  162. The brawling East Ukrainian nationalists who took the streets of Kharkiv and Odessa were not mostly rich, fey hipsters.

    errmmm. …they were losers and thugs funded by Oligarchs, as with Kolomoisky in Dnepropetrovsk you dumb fuckwit….oligarchs, not nationalism are the driving force behind the “Ukrainian” mass crimes against humanity committing—but militarily utterly useless militias you dumb POS. Oligarchs and IMF/US/EU funding,intelligence and blackmail.

    Kharkov,Odessa,Kherson and a few more regions would easily go to Russia you idiot.

  163. RadicalCenter says

    Yes, a highly intelligent, hardworking, conservative, Christian Asian woman who loves and appreciates America, is the same as a Muslim African, Arab or Paki whose religion tells him to subjugate or kill us. No drastic difference in genetics or the impact on our culture, language, economy, and security there.

    Moreover, allowing our native-born white citizens to choose spouses from elsewhere is the same as admitting tens of millions of people with little to no screening whatsoever (the latter being admitted in the interest of those who actively seek the most dimwitted, violent, intimidating, slothful, hateful, and incompatible people psosible in order to endanger, impoverish, and dumb down out people and set the stage for us to “need” a police state to manage the chaos and crime they bring).

    Your logic is impeccable, I’ll admit.

    How long have you been married, by the way? And how many children are you raising? I just ask because I am sure we can compare notes and I can benefit from your manly experience and expertise.

    Get a consistent handle to use on this site. Then tell us personal details as many of us have done. Then we can have a further friendly chat, big anonymous man who comments on other men’s wives.

  164. I’m not sure about Ukrainian football hooligans, but football hooligans in Hungary are not necessarily “low -lifes, criminals, delinquents”, in fact, the majority of them aren’t. Most groups consist mostly of working class (including a lot of security guards and similar) members, but there are some middle class (I know of a school headmaster, though I think he’s no longer very active in the group) and working class entrepreneur types (e.g. the car mechanic who ended up owning a car dealership) and similar. I think outright criminal types are a small minority. Since it costs money to attend the matches, outright failures (the permanently unemployed and similar ne’er-do-wells) are rarely found in such groups.

  165. One would have more luck hearing Iron Maiden blasting from windows somewhere in Russia than music of Michael Jackson.

    What about Metallica or Slayer? The famous 1991 Monsters of Rock in Moscow featured I think Metallica in its prime and Pantera right before they became really big (and heavy).

  166. Art Deco is a Zionist, just checkout his reaction when you point out Israel assassinated JFK.

    My reaction is that you need to take your risperidal, bathe, and quit pestering people for bits of cash. And make your clinic appointments. They’re sick of seeing you at the ED.

  167. Israel wanted Iraq destroyed, it was.

    The actually existing Israeli officialdom advised the Bush administration to give priority to containing Iran.

  168. Felix Keverich says

    LOL I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime. Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering. Their criminal activities go unpunished by the regime, because they are considered “heroes” or something.

  169. I like how I got you talking about the Ukronazis

    I never denied the presence of them.

    This neo-Nazi scum is not in any way representative of the population of Eastern Ukraine.

    If by “representative” you mean majority, sure. Neither are artsy students, or Afghan war veterans, or schoolteachers, any other group a majority.

    Also not all of the street fighters turned militias neo-Nazis, as are Azov. Right Sector are not neo-Nazis, they are more fascists.

    These are delinquents, criminals, low-lifes.

    As reiner tor correctly pointed out, this movement which grew out of the football ultra community is rather working class but is not lumpens. You fail again.

    A typical Ukrainian nationalist East of Dnieper is a business owner, a journalist, an office worker, a student who dodges draft

    Are there more business owners, students (many of whom do not dodge the draft), office workers combined than there are ultras/far-right brawlers? Probably. 30% of Kharkiv voted for nationalist parties (mostly Tymoshenko’s and Klitschko’s moderates) in the 2012 parliamentary elections, under Yanukovich. That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren’t 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

    The exteme nationalist Banderist Svoboda party got about 4% of the vote in Kharkiv oblast in 2012. This would make Bandera twice as popular in Kharkiv as the democratic opposition is in Russia.

  170. I classify all football hooligans as low-lifes simply due to the nature of their pastime.

    They are well integrated into the rest of society, so you can call them low-lifes, but they will still be quite different from ordinary criminals.

    Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias have been involved in actual crimes including murder, kidnapping and racketeering.

    But that’s quite different from being professional criminals. Members of the Waffen-SS also committed unspeakable crimes, but they rarely had professional criminal backgrounds, and were, in fact, quite well integrated into German society.

  171. he seemed like a humble man with faith from humble beginnings. Pakistanis could relate to someone like that.

    Carter was an agribusinessman whose personal net worth (not counting his mother’s holdings and siblings’ holdings) was in seven digits in 1976. (His dipso brother managed the family business – passably well – from 1963 until 198?). John Osborne interviewed 1st, 2d, and 3d degree relations of Carter during the campaign and discovered the family was in satisfactory condition financially even during the Depression. Carter also spent the 2d World War – the whole thing – at the Naval Academy.

    There’s much to be said for Carter, but there’s no doubt one of his shortcomings is vanity. Harry Truman is the closest thing to a humble man in the White House in the years since Pakistan was constituted. If you’re looking for ‘humble beginnings’, the best examples are Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

  172. Not relevant re humble beginnings but re Pakistan: you’ve probably heard the famous anecdote about Kennedy and Bhutto:

    K: “You know, you’re a bright man. If you were an American I’d have you in my cabinet.”
    B: “No, Mr. President; if I were an American you would be in my cabinet.”

  173. The way to think about Azov battalion is to treat them like a simple group of delinquents, for whom Ukrainian nationalism has become a path to obtain money, resources, bigger guns and perhaps even political power

    Yes, there are elements of this, but not only. If they were ethnic Russians, as in Donbas, they would have taken a different path, as did the pro-Russian militants in Donbas who are similar to the ethnic Ukrainian Azovites. Young guys who like to brawl and are ethnic Russians or identify s such joined organizations like Oplot and moved to Donbas to fight against Ukraine, similar types who identified as Ukrainians became Azovites or joined similar pro-Ukrainian militias. Also not all of these were delinquents, many were working class, security guards, etc.

    Good that you admit that in Eastern Ukraine nationalism is not limited to student activists and businessmen.

    And Russian security services have plenty of experience dealing with gangs,

    They chose to stay away from Kharkiv and limit Russia’s action to Donbas, knowing that there would be too much opposition, and not enough support, to Russian rule in Kharkiv to make the effort worthwhile.

  174. Out of all hypotheses on the JFK assassination the one that Israel was behind it is the strongest. There is no question about it. From the day one when conspiracy theories were floated everything was done to hide how Israel benefited form the assassination.

  175. Felix Keverich says

    I feel that comparing Azov to SS gives it too much credit.

    My point is that this way of life is not something that many people in Ukraine are willing to actively participate in. Most people are not willing to condone it either. AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don’t see how this could work – there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

    There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it’s not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

  176. Felix Keverich says

    That represents about 900,000 people in that oblast. There aren’t 900,000 brawling far-rightists in Kharkiv. So?

    This means these people won’t pose a big problem. These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did.

    Even among Svoboda voters, I suspect only a small minority of them are the militant types. We should be to contain them through the use of local proxies. The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army. We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we’re in Kharkov.

  177. oligarchs, not nationalism are the driving force behind the “Ukrainian” mass crimes against humanity committing—

    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/63151000/jpg/_63151001_rexfeatures_390890mb.jpg

  178. Out of all hypotheses on the JFK assassination the one that Israel was behind it is the strongest. There is no question about it. From the day one when conspiracy theories were floated everything was done to hide how Israel benefited form the assassination.

    Actually, it’s completely random and bizarre, but random and bizarre appeals to a certain sort of head case. Oliver Stone’s thesis (that the military-industrial complex took down the President by subcontracting the job to a bunch of French Quarter homosexuals) is comparatively lucid.

  179. AP says that Azov and the like can act like underground insurgency in Eastern cities. But I don’t see how this could work – there will a thousand people around them willing to rat them out.

    About 1/3 of the population in Eastern Ukrainian regions voted for Ukrainian nationalists in 2012, compared to only 10% in Donbas. Three times as many. Likely after 2014 many of the hardcore pro-Russians left Kharkiv, just as hardcore pro-Ukrainians left Donetsk. Furthermore anti-Russian attitudes have hardened, due to the war, Crimea, etc. So there would be plenty of local support for native insurgents.

    Russians say, correctly, that after Kiev has shelled Donetsk how can the people of Donetsk reconcile themselves with Kiev?

    The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

    There is no pro-Ukrainian insurgency in Crimea or inside the republics in Donbass, and it’s not due to the lack of local football hooligans.

    Crimea was 60% Russian, Donbas Republics territory about 45% Russian; Kharkiv oblast is only 25% Russian.

    With Donbas – there are actually local pro-Ukrainian militants from Donbas, in the Donbas and Aidar battalions.

  180. Felix Keverich says

    It was a decision that Putin personally made. He wasn’t going to move in Crimea either, until Maidanists overthrew his friend…

    It goes without saying that Putin doesn’t share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable. And I’m sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn’t come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

  181. These folks will take care of themselves either through self-deportation or gradually coming to terms with the new reality in Kharkov, just like their compatriots in Crimea did

    The problem with this comparison is that Crimeans were far more in favor of joining Russia that are Kharkivites.

    The armies of Donbass republics currently number some 40-60 thousand men according to Cassad blog, which compares with the size of the entire Ukrainian army.

    Ukrainian military has 200,000 – 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

    We should be able to recruit more local Ukrainian proxies once we’re in Kharkov.

    You would be able to recruit some local proxies in Kharkiv. Kiev even did so in Donbas. But given the fact that Ukrainian nationalism was 3 times more popular on Kharkiv than in Donetsk, and that Kharkiv youth were split 50/50 in terms of or versus anti Maidan support (versus 80/20 IIIRC anti-Maidan in Donbas), it would not be so easy. Moreover, by now many of the hardcore anti-Kiev people have already left Kharkiv, while Kharkiv has had some settlement by pro-Ukrainian dissidents from Donbas. So the situation even in 2014 was hard enough that Russia chose to stay away, now it is even worse for the pro-Russians.

  182. And I’m sure the restraint Putin has shown on Ukraine doesn’t come from him being intimidated by Azov militia.

    This is rather a symptom of a much wider phenomenon: the population simply doesn’t see itself as Russian and doesn’t want to be part of Russia. So its hooligan-types go for Ukrainian, not Russian, nationalism as is the case in Russia.

  183. Felix Keverich says

    The time when Russia could have bloodlessly marched into Kharkiv is over. Ukrainian forces have dug in. How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?

    The locals will move to disarm Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

    It’s just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don’t have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people’s republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended. It’s wide open!

  184. Felix Keverich says

    Honestly, I doubt that this kind of stuff has much impact on Putin’s decisionmaking.

  185. It goes without saying that Putin doesn’t share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

    Well there you have it. Putin is a much smarter guy than you are Felix (BTW, are you Jewish, all of the Felix’s that I’ve known were Jewish?). Good to see that you’re nothing more than a blackshirted illusionist.*

    *фантазёр

  186. German_reader says

    German and European reliance on US security guarantees is a problem, since it’s become pretty clear that the US political system is dysfunctional and US “elites” are dangerous extremists. We need our own security structures to be independent from the US so they can’t drag us into their stupid projects or blackmail us anymore…why do you think Merkel didn’t react much to the revelations about American spying on Germany? Because we’re totally dependent on the Americans in security matters.
    And while I don’t believe Russia or Iran are really serious threats to Europe, it would be foolish to have no credible deterrence.

  187. “How will Kharkiv people feel towards uninvited Russian invaders shelling their city in order to to take it under their control?”

    They will move to disarm ther Ukrainian forces, who have taken their city hostage, then welcome their Russian liberators with open arms, what else they are going to do? lol

    While about 1/3 of Kharkiv voted for Ukrainian nationalists, only perhaps 10%-20% of the city would actually like to be part of Russia (and I am being generous to you). So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

    It’s just a joke though. In reality there is virtually no Ukrainian forces in city of Kharkov. They don’t have the manpower. Ukrainian regime managed to fortify Perekop and the perimeter of the people’s republics, but the rest of Ukraine-Russia border remains completely undefended.

    Are you living in 2014? Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

    Ukraine currently has 200,000-250,000 active troops. About 60,000 of them are around Donbas.

    Here is a map of various positions in 2017:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/2017_Ukraine_ZSU.png

    Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses). The map does not include national guard units such as Azov, however, which would add a few thousand troops to Kharkiv’s defense.

    It looks like rather than stationing their military in forward positions vs. a possible Russian attack, Ukraine, has put lot of troops in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kiev and Odessa.

  188. Felix Keverich says

    Ukrainian military has 200,000 – 250,000 active members and about 100,000 reserves. Where did you get your information? The end of 2014?

    I read Kassad blog, and he says Ukrainian formations assembled in Donbass number some 50-70 thousands men. The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn’t combat ready. Ukraine doesn’t just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don’t have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

    By contrast the armies of people’s republics have 40-60 thousand men – that’s impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft.

  189. So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers.

    The local populations in Iraq were congenial to begin with, at least outside some Sunni centers. It was never an object of American policy to stay in Iraq indefinitely.

  190. Felix Keverich says

    Kharkiv does appear to be lightly defended, though not undefended (it has a motorized infantry brigade and a lot of air defenses).

    How many people does this “motorized infantry brigade” have? And more importantly what is its level of combat readiness? Couldn’t we just smash this brigade with a termobaric bomb while they are sleeping?

    Ukraine is full of shit. They had 20.000 troops in Crimea, “a lot of air defenses” and it didn’t make a iota of difference. Somehow you expect me to believe Ukraine has a completely different army now. Why should I? They don’t have the resources to afford a better army, so it is logical to assume that Ukrainian army is still crap.

  191. for-the-record says

    And while I don’t believe Russia or Iran are really serious threats to Europe, it would be foolish to have no credible deterrence.

    What “credible deterrence” are you proposing for Germany? As has been clearly demonstrated, the only credible deterrence against a determined foe (of which Germany has none, at least externally) is nuclear. Is this what you are suggesting?

    Germany has willingly supported the US (presumably in continuing gratitude for US support during the Cold War), it hasn’t been “blackmailed” into this. Austria, on the other hand, has survived for more than 60 years without the US “umbrella” to protect it (and with a military strength rated below that of Angola and Chile), so why couldn’t Germany? There is no need whatsoever for Germany to build up its military strength; rather, what Germany (sorely) lacks is the desire (and guts) to act independently of the US.

  192. Russian nationalists always like to think of Ukraine as if it is 2014-2015. It is comforting for them.

    Betwixt and between all the trash talking, they’ve forgotten that the last occasion on which one country attempted to conquer an absorb another country with a population anywhere near 30% of its own was during the 2d World War. Didn’t work out so well for Germany and Japan.

  193. What about Metallica or Slayer? The famous 1991 Monsters of Rock in Moscow featured I think Metallica in its prime and Pantera right before they became really big (and heavy).

    Metallica primarily and AC/DC. Pantera were more of a bonus. Nowhere near massive popularity of AC/DC and Metallica, who were main attraction. Earlier, in 1988, so called Moscow Peace Festival also saw a collection of heavy and glam metal luminaries such as Motley Crue, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, of course, etc. But, of course, Ozzy was met with a thunder by Luzhniki stadium. The only rock royalty who was allowed to give a first ever concert on Red Square was Sir Paul, with Putin being personally present. Speaks volumes. British rock was always dominant in USSR. In the end, every Soviet boy who was starting to play guitar had to know three chords of the House of the Rising Sun. Russians are also very progressive rock oriented and in 1970s Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant etc. were huge. Soviet underground national anthem was Uriah Heep’s masterpiece of July Morning. I believe Bulgaria still has July Morning gatherings every year. All of it was British influence. My generation also grew up with British Glam which for us was a pop-music of the day–from Sweet to Slade, to T.Rex. And then there was: QUEEN.

  194. Austria, on the other hand, has survived for more than 60 years without the US “umbrella” to protect it (and with a military strength rated below that of Angola and Chile), so why couldn’t Germany?

    Austria hasn’t been absorbed by Germany or Italy therefore Germany doesn’t have a use for security guarantees or an armed force. Do I render your argument correctly?

  195. German_reader says

    Germany has willingly supported the US

    Not completely true, Germany didn’t participate in the Iraq war and in the bombing of Libya.
    I’m hardly an expert on military matters, but it would seem just common sense to me that a state needs sufficient armed forces to protect its own territory…if you don’t have that, you risk becoming a passive object whose fate is decided by other powers. Doesn’t mean Germany should have a monstrously bloated military budget like the US, just sufficient forces to protect its own territory and that of neighbouring allies (which is what the German army should be for…instead of participating in futile counter-insurgency projects in places like Afghanistan). Potential for conflict in Europe is obviously greatest regarding Russia…it’s still quite low imo, and I want good relations with Russia and disagree vehemently with such insanely provocative ideas as NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, but it would be stupid not to have credible deterrence (whose point it is to prevent hostilities after all). I don’t think that’s an anti-Russian position, it’s just realistic.
    Apart from that Germany doesn’t probably need much in the way of military capabilities…maybe some naval forces for participation in international anti-piracy missions.
    Regarding nuclear weapons, that’s obviously something Germany can’t or shouldn’t do on its own (probably wouldn’t be tolerated anyway given 20th century history), so it would have to be in some form of common European project. Hard to tell now if something like this could eventually become possible or necessary.

  196. Sorry to prickle your little fantasy world once again tovarishch, but according to current CIA statistics Ukraine has 182,000 active personnel, and 1,000,000 reservists! For a complete rundown of Ukraine’s military strength, read this and weep:

    https://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=ukraine

  197. RadicalCenter says

    “Clouseau… He killed … two customers, a Cossack, and a WAITER!!”

  198. A lot of what used to be manufacturing, such as engineering design, is now put under the category of services. Manufacturing companies want to be listed as engaged in services because manufacturing is perceived as not profitable. Britain is alone among comparable countries in having lost significant amounts of productive capacity.

  199. RadicalCenter says

    You have exquisite taste in movies, sir. Something we can agree on.

  200. Johann Ricke says

    K: “You know, you’re a bright man. If you were an American I’d have you in my cabinet.”
    B: “No, Mr. President; if I were an American you would be in my cabinet.”

    The thing about many of these corrupt, worthless and incompetent Third World leaders is they’re not lacking in self-esteem. Just ask Karzai. Or Maliki.

  201. The potential power of China is an order of magnitude greater than Japan. After WW2 Japan, and to a lesser extent Germany, were too small to be a threat. Don’t you believe all that Robert Kagan ‘the US solved the problems that caused WW1 and 2’ stuff. China is a real hegemon in the making and they will take a run at it, unless they are contained by military pressure on their borders.

    Modern Japan is more like Singapore than China. China has economies of scale, they have a single integrated factory complex making laptops with has more workers than the British army. China will have a huge home market, like America. So by the time it dawns on America that China’s growing power must be checked, economic measures will be ineffective.

  202. for-the-record says

    Austria hasn’t been absorbed by Germany or Italy therefore Germany doesn’t have a use for security guarantees or an armed force. Do I render your argument correctly?

    That’s about right, yes. Except I didn’t say that Germany should have no military capability, only that there is no sense in increasing current military expenditure. A military capability can be useful for dealing with emergencies, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

  203. t. le 56% face.

    America’s national IQ will be below 90 in a few decades so I really doubt that.

  204. They’ve had ample opportunity over a period of 26 years to make the decision you favor. It hasn’t happened, and there’s no reason to fancy they’ll be more amenable a decade from now.

    Yes, these people had been sold a vision. If only they leave behind the backward, Asiatic, mongoloid Russia, they will instantly Join Europe. They will have all of the good stuff: European level of prosperity, rule of law, international approval, and so on; and none of the bad stuff that they associated with Russia, like poverty, corruption, and civil strife.

    Official Ukrainian propaganda worked overtime, and still works today, to hammer this into people’s heads. And it’s an attractive vision. An office dweller in Kiev wants to live in a shiny European capital, not in a bleak provincial city of a corrupt Asian empire. The problem is, it’s ain’t working. For a while Ukraine managed to get Russia to subsidize Ukrainian European dream. Now this is over. The vision is starting to fail even harder.

    The experience of Communism shows that it may take decades but eventually people notice that the state ideology is a lie. Once they do, they change their mind about things rather quickly.

  205. Manufacturing companies want to be listed as engaged in services because manufacturing is perceived as not profitable.

    Inventive parry. Not buying.

  206. Modern Japan is more like Singapore than China.

    There are 120 million people living in Japan, settlements of every size, and agricultural land sufficient for Japan to supply demand for rice from domestic production. So, no.

  207. That’s about right, yes.

    You said that, not me.

  208. Swedish Family says

    It goes without saying that Putin doesn’t share my nationalist approach to Ukraine problem: he does not see the destruction of Ukrainian project as necessary or even desirable.

    Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool. More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

    (1) All the civilian deaths in the Donbass, somewhat perversely, play to Russia’s advantage in that they take some of the sting out of the “Ukraine is the victim” narrative. Common people know full well that the Ukrainian troops are hated in the Donbass (I once watched a Ukrainian soldier shock the audience by saying this on Shuster Live), and they know also that Kiev has a blame in all those dead women and children. These are promising conditions for future reconciliation, and they would be squandered overnight if Russian troops moved further westward.

    (2) The geopolitical repercussions would be enormous. As I and others have already written, the present situation is just about what people in elite Western circles can stomach. Any Russian escalation would seriously jeopardize European trade with Russia, among other things.

    (3) There is a good chance that Crimea will eventually be internationally recognized as part of the RF (a British parliamentary report on this matter in 2015, I think it was, made this quite clear). The same might also be true of the Donbass. These “acquisitions,” too, would be jeopardized by more military action.

    1. You fancy they’re bamboozled and you’re not. Cute.

    2. You also fancy your interlocutors are economic illiterates and that they’ll buy into the notion that the solution to the Ukraine’s economic problems is to be forcibly incorporated into Russia. Such a change in political boundaries addresses no economic problems.

  209. (1) All the civilian deaths in the Donbass, somewhat perversely, play to Russia’s advantage in that they take some of the sting out of the “Ukraine is the victim” narrative.

    You mean Putin mercs kill more Ukrainian civilians and we ‘take some of the sting out of the ‘Ukraine is a victim narrative’? Sounds like a plan.

    There is a good chance that Crimea will eventually be internationally recognized as part of the RF (a British parliamentary report on this matter in 2015, I think it was, made this quite clear). The same might also be true of the Donbass. T

    Did you cc the folks in Ramallah and Jerusalem about that?

  210. RadicalCenter says

    That is terribly naïve.

    I’ve been all over the comment boards calling for my country (the USA) to take a less belligerent, more honest, friendlier approach to Russia, and I’ve largely taken the side of Russia in the Ukraine and Syria controversies.

    I also don’t think Russia has any current designs on the territory of its western neighbors, or the desire for the dire consequences that would likely follow as the US and others react to such a move.

    But that doesn’t mean that it’s prudent for Germany (or any other smaller, less populous country near Russia) to simply trust that Russia will never use military force against them in the future.

    Nor should Germany assume that China will not ultimately find it worthwhile to take their territory or resources for its own massive, overcrowded, ambitious population.

    Germany’s military forces are grossly inadequate. Same for France. Same for the UK. None of them should purport to predict well into the future that Russia, China, and others (Turkey) will never be both willing and able to invade them. Nor should Germany et al. assume that the USA will always be in a position to jump in to defend Europeans in the absence of serious European militaries.

    In fact, the western Europeans’ glaring military weakness (and their obvious loss of the will to defend their people, their land, and their way of life) could serve to encourage physical aggression by, e.g., Turkey or Russia. Betting that you need a military merely “for dealing with emergencies, such as tornadoes and hurricanes” is a potentially fatal bet, with irreversible consequences.

  211. RadicalCenter says

    Yes, Germany would be wise to acquire at least a small nuclear deterrent, just as France and the UK and Israel have.

  212. RadicalCenter says

    So the costs of the US invasion/occupation/”reconstruction” of Iraq were (allegedly) less than the costs of the equally unnecessary and non-defensive US wars in Korea and Vietnam? Heck of an argument.

    How about this: we should have refrained from all three wars.

    We should be using our resources to secure our own borders, to police the international waters and vital shipping lanes / chokepoints (fighting pirates and terrorists as necessary to those ends), and to actually defend our land and our people and deter aggression. That’s it.

  213. Germany’s military forces are grossly inadequate. Same for France. Same for the UK.

    Grossly inadequate for what purpose?

    What matters about military strength is its relation to neighbours’ and potential enemies’ strengths. Germany’s military spending currently ranks number nine in the world (using the SIPRI figures per Wikipedia for simplicity), which when you consider they are located in the middle of one of the safest continents (militarily speaking) in the world, surrounded by allies with whom military conflict is currently pretty much inconceivable, is quite impressive. Above them are only its European allies UK and France, the grossly bloated US and Saudi Arabian budgets, Russia and China, and Japan and India. Apart from South Korea who come next, Germany spends half as much again as the next on the list (Italy).

    Germany’s military shortcomings can in no plausible degree be attributed to not spending enough, unless you think Germany should be remilitarising for a potential war with Russia. Basically, Germany’s military is toothless mostly because nobody in Germany really thinks it matters, nobody expects to be involved in a war, and such spending as it has is mostly purposed to suit a Germany integrated into NATO and the EU rather than an independent state. If there’s a problem it’s not down to insufficient spending but to how the money is currently spent.

    Like you I’m a general believer in having a strong military, and in “si vis pacem, para bellum”. But it’s hard to see how Germany could really benefit from increased military spending. If they were to feel genuinely threatened, nuclear weapons would make much more sense (along with a radical reorganisation of the current spending and conventional military establishment).

    There’s a lot of American nonsense talked about European states underspending on their military, but the reality is that the US grossly overspends to serve its own global interventionist purposes. There’s no reason why European states should spend to serve those purposes, which is what in reality increased European spending in the current context would be used for.

    What we might see in some potential circumstances is increased German (and European in general) military spending in order to give them the confidence to break away from NATO and US control, and build the long trailed “European Defence Force”. That looks a lot more likely after Brexit and in the context of the Trump presidency than it did a few years ago, but it’s still something of a distant possibility. In that case, though, the increases would be mainly for morale building and transitional spending purposes, given that the combined EU military budget is already second in the world, behind only the ludicrous US.

  214. Hey Art Deco (cool name by the way – I love that style of architecture – probably one of the only modern styles I like),

    Well, all I can say is he played it smooth enough to fool a heck of a lot of Pakistanis (not saying that’s all that difficult).

    Peace.

  215. Swedish Family says

    You mean Putin mercs kill more Ukrainian civilians and we ‘take some of the sting out of the ‘Ukraine is a victim narrative’? Sounds like a plan.

    No, I wrote that those civilians are already gone and that both sides had a hand in their deaths, which will help the peace process since no side can claim sole victimhood.

    And your assumption that the separatists are mercenaries is groundless speculation. Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

    Did you cc the folks in Ramallah and Jerusalem about that?

    Risible comparison. Theirs is a conflict involving three major religions and the survival of the Israeli state at stake. On the Crimean question, we have already heard influential Westerners voice the possibility that it might one day be accepted as Russian, and if you read between the lines, many Ukrainians are of a similiar mind.

  216. RadicalCenter says

    We’re in agreement on all of that, AD.

    But the EU isn’t merely a threat to self-government anymore. It is now actively and intentionally importing people who kill, rape, mug, beat, grope, harass, stalk, and generally disrespect and intimidate “their own” European people. The EU is an active threat to the lives and physical safety of European people. No people with the barest common sense and will to live will stay in the EU as these recent horrific events continue to unfold.

  217. for-the-record says

    Nor should Germany assume that China will not ultimately find it worthwhile to take their territory or resources for its own massive, overcrowded, ambitious population.

    This is really a case of misplaced priorities.

    Germany is in the process of losing its national identity built up over 2,000 years or so, and it has nothing to do with the Chinese (or the Russians either, for that matter). And China certainly doesn’t need its military to successfully export its “massive, overcrowded, ambitious population” overseas (cf. Western Canada, Australia).

    Focusing on the (non-existent, in my opinion) need for Germany to increase its current (already high) level of military expenditures will do nothing to preserve Germany as a European nation.

  218. RadicalCenter says

    Take a look at my other comments. You’ll see that I wholeheartedly agree with you about the moral sickness, cowardice, misplaced guilty, and terminal naivete of the Germans leading them to surrender their land, their property, their way of life, and their very lives to the Muslim and African savages they are importing.

    As a recent book by a German politician put it, “Deutschland schafft sich ab”, or “Germany does away with itself.”

    But what has that to do with Germany also refusing to maintain a serious military defense force to deter potential threats from state actors such as Russia, Turkey, and China? Any nation worth its salt must both secure / guard its orders AND keep a military ready to fight external forces. Germany can and should do both, and right now it’s doing neither.

  219. RadicalCenter says

    As for China in particular: of course China is glad to export millions of its people to settle and become citizens in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the rest of the former “West.”

    They are thereby en route to acquiring real social influence, and ultimately some direct political power, in those places (especially Australia and the provinces of “British” Columbia and Alberta, owing to the very small white populations of those places compared to the immigration onslaught).

    I lived part-time in Richmond and Vancouver, BC, and know just how quickly that region is becoming an alien culture — Chinese more than anything, but also Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh. (Look up the career of crooked “Canadian” former pol and now radio-host Kash Heed, among many other examples.) I would expect that Mandarin will eventually become a co-equal official language of government (and public schools) in BC, with no effective opposition by those ever-“tolerant” Canadians (“We’re not like those racist Americans, you know!”).

    But the people who have emigrated from China thus far are a drop in the bucket. China is still terribly overcrowded and lacks both land and natural resources needed to sustain its population. Actually outright TAKING swathes of Europe or, say, Africa, would help them a lot more than immigration. When the time is right — say, after the US dollar loses its world reserve status and/or the US is beset by widespread racial conflict and riots — China may well make its move in that regard. I hope not, and I don’t think it will be very soon, but a wise country needs a strong military in the face of China and other threats.

  220. RadicalCenter says

    Talha, you agreed with me again? I must be slipping 😉

    Merry Christmas, buddy –

  221. Unfortunately, the Ukraine has been spending 5%* of its GDP on the military since c.2015 (versus close to 1% before 2014).

    Doesn’t really matter if tons of money continues to be stolen, or even the recession – with that kind of raw increase, a major enhancement in capabilities is inevitable.

    As I was already writing in 2016:

    Like it or not, but outright war with Maidanist Ukraine has been ruled out from the beginning, as the more perceptive analysts like Rostislav Ischenko have long recognized. If there was a time and a place for it, it was either in April 2014, or August 2014 at the very latest. Since then, the Ukrainian Army has gotten much stronger. It has been purged of its “Russophile” elements, and even though it has lost a substantial percentage of its remnant Soviet-era military capital in the war of attrition with the LDNR, it has more than made up for it with wartime XP gain and the banal fact of a quintupling in military spending as a percentage of GDP from 1% to 5%. This translates to an effective quadrupling in absolute military spending, even when accounting for Ukraine’s post-Maidan economic collapse. Russia can still crush Ukraine in a full-scale conventional conflict, and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future, but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

  222. How so? Poland and France (together around equal to Germany’s population) worked out perfectly for Nazi Germany.

    And Japan could have kept China subjugated indefinitely without the American intervention.

    Not of course to otherwise entertain your completely false and misleading comparison.

  223. The entire Ukrainian army is around 200.000 men, including the navy (LOL), the airforce, but most of it isn’t combat ready.

    250,000. Combat readiness is very different from 2014.

    Ukraine doesn’t just suffer from a lack of manpower, they don’t have the resources to feed and clothe their soldiers, which limits their ability field an army.

    Again, it isn’t 2014 anymore. Military budget has increased significantly, from 3.2 billion in 2015 to 5.17 billion in 2017. In spite of theft, much more is getting through.

    By contrast the armies of people’s republics have 40-60 thousand men – that’s impressive level of mobilisation, and they achieved this without implementing draft

    It’s one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.

  224. Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

    80% are natives. Perhaps as much as 90%. However, often it a way to make a meager salary in those territories, so there is a mercenary aspect to it. Lots of unemployed workers go into the Republic military.

  225. Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are fighting for the love of money.

    80% in 2014-15, to be precise; another 10% from the Kuban; 10% from Russia, the Russian world, and the world at large.

    NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians – no Russian went there to get rich.

    That said, I strongly doubt there will ever be international recognition of Crimea, let alone Donbass. Israel has by far the world’s most influential ethnic lobby. Even NATO member Turkey hasn’t gotten Northern Cyprus internationally recognized, so what exactly are the chances of the international community (read: The West) recognizing the claims of Russia, which is fast becoming established in Western minds as the arch-enemy of civilization?

  226. Fascinating link. The numbers for the military budget are a lot lower than reported elsewhere.

    Mobilization percentages by region:

    “Among the leaders of the fourth and fifth wave of partial mobilisation were the Khmelnitsky,
    Dnipropetrovsk, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad and Zaporizhia regions, as well as the city
    of Kyiv, whose mobilisation plan was fulfilled 80-100% (the record was Vinnytsia oblast,
    which achieved 100% mobilisation). At the opposite extreme are the Kharkiv, Chernivtsi,
    Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lugansk, Sumy, Ternopil and Transcarpathian regions, where
    the results of the mobilisation varied from 25 to 60%.”

    Summary:

    2014:

    The true face of the Ukrainian armed forces was revealed by the Russian annexation of Crimea and the first weeks of the war in the Donbas – they were nothing more than a fossilised structure, unfit for any effective function upon even a minimum engagement with the enemy, during which a significant part of the troops only realised whom they were representing in the course of the conflict… and more than once, from the perspective of service in one of the post-Soviet military districts, they chose to serve in the Russian army

    2017:

    The war in the Donbas shaped the Ukrainian army. It gave awareness and motivation to the soldiers, and forced the leadership of the Defence Ministry and the government of the state to adapt the army’s structure – for the first time since its creation – to real operational needs, and also to bear the costs of halting the collapses in the fields of training and equipment, at least to such an extent which would allow the army to fight a close battle with the pro-Russian separatists. Despite all these problems, the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle. They have a trained reserve ready for mobilisation in the event of a larger conflict*; their weapons are not the latest or the most modern, but the vast majority of them now work properly; and they are ready for the defence of the vital interests of the state (even if some of the personnel still care primarily about their own vested interests). They have no chance of winning a potential military clash with Russia, but they have a reason to fight. The Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2014, in a situation where their home territory was occupied by foreign troops, were incapable of mounting an adequate response. The changes since the Donbas war started mean that Ukraine now has the best army it has ever had in its history.

    * The Ukrainian armed forces have an operational reserve of 130,000 men, relatively well trained and with real combat experience, who since 2016 have been moulded out of veterans of the Donbas (as well as from formations subordinate to the Interior Ministry). It must be stressed, however, that those counted in the reserve represent only half of the veterans of the anti-terrorist operation (by October 2016, 280,000 Ukrainians had served in the Donbas in all formations subordinate to the government in Kyiv, with 266,000 reservists gaining combat status; at the beginning of February 2017, 193,400 reservists were in the armed forces). Thanks to that, at least in terms of the human factor, it should be possible in a relatively short period of time to increase the Ukrainian army’s degree of combat readiness, as well as to fight a relatively close battle with a comparable opponent, something the Ukrainian armed forces were not capable of doing at the beginning of 2014.

  227. I respectfully disagree with you about the Iraq war (one of the few areas on which I disagree with you).

    I suppose had the West made a massive investment in Iraq, secured its Christian population, loaded it with US troops, and did to it what was done to Japan, over several decades, transforming it into a prosperous democratic US ally, removing Saddam (who deserves no sympathy) might have been a nice thing. It would have been a massive financial drain but having a “Japan”, other than Israel, in the heart of the Middle East might have been worth it (I am not a Middle East expert but it seems the Shah’s Persia was sort of being groomed for such a role).

    Instead, it ended up being a disaster – 100,000s dead in sectarian massacres, Christian population nearly destroyed, and other than Kurdish areas, an ally either of Iran or of militant anti-American Sunnis. At the cost, to the USA, of dead Americans, lots of money, and loss of soft power. I also suspect that America being stuck and preoccupied in Middle East conflicts gave room for Russia to act. I guess its a tribute to how strong America is, that it is still doing pretty well in spite of the debacle. A lesser power such as the USSR would have been sunk.

  228. NAF salaries are good by post-2014 Donbass standards, but a massive cut for Russians – no Russian went there to get rich.

    Which further points to the critical role played by Russians. Many of the local volunteers are participating because doing so offers a salary, which is very important in a wrecked, sanctioned Donbas. The Russian 10%-20% are motivated, often Chechen combat vets. They are more important than their % indicates.

  229. linking a picture to try and be “funny” only shows what a clueless POS idiot troll you are.

    You’re too thick to realise that the Ukrainian situation completely transforms if the US controlled international community is NEUTRAL, not even pro-Russian, you muppet…at the time of the illegal US-made coup in February 2014. There was no proper “grassroots” Maidan movement you dipshits…just some USAID funded losers ( look at how many of these Maidan “activists” have US degrees)…and NATO funded scumbag pseudo-nationalists ( unemployed thugs) who had nothing better to do but miraculously stay 4 months in the winter in one site in the poorest country in Europe. Most Ukrainians are humble,pro–Russian, non-“activist” /Bandera fucktards who realised that it is impossible to reject the coup/go for further reintegration with Russia ….when the whole world will sanction it ( imagine how different it would be if this wasn’t the case)..that and the fact that the US backs Nazi’s/US funded liberal fuckup Ukrainians in key positions in Ukrainian business, SBU,government,police and military..and there is nothing they can do about it.

    Apart from the US backers the simple fact is this Euromaidan “movement” was nothing but an Oligarch-steered,financed and controlled event ( Oligarch and USAID control of the media was a big part of it and the subsequent illegal war on the Donbass people). It’s the same for this and the war. Oligarchs like the POS Kolomoisky were instrumental in the war you idiot.

    Despite these factors, millions of Ukrainians have left their country…for Russia, millions of Ukrainians are pissed of at the lunatics in Kiev implementing obstacles on travel between the two countries, millions of Ukrainians are still heavily pro-Russia, millions of Ukrainians don’t know what to make of the situation ( but would easily do so iF the Ukrainian media wasn’t close to 100% controlled by US-favoured oligarchs spreading anti-Donbass and anti-RF lies ), many Ukrainians have defected to DNR/LNR.

    7% of the ukrop GDP is reliant on remittances from the millions working there and gas transit fees, and of course Russia is still the biggest investor in Ukraine you cretin.

    So it’s clear that you dont have a clue what you are talking about you dimwit…and that a huge part of Ukrainians still living in Ukraine are pro-Russian or would be highly favourable to Russia/Donbass movements if the joke power structure in Ukraine was a normal one

  230. Which further points to the critical role played by Russians. Many of the local volunteers are participating because doing so offers a salary, which is very important in a wrecked, sanctioned Donbas. The Russian 10%-20% are motivated, often Chechen combat vets. They are more important than their % indicates.

    hahahaha!!!!! More braindead attention-whore lies from some creep on here for a million hours to write a million words of crap. Pretty much projection of what the failed-state Ukraine is doing and the condition it is in. Dont you feel any shame for inventing all this armchair ,fantasist moronism?

  231. While about 1/3 of Kharkiv voted for Ukrainian nationalists, only perhaps 10%-20% of the city would actually like to be part of Russia (and I am being generous to you). So your idea is equivalent to American fantasies of Iraqis greeting their troops with flowers

    ahhh….this is further amusing..the clown pretending to have ANY knowledge about Ukrainian politics chatting crap again.

    I do recall a recent previous attention-whoring nonsense by a f**wit as you somehow thinking in Kharkov 2010, that an Armenian nearly beating a Jew for the Mayorship of the main city in an Oblast controlled by a Jew…. was a near victory of Ukrainian-nationalists over ‘”pro-Russia” !…..even though Avakov’s party in Kharkov at that time were becoming considerably less Nationalist but more neutral and slightly pro-Russian on many important issues at their top level… particularly with both sides calling Tymoshenko a Russian agent, not going with the NATO line on South Ossetia/Abhazia, numerous trade deals, the most normal and peaceful gas agreement in 15 years between Ukraine and Russia, cutting out of all this UPA/Bandera/Anti-soviet and going on about the fake Golodomor crap at the top level of Batkivshina….that and the general pro-Russian mood , pro-russian& soviet heritage of most in Kharkov…(the large majority in fact you dipshit)……who easily would have allowed a DNR/LNR type area to form , if this had been seriously attempted and wanted by Russia…..as befits an area in a country where “Ukrainians” and Russian intermarry, prefer in large majority to speak/think/watch russian and has been controlled from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg for centuries with practically nil “resistance” or any consciousness of anything to “resist”….just some cowardly-doubledealing,pig-raping UPA scum who escaped justice and fled to the US/Canada …injecting fantasies.

    It just sums up what an absurdly thick clown you are

  232. ..and lets not forget the failure in mobilisation from the Ukrainian military

    That and having to hire loads of Georgians, Chechens,Poles and other mercenaries.

    Pretty much tallys perfectly with the failed shithole Ukraine government structure……full of everyone else ….but Ukrainians

  233. Hey man – when you’re right, you’re right – that one was spot on.

    If we can end the nonsense wars, we can at least solve a good chunk of the immigration crisis. It’s all related.

    Hope your family has a safe holiday and a good New Years.

    Peace.

  234. More braindead attention-whore lies from some creep on here for a million hours to write a million words of crap. Pretty much projection of what the failed-state Ukraine is doing and the condition it is in.

    Your comments are the only brain dead ones here, tovarishch. It doesn’t really reflect well on you, if you really believe that Ukraine is a failed state, and yet spend millions of hours yourself writing about it. You must be allowed a lot of free time from your captors at the local funny farm.

  235. Amazing – almost any discussion in this section turns to хохлосрач (ukrohitstorm)

  236. What is almost incomprehensible for me in these endless Russia vs Ukraine arguments is how they (yes both sides) always ignore the real issues and instead keep on raising relatively petty points while thinking that mass non white immigration and things like the EU commissioner of immigration stating openly that Europe needs endless immigration, are not important. It’s like white South Africans who still debate the Boer war or the Irish debate the northern Ireland question, and are completely oblivious to the fact that these things don’t matter anymore if you have an entirely new people ruling your land (ok in South Africa they were not new, but you know what I mean).

  237. cool screen name ; )

  238. Estimations are that well over half of the separatists are born and bred in Ukraine

    much more than half

    Donbass rebels: soldiers of the detachment of “Sparta”. Data published by Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine:

    https://imgur.com/a/Gh8zx

  239. yup, it’s positively quaint, doubly so in light of the most-important-graph.gif.

  240. That’s rght, and it happens to the whole world too including those countries destroyed by US and under its sanction. The bombastic propaganda MSM fake news and Hollywood have brainwashed all to harbour delusion that US is a perfect heaven paved with gold, honey and milk, people of high morality and freedom. Wait till they live there to find out reality of DemoNcracy made in USA.

  241. I think it’s mostly Gerard2. Mr. Hack is fairly hostile but coldly civil. Don’t think this compares to Runet xoxlosraches at all (of course I try to cut any such developments in the bud).

  242. I have read a article mentioned something like Putin said, to annexed whole Ukraine means to share the enormous resource wealth of vast Russia land with them, which make no economic sense. If Russia is worst than Ukraine, then there won’t be million of Ukrainian migrating over after the Maidan coup.

    So are all those Baltic states. Russia don’t want these countries as it burden, it is probably only interested in selected strategic areas like the Eastern Ukraine industrial belt and military important Crimea warm water deep seaport, and skilled migrants. Ukraine has one of lowest per capital income now, with extreme corrupted politicians controlled by USNato waging foolish civil war killing own people resulting in collapsing economic and exudes of skilled people.

    What it got to lose to unify with Russia to have peace, prosperity and been a nation of a great country instead of poor war torn? Plus a bonus of free Russia market access, unlimited cheap natural gas and pipeline toll to tax instead of buying LNG from US at double price.

    Sorry this s just my opinion based on mostly fake news we are fed, only the Ukrainian know the best and able to decde themselves.

  243. Agreed, and he happens to be in the right here. Russia actually has a good hand in Ukraine, if only she keeps her cool. More military adventurism is foolish for at least three reasons:

    Yes, this is my view also. I think Russia was never in a position to do much more than it has, and those who talk about more vigorous military interference are just naïve, or engaging in wishful thinking, about the consequences. I think Putin played a very bad hand as well as could reasonably be expected in Ukraine and Crimea. No doubt mistakes were made, and perhaps more support at the key moment for the separatists (assassinations of some of the key oligarchs who chose the Ukrainian side and employed thugs to suppress the separatists in eastern cities, perhaps) could have resulted in a better situation now with much more of the eastern part of Ukraine separated, but if Russians want someone to blame for the situation in Ukraine apart from their enemies, they should look at Yanukovich, not Putin.

    In the long run, it seems likely the appeal of NATO and the EU (assuming both still even exist in their current forms in a few years time) is probably peaking, but strategic patience and only limited covert and economic interference is advisable.

    The return of Crimea to Russia alone has been a dramatic improvement in the inherent stability of the region. A proper division of the territory currently forming the Ukraine into a genuine Ukrainian nation in the west and an eastern half returned to Russia would be the ideal long term outcome, but Russia can surely live with a neutralised Ukraine.

  244. If presenting a Ukrainophile point of view at this website is considered to be ‘pretty hostile’ then so be it. I cannot countenance the slimy way that Gerard2 reponds to AP’s comments. He was getting way out of line with his name calling and needed to be put in his place.

  245. But the people who have emigrated from China thus far are a drop in the bucket. China is still terribly overcrowded and lacks both land and natural resources needed to sustain its population.

    As we speak, about 8.5% of the value-added in China’s economy is attributable to agriculture and about 27% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Industry and services are not land-intensive activities.

    About 1/2 of China’s land area consists of arid or alpine climates suitable for only light settlement. As for the rest, China’s entire non-agricultural population could be settled at American suburban densities on about 23% of the whole.

    You don’t need ‘natural resources’ on site to ‘sustain your population’. Imports of oil and minerals will do. As for foodstuffs, China’s been a net importer since 2004. However, its food-trade deficit is currently about $35 bn, a single-digit fraction of China’s total food consumption.

  246. Felix Keverich says

    There’s a report that says actual Ukrainian military spending remained rather more modest at 2.5% of GDP (https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf); even so, that still translates to huge improvements over 2014.

    You realise that Ukraine’s GDP declined in dollar terms by a factor of 2-3 times, right? A bigger share of a smaller economy translates into the same paltry sum. It is still under $5 billion.

    Futhermore an army that’s actively deployed and engaged in fighting spends more money than during peacetime. A lot of this money goes to fuel, repairs, providing for soldiers and their wages rather than qualitatively impoving capabilities of the army.

    The bottomline is Ukraine spent the last 3,5 years preparing to fight a war against the People’s Republic of Donetsk. I’ll admit Ukrainian army can hold its own against the People’s Republic of Donetsk. Yet it remains hopelessly outmatched in a potential clash with Russia. A short, but brutal bombing campaign can whipe out Ukrainian command and control, will make it impossible to mount any kind of effective defence. Ukrainian conscripts have no experience in urban warfare, and their national loyalties are unclear.

    AP predicts that the cities of Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk will be reduced to something akin to Aleppo. But it has taken 3 years of constant shelling to cause the damage in Aleppo. A more likely outcome is that Ukrainian soldiers will promptly ditch their uniforms, once they realise the Russian are coming and their command is gone.

  247. Nominal GDP collapsed, but real GDP only fell by around 20%. This matters more, since the vast majority of Ukrainian military spending occurs in grivnas.

    By various calculations, Ukrainian military spending went up from 1% of GDP, to 2.5%-5%. Minus 20%, that translates to a doubling to quadrupling.

    What it does mean is that they are even less capable of paying for advanced weapons from the West than before, but those were never going to make a cardinal difference anyway.

    AP is certainly exaggerating wrt Kharkov looking like Aleppo and I certainly didn’t agree with him on that. In reality Russia will still be able to smash the Ukraine, assuming no large-scale American intervention, but it will no longer be the trivial task it would have been in 2014, and will likely involve thousands as opposed to hundreds (or even dozens) of Russian military deaths in the event of an offensive up to the Dnieper.

  248. We’d all benefit if you’d sober up and add brevity and humor to your emotional outbursts and trash talk. No need for much verbiage in the absence of substantive information.

  249. The American occupation of Japan lasted 7 years, not ‘several decades’. Japan was quite capable of rapid and autonomous economic development without the assistance of the United States or any other power. Neither was the United States government the author of Japanese parliamentary institutions, which antedate the war. There were certain social reforms enacted during the MacArthur regency (I think having to do with the agricultural sector). The emperor’s power was further reduced in the 1946 constitution. A portion of the flag-rank military were put in front of firing squads. That’s about it.

    Again, much of Iraq is quiet and has been for a decade. What’s not would be the provinces where Sunnis form a critical mass. Their political vanguards are fouling their own nest and imposing costs on others in the vicinity, such as the country’s Christian population and the Kurds living in mixed provinces like Kirkuk. You’ve seen severe internal disorders in the Arab world over 60 years in Algeria, Libya, the Sudan, the Yemen, the Dhofar region of Oman, Lebanon, Syria, and central Iraq. If you want to understand this, you have to look to how Arab societies themselves are ordered (in contrast to interwar or post-war German society).

  250. That’s rght, and it happens to the whole world too including those countries destroyed by US

    There are no such places.

  251. Felix Keverich says

    It’s one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.

    It’s not like the regime-controlled parts of the country are doing much better! LOL

    My point is that this bodes well for our ability to recruit proxies in Ukraine, don’t you think? We could easily assemble another 50.000-strong local army, once we’re in Kharkov. That’s the approach I would use in Ukraine: strip away parts of it piece by piece, create local proxies, use them to maintain control and absorb casualties in the fighting on the ground.

  252. In reality Russia will still be able to smash the Ukraine, assuming no large-scale American intervention, but it will no longer be the trivial task it would have been in 2014, and will likely involve thousands as opposed to hundreds (or even dozens) of Russian military deaths in the event of an offensive up to the Dnieper.

    Fortunately, we’ll not be seeing a replay of the sacking and destruction of Novgorod as was done in the 15th century by Ivan III, and all of its ugly repercussions in Ukraine. Besides, since the 15th century, we’ve seen the emergence of three separate nationalities out of the loose amalgamation of principalities known a Rus. Trying to recreate something (one Rus nation) out of something that never in effect existed, now in the 21st century is a ridiculous concept at best.

  253. “It’s one of the only ways to make any money in the Republics, so draft is unnecessaary.”

    It’s not like the regime-controlled parts of the country are doing much better! LOL

    Well, they are, at least in the center and west. Kievans don’t volunteer to fight because they have no other way of making money. But you probably believe the fairytale that Ukraine is in total collapse, back to the 90s.

    We could easily assemble another 50.000-strong local army, once we’re in Kharkov.

    If in the process of taking Kharkiv the local economy goes into ruin due to wrecked factories and sanctions so that picking up a gun is the only way to feed one’s family for some people, sure. But again, keep in mind that Kharkiv is much less pro-Russian than Donbas so this could be more complicated.

  254. How so? Poland and France (together around equal to Germany’s population) worked out perfectly for Nazi Germany.

    You’re forgetting a few things. In the United States, about 1/3 of the country’s productive capacity was devoted to the war effort during the period running from 1940 to 1946. I’ll wager you it was higher than that in Britain and continental Europe. That’s what Germany was drawing on to attempt to sustain its holdings for just the 4-5 year period in which they occupied France and Poland. (Russia currently devotes 4% of its productive capacity to the military). Germany had to be exceedingly coercive as well. They were facing escalating partisan resistance that whole time (especially in the Balkans).

    Someone whose decisions matter is going to ask the question of whether it’s really worth the candle.

  255. Thanks for the correction. This suggests that transforming Iraq into a solidly pro-Western stable democracy would have been much harder than doing so for Japan. This I think would have been the only legitimate reason to invade in Iraq in 2003 (WMDs weren’t there, and in 2003 the regime was not genocidal as it had been decades earlier when IMO an invasion would have been justified)

    Again, much of Iraq is quiet and has been for a decade. What’s not would be the provinces where Sunnis form a critical mass. Their political vanguards are fouling their own nest and imposing costs on others in the vicinity, such as the country’s Christian population and the Kurds living in mixed provinces like Kirkuk.

    Correct, but most of this have been the case had the Baathists remained in power?

    You’ve seen severe internal disorders in the Arab world over 60 years in Algeria, Libya, the Sudan, the Yemen, the Dhofar region of Oman, Lebanon, Syria, and central Iraq.

    Which is why one ought to either not invade a country and remove a regime that maintains stability and peace, or if one does so – take on the responsibility of investing massive effort and treasure in order to prevent the inevitable chaos and violence that would erupt as a result of one’s invasion.

  256. Felix Keverich says

    To be honest, I don’t think it’ll be necessary to sacrifice so many lives of Russian military personnel. Use LDNR army: transport them to Belgorod and with Russians they could move to take Kharkov, while facing minimal opposition. Then move futher to the West and South until the entire Ukrainian army in Donbass becomes encircled at which point they will likely surrender.

    After supressing Ukrainian air-defence, our airforce should be able to destroy command and control, artillery, armoured formations, airfields, bridges over Dnieper, other infrustructure. Use the proxies to absord casualties in the fighting on the ground.

  257. but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

    Anatoly, please, don’t write on things you have no qualification on writing. You can not even grasp the generational (that is qualitative) abyss which separates two armed forces. The question will not be in this:

    but it will no longer be the happy cruise to the Dnepr that it would have been two years earlier.

    By the time the “cruising” would commence there will be no Ukrainian Army as an organized formation or even units left–anything larger than platoon will be hunted down and annihilated. It is really painful to read this, honestly. The question is not in Russian “ambition” or rah-rah but in the fact that Ukraine’s armed forces do not posses ANY C4ISR capability which is crucial for a dynamics of a modern war. None. Mopping up in the East would still be much easier than it would be in Central, let alone, Western Ukraine but Russia has no business there anyway. More complex issues were under consideration than merely probable losses of Russian Army when it was decided (rightly so) not to invade. I will open some “secret”–nations DO bear collective responsibility and always were subjected to collective punishment–latest example being Germany in both WWs–the bacillus of Ukrainian “nationalism” is more effectively addressed by letting those moyahataskainikam experience all “privileges” of it. In the end, Russia’s resources were used way better than paying for mentally ill country. 2019 is approaching fast.

    P.S. In all of your military “analysis” on Ukraine one thing is missing leaving a gaping hole–Russian Armed Forces themselves which since 2014 were increasing combat potential exponentially. Ukies? Not so much–some patches here and there. Russian Armed Forces of 2018 are not those of 2013. Just for shits and giggles check how many Ratnik sets have been delivered to Russian Army since 2011. That may explain to you why timing in war and politics is everything.

  258. flight of non-Muslims out of Europe

    I think you mean Western Europe. If Germany’s human capital drains to Poland et al in a reversal of the Cold War direction, those countries have a quite bright future. I wonder if any economic predictions have taken this into account yet.

  259. Nominal GDP collapsed, but real GDP only fell by around 20%.

    About 16% from 2013 to 2015 when Ukraine hit bottom:

    https://www.worldeconomics.com/GrossDomesticProduct/Ukraine.gdp

    AP is certainly exaggerating wrt Kharkov looking like Aleppo and I certainly didn’t agree with him on that.

    I wrote that parts of the city would look like that. I don’t think there would be enough massive resistance that the entire city would be destroyed. But rooting out a couple thousand armed, experienced militiamen or soldiers in the urban area would cause a lot of expensive damage and, as is the case when civilians died in Kiev’s efforts to secure Donbas, would probably not endear the invaders to the locals who after all do not want Russia to invade them.

    And Kharkiv would be the easiest to take. Dnipropetrovsk would be much more Aleppo-like, and Kiev… Felix was proposing for Russia to take all these areas.

  260. To be honest, I don’t think it’ll be necessary to sacrifice so many lives of Russian military personnel.

    The question is not in losses, per se. Russians CAN accept losses if the deal becomes hot in Ukraine–it is obvious. The question is in geopolitical dynamics and the way said Russian Armed Forces were being honed since 2013, when Shoigu came on-board and the General Staff got its mojo returned to it. All Command and Control circuit of Ukie army will be destroyed with minimal losses if need be, and only then cavalry will be let in. How many Russian or LDNR lives? I don’t know, I am sure GOU has estimates by now. Once you control escalation (Russia DOES control escalation today since can respond to any contingency) you get way more flexibility (geo)politcally. Today, namely December 2017, situation is such that Russia controls escalation completely. If Ukies want to attack, as they are inevitably forced to do so, we all know what will happen. Ukraine has about a year left to do something. Meanwhile considering EU intentions to sanction Poland, well, we are witnessing the start of a major shitstorm.

  261. Well, they are, at least in the center and west. Kievans don’t volunteer to fight because they have no other way of making money. But you probably believe the fairytale that Ukraine is in total collapse, back to the 90s.

    Again this fantastist sack of faeces with this stupid lies. Ukraine is the only country in the world yet to get to GDP per capital as it was at 1991. That and obvious deterioration in cities, infrastructure and millions upon millions who have left, and will continue to leave this failed state

    But again, keep in mind that Kharkiv is much less pro-Russian than Donbas so this could be more complicated.

    Again…aimless BS lies. Kharkov always was and will be as pro-Russian as Donbass….propagating cretinous BS from the Motyl section of Wikipedia is not an intellectual argument you imbecile. Most ukrops even admit that Kharkov could easily have gone in 2014, if Russia had wanted it/feasible

  262. Most ukrops even admit that Kharkov could easily have gone in 2014, if Russia had wanted it/feasible

    Really? So why didn’t Russia take Kharkiv then? Why wan’t it ‘feasible’, Mr.Know it All?

  263. Trying to recreate something (one Rus nation) out of something that never in effect existed, now in the 21st century is a ridiculous concept at best.

    A stupid comment for an adult. Ukraine, in effect never existed before Russia/Stalin/Lenin created it. Kiev is a historical Russian city, and 5 of the 7 most populated areas in Ukraine are Russian/Soviet created cities, Russian language is favourite spoken by most Ukrainians ( see even Saakashvili in court, speaking only in Russian…even though he speaks fluent Ukrainian now……and all the judges and lawyers speaking in Russian too), the millions of Ukrainians living happily in Russia and of course, the topic of what exactly is a Ukrainian is obselete because pretty much every Ukrainian has a close Russian relative…the level of intermarriage was at the level of one culturally identical people.

    AK: Improvement! The first paragraph was acceptable, hence not hidden.

    If they can make countries out of the United Kingdom and India……then they can easily do with Belarus,Ukraine and Russia which are much more culturally,historically connected and homogenous you cretinous troll.

    Russia also still gives Ukrop vermin cheap gas….compare this to the kamikaze Nazi idiots in Poland…..big coal producers but Ukraine still receive massed of coal from…the US…at a massive mark-up value. In fact the trade between Poland and Ukraine…and the Baltics and Ukraine is abysmal ( and that’s without considering that a decent amount of this minimal trade ,may still be intended for Russia)

  264. This suggests that transforming Iraq into a solidly pro-Western stable democracy would have been much harder than doing so for Japan.

    That was never the object. The object was (1) to remove a hostile government and (2) replace it with a normal range government. Normal range governments aren’t revanchist, aren’t territorially grabby, are chary about subverting neighboring governments, and aren’t in their international conduct notably driven by pride or political theo-ideology. The House of Saud, the Hashemites, Lebanon’s parliamentary bosses, the Turkish military, the (post-Nasser) Egyptian military, etc. etc are all purveyors of normal-range government. NPR likely has transcripts of interview programs in early 2003 in which Wm. Kristol was a participant. Kristol was not a public official at the time, but he was the opinion-monger who most assiduously promoted the conquest of Iraq. Kristol never expected Iraq to be like Switzerland; he expected an Iraq that was ‘tense’ (his words), pluralistic, and willing to live in its international environment rather than against that environment.

    Correct, but most of this have been the case had the Baathists remained in power?

    I suspect the Shia and Kurd populations are pleased to be rid of the Baathists.

  265. economics, hope that the west and their puppets in Kiev would act like sane and decent people, threat of sanctions and so on.

    As is obvious, if the west had remained neutral ( an absurd hypothetical because the west were the ringmasters of the farce in this failed state) …..and not supported the coup and then the evil war brought on the Donbass people, then a whole different situation works out in Ukraine ( for the better)

  266. Which is why one ought to either not invade a country and remove a regime that maintains stability and peace, o

    That’s a rather fantastical description of Iraq’s 35 year slide under the Baathists.

  267. I was speaking of 2003. Of course, for much of its history Saddam’s regime was not that. Too bad it wasn’t stopped then, if it was going to be stopped.

  268. Kharkov always was and will be as pro-Russian as Donbass

    Kharkiv oblast: 71% Ukrainian, 26% Russian
    Donetsk oblast: 57% Ukrainian, 38% Russian (skews more Russian in the Donbas Republic parts)

    Self-declared native language Kharkiv oblast: 54% Ukrainian, 44% Russian
    Self-declared native language Donetsk oblast: 24% Ukrainian, 75% Russian

    (not the same thing as language actually spoken, but a decent reflection of national self-identity)

    2012 parliamentary election results (rounding to nearest %):

    Kharkiv oblast: 62% “Blue”, 32% “Orange” – including 4% Svoboda
    Donetsk oblast – 84% “Blue”, 11% “Orange” – including 1% Svoboda

    A good illustration of Russian wishful thinking fairytales compared to reality on the ground.

  269. Nietzsche famously foresaw the rise and fall of communism and the destruction of Germany in the two world wars. He also liked to think of himself as a Polish nobleman. Maybe this is what he meant.

  270. When calculated with constant pricing share of manufacturing in GDP in Germany, Italy and France is not very much, It has actually risen in Switzerland and the US, and risen greatly in Sweden, they are buying, people who think like you are selling out.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/18/making-things-matter-britain-forgot-manufacturing-brexit

    […]All of those supposedly knowledge-intensive services sell mostly to manufacturing firms, so their success depends on manufacturing success. It is not because the Americans invented superior financial techniques that the world’s financial centre moved from London to New York in the mid-20th century. It is because the US became the leading industrial nation.

    The weakness of manufacturing is at the heart of the UK’s economic problems. Reversing three and a half decades of neglect will not be easy but, unless the country provides its industrial sector with more capital, stronger public support for R&D and better-trained workers, it will not be able to build the balanced and sustainable economy that it so desperately needs.

  271. Kharkiv oblast: 71% Ukrainian, 26% Russian
    Donetsk oblast: 57% Ukrainian, 38% Russian (skews more Russian in the Donbas Republic parts)

    ermmmm……but there’s mixed marriage you cretin, which makes these fake statistics ( and the false-agenda driving dickheads who conduct them, totally irrelevant you idiot.

    Kharkiv oblast: 62% “Blue”, 32% “Orange” – including 4% Svoboda
    Donetsk oblast – 84% “Blue”, 11% “Orange” – including 1% Svoboda

    ..again….there was an even higher degree of economic base for the Party of Regions in Donbass than there was in Kharkov you dipshit, more people in Kharkov were sceptical of the Party of Regions “pro-Russian” credentials than in Donbass …than those who were sceptical of them supposedly being “pro-Russian”

    Yanukovich himself is from Donbass, which as we can see in American politics, parochialism can play a big part in a Presidential election if the contender is even from a state that is traditionally opposite in vote from the party he is with. This and also the lower turnout in Kharkov can explain away your pedantic attention-whoring and lies.

    apart from the fact that the statistic still clearly shows Kharkov ( and I was initially thinking of Kharkov city, but looking at it as oblast still doesn’t change the basic facts you cretin) as hugely pro-russian you idiot…the small gap in numnbers is easily explained

    Self-declared native language Kharkiv oblast: 54% Ukrainian, 44% Russian
    Self-declared native language Donetsk oblast: 24% Ukrainian, 75% Russian

    (not the same thing as language actually spoken, but a decent reflection of national self-identity)

    again…idiotic BS not rooted in reality, from some random moron “source”. This is obvious to anyone who actually goes to Kharkov ( and the same with Odessa). More in Kharkov feel closer in all facets, not just geography, to Belgorod, than to Lvov etc.

  272. When calculated with constant pricing share of manufacturing in GDP in Germany, Italy and France is not very much, It has actually risen in Switzerland and the US, and risen greatly in Sweden, they are buying, people who think like you are selling out.

    “Not very much” according to whom? Manufacturing accounts for about 15% of Europe’s domestic product, about 12% of that for North America, and about 8% for that of the Antipodes. It’s higher in the Far East (about 24%), but Japan is in no danger of overtaking the United States in per capita product, it’s larger manufacturing sector notwithstanding. There is no region of the globe bar the Far East where that sector much exceeds 15% of total value added. Comparatively large manufacturing sectors are characteristic of the more affluent middle income countries. As countries grow more productive and affluent, their consumption patterns and productive capacity shift to services.

    I’ve no clue why you and this fellow at The Guardian have bought into the notion that there is something magical about manufacturing (it was a popular meme a generation ago, promoted by Felix Rohaytn). By way of example, Germany and Japan have lost ground economically to the UK and the US in the last 25 years, even though they devote ~21% of their productive capacity to manufacturing in contrast to the ~11%.of the Anglosphere. (Germany remains more affluent than Britain to the tune of about 11%, but about 15% less affluent than the United States).

  273. Wave them hands.

  274. Sorry, mistake. I meant when you do the comparison with constant prices, manufacturing has not declined very much in the US ect . Britain is different it has lost a lot of manufacturing. Britain cannot build its own nuclear power station. Germany and France have taken the industry and would have come for the City next. Britain was to be the milch cow of the EU, so it got out.

    Switzerland is a rich mans country and so is Sweden. Business runs certain countries and those countries are actually adding to their productive capacity, so they are not acting like it is not profitable. That Guardian fellow is a professor of Economics at Oxford, and I already quoted you Lord Weinstock who ran just about Britain’s most profitable company: it wasn’t doing services. Once Weinstock retired his successor listened to the City financial geniuses, sold the manufacturing core of the business, and when times got bad the had nothing to fall back on and collapsed.

    Germany does not have a single currency and Schengen Agreement free movement with the US. German goods are expensive in the US, the single currency and Schengen Agreement are an export promotion program for Germany industry. The Germans are going to deindustrialise the rest of the EU. Britain realised it had to get out now or be borged.

  275. Britain hasn’t lost any manufacturing output. It indubitably has fewer workers employed in manufacturing, but manufacturing output has not declined. What’s happened is that growth in production since 1990 has been concentrated in the service sector.

    The decline in the salience of manufacturing in the British economy has been more rapid than it has elsewhere, but the same basic story has played out. The share of value added attributable to manufacturing hit bottom in Britain in 2006, btw.

  276. As I am sure you know service sector employment is mainly masses on low wages, so low they are subsidized by the state in many cases, and increasingly on zero hours contracts. Hence low demand. Running Britain on a London and the SE boom on the rationale that the country is economically stronger relative to Germany and Japan is unstable because the strength of the country in not increasing in any meaningful sense. The recent votes in Britain should have made it clear that the country is not more stable for all the economic “success”. The people feel Britain is getting weaker compared to Germany.

    No one doubts that Britain has a manufacturing problem and the inefficiency is at the root of the loss of manufacturing but other counties are basically not the same, and that is why Britain left the EU. Germany is playing the manufacturing game on its own terms inside the EU with a single currency.

  277. there is something magical about manufacturing

    There is. Manufacturing productivity can easily be increased. Agriculture is more difficult, and by the time its fully motorized, it’s already a very small portion of the total output. While services productivity is very low and cannot be easily increased. So an economy with no manufacturing cannot raise its productivity much. It’s also more difficult to export services, so countries with low manufacturing will often experience huge current account deficits.

    High value added services can be risky, especially finance, which makes the country vulnerable to credit cycles. The UK could export most financial services while credit was easy. During the credit crunch it suddenly exported way less. So it’s very pro-cyclical, more so than manufacturing, because such countries still need to service their oversized (due to the size of the financial sector) debts and obligations. It makes them too leveraged.

  278. It’s also more difficult to export services, so countries with low manufacturing will often experience huge current account deficits.

    No. They experience current account deficits because their savings rates are under par.

    There is. Manufacturing productivity can easily be increased.

    Doesn’t matter if all that new output of glass, steel, and rubber hasn’t much of a market because people are sated.

  279. As I am sure you know service sector employment is mainly masses on low wages, so low they are subsidized by the state in many cases, and increasingly on zero hours contracts.

    No, I don’t know that. The compensation scales in various industrial sectors (as a % of the mean across all private sectors) are as follows:

    Utilites: 206%
    Management of companies and enterprises: 201%
    Mining: 178%
    Information: 176%
    Finance: 173%
    Professional, scientific and technical services: 156%
    Wholesale Trade: 127%
    Manufacturing: 119%
    Construction: 103%
    Real estate: 99%
    Transportation and Warehousing: 99%
    Health Care and Social Assistance: 92%
    Educational services [private]: 82%
    Arts, entertainment, and recreation: 81%
    Administrative and waste management services: 70%
    Miscellaneous svs: 69%
    Accommodation: 63%
    Agriculture, Fishing, Forestry: 63%
    Retail trade: 60%

    Wages in manufacturing are above the mean. More sophisticated technology means you’re left with fewer employees (but with the skill sets to operate the machinery). (About 11% of the private sector workforce is in manufacturing).

  280. As I am sure you know service sector employment is mainly masses on low wages, so low they are subsidized by the state in many cases, and increasingly on zero hours contracts. Hence low demand.

    They’re not running a current account deficit of 4.4% of gdp because they’re suffering from ‘low demand’

  281. These are figures for the United States by way of illustration.

  282. RadicalCenter says

    Turning Iraq into a stable democracy would have been a legitimate reason to wage war? Must respectfully and strenuously disagree. We would be constantly at war if that were the standard. And, in fact, we HAVE been constantly at war. It has to stop.

  283. RadicalCenter says

    Great point, S3, and I will correct my comment to exclude Eastern Europe from the prediction of likely substantial non-Muslim flight (“Eastern Europe” meaning, for this purpose, Poland, Hungary, Belarus if it is not so foolish as to join the EU, and whatever is left of Ukraine that is not re-claimed by Russia).

    But I’d also predict likely substantial “flight of non-Muslims out of Western and perhaps CENTRAL Europe”, unfortunately.

    Because I am not at all convinced, yet, that Austria will not continue to be colonized by Muslims. Austria may be colonized at a slower pace than Germany if the new Austrian government seriously secures its borders, deports some existing invaders who have not been granted citizenship yet, and refuses to take any new Muslim and/or African/Arab “refugees.”

    But even if that occurs, as I fervently hope, Muslims apparently will continue to constitute an ever-larger share of Austria’s population — based simply on the huge difference in fertility rates among non-Muslims compared to Muslims there. Even without any new immigration to Austria, an improbably happy state of affairs, Austrians simply don’t have enough children to replace themselves. Not even close.

    With Austrian TFR so persistently low, all Muslims in Austria need to do is maintain a TFR at replacement (say, 2.1), and they will take over the country.

    That new government had better get to work if they don’t want to see Austrians fleeing east (or to the USA) along with the droves of Germans who will certainly be underway.

  284. Turning Iraq into a stable democracy would have been a legitimate reason to wage war

    Yes. That doesn’t necessarily mean we should have done it, even if that were the reason. As you said, we can’t keep doing this everywhere all the time. Nor am I claiming it is possible (it was done in Japan but Japan is not Iraq). But if we did invade, and then did whatever had to be done to transform the place from a Baathist dictatorship with radical Islam simmering underneath, into a stable, decent, secular, Christian-tolerant and allied country, that would have been legitimate.

  285. Does Austria have anything like the US’s RICO Act? Creating something like it and generously applying it to immigrant crime would be one of my suggestions, a California-style three-strikes law would be another.

    The in-your-face pro-natality propaganda does not seem to be working. So maybe something subtler is required, like asking television and film studios to produce more traditional role-models for women. More scenes of doting mothers and adorable babies. And yes, Kurz’s wife should definitely be given a role.

  286. On a roll.

  287. Its very amusing reading all the comments so far. But reality is that Russia should take back all the lands conquered by the Tsars, and that includes Finland.

    Look at America. Currently the US has troops stationed in other countries all over the world. And most of those “independent” countries can’t take virtually no decision without America’s approval. This is definitely the case with Germany and Japan, where their “presidents” have to take an oath of loyalty to the US on assuming office. Now America has even moved into Eastern Europe, and has troops and radars and nuclear capable missile batteries stationed there. So America is just expanding and expanding its grasp while Russia must contract its territories even further and further. Yippee.

    So Russia must take back all the territories conquered by the Tsars so as to not lose this game of monopoly. Those in those territories not too happy about such matters can move to America or deal with the Red Army. This is not a matter of cost benefits analysis but a matter of Russia’s national security, as in the case of Chechnya.

    The territories to Russia’s East are especially necessary for Russia’s security; when the chips are down, when all the satellites have been blown out of space, all the aircraft blown out of the air, all the ground hardware blown to smithereens; when the battle is reduced to eye to eye rat like warfare, then those assorted Mongol mongrels from Russia’s East come into their element. Genghis Khan was the biggest mass murderer in history, he made Hitler look like a school boy, his genes live on in those to Russia’s East. So if America were to get involved in Ukraine Russia would have no issues losing a million troops in a matter of days while the US has never even lost a million troops in its civil war and WW2 combined.

    Lets face it, those Mongol mongrels make much better fighters than the effete Sunni Arabs any day, so Russia should get them on her side. In Syria those ISIS idiots would never have got as far as they did were it not for those few Chechens in their midst’s.

    But alas, Russia has to eat humble pie at the moment, internationally and at the Olympics. But humble pie tastes good when its washed down with bottles of vodka, and its only momentarily after all.

  288. Look at America. Currently the US has troops stationed in other countries all over the world.

    Since 1945, between 70% and 87% of American military manpower has been stationed in the United States and its possession. The vast bulk of the remainder is generally to be found in about a half-dozen countries. (In recent years, that would be Germany, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait). Andrew Bacevich once went on a whinge about the stupidity of having a ‘Southern Command’ without bothering to tell his readers that the Southern Command had 2,000 billets at that time, that nearly half were stationed at Guantanamo Bay (an American possession since 1902), that no country had more than 200 American soldiers resident, and that the primary activity of the Southern Command was drug interdiction. On the entire African continent, there were 5,000 billets at that time.

    And most of those “independent” countries can’t take virtually no decision without America’s approval. This is definitely the case with Germany and Japan, where their “presidents” have to take an oath of loyalty to the US on assuming office.

    This is a fantasy.

  289. Why not post sober?

  290. Fantasy?

    Read here about Merkel obeying her real masters

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/editorial-merkel-has-left-germans-high-and-dry-a-911425.html

    and read here about “BERLIN IS WASHINGTON’S VASSAL UNTIL 2099”

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-183232

    I especially like the bit about “Though most of the German officers were not originally inclined against America, a lot of them being educated in the United States, they are now experiencing disappointment and even disgust with Washington’s policies.” Seems its not only the Russians who are getting increasingly pissed off with the US when at first they actually liked the US. No wonder the Germans are just letting their submarines and tanks rot away.

    Also https://www.veteranstodayarchives.com/2011/06/05/germany-still-under-the-control-of-foreign-powers/
    (damn South Africans popping up everywhere)

  291. Yes, a fantasy. That you put your gloss on news reports and locate other fantasists does not make it less of a fantasy.

  292. That you put your gloss on news reports

    Pray tell how military-political analysis works without news? Your angle on OSI (Open Source Intelligence) would also be “interesting”.

  293. Switzerland has the second highest per capital value added manufacturing, Singapore is first. Successful profitable services do not seem stand alone in any actual economy.

  294. Successful profitable services do not seem stand alone in any actual economy.

    Well, you’re not looking for them.

    Switzerland has the second highest per capital value added manufacturing, Singapore is first.

    About 19% of the value-added in their economies is attributable to manufacturing. You find the same ratio in Serbia, which no one will mistake for an affluent and economically dynamic country.

    1. There is no ‘President of Japan’.

    2. Neither the Japanese Emperor nor the President of Germany take an oath of allegiance to the United States or any American official.

    3. Neither the Chancellor of Germany nor the Prime Minister of Japan are incapable of making a decision without consulting the U.S. Embassy. (Manned by Caroline Kennedy at one point in Japan).

  295. Johann Ricke says

    About 19% of the value-added in their economies is attributable to manufacturing.

    The amusing thing is that the stock-in-trade of both Switzerland and Singapore is some combo of private banking, tax-avoidance and money laundering. That’s why the per capita income is so high. It’s bloated by the portfolio income of wealthy people like Marc Rich, Robert Mugabe and Zuckerberg’s Brazilian business partner.

  296. Sin City Milla says

    The 1990 poll more reflects Soviets’ distrust of their own government than any realistic view of the US. I did graduate work in the SU in 1990 n I found there was a near total vacuum of genuine information about the West n especially about the US. Russians knew almost nothing. They knew more about Mars than they did the US. All they knew was that their government-run media said the US was bad n since very few Soviets were allowed to travel abroad, n since almost no Soviet had ever seen an American much less met one of those “spies”, n in 1990 it had only recently been made legal for Soviets to speak with the few foreigners allowed to visit, there was no way to correct the misinformation coming from the government media. All they knew was that their own government could not be trusted to tell them the truth, which was a very recent realization in 1990.

    Therefore their favorable view of the US in 1990 is not comparable to 2015.

  297. You’re ignoring the obvious fallacy of Swedish Family’s comment. Does SF really think the Kremlin had less control of the media in the Soviet era?

  298. Felix Keverich says

    Pointing out obvious fallacies in another person’s argument is another way of calling him stupid. I speak from experience here: if you go this route, prepare for that person to get EXTREMELY defensive. 🙂

  299. RadicalCenter says

    Thanks. By the way, it’s okay to say Merry Christmas.

  300. He’s Muslim.

  301. jilles dykstra says

    At the tail end of the Cold War, there was an incredible atmosphere of Americanophilia in the world.
    The yesterday vote in the UN Assembly made clear that the USA now has hardly any friends in the world.
    But there is USA power, some thirty countries voted neither yes nor no, and 21 took care to be absent, in order not to incur USA wrath, or wrath at home.
    Alas power costs money.
    Money the USA does not have, as the yearly ritual of revising upwards the amount of permitted loans showed again.
    As I wrote before, the USA now reminds me of Great Britain in the thirties, trying to maintain an empire, but not being able to financially.

  302. jilles dykstra says

    The Soros Moscow newspaper, after the MH17 disaster, had in large words on the front page something like ‘Dutch, w’re sorry’, in Dutch.

  303. “We had no treaty commitments with either Serbia or Iraq and both places had it coming.”

    What an idiotic comment from a simpleton. Typical ‘Murican, ladies and gentlemen. They can’t be reasoned with because they lack the faculty in the first place.

  304. https://www.politico.eu/article/china-serbia-montenegro-europe-investment-trade-beijing-balkan-backdoor/

    Serbia is getting a rail link built through Chinese investment on very favorable terms, China is building these projects to transport services? No they are planning to send their manufactured good along these railways.

    You seem to think that manufacturing can be replaced by the far more profitable services to a far greater extent than anyone has tried, but examples of such a strategy actually working are thin on the ground. Britain openly espoused it under Thatcher, and not many people think Britain has been as successful as Switzerland. Switzerland is an affluent and economically dynamic country, and its MANUFACTURING products are expensive because of that, like Germany’s would be without the single currency. Britain’s manufacturing is doing well because the pound has fallen. Inside the EU single currency Britain would be deindustrialised by Germany.

  305. “2. Neither the Japanese Emperor nor the President of Germany take an oath of allegiance to the United States or any American official.”

    Hey, it’s not like the security of their countries depends upon subservience to the US or anything. But I guess since they didn’t literally take an oath of loyalty, that observation doesn’t count. I’m sure both countries will be acting independently any day now over something important. Remember that time Germany slapped sanctions on the US for invading Iraq?

  306. “Why not post sober?”

    You started it, buddy. Or did Iraq still have it coming?

  307. Art Deco is your typical neocon who thinks that just because a country is prosperous when only 30% of its economy is manufacturing, the same country will be also fine when 0% of its economy is manufacturing.

  308. Sergey Krieger says

    I graduated about same time. The truth is that Soviet propaganda indeed was telling truth about the West and USA particularly, but population mostly did not trust that information and draw rosy picture of the enemy as if the West cared about wellbeing of the Soviet people instead of pursuing ulterior motives of weakening strategic rival. The truth is leadership that came to power in 1985 completely lost trust by 1987 and Soviet population chooses to accept Danayan gifts. I was never part of americanlovers crowd.

  309. “Since 1945, between 70% and 87% of American military manpower has been stationed in the United States and its possession. The vast bulk of the remainder is generally to be found in about a half-dozen countries. (In recent years, that would be Germany, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait).”

    Which disproves absolutely nothing that was said: the US has put troops in over 100 countries and has conducted military operations at a level unmatched by basically all other countries combined since the end of the Cold War. Nice obfuscation, though.

  310. “Britain hasn’t lost any manufacturing output.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2366138/End-era-British-car-manufacturing-Inside-Fords-Southampton-factory-close-doors-final-time-century-car-production.html

    “It indubitably has fewer workers employed in manufacturing, but manufacturing output has not declined.”

    Sure, if you change what’s counted as manufactured and ignore the value of the things being manufactured. If they count manufacturing jobs like George W. Bush wanted to (food service as manufacturing), they are drowning in “manufacturing” jobs.

    “What’s happened is that growth in production since 1990 has been concentrated in the service sector.”

    Waiting tables, changing beds, etc. – definitely what you want to build an economy on. Nothing like Germany’s awful, high tech, high end manufacturing economy. Who needs machine parts when you’ve got a girl wiling to fluff your pillowcase for you?

  311. Again, what’s wrong with conclusions of Editorial of Der Spiegel?

  312. Yes, and many services have been made more profitable through being of poorer quality for the same price.

  313. “That was never the object. The object was (1) to remove a hostile government and (2) replace it with a normal range government.”

    It was absolutely the object as senior administration officials used it as justification in both the lead up and the aftermath.

    “Normal range governments aren’t revanchist, aren’t territorially grabby”

    I didn’t know that Iraq – a poor country devastated by war, crippling sanctions, and surrounded on all sides by powerful adversaries and American troops – was threatening to take anybody’s territory.

    “I suspect the Shia and Kurd populations are pleased to be rid of the Baathists.”

    Both groups combine for a minority of Iraq’s population. Obviously, a lot of people didn’t agree as judged by the aftermath.

  314. Germany does not need military forces, it is cocooned within an alliance and without a hostile country on its border for the first time in history. France has given up control of its currency to the EU single currency which Germany keeps going because it functions as an export promotion program for German goods, which would be too expensive with exchange rates(just as the high Swiss franc is killing Swiss industry). Germany has waged economic war on and defeated Britain and Britain had to withdraw. Brixit was a new Dunkirk. The Germans loved the US under Obama (who told Brits they would be at the back of the line if they left the EU. Germans hate Trump (who benefited from Brexit and said Britain would be first in line). The US cannot ever be friends with Russia (like Britain and Germany they are too much of a threat to one another) Russia and the US can only pretend to be friends while waging economic and proxy war on one another.

  315. “US invaded and destroyed Iraqi state for no reason whatsoever.

    No, we did so because that was the best alternative. The other alternative was a sanctions regime which Big Consciences were assuring the world was causing a six-digit population of excess deaths each year or taking the sanctions off and letting Saddam and the other Tikritis to follow their Id. ”
    Well, no, the best alternative was to do nothing. There were no weapons of “mass destruction (which everyone, esp Cheney & Rumsted KNEW & the US had largely destroyed Iraq’s economy. So, why – oh I remember, Saddam was in league with his enemies to do 9/11….
    And – please- don’t play this moral heads I win, tails you lose nonsense. The US is MORE than happy to support any dictatorial regime however bloody, so long as it is COMPLIANT.

  316. And the Kellogg-Braind [?] pact.

  317. You don’t get it do you Art ? You all quibble over which Iraqi group did what, when, why etc when the fundamental point is that the US opened the cage door, then did nothing to control the wild animals that escaped until way too late: just admit it – the whole shoddy, amateur bloody, corrupt mess was caused by the US – & there are NO excuses you can find to deal with that FACT.

  318. Ilyana_Rozumova says

    Here we go again! Idiotic stupidities presented in PHD language.

  319. I just read Art’s nonsensical bit of figurative reply to your well stated points: he appears to be not worth the effort….

  320. Russian Armed Forces themselves which since 2014 were increasing combat potential exponentially. Ukies? Not so much–some patches here and there.

    Typical Russian, has no clue what is happening in Ukraine (despite your valuable knowledge of what is occurring in Russia).

    Ukriane has gone from 50,000 troops with no experience, to 200,000-250,000 troops with combat experience, and similar number of experienced reserves. In 2014 no equipment worked and tanks, APCs were abandoned in the field when they stopped moving. Now, everything more or less works.

    Patches here and there?

    Karlin’s article has many details. This recently appeared on a military blog:

    Ukrainian regular army is one of the largest armies in Europe as for now. They created around 15 new brigades since 2014.

    There are no separate “volunteer battalions” (well, almost) anymore. Army created special brigades and joined those battalions to them.

    Newly created motorized and one mechanized brigades

    54th mechanized brigade
    53rd motorized brigade
    59th motorized brigade
    58th motorized brigade
    56th motorized brigade
    57th motorized brigade

    54th is a fully equipped heavy mechanized brigade with tank battalion (T-64), self-propelled howitzers (2S3 “Akatsiya”), 3 mechanized battalions on BMP-1/2 and every other mechanized brigade equipment and structure. Motorized brigades on other hand are not well equipped compared to mechanized brigades, but they are equipped enough to hold front line until heavier or more elite forces arrive in case of full scale war. Their equipment mostly consists of BRDM-2, BTR-70 and some BTR-80, BMP-1. Every motorized brigade has 10 T-72 tanks (not battalion like in mechanized) and artillery (D-20 and self propelled 2S1 “Gvozdika” in some brigades).

    Those motorized brigades are perfect for being on front and holding it under DPR shelling, why? Because losses among them are not critical (very low quality fighters compared to elite airborne forces for example). Also because volunteer battalions such as “Right sector” joined them, Kiev has chance to keep those radical elements engaged on front and get rid of them. Nobody needs bunch of radical fighters doing nothing and freely walking in Kiev. A lot of them died in Svetlodarsk fighting during 2016-2017.

    VDV

    VDV forces were re-branded into десантно-штурмовые войска or air-assault army in English. There are no more VDV in Ukrainian army, only 25th brigade was pure VDV with special equipment such as BMD-1/2 and 2S9 “Nona-S”, but they had huge losses during 2014 campaign and lost a lot of VDV specific equipment. Only one battalion of BMD’s left, plus some BTR-D and 18 Nona-S. Rest of battalions are equipped with newer Ukrainian armored vehicles, one battalion with BTR-4 and one with BTR-3.

    Newly created air-assault forces serve purpose of being very, very elite bunch of Ukrainian military. They have best training, best equipment given. Every brigade (79, 95, 80, 81, 25) has 10-13 T-80BV tanks, some of them even have BM-21 “Grad” MLRS. Also 18 self propelled howitzers (2S1 “Gvozdika”). Those forces are kept warm mostly deep inside Ukrainian territory, doing training and having a rest. Some small percent of them actually goes to front line from time to time, but not much. In case if shit hits the fan, they will be used as main assault power with help of tank and mechanized brigades. Motorized ones being used as canon fodder.

    Tank (armoured) forces

    Tank brigades had some re-branding too. 1st tank brigade now doesn’t have T-64BM “Bulat” modernized tanks, instead they were changed with older T-64BV tanks. It appears that T-64BM was proven unreliable during war. There are 2 new tank brigades being formed as operational reserve of Ukrainian armed forces, those brigades will be armored reserve in hands of Ukrainian general staff. But they exist purely on paper yet and have to be equipped, which will take some time. As i know, T-64BM’s from 1st brigade will be used in one battalion of newly created tank brigade.
    So in short there are two tank(armoured) brigades in Ukrainian army right now, with fully equipped tank battalions, those are 1st and 17th tank brigades. And two more being formed.

    Nothing much changed in mechanized brigades. Restored equipment to pre-war level and reorganized some of them. Also added 10th mountains brigade (pretty much a mechanized brigade structurally).

    Artillery

    Created 43th heavy artillery brigade equipped with 203mm 2S7 “Pion” self propelled howitzers and 152mm “Giatsint-B” guns.
    Created 406th artillery group which is under Ukrainian navy command, equipped with 2A36 “Giatsing-B” 152mm guns.
    Created 40th artillery brigade with 2A65 “MSTA-B” howitzers
    Created 44th artillery brigade with 2A65 “MSTA-B” howitzers and 2A36 “Giatsint-B” guns
    Reorganized 27th regiment of reactive artillery into separate reactive artillery brigade, equipped with 9K57 “Uragan” MLRS.

    Took some of 9K57 “Uragan” MLRS systems from 27th regiment(brigade) and gave them to artillery of Ukrainian navy (coastal defense forces). In 27th regiment(brigade) they restored launchers from conservation.

    Air force and air defense forces

    Ukrainian air force is one of largest air forces in Europe right now, if we count amount of active fighter jets of 4th generation.
    In total

    36 active Su-27 and Su-27UB
    40 active Mig-29, 6 active Mig-29UB
    27 Su-25
    25 Su-24M/SU-24MR
    30 Mi-24
    75 Mi-8
    6 Il-76

    Two more Su-27’s were taken to repair plant and two are being prepared to get moved. I guess, they want to reach 42 active Su-27 and 56 active Mig-29 to fill full structure of fighter jet brigades. Not much left to do. Then they will try to keep them active for as long as they can. Some jets get slightly modernized, but not much. Ukrainians are making a huge, very huge army, but not modern army.

    As for air defense, they had huge progress there.
    Ukrainians started to re-new the rocket engines and rocket fuel of 5V55K/5V55R missiles (for S-300PS/PT family) and Buk-M1 missiles. Also renewing launchers and restoring old air defense regiments. They even restored S-300V(1) air defense regiment in city of Uman. In short, Ukraine mostly has S-300PS/PT and only one regiment of S-300V.

    In November they tested renewed missiles by doing 23 S-300 and Buk-M1, 20 OSA-AKM launches. Also, OSA-AKM’s got modernization, pretty good one if you ask me.

    Verdict

    Ukrainians created very huge army of zerg rush. It’s technologically outdated, but the amount of guns, jets and artillery is still very formidable and is real power. Not enough to beat Russia, of course, but enough to be huge pain in ass.

    Could occupy small or middle sized European country with zerg-rush no probs

  321. Which disproves absolutely nothing that was said: the US has put troops in over 100 countries and has conducted military operations at a level unmatched by basically all other countries combined since the end of the Cold War. Nice obfuscation, though.

    It proves your complaint is contrived and trivial. We had 150 troops in Colombia working on drug interdiction projects and Andrew Bacevich was rending his garments. And you’re pretending this sort of thing is a problem.

  322. You don’t get it do you Art ? You all quibble over which Iraqi group did what, when, why etc when the fundamental point is that the US opened the cage door, then did nothing to control the wild animals that escaped until way too late: just admit it – the whole shoddy, amateur bloody, corrupt mess was caused by the US – & there are NO excuses you can find to deal with that FACT.

    I get that you have to strike certain poses to feel better about yourself. No, I don’t take you seriously.

  323. Well, no, the best alternative was to do nothing.

    No, that was not. As already explained.

  324. Hey, it’s not like the security of their countries depends upon subservience to the US or anything.

    We have about 35,000 troops in Japan, which might subdue a recalcitrant population on Hokkaido. The country is demographically weak but they’re still capable of ginning up 35,000 soldiers from their male youth cohorts if they’ve a mind to.

  325. Don’t you admire PNAC?

  326. I didn’t know that Iraq – a poor country devastated by war, crippling sanctions, and surrounded on all sides by powerful adversaries and American troops – was threatening to take anybody’s territory.

    This history of the Near East since 1958 isn’t your strong suit.

  327. Is this you, Mr. McCabe? Sorry for your early dementia that prevents you from remembering how you signed, with your own hand, a document conforming that the “dossier” has been paid by Clinton et al.
    What do you not understand in a definition “illegal war of aggression?” — Your Jewish mother did not tell you a word about Nuremberg protocols?

  328. What ‘conclusions’? It’s a whine that the CIA and the NSA collect data in Germany. I don’t care, and I don’t imagine he cares, either. He gets paid to produce copy and play to a particular audience.

  329. If you’re going to accuse me of being demented, don’t raise the subject by uttering non sequiturs.

  330. It was an advocacy group that had a paid staff of four people. It’s been defunct longer than it was in existence.

  331. It’s technologically outdated

    It is also demoralized, drown in drugs and alcoholism, operationally it is inept and is led by people of about your level of training and understanding of war. That is why this so called “Army” will have its ass handed to it again once it tries to do stupid thing. If, however, Russia gets involved directly, this so called Ukrainian Armed Forces will exist only for about 48 hours as a formation, with everything left of “value”, including its pathetic AD, which will be suppressed and then annihilated, its Air Force wiped out from the skies (if it even takes off) within 24 hours and its Command and Control structure demolished in about the same time frame. Go try to impress with your ignorant BS some morons in Ukrainian General Staff.

  332. “Another possibility is that the change since 2014 is rather the result of more anti-American reporting in Russia’s state-owned media.”
    You are totally wrong. The former Soviets have a painful memory of the WWII. Millions died. The US blatant amoral coup-d’etat in Kiev — and the ensuing danger of a war on Russian borders — has completely changed the Russians’ mindset. If your immediate family has ever suffered a catastrophic loss of its members to a war, you would not produce such an immature conjecture. Imagine yourself collecting the pieces of what used to be your child – this is what the Middle Eastern population has been subjected to on a grand scale by the US/Israel.

  333. I don’t care

    Well, then, I guess it settles it, right? Of course, many also don’t care if you care or not, especially against your lack of nay even rudimentary logic.

  334. Yes, good catch, thanks!

  335. One more time for you, ArtDeco, — “You don’t know much about Ukraine.”
    You just are not knowledgeable enough to lecture the Unz’ readers about Russia and Ukraine and Belorussia. Do some reading first.

  336. Have you asked Ukrainians who are not Groysmans and Pravyj sector neo-Nazi thugs? Do some research on pensions, health care, and overall welfare for ordinary Ukrainians after the Kagans’ revolution of 2014.

  337. The country is demographically weak but they’re still capable of ginning up 35,000 soldiers from their male youth cohorts if they’ve a mind to.

    Do you even understand that this whole phrase makes no military or political sense whatsoever? Did you even bother to open at least Wiki on JSDF? Yes, the pictures of American servicemen “subduing a recalcitrant population on Hokkaido” will go down in Japan just fine and people will accept it as a given. I am sure Japanese also will enthusiastically support this subduing.

  338. Hey, ArtDeco, you are not an American — you are an Israel-firster. Any sane American would first think about the tragedy of the mutilated bodies and minds of your boys and girls, but for the Israel-firsters (like the witchy Jew Madeleine Albright) “the price worth it.” All according to Oded Yinon plan.

  339. Her ArtDeco, you are a really cute troll. But still your post was dumb. Try better.

  340. “The concern at the time was that Serbia was beginning an ethnic cleansing operation contra the Albania population.”
    This is great line for MSM. But this is Unz Review; it is different. You are on a wrong forum.
    ArtDeco, UnzReview is not MSM. Do you understand this?

  341. Only if you happen in the mood for slapping a warmonger around. His response to points he can’t deal with is usually just to reassert shameless, long discredited untruths as though it’s still 2003, troll-style.

    He’s mostly self-discrediting anyway, when he tries, as here, to defend the indefensible.

  342. “Now, having done that, we needed to put in place a new government.”
    Who are these mysterious “we?” You mean, Mr. Wolfowitz is a great statesman who must be invited to “finish the job?” PNAC again?

  343. “It proves your complaint is contrived and trivial. We had 150 troops in Colombia…And you’re pretending this sort of thing is a problem.”

    Having such military commitments isn’t “trivial.” The best proof of this was our reaction when the Soviets did this kind of thing. We didn’t think it was trivial then. Nice obfuscation, though.

  344. Michael Kenny says

    Lovely piece of double talk: “expanding NATO to Russian borders in contravention of verbal commitments made to the USSR”. One minute it’s “Russia”, a country that didn’t exist as a sovereign state at the time that the alleged commitments were made, the next minute, it’s the “USSR”, a country whose collapse caused the 15 Soviet Republics, including Russia, to become independent. The classic, blinkered, cold war mentality, assimilating “Russia” to the “USSR”. NATO never did expand up to the borders of the USSR.
    Other than on what are obviously pro-Putin propaganda sites, I can find no trace of De Gaulle ever speaking of a “Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok”, an absurd proposition inasmuch as Vladivostok isn’t in Europe! Putin has spoken of a free trade area between those two points, which could easily have worked via the EU-Russia association agreement which Putin was negotiating at the time he invaded Ukraine. Putin’s actions in Ukraine have put any such deal on the back burner.
    None of the 15 republics were “defeated” when the Soviet Union collapsed. On the contrary, they were liberated. However, by seeking to use the Russian Federation as an instrument to re-establish the defeated Soviet Union, Putin has dragged Russia into the Soviet Union’s defeat. I suspect that Putin may well have fallen into an American trap designed to drive a wedge between Russia and the EU but, in any event, he committed a monumental blunder by attacking what had been up to then Russia’s principal friend and defender.

  345. Swedish Family says

    You’re ignoring the obvious fallacy of Swedish Family’s comment. Does SF really think the Kremlin had less control of the media in the Soviet era?

    By no means. My argument is that the Soviet Union’s attempts at counter-propaganda were far less effective than what the Kremlin is doing nowadays, which means that control of the media didn’t make a difference then but does now.

  346. “…his successor will be under immense pressure — carrot and stick — to deregulate Russia’s media landscape…”
    It is doubtful that the regulation of Russia’s media is more severe than regulation of SwedishFamily media re free emigration of economic migrants to Sweden. Also, was it a documentary about Browder that has been prohibited for showing in the EU and US? How about a documentary about Jews in Russia (“Two Hundred Years Together” by A. Solzhenitsyn), which has been sequestered by ALL publishing houses in the US/UK? Lady, you do protest too much. http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/banned-aleksandr-solzhenitsyn-two-hundred-years-together-almost-f
    https://www.newcoldwar.org/film-andrei-nekrasov-magnitsky-act-behind-scenes/

  347. The US and its NEOCONNED policies have gone against the Russian government time and again. Where did I read just recently that reminded me that the US and their allies lied about not extending NATO to the former WARPAC borders, they even took in the Baltics!
    The goal of the globalist/NEOCON/AIPAC Godless CABAL is to keep Christian Russia and nominally Christian America at odds and in conflict.
    God save Trump and Putin!
    Putin-Trump Axis 2017-25!

    *Altough I hate the new tax bill that Trump will sign, ‘Republitard’ gift to the rich!

  348. “I didn’t know that Iraq – a poor country devastated by war, crippling sanctions, and surrounded on all sides by powerful adversaries and American troops – was threatening to take anybody’s territory.

    This history of the Near East since 1958 isn’t your strong suit.”

    Actually, since you couldn’t rebut a single thing I said, I think you take that title. You’re just another low IQ who thinks he knows more than he actually does, so I’ll explain it to you in child-like terms: Iraq, a country devasted by two enormous wars and surrounded on all sides by more powerful adversaries (and American troops in Saudi Arabia), was no threat to anyone; therefore, the justification you gave for the Iraq War wasn’t an actual justification but merely a poor excuse.

    This is what butthurt looks like ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of Art Deco.

  349. John Gruskos says

    “Art Deco” is not a typical American.

    His is a neocon swine.

  350. Art Deco cannot be loyal American. Any American patriot understands that the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria — and the approaching war with Iran — are done on the orders of bankers & Israel (see excellent analyses on Sic Semper Tyrannis: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/).
    ArtDeco is a pedestrian ziocon pretending on original thinking.

  351. “None of the 15 republics were “defeated” when the Soviet Union collapsed. On the contrary, they were liberated. ”

    They are so liberated now that they are being sanctioned by the EU for not admitting more demographicly destabilizing “refugees.” Out of the pot and into the frying pan.

  352. So no comment on the massive increase in numbers, combat experience, and equipment 2014 -2017? You had said there was essentially no change, only “some patches here and there.”

    Data shows this to have been a very false claim.

    including its pathetic AD

    Serbia did well with its s-125s. Ukraine has a lot of S-300 systems. You think Russia is a lot better than Ukraine than NATO was over Serbia?

    It is also demoralized, drown in drugs and alcoholism

    Any figures comparing this now to 2014, or the Ukrainian military to other militiaries? PTSD, suicides, etc. is also a big problem with the US veterans, Russian veterans from Chechnya, etc. Not that you are an unbiased, objective source (you are not) but do you have data to show that the Ukrainian military is not only worse but a lot worse than other ones?

    Conclusion from this report mirrors the data I provided:

    https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf

    The war in the Donbas shaped the Ukrainian army. It gave awareness and motivation to the soldiers, and forced the leadership of the Defence Ministry and the government of the state to adapt the army’s structure – for the first time since its creation – to real operational needs, and also to bear the costs of halting the collapses in the fields of training and equipment, at least to such an extent which would allow the army to fight a close battle with the pro-Russian separatists. Despite all these problems, the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle. They have a trained reserve ready for mobilisation in the event of a larger conflict*; their weapons are not the latest or the most modern, but the vast majority of them now work properly; and they are ready for the defence of the vital interests of the state (even if some of the personnel still care primarily about their own vested interests). They have no chance of winning a potential military clash with Russia, but they have a reason to fight. The Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2014, in a situation where their home territory was occupied by foreign troops, were incapable of mounting an adequate response. The changes since the Donbas war started mean that Ukraine now has the best army it has ever had in its history.

    • The Ukrainian armed forces have an operational reserve of 130,000 men, relatively well trained and with real combat experience, who since 2016 have been moulded out of veterans of the Donbas (as well as from formations subordinate to the Interior Ministry). It must be stressed, however, that those counted in the reserve represent only half of the veterans of the anti-terrorist operation (by October 2016, 280,000 Ukrainians had served in the Donbas in all formations subordinate to the government in Kyiv, with 266,000 reservists gaining combat status; at the beginning of February 2017, 193,400 reservists were in the armed forces). Thanks to that, at least in terms of the human factor, it should be possible in a relatively short period of time to increase the Ukrainian army’s degree of combat readiness, as well as to fight a relatively close battle with a comparable opponent, something the Ukrainian armed forces were not capable of doing at the beginning of 2014.
  353. “We have about 35,000 troops in Japan…The country is demographically weak but they’re still capable of ginning up 35,000 soldiers from their male youth cohorts if they’ve a mind to.”

    Like I said, “low IQ.” They may gin up 35,000 troops, but it’s not like they can gin up an aircraft carrier, 100 F-35s and F-22s, and a battle group over night. What year do you think it is? 1930?

  354. Swedish Family says

    You are totally wrong. The former Soviets have a painful memory of the WWII. Millions died. The US blatant amoral coup-d’etat in Kiev — and the ensuing danger of a war on Russian borders — has completely changed the Russians’ mindset. If your immediate family has ever suffered a catastrophic loss of its members to a war, you would not produce such an immature conjecture. Imagine yourself collecting the pieces of what used to be your child – this is what the Middle Eastern population has been subjected to on a grand scale by the US/Israel.

    I’m well aware of what hardships the Slavic peoples suffered this past century and they have my greatest respect. Still, we are all human, and my operating assumption about societies is that changes in attitude don’t often happen organically.

  355. “…but the obvious counter to that line is who channeled this American propaganda to the Russian public and for what purpose?”
    Pretending to be an innocent baby, SwedishFamily? – How about the intentional lies like the “dossier” story? It is becoming more entertaining with each day. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/18/questioning-the-russia-gate-motive/
    Ever heard about Browder (a scion of a leader of the US Communist Party) and Magntisky act? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryVavTF6hR0
    What about the blatant coup d’etat in Ukraine, which was presented by the US State Dept as “democracy on the march?” — Have you heard the names Nuland-Kagan and Brennan (of the CIA) and have you heard about neo-Nazi parades in various cities in Ukraine that became possible after the triumphal Kagan’s revolution in Kiev of 2014?
    Or you are still in the dark?
    Well, how about a single felon from Russia who managed to convert the whole Olympic committee against Russian Federation? In this context, you should take a look at some very muscular ladies from the EU/US, who allegedly suffer from either ADHD or the past child abuse and thus are taking hormones, non-stop, with the Olympic committee blessing. And this is just a very short list of samplings of American propaganda to the Russian public.

  356. “No, that was not. As already explained.”

    Your reasoning was puerile and flawed, which seems to be a theme for you. Absolutely the best course of action on Iraq was to do nothing. Due to “doing something,” we’ve given Iran an ally and possibly a future client state, wasted trillions with little in return, lost Turkey as an ally in the long term due to the Kurd situation unleashed by that war’s aftermath, damaged our international reputation, and shattered a region that is now in almost continual turmoil, requiring our repeated intervention. There is no realistic scenario where leaving Iraq alone would have resulted in a worse situation than we face now.

  357. Felix Keverich says

    Nothing original about ArtDeco and his thinking. He is a troll, spouting neocon gibberish just like Mr. Hack.

  358. Lovely piece of double talk: “expanding NATO to Russian borders in contravention of verbal commitments made to the USSR”. One minute it’s “Russia”, a country that didn’t exist as a sovereign state at the time that the alleged commitments were made, the next minute, it’s the “USSR”, a country whose collapse caused the 15 Soviet Republics, including Russia, to become independent. The classic, blinkered, cold war mentality, assimilating “Russia” to the “USSR”. NATO never did expand up to the borders of the USSR.

    If you’re going to accuse Karlin of double talk you probably ought to first try to straighten out your own act. In fact, Karlin’s statement was perfectly accurate and straightforward. The understanding was that NATO would not be expanded eastward, and this was breached, and in doing so the US went so far as to push NATO to the Russian borders.

    Is that really so difficult to follow?

    Now if you want to talk about “double talk” we could discuss your attempt to pretend that it’s somehow relevant to anything that NATO pushed itself up to Russia’s borders rather than those of the (now non-existent) USSR.

    I suspect that Putin may well have fallen into an American trap designed to drive a wedge between Russia and the EU but, in any event, he committed a monumental blunder by attacking what had been up to then Russia’s principal friend and defender.

    Not sure what you are talking about here, but it looks like some kind of puerile Russophobic fantasy, much like the ridiculous idea that Putin wants to “re-establish the defeated Soviet Union”.

  359. “…Remember the Iraqis were supposed to welcome the American liberators..”
    Guess this is why Russian Federation is in no hurry to impose on the violators of ceasefire agreements.
    The big question is, for how long the majority of ordinary Ukrainian could endure the lack of pensions, decent education, health care, food… The US is ready to provide weaponry (viva MIC!), but do the US/EU have any desire to support the Ukrainian populace at large? Since Maidan (Kagan’s) revolution of 2014 the corruption has grown and the populace’ grievances have increased. The handouts from IMF ($billions) have been quickly distributed among oligarchs; the thieving scoundrels surely hate the idea of a pipeline going from Russia directly to Germany.

  360. Perhaps once the looting of Ukraine by Monsanto, IMF, FedReserve et al and the obvious loss of independence to ziocons will finally down on Ukrainians, the intelligent ones could be less inclined to join the neo-Nazi nation.

  361. UK had Dutch disease. We lost low and mid added value industries. We kept the high added value ones. At the top end we compete with anybody. Prime movers, pharmaceuticals, wireless, aerospace, niche materials. Despite Brexit.

  362. One more time for you, ArtDeco, — “You don’t know much about Ukraine.”
    You just are not knowledgeable enough to lecture the Unz’ readers about Russia and Ukraine and Belorussia. Do some reading first.

    The baseline standard at this time (set by Russian revanchists) fancies that Victoria Nuland says ‘abracadabra’ and conjures the Ukrainian government of her choice. I’m doing pretty well in my heat.

  363. Data shows this to have been a very false claim.

    You are an exhibit A of reasons for why Ukraine is today a third world shithole with the armed forces which are two generations behind of modern warfare, Ukraine is run by people like you: ignorant, delusional and incompetent. Here is an excellent example of sheer utter imbecility of your so called “argument”:

    Serbia did well with its s-125s. Ukraine has a lot of S-300 systems. You think Russia is a lot better than Ukraine than NATO was over Serbia?

    Yes, Serbia did well (in reality not that well) in 1999–19 years ago. S-300 Ukraine has will be suppressed electronically and then blown to smithereens by cruise missiles or aviation. Ukraine does not have modern ECCM, period. Drawing parallels with Serbia in 1999 shows a complete detachment from the reality. This pearl, however:

    The war in the Donbas shaped the Ukrainian army. It gave awareness and motivation to the soldiers, and forced the leadership of the Defence Ministry and the government of the state to adapt the army’s structure – for the first time since its creation – to real operational needs, and also to bear the costs of halting the collapses in the fields of training and equipment, at least to such an extent which would allow the army to fight a close battle with the pro-Russian separatists. Despite all these problems, the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle. They have a trained reserve ready for mobilisation in the event of a larger conflict*;

    This is delirium of an incompetent hack. Yes, the number of defeats from the hands of vastly numerically inferior LDNR forces did “shape” this so called army. Most of competent people in Ukrainian MoD were purged by 2015–it is run today by apes in uniforms who know damn well only one thing–they push too hard, they are done. Your mindless repetition of the number of 200,000 shows how incompetent you are. Again–read this by syllables:

    Ukrainian military is a collection of a technological obsolete junk and operational concepts which are not suited for modern warfare. This military is drowned in corruption, drugs, alcohol and is not trained whatsoever to conduct a modern maneuverable warfare based on the Netcentric principles and involving newest state-of-the-art C4ISR. Ukraine simple has NO scientific, industrial or military capacity to have this, nor has it access to that. The only reason so called NATO military “professionals” are hanging around Yavorsky range and “advising” Ukie army is not to help but to collect all possibly so called war correlates they can, while it is still possible. LDNR forces, despite being vastly outnumbered, have access to this, which they demonstrated in Debaltsevo, Ilovaisk and many other places where this so called “battle hardened” Ukie army ran like hell. You do not understand what OODA (and its frequency) is in modern warfare but I can assure you that LDNR forces have this loop “running” in their Command and Control structures several times faster than the same is with Ukraine’s “army”. Several S-300s here and there, and few old T-64s and even 300 000 of Ukrainian personnel (a euphemism for brainwashed badly trained recruits) do not even understand what it means to have most of targeting information already distributed through tactical and operational networks of their adversary and this adversary having already fire means (ognevye sredstva) assigned to annihilate them once the order comes. This is beyond your grasp and that is why you continue to post here all kinds of Ukie shitty propaganda, like this:

    Thanks to that, at least in terms of the human factor, it should be possible in a relatively short period of time to increase the Ukrainian army’s degree of combat readiness

    Modern Armed Forces, and we are talking about Russia, wouldn’t even allow this so called army to see them–they will demolish all Ukrainian C4ISR first, especially C3, by stand-off weaponry and then cavalry will go in, with targets already shown and assigned on the level of company, or even platoon. Any direct involvement of Russia means one thing–the end of the junta in Kiev and disintegration of Ukraine, with LDNR forward forces rolling over Kreshatick within weeks. You can continue to reside in your delusion whatever you want but you have no idea what are you taking about. You are paid Ukie troll who spreads non-stop BS here.

    P.S. Please, don’t insult me (and other people’s intelligence) by presenting here Polish “analysis” on anything military related. If you want to consume this fodder, be my guest, but please spare us here from this Polish contrived incompetent military claptrap.

  364. Do you even understand that this whole phrase makes no military or political sense whatsoever? Did you even bother to open at least Wiki on JSDF? Yes, the pictures of American servicemen “subduing a recalcitrant population on Hokkaido” will go down in Japan just fine and people will accept it as a given. I am sure Japanese also will enthusiastically support this subduing.

    No, you’re misunderstanding me because you can’t lay off the Stoly before posting. The previous poster has his nose out of joint about American troops abroad and how these supposedly render local governments puppets of the United States. There are 35,000 American troops there. They aren’t occupying the country and can be replaced by Japanese troops if Japan so wishes.

  365. UK had Dutch disease.

    It didn’t. Britain’s never be peculiarly dependent on raw material exports.

  366. Good catch Tovarishch! Your abilities to spot neocon conspiracy allies is uncanny. Keep up the valuable work! 🙂

  367. out of joint about American troops abroad and how these supposedly render local governments puppets of the United States.

    Military basing abroad is one of the foundations of US foreign policy and national security strategies for ages, which implies application of political pressure on local elites.

    No, you’re misunderstanding me because you can’t lay off the Stoly before posting.

    No, it is you who are misunderstanding because apart from having no viable argument other than producing tired and irrelevant stereotype, you missed completely the difference between political elites and population. Read, however, this:

    2 . At the request of either Government, the Governments of Japan and the United States shall review such arrangements and may agree that such facilities and areas shall be returned to Japan or that additional facilities and areas may be provided.

    3 . The facilities and areas used by the United States armed forces shall be returned to Japan whenever they are no longer needed for purposes of this Agreement, and the United States agrees to keep the needs for facilities and areas under continual observation with a view toward such return.

    I am no lawyer, but something tells me that those facilities will always be needed–you know for the purposes of this very Agreement.

    http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/area/usa/sfa/pdfs/fulltext.pdf

    But never mind. I totally believe your “competent” opinion on this issue.

  368. It has been a major exporter of oil (not to mention coal before 926). At times of high production and high prices, the pound has clearly been a petrocurremcy. This has been compounded by Arab and Russian petrofunds arriving in London for recycling.

  369. There was some distinctly anti-communist propaganda in the USA up until the end of the Cold War. Pro-communist propaganda as well, actually. It wasn’t always targeted at the Russian people.

  370. The sensible British were a co-operating force in invading Iraq.

    I am surprised no one has brought up the issue of slant drilling from Kuwait into Iraq:
    http://rense.com/general3/slant.htm

    The British had an investment in Kuwait that they wanted to protect. When they took possession of the disputed fields, the Iraqi case became moot.

    Also insupportable debt run up by Iraq to Kuwait that was run up during the Iraq/Iran war. The US encouraged and supported the Iraqi side, but the war bankrupted the Iraqis.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Kuwait

  371. Is that you, Evan McMullin?

  372. Ilyana_Rozumova says

    You forgot the “Fuck the EU” on telephone. It was taped.

  373. we’ve given Iran an ally and possibly a future client state,

    An ally contra whom? And how are you defining ‘client state’

    wasted trillions with little in return,

    Again, what’s the alternative state of the world you’re imagining? (While we’re at it, the budget for ‘overseas congingency operations’ over the period running from 2001 to 2011 amounted to $1.2 tn, and that included both the budget for Iraq and for Afghanistan).

    lost Turkey as an ally in the long term due to the Kurd situation unleashed by that war’s aftermath,

    What Turkey does is a consequence of Mr. Erdogan’s shticks. Not sure what you think was the situation ‘unleashed’. Violence in the Kurdish provinces has ebbed and flowed since 1984 and the upsurge in recent years wasn’t coincident with the removal of Saddam but rather the breakdown of central authority in Syria eight years later. (And, as noted, the Kurdish provinces in Iraq are quiet bar Kirkuk, which is a mixed Kurdish / Sunni province).

    damaged our international reputation,

    You mean among people like you? That’s just fine with me.

    and shattered a region that is now in almost continual turmoil, requiring our repeated intervention. There is no realistic scenario where leaving Iraq alone would have resulted in a worse situation than we face now.

    Different parts of the Near East have been in wretched condition for 60 years. No clue why you fancy the area was some tranquil little garden prior to 2003. There was the Yemen’s multi-year civil war during the 1960s, the insurgency in the South Arabian sheikdoms, Iraq’s descent into lunacy (1958-68), the advent of the Ba’ath in Syria 1963), the Lebanon Civil War (1975-90), the ongoing multi-episode warfare between Israel and various Arab paramilitaries (and, consequentially, Arab states in 1967), the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq’s conquest of Kuwait, the long-running Kurdish insurgency in Turkey (1984-), briefer episodes like the Yom Kippur War and the rebellion in S. Yemen (1990), etc.

  374. The US encouraged and supported the Iraqi side, but the war bankrupted the Iraqis.

    Iraq started the war in 1980 for its own reasons. Iran maintained for some time a non-negotiable insistence that the war was on until Saddam was gone. The U.S. had no relationship with Iraq prior to 1985, not even exchanging ambassadors. After diplomatic relations were restored, they received some agricultural credits and some intelligence information. That’s it.

  375. When I’m not working for The Weekly Standard or the FBI.

  376. It has been a major exporter of oil

    Fuel exports currently account for 6.5% of Britain’s merchandise exports. That’s about the median of the last 50-odd years. There was a spike during the period running from 1979 to 1986 where it topped 20%, but that can hardly explain Britain’s loss of position between 1914 and 1980.

  377. I am surprised no one has brought up the issue of slant drilling from Kuwait into Iraq:

    You forgot to give us the John Birch Society’s take.

  378. After diplomatic relations were restored, they received some agricultural credits and some intelligence information. That’s it.

    So, you also have problems with reading comprehension too, right?

    However, the United States sold to Iraq a wide variety of “dual-use” items. For instance, Iraq purchased more than 100 helicopters from manufacturers in the United States, which in export documents were designated for civilian and recreational purposes. Upon arrival in Iraq they immediately were diverted to the front with Iran, with no ensuing protest from Washington. The Reagan Administration also gave the “nod and wink” to the illegal transfer of US weapons from third countries, including sales of TOW anti-tank missiles, helicopters, small arms, mortars, and munitions from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. However, of greater military value was the intelligence data supplied to Iraq from US satellite photography. In 1984 President Reagan signed a national security directive authorizing intelligence-sharing with Iraq, a move analysts would later describe as having saved the Iraqis from being overrun in several key battles.7

    What a lovely omission by you from the US Army writings, namely Parameters:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20061011195656/http://www.army.mil/professionalwriting/volumes/volume1/july_2003/7_03_2v2.html

  379. jilles dykstra says

    What is Dutch disease?
    Look at some statistics, and see that our per capita income is one of the highest in the world.
    The first time I visited the USA, 1978, I was flabbergasted by poverty.
    Same with Dutch friends, one of them, in New York ‘there is someone lying on the sidewalk’.
    Reply ‘we have many more’.
    A Dutch doctor, after having visited USA hospitals ‘the difference in treating poor and rich is disgusting’.
    About UK, even in 1975 I met a British couple on a German camping, they were annoyed ‘they want a pound for a night’.
    For us it was a normal rate.
    The British thought they had won the war, they did not, but they did realise they had lost the peace, what was true.
    The last time I visited the USA, 2001, Florida, a lot of poor, and some super rich.

  380. I am no lawyer, but something tells me that those facilities will always be needed–you know for the purposes of this very Agreement.

    One thing Andrew Bacevich never mentioned was that the number of billets in the Southern Command is 1/10th what it was in 1950. American troop forces in Europe were at their post-war peak around about 1968. They’re a fraction of that now. In the Far East, Subic Bay Naval Base was closed and Clark Air Base was closed.

  381. jilles dykstra says

    Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok”

    Verhofstadt’s dream it is.
    This fool, he makes a lot of money, leads the liberal fraction in European Parliament.
    He, with Dutch Van Baalen, roused the Ukrainian people in Kiev.
    Civil war there now for years, NATO sword rattling there, a military paragraph in the EU association treaty with Ukraine.
    Many here fear that indeed NATO finds an excuse for war.
    Luckily Putin is a sensible man, he cannot be provoked.

  382. jilles dykstra says

    Yet Ukraine claims that none of their fighters can reach the altitude at which commercial jets fly.
    Their defence in that is impossible that one of their fighters shot down MH17.
    It seems quite simple then to bomb Ukraine.

  383. Thanks for the catch. Now, back to his contention, which was that the Iran-Iraq War was some kind of U.S. initiative. It wasn’t, and the TOW missiles and helicopeters would have been acquired by Iraq during the period running from 1985 to 1988, five to eight years after the war began (and when red haze types like Fred Halliday were predicting some sort of disaster derived from an Iraqi military collapse).

    What’s amusing about these dealings they had with the Reagan Administration is that the usual red haze / Anointed types in this country repurpose it into an argument which holds the U.S. government responsible for Iraq’s various depredations during 1990 and 1991. (American manufacturers sold them pesticides they dumped on Kurdish villages and April Glaspie didn’t flash the right gang signs, etc).

  384. Oh gee-whiz, you just “opened” my eyes on base closures, including Subik Bay, forgetting, of course, this simple cultural fact of a massive difference between Philippines and Japan, the last one being responsible, among many other things, for the Day Which Will Leave in Infamy, which absolutely, in no way, completely and utterly never, never, never colored American geopolitical thinking. But, yes, why concentrate on such “little” things. I see your pattern already–it is along the lines of your US-Iraq post, to which I had to respond with actual numbers and facts from US Army, no less. This pattern is to avoid any substance in your posts which are both incompetent and misleading. Per Andrew Bacevich–I have my own resources to arrive to the conclusions. Such as:

    https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Splendid-Little-Wars-Engagements/dp/0670032328

    or that:

    https://www.amazon.com/Base-Nation-Military-Abroad-America/dp/1510728813/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513966596&sr=1-2&keywords=Military+Bases

    But, of course, my background considered, I have my own ideas on how this all works, including economically.

  385. The ‘poverty’ you were looking at implicated at that time perhaps 1/10 th of the population and owed more to perverse social policy, indifferent law enforcement, and New Yorks’s dysfunctional real estate markets. It wasn’t strictly an economic phenomenon.

  386. jilles dykstra says

    This dissident German journalist claims that the German army is fighting at sixteen places in the world.
    Alas he does not specify them.
    But Germany is fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Mali.
    https://kenfm.de/statement-von-ken-jebsen-zur-verleihung-des-koelner-karlspreises/

  387. RadicalCenter says

    “NATO never did expand up to the borders of the USSR.”

    Man, you’re not even trying now. NATO expanded not just up to, but beyond the borders of the USSR.

    The USSR included the Latvian SSR.
    Latvia is now a member of NATO.

    The USSR included the Estonian SSR.
    Estonia is now a member of NATO.

    The USSR included the Lithuanian SSR.
    Lithuania is now a member of NATO.

  388. Swedish Family says

    Pretending to be an innocent baby, SwedishFamily? – How about the intentional lies like the “dossier” story? It is becoming more entertaining with each day. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/18/questioning-the-russia-gate-motive/
    Ever heard about Browder (a scion of a leader of the US Communist Party) and Magntisky act? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryVavTF6hR0
    What about the blatant coup d’etat in Ukraine, which was presented by the US State Dept as “democracy on the march?” — Have you heard the names Nuland-Kagan and Brennan (of the CIA) and have you heard about neo-Nazi parades in various cities in Ukraine that became possible after the triumphal Kagan’s revolution in Kiev of 2014?
    Or you are still in the dark?
    Well, how about a single felon from Russia who managed to convert the whole Olympic committee against Russian Federation? In this context, you should take a look at some very muscular ladies from the EU/US, who allegedly suffer from either ADHD or the past child abuse and thus are taking hormones, non-stop, with the Olympic committee blessing. And this is just a very short list of samplings of American propaganda to the Russian public.

    I know all these things, and they don’t invalidate my argument. Being on this site, you should know better than most that however many shenanigans a government is up to, few people will be aware of them unless they are reported about in mainstream media. How media chooses to portray current affairs — and there are always two sides to every story — therefore matters a lot.

    My simple argument is that Russian state media might have decided to start portraying America less favorably for political reasons and that we now see this play out in the form of less favorable views of America with the general public. This argument stands even if America actually did start acting worse over the same time period.

  389. MH17 was shot down by an AA missile, something Ukraine is not exactly short of.

  390. German_reader says

    The Baltic states are a bit of a grey area imo though since their annexation by the Soviet Union in 1940 was never recognized by Western states.
    Personally I think concern about NATO’s expansion to Poland, Hungary and Czechia/Slovakia is somewhat exaggerated…even though there apparently really were assurances made to the Soviet Union in 1990 this wouldn’t happen, I suppose Russia would have eventually accepted it – if it had stopped there. These countries aren’t really part of any traditional Russian sphere of influence, and in culture, religion etc. aren’t part of the wider Russian world (Romania and especially Bulgaria already is a somewhat different matter). But there were persistent attempts to bring Ukraine and Georgia into closer relationship with NATO, even talk of full membership for them. That was just insanely provocative and no self-respecting Russian government could have just acquiesced to it.

  391. Astuteobservor II says

    when your country is looted for a decade and your daughters and sisters were forced to become prostitutes just to survive. the illusion dispelled after the 90s decade wasn’t fast enough for most russians I bet.

  392. But there were persistent attempts to bring Ukraine and Georgia into closer relationship with NATO, even talk of full membership for them.

    Not just loose talk or US war lobby chatter, either. Concrete statements of approval from the US president. Here’s a reminder of the kind of rhetoric the Russians have had to put up with from Washington:

    “Speaking in Kiev after a meeting with Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, the US president said both post-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia should be allowed to join the alliance – despite vehement objections from Russia.

    In remarks likely to infuriate the Kremlin, Bush said Ukraine should be invited during this week’s Nato summit in Bucharest to join Nato’s membership action programme, a prelude to full membership.

    He also said that there could be no deal with Moscow over the US administration’s contentious plans to locate elements of its controversial missile defence system in eastern Europe.

    “This is a misperception,” Bush said after talks with in Kiev. “I strongly believe that Ukraine and Georgia should be given MAP [Membership Action Plans], and there are no tradeoffs – period.”

    Bush backs Ukraine and Georgia for Nato membership
    Guardian 1st April 2008

  393. Beefcake the Mighty says

    Cuck.

  394. RadicalCenter says

    “Like buttah”, mein Freund.

    Happy new year, saddiqi –

  395. Any figures comparing this now to 2014, or the Ukrainian military to other militiaries? PTSD, suicides, etc. is also a big problem with the US veterans, Russian veterans from Chechnya, etc.

    In my post on Russia’s non-combat losses (usually 600/year, going down to 400 by 2016), I also encountered some figures about Ukrainian losses.

    The the official Ukrainian General Staff figure is 256 non-combat losses in 2016 (vs. 211 combat).

    There is also a figure of 660 given for the first 2 years of the war, which implies an average of around 300 in 2014-15 (when the Ukrainian military was smaller).

    Assuming the Ukrainian General Staff are correct as opposed to Poltorak, non-combat deaths in the Ukrainian military – from 300/~150k in 2014-15, to 250/250k by 2016.

    In Russia, from 600/1,000k in 2014-15, to 400/1,000k by 2016.

    Consequently, non-combat losses in the Ukrainian military were around 3x+ those of the Russian military in 2014-15, and perhaps 2.5x in 2016, adjusted per capita.

    This seems broadly plausible. Discipline in the Russian military continues improving, but improves faster in the Ukrainian military, which starts from a much lower base. (I would also note that non-combat deaths per capita were 2x in the Russian military in the mid-2000s relative to 2012-15 – that is, only modestly lower than the figure for the Ukrainian military by 2016. This is again plausible, since the Russian military at that time was probably at around a similar degree of reform).

    Contrary view: 10,000 non-combat casualties over the three years of the ATO, of which 2,000 were deaths. {Source: Poltorak} This would imply that things are twice as bad as the Genshtab claims. Since neither you, nor Martyanov, nor I have any major insight into the finer details of the Ukrainian military, I suppose whom we believe will be a matter of ideological whim.

  396. Its very amusing reading all the comments so far. But reality is that Russia should take back all the lands conquered by the Tsars, and that includes Finland.

    good luck with that

    But alas, Russia has to eat humble pie at the moment, internationally and at the Olympics. But humble pie tastes good when its washed down with bottles of vodka, and its only momentarily after all.

    it isn’t Russia that is being humiliated, it’s the ZUSA

    Russia acts in Russia’s interests, the ZUSA and NATO are Israel’s sniveling (if rabid) dogs

    who cares if the world’s Zionists can pressure the Olympics to ban Russia, we all know it’s corrupt politics and we all know Russia is and has been the victim of butt-hurt zios who were hoping for Syria to come apart at the seams so that Israel could steal the Golan Heights. Now that Putin has quashed their schemes, there’s going to be a price to pay.

    But anyone who’s paying attention knows that Russia is and has been the good guy ever since Putin wrested control of it away from the Jewish ‘oligarchs’ that had looted it blind.

    I came to this a little late, but some interesting perspectives here.

    My running mantra vis-a-vis the troubles between Russia and Ukraine is for Ukraine allow the Russian speaking areas in the East have some limited autonomy.

    Crimea is Russian and will stay Russian.

    I also have a running mantra that Russia needs to tone down the Red Army chest thumping and stop complaining when the former satellite states honor their WWII dead including those who fought against the ((Bolsheviks)), who genocided so many millions of Ukrainians.

    It’s a time for healing and for peace.

    Get rid of Kolomoyskyi !

  397. it should be possible in a relatively short period of time to increase the Ukrainian army’s degree of combat readiness,

    to do what?

    take on Russia?!

    and on whose behalf, eh?

    http://russia-insider.com/sites/insider/files/styles/s400/public/Igor-Kolomoisky-Israel-Mafia-MH17-GreatGameIndia-Putin-Assassination-Gazprom-BRICS-2.jpg?itok=qAinaY1l

    it was the Ukrainians this guy orders around like his dogs who likely shot down MH17

    you can replace the Jew in this cartoon with John McCain and it works the same

    http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2016/07/fatah-cartoon.jpg

    and it also works for the conflict in Donbas. They fund and arm both sides of a conflict.

    do you know who the Kagan cabal are?

    Do you know who Victoria Nuland is?

    do you know she was behind the Maidon square protests? She admitted to spending $5 billions US dollars orchestrating the putsch

    did you know she was caught on tape telling some diplomat who was going to head the government of Ukraine? ‘not Klitschko, Yats is our guy’

    the entire Ukrainian tragedy has been orchestrated by NYC Zionist Jews my friend. Are you even aware of that?

  398. The USSR included the Latvian SSR.
    Latvia is now a member of NATO.

    The USSR included the Estonian SSR.
    Estonia is now a member of NATO.

    The USSR included the Lithuanian SSR.
    Lithuania is now a member of NATO.

    so you know why these nations are willing to antagonize their powerful neighbor and trading partner by joining the belligerent NATO?

    because Russia, (unlike Germany for instance) has never officially repudiated the crimes and horrors visited upon those nations (and Russians) by the Soviet Union fiend. Who gulaged and enslaved and genocided untold millions of those people.

    even today the Russian military stages May Day parades celebrating the enslavement of Eastern Europe (and Russia) for generations. Sure, they defeated the Nazis, only to prove the Soviets were just as bad. (did they or did they not take Eastern Europe as war booty?)

    and there is lingering animosities between the Baltic states and Russia due to the Soviet program of colonizing these nations with Russian nationals, who today don’t want to assimilate into the language and culture of the Baltic states.

    this intractable recalcitrance on the part of Russia is a God send to the NATO war pigs.

    Russia and her neighbors could easily get along were it not for ultra-nationalistic hubris on the part of chest-thumping, macho Russian men. They’re playing into John McCain’s bloody hands.

    Germans too lost their lives by the tens of millions in that evil Zio-war. Not all of them were Nazis.

    Russians and Poles and Germans and Ukrainians need to build a bulwark against the zio-war-pig ZUSA and its NATO stooges.

    there’s a good chance we Americans (and Brits and French patriots- like the ones who voted for Brexit and Le Pen respectively), will not be able to rein in the Zio-Fiend, who is intent on seeing another mass-slaughter of Russians and Eastern Europeans in this century too.

    don’t be their chumps and dupes.

    please learn to set aside your generations old hostilities. The men who fought and died in that evil ((banker’s)) war are all but dead. Don’t let their legacy be yet another war that slaughters off their grandchildren too.

    Hey RadicalCenter, I’m obviously not berating you. I’m just bouncing this off into the cyber-sphere in the hopes that helps to thwart the Fiend.

  399. RadicalCenter says

    And living in a Western and traditionally Christian country, if I recall.

    I always wish my Jewish friends “Happy Chanukkah”, notwithstanding that I’m not Jewish and don’t even have a high opinion of many powerful Jews, to say the least.

    I’ve seen this with Muslims of my acquaintance, including one whom I’ve known for a very long time and have extended Ramadan wishes to. They just won’t extend the simple courtesy and respect of Merry Christmas to their friends and their host countries.

  400. RadicalCenter says

    I can’t argue with any of that, Bruder. A wise sentiment. And a fair assessment of what seems to be a continuing Russian tendency to excuse or justify the USSR’s subjugation and degradation of Slavic, Baltic, and Germanic peoples.

  401. RadicalCenter says

    Appreciate your comment, deutscher Leser. I’d disagree only about Russia’s fear of the US pushing Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia into NATO. That fear seems well founded.

    In light of the USSR’s treatment of those peoples, Russia wouldn’t have a legitimate objection to them joining NATO to deter another Russian takeover and brutalization of eastern and Central Europe — IF NATO were actually a defensive alliance and its actions were based on Russia’s actual current behavior.

    But NATO has been used to threaten and encroach on Russia in the context of a broad-spectrum economic and diplomatic offensive against Russia and its people, often based on falsehoods and exaggerations about Russia. In that context, Russia is right to do whatever it takes to oppose NATO and those countries’ membership in NATO.

  402. RadicalCenter says

    Now that Europeans have your own larger and burgeoning African population, we will see how prosperous and safe you are in 20 years — and how smugly judgmental you are towards the USA and our handling of African-“Americans” and their vast homeless and perpetually-unemployed population then.

  403. German_reader says

    In light of the USSR’s treatment of those peoples, Russia wouldn’t have a legitimate objection to them joining NATO to deter another Russian takeover and brutalization of eastern and Central Europe — IF NATO were actually a defensive alliance and its actions were based on Russia’s actual current behavior.

    Oh, I agree with that, and imo Russians should engage in some self-reflection and understand that there are good reasons why people in Poland and the Baltic states distrust Russia. But as you wrote yourself, there’s a big difference between legitimate European defense and attempts to completely undermine Russia’s status as a great power (and that’s what nonsense like all this talk about NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia was about; it’s not like they would have added anything of worth to the alliance).

  404. Sir!
    Please do not confuse this globalist Company operative with a US nationalist. Any damage suffered by Arabs was a secondary goal of the illegal and baseless desolation of Iraq. The US was actually the primary target.
    Picture a champion boxer incapable of doubting his strength. Give him a girlfriend who dabbles in hypnosis. Now imagine the girlfriend is mad at him and has access to lots of plate glass.

  405. Good comment. I wouldn’t necessarily fault your friends though, depending on circumstances.

    Also a great comment by Rurik (#401).

  406. German_reader says

    Please do not confuse this globalist Company operative with a US nationalist

    But he is an American nationalist. His views (“no such thing as international law”, which means the US is above it; contempt for “Eurotrash”; a preference for military solutions, without much consideration for alternatives; belief in America’s exceptional goodness and righteousness, which means criticism of the US is akin to sacrilege; automatic pro-Israel stance) are shared by many, many millions of Americans and are the closest thing there is to a genuinely American nationalism with mass appeal. We could all wish it were different, but I no longer believe the sentiments often expressed by commenters on sites like Unz review (scepticism of military interventions and a desire for a somewhat more restrained foreign policy) are much more than a fringe phenomenon.

  407. Far too few Americans died for the Iraq crime.

  408. nor I have any major insight into

    You don’t, since you have no idea what combined arms operations are. Neither does your circle in Russia.

  409. Out of curiosity are you guys (Russian nationalists) hoping to get back all of Ukraine, or just a certain part of the east? Would you draw the line at the Dnieper River or somewhere like that?

  410. Says the guy who doesn’t know the difference between 2014 and 2017.

  411. Ukraine is today a third world shithole

    Ukraine has the same per capita GDP PPP of Belarus c. 2006. Third world shithole 11 years ago?

    Ukraine is run by people like you: ignorant, delusional and incompetent.

    Narcissist lashes out when he is proven wrong.

    Yes, the number of defeats from the hands of vastly numerically inferior LDNR forces did “shape” this so called army. Most of competent people in Ukrainian MoD were purged by 2015–it is run today by apes in uniforms who know damn well only one thing

    Ukraine military was a disaster in 2014-2015. This was the one that was defeated, and purged.

    Your mindless repetition of the number of 200,000 shows how incompetent you are

    200,000 is 4x more than 50,000. You claimed no real difference in Ukrainian military since 2014. Four times as many troops is a difference. The fact that they are now equipped with functioning weapons is another difference. And the fact that many of them have combat experience is yet another difference.

    Ukraine simple has NO scientific, industrial or military capacity

    We already see how little you know of Ukraine. Any data to back up your empty words?

    LDNR forces, despite being vastly outnumbered, have access to this, which they demonstrated in Debaltsevo, Ilovaisk and many other places where this so called “battle hardened” Ukie army ran like hell.

    Thank you for proving my point that for Russian nationalists it is always 2014 or 2015 in Ukraine.
    Ilovaisk was in 2014, Debaltsevo was January 2015.

    Several S-300s here and there, and few old T-64s

    You are stuck in 2014 again.

    You are paid Ukie troll who spreads non-stop BS here.

    The narcissist has now resorted to lies. Sad, how you debase yourself.

    It took the Americans about 3 weeks to destroy Iraq across a desert and plain but in your world mighty Russia can take Ukraine in 48 hours, right?

  412. even today the Russian military stages May Day parades celebrating the enslavement of Eastern Europe (and Russia) for generations. Sure, they defeated the Nazis, only to prove the Soviets were just as bad.

    This is obvious nonsense. In the Soviet Union for 3 years, German troops (and their Eastern European allies) directly killed at least 8 million civilians. These people were shot, burned, strangled in the gas chambers, etc. etc. It’s absolutely not comparable to “victims of communism”

    http://polit.ru/article/2007/12/11/repressii/
    “…In fact, the number of prisoners for political reasons (for “counterrevolutionary crimes”) in the USSR in the period from 1921 to 1953, i.e. after 33 years was about 3.8 million people… during this period ( 1921 to 1954 ) has been convicted 3 777 380 people, including to capital punishment – 642 980, to the contents in camps and prisons for a term of 25 years and below – 2 369 220, into exile and expulsion – 765 180 people“.

    In Eastern Europe the situation was similar.

  413. and few old T-64s

    710, to be precise:

    https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf

    Plus, 70 T-72, 22 T-80s.

    In your favorite year, 2014, there were perhaps no more than a couple dozen usable ones.

    Please, don’t insult me (and other people’s intelligence) by presenting here Polish “analysis” on anything military related. If you want to consume this fodder, be my guest, but please spare us here from this Polish contrived incompetent military claptrap.

    Author of post:

    https://www.osw.waw.pl/en/eksperci/andrzej-wilk

    Andrzej Wilk
    Senior Fellow
    Experts
    Senior Fellow for the military aspects of international security.

    Since 1999 in Centre for Eastern Studies. Analyst in Security and Defence Department until its end in 2011 – since 2004 head of the Department. In 1996-1999 he worked in Ministry of National Defence as a specialist, and then as a senior specialist in Strategic-Defence Planning Division of the Defence System Department.

    Graduate of the Institute of Institute of International Relations of the University of Warsaw and Faculty of Land Forces of National Defence University (command and staff).

    ::::::::::::::::::::

    Andrei knows better than this expert, because he is Russian not Polish 🙂

  414. So, it would seem, Ukraine in addition to quadrupling the number of forces has through reforms roughly improved the quality of the forces, from sub-late-Yeltsin-era Russian level to mid-2000s Russian level.

    Also – it could be that large number of non-combat casualties simply reflects the rapid growth in number of troops. So many more new troops all at once may result in excessive accidents.

  415. It took the Americans about 3 weeks to destroy Iraq across a desert and plain but in your world mighty Russia can take Ukraine in 48 hours, right?

    I think his claim was that the Ukrainian central command would be destroyed in that time. Still sounds implausible, because for that you need a lot of things (not only good standoff weapons but also good knowledge of the targets), and of course assumes no surprises on the part of the Ukrainians. It’s the kind of overly optimistic war planning which brought us the wonders of Napoleon’s and Hitler’s Russian campaigns or the Iraq war. “Everything will happen according to plan, and the enemy will give us no surprises at all.”

  416. Though sometimes military operations turn out more successful than imagined by the planners, like France 1940, even if von Manstein or Guderian probably did imagine something similar to what did happen. The higher command only hoped for a more modest success.

  417. A lie is a knowingly false representation of facts.
    An error is an unknowingly false representation of facts.

    We can discuss whether the ruling cabal in the US acted like liars or like fools, and you wouldn’t catch me calling them fools.

    It was also clear to anyone with his senses intact, that the facts were incorrectly presented.

    Please do not waste your or anyone else’s time by pretending otherwise – for you too have the choice between fool and knave.

    The only thing that might be contested is whether the outcome was all that undesirable for the US ruling class – I think it worked swimmingly. Tough for the american patriots who fought that despiccable war and were maimed and killed for the greater good of …

    … some corporations.

  418. Of the Russian nationalisms whom I recall crisply clarifying this:

    Prosvirnin & Kholmogorov – goal is to go all the way to the old Tsarist borders, leaving just the Austro-Hungarian parts of the Ukraine.

    As I recall, this is also the preference of Alexander Chalenko, the leading Little Russian publicist.

    Limonov – Just Novorossiya

  419. Rurik is an open and unironic Naziphile. You’re unlikely to convince him with this.

  420. So, it would seem, Ukraine in addition to quadrupling the number of forces has through reforms roughly improved the quality of the forces, from sub-late-Yeltsin-era Russian level to mid-2000s Russian level.

    I think this is an accurate assessment with respect to discipline.

  421. 200,000 is 4x more than 50,000. Four times as many troops is a difference.

    I’m pretty sure that in 2014 Ukraine had 100,000 total troops, not 50,000. At the peak of the fighting in August 2014, Ukraine had about 50,000-60,000 troops in Donbass alone.

  422. Beefcake the Mighty says

    Bullshit.

  423. Felix Keverich says

    That’s rather short-sighted IMO. Leaving parts of Ukraine to banderites will ensure that the rulers of that rump will be recognised internationally as “the sole legitimate government of Ukraine”. They will receive tons of Western support to cause us all kinds of trouble.

    The way I see it, Ukrainian nationalism is the enemy that must tackled head on, and completely eradicated. Annexing/occupying the entire country is therefore the most practical and safest choice.

  424. Felix Keverich says

    Speaking for myself here, I’ll be happy with as much of Ukraine as we can grab. lol I see no reason not to take all.

  425. Felix Keverich says

    Ukrainian army has had paper strength of around 200.000 for a long time, so that hasn’t changed. Of course paper strength is not the same thing as actual strength:

    At the start of their campaign against Donbass the regime in Kiev could only master 15.000 troops in April 2014. It was up to 30.000 in August 2014. And 50-70.000 now. All figures include Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias.

  426. At the start of their campaign against Donbass the regime in Kiev could only master 15.000 troops in April 2014. It was up to 30.000 in August 2014. And 50-70.000 now.

    https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf

    “the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle”

  427. African-”Americans” and their vast homeless and perpetually-unemployed population then.

    Per the Urban Institute, about 0.25% of the population of the United States are vagrants (and, racially, these run the gamut). The Census Bureau thinks it less than that. Blacks constitute 13% of the population; few are vagrants. The employment-to-population ratio among American blacks is about 10% lower than that of the other racial categories. (Whites, hispanics, and Orientals have the same ratio). There are problems with the labor market and black labor mobilization, but it’s basically a wage earning population.

  428. Would have been the wise choice after the Napoleonic wars, but Russia chose to take Warsaw rather than Galicia. Now it’s too late, the genie is out of the bottle. The question is how much trouble would Russia want for itself?

  429. The only thing that might be contested is whether the outcome was all that undesirable for the US ruling class – I think it worked swimmingly.

    You’re not doing any thinking. You’re trash-talking, which is what people do here. If you weren’t, you’d give serious thought to who the ‘ruling class’ are, how they could be expected to benefit, and an enumeration of such benefits. Of course you can’t get the job done.

  430. Felix Keverich says

    I think Russia already finds itself in trouble. Taking Crimea and Donbass aggravated Ukrainian nationalists. They will not forgive us now. lol Destroying them is how we end this.

    The entire population of Galicia is under 10 million now – it’s a small, backward, East European society, that can be effectively pacified.

  431. But he is an American nationalist. His views (“no such thing as international law”, which means the US is above it; contempt for “Eurotrash”; a preference for military solutions, without much consideration for alternatives; belief in America’s exceptional goodness and righteousness, which means criticism of the US is akin to sacrilege; automatic pro-Israel stance) are shared by many, many millions of Americans and are the closest thing there is to a genuinely American nationalism with mass appeal. We could all wish it were different, but I no longer believe the sentiments often expressed by commenters on sites like Unz review (scepticism of military interventions and a desire for a somewhat more restrained foreign policy) are much more than a fringe phenomenon.

    I’m not sure why I’m a topic of discussion here. I’m Joe Blow off the sidewalks of Rochester.

    1. For the record, there is no such thing as international law, whether the U.S. is above it, below it, or to the side of it (or whether Russia is above it, below it, or to the side of it). It’s imaginary. There is no authoritative body to define, enforce, or adjudicate it. There are courtesies which have some recognition in written instruments. There are treaties which (in the U.S. at any rate, have the force of law). Treaties, like statutes are in effect until they are abrogated. And violations are fought over internationally. They can only be adjudicated at home (and not effectively for a’ that).

    2. I don’t care for the gas that emanates from the continental chatterati. Or the British chatterati. Or the Canadian chatterati. Or the American chatterati, for that matter (who tend to identify much more with chatterati abroad than they do with their own countrymen). I don’t care for the people who produce it, either. I don’t like the red haze chatterati and I don’t like the “dissident right” chatterati.

    3. I’m biased in favor of my own country (something you caricature because you cannot manage a precise statement to save your life). Other people are biased against it, and are perfectly happy to abrogate the very idea of collective agency in order to stick Washington with the bill for this and that and the next thing, or to dream up imaginary offenses we’ve committed. They get considerable support in this from our domestic chatterati. I don’t have any respect for this nor should any person of sense in this country.

    4. Of course I have a ‘pro-Israel’ stance. Except if you have some very discrete material complaint contra the Israeli state and society, that’s the only sensible stance (or that and benign neutrality). We live in bizarroworld wherein a country with a little over 0.1% of the world’s population and perhaps 0.3% of it’s productive capacity, a country whose internal politics are as benign as any, is of obsessive interest to the purveyors of public diplomacy. The sort of head cases who populate the comment boxes here fancy that’s perfectly normal. They also fancy that American Jewry controls the government and the media and uses them to serve Israel’s interests, for approximately the same reasons train-station vagrants think they’re under FBI surveillance.

    5. As noted, a great many of those who comment at Unz are fringe. As many of them are nucking futz, you benefit when they don’t have much influence over anything of consequence. Others are perfectly sane, but suffused with petty malevolence.

  432. They will not forgive us now. lol Destroying them

    Looking at public opinion surveys, that would be about 3/4 of the Ukraine’s population. Aren’t you sweet?

  433. Ilyana_Rozumova says

    It will happen! And it will not take more than a week.
    But it will happen at the right time.
    Do not be impatiens.

  434. Felix Keverich says

    The plurality of Ukraine’s population has a positive opinion of Russia. Our enemies is a small radical minority. They are well-organised and enjoy significant Western support, which at the moment enables them to control a country of 35 million people. I’m talking about Ukrainian nationalists as a movement here.

    Destroying Ukrainian nationalists organisationally (killing their leaders, banning their ideology inside Ukraine, imprisoning their activists wholesale), cutting them off from sources of Western support will render their movement irrelevant, i.e. no longer in the position to hurt Russia’s interests.

  435. including Subik Bay, forgetting, of course, this simple cultural fact of a massive difference between Philippines and Japan, the last one being responsible, among many other things, for the Day Which Will Leave in Infamy, which absolutely, in no way, completely and utterly never, never, never colored American geopolitical thinking.

    That’s ‘Subic Bay’. Whether or not it ‘colors’ ‘geopolitical thinking’ by public agencies, the hostility to Japan derived from Pearl Harbor is something specific to certain cohorts, cohorts deceased, by and large.

  436. You keep losing elections in the Ukraine because the ‘positive opinion’ they have doesn’t incorporate an interest in being annexed by Russia (much less forcibly conquered). It doesn’t even encompass a consistent interest in a Russophile foreign policy. That’s the elephant in the room. You can pretend it’s a holograph conjured up by Victoria Nuland, but it’s reality. It doesn’t go away when you elect to stop believing in it.

    Lots of people in Canada have a ‘positive opinion’ of the United States. They wouldn’t be terribly pleased if the 82d Airborne starting bombing Saskatoon.

  437. Sure, they defeated the Nazis, only to prove the Soviets were just as bad.

    This is obvious nonsense. In the Soviet Union for 3 years, German troops (and their Eastern European allies) directly killed at least 8 million civilians.

    ever hear of a little soiree they held in the Ukraine called the Holodomor?

    These people were shot, burned, strangled in the gas chambers, etc. etc. It’s absolutely not comparable to “victims of communism”

    well, in the matter of sheer numbers it certainly is

    we all know communism was responsible for the (often horrific) deaths of some hundred million souls +

    as for cruelty, I’ve never been able to get these accounts out of my mind

    http://rense.com/general39/allied.htm

    the point is that atrocities were committed on all sides. What the Brits and Yanks did at Dresden is Satanic, since the war was all but won, and they did it out of cruelty.

    My agenda is that we the living, learn from the mistakes of the past, and the solution is not to heap even more hatred and opprobrium upon people today who had nothing to do with that evil war. But rather do all we can to prevent a rematch.

    I do not want to see another war between Russia and Poland or Russia vs. Ukraine. Fuck no!

    I love the Russian people, just as I love the British and Norwegian and German and Polish people. All of them, the Baltics and all the rest. I have great affection and warmth for all people, but the people of Europe and Russia are my blood, and I don’t want to see them get used AGAIN by the zio-forces of evil, just like the Sunnis and Shiites are being used today in another one of ((their)) ‘let’s you and him fight’, scenarios.

    my dad served in the Pacific theater during the war. I’m an American, and my relatives didn’t suffer the horrors of those demonic, Zionist-imposed wars directly. So perhaps I’m a little less provincial in my perspective, but perhaps that’s a good thing. As I’m not full to the brim with rancorous bile for ‘them!’. Whoever they happen to be. [and I want my revenge!]

    I didn’t lose family in the Holodmor and I didn’t lose family at Stalingrad. The nation my direct ancestors came from was occupied by the Nazis, and atrocities were committed, but does that mean I harbor any malice against someone who happens to be German?

    that my friend would be tragic

  438. Ilyana_Rozumova says

    Let me tell you something.
    I am eager to tell you something.
    Russians did figure it out in second world war.
    War is not won by most patriotic soldiers.
    Not by size of the army.
    Not by best weapons.
    War is won by something else.
    You can guess.
    But I will not tell you if you if you guessed right.
    Only very few people know this, because it is a little bit secret.

  439. For the record, there is no such thing as international law

    You merely prove German Reader’s point, right at the outset of your comment, by doubling down on your literally stupid assertion of what is patent nonsense, and absolutely characteristic of a particular stereotypical attitude found commonly amongst ignorant American supporters of the US’s interventionist wars.

    Nor is that unusual for you. You have similarly asserted straightforward untruths (posts 5,11, 28 and 31, for starters), that are absolutely characteristic of the ignorant American warmonger stereotype, on several occasions on this very thread. That’s the behaviour that makes you genuinely a troll, not your dissident (in the context of Unz) views on US foreign policy and on Israel..

  440. I think his claim was that the Ukrainian central command would be destroyed in that time. Still sounds implausible, because for that you need a lot of things (not only good standoff weapons but also good knowledge of the targets), and of course assumes no surprises on the part of the Ukrainians. It’s the kind of overly optimistic war planning which brought us the wonders of Napoleon’s and Hitler’s Russian campaigns or the Iraq war. “Everything will happen according to plan, and the enemy will give us no surprises at all.”

    With due caution for your absolutely correct warning against assumptions and overly optimistic planning, I think there are reasons for expecting that a Russian initial blitz against the regular forces of the Ukraine would be pretty effective at destroying organised resistance very quickly.

    I suspect the Russians have pretty good targeting intel (much better than the US has had in its various overseas adventures), and a willingness to go in very hard and very fast – and the technological and numerical capability to do so with modern weapons which are very good at the job in question.

    Myself, I think the problem for Russia would not be the initial attack nor a subsequent advance to a line around the Dnieper at least, but what happens afterwards. And in occupation terms I suspect they would probably be ok if they stopped at the Dnieper but would create serious problems for themselves if they went further. Overall, though, I think the response from the rest of the world would be the real problem, and that’s the real reason why Russia hasn’t done it.

  441. Rurik is an open and unironic Naziphile.

    I just checked

    “Rurik” 3,616 Comments • 877,000 Words going back to 2014

    do you have any evidence whatsoever to back up that (scurrilous) claim?

    since I was looking at my old comments, I saw one right away that sort of exemplifies what I’ve been saying all along:

    Israel Shamir:

    The victory has been perceived as a Russian victory over Europe, not only over Germany; for practically all European nations from France, Spain and Italy to Hungary and Bulgaria fought on Hitler’s side against Russia.

    Rurik:

    They weren’t fighting Russia.

    They were fighting the Bolshevik fiend that had “gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and had become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.” (Churchill quote)

    Millions of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians and Cossacks and assorted Slavs also fought this fiend who today controls what’s referred to as the “west”. We must not consider the actions of NATO as resulting from the Western peoples values anymore than the NKVD was doing the bidding of the Russian people as it carved its way across the blood-stained steppe.

    We should all understand, Russian and European, American and Australian, Muslim, Christian and human, that the fiend that we all are threatened by lurks in the dank recesses of the international banking houses. It’s them against all of us, Russian, American and all the rest.

    http://www.unz.com/ishamir/russia-tit-for-tat/#comment-990871

    this is the same mantra that I’ve been saying since I’ve been here, and I really don’t see how that makes me a “Naziphile”. In fact I’ve criticized the hubris and uber-racism of Hitler and the Nazis quite often.

    But some people can’t see beyond their own parochial, ultra-nationalistic blinders

    It’s true that I feel the Germans (and all the other millions of ethnic Russians and Cossacks and Ukrainians and Poles and so many others.. Had every right and duty to try to destroy the Bolshevik, Soviet threat to their freedom and wellbeing. Russia was under the thrall of the Fiend back then and it was menacing everyone.

    Today that Fiend has my nation in its death grip, and is using it, much like it used Russia in the last century, to menace the planet.

    The difference between myself and certain uber-nationalistic (hubristic) Russophiles, is that I have the honesty and courage and humility to admit that my country and countrymen have been made into, and are today (dangerous) dupes to the International banksters.

    It’s just too bad that these closed-minded people (clinging eternally to their ethnic prides and hatreds), can’t do the same.

  442. If instead of saying “There is no such thing as international law” AD had said “I don’t recognize unenforceable “laws” as binding”, he would have managed to express himself without resorting to trolling.

  443. You merely prove German Reader’s point,

    There’s a credo in this joint. It’s nothing worth investing in, but people have intense emotional attachments to it. As do you.

  444. If instead of saying “There is no such thing as international law” AD had said “I don’t recognize unenforceable “laws” as binding”, he would have managed to express himself without resorting to trolling.

    Except there would actually have to be a body which made the law. There isn’t. There can be a descriptive treatment of conventions of conduct (I think that started with Hugo Grotius), but that is not law.

  445. Felix Keverich says

    US doesn’t need to bomb Canada, because Canadian government is totally subservient to Washington in everything, including voting on the status of Jerusalem at the UN. But imagine if Canada was taken over by some wackos, who tried to bring the country into Russia-led military alliance. Do you think there would be hesitation on the part of Washington establishment about what to do next? lol

  446. Up to a point, though he’d still be talking nonsense. International laws are primarily based upon treaties, which certainly are binding (if not necessarily always enforceable) so long as the states concerned remain parties to them and gain the benefits of them, as the US is and does in the case of the UN Charter.

    And no apologist like Art Deco for the behaviour of the US regime, which routinely complains about other countries supposedly not obeying international law (with endless crap about a “Rules-Based International Order” when other countries decide to take the US at its word and its behaviour and act as though “there’s no such thing as international law”), can be regarded as anything other than fool or a liar.

  447. Overall, though, I think the response from the rest of the world would be the real problem, and that’s the real reason why Russia hasn’t done it.

    yes sir

    Russia could crush Ukraine like a bug, discussing a war between the two is like taking about how well the Mexican army could take California by military force. It’s a farce.

    The reason the Zionist fiend is using Ukraine to poke the Russian bear is to rope-a-dope Putin into attacking, at which point the entire length and breath of the Zio-occupied world would go all in, and Poland and Estonia and Ukraine and Georgia and millions and millions of Eastern European and Russian souls would perish in the conflagration.

    SUCH A DEAL!!!

    http://media.theindychannel.com/photo/2017/02/23/bill-kristol-2_1487895219722_55713514_ver1.0_900_675.png

    http://www.thewrap.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/464976548.jpg

    http://www.a-w-i-p.com/media/blogs/articles/3/G/UKR_tycoon-Ihor-Kolomoisky.jpg?mtime=1417596127

  448. Current border between Russia and Finland is rather average of last 400 years. Actually Stalin blocked the claim of River Kymi as frontier in 1944. Instead he decided it to be quite the same as in 1940 (or 1721). Before 1939 the border line in Karelian Isthmus was too close to Leningrad. No doubt.

  449. jilles dykstra says

    FDR indeed did a great job in manoevring the USA into war.
    As Lindbergh got a phone call from another member of the USA First Committee, on Pearl Harbour day ‘he (FDR) got us in (war) through the back door’.

    Harry Elmer Barnes, ed., ‘Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, A critical examination of the foreign policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and its aftermath’, Caldwell, Idaho, 1953

    Charles A. Lindbergh, ´The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh’, New York, 1970

    Sol Bloom, ‘The Autobiography of Sol Bloom’, New York 1948

    Charles A. Beard, ‘American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932 – 1940, A study in responsibilities’, New Haven, 1946

    Frederick W. Marks III, ‘Wind over Sand, The diplomacy of Franklin Roosevelt’, 1988 Athens Georgia

    Thomas E. Mahl, ‘Desperate deception, British covert operations in the United States 1939-44’, Dulles, Virginia, 1998

  450. Ukrainian army has had paper strength of around 200.000 for a long time, so that hasn’t changed. Of course paper strength is not the same thing as actual strength:

    At the start of their campaign against Donbass the regime in Kiev could only master 15.000 troops in April 2014. It was up to 30.000 in August 2014

    Those numbers are too low. The “ATO” troops + militia (I believe the latter were 5000-10,000) outnumbered the rebels by about 3-1 in August, and by a larger margin at the beginning. The rebels had about 10,000 troops in April, and about 20,000 in August.

    The figure of 50,000 Ukrainian troops in Donbass in August 2014 was widely reported. For example, Paul Robinson (linked by AK in the sidebar list of Russia bloggers) wrote the following in his essay “Explaining the Ukrainian Army’s Defeat in Donbass in 2014”, published in the book “The Return of the Cold War” (which you can find online at google books):

    “We do not have exact figures for the sizes of the warring armies in mid August 2014, but most analysts suggest that there were around 50,000 Ukrainian troops in the theater of operations and around 20,000 rebels.”

    And 50-70.000 now.

    There are over 100,000 Ukrainian troops deployed on the front line now, vs. about 40,000 rebels.

  451. And no apologist like Art Deco for the behaviour of the US regime, which routinely complains about other countries supposedly not obeying international law (with endless crap about a “Rules-Based International Order” when other countries decide to take the US at its word and its behaviour and act as though “there’s no such thing as international law”), can be regarded as anything other than fool or a liar.

    exactly!

    well said

  452. “the Ukrainian armed forces of the year 2017 now number 200,000, most of whom have come under fire, and are seasoned in battle”

    I think the extent to which Ukrainian forces are “seasoned in battle” is exaggerated. There was intense fighting from 2014 through early 2015, but I don’t know how many of those troops are still serving, and since then, Ukrainian front line action has mostly consisted of terror-shelling civilian neighborhoods from miles away. The casualty rate for Ukrainian troops in Donbass is less than 1%. The sporadic, low-scale fighting there is nothing like what they would experience in a large-scale, high-intensity battle with rebels backed up by Russian airpower, let alone with the Russian army.

  453. US doesn’t need to bomb Canada, because Canadian government is totally subservient to Washington in everything, i

    That would come as a surprise to Washington policy-makers.

    including voting on the status of Jerusalem at the UN.

    That’s the best example you could come up with? They agree with us on some ancillary matter ergo they are ‘totally subservient’? (For the record, they abstained on that resolution. Some subservience).

    But imagine if Canada was taken over by some wackos,

    The ‘wackos’ in question account for between 50% and 85% of the political spectrum in the Ukraine, depending on the season.

    who tried to bring the country into Russia-led military alliance. Do you think there would be hesitation on the part of Washington establishment about what to do next?

    Yes, there would.

    What you keep refusing to acknowledge is that your problem is with the Ukrainian public.

  454. Hot off the press. As far as I know, Tillerson is not Polish.

    http://www.abc57.com/news/us-will-provide-anti-tank-weapons-to-ukraine-state-dept-official-says

  455. FDR indeed did a great job in manoevring the USA into war.

    No, the Japanese government did a great job of persuading a political class and public that ambivalence was out and it was game on. The America First Committee dissolved in a matter of days and Charles Lindbergh enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Paul-bots invent fanciful pseudo-histories in lieu of coming to grips with their false assumptions about the world.

    1. USSR had some trouble subduing western Ukraine at the height of its power, after World War II. Took about 5 years to establish full control and resources to maintain it. Russia is half the size the USSR was.

    2. Galicia-style Ukrainian nationalism has effectively spread to the central parts of the country, so about 20-25 million people to forcibly subdue. When is the last time a hostile city of 4 million such as Kiev has been conquered?

  456. Russia needs to tone down the Red Army chest thumping and stop complaining when the former satellite states honor their WWII dead including those who fought against the ((Bolsheviks)), who genocided so many millions of Ukrainians.

    Bolsheviks did not “genocided” many millions of Ukrainians – this is an invention. The story of that horrible hunger in 1930s is complex and if anything is certain is that it wasn’t genocide.

    Russia stop complaining about Ukraine honoring Bandera followers? Really? They didn’t so much fight agains the Red Army as against the civilians together with the German Nazis. Lots of executions on the occupied territory is their handiwork.

    Stop complaining when the Baltics parade their CC veterans? Should we also start honoring the dead German Nazis, then? The Ukrainian or Baltic Nazis are no better than the German variety. From what I see Germany is heading this way. And why not? They are all dead, after all, and that is so sad.

  457. The plurality of Ukraine’s population has a positive opinion of Russia

    True before 2014. Before 2014 even Western Ukrainians, 90% of whom you would consider to be Ukrainian nationalists, had a positive attitude towards Russia. Having a positive attitude towards Russia is not the same thing as wanting to be annexed by Russia.

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=eng&cat=reports&id=722&page=1

    Currently 37.2% of Ukrainians have a positive attitude towards Russia and 48% have a negative attitude towards Russia. About 4% of Ukrainians (8.3% of Easterners) want Russia and Ukraine to unite into one country.

  458. While we’re at it, this Canadian survey taken last spring addresses the question:

    http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2017-may-survey-of-residents-of-ukraine_en.pdf

    You’ll see the descriptive statistics on page 56: 43% have a ‘warm’ feeling about Germany, and 7% a ‘cold’ feeling. The comparable figures re Russia are 17% and 57%.

  459. Felix Keverich says

    That’s the best example you could come up with? They agree with us on some ancillary matter ergo they are ‘totally subservient’? (For the record, they abstained on that resolution. Some subservience).

    Don’t play coy, condemning Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is the most natural, humane thing to do, especially for a leftist government of Justin Trudeau. Canadian government embarassed itself internationally, embarassed itself in front of its own voters by showing deferrence to Washington on this issue. This is how subservient Canada is.

  460. Felix Keverich says

    I’m Russian and follow this conflict closely. Your figures are wildly inaccurate, especially on the rebel side. Strelkov seized control of Slovyansk with a group of 50 (just fifty) men – this was the rebel initial military strength back in April 2014.

    Ignore the English-language bloggers, at best they rely on translating the Russian sources, and at worst they transmit Ukrainian propaganda, which is completely and utterly detached from the reality on the ground.

  461. There are no disgraces incorporated into any of these events.

    In a way, you are right. One needs a sense of shame to feel disgraced. The Evil Empire has no such sense.

  462. Felix Keverich says

    You don’t seem to grasp how the insurgencies work. There is no, and there never will be a 20-million strong UPA army. Subduing civilians isn’t hard: this is what Ukrainian regime has done succesfully in Odessa, Kharkov and other cities of Eastern Ukraine. Once the structures of Ukrainian state are gone and the structures of organised Ukrainian nationalism are gone (leaders killed, activists and sponsors arrested), it will be down to small cells of Ukrainian radicals (terrorists) resisting us at local level. Mopping them up will be a police operation. We have done it more or less succesfully in North Caucasus.

  463. When is the last time a hostile city of 4 million such as Kiev has been conquered?

    I doubt Kiev is as hostile as you make it. Kiev is presently occupied by a hostile power, i.e. Galician peasant neo-Nazi types, that are a lot more foreign to it nature than Russia will ever be. So, an idea that every Kiev resident would fight to death in case of the Russian invasion is an exaggeration, to put it mildly. Most would wait it out and many will buy flowers to welcome “the invaders”.

    But most importantly, Russia will never ever attack Ukraine. In the past 3 years, Ukraine has been doing everything possible to make Russia invade, and it failed. Russia has no intentions of occupying Ukraine, not even Donbass, although more than part of Ukraine would be more than happy to be occupied by Russia. If Ukraine completely loses whatever is left of its sense of self-preservation and attacks Donbass, Russia will undoubtedly help, but most likely covertly, letting the LDPR do most of the work.

  464. Bolsheviks did not “genocided” many millions of Ukrainians – this is an invention. The story of that horrible hunger in 1930s is complex and if anything is certain is that it wasn’t genocide.

    you are either a liar or an imbecile

    Lots of executions on the occupied territory is their handiwork.

    what happened at Katyn, eh?

    I suppose that also is “an invention”, huh?

    Should we also start honoring the dead German Nazis, then?

    no, but neither should you complain if some German somewhere wants to remember her granddaddy as a good man, even if he was a Nazi.

    it’s time we laid the dead to rest in peace, from all sides of that evil zio-war.

    They are all dead, after all, and that is so sad.

    so much hatred

    it’s toxic you know. It corrodes the soul to be so full of hate and bile.

    I’m not judging you. I’m sure you have your gripes, as many of the victims of that terrible tragedy do.

    But it was not the comic book version that we’ve all be told it was, where the ‘evil’ Nazis were hell bent on killing and enslaving the planet and gassing all the Jews. Whereas everyone else was an innocent victim.

    That’s absurd OK?

    there was evil on all sides, and the Soviets proved their imperial, sinister nature when they enslaved half of Europe at the end of the war. So don’t try to cry about how misunderstood poor uncle Joe was, K?

    he was a fucking monster as bad as Hitler, and if you look at body counts, worse.

    the point is that the war was a horror, and regardless of all the tough guys thumping their chest – both back then and today, it still is ill-advised to have another go to prove how tough you all are.

    let the Banderists be the Banderists- so long as they’re goose-stepping around in the Ukraine, and leaving you alone.

    and vice versa.

    Right now I’m on Russia’s side, since the way I see it, it’s the Banderists who’re acting like Kolomoisky’s little dogs. Yapping at Putin because he took back Kolomoisky’s fellow Zionist Jews theft of Russia’s resources.

    So now the Ukros and acting as punks for the “Russian” oligarchs, and it’s sad and pathetic to watch

    but that doesn’t mean that every Ukrainian that honors their dead (in the very real genocidal Holodomor) or their grandfathers who fought the monsters of the NKVD – is a Nazi

  465. The parallels between Russia and the US have always interested me. Both nations have a frontier psychology-this tendency being what most removes them from Europe. Both nations have historically perceived themselves in messianic terms. Both are “European-esque”, but not quite members of the club, and having hosted a large amount of non-white minorities for centuries before mass immigration became a thing in the West. We’re those those awkward, vulgar giants on the outside, somewhat recognizable, but fundamentally different on a basic level. Getting to a truly fanciful statement, if America is the heir to Latin Rome, and thus Troy, then Russia is the heir to Greek Byzantium, and thus the Argives.

    Perhaps that explains our conflicts, this odd mirror image. The world can only have one messiah, after all.

  466. Don’t play coy, condemning Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is the most natural, humane thing to do,

    Only in the mind of someone seriously addled.

    Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since 1949. The population of Jerusalem is 64% Jewish.

  467. Kiev is presently occupied by a hostile power, i.e. Galician peasant neo-Nazi types, t

    If fiction helps you get through the day, fine. Can you take it somewhere else?

  468. Felix Keverich says

    It has taken decades of Israeli ethnic cleansing to make it this way: replacing natives with Jewish colonists.

  469. if America is the heir to Latin Rome, and thus Troy, then Russia is the heir to Greek Byzantium, and thus the Argives.

    The United States is foundationally protestant, Calvinist for the most part. It’s an heir to the British institutions of the 13th – 17th century.

  470. There hasn’t been any ethnic cleansing, much less “decades” of it. The Arab population of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is 6x what it was in 1948.

  471. Felix Keverich says

    Pretty much the entire Jewish population of Israel are ether settlers or recent descendants of settlers from far-away parts of the world.

    These Jews simply don’t belong there, they are invaders, agressors, occupiers. The Arabs were forcibly removed from their ancestral land in Israel/Palestine to make room for the Jews.

  472. “I’m not judging you.”

    Really? How about –

    “you are either a liar or an imbecile”

    You worship the Holodomor and derogate the holocaust. Your business.

  473. Ah, the cocky hasbarist type a-hole, aren’t you.

    Anyway, with a fucked-up attitude like that, you better watch out, for life has a way of cutting down people to size.

    You got it coming too man.

  474. You don’t seem to grasp how the insurgencies work. There is no, and there never will be a 20-million strong UPA army.

    UPA itself never had more than about 40,000 people at one time, though perhaps 200,000 went through it ranks over time. It took about 5 years for the USSR to fully subdue the territory where it operated. This was followed by decades of occupation.

    We have done it more or less succesfully in North Caucasus.

    All of Chechnya has a population 1/3 that of Kiev city.

  475. Beefcake the Mighty says

    Only a contemptible cuck would deny the disproportionate influence Jews have over Western governments, the US in particular. Pathetic that you would deny the obvious, but completely unacceptable that you expect others to deny what’s plainly in front of their eyes.

  476. German_reader says

    Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since 1949

    Israel didn’t even control the eastern part of the city in 1949. Its claim to all of Jerusalem isn’t recognized internationally (yes, I understand you don’t think that matters) and so far even the official US position has been that the final status of territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war is to be determined in negotiations and some comprehensive peace settlement, not through unilateral annexation.
    While it might be argued that such a peace settlement will never happen anyway and that it’s time to acknowledge realities on the ground, you can’t just pretend that Israel’s claim to the entire city is uncontroversial except among the mentally deficient.

  477. Felix Keverich says

    Are you comparing Kievans to Chechens now? Come on!

    The Soviets lost less than 10.000 security personnel fighting Banderite insurgency in Galicia. I know these events are idolized in Ukrainian nationalist mythology, but from Russian perspective it wasn’t that big of deal. 😉

    When you consider all the recent experience we obtained in counter-insurgency, and the technology available to us right now, the second round should be even easier.

  478. Ilyana_Rozumova says

    And also Russia is heir to Scythia.

  479. The Soviets lost less than 10.000 security personnel fighting Banderite insurgency in Galicia.

    They lost more personnel fighting the Banderists than they lost fighting the Chechens. Also not a big deal?

    And the Banderist insurgency was non-state supported, over a small area with, at the time, a population of perhaps 5 million. Now you’ve got a region with 20-25 million people hostile to Russia , 100,000s combat-trained, in urban as well as rural areas, whp wouldprobably be given large chaches of weapons by the defeated Ukrainian government, as potential insurgents. Russian government is smart enought not to try that.

  480. Whether or not it ‘colors’ ‘geopolitical thinking’ by public agencies, the hostility to Japan derived from Pearl Harbor is something specific to certain cohorts,

    So, institutions got new definition–cohorts. OK. The fact that those “cohorts” formulate strategies is not, obviously, important. Here is my response to your post loaded with the same meaning and “substance” (aka platitudes): water is wet, fire is hot, moreover, even wind blows. How’s that for substantive discussion? In a ballpark? Thank you for correction on Subic Bay, though.

  481. Thieving Juden-scum are indeed Fiends (as another poster said).

    For them, a more appropriate capital is Hell, where they are destined to congregate.

  482. Really? How about –

    that’s an observation, not a condemnation

    unless being a liar or an imbecile is something to condemn

    what do you think Robin? why don’t you tell us..

    You worship the Holodomor and derogate the holocaust. Your business.

    if it’s my business, why do you go to the trouble of writing it and then posting it to the Unz Review to make some kind of point, eh?

    let me share something with you, k?

    the reason I mention the Holodomor, is because it shows the nature of the Soviet id

    it exposes their underlying motivations and their intentions (and their Satanic hatred of mankind ; )

    they didn’t just genocide millions of innocent souls, whose only crime was that they were proud people of ability that didn’t need or want a nanny government to take care of them.

    so they were liquidated by the millions, and it was done in the most cruel way imaginable, by forcing them to watch their children die slowly, day after excruciating day. As the KDVD goons took pleasure at their suffering.

    OK?

    and then there’s this! ~

    practically no one has even ever heard of the Holodomor!

    it was lied about by the NYT as it was being perpetrated, and it’s has been lied about ever since, by apologists for the monsters (and their Satanic vision for the world) who carried it out.

    whereas there have been exactly 498,298,003,175,666 movies and books and TV shows and museums and speeches and lectures and laws written about the Holocaust.

    not to mention the thousands of people languishing in prisons the world over for questioning some sacred tenet of this most lied-about event in the history of history.

    so, Robin..

    if you calculate the words and honor that we the living pay in tribute to the victims of evil…

    then as far as my “worship” of the Holodomor goes, I’m approximately 498,298,003,175,658 behind in words and deeds and museums and movies and books and thundersous outrage over the lives of innocents murdered by sub-human monsters, who’re are ignored by history- because any mention of their deaths might be inconvenient to the agendas of hatred and spite that certain people relish.

    does that explain it for you?

    if not, I can spell it out even more starkly

  483. There is a rational point in your post, albeit I wouldn’t necessarily emphasize Byzantium for Russia here–those who know Russia’s 20th century history will understand why. A huge point, however, which you missed is the fact that Russia long ago realized herself as a continental military power, the United States did not and, most likely, will not. In general, drawing historic parallels is a very questionable business–too many allowances and adjustments have to be made. Just an example–right now the United States is in the process of shedding the remainder of its Europeanness, becoming culturally anti-European in essence, this is not the case with Russia.

  484. Pretty much the entire Jewish population of Israel are ether settlers or recent descendants of settlers from far-away parts of the world.

    Most Jews in Israel are Sephardic or Mizrahi Jews. While we’re at it, Edward Said and Yasser Arafat grew up in Egypt.

  485. you can’t just pretend that Israel’s claim to the entire city is uncontroversial except among the mentally deficient.

    No, but someone who claimed the U.S. Embassy would be occupying a city’s worth of territory would strike me as wretchedly confused.

    We can wade through granular histories of the era. It’s a reasonable wager that trolls in the State Department (wherein the likes of Dean Rusk were then employed) insisted the embassy not be moved in 1949 because Jerusalem was not allocated to Israel in the 1947 partition plans. It was clear by 1955 that there wasn’t going to be a settlement, but the embassy was never moved, in part out of inertia and in part (one suspects) because some Arab potentate had struck some pose about it and succeeding generations of Arab potentates would have regarded it as a unilateral concession to stop striking poses.

    You’ll notice that Felix objection isn’t to diplomatic trivia, but to Israel’s existence. He doesn’t much care for Ukrainians either, so he inserts his cartoon Ukrainians in place of the real ones.

  486. Scythia was an ancient kingdom that disappeared from history more than 500 years before the foundation of the Rurik dynasty.

  487. “Russia and her neighbors could easily get along were it not for ultra-nationalistic hubris on the part of chest-thumping, macho Russian men”
    Are you aware of numerous instances of desecration of the graves of unknown Soviet soldiers in the Baltic States, Ukraine, Poland, and Bulgaria? — This does not look like European values. Or you have a different opinion re the desecrations?
    Also, the newly liberated Ukraine (“Ukrainian Kaganat”) has become a playing ground for neo-Nazis, including the proliferation of neo-Nazi parades and, as a residue, desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Neither was possible before the “liberation.”

    You could continue smearing all Russians at your pleasure, but the hard facts, looking into your face, quietly refute your Russophobia.

  488. German_reader says

    You’ll notice that Felix objection isn’t to diplomatic trivia, but to Israel’s existence.

    It isn’t just diplomatic trivia, the real significance of this embassy business is about Israel’s borders, whether Israel will keep East Jerusalem and most of the West bank territories it has occupied since 1967. The way things are going, it looks like a two-state solution is totally dead…which raises the question what will happen to the Palestinians. Israel can’t expel them short of some major international crisis, and granting them equal rights as citizens in a binational state would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish national state, and probably guarantee perpetual instability. Keeping them forever as a subjected population without rights will be morally questionable though, incompatible with Israel’s supposed status as a Western-style democracy and at some point erode support for Israel even in the US (groups like BLM already are anti-Israel, much of the Democrats’ base probably as well). I don’t care that much, but I’ve never seen a convincing answer to those issues by unconditional supporters of Israel.

    You’re admittedly correct though that quite a few of the commenters on Unz review are somewhat unhinged and quite genuinely antisemitic.

  489. It isn’t just diplomatic trivia, the real significance of this embassy business is about Israel’s borders,

    Rubbish. No iteration of Israel’s borders is affected by this. It’s about the capacity of Arab blowhards to get foreign officials to dance a jig.

    The way things are going, it looks like a two-state solution is totally dead…

    If you had any doubts about that in 2000, they should have been disabused in 2004 or in 2008. This has been understood for half a generation.

    which raises the question what will happen to the Palestinians.

    How about ‘nothing’? They didn’t make any counter offers or sign on the dotted line in 2000 or in 2008 and they responded to Israel’s unilateral initiatives the way they did in 2004 because they don’t fancy they can improve their situation as they define it by doing anything constructive. Their problem, which nuisances babbling about ‘the occupation’ simply refuse to acknowledge, is that the achievable alternative to their current situation – Israel’s withdrawal to something like the Green Line, an exchange of diplomatic currency, an end to violence and crime syndicates, and an end to territorial claims – is unacceptable to most Arabs therein. North of 1/3 of the population of the West Bank and Gaza will tell you that Israel must disappear and about 2/3 will tell you that Israel must accept for settlement every 2d cousin to every UNRWA dole recipient who shows up at the door (“right of return”).

    Keeping them forever as a subjected population without rights will be morally questionable though, i

    About 60% of the Arab population on the West Bank and Gaza lives under an Arab civil administration outside the ken of Israel’s security patrols. About 5% live under Israeli civil administration. The remainder live under an Arab administration, but where patrols are active. You want better, you gotta bargain for it.

    You’re admittedly correct though that quite a few of the commenters on Unz review are somewhat unhinged and quite genuinely antisemitic.

    The one given most to unintentional camp was the fellow yapping about the nefarious influence of Jews in Norway, all 1,500 of ’em.

  490. “We live in bizarroworld wherein a country with a little over 0.1% of the world’s population and perhaps 0.3% of it’s productive capacity, a country whose internal politics are as benign as any, is of obsessive interest to the purveyors of public diplomacy.”
    — Eternal victimhood? Just cannot help yourself but complaining… After PNAC, Oded Yinon plan, the ziocon-pushed Iraq war and mass slaughter in Libya and Syria — and desecration of numerous ancient religious (non-Jewish) sites in Palestine — the Israel-firsters’ quetching sounds comical.

  491. You mean your newly liberated Ukraine, which has become more corrupt since 2014 — and much more impoverished (apart from Jewish oligarchs) — is ready to become a paragon of virtue in 2018 by following the diktat of the ziocon-dominated US oligarchy? The ziocon policies have generated a few millions of dead civilians of all ages in the Middle East (don’t you like pictures of bags filled with the shredded children, courtesy US/NATO liberating bombing?) How many deaths your virtuous Ukrainian army (led by local neo-Nazis) is planning to generate among former Ukrainians in order to emulate the ziocon Master?
    The US Congress is sending lethal weaponry to Ukraine. Mind that neither medicine nor food have been sent to Ukraine by the US. There are no money allotted by the US Congress to support the pensioners and children in the impoverished Ukraine. But weaponry to slaughter more civilians in pro-federalist eastern regions – yes, yes!
    This is what your ziocon masters had not allowed Ukrainians to create in 2014, by using the CIA assets in Kiev:
    “A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a central (federal) government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation
    — Ukraine is used as a patsy. If you believe that the US cares about ordinary Ukrainians you need to see a doctor.

  492. If you weren’t nuts, you’d have figured out your second paragraph is non sequitur.

  493. “that’s an observation, not a condemnation “
    No, it’s neither. It was a judgment.

    “it’s has been lied about ever since, by apologists for the monsters”
    So you’re clear, that’s your opinion of Solzhenitsyn?

    Scrawl a few thousand more words. Knock yourself out.

  494. German_reader says

    North of 1/3 of the population of the West Bank and Gaza will tell you that Israel must disappear and about 2/3 will tell you that Israel must accept for settlement every 2d cousin to every UNRWA dole recipient who shows up at the door (“right of return”).

    You admittedly do have a point about this, I’d never claim the Palestinian side is blameless, maximalist demands like a “return” of the descendants of those expelled in 1948 to pre-1967 Israel (which Israel will never accept, for understandable reasons) and the influence of radical Islamist groups like Hamas certainly are serious obstacles to negotiations.
    Can’t agree about the rest, and still believe the contradictions between Israel’s supposed status as a Western-style democracy and some of its policies will eventually become too extreme to ignore and have negative consequences even for Israel’s relationship with the US.
    Don’t have anything else to add on the issue, so I’m going to end my involvement in this discussion.

  495. Sergey Krieger says

    The irony is that you do not understand the difference between 2014 and 2017. Basically you for observer it is you have no clue what you are talking about. You plainly have no background and brain power to challenge Andrei.

  496. the nefarious influence of Jews in Norway, all 1,500 of ‘em

    Perhaps 1,500 is already too many.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186466
    Norwegians hold the most anti-Semitic beliefs of all citizens in Nordic countries – warns the president of the Jewish community in Norway, Ervin Kohn. According to him, the level of anti-Semitism is growing and in many schools throughout the country, being called “Jew” has become nothing short of a curse. “Along with the well-known curses, ‘Jew’ has become a dirty word common in many schools,” he said.

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/234239/norway-constitution-ban-on-jews
    In actual fact, the paragraph that banned Jews from Norway simply extended the powers of a law from 1687—when the then king had declared that no Jews could come to live in the country without royal approval.

  497. 1,500 only and already warranting analysis of their influence in media and promoting interests of Jewish community possibly to detriment of the majority.

    Jews in the News – Representations of Judaism and the Jewish Minority in the Norwegian Contemporary Press
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15348423.2015.1131039?journalCode=hjmr20
    This article provides an analysis of how Jewish rituals and Jews as a minority group are represented and debated in the Norwegian press: How is “news about the Jews” framed by the media? Which discourses dominate the debates? Are notions of what it “takes to be Norwegian” put forward in these cases? The article is also an analysis of Jewish voices in the press, and based on the fact that Jewish advocates refer to minority-based legal rights suggests that the Jewish minority benefits from the use of a broader international human rights discussion in the press. I claim that a multicultural discourse provides the Jewish minority with language that makes it possible to argue for cultural rights without referring to Jewishness; offering protection against a general fear of anti-Semitism.

  498. Go ahead and keep digging.

  499. (apart from Jewish oligarchs) —

    A grand total of 0.13% of the population.

  500. These views are shared by hundreds of Americans with democracy-neutralizing positions. Absolutely nowhere near close to “millions.” The Iraq debacle was massively unpopular in polls and much more unpopular in truth. Trump is a response to Bush, not Obama. When I was in the sand much better servicemen than I shared the opinion that this was complete BS. Everyone agreed to keep their head down and get what they could out of it because in real life there is no rousing speech that leads to taking over the battleship and blasting the lions on the opera house steps. Compare the “Facebook Mutiny” against Syrian action. America is more complicated than German media lets you know.

  501. Now, back to his contention, which was that the Iran-Iraq War was some kind of U.S. initiative.

    No. That is not what I said. I said we “encouraged and supported” Iraq in the war with Iran. Andrei Martyanov above has adequately supported this point.

  502. So says one of the dumbest posters here.

  503. Mind that neither medicine nor food have been sent to Ukraine by the US

    Medicine has been sent, and Ukraine is one of the world’s major food exporters.

  504. I think the response from the rest of the world would be the real problem, and that’s the real reason why Russia hasn’t done it.

    I think the real reason Russia didn’t do it (and won’t) was simply strategic rationale. Russia accomplished what it needed during the events of 2014 by taking Crimea, similarly to how they took South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, only with significantly better execution. That is to say, they occupied relatively small territories populated by people who welcomed them overwhelmingly and unambiguously with open arms. This was a veto by arms of any intention to join NATO, since their verbal red lines were not considered by the Americans.

    The Kremlin isn’t run by hotheaded nationalists dreaming of restoring the triune nation, or whatever other fantasy, but by cold-headed, and cold-hearted, pragmatists. The whole Donbass affair is nothing but a thorn in the side of the Russian government. They didn’t support the initial uprising and would’ve been happy to see the whole thing crushed quickly. Russia only became involved when Russian public opinion left them no other choice.

  505. I should also add what may be a long term consideration as well. The Americans can come and go, but Russians and Ukrainians will be neighbors forever. As such, the more Ukrainians killed by Russians, the longer any reconciliation will take.

  506. It looks like rather than stationing their military in forward positions vs. a possible Russian attack, Ukraine, has put lot of troops in Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kiev and Odessa.

    Which suggests Kiev is more worried about popular insurrections than the Russian bogeyman.

  507. Initially the Ukrainian troops were stationed in the western parts of the country, because that’s how it was arranged in the USSR, and they simply inherited it and didn’t change the disposition of forces in the years since. They merely reduced the number of soldiers and let the equipment rot – in other words, it was worse than the Yeltsin era in Russia.

    Now over the past few years they started moving their troops to the east, so it looks like the way you can see it on the map.

    By the way against a full blown Russian invasion it might be better to station the troops in the interior, that way it might be more difficult to destroy them before Russian troops start moving into the country.

  508. Not really. Dnipropetrovsk is pretty loyal, and there will be no pro-Russian uprising in Kiev. Kharkiv would be the most likely to rebel, but it doesn’t have a lot of troops n it.

    Putting a lot of troops on the border in forward positions is probably a bad idea in case of attack; they could be easily surrounded and eliminated (it is what happened to Poland during World War II). As reiner tor noted, Ukraine has shifted its soldiers from the western border to the eastern areas.

  509. Beefcake the Mighty says

    Or the Soviets in WW2…

  510. “Rubbish. No iteration of Israel’s borders is affected by this.”
    — My, my, what an indignation! Could you provide the readers with a map of Israel where its borders are firmly determined?
    “The current borders of the State of Israel are the result both of war and of diplomatic agreements… Some borders are internationally recognized while others are disputed…. As of 2002, the borders with Syria and Palestinian National Authority were still in dispute.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borders_of_Israel
    Moreover, Israel has become “less and less democratic with regard to the rights of its Jewish population. For reasons of demography, the Israeli body politic is increasingly dominated by Haredi Jews on the one hand, and secular nationalists, many of whose families emigrated from Russia, on the other. Neither group demonstrates any intrinsic interest in liberal political niceties like free speech, minority political rights or civil liberties.
    The trend was already evident when the government passed a bill that makes any initiator of a boycott, whether consumer, academic or cultural, liable to be sued in civil court for damages by anyone who feels impacted by the boycott. A boycott is a fundamental right of free speech.” https://forward.com/opinion/israel/147521/israel-turning-into-theocracy/

  511. Sure. The major Q is, for how long? https://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/12/what-theyre-not-telling-you-about-monsantos-role-ukraine
    “Make no mistake that what is happening in the Ukraine now is deeply tied to the interests of Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, and other big players in the poison food game. Monsanto has an office in Ukraine. While this does not shout ‘culpability’ from every corner, it is no different than the US military’s habit to place bases in places that they want to gain political control. The opening of this office coincided with land grabs with loans from the IMF and World Bank to one of the world’s most hated corporations – all in support of their biotech takeover.
    Previously, there was a ban on private sector land ownership in the country – but it was lifted ‘just in time’ for Monsanto to have its way with the Ukraine. In fact, a bit of political maneuvering by the IMF gave the Ukraine a $17 billion loan – but only if they would open up to biotech farming and the selling of Monsanto’s poison crops and chemicals – destroying a farmland that is one of the most pristine in all of Europe.”

    This Monsanto: ” In the past year [2016], Monsanto has been hit with multiple lawsuits, including those filed on behalf of more than 800 people who have been diagnosed (or whose family members have been diagnosed) with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Monsanto’s Roundup.”

  512. “…the more Ukrainians killed by Russians, the longer any reconciliation will take.” — This is a song for the ziocons’ ears. At the same time, the weaker the relationships between two brotherly states, Russia and Ukraine, the sooner Poland and Hungary begin demanding a return of their sovereign territories that were grabbed by the Soviet Union during formation of the modern state of Ukraine. Considering the ongoing neo-Nazi phantasmagoria in Kiev and L’viv — good riddance!

  513. – My, my, what an indignation! Could you provide the readers with a map of Israel where its borders are firmly determined?/i>

    His contention was that moving the embassy to Jerusalem forecloses options re a hypothetically renegotiated border. It does no such thing. This isn’t that difficult.

    For reasons of demography, the Israeli body politic is increasingly dominated by Haredi Jews on the one hand, and secular nationalists, many of whose families emigrated from Russia, on the other. Neither group demonstrates any intrinsic interest in liberal political niceties like free speech, minority political rights or civil liberties.

    Neither dominate Israel’s body politic and Israel’s public policy is, if anything, more libertarian than it was 50 years ago.

  514. Hey RC,

    I get this – people get puzzled by it a lot from practicing Muslims. Generally*, Muslims are taught not to extend a greeting that is associated with a religious holiday of a differing tradition (doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Divali, Wiccan Equinox, etc.). It’s not trying to be mean or whatever, but extending a greeting that is specific to that religious custom (such as the statement “Merry Christmas”) can be seen as an endorsement of such – so my teachers have taught us to extend greetings to be neighborly, but in a way that is universal to our relationship as human beings; wishing someone well, wishing them joy or blessings, etc. during their time of celebration. This is a fairly good explanation of the multiple important things Muslims have to keep in mind when approaching this subject:
    https://youtu.be/-HfNZOeyoUw?t=1m36s

    This hits home because my Swedish mother-in-law (God bless her) isn’t really a Christian, but still celebrates in the Swedish way where they emphasize Christmas Eve the most. I always call her and ask her how she is doing, hope she is having a good time, wish her well, etc. because maintaining family ties is a major part of our religion.

    Some people understandably get offended by this, but we can’t really help that. I actually don’t mind much when others don’t send us Ramadan greetings. In fact, I’m much more afraid of Ramadan (or Hajj) losing its religious significance and becoming a secular, multi-culti holiday (and corporate earnings bonanza) like Christmas that even atheists celebrate (like my childhood friend’s family) than I am with anything else.

    Peace.

    *Note: There is a difference of opinion on this – and certain scholars have stated that it is OK, depending on one’s intention (but I haven’t seen this ruling take sway in large numbers). So, like most rulings, there simply isn’t one stance.

  515. “…one of the dumbest posters…”
    Is this a voice from Ukrainian Kaganat of Nuland? Same elegance of expression as in the neo-Nazi Rada.

  516. Actually, the change in opinion was brought on by opening of all channels of communication. Once Russians perceived the colors western media was painting them in, there was very little that had to be done by their media machine.