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Forum Post: stepehn cohen says shame on Obama

Posted 1 month ago on Feb. 23, 2014, 8:28 a.m. EST by flip (4954)
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AMY GOODMAN:

To talk more about the latest in Ukraine, we’re joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War, is now out in paperback. His latest piece in The Nation is called "Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine."

So, talk about the latest, Professor Cohen.

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you want me to begin? I mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind. That’s what I’m telling my grandchildren: Watch this. What’s happening there, let’s take the big picture, then we can go to the small picture. The big picture is, people are dying in the streets every day. The number 50 is certainly too few. They’re still finding bodies. Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it’s two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable reports that the anti-government forces in the streets—and there are some very nasty people among them—are seizing weapons in western Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil war.

And the longer-term outcome may be—and I want to emphasize this, because nobody in the United States seems to want to pay attention to it—the outcome may be the construction, the emergence of a new Cold War divide between West and East, not this time, as it was for our generation, in faraway Berlin, but right on the borders of Russia, right through the heart of Slavic civilization. And if that happens, if that’s the new Cold War divide, it’s permanent instability and permanent potential for real war for decades to come. That’s what’s at stake.

One last point, also something that nobody in this country wants to talk about: The Western authorities, who bear some responsibility for what’s happened, and who therefore also have blood on their hands, are taking no responsibility. They’re uttering utterly banal statements, which, because of their vacuous nature, are encouraging and rationalizing the people in Ukraine who are throwing Molotov cocktails, now have weapons, are shooting at police. We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause, but it’s being condoned by the European Union and Washington as events unfold.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And when you say the Western countries who bear some responsibility, in what sense do they bear responsibility? I mean, clearly, there’s been an effort by the United States and Europe ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union to pull the former Soviet states into their economic sphere, but is that what you’re talking about?

STEPHEN COHEN: I mean that. I mean that Moscow—look at it through Moscow’s eyes. Since the Clinton administration in the 1990s, the U.S.-led West has been on a steady march toward post-Soviet Russia, began with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s under Clinton. Bush then further expanded NATO all the way to Russia’s borders. Then came the funding of what are euphemistically called NGOs, but they are political action groups, funded by the West, operating inside Russia. Then came the decision to build missile defense installations along Russia’s borders, allegedly against Iran, a country which has neither nuclear weapons nor any missiles to deliver them with. Then comes American military outpost in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which led to the war of 2008, and now the West is at the gates of Ukraine. So, that’s the picture as Moscow sees it. And it’s rational. It’s reasonable. It’s hard to deny.

But as for the immediate crisis, let’s ask ourselves this: Who precipitated this crisis? The American media says it was Putin and the very bad, though democratically elected, president of Ukraine, Yanukovych. But it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November to the democratically elected president of a profoundly divided country, Ukraine, "You must choose between Europe and Russia." That was an ultimatum to Yanukovych. Remember—wasn’t reported here—at that moment, what did the much-despised Putin say? He said, "Why? Why does Ukraine have to choose? We are prepared to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse, along with you, the West. Let’s make it a tripartite package to Ukraine." And it was rejected in Washington and in Brussels. That precipitated the protests in the streets.

And since then, the dynamic that any of us who have ever witnessed these kinds of struggles in the streets unfolded, as extremists have taken control of the movement from the so-called moderate Ukrainian leaders. I mean, the moderate Ukrainian leaders, with whom the Western foreign ministers are traveling to Kiev to talk, they’ve lost control of the situation. By the way, people ask—excuse me—is it a revolution? Is it a revolution? A much abused word, but one sign of a revolution is the first victims of revolution are the moderates. And then it becomes a struggle between the extreme forces on either side. And that’s what we’re witnessing. AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to President Obama. He’s in Mexico for the big Mexico-Canada-U.S. summit talking about Ukraine.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With regard to Ukraine, along with our European partners, we will continue to engage all sides. And we continue to stress to President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government that they have the primary responsibility to prevent the kind of terrible violence that we’ve seen, to withdraw riot police, to work with the opposition to restore security and human dignity, and move the country forward. And this includes progress towards a multi-party, technical government that can work with the international community on a support package and adopt reforms necessary for free and fair elections next year. Ukrainians are a proud and resilient people who have overcome extraordinary challenges in their history, and that’s a pride and strength that I hope they draw on now.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s President Obama in Mexico, Professor Cohen.

STEPHEN COHEN: What are you asking me to comment on?

AMY GOODMAN: Your response to his response.

STEPHEN COHEN: To what he just said? Shame. Shame. He is saying that the responsibility for restoring peace is on the Ukrainian government, and it should withdraw its security forces from the streets. But let me ask you, if in Washington people throwing Molotov cocktails are marching on Congress—and these people are headed for the Ukrainian Congress—if these people have barricaded entrance to the White House and are throwing rocks at the White House security guard, would President Obama withdraw his security forces? This is—this is—and do you know what this does? And let’s escape partisanship here. I mean, lives are at stake. This incites, these kinds of statement that Obama made. It rationalizes what the killers in the streets are doing. It gives them Western license, because he’s not saying to the people in the streets, "Stop this, stop shooting policemen, stop attacking government buildings, sit down and talk." And the guy you had on just before, a so-called moderate leader, what did he just tell you? "We have lost control of the situation." That’s what I just told you. He just confirmed that.

So what Obama needs to say is, "We deplore what the people in the streets are doing when they attack the police, the law enforcement official. And we also don’t like the people who are writing on buildings 'Jews live here,'" because these forces, these quasi-fascist forces—let’s address this issue, because the last time I was on your broadcast, you found some guy somewhere who said there was none of this there. All right. What percent are the quasi-fascists of the opposition? Let’s say they’re 5 percent. I think they’re more, but let’s give them the break, 5 percent. But we know from history that when the moderates lose control of the situation, they don’t know what to do. The country descends in chaos. Five percent of a population that’s tough, resolute, ruthless, armed, well funded, and knows what it wants, can make history. We’ve seen it through Europe. We’ve seen it through Asia. This is reality. And where Washington and Brussels are on this issue, they won’t step up and take the responsibility.

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34 Comments


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[-] 3 points by nazihunter (603) 2 days ago

So, you want Obama to defend the people you call Nazis? You're a very confused person. I knew you were a damned Nazi. There's a coup d’état in your alleged mind. Hah!

[-] -2 points by flip (4954) 2 days ago

I knew it - you can't really read well - explains a lot. go back and read - then think. I know it will hurt but try. hey there are Nazis in the news - in this country - when is your flight

[-] 3 points by nazihunter (603) 1 day ago

I can be, but it has to be something worth reading, lol! I was just baiting you. You're not providing clarity to this issue, that I can tell. If the people in the street are the nazis, who are the russian separatists the government wants to crack down on? If they crack down on the nazis, aren't they making it easy for the russian separatists? I wouldn't say it was the us, the eu, or russia so much as their leader who lived more lavish than 10 billionaires put together.while people can't find a job worth shit. Because a guy thinks 5% are nazis, he wants the government to crack down? grapes can't figure you out either. lol! I'll give you the MBA answer: Do nothing. See? Why can't you do that?

[-] 0 points by flip (4954) 1 day ago

i am sure you are not well informed on Ukraine so i would like to help you here - you probably read too much mainstream elite media - you can get all of this easily since you have a good education - note that you seem to be defending those who say -"We, Ukraine, will not be governed by Negroes, Jews or Russians..............." STEPHEN COHEN: Who precipitated this crisis? It was the European Union, in this sense. It gave the Ukrainian government, which, by the way, is a democratically elected government—if you overthrow this government, just like they overthrew Morsi in Egypt, you’re dealing a serious blow to democracy. So if the crowd manages to essentially carry out a coup d’état from the streets, that’s what democracy is not about. But here’s what the European Union did back in November. It told the government of Ukraine, "If you want to sign an economic relationship with us, you cannot sign one with Russia." Why not? Putin has said, "Why don’t the three of us have an arrangement? We’ll help Ukraine. The West will help Ukraine." The chancellor of Germany, Merkel, at first thought that was a good idea, but she backed down for various political reasons. So, essentially, Ukraine was given an ultimatum: sign the EU economic agreement or else.

Now, what was that agreement? It would have been an economic catastrophe for Ukraine. I’m not talking about the intellectuals or the people who are well placed, about ordinary Ukrainians. The Ukrainian economy is on the brink of a meltdown. It needed billions of dollars. What did the European Union offer them? The same austerity policies that are ravaging Europe, and nothing more—$600 million. It needed billions and billions.

There’s one other thing. If you read the protocols of the European offer to Ukraine, which has been interpreted in the West as just about civilizational change, escaping Russia, economics, democracy, there is a big clause on military cooperation. In effect, by signing this, Ukraine would have had to abide by NATO’s military policies. What would that mean? That would mean drawing a new Cold War line, which used to be in Berlin, right through the heart of Slavic civilization, on Russia’s borders. So that’s where we’re at to now.

One other point: These right-wing people, whom Anton thinks are not significant, all reports—and I don’t know when he was in Ukraine, maybe it was long ago and things have gone—but the reports that are coming out of Ukraine are the following. One, the moderates—that’s the former heavyweight champion boxer, Vitali Klitschko, and others—have lost control of the street. They’ve asked the people who have been attacking the police with Molotov cocktails, and to vacate the buildings they’ve occupied, to stop. And the street will not stop, partly because—I’d say largely because—the street in Kiev is now controlled by these right-wing extremists. And that extremism has spread to western Ukraine, where these people are occupying government buildings. So, in fact, you have a political civil war underway.

What is the face of these people, this right wing? A, they hate Europe as much as they hate Russia. Their official statement is: Europe is homosexuals, Jews and the decay of the Ukrainian state. They want nothing to do with Europe. They want nothing to do with Russia. I’m talking about this—it’s not a fringe, but this very right-wing thing. What does their political activity include? It includes writing on buildings in western Ukraine, "Jews live here." That’s exactly what the Nazis wrote on the homes of Jews when they occupied Ukraine. A priest who represents part of the political movement in western Ukraine—Putin quoted this, but it doesn’t make it false. It doesn’t make it false; it’s been verified. A western Ukrainian priest said, "We, Ukraine, will not be governed by Negroes, Jews or Russians." So, these people have now come to the fore.

The first victims of any revolution—I don’t know if this is a revolution, but the first victims of any revolution are the moderates. And the moderates have lost control of what they created, helped by the European Union and the American government back in November. And so, now anything is possible, including two Ukraines........................ AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the famous leaked tape right now. The top State Department official has apologized to her European counterparts after she was caught cursing the European Union, the EU, in a leaked audio recording that was posted to YouTube. The recording captured an intercepted phone conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe. Nuland expresses frustration over Europe’s response to the political crisis in Ukraine, using frank terms.

VICTORIA NULAND: So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it. And, you know, [bleep] the EU.

AMY GOODMAN: While Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s comment about the EU dominated the news headlines because she used a curse, there were several other very interesting parts of her conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

GEOFFREY PYATT: Let me work on Klitschko, and if you can just keep—I think we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. Then the other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we can probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

VICTORIA NULAND: So, on that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s come back to me VFR saying, "You need Biden?" And I said, "Probably tomorrow for an attaboy and to get the deets to stick." So Biden’s willing.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt, speaking with Victoria Nuland. The significance of what she is saying? She also had gone to Ukraine and was feeding protesters on the front line.

STEPHEN COHEN: Cookies, cookies. Well, here again, the American political media establishment, including the right and the left and the center—because they’re all complicit in this nonsense—focused on the too sensational, they thought, aspect of that leaked conversation. She said, "F— the European Union," and everybody said, "Oh, my god! She said the word." The other thing was, who leaked it? "Oh, it was the Russians. Those dirty Russians leaked this conversation." But the significance is what you just played. What are they doing? The highest-ranking State Department official, who presumably represents the Obama administration, and the American ambassador in Kiev are, to put it in blunt terms, plotting a coup d’état against the elected president of Ukraine.

Now, that said, Amy, Juan, you may say to me—neither of you would, but hypothetically—"That’s a good thing. We don’t like—we don’t care if he was elected democratically. He’s a rat. He’s corrupt." And he is all those things. He is. "Let’s depose him. That’s what the United States should do. Then the United States should stand up and say, ’That’s what we do: We get rid of bad guys. We assassinate them, and we overthrow them.’" But in Washington and in Brussels, they lie: They’re talking about democracy now. They’re not talking about democracy now; they’re talking about a coup now.

[-] 3 points by nazihunter (603) 1 day ago

Sure, I think I got what I heard on 60 minutes, or something. I wouldn't disagree that we are the great agitators. It's like both sides saying we won the Cold War. I agree with this Cohen guy to the extent it's all shenanigans.

[-] -1 points by flip (4954) 1 day ago

wow, thanks - we had a reasonable back and forth. thanks again - cohen is probably the most knowledgeable Russia/soviet commentator in mainstream media - he doesn't get much play but he is still in the elite circles. he is saying the wrong thing on Ukraine so we don't hear him much. very dangerous situation in Ukraine and the real Nazis are in power. I sent you some reports - this is very much in the news in germany and the eu. I hope we can agree on this - Nazis are not to be tolerated

[-] 3 points by nazihunter (603) 20 hours ago

We agree on something? Who would'a thought! No way. I can't agree with you. It would give me a bad rap. If I'm wrong, you shouldn't agree with me. You should straighten me out so I learn something new. Like Chump, you tried, like the other players didn't exist. They did. They do. And they are MUCH WORSE in every area. How about that lovely conservative court that just decided by them little selves that a billionaire-purchased-puppet-government is just fine? Shit! They're not even trying to hide it! At this point, pal, I'd rather they did because it's like they're just saying right out, 'Hey American people, Fuck you!.' Tough to ignore that one, dontcha think? Yet, you consistently take issue with the liberals. That has right wing written all over it. It has 'just throw some mud in the water with long belabored diatribes that go all over the map. The lobbies that just multiplied by the thousands while Nixon was in office. But, I take him on and you move to Reagan. Belabor, mislead, throw mud. Right wing, right wing, right wing. You want to get rid of the duopoly. Vote one of them into extinction. Your choice is the left. I don't even have to wonder what would happen if that were the case. Reagan, Dick and Bush. That is the huge chasm that exists between us; I'm concerned with being right. Your concerned with winning your argument.

[-] -3 points by flip (4954) 2 hours ago

you are concerned with being right but you have no idea what I am concerned with since you haven't asked. you have assumed and you know what felix unger says about that. I do not like liberals - not much anyway. this is a radical website and I am a radical (anarchist also probably anarcho syndicalist but it really doesn't matter since we are so far from any of that now). do you know what the term radical means? Clinton and Obama are not liberals - not in the sense of the liberals of the 50's and 60's. the dnc strategy has been to move just to the left of the gop to win elections - that was after the Reagan and bush victories. so now you have the party of the center right business party and the far right business party. I do not like kennedy or his ruling elite government. I do not agree with oliver stones theory of kennedy the hero going to get us out of Vietnam and end the cold war. obvious nonsense. pretty clear from the documentary record that the kennedy admin wanted to crush the godless commies. poor khrushchev got run over in the process - tried to unilaterally disarm. he did not understand the true vicious nature of the u.s. government. also do not believe that Oswald killed him just so you don't assume the opposite.

[-] 2 points by nazihunter (603) 19 minutes ago

I assume? really? I can see what you are by your own writing. Oh, no, no, no! No assuming. Sometimes the geniuses like you need an outside assessment, you know, the narcissists who can never admit they are, uh, WRONG! You come full-circle often, and then try to rationalize, just like you're doing just above here. Whether you accept what I'm telling you is to your own undoing. You're a right-winger, a Nazi. Your winded tripe is littered with lying insults about the left, but they seem to be absent to the right. Why is that? Then you call me partisan. Really????. Yes, you are radical, and irrational, and light-minded. And the liberals scare you? Really?????? Let me tell you one thing of which I have no doubt whatsoever; If you were in charge of anything, good or bad, you'd be a complete failure. I don't mean to be insulting.. Just give school a try. Self-educated by Chumpsky is not working for you. A good therapist, and oh yes, lots of medication. Hell! What am I saying? Nobody would ever put you in charge of anything, Hah Hah Hah! Crazy right?

[-] 3 points by grapes (2599) 1 month ago

Ukrainians exercising their freedom of speech and assembly were brutally suppressed by Yanukovych's regime. Trying to hold the regime accountable makes sense.

Ukraine needs stabilization now. The U.S. should work with the EU and Russia to shore up Ukraine.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

to maintain freedom of speech

[-] 0 points by flip (4954) 1 month ago

free speech? the u.s. and the EU and Russia - I don't think you read the piece carefully. did you miss this part - "Who precipitated this crisis? It was the European Union, in this sense. It gave the Ukrainian government, which, by the way, is a democratically elected government—if you overthrow this government, just like they overthrew Morsi in Egypt, you’re dealing a serious blow to democracy. So if the crowd manages to essentially carry out a coup d’état from the streets, that’s what democracy is not about. But here’s what the European Union did back in November. It told the government of Ukraine, "If you want to sign an economic relationship with us, you cannot sign one with Russia." Why not? Putin has said, "Why don’t the three of us have an arrangement? We’ll help Ukraine. The West will help Ukraine." The chancellor of Germany, Merkel, at first thought that was a good idea, but she backed down for various political reasons. So, essentially, Ukraine was given an ultimatum: sign the EU economic agreement or else.......................................or this part - "There’s one other thing. If you read the protocols of the European offer to Ukraine, which has been interpreted in the West as just about civilizational change, escaping Russia, economics, democracy, there is a big clause on military cooperation. In effect, by signing this, Ukraine would have had to abide by NATO’s military policies. What would that mean? That would mean drawing a new Cold War line, which used to be in Berlin, right through the heart of Slavic civilization, on Russia’s borders. So that’s where we’re at to now.....................or this part - "the street in Kiev is now controlled by these right-wing extremists. And that extremism has spread to western Ukraine, where these people are occupying government buildings. So, in fact, you have a political civil war underway.

What is the face of these people, this right wing? A, they hate Europe as much as they hate Russia. Their official statement is: Europe is homosexuals, Jews and the decay of the Ukrainian state. They want nothing to do with Europe. They want nothing to do with Russia. I’m talking about this—it’s not a fringe, but this very right-wing thing. What does their political activity include? It includes writing on buildings in western Ukraine, "Jews live here." That’s exactly what the Nazis wrote on the homes of Jews when they occupied Ukraine. A priest who represents part of the political movement in western Ukraine—Putin quoted this, but it doesn’t make it false. It doesn’t make it false; it’s been verified. A western Ukrainian priest said, "We, Ukraine, will not be governed by Negroes, Jews or Russians." So, these people have now come to the fore.

[-] 3 points by grapes (2599) 1 month ago

Do you remember that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that money is free speech? The Supreme Court of the defunct Soviets would have certainly understood that Molotov cocktails promote free speech. It is Breakthrough Democracy for Breakthrough Rules. Both Yanukovych and Morsi were accused of acting as dictators.

In recent years, Germany has had many dithering episodes on international interventions so I am not surprised. Yanukovych had supposedly promised snap elections that would not be coming, breaking his promise. In any case, sniping the protestors violated human rights. I also vaguely remember Russia raising the price of natural gas supplied to Ukraine greatly.

Although the risk of Ukraine becoming anti-Jews exists, it is a bit premature. We have a similar problem here in the U.S. such as hanging the Confederacy flag prominently in public or corporate spaces. It intimidates certain type of people so the acts are repugnant but as long as our Star-Spangled Banner flies, it shall reign supreme over the Confederacy flag. Security is really a state of mind.

[-] -1 points by flip (4954) 1 month ago

all true but is that a response to what I wrote - don't think so. EU dithering - they created this crisis. and who was sniping - big question no? the fascists started it no? I am sure it is not a black and white situation but seems clear who bears most of the blame. no??

[-] 2 points by grapes (2599) 1 month ago

I do not have to regurgitate everything that you wrote as a response to you. I am aware that the EU got its finger in the pudding mix stirring up unnecessary troubles but the EU can produce any offer it likes whether reasonable or not - it is entirely up to Ukraine to decide whether it was acceptable or not.

There were photographs of police snipers on the roofs. The demonstrators were unlikely the first ones to open fire because the regime had the big guns. The police was overwhelmed by the sheer number of demonstrators and resorted to using lethal force. The police made a big mistake because the demonstrators were not toothless as this is UKRAINE, the great arms exporter, after all.

You probably heard of the wiretap that Putin had put out regarding the candid F-word moment uttered by a U.S. diplomat but you should know well that the U.S., in spite of what other countries may think, does not always control the strings of the EU, nor Ukraine, nor the alleged fascists, nor Ukraine's police snipers, nor Ukraine's demonstrators.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

USA offers to cover 35 billion Ukraine needs over the next few years to rebuild/structure.

Damn nice - wouldn't you say - as the USA is totally fucked economically at this point in time - HEY ?

[-] 0 points by grapes (2599) 1 month ago

There are some really rich people in the U.S. It is hoi polloi who are totally mashed at this point in time. Our near-money production capacity is still intact. Oh, why didn't anyone protest against Russia's spying on U.S. diplomatic communications?

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

U miss the point - again - and - consistently. If the USA has 35 billion to send out in aid to the Ukraine - where the HELL IS THE USA's AID FOR USA CITIZENS???

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 month ago

35*10^9/316,148,990 = $110 per US citizen

[-] 1 points by grapes (2599) 3 days ago

Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, Direct student loans, SNAP (Food Stamps), Social Security Old Age and Survivors benefits, Social Security Disability benefits, unemployment insurance, etc. Very few U.S. citizens are not either helped directly or have an immediate relative who has had these aids from the U.S. The U.S. spends far more at home than abroad although you may argue reasonably that our defense budget for overseas deployments can be interpreted as a form of foreign aid as well.

[-] -1 points by flip (4954) 1 month ago

no you don't need to regurgitate anything - I was writing a response to what you wrote and it did not seem that you were doing the same. as to your point about anti Semitism in Ukraine - do you know the history there? lots of video of the violence there - your opinion of who is in the wrong is just that - your opinion. here is cohen from jan 30 .....................-STEPHEN COHEN: One, the moderates—that’s the former heavyweight champion boxer, Vitali Klitschko, and others—have lost control of the street. They’ve asked the people who have been attacking the police with Molotov cocktails, and to vacate the buildings they’ve occupied, to stop. And the street will not stop, partly because—I’d say largely because—the street in Kiev is now controlled by these right-wing extremists....................Many young thugs in the street are trying to kill policemen. They’re throwing Molotov cocktails at them. They’re beating them up. Now, the police are brutal also. But name me one democratic country that would allow mobs to attack policemen in the street of a capital city and not crack down? And, in fact, the Ukrainian police haven’t cracked down..................................................................................your comment on putin and wiretapping makes the point all the more correct - "shame on Obama" - once again!

[-] 1 points by grapes (2599) 3 days ago

In any revolution, many people lose control, including many revolutionaries. The French Revolution has some examples. It was said that the first casualty of war is the Truth so we must have peace first before we are blinded by the fog of war. The really ironic tragedy is that to have peace we must establish justice first which is usually only available in many countries through war and war kills peace. The only way out of the vicious circle is to have limited lukewarm war within a powerful and fearless judicial system. Unfortunately, the judicial system can only be powerful and fearless only if it has control of the "sword of justice." Ukraine is too close to Russia for it to get that without struggles. Most sovereign countries have bloody histories of their founding so it is akin to childbirth.

[-] -2 points by flip (4954) 3 days ago

boy that was a lot of nothing. the truth is pretty obvious if you want to look. yes the hard core fascist took over the street and have led this protest to the point of destruction. real Nazis are in control of Ukraine and we have the eu and the west to blame. save the rest of your non answer for the campaign trail because that is all it is good for - lots of words without saying much.

[-] 1 points by grapes (2599) 1 day ago

Who are the "real Nazis" in control of Ukraine? Ukraine suffers from the insufficient control of its restive East. Russia's threatening troop mobilization certainly contributed to the instability there. It may well blow up very badly for everybody in Russia's neighborhood. Russia is NOT living up to its own promise of preserving Ukraine's territorial integrity. Meddling with Ukraine's upcoming election and its political stability will likely blow back at Putin and probably Russia in the long run.

[-] -1 points by flip (4954) 1 day ago

haven't you read the news lately - oh, maybe elite media doesn't want to talk about Nazis in Ukraine - these are the Nazis I was talking about -"Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis. Stepan Bandera and the Legacy of World War II

By George Eliason

Global Research, March 17, 2014 EU politicians that supported the Maidan Revolution are voicing concerns bordering on fear about how much control Ultra Nationalists have over the government in Kiev. Chancellor Merkel’s government is telling her she can no longer afford to ignore the Ultra Nationalists in Ukraine. They are scared Germany will be responsible for setting up a new Reich. It’s time to strip away the rest of the veneer and take a look at what’s really there.

Forget about the Nazi symbolism, and ultra-nationalist exuberance. I will even grant supporters of the current government that much.

Every important ministry, from education and social policy to policing, prosecution and national defense, is headed by Ultra Nationalists. In every aspect of national life, Ultra Nationalists now determine what it means to be Ukrainian and all the policies needed to enforce it.

Even Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk falls among this moderate majority. For generations his own family has had a proud tradition of service to the Ultra- Nationalist cause and has won awards for their service. Before Maidan it hurt his chances for election. After Maidan he didn’t need to worry about election.

What is Scary

In an OpEd in the LA Times, entitled “Ukraine’s Threat from Within,” Director of the School of International Relations at USC Robert English very concisely warns that “the way Ukrainian Ultra Nationalists whitewash Bandera history, which is their past, makes the present and future all that much more scary.”

The Banderas, or Banderites, are activists in the Ukrainian Ultra Nationalist movement that is now in control of the government in Ukraine. Under the militant leadership of Stepan Bandera in World War II, the ultra-nationalists organized the Ukrainian Waffen SS Galician, Nichtengall, and Roland Divisions that collaborated with the Nazis and were responsible for the genocide of over 500,000 people. Following the war, however, Ukrainian Nazis were the only group to escape trial at Nuremburg for crimes against humanity. Moreover, neither the Banderas, the Ukrainian Waffen SS, nor any other Ukrainian collaborators have ever apologized for their participation in genocide.

In the landmark work on the subject , Genocide Committed by Ukrainian Nationalists on the Polish Population During World War II, Ryszard Szawlowski characterizes it this way:

“…the Germans have long admitted to their crimes, and have apologized for them publicly …. [The] president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Roman Herzog, [said] in his speech in Warsaw on August 1, 1994 … ‘I bow before the fighters of the Warsaw Uprising, and before all the Polish war victims. I beg forgiveness for what the Germans did.’ Russian president Boris Yeltsin, when he kissed monsignor Zdzislaw Peszkowski on the hand, whispered the words ‘I apologize’ ….

“Ukrainian genocide committed against the Poles during World War II surpassed German and Soviet genocide …. [It] was marked by the utmost ruthlessness and barbarity, and … up until the present day, it has been denied or, at best, presented with reminders that all is “relative’ or other such evasions.” ................................ STEPHEN COHEN:What is the face of these people, this right wing? A, they hate Europe as much as they hate Russia. Their official statement is: Europe is homosexuals, Jews and the decay of the Ukrainian state. They want nothing to do with Europe. They want nothing to do with Russia. I’m talking about this—it’s not a fringe, but this very right-wing thing. What does their political activity include? It includes writing on buildings in western Ukraine, "Jews live here." That’s exactly what the Nazis wrote on the homes of Jews when they occupied Ukraine. A priest who represents part of the political movement in western Ukraine—Putin quoted this, but it doesn’t make it false. It doesn’t make it false; it’s been verified. A western Ukrainian priest said, "We, Ukraine, will not be governed by Negroes, Jews or Russians." So, these people have now come to the fore.

[-] 0 points by grapes (2599) 10 hours ago

Ukraine and its neighborhood have running through them many fault lines between past empires, ethnicities, resettlements, annexations, genocides, and reconstitutions. Shall we sum it up as "sordid history"? There is no denying that by any reasonable person.

We CANNOT really change historical facts (although there ARE countries and peoples actively rewriting histories) in the past but we can create a better future based partly on learning of our sordid histories. Ukraine was not tried at Nuremberg probably because of its being a part of the victorious Soviet Union. That set a bad example for posterity but Ukraine was not the only country.

Let us quote Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" without burning this joint to ashes.

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[-] 0 points by grapes (2599) 9 hours ago

Are you including my country, the U.S., as a Britain's colony although we had fought to escape Britain's control?

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[-] -3 points by flip (4954) 2 hours ago

very true what you say about the mess of Ukraine. not sure if this question about Britain is for me but I would say the American "revolution" was more of a coup than a revolution. exchanging one wealthy ruling class for another. now the French revolution was a REVOLUTION!

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1250) from Milwaukee, WI 10 hours ago

Read a very interesting comment yesterday. Someone from Crimea said the real issue is retirement.Who offers the better deal for seniors in these places?

[-] -1 points by flip (4954) 2 hours ago

and I heard a report that the standard of living is higher in Russia and they want theirs higher also. not surprising that economic issues are high on the list. there is also this historical issue with Nazis and what they did to Russia - if you read about ww2 and the eastern front you will be horrified

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[-] -1 points by diodorus (14) from Bronx, NY 1 month ago

President Obama, like his predecessors is clearly pursuing a provocative foreign policy in Eastern Europe that will lead to "permanent instability and permanent potential for real war" which is exactly what neoliberalism benefit$ from. I do not believe that it was not a coincidence that the crisis in Ukraine coincided with the Sochi Olympics either

[-] 1 points by flip (4954) 1 month ago

these fools are still playing "the great game" and we are the pawns. I was skiing in aspen over last week and so was ms Obama - last year she was a guest of the owners of aspen ski company - the crown family here is a piece from an article entitled "The Crown family: investing in weapons, war ...and Obama

By NicolasDavies - Posted on 01 May 2012 General Dynamics, Henry and Lester Crown

One family stands out as playing exactly that role in the political career of Barack Obama: the Crown family of Chicago. The importance of this relationship in Obama’s career exposes some of the roots of his subservience to the government of Israel, his threats of aggression against Iran, his expansion of the JSOC/CIA targeted killing program, and his unswerving commitment to record military budgets in a time of economic and fiscal crisis.

The Crowns are the children and grandchildren of Henry Crown, who made a fortune in the building materials business, had reputed links to the Chicago Mafia, and discovered the armaments business as a military procurement officer during the Second World War. Henry Crown bought a controlling interest in General Dynamics in 1959 and developed it into the largest weapons maker in the world, building the Trident submarine, the Atlas rocket, the F-16 fighter, the Abrams tank and much of America’s Cold War arsenal. The General Dynamics board forced him out as CEO in 1966, but he bought back a 20 percent share in the company and regained effective control in 1970.

Henry’s son Lester succeeded him as chair of General Dynamics in 1986 and as president of Henry Crown & Co, the family’s private investment firm. Lester is 86 now, but still takes a keen interest in politics. He is chair of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and founded the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, which also received a $2.5 million grant directly from General Dynamics. He supports the arts in the U.S. and Israel—the Jewish Symphony Orchestra plays in Henry Crown Hall in Jerusalem. The Crown family is worth at least $4 billion, making it one of the richest families in America.

Under Lester Crown’s watchful eye, his children now handle most of the family’s business and political interests. His son James became President of Henry Crown & Co. in 2003 and sits on the board of General Dynamics. Altogether the Crown family gave at least $128,000 to Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign, in which Henry Crown & Co. was also Obama’s third largest institutional donor. In 2008, James Crown and his wife Paula were Obama’s fundraising chairs in Illinois and his fourth largest “bundlers” nationwide, raising millions of dollars for his presidential campaign.

[-] -1 points by diodorus (14) from Bronx, NY 1 month ago

That was really interesting. President Obama's ties with the Crown family and the MIC are disgusting. If I were you though I would never go back to that ski slope. Welcome home.

[-] 1 points by flip (4954) 1 month ago

I hear you but I will continue to ski there - it is the best place to ski. it is a pretty interesting place - for a fun read check out hunter Thompson's "freak power in the rockies" - he ran fro sheriff of aspen in 76 and lost by 6 votes (if I remember correctly) - I still have the poster from his campaign. the platform was to change the name of aspen to "fat city" - rip up the streets and plant sod and punish only unscrupulous drug dealers using public stocks