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Tommy_Carcetti

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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 21,990

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One year ago today, Victor Yanukovych began packing his valuables in preparation of leaving Ukraine.

He wouldn't actual leave--via his own personal fleet of helicopters--until the early morning hours of February 22nd. Only after he left did the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) vote to remove him for dereliction of duty.

But it was the three day time period that is so fascinating. Within that window, there was the deaths of several dozen protesters at Maidan on February 20th, the circumstances still somewhat controversial and unclear. Then there was an EU brokered deal signed on the evening of February 21st that would have given Yanukovych the authority to remain in office until early elections could be held.

The fact that these events preceded Yanukovych's ultimate departure but not his preparations to depart cast serious doubts on any claims that either of those events served as a tipping point to the ultimate change in regime.

And the relative ease and length of time in which Yanukovych had to pack up his considerable treasure (three days) casts even more doubts on the claim that Yanukovych was running due to a imminent threat to his safety, which some use as the basis that Yanukovych was removed as a result of a "coup" perpetrated by individuals not clearly identified by proponents of that theory.

Surveillance video from Yanukovych's mansion beginning from February 19th and running up until the early morning of February 22nd shows the large amount of oil paintings, antique valuables and other items being loaded up into moving vans. More video captures Yanukovych's fleet of helicopters flying off, with the former president ultimately ending up in Russia.

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A good read about Yanukovych's preparations can be found here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/03/12/what-did-yanukovych-take-with-him-as-he-fled-his-mansion-paintings-guns-and-a-small-dog-according-to-new-video/

The three day time period--and the proper order of events--are very important to keep in mind when analyzing the events leading up to the regime change in Ukraine one year ago.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Feb 19, 2015, 09:15 AM (15 replies)

I do think the US has/had favored and disfavored players in Ukraine.

I.e. people they would prefer to deal with and people they would prefer not to deal with. And that came out in some of the State Department communications.

However, that said, I do not think they played any active role in changing the regime. I think the US was very encouraged by Maidan because Yanukovych was not a favored player and the hope was that a break from him would be for the better. (Undoubtedly a risky proposition that has not always played out well for us.) But Maidan ultimately succeeded not because the US intervened in it, but rather because of Yanukovych's own efforts to suppress it. And the more Yanukovych pushed, the protesters on Maidan pushed back, to the point where Yanukovych determined he didn't want to be Ceausescu'ed, that he was still a very wealthy man and could live very nicely as a private citizen somewhere else (somewhere else being Russia.) So he literally packed up his bags and left.

But yes, I will admit as far as I think the US had people it would prefer to be running the show, specifically folks who would represent a break from the old oligarch line that you seen in Russia and towards a much more western oriented governing approach. And that's why I think Yatsenyuk struck such a chord with the US. Because while he's by no means your common everyday man off the street, he's likewise not the old oligarch guard, either. He's fairly young, flies regular commercial airlines (as opposed to private jets), stands in line with the commoners to vote, has advocated for financial and governmental oversight, and clearly struck a chord with the people on Maidan still without making himself out to be an ultra-nationalistic firebrand. So it's a no-brainer that he became a favored figure that the US wanted to see rise to the top in Ukraine. Now, what some people mistake as the US State Department "hand picking" Yatsenyuk based on the infamous Nuland-Pratt phone call really didn't amount to anything closely as nefarious. It's best analogy would be that of fantasy football fans picking their rosters to lead their fantasy (read: not real) teams. They simply had no ability to actually pick the Ukrainian government for them, no matter how much some people think.

Interestingly enough, while Yatsenyuk did end up as prime minister, the man who was elected President--Petro Poroshenko--represents something closer to the old guard in terms of Ukrainian government. He is, after all, an oligarch with a lot of wealthy assets. That being said, he has pledged reforms, but it's too early to tell how far he'll go through on them. But you can also say the fact that Ukrainians chose to replace one oligarch (Yanukovych) with another (Poroshenko) runs contrary to the argument that the US was deeply involved in picking Ukraine's leaders, since such a subtle change would arguably not be worth all the trouble.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Feb 10, 2015, 09:51 AM (1 replies)

Think about the stupidest conservative you personally know, like a family member or Facebook friend.

You know, the one who's always forwarding or posting the fake news stories and quotes that are easily debunked within a minute's internet search. The one who has a fetish about the military but has never served a day in his or her life. The one who constantly talks about what "the founding fathers" want. The one who constantly posts pictures of the American flag, or guns, or guns in front of the American Flag. The one who professes to be an expert in communism, socialism, fascism, capitalism, etc., but hasn't picked up a history or political science book in decades, if at all.

Perhaps they like to quote the guy from "Duck Dynasty" as if he were Confucius. Or maybe they'll say something about blacks or Hispanics or Muslims that comes off just a tad bit racist. Or, hell, really racist for that matter. And then they'll explain it away with some sort of self-serving statement about not being beholden to "political correctness."

Then imagine that your stupid Facebook friend/family member was at one time a nominee on a major political party ticket for the second most powerful position in the nation, and just a heartbeat away from being the most powerful person in the country and possibly the world.


I'm guessing your idiot Facebook friend would look something like this:




Because, face it. When you boil it down, that's all who Sarah Palin is. She's your idiot Facebook friend who has absolutely no clue how stupid he or she sounds, and will never, ever shut the hell up.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Mon Jan 26, 2015, 05:15 PM (61 replies)

Have you ever felt unfairly judged by another person?

I have, at least once in my life.

It was years ago, at a summer job at a swimming pool. My boss there I still consider one of the worst human beings I've ever had to deal with in my entire life (and I usually like people and believe most people are good at heart). She was constantly attempting to make herself look like the "cool", "edgy" boss in front of her employees. You know, the whole, "I'm not your boss, I'm your buddy" schtick. But she had a seriously passive aggressive mean streak, and she had her favorite employees, and her not-so-favorite employees.

For whatever reason (I still to this day don't know why), I was one of her not-so-favorites. She would constantly criticize and nit pick everything I did. She would demand I enforce the most nonsensical rules at the pool. She once told me that my relationship with my then-girlfriend (now wife) was doomed to fail. Another time she told me that I was not smart enough to get a scholarship into graduate school (which I ultimately did). She accused me of omitting information on my job application (even though I had kept a hard copy of the application and was able to show her that I did not omit anything.) She scheduled me for long shifts on days that I had specifically asked off far in advance.

This grew worse and worse over the summer, until one morning when I arrived before my shift began. Except Boss Lady decided I wasn't sufficiently early enough, and she chewed me out and threatened to fire me if I wasn't sufficiently early for my shift again. It was the last straw, and I was sick of it. I was so upset and frustrated, but I didn't want to show it to her face to make me look bad, to let her know that she had gotten to me. So I went into the bathroom behind her office, went into a stall, and let out a scream. Just to get that frustration of having been abused emotionally and verbally off my chest.

I came back out feeling a little better. Except Boss Lady then came up to me and said she had heard me yell. And that she wondered if I was on drugs, because "that's how people on drugs act." And that was it. I had enough of her shit. I put in my notice of resignation that day.

So why am I posting this and dredging up old bad memories?

I'm posting this because I'm a white male, and what happened to me summers ago with that horrible boss at that pool was the exception, not the rule. But seeing how things went down in Ferguson last week, and how they've gone down for the decades before that, that this is how life is like for many African Americans in this country. They are constantly being put down, constantly being told they are less than, constantly being told they are failures. And when the last straw breaks and they dare get just a little out of line, those who have provoked and prejudged them can then jump up and say, "See! I told you so! They are violent!" And it's just such a frustrating, vicious cycle.

I had that feeling one day in my life. I can't even imagine having to wake up and feel that way day after day after day.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Dec 2, 2014, 10:09 AM (73 replies)

It makes me wanna holler and throw up both my hands.




Oh, make me want to holler
And throw up both my hands
Yea, it makes me want to holler
And throw up both my hands
Crime is increasing
Trigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God know where we're heading
Oh, make me want to holler
They don't understand
Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah
Mother, mother
Everybody thinks we're wrong
Who are they to judge us
Simply cause we wear our hair long


Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Mon Nov 24, 2014, 10:37 PM (3 replies)

Kissinger's position (and by extension, Parry's) is completely non-sensical.

Basically, he's saying Putin had no burning motivation to go into Crimea because......because......I don't know.

The fact is that Putin did go into Crimea, and he went into Crimea unprovoked, without any attack on Russian interests or even imminent threat of attack on Russian interests. No, the timeline to go in was not completely of his choosing, but his invasion of Crimea was a "now or never" moment for Putin and he carped the diem out of it.

Contrary to what some might think, Putin did not start the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine. Nor is there any indication that he was behind Yanukovych cracking down on the protests, thus escalating them in their intensity. Euromaidan was indeed a legitimate protest started by Ukrainians about issues concerning Ukrainians. It was not Russia nor the US who caused them to happen.

But they did happen. And it also happened that events came to a head at the same time the Olympics were being held several hundred miles away in Sochi, Russia. At that point, however, the crisis in Ukraine was essentially an internal matter. Even when Yanukovych packed up and left the country--leaving Ukrainians to scramble to put together an interim government until elections could be held--it was still more or less an internal Ukrainian matter.

But because there was something of a power vacuum in that immediate time period after Yanukovych choppered out, and because the Ukrainian military at that point was in such powerless shape to fight back any type of invasion, Putin knew he had an unbelievably unparalleled chance to claim Crimea for Mother Russia without a bloody fight. So literally days after Yanukovych had fled, he moved in. And there was little that the severely weakened Ukrainian government could do other than to verbally denounce the invasion.

Had Russia invaded Crimea at a time where the Ukrainian government was far better equipped to respond, it wouldn't have been the bloodless takeover that it was.

So Kissinger wishes to minimize Putin's actions over Crimea. And Parry wishes to minimize Putin's actions over Crimea. This puts Parry in a bit of a spot, given that he made his name eons ago by reporting on subversive neo-conservative machinations in Iran Contra, and yet Kissinger is essentially the archetype for modern day neo-conservatives.

So embarrassingly, they are on the same page, and this is Parry's attempt at damage control by trying to frame it as if this is some sort of isolated moment of clarity for Kissinger while in fact this is Kissinger being Kissinger, always apologizing for the ruthless strongman. Even worse for Parry is that it's not as much Parry repeating what Kissinger's said just recently, but Kissinger embracing what Parry's already said long before.

From Parry's column dated August 18th of this year:

http://www.rogerannis.com/robert-parry-the-powerful-group-think-on-ukraine/

As the crisis deepened early this year, Putin was focused on the Sochi Winter Olympics, particularly the threat of terrorist attacks on the games. No evidence has been presented that Putin was secretly trying to foment the Ukraine crisis. Indeed, all the evidence is that Putin was trying to protect the status quo, support the elected president and avert a worse crisis.


There was no Russian “invasion,” as the New York Times and other mainstream U.S. news outlets claimed. The Russian troops were already in Crimea assigned to Russia’s historic naval base at Sebastopol. Putin agreed to Crimea’s annexation partly out of fear that the naval base would otherwise fall into NATO’s hands and pose a strategic threat to Russia.


Congratulations, Robert Parry. You've now become material for Henry Kissinger to use as talking points.

To famously quote another R. Parry, "Oops."
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Fri Nov 14, 2014, 09:29 AM (2 replies)

Why President Yanukovych fled Ukraine--by Ukrainian journalist JV Koshiw

An excellent blog piece by Ukrainian journalist JV Koshiw giving a blow-by-blow analysis on former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukoych's last days in power in Ukraine in February 2014. This pretty much throws cold water on a lot of the conspiracy theories out there claiming that Yanukovych was deposed by a US backed "coup" and that the West is somehow to blame for the current crisis in Ukraine. A very good read.

__________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.jvkoshiw.com/#!Why-President-Yanukovych-fled-Ukraine/ck8a/F4D49016-F69F-45D6-AE4A-027C10E02B79


Why President Yanukovych fled Ukraine

April 23, 2014

On February 22, 2014, President Viktor Yanukovych left the president’s post vacant. But why? Wasn’t his presidency safe? The day before he had signed an agreement with the opposition, witnessed by three EU foreign ministers, that would have kept him as president until December 2014.

This analysis argues that Yanukovych decided to flee from the capital three days earlier, on February 19, after failing to wipe out the opposition with the "Operation Boomerang" police action. On that day he ordered his staff to begin packing his valuables. For the next three days, his property was placed into removal vans; once the process was over, early in the morning of February 22, he left.

Other explanations of why he abandoned his post do not reflect what actually happened. For example, Christian Neef in Yanukovych's Fall: The Power of Ukraine's Billionaires, Der Spiegel, February 25, 2014, credits the oligarchs Rinat Akhmetov and Dmytro Firtash with causing Yanukovych’s downfall, arguing that their supporters in parliament, 60 and 30 MPs respectively, voted with the opposition on February 20 to topple Yanukovych by removing his ability to use “anti-terrorist” actions against the protesters.

However, voting figures from that day show that very few of Akhmetov’s or Firtash’s MPs were present. As a matter of fact only 35 out of 205 MPs from the Party of Regions were in parliament to vote against Yanukovych.

Neither can the official opposition or Western diplomats be seen as the reason behind his departure, given that both sides had signed a document ensuring that he would remain president until the next election.

The facts on the ground also belie the repeated claims by President Putin and his minions that Yanukovych was toppled by a coup.

What happened was that Yanukovych removed himself from the president’s office after failing to exterminate the opposition with force. He literally gave up.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Much more at link.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 12:52 PM (8 replies)

Even when Parry's not completely wrong, he still comes off as the huge hypocrite that he is.

He focuses strictly on the Azov battalion--one of several private militias currently operating in Ukraine independently of the command of Ukraine's army and national guard. And indeed there does seem to be a strong neo-Nazi ideology amongst members of this group. It is undoubtedly disturbing.

However, Parry being Parry, he makes several mistakes fatal to whatever he wants his ultimate point to be. First, he conflates the actions of private militias with those of the Ukrainian government. These are not Ukrainian government troops, period. That they may be conducting their own operations in the same theater does not mean they should be considered one and the same. Secondly, he seems to assume all the private militias are comprised with people with the same neo-Nazi type sentiments as you might find in Azov. You can't just assume--as Parry does--that all these militias are fighting under this mindset. And Azov's a relatively small force--only a few hundred fighters or so, many of whom aren't trained or equipped nearly as well as the regular army, so whatever ultimate impact they may have on the battlefield isn't exactly very clear.

Essentially, Asov's taken the bogeyman role on the pro-Russian side that Right Sector and Svoboda used to have before the presidential election revealed them to have very little public support amongst Ukrainians. The pro-Russian side (and Parry is, without a doubt, very pro-Russian) needs someone to point to so they can mark the Ukrainians and their government as neo-Nazi, or fascist, so to give a clear narrative that the people fighting them are fighting against fascism.

And that's where Parry's gross hypocrisy in this piece comes into play. He criticizes the "western media" for creating a "white hat vs. black hat" narrative with the Ukrainians and their government as the good guys and the separatists and the Russian government as the bad guys.

But that's exactly what he's been doing all along, since February, except in reverse. He's always painted the Ukrainian government in the most unflattering of tones. See how he's insisted--without any evidence whatsoever--that what happened in February was a "coup", and a U.S. backed one at that. He framed the May 2nd mob violence in Odessa as some sort of modern day pogrom massacre of pro-Russian "anti-fascists" by Ukrainian "neo-Nazis" even though even a cursory look at the days events reveal it to be a much more complicated situation than that with both sides at fault.

He's never said a good thing about the Ukrainian government, and hasn't seemed to say anything bad about the separatists or the Russian government, which makes his agenda very questionable.

The truth is, yes, there are neo-Nazis living in Ukraine. There are also neo-Nazis and fascists living in Russia (see Aleksandr Dugin) and neo-Nazis and fascists fighting amongst the seperatists, but Parry won't have any of that. The sad thing is, neo-Nazis are just an unfortunate fact of life just about everywhere.

Parry's supporters insist he is still the principled "investigative journalist" of decades back, but the cold, hard truth is he researches little and reports nothing beyond what his agenda supports. For example, someone so seemingly obsessed with neo-Nazis and fascists in Ukraine would probably take note of the fact that Pavel Gubarev, the "people's governor" of Donetsk, was a proud member of Russian National Unity, a fascist/neo-Nazi paramilitary organization, and Gubarev to this date appears to be very proud of the association. But that runs contrary to Parry's own narrative. So the only mention Parry has ever made of Gubarev merely makes him out to have been some sort of political prisoner of the Ukrainian government:

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/04/the-age-of-the-oligarchs/

For the people who just looooove to quote Robert Parry because of what he did 30 years ago:

Robert Parry is not being honest with you. Robert Parry is a disingenuous, hypocritical hack. Still.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Mon Sep 8, 2014, 11:54 AM (0 replies)

Regarding all the claims that the West is to blame for the current situation in Ukraine:

(Note: I posted this in response to another thread, but given that there are several threads currently on DU all claiming the same premise--that Russia is not to blame for the current crisis in Ukraine, I figure it's best just to post a thread of my own)

So Maidan happens. We all see it on television. It's massively huge, clearly far more than just a few western agent provocateurs out there. And we know they have a legitimate gripe about Yanukovych's corruption. And we also know that many of them are not to pleased about Yanukovych cuddling up to a man who's gone on record as claiming that Ukraine doesn't exist as a country. So there's real--not imaginary--anger there.

Laws are enacted against protests. Protests don't stop. Protesters get beaten. Protests don't stop. Protesters get shot. Protests don't stop.

Finally, Yanukovych realizes he's not a very popular man, but he's still a very wealthy man, and he can still live a very comfortable life somewhere else (such as Russia). So he sends moving trucks to his house, gathers up all the antique vases and oil paintings he can possibly fit, and choppers out of Ukraine in his fleet of helicopters and into Russia.

Yankovych out, interim government in, elections scheduled for May. Boom. Regime change.

At this point, Putin's still been pretty much a side player throughout it all. Nothing more than a few phone calls with Yanukovych, probably just offering him the sanctuary in Russia that he ultimately accepted.

Putin's got a choice to make. He could recognize that Ukraine is its own country, that Ukraine is not part of Russia, that he cannot control what happens in Ukraine, and no matter how much he wants Ukraine to be part of a Russian trade partnership, the Ukrainians just don't want that to happen.

He could:

A: Dust off his hands and walk away at this point. In that case, Ukrainian elections are held in May. The entire country gets to vote. There's probably some residual grumbling between east and west, but the country likely slowly begins to heal and try and get back to normal. Maybe it joins the EU. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe Crimea holds a real legitimate vote as had been scheduled and decides it wants to be independent. Maybe it wants to remain part of Ukraine. And that's pretty much it.

OR.....

B: Putin can realize how weak the Ukrainian government is just having gone through a revolution, how weak the Ukrainian military is after decades of waste and corruption, and then size up Ukraine and all the parts of it he's long seen as being "historically Russian." Starting with Crimea. Which already has Russian troops stationed at the naval bases there, meaning it's an easy in against token opposition.

Guess what choice Putin makes?

Yup. Choice B. He sends his men into Crimea sans insignia, hastily schedules a sham plebiscite asking Crimeans to be annexed into Russia, announces a laughably unbelievable yes result, and takes in Crimea. And then announces retroactively that he's invaded Crimea.

But wait, there's more.

He then sends in FSB guys like Girkin and Borodai into Luhansk and Donetsk, where they meet up with local nutcases like Gubarev and Pushilin. Government buildings in various towns are seized by armed force, checkpoints are erected around the cities, there's all sorts of kidnapping and murdering and mayhem. "Volunteers" come across the Russian border. Weaponry--lots and lots and lots of it--comes across the Russian border. An even more laughably sham plebecite with an even more laughably unbelievable yes result is undertaken. Meanwhile, these separatists prevent any citizens under their control from voting in the May presidential elections.

The Ukrainian government waits about a month to see if these separatists will simply walk away. Of course, they don't. The government launches an operation to uproot them. It's not the prettiest or most well-thought out of operations. Still, by July the Ukrainians have gained the upper hand. Then MH17 is shot out of the sky, all logical signs point to the separatists as the culprits, and whatever remaining public support for the separatists that had remains all but vanishes. So it looks like Ukraine may finally be on the way to stability and some semblance of normality might be around the corner.

But wait, there's more.

In about a two week time period, the situation in Eastern Ukraine does a near 180. Towns and areas retaken by the Ukrainian government fall back into separatist hands. All of this so coincidentally happens when there's a huge spike in reports of border crossings by the Russian military. And you now have reports of the Ukrainian army facing off against Crimea-ish insignia-less troops, extremely well armed and extremely well-trained, far more than what they had seen before. All the while, Putin's talking about how Ukrainians and Russians are the same people, about statehood for "Novorossiya", about how he could take Kyiv in two weeks if he wanted, really inflammatory stuff.

All of this--I mean, all of this--is Putin's handiwork. All of this rests on Putin's shoulders. Whatever talk there was about Nuland's cookies or her phone calls is so far removed from the current situation, and so incredibly insignificant to the situation that we are faced with today. To argue anything else would be to insult the intelligence of thinking people everywhere.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Sep 4, 2014, 03:03 PM (15 replies)

After reading Parry's piece again, I'm even more astonished how idiotic it is.

So Maidan happens. We all see it on television. It's massively huge, clearly far more than just a few western agent provocateurs out there. And we know they have a legitimate gripe about Yanukovych's corruption. And we also know that many of them are not to pleased about Yanukovych cuddling up to a man who's gone on record as claiming that Ukraine doesn't exist as a country. So there's real--not imaginary--anger there.

Protesters get beaten. Protests don't stop. Protesters get shot. Protests don't stop.

Finally, Yanukovych realizes he's not a very popular man, but he's still a very wealthy man, and he can still live a very comfortable life somewhere else (such as Russia). So he sends moving trucks to his house, gathers up all the antique vases and oil paintings he can possibly fit, and choppers out of Ukraine in his fleet of helicopters and into Russia.

Yankovych out, interim government in, elections scheduled for May. Boom. Regime change.

At this point, Putin's still been pretty much a side player throughout it all. Nothing more than a few phone calls with Yanukovych, probably just offering him the sanctuary in Russia that he ultimately accepted.

Putin's got a choice to make. He could recognize that Ukraine is its own country, that Ukraine is not part of Russia, that he cannot control what happens in Ukraine, and no matter how much he wants Ukraine to be part of a Russian trade partnership, the Ukrainians just don't want that to happen.

He could:

A: Dust off his hands and walk away at this point. In that case, Ukrainian elections are held in May. The entire country gets to vote. There's probably some residual grumbling between east and west, but the country likely slowly begins to heal and try and get back to normal. Maybe it joins the EU. Maybe it doesn't. Maybe Crimea holds a real legitimate vote as had been scheduled and decides it wants to be independent. Maybe it wants to remain part of Ukraine. And that's pretty much it.

OR.....

B: Putin can realize how weak the Ukrainian government is just having gone through a revolution, how weak the Ukrainian military is after decades of waste and corruption, and then size up Ukraine and all the parts of it he's long seen as being "historically Russian." Starting with Crimea. Which already has Russian troops stationed at the naval bases there, meaning it's an easy in against token opposition.

Guess what choice Putin makes?

Yup. Choice B. He sends his men into Crimea sans insignia, hastily schedules a sham plebiscite asking Crimeans to be annexed into Russia, announces a laughably unbelievable yes result, and takes in Russia. And then announces retroactively that he's invaded Crimea.

But wait, there's more.

He then sends in FSB guys like Girkin and Borodai into Luhansk and Donetsk, where they meet up with local nutcases like Gubarev and Pushilin. Government buildings in various towns are seized by armed force, checkpoints are erected around the cities, there's all sorts of kidnapping and murdering and mayhem. "Volunteers" come across the Russian border. Weaponry--lots and lots and lots of it--comes across the Russian border. An even more laughably sham plebecite with an even more laughably unbelievable yes result is undertaken. Meanwhile, these separatists prevent any citizens under their control from voting in the May presidential elections.

The Ukrainian government waits about a month to see if these separatists will simply walk away. Of course, they don't. The government launches an operation to uproot them. It's not the prettiest or most well-thought out of operations. Still, by July the Ukrainians have gained the upper hand. Then MH17 is shot out of the sky, all logical signs point to the separatists as the culprits, and whatever remaining public support for the separatists that had remains all but vanishes. So it looks like Ukraine may finally be on the way to stability and some semblance of normality might be around the corner.

But wait, there's more.

In about a two week time period, the situation in Eastern Ukraine does a near 180. Towns and areas retaken by the Ukrainian government fall back into separatist hands. All of this so coincidentally happens when there's a huge spike in reports of border crossings by the Russian military. And you now have reports of the Ukrainian army facing off against Crimea-ish insignia-less troops, extremely well armed and extremely well-trained, far more than what they had seen before. All the while, Putin's talking about how Ukrainians and Russians are the same people, about statehood for "Novorossiya", about how he could take Kyiv in two weeks if he wanted, really inflammatory stuff.

All of this--I mean, all of this--is Putin's handiwork. All of this rests on Putin's shoulders. Whatever talk there was about Nuland's cookies or her phone calls is so far removed from the current situation, and so incredibly insignificant to the situation that we are faced with today. To argue anything else would be to insult the intelligence of thinking people everywhere.

But that is just what Parry has chosen to do here.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Sep 3, 2014, 12:24 PM (2 replies)
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