Cassandra

Now that Putin has officially invaded Eastern Ukraine (as I predicted weeks ago), the main line of impotent American pundits is that “it isn’t clear” where the Russians will stop.

Nothing teaches these losers. Putin is not planning to stop. He wants global dominance. And he wants the entire territory of Ukraine to be part of Russian Federation.

I totally feel like Cassandra.

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Stupid Invaders

The Russian terrorists who invaded Ukraine should keep their mouths shut if they want to maintain the pretense that they are pro-Russian Ukrainians. I just watched several videos where these “Ukrainians” use slang that is incomprehensible to anyone not from St. Petersburg or speak in very distinctly Moscow accents.

A bunch of brainless idiots.

Foreign Policy

A friend who met Romney in person says he wouldn’t have been any better than Obama on foreign policy because he doesn’t even know where Ukraine is located. Barely recognizes the country’s name, and two years ago had no idea it bordered Russia.

McCain, on the other hand, she says, is very knowledgeable about the region, follows all of the developments, etcetera.

Military Option

Everybody keeps asking, “But why doesn’t Ukraine deploy troops already and beat back the Russian invaders and provocateurs?”

The Acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov said today that finally troops will be deployed in a full-scale anti-terrorist operation.

Of course, the second a single Russian soldier appears with a bloody nose, Russia will invade openly and joyously. There is no chance Ukraine will win a full-scale war with the largest country in the world.

When 14 years ago Russians “elected” a KGB agent as their president, that was the time to ask what was going on with the supposedly democratic Russia. When Russia rigged elections in Ukraine, poisoned Ukrainian politicians, bombed Georgia – that was the time to start doing something.

Better yet, back in 1990 there should have been an ultimatum: no assistance, no trade agreements, no humanitarian aid, no discussion until the Communist Party goes on trial, its leaders get prison sentences, KGB is proscribed and everybody who worked for it testifies publicly about their crimes.

Instead, the Communist leaders and the KGB were allowed to remain in power. How shocking that after taking two seconds to regroup, they continued doing exactly what they were always doing.

Lenin wrote that any lie, any form of pretense in the relationship with the capitalist world was justified, even pretending that you are a democrat and capitalist, even making the pretense last for years and decades. The Westerners are so dumb, he wrote, that they will believe any lie you tell them.

A Possibility

There is, of course, a possibility that the US is letting the USSR be reborn and Cold War re-initiated because it isn’t doing well without a concrete, single, well-defined enemy.

The Arab world is very unconvincing in the role of Enemy #1. The USSR was obviously much more helpful as THE mortal foe. Weak national identities (like the American, the Russian, the Israeli, and others) require a clearly defined, obvious enemy in order to continue existing. The Enemy motivates, holds together, and provides a reason or an excuse for pretty much anything.

After Spain’s dictator Franco died, the former dissidents popularized the saying, “Against Franco we lived better.” Is what we are witnessing now a case of the US leadership quietly agreeing that “Against the USSR everything worked out better?”

Ridiculously Bad Reporting on Ukraine

NPR should just go kill itself against a wall. They are misinforming people in the most egregious manner imaginable:

More than a dozen armed men have seized a police station in the city of Sloviansk, near Ukraine’s border with Russia. The pro-Russian group is one of several that have seized public government buildings in the past week. 

This is not a “pro-Russian” group. These are soldiers of the Russian army who have crossed the border. It takes all of 3 minutes of Googling to find this information.

The article goes on to call the Russian soldiers “separatists.” It takes all of 20 seconds of Googling to find the correct definitions of words “separatist” and “soldier”, but who cares about language when you can just dash off a piece, get paid, and forget all about it?

God, I hate these, lazy-brained, stupid, self-contented and ignorant excuses for journalists. I don’t even want to remember how many news articles I swallowed, believing journalists were responsible professionals and knew what they were doing. I now question everything I ever heard or read by mainstream journalists.

I’m very upset right now, and I guess the best thing to do is just step away from the news stream.

 

The Second Stage of the Invasion Begins

Russian troops have entered the small Ukrainian town of Sloviansk and, acting in the same manner as they had in the Crimea, occupied the city:

The city administration of Slovyansk has been captured by an army reconnaissance group of up to 30 people, who came to the city following a forced march. The soldiers’ uniforms and shoes were extremely dirty. These soldiers acted as a coherent military unit, they were armed with machine guns with grenade launchers of the kind not used by Ukrainian  police. This must mean that these weapons couldn’t have been captured by them somewhere in Ukraine and had to be brought in from someplace else. (Translation is mine, the original is here plus photos.)

Putin  is being very kind to Obama and orders the soldiers not to wear the insignia of the Russian army. This allows everybody to pretend that there has been no invasion, no Russian troops are present on Ukrainian territory, everything is peachy, and there is no issue to be addressed. “But if the people of the Donbass region want to vote to become part of Russia, then why shouldn’t they?” we will soon hear.

The mayor of Sloviansk is, of course, a former Communist Party apparatchik and is joyfully welcoming the invasion. It only makes sense for her to want to live in a country ruled by a KGB officer. At the link, you can see the photo of this nasty animal.

Putin, in the meanwhile, is still very kind to Obama and doesn’t call what is happening “a Cold War.”

The whole thing is getting beyond pathetic. And please don’t ask me what should be done now. After Putin was allowed to annex the Crimea just because he felt like it, it’s a little bit too late to ask this question. All we can do is get our heads out of our asses and simply accept that the USSR is back and the Cold War is back. naming the problem is the very first step towards solving it.

From Judt on Fascist Rhetoric

Folks, I know everybody hates long quotes, but this one from Tony Judt is too good not to be shared. Judt explains how Fascist rhetoric seemlessly transformed itself into the ultra-progressive one:

Intellectuals, journalists and teachers who before and during the war had espoused Fascist or ultra-reactionary sentiments had good reason after 1945 vociferously to affirm their new-found credentials as progressives or radicals (or else retreat into temporary or lasting obscurity). Since most parties and journals of a Fascist or even ultra-conservative persuasion were in any case now banned (except in the Iberian Peninsula, where the opposite was true), public expressions of political allegiance were confined to the center and left of the spectrum. Right-wing thought and opinion in Europe had been eclipsed. But although the content of public writing and performance was spectacularly metamorphosed by the fall of Hitler, Mussolini and their followers, the tone stayed much the same. The apocalyptic urgency of the Fascists; their call for violent, ‘definitive’ solutions, as though genuine change necessarily led through root-and-branch destruction; the distaste for the compromise and ‘hypocrisy’ of liberal democracy and the enthusiasm for Manichean choices (all or nothing, revolution or decadence): these impulses could serve the far Left equally well and after 1945 they did so.

I’ve only read a quarter of this long book but I enjoy it beyond what I can tell you.

Tony Judt on Austria

As promised, here are some excerpts from Tony Judt’s great book on how Austria managed to avoid taking responsibility for Nazism:

Indeed, so widespread was the view that ultimate blame for the horrors of World War Two must fall on German shoulders alone that even Austria was held exempt. Under an Allied agreement of 1943, Austria had been officially declared Hitler’s ‘first victim’ and was thus assured different treatment from Germany at the war’s end. This appealed to Winston Churchill’s insistence on the Prussian origins of Nazism, a view driven by his generation’s obsession with the emergence of the Prussian threat to European stability in the course of the last third of the nineteenth century. But it also suited the other Allies—Austria’s pivotal geographical position and the uncertainty over central Europe’s political future made it seem prudent to detach her fate from that of Germany.

Before reading this book, I never even wondered what the situation was in Austria in terms of support for Nazism. I guess, this means that the post-war propaganda worked on me. I had no idea about the following, for instance:

Austrians had been disproportionately represented in the SS and in concentration camp administrations. Austrian public life and high culture were saturated with Nazi sympathizers—45 out of 117 members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra were Nazis (whereas the Berlin Philharmonic had just 8 Nazi Party members out of 110 musicians).

As a result, Austria engaged in collective forgetfulness:

Austrians simply forgot about their involvement with Hitler altogether. One reason for the ease with which Austria emerged from its dalliance with Nazism is that it suited all local interests to adjust the recent past to their advantage: the conservative People’s Party, heir to the pre-war Christian Social Party, had every reason to burnish its own and Austria’s ‘un-German’ credentials so as to divert attention from the corporatist regime they had imposed by force in 1934.

When efforts were made to engage in extensive de-Nazification policies in Germany, Austria fell through the cracks:

The Americans in particular. . . immediately initiated a programme of re-education and denazification in their zone, whose objective was to abolish the Nazi Party, tear up its roots and plant the seeds of democracy and liberty in German public life. The US Army in Germany was accompanied by a host of psychologists and other specialists, whose assigned task was to discover just why the Germans had strayed so far. The British undertook similar projects, though with greater skepticism and fewer resources.

I don’t even have much to say here because all this is very new to me. Now it will be interesting to see how these divergent post-Nazi paths impacted Germany and Austria in their further development.

Stay tuned!