Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More short news items, a few comments and a quote by Felix Derzhinsky

Elections in Russia: the turnout was good, the result a crushing victory for Putin's party.  There is exactly zero signs of a "Russian Maidan".  The popularity of Putin is as high as ever and much, much higher than the popularity of any western leader.  The Putin-bashers everywhere have clearly failed to even have a marginal impact.

Fall session of the Duma: all the party leaders spoke and all agree that harboring any hopes for sane relations with the West is a waste of time; the consensus is now that Russia must 1) turn to the rest of the planet 2) accept the challenge to deal with a hostile and aggressive West 3) use this opportunity to disengage Russian from the western political, economic and financial system.

Banderastan: the Ukie and EU Parilaments signed an association agreement with great pomp, standing ovations and backslapping.  Truly a historical moment indeed: the EU and Ukieland will now go to the bottom together.  Great - they truly deserve each other.  The amazing, paradoxical and, frankly, funny thing is that neither side can afford this partnership and that both the EU and Ukieland will suffer the negative consequences of this disastrous agreement.

I recently came across a really funny poem in Ukrainian written by the Ukrainian author and poet Oles Buzina which, I think, perfectly expresses the nature of what happened:

За що стояли на Майдані?
За що людськую кров лили?
За те щоб ціни повишали,
І знову плакали хохли.

За те щоб Крим, знов став московським
І щоб донбаським став Донбас.
За те, щоб долю України
Рішав в Європі підарас.

My (free) translation of this into English would be:

Why did they stand on the Maidan?
Why did they shed the people's blood?
So that the prices would rise higher
So that the Ukies could cry again

So that Crimea would become Moscow's
So that the Donbass would own itself
So that the Ukraine's future
Would be decided by the Euro-homos

Novorussia: the special status offered by Poroshenko is not for Novorussia, but purely for NAF controlled territories.  Besides, as the Novorussian leaders have correctly pointed out, the Ukie Rada has no authority to pass any rules in Novorussia.  Conclusion: the the words of a senior Novorussian leader - this new law is just the basis for further negotiations, nothing more.  Apparently, there is already a wave of panic in the usual "this is the end, Novorussia has been sold out, Putin is a traitor" mode (what else is new?).  Guys, take a deep breath, wait a few days, and you will see this law for what it is: Ukie wishful thinking floating in a nauseous bubble of hot air.

[note: I have not seen the text of the status offered to Novorussia by Poroshenko.  If you see it, please email me the link or post it here]

Military situation: the Ukie counter-offensive has still not started but I still consider it all but inevitable.  Amazingly, the NAF has still not succeeded in stopping the JRF at the Donetsk Airport from shelling the city.  Considering the human cost of letting these Nazis continue to murder civilians and the political costs of looking unable to finally get this airport under control, I cannot understand why  the NAF seems to be unable to solve this problem.

I. Bezler
Interesting promotion in Novorussia: Igor Bezler, the military commander of the strategically crucial city of Gorlovka (just north of the Donetsk-Debaltsevo line) has been awarded the rank of Major-General and appointed as the Head of the Intelligence Service of Novorussia.  He is a rather mysterious and very controversial figure.  It will be interesting to see the reactions to this nomination.

Economic situation: the Ruble is falling against the Dollar and the Euro, but the Russian Central Bank makes no effort to prevent that.  Clearly, the Russians do not believe that this is more than a temporary phenomenon made worse by speculative selling.

My comments about Fedorov are eliciting some dismay.  Sorry friends, I call it as I see it.  So I would like to re-post here a comment I made yesterday: Fedorov and I probably agree on most goals and values, we are definitely on the "same side of the barricade", but I cannot say that I am impressed by his analyses which I find superficial and, no offense intended, simplistic. He does a lot of good stuff, with the Duma for example, and I have nothing against him, but he is does have a tendency to go into a "panic mode" which I don't like. Now, he is WAAAY better then Dugin, but both have this tendency to go "the house is burning! the house is burning!" when was it needed is slow, painstaking and meticulous daily work towards the goal.  You might wonder whose analyses about the Ukraine I like most: Sergei Glazev's.  Nikolai Starikov is often also very good.

Paul Craig Roberts: some commentators have been very critical of him.  Personally, I have a great deal of respect for him and I find his analyses very good.  I have nothing bad to say about him and I can think of many extremely insightful articles by him.

The campaign to slander and discredit me: I think that it has petered out and failed.  I am quite sure that those behind this campaign will try again, but for a while at least they are licking their (self-inflicted) wounds.  My only message to my detractors who have in vain tried to slander me will be a quote from the Russian singer Boris Grebenshchikov who once wrote ""нет рук для чудес, кроме тех, что чисты" or "only clean hands can accomplish miracles": this is why you will never accomplish anything.

Let's not dwell on it any more, turn the page and move on.

Now, in conclusion, a few very important reminders and general comment about panic and hysterics: 

First: what we are really dealing with is a US war on Russia.  No, it is not waged with conventional military forces or, even less so, nuclear forces, it is waged by the use of the Ukrainian people.  As they now say, the US will fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.  Sadly, this is quite literally true.

Second: really, there is no such thing as the Ukraine, or even Banderastan or Novorussia.  These are (correct) political categories, but really, if we are really honest with ourselves, this is what we have: an occupied Ukraine and a liberated Ukraine.  That's it.  This is really the core of what is taking place.  And just as in WWII, the Ukraine is really only a battlefield for a move to Moscow.

art: Josetxo Ezcurra
Third: just as Kutuzov could not "sell out" Smolensk or Stalin could not "sell out" Kiev, Putin cannot "sell out" Novorussia.  Regardless of your assessment of Putin's morality, values, ethics or goals, you cannot possibly believe that he is that stupid and that his entire entourage of advisors are that stupid.  And even if Putin was that stupid, along with his advisors, he still cannot change the fundamental geostrategic reality that what is under attack is not the Ukraine, but Russia.  I would add that Putin, Lavrov and many other top Russian political leaders have said many times that in Yugoslavia it was really Russia which was the target of the attack, just as it is Russia which is the real objective of the war in Syria.

Fourth: an almost constant panic mode bordering on hysteria is just not the right mode to *understand* this war, much less so wage it and win.  I will gladly admit that I myself a guilty of this "sin", but at least I am able to differentiate between my fears and my analyses.  I would remind those who in Russia and in the West who are constantly predicting an apocalypse that none of their predictions (NATO attack on Russia, US nuclear attack on Russia, upheavals in Saint Petersburg, a Russian Maidan, the Ukie Nazis running over  the Donbass, etc.) have materialized so far.  Let me give one simple but extremely telling example:  for many months I have been arguing that Russia was covertly helping Novorussia while my critics argued the contrary.  My detractors were clamoring that Russia was standing by and doing nothing.  Well, who was right?  I am not saying that just to gloat or ridicule my opponents, but to make a very different point: I did not have access to any secret info and all I could do is use my knowledge and experience of Russian policies and methods and they told me, quite unequivocally, that Russia must be covertly helping.  In contrast, my critics based their "analysis" on a mix of fear and words, statements, made by various officials.  Now it is undeniable that they were wrong.  Of course, they never admitted to that but they very gradually included the undeniable fact of Russian covert help into their more recent presentations.  Fair enough, but I wish they would at least have learned their lesson. But no, they did not.  They are still functioning in exactly the same mode, mistaking their fears and prejudices with facts and analyses.  Thus my advice to all of you, my friends, is keep listening to these "prophets of imminent doom", think about their arguments, but just remember that, so far, their record is quite telling: 100% wrong.

Quoting the "Iron Felix":

There are very few people as evil and odious in history as Felix Derzhinsky, the human demon who created the Soviet secret police, the ChK.  But, as the American say, "even a broken clock is right ever 12 hours" and, as Malcolm X liked to say "I am for truth, no matter who tells it".  Well, there is a great quote by Derzhinsky which I recommend we all keep in mind and try to live by: "Чекистом может быть лишь человек с холодной головой, горячим сердцем и чистыми руками" or "a Chekist can only be a person with a cool head, a hot heart and clean hands".  Of course, this was not at all how the real Chekists were, but the notion of a "cool head, hot heart and clean hands" is very good: a cool head to avoid panic, a hot heart to be truly dedicated and clean hands to never believe that it pragmatically is right to do something which is morally wrong.

The Saker