Sunday, March 30, 2014

This and that

The bad news is that I am still sick.  The good news is that today I had a good laugh.  In Saint Petersburg, members of the political party PVO  or "Party of Great Russia" (I would describe them as "Stalinist patriots") have offered the US Consulate a Russian "karavai" (kind of traditional bread given to newly weds and to welcome friends) with the words "thanks to the USA for Crimea".  The reason for this gratitude comes for the popular joke in Russia nowadays that "the US paid five billion dollars to have Russia take back Crimea".  It goes like this:

Thanks USA!
"Israeli President Peres asks the Russian President: -Vladimir, are you of Jewish ancestry? -Putin: What makes you think so, Shimon? -Peres: You made the US pay five billion dollars to deliver Crimea to Russia. Even for a Jew, that is audacious!"

There is much truth to this:  it is a fact that only the rabid Fascism of the US-supported Right Sector, Freedom Party or Yulia "Nuke Russians" Timoshenko could trigger the awakening of Russian national identity both in Russia and the Ukraine. I myself, only a few months ago, wrote that "Russian speakers in the Ukraine are not pro-Russian, they are pro-Ruble", now this has dramatically changed and the credit for this really belongs to Obama and his hysterically Russophobic policies.

Sometimes it take as strong slap in the face to wake up somebody who is in a deep coma and that is what the USA did for millions of Russian people, especially the youth and there is a vast consensus amongst Russians that the US/NATO/EU achieved this by backing armed Nazi nationalists against a legitimate (if corrupt) regime and against the democratic will of most people not to live in a thug-controlled "Banderastan".

Here is some footage of the members of PVO expressing their gratitude to US diplomats:


I just want to let you know that I know I owe many of you emails and I will reply as soon as possible.  For the time being, it looks like I will spend the next 24 hours in bed.

Kind regards and thanks for your understanding and kind wishes,

The Saker

PS: while lying in bed, I am still thinking and I am pretty sure that I have an interesting topic to submit to your attention as soon as I feel better. Stay tuned :-)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Two CrossTalk shows about the future of the Ukraine

UN General Assembly declares Crimean vote invalid

Here is how they voted:

Personal announcement: sorry, I am sick :-(

Dear friends,

I just have to let you know that I am sick with a rather nasty flu so I will not post for a couple of days, nor will I reply to emails or comments.  There might also be some delay in my clearing comments but I will try to keep that as short as I can.  So - please! - keep the conversations going on any topic you want, under any posts here, including this one, and just consider this blog as yours and keep sharing your thoughts with each other.  I will be back as soon as my head stops spinning :-)

Sorry about that and kind regards to you all,

The Saker

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Joint Christian-Muslim resistance against the Empire (a quick reminder)

In a previous post entitled "Russia and Islam, part eight: working together, a basic "how-to"", I have discussed in some details the basic principles which could be applied by both Christians and Muslims to jointly take a stand against the current Empire.  I don't want to repeat it all here, especially since in that article I was discussing this issue specifically in the Russian context.  What I propose to do today is to simply post a quick reminder of the general principles I am suggesting both sides abide by.

1) Recognize irreconcilable theological disagreements

The fact that the Islamic and Christians theologies cannot be reconciled is fairly obvious and yet often deliberately ignored, sometimes out of ignorance, mostly out of a misplaced desire not to offend.  And yet, there is nothing offensive in the basic recognition of an undeniable fact.  For Muslims Christ is a prophet, for Christians He is the theanthropos, the God-man.  This is what the absolutely highest Christian theological dogma says about Him:
One Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.
As far as I know - and please correct me if I am wrong - but all the segments which I have outlined in red are categorically unacceptable to Islam.  But even if I got one or two of these wrong, there is plenty enough differences here to consider that the Islamic and Christian theologies are mutually exclusive (reminder: Orthodox and Latin Christians disagree only on one word and Orthodox and Arian Christians disagree on one single letter!).  The best thing is therefore accept that as a fact and let each person decide in his/her conscience which of the two faiths - or any other, or none at all - he/she wants to adopt.  Next,

2) Recognize that Islam and Christianity have polemicized with each other:

This really flows from point #1 above, but this is worth repeating.  Because of their mutually exclusive theologies, Christians and Muslims have often polemicized with each other, sometimes resorting to name-calling.  So what?  Humans are humans and issues of religion can generate heated disagreements and disputes.  This really proves nothing.  Next,

3) Recognize that Islam and Christianity have a checkered track of coexistence:

Sometimes Christians and Muslims coexisted in peace, sometimes not.  Since religion is very often used by the worldly powers of the state to justify various policies, it is often very hard to tell whether this or that bad episode was the result of tensions between the faithful or between their secular, worldly, leaders.  But, again, does that matter?  Neither Christians nor Muslims pretend to all be sinless saints - we all know that we are sinners - so what really matters is this: Christians and Muslims can - and have - coexisted in peace.  This is possible, it happened quite often in fact.  Thus, this can be repeated.

4) Christian and Islamic ethics mostly agree with each other: 

Yes, there are some differences.  As far as I can tell, the most acute ones are the stance on the death penalty (which Islam fully favors and Christianity opposes) and the attitude towards "apostates" (which Islam executes, while Christianity only declares them cut-off from the Church).  The fact that Christianity and Islam have coexisted in peace for centuries tells me that these differences can be intelligently managed.  And since most countries have abolished the death penalty anyway, this is hardly the most pressing issue for either community.

So here is again my practical recommendation:

Having accepted our differences, having accepted that we have a checkered history of coexistence but having also accepted that we can, with good will and intelligence, coexist, let us stop dwelling on these topics ad nauseam and turn to the pressing issues at hand today.  I do not mean to say that these issues cannot be discussed here, or anywhere else, but only that this blog is probably not the best place to do so, if only because we are unlikely to change each other's beliefs.

One final point: scriptural exegesis is a very delicate science which requires a lot of very complex and sophisticated methodological and even spiritual capabilities and which cannot be reduced to "this text says this or that".  For example, Orthodox Christians believe that the only correct way to understand the Scripture is within a pious spiritual life in the Church (orthopraxis) combined with the understanding of the so-called consensus patrum (the agreement of the Church Fathers) is on any given passage or topic. My understanding is that Islam teaches that the proper understanding of a passage of the Quran can only come when seen in the context of all the rest of the Quran and the guidance from the Sunna, as interpreted by recognized spiritual leader/jurist.  In other words, this or that Sura or Ayat taken by itself cannot be understood any more than this or that verse of the Scripture.  Yet another reasons for all of us to exercise the utmost caution when quoting the scripture of a religion which is not ours.

That's it - I just wanted to submit these reminders to everybody as a way to keep our discussions focused and productive.  I hope that the above is helpful.

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker

Evil Putin protects Princess Diana killer!

I know, I know, "Globe" is a well-known tabloid which publishes stories like "Astronauts raped by Martian maniacs" or "Resurrected body of Ramses II seen at Brazilian McDonalds", etc.  Still, it is indicative that Martians and walking mummies have been replaced by Vladimir Putin.

Also, I truly liked this joke posted by an anonymous reader (thanks!):
Putin is watching TV. Calls up his Chief of Intelligence: “Give Tyagnibok a medal for banning the use of Russian in Ukraine. What do you mean he isn't one of ours? Ok, give Yarosh a medal for the idea of blowing up Ukrainian gas transit lines. What do you mean, that's his own doing? How about that cretin Lyashko? How about those cretins from Svoboda—Miroshnichenko and others? So, DO WE HAVE ANY AGENTS ON THE GROUND IN UKRAINE AT ALL?! Where the hell are they? What the hell do you mean they bought a dump-truck of pop-corn and a tanker truck beer and are watching it like a movie?!!!” Hangs up in disgust. Calls again: “How could you let Muzychko get killed?”
There is much truth to this joke.  I just wonder - is Obama also an SVR agent (just kidding!!).


The Saker

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Putin's "confession" about the "polite armed men in green"

Check out Putin's "confession" about the "polite armed men in green" (kindly translated by my wonderful Muslim friend and translator "S" !شكرا جزيلا لك يا صديقي):

Was the first shot of the upcoming Ukrainian civil war just fired?

There are pretty good signs that the shots which killed Aleksandr Muzychko might turn out to be the first ones of the upcoming civil war.

So far, what happened was not a civil war, but a armed insurrection followed by a coup, a revolution for sure, but not a civil war.  What is beginning to take place now is very different.  Consider this:

1)  There are now four very different forces in the Ukraine:
  • the US/EU run oligarchs (Timoshenko, Iatseniuk, etc)
  • the US funded but probably not really controlled neo-Nazi crazies (Tiagnibok and Right Sector
  • the local mobsters pretending to be revolutionaries
  • the Russian speakers
This makes for a very dangerous and volatile combination

2) There are numerous reports of assaults, lynchings, pogroms, murders, intimidations and robberies all over the Ukraine.  Some are committed by the neo-Nazis, some by mobsters pretending to act in the name of the revolution.  The population is very fearful not only for its future, but even for its present.

3) The state, or what remains of it, is clearly controlled by the oligarchs, but there is very little it can do since the only instrument of power which it controls is the SBU, the Ukrainian state security, which is phenomenally corrupt, whose best cadre have left a long time ago and which is basically taking orders from the CIA.  There are also some police forces (special SWAT teams, cops from the western Ukraine), but they are few in numbers.  They can kidnap this or that Russian-speaker or kill some individual (like Muzychko), but they cannot fight the neo-Nazis or mobsters.

4) The Ukrainian military basically exists only on paper.  Most officers are either resigning or trying to join the Russian military.  Many of its weapons depots have been looted, and morale is at rock bottom.  Potentially, the Ukrainian officer corps could be used to crack down on the neo-Nazis and mobsters, but only if they could be convinced that sane people are back in command.

5) The economy - which was already close to death - is degrading at phenomenal speed and absolutely nobody has any plan to resurrect it.

6) The state's policy current is clear: to crack down on the neo-Nazis with brute force and to discredit the Freedom Party politically.  This policy has a very small chance of being successful.  Think of the Right Sector and the Freedom Party as the "Ukrainian Taliban" and you will immediately see why the state simply does not have the means to crush them.

7) The other key tactic of the state is a major cover-up of the true state of affairs.  This is the real reason why all the Russian TV channels have been basically banned in the Ukraine: Russian TV channels are more than happy to report about all the economic problems, security situation, tensions, etc which the state is desperately trying to cover up.  And since the western corporate media is as loyal to the USA as the Ukrainian one is to the regime - the revolutionary regime hopes that by cutting off the info from Russia it will be able to hide the real situation from the general public.

8) The upcoming (in May) presidential elections are going to head for disaster in one way or another: there is simply no way, no way at all, that the current regime would - or even could - organize even minimally decent elections.   They cannot let Milkail Dobkin run or, if they do, they would have to dramatically "correct" the number of votes he will get.  They probably cannot let Iarosh run either.  Dobkin, being under house arrest, could not run a normal campaign either way, as for Iarosh, he might be the next to be assassinated by the SBU/cops.  No matter what the modalities or he outcome, the next presidential elections will be a farce which most people will simply not accept.  The resulting "President" and government will have zero legitimacy.

9) The revolutionary regime is also completely out of touch with reality.  Instead of seriously dealing with the immense problems facing the Ukraine, they are busying themselves with nonsense like issuing a search warrant for the (very cute) new Chief Prosecutor of Crimea Natalia Poklonskaia.

10) Last, but not least, there is already overwhelming evidence that the revolutionary regime is lying about the circumstances of the death of Aleksandr Muzychko who appears to have been executed by a special SWAT unit.  The order to kill him apparently was given or, at least, approved, by the CIA station in Kiev who, according to many reports, is basically running the revolutionary government from the 4th floor of a building in central Kiev.

Now, I fully understand the reasons for the order to execute Muzychko: it gets rid of a armed and protected psychopathic murderer whose antics have been embarrassing the new revolutionary regime.  It also triggers a crisis between the pro-US oligarchs and the neo-Nazis which would allow the former to try to get rid of the latter in the name of "democracy" and "anti-Fascism", hence something which would not only be applauded with both hands in the West, but also give the oligarchs some anti-Nazi credentials and thus help to erase from the collective memory of the TV-zombified morons the fact that this regime only came to power thanks to the violence meted out by these neo-Nazis.

It is in many ways uncanny how much the situation today resembles the absolute chaos which took place in the Ukraine in 1918-1920 when many different factions fought each other, several foreign countries intervened in one way or another, total chaos and anarchy reigned over much of the country while politicians made ridiculous promises (for those who know little about this period, just read the Wikipedia entry under "Nestor Makhno").  Eventually, the situation was "solved", if one can use that word in this context, by the invasion of the Ukraine by the Red Army, a catastrophic war against Poland, Bolshevik terror and WWII.  In other words, 2 years of total chaos turned into 25 years of horror and immense suffering for the Ukrainian people.  That precedent is, indeed, very, very scary.

The good news is, of course, that there is no Red Army today.  The bad news is that the Russian military does no want to intervene in the Ukraine.  At the very best, the Kremlin might be forced to move the Russian military into eastern and, possibly, southern Ukraine to protect Russian-speakers from the violence resulting from a breakup of the Ukraine, but that would be an option of last resort as the Kremlin fully understands that the imbeciles in charge of the major powers in the West could do something truly stupid in reaction to such a Russian move.  Thus, from the Russian point of view the best solution is by far, and I have said that many times here, to have a more or less stable, more or less prosperous, more or less "not anti-Russian" and independent Ukraine as a good neighbor.

When Putin told the Russian Federal Assembly and the rest of the world in his historical speech that Russia did not want to occupy or annex the Ukraine, he was not lying to cover up an imminent invasion, or trying to appease the West or showing how generous and good the Russians are - he was stating a basic reality of Russian pragmatic self-interest: Russia neither needs nor wants the Ukraine, especially now that it got Crimea back.  What Russia does not want is a neo-Nazi Ukraine with NATO bases.

So if the Empire's leaders had any common sense at all, they would understand the basic truth that this is not a zero-sum game and that Russia's interests are quite compatible to the West's as long as the West gives up its crazy idea of setting a neo-Nazi regime in Kiev surrounded by NATO bases.  That crazy shit Russia simply will not accept.  But an independent Ukraine?!  Of course - please, they will even help pay for it as long as it avoids a much more dangerous outcome resulting in a civil war.

Alas, all the signs are that Obama and his EU minions are just not going to accept anything short of a total victory - thereby securing their own total defeat, but at the cost of a complete destruction of rump-Ukraine and a horrible predicament for the people of the Ukraine.  Just look at what these politicians did with Iraq or Libya!  The AngloZionist logic is simple: what I cannot get - I burn down.

Short of a miraculous change of mind of the AngloZionist plutocracy, the bullets that killed Muzychko might well have been the (CIA's) match which will start a fire capable of burning down what is left of the Ukraine.

The Saker

Monday, March 24, 2014

ЗАШТО? WHY? Stories of bombed Yugoslavia

Yulia Tymoshenko wants to nuke 8 million Russians in the Ukraine

As I have mentioned before, Tymoshenko really appears to have suffered a great deal in Yanukovich's dungeon and now she is clearly "gone fishing".  The latest telephone leak (thanks SVR, and keep up the great work!) shows her actually suggesting that the Banderites *nuke* the 8 million Russians living in the Ukraine.  She also proposes to make Russia a scorched field.  Let me immediately reassure everybody - the Ukraine does not have nuclear weapons, never had them, never will have them.  You can take that to the bank.  To Tymoshenko's partial exculpation, she is clearly venting in a fit of frustrated rage and not actually giving orders to a (non existing) Ukrainian military.  Still, this is a very good illustration of how all these freedom loving, smiling, Ukrainian nationalists really think.  Keep in mind that Tymoshenko's party "Batkivshchyna" (or Fatherland) is by far the most "moderate" (to the extend that any of these Banderites can be considered moderate) and that Klichko's Udar party is worse, that Tiagnibok's Freedom Party (aka "Social Nationalist" party) is even worse, and that they all are comparatively sane and moderate when compared to Iarosh's "Right Sektor" who can only be compared to the Croatian Ustashe or the Hutu Interahamwe.  And its the Right Sektor which currently has all the guns (only small stuff, thanks God, stuff that is only useful to terrorize civilians, not something you could use against the "Polite Armed Men in Green").

But listen for yourself to that crazy conversation (in Russian, not in Ukrainian, I would add):

Celebration event in Moscow: Crimea - we are with you!

An amazing celebration took place yesterday in Moscow: Russia was celebration the reunification of Crimea to the Russia.  Here is short but moving video from this event subtitled by a wonderful (Muslim) friend of mine to whom I am immensely grateful.


The Saker 

The Empire's war against the Serbian nation: lessons for the Resistance

Fifteen years ago the AngloZionist Empire begin the third phase of its war against the Serbian nation.  It is important to take a few minutes to remember this war because the main purpose of this war was to show to the Russian people what could be done to it if it dared resist.  Just as the US had bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima primarily with the purpose of showing the Soviet Union what it could do to it, so did the AngloZionists bomb the Serbian people living in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia primarily to send a "message" to the Russian people: if you resist - you are next.  Besides a massive bombing and cruise missile strikes campaign, the Empire also unleashed the biggest propaganda campaign in history, presenting the Serbs as vicious, crazed, nationalist and sadistic mass murderers and all of their enemies as progressive, freedom loving, democratic and heroic civilians which only had light weapons to resist the massive onslaught of Serbian heavy weapons.  The narrative then further hyped the vilification by speaking of Serbian "concentration camps" and massive "ethnic cleansing" campaigns which included "rape as a weapon of war".  Finally, and logically, the AngloZionists concluded that Milosevic was the "new Hitler" and that the Serbs were actually engaging in genocide. 

At the time, practically everybody bought that narrative.  There were a few exceptions here and there - the independent journalist Michel Collon in Belgium deserves a special mention here with his book MediaMensonges written as early as 1994 - but by and large the Empire's campaign of "strategic psyops" was a stunning success.

I will return to the topic of this war on a regular basis because a lot of things still must be re-visited and re-explained, especially now that the Muslim world has found itself on the receiving end of exactly the same forces doing exactly the same thing in Libya and Syria.  But for the time being, I just want to share an email exchange I had with one upset reader to whom my reply could serve as a useful starting point to begin to set the record straight.

Here is the email which I got last week:
Dear Saker,
Let me first congratulate you on excellent articles and commentaries on your site. I enjoy reading them, and agree with them.

But, of course, there is one thing that bothers me in your writings, your obsession with "suffering" of Serbia and Serbs. Even in today's article you mentioned 78 days of "suffering" of Serbia. If you really needed good example of suffering from Balkans couldn't you use Siege of Sarajevo which lasted  from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996, longer then Siege of Stalingrad, and guess who kept Sarajevo under the siege, yes your dear Serbian fascists.

Few pictures ...
Enemy of my enemy does not have to be my friend, and a lot of progressive writers loose some of their credibility by portraying Serbs under Milosevic as another victim of US imperialism, they are the same shitty nazies like those who are ruling Ukraine these days. They came in power by coup, they pushed other nations from Yugoslavia, they committed worst crimes during  wars in ex-YU mostly in Bosnia, but also in Croatia and Kosovo!

xxxxx xxxxxx

P.S. I was born and lived for 31 years in Sarajevo until Serbs forced me to leave in 1991.
 Here is the text of my reply: (slightly corrected)
Dear xxxxx,

Thanks for your email.  I have to honestly tell you that while I sympathize with your plight as I would do for the plight of any person suffering the consequences of civil war, I find your arguments wholly unconvincing.  First and foremost, you have to ask yourself basic questions:

1) who of the Croats, Bosnian Muslims or Serbs unleashed the devil of nationalism and who stood for a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society? (answer: Croats and Bosnian Muslims)
2) which was the party which decided to use a symbol clearly associated with a Bandera-like regime? (answer: the Croats with their checkerboard)
3) whose side got the support of the so-called international community and even for the USAF to bomb on their behalf? (answer: Croats and Bosnian Muslims)
4) which side did exactly what the Ukies do today and said: 'we can secede from you, but you cannot secede from us'? (answer: Croats and Bosnian Muslims)
5) which side even got the al-Qaeda types to support them with money, guns and wahabi crazies? (answer: Bosnian Muslims)
6) which side use to hide inside UNPAs or UN safe havens and conduct attacks from there? (answer: Croats and Bosnian Muslims)
7) which side was backstabbed by its own people? (answer: Bosnian Serbs whom Milosevic slapped with en embargo)
8) which side had the most displaced persons/refugees? (Serbs from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo)
9) which side organized false flag massacres (Markale I and II, Racak) to trigger intervention? (answer: Bosnian Muslims)
10) which side had to give up its so-called "heavy weapons" before the US and Croat forces attacked them? (answer: Krajina-Serbs)
11) which side turned a formerly progressive and liberal society into an obscurantist and intolerant one as portrayed in the Bosnian movie "Luna's choice"? (answer: Bosnian Muslims)
12) which side had the full 100% support of the US propaganda machine and the NWO media? (answer: Croats and Bosnian Muslims)
13) which side produced the worst collaborators with Hitler? (answer: Croats and Bosnian Muslims)
14) which side produce the strongest resistance against the Nazis? (answer: Serbs with Tito and Mikhailovich)
15) which side managed to get the support of BOTH the various Jewish lobbies AND of the Vatican (answer: the Croats)
16) which side benefited from nightly delivery of weapons from NATO and Turkey? (answer: the Bosnian Muslims)
17) which side first signed a peace agreement and then reneged on it? (answer: the Bosnian Muslims)
18) which side had crimes committed against it never punished by the Hague Tribunal? (answer: the Serbs)
Also - let me tell you a little something about myself.  I used to do military analysis for, amongst other assignments, the United Nations and I followed the wars in Croatia and Bosnia on day-to-day basis, and not the public stuff , but classified UNPROFOR reports.  I also personally interviewed *A LOT* of UNPROFOR officers include 2 UNPROFOR Force commanders.  So, believe me, I know what did or did not happen in Bosnia, Croatia and, Kosovo.  Yes, there were crazy Serbian nationalists and murderers who committed atrocities, no doubt here at all, but no more and no less then what the Croats or the Bosnian Muslims did.  Second, I make a HUGE difference between Milosevic (both an ex-banker AND an ex-communist) and the Bosnian Serb people, including Karadzic and his aides.  Milosevic was the scum of the earth, a fake nationalist, fake communist, and real capitalist SOB who betrayed his people at least twice (when he slapped sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs and when he betrayed the Kosovo Serbs), but Federal Forces in Bosnia committed the least atrocities and massacres and some Serbian paramilitay units - like the one of Capitan Dragan - has an excellent record on human rights.  So to portray the Serbs as Nazis the way you do is simply not honest and, in the case of a person like me, futile - because I know what was going on behind the propaganda veil.

As for the leaders of the so-called "good guys" a lot of them were scum and professional liars (Tudjman, Silajdzic) or maniacs (Itzebegovich).  Yes, Milosevic was a piece of shit too, but no worse than these guys.
Your vision is simple: bad Serbs, good Croats and/or good Bosnian Muslims.  That is utter nonsense.  Like in any other country, in all the ethnic/religious groups of the former Yugoslavia you had a majority of decent but passive people, a certain percentage of sick and evil folks who like to do evil, and a small group of heroes who kept their decency in the middle of the horror around them.  And 90% of people did NOT want a way, much less so a civil one.  And today, most people in Bosnia understand that they have been used by the US Empire and regret the civilized society and country which they lost.  I think that if somebody did a public opinion survey in Bosnia and asked the people: "when you see the outcome today do you think that  it worth triggering a civil war at the time?" the vast majority would answer "no".  Well, that civil war was not started by the Serbs.

So, please, don't come tell me how bad the other guy is. Look at what *your* people did to *themselves* and try to learn something from it.
Kind regards,

The Saker
I did not get a reply, nor was I expecting one (though I do expect today's post to trigger an avalanche of outraged comments).  The crisis in the Ukraine is far from over and there are other events to which I would like to turn to - like the absolutely barbaric condemnation to death of 528 members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  The situation in Syria also deserves much more coverage then the zero-coverage I have been giving it since the crisis began in the Ukraine.  Alas, I simply do not have to time to reply to all the comments and emails I get every day, nevermind providing a focused coverage on several "fronts" so I always pick the one which appears to most important to me.  All this is to explain that I will not be able to reply, especially in detail, to what I expect to be quite a few irate comments to this post.  I sincerely apologize for that, but I promise to come back to this topic as soon as things cool down elsewhere.

For one thing, I consider it my moral obligation to address my many Muslim readers with a plea to "connect the dots" and realize that they have been lied to not only about Chechina, but also about Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.  I know that some of them have been reading this blogs for years and they know my views on nationalism, religion and Islam and that I really do try to live by Malcolm X's motto "I am for truth, no matter who tells it".  The Empire's propaganda machine tried hard in presenting the wars in Chechnia and in the former Yugoslavia as a war of Orthodox Christians against Islam.  Sadly, this propaganda campaign was nothing short of a total triumph, especially amongst Muslims.  So today I want to submit to you all, but especially to my Muslim readers, the following exchange with a first-rate Muslim scholar and academic to whom I had written to express my enthusiasm for his book and my issue with only once sentence in it. (I am not going to reveal the name of this person out of respect for him, especially since he is going through a great deal of suffering right now).  Here is what I wrote:
Dear Sir,

My name is xxxxxx xxxxxxx and I am writing to you for two reasons. First, to express my gratitude for your most interesting essay on Wahhabism which was recommended to me by a Muslim friend as "the best book on Wahhabism". I can only agree wholeheartedly. At the end of the book though, one sentence immensely disappointed me and made me decide to write directly to you.

On page 68 you wrote that the US global war on terror was "waged in concert with allies such as Russia, its hands bloodied with the Muslims of Chechnya". I take issue with literally every letter of that sentence.

1) First, we now know from the testimony of Sibel Edmonds that not only did the USA not help Russia but, quite to the contrary, the USA fully supported the Chechen insurgency.
2) You make it sound like the wars in Chechnia were wars opposing Russians and Chechens. This is also patently false. There never was a united "Chechen side", not in 1995 and, even less so, in 1999. In fact, I would credit the Chechens of Akhmad and Ramzan Kadyrov with killing at least as many insurgents as the Federal Forces did.
3) You also make it sound like the wars in Chechnia were wars opposing Muslims and, by implication, non-Muslims. This is also patently false. Not only was there always a Chechen opposition to the insurgency, but there were plenty of non-Chechen Muslims in the Federal forces, especially so during the 2nd Chechen war which, after all, began with a Chechen attempt to invade Dagestan where Muslim Dagestanis fought to their death to stop this invasion.
4) Now let's take the issue of whose hands were bloodied with Muslim blood. Do you really not know of the constant violence which was meted out by the government of the independent 'Ichkeria' against its own citizens? Of all people, you should know best how Wahabis treat non-Wahabi Muslims! Do you really believe that when the Wahabis got to power in Chechnia they treated the local Muslims any better than what they have always done everywhere in the past and which your book so well explains? Why is it that when (putatively) non-Muslim Federal Forces kill Muslims this deserves a special mention whereas when (putatively) "Muslims" such as the Wahabis kill (real) Muslims this gets no mention.

Now, you wrote the book in 2002 and you can be excused for not having guessed at that time what Chechnia would look like a decade later. I will honestly admit that I also could not have imagined that. Still, I think that now that we see the kind of butchery the Wahabis are yet again engaged in in Syria, and following the disgraceful events which happened in Syria, you might want to ask yourself who the "good guys" and who the "bad guys" really were in Chechnia. I submit to you that what Putin and Kadyrov did is save the Chechen people from the horrors of Wahabism and that this is exactly the situation Assad in now facing in Syria. The only difference is that Putin was always represented by the (US funded) Muslim propaganda as some kind of bloodthirsty monster and Kadyrov as his "puppet".

In conclusion I want to express to you my deep disappointment that a person with your phenomenal culture and knowledge would fall for the "wrong or right - my Ummah" reflex. According to you, the Muslims in Bosnia, in Kosovo and in Chechnia were each time the "good guys" and the victims. As a specialist of the war in Bosnia I can assure you that this is false. The sad and admittedly embarrassing reality is that in all three of these wars the Muslims were used by the US as a tool for its imperial designs, just like the "Mujahedeen" had been in Afghanistan a few decades earlier. In Kosovo, the native Serbian population was ethnically cleansed, replaced by a regime of gangsters and Mafia dons, the USA opened its huge "Camp Bondsteel" at the cost of a barbaric bombing of the entire civilian population of Serbia and Montenegro and now Kosovo is a criminal black hole. Is it not a disgrace for the Muslim world that it blindly sided with the Kosovar drug lords?

Sir, I see Wahhabism as a huge danger for the entire planet. As long as it was a small crazy sect in the sands of Arabia it was ugly and bloodthirsty, but it was limited. But as soon as the (always "brilliant") US CIA cooked up the plan to federate various neo-Wahabi movement into one worldwide movement, which later became known as al-Qaeda, Wahhabism became a danger to us all, but first and foremost to Muslims and, amongst Muslims, first and foremost for the two forms of Islam the Wahabis hate the most: the Shia and the Sufi. Now this is my key point here: non-Wahabi Muslims need all the allies they can get to deal with this nightmare (just look at the situation in Syria as a proof of this). This, however means, that as long as even the most educated Muslims will instinctively stick to a "wrong or right - my Ummah" reflex you will deny yourself these allies.

Critics of the US and EU policies point at the logical absurdity of using military forces to destroy Wahabis in Mali while at the same time arming the same forces in Syria. I agree, this makes no sense. But what of the mainstream Muslim stance of supporting Wahabis in Chechnia or Bosnia while opposing them in Syria or Egypt? How is that less absurd?

In which country today do we see truly large numbers of Sunni Muslims live with the state protecting them from the Wahabis? In which country does the state have as its declared and official policy to support and defend traditional Sunni Islam against Wahabism? Which country has for the past two years played a key role in not letting the Wahabis over-run Syria? Finally, which is the ONLY major country to have ALWAYS opposed Wahabism, everywhere and at all times, regardless of the pretexts for war?

Russia, of course. The very same Russia you accuse of having Muslim blood on its hands.

This is factually wrong and this is morally wrong too. Finally, it is self-defeating and country-productive as it offends Russians like myself who refuse the Western canard that "all Muslims" are a threat to "our" civilization and that there is a clash of civilization happening.

I, Sir, believe that what Russia did in Chechnia was not "killing Muslims", at least not deliberately or because of their Islam, but killing many truly evil Wahabi thugs and this is why so many Chechen commanders changed sides and are now deeply grateful to Putin. Putin did not try to shed Muslim blood any more than Assad tries nowadays in Syria. When faced with a violent, vicious, bloodthirsty and aggressive insurgency fully paid for by the Gulf states and supported politically by the USA Putin and Assad simply did the only thing which could save their country, including its Muslim population: they ruthlessly pursued and physically destroyed the Wahabi-run insurgency. I submit to you that all non-Wahabi Muslims owe them a great debt of gratitude.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and thank you again for an outstanding book.

Kind regards,

xxxxxx xxxxxxx
This is the reply I got:
Dear Mr. xxxxxxx,
There is much that I could say in response to your comments, but I have decided not to expend the effort. After all, you describe yourself as "a specialist of the war in Bosnia." I don't know what your credentials are in this respect. Having visited Bosnia both before and after the genocidal war waged against the Muslims,  talked with the survivors and bereaved of Srebrenica,  seen the soccer fields of Sarajevo turned into cemeteries, prayed in the ruins of mosques destroyed by your fellow Slavs, seen the remnants of the burnt manuscripts of the Orientalni Insitut, talked to some of the women raped by the Serbs ... I find your assurance that it is false to regard the Muslims as the "good guys" and the victims quite simply repulsive. As for Kosova, yes there are gangsters there (as there are in your much cherished Serbia), and I can appreciate the fact that Russian mobsters will not welcome the competition. In Chechnya, yes, much of the opposition is Wahhabi-oriented,and the North Caucasus has not produced anyone even remotely comparable to Imam Shamyl of blessed memory,  but does this justify the destruction of Grozny, the staged bombings used by Putin to justify the second Chechen war, or the numerous crimes reported by journalists such as Politkovskaya whom the Kremlin found it necessary to assassinate?

Your notion of a diabolical US-Wahhabi alliance against Muslims is at the very best curious. As for Russia being the protector of Muslims to whom a debt of gratitude is owed, are you try to make me laugh? 
You are disappointed that I have fallen prey to the "wrong or right - my Ummah" reflex. Plainly what you are suffering from is an advanced case of Pan-Slavism. 
I have already written more than I intended. This correspondence is now at an end.
At this point on, I knew that it was futile to try continue a discussion with my correspondent did not want to have, so my reply was short:
Dear Sir,

Though I am disappointed by the lack of substance in it, I thank you for your reply.

And, Sir, *all* the inhabitants of Bosnia are Slavs, including Muslims.  As for Pan-Slavism, that silly idea died roughly 200 years ago :-)

Kind regards and all the best,

xxxxxx xxxxxxx
My hope in publishing these exchanges today is to at least set the stage for future discussions, especially with my Muslim readers, about these wars.  Why?  Because as long as the AngloZionists can divide us they will also rule over us.  In France, for example, the Zionist lobby is making truly immense efforts to set the French Muslims against the French Latin Christians because they know that as long as these two groups fight against each other, they themselves will be safe and in control.  The French author Alain Soral says that what is taking place is a war between the "Old Testament" world (Judaism and Protestantism") against the "New Testament" world (Latin and Orthodox Christianity) and that the key strategy used by the Empire is to set Christians against Muslims.  As you probably know, I have a big problem with the notion that Latin and Orthodox Christianity are on the same side, today's events in the Ukraine only prove the opposite, but this is irrelevant here: Soral's religious education is, frankly, sub-minimal (he considers himself a non-believing "cultural Catholic"), but his political acumen is world-class and what he says about France is absolutely true: the plutocratic elites are now in a complete panic because they see that the "stem French" (local, Latin Christian French) against the "branch French" (first or second generation Muslim immigrant) are joining forces against the Zionist domination of France and that this alliance has a huge potential.  Likewise, in Russia, we now see that the strongest and most determined defenders of Russia are the Chechen people (speaking of which: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has declared that just as his special forces have killed Doku Umarov, they will hunt down and catch Dmitri Iarosh, "dead or alive - either way is fine by me" said Kadyrov).  As for the Resistance on a global scale, we see today that it is lead by Russia (Orthodox, Muslim) then China (Confucianist, Taoist, Buddhist), Iran (Muslim), Syria (Muslim, Christian) and Hezbollah (Muslim).  The Empire, of course, tried hard to set Russia against Islam (Chechnia: failed), China against Russia (failed), Islam against Orthodox Christianity (Bosnia, Kosovo: success), Islam against China (in progress), Sunni against Shia (Syria: in progress), Christian against Shia (Lebanon: in progress), Islam against Latin Christianity (France: failed), Sunni against Shia (Iraq: success), Sunni against Shia (Iran: failed), Sunni against Shia (Bahrain: success),  Muslim against Christian (Indonesia: in progress), Muslim against Christian (Mali, Sudan: success), etc.  This list is incomplete - but I think the point I want to make is clear: the Empire has had a stunning success in using Muslims literally as cannon fodder to fight against its enemies.  It is, I submit, therefore absolutely vital for Muslims worldwide to realize this and to refuse to be further lied to.  The real enemy of Islam is exactly the same as the real enemy of Christianity: the AngloZionist Empire.  Sayyid Qutb did see the real nature of the Empire, as did Malcom X.  The real heir of their thought today are not al-Qardawi and degenerate rulers of Saudi Arabia, but people like Sheikh Imran Hussein, Ramzan Kadyrov and Hassan Nasrallah (whose Hezbollah party includes only Muslims, but whose military resistance includes Christians).

What happened to the Serbian people is a grotesque injustice and nothing short of an abomination.  It was also the precursor of what happened to the people of Libya and Syria and the Serbian people, now more than ever, have a moral right to have the truth finally be said about their plight.  Furthermore, those of us who are determined to resist the Empire need to learn from our mistakes, if only to avoid repeating them in the future.  This is the purpose of this post today and I hope that it will be understood by those who will read it.

The Saker

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The US shale gas canard

Dear friends,

Several of you have asked my opinion about the article by U.S. Prepares to Gas Russia Into Submission by Glenn Ford.  I don't have the time for a detailed reply, but I will say this: the entire notion of US shale fracking sent to Europe to undermine Russia is a canard. Not only does the entire infrastructure for this project need to be built - at huge costs - but it would take several years. Several absolutely critical years as the crisis in Crimea has forced Putin and his "Eurasian Sovereignists" (for an explanation of these terms see here, here and here) to "come out of the closet" and openly confront the AngloZionist empire and now this is a race against time: will the Empire have the time and means to disengage Russia from the West before Russia realigns itself with China and the rest of Asia or will the West be dependent on Russia long enough to allow Russia to realign?  I am quite confident that Russia will win this race, which makes the entire issue of us gas irrelevant.

Speaking of China and the West: consider that China's energy needs are immense, as they are in most of Asia and add to this that under Obama (did this guy ever ever do something not stupid?!) the US has openly adopted a new anti-Chinese policy which aims at "containing" China, i.e. preventing it form acquiring the type of influence which it would naturally have in the Asian-Pacific region.  The Chinese are not stupid, they know that they are next in line for "democracy" and "freedom" and they understand that without Russian help (energy, weapons, political) they cannot resist the Empire. Bottom line, both China and Russia must enter into a deep symbiosis (if not a formal "alliance") and help each other.  And there is no doubt in my mind at all the both Putin and Xi Jinping are both doing exactly that.

As for Europe - it is a depressed economy, a socially bankrupt continent, and a US protectorate.  The Kremlin understands all that, and while they will be more than happy to sell energy (or anything else) to the EU, they know that they cannot make any long-term plans with such partners: the AngloZionist Empire is an existential threat to Russia and Europe is just a US protectorate with no personal opinion, identity or policy other than "yes, Mr. President, whatever you say Mr. President".

China, India, Asia, Latin America and, especially, the Russian North - that is the future of Russia, not the West.  So all these sanctions can achieve is to accelerate this process.

Those who think that they can put Russian into submission are just as delusional as Hitler in 1945 with his talks about a "strategic counteroffensive": just ignore them.


The Saker

PS: two interesting reads about energy:

Shale Gas: The View from Russia

Ukraine, Russia and the nonexistent U.S. oil and natural gas "weapon"

"The Economist" is having a depressive episode

Ukraine SITREP March 22, 13:05 EST

  • The OSCE has agreed to send observers to the Ukraine.  Their task shall be to monitor the situation and to investigate reports of human right violations.  The OSCE has had to accept the fact that Crimea is now part of Russia, thus the observers shall not be deployed to the Russian Peninsula.
  • The situation in the Ukrainian military is one of total chaos.  Not only have three tanks and one APC simply exploded, but many units seem to have been forgotten by the Ukrainian command which had decreed a partial mobilization but which has since given no orders to the mobilized units.  Parents and relatives are demanding that their family members be released, but the unit commanders say that they have been notified that leaving the base would be considered desertion and that this would be punishable by 5 years in jail.
  • During a live TV show the new Ukrainian Defense Minister was told by a local unit commander that most of his soldiers were either resigning or sending applications to join the Russian armed forces.  The Minister accused the unit commander of being a coward and said that he and his men were welcome to leave.
  • A Ukrainian SU-24 has crashed, both pilots have had the time bail out.
  • In an absolutely unprecedented act, the Russian journalist Dmitrii Kiselev has been included in the list of sanctioned Russian officials.  Kiselev has been recently appointed by Vladimir Putin as head of the newly created state news agency Rossiia Segodnia.  Also, Kiselev has been the object of a vicious propaganda campaign by the western homosexual lobby who has accused him of "homophobia".  As for Kiselev, he has declared that the list of Russian officials sanctioned was drafted by the pro-US Russian "liberals" who then passed it on to the US Embassy in Moscow.  This version has been echoed by other sources.  What is certain in Kiselev's case is that he was sanctioned only for his views, for daring to be outspoken on air against the arrogance of the AngloZionist Empire (check out the hatched job Wikipedia did on him).
Also, check out these interesting articles:

"Putin's Triumph" by Israel Shamir
"Washington sanctioning Democracy and hailing Nazism" by Oriental Review
"Russian sanctions as war and farce" by Pepe Escobar
"The new Gladio in Ukraine" by Manlio Dinucci

Friday, March 21, 2014

Western international diplomacy as a dead baby joke

I have just been watching the news and, frankly, I ended up laughing.

First, I saw the Eurobureaucrats adding another 12 or so names to a list of 20 or so (sorry, I was not paying attention) names which are going to be on the sanctions list.  The US did something similar yesterday.  Looking at that circus, I was wondering: does these imbeciles really believe that these puny sanctions of 30-40 individuals will make Russia suddenly change course, apologize and leave Crimea? Have they forgotten that during WWII Leningrad was blockaded by German forces for nine hundred (900!  Not 33 like Hezbollah or 78 like the Serbs - 900) days and that it was pounded by the German Air Force and artillery during each one of these 900 days, that most men died and that the city at the end was defended by mostly women, that hunger was so bad that people were making "soup" from glue used to put up posters, that medicine had run out and that the winter colds were brutal and yet that the Russian people did not surrender?!  Don't they understand that for Russians Crimea is at least as important as Stalingrad was?  Do they seriously think that their stupid little sanctions will affect a country which was - and still is - willing to go to war over Crimea?

Amazing.  Just amazing...

Then, I saw that western credit rating agencies were about to lower the credit rating of Russia (which up to now had been BBB, iirr).  Russia with a debt of 12% would be lowered, while the USA with a debt over 100% maintained a AAA.  Who is going to take that seriously.  But even better, the net result of that will be that it is going to be more expensive for Russians to get financing from western banks.  Again, I wonder in total awe.  Do these western financiers really not know that the issues of the high interest rates inside Russia (in comparison to the interest rates enjoyed by Russian companies with their corporate headquarters in the EU and US) was a major political issues which constantly opposed the "Eurasian sovereignists" to the "Atlantic integrationists"?  (for an explanation of these terms see here, here and here).  Think of it - what does Putin want?  He was a) a bigger share of investment in Russia coming from Russian banks, b) more companies incorporated in Russia c) a way to prevent Russian officials from having any assets abroad.

Frankly, Russia and Putin owe the western financiers and bureaucrats a big "thank you!!" for helping the Eurasian sovereignists in their struggle against the Atlantic integrationists...

Then, I saw the EU singing the political part of the Association Agreement with the Ukraine.  Amazing!!  Here are all these pompous "democrats" signing a document with representatives of an armed revolutionary regime which has exactly zero legitimacy.  They could have waited until May when "elections" organized under the "auspices" of the Right Sector and the Freedom Party would clearly yield the "correct" result and thereby give a micron-thin layer of legitimacy to the revolutionary regime.  But no!  They must be so afraid that even Nazi-run elections might not yield the "correct" result that they sign these documents now.  Which is stupid for two reasons: first, it shows that these western plutocrats don't care at all about "democracy" or "democratic legitimacy", but that they are apparently unaware that any document signed by this revolutionary regime is very easy to overturn on the grounds the folks signing it had no right to do so.

What in the world are these folks in the EU smoking?!  Bath salts?!

And then, to really make me laugh, I saw a hilarious interview of Putin.  He was asked by an already laughing reporter why, in his opinions, did the folks which ended up on the sanctions list deserve such a distinction - were they his personal friends (mostly no) or did they have anything to do with Crimea (mostly no).  Putin replied with laughter in his eyes, but with an otherwise serious face "I have to be honest and make the following confession (he bows his head): yes, these guys were the "polite armed men in green" that were seen in Crimea! And their last names are kinda weird - Kovalchuk, Rotenberg, Timchenko - typical Moskals!".  Putin can be very funny when he wants and this topic clearly makes him laugh.

To be serious, I really am amazed by what is going on.  Western politicians seem to be stuck in total "lala land" or "bizarro world" (pick your expression).  There is such an absolute disconnect between what is actually happening in Banderastan (north and west), the rump-Ukraine (east and south), Crimea and Russia on one hand, and the mental representation which people in the West seem to have about it that I often wonder, yet again, whether the world has not gone completely mad.  I almost feel sorry for western politicians when I hear them speak.  They sound like a flat-earth society meeting and yet they try so hard to look dignified and important it's almost sad.  I say almost, because I realize that these want-to-look-dignified politicians are also the prime culprits for the hell which the (now ex-) Ukraine is going through.

Lastly, I am amazed to see that the White House does not realize a basic dilemma it is facing: either the sanctions against Russia are ridiculously ineffective or, in theory, they could really hurt Russia (booting Russia out of the SWIFT system, revoking overflight and landing rights for Russian airlines, etc.).  Then what would happen?  Does the White House not know that Russia holds US$164 billion in US Treasury Securities?  That Russia could simply shut down the northern evacuation route for US forces in Afghanistan?  The millions of dollars in US and EU investment in Russia ( US$300,1 billion) could also be seized?  That Russia can shut down the "northern route" to US ships or stop cooperating on security and terrorism issues?  Fundamentally - does it do any good for the US to really hurt Russia (assuming that it could)?

The US and EU remind me of a toddler playing with a hand grenade: either it is a very boring toy and nothing happens, or it works, but then you are dead.

Western international diplomacy as a dead baby joke - how pathetic....

The Saker

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Are the US elites finally coming back to their senses?

I won't even bother to discuss the topic of US and EU sanctions against Russia as this is only utter nonsense aimed at appeasing a few lobbies and proving to the general public that western leaders are "tough".  Let's, however, look at two interesting developments:

1) Obama has declared that the US will not go to war over the Ukraine.  As usual, Obama tightly wrapped the key words in a lot of nonsensical political hot air, but he did state the following: 

"We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine. What we are going to do is mobilize all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we’ve got a strong international correlation that sends a clear message".  In other words - there is no military option.  Speaking about Putin Obama also said: "His strategic decisions are in no way based on whether he thought that we might go to war over this".  In other words, Putin is not bluffing and he does not fear us".  Good.  Somebody (Dempsey?) finally talked some sense into this man.

2) A former US ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991, John Matlock, wrote an editorial for Time magazine in which he shows a surprising amount of basic common sense (illustrating yet again my thesis that the quality of US diplomats today is infinitely worse than what it used to be 20 years ago).  I recommend that you read the full editorial - just to get a sense of the man - but I want to quote what I believe is the key section of the editorial:
Though they may be difficult for all relevant parties to accept, the premises of a solution to the Ukrainian mess are clear: 1) The new constitution should provide for a federal structure of government giving at least as many rights to its provinces as American states have; 2) The Russian language must be given equal status with Ukrainian; and 3) There must be guarantees that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO, or any other military alliance that excludes Russia
Guess what?  The man is absolutely correct! For one thing, I firmly believe that Russia would support such a program if only because, contrary to what so many people seem to think, has no desire at all to incorporate the eastern Ukraine into Russia.  As I have written in the past, what Russia wants is a a) stable b) prosperous and c) non-hostile independent Ukraine on its eastern border.  Of course, what Russia will not permit is the violent imposition of a Banderastan in the Eastern Ukraine.  That is simply not going to happen.  But an independent Ukraine is not at all a bad thing for Russia, it is, in fact, clearly the solution Russia would prefer.  And just to clarify - if the sanctions adopted against Russia are just a load of bull and a PR stunt, that does not mean that Russia wants a new Cold War or that Russia benefits from tensions with the EU and US.  Peace, stability and prosperity are what Russia most needs today.  So Matlock's common sense proposals will be met with full support in the Kremlin.

However, there are two very serious obstacles to the realization of this plan now:

1) The USA with its big stupid mouth has cornered itself into a comprehensively non-constructive position and its going to be awfully  hard to make a 180 degree turn and actually cut the imperial nonsense and get to work with Russia to stabilize the situation.

2) There is utter and total chaos in most of Banderastan (nationalist controlled ex-Ukraine) and armed gangs of mobsters are terrorizing the local population and racketeering small - and even not so small - businesses.  From all the reports I read I get the feeling that there must be something in the range of several tens of thousands of armed thugs loose in Banderastan (some 20% political and 80% mobsters, some 20% mobsters and 20% political).  Somebody will have to disarm these thugs, a non-negligible amount of which will have to be killed in the process.  Both Russia and NATO could do that (well, Russia would be far better at it, but nevermind), but neither can move in for political reasons.  So I simply don't see who could do that right now.  Maybe the leftover Ukrainian military?

Alas, the crazies in the new revolutionary regime are not only not trying to rebuild a police force or a real military, they are creating a "national guard" formed mainly of thugs loyal to the revolutionary regime.

Bottom line - there are signs that some Americans a slowly waking up from their grand imperial hallucinations, but this is very, very late in the game.  Had Obama and Matlock made these statements just one month ago, that would have made a huge difference, but today?

And then there was the utterly unprofessional, rude and undiplomatic rant of Samantha Powers at the UNSC.  She actually said the following:
Russia is known for its literary greatness and what you just heard from the Russian ambassador showed more imagination than Tolstoy or Chekhov.  A thief can steal property but that does not confer the right of ownership on the thief. What Russia has done is wrong as a matter of law, wrong as a matter of history, wrong as a matter of policy and dangerous.
 To which the Russian ambassador, Vitalii Churkin, replied:
During the discussions a number of colleagues unfortunately spoke up in an excessive way and I'm especially forced to return to the statement made by the representative of the United States of America. It is simply unacceptable to listen to these insults addressed to our country. If a delegation from the United States of America expects our cooperation in the Security Council on other issues, then Madam Powers must understand this quite clearly. Thank you.
If James Baker was still running the State Department Samantha Power would have been summarily fired from her current position and sent to teach English as a foreign language to Kisangani or Juba.  Today, with Obama in the White House - this kind of attitude is simply to be expected.

Still, now that the sabre rattling appears to be in the process of being replaced by some basic form of pragmatism, I want to believe that the article by Matlock by be the first sign of reason coming back to Washington DC.  At the very least, it is encouraging to some a member of the US nomenklatura writing a sensible op-ed.

The Saker