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by
Rick Moran

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March 15, 2014 - 10:16 am
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Well, of course they are. And I’m sure these “requests” are just as legitimate as the requests made by Sudeten Germans asking Hitler to “protect” them in 1938.

Vladimir Putin has missed his calling. Rather than working as an autocrat, he should have gone into the theater. Actor, director, stage manager — there isn’t anything he couldn’t do.

Putin has designed a production in Ukraine that should win him a Tony Award. And tomorrow, when the curtain rises on his musical comedy, How to Succeed with Annexation without Really Trying, the world will stand in awe of his skills at manipulation and showmanship.

In truth, Putin has created the exact conditions necessary to justify an invasion of eastern and southern Ukraine. He has engineered protests in three major cities — Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk — where at least three people have died and dozens have been injured. As if on cue, the Russian Foreign Ministry ominously warned about the “excesses” of ultranationalists — code for fascists. Ukraine’s government officials have said the provocations were “well planned.

Whether you believe Moscow or Kiev is irrelevant. Neither side is to be complimented on their accuracy or honesty. What’s clear is that Vladimir Putin is the master of events and it is up to him whether there will be peace or war with Ukraine.

His propaganda machine is in full swing.

The Associated Press reports:

This is Ukraine today, at least as seen by most Russian news media: the government is run by anti-Semitic fascists, people killed in protests were shot by opposition snipers and the West is behind it all.

And the room to disagree with that portrayal is getting smaller by the week.

With Crimea set to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to merge with Russia, the push to demonize Ukraine’s leadership has reached fever pitch. Authorities in Ukraine have responded by blocking Russian TV channels.

Lev Gudkov, head of a respected independent Moscow-based polling agency, says the propagandist tone of Russian state television has reached new levels.

“For intensity, comprehensiveness and aggressiveness, this is like nothing I have ever seen over the whole post-Soviet period,” Gudkov said.

News bulletins on top network Channel 1 carry extensive reports detailing purported rampant lawlessness to vague threats of reprisals against ethnic Russians and Jews, as well as showing interviews with talking heads alleging foreign-engineered plots.

NTV, owned by gas giant Gazprom’s media arm, on Thursday aired a report about purportedly hacked email correspondence between U.S. and Ukrainian officials on plans for staging an attack on military jets. The piece goes on to claim that the incident was to serve as an excuse for the United States to take military action against Russia.

It is steadily becoming conventional wisdom in the most widely watched news shows that those shot dead during protests in Kiev last month were victims of shadowy figures possibly hired by opposition forces.

Right Sector, a radical ultranationalist group that spearheaded the most violent assaults against riot police, is a subject of scaremongering daily exposes. For all the attention it has received, the group has not been granted any posts in the new government and observers say it has little actual clout.

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All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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Really, Putin aims too low. He should engineer a referendum in California on joining Russia, which had trading bases in northern California long before it joined the US. I think the odds at least 50-50 California would rather be a part of Russia.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He has engineered protests in three major cities —"

There is probably no reason to engineer anything there; it's not very cohesive state, a patchwork, very unstable, and ready to go into pieces, anyway. Why passion to keep it together in people who otherwise write reasonable and analytical columns on other topics? What kind of "cold-warrior" knee-jerk reaction leads to this? (cf. Ron Radosh's column as well). It's much more interesting to analyze EU behavior from "lebensraum" perspective, if one is looking for analogies.

Perhaps, Putin was not helpful in calming down fears, but why should he be? To make the author of this article pat him on the back as Yeltsin-style democrat?

It is probably more appropriate to say that "Obama engineered overthrow of elected president", and for this there is even pretty convincing proof (certain tape never challenged as not authentic).
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Putin should have gone into the theater."

And Obama, Kerry and McCain should have gone into a home for the feeble minded.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
What did people expect? Putin is viewed as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Obama as Carmen Miranda.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I knew the only way in hell that AP would report Ukraine censoring Russian TV Soviet-style was to make excuses for it.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
But you swallow Putin's lies the Ukrainians are being run by neo-Nazis hook-line-and-sinker, and don't recognize the truth of what they are reporting is happening in Russia. Putin is the fascist.

"Lev Gudkov, head of a respected independent Moscow-based polling agency, says the propagandist tone of Russian state television has reached new levels.

“For intensity, comprehensiveness and aggressiveness, this is like nothing I have ever seen over the whole post-Soviet period,” Gudkov said.

News bulletins on top network Channel 1 carry extensive reports detailing purported rampant lawlessness to vague threats of reprisals against ethnic Russians and Jews, as well as showing interviews with talking heads alleging foreign-engineered plots."

No such attacks are happening.

"NTV, owned by gas giant Gazprom’s media arm, on Thursday aired a report about purportedly hacked email correspondence between U.S. and Ukrainian officials on plans for staging an attack on military jets. The piece goes on to claim that the incident was to serve as an excuse for the United States to take military action against Russia.

It is steadily becoming conventional wisdom in the most widely watched news shows that those shot dead during protests in Kiev last month were victims of shadowy figures possibly hired by opposition forces."

If you believe the first you are insane, if you believe the second, you discount the character of the man who thinks Po219 is a sweetener for tea. I expect they were hired by Russia to generate a pretext, when they observed Yanukovych would not be able to keep control.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lets straighten these neocons like rick moran out a little bit:

US Policy Toward Ukraine: Hypocrisy of this Magnitude Has to Be Respected

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2014/03/08/us-policy-toward-ukraine-hypo
crisy-of-this-magnitude-has-to-be-respected/?utm_source=Foreign+Policy+Journ
al+Newsletter&utm_campaign=7347893032-FPJ_Newsletter_3_7_143_7_2014&utm_
al+medi
um=email&utm_term=0_c99f77aa38-7347893032-408213887

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been surrounding Russia, building one base after another, ceaselessly looking for new ones, including in Ukraine; one missile site after another, with Moscow in range; NATO has grabbed one former Soviet Republic after another. The White House and the unquestioning American mainstream media have assured us that such operations have nothing to do with Russia. And Russia has been told the same, much to Moscow's continuous skepticism. "Look," said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO some years ago, "is this is a military organization? Yes, it's military. . Is it moving towards our border? It's moving towards our border. Why..........

For NED and American neocons, Yanukovych's electoral legitimacy lasted only as long as he accepted European demands for new 'trade agreements' and stern economic 'reforms' required by the International Monetary Fund. When Yanukovych was negotiating those pacts, he won praise, but when he judged the price too high for Ukraine and opted for a more generous deal from Russia, he immediately became a target for 'regime change
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Russians are the fascists who won WWII.

They were not demolished, occupied, or reconstructed, and that's a d--n shame. Patton would better have been told to start in the bocage and then get his treads wet in the Pacific as soon as possible, delayed only as required to avoid the glowing craters.

"It's moving towards our border. Why.........."

If Putin can't handle the truth peaceably that it is happening because he's a kleptomaniac totalitarian who is being rejected by his neighbors, then we should make him handle it unpeaceably; and trust the Russians who love their children too stop him before he loses his sh!t atomically.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes Russia neighbors correctly believe Russia will not leave them alone so they want to join NATO so they will not be enslaved again. Russia is not entitled to dictate to former Soviet enslaved "Republics".

The comments are at least useful in exposing fascist supporting fools.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let Europe handle this. I'm sure they'll handle it every bit as well as they did when Hitler decided he needed a bit more room. Maybe Europe will reverse course and turn plowshares into swords - they've had nearly 70 years of protection compliments of the US taxpayer - time for them to pony up and pay to protect their own butts for a change.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
We know that the MSM lies to us about everything under the sun. ...yet... When the MSM tells us, for example, that Putin and the Russians are the bad guys - and that the US should punish Putin and the Russians - we buy it, hook, line, sinker. We'll forget about USAID's financing and organizing of the coup - not least among other wrongs we've done to both Ukraine and Russia in recent months and years. Not to mention all of those muslim tartars who've been trying to impose their views in Crimea and Ukraine. You hate the MSM and the left, but you keep buying everything they sell...
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, USAID did not finance this or previous Ukrainian "revolutions." Whether or not the CIA or other U.S. intelligence service paid or participated is another story.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...and the Russian President is bringing up the curtain"...actually he is preparing to be down "the Iron Curtain", yet again.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And I’m sure these 'requests' are just as legitimate as the requests made by Sudeten Germans asking Hitler to 'protect' them in 1938."

I am not surprised that you reflexively label the extension of Russian power as German. Wasn't this automatic blaming of the fascists the whole point of NKVD and KGB propaganda? It is amazing how well that propaganda and misinformation has worked. Here we are 70 years after the 1940s and we have replaced in our minds Stalin's crimes for Hitler's. Let's recall Russia's brutal aggression against the people of Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania. Stalin enslaved more people than Hitler. Stalin "displaced" more people than Hitler. Stalin killed millions. And yet Crimea 2014 is likened to the Nazis. The ubiquity of that mindset is definitely a "win" for the left.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whoa. Slow down there pard. The narrow point I was trying to make was that Putin was using Hitler's invasion playbook - same tactics to justify his actions. Why the hysterical response? Not blaming Hitler or fascism for Putin's actions. How could you possibly read that into what I wrote?

Suggest you re-read what I wrote and relax.


27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are labeling a playbook as Hitlerian when you should be labeling it as Communist, or Russian, or Soviet-style. When Stalin went into Finland, he did it to "fight Finnish Fascism." Ditto for Putin in 2014. When Stalin went into the Baltic countries he did it to protect Russians. Ditto Putin in 2014. Stalin used ethnic Russian identity as the pretext in the Baltics, just as Putin is doing. My point is that the West reflexively puts a NAZI sign on these things. We forget that Stalin did it too, and in a grander scale.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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