Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Saving Face

The Americans are finding out the hard way that a fact-free zone is not a comfortable place to inhabit. The initial knee-jerk allegations, voiced by Obama, by the screechy UN representative Samantha Power, by John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and any number of talking heads, were that the downing of flight MH17 was all Putin's fault. These were swiftly followed by a complete and utter lack of official evidence of any Russian involvement but lots of strange, unexplained coincidences pointing to Ukrainian and American involvement. These were, in turn, followed by an uncharacteristically frank admission from US intelligence that there is no proof of Russian involvement. The newly installed Ukrainian oligarch-turned-president Poroshenko (code-name “Piglet”) switched from claiming that he had proof of Russian complicity to being very very quiet. Incompetently concocted fake “evidence” of this and that continues to appear on social media sites, only to be swiftly disproved. Once disproved, the fake evidence vanishes, only to be replaced by more of the same. The latest fake is of Russian artillery bombardment from across the border. All of this has added up to quite an awkward situation for the Americans. Barefaced lying may be fun and profitable, but it does not provide a solid foundation for foreign policy. Nobody wants to go down in history for blowing up the world over some fake Youtube videos.

The list of questions that demand answers is quite extensive. Why did the Ukrainians suddenly choose to activate their Buk M1 air defense system, with several rocket batteries and a radar, in Donetsk region, on the day of the crash? What was the Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet (attested by numerous eye-witnesses) doing trailing after the Boeing? Why did Ukrainian air traffic control in Dnepropetrovsk redirect the flight to fly at a lower altitude and over the war zone? What were all those foreigners doing in the air traffic control center in Dnepropetrovsk right after the crash, and what happened to the flight control records they confiscated? What was the experimental US spy satellite doing flying over that exact spot at that exact moment? By the way, was anything interesting happening that day at the American drone base in Kanatov, in Dnepropetrovsk region, which, incidentally, is right on the flight path of MH17? (We know that it's active; two of their drones have already been shot down by the rebels, one of which landed more or less intact, and the Russians are probably having fun tinkering with it.)

Some people are surmising that the crash was a failed false flag attack orchestrated by the Ukrainians with, at a minimum, American complicity. The idea, this version goes, was to pin the blame on the rebels and, by extension, on Russia, in order to escalate the conflict. This version of events may sound plausible to some people, because false flag operations are part of the standard American playbook. After all, there was that chemical attack in Syria which almost led to a US bombing campaign. The chemical attack was blamed on the Assad regime, but then it turned out to have been a false flag: it was made by the Syrian rebels, on Syrian rebels, with help from Saudi Arabia, in order to smear Assad and escalate the conflict. Russia was able to deescalate the conflict by persuading Assad to give up his chemical weapons stockpile. (It didn't take much convincing, because Assad no doubt realized that this stockpile was more of a liability than an asset.) The Americans were livid; they had been itching to bomb Syria. Had they done so, the too-evil-for-al Qaeda “Caliphate” known as ISIS, which recently spilled out of Syria and rolled right across northern Iraq, would probably be enthroned in Damascus by now as well.

But in the case of flight MH17, the false flag theory rests on an untenable assumption: that the Ukrainians, if tasked with shooting it down, would in fact succeed in shooting it down. All previous evidence illustrates that when Ukrainians want to shoot down a plane, they may succeed in shooting down  a nursery school, a maternity ward, an apartment building full of elderly Ukrainians, but never a plane. Conversely, if Ukrainians set out to destroy a maternity ward or a kindergarten (as they are known to sometimes do) odds are that they will hit a Boeing. They inherited a now rather obsolete Buk M1 air defense system from the USSR, which, in skilled hands, is quite capable of shooting down a Boeing flying at cruising altitude, but you'd be wrong to think that they have figured out how it works. They held exactly one training exercise using this system, in 2001, and succeeded in... shooting down a Russian civilian airliner! There were no training exercises in using this system until... it was used to shoot down MH17! It was used in Georgia during the war of 2008 over South Ossetia, where it did shoot down four Russian military aircraft, but there it was commanded by American mercenaries of Polish descent. Ukrainians excell at robbing, selling out, dismantling and destroying their own country; but achieving a specific, precise result as part of a highly coordinated mission? Not so much. Case in point: some Australian and Dutch troops wanted to go and maintain security at the crash site, but couldn't, because the Ukrainians chose the occasion of their arrival to attack some neighboring towns and villages. You'd think that they would treat the opportunity to get some NATO boots on the ground as a Godsend, and act accordingly, but such rational behavior would be, you know, un-Ukrainian. The proper thing for them to do is to go and strafe some nearby village, and get themselves ambushed and slaughtered to a man by an angry babushka with a Kalashnikov.

Once you discount the theory that the downing of MH17 was a highly orchestrated false flag operation, everything falls into place. Why did the Ukrainians deploy their Buk M1 batteries and radar in Donetsk region, even though there was no enemy for them to shoot at? Because they are idiots. Why was there a Ukrainian Sukhoi 25 jet fighter in the air there? Trailing behind passenger jets and using them as human shields is standard Ukrainian practice. Why did that fighter zoom up into the Boeing's flight corridor and pop up on air traffic control radar at the exact time the Boeing was shot down? That's a standard evasive maneuver: the pilot saw a missile being launched, and tried to get out of its way by aiming up. If he hadn't done that, then the story would have been that Ukrainians shot down their own jet fighter as part of a successful (by Ukrainian standards) exercise, held in the vicinity of an international passenger flight just to spice things up. Why did Dnepropetrovsk APC redirect the flight over the war zone and the Buk M1 batteries? Because the Ukrainians had recently issued an order that closed the airspace over Donetsk, well below the plane's cruising altitude and away from its flight path, but perhaps something was lost in translation to Ukraine's wonderfully precise official language, and so the APC redirected the flight right over the closed airspace and told it to fly right above the minimum altitude. Why did the Ukrainians launch the rocket? Well, that was probably something like what happened in the movie The Three Stooges in Outer Space. The stooges find themselves inside a rocket. Moe gets hungry and pushes a button that he thinks says “LUNCH” except that it says “LAUNCH.” Hilarity ensues.

If that is what happened, then that's really embarrassing, not just for the Ukrainians, for whom embarrassment has become something of a national sport, but for their self-appointed American minders. What's making this situation even more difficult is that western news teams, following in the wake of the investigative teams visiting the crash site, got a chance to look at, and report on, the carnage and devastation perpetrated by the Ukrainians against their own people. Worse yet, the Ukrainian government, so carefully slapped together out of US State Department-approved dregs of Ukrainian society, has in the meantime come unstuck. The coalition goverment failed after a spectacular fistfight on the floor of the Supreme Rada, with the two rabidly nationalist parties walking out (OK, I won't call them Nazi, but only today). Prime minister Yatsenyuk (who had been hand-picked for the job and nicknamed “Yats” by Victoria Nuland of the US State Department) has resigned. [Update: he changed his mind and decided to stay: or did his American handlers change his mind for him?] President Piglet is still there, but it's unclear what it is he is doing. In fact, it is becoming unclear whether there even is a Ukrainian government; of late, the officials in Donetsk have been receiving very strange, barely coherent missives from Kiev, obviously written in American English and clumsily translated, then signed and stamped by some Ukrainian monkey to make them look slightly more legit. If the Ukrainian translators run away too, then the American minders will be forced to resort to using Google Translate, making it the world's first experiment in governance through word salad.

The MH17 disaster and Eastern Ukraine are now front page news across the entire world. The circumstances of the crash are anything but clear, but it is clear that they are not what the Americans initially alleged. This they have already admitted. The Ukrainian government is in disarray bordering on nonexistence. The Ukrainian military is either kettled in traps of their own devising and suffering horrific losses, or blasting away at densely populated districts with heavy artillery and rocket fire. The Ukrainian economy is in freefall, with trade links to Russia severed and industry nearing standstill. The country is bankrupt and at the mercy of the IMF. If you feel that the several hundred lives lost aboard MH17 are a tragedy, then you should consider a larger number: 42 million. That's the population of Ukraine minus Crimea (which will be fine) and that's the number of lives at risk from civil war and economic collapse.

The best that the US can do in this situation is to bug out of Ukraine while continuing to babble incoherently. This shouldn't be hard; bugging out and babbling incoherently are two things that the Americans are clearly still very good at; just look at Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

30 comments :

martin maier said...

Great post, approaching the sarcasm of Karl Kraus or Jonathan Swift in its scathing contempt. Unfortunately these bunglers on either side of the Atlantic have all our lives in their incompetent, amoral hands.

k-dog said...

I started to follow the news in 'The Star Online', (Malaysian news in English).

I was there just now. A headline said rocket shrapnel was indicated by a black box. Another headline said "Kiev now in control of MH17 crash site". Lots of MH-17 news is there.

As I was reading The Star Online the other week I realized that crash site area was in a state of total social collapse. Like something described in your 'Reinventing Collapse'.

Civil order had totally broken down at the crash site. So much so that no authority could organize any effort to effectively deal with the crash. The thought of you and what you might say about all this crossed my mind. I also thought about how everyone involved in the situation in any way at all was lying, saying whatever they thought that could gain them any advantage. The phrase 'When war comes, truth is the first casualty' became obvious as I perused the copious Malaysian MH-17 news.

You know far more than I about Ukrainians. You saying they are stooges at governing themselves fits facts. Rebels don't rebel if there is nothing to rebel about. And I also had a personal 'I know all I need to know about government in Ukraine' moment when I toured the pictures of Viktor Yanukovych's palace and walked the grounds with the help of Google Earth a while back. Ukraine is messed up.

Life in Ukraine right now must be horrible. It is distressing our U.S. government cares nothing about what the people in the embattled regions actually desire for government or the pains they now suffer through. Like crows picking at bloody carrion our officials ruthlessly pursue the self-serving advantages they see.

Pictures of the burning houses should be in the news and inspiring outrage. Not ambiguous satellite photos.

Man's inhumanity to man. This is surly an annus horribilis.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1406618585.html

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Dmitry, perhaps you missed one small stroke with this sentence:

"The Ukrainian military is either kettled in traps of their own devising and suffering horrific losses, or blasting away at densely populated districts with heavy artillery and rocket fire."

May I suggest the following added bit to go on the end: "Just like the Israeli Fail Force currently slaughtering ad-lib in Gaza, yet - as with the Kiev-junta forces in Donbas - still failing to deter or disable the opposition."

Publius said...

Thanks for the update. Your humor makes me feel a bit less depressed about the whole situation. However, do you not think that we are nearing a crisis point?
My fear is the the shadow government of the USA will get desperate, and instead of running away with their tails behind their legs, actually escalate. They seem to be making noises about fortifying bases in Poland, etc., in order to stock up war materiel on Russia's border.
What is the end game here?

Also, they are ratcheting up sanctions. At what point might Putin simply decide that Russia has nothing left to lose, and just annex the Russian speaking areas of East Ukraine? Personally, I agree with Paul Craig Roberts: he should have done so already, and it would be over by now. Instead, the world has to live with a powder keg for an unknown period of time...

Wolfgang Brinck said...

I got this in an email from a pseudo-religious organization which plugs what they call integral consciousness:
"The two global hot spots this week are, once again, Ukraine, where Russian separatists have shot down a passenger jet from Amsterdam, killing 300 people, and Israel/Gaza, where longstanding tensions have flared into a new intifada. What do these conflicts have in common and how can integral consciousness help us understand them more deeply?"
I guess critical thinking is not part of integral consciousness. First they rounded up the number of dead, then they attribute the downing of the plane to Ukrainian separatists. And then having got the basic facts wrong, they hope to explain to me why it happened? And so the propaganda machine grinds its grist, a grain at a time in distributed fashion.

Mister Roboto said...

The situation is certainly a mess of epic proportions, but I'm having some trouble following your line of thought (forgive me, I've been suffering from chronic insomnia of late). You seem to be saying that the missile was fired by separatist rebels who were aiming at the Ukrainian fighter jet, which was trying to use MH17 as cover. If so, that would definitely place the blame squarely on the Kiev government which is currently in the process of falling apart. (Everything I've heard about Ukraine lately makes me so glad I don't live there!)

I have also heard speculation that the fighter jet itself shot down MH17 as part of a false-flag operation, on account of some supposed experts saying that the damage to the fuselage seems more consistent with an air-to-air missile than a ground-to-air missile. I have no idea who these supposed experts are, though.

Dmitry Orlov said...

I believe there is a mismatch between the planning horizons between the US and Russia. Putin is thinking decades ahead, while the US is out of the game the moment the dollar dump happens and the national and other US debts can no longer be rolled over and expanded. Everybody knows this. The Americans are absolutely desperate and are hoping to buy an extra few years by sowing chaos and precipitating capital flight. Wrecking Europe by driving a wedge between the EU and Russia is a big part of this strategy; wrecking the Middle East and antagonizing China is another. The big question to me is, is it already too late?

Dmitry Orlov said...

There is no evidence that the rebels did it. They also had no means to do so. Whether it was shot down from the ground or from the air will become obvious once the wreckage is examined by someone familiar with the weapons systems involved. The rockets carried by Su-25 shoot rods, the Buk M1 shoots cubes. They are not destroyed in a crash. Find a rod or a cube in the wreckage, and you have the answer.

Bogatyr said...

Dmitry: "The rockets carried by Su-25 shoot rods, the Buk M1 shoots cubes. They are not destroyed in a crash. Find a rod or a cube in the wreckage, and you have the answer".

One has to wonder whether this might have suddenly occurred to someone in Kiev, hence:

"Case in point: some Australian and Dutch troops wanted to go and maintain security at the crash site, but couldn't, because the Ukrainians chose the occasion of their arrival to attack some neighboring towns and villages".

Which would at least be a bit more rational than you give them credit for...

Dmitry Orlov said...

Well I've seen some reports of Ukrainians confiscating and perhaps destroying evidence and perhaps killing witnesses, so that would fit in with that pattern. There is also a stunning silence from both the US and the Ukrainian side in response to evidence and questions from Russia's ministry of defense. It seems like a guilty demeanor. How long can they go on avoiding all facts? Forever? Certainly their own populations won't cause a problem, being 99% zombified by propaganda.

Roille Figners said...

Propaganda? That's "tittytainment," thank you very much.

I'm still standing by my CIA theory. As you say, complicit at a minimum.

cervidius said...

Dmitry Orlov wrote: "...the US is out of the game the moment the dollar dump happens and the national and other US debts can no longer be rolled over and expanded."

While I love the main post on the situation in Ukraine, I'm confused what you mean by this. The US cannot default on its debt that is denominated in US dollars (which is all of it). Indeed, as the creator of US dollars, it need not issue debt at all so long as it retains the power to collect taxes domestically (and thereby drive demand for them domestically).

A "dollar dump" cannot happen unless other countries stop exporting to the US. As long as they export to the US, they will get dollars in return, and they will need to do something with those dollars, which in themselves are worthless bits of green paper (or mere pixels on a computer screen). There are only two choices: buy goods that are for sale in dollars or buy US treasuries (which is actually a gift from the US government that allows them to earn interest while they wait for an actual good or service to buy).

This is not intended as a defense of the US government. But an analysis that is not built on factual premises--in this case, an understanding of the US monetary system and money more generally--is not a reliable analysis and must be reconsidered.

Nassim said...

You are being too charitable to the Ukrainians and Americans. Here is a more complete study of what really happened:

"MH17 Verdict: Real Evidence Points to US-Kiev Cover-up of Failed False Flag"

http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/07/25/mh17-verdict-real-evidence-points-to-us-kiev-cover-up-of-failed-false-flag-attack/

Ceworthe said...

What guarantees that the exporting countries want to take payments in dollars? They could demand payment in another currency, gold, silver, etc.

RusSyr said...

I really like your humor. We need humor in times like this in order to keep us sane. Looking at the situation in Ukraine with all of the characters that have come to be known and hated (Yats, Tymoshenko, Klitsch, Poroshenko, etc, etc,) I can't help but notice that they are so bad and psychopathic that they actually make that drunken fellow from another era, Boris Yeltsin (no offense to drunks of the world to be associated with that name) and his cohorts look like geniuses. Imagine that. That's quite an accomplishment. What is it with this entity called Ukraine. The “leaders” that have gotten power since the USSR collapsed are the biggest sorry ass losers any nation could want to have. Look at the type of “leaders” they have had. Names like Kravchuk, Kuchma, Yuschenko, Yanukovich and as you say “piglet” Poroshenko will go down in history as the most selfish, shameful, and corrupt individuals imagined. Although I think it was terrible about over throwing the elected Yanukovich, he wasn't that good also. Just less horrible than the others. By the way have you noticed that Putin wants nothing to do with him. I think Putin is disgusted with him. He's allowed Yanukovich to remain in Rostov-on-Don but just as a humanitarian gesture. What a pathetic weasel he was in not totally standing up to the EU and not confronting the puschists. He reminds me of Gorbachev.

I think the history of Ukraine after the breakup just possibly shows that it is an artificial construct that was pieced together I believe during or after World War 1. It simply can not function as a real nation. It's about as artificial as Israel. It is the lamest excuse for a nation. Can somebody tell me what the fuck Ukraine is anyhow. Was there any mention of the name Ukraine before the 1900's. At the risk of being insensitive and ignorant they look, talk and seem like ordinary Russians to me. Never mind the very shallow different name they now call Kyiv (instead of Kiev). Wow that makes them really really different from Russia!!! LOL. Maybe except for the west Ukraine, the rest I think is just another type of Russian. Are Alabamans any less American than New Yorkers because they talk differently or use different slangs. Let's be honest, whatever Ukraine has positive today (education, industry, engineering, etc.) was on account of being tied to the hip with Russia in the Soviet Union. Russia even gave them hugely discounted natural gas. That's the lesson for Ukraine. After the USSR breakup it's been all downhill for “Ukraine”.

This is what I recommend for them; Let the Neanderthals from the west (Lvov, etc.) form their own nation. They can call it something like: Oh let's see now. What about UKRAINE!!! Let them keep their goofy blue and yellow flag. The rest of the rump nation can call it, let's see now. What about NOVOROSSIA!!!. Once NOVOROSSIA is set free they can either be independent and once again tied to the hip with mother Russia or become an official province belonging to the Russian Federation. It doesn't really matter which one. Then all the rejects and filth like Kolomoisky, Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, Yats and all of the Nazis can duke it out in a Darwinian survival of the fittest. Then they can join NATO and the EU and do whatever they please. Let the west take care of them.

I think Putin and the Russian government is practicing a form of tough love with Novorossia. I think they are disgusted with Ukraine and basically telling the non-demented (non western) part that if they want help from Russia they have to prove something very important. The people of the non-demented part at large and also the rebels are being told by Russia, I believe, that if you want us to take you under our wings and join us then you have to show that you have the gumption, discipline, intelligence and organizational ability to take matters into your own hands. The last thing Russian wants is to have to take care of 42 million dependent people who can't stand on their own two feet. Russia needs this like a hole in the head.

RusSyr said...

I really like your humor. We need humor in times like this in order to keep us sane. Looking at the situation in Ukraine with all of the characters that have come to be known and hated (Yats, Tymoshenko, Klitsch, Poroshenko, etc, etc,) I can't help but notice that they are so bad and psychopathic that they actually make that drunken fellow from another era, Boris Yeltsin (no offense to drunks of the world to be associated with that name) and his cohorts look like geniuses. Imagine that. That's quite an accomplishment. What is it with this entity called Ukraine. The “leaders” that have gotten power since the USSR collapsed are the biggest sorry ass losers any nation could want to have. Look at the type of “leaders” they have had. Names like Kravchuk, Kuchma, Yuschenko, Yanukovich and as you say “piglet” Poroshenko will go down in history as the most selfish, shameful, and corrupt individuals imagined. Although I think it was terrible about over throwing the elected Yanukovich, he wasn't that good also. Just less horrible than the others. By the way have you noticed that Putin wants nothing to do with him. I think Putin is disgusted with him. He's allowed Yanukovich to remain in Rostov-on-Don but just as a humanitarian gesture. What a pathetic weasel he was in not totally standing up to the EU and not confronting the puschists. He reminds me of Gorbachev.

I think the history of Ukraine after the breakup just possibly shows that it is an artificial construct that was pieced together I believe during or after World War 1. It simply can not function as a real nation. It's about as artificial as Israel. It is the lamest excuse for a nation. Can somebody tell me what the fuck Ukraine is anyhow. Was there any mention of the name Ukraine before the 1900's. At the risk of being insensitive and ignorant they look, talk and seem like ordinary Russians to me. Never mind the very shallow different name they now call Kyiv (instead of Kiev). Wow that makes them really really different from Russia!!! LOL. Maybe except for the west Ukraine, the rest I think is just another type of Russian. Are Alabamans any less American than New Yorkers because they talk differently or use different slangs. Let's be honest, whatever Ukraine has positive today (education, industry, engineering, etc.) was on account of being tied to the hip with Russia in the Soviet Union. Russia even gave them hugely discounted natural gas. That's the lesson for Ukraine. After the USSR breakup it's been all downhill for “Ukraine”.

This is what I recommend for them; Let the Neanderthals from the west (Lvov, etc.) form their own nation. They can call it something like: Oh let's see now. What about UKRAINE!!! Let them keep their goofy blue and yellow flag. The rest of the rump nation can call it, let's see now. What about NOVOROSSIA!!!. Once NOVOROSSIA is set free they can either be independent and once again tied to the hip with mother Russia or become an official province belonging to the Russian Federation. It doesn't really matter which one. Then all the rejects and filth like Kolomoisky, Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, Yats and all of the Nazis can duke it out in a Darwinian survival of the fittest. Then they can join NATO and the EU and do whatever they please. Let the west take care of them.

I think Putin and the Russian government is practicing a form of tough love with Novorossia. I think they are disgusted with Ukraine and basically telling the non-demented (non western) part that if they want help from Russia they have to prove something very important. The people of the non-demented part at large and also the rebels are being told by Russia, I believe, that if you want us to take you under our wings and join us then you have to show that you have the gumption, discipline, intelligence and organizational ability to take matters into your own hands. The last thing Russian wants is to have to take care of 42 million dependent people who can't stand on their own two feet. Russia needs this like a hole in the head.

Publius said...

This video may warrant discussion here: Sergei Glazyev, a Russian economist and adviser to Putin discussing the West's plans. It doesn't look good.

rapier said...

Am I correct that the uniformed separatists are those who deserted the Ukrainian forces around the Crimea separation period?

At any rate militarizing the situation in order to separate from Ukraine made what has followed almost inevitable. Well sure the Ukrainian government, using the term government loosely, could have used restraint and not moved militarily to confront the separatists but obviously that was not in the cards.

In this way I see a parallel with Gaza in that a hopeless quest for political independence by military means results in slaughter and destruction of their people and place. I said parallel not a close analogy as there are plenty of differences. There are other parallels with Libya and Syria where militarized radicals tried or did overthrow a government with the main result being massive destruction, civilian deaths and refugees galore.

Pepe Escobar calls this the Empire Of Chaos and says this is a tactical choice America has embraced or at least accepted after nice neat clean regime change didn't work out. As it never does.

If the ex Ukrainian forces had simply disbanded and gone home much suffering would have been avoided. Obviously things would not have been all peaches and cream for the East but the military cure is always worse than the disease. Admittedly boys will be boys and boys with guns will inevitably use them.

michigan native said...

Some people in the states are skeptical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO0F4zXJUIo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkmKwxF4jU0

forrest said...

A commenter tries to correct you by pointing out that the US dollar, as long as the govt collects taxes in dollars, will continue to be in demand in the USA.

The problem, as I see it, is that people in other countries don't need to pay US taxes and may not remain interested in exporting objects of value to us in exchange for US dollars, any more than we'd want to sell our goodies to the poor of Bangladesh in exchange for their leftovers...

"Dollar dump" would describe that situation pretty well. And in that event, as somebody somewhere once pointed out, the US could go right on 'rolling over the debt' in currency people here might want; they just couldn't borrow enough to send a platoon to Mexico and keep them supplied there.

Hence, as you say, "out of the game," yay! It's been a pretty sick game for a very long time; and benefiting from it at the world's expense has not improved us.

michigan native said...

As to an earlier post about how the dollar will get dumped, I offer this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQ7_74Ok8s

Nobody knows the timing, but they all agree its inevitable. Few factor in the role of energy (or lack of) will play into this. They are all saying they are amazed that the collapse has been delayed as long as it has.

If US foreign policy is any indication, everyday reality being ignored or denied as we buy our teeth whiteners, Justin Bieber, or hair coloring for men aside, etc then you may not be imagining things if you see an empire up against the ropes and taking a severe pummeling and is soon to go down for a count from which it will never arise.

Coldtype said...

What guarantees that the exporting countries want to take payments in dollars? They could demand payment in another currency, gold, silver, etc. -Ceworthe

What would happen is the same thing that happens if I offer to sell my asset in exchange for a medium that the buyer cannot or will not provide: no sale. The same applies to net exporters. They either sell their output to Americans or find an alternative destination least their export-orientated economies collapse.

Enrique said...

@ Wolfgang Brinck:

I see Ken Wilber is still peddling his particular brand of New Age snake oil. I thought the rhetoric from the "integral consciousness" quote looked awfully familiar and so looked up the website. I had a university professor who was a big Wilber fan, and I understand Al Gore is as well. This is the sort of moronic nonsense that you get when you have a bunch of sheltered upper middle class liberal twits who fancy themselves as "spiritually evolved". ROTFLMAO

rapier said...

Dimitri I urge you to take a step back and look at what is obviously your prejudice against Ukrainians. The entire 4th paragraph of this essay is one long exercise in ethnic hate. Such is stupid, unnecessary and destructive in terms of the situation there and the broader scope of your work .

If the Ukraine situation can and should be understood in the broader contexts of energy and currency wars in defense of a dying order, which I think is correct,then you do disservice to yourself and your readers by descending into the modes of thought and emotion that learned prejudice bring.

Please, take a step back. Being a young expat in the US perhaps you hopefully were immune to many of the typical US ethnic or racial prejudices and could see them for what they are. Examine your feelings for Ukrainians and then remember they are just humans, flawed as any other.

Dmitry Orlov said...

You misunderstood me completely. The Ukrainians are our brothers. The murderous idiocy I bring up is an abiding quality of the UKRAINIAN STATE. The Ukrainians are just people; Russian people, speaking either Russian or a quaint Russian dialect quite similar to that used to be spoken in other parts of Russia, inhabiting a historical Russian heartland. The fact that these people have been stuck on the wrong side of an artificial border and ruled by thieving murderers is one of the many tragedies that resulted from the collapse of the USSR. The issue is not bigotry but justice: the war criminals must be captured and put on trial.

Banastal said...

excellent post. I think I broke down in a nervous laugh as I read it. It was very funny but Yes, Ukrainians are our brothers and nobody not Russian can understand how we feel about Ukraine and what is going on is so completely frustrating and sad. The situation with the attitude to Russia reminds me of an old Russian joke: - You are not allowed into our house anymore.
- Why?
- Last time you were here, some cups went missing. ... Well, we found them later, but the feeling is still lingering.

I guess I am just so tired of this.

Bobby D said...

Yes, some emotion and also some vitriol, but it is still good stuff. He is no doubt frustrated about the BS being spouted. I get that, especially when the newspapers are still spouting information that has already been discredited. But that is what news media does - a claim will be disproved, they will drop it from their articles for a few days, then they will stick it back in their articles a few days later, repeating it as if it is 'facts.' But part of the problem is thinking that how the situation resolves will depend upon the 'truth' of what occurred. That is just a naive view. How the situation resolves will depend upon power, nothing else.

It comes back to the story of Alice in Through the Looking Glass, talking to Humpty Dumpty:

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

ed9 said...

А very good picture of post-soviet collapse in Armenia.

http://luiza-fransuaza.livejournal.com/176728.html

The same may happen in Ukraine this winter, and later in many other countries.

Albert Bates said...

First, great post. Second, one is left wondering from the comments whether the Dutch will find neither rods nor cubes in their search, - a case of the dog that did not bark in the night. Third, someone who seems to be intimate with Janes Defence Weekly posted a comment to one of my posts that said the BUK platform held by the separatists is a particular version that has self-guided radar, meaning that the means and opportunity were possessed by both sides.