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"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Tuesday
Dec112018

Summer Fun In Russia

Wednesday
Nov282018

More Chris Hedges

Monday
Nov262018

War In Ukraine? 

Petro Porosenko has a problem. He wants to be reelected as president of Ukraine, but he is coming in at third place, behind a comedian. He needs an issue. You need a little history and geography to understand what is going on.

In 2014 the US orchestrated a coup and removed the elected president from office. Don't believe me? Here is where Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine plotting the post-coup government. 

This tape has a tendency to be removed from You Tube, so if this is read later you might need to search for it.

Naturally since Russia's warm water ports were in Ukraine, Crimea in particular, and the ports were only leased, this was a cause for concern to them. The plan, as NATO has been gradually encroaching on Russia, that the leases would not be renewed and leased to NATO.

Ukraine is rather evenly split into Ukrainian and Russian speaking citizens. Since many former Soviet Republics mistreat their Russian minorities this was a cause for concern. It did not help that after the coup, a bill was introduced in the Ukrainian parliament to make the Russian Language not usable in official business. In the other Republics this was the first step in the persecution of Russian minorities. It also did not help when a former president, Yulia Tymoshenko, jailed for corruption, proposed killing those Russians she did not like. 

Note that Yulia Tymoshenko is leading the polls to be elected president of Ukraine, far ahead of Porosenko.

Naturally this lead to discontent and revolt. The Russian Federation supported the rebels, especially in Crimea. Later there was a democratic vote in Crimea where 85% of those voting wanted to become a part of Russia. They are now a part of Russia, although this is not internationally recognized. Rebellion continues in eastern Ukraine. 

Now for the geography lesson, here is a map of Crimea. 

With the recent construction of a bridge to connect Russia with Crimea, the sea of Azov is now cut off from the Black Sea. The bridge is in the lower right of the map and is 11 miles long. Since the Ukrainian government was not supplying anything through the land bridge between Ukraine and Crimea, this was an obvious necessity. In the past, when transit was desired, the Ukrainian government officially requested it. While the Ukrainian government claims they did so this time, this is obviously untrue. If they had, the passage would have been granted.  

While is this such an issue for Russia? 

There have been threats and suggestions that the bridge be destroyed. Here is an American proposal in an Oo Ed for the Washington Examiner:

Fortunately Ukraine has the means to launch air strikes against the bridge in a manner that would render it at least temporarily unusable. Because of its significant length, the Ukrainian air force could strike the bridge while mitigating the risk of casualties by those traversing it.

The bridge was suggested as a target by a Ukrainian member of parliament. For some reason this threat was not well publicized in the West. I found this quote on an obscure website

“The Kerch Bridge is an enemy’s infrastructure. It connects the occupied territory with the mainland of the aggressor country, that is why it is an enemy’s infrastructure,” Mosiychuk said on air of 112 Ukraine channel.

So Ukrainian boats approach the area without notice, naturally this had a response and the ships were detained. For a full description of the incident you can go to the blog Moon Of Alabama.

What do you need to know? 

Crimea contains important ports that Russia will not allow to fall into NATO hands. Crimea has been a part of Russia since 1783. The vast majority of Crimea's people want to be in Russia. Russia will go to war rather than lose Crimea. Russia will use nuclear weapons rather than lose a war over Crimea if there was a widescale war. 

So the president of Ukraine will risk nuclear annihilation because he is low in the polls and probably won't be reelected. This is the US ally that the US is suppling with weapons. 

Trump is an idiot. 

Friday
Nov232018

The End of Empire? 

This is an interesting discussion. I think that it will not be this next crisis, but the one after this next one. So it is ten years away at least. Since this will be a worldwide event, it might not be the tipping point for the US empire. 

Friday
Nov162018

Trump Apologist? 

I know a large number of people think I am a Trump apologist. Except for Immigration and Tariffs I am in profound disagreement with him. Even on this two issues his application of policies on these two issues has been borderline moronic. While only 15% of it was caused by ill designed tax cuts, we have trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. While most of the proposed defense increases are really smoke and mirrors, Trump is wasting hundreds of billions on defense that we don’t need. 

If I can regain my composure, I may blog about the latest US vote in the UN. The US voted against a resolution condemning fascism. Also voting against were Palau, population 21,000, and Ukraine, where an important part of the current government is fascist. There were a number of abstentions because it was known how the US would vote. It is embarrassing.

Yet, if I decide to vote in 2020, it is likely I will vote for Trump. I am a stranger in a strange land. Things are now accepted as commonplace would have been regarded as clinical insanity just a few years ago. Here is an example of “entertainment” that we are offered as normal. From the show Madame Secretary: 

Nationalism is not racism.