Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World

Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

Originally dedicated to the vagaries of matters involving Whitey Bulger and the FBI but now expanded into more general topics.

Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World - Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

Obama’s Dangerous Pusillanimity – Did He Sell Out Ukraine?

Ukraine Christmas TreeHave you been following the position of the United States on Ukraine? Probably not since it has not been carried in most mainstream newspapers. Last Friday “US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has warned about serious consequences that the use of force against the participants in the rally in support for Ukraine’s European integration in Kyiv could have for Ukraine’s bilateral relations with the US.”    

Shortly after receiving this warning from the U.S. the Ukraine government sent Swat-type police into Maidan Nezalezhnost (Independence Square) at 4:00 am to clear it of demonstrators (click on video) who were camped out in tents by beating many severely. The alleged reason given was they needed to put up a Christmas tree  The sign shown in the picture above is a response to those in power. It says: “Choke on your Christmas Tree.”

There are over 45 million people in Ukraine. Its population is similar to that of Spain, making it the 5th or 6th largest country in Europe. It is important to the peace of Europe that it be kept in the west camp rather than slipping into the orbit of the newly aggressive Russia. The EU has recently been rebutted by Ukraine in its attempt to form an alliance caused by the enormous pressure that Russian has been putting on Ukraine  The youth of Ukraine are upset.

There is a big tug of war in that country which recently extricated itself from decades of Russian control, sort of similar to the struggle the Irish had under the rule of the  Britain. Among the events hidden from the people in the U.S. was the Holodomor when Stalin’s forces in 1932-33 requisitioned food stores, deported peasants or forbade them from leaving the land, carried out mass executions and put people in prison. This was accomplished in conjunction with the New York Times foreign correspondent in the Soviet Union, Walter Durante. A description of Durante is here. He won the Pulitzer Prize for praising Stalin and pretending the starvation of up to 10 million Ukrainians didn’t occur.

Like in the 1930s, the U.S. seems at a loss what to do about Ukraine. Russia wants to gobble it up; the U.S. is making no overt efforts to stop this or to woo it into the embrace of the West. It is because Obama can’t make up his mind when it comes to Vladimir Putin the old KGB hand. Like the Chinese, the Russians have taken the measure of Obama. I talked about Putin’s slipping one by Obama during the Syrian crisis. This time I’ve been told it is different.

I’ve heard it said that Obama made a deal with Putin: if Putin got Iran to come to an agreement then Obama would let Russian swallow Ukraine. Right now it is said Putin is behind the crack down on the Ukrainian protestors; however, unlike in Russia where he has intimidated the population the Ukrainians are resisting.

Putin’s not taking it lying down. He has said during a visit in Italy,“I ask our friends in Brussels, my personal good friends in the European Commission, to hold back on the sharp words.”  Note he didn’t have to remonstrate with Obama who is already ignoring Putin’s grab.

If Putin’s attains his goal through taking advantage of the deal with Obama or because of Obama’s pusillanimity one person noted:But Ukraine would nonetheless become the jewel in Putin’s neo-imperial crown, the indispensable province restoring the proud Soviet patrimony he recalls nostalgically from his days as a patriot schoolboy when the world stood in awe and fear of the mighty Soviet Union.”

That person also noted: “With Ukraine, Russia is an empire; without it, it cannot be one.”  With Obama in power our policy toward Ukraine has been muddled and fickle. Now with the government brutally suppressing the rights of free speech American newspapers are beginning to a mention of it.

When we warn the Ukrainian government not to do something and they go ahead and do it and we don’t do anything we’re sending out the message of impotence; the same message sent out during the Clinton years when people like Osama bin Laden thought we were a toothless tiger and mistakenly thought he could attack us without any consequences. The price of looking away in the face of brutal aggression can be very high.

On Sunday young Ukrainian students and others anxious to see their country move closer to the values of the West were out on the streets of Kiev peacefully protesting the government’s brutality. This happened previously in Iran when the Green Revolution was occurring. Obama made a speech about the Iran uprising but did little else. With Ukraine he has not uttered a word.

Unless he acts soon, Obama’s legacy will be the subversion of Ukraine and the empowerment of a hostile Russia.

 

 

 

 

 

Category: Uncategorized
  • elmer says:

    Excellent post. The sovok mafia thugs that call themselves a “government” in Ukraine have thought better of it, and have “called for investigations” into the use of force.

    The New Year’s Tree – the sovoks could not quite eliminate the Christmas tree, so they turned it into a New Year’s Tree – has been the pretext on which to clear previous protests in Ukraine.

    I thought you might get a kick out of these 2 videos, in which the illiterate lumbering lummox dunderhead “president” of Ukraine, who is a criminal thug, struggles to think of the word for Christmas tree in Ukrainian, and finally hits on the word “yolka” – and indeed, he should choke on the yolka.

    One of the comparisons is to the 100 meter winner, Bolt.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdRH8wzTcNU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8z6DYU_p2A

    It’s not just the students that are dissatisfied. Older people have come out to support the massive protests as well.

    And it’s not just a tug of war with Rasha – there are oligarchs inside Ukraine who want to preserve the current sovok mafia kleptocracy, but who do not necessarily want to be under Putler’s thumb, because they know that Putler would turn them into mere handmaidens.

    The people are sick and tired of the brutal sovok mafia kleptocracy, and have come out to support EU integration – which Yanustalin, after all, promised in his campaign for “president.”

    So there is a huge lie factor here too on the part of Yanustalin and his Bolshevik Party of Regions

    December 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    • Henry Barth says:

      Good observations, Elmer. I think the EU is becoming very much against enlargement by inclusion of eastern nations. There seems to be much fear of Romanians and Bulgarians entering Europe next year.

      But in the pub the other night I heard someone say that a few hundred thousand Ukrainians in France and Germany might counter the hundreds of thousands of non-European Muslims there now.

      People move. The planners in the UK predicted 13,000 Poles would move to Her Majesty’s realm; over a million have emigrated there in the past ten years.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      Thanks elmer. The real problem is those in power now find they like power for themselves and forget they are there to serve the people but considering their backgrounds that is to be expected. I forwarded you videos to some people who will really enjoy them. Thanks again for your good information.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm
  • Khalid says:

    Ukraine is neither socially, nor, politically, homogenous. Historically the nation sits upon a cultural fault-line between the East, and, West. Like opposing tectonic plates, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and, Catholicism grind against each other, producing the sparks that have often led to conflagrations. Ukraine has been a cauldron of sectarian, ethnic, and political, rivalries for centuries.

    The western Ukraine was ethnically cleansed of Poles during WWII by Stepan Bandera’s OUN-B . He was awarded a posthumous decoration by the previous Ukrainian administration, which, was subsequently rescinded by the present government.

    The population of the eastern half (east of the Dnieper R.) of Ukraine favors closer ties with Russia, while, the western oriented people of Galicia, Volhynia, and Polodia, the geographically western parts of Ukraine, overwhelmingly support deepening relations with the EU. Perhaps, they will have to split the baby.

    What would Nestor Makhno think of that? Or, Taras Bulba Borovets for that matter?

    If Russia cannot annex the eastern Ukraine, outright, Putin will settle for a dependent satellite relationship similar to the one Russia presently enjoys with Belarus. Too much western interference will plunge the Ukraine into civil war. The passions of history slumber fitfully beneath the steppes.

    December 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      Khalid:

      Yes and no. The split is not as clear as you suggest. True the Western part of Ukraine leans west and the eastern section with a heavy infusion of Russians leans to the east. But within the east there is a growing consensus that the way forward is not the Russian way. I think the question one should ask is what would Taras Schevchenko think of this.

      You fear Western influence preferring that Ukraine slip into the Soviet Russian orb again. I disagree. We need to be more active in supporting Ukraine and other countries who want to align with the West. A hands off attitude will only result in Russian taking over.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm
      • Jay says:

        Dear Matt,

        Thank you for weighing in on this important foreign policy problem. When you refer to Russia “taking over,” my understanding is that you mean an economic takeover; it would seem that closer ties to Europe would offer economic benefits as well in their own right. What stands out for me is how Ukraine is an independent country with independent, democratic elections for its representative bodies. That means that if the populace is displeased with the decisions of its elected leaders, as in America, that it has the power to choose new leaders.

        Unfortunately, the recent election last year, which in part chose the government in charge today, allegedly lacked the transparency of prior years and reflected “abuse of power” and “voting irregularities.” Perhaps attention should be focused not upon ensuring that Ukraine has a proper representative body and that the integrity of choosing that body is preserved. For more information, see: BBC, Ukraine Election ‘Reversed Democracy,’ OSCE Says, Oct. 29, 2012, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20120888.

        I would argue that before any decisions are made regarding Ukraine’s alliance with the East or West, or before any intervention from either pole, that focus be directed to ensuring that the representative government making decisions on behalf of the Ukrainian people be properly authorized to do so. The reason election casts doubt as to whether that is the case and calls into question the legitimacy of subsequent decisions, the effects of which we see today.

        I think that grassroots efforts should focus on preparing candidates for the next election to avoid many of the pitfalls which apparently occurred last year. Today’s government seems to be losing legitimacy not only because of its foreign policies, but also by how its leaders were chosen. While President Yanukovych assumed office in 2010, it was his party which took the polls by storm in 2012. That election occurred on his watch.

        Thank you for presenting the Ukraine question; I am learning much about it.

        Respectfully,
        Jay

        December 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm
        • mtc9393 says:

          Jay:

          My suggestion of a take over goes far beyond economic. Putin wants to establish make Ukrainian into “The Ukraine,” as a vassal of the Russian state.

          It is not easy when leaders are elected who are former Communists who join together and then change the rules of the elections. Prior to the Orange Revolution they tried to steal the election. Because the nation is split among parties, the minority has been able to win; now they are passing laws that prohibit anyone who lived outside the country and paid taxes to another country from running for president and also to eliminate a run off election by allowing whoever wins the most votes, a plurality, among all the parties to take office. It is a recipe for the 20% minority composes mostly of Russians who have move to Ukraine to keep the power.

          You underestimate the power of Putin over the present Ukrainian leadership. It is his intent to destroy the democracy and make the elections like those in Russia which rubber stamp his leadership. Unlike the Russian people, the Ukrainians are trying to resist this.

          December 3, 2013 at 7:15 am
          • Jay says:

            Dear Matt,

            Thank you for clarifying the great extremes to which you referred by Russia “taking over.”

            If Putin would actually consume the sovereign nation of Ukraine, then do you suggest that there would be a military invasion? Or do you propose that the government of Ukraine would surrender its sovereignty? I am curious as to how you propose that Putin would accomplish this feat.

            I would imagine that a military invasion would likely trigger intervention from the West and rise to the level of intervention from the United Nations. Or it would seem that you suggest that the “Russian minority” would “take over” the government of Ukraine and voluntarily cede governance over to Moscow years down the road, with Putin apparently still at the helm.

            Again, thank you for clarifying your prophesy for the future, if events continue along the present course. I am eager to learn if you have predictions about how specifically this would happen — through a military invasion by Russia, the surrender of sovereignty to Russia by elected leaders in Ukraine, or something else?

            Yours in trust,
            Jay

            December 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm
          • mtc9393 says:

            Jay:

            During the Orange Revolution there was a fear that Russia would intervene with troops but it backed off because of the international pressures on it. Since that time Putin’s power in Russia has inceased and he is without any legitiate opposition. It is unlikely still that he will use Russian troops to suppress the people of Ukraine for one major reason he knows that will unite the people of Ukraine even more and the Ukrainian army will fight back.
            His ultimate plan is to have Ukraine fall back into the role it held under the Tsars and the Soviets where it is no more than a vassal state that becomes more and more dependent on Russia; and utimately is ruled indirectly from Russia. When Ukraine gained its independence there was a strong minority block of Communists and Russians who were in power because of the Soviet influence. They have to this date been in and out of power mainly because they are united and the rest of the Ukrainians who oppose them cannot seem to agree upon a single candidate except during the Orange Revolution when they settled on Yushchenko who defeated Yanukovych after the first election which Yanukovych won was declared to have been fraudulent. Yanukovych is from the part of Ukraine that leans heavily to Russia and is Russian speaking.
            Yushchenko proved to be a poor leader under whom Julia Tymoshenko became prime minister. She wasn’t happy that Yushchenko seemed to her to be desirous of pleasing Yanukovych’s forces rather than those who put him in office. She had a falling out with him and went on to defeat him in the next president election but this split caused the people interested in aligning themselves with the west to split and Yanukovych gained power promising also to align with the west.
            The history of Ukraine is that it has always opposed the rule of the Russians/Soviets yet the latter kept them under its thumb beause of its need for it not only for its farm land and other resources but also because it is right on its border. Russia has always found quislings like Yanukovych to follow its whims and that is what is going on today against the will of the majority.
            It is interesting to watch the Ukrainian parliament meet since you can immediately tell which side a speaker is on; those who want Ukraine to be independent and lean to the west speak Ukrainian; those who want to cozy back into the embrace of Russia speak Russian. It may be the only parliament in the world where a good half of it don’t speak the language of the country they are supposed to represent but that of the country that wishes to take the over.

            December 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm
    • elmer says:

      written like a true sovok, Khalid

      Ukraine has been a cauldron of rivalries by outside forces for centuries.

      The only Orthodox “Christianity” “grinding” against Ukraine has been and is the Holy Mother Rasha Church of the KGB, which is not a church, but a political organization – always has been.

      The part about “ethnic cleansing” Bandera is straight out of sovok propaganda, who also branded Bandera a “fascist.”

      Of course, the Kremlin sovoks branded practically anybody who opposed them as fascists.

      “Too much western interference will plunge THE Ukraine into civil war.”

      The name of the country is Ukraine – not THE Ukraine.

      Noone in Ukraine wants war, and why anyone would bring up “western interference”, except a Kremlinite, is very clear to anyone who knows anything about Ukraine.

      Yanusvoloch ran for “president” on a platform of EU integration. For year, the Bolshevik Regionnaires have been professing their love for EU integration, on political talks shows, and everywhere else.

      But that only means that they thought they could pay lip service to reforms for a true democracy, get some money from the EU, and still keep their sovok mafia state.

      When yanusvoloch and his buddies found out differently, they suddenly pulled the plug on EU integration.

      Right now, it looks like Putler is not going to have much of a say as to what goes on in Ukraine.

      As far as the passions of history – well, in the sovok union they rose fitfully day in and day out, where people had to live through the “Great Patriotic War” day in and day out, and listen to the glories of the Glorious Red Army’s victory over the Fascists – it was like perpetually living in 1945 every single day.

      There are still those in Rasha and even in Ukraine who are brainwashed enough, who simply can’t get out of that single dimension.

      But the vast majority in Ukraine want a better life, which means EU integration, as repeatedly promised by the Party of Regions and yanusvoloch.

      And that is true even in Eastern Ukraine, where people have found out that yanusvoloch’s campaign promise of “a better life today” turns out to be true only for himself and his worthless turd son, but not for the people.

      December 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm
  • William Connolly says:

    A contrary view: NATO has become Napoleonic and perpetuates anti-Russian animus. The EU seeks to isolate and ostracize Russia and its 160 million people. The better pathway: Create an EAU, a European-Asian Union, and welcome Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Rumania and others as equal partners with Western Europe. Heck, we got the Turks into the EU. Let’s get beyond the horrors of Stalin and the Old World stereotypes which paint Russia as the constant oppressor, the feared aggressor; and let’s welcome Russia to join us, to share in the Western World’s economic prosperity. Build a better world. Forsake Old World hatreds, ancient animosities. Peace to Ireland and Northern Ireland, peace to Scotland and England, peace to Ukraine and Russia. Detente! The last thing we want to do is surround and isolate a country with 10,000 nuclear warheads. NATO and EU are on course to do that. You know what happens when some animals are backed into a corner: feeling threatened, they lash out, they strike. Putin may have been a bad guy, but remember George Wallace forsook racism and Bob Doyle renounced his membership in the KKK, and we’ve worked with bad guys and backwards guys before (Consider the Saudi’s views on women and freedom of religion.) Figure out ways to change the old guard or look beyond the old guard to encourage new leadership. Work with Russia; don’t antagonize it. Next election, Ukraine can oust the old guard. Till then, coexist and woo Russia towards the West, which was the Tsar’s quest in building St. Petersburg. After all, Siberia is our nearest Euro-Asian neighbor. Ask the Alaskans!

    December 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      William:

      You unfortunately have everything upside down. Putin has destroyed the free press and the right of free assembly in Russia. Perhaps you should read what the Russian people think of their own situation under him. See http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/02/a-whiter-shade-of-envy/?_r=0

      You should also know that Bulgaria and Romania are members of the EU.

      It would be nice to get beyond the horrors of Stalin but when you have a leader intent upon putting himself back into the position of Stalin it is hard to do. Russia has always been welcome having been included in many of the international groups since the fall of the Soviet Union. It is not isolated.

      You fail to understand that Russia is blackmailing the Ukraine into not following the steps of other former Soviet client states. It would be like Britain wanting to take Ireland back under its control. You would be better off if you took a clear eyed view of the situation occurring there rather than naively thinking Putin is someone different that the old Soviet type leaders. As I noted Russia has been welcome in the West but it is smarting about its diminished status and seeks to recreate its new empire. It is doing that by undermining the will of the majority of the Ukrainian people by working though the Ukrainian leadership to do to the Ukrainians what it has done to the Russians who seek freedom.

      History teaches us your approach is a failure. We tried to work with the Nazis and Stalin and look at the consequences. Russia has become a dictatorship. You can’t work with dictators.

      December 3, 2013 at 6:57 am
      • William Connolly says:

        We work with Germany today. We can work with Russia. Face forward, not backwards. I for one am glad we didn’t bomb Syria and worked with Russia to disarm the Syrians of their toxic chemicals. That’s the path forward: peaceful resolutions, not stoking ancient animosities. On the way to becoming a full partner with the West, we can expect some backsliding from Russia. The U.S. has done democracy for 200-plus years and frequently bungles it: consider our present Spy State and secretive FBI; we don’t pitch a perfect game. So, let’s not push Russia backwards nor portray Russia as irredeemably backward. After all, Russia gave us Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pasternak, the Bolshoi Ballet, Chechov, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, etc. Ease Russia forward, don’t incessantly push them backwards. 2. The CIA/NATO inspired incursions by Byelorus were an unnecessary provocation. As the Irish have come to peaceful, productive co-existence with Britain, I urge the Ukrainians and Russians to co-operate and lessens tensions, not exacerbate them.

        December 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm
      • William Connolly says:

        Matt, I didn’t write that Bulgaria and Romania were not in the EU; my point was that Bulgaria and Rumania are not Western Europe, nor are Ukraine and Russia. They are Eastern Europe. Europe ends at the Urals, as I understand it. I wrote: “welcome Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Rumania and others as equal partners with Western Europe” in an E-A-U, European-Asian-Union; the E-A-U doesn’t exist. I just proposed it. Russia’s Siberia would be the Asia-part. Maybe we’d add Kazakhstan and Armenia, already in union with Russia. Jay has pointed out that Turkey, Middle-East, has been invited to join the EU, but is not yet a full partner. Russia shares many values with Western Europe. The history of Western Civilization certainly includes Russia and other countries in Eastern Europe. 2. Correction: Robert Byrd, not Bob Doyle, was in the KKK.

        December 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm
        • mtc9393 says:

          Bill:

          I assumed when you suggested welcoming the four nations as equal partners with Western Europe you did not realize two of them had been welcome. The EAU you envision would include China and India etc. It doesn’t seem like a smart idea to me. My point is that the behavior of Putin who has done away with freedom of press, speech and assembly and turned the election process into the old Soviet style one party elections, did away with democracy in the outlying territories by doing away with the election of governors and replacing it with people he appoints, and looks more and more like Stalin is not someone you want to have gobbling up its neighbors. No one has ostraciced Putin. He has been welcome into many international bodies but more and more people see it has been a mistake because he is at heart a true dictator trying to restore the old Soviet Union.

          December 4, 2013 at 11:52 am
  • Khalid says:

    Elmer,

    I stand corrected, it’s Ukraine with no preceding article.

    The memory of Stepan Bandera, a controversial Ukrainian political leader, on the nationalist side of the last Ukrainian Civil War (1939-1945, continues to excite strong emotion on both sides of the political question, even today. Do you have strong opinions of Nestor Makhno, as well?

    Matt:

    I’ll google Taras Schenchenko. This augurs to be an interesting thread.

    December 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm
    • Jay says:

      Dear Khalid,

      I appreciate William Connolly’s suggestion that the West-East dynamic be addressed by forging a closer alliance between West and East, including Russia. Similarly, I respect your great insight here which considers a difference approach, that of dividing Ukraine along these divisive lines. While such divisions served as a more immediate political reorganization after USSR dissolution in 1991, you raise the question as to whether further division would be necessary to ensure greater harmony in the region.

      Ukraine is in a very different position than Chechnya, which is not independent today, although it wishes to be so; Ukraine is already independent. Maybe the question for you is, is such a drastic measure as dividing the country really necessary? I would wager that Russia would object to such a measure; it would undoubtedly weaken its sphere of influence whereas, even if Ukraine is independent, its current leadership tends to align itself closer with Moscow than with ties in Europe.

      Thank you again for proposing this solution — and for proposing a tangible, long term solution at all. I value when dialog here gravitates more towards solving the problems of the world; is that not leadership?

      Sincerely,
      Jay

      December 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm
  • Jay says:

    Dear William,

    Once again, I admire and appreciate your oratorical skills. What a rousing speech in the classic tradition of “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…lend me your ears!” For the record, it is important to point out that Turkey, while holding a “special relationship” with the European Union known as what appears to be “candidate status.” There are certain political issues, including resistance from what Turkey dubs, the “Greek Cypriot administration” and from other quarters, which staunchly reject the possibility of full EU membership status for Turkey. For more on the background behind Turkey’s campaign to join the EU, see: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/relations-between-turkey-and-the-european-union.en.mfa.

    For other background, see these statements from the government minister for EU Affairs from Turkey, Egemin Bagis: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/10325218/Turkey-will-probably-never-be-EU-member.html. He claims that “Turkey will probably never be [an] EU member,” and instead will more likely develop a trade relationship comparable to Norway, which is not a member state of the EU. This article from reuters reflects that same theme, except from the EU side, citing a recent document from German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the feasibility of EU membership for Turkey: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/19/us-germany-coalition-turkey-idUSBRE9AI0GC20131119.

    That article ends on a hopeful note, that all is not lost, as talks remain “open-ended.” You raise some powerful issues about working together; the controversy surrounding Turkey’s membership also presents alternatives which, for Ukraine, would further the same goals of joint collaboration, cooperation, and the old Nixon stance which you so laud here. Indeed, it was Nixon who brought us into China, and I would not dismiss his efforts to reach out to “the enemy” as being so foolhardy at all. Quite the contrary, his impact opened doors for diplomacy and trade comparable perhaps to the nineteenth century when Commodore Perry’s Black Ships sailed into Tokyo Bay. See http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/teach/ends/opening.htm

    When it comes to foreign policy, I support an open door approach, albeit a guarded one, so as to avoid falling into the trap of Chamberlain and the Sudetenland — an event invoked to support the cause of isolationists and those who would support a more conservative approach.

    In short, I agree with you about the need for a diplomatic solution and, as the Turks would tell, where there is a will, there is a way. Perhaps the question for Ukraine may be, “Is the will there?” I agree that including Russia on discussions would eliminate the issue of West-East.

    Thank you for sharing this valuable insight; you often excel at thinking outside of the box, and your posts always seem to shine a fresh light onto old problems. I can only imagine how your voice must have commanded attention in the courtroom…

    Sincerely,
    Jay

    December 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm
    • William Connolly says:

      Jay, I agree with you on the Open Door policies. I’m sure you agree with my antipathy to the Neo-Con’s interventionist policies. Open door? Sure! Imperialism: No! 2. Thank you for your kind words, but, as a matter of fact, I was never a litigator, so I barely raised my voice inside the courtroom; public speaking was not my forte: I was a humble researcher/writer, lacking oratorical skill. I often disagree with prevailing views or the prevailing Zeitgeist; I often disagree with gurus. I’ve learned a lot from those who disagree with me. Thanks for continuing to share your insights and sources.

      December 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm
  • Firefly says:

    Matt et al.,
    Before I set out for the day let me just say that this article has opened my poor mind.
    -I can read some of these words but not say them.
    -The links you provide take forever to read, and I am having fun getting lost in them.
    -I think we have a new award for Boston writers about Whitey.
    -Why do some people want to deny a true reign of terror and others invent fake terror?
    Have a good one…

    December 3, 2013 at 6:31 am
    • mtc9393 says:

      Firefly:

      Keep up the good work and keep a wary eye on the Boston writers and be sure to be alert to the terror that may be just around the corner.

      December 3, 2013 at 7:17 am
  • Khalid says:

    Matt:

    How about those “westernizing” Poles? They colonized Western Ukraine by force, and, attempted to impose their religion on its staunchly Orthodox peasantry. Conversion found favor among the West Ukranian nobility, leaving the peasants leaderless. Tsarist Russia stepped into the breech. It became the champion of the Orthodox common folk in their struggle against Polish cultural, and, political, hegemony.

    Besides the ancient religious differences between, East, and, West, in relatively modern times, there is also an ideological split. In the first years of the new century, leading up to the October Revolution of 1917, Ukraine was a hotbed of Socialist activism. Long before Lenin pulled into Finland Station, the workers, and, peasants of the Ukraine had already organized themselves. The membership of the early 20th century Social Revolutionary Party (SR) was predominately from the Ukraine. Agrarian Anarchism was also popular, so popular, that one of its leaders, Nestor Makhno, could raise, and, support by local means, an army of anarchist partisans, during WWI. The Black Army successfully battled against both the Germans, and, the Red Army.

    Not everyone equates bourgeois liberal economics with freedom and/or salvation from want. Some remember the old system fondly. Putin doesn’t seem so bad to them.

    Taras Schevchenko was quite the guy. What a creative life he led. I’m looking for more of his work in translation.

    December 3, 2013 at 10:57 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      Khalid:

      I’m as familiar with the Ukrainian Catholic/Orthodox disputes as anyone; they remind me of the disputes in Northern Ireland between the Catholics and Protestants. At least in Ukraine they don’t march down the streets wearing their orange sashes and baning the big drums singing “Croppies Lie Down” but they manifest their ill will toward one another preferring that to any type of freedom. Russia, the Soviet, and the tsars used their differences to conquer them.

      The tsars never championed the common folk – what they did was use the Russian Orthodox church (as the Soviets and Putin would do) to try to keep the people in line. The Ukrainians had their own orthodox church which has struggles to maintain its independence from the Russian orthodox church which seeks to control it. Give little credit to the Russians for anything in Ukraine other than the desire to suppress the people. The Ukrainians always fought against the Russians and considered themselves a separate people depite the Russian propaganda that they aren’t. Ukraine’s problem, like those of the Irish under England, was there was always a bunch of toadys (or informants) trying to get ahead by serving the greater power and undermining the aspirations of the younger people.

      Of course there will always be some who yearn for the old days and who view Putin as one who will take them back there. But the youth recognizing the future does not lie with the East but with the West seek to go that way.

      December 4, 2013 at 11:41 am

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