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

Whose Side Are We On In Ukraine: Evidence of The U.S. State Department’s Double Dealing

Ukraine with the bearOne of the great pull and tugs of recent months is the situation in Ukraine where Russia with the help of some of its leaders is pulling Ukraine back into a state of subservience, very much like it had when it was the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic; and the Western world with support of the majority of its people is tugging it toward the openness of the freedoms that exist in the West. I’ve noted how President Obama has for the most part remained silent during this tug of war so it’s hard to figure out on what side of the ledger we should put America on in this battle.

The European Union is clearly on the side of the people in Ukraine. It has made its intentions clear and is in the process of putting together a financial package to help them overcome their country’s financial difficulties even though it has such problems in some of the countries that are part of its organization. The United Nations is also somehow involved but outside of coming down heavily on the Vatican, it seems to have little solutions for any real problems because it has to always accommodate the Russian and Chinese view that do not often coincide with that of the West.

Our State Department represents our country in its negotiations with other nations. With respect to matters of the EU and Ukraine, it has designated Victoria Nuland as the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs making her our lead person.

I went to Wikipedia to learn something about her. She has worked for Clinton, George Bush ( the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney ) and President Obama who put her into the position she now holds. It escapes me that one of Cheney’s chief foreign policy advisers would be still determining our country’s policies under Obama but I suppose this show the chameleon-like beliefs of some who can change with the prevailing winds.

Nuland made a little bit of a stir back in 2012 when she was the State Department’s spokesperson who was intricately involved in phonying-up the talking points about the Benghazi affair.. Reviewing what the CIA provided which included information on prior threats and attacks by al-Qa’ida in the Benghazi area she objected to revealing them saying that they: “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?  Concerned …”  In other words lets hide the truth of what happened so that we’ll escape any blame for our inaction which lead to the death of four Americans. For her performance in that little crisis, in September 2013 she was promoted to her new post.

As you know the EU leaders are not too happy with the US for our listening in on their private conversations. As they labor to get past that and they figure out what to do about Ukraine, Ms Nuland on behalf of the United States has stuck her nose into the matter. To date not much has come from her actions unlike those of the EU.  A photograph in the Irish Times shows her delight in meeting with the present Ukrainian leader Victor Yanukovich, the one against whom the people have been protesting. She met with him yesterday. We are not privy to what deal she made with him. IT was reported that immediately after her meeting with her he went to Sochi where Putin is now holding court.

Before her meeting with Yanukovich we were made privy to a conversation between her and the American ambassador to Ukraine that had been intercepted by the Russians. One thing we learned from that is that Nuland is not on the same page as the EU. In a transcript of that intercepted call she was overheard saying: “Fuck the EU.”   German Chancellor Merkel  called her comments: “totally unacceptable.”  That’s an understatement. This type of vulgar talk from the lead diplomat undermines our country. How do you think the EU members feel when the US is coming up with its own secret side deals with Yanukovich in light of Nuland’s attitude toward it?

The Russians meanwhile are playing a clever hand.  They released the tape of Nuland for the precise purpose of dividing the US and EU. The Russian are now suggesting the US is interfering in Ukrainian affairs. Sergei Glazyev who advises President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Ukraine, recently stated: “What the Americans are getting up to now, unilaterally and crudely interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, is a clear breach of that treaty,[a  1994 treaty under which Washington and Moscow jointly guaranteed Ukraine's security and sovereignty after Kiev gave up its Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.] “The agreement is for collective guarantees and collective action.” According to the article he said this gave Russia the legal right to intervene in the crisis. He did not specify what form such intervention might take.

My take on all this is that Nuland has disclosed the USA is working on a side deal. Obama’s silence in the face of Russian threats does not bode well for the Ukrainian people. Where is our State Department’s response to Glazyey’s accusation. Where is the forceful statement to the Russians that they stay out of Ukraine?

That we can have a former foul mouth Cheney advisor representing our nation in European affairs is something short of breathtaking. I worry that the US is making side deals with Putin which will let him sponsor a crackdown on the Ukrainian demonstrators using Russian forces. When the Olympics end so may the Ukrainians aspirations for freedom.

 

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  • Khalid says:

    The Russians are starting to move. As in Afghanistan, the initial attack is coming as a vertical envelopment. The question is how much will the Russians attempt to bite off? Crimea would just be a nibble. Putin is hungrier than that. The big move will be capturing the airports that serve Harkiv, and, Donetsk. Putin knows he cannot swallow the whole Ukraine. He only wants the East. Attempting to control the West would only court a simmering guerilla struggle that he wants to avoid. Putin is gambling that the pro-Russian sentiment in the east is strong enough to give his invasion the fig-leaf excuse of defending the Russian speaking minority in Ukraine. There are precedents for Russian military action in the invasions of Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    Elmer: What’s happening on the ground? Have units of the Ukranian military armed with anti-aircraft weapons been deployed to the airports in Harkiv and Donetsk?

    Matt: Do you think the Russians will come high, wide, and, mighty, or attempt to creep in through preliminary infiltrations. It looks from here, like it will be a combination of both approaches.

    Elmer: If armed adequately, can Svoboda provide para-military units to reinforce the Ukranian Army? Are the Maidan fighters prepared to go east?

    February 28, 2014 at 11:04 am
  • Khalid says:

    Elmer:

    Thanks for the blog sites, particularly, the one written by the “Professor.” He believes Ukraine is headed into a civil war. There is a lot of confusion about a supposed “two Ukraines.” Mykola Riabchuk has an opinion piece in Al-Jazeera, today. He says the idea of a West, and, an East, Ukraine is a false dichotomy. From your e-reports on the situation, I gather that there is serious opposition to Yanuchyvich in the East, as well as the West. Are there FSB, and, Spetnaz units, on the ground in Harkiv? Who is holding Yanuchyvich up? What paramilitary formations of the Interior Ministry continue to support him? Does the Ukrainian military have a plan to combat a Russian military incursion?
    All modern armies have general staffs whose duty it is to plan military operations against potential enemies. If the Ukrainian general staff were war-gaming a projected invasion of Ukraine, Russia would be the obvious enemy. Considering the overwhelming military force the Kremlin could apply in a conventional conflict, the plan must be to mount a guerilla struggle in the East.

    If the Ukrainian parliament ordered regular army troops in the East to arrest Yanuchyvich, would that provide the necessary provocation/excuse for Russian military intervention?

    Poor Ukraine, it looks like there is still more blood to be shed for freedom.

    February 23, 2014 at 9:52 am
    • mtc9393 says:

      Khalid:

      Ukraine has an army but it won’t go up against the Russians; they used to be part of the Russian army and are probably closely monitored by the Russians so that whatever they did would be futile.

      The Russian army would have clear sailing since there would be no way to combat the air power it brings. That has been America’s secret over the years that we’ve controlled the air. The Russian attack would be by air and ground and the demonstrators in Maidan would be wiped out quickly from the air just like the Syrian air force is constantly slaughtering its own people.

      Russia has lots of ways to give it an ostensible reason for going in. It’s now saying the Ukrainians breached the deal the Russians didn’t want; it has its forces in Crimea and having a “Maine” type incident there would be easy. There are a large number of Russians living in Ukraine mainly in the east who are from Russia and settled in Ukraine but have always kept their allegiance to Russia.

      Putin and Obama agreed that the most important thing was to preserve the integrity of Ukraine; Russia’s invasion will be specifically for that purpose and they’ll say they are only doing what Obama agreed to do. The only resistence to Russia will be in the west of Ukraine but with the Russian drones it won’t last too long.

      I think Obama has given Putin the green light. I hope I’m wrong but right I can’t ever find myself trusting the Russians, especially a former KGB officer.

      February 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm
  • elmer says:

    Interior troops surrender en masse to Euromaidan

    Thursday, February 20, 2014, 12:50

    Soldiers who serve in the internal troops of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA) are surrendering en mass to the Euromaidan activists, the Ukrainian News reports.

    Currently, about 100 prisoners were taken from behind the barricades at the October Palace.

    The protesters are trying to refrain from beating them. The prisoners are being escorted to the tent labeled “the commandant’s office in Kyiv.”

    Currently, the protesters have driven all security forces from Independence Square (Maidan) and from the barricades on Instytutska Street.

    The surrendered are only ordinary soldiers. Officers have not been observed.

    The original news in Ukrainian (with photo) is on the Ukrainska Pravda website:

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/02/20/7015081/

    February 20, 2014 at 11:13 pm
  • elmer says:

    Many of the criminal thug rats that supported the lumbering lunkhead Yanukonvikt are now chartering private jets and flying out of Ukraine.

    There are already about 26 that left on a chartered jet at midnight the other night for Austria, where former Prime Minister Azarov and his son have extensive holdings.

    Description here:

    http://foreignnotes.blogspot.com/2014/02/cabinet-of-ministers-maybe-president.html

    There are eye witness reports that a number of Regionaly and their families are getting out while the going is good. Rows of expensive vehicles were seen driving up to the small Zhulany airport near Kyiv, escorted by armoured security vehicles from which many suitcases and strong boxes werebeing transferred under the supervision of expensively fur-coated ‘fancy women’ and armed security staff. Rats fleeing from the burning ship? Are some of those fleeing responsible for the events above?

    Parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Rybak, and his deputy Ihor Kaletnyk and their families are allegedly amongst the rats fleeing….Minister of Revenues Klimenko may have flown out from Donetsk….Rybak’s refusal to permit voting in parliament on Tuesday sparked the appalling violence that day. How disgusting is this…Do they not have a sense of responsibility to do their utmost at their countries moment of greatest need?

    additional videos here:

    http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/02/21/7015369/

    Instead of voting in parliament, “regionnaires” are fleeing Ukraine

    February 20, 2014 at 11:01 pm
  • Khalid says:

    I’m alternating between Al-Jazeera TV, and, RT TV. There is quite a contrast in reportage. On RT TV, the protesters are brandishing firearms, and, shooting at the police. While, on Al-Jazeera, the police are shown firing on the protesters. Where does the Ukrainian military stand? Will they crush the revolutionists, or, join the revolution?

    The Ukranian rebels have set a new tactical standard for social insurrection. Perhaps, the next OWS uprising will be pressed by phalanxes of street-fighting men, instead of, hymn singing candle carriers. Banksters, and, hedge-fund traitors, look upon Kiev, and, weep.

    February 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm
    • elmer says:

      Khalid, RT TV is not journalism – it is propaganda.

      Some of the militia have actually taken off their helmets and put down their shields and asked for forgiveness from the nation.

      Yanusvoloch, the lumbering lardass lunkhead imbecile, just fired the head of the military.

      In Dnipropetrovsk, people actually blocked the railroad tracks in order to block a train of military personnel and weapons that was headed for Kyiv.

      The US has imposed visa sanctions against about 20 of the criminal thugsters in the regime.

      The EU has voted to impose sanctions.

      About 26 of the Bolshevik Regionnaires got on a chartered jet and fled the country about midnight last night to Austria, where the former Prime Minister, Azarov, has a ton of stolen wealth.

      The head of the Kyiv administration, who was handpicked by Yanukonvikt, has left the Party of Regions, and has called for a stop to the violence – “no regime is worth human sacrifice”

      I have posted some comments here, and I do not mean to hijack this blog.

      http://streetwiseprofessor.com/

      http://romaninukraine.com/dnipropetrovks-blockades-military-re-supply/

      impassioned resignation and plea of the Kyiv head of administration

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyFTO2gDoQA

      explanation here:

      http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/alexander-j-motyl/ukraines-day-infamy

      Ukrainian Pravda has pinpointed where 2 of the key players, Kluyev and Eugene Heller, who is the head of the budget committee in parliament, might try to escape to:

      Clearwater Florida and Brooklyn NY

      http://blogs.pravda.com.ua/authors/leschenko/53063c0db96cb/

      Yanukonvikt interrupted a meeting with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland to call —— Putler

      http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2014/02/20/7015207/

      February 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm
    • elmer says:

      Khalid, I tried a reply earlier but it didn’t work.

      I don’t mean to hog this blog.

      Look at this video

      http://romaninukraine.com/berkut-and-other-police-surrender-to-protesters-in-ternopil/

      The hand-picked head of the Kyiv city administration has resigned from the Party of Regions and put out a plea to yanukonvikt to stop the violence – “no regime is worth human sacrifice”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyFTO2gDoQA

      Many former supporters and even members of the PoR are jumping ship (Volodymyr Makienko, Ivan Bushko, Mykhailo Lanio, Vasyl Kovach, Serhij Moshak, Ishtvan Haidosh, Ihor Blahodir, Viktor Bondar, Vladislav Atroshenko, Jurij Blahodir, Oleh Baran & David Zhvania) and refusing to back Yanukovych in his bloody deeds

      The US has imposed visa sanctions against 20 of the yanukonvikt regime.

      The EU has decided to impose sanctions.

      People in the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk blocked a train headed for Kyiv with military personnel and weapons. One of the older women in the video links below says that she does not want her children shooting people of Ukraine.

      http://romaninukraine.com/dnipropetrovks-blockades-military-re-supply/

      February 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm
  • Khalid says:

    Elmer and Matt:

    Don’t go silent. Ukraine is in the throes of its’ apocalyptic moment. Euromaidan has become the 21st century Bastille.

    February 20, 2014 at 11:06 am
    • mtc9393 says:

      Khalid:

      Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been negligent. Today I returned to the battle. Hopefully the Russians will stay home but it will be awfully tempting for Putin to go to the aid of his Ukrainian neighbors once the Putin Games come to an end.

      February 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm
  • NC says:

    Isn’t Nuland a foul mouth Clinton adviser? Remember her husband is Robert Kagan. While his wife served as State Dept. spokesperson under Hillary he was the chief foreign policy adviser for the Romney campaign. He and Hillary along with 20 others met monthly to discuss foreign affairs. Are there two parties in D. C. or one? Seems the same insiders call the shots. 2.Don’t expect the Russians to do anything rash in Ukraine. They are surrounded by hostile Muslims and a resurgent China. As a response to Russia’s meddling in Ukraine the U.S. could support an Islamic resistance movement in the Caucuses as they did in the 80s in Afghanistan. What could Putin do? Can he confront the West, China and Muslims at the same time? He needs the West more than they need him.

    February 8, 2014 at 10:20 am
  • Khalid says:

    Matt:

    If Russia invades Ukraine, what can the Obama Administration do about it? Before he acts, Putin will have shrewdly calculated the odds of a US military action in support of the revolt. Do you think Obama would, or, should, bring us to the brink of thermo-nuclear holocaust over Ukraine? It would be a hard-sell to the American People. Putin is fully capable of making a gamble like that. This situation could develop into high stakes roll of the dice every bit as “chancey” as the Cuban Missile Crisis. If the Russians make a military move on Ukraine, the USA will have to sit back, and, take it, as it did, when the Soviet Union crushed the Hungarians in 1956, and, the Czechs in 1968. In the modern era, Russia, and, America, have been existential threats to each other. The Russians, in the crises mentioned above, pressed their luck to its limit, but, during 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, backed down from staking their existence on what they mistakenly perceived as the weakness of the USA. Should Obama play this game with the Russians? Short of war, what sanction could America threaten that might dissuade Putin from seizing eastern Ukraine? Economic pressure? Hardly. Russia is resource rich. Our EU partners would quickly sell us out to gain access to those resources. Can the Ukrainian revolutionists succeed without American, and/or, EU military backing? I hope so, because, moral support will be the only assistance they’ll receive from Europe, and, America. The track record speaks for itself.

    February 7, 2014 at 4:44 pm

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