• who exactly is the “they” here? How about providing a source, like a credible Western journalist siting down with the Ukrainian neo-Nazis and listening to them hold forth on how much they love Hitler and curse their unworthy Slavic Untermenschen blood which only renders them fit to perform slave labour for their Aryan overlords?

    People with more than two live brain cells to rub together should realize that “Nazi” and “Ukrainian” isn’t an obvious fit.

  • So your evidence for Ukrainian evilness is a pro-Russian website that is publishing uncorroborated and unsourced allegations of atrocities?

    I bet you don’t even realize you’re making my case for me.

  • Dunno, you tell me.

    In either case it has nothing to do with Nazism however.

  • Russian propagandists like Saker have been equating Ukrainian nationalism with Nazism since the crisis began, and this blatantly opportunistic vote is an attempt by Russia to force countries into tacitly endorsing that identification or appearing to be apologists for Nazism.

    The significance of the vote should be evaluated in light of the political agenda that underlies it.

  • lexington50 commented on the blog post Late Night: Why Not Let Them Go?

    2014-10-28 02:33:34View | Delete

    I’ve never heard of Gary Brecher – but I like him already.

  • lexington50 commented on the diary post MENA Mashup: Kobane, ISIS, and our MIC by CTuttle.

    2014-10-11 22:55:53View | Delete

    The Arabization of Rojava, Kurdistan of Syria is on a grand scale

    Is it just me, or is the narrative on ISIS already turning into a repeat of the Ukrainian crisis, which treated us to the spectacle of Russian nationalist bloggers convincing many shamefully ill informed Westerners of 3 impossible things before breakfast. It seems the [...]

  • Erdogan in Turkey is a conservative Islamist and a traditional nationalist. As a result, short of being forced, he won’t do anything to help Syrian or Iraqi Kurds, and while ISIS is too extreme even for him.

    Perhaps more Islamist then nationalist, certainly for the liking of the guardians of Ataturk’s legacy. That does not imply he is necessarily sympathetic to ISIS – contrary to how it is typically portrayed in the West Islamism isn’t a monolithic belief system to which all observant Muslims mindlessly defer.

    That having been said Erdogan has to practical reasons for not embracing the Kurdish cause: first, Turkish nationalism has long regarded Kurdish nationalism (however improbably) as potentially an existential thread to the country’s integrity; and second, overtly supporting the Kurds against ISIS would alienate many of his own supporters and potentially fan the flames of sectarian violence within Turkey.

  • The “no go” suggestion wasn’t from other visiting Americans, though. Heard nothing about it before or since.

    I get that, but I mention it because it’s a popular theme in the right wing echo chamber.

    There are any number of reasons people might have felt impelled to give you that advice, including (a) being (I assume) American, they might have felt this was an issue to which you were sensitive, or (b) (more likely) they were projecting their own insecurities on you. Or both. As I said, Europe’s ambivalence to its immigrant populations is a major source of tension and one which is seriously testing its capacity for political accommodation.

  • I haven’t been in Europe since 1998, but recall from then. In Munich there was a substantial Turkish “neighborhood” which was really a ghetto. A cheap labor pool no doubt.

    My hotel near the main train station advised not going through there on foot. Desk agent pointed on a map, as in “you are *here.* ” Then, pointing out the door and left, “it’s thataway.”

    Many European cities have quarters populated by people from abroad, whether from Turkey, North Africa, or further afield. Many are now 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants who were born in Europe. Their presence is seriously straining the social fabric in many countries, as witnessed by the rise of parties typically described as “right wing” and “anti immigration” in the media.

    These quarters are routinely described as “no go” zones by the American right and held forth as an example how bleeding heart European liberalism has let the Islamist fox into the chicken coop. This instinctively resonates with Americans who are all too familiar with the reality of racial segregation and urban violence in American cities. As your own experience indicates this is generally a bad analogy however. I’ve been in many of these quarters at all hours of the day and night in both large and small cities and never felt threatened. After dark the locals can be cagey about outsiders but I’ve never experienced any overt hostility, which would offend Muslim sensibilities regarding goodwill and hospitality.

    Of course if there is a riot in progress, as has happened in rare instances in the past, it’s better to steer clear ;)

  • A critical fact absent from Wright’s post is that many Turks demonstrated in support of ISIS, often leading to clashes with pro Kurdish protesters. It should be remembered that Recep Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party is at least latently Islamicist (the party officially rejects that label because since the founding the modern Turkish republic the elite has been extremely hostile to mixing Islam and politics, with the army repeatedly overthrowing governments it deemed insufficiently secular). In Istanbul the headquarters of the pro Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party was attacked, while Kurdish supporters set fire to a building housing the ultranationalist National Movement party.

    Point is, Turkish society is not of one mind about ISIS, but predictably the MSM can’t cope with complexity so rather than examine the issue from the perspective of different segments of Turkish society they’ve decided to only report on the Kurdish one, who are less than 10% of the population but whose cause dovetails nicely with the agenda of Western interventionists.

  • Wikipedia: Federal State of Novorossiya

    You are clearly an artificial intelligence program written by the NSA. But not a very good one. Your inability to make an argument or understand what other people write amounts to a failure of the Turing test.

    The NSA artificial intelligence program is correct.

    If you actually read the article to which you linked you would have seen the very first sentence reads “The Federal State of Novorossiya…(New Russia) is an unrecognised confederation of Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic…”

    More specifically it is a propaganda invention of Russian nationalists used to create cover for Russian aggression against the Ukraine by creating the impression among the misguided and poorly informed that Russia has some legitimate historical claim to Ukrainian territory.

  • If the government in Kiev agrees to provide more autonomy to East Ukraine there could be a foundation for the stable peace President Poroshenko claims to be seeking.

    Nonsense.

    The separatists don’t want “more autonomy”, they want to join Russia, and have been very clear about this, including staging a sham “referendum” to give their actions a veneer of respectability.

    At best the situation in the Ukraine will become another “frozen” conflict like Trans-Dniestr or Nagorno-Karabakh, with the region gaining some sort of quasi-autonomy but without international recognition. At worst it will simply be annexed outright by Russia just as the Crimea was.

  • lexington50 commented on the diary post How China Views the Ukraine Conflict by fairleft.

    2014-08-31 21:14:46View | Delete

    Lex broke his/her arm patting him/herself on the back & had to go to the doc to get it fixed.

    Yeah, well, if I wasn’t right so often I wouldn’t have to pat myself on the back so much ;) At least I know my limits though. I don’t try to compete in the throwing verbal [...]

  • lexington50 commented on the diary post How China Views the Ukraine Conflict by fairleft.

    2014-08-31 21:11:31View | Delete

    Creditable Sources the Nazi Ukrainian government we gave $5 billion too? White House, Pentagon sources the same ones that lied us into the Iraq war? But but the Media does their own Investigation and Vets their sources Maureen Dowd use to joke about Judy Miller reporting ” in bed ” because Judy slept with her sources.

    [...]

  • lexington50 commented on the diary post How China Views the Ukraine Conflict by fairleft.

    2014-08-31 07:57:54View | Delete

    So let me see if I have this straight: substantial credible evidence that Russian forces are in the Ukraine is dismissed out of hand because it is ideologically unacceptable, but political commentary from the People’s Daily – i.e. the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China – is uncritically accepted as “solid common-sense analysis”? [...]

  • Note for the record, you did not answer the question.

    That’s because I reject the premise. If Demian’s tender conscience is offended by the deaths of a couple of thousand people in the midst of an armed conflict then I would suggest that the logic of their position requires them to acknowledge that the American Civil War, in which well over half a million people died and which featured such notorious episodes as General Sherman burning Atlanta to the ground, was a genocide perpetrated by the American government against its own citizens.

    Worse than the Nazis, indeed.

  • How can you support a country that uses artillery and air strikes against its own people? Even the Nazis didn’t do that.

    The Kiev junta is worse than the Nazis, and yet you support it.

    There are facts, and then there is mindless “my team right or wrong” chauvinism. When you equate pointing out inconvenient facts with supporting the Kiev “junta” and claim it is worse than the Nazis then you’re indulging in mindless chauvinism, of which there has been a veritable deluge in relation to the Ukrainian crisis.

    The etiology is hard to pin down but it seems to be related to a combination of very deficient critical thinking skills and an overindulgence in the pro-Russian propaganda being disseminated by Saker and Bernhard.

  • Putin is playing chess. The US/EU is playing checkers…

    They have been invaded three times in the last two centuries.

    There will be no Grand Army. There will be no Eastern Front. There will be no Stalingrad nouveau.

    There will be Hell to pay.

    Obviously an advanced case of russophilia dementia.

    Since you bring it up, wasn’t the Ukraine also invaded in the three instances to which you refer, and didn’t millions of Ukrainians die in those conflicts?

    And since you fail to mention it, exactly how many countries has Russia invaded since Napoleon? Off the top of my head I can think of Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland (the parts annexed in 1939 as a result of its alliance with Nazi Germany are still part of its successor states), Germany (in 1914), Georgia, Afghanistan, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Clearly the Ruskies give at least as good as they take in that department.

    The good news is that if you lay off the kool aid now the damage might not be irreversible.

  • lexington50 commented on the diary post Colbert Swallows the Hill-Pill by patrick devlin.

    2014-08-08 21:01:07View | Delete

    Colbert has the capacity to ask tough questions, even if the goal is to get a laugh. What we saw on Tuesday was a self-neutered Colbert performing an awkward and unfunny fake interview. As others have said you knew this was coming when it was announced that Colbert would take over the Late Show from Letterman [...]

  • lexington50 commented on the diary post 1776: A Good Thing or Not? Reflections on the American Revolution by stewartm.

    2014-07-06 10:42:15View | Delete

    I contrast to the previous poster I thought this was excellent and timely. Just wanted to add with regard to the Franco-American relationship that the Founding Fathers cribbed many of their ideas from French political thinkers like Jean Jacques Rousseau and Montesquieu. In America this fact has been deliberately suppressed in favor of the more [...]

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