Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Neocon Years and NATO Expansion of 2008

by Oui Fri Apr 28th, 2023 at 06:36:33 PM EST

Swedish Defense Research Agency, a report written in 2002 ... speaking of idealism 😄

The membership experiences of Denmark, Norway, Hungary, and the Czech Republic

The Influence of Small States on NATO Decision-Making

Post 9/11 the NATO alliance has changed for the worse unfortunately.

Mobilizing Against Russia?
Some Reflections on the Security Deadlock Called Ukraine | Egmont Papers - Joris Van Bladel |


  1. Why did Michael Gorbachev agree with the US-German demand to reunify Germany as part of NATO in 1990?
  2. What and who brought Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to the helm of Russian power in 1999?
  3. Why, after a period of close cooperation and dialogue, has Vladimir Putin changed his course towards the West since 2007?
  4. Why has Vladimir Putin significantly hardened his domestic and foreign policy, leading to a full-fledged authoritarian regime since 2012?
  5. What is the "end goal" of Vladimir Putin's strategy?
  6. What are the real intentions of the Russian president and his cronies?

Even though the answer to these riddles would provide the key to understanding Russia's current political attitude and military posture, nobody can give neat and precise answers to these questions. What is left is conjecture, if not speculation. Russia, indeed, remains an enigma.


One of the main driving forces fuelling the Russian-Ukraine conflict, NATO enlargement, is not necessarily an ill-advised policy. Yet it is a challenging strategy full of dilemmas and problematic considerations, the ultimate consequences of which have not always been thought through. Europe's security dilemma is the result of the following developments:

Challenged by a new security situation in Europe, NATO enlargement had to balance two incompatible realities: the historically conditioned, nationalist-inspired, anti-Russian security request from the Central and Eastern European countries, and the clearly signalled Soviet/Russian opposition to the absorption of Europe's "liminal spaces" into the Western sphere of influence. The "end of history" could indeed not erase the historical memory of the Central and Eastern European countries.

The most disappointing yet accurate answer to these questions is that we do not know. We may endlessly speculate about various scenarios and Russia's strategic end goal. Even experts who try to read Vladimir Putin's mind do not and cannot know the outcome of the current impasse. Indeed, Vladimir Putin is notorious for letting the outside world guess his real intentions. Even well-informed Russian analysts, including Dmitri Trenin and Fyodor Lukyanov, confirm this view. Trenin, for example, says, "... And here there are many questions because we cannot know what Putin is thinking. What is his plan? What is his strategy? What options does he see? It's almost impossible to judge this from the sidelines". While Lukyanov exclaims: "The expert opinion that I can authoritatively declare is: Who the heck knows?".

So damn one-sided, Western narrative ... calling oneself a global analyst? No way.

Who and what forced the change in attitude by Russia and Putin towards the West?

From the damned administration run by Bush/ Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bolton/Wolfowitz/Neocons

Putting sanctions in place to replace diplomacy, building an Unipolar global power w/o interference from the United Nations, circumventing international law, treaties and the principles of the Geneva Convention. War crimes and abuse of human rights with impunity.

Pegasus Incorporated Into NATO Hybrid Warfare

In the Summer of 2021, the United States of America with Joe Biden laid the groundwork on decisions to push forward their agenda of previous decades, realizing a New World Order.

Facing the retreat from Afghanistan as the Taliban moves into one district after another with little resistance, the refusal of the White House to come to terms with Iran and agree on the Obama designed JCPOA, losing a foothold in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Basin ... a plan was designed to confront Russia dubbed a "pariah" state by Ivo Daalder and the Atlantic Council in 2008 and the economic powerhouse, China, struggling with the pandemic.

The United States and the European Union in post-war Kosovo 1999-2012

an analysis of transatlantic peacebuilding approaches

To a unipolar great power like the US at the time, multilateral agreements and institutions were means, not ends. Still, she dismissed the distinction between power politics and policy based on values, stating that this was fine for academic debate, but made disastrous policy. The strategic interests of the Kosovo war were clear for Rice. It was located in the backyard of NATO (their most important strategic allies) and Milosevic threatened the area's fragile ethnic balance. However, she dismissed using the military for `nation building', saying the military is "certainly not designed to build a civilian society". Political liberalization, in China for example, could be achieved partly through trade and economic interaction, because of the supposed link between economic liberalization and democracy.

Two Bush administrations later in 2008, Rice wrote a Foreign Affairs piece titled 'Rethinking the National Interests: American Realism for a New World'. Because of 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan and what she described as the destabilizing spill-over effects of globalization, policy shifted to "recognize that democratic state building is now an urgent component of our national interest". The supposed dangers to national security posed by failed, failing or collapsed states allowed for this shift. Running with the characterisation of the US as a reluctant superpower, the US was said to engage in foreign policy "because we have to, not because we want to".

This newfound affinity for democratic statebuilding involved the need to build civilian capacity and an inter-agency `whole of government approach', such as through the State Department creation of S/CRS (Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization). In meetings, S/CRS chief John Herbst used peacebuilding, stabilization and reconstruction interchangeably, pointing to Kosovo's transition to independent government as a good example of stabilization work. Again, Rice talked about the American history of trying to combine "power and principle - realism and idealism", calling it a "uniquely American realism".

Towards the end of the piece, she situates the uniqueness of this approach in the American "imagination", and their way of thinking, arguing how this accounts for American's uniquely powerful role in the world. In a 2010 Foreign Affairs article, her successor US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [name can be used interchangeably with Negroponte] also professed the importance of elevating "diplomacy and development alongside defense - a `smart power' approach". Clinton described building peace and stability by building multi-ethnic democratic states, where US diplomats and civilian experts remain after the US troops have returned home. Regardless, self-proclaimed realists such as Stephen M. Walt or John Mearsheimer have been adamant in their criticism of the process of `liberal internationalism', arguing it has had disadvantageous consequences for the US national interest.

A late 2009 "face off" between Marc A. Thiessen, a neoconservative former Bush speechwriter and the aforementioned Mark Leonard, showed some of the prevailing differences across the Atlantic in their approaches towards achieving democracy and freedom across the world. The former railed against the "globalists" seeking to restrain the self-government of freedom-loving Americans with their undemocratic supranational institutions, the latter pleading for increased international cooperation, international law and multilateralism in dealing with transnational problems. To be sure, both can be characterized as liberals in that they explicitly plead for a liberal world order, but they differ greatly in the question of how to achieve this and how it may look like.

Thiessen wants "principled power projection" by an America unrestrained by undemocratic international lawyers, while Leonard thinks this is an outdated balance-of-power mindset and urges the US to abide by a rules-based order. Thiessen is more of a laissez faire, neoconservative type liberal, while Leonard is more of a welfare liberal. When Obama came to power in 2009, and the bellicose neoconservative Bush, some Europeans thought the transatlantic alliance would be restored. US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's leaked 'fuck the EU' with regards to the 2014 Ukraine crisis, however, illustrates the enduring US tendency to decide for itself when to disregard allied concerns.

Overall, the American approach to peace has been more militarized because of its outsized military capacities, although with repeated calls for more civilian capabilities since the 1990s. Post-Cold War US policy aimed at worldwide primacy, using liberal/neoconservative language and a view of American exceptionalism to blend values and interests. However, bringing in the EU and UN for `burden sharing' gives the US access to certain capacities and broader legitimacy, as well as less responsibility for the consequences of its actions. So while the US repeatedly highlighted EU weaknesses in their divisions and stovepiping of its institutions, the US still saw benefits in the using the EU for its own purposes. As a US cable stated, "we need not wait for the EU to complete its institutional restructuring and implementation to begin harnessing EU resources to support U.S. interests".

Bucharest Summit Cheney bullying and overruling NATO allies to extend invitation to Georgia and Ukraine.

Former SG NATO Jaap De Hoop Scheffer: The West should respect the red lines of Russia

Looking for a specific topic written by Jerome a Paris ... I came a ross this dKos bullshit about the "unprovoked" invasion of Georgia by Russia in August 2008.

Nothing, nothing has truly changed in Karl Rove's playbook for actors and suckers in the US ...

Georgia: oil, neocons, cold war and our credibility | Jérôme à Paris - Aug. 10, 2008 |

This is another diary critical of the West's position on Georgia. (Update: See also my new story: The warmongers lose another war

    Just as a bit of background, let me state here for the record that I wrote my PhD on the independence of Ukraine, and have thus studied how Russia behaves with its neighbors rather intensively. Following that, I worked for several years financing oil&gas projects in Russia and the Caspian; in particular, I worked on te financing of the BTC pipeline that goes from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia (I wrote about it on DailyKos 3 years ago).

War between Russia and Georgia | dKos by Michiganliberal on Aug 08, 2008 |

    Jerome a Paris ▶️ Michiganliberal

    I blame Georgia

    Saakashvili is a regular in the WSJ Op-Ed pages, calling for NATO membership and calling Europeans wimps and cowards for not standing up to bully Russia while provoking it in every possible way - your standard neocon.

    He's been playing martyr to distract from his domestic failures, and he's been trying really hard to drag the West in his petty conflicts with Russia.

    Russia has a history of playing hardball in the region, so deep wariness is justified, but he's gone far beyond that.

    And I worry about his seeming ability to pain himself as the poor oppressed democrat fighting the big bad bully.

    I'd also point out that the West, in pushing Kosovo to declare independence, largely caused this crisis because the situation of South Ossetia and other similar territories in Georgia is very much similar to that of Kosovo. Discourse about the territorial sovereignty of Georgia rings hollow when we ignored it for Serbia (despite Russia's repeated warnings).

    We've been playing with fire - again - and have been encouraging a neocon to go provoke the Russians and to drag Europe (via NATO) into the conflict. Swell.

      JPhurst ▶️ Jerome a Paris

      Of course you blame Georgia...

      ...because you represent the holdovers from the discredited parts of the European Left that tried to justify any Soviet atrocity because it stood up to those evil Americans.

      Russia just invaded an ally and escalated the internal conflict.  The reprehensibility of this does not change just because Bush is in the White House.

        Jerome a Paris ▶️ JPhurst

        How is that not an ad hominem attack?

          Pager ▶️ Jerome a Paris

          The truth isn't trollish.

          You're out of line. Waaaaaaaaay fucking out of line for throwing that bullshit argument into the mix.

          Then again, your whole apologist attitude for Russia is pure bullshit so at least you're maintaining a common theme.

            Jerome a Paris ▶️ Pager

            What bullshit?

            I have made a number of points of substance in my top comment (about saakashvili using a war for domestic purposes, about his habit to provoke Russia in aconflict, about his repeated calls that not supporting him is equivalent to Muncih in 1938, about the support he gets from the neocons in Washington).

            Where did you reply to them, on the substance?

            And calling me a typical apologist of Soviet atrocities is not an insult?

Similar to the Georgia, the hostilities were started by the independent state with aspiration for NATO membership w/o consultation 🤥 with Boris and Joe ... of course.

Globalization and Its Reverse

In Defense of Globalization | by Harold James - March 1, 2023 |

Russian navy ship photographed near Nord Stream pipelines before blasts | The Guardian |

Submarine rescue vessel SS-750 was photographed in Baltic four days before still-unexplained explosions, says Danish newspaper

Criminal neglect from the British paper The Guardian, no mention of investigative journalist Seymour Hersh  ...

Nord Stream Blasts Timeline of Denial

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Apr 28th, 2023 at 08:04:46 PM EST
Radek Sikorski former roving correspondent (or CIA agent)  in Afghanistan witnessed the first handover American Stinger missiles to mujahideen to battle the Soviets. World press photo 11 August, 1987.

Was a reporter in Angola to witness the conflict and showed up in US Congress to give testimony, worked for Rupert Murdoch's paper. Became a British citizen.

Radek Sikorski Returns to Ukraine's Headlines: Putin's Coup | Oct 21, 2014 |

Poland's parliamentary speaker, Radoslaw Sikorski, has been quoted as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Poland's then leader in 2008 that they divide Ukraine between themselves.

Sikorski, who until September served as Poland's foreign minister, was quoted telling U.S. website Politico that Putin made the proposal during Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's visit to Moscow in 2008 - although he later said some of the interview had been "overinterpreted".

Transcript: Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski Talks to Atlantic Council | Nov. 2008 |

American's Anne Applebaum nearly became First Lady of Poland, how proud she was. A prime warmonger and Russophobe.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 05:35:15 AM EST
CIA Man, Former FM Radek Sikorski's Fall from Grace In Poland | Jun 11, 2015 |

Poland's 'Secret Tape' Scandal Goes Surreal, Amid Claim that Minister Ordered Arson Attack on Russian Embassy in Warsaw in November 2013

'We Gave the Americans a Blow Job,' Got Nothing, Says Polish FM Sikorski - Nov. 2013

A Polish 'Game of Tapes' | June 10, 2015 |

Radoslaw Sikorski is the most prominent victim of a government shakeup in the wake of a wire-tapping scandal and electoral troubles. Radoslaw Sikorski has also stepped down as Speaker of the Sejm. (Had badmouthed British PM David Cameron)

Prime minister Ewa Kopacz's chief advisor, Jacek Rostowski, has resigned, as has head of special services Jacek Cichocki - although the latter remains in post as head of the office of the prime minister.

Speaker Sikorski, 3 ministers resign over taping scandal | RT |

Polish businessman Zbigniew Stonoga published more than 2,500 pages of secret documents. He has been reportedly fighting a long-running battle with the authorities. The confidential reports from the investigation included top-secret information concerning the personal details of state security officers, as well as senior officials, including ministers and conversations in restaurants.

The leaked tapes reveal politicians making inappropriate jokes and indiscreet comments about colleagues and foreign leaders. The head of the prime minister's office Jacek Cichocki has called the publication "the biggest leak in history," Inside-Poland.com reported. (website doesn't exist anymore)

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 05:36:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A similar game (statecraft, manipulation and disinformation)  was played by the Dutch under PM Mark "MH17" Rutte of rightwing VVD party...

The World According to Dutch FM Halbe Zijlstra | Feb.12, 2018 |

Foreign affairs minister Halbe Zijlstra has admitted lying about being at a meeting where Vladimir Putin supposedly set out his plans for a 'Greater Russia'.

Zijlstra claimed that he had overheard the Russian president talking about his expansionist ambitions during a gathering of businesspeople at Putin's dacha in 2006. At the time Zijlstra was working for Shell. But in an interview in the Volkskrant at the weekend he admitted that he had not been at the meeting, but 'borrowed' the anecdote from someone whose identity he wanted to protect.

'I made the decision that this is an important geopolitical story with serious implications,' he said. `I put myself in the story to make sure that the revelations weren't about the person who was actually there. Because that could have had implications for him or his company.'

In his original version of the story, which Zijlstra began relating at VVD party conferences in 2014, he claimed he had been a back room in the dacha when he heard Putin define 'Greater Russia' as 'Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states,' adding that 'Kazakhstan was nice to have'.

Doubts about the veracity of the foreign minister's claims came to light when former senior Shell executive Jeroen van der Veer told the Volkskrant that Zijlstra had not been at the meeting in 2006. Zijlstra admitted he was not present but insisted that the substance of the story was true.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 05:37:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Counter-offensive | The Atlantic - by Anne Applebaum and Jeffrey Goldberg |

Uniquely, the United States has the power to determine how, and how quickly, the war of attrition turns into something quite different. The Ukrainian defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, spoke with us about the "Ramstein Club," named after the American air base in Germany where the group, which consists of the defense officials of 54 countries, first convened. Still, his most important relationship is with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ("we communicate very, very often"), and everyone knows that this club is organized by Americans, led by Americans, galvanized by Americans. Andriy Yermak, Zelensky's chief of staff, told us that Ukrainians now feel they are "strategic partners and friends" with America, something that might not have felt so true a few years ago, when Donald Trump was impeached on charges of seeking to extort Zelensky.

In our interview with Zelensky, which we conducted with the chair of The Atlantic's board of directors, Laurene Powell Jobs, we asked him how he would justify this unusual relationship to a skeptical American: Why should Americans donate weapons to a distant war? He was clear in stating that the outcome of the war will determine the future of Europe. "If we will not have enough weapons," he said, "that means we will be weak. If we will be weak, they will occupy us. If they occupy us, they will be on the borders of Moldova, and they will occupy Moldova. When they have occupied Moldova, they will [travel through] Belarus, and they will occupy Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. That's three Baltic countries which are members of NATO. They will occupy them. Of course, [the Balts] are brave people, and they will fight. But they are small. And they don't have nuclear weapons. So they will be attacked by Russians because that is the policy of Russia, to take back all the countries which have been previously part of the Soviet Union." The fate of NATO, of America's position in Europe, indeed of America's position in the world are all at stake.

    This is a war over a fundamental definition of civilization, Zelensky
    says, a battle "to show everybody else, including Russia, to respect
    sovereignty, human rights, territorial integrity; and to respect people,
    not to kill people, not to rape women, not to kill animals."

If a Ukraine that believes in the rule of law and human rights can achieve victory against a much larger, much more autocratic society, and if it can do so while preserving its own freedoms, then similarly open societies and movements around the world can hope for success too. After the Russian invasion, the Venezuelan opposition movement hung a Ukrainian flag on the front of its country's embassy hall in Washington. The Taiwanese Parliament gave a rapturous welcome to Ukrainian activists last year. Not everyone in the world cares about this war, but for anyone trying to defeat a dictator, it has profound significance.

Both Jeffrey Goldberg, elevated a little over a year ago to managing editor of The Atlantic, and his predecessor and mentor, James Bennet, now the NY Times op-ed page editor, have embarked on a process of normalizing the alt-right, via hiring its devotés to grace their respective pages.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 1st, 2023 at 10:46:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the US and NATO have long wanted Russia to attack Ukraine | LSE - March 2022 |

Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine has come at a substantial cost for Russia, with the country so far failing to achieve its military objectives and the Russian economy suffering under unprecedented western sanctions. Robert H. Wade argues that while nothing can excuse Russia's invasion, the Kremlin has effectively fallen into a trap laid by the US and Nato that is intended to bring down Putin's regime.

On 26 March, President Biden, speaking in Warsaw, said, unscripted: "For God's sake, this man [Putin] cannot remain in power." Such an overt statement of intention for regime change in Russia has not gone down well in most of Europe. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken later clarified Biden's Warsaw remark: "As you know, and as you have heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia, or anywhere else, for that matter". Blinken has apparently forgotten Vietnam, Chile, Iraq, Afghanistan, and quite a few more.

Consider the following quotes. On 24 February, during a White House press conference on the first day of Russia's invasion, Biden said sanctions are designed not to prevent invasion but to punish Russia after invading "...so the people of Russia know what he has brought on them. That is what this is all about."

On 27 February, James Heappey, UK Minister for the Armed Forces, wrote in the Daily Telegraph: "His failure must be complete; Ukrainian sovereignty must be restored, and the Russian people empowered to see how little he cares for them. In showing them that, Putin's days as President will surely be numbered... He'll lose power and he won't get to choose his successor." Finally, on 1 March, Boris Johnson's spokesperson said "the sanctions on Russia we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:16:33 AM EST
Russian invasion is no time for UK ministers' clumsy messaging | The Guardian - Feb. 28, 2022 |

Over the past three days, some careless talk at the top of government has served to underline how difficult it is in a modern war for ministers to get their messaging right.

Run of the mill ministerial blunders in domestic politics can be tidied up with little consequence, but in a propaganda battle such as this, minor errors and misspeaks can be ruthlessly exploited by Moscow to justify escalation or to sow division.

That requires ministers to stick to the broad government script while trying to sound more diverting than an answerphone message.


In an interview on BBC One's Sunday Morning programme, the UK foreign secretary had replied "absolutely" when asked whether she would back anyone wanting to volunteer to help the Ukrainians fighting for their freedom.

It took the defence secretary Ben Wallace 24 hours to point out Truss's own department's travel advice urges British citizens not to travel to Ukraine, and if British people wanted to help, it would be better either to donate financially or even enlist to join the British army.

The messaging became worse when the prime minister's official spokesperson said western sanctions "are to bring down the Putin regime" at a daily briefing on Monday.
He said:

    "The measures we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime."

    "We have introduced widespread sanctions, we aim to inflict financial pain on Putin and his regime to stymie the Russian war machine as it attempts to subjugate a democratic European country."

Downing Street quickly explained the spokesperson had misspoken, explaining: "We're not seeking anything in terms of regime change. What we're talking about here clearly is how we stop Russia seeking to subjugate a democratic country."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:18:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the US and Nato have long wanted Russia to attack Ukraine | LSE blog by Robert H. Wade - March 30, 2022 |

Having summarized the ambition of Putin and the Russian state, we return to the US and NATO strategy for Ukraine and Russia. I draw on an eye-opening essay by Joe Lauria, "Biden confirms why the US needed this war". The essay fleshes out the US and NATO's ulterior motives in the Ukraine crisis:  to end the Putin regime and replace it with one friendly to and subordinate to the US.

The US strategy for regime change in Moscow has been long in preparation. In 2013 (before Ukraine's President Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014), Carl Gersham, director of National Endowment for Democracy (NED), wrote: "Ukraine is the biggest prize." He explained that if it could be pulled away from Russia and into the West, "Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."   

This larger strategy for containing Russia is the context to understand expansion of NATO members all along Russia's borders, from Baltics to Bulgaria, and 30,000 NATO-designated troops. Also for the US and some other western states' military intervention to overthrow Syria's ruler, Russia's ally. Also for encouraging US NGOs to foment unrest in Russia.

Since 2015 the CIA has been overseeing a secret intensive training program in the US for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel. On January 14 2022 Yahoo! News reported, "The CIA-trained forces could soon play a critical role on Ukraine's eastern border, where Russian troops have massed in what many fear is preparation for an invasion."  A former CIA official explained,  "The United States is training an insurgency."

No surprise that Moscow has long read US and NATO actions as deeply hostile, intended to produce "regime change" in the Kremlin. 

Nuclear rhetoric and escalation management in Russia's war against Ukraine: A Chronology | Sept. 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:19:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensky at AFB Soesterberg

Some of the most modern toys on display to fill your gift list from NATO allies ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 07:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Posted in my diary: John Bolton: Proud of A Hard Day's Work

A long history of a divided state, caught up in collapse of West-European and Eastern Empires and the Rise and Fall of Communism in the 20th Century. The oligarchs run the nation ...

Ukraine Caught Between East and West, Red and Blue

On the eve of the Maidan massacre and coup d'état ...

Ukraine: Extremists Reject EU Deal, Demand Violent Overthrow | Feb. 21, 2014 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:48:47 AM EST
Ukraine's western pro-European cities warn they could break away | The Guardian - Feb. 21, 2014 |

Police no longer seen on streets in Lviv while local troops say they will refuse to carry out certain commands

Lviv's affinity for Europe has long roots. Before falling under Soviet rule after the second world war, the city named Lemberg was a trading hub in central Europe, first within the Polish empire and then the Austrian empire.

There is little doubt that people in Lviv would oppose any deal between protesters and the government that did not include the immediate removal of president Viktor Yanukovych, who has tightened Ukraine's links to Russia.

"If Yanukovych was a gentleman, he would hang himself," said Olena, a student watching coverage of Kiev's protests on a big screen in central Lviv. "We are waiting for the moment he goes or the moment when something happens to him."

When deadly clashes broke out this week in Kiev, Lviv's police stations, the prosecutor's office and the local branch of the security services were attacked with cobblestones and molotov cocktails. Cars were set on fire; the burned chassis of many are strewn across the city.

Many condemn those behind the violence as foreigners - provocateurs acting in the interest of shadowy security forces or radical youths. But others describe it as a spontaneous outburst.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:55:37 AM EST
In Lviv, Ukraine, the nation's east-west divide is on display | LA Times - May 24, 2014 |

Reporting from Lviv, Ukraine --  If this western Ukrainian city of Baroque fountains and cobblestone squares seems like a different country from the eastern rust belt besieged by pro-Russia separatists, that may be because, for most of its history, it was.

Wooden signs in Lviv's Rynok Square hawk homemade pirogies and stuffed cabbage rolls, tastes imparted by the Poles who ruled here for 400 years. Chestnut-shaded promenades and pastel-painted villas evoke Budapest, Prague and Vienna, sister cities of the Austro-Hungarian era when Lviv was called Lemberg.

The question of what it means to be Ukrainian is central to the dispute that has roiled the country for months, leading to an election Sunday to choose a new president. Peter Poroshenko, who has a commanding lead, is expected to win handily, either by gaining an absolute majority in the first round or in a June runoff.

Despite the region's history, which includes virulent anti-Semitism and collaboration with Nazi occupiers, Lviv residents say they embody a Ukrainian character that includes a Western orientation and respect for human rights. Russian officials and leaders of the separatist movement characterize western Ukraine as a hotbed of unrepentant fascism. And many Russians question whether there is even a separate Ukrainian nationality or language.

These sharply diverging views threaten to cleave Ukraine into a Russian-speaking eastern region that is dominated by Russia and western areas that return to their Central European origins.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:56:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Election four years later, electing a new president on the promise of unifying the nation and making peace with Russia ...

    The pro-Russian oligarchs in Kiev were pushed aside by oligarchs from the West, many minister in Kiev's new regime were imported from Western countries and granted immediate Ukrainian "citizenship".

    Undoubtedly, the CIA intelligence inperium in Europe under the name Gladio was helpful to use its agents under neo-Nazi groups as was illustrated on the Maidan. The citizens' protest was infiltrated and taken over by thugs from the Lviv region, well known for genocide on the side of the German SS troops. I've written about these groups which are infested in the regions of Prussia under the German Kaiser before the first World War.

    In the Baltic States, Poland and the Ukraine the "patriots" fought alongside Nazi Germany against Communism for their independence.

A Dispatch: Irish Traveler from Lviv via Kiev to Odessa | March 26, 2014 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 11:00:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CIA-trained Ukrainian paramilitaries may take central role if Russia invades | YahooNews - Jan. 13, 2022 |

While the covert program, run by paramilitaries working for the CIA's Ground Branch -- now officially known as Ground Department -- was established by the Obama administration after Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014, and expanded under the Trump administration, the Biden administration has further augmented it, said a former senior intelligence official in touch with colleagues in government.

By 2015, as part of this expanded anti-Russia effort, CIA Ground Branch paramilitaries also started traveling to the front in eastern Ukraine to advise their counterparts there, according to a half-dozen former officials.

The multiweek, U.S.-based CIA program has included training in firearms, camouflage techniques, land navigation, tactics like "cover and move," intelligence and other areas, according to former officials.

CIA trained subversive techniques

The program has involved "very specific training on skills that would enhance" the Ukrainians' "ability to push back against the Russians," said the former senior intelligence official.

The training, which has included "tactical stuff," is "going to start looking pretty offensive if Russians invade Ukraine," said the former official.

One person familiar with the program put it more bluntly. "The United States is training an insurgency," said a former CIA official, adding that the program has taught the Ukrainians how "to kill Russians."

The program, which does not appear to have ever been formally aimed at preparing for an insurgency, did include training that could be used for that purpose. Another former agency official described technical aspects of the program, like showing Ukrainians how to maintain secure communications behind enemy lines or in a "hostile intelligence environment" as potential "stay-behind force training."  

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 11:03:32 AM EST
Ukrainians got secret CIA training after Russia's Crimea invasion in 2014: report | NY Post - March 16, 2022 |

A SECRET TRAINING PROGRAM run by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which began shortly after Russia invaded eastern Ukraine in 2014, is now helping the Ukrainians beat back Russian military advances. The CIA began training Ukrainian special operations forces personnel in eastern Ukraine, starting in 2015. That was only months after the Kremlin sparked a separatist war in eastern Ukraine and the Crimea, eventually pulling them away from the control of Kyiv.

The CIA carried out the training with the help of personnel from the Special Activities Center (SAC), called Special Activities Division in 2015, when the secret program began. The SAC operates under the Agency's Directorate of Operations. Within the SAC, paramilitary operations and training are carried out by the Special Operations Group (SOG). A small team from SOG, "in the low single digits", arrived in eastern Ukraine and began training Ukrainian forces in a variety of military and paramilitary techniques.

The news website claims that the Ukrainians were taught by the CIA how to engage in anti-tank warfare, which included the use of American-supplied FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles. They were also taught sniping techniques, as well as how to operate in insurgency formations without being detected by Russian electronic surveillance tools. The CIA program took place alongside a more extensive, US-based training program for Ukrainian special operations forces, which was run by the United States military. That program also began in 2015.

The training program continued for a number of years. In fact, members of SAC/SOG were on the ground in Ukraine in early February, just days before the Russian invasion began. At that time, the administration of US President Joe Biden [no willingness for diplomacy], expecting a Russian invasion, ordered that all CIA personnel should leave Ukraine, fearing that they could get captured by Russian forces.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 11:04:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Twitter unblocks Dmitry Medvedev's post about Poland | TASS - 2 hrs ago |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue May 2nd, 2023 at 08:39:02 PM EST
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Belarus Says Poland Has Aspiration for Western Ukraine | TeleSur - May 23, 2022 |

According to the Belarusian President, NATO and Poland have plans to take over Ukraine and Belarus.

He made the emphasis of the U.S.-led military bloc's move to agglutinate troops on the western borders of Ukraine with the Union States of Russia and Belarus.

"The politicians are taking steps to dismember Ukraine. We are worried that they, the Poles and NATO members, are ready to come out, to 'help' in this way, to take away, as before 1939, Western Ukraine," said Lukashenko during the meeting.

Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Polish people would be given a special legal status in his country, as in his opinion "mentally, the Ukrainian and Polish people have been inseparable for a long time." Zelensky's comments came following the statements made by the Polish President Andrzej Duda, who said about his hopes that there would be no borders between Poland and Ukraine in the future.

Why Russia Keeps Insisting That Poland Is Preparing to Partition Ukraine | Carnegie Endowment - Juy 12, 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue May 2nd, 2023 at 08:57:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 02:07:26 PM EST
Excellent news ...

Perhaps it's worthwhile to make peace, not war ...

"These are Israel's reserve stockpiles for times of war," a former cabinet minister says. "The move has had a bigger meaning in light of the threats on Israel in multiple theaters."

Stockpiles for war crimes should be depleted ... fools!

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 04:44:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO's Hegemonic Formula

4. enlarging the circle

For half a century the Atlantic Alliance had supplanted, to a considerable degree, national defence in Western Europe. In the 1990s, American policy makers became preoccupied by the converse possibility, 're-nationalization'. The connotations of this bugbear, ubiquitous in the period, are ambiguous, encompassing everything from barriers to trade to inter-state military rivalry and war. It is the interconnection of such ills, and the holism of their remedy, that distinguished Clinton-era globalist ideology. 'America's core concepts--democracy and market economics--are more broadly accepted than ever', rejoiced National Security Advisor Anthony Lake in September 1993. Emancipation of Eastern European states from the Communist yoke handed the administration a 'moment of immense democratic and entrepreneurial opportunity'. The time had come to advance `from containment to enlargement'.

'During the Cold War', Clinton intoned a week later, 'we sought to contain a threat to the survival of free institutions'. 'Now we seek to enlarge the circle of nations that live under those free institutions.' Where the 'new democracies' were concerned, NATO and shock therapy were part of the same package.

In hindsight, it is notable that accession of the Visegrád trio, formalized at the 1997 Summit in Madrid should have encountered as much us domestic resistance as it did. Congress was pliant enough, but a number of establishment grandees expressed their dissatisfaction, among them the secretary of defence, out of misgivings about alienating Russia. Differences chiefly had to do with when and where the alliance expanded, not its purpose as such. The Kremlin's concerns were ultimately brushed aside, and Clinton dismissed fears of a Russian backlash as 'silly'.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 3rd, 2023 at 05:41:28 PM EST

I just finished updating my "international bloc" file to incorporate permutations of post-WWII "Group of n". The indisputable feature of so-called enlargement that engrosses, patronizes, ROW anarchy is "Great Power" domination of so-called multilateral institutions, specifically, IMF (debt) and UNSC (force)—regardless of which person of which generation that transnational unfree press portrays as leader of the free world rules-base order and hierarchy of international norms.

For example, when the G8 of the day graciously invoked a G14 (G8 + G5* + "unaligned" at the time Egypt) convention to memorialize advanced economies' 2009 "Credit Crash" defenestration, India's prime minister Manmohan Singh remarked.

"The original rationale of G7 was the belief that it would evolve more effective consultation among the more powerful countries on one side of the bi-polar world of the 1970s and 1980s. Its expansion to G8 reflects the disappearance of that particular faultline by the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, while the group includes many of the economically powerful nations, it is obviously not representative as it does not include any developing country."
What set me on a tour of HISTORIC "allies and partners" this morning?
*A question: Which nations comprise this "G5" this year, this month?

"state-controlled" DW | Germany flexes its soft-power muscle in Africa's Sahel, 3 May

The end of Germany's military mission in Mali [2024!] is the beginning of a broader development strategy across the Sahel. Improved prospects for people there mean more security for Europe, officials say.

The plan, as outlined in a paper published on Wednesday by the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), seeks to "orient itself on the needs of the people" in the region. The plan seeks to bring in more [AFRICOM Bundeswahr?] partners over a wider area.

"We are more successful when we act together with international partners than everyone on their own," BMZ Minister Svenja Schulze said in a statement.

Which I did not read. I recognized the name. I learned everything I needed to know about Svenja Schulze's competence from this condescending, boilerplate FIFTH WAVE foreign policy presentation at the Munich Security Conference, Feb 2023
Germany has long been a significant player in stabilization and development efforts in the largely francophone [!] Sahel.

With deeper engagement, Germany hopes to be a soft-power leader in a region it classifies as central to European security. As part of that commitment, the BMZ says that Schulze will put herself up as the chair of the Sahel Alliance*, a cooperation among Sahelian [sic] and Western [sic] countries and organizations [OHCHR, UNDP, EU, EIB, IFC, WB, AfDB, Gates Foundation, Tony Blair Institute, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie]. The [a]lliance, which takes credit [finance!] for supporting nearly 1,200 projects totaling €26.5 billion ($29.3 billion), will choose the chair at a meeting next month in Mauritania.

* latest "G5" permutation since G5 1975 (FR, DE, UK, JP, US)
by Cat on Thu May 4th, 2023 at 04:27:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 4th, 2023 at 07:55:02 PM EST
AfPak Mujahideen veterans in Chechnya called freedom fighters by America

In August 1999, Afghan, Pakistani and Arab militants, trained in training camps set up by militant organisations of various hues and persuasions in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are understood to have participated along with Chechen commander Shamil Basayev and Jordanian fighter Khattab when they stormed some areas of Daghestan in Russia. This led to the second military intervention by Russia in Chechnya. These Islamic militants saw themselves as "warriors of Allah" performing their divine duty to carry out the will of God. Ultimately, the Russian forces threw them out from Daghestan and their actions were more akin to those of Islamic terrorists rather than the 'liberators' of Daghestan. Some of these elements, after returning from Chechnya participated in a campaign led by the Farghana-based Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to capture more than 20 villages in Kyrgyzstan. Thus, such Islamic groups are exploiting the weak political and law and order situation in the regions of North Caucasus and Central Asian countries.

Related reading ...

Bringing Peace to Chechnya? Assessments and Implications | CRS Report - Feb. 11, 2005 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 4th, 2023 at 07:55:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 12:22:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]

EU pledges over $1 billion to refresh its arms factories for Ukraine | Defense News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 06:00:49 AM EST
Funding the EU's security, defence, and border policies, 2021-2027

At time time of writing, a war is being waged in Ukraine following an illegal invasion by Russian troops in February 2022. In response to this war, European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the EU would, for the first time ever, finance the purchase and delivery of weapons to a country under attack. EC vice president and high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Josep Borrell, confirmed that lethal weapons would be sent to the war zone, funded by the European Peace Facility, saying that `another taboo has fallen... that the European Union was not providing arms in a war'.

The European Peace Facility is but one of the EU's array of budgetary instruments that form part of the 2021-27 Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), under which an unprecedented amount of money has been earmarked for security and defence purposes. Other instruments with specific budget lines for security, defence and military equipment include the Internal Security Fund (ISF), the Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF), the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF), the Security Research Programme and the European Defence Fund (EDF), among others. This research discusses the objectives and functioning of each of these instruments, while also interrogating the larger political picture regarding what their approval means for the EU as a whole.


The ultimate aim of all these movements is a more just, peaceful world - one that eliminates the historic systems of social and economic inequality that have for so long divided people and societies, as well as the systems of surveillance, coercion and exclusion that underpin these systems. Governments have not given a warm reception to this message. On the contrary, by and large they continue to press ahead with failed models of security that have done so much harm, propelled by economic interests that see `solutions' for security problems in new technologies of surveillance and coercion.

The new seven-year security budgets approved by the European Union (EU) in early 2021- the subject of this report - provide a clear example of this woeful tendency. A massive increase in security spending over the next seven years - to the tune of tens of billions of euros - is set to further reinforce `Fortress Europe', bolster the technologies and powers available to police forces, and provide enormous sums for the development of new military equipment and the deployment of military operations overseas. This report is intended as a guide for campaigners, journalists, researchers and others who wish to understand how these budgets work, with the aim of spurring critical engagement with the projects and activities the EU currently funds, as well as informing subsequent negotiations on the next round of EU security spending, due to start in 2025.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 06:02:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Troubling Times for Fortress Europa

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 06:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rejecting Fortress Europe | Apr 23, 2023 |

The European Union will not solve the problems of an aging and shrinking society by discouraging immigration. Creative legal migration policies are needed.

Europe is getting older. It has fewer births and people are living longer. The EU's population will peak at 526 million, according to current projections by the 2040s, and then decline by nearly 30 million people by the end of the century.

A third of Europeans will be over 65 by the 2050s, up from 20 percent today.

So what is the decision by EU Consilium and Parliament? Investment in more wars, reject peace. The secondary effects from 9/11 and the War on Terror by the Bush neocon clan from 2001-2009. Make NATO a tool of aggression ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 06:04:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cold War? Russia?

Churchill felt the might of the weapons that forced Japan to surrender ... how genocide becomes acceptable. Still in a hot war. Both Germany and Japan became pacifist states ...

Operation Unthinkable - Churchill's plans to invade the Soviet Union

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 06:09:45 AM EST
Found these notes from the Georgian War ...

The Georgia Crisis a Blow to NATO | Time by Tony Karon - Aug. 15, 2008 |

Washington hawks insist that the remedy to Russia's military humiliation of Georgia is to expedite the smaller country's incorporation into NATO. After all, Moscow might think twice about attacking any nation able to trigger the Atlantic Alliance's Article 5, which obliges all member states to respond militarily to an attack on any one of them.

President Bush, in fact, toured Europe last spring to stump aggressively for Georgia and Ukraine to be granted Membership Action Plans, the first step toward joining the Alliance. But despite Bush's high-profile campaigning, the proposal was rebuffed at NATO's April summit by 10 member states, led by key U.S. allies Germany and France. That rejection, said Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain, "might have been viewed as a green light by Russia for its attacks on Georgia," and he urged European NATO members to "revisit the decision."

But many of the Europeans draw the opposite conclusion. They see last week's events in Georgia as vindicating their caution over granting Georgia NATO membership. Indeed, many in Europe see the Bush Administration's military support for Georgia and its trumpeting of Tbilisi's cause in NATO as having emboldened President Mikheil Saakashvili to launch his reckless attack on South Ossetia.

If Russia's brutal response to Georgia's provocation had, in fact, obliged NATO to intervene, the Atlantic Alliance itself might have faced a terminal crisis. Most of its member states have no enthusiasm for confronting a resurgent Russia in the Caucasus, traditionally a Russian sphere of influence.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 05:28:12 PM EST

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