The Continuing Cold War

I seem to always agree with Christopher Booker:

Quite one of the oddest and most frightening stories of the year has been the ludicrous and persistent misrepresentation in the West of the reason for the tragic shambles unfolding over Russia and Ukraine.

This has been presented as wholly the fault of the Russian “dictator” Vladimir Putin, compared by Hillary Clinton and the Prince of Wales to Hitler, for his “annexing” of Crimea and for fomenting the armed uprising in eastern Ukraine. Almost entirely blotted out has been the key part played in triggering this crisis by the remorseless urge of the EU to draw the cradle of Russian identity into its own empire.

It was entirely predictable that Russia and the ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine would respond as they have done. So, too, was the wish of the vast majority of Crimeans, 82 per cent of them Russian speakers, to rejoin the country of which they were part for most of two centuries – let alone Russia’s reaction to the prospect of seeing their warm-water ports taken over by Nato.

The real significance of this unholy mess is that it marks the moment when the remorseless expansionism of the EU, founded to eradicate nationalism, finally ran into that implacable sense of national identity personified, for all his failings, by President Putin.

He and his people may now be paying a terrible price. But there was no way that poking the Russian bear like this, with such silly boasts as David Cameron’s declaration that he wished to see “Europe stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals”, would not arouse just such a reaction. As I wrote last March, the EU’s reckless bid to absorb Ukraine will eventually be seen as as much an act of fateful self-delusion as its equally reckless launch of the euro…

And quite often with Peter Hitchens too (writing last December):

…I seem surrounded by people who actively want a war with Russia, a war we all might lose. They seem to believe that we are living in a real life Lord Of The Rings, in which Moscow is Mordor and Vladimir Putin is Sauron. Some humorous artists in Moscow, who have noticed this, have actually tried to set up a giant Eye of Sauron on a Moscow tower.

We think we are the heroes, setting out with brave hearts to confront the Dark Lord, and free the saintly Ukrainians from his wicked grasp.

This is all the most utter garbage. Since 1989, Moscow, the supposed aggressor, has – without fighting or losing a war – peacefully ceded control over roughly 180 million people, and roughly 700,000 square miles of valuable territory.

The EU (and its military wing, Nato) have in the same period gained control over more than 120 million of those people, and almost 400,000 of those square miles.

Until a year ago, Ukraine remained non-aligned between the two great European powers. But the EU wanted its land, its 48 million people (such a reservoir of cheap labour!) its Black Sea coast, its coal and its wheat.

So first, it spent £300 million (some of it yours) on anti-Russian ‘civil society’ groups in Ukraine.

Then EU and Nato politicians broke all the rules of diplomacy and descended on Kiev to take sides with demonstrators who demanded that Ukraine align itself with the EU.

Imagine how you’d feel if Russian politicians had appeared in Edinburgh in September urging the Scots to vote for independence, or if Russian money had been used to fund pro-independence organisations.

Then a violent crowd (20 police officers died at its hands, according to the UN) drove the elected president from office, in violation of the Ukrainian constitution.

A year ago, there was just one potential flashpoint with Russia: Ukraine. Now there are two: Ukraine and Syria. What happens when a US warplane is shot down over Syria by  a Russian surface-to-air missile? Particularly if the US president is Hillary Clinton (who has compared Putin to Hitler).

Oddly enough, I’d be less concerned if the US president was Donald Trump.

With the Syrian regime in peril, Putin began his effort to help Assad take the fight to the rebels. Most of the mainstream presidential candidates opposed Putin’s actions.

But Trump has, in effect, offered to hold his coat as he fights it out with the Syrian rebels.

I gather that inside the Beltway this is considered a shocking position.

But I have yet to meet a single conservative here in New Jersey who wasn’t happy to hear that Putin was prepared to put boots on the ground where we Americans certainly don’t want to tread.

Or if the next UK prime minister was Boris Johnson:

Am I backing the Assad regime, and the Russians, in their joint enterprise to recapture that amazing site? You bet I am. That does not mean I trust Putin, and it does not mean that I want to keep Assad in power indefinitely. But we cannot suck and blow at once.

The best thing would be a coalition of Russia, USA, Britain, and France ridding Syria of the Islamic State, returning Syrian refugees from Europe, and staying on to oversee the emergence of a democratic Syria.

But a great many people still see Russia through Cold War eyes. For them, the Cold War never ended. And Ukraine and Syria are simply new arenas in which to conduct that war. And so for every one Donald Trump or Boris Johnson, there seem to be ten unreconstructed cold warriors in Europe and the USA.

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About Frank Davis

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23 Responses to The Continuing Cold War

  1. mikef317 says:

    Off topic. Is Tobacco Control out to ban smoking at all airports?

    http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/24/6/527.full

    • Joe L. says:

      Sure sounds like it, even though there are hardly any airports with smoking areas left in the U.S. I also couldn’t help but note this sentence from the author (emphasis mine):

      Meals are no longer being served on short-haul flights as they once were; instead, we are offered overpriced salt-filled, sugar-filled and fat-filled ‘snack boxes’.

      Obviously eliminating smoking from airplanes was not enough to make this Tobacco Control Nazi happy. Just sems like more evidence that tobacco is simply being used as the lead-in for a much larger campaign of “health”-based social engineering.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        wait til they start in on jet exhausts…………..That ones gonna be a hoot! I hope they do outlaw passenger jet travel,itd sure shut down the fast running super bugs now prevalent around the world brought in by tourists or business folks. Just think a five day titanic cruise to save the planet! with melting ice caps we could watch em all sink from NYC!

        Lmao there is no end to these Nazis wild ass agendas once they get control.

        Its time the adults were back in charge.

        • Re jet exhausts: Thanks for the reminder there as well Harley! Yep, average large airport: 500 aircraft per day, output of roughly eight and a half BILLION cigarettes’ worth of Nitrogen Oxides (one of the EPAs hallmark air pollutant categories) put out into the nice smoke free air getting sucked into the nice smoke free terminals every single day. And yet they’re having kittens over isolated, exhaust ventilated smoking lounges in the few airports that still provide them.

          – MJM

    • Absolutely outrageous article. Every paragraph is slanted and contains very disputable or outright false statements in terms of the points they are trying to convey.

      – MJM

      • Cecily Collingridge says:

        I quite agree, the article full of false statements.

        I’ll take the opportunity to recommend the spacious smoking room at Phnom Penh airport in Cambodia. Unexpectedly for a developing country, It is absolutely luxurious with well-upholstered armchairs, air-conditioning (it’s very hot and humid in that part of the world) and you help yourself to the free cigarettes provided to have with your coffee or whatever. It was such a haven and very civilised, I always looked forward to it after the long, indirect flights from the UK – but I haven’t been back since 2006. I hope it’s still there.

        • nisakiman says:

          Damn! I missed that one when I was there! It was in about 2006, too. Mind you, I’d only had a short flight from Bangkok, so I wasn’t looking for somewhere to have a ciggy, and on the way back, I was late for my flight anyway. Don Muang seems to have smoking lounges in all its ‘arms’ airside, Better than Suvarnabhumi, where you have to really search for a smoking area. Thailand has really bought in to the anti-smoking meme, sadly.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        Of course, the entire tobacco control enterprise has been built upon a house of lies. As a reminder on airline smoking bans the following study on second hand smoke disputes the basis for airline smoking bans: Mortality from Cancer and Other Causes among Airline Cabin Attendants in Germany, 1960-1997,” American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 156, No. 6, which states on p. 564,

        “We found a rather remarkably low SMR [Standardized Mortality Ratio] for lung cancer among female cabin attendants and no increase for male cabin attendants, indicating that smoking and exposure to passive smoking may not play an important role in mortality in this group. “

        • Lamp, yes, that was one of the studies in particular I was thinking of. Thanks for the reference so I can file it more clearly this time! It’s interesting that although they mention the “remarkably low SMR” for lung cancer among female attendants they seem to have felt no need to specify what that SMR actually WAS … leading me to speculate that it was ***SOOO*** remarkably low that it was outright embarrassing! Given that the male rates, which they DID specify, ran between 60% and 85% of the norm, it sounds as though the female rates may have actually been down around half or even less than what would be expected on today’s “smoke-free” airlines.

          – MJM

      • slugbop007 says:

        All in a days work. So what else is new? Man bites dog. Now that’s news.
        Where did you find the info on airport pollution?

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    key part played in triggering this crisis by the remorseless urge of the EU to draw the cradle of Russian identity into its own empire.

    The United States spent $5 billion on Ukraine anti …

    http://www.politifact.com/…/united-states-spent-5-billion-ukrain...

    Mar 19, 2014 – President Barack Obama spent “$5 billion paying Ukrainians to riot and dismantle … The United States spent $5 billion on Ukraine anti-government riots … She made clear the United States supported the protesters’ fight and …

    Washington Orchestrated Protests Are Destabilizing Ukraine …

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/…/washington-orchestrated-protests-destabilizi...

    Feb 12, 2014 – The protests in the western Ukraine are organized by the CIA, the US … and by Washington- and EU-financed Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) … Each of these countries is targeted by Washington for overthrow or for …

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      It was Obama and Merkel who financed the ukranian protests to topple the pro-Russian ukranian government. At the same time we kept hearing how the Ukranianin smoking ban despite the protests and rioting was working perfectly until some ukranians got a few youtube videos uploaded showing what was really going on. Everyone was smoking everywhere as usual. Merkel and Obama wanted to build a USSR styled EU and take in every state in mother Russia they could via whatever means and lets not forget Obamas ARAB SPRING a few years back where he installed his own jihadist govmnts from morocco all the way to Syria. Luckily his mslim brotherhood was toppled by the Army as Obama was giving the Moslem Brotherhood tons and tons of US ARMS along with top gun fighter jets 28 in all if I remember right.

      Obama is funding ISIS along with Merkel and several others in the major EU stake holders group. Why? that’s the big question why…………..Why are they intent on importing 100s of thousands of so called refugees mainly men of military age all of a sudden.

      Obama wants 200,000 in America then out of the blue his plans get wiped out by the san bernadino Massacre of state health workers,no loss there as they are smokers enemies anyway.

      What America is waking up to is full bore redneck payback time to all the muslims.

      FACEBOOK is full of the hate and anger now fully matured against the enemy and America is likely to go into isolationalism again as it has done so many times in the past until we get drug into another war. Or maybe a war of obamas and others in Americas own making.

      One things for sure guns are the biggest selling xmas present this year in America along with tons of ammunition.

      If SHTF Americans are finally opening there eyes up as it has hit the streets in a town near them. OPEN CARRY laws are big on agendas this year possibly making America a walking dodge city circa 1870-3 again.

      One things for sure legal or illegal americans are going to start arming themselves wherever they go for now on.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Washington Orchestrated Protests Are Destabilizing Ukraine

      Paul Craig Roberts

      The protests in the western Ukraine are organized by the CIA, the US State Department, and by Washington- and EU-financed Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that work in conjunction with the CIA and State Department. The purpose of the protests is to overturn the decision by the independent government of Ukraine not to join the EU.

      The US and EU were initially cooperating in the effort to destroy the independence of Ukraine and make it a subservient entity to the EU government in Brussels. For the EU
      government, the goal is to expand the EU. For Washington the purposes are to make
      Ukraine available for looting by US banks and corporations and to bring Ukraine into NATO so that Washington can gain more military bases on Russia’s frontier. There are three countries in the world that are in the way of Washington’s hegemony over the world–Russia, China, and Iran. Each of these countries is targeted by Washington for overthrow or for their sovereignty to be degraded by propaganda and US military bases that leave the countries vulnerable to attack, thus coercing them into accepting Washington’s will.

      The problem that has arisen between the US and EU with regard to Ukraine is that Europeans have realized that the takeover of Ukraine is a direct threat to Russia, which can cut Europe off from oil and natural gas, and if there is war completely destroy Europe. Consequently, the EU became willing to stop provoking the Ukraine protests.

      The response of the neoconservative, Victoria Nuland, appointed Assistant Secretary of State by the duplicitous Obama, was “fuck the EU,” as she proceeded to describe the members of the Ukraine government that Washington tended to impose on a people so unaware as to believe that they are achieving independence by rushing into Washington’s arms. I once thought that no population could be as unaware as the US population. But I was wrong. Western Ukrainians are more unaware than Americans.

      The orchestration of the “crisis” in Ukraine is easy. The neoconservative Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the National Press Club in Washington on December 13, 2013, that the US has “invested” $5 billion in agitation in Ukraine. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37599.htm The crisis essentially resides in western Ukraine where romantic ideas about Russian oppression are strong and the population is less Russian than in the eastern Ukraine.

      The hatred of Russia in western Ukraine is so dysfunctional that the duped protesters are unaware that joining the EU means the end of Ukraine independence and rule by the EU bureaucrats in Brussels, the European Central Bank, and US corporations. Perhaps Ukraine is two countries. The western half could be given to the EU and US corporations, and the eastern half could be reincorporated as part of Russia, where the entire Ukraine resided for as long as the US has existed.

      The disaffection from Russia that exists in western Ukraine makes it easy for the EU and US to cause trouble. Those in Washington and Europe who wish to destroy Ukraine’s independence portray an independent Ukraine as a hostage of Russia, while a Ukraine in the EU is allegedly under the protection of the US and Europe. The large sums of money that Washington funnels into NGOs in Ukraine propagate this idea and work the population into a mindless frenzy. I have never in my life witnessed people as mindless as the Ukrainian protesters who are destroying the independence of their country.

      The US- and EU-financed NGOs are fifth columns designed to destroy the independence of the countries in which they operate. Some pretend to be “human rights organizations.” Others indoctrinate people under cover of “education programs” and “building democracy.” Others, especially those run by the CIA, specialize in provocations such as “Pussy Riot.” Few if any of these NGOs are legitimate. But they are arrogant. The head of one of the NGOs announced prior to the Iranian elections in which Mousavi was Washington’s and the CIA’s candidate that the election would result in a Green Revolution. He knew this in advance, because he had helped to finance it with US taxpayer dollars. I wrote about it at the time. It can be found on my website, http://www.paulcraigroberts.org and in my just published book, How America Was Lost.

      The Ukrainian “protesters” have been violent, but the police have been restrained. Washington has a vested interest in keeping the protests going in the hopes of turning the protests into revolt so that Washington can grab Ukraine. This week the US House of Representatives passed a resolution threatening sanctions should the violent protests be put down by the police.

      In other words, if the Ukrainian police behave toward violent protesters in the way that US police behave toward peaceful protesters, it is reason for Washington to interfere in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Washington is using the protests to destroy the independence of Ukraine and has ready the list of puppets that Washington intends to install as Ukraine’s next government.

  3. nisakiman says:

    Booker and Hitchens are spot on. The Ukrainian crisis was entirely of the UN and EU’s making. How they have the gall to turn around and accuse Putin of aggression is beyond me.

    The best thing would be a coalition of Russia, USA, Britain, and France ridding Syria of the Islamic State, returning Syrian refugees from Europe, and staying on to oversee the emergence of a democratic Syria.

    Nice as that seems, I’m afraid the Arabs just don’t do democracy. They never have. The only Arab states that enjoy (or enjoyed) stability and economic success were ruled by strong dictators. This didn’t suit everyone, of course, but then neither does democracy. There are always going to be winners and losers in any system. If you look at the state of Iraq and Libya now, as compared to when Saddam and Ghadafi were their respective leaders, you can see how the imposition of ‘democracy’ has been an unmitigated disaster.

    Being brutally realistic about Syria, the best hope for that country is for the west to give full backing to Assad and let him deal with the situation in the way that he knows best, which would be merciless brutality. That may well offend our delicate Western sensibilities, but he would probably have a functioning country again within a couple of years. Try to unseat him and introduce democracy, and there will be war without end and yet another human disaster.

      • The Blocked Dwarf says:

        And another ;)

        By one vote…I think the term ‘stay of execution’ is perhaps apter than ‘small victory’. What are the odds that , if not next time, the local Worthies congeal then the time after next they will feel compelled to PROTECT THE CHEEELDREN ?

        • prog says:

          Councillor Bill Grant said: “It is well intended but as an ex-smoker I believe this has something to do with freedom and trusting our business community.

          “Introducing a smoking ban would create endless confusion. We know fine well we couldn’t police it. We would create inequalities.”

          But Councillor Rita Miller butted into the debate, lending her support to the move. She said: “I can’t support allowing smoking in our spaces. We all know how dangerous smoking is in terms of damage to health.

          “What we are saying is this is our space and this is what you are allowed to do. One of the things you are not allowed to do is smoke.”

          It is NOT well intended, these people are fools and (for Miller at least) bigots. Miller’s a real nasty bit of work

          Who needs a cartoon caricature when the real thing is so ghastly?

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

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