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I think it would be reasonable to admit that no country is perfect, that no government system is beyond reproach.  Every country faces challenges; those challenges could be related to ethnic strife, the economy, ideological divisions, government corruption, and a host of other things.

Also, it would be naive to deny that the United States, as the world's lone super power, would not be involved in activities meant to shape events.  But the fundamental problem we are facing is that of the character of many of the people behind the shaping of those events.

And that leads to hidden agendas that have little to do with our national interests, and instead are designed to advance special interests.  And that puts us (the populace) in extreme danger.

Regarding both, Venezuela and Ukraine, they have some serious internal issues, some of which are very complicated.

What the U.S. is doing in both countries (and others as well) is not only taking advantage of their internal strife, but actually engaging in a clandestine destabilization campaign, not to advance our national interests, but again, to advance narrow special interests.

I'm fully aware that we live in a dangerous world, and that not everybody plays nice, and that because of it, nations engage in all kinds of covert operations.

The problem we are facing, in my opinion, is that the actions these behind-the-scenes special interests are taking to purposely destabilize other regimes, have very little to do with our national security, and the interests of the citizenry.

And furthermore, these actions have little to do with the stated purposes our government professes, like democracy, letting people decide their own future, helping them rise up against oppression.  We are being lied to.  We are being told that we are helping the people of these countries rise up against oppressive regimes, and that we support democracy and the rule of law, but in fact what we are doing is engaging in destabilization campaigns in a very dangerous geopolitical game.

The ruling elite here is getting drunk on power and that leads to hubris and miscalculations.  If things go sideways, we-the-people are going to be left holding the bag--again.

UPDATE: SAT MARCH 1, 2014 AT 8:30 AM PST

Additional perspective:

The Coups of the Obama Administration by AntiWar.com
The Complexity Of The Uprising In Ukraine
UPDATE 2: SAT MARCH 1, 2014 AT 7:00 PM PST

In the comment thread there are a few users who have questioned professor Stephen Cohen's credibility.  I'd like to share his credentials so readers can judge for themselves:

Stephen Frand Cohen (born 1938) is an American scholar of Russian studies. His academic work concentrates on developments in Russia since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the country's relationship with the United States.

Cohen is well known in both Russian and American circles. He is a close personal friend of former Soviet Pres. Mikhail Gorbachev, advised former U.S. Pres. George H.W. Bush in the late 1980s, helped Nikolai Bukharin's widow, Anna Larina, rehabilitate her name during the Soviet era, and met Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana.

Since 1998, Cohen has been professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University, where he teaches a course titled "Russia Since 1917." He previously taught at Princeton University. He has written several books including those listed below. He is also a CBS News consultant as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The US is destabilizing .... (12+ / 0-)

    ....the Ukraine?  First I have heard suggestion of that.  I could believe Putin's Russia is but the US.  Do you have any further info?  I am curious.

    Now Venezuela I could believe we are doing that but still maybe not.

    And there is a difference between being involved or commenting on it and destabilizing actions in my opinion.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 11:34:57 PM PST

    •  Check out the Ukraine link in the diary. Also (9+ / 0-)

      see The Nation article "The Questionable Motives Behind Western Involvement in Ukraine" by Stephen Cohen.

      •  The Ukraine link in the Diary (24+ / 0-)

        is rubbish. Conspiracy-Theory mongering by an apologist for Putin and Russia that insults the Ukrainians who were perfectly capable of throwing out Yanukovych on their own.

        Without evidence, you have no story.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:00:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cohen's been selling a big lie on Ukraine, (17+ / 0-)

        even if just a lie of omission.  Look at him doing it again here:

        [Obama] is saying that the responsibility for restoring peace is on the Ukrainian government, and it should withdraw its security forces from the streets. But let me ask you, if in Washington people throwing Molotov cocktails are marching on Congress—and these people are headed for the Ukrainian Congress—if these people have barricaded entrance to the White House and are throwing rocks at the White House security guard, would President Obama withdraw his security forces?
        I've addressed this before in a few diaries, but people wouldn't be throwing molotov cocktails if the government hadn't ordered the police force to break up the protest encampments, which they did so violently.  That's what led to the riots, which have been almost entirely retaliatory against state violence.  Yes, it's escalated from both sides, but if the state since lost control of the situation, it's not because of an irrationally violent crowd that decided, apropos of nothing, to start tearing shit up.  

        I do want to highlight a major point of agreement with him, though:

        What percent are the quasi-fascists of the opposition? Let’s say they’re 5 percent. I think they’re more, but let’s give them the break, 5 percent. But we know from history that when the moderates lose control of the situation, they don’t know what to do. The country descends in chaos. Five percent of a population that’s tough, resolute, ruthless, armed, well funded, and knows what it wants, can make history. We’ve seen it through Europe. We’ve seen it through Asia. This is reality. And where Washington and Brussels are on this issue, they won’t step up and take the responsibility.
        He's right about that, sadly.  And sure enough, the moderate bloc isn't looking so effective at the moment: either filled with corrupt professional politicians, or useless ones who haven't risen to the occasion.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:05:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  whenever cohen speaks about putin (10+ / 0-)

          i can't help but think of the "leave britney alone" guy.

          the moderates need some new faces. they're a mess.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:09:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We have no business getting involve in internal (9+ / 0-)

          issues of other countries, especially when it has nothing to do with spreading "freedom and democracy."

          I find professor Cohen credible in his analysis.

          •  Just be aware that Cohen (12+ / 0-)

            believes the state has a right to use violence against protesters.  Be aware of that next time you're encouraging direction action in this country.

            I mean, hell, even Russia Today reported this correctly, even if all the analysts they interviewed were (natch) pro-Russian.  Hard to accuse them of media complicity on this, no?  You may want to adjust your credibility meter.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:19:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've watched a couple of interviews and he has (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea, Johnny Q, corvo

              said no such a thing regarding peaceful protests.

              •  But Ray... (9+ / 0-)

                ...poco is spot on about his omitting the initial cause of the violence.  It is rather unfair to condem the protestors for rioting after the violet removal from the protest encampments.

                We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:30:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand that. My point is that there are (7+ / 0-)

                  always all kind o dynamics when there is internal strife in a country. We have no business in taking advantage and further destabilizing the situation, playing geopolitical games in Russia's backyard.

                  •  Ok I agree... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CenPhx, Smoh, fcvaguy

                    ...with the we should stay out part I just suggest maybe we shouldn't trust Cohen when he says we did.   Of course I don't trust our government not to do I it either.

                    I guess my complaint, if you want to it that is that you make absolut statement that the US meddled in the Ukraine essentially on the analysis of one person.

                    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                    by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:54:14 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The US has meddled by admission (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gerrilea

                      of Victoria Nuland. She stated in her leaked phone call of spending 5 billion in Ukraine. That money sure didn't just stay in the state department. There's over a hundred NGO's operating in there. John McCain showed up to back the protesters with Nuland. The person who Nuland wanted to run Ukriane from her own phone call is now running the country. This isn't CT, this is what happened.

                      The CT is Putin had anything to do with it. My opinion is he didn't take a stand because it let Russia off the hook for the 15 billion buyout of Ukrainian bonds and can take back the deal of lowering the gas payment from 400 to 250 per 1000 cubic liter. I'm guessing he figures he'll let the west bail out Ukraine and he'll concentrate on what really matters to Russia which is the naval base and Crimea.

                      Stating this was an organic grassroots overthrow does not follow what happened on the ground there. Now, it did start organic, protesting corruption, which all politicians in Ukraine are ripe with. But once the hardliners showed up and battled with the police, then all the moderates bailed out. That's how you end up with an interm government with extreme right wingers in key posts.

                •  *pico (5+ / 0-)

                  No biggie, but there's a poco here, too, who (weirdly enough) joined the site the day after me.  Heh.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:38:29 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You misunderstand my point: (19+ / 0-)

                If the state attacks a peaceful protest, and the protesters retaliate, Cohen believes the state has a right to respond with violence, and it's incumbent on the protesters to back down.  This is the analysis you find credible.

                What I called his "lie by omission" is not addressing the first part of that process, and making it seem like the state was responding to violence it had no responsibility for.  Which is why I provided the RT link, because even the Kremlin's propaganda network reported the events as they happened.  Cohen is the only person who continues beating this inaccurate-on-its-face drum.

                If you're choosing to extend credibility to a source based on an ideological preference, you're creating a big blind spot about the facts on the ground.  Read more broadly and critically.  

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:34:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  What I'm saying is that unless there is a (9+ / 0-)

                  compelling reason for the U.S. to get involved in the internal affairs of other countries, we should mind our own business.

                  That has nothing to do with supporting violent crackdowns.

                  •  The compelling reason for Ukraine (8+ / 0-)

                    relates to US primacy. Zbig spells it out quite clearly in his book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives in which he provides a blueprint for this.

                    He writes about geopolitical pivots "whose importance is derived not from their power and motivations but rather from their sensitive location and from the consequences of their potentially vulnerable condition for the behavior of geostrategic players".

                    As per his view Ukraine occupies such a geopolitical pivot.

                    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

                    by truong son traveler on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:57:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  But you are assuming ..... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Smoh, fcvaguy

                    ...we did meddle based only on this one reportage or analysis by Cohen.

                    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                    by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:57:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  No: what you're saying is that the US (16+ / 0-)

                    has been involved in "willful destabilization campaigns" (your words) in Ukraine, and you're using Cohen to prop up that argument, even though I'm showing you exactly where Cohen is lying to you about the events.  And despite this, you lean on him entirely in this diary as the credible basis for your argument - you even suggested his piece in The Nation to a commenter above.

                    Look, we may agree or disagree about the role of US foreign policy, but this diary is built on the wrong foundations.  If you want to write about this issue, you should read around it more and be more skeptical, not only when you agree with someone's opinions, but especially when you do.  Cohen is selling you a line, and it's a transparently bad one.  This is not the source you're looking for.

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:59:22 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That is SOP here. (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pico, Matt Z, Smoh, Hey338Too, fcvaguy

                      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                      by agnostic on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:28:50 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Advice for the ages: (5+ / 0-)
                      ...read around it more and be more skeptical, not only when you agree with someone's opinions, but especially when you do.

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:46:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Advice taken, and a request for your comment is (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        gerrilea

                        made:

                        My response (which I included above):

                        -------------------------
                        I've read extensively about this situation.  I've listened to several interview on the radio as well.

                        But be that as it may, as far as I know there is no requirement here that one has to be an expert in any field in order to write about any topic.  At least we should agree on that.  But you can let me know.

                        I challenge you to read these articles:

                        counterpunch: Obama’s Dumbest Plan Yet by MIKE WHITNEY
                        In order to topple Yanukovych, the US had to tacitly support fanatical groups of neo-Nazi thugs and anti-Semites. And, even though “Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchynov has pledged to do everything in his power to protect the country’s Jewish community”; reports on the ground are not so encouraging. Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Natalia Vitrenko, of The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine that suggests the situation is much worse than what is being reported in the news...
                        ---------------------------------------------------------
                        AlterNet: What Happened in Ukraine Was a Presidential Coup, Pure and Simple by Robert Parry
                        [Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'Robert Parry's web site is Consortium News]
                        In the upside-down world that has become the U.S. news media, the elected president was a dictator and the coup makers were “pro-democracy” activists.

                        Now, right-wing militias, representing those historical resentments toward the Russians and hostility toward the Jews, have seized control of many government buildings in Kiev. Faced with this intimidation, the often-unanimous decisions by the remaining legislators would normally be viewed with extreme skepticism, including their demands for the capture and likely execution of Yanukovych.

                        But the U.S. press corps can’t get beyond its demonization of Putin and Yanukovych. The neocon Washington Post has been almost euphoric over the coup, as expressed in a Feb. 24 editorial..

                        I could go on, but again, why should I?  This is just one diary out of many where I expressed my opinions and conclusions.

                        This is my answer.  I've "read around," and provided this additional reference content.

                        Now, I challenge you to stick to the topic at hand and dispute the conclusions in these articles, step by step, demonstrating your in-depth knowledge of the issue.

                        •  This aspect has been seriously overplayed: (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          serendipityisabitch, Hey338Too
                          Now, right-wing militias, representing those historical resentments toward the Russians and hostility toward the Jews, have seized control of many government buildings in Kiev.
                          They certainly have been present and were an integral part of the revolution. To me, this was no different than how rogue, bad elements rode the coattails of Occupy. In the end Svoboda had 38 seats in the Ukraine parliament, much like Le Pen's National Front has seats in the French Assembly or UKIP has seats in the UK parliament.

                          The parliament voted 328-0 to impeach Yanukovych. Even his own party members voted to impeach him. Yanukovych has been demanding a meeting with Putin and Putin won't meet with him What does that tell you?

                          Svoboda is the bloody shirt Putin is waving to justify what he's doing.

                          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                          by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:45:37 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That's the thing though; notice how you're (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerrilea

                            getting into the intricacies of the internal issues related to Ukraine.  The vote in parliament, party members voting to impeach, bloody shirts...

                            At one level one can say that all countries have problems, and when things get really bad, those problems get worse.

                            That's the point: Stay out of the internal affairs of other countries; stop covert destabilization operations based on ulterior motives.  Stop lying (political leaders) to the public saying that this is all about promoting democracy and self-determination.

                            Yes, as I said, we can't be naive to think that the U.S. as a super-power is not going to try to shape events around the world, etc.

                            But let's be smart about it; let's not be clumsy.  The U.S. has been engaging in a dangerous game to try to encircle and isolate Russia for a long time now, even going so far as saying that they wanted to place missile defense system  in countries neighboring Russia because of, wait for it... Iran.  It's absurd and disingenuous.

                            Bottom line: What are we (the U.S.) going to do now that Russia made their move?  If we do nothing, we end up looking like fools.  If we escalate and risk a military confrontation, the common folks here and there are going to end up paying for it (while war profiteers benefit)--and we still end up looking like fools.

                          •  Ray... (4+ / 0-)

                            understanding the intricacies of the internal issues related to the Ukraine is essential before drawing broad brush conclusions as you did in the diary. Whats happened in the Ukraine has very little to do with US involvement at any level.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:10:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I made no broad-brush conclusions. Again, here (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerrilea

                            is more reference:

                            I've read extensively about this situation.  I've listened to several interview on the radio as well.

                            But be that as it may, as far as I know there is no requirement here that one has to be an expert in any field in order to write about any topic.  At least we should agree on that.  But you can let me know.

                            I challenge you to read these articles:

                            counterpunch: Obama’s Dumbest Plan Yet by MIKE WHITNEY
                            In order to topple Yanukovych, the US had to tacitly support fanatical groups of neo-Nazi thugs and anti-Semites. And, even though “Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchynov has pledged to do everything in his power to protect the country’s Jewish community”; reports on the ground are not so encouraging. Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Natalia Vitrenko, of The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine that suggests the situation is much worse than what is being reported in the news...
                            ---------------------------------------------------------
                            AlterNet: What Happened in Ukraine Was a Presidential Coup, Pure and Simple by Robert Parry
                            [Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'Robert Parry's web site is Consortium News]
                            In the upside-down world that has become the U.S. news media, the elected president was a dictator and the coup makers were “pro-democracy” activists.

                            Now, right-wing militias, representing those historical resentments toward the Russians and hostility toward the Jews, have seized control of many government buildings in Kiev. Faced with this intimidation, the often-unanimous decisions by the remaining legislators would normally be viewed with extreme skepticism, including their demands for the capture and likely execution of Yanukovych.

                            But the U.S. press corps can’t get beyond its demonization of Putin and Yanukovych. The neocon Washington Post has been almost euphoric over the coup, as expressed in a Feb. 24 editorial..

                          •  Here's the conclusion which (4+ / 0-)

                            several people have already pointed out to you:

                            What the U.S. is doing in both countries (and others as well) is not only taking advantage of their internal strife, but actually engaging in a clandestine destabilization campaign, not to advance our national interests, but again, to advance narrow special interests.
                            You really didn't provide anything to support that conclusion with respect to the Ukraine. And, I read the one link you provided about Ukraine, and that article says nothing about US involvement.

                            KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                            by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:18:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Several people agreed with me, and I've provided (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerrilea

                            reference information that backs up my conclusion.  So far you've provided your opinion (quite a few times) and no reference information to challenge my conclusion.

                      •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

                        When reading about the Ukraine over the past few weeks, I've found the best info in the Eastern European press and Turkey. Russian news is not to be believed and the US coverage has been piss poor, basically parroting, and poorly at that, the British press.

                        KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                        by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:32:59 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  A direct answer and challenge to you: (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gerrilea

                      I've read extensively about this situation.  I've listened to several interviews on the radio as well.

                      But be that as it may, as far as I know there is no requirement here that one has to be an expert in any field in order to write about any topic.  At least we should agree on that.  But you can let me know.

                      I challenge you to read these articles:

                      counterpunch: Obama’s Dumbest Plan Yet by MIKE WHITNEY
                      In order to topple Yanukovych, the US had to tacitly support fanatical groups of neo-Nazi thugs and anti-Semites. And, even though “Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchynov has pledged to do everything in his power to protect the country’s Jewish community”; reports on the ground are not so encouraging. Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Natalia Vitrenko, of The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine that suggests the situation is much worse than what is being reported in the news...
                      ---------------------------------------------------------
                      AlterNet: What Happened in Ukraine Was a Presidential Coup, Pure and Simple by Robert Parry
                      [Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'Robert Parry's web site is Consortium News]
                      In the upside-down world that has become the U.S. news media, the elected president was a dictator and the coup makers were “pro-democracy” activists.

                      Now, right-wing militias, representing those historical resentments toward the Russians and hostility toward the Jews, have seized control of many government buildings in Kiev. Faced with this intimidation, the often-unanimous decisions by the remaining legislators would normally be viewed with extreme skepticism, including their demands for the capture and likely execution of Yanukovych.

                      But the U.S. press corps can’t get beyond its demonization of Putin and Yanukovych. The neocon Washington Post has been almost euphoric over the coup, as expressed in a Feb. 24 editorial..

                      I could go on, but again, why should I?  This is just one diary out of many where I expressed my opinions and conclusions.

                      This is my answer.  I've "read around," and provided this additional reference content.

                      Now, I challenge you to stick to the topic at hand and dispute the conclusions in these articles, step by step, demonstrating your in-depth knowledge of the issue.

                       

                      •  Timothy Snyder: (9+ / 0-)

                        writes

                        From Moscow to London to New York, the Ukrainian revolution has been seen through a haze of propaganda. Russian leaders and the Russian press have insisted that Ukrainian protesters were right-wing extremists and then that their victory was a coup. Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, used the same clichés after a visit with the Russian president at Sochi. After his regime was overturned, he maintained he had been ousted by “right-wing thugs,” a claim echoed by the armed men who seized control of airports and government buildings in the southern Ukrainian district of Crimea on Friday

                        Interestingly, the message from authoritarian regimes in Moscow and Kiev was not so different from some of what was written during the uprising in the English-speaking world, especially in publications of the far left and the far right. From Lyndon LaRouche’s Executive Intelligence Review through Ron Paul’s newsletter through The Nation and The Guardian, the story was essentially the same: little of the factual history of the protests, but instead a play on the idea of a nationalist, fascist, or even Nazi coup d’état.

                        In fact, it was a classic popular revolution. It began with an unmistakably reactionary regime. A leader sought to gather all power, political as well as financial, in his own hands. This leader came to power in democratic elections, to be sure, but then altered the system from within. For example, the leader had been a common criminal: a rapist and a thief. He found a judge who was willing to misplace documents related to his case. That judge then became the chief justice of the Supreme Court. There were no constitutional objections, subsequently, when the leader asserted ever more power for his presidency.

                        In power, this leader, this president, remained a thief, but now on a grand, perhaps even unsurpassed, scale. Throughout his country millions of small businessmen and businesswomen found it impossible to keep their firms afloat, thanks to the arbitrary demands of tax authorities. Their profits were taken by the state, and the autonomy that those profits might have given them were denied. Workers in the factories and mines had no means whatsoever of expression their own distress, since any attempt at a strike or even at labor organization would simply have led to their dismissal.

                        The country, Ukraine, was in effect an oligarchy, where much of the wealth was in the hands of people who could fit in one elevator. But even this sort of pluralism, the presence of more than one very rich person, was too much for the leader, Viktor Yanukovych. He wanted to be not only the president but the oligarch-in-chief. His son, a dentist, was suddenly one of the wealthiest men in Europe. Tens of billions of dollars simply disappeared from the state budget.  [...]

                        Enter a lonely, courageous Ukrainian rebel, a leading investigative journalist. A dark-skinned journalist who gets racially profiled by the regime. And a Muslim. And an Afghan. This is Mustafa Nayem, the man who started the revolution. Using social media, he called students and other young people to rally on the main square of Kiev in support of a European choice for Ukraine. That square is called the Maidan, which by the way is an Arab word. During the first few days of the protests the students called it the Euromaidan. Russian propaganda called it, predictably enough, the Gayeuromaidan.

                        When riot police were sent to beat the students, who came to defend them? More “Afghans,” but “Afghans” of a very different sort: Ukrainian veterans of the Soviet Red Army, men who had been sent to invade Afghanistan during after the Soviet invasion of that country in 1979. These men came to defend “their children,” as they called the students. But they were also defending a protest initiated by a man born in Kabul at the very time they were fighting their way toward it.

                        In December the crowds grew larger. By the end of the year, millions of people had taken part in protests, all over the country. Journalists were beaten. Individual activists were abducted. Some of them were tortured. Dozens disappeared and have not yet been found. As the New Year began the protests broadened. Muslims from southern Ukraine marched in large numbers. Representatives of the large Kiev Jewish community were prominently represented. Some of the most important organizers were Jews. The telephone hotline that people called to seek missing relatives was established by gay activists (people who have experience with hotlines). Some of the hospital guards who tried to stop the police from abducting the wounded were young feminists. [...]

                        Still, the propaganda continued. Yanukovych stopped somewhere to record a video message, in Russian, claiming that he was the victim of a Nazi coup. Russian leaders maintained that extremists had come to power, and that Russians in Ukraine were under threat. Although the constitutional transition is indeed debatable in the details, these charges of a right-wing coup are nonsense.

                        The Ukrainian far right did play an important part in the revolution. What it did, in going to the barricades, was to liberate itself from the regime of which it had been one of the bulwarks. One of the moral atrocities of the Yanukovych regime was to crush opposition from the center-right, and support opposition from the far right. By imprisoning his major opponents from the legal political parties, most famously Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych was able to make of democracy a game in which he and the far right were the only players.

                        The far right, a party called Svoboda, grew larger in these conditions, but never remotely large enough to pose a real challenge to the Yanukovych regime in democratic elections. In this arrangement Yanukovych could then tell gullible westerners that he was the alternative to the far right. In fact, Svoboda was a house opposition that, during the revolution, rebelled against its own leadership. Against the wishes of their leaders, the radical youth of Svoboda fought in considerable numbers, alongside of course people of completely different views. They fought and they took risks and they died, sometimes while trying to save others. In the post-revolutionary situation these young men will likely seek new leadership. The leader of Svoboda, according to opinion polls, has little popular support; if he chooses to run for president, which is unlikely, he will lose. [...]

                        Thus far the new Ukrainian authorities have reacted with remarkable calm. It is entirely possible that a Russian attack on Ukraine will provoke a strong nationalist reaction: indeed, it would be rather surprising if it did not, since invasions have a way of bringing out the worst in people. If this is what does happen, we should see events for what they are: an entirely unprovoked attack by one nation upon the sovereign territory of another.

                        Insofar as we have accepted the presentation of the revolution as a fascist coup, we have delayed policies that might have stopped the killing earlier, and helped prepare the way for war. Insofar as we wish for peace and democracy, we are going to have to begin by getting the story right.

                        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                        by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:05:23 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  FTR, I am neither vouching for... (9+ / 0-)

                          ...the verity of every word of Prof. Snyder nor objecting to every word of Mr. Parry. The point is not just to read a lot of material (on any subject, which was the intent of my "for the ages" comment) but to read diverse material.

                          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                          by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:54:22 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have no problem with reading diverse (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerrilea

                            material.  I do that all the time.  I subscribe to the New York Times and read them regularly; I read The Econmist, and many other publications... I also get news from Bill Moyers, Democracy Now!, AlterNet, etc.

                            I wrote this diary, and provided reference information.  If users want to read the diary and comment, they can do so, express their disagreements, even saying that they outright reject the reference information I provided.  That's all fair.

                            There is no need to question my motives, to demand that I be an expert on Russian history, etc.

                            Notice that I posted 4 or 5 different sources; you posted one.  Should I question your motive, or should I immediately brush off your reference and demand more?  Of course not?

                            Maybe I disagree with your source; maybe I see some valid points.  Maybe I agree more with the narratives of the authors I reference.  That's all.  This is not about me, or about you, and is not about questioning people's motives.

                            It's just one more diary out of many others, with a theme which I argue with the backing of reference sources.

                            That's all; no big deal.

                          •  I made exactly zero judgments about... (7+ / 0-)

                            ...anybody's motives. I did not brush off your references. I didn't challenge you to a reference duel or make any claims whatsoever about expertise in Central Europe. Any foreign policy expertise I have comes from my two degrees in international studies, with emphasis on Latin America, specifically Central America and the Caribbean, where I also have experience on the ground. Given the (depending how you count) 190-year or 120-year record of U.S. imperialism and other meddling in those regions—the Caribbean having been referred to as an "American lake" at the time of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine—I am not exactly a naïf about Washington's machinations in the world.

                            But knowing that history (some of it quite recent) doesn't mean I always assume the U.S. is the most important outside interest and maneuverer every time some uprising occurs. Sometimes, of course, it is, either transparently or covertly. And in much of the time when it is, it shouldn't be.

                            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                            by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:15:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I also never "always assume" anything about (0+ / 0-)

                            any subject.  I come to conclusions after careful examination of reference material.

                            Like anybody else, on any given subject, my conclusions could be proven to be wrong.  And I have no problem making corrections if someone presents a cogent and strong argument and evidence.

                            Regarding "zero" judgement, perhaps I misunderstood this comment:

                            Advice for the ages: ...read around it more and be more skeptical, not only when you agree with someone's opinions, but especially when you do.
                            If so, then it was a misunderstanding.
                          •  It was a generic comment attached to... (8+ / 0-)

                            ...to a short part of a long remark by someone who responded to you but mine comment was not directly specifically at you. I think you know I am not shy about responding directly to you. The part of the comment I was saying huzzah to was the part about being a bit extra skeptical about opinions we find ourselves in agreement on when the subject is one we don't have much background on.

                            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                            by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:30:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, I know you are not shy with me or anybody (0+ / 0-)

                            else, and that you have no reason to be.  Fair enough.

                •  There is a terrific documentary (5+ / 0-)

                  on Netflix, about Skid Row in LA.

                  It shows very clearly how the state attempts to impose unreasonable conditions, by criminalizing homelessness then punishing all the criminals.

                  By those who are not prepared to learn the history, it might be argued that all the police were doing is arresting criminals.

                  Nothing happens in a vacuum, and if commentators try to pretend that it does, they invariably make matters worse, leaving you to wonder what their real agendas are.

                  There are circumstances when another country should intervene in the internal affairs of a neighbor, or other, but they are rare and that test was not met by any of America's interventions recently.

                  I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                  but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                  Who is twigg?

                  by twigg on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:17:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  So, if your logic is to hold true...OWS would (7+ / 0-)

          have been justified in throwing Molotov cocktails here too.

          Or is our gov't the only one that can use violence against peaceful protesters and still pretend some moral superiority at the end of the day?

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:24:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where'd I say the violence was justified? (8+ / 0-)

            Explaining how something happened isn't the same as defending it.  My beef with Cohen is that is he's giving an inaccurate view of history into order to justify state violence.

            Please don't put words into my mouth.  Thanks.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:32:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  When does a "State" have the authority to use (5+ / 0-)

              violence?  When do the people?

              but people wouldn't be throwing molotov cocktails if the government hadn't ordered the police force to break up the protest encampments, which they did so violently.
              It's clear to me that's exactly what you're saying...the use of violence by the protesters was justified.

              Imagine the religious right doing that shit here...what would be the US government's response?

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:47:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "It's clear to me..." (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Laurence Lewis, Yasuragi, Smoh

                Then that's our problem right there.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:26:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry you're right...you justified the violence (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ray Pensador

                  the protesters used because the gov't used violence first.

                  Violence mars Occupy Wall Street protests in Vermont and elsewhere

                  Police in riot gear violently broke up an Occupy encampment Wednesday night in the largely liberal university town of Berkeley, Calif. Dozens of protesters were arrested. In the disturbing video below, police used batons to beat protesters who refused to leave the encampment.
                  14 Specific Allegations of NYPD Brutality During Occupy Wall Street

                  Author Naomi Wolf Speaks Out About Her Arrest At Occupy Wall Street Protest

                  “I was taken into custody for disobeying an unlawful order,” she explained. “The issue is that I actually know New York City permit law ... I didn’t choose to get myself arrested. I chose to obey the law and that didn’t protect me.
                  Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy
                  New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
                  Remember the above events?  Should OWS have resorted to violence as well?  Our government did act violently and in a concerted effort to end the dissent.

                  What line must be crossed before you grant our fellow Americans the same moral authority to revolt?

                  Is it only after the 15th documented example of brutality?

                  Is it after they arrest and imprison a world-renowned author and reporter FOR FOLLOWING THE LAW?

                  Or is it only after they start killing us first?

                  Can the US gov't fight against another American  Revolution or not?

                  I do see you couldn't answer my previous questions, why's that?

                  -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                  by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:37:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Because you're not asking the right questions. (7+ / 0-)

                    Let me answer your question with a scenario:

                    Occupy sets up encampments in, say, Oakland.
                    The police start using tear gas and rubber bullets against them.
                    Days later, Occupiers begin throwing molotov cocktails back at the police.
                    The police escalate the violence in turn.
                    A cable news pundit says, "Well, the police were right to get violent; they were being attacked!"
                    I say, "Hey, that ignores the reason the violence started in the first place."
                    You accuse me of "justifying violence by Occupiers".  

                    That's the conversation we just had: sub in Kiev for Oakland.

                    That you continue defending this as a "justification" of violence doesn't speak well of you, or of the people who are uprating you.  Typical blog stuff, though.  If you can't do better than this, I'm not replying anymore.

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:54:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yep, misdirect and obfuscate...typical blog stuff. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ray Pensador

                      For the final record, You SAID THIS:

                      I've addressed this before in a few diaries, but people wouldn't be throwing molotov cocktails if the government hadn't ordered the police force to break up the protest encampments, which they did so violently.

                      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                      by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:13:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ergo, you can't support your claim (3+ / 0-)

                        I don't think it's hard to distinguish a causal argument from a justification. YMMV.

                        "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

                        by HudsonValleyMark on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:55:56 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I already have. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Ray Pensador

                          Pico is arguing that it's the Ukraine government's fault for the initiation of violence and that Cohen's words/argument should not be used as a reference for Ray's diary and its conclusions.

                          Pico has yet to answer the question:

                          When is violence justified...on either side?

                          Our government did the same things against OWS.  It was obvious to the entire world and even our puppets at the UN had to come out against it.

                          Occupy Protesters' Rights Must Be Protected, U.N. Says; U.S. Says Nothing

                          Hell, if the new standard is that governments must back down when the people protest, I'm all for it...but when does the line get crossed???

                          When must the government stop protesters?  After they've torn down the capital? Or before?  Must governments actively infiltrate these groups to find out what their goals are?  Can they act just before the first Molotov cocktail is thrown or must they wait?

                          The smell of hypocrisy is disgusting.

                          Our gov't could do it but the Ukraine gov't couldn't and it was all their fault.

                          I'll let you in on a secret...I detest propaganda...no matter who's spewing it.

                          This isn't some esoteric exercise, the fate of a nation is at stake and the lives of its people.,.  

                          Our gov't has no business undermining yet another sovereign nation.

                          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                          by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:44:47 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  no, and you didn't here, either (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            serendipityisabitch
                            Pico is arguing that it's the Ukraine government's fault for the initiation of violence
                            pico said that if A hadn't happened, B wouldn't have happened.

                            As far as I can see, you have neither agreed nor disagreed with what pico actually said. You've tried to turn it into an ethical assertion.

                            Pico has yet to answer the question:

                            When is violence justified...on either side?

                            See, you're on the verge of correctly conceding the point: pico, in fact, did not make an argument about when violence is justified.

                            "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

                            by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:02:24 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fair enough...It's the arbitrary morality being (0+ / 0-)

                            pursued in the argument that I'm having a problem with.

                            Cohen lied or intentionally omitted "facts", thus his position/opinion must not be used in support anything the diarist has contended.

                            Isn't it Cohen's position that the State is duty bound to protect itself, thus the "lie/omission argument" becomes immaterial.

                            Unless, of course, you don't believe the State can use force against threats?

                            The Ukraine Constitution allows for exactly this:

                            Article 37. Foundation and activity of political parties and public associations shall be prohibited if their programme goals or actions are aimed at the liquidation of the independence of Ukraine, change of the constitutional order by force, violation of the sovereignty and territorial indivisibility of the State, undermining national security, unlawful seizure of the state power, the propaganda of war or violence, fomentation of inter-ethnic, racial, or religious enmity, or infringement of human rights and freedoms or the health of the population.
                            Isn't the goal of these protesters to demand that the Ukraine join the EU?  And in demanding this, they are betraying the very constitutional system they have.  They'd be throwing away their national sovereignty by joining.

                            AND this is where the argument becomes arbitrary and cannot withstand scrutiny.

                            Hence my questioning.

                            Pico's arguments subsequently were that the State used force against "peaceful protesters"...thus...morally repugnant.

                            Which circles back to the original false argument that Cohen lied or omitted facts.  HE DIDN'T.

                            It's all about perspective.

                            In this case, the Ukraine government was duty bound to stop those criminal protesters and whether or not Cohen agrees with Pico's personal morality is meaningless.

                            Whether any of us here on DK think the Ukraine government was a villain or hero doesn't change the facts that were reported in this diary.

                            All this boils down to our meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nations, forcing them to take self-defensive actions they most likely would never had to take AND then spinning the results as some moral crusade to "bring democracy"!

                            Their constitution binds their government to keep them an independent sovereign entity.

                            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                            by gerrilea on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:07:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  The commenter has said several times... (5+ / 0-)

                        ...that you're misrepresenting what he said as "justification" instead of "description." Given the commenter's other remarks, why not accept that what s/he meant is what s/he has now repeated was the meaning instead of saying s/he didn't mean what s/he says s/he meant?

                        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                        by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:53:04 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In the context as a critique of this diary, my (0+ / 0-)

                          assessment stands.  

                          I've read the first posting I replied to, three times.  It wasn't just "well this is what happened"...it's being used to discredit the diary...as a justification for their critique.

                          "Cohen has been selling a big lie..."
                          Hence why I presented evidence and asked for the posters opinion.  When is force justified...on either side?

                          You see, until that is answered, pico's response was/is just subterfuge to critique the diary and it's sourcing.

                          My beef with Cohen is that is he's giving an inaccurate view of history into order to justify state violence.
                          Any way you slice this, Pico is saying that the violence initiated by the State was wrong and why the protesters response in kind.  

                          And the conclusion is that intervention becomes necessary by outside players.

                          Look, we may agree or disagree about the role of US foreign policy, but this diary is built on the wrong foundations.
                          American duplicity. Our gov't acted in the same manner against OWS and now it's wrong if another country does the same thing?

                          How dare I point it out, right?

                          You're smarter than that MB.

                          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                          by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:09:10 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  To me... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            WB Reeves

                            ...the commenter's remark is clearly this:

                            Reporters/commentators are claiming the government responded with violence to violence that was started by the protesters when, in fact, the government started the violence and the protesters responded.

                            That doesn't excuse the protesters, doesn't say what they did was okay.

                            Now, the commenter may, in fact, believe that the protesters' violence is justified. But that is not what s/he has written here.

                            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                            by Meteor Blades on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:13:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  It would follow the principle of charity, as per (0+ / 0-)

                          all standard critical thinking and debate:

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                          The principle of charity has many meanings, but one is, in no small measure, that if someone says something that is open to misinterpretation, and if they then clarify their remark, unless we have due reason to doubt their intentions due to an investment in manipulation or other credibility issues, then we ought to understand their remark as "true."

                          Just a reminder to those reading.

                          And I didn't make this up. It's a logical precept that is a basic point of critical thinking and debate. Those who refuse to extend the principle of charity to others are then open themselves up to having their own credibility questioned as to why they would not extend this to others.

                          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:18:59 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Cohen was on CNN tonight (0+ / 0-)

          Not a very persuasive/credible debater.

          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

          by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:28:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So now this is about Cohen. Let's try something: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea

            Why don't you provide your analysis using reference information.  Better yet, since you seem to be so interested in this topic, to the point where you're questioning professor's Cohen credibility, why don't you put yours forward by providing a cogent argument?

            Here's Stephen Cohen's bona fides:

            Stephen Frand Cohen (born 1938) is an American scholar of Russian studies. His academic work concentrates on developments in Russia since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the country's relationship with the United States.

            Cohen is well known in both Russian and American circles. He is a close personal friend of former Soviet Pres. Mikhail Gorbachev, advised former U.S. Pres. George H.W. Bush in the late 1980s, helped Nikolai Bukharin's widow, Anna Larina, rehabilitate her name during the Soviet era, and met Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana.

            Maybe your qualifications are more impressive, or maybe not, but you can definitely take on the actual subject at hand and provide your own analysis.  I promise to read it carefully and provide my feedback.
            •  Thank you Ray...agreed. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador

              Isn't the point that our gov't has intentionally disrupted/undermined another sovereign nation?  Putting the lives of millions on the line for their neocon agenda?

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:57:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Those associations... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, Timaeus

              ...say he is knowledgable not trustworthy.  Actually that list makes me trust him less.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:34:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is so interesting. So now we're debating (0+ / 0-)

                about the messenger.  Okay, fair enough.  About this?

                counterpunch: Obama’s Dumbest Plan Yet by MIKE WHITNEY
                In order to topple Yanukovych, the US had to tacitly support fanatical groups of neo-Nazi thugs and anti-Semites. And, even though “Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchynov has pledged to do everything in his power to protect the country’s Jewish community”; reports on the ground are not so encouraging. Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Natalia Vitrenko, of The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine that suggests the situation is much worse than what is being reported in the news...
                -------------------------------
                AlterNet: What Happened in Ukraine Was a Presidential Coup, Pure and Simpleby Robert Parry
                [Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'Robert Parry's web site is Consortium News]
                In the upside-down world that has become the U.S. news media, the elected president was a dictator and the coup makers were “pro-democracy” activists.
                Now, right-wing militias, representing those historical resentments toward the Russians and hostility toward the Jews, have seized control of many government buildings in Kiev. Faced with this intimidation, the often-unanimous decisions by the remaining legislators would normally be viewed with extreme skepticism, including their demands for the capture and likely execution of Yanukovych.

                But the U.S. press corps can’t get beyond its demonization of Putin and Yanukovych. The neocon Washington Post has been almost euphoric over the coup, as expressed in a Feb. 24 editorial..

                •  You only have to post it once.. (0+ / 0-)

                  ..especially when it is added to the diary.  Repetition and volume don't make your argument stronger.

                  Probably you should have put it in the diary from the start.  I'll look at the new sources.  Thanks

                  We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                  by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 09:26:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I watched the... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, WB Reeves, Smoh

        ..video you linked and while it does seem suspicious some how I don't trust the professor they had on.  I can't put a finger on it but he seems too cosy in supporting the now ousted president and throws off the line to the effect of he is a bad guy but so what.  It is a gut thing but I don't trust him.  A lot of what he says I agree with but as the old saying goes 'the devil will tell a 1000 truths to get one lie past'

        I don't know what to think but the one thing I agree with him on is that the government should treat us like adults and tell us what it is doing.  Of course it is naive to think that will happen.  They think we can't handle the truth or whatever.

        And I note the nation article is from the same professor they had on.  I don't think you should base your argument on essentially one source that may be quite biased.

        But I do have to say it is disturbing and interesting.

        Too bad no one will ask the president questions about this.  The press is too lazy to do that.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:23:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It would be very surprising if (14+ / 0-)

      NED and USAID have not been active in Ukraine for several years. This is what they do. (in support of US interests)

      It is well known that they have been involved in Venezuela for many years and remain active at this time.

      Old link from 2004

      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:44:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  further info (11+ / 0-)
      ... the American government – in the form of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – played a major role in funding opposition groups prior to the revolution.

      Moreover, a large percentage of the rest of the funding to those same groups came from a US billionaire who has previously worked closely with US government agencies to further his own business interests.

      This was by no means a US-backed “coup,” but clear evidence shows that US investment was a force multiplier for many of the groups involved in overthrowing Yanukovych.

      Much more at this link

      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:43:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Raising the specter of Uncle Sam (16+ / 0-)

    To explain away the bad behavior of two oppressive governments who violently cracked down on protesters? You do know the Russians invaded today, right?

    Absolute nonsense, as usual.

    I've seen some hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're about twenty minutes

    by harrylimelives on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 11:51:15 PM PST

  •  Post evidence (13+ / 0-)

    or get HRed for CT.

    What the U.S. is doing in both countries (and others as well) is not only taking advantage of their internal strife, but actually engaging in a clandestine destabilization campaign, not to advance our national interests, but again, to advance narrow special interests.
    Interviews with suggestive headlines are not evidence, except to the Fox echo chamber audience.

    Democracy Now sometimes does good reporting. This isn't it.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 11:55:21 PM PST

  •  This diary... (10+ / 0-)

    isn't even wrong. I'll leave it at that.

  •  Could you clarify and provide (13+ / 0-)

    some evidence for this

    What the U.S. is doing in both countries (and others as well) is not only taking advantage of their internal strife, but actually engaging in a clandestine destabilization campaign, not to advance our national interests, but again, to advance narrow special interests.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:15:58 AM PST

  •  Russian Imperialism is just as bad as US (5+ / 0-)

    Imperialism.

    It's late but I'll give a quick summery of events as I understand them.

    While Russia and Ukraine had always had close ties, during the Soviet years, Russians were relocated into the Ukraine and other satellite nations and given positions of power.   For the most part, those factions put in place by the Kremlin have remained loyal to Moscow and they comprise the majority or the ruling parties in many of the satellite nations.

    What we're seeing now is Ukrainian nationalists trying to break free of Moscow's yoke and assert their self-determination as a people.    

    This has nothing to do with the US I don't believe for one second that the US would in any way try and stage a coup.  There no reason for us to.  The situation has been a powder keg for years anyway.  

    Putin is trying to reassemble the USSR only without the soviet part and keep the satellite nations loyal so their resources can be exploited.

     I'm post citations when I wake up.

    We want to build cyber magicians!

    by VelvetElvis on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:40:07 AM PST

    •  That's your opinion. I disagree. I have come to (4+ / 0-)

      the conclusion that the US in engaging in willful destabilization campaigns in Ukraine. So we have different opinions on the matter.

      •  it's called confirmation bias (17+ / 0-)

        there are people in this thread who have really studied russia and russian history.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:00:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As have I, and Ray's position is as valid as the (6+ / 0-)

          Opposite.  The question is who acts first in any instance, and who responds.  Both the US and Russia are still playing the long game.  

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:10:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  russia (18+ / 0-)

            has sent troops across the crimean border. and no, ray is ignoring pico's point about cohen. pico's point is patently obvious.

            the problem is that ray has never demonstrated a deep understanding of russia. an issue pops into the news and he tries to fit it into his same always the same agenda. he finds sources that confirm his preconceptions. he doesn't listen to those who actually really know the subject. i think it would help him a lot to keep a more open mind, and learn.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:38:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ray views everything through a very narrow prism (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy

              even things he knows little about. It's unfortunate.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:20:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Laurence, I see that in your opinion you are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea

              questioning my motives and my agenda, as well as setting a standard that requires bloggers to to have a "deep understanding" of topics before they can share their views or opinions.

              You opinion is noted.  My conclusion, after having read extensively about U.S. imperialism going backs several decades, and after having reviewed reference information about the situation in both Ukraine and Venezuela, is shared in this diary.

              I stand by it.  Others agree with me, and I've referenced a real expert in the field (and BTW yesterday I listened to a KPFA Pacifica Radio interview with another academic expert in the field).

              We just disagree.  I would not venture to say that the reason we disagree is because you are carrying water for the administration, so I respectfully ask you not to make assumptions as to my motives regarding my shared opinion here.

              I don't think that's conducive to respectful debate.

              •  i'm questioning your approach (0+ / 0-)

                if you really understood russia and ukraine, you would understand how little events there have to do with the usa. you see everything through the prism of american imperialism, and it prevents you from understanding how much of what goes on in the world has nothing to do with the usa. cohen is an expert, but he's extremely biased, and in this case dishonest. broaden your perspective beyond the cherry-picked experts that will only validate your preconceptions.

                The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                by Laurence Lewis on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:52:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Laurence you've repeated quite a few times that (0+ / 0-)

                  "I see everything through the prism of american imperialism."  I reject that characterization.

                  There is no cherry-picking, and I think you engaging in name-calling against professor Cohen, calling dishonest, is off base.  That's my opinion after reading your posts here.

                  Either way, and again, I stand by my conclusions and opinions and I presume that you objectively and without bias stand by yours.

                  That's fair enough.

                  •  do some research on cohen (0+ / 0-)

                    he's a pathetic putin apologist. and re-read pico's comments on why he is dishonest. it's not off base. it's cohen.

                    and again, i think your conclusions reflect your lack of understanding of russia. i highly recommend reading more books on world history. books that have nothing to do with the usa. books that will help you contextualize what happens in those countries.

                    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:46:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I've read plenty of history. Frankly, and I write (0+ / 0-)

                      this in all honesty, I think you will benefit by reading about geopolitics from a historical perspective.

                      It may broaden your perspective beyond the very narrow partisan politics prism.

                      Either way, I think we covered this issue enough.  You have the last word, if you like.  Moving on now.

                      •  i tried (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        WB Reeves, Hey338Too

                        you've never demonstrated any background reading in history. i've been reading people like hoftsadter, zinn, chomsky, and hobsbawm since i was a teen. not to mention books about specific eras, specific movements, and specific ideologies. your unwillingness to be self-reflective about this will continue to limit your appeal. which is too bad.

                        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                        by Laurence Lewis on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:04:15 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Aren't diaries supposed to be the beginning of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kdnla, Ray Pensador, StrayCat

              conversation?  Even if the diarist is "seeing through colored glasses"?

              Many of us have presented "other evidence" to support Ray's conclusions:

              The US gov't actively infiltrates countries and destabilizes them.  It's been our S.O.P. for at least a century.

              Pico's point is a red-herring, we've already "debated" it.

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:18:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  There's a lot of truth to that as far as (14+ / 0-)

      the state infrastructure goes, although by now many of the Russians part of that process are long gone (it's been 25 years).  And as far as population goes, Russians began flooding into Crimea already in the 1850s, so the history there is much harder to pry apart.

      That being said, what set off the November protests was  indeed the threat of closer ties with Russia, which has loomed overhead for a while now.  

      What also gets lost in this discussion is that this makes three failed presidencies in a row for Ukraine: the last decade has not been a good one.  And that's not the fault of the United States and it's not the fault of Russia, and when the opposition stood up and said they were sick of it, it's condescending to them to say they're just American puppets, or that we've destabilized it out from under their feet.  

      Of course the politicians who've taken the most advantage of the turmoil are old hands from the last failed presidency, so we may be in line for a fourth.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 12:51:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What you say is most probably true. And what Ray (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, corvo, Ray Pensador, gerrilea

      has said is most probably true.  Both positions speak the truth from different places.  Old Cold War or new cold war.  Flip a coin.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:08:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's lame how some on the left continually (31+ / 0-)

    postulate that people living in other countries have no agency of their own, but are merely pawns controlled by the U.S.

    The diarist commits that error in logic over and over again.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:17:00 AM PST

    •  Well Lawrence.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea, Ray Pensador

      ...maybe the opposition came to the US or other western powers for aid in thier quest.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:26:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  some on the left (7+ / 0-)

      blame the US for everything.  I actually feel sorry for those who are Americans.  It would suck to feel such disdain for your own people.  

      •  addendum (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VelvetElvis, agnostic

        because I have traveled quite a bit.  And no one abroad respects an American who bashes his own nation.  They might agree with him at a dinner party, but they don't respect him.  Particularly in France, they can't stand an American who trashes his nation or president.

        There is a reason Benedict Arnold died a friendless pauper in England.

      •  its called American Hegemony. (11+ / 0-)

        I've read the history of our meddling, it hasn't miraculously stopped.

        Enforcing American Hegemony

        Get reading.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:43:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I could, sort of, understand where they are (7+ / 0-)

        coming from if we were still stuck in the Cold War Era.  The U.S. did a lot of really crappy stuff in that era.  The RW is still stuck in a mentality defined by that era and it seems that some on the left are, as well.

        The Bush Administration also was dominated by Cold War era hawks, but it seems pretty likely that that was the last U.S. Administration stuck in the 20th century.

        Russia is still stuck in a Cold War era type of imperial mentality, though, so it is bizarre to see people on the left attributing people-powered movements solely to U.S. interference while completely ignoring Russia's strong meddling.

        A lot of these events, be it the Arab Spring, the Ukrainian Revolution, or probably even the events in Venezuela are aftershocks of the earthquake that caused the end of the Cold War.  They're a logical extension of that and it is bizarre to see how some on the left continue fighting Cold War Era battles while being swept away by the natural course of history.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:10:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The US did a lot of crappy stuff long (7+ / 0-)

          before the cold war.  

          Our interventions in Latin America to prop up brutal juntas long predate the end WWII.  That's when they started back after a long FDR era break.

          There is no credible evidence we've stopped since, and the cables Manning exposed supply considerable evidence we're still up to the same shit.

          Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

          by JesseCW on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:22:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Duh. (6+ / 0-)

            So did virtually every nation in the world with any modicum of power.  Basically none of the people from the pre-FDR era are still alive, so I'm not sure what your point is.

            I don't agree with you that the U.S. is up to the same type of crap right now that it was during the Cold War.  We're moving away from the "a dictator is worthy of our military support as long as he is on our side" type of mentality that was seemingly all-pervasive during the Cold War.

            If we hadn't moved away from that, we would have sent in troops to prop up Mubarak in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia....

            You may not be aware of it, but the U.S. does also push for human rights, freedom of expression, and fair democratic elections.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:36:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah. The cash and arms we keep (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Pensador, gerrilea

              thowing at dictators can't possibly indicate that we support dictators.

              Do you think the House of Saud is elected?

              Why would we send in troops to prop up Mubarak when it was so easy to put his effective heir in power just a year later without them?

              Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

              by JesseCW on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 04:57:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  It often seems to run like this (4+ / 0-)

      When the CIA has been active abroad, often no good comes of it.  Therefore, if something bad happens, the CIA must be to blame.

      One wonders why the Earth wasn't a utopia before there was a CIA.

      Bello ne credite, Americani; quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

      by Sura 109 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:31:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not mere pawns, and not,pawns at all. But they, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, corvo, Ray Pensador, gerrilea

      both sides act in a context influenced by both Russia and the US.  Mere is just as misleading a word here as just and only.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:14:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem I have with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Hey338Too

      the "US is to blame" diaries, is that it completely ignores what the Ukrainian people want, what their aspirations are, and their dignity as a unique people.

      KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

      by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:57:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's your problem, and I hope you don't insist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea

        that it should also be mine.

        This is not a "US is to blame" diary.  This is a commentary opining about U.S. destabilization campaigns in Ukraine and Venezuela, backed up by reference information.

        You can choose to reject the premise of the diary, challenge professor Cohen's credibility, and state your opinion, and that's all perfectly fine.

        But you can't expect me or anybody else to go along with it, right?

        We disagree, that's all.  No big deal.

        Now, share with us your take on the situation.

      •  Considering the ousted president won the election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        What people are you referring to? The people who share only your opinion? You just parroted the US/EU talking points.

        Unique people? There are many different views in Ukraine on which direction the country should take. Some aspire to be in the EU, which is not going to happen for a very long time. They don't even qualify yet. Some would like the be under Russia's umbrella. Some want independence from both.

        Trying to lump your opinion into the Ukrainian's peoples opinion is disingenuous at best, propaganda at worst.

        •  If I had said anything remotely close to that (0+ / 0-)

          You'd be right !!!

          I believe Ukrainians should be allowed self-determination like everyone else, not dictated by Russia, or the US, or the EU. I believe the EU has certainly taken that position as well judging by their behavior with Ukraine over the past few years. The only one who is clearly trying to assert their prerogative over Ukraine at the moment, is Putin.

          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

          by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:26:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Putin getting involved in Ukraine should not (0+ / 0-)

            surprise anyone.  The real realpolitik fact is that when it comes to geopolitics Ukraine falls within the power sphere of another world power, and that is Russia.

            That is regardless of how anybody feels about that undeniable fact.

            The U.S. engaging in a covert destabilization campaign against Ukraine, which affects Russia directly and indirectly, is a disingenuous approach.

            The ultimate question regarding your belief:

            I believe Ukrainians should be allowed self-determination like everyone else, not dictated by Russia, or the US, or the EU. I believe the EU has certainly taken that position as well judging by their behavior with Ukraine over the past few years.
            Is, so what?  What does that mean (and I ask that seriously)?  Does it mean that you support the U.S. going to war with Russia, for example?

             

            •  why do you automatically assume (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hey338Too

              Russia has a right to exert power/influence over Ukraine?

              I think the Ukrainian people should decide who to grant that power to, if any at all. By all measures, a popular revolution just occurred there against a corrupt President. A democratically elected parliament impeached that President. They elected an interim President and have called for elections May 25. Those are facts Ray. They aren't opinions.

              In the end, if they are allowed to, the Ukrainians will choose their own destiny, probably without Croatia and the eastern oblasts.

              KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

              by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:57:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's my assumption: (0+ / 0-)

                We have no business engaging in a covert destabilization campaign in Ukraine.  Regarding the intricacies about their internal affairs, I believe that is is no something that I should get involved with as a citizen of this country, and it is not the U.S. business.

                Now, you seem to feel strongly about it, and it seems to come from a moral standpoint.  Fair enough.

                Question: Russian is rolling in with tanks and armed men.  Are you prepare to put your support behind the U.S. challenging Russia militarily?

                •  I haven't seen evidence (0+ / 0-)

                  of a US "covert destabilization campaign" in the Ukraine. And, all the facts on the ground show that this was a popular revolt against a corrupt President who was subsuming more and more power to himself, going so far as to rewrite the Constituion. I've not seen any evidence that any action taken by the US or the EU has resulted in what happened over the past few weeks.

                  The only thing I've seen as factual is money sent by the people like Soros and Omidyar, totaling less than $1M. That hardly funds a street corner protest.

                  And no, I do not support US military engagement. I believe the US should work with the rest of the international community to take action against Russia by other non-military means. I also believe Crimeans should be allowed a referendum to determine their own destiny, and possibly even the eastern Ukraine oblasts. Then, Ukrainians should decide their own destiny, which by all indications, is a European one, not a Russian one.

                  In the end, it seems you believe Russia is entitled to Ukraine. I say Ukrainians are entitled to Ukraine.

                  KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                  by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 09:12:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The facts on the ground do not support your (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kdnla

                    assertion.  There is a mixture of things.  There is a legitimate uprising, there is Russian meddling, and there is a U.S. covert destabilization campaign.

                    I have no opinion about Ukraine's destiny or internal affairs because it is none of my business.

                    I think we discussed this enough... Here's the likely scenario.  Russia will do what it wants.  The US will protest and will end up backing down.  Europe will take no action against Russia (they get a lot of their energy supply from Russia).

                    The US will end up looking bad as more revelations of our involvement in the destabilization campaign come forward.

                    It would not have been worth it, at the end of the day.

                    We can connect again in the near future and see what ends up happening...

        •  He indeed was democratically elected (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch

          and then impeached by a democratically elected parliament, including members of his own party.  From the Snyder link Meteor Blades provided:

          n fact, it was a classic popular revolution. It began with an unmistakably reactionary regime. A leader sought to gather all power, political as well as financial, in his own hands. This leader came to power in democratic elections, to be sure, but then altered the system from within. For example, the leader had been a common criminal: a rapist and a thief. He found a judge who was willing to misplace documents related to his case. That judge then became the chief justice of the Supreme Court. There were no constitutional objections, subsequently, when the leader asserted ever more power for his presidency.

          In power, this leader, this president, remained a thief, but now on a grand, perhaps even unsurpassed, scale. Throughout his country millions of small businessmen and businesswomen found it impossible to keep their firms afloat, thanks to the arbitrary demands of tax authorities. Their profits were taken by the state, and the autonomy that those profits might have given them were denied. Workers in the factories and mines had no means whatsoever of expression their own distress, since any attempt at a strike or even at labor organization would simply have led to their dismissal.

          To claim he was democratically elected is to insinuate he continues to be the legitimate leader of the country, which even Putin has refused to acknowledge to date.

          KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

          by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:53:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah... (0+ / 0-)

            I have some problems with Snyder's Op-ed. First, it's way pro US/EU, which shouldn't be surprising considering it's source. It's not neutral by any means. Second, it gives a very weak history on Svoboda, more like a white washing of it. Svoboda went from 1.8% support in 2006 to around 10% recently. This rise was due to the deal/cooperation made with Tymoshenko's Fatherland party and some Svoboda took positions in the Fatherland party as a coalition. It also leaves out any extreme statement they have made over the years, which you can find a plenty on the webs.

            On the corruption issue, he is correct as I've been stating in numerous posts. But as I've also been stating in numerous posts, you'll find the corruption is all over Ukrainian politics with every party. Except maybe the Right Sector which has no power but makes a lot of noise.

            •  Demonizing Svoboda (0+ / 0-)

              is what Putin wants. Its the foundation of his rationale for invading Ukraine. Svoboda is no different than Le Pen's National Front, or the UK's UKIP. Every European country has some for of a right wing party. In the end, they have 38 seats in a 450 member parliament.

              KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

              by fcvaguy on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 09:57:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Putin Putin Putin (0+ / 0-)

                Putin. Is this supposed be some magic word that will change my opinions on the subject at hand? Because Putin likes something then I'm supposed to be against it? Putin is now the new evil empire? Look, Putin is pretty crappy on social issues. On Geopolitical, he's done what's best for Russia. He's done shit no american politician would dare do, like stick billionaire oligarchs in jail. He came to the table in Syria to get rid of the chemical weapons when Obama talked out of his ass on air strikes, then had to back off his red line when he had no support for them. This demonetization of all things Putin doesn't change what's going on in Ukraine. Yes, the current president chose a deal with Putin over the EU/IMF austerity one. Which one would you chose if you ran Ukraine? On one hand the IMF is going to cut all your social programs and loot your country for a 4 billion dollar loan. On the other you get 15 billion and a 30% or so cuts on natural gas deliveries from Putin.

                To top it all off, who was jailed and signed the crappy deal with Russia to begin with? Tymoshenko and the Fatherland party. The thing is, there will no winners in this coup. They are just going from Oligarchs to other Oligarchs. You'll see the "people" will be in the same position as they were. The only difference is they are going the IMF way instead of being bailed out by Russia. When they start jailing millionaires and billionaires for corruption, then come talk to me.

                •  Putin, Putin, Putin??? (0+ / 0-)

                  Its hard to avoid that word, when he's the one that has invaded a sovereign country in violation of international law with no mandate, no authorization, and no other country supporting his action. He also has a track record for doing so - Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia where he still has an occupying force) and Moldova (Gagauzia and Transnistria, two regions that don't even border current Russia and where he still has troops). In fact, what is happening in Ukraine and Crimeria strongly parallels what has happened in Georgia and Moldova.

                  As for oligarchs, he put SOME of them in jail, the ones that didn't like him. On the other hand, he's created his own oligarchs and in fact, he's one himself, who as a life-long bureaucrat has amassed a fortune to make him the 4th richest man in the world. He is no hero in that regard. He's done not whats best for Russia, but whats best for Putin.

                  And as for the Ukraine, the IMF, the EU and Tymeshenko, regardless of anything you say, the Ukrainians have an absolute right to self-determination. She was democratically elected and democratically defeated. Yakunovich was also democratically elected and then impeached in the current revolution by a still standing elected Ukraine parliament. Putin has no right to usurp any of that.

                  KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

                  by fcvaguy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:31:41 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Ray, have you ever been to the USSR? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex, riprof, indie17

    Or Russia? Or the Ukraine?

    I didn't think so.

    If you been, you would not post such drivel.

    Better yet read some history, especially about how millions were starved by Stalin. Your obvious ignorance about living history of that region is laughable.nsad, but laughable. Were you home schooled? Or did you drop out because you were so much smarter than your 6th grade teacher?

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:35:14 AM PST

    •  This comment is unnecessarily ... (11+ / 0-)

      ....hostile and a personal attack on the user and not the content of the diary.  Even given the recent history with Ray this behavior should be eschewed.  If only because it will give people the claim he was bullied.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:21:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Additionally ... (7+ / 0-)

      ...I would like to ask how the millions starved by Stalin and the living history of the region is instrumental or illustrative  in critiquing Ray's central premise that the US is meddling in the Ukraine at that we shouldn't be doing that.  (Not hat I am certain he has proved the first part but I agree we shouldn't meddle)

      I am honestly interested in knowing the history of this region in the detail you do.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:37:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stalin sent hundreds of thousands of troops (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17

        to the Ukraine and concocted one of the worst man-made famines in the world's history. Only Mao, perhaps Pol Pot managed to destroy similar percentages of the population.

        There was no escape. If you tried to leave your village or town, you were shot. If you tried to store grain, you were shot, and your family was tortured, often to death. Young women and girls were an added bonus for the Soviet troops.

        At the same time, Stalin sold grain to the west at incredibly reduced prices, claiming that his soviet plan was working and that he had created a paradise. Estimates vary, but millions died. The best estimates place it at 10,000,000. Intellectuals were exported to Siberia and work gulags, politicians or popular leaders were tried in mock trials and killed. The churches turned into listening posts, ferreting out potential opponents in the confessionals.

        Almost every reasonable historian agrees that the number of Ukie deaths at the hand of Stalin exceeded the number of jewish deaths by Hitler.

        I only wish we had interfered in the early 30s. If necessary, I hope we interfere now. If we don't help, the Ukies will never forgive us. And some of my best friends' parents came from there.

        For Ray to blithely blame the US for Ukie unrest is about as ineffably stupid as Sarah Palin on any issue. It shows such a lack of knowledge, geo-political, historical, and social, that it makes you wonder why he does this crap.

        The brass tacks facts are that the Ukies know all too well how badly treated they were by the Russians before, and fear a repeat should the Russians take power again.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 11:30:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Personal attacks (9+ / 0-)

      Do you really feel the need to resort to such crap?

      Also, what does Stalin have to do with this diary?

  •  Russia invaded Ukraine. Clearly, it's American (12+ / 0-)

    fault. Russia is simply unable to act on its own.

    •  And the Ukrainian and Venezuelan people are (10+ / 0-)

      also unable to act on their own.  They have no agency themselves, but obviously only become active when the U.S. is plotting something.  ;)

      Now, I wouldn't be surprised if there is some level of involvement by the U.S, especially in Venezuela.... it is world politics, after all, and the U.S. is a world power.  The continual insinuation by some here, however, that people in other countries are just mindless muppets who only become active at the behest of the U.S. is not only false, boring, and wrong, but also downright insulting.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:36:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They did act on their own. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        They voted and their respective presidents won. So now a few months or a year or so down the line these same people want the presidents out? Barring some serious charges I find that very unlikely. Now Ukrainians do have a legitimate beef on corruption of all parties there, including the president. Which is why I don't like to lump both Venezuela and Ukraine in the same sentence. Two total different situations. Only thing they do have in common is unpopular economic moves as related to the US. Venezuela's move to continue socialism and Ukraine going to Russia instead of the EU/IMF for their bailout.

  •  I don't think the US is doing much in either place (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, serendipityisabitch

    If anything the EU's sense of grievance with having their treaty torn up is a lot bigger than ours, and I think the US permanent government has more residual sympathy for Russia as a putative great power than the EU does.  As for Venezuela I don't think the US role could be any less than it is, in part because I think the US believes the revolution (sic) is hopelessly damaged and will either implode or at least lose its ability to serve as a wider model.  

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 05:45:44 AM PST

    •  I Am Not Sure (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mickT, StrayCat, corvo, Ray Pensador, gerrilea

      The U.S. did play an acknowledged role in the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine in 2004-5, a crisis with pretty much the same players as today, including Yanukovych.

      The U.S. sent political advisors to Yanukovych's opposition and then medical assistance when Yanukovych and Putin had him poisoned -- remember this story?

      So, it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the U.S. is somehow involved here. As, undoubtedly of course, is Russia.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:01:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody can articulate what form... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch

        ...that involvement would take, beyond what's entirely public.  I always get the sense that US progressives believe everyone in the world is content with their government except to the extent the US encourages them to protest.  This is a pretty brutal indictment of everyone in the world.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:51:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, gerrilea

      ...there is too much oil in VZ to make me believe the US is not involved there if only to offer assistance to other monied powers.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:12:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The oil flows regardless. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WB Reeves, Sky Net

        The other thing to remember is that Venezuela's oil company was state-owned long, long before Chavez, so it's not like there are US companies wanting to get their stuff back.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:49:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I remember when... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, corvo, gerrilea

    Obama threatened Saudi Arabia when they sent Pakistani rent-a-troops into Bahrain to quell the peaceful protests there. He was so mad he stopped the massive arms sales to the country. And he was even madder at Bahrain and pulled our 5th fleet HQ out of the Sunni minority led government that quashed the peaceful protests of the majority of people of the country!

    That just destroys your argument that our State Department and foreign affairs is run by people who care controlling governments for our own personnel interests over democracy. And we would do so without telling people, like our own citizens, why.

    /snark

  •  Manipulated regime changes and country (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Sandino, gerrilea

    destabilization and balkanization operations.  Simple as that.  It doesn't mean there aren't honest to goodness protesters or that Russia isn't doing it's thing in the Grand Chessboard.  But the U.S. and it's interests are instigating it and making it into something it certainly would not be without the imperialist agenda.  Those calling that CT are caught in the propaganda of the mainstream media.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:56:36 AM PST

  •  Yanukovich a murderer and a thief (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, serendipityisabitch

    The US didn't gun down 82 unarmed protesters on the Maidan.  That was done by snipers from Yanukovich's security forces. Or were the videos of the actual killings and subsequent burials staged by the "neo-liberal, corporatist" forces under control of the US?

    We now know that Yanukovich in fact planned an even greater bloodbath, before he was forced to flee. Care to comment?

    Today the Swiss banks have frozen the $$millions in the accounts of Yanukovich and his son Alexander.  This is just a fraction of the sums the dictator and his circle looted. $$billions more are in banks in Austria, Russia and Cyprus.

    How did this "bulwark against US imperialism" amass such a fortune?

    The opposite of "good" is "good intention" - Kurt Tucholsky

    by DowneastDem on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:57:20 AM PST

  •  I like the tone of this diary but the USA needs to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Moravan, eastsidedemocrat

    speak out for nonviolence and democracy everywhere as Obama is, even if it invites charges of hypocrisy. I don't think partition is in anyways appropriate in this case but if it is let it be internally decided by mutual consent as it was in Czeckoslovakia, not by a neighboring country.
    As for Venezuela, the people have a right to know what happened to all that oil money without facing paratroopers.
    Displays of naked aggression should not be ignored.

    •  Breakup of CZSK (2+ / 0-)

      Indeed, there was a lot of internal consent in the breakup of CZSK. Very internal. Behind-closed-doors-against-the-will-of-the-people internal.

      Klaus and Meciar, counterparts who had risen to power on free market populist platforms, lied about preserving a federation - or at least confederation - and struck a deal during intense internal negotiations instead to split the nation. Polling showed that the vast majority was against a clean split. No matter - these slime balls cancelled a referendum on the matter. It all happened very fast. The president , Havel, resigned in protest.

      Meciar proceeded to run his new country with complete incompetence and allowed crony capitalism to rule, and Klaus ushered in radical economic reform and painful privatization.

      Just sayin. The breakup of CZSK is probably not an ideal example of a transparent, democratic partition.

  •  I'm sorry but, like it or not, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, kalmoth, indie17

    we are Americans, and we are a superpower with global governance responsibilities, and thus interests in political outcomes, throughout the world.  We ended up in this place by winning World War II, in which virtually the entire planet except Russia was conquered diplomatically or militarily, and all under the US president who was closest to being an outright socialist that we are ever likely to see.  We're still living in the world created by those events, like it or not.

    There are two ways to be engaged with the world under those responsibilities: 1) Trying to organize things through violence or the threat of it -- hard power.  or 2) Trying to organize things through open, consensual human relationships and discourse -- soft power.  

    I haven't seen any good arguments yet for why engaging in soft power through community organizing NGO's like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), even if it results in the downfall of another nation's government from time to time, is bad thing in any way.  The only argument I've seen always boils down to ... grrr, can't trust American imperialists.

    Well, that's just silly.  We have to be engaged in the world and non-violent, civil society organizations really is the best way to do that.  If governments fall because they can't handle civil protest, well, they probably shouldn't be governing in the first place.

    And this is simply not another case of American exceptionalism. People from all over the world can and do, every day, organize protests and affect policy changes in the USA.  

    There are literally scores of such actions on the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C. all the tinme, as well as billions poured into K Street lobbyists from all over the world.  

    Another good example is Seattle, 1999.  Why will the WTO never hold another high-profile summit type meeting in the United States?  Because the last time they did, civil society and anarchist protesters, many of them from or funded by sources outside the US, converged on Seattle, wrecking some of the city (even throwing molotov cocktails in injuring some cops in a few cases) and hurting a lot of feelings, and there has not been a single new global trade agreement since then.

    Just because community organizing and civil society actions are sometimes effective at toppling governments and influencing the powerful does not mean that supporting them is bad thing or that the United States should refrain from that activity.  

    •  I'd like to see some documentation for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh

      this:

      ...many of them from or funded by sources outside the US,

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 01:01:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Bush administration engaged in war crimes, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerrilea

      started a war of choice under false pretenses and overstayed its welcome in Afghanistan (followed by the Obama administration).  These fraudulent wars of choice resulted in the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars straight into the pockets of military profiteers of the MIC.

      It resulted in the death of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the affected/invaded countries.

      The so-called soft power is perverted when it crosses the line into covert destabilization campaigns motivated not by our national interests, but by narrow special interests.

      So no, I don't agree with you on this.

      •  We're not talking about that though. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17, serendipityisabitch

        That's changing the subject.  We're talking about the alternative to military engagement, which is discursive engagement and, at the very worst, that is the only thing that can be attributed to the US in Venezuela right now, and probably the same for the Ukraine too, as it was in Egypt two times, as well as Tunisia and Yemen.

        There is no evidence of anything covert going on at all here.  The NED, even as a private NGO is, rightly, subject by law to the Freedom of Information Act.  And there has been no effort to cover up who gets the funds that go to Venezuela or anywhere else.  To the contrary, such awards are usually provided a press release and some kind of public ceremony or recognition because of the prestige they provide their beneficiaries.  

        •  I'm talking about that; you are talking from your (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea

          perspective.  There's not "we're not talking about that" in this interaction.

          Now, the premise about the options between military action and soft (diplomatic) power in the way you present it, I totally reject.

          We are not the world police. When it comes to Russia's neighborhood and sphere of influence, there should be no reason to choose between military and soft power if we were doing things on the up and up.

          Using so-called NGOs as a subterfuge to engage in covert operations meant to destabilize a country taking advantage (and fanning) internal strife does no good to the NGO concept, and their mission.

          The U.S. overreached and now Russia made their move.  The ball is now in U.S. court's.  Now our options narrow.  We either blink to Russia's muscle-flexing, and the U.S. ends up looking like a fool, or we escalate risking the danger of military confrontation--and we still end up looking like a fool.

          These kind of high-stake games have consequences.

          •  So, to you it's legitimate to bring up Bush (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WB Reeves, Hey338Too

            administration direct actions in the mideast to support your contention that American covert actions are responsible for problems in the Ukraine and Venezuela?

            Does that mean I can bring up your criticism of President Obama for not having used the ruthless tactics of the capitalist oligarchy to solidify his position, as a basis to claim that you have supported the same tactics you are now decrying?

            Because if one is legitimate, then so it the other.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:55:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My contention that the U.S. gov't is engaged in (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea

              covert destabilization campaigns is supported by the reference information I've provided in this diary and the comment thread.

              You of course are free to reject the premise of the diary and the reference information, which will mean that we disagree.

              It can't be any more simpler than that.

              •  I'm questioning a particular comment of yours (3+ / 0-)

                in the comment thread as to its validity in support of your original premise. For all I know from direct experience, the FSM could be insinuating it's noodly appendages into the situation to cause the current kerfluffle. If I had a firm basis upon which to disagree, be sure that I would have.

                But your use of an overt action from 10+ years ago to justify your take on a hypothetical covert action in the present does not strike me as proving that you have a solid case for any of the opinions you have so far expressed.

                At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:32:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Fair enough. I understand you are questioning (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gerrilea

                  those things.  There is no hypothetical case here; I provided very real analysis from experts in the field.  There were recently leaked phone conversations of U.S. officials that indicate U.S. involvement.

                  Again, you are free to reject my premises, posts, conclusions, reference information.

                  •  If it's your opinion, then it's a hypothetical (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    WB Reeves, Hey338Too

                    case. And you were certainly claiming that it's your opinion, upthread, to MB, in effect claiming dueling hypotheses.

                    If you are claiming that your hypothesis in the diary is a fact, on the basis of the link you provided, then allegations of CT are legitimate. If you are standing up for your opinions (the hypothetical case), then not so much.

                    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                    by serendipityisabitch on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:55:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm saying that I've come to my conclusions in (0+ / 0-)

                      this diary based on my reading several sources of information, and listening to interviews of experts in the field.

                      However, it would be presumptuous for anybody to claim that one's conclusions, beliefs, opinions about most subjects, especially very complicated geopolitical issues, are infallible.

                      My opinion and conclusion concurs 100 percent with professor's Cohen (and the other experts I've quoted here): The US is engaging in destabilization campaigns in Ukraine and Venezuela.

                      I stand by that.  I stand by my conclusions and opinions about the subject based on the reference information.

                      Your opinion is that those conclusions, which are also held by experts in the field like professor Cohen are CT.  You are free to have that opinion, as I said.

                      I'm sure you can't me and others who agree with me to share it.

                      I have no problem if you choose to have that opinion because is not something I'm concerned about--your opinion.

                       

    •  Waht???? (0+ / 0-)

      We have a responsibility for "global governance"...

      Could you seriously show me where our Constitution grants that to our created government?

      As for this:

      The only argument I've seen always boils down to ... grrr, can't trust American imperialists.
      IMF, WTO, NAFT, GATT, et al.

      The Shock Doctrine

      The altruistic goals and "responsibility" you bestow upon our creation isn't reality.

      The goal has always been to protect the profits of our Corporate Overlords.  To expand their reach to every part of this world and to do so by enforced perpetual poverty for us all.

      No Logo: 10th Anniversary Edition with a New Introduction by the Author

      As for those "outside forces that decended upon Seattle"...could you provide proof please.

      I do recall we finally found out about "agent provocateurs" and how the "black block" protesters were mostly police sent in to stir up trouble to justify a crackdown.

      Maybe you have some evidence that there were paid infiltrators coming here from other countries.  I'm pretty sure many people did come from around the world but I'm not sure about their funding.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:48:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There were no paid "infiltrators" to my knowledge (0+ / 0-)

        There were lots of non-US citizen organizers and many organizations that financed their organizational efforts (successful protests are expensive and logistically difficult things to accomplish) with funds from foreign sources, however, representing NGO's and labor unions from all over the world, a perfectly legitimate thing to do in the US that is 100% supported by US law.  It is also no different from the kinds the of things the NED and many other similar pro-democracy and pro-human rights organizations do all over the world and within the US every day. In fact, it is likely (though I do not have the documentation on hand for this) that the AFL-CIO used NED funds as part of its substantial organizational efforts in the Seattle protests.  The AFL-CIO is one of the four key beneficiaries and governors of the NED through which all NED civil society support funds are distributed, and participation in the Seattle protests is in no way contrary to any of the funding criteria of the NED, so it is almost impossible that NED funds were not used to help organize the Seattle protests.

        I cited a source for international participation in the Seattle protests upthread already.  Plus, I'm a first-hand witness, having actively supported the protests at the time they occurred.

  •  I thought CT's were banned? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew
  •  Certainly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch

    people cannot be rising up out of their own desire for a better life.

    Certainly individual men do not have the courage to join together and perform civil disobedience against their government.

    No, there must be a bad guy on the outside, some powerful force behind this.  Yes, yes, we must have our equivalent of religion's "devil".

    There's a word for that frame of mind.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  Hahahahahahaha! (0+ / 0-)

    The US is forcing the Russians  to invade Crimea, right?

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:26:46 AM PST

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