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Map of Europe highlighting Ukraine
Ukraine. In Europe.
This article is co-authored by Ian Reifowitz and Steven Beller.

There is something about the current crisis in Ukraine that has brought out the historical analogist in virtually everyone. The most popular move has been to compare current situations with the Munich Conference of 1938. Some of this analogy works, some not (Russia now is much weaker, comparatively, than Germany was then). Or you can see the current crisis as a rematch of the Crimean War, which was also the first gambit in a redrawing of the map of Europe, only then it was not Russia trying it on as much as Louis Napoleon’s France. It worked for a few years (France got Nice) but then came crashing down when France was outplayed by Bismarck’s Prussia—if anything this is a warning to Putin that he and Russia are far more likely in the longer term to be the victim of unintended consequences than their beneficiary. But neither analogy works all that well.

We think a different sort of historical analogy is more appropriate and that, strange as it may seem, the main beneficiary of all this, in the long run, will be a current loser according to conventional wisdom: the European Union. As the reassertion of an old-new version of Europe and of international relations, the EU will leave the decisive, but atavistic, nationalist model being followed by “he-man” Putin in the historical dust.

The key question is why Ukrainians want to move toward Europe and away from Russia.What exactly does newly elected President Petro Poroshenko mean when he says that Ukraine needs to “bring in European values”? There are obvious reasons which do not need much analysis—given Putin’s rampant Russian nationalism, the dysfunction of the Russian economy, and the clear trend in Russia away from anything resembling democracy, plus Russia’s extremely shabby treatment of a supposedly sovereign Ukraine, anywhere but Russia must seem a good option to Ukrainians. But there are excellent, positive reasons for looking to Europe.

Beyond the fold we'll discuss these reasons in more detail.

First is the prospect of prosperity, of trading more freely with the biggest free market on Earth. Second, related, is that the agreement with the EU makes Ukraine do what progressive Ukrainians wanted to do all along, which is strengthen the rule of law and attack corruption, hence also boosting investment and the economy. Adopting the Western, European model is seen as assuring Ukraine’s “democratic” identity, making it part of “the West”.  

At the same time Ukraine does not have to sacrifice its pride in its national independence by contemplating closer ties, or even eventually accession into the EU, because, as a Czech politician has written, the Union operates on the principle that it must: “consider itself a mother equally to all, and as stepmother to none ... the government in [Europe] can be neither German nor Magyar, not Slavic or Romanian, rather in the highest and most general sense [European], that it should be equally just towards all of its members.” In other words, as one nation among many other equals, Ukrainians will escape from the subordinate role under which they have suffered for centuries.

Now, the language in that quote might appear rather archaic and particular, with its talk of mothers, Germans, Magyars and Slavs, and that is because it was not written in this century but the nineteenth, the Czech politician was František Palacký, “father of the Czech nation,” and it was not Europe that he referred to in the original quote, but Austria, the Habsburg Monarchy that was destroyed by the war that it started a century ago, in 1914. Yet the logic holds surprisingly well—a major reason why Ukrainians are attracted to the EU today is because it is a democratic, successful version, with all its faults, of what the Habsburg Monarchy should have been: a supranational, polyglot polity, in which each of its component national polities, and their individual citizens, can freely co-operate for mutual benefit and the common good.

It is no accident that part of what is now Western Ukraine was once part of the Habsburg Monarchy. Lviv was the capital of the Austrian province of Galicia, Cernauti the capital of the Bukovina. Back then the Ukrainian populace had often a negative experience of Habsburg rule of the Monarchy’s ethnically diverse domains. In comparison to Russian and Soviet rule, a certain nostalgia nonetheless grew up about the good old, Austrian days. What Ukrainians want to connect to now is not Habsburg nostalgia but rather the very effective European Union, which has taken the principle of diversity in unity underlying the “Austrian idea”, democratized it, and made it work remarkably well for its populace, all things considered, and despite the current “Euro-gloom”.

The central historical insight about the Ukrainian crisis today should be that, whatever you might have read or seen, the Ukrainian wish to join Europe attests to the fact that it is not the exclusive, “either-or” logic of the nation-state, but rather the inclusive “both-and” logic behind the past Habsburg Monarchy and now the plurinational EU that is the way of the future.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)

      I think the sanctions are aimed at the oligarchs not Russia.  Merkel and Obama are saying to them, "You have a lot of money, why do you want to live in an ignorant, repressive, backward dump like Russia?  You like the West, the shopping, the glamor, the celebrities, the beaches, the Babes, the real estate.  And you can come back to all of it, just bring us Putin's head on a stick."  And everyone is getting the message.  Check out the names on high end ($100M) real estate sales.  And Obama is smart in not using chest thumping public rhetoric to address Putin.  But I think he has made credible threats in private, if Putin invades and Kiev invokes the Murmansk memo, Russian forces will be slaughtered by ship to ground missiles, drones, and wart hogs...probably sending Kuwait Iraq footage along to make the point.

      At any event Russia is done as long as Putin lives.  IT will be isolated by a new version of  Kennan's containment strategy, fossil will fail within 20 years, and Russia will be unable to grow its economy in its repressive North Korean style regime.  It will collapse.

      E Ukraine Russians are out for a quick goodie, but it won't work.  In five years they will be back clamoring for Europeanism.  Ukraine itself sees its long term economic options with greater clarity.    

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 12:17:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ukraine will split in 2 (8+ / 0-)

    Western Ukraine will become a country in the EU (but not NATO) and Easter Ukraine will join Russia.  I don't see anything wrong with that.

    The confrontation between Russians and Ukrainians has been going on for over 1000 years.  They don't seem able to coexist.  Should they?

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:33:08 PM PDT

  •  but, but... The Sudetenland and German is Russian! (10+ / 0-)

    just like Communism is Kenyan and Appeasement is Impeachment

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:33:29 PM PDT

  •  Thank goodness (15+ / 0-)

    the majority of Americans disprove of our meddling in Ukrainian politics, our efforts to buy a government for $5 billion, or our support for the overthrow of the Ukraine's democratically elected government.

    Too bad that those neocon policies are embraced by both major parties.

    And your description of Putin---"atavistic, nationalist model being followed by “he-man” Putin in the historical dust."

    Sounds like some juvenile drivel that SOS Kerry would mouth off.

  •  The biggest carrot the EU has is it's economics (11+ / 0-)

    Russia can't match that. Eventual EU money and its economic model will win over Russia.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:35:45 PM PDT

  •  Supranational states ultimately don't work. (7+ / 0-)

    Austria-Hungary failed, accelerated by war.  The various  captured nationalities wanted to leave, not join Franz Joseph I and Karl I, in ever-extended union.

    Given the recent EU elections, archaic bureaucratic officialdom is not the answer.

    Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

    by Bollox Ref on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:44:40 PM PDT

  •  Ukraine's Economy and The West (10+ / 0-)

    Another great diary, Ian.

    Today's Boston Sunday Globe had an interesting article on the Ukraine economy with respect to the West and Russia.

    Basic point: Ukraine's higher value, more sophisticated product exports (ex., steam turbines) go East, while simple agriculture and national resource exports (ex., honey) go West. Implication is that Ukraine will have trouble competing in the Western economy.

    A man does as he is when he can do what he wants

    by BobBlueMass on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:47:20 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary (4+ / 0-)

    It's complex that's for sure.

    I've just been reading some extensive history on Rudolf II, basically the last Hapsburg monarch with all the power, who was ineffective at policy.

    The thirty year war erupted between Protestant and Catholics when he died.

    Blessed are the hearts that can bend; for they can never be broken Albert Camus

    by vcmvo2 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:49:27 PM PDT

  •  Interesting ideas (7+ / 0-)

    This is one of those diaries that make me feel like there's way more I need to know about a subject before I even dare comment. It's been years since I've read any European history. Think it might be time to read some more.

    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

    by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 06:59:51 PM PDT

  •  I sense an invasion of masked trolls (8+ / 2-)

    infiltrating this diary to defend Putin's and spew conspiracy theories. Please tell me this crap is not still going on.

    The trolls have only been proven wrong about every single conspiracy theory they have aped about Ukraine from day one. Do us a favor, guys: Go be wrong somewhere else. Go back to Alex Jones and talk crazy on his website. We don't need crazy here.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:11:52 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, we're outside invaders. Gimme a break! nt (4+ / 0-)

      The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

      by Wolf10 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:35:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't you have a bridge to live under or goats to (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides
        Hidden by:
        Errol

        eat?

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:45:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't they teach you manners in middle school? nt (2+ / 0-)

          The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

          by Wolf10 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:47:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Errol, I didn't call Wolf10 or anyone in (0+ / 0-)

          particular a troll. He stepped forward to defend conspiracy theories and trolls. This is not an appropriate use of an HR. I didn't engage in any profanity, spam, threats, and the original comment was not even directed at anyone in particular. Futhermore, if you want to take issue with something, make a comment, or at least have courtesy to explain your reasoning. You didn't make a single comment in the diary, you just chose to randomly HR a comment on behalf of someone else. That is not appropriate and I ask you to remove it.

          Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:00:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting that people self-identify as "trolls" (0+ / 0-)

        and conspiracy theorists. I didn't say who this applied to, but you voluntarily stepped forward to claim this title.

        Then, anonymous lurkers who never made a single comment in this diary got offended on your behalf and started HRing my comment, without any explanation as to why they found this so objectionable.

        That behavior violates dKos policies on what HRs are supposed to be used for and it amounts to nothing but censorship by anonymous lurkers who don't even have the guts to defend their actions.  

        These actions are inappropriate.

        gzodik and protectspice, if you don't remove these improperly used HRs, I will report you and ask that action be taken against you.  

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:51:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What conspiracy theory? That Russia and Ukraine (5+ / 0-)

      have a long history of interdependence and tragic military, political and economic friction? The ridiculous knee-jerk reactionary strawman of "CT" is political bullying and stupidity in the service of right-wing propaganda. The lines being drawn by US policy makers and Putin are not helping Ukraine, the US, EU or most importantly Ukraine. The complexity of this problem is only exacerbated by such ridiculous accusations.

      "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

      by KJG52 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:54:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually US and EU policy stopped Putin from a (3+ / 0-)

        full scale invasion of Ukraine, which would have been in no one's interest. All the conspiracy theories did nothing but confuse the situation.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 08:31:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Total unfounded propaganda, this is unsourced BS (7+ / 0-)

          there is no substantiation for this statement and no source that is credible making this assertion. Pure propaganda and shilling for a security and intelligence community stuck in a Cold War paradigm. Unbelievable that while spouting Right-Wing talking points you say you're against the Right Wing.

          "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

          by KJG52 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 10:52:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm guessing from the tone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice

            of the comments that it's a young State Department staffer or Congressional aide trying to impress someone with his or her passion in selling today's big lie.  But hey, maybe it's Hunter Biden.

            A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

            by eightlivesleft on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:44:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you're going to make up wild stuff, why don't (0+ / 0-)

              you just say I'm Elvis on a UFO? That would make more sense that many of the people posting here.

              Of all the things to consider a Big Lie, the fact that Putin didn't invade doesn't seem that controversial. Of course, he did invade with a shadow army of masked gunmen, but I was talking about a full scale invasion. The fact that sanctions had an effect on Russia is also not disputable. How much of an effect can be debated, but not that there was no effect.

              Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

              by tekno2600 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:36:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  This is one of the most bizarre responses ever to (0+ / 0-)

            an incredibly basic observation.

            Me: Putin didn't invade.

            You: Unsourced BS, right wing talking points, bla, bla, bla.

            Me: US / EU policy (i.e. sanctions, getting kicked out of the G8, etc.) must have had some effect.

            You: Pure propaganda, right wing shill, bla, bla, bla.

            Ok. So, the tooth fairy made Putin not invade. I'm sure the CT webpages have "sources" that say that. It clearly couldn't have been economic and political pressure like every other normal, rational person on earth might suspect caused Putin to change his mind.

            Furthermore, you don't really seem to get the concept of what a "source" is for. The purpose of citing an information source is really to back up concrete facts, especially if there might be dispute. For instance, I might say the GDP of Russia is only $2 Trillion, 8 times less than $17 Trillion US economy. That would at least be a useful purpose for a "source." Stating an opinion, on the other hand, and then citing a source to say, some dude with a blog agrees with me, proves nothing...except that more than one person on the internet has the same opinion.  

            Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

            by tekno2600 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:55:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  gzodik, you are violating HR rules to hide my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides

      comment. HRs are not supposed to be used just because you disagree with something.

      Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 08:24:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do the rules say about name calling (0+ / 0-)

        and being rude?

        "masked trolls"
        "Don't you have a bridge to live under or goats..."

        Please be civil.

        The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

        by GreatLakeSailor on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:33:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If saying that people are behaving like trolls was (0+ / 0-)

          an HR offense or everytime someone said another person was being rude, everyone would be doing this constantly. I could easily HR people for their equally rude comments toward me, such as ones before and after my comment. The fact is, HRs are for profanity, spam, threats, and the worst possible abuses. They are not for saying there are trolls in the diary today. This is HR abuse.

          Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 08:17:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Need uprating for HR abuse. Even people who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, vcmvo2

      disagree with me realize it is unfair to hide a comment just because someone doesn't like it.

      Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 08:41:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who's in the new government's cabinet? (13+ / 0-)

    Will it still be the guys who have the Waffen SS's insignia as their own? The guys and gals who talk about Putin as a stooge of the Jews?

    This part was funny:

    First is the prospect of prosperity, of trading more freely with the biggest free market on Earth.
    When you say prosperity, do you mean the everyday person who will be even more impoverished from IMF restrictions for the foreseeable future? And when you say 'trading freely' do you mean the Oligarchs -- Ukrainian and European and American -- who will be getting ownership of Ukraine's resources?


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:22:35 PM PDT

    •  That is an utterly baseless comment that shows (3+ / 0-)

      nothing but ignorance.

      The only person acting like a Nazi right now is the one who invaded and annexed territory based on claims of ethnic and linguistic history and is conducting a shadow invasion with masked gunmen in the East to achieve similar ethnic and linguistic cleansing.

      Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

      by tekno2600 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:43:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You meant to say "This is an utterly baseless (8+ / 0-)

        comment" referring to your own?

        These people have their own websites, Svoboda, and the rest of the members of Pravy Sektor. They are in the current cabinet and heads of various commissions. They organize their militia to go into E Ukraine.

        You can read their own words. You can watch them parade with Waffen SS insignia which is also their party's insignia. You can see them march in torchlight parades (sound familiar?) in honor of Bandera. You can watch the film of them herding people into a building in Odessa and burning the people alive.

        This isn't Putin making them do it. They are boastful about it.


        A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

        by Jim P on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 08:09:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Svoboda and Pravy Sektor are different. (5+ / 0-)

          Pravy Sektor is not part of the government. Many of their members are, in fact, on the run from the government since they have arrest warrants. They also make up an incredibly small percentage of the population. The claim to have 30-40,000 members out of a nation of 45 million. They probably don't even have that. This is a BS boogie man that Putin uses to scare people. When the Ukrainian army liberates a town, Putin's mouthpiece, Russia Today, has headlines that say things like Right Sektor Army Invades Town. It's not the Right Sektor army or anything close to it. Putin's comments are designed for people who know nothing about Ukraine. It is unfortunate that he has duped many of the people here.

          Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

          by tekno2600 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 08:49:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah. The Shell Game. Don't change the swatsakas (9+ / 0-)

            on their hearts, though, does it?

            http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/...

            Andriy V. Parubiy as new Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine. Parubiy led the anti-government riots. His mooted deputy at National Security is neo-nazi Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) leader, Dmytro Yarosh. Pravi Sektor is estimated to number 5,000 and were inbvolved in the most extreme violence at Maidan Square and allegedly did the sniper killings of police and demonstrators that led to the coup on February 22. Among the members of the Pravi Sektor is the hard-core Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), reported tied to NATO and used for their “dirty wars” in Chechnya, Georgia and elsewhere since 1991.   Haaretz, Israel’s oldest newspaper, reports that Right Sector distributed translations of Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Maidan Square.[v Anshel Pfeffer, The new dilemma for Jews in Ukraine, Haaretz, 25 February, 2014.]

            ....Parubiy founded the neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine together with Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of Svoboda, who is now a People’s Deputy in the new Ukrainian pariament. Yarosh also heads the neo-nazi Stepan Bandera Tryzub organization since 2005. On their website, Yarosh issued an appeal to Dokka Umarov, the Chechen terrorist guerrilla leader associated with Al-Qaeda, for support of Ukraine....

            ...Among the key posts, the Svoboda Party now controls the General Prosecutor’s Office. Deputy Prime Minister, Oleksandr Sych, is from Svoboda and will have key economic responsibilities.  As well Svoboda controls the Ecology Ministry and the important Agriculture Ministry. Ukraine’s corn harvest is in danger because of the chaos. The country is the third largest corn exporter in the world. The Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, was accused of illegal privatization of land and abuse of power and was under criminal investigation by the previous government, which forced him to flee to Italy.

            I gather you think the equivalent of our Secretary of Defense/Homeland Security, and the Head of Department of Justice, and Interior are entirely powerless offices; that such are allied, and even lead, those parading under the Nazi, Confederate, and Celtic Cross flags is a sign that Democracy is about to bloom in Ukraine.

            And that the IMF crushing the everyday people is a huge advancement of their rights. Everybody is on the street's yelling 'oh happy Democracy is coming.' Even the Jews, Poles and Russians who live in the West area are thrilled. And, obviously, burning people alive is not really a significant event, except that it promotes Democracy. Because that's what we do; always down with the people, that us alright.

            I myself don't read RT or Pravda etc. I give them as much credit as I give our Department of State and the NY Times when it comes to today's MONSTERS ABROAD!!! line. Can you remember a time when our State Department and Media DIDN'T have a monster abroad that required some kind of military intervention/aid? Nope. Ain't no such time.

            It is strange to me that people see Charles Manson and The Son of Sam having a fight, and they conclude that one of those two MUST be good; the other bad.

            Oh. Did just go looking for your claimed RT report of Right Sector Army. All I see is "Kiev" army. It is reported in Western Ukraine's press, though, that the Right Sektor/Svoboda/etc militias have seen many sign up and have been sent to East Ukraine.

            I guess a few thousand guys with guns all gathered together and aimed at a common purpose (in this case 'promote Democracy' no doubt) is not an issue anywhere.

            Like I say, go read their own websites to see where they stand on, say, extermination of 'Black Ukrainians' and such:

            Go to the webpage translator tool
            http://itools.com/...

            Then go copy and paste the URLs into it:
            http://www.svoboda.org.ua/

            Poke around a bit: the part about the Lustration Committee doing it's job is interesting. Run by a former member of UNO-UNSO ("first eliminate the intellectuals of the Black Ukrainians") is moving apace. Getting rid of undesirables, don'cha know? Go click on 'about the party' and 'programs' and such. You'll find they list Oleh Tyahnybok first in their 'party leaders' section. The guy of "Russian-Jewish Mafia" fame.

            Translate ANO-ANSO
            http://www.unaunso.org
            and poke around there awhile. The "Program" is instructional.

            Winning UNA-UNSO and commissioning   regime of national social democracy will give Ukrainian confidence in his power in his country. Everyone will be demonstrated that the Ukraine was the real owner, who strongly and unequivocally puts an end to Communism, cosmopolitanism, liberalism, theft.
            Do you know what 'cosmopolitanism' is a dog-whistle for? Does "national-social" ring any bells?

            These people, their ilk, have power in Ukraine. That's real. Putin didn't make that happen.

            Gosh, that's so much to digest. Pictures might help:
            (That's Oleg giving the Nazi Salute, btw)

            Nope. No nazis in Western Ukraine. None that matter anyway. Justyour garden variety, tolerant, democracy-loving, ahem, 'ultra-nationalists.' Which never has anything to do with racialism.


            A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

            by Jim P on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 11:05:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Boiling Frog also has a Bilderburger CT on the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              killjoy, charlatan

              front page.

              You read garbage. 99% of those claims are overheated nonsense. Svoboda is right wing and fringe (at best, they might win about 10% of the vote). But, they are certainly not in charge of the government. Pravy Sektor is not even a political party. It has miniscule membership. It has openly clashed with Svoboda.

              Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

              by tekno2600 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:45:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And nothing you say makes the fact that Nazis (0+ / 0-)

                hold the State Security, State Justice, and Interior departments; that they are the most highly organized armed faction; and that they are Nazis; go away.

                Nothing.

                Why do you keep trying to make the Nazis disappear? They're present. There are several dozens accounts of the Nazi/racialist/white supremacists in power positions in the Ukraine. Exclude Russian based accounts.

                Go to the World Jewish Congress (PDF), which just two years ago, asked that Europe label Svoboda as a neo-Nazi organization.

                Go ask the Wiesenthal Center. Go ask the NDP, Germany's neo-Nazis, who say the Ukrainian Nazis as the most advanced, power-wise, of their allies in Europe.

                UK Yahoo News: from March 2014

                It has been revealed that the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) is courting close relations with Ukraine's nationalist Svoboda party....

                ...Svoboda has increased its presence in Germany as its links with NPD grow by establishing chapters in Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich.

                Don't ask the State Department, and don't ask the US media who has sheep-dipped the Nazis into being, at worst, 'ultra-nationalists.'

                Again Pravyi Sektor is a coalition. Their leader is the Deputy Defense/Security minister.

                And they burned people alive. Why do you keep walking right past that. Can't manage a condemnation of burning people alive?

                Why are you determined to deny reality?


                A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

                by Jim P on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:03:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Ukraine is not a special case (0+ / 0-)

              If you did any research you'd note Europe is thick with both explicitly Neo-Fascist groups and right wing parties that have Fascism in their DNA. Italy, for example, has three 'mainstream' Neo-Fascist parties. Italy's National Alliance, which holds about 13% of the seats, only began to distance itself from Fascism in the 90s. Ukraine's Svoboda holds 7.9% of the seats in the Rada, slightly more than the Communists. Ukrainian far right candidates couldn't collectively crack 3% in the prez election.

              If Ukraine's Neo-Nazis were secretly running things you'd expect them to be busy disappearing people, eliminating rival groups, seizing assets and arbitrarily tossing people into ad-hoc detention centers. The irony is that it's in fact the rebels who've been doing all of the above. The accusations of Fascism are a classic example of projection.

              Ignorant rednecks in Europe cling to Fascism the way ignorant rednecks in the USA cling to the Confederacy and the KKK. From time to time people forget the past and let these idiots have a little power, but it never amounts to anything because these morons can't govern for shit. Ukraine isn't defined by its extremists any more than we are by our Teahadists.

              •  Secret? Secret? (0+ / 0-)

                Ministry of State Security; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Agriculture; in charge of the Lustration committee (removing 'undesirables' from government); in charge of Education.

                Secret? Except at the Ukraine government's website and press releases and news coverage, right?

                Secret? In torchlight parades with thousand wearing swastikas and Waffen SS symbols. Organizing private militias to go kill people in East Ukraine (via that Putin propaganda arm Voice of America

                The only secret involved is the US Press and our State Department never mentioning the facts the rest of the world knows about nazis in power in Ukraine.

                Please tell us the names of the Tea Baggers which hold the positions of Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Head of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA -- the equivalent offices here in the US.


                A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

                by Jim P on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:14:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Unremarkable (0+ / 0-)
                  Ministry of State Security; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Agriculture; in charge of the Lustration committee (removing 'undesirables' from government); in charge of Education.
                  Three ministers out of 20 have ties to Svoboda, a party that is about as 'Nazi' as any other far right party in Europe. Poland, Germany and a dozen other Euro states have passed Lustration laws at some point.
                  Secret? Except at the Ukraine government's website and press releases and news coverage, right?
                  Evidence? The clearest indication that Nazis aren't in the driver's seat is that the government is applying to the EU, an organization despised by far-right nationalists everywhere.
                  Secret? In torchlight parades with thousand wearing swastikas and Waffen SS symbols.
                  Evidence? And before you go there be aware I can dig up hundreds of examples of scary rallies held all over Europe.
                  Organizing private militias to go kill people in East Ukraine (via that Putin propaganda arm Voice of America.
                  Sorry, that ship sailed when those 'peaceful activists' in the Donbas region started launching massive attacks against government assets, and Ukraine found itself without disciplined troops in the field (thanks to the last govt).
                  The only secret involved is the US Press and our State Department never mentioning the facts the rest of the world knows about nazis in power in Ukraine.
                  No, actually, outside of Putin's little Coalition of the Willing the rest of the world supports the new Ukraine govt.
                  Please tell us the names of the Tea Baggers which hold the positions of Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Head of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA -- the equivalent offices here in the US.
                  If the Repubs took the executive branch today the Teahadist agenda would be on prominent display. If you don't think the far right can come to power here you must have missed the GWB years.
  •  Our own plutocrats and their devil's bargains with (5+ / 0-)

    the likes of China are a much greater and more immediate threat to democracy than Putin could ever be.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:28:36 PM PDT

  •  This is a simplistic "analysis" mostly based on (13+ / 0-)

    the assumption that Ukraine is attracted to the EU because of its economic vitality (an assumption, given the EU's current fragile state, that seems unfounded) and its political plurality. This is nonsense, if you asked 100 randomly chosen Ukrainians to describe the EU and Ukraine's relationship with it, they wouldn't know what the hell you were talking about.

    This "crisis," is about the choices of political and economic elites, oligarchs and their political allies, the "people" of the Ukraine have little or nothing to do with this "crisis," and it is only a crisis for the Ukraine and Russia, it is not a "crisis," for the EU and the US.

    The reaction in the US is not about the Ukraine, it is about the diminishing influence of the US in world affairs and the unwillingness of countries to kowtow to US intervention, economic, diplomatic or military.

    Putin will not be relevant soon because he won't be able to manipulate the Russian political system forever; however, it is a mistake for any "historical analysis," to disallow the Russian political impetus that draws Ukraine and the Black Sea ports into Russia's sphere of concern/influence. Russien policy has not changed since the reign of Peter the Great, whether Imperial, Soviet or Democratic Russia is the policy maker. The crisis is about energy, military security and food security for Ukraine and Russia and nothing else. The EU and its economic power have little or nothing to do with this situation except as an excuse for politicians to use as a wedge in domestic politics within their countries.

    The "crisis," is not amenable to diplomatic intervention by the US and is rapidly destabilizing what little positive diplomatic progress that has been made over the past thirty years with Russia. It is time for the US and EU to stop demonizing Putin and Russia and start actually trying to help resolve the issues that actually exist for Ukraine and Russia.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:36:14 PM PDT

  •  Free Trade! (5+ / 0-)

    Fracking! Destroying social safety nets!

    Neo-liberalism on the march!

    How about a different path.

    One that doesn't screw people over like we in the West or Russia loves to do.

  •  *sigh* (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, sviscusi, Ian Reifowitz, vcmvo2

    Well, so much for the hope that we could discuss Ukraine sensibly. Maybe next year.

    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

    by moviemeister76 on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 08:00:13 PM PDT

  •  If you really like history, the Great Northern War (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, sviscusi, Ian Reifowitz

    was when the Ukrainians (under Mazepa) lost their country to Peter the Great. Voltaire wrote a history of the Wars of Charles the XII of Sweden.

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

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

    Ukraine isn't even a real country.--Vladimir Putin told GW Bush

  •  Has Western Europe ever embraced a Slavic nation? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice

    Europe has for eons been divided between East and West.  Slavic and non-Slavic West.  The Ukraine is looking West for protection and to be given Western loot for an anti-Russian stance.  The West could give two shits about Ukraine except as pawn to be used against the Slavic hordes of Russia.  

    I laugh at these undertones of Putin as some neo-Hitler figure.  During the debates between Obama and McCain they were asked Russia was evil.  Where in the fuck did that question come from?  Up to that point, Russia had done nothing to stop or fight American imperialism under Bush and complicit Democrats which has to date killed over a million people.  

    The Ukraine  has yet and but will learn the truth about the West and its bloody history toward the east.

  •  Goodnight, folks. (5+ / 0-)

    Sorry I was unavailable this evening, and now it's off to bed, but I have enjoyed these comments, and will read new ones in the AM. Thank you for stopping by.

  •  As someone who has lived in Europe for (7+ / 0-)

    the last four years, I tend agree with you - the EU is going to work (although possibly without England, but with Scotland), primarily because the people on the continent, despite the Jean-Marie Le Pens and Geert Wilders, really want it to work, and are willing to accept the compromises that requires.

    A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

    by aggieric on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 09:02:07 PM PDT

  •  Interesting diary. (4+ / 0-)

    Not a big fan of historical analogy across time and space--it reveals more about the analogist than about the present. The position Putin is in now, part of an interdependent global economy dominated by a financial oligarchy, is nothing like Imperial or Soviet Russia. Obama's approach has worked, and I thought it would. Take away the oligarch's access to the western world, hammer down the ruble, slow down trade, and the pressure on Putin would be too much. The monied elite would not stand for it.

    I'm skeptical of the EU--look what has happened to member states that have been clobbered by the Euro common currency. The states that chose to keep control over their own monetary policy have fared much better in the recovery. The EU has embraced "austerity"--which is all about bringing IMF predatory lending practices to the developed world. The chickens have come home to roost, or something like that. The Schlock Doctrine.

    You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

    by gnothis on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 09:16:26 PM PDT

    •  Clobbered? (4+ / 0-)

      What constitutes "clobbered"?

      I can't seem to find any numbers to back up the assertion that not adopting the Euro was responsible for a stronger economic recovery in any country. Maybe there is speculation out there, but what is it based on? There are so many other factors involved in the individual countries and their very interdependent economies that I honestly don't see how the Euro is taking any blame for anything. As a concrete example: Slovakia adopted the Euro while the Czech Republic did not. Despite Slovakia having twice the unemployment rate of the Czech Republic they have a higher rate of GDP growth and lower inflation. So where should I be looking to find this group of Euro clobbered countries?

      I'd agree though that "austerity" is a miserable plan for improving an economy. Like putting your hands around someone's neck and squeezing is going to help them breathe...

      •  I've found that some people in the US who (3+ / 0-)

        self-identify as Left, have adopted a strange assortment of ideas and beliefs about the EU from various media reports and internet blogs.

        I'm speaking generally and not about the Eurozone comment which is a broad generalization. There may be about 40% support in France for withdrawing from the Euro and restoring a national currency. This has to do primarily with fiscal and monetary policy, and secondarily with sovereignty, which the Front National stokes. That just applies to France.

        I wonder why the Left in the US blames the EU and the bankers of the ECB and IMF for the hardships of Greece and Spain without a word about the role of their national governments. Both are still living with the legacy of oppressive right wing regimes that lasted until 1974-75. The old right didn't shrivel up and blow away since then. They still play a role in government and society.

        I was glad to see that Spain didn't vote for the far right in the May 25 election.  In Greece, Golden Dawn had about 9% of the vote but the Left had 27%. You'd think the Left in America would be excited about these results. But here they insist that the far right fascists swept the elections in many countries. The media saw the gains of the FN and UKIP and decided that all the newcomers were far-right extremists. Not a word about the 9 Leftists in Spain, the 6 in Greece, the 8 center-right MEPs from Bulgaria and elsewhere in eastern Europe. I'm glad you noted the far-right got nowhere in the Czech Republic.

        I don't want to see far-right extremists succeed anywhere, so why help them by exaggerating their election results?
        The FN and UKIP can't even form a coalition political group.
        The Dansk Folkeparti is joining with the UK Conservatives (Tories) and so are the Finns (aka True Finns) though both were labeled extreme far-right.

        Without a coalition, they get no public funding. This is good news but hearing it seems to irritate some of the US Left, at least around here.

        •  "Public funding"-From a distance, was surprised... (0+ / 0-)

          to read there are ~800 members of the european parliament and make ~$200K/year plus $taff.

          No wonder people are pissed in the "old europe."

          •  MEP base salary is $129,856. There were 766 (2+ / 0-)

            members in the outgoing session. The number of constituents each MEP represents is similar to the number that each member of the US House represents, about 670,000 vs 720,000.

            The MEP salary is based on a formula that establishes a ratio between the pay for different EU functions. I used an exchange rate of 1.36 to covert to USD.

            In addition to the base pay, MEPs get a per diem amount for each day they clock in to a session which could be in Brussels, BE or Strasbourg, FR.  They forego the per diem amount if they aren't present for roll call votes. I estimate $20,000 to $40,000 in per diem payments a year which brings the total comp to $150,000 to $170,000 approx..

            The members can have staff and they're paid directly at a set rate. It's not an allowance under the member's control.

            Remember that the amount of income tax paid is going to be higher than amounts in the US. The MEPs commute to the Parliament as well.

            The public funding I mentioned is paid to the political groups that function like parties in the Parliament. The member's affiliation with a party in the home country isn't recognized by the Parliament.  Each country has its own political parties and there would be 200 if they were portable. Instead the MEPs organize themselves into political groups with a common agenda with a minimum of 25 members from 7 different countries.

            UKIP's Nigel Farage and Front National's Marine Le Pen are trying to form two separate far-right groups and neither one can find delegations in enough countries to meet the minimum requirement. The deal making continues for another 20 days and both leaders are scrutinizing their lists.  There aren't as many far-right members as the media reported after the election. Simple as that.

            The media was familiar with UKIP and Front National and the increase in their number of seats was real news. There was also a large number of newcomers from the other 26 countries where they ran for brand-new unknown parties.
            Like these:

            • ББЦ+ВМРО-БНД
            • ΣΥ.ΡΙ.ΖΑ
            • S
            • M
            • C
            • V

            Lacking a clue and rushing to report first, the media proclaimed a broad sweep for the far right. The newcomers could take a month before joining an old or new coalition. A sweeping victory for fascists would make a compelling story and then be forgotten. In the newcomers grab bag there were far-leftists, centrists, and others, with a number of far-right.

            Most of Farage's old coalition wasn't reelected. He and Le Pen won't hook up. They both burned bridges in all directions. I like the idea of them ending up as unaffiliated members who get no public funding and have no agenda that the Parliament recognizes.

        •  American Leftism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark Lippman, gnothis

          has gone to a deeply conservative place.  The conservatism is starting to twist the activists into bizarre pretzels of stances.

          It's a long post to properly lay it out, but basically technology is destroying working class and lower middle class jobs.  The profits from this change go to the corporate CEO and investor classes.  The working and lower middle class are under economic pressure to reduce in number of workers in a permanent fashion.  Which translates to pressures to reduce working class and lower middle class population generally.  That means getting up and out via education, having fewer or no children, migrating to the few places still in need of additional population or labor, and/or falling down into the life of the poor.  

          Leftism in the West is in a really bad to impossible quandary in this situation.  It can't explain where and how to come up with the jobs long term.  So we get this two pronged thing- One, the usual, in very vehement form: tax the rich and destroy corporate privilege, prosecute white collar criminals, spread the wealth out further.  Maybe that will generate real jobs, but if it doesn't at least it somewhat evens the currently very lopsided class war score.  Two, Leftism sides with Agrarian and Industrial Age industries and societies and governments against post-Industrial society and its forms, institutions, etc.  E.g. Putin and petrostate Russia (extraction based industries as economic core = Industrial Age conditions, includes Robber Barons) against The West.  Because working class people and the lower middle class bureaucracy needed to keep a large working class labor force organized are the indispensable core of society under Industrial Age conditions, and in post-Industrial conditions they're not.

          So we get the bizarre spectacle of hardcore Western and International Leftism siding with, rather than against, Putin and his set of Robber Barons ('oligarchs') because the older order of the world they represent, awful as it is/was, is a preferable world as they see it.   Its wrongs can't be defended, so the line taken is to go on offense- to insist that the post-Industrial Age's agents and forms are worse, morally and otherwise unbearable, the outcomes all failure and disaster for everybody except an evil select few.  Which is pretty much what the Rightists say and believe, too, with different specifics (they'd like to have the Agrarian Age back, not the Industrial Age).

          Hardcore international Leftists no longer talk about themselves being a force for Progress.  That's telling.

          •  I hope they snap out of it. I tend to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gnothis

            blame the media which delivers only propaganda and blatant untruths. It's the same in the EU and North America. I don't know if anyone believes their tales or if the public is just a willing receptive audience as long as the message suits their particular bias.

            The corporate owned media is an eager partner of rightwingers. It seems there's no room for anything in the US media but their messages and their version of events.
            All they're trying to do is tear everything down and take over so they can do things their way.

        •  Generalizing (0+ / 0-)

          about the Left and their beliefs doesn't make for a strong argument. Of course we have a variety of opinions and beliefs--we allow dissent and don't insist on conformity. At least I think that should be a key feature of anyone claiming to be Left in their politics. The left in the USA are not alone in knowing little about European politics--to be more accurate, Americans have absorbed a strange assortment of ideas about the EU--right, left and center.

          I for one do not ignore the corruption of the Greek government, or the corruption of the government of the USA. But I do believe that by staying a member of the common currency Greece allowed the crisis to get deeper, social cuts were made which hurt those in the most trouble, and the Greek people ended up sacrificing their social safety net on the alter of international finance. People like Jamie Dimon were the ones that took on lots of risk, lied about it, peddled it around the world, and were bailed out for their gambling.

          There certainly is evidence of the left doing well in the EU elections, but our right wing tradmed does not want to tell that story. I'm not sure about what you are saying at the end about joining with the Tories. Are you saying that the Tories are centrist?

          You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

          by gnothis on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:57:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hope you see that I explicitly said that I (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marko the Werelynx

            wasn't referring to your comment about the Euro(zone) in my general observation about someself-avowed US Leftists. What I said about France wanting to restore its national currency for fiscal and monetary policy extends what you said. I also wanted to be respectful of the other poster and when it comes to the EU and Ukraine I've noticed a few peculiarities.

      •  What I meant by "clobbered" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marko the Werelynx

        is that by staying with the Euro states like Greece gave up control of their monetary system and were forced to bail out the banksters and institute austerity nonsense--making taxpayers cover the risks taken by external financial entities. If you want numbers showing how control of monetary policy could make a difference look at Iceland, or look up some of Krugman's articles on the Greek bailout.

        Corruption of their government is/was a problem, but corruption does not happen in a vacuum. The corrupting money of the TBTF banks played a large role in the corruption of the Greek government (and the continuing corruption of the USA's government) and the outsized risk they took on. Default on their debt and removal from the Euro might have produced a much better outcome than bailing out the banksters and their risky financial instruments. As per the comment below this by Mark Lippman, a quicker recovery without any austerity cuts would go a long way in eroding support for the facists. But this is counter-factual and I have no proof--Krugman seemed to think it was the right thing for Greece to do.

        Your example of Slovakia and the Czech republic is a good one, but as anyone watching the US "recovery" knows, a growing GDP may not represent a true recovery, which the Slovakian unemployment rates demonstrate. Also, low inflation helps the creditor class and policies geared to sacrifice employment to prevent inflation are policies in favor of the haves over the have nots. The Czechs have higher employment, more inflation--the recovery is not centered on the financial elites like it is in the US. Though GDP isn't increasing as quickly, people have jobs and money in their pockets. I'm not blaming an inanimate currency, but I'm pointing out that joining the common currency reduces the possible options for dealing with national financial problems. It's about a variety of possible options based on regional and local economies, versus a cookie cutter "everyone in the Eurozone has to do this" response.

        Iceland is a great model for what could have been done to start the recovery early, make the return to pre-meltdown levels more quickly, all without having to institute austerity nonsense. It served the additional function of making those who gambled pay for their own losses. Because they are not in the EU (2009 application has been suspended) they have control over their monetary policy and chose not to bail out the gamblers. I believe the UK, with different leadership, could've done much better, but ideologically the Tories love austerity and did the stupid stuff anyway despite having more options due to having control over their monetary policy. I'd have to do some research to comment on the effectiveness of Swedish responses, but the fact they kept the Krona gave them many more options and means to address the crisis.

        You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

        by gnothis on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:42:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for a thoughtful response. (0+ / 0-)

          I will indeed look up Krugman's thoughts on Greece. Krugman has consistently been someone that I felt pretty safe in trusting as an authority on economic matters.

          Greece has been sort of non-functional for decades though. Holding them up as an example of Euro clobbering is kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          Unemployment seems to be slowly declining pretty much everywhere at a similar rate. So again, the Slovakian economy does seem to be recovering faster that the Czech Republic. With the Euro.

          Although, now that I dig into the numbers a bit better I see that Poland has had probably done the best of all the EU countries since the crisis. Without the Euro. But they're just now talking about dumping their self-imposed austerity measures... huh? Gadzooks, this is complicated!

          Tories? Oh dear, not the Tories...

          You're certainly right that adopting the Euro as your currency ties your fate to that of the Euro and takes some financial tools off your table. But there is also something to be said for a currency tied to a larger economy in terms of stability and inflation which encourage investment. I'd think the Italians would be glad to be rid of their insane Lira. The Euro actually brings a great deal of benefits to trade and tourism. It is not the cause of European economic woes.

          The EU Central Bank may be making some bad decisions, but then-- banks seem to be the root of all evil these days.

          I think I need to go read some Krugman. I'm just confusing myself at this point.

          •  The USA recycles 70% of the surplus it gets (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marko the Werelynx

            from each state.

            The EU recycles 1%.

            Recycle is another term for redistributes.

            This literally means that surpluses in one part of Europe stay in that country, and never find ground elsewhere. When you are locked into a currency regime with these sort of dynamics, it's going to hurt you eventually, which is why not only Greece was hammered and lost efficiency to Germany, but also Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France.

            Besides, Greece was doing fine before 2008.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:59:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks again (0+ / 0-)

          for recommending Krugman. It's been an extra spoon of sugar in my coffee this morning to read his back and forth commentary on the Greek economy with The Guardian's Mark Weisbrot.

          I haven't been this entertained while reading about economics since I was in college.

          Good stuff!

        •  Iceland passed the buck onto ordinary people (0+ / 0-)

          A currency collapse equals wiping out ordinary peoples' savings, asset values, incomes, and buying power. The super-wealthy were internationally-divested and weren't hit nearly as hard by it.

          And FYI, Iceland's currency (and thus individual buying power) is still worth half of what it was and the new conservative government (the one you're praising for withdrawing the EU application) is currently slashing social services even more. Apparently that's some sort of desirable situation to mimic?

          The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

          by Rei on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 07:02:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A different POV (3+ / 0-)

    What your $5 Billion in National Endowment for "Democracy" has bought you, beyond the recycled Cold War rhetoric:

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 09:18:32 PM PDT

  •  The Ukrainians I know or have spoken with (10+ / 0-)

    live in both Eastern and Western parts of the country. They are not interested in being part of the Russian Federation. They associate that state with the corruption and cronyism that they have had to live with since post-Soviet times. They are not interested in EU freebies, handouts, welfare or anything but peace, jobs, dignity, safety and a government free of corruption and rigged justice. They recognize themselves as a European people and culture, albeit with very strong historical and societal ties to Russia. They know that they have to overcome years of living with a mafia that inculcated feelings of dependency, fear, intimidation and helplessness on much of the population. It was not an environment that engendered the growth of strong, independent-minded leaders. Rather, the game was one of predator and prey and if you wanted to avoid being prey, you either took a government job (like in the Militia/police or Berkut/riot police) or, better yet, became part of the political elite. In their world, you went into politics to become rich, whereas in the West, many in politics are already wealthy before they ever run for office. In any event, government was something that owned you, not the other way around. Part of the paradigm shift in many Ukrainian minds these days is the dawning awareness that they can and must shape their own government, rather than simply enduring a government imposed upon them.

    That's about it for now. Maybe I'll post more when time permits.

  •  Except there's that nasty backlash.... (3+ / 0-)

    Yes, Ukrainians want in, but a lot of Europeans these days seem to want. They're as turned off to Brussels as Red-Staters/Tea Partyers are here of Washington. It might seem like ignorance to us, but the phenomenon is real.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 09:27:56 PM PDT

  •  This Is an Ultimately Weak Analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice, protectspice

    Without some introspection about U.S. goals in the region. Hint: It's not about Freedom and Democracy and the best interests of Ukrainians.

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

    by bink on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:59:16 AM PDT

    •  Bingo! -Methinks this is all about NATO... (0+ / 0-)

      Been watching CNN's "Cold War" multi-part documentary done back-in-the-day. One show a week. Like pulling teeth.

      Your hint (and Ted Turner's most excellent documentary so far)
      leads me to believe the answer is NATO; which totally FAIL on this (Ukraine) opportunity; in order to fill their feeding trough?

    •  Well, why don't you (0+ / 0-)

      tell us what the ideal outcome in Ukraine is as you see it.  To be worth any discussion it has to be acceptable to some significant group of actual Ukrainians, however.  

  •  One thought... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice

    I realize that Russia has consistently beat up the Ukraine over the centuries and that the gift of the Crimea to the Ukraine by Krushchev (wasn't it?) was a thing that Russians could not accept and so now Putin has "restored that land".

    But heck, what are national borders anyway in the world of multinationals? Fiddling around with "borders" only gets people angry. And in the Internet borders drop like flies and languages can be spoken easily without the need for "borders".

    So, Russia is mucking around here, but so are others.

    But I say to the Europeans as well as to the Ukrainians that Russian should be one of the languages of the EU as well as one of the languages of the Ukraine. No need to diss the people (screw Putin, btw) of Russia, keeping in mind that Europe (albeit as Napoleon and then Germany twice) tried to obliterate Russia and Russian from the globe, Russians have a long memory...!

    I never learned Russian. I have barely learned other American Continental languages besides English.

    But if there is anything that can bring people together is one people respectfully speaking the language of the other people.

    Get with it, Europe and the Ukrainians.

    --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:36:41 AM PDT

    •  First law passed by Ukraine's latest government... (0+ / 0-)

      removed russian as one of the official languages. Kick in the pants to 30% of the population. So much for trying to "bring people together."

      •  That law was proposed (0+ / 0-)

        but never passed.

        •  True, but the intent I think is what the writer... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Notreadytobenice

          is arguing.

          --UB.

          The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

          by unclebucky on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:21:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That law was passed by parliament. Google... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            unclebucky

            "ukraine outlaws russian language" and there's numerous links  including a decent article in IBTimes.com.

            Wikipedia comes up as first hit "Chronology of Ukrainian language bans":
            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            The lengthy chronology starts in the 1600's and demonstrates how fucked Europe can get when it comes to language-phobia.

            •  Yep, language-phobia is a problem... (0+ / 0-)

              The French have not exactly been the best at this. Likewise the British.

              For the Ukraine to ban Russian (even to propose it, and not yet sign the law) is a cultural mistake no different than the  GOP banning all the things THEY don't like. And not to mention, it smacks of the bans enacted in Germany during the 30s... you know.

              So, finished law or not, it's a bad idea to ban any language.

              Ugh. --UB.

              The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

              by unclebucky on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:51:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The law was passed ((first legislation approved... (0+ / 0-)

          by Ukraine's (acting) parliament)). Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered it withdrawn (for now).

          •  The bottom line is it never took effect (0+ / 0-)

            If you examine the link you posted in your other comment you'll note the hostility on the part of the Soviets (and even the recent pro-Russian government) towards Ukrainian language and culture. It's frankly surprising there hasn't been more of a backlash.

            Meanwhile, over 30 US states have laws on the books enforcing English as the official language. Several English-only proposals have come before congress in the last decade. The recent US record on language discrimination is worse than Ukraine's.

            If Ukraine wants into the EU it will have to play by Europe's rules. The EU promotes multilingualism and respect for minority languages as a policy. Europe is light years ahead of us on this stuff.

      •  That was wrong. We both know it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Notreadytobenice

        And this is what I am arguing.

        That the EU AND the Ukraine need to stop dissing and kicking the pants of the Russians, whose predecessors, for better or worse, paid a significant price for getting rid of the Nazis.

        I don't agree with what Lenin and Stalin did. I don't agree with much of what the others did, including Krushchev and Gorbachev. But the Russian people suffered to such an extent that not to extend an official language status for Russian in Europe is a dumb thing (and again, yes, people in Poland, Eastern Germany, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and all the bits of former Yugoslavia would argue with this, but they are really wrong).

        There.

        Ugh. --UB.

        The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

        by unclebucky on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:21:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Making russian an official EU language-good idea.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unclebucky

          I'd raise you and invite russia to join the EU. Then NATO would go absolutely apoplectic. Where we going to point our nuclear missiles? as their feeding trough runs dry.

          Ukraine could have been the Austria of Eastern Europe. That's now down the shit-tubes.

          NATO is very bad karma.

          •  The whole idea of Russia stil being the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Notreadytobenice

            enemy is a problem. Kind of a self-fufilling prophesy, I guess.

            I'd stick with the language inclusion at this point.

            Making the Ukraine a part of the EU is, I think, dangerous for the Ukraine as well as for the EU. The economic structures need to be tested before all that.

            I get your point of NATO being a part of the world MIC. And without a traditional purpose, NATO might go nuts.

            Rather NATO should get out of the nuclear business as well as should Russia -- and China. And the purpose of NATO should be defense against anarchistic terrorists (internal, not necessarily islamist, eh?).

            It's a mess. I don't know what else to say. But language goes a longer way than we might expect.

            Ugh. --UB.

            The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

            by unclebucky on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:47:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I had hoped for a rational discussion here, after (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charlatan

    the new elections in Ukraine and withdrawal of Russian troops. I hoped not to hear so many conspiracy theories, like we did before the election. But, while even Putin has said he will accept the outcome of the election, apparently some here just cannot let go.

    The conspiracy theorist still abound. I suspect that even if there is a peace settlement and a national unity government, some people will still desperately cling to conspiracy theories.

    Apparently people are so desperate to cling to these theories, that if I even mention that some people are still spreading conspiracy theories or behaving like trolls, they respond not with arguments, but by using HRs. I didn't say any particular person was a troll, by the way, but certain people voluntarily stepped forward to claim this title. Then, anonymous lurkers who never made a single comment in this diary got offended on behalf of these other people and started HRing my comments, without any explanation as to why they found this so objectionable.

    That is completely inappropriate, but it is the level some people have sunk to. It amounts to nothing but censorship and is a clear sign that they don't  even have the ability to defend their own arguments.

    This behavior violates dKos policies on what HRs are supposed to be used for. It is supposed to be for profanity, spam, threats, or the worst possible infractions. It is not for situations where someone simply says there are trolls in this diary and they are spreading conspiracy theories. That is not an infraction. It does not even apply to a joke where you ask someone if they eat goats or live under a bridge. It is not acceptable to be subject to censorship by anonymous lurkers who don't even have the guts make comments presenting their ideas or the courtesy to explain their actions.

    So, I am not going to put up with it.

    gzodik, protectspice, and errol, if you don't remove your inappropriately used HRs, I will report you and ask that action be taken against you.  

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:52:48 AM PDT

    •  You're absolutely right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tekno2600

      I wish I'd seen the comments in question early enough to uprate them. The discussion of international affairs at DKos is already weak enough without the ravings and abuse of our resident conspiracy theorists.

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