Normandy Four Paris Ukraine Peace Talks

Much of what happened at the Paris Summit is being reported a bit differently, and sometimes rather enigmatically, and will include ‘breaking news’ toward at the end.  This may be the War and Peace report (both literally and figuratively) on the Summit, but in my defense, I’ll ask you to consider that it’s the nexus of proxies for NATO/US Ukrainegate/and Putin’s Russia.

I’ll start with:  ‘Normandy Four agree to ‘stabilize’ eastern Ukraine in Paris communique’, Dec. 9 2019, RT.com

“Prior to the news conference, the leaders said in a joint communique that they agreed to “immediate measures to stabilize the situation in the conflict area in east Ukraine.” Previous attempts by the ‘Normandy Four’ group to simmer down the conflict have achieved mixed results at best.

Among these new additions are the release of prisoners on each side by the end of the year, the creation of three new disengagement areas and the creation of new crossing points, allowing civilians to cross the control line separating Donetsk and Lugansk from the rest of Ukraine.

”We need to make sure there are no more hour-long queues, so the thousands of ordinary people who live in this area can easily pass,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters. “Let’s not forget about ordinary people who reside here. All of our arrangements need to improve their lives, and not sometime in the future, but now.”

The group also agreed to implement the ‘Steinmeier Formula’ into Ukrainian legislation. Named for Germany’s former foreign minister, the formula calls for elections to be held in Donetsk and Lugansk, with a view to granting autonomous status to these regions.  Kiev, Moscow, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) agreed to the formula in principle in October.

Heading into the talks, Zelensky maintained that such elections would only be possible under Ukrainian law, and once foreign military forces withdraw from Donetsk and Lugansk. The leaders’ communique did not touch on Zelensky’s conditions, but the Ukrainian leader said he is confident that the issues can be ironed out at future meetings.”

The author writes that many Ukrianians have supported Zelenskiy’s outreach to Putin, the nationalists see this as capitulation to Putin, and given that, Zelenskiy’s between a rock and a hard place.  (There also have been internal threats that Zelenskiy might be putsched if he doesn’t toe the nationalist’s line.

“For our part we are ready to follow all the agreements,” Zelensky said, “but this is a two-way street.” Given that these autonomous regions would share a border with Russia, Zelensky told reporters that himself and Putin have “completely different views” on the transfer of control of this border.

“We do have divergent views,” Putin replied. “We want the Minsk accords to be complied with. Just read what the Minsk accords say. Why do we need to undermine and rewrite the Minsk accords?”

And right on cue: ‘Ukrainians protest ‘capitulation’ to Russia outside president’s office’, kyivpost, Dec. 8, 2019

“Around 1,500 activists rallied near the president’s office in Kyiv on Dec. 8, demanding that President Volodymyr Zelensky defend Ukraine’s interests at the Normandy format peace summit in Paris the next day. Zelensky met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the leaders of Germany and France.” Looks like a hella more that 1500…  note translations about NATO and the EU association…

From the BBC yesterday: ‘Ukraine and Russia agree to implement ceasefire’, no author named (a few outtakes):

‘What was agreed?

The two sides also pledged to disengage military forces in three additional regions of Ukraine by the end of March 2020, without specifying which regions would be affected.

Additional talks will be held in four month to take stock of the ceasefire’s progress.

At a press conference after the talks in France’s Élysée Palace, President Putin hailed the talks as an “important step” towards a de-escalation of the conflict.

President Zelensky said the issue of Russian gas exports via pipelines through Ukraine had been “unblocked” after a dispute about transit tariffs, and an agreement would now be worked out.

But Russia and Ukraine continue to disagree on issues such as the withdrawal of Russia-back (sic) troops, and elections in areas of Ukraine held by separatist rebels.

Mr Putin also called for a change in Ukraine’s constitution to give special status to the Donbas region, which is held by the rebels.”

But no mention whatsoever of “the creation of new crossing points, allowing civilians to cross the control line separating Donetsk and Lugansk from the rest of Ukraine, a Big Deal to Putin.

Bryan MacDonald adds a few other twists: ‘Putin & Zelensky meet: Lasting peace in Ukraine closer, but still far away’, Bryan MacDonald, Dec. 10, 2019

“That said, the Western consensus which supported the last Maidan probably doesn’t exist now. Macron has made “normalizing” relations with Russia a priority, so he’d hardly support any uprising which would undermine Zelensky. And Merkel is on her last lap before retirement.

At the same time, US President Donald Trump is not remotely as fervent a supporter of NATO expansion as his predecessor, Barack Obama. And the key supporters of Ukrainian nationalism in Washington, Joe Biden and John McCain, no longer have direct influence: one is out of power and the other has died.” [snip]

‘More to do

In order for some movement to begin, both sides have to disengage from the military frontlines. It appears Russia has proposed a complete withdrawal, but Kiev won’t agree. And the probable reason is that Ukrainian forces have slowly taken more territory in the supposed neutral (or “grey”) zone and now don’t want to pull back from their gains. It’s worth noting this area should be demilitarized under the Minsk agreements.

However, some progress was made, which increases hope that everyone is finally pulling in the right direction. There was a fresh commitment to ceasefire enforcement and three new front-line disengagement areas agreed, plus a promise to work towards a further prisoner exchange and open extra civilian crossing points. All this is positive, as is the pledge to meet again within four months.

Afterward, Putin stressed that he wants the opposing sides in Donbass to communicate directly – something Kiev has been unprepared to do, up to now. This policy, of course, denies local separatists any agency and will have to change before any final settlement is reached, because they hold legitimate fears about how they will be treated if the region comes back under Ukrainian government control.

It’s also notable that Crimea wasn’t mentioned in the post-summit communique, which was apparently put together before the leaders even sat down – although Zelensky did briefly reference the peninsula during the subsequent press briefing. Make of that what you will.”

The section I’ve bolded above is a bit inscrutable to me, especially given that the separatists seem to have had no input, but may only be faced with two choices at the ballot box…”if all foreign troops are withdrawn before any election”. 

This longish op-ed by Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs analyzes a lot of the backstory:  ‘Normandy Four summit on Ukraine’s future: What’s at stake?, 8 Dec, 2019, RT.com

“Pursuing any policy requires special skills that were masterfully displayed by Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma (1994-2004) and to a certain extent by Petro Poroshenko. Zelensky has none.

Zelensky received an unprecedented level of support and a virtual carte-blanche after three quarters of the population voted for him, and his party won parliamentary majority. However, he doesn’t really seem to know what to do with all that.

Nothing indicates that Zelensky learns from the mistakes he makes and finds ways to avoid new ones.Zelensky is desperate for success in Paris. On the one hand, he has to show Putin and his European partners that he is a competent leader who stands by his words.

On the other, he needs to convince his domestic audience that he didn’t budge an inch on key issues but managed to make headway in peace talks. If the negotiations in Paris yield no results or, even worse, further undermine the situation, Zelensky will be returning home only to face growing chaos.

The entirety of the former Ukraine establishment would oppose his course of actions, his base would be left disappointed, and the constant scheming by the financial and industrial groups would exacerbate even further.”

Then come these analyses:

Macron sees new window of opportunity for France

Worried Merkel, consistent Putin

Constraining factors

The Western countries act based on two major assumptions which, according to them, could induce Moscow to negotiate a compromise. The first one is that Russia desperately needs the sanctions to be lifted, and therefore is ready for all sorts of concessions.

The second one – that supporting Donetsk and Lugansk is costly to Russia, and that Russia would eagerly get rid of the burden, or at least lessen it. To be sure, sanctions are damaging to the Russian economy, and remain a constraining factor.

At the same time, Russia’s economy has adapted to the new environment and remains stable, even though the growth rate is far from perfect. Either way, getting rid of sanctions is not an issue pressing enough for Russia to start forcibly speeding up negotiations.

As for Russia’s own political stability, it is in no way affected by Moscow’s support for Ukraine’s two breakaway regions.This does not mean that Russia is not interested in resolving the conflict.

The state of affairs circa 2015 is not satisfactory to anyone, first and foremost to the Donbass people, who found themselves in the “grey area” between Russia and Ukraine.

For Russia, the ideal option would be the implementation of the Minsk Accords, which would mean reintegrating Donetsk and Lugansk regions into Ukraine with considerable powers of autonomy, enabling them to maintain special relations with Russia. However, Moscow is not hard-pressed to achieve this immediately through any means possible.

As for the people of that region, they might be thoroughly dissatisfied with the status quo, but that doesn’t mean they want to reunite with Ukraine, seeing how they had tensions in the past (e.g. culture- and language-wise) and how in the six years that passed since Euromaidan Ukraine has moved forward in the direction that the eastern part of the country doesn’t support.”

Clara Weiss adds a hella lot more: ‘Paris summit on Ukraine overshadowed by inter-imperialist conflicts’, Clara Weiss, 10 December 2019, including these outtakes, including noting that the Normandy format excluded the US:

“However, there was no concrete agreement achieved on the status of the East Ukrainian separatist regions. Ukraine and Russia were also unable to agree on a new gas contract [contra the BBC], leaving Ukraine in danger of running out of gas this winter. Another meeting within the Normandy format is scheduled to take place within the next four months.

On Saturday and Sunday, thousands of supporters of the far-right in Ukraine gathered in Kiev to demonstrate against a rapprochement with Russia. The parties supporting the protests included the anti-Semitic neo-Nazi party Svoboda, which played an important role in the 2014 coup. Ex-President Petro Poroshenko addressed the far-right rally on Sunday.

The Ukrainian delegation in Paris included, apart from Zelensky, the interior minister of Ukraine, Arseny Avakov, who is notorious for his ties to the country’s paramilitary fascist organizations and has been praised by Democrats in the impeachment inquiry against US President Donald Trump in Washington. Ruslan Homchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, was also part of the delegation.

Also on Saturday, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper declared that the US Department of Defense was planning another tranche of $250 million for Ukraine’s military. The withholding of lethal aid to Ukraine’s army and fascist paramilitary organizations, which are engaged in direct military conflict with Russia-backed separatists, has been at the center of the impeachment hearings against Trump.

The announcement on the eve of the talks in Paris constituted a thinly veiled warning to France and Germany not to make any significant changes to the line on Russia and Ukraine. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US ambassador to NATO, told the Washington Examiner ahead of the summit, “NATO is firmly committed to Ukraine. I believe the French are as well. We’ll all be there to make sure and work to strengthen Ukraine and not let anyone soften the approach to letting Ukraine be Ukraine.”

The summit had been aggressively pushed for by the French President Emmanuel Macron, who has met with Zelensky several times, both before and after the latter’s election as president. Under conditions of growing transatlantic tensions, Macron has been calling for NATO and the EU to “reconsider our position towards Russia.” In a recent interview with the Economist, Macron called NATO “brain-dead.” His criticisms of NATO and the US were sharply rebutted by US president Trump at the NATO summit just days before the Ukraine summit on Monday.” [lengthy snip]

“The deadlock of US foreign policy in the region was spelled out in a recent piece in Foreign Affairs, the publication of the US Council of Foreign Relations, which advises US imperialism on its strategy. The journal noted, “Over the past quarter century, nearly all major efforts at establishing a durable post-Cold War order on the Eurasian continent have foundered on the shoals of Ukraine. For it is in Ukraine that the disconnect between triumphalist end-of-history delusions and the ongoing realities of great-power competition can be seen in its starkest form.”

The only solution offered by the advisors of US imperialism was to double down on a strategy that has proven both disastrous and dangerous, and escalate the war preparations against Russia and US involvement in the region. The piece concluded: “Washington’s best option at this point is to strengthen its bilateral political and security ties with Ukraine while working closely with its European allies to ensure Ukraine’s ability to protect its sovereignty… Above all else, Washington must protect the impeachment process from Russian interference and get past the illusion that it can promote a stable political order either at home or abroad without successfully navigating the shoals of Ukraine.”

Breaking news from RT: ‘If Kiev gets control of rebel-held border, a Srebrenica-type massacre may follow – Putin’, 10 Dec, 2019, RT.com

“Moscow is concerned that if Kiev troops take control of the border between Russia and eastern Ukraine without ironclad guarantees to anti-government militias, a massacre not unlike the one in ex-Yugoslav Srebrenica may occur.

Speaking of Kiev’s demands on Tuesday, Putin said there needs to be absolute certainty that people in eastern Ukraine would be safe once control of the border changes hands, considering that there is not even an amnesty in place.
“We agreed [on the roadmap] in 2015. They have an amnesty law, some decisions have been taken, but nothing has been put into force,” Putin told the presidential human rights council. Without guarantees, “I can imagine what would happen next. There will be a Srebrenica.” [snip]

“Putin said he was not certain that President Volodymyr Zelensky would be able to keep a check on Ukrainian radical nationalists, who gained significant prominence in the country since the 2014 armed coup in Kiev, in which nationalist fighters played a key part.
“We have seen the way Zelensky talks to the nationalists, and it’s not clear who has the upper hand there,” he explained.”

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

BBC jonah fisher:

(it's okay, jonah fisher: he's just using them to make sure the fixtures aren't coated with Novichok. in lieu of 'food tasters', see?)

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...for discussion, on any planet from any solar system in any galaxy anywhere in this universe.

Crimea will never again be in play. To speak of it, or even mention its name, would be a waste of everyone's precious life. To even think of it is fraught with danger.

Crimea's fate is sealed. It's destiny is locked. And has been placed far beyond the reach of mere mortals.

That's what I'm thinking about when I consider this conference. Thanks for putting this together, Wendy. It's huge.

So many things are happening today, I feels like I'm wandering around a global poker tournament.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

and epic western sanctions on russia begin with the lying pysop that 'russia stole crimea'? i wish i could have been a fly on the wall during the putin/zelinskiy side meeting though. it's hard not to imagine Crimea hadn't come up.

yeah, i saw that nasty nadler's announced the two articles of impeachment (yawn), but at last the D team did widen it further that the Benedict Arnold level phone call/s with 'obstruction of justice'. but to me, this is far more important than those theatrics. as if 2/3 of the sentate would ever vote to remove him from office; a simple censure would be far more likely.

may the gods curse the elite leaders of this #shithole nation.

thanks for reading, pluto; i know it's a tome, but imo, it needed to be.

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@wendy davis

from tass.com:

“MOSCOW, December 10./TASS/. The Russian and Ukrainian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky, had a brief one-on-one conversation without interpreters on the sidelines of the Normandy Four summit in Paris, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday.

"They were left one-on-one, it was a brief conversation, since later President [of France Emmanuel] Macron entered [the office where Putin and Zelensky were sitting]
little miss macron sat on her tuffet and frightened the one-on one meeting away, inviting them to continue with the Normandy format," he said, adding that the presidents had discussed bilateral relations.”

no interpreters: remember, zalinkskiy is jewish, raised w/ russian language, ukrainian as his second language.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

zalinkskiy is jewish, raised w/ russian language, ukrainian as his second language

I think he over-corrects a bit. He ramps up the Fatherland — Ukraine — too much at times.

Still, I like him. I wish him the best. He's guileless enough to pull this off maybe. If he survives.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

misspelling zelinskiy's name. i try to like him, and even with the pressure he's under (plus leaving a poroshenko-appointed corrupt nationalist on his cabinet:

"The Ukrainian delegation in Paris included, apart from Zelensky, the interior minister of Ukraine, Arseny Avakov, who is notorious for his ties to the country’s paramilitary fascist organizations and has been praised by Democrats in the impeachment inquiry against US President Donald Trump in Washington. Ruslan Homchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, was also part of the delegation."

coupled with putin's warnings.

this is also from tass.com. decode it as you can:

“MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. The proposal by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on setting up an additional subgroup on the border control transfer to Ukraine was not discussed substantively at the summit in Paris, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

Commenting on the issue of the need to include representatives who have left Donbass and are now living on the territories controlled by Ukraine in the trilateral group, Peskov noted that changes in the existing format could not be ruled out. "There is the trilateral group and … any changes in the format cannot be ruled out," he noted.

"But the format cannot be altered without the approval of all the participants, of the three sides in this group …," Peskov stated.

The Normandy Four summit agenda mostly covered the position of the self-proclaimed republics, the Kremlin spokesman went on. "Of course, the solution is quite difficult without taking into account their viewpoints and, importantly, without Kiev’s contacts with these representatives," Peskov stressed.

During the negotiations, the sides used various formulations, which were not always universal for all the summit’s participants. This primarily related to the phrase ‘occupied Donbass’ used by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the Kremlin spokesman revealed.

"Each time, the speakers made a reservation during the negotiations. That is, ‘as you say,’ ‘occupied territories,’ with which we do not agree," Peskov explained.

According to the Kremlin spokesman, all the participants clearly expressed their disagreement with this or that formulation. "Putin numerously and constantly reiterates that he does not agree with such a formulation but, nonetheless, this formulation is used by his Ukrainian counterpart. This is a working situation at negotiations. No one gives up his formulations but no one is shy to voice their disagreement either," Peskov said.
...............................................................
“At a news conference following the Normandy Four talks in Paris in the early hours of Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that all provisions of the Minsk agreements were closely interrelated. According to the Russian leader, amending any of them could paralyze actions on the settlement in southeastern Ukraine.”

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@wendy davis

It's Zelensky.

It was probably necessary for everyone in the group to get up on their hind legs and not give an inch. Later, they will start to merge and build some modest workarounds. That has to be the dumbest war of my lifetime. But then, everything the US touches turns to shit. Thanks for that update.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

spelled wit an A: zalenskiy, but yes, the final syllable 'sky and 'skiy' (foreign policy, this time 'private window' got me past the paywall. long boring story how i was steered to look for it, but a few swathes of this:

It’s Time for Ukraine to Let the Donbass Go; Reintegration would be too costly; beyond an expensive reconstruction, it would entail reintegrating a deeply pro-Russian region at a time when Ukraine is finally moving West, By Alexander J. Motyl,, December 6, 2019

“As the Dec. 9 meeting of the Normandy group tasked with resolving the war in Ukraine’s Donbass approaches, Ukrainians would do well to consider that Russia’s occupation of the territory has actually been a godsend for their country.

The Donbass has consistently supported Ukraine’s most retrograde, anti-reformist, anti-European, pro-Russian, and pro-Soviet political forces. It was the Donbass that made Viktor Yanukovych, whose political career was dedicated to bringing Ukraine back into Russia’s orbit, president in 2010. It was out of the Donbass that came his corrupt Party of Regions. And it was the Donbass that opposed popular pro-democracy uprisings in 2004 and 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s occupation of the eastern Donbass in the summer of 2014 effectively disenfranchised its voters. That was bad for the voters, but it enabled pro-democratic forces in unoccupied Ukraine to win the presidency and control of the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in 2014. Most of the reforms that have been adopted in the past five years—along with Ukraine’s steady march toward Europe—would have been impossible had the Donbass remained a part of Ukraine.

If the eastern Donbass is brought back into Ukraine’s fold, many of these changes could be reversed or stalled, and whatever hopes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has for pursuing more reform would be dashed. By the same token, Putin would be emboldened by Ukraine’s appetite for self-destruction to make even greater encroachments on its sovereignty.

The Donbass and its residents have been the war’s greatest losers. Thousands have died in the fighting; houses and infrastructure have been destroyed. The region’s economy, once an integral part of Ukraine’s, went into a tailspin, unemployment went through the roof, inflation soared—and the new regime and its thugs took advantage to enrich themselves. The separatist government helped promote the decay by dismantling viable factories and selling them to Russia. Small wonder that, for many Donbass residents, the best source of employment is the separatist armed forces.”

good night nurse.

and good night all; it's time for me to close, & stock the stove, close all the solar window shades, and all that jazz. mr. wd has a late water conservancy district meeting, so i gotta bundle us up, as it's supposed to get pretty darned cold tonight.

milky way.

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@wendy davis

...where they were introducing the Barr. Dunham Report. Just one short intro. No details. But in the course of the intro, Barr mentioned that he and Durham disagreed with one of Horowitz conclusions, which that the FISA warrant application was justified. Horowitz only looked at the FBI, of course. Dunham looked at the CIA and global Intelligence, so they have a great deal more information. Anyway, ho hum, right?

Barr and Durham Publicly Disagree With Horowitz Report on Russia

The Times smeared Barr, of course. But they lost the story for the sake of the narrative a long time ago. It's easy to overlook the petty writing. Anyhow, I took a look at the Readers comments and it was shocking. These people are mad, deranged. They can spell, thank god. And they are generally civil, as the NYT comments have long been. But their poor minds! And the rage over Barr is crazy. I am so stunned. They think Russia is ... ugh.

I blame the NYT for making these people mentally ill. I just didn't know this was going on over there. The Times national narrative spew of propaganda is seriously toxic. They have damaged these people. They ought to close their comments down. It's irresponsible.

I've been feeling bad about these folks all day. IQ roadkill.

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@Pluto's Republic
Have seen the same thing. People with otherwise good minds, lifelong friends, have swallowed the NYT schtick, and are perplexed (mild term for the mental acrobats involved). Distraught may be a better description. I try to explain, but it is like this was their mental bible. So as not being able to question, just follow. It is sad.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@QMS

Now I don't think they are coming back. It looks like a permanent injury to me. This must be happening in many corners of the country. Thank god people aren't paying that much attention. I can't talk to anyone on either side about it. I crammed my brain with too much information. That's a good thing, too, I suppose. This may be the only safe place on the internet.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

at the NYT agitprop, i'd offer a couple things, for what they're worth.

one is tht i'd said to a commenter who'd said close to: 'who cares about Impeachment-gate? he needs to be removed from office now!'

and i'd said something akin to: 'yes, we might loathe him, find him abominable in may ways, but if we can't push back against him being railroaded for crimes he hadn't committed, how can we ever consider ourselves Fair Witnesses?

for that is true north of the compass on Truth as We See It, no? for myself, i'd add that such is the case in candidates and elected officials (even and esp. in amerika), as well. when bloggers cherry-pick comments, alleged positions, and even obfuscating Tweets to prove their biases, well...i don't care for it one whit, and sometimes even try to correct the record with links and sources.

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@wendy davis

hero of the week bree newsome, yes?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

... if we can't push back against him being railroaded for crimes he hadn't committed, how can we ever consider ourselves Fair Witnesses?

And moreover...

I believe our survival as a civilization stands in the balance. It may be over and we are riding the downslope. If so, we know how that happened and how our fate was earned.

I wonder which is worse: The inability to achieve self awareness? Of the complete disregard of what self-awareness reveals about us?

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@Pluto's Republic

in a way that doesn't sound flippant and over overly-cynical, but i admit to being agnostic as to whether human 'civilization' is worth saving. and yeah, i'm thinking of mahatma ghandi's delicious quote when asked about Western civilization, in particular: "Yes...i think it would be a very good idea..."

john trudell is in my mind, close to: 'some of were crazy, and dreamed of a better world...but We weren't better', which this part of you comment echoes:

...we know how that happened and how our fate was earned.

or...at least what we've collectively allowed to happen...and as to this:

I wonder which is worse: The inability to achieve self awareness? Of the complete disregard of what self-awareness reveals about us?

a couple thoughts: i) some people don't have inner lives (so my now-estranged sister claims to be 'low maintenance that way''), or consult them (is that what you mean by self-awareness, not: I think, therefore I am?

ii) the worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves, especially about ourselves. but then lies we believe that only serve to create/manufacture/blame enemies....when the real enemy if often inside... that all gets into psycho-spiritual-philosophical debates, doesn't it?.

and i'm pinging additionally the classes and private session i've done with the late ron kurtz, author of the body reveals', who first demonstrated that all of our truamas and dramas are notable in our body's muscular armoring/desensitizing, and pretty easy to read and gently deconstruct with peaceful verbal probes.

ach, i gotta run; got a few things to do before mr. wd cleans out the wood stove. i'll get back to your other comment as i'm able...

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Pluto's Republic's picture

Dupe

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Dupe, pluto? of the willing kind?

seriously, unless there's too much light pollution where you are, go out under the stars to find a bit of perspective. la luna bella, she is almost full, and castor and pollux (the geminni twins) are bright in the northeast, as the pleiades (seven sisters) are rising.

and remember: we are all made of stardust...

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

in the morning, as i dunno how many free clicks i have left there this month. and i don't want to waste one more free click, if any...tonight. i confess, i hadn't known that the CIA Times even had comments; perhaps only on certain threads? was it on the 'comment is free' op-ed tab?

ach, i hate to see you in agony over it: 'there's a sucker born every minute' (p.t. barnum)
and the biggest suckers internalize the lies and psyops regarding their favorite 'enemies', either domestically or globally. has it always been this way? the bits of history i've read say: yeppers.

even teevee and film 'fiction' has the same enemies of the state: russia, china, iran...once in awhile even for crissake: venezuela. yeah, bibi's threatening iran again: bomb bomb bomb...bomb bomb iran. sort it out later. under indictment: bibi is even more dangerous.

gotta go rescue my loaves of bread from the oven...

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

CIA Slimes, but for one thing: i'd thought that early on, horowitz was headed toward the opinion that the Fibbies hadn't had the right to open investigations into trump. my memory fail?

these were the things i'd plucked out:

Mr. Horowitz found that the F.B.I. had adequate reason in 2016 to lawfully open a full investigation into whether Trump campaign associates were wittingly or unwittingly helping Russia to interfere in the election. Called Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation eventually focused on four Trump campaign associates, two of whom were already the subjects of continuing Justice Department investigations.

“F.B.I. officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source,” Mr. Barr said. “The inspector general found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory.”

Mr. Horowitz chronicled 17 occasions when investigators omitted key information or conveyed erroneous information to the court. He declined to say whether the court would have denied the application had it had a more complete and accurate picture.

Read More (link)
Inspector General Report on F.B.I. Russia Inquiry Finds Serious Errors But Debunks Anti-Trump Plot

well bully for him:

Mr. Wray said in his response that he had already taken steps to address the serious lapses that Mr. Horowitz had detailed, and that he would make significant changes to how the bureau manages its process of obtaining a secret wiretap and how it uses confidential human sources.

1150 comments? ha: ‘times picks’ on the right sidebar? i may just have to click into this:
“Last month, we advised the inspector general that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the F.B.I. case was opened,” Mr. Durham said.

hoping he'd have said more, i'd clicked in:
https://www.justice.gov/usao-ct/pr/statement-us-attorney-john-h-durham

Monday, December 9, 2019

Statement of U.S. Attorney John H. Durham

“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

this morning, RT is up with:

'If you seek truth about 2016 ‘Russian election meddling,’ check secret Obama cables, which US REFUSED to release – Lavrov’, 11 Dec, 2019, RT.com

Crossfire Hurricane in a teacup? IG report exposes gaping chasm between Russiagate inquiry and reality’, 9 Dec, 2019, RT.com

i'll read them later, but juliania at the café mentioned a bit of the saker's beliefs on the summit, and i feel so goofy for having forgotten to check there, given his constantly updated piece on zelenskii (his spelling, lol) and peace in the donbass. i admit, though, part of the reason might have been that his site is hard on my eye/brain thingie, but there doesn't appear to be so much bright red in this one. long as hell, though.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

He uses different alphabets in the languages he knows, of course. The people who write about him around the world using the alphabet we share have recorded his name in some virtual 'Style Manual' as "Zelensky." That being said, I am always impressed with how many languages that a typical Europeans may speak. Zelensky knows at least two, and can get by in English. His milk-tongue is Russian, of course.

A rather large number of people living in Ukraine do not speak or understand Ukrainian because of the way the nation was patched together in recent years. Crimea was pushed onto Ukraine (to be provided with utilities) in the same era that the Beatles were pushed onto the American culture. The Beatles enjoyed a welcoming transition, however, and their British culture was regarded as charming. But this was not the case for the Russian lands of Crimea and the Donbass regions, that were pushed on to Ukraine, which was tasked to supply them with water, power, and other infrastructure services. The captured ethnic Russian residents were deplored and discriminated against by the Ukrainians, and over the years the Russian residents mounted several referendums for regional autonomy and self-determination to undo their unhappy fate. These Russians do not share a history or a culture or DNA with the Ukrainians, whom they view as alien lifeforms that boiled up out of a dark hole in the earth, like the Goths and Vandals before them.

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Let us be the one online community that is guided by fact and reality.
Let us raise no false hopes nor suffer from delusions, ourselves.
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

history that's new to me, and thanks for that. you do make me wonder how zelsnkiy spells it, though. yeah, some soviet had 'gifted' crimea to ukraine, iirc. ping: i'll check!

aha, too bad his accounts been suspended; what's up with that?:
Volodymyr Zelenskiy (@v_zelenskyi) | Twitter
https://twitter.com/v_zelenskyi

The latest Tweets from Volodymyr Zelenskiy (@v_zelenskyi). Президент України. Official account of the president of Ukraine. Ukraine

but sure, russian-speakers in ukraine were maligned, and that 13000 ukraininans killed number: i'll bet 90% of them were russian-speaking, including the babushkas and children.

but as for crimea and the donbass, wait till you see what's included in the new bipartisan House ndaa.

just checked; it was nakita shoe-banger kruschev...can't read the year, the security code on the pravda page is invalid, and i can't scroll down.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

He was Ukrainian. But WWII damages had made it too difficult to service Crimea from Moscow. So K attached it to a different utility zone in the Soviet Union, that would one day become Ukraine. Crimea and East Ukraine objected. They didn't speak Ukrainian.

z.Ukraine_in_history.jpg

Make that 1954. This map isn't quite right, doesn't show all areas. But you get the idea.

Crimea has been Russia's Navy base continuously for 250 years, or about as long as the US has been in existence.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

and iirc, russia's only warm warm water port, which her Imperial enemies know only too well.

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Peace in Ukraine will never happen. Ukrainian Nazis own the streets and they are extremely violent. The US will do anything to undermine Zelensky. The Western press will propagandize any violence as a second Maiden against Putin loving Zelensky.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster

and given putin's breaking news in the warning, i think he does, too, but his 'i've seen the way he talks to the nationalists (neo-nazis) 'and it’s not clear who has the upper hand there.' a bit enigmatic as so many statements in this compilation struck me, coupled with his having broken his long game demeanor to issue the dire warning.

but sure, to the western press any cease-fire will have been broken by the 'russian-loving separatists in the donbass. 'little green men', remember?

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US want's to run the world?

the key supporters of Ukrainian nationalism in Washington, Joe Biden and John McCain, no longer have direct influence: one is out of power and the other has died

I just wonder which one is out of power?

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

wendy davis's picture

@QMS

the ghost of uber-neocon john mcain crankypants.

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@wendy davis
Biden is losing his power shine
one film clip at a time.
McCain has his legacy!
Any fall from grace is
already in the ground.

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

wendy davis's picture

@QMS

he'd blackmailed a prosecutor in ukraine to fire X, or he'd make sure the IMF didn't give him their loans. or close to that...

on edit: here it is, and at a council of foreign relations shindig, as well:

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@wendy davis
Why on earth do the peach mint fuzz heads obfuscate on trumpet when it was biden that is knee deep in the ukraine crap? And obomba too. More distraction away from the real issues of corruption at the top. Worked for Hillary, right? No need to see the dealings while SoS. It was russia!

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

wendy davis's picture

@QMS

mean 'fixate' on trump. why? i'd answer 'obfuscate' (muddy, obscure), deflect, and yes: distract. the US/western empire was behind the original putsch in maidan, of course, and the failure of yanukovich to sign the EU association (thus NATO) deal. hello, yats! we love you! pierre omidayar, USAID, centre UA, and tra la la....

vickie with cookies in ukraine:

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@wendy davis
One needs not be a specialist prostrate picker to figure out the bigger truth's are not coming out in the peach mint side show. Designed and delivered to (obfuscate) the masses. Look away, look away...

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

wendy davis's picture

@QMS

ay yi yi. craig murray: 'look where they tell you not to look'.

them dudes need some fiddle lessons, lol.

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wendy davis's picture

offered a brief sentence or two on the saker's take on the Normandy 4 summit, so i went to read it, and offer the Cliffs Notes version:

Making sense of the Paris summit: a quick analysis’, December 09, 2019, the saker

“The first thing we need to do is the remember what each participant wanted from this summit. Here is a summary of what I think (not how they officially stated it) each starting position was: (the participants w/ his thoughts)

Zelenskii: key notion “a flexible approach” to the Minsk Agreements
Putin: key notion “Minsk Agreements cannot be changed”
Macron: key notion “France as a whole and Macron personally need a deal with Russia”
he then includes the summary communique from the summit that i was never abe to find. later:

Again, I think that the outcome is rather obvious:
• Zelenskii achieved nothing
• Merkel achieved nothing
• Macron achieved a little
• Putin prevailed

Also, this was totally predictable. Zelenskii had no chance from the get go: the Ukronazis successfully completely paralyzed him; that is, assuming that he ever wanted to get anything done (I think that he probably did). The truth is that ANY meaningful outcome would have been interpreted by the Ukronazis (a minority in the Ukraine, but a very well armed and ruthless one) as a “betrayal” which would trigger a coup to overthrow Zelenskii (this is not my personal opinion, that is what the Nazi nutcases themselves promised on numerous occasions). [snip to putin]

As for Putin, I don’t think that he had any illusions (for obvious reasons, Russians understand the Ukraine much better than anybody else). Furthermore, I don’t think that he really cared all that much. Why?

(he answers his Q a length, ending with):

“Finally, it is pretty clear that the Ukraine has lost the war against the LDNR, and that WITHOUT overt Russian intervention. Which means that Putin’s original decision NOT to intervene was the right one.

As for the Ukraine, she is basically finished. As is Zelenskii, by the way. For him, the ONLY chance to get anything done was to tackle the Neo-Nazis frontally and to use the support the vast majority of the people of the Ukraine gave him.

(to my mind, this echoes what putin had said about 'i see how he talks to them' in his warning Kiev gets control of rebel-held border, a Srebrenica-type massacre may follow – Putin’, including the entourage accompanying him to the summit (via clara weiss))

He failed to do that. He is probably the poster-boy for the concepts of “failure” and “loser” but, in all fairness to him, he probably never had a chance.

Conclusion1 – The Big Question: what will the Nazis do next?
Conclusion2: the Ukraine will break-up

Never say never, right? And dramatic reversals do happen. Even miracles sometimes. But my personal feeling is that the Ukraine will break-up. The LDNR will join Russia, the western Ukraine will either be absorbed by its western neighbors, if not politically, then at least economically. That western Ukraine might even join NATO. What will happen with the southern and north-central Ukraine is hard to predict, but the geostrategic realities being what they are, their best chance is to become a neutral bridge of some sort between the EU and the Russian civilizational realm (RF, Belarus, Kazakhastan, etc.). Sounds extreme? Let me explain then my reasons:

(and he does)
Conclusion3: why the Ukraine is dead
Conclusion4: an oncological metaphor explains it best
Last conclusion: when reality and ideology, reality always wins, even if it takes time

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wendy davis's picture

you might want to check out the sky tonight:

la luna bella is full, also known as 'the oak moon' in december:

mr. wd had reminded me that 39 years and 3 days ago, john lennon was assassinated. and yes, we remember where we were when we heard the unforgettable news. in his honor, this seems fitting as all giddy-up; we miss you, johnny!:

strawberry fields forever! hope you're kickin ass in the afterlife...

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