Streetwise Professor

April 28, 2014

Punch Line to the Geneva Joke

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:44 pm

The day that Geneva was announced, I ridiculed the idea that the OSCE would be able to enforce any deal to withdraw anti-Kiev forces from government buildings, check points, etc.  The seizure of an OSCE delegation in Slavyansk by the Russians/Russian tools, and the subsequent public display of the European members of this team, proves that ridicule was more than justified. It is the punchline to the joke that is Geneva.

Despite the seizure and humiliation of a group of European military personnel carrying diplomatic passports, the Euros are still shrinking from doing anything that might risk offending Vlad. Because he might turn off their precious gas. Or maybe Siemens won’t get as much business.

The NYT reports that the administration is shrinking right along with them, not wanting to embarrass the poor dears by imposing punitive sanctions.

Speaking of jokes, here is Obama’s standup routine:

“The notion that for us to go forward with sectoral sanctions on our own without the Europeans would be the most effective deterrent to Mr. Putin, I think, is factually wrong,” Mr. Obama told reporters in Asia, where he is traveling. “We’re going to be in a stronger position to deter Mr. Putin when he sees that the world is unified.” He added: “For example, say we’re not going to allow certain arms sales to Russia — just to take an example — but every European defense contractor backfills what we do, then it’s not very effective.”

Sorry. The world unified in pusillanimity is hardly a deterrent to Putin. The US and a few stalwart allies acting on their own in a robust way would be much more effective.

Obama totally lost it in Asia in response to a question by Fox News’s Ed Henry:

“As you end this trip, I don’t think I have to remind you there have been a lot of unflattering portraits of your foreign policy right now,” Henry said. “And rather than get into all the details or red lines, excedera, I’d like to give you a chance to lay out what your vision is more than five years into office, what you think the Obama doctrine is in terms of what your guiding principle is on all of these crises, and how you answer those critics who say they think the doctrine is weakness.”

“Well, Ed, I doubt that I’m going to have time to lay out my entire foreign policy doctrine,” the President responded, adding “And there are actually some complimentary pieces as well about my foreign policy, but I’m not sure you ran them.”

The President then went on to attack those criticisms, point by point, noting that “Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force,” and asking “why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget? And what is it exactly that these critics think would have been accomplished?”

“My job as Commander-in-Chief is to deploy military force as a last resort, and to deploy it wisely,” he continued. “And, frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people had no interest in participating in and would not advance our core security interests.”

On Syria, the President pointed out that his critics “say, no, no, no, we don’t mean sending in troops,” and asked “Well, what do you mean?”

“Well, you should be assisting the opposition — well, we’re assisting the opposition,” President Obama said, then asked “What else do you mean? Well, perhaps you should have taken a strike in Syria to get chemical weapons out of Syria. Well, it turns out we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike. So what else are you talking about? And at that point it kind of trails off.”

On Ukraine, the President asked of those critics, “What else should we be doing? Well, we shouldn’t be putting troops in, the critics will say. That’s not what we mean. Well, okay, what are you saying? Well, we should be arming the Ukrainians more. Do people actually think that somehow us sending some additional arms into Ukraine could potentially deter the Russian army? Or are we more likely to deter them by applying the sort of international pressure, diplomatic pressure and economic pressure that we’re applying?”

“The point is that for some reason many who were proponents of what I consider to be a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven’t really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over again,” the President said. “Why? I don’t know.”

Appalling. Proof that Obama is the thinnest skinned president ever. And his response has the opposite effect of what he intended: it lends credence to the criticism. It is also classic Obama. Dishonest and partisan. Blaming his political opponents or his long-departed predecessors for his failures. Total war against an army of straw men.

No one is seriously arguing for military involvement in Ukraine. But they-we, for I am included-are arguing for far more robust economic measures.  Funny Obama totally ignores that. He knocks down arguments no one makes and ignores the ones they do.

That’s our Obama.

Henry, or someone else, should have demanded that Obama name one serious figure advocating a replay of Iraq in Ukraine. One.

The record speaks for itself. Obama’s foreign policy is a concatenation of clusterf*cks. Syria. Ukraine. Israel-Palestine.

Speaking of the last issue. Kerry was quoted making a remark saying that if it continues on its present course, Israel will turn into an apartheid state. He made these remarks in front of Russians. Who duly leaked them.

Why would he say anything with any Russian in earshot, especially in the aftermath of the “f*ck the EU” leak fiasco?

With such clueless morons in charge, no wonder US credibility and influence is imploding. But if you challenge Obama on the implosion, he explodes.

This is where we are, and it is not a good place to be.


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  1. Honestly, I just wish he hadn’t said anything. Who cares if the Ukraine is having a fight with Russia? Come back when they’re threatening a NATO partner.

    Comment by Brett — April 28, 2014 @ 9:47 pm

  2. I would like to teach the American and Western readers an important skill: the ability to wade through the US mass media propaganda. I learned through grown up in a dissident family in the Soviet Union. My parents taught me how to read between the lines of Pravda, Izvestia and Soviet TV. So here is my first free lesson on the example of today’s CBS Evening News. First, they showed pro-NATO crowds clash with pro-Russian crowds. It was impossible to distinguish between the two sides from the video, but the CBS differentiated them by referring to the pro-NATO crowd “demonstrators” and to the pro-Russian crowd as “a mob”.

    Next CBS announced: “The mayor of Ukraine’s second-largest city was shot today in an assassination attempt today, and tensions in the country’s east are rising.” Normally, this would be followed by telling the viewers the mayor’s name and the name of the city. But there was none. So, having learned the skill of dealing with Soviet-style propaganda, I immediately told my son: the victim must be a pro-Yanukovich supporter. Then CBS continued: “Not clear who who is responsible.”. Now that made it even more plain. So, I looked it up, and sure enough:

    (CNN) — The mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv underwent emergency surgery after being shot in the back, city officials and police said Monday, amid continuing unrest in the region. The attack on Mayor Gennady Kernes happened around noon local time, the Kharkiv city office official website said. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the shooting.

    Here who Kernes is:
    Yanukovych’s Kharkiv duo in legal trouble: Dobkin arrested, Kernes named as suspect
    March 11, 2014
    The Kharkiv team loyal to overthrown Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is now facing legal heat.

    This Jewish duo were accused of the “crime” of advocating American-style federalism. Dobkin was later released, the case against Kernes fell part (federalism is not illegal). Instead, Kernes was assassinated today.

    Hooray for Goebbels and Pravda!

    Comment by vladislav — April 28, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

  3. Of course Vladislav forgets to mention that the mayor of Kharkiv is also very opposed to the pro Russian separatists.

    As to coming from a dissident family, well they must be so proud of Vladislav’s sycophantic grovelling to Putin and his cronies. There is always a traitor in every family.

    What’s the bet Vladislav was touting on said dissident members of his family to the KGB?

    Comment by Andrew — April 28, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

  4. Speaking of sycophants. You, Andrew, have supported every Georgian president in power and have badmouthed all of them as soon as they left the presidency. Worse than that, you defend the Turkish genocide of Armenians and have never, ever said anything bad about your own birth country of New Zealand, even defending the way the settlers treated the aboriginees. I will go even further to surmise that you have never criticised the NATO (unless it is for not waging a war on Russia).

    How can you so blindly support your side?

    Comment by vladislav — April 28, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

  5. Hey, Andrew, here is an easy test. Go to my blog and count the hundreds of anti-Stalin and anti-Putin articles there:

    And now show me your site where you criticize your own government, be it New Zealand or Georgia.

    Comment by vladislav — April 28, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

  6. > Of course Vladislav forgets to mention that the mayor of Kharkiv is also very opposed to the pro Russian separatists.

    So, you are saying that the Mayor of Kharkov Kernes and the ex-Governor Dobkin are pro-junta?!

    Comment by vladislav — April 28, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

  7. Kernes is a self-serving opportunist. He’s neither pro-Moscow nor pro-Kyiv but at the moment he was shot, he seemed to be seeking a compromise with Kyiv.

    Comment by Alex K. — April 28, 2014 @ 11:23 pm

  8. AP, as I recall, you want the notorious oligarch Poroshenko to become the next President of Ukraine. Please try to listen to the conversation between him and the editor of Ukraine Channel 5 TV network, ordering him and the journalists to do what Poroshenko wants:
    Розмова Порошенка з головою правління 5 канала Лясовським

    I say “try” because I doubt if you can understand what Poroshenko is saying, because American students of Russian aren’t taught this language. You have to have spent your entire life in vodka dringing dives in order to understand this kind of “language”. A rough translation of Poroshenko’s language would be:

    “I fucking pay you motherfuckers fuck you dicks and I motherfucking want fuckers dicks you cunts to follow motherfucking commands fucking”.

    Granted that Poroshenko is benign compared to his other Maidan rivals, but do you REALLY want this scum from the underworld to rule Ukraine?

    Comment by vladislav — April 28, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

  9. Vladislav, you are merely deflecting the conversation away from its proper focus. Leave Poroshenko to the Ukrainians to sort out. This discussion is not about Poroshenko. It’s about Obama’s attempts to stop Putin’s brutal meddling in Ukrainian affairs.

    Comment by Alex K. — April 29, 2014 @ 12:47 am

  10. No, I haven’t supported every Georgian president in power, and I have also been critical of Saakashvili while he was in power, but unlike you I do recognise he did both good and bad for Georgia.

    I am constantly critical of the New Zealand government.

    Not an honest bone in your body Vladislav. But your hatred and contempt for Georgians is obvious. A typical “Great Russian Chauvinist” really, on your infantile site all I see is anti US polemic, not much criticism of Putin or Stalin there so far, but perhaps a critical article on one or the other is buried deep in your archives.

    Nor did I defend the Armenian genocide, as I said, horrible, but cannot be compared to the holocaust in any way.
    Jews who were annihilated by the Nazis were unarmed civilians who had done absolutely nothing against the Nazi state or any of the countries they lived in that were invaded by the Nazis. The Armenians, on the other hand, conducted an armed rebellion against their government during a war by allying with the invading Russians. The Turkish response was horrific and disgusting, but the Armenians did kill a lot of non Armenian citizens during their revolt who Armenian historians conveniently forget. Interestingly enough you criticise the Ukrainians for having welcomed the Nazis as liberators from Russia, but think it is OK for the Armenians to do the same thing with Russia.

    In addition I do remember many of your posts on LR which tried to downplay the Red genocide of the Gulag system.

    BTW, please don’t call Maori “aboriginiees” (you got it wrong, as usual, the term would be “Aboriginals” anyway) as those with Maori ancestry find the term very offensive. Indigenous or native are fine, Tangata Whenua is better. Maori relate “Aboriginals” with Australian indigenous peoples.

    Also note that, in New Zealand, we at least have Maori as an official language, and Maori have been guaranteed seats in parliament since 1867. My native country’s treatment of Maori has had bad and good, but it has been vastly better than the way you Russian pricks have treated any of your subject peoples.

    Comment by Andrew — April 29, 2014 @ 1:54 am

  11. “American students of Russian aren’t taught this language. You have to have spent your entire life in vodka dringing dives in order to understand this kind of “language”.

    When I was an undergraduate in the early 90s I had many classmates from Russian and post-Soviet political families. I heard much worse language from them. The cutoff was Soviet vs. post-Soviet for Russians, and otherwise ex-Soviets vs. people from eastern Europe. My wife was from an 80s-era political family: neither she nor any of her relatives (including males) ever swear. Nor do people from such families in Poland. But, I remember a favorite expression from the son of a government minister in one of the ex-Soviet republics: “yob tvoyu mat pizdabol nakhui bled.” Poroshenko seems like a softie in comparison.

    It’s bizarre that you, a supported of the pro-Russian side in Ukraine, complain about Poroshenko’s language. Here is your Kernes and Dobkin btw. It is hilarious:

    I can only imagine what kind of language a common street thug such as your choice, Yanukovich, uses in private.

    “you want the notorious oligarch Poroshenko to become the next President of Ukraine

    Why is Poroshenko “notorious?” He made his fortune in a much less violent environment than did the Donetsk oligarchs with their car bombings, etc. And although he like the others presumably started out by stealing some Soviet-era factory he seems to have gotten rich by expanding it and investing in it, not by simply stealing more and more and killing off the competition, and pocketing the revenue rather than modernizing his operation as occurred in Ukraine’s East. Poroshenko’s businesses seem viable rather than dependent on subsidized Russian gas.

    I am not a big fan of Poroshenko but who is better: the moron Dobkin? Yanukovich?

    You mentioned Poroshenko being from a gutter. Poroshenko grew up in Vynnytsia, and graduated with a degree in economics from Kiev State University in 1989 (when degrees still meant something). Dobkin was a factory worker, who moved his way up in business and got a degree in the corrupt late 90s. Kernes was another factory worker, who got a degree in something involving watch repair while pursuing a criminal career with several arrests and convictions for theft and fraud. He is alleged (ha!) to have been a major Kharkiv crime boss in the 1990s. Yanukovich’s background is known to everybody (poor working class, arrests for robbery and assault, and assault, as a young man, etc.)

    You seem to follow a Russian pattern hear: accuse your enemies of being exactly what your side is. The funniest example of this, are the recent reports in Russia that Poles are calling for autonomy in Zhytomir oblast and that the Polish government is handing out Polish passports. Russians lying about others, claiming that the others do what Russians themselves do. We can learn a lot about Russian motivations and actions, simply by paying careful attention to their claims about others.

    As for the assassination attempt on Kernes, he has been working with the Kiev government lately and under his watch watch Kharkiv has been quiet. Who clearly benefits most from Kernes’ incapacitation? The guys taking advantage of and creating chaos in Donetsk and Luhansk. Odds are that someone from that side shot him.

    Comment by AP — April 29, 2014 @ 11:08 am

  12. @ AP

    “Russians lying about others, claiming that the others do what Russians themselves do. We can learn a lot about Russian motivations and actions, simply by paying careful attention to their claims about others.”

    Case in point, the slander that the provisional gov’t in Kyiv is “fascist”.

    Comment by Gordon — April 29, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

  13. > It’s about Obama’s attempts to stop Putin’s brutal meddling in Ukrainian affairs.

    And who will stop US presidents and elected politicians from meddling in Ukrainian, Serbian, Iraqi, Nicaraguan, Syrian, Libyan, Afghani, Haitian, Grenadan, Panamanian, Egyptian, etc. affairs?

    Comment by vladislav — April 29, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  14. More bios of people involved here: Arseney Avbakov, Ukraine’s interior minister: Armenian from Baku (a “Nazi government with an Armenian interior minister), graduated with an engineering degree from Kharkiv Polytechnic University in 1988 (so, legit degree). Then shady business dealings in Kharkiv in the 90s. But not a pure gangster as Kernes.

    Yatseniuk: son of a history professor and French teacher, graduated from university in the 1990’s

    Turchinov: graduated from a mettalurgical institute in the 1980’s, then was in the communist party. Not a positive background.

    The infamous Tiahnybok: son of a physicians who was the doctor for the Soviet Olympic boxing team; himself a surgeon.


    Compare these guys to Dobkin, Yanukovich, and associated thugs. Or Russia’s hero in Crimea, Aksyonov (who is, of course, not even a native Crimean but an ethnic Russian from Moldova):

    Some sources have alleged that Aksyonov served in the mid 1990s as a lieutenant or overseer with the nickname “Goblin”[19][20] in the organized criminal gang “Salem”.[21] In the early 1990s, the gang fought a deadly contest with the rival “Bashmaki” that killed 30 people in Simferopol in one month of 1991, but by the mid-1990s, as their membership grew to 1200, they had taken a less violent approach, and in 1995 forty of their members had taken office as local deputies, receiving Legislative immunity.[22][23][24][25] “Aksyonov used to work side-by-side with another gang member, Serhiy Voronkov, in the early 1990s. Voronkov is a well-known mafia boss who was released from prison in 2008 and is still doing business in Crimea,” said Andriy Yanytskiy, a journalist of Livy Bereh newspaper who investigated Aksyonov.[9] Yanytskiy alleges that Aksyonov is still a member of the Salem gang.[9]

    In police protocols leaked by, Aksyonov was accused of involvement in a gang linked to several contract killings in 1994-1996. In January 1996, Aksyonov was wounded after a Volvo in which he was riding overturned on the Simferopol-Moskva road during a shootout.[9]

    In 2010, Aksyonov sued Mikhail Bakharev, vice speaker of the Crimean parliament, for making statements of this kind. Although the court of the original jurisdiction ruled for Aksyonov and demanded that Bakharev to publish a retraction, the decision was overturned by an appellate court which determined that there was not evidence to disprove the allegations.[26] Andriy Senchenko, a Crimean member of Verkhovna Rada from Batkivshchyna party alleged that Aksyonov was involved in these activities together with Supreme Council Chairman, Vladimir Konstantinov.[22][27][28][29] Senchenko alleges that “there were reports that he participated in the contract killing of (Volodymyr) Tykhonchuk [in 2004], then head of Crimean State Securities Commission, and before that in the killing of head of State Property Fund (Oleksiy) Golovizin [in 1997].”[9] Aksyonov was investigated by the police in both murders, but has never been prosecuted. Senchenko believes Aksyonov managed to evade criminal responsibility due to his connections on the peninsula.[9]


    When someone on the pro-Russian side in Ukraine talks about people from the gutter, you know exactly the nature of the pro-Russia side itself.

    Comment by AP — April 29, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

  15. AP, you seem to be constantly arguing with and making fun of some 3 year old retard. I can give hundreds of examples. But let us start with the latest:

    > a “Nazi government with an Armenian interior minister

    So, who is your imbecile opponent who claimed that ALL junta ministers are “nazis”?

    And hypothetically, what would prevent a Ukrainian/American of Armenian or even Jewish descent to be a neo-Nazi or an anti-semite? Certainly Bobby Fischer, a Jew and a chess genius, was a neo-Nazi. And, as I recall, the Armenian government/media have in the past made anti-semitic remarks, a prejudice that is hardly surprising given the history of Christian-Jewish relations in the last.

    Why don’t you rev up your arguments to fit adult opponents with three-digit IQs? From my past experience I know for sure that your verbal half of the IQ is way above 130. Try to treat your opponents as equals not as morons.

    Comment by vladislav — April 30, 2014 @ 12:14 am

  16. > No, I haven’t supported every Georgian president in power, and I have also been critical of Saakashvili while he was in power

    References please.

    > but unlike you I do recognise he did both good and bad for Georgia.

    So do I.

    > I am constantly critical of the New Zealand government.

    Show me the site where you constantly criticize it.

    > on your infantile site all I see is anti US polemic, not much criticism of Putin or Stalin there so far, but perhaps a critical article on one or the other is buried deep in your archives.

    Appears you can’t read, Andrew. Here they are from the top:
    Одна беда другой не помеха
    Акция Единые Путики-Медвутики
    Воспоминания бывшего секретаря Сталина
    Вопрос знатокам: Что за дом такой? или Кто заказывает музыку?
    Поездка А.Собчака в Новочеркасск в 1992 году. Смотрите, как тяжёл портфель Собчака даже для такого дзюдоиста, как Путин
    При Путине будет становиться все хуже и хуже
    От великого до смешного – один шаг… From the sublime to the ridiculous
    А чё? People хавает!
    Sergey Magnitsky
    “И вся история страны – история болезни”
    Предсмертное письмо Бориса Березовского
    Наум Коржавин МОСКОВСКАЯ ПОЭМА
    За кефир отдельное спасибо Вассерману
    Ксении Собчак и Соколова довели Бориса Березовского. До самоубийства.
    Will China’s economy beat Russia’s to a crisis?
    Не так страшен культ личности вождя, как культ обезличивания народа
    Gentlemen, start your engines!
    Сталин и колбаса. Stalin’s sausages.
    Евангелие от Онотоле
    Лукоморья больше нет
    Вся власть советам!
    Иосеб Бесарионис Джугашвили-”Сталин” о русском патриотизме и русской культуре
    Putin – protege of the American right
    Родильный туризм
    Was insomnia responsible for Stalin’s paranoia?
    Путин, ты хоть маленький, но достал!
    План Путина в картинках
    На лжи-Владимире и шапка Монамаха горит!
    Новый Джугашвилль
    Для дома, для семьи
    Анатолию Вассерману, в прошлом – знатоку, ныне – сталинисту
    Эпитафия впрок
    Если в кране нет воды
    Православие vs. Pussy Riot
    На повестке дня колхозного партсобрания два вопроса: строительство сарая и строительство коммунизма.
    Что за дом такой?
    Так это ж математика воров!
    Снимаю новый фильм
    Анализ потерь красной армии в первые дни войны

    Comment by vladislav — May 1, 2014 @ 1:05 am

  17. @vladislav
    I hope your mathematics are more original than your posts. Your posts are just so damn boring. Halfway through I start fiddling with my cell phone thinking paying for internet is a waste of money and calling to cancel internet access. At the end of your typical post I am thinking about starting the shower and shutting my computer inside.

    Comment by pahoben — May 2, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  18. The West Bank is already an apartheid state. What’s wrong with Kerry raising awareness of the issue?

    Comment by newageblues — May 8, 2014 @ 6:56 pm

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