By Jim W. Dean
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” … Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832)
The three-ring diplomatic circus in Ukraine continues to entertain, even if sadly so. The White House found itself having to backtrack on the CIA’s denial that Director Brennan was not in Kiev over the weekend and his visit had no connection with the military crackdown ordered against East Ukraine during that time. It was a special moment.
Let us count the mistakes here. First, the Russians put the coup-deposed President Yanukovich out on point with the story about Brennan’s visit, which they would not have been so stupid to do if it were not true. Validation was coming in quickly anyway, as Brennan had met with a good number of senior coup members and the top security people.
Keeping the visit secret with that many in the loop was impossible. High level Intel people are supposed to anticipate problems before hand and be prepared to deal with revelations like this, and Brennan’s PR staff muffed this. The White House had to take the correction hit, and then the CIA people muffed it again with more song and dance.
They claimed that the military crackdown called for by President Turchinov was not associated with Brennan’s visit, but their attempt to hide Brennan’s visit cast an obvious shadow over that claim. The Kiev coup-meisters had to have made Brennan aware of their plans, and he was smart enough to realize that if they carried through with deploying military forces against the referendum cities, then all eyes would be on his visit as playing a key role. Denials are quite useless in such situations.
If the Kiev coup leaders did not tell him, then they put Director Brennan in a very bad situation. If that was the case, were they trying to make it appear that they must have had CIA endorsement of their action, lashing him to their mast, so to speak? That would be one hell of a desperate move on their part. But really, if anyone has a reason to be desperate it is the Kiev coup-meisters.
They have run the country like the Three Stooges, obviously having elevated themselves far beyond their competency… and that has been on display for weeks now. The US Embassy in Kiev has obviously been involved with a slow motion train wreck and is now keeping a very low profile… no more visits by Victoria Nuland to hand out cakes prior to the next sniper turkey-shoot.
Both the coup-meisters and the US State Department are joined at the hip on who has made the biggest fools of themselves. What the independent Intel community is seeing is anger replacing good judgment. As the US/Kiev bogus hyping of an impending Russian invasion becomes known to all, even down to the cab drivers of the world, they cripple themselves because nothing they say is believed anymore. They are in diplomatic quicksand.
So what did they do to fix the situation? They just kept making more and more charges against the Russians. NATO General Breedlove’s comment about the Red Army being ready to sweep through Ukraine to Molodova in a few days was a sure bet that panic was setting in on the real impending disaster, another US regime change miscalculation.
None of the scare tactics were working. Putin was using boxer Mohammed Ali’s rope-a-dope tactic of letting the US pound on him with charges of aggression, when every day it became more and more clear who the aggressors were.
The special UN Security Council meeting called for on Sunday night to deal with Kiev’s announcement of imminent military action found Ambassador Samantha Power digging the US into a deeper hole. She trotted out the same charges, that the Russians were coordinating the East Ukraine city hall and police station takeovers because only professional military people could do that. We are seeing a common affliction from the US State Dept., treating the rest of us like we are all morons, but we aren’t.
It does not take a UN Ambassador to be smart enough to realize that East Ukraine has a huge number of veterans there, many still in the reserves who have been trained to make a good showing of themselves as home guard. For weeks and weeks, they have been listening to Right Sector’s Dimity Yarosh bragging about how when he rolls all the nationalists up in the New National Guard, he was going to declare war on the enemies of the revolution.
During the recent Jada debates, when they are not brawling, there have been open calls from some MP’s including the nationalist Svoboda party to kill all those resisting Kiev in the East. The Eastern governors have budgets to fund 200-man personal militias, recruiting them from the nationalist thugs, from the Maidan battles to local petty criminals. When not providing security these political hoodlums are threatening and beating up opposition presidential candidates as they did in Odessa last week.
All of this has been closely watched by the military veterans of East Ukraine. They saw that the Kiev government state bastions were being used against them and would be bases for outside reinforcements if tensions escalated. Interior minister Avakov announced that Kiev was ready “to attract” 12,000 into the new force that will be given arms, equipment and supervision, and he further claimed that East Ukraine will get the first taste of this unit.
It does not take a genius to read between the lines that the Right Sector thugs, whom Avakov forced out of Kiev without their baggage being searched for weapons, were being recycled for deployment. They were going to be used as front line political muscle for nasty work that the coup regime did not trust the military or local police to do.
The East Ukraine natives obviously have their own intelligence network. They saw what Kiev was gearing up to do, and what would you expect veterans to do? Would they sit back and wait until these nationalist stormtroopers were deployed to the cities, fortified, and THEN take them on with a substantial loss of life?
Of course not… they pre-empted them by taking over the Kiev bases in their midst. It would have been irresponsible for them to do otherwise. Without heavy weapons they must control defensible ground for inner-city fighting, if it comes down to that, where non-local Right Sector fighters are at a great disadvantage as graveyard candidates.
The only army units we have seen so far have been outside the cities manning road blocks so they can block reinforcements being moved around if Kiev should decide to take one city back at a time. Local airports are now being taken over so special operations troops cannot be flown in and attack from a wide number of directions.
I will close with Samantha Fox’s empty hand she showed at the Sunday night UNSC meeting. I am old enough to clearly remember watching another Security Council meeting where the US ambassador was showing U2 spy plane photographs of Russian missile emplacements in Cuba. It was the defining television moment of that JFK-era crisis.
After the endless accusations of the evil Russian Bear orchestrating the East Ukraine protests, with charges of intelligence and active duty military widely involved, Ms. Fox showed us no photographs or videos of captured Russian prisoners, no cell phone intercepts, and no grand-plan map case found like on D-Day and Operation Market Garden. Even at this late stage of the game, all Fox had to give us was more charges.
Frankly, I am bored listening to them. Ms. Fox knows we have a very commonly-used saying here in the US in such situations, “It is time to put up…or shut up.” East Ukraine is not going to let the US or the EU shove a coup government down their throats… period. There are a lot of Americans who would go there now to fight by their side. Descendents of Confederate Americans especially know what it is like to live under the boot. And I am one of them.