One of my regular listens is John Batchelor’s weekly interview with Stephen F. Cohen; Cohen provides commentary regarding his view of the Russian perspective on various geopolitical issues of the day. Of course, lately, this discussion has been focused on Ukraine and Syria.
At the beginning of the interview from December 8, Cohen commented on a flurry of antagonistic moves against Russia.
To set the stage, Paris was attacked on November 13. Shortly thereafter, French President Hollande visited both Washington and Moscow, calling for a coalition to fight ISIS. Cohen then listed several events (taken by Washington or its puppets / allies), each one of which can be clearly understood to hinder any possibility of (or even desire for) a common fight against this so-called greatest threat to mankind, ISIS.
Blow-out of Crimea’s electricity
From the BBC, November 23:
Only essential services and government offices are operating in Crimea after key electricity pylons connected to the peninsula were knocked down in Ukraine.
Russia does not have a land border with Crimea, which gets about 70% of its electricity from Ukraine.
Shoot down by Turkey of Russian attack aircraft
From the BBC, regarding the November 24 shoot-down:
Both Russia and Turkey say the Russian Su-24, an all-weather attack aircraft, was shot down by Turkish F-16s in the Turkey-Syria border area on 24 November.
NATO takes in Montenegro
From NATO, December 2:
Montenegro aspires to join NATO and the Allies have invited the country to begin accession talks to join the Alliance.
These talks are the final step before approval of full membership. Montenegro represents, of course, a continuation of NATO’s advance to the east. Montenegro’s military value?
The military currently maintains a force of 1,950 active duty members.
An attack on Montenegro is an attack on all NATO countries.
Biden goes to Kiev for the fifth time, promising no rest until Crimea is restored
From The New York Times, December 7:
Opening a two-day visit, Mr. Biden told the Ukrainians that the United States still supported them in their conflict with pro-Russian separatists, and accused President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia of violating a cease-fire agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus. To reinforce American backing, Mr. Biden promised another $190 million in aid.
“The United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine in the face of continued — and I emphasize continued — aggression from Russia and Russian-backed separatists,” he said. “Minsk cannot succeed if Russia does not fulfill its commitment and President Putin fails to live up to the promises he has repeatedly made to my president, to you and to the international community.”
Also on the visit, Biden spoke of corruption in Ukraine (and forgive this digression from Cohen’s list):
When Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. traveled to Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday for a series of meetings with the country’s leaders, one of the issues on his agenda was to encourage a more aggressive fight against Ukraine’s rampant corruption and stronger efforts to rein in the power of its oligarchs.
But there is the issue of his son:
But the credibility of the vice president’s anticorruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was Ukraine’s ecology minister…
Zlochevsky had personal accounts frozen by the British, due to concerns about corruption.
“Now you look at the Hunter Biden situation, and on the one hand you can credit the father for sending the anticorruption message,” [Edward C. Chow, who follows Ukrainian policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies] said. “But I think unfortunately it sends the message that a lot of foreign countries want to believe about America, that we are hypocritical about these issues.”
They “want to believe” it “about America” because it is true; the American government is hypocritical about every issue. I don’t credit Biden “for sending the anti-corruption message”; I credit Biden for being able to pull-off such a blatant hypocrisy without even blinking.
Back to Cohen’s timeline of events since Paris…
IMF suspends rules about lending to countries in arrears, approving further loans to Ukraine
On December 8:
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday changed a rule that would have blocked its financial aid program to Ukraine in the event the country defaulted on debt owed to Russia.
Until now, the IMF could not provide financing to a member country that was in arrears to an official creditor, such as a government.
And what does the Russian government think about this?
The move -- which drew an angry response from Moscow -- comes as cash-short Ukraine faces a looming year-end deadline to repay Russia for a $3 billion loan.
As perhaps could be said about every American action noted by Cohen since the November 13 attacks in Paris and Hollande’s attempt to build a coalition to include Russia in the fight against humanity’s (supposedly) greatest threat.
Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.