Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ukraine, FYI

 Thomas Friedman has such an outrageous column in the NYT that I'm once more in my "cancel the subscription" mood.  The first three comments on his column are mine.  This below is the fourth, which for some reason, I cannot post.

The problem with "cancel the subscription" is that it helps empty the field for the Murdoch media, which is idiots worse than Friedman all the time.  The Murdoch media is transparently propaganda though, and in some sense may be less dangerous than Friedman's idiocy dressed up as sweet reason.


Nov 21, 2013:

"Russia is willing to take part in tripartite negotiations with Ukraine and the EU, but only if they are held before Ukraine signs an association agreement with the EU, Russian President Vladimir Putin said."

November 29, 2013:

The EU-Ukraine association agreement cannot be elaborated in the EU-Ukraine-Russia tripartite format, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said at a press conference after the Eastern Partnership Vilnius summit.

He rejected as unacceptable the tripartite negotiations and the interference of a third country in the bilateral agreement and said there could not be a tripartite format in the elaboration of the bilateral agreement between the EU and Ukraine.

Some columns ago, Thomas Friedman at the NYT tried to convince us: "It would have been nice if we could have forged a compromise with President Vladimir Putin of Russia that would have allowed Ukraine to gradually join the European Union and not threaten him. President Obama tried to find such a win-win formula. But Putin is not into win-win here. He is into win-lose. So he must lose, for the sake of Ukraine and Russia."

Why was the offer of tripartite talks rejected outright?

The first three comments are under the fold:

Friedman wants us to believe that the Association Agreement Ukraine wanted to sign with the European Union had no military implications. Maybe he can explain these clauses from the draft Association Agreement?

Article 7: The Parties shall intensify their dialogue and cooperation and promote gradual convergence in the area of foreign and security policy, including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)...

Article 10: The Parties shall enhance practical cooperation in conflict prevention and crisis management, in particular with a view to increasing the
participation of Ukraine in EU-led civilian and military crisis management operations as well as relevant exercises and training activities, including those
carried out in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).....The Parties shall explore the potential of military - technological cooperation. Ukraine and the European Defence Agency (EDA) shall establish close contacts to discuss military capability improvement, including technological issues.
As a follow-up to my own comment, read up on Europe's Common Security and Defence Policy on Wiki, in particular,


I have no desire to be seen as a defender of Putin's actions. I do object strongly to the NYT continuously feeding us Friedman as though we the readers cannot fact-check him. But given the draft Association Agreement I quoted above, expecting us to believe this is an insult to the intelligence: "It wants to sign an “Association Agreement” that would provide Ukrainian companies more unfettered access to European markets and require them to abide by E.U. regulations, which Ukrainian reformers believe would help drive more rule of law inside their own country and make it more globally competitive. The Ukrainians want to import E.U. rules, not NATO missiles!'

I am so mad that I'm in that "cancel my subscription" mood. Trying to talk myself out of it. Let us see.

1. Our & Europe's government officials aim a dagger at the heart of Russia.

2. Russia reacts (I don't want to defend their reaction).

3. NYT feeds us David Brooks lamenting that we the electorate, are not willing to support his wonderful "liberal system" for which he is unwilling to pay a dime more in taxes - but the electorate must send their children to fight and die ; and Friedman trying to convince us that all we & Ukraine did was innocent and good and only for civilian trade, when the Association Agreement the EU & Ukraine were to sign so clearly had military implications.

The NYT might want a liberal/centrist/conservative balance -- and that is fine. What is not fine is treating the readers like idiots, presenting fallacious arguments, incorrect statements and utterly shopworn commentary. These are not OpEds from independent writers whom the NYT may not want to edit; these columnists are employed by the NYT. Fie upon thee, NYT!