Archive for Russia

Putin Is Scared, Real Scared

Does he think that Obama is “unmanly”? Is he calling him a Pajama Boy?

The Unclenched Fist Works Its Magic

The Unclenched Fist Works Its Magic

One Russian leader has made it very clear what the Kremlin thinks of the US in a tweet mocking their president’s masculinity.
In a strange display of one upmanship, deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin posted a picture on his Twitter account of President Vladimir Putin petting a leopard next to one of Mr Obama holding a fluffy poodle, with the caption “we have different values and allies.”
The post, which was meant as a dig at the US President’s unequal manly status, was retweeted more than 600 times in two hours.

- Aggie

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He’s Getting Better

Credit where it’s due, President Barack Obama isn’t a complete dipstick when mass murder occurs.

It took him only 10 seconds to interrupt his fundraising happy talk to address what “may be” a terrible tragedy—the apparent shooting down of a Malaysian plane by Russian terrorists. Forty seconds later he’s said all he has to say, and it’s back to “Good morning, Delaware!”

This may look shallow and callow to many, but remember whom we’re talking about.

Remember:

It took him well over two minutes of out-shouting before he got around to mention the murder of American servicemen by a Muslim zealot. Ten seconds is a massive improvement.

I would ask what the odds are that Obama would be at two separate PR photo ops on the occasions of two separate terrorist atrocities…but when is he not at a PR photo op? Especially lately? The “bear” is constantly on the move these days, and no burger shack is safe from his unannounced assault. If he’s going to flit about the country, hitting diners, drive-ins, and dives like some sort of South Side Guy Fieri, the least he can do is to learn how to pay lip service to the reprimitivized world he helped recreate—as he wipes the ketchup and relish off his own lips.

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Our Friends, the Russians

Okay, so maybe Hillary’s embarrassing Reset Button gag went over like a lead balloon:

Nothing cements relations like mutual derision:

Russia is somewhat obsessed with Jen Psaki.

The State Department spokeswoman has turned into Russia’s boogeyman (boogey-woman?) and favorite punching bag as relations with the United States have deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine.

She is demonized on television. Her gaffes are celebrated widely as internet memes on Russian social media. A popular radio morning show even mocked her in a song set to a popular children’s tune.

“There is nobody more competent than Psaki, nobody more pretty, or smarter,” sang the chorus, sarcastically. The song accused her of peddling “nonsense” to journalists and urged her to “keep it up, we want to laugh more.”

In April, Psaki was taunted by Russian media for using the hashtags #RussiaIsolated and #UnitedforUkraine on Twitter, including sending a photo of herself holding a #UnitedforUkraine sign with a thumbs up. (The Obama administration’s social media campaign on Ukraine, led by Psaki, was ridiculed by some at home as well, including the New York Post and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.)

ABC News calls this an “obsession”. But can you blame Russia? Psaki is pure comedy gold.

Yup:

Not just hashtags; sometimes there are bracelets:

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And perhaps the pansiest response of all:

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Those aren’t pansies? Sorry.

Anyway, if the French can love us for Jerry Lewis, why can’t Russia love us for Jen Psaki? She’s funnier.

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Jewish Community In Odessa, Kiev In Hiding

Our brilliant young President and his brilliant foreign policy have brought us back to 1903.

One of the saddest aspects of modern American Jewry is our near universal ignorance of our own past. Many of us are children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of people who fled places like Odessa and Kiev. And why? Because of stuff like this:

Odessa’s Jews are prepared to evacuate should the violence in the western Ukrainian city get significantly worse, several community leaders told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Odessa’s Jewish community numbers some 30,000, down from nearly 40 percent of the city’s population before the Holocaust.

The Odessa bloodshed came on the same day that Kiev launched its biggest push yet to reassert its control over separatist areas in the east, hundreds of kilometers away, where armed pro-Russian rebels have proclaimed a “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”

While Jewish community leaders are unanimous in asserting that the violence is unconnected to the Jewish community and that they do not feel specially targeted, they agreed that, should the situation deteriorate, it would be easy for the spillover to affect their constituents.

According to Rabbi Refael Kruskal – the head of the Tikva organization, which runs a network of orphanages and schools and provides social services to the city’s elderly – several of the wounded from Friday’s clashes were Jews, and the community is taking all necessary precautions.

And how will they evacuate? And where?

“Over the weekend we closed the [Great Choral] Synagogue,” Kruskal said. “We took all the students out of the center of the city where the violence was, because we were worried it was going to spread. We sent a text message to everybody in the community on WhatsApp that they should stay at home over the weekend.”

While the synagogue, which is located close to the site of Friday’s clashes, was reopened Sunday morning, Kruskal said he planned on closing it again later in the day.

The Jewish community, he added, is hunkering down and trying to ride out the storm.

“When there is shooting in the streets, the first plan is to take [the children] out of the center of the city,” Kruskal said. “If it gets worse, then we’ll take them out of the city. We have plans to take them both out of the city and even to a different country if necessary, plans which we prefer not to talk about which we have in place.”

Fearful of further “provocations” on Friday, which marks the anniversary of Soviet Russia’s victory over Germany in the Second World War, Kruskal said that he was considering renting a holiday camp to house 600 Jews away from the fighting he expects next week.

“The next weekend is going to be very violent,” he said.

They have apparently rented busses and they are fueled up and waiting in parking lots. (This reminds me of Hurricane Katrina… but in Katrina we didn’t see competent community leaders.)

And this is truly horrifying:

The Jewish community, together with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, has prepared a fleet of 70 buses, fueled and ready to go, “if, God forbid, we have to evacuate” the community’s children and any adults who want to leave, he said.

During Friday’s clashes, 20 buses were parked outside of Chabad’s school, but went unused.

There are a number of evacuation plans, ranging from relocating within the city to sending community members to Kishinev, two-and-a-half hours away in neighboring Moldova.

What is so horrifying about Kishinev? This. Many, many American Jews are here because of the pogroms in Kishinev. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a book of forged documents claiming Jewish plans to rule the world, was first published by the local newspaper in Kishinev. And, according to some linguistic research out of Stanford, that editor was actually the author. The Protocols is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews, was required reading in classrooms in Nazi Germany, and is widely read in the Muslim world today. It was even made into a 40something part television series in Egypt a few years ago, and ran every night during Ramadan. So the safety plan is running to Kishinev?

I can honestly say that I am sick. The American Jewish community overwhelmingly voted for Obama – twice. We voted, knowingly voted, for foreign policy weakness. We chose Neville Chamberlain. We are such dolts.

- Aggie

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War is What Happens While You’re Telling Jokes

President Obama was madly busy yesterday playing golf and telling jokes.

Others were involved in more serious pursuits:

Pro-Russian militants stormed a Ukrainian police station in Odessa on Sunday and freed 30 fellow activists as the prime minister blamed police corruption there for dozens of deaths in rioting on Friday.

“Russians won’t abandon their own!” militants chanted as they smashed windows and broke down the gate at the compound, where comrades had been held since Friday’s mayhem. Others shouted “Russia! Russia!” and “we will not forgive!”

Odessa police said 30 activists had been released.

Some police officers were offered the black and orange St. George’s ribbon, a Russian military insignia that has become a symbol of the revolt, and were cheered when they accepted it.

Except for tanks, Russia has invaded Ukraine. (They can shoot down helicopters, evidently.) So far, our response has been to ban sales of peanut butter to the Moscow elite and cancel Putin’s subscription to Jugs.

Best question of the day:

What’s often misunderstood about Putin is that, while he pines for the vanished image of Soviet power, he knows that Communism didn’t work. Nor does he expect to re-establish the Soviet Union’s domination over Europe’s eastern half (as much as he’d welcome it). Putin has become a Great-Russian nationalist, a bigoted throwback to the days before the Bolsheviks arrived. His intent is to regain all the lands that once belonged to the czars.

When President Obama declared in March that Putin “has no ideology,” he betrayed his ignorance of both history and Putin. Who’s briefing this guy?

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Putin’s ideology is nationalism, the only belief system that may have killed as many human beings as Marxism. And when a “post-modern” talk-talk America president faces a Russian leader who’s a man of action and whose concept of nationhood refers to the late 19th century, our cherished negotiations merely seal the deal on what Putin’s already taken (anyone really think he’ll give back Crimea and flee from eastern Ukraine?).

Obama talks, Putin kills.

And make no mistake, Putin truly believes he’s entitled to reclaim Ukraine and a great deal more. In his view, independent capitals from Warsaw (yes, Warsaw) to Bishkek are integral and natural parts of the Russian imperium. He regards them as property stolen from its rightful owner: Moscow.

Putin is a student of history and of Shakespeare:

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

Translated: Putin seen his opportunities, and he took ‘em.

PS: Obama’s favorite line of Shakespeare: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

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The Odessa File

You know what happens when Israelis around in a crisis.

The doctor (or medical student) is in:

A few hundred Israelis studying abroad in Ukraine have been treating victims of the violence between government forces and pro-Russian militants.

Gonen, a 25-year-old from southern Israel studying medicine in Odessa, described the mayhem that has engulfed the city since Friday. “Yesterday noon the hostilities started. An activist friend of mine asked me and my friends to help treat the wounded.

“We set up a command and control center just like Magen David Adom (emergency personnel) and brought in the victims. We were three Israelis and four Turkish nationals. We treated about 30 people across the city.”

Gonen, a second-year medical students who served as a medic in the IDF, said local residents bought the team bandages and disinfectants: “You can’t rely on the Ukrainian authorities from a medical point of view. There were few ambulances so we arrived at different places and simply treated people in the street.

“We treated them until nighttime. We saw fatalities; this usually-pastoral scene became a war zone. I treated one wounded man while he was surrounded by corpses and people crying and screaming.”

“I felt safe until now, but I won’t walk around the city anymore. There are pro-Russian militants carrying Israeli flags to provoke the population. The Israelis here just want to go home,” said Gonen.

Sadly, in this world we live in, home is where you belong.

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Hypothetical Question

Say you’re out for a jog. Then say, just say, you get shot in the back by a trained sniper. Hey, it could happen.

What would you do?

Gennady Kernes, the mayor of Kharkiv in the Ukraine who was critically injured Monday, has been flown to Israel for medical treatment, reports Arutz Sheva’s Ian Gold.

Gold reports from Kharkiv that Ukrainian authorities asked Israel to assist in treating Kernes, who was shot in the back by unknown assailants while on a morning jog. The authorities reportedly believe that Israeli doctors have more experience than Ukrainian ones in treating gunshot injuries of the type Kernes has suffered.

Gosh, wonder why?

The fact that Kernes is Jewish may have factored into the decision as well.

I’ll bet.

The investigation into the attack indicates thus far that the mayor was shot by a “skilled” assassin who possessed an accurate weapon. An unexploded hand grenade was also found near the scene of the crime.

Kernes was injured in the lungs, stomach, liver and spine, and doctors are fighting for his life.

The rabbi of Kharkiv, Rabbi Moshe Moskowitz, told Arutz Sheva that the mayor is “a very dear Jew, with a warm and loving connection to the community, and we are shocked by the assassination.”

“We are praying for his health,” he said, and urged those who wish to pray for him to mention “Moshe son of Hana.”

Whether the assassin was pro-Ukraine or pro-Russia may matter to some, but not to Moshe Kernes. Aggie asked why Jews even lived there anymore. Jews should be allowed to live anywhere, but this story suggests they’d be wiser to move to Israel before they’re shot, not after.

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Jew Hatred In Ukraine

For these people we should worry?

Gennady Kernes, the Jewish mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine, was shot and wounded on Monday, Interfax-Ukraine has reported. Kernes was a strong supporter of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych. The Interior Ministry announced that local police are investigating. The motives for the shooting are still unclear.

Kernes was shot in the back earlier today, his press secretary told Interfax. “He is currently in intensive care. Doctors are fighting for his life. Surgery is under way,” she said.

Kharkiv is one of the most pro-Russian cities in the country’s Russian speaking east and was one of the only locations in which government forces have been able to dislodge separatists occupying government buildings. Kernes initially exhibited separatist leanings but later recanted, supporting the new administration in Kiev.

There’s an old saying, which I will clean up here: When gentiles fight, they come to hang a Jew. This means, if it requires interpretation, that whenever we see discord and violence in the world, people blame Jews. Think about the Occupy Movement, for example. In Ukraine, they have decided that a good thing to do is to murder a Jewish politician. Which brings up the more important question: Why are there still Jews in Ukraine? What are they thinking?

- Aggie

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Unclenched Fist Update

Putin cuts all ties with White House, won’t take phone calls

As new U.S. sanctions against Russia loom, the Kremlin has shut down—at least for now—intensive high level communications between top U.S. and Russian officials.
Since the invasion of Crimea, President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have had regular phone calls in an often half-hearted attempt to deescalate the ongoing crisis inside Ukraine. But as the U.S. and EU prepare to unveil new sanctions against Russia, Putin has decided the interactions should stop. The Kremlin has ended high-level contact with the Obama administration, according to diplomatic officials and sources close to the Russian leadership. The move signals an end to the diplomacy, for now.

“Putin will not talk to Obama under pressure,” said Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Institute for Contemporary Development, a prominent Moscow think tank, and a close associate of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “It does not mean forever.”

If I may? The translation is this: Appease us or we will attack Ukraine sooner rather than later. And what’er’ya’ gonna do about it anyway?

Pretty sure that’s what Putin means. Maybe if we all hold hands and sing Kumbayah, Putin will want to be friends again?

PS I looked for a version of Kumbaya on youtube, but they all start playing immediately – a no-no on this site. If you want to practice for the weekend attack on Ukraine, go check them out.

- Aggie

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What’s Russian for Achtung!

History repeats itself, Marx avers, first as tragedy, second as farce.

What about the 2,748th time, Groucho?

A leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine calling for all Jews over 16 years old to register as Jews marred the Jewish community’s Passover festivities Monday (Passover eve), replacing them with feelings of concern.

“Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,” the flyer began…

Love the use of “dear”! Why not “Dearest Jews” or “My darling Hebrews”? You’ll see why not:

“Due to the fact that the leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta,” a reference to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement which fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II, “and oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk, (the interim government) has decided that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic’s territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register.”

The leaflet detailed what type of documents the Jewish citizens would need to supply: “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles.”

If the message was not made clear enough, the leaflet further stipulated the consequences that would come to those who failed to abide by the new demands: “Evasion of registration will result in citizenship revoke and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property.”

Because some Jews—most of whom would be dead by now—wanted a free Ukraine after WWII, this fascist Russian occupier wants to round up—or the first step—all of today’s Jews over the age of 16. Flocks of Jews, are there?

Donetsk, a Ukraine province with 4.3 million people – 10 percent of Ukraine’s population – and 17,000 Jews, is home to much of the country’s heavy industry, and is thus the biggest prize of the eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists have captured government buildings in the past week.

Donetsk is 0.4% Jewish; 99.6% not. Pardon me if I’m not surprised. Disgusted, but not surprised. Remember, part of the reason Russia invaded Crimea was to battle supposed Ukrainian fascists—even though local Jews had had no problems.

Have you heard it said that WWII came about in part out of the unfinished business of WWI? Doesn’t this feel the same way? Only with Russia in the role of Nazi Germany?

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Good To Know

Putin probably won’t invade Alaska

But what would Obama do if he did?

Would Vladimir Putin invade Alaska? That’s what one questioner asked the Russian president during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow.
“What would you need Alaska for?” Putin responded via a translator, reminding the audience that Alaska was sold to the United States in the 19th century for a relatively small amount of money.
Putin suggested that there would be no interest in acquiring more northern territory.
“We are a northern country, 70 percent of our territory is in the north and the high north. Alaska, is it in the south? It’s quite cold up there, let’s not be overenthusiastic about it,” Putin said.
Putin added that he did not want to have to pay Russian citizens to live in the state.

Again, what would Obama do… WWOD?

- Aggie

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This Is Fun

- Aggie

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