Friday, May 30, 2014

Obama foreign policy: how to ignore failure and take credit for something you didn't do.

There are few things in life that aren't illegal that are more obnoxious and more detestable than someone trying to take credit for something they didn't do. That is what president Obama in his foreign policy speech, and John Kerry later, tried to do with Ukraine and Syria.

It's even worse when someone's actions actually result in failure and even made things worse, only to have someone else take control, decide to do the opposite, succeed, and then see those who failed try and steal the credit.

That is what president Obama and John Kerry, who sadly has sunk to the level of political shill for president Obama, tried to do in taking credit for successes now being made in Ukraine because of  the use  of military force taken by Ukraine's leaders which Obama had tried to prevent.  Kerry's shameless lying on behalf of Obama's failures and his claims of Obama successes, like a pitch man on TV at 2 a.m. trying to push snake oil, (his comments on Snowden which Daniel Ellsberg called "despicaple" has sunk Kerry even further) has destroyed whatever credibility he had left. 

Instead of  a successful policy in Ukraine and offering a credible threat as a deterrence, Obama tried tepid sanctions against a handful of Putin cronies and it never worked.  Putin annexed Crimea, the insurgency spread to eastern Ukraine, and Obama's weakness made the situation worse.  Which isn't'  stopping him from employing, the "are you going to believe what I tell you or your own lying eyes" school of revisionist history in trying to take credit for recent successes which could have come sooner were it not for him.

It was the military success and military show of force that Obama wanted Kiev to avoid that eventually allowed the elections to take place unhindered in most of the country and yet  Obama, at West Point of all places, tried to claim it was his tepid decision making in avoiding conflict that  was responsible for the success.   

In truth it was his decision making that was not just ineffective and derided for its weakness,  but resulted in diplomatic failure, unnecessary  loss of life and property and emboldened the separatists to be more violent and expand into east Ukraine. It was as most critics called it, a failure of American leadership. Which Obama and Kerry are now trying to claim was the impetus for success.

The claims being made by Obama and Kerry are at best,  embarrassing, at worst,a dishonest attempt at covering up failure and trying to turn it into success and undeserved credit.

Through the entire Ukraine crisis and confrontation  with Russia, Obama was bullied, out gamed and intimidated by Putin who time and again caused Obama to back down and look weak, indecisive and ineffectual just as Putin knew he would.  Many thought Putin saw Obama backing down from his red line as the red flag that led to his calculations. CNN actually did a segment called " Is Putin Bullying Obama"?

Obama has a history of doing nothing or as little as possible, always taking baby steps if any, never big steps, and taking no action unless forced to, and then taking action that is only tepid (remember this is a politician who as a legislator voted "present" more than 100 times so he wouldnt have to vote for or against anything).

He has never in his political life ever  taken decisive action when it comes to policy. And if someone wants to bring up the killing of Bin Laden, imagine the fall out if it became known that Obama was told that Bin Laden's whereabouts had been discovered , that the military had a plan and the means to kill him and he didn't give the go ahead? 

In his speech at West Point, which even a supporter said in an interview, was nothing new, Obama tried to claim that the narrow sanctions he imposed on a handful of Putin cronies and rounding up leaders of NATO countries to make speeches saying Putin was being a bad boy, "served as a counterweight to 40,000 troops on Ukraine's border and armed men in ski masks taking over buildings and terrorizing the local population". It did?   It were sanctions we are told,  that  won the day and prevented a Russian invasion and allowed for the May 25 presidential elections to take place.

 In reality it was Ukraine's decision to finally reject Obama's "guidance" and start using  military force that began to turn the tide. It also should have been clear that Putin never intended to invade.It was a ploy that Putin used solely to intimidate and in Obama's case it worked. Obama should have known the price to invade would have been far too high for Putin since the Ukraine military was still capable of inflicting heavy casualties on Russian troops if they crossed the border and the reward wasn't worth the risk. Destabilization was enough. 

Nevertheless Obama took the credit for the elections in Ukraine and claimed that Ukraine could now pursue a democratic way of life "and we did it without firing a shot".

We didn't fire a shot. But they did. Lots of them. Thousands of them. From fighter jets and attack helicopters and armored vehicles. It was the Ukrainian military finally hitting back against the separatists at the Donetsk airport and  used air power. heavy artillery and infantry that inflicted heavy causalities in re-taking the airport and left the insurgents, according to reports,  "badly shaken" by the ferocity of the military response.  There were more than 100 rebels killed Monday alone and 14  Ukrainian soldiers killed Thursday when an army transport helicopter was shot down by separatists, but, according to Obama, security in Ukraine is being restored and "we did it without firing a shot". 

It was the military and other security forces that prevented insurgents from disrupting the elections outside of eastern Ukraine. And it was the military and security forces that helped secure the safety of those voting. Obama had nothing to do with it.

Which still  didn't stop Obama and Kerry from trying to take the credit.

Obama gave  "guidance" to Kiev to "avoid a military confrontation at all costs" with the militants  and to "avoid bloodshed". That advice led to humiliating surrenders by Ukrainian military, turning over weapons and even armored vehicles to the insurgents and led to  the illegal annexation of Crimea and the occupation of towns and government buildings by the insurgents. It led to loss of life and loss of morale in the military and encouraged police in various eastern cities to surrender because of lack of support. That was the true result of Obama's policies .

Now Putin  has backed off, has stopped making threats and is ignoring the separatists pleas for military help .  It's been Ukraine's new president who has vowed to use all the force necessary to restore order that is making a difference. Not Obama.  Not Kerry.  Not the sanctions,not diplomacy. 

In Syria, it was Obama's reneging on his self imposed "red line" if Syria used chemical weapons, (recalling his claim during one foreign policy speech in which he said he'd use military force if necessary "and everyone knows I dont bluff") that has also led to loss of life and more chaos. Instead of  following through on his threat and punishing Assad with missile strikes that would have severely degraded the effectiveness of Assad's air power,he backed down and  thousands more civilian lives have been lost  since as a result of  Assad's  ability to bomb with impunity,  including targeting hospitals and schools in which countless children have been killed. 

Obama supporters  will tell you Assad finally agreed to  a Putin plan to get rid of his stockpile of sarin gas to avoid a missile strike.  And they call that a success despite the thousands more killed by unhindered conventional bombing. That also didn't stop Assad from using chlorine gas in  another chemical attack which killed more civilians and children, something Obama could also claim was the result of  his not firing a shot. Another red line crossed, another  foreign policy success. As Obama or Kerry  will be quick to tell you .

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rejecting Obama, accepting Colin Powell, Ukraine succeeds against the militants.

In the early days of the insurgency in  Crimea when Russian agents, thugs, and  terrorists with weapons supplied by Moscow used Gestapo tactics against anyone who opposed them in trying to impose their will, the world  saw the Ukrainian military, meekly it seemed, turn over their weapons and abandon military bases giving the insurgents victory after victory  while anyone who opposed the militants were beaten, kidnapped or killed.
Emboldened by their successes they tried to duplicate them in eastern Ukraine and again, at first, the Ukrainian military gave up without a fight while 40,000 Russian troops were cannily positioned on Ukraine's border by Putin as a force of intimidation. And for a time it worked.
But it wasn't the interim government in Kiev who were intimidated. And as we are seeing now, it wasn't the Ukraine military. It was Obama. He was the one who Putin successfully, for a time, intimidated.
Images of the Ukraine military at the beginning of the insurgency simply giving up and turning their weapons over to the terrorist opposition was clearly something that looked and felt as having Obama's finger prints all over it especially since Kiev and Obama were in close consultation. Obama's idea of a response were non-lethal sanctions he ordered against a hand full of Russians close to Putin. Which, as expected, accomplished nothing.
The assessment that it was the government in Ukraine following Obama's direction by having their military surrender their weapons was confirmed by Wesley Clarke, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO who, after returning from a visit to Ukraine, said in an interview that the government in Kiev was following " guidance" to "avoid a military confrontation at all costs" and to "avoid  any bloodshed". The guidance was not coming from Dr. Phil or Dr.Drew. 
It was Obama who was intimidated by Putin  and the 40,000 troops on Ukraine's border not Kiev. It was Obama who didn't want the Ukrainian military to act against the insurgents and terrorists out of fear of Putin's (empty) threat to invade. An invasion Obama just didn't want to deal with in spite of how unlikely it was.  
This picture of Obama as intimidated and outgamed by Putin  was widespread. First, Obama has a long history of caving in to avoid a conflict of any kind on every issue of domestic policy since he's been president, from dropping the public healthcare option and giving in to the health insurance lobby's idea of healthcare reform now known as Obamacare, to gutting financial reform, backing down from criminal prosecutions on Wall Street, trying to gut the USA Freedom Act to give the NSA more of what it wants, reneging on a promise to close Gitmo and on and on. 

CNN got into the act during the height of the Ukraine crisis  when they aired a segment called " Is Putin Bullying Obama?"
Eventually Kiev began to reject Obama's "guidance" of capitulation and appeasement and began to retaliate militarily. It brought the beginings of  success.
But with the insurgents believing they could continue their intimidation, they  attacked and took over the Donetsk airport Monday morning using automatic weapons and grenade launchers and firing on a civilian aircraft.  But this time the government in Kiev responded not with Obama's appeasement but with the Powell Doctrine, the policy employed by Colin Powell  in the first Gulf War  which was to use overwhelming force to defeat an adversary.
The Ukraine military, using the weapons they always had and could have used all along, launched a ferocious counter attack against the insurgents, using fighter jets, attack helicopters and infantry. The terrorists were badly routed, and the Donetsk airport retaken and secured. Reports by the Associated Press coming out of Donetsk was that along with sustaining heavy casualties the insurgents were "badly shaken" by the ferocity of the attack. 
Had that force been used from the beginning, had Obama's guidance been rejected, perhaps not easy to do when the interim government in Kiev was understandably, but  futilely looking for help from the U.S. , many lives would have been saved, the insurgency would have been contained and defeated, there would have been no illegal annexation of Crimea and no take overs in eastern Ukraine where people were killed, beaten, kidnapped, intimidated and free speech shut down. There might have been rallies or protests , but no deaths, beatings or terrorism or  the suppression of free speech by armed men in  ski masks. 
Ukraine's new president is promising to defeat the terrorists " in hours, not months" and has promised to use the neccessary military force to do just that. By doing so the Donetsk airport is now out of the hands of the terrorists. The rest of eastern Ukraine will probably follow. And with order finally restored, no one will need to wonder which five new  Russian officials Obama will threaten to sanction next.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The VA hospital scandal: another Obama promise reneged,another Obama lie.

A few days ago as the wait times at VA hospitals became a national scandal with allegations that interminably long wait times to see a doctor resulted in the deaths of 40 veterans, Obama, through his chief of staff, wanted it leaked to the media that he was "mad as hell".

As if invoking the mantra of  anchorman Howard Beale in the movie Network who implored people to shout, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore", Obama made sure everyone knew he was "mad as hell". But true to being Obama, he left out the "I'm not going to take it any more" part. And for good reason. 

Obama began talking about the problems with the VA including the unacceptable wait times as far back as 2007 as candidate for president. He was on the Veterans Affairs Committee as a U.S. senator as the head of Veterans Affairs in the Bush administration pointed out on CNN. He also pointed out that as a senator Obama never attended any of the meetings or hearings. But when it came to making it an issue he could use as a presidential candidate, he spoke up,  criticizing the Bush administration's running of the VA including the wait times. He also, as far back as 2007, made a speech to the VFW criticizing the wait times and promising if he were elected president, he'd put a stop to it.

Like Gitmo, the health care public option, financial reform, a red line for use of chemical weapons, transparency in government, net neutrality, ending Bush era NSA collection of domestic metadata, and on and on into what is the caricature of the Obama presidency, Obama did nothing and put the VA and it's problems in his political bag labeled "Reneged" with all his other campagin promises. 

Obama's feigned disingenuous outrage over the VA wait times scandal can be added to the long list of  everything else he promised to change when he wanted votes only to see him do nothing after being elected. It's been the hallmark of his presidency.

Aside from knowing all about the problems with wait times at VA hospitals as far back as 2007 there is also evidence that he was told about the problems of wait times by the Bush administration during the transition period in 2008 as he was about to take office.

Even more recently, an internal government memo dated June 2010 surfaced showing that the problem with wait times at VA hospitals was getting worse.This is nothing Obama didnt know about. And like every other promise or pledge he has ever made on any subject he has ever talked about,  he did nothing.

Now that its become a national news story, now that there is outrage over the wait times, now that there are investigations both internally in the government and among news outlets digging for more,  now suddenly Obama wants everybody to know that he is "mad as hell". Even though he 's had 6 1/2 years to be mad as hell and do something about it. But in case you didn't get the point,  he issued a second statement saying,  "I will not stand for misconduct at veteran's affairs hospitals". Even though he's stood for it for 6 years.

It is Obama's own misconduct that is the issue. And in a moment of political theater of the absurd, when Jay Carney was confronted at a news briefing with the 2010 internal administration memo about the long wait times proving Obama knew about the problem in 2010, Carney's answer was " let's wait for the inspector general's report and see what that says before commenting".

The White House press corps as usual let this go, afraid it seems,  to stand up and label preposterous anything coming from the White House, but what Carney was saying and left unchallenged was that they needed to wait for an inspector general's report to tell Obama whether or not he knew about the problem in 2010. And he said it with a straight face. 

Which is a little like Obama telling veterans at the VA, "if you like your health plan you can keep your health plan. Even if it's not  working the way it should ".

Friday, May 16, 2014

Jill Abramson firing long overdue and well deserved.

Almost overnight a small  cottage industry has cropped up complaining about the NY Times firing of Jill Abramson  as executive editor as some kind of "proof" of sexism in the workplace and how women are still being treated as second class and on unequal terms with men at the top of the corporate ladder.

The latest nonsense to buttress these claims as trumpted in headlines by the Huffington Post and the Drudge Report to name two strange bedfellows among others, and then picked up by a number of female columnists, was that Abramson was somehow fired because of her complaints that she was not being paid commensurate with her male predecessors, and that was the cause of her firing, something for which there is no proof and the Times publicly denies. And no one in a position to know, not even Abramson, has said otherwise.

There is an unassailable case to be made that Abramson never should have been given the job in the first place but more on that in a minute. 

It was common knowledge among those who were actually there as opposed to those who weren't but who have a political ax to grind and have been writing all the opinion peices,  that Jill Abramson was the cause of combustible dissent and friction in the Times news room from day one and on more than one occasion the newsroom was on the verge of a mutiny against her. That she lasted this long probably had more to do with the Times not wanting to have to admit they made a big mistake in the first place and was concerned about having to deal with some of the potential gender fallout they find themselves having to answer to now.

But the firing was more than justified. Abramson was repeatedly accused by Times reporters of killing important stories in favor of trivial ones, seemed more concerned about doing things for commercial success ( which failed) and attention than demanding high journalistic standards and engaged in shouting matches with subordinates. Which is fine if she was right and the subordinates wrong. But according to those who were there,  that wasn't the case. That the Times has fallen on hard times in terms of excellence has been true for more than ten years, but Abramson not only didn't help, she lowered the bar even further.

But the biggest and most valid complaint against Abramson might be that based on merit she never should have gotten the job in the first place.

While attacking the Times for sexism, a number of female journalists doing the attacking seem to forget Abramson's signature professional failure, displayed long before she was incredulously named executive editor at the Times,  in that  it was Jill Abramson, who as the New York Times Washington bureau chief, rubber stamped and gave the thumbs up to all of Judith Miller's bogus stories about Sadaam's WMD fed to her by Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby which ended up on the front page of the NY Times.

Cheney used those spoon fed stories as "proof" of Sadaam's WMD, claiming that  even the NY Times has independently  confirmed the existence of Iraq's WMD and used the Times stories as leverage to get an affirmative vote for the war in Iraq in the senate.

Anyone who has ever watched All the President's Men knows that during Watergate  the Washington Post's executive editor Ben Bradlee insisted Woodward and Bernstein get corroboration from at least two independent sources before the Post would run the story. In Judith Miller's case,  Abramson didn't demand or even ask for any corroboration before okaying her  Cheney fed stories.  It was the "scoop" value over responsible journalism and it was enough. If Abramson had demanded Miller provide corroboration, there would have been more than enough sources who would have strenuously contradicted Cheney's claims including well respected UN weapons inspectors, the IAEA, and  even U.S. intelligence agencies which had no proof of WMD in Iraq and doubted their existence. 

It would have been more than enough for any responsible editor to have killed Miller's stories which claimed that it was beyond any doubt that  Iraq possessed WMD,  stories  that the Bush administration used to take the country to war. Any responsible editor would have refused to take the Bush administration's word for it and become nothing more than a PR arm of the Bush Adminstration. Instead of responsible journalism, the kind that demands proof, especially on an issue as dire as war, the Times published front page fabrications fed to Miller and Abramson by Cheney which the Bush administration used to take the country to war under false pretenses.

After the Libby trial and the truth behind Miller's front page stories were exposed, in an online Q&A on the Times web site to answer her critics about the false WMD stories Miller said in defending herself: " I'm sorry but if my source (singular) is wrong  then I'm going to be wrong".

Days later, obviously realizing the significance of the admission that she and  Times editor Abramson had no corroboration for Miller's stories, the  Times doctored the transcript of the Q&A and replaced the word " source" with "sources". I know. I saw the original online Q&A and noted Miller's use of the word "source" and its significance only to see it changed in the transcript to "sources" days later. There were no "sources". The source was Dick Cheny's fabrications passed to Miller through Scooter Libby and rubber stamped by Abramson.

Abramson deserves the credit, or blame,  along with Judith Miller and former executive editor Bill Keller for those stories, their violation of journalistic standards and it's subsequent dire consequences.

In a world of real accountability, Abramson would have been  terminated along with Judith Miller and Bill Keller once the truth came out.

How Abramson was ever chosen to replace Keller as executive editor in the first place defies any kind of standards of professionalism and accountability. But it helps explain the demise of the Times over the last decade and longer and the well documented ignorance and misstatement of facts by its editorial board shown on its opinion pages.

Whether her replacement, Dean Baquet with whom Abramson had her share of shouting matches, will improve the Times is yet to be seen.  But he has to be an improvement.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Kiev sees progress ignoring both Obama and Putin.

When Russia's stealth invasion of Crimea began,  the Ukrainian military suffered one humiliation after another because of instructions by the Obama administration to avoid confrontation with the insurgents "at all costs".  Kiev followed Obama's "guidance"  of capitulation(capitulation being something Obama knows a lot about)  and the cost was Crimea and the insurgents moving into eastern Ukraine.

Kiev finally had enough of Obama's "guidance",  took matters into its own hands and began doing what it probably should have done from the beginning -- use all the military force  necessary against the Russian separatists, terrorists, and undercover Russian troops who invaded  and illegally took over government buildings in an attempt to start a civil war as a means for Russia to gain control over more Ukrainian territory.

Now that Kiev is fighting back they are succeeding both in eastern Ukraine and in Odessa, retaking buildings, destroying insurgent checkpoints and defeating the armed insurgents. Which is why suddenly there are statements from Putin claiming he is withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border and calling for the Ukrainian military to cease operations.  Which is precisely what Kiev should not do. They are succeeding by rejecting Obama's guidance. And they should ignore Putin's statements as well.

Putin's statement that Kiev should stop their military operations against the armed separatists holding government buildings is being framed as some kind of gesture for good faith negotiations.  It should be ignored. The only reason Putin is making the offer is because the Ukrainian military is winning. 

Kiev should be making the demands and they should include that the separatists and terrorists lay down their arms and vacate the buildings as the only actions acceptable and the only conditions under which the Ukraine military would cease operations and the only conditions under which there would be any negotiations. Either voluntarily leave the buildings or be removed by force.

Putin is claiming he is pulling back Russian forces from the border but there is no proof of that.  But it's unlikely Putin would have used them for an invasion in the first place. The costs would be too high for Russia on every level. The Russian forces on the border were there as a tool of intimidation. As it regards Obama, it worked. It was this intimidation that led Obama to instruct Kiev to avoid a military confrontation at all costs because Obama didn't want to deal with the consequences of an overt Russian invasion. Knowing that,  Putin made Obama blink so many times it looked like Obama had something in his eye. And he did. Putin.

Now that the insurgents have been losing militarily, Putin wants to call time out. Kiev needs to ignore Putin just as they finally ignored Obama,  and continue the offensive against the insurgents and separatists engaged in murder, intimidation and Gestapo tactics against pro-Ukrainian citizens and regain control of the country.

After the ambush of Ukrainian soldiers by Donesk terrorists there is nothing left for Kiev to do except use all the military force necessary to defeat the separtists and terrorists in the east.

For the distinct minority of ethnic Russians in Donesk who support the ambushes, the torture, murder, lies and Gestapo tactics used by the separtists in their name  and who think the bogus vote and referendum allows them to say what country the ground they walk on will belong to, despite the majority who oppose them,  Kiev should give them two choices. If they want to be a part of Russia,go to Russia. Nothing is stopping them from leaving. Then they can be as much a part of Russia as they wish. Or as Putin allows.  The other choice is to surrender. And if they choose to fight and to try and force their will at the point of a gun Kiev has no choice but to use as much military force as neccessary to defeat them.And the more they use the faster it will be over.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rejecting Obama guidance, Ukraine begins to use force to restore order and is succeeding.

The Ukraine government is finally doing what it should have done sooner,  using their military to fight back against the Russian thugs, masked criminals, special forces,  terrorists and undercover agents sent in by Moscow who took over government buildings, destroyed property, murdered the opposition and attacked unarmed pro Ukrainian demonstrators in the streets in the hopes of taking over the entire country.

The Ukrainian government in finally rejecting Obama's "guidance" of appeasement which only led to more violence and loss of territory, and deciding not to wait any longer for Obama to take a leadership role and take any kind of effective action,  Ukrainian military and special forces has begun using the force necessary to repel the Russian terrorists and undercover agents from the buildings they used in an armed take over, actions that the NATO Secretary General has called a war started by Russia.

While the local police have been inept in dealing with the violence, the Ukrainian military has been successful in taking out checkpoints and roadblocks set up by the Russian special forces absurdly called "local militia"   by Moscow and have been moving city by city to take back government buildings and TV stations and doing what Obama wouldn't which is to defy Putin and hit back.

Putin had gambled that he could outsmart, out game and intimidate Obama and he did all of that. He knew Obama's response would be weak and tepid. And it has been. Obama's response to Putin's stealth invasion could only be called non-lethal sanctions against Russia.

Obama has also been losing the war of words. When Putin announced he reserved the right to invade to protect Russian speaking people, Obama was silent. No public statements that Putin has no such right and that it was Putin offering only an empty pretext for what would be overt war if he invaded. The result of Obama's silence and guidance of capitulation was Ukraine losing Crimea to Putin who felt emboldened to employ the same strategy elsewhere in Ukraine.

 It was this guidance coming from Obama from the beginning of the insurgency in Crimea that directed the Ukrainian government to use restraint and to avoid any kind of clash or confrontation with the Russian insurgents" at all costs".  As we have seen, the costs have been high. It resulted in some humiliating surrenders of Ukrainian military to the Russian insurgents which not only lost territory but lowered morale. This "guidance" given to Kiev was confirmed by former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark who returned from Ukraine and said in an interview the government in Kiev had been, up to now, acting on "guidance" it had been recieving. He didn't have to say where the "guidance" was coming from.  It came from the Obama administration. And the "guidance" was self serving. Obama was intimidated by Russian troops on Ukraine's border and had no interest in calling Putin's bluff.

Obama's response to Russia's violation of the Geneva agreement has also been tepid and ineffective once again.  Obama continues to move the goal posts back anytime Putin defies a marker put down by Obama to avoid any real, meaningful actions.

But with Kiev finally ignoring Obama's  "guidance" of appeasement they have stopped capitulating as they did in Crimea and eastern Ukraine and are now taking the fight to the pro Russian separtists sponsored by Moscow. And so far are succeeding, having destroyed Pro-Russian checkpoints and roadblocks and taken back a number of buildings in cities in eastern Ukraine.  They have also sent elite fighting units to Odessa. And they will continue to succeed since they have superior forces against the Russian insurgents and have the support of the majority of the Ukrainian people who want no part of belonging to a Russian federation. If Kiev wants to take any advice from the U.S. let them take it from Colin Powell when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who established the Powell Doctrine of using superior and overwhelming force against an enemy.

 The Ukrainian military can minimize civilian casualties by using tear gas to disperse the rock throwers and those with clubs trying to attack or intimidate anyone who disagrees with them.Then use whatever military force necessary against the pro Russian insurgents and terrorists holding the buildings.

 In an interview with a group of captured journalists one of the military leaders of the pro-Russian separatists called what is going on in Ukraine "war" in defending reports that the pro-Russians militants  were engaged in torture and murder.  He didnt deny it and justified by saying " its war. Its a messy business". After beating one of the blindfolded journalists the reporters were let go.

 Capturing journalists, beating them, engaging in torture and murder, attacking unarmed pro Ukraine unity demonstrators, capturing TV stations, broadcasting lies and propaganda and trying to impose their will on the majority by using force and terrorism while trying to label the other side fascists  makes it clear who the real enemies of freedom are. It's the Russian  separatists employing Gestapo and terrorist tactics to try and impose their will on the minority. Any doubt as to who they are should be dispelled by the presence of a red flag with hammer and sickle , the flag of the old Soviet Union, seen in front of at least one building taken over by the Russian terrorists. Kiev needs to accept that reality and continue to act accordingly with the force neccessary.

Confirmation that what the Ukrainian military is doing is working and is precisely what Moscow hoped they could prevent through intimidation, is evident by the increasingly desperate statements coming from Russia's foreign ministers, trying to frame the counter attack on the invading pro Russian special forces and terrorists as "fratricide". And Putin is now claiming he is withdrawing his forces from the border. 

It's only because the  provisional government in Kiev finally rejected Obama's policies of  capitulation and are fighting back. And they are succeeding.