From: Bulletin of the Institute for the Study of the History and Culture of the USSR (Munich), vol. 1, no. 1 (April 1954): 30-33. Unsigned article.

This transfer reveals the long term policy. The Ukraine, as the largest republic outside of the RSFSR, is quite understandably the republic with local sentiments which all the other republics listen to. It is the center in which, as it were, all the republics are united in their national aspirations. The Central Committee of the KPSU had in mind, as well, the idea of weakening the significance of the Ukraine as such a center when it ordered the Supreme Soviet to issue this decree. In the first place, the Ukraine, having received the Crimea, an area which in fact belongs to the Crimean Tatars, at the same time makes itself an empire to a certain degree, for now it possesses lands without justification based on ethnographic principles. Therefore, it is the Ukraine and not the RSFSR which turns up as a party to the dispute over the lands of the Crimean Tatars. This places all the republics of Central Asia—the whole Moslem world of the USSR—in opposition to the Ukraine.

The Transfer of the Crimea to the Ukraine*

By a decree issued February 19, 1954 of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Crimea was transferred from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. This decree was passed amid solemn circumstances. There were many speeches, which as far as one could tell had one purpose: to explain to the peoples of the USSR the reasons which made this act essential. According to the speakers the chief reasons were these: 1) The Crimea’s economy is closely linked with the economy of the Ukrainian Republic; 2) The Crimea forms, as it were, a natural extension of the southern Ukrainian steppes. Thus the reasons were given and the transfer accomplished. It was all carried out quietly and calmly, without any great publicity in the newspapers. One might even think that this act actually had only the significance assigned to it by certain commentators in the West: “It makes absolutely no difference to the owner in which of his many pockets he is accustomed to carry his valuables.”

The Soviet government, not having widely publicized this matter in the press, betrays more by its silence than it could have expressed through “solemn meetings” and all the publicity which the USSR creates even for less important events.

The point is that it is disadvantageous and even dangerous for the Soviet government to publicize this matter, precisely because inordinate attention to this subject might cause the people to search for the actual reasons which impelled the government to take this step. Actually, did the Crimean economy just now become closely linked with the economy of the Ukraine, or the Crimea just now become a natural extension of the southern Ukrainian steppes? These factors existed far earlier—have always existed. Why then was the Crimea transferred to the Ukraine only now, in 1954? One might think that considerations of military administration could have required this transfer: an attempt to end the inconvenience resulting from the fact that the Tavriya Military District was situated on the territory of two republics, the Crimea (RSFSR) and the Ukrainian SSR, and that this compelled the military organs to be administratively responsible to the governments of two different republics. But this reason is unfounded precisely for the reason that this situation had existed for ten years, and the military authorities had gotten along with it.

ONE CAMPAIGN “PROMISE” HE KEPT Obama tells Medvedev he’ll have ‘flexibility’ after election SEOUL — President Obama told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” after the November election to take on the sticky issue of building a missile defense system in Europe. President Obama shakes hands with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a bilateral […]

Putin’s Intentions Aren’t What Matter: They’re Not Hard to Divine, But Our Strategic Vision Shouldn’t Depend on Them By Andrew C. McCarthy

‘What matters is the intent. And we don’t have a sense of that.” That is what one of Washington’s legion of anonymous “senior government officials” told the Wall Street Journal about the Russian military forces now massing on Ukraine’s border — complemented, of course, by the tens of thousand more Russian troops stationed in what, until just a few days ago, used to be . . . Ukraine.

Clearly, our Beltway gurus have refined a bit of ancient wisdom: If you cannot remain silent and proceed to remove all doubt that you are a fool, at least remain anonymous.

Let us pretend for a moment that our senior official is right, and that Vladimir Putin’s intent, rather than America’s strategic perception, is “what matters.” Is the Kremlin’s intent really so shrouded in mystery that our $50-plus billion per year intelligence community doesn’t quite “have a sense” of it?

Putin has just annexed the Crimean Peninsula with virtual impunity, after promising not to do it even as his forces were moving into place to do it, and despite Russia’s prior guarantee of Ukraine’s territorial security. His military invasion and seizure comes in the wake of his 2008 invasion of Georgia and seizure of Abkhazia and South Ossetia — which followed security assurances similar to those Russia had given Ukraine.

In connection with both invasions, the United States and Western Europe vowed that there would be serious consequences but meekly accepted Russia’s aggression. In fact, during the Bush administration, after the United States publicly touted Ukraine and Georgia for NATO membership, the hand-wringing alliance stopped short of incorporating them.

Rest assured that Putin’s bare-chested romps do not include navel-gazing over what the West’s actions imply about its intent. He fully understood that NATO was unwilling to extend to these former Soviet satellites its security guarantee — viz., that an attack on any NATO country is considered an attack on all NATO countries that must be repelled as such. Coupled with Europe’s willingness — actually, anxiousness — to increase economic intercourse with and energy dependence on Russia even after the Georgian invasion, Putin grasped that he had a green light to indulge his revanchist ambitions.

Against this backdrop of recent history, Russia now has upwards of 50,000 troops in position for an invasion of heavily Russian sections of Eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin claims to be engaged in military exercises, under circumstances where there are many thousand more troops than training exercises would justify and where the “we’re just doing exercises” pretext is shopworn. Russia’s claim that it has no hostile designs on Eastern Ukraine echoes its false assurances regarding Crimea and Georgia. Moreover, as the Wall Street Journal report elaborates, the gathering Russian forces are making active efforts to conceal their positions and their equipment along the Ukrainian border. They are establishing supply lines that would be essential to an invasion and prolonged occupation.


Another man might have assumed, correctly, that launching a campaign of insult and insinuation against two billionaires would result in renewed attention to his own finances. Not Harry Reid. The Senate Democratic leader since 2005, and the Senate majority leader since 2007, is not one to reflect before speaking. His mouth runs far ahead of his brain.

In recent years Reid has declared an American war “lost” while our troops still fought overseas; praised President Obama for his “light” skin and “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”; asserted falsely and without evidence that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for a decade; and said “Why would we want to do that?” when asked if he would fund cancer research during the government shutdown.

Now, with his majority in danger, his president unpopular, and his floor agenda obstructed by members of his own caucus, Reid thrashes about uncontrollably. He calls Obamacare horror stories “untrue.” He says Obamacare numbers are not as high as projected because Americans “are not educated on how to use the Internet.” His Senate Majority PAC launches a $3 million ad campaign tying Republican candidates to two men most Americans have never heard of, two men who, funnily enough, are more popular than Reid.

From the floor of the Senate, Reid says these two men, Charles and David Koch, are “un-American” and are trying “to buy America.” Without the terrible specter of the Koch brothers, Harry Reid would be disarmed. He has no issue for his Democratic senators to run on; the minimum wage and climate change are not enough. Nor has he another means of inspiring donors to open their checkbooks. He only has fear, fear of the Kochs, fear of extractive industry, fear of the portion of the elite that favors economic freedom. The Koch brothers, Reid says, “rig the system to benefit themselves.” He should know.

Hoosiers Reject Common Core in Call for State Autonomy : Alec Torres ****Hooray for Governor Mike Pence

On Monday, Indiana governor Mike Pence (R) signed legislation withdrawing the Hoosier state from the Common Core. What began as a bipartisan effort in education reform ended with Indiana as the first state to withdraw from the national standards that 45 other states and the District of Columbia have signed on to.

“I believe our students are best served when decisions about education are made at the state and local level,” Pence wrote in a statement. “By signing this legislation, Indiana has taken an important step forward in developing academic standards that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and are uncommonly high.”

Common Core was designed to provide unified national standards by which to measure and teach students. Beyond easing the educational transition of children who move from one state to another, the Common Core was intended to promote the reading of “informational texts” more than fiction and push for the teaching of a “conceptual understanding” of math over mere memorization.

At first, the initiative seemed full of promise; it was little-known and seldom critiqued outside of education-policy circles. In Indiana, the effort to implement the Common Core was spearheaded by Republican governor Mitch Daniels and his fellow Republican Tony Bennett, the superintendent of public instruction, with the support of Democrats and Republicans alike. In August 2010, only two months after the final standards were made public, Daniels touted the Common Core as a simplification of the state standards that had previously been in place, and the state board of education voted unanimously to join. Implementation began the next school year. Only four states — Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia — refused to adhere to the new standards.


For conservatives, the story of the Obama years has been the depressing spectacle of Republicans fighting a rearguard action covering their retreat from a Democratic agenda backed by superior numbers. Republicans began the Obama administration with effectively no leverage: Barack Obama in the White House, Nancy Pelosi in the speaker’s chair, and Harry Reid running the Senate. The outcome of that was the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the worst domestic defeat for the cause of limited government in a generation. The 2010 congressional elections gave Republicans some relief in the form of a House majority empowered to contain the worst fiscal and policy inclinations of the Obama administration and its congressional allies, and the blessed Republican obstructionists in the Senate have kept a few very bad apples out of high office, but a House majority alone is a poor foundation for advancing conservative policies or reversing the Left’s advances. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have felt the wrath of the Right for spending too much time playing defense, but voters — including conservative voters — left them with little opportunity to do much of anything else.

Republicans now have the opportunity to effectively bring the Obama administration’s legislative program to an early end this November by eliminating the Democrats’ majority in the Senate, which would also give them a much stronger hand in keeping the worst of his appointees out of office, safely quarantined in whatever dank recesses of academia currently housing them. And while one should never underestimate the Republicans’ ability to blunder their way into missing a political opportunity or the fickleness of our bread-and-circuses electorate, there is a very good chance that that will happen. (Knock wood, salt over the shoulder — pick your own prophylactic.) But conservatives all too often seem to have failed to learn the lesson of the heavy losses we have suffered during the Obama years: The differences among us are minor compared with the differences between us and them, which are fundamental.


Opening World Series Pitch – 12 years ago

Most people are not aware that a secret service guy was dressed as an umpire the night President Bush threw out the first pitch during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium. Great story. I’m surprised that none of the newspaper guys ever picked up on the “stranger” in the umpire’s uniform.
Remember this was just after 9/11/01!!! This is our country at one
of its best moments…..
If you don’t do anything else today, just watch this! It’s great!!!

Bipartisan Capitulation on Iranian Nukes Andrew Bostom

One of the major themes of my new book, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel, is the abject failure of imagination regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran, which transcends the political and ideological Republican/Democratic party, and Right/Left, divides.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the craven capitulation to Obama administration demands that Congress “butt out” of the “P5 +1” sham agreement process which has provided dangerous U.S. and international validation of Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

As reported by Al-Monitor yesterday (3/27/14), House lawmakers are crafting a “bipartisan” bill targeting Iran’s jihad-terror “proxy” Hezbollah, having acquiesced to the Obama administration’s demand not to address Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear capabilities, whose ultimate goal has long been acknowledged to be the production of nuclear weapons. The Hezbollah-limited focus, though allegedly “in the works for several months,” in reality represented bipartisan subservience to Obama administration wishes, gaining momentum,

after Democrats acceded to the Obama administration’s request that Congress butt out of the multiparty nuclear negotiations with Iran. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has blocked a vote on a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill that has garnered 59 cosponsors, and the House has also lifted the pressure since passing its own sanctions bill on a 400-20 vote last summer.

Pressed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during hearings on February 4, 2014, U.S. chief negotiator with Iran Wendy Sherman conceded that the P5 + 1 agreement, failed to “shut down” Iran’s continuing development of ballistic missiles. These weapons, which have long range capabilities, are the preferred devices for delivering a nuclear payload. Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), the committee’s ranking member, raised the appropriate questions, interspersed with relevant commentary:


From my e-pal Dr. John A.
In anticipation of an upcoming papal visit to the Holy Land, an Open Letter signed by more than 200 bishops, clerics, members of religious orders, and theologians from several faith traditions, was delivered to Pope Francis on March 5, 2014. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has now added his support of this… ———– Pure calumny and propaganda… Where is the ANY credible evidence of any official targeting of any children by Israel?? Where??!! Quite the contrary, the Palestinians are inculcating young children into hate with propaganda and training for violent jihad and in praise of suicide murderers.. The liberalo-leftist world has turned mad…JHA

Pope Francis: Speak out to end Israel’s Targeting of Palestinian Children


“CIA director John Brennan is at it again,” writes Raymond Ibrahim below, “equivocating over the nature of jihad by evoking paradigms familiar to the West.”

Many of us are quite familiar with Mr. Brennan’s world view, as we wrote about here when Brennan was first nominated to be CIA Director. As Brennan himself said, Islam had “helped to shape my own world view,” as his travels around the world for more than three decades, had taught him about “the goodness and beauty of Islam.”

Well, Mr. Brennan was at it again last Tuesday, as he spoke at the Council of Foreign Relations. You can read details of his visit below, however we would like to point out one thing.

Raymond Ibrahim writes that the “tendency to project one’s own cultural norms and priorities onto others is the height of arrogance and ethnocentrism.” He is 100% correct. It is something Americans have a bad habit of doing, including in their prosecution of the War on Terror. …” National Security Roundtable

A CIA Chief’s Willful Blindness On Jihad By Raymond Ibrahim

CIA director John Brennan is at it again—equivocating over the nature of jihad by evoking paradigms familiar to the West.

Last Tuesday, “during an event at the Council of Foreign Relations, Brennan was asked about the ‘war of ideas’ surrounding Islam, which the questioner said many Americans tend to equate with violence.”

The CIA chief responded by saying that al-Qaeda’s ideology is “a perverse and very corrupt interpretation of the Qur’an”; that “al-Qaeda has hijacked” Islam; that “they have really distorted the teachings of Muhammad.”

Even so, “that ideology, that agenda of al-Qaeda,” confirmed Brennan, “has gained resonance and following in many parts of the world.”

So what is the CIA chief’s explanation as to why such a “perverse and very corrupt” understanding of Islam—one that has “distorted the teachings of Muhammad”— resonates among Muslims?