Remembering the Alamo

Once again, another year has passed and I missed the actual anniversary. There are many reasons for freedom-loving people to remember what happened at the Alamo almost two centuries ago. A fine performance by Dennis Quaid, who got Sam Houston just right.

If you ever get a chance, please take the time to watch the 2004 version of The Alamo, also featuring Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett.


  1. Francis Frost says

    Once again the Russian government demonstrates it true nature through its own controlled media .

    Not content with threatening Ukraine with dismemberment, they now have publicly declared war against the US and are publicly threatening the US with a nuclear attack. For those who understand the Russian language you can watch the video for yourself. A rough translation follows below.

    Such histrionics would be laughable, if history did not show that sometimes this kind of rhetoric creates is own dynamic and can propel events out of control. A single gunshot in Sarajevo started WWI which decimated an entire generation and overthrew the political stability of the entire Eurasian continent. In 1938 Neville Chamberlain declared “we have achieved peace in our times” with his policy of appeasement to the same kind of anschluss now being carried out today in Ukraine.

    Pray for peace and pray for our leaders to exercise wisdom during this ever more alarming crisis.

    “Russia 1″ threatens to turn the U.S. into ” radioactive ash ”
    16.03.2014 , 22:46 Ilya Shepelin

    Tonight, while summing up the results of the referendum on the accession of Crimea to Russia , in the final program ” News Week ” presenter Dmitry Kiselev threatened the with a U.S. nuclear explosion in case of an escalation of the conflict with Russia over the Crimea .

    “Earlier, the Americans warned of freezing the preparation for the G Eight summit meeting in Sochi in June. Like, boycott Russia no problem But if so , then why is Obama calling up Putin all the time?” – Rhetorically wondered Kiselev, when behind him a photograph of Obama with the caption” A gray head . ” Kiselev answered his own question when it was involved in a background picture to a nuclear explosion and the caption ” In the nuclear ashes ! “.

    “Russia isthe only country in the world, capable of transforming the U.S. into radioactive ash ! I do not know whether there is a correlation; but Obama called Putin on January 21 , but on the very next day , literally January 22, an article appeared in the official organ of the Russian government[ in “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” ], which quite lucidly described how our “Perimeter” system works to guarantee nuclear retaliation. In the U.S., they call the system “dead hand .” Even if all the people in our command posts are silenced after an enemy nuclear attack, this invulnerable system will automatically launch our strategic missile flight from mines and submarines in the right direction “, – announced Kiselev , recommending ithat his audience read the article in ” Rossiyskaya Gazeta ” , calling it ” extremely interesting . ”

    According to Kiselyov , with the appearance of this article ” Obama began to call Putin often .” ” A graying head! Coincidence ! ? “- Asked Kiselev himself with characteristic gestures. Then , however, Kiselyov said that the war with the United States is already underway, but “so far it is only a war of words.”

    Next: Western media on the referendum : Crimea – is a different story

    • George Michalopulos says

      In light of what the West did to Serbia with the dismemberment of Kosovo from it, what exactly is wrong with “dismembering” Ukraine? It’s clear that the western and eastern halves don’t like each other.

      Czechoslovakia peacefully “dismembered” and Scotland is getting ready to vote on secession er, independence.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        There you are again, George. My wonderful Ma was always ready with maxims and aphorisms. A favorite was “two wrongs don’t make a right”. In Monomakhos land, though, the contrary is the purest logic; the ready answer to all these petty cavils!

        When my Ma laid it down though, it had usually at least been tit for tat. But here, any disconnected event or non sequitur will do…..

        Russia should not have invaded Ukraine? Well, Sherman should not have invaded Georgia! QED!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Of course, you’re right Tim: two wrongs don’t make a right. Let’s look at this another way instead: the Czech Republic and Slovakia peacably disestablished Czechoslovakia. Scotland is getting ready to secede from the UK (the Irish Free State did that eighty years ago). Quebec may do the same in Canada. Why can’t the eastern half of Ukraine join Russia? It’s clear that the westerners hate them and their language (and their religion). Why not do it peacefully?

          • George, don’t forget this week’s little referendum in Venice.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Indeed! I forgot, thanks for reminding me.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                So, George, do you think the vote in Scotland will be 97%?

                Really, it doesn’t matter? The truth, that is. No, not the “truth” of where the Crimea should be politically, whatever that may be. The truth of the 97% vote…..

                • George Michalopulos says

                  No, because Scotland is evenly divided between Highlanders, Anglo-Scots, and Lowlanders (with a tremendous intermixing of all) and of course immigrants.

                  I too thought the 97% was ridiculous until I read that the overwhelming majority of TAtars (12% of the population) didn’t vote. I very much believe that the remaining 88% did vote overwhelmingly for union. When people divide themselves up according to race or ethnicity, this is not uncommon. In certain black precincts Obama got 100% of the vote. Nobody questioned that. Asians went 73% for Obama, Jews 78% for Obama, Hispanics 72%, white non-hispanics 59% for Romney.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Amazing faith.

                    Well, it’s going to be an interesting ride. Russia is going to need to find a whole lot of money that it doesn’t have!

                    • Isa Almisry says

                      “Russia is going to need to find a whole lot of money that it doesn’t have!”
                      Pot, stop worrying about kettle’s economy being in the black.

        • lexcaritas says

          Is there a reason the Crimeans should not have the right of self-determination? Who says they must be part of Ukraine? or any other country? Does their voice not count? Are not governments instituted among men with the consent of the governed? What has happened to government of the people, by the people and for the people?

          Is this another case of a constitutionatl union to be enforced by sword and bayonet? Why not let people determine their own vocation and destiny?


      • Francis Frost says

        As much as it may pain some, the West intervened in Serbia to mitigate and prevent another mass genocide. You cannot hide the tens of thousands of bodies of the Bozniaks massacred by supposedly “Orthodox” Serbs. In reality the massacres were carried out by paramilitary thugs (many recruited from prisons and psych wards) on behalf of the communist thug Slobodan Milosevic. All the anti-Western rhetoric will not wish away the corpses from those acts of genocide. Nor will it wash away the shame of those acts of cruelty and barbarity.

        Despite the secession of Kosovo, the Belgrade government has moved on to join the European Union. The only Serbian bishop to beat this war drum has himself been suspended for graft and abuse.

        • Isa Almisry says

          “All the anti-Western rhetoric will not wish away the corpses from those acts of genocide. Nor will it wash away the shame of those acts of cruelty and barbarity.”

          Yeah, all those Croatians angels emulating the Ustashe, and Islamist angels answering Izzetbegovich’s call for an Islamic state…the Serbs were the problem. 😉

        • George Michalopulos says

          Surely you can’t be serious. Massacres and genocide was endemic to Yugoslavia once it broke up into its constituent parts. Even the Muslim/Croat apologists aren’t crying about supposed Serb atrocities anymore.

  2. Francis Frost says


    It might be cold comfort; but you will be relieved to know that Russia’s latest nuclear armed missiles were also “blessed” with prayers and holy water when they were commissioned. So we can be happy to know that should the Russian government carry out its idle threat to annihilate our children that it will be done only with “holy” nukes!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis, I don’t know how to put this, but to actually believe that the RF is hell-bent on nuking the US is nothing short of insane.

      As for which country is more bellicose, let me ask you: how many military actions has Russia initiated since the breakup of the Soviet Union? One –Georgia.

      How many military actions has the US initiated in that same period of time? Kuwait, Panama (Bush 41), Libya, the “liberation” of Kosovo (Clinton), Iraq, Afghanistan, (Bush 43), Libya (Obama). It was only because of a resurgent Russia and the rising up of the American people that we aren’t presently destroying Syria.

      Think about it.

      • Francis Frost says


        Once more you demonstrate a defict of facts.

        Russia has not only invaded Georgia three times with nearly 50,000 Orthodox Christian murdered in their own homes and villages, 300,000 driven into exile by ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing with the destruction of two entire Orthodox Christian dioceses.; Russia also has occupied portions of Moldova and now Ukraine.

        Not to mention the mass killing of over 100,000 Chechen and Russian civilians in the reconquest of 1999 – 2000. Not to mention the murder of over 300 independent journalists. Not to mention the over 300 Russian citizens murdered when Putin’s KGB bombed Russian apartment blocks as an excuse to invade Chechnya. Not to mention the Polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko for exposing that crime.

        When Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons, Ukraine’s territorial borders were guarantees by the US, Great Britain and the Russian government. .By reneging on that agreement, Russian has declared that all its agreements and treaties are worthless paper. Look for an ascending scheme of sanctions and bans. The ban instituted by the US yesterday have the option for expansion to be as economically crippling as the sanctions against Iran.

        Sometimes George you really out to think twice before opening your mouth. Can you possibly think that Russia has SAVED Syria from destruction???? Even you cannot possibly be that stupid. Do some research. Get a clue. It is true that America has shouldered the job of the world’s policeman and is now pulling back. If you want to know what a world looks like without American power, America influence and American values: look at Syria today.

        You might also want to check the Central Asian news. Afghanistan’s grand council of elders, the Loya Jirga overwhelmingly voted to ask the US to keep a training mission in Afghanistan after 2014 over the objections of Hamid Karzai.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Francis, forgive me for not noticing earlier, but allow me to be the first to congratulate you on having taken taken your final vows as a Neocon. You will learn much from Bill Kristol, John Podhoretz, and Charles Krauthammer, all of whom come from distinguished pedigrees going all the way back to Leon Trotsky. Thanks to their efforts, they were able to transform these United States into a militaristic enterprise dedicated to spending American blood and Treasure on behalf of something called “democracy.” (Did you know that the Neocons and the Saudis have the same national anthem? It’s called “Onward! Christian Soldiers.”)

          Seriously now, I will only take the time to counter one of your assertions and eviscerate it, thereby laying bear the religiosity behind American demo-jihadism: Syria.

          To assume that Syria is a hell-hole in situ without talking about the efforts to destabilize it over the years by Jihadists, Israelis, and Saudis is curious. That would be akin to a mafia family sending their thugs into a mom-and-pop store, breaking a few things, and then coming by the next day telling the owner that things are really bad and he needs to pay protection.

          Let me be blunt, would Syria be better off being a real American colony? Yes, but only if you are really committed to real imperialism. Not the pale pastel forms of it that we are accused of by the various humanities departments of the Ivy League. But that would be a messy enterprise, requiring not a little brutality, intermarriage (forced or otherwise) and the subsequent creation of castes. To suppose otherwise is insane. Don’t believe me? Look at Iraq. We thought that once we were there the fellahin would take out their cribbed copies of The Federalist Papers and their innate Jeffersonianism would bloom. Didn’t happen.

          America cannot be a “policeman.” If it is going to be involved in the world, it can only be a Hegemon. Is that what you want?

          As for your other numbers about peoples murdered by the reconquest, I have grave doubts about them. I remember CNN, MSNBC, and FOX news whipping up war-drums for Iraq talking about the “millions” of Iraqi children starving under the sanctions we placed on Saddam. I also remember the Kuwaiti babies who were thrown out of their incubators by Iraqi soldiers back in 1991.

          In principle, I have no problem with real imperialism, in which one of the European races subjugates one of the Asiatic, African, or Amerindian races and imposes their values upon them. After several generations, the colonized peoples acquire a higher degree of civilization than they had before. Look at India, it’s an economic and military powerhouse. And that’s thanks to its continued ties to the Anglosphere. But here’s the thing: we Americans don’t have it in us to be so blatant. We do have the luxury of being an isolated continental republic, one which has no need of the rest of the world. Why not just enjoy that?

    • Francis,

      One thing to keep in mind is that it is not an empty threat. The RF could, in fact, reduce the US to “radioactive waste”. And, though the comment comes from the media and not the government (media has lots more room for macho bluster, on the record government much less so), given that McCain wants to send arms to the Ukraine, it is certainly a consideration for our government. This would not be a proxy war where we arm one side and they arm another. These arms would be used against the RF. That’s quite serious and something we probably wouldn’t do unless we were ready to risk nuclear war.

      This was a Western misadventure. Attempting to extend the borders of the EU economic union and the NATO military union up to the borders of Russia is sheer madness. If these entities encompass most of Europe sans Russia, what other purpose do they serve but to economically and militarily isolate the RF? None. We have been waging a Cold War against Russia since before Putin came into office. Russia has been exceedingly patient in this regard but that is over.

      Do we aggressively attempt to isolate other governments such as China, Saudi Arabia, etc whose politics we don’t share? Of course not. Bear in mind, the Cold War of the 20th century was premised on the fact that the Soviet Union was a communist state; i.e., it operated, advocated and aggressively exported an economic system fundamentally at odds with the mixed market capitalism of the West. That state system is dead.

      Authoritarian systems on the other hand have been around since time immemorial. Moreover, most Orthodox in history have lived under authoritarian systems and the Fathers largely accepted or even endorsed such systems. In fact, the institution of the imperial office is quite interwoven with Orthodoxy.

      Did territorial integrity give us pause in the Balkans? Not a moment’s. How far are the Balkans from the United States? Thousands of miles. How far is the Ukraine from Russia? Right next door. A state on the front porch overthrown by the Western media, Western NGO’s, Western politicians and neo-fascists supported by the likes of McCain and a new “president” hand picked by Victoria Nuland.

      Ukraine is d*mned lucky they’re not completely occupied right now given the utter arrogance of the coup.

      Yes, may God bless the nuclear weapons that defend a last outpost of Orthodoxy against Western Enlightenment Liberal imperialism. That’s definitely a holy cause worth defending to the death and by whatever means necessary. The Russians know the stakes having lived under a much more fierce form of progressivism for over 70 years. They do not lament the demise of militant atheism but of Russia as a great power capable of defending and asserting its own interests in a world dominated by hostile, aggressive and morally degenerate adversaries. That is why this venture is so popular in Russia.

      This is a generic geopolitical conflict. Russia has legitimate interests as does the United States. They perceive these interests to conflict. An equilibrium was disturbed and a new one will emerge. That’s all that’s really happening. It should be expected given the slow descent of America from its perch as policeman of the world.

      Francis, you don’t have to like it.

      • Francis Frost says


        Once again, you demonstrate a complete moral obtundity. You wrote:

        Yes, may God bless the nuclear weapons that defend a last outpost of Orthodoxy against Western Enlightenment Liberal imperialism. That’s definitely a holy cause worth defending to the death and by whatever means necessary. The Russians know the stakes having lived under a much more fierce form of progressivism for over 70 years. They do not lament the demise of militant atheism but of Russia as a great power capable of defending and asserting its own interests in a world dominated by hostile, aggressive and morally degenerate adversaries. That is why this venture is so popular in Russia.

        You perhaps are unaware that threats of violence and destruction are contrary to the Savior’s commandments to “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Love your enemies. Do good to those that hate you.”

        Perhaps, you can point out to us the scriptural justification for threats of utter annihilation and the blessing of weapons of mass destruction?

        This is no small thing; especially as these threats and weapons are being used against fellow Orthodox Christians, and innocent civilians. On August 9th 2008, in televised remarks, Sergei Lavrov threatened the Georgian nation with annihilation if Georgia did not accede to the overthrow of its elected government.

        In that same 2008 war, the Russian bishops, Panteleimon of Kabardino-Adyghe and Feofan of Saratov (since transferred to Machkhala) accompanied the invasion forces and publicly “blessed” the weapons used to attack civilian populations. These “blessings” were televised first in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video with your own eyes as it is included in the “Orthodox Occupation” video on You Tube. These infernal “blessings” are also included in Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons), which debunks the Russian government’s propaganda campaign of justification for its invasion of Georgia. Mr. Nekrasov’s documentary is also available on You Tube in 12 segments, some with English sub-titles for those who do not understand the Russian language.

        On August 8, 2008, the missiles “blessed” by Bishop Feofan were used attack the ancient Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikozi. On August 9th, the Russian military and their Ossetian allies looted, desecrated and burned this ancient House of God. These weapons were used in bombing raids and missile attacks on civilian populations throughout Georgia, including areas well outside the so-called “zone of conflict”.

        The 2008 documentary “Orthodox Occupation” has been re-released and posted on You Tube at the following url:

        Portions of this documentary plus additional footage are now available with English voice over, titled “Orthodox Occupancy Part 1 and Part 2” at the following urls:

        A television documentary on the destruction of Ghvertaeba and the work of reconstruction carried out by Metropolitan Isaiah may be viewed at:

        By their own actions, the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate have violated the most ancient Apostolic Canons, and they have spurned the Lord’s commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

        By applauding not just the existence of nuclear weapons of mass destruction; but their public ‘blessing’ and the threat to annihilate an entire nations using such weapons; you declare that you are in fact not a Christian at all and that your declared “Orthodox” faith a sham and a cover for an anti-American, anti-Westen geo-political stance. What utter shamelessness!

        It should surprise no-one that he pro-Russian demonstrators in Crimea are now carrying the old Soviet flag and gathering around the statues of Lenin. They too, are showing their true stripes.

        The tragedy of the Moscow Patriarchate is that its leader have cast the pearl of faith before this swine, who in the end will turn on the church and destroy it. Our Russian emigre forebears would be sickened by that and by you as well.

        George is always decrying the impending implosion of the OCA. Do you want to know why the OCA is dying?

        The church is being smothered by a false religion that worships foreign dictators rather than Jesus Christ.

        Our Lord declared that “ A man cannot serve two masters. Either he will love the one and hate the other, or he or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6

        What greater example of mammon is there than the Putin “power vertical” that created multi-billionaires out of crime bosses (zakoniye vori) and impoverished the ordinary people, that created a national hero out of self described KGB “street thug” ?

        You are welcome to laud your idol, who even so will prove to have feet of clay.

        May the Lord rebuke you

        • George Michalopulos says

          Francis, how quickly you forget. The United States never shared your abhorrence about nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Reagan was constantly pressured by Liberals and the Soviets (but then I repeat myself) to abrogate use of “No First Use”. (And personally, I’m glad we didn’t. The Soviets looked at the Gipper and weren’t sure if he was going to push the Button.)

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            George, do you have any inkling of what Mr. Frost meant by “your complete moral obtundity?” Is it something like obtundence, i.e., dullness? I don’t see how his inanition could be considered more valuable than any ‘dull’ morals of yours, whatever that means!

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Misha says:

        “Yes, may God bless the nuclear weapons that defend a last outpost of Orthodoxy against Western Enlightenment Liberal imperialism. That’s definitely a holy cause worth defending to the death and by whatever means necessary.”

        This is beyond weird; this is insane.

        My son and I are planning, if it be God’s will, to be received into the Orthodox Church by Chrismation on Palm Sunday. I think it a good idea to take a long break from this place. Pray for us. Forgive me for any of the contributions I have made here to this and any other strife and discord.

    • Isa Almisry says

      “So we can be happy to know that should the Russian government carry out its idle threat to annihilate our children that it will be done only with “holy” nukes!”
      As opposed to the godless fingers on our buttons.

  3. Timothy Wearing says

    The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary
    For Immediate Release March 17, 2014

    FACT SHEET: Ukraine-Related Sanctions

    President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) under the national emergency with respect to Ukraine that finds that the actions and policies of the Russian government with respect to Ukraine -– including through the deployment of Russian military forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine –- undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.

    This new authority expands upon E.O. 13660, which the President signed less than two weeks ago, by authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on named officials of the Russian government, any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry, and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official. We have fashioned these sanctions to impose costs on named individuals who wield influence in the Russian government and those responsible for the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. We stand ready to use these authorities in a direct and targeted fashion as events warrant.

    In response to the Russian government’s actions contributing to the crisis in Ukraine, this new E.O. lists seven Russian government officials who are being designated for sanctions. These individuals are Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrei Klishas, Valentina Matviyenko, Dmitry Rogozin, and Yelena Mizulina.

    The United States also will seek to hold accountable individuals who use their resources or influence to support or act on behalf of senior Russian government officials. We recognize that the Russian leadership derives significant support from, and takes action through, individuals who do not themselves serve in any official capacity. Our current focus is to identify these individuals and target their personal assets, but not companies that they may manage on behalf of the Russian state.

    In addition to the new E.O., the Treasury Department today has imposed sanctions on four other individuals under E.O. 13660, issued on March 6, for their actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine and in undermining the Government of Ukraine. They are Crimea-based separatist leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov; former Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk; and former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

    Today’s actions send a strong message to the Russian government that there are consequences for their actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including their actions supporting the illegal referendum for Crimean separation. The United States, together with international partners, will continue to stand by the Ukrainian government to ensure that costs are imposed on Crimean separatists and their Russian backers. Today’s actions also serve as notice to Russia that unless it abides by its international obligations and returns its military forces to their original bases and respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the United States is prepared to take additional steps to impose further political and economic costs.

    Vladislav Surkov: Surkov is being sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    Sergey Glazyev: Glazyev is being sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    Leonid Slutsky: Slutsky is being sanctioned for his status as a State Duma deputy, where he is Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots.
    Andrei Klishas: Klishas is being sanctioned for his status as a Member of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and as Chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society.
    Valentina Matviyenko: Matviyenko is being sanctioned for her status as Head of the Federation Council
    Dmitry Rogozin: Rogozin is being sanctioned for his status as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
    Yelena Mizulina: Mizulina is being sanctioned for her status as a State Duma Deputy.
    Sergey Aksyonov: Aksyonov is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. Aksyonov claims to be the Prime Minister of Crimea and has rejected the authority of the legitimate government in Kyiv.
    Vladimir Konstantinov: Konstantinov is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. Konstantinov is the speaker of the Crimean parliament, which on March 11, 2014, declared independence from Ukraine.
    Viktor Medvedchuk: Medvedchuk, leader of Ukrainian Choice, is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. He is also being designated because he has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support to Yanukovych and because he is a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine and actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.
    Viktor Yanukovych: Former Ukrainian President Yanukovych is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. After abandoning Kyiv and ultimately fleeing to Russia, Viktor Yanukovych called upon Russian President Vladimir Putin to send Russian troops into Ukraine.

  4. Francis Frost says

    First; the war of words is now a shooting war. As Russia’s own General Krutov said: “War is not a game.. A fratricidal war will be a catastrophe for both countries.”

    From the BBC

    Ukraine officer ‘killed in attack on Crimea base’

    Ben Brown reports from outside the Simferopol base where automatic gunfire has been heard
    Continue reading the main story

    Ukraine’s military says an officer has been killed in an attack on a base in Crimea, the first such death since pro-Russia forces took control in February.
    Ukraine has now authorised its troops to fire in self-defence.
    The attack came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Crimea signed a bill to absorb the peninsula into Russia.
    Western powers condemned the treaty and a G7 and EU crisis meeting has been called for next week in The Hague.
    The Ukrainian crisis began in November last year after pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych abandoned an EU deal in favour of stronger ties with Russia. He fled Ukraine on 22 February after protests in which more than 80 people were killed.
    ‘Military stage’
    An eyewitness told the BBC that armed men arrived in two unmarked vehicles, storming the base in Simferopol and firing automatic weapons.

    Putin told Russia’s parliament Crimea had “always been part of Russia”
    The Ukrainian government said a junior officer who was on duty in a park inside the base had been killed and another officer injured. A third serviceman had leg and head injuries after being beaten with iron bars, it said.
    The government said the commander of the unit was captured by men wearing Russian uniforms.
    Continue reading the main story
    Crisis timeline
    21 Nov 2013: President Viktor Yanukovych abandons an EU deal
    Dec: Pro-EU protesters occupy Kiev city hall and Independence Square
    20-21 Feb 2014: At least 88 people killed in Kiev clashes
    22 Feb: Mr Yanukovych flees; parliament removes him and calls election
    27-28 Feb: Pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in Crimea
    6 Mar: Crimea’s parliament votes to join Russia
    16 Mar: Crimea voters choose to secede in disputed referendum
    17 Mar: Crimean parliament declares independence and formally applies to join Russia
    Ukraine crisis timeline
    Defence ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told Reuters the attack was by “unknown forces, fully equipped and their faces covered”.
    The Ukrainians had had their IDs, weapons and money confiscated, he said.
    Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told an emergency government meeting: “The conflict is shifting from a political to a military stage.
    “Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian military servicemen and that is a war crime.”
    Reports from the Crimean news agency, Kryminform, said a pro-Russia defence force member had been shot dead.
    Crimean police later said both Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces had been fired on from a single location and that one Ukrainian was killed and one injured, and one pro-Russian was killed and one injured.
    None of the accounts can be independently confirmed.
    The BBC’s Mark Lowen, in Simferopol, says up until now only warning shots have been fired amid a truce – but it appears the tension has boiled over and there are fears that further clashes could follow.
    ‘Glory to Russia’
    Earlier, Mr Putin told Russia’s parliament that Crimea had “always been part of Russia” and in signing the treaty he was righting a “historical injustice”.

    After Mr Putin’s speech a huge “We are together” rally was held in Moscow’s Red Square

    A sailor stands guard on Ukraine’s Slavutych military ship in Sevastopol

    Pro-Russia supporters gathered in Sevastopol in Crimea as President Putin’s speech was relayed
    The BBC’s Richard Galpin in Moscow says an audience of loyalists rose to their feet on several occasions, as Mr Putin accused Western countries of constantly trying to push Russia into a corner and of being hypocrites.
    But our correspondent says there were conciliatory words, too – Mr Putin stressed Russia did not want to “divide” the rest of Ukraine.

    The president later appeared before crowds in Moscow’s Red Square, telling them: “Crimea and Sevastopol are returning to… their home shores, to their home port, to Russia!”
    He shouted “Glory to Russia” as the crowds chanted “Putin!”
    Continue reading the main story
    At the scene
    Patrick Jackson
    BBC News, Sevastopol
    Nakhimov Square may not have been packed out for the broadcast of Vladimir Putin’s speech but the numbers were decent and the mood good-humoured. Small children cut arcs in the air with the Russian tricolour as their parents’ faces creased into smiles in the sunshine.

    The striking thing was the relaxed mood. Security was minimal and nobody seemed bothered by the media presence now. Presumably supporters of union felt they had got their result and could breathe easy.
    Afterwards families headed down to the nearby quays to photograph each other against the picturesque backdrop of the bay, tricolours in hand. The waterfront, scene of many tragic chapters in this city of sieges, is a happy place this afternoon.

    Waking up in a different Crimea
    The predominantly ethnic-Russian region of Crimea held a referendum on Sunday in which it said 97% of voters had backed joining Russia.
    Crimea’s leaders declared independence on Monday and Russia acknowledged it as a nation.

    ‘Land grab’
    Ukraine’s interim President Olexander Turchynov said Russia’s actions were reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s takeover of Austria and the Sudetenland.
    The Ukrainian foreign ministry said: “We do not recognise and never will recognise the so-called independence or the so-called agreement on Crimea joining the Russian Federation.”
    Western powers have declared the Crimea referendum illegal and roundly condemned Tuesday’s treaty.
    US Vice-President Joe Biden, speaking earlier in Poland, said Russia’s involvement in Crimea was “a brazen military incursion” and its annexation of the territory was “nothing more than a land grab” by Moscow.
    The White House said Monday’s round of targeted sanctions on Ukrainian and Russian officials by the US and EU would be expanded.

    “This action – the results of the referendum and the attempt to annex a region of Ukraine – will never be recognised by the United States and the international community,” spokesman Jay Carney said.

    President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Ukrainian soldiers need to make a choice about joining the Crimean forces or leaving the peninsula
    UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It is completely unacceptable for Russia to use force to change borders on the basis of a sham referendum held at the barrel of a Russian gun.”
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the referendum, the declaration of independence and Crimea’s “absorption into the Russian Federation” were “against international law”.
    Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said there was “no justification” for Russia to continue on its “dangerous path”.

    • George Michalopulos says

      And another thing: I’m tired of this Sudetenland analogy. So what if Hitler dismembered a part of Czechoslovakia? Guess what? Two years ago Moravia and Bohemia decided to peacefully call it quits with Slovakia. “Czechoslovakia” no longer exists. Was that a bad thing? I don’t remember anybody going to war over this partition. In retrospect, should the world have gone to war in 1939 over this?

      • William Harrington says

        In retrospect, and to our shame, the world didn’t and Hitler continued his path of conquest and murder by conquering Poland, which finally kicked off the war in Europe.
        As far as Crimea. Its a moot point. There is nothing effective that we can, or will, do under our current regime.

  5. Ladder of Divine Ascent says

    Lighten up Francis.

    Putin on the Ritz:

    If Putin is meant to be Tsar and restorer of the Russian empire, then it shall be.

    Fact or fiction:

    All the appeals to “international law” are a joke. “International law” is ignored or openly scoffed at when it comes to US foreign policy, but every other country better obey it, or else they’re just like Hitler, and Americans might just have to “destroy the village to save it.”

    As Congressman Ron Paul said to the Ukraine situation. “So what?”

  6. Francis advised us that “UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It is completely unacceptable for Russia to use force to change borders on the basis of a sham referendum held at the barrel of a Russian gun.”

    And it was completely unacceptable for the US to force the downfall of a duly elected president and his government in the Ukraine by the proxy hand of the Maidan protesters, whom they bankrolled for their own geo-political purposes. But strangely we don’t hear Mr Cameron complaining about that because, like all the Western leaders whom I have heard address this crisis of their own making, he is a hypocrite.

    I hope – and I certainly pray – that this will not erupt into a fratricidal war between Ukraine and Russia, possibly drawing in other nations. But I must say that this generation of Western politicians is the most duplicitous, morally irresponsible, narcissistic and plainly incompetent generation of leaders since those who led Europe into WWI. God help us all!

  7. Tying in Orthodoxy and the Alamo more directly, Bishop Peter of Chicago/Cleveland recently visited the Alamo in San Antonio when paying pastoral visits to his Texas parishes: