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Thread: Ukraine

  1. #4866
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by dutchpp View Post
    A referendum for our Russian readers;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVv3ofeBnME
    That’s excellent.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  2. #4867
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by HRDavies View Post
    It wasn't RFK. Bobby was gung-ho for invasion, with everything that would have meant. It was JFK and JFK alone who decided no, against the unanimous wishes of his 'security advisers', then told Bobby to set up a quiet deal with Krushchev. Bobby was not the saint he was later portrayed as.

    The mistake I believe he made in that exchange was to hide the deal. That led to most Americans growing a much bigger chip on their shoulder, with the "who blinked first" braggart bullpucky.


    You got the cow flop part right, at least. Who came up with the "Missile Defense" garbage, and who is planning to put NATO missiles right on the border with Russia ? All the cowflop you people are spouting is disgusting. I heard all this same effluent in the late sixties, early seventies : every word of it. Except it was the US who was setting up puppet governments to enforce their military control of the planet.

    Putin is reacting, not causing. This has been the US modus operandi since at least the 1830's, when Ulysses S Grant wrote of it in his memoirs. It's hard to believe so many people know so little history, yet consider themselves educated.
    remarkable.

  3. #4868
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by HRDavies View Post
    Putin is reacting, not causing. This has been the US modus operandi since at least the 1830's, when Ulysses S Grant wrote of it in his memoirs. It's hard to believe so many people know so little history, yet consider themselves educated.
    Years of funding alt truth propaganda via official channels like RT news and unofficial like troll farms
    Years of dubious russian originating income into western political parties
    Decades of political corruption in plain sight, like with Schroeder
    Numerous open attacks of agents in foregin countries, like assasinations in England and Germany, or ammunition storage in Czechia
    Small scale invasion in Georgian than larger scale in Ukraine, than full on war

    This is reacting? No, Europe is reacting, like joining the Iraq invasion or debating for months over the migrant crisis, or gradually imposing sanctions since February.
    Putin has and always had all the incentive, ever since false flag terrorist attacks and the attack on Chechenya, or longer.
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  4. #4869
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by HRDavies View Post
    It wasn't RFK. Bobby was gung-ho for invasion, with everything that would have meant. It was JFK and JFK alone who decided no, against the unanimous wishes of his 'security advisers', then told Bobby to set up a quiet deal with Krushchev. Bobby was not the saint he was later portrayed as.

    The mistake I believe he made in that exchange was to hide the deal. That led to most Americans growing a much bigger chip on their shoulder, with the "who blinked first" braggart bullpucky.


    You got the cow flop part right, at least. Who came up with the "Missile Defense" garbage, and who is planning to put NATO missiles right on the border with Russia ? All the cowflop you people are spouting is disgusting. I heard all this same effluent in the late sixties, early seventies : every word of it. Except it was the US who was setting up puppet governments to enforce their military control of the planet.

    Putin is reacting, not causing. This has been the US modus operandi since at least the 1830's, when Ulysses S Grant wrote of it in his memoirs. It's hard to believe so many people know so little history, yet consider themselves educated.
    Truly remarkable.

    I had not realised just how precocious young Hiram Ulysses Grant was.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  5. #4870
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    hehehe... oops! I do believe the Bilge has your number, hrdavies! Of course - I've had you on 'ignore' long ago. Life is too short to put up with your BS.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  6. #4871
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    Default Ukraine

    Heather Cox Richardson says that Putin's mobilization is for 1,000,000 men rather than the state 300,000.

    https://heathercoxrichardson.substac...tember-22-2022

    The Russian mobilization -- the first since World War II -- appears to be aiming at 1 million new soldiers, rather than the 300,000 suggested yesterday. Officials are scouring villages to conscript men, especially ethnic minorities, to fill the quotas the government has established. Stories are circulating of men given only an hour to appear at recruitment centers, students being given draft notices while they were sitting in class, and workers taken off the job.
    This is a Vnukov airport yesterday, outside Moscow. You might notice the slight gender imbalance in the crowd.



    Lots of men on a likely one-way trip/exodus out of Russia.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe...er-2022-09-22/

    Russian draft prompts exodus by some men as air fares jump

    By Jake Cordell and Essi Lehto

    Summary

    - Air tickets from Moscow sell out
    - Heavier traffic at Russia's land borders
    - 'Panic demand' for air tickets - source

    TBILISI/VAALIMAA, Finland, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Some Russian men headed swiftly to the borders on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilisation, with traffic at frontier crossings with Finland and Georgia surging and prices for air tickets from Moscow rocketing.

    Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two and backed a plan to annex swathes of Ukraine, warning the West he was not bluffing when he said he'd be ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia

    Prices for air tickets out of Moscow soared above $5,000 for one-way tickets to the nearest foreign locations, with most air tickets sold out completely for coming days.

    Social media groups popped up with advice on how to get out of Russia while one news site in Russian gave a list of "where to run away right now from Russia." There were long tailbacks at border crossings with Georgia.

    "War is horrible," Sergei, a Russian who declined to give his surname, told Reuters as he arrived in Belgrade, the Serbian capital. "It's okay to be afraid of war and of death and such things."

    One Russian man who gave his name as Alex told Reuters in Istanbul that he had left Russia partly due to the mobilisation.

    "The partial mobilisation is one of the reasons why I am here," he said. "A very poor step it seems to be, and it can lead to lots of problems to lots of Russians."

    He said he felt that not many Russians would want to be sent to fight.

    Another Russian, who gave his name only as Vasily, arrived in Istanbul with his wife, teenage daughter and six suitcases.

    "The mobilization was inevitable because there was a shortage of human resources. I am not worried because I’m already 59 years old and my son lives abroad," he said.

    CROSSINGS BUSIER THAN USUAL

    A truck driver who crossed the Russian-Kazakh border on Thursday near the Kazakh city of Oral told Reuters he saw unusually heavy traffic from the Russian side. He asked not to be identified, fearing that might complicate his future travel.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that reports of an exodus of draft-age men were exaggerated. Asked about reports that men detained at anti-war protests were being given draft papers, Peskov said it was not against the law.

    Some 10,000 volunteers have turned up to enlist for Russia's military campaign in Ukraine without waiting for call-up papers issued under a partial mobilisation, Russian news agencies reported, citing the Russian General Staff.

    Russian state-owned pollsters say that more than 70% of Russians support what the Kremlin calls the "special military operation", though polling leaked in July showed an even split between those who wanted to fighting to stop or continue.

    The war in Ukraine has killed tens of thousands, unleashed an inflationary wave through the global economy and triggered deepening confrontation with the West.

    A tourism industry source told Reuters that there was desperation as people sought to find air tickets out of Russia.

    "This is panic demand from people who are afraid they won't be able to leave the country later - people are buying tickets not caring where they fly to," the source said.

    Finland said on Thursday it was considering barring most Russians from entering as traffic across the border from its eastern neighbour increased after Putin's order. read more

    Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the government was assessing risks posed by individuals travelling through Finland, and was considering ways to sharply reduce Russian transit.

    Traffic arriving at the border "intensified" overnight and remained elevated into daytime hours on Thursday, the Finnish Border Guard said.

    BETTER THAN 'A FUNERAL'

    "The number clearly has picked up," the Finnish border guard's head of international affairs, Matti Pitkaniitty, told Reuters, adding the situation was under control. read more

    At 1730 local time (1530 GMT) at the Vaalimaa crossing, three hours' drive from Russia's St Petersburg, traffic continued to flow, according to a Reuters witness, with cars stretching over four lanes, each for some 150 metres.

    Russia's Aeroflot said it would refund people who were unable to fly as planned because they had received a call-up.

    Russian police detained more than 1,300 people in Russia on Wednesday at protests against mobilisation, a rights group said. read more

    Despite the reported arrests, the anti-war protest movement Vesna (Spring) urged more protests across Russia on Saturday.

    "In order for the protest to end with the fall of the regime, the number of protesters must grow. We need to get more and more people out, and for this we need your help. Otherwise, nothing will work," it said on its Telegram channel.

    "In the end, getting a fine or a few days of arrest is better than getting a funeral."
    Last edited by Nicholas Carey; 09-23-2022 at 10:24 AM.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  7. #4872
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    The border guards checking the credentials of young men trying to flee Russia reminds me of the 1970s when the Soviet guards at the Fulda Gap were not oriented toward Germany against a NATO invasion, but facing back to Russia to prevent people from getting out. Or so said Cap Weinberger at the time.

    Putin has finished off Russia for at least a generation.
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    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic, save the country.

  8. #4873
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    The border guards checking the credentials of young men trying to flee Russia reminds me of the 1970s when the Soviet guards at the Fulda Gap were not oriented toward Germany against a NATO invasion, but facing back to Russia to prevent people from getting out. Or so said Cap Weinberger at the time.
    But Cap Weinberger and the rest of the Blob still portrayed the Fulda Gap as a likely place for a likely Soviet invasion, and an existential threat.

    It is was a lie and they knew it.

    One cannot believe a word they say.

  9. #4874
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    How about if you make some slight effort to deal with the points Stockman raised ??
    OK, I'll bite.

    Stockman's opening comment is false. It's simply not true that a diplomatic settlement with Russia was possible at any time in the last 9 months. Stockman's too much in the neo-Realist International Relations school to see this. John Mearsheimer's made very similar comments recently, with the same error. It's important to unpack "neo-Realism" a bit to see how Stockman/Mearsheimer go wrong.

    Kenneth Waltz originated neo-Realism with his hugely influential 1959 book "Man, the State, and War." He reiterated Thucydides' line (the "realist" bit) "the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must," adding a new twist (the "neo" bit) that competing IR theories (e.g. "'Great Man' theory of history", Wilsonian idealism, etc.) come to grief by inadvertently conflating "3 levels or categories of analysis":
    • the motivations/beliefs of an individual,
    • the ideological and governance structure of a domestic state,
    • the self-interest of nation-states, which compete in an anarchical world.


    Waltz argued that for International Relations analysis, states must be simply treated as "black boxes." While leaders have various personal qualities/motives, and states have various ideologies and ways of setting up governance institutions, all of those things happen "inside a black box." They're hugely relevant for domestic politics, but are distractions - leading to catastrophic error - if they worm their way into IR analysis. Waltz talked about such conflations as "categories errors."

    Neo-Realism has been a powerful tool for policymakers; for instance, Kissinger's neo-Realist approach was that whether dealing with Mao or Arafat or Golda Meir or the House of Saud, the personal qualities of the leader and the form of government within the state were irrelevant to understanding the self-interest of the States themselves. Neo-Realism swiftly became the dominant school in American academia and foreign policy, and elsewhere too to lesser degrees.

    It's great so far as it goes - but sometimes the personality/beliefs of the leader do matter. Sometimes the form of governance in the State matters too. Stockman (and Mearsheimer, and other current neo-Realists) are so wedded to neo-Realism that they've ... lost focus on aspects of reality.

    Neo-Realism deeply explains mid-20thC dynamics; Putin is not a mid-20thC leader. He's reactionary - a throwback to the 18thC or 19thC, if not before. More Peter the Great (or Catherine the Great), Bismarck, or Metternich. Neo-Realism explains/predicts within a world where nation-state boundaries are all but fixed, nationalism is at least nominally post-ethnic, and imperialism is either covert, proxy, or economic.

    Putin doesn't come from that world. He's motivated by ethnic Russian nationalism, and the type of imperialistic territorial expansion last seen in Europe with Stalin, but common before (e.g. Napoleonic France, 19thC Prussia). The neo-realist security interests of Russia are a factor in his actions, but are subsidiary to personal ambition, historical grievance (seeks to re-create USSR boundaries), and an ideology of ethnic Russian superiority. Stockman's mistake is imagining that the influence of Putin's presidency is analogous to, say, Thatcher's premiership, or even Bush's presidency. Thatcher and Bush were each constrained by the institutions of their respective States, and functioned as servants of them; Putin is the current Russian state.

    So Stockman is wrong to claim that Russia's primarily reacting to NATO's provocations, and could be docile again if their legit neo-realist security objectives were recognized and observed. It isn't "Russia" that's reacting; it's Putin. Russia's security interests are best served by modernizing their governance structure and firmly tying their economy to the West's - not unlike how France's and Germany's security interests were best served by forming the European Coal and Steel Community post WW2, which became the EU. The ECSC's purpose was to so intertwine France/Germany's economies as to make another great European war between them unthinkable. It's worked - like nothing before it did.

    Putin doesn't want that, though many Russians (and most Ukrainians) do. Putin wants to re-create an ethnically pure Greater Russia, essentially expanding borders or vassal states at least to the old USSR's bounds. Like his Tsar predecessors (and Stalin too), Putin does not recognize a legitimate Ukrainian ethnicity, and views Ukraine (and the Baltic states) as breakaway Russian provinces with no legitimate claims of their own to territorial integrity and independence. Putin's objective here is manifestly opposed to Russia's actual security interests (as a neo-Realist would read them); he's made Russia dramatically less secure through pursuing a reactionary ideology and his own personal ambition.

    As to Stockman's other points - about NATO's Eastern military presence, NATO expansion into former Warsaw Pact states etc. ... well, it's certainly true that NATO's alliance has expanded and NATO's military presence has strengthened in Eastern Europe. Putin's actions in Chechnya, Georgia, and Crimea produced a counter-response - in exactly the same way that this war in Ukraine has brought Finland and Sweden towards NATO in a way little else would have. Finland and Sweden have self-interest too, no less than Ukraine ... or Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Putin's ambition to recreate pan-Russian borders prompted a response among those countries' self-determining populations.

    The problem with neo-Realism, and its rejection as a "categories error" of things like the forms of government in a nation (e.g. Constitutional Democracy) or the ideological commitments of leaders, is that it implicitly rebuts ethics. It implicitly suggests that there ought not to be matters of principle or human rights or autonomy interfering in the foreign policy of states. Those are not merely irrelevant for foreign policy, but are actively detrimental to making good foreign policy.

    I think that's simply wrong. I think that there are ethical principles which transcend cultures, which are worth aspiring to - in one's personal life, a nation's domestic policy, and also in a nation's foreign policy. Waltz (and Stockman) are correct to observe that there are efficiency costs when one crosses those "category of analysis" boundaries, but sometimes it's crucial to pay those costs. Sometimes we cynically don't pay them, and should.

    I also think that, as in Putin's expansionist war on Ukraine, a truly "real" neo-realist analysis would factor in that Putin is an anomaly. He would not be (and has not been) deterred or pacified by actions which could de-escalate other situations, where the norms presupposed in neo-Realist analysis were present.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  10. #4875
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Decourcy View Post
    Who said it was? I condemn any invasion or threat of invasion or pre-emtive threat to use nukes. This is right now though, and the conflict at hand which is being addressed.
    Pre-emptive use is not a threat. It's a statement of fact, applicable to all threateners, not just Russia.

    The further facts are, Russia has made a specific threat. The issue is, would it justify a pre-emptive strike. The answer is yes. Would a pre-emptive strike be good strategy under the circumstances is a different question. The principle stands.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  11. #4876
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Sandtown, #4860, when did Britain threaten to use nukes against Argentina in the Falkands actions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Neo-Realism has been a powerful tool for policymakers . . ..
    . . . because they can claim a foundation in a S load of previous history, cementing their credentials i.e. paychecks, forever.

    The Enlightenment doesn't give a S. The Enlightenment seeks to subject previous history to critique based on reason.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  13. #4878
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    I was wondering that, too - I don't recall hearing that.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  14. #4879
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    OR, what do/did you do in your professional life?

    I'm thinking PolySci, college prof.

    That would/would've been a lively class!
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  15. #4880
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by dutchpp View Post
    A referendum for our Russian readers . . .
    Map of the Netherlands, tee hee
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  16. #4881
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Tactical nukes were developed to counter overwhelming conventional forces on a given battlefield. NATO doctrine was to consider their use if Russia rolled millions of soldiers in rank upon rank of armored vehicles into Europe, and NATO's conventional forces would have become overwhelmed.

    That is, they're conceived primarily as defensive weapons of deterrence. That's how Putin's threatened their use here.

    To make the threat/deterrent credible, one must retain the right of first use. That's why NATO hasn't revoked that right either.

    In the current theatre, there's no advantage for Ukraine or its NATO backers to ever deploy tactical nukes. Putin knows that too, though it's a useful talking point to try to make his own threat seem less obscene.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  17. #4882
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    I would imagine that, were putin to deploy those, it would be possible Ukraine could return the favor - on russian soil. If, *somehow* they were to come into possession of some.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  18. #4883
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    If Russia used tactical nukes, I think it would come as an escalation after they'd first shell Ukrainian nuclear power plants. I think Putin wants to try to create a scaled way of using radiation as a weapon, to try to forestall an overwhelming response.

    Can't remember where I read it - someone suggested that if radiation was used as a weapon, whether from the power plants or a tactical nuke - that the West's response should be to join the war expressly, and using Conventional weaponry at an extraordinary level of intensity, turn Sebastopol into fragrant, hot sand. Literally. No building left standing, no tree, no blade of grass.

    It would not quite trigger a Russian nuclear response, not being Russian soil and all, and not being a nuclear weapon. But it might very easily trigger a Kremlin coup.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  19. #4884
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Readiness for that. Meanwhile, on to Moscow. Mind the blast radius, etc.

    The threat being issued must be neutralized, and not just for now.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  20. #4885
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    Truly remarkable.

    I had not realised just how precocious young Hiram Ulysses Grant was.
    Oooh, off by ten, Mexican-American War when the US invented excuses to invade Mexico and steal Texas at gunpoint, what a terrible mistake I made ! 1840's, not 1830's ! Well, that sure makes a difference !

    https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4367

    You could try Smedley Butler next but I know you won't, too set in your self-righteous indignation. Yeah, "remarkable". Reality is often "remarkable" to people who live in their own self-satisfied sanctimonious bubbles.

  21. #4886
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    California and Texas were both bogus republics, invented for annexation, like Donbass and Luhansk. You think we don't know this? Mexico's claim was no less bogus, deriving from Spain's, more bogus yet. Seven Cities of Cibola, GTFOOH they didn't even know where they were themselves. No maps, just pretense. The merest European colonialism, as was the United States of America, in origin. That was the context. What in the world makes you think we don't know this? We won, they lost. What do you expect to make of it? America gets four seats in Parliament and Spain gets not just California but all Mexico back?

    In any case, all titles were originally prescriptive. Day one. We aren't going anything like that far back. We start with the present, in order to meet present needs.

    I.e., that was then, this is now: there is to be no remedy by way of armed invasion, if at all.



    Russia's prescriptive rights in Ukraine were terminated by the fall of the Soviet Union. They agreed.
    If Russia wins, there will be no Ukraine; if Ukraine wins, there will be a new Russia.

    -- Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  22. #4887
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Thanks Osborne.

    Davies hasn’t been here long. We had a terrific thread on US colonial adventures, a little over one century after the Spanish American War, in which Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Old Duckboards and others featured prominently.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  23. #4888
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    How about if you make some slight effort to deal with the points Stockman raised ??

    Too much work ??

    I care not a whit if Stockman is a liberal. Magaista, paleo-conservative, fp realist, libertard, monarchist, or (you fill in the blank)

    I got so much of just that sort of "kill the messenger" crap when opposing the monumentally stupid Iraq wars.
    I have in fact understood Stockman's points. He forgets that Russia's goal was to take all of Ukraine and make it part of Russia. Certainly, the war would have ended in February if Ukraine had agreed to this, but then he claims that Russia would be satisfied if Ukraine merely surrendered the territory Russia has conquered.

    From the Ukrainian point of view, that would be used by Russia as an operational pause so that they could regroup and later pursue their original goal. After all, they had a cease fire with the Feb. 23 borders for six years, and instead of being satisfied, Russia attempted to invade the rest of the country.

    If you ever get around to actually reading the Fiona Hill article in Foreign Affairs that you claimed supported your views, you will discover that Russia has rejected returning to the Feb. 23 borders.

    I often agree on specific issues with people who don't share my views generally, so I would be open to what Stockman has to say if it weren't a complete fantasy. They say that politics makes strange bedfellows. I'm surprised you are so offended when someone points out a specific instance of this.

    You seem to be addicted to outrage and insults. It's really a shame, because if you weren't, you'd be an interesting person to talk to. This ties in with the critique of Chomsky that Lew linked to: That he believes that what he thinks is not only true, but obviously true, so anyone who disagrees is either a fool or a villain. This makes it hard to have a dialogue.

    Please entertain the notion that those who disagree with you may have done their homework and may have a valid point of view.

  24. #4889
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I have in fact understood Stockman's points. He forgets that Russia's goal was to take all of Ukraine and make it part of Russia. .
    Please give us a cite or two about Russia's goal to take all of Ukr.

    Did Stockman "forget" that, or did you make it up ??

    And Fiona Hill obviously does not like the Russian regime overly much - neither do I.

    But I see no reason to doubt her claim that the US blew up the peace process . . . in fact, her perspective makes it MORE likely that she is correct in that respect.

    What she did was say the quiet part out loud.

    Who is doing the name calling around here? I try not to, but admittedly come up short once in a while.

    I'd say this post of mine is more civil than yours . . by a healthy margin.

  25. #4890
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    But Cap Weinberger and the rest of the Blob still portrayed the Fulda Gap as a likely place for a likely Soviet invasion, and an existential threat.

    It is was a lie and they knew it.

    One cannot believe a word they say.
    Glossing over the fact that at least a part of Russia is in Europe, if a Soviet/Russian invasion of Europe were to occur . . .

    The Fulda Gap was (and is) the likely place for it, and especially so, since during the Cold War, Eastern Germany and Czechoslovakia were where Soviet Forces were concentrated, convenient to the Fulda Gap.

    That's just a simple matter of geography. Further, the plains of northern Germany are ideally suited to the anticipated blitzkrieg tank warfare -- our M1 Abrams tanks were developed with that terrain specifically in mind.





    Force locations/compositions at the peak of the Cold War. Fulda (and its gap) are ENE of Frankfort-am-Main, pretty near the Un in "United States" on the map.



    Napoleon's Grand Armée, or what was left of it, returned from Moscow via the Fulda Gap. It didn't feature prominently during WW2 because, by the time allied forces got to that part of Germany, the Wehrmacht was in full retreat and surrendering en masse.

    There also the fact that is, in fact, what the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact was planning. Poland, in 2005, released documents detailing the 1979 Operation Seven Days To the River Rhine, the Soviet bloc's notion of a 7-day nuclear war between the Warsaw Pact and NATO.

    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    TomF has done a great job explaining where Stockman is coming from and bringing it back to its origins in neo realism.
    I’m going to talk about Putin’s war aims as stated by Putin in relation to Stockman’s writing. Stockman claims a settlement would have: “ Avoided/ended the war in Ukraine, thereby saving tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives and hundreds of billion of economic cost and destruction”

    Writing on September 22, 2022 talk of avoiding the war is a counterfactual. We have a war, no one can actually know if it was avoidable. Ending it is possible but the idea that ending Ukrainian resistance would save lives is an unproven theory. Ukraine is full of mass graves already and somewhere between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainians have been deported to Russia. The idea that ending the war will save the lives of Ukrainians is unsupported by fact. It is entirely possible that Russia will kill over a million Ukrainians if they take over the country, they have done it before.

    Stockman goes on to claim:
    “ what lies ahead is full scale political and military warfare that can only end in calamity for Ukraine, NATO and indeed the world:
    Stockman talks about Russia’s GDP being larger than Ukraine’s which is true, but ignores the fact that both countries have relatively small GDP and the US and EU have most of the worlds GDP.

    He mentions 300k fresh reserves which is more than double the number of Russian forces deployed in Ukraine. This ignores the fact that Russia started with over 200k troops in Ukraine and is now down to 150k, and it seems to assume that these 300k will all show up right away. That’s actually a huge problem for Russia. If they do show up right away that means they will have no recent training, and maybe none at all, which will cause a Russian bloodbath. If they wait for training they will not show up until winter. I have yet to find a serious military analyst who thinks that mobilizing will give Russia a quick victory. Personally I think it will cause a lot more people to die, but Stockman is not saying that, he is saying it will bring Russia victory a statement which is not supported by anything we have seen in the war.

    Stockman talks about Russia abandoning its policy of not attacking the Ukraine’s civilian electric grid and railroad system. It is not clear that Russia has a policy of not attacking these targets. Railroads in particular are very hard to shut down with air power or missiles. They are hard to damage and can be repaired quickly often within hours. To attack these targets requires many sorties by aircraft deep into enemy territory which means many aircraft losses. Again there is no reason to believe that Russia could stop the railroad from running but it would certainly lose a lot of planes. Missiles can be used, but Russia is running out of the high tech ones and the low tech ones don’t necessarily hit the railroad and a near miss means nothing. Even a hit means little, because fixing rails and gravel is easy and cheap, attacking with aircraft and guided missiles is difficult and expensive.

    Going after power plants is even worse, they are known, so they are defended, and they tend to be big and involve a lot of concrete so they are hard to destroy.

    Stockman’s statements about the political views of the population in Donetsk and Luhansk was true in the past, but by all accounts is no longer true now.

    Stockman’s second to last paragraph talks about using Ukraine as cannon fodder to “weaken Russia.” To TomF’s point he does stay in the realist framework. There may be some cynics in Washington who support arms to Ukraine because they want to weaken Russia. I support arms to Ukraine because I don’t want Putin to wipe their culture from the earth and kill a huge number of them, two things he has promised to do. I think that is why most of us support arming them, and don’t support Stockman at all.
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  27. #4892
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Please give us a cite or two about Russia's goal to take all of Ukr.

    .
    Uh, Putins first incursion was an attempt to take Kiev.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Uh, Putins first incursion was an attempt to take Kiev.
    and use it as a bargaining chip ??

    no, not good enough.

    You need some evidence about Russian/Putin goals.

    I don't think you have any.

  29. #4894
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    https://time.com/6154853/putins-nazi...s-for-ukraine/


    Most rational people found it pretty clear what the intent was.

  30. #4895
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Please give us a cite or two about Russia's goal to take all of Ukr.
    How about this animated map showing the extent of the front that they opened up when the first crossed into the Ukraine sovereign state?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2...1_animated.gif
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  31. #4896
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    You need some evidence about Russian/Putin goals.

    I don't think you have any.
    Here's Putin's own writing, from July 2021, On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians:

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181

    TL;DR — from this analysis from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace at https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/1...ness-pub-85771,

    Putin’s obsession with Ukraine reached an unprecedented level in 2021. Throughout the year, his pronouncements have acquired a quality not observed since 2014. In July, he published a long treatise on Ukraine, which amounted to no less than a historical, political, and security predicate for invading it—if and when that ever became necessary.

    The essence of the long article can be reduced to several key points:

    • Ukraine is not and has never been an independent state;
    • Ukraine is an inalienable part of Russia lacking a distinct ethnic identity, culture, religion, and language—its very name is derived from the Russian word “periphery”;
    • Territorially, what is now independent Ukraine has no basis in history and is comprised of lands acquired by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union;
    • Ukraine has always prospered when part of Russia and suffered when not;
    • Ukraine’s independence has always been inspired and sponsored by enemies of Russia who have used it as a weapon against Russia.

    Putin’s pronouncements since the publication of this woefully inaccurate reinterpretation of Ukraine’s history and its relationship with Russia have reflected a new sense of urgency missing from his earlier statements on the subject.


    Here he is again, Putin's own words, on February 21st of 2022, days before he kicked off his invasion of Ukraine:

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67828

    Since time immemorial, the people living in the south-west of what has historically been Russian land have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians. This was the case before the 17th century, when a portion of this territory rejoined the Russian state, and after.

    It seems to us that, generally speaking, we all know these facts, that this is common knowledge. Still, it is necessary to say at least a few words about the history of this issue in order to understand what is happening today, to explain the motives behind Russia’s actions and what we aim to achieve.

    So, I will start with the fact that modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia or, to be more precise, by Bolshevik, Communist Russia. This process started practically right after the 1917 revolution, and Lenin and his associates did it in a way that was extremely harsh on Russia – by separating, severing what is historically Russian land. Nobody asked the millions of people living there what they thought.

    Then, both before and after the Great Patriotic War, Stalin incorporated in the USSR and transferred to Ukraine some lands that previously belonged to Poland, Romania and Hungary. In the process, he gave Poland part of what was traditionally German land as compensation, and in 1954, Khrushchev took Crimea away from Russia for some reason and also gave it to Ukraine. In effect, this is how the territory of modern Ukraine was formed.
    .
    .
    .
    [Stalin] suggested building the country on the principles of autonomisation that is, giving the republics – the future administrative and territorial entities – broad powers upon joining a unified state.

    Lenin criticised this plan and suggested making concessions to the nationalists, whom he called “independents” at that time. Lenin’s ideas of what amounted in essence to a confederative state arrangement and a slogan about the right of nations to self-determination, up to secession, were laid in the foundation of Soviet statehood. Initially they were confirmed in the Declaration on the Formation of the USSR in 1922, and later on, after Lenin’s death, were enshrined in the 1924 Soviet Constitution.

    This immediately raises many questions. The first is really the main one: why was it necessary to appease the nationalists, to satisfy the ceaselessly growing nationalist ambitions on the outskirts of the former empire? What was the point of transferring to the newly, often arbitrarily formed administrative units – the union republics – vast territories that had nothing to do with them? Let me repeat that these territories were transferred along with the population of what was historically Russia.

    Moreover, these administrative units were de facto given the status and form of national state entities. That raises another question: why was it necessary to make such generous gifts, beyond the wildest dreams of the most zealous nationalists and, on top of all that, give the republics the right to secede from the unified state without any conditions?
    .
    .
    .
    And then, the September 1989 plenary session of the CPSU Central Committee approved a truly fatal document, the so-called ethnic policy of the party in modern conditions, the CPSU platform. It included the following provisions, I quote: “The republics of the USSR shall possess all the rights appropriate to their status as sovereign socialist states.”

    The next point: “The supreme representative bodies of power of the USSR republics can challenge and suspend the operation of the USSR Government’s resolutions and directives in their territory.”

    And finally: “Each republic of the USSR shall have citizenship of its own, which shall apply to all of its residents.”

    Wasn’t it clear what these formulas and decisions would lead to?
    Putin has made it patently clear that (1) he considers Ukraine Russian territory, and (2) that he intends to [attempt to] reassemble the Russian Empire.
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  32. #4897
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Please give us a cite or two about Russia's goal to take all of Ukr.
    And here's another.
    https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blog...-russian-land/

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  33. #4898
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    and use it as a bargaining chip ??

    no, not good enough.

    You need some evidence about Russian/Putin goals.

    I don't think you have any.
    I see Nick beat me to it, a couple of posts back.

    Here's an article on a Kremlin website which Putin apparently wrote himself, published there in July 2021. Bear in mind that while this predates the February 2022 full scale invasion, at the time there had been trench warfare happening in the East of Ukraine since 2014, when Russia took Crimea.

    Putin goes into significant detail about pan-Russian ethnicity, and describes various political arrangements across the centuries from ancient Rus till the present. While acknowledging some slight variations in language, he emphasizes linguistic, religious, and cultural commonality. Putin observes that the first recorded use of a word similar to Ukrainian (in the 12thC) referred not to a distinct ethnic group but to the "frontier" or "periphery," and was mostly used to describe people who did a function on the periphery, like border guards. And a point Putin returns to several times is that various wars in the region, in the 16th and 17thC were framed as wars to "liberate" Orthodox Rus inhabitants from the rule of Catholic Poland, etc., returning them to governance under the Russian state.

    Putin's goals in the war have been clearly stated, and build on this notion of ethnic commonality between Ukraine and Russia. He wanted at minimum to annex the lands he's now occupied, and intended also to take Kiev. He and his spokespeople have been unsparing in calling Ukrainian identity fictional, ahistorical; they've recently spoken about wishing not merely to "deNazify" Ukraine, but to extinguish the Ukrainian language and identity. To this end they've abducted perhaps as many as 1.3M Ukrainians - mostly children - and transported them first to "filtration camps" and then into Siberia, with the children ultimately to be adopted into Russian families and Ukrainian identity dispersed.

    This strategy has been openly discussed on Russian television.
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  34. #4899
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    and use it as a bargaining chip ??

    no, not good enough.

    You need some evidence about Russian/Putin goals.

    I don't think you have any.
    I realized that we probably don't understand sandtown, in one of the 4894 earlier post there was a link to a briefing of a Finnish intelligence officer. For an ordinary Russian troll it's absolutely forbidden to criticize Tzar Putin. It must always be the mistake of someone else. That's why he keeps posting these questions and deflections, they are necessary to demonstrate his absolute loyalty to the psychopath.

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    Default Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post

    Courtesy of Canada's The National Post, Putin's televised comments following his visit, on the 350th anniversary of Peter the Great's birth, to a multimedia exhibition about Peter the Great:

    https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pm...-russian-lands

    "'Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them. He did not take anything from them, he returned (what was Russia's),' Putin said after a visiting an exhibition dedicated to the tsar.

    'Apparently, it also fell to us to return (what is Russia's) and strengthen (the country). And if we proceed from the fact that these basic values form the basis of our existence, we will certainly succeed in solving the tasks that we face.'
    "
    Last edited by Nicholas Carey; 09-23-2022 at 04:24 PM.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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