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Thread: Ukraine

  1. #1716
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    I don't think China will be better off because of this.
    I think China knew full well what Russia was going to do and they are as shocked as the rest of us.

    I'd love to be a fly on their wall.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

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  2. #1717
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    There has been a lot of wild speculation today about unusual aircraft activity today in Russia. A bunch of planes left Moscow and areas nearby mostly heading East. Several jets headed off to Dubai. Lavrov was halfway to China when his plane mysteriously turned around and went back to Moscow. More military heads rolled. Maybe we’ll hear more tomorrow.

    https://twitter.com/gdarkconrad/stat...358187014?s=21
    I like this:






    Darth Putin



    @DarthPutinKGB

    It seems my mistake was sending slaves to 'liberate' a free people.



    10:18 AM · Mar 17, 2022·Twitter for Android

  3. #1718
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    I don't think China will be better off because of this.
    Europe and the USA haven't received a scratch and have demonstrated that their shared values have primacy.
    I think China will be weaker because of this, less confident of its various levers on the world stage. Facing the two other great economies who are more sure of their relationship.
    China is about to get old, literally. It's one child policy means it has a huge wave of workforce about to exit. It also has a birth rate dropping off, nobody wants kids.

    China Russia have put a lot of effort into fracturing the west, Russia just showed that they didn't really succeed.
    China is going to make the best of a bad situation.
    Russia could become a client state to China.

  4. #1719
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    The destruction in Ukraine right now is horrendous. The west is stepping up the support and a huge amount of military aid is pouring into the country. As the west stiffens its spine the aid gets better. While I want the hostilities to be over, I cant help hoping that Ukraine can hold out and not sign some peace deal- not in their best interest- with Russia to stop the bloodshed when their ability to inflict a beating on Russia is improving day by day, Am I looking at this all wrong? Should I feel guilty? JayInOz
    No. It's not a matter of what Ukraine is going to be forced into; it's what Russia is going to be forced into. All Russia has to do is give the word and there needn't be another shot fired. Of course the guns will be trained on them for decades to come, but that's unavoidable.
    One of Dostoyevsky's favorite words, often used ironically, was "fact" (fakt, a harsh-sounding foreign loan word in the Russian language) . . .

    William Mills Todd, Introduction to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (1868) Penguin Books edition 2004.

  5. #1720
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    I read a tweet yesterday that the Chinese ambassador to Ukraine congratulated them on their resilience and resistance of the Russian occupation.

    China says it would 'never attack Ukraine,' praises Ukrainian people | TheHill
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci.

    If war is the answer........... it must be a profoundly stupid question.

    "Freighters on the nod on the surface of the bay, One of these days we're going to sail away"
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  6. #1721
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Russia could become a client state to China.
    A big petroleum farm with Cossack training centers to join in the plundering and genocide in central Asia.

    Maybe we could form a league with these guys, the Three Percenters, the Proud Boys, The Boogaloo Boys, Oath Keepers, et al, have them compete to get into a kind of super bowl. Fashion show, anyway.

    One of Dostoyevsky's favorite words, often used ironically, was "fact" (fakt, a harsh-sounding foreign loan word in the Russian language) . . .

    William Mills Todd, Introduction to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (1868) Penguin Books edition 2004.

  7. #1722
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci.

    If war is the answer........... it must be a profoundly stupid question.

    "Freighters on the nod on the surface of the bay, One of these days we're going to sail away"
    Bruce Cockburn

  8. #1723
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    There has been a lot of wild speculation today about unusual aircraft activity today in Russia. A bunch of planes left Moscow and areas nearby mostly heading East. Several jets headed off to Dubai. Lavrov was halfway to China when his plane mysteriously turned around and went back to Moscow. More military heads rolled. Maybe we’ll hear more tomorrow.

    https://twitter.com/gdarkconrad/stat...358187014?s=21
    There are very few places Russian soon-to-be ex-pats can fly to. Turkey, Sri Lanka, Dubai, and a few others were mentioned. It is people trying to escape Putin’s reach, I think.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  9. #1724
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Never mind...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #1725
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hallam View Post
    Allegedly had cannabis oil in her luggage. Not much sympathy if true.
    It's the guy stuck in the ISS with a one way ticket back to Kazakhstan, who probably represents more of a bargaining chip if the Russians decide to play things that way.

    Edit - and only because the US gets all excited when their citizens are detained, and actually have something the Russians badly want them to stop doing.
    If it was our useless government, you'd either be rotting in a gulag for the next twenty years, or you'd be let go because we have nothing to bargain in the first place.

    Pete
    Last edited by epoxyboy; 03-17-2022 at 11:38 PM.
    The Ignore feature, lowering blood pressure since 1862. Ahhhhhhh.

  11. #1726
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Russia could become a client state to China.
    I think that quite likely, or at least the lesser partner in an unequal alliance.

  12. #1727
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Pretty amazing twist.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  13. #1728
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    The Chinese demographic problem may bring them up short in the longer term, but the Russian life expectancy is not good for the 21st century, and their economy is stagnant. Vlad's little adventure will not help. In the longer term Europe may have to bail them out financially or have an enormous refugee problem at it's heart.
    Last edited by skuthorp; 03-18-2022 at 11:03 AM.

  14. #1729
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    David Brooks is a bright guy, although he gets it wrong a lot. This time I think he's dead on. (source)


    This Is Why Autocracies Fail
    March 17, 2022
    David Brooks

    Joe Biden correctly argues that the struggle between democracy and autocracy is the defining conflict of our time. So which system performs better under stress? For the last several years the autocracies seemed to have the upper hand. In autocracy, power is centralized. Leaders can respond to challenges quickly, shift resources decisively. China showed that autocracies can produce mass prosperity. Autocracy has made global gains and democracy continues to decline.

    In democracies, on the other hand, power is decentralized, often polarized and paralytic. The American political system has become distrusted and dysfunctional. A homegrown would-be autocrat won the White House. Academics have written popular books with titles like “How Democracies Die.” Yet the past few weeks have been revelatory. It’s become clear that when it comes to the most important functions of government, autocracy has severe weaknesses. This is not an occasion for democratic triumphalism; it’s an occasion for a realistic assessment of authoritarian ineptitude and perhaps instability. What are those weaknesses?

    The wisdom of many is better than the wisdom of megalomaniacs. In any system, one essential trait is: How does information flow? In democracies, policymaking is usually done more or less in public and there are thousands of experts offering facts and opinions. Many economists last year said inflation would not be a problem, but Larry Summers and others said it would, and they turn out to have been right. We still make mistakes, but the system learns.

    Often in autocracies, decisions are made within a small, closed circle. Information flows are distorted by power. No one tells the top man what he doesn’t want to hear. The Russian intelligence failure about Ukraine has been astounding. Vladimir Putin understood nothing about what the Ukrainian people wanted, how they would fight or how his own army had been ruined by corruption and kleptocrats.

    People want their biggest life. Human beings these days want to have full, rich lives and make the most of their potential. The liberal ideal is that people should be left as free as possible to construct their own ideal. Autocracies restrict freedom for the sake of order. So many of the best and brightest are now fleeing Russia. The American ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, points out that Hong Kong is suffering a devastating brain drain. Bloomberg reports, “The effects of the brain drain in sectors such as education, health care and even finance will likely be felt by residents for years to come.” American institutions now have nearly as many top-tier A.I. researchers from China as from the United States. Given the chance, talented people will go where fulfillment lies.

    Organization man turns into gangster man. People rise through autocracies by ruthlessly serving the organization, the bureaucracy. That ruthlessness makes them aware others may be more ruthless and manipulative, so they become paranoid and despotic. They often personalize power so they are the state, and the state is them. Any dissent is taken as a personal affront. They may practice what scholars call “negative selection.” They don’t hire the smartest and best people. Such people might be threatening. They hire the dimmest and the most mediocre. You get a government of third-raters (witness the leaders of the Russian military).

    Ethnonationalism self-inebriates. Everybody worships something. In a liberal democracy, worship of the nation (which is particular) is balanced by the love of liberal ideals (which are universal). With the demise of communism, authoritarianism lost a major source of universal values. National glory is pursued with intoxicating fundamentalism. “I believe in passionarity, in the theory of passionarity,” Putin declared last year. He continued: “We have an infinite genetic code.” Passionarity is a theory created by the Russian ethnologist Lev Gumilyov that holds that each nation has its own level of mental and ideological energy, its own expansionary spirit. Putin seems to believe Russia is exceptional on front after front and “on the march.” This kind of crackpot nationalism deludes people into pursuing ambitions far beyond their capacity.

    Government against the people is a recipe for decline. Democratic leaders, at least in theory, serve their constituents. Autocratic leaders, in practice, serve their own regime and longevity, even if it means neglecting their people. Thomas J. Bollyky, Tara Templin and Simon Wigley illustrate how life expectancy improvements have slowed in countries that have recently transitioned to autocracies. A study of more than 400 dictators across 76 countries by Richard Jong-A-Pin and Jochen O. Mierau found that a one-year increase in a dictator’s age decreases his nation’s economic growth by 0.12 percentage points. When the Soviet Union fell, we learned that the C.I.A. had overstated the Soviet economy and Soviet military might. It’s just very hard to successfully run a big society through centralized power.

    To me, the lesson is that even when we’re confronting so-far successful autocracies like China, we should learn to be patient and trust our liberal democratic system. When we are confronting imperial aggressors like Putin, we should trust the ways we are responding now. If we steadily, patiently and remorselessly ramp up the economic, technological and political pressure, the weaknesses inherent in the regime will grow and grow.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  15. #1730
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    If we steadily, patiently and remorselessly ramp up the economic, technological and political pressure, the weaknesses inherent in the regime will grow and grow.


    Except that we won't do that. We didn't do it for Russia, we don't do that with China, nor Turkey.
    The problem with democracy is that it constantly changes the skipper. There is little incentive for strategic thinking, and a big one for ad hoc pre-election solutions. I've used to praise USA for international policy stability, with reps and dems continuing and only slightly altering the course on international waters. It's worse now, but still better than whatever 90% of Europe does. Especially Italy and Poland.
    Still, not even the most stable democracy - not even in cases like Germany, where one party ruled for a stupid long period of time - thinks strategically the way authocracies do. Putin attacked Georgia 14 years ago. Ukraine - 8 years ago. China expands its influence over similarly long time periods. They are capable of sitting through the storm. Enduring a hardship. Going on a mass diet. Whatever it takes to reach the long term strategic goal. A democratic government would be wiped out.
    Democracies need to reinstate the notion of long term gains, the same way the markets must reinstate the ethos of long term, non-stock thinking. Otherwise, the notion of democratic superiority and hoping for winning by being better is just ungrounded pride. Of the sinful kind.
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  16. #1731
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    don't think china is quite the kind of autocracy that brooks is critiquing.

    china has been ruled by an imperial style bureaucracy since europeans were in loincloths.

  17. #1732
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by WszystekPoTrochu View Post
    [/I][/COLOR]Except that we won't do that. We didn't do it for Russia, we don't do that with China, nor Turkey.
    The problem with democracy is that it constantly changes the skipper. There is little incentive for strategic thinking, and a big one for ad hoc pre-election solutions. I've used to praise USA for international policy stability, with reps and dems continuing and only slightly altering the course on international waters. It's worse now, but still better than whatever 90% of Europe does. Especially Italy and Poland.
    Still, not even the most stable democracy - not even in cases like Germany, where one party ruled for a stupid long period of time - thinks strategically the way authocracies do. Putin attacked Georgia 14 years ago. Ukraine - 8 years ago. China expands its influence over similarly long time periods. They are capable of sitting through the storm. Enduring a hardship. Going on a mass diet. Whatever it takes to reach the long term strategic goal. A democratic government would be wiped out.
    Democracies need to reinstate the notion of long term gains, the same way the markets must reinstate the ethos of long term, non-stock thinking. Otherwise, the notion of democratic superiority and hoping for winning by being better is just ungrounded pride. Of the sinful kind.
    That is a good point, but democracies can show bipartisan harmony over long periods in foreign affairs.

    One that occurs to me was the British consensus on getting rid of the British Empire. This started in 1947 and finished fifty years later and I have to say that we got steadily better at it with practice.

    Nobody seems to want to leave NATO…
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  18. #1733
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    Everybody worships something. In a liberal democracy, worship of the nation (which is particular) is balanced by the love of liberal ideals (which are universal).
    Fundamentally wrong. Another ignorant "liberal".

    In a liberal democracy, there is no "worship" of the nation, full stop. And there are no liberal "ideals" which are not extensions of liberal moral principles. So, he's balancing two things that don't exist.

    Brooks has not yet weaned himself from tribalism. He wants to placate it, pat it on the head, calm its fears. Anything but actually fight it.
    One of Dostoyevsky's favorite words, often used ironically, was "fact" (fakt, a harsh-sounding foreign loan word in the Russian language) . . .

    William Mills Todd, Introduction to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (1868) Penguin Books edition 2004.

  19. #1734
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by WszystekPoTrochu View Post
    Otherwise, the notion of democratic superiority and hoping for winning by being better is just ungrounded pride. Of the sinful kind.
    Yep. If one claims one's rights as universal, one assumes the duty of upholding them universally and perpetually. Apart from morality, it's a practical necessity.
    One of Dostoyevsky's favorite words, often used ironically, was "fact" (fakt, a harsh-sounding foreign loan word in the Russian language) . . .

    William Mills Todd, Introduction to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (1868) Penguin Books edition 2004.

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  21. #1736
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by WszystekPoTrochu View Post
    [/I][/COLOR]Except that we won't do that. We didn't do it for Russia, we don't do that with China, nor Turkey.
    The problem with democracy is that it constantly changes the skipper. There is little incentive for strategic thinking, and a big one for ad hoc pre-election solutions. I've used to praise USA for international policy stability, with reps and dems continuing and only slightly altering the course on international waters. It's worse now, but still better than whatever 90% of Europe does. Especially Italy and Poland.
    Still, not even the most stable democracy - not even in cases like Germany, where one party ruled for a stupid long period of time - thinks strategically the way authocracies do. Putin attacked Georgia 14 years ago. Ukraine - 8 years ago. China expands its influence over similarly long time periods. They are capable of sitting through the storm. Enduring a hardship. Going on a mass diet. Whatever it takes to reach the long term strategic goal. A democratic government would be wiped out.
    Democracies need to reinstate the notion of long term gains, the same way the markets must reinstate the ethos of long term, non-stock thinking. Otherwise, the notion of democratic superiority and hoping for winning by being better is just ungrounded pride. Of the sinful kind.
    What he said!
    Once we have learned long term planning our democracies will be pretty much impossible to beat. Until then we are under threat from autocracies with long term planning in place.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

  22. #1737
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    More on Darth Putin's Potemkin Death Star:

    https://carbonbaselife.car.blog/2022...J_3HWpzgIxh9sY
    What if they gave a war and nobody came? I know you remember that one.
    One of Dostoyevsky's favorite words, often used ironically, was "fact" (fakt, a harsh-sounding foreign loan word in the Russian language) . . .

    William Mills Todd, Introduction to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (1868) Penguin Books edition 2004.

  23. #1738
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    What if they gave a war and nobody came? I know you remember that one.
    Yep.

  24. #1739
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Germans actively sabotage further sanctions. They send almost no help of any kind, and what they do send comes late and not in declared numbers. They prohibited UK planes with aid to fly over their territory. They barely even listened Zelensky's speech in Bundestag.

    The only reason those bastards do anything is to not get targeted with sanctions themselves. I have no doubt that the allegedly 'dead' NS2 will magically rise from ashes.

    Newest shame: Out of 2700 promised 40+ years old MANPADs, they've sent only 500. No further deliveries planned.
    https://www.bz-berlin.de/welt/deutsc...eten-geschickt
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  25. #1740
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Miko, from what I glean in my limited German whilst listening to the radio, they have decided to almost double their national armed forces, tens of thousands have opened their homes to refugees, and there is an organised state structure to deal with up to a million displaced people, probably more than any other EU nation.

    A recent request to halve VAT was denied by the German government in the face of deisel hitting 2.4 euros per litre.

  26. #1741
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    At 40 years old do these weapons still work, and are they safe for the operator?

  27. #1742
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Germany intends to spend one hundred billion euros upgrading their military. Lets hope it's good thing this time eh? JayInOz

  28. #1743
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Miko, from what I glean in my limited German whilst listening to the radio, they have decided to almost double their national armed forces, tens of thousands have opened their homes to refugees, and there is an organised state structure to deal with up to a million displaced people, probably more than any other EU nation.

    A recent request to halve VAT was denied by the German government in the face of deisel hitting 2.4 euros per litre.
    It's nice they are discussing taking in a million refugees, because we have around two. With half the population. Doubling their armed forces does nothing for Ukraine, nor any other state. Doubling their forces is merely getting to the minimum 2% of expenses required by NATO. This in no way redeems their actively pro-russian behaviour. Our customs do a work-to-rule border disruption to at least slow down cargo flow to russia, because Germany blocks both full SWIFT cutoff and further trade embargos (the latter together with Austria). Not even Putin-loving Orban is stopping further sanctions, but Scholz does.

    There is no excuse for their strategy. There is no explanation other than aiming to return to bussiness-as-usual. As they did after 2014.
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  29. #1744
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    I do not speak for Germany.

    But it is an accident of Poland's geography that it is harbouring more refugees at the moment than anyone else.

    Steady with the 'pro Russian behavoiur' eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    Germany intends to spend one hundred billion euros upgrading their military. Lets hope it's good thing this time eh? JayInOz
    I think the USA has been trying to get Germany to increase its military spending for some years. Germany is now sufficiently nervous to spend the money. They will also be weaning themselves from Russian gas as fast as they can, a boon for other producers.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  31. #1746
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    I think we got a lot more to worry about a well
    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/ar...……..

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Page not found, skuthorp.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Miss-post birlinn. Wrong thread!

  34. #1749
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Financial Times, free to read:

    Maria Stepanova: The war of Putin’s imagination
    https://on.ft.com/3wh8LfL
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Wait a sec Jim! You're saying Fox acts just like Russian TV? I'm shocked. Of course their boy is getting great play time in Russia, so maybe there's an agreement?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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