It's More Than Sabre Rattling Now

2456756

Comments

  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    What is “‘K churtu” ?
  • Fuck that.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    @Doublethink, better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven. And we were not magnanimous in victory. Remember? They do. They are a proud people who have suffered repeatedly like no other. As far as they are concerned they saved themselves repeatedly and they have been repeatedly great. Being told what to do by Brussels? 'K churtu.'

    There's a bit of Orientalism in your 'mysterious East'.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    edited December 2021
    What is “‘K churtu” ?
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Fuck that.

    I see. In future, please remember to translate non-English phrases - if writing out the translation disrupts the flow of your post, url linking the word to a translation is acceptable.

    Thanks,

    Doublethink, Temporary Purgatory Host
  • @Doublethink my apologies. Tried linking. Will not infract again, as I did some years ago.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    @Doublethink, better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven. And we were not magnanimous in victory. Remember? They do. They are a proud people who have suffered repeatedly like no other. As far as they are concerned they saved themselves repeatedly and they have been repeatedly great. Being told what to do by Brussels? 'K churtu.'

    There's a bit of Orientalism in your 'mysterious East'.

    There's a bit of honour, nothing mysterious about it. The non-WEIRD world runs on it.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    edited December 2021
    Martin54 wrote: »
    @Doublethink my apologies. Tried linking. Will not infract again, as I did some years ago.

    Thanks :) - if you are having trouble with link coding do go and have play around in the code thread on Styx, folk will help you.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited December 2021
    Martin54 wrote: »
    @Doublethink my apologies. Tried linking. Will not infract again, as I did some years ago.

    Thanks :) - if you are having trouble with link coding do go and have play around in the code thread on Styx, folk will help you.

    I'm used to linking, but didn't try hard enough! It was a link too far. I did this time!
  • I see the Russians withdrew 10,000 soldiers from the Ukraine border. But, there will be a next time.
  • That's a positive step. Here's a DW article summarising recent developments. Lots of jaw jaw, very good!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    They are probably going to be better off not being invaded ?
    Not so sure that resonates as much as others might assume with a lot of the people who live in the area.

    I was talking a few years ago, at the time of a previous flare up, to someone who came from there and had family whose lives were being messed about by all the inconveniences of having a non-war being waged around them. I got quite a strong impression that a lot of the people there didn't feel particularly strongly about being Russian or Ukrainian. They'd been both. It had been other people who had told them which they were supposed to be and when. What they really wanted was a decent government run by people who were not corrupt and were not just in it for themselves and the opportunities power gave for making money at other peoples' expense and pushing them around.

    That, though, was the one thing that was not on offer whichever country they were part of or whoever won. Neither side offered any prospect of that.

  • That might be changing in Ukraine. It's what the younger Biden was doing there, setting up a proper corporate governance system in one of their state run corporations, AIUI. It's a long row to hoe.

    In Australia, we have been hoeing it for a long time. I believe the involvement of women in senior positions in government, the law and business is moving the process along here, but that's probably a massive tangent. I just reckon the struggle for equal treatment in the workplace involves setting up oversight and complaint systems that fosters a culture of compliance.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Yebbut. Forgive me for not sounding as excited as you are.

    You're talking about a movement in Australia that some may resent but which has a lot of Australians committed to it. I'd have rather less confidence that there's much of a future about a worthy endeavour in a country if the people driving it, however illustrious one of them might have become since, have come in from somewhere else because people somewhere else think the country needs it. It's like the joke about how many counsellors do you need to change a lightbulb. The answer is that the lightbulb must really want to change.

  • That's true Enoch. The anti-corruption push in my country certainly comes from the public, as distinct from our politicians. I was thinking about the way workplaces have changed from when I started working in the 1990's. There's more emphasis on policy, process and especially behavior than there used to be.

    With regard to Ukraine, the impetus came from outside the country, and certainly anti-corruption efforts have a long way to go. I'm very reluctant to impute my feelings about corruption to ordinary Ukrainians. I don't mean that they aren't concerned about corruption, but their definition of it might well be different to mine.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Sorry about this. I've realised also that what I wrote might be ambiguous to some shipmates, though I think, @Simon Toad you've understood it. I was trying to say that in Australia there may be people who disagree with a movement to reform and improve society, and who seek to resist, obstruct and subvert it but the movement itself is powered from within Australian society. It is driven by Australians committed to it. The impetus doesn't come from people from elsewhere who think this would be good for Australia, who have waded in with an aid agency or whatever that knows best, and that is even if they might have managed to enlist Australians who agree with them.

    I don't think it's so much about definitions of corruption. I think it's also that different cultures have different priorities, different emphases, different expectations of what they expect their politicians to do, and different perceptions of how much an ordinary person can do about it. Cultures work differently. I also suspect that in virtually every culture, most people are suspicious and resentful towards know-all, eager-beaver, foreigners who fly in and tell them what they ought to do and what they ought to want.

    The recent histories of Afghanistan and Iraq illustrate this.

    I'm still therefore not as excited about the prospect of change in Ukraine as you are.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited December 2021
    "Excited" isn't a word I'd use to describe my feelings in this instance. I'd say that I'm looking for seeds of change that might germinate, positive prognostication if you will.

    Ukraine's different to the two examples you cite. Powerful people in Ukraine want to move towards the EU, and powerful people want to stick with Russia. Hence the current situation. The Burisma intervention is about Europe setting the rules.

    I really don't want to speculate about ordinary Ukrainians, because I just don't know enough. The stuff above I can read in the newspapers, but all I would be doing beyond that level is hazarding guesses about how people who grew up in a situation of comparative scarcity and institutional decay by imagining myself in their shoes. And I come from a land of plenty.

    They might not see anything wrong with a little cc, of the Graeme Green Travels with My Aunt variety, whereas I might well object.
  • Results of last phone call between Putin and Biden:

    Putin: if you don't promise not to support Ukraine, relations between US and Russia will be irreparably damaged.

    Biden: If you attack Ukraine, you will experience even worse sanctions.

    The standoff continues.
  • To invade or not o invade?

    Strengths.

    An army and populous that's well up for it. Sanctions are irrelevant as China won't participate.

    Weaknesses

    How long before occupation leads to Western fed insurrection by suicidally crazed fascist Ukrainian nationalists and other patriots.

    Opportunities

    A peace deal that neutralizes Ukraine and even gets Luhansk and Donetsk

    Threats

    The West won't sign.
  • I agree that the best outcome might be a neutral Ukraine, much like the Austrian compromise after WWII. However, I think it should come from the people of Ukraine, not the result of an agreement between Biden and Putin or any other power.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited January 2022
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I agree that the best outcome might be a neutral Ukraine, much like the Austrian compromise after WWII. However, I think it should come from the people of Ukraine, not the result of an agreement between Biden and Putin or any other power.

    People don't count. And the West can't agree to any Russian terms. Putin has to understand that. How does he get out of Ukraine 'with honour' at home? I suppose the fact that the West can do bugger all is a victory.
  • The theory is to demonstrate to Putin that his current course won't achieve his aims. On telly tonight, Biden not only talked about sanctions but increasing US military presence in Europe if Russia invades Ukraine. So, unless Biden has made an empty threat and Putin knows it, Putin knows that an invasion of Ukraine will result in a worse outcome for him.

    Remember that due to the failures of Trump, Obama and Bush, it is harder now to make Putin understand that NATO and the Americans can be trusted to carry through their threats, let alone their promises.

    So this seems like a clever public move by Biden, and one that he must carry through. Putin now has to work out what he needs to rescue his position.

    @Martin54 Stop being an eejit. If people don't count, why is NATO bothering with this protracted negotiation? Why would "they" give a shit about risking a nuclear exchange? Why don't they just jackboot around and hang the body count? Why haven't they glassed Iran?
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    It would make this conversation sound a lot less violently toxic if posters could clearly state when they are representing what they actually think, and when they are reporting what they believe A N Other political leader or political movement thinks/calculates.

    Doublethink, Temporary Purgatory Host
  • @Simon Toad, the West has to take a little more notice of its people than a relatively benign autocrat (compared with beloved Stalin) - czar - like Putin. It will not risk a nuclear exchange for Ukraine's. And Putin has no interest in annexing Ukraine, just taking back the bit of Russia that Khrushchev meaninglessly gave away which reignited the Cold War eight years ago; Luhansk and Donetsk joined Russia's growing list of protectorates seven years ago. Superseded by Artsakh, you will recall of course, two years ago. They just have to guarantee not to join NATO, whose expansion east was never discussed with Gorbachev beyond staying out of the former GDR at the time. This is just the Great Game resurrected. Russia abandoned the third horse of Atlanticism in its foreign policy troika over a quarter of a century ago.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited January 2022
    moved to styx
  • This seems ominous.
    The week before intensive diplomatic meetings began over the buildup of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, American and Ukrainian officials watched from afar as Russia began emptying out its embassy in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

    On Jan. 5, 18 people — mostly the children and wives of Russian diplomats — boarded buses and embarked on a 15-hour drive home to Moscow, according to a senior Ukrainian security official.

    Seems like one step short of burning all the embassy papers on the front lawn.
  • Hmm. Mr Putin is perhaps Up To Something, being a clever operator - but what is it?
  • Hmm. Mr Putin is perhaps Up To Something, being a clever operator - but what is it?

    A game of "chicken", I suspect. My worry is that this is roughly how WWI started.
  • I was wondering about gas. Might the Russian leadership speculate that as western Europe grows its renewables capability, our need for Russian gas decreases; now might be a good time to accomplish any foreign policy objectives likely to cause western consternation, whilst our hands are more, rather than less, tied?
  • Do people think that sanctions have the capacity to deter Putin? (spoiler alert: I don't, but I'm worried I'm not judging things right).
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    Do people think that sanctions have the capacity to deter Putin? (spoiler alert: I don't, but I'm worried I'm not judging things right).

    The only thing that would likely deter Putin would be an indication that sanctions now are a sign of military support for Ukraine in the event of further invasion. NATO has no desire to give that indication because they fear, rightly, that stating it outright would confirm Putin's worst suspicions, that NATO is a threat to Russia and creeping right up to its borders, and that might make him more rather than less belligerent.

    TL;DR: it's a cold mess, with the potential to get very warm very fast.
  • Does Putin think he can win a war with NATO? I though his thinking would be that if he can avoid NATO involvement, a quick war would be good for him, but with NATO involvement not so good.

    Maybe he thinks he can limit NATO by manipulating public opinion in the West.
  • I can see no way at all that NATO will get involved in Ukraine. A hot war between the US and Russia is not going to happen. The UK and EU will be buying Russian gas all winter, and all next winter; and Russia needs that too. I suspect we will buy that gas if Russian troops occupy eastern Ukraine, in the same way as we found a way to convince ourselves that our outrage over Crimea was insufficient to not buy it, this winter. After all, we buy oil from the Saudis, who are currently shitting all over Yemen.
  • What @mark_in_manchester said.

    I don't see what Putin can possibly net gain by occupying Ukraine. The situation is surely fine for him just as it is. As with Georgia he has two 'protectorates' in the country, so neither country can join NATO. And Sweden and Finland therefore won't.
  • While Sweden is officially a neutral nation, it has cooperated in a number of NATO led actions. It's military can easily integrate into the NATO forces. On January 7, the Swedish Foreign Minister has said it is up to Sweden to decide if it will join NATO.

    Finland, though, says it is not going to apply for NATO membership, though it has good relations with many NATO countries. However, since it shares a common border with Russia, it does not want to poke the bear too much.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »

    Finland, though, says it is not going to apply for NATO membership, though it has good relations with many NATO countries. However, since it shares a common border with Russia, it does not want to poke the bear too much.

    I doubt Finns are eager to repeat the experience of war with their 800lb neighbour.
  • Aye, I hope the plucky wee buggers keep out of it regardless and remain the happiest country in the world...
  • Pangolin GuerrePangolin Guerre Shipmate
    edited January 2022
    Speaking on behalf of the wee plucky buggers (being half one, and pretty up on Finland's current affairs), there has been the occasional lobbing of the word "NATO" in a heavily subjunctive mood, but not seriously. I don't think that any serious politician has ever progressed beyond the stage of mind experiment. While I'm unaware of any Finnish participation in NATO war games as such, I am aware of extensive, multilevel cooperation. Finland and Sweden have held joint manoeuvres on a number of occasions. It's worth noting that Finnish military doctrine is exclusively defensive, but very seriously so, in that strategically its goal is to make any invader (I challenge you to name more than one) pay dearly for every centimetre of ground, and any occupied territory ungovernable. It is said, but AFAIK unverified, that in 1944 the USSR had no interest in occupying Finland as a whole because Molotov felt that any attempt to do so would have been a chronic and internationally unattractive drain on Soviet resources.

    On a lighter note, there is a story of Sibelius taking pot shots with his hunting rifle at Soviet planes flying over his home at Ainola.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited January 2022
    Karelia! Sweet.

    I suppose we should pray that the spring rasputitsa comes early, as Putin might think 'k churtu and go for it just to show he can and the West is utterly impotent if it wants to stay warm. After he's degraded the Ukraine's military, like Israel in Lebanon, he can just pull out, apart from of Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk, which forever make NATO membership impossible for Ukraine.
  • According to this paper Finland is all but a member of NATO. It has integrated much of its military hardware with the EU and NATO, and it has participated in NATO exercises.
  • If Russia can synthesize a pro-Russian coup that requests Russian military assistance, they will. But it’s not as ‘simple’ as Afghanistan, where they simply invaded to oppose an anti-Russian coup. They haven’t tried that even in Georgia.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    If Russia can synthesize a pro-Russian coup that requests Russian military assistance, they will. But it’s not as ‘simple’ as Afghanistan, where they simply invaded to oppose an anti-Russian coup. They haven’t tried that even in Georgia.

    Isn't that precisely what triggered the Russian occupation of parts of Ukraine? A broadly pro-Russian elected government in Ukraine was overthrown by a coup/popular uprising [delete as appropriate] and replaced with a Ukrainian nationalist broadly pro-Western one.
  • Latest news is disquieting:

    https://theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/23/russian-ships-tanks-and-troops-on-the-move-to-ukraine-as-peace-talks-stall

    Some form of pre-emptive strike on Kyiv, from Belarus, perhaps?
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    If Russia can synthesize a pro-Russian coup that requests Russian military assistance, they will. But it’s not as ‘simple’ as Afghanistan, where they simply invaded to oppose an anti-Russian coup. They haven’t tried that even in Georgia.

    Isn't that precisely what triggered the Russian occupation of parts of Ukraine? A broadly pro-Russian elected government in Ukraine was overthrown by a coup/popular uprising [delete as appropriate] and replaced with a Ukrainian nationalist broadly pro-Western one.

    Aye. You're right.

    @Bishops Finger - what's the casus belli? A false flag 'Ukrainian' attack on Belarus?

    From the link:
    The US president, Joe Biden, last week said that Putin himself may not know what he plans to do. But the results are either reckless brinkmanship or preparations for a large-scale military operation.

    It gradually dawned on Putin that if he stays on the track of stable and predictable, as Biden indicated, he’s the designated loser,” said Pavel Baev, research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo and a Brookings Institution nonresident fellow. “Something needed to be done. He went for this escalation quite sharply.”

    Any excuse and he's in, it looks like.
  • No, I simply wondered whether having missiles based in Belarus (with the permission of that nice Mr Lukashenko) means that Mr Putin could attack Kyiv more easily - which might also mean that any immediate retaliation would fall on Minsk, rather than Moscow.

    I think Putin would throw Lukashenko - or anyone else, for that matter - under a bus without troubling to check the route number...
  • No, I simply wondered whether having missiles based in Belarus

    How many NATO troops are there in Poland?
  • Jo fucked up.
    No, I simply wondered whether having missiles based in Belarus

    How many NATO troops are there in Poland?

    5,000+

    & @Bishops Finger, not a realistic scenario.

    New Statesman's
    Guardian's
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Jo fucked up.
    No, I simply wondered whether having missiles based in Belarus

    How many NATO troops are there in Poland?

    5,000+

    & @Bishops Finger, not a realistic scenario.

    New Statesman's
    Guardian's

    No, I agree it's not a realistic scenario (I hope), but to be honest, and in the words of Lord Brandoch Daha - *Who knoweth? Who shall say he knoweth?*
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Jo fucked up.
    No, I simply wondered whether having missiles based in Belarus

    How many NATO troops are there in Poland?

    5,000+

    & @Bishops Finger, not a realistic scenario.

    New Statesman's
    Guardian's

    No, I agree it's not a realistic scenario (I hope), but to be honest, and in the words of Lord Brandoch Daha - *Who knoweth? Who shall say he knoweth?*

    Indeed my friend. I live under the shadow of a half a megatonner. Just outside the fireball, but close enough. I'll go out on the street and look north east on the three minute warning.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Jo fucked up.
    No, I simply wondered whether having missiles based in Belarus

    How many NATO troops are there in Poland?

    5,000+

    & @Bishops Finger, not a realistic scenario.

    No, I agree it's not a realistic scenario (I hope), but to be honest, and in the words of Lord Brandoch Daha - *Who knoweth? Who shall say he knoweth?*

    Indeed my friend. I live under the shadow of a half a megatonner. Just outside the fireball, but close enough. I'll go out on the street and look north east on the three minute warning.

    Yes, I'll do the same, I think. Either that, or just retire to my berth and wait for the nuclear winter...

    This is another disquieting news item:
    https://theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/23/no-10-casts-boris-johnson-as-head-of-anti-russian-alliance-over-ukraine

    With Boris in charge, we're all dead meat.

  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Jo fucked up.
    No, I simply wondered whether having missiles based in Belarus

    How many NATO troops are there in Poland?

    5,000+

    & @Bishops Finger, not a realistic scenario.

    No, I agree it's not a realistic scenario (I hope), but to be honest, and in the words of Lord Brandoch Daha - *Who knoweth? Who shall say he knoweth?*

    Indeed my friend. I live under the shadow of a half a megatonner. Just outside the fireball, but close enough. I'll go out on the street and look north east on the three minute warning.

    Yes, I'll do the same, I think. Either that, or just retire to my berth and wait for the nuclear winter...

    This is another disquieting news item:
    https://theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/23/no-10-casts-boris-johnson-as-head-of-anti-russian-alliance-over-ukraine

    With Boris in charge, we're all dead meat.

    God help us.
Sign In or Register to comment.