It's More Than Sabre Rattling Now

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  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    The Mystic Turquoise Crystal Ball is pulsing as Xi says that China and Russia are "defending the real spirit of democracy" and Putin says that he and Xi are "good friends" and "politicans who share many common views on solving world problems". I'm sure that last statement is true at any rate!

  • Hmm. What is this *real spirit of democracy* of which they speak? Do we have it here in England?

    I'm sure that many world problems could indeed be solved by chucking a few nuclear missiles around, but I daresay other problems would then arise.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    If you exclude the Americas and ignore European genocide between settlement and yesterday, the US and its allies have almost never been the aggressor.
    Sorry, I don't understand.

    Its just that the 2001 attack was well planned by Al Qaeda and it did precisely what it was supposed to do. The US reacted like a psychotic tiger stung by a wasp. It lashed out in Afghanistan, and then went really off the rails in Iraq. Bin Laden must have been well pleased with its work, as it resulted in the radicalisation of many people in the Islamic world. It painted the US to be what Bin Laden always perceived it to be - not a capitalist oppressor, but a religious enemy engaged in holy war against Islam. 9/11 provoked America to bear its teeth.
    Uh huh.

    This whole notion of the USA and Capitalism being the bad guys is utter bollocks.
    If the Capitalism fits. The good news in Christ is the fulfilment of our genetic aspiration. Social justice. How much closer to that is the USA than Russia? Or China? Or Saudi Arabia?

    The present alternative is domination by fascism and quasi-fascists. That doesn't mean we give up on building Jerusalem. Its not an abrogation of responsibility for continuing harm.
    Trump is a neo-fascist and he's on schedule for return in two years. The harm being done by Capitalism to the masses and their planet shows can't be abrogated, evaded; but it can be done away with by law and right.

    But it does mean that the far left rubbish spouted as rooted in Christianity by some Shipmates is false prophesy.
    No one here has done that. Social justice is central, core to human affairs and survival, it was first implemented by the Christians of Jerusalem.

    The right policy isn't abolishing the ruling class, but breaking down class, racist and sexist barriers so that the ruling class are the best people drawn from the widest possible range of ethnicities and economic backgrounds, renewed in each generation. The focus on smashing the state and 'end-stage capitalism distracts from that essential goal.

    The just, fair, central, core policy is restoring the commons to the masses by taxation of those in possession of stolen property: the land and all wealth extracted from it for a thousand years. With class gone by social justice, racism is meaningless as it is a tool of the ruling class. The same with sexism.
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    "many people in the Islamic world" was not even close to a majority. It was a tiny minority in fact. In that sense the next part of Bin Laden's plan - to radicalise most Muslims - waas an abject failure. We MUST remember that.
    Why? American hubris can never recover. British neither after we lost two small wars. Bin Laden's failure was in using violence which can never achieve social justice.

    I have decided not to pursue this here. Its not so much because its tangential and deserves its own thread, because I usually don't self correct on tangents. Its more that I think the Australian experience of Capitalism differs from other places because of the institutional place of the union movement since federation.

    But really, freedom is the plinth of justice and equality. Look out for a thread with that title.
  • The Mystic Turquoise Crystal Ball is pulsing as Xi says that China and Russia are "defending the real spirit of democracy" and Putin says that he and Xi are "good friends" and "politicans who share many common views on solving world problems". I'm sure that last statement is true at any rate!

    yeah, preach it baby.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    because I usually don't self correct on tangents.

    Why not ?
  • I get over-excited.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    Interesting that both ends of the US political spectrum seem against US military support for Ukraine, with Ben and Jerry's aligning with Tucker Carlson; whereas the "centre", for want of a better word, is largely backing the policy.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited February 2022
    Interesting that both ends of the US political spectrum seem against US military support for Ukraine, with Ben and Jerry's aligning with Tucker Carlson; . . .

    A couple of points here.
    • Ben and Jerry's is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever, a British-based multinational corporation. I'm not sure the position of an American subsidiary of a multinational corporation is a good way to judge one end of "the US political spectrum".
    • Tucker Carlson has long been pro-Russia, enough so that even Russian state media has started to wonder if he's a Russian agent. While the American right is becoming more pro-authoritarian all the time, Tucker Swanson McNear Carson is an outlier in his Putinphelia even in that group.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    It's true that Ben and Jerry's is hardly an "extremist" organisation, and in the other direction I'm sure it is worryingly easy to find those who are more extreme than Tucker C. However there is certainly both "progressive" and "reactionary" opposition to the US administration's Ukraine policy, the former on "anti-war" grounds and the latter on "Putin has the right idea" grounds.
  • Monsieur Macron, on his way to Moscow, believes war can be averted by 'respecting Russia and understanding the contemporary traumas of this great people and great nation'.
    Let's hope and pray so.
  • Can't help feeling that Putin has backed himself in to a corner and must invade to save face.
  • jay_emmjay_emm Kerygmania Host
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Can't help feeling that Putin has backed himself in to a corner and must invade to save face.


    All the papers I've seen have been more or less on the lines of:
    {Western leader} says Russia will do this or that massive bad thing.
    Russian leader says stop saying we're going to do this when were clearly not.

    Of course we have tons of extreme examples of deceitful denials (Munich agreement being an easy one to name). And Donetsk and Crimea has already happened (but the talk is about Kiev).
    And I'm not sure what the internal propaganda/line is.

    But if Putin doesn't want to invade and has said he doesn't want to invade then I'm not sure where the face saving is needed. He can just not invade.

    If there was a change in the situation that would be seen as unreasonable by the Russian people/generals then that would be different.
  • jay_emm wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Can't help feeling that Putin has backed himself in to a corner and must invade to save face.


    All the papers I've seen have been more or less on the lines of:
    {Western leader} says Russia will do this or that massive bad thing.
    Russian leader says stop saying we're going to do this when were clearly not.

    Of course we have tons of extreme examples of deceitful denials (Munich agreement being an easy one to name). And Donetsk and Crimea has already happened (but the talk is about Kiev).
    And I'm not sure what the internal propaganda/line is.

    But if Putin doesn't want to invade and has said he doesn't want to invade then I'm not sure where the face saving is needed. He can just not invade.

    If there was a change in the situation that would be seen as unreasonable by the Russian people/generals then that would be different.

    Masterful. The genius of pointing out the bleedin' obvious. But none of his impossible demands about NATO will be met. He looks stupid making them; there's the loss of face.
  • There's lots of smart people in powerful positions in NATO. They are the bureaucrats, the blessed Deep State. They will manufacture an out in consultation with their Russian colleagues.
  • what's an out in consultation?
  • I think Martin means *a face-saving way out*, to be achieved in consultation with equally smart Russian colleagues (or opposite numbers?).
  • I think Martin means *a face-saving way out*, to be achieved in consultation with equally smart Russian colleagues (or opposite numbers?).

    of course. thanks
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    Hmm. No "out" seems to have been manufactured as yet. Indeed it looks difficult for Putin not to invade without losing face. I think his line will be "well I wasn't going to invade, but you provoked me so much I think I will invade after all, with all these troops that are coincidentally poised to do so..."
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited February 2022
    Meanwhile, US and UK nationals are being urged to leave Ukraine whilst land borders are still open...which is common-sense advice, but still rather ominous.
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited February 2022
    I think Martin means *a face-saving way out*, to be achieved in consultation with equally smart Russian colleagues (or opposite numbers?).

    That were @Simon Toad. I had and have no such confidence in behind the scenes collusion. The channels exist, but what can be said. The West has nothing to offer. Putin has to invade or look like a prat.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    Well I suppose the West could try to persuade Ukraine to sell out. Then Putin looks awesome. That would probably be Putin's #1 choice.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    I think Martin means *a face-saving way out*, to be achieved in consultation with equally smart Russian colleagues (or opposite numbers?).

    That were @Simon Toad. I had and have no such confidence in behind the scenes collusion. The channels exist, but what can be said. The West has nothing to offer. Putin has to invade or look like a prat.

    So it was. My apologies for the error, both to you and to @Simon Toad .

    I hear what you say, and I guess we'll find out in the next few days just what Mr Putin intends to do.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    edited February 2022
    Part of me thinks he might invade this weekend, on Super Bowl Sunday, the greatest religious holiday on the American calendar...
  • Another suggestion (or rumour) is that he will wait until the Winter Olympics are over.
  • Part of me thinks he might invade this weekend, on Super Bowl Sunday, the greatest religious holiday on the American calendar...

    :lol: :love:
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited February 2022
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I think Martin means *a face-saving way out*, to be achieved in consultation with equally smart Russian colleagues (or opposite numbers?).

    That were @Simon Toad. I had and have no such confidence in behind the scenes collusion. The channels exist, but what can be said. The West has nothing to offer. Putin has to invade or look like a prat.

    Yes. The bureaucrats are always in control of the pollies in liberal democracies, because they control the information flow and the pollies aren't usually around for long enough to conduct a proper purge. Yes, minister and all that. Not so in Russia, where Putin heads a government of bureaucrats turned politicians, and its easier to purge people.

    I have a Vietnamese mate who fled his country in the early 1990's. He says that we do purges and control-by-bullying in Australia too, but are rubbish at it. The big difference, he once told me, was that in Vietnam at the time, bullying was so much more effective because the ultimate sanction was a holiday in a grow-your-own-food residential education facility. AIUI he fled when his patron in the local Party was purged. He held an admin post that was supposed to be party-only but was ineligible to join because of his class background.

    My friend is a tricky bastard though, a product of a dangerous life in Vietnam and refugee camps. He once rang a day service and yelled at them for a perceived slight, and when they asked for his name, he gave the name of our colleague from Sri Lanka. It turned out OK, because our then manager knew his staff well, and worked out what happened. Dilshan was understandably pissed off, but now laughs about it when he tells this ancient work legend.
  • Wednesday.
  • I can't believe Ukraine's 'territorial defence' reservist/civilians are seemingly prepared to die in the face of Russian tanks.
  • Maybe they're not, though some might be willing to risk it.

    We'll find out on Wednesday, according to @Martin54 ...
    :fearful:
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    I can't believe Ukraine's 'territorial defence' reservist/civilians are seemingly prepared to die in the face of Russian tanks.

    Well, it's possible that the the messaging inside the country:

    https://twitter.com/Nat_Vasilyeva/status/1492475403260338177

    Is different from the messaging outside:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/11/politics/biden-administration-russia-intelligence/index.html
    "We're not instrumentalizing the press. What we're doing is conducting a strategic communications campaign," the Western intelligence official said.
  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    edited February 2022
    So the US hopes to deny Putin the element of surprise that Russian forces had when they made Crimea (2014) look so easy and hardly anyone died. I don't see how Putin will be deterred by that when he has such overwhelming forces ready.
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    So the US hopes to deny Putin the element of surprise that Russian forces had when they made Crimea (2014) look so easy and hardly anyone died. I don't see how Putin will be deterred by that when he has such overwhelming forces ready.

    Or the US is talking up an invasion in the hope that they can claim a diplomatic victory when it doesn't happen.
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    So @chrisstiles are you saying that Russia has all those troops there in order not to invade? What is the purpose of that?

    Unless you are saying that Russia doesn't really want to invade, but wants to make it look as though it does. In which case it is hardly the US doing the "talking up".
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    I can't believe Ukraine's 'territorial defence' reservist/civilians are seemingly prepared to die in the face of Russian tanks.

    I can. In a survey of Europeans asking whether they would be willing to die for their country, the Ukrainians placed a very high third place (62%) behind Finland (75%) and Turkey (72%). Even peaceful Sweden was at 55%. At the low end were Germany and the Benelux countries, all 15-20%.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    I feel to see that events in Ukraine are any business of America's. To what end are they playing tough? European interests, which are more obvious, are by no means the same as America's in this case.

    And as for Australia's tough-talking "Defence" minister, it's hard to see how the great Australian masses can see any involvement in a war about a far away place about which we know nothing as a pre-election vote-winner, especially following what are now seen as the thoroughly stupid and expensive precedents of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Tukai wrote: »
    I feel to see that events in Ukraine are any business of America's. To what end are they playing tough? European interests, which are more obvious, are by no means the same as America's in this case.

    And as for Australia's tough-talking "Defence" minister, it's hard to see how the great Australian masses can see any involvement in a war about a far away place about which we know nothing as a pre-election vote-winner, especially following what are now seen as the thoroughly stupid and expensive precedents of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Where did America's Pacific campaign kick off from?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Hell Host
    edited February 2022
    So @chrisstiles are you saying that Russia has all those troops there in order not to invade? What is the purpose of that?

    You realise you could insert things like military spend, ICBM modernisation and NATO expansion and entirely reverse the subjects of your second paragraph. After all, what is the purpose of all *that* ?
  • Martin54Martin54 Suspended
    edited February 2022
    Putin is incompetent as he lost Ukraine to Maidan in 2014, his Speznaz team managed to kill a member of the English underclass, his state doping operation cost him the Olympics; but none of that has hurt him, his grip on power has never been higher. Especially as he took back Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk. Let alone his successes in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Syria. He can easily live with a level of incompetence. He knew his demands to NATO would never be met, and that allows him to do this. Nothing. The appearance of threat, to create a unifying counter-threat he can pretend is offense when it's purely defense. And NATO is a real Western expansionist economic, cultural, moral threat.

    But if not, Wednesday. With no boots on the ground at all. For a start.
  • So @chrisstiles are you saying that Russia has all those troops there in order not to invade? What is the purpose of that?

    You realise you could insert things like military spend, ICBM modernisation and NATO expansion and entirely reverse the subjects of your second paragraph. After all, what is the purpose of all *that* ?

    Yes, from the Russian point of view the expansion of NATO is a threat. I suppose if you voice that publically, the tabloids will accuse you of being a Putin lover, file under Corbyn.
  • Wednesday the 23rd, out of respect to President Xi and the Winter Olympics.
    I can imagine Putin's advisors saying 'do it now, before they join NATO'.
    What would be the casus belli? Failure to implement Minsk? A false flag altercation that gets out of hand?
    And will the sanctions hurt Russia enough to make Putin think again? (I believe there were sanctions after the annexation of Crimea; presumably they didn't hurt Russia enough?).
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited February 2022
    Merry Vole wrote: »
    Wednesday the 23rd, out of respect to President Xi and the Winter Olympics.
    I can imagine Putin's advisors saying 'do it now, before they join NATO'.
    What would be the casus belli? Failure to implement Minsk? A false flag altercation that gets out of hand?
    And will the sanctions hurt Russia enough to make Putin think again? (I believe there were sanctions after the annexation of Crimea; presumably they didn't hurt Russia enough?).

    Interesting - I note that @Martin54 didn't specify which Wednesday...

    I hope, of course, that you're both Wrong, and that Mr Putin (having achieved the aim of getting Europe and the US to listen to him) makes a strategic withdrawal of his forces.

    It's rather galling to see the ridiculous posturing of Johnson and Truss, which has been somewhat underwhelming as far as both Russia and Ukraine are concerned, and even poor Ben Wallace (one of the less egregious members of the government) hasn't exactly been warmly welcomed.

    So much for *Global Britain*.
    :disappointed:
  • A couple of thousand UK antitank missiles are a tad more than posturing. Ooh, and don't forget to add Transnistria to the list of successes. Putin's ground campaign has to be over by this year's rasputitsa. Mudding. He can't afford to wait another two Wednesdays.
  • Interesting opinion on the rusi.org Defence and Securities Studies think tank:

    ' Ukrainian government is trapped between the measures necessary to deter a Russian military invasion, and staving off a gradual strangulation of its independence through economic exhaustion and political infiltration. The means of achieving the first objective would make the second threat more acute'.

    Admittedly a week out of date, but would explain why Zelenskyy keeps saying 'invasion? what invasion?'
  • It comes to something when Ben "MP for BAE Systems South" Wallace is one of the less awful members of the government.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited February 2022
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Putin is incompetent as he lost Ukraine to Maidan in 2014, his Speznaz team managed to kill a member of the English underclass, his state doping operation cost him the Olympics; but none of that has hurt him, his grip on power has never been higher. Especially as he took back Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk. Let alone his successes in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Syria. He can easily live with a level of incompetence. He knew his demands to NATO would never be met, and that allows him to do this. Nothing. The appearance of threat, to create a unifying counter-threat he can pretend is offense when it's purely defense. And NATO is a real Western expansionist economic, cultural, moral threat.

    But if not, Wednesday. With no boots on the ground at all. For a start.

    We get to see much of what our pollies get up to. Their mistakes are broadcast from the rooftops. We debate them ad nauseum. That's why liberal democracy needs to be defended and the benefits of it spread about. I am revising my analogy of freedom as the plinth of justice and equity. I'm hoisting the perichoresis metaphor instead.

    "Tuesday afternoon is never-ending. Wednesday morning papers didn't come..."
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited February 2022
    It comes to something when Ben "MP for BAE Systems South" Wallace is one of the less awful members of the government.

    At least he's coming home from holiday in order to deal with the deepening crisis. Other members of the government, and officials, have been known to stay on holiday during recent crises (although it might be argued that they're no bloody use to anyone, home or abroad, so it didn't really matter).

    https://theguardian.com/politics/2022/feb/13/uk-defence-minister-ben-wallace-cuts-short-holiday-as-ukraine-crisis-deepens

    Whether Wallace's presence at home will help save the situation has yet to be seen.

  • Because as I said, sending arms now is of limited effectiveness (anything that could tip the balance would take time to send and the UK doesn't have much that it could send anyway).

    slightly tangential point but I think you need to think a bit more laterally than 'can we send them a million rifles?' (state secret, we can't). I think a spy plane and a company of electronic warfare specialists might focus minds in Moscow purely on the basis of what they'd be gathering while Moscowdid whatever it
    Merry Vole wrote: »
    Interesting opinion on the rusi.org Defence and Securities Studies think tank:

    ' Ukrainian government is trapped between the measures necessary to deter a Russian military invasion, and staving off a gradual strangulation of its independence through economic exhaustion and political infiltration. The means of achieving the first objective would make the second threat more acute'.

    Admittedly a week out of date, but would explain why Zelenskyy keeps saying 'invasion? what invasion?'

    I read an interesting analysis yesterday from someone at either Chatham House or RUSI (can't remember which but if I do I'll link to it). I realise that this will probably go down like a cup of cold sick in some quarters given the obsession with seeing everything through a Brexit prism, but neither of those bodies is particularly Brexiteer...

    The argument amounted to something like 'Putin is more worried in the long term by the EU than by NATO. However, it's easier to get into NATO than it is the EU, but you have a better shout once you're in NATO. So, if you want to keep the EU down, NATO is the proxy organisation that you want to turn the screw on.'

    I mean, that was my take-out before spending yesterday bottling over 600 pints of cider and then the England rugby match kicking off this afternoon, but it did strike me as persuasive analysis first thing yesterday morning fwiw. The argument was (obviously) rather more nuanced than what I can remember and have reported above.

    Boils down to the real audience for all of this being EU Brussels rather than NATO HQ Brussels...
  • TurquoiseTasticTurquoiseTastic Kerygmania Host
    So @chrisstiles are you saying that Russia has all those troops there in order not to invade? What is the purpose of that?

    You realise you could insert things like military spend, ICBM modernisation and NATO expansion and entirely reverse the subjects of your second paragraph. After all, what is the purpose of all *that* ?

    "All that" has, I'd say, the purpose of drawing Eastern European countries closer to the West and indicating that they would be militarily supported if Russia tried to invade. This is fairly obvious. So why try to deny the equally obvious implications of the current Russian troop deployments?
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Hell Host
    edited February 2022
    So @chrisstiles are you saying that Russia has all those troops there in order not to invade? What is the purpose of that?

    You realise you could insert things like military spend, ICBM modernisation and NATO expansion and entirely reverse the subjects of your second paragraph. After all, what is the purpose of all *that* ?

    "All that" has, I'd say, the purpose of drawing Eastern European countries closer to the West and indicating that they would be militarily supported if Russia tried to invade.

    "All that" covers more than just NATO expansion (and currently covers a military spend of around 10 times that of Russia - a country that has been invaded just outside living memory, and which purely because of a shift in trading status has suffered a seven figure mortality event within the memory of the people currently in charge).

    Besides, Americans believe that they are building a ballistic missile defence. It won't actually work - but all that is required is that American military thinkers believe it does.
  • Do you mean the five+/-two million deaths caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union @chrisstiles?
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