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This is going to get interesting, I think. I also think it's going to get ugly. Seth Abramson has a few thoughts on the matter.

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I wrote a book on the first Russian invasion of Ukraine (Proof of Corruption, 2020), then took to Twitter to say that the evidence we see now—and all we know about Putin—suggests he’ll invade again. For some reason, folks got angry. Well, see what happens.
(PS) Putin’s scheme in Ukraine is *so transparently obvious* that not only is it apocalyptically condescending that he’s going through certain motions to pretend he won’t invade, but it’s almost *as* condescending that the federal government keeps telling us this can be avoided.
(PS2) The sort of actions that would be required to prevent Russia from invading Europe for the second time in a decade are just the sort of actions no one in the federal government is willing to take. NATO should have been *melodramatically expanding itself* this entire decade.
(PS3) The international community is always in reactive mode with Putin—it underreacts and hopes for the best. It assumes Putin won’t want to cause economic pain to his country. *Nothing* in his makeup suggests this is true.

His adventurism is about “regaining” land—at any cost.
(PS4) Putin understands strength—period. Trump was the weakest American president since the late 19th c., and Putin gobbled it up. He was afraid of Clinton precisely *because* she’s strong. You show weakness to this monster, and he obliterates you. How do we not know this by now?
(PS5) Ukraine is the largest European country. Putin is poised to invade it twice in a decade and steal 14% of its land area. How the *hell* is this not a red line for the democratic West? Why do we think *sanctions* work on a strongman who doesn’t care if his people live or die?
(PS6) Putin will invade Europe—again—with nothing even qualifying as a *pretext*—again—and be sanctioned—again—and then negotiate the sanctions away in five years when he has found something else to threaten the West with. This is his mode: he’s a sociopath who will *never* stop.
(PS7) So either the Biden administration should *admit* that no one in the federal government, whether Congress or the White House, has any stomach to stand up to Putin in a meaningful and results-oriented way, or it should start *acting* like Putin is the global threat he *is*.
(PS8) All the evidence on Putin’s intentions is that he’s obsessed with reconstituting the land area of the Soviet Union—if not its political structure (needless to say, he *infinitely* prefers autocracy to communism).

In Kazakhstan, in Georgia, in Ukraine, the pattern is clear.
(PS9) Right now the *only* thing that could *significantly* forestall an invasion of Ukraine—and this is very unlikely—is if Putin sees the prospects of gaining de facto power over Kazakhstan as so high that he decides he wants to focus on that nation for now instead of Ukraine.
(PS10) I suppose I would add, as a secondary matter, that Putin might consider postponing an invasion of Ukraine if it becomes clear to him that the GOP taking the House and impeaching (but not convicting) Biden in 2023 will so weaken Biden that it presages a 2024 Trump victory.
(PS11) What dealing with Vladimir Putin requires is staying ahead of him at all times, forcing him to be in a reactive posture rather than the opposite. If the United States had been pushing NATO to expand eastward for two decades, Putin would be negotiating with *us* to stop it.

 

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I just don’t see the upside for Putin here.  The cost imposed on he and his buddies will be dear and then there’s the cost of the invasion itself.  Armies at work are expensive not to mention potential losses of life and material.  Then there’s the cost of occupation.  Russia is a close to being third world country with nukes.  If they do invade though and cut off Nat gas to Europe in retaliation for sanctions things will get super bad.  
 

Im not seeing people bet on it on Wall Street.

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That is a pretty weird article by Abramson, excerpt closing with . . .  

7 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

If the United States had been pushing NATO to expand eastward for two decades, Putin would be negotiating with *us* to stop it.

Well, in fact the US HAS pushed to expand NATO eastward for two decades - longer actually.  

The Neo-Cons are again beating the drums of war as is their wont. They just love to spend other people's money and the lives of the innocent. 

Don't fall for it. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Fakenews said:

I just don’t see the upside for Putin here.  The cost imposed on he and his buddies will be dear and then there’s the cost of the invasion itself.  Armies at work are expensive not to mention potential losses of life and material.  Then there’s the cost of occupation.  Russia is a close to being third world country with nukes.  If they do invade though and cut off Nat gas to Europe in retaliation for sanctions things will get super bad.  
 

Im not seeing people bet on it on Wall Street.

Come on, use purple font please. Putin does not report to an accountant. Stopping an eastward expansion of NATO is worth a few green men. 

 

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It may be worth it to Putin to come on strong with the nationalism and, as a bonus, kill off a bunch of otherwise useless young men who are increasingly calling for better government.

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NATO is never going to expand to include Ukraine, irrespective of what Russia does, but Pooty Poot doesn't need to know that. Of course he is going to bullshit up a reason for invasion if he chooses to go in. Bullshitters gonna do what bullshitters gonna do. 

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55 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

This is going to get interesting, I think. I also think it's going to get ugly. Seth Abramson has a few thoughts on the matter.

 

Seth can't imagine Putin as anything but mad and evil so this is a logical conclusion for him to make. He seems unaware of the old practice of "gunboat diplomacy", in which threats are implied to force issues to conclusions, and in this case it could very well be that slow ongoing civil war in eastern Ukraine. Doesn't get much press but there has been low level combat happening there for many years now. Seth's belief Putin has ambitions in Kazakhstan is ignorant, as Russia totally owns the government of Kazakhstan. Putin's fear there, if any, could only be losing it, not taking it. 

 Nevertheless he could be right, but IMO Putin's most likely goal is the West signing off on a partitioning of what we call Ukraine, shearing off the Russian speaking parts for either incorporation into Russia or allowing them to form their own country, ending the efforts of the government in Kiev to take it back militarily and thereby that civil war. Seth seems to be fully bought in to the narrative that Ukraine has always been drawn on the map the way we draw it today, and has always been an independent country. Most people are. Most Russians? Not so much. 
 

    

   

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Why do the MSM always talk about "NATO" being the agent here  . . ???

If that were actually the case, then we would also be getting the perspectives of France, Germany, Italy, UK etc. 

but the only voice for NATO is the US national security blob, 

which only goes to show that NATO is totally just a tool of the US. 

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3 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Seth seems to be fully bought in to the narrative that Ukraine has always been drawn on the map the way we draw it today, and has always been an independent country.

I wish I could be as optimistic. In 2003 it was obvious to sane analysts that the invasion of Iraq was based on implausible lies, and would be a catastrophe. 

But the Neocon Blob did it anyway. 

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5 minutes ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

NATO is never going to expand to include Ukraine, irrespective of what Russia does, but Pooty Poot doesn't need to know that. Of course he is going to bullshit up a reason for invasion if he chooses to go in. Bullshitters gonna do what bullshitters gonna do. 

Well, W the Stupid proposed this but then he was ... what's the word I'm looking for? ... stupid. He also looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul which was stupid even for a stupid person. Ukraine would have be a very different country before they get in. Most of the former Yugoslavia is in NATO and Ukraine is basket case compared to them. But NATO saying the door is not closed is a different thing altogether.

I'm not a fan of Shitstain's man Vlad. I don't take anything he says at face value.

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I agree that Putin needs to be stopped, but we can no longer be the Policeman for the entire world!! 

These policies have led us down stupid paths, leading to unwinnable, endless wars, for many decades, wasting money and US lives, and that must stop now!! 

NATO has to be the leader of the pack, in any standing up to Putin; NOT the USA....

Perhaps Canada should like to take the lead?  Or the EU?

BUT, NOT THE USA!! 

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29 minutes ago, AJ Oliver said:

Why do the MSM always talk about "NATO" being the agent here  . . ???

If that were actually the case, then we would also be getting the perspectives of France, Germany, Italy, UK etc. 

but the only voice for NATO is the US national security blob, 

which only goes to show that NATO is totally just a tool of the US. 

No, there is an entrenched Euro bureaucracy which has feared for their jobs ever since the USSR fell. It's an organization founded with just one enemy in mind, Russia. It speaks for itself, it does not simply pass along orders from DC. 

IMO the sabre rattling deployment could have an ancillary goal in Putin's mind, to make NATO and the US think twice in the future about fomenting or supporting revolutions within the Russian sphere. The op in Ukraine was mainly the work of ideologues left to their own devices, and people like Nuland (nee Kagan) left to their own devices is unwise anyway. One of Dick Cheney's favorite people, she loved the Iraq invasion folks. A neocon. 

 https://www.salon.com/2021/01/19/who-is-victoria-nuland-a-really-bad-idea-as-a-key-player-in-bidens-foreign-policy-team/

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6 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

I agree that Putin needs to be stopped, but we can no longer be the Policeman for the entire world!! 

These policies have led us down stupid paths, leading to unwinnable, endless wars, for many decades, wasting money and US lives, and that must stop now!! 

NATO has to be the leader of the pack, in any standing up to Putin; NOT the USA....

Perhaps Canada should like to take the lead?  Or the EU?

BUT, NOT THE USA!! 

Canada is the sacrificial trip wire in Lithuania.

Half a battalion with zero tanks and no air defense capability, but we sent what we have.

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2 minutes ago, Tax Man said:

Canada is the sacrificial trip wire in Lithuania.

Half a battalion with zero tanks and no air defense capability, but we sent what we have.

Moose? 

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NATO is there for a very good reason. TFG knocked it at every opportunity. I wonder why? How long did it take for the USA to rise to the challenge in WW2? Putin is a tempest in a teapot, if we make it so. We are all in this together.

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No one in the "West" seems to want anything besides words and "economic sanctions".  Their hearts not in it.

Putin's heart is in it.  And his close-in opponents are not eager for breakfast with a side order of Polonium.

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And the hits just keep on comin'--Soviet troops in Cuba and Venezuela?

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/russia-raises-negotiation-stakes-with-possibility-of-military-deployment-to-cuba-venezuela

And recent "Havana Syndrome" sickness strikes US diplomats in Paris and Geneva:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-diplomats-in-geneva-paris-struck-with-suspected-havana-syndrome-11642075202

Oh Joy.  This is how "some" weaker nations retailiate or intimidate stronger ones.

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1 hour ago, Voyageur said:

NATO is there for a very good reason. TFG knocked it at every opportunity. I wonder why? How long did it take for the USA to rise to the challenge in WW2? Putin is a tempest in a teapot, if we make it so. We are all in this together.

Long after Germany invaded Russia, IIRC. That might not be a good example to wave in a Russian's face.  

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1 minute ago, nolatom said:

Soviet troops

Little behind the times there sport . .  There has been no such thing as "Soviet" troops for more than 30 years !! 

And think about the psych straight jacket that US exceptionalism has burdened you with . . .  

If the US can have a military presence in Central and Eastern Europe, 

why can't Russia be in Cuba and Venezuela ?? 

And why not Mexico too ?? 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, nolatom said:

Meaning what, Prof??  You care one way or the other?  

Folks will take you more seriously if you don't post nonsense. 

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1 minute ago, nolatom said:

Great non-answer.  Did that used to work with your students?

I did not accept historical anomalies from my students. 

What, are you saying you were not wrong ?? 

Really ??

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38 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Long after Germany invaded Russia, IIRC. That might not be a good example to wave in a Russian's face.  

Germany wasn’t a founding member of NATO. In fact the Treaty of Dunkirk was a preventative measure against Germany in response to treaties East Germany had ‘signed’ with the USSR.

https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Dunkirk
 

Historical arguments are important. We took Ukraine’s nukes and kinda promised something in return. That’s history too.

I just think Putin’s gonna Putin. The West isn’t going to stop that because Ukraine isn’t really worth it. But they will respond economically and Vlad is trying to figure out whether Ukraine is worth that.

It isn’t.

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Mr. Gagnon is a member of Vets For Peace. 

In  this essay he argues that the US goal vis a vis Roosia is regime change. 

He makes several good points, but in addition I want to ask . .  

why does the US national security Blob think that the next US-imposed Russian gummint would be better than the Putin regime ??? 

http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2022/01/what-was-washingtons-real-agenda-at.html

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10 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

That's an ironic complaint because Russia succeeded at regime change here in 2016.

That is correct, partly anyway. 

But why did the Rooskies think that they would  be better off with the Drumpyh in office . .  . ?? 

Maybe the oligarchs trying to turn a quick profit ??  

Or that they would be better off with a de-stabilized US ?? 

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Maybe Pooty had this in mind all along but was counting on a second term for TFG leaving the US with so many internal problems it wouldn't be factor in an invasion of Ukraine.  It has just taken this long to make the political and military calculations to decide to go ahead with it anyway.

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8 minutes ago, AJ Oliver said:

That is correct, partly anyway. 

But why did the Rooskies think that they would  be better off with the Drumpyh in office . .  . ?? 

Maybe the oligarchs trying to turn a quick profit ??  

Or that they would be better off with a de-stabilized US ?? 

Because Obama had recently slapped Vlad and a number of the oligarchs with embargos in response to the Rooskie invasion of Crimea. It was thought that Trumpy could be convinced to reverse those, while Hillary never would. 

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He WILL invade. He already has, in the east of Ukraine and Crimea. And what did the west do? Fuck all. The embargos hurt the country a lot but did it directly affect Putin's life? Of course not.  I think Putin's mindset is "the breakup of the USSR was such a terrible thing." That lost greatness of a superpower etc..

Ukraine was a major part of the industrial heartland of the USSR. When it broke up Russia lost so much capacity. Ukraine built the jet engines, they had the Black Sea shipyards, the tank factory, etc. etc.

I think you've got to understand the Russian mindset. They suffered so much during WW2. They never want a potentially hostile country on their border (Ukraine, who has drifted into the Western sphere of influence though not a member of NATO). Think of their western/southern neighbors:

Finland - leave them alone. Nasty talented soldiers
The 3 Baltic states - we'll get to them after Ukraine
Belarus - Putin's buddy. Not worried there
Ukraine - fuck they are becoming western. We'll have NATO tanks right on our border in a decade....
The 'stans - leave the crazy fuckers alone. Got our ass kicked in Chechnya and Afghanistan

 

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Nothing will be done because nothing can be done, Putin is just balancing whether he can force an internal regime change with pressure instead of an outright invasion.  Ukraine has been indefensible from the day they gave up their nuclear weapons for a promise that Russia wouldn't invade.

The best time would be during a big cold snap in northern Europe.  One sniff of sanctions and Russia cuts off the gas so they can all freeze in the dark.  Same result if the US shuts Russia out of SWIFT - no gas deliveries if there are no payments.

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Doesn't Germany buy a metric shit ton of gas or oil from a fairly new pipeline from Russia?  Shit it off and get the gas from the US instead.....

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7 hours ago, Zonker said:

He WILL invade. He already has, in the east of Ukraine and Crimea. And what did the west do? Fuck all. The embargos hurt the country a lot but did it directly affect Putin's life? Of course not.  I think Putin's mindset is "the breakup of the USSR was such a terrible thing." That lost greatness of a superpower etc..

Ukraine was a major part of the industrial heartland of the USSR. When it broke up Russia lost so much capacity. Ukraine built the jet engines, they had the Black Sea shipyards, the tank factory, etc. etc.

I think you've got to understand the Russian mindset. They suffered so much during WW2. They never want a potentially hostile country on their border (Ukraine, who has drifted into the Western sphere of influence though not a member of NATO). Think of their western/southern neighbors:

Finland - leave them alone. Nasty talented soldiers
The 3 Baltic states - we'll get to them after Ukraine
Belarus - Putin's buddy. Not worried there
Ukraine - fuck they are becoming western. We'll have NATO tanks right on our border in a decade....
The 'stans - leave the crazy fuckers alone. Got our ass kicked in Chechnya and Afghanistan

 

Turkmenistan apparently just had a big revolt and needed Russian military help to put it down. In a way, that's a good sign of what's to come if Putin is left unchecked. Brute despotism with a narrowing economic base funneling wealth to oligarchs... kinda like where the USA is headed.

IMHO Ukraine... and all the former Soviet republics... deserve a chance at self-determination. Of course Russians see this as a threat, fuck them. They don't have the right to invade their neighbors. Yes they suffered outrageously. Too bad, besides that's what they're good at. Yes they historically had a policy of "defensive expansion" but that was then, this is now.

The USA is only good at blowing shit up, not bringing about any kind of stable peace. We should be, like, "Call us when you're ready to have us blow up a bunch of Putin's shit" and not be central to the negotiations. European countries have a huge economic interest in Russian gas but they also have a huge interest in not feeding a beast next door. Germany, Poland, Lithuania, all EU countries... look at Turkmenistan. Is this the future you want?

But it's not for the USA to tell them how to decide. Call us when you need a lotta shit blown up.

- DSK

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1 hour ago, Tax Man said:

Nothing will be done because nothing can be done, Putin is just balancing whether he can force an internal regime change with pressure instead of an outright invasion.  Ukraine has been indefensible from the day they gave up their nuclear weapons for a promise that Russia wouldn't invade.

The best time would be during a big cold snap in northern Europe.  One sniff of sanctions and Russia cuts off the gas so they can all freeze in the dark.  Same result if the US shuts Russia out of SWIFT - no gas deliveries if there are no payments.

They have done this before, back in 2009. It was a kind of Merkel v Putin Who Run Bartertown? showdown. They did it again in 2014. And 2015. So I think if Putin does this, we already have a pretty good idea of what happens.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Russia–Ukraine_gas_dispute#Gas_supplies_to_Europe_cut_off

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29521564

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russia-cuts-gas-and-ukraine-closes-airspace-as-trade-war-expands/2015/11/25/3b69eea1-d2bc-4889-a2ef-8e5c3ce08a90_story.html

The trouble is that after Russia did this thing, people don't trust them and they develop alternatives.

Gazprom’s reputation for reliability of supply has been damaged, perhaps irreparably.

https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/NG27-TheRussoUkrainianGasDisputeofJanuary2009AComprehensiveAssessment-JonathanSternSimonPiraniKatjaYafimava-2009.pdf

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12 hours ago, Zonker said:

He WILL invade. He already has, in the east of Ukraine and Crimea. And what did the west do? Fuck all. The embargos hurt the country a lot but did it directly affect Putin's life? Of course not.  I think Putin's mindset is "the breakup of the USSR was such a terrible thing." That lost greatness of a superpower etc..

Ukraine was a major part of the industrial heartland of the USSR. When it broke up Russia lost so much capacity. Ukraine built the jet engines, they had the Black Sea shipyards, the tank factory, etc. etc.

I think you've got to understand the Russian mindset. They suffered so much during WW2. They never want a potentially hostile country on their border (Ukraine, who has drifted into the Western sphere of influence though not a member of NATO). Think of their western/southern neighbors:

Finland - leave them alone. Nasty talented soldiers
The 3 Baltic states - we'll get to them after Ukraine
Belarus - Putin's buddy. Not worried there
Ukraine - fuck they are becoming western. We'll have NATO tanks right on our border in a decade....
The 'stans - leave the crazy fuckers alone. Got our ass kicked in Chechnya and Afghanistan

 

 They suffered in WW1 too. And when Napoleon paid a visit. Before that they suffered with the Mongols, Tartars, Huns, Turks, you name it and Russia has probably been invaded by it at one time or another.  

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1 hour ago, Mark K said:

They suffered in WW1 too. And when Napoleon paid a visit. Before that they suffered with the Mongols, Tartars, Huns, Turks, you name it and Russia has probably been invaded by it at one time or another.  

Yup, as me ol' psychiatric nurse mum used to say, "Well, paranoid people have enemies too ya know!!"  

And you think the Exceptional Hyper-power is any different?? Just look at how they have trashed Cuba over the years, and what do you think would happen if Mexico and Roosia got together.  (In WWI the Germans tried to promote a second front in Mexico-US with Pancho Villa.) 

Good read here . .

55711596

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25 minutes ago, bstrdsonofbtl said:

Way sad and alarming to see so many Dems beating the drums of war.  

The new big lie of the Neo-cons is that the US never promised to not expand NATO to the East.  

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-shifrinson-russia-us-nato-deal--20160530-snap-story.html

Back in the day, 30 years ago now, far seeing analysts were calling for a de-militarized zone in Central and Eastern Europe. It may not be too late for that, but time is running out. 

 

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29 minutes ago, bstrdsonofbtl said:

"Stranglehold on power" seems blind to me. Fact of the matter here is Russia pulling a major mobilization of military force and there has been no counter mobilization from the West, which the neocons are demanding. Not even a hint. Some mewlings about economic sanctions and that's it.

 As strangleholds go, the neocon's seems mighty only in it's looseness. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Mark K said:

As strangleholds go, the neocon's seems mighty only in it's looseness. 

Lets hope it stays that way.

I remember back in 2003 thinking there was no possible way that the US Neo-con Blob would be stupid enough to invade and occupy Iraq. 

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Who the hell is this "Seth Abramson" that everyone seems to be quoting these days?

I know I could look him up, but.....

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1 hour ago, Mrleft8 said:

Who the hell is this "Seth Abramson" that everyone seems to be quoting these days?

I know I could look him up, but.....

Journalist/lawyer. Writes a blog. As Mark says, somewhat of a sensationalist, but has some very valid observations on what is happening/did happen.

Some of his stuff is free, some is paywalled. https://sethabramson.substack.com/

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2 hours ago, bstrdsonofbtl said:

That is an excellent article that challenges conventional hawkish wisdom, and 

gives the Dems a much-deserved thrashing in the process.  

I would hope that, were I still teaching, I would include that perspective. 

I think I would, but who knows ?? 

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Has anyone noticed the backwards logic of Putin?  If he invades and captures all of Ukraine he gets Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania on his border, all of which are NATO countries.

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11 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

Has anyone noticed the backwards logic of Putin?  If he invades and captures all of Ukraine he gets Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania on his border, all of which are NATO countries.

The US pledged in 1991 or thereabouts to not expand NATO eastward. 

A good deal of the current tension stems from that - not all though. 

Putin is for sure not a nice guy. 

See the short Counterpunch article just above. 

I would like to hear @Ed Lada's perspective on this. 

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40 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

Has anyone noticed the backwards logic of Putin?  If he invades and captures all of Ukraine he gets Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania on his border, all of which are NATO countries.

Backwards logic?

It's about Russian internal politics.

Nothing to do with NATO.

Put a few hundred thousand troops in Ukraine as a trip wire.

Put a few hundred thousand more in the Baltic states as pressure.

Send a few f35 squadrons to India.

Fly some bomber sorties around his northern and eastern borders.

Call his bluff. Does anyone think he's prepared to have a proper war?

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3 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

Call his bluff. Does anyone think he's prepared to have a proper war?

As a vet, I sorta doubt that a thing such as a "proper war" exists.  

None are proper, but some are less proper than others. 

Will you break out your checkbook to pay the freight in case it goes south? 

Or just put it on the Blob tab (like all the other Forever Wars), and leave it up to our kids?? 

 

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32 minutes ago, AJ Oliver said:

As a vet, I sorta doubt that a thing such as a "proper war" exists.  

None are proper, but some are less proper than others. 

Will you break out your checkbook to pay the freight in case it goes south? 

Or just put it on the Blob tab (like all the other Forever Wars), and leave it up to our kids?? 

 

Our checkbooks are always open.

I've found protesting, voting and other methods have failed when it comes to not paying for wars

 

Actually, they're probably not really our checkbooks. We're just their custodians....

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8 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

I've found protesting, voting and other methods have failed when it comes to not paying for wars

We would still be hip deep in the Big Muddy (Vietnam) were it not for the protests - led by vets substantially. 

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1 hour ago, Olsonist said:

Except they didn't.

How about a bet of $100 to a favorite charity on that question ?? 

To be adjudicated by a poll of the PA readers - such as they are. 

(Brookings used to be reputable - now the Neo-Cons seem to run its foreign policy) 

No disrespect - I have learned much from your posts 

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7 minutes ago, random. said:

Ukraine is Russia's Cuba.

What about that do we all not understand?

that's the way I'm seeing it. on the surface at least.

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43 minutes ago, bstrdsonofbtl said:

What makes you think he wants all of Ukraine? So he has a buncha' card carrying Nazis he's got to surpress? 

Pretty sure he's only interested in what he's been calling "Nuevo Russia", that part of the geography that is predominantly Russian speaking and had historically been part of Russia. At least up until 1922.

Simplified_historical_map_of_Ukrainian_b

http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/assets/4251895/ukraine-map-composite.jpg

 

Moldova should join NATO quick while they still can!

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21 minutes ago, bstrdsonofbtl said:

That's completely illogical. They're both capitalist economies run by oligarchs. 

Cuba is at odds with the amerikan empire because it is an ostensibly classless socialist economy run to benefit all whereas amerika is a kelptocracy run by a buncha' bloodthirsty murdering capitalist psychopaths. 

wasn't the comparison about missile bases and where those missiles are pointed?

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17 minutes ago, random. said:

So all you can think about is $s?

It's about early warning time for missile flight and the ability for the Russians to defend themselves.  This is not Germany threatening them, it's the US.

Years ago I made the comparison of Russia establishing military bases in Mexico.  What are the chances of that ... do you think?

Americans are so one-eyed it's hard to believe.

Not an American, but a hypersonic cruise missile would take a mere 12 minutes to cross the Ukraine into Russia at Mach 5.  If the Russians could even detect it at low level once it got there.

Seriously, does anyone think we are back to the cold war threatening each other with nukes and needing "response time"?  MAD (mutually-assured destruction) pretty much makes response time irrelevant.   We can't take out all their nukes and they can't take out all ours (NATO), so we all fucked anyway if it comes to that.

Putin seems to be trying to re-create the cold war.  

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16 minutes ago, random. said:

So how do you think Putin would go setting up bases in Mexico?

Russia has bases right next to Alaska and vice-versa.   It doesn't seem to be a problem.  If Ukraine joins NATO that doesn't necessarily mean that the US will be putting bases there - that would be a provocation, but as I understand it that isn't something being contemplated.  So your suggestion is a false equivalence.

The US would object to Russian bases in Mexico, of course.   The US does not have much of a military presence in Eastern Europe and relies on its NATO allies instead.

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4 minutes ago, random. said:

So how many Russian troops are there on the American Continent?

"Out of more than 70,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe, roughly 6,000 U.S. forces are deployed in Eastern Europe on a mostly rotating basis, including about 4,000 in Poland. Other NATO countries also have thousands of troops on rotating deployments in the region to bolster the alliance's eastern flank."

So, answer the question, how do you think it would go if Russia attempted to establish military bases in Mexico?

Already answered, it is a false equivalence.  The US is not trying to establish military bases in the Ukraine.  If the Ukraine joined NATO, and then allowed the US to set up a base there, then Putin would have cause for complaint. 

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28 minutes ago, random. said:

So how many Russian troops are there on the American Continent?

"Out of more than 70,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe, roughly 6,000 U.S. forces are deployed in Eastern Europe on a mostly rotating basis, including about 4,000 in Poland. Other NATO countries also have thousands of troops on rotating deployments in the region to bolster the alliance's eastern flank."

So, answer the question, how do you think it would go if Russia attempted to establish military bases in Mexico?

You'd best ask a Mexican. From where I sit I don't think Russia would make the attempt and I don't think Mexico would contemplate agreeing to it.

Why do you have to be so stupid? Is all this trolling that much fun for you?

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42 minutes ago, random. said:

You know, I'm starting to have second thoughts about you.  How the fuck can you be such a weasel?

The US is attempting to make Ukraine a NATO country.

NATO = US Empire

Surely you get that right?

I will answer it for you, there is no chance in hell that the US would tollerate Russian troop on just the south side of the Rio Grande.  None.

You know that but avoid admitting it.  Why?

Yes, the US wants the Ukraine in NATO.  The Ukraine wants the Ukraine in NATO (54%), except for the ethnic Russians who live there.  Does NATO bend to the will of the US?  Not always.  Remember Trump wanted to pull out because the US wasn't getting its way in NATO.

I said above that the US would not tolerate Russian bases in Mexico, so I am agreeing with you on that point.  Nor would Russia tolerate US bases in the Ukraine.  So, the question is, is Russia justified in trying to force the Ukraine to stop its efforts to join NATO? 

The Ukraine joining NATO would mean that Russia could no longer attack it without bringing the entire NATO alliance into the defense of Ukraine.  It would mean an end to Russian designs on grabbing more territory in the Ukraine.  For sure, Russia doesn't like that.   Russia doesn't have the right, however, to determine the policies of an independent country next door.  Ukraine joining NATO is not in itself an act of aggression against Russia; NATO is primarily a defense pact.  Allowing US bases in to the Ukraine would be an act of aggression, just like Mexico allowing Russian bases would be.

Western countries are already assisting Ukraine with training and military equipment, Canada included.  

You noted above that the US doesn't have much troop or equipment presence in Eastern Europe already.  Would that change if Ukraine was in NATO?  Putin wants us to believe that it would and that justifies his current actions.  

Seems to me these folks just need to negotiate what the Ukraine joining NATO looks like.  

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"It is not the disposition of NATO forces but the appeal of its values that actually threatens the Kremlin."

An article by the UK Defence Secretary on the situation in Ukraine.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/an-article-by-the-defence-secretary-on-the-situation-in-ukraine

To add, Russian army are conscripts, Ukraine forces are fighting for their freedom. Big difference in motivation that makes taking the whole of the Ukraine hard and very costly. Even if Russia sends in 10 million against 500 K Ukrainian army. But to establish a land bridge to the Krim...

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6 hours ago, Rain Man said:

Putin seems to be trying to re-create the cold war.  

He probably would love to. I once met a Soviet Air Force pilot back in the Gorbachev era that was furious with Gorby for ruining the cold war. He thought it was the best deal ever, the USSR and USA military got all the budget and prestige of war heroes while not actually having to fight. There are a LOT of people on both sides that miss it terribly. 

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4 hours ago, LeoV said:

"It is not the disposition of NATO forces but the appeal of its values that actually threatens the Kremlin."

An article by the UK Defence Secretary on the situation in Ukraine.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/an-article-by-the-defence-secretary-on-the-situation-in-ukraine

To add, Russian army are conscripts, Ukraine forces are fighting for their freedom. Big difference in motivation that makes taking the whole of the Ukraine hard and very costly. Even if Russia sends in 10 million against 500 K Ukrainian army. But to establish a land bridge to the Krim...

Yes and no.

If we can distribute to the Ukrainian home guard about 3x as many Javelin anti-tank missiles as the Russians have armored vehicles, then the invaders will have a really hard time. Otherwise, those Russian conscripts can simply run roughshod over the local population. It will be a replay of Czechoslovakia 1968.

- DSK

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Putin was a product of the Cold War. Putin was a KGB officer in Dresden when the Wall came down. His boss was so humiliated he committed suicide. I don't think the Cold War has ever ended for him.

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32066222

How W the Stupid ever thought he understood this guy is beyond me. It's not that Putin is a genius either. It's just that W isn't that bright. Also, W was not a product of the Cold War. W was a product of Texas and very uninformed about anything outside despite his dad having been CIA Director, ..., despite having gone to Yale and then HBS.

OTOH Biden is a product of the Cold War and of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He's not a genius either (unlike Obama, Clinton, Carter) but he's very well informed. Biden will rely on alliances (NATO) and institutions (State+IC). He clearly despises Putin on a personal level; he knows Xi much better. He sees in Putin a modern Stalin, someone with a talent for coalescing power and little else. He's right. 

W played poker at Harvard. He played in a regular game with Bill Gates. He was flamboyant but not very good; then he came from money. Undoubtedly there was an entire chapter on that in the SVR file on him. Biden didn't play (Truman + Nixon played; Clinton played bridge) but if he had, he'd have been a very tight player.

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

The Ukrainians in the east are Ukrainian speaking ukrainians fighting Russian speaking ukrainians.  That's nasty fighting and what the javelins are for.

If Russia invades, they're going straight to Kiev with heavy tanks, helicopters,  and little green men.   Kiev will fall as quick as Bagdad when the U.S. invaded.  The javelins aren't going to help there. 

Germany threatening to shut down nord 2 is the best defense Kiev has right now, imho.

 

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36 minutes ago, BeSafe said:

The Ukrainians in the east are Ukrainian speaking ukrainians fighting Russian speaking ukrainians.  That's nasty fighting and what the javelins are for.

If Russia invades, they're going straight to Kiev with heavy tanks, helicopters,  and little green men.   Kiev will fall as quick as Bagdad when the U.S. invaded.  The javelins aren't going to help there. 

Germany threatening to shut down nord 2 is the best defense Kiev has right now, imho.

 

My understanding is that there is a sizeable minority of Russian-identifying (sometimes called "ethnic Russians") people in the Ukraine, with a higher concentration in the east. One way or another, Ukraine has had a pro-Russian gov't for much of it's recent existence; when they lost to a more liberal, nationalist, party (led by a comedian) the Ukrainian-Ukrainians started pushing back hard.

But the bottom line is, Russia should not claim a right to invade it's neighbors. They are not attacking Russia by defending themselves. This is the picture Putin wants to paint. I dunno if economic means will convince him; there is also Russian internal politics to consider and Putin's saber-rattling is a play for popularity at home too.

I would really really like to avoid a war. But realistically, the only two ways to do that are to convince the other guy that he'd lose far more than he'd gain, or to surrender.

- DSK

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8 hours ago, random. said:

So how do you think Putin would go setting up bases in Mexico?

Before you break your arm whilst patting yourself on the back with such vigor, 

you might note that lots of US leftie analysts have made that observation for years. 

But it is nonetheless a good point to raise. 

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

the cold war. He thought it was the best deal ever, the USSR and USA military got all the budget and prestige of war heroes while not actually having to fight.

But it was damn bloody for small countries caught in the middle such as the Vietnamese, Indonesians, Guatemaltecas, Angolans, Chileans, Salvadorans, and so many others caught in the middle. 

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9 minutes ago, AJ Oliver said:

But it was damn bloody for small countries caught in the middle such as the Vietnamese, Indonesians, Guatemaltecas, Angolans, Chileans, Salvadorans, and so many others caught in the middle. 

Well sure, we were all willing to fight to the last Nicaraguan :rolleyes:

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9 hours ago, bstrdsonofbtl said:

 

Sorry. I thought by liking your post you'd understand I was doing deadpan. Should have added one of these...:ph34r:

I was joking.

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

My understanding is that there is a sizeable minority of Russian-identifying (sometimes called "ethnic Russians") people in the Ukraine, with a higher concentration in the east. One way or another, Ukraine has had a pro-Russian gov't for much of it's recent existence; when they lost to a more liberal, nationalist, party (led by a comedian) the Ukrainian-Ukrainians started pushing back hard.

But the bottom line is, Russia should not claim a right to invade it's neighbors. They are not attacking Russia by defending themselves. This is the picture Putin wants to paint. I dunno if economic means will convince him; there is also Russian internal politics to consider and Putin's saber-rattling is a play for popularity at home too.

I would really really like to avoid a war. But realistically, the only two ways to do that are to convince the other guy that he'd lose far more than he'd gain, or to surrender.

- DSK

The Russians are trying to kill an idea, not necessarily invade a country.  They will invade if that's required, but the goal is to kill the idea.  That's why they want the promise in writing.  

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, random. said:

hey replaced the Prime Minister of Australia in 1975 as soon as he wanted to shut down US spy bases here.

Very few USAeans know about that. 

Is it common knowledge in Oz ?? 

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In assessing the US role in Ukraine it would be wise to be clear-eyed about those the US is arming . . 

like the Ukrainian far right fascists . . 

As usual, Common Dreams gives you a perspective absent from the MSM. 

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/01/19/beware-hawkish-pundits-pushing-war-over-ukraine

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2 hours ago, BeSafe said:

The Ukrainians in the east are Ukrainian speaking ukrainians fighting Russian speaking ukrainians.  That's nasty fighting and what the javelins are for.

If Russia invades, they're going straight to Kiev with heavy tanks, helicopters,  and little green men.   Kiev will fall as quick as Bagdad when the U.S. invaded.  The javelins aren't going to help there. 

Germany threatening to shut down nord 2 is the best defense Kiev has right now, imho.

 

It's plausible, if Putin invades, he will limit the invasion to the eastern parts, except in the few areas in which Ukrainian forces have been staging up to wage that on-going civil war. Stabilize a border and beat the snot out of any Uke units attempting to take Donbass back. 

I don't think it likely he wants to invade. He simply wants to bring the West to the table in a mood to treat Russia seriously and reach some sort of agreement on the topic of chipping away at nations in the Russian economic sphere by fomenting color revolutions in those places.  It's that tinkering he wants to stop. 

 Right now he's made a military mobilization and there has been no counter mobilization from the West. If he invades he takes a strong risk that future mobilizations will be met with counter-ones, and we wind up with dangerous "Guns Of August" scenarios in the future. 

If the Ukes are smart they will cut a deal to keep Russian gas flowing through them. It's a big source of income, and man o man do they need income. If they play the hard line Putin will continue to find ways to do things like Nordstrream, cutting the Ukes out completely, and the Euros will do whatever it takes to keep that gas flowing. Yes, they will bitch about it, but only for awhile. 

 

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Meh.  The more I read about this the more it looks like the US war machine is hungry for more taxpayer money and needs a new war to get it.  There is no question that there were assurances given about NATO expansion during the breakup of the Warsaw Pact.  The US and NATO are hiding behind the notion that countries can choose their alliances to try to defend ignoring those assurances.  While theoretically correct, a hornets nest is being poked here.  

I wish all the countries falling over themselves to provide military aid to Ukraine would spend the same amount of effort working on a diplomatic solution.

Meanwhile Russia is putting troops into Belarus to flank any attempts to defend Ukraine.  Which gets back to my earlier point about the futility of taking over Ukraine as it would result in Russia having NATO on its border.

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24 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

Meh.  The more I read about this the more it looks like the US war machine is hungry for more taxpayer money and needs a new war to get it.  There is no question that there were assurances given about NATO expansion during the breakup of the Warsaw Pact.  The US and NATO are hiding behind the notion that countries can choose their alliances to try to defend ignoring those assurances.  While theoretically correct, a hornets nest is being poked here.  

I wish all the countries falling over themselves to provide military aid to Ukraine would spend the same amount of effort working on a diplomatic solution.

Meanwhile Russia is putting troops into Belarus to flank any attempts to defend Ukraine.  Which gets back to my earlier point about the futility of taking over Ukraine as it would result in Russia having NATO on its border.

The war machine is always quite hungry, not specifically for war but always for money. In fact, I think George Carlin was wrong about religion being the all time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims.

Still I don't see Biden saber rattling now or signaling anything military to come. If you know different, say different. What he has done is made clear and Putin has gotten the message that there will be economic pain to pay. We know that Putin has gotten that message because Putin has complained about it.

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15 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

The war machine is always quite hungry, not specifically for war but always for money. In fact, I think George Carlin was wrong about religion being the all time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims.

Still I don't see Biden saber rattling now or signaling anything military to come. If you know different, say different. What he has done is made clear and Putin has gotten the message that there will be economic pain to pay. We know that Putin has gotten that message because Putin has complained about it.

I don't.  Still, Canada is currently figuring out how to get its military trainers, who are spread all over Ukraine, out of the country if things heat up.  Most of the West's sabre-rattling is coming from the media at this point.

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2 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

I don't.  Still, Canada is currently figuring out how to get its military trainers, who are spread all over Ukraine, out of the country if things heat up.  Most of the West's sabre-rattling is coming from the media at this point.

Yeah, the media needs a story. They were quite resentful about the Afghan withdrawal, the inhumanity of it, and then we haven't heard squat since. Thank you President Biden for getting us the fuck out of Afghanistan.

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