Putin and Ukraine

Ishmael

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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.

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.






First on CNN: US intelligence indicates Russia preparing operation to justify invasion of Ukraine The US has information that indicates Russia has prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine, a US official told CNN on Friday, in an attempt to create a p… https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/14/politics/us-intelligence-russia-false-flag/index.html






(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.

 

Fakenews

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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.

 

AJ Oliver

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

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. 

 

ato

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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.
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. 

 

Ishmael

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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.

 

Sol Rosenberg

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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. 

 

Mark K

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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.
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. 
 

 

AJ Oliver

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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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AJ Oliver

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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. 

 

Olsonist

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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. 
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.

 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
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!! 

 

Mark K

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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. 
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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Tax Man

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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!! 
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.

 

Voyageur

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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.

 

nolatom

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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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