Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by purr1n, Feb 25, 2022.
From my point of view, there were none good solutions left, the choice remained to be between several bad decisions. You know, on some territories this war was going for 8 years now. I know people who left donetsk in 2016, after two years of bombing. But many remained there still. Everyone I know had hopes that Zelenskiy will comply to Minsk 2 agreements, he promised that in his campaign. But it did not happen. So situation sort of spiraled out of hand in the last year. Yes, you can say that Putin started the war this year. Was it the only option? No. Was it the best decision? Definately not. But what was the alternatives? That is the question for me, really. They all look grim enough.
Putin wants 1917 borders back. He should start by giving up Kalingrad (occupied in 1947). That would also halve shared NATO border from 6% to 3%. Maybe then russia would feel less cornered by NATO.
The alternative being Russians minding their own business. Putin's obsession with Ukraine and his view of Russian&Ukraine being 'one people' is the real reason behind the war. Putin's goal was to conquer the whole country or at minimum overthrow the current government and install a puppet into Kyiv. This has been his plan for many years.
Only thing is, the corrupt regime he's leading is too weak to do that. And the Ukrainians are putting up a hell of a fight.
This is a good read: what Putin's says about Russia & Ukraine is false:
Apparently Russia is now creating a new legislation for transferring Ukrainian children to Russian families:
(link leads to a translated page)
This is literally what the Nazis did in Poland.
This is what I call oversimplified propaganda, and part of the reason of the current problems. Those statements are not true.
Well, I guess I'm out. Peace to everyone.
You didn't notice there is a war?
I don't. Not now. They should be more selective with their lying. Wall-to-wall lies is just too obvious, and yes, everything from the Kremlin is to be distrusted. Fake by default.
It would be nice if it was better informed. But hey, in the end it comes down to us just drinking different koolaid I suppose.
Despite the British and American WW films, war is not a gentleman's business. The crimes are still crimes though.
Definately a man who is watching this situation unfolding since 2014, having friends there, VISITED many of said territies, following both ukraininan and russian (non-state, mind you) sources and generally just living in close proximity is bad informed. Sure, people speaking other languages from 8000 miles over the world are better informed.
I do know where you are coming from and I understand that this must be hard for you. Personally, I do feel that the western media is giving Russia unfair coverage. We know now that countless civilians were killed in the US occupation of Afghanistan but they were hardly reported when they occurred much less any mention of war crime in headlines. I'm also rather disturbed that outlets such as YouTube are censoring RT or that companies that make consumer products are deciding they don't want to do business in Russia. I also understand that the situation between Ukraine and Russia is very complex. I have contacts (outsourced IT and other) who I have spoken to in Belarus and Ukraine and know that attitudes are different depending upon generation, language, geography. This all sucks.
The vast majority of the western media gave up its role as the forth estate long ago. They are nothing more than story tellers, weaving the tales that they believe create the most interest and generate the most money. Nothing should be taken at face value and there is no doubt that the coverage is biased - either horribly and obviously slanted (similar to the state media in many countries) or biased simply by the stories they choose to tell.
The average western citizen will never understand the point of view of the people living in the region, or the complexities of the geopolitics involved. Everyone's views are biased by the news sources they consume... they key is to recognize that bias and be open minded to the side that is not being told.
I'm open to a better understanding of what is going on, as relayed by real people, living real lives in the region. But please understand that my bias is that invasion/war is never the only answer and rarely the "best" option.
I look at what's happening, and beyond giving to charity or some other fund, "Oh my god, what am I gonna do?" Is there going to be a way to stop the war? Is it going to spread?
This is correct. Current western Euro/American civilization is nothing if not historically ignorant and fickle, led by a "mass media" whose purpose is to cater to other things (several) but not the truth. This is the irony of the current focus on "misinformation", as if the western media and society was ever about truth and information as such.
If you have a sense of history and the principles undergirding Western civilization, you know that the Classically Liberal story about man, society, morality, and truth is a story about the attempt of bracketing off of these "ultimate questions" such that they don't lead to "wars of religion" and instead lead individuals to "liberty" and a society that is built around sustaining and protecting said conception of liberty. Yet, it turns out that nature abhors a vacuum and western man ends up not being able to avoid these questions, it's just now they do so in a deeply "unconscious" way. So @Drakkard you get these gross and self serving simplifications:
Putin = bad, Zenlensky = good
Russia = bad, Ukraine = good
non western understanding of real politic = bad, current (wait a week and it will be changed) western understanding of man/liberty/freedom/nation state = good
Russia invading other nation states = bad, America and Europe invading other nation states = good
Your not going to convince western man of his own vanity and ignorance - he is convinced of his own righteousness not in a "deep" way (which would be informed, self reflective, etc.), but in a shallow and emotional way, and this is the level his mass media works on him. A 1000 years ago you could have argued that western man was convinced of the catholicity of his world view and represented it (however imperfectly). Today western man is a universalist, which is much more crude...
This 100% f'ing percent.
Americans are still mostly put their head in the sand about a lot of shit, including something that is closer to me: the Middle East. Shit is more complex with a lot of things that just the majority of people don't know about Middle Eastern countries/cultures/history/etc. Never trust the American Media (both Right Wing and Left Wing) about Middle East affairs IMO.
Oh sure, I am that man, 100% I am aware of that. I can only trust the sources that I trust, to the extent that I trust them
All this comes right on top of covid. Covid brought us all into close contact with fake news. I never expected anything quite like it. Oddly, (and this is not aimed at you: I don't know you or what you might have posted on other things), I have found that the people that I am in touch with tend to post the same kind and quality of content about Ukraine as they did about covid. It smells the same.
It's all many of us can do. See what stuff smells like and consume accordingly.
Oh, worse than that! They are the pedlars of what their owners (as well as their advertisers) want their readers to think, buy, vote for.
One of the things that gets me is the lumping together of The West, and Western Media (or worse: considering that it all equals *America* and ignoring the rest of the world). There is no monolithic Western Media. But, on the other hand, a lot of it does seem to belong to right-wing bigots. Even crap needs a grain of truth to accumulate around.
(Some of the British media belongs to Russian Oligarchs)
I'm ignorant. I'm easily convinced about that. I'm ignorant but not too stupid to know it. Best thing I have is that sense of smell. But I've often been wrong.
I see Putin as bad, although not in the sense of the West vs Russia thing. More like bad in the sense that as the leader of country with some pretty darn smart people and high capabilities, he resorts to the use of cyber-vandalism against infrastructure, against regular people, of Western countries. I get episonage games, trying to steal military and diplomatic secrets, those are fair cyber targets. But if it's against people, affects regular people and their businesses, that crosses a red line. Mostly, I think he's bad bad for Russia by objective measures: brain drain (so many smart Russians and Ukrainians in the USA, especially tech) who love their country but sure as hell don't want to go back, zero/negative population growth coupled with skewed population pyramid where are few people under 30, inability to support homegrown businesses export some really good shit outside of Russia, and basically a shit economy that would have otherwise imploded had it not been for oil/gas and being a quasi-member of OPEC, GDP and company market capitalization that is shit when it should not be, and finally, basically having few friends in West or worldwide. The China as a friend "without limits" doesn't count because China lies and will just as much stab Russia in the back when the time comes. (I do trust what Putin says more than Xi - I mean he did tell the world exactly what he was going to do). He's basically that fucker in class, who's pretty smart, but has no friends. On the other hand, I've had it too with US Presidents who start or prolong wars. They aren't much better.
Putin is bad, but in a sense just as important - more important really - he's just natural and necessary product of Russian history/culture of the last 200 years. In the 1800's the Russia transition from a feudal/aristocratic society into an industrial one did not go well. The decadence of the aristocratic system (which the Orthodox Church was too much a part), combined with the late (compared to west) collapse of the feudal and monarchial system created the conditions that led to the Bolshevik revolution. This catastrophe gutted what was left of the civilizing forces within Russian society, Lenin's and then Stalin's terror being particularly effective at destroying any and all civilizing institutions and relationships.
Just over 30 years ago, even Stalin's legacy collapsed into...well the societal and economic chaos of the 1990's. What filled this vacuum of power, politics, economics, and meaning? The very thing you and @zerodeefex and others regularly fight - the state security apparatus that survived the chaos of the 1990's because it was the only institution (which is always a body of relationships) that could, because it was the only societal institution that had any real power and life during and after Stalin.
This time around Putin and this "inner circle" played it differently then Stalin, allowing the (mostly westernized) Oligarchs their huge unearned slices, allowing the Orthodox Church it's place in the sun, even certain "liberalizing" western cultural influences - but only so far, and not when it worked against their worldview and institutional control. The west only really noticed this in 2014.
But behind this the Russian society was more gutted, chaotic, and nihilistic then any in the west can understand because the west believes in it's own universalist myth, i.e. that Russian's (and Afghan villagers, African tribesmen, and the Chinese, and fill_in_the_blank) are just a Zelensky away from being good democratic consumer capitalists (which is its own form of nihilism, just a much more prosperous and pleasant one - but that's a tangent). The west does not understand how its cultural/religious/economic history is unique and specific to itself, and allows for Classical Liberalism to even exist, let alone flourish.
So the facts you list such as imploding population, economic, adversarial relations with the rest of the world, etc. is not the invention of Putin, rather Putin is just a symptom of deeper realities/history and is part of the only institution in Russia that is not fundamentally impotent. Putin is the only form of government that could sustain itself in the brokenness of Russian culture. The Oligarchs, even if they did suddenly become Carnegies and Rockefellers, would have too little to work with - it would take at least 3 or 4 generations before Russia is ready for anything resembling Classical Liberalism.
So all the wests finger wagging moralism (i.e. that Putin is the moral equivalent of Hitler, that Zelensky is a Churchill etc.) is just so much nonsense, and says more about us than it does about Putin and Russia.
Could @Drakkard or someone please clarify this point? Given my 5 minutes of wikipedia research, it was a ceasefire agreement for the conflict in Donbas that was very complicated and neither side implemented any of it.
Plus Russia never admitted being a party of that conflict and Ukraine refused to negotiate with the separatists. Imagine building a future on that kind of premise & agreement...
Well, I was never a prepper, however now I have two trekking bags with 3 day food/water, sleeping systems, meds and clothing at the ready. I am flabbergasted at the utter incompetence of the Russian armed forces (so far) which has made me kinda itchy to join up with the civilian reserve troops. My gf obv. would prefer that we bail with both of us in one piece, however if push comes to shove I wouldn't be too happy to just leg it. Doesn't feel right to ask any of the NATO dudes to fight for me, if I'm not doing my part... Heck, put me in a kitchen or somewhere where stuff needs doing.
With that said - I have a hard time imagining the russ opening a second front willfully. Latvia can't really be taken with a tank blitz due to terrain and we have favorable conditions for guerilla fighting. So, as long as Putin doesn't decide to glass us, we should be fine.
P.S. Shoutout to my Eesti homies - hope you're hanging tight!
P.P.S. For me the hardest thing is right now to refrain from dehumanizing all Russians. I'm 1/4 Russian and have plenty of Russian buddies here who are good people. With that said - I don't think Russia will be able to wash itself clean in our lifetime.
Depends upon interpretation. The letter was that all sides pull out of the contested regions. Ukraine didn't pull out their forces and to this day have troops in the contested regions. Russia said they weren't a party to this so the agreement did not apply to them.
As to the Ukraine was never a real country, I guess technically and depending upon a specific timeframe, this can be argued. Putin wasn't wrong about there being strong links between Ukraine and Belarus with Russia. When the Soviet Union imploded, stuff happened really quick, and Yeltsin was kind of like yeah, that's that, here's that, okey dokey, whatever. I think Yeltsin was too worried about other things rather than thinking strategically: "Oh wait, maybe we should get some strategic pieces back like Crimea, which the Soviet Union assigned to the Ukraine territory."
Ultimately the "never a real country thing" for any claim by any country is bullshit and has been since the beginning of history. Any student of history knows that borders change, ethnic populations within borders change. What determines whether a country is real or not is if the people living there are strong enough to keep out invaders (or deport undesirables) and form stable borders. Heck, China has been claiming that Vietnam is part of China for thousands of years now, except that the Vietnamese keep kicking their ass.
If Ukraine isn't a real country, then it's sure becoming so today. People hate dealing with change. Heck, think about all the change that SBAF has been through, and how with every change, some people hated it. Losing Ukraine is a huge loss for Russia. Lots blame Zelenskyy and the Orange Revolution movement before him for splitting Ukrainian - Russian ties. That theatre house that got bombed in Mariupol actually implemented policies that prohibited shows to be spoken in Russian, despite that city being mostly Russian speakers. Lots of stuff happening like this in ex-Soviet countries where Russian speakers felt they were being more and more being treated as second class citizens.
P.S. Same arguments "it's not a real country" have been applied to Taiwan. Probably not true today, but when I was younger, there were taxi drivers in the south who pretended not to understand Mandarin and only the local Taiwanese / Hokkien just to f**k with Mandarin speakers.
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