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cc_rider

cc_rider Avatar

Location: Bastrop
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 23, 2023 - 8:14am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

well, we are almost one year down the road since the invasion last February and my take on Russia the USA hasn't changed. 

The Soviet  US system of two-party rule is moribund, out-dated, failing on most metrics of good government and has entered its death throes -  just the Russian US people haven't quite realised it yet.
—-
—-
The next best alternative would be at least a leader who doesn't threaten Russia's  US' neighbours and learns how to play a cooperative role rather than an adversarial one in the geopolitical setting. One can only hope.

I like to imagine my edits above are over-the-top.

Your analysis is spot-on, don't get me wrong. But our house is made of glass: we have done tremendous damage to our standing in recent years.

Peace,
c.


R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jan 20, 2023 - 7:24pm

No, Weakening Russia Is Not “Costing Peanuts” for the U.S.
As support slips for military funding to Ukraine, some analysts argue that America is getting a great deal for its money. But there are a lot of strategic costs that don’t show up on the balance sheet.
Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Jan 19, 2023 - 4:00pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
well, we are almost one year down the road since the invasion last February and my take on Russia hasn't changed.  The Soviet system of one-party rule is moribund, out-dated, failing on most metrics of good government and has entered its death throes -  just the Russian people haven't quite realised it yet. It should have died in 1989 when most of its satellite states made the sometimes painful transition to pluralism, but in Russia it was instead resurrected by a member of the KGB, who appears to be personally affronted by the failings of the system he grew up in. He was given the room to breathe and flourish by European states, most notably Germany, who were happy to buy Russian oil and gas and mistakenly thought they could cash in by expanding their business empires into Russia, and, via business networks, keep Russia in check, totally ignoring Russian grievances and its understanding of itself as a world power done wrong by history. Well, that policy blew up in their faces big time. Basically, the whole thing is tragic and Ukraine is now bearing the cost of the failures of past European policy, again mostly led by Germany. So where to now? Russia is setting itself up to be humiliated (it already is being humiliated). IMO, this is entirely of its own doing as it seems intent on proving (to itself) that its system of one party tsarist rule is inherently superior to pluralism. You could blame Putin for this, but that would be mistaken. He is just an expression of a long Russian history, which is still trying to transition from tsarist rule-by-decree feudalism to rules-based democratic pluralism.  As just one point of anecdotal evidence, I table Medvedev's comments about the Japanese prime minister, Japan, back in the day, being another imperialist country bent on dominion that was forced to learn the error of its ways, also at the cost immense personal suffering (most of which borne by its neighbours). Something about this constellation between the US and Japan obviously triggered him big time. So should Russia be similarly humiliated? I hope not, but it is hard to envision a change in their mindset without the people realising their system is failing due to its own internal contradictions. With massive revenue from oil and gas and glorification of Russia as a quasi-religious entity deeply ingrained in their culture, there seems to be little incentive for them to make any fundamental change.  Moreover, the understanding for the need for a cultural reset must come from inside the country. I don't think you can easily impose this from outside, without creating a whole new set of grievances. I am not sure why I think this, and Japan seems to be an obvious example of the contrary, but for some reason I do.  Thus the current policy of avoiding open conflict between NATO and Russia seems to me to be the best way forward. However, I don't understand why there should be any restrictions on arming Ukraine. Europe in particular should stick by the principle of a sovereign nation having the right to arm itself to the hilt to defend itself from a foreign aggressor. Ukraine should be given all the tools it needs to do this. At present Ukraine is being forced to fight off the invasion with one hand tied behind its back, which is patently unfair and only prolonging the agony. One can only hope that whoever succeeds Putin initiates a managed transition to pluralism the way most eastern European states have managed it, but I fear this point is a long way down the road. The next best alternative would be at least a leader who doesn't threaten Russia's neighbours and learns how to play a cooperative role rather than an adversarial one in the geopolitical setting. One can only hope.
 

Agreed on all counts... this alternative perspective might interest you:

NoEnzLefttoSplit

NoEnzLefttoSplit Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 14, 2023 - 9:13pm

well, we are almost one year down the road since the invasion last February and my take on Russia hasn't changed. 

The Soviet system of one-party rule is moribund, out-dated, failing on most metrics of good government and has entered its death throes -  just the Russian people haven't quite realised it yet.

It should have died in 1989 when most of its satellite states made the sometimes painful transition to pluralism, but in Russia it was instead resurrected by a member of the KGB, who appears to be personally affronted by the failings of the system he grew up in. He was given the room to breathe and flourish by European states, most notably Germany, who were happy to buy Russian oil and gas and mistakenly thought they could cash in by expanding their business empires into Russia, and, via business networks, keep Russia in check, totally ignoring Russian grievances and its understanding of itself as a world power done wrong by history.

Well, that policy blew up in their faces big time. Basically, the whole thing is tragic and Ukraine is now bearing the cost of the failures of past European policy, again mostly led by Germany.

So where to now? Russia is setting itself up to be humiliated (it already is being humiliated). IMO, this is entirely of its own doing as it seems intent on proving (to itself) that its system of one party tsarist rule is inherently superior to pluralism. You could blame Putin for this, but that would be mistaken. He is just an expression of a long Russian history, which is still trying to transition from tsarist rule-by-decree feudalism to rules-based democratic pluralism. 

As just one point of anecdotal evidence, I table Medvedev's comments about the Japanese prime minister, Japan, back in the day, being another imperialist country bent on dominion that was forced to learn the error of its ways, also at the cost immense personal suffering (most of which borne by its neighbours). Something about this constellation between the US and Japan obviously triggered him big time.

So should Russia be similarly humiliated? I hope not, but it is hard to envision a change in their mindset without the people realising their system is failing due to its own internal contradictions. With massive revenue from oil and gas and glorification of Russia as a quasi-religious entity deeply ingrained in their culture, there seems to be little incentive for them to make any fundamental change.  Moreover, the understanding for the need for a cultural reset must come from inside the country. I don't think you can easily impose this from outside, without creating a whole new set of grievances. I am not sure why I think this, and Japan seems to be an obvious example of the contrary, but for some reason I do. 

Thus the current policy of avoiding open conflict between NATO and Russia seems to me to be the best way forward. However, I don't understand why there should be any restrictions on arming Ukraine. Europe in particular should stick by the principle of a sovereign nation having the right to arm itself to the hilt to defend itself from a foreign aggressor. Ukraine should be given all the tools it needs to do this. At present Ukraine is being forced to fight off the invasion with one hand tied behind its back, which is patently unfair and only prolonging the agony.

One can only hope that whoever succeeds Putin initiates a managed transition to pluralism the way most eastern European states have managed it, but I fear this point is a long way down the road. The next best alternative would be at least a leader who doesn't threaten Russia's neighbours and learns how to play a cooperative role rather than an adversarial one in the geopolitical setting. One can only hope.







miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 14, 2023 - 10:20am

putin isn't just a criminal, he's a war criminal too


Lazy8

Lazy8 Avatar

Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 2, 2023 - 10:43am

 westslope wrote:
Wow, this site can't even do basic math.

They make five claims:
1) That's a lot of money
2) Not An Offensive Threat To Us
3) Russia Isn’t Our Enemy
4) We’re Not Destroying The Russian Military
5) Weaking Russia Doesn’t Help Us

I'll take this one at a time.

1) Clearly it's a lot of money, and yes it's more than Russia spends. The economics of defense spending are more complex than just translating rubles to dollars; I'll let an actual defense economist explain that, but one claim is that it's "nearly 9x the cost of a border wall that would actually protect America."

The border wall has cost (so far) $11B to build 458 miles (of 1,9510). At this rate it will cost an additional $36B to finish, assuming costs don't rise as the more-difficult (and largely roadless) sections got built. That the wall would "actually protect America" is pretty farcical, but let's do the math they're alluding to here:$100B is 2.8X $36B, not 9X.

If it seems unfair somehow that Russia is being outspent by the allies of the country it invaded then maybe Russia should stick to invading countries that can't fight back or find allies. It could invade Georgia again, say. Or kill some more Chechens.

2) Russia is not an offensive threat to the US...unless you count all the nuclear weapons it (by which I mean Putin) keeps threatening to launch at us. It is however a dire threat to our allies. They understand this even if many of us don't, and are contributing vastly more to Ukraine's defense (as a fraction of GDP) than we are. Whichever familiar anti-American trope you want to trot out about US defense aid (it''s just welfare for arms manufacturers/oil companies/a way to extend US hegemony over the rest of the world) how does that motivate, say, Estonia?

3) I think we need to take Russia's word on this. They certainly see us (and NATO as a whole) as their enemy regardless of how we see them.

4) The argument that Russia's military isn't being destroyed because they can always build more tanks ignores that those tanks (and missiles and aircraft and artillery shells and Iranian drones) need to be paid for. Russia was already struggling with that. It is pulling T-62 tanks out of mothballs because it can't build as fast as they are being destroyed and abandoned.

The same goes for aircraft, ships, and other high-value hardware.

Russia is also losing men—lots of them. It's not replacing them either. They aren't all dying on the battlefield (tho an appalling number are), they're also fleeing the country to avoid mobilization.

5) What is Russia using its strength for? Keeping a lid on dissent within its  empire and bullying it's neighbors. If Russia's military hold over its vassal states weakens (and there are signs that is happening already) that empire could fly apart, and what happens with the shards is anybody's guess. When Iraq and Libya lost their strongman dictators the countries descended into war and chaos, chaos that wasn't contained to their borders. That is an outcome the world dreads, as it values stability more than the aspirations of the people under the thumbs of dictators.

But that isn't up to us, it's up to Russia. If Russia abandons its attempt to conquer Ukraine it will lose prestige, a Black Sea naval base, and various members of its leadership may be defenestrated, but other than the appalling cost it imposed on itself it won't lose anything that actually belonged to it. Withdrawing from Ukraine could free up troops and tanks to keep what remains of its empire in line. It can still sell gas to Europe (tho not as much as it used to) and  return to selling oil and grain and weapons to the rest of the world. It can still prop up friendly dictators in Syria and Cuba and Venezuela, but if Russia has few friends around the world that's on Russia, not us.

westslope

westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Jan 1, 2023 - 11:18am

Revisiting The Rationale For Pouring Money Into Ukraine


Steely_D

Steely_D Avatar

Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 31, 2022 - 10:08am

 kurtster wrote:
I dunno anymore.  It's like we're back to these are the good old days ... again.

Who would we want working this window stuff ?

Tsk tsk. The answer is too easy


oldviolin

oldviolin Avatar

Location: esse quam videri
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 31, 2022 - 9:38am

 kurtster wrote:
I dunno anymore.  It's like we're back to these are the good old days ... again.

Who would we want working this window stuff ?
    
 
Maybe put in a call to the Department of Dubious Diabolics Anonymous...
The Batman villains of the 1960s TV show were a mix of campy fun and maniacal insanity
miamizsun

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 31, 2022 - 8:02am

putin agitprop stroking his fan club kgb style?



miamizsun

miamizsun Avatar

Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 31, 2022 - 7:47am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:


It's their old folklore that says to always put a banana peel under an open window.


i know i shouldn't laugh
but that is funny for a quick second
dictators don't have to be very creative do they?
will karma eventually catch up to putin?
maybe the people he oppresses will get lucky 
because history
kurtster

kurtster Avatar

Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 30, 2022 - 7:49pm

I dunno anymore.  It's like we're back to these are the good old days ... again.

Who would we want working this window stuff ?
    
haresfur

haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 29, 2022 - 12:11pm

 VV wrote:

Who knows? Maybe it is their security (having been bribed/threatened) that are actually doing it?





I think that is a good possibility.
VV

VV Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 29, 2022 - 8:44am

 haresfur wrote:

What I find odd is that an oligarch can't manage to hire good enough security to keep this from happening in another country

Who knows? Maybe it is their security (having been bribed/threatened) that are actually doing it?



haresfur

haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 28, 2022 - 11:22pm

 Red_Dragon wrote:
What I find odd is that an oligarch can't manage to hire good enough security to keep this from happening in another country
ScottFromWyoming

ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 28, 2022 - 2:05pm

 VV wrote:

I was thinking.... I never knew that Russians were so unsteady on their feet until I started hearing of all these oligarchs and Russian officials clumsily falling out of open windows to their deaths.
 
Must be a genetic thing.    



It's their old folklore that says to always put a banana peel under an open window.
VV

VV Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 28, 2022 - 1:38pm

I was thinking.... I never knew that Russians were so unsteady on their feet until I started hearing of all these oligarchs and Russian officials clumsily falling out of open windows to their deaths.
 
Must be a genetic thing.    


Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Dec 27, 2022 - 8:40am

Apparently Russia exports windows to India...
Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Dec 22, 2022 - 4:30pm

genocide
Red_Dragon

Red_Dragon Avatar



Posted: Dec 22, 2022 - 11:59am

Russian citizens are crowdfunding to equip soldiers deployed to Ukraine as winter closes in on the battlefield.
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