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Thread: Ukraine

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    Default Ukraine

    I haven't heard one mainstream news show address the US role in precipitating the Russia/Ukrainian situation so I'll post this article: https://tomdispatch.com/how-did-we-get-here/

    The hypocrisy is astonishing. Just imagine the US reaction if in the post WWII era all South American countries had become firmly economically and militarily aligned with Russia, and Central American countries were mostly leaning that way too....and then Russia, with it's version of Victoria Nuland & her happy cabal, helped foment the overthrow of Mexico's US leaning president while then helping install a Russian-centric administration and began otherwise courting Mexico, our doorstep neighbor, to align with Russia. Think we might have a hissy? Oh...wait....haven't we already been there with Cuba....though our installation of missiles in Turkey triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis...we seem to conveniently forget that little factoid.

    As to annexing the Crimea: If we aren't going to relinquish Gitmo, a piece of land to which we have exactly zero legitimate claim, how come we think Russia ought to give up Crimea and it's only warm water port??

    Sorry, I don't think the US has been wearing the white hats for a long time; and nobody seems to be questioning WTF we've been doing or why.
    John Clay
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Surely you are not trying to make common-man-sense of any of this. The gang that controls this end of town is expaning wider across town. AGAIN. We're cool with that so long as the gangsters don't want more from us. There is nothing else going on in Ukraine.
    Jeff Hazeltine

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    You say this like no one directly involved in this imbroglio knows any of the limitations or hypocrisies involved in their current positions. And I donít think there is news agency out there capable of covering the complexities in daily reporting. All they can do is turn it into a cowboy western and hope people flip to the Olympics (no accident also that this is happening during the Olympics.)

    I did think the Putin + Xi meeting was hilarious though. The only person who thought that was a meeting of equals may have been Putin.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    You say this like no one directly involved in this imbroglio knows any of the limitations or hypocrisies involved in their current positions. And I don’t think there is news agency out there capable of covering the complexities in daily reporting. All they can do is turn it into a cowboy western and hope people flip to the Olympics (no accident also that this is happening during the Olympics.)

    I did think the Putin + Xi meeting was hilarious though. The only person who thought that was a meeting of equals may have been Putin.
    Apologies about the potential thread derail, but do you happen to have an analysis piece on this? And second apology for being dense, but who's the "junior party" here? Are you implying that this a reversal of roles (when compared to when Mao got cold shouldered by Stalin)?

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    Apologies about the potential thread derail, but do you happen to have an analysis piece on this? And second apology for being dense, but who's the "junior party" here? Are you implying that this a reversal of roles (when compared to when Mao got cold shouldered by Stalin)?
    Sorry what?

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Plenty of articles on China's economic influence in Latin America and Africa.

    https://thediplomat.com/2021/09/the-...latin-america/

    John is not that far off in the scenario playing out in Latin America and Africa. But taking the moral high ground while all the spoils are being scooped up underneath you by someone else doesn't seem like the best approach either.
    Distraction in Ukraine only plays into Xi's hands as it's a distraction from his own territory grab in the South China Sea.
    Vlad is just butt hurt that no one was paying attention to him. He won't do anything until after the Olympics and he'll get his doping medal so he's happy.
    And sadly, European members of NATO have no interest in defending Ukraine. Why should they when they have the US to clean up the mess.
    Xi and Putin know perfectly well that no one will challenge them. And economic sanctions don't mean a shit.
    Xi pulls the strings on Putin and Kim and uses them to his benefit. In return they get a strong ally who supports them.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Sorry what?
    I understood the meeting to be one between equal-ish partners (or perhaps frenemies). If that's not the case, what incidents lead you to conclude otherwise?

    The Mao-Stalin thing was merely a reference to another highly publicized event in Sino-Russia relations, where an event organized on the basis of supposedly equal footings was anything but that.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    I understood the meeting to be one between equal-ish partners (or perhaps frenemies). If that's not the case, what incidents lead you to conclude otherwise?

    The Mao-Stalin thing was merely a reference to another highly publicized event in Sino-Russia relations, where an event organized on the basis of supposedly equal footings was anything but that.
    I got the Mao-Stalin reference, and I am sure Xi and all other Chinese remembered it too. But I donít think Xi views Putin as an equal. It would convenient if Putin invades Ukraine and the West does nothing, because it would strengthen Chinaís Taiwan reclamation project. And anything that ties the US up in knots is worth a handshake. But China is going to reclaim Taiwan anyway, just as they reclaimed Hong Kong. The horizon on Chinese ambitions makes the Westís long game look very short. Thatís my impression from friends who study China. Doesnít mean Russia can be ignored, and doesnít mean they disrespect Putin. But not equals. That was definitely Putin coming to Xi with his hand out, at least as viewed by the Chinese.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    I haven't heard one mainstream news show address the US role in precipitating the Russia/Ukrainian situation so I'll post this article: https://tomdispatch.com/how-did-we-get-here/

    The hypocrisy is astonishing. Just imagine the US reaction if in the post WWII era all South American countries had become firmly economically and militarily aligned with Russia, and Central American countries were mostly leaning that way too....and then Russia, with it's version of Victoria Nuland & her happy cabal, helped foment the overthrow of Mexico's US leaning president while then helping install a Russian-centric administration and began otherwise courting Mexico, our doorstep neighbor, to align with Russia. Think we might have a hissy? Oh...wait....haven't we already been there with Cuba....though our installation of missiles in Turkey triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis...we seem to conveniently forget that little factoid.

    As to annexing the Crimea: If we aren't going to relinquish Gitmo, a piece of land to which we have exactly zero legitimate claim, how come we think Russia ought to give up Crimea and it's only warm water port??

    Sorry, I don't think the US has been wearing the white hats for a long time; and nobody seems to be questioning WTF we've been doing or why.
    It's simple.


    We went from a world of Real Politik, to one where we thought Democracy and Capitalism were the only way forward. We made decisions on a moral / ideological grounds instead of cold pragmatism.

    Morally, people should be free, practically, that doesn't work which is continually biting us in the @ss for 40+ years.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I got the Mao-Stalin reference, and I am sure Xi and all other Chinese remembered it too. But I don’t think Xi views Putin as an equal. It would convenient if Putin invades Ukraine and the West does nothing, because it would strengthen China’s Taiwan reclamation project. And anything that ties the US up in knots is worth a handshake. But China is going to reclaim Taiwan anyway, just as they reclaimed Hong Kong. The horizon on Chinese ambitions makes the West’s long game look very short. That’s my impression from friends who study China. Doesn’t mean Russia can be ignored, and doesn’t mean they disrespect Putin. But not equals. That was definitely Putin coming to Xi with his hand out, at least as viewed by the Chinese.
    Thanks for elucidating your thoughts.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I got the Mao-Stalin reference, and I am sure Xi and all other Chinese remembered it too. But I don’t think Xi views Putin as an equal. It would convenient if Putin invades Ukraine and the West does nothing, because it would strengthen China’s Taiwan reclamation project. And anything that ties the US up in knots is worth a handshake. But China is going to reclaim Taiwan anyway, just as they reclaimed Hong Kong. The horizon on Chinese ambitions makes the West’s long game look very short. That’s my impression from friends who study China. Doesn’t mean Russia can be ignored, and doesn’t mean they disrespect Putin. But not equals. That was definitely Putin coming to Xi with his hand out, at least as viewed by the Chinese.
    Yup, not equal at all. China is expanding, they operate a port on the west coast of Africa now. Russia lives or dies by energy costs, it's all they have. China is building a blue water navy to deploy their ships much in the same way that the US does, but with newer ships. Russia sends an oceangoing tug with their carrier so it can be towed to a port for repairs when it breaks down. The Chinese took the Russian carrier design and made it work. The Russians can't really project power unless there are roads involved. China is pairing up with Russia out of convenience to annoy the rest of the world.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    There's one silly thing which really amuses me in this terrible thing - the fact that for a long time it was called THE Ukraine and that has seemingly stopped in the last few decades.

    It did always seem odd - like saying "I went to visit the France".

    The part that amuses me though is that people apparently became terrified of saying the in front of anything to do with them - I noticed it in Trump people and also a few others. So they would say something like "I have discussed this with Ukrainian foreign minister...".

    Clearly someone sent a memo as to what they should call the country and took that a little too far in an effort to not offend them over the name of their country.
    It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Jack Matlock, former US Ambassador to the USSR, made a post with some interesting background a couple of days ago.

    In 1997, when the question of adding more members to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), I was asked to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In my introductory remarks, I made the following statement: "I consider the Administrationís recommendation to take new members into NATO at this time misguided. If it should be approved by the United States Senate, it may well go down in history as the most profound strategic blunder made since the end of the Cold War. Far from improving the security of the United States, its Allies, and the nations that wish to enter the Alliance, it could well encourage a chain of events that could produce the most serious security threat to this nation since the Soviet Union collapsed."
    https://usrussiaaccord.org/acura-vie...-over-ukraine/

    For those of you who are not familiar with Amb. Matlock, he was not a political appointment......he joined the Foreign Service in 1956. He is also the only person whom I have ever met who speaks Swahili. I had the pleasure to serve under him in Moscow.
    Eat one live toad first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you all day.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by choke View Post
    Jack Matlock, former US Ambassador to the USSR, made a post with some interesting background a couple of days ago.


    https://usrussiaaccord.org/acura-vie...-over-ukraine/

    For those of you who are not familiar with Amb. Matlock, he was not a political appointment......he joined the Foreign Service in 1956. He is also the only person whom I have ever met who speaks Swahili. I had the pleasure to serve under him in Moscow.
    Wow. That must have been very interesting!

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    It is all very interesting.

    The Russians are immensely frustrating.

    They get invaded in the 1800s and the 1900s, the later effort obviously involving significant trauma to the country. Hence the 'buffer' between east and west that Russia via the USSR and various puppet states (eg East Germany) jealously guarded.

    The wheels feel off in the late 1980s, historical wrongs were righted, countries gained independence and the buffer was lost.

    Matlock makes a very interesting point about the expansion of NATO and no doubt he is probably right. But, on the other hand the likelihood of another Napoleon or Hitler taking the long march east seems increasingly unlikely. How to bridge this historical concern possibly should be the aim of eastern and western diplomats without the need for sabre rattling on the border of an independent country.

    However, Matlock makes this observation:

    "As President Putin pulled Russia out of the bankruptcy that took place in the late 1990s, stabilized the economy, paid off Russia’s foreign debts, reduced the activity of organized crime, and even began building a financial nest egg to weather future financial storms, he was subjected to what he perceived as one insult after another to his perception of Russia’s dignity and security."

    While Putin may have dragged the country out of the mess it was in in the 90s, he does run a country that is a glorified mafia state and has managed to install himself as an autocrat. Thus Russia finds itself in no different position than under the Czars (not bizarre as poor old Baldrick thought) and the Communists. The Russians, that is the ordinary person on the street, deserve better as autocracy only serves the autocrats and their enablers (in this case the oligarchs).

    Putin is pretty canny, as are the Chinese, and tanks on the border of the Ukraine is a real mess.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post

    The hypocrisy is astonishing. Just imagine the US reaction if in the post WWII era all South American countries had become firmly economically and militarily aligned with Russia, and Central American countries were mostly leaning that way too....and then Russia, with it's version of Victoria Nuland & her happy cabal, helped foment the overthrow of Mexico's US leaning president while then helping install a Russian-centric administration and began otherwise courting Mexico, our doorstep neighbor, to align with Russia. Think we might have a hissy? Oh...wait....haven't we already been there with Cuba....though our installation of missiles in Turkey triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis...we seem to conveniently forget that little factoid.
    I've read plenty of comparisons to the Cuban Missile Crisis. In that, Khrushchev took the position that he was defending a small nation against the aggression of a larger neighbor and to do that he needed to put a military base and missiles in Cuba. The U.S. refused to allow missiles close to its southern border. Sounds familiar. The U.S. has put missiles in Poland and Romania. Any objective observer would wonder whether America intended to put missiles in Ukraine as well. Putin's view on that question is clear.

    This may not be only about missiles. President Biden declared he would "end Nord Stream 2" which apparently means by destruction, which would be an act of war against not only Russia but Germany and the EU. Clearly the U.S. wants to sell high-priced natural gas to Europe. The U.S. press has missed the implications but they are not missed by the rest of the world, particularly the foreign policy community.

    For fun reading outside of the U.S. press echo chamber, take a look at recent articles in Der Spiegel, such as this one.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Suggested reading for the current situation.

    The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    From where I sit this guy was spot on with the intro to his "Brief History of U.S. Interventions: 1945 to the Present"; the present then being 1999, and the last 23 years anything but quiet: https://thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/...ns_WBlumZ.html

    We seem to think that we have not only the right but the moral calling to overthrow governments and now park NATO on Russia's doorstep. Astonishing, except it isn't; we really can't help ourselves; and Eisenhower was an observant, prescient fellow.
    John Clay
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    Default Re: Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by 9tubes View Post
    President Biden declared he would "end Nord Stream 2" which apparently means by destruction, which would be an act of war against not only Russia but Germany and the EU.
    That's a good one. If you truly believe that's the plan, then I think you've been spending a bit too much time on the wrong conspiracy forums.

    The US has a lot of ways to stop things from happening, and most of that power is not through the force of arms.

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    Default Re: Ukraine

    That's a quote from President Biden so if that qualifies as a conspiracy theory then it's one within his administration.

    I'm all ears (or eyes) to your knowledge of the inner workings of the West Wing. Biden and his team won't answer the question of how he would "end Nord Stream 2," or he hasn't yet to my knowledge.

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