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Padraig

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  1. And by the way, can anyone explain what this means? Way over my head.
  2. It's important to also note the context behind what you wrote above. This is (some of) what Putin announced last week. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/30/russia-ukraine-war-putins-annexation-speech-what-did-he-say Sure, Putin is asking for negotiations but he is also saying these 4 Oblasts are off the table. These are eternally part of Russia now. Given this premise, can you understand why people don't take Putin's offer to negotiate very seriously? In response, Ukraine said they aren't going to negotiate with Putin anymore. When somebody proves they aren't interested in it (and seizing those Oblasts should make that clear to anyone), why bother? Ukraine said it is still willing to negotiate, just not with Putin. So, I am curious about one thing. You come onto this board with very definitive views about this war. You admit that you could be wrong but its very much, "this is what I believe, prove me wrong". But you don't seem particularly well informed about this war. What I wrote above is no secret. You say you heard something about Russia wanting to negotiate. And something about Ukraine dismissing Putin. Did you just decide not to inform yourself about these things before you decided to post about them here? Or are you pretending you don't know because it makes your case harder to argue? I'm genuinely curious about this. Even saying Russia is "desperate to get out of this mess" while they inflame the issue further by annexing land seems a ridiculous statement to make. It does not reflect reality. There are a lot of other things about this war that you don't seem informed about. But since the annexation happened last week, it seemed to be the most obvious element to touch upon. Of course, nobody needs to be informed about this war. But if they lack knowledge, they need to be a lot more open minded about it.
  3. It would be interesting to know how many votes for Lula are really votes against Bolsonaro (and vice versa). I imagine if Lula does win, he wouldn't have much of a honeymoon period. People are too aware of him. And yes, that polling data you report does look odd. And very different from the link I showed (where there as only a 4% point gap on the 13th Sept before it increased again).
  4. And Bolsonaro says he admired Trump and Putin. That is politics. If people don't like those positions, they will vote against them. Given Lula got more votes than Bolsonaro (so far), it hasn't worked against him. But Bolsonaro's position didn't kill off his hopes either. You can certainly be worried about Lula's democratic credentials but Bolsonaro seems to be worse on that score. From this external position anyhow. Given people didn't expect Lula to win via the first round, it sounds like the polls got Lula's percent reasonably well but underestimated how well Bolsonaro would do. But when you have 2 unpopular candidates, its certainly possible that a lot of the "undecided's" ended up swinging to one candidate. Bolsonaro in this case (I think that is what happened in the US in 2016). Thus the polls seem off. You'd know better who does polls. But deliberately exaggerating a lead in a poll may work against you. https://www.as-coa.org/articles/poll-tracker-brazils-2022-presidential-election The above links suggests a 8% point lead before the election. Ended up 5% points. Not wildly out. But makes sense for Bolsonaro to make a big deal out of it I suppose. Edited: When I contrasted this with the 2020 US election, it wasn't based on political positions. Instead, both are course correction elections but Biden brought a certain amount of desired normality back to politics in the US. Lula doesn't. He is just different from Bolsonaro.
  5. I don't know. When the choice is Lula v Bolsonaro, I can understand why people don't get very aggressive against Lula. If nothing else, the rest of the world should want Lula to win just because of the environment (and then you throw in all the other baggage that Bolsonaro carries). But yes, corruption stalks Lula too. And yes, you will always find some crazy people on social media but I wouldn't say Maduro or Ortega are generally condoned (but there are some extreme politicians on the left that do).
  6. Well, that was convincing. I suppose if you really don't like Biden. For whatever reason.
  7. I can see that. While I really hope Bolsonaro loses, I would have wished for a much better candidate than Lula (and all the baggage he brings). This is not a Trump v Biden election moment (for example).
  8. Hmm. I wonder is it possible for Ukraine to do something tomorrow to steal the spotlight from Russia. This annexation is the kind of news you'd want to be treated as a non-event.
  9. Thanks. I have read a bit about the latest protests but not much about how they compare to previous protests (partly because its another depressing subject).
  10. I don't know about this. Countries have been invading other counties right through the Cold War. Russia's war in Afghanistan being just one example. If you shorten the timeline to after the Cold War, you may have a point but then you are talking about a very short timespan. Ultimately, i'm very skeptical of this idea that all these wars since Iraq can be laid at the feed of the US. Its too simple. It doesn't feel true. The world is way too complicated to say that this one factor is the prevalent reason for this war. And the fact that people who really hate US imperialism are loudest in blaming even the Ukraine War on the US is just too convenient for them (I accept there is a chicken and egg situation going on here though). Whether the US was to blame or not, somebody would have found a way to blame the US. And it ignores how nasty the Russian regime is. Russia would never let Ukraine easily slip out of its orbit. I find it impossible to see how the decision to invade Iraq would effect that. Sure, Russia has used the hypocrisy argument against the US but countries/people love the hypocrisy argument. Its the default response. Now, the consequences of the Iraq invasion. That's a much more interesting line of exploration. If the US had rolled over Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria then Russia probably would have been much more cautious about involving itself in a war in Ukraine. Its US's apparent weakness (the cost of its war in Iraq and Afghanistan) that plays a role in Russia's decision, not its war crimes. And if the idea is that if the US had avoided wars for 20 years, its grace would have trickled down to Russia. Well that is naïve and utopic.
  11. To continue on that point. I read this a few days ago. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/23/italian-rightwing-coalition-makes-final-push-before-election I see the logic here. But my take on the earlier posts was that people were pointing out that X, Y and Z all aligned during the 1979 revolution. None of the more recent protests ever touched all those boxes but this one does touch more of them. Is that a facile point? I didn't think so, although It could be inaccurate. Or it may only increase the chance of a regime change from 2% to 4%. Anyhow, I did think the point was interesting (one of those boxes being how wide the protests reached). I do think comparing these protests to 1979 does lead to a seeming exaggeration of the likelihood of success. No argument on that.
  12. Right. Media is the obvious factor driving a change of attitude. And its reach being far wider than what existed before. The "truth" about WW1/WW2 still exists in a much more tangible way than historic wars. People living longer, keeping the horror salient is relevant also. Humans can be quite slow, so we get frequent reminders of the horrors now. When horror shows existed in the past, were the ruling classes affected as much? And did they lack the frequent positive reinforcement (not that horrible things weren't happening all the time but people didn't see it).
  13. To each point in your post, I could generally say, it is more complicated than you portray. Even this. You did make a big point earlier in the Ukraine thread about the lack of a thread to talk about what you wanted to talk about. So you got your wish. It may be more gracious of you to accept you now have that thread, rather than now complain it isn't titled correctly or it should be done in the Ukraine thread. And I don't see why its a big deal that you were encouraged to move your posts elsewhere. While you did touch upon Ukraine, you seemed to be more interested in the sins of the Iraq war. So now you have a broader canvass to post in. It doesn't mean that you can't talk about Ukraine anymore. It just leaves the Ukraine thread to the more focused Ukrainian posts. The problem that Russia has is that since the end of the Cold War, its power is now dwarfed by the US's. And it views that as unfair. Other countries are drawn to the US's orbit (and China's now, for the same reason) because the US has much more to offer than Russia. Russia views that as unfair. Russia has used the latter as part of its justification for its war on Ukraine. "Ukraine is ours. How dare the US try to take it away from us". That is a far more powerful argument than the US did something bad, so we should be allowed to do something bad too. (Or whatever the precise details of your argument is). That's just noise. You did make the point that the West would have been less distracted if it hadn't got involved in the Iraq War. Sure. But if you go through each of the conflicts that Russia got involved in since 2001, would it have chosen not to if the West was less distracted? You'll have to make a specific case here, since I don't see any obvious example where it would have not gotten involved. Except maybe this current war. But once you accept the other wars would have happened, Russia's course was probably set. In fairness, that was brought up mainly to show Trump in a bad light. The Ukrainian dimension was almost irrelevant. The reason I asked "does it change anything for Ukraine right now" is that I knew it didn't. And that's why it should move to this thread. Your scope is broader than Ukraine. The problem is that you have to slightly downplay the Ukrainian war because you are apparently absolutely sure that the Iraq War was the greater sin. And given people are dying today in large numbers in Ukraine makes the whole thing in bad taste (and yes, people are also dying today in Iraq/Syria because of the Iraqi war).
  14. Serbia can't accept the idea of border change by referendum. So that's the least surprising country.
  15. Not an expert but I would have thought this is the essential point. Once WW1 made clear what modern war had developed into, the "thirst for war" changed. "War as revenge" or to "right a wrong" is obviously still a thing but its a different mindset than pre-WW1.
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