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Ukraine: It’s starting…


Ser Scot A Ellison
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7 minutes ago, DMC said:

Well, I agree that challenging them on the grounds of being the USSR's successor is pretty silly, but calling into question their permanent membership on the security council is pretty standard rhetoric considering the circumstances.  It's not all that different than what Bob Menendez (Senate Foreign Relations Chair) said:

It's not gonna happen - pretty sure the only way to expel Russia from the security council is to expel them from the UN entirely, which definitely isn't gonna happen.  But the rhetoric and even effort to do so makes sense.

There need to be very stringent economic sanctions.  Cutting Russia off from SWIFT would hurt them.  It would hurt Russia's trading partners too, but our economies are stronger.

Then, arm the Baltic States to the teeth, and put in thousands of NATO troops.

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8 minutes ago, SeanF said:

There need to be very stringent economic sanctions.  Cutting Russia off from SWIFT would hurt them.  It would hurt Russia's trading partners too, but our economies are stronger.

Then, arm the Baltic States to the teeth, and put in thousands of NATO troops.

Or. Let Russia have Ukraine and become the dominant power in Eastern Europe.

Let China be the dominant power in East Asia.

Let India be the dominant power in South Asia.

Let the EU be the West European Power.

And the US will continue to be the preeminent power amongst multiple other great powers. Continue to strengthen the alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia.

Then we have a relatively stable, multi polar world, where a one world government never arises to erase nation states.

I like that multi polar future more than the alternative.

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Just now, Free Northman Reborn said:

 

I like that multi polar future more than the alternative.

I don’t.  That’s a recipe for war between rival hegemons, and the enslavement of people who don’t wish to be ruled by them.

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2 minutes ago, DMC said:

If Fox had a neo-nazi on that's bad yeah (although hardly unique), but I'm not seeing this "positive, uncritical coverage" as particularly widespread.

I know I have a seen a fair bit of coverage of neo-nazi groups in Ukraine that have been of a positive nature, or more generally do not include mention of the fact that these are neo-nazi groups. There is the obvious example from a week or so ago on MSNBC with the Azov Battalion training some old lady. I also watched a Vice segment where they were following some volunteers who were fighting in the Donbas region and they just never bothered to point out the Right Sector flag on the wall or the Azov patch (among others) as being neo Nazi paraphernalia. I choose to assume that for the most part, the tone of this coverage is unintentional, that the outlets were unaware of the nature of these groups but this is the sort of thing that is going to be a problem in the future.

What I really worry about is if this becomes a long term conflict, we are absolutely go to be bombarded with news stories out of Ukraine, and they will inevitably involve some of the Neo-Nazi regiments that have been brought into the National Guard, or those volunteers who exist outside of it. This sort of coverage gives them legitimacy both here in the US and in Ukraine, and if any time someone points out Ukraine has Neo-Nazis and other ethnic nationalist groups fighting for them, they are shouted down for peddling in Russian propaganda, we're going to end up elevating these fascists and turning them into heroes. And before you say that this won't happen, go look at the heroes that Ukraine already venerates, and you will see a whole lot of Nazi collaborators who are heroes of Ukrainian independence, so there is already a link that these groups can point to for legitimacy.

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May we please pause the political, economic, ideological and strategic theorizing for a moment and take two minutes to pray for all the people, Ukrainian and Russian, who are out there in the range of tanks, missiles and machine guns, as well as for families, friends and relatives in Ukraine and Russia who fear for their own and their loved ones lives and livelihood? 

It’s the people who suffer for this, all of this, the military aggression, the collateral damage of the war, the sanctions, and the rest. And it’s the people who never ever wanted any of this. 

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3 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I don’t.  That’s a recipe for war between rival hegemons, and the enslavement of people who don’t wish to be ruled by them.

You’re getting China and India as regional superpowers whether you want it or not. Russia actually provides a nice counterpoint to China’s north.

As for enslavement. You can’t save every country, but you can stabilize these borders pretty well through alliances. China can’t invade Australia, Japan or South Korea if they are allied with the US.

Similarly, Russia can’t expand beyond Eastern Europe into NATO countries.

This actually makes for a fairly stable alliance based geopolitical order.

Neither China nor Russia wants to rule the entire world. But they want to dominate their areas of influence. And in this way, they will have it.

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5 minutes ago, GrimTuesday said:

What I really worry about is if this becomes a long term conflict, we are absolutely go to be bombarded with news stories out of Ukraine, and they will inevitably involve some of the Neo-Nazi regiments that have been brought into the National Guard, or those volunteers who exist outside of it. This sort of coverage gives them legitimacy both here in the US and in Ukraine, and if any time someone points out Ukraine has Neo-Nazis and other ethnic nationalist groups fighting for them, they are shouted down for peddling in Russian propaganda, we're going to end up elevating these fascists and turning them into heroes. And before you say that this won't happen, go look at the heroes that Ukraine already venerates, and you will see a whole lot of Nazi collaborators who are heroes of Ukrainian independence, so there is already a link that these groups can point to for legitimacy.

If this becomes a problem, and I agree it's possible, then sure it should be identified and addressed when it comes to pass.  But right now, as you said, I suspect most coverage on them (of the very little there is btw) is unintentional as these outlets just aren't scrutinizing them that much.  If the coverage increases and becomes more widespread, it stands to reason so too will such scrutiny.  But as of right now I don't think it's really much of a concern and not really the appropriate time to be amplifying this.

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5 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Its a great idea, having a bunch of large powerful empires competing with each other means that there could never be war! We know that from history, because it's never happened before. :huh:

Yes, Bismark set up such an alliance based world order that guaranteed relative peace that lasted until WW1. But now all the large players have nuclear weapons. No one wins in such a war. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but we could face nuclear war at the drop of a hat anyway.

I think this multi polar setup buys us 50-100 years. After which we will be expanding off planet anyway, and the whole dynamic changes again.

Edited by Free Northman Reborn
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4 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

But now all the large players have nuclear weapons. No one wins in such a war. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but we could face nuclear war at the drop of a hat anyway.

While I generally agree that having multiple hegemons/great powers is better than only having one, one clear downside of MAD during the Cold War is it precipitated plenty of proxy wars that were very bad for a lot of people and states.

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This is utter madness. I fully agree with @RhaenysBee that we should think on the people who have little to do in this mess. Ukranian and Russians have a long shared history, there are many families with members from both countries and they are being put to test. So are friendships. I can tell you that Eastern European communities in Western Europe are distressed and afraid. My Armenian friend for example is very afraid that now Azerbaijan will use the moment (maybe with Western support) to take over Armenia just to piss off Russia. She is having fights with some of her best friends (Georgians, Ukrainians, etc) due to this issue. She wished to go back to Armenia, but now...

 

 

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8 minutes ago, rotting sea cow said:

This is utter madness. I fully agree with @RhaenysBee that we should think on the people who have little to do in this mess. Ukranian and Russians have a long shared history, there are many families with members from both countries and they are being put to test. So are friendships. I can tell you that Eastern European communities in Western Europe are distressed and afraid. My Armenian friend for example is very afraid that now Azerbaijan will use the moment (maybe with Western support) to take over Armenia just to piss off Russia. She is having fights with some of her best friends (Georgians, Ukrainians, etc) due to this issue. She wished to go back to Armenia, but now...

 

 

I am so sorry to hear this. The Carpathian corner of Ukraine used to belong to us and many people have family, extended family there. It’s an already poor and underdeveloped area and shortages and destruction is the last thing they need. Some people have male family members who are being called into the Ukrainian army for military service. It’s just incomprehensible and frightening.

I only pray and hope and wish that this conflict won’t spiral into the Baltic area, Caucasus, or the European countries of the former eastern block. Especially not into NATO territories because then it won’t be global warming and Twitter that destroys us. 

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44 minutes ago, RhaenysBee said:

It’s the people who suffer for this, all of this, the military aggression, the collateral damage of the war, the sanctions, and the rest. And it’s the people who never ever wanted any of this. 

Having lived through exactly that in the '90s, I wish people of Ukraine all the best. Hopefully, this whole mess resolves quickly with as little loss of life and things get back to normal as soon as possible.

 

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7 minutes ago, baxus said:

Having lived through exactly that in the '90s, I wish people of Ukraine all the best. Hopefully, this whole mess resolves quickly with as little loss of life and things get back to normal as soon as possible.

 

Back to normal? What's normal even supposed to mean now?

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Oof, never thought I would see someone actually advocate for a multi polar international system, or at least no one who didn't work for the arms industry (I imagine the idea gived Raytheon execs wet dreams though).

I did actually see an interesting tweet tonight where someone was speculating that we are seeing a transition between the mono polar world that we have been living in since the fall of the USSR and into a multi polar world where the US/NATO no longer has a monopoly on large scale interventionism. A lot of people on the left greatly underestimated the likelihood of Russia actually attacking Ukraine, and it did expose some areas where how us look at anti-imperialism needs to be reconsidered because while we're so used to seeing the US/NATO provoking conflict and overstating the strength/belligerence of those we are coming into conflict with, if we indeed are entering into a new international system. I still firmly think that being skeptical of America's foreign policy should be the default position for anti-imperialists given the 30 years or so, but I think this merits some consideration in terms of how we approach situations where one of the other major powers come into conflict with the US/NATO.

Edited by GrimTuesday
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1 hour ago, GrimTuesday said:

I know I have a seen a fair bit of coverage of neo-nazi groups in Ukraine that have been of a positive nature, or more generally do not include mention of the fact that these are neo-nazi groups. There is the obvious example from a week or so ago on MSNBC with the Azov Battalion training some old lady. I also watched a Vice segment where they were following some volunteers who were fighting in the Donbas region and they just never bothered to point out the Right Sector flag on the wall or the Azov patch (among others) as being neo Nazi paraphernalia. I choose to assume that for the most part, the tone of this coverage is unintentional, that the outlets were unaware of the nature of these groups but this is the sort of thing that is going to be a problem in the future.

What I really worry about is if this becomes a long term conflict, we are absolutely go to be bombarded with news stories out of Ukraine, and they will inevitably involve some of the Neo-Nazi regiments that have been brought into the National Guard, or those volunteers who exist outside of it. This sort of coverage gives them legitimacy both here in the US and in Ukraine, and if any time someone points out Ukraine has Neo-Nazis and other ethnic nationalist groups fighting for them, they are shouted down for peddling in Russian propaganda, we're going to end up elevating these fascists and turning them into heroes. And before you say that this won't happen, go look at the heroes that Ukraine already venerates, and you will see a whole lot of Nazi collaborators who are heroes of Ukrainian independence, so there is already a link that these groups can point to for legitimacy.

Ukraine elected a Jewish president with an overwhelming majority. Their far-right parties never had more than 5% of votes.

So yes, this focus on Nazis while ignoring the same on Russian side is Russian propaganda.

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3 minutes ago, Loge said:

Back to normal? What's normal even supposed to mean now?

That would depend on how long this mess lasts and what the consequences of it turn out to be.

If it gets resolved within days, normal would mean pretty much the same as before (speaking in general terms, obviously not for those who lose a loved one in the conflict). If it lasts years, then you can look at our part of Europe to see what will the new normal be.

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4 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

What a useful and compassionate response.

Well, I'm sorry for those directly affected, but this mess didn't start today. People have been dying in the Donbas since 2014. Things haven't been normal since 2008. (Or at least one would hope that isn't the new normal). Most of us just had the luxury to ignore that. Obviously a ceasefire would be a relief but I wouldn't call that a back to normal.

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