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Ukraine 20: We’re not bluffing and you can tell we aren’t by how we say we aren’t bluffing…


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22 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

3) As far as directly annexing, no, since the U.S. annexed all the native territories and Mexican territories and Spanish territories and failed at annexing Canada it has preferred to topple regimes it doesn’t like, replace them with ones it does, and make sure that resource control is in their wheelhouse. I don’t think a casualty cares whether it was killed for land or profit or political control, though. To clarify, I fully support the Ukraine’s defense and think Putin an incredible danger to world peace. But that doesn’t change the fact that, along historical lines, he has more customary causi beli (areas where ~ majority want annexation, historical claim to incorporation, etc.) than the U.S. did, whose stated cause for war were WMDs that it’s own intel was publicly saying did not exist (NIE report) and would not be a threat to the U.S. if they did, AND to uphold the UN resolution/treaty that specifically stated that only the UNSC could determine was breached and if so, how to react. Iow, they were breaking the treaty they claimed to be going to war to uphold. I repeat, this is not raising Putin’s claims to anything like legitimacy, it’s pointing out how the US’s was even lower. 

I think this only really applies to Crimea, an area with very strong pro-Russian leanings, a very distinct geographic area, was not historically part of the ancient Ukrainian/Kievan Rus region and where, even without an iffy referendum, its people might well want to join Russia. It does not apply to the rest of Ukraine as a whole, not even the Russian-speaking border areas.

You also run into that continental problem where you can flood the border area with emigres, claim you are protecting them and then annex and invade, which is how Hitler justified his invasions up to Poland. Kazakhstan was incredibly wise to take major steps to prevent this by preventing mass Russian immigration to the border areas and moving its own people into those regions to prevent that issue from arising (which hasn't stopped quite a few Russians suggesting that Kazakhstan should be next after Ukraine). Rather than, as is more sane, saying that if people in the border area of one country want to be part of the neighbouring country, they can just move. By definition, it's not very far.

I agree that the US invasion of Iraq was a huge mistake and badly damaged both the US and the UK's long-term political credibility, but it's also really got nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine. Raising the issue of Iraq in relation to Ukraine has about as much to do with it as raising the issue of why shouldn't we clone a race of genetically-engineered killer penguins or privatise clouds.

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1 hour ago, James Arryn said:

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it perpetuates the kinds of things that are happening now in the Ukraine.

The kind of thinking of "two wrongs do not make a right, full stop" perpetuates wrongs?

When you look at it retrospectively, you can philosophise that "the first party felt deeply wronged thinking it had less opportunity than the second party to hurt third parties, such is human nature sometimes and we need to be wary of and improve on this".

When it is going on now, there is no time to blabber about this and especially to give it any legitimacy. Do something better.

To diminish it to an inexcusable level (which, however, fits more to the level of this conversation). If somebody was kicking you, because someone else kicked them, would you think discussing this would take priority over making you safe?

This has to be a deliberate pretending to not understand what was said by me, just to find a false ground to insist you are right. Again, do better.

Edited by a free shadow
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15 hours ago, Toth said:

Ah yes, talking about Ukraine in one of my politics classes will be awesome this year. Yesterday a Russian girl went on a rant about how Germany and especially the Greens dare support Ukraine when Russia had every right to help that half of Ukraine that actually wants to join Russia. She was then supported by a guy who kept repeating "We apply double standards, because we shrug it off when the US does it!" again and again.

Since the topic was actually electoral systems, I was forced to smother the starting fight with one student who gave outrage until I have some background materials prepared. Sigh... Whyyyyy... so far all the Russian students I had were relaxed and comfortably apolitical or in the case of one Dagestani boy outright snide about Putin's failure.

Do you ask them for sources in Ukraine public sentiment on Russia?

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2 hours ago, a free shadow said:

The kind of thinking of "two wrongs do not make a right, full stop" perpetuates wrongs?

When you look at it retrospectively, you can philosophise that "the first party felt deeply wronged thinking it had less opportunity than the second party to hurt third parties, such is human nature sometimes and we need to be wary of and improve on this".

When it is going on now, there is no time to blabber about this and especially to give it any legitimacy. Do something better.

To diminish it to an inexcusable level (which, however, fits more to the level of this conversation). If somebody was kicking you, because someone else kicked them, would you think discussing this would take priority over making you safe?

This has to be a deliberate pretending to not understand what was said by me, just to find a false ground to insist you are right. Again, do better.

First, I was responding to the idea that nothing should be said after ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’, with the reasons I articulated. Secondly, when you are accusing me of legitimizing Putin’s actions, you are directly contradicting what I said clearly and repeatedly in these posts. It feels like you’re a bit on autopilot, that because many Putin apologists do indeed try to cite past actions of others to justify their atrocities, therefore anyone citing any past actions must be doing the same regardless of how clearly they are condemning Putin’s actions. I’m not sure where you’re getting what you seem to think I’m saying from what I actually said/did not say. 

Beyond that, the kicking and all, I am indeed not understanding anything but your condescension and accusation of deceit, so thanks for that and we can leave it there, I’ll not ‘blabber’ in your direction anymore. 

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3 hours ago, James Arryn said:

But that doesn’t change the fact that, along historical lines, he has more customary causi beli (areas where ~ majority want annexation, historical claim to incorporation, etc.) than the U.S. did

Hmm. You are dangerously close to accepting Russian propaganda here.  Not sure where you are getting your information from but i'd read more about it.

What really appalls me about this war is that it brings back the "War of Conquest" as a justification.  Over the last 70 years, it had become no longer accepted that countries could conquer other countries, simply due to army strength.  Sure, wars continued for many other terrible reasons but it was progress of a kind.  Putin's destruction of this progress it hugely disappointing and depressing.  And it can only lead to more bloodshed in future.

You are already buying into this justification, it being "customary" previously.  The "good old days" eh?

I never understood this need to rate wars.  As if it makes a difference if one tragic war can be judged more abhorrent than another.  Given people are dying right now because of these wars, I find it all rather poor in taste.

I do believe you are overstating how clearly wrong the US were to the wider population pre-Iraqi invasion.  But as I said, don't really want to get into that.

3 hours ago, James Arryn said:

If the past ceases to matter as soon as it becomes the past, then superpowers will always be allowed to flex their might and wipe the slate clean and, to be consistent, if 10 years from now China is invading Taiwan and Putin is claiming that’s a terrible thing for China to do, you’ll have to get onboard team Putin because the Ukraine is the past and therefore irrelevant now. Rinse, repeat. Why should they ever stop behaving this way if it ceases to matter the moment it’s over?
 

Accountability can’t exist if it’s always selective. If something’s wrong, it’s wrong regardless of who did it. Otherwise we’re just choosing sides.

And as a free shadow said, this is just a bizarre response to what a free shadow said.  Are you responding to something else.  Like "if something's wrong, its wrong regardless of who did it".  Who said otherwise?

Edited to add: Does anything the US do in Ukraine make us feel better about their war in Iraq?  Obviously not.  But that shouldn't need to be stated.

Edited by Padraig
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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

I think this only really applies to Crimea, an area with very strong pro-Russian leanings, a very distinct geographic area, was not historically part of the ancient Ukrainian/Kievan Rus region and where, even without an iffy referendum, its people might well want to join Russia. It does not apply to the rest of Ukraine as a whole, not even the Russian-speaking border areas.

You also run into that continental problem where you can flood the border area with emigres, claim you are protecting them and then annex and invade, which is how Hitler justified his invasions up to Poland. Kazakhstan was incredibly wise to take major steps to prevent this by preventing mass Russian immigration to the border areas and moving its own people into those regions to prevent that issue from arising (which hasn't stopped quite a few Russians suggesting that Kazakhstan should be next after Ukraine). Rather than, as is more sane, saying that if people in the border area of one country want to be part of the neighbouring country, they can just move. By definition, it's not very far.

I agree that the US invasion of Iraq was a huge mistake and badly damaged both the US and the UK's long-term political credibility, but it's also really got nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine. Raising the issue of Iraq in relation to Ukraine has about as much to do with it as raising the issue of why shouldn't we clone a race of genetically-engineered killer penguins or privatise clouds.

1) I agree this only applies in those regions and is being exploited by Putin to rationalize his actions. Again, I am not saying his justification is sufficient or legitimate…quite the opposite…just that it falls more in line with historical precedent re: war justifications than the US’s did. Likewise with flooding areas to change the dynamic for referendums. 
 

2) The US invasion of Iraq was not a mistake, it was a deliberate and premeditated illegal war/war crime. Would you be satisfied with Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine being written off as a mistake? As far as your criticizing me for raising the issue in relation to Ukraine, first as I addressed to another poster I disagree as explained, but secondly I was not in fact the one to raise it, Toth was, and I was just responding to his comment. 

Edited by James Arryn
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14 minutes ago, Padraig said:

Hmm. You are dangerously close to accepting Russian propaganda here.  Not sure where you are getting your information from but i'd read more about it.

What really appalls me about this war is that it brings back the "War of Conquest" as a justification.  Over the last 70 years, it had become no longer accepted that countries could conquer other countries, simply due to army strength.  Sure, wars continued for many other terrible reasons but it was progress of a kind.  Putin's destruction of this progress it hugely disappointing and depressing.  And it can only lead to more bloodshed in future.

You are already buying into this justification, it being "customary" previously.  The "good old days" eh?

I never understood this need to rate wars.  As if it makes a difference if one tragic war can be judged more abhorrent than another.  Given people are dying right now because of these wars, I find it all rather poor in taste.

I do believe you are overstating how clearly wrong the US were to the wider population pre-Iraqi invasion.  But as I said, don't really want to get into that.

And as a free shadow said, this is just a bizarre response to what a free shadow said.  Are you responding to something else.  Like "if something's wrong, its wrong regardless of who did it".  Who said otherwise?

Sigh. Thanks for the encouragement to read, it’s fundamental, but in response I suggest you reading my posts more or more carefully, where I called Putin’s justifications “wrong”, stated that they rise “nowhere near to anything like legitimacy”, said that Russians were buying it because they only get fed state-directed bullshit, said I completely supported Zelensky and the defense of Ukraine and called Putin “an incredible danger to world peace”. Possibly the language was too ambiguous, maybe you thought I meant  ‘nowhere near legitimacy’ and ‘incredible danger to world peace’ in a complimentary way, or possibly you didn’t really read my posts and/or are being a bit knee jerk. 

Edited by James Arryn
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11 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

2) The US invasion of Iraq was not a mistake, it was a deliberate and premeditated illegal war/war crime. As far as your criticizing me for raising the issue in relation to Ukraine, first as I addressed to another poster I disagree as explained, but secondly I was not in fact the one to raise it, Toth was, and I was just responding to his comment.

Are you familiar with the Tu Quoque fallacy?  Perhaps a more general discussion of modern wars would be a more appropriate venue for criticism of the US over actions in Iraq?  Raising this issue in this venue seems Tu Quoqueish… to me.

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1 minute ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Are you familiar with the Tu Quoque fallacy?  Perhaps a more general discussion of modern wars would be a more appropriate venue for criticism of the US over actions in Iraq?  Raising this issue in this venue seems Tu Quoqueish… to me.

I. Did. Not. Raise. It. 
 

But yes, I am familiar with TQ. Are you familiar with ergo decido and relative privation?

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I don't speak Latin but I minored in Mansclamations and they're all over the place here. 

Meanwhile, if Putin deploys nuclear weapons in Ukraine the ONLY acceptable response is the destruction of Moscow or whatever rat hole to which Putin is most likely proximate (if you wanna try and be more humane). Anything less is an invitation for Pakistan and India to write 'acceptable U.S. response conditions' into their war plans for one another. BAD BAD BAD 

The entire construct of MAD demands that the cost of using nuclear weapons exceeds the gain. Up to and including the end of life entirely as part of the wager. 

Some cruise missile strikes aren't enough. A nuclear offensive is not only an attack on NATO but on the planet itself. It cannot be allowed or, through deference in response (a refusal to further escalate), unanswered. 

That's the game. Playing half-assed is the quickest way to lose.

Edited by Firebrand Jace
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38 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

I. Did. Not. Raise. It. 
 

But yes, I am familiar with TQ. Are you familiar with ergo decido and relative privation?

I am familiar with those fallacies.  If for sake of discussion US actions in Iraq provided rhetorical cover for the Russian invasion… we are still where we are and I do not understand how Russian lies about their motivations for attempting to annex portions of their sovereign neighboring Nation-state mean anything at this point.  

The UN Charter expressly rejects territorial acquisition by conquest.  It is a founding principle of the UN.  As such Russian actions should be considered void ab initio regardless of the basis offered for them.  Which brings us back to the question of why you want to talk about US actions in Iraq (which were wrong) in a thread about the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

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2 hours ago, James Arryn said:

First, I was responding to the idea that nothing should be said after ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’, with the reasons I articulated.

It seems you abridged the idea, to make it more convenient to respond to.

What I said is that the time when atrocities are going on is the worst time to engage with the argument "What about that other thing someone else was doing in the past in some other place!" promoted by the perpetrators and apologists to waste your time. It benefits them. The student was not saying that wrong things should not happen, she was saying that it is fine, because someone else some other time did something wrong about some other thing.

And your response basically is "Thank you for raising this vital point, it is the one we should focus on with walls and walls of text, made safe by a disclaimer that two wrongs do not make a right".

I do not know if you are American, but at the very best it comes across as American self-importance. Sure, reflect on what you did in Iraq, you should. But don't do it in the space created by Russian aplogists to legitimise their actions in Ukraine.

EDIT in 2 PARTS

Thinking about it, what I am doing might be trying to limit the conversation in the wrong place. I saw it starting with the student who was defending the war and the direction you took amplified her  position. However, this thread is not exactly a space where this matters the most, even if it does matter to me.

At the same time, I was also prompted by the information (some of it now deleted) presented as facts in your argument. It did not seem well-informed about Ukraine, just a voluntary run along the faulty line drawn by the student in the story, which is clearly a win for her, however small.

Edited by a free shadow
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So apparently the plan is no training just send them to the front to halt/slow the Ukrainian advance. Says there is no NCOs to train them anyway. I don’t really understand enough about modern warfare to know if these type of personal is at all useful or if they’ll just drag down logistics even more and lead to collapses at the front. Also while a lot of people are being sent over from what I know Ukraine has been mass mobilizing for months and has a lot of people of their own who do actually have some training. 

 

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Political pressure will mount once it is clear that mobilization has not changed the fact that Russia is losing the war.  Then we will have to see if Putin is ready and able to escalate further.

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I’m curious… how many Russian conscripts have to die before there is real political pressure placed on the Kremlin… by Russians?

What type of political pressure did you have in mind?

Elections? Russia did not have fair elections since 1993, when its constitutional system was overthrown in a presidential coup (which the West decided not to call a coup since a "good guy" won).

Protests? As long as Rosguardia exists (400 000 well-paid thugs commanded by Putin personally), the only thing they will accomplish is prison time for protestors, with a possible side of torture/rape (see what happened with protests in Belarus two years ago).

The only two forms of political pressure that exist for Russians are mutiny in military units (available only to those who currently serve) and emigrating (available only to those young, healthy, wealthy and unattached enough to do it).

Edited by Gorn
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