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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…


Ser Scot A Ellison
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10 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

“Well the US got to invade Iraq…” is among the most stupid, childish, and Tankie repeated justification for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  It is not worthy of credence or discussion.

Justify? Absolutely not. The USA's illegal invasion of Iraq doesn't justify invading Ukraine. It did set a terrible precedent, just like many people in 2003 feared it would. 

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2 minutes ago, Relic said:

Justify? Absolutely not. The USA's illegal invasion of Iraq doesn't justify invading Ukraine. It did set a terrible precedent, just like many people in 2003 feared it would. 

See my comment in the “War” thread.  I unequivocally agree with you and recognize how wrong I was in 2003.

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18 minutes ago, Relic said:

Justify? Absolutely not. The USA's illegal invasion of Iraq doesn't justify invading Ukraine. It did set a terrible precedent, just like many people in 2003 feared it would. 

As my prior post stated, it does not justify it…except to maybe the most important audience, the Russian people upon whose ~ support Putin’s ability to wage war depends. Without their being an answer to ‘why can the US do what we cannot’ other than ‘that’s whataboutism’, then it would, to a Russian, seem to actually support Putin’s BS about the western agenda against them and, in consequence, both lend substance to Putin’s propaganda and give him greater latitude in getting them to buy further bullshit. 
 

edit: and yes, bigger picture, as many many were saying, including countless career diplomats who resigned, the US’s ‘with us or against us’ ultimatum and BS war did effectively destroy a half century of building up the diplomatic community to have actual power in finding third paths and reduce us to the might makes right state we’ve been in since. Interesting historical note: Kruschev once said approximately ‘ the United Nations is America’s lap dog, which it uses to bark at it’s foes, but should the day ever come when it turns and barks at it’s master, the US will say it’s just a silly little dog of no consequence, and ignore it.’

He might have said something about taking it out back and shooting it too, I can’t quite recall. 

Edited by James Arryn
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Just now, James Arryn said:

As my prior post stated, it does not justify it…except to maybe the most important audience, the Russian people upon whose ~ support Putin’s ability to wage war depends. Without their being an answer to ‘why can the US do what we cannot’ other than ‘that’s whataboutism’, then it would, to a Russian, seem to actually support Putin’s BS about the western agenda against them and, in consequence, both lend substance to Putin’s propaganda and give him greater latitude in getting them to buy further bullshit. 

Well, it sure seems that way, right? Think the last 20 years has made it abundantly clear that you can sell people massive piles of dogshit that they will eagerly gobble up if they are made to feel fear.

Still, from an outside perspective, its a cheap justification. 

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2 minutes ago, Relic said:

Well, it sure seems that way, right? Think the last 20 years has made it abundantly clear that you can sell people massive piles of dogshit that they will eagerly gobble up if they are made to feel fear.

Still, from an outside perspective, its a cheap justification. 

As is my annoying habit, I added an edit that’s probably longer than the post it’s attached to, if you’re interested. 
 

Anyways, the point is not whether it’s a cheap justification or not…it’s not even a cheap one, it’s a non-existent one, really…the point is do the people Putin needs to buy it buy it, and polling seems to clearly show they do. 

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1 minute ago, James Arryn said:

the point is do the people Putin needs to buy it buy it, and polling seems to clearly show they do. 

I get your point. Don't disagree. But a lot of other propaganda is just as effective as swaying public opinion, so...kind of moot?

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3 minutes ago, Relic said:

I get your point. Don't disagree. But a lot of other propaganda is just as effective as swaying public opinion, so...kind of moot?

 But this is a case where their question…why can the US do this, or worse, and we cannot…has no real answer. That’s why the standard western response is to just call it irrelevant, because no one has actually come up with a substantial answer that addresses the question itself. And the best lies are built around small truths. So this makes for much more effective propaganda about western agendas etc. than would otherwise exist. 

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

 But this is a case where their question…why can the US do this, or worse, and we cannot…has no real answer. That’s why the standard response is to just call it irrelevant. And the best lies are built around small truths. 

So, let's travel to a world in which the USA doesn't destroy Iraq, while killing hundreds of thousands of people. If we lived in such a world do you think Putin would have a harder time selling his actions to the every day Russian citizen?

I don't. 

Edited by Relic
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6 minutes ago, Relic said:

So, let's travel back in time and go to a world in which the USA doesn't destroy Iraq, while killing hundreds of thousands of people. If we lived in such a world do you think Putin would have a harder time selling his actions to the every day Russian citizen?

I don't. 

We can’t know, but honestly I do. That’s why it’s so forefront in any conversation with a Russian about this war. They don’t really seem to care too much about reforming the Russian empire or w/e, but they DO buy into the idea that the Ukraine is a frontline in an ongoing western agenda to marginalize Russian power, and the self-evident hypocrisy about who gets to do what and who gets attacked for same is the primary fuel for that belief. 
 

edit: at the very least, let’s say the US made Putin’s job of selling it a million times easier. 

Edited by James Arryn
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Putin's Russia engaged in horrendous warfare in Chechnya and political interference in places like Serbia long before the US invasion of Iraq. Russia also approved and even provided equipment and assistance for the incursion into Afghanistan in 2001.

I do think the "what about the US?" argument is more useful propaganda for third countries than it is for Russians, though. Most Russians know that the invasion of Ukraine was unjustified, they either didn't care (until this mobilisation) or thought that Russia invading a non-threatening third country was justified to increase Russia's power.

In a world where the United States never invaded Iraq, Russia still invades Georgia and Ukraine (in 2014 and 2022).

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19 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

We can’t know, but honestly I do. That’s why it’s so forefront in any conversation with a Russian about this war. They don’t really seem to care too much about reforming the Russian empire or w/e, but they DO buy into the idea that the Ukraine is a frontline in an ongoing western agenda to marginalize Russian power, and the self-evident hypocrisy about who gets to do what and who gets attacked for same is the primary fuel for that belief. 
 

edit: at the very least, let’s say the US made Putin’s job of selling it a million times easier. 

Why do Russians believe they get any say in who Ukraine chooses to associate with internationally?

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29 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

They don’t really seem to care too much about reforming the Russian empire or w/e, but they DO buy into the idea that the Ukraine is a frontline in an ongoing western agenda to marginalize Russian power, and the self-evident hypocrisy about who gets to do what and who gets attacked for same is the primary fuel for that belief. 

Edited: You mean an average Russian (rather than Putin)?  Fed lots of Russian propaganda.  Sure, i'm sure they can have that viewpoint.

Edited by Padraig
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9 minutes ago, Werthead said:

In a world where the United States never invaded Iraq, Russia still invades Georgia and Ukraine (in 2014 and 2022).

I do wonder, perhaps, if in such a world the Global response to those Russian actions might have been more sharp without the recent memory of US actions in Iraq?

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison
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1 hour ago, James Arryn said:

The ‘tangential’ connections are many. Let us reflect on just one:

And I was never saying that tangential connections didn't exist.  Just that you moved the goal posts and started arguing something else.   But now you have moved back to your initial viewpoint, so all "good" I suppose.

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28 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

We can’t know, but honestly I do. That’s why it’s so forefront in any conversation with a Russian about this war. They don’t really seem to care too much about reforming the Russian empire or w/e, but they DO buy into the idea that the Ukraine is a frontline in an ongoing western agenda to marginalize Russian power, and the self-evident hypocrisy about who gets to do what and who gets attacked for same is the primary fuel for that belief. 
 

edit: at the very least, let’s say the US made Putin’s job of selling it a million times easier. 

Can we, please, remove this discussion to the thread created for it!

 

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10 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Why do Russians believe they get any say in who Ukraine chooses to associate with internationally?

BECAUSE they feel under threat, and the Ukraine joining the other side makes that seem existential. That’s exactly the point. See Goering’s comment on how you get people to go to war. 

Edited by James Arryn
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28 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

There is now: https://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/161107-the-morality-of-war-mans-inhumanity-to-man/

 

 

So, if we can please move past the bickering - does anyone know what's been going on in Ukraine this weekend?

 

From what little I can tell (I'm no werthead), it looks like Ukraine have started expanding their beachheads at Dvorichna, Kupyansk and Oskill, and have either cut Lyman off from the North. Or very nearly got there.

A couple of good days for Ukrainian anti-aircraft defences too.

 

Looks like Russia finally captured a street in Bahkmut, and a couple of empty fields just South of Spirne (which may yet turn into much more if rumours that Wagner are making that offensive).

Stalemate in the Southern section. It seems operation in Kherson oblast is finished or suspended. Russians laid pipes across Dnipro, which are hard to detect and easy to repair, to pump fuel to the western bank and use a lot of transport helicopters, ferries and confiscated boats to deliver reinforcements and supplies. Looks like it is enough to keep up defence.

I've also heard that in the beginning Ukrainians attacked with force of 6 brigades against circa 30 Russian BTGs (3:1 ratio as for number of men, at best, depending how undermanned the BTGs were ). Attackers took heavy losses (even up to 50% of wounded and killed in some brigades).

Maybe the objective was not to take Kherson, but to engage Russians as long as possibile and prevent them from moving part of their troops East. Ukrainians could not just fake the offensive, had to pay the price (?) 

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4 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

BECAUSE they feel under threat, and the Ukraine joining the other side makes that seem existential. That’s exactly the point. See Goering’s comment on how you get people to go to war. 

Ukraine.  Not “the Ukraine”.  Ukraine is its own nation… not a region of another.

 

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8 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

BECAUSE they feel under threat, and the Ukraine joint the other side makes that seem existential. That’s exactly the point.

But people knew this since (at least) 2014?  The more interesting question was whether there was an alternative reasonable approach for the West.  I haven't seen one.

6 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

Yes, that’s who I mean, and who Putin needs.

He didn't need Iraq to give him the means for all that. 

Edited by Padraig
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