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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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2 minutes ago, Padraig said:

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.

It rather depends on how far back we go, would probably be my point. Absent the US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, forgetting even my point about precedent and propaganda, and the west is probably paying a lot more attention to his earlier expansions, and/or the lack of distraction (and ~ justification) might mean he doesn’t even try back then. 

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11 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

The United Kingdom et al take your point.

The UK isn't a nation.

7 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

the west is probably paying a lot more attention to his earlier expansions, and/or the lack of distraction (and ~ justification) might mean he doesn’t even try back then.

That's certainly giving him the benefit of the doubt (to a huge level).  You only have to look at the activity in the 90s to suggest that Russia wasn't benign.

Edited by Padraig
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9 minutes ago, Padraig said:

The UK isn't a nation.

That's certainly giving him the benefit of the doubt (to a huge level).  You only have to look at the activity in the 90s to suggest that Russia wasn't benign.

I’m not giving him any benefit of the doubt, nor do I think he is by any stretch of the imagination benign. I am saying that if the western world wasn’t already overcommitted militarily, he might have chosen to keep his powder dry at least until it was, and instead concentrated more on his black bag approach. 
 

edit: and, if not, maybe Chechnya becomes the fault line, or w/e.

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

I’m not giving him any benefit of the doubt, nor do I think he is by any stretch of the imagination benign. I am saying that if the western world wasn’t already overcommitted militarily, he might have chosen to keep his powder dry at least until it was, and instead concentrated more on his black bag approach. 
 

edit: and, if not, maybe Chechnya becomes the fault line, or w/e.

He’s worked to put friendly administratons in the US and the UK.  He would have been doing that with or without the Iraq War.  This was the Russian dictator’s intention from the time he took power to attempt to re-establish the Russian Empire to its largest extent.  He was pissed NATO gummed up his works.

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I don't think the offensive in Kherson has let up. Apparently there was a very strong attack on Davydiv Brid the day before yesterday which did gain some additional territory around the town. The Ukrainians do seem to have suffered casualties on this front, but they've also not really mounted a full-scale, all-out assault yet. They've been trying to dislodge the Russians instead by cutting their supply lines and that does not seem to have worked anything near as fast as they've hoped. They have, however, inflicted heavy casualties on the Russians and kept them pinned and unable to reinforce the Kharkiv front, where progress is still being made (if much less spectacularly than a few weeks ago). 

In particular, you can see the desperation of the Russians because they have moved forward with aerial attacks in both Kherson and Kharkiv and have promptly started losing jets to MANPADS and traditional air defences, multiple Su-34s in the last few days. They also seem to be showing signs of maintenance issues, several aircraft lost to what appear to be mechanical issues.

According to one source, 261,000 people have left Russia since Putin announced mobilisation on Wednesday.

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There is no reliable public source information on Ukrainian casualties in Kherson, or really much of anywhere else.  So while it's possible they've taken serious casualties there, that is basically just speculation.  

Its possible the offensive in Kherson is running out of steam.  It's possible it's ahead of schedule and the Russians collapse this week.  There really isn't good information to say.  We'll just have to wait and see 

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2 hours ago, 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.

Where are you getting this from, what source, other than your own mind?

That some people, when cornered by real arguments against their position, take last refuge in "what about that other thing" does not mean they believe it. It means they just wish to escape the real argument. And it is relatively effective because enough useful fools fall for it. 

Not sure how many people in Russia might be resorting to it now as they are receiving more pushback (who cares, as it is a distraction rather than a real position), but after Crimea, etc. you would openly hear that it is either their right or that they personally have nothing to do with any wars and can you just not ask about it. Nobody ever brought up Iraq.

As to Putin's ability to wage the war depending on the people who you think feel slighted by Iraq war, it is non-existent. Firstly of course, because the whole power structure there is so far removed from the people's opinions. Secondly, because those opinions are curated for the people and even the propoganda did not focus on Iraq. Thirdly, a lot of the people seem to be fine with any kind of thing no matter why it is done as long as it does not touch them directly. For example, I do remember still how the first argument I heard directly from someone living in Russia against the occupation of parts of Ukraine when it started was really the monetary cost of it and "the bother" of it. And it was from those with full access to information from outside the country.

1 hour 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.

I am curious, how many such converastions are you having? And if you are really having any, how genuinely do you think Iraq comes up? How do you respond to it?

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

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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49 minutes ago, a free shadow said:

Where are you getting this from, what source, other than your own mind?

That some people, when cornered by real arguments against their position, take last refuge in "what about that other thing" does not mean they believe it. It means they just wish to escape the real argument. And it is relatively effective because enough useful fools fall for it. 

Not sure how many people in Russia might be resorting to it now as they are receiving more pushback (who cares, as it is a distraction rather than a real position), but after Crimea, etc. you would openly hear that it is either their right or that they personally have nothing to do with any wars and can you just not ask about it. Nobody ever brought up Iraq.

As to Putin's ability to wage the war depending on the people who you think feel slighted by Iraq war, it is non-existent. Firstly of course, because the whole power structure there is so far removed from the people's opinions. Secondly, because those opinions are curated for the people and even the propoganda did not focus on Iraq. Thirdly, a lot of the people seem to be fine with any kind of thing no matter why it is done as long as it does not touch them directly. For example, I do remember still how the first argument I heard directly from someone living in Russia against the occupation of parts of Ukraine when it started was really the monetary cost of it and "the bother" of it. And it was from those with full access to information from outside the country.

I am curious, how many such converastions are you having? And if you are really having any, how genuinely do you think Iraq comes up? How do you respond to it?

^^


https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/09/07/my-country-right-or-wrong-russian-public-opinion-on-ukraine-pub-87803

Only a very small percentage of respondents were prepared to blame the Russian side. Most focus group respondents, especially among the older generation, had no doubt that the West, led by the United States, had long been trying to bring Russia to its knees and surround it with military bases. Some said: “I don’t want there to be a war, but it can’t be avoided because the United States has come right up to Russia.” “The world has forgotten that in recent years, the United States has bombed more than twenty countries: for some reason it’s Russia that’s the bad guy and the aggressor.” “America does what it likes regardless of what others think; it drops bombs wherever it likes.” And, “A fight was inevitable. They planned to send Ukrainian troops, with massive support from NATO countries, into the territory of the DNR and LNR [Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics] and possibly, in [the] future, even into Russian territory.”

Normally I’d add more commentary, but 1) watching Niners 2) you continue to post like an ass…istant I used to dislike, for no particular reason that I know of. 

Edited by James Arryn
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The idea that the US has gone galloping around the world like a bull in a China shop while Russia has sat innocent as a lamb until the whole west piled on it hyprocritically for doing the same thing America has done is bullshit and you shouldn't let Russians bait you into believing it.

During the past 30 years Russia has brutally conquered Chechnya, had troops deployed in Georgia and Moldova against those countries wishes, has troops deployed in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Fought a war with Gerogia, intervened and merrily bombed Syria, and annexed Crimea. That last one being the Cherry on top. To do something like that hugely violates international norms and yet the Western world was willing to close their eyes to it using only some toothless sanctions. Until Russia started another war of conquest.

The war in Ukraine is not the equivalent to the Iraq war fullstop. The US equivalent to the Ukraine war would be something like the US invading Canada or Mexico to annex random parts of it. Something so insane that it seems cartoonish to bring it up but yet that is what Russia is doing. 

Edited by Darzin
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2 hours ago, James Arryn said:

Carnegie

The fact that there is not much will in Russia to blame Russia is of course true. The fact that many people are quoting still-operating media supported narrative against "the West" is also true. But in terms of the quote you chose about "more than 20 countries US has bombed", experience suggests that even the person who said that would not really be able make a list of these countries, as what they are doing is simply re-transmitting the broader message of opressed Russia chosen and broadcasted for them, against all evidence.

Even your chosen source states: "These people tend not to question news reports or narratives that are the bread and butter of Russian state media coverage of the war."

So, what you are favorably engaging with is the narrative and excuses chosen by Russian power structures for Russian benefit, which always had little regard and gave little weight for the truth. Not grassroots movement by the people to get justice for "more than 20 countries US has bombed", let alone war in Iraq.

If you believe that the powers that chose that message would not have been able to come up with other (real or invented) justification for it if not the war in Iraq, then you must be unfamiliar with the reality, especially of the recent decade in Russia.

Edited by a free shadow
politness, etc.
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44 minutes ago, Darzin said:

The war in Ukraine is not the equivalent to the Iraq war fullstop. The US equivalent to the Ukraine war would be something like the US invading Canada or Mexico to annex random parts of it. Something so insane that it seems cartoonish to bring it up but yet that is what Russia is doing. 

Darzin -- why highlight the US invasions of Mexico and Canada as examples? Unless you were using them obliquely to demonstrate US aggressiveness ... the US actually invaded both locations with the intent to annex / conquer.

I don't disagree with US imperialism (it's a necessary burden, for the sake of the world; and more importantly, for the sake of my wallet); but, US policy is more like a herd of elephants rather then a bull in a china shop (incidentally, we also supported European imperialists in defeating the Chinese Boxers).

***

This is America; and this is America.

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