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How should west respond to potential (likely) Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Jayjay

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In WWII firebombing by the Brits and Americans was a choice.

When Hitler switched to terror bombing to try and break the Brits including fire bombing 'Bomber' Harris head of the RAF wnated torespnd in kind. Initially Churchill opposed it but eventually acquiesced.

We fire bombed Japon and from the post war reports of Japanese survivors it was far more horrific than the nuclear bombs. Japm dosytibuted war production in population venters made of flimsy wodden structires.

Post war Gneral LeMay who orchested the bombing campaign said if the war had gone the oter way he woud have been chared with war crimes.

The Ame cans experimented wit ways to start fires. One involed attaching incendiaries to bats. Drop the bats and the assumption was they would roost in buildings.

You could say we responded in kind. The Japanese floated fore bombs on balloons designed to start forest fires in the continental USA.

The difference I would say is n Ukraine there is no military value to the destruction. It is about terror and genocide and vengeance. Analogous to Hitler's resorting V1 and V2 rockets when oter tctics failed to provide results. His 'Vengence' weapons.
I don't think Putin wants to kill Ukrainians in an act of genocide. Slavs be slavs. Hence why Putin has sold the "Nazi" angle, because Russians don't want to kill Slavs.
I agree. Genocide has been diluted in meaning these days. What Putin wants is to annex more land to Russia, and rest of Ukraine to be his client state (though he may have given up partially on that). Bombing civilians is his way to force Ukraine to accept those terms, not a goal in itself.

A more accurate term might be ethnic cleansing, that is to force Ukrainian-speaking people move out of the areas that he will annex, which is what happened with Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk after 2014. Putin doesn't literally want or need to kill the people like Hitler did, or put them in re-education camps like China is doing with Uyghurs in Xinjiang province. It's just that he doesn't care about violence to civilians to achieve his goals.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Putin is a psychpath. Remember when Chechen rebels took over a Moscow movie theater full of viewers they used as hostages? Instead of negotiating, Putin just gassed everyone in the building, killing them all.
And he would not have done that if he knew they could respond with enough military strength to annihilate him, his cities , his military and his country.
 

steve_bank

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Genocide does not take Putin to explicitly call it genocide. It is the intent. Putin said explicitly Ukraine does not have a right to exist.

Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for genocide.


The word “genocide” was first coined by Polish lawyer Raphäel Lemkin in 1944 in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. It consists of the Greek prefix genos, meaning race or tribe, and the Latin suffix cide, meaning killing. Lemkin developed the term partly in response to the Nazi policies of systematic murder of Jewish people during the Holocaust, but also in response to previous instances in history of targeted actions aimed at the destruction of particular groups of people. Later on, Raphäel Lemkin led the campaign to have genocide recognised and codified as an international crime.

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide



Article II

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

Killing members of the group;
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in par Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
 
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Jayjay

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Genocide does not take Putin to explicitly call it genocide. It is the intent. Putin said explicitly Ukraine does not have a right to exist.

Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for genocide.
In Putin's world view, most countries don't have a right to exist. In his mind, there are only a few sovereign nations in the world: Russia (of course), USA, China, India, and maybe a few others. All others are subservient to them. It might seem odd to us, but he probably doesn't think Germany or France or any other country in Europe are real nations either, just extensions of United States.

I wouldn't throw around the word "genocide" lightly, because that's what Putin does. In his crazy speech last wednesday he justified the war with prevention of "genocide" against Russians living in Ukraine. There is no reason to drop down to his level. Indiscriminate killing of civilians and war crimes are bad enough on their own that they don't need to be embellished as a genocide.
 

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Putin is a psychpath. Remember when Chechen rebels took over a Moscow movie theater full of viewers they used as hostages? Instead of negotiating, Putin just gassed everyone in the building, killing them all.

No. They used an anesthetic gas. The idea was to knock everyone out, not kill them.

The result was a lesson in why you have anesthesiologists and careful control of the administration of the anesthetic. It didn't help that they weren't careful in extracting people from the theater, it's suspected that some of the dead were from poor handling rather than the gas.
 

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The Recount on Twitter: "Rep. @Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks out against “broad-based” sanctions:

“This war, our sanctions could lead to famine in places like Sudan, which imports half of its wheat from Russia. The Russian people did not chose this war, and the Sudanese people certainly did not.” (vid link)" / Twitter


H.R.6968 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Suspending Energy Imports from Russia Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
with vote
Roll Call 70 | Bill Number: H. R. 6968
D: Y 220, N 2
R: Y 194, N 15, nv 2
Ttl: Y 414, N 17, nv 2

The only Democrats to vote against this bill were Ilhan Omar and Cori Bush, because they don't like sanctions that would cause trouble for ordinary Russians.

The Republicans included MTG, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, Madison Cawthorn, and Andy Biggs.

H.R.7108 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
with vote
Roll Call 78 | Bill Number: H. R. 7108
D: Y 222
R: Y 202, N 8, nv 2
Ttl: Y 424, N 8, nv 1

The Republicans included MTG, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, and Andy Biggs.

Yet again, I marvel at right-wingers' Russia-loving.
 

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For Russians against Ukraine war, Putin has a cruel warning : NPR
In comments on Wednesday, Putin lashed out at Russians who — the Kremlin leader argued — were "mentally" aligned with the West amid the Ukraine crisis. Putin said their true aim is to work with "the collective West" to destroy Russia from within.

"The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths," Putin said.

"I am convinced that such a natural and necessary cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to respond to any challenges," he said in remarks that more broadly addressed Russia's efforts to counteract Western sanctions.
He also alluded to the oligarchs who have opposed his war.
Two of the wealthiest Russians have spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine: billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Mikhail Fridman, both of whom keep residences in London.

Indeed, disloyalty — rather than wealth — was very much on Putin's mind in his "cleansing" speech on Wednesday.

"I do not in the least condemn those who have villas in Miami or the French Riviera, who cannot make do without foie gras, oysters or gender freedom, as they call it," said the Russian leader.

"The problem, again, is that many of these people are, essentially, over there in their minds and not here with our people and with Russia."

The speech:
Совещание о мерах социально-экономической поддержки регионов • Президент России - in Russian, of course
Soveshchaniye o merakh sotsial'no-ekonomicheskoy podderzhki regionov • Prezident Rossii
Meeting on measures of social and economic support for the regions • President of Russia
 

steve_bank

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An amoral dictator like Putin knows and exploits the underlying empathy of the west. We really don't want war in Europe and consideration is given to side effects.

The question is one of those so called moral conundrums. Do we allow Putin free rein in Ukraine because it may cause famine someplace?

IMO if WWII was fought like we do today putting everything under a high power moral microscope, we today would likely be goosestepping and saluting pictures of Hitler.

When the breakout from Normandy stalled, Eisenhower ordered the carpet bombing of a path through the French countryside. Indiscriminate.

In the news the question of Russia using low yield, tactical, nukes if Putin is up against a wall. What do we do then? Does Europe capitulate out of fear? There are unforseen moral consequences to not being aggressive.
 

Jayjay

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An amoral dictator like Putin knows and exploits the underlying empathy of the west. We really don't want war in Europe and consideration is given to side effects.

The question is one of those so called moral conundrums. Do we allow Putin free rein in Ukraine because it may cause famine someplace?

IMO if WWII was fought like we do today putting everything under a high power moral microscope, we today would likely be goosestepping and saluting pictures of Hitler.

When the breakout from Normandy stalled, Eisenhower ordered the carpet bombing of a path through the French countryside. Indiscriminate.

In the news the question of Russia using low yield, tactical, nukes if Putin is up against a wall. What do we do then? Does Europe capitulate out of fear? There are unforseen moral consequences to not being aggressive.
My guess? Probably at that point, NATO would change its position on enforcing a no-fly zone. And after that, every missile fired by Russia would be assumed to be nuclear, and the response would match that: an immediate (conventional) counter-strike against whatever base or ship fired it.

China and India, nuclear states themselves, at odds with other nuclear states, might not want to see a world where a country can just nuke another country a little bit and get away with it. Right now they're kind of looking the other way and still open to business with Russia as long as it doesn't harm them via secondary sanctions... but a nuclear gambit by Russia could make them join the Europe and US in shutting Russia out.
 

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Harry Bosch

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I really think that there needs to be increased pressure on Russia to stop the war every single day. Some officials are considering using sanctioned Russian assets for Ukranian relief. I'd start this process ASAP:


I'd start with the Russian yachts. My wife would tell you that the biggest con that I ever pulled on her was convincing her that buying a 28 foot sailboat would be an investment! Boats are incredibly expensive to maintain. The yachts need to be sold the highest bidder so that we don't have to pay for their upkeep. Then send the money to Ukraine.
 

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For Russians against Ukraine war, Putin has a cruel warning : NPR
In comments on Wednesday, Putin lashed out at Russians who — the Kremlin leader argued — were "mentally" aligned with the West amid the Ukraine crisis. Putin said their true aim is to work with "the collective West" to destroy Russia from within.

"The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths," Putin said.

"I am convinced that such a natural and necessary cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to respond to any challenges," he said in remarks that more broadly addressed Russia's efforts to counteract Western sanctions.
He also alluded to the oligarchs who have opposed his war.
Two of the wealthiest Russians have spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine: billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Mikhail Fridman, both of whom keep residences in London.

Indeed, disloyalty — rather than wealth — was very much on Putin's mind in his "cleansing" speech on Wednesday.

"I do not in the least condemn those who have villas in Miami or the French Riviera, who cannot make do without foie gras, oysters or gender freedom, as they call it," said the Russian leader.

"The problem, again, is that many of these people are, essentially, over there in their minds and not here with our people and with Russia."

The speech:
Совещание о мерах социально-экономической поддержки регионов • Президент России - in Russian, of course
Soveshchaniye o merakh sotsial'no-ekonomicheskoy podderzhki regionov • Prezident Rossii
Meeting on measures of social and economic support for the regions • President of Russia

Yup, this confirms it. It's all about Father Putin and fuck Mother Russia.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I really think that there needs to be increased pressure on Russia to stop the war every single day. Some officials are considering using sanctioned Russian assets for Ukrainian relief. I'd start this process ASAP
Absolutely. Putin is not getting the message because he will never get the message. He is drunk on power. Does it not remind us all of Hitler?
 
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Elixir

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My wife would tell you that the biggest con that I ever pulled on her was convincing her that buying a 28 foot sailboat would be an investment!
How old were you when you did that?
I got lucky...
First. my father (who died when I was 9) had a 50-something foot ketch that he went treasure hunting in, never found enough to pay for gas (which, since it is a sailboat, was minimal) but always needed help - even the help of toddler offspring - to clean and re-finish its wood.

Second, my mom hooked up with a lawyer when I was 13, and he had a 24' sailboat I was allowed to "live" on for a summer, on the condition that I (and my little brother - useless) took care of it.

That shoulda learnt me, but no.... ten years later found me babysitting a friend's 40-something foot Fellows and Stewart sloop that was all mahogany and teak and was both beautiful and a terrible PITA.

That pretty much cured me. Down to a kayak and a canoe now. My older brother has a flats fishing boat, and even that is too much trouble. You go out and catch redfish or tarpon or whatever for 4-6 hours, then spend another 3-4 hours giving it a freshwater bath, rigging the hoist, checking all the compartments and hauling stuff up and down the dock...

I'm sure your wife now knows about those holes in the ocean.
 

steve_bank

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An amoral dictator like Putin knows and exploits the underlying empathy of the west. We really don't want war in Europe and consideration is given to side effects.

The question is one of those so called moral conundrums. Do we allow Putin free rein in Ukraine because it may cause famine someplace?

IMO if WWII was fought like we do today putting everything under a high power moral microscope, we today would likely be goosestepping and saluting pictures of Hitler.

When the breakout from Normandy stalled, Eisenhower ordered the carpet bombing of a path through the French countryside. Indiscriminate.

In the news the question of Russia using low yield, tactical, nukes if Putin is up against a wall. What do we do then? Does Europe capitulate out of fear? There are unforseen moral consequences to not being aggressive.
My guess? Probably at that point, NATO would change its position on enforcing a no-fly zone. And after that, every missile fired by Russia would be assumed to be nuclear, and the response would match that: an immediate (conventional) counter-strike against whatever base or ship fired it.

China and India, nuclear states themselves, at odds with other nuclear states, might not want to see a world where a country can just nuke another country a little bit and get away with it. Right now they're kind of looking the other way and still open to business with Russia as long as it doesn't harm them via secondary sanctions... but a nuclear gambit by Russia could make them join the Europe and US in shutting Russia out.
China and India have been shooting at each other over China's seizing a border area. China ca not overtly condemn Russia while it is doing the same. China is well aware of international images. It cares how it is perceived by the world, unlike Putin.


There is also the long running dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. In the past they would periodically shoot at each oter.

 

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^^^ Please don't start another derail the mods will have to clean up. Thanks.
 

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Well, it's not The Clash but the sentiment is cool. There's a link under the video on YT to donate.
 

lpetrich

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Kyiv Independent Twitter said:
Mariupol council: Russian occupiers forcibly move thousands of Mariupol residents to Russia.

The civilians were allegedly taken to camps where Russians checked their phones and documents and then forcibly moved some of them to remote cities in Russia.
What will they call the prison camps that they are using?

Here's a good name: Main Administration of the Camps.

Or in Russian, Гла́вное управле́ние лагере́й, Glávnoje upravlénije lageréj. With acronym G-U-Lag.
 

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Ukraine objected against the Mongols.

Ukraine objected against the Polish. When the Polish came to enforce Catholicism, they said, "No, thank you."

They objected against Napoleon, for they were not really interested in becoming citoyens.

They never really appreciated serfdom. This would become an important topic later.

They objected against the Ottomans.

They were not motivated to give a fuck what happened to the Romanovs.

They never liked the Bolsheviks, either

They objected against the Nazis.

They objected against Stalin, and by the way, they noticed how they bore the brunt of the Holodomor.

If I were Ukraine, I would not want to be ruled by the Russians, either.
 

steve_bank

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To get a sense of the scale of a potential NATO confkict I looked at disances.

Kiev to:

Berlin and Brussels aprox 1000 miles, NYC to Miami.
Moscow 500 miles aprox.

You can see where Putin gets paranoid over NATO on his Ukrainian border, although the idea of NATO invading Russia is somewhat ridiculous. Why would a prosperous EU want to upset their economies.

Berlin is not all that far from Ukraine. Easily within the range of missiles.

I am thinking of Churchill's While England Slept. Today it is While The EU Slept. They all new the danger Russia presents and the risk of their energy dependence on a hostile country. They new Russia has been trying to destabilize EU politics for decades.

I expect Poland began loosing a lot of sleep when Russia started massing troops.
 

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Russia sealed their fate regarding Ukraine joining with NATO when they invaded Crimea. If they had not done that, then they would have had more diplomatic leverage, and they could have talked Ukraine around to seeing the alliance as an antediluvian relic of the Iron Curtain.

Instead, Russia effectively rebuilt the Iron Curtain around themselves, and it is only worse now than it was.

Of course, we are talking about the same government that once subjected the people of Ukraine to corvée labor.
 

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To get a sense of the scale of a potential NATO confkict I looked at disances.

Kiev to:

Berlin and Brussels aprox 1000 miles, NYC to Miami.
Moscow 500 miles aprox.

You can see where Putin gets paranoid over NATO on his Ukrainian border, although the idea of NATO invading Russia is somewhat ridiculous. Why would a prosperous EU want to upset their economies.

Berlin is not all that far from Ukraine. Easily within the range of missiles.

I am thinking of Churchill's While England Slept. Today it is While The EU Slept. They all new the danger Russia presents and the risk of their energy dependence on a hostile country. They new Russia has been trying to destabilize EU politics for decades.

I expect Poland began loosing a lot of sleep when Russia started massing troops.
Well, how do you feel the countries that directly share a border feel about Russia now? They are watching Russia attack a smaller neighbor for no reason. They are watching Russia systematically destroy a country. Russia has created an incredible number of enemies that will make its future adventures much much more difficult. Russia has created a couple generations of people that will hate it. That is Putin's doing, not NATO.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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To get a sense of the scale of a potential NATO confkict I looked at disances.

Kiev to:

Berlin and Brussels aprox 1000 miles, NYC to Miami.
Moscow 500 miles aprox.

You can see where Putin gets paranoid over NATO on his Ukrainian border, although the idea of NATO invading Russia is somewhat ridiculous. Why would a prosperous EU want to upset their economies.

Berlin is not all that far from Ukraine. Easily within the range of missiles.

I am thinking of Churchill's While England Slept. Today it is While The EU Slept. They all new the danger Russia presents and the risk of their energy dependence on a hostile country. They new Russia has been trying to destabilize EU politics for decades.

I expect Poland began loosing a lot of sleep when Russia started massing troops.
Well, how do you feel the countries that directly share a border feel about Russia now? They are watching Russia attack a smaller neighbor for no reason. They are watching Russia systematically destroy a country. Russia has created an incredible number of enemies that will make its future adventures much much more difficult. Russia has created a couple generations of people that will hate it. That is Putin's doing, not NATO.
Stop saying Russia, start saying Putin. I don't think "Russia" is paranoid for a moment. Putin and the gangster state of Putinstan is certainly paranoid about the spread of democracy and how it will upset the ability to rule by terror and to steal by force. If I were a mob boss that ruled by terror I would want the law to be as far from my doorstep as I could keep it.

Putin the Pig's alleged fear of NATO for the good of "Russia" must certainly be his greatest propaganda victory. The fact that so many in the west swallow and parrot this crap says a lot about how credulous and gullible we are.
 

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Oh, and did everyone know that Peter III's supposed abolition of slavery was a scam? He just renamed them "serfs," and he proceeded to expand it. Oh, excuse me, it was no longer legal for landowners to outright murder their serfs, so serfdom was really a warm and wholesome institution.

He was the scum that first started the military escalation against the Circassians. The Circassians were saying, "We don't like Islam, either, but we will take it over serfdom if we are being asked to choose, thank you." Murad was offering the Circassians what they really wanted, which was a semblance of independence.

To the people we call the Ukrainians, Peter III was really the Richard Cranium that turned around and, with a great big smile, attempted to stab Ivan Mazepa in the back after Ivan Mazepa's loyal service to his government. This was entirely because Ivan Mazepa's leadership was adequately competent that the Cossack Hetmantate had a non-zero chance of being able to stand on its own. That was the real reason why Ivan Mazepa threw his lot in with Charles XII of Sweden, but it made the bastards in Moscow so mad that were not allowed to complete their treachery against him that the Russian Orthodox Church still has not revoked their anathema against him, all the more reason to like Ivan Mazepa.

Of course, that was not enough for the Russians. Their foul treatment of the Cossacks only got worse under Sophie, excuse me, Catherine "the Great" II. What hum. In general, I prefer to give female rulers the benefit of the doubt, but it is very hard to have such forbearance from the standpoint of someone that lived in what is now Ukraine at the time. She destroyed the Hetmantate, and she attempted to enforce serfdom upon the Cossacks using that tried and true system of setting them at odds with their own upper-class: she was happy to dispense titles of nobility to a handful of serving officers as long as they agreed that their fellow Cossacks were no longer human beings but, instead, lowly serfs that deserved to be violently bludgeoned anytime they would not work like donkeys, regardless of whether or not they were starving. That is what the system of serfdom is really about, after all. It's not the product of their labors, but it is about setting people against each other so as to lead a nation of people to hate each other more than their true oppressor.

Of course, Sophie's, excuse me, Catherine "the Great" II's, successors continued their escalations against the Circassians, and I suppose that their entire idea of how this was going to work was going to be the Circassians saying, "Oh, thank you for bullying us, you lovely, lovely tyrants! Let us come and lick your boots, and we will be your good, little serfs from now on!" What actually happened was that the Circassians were defecting over to the Ottomans in droves. It never actually occurred to any of the Tsars that they could have kept the Circassians as their friends by the simple system of TREATING THEM LIKE HUMAN BEINGS.

By the way, a certain unprintably two-faced piece of scum, Paul I, got his just desserts from the self-same nobility that his regime had raised to power in order to subjugate and batter their people, and that only shows what folly it is to trust a hyena for any reason whatsoever.

However, the conflict witht he Circassians did not really have to turn into the genocide until after the 1810's. I will tell you what put the Tsars on course to become a genocidal monster doomed for a reckoning: it was a certain shifty Byzantine named Alexander I. He gets all kinds of credit for helping defeat Bonaparte, but nobody talks about how he did it (maybe because the Russians are ashamed of it?). No, I am not talking about how he razed Moscow, although, which shows exactly how much regard the Russians really have for architecture that does not belong to their nobility, although that was bad enough. Instead, I am talking about how he was really glad to call himself a Jacobin and work for Napoleon as long as it looked like Napoleon Bonaparte was certain to win. Alexander I was not really siding with Bonaparte out of principle, but he was betting on which side he expected to be the winner. He did not turn against Bonaparte until he recognized that Bonaparte's empire was built on a house-of-cards and lies upon lies. No, Alexander did not do the dirty work of exterminating the Circassians, but he made the course toward that genocide irreversible. And so he doomed his dynasty to extinction.

Anybody in the region with any real sense hated the Tsars, all of them, and when the Black Flag Army marched against them, the Cossacks did not really care very much at all about communism. They only wanted to make sure that not even one Romanov was left alive. Fuck the Romanovs, and I mean fuck all of the Romanovs.

However, the USSR was no more really "communist" than Peter was a "great emancipator" or that shifty Byzantine Alexander was a Jacobin. The system of serfdom did its work too well, and no matter what the government in Moscow calls itself for the sake of convenience, the vipers that control it are descended from unprincipled trash that were willing to help beat the spirit out of their own people for a plot of land and a title, and changing their pretensions will not change what they are. Fuck them, and may Moscow be razed to the ground and, this thime, buried. No good can come of that city. The only possible redemption for them is to acknowledge they were built upon treachery and lies and commit to change.

All that "Cossack" means is a person that wants to live free, and Frith knows nobody has labored more diligently against longer odds for the right to be free. Glory to Ukraine.
 
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56 people were killed when Russian forces opened fire at a nursing home in Kreminna, a town in Luhansk Oblast, on March 11, according to Serhiy Hayday, local governor. Russians have moved 15 survivors to a facility on the occupied territory. A week later, it’s still impossible to reach the site of the attack, he added.
 

ZiprHead

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We're getting more reports about rationing of some staple foods in Russia. There has been particular demand for sugar.

In the far eastern Maritime Region, supermarkets have imposed limits of 2kg per customer for sugar, flour, rice, buckwheat, salt and macaroni; 2L of vegetable oil and three jars of baby food. The rationing was reported by Russia’s business daily Kommersant.

In Khabarovsk, a city in that region, there has been panic-buying of sugar, and it has disappeared from many supermarket shelves, a local news agency reports.

However, deputy industry and trade minister Viktor Yevtukhov insists “there is no problem with sugar”, as Russia produces enough for itself and has banned sugar exports.

The St Petersburg supermarket chain Vkuster told Kommersant that it was also limiting sugar sales to 2kg per customer. “When one customer fills a whole basket with bags of sugar, others look at him and think about stockpiling too,” said Vkuster director Sergei Plis.

Last week the national statistics service Rosstat said sugar prices had jumped nearly 13%.
 

SLD

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An inside look at how Putin operates and officials reactions of the decision to go to war.


they’re already calling their invasion a clusterfuck. It is. The bank head is in mourning because everything he built has just come crashing down. Putin never really told anyone what he planned on doing. Like me, everyone on the inside thought he would stop at just the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk. But they were all surprised that he would go on to bomb Kiev. Now they are trying to keep their heads down and survive like they were under Stalin.

This really questions Russia’s staying power in this war. It will take months of losses and significant reinforcements to capture any of these cities and with so many insiders against it, can they really sustain it for that long? Something has to give. Either Putin institutes martial law in Russia and they all bend to his will, mobilizing their entire forces for a victory (even that is not assured though) or there is such rising dissatisfaction that eventually somebody deep in the Kremlin takes action like a Stauffenberg wanna be. In the meantime, tens of thousands of Ukrainians will die.
 

Jayjay

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Ukraine may not win the war, but they will win the Eurovison Song Contest for sure.
 
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SigmatheZeta

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@Jayjay By "win," we need more clear definition.

At this point, I do not believe that anybody, even anybody with sense in the Russian government, believes that Russia is going to march confidently into Kyiv, rename it "Kiev," and install an obedient jumping jack with a rigged vote. Only a lunatic still thinks that's going to happen.

However, the government of Ukraine has not managed to take back Crimea after several years. I do not know enough about the situation in either Donetsk or Donbas to say for sure what their future is.

I am reasonably hopeful that Ukraine will be able to take back Kherson and Melipotol with adequate international support.

Hell will freeze over solid before Russia holds Mariupol. If Putin is mentally handicapped enough to think he can hold that hornet's nest, then he is more daffy than I originally thought. Mariupol's babunyas are more vicious than his most murderous general. Those people are crazy.

Whether or not Ukraine can succeed at holding all of their territory and throwing off Russia's unlawful occupation of Crimea, which I am not certain they cannot, I believe that Ukraine will ultimately come out of this situation better than Russia.

After all, Ukraine has never had more moral credibility in the international community. Furthermore, they have kindled that rare but magical political alchemy between progressive liberalism and national pride, which almost guarantees a vigorous progressive government for at least a couple of generations. Culturally, intellectually, and economically, Ukraine would still thrive even if they lost substantially more territory than they are conceivably likely to lose, at this point in the war. Furthermore, as hard as it makes me sound if I seem to treat human life as if it were fungible, which I assure you I really do not, Ukraine is nevertheless likely to have a population boom in the wake of the war, so their population is likely to be increased within a generation, rather than decreased.

Russia, on the other hand, could only get all of the sanctions against them removed and restore their image in the eyes of the world if they handed Putin over trussed-up like a chicken on a silver platter and said "Hang the bastard, for we are tired of him, now." As long as Putin remains in power in Moscow, he will be a political liability to that country. The Russian government has most likely caused irreversible damage to their international relations, and I honestly doubt they can realistically recover short of the European Enlightenment finally reaching Russia, centuries late. Furthermore, they have proved to Europe what folly it is to let themselves into a position where they need to depend upon Russian fossil fuels, and politicians in Europe that call for the further development of solar and wind energy and other efforts at achieving energy independence are likely to be profoundly popular throughout their polity: this is ultimately going to cost Russia more, in the long-run, than they could have possibly imagined. Finally, western Europe has not been this politically unified in centuries.

Even if Russia were to succeed at clinging to a few ill-gotten postage-stamps of territory, to call this a real triumph for their country would be delusional. The only way that Russia could even hold that territory would be if they gave up before Ukraine finished butchering their army. If it never occurs to them to retreat, then they will even lose Crimea. Ukraine has become a death-trap for their army, and retreating to soil that they have a chance of being able to hold is their only hope for gaining anything at all by this fool's errand.
 

lpetrich

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Opinion | In Ukraine, It’s Putin’s Plan B vs. Biden’s and Zelensky’s Plan A - The New York Times by Thomas Friedman

He speculates on Pres. Putin's possible plans.
After a confusing month, it is now clear what strategies are playing out in Ukraine: We’re watching Vladimir Putin’s plan B versus Joe Biden’s and Volodymyr Zelensky’s plans A. Let us hope that Biden and Zelensky triumph, because Putin’s potential plan C is really scary — and I don’t even want to write what I fear would be his plan D.

I have no secret source in the Kremlin on this, only the experience of having watched Putin operate in the Middle East over many years. As such, it seems obvious to me that Putin, having realized that his plan A has failed — his expectation that the Russian Army would march into Ukraine, decapitate its “Nazi” leadership and then just wait as the whole country fell peacefully into Russia’s arms — has shifted to his plan B.

Plan B is that the Russian Army deliberately fires upon Ukrainian civilians, apartment blocks, hospitals, businesses and even bomb shelters — all of which has happened in the past few weeks — for the purpose of encouraging Ukrainians to flee their homes, creating a massive refugee crisis inside Ukraine and, even more important, a massive refugee crisis inside nearby NATO nations.
So far, Ukrainian refugees are being accepted much better than Syrian ones, and Eastern European NATO countries have united against this attack.

So Putin won't get an easy victory, and it looks like he will be joining the General Pyrrhus Fan Club.
I say “maybe” because Putin may feel he cannot tolerate any kind of draw or dirty compromise. He may feel that anything other than a total victory is a humiliation that would undermine his authoritarian grip on power. In that case, he could opt for a plan C — which, I am guessing, would involve air or rocket attacks on Ukrainian military supply lines across the border in Poland.
But Poland is a NATO member, and Putin might not want to pick a fight with that alliance.
If Putin’s plans A, B and C all fail, though, I fear that he would be a cornered animal and he could opt for plan D — launching either chemical weapons or the first nuclear bomb since Nagasaki. That is a hard sentence to write, and an even worse one to contemplate. But to ignore it as a possibility would be naïve in the extreme.
 

Harry Bosch

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A NATO intelligence officer has offered his analysis of how the war is trending:

NATO official sees Russia-Ukraine war entering a stalemate: ‘Neither side here can win’


It appears that Russia now wants to bring involve Belarus by using its army and stationing nuclear weapons inside of Belarus.
Yes, it looks like a stalemate. A terrible one for the civilians. But of course, stalemate means that the Ukranians are home. The invaders are not. I really think that the west must continue to send supplies and weapons to Ukraine. And we need to continue increasing the sanctions. We need to bankrupt Russia if we can.
 

blastula

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The denazification appears to be going as planned.

Putin finishes up Hitler's work on Borys Romanchenko.

 
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Swammerdami

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H.R.6968 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Suspending Energy Imports from Russia Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress

The only Democrats to vote against this bill were Ilhan Omar and Cori Bush, because they don't like sanctions that would cause trouble for ordinary Russians.

The Republicans included MTG, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, Madison Cawthorn, and Andy Biggs.
...

Yet again, I marvel at right-wingers' Russia-loving.
I don't know why MTG, Boebert et al voted Nay (perhaps to suck up to Putin who helps QOPAnon steal elections?) but Thomas Piketty, distinguished French Professor of Economics, agrees with Omar and Bush in a recent piece in The Guardian. Broad-based sanctions hurt the Russian people but leave the super-rich friends of Putin unscathed. Piketty writes that a big reason why sanctions are not focused on the super-rich is that the influential super-rich in the West do not want to set a precedent.

Much of the wealth of Putin's super-rich criminal friends is invested in Western Europe and the U.S.A. The Guardian has another article about that. I hope the West is active in seizing those assets to put pressure on Putin and his friends. Might such seizures target "innocent" billionaires or have doubtful legality? Sure. But Putin's bombing of women and children is illegal and also targets innocents. Not only would seizing this criminal wealth hurt Putin where it matters, but it would provide less excuse for him to escalate than military aid does.
 

Harry Bosch

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My wife would tell you that the biggest con that I ever pulled on her was convincing her that buying a 28 foot sailboat would be an investment!
How old were you when you did that?
I got lucky...
First. my father (who died when I was 9) had a 50-something foot ketch that he went treasure hunting in, never found enough to pay for gas (which, since it is a sailboat, was minimal) but always needed help - even the help of toddler offspring - to clean and re-finish its wood.

Second, my mom hooked up with a lawyer when I was 13, and he had a 24' sailboat I was allowed to "live" on for a summer, on the condition that I (and my little brother - useless) took care of it.

That shoulda learnt me, but no.... ten years later found me babysitting a friend's 40-something foot Fellows and Stewart sloop that was all mahogany and teak and was both beautiful and a terrible PITA.

That pretty much cured me. Down to a kayak and a canoe now. My older brother has a flats fishing boat, and even that is too much trouble. You go out and catch redfish or tarpon or whatever for 4-6 hours, then spend another 3-4 hours giving it a freshwater bath, rigging the hoist, checking all the compartments and hauling stuff up and down the dock...

I'm sure your wife now knows about those holes in the ocean.
Yes sail boats, any boat in the ocean, and any boat with a motor are so expensive! They are expensive in terms of time and money. Love kayaks. I just bought a hobie kayak for fishing, check it out:


Very fun. Hope to catch some fish with it this weekend.

Back to the topic: I think that the west needs to after the toys and wealth owned by the Russian fanboys of this war.
 

Elixir

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LOVE that Hobie!
Always wanted to try ocean fishing from a platform like that. A big tarpon could probably drag you for miles.
Let us know how it goes this weekend!!!

Is that a transom mount for a trolling motor?? 😳

/derail
 

thebeave

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I love outdoor water adventures, but you guys can have the ocean. I'll stick with nice calm, beautiful mountain lakes. Worst day of my life (still) was ocean fishing on a charterted boat. Dry heaving none stop from 7:30 am to 3pm. A few years later, I even got a little queezy kayaking off the Monterey coast for a couple of hours. The curious otters were adorable though, so that was worth it. Anyway, what were we talking about? Was it bewbs? Oh yeah, Ukraine...
 

steve_bank

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Damn!!! In the news the Ukrainians have taken back a city.

It is reported Zelensky will agree to not join NATO if Russia withdraws. That is puzzling as Putin obviusly can not be trusted. Putin wants the port city and a stretch of land to connect Crimea to Russia.
 

Jayjay

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Damn!!! In the news the Ukrainians have taken back a city.
Makariv. A small town. According to google, its pop. was less than 10k.

And it seems that this is the second time it's been reported to be taken back from Russia. I guess Ukraine has to find its small victories where it can.

It is reported Zelensky will agree to not join NATO if Russia withdraws. That is puzzling as Putin obviusly can not be trusted. Putin wants the port city and a stretch of land to connect Crimea to Russia.
Actually I think it's smart. Russia claims that there is a plot by US and NATO to bring nuclear weapons to Ukraine and to eventually attack Russia. That's a lie, and by saying that Ukraine is fine with staying out of NATO and not having nukes, Zelensky can expose Putin's war as what it is: a land grab.
 

bilby

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NATO is a mutual defence treaty. Ukraine might benefit from membership (though on current form they don't really need it), but NATO gains little, except a heightened risk of war, by having Ukraine join up.

Far better for all concerned would be for Ukraine to join the EU. The EU may not (yet) have an army, but the consequences of a military attack on an EU member state would certainly be devastating economically to any aggressor. And the peacetime benefits of membership are huge. Ukraine would absolutely boom economically as an EU member state.
 

Jayjay

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NATO is a mutual defence treaty. Ukraine might benefit from membership (though on current form they don't really need it), but NATO gains little, except a heightened risk of war, by having Ukraine join up.

Far better for all concerned would be for Ukraine to join the EU. The EU may not (yet) have an army, but the consequences of a military attack on an EU member state would certainly be devastating economically to any aggressor. And the peacetime benefits of membership are huge. Ukraine would absolutely boom economically as an EU member state.
EU has some internal problems right now and it can't really accommodate new members. But the mere process of applying has some benefits. The key part is to get into a mutual customs and trade union which would be a huge boon to a developing country like Ukraine, just like it was for Poland for example.
 

steve_bank

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Damn!!! In the news the Ukrainians have taken back a city.
Makariv. A small town. According to google, its pop. was less than 10k.

And it seems that this is the second time it's been reported to be taken back from Russia. I guess Ukraine has to find its small victories where it can.

It is reported Zelensky will agree to not join NATO if Russia withdraws. That is puzzling as Putin obviusly can not be trusted. Putin wants the port city and a stretch of land to connect Crimea to Russia.
Actually I think it's smart. Russia claims that there is a plot by US and NATO to bring nuclear weapons to Ukraine and to eventually attack Russia. That's a lie, and by saying that Ukraine is fine with staying out of NATO and not having nukes, Zelensky can expose Putin's war as what it is: a land grab.
Do you think Putin would actually`let it all go and respect Ukrainian boundaries?

I don't think it will unless Russia is defeated.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Do you think Putin would actually`let it all go and respect Ukrainian boundaries?

I don't think it will unless Russia is defeated.
Defeated, disarmed and democratized. The sociopath Russian Pig only wants power so he can steal more and more wealth.
 
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