The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Olympic War Games Past: When Putin and Bush Negotiated War or Peace in Beijing
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

From the New York Times oped page:

For Putin, Disinformation Is Power
By ARKADY OSTROVSKY AUG. 5, 2016

… Today, Mr. Putin presents Russia’s actions as responsive, not aggressive. Every time Russia attacks a former Soviet republic, the confrontation is portrayed as a proxy war started by America against Russia. When Russia attacked Georgia in 2008, the United States was in the midst of a presidential election that the incumbent Republican Party would soon lose, so the war was followed the next year not by tough sanctions against Russia but with a “reset” initiated by the new Democratic president, Barack Obama, and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

Speaking of “disinformation,” the August 7, 2008 Georgian tank invasion of Russia-protected South Ossetia during the Beijing Olympics should have been one of the more instructive events of recent times. But it’s unclear how many Americans ever understood what really happened the night before the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony, and a large fraction of those who did know have now forgotten.

It was reported in the press in roughly four waves:

1. Immediately: Stringers reported that, after long-running cross-border provocations by both sides, Georgian tanks were rolling past the international observers who demarcate the de facto border between Georgia and South Ossetia.

2. The next few days: American media bigfoots reported that Russian tanks had started the war by invading Georgia — I mean, it wouldn’t make any sense, would it, for tiny Georgia to attack giant Russia?

3. The next several months: Careful retrospective analyses in the Western press determined that the full story was quite complex, but when it came to the central question of whose tanks invaded whom, the stringers had been right and the bigfoots wrong.

4. The years since: Opinion journalists forget Stage 3 and go back to assuming the Stage 2 bigfoots were right.

Beijing 2008

I found this interesting interview with Putin in The Guardian of September 11, 2008. I had never heard before that Putin and Bush, who were both spectators at the Beijing Olympics, held an emergency meeting over the war (although it was briefly reported at the time).

Bush failed to halt Georgia war, says Putin
· Russian PM defends use of force to aid South Ossetia
· Britain condemned for hosting exile leaders

Jonathan Steele in Sochi
Thursday 11 September 2008 19.01 EDT

Russia only sent troops and tanks to drive Georgian forces out of South Ossetia after President George Bush failed to put pressure on Georgia’s president to stop his attacks on the breakaway territory, Vladimir Putin said yesterday. The Russian prime minister told a group of western journalists and experts on Russia that he held two meetings with the US leader during the Beijing Olympics as the crisis began to unfold, but received insufficient assurances from him.

“They [Georgian military forces] launched their attacks at 23:30 [on August 7]. I learned about it the following morning. I spoke to Bush. He said ‘No one wants war.’ We expected something would happen,” Putin said, suggesting that he expected the US to rein in its regional ally in Tbilisi.

“I met him again at the stadium. I can’t tell you in detail the content of the conversation, but I had the feeling that his administration wouldn’t do anything about stopping the conflict,” Putin said. Russian tanks were then ordered to move on the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.

It is the first time that Putin has blamed the US for allowing the crisis to erupt. He was polite about Bush, saying he respected his integrity, but he suggested that the president’s advisers had taken the key decisions. “It’s a court which makes a king. Maybe the court thought the king shouldn’t intervene,” he said. …

Despite his tough language over the South Ossetia conflict, Putin refused to issue threats against the west for supporting Georgia. He accused the US of training the Georgian army before its attack on Tskhinvali last month. “They sent instructors who helped to mobilise the Georgian forces. Of course we had to respond.”

The U.S. had sent 1,000 American troops to Georgia on July 15, 2008 to conduct a joint war game, Operation Immediate Response 2008, for a couple of weeks. The U.S. troops went home and the end of July, but the mobilized Georgians went on to invade South Ossetia. (War games are how you disguise mobilizing for war.)

Throughout yesterday’s three-hour meeting, he blamed the west for being stuck in cold war “anti-Russian phobia”, and the American presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, for “playing the Russian card”. This was “only a sign of the candidates’ weakness”, he said.

Making it clear that any expansion of Nato to Georgia or Ukraine would be unwelcome to Moscow, Putin said it was time to create a security architecture for Europe which reflected the new realities in the continent.

In the spring of 2008, the U.S. had tried to get NATO to put Georgia and Ukraine on the path to NATO membership, but the Western European powers had been unenthusiastic.

A few general lessons I would take away from the 2008 fiasco are:

- It’s hard to remember events that don’t fit into your worldview. As Putin as ascended into Public Enemy #1, the events of August 2008 have becoming hard and harder for American elites to remembe

- Militaries on all sides routinely put a lot of effort into probing and possibly provoking potential enemies, so it can be complicated to figure out the past and it can be complicated to keep track of what your military is up to, much less allies. This near-war between America and Russia was put into motion by a lot of provocations launched at each other by hotheaded Georgians and South Ossetians. But the militaries of the great powers also have an interest in getting their local pals to provoke the other side enough to get the defenses of the great power to light up, which can make for very useful military intelligence. So, while national leaders might be off watching the Olympics, all sorts of stuff can be happening that might lead to a crisis.

- Post-Cold War muscle-flexing by the Americans and their allies against the Russian and their allies (e.g., Croatia’s American-guided Operation Storm against the Serbs in August 1995) are a real mental black hole for American media.

 
Hide 136 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Related to this: there’s been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his “finger on the button”. Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There’s no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we’re implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Kind of like Chamberlain's INSANE pledge to Poland in 1939. I still can't decide what was crazier. The U.K. making the pledge or the Polish military junta government actually believing it?
    , @iSteveFan
    It's like a replay of the LBJ attack ad on Goldwater in which a little girl was picking the pedals off a daisy while a voice was counting down from 10 in a nuclear launch. The implication was that LBJ was the one to trust with the nukes. It does look like the dems are using this against Trump. On a few blogs I read the trolls are bringing this up a lot. They seem oblivious to the retorts that Hillary, not Trump, seems intent on baiting Russia.
    , @gruff
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCMyHJJrdDw
    , @Kyle
    Is Russia a trading partner with us? What was the cold war about, stopping the advance of international communism? Is there anything to fear from a new expansion of the Russian empire?
    , @WhatEvvs
    Does the president really have his finger on the button? Isn't that just a figure of speech?
    , @Whiskey
    I agree with Trump that "Why can't we use nukes" against limited, non-China/Russia allied enemies. Why not nuke Pakistan, and the Saudis, if they launch through their intelligence services another 9/11 attack on us? In fact why not announce in the first place we'd do so.

    We are now caught in a trap. We have abjured conventional military action because it brings too much casualties and looks bad on TV. We would have surrendered in weeks in WWII if we had TV back then. We have whack-a-mole with drones that are fairly ineffective in getting the main Saudi and Pakistani intelligence organizers behind things like 9/11 or the Bombay attacks. We have small group/lone wolf Jihadi attacks which are bad enough; but Saudi/Pakistani intelligence actually organizing these guys for say a dirty bomb attack, flying a DHL/FedEx jetliner into a football stadium or packed skyscraper will cause tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of casualties.

    By announcing and making CREDIBLE threats to nuke the host country behind such attacks into oblivion, we put the fear of Allah into the organizers. We still have lone wolf and small group attacks which are bad enough; but as long as we are realistically believed to be willing and able and guaranteed to launch such a nuke attack, even the most fanatic will quail before our obvious advantage.

    We spend a lot of money on our nuke forces, they ought to be used to deter not just Russian/Chinese nuke attacks but mass casualty attacks organized by Muslim hell hole intelligence services as well.

    Hillary of course wants a war with Russia while surrendering to any mass casualty attacks by Muslim intelligence agencies. She's all but signaled war with Putin over Crimea/Ukraine (who cares, let Putin have it), Syria (same), and Estonia (really, I want my city nuked to save Estonians from being ruled by Putin?). Meanwhile she seems to be signaling that we will convert to Sharia with the next 9/11 attack.

    I'm sure Hillary! is a Nice. White. Lady. Just like Mother Merkel.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Related to this: there’s been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his “finger on the button”. Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?
     
    At least on women and children. And this would be the most appropriate week to do it.

    Trump should subtly remind everyone that the only world leader ever to resort to nuclear weapons was not in his party.
    , @pyrrhus
    You can delete the words "kind of" from the last sentence....
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Common sense should tell anyone that Russia has far more interests at stake in Georgia / Ossetia then the USA does. This was just a case of Washington following its old policy of fishing in troubled waters.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    Kind of like Chamberlain’s INSANE pledge to Poland in 1939. I still can’t decide what was crazier. The U.K. making the pledge or the Polish military junta government actually believing it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    The fact that we could do nothing to protect Poland was a given after the Nazi-Soviet pact. All Chamberlain could do was tell Hitler that invading Poland would mean war with the UK.

    Prior to the N-S pact Churchill and the Tory back benchers were telling Chamberlain "we must get Russia in". But the Poles wouldn't take any help from Russia, Chamberlain sent such a low-level envoy to Moscow that it was seen as a snub, and Stalin eventually sacked Litvinov (Jewish) and appointed Molotov to cut a deal with Hitler.

    Some parallels today. Poland is still very anti-Russian, although they face the threat of mass immigration being forced on them by their Western "allies" and Germany in particular. After 50 years of Russian domination post-1945, and all the evils of the WW2 period, Poland was still inhabited by Poles, and there were also Poles living in formerly Prussian areas like Pomerania and East Prussia.
    , @Bill Jones
    This book is great on the last few months before the war. The sections about the barking mad whack-jobs running Poland are astonishing.

    https://www.amazon.com/1939-Countdown-War-Richard-Overy/dp/B004EYTK2M/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470517277&sr=1-2&keywords=1939#navbar
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    It’s like a replay of the LBJ attack ad on Goldwater in which a little girl was picking the pedals off a daisy while a voice was counting down from 10 in a nuclear launch. The implication was that LBJ was the one to trust with the nukes. It does look like the dems are using this against Trump. On a few blogs I read the trolls are bringing this up a lot. They seem oblivious to the retorts that Hillary, not Trump, seems intent on baiting Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @fnn

    The implication was that LBJ was the one to trust with the nukes.
     
    Then we find out later that LBJ was almost certainly the most mentally unhinged man to ever become POTUS.
    , @tbraton
    I'm sure you heard the old joke. Some Republican is talking about the 1964 race between LBJ and Goldwater about a year or so later. He says "everybody told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we would find ourselves bogged down in a land war in Asia. Guess what. They were right. I voted for Goldwater, and we are bogged down in a land war in Asia."

    The irony could have been appreciated by the American voters in the 1916 election where Woodrow Wilson won a narrow victory by explicitly campaigning on the political slogan "he kept us out of war" (referring to WWI which had been ongoing for more than 2 years), only to ask Congress to declare war on Germany in April 1917, about a month after being inaugurated for his second term.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Steve what’s up with your proofreading?

    Read More
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westworld#/media/File:Westworld_ver2.jpg
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @avraham
    That is so true. We need to stop this confrontational attitude towards Russia and start a new er of cooperation. I agree with Trump that this attitude needs to be changed.This new cold war is much more dangerous than the old one. And Russia is clearly not the enemy.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. The Left seems intend on baiting Russia. I would not trust the Left with a toy pistol. Especially not that crook Hillary.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chiron
    If you count the Neocons as part of the Left (they returned to the Democrats with Hillary).
    , @Bill Jones
    It was the Bush Regime that first pushed NATO to the borders of Russia in 2004 with the addition of :
    Bulgaria
    Estonia
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Romania
    Slovakia
    Slovenia

    hatever narrative you've got in mind ain't workin.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. Bush should have taken Putin out right then and there. Putin might know judo, but he’s still a manlet. Bush should have beaten the hell out of him in the stands and then finished him off with a Colt .45.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    The only winners of that fight would have been the cockroaches.
    , @Divine Right
    Bush was a wimp, frat boy, fake cowboy, Texas pretender who sold his ranch just months after leaving office and fled to the suburbs.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. The Ukraine coup also happened during the Olympics. Fun times!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  10. @gruff
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCMyHJJrdDw

    That is so true. We need to stop this confrontational attitude towards Russia and start a new er of cooperation. I agree with Trump that this attitude needs to be changed.This new cold war is much more dangerous than the old one. And Russia is clearly not the enemy.

    Read More
    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @Jack D
    Maybe the next President could present Putin with a big red button marked "RESET" in Russian. That will surely do it this time.

    The reason the "RESET" button didn't work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms. He is like a more sane version of the Kim family in N. Korea - he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West and himself as the czar who will rally the masses to defend the fortress. The Czar of all the Russias and his loyal vassals must naturally be richly compensated for this heroic service, so if the common Russian has to live worse than a Mexican, that's a small price to pay compared to being overrun by the Mongol/American hordes who will prostitute your daughters and force them to dance to Negro music. It's totally working for him and he has zero reason to change.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Condeleeza Rice was the most vocal voice of reason in the Bush national security team during the crisis, warning that Georgia was led by a feckless gambler and the US should not be drawn in.

    It’s a very good example of how affirmative action at the highest level can end up making a very positive contribution.

    Without affirmative action considerations, Bush would have only picked the people from a pool of neocons. When it came to picking a black cabinet level official, he couldn’t draw from the neocon pool, he had to pick the most qualified black with international relations experience.

    Read More
    • LOL: AndrewR
    • Replies: @tbraton
    "When it came to picking a black cabinet level official, he couldn’t draw from the neocon pool, he had to pick the most qualified black with international relations experience."

    ". . .with international relations experience" plus she had to play the piano and be decent on skates in addition to being able to talk NFL football like a regular guy. Guess what? Condi Rice fit the particulars of the job description perfectly PLUS she wasn't a neocon but could play one on TV. It was GWB's best find in a job search since he appointed Dick Cheney to look for a suitable running mate and Cheney found himself. Talk about a lucky guy. GWB just oozed luck.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. @gruff
    Steve what's up with your proofreading?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Followed the link you provided and that's a great plot. The humans weren't able to diagnose the problems afflicting the Androids because the robots had been designed and built by other robots, so their inner workings weren't transparent.

    And this seems as plausible as the dystopic output put forth by enthusiasts of AI where they project so-called intelligent robots reprogramming themselves to create a world that is hostile or indifferent to their human creators.

    Just the other day, in a Daily Mail article about the new Tesla factory being built in Nevada, the author quoted Musk as saying that the factory was equivalent to robots being used to build the robots which would be used to assemble cars on the floor.

    Robots programmed to design and build other robots which will in turn serve us by tirelessly making the stuff it believes we want or which someone, somewhere believes we will want and consume. What could possibly go wrong?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    The idea of expanding NATO endlessly — not sure where that came from. It strikes me as a zombie idea … you can’t kill it. No one (other than Russia) wants to say no. And it gets muddled with the expansion of the Eurozone. But the idea of expanding Europe Eastward never goes away.

    One requirement for NATO expansion is that the candidate country can’t have current border disputes. Sort of like an insurance company not underwrite a burning building.

    So … There are breakaway territories in Georgia and Moldova. Which precludes their admission, which is exactly what Russia wants. And now Ukraine is ineligible. The reason it doesn’t/hasn’t happened more is that the border dispute qualification isn’t carved in stone, and there is always the chance that the ultra hawks will get their way and expand into a dispute. Someone always brings it up, so maybe it is considered best to not overuse the tactic.

    Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and it is hard to imagine anyone really wanting it. Furthermore, the breakaway area, Transdniester, is one of the least desirable parts of Moldova.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/transdniester.htm

    When you look at these places, it is obvious that they aren’t worth any serious investment of anything. Why bother? It is also possible that people might look at a map and see that they are in the middle of nowhere.

    I also have a hunch that even the US is ok with it. At worst, it creates a minor problem that can then be put in the pile of stuff that will never get done. And at least some people in the US are smart enough to see it as a solution to the never ending expansion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Yeah, the parallel with the EU is obvious. At heart, the elites are globalists rather than Europeans or Atlanticists. They could have proposed a free trade, passport-free travel zone comprised of, say, the eight European countries with the highest GDP per capita, and there would never have been a Brexit.

    But they are compelled to bundle the good with the sh*t, because they want the proles to eat sh*t. It's the same here. They could have had an immigration comprise years ago, with more tech visas in return for ending immigration of 4th grade dropouts from Chiapas and Jihadists from Somalia and Pakistan. But they want to rub your nose in the sh*t too.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. @avraham
    The Left seems intend on baiting Russia. I would not trust the Left with a toy pistol. Especially not that crook Hillary.

    If you count the Neocons as part of the Left (they returned to the Democrats with Hillary).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    http://www.atlantic-community.org/-/the-myth-that-ukraine-cannot-join-nato-while-russia-occupies-some-of-its-territo-1

    What can I say?

    It seems like these territorial disputes with Russia don’t preclude NATO membership, according to at least one interpretation.

    And, the admission of Georgia and Ukraine are still on the agenda. It seems like Germany/Merkle is the only impediment to the US.

    Not to mention, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/nato-and-the-eu-desert-georgia/2016/06/16/20f2c7dc-33be-11e6-8758-d58e76e11b12_story.html

    Per the Washington Post, NATO membership seems to have some sort of connection to visas.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  16. @iSteveFan
    It's like a replay of the LBJ attack ad on Goldwater in which a little girl was picking the pedals off a daisy while a voice was counting down from 10 in a nuclear launch. The implication was that LBJ was the one to trust with the nukes. It does look like the dems are using this against Trump. On a few blogs I read the trolls are bringing this up a lot. They seem oblivious to the retorts that Hillary, not Trump, seems intent on baiting Russia.

    The implication was that LBJ was the one to trust with the nukes.

    Then we find out later that LBJ was almost certainly the most mentally unhinged man to ever become POTUS.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. “I had never heard before that Putin and Bush, who were both spectators at the Beijing Olympics, held an emergency meeting over the war (although it was briefly reported at the time).”

    Same here. I was generally aware of what was happening in Georgia, but that is the first time I heard about the meeting between Putin and Bush at the Olympics. But, then, I had several big distractions at the time, including the financial crash and a house hunt.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  18. @Anonymous
    Bush should have taken Putin out right then and there. Putin might know judo, but he's still a manlet. Bush should have beaten the hell out of him in the stands and then finished him off with a Colt .45.

    The only winners of that fight would have been the cockroaches.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. “It’s a court which makes a king. Maybe the court thought the king shouldn’t intervene,” he said. …

    Heh. Nice dogwhistle.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  20. Forgotten except for the fact that the South Ossetia kerfuffle provided evergreen stock footage for other “Get Putin” propaganda ….

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/14/world/europe/sifting-ukrainian-fact-from-ukrainian-fiction.html?_r=0

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  21. @anon
    Kind of like Chamberlain's INSANE pledge to Poland in 1939. I still can't decide what was crazier. The U.K. making the pledge or the Polish military junta government actually believing it?

    The fact that we could do nothing to protect Poland was a given after the Nazi-Soviet pact. All Chamberlain could do was tell Hitler that invading Poland would mean war with the UK.

    Prior to the N-S pact Churchill and the Tory back benchers were telling Chamberlain “we must get Russia in”. But the Poles wouldn’t take any help from Russia, Chamberlain sent such a low-level envoy to Moscow that it was seen as a snub, and Stalin eventually sacked Litvinov (Jewish) and appointed Molotov to cut a deal with Hitler.

    Some parallels today. Poland is still very anti-Russian, although they face the threat of mass immigration being forced on them by their Western “allies” and Germany in particular. After 50 years of Russian domination post-1945, and all the evils of the WW2 period, Poland was still inhabited by Poles, and there were also Poles living in formerly Prussian areas like Pomerania and East Prussia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    The Polish-Russian thing goes way, way back, though. The Russians (and Austrians and Germans) split them up in the first place. It's a (relatively) weak country between two strong ones, their history hasn't been pretty. It's one of the reasons they're pro-American--whatever the USA may do, it's not going to annex Poland.
    , @Whiskey
    War with Hitler was inevitable once the Western allies quailed at removing Hitler during his militarization of the Rhineland, when removing him would have been cheap and easy (his General Staff feared this and argued against moving troops into the Rhineland, Germany was weak then).

    Hitler's aims were to create a giant slave state aping Rome in an industrial setting. Not just Poland but Russia, and also France and the Benelux Countries and the Scandinavian nations were to be subject, as was Switzerland who Hitler despised as being "depraved Germans" who had too much affection for their French and Italian speaking cantons and too much self-government instead of Fuhrer / Kaiser / Caesar absolutism.

    Hitler's aims for a giant slave state guaranteed war with those who wished not to be German slaves. So by putting off the War early when it could have been fought under favorable terms, the British fought it badly under unfavorable terms. Just as Western publics want to be "nice" and avoid a fight over mass Third World immigration because it would upset Nice White Ladies and so fight on the most unfavorable terms with much of the Third World already colonizing them.

    Putin is not Hitler. He aims opportunistically to create as much of the USSR as he can, where he can take the least risk and get the most gain. He has no over-arching desire to recreate Ancient Roman Imperialism, he would undoubtedly like to take some Polish territory but most likely does not want an entire restive Polish nation constantly rebelling against him and Russia. The same for the Baltics. He'd like much of them, but has probably no desire to invade and conquer Sweden and thus get Swedes fighting him for generations. He already has enough headaches with Muslims in the Caucuses.

    Thus to deal with Putin the best course is to oppose him where he is weak (Poland, Sweden, likely Hungary) and not to fight him where he is strong (the Baltics, Ukraine). Because Putin is opportunistic and does not see himself as the heir of Caesar, or Charlemagne, this is sensible.
    , @anon
    "Poland was still inhabited by Poles",

    While England is no longer inhabited by the English. Future generations of Poles and other eastern Europeans may greatly regret the end of the Iron Curtain. Walls can keep people out as well as in.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  22. @avraham
    The Left seems intend on baiting Russia. I would not trust the Left with a toy pistol. Especially not that crook Hillary.

    It was the Bush Regime that first pushed NATO to the borders of Russia in 2004 with the addition of :
    Bulgaria
    Estonia
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Romania
    Slovakia
    Slovenia

    hatever narrative you’ve got in mind ain’t workin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @avraham
    Thank you for that correction. I stand corrected.I had not been thinking about Bush but rather Clinton and more recent developments after Russia began to regain its stability.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , “South Ossetia” is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    The whole thing IS a lot like Crimea and Ukraine and was a successful dry run for Putin’s later tactics there. We were really stupid to fall into the same traps TWICE. Once is forgivable but twice shows that we are patzers playing against a chess master. Putin’s fondest dream is to restore Russian rule to all the lost pieces of the Soviet empire. He knows that that’s not really possible at the moment – Russia’s GDP now ranks with Mexico and Canada (TOTAL GDP – per capita they’re even lower). However, if he can take little nibbles here and there, it’s better than nothing. He’s in no position to capture the white queen but if he can take a pawn now and then it only improves his board position.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe

    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , “South Ossetia” is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.
     
    I don't agree with your interpretation of the facts of the matter, but suppose you're right? What then? Should we have gone to war with Russia over a remote province of north-central Georgia?
    , @SFG
    It's also entirely possible that the Ossetians actually wanted to be part of Russia. Remember, Crimea was largely full of ethnic Russians who probably weren't getting treated too nicely by the Ukrainians. The world is full of little enclaves of people of one nationality stuck in another due to a border shift (parts of New Mexico actually contain descendants of Spanish settlers dating back to colonial times, for example).

    I'm actually quite torn on this issue--being American I want my country to win and be strong, but I don't see the need to push the limits of our sphere of influence to Russia's border. We wouldn't like it if Putin tried to form an alliance with Mexico, and were really nervous about Cuba back when the Soviet Union was actually our equal--they put missiles there, after all, after we stuck them in Turkey. And war with Russia could end really, really badly.

    I'd love if someone actually versed in the area's history could comment.
    , @reiner Tor

    First of all , “South Ossetia” is part of Georgia to begin with.
     
    That's questionable. Present-day South Ossetia was mostly inhabited by Ossets before the Russian conquest. The Soviets, when drawing its borders, put it inside the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. But before the USSR ceased to exist, it declared its secession from Georgia. Now the legality of this declaration was questionable, but so was the dissolution of the USSR (or even its creation, if we go back far enough), so I'm not sure that's a very good argument.

    What is true is that Ossetia was not controlled by Georgia ever since independence, inother words, its claim to this province was always a bit dubious.

    Sure, the Russians did help Ossetian separatists in 1992-93, but that was the case with many other successful (and later internationally recognized) secessions, like Croatia. Also the Georgians would've been more successful if they managed to keep their act together, and didn't have their own internal civil war. And in 1993 the Georgians finally signed a few international treaties accepting the de facto (but not de iure) independence and the presence of (Russian) CIS peacekeepers.

    The provocations in 2008 were true of both sides, but only one of them planned a full-scale attack on the other.
    , @Tex
    Stalin was a shrewd operator who knew his homeland well. The minority nations had little interest in a Russian empire, whether run by the tsar or the Bolsheviks. They had to be put down by force in the Civil War era, and again during WWII.

    If you look at the boundaries of the old Soviet Republics you can see they were often designed to include a "poison pill", another minority that would resist being placed under the governance of a larger neighbor. In turn that would give the Soviet authorities a basis to intervene and and an ally. S. Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabach, Transdnistra, etc are features not bugs.

    Not that I think any of 'em are worth a Texas National Guardsman's bones.
    , @Verymuchalive
    You should get out more. As Anatoly Karlin has demonstrated, Russia is now a bigger economy than Germany and China than the USA. Once the recession gets fully underway, the American economy will contract drastically as the dollar will cease to function as the world's reserve currency.
    The D in Jack D obviously stands for Dimwit.
    , @anon
    "We were really stupid to fall into the same traps twice".

    What "trap" did we fall into? Isn't avoiding war a good thing? Are you actually saying we should fight a war, which could become a nuclear war, with Russia over a bit of land in Ossetia / Georgia or the (majority ethnically Russian btw,) Crimea? How are either one of these territories even remotely a "vital interest" for Washington? Please explain.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @MEH 0910
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westworld#/media/File:Westworld_ver2.jpg

    Followed the link you provided and that’s a great plot. The humans weren’t able to diagnose the problems afflicting the Androids because the robots had been designed and built by other robots, so their inner workings weren’t transparent.

    And this seems as plausible as the dystopic output put forth by enthusiasts of AI where they project so-called intelligent robots reprogramming themselves to create a world that is hostile or indifferent to their human creators.

    Just the other day, in a Daily Mail article about the new Tesla factory being built in Nevada, the author quoted Musk as saying that the factory was equivalent to robots being used to build the robots which would be used to assemble cars on the floor.

    Robots programmed to design and build other robots which will in turn serve us by tirelessly making the stuff it believes we want or which someone, somewhere believes we will want and consume. What could possibly go wrong?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D

    What could possibly go wrong?
     
    Honestly, the plot of a million science fiction stories notwithstanding, nothing, at least not for a very very long time. The robot factory isn't going to produce squat unless there are humans delivering materials to the factory and you can always throw the switch and turn off the power. The robots aren't going to reprogram themselves to take over the world instead of making robots that make car batteries. My "smart" phone is not smart enough to set up voice mail by itself let alone take over the world.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  25. @Anonymous Nephew
    The fact that we could do nothing to protect Poland was a given after the Nazi-Soviet pact. All Chamberlain could do was tell Hitler that invading Poland would mean war with the UK.

    Prior to the N-S pact Churchill and the Tory back benchers were telling Chamberlain "we must get Russia in". But the Poles wouldn't take any help from Russia, Chamberlain sent such a low-level envoy to Moscow that it was seen as a snub, and Stalin eventually sacked Litvinov (Jewish) and appointed Molotov to cut a deal with Hitler.

    Some parallels today. Poland is still very anti-Russian, although they face the threat of mass immigration being forced on them by their Western "allies" and Germany in particular. After 50 years of Russian domination post-1945, and all the evils of the WW2 period, Poland was still inhabited by Poles, and there were also Poles living in formerly Prussian areas like Pomerania and East Prussia.

    The Polish-Russian thing goes way, way back, though. The Russians (and Austrians and Germans) split them up in the first place. It’s a (relatively) weak country between two strong ones, their history hasn’t been pretty. It’s one of the reasons they’re pro-American–whatever the USA may do, it’s not going to annex Poland.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  26. @Anonymous
    Condeleeza Rice was the most vocal voice of reason in the Bush national security team during the crisis, warning that Georgia was led by a feckless gambler and the US should not be drawn in.

    It's a very good example of how affirmative action at the highest level can end up making a very positive contribution.

    Without affirmative action considerations, Bush would have only picked the people from a pool of neocons. When it came to picking a black cabinet level official, he couldn't draw from the neocon pool, he had to pick the most qualified black with international relations experience.

    “When it came to picking a black cabinet level official, he couldn’t draw from the neocon pool, he had to pick the most qualified black with international relations experience.”

    “. . .with international relations experience” plus she had to play the piano and be decent on skates in addition to being able to talk NFL football like a regular guy. Guess what? Condi Rice fit the particulars of the job description perfectly PLUS she wasn’t a neocon but could play one on TV. It was GWB’s best find in a job search since he appointed Dick Cheney to look for a suitable running mate and Cheney found himself. Talk about a lucky guy. GWB just oozed luck.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You ideologues can't get over how Rice is a very good example of diversity is our strength mantra being true.

    The Bush national security team would have been very homogeneous (everyone is a neocon). Because he had to pick a black team member, he was able to find a voice of reason during the crisis up against a whole panel of neocon lackeys encouraging him to go as far as to bomb Russian forces to halt the Russian counterattack.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. @Jack D
    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , "South Ossetia" is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    The whole thing IS a lot like Crimea and Ukraine and was a successful dry run for Putin's later tactics there. We were really stupid to fall into the same traps TWICE. Once is forgivable but twice shows that we are patzers playing against a chess master. Putin's fondest dream is to restore Russian rule to all the lost pieces of the Soviet empire. He knows that that's not really possible at the moment - Russia's GDP now ranks with Mexico and Canada (TOTAL GDP - per capita they're even lower). However, if he can take little nibbles here and there, it's better than nothing. He's in no position to capture the white queen but if he can take a pawn now and then it only improves his board position.

    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , “South Ossetia” is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    I don’t agree with your interpretation of the facts of the matter, but suppose you’re right? What then? Should we have gone to war with Russia over a remote province of north-central Georgia?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis. Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn't work - dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.

    I agree that starting a nuclear war with Russia is not a good idea, to say the least. But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of '45. Russia understood this and abided by these ground rules. MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories. For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  28. @Jack D
    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , "South Ossetia" is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    The whole thing IS a lot like Crimea and Ukraine and was a successful dry run for Putin's later tactics there. We were really stupid to fall into the same traps TWICE. Once is forgivable but twice shows that we are patzers playing against a chess master. Putin's fondest dream is to restore Russian rule to all the lost pieces of the Soviet empire. He knows that that's not really possible at the moment - Russia's GDP now ranks with Mexico and Canada (TOTAL GDP - per capita they're even lower). However, if he can take little nibbles here and there, it's better than nothing. He's in no position to capture the white queen but if he can take a pawn now and then it only improves his board position.

    It’s also entirely possible that the Ossetians actually wanted to be part of Russia. Remember, Crimea was largely full of ethnic Russians who probably weren’t getting treated too nicely by the Ukrainians. The world is full of little enclaves of people of one nationality stuck in another due to a border shift (parts of New Mexico actually contain descendants of Spanish settlers dating back to colonial times, for example).

    I’m actually quite torn on this issue–being American I want my country to win and be strong, but I don’t see the need to push the limits of our sphere of influence to Russia’s border. We wouldn’t like it if Putin tried to form an alliance with Mexico, and were really nervous about Cuba back when the Soviet Union was actually our equal–they put missiles there, after all, after we stuck them in Turkey. And war with Russia could end really, really badly.

    I’d love if someone actually versed in the area’s history could comment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    One of the principles that was (supposedly) established at the end of WWII (one that was convenient for the Russians who ended up with the most pieces on the board) was that henceforth there would be no more wars to establish new borders, regardless of how the ethnic cards fell. The world is enough of a big ethnic mishmosh that you can never perfectly align the borders with ethnicity and please everyone. And ethnicities change over time - if say northern New Hampshire one day became majority French Canadian, should we cede that territory to Quebec?

    The advantage of settled borders is that they are settled and nobody has to die. Living in peace under a moderately shitty Georgian regime is better for the average person than having your home destroyed and half your family killed so that the local Ossetian warlord can extort you for taxes instead of the Georgians.

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  29. @SFG
    It's also entirely possible that the Ossetians actually wanted to be part of Russia. Remember, Crimea was largely full of ethnic Russians who probably weren't getting treated too nicely by the Ukrainians. The world is full of little enclaves of people of one nationality stuck in another due to a border shift (parts of New Mexico actually contain descendants of Spanish settlers dating back to colonial times, for example).

    I'm actually quite torn on this issue--being American I want my country to win and be strong, but I don't see the need to push the limits of our sphere of influence to Russia's border. We wouldn't like it if Putin tried to form an alliance with Mexico, and were really nervous about Cuba back when the Soviet Union was actually our equal--they put missiles there, after all, after we stuck them in Turkey. And war with Russia could end really, really badly.

    I'd love if someone actually versed in the area's history could comment.

    One of the principles that was (supposedly) established at the end of WWII (one that was convenient for the Russians who ended up with the most pieces on the board) was that henceforth there would be no more wars to establish new borders, regardless of how the ethnic cards fell. The world is enough of a big ethnic mishmosh that you can never perfectly align the borders with ethnicity and please everyone. And ethnicities change over time – if say northern New Hampshire one day became majority French Canadian, should we cede that territory to Quebec?

    The advantage of settled borders is that they are settled and nobody has to die. Living in peace under a moderately shitty Georgian regime is better for the average person than having your home destroyed and half your family killed so that the local Ossetian warlord can extort you for taxes instead of the Georgians.

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.
     
    A lot of principles were disestablished by the West, e.g. fighting a war to help the secession of Kosovo, fighting Iraq to... God knows why, etc.
    , @officious intermeddler
    It's worth noting that the population of South Ossetia is 53,000. It broke away from Georgia in 1990, before the USSR dissolved.

    The same is true about Abkhazia and Transnistria: They are tiny and they broke away when the USSR dissolved, about 25 years ago.

    If the Russians had wanted to keep those territories, they could have done so, easily, since they already controlled them. Moreover, they would have been within their legal rights to do so, since the international borders of Georgia and Moldova had not yet been settled. They were at that time territories of the USSR, not independent nations, and the USSR could legally have redrawn their borders anywhere it liked.

    It's also worth noting that those events took place long years before Putin came into office.

    The idea that the Putin sponsored ethnic wars in these territories so that he could roll in the tanks doesn't match up with the chronology. It's also absurd to characterize these events at Russia "nibbling away" to "restore its former empire." Russia didn't particularly want any of these areas. They stepped in with peacekeepers to end vicious civil wars that had erupted after the dissolution, and all three territories have been nothing but huge headaches for Russia for over two decades.
    , @neutral
    You clearly are not aware of what happened in the world, the following all came about after WW2 because of wars AND lead to border changes.
    - Israel
    - China invading Tibet
    - India invading Goa
    - Korea
    - Turkey taking northern Cyprus
    - Ethiopian/Eritrean war
    - Sudan
    - The partition of India

    Ok, the partition of India was not a standard war, but creation of new borders was a bloody affair.

    , @anon
    What about America's "little war" against Serbia in 1999? And its illegal creation of the gangster-narco state of Kosovo? You conveniently omitted that.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  30. @avraham
    That is so true. We need to stop this confrontational attitude towards Russia and start a new er of cooperation. I agree with Trump that this attitude needs to be changed.This new cold war is much more dangerous than the old one. And Russia is clearly not the enemy.

    Maybe the next President could present Putin with a big red button marked “RESET” in Russian. That will surely do it this time.

    The reason the “RESET” button didn’t work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms. He is like a more sane version of the Kim family in N. Korea – he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West and himself as the czar who will rally the masses to defend the fortress. The Czar of all the Russias and his loyal vassals must naturally be richly compensated for this heroic service, so if the common Russian has to live worse than a Mexican, that’s a small price to pay compared to being overrun by the Mongol/American hordes who will prostitute your daughters and force them to dance to Negro music. It’s totally working for him and he has zero reason to change.

    Read More
    • Replies: @avraham
    I see. My impression is a little different from that but I see your point. I still believe he wants good relations with the USA
    , @Brutusale
    If you're trying to create some sort of moral/ethical differentiation between Putin and Dubya/Obama, sorry, you're failing miserably. Why should the Russians, or any other nation state with a logical government, have any reason over the past 30 years to engage with such an abysmally fickle "ally" like the United States?

    For better or worse, Russians look at every geopolitical issue through the prism of regularly being invaded and losing millions of Russians in the fight to rid their land of invaders. Are you trying to say that the attitude is indefensible? Are the Russians, still a superpower in the ability to project force, allowed a sphere of influence? Are you OK with a new Warsaw Pact that has Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil as members?

    Putin is a gangster. I get that. But you need a gangster to control the gangs. I know too much about our own government and their media lapdogs to accept anything they report about Russia these days.

    , @5371
    When your co-religionists or fellow tribesmen ruled Russia in their own and the US interest, Russians had ample opportunity to observe that the misfortunes stemming from surrender to the west are far from imaginary.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  31. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    Is Russia a trading partner with us? What was the cold war about, stopping the advance of international communism? Is there anything to fear from a new expansion of the Russian empire?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. @Kevin O'Keeffe

    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , “South Ossetia” is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.
     
    I don't agree with your interpretation of the facts of the matter, but suppose you're right? What then? Should we have gone to war with Russia over a remote province of north-central Georgia?

    War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis. Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.

    I agree that starting a nuclear war with Russia is not a good idea, to say the least. But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45. Russia understood this and abided by these ground rules. MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories. For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Divine Right
    That's complete nonsense. We aren't talking about "Russian aggression" but Russian response to aggression and being surrounded. How do think this country would respond to the obvious overthrow of the legitimate, democratically-elected government of Canada by Russia followed by the installment of an anti-American regime that discriminates against American citizens in Canada, has the Canadian government withdraw from NATO, openly begs for heavy weapons, and expresses a desire to join an enemy military alliance against us?

    "MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories."

    Complete nonsense. Crimea is roughly the size of Vermont. So, in over a decade, they've reconquered Vermont...after being goaded into it by Western malfeasance. Any day now I expect Putin to be crossing the Rhine. Please.

    If you want to risk the mainland US over a commitment to Latvia (which, according to the NATO charter, we don't really have anyway - we are only obligated to respond to an attack in some way that we see fit), go ahead. However, many of us consider Germany during the Cold War to be on a different level from Latvia today.

    Perhaps it is American aggression which encourages the Russians to defend themselves and not so much the other way around. The US blockaded the sovereign nation of Cuba when the Soviets placed nuclear weapons there, so why wouldn't the Russians be within their rights to blockade Eastern Europe if Hillary announced that she was sending heavy weapons there?

    "The reason the “RESET” button didn’t work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms."

    The "RESET" didn't work because the US wanted Russia as a servile partner. In other words, "we'll leave you alone if you let us run wild and overthrow whatever governments we like + plus surround you with an enemy military alliance." The US lied to the Russians to get their support for a security council resolution, then manipulated that UN resolution to illegally overthrow the Libyan government against Russian wishes and advice; that's what started a lot of this. The US doesn't get to act like that and then claim that it's Russia's fault

    "For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again."

    First, Western Europe and company outspend Russia about 7-1 on defense. So, that's ludicrous. The Russian economy can't afford that even if they wanted to. Second, it never ceases to amaze me just how easily Americans are able to heap scorn onto their targets for replicating just a tiny, infinitesimal, bit of what the US does on a global scale. As I said before, Crimea is only slightly larger than Vermont + the majority of the people who live there are Russian. Would you like to take a guess at the geographic area of NATO?

    "War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis."

    Not really. The current sanctions are extremely contentious in Europe with many front runners for the next elections opposing them. That strategy isn't feasible in the long-term.

    Also, we have security concerns elsewhere in the world that could be made much worse depending upon our actions with Russia, which, I think, is a subtle point that many John Wayne-type Americans don't realize. Here's what I would do (and what the Russians have already been doing in response) if I were the Russians: sell China the world's best arms, including one of the world's best air defense systems, the S-400. By selling China advanced arms, the Russians can preserve their military budget while causing enough problems for the US elsewhere that they can't focus on Russia.

    Perhaps it is not a wise idea to antagonize a country that has signaled that it won't be bullied and will respond by arming another country with a massive economy and military. The S-400's range includes Taiwan. It would already take about 2/3's of America's entire air force to defend Taiwan from China (not really feasible) without the S-400. In five years time or so, the US would probably lose a war over Taiwan to China...thanks, in part, to Russian arms sales. That's an incredible change since 2000. All things considered, why would this country risk worsening that situation by antagonizing Russia over nothing?

    https://warisboring.com/stopping-china-would-take-2-3-of-u-s-air-power-ec61386507cb#.93a01wrjj

    "But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45."

    Ironically, the US has being flirting with disaster by doing the same thing to the Russians. By extending NATO to Russia's border in clear violation of an unspoken agreement we had with them, we are forcing them into a situation where they draw a line in the sand and say "no farther." I don't blame them. I would personally never allow my country to be surrounded by an enemy military alliance, especially one with a history of lawless aggression (Libya) and reckless abandon (Iraq).

    "Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later."

    Actually, Hitler taught us that we shouldn't foolishly give war guarantees to unimportant countries that 1. cant' defend themselves 2. we can't defend 3. aren't worth it in the long run. After all the misery of WW2, what did we get? Eastern Europe under Soviet occupation, the same deal that we would have had under Germany. And all of that was BEFORE nuclear weapons. In any case, Putin isn't a 'dictator.' He's a democratically elected leader who has also been re-elected and enjoys higher approval ratings in his country than Obama does in this one. Americans have this nasty habit of calling anyone that doesn't bow to them a 'dictator.'

    You're also in good company with Hillary:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/06/hillary-clinton-says-vladimir-putins-crimea-occupation-echoes-hitler

    Funny how Crimea echoes Hitler but the Iraq War and Libya don't echo Mussolini.

    Things are about to get very dangerous for the world with Hillary in charge of an ignorant, self-righteous, war-mongering nation filled with closed-minded simpletons spoiling for a fight and backed up by what can only be described at this point as 'state-run media.'

    , @reiner Tor

    there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45.
     
    And the American tanks also couldn't go further than they did in 1945. This is what the American governments (and, apparently, you) don't want to accept now: that there could be places where nothing is tha Americans' business. That's what Putin asked for: that there should be a Russian sphere of influence. Given how much criticism Putin got for kicking out Soros's NGOs from Russia, apparently the American government considers it its business what is happening within Russia's borders.

    Never mind, we Hungarians learnt it the hard way in 1956, when in spite of the promises told in Radio Free Europe, the Americans didn't come to liberate us. Good for them, I say, good for the world, and probably good for Hungary, because Hungary and tge whole of Europe and much of tge world would have been destroyed in the resulting conflagration.
    , @reiner Tor

    Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with.
     
    Hitler was in many respects a highly unusual dictator. He loved taking risks. Putin is totally different, he only acts when he feels drawn into a corner.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later."

    Yeah, yeah, it's always 1939. Not every dictator is Hitler. In fact, only Hitler was Hitler. That's all ancient history - you might as well be talking about Darius, Emperor of Persia.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  33. “he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West”

    You write that as if it’s not true.

    – you are right that the history goes way back.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Lithuanian_Commonwealth

    “The Commonwealth reached its Golden Age in the early 17th century. Its powerful parliament was dominated by nobles (Pic. 2) who were reluctant to get involved in the Thirty Years’ War; this neutrality spared the country from the ravages of a political-religious conflict which devastated most of contemporary Europe. The Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Sweden, the Tsardom of Russia, and vassals of the Ottoman Empire, and even launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors. In several invasions during the Time of Troubles, Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow and hold it from September 27, 1610, to November 4, 1612, until they were driven out after a siege.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    There has been a lot of water under the bridge since 1612. This reminds me of the Chicoms who love to talk about the Opium Wars and the Rape of Nanking but not so much about the much more recent Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, which killed more Chinese than the foreign invaders ever did. Historical memory tends to be very selective - in the US it's always 1954 and Rosa Parks is always being asked to move to the back of the bus.

    Apparently the Chinese have been taking their loss to the Philippines in the international tribunal on the South China Sea issue out on the Americans (the Philippines is seen as an American proxy) and specifically they have been demonstrating against that bastion of American imperialism, KFC. The Chicoms normally suppress any whiff of dissent but hating on the Americans is seen as a safe outlet for popular discontent, just as Hillary would rather that you demonstrate against racist white cops than against Goldman Sachs.

    , @WhatEvvs
    It's not true. The only difference between Putin's Russia and the drunk's is that now it's ethnic Russians screwing Russians instead of Jews, Armenians, etc. screwing Russians. Maybe that makes you white nats happy, but Russians are still living in what to an American would be a giant Appalachia.

    Don't you guys ever get tired of whitey mcwhite white white white white white? I shouldn't have asked the question, of course you don't. You are a fun house mirror version of BLM. Are you queer, too?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  34. @Anonymous
    Followed the link you provided and that's a great plot. The humans weren't able to diagnose the problems afflicting the Androids because the robots had been designed and built by other robots, so their inner workings weren't transparent.

    And this seems as plausible as the dystopic output put forth by enthusiasts of AI where they project so-called intelligent robots reprogramming themselves to create a world that is hostile or indifferent to their human creators.

    Just the other day, in a Daily Mail article about the new Tesla factory being built in Nevada, the author quoted Musk as saying that the factory was equivalent to robots being used to build the robots which would be used to assemble cars on the floor.

    Robots programmed to design and build other robots which will in turn serve us by tirelessly making the stuff it believes we want or which someone, somewhere believes we will want and consume. What could possibly go wrong?

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Honestly, the plot of a million science fiction stories notwithstanding, nothing, at least not for a very very long time. The robot factory isn’t going to produce squat unless there are humans delivering materials to the factory and you can always throw the switch and turn off the power. The robots aren’t going to reprogram themselves to take over the world instead of making robots that make car batteries. My “smart” phone is not smart enough to set up voice mail by itself let alone take over the world.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  35. Speaking of the Olympics, apparently they have a “Refugee Team” now,. Is this supposed to guilt westerners into taking in moar refugees? Can people get any crazier? WTF.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  36. @Anonymous
    Bush should have taken Putin out right then and there. Putin might know judo, but he's still a manlet. Bush should have beaten the hell out of him in the stands and then finished him off with a Colt .45.

    Bush was a wimp, frat boy, fake cowboy, Texas pretender who sold his ranch just months after leaving office and fled to the suburbs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @antipater_1
    GW Bush was also a lazy drunk. Harmless as Texas governor but a disaster as president. Even his "ranch" was as phony as his cowboy act.
    Remember when he used to "clear brush?" But only when tv news cameras were around.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  37. Quell Surprise!

    The US’s first Gold medal is in shooting.

    Read More
    • Replies: @antipater_1
    Was the winner a south side Chicago gang banger?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  38. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    Does the president really have his finger on the button? Isn’t that just a figure of speech?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Does the president really have his finger on the button? Isn’t that just a figure of speech?
     
    If "button" means "clitoris"…
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  39. @Anonymous Nephew
    "he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West"

    You write that as if it's not true.

    @SFG - you are right that the history goes way back.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Lithuanian_Commonwealth

    "The Commonwealth reached its Golden Age in the early 17th century. Its powerful parliament was dominated by nobles (Pic. 2) who were reluctant to get involved in the Thirty Years' War; this neutrality spared the country from the ravages of a political-religious conflict which devastated most of contemporary Europe. The Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Sweden, the Tsardom of Russia, and vassals of the Ottoman Empire, and even launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors. In several invasions during the Time of Troubles, Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow and hold it from September 27, 1610, to November 4, 1612, until they were driven out after a siege."

    There has been a lot of water under the bridge since 1612. This reminds me of the Chicoms who love to talk about the Opium Wars and the Rape of Nanking but not so much about the much more recent Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, which killed more Chinese than the foreign invaders ever did. Historical memory tends to be very selective – in the US it’s always 1954 and Rosa Parks is always being asked to move to the back of the bus.

    Apparently the Chinese have been taking their loss to the Philippines in the international tribunal on the South China Sea issue out on the Americans (the Philippines is seen as an American proxy) and specifically they have been demonstrating against that bastion of American imperialism, KFC. The Chicoms normally suppress any whiff of dissent but hating on the Americans is seen as a safe outlet for popular discontent, just as Hillary would rather that you demonstrate against racist white cops than against Goldman Sachs.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  40. WhatEvvs [AKA "Mipchunk"] says:
    @Anonymous Nephew
    "he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West"

    You write that as if it's not true.

    @SFG - you are right that the history goes way back.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Lithuanian_Commonwealth

    "The Commonwealth reached its Golden Age in the early 17th century. Its powerful parliament was dominated by nobles (Pic. 2) who were reluctant to get involved in the Thirty Years' War; this neutrality spared the country from the ravages of a political-religious conflict which devastated most of contemporary Europe. The Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Sweden, the Tsardom of Russia, and vassals of the Ottoman Empire, and even launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors. In several invasions during the Time of Troubles, Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow and hold it from September 27, 1610, to November 4, 1612, until they were driven out after a siege."

    It’s not true. The only difference between Putin’s Russia and the drunk’s is that now it’s ethnic Russians screwing Russians instead of Jews, Armenians, etc. screwing Russians. Maybe that makes you white nats happy, but Russians are still living in what to an American would be a giant Appalachia.

    Don’t you guys ever get tired of whitey mcwhite white white white white white? I shouldn’t have asked the question, of course you don’t. You are a fun house mirror version of BLM. Are you queer, too?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  41. @Jack D
    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , "South Ossetia" is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    The whole thing IS a lot like Crimea and Ukraine and was a successful dry run for Putin's later tactics there. We were really stupid to fall into the same traps TWICE. Once is forgivable but twice shows that we are patzers playing against a chess master. Putin's fondest dream is to restore Russian rule to all the lost pieces of the Soviet empire. He knows that that's not really possible at the moment - Russia's GDP now ranks with Mexico and Canada (TOTAL GDP - per capita they're even lower). However, if he can take little nibbles here and there, it's better than nothing. He's in no position to capture the white queen but if he can take a pawn now and then it only improves his board position.

    First of all , “South Ossetia” is part of Georgia to begin with.

    That’s questionable. Present-day South Ossetia was mostly inhabited by Ossets before the Russian conquest. The Soviets, when drawing its borders, put it inside the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. But before the USSR ceased to exist, it declared its secession from Georgia. Now the legality of this declaration was questionable, but so was the dissolution of the USSR (or even its creation, if we go back far enough), so I’m not sure that’s a very good argument.

    What is true is that Ossetia was not controlled by Georgia ever since independence, inother words, its claim to this province was always a bit dubious.

    Sure, the Russians did help Ossetian separatists in 1992-93, but that was the case with many other successful (and later internationally recognized) secessions, like Croatia. Also the Georgians would’ve been more successful if they managed to keep their act together, and didn’t have their own internal civil war. And in 1993 the Georgians finally signed a few international treaties accepting the de facto (but not de iure) independence and the presence of (Russian) CIS peacekeepers.

    The provocations in 2008 were true of both sides, but only one of them planned a full-scale attack on the other.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  42. @Jack D
    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , "South Ossetia" is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    The whole thing IS a lot like Crimea and Ukraine and was a successful dry run for Putin's later tactics there. We were really stupid to fall into the same traps TWICE. Once is forgivable but twice shows that we are patzers playing against a chess master. Putin's fondest dream is to restore Russian rule to all the lost pieces of the Soviet empire. He knows that that's not really possible at the moment - Russia's GDP now ranks with Mexico and Canada (TOTAL GDP - per capita they're even lower). However, if he can take little nibbles here and there, it's better than nothing. He's in no position to capture the white queen but if he can take a pawn now and then it only improves his board position.

    Stalin was a shrewd operator who knew his homeland well. The minority nations had little interest in a Russian empire, whether run by the tsar or the Bolsheviks. They had to be put down by force in the Civil War era, and again during WWII.

    If you look at the boundaries of the old Soviet Republics you can see they were often designed to include a “poison pill”, another minority that would resist being placed under the governance of a larger neighbor. In turn that would give the Soviet authorities a basis to intervene and and an ally. S. Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabach, Transdnistra, etc are features not bugs.

    Not that I think any of ‘em are worth a Texas National Guardsman’s bones.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  43. @Jack D
    War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis. Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn't work - dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.

    I agree that starting a nuclear war with Russia is not a good idea, to say the least. But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of '45. Russia understood this and abided by these ground rules. MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories. For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again.

    That’s complete nonsense. We aren’t talking about “Russian aggression” but Russian response to aggression and being surrounded. How do think this country would respond to the obvious overthrow of the legitimate, democratically-elected government of Canada by Russia followed by the installment of an anti-American regime that discriminates against American citizens in Canada, has the Canadian government withdraw from NATO, openly begs for heavy weapons, and expresses a desire to join an enemy military alliance against us?

    “MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories.”

    Complete nonsense. Crimea is roughly the size of Vermont. So, in over a decade, they’ve reconquered Vermont…after being goaded into it by Western malfeasance. Any day now I expect Putin to be crossing the Rhine. Please.

    If you want to risk the mainland US over a commitment to Latvia (which, according to the NATO charter, we don’t really have anyway – we are only obligated to respond to an attack in some way that we see fit), go ahead. However, many of us consider Germany during the Cold War to be on a different level from Latvia today.

    Perhaps it is American aggression which encourages the Russians to defend themselves and not so much the other way around. The US blockaded the sovereign nation of Cuba when the Soviets placed nuclear weapons there, so why wouldn’t the Russians be within their rights to blockade Eastern Europe if Hillary announced that she was sending heavy weapons there?

    “The reason the “RESET” button didn’t work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms.”

    The “RESET” didn’t work because the US wanted Russia as a servile partner. In other words, “we’ll leave you alone if you let us run wild and overthrow whatever governments we like + plus surround you with an enemy military alliance.” The US lied to the Russians to get their support for a security council resolution, then manipulated that UN resolution to illegally overthrow the Libyan government against Russian wishes and advice; that’s what started a lot of this. The US doesn’t get to act like that and then claim that it’s Russia’s fault

    “For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again.”

    First, Western Europe and company outspend Russia about 7-1 on defense. So, that’s ludicrous. The Russian economy can’t afford that even if they wanted to. Second, it never ceases to amaze me just how easily Americans are able to heap scorn onto their targets for replicating just a tiny, infinitesimal, bit of what the US does on a global scale. As I said before, Crimea is only slightly larger than Vermont + the majority of the people who live there are Russian. Would you like to take a guess at the geographic area of NATO?

    “War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis.”

    Not really. The current sanctions are extremely contentious in Europe with many front runners for the next elections opposing them. That strategy isn’t feasible in the long-term.

    Also, we have security concerns elsewhere in the world that could be made much worse depending upon our actions with Russia, which, I think, is a subtle point that many John Wayne-type Americans don’t realize. Here’s what I would do (and what the Russians have already been doing in response) if I were the Russians: sell China the world’s best arms, including one of the world’s best air defense systems, the S-400. By selling China advanced arms, the Russians can preserve their military budget while causing enough problems for the US elsewhere that they can’t focus on Russia.

    Perhaps it is not a wise idea to antagonize a country that has signaled that it won’t be bullied and will respond by arming another country with a massive economy and military. The S-400′s range includes Taiwan. It would already take about 2/3′s of America’s entire air force to defend Taiwan from China (not really feasible) without the S-400. In five years time or so, the US would probably lose a war over Taiwan to China…thanks, in part, to Russian arms sales. That’s an incredible change since 2000. All things considered, why would this country risk worsening that situation by antagonizing Russia over nothing?

    https://warisboring.com/stopping-china-would-take-2-3-of-u-s-air-power-ec61386507cb#.93a01wrjj

    “But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45.”

    Ironically, the US has being flirting with disaster by doing the same thing to the Russians. By extending NATO to Russia’s border in clear violation of an unspoken agreement we had with them, we are forcing them into a situation where they draw a line in the sand and say “no farther.” I don’t blame them. I would personally never allow my country to be surrounded by an enemy military alliance, especially one with a history of lawless aggression (Libya) and reckless abandon (Iraq).

    “Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.”

    Actually, Hitler taught us that we shouldn’t foolishly give war guarantees to unimportant countries that 1. cant’ defend themselves 2. we can’t defend 3. aren’t worth it in the long run. After all the misery of WW2, what did we get? Eastern Europe under Soviet occupation, the same deal that we would have had under Germany. And all of that was BEFORE nuclear weapons. In any case, Putin isn’t a ‘dictator.’ He’s a democratically elected leader who has also been re-elected and enjoys higher approval ratings in his country than Obama does in this one. Americans have this nasty habit of calling anyone that doesn’t bow to them a ‘dictator.’

    You’re also in good company with Hillary:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/06/hillary-clinton-says-vladimir-putins-crimea-occupation-echoes-hitler

    Funny how Crimea echoes Hitler but the Iraq War and Libya don’t echo Mussolini.

    Things are about to get very dangerous for the world with Hillary in charge of an ignorant, self-righteous, war-mongering nation filled with closed-minded simpletons spoiling for a fight and backed up by what can only be described at this point as ‘state-run media.’

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    Well said, but let me quibble with one point: "By extending NATO to Russia’s border in clear violation of an unspoken agreement we had with them ..."

    The agreement was, I understand, spoken. The trouble was that it wasn't formalised, so when Bush the Elder was replaced by three duds in a row it was repeatedly welched on.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  44. @Jack D
    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , "South Ossetia" is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    The whole thing IS a lot like Crimea and Ukraine and was a successful dry run for Putin's later tactics there. We were really stupid to fall into the same traps TWICE. Once is forgivable but twice shows that we are patzers playing against a chess master. Putin's fondest dream is to restore Russian rule to all the lost pieces of the Soviet empire. He knows that that's not really possible at the moment - Russia's GDP now ranks with Mexico and Canada (TOTAL GDP - per capita they're even lower). However, if he can take little nibbles here and there, it's better than nothing. He's in no position to capture the white queen but if he can take a pawn now and then it only improves his board position.

    You should get out more. As Anatoly Karlin has demonstrated, Russia is now a bigger economy than Germany and China than the USA. Once the recession gets fully underway, the American economy will contract drastically as the dollar will cease to function as the world’s reserve currency.
    The D in Jack D obviously stands for Dimwit.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  45. @Jack D
    One of the principles that was (supposedly) established at the end of WWII (one that was convenient for the Russians who ended up with the most pieces on the board) was that henceforth there would be no more wars to establish new borders, regardless of how the ethnic cards fell. The world is enough of a big ethnic mishmosh that you can never perfectly align the borders with ethnicity and please everyone. And ethnicities change over time - if say northern New Hampshire one day became majority French Canadian, should we cede that territory to Quebec?

    The advantage of settled borders is that they are settled and nobody has to die. Living in peace under a moderately shitty Georgian regime is better for the average person than having your home destroyed and half your family killed so that the local Ossetian warlord can extort you for taxes instead of the Georgians.

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.

    A lot of principles were disestablished by the West, e.g. fighting a war to help the secession of Kosovo, fighting Iraq to… God knows why, etc.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  46. @Jack D
    War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis. Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn't work - dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.

    I agree that starting a nuclear war with Russia is not a good idea, to say the least. But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of '45. Russia understood this and abided by these ground rules. MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories. For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again.

    there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45.

    And the American tanks also couldn’t go further than they did in 1945. This is what the American governments (and, apparently, you) don’t want to accept now: that there could be places where nothing is tha Americans’ business. That’s what Putin asked for: that there should be a Russian sphere of influence. Given how much criticism Putin got for kicking out Soros’s NGOs from Russia, apparently the American government considers it its business what is happening within Russia’s borders.

    Never mind, we Hungarians learnt it the hard way in 1956, when in spite of the promises told in Radio Free Europe, the Americans didn’t come to liberate us. Good for them, I say, good for the world, and probably good for Hungary, because Hungary and tge whole of Europe and much of tge world would have been destroyed in the resulting conflagration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I didn't get an edit function at all.

    tge=the
    , @Jack D

    That’s what Putin asked for: that there should be a Russian sphere of influence.
     
    How do you feel about that including Hungary again? Is that OK with you?

    The US was not happy with the Russian territorial advances at the end of WWII but it was not willing to start another war over them. Then nuclear weapons made starting another war unthinkable. Then at the end of the Cold War , Russians finally retreated, much to the relief of all the occupied countries. Now Putin would like to come back. Should the people of the territories involved have any say in this this time? Is it wrong for them to turn to the US to prevent the Russian from giving them another "bear hug"?

    Honestly, the US would have no interest in places like Lithuania except for the fact that the Russians keep trying to reestablish their "sphere of influence" in places where they are not welcome and will never be welcome.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  47. @Jack D
    War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis. Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn't work - dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.

    I agree that starting a nuclear war with Russia is not a good idea, to say the least. But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of '45. Russia understood this and abided by these ground rules. MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories. For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again.

    Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with.

    Hitler was in many respects a highly unusual dictator. He loved taking risks. Putin is totally different, he only acts when he feels drawn into a corner.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Hitler was in many respects a highly unusual dictator." He certainly was.

    I'm baffled that anyone can say "appeasement doesn’t work": if it hadn't worked sometimes for thousands of years, people wouldn't keep trying it.
    , @Jack D
    Oh, BS. That's always the Russian's excuse - we only attacked because we were cornered. He was cornered in Ukraine because the Ukrainian people overthrew his puppet kleptocrat?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  48. @reiner Tor

    there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45.
     
    And the American tanks also couldn't go further than they did in 1945. This is what the American governments (and, apparently, you) don't want to accept now: that there could be places where nothing is tha Americans' business. That's what Putin asked for: that there should be a Russian sphere of influence. Given how much criticism Putin got for kicking out Soros's NGOs from Russia, apparently the American government considers it its business what is happening within Russia's borders.

    Never mind, we Hungarians learnt it the hard way in 1956, when in spite of the promises told in Radio Free Europe, the Americans didn't come to liberate us. Good for them, I say, good for the world, and probably good for Hungary, because Hungary and tge whole of Europe and much of tge world would have been destroyed in the resulting conflagration.

    I didn’t get an edit function at all.

    tge=the

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  49. Off-topic:

    Watched the Rio opening ceremonies last night. Two things jumped out:

    Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth

    The Girl from Ipanema is “hideously White”: German-Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen played the part in the opening. Wonder how that makes the Black half of Brazil feel? Of course, the inspiration for the song was a White woman:

    Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (born July 7, 1945), better known as Helô Pinheiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [eˈlo piˈɲejɾu]), is a Brazilian model and businesswoman.
    At the age of 17, Pinheiro became the source of inspiration for the song “Girl from Ipanema” when she was seen strolling to the beach in her native Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema neighbourhood by songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.[1]
    Pinheiro became a Brazilian Playboy Playmate in 1987 and once again in 2003,[2] when she did a pictorial along with her daughter, Ticiane Pinheiro.
    She also appeared in the second season of The Amazing Race, for the Beach portion of the first Detour clue, and on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 12, for a modelling challenge in Brazil.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helo%C3%ADsa_Pinheiro

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth]

    It's not a myth, he had some remarkable achievements to his credit. The first controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft wasn't one of them, but still.

    , @Mr. Anon
    "Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (born July 7, 1945), better known as Helô Pinheiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [eˈlo piˈɲejɾu]), is a Brazilian model and businesswoman.
    At the age of 17, Pinheiro became the source of inspiration for the song “Girl from Ipanema” when she was seen strolling to the beach in her native Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema neighbourhood by songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.[1]"

    If they wrote the song today, Jobim and Moraes would have to include a stanza about her contracting a flesh-eating staph-infection.
    , @Stan Adams
    I kept looking for the Brazilian Mr. Bean, but I couldn't find him.
    , @PistolPete
    Fun fact: Her daughter Ticiane Pinheiro married Brazil's Donald Trump, Roberto Justus. (He was the host of the Brazilian version of The Apprentice)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Justus

    (My mom thinks hes most handsome man on Brazilian TV, but he's not my type...)


    I don't know why, but it seems Brazil having a large European population irks Americans. Its not insignificant like some Caribbean country. We are talking tens of millions, if not over 100 million. Why shouldn't a white Brazilian be a part of the opening ceremony?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  50. @reiner Tor

    Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with.
     
    Hitler was in many respects a highly unusual dictator. He loved taking risks. Putin is totally different, he only acts when he feels drawn into a corner.

    “Hitler was in many respects a highly unusual dictator.” He certainly was.

    I’m baffled that anyone can say “appeasement doesn’t work”: if it hadn’t worked sometimes for thousands of years, people wouldn’t keep trying it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    Appeasement working has been the norm throughout history. Off the top of my head - the entire relationship between China and Korea. China under the Tang Dynasty tried to conquer Korea several times and failed miserably each time. Nonetheless, the Koreans realized that China had the resources to keep coming back, and it was only a matter of time before they succeeded. So they worked out a deal where they became part of Chima's tribute system. The tribute included, among other things, women for the emperor's harem.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  51. @reiner Tor

    Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with.
     
    Hitler was in many respects a highly unusual dictator. He loved taking risks. Putin is totally different, he only acts when he feels drawn into a corner.

    Oh, BS. That’s always the Russian’s excuse – we only attacked because we were cornered. He was cornered in Ukraine because the Ukrainian people overthrew his puppet kleptocrat?

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    You spelt wrongly "because US agents and fanatical Russophobes illegally overthrew the democratically elected president whom Russians in the country preferred to the alternative".
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Oh, BS. That’s always the Russian’s excuse – we only attacked because we were cornered. He was cornered in Ukraine because the Ukrainian people overthrew his puppet kleptocrat?"

    They overthrew Russia's puppet kleptocrat with American help, and installed US puppet kleptocrats.

    The Ukraine is of no interest to me. It is certainly not worth a nuclear war.

    By the way, are you cool with our government (and, of course, my use of the term "our" when referring to the American government is entirely notional, as it doesn't really represent me) interfering in russian internal matters in the area of gay-rights - of us trying to force the homosexual agenda on Russia?

    You are welcome to antagonize Russia all on your own, if you like, but don't drag the rest of us into your little spat.
    , @reiner Tor
    I don't care how you perceive Putin's situation. What matters is how Putin perceives it vs. how Hitler perceived his.

    What you have to admit is that Putin was only reacting to other developments and is on the strategic defense rather than offense, as opposed to Hitler.

    Even your own opinion contradicts your Hitler rhetoric. For example, you write that Yanukovich was his puppet. (Untrue, but let's just accept for a moment.) This then means that he just lost a country ran by a puppet, and then all he could do was conquer a small piece of it. (Reality was different in that Yanukovich was neutral, balancing his act between the West and Russia, and now his country became hostile.)

    Czechoslovakia during the Sudeten crisis had not been run by a puppet of Hitler, instead, Czechoslovakia had always been hostile to Germany, so Hitler was on the strategic offense.

    I think you can admit that the Hitler comparison was silly.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  52. @reiner Tor

    there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45.
     
    And the American tanks also couldn't go further than they did in 1945. This is what the American governments (and, apparently, you) don't want to accept now: that there could be places where nothing is tha Americans' business. That's what Putin asked for: that there should be a Russian sphere of influence. Given how much criticism Putin got for kicking out Soros's NGOs from Russia, apparently the American government considers it its business what is happening within Russia's borders.

    Never mind, we Hungarians learnt it the hard way in 1956, when in spite of the promises told in Radio Free Europe, the Americans didn't come to liberate us. Good for them, I say, good for the world, and probably good for Hungary, because Hungary and tge whole of Europe and much of tge world would have been destroyed in the resulting conflagration.

    That’s what Putin asked for: that there should be a Russian sphere of influence.

    How do you feel about that including Hungary again? Is that OK with you?

    The US was not happy with the Russian territorial advances at the end of WWII but it was not willing to start another war over them. Then nuclear weapons made starting another war unthinkable. Then at the end of the Cold War , Russians finally retreated, much to the relief of all the occupied countries. Now Putin would like to come back. Should the people of the territories involved have any say in this this time? Is it wrong for them to turn to the US to prevent the Russian from giving them another “bear hug”?

    Honestly, the US would have no interest in places like Lithuania except for the fact that the Russians keep trying to reestablish their “sphere of influence” in places where they are not welcome and will never be welcome.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    How do you feel about that including Hungary again? Is that OK with you?
     
    My point was that when we were on the Russian side of the fence, nobody came to liberate us. Now that we're on the Western side, I'm unwilling to risk the destruction of my country to "liberate" countries on the other side of it.

    Especially since what these countries have to put up with is way less than what we had to put up with, essentially just Finlandization, i.e. not joining the other side and not being openly hostile to Russia. They aren't forced to have an idiotic Communist government or one-party rule, nor is there a Russian military occupation.

    I support sending Hungarian troops to Latvia as part of a NATO policy, even if I understand Russian concerns about it, because Latvia is on our side of the fence. But I think it's idiotic to push the fence ever further to the east.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  53. @Bill Jones
    It was the Bush Regime that first pushed NATO to the borders of Russia in 2004 with the addition of :
    Bulgaria
    Estonia
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Romania
    Slovakia
    Slovenia

    hatever narrative you've got in mind ain't workin.

    Thank you for that correction. I stand corrected.I had not been thinking about Bush but rather Clinton and more recent developments after Russia began to regain its stability.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  54. @Jack D
    Maybe the next President could present Putin with a big red button marked "RESET" in Russian. That will surely do it this time.

    The reason the "RESET" button didn't work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms. He is like a more sane version of the Kim family in N. Korea - he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West and himself as the czar who will rally the masses to defend the fortress. The Czar of all the Russias and his loyal vassals must naturally be richly compensated for this heroic service, so if the common Russian has to live worse than a Mexican, that's a small price to pay compared to being overrun by the Mongol/American hordes who will prostitute your daughters and force them to dance to Negro music. It's totally working for him and he has zero reason to change.

    I see. My impression is a little different from that but I see your point. I still believe he wants good relations with the USA

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  55. @Jack D
    Maybe the next President could present Putin with a big red button marked "RESET" in Russian. That will surely do it this time.

    The reason the "RESET" button didn't work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms. He is like a more sane version of the Kim family in N. Korea - he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West and himself as the czar who will rally the masses to defend the fortress. The Czar of all the Russias and his loyal vassals must naturally be richly compensated for this heroic service, so if the common Russian has to live worse than a Mexican, that's a small price to pay compared to being overrun by the Mongol/American hordes who will prostitute your daughters and force them to dance to Negro music. It's totally working for him and he has zero reason to change.

    If you’re trying to create some sort of moral/ethical differentiation between Putin and Dubya/Obama, sorry, you’re failing miserably. Why should the Russians, or any other nation state with a logical government, have any reason over the past 30 years to engage with such an abysmally fickle “ally” like the United States?

    For better or worse, Russians look at every geopolitical issue through the prism of regularly being invaded and losing millions of Russians in the fight to rid their land of invaders. Are you trying to say that the attitude is indefensible? Are the Russians, still a superpower in the ability to project force, allowed a sphere of influence? Are you OK with a new Warsaw Pact that has Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil as members?

    Putin is a gangster. I get that. But you need a gangster to control the gangs. I know too much about our own government and their media lapdogs to accept anything they report about Russia these days.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D

    Are you trying to say that the attitude is indefensible?
     
    Yes, I am. In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again. Bullies always like to say that they were being threatened and were just defending themselves.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  56. @syonredux
    Off-topic:

    Watched the Rio opening ceremonies last night. Two things jumped out:

    Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth

    The Girl from Ipanema is "hideously White": German-Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen played the part in the opening. Wonder how that makes the Black half of Brazil feel? Of course, the inspiration for the song was a White woman:

    Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (born July 7, 1945), better known as Helô Pinheiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [eˈlo piˈɲejɾu]), is a Brazilian model and businesswoman.
    At the age of 17, Pinheiro became the source of inspiration for the song "Girl from Ipanema" when she was seen strolling to the beach in her native Rio de Janeiro's Ipanema neighbourhood by songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.[1]
    Pinheiro became a Brazilian Playboy Playmate in 1987 and once again in 2003,[2] when she did a pictorial along with her daughter, Ticiane Pinheiro.
    She also appeared in the second season of The Amazing Race, for the Beach portion of the first Detour clue, and on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 12, for a modelling challenge in Brazil.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helo%C3%ADsa_Pinheiro

    [Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth]

    It’s not a myth, he had some remarkable achievements to his credit. The first controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft wasn’t one of them, but still.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    [Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth]

    It’s not a myth, he had some remarkable achievements to his credit. The first controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft wasn’t one of them, but still.
     
    That's the myth that I was referring to, the Brazilian belief that he made the first controlled flight in a heavier-than-air flying machine.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  57. Central to this globally important dispute the US should go to war over is a tunnel the South Ossettians control.

    http://acrossdifficultcountry.blogspot.com/2006/09/georgia-vs-south-ossetia.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  58. @Brutusale
    If you're trying to create some sort of moral/ethical differentiation between Putin and Dubya/Obama, sorry, you're failing miserably. Why should the Russians, or any other nation state with a logical government, have any reason over the past 30 years to engage with such an abysmally fickle "ally" like the United States?

    For better or worse, Russians look at every geopolitical issue through the prism of regularly being invaded and losing millions of Russians in the fight to rid their land of invaders. Are you trying to say that the attitude is indefensible? Are the Russians, still a superpower in the ability to project force, allowed a sphere of influence? Are you OK with a new Warsaw Pact that has Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil as members?

    Putin is a gangster. I get that. But you need a gangster to control the gangs. I know too much about our own government and their media lapdogs to accept anything they report about Russia these days.

    Are you trying to say that the attitude is indefensible?

    Yes, I am. In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again. Bullies always like to say that they were being threatened and were just defending themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    You exemplify the psychological concept of transference to a tee. You don't blame your own government for its threats, bullying, bellicosity, lies and invasions. You claim that an external government, in this case Russia, is responsible for all these things. The American government is only reacting to these gross provocations by Putin and his thugs.
    The American Government has gone back on undertakings and expanded NATO right up to Russia's borders. It has helped overthrow the legitimate Government of the Ukraine and put a Western puppet in its place. It instigated Georgia to attack Russian troops. Numerous Middle Eastern countries have been invaded to make the Middle East safe for Israel.
    You really are a very sick man, Jack Dimwit, for that's what you are.
    , @reiner Tor

    In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again.
     
    The same is true of the US, so why is the US concerned about what happens outside its borders? I mean, if Russia should be unconcerned about what happens right next door in a large country of 45 million, which is also majority (or at least plurality) Russian speaking (and maybe 20% ethnically Russian), contained one of the largest Russian military ports, than why should the US be concerned about anything outside its borders?

    I mean, the US hasn't been invaded for over two hundred years, chances of it being attacked "in the context of the modern world" is nil, zero, zilch.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  59. @Jack D
    Maybe the next President could present Putin with a big red button marked "RESET" in Russian. That will surely do it this time.

    The reason the "RESET" button didn't work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms. He is like a more sane version of the Kim family in N. Korea - he maintains his legitimacy by portraying Russia as an embattled fortress surround by the decadent West and himself as the czar who will rally the masses to defend the fortress. The Czar of all the Russias and his loyal vassals must naturally be richly compensated for this heroic service, so if the common Russian has to live worse than a Mexican, that's a small price to pay compared to being overrun by the Mongol/American hordes who will prostitute your daughters and force them to dance to Negro music. It's totally working for him and he has zero reason to change.

    When your co-religionists or fellow tribesmen ruled Russia in their own and the US interest, Russians had ample opportunity to observe that the misfortunes stemming from surrender to the west are far from imaginary.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  60. @Jack D
    Oh, BS. That's always the Russian's excuse - we only attacked because we were cornered. He was cornered in Ukraine because the Ukrainian people overthrew his puppet kleptocrat?

    You spelt wrongly “because US agents and fanatical Russophobes illegally overthrew the democratically elected president whom Russians in the country preferred to the alternative”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  61. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    I agree with Trump that “Why can’t we use nukes” against limited, non-China/Russia allied enemies. Why not nuke Pakistan, and the Saudis, if they launch through their intelligence services another 9/11 attack on us? In fact why not announce in the first place we’d do so.

    We are now caught in a trap. We have abjured conventional military action because it brings too much casualties and looks bad on TV. We would have surrendered in weeks in WWII if we had TV back then. We have whack-a-mole with drones that are fairly ineffective in getting the main Saudi and Pakistani intelligence organizers behind things like 9/11 or the Bombay attacks. We have small group/lone wolf Jihadi attacks which are bad enough; but Saudi/Pakistani intelligence actually organizing these guys for say a dirty bomb attack, flying a DHL/FedEx jetliner into a football stadium or packed skyscraper will cause tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of casualties.

    By announcing and making CREDIBLE threats to nuke the host country behind such attacks into oblivion, we put the fear of Allah into the organizers. We still have lone wolf and small group attacks which are bad enough; but as long as we are realistically believed to be willing and able and guaranteed to launch such a nuke attack, even the most fanatic will quail before our obvious advantage.

    We spend a lot of money on our nuke forces, they ought to be used to deter not just Russian/Chinese nuke attacks but mass casualty attacks organized by Muslim hell hole intelligence services as well.

    Hillary of course wants a war with Russia while surrendering to any mass casualty attacks by Muslim intelligence agencies. She’s all but signaled war with Putin over Crimea/Ukraine (who cares, let Putin have it), Syria (same), and Estonia (really, I want my city nuked to save Estonians from being ruled by Putin?). Meanwhile she seems to be signaling that we will convert to Sharia with the next 9/11 attack.

    I’m sure Hillary! is a Nice. White. Lady. Just like Mother Merkel.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Droning Pakistan won't stop a Muslim from hacking someone in Belgium with a machete or shooting up a gay club in Orlando. Elites have this James Bond movie mindset where evil is perpetrated by masterminds in far off hideouts. It isn't. It's diffuse, and the medium is Muslims.

    Islamic State taking credit for a hatchet attack is like Jodie Foster taking credit for shooting Ronald Reagan. Nuking Saudi Arabia or Pakistan wouldn't stop terrorism. The solution is to stop importing Muslims and make the ones already here pay some price for acts of terror: shut down the mosque a terrorist attended, deport his imam and his family, etc.

    Granted that goes against western values, but so does terrorism, and the fear of death for terrorists isn't enough of a deterrent. There needs to be community pressure.
    , @Lagertha
    After 9/11, I felt we should fully quarantine the entire Muslim world. As an immigrant from a non-theocratic nation, I did not then, and continue to not see any logic in letting in people to the U.S. who have nothing to offer, who cling to their severe cultural differences that they impose on the host country public (headscarves/no pork for school lunches/making animals suffer for halal shit - sooo disgusting/ multiple wives) . There has to be a benefit for the U.S. for each and every immigrant. If there is no benefit, well, go back to your country to become better educated - we've got enough people in our country who need our help and $$$, and they have been here for centuries.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  62. “For Putin, Disinformation Is Power
    By ARKADY OSTROVSKY AUG. 5, 2016″

    Given that Ostrovsky writes for The Economist, it’s probably safe to assume that everything he writes is either falacious or a lie.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  63. How do you feel about that including Hungary again? Is that OK with you?

    I respect your position, but seriously, South Ossetia, Crimea, and the Donbass aren’t exactly Budapest, Dresden, and Prague (or even Helsinki). They were part of the USSR. Surely, we can afford to give Moscow some leniency over lands where it ruled as recently as 1991?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  64. @Jack D
    Oh, BS. That's always the Russian's excuse - we only attacked because we were cornered. He was cornered in Ukraine because the Ukrainian people overthrew his puppet kleptocrat?

    “Oh, BS. That’s always the Russian’s excuse – we only attacked because we were cornered. He was cornered in Ukraine because the Ukrainian people overthrew his puppet kleptocrat?”

    They overthrew Russia’s puppet kleptocrat with American help, and installed US puppet kleptocrats.

    The Ukraine is of no interest to me. It is certainly not worth a nuclear war.

    By the way, are you cool with our government (and, of course, my use of the term “our” when referring to the American government is entirely notional, as it doesn’t really represent me) interfering in russian internal matters in the area of gay-rights – of us trying to force the homosexual agenda on Russia?

    You are welcome to antagonize Russia all on your own, if you like, but don’t drag the rest of us into your little spat.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  65. @Anonymous Nephew
    The fact that we could do nothing to protect Poland was a given after the Nazi-Soviet pact. All Chamberlain could do was tell Hitler that invading Poland would mean war with the UK.

    Prior to the N-S pact Churchill and the Tory back benchers were telling Chamberlain "we must get Russia in". But the Poles wouldn't take any help from Russia, Chamberlain sent such a low-level envoy to Moscow that it was seen as a snub, and Stalin eventually sacked Litvinov (Jewish) and appointed Molotov to cut a deal with Hitler.

    Some parallels today. Poland is still very anti-Russian, although they face the threat of mass immigration being forced on them by their Western "allies" and Germany in particular. After 50 years of Russian domination post-1945, and all the evils of the WW2 period, Poland was still inhabited by Poles, and there were also Poles living in formerly Prussian areas like Pomerania and East Prussia.

    War with Hitler was inevitable once the Western allies quailed at removing Hitler during his militarization of the Rhineland, when removing him would have been cheap and easy (his General Staff feared this and argued against moving troops into the Rhineland, Germany was weak then).

    Hitler’s aims were to create a giant slave state aping Rome in an industrial setting. Not just Poland but Russia, and also France and the Benelux Countries and the Scandinavian nations were to be subject, as was Switzerland who Hitler despised as being “depraved Germans” who had too much affection for their French and Italian speaking cantons and too much self-government instead of Fuhrer / Kaiser / Caesar absolutism.

    Hitler’s aims for a giant slave state guaranteed war with those who wished not to be German slaves. So by putting off the War early when it could have been fought under favorable terms, the British fought it badly under unfavorable terms. Just as Western publics want to be “nice” and avoid a fight over mass Third World immigration because it would upset Nice White Ladies and so fight on the most unfavorable terms with much of the Third World already colonizing them.

    Putin is not Hitler. He aims opportunistically to create as much of the USSR as he can, where he can take the least risk and get the most gain. He has no over-arching desire to recreate Ancient Roman Imperialism, he would undoubtedly like to take some Polish territory but most likely does not want an entire restive Polish nation constantly rebelling against him and Russia. The same for the Baltics. He’d like much of them, but has probably no desire to invade and conquer Sweden and thus get Swedes fighting him for generations. He already has enough headaches with Muslims in the Caucuses.

    Thus to deal with Putin the best course is to oppose him where he is weak (Poland, Sweden, likely Hungary) and not to fight him where he is strong (the Baltics, Ukraine). Because Putin is opportunistic and does not see himself as the heir of Caesar, or Charlemagne, this is sensible.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  66. @Jack D

    Are you trying to say that the attitude is indefensible?
     
    Yes, I am. In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again. Bullies always like to say that they were being threatened and were just defending themselves.

    You exemplify the psychological concept of transference to a tee. You don’t blame your own government for its threats, bullying, bellicosity, lies and invasions. You claim that an external government, in this case Russia, is responsible for all these things. The American government is only reacting to these gross provocations by Putin and his thugs.
    The American Government has gone back on undertakings and expanded NATO right up to Russia’s borders. It has helped overthrow the legitimate Government of the Ukraine and put a Western puppet in its place. It instigated Georgia to attack Russian troops. Numerous Middle Eastern countries have been invaded to make the Middle East safe for Israel.
    You really are a very sick man, Jack Dimwit, for that’s what you are.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  67. @syonredux
    Off-topic:

    Watched the Rio opening ceremonies last night. Two things jumped out:

    Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth

    The Girl from Ipanema is "hideously White": German-Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen played the part in the opening. Wonder how that makes the Black half of Brazil feel? Of course, the inspiration for the song was a White woman:

    Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (born July 7, 1945), better known as Helô Pinheiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [eˈlo piˈɲejɾu]), is a Brazilian model and businesswoman.
    At the age of 17, Pinheiro became the source of inspiration for the song "Girl from Ipanema" when she was seen strolling to the beach in her native Rio de Janeiro's Ipanema neighbourhood by songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.[1]
    Pinheiro became a Brazilian Playboy Playmate in 1987 and once again in 2003,[2] when she did a pictorial along with her daughter, Ticiane Pinheiro.
    She also appeared in the second season of The Amazing Race, for the Beach portion of the first Detour clue, and on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 12, for a modelling challenge in Brazil.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helo%C3%ADsa_Pinheiro

    “Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (born July 7, 1945), better known as Helô Pinheiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [eˈlo piˈɲejɾu]), is a Brazilian model and businesswoman.
    At the age of 17, Pinheiro became the source of inspiration for the song “Girl from Ipanema” when she was seen strolling to the beach in her native Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema neighbourhood by songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.[1]”

    If they wrote the song today, Jobim and Moraes would have to include a stanza about her contracting a flesh-eating staph-infection.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  68. @Jack D
    War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis. Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn't work - dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.

    I agree that starting a nuclear war with Russia is not a good idea, to say the least. But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of '45. Russia understood this and abided by these ground rules. MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories. For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again.

    “Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later.”

    Yeah, yeah, it’s always 1939. Not every dictator is Hitler. In fact, only Hitler was Hitler. That’s all ancient history – you might as well be talking about Darius, Emperor of Persia.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  69. @Jack D
    One of the principles that was (supposedly) established at the end of WWII (one that was convenient for the Russians who ended up with the most pieces on the board) was that henceforth there would be no more wars to establish new borders, regardless of how the ethnic cards fell. The world is enough of a big ethnic mishmosh that you can never perfectly align the borders with ethnicity and please everyone. And ethnicities change over time - if say northern New Hampshire one day became majority French Canadian, should we cede that territory to Quebec?

    The advantage of settled borders is that they are settled and nobody has to die. Living in peace under a moderately shitty Georgian regime is better for the average person than having your home destroyed and half your family killed so that the local Ossetian warlord can extort you for taxes instead of the Georgians.

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.

    It’s worth noting that the population of South Ossetia is 53,000. It broke away from Georgia in 1990, before the USSR dissolved.

    The same is true about Abkhazia and Transnistria: They are tiny and they broke away when the USSR dissolved, about 25 years ago.

    If the Russians had wanted to keep those territories, they could have done so, easily, since they already controlled them. Moreover, they would have been within their legal rights to do so, since the international borders of Georgia and Moldova had not yet been settled. They were at that time territories of the USSR, not independent nations, and the USSR could legally have redrawn their borders anywhere it liked.

    It’s also worth noting that those events took place long years before Putin came into office.

    The idea that the Putin sponsored ethnic wars in these territories so that he could roll in the tanks doesn’t match up with the chronology. It’s also absurd to characterize these events at Russia “nibbling away” to “restore its former empire.” Russia didn’t particularly want any of these areas. They stepped in with peacekeepers to end vicious civil wars that had erupted after the dissolution, and all three territories have been nothing but huge headaches for Russia for over two decades.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  70. @5371
    [Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth]

    It's not a myth, he had some remarkable achievements to his credit. The first controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft wasn't one of them, but still.

    [Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth]

    It’s not a myth, he had some remarkable achievements to his credit. The first controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft wasn’t one of them, but still.

    That’s the myth that I was referring to, the Brazilian belief that he made the first controlled flight in a heavier-than-air flying machine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    What makes you think it was the Wright brothers?
    Oh, right, the Wright brothers said so.

    And then, of course there's that Italian chappie.....

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  71. @anon
    Kind of like Chamberlain's INSANE pledge to Poland in 1939. I still can't decide what was crazier. The U.K. making the pledge or the Polish military junta government actually believing it?

    This book is great on the last few months before the war. The sections about the barking mad whack-jobs running Poland are astonishing.

    https://www.amazon.com/1939-Countdown-War-Richard-Overy/dp/B004EYTK2M/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470517277&sr=1-2&keywords=1939#navbar

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  72. @syonredux

    [Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth]

    It’s not a myth, he had some remarkable achievements to his credit. The first controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft wasn’t one of them, but still.
     
    That's the myth that I was referring to, the Brazilian belief that he made the first controlled flight in a heavier-than-air flying machine.

    What makes you think it was the Wright brothers?
    Oh, right, the Wright brothers said so.

    And then, of course there’s that Italian chappie…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    What makes you think it was the Wright brothers?
    Oh, right, the Wright brothers said so.
     
    Dunno, dear fellow. Lots of people have looked into the history of flight, circa 1900-1908. The Wright Bros were clearly in the lead.
    , @syonredux

    Folks, I assume you've all tumbled to the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy; I think you're ready for the truth about inventors. They rarely cook up a new device or process from scratch; more often they merely add a few essential twists to an almost-there technology that's waiting to be born. Just so with aircraft. Even discounting man-lifting kites, balloons, parachutes, gliders, and airships, lots of people beat the Wrights to powered heavier-than-air takeoffs. What the Wrights invented was the first practical airplane — one capable of controlled, sustained flight.

    First, Stringfellow. He recorded a successful indoor flight with a small steam-powered model propeller plane in 1848. So sure, Stringfellow achieved powered — but unmanned — flight.

    The next major contender was Felix du Temple, whose manned powered plane launched from a ramp in 1874 and was airborne only briefly. This was less a sustained flight than a powered glide.

    In 1890, Frenchman Clement Ader piloted the first manned plane to take off from level ground under its own power, in uncontrolled but arguably sustained flight (definitions vary). A worthy feat, but Ader loses points for his discredited claims of an 1897 flight.

    Your Scottish entrant, Tony, was probably Preston Watson. His brother once claimed Preston had flown a powered plane in 1903 but later determined the craft in question was a glider. Not everyone got the memo.

    New Zealander Richard Pearse made short semisuccessful flights in a gasoline-powered plane, probably in mid-1903 (the year is disputed). If so, they were the first powered flights with theoretically reasonable controls. Most of his attempts were interrupted by hedges in the testing area, and Pearse later admitted the plane was "uncontrollable." Practical airplane, no; first powered hedge clippers, maybe.

    Other notable manned but uncontrolled planes before the Wrights include those of Mozhaisky (1884, Russia), Hiram "Machine Gun" Maxim (1894, England), Wilhelm Kress (1901, Austria), Karl Jatho (1903, Germany), and Langley (1903, U.S.).

    That leaves the flights of the Wright brothers in 1903, right? Actually, that plane, taking off from a rail under its own power and flying upwards of 260 meters, was fully controllable in theory only. The Wrights had tested their wing-warping system for executing banked turns on gliders but didn't risk powered turns at this point.

    In 1904, the Wrights tested a new plane in Ohio. Early flights disappointed, the fault of both Dayton's undependable winds and oversensitive pitch controls. To combat the former, they built a starting derrick (read: a catapult) to pull them up to flying speed quickly. (The plane could take off without it but that required a much longer rail.) To improve pitch control, they added ballast and modified the elevators.

    Only after licking these problems did the Wrights attempt turns. By late 1904 they were flying in circles, a convenient standard for controlled flight. They made flights up to five minutes long in 1904 and, in a third plane, up to 38 minutes long in 1905. It's this third plane that many regard as the first practical airplane.


    It's sometimes said the Wrights' early flights weren't witnessed. In fact, dozens attended their 1903-'05 flights, and photographs show these planes aloft. One witness was Octave Chanute, another aviation pioneer. What's undeniable is that the flights weren't certified by an official body such as the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. FAI rules, which postdate the early Wright flights, don't allow starting assistance like the brothers' derrick (or for that matter aircraft carriers' steam catapults). Whether the Wrights could have made such impressive flights sans catapult is probable but unknowable. They flew well after unassisted takeoffs in 1908 at Kitty Hawk using the 1905 airframe, but these results aren't directly comparable because they'd installed a more powerful engine.

    Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian expat in France, won the honor of the first FAI-certified flight with a somewhat poorly controlled 220-meter trip in 1906. At the time Europeans doubted the Wrights' claims, and Santos-Dumont contended he was first, period.

    In everything but certification, though, the Wrights were well ahead of the pack. Their longest flights of 1903, '04, and '05 and their first circular flight weren't matched for three to four years. When Wilbur flew in Europe in 1908 without a catapult, he shattered all previous FAI records for distance, duration, and altitude.

    In later patent disputes, the Wrights were prickly, which cost them friends, including Chanute. They come off like money-grubbing SOBs — but SOBs who nonetheless invented (all together now) the first practical airplane.
     
    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2780/the-wright-stuff
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  73. @Jack D
    One of the principles that was (supposedly) established at the end of WWII (one that was convenient for the Russians who ended up with the most pieces on the board) was that henceforth there would be no more wars to establish new borders, regardless of how the ethnic cards fell. The world is enough of a big ethnic mishmosh that you can never perfectly align the borders with ethnicity and please everyone. And ethnicities change over time - if say northern New Hampshire one day became majority French Canadian, should we cede that territory to Quebec?

    The advantage of settled borders is that they are settled and nobody has to die. Living in peace under a moderately shitty Georgian regime is better for the average person than having your home destroyed and half your family killed so that the local Ossetian warlord can extort you for taxes instead of the Georgians.

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.

    You clearly are not aware of what happened in the world, the following all came about after WW2 because of wars AND lead to border changes.
    - Israel
    - China invading Tibet
    - India invading Goa
    - Korea
    - Turkey taking northern Cyprus
    - Ethiopian/Eritrean war
    - Sudan
    - The partition of India

    Ok, the partition of India was not a standard war, but creation of new borders was a bloody affair.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Also, there used to be this place called Yugoslavia.
    , @DB Cooper
    Well, India didn't just invade Goa, India invaded every single of its neighbors after WW2.

    1947 Annexation of Kashmir
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/06/indias-shame/
    http://thediplomat.com/2015/08/kashmirs-young-rebels/

    1949 Annexation of Manipur
    http://www.tehelka.com/manipurs-merger-with-india-was-a-forced-annexation/

    1949 Annexation of Tripura
    http://www.crescent-online.net/2009/09/the-myths-of-one-nation-and-one-hinduism-in-india-zawahir-siddique-2316-articles.html

    1951 Annexation of South Tibet:
    http://kanglaonline.com/2011/06/khathing-the-taking-of-tawang/
    http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article2582.html

    1961 Annexation of Goa:
    http://goa-invasion-1961.blogspot.in/2013/09/india-pirated-goa-china-is-regaining_16.html

    1962 Annexation of Kalapani, Nepal:
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/07032012-indian-hegemony-in-nepal-oped/
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1239348
    http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/land-disputes-116/

    1962 Aggression against China:
    http://gregoryclark.net/redif.html
    http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/news-events/podcasts/renewed-tension-indiachina-border-whos-blame

    1971 Annexation of Turtuk, Pakistan:
    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/suddenly-indian

    1972 Annexation of Tin Bigha, Bangladesh
    http://www.dhakatribune.com/op-ed/2014/feb/20/killing-fields

    1975 Annexation of Sikkim (the whole country):
    http://nepalitimes.com/issue/35/Nation/9621#.UohjPHQo6LA
    http://www.amazon.com/Smash-Grab-Annexation-Sunanda-Datta-Ray/dp/9383260386
    http://asiahouse.org/sikkim-tale-love-intrigue-cold-war-asia/
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/annexation-of-sikkim-by-india-was-not-legal-wangchuk-namgyal/1/391498.html


    1983 (Aborted) Attempted invasion of Mauritius
    http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/when-india-almost-invaded-mauritius/

    1990 (Failed) Attempted annexation of Bhutan:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/07/world/india-based-groups-seek-to-disrupt-bhutan.html

    2006 Annexation of Duars, Bhutan:
    http://wangchasangey.blogspot.in/2015/11/different-kind-of-anxieties-on.html#comment-form

    2013 Annexation of Moreh, Myanmar
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nehginpao-kipgen/easing-indiamyanmar-borde_b_4633040.html
    , @DB Cooper
    India didn't just invade Goa, it invade every single of its neighbors.

    1947 Annexation of Kashmir
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/06/indias-shame/
    http://thediplomat.com/2015/08/kashmirs-young-rebels/

    1949 Annexation of Manipur
    http://www.tehelka.com/manipurs-merger-with-india-was-a-forced-annexation/

    1949 Annexation of Tripura
    http://www.crescent-online.net/2009/09/the-myths-of-one-nation-and-one-hinduism-in-india-zawahir-siddique-2316-articles.html

    1951 Annexation of South Tibet:
    http://kanglaonline.com/2011/06/khathing-the-taking-of-tawang/
    http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article2582.html

    1961 Annexation of Goa:
    http://goa-invasion-1961.blogspot.in/2013/09/india-pirated-goa-china-is-regaining_16.html

    1962 Annexation of Kalapani, Nepal:
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/07032012-indian-hegemony-in-nepal-oped/
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1239348
    http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/land-disputes-116/

    1962 Aggression against China:
    http://gregoryclark.net/redif.html
    http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/news-events/podcasts/renewed-tension-indiachina-border-whos-blame

    1971 Annexation of Turtuk, Pakistan:
    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/suddenly-indian

    1972 Annexation of Tin Bigha, Bangladesh
    http://www.dhakatribune.com/op-ed/2014/feb/20/killing-fields

    1975 Annexation of Sikkim (the whole country):
    http://nepalitimes.com/issue/35/Nation/9621#.UohjPHQo6LA
    http://www.amazon.com/Smash-Grab-Annexation-Sunanda-Datta-Ray/dp/9383260386
    http://asiahouse.org/sikkim-tale-love-intrigue-cold-war-asia/
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/annexation-of-sikkim-by-india-was-not-legal-wangchuk-namgyal/1/391498.html


    1983 (Aborted) Attempted invasion of Mauritius
    http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/when-india-almost-invaded-mauritius/

    1990 (Failed) Attempted annexation of Bhutan:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/07/world/india-based-groups-seek-to-disrupt-bhutan.html

    2006 Annexation of Duars, Bhutan:
    http://wangchasangey.blogspot.in/2015/11/different-kind-of-anxieties-on.html#comment-form

    2013 Annexation of Moreh, Myanmar
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nehginpao-kipgen/easing-indiamyanmar-borde_b_4633040.html
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  74. @Bill Jones
    What makes you think it was the Wright brothers?
    Oh, right, the Wright brothers said so.

    And then, of course there's that Italian chappie.....

    What makes you think it was the Wright brothers?
    Oh, right, the Wright brothers said so.

    Dunno, dear fellow. Lots of people have looked into the history of flight, circa 1900-1908. The Wright Bros were clearly in the lead.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  75. @neutral
    You clearly are not aware of what happened in the world, the following all came about after WW2 because of wars AND lead to border changes.
    - Israel
    - China invading Tibet
    - India invading Goa
    - Korea
    - Turkey taking northern Cyprus
    - Ethiopian/Eritrean war
    - Sudan
    - The partition of India

    Ok, the partition of India was not a standard war, but creation of new borders was a bloody affair.

    Also, there used to be this place called Yugoslavia.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  76. @Bill Jones
    What makes you think it was the Wright brothers?
    Oh, right, the Wright brothers said so.

    And then, of course there's that Italian chappie.....

    Folks, I assume you’ve all tumbled to the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy; I think you’re ready for the truth about inventors. They rarely cook up a new device or process from scratch; more often they merely add a few essential twists to an almost-there technology that’s waiting to be born. Just so with aircraft. Even discounting man-lifting kites, balloons, parachutes, gliders, and airships, lots of people beat the Wrights to powered heavier-than-air takeoffs. What the Wrights invented was the first practical airplane — one capable of controlled, sustained flight.

    First, Stringfellow. He recorded a successful indoor flight with a small steam-powered model propeller plane in 1848. So sure, Stringfellow achieved powered — but unmanned — flight.

    The next major contender was Felix du Temple, whose manned powered plane launched from a ramp in 1874 and was airborne only briefly. This was less a sustained flight than a powered glide.

    In 1890, Frenchman Clement Ader piloted the first manned plane to take off from level ground under its own power, in uncontrolled but arguably sustained flight (definitions vary). A worthy feat, but Ader loses points for his discredited claims of an 1897 flight.

    Your Scottish entrant, Tony, was probably Preston Watson. His brother once claimed Preston had flown a powered plane in 1903 but later determined the craft in question was a glider. Not everyone got the memo.

    New Zealander Richard Pearse made short semisuccessful flights in a gasoline-powered plane, probably in mid-1903 (the year is disputed). If so, they were the first powered flights with theoretically reasonable controls. Most of his attempts were interrupted by hedges in the testing area, and Pearse later admitted the plane was “uncontrollable.” Practical airplane, no; first powered hedge clippers, maybe.

    Other notable manned but uncontrolled planes before the Wrights include those of Mozhaisky (1884, Russia), Hiram “Machine Gun” Maxim (1894, England), Wilhelm Kress (1901, Austria), Karl Jatho (1903, Germany), and Langley (1903, U.S.).

    That leaves the flights of the Wright brothers in 1903, right? Actually, that plane, taking off from a rail under its own power and flying upwards of 260 meters, was fully controllable in theory only. The Wrights had tested their wing-warping system for executing banked turns on gliders but didn’t risk powered turns at this point.

    In 1904, the Wrights tested a new plane in Ohio. Early flights disappointed, the fault of both Dayton’s undependable winds and oversensitive pitch controls. To combat the former, they built a starting derrick (read: a catapult) to pull them up to flying speed quickly. (The plane could take off without it but that required a much longer rail.) To improve pitch control, they added ballast and modified the elevators.

    Only after licking these problems did the Wrights attempt turns. By late 1904 they were flying in circles, a convenient standard for controlled flight. They made flights up to five minutes long in 1904 and, in a third plane, up to 38 minutes long in 1905. It’s this third plane that many regard as the first practical airplane.

    It’s sometimes said the Wrights’ early flights weren’t witnessed. In fact, dozens attended their 1903-’05 flights, and photographs show these planes aloft. One witness was Octave Chanute, another aviation pioneer. What’s undeniable is that the flights weren’t certified by an official body such as the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. FAI rules, which postdate the early Wright flights, don’t allow starting assistance like the brothers’ derrick (or for that matter aircraft carriers’ steam catapults). Whether the Wrights could have made such impressive flights sans catapult is probable but unknowable. They flew well after unassisted takeoffs in 1908 at Kitty Hawk using the 1905 airframe, but these results aren’t directly comparable because they’d installed a more powerful engine.

    Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian expat in France, won the honor of the first FAI-certified flight with a somewhat poorly controlled 220-meter trip in 1906. At the time Europeans doubted the Wrights’ claims, and Santos-Dumont contended he was first, period.

    In everything but certification, though, the Wrights were well ahead of the pack. Their longest flights of 1903, ’04, and ’05 and their first circular flight weren’t matched for three to four years. When Wilbur flew in Europe in 1908 without a catapult, he shattered all previous FAI records for distance, duration, and altitude.

    In later patent disputes, the Wrights were prickly, which cost them friends, including Chanute. They come off like money-grubbing SOBs — but SOBs who nonetheless invented (all together now) the first practical airplane.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2780/the-wright-stuff

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  77. @dearieme
    "Hitler was in many respects a highly unusual dictator." He certainly was.

    I'm baffled that anyone can say "appeasement doesn’t work": if it hadn't worked sometimes for thousands of years, people wouldn't keep trying it.

    Appeasement working has been the norm throughout history. Off the top of my head – the entire relationship between China and Korea. China under the Tang Dynasty tried to conquer Korea several times and failed miserably each time. Nonetheless, the Koreans realized that China had the resources to keep coming back, and it was only a matter of time before they succeeded. So they worked out a deal where they became part of Chima’s tribute system. The tribute included, among other things, women for the emperor’s harem.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  78. @Anon
    The idea of expanding NATO endlessly -- not sure where that came from. It strikes me as a zombie idea ... you can't kill it. No one (other than Russia) wants to say no. And it gets muddled with the expansion of the Eurozone. But the idea of expanding Europe Eastward never goes away.

    One requirement for NATO expansion is that the candidate country can't have current border disputes. Sort of like an insurance company not underwrite a burning building.

    So ... There are breakaway territories in Georgia and Moldova. Which precludes their admission, which is exactly what Russia wants. And now Ukraine is ineligible. The reason it doesn't/hasn't happened more is that the border dispute qualification isn't carved in stone, and there is always the chance that the ultra hawks will get their way and expand into a dispute. Someone always brings it up, so maybe it is considered best to not overuse the tactic.

    Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and it is hard to imagine anyone really wanting it. Furthermore, the breakaway area, Transdniester, is one of the least desirable parts of Moldova.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/transdniester.htm

    When you look at these places, it is obvious that they aren't worth any serious investment of anything. Why bother? It is also possible that people might look at a map and see that they are in the middle of nowhere.

    I also have a hunch that even the US is ok with it. At worst, it creates a minor problem that can then be put in the pile of stuff that will never get done. And at least some people in the US are smart enough to see it as a solution to the never ending expansion.

    Yeah, the parallel with the EU is obvious. At heart, the elites are globalists rather than Europeans or Atlanticists. They could have proposed a free trade, passport-free travel zone comprised of, say, the eight European countries with the highest GDP per capita, and there would never have been a Brexit.

    But they are compelled to bundle the good with the sh*t, because they want the proles to eat sh*t. It’s the same here. They could have had an immigration comprise years ago, with more tech visas in return for ending immigration of 4th grade dropouts from Chiapas and Jihadists from Somalia and Pakistan. But they want to rub your nose in the sh*t too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Quite right. The "make them eat s**t" part of the elite agenda is a very important part of it to them. Nothing is to be left to us - it must all be turned to crap.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  79. @syonredux
    Off-topic:

    Watched the Rio opening ceremonies last night. Two things jumped out:

    Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth

    The Girl from Ipanema is "hideously White": German-Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen played the part in the opening. Wonder how that makes the Black half of Brazil feel? Of course, the inspiration for the song was a White woman:

    Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (born July 7, 1945), better known as Helô Pinheiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [eˈlo piˈɲejɾu]), is a Brazilian model and businesswoman.
    At the age of 17, Pinheiro became the source of inspiration for the song "Girl from Ipanema" when she was seen strolling to the beach in her native Rio de Janeiro's Ipanema neighbourhood by songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.[1]
    Pinheiro became a Brazilian Playboy Playmate in 1987 and once again in 2003,[2] when she did a pictorial along with her daughter, Ticiane Pinheiro.
    She also appeared in the second season of The Amazing Race, for the Beach portion of the first Detour clue, and on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 12, for a modelling challenge in Brazil.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helo%C3%ADsa_Pinheiro

    I kept looking for the Brazilian Mr. Bean, but I couldn’t find him.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  80. @Dave Pinsen
    Yeah, the parallel with the EU is obvious. At heart, the elites are globalists rather than Europeans or Atlanticists. They could have proposed a free trade, passport-free travel zone comprised of, say, the eight European countries with the highest GDP per capita, and there would never have been a Brexit.

    But they are compelled to bundle the good with the sh*t, because they want the proles to eat sh*t. It's the same here. They could have had an immigration comprise years ago, with more tech visas in return for ending immigration of 4th grade dropouts from Chiapas and Jihadists from Somalia and Pakistan. But they want to rub your nose in the sh*t too.

    Quite right. The “make them eat s**t” part of the elite agenda is a very important part of it to them. Nothing is to be left to us – it must all be turned to crap.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Quite right. The “make them eat s**t” part of the elite agenda is a very important part of it to them. Nothing is to be left to us – it must all be turned to crap.
     
    Exactly. It's called "unconditional surrender".
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  81. @neutral
    You clearly are not aware of what happened in the world, the following all came about after WW2 because of wars AND lead to border changes.
    - Israel
    - China invading Tibet
    - India invading Goa
    - Korea
    - Turkey taking northern Cyprus
    - Ethiopian/Eritrean war
    - Sudan
    - The partition of India

    Ok, the partition of India was not a standard war, but creation of new borders was a bloody affair.

    Well, India didn’t just invade Goa, India invaded every single of its neighbors after WW2.

    1947 Annexation of Kashmir
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/06/indias-shame/
    http://thediplomat.com/2015/08/kashmirs-young-rebels/

    1949 Annexation of Manipur
    http://www.tehelka.com/manipurs-merger-with-india-was-a-forced-annexation/

    1949 Annexation of Tripura
    http://www.crescent-online.net/2009/09/the-myths-of-one-nation-and-one-hinduism-in-india-zawahir-siddique-2316-articles.html

    1951 Annexation of South Tibet:
    http://kanglaonline.com/2011/06/khathing-the-taking-of-tawang/
    http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article2582.html

    1961 Annexation of Goa:
    http://goa-invasion-1961.blogspot.in/2013/09/india-pirated-goa-china-is-regaining_16.html

    1962 Annexation of Kalapani, Nepal:
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/07032012-indian-hegemony-in-nepal-oped/
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1239348
    http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/land-disputes-116/

    1962 Aggression against China:
    http://gregoryclark.net/redif.html
    http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/news-events/podcasts/renewed-tension-indiachina-border-whos-blame

    1971 Annexation of Turtuk, Pakistan:
    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/suddenly-indian

    1972 Annexation of Tin Bigha, Bangladesh
    http://www.dhakatribune.com/op-ed/2014/feb/20/killing-fields

    1975 Annexation of Sikkim (the whole country):
    http://nepalitimes.com/issue/35/Nation/9621#.UohjPHQo6LA
    http://www.amazon.com/Smash-Grab-Annexation-Sunanda-Datta-Ray/dp/9383260386
    http://asiahouse.org/sikkim-tale-love-intrigue-cold-war-asia/
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/annexation-of-sikkim-by-india-was-not-legal-wangchuk-namgyal/1/391498.html

    1983 (Aborted) Attempted invasion of Mauritius
    http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/when-india-almost-invaded-mauritius/

    1990 (Failed) Attempted annexation of Bhutan:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/07/world/india-based-groups-seek-to-disrupt-bhutan.html

    2006 Annexation of Duars, Bhutan:
    http://wangchasangey.blogspot.in/2015/11/different-kind-of-anxieties-on.html#comment-form

    2013 Annexation of Moreh, Myanmar
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nehginpao-kipgen/easing-indiamyanmar-borde_b_4633040.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  82. @WhatEvvs
    Does the president really have his finger on the button? Isn't that just a figure of speech?

    Does the president really have his finger on the button? Isn’t that just a figure of speech?

    If “button” means “clitoris”…

    Read More
    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
    Do you spend your life making stale, unfunny trash-snark responses on the net?

    Tell us your secret. How do you afford this lifestyle?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  83. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    Related to this: there’s been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his “finger on the button”. Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    At least on women and children. And this would be the most appropriate week to do it.

    Trump should subtly remind everyone that the only world leader ever to resort to nuclear weapons was not in his party.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  84. @Mr. Anon
    Quite right. The "make them eat s**t" part of the elite agenda is a very important part of it to them. Nothing is to be left to us - it must all be turned to crap.

    Quite right. The “make them eat s**t” part of the elite agenda is a very important part of it to them. Nothing is to be left to us – it must all be turned to crap.

    Exactly. It’s called “unconditional surrender”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  85. @Divine Right
    Bush was a wimp, frat boy, fake cowboy, Texas pretender who sold his ranch just months after leaving office and fled to the suburbs.

    GW Bush was also a lazy drunk. Harmless as Texas governor but a disaster as president. Even his “ranch” was as phony as his cowboy act.
    Remember when he used to “clear brush?” But only when tv news cameras were around.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  86. @Bill Jones
    Quell Surprise!

    The US's first Gold medal is in shooting.

    Was the winner a south side Chicago gang banger?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  87. @neutral
    You clearly are not aware of what happened in the world, the following all came about after WW2 because of wars AND lead to border changes.
    - Israel
    - China invading Tibet
    - India invading Goa
    - Korea
    - Turkey taking northern Cyprus
    - Ethiopian/Eritrean war
    - Sudan
    - The partition of India

    Ok, the partition of India was not a standard war, but creation of new borders was a bloody affair.

    India didn’t just invade Goa, it invade every single of its neighbors.

    1947 Annexation of Kashmir
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/06/indias-shame/
    http://thediplomat.com/2015/08/kashmirs-young-rebels/

    1949 Annexation of Manipur
    http://www.tehelka.com/manipurs-merger-with-india-was-a-forced-annexation/

    1949 Annexation of Tripura
    http://www.crescent-online.net/2009/09/the-myths-of-one-nation-and-one-hinduism-in-india-zawahir-siddique-2316-articles.html

    1951 Annexation of South Tibet:
    http://kanglaonline.com/2011/06/khathing-the-taking-of-tawang/
    http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article2582.html

    1961 Annexation of Goa:
    http://goa-invasion-1961.blogspot.in/2013/09/india-pirated-goa-china-is-regaining_16.html

    1962 Annexation of Kalapani, Nepal:
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/07032012-indian-hegemony-in-nepal-oped/
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1239348
    http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/land-disputes-116/

    1962 Aggression against China:
    http://gregoryclark.net/redif.html
    http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/news-events/podcasts/renewed-tension-indiachina-border-whos-blame

    1971 Annexation of Turtuk, Pakistan:
    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/suddenly-indian

    1972 Annexation of Tin Bigha, Bangladesh
    http://www.dhakatribune.com/op-ed/2014/feb/20/killing-fields

    1975 Annexation of Sikkim (the whole country):
    http://nepalitimes.com/issue/35/Nation/9621#.UohjPHQo6LA
    http://www.amazon.com/Smash-Grab-Annexation-Sunanda-Datta-Ray/dp/9383260386
    http://asiahouse.org/sikkim-tale-love-intrigue-cold-war-asia/
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/annexation-of-sikkim-by-india-was-not-legal-wangchuk-namgyal/1/391498.html

    1983 (Aborted) Attempted invasion of Mauritius
    http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/when-india-almost-invaded-mauritius/

    1990 (Failed) Attempted annexation of Bhutan:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/07/world/india-based-groups-seek-to-disrupt-bhutan.html

    2006 Annexation of Duars, Bhutan:
    http://wangchasangey.blogspot.in/2015/11/different-kind-of-anxieties-on.html#comment-form

    2013 Annexation of Moreh, Myanmar
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nehginpao-kipgen/easing-indiamyanmar-borde_b_4633040.html

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  88. @Anonymous Nephew
    The fact that we could do nothing to protect Poland was a given after the Nazi-Soviet pact. All Chamberlain could do was tell Hitler that invading Poland would mean war with the UK.

    Prior to the N-S pact Churchill and the Tory back benchers were telling Chamberlain "we must get Russia in". But the Poles wouldn't take any help from Russia, Chamberlain sent such a low-level envoy to Moscow that it was seen as a snub, and Stalin eventually sacked Litvinov (Jewish) and appointed Molotov to cut a deal with Hitler.

    Some parallels today. Poland is still very anti-Russian, although they face the threat of mass immigration being forced on them by their Western "allies" and Germany in particular. After 50 years of Russian domination post-1945, and all the evils of the WW2 period, Poland was still inhabited by Poles, and there were also Poles living in formerly Prussian areas like Pomerania and East Prussia.

    “Poland was still inhabited by Poles”,

    While England is no longer inhabited by the English. Future generations of Poles and other eastern Europeans may greatly regret the end of the Iron Curtain. Walls can keep people out as well as in.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  89. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    You are leaving a lot out here. The wiki is fairly decent in laying out the facts. First of all , "South Ossetia" is part of Georgia to begin with. It is one of those phony breakaway enclaves that the Russians set up in order to claw back some of their lost territory that ended up outside of Russia when the USSR broke up. 2nd that the Georgians invaded only after provocations (attacks) coming from the Ossetian side.

    The whole thing IS a lot like Crimea and Ukraine and was a successful dry run for Putin's later tactics there. We were really stupid to fall into the same traps TWICE. Once is forgivable but twice shows that we are patzers playing against a chess master. Putin's fondest dream is to restore Russian rule to all the lost pieces of the Soviet empire. He knows that that's not really possible at the moment - Russia's GDP now ranks with Mexico and Canada (TOTAL GDP - per capita they're even lower). However, if he can take little nibbles here and there, it's better than nothing. He's in no position to capture the white queen but if he can take a pawn now and then it only improves his board position.

    “We were really stupid to fall into the same traps twice”.

    What “trap” did we fall into? Isn’t avoiding war a good thing? Are you actually saying we should fight a war, which could become a nuclear war, with Russia over a bit of land in Ossetia / Georgia or the (majority ethnically Russian btw,) Crimea? How are either one of these territories even remotely a “vital interest” for Washington? Please explain.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  90. @Jack D
    One of the principles that was (supposedly) established at the end of WWII (one that was convenient for the Russians who ended up with the most pieces on the board) was that henceforth there would be no more wars to establish new borders, regardless of how the ethnic cards fell. The world is enough of a big ethnic mishmosh that you can never perfectly align the borders with ethnicity and please everyone. And ethnicities change over time - if say northern New Hampshire one day became majority French Canadian, should we cede that territory to Quebec?

    The advantage of settled borders is that they are settled and nobody has to die. Living in peace under a moderately shitty Georgian regime is better for the average person than having your home destroyed and half your family killed so that the local Ossetian warlord can extort you for taxes instead of the Georgians.

    Russia, by its little ethnic wars here and there (once the board no longer favored them) , has disestablished that principle and opened the door to another millennium of border skirmishes.

    What about America’s “little war” against Serbia in 1999? And its illegal creation of the gangster-narco state of Kosovo? You conveniently omitted that.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  91. @Jack D
    Oh, BS. That's always the Russian's excuse - we only attacked because we were cornered. He was cornered in Ukraine because the Ukrainian people overthrew his puppet kleptocrat?

    I don’t care how you perceive Putin’s situation. What matters is how Putin perceives it vs. how Hitler perceived his.

    What you have to admit is that Putin was only reacting to other developments and is on the strategic defense rather than offense, as opposed to Hitler.

    Even your own opinion contradicts your Hitler rhetoric. For example, you write that Yanukovich was his puppet. (Untrue, but let’s just accept for a moment.) This then means that he just lost a country ran by a puppet, and then all he could do was conquer a small piece of it. (Reality was different in that Yanukovich was neutral, balancing his act between the West and Russia, and now his country became hostile.)

    Czechoslovakia during the Sudeten crisis had not been run by a puppet of Hitler, instead, Czechoslovakia had always been hostile to Germany, so Hitler was on the strategic offense.

    I think you can admit that the Hitler comparison was silly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FUBAR007

    Even your own opinion contradicts your Hitler rhetoric. For example, you write that Yanukovich was his puppet. (Untrue, but let’s just accept for a moment.) This then means that he just lost a country ran by a puppet, and then all he could do was conquer a small piece of it. (Reality was different in that Yanukovich was neutral, balancing his act between the West and Russia, and now his country became hostile.)
     
    It'd me more accurate to characterize Yanukovych as a Putin client more than a puppet. He's similar to Lukashenko in Belarus. As for any "balancing act", you have him confused with Yushchenko.

    I think you can admit that the Hitler comparison was silly.
     
    Oh, grasshopper, your naivete is charming. Let me spell it out for you:
    Yeltsin-era Russia = Weimar Germany
    Russian annexation of the Crimea = German annexation of the Sudetenland
    Russian crypto-invasion of eastern Ukraine = Anschluss

    We've heard this song before. The next two verses will be 1) a Russian annexation of the Baltics, paralleling the Nazi invasion of Poland and 2) a Russian invasion of Poland, paralleling the Nazi invasion of France. The former restores Russian control of the southeastern Baltic coast and a land corridor to the current exclave of Kaliningrad. More importantly, it will neuter NATO by exposing the alliance's weakness and lack of political will, rendering Article 5 meaningless. The latter crushes a hostile neighbor and historical enemy to the west, re-establishes Russian dominance in eastern Europe, and signals very clearly to other neighboring states (specifically W.'s "New Europe"--Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, et al) how any opposition to Russian power will be met.

    The collapse of NATO will completely roll back U.S. hegemony in continental Europe, reducing it to just the UK (or perhaps just England depending on how the next Scottish independence referendum goes). France will go its own way as it always has. Germany, today a de facto pacifist state, will either declare neutrality and non-alignment or outright switch sides and declare an alliance with Russia, dominating Europe and the EU as a junior partner. The rest of Europe will follow Germany's lead. Erdogan's Turkey, meanwhile, will view this as an opportunity and begin more overtly expanding to its south to start reassembling the core bits of the Ottoman Empire. Erdogan will seek an understanding with Putin in exchange for leaving Russia's naval base on the Syrian coast alone.

    Humiliated and outmaneuvered, the U.S. will go into panic mode and begin a massive defense build-up the likes of which hasn't been since WWII. Expect an unequivocal restatement of the Monroe Doctrine and fierce recommitment to Five Eyes and to U.S. claims and military installations in the Pacific. There might even be attempts to begin building up the Latin American states militarily as replacement allies.

    The big variable will be, of course, China. Anyway...

    What truly separates Putin from Hitler is that Putin is not a strict ideologue and, at least as far as I know, isn't a white supremacist. Nevertheless, Putin is a totalitarian and an expansionist who seeks to subjugate and dominate neighboring peoples. A noble and benevolent tsar simply seeking to do what's best for his people Putin is not.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  92. @Jack D

    That’s what Putin asked for: that there should be a Russian sphere of influence.
     
    How do you feel about that including Hungary again? Is that OK with you?

    The US was not happy with the Russian territorial advances at the end of WWII but it was not willing to start another war over them. Then nuclear weapons made starting another war unthinkable. Then at the end of the Cold War , Russians finally retreated, much to the relief of all the occupied countries. Now Putin would like to come back. Should the people of the territories involved have any say in this this time? Is it wrong for them to turn to the US to prevent the Russian from giving them another "bear hug"?

    Honestly, the US would have no interest in places like Lithuania except for the fact that the Russians keep trying to reestablish their "sphere of influence" in places where they are not welcome and will never be welcome.

    How do you feel about that including Hungary again? Is that OK with you?

    My point was that when we were on the Russian side of the fence, nobody came to liberate us. Now that we’re on the Western side, I’m unwilling to risk the destruction of my country to “liberate” countries on the other side of it.

    Especially since what these countries have to put up with is way less than what we had to put up with, essentially just Finlandization, i.e. not joining the other side and not being openly hostile to Russia. They aren’t forced to have an idiotic Communist government or one-party rule, nor is there a Russian military occupation.

    I support sending Hungarian troops to Latvia as part of a NATO policy, even if I understand Russian concerns about it, because Latvia is on our side of the fence. But I think it’s idiotic to push the fence ever further to the east.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  93. @Jack D

    Are you trying to say that the attitude is indefensible?
     
    Yes, I am. In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again. Bullies always like to say that they were being threatened and were just defending themselves.

    In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again.

    The same is true of the US, so why is the US concerned about what happens outside its borders? I mean, if Russia should be unconcerned about what happens right next door in a large country of 45 million, which is also majority (or at least plurality) Russian speaking (and maybe 20% ethnically Russian), contained one of the largest Russian military ports, than why should the US be concerned about anything outside its borders?

    I mean, the US hasn’t been invaded for over two hundred years, chances of it being attacked “in the context of the modern world” is nil, zero, zilch.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FX Enderby
    And yet over a million strangers legally pour in every year, plus "illegals" consigned to shadows and speaking slots at the DNC...
    , @pyrrhus
    Absolutely. There are only 2 reasons why the US is involved in such dangerous and pointless activities--profits for the Elites, and the Israel First neocons....
    , @syonredux

    I mean, the US hasn’t been invaded for over two hundred years,
     
    Well, there is the little business of the ongoing Mestizo invasion. Of course, America's elites are allowing it to happen, which makes it a case of invasion via invitation...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  94. The operative word/s are ‘breakaway territory’. I’m not up on Georgia’s internal affairs but if South Ossetia was a province of Georgia then it wasn’t an ‘invasion’ by Georgia of South Ossetia.

    Now one can argue that South Ossetians want to be independent ( or that Russia does and offers them its protection) but that changes the nature of the conflict. Did Panama, e.g., want to be independent from Columbia or was Panamanian ‘independence’ an effort by the US to create a Canal Zone.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    What right did Georgia have to be independent at all? None that could not equally be claimed by Abkhazia and S. Ossetia against Georgia.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  95. @syonredux
    Off-topic:

    Watched the Rio opening ceremonies last night. Two things jumped out:

    Screw the Wright Bros: Seems that the Brazilians will never stop pushing the Santos-Dumont myth

    The Girl from Ipanema is "hideously White": German-Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen played the part in the opening. Wonder how that makes the Black half of Brazil feel? Of course, the inspiration for the song was a White woman:

    Heloísa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto (born July 7, 1945), better known as Helô Pinheiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [eˈlo piˈɲejɾu]), is a Brazilian model and businesswoman.
    At the age of 17, Pinheiro became the source of inspiration for the song "Girl from Ipanema" when she was seen strolling to the beach in her native Rio de Janeiro's Ipanema neighbourhood by songwriters Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.[1]
    Pinheiro became a Brazilian Playboy Playmate in 1987 and once again in 2003,[2] when she did a pictorial along with her daughter, Ticiane Pinheiro.
    She also appeared in the second season of The Amazing Race, for the Beach portion of the first Detour clue, and on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 12, for a modelling challenge in Brazil.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helo%C3%ADsa_Pinheiro

    Fun fact: Her daughter Ticiane Pinheiro married Brazil’s Donald Trump, Roberto Justus. (He was the host of the Brazilian version of The Apprentice)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Justus

    (My mom thinks hes most handsome man on Brazilian TV, but he’s not my type…)

    I don’t know why, but it seems Brazil having a large European population irks Americans. Its not insignificant like some Caribbean country. We are talking tens of millions, if not over 100 million. Why shouldn’t a white Brazilian be a part of the opening ceremony?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    I don’t know why, but it seems Brazil having a large European population irks Americans. Its not insignificant like some Caribbean country. We are talking tens of millions, if not over 100 million. Why shouldn’t a white Brazilian be a part of the opening ceremony?
     
    It doesn't irk me. I just find it shockingly un-PC. Aren't the psyches of Black Brazilian girls traumatized by the sight of White woman serving as the embodiment of Brazilian femininity?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  96. @Divine Right
    That's complete nonsense. We aren't talking about "Russian aggression" but Russian response to aggression and being surrounded. How do think this country would respond to the obvious overthrow of the legitimate, democratically-elected government of Canada by Russia followed by the installment of an anti-American regime that discriminates against American citizens in Canada, has the Canadian government withdraw from NATO, openly begs for heavy weapons, and expresses a desire to join an enemy military alliance against us?

    "MAD has two sides to it. American weakness is what encourages Putin to take risks and roll the Russian tanks back into former Soviet territories."

    Complete nonsense. Crimea is roughly the size of Vermont. So, in over a decade, they've reconquered Vermont...after being goaded into it by Western malfeasance. Any day now I expect Putin to be crossing the Rhine. Please.

    If you want to risk the mainland US over a commitment to Latvia (which, according to the NATO charter, we don't really have anyway - we are only obligated to respond to an attack in some way that we see fit), go ahead. However, many of us consider Germany during the Cold War to be on a different level from Latvia today.

    Perhaps it is American aggression which encourages the Russians to defend themselves and not so much the other way around. The US blockaded the sovereign nation of Cuba when the Soviets placed nuclear weapons there, so why wouldn't the Russians be within their rights to blockade Eastern Europe if Hillary announced that she was sending heavy weapons there?

    "The reason the “RESET” button didn’t work is that it takes two to tango. Putin is not interested in bettering relations with the US, except on his terms."

    The "RESET" didn't work because the US wanted Russia as a servile partner. In other words, "we'll leave you alone if you let us run wild and overthrow whatever governments we like + plus surround you with an enemy military alliance." The US lied to the Russians to get their support for a security council resolution, then manipulated that UN resolution to illegally overthrow the Libyan government against Russian wishes and advice; that's what started a lot of this. The US doesn't get to act like that and then claim that it's Russia's fault

    "For now these are little enclaves at their border but Putin has already signalled that the Baltics are in his sights and if a genie could grant him his fondest wish, there would be a KGB resident in Dresden again."

    First, Western Europe and company outspend Russia about 7-1 on defense. So, that's ludicrous. The Russian economy can't afford that even if they wanted to. Second, it never ceases to amaze me just how easily Americans are able to heap scorn onto their targets for replicating just a tiny, infinitesimal, bit of what the US does on a global scale. As I said before, Crimea is only slightly larger than Vermont + the majority of the people who live there are Russian. Would you like to take a guess at the geographic area of NATO?

    "War is not the only tool in our tool box. We see the sanctions against Russia as being ineffective but in truth they sting. The same measures that we applied after Crimea should have been applied in 2008 and then there might not have been a Ukrainian crisis."

    Not really. The current sanctions are extremely contentious in Europe with many front runners for the next elections opposing them. That strategy isn't feasible in the long-term.

    Also, we have security concerns elsewhere in the world that could be made much worse depending upon our actions with Russia, which, I think, is a subtle point that many John Wayne-type Americans don't realize. Here's what I would do (and what the Russians have already been doing in response) if I were the Russians: sell China the world's best arms, including one of the world's best air defense systems, the S-400. By selling China advanced arms, the Russians can preserve their military budget while causing enough problems for the US elsewhere that they can't focus on Russia.

    Perhaps it is not a wise idea to antagonize a country that has signaled that it won't be bullied and will respond by arming another country with a massive economy and military. The S-400's range includes Taiwan. It would already take about 2/3's of America's entire air force to defend Taiwan from China (not really feasible) without the S-400. In five years time or so, the US would probably lose a war over Taiwan to China...thanks, in part, to Russian arms sales. That's an incredible change since 2000. All things considered, why would this country risk worsening that situation by antagonizing Russia over nothing?

    https://warisboring.com/stopping-china-would-take-2-3-of-u-s-air-power-ec61386507cb#.93a01wrjj

    "But there was no nuclear war during the Cold War period because we established the principle that the Russian tanks could go no further than they had gone in April of ’45."

    Ironically, the US has being flirting with disaster by doing the same thing to the Russians. By extending NATO to Russia's border in clear violation of an unspoken agreement we had with them, we are forcing them into a situation where they draw a line in the sand and say "no farther." I don't blame them. I would personally never allow my country to be surrounded by an enemy military alliance, especially one with a history of lawless aggression (Libya) and reckless abandon (Iraq).

    "Hitler taught us that appeasement doesn’t work – dictators push and push to see how much they can get away with. If you give them a little nibble, then they come back for a bigger bite later."

    Actually, Hitler taught us that we shouldn't foolishly give war guarantees to unimportant countries that 1. cant' defend themselves 2. we can't defend 3. aren't worth it in the long run. After all the misery of WW2, what did we get? Eastern Europe under Soviet occupation, the same deal that we would have had under Germany. And all of that was BEFORE nuclear weapons. In any case, Putin isn't a 'dictator.' He's a democratically elected leader who has also been re-elected and enjoys higher approval ratings in his country than Obama does in this one. Americans have this nasty habit of calling anyone that doesn't bow to them a 'dictator.'

    You're also in good company with Hillary:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/06/hillary-clinton-says-vladimir-putins-crimea-occupation-echoes-hitler

    Funny how Crimea echoes Hitler but the Iraq War and Libya don't echo Mussolini.

    Things are about to get very dangerous for the world with Hillary in charge of an ignorant, self-righteous, war-mongering nation filled with closed-minded simpletons spoiling for a fight and backed up by what can only be described at this point as 'state-run media.'

    Well said, but let me quibble with one point: “By extending NATO to Russia’s border in clear violation of an unspoken agreement we had with them …”

    The agreement was, I understand, spoken. The trouble was that it wasn’t formalised, so when Bush the Elder was replaced by three duds in a row it was repeatedly welched on.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    There were written agreements reneged upon. For example the anti-ABM treaty was terminated by the US. The written treaty that permanent NATO bases in Europe shouldn't be easter to the line already occupied by 1989 is circumvented, NATO doesn't station units in Latvia, just rotating certain units in and out for 6 months, that way no unit is there permanently (but in effect there are always units).

    Not that I care for it, the Russians probably already gave up on Estonia. But why push further east?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  97. @reiner Tor

    In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again.
     
    The same is true of the US, so why is the US concerned about what happens outside its borders? I mean, if Russia should be unconcerned about what happens right next door in a large country of 45 million, which is also majority (or at least plurality) Russian speaking (and maybe 20% ethnically Russian), contained one of the largest Russian military ports, than why should the US be concerned about anything outside its borders?

    I mean, the US hasn't been invaded for over two hundred years, chances of it being attacked "in the context of the modern world" is nil, zero, zilch.

    And yet over a million strangers legally pour in every year, plus “illegals” consigned to shadows and speaking slots at the DNC…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  98. This is fascinating. I definitely remembered this through the lens of Russian aggression. In fact, it was amusing to me at the time that the Russians I knew all claimed Georgia had started it.

    IIRC a Russian airstrike hit a Georgian apartment complex on the first or second day and that didn’t do much for the Western perception of Russia in all this.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  99. @Dave Pinsen
    Related to this: there's been a lot of scaremongering about Trump with his "finger on the button". Which raises an obvious question: why not pass a law now banning any president from first use of nukes?

    I think the reason none of the elites have proposed a common sense idea like that is the expansion of NATO to countries like Estonia. There's no way NATO could stop Russia from overrunning it with conventional forces, so we're implicitly using a nuclear deterrent to defend Latvia, Estonia, etc. This seems kind of nuts.

    You can delete the words “kind of” from the last sentence….

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  100. @reiner Tor

    In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again.
     
    The same is true of the US, so why is the US concerned about what happens outside its borders? I mean, if Russia should be unconcerned about what happens right next door in a large country of 45 million, which is also majority (or at least plurality) Russian speaking (and maybe 20% ethnically Russian), contained one of the largest Russian military ports, than why should the US be concerned about anything outside its borders?

    I mean, the US hasn't been invaded for over two hundred years, chances of it being attacked "in the context of the modern world" is nil, zero, zilch.

    Absolutely. There are only 2 reasons why the US is involved in such dangerous and pointless activities–profits for the Elites, and the Israel First neocons….

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  101. @dearieme
    Well said, but let me quibble with one point: "By extending NATO to Russia’s border in clear violation of an unspoken agreement we had with them ..."

    The agreement was, I understand, spoken. The trouble was that it wasn't formalised, so when Bush the Elder was replaced by three duds in a row it was repeatedly welched on.

    There were written agreements reneged upon. For example the anti-ABM treaty was terminated by the US. The written treaty that permanent NATO bases in Europe shouldn’t be easter to the line already occupied by 1989 is circumvented, NATO doesn’t station units in Latvia, just rotating certain units in and out for 6 months, that way no unit is there permanently (but in effect there are always units).

    Not that I care for it, the Russians probably already gave up on Estonia. But why push further east?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  102. I think when NATO pushes against Russia, that they are aggravating and alienating an ally to the USA. I think NATO is the problem In other words I see Russia as a force of stability and advancement of civilization along with the USA. And NATO I think is hurting that relationship.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  103. @unit472
    The operative word/s are 'breakaway territory'. I'm not up on Georgia's internal affairs but if South Ossetia was a province of Georgia then it wasn't an 'invasion' by Georgia of South Ossetia.

    Now one can argue that South Ossetians want to be independent ( or that Russia does and offers them its protection) but that changes the nature of the conflict. Did Panama, e.g., want to be independent from Columbia or was Panamanian 'independence' an effort by the US to create a Canal Zone.

    What right did Georgia have to be independent at all? None that could not equally be claimed by Abkhazia and S. Ossetia against Georgia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    As far as I know, both South Ossetia and Abkhazia needed to be ethnically cleansed of Georgians to create a viable ethnic majority for Ossetians and Abkhazians, respectively. That was not the case with Georgia. Besides, South Ossetia is not a viable country at all, unless one considers Andorra and Liechtenstein viable countries. Abkhazia is also a microstate, but at least it has a couple hundred thousand inhabitants, and not landlocked.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  104. During the early post-mortems, there was a question about Georgian Army actions on Aug. 8, 2008, the first full day of the Russo-Georgian war. Looking back (and checking the Wikileaks cables), it seems as though little light’s been shed in the eight years since then.

    South Ossetia is bounded by the Caucasus Mountains to the north, and by nearly-impassable ridges and ravines to the east and west. To the south, hills become gentler as one approaches the plain of central Georgia.

    There are many roads and tracks from southern South Ossetia into Georgia (hence the smuggling problem). There are none that go east into Georgia, and a single poor road that goes west into Georgia. But the Transcaucasian Highway, completed in 1981, is a two-lane paved highway that runs north from Tskhinvali in Southern South Ossetia, under the Caucasus Mountains via the Roki Tunnel, and on to the Russian (North Ossetian) garrison town of Vladikavkaz.

    This was the only route by which the Russian Army could reinforce the South Ossetian militia and the Russian peacekeeping forces already in Tskhinvali and on the South Ossetian-Georgian border.

    Georgian president Saakashvili ordered a lightning strike on South Ossetia on the afternoon of Aug. 7th, which got underway just before midnight. The focus of the Georgian forces was to assault and occupy Tskhinvali. Their priority was not to prevent armored elements of the 58th Army from transiting the Roki Tunnel and proceeding south on the Transcaucasian Highway. That would have meant blocking the tunnel, or blowing the bridge at Didi Gupta, 15 km north of Tskhinvali, and holding that crossing.

    Georgian Special Forces tried to do something at the Roki Tunnel, but what and when remain unclear. The Georgian air force did strike that bridge, but the Russians quickly repaired it.

    This was a mind-boggling oversight on the part of the Georgians. Was it simple incompetence — nobody thought to look at a map? Was Saakashvili relying on the powerful effect of playing the victim card to the “international community”, despite US warnings? Was the Georgian General Staff or intelligence service penetrated and fed false information by the FSB? (“Don’t worry, the Russians are bluffing, when push comes to shove they’ll abandon their peacekeepers and South Ossetian allies to their fates.”)

    An explanation of this strategic failure would help illuminate why the Georgians felt confident in escalating beyond July’s and early August’s tit-for-tat cease-fire violations, and starting this war.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  105. @PistolPete
    Fun fact: Her daughter Ticiane Pinheiro married Brazil's Donald Trump, Roberto Justus. (He was the host of the Brazilian version of The Apprentice)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Justus

    (My mom thinks hes most handsome man on Brazilian TV, but he's not my type...)


    I don't know why, but it seems Brazil having a large European population irks Americans. Its not insignificant like some Caribbean country. We are talking tens of millions, if not over 100 million. Why shouldn't a white Brazilian be a part of the opening ceremony?

    I don’t know why, but it seems Brazil having a large European population irks Americans. Its not insignificant like some Caribbean country. We are talking tens of millions, if not over 100 million. Why shouldn’t a white Brazilian be a part of the opening ceremony?

    It doesn’t irk me. I just find it shockingly un-PC. Aren’t the psyches of Black Brazilian girls traumatized by the sight of White woman serving as the embodiment of Brazilian femininity?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  106. @reiner Tor

    In the context of the modern world, there is about as much chance of Russian being invaded (by whom?) as there is of the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor again.
     
    The same is true of the US, so why is the US concerned about what happens outside its borders? I mean, if Russia should be unconcerned about what happens right next door in a large country of 45 million, which is also majority (or at least plurality) Russian speaking (and maybe 20% ethnically Russian), contained one of the largest Russian military ports, than why should the US be concerned about anything outside its borders?

    I mean, the US hasn't been invaded for over two hundred years, chances of it being attacked "in the context of the modern world" is nil, zero, zilch.

    I mean, the US hasn’t been invaded for over two hundred years,

    Well, there is the little business of the ongoing Mestizo invasion. Of course, America’s elites are allowing it to happen, which makes it a case of invasion via invitation…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  107. @5371
    What right did Georgia have to be independent at all? None that could not equally be claimed by Abkhazia and S. Ossetia against Georgia.

    As far as I know, both South Ossetia and Abkhazia needed to be ethnically cleansed of Georgians to create a viable ethnic majority for Ossetians and Abkhazians, respectively. That was not the case with Georgia. Besides, South Ossetia is not a viable country at all, unless one considers Andorra and Liechtenstein viable countries. Abkhazia is also a microstate, but at least it has a couple hundred thousand inhabitants, and not landlocked.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    No voice from the sky ever informed the nations of earth that while constituent republics of the USSR and SFRY must be allowed to declare their independence, autonomous territories within those republics must not be allowed to do the same. For a time, it seemed that the principle had been established by tacit consent. Then the west itself destroyed it by recognising the independence of Kosovo.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  108. @reiner Tor
    As far as I know, both South Ossetia and Abkhazia needed to be ethnically cleansed of Georgians to create a viable ethnic majority for Ossetians and Abkhazians, respectively. That was not the case with Georgia. Besides, South Ossetia is not a viable country at all, unless one considers Andorra and Liechtenstein viable countries. Abkhazia is also a microstate, but at least it has a couple hundred thousand inhabitants, and not landlocked.

    No voice from the sky ever informed the nations of earth that while constituent republics of the USSR and SFRY must be allowed to declare their independence, autonomous territories within those republics must not be allowed to do the same. For a time, it seemed that the principle had been established by tacit consent. Then the west itself destroyed it by recognising the independence of Kosovo.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  109. @Whiskey
    I agree with Trump that "Why can't we use nukes" against limited, non-China/Russia allied enemies. Why not nuke Pakistan, and the Saudis, if they launch through their intelligence services another 9/11 attack on us? In fact why not announce in the first place we'd do so.

    We are now caught in a trap. We have abjured conventional military action because it brings too much casualties and looks bad on TV. We would have surrendered in weeks in WWII if we had TV back then. We have whack-a-mole with drones that are fairly ineffective in getting the main Saudi and Pakistani intelligence organizers behind things like 9/11 or the Bombay attacks. We have small group/lone wolf Jihadi attacks which are bad enough; but Saudi/Pakistani intelligence actually organizing these guys for say a dirty bomb attack, flying a DHL/FedEx jetliner into a football stadium or packed skyscraper will cause tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of casualties.

    By announcing and making CREDIBLE threats to nuke the host country behind such attacks into oblivion, we put the fear of Allah into the organizers. We still have lone wolf and small group attacks which are bad enough; but as long as we are realistically believed to be willing and able and guaranteed to launch such a nuke attack, even the most fanatic will quail before our obvious advantage.

    We spend a lot of money on our nuke forces, they ought to be used to deter not just Russian/Chinese nuke attacks but mass casualty attacks organized by Muslim hell hole intelligence services as well.

    Hillary of course wants a war with Russia while surrendering to any mass casualty attacks by Muslim intelligence agencies. She's all but signaled war with Putin over Crimea/Ukraine (who cares, let Putin have it), Syria (same), and Estonia (really, I want my city nuked to save Estonians from being ruled by Putin?). Meanwhile she seems to be signaling that we will convert to Sharia with the next 9/11 attack.

    I'm sure Hillary! is a Nice. White. Lady. Just like Mother Merkel.

    Droning Pakistan won’t stop a Muslim from hacking someone in Belgium with a machete or shooting up a gay club in Orlando. Elites have this James Bond movie mindset where evil is perpetrated by masterminds in far off hideouts. It isn’t. It’s diffuse, and the medium is Muslims.

    Islamic State taking credit for a hatchet attack is like Jodie Foster taking credit for shooting Ronald Reagan. Nuking Saudi Arabia or Pakistan wouldn’t stop terrorism. The solution is to stop importing Muslims and make the ones already here pay some price for acts of terror: shut down the mosque a terrorist attended, deport his imam and his family, etc.

    Granted that goes against western values, but so does terrorism, and the fear of death for terrorists isn’t enough of a deterrent. There needs to be community pressure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Elites have this James Bond movie mindset where evil is perpetrated by masterminds in far off hideouts."

    That's actually how they've made progress against gangs in L.A.: the cops have stopped targeting the "kingpins" because there is a relatively endless supply of guys who want to be kingpins. Now they just round up all the footsoldiers in huge sweeps and that actually slows down crime for awhile.

    Being a criminal is a pretty stupid career choice, but if you are a criminal, being the kingpin is a good idea. So the cops traditionally targeting kingpins just encouraged more young dopes to enter the low levels ranks in hopes of moving up.

    When Bill Bratton became LAPD supremo, he started getting warrants for arresting 100+ gang members at once. That has proved pretty effective.
    , @anon
    Good points all around. Muslim immigration to the west must end. It is a Trojan horse for terrorism. Also Israel has found that collective punishment has proven to be the one thing that acts as an effective deterrent to some suicide bombers. Obviously these idiots don't care about what happens to them, but the certain knowledge that their families, villages, mosques etc., will be punished has stopped some of them.
    , @Brutusale
    I like it! Reverse jizya.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  110. @Dave Pinsen
    Droning Pakistan won't stop a Muslim from hacking someone in Belgium with a machete or shooting up a gay club in Orlando. Elites have this James Bond movie mindset where evil is perpetrated by masterminds in far off hideouts. It isn't. It's diffuse, and the medium is Muslims.

    Islamic State taking credit for a hatchet attack is like Jodie Foster taking credit for shooting Ronald Reagan. Nuking Saudi Arabia or Pakistan wouldn't stop terrorism. The solution is to stop importing Muslims and make the ones already here pay some price for acts of terror: shut down the mosque a terrorist attended, deport his imam and his family, etc.

    Granted that goes against western values, but so does terrorism, and the fear of death for terrorists isn't enough of a deterrent. There needs to be community pressure.

    “Elites have this James Bond movie mindset where evil is perpetrated by masterminds in far off hideouts.”

    That’s actually how they’ve made progress against gangs in L.A.: the cops have stopped targeting the “kingpins” because there is a relatively endless supply of guys who want to be kingpins. Now they just round up all the footsoldiers in huge sweeps and that actually slows down crime for awhile.

    Being a criminal is a pretty stupid career choice, but if you are a criminal, being the kingpin is a good idea. So the cops traditionally targeting kingpins just encouraged more young dopes to enter the low levels ranks in hopes of moving up.

    When Bill Bratton became LAPD supremo, he started getting warrants for arresting 100+ gang members at once. That has proved pretty effective.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  111. “- Post-Cold War muscle-flexing by the Americans and their allies against the Russian and their allies (e.g., Croatia’s American-guided Operation Storm against the Serbs in August 1995) are a real mental black hole for American media.”

    Yes; and so? I find the Buchananite (etc.) love for Putinism perplexing. “Putin is just defending his interests.” What about American interests? What I mean is, the Atlanticist side is *our* side. The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?

    I mean, the counter-argument is that it’s not in our strategic interests to venture into Russia’s near-sphere of interest. Okay, but the Left isn’t the only place where we see “leapfrogging loyalties.” The alt-right (or paleocons, or whatever) also shows some leapfrogging loyalties, seeming to prefer the Russians (whose worldview is quite foreign to our own) to the Western-leaning elements in Ukraine and Georgia, who would like to escape the nightmare of living in the shadow of Muscovite force. I can’t help but think that much of this geopolitical namby-pamby pro-Putinism is just pique. The critics see the Atlanticist order as vehicle of liberalism, so they would rather see the Kremlin exert its soul-deadening straitjacket over Eastern Europe again. Because Neoconservatism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    "The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?"

    What do you mean "realign" with the West. Georgia is a place in Western Asia. Its people are not European, racially or culturally. Ukraine never existed as a state until 1991, before that it was simply called Southern Russia. You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ) and hates Russia's guts, but as a Russian I can tell you this is not true.

    If you're so eager to take care of pro-Western elements in Ukraine, then let's partition the country and be done with it. Transforming Ukraine into a battlefield in the new Cold war will do no good to the people of Ukraine.

    , @Jack D
    I was (perhaps a little naively) shocked at the vehemence of the pro-Putin views here. If you oppose him, you are called a dumbass, etc. The words used were very much like those used to defend Obama in some leftist forum.

    I could understand Western rightists liking Putin if he ruled over some alien planet - can't we be more like Planet Zod where Great and Democratically Elected Leader Putin knows how to kick leftist ass?

    But in fact , we occupy the same planet and if some don't understand it here, Putin full well does - this is a zero sum game. The Russian sphere of influence can only grow if the Western one shrinks.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  112. Also, the Georgians face a problems similar to many of the post-Soviet states: the Russians endorse separatist movements on their soil. Here are examples:

    –South Ossetia (breakaway from Georgia)

    –Abkhazia (breakaway from Georgia)

    –Crimea (breakaway from Ukraine)

    –the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (Ukraine)

    –Transnistria (Moldova)

    And America has fostered breakaway groups in the former Yugoslavia. Right — this is what major states do; they seek opportunities to help allies and hurt rivals. But the alt-right/paleocon/Buchananite/whatever position seems to boil down to a smug, satisfied armchair position: “Of *course* my geopolitics are the most evolved and sensible; I never have to bother implementing it. And of *course* Putin is a great guy who would *never* murder journalists, and we have *no* national interest in checking his expansionism.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  113. @Whiskey
    I agree with Trump that "Why can't we use nukes" against limited, non-China/Russia allied enemies. Why not nuke Pakistan, and the Saudis, if they launch through their intelligence services another 9/11 attack on us? In fact why not announce in the first place we'd do so.

    We are now caught in a trap. We have abjured conventional military action because it brings too much casualties and looks bad on TV. We would have surrendered in weeks in WWII if we had TV back then. We have whack-a-mole with drones that are fairly ineffective in getting the main Saudi and Pakistani intelligence organizers behind things like 9/11 or the Bombay attacks. We have small group/lone wolf Jihadi attacks which are bad enough; but Saudi/Pakistani intelligence actually organizing these guys for say a dirty bomb attack, flying a DHL/FedEx jetliner into a football stadium or packed skyscraper will cause tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of casualties.

    By announcing and making CREDIBLE threats to nuke the host country behind such attacks into oblivion, we put the fear of Allah into the organizers. We still have lone wolf and small group attacks which are bad enough; but as long as we are realistically believed to be willing and able and guaranteed to launch such a nuke attack, even the most fanatic will quail before our obvious advantage.

    We spend a lot of money on our nuke forces, they ought to be used to deter not just Russian/Chinese nuke attacks but mass casualty attacks organized by Muslim hell hole intelligence services as well.

    Hillary of course wants a war with Russia while surrendering to any mass casualty attacks by Muslim intelligence agencies. She's all but signaled war with Putin over Crimea/Ukraine (who cares, let Putin have it), Syria (same), and Estonia (really, I want my city nuked to save Estonians from being ruled by Putin?). Meanwhile she seems to be signaling that we will convert to Sharia with the next 9/11 attack.

    I'm sure Hillary! is a Nice. White. Lady. Just like Mother Merkel.

    After 9/11, I felt we should fully quarantine the entire Muslim world. As an immigrant from a non-theocratic nation, I did not then, and continue to not see any logic in letting in people to the U.S. who have nothing to offer, who cling to their severe cultural differences that they impose on the host country public (headscarves/no pork for school lunches/making animals suffer for halal shit – sooo disgusting/ multiple wives) . There has to be a benefit for the U.S. for each and every immigrant. If there is no benefit, well, go back to your country to become better educated – we’ve got enough people in our country who need our help and $$$, and they have been here for centuries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    George Bush would have made America far safer had he simply ended all Muslim immigration, or all immigration, period, after 9/11 instead of his godforsaken fools' errand misadventure in Iraq. The best answer to Islam is to have as little to do with it as possible. Both the INVADE THE (Muslim) WORLD / INVITE THE (Muslim) WORLD are totally F*****-up policies.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  114. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Droning Pakistan won't stop a Muslim from hacking someone in Belgium with a machete or shooting up a gay club in Orlando. Elites have this James Bond movie mindset where evil is perpetrated by masterminds in far off hideouts. It isn't. It's diffuse, and the medium is Muslims.

    Islamic State taking credit for a hatchet attack is like Jodie Foster taking credit for shooting Ronald Reagan. Nuking Saudi Arabia or Pakistan wouldn't stop terrorism. The solution is to stop importing Muslims and make the ones already here pay some price for acts of terror: shut down the mosque a terrorist attended, deport his imam and his family, etc.

    Granted that goes against western values, but so does terrorism, and the fear of death for terrorists isn't enough of a deterrent. There needs to be community pressure.

    Good points all around. Muslim immigration to the west must end. It is a Trojan horse for terrorism. Also Israel has found that collective punishment has proven to be the one thing that acts as an effective deterrent to some suicide bombers. Obviously these idiots don’t care about what happens to them, but the certain knowledge that their families, villages, mosques etc., will be punished has stopped some of them.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  115. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Lagertha
    After 9/11, I felt we should fully quarantine the entire Muslim world. As an immigrant from a non-theocratic nation, I did not then, and continue to not see any logic in letting in people to the U.S. who have nothing to offer, who cling to their severe cultural differences that they impose on the host country public (headscarves/no pork for school lunches/making animals suffer for halal shit - sooo disgusting/ multiple wives) . There has to be a benefit for the U.S. for each and every immigrant. If there is no benefit, well, go back to your country to become better educated - we've got enough people in our country who need our help and $$$, and they have been here for centuries.

    George Bush would have made America far safer had he simply ended all Muslim immigration, or all immigration, period, after 9/11 instead of his godforsaken fools’ errand misadventure in Iraq. The best answer to Islam is to have as little to do with it as possible. Both the INVADE THE (Muslim) WORLD / INVITE THE (Muslim) WORLD are totally F*****-up policies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lagertha
    GWB was mislead by the Neocons...sheesh, he was a total & complete rube - am I the only one who saw this? GWB was a rube who was mislead by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz & Co., but, like they said in our childhood, "you made your bed, now lie in it."

    GWB never expected 9/11 to happen. His father and well, DC establishment weren't expecting jihadies...neither was Rice nor Powell. Sh*t happens when you don't know about the world and the "bad people" out there. Forget mushroom clouds...now the same group is pushing for "nuculur" war with Putin. Can they/we just all be forced to assemble really, really difficult Legos for 5 years?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  116. @For what it's worth
    "- Post-Cold War muscle-flexing by the Americans and their allies against the Russian and their allies (e.g., Croatia’s American-guided Operation Storm against the Serbs in August 1995) are a real mental black hole for American media."

    Yes; and so? I find the Buchananite (etc.) love for Putinism perplexing. "Putin is just defending his interests." What about American interests? What I mean is, the Atlanticist side is *our* side. The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?

    I mean, the counter-argument is that it's not in our strategic interests to venture into Russia's near-sphere of interest. Okay, but the Left isn't the only place where we see "leapfrogging loyalties." The alt-right (or paleocons, or whatever) also shows some leapfrogging loyalties, seeming to prefer the Russians (whose worldview is quite foreign to our own) to the Western-leaning elements in Ukraine and Georgia, who would like to escape the nightmare of living in the shadow of Muscovite force. I can't help but think that much of this geopolitical namby-pamby pro-Putinism is just pique. The critics see the Atlanticist order as vehicle of liberalism, so they would rather see the Kremlin exert its soul-deadening straitjacket over Eastern Europe again. Because Neoconservatism.

    “The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?”

    What do you mean “realign” with the West. Georgia is a place in Western Asia. Its people are not European, racially or culturally. Ukraine never existed as a state until 1991, before that it was simply called Southern Russia. You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ) and hates Russia’s guts, but as a Russian I can tell you this is not true.

    If you’re so eager to take care of pro-Western elements in Ukraine, then let’s partition the country and be done with it. Transforming Ukraine into a battlefield in the new Cold war will do no good to the people of Ukraine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Ukraine is a gigantically wide country by European standards. Lviv is 845 miles by road west of Luhansk. The people of Lviv tend to be Ukrainian-speaking Catholics who look to the bureaucratically well-run Austro-Hungarian Empire for their history. The people of Luhansk are, I imagine, more Russian speaking Orthodox.
    , @avraham
    I would have to agree with you. Only one minor point I wanted to make.

    There was for some time the Kievian State but that was a for-runner of the Muscovite state.
    , @Jack D

    You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ)
     
    This is the false dichotomy that Putin poses and that some seem to fall for here. As much as it may seem that way, the choice in Ukraine (Poland, the Baltics, Hungary, etc.) is not between Russian rule and rule by gay/Arab/Negro diversicrats sent from EU HQ to destroy their culture and society. The people of these countries, caught though they are between corrupt East and a decadent West, have agency and can (and should) choose their own path.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  117. @Felix Keverich
    "The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?"

    What do you mean "realign" with the West. Georgia is a place in Western Asia. Its people are not European, racially or culturally. Ukraine never existed as a state until 1991, before that it was simply called Southern Russia. You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ) and hates Russia's guts, but as a Russian I can tell you this is not true.

    If you're so eager to take care of pro-Western elements in Ukraine, then let's partition the country and be done with it. Transforming Ukraine into a battlefield in the new Cold war will do no good to the people of Ukraine.

    Ukraine is a gigantically wide country by European standards. Lviv is 845 miles by road west of Luhansk. The people of Lviv tend to be Ukrainian-speaking Catholics who look to the bureaucratically well-run Austro-Hungarian Empire for their history. The people of Luhansk are, I imagine, more Russian speaking Orthodox.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Ukrainian nationality is very much an artificial creation, and there are indeed vast differences between the Ukrainians of Galicia and Lugansk. According to a census of 2001, self-described Ukrainians made up just under 60% of Lugansk population, but you would be hard-pressed to distinguish these "Ukrainians" from Russians in the neighbouring Rostov oblast.
    , @Jack D
    The impression I had of the Ukrainians in Lviv (formerly Lemberg) is that they were occupying a place that they did not build - their civilization was (and this is a heck of a lot better than say Detroit) of a level where they could maintain a place like Lemberg (it is pretty well kept - the center of town could be a movie set for a pre-1914 European city, especially now that they have taken the big Lenin statue down from the front of the opera house and put the fountain back) but not create it from scratch. It was as if a neutron bomb had killed all the former inhabitants ( 1/3 of the population of then Polish ruled Lvov was Jewish in 1939 and only 20% were Ukrainian) and left the shell of the city, complete with cobblestone streets and vintage (Soviet) streetcars riding the drooping rails (it was a mystery to me why they didn't derail). All the Jews and Poles are gone today (not to mention the Austro-Hungarians) and the place is 100% Ukrainian.

    Ditto with cars - Ukraine is to old Russian cars as Havana is to old American cars. The analogy to Cuba is apt - the people with money, brains and administrative skill mostly expelled or dead, except in Ukraine it has happened 3 times now, first the Austrians left, then the Poles and Jews gone and now the Russians gone.

    Out in the countryside it felt much more authentically and timelessly Ukrainian - people riding on horse drawn hay wagons, toothless peasants hoeing in the field, wheelbarrows made out of old car tires and baling wire. The Ukrainians were by definition not an urban people - they were the simple people of the countryside.

    Crossing the border from Poland to Ukraine (and, unlike post-Schengen Europe where the borders have practically disappeared, it's a real border, with officious customs officials and long waits while they check your passport/drink coffee and smoke cigarettes) really felt like crossing the invisible line between the East and the West.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  118. @Steve Sailer
    Ukraine is a gigantically wide country by European standards. Lviv is 845 miles by road west of Luhansk. The people of Lviv tend to be Ukrainian-speaking Catholics who look to the bureaucratically well-run Austro-Hungarian Empire for their history. The people of Luhansk are, I imagine, more Russian speaking Orthodox.

    Ukrainian nationality is very much an artificial creation, and there are indeed vast differences between the Ukrainians of Galicia and Lugansk. According to a census of 2001, self-described Ukrainians made up just under 60% of Lugansk population, but you would be hard-pressed to distinguish these “Ukrainians” from Russians in the neighbouring Rostov oblast.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But the people of Lvov in the west of Ukraine don't want anything to do with Russia.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  119. @Felix Keverich
    Ukrainian nationality is very much an artificial creation, and there are indeed vast differences between the Ukrainians of Galicia and Lugansk. According to a census of 2001, self-described Ukrainians made up just under 60% of Lugansk population, but you would be hard-pressed to distinguish these "Ukrainians" from Russians in the neighbouring Rostov oblast.

    But the people of Lvov in the west of Ukraine don’t want anything to do with Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    There are like 5 million of them and they can have their separate country. What I cannot understand is why they want to include so many Russian parts in it.

    BTW, do you know where the staunchest Ukrainian nationalists live? In Canada! Funny, but true.

    , @JL
    @Steve Sailer

    Well, yeah, the Galicians are essentially Poles while the Eastern Ukrainians are essentially Russians. Felix doesn't seem to be arguing this point, indeed he's saying why not just partition and get it over with since the two sides can't seem to get along together? The main question is what to do with the conflicted and confused inhabitants of Kiev and other central regions.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  120. @Steve Sailer
    But the people of Lvov in the west of Ukraine don't want anything to do with Russia.

    There are like 5 million of them and they can have their separate country. What I cannot understand is why they want to include so many Russian parts in it.

    BTW, do you know where the staunchest Ukrainian nationalists live? In Canada! Funny, but true.

    Read More
    • Replies: @avraham
    The most anti-Russia Ukrainians are in the USA. In the Ukraine proper in middle areas people think fondly of Russia. In the middle areas I can't even count how many people I asked how things were when the Ukraine was a part of Russia. The answers were always the same. "A lot better." "Everything was cheaper." One woman told me she bought her house [a Villa] for about what is now about $200.
    The necessities were dirt cheap. And people were afraid to break the law.

    People told me "Everyone worked." They were referring to the fact that now there is no work and people have nothing to do.
    But the thing is I forgot the exact words they used. There was one phrase everyone used when referring to that time and I forgot it. "бил люче" or something like that.

    It is like one comment said above: They can keep things going, but everything depends on the infrastructure built by the Russians.

    [That does not mean they want Russian rule again though.]

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  121. @Steve Sailer
    But the people of Lvov in the west of Ukraine don't want anything to do with Russia.

    Well, yeah, the Galicians are essentially Poles while the Eastern Ukrainians are essentially Russians. Felix doesn’t seem to be arguing this point, indeed he’s saying why not just partition and get it over with since the two sides can’t seem to get along together? The main question is what to do with the conflicted and confused inhabitants of Kiev and other central regions.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  122. @Reg Cæsar

    Does the president really have his finger on the button? Isn’t that just a figure of speech?
     
    If "button" means "clitoris"…

    Do you spend your life making stale, unfunny trash-snark responses on the net?

    Tell us your secret. How do you afford this lifestyle?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  123. @Dave Pinsen
    Droning Pakistan won't stop a Muslim from hacking someone in Belgium with a machete or shooting up a gay club in Orlando. Elites have this James Bond movie mindset where evil is perpetrated by masterminds in far off hideouts. It isn't. It's diffuse, and the medium is Muslims.

    Islamic State taking credit for a hatchet attack is like Jodie Foster taking credit for shooting Ronald Reagan. Nuking Saudi Arabia or Pakistan wouldn't stop terrorism. The solution is to stop importing Muslims and make the ones already here pay some price for acts of terror: shut down the mosque a terrorist attended, deport his imam and his family, etc.

    Granted that goes against western values, but so does terrorism, and the fear of death for terrorists isn't enough of a deterrent. There needs to be community pressure.

    I like it! Reverse jizya.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  124. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @tbraton
    "When it came to picking a black cabinet level official, he couldn’t draw from the neocon pool, he had to pick the most qualified black with international relations experience."

    ". . .with international relations experience" plus she had to play the piano and be decent on skates in addition to being able to talk NFL football like a regular guy. Guess what? Condi Rice fit the particulars of the job description perfectly PLUS she wasn't a neocon but could play one on TV. It was GWB's best find in a job search since he appointed Dick Cheney to look for a suitable running mate and Cheney found himself. Talk about a lucky guy. GWB just oozed luck.

    You ideologues can’t get over how Rice is a very good example of diversity is our strength mantra being true.

    The Bush national security team would have been very homogeneous (everyone is a neocon). Because he had to pick a black team member, he was able to find a voice of reason during the crisis up against a whole panel of neocon lackeys encouraging him to go as far as to bomb Russian forces to halt the Russian counterattack.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    That's your fantasy. In reality not one of Bush's advisors suggested actually doing anything in those meetings, when the chips were down. Their previous talk had been cheap.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  125. @reiner Tor
    I don't care how you perceive Putin's situation. What matters is how Putin perceives it vs. how Hitler perceived his.

    What you have to admit is that Putin was only reacting to other developments and is on the strategic defense rather than offense, as opposed to Hitler.

    Even your own opinion contradicts your Hitler rhetoric. For example, you write that Yanukovich was his puppet. (Untrue, but let's just accept for a moment.) This then means that he just lost a country ran by a puppet, and then all he could do was conquer a small piece of it. (Reality was different in that Yanukovich was neutral, balancing his act between the West and Russia, and now his country became hostile.)

    Czechoslovakia during the Sudeten crisis had not been run by a puppet of Hitler, instead, Czechoslovakia had always been hostile to Germany, so Hitler was on the strategic offense.

    I think you can admit that the Hitler comparison was silly.

    Even your own opinion contradicts your Hitler rhetoric. For example, you write that Yanukovich was his puppet. (Untrue, but let’s just accept for a moment.) This then means that he just lost a country ran by a puppet, and then all he could do was conquer a small piece of it. (Reality was different in that Yanukovich was neutral, balancing his act between the West and Russia, and now his country became hostile.)

    It’d me more accurate to characterize Yanukovych as a Putin client more than a puppet. He’s similar to Lukashenko in Belarus. As for any “balancing act”, you have him confused with Yushchenko.

    I think you can admit that the Hitler comparison was silly.

    Oh, grasshopper, your naivete is charming. Let me spell it out for you:
    Yeltsin-era Russia = Weimar Germany
    Russian annexation of the Crimea = German annexation of the Sudetenland
    Russian crypto-invasion of eastern Ukraine = Anschluss

    We’ve heard this song before. The next two verses will be 1) a Russian annexation of the Baltics, paralleling the Nazi invasion of Poland and 2) a Russian invasion of Poland, paralleling the Nazi invasion of France. The former restores Russian control of the southeastern Baltic coast and a land corridor to the current exclave of Kaliningrad. More importantly, it will neuter NATO by exposing the alliance’s weakness and lack of political will, rendering Article 5 meaningless. The latter crushes a hostile neighbor and historical enemy to the west, re-establishes Russian dominance in eastern Europe, and signals very clearly to other neighboring states (specifically W.’s “New Europe”–Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, et al) how any opposition to Russian power will be met.

    The collapse of NATO will completely roll back U.S. hegemony in continental Europe, reducing it to just the UK (or perhaps just England depending on how the next Scottish independence referendum goes). France will go its own way as it always has. Germany, today a de facto pacifist state, will either declare neutrality and non-alignment or outright switch sides and declare an alliance with Russia, dominating Europe and the EU as a junior partner. The rest of Europe will follow Germany’s lead. Erdogan’s Turkey, meanwhile, will view this as an opportunity and begin more overtly expanding to its south to start reassembling the core bits of the Ottoman Empire. Erdogan will seek an understanding with Putin in exchange for leaving Russia’s naval base on the Syrian coast alone.

    Humiliated and outmaneuvered, the U.S. will go into panic mode and begin a massive defense build-up the likes of which hasn’t been since WWII. Expect an unequivocal restatement of the Monroe Doctrine and fierce recommitment to Five Eyes and to U.S. claims and military installations in the Pacific. There might even be attempts to begin building up the Latin American states militarily as replacement allies.

    The big variable will be, of course, China. Anyway…

    What truly separates Putin from Hitler is that Putin is not a strict ideologue and, at least as far as I know, isn’t a white supremacist. Nevertheless, Putin is a totalitarian and an expansionist who seeks to subjugate and dominate neighboring peoples. A noble and benevolent tsar simply seeking to do what’s best for his people Putin is not.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  126. @Felix Keverich
    "The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?"

    What do you mean "realign" with the West. Georgia is a place in Western Asia. Its people are not European, racially or culturally. Ukraine never existed as a state until 1991, before that it was simply called Southern Russia. You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ) and hates Russia's guts, but as a Russian I can tell you this is not true.

    If you're so eager to take care of pro-Western elements in Ukraine, then let's partition the country and be done with it. Transforming Ukraine into a battlefield in the new Cold war will do no good to the people of Ukraine.

    I would have to agree with you. Only one minor point I wanted to make.

    There was for some time the Kievian State but that was a for-runner of the Muscovite state.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  127. @For what it's worth
    "- Post-Cold War muscle-flexing by the Americans and their allies against the Russian and their allies (e.g., Croatia’s American-guided Operation Storm against the Serbs in August 1995) are a real mental black hole for American media."

    Yes; and so? I find the Buchananite (etc.) love for Putinism perplexing. "Putin is just defending his interests." What about American interests? What I mean is, the Atlanticist side is *our* side. The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?

    I mean, the counter-argument is that it's not in our strategic interests to venture into Russia's near-sphere of interest. Okay, but the Left isn't the only place where we see "leapfrogging loyalties." The alt-right (or paleocons, or whatever) also shows some leapfrogging loyalties, seeming to prefer the Russians (whose worldview is quite foreign to our own) to the Western-leaning elements in Ukraine and Georgia, who would like to escape the nightmare of living in the shadow of Muscovite force. I can't help but think that much of this geopolitical namby-pamby pro-Putinism is just pique. The critics see the Atlanticist order as vehicle of liberalism, so they would rather see the Kremlin exert its soul-deadening straitjacket over Eastern Europe again. Because Neoconservatism.

    I was (perhaps a little naively) shocked at the vehemence of the pro-Putin views here. If you oppose him, you are called a dumbass, etc. The words used were very much like those used to defend Obama in some leftist forum.

    I could understand Western rightists liking Putin if he ruled over some alien planet – can’t we be more like Planet Zod where Great and Democratically Elected Leader Putin knows how to kick leftist ass?

    But in fact , we occupy the same planet and if some don’t understand it here, Putin full well does – this is a zero sum game. The Russian sphere of influence can only grow if the Western one shrinks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "I was (perhaps a little naively) shocked at the vehemence of the pro-Putin views here."

    That is a standard trope, and it's falacious. Not believing that we should gratuitiously poke our fingers into Russia's eyes does not make one "pro-Putin".

    "The Russian sphere of influence can only grow if the Western one shrinks."

    And? The western sphere of influence - the american part of it anyway - is too big. We are overextended.

    Also, it is preferrable (for us) to have Russia and China vaguely antagonistic toward each other, than to have both of them vaguely antagonistic toward us.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  128. @Anonymous
    You ideologues can't get over how Rice is a very good example of diversity is our strength mantra being true.

    The Bush national security team would have been very homogeneous (everyone is a neocon). Because he had to pick a black team member, he was able to find a voice of reason during the crisis up against a whole panel of neocon lackeys encouraging him to go as far as to bomb Russian forces to halt the Russian counterattack.

    That’s your fantasy. In reality not one of Bush’s advisors suggested actually doing anything in those meetings, when the chips were down. Their previous talk had been cheap.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  129. @Steve Sailer
    Ukraine is a gigantically wide country by European standards. Lviv is 845 miles by road west of Luhansk. The people of Lviv tend to be Ukrainian-speaking Catholics who look to the bureaucratically well-run Austro-Hungarian Empire for their history. The people of Luhansk are, I imagine, more Russian speaking Orthodox.

    The impression I had of the Ukrainians in Lviv (formerly Lemberg) is that they were occupying a place that they did not build – their civilization was (and this is a heck of a lot better than say Detroit) of a level where they could maintain a place like Lemberg (it is pretty well kept – the center of town could be a movie set for a pre-1914 European city, especially now that they have taken the big Lenin statue down from the front of the opera house and put the fountain back) but not create it from scratch. It was as if a neutron bomb had killed all the former inhabitants ( 1/3 of the population of then Polish ruled Lvov was Jewish in 1939 and only 20% were Ukrainian) and left the shell of the city, complete with cobblestone streets and vintage (Soviet) streetcars riding the drooping rails (it was a mystery to me why they didn’t derail). All the Jews and Poles are gone today (not to mention the Austro-Hungarians) and the place is 100% Ukrainian.

    Ditto with cars – Ukraine is to old Russian cars as Havana is to old American cars. The analogy to Cuba is apt – the people with money, brains and administrative skill mostly expelled or dead, except in Ukraine it has happened 3 times now, first the Austrians left, then the Poles and Jews gone and now the Russians gone.

    Out in the countryside it felt much more authentically and timelessly Ukrainian – people riding on horse drawn hay wagons, toothless peasants hoeing in the field, wheelbarrows made out of old car tires and baling wire. The Ukrainians were by definition not an urban people – they were the simple people of the countryside.

    Crossing the border from Poland to Ukraine (and, unlike post-Schengen Europe where the borders have practically disappeared, it’s a real border, with officious customs officials and long waits while they check your passport/drink coffee and smoke cigarettes) really felt like crossing the invisible line between the East and the West.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  130. @Felix Keverich
    "The Georgians are a state that has been sorely abused by Muscovite (Czarist, then Soviet) rule. Ditto Ukraine. A significant bloc in each country wants to realign with the West. Why not welcome them?"

    What do you mean "realign" with the West. Georgia is a place in Western Asia. Its people are not European, racially or culturally. Ukraine never existed as a state until 1991, before that it was simply called Southern Russia. You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ) and hates Russia's guts, but as a Russian I can tell you this is not true.

    If you're so eager to take care of pro-Western elements in Ukraine, then let's partition the country and be done with it. Transforming Ukraine into a battlefield in the new Cold war will do no good to the people of Ukraine.

    You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ)

    This is the false dichotomy that Putin poses and that some seem to fall for here. As much as it may seem that way, the choice in Ukraine (Poland, the Baltics, Hungary, etc.) is not between Russian rule and rule by gay/Arab/Negro diversicrats sent from EU HQ to destroy their culture and society. The people of these countries, caught though they are between corrupt East and a decadent West, have agency and can (and should) choose their own path.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Ukraine trails Russia in most anti-corruption rankings, and by all accounts corruption in Ukraine got worse under new regime, so the country is very much a part of the "corrupt East" you're railing against. Ukraine and Russia belong together.

    "Choosing your own path" is a beautiful concept, but the West obviously does not believe in it, or else they would recognize Crimea referendum.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  131. @Felix Keverich
    There are like 5 million of them and they can have their separate country. What I cannot understand is why they want to include so many Russian parts in it.

    BTW, do you know where the staunchest Ukrainian nationalists live? In Canada! Funny, but true.

    The most anti-Russia Ukrainians are in the USA. In the Ukraine proper in middle areas people think fondly of Russia. In the middle areas I can’t even count how many people I asked how things were when the Ukraine was a part of Russia. The answers were always the same. “A lot better.” “Everything was cheaper.” One woman told me she bought her house [a Villa] for about what is now about $200.
    The necessities were dirt cheap. And people were afraid to break the law.

    People told me “Everyone worked.” They were referring to the fact that now there is no work and people have nothing to do.
    But the thing is I forgot the exact words they used. There was one phrase everyone used when referring to that time and I forgot it. “бил люче” or something like that.

    It is like one comment said above: They can keep things going, but everything depends on the infrastructure built by the Russians.

    [That does not mean they want Russian rule again though.]

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  132. @iSteveFan
    It's like a replay of the LBJ attack ad on Goldwater in which a little girl was picking the pedals off a daisy while a voice was counting down from 10 in a nuclear launch. The implication was that LBJ was the one to trust with the nukes. It does look like the dems are using this against Trump. On a few blogs I read the trolls are bringing this up a lot. They seem oblivious to the retorts that Hillary, not Trump, seems intent on baiting Russia.

    I’m sure you heard the old joke. Some Republican is talking about the 1964 race between LBJ and Goldwater about a year or so later. He says “everybody told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we would find ourselves bogged down in a land war in Asia. Guess what. They were right. I voted for Goldwater, and we are bogged down in a land war in Asia.”

    The irony could have been appreciated by the American voters in the 1916 election where Woodrow Wilson won a narrow victory by explicitly campaigning on the political slogan “he kept us out of war” (referring to WWI which had been ongoing for more than 2 years), only to ask Congress to declare war on Germany in April 1917, about a month after being inaugurated for his second term.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  133. @Jack D

    You seem to believe that everyone in Ukraine shares Atlanticist values (diversity, LGBTQ)
     
    This is the false dichotomy that Putin poses and that some seem to fall for here. As much as it may seem that way, the choice in Ukraine (Poland, the Baltics, Hungary, etc.) is not between Russian rule and rule by gay/Arab/Negro diversicrats sent from EU HQ to destroy their culture and society. The people of these countries, caught though they are between corrupt East and a decadent West, have agency and can (and should) choose their own path.

    Ukraine trails Russia in most anti-corruption rankings, and by all accounts corruption in Ukraine got worse under new regime, so the country is very much a part of the “corrupt East” you’re railing against. Ukraine and Russia belong together.

    “Choosing your own path” is a beautiful concept, but the West obviously does not believe in it, or else they would recognize Crimea referendum.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  134. @Jack D
    I was (perhaps a little naively) shocked at the vehemence of the pro-Putin views here. If you oppose him, you are called a dumbass, etc. The words used were very much like those used to defend Obama in some leftist forum.

    I could understand Western rightists liking Putin if he ruled over some alien planet - can't we be more like Planet Zod where Great and Democratically Elected Leader Putin knows how to kick leftist ass?

    But in fact , we occupy the same planet and if some don't understand it here, Putin full well does - this is a zero sum game. The Russian sphere of influence can only grow if the Western one shrinks.

    “I was (perhaps a little naively) shocked at the vehemence of the pro-Putin views here.”

    That is a standard trope, and it’s falacious. Not believing that we should gratuitiously poke our fingers into Russia’s eyes does not make one “pro-Putin”.

    “The Russian sphere of influence can only grow if the Western one shrinks.”

    And? The western sphere of influence – the american part of it anyway – is too big. We are overextended.

    Also, it is preferrable (for us) to have Russia and China vaguely antagonistic toward each other, than to have both of them vaguely antagonistic toward us.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  135. @anon
    George Bush would have made America far safer had he simply ended all Muslim immigration, or all immigration, period, after 9/11 instead of his godforsaken fools' errand misadventure in Iraq. The best answer to Islam is to have as little to do with it as possible. Both the INVADE THE (Muslim) WORLD / INVITE THE (Muslim) WORLD are totally F*****-up policies.

    GWB was mislead by the Neocons…sheesh, he was a total & complete rube – am I the only one who saw this? GWB was a rube who was mislead by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz & Co., but, like they said in our childhood, “you made your bed, now lie in it.”

    GWB never expected 9/11 to happen. His father and well, DC establishment weren’t expecting jihadies…neither was Rice nor Powell. Sh*t happens when you don’t know about the world and the “bad people” out there. Forget mushroom clouds…now the same group is pushing for “nuculur” war with Putin. Can they/we just all be forced to assemble really, really difficult Legos for 5 years?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored