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The Battle for Sevastopol, now showing in Russian theatres
The Battle for Sevastopol, now showing in Russian theatres

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The young man shook his head. “No, I can’t say I’m pro-Putin. There’s too much corruption in Russia, with too much money going to the wrong people. We should become more Western. Instead, we’re moving in the other direction.”

Finally, I thought, a liberal critic of Putin. The young man continued. “Here it’s not too bad, but in Moscow you can see the change. They’re all over. Please, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate anyone, but I feel uncomfortable when there are so many of them. Sometimes, I wonder whether I’m still in Russia.”

 

Much had changed since my last visit ten years ago. Driving into the city of Voronezh from the airport, I could see entirely new neighborhoods, supermarkets, office buildings, and the like. In 2003, there was only one shopping mall in the whole city, and it was nothing special. Now, there were malls as huge as any in Toronto. Things had likewise improved for some of our old friends and acquaintances. A few had moved up into the growing middle class, including one couple who showed us their new palatial home on the outskirts.

Yet the bulk of the population seemed no better off, and in some ways worse off. Ten years ago, jobs were there for the taking. The pay may have been lousy, but it was money. Now, the competition is intense even for those jobs. An unemployed man told me: “It’s hard to find work now. Employers will hire immigrants because they work for much less and won’t complain. And there are a lot of them now, mainly from Central Asia, but also from places all over.”

Sour grapes? Perhaps. But it’s consistent with what a Quebec building contractor had told me earlier. “I no longer bother with Russian construction projects because there’s always a Russian company that will put in an absurdly low bid. The only way he can stay within budget is by hiring illegal immigrants. Everyone knows it, but nothing is ever done to stop it.”

 

I wasn’t surprised to see Ukrainian refugees in a big city like Voronezh, but it was surprising to see so many in remote farming villages. And each refugee family had a horror story to tell. It’s one thing to hear these stories from professional journalists; it’s another to hear them from ordinary people who aren’t being paid to say what they say. This is an underappreciated factor in the growing anger among Russians against the Ukrainian government.

After all that’s happened, I don’t see how eastern Ukraine will ever accept being ruled by Kiev. It’s like a marriage that has crossed the line between verbal abuse and physical violence.

 

We were standing outside a fast food kiosk. “I just don’t get it,” said my wife. “Prices are almost as high here as in Canada, yet the wages are a lot lower. How do people manage to survive?”

A young man overheard her. “The people who don’t survive are the ones you don’t get to see.”

 

Postwar housing projects cover most of the city. They are now aging badly, and North Americans wouldn’t hesitate to call them “slums.” We like to think that slums cause crime, broken homes, and stunted mental development. Yet, here, you can walk up about in safety, families are usually intact, and the children are studying hard to become engineers, scientists, ballet dancers, or what have you.

 

We were sitting in a restaurant with two young Russians, a lawyer and a university teacher. “Will there be war?” said one, looking worried. I tried to be reassuring, saying no one wanted war. But I wasn’t sure myself.

There was another question. “But do the Americans know what they’re getting into?” I shook my head. Few people in the West know much about Russia, and what little they do is worse than useless.

 

Hitler said it would be like kicking in the door of a rotten building. That’s how it seemed at first. And then the war dragged on and on, grinding down one German division after another. If—God forbid—war happens another time, we’ll probably see the same pattern. Without a higher purpose, the average Russian man often retreats into indolence, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior. Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power.

One of my professors ascribed it to the yearly cycle of traditional farm life. For most of the year, the muzhik slept a lot and whiled away his days in aimlessness. But when it came time to plough the fields or bring in the harvest, he had to pull out all stops and work continuously from dawn to dusk.

 

It’s the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War, and reminders can be seen everywhere. There has been a spate of new war movies, including one about the Battle for Sevastopol. It’s hard not to see references to the current conflict.

(Republished from Evo and Proud by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Immigration, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Voronezh 
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  1. Very interesting article.

    Just a few additional observations/remarks to round it off.

    “I just don’t get it,” said my wife. “Prices are almost as high here as in Canada, yet the wages are a lot lower. How do people manage to survive?”

    The essentials of life are much cheaper, though.

    (1) The prices of what in particular – fast food? In this case, your and your wife’s experience was probably an exception. According to the Big Mac Index, standard fast food is quite a lot cheaper in Russia than Canada. Most food of the sort you buy in supermarkets – and especially in open door farmers’ markets, which is where many Russians still do their groceries – are also a lot cheaper.

    (2) Most Russians – something like 90%, thanks to the privatization of homes – own their own properties, so few have to spend money on rent. Additionally, there is no public shame with living in with your parents for a long time, as you have in the Anglo-Saxon world. Utilities are also really cheap in global terms (even if they are constantly rising).

    The gray economy (additional wages in envelopes) is still pretty prevalent if less so than 10 years ago.

    Sure, imported goods like electronics are either as expensive or even more so, but in conjunction with the above factors, most Russians can now afford things like cell phones, computers, and cheaper cars.

    They are now aging badly, and North Americans wouldn’t hesitate to call them “slums.”

    They do indeed look pretty crap from the outside, but I found that this is in many cases a mistaken impression (albeit one that is reinforced by Russians’ lack of care for maintaining nice clean public spaces). The room interiors themselves are usually a very different story with good wooden furnity, a Persian carpet on the wall, chandeliers, etc. Moreover, and somewhat surprisingly, the blocky Soviet era constructions – despite being aesthetically challenged – are usually structurally better than the artsier but much flimsier newer constructions. This is a joint result of the large-scale corruption in the construction industry and the capitalist motive to minimize costs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    (2) Most Russians – something like 90%, thanks to the privatization of homes – own their own properties, so few have to spend money on rent.
     
    Good point. By contrast, more than a quarter of Americans spend at least half of their family incomes on rent:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3064136/More-one-four-Americans-spend-HALF-family-income-rent.html
    , @AP
    Correct. Fixed costs are very low in Russia. In addition to not having to pay mortgages or rent, and having very low utility costs, Russians generally don't have to worry about university tuition for their kids. I don't know anyone worrying about saving for private pensions, either. So essentially everything they earn that isn't food, is spending money. This is why one sees people with seemingly not large incomes by Western standards (more than those of pensioners, of course) wearing nice fur coats or Italian shoes.
    , @Numinous
    Thanks, illuminating comment! Everything you say about Russia sounds so similar to India, down to the "there is no public shame with living in with your parents for a long time" (with the difference, of course, that the Russian state was a lot more effective at delivering things than the Indian state ever was.) I guess it goes to show how much similar impact institutions can have on countries that are vastly separated by ethnicity and culture: in this case, centrally-planned socialism.
    , @Anonymous
    "They do indeed look pretty crap from the outside, but I found that this is in many cases a mistaken impression (albeit one that is reinforced by Russians’ lack of care for maintaining nice clean public spaces). The room interiors themselves are usually a very different story with good wooden furnity, a Persian carpet on the wall, chandeliers, etc."

    So true - my family lives in a city 150 miles east of Moscow and all apartment complex/apartment relationships are like this. The apartment building is vandalized and reeks of urine, but the individual apartments are like oases of well kept beauty.
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  2. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    There was another question. “But do the Americans know what they’re getting into?” I shook my head. Few people in the West know much about Russia, and what little they do is worse than useless.

    US has no, generally, any clue about WW II, nor, especially, has it any clue on continental warfare. Factor this in and, voila’, you have US power elites which are mostly Ivy League humanities-”educated” ignoramuses and there you have it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Luke Lea
    Our "umanities educated" elites? No, not even that. Humanities means history, literature, and philosophy, including lots of facts. There is very little of that in the Ivy League these days. Instead it's all about "critical thinking" applied to a miscellany of unrelated small subjects. At least that is my impression. Our elites are basically uneducated.
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  3. The life expectancy has risen by about 5 years since Putin took power.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Obviously, it must be all the tax and spending and extensive government programs that the Russian government has implemented. Perhaps the US could take note and learn to increase taxes and spend more on government programs since obviously we aren't taxing and spending enough.
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  4. Glossy says:

    “Postwar housing projects cover most of the city.”

    These were built from 1955 until the breakup of the USSR.

    Stalin built little, but in a grand, beautiful style. During his industrialization campaign huge numbers of people moved from the countryside to the cities. Most of them were crammed into pre-existing housing stock. My father grew up in a communal apartment in Moscow. What that meant was that several families shared a single bathroom and a single kitchen. This was typical.

    When Khruschov came to power he began building for the masses. This must have been the biggest construction program in the history of the world up to that point. It has since been surpassed by the current Chinese housing boom. Khruschov rejected Stalin’s neoclassical style and built the ugly boxes that you described as “post-war housing projects” in your post. Quantity over aesthetics.

    For tens of millions of people that was an improvement – a bathroom and a kitchen of their own, more space than they had before. They do look ugly from the outside though and you could hear your neighbors through their walls.

    Khruschov built 5-story apartment buildings. My parents lived in one of those when I was born. Brezhnev built 9, 12, 14 and 16-story buildings in the same boxy style. I grew up in a standard 12-story building of that era. Like most of Khruschov-Brezhnev period housing it was made out of huge pre-fabricated blocks.

    I’ve seen Westerners refer to ugly pre-fabricated architecture, both in the former USSR and in the West itself as “Stalinist”. Nothing could be futher from the truth. Stalin built ornate, classical palaces. The blocky mass-produced housing that dominates former Soviet cities is actually Khruschovite and Brezhnevite in origin.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Everything you wrote here is correct. BTW there are many examples in the USA of what can be called "Stalin buildings":

    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/ARCH-notes-municipal.htm
    , @IA
    Thanks for the erudition. I didn't know the difference.

    I've known quite well a Real Stalinist building in Shanghai built by the Russians in the 50s. Very grand and ornate with columns and a spire.
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  5. Kiza says:

    “Without a higher purpose, the average Russian man often retreats into indolence, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior. Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power.”

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia. Other good observations have been expanded upon by Anatoly Karlin, but the quote above has not. I find this point more important than all other. The US elite, flanked by its EU vassals, may foolishly stumble into a war against Russia. Following the media build up of a typical Western preposterous propaganda, a shooting war is almost certain. I have been following the Western war enterprise (yes, it is a regular enterprise) and the propaganda-to-war pattern is crystal clear. But, as Frost and the commentators here state, the US political and bankster Anglo-Jewish elite has close to zero understanding of their Russian opponents. Germany and Russia have fought several wars and they know each other very well, but US does not at all. The British have had the last war against Russia in 1853, the Crimean/Easter War. The US Anglo-Jewish elite never has. Even the idea that US can confront Russia militarily and remain standing is unimaginable stupidity and madness combined, not only because of Russian nuclear weapons. Simply, Hitler had much more on his side against Russia than these US stupidos, the would be kings of the World. The US elite is not capable of managing the US properly, but they want to control the World. Pure megalomania.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    I think that a hot war between NATO and Russia is very unlikely. We have more than 65 years of experience of more than one country having nuclear weapons. Through many changes of personnell at the top and through several changes of ideology no nuclear state has directly attacked another nuclear state. Yes, I know about the late-1960s Soviet-Chinese border clashes. It was minor stuff.

    If hot wars between nuclear states were possible, they would have occurred by now. 66 years is a long time. Fortunately they appear impossible.

    Cold War II will continue though. It will feature more proxy wars. The Korean, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Central American wars were the proxy wars of Cold War I. The South Ossetian, Syrian and Donbass wars have been the proxy wars of Cold War II. The Azeri-Armenian conflict may flare up again with Russia supporting Armenia and the neocons backing Azerbaijan. There could be more wars in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East.

    Succession in Russia will be crucial. Putin can be succeeded by someone who continues his policies or by another Gorbachev. In the latter case Cold War II will end with another orgy of looting.

    , @bossel

    a shooting war is almost certain
     
    Nonsense. It is almost certain that there will be no war with Russia. The US & other Western countries may support anti-Russian forces here & there, but they most probably will avoid an open conflict with Russia, if possible.

    the propaganda-to-war pattern is crystal clear
     
    Only to the delusional, I suppose. From the US, Dutch, British & German mainstream sources I follow, there is no such pattern recognizable. If there is a majority position visible, it's more like "only negotiations will solve the problems".
    , @Ronald Thomas West

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia
     
    When I read this article, I wondered if it was the same Peter Frost. Now I wonder if he has schizophrenia. His anthropology stinks in my estimation and yet here he was quite astute.

    If there is any 'real' war with Russia, likely tactical nuclear weapons could come into play. The Russian military doctrine calls for their employ in event of overwhelming technological or battlefield disadvantage. What's more:


    A different development is discernable in the 2010 Russian doctrine.[4] In contrast to the developments in the US, Russia appears to expand the category of cases in which it will resort to nuclear force: Whether the threat is conventional or unconventional, massive attacks against Russia or her allies may occasion resort to nuclear strikes. The approach echoes an expansive aspect found in the French doctrine from 2008, which suggests that all options are on the table irrespective of the provenance or form of the initial aggression.[5] China has persistently maintained a no-first use posture.[6] However, a deliberate ambiguity in the Chinese doctrinal approach[7] has triggered speculations that China’s 2012 White Paper redirected a purely retaliatory approach to one in which China will ‘take all measures necessary to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial sovereignty’.

    http://nwp.ilpi.org/?p=2763
     

    ^ What the above clearly implies, juxtaposed to a USA doctrine disingenuously downplays use of nuclear weapons (while retaining a 'right' to 'pre-emptive' 1st strike) is, all law of war is antiquated, in fact there can no longer be any 'rational' justification for war in any respect. Time to tell General Breedlove at NATO to 'grow up, the games of cowboys and Indians are no more.'
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  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Very interesting article.

    Just a few additional observations/remarks to round it off.

    “I just don’t get it,” said my wife. “Prices are almost as high here as in Canada, yet the wages are a lot lower. How do people manage to survive?”
     
    The essentials of life are much cheaper, though.

    (1) The prices of what in particular - fast food? In this case, your and your wife's experience was probably an exception. According to the Big Mac Index, standard fast food is quite a lot cheaper in Russia than Canada. Most food of the sort you buy in supermarkets - and especially in open door farmers' markets, which is where many Russians still do their groceries - are also a lot cheaper.

    (2) Most Russians - something like 90%, thanks to the privatization of homes - own their own properties, so few have to spend money on rent. Additionally, there is no public shame with living in with your parents for a long time, as you have in the Anglo-Saxon world. Utilities are also really cheap in global terms (even if they are constantly rising).

    The gray economy (additional wages in envelopes) is still pretty prevalent if less so than 10 years ago.

    Sure, imported goods like electronics are either as expensive or even more so, but in conjunction with the above factors, most Russians can now afford things like cell phones, computers, and cheaper cars.

    They are now aging badly, and North Americans wouldn’t hesitate to call them “slums.”
     
    They do indeed look pretty crap from the outside, but I found that this is in many cases a mistaken impression (albeit one that is reinforced by Russians' lack of care for maintaining nice clean public spaces). The room interiors themselves are usually a very different story with good wooden furnity, a Persian carpet on the wall, chandeliers, etc. Moreover, and somewhat surprisingly, the blocky Soviet era constructions - despite being aesthetically challenged - are usually structurally better than the artsier but much flimsier newer constructions. This is a joint result of the large-scale corruption in the construction industry and the capitalist motive to minimize costs.

    (2) Most Russians – something like 90%, thanks to the privatization of homes – own their own properties, so few have to spend money on rent.

    Good point. By contrast, more than a quarter of Americans spend at least half of their family incomes on rent:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3064136/More-one-four-Americans-spend-HALF-family-income-rent.html

    Read More
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  7. AP says:
    @Glossy
    "Postwar housing projects cover most of the city."

    These were built from 1955 until the breakup of the USSR.

    Stalin built little, but in a grand, beautiful style. During his industrialization campaign huge numbers of people moved from the countryside to the cities. Most of them were crammed into pre-existing housing stock. My father grew up in a communal apartment in Moscow. What that meant was that several families shared a single bathroom and a single kitchen. This was typical.

    When Khruschov came to power he began building for the masses. This must have been the biggest construction program in the history of the world up to that point. It has since been surpassed by the current Chinese housing boom. Khruschov rejected Stalin's neoclassical style and built the ugly boxes that you described as "post-war housing projects" in your post. Quantity over aesthetics.

    For tens of millions of people that was an improvement - a bathroom and a kitchen of their own, more space than they had before. They do look ugly from the outside though and you could hear your neighbors through their walls.

    Khruschov built 5-story apartment buildings. My parents lived in one of those when I was born. Brezhnev built 9, 12, 14 and 16-story buildings in the same boxy style. I grew up in a standard 12-story building of that era. Like most of Khruschov-Brezhnev period housing it was made out of huge pre-fabricated blocks.

    I've seen Westerners refer to ugly pre-fabricated architecture, both in the former USSR and in the West itself as "Stalinist". Nothing could be futher from the truth. Stalin built ornate, classical palaces. The blocky mass-produced housing that dominates former Soviet cities is actually Khruschovite and Brezhnevite in origin.

    Everything you wrote here is correct. BTW there are many examples in the USA of what can be called “Stalin buildings”:

    http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/ARCH-notes-municipal.htm

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

    Hitler said it would be like kicking in the door of a rotten building. That’s how it seemed at first. And then the war dragged on and on, grinding down one German division after another.

    How much of this had to do with the fact that they had to fight on 2 fronts and that the USSR received aid from the Allies?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    None, really. Barbarossa went in (late) on June 22, 1941 at a time when Britain was exerting very little pressure on the Axis - having just been routed in Greece and Crete. There followed very nearly three whole years before the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Admittedly some resources were diverted to North Africa, and after the Allied landings in Morocco (Operation Torch, November 8, 1942) and Sicily (July 9-10, 1943) the Axis came under steadily increasing pressure. Indeed, one of the factors that persuaded Hitler to break off the Battle of Kursk was the need to send reinforcements to Italy. However, even before Kursk the Germans had lost the initiative and faced ultimate defeat. Their surprise attack in 1941 was like a man trying to kill a sleeping bear by stabbing it to the heart. When the knife fails to penetrate all the way, he is left to face the wounded beast and his prospects are dismal. There were two turning points in the East: the failure to capture Moscow and Leningrad, as planned, in 1941 before the USA was even in the war; and the disaster of Stalingrad in 1942 before the USA had contributed much (if anything) to the Western and Southern fronts.
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  9. Glossy says:
    @Kiza
    "Without a higher purpose, the average Russian man often retreats into indolence, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior. Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power."

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia. Other good observations have been expanded upon by Anatoly Karlin, but the quote above has not. I find this point more important than all other. The US elite, flanked by its EU vassals, may foolishly stumble into a war against Russia. Following the media build up of a typical Western preposterous propaganda, a shooting war is almost certain. I have been following the Western war enterprise (yes, it is a regular enterprise) and the propaganda-to-war pattern is crystal clear. But, as Frost and the commentators here state, the US political and bankster Anglo-Jewish elite has close to zero understanding of their Russian opponents. Germany and Russia have fought several wars and they know each other very well, but US does not at all. The British have had the last war against Russia in 1853, the Crimean/Easter War. The US Anglo-Jewish elite never has. Even the idea that US can confront Russia militarily and remain standing is unimaginable stupidity and madness combined, not only because of Russian nuclear weapons. Simply, Hitler had much more on his side against Russia than these US stupidos, the would be kings of the World. The US elite is not capable of managing the US properly, but they want to control the World. Pure megalomania.

    I think that a hot war between NATO and Russia is very unlikely. We have more than 65 years of experience of more than one country having nuclear weapons. Through many changes of personnell at the top and through several changes of ideology no nuclear state has directly attacked another nuclear state. Yes, I know about the late-1960s Soviet-Chinese border clashes. It was minor stuff.

    If hot wars between nuclear states were possible, they would have occurred by now. 66 years is a long time. Fortunately they appear impossible.

    Cold War II will continue though. It will feature more proxy wars. The Korean, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Central American wars were the proxy wars of Cold War I. The South Ossetian, Syrian and Donbass wars have been the proxy wars of Cold War II. The Azeri-Armenian conflict may flare up again with Russia supporting Armenia and the neocons backing Azerbaijan. There could be more wars in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East.

    Succession in Russia will be crucial. Putin can be succeeded by someone who continues his policies or by another Gorbachev. In the latter case Cold War II will end with another orgy of looting.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    I am absolutely amazed at a general and complete misunderstanding of the most commentators here of the true situation. This is like everybody has soaked up so much regime propaganda that they are all brain dead (not to mention the extremist government propaganda trolls such as bossel). Proof?

    Well here a few sentences from today's The Nation:
    1) "Armed Services Committee Chairman, Senator John McCain...derided the Obama administration’s “so-called reset” policy and warned of Mr. Putin’s “neo-imperial objectives.” McCain accused Russia of violating the Minsk II cease-fire agreement."
    2) General Breedlove: “I support the use, um, [quickly correcting himself] the consideration, of offensive military aid to Ukraine …”
    3) The most hawkish of the three, the Atlantic Council’s Ian Brzezinski (perhaps channeling his father Zbigniew), opined that the United States should impose tougher sanctions on Russia in order to “aggressively shock the Russian economy by shutting off its energy and financial sectors from the global economy.”

    Conclusion of the article: "Today, it would seem, Democrats and Republicans are engaged in a contest of who can ‘out-hawk’ the other on Russia."

    The shooting war is inevitable because the US Congress is like a pack of rabid dogs, whilst the US population is in a deep propaganda induced brain stupor and un/underemployment. The only way the US regime can remain in power is by starting a big war.

    Finally, here is everything you need to know about the reasons for the forthcoming big war: What does Putin want? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-02/what-does-putin-want
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  10. @JohnnyWalker123
    The life expectancy has risen by about 5 years since Putin took power.

    Obviously, it must be all the tax and spending and extensive government programs that the Russian government has implemented. Perhaps the US could take note and learn to increase taxes and spend more on government programs since obviously we aren’t taxing and spending enough.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JohnnyWalker123
    Putin did imprison quite a few oligarchs for financially looting the country, which allowed the country to stabilize. He also increased pensions (ie "big govt") to retirees.

    Of course, you'd probably consider that socialism.
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  11. AP says:

    Interesting article with many realistic observations. One thing though….

    Hitler said it would be like kicking in the door of a rotten building. That’s how it seemed at first. And then the war dragged on and on, grinding down one German division after another. If—God forbid—war happens another time, we’ll probably see the same pattern.

    First of all, there will be no war, due to the nuclear deterrent. Neither America nor Russia are run by homicidal/suicidal Jihadists.

    Secondly, Russia is not the USSR. It is about half of what had been the USSR. America has double Russia’s population; Germany had less than half of the USSR’s population. Add the rest of NATO to America and a potential conventional war would be even more lopsided. Of course nobody wants a war of that scale that would necessarily involve millions of soldiers (ad thus conscription) as well as retooling the entire economy, but if it came down to such a total conventional war such as World War II, there would be no contest.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    Yeah, we could probably beat the Russians in a conventional war. Not that I have any particular desire to do so.

    Besides, how do you know for sure it would stay conventional? I suspect that's the reason the neocons haven't tried to invade Russia yet--even they know WW3 will destroy everything.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I don't think there'll be a NATO-Russia direct (as opposed to poxy) war either. But IF there is one, it will probably be one of the following.

    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other's territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia's military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.

    2) A fullscale conventional war. In this scenario, as you correctly note, Russia gets stomped both now and in the indefinite future. But here's the crux of the matter - such a conflict will go nuclear, at least if Russia follows its own military doctrine which relies on the concept of limited "de-escalatory" nuclear strikes (a strategy that bears a resemblance to NATO's during the Cold War when the Warsaw Pact had land military superiority). If NATO checks or raises instead of folding, Russia will continue reraising, up to and including a fullscale nuclear apocalypse. It's a reckless strategy, sure, but as a weak player that wishes to continue playing power poker on the global stage, it has no other choice.
    , @Glossy
    I agree that there will be no war because of the nuclear deterrent but disagree with everything else.

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn't fight the USSR alone.

    NATO has a much bigger population than Russia, but also a much smaller proportion of the population that would perform well in a conventional war. HBD isn't all about IQ. Different populations are capable of different levels of bravery and self-sacrifice. Russians are especially high on altruism in emergencies. I have no idea why they were selected for this particular trait so much more than most peoples, but the fact is that they were.

    And Russia has no desire to attack the West while the neocons want regime change in Moscow. If nuclear weapons magically disappear tomorrow and all-out conventional world wars become possible again, the neocons would attack first. GIs from West Virginia would look at this as an adventure, while Russians would be defending the motherland. There's little doubt in my mind about how that would turn out.
    , @Mulegino1
    Indeed - there would be no contest in a land war in Russia's "near abroad". The Russian anti-aircraft systems are the best in the world. Ditto their anti-ship missiles.

    Deprived of air superiority, NATO forces would be flattened by a relentless Russian advance.

    The mightiest military force ever assembled - the Wehrmacht and its allies (Italy, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Bulgaria, along with the Spanish Blue Division and thousands of European volunteers who joined the Waffen S.S.) could not defeat the U.S.S.R. And this despite the fact that they caught the first Soviet echelons in vulnerable salients (they were themselves staging for an invasion) and achieved a gigantic encirclement which netted hundreds of thousands of prisoners during the first few weeks of Barbarossa.

    The U.S. has not engaged with an enemy at rough conventional parity since it fought the Chinese in the Korean war. America's wars since then have been against much, much weaker opponents.

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  12. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Very interesting article.

    Just a few additional observations/remarks to round it off.

    “I just don’t get it,” said my wife. “Prices are almost as high here as in Canada, yet the wages are a lot lower. How do people manage to survive?”
     
    The essentials of life are much cheaper, though.

    (1) The prices of what in particular - fast food? In this case, your and your wife's experience was probably an exception. According to the Big Mac Index, standard fast food is quite a lot cheaper in Russia than Canada. Most food of the sort you buy in supermarkets - and especially in open door farmers' markets, which is where many Russians still do their groceries - are also a lot cheaper.

    (2) Most Russians - something like 90%, thanks to the privatization of homes - own their own properties, so few have to spend money on rent. Additionally, there is no public shame with living in with your parents for a long time, as you have in the Anglo-Saxon world. Utilities are also really cheap in global terms (even if they are constantly rising).

    The gray economy (additional wages in envelopes) is still pretty prevalent if less so than 10 years ago.

    Sure, imported goods like electronics are either as expensive or even more so, but in conjunction with the above factors, most Russians can now afford things like cell phones, computers, and cheaper cars.

    They are now aging badly, and North Americans wouldn’t hesitate to call them “slums.”
     
    They do indeed look pretty crap from the outside, but I found that this is in many cases a mistaken impression (albeit one that is reinforced by Russians' lack of care for maintaining nice clean public spaces). The room interiors themselves are usually a very different story with good wooden furnity, a Persian carpet on the wall, chandeliers, etc. Moreover, and somewhat surprisingly, the blocky Soviet era constructions - despite being aesthetically challenged - are usually structurally better than the artsier but much flimsier newer constructions. This is a joint result of the large-scale corruption in the construction industry and the capitalist motive to minimize costs.

    Correct. Fixed costs are very low in Russia. In addition to not having to pay mortgages or rent, and having very low utility costs, Russians generally don’t have to worry about university tuition for their kids. I don’t know anyone worrying about saving for private pensions, either. So essentially everything they earn that isn’t food, is spending money. This is why one sees people with seemingly not large incomes by Western standards (more than those of pensioners, of course) wearing nice fur coats or Italian shoes.

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    • Replies: @olivegreen
    Actually, utility costs are no longer very low in Russia. They come to around 1/5-1/4 of the median wage which is hardly negligible. My mother's pension covers them with not too much left over. Of course, my mother is not yet 60 and does not live on her pension alone, and pensions increase with age, but it is still significant.
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  13. Realist says:

    “The young man shook his head. “No, I can’t say I’m pro-Putin. There’s too much corruption in Russia, with too much money going to the wrong people. We should become more Western. Instead, we’re moving in the other direction.”

    Yep, that’s the ticket be more western. There is no corruption in the west and the money goes to the ‘right people’.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    The main difference is that in the West most of the systematic corruption has been legalized. So it arouses very little public outcry. Anyone living in Britain, for instance, could look at the regular feature "Rotten Boroughs" in "Private Eye". Every single issue, the column prints dozens of cases of official corruption in Britain alone; yet hardly ever are any of the culprits prosecuted, let alone punished. The usual outcome is for some kind of investigation to end in resignations. Those who resign get generous "golden parachutes" in accordance with their contracts. Having received a few hundred thousand by way of a bonus for their crimes, they then move into an equivalent job somewhere else within a few months. Thus being corrupt and being discovered is actually profitable.
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  14. Tom Welsh says:

    ‘Yet the bulk of the population seemed no better off, and in some ways worse off. Ten years ago, jobs were there for the taking. The pay may have been lousy, but it was money. Now, the competition is intense even for those jobs.’

    So Russia IS getting more like the USA…

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  15. Numinous says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Very interesting article.

    Just a few additional observations/remarks to round it off.

    “I just don’t get it,” said my wife. “Prices are almost as high here as in Canada, yet the wages are a lot lower. How do people manage to survive?”
     
    The essentials of life are much cheaper, though.

    (1) The prices of what in particular - fast food? In this case, your and your wife's experience was probably an exception. According to the Big Mac Index, standard fast food is quite a lot cheaper in Russia than Canada. Most food of the sort you buy in supermarkets - and especially in open door farmers' markets, which is where many Russians still do their groceries - are also a lot cheaper.

    (2) Most Russians - something like 90%, thanks to the privatization of homes - own their own properties, so few have to spend money on rent. Additionally, there is no public shame with living in with your parents for a long time, as you have in the Anglo-Saxon world. Utilities are also really cheap in global terms (even if they are constantly rising).

    The gray economy (additional wages in envelopes) is still pretty prevalent if less so than 10 years ago.

    Sure, imported goods like electronics are either as expensive or even more so, but in conjunction with the above factors, most Russians can now afford things like cell phones, computers, and cheaper cars.

    They are now aging badly, and North Americans wouldn’t hesitate to call them “slums.”
     
    They do indeed look pretty crap from the outside, but I found that this is in many cases a mistaken impression (albeit one that is reinforced by Russians' lack of care for maintaining nice clean public spaces). The room interiors themselves are usually a very different story with good wooden furnity, a Persian carpet on the wall, chandeliers, etc. Moreover, and somewhat surprisingly, the blocky Soviet era constructions - despite being aesthetically challenged - are usually structurally better than the artsier but much flimsier newer constructions. This is a joint result of the large-scale corruption in the construction industry and the capitalist motive to minimize costs.

    Thanks, illuminating comment! Everything you say about Russia sounds so similar to India, down to the “there is no public shame with living in with your parents for a long time” (with the difference, of course, that the Russian state was a lot more effective at delivering things than the Indian state ever was.) I guess it goes to show how much similar impact institutions can have on countries that are vastly separated by ethnicity and culture: in this case, centrally-planned socialism.

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  16. Numinous says:

    And there are a lot of them now, mainly from Central Asia, but also from places all over.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with people in this situation, like the person making the above comment. Whether or not he is right about his lack of opportunity caused by immigrants is up to the economists; perhaps humans are wired to sense danger upon observing a change in their environment, so immigrants become easy scapegoats. But the big reason why there are Central Asians in Russia is because there are, and have been since the 19th century, Russians in Central Asia. I followed the recent Asian Games and noticed that much of the contingents of the *stans in Central Asia was white, blond, and blue-eyed. So Russians definitely have a heavy demographic footprint in those countries, especially Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. So why shouldn’t Central Asians, for their part, be allowed to try their luck in Russia?

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    • Replies: @Drogger
    Because one form of colonization shouldn't beget another form of colonization.

    Both are destructive.
    , @Mitleser
    Russians are leaving Central Asia.
    Why shouldn't Central Asians leave Russia as well?
    Especially the ones whose national leaders do not wish to join the EEU.
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  17. SFG says:
    @AP
    Interesting article with many realistic observations. One thing though....

    Hitler said it would be like kicking in the door of a rotten building. That’s how it seemed at first. And then the war dragged on and on, grinding down one German division after another. If—God forbid—war happens another time, we’ll probably see the same pattern.
     
    First of all, there will be no war, due to the nuclear deterrent. Neither America nor Russia are run by homicidal/suicidal Jihadists.

    Secondly, Russia is not the USSR. It is about half of what had been the USSR. America has double Russia's population; Germany had less than half of the USSR's population. Add the rest of NATO to America and a potential conventional war would be even more lopsided. Of course nobody wants a war of that scale that would necessarily involve millions of soldiers (ad thus conscription) as well as retooling the entire economy, but if it came down to such a total conventional war such as World War II, there would be no contest.

    Yeah, we could probably beat the Russians in a conventional war. Not that I have any particular desire to do so.

    Besides, how do you know for sure it would stay conventional? I suspect that’s the reason the neocons haven’t tried to invade Russia yet–even they know WW3 will destroy everything.

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  18. @AP
    Interesting article with many realistic observations. One thing though....

    Hitler said it would be like kicking in the door of a rotten building. That’s how it seemed at first. And then the war dragged on and on, grinding down one German division after another. If—God forbid—war happens another time, we’ll probably see the same pattern.
     
    First of all, there will be no war, due to the nuclear deterrent. Neither America nor Russia are run by homicidal/suicidal Jihadists.

    Secondly, Russia is not the USSR. It is about half of what had been the USSR. America has double Russia's population; Germany had less than half of the USSR's population. Add the rest of NATO to America and a potential conventional war would be even more lopsided. Of course nobody wants a war of that scale that would necessarily involve millions of soldiers (ad thus conscription) as well as retooling the entire economy, but if it came down to such a total conventional war such as World War II, there would be no contest.

    I don’t think there’ll be a NATO-Russia direct (as opposed to poxy) war either. But IF there is one, it will probably be one of the following.

    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other’s territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia’s military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.

    2) A fullscale conventional war. In this scenario, as you correctly note, Russia gets stomped both now and in the indefinite future. But here’s the crux of the matter – such a conflict will go nuclear, at least if Russia follows its own military doctrine which relies on the concept of limited “de-escalatory” nuclear strikes (a strategy that bears a resemblance to NATO’s during the Cold War when the Warsaw Pact had land military superiority). If NATO checks or raises instead of folding, Russia will continue reraising, up to and including a fullscale nuclear apocalypse. It’s a reckless strategy, sure, but as a weak player that wishes to continue playing power poker on the global stage, it has no other choice.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Anatoly, most likely neither scenarios you describe will happen. Not because they are improbable, but because the calculus of outcomes is completely different and it's not based upon merely calculating dyadic relations between forces, albeit it matters to a certain degree in peer-to-peer or peer-to-near-peer frameworks. This, plus the fact that escalation towards nuclear threshold in itself is a very complex matter. Now, the latest edition of Russia's military doctrine speaks openly of what it never spoke before. It is a conventional response. Russia doesn't need nuclear force to make both Europe and North America to experience real war. One of those weapons (among many others) are long-range cruise missiles and I am not talking about Iskanders. I wrote it many times and all previous events proved me right time after time in respect to Ukraine. NATO cannot win conventionally against Russia in Ukraine, bar the Western part. The reasons for that are both operational and strategic and they are too large to describe them in this thread.
    , @AP
    I agree with most of what you said, but:

    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other’s territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia’s military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.
     
    I agree that western Euro NATO armies are scaling down and indeed have scaled down; the German military, I've heard, is in shambles. But not all of NATO is declining.

    My best friend is a Pole from an elite political family in that country. From what I've heard, Poland's elite have concluded that they cannot rely on the West (as in 1939 - Ukraine has been a lesson for them that has really consolidated opinion in this respect; an unintended consequence for Russia) and are planning a massive military buildup of their own. Obviously Poles are not planning to march on Moscow as in the 17th century, but they do have contingency plans to take out Kalinigrad (I was told this operation would only take a week), would defend the Baltics, and a a hypothetical Ukraine that has really consolidated with the West (it is not there yet, of course). Poles are not in awe of Russian military prowess as some westerners are - they remember fighting the Soviets to a draw in 1920 and often feel that they would have fared okay against the Soviets in 1939 had it been a 1:1 war.

    Poland is not going to be a superpower but it could easily become another Turkey; that is, a very formidable regional military power capable of defending its interests in its neighborhood - one that overlaps Russia's.
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  19. Tom Welsh says:
    @Anonymous

    Hitler said it would be like kicking in the door of a rotten building. That’s how it seemed at first. And then the war dragged on and on, grinding down one German division after another.
     
    How much of this had to do with the fact that they had to fight on 2 fronts and that the USSR received aid from the Allies?

    None, really. Barbarossa went in (late) on June 22, 1941 at a time when Britain was exerting very little pressure on the Axis – having just been routed in Greece and Crete. There followed very nearly three whole years before the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Admittedly some resources were diverted to North Africa, and after the Allied landings in Morocco (Operation Torch, November 8, 1942) and Sicily (July 9-10, 1943) the Axis came under steadily increasing pressure. Indeed, one of the factors that persuaded Hitler to break off the Battle of Kursk was the need to send reinforcements to Italy. However, even before Kursk the Germans had lost the initiative and faced ultimate defeat. Their surprise attack in 1941 was like a man trying to kill a sleeping bear by stabbing it to the heart. When the knife fails to penetrate all the way, he is left to face the wounded beast and his prospects are dismal. There were two turning points in the East: the failure to capture Moscow and Leningrad, as planned, in 1941 before the USA was even in the war; and the disaster of Stalingrad in 1942 before the USA had contributed much (if anything) to the Western and Southern fronts.

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    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    I disagree with the formula "Their [German] surprise attack in 1941 [on USSR] was like a man trying to kill a sleeping bear". _Not_ "sleeping".

    The book “Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?”
    by Soviet GRU spy, who defected to the West and became historian, Victor Suvorov.
    http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-Who-Started-Second-World/dp/0241126223/ (in English),
    http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-WHO-STARTED-SECOND-WORLD-ebook/dp/B007WTZ372/ (Kindle in English, $ 9.99);
    From Amazon’s Kindle info: The book takes a close look at the origins and development of World War II in Europe, and in particular the background to Hitler's "Operation Barbarossa" attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Since its original publication in Russian (entitled Ledokol) in France in 1988, it has been published in an astonishing 87 editions in 18 languages. In spite of rigid Soviet censorship, Suvorov has succeeded in digging up many nuggets of valuable information from publicly available Soviet writings that confirm his central thesis. Icebreaker is based on the author's meticulous scouring of such published sources as memoirs of wartime Soviet military leaders, and histories of individual Soviet divisions, corps, armies, fleets, and air units.
    Der Eisbrecher (German) $ 18.50 & 3.99 S&H
    http://www.amazon.com/Eisbrecher-Viktor-Suworow/dp/3932381459/

    “Icebreaker” is the title, to which Suvorov attached this meaning:
    Stalin’s intent was to __support__ Germany in starting war with the rest of “capitalist” Europe, i.e. with UK, France, etc. He was waiting for the moment, when Germany and the rest of Europe spend all their resources on mutual war. After that Stalin would use Germany as “Icebreaker” for the flotilla of Soviet troops to capture both, Germany and the rest of European countries.
    Suvorov shows, extremely convincingly, that Stalin’s preparations for such action were of enormous volume and extremely thorough. Everything was planned for July 6, 1941, with all preparations for the attack, not for the defense. It was only the Hitler's attack on June 22, 1941, that dramatically altered USSR’s situation and actions. As a result Stalin got Eastern Europe only, instead of planned whole Europe, after WW2.
    Technical aspects of Suvorov's proof of aggressive intentions of Stalin were given in his next book "Day M". Tere he gives details (published openly in Soviet sources) of mobilization of all Soviet state to the aggressive war. His logic (logic of the professional military person): after the order of total mobilization procedure, the state can not stop.

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  20. Tom Welsh says:
    @Realist
    "The young man shook his head. “No, I can’t say I’m pro-Putin. There’s too much corruption in Russia, with too much money going to the wrong people. We should become more Western. Instead, we’re moving in the other direction.”

    Yep, that's the ticket be more western. There is no corruption in the west and the money goes to the 'right people'.

    The main difference is that in the West most of the systematic corruption has been legalized. So it arouses very little public outcry. Anyone living in Britain, for instance, could look at the regular feature “Rotten Boroughs” in “Private Eye”. Every single issue, the column prints dozens of cases of official corruption in Britain alone; yet hardly ever are any of the culprits prosecuted, let alone punished. The usual outcome is for some kind of investigation to end in resignations. Those who resign get generous “golden parachutes” in accordance with their contracts. Having received a few hundred thousand by way of a bonus for their crimes, they then move into an equivalent job somewhere else within a few months. Thus being corrupt and being discovered is actually profitable.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's done in a more sophisticated and legalistic fashion:

    http://nypost.com/2015/05/03/clinton-cash-is-a-blistering-indictment-of-hill-and-bills-behavior/

    The details of the Clinton operation vary, but the overall M.O. is fairly consistent, he writes.

    One: Dodgy rich businessman, often a foreigner in the middle of a mega-deal in some corrupt country, possibly one run by a dictator, writes a check that buys him the status of friend of Bill Clinton (FOB). The check is payable to the Clinton Foundation or to Bill himself, as an honorarium for a meaningless idealistic speech that is essentially a homily at a whorehouse.

    Two: When the cameras are turned off, Bill receives ultra-luxurious travel on someone else’s dime and attends a lavish party in his honor held by some dictator or shady businessman connected to the new FOB. Talks go on behind closed doors.

    Three: Millions of dollars of donations start flowing into the Clinton Foundation from the FOB and associates.

    Fourth: Potential roadblocks to the deal in the Senate or the State Department melt away. The business deal goes through. The new Clinton friend gets very, very rich.

    Fifth: Hillary forgets to disclose these donations.

    Six: The press doesn’t notice what just happened.
     
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  21. bossel says:
    @Kiza
    "Without a higher purpose, the average Russian man often retreats into indolence, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior. Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power."

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia. Other good observations have been expanded upon by Anatoly Karlin, but the quote above has not. I find this point more important than all other. The US elite, flanked by its EU vassals, may foolishly stumble into a war against Russia. Following the media build up of a typical Western preposterous propaganda, a shooting war is almost certain. I have been following the Western war enterprise (yes, it is a regular enterprise) and the propaganda-to-war pattern is crystal clear. But, as Frost and the commentators here state, the US political and bankster Anglo-Jewish elite has close to zero understanding of their Russian opponents. Germany and Russia have fought several wars and they know each other very well, but US does not at all. The British have had the last war against Russia in 1853, the Crimean/Easter War. The US Anglo-Jewish elite never has. Even the idea that US can confront Russia militarily and remain standing is unimaginable stupidity and madness combined, not only because of Russian nuclear weapons. Simply, Hitler had much more on his side against Russia than these US stupidos, the would be kings of the World. The US elite is not capable of managing the US properly, but they want to control the World. Pure megalomania.

    a shooting war is almost certain

    Nonsense. It is almost certain that there will be no war with Russia. The US & other Western countries may support anti-Russian forces here & there, but they most probably will avoid an open conflict with Russia, if possible.

    the propaganda-to-war pattern is crystal clear

    Only to the delusional, I suppose. From the US, Dutch, British & German mainstream sources I follow, there is no such pattern recognizable. If there is a majority position visible, it’s more like “only negotiations will solve the problems”.

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  22. David says:

    Without a higher purpose, the average man often retreats into indolence, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior.

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  23. Glossy says:
    @AP
    Interesting article with many realistic observations. One thing though....

    Hitler said it would be like kicking in the door of a rotten building. That’s how it seemed at first. And then the war dragged on and on, grinding down one German division after another. If—God forbid—war happens another time, we’ll probably see the same pattern.
     
    First of all, there will be no war, due to the nuclear deterrent. Neither America nor Russia are run by homicidal/suicidal Jihadists.

    Secondly, Russia is not the USSR. It is about half of what had been the USSR. America has double Russia's population; Germany had less than half of the USSR's population. Add the rest of NATO to America and a potential conventional war would be even more lopsided. Of course nobody wants a war of that scale that would necessarily involve millions of soldiers (ad thus conscription) as well as retooling the entire economy, but if it came down to such a total conventional war such as World War II, there would be no contest.

    I agree that there will be no war because of the nuclear deterrent but disagree with everything else.

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn’t fight the USSR alone.

    NATO has a much bigger population than Russia, but also a much smaller proportion of the population that would perform well in a conventional war. HBD isn’t all about IQ. Different populations are capable of different levels of bravery and self-sacrifice. Russians are especially high on altruism in emergencies. I have no idea why they were selected for this particular trait so much more than most peoples, but the fact is that they were.

    And Russia has no desire to attack the West while the neocons want regime change in Moscow. If nuclear weapons magically disappear tomorrow and all-out conventional world wars become possible again, the neocons would attack first. GIs from West Virginia would look at this as an adventure, while Russians would be defending the motherland. There’s little doubt in my mind about how that would turn out.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The Germans were far and away better soldiers during WW2. And the Soviet commissars had to shoot and threaten to shoot the Soviet soldiers to get them to fight and engage in their human wave attacks.
    , @Sure Thing
    @Glossy

    "There’s little doubt in
    my mind about how that would turn out."

    Or mine. NATO is playing with fire.

    Do. Not. Poke. The. Bear.

    Particularly as the Dragon won't lie idly by this time - hence all the current s**tstirring with Abe.
    , @AP

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn’t fight the USSR alone.
     
    Germany, Germany has as allies Hungary, Romania and Italy. Although the rest of Europe was occupied and required some troops to control. I suspect the number of soldiers Germany had tied up in the West for occupation (not to mention fighting on the other front) exceeded Hungarian, Romanian and Italian help.

    So actually, the USSR was fighting about 90% of Germany, a country with half its population. And it didn't win easily, it won at a cost of tens of millions of dead, and indeed might have lost if winter had come a few weeks later, and/or a different strategy was employed.

    So Russia, with half the USSR's population, vs. USA, with more than double Russia's population, probably wouldn't be a contest (and again, assume UK at least, plus Poland would be on USA's side).

    Again, no way this happens due to nuclear deterrent and due to the fact that total war would be madness that nobody wants.

    And, I am not speaking of occupation but military victory. Short of genocide there is no way USA would be able to occupy and hold a country of Russia's size and population.
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  24. Tomi says:

    I don’t really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you’re looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of “decadent” Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It’s actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Poland is just the little Russia of the West.
    , @Anonymous
    It's just identity politics. There's not that much to understand. People identify with and attach themselves first and then spill ink in service of that attachment. This goes not just for the russophiles, but for the russophobes as well, who identify Russia as The Other and then spill ink and devise arguments critical of Russia.
    , @Fredrik
    Can't understand it either. Your handle suggest Finnish background and if so you know just as well as I and the Balts and the Poles do what kind of country Russia easily becomes(and is today).
    , @fnn
    Poland is an impotent vassal state of the America Empire-EU Branch. Russia is the only more or less Western (i.e., semi-European) country left to act as a counterbalance to the neo-Bolsheviks in Washington and Hollywood. This is in large part the result of the obsession of much of the Brit ruling class with destroying Germany as an economic competitor during most of the first half of the 20th Century.
    , @AP

    I don’t really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia.
     
    Indeed.

    I'll throw in stats for the USA and Ukraine also.*

    Divorce rate (2011-2010):

    Russia: 51%
    Poland: 27%

    USA: 53%
    Ukraine: 42%

    % of people who never go to church (2008):

    Russia: 30%-40% (same as Sweden and Germany)
    Poland: <10%

    Ukraine: 10%-20%

    % of pregnancies that end in abortion:

    Russia (2014): 29.3%
    Poland (2012): 1.95%

    USA (2011): 16.9%
    Ukraine (2010): 21.2%

    Homicide rate:

    Russia (2012): 9.2
    Poland (2011): 1.2

    USA: (2012): 4.7
    Ukraine(2010): 4.3

    Adult HIV prevalence (2011, according to WHO):

    Russia: 1.1%
    Poland: .1%

    USA: .6%
    Ukraine: .9%

    Amazing how in this conflict between Ukraine and Russia (and Poland stands with Ukraine), many so-called conservatives take Russia's side.

    *for Ukraine, there are huge internal differences, with the the West being more "conservative" in all values. Ukraine's East is probably worse than Russia, across the board.

    , @Tom Welsh
    "...current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control".

    It's hard to take your comment seriously when you permit yourself such wild exaggeration.
    , @Bill

    This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical.
     
    There isn't any. What gets called russophilia is any effort to analyze Russia and US foreign policy posture towards her as if Russia is just a normal country, a country with its own interests which the US has to deal with. I, for one, don't have a strong opinion one way or another about Russia, per se. To the extent I have an opinion, I don't much like Russia. Onion domes are uninteresting to me. I regard the Orthodox as heretical schismatics. Russian music is treacley, Romantic barf. I'm well aware of their disgusting penchant for murdering babies. On the other hand, I like the Poles a lot.

    However, the fact that your foreign policy views are governed by your atavistic ethnic hatreds and psycho-sexual hang-ups does not mean everyone's foreign policy views are so governed. It's not "illogical" to think that the US foreign policy posture should serve US interests. On the other hand, it is illogical to think that the US should make Russia an enemy because it gives you good feelings to do so.

    So, as usual, the Russophobic side produces pitch-perfect projection.
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  25. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    “One of my professors ascribed it to the yearly cycle of traditional farm life. For most of the year, the muzhik slept a lot and whiled away his days in aimlessness. But when it came time to plough the fields or bring in the harvest, he had to pull out all stops and work continuously from dawn to dusk.”

    But why didn’t Scandinavian men become like this?

    They had long cold winters and little to do for long stretches.

    I think it was cultural. Russia being bigger had a lot people cut off from centers of power.
    Also, the Russian Orthodox Church didn’t play an active role in moral rectitude. They just preached to the peasants to be submissive.

    Just passivity gets boring pretty fast, what was there to do but drink vodka, dance on tables, and wrestle with bears?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    "But why didn’t Scandinavian men become like this? They had long cold winters and little to do for long stretches. "

    Serfdom in Russia? It seems to have existed in large areas of Russia for around the same period as slavery in the US (in Russia 1597-1861).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom_in_Russia#Thirteenth_to_fifteenth_centuries

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  26. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    “Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power.”

    I think this had more to do with Soviet totalitarian power.

    It developed the means of massive central command and the most ruthless tactics in forcing Russian men to keep advancing against all odds.
    The men were driven less by courage against Germans than by fear of officers behind them ordered to kill anyone who refused to advance.

    Russian men weren’t good fighters in WWI because there was no effective central command.

    Also, if USSR had been the size of France, it would have lost WWII.
    Hitler was right about the door. He was wrong about the size of the house.

    As for the French invasion, the French lost simply because they didn’t have enough food.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    The usual Russophobes are blind and deaf to the results of the US-initiated "democracy on the march" in the countries of the Middle East. Some general rules of the "march" have been applied in Ukraine, but the obtained results are not as spectacular as was expected by the plutocrats (see 1.3 million dead in Iraq and Iraq's totally destroyed infrastructure).
    The European House has been prepped to be set on fire by the Empire of Federal Reserve for the exclusive benefits of the Empire. Instead of taking steps to avoid the impending catastrophe, the majority of representatives of the European vassal-states jump the loop on each of the US commands. NATO's Breedlove is a great example of an openly lying and profiteering coward that is not worried, to the least, about the innumerable lives that could be destroyed by a nuclear confrontation between the Empire of Federal Reserve and Russian Federation. The Empire has been following the letter of the obnoxious Wolfowitz Doctrine (endowed with Zionist spirit), while believing strongly that whatever mess is going to be produced by the insane policies towards Russia on Russian borders, the mess is going to be cleaned by somebody else, not by the Empire. This stupidity has no bounds, indeed.
    , @Tom Welsh
    "...the French lost simply because they didn’t have enough food".

    And their roads were too good. But actually, they also lost because they didn't fight well enough.
    , @Robert Bruce
    Russians not good fighters? The Russians practically took out Austria Hungary out of the war in 1914 there jack. Hapsburg losses were enormous. The Austrians couldn't win a battle thereafter without German help. Also the Russians severely weakened the Ottomans in the Caucasus, wiping out an entire army, allowing the British to finally win in Mesopotamia. As for the reference to WW II and the political commisars forcing the troops to advance, is for the most part propaganda. Sure it did happen, but it wasn't standard operating procedure. I mean come on now, those guys were defending their homeland against a foreign power. No extra incentive was needed
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  27. Glossy says:

    When the high Russian capacity for altruism in emergencies is mentioned most people think about war or about some passerby diving into freezing water to save a drowning woman who fell through the ice. But it’s seen in many smaller ways too.

    When I was a kid the English language teacher in my school in Moscow used to sign us up for performances in front of teachers from other schools. The whole class would have to memorize a lot of text in a foreign-to-it language and then perform it in a theatrical manner.

    Typically the date of the performance was known months in advance, but little preparation was made until the last few days. At that point everyone pitched in, staying in school to practice together until late at night. On the day itself all of the other teachers would excuse us from their classes so that we could practice for the performance full-time. And in the end the thing would be pulled off.

    While typing the above I looked for an English translation of the Russian word аврал. Harper Collins gave me “emergency task” and “rush job”. No, that’s not quite it. And it feels appropriate that English wouldn’t have a single word for anything even approximately like it.

    The third-worldish way to deal with the situation described above would be to not prepare at all and then have only half of the class show up for the performance.

    The German way would be to schedule regular practice sessions throughout the 6 months leading up to it. The Russian way is to do nothing until the last two days and then for everyone pitch in to save the day, making heroic sacrifices in the final stretch.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Just FYI, etymology of аврал:
    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BB
    , @Philip Owen
    The Welsh must be German. My Russian friends use the proverb Slow to harness, Quick to trot, which is also British.
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  28. Kiza says:
    @Glossy
    I think that a hot war between NATO and Russia is very unlikely. We have more than 65 years of experience of more than one country having nuclear weapons. Through many changes of personnell at the top and through several changes of ideology no nuclear state has directly attacked another nuclear state. Yes, I know about the late-1960s Soviet-Chinese border clashes. It was minor stuff.

    If hot wars between nuclear states were possible, they would have occurred by now. 66 years is a long time. Fortunately they appear impossible.

    Cold War II will continue though. It will feature more proxy wars. The Korean, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Central American wars were the proxy wars of Cold War I. The South Ossetian, Syrian and Donbass wars have been the proxy wars of Cold War II. The Azeri-Armenian conflict may flare up again with Russia supporting Armenia and the neocons backing Azerbaijan. There could be more wars in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East.

    Succession in Russia will be crucial. Putin can be succeeded by someone who continues his policies or by another Gorbachev. In the latter case Cold War II will end with another orgy of looting.

    I am absolutely amazed at a general and complete misunderstanding of the most commentators here of the true situation. This is like everybody has soaked up so much regime propaganda that they are all brain dead (not to mention the extremist government propaganda trolls such as bossel). Proof?

    Well here a few sentences from today’s The Nation:
    1) “Armed Services Committee Chairman, Senator John McCain…derided the Obama administration’s “so-called reset” policy and warned of Mr. Putin’s “neo-imperial objectives.” McCain accused Russia of violating the Minsk II cease-fire agreement.”
    2) General Breedlove: “I support the use, um, [quickly correcting himself] the consideration, of offensive military aid to Ukraine …”
    3) The most hawkish of the three, the Atlantic Council’s Ian Brzezinski (perhaps channeling his father Zbigniew), opined that the United States should impose tougher sanctions on Russia in order to “aggressively shock the Russian economy by shutting off its energy and financial sectors from the global economy.”

    Conclusion of the article: “Today, it would seem, Democrats and Republicans are engaged in a contest of who can ‘out-hawk’ the other on Russia.”

    The shooting war is inevitable because the US Congress is like a pack of rabid dogs, whilst the US population is in a deep propaganda induced brain stupor and un/underemployment. The only way the US regime can remain in power is by starting a big war.

    Finally, here is everything you need to know about the reasons for the forthcoming big war: What does Putin want? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-02/what-does-putin-want

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You started by telling us earlier that you did not find Peter Frost's writings interesting - as if you were so special in some relevant way that we should be interested in that! Yet you are an anonymous blogger with no more obvious knowledge or authority than those young Chinese and Indian nationalist trolls to be found typically infesting Economist blog Comments and other less august blogs. You mostly make raw Colonel Blimpish assertions as if evidence and serious forensic advocacy were unnecessary (or beyond you) but I have done you the courtesy of following your link to a "zerohedge" translation of a piece apparently entitled "What Putin Wants". While it does not lack all logic, as is common in obsessive's one- eyed pursuits, it is fantasy, with the most obvious concrete faults in its structure the extraordinary inflation of Russia's weight and importance in the world and in the eyes of American policy makers and the corresponding absence of any mention of China (ever heard discussion of "the Chinese Century": you certainly won't have heard anyone imagine a Russian Century?) or India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia's. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources. He fails to mention the disaster for Russia of the collapse in oil prices and the re-emerging energy independence of the US which will last for long enough probably for new technology in the US and many other countries (but not Russia) to make dependence on conventional hydrocarbons to make the US (and others) permanently free from energy constraints. He fails to notice the difference between the US with double Russia's population and no threatening neighbours as well as much of the cream of the world's scientists working there in universities or to make big money as in Silicon Valley and Russia's comparatively enfeebled condition. And you neglect the obvious on Russia's doorstep: if it doesn't back off enough to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland where they can achieve prosperity in freedom (from Russian domination or gross interference) there would be Ukrainian terrorists in Russia to add to the Chechens and others who are disaffected. As for your fantasy about a European conflagration stirred by America - words fail me.
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  29. unit472 says:

    The last time there was high intensity combat between two well equipped conventional armies was the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Israel won pretty convincingly although the US had to airlift additional munitions to Israel for them to keep up their offensive tempo.

    How relevant that 1973 war is to today is dubious, the US military doesn’t even buy main battle tanks anymore, and analogies to WW2 absurd because nations today will never be stronger than on the first day of hostilities. There will be no ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ or moving tank factories behind the Urals in order to build up forces for an offensive a year or two in the future. Precision guided munitions mean you don’t need 1000 bombers to take out an industrial plant.

    Russia’s problem is that it has fallen industrially and technologically further behind the west than the USSR ever was. Soviet equipment wasn’t as good as Western armaments but it was close and they had a lot of it. Migs were good enough in Korea. They weren’t over Lebanon in the 1980′s and what Russia would use today against F-22′s and B-2s is not clear. As mentioned the US no longer sees the tank as a viable weapons platform as it is relatively slow, vulnerable to low cost, lightweight, guided missiles and it requires an enormous logistical tail to keep a 70 ton, fuel and spare parts hungry piece of machinery operating. The US has decided that helicopters and drones are better than armor. Faster, greater range with just as much firepower. Russia still relies on armored formations for its combat power.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    Er, exactly which nation is it that has just been driving large columns of tanks and other armoured vehicles around Eastern Europe in an attempt to bring about a provocation? Not Russia.
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  30. Luke Lea says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    There was another question. “But do the Americans know what they’re getting into?” I shook my head. Few people in the West know much about Russia, and what little they do is worse than useless.
     
    US has no, generally, any clue about WW II, nor, especially, has it any clue on continental warfare. Factor this in and, voila', you have US power elites which are mostly Ivy League humanities-"educated" ignoramuses and there you have it.

    Our “umanities educated” elites? No, not even that. Humanities means history, literature, and philosophy, including lots of facts. There is very little of that in the Ivy League these days. Instead it’s all about “critical thinking” applied to a miscellany of unrelated small subjects. At least that is my impression. Our elites are basically uneducated.

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  31. Flower says:

    The best impression that I ever got about Russia is from an old Russian proverb: “Russia exists to pay for the sins of the world”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Yea that is the kind of reflexively self-pitying yet self righteous tripe that would produce a violent dysfunctional nation that completely lacks any kind of introspection or desire to reckon with the past.

    Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West. That's not even a rapist saying the bitch had it coming thats a rapist feeling sorry for itself because his victim started carrying mace.
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  32. Glossy says:

    An integral part of conventioanl war is holding territory. There were partisan (i.e. guerilla) movements during both the Napoleonic and Hitlerite invasions of Russia.

    The US lost thousands of troops holding the Sunni triangle in Iraq. Russia is more than a hundred times bigger than that. And has a much higher amount of human capital per potential insurgent.

    It’s my impression that the US relied heavily on the Marines and special forces in Iraq. How many troops of that level of quality could NATO theoretically field? This is an important question because lower quality troops would sustain higher losses per square mile held.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The US was hampered by rules of engagement and political concerns in Iraq. Wouldn't a total war scenario be quite different? Also isn't most of Russia's population west of the Urals and in south Russia?
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  33. Drogger says: • Website
    @Numinous

    And there are a lot of them now, mainly from Central Asia, but also from places all over.”
     
    Don't get me wrong, I sympathize with people in this situation, like the person making the above comment. Whether or not he is right about his lack of opportunity caused by immigrants is up to the economists; perhaps humans are wired to sense danger upon observing a change in their environment, so immigrants become easy scapegoats. But the big reason why there are Central Asians in Russia is because there are, and have been since the 19th century, Russians in Central Asia. I followed the recent Asian Games and noticed that much of the contingents of the *stans in Central Asia was white, blond, and blue-eyed. So Russians definitely have a heavy demographic footprint in those countries, especially Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. So why shouldn't Central Asians, for their part, be allowed to try their luck in Russia?

    Because one form of colonization shouldn’t beget another form of colonization.

    Both are destructive.

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  34. @Tom Welsh
    None, really. Barbarossa went in (late) on June 22, 1941 at a time when Britain was exerting very little pressure on the Axis - having just been routed in Greece and Crete. There followed very nearly three whole years before the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Admittedly some resources were diverted to North Africa, and after the Allied landings in Morocco (Operation Torch, November 8, 1942) and Sicily (July 9-10, 1943) the Axis came under steadily increasing pressure. Indeed, one of the factors that persuaded Hitler to break off the Battle of Kursk was the need to send reinforcements to Italy. However, even before Kursk the Germans had lost the initiative and faced ultimate defeat. Their surprise attack in 1941 was like a man trying to kill a sleeping bear by stabbing it to the heart. When the knife fails to penetrate all the way, he is left to face the wounded beast and his prospects are dismal. There were two turning points in the East: the failure to capture Moscow and Leningrad, as planned, in 1941 before the USA was even in the war; and the disaster of Stalingrad in 1942 before the USA had contributed much (if anything) to the Western and Southern fronts.

    I disagree with the formula “Their [German] surprise attack in 1941 [on USSR] was like a man trying to kill a sleeping bear”. _Not_ “sleeping”.

    The book “Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?”
    by Soviet GRU spy, who defected to the West and became historian, Victor Suvorov.
    http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-Who-Started-Second-World/dp/0241126223/ (in English),
    http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-WHO-STARTED-SECOND-WORLD-ebook/dp/B007WTZ372/ (Kindle in English, $ 9.99);
    From Amazon’s Kindle info: The book takes a close look at the origins and development of World War II in Europe, and in particular the background to Hitler’s “Operation Barbarossa” attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Since its original publication in Russian (entitled Ledokol) in France in 1988, it has been published in an astonishing 87 editions in 18 languages. In spite of rigid Soviet censorship, Suvorov has succeeded in digging up many nuggets of valuable information from publicly available Soviet writings that confirm his central thesis. Icebreaker is based on the author’s meticulous scouring of such published sources as memoirs of wartime Soviet military leaders, and histories of individual Soviet divisions, corps, armies, fleets, and air units.
    Der Eisbrecher (German) $ 18.50 & 3.99 S&H

    http://www.amazon.com/Eisbrecher-Viktor-Suworow/dp/3932381459/

    “Icebreaker” is the title, to which Suvorov attached this meaning:
    Stalin’s intent was to __support__ Germany in starting war with the rest of “capitalist” Europe, i.e. with UK, France, etc. He was waiting for the moment, when Germany and the rest of Europe spend all their resources on mutual war. After that Stalin would use Germany as “Icebreaker” for the flotilla of Soviet troops to capture both, Germany and the rest of European countries.
    Suvorov shows, extremely convincingly, that Stalin’s preparations for such action were of enormous volume and extremely thorough. Everything was planned for July 6, 1941, with all preparations for the attack, not for the defense. It was only the Hitler’s attack on June 22, 1941, that dramatically altered USSR’s situation and actions. As a result Stalin got Eastern Europe only, instead of planned whole Europe, after WW2.
    Technical aspects of Suvorov’s proof of aggressive intentions of Stalin were given in his next book “Day M”. Tere he gives details (published openly in Soviet sources) of mobilization of all Soviet state to the aggressive war. His logic (logic of the professional military person): after the order of total mobilization procedure, the state can not stop.

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    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    Disclaimer: the statements above are by no means the signs of approval of cruel dictator Stalin, either by me (IffU) or, as I recon, by Suvorov. Even the less such approval could be directed to cruel dictator Hitler.
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  35. annamaria says:
    @Priss Factor
    "Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power."

    I think this had more to do with Soviet totalitarian power.

    It developed the means of massive central command and the most ruthless tactics in forcing Russian men to keep advancing against all odds.
    The men were driven less by courage against Germans than by fear of officers behind them ordered to kill anyone who refused to advance.

    Russian men weren't good fighters in WWI because there was no effective central command.

    Also, if USSR had been the size of France, it would have lost WWII.
    Hitler was right about the door. He was wrong about the size of the house.

    As for the French invasion, the French lost simply because they didn't have enough food.

    The usual Russophobes are blind and deaf to the results of the US-initiated “democracy on the march” in the countries of the Middle East. Some general rules of the “march” have been applied in Ukraine, but the obtained results are not as spectacular as was expected by the plutocrats (see 1.3 million dead in Iraq and Iraq’s totally destroyed infrastructure).
    The European House has been prepped to be set on fire by the Empire of Federal Reserve for the exclusive benefits of the Empire. Instead of taking steps to avoid the impending catastrophe, the majority of representatives of the European vassal-states jump the loop on each of the US commands. NATO’s Breedlove is a great example of an openly lying and profiteering coward that is not worried, to the least, about the innumerable lives that could be destroyed by a nuclear confrontation between the Empire of Federal Reserve and Russian Federation. The Empire has been following the letter of the obnoxious Wolfowitz Doctrine (endowed with Zionist spirit), while believing strongly that whatever mess is going to be produced by the insane policies towards Russia on Russian borders, the mess is going to be cleaned by somebody else, not by the Empire. This stupidity has no bounds, indeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    I agree.
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  36. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Obviously, it must be all the tax and spending and extensive government programs that the Russian government has implemented. Perhaps the US could take note and learn to increase taxes and spend more on government programs since obviously we aren't taxing and spending enough.

    Putin did imprison quite a few oligarchs for financially looting the country, which allowed the country to stabilize. He also increased pensions (ie “big govt”) to retirees.

    Of course, you’d probably consider that socialism.

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  37. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    When the high Russian capacity for altruism in emergencies is mentioned most people think about war or about some passerby diving into freezing water to save a drowning woman who fell through the ice. But it's seen in many smaller ways too.

    When I was a kid the English language teacher in my school in Moscow used to sign us up for performances in front of teachers from other schools. The whole class would have to memorize a lot of text in a foreign-to-it language and then perform it in a theatrical manner.

    Typically the date of the performance was known months in advance, but little preparation was made until the last few days. At that point everyone pitched in, staying in school to practice together until late at night. On the day itself all of the other teachers would excuse us from their classes so that we could practice for the performance full-time. And in the end the thing would be pulled off.

    While typing the above I looked for an English translation of the Russian word аврал. Harper Collins gave me "emergency task" and "rush job". No, that's not quite it. And it feels appropriate that English wouldn't have a single word for anything even approximately like it.

    The third-worldish way to deal with the situation described above would be to not prepare at all and then have only half of the class show up for the performance.

    The German way would be to schedule regular practice sessions throughout the 6 months leading up to it. The Russian way is to do nothing until the last two days and then for everyone pitch in to save the day, making heroic sacrifices in the final stretch.
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  38. michael says:

    OH CANADA!!! TORONTO,EH? Seems the blogger here has posted many eugenics type articles, hard to eval his comments, after bringing up some anecdotal Quebecois bldg contractor(were blueprints in FRENCH and English?). Perhaps “The Battle For Sevastopol” movie should be examined for the contributions of Lyudmila Pavelchenko(SP?) and contrast that with Flint Greasewood”s faux AMERICANA SNIPERSPICIOUS(long,tall stories of a TBIed Texas bullrider). Does this blogger have a Russian ex-pat wife and is this guy a soft troll? Stalin purged many top commanders in the thirties, this may have been the cause of the slow start? JUST WONDERING.

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  39. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I don't think there'll be a NATO-Russia direct (as opposed to poxy) war either. But IF there is one, it will probably be one of the following.

    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other's territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia's military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.

    2) A fullscale conventional war. In this scenario, as you correctly note, Russia gets stomped both now and in the indefinite future. But here's the crux of the matter - such a conflict will go nuclear, at least if Russia follows its own military doctrine which relies on the concept of limited "de-escalatory" nuclear strikes (a strategy that bears a resemblance to NATO's during the Cold War when the Warsaw Pact had land military superiority). If NATO checks or raises instead of folding, Russia will continue reraising, up to and including a fullscale nuclear apocalypse. It's a reckless strategy, sure, but as a weak player that wishes to continue playing power poker on the global stage, it has no other choice.

    Anatoly, most likely neither scenarios you describe will happen. Not because they are improbable, but because the calculus of outcomes is completely different and it’s not based upon merely calculating dyadic relations between forces, albeit it matters to a certain degree in peer-to-peer or peer-to-near-peer frameworks. This, plus the fact that escalation towards nuclear threshold in itself is a very complex matter. Now, the latest edition of Russia’s military doctrine speaks openly of what it never spoke before. It is a conventional response. Russia doesn’t need nuclear force to make both Europe and North America to experience real war. One of those weapons (among many others) are long-range cruise missiles and I am not talking about Iskanders. I wrote it many times and all previous events proved me right time after time in respect to Ukraine. NATO cannot win conventionally against Russia in Ukraine, bar the Western part. The reasons for that are both operational and strategic and they are too large to describe them in this thread.

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    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
    Tom said:
    Their surprise attack in 1941 was like a man trying to kill a sleeping bear by stabbing it to the heart. When the knife fails to penetrate all the way, he is left to face the wounded beast and his prospects are dismal.

    Not necessarily. Many credible histories of the Eastern Front show the Soviet bear close to defeat in 1941. The 'Bear' on the eve of the German onslaught was poorly positioned, and had already stabbed itself multiple times under the totalitarian dictatorship of Stalin. Just the decimination of the officer corps, the miscalculations about Hitler and unrealistic notions about sweeping offensives even as the Wermacht attacked, show the Bear had a lot of self-inflicted wounds.

    .
    AKarlin says:
    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other’s territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia’s military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.

    Quite possibly, but in such a scenario Russia does not need an outright material victory, just a stalemate that exhausts NATO and compels withdrawal. That in itself can be counted as a victory, even as local hegemony is achieved in key areas on the ground. In Vietnam PAVN did not need to physically destroy the American forces, but to weaken them though continual attrition until they were forced to withdraw with the policymaker's objectives unachieved. On land NATO would be at a disadvantage as Russian "volunteers," troops and local proxies tie down any NATO ground hopes, just as the NVA and VC tied down tens of thousands of US troops. In addition, Russian led ground forces could chew up NATO's allies or proxies from a ground perspective, or at least savage them even as the aerial contest went overhead.

    As for the hi-tech clash, NATO would have an initial advantage, but this could be countered if Russia was able to position significant anti-aircraft assets far forward early, embedded in Baltic and Ukraine territory. Such assets do not have to be shooting down NATO aircraft 24/7 but can render useful area denial service, and cover the ground forces as they did their terrain work. As for the aerial battle, this would be no walkover and a stalemate is still a reasonable outcome. Russian planes and missiles would take their toll. A simple aerial slugfest puts Russia at some disadvantage, but in combination with its painful ground operations and anti-aircraft umbrella forward, it could emerge with a stalemate and measured objectives that achieve localized area dominance.

    .
    Smoothi says:
    Russia doesn’t need nuclear force to make both Europe and North America to experience real war. One of those weapons (among many others) are long-range cruise missiles and I am not talking about Iskanders. I wrote it many times and all previous events proved me right time after time in respect to Ukraine. NATO cannot win conventionally against Russia in Ukraine, bar the Western part. The reasons for that are both operational and strategic and they are too large to describe them in this thread.
    Indeed- a NATO victory is a far from foregone conclusion. Russia can achieve a stalemate while maintaining local hegemony on important bits of contested territory. Similar to how PAVN achieved a stalemate in the Nam while dominating large slices of its opponent's territory in place, and maneuvering its most powerful foe, the US, out of the picture. It was a "long game" that eventually yielded success.
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  40. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:
    @annamaria
    The usual Russophobes are blind and deaf to the results of the US-initiated "democracy on the march" in the countries of the Middle East. Some general rules of the "march" have been applied in Ukraine, but the obtained results are not as spectacular as was expected by the plutocrats (see 1.3 million dead in Iraq and Iraq's totally destroyed infrastructure).
    The European House has been prepped to be set on fire by the Empire of Federal Reserve for the exclusive benefits of the Empire. Instead of taking steps to avoid the impending catastrophe, the majority of representatives of the European vassal-states jump the loop on each of the US commands. NATO's Breedlove is a great example of an openly lying and profiteering coward that is not worried, to the least, about the innumerable lives that could be destroyed by a nuclear confrontation between the Empire of Federal Reserve and Russian Federation. The Empire has been following the letter of the obnoxious Wolfowitz Doctrine (endowed with Zionist spirit), while believing strongly that whatever mess is going to be produced by the insane policies towards Russia on Russian borders, the mess is going to be cleaned by somebody else, not by the Empire. This stupidity has no bounds, indeed.

    I agree.

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  41. Mitleser says:
    @Numinous

    And there are a lot of them now, mainly from Central Asia, but also from places all over.”
     
    Don't get me wrong, I sympathize with people in this situation, like the person making the above comment. Whether or not he is right about his lack of opportunity caused by immigrants is up to the economists; perhaps humans are wired to sense danger upon observing a change in their environment, so immigrants become easy scapegoats. But the big reason why there are Central Asians in Russia is because there are, and have been since the 19th century, Russians in Central Asia. I followed the recent Asian Games and noticed that much of the contingents of the *stans in Central Asia was white, blond, and blue-eyed. So Russians definitely have a heavy demographic footprint in those countries, especially Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. So why shouldn't Central Asians, for their part, be allowed to try their luck in Russia?

    Russians are leaving Central Asia.
    Why shouldn’t Central Asians leave Russia as well?
    Especially the ones whose national leaders do not wish to join the EEU.

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  42. Mitleser says:
    @Tomi
    I don't really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you're looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of "decadent" Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It's actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

    Poland is just the little Russia of the West.

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  43. @Flower
    The best impression that I ever got about Russia is from an old Russian proverb: "Russia exists to pay for the sins of the world".

    Yea that is the kind of reflexively self-pitying yet self righteous tripe that would produce a violent dysfunctional nation that completely lacks any kind of introspection or desire to reckon with the past.

    Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West. That’s not even a rapist saying the bitch had it coming thats a rapist feeling sorry for itself because his victim started carrying mace.

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    • Replies: @Cliff Arroyo
    "Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West."

    This. What has the Russian state ever done that neighboring states should have good feelings about it?
    , @stealth
    "Reckon with the past?" What's that supposed to mean? In reality, "reckoning with the past" usually entails one group taking advantage of another group's guilty conscience for the former group's own advantage. Western Europe and the United States have been reckoning with the past for quite some time. It seems to be a never-ending process.

    I don't think that punishing Russia for the past is really a good reason to risk a war in which millions of lives on all sides are at stake. I say we leave them alone.
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  44. @Immigrant from former USSR
    I disagree with the formula "Their [German] surprise attack in 1941 [on USSR] was like a man trying to kill a sleeping bear". _Not_ "sleeping".

    The book “Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?”
    by Soviet GRU spy, who defected to the West and became historian, Victor Suvorov.
    http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-Who-Started-Second-World/dp/0241126223/ (in English),
    http://www.amazon.com/Icebreaker-WHO-STARTED-SECOND-WORLD-ebook/dp/B007WTZ372/ (Kindle in English, $ 9.99);
    From Amazon’s Kindle info: The book takes a close look at the origins and development of World War II in Europe, and in particular the background to Hitler's "Operation Barbarossa" attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Since its original publication in Russian (entitled Ledokol) in France in 1988, it has been published in an astonishing 87 editions in 18 languages. In spite of rigid Soviet censorship, Suvorov has succeeded in digging up many nuggets of valuable information from publicly available Soviet writings that confirm his central thesis. Icebreaker is based on the author's meticulous scouring of such published sources as memoirs of wartime Soviet military leaders, and histories of individual Soviet divisions, corps, armies, fleets, and air units.
    Der Eisbrecher (German) $ 18.50 & 3.99 S&H
    http://www.amazon.com/Eisbrecher-Viktor-Suworow/dp/3932381459/

    “Icebreaker” is the title, to which Suvorov attached this meaning:
    Stalin’s intent was to __support__ Germany in starting war with the rest of “capitalist” Europe, i.e. with UK, France, etc. He was waiting for the moment, when Germany and the rest of Europe spend all their resources on mutual war. After that Stalin would use Germany as “Icebreaker” for the flotilla of Soviet troops to capture both, Germany and the rest of European countries.
    Suvorov shows, extremely convincingly, that Stalin’s preparations for such action were of enormous volume and extremely thorough. Everything was planned for July 6, 1941, with all preparations for the attack, not for the defense. It was only the Hitler's attack on June 22, 1941, that dramatically altered USSR’s situation and actions. As a result Stalin got Eastern Europe only, instead of planned whole Europe, after WW2.
    Technical aspects of Suvorov's proof of aggressive intentions of Stalin were given in his next book "Day M". Tere he gives details (published openly in Soviet sources) of mobilization of all Soviet state to the aggressive war. His logic (logic of the professional military person): after the order of total mobilization procedure, the state can not stop.

    Disclaimer: the statements above are by no means the signs of approval of cruel dictator Stalin, either by me (IffU) or, as I recon, by Suvorov. Even the less such approval could be directed to cruel dictator Hitler.

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  45. @Priss Factor
    "One of my professors ascribed it to the yearly cycle of traditional farm life. For most of the year, the muzhik slept a lot and whiled away his days in aimlessness. But when it came time to plough the fields or bring in the harvest, he had to pull out all stops and work continuously from dawn to dusk."

    But why didn't Scandinavian men become like this?

    They had long cold winters and little to do for long stretches.

    I think it was cultural. Russia being bigger had a lot people cut off from centers of power.
    Also, the Russian Orthodox Church didn't play an active role in moral rectitude. They just preached to the peasants to be submissive.

    Just passivity gets boring pretty fast, what was there to do but drink vodka, dance on tables, and wrestle with bears?

    “But why didn’t Scandinavian men become like this? They had long cold winters and little to do for long stretches. “

    Serfdom in Russia? It seems to have existed in large areas of Russia for around the same period as slavery in the US (in Russia 1597-1861).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom_in_Russia#Thirteenth_to_fifteenth_centuries

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  46. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    I agree that there will be no war because of the nuclear deterrent but disagree with everything else.

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn't fight the USSR alone.

    NATO has a much bigger population than Russia, but also a much smaller proportion of the population that would perform well in a conventional war. HBD isn't all about IQ. Different populations are capable of different levels of bravery and self-sacrifice. Russians are especially high on altruism in emergencies. I have no idea why they were selected for this particular trait so much more than most peoples, but the fact is that they were.

    And Russia has no desire to attack the West while the neocons want regime change in Moscow. If nuclear weapons magically disappear tomorrow and all-out conventional world wars become possible again, the neocons would attack first. GIs from West Virginia would look at this as an adventure, while Russians would be defending the motherland. There's little doubt in my mind about how that would turn out.

    The Germans were far and away better soldiers during WW2. And the Soviet commissars had to shoot and threaten to shoot the Soviet soldiers to get them to fight and engage in their human wave attacks.

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    • Replies: @Penguinchip
    The German army was by far the most effective in combat on a man for man basis measured by kill ratio, but the fact is Hitler was an incompetent grand strategist who ruined the Sixth Army's cakewalk into Moscow. See generally Antony Bevor's "Stalingrad." Not to detract at all from the astounding bravery of the Russian soldier, detailed extensively in that same book.
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  47. Sean says:

    The EU is not going to permit the US to start a war on the EU’s borders. Nato is not under the orders of the US, whatever the Americans seem to think. US wants to be a unchallengeable superpower and resents having to take Russia into account. The US likes having Russia occupied in the Ukrainian imbroglio. If there was a peace settlement and Russia’s hands were free, that would be more likely to result in war. When the US does to Iran what it did to Iraq (as it will), it will need to have neutralised Russia.

    Say there is peace in Ukraine, and Putin starts making noises that he won’t stand for an attack on Iran; then you will get threats of war from the US (Israel Lobby).

    Pipes told Reuters in March 1981 that “Soviet leaders would have to choose between peacefully changing their Communist system in the direction followed by the West or going to war. There is no other alternative and it could go either way – Détente is dead.”

    Daniel Pipes (son of Richard):

    Pipes currently advocates that U.S. President Barack Obama “give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity … The time to act is now.”[60] He claims that “circumstances are propitious” for the U.S. to initiate a bombing of Iran, and that “no one other than the Iranian rulers and their agents denies that the regime is rushing headlong to build a large nuclear arsenal.” He further states that a unilateral U.S. bombing of Iran “would require few ‘boots on the ground’ and entail relatively few casualties, making an attack more politically palatable.”[60]

    There is no Ukrainian lobby in the US, Ukraine really is a backwater that no one cares about.

    Russia really is a strange country but unlike that other strange country (Italy) it isn’t part of the West and what goes of there isn’t of too much significance. Not unless they get confused by a weather balloon and order a massive nuclear strike on the West as they almost did on January 25, 1995

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I recall you were confidently predicting before that the US would bomb Iran to smithereens by 2012.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    The EU is not going to permit the US to start a war on the EU’s borders.
     
    EU has no geopolitical subjectivity. US will say jump to EU--EU will ask how high. Plain and simple, in terms of formulating military policies EU's weight is approaching zero and so do its real military capabilities.
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  48. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    An integral part of conventioanl war is holding territory. There were partisan (i.e. guerilla) movements during both the Napoleonic and Hitlerite invasions of Russia.

    The US lost thousands of troops holding the Sunni triangle in Iraq. Russia is more than a hundred times bigger than that. And has a much higher amount of human capital per potential insurgent.

    It's my impression that the US relied heavily on the Marines and special forces in Iraq. How many troops of that level of quality could NATO theoretically field? This is an important question because lower quality troops would sustain higher losses per square mile held.

    The US was hampered by rules of engagement and political concerns in Iraq. Wouldn’t a total war scenario be quite different? Also isn’t most of Russia’s population west of the Urals and in south Russia?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    There's a lot of desert in the Sunni triangle and there is a lot of forest and tundra in Russia. The US lost a lot of troops (more than 5 thousand I think) holding the populated portions of the Sunni triangle.

    As for rules of engagement, I'm sure you could find some genocidally-minded neocons and some marines who lost friends and body parts in Iraq who'd tell you that they were too restrictive. A huge number of Iraqis died however. Some estimates go over a million. By historical standards the occupation was brutal.
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  49. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Tomi
    I don't really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you're looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of "decadent" Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It's actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

    It’s just identity politics. There’s not that much to understand. People identify with and attach themselves first and then spill ink in service of that attachment. This goes not just for the russophiles, but for the russophobes as well, who identify Russia as The Other and then spill ink and devise arguments critical of Russia.

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    • Replies: @Fredrik
    Those of us living near Russia do not consider being critical of the Russian leadership russophobia. It's survival instinct.

    Look, when people in the browner parts of the world talk about the big bully USA we around the Baltic Sea see Russia project its power around the neighbourhood. As eg. now when they're doing their best to prevent Sweden and Lithuania from building an interconnector between the Swedish and Lithuanian power grids that would help the Balts reduce their dependence on Russian energy.

    Yeah, I see the need to find some role model when the US (and most of Western Europe) is run by people that look like the depraved monsters of the fictional Panem but Russia isn't the answer.
    , @Sam Haysom
    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on. Honestly this site has an entire blog devoted to Russian exceptionalism. That's an American based site with a blog devoted to Russian superiority over the US. Of course some people are going to get tired of the cheast beating and say something. Hardly makes them Russophobes.
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  50. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sean
    The EU is not going to permit the US to start a war on the EU's borders. Nato is not under the orders of the US, whatever the Americans seem to think. US wants to be a unchallengeable superpower and resents having to take Russia into account. The US likes having Russia occupied in the Ukrainian imbroglio. If there was a peace settlement and Russia's hands were free, that would be more likely to result in war. When the US does to Iran what it did to Iraq (as it will), it will need to have neutralised Russia.

    Say there is peace in Ukraine, and Putin starts making noises that he won't stand for an attack on Iran; then you will get threats of war from the US (Israel Lobby).


    Pipes told Reuters in March 1981 that "Soviet leaders would have to choose between peacefully changing their Communist system in the direction followed by the West or going to war. There is no other alternative and it could go either way – Détente is dead."
     
    Daniel Pipes (son of Richard):

    Pipes currently advocates that U.S. President Barack Obama "give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity ... The time to act is now."[60] He claims that "circumstances are propitious" for the U.S. to initiate a bombing of Iran, and that "no one other than the Iranian rulers and their agents denies that the regime is rushing headlong to build a large nuclear arsenal." He further states that a unilateral U.S. bombing of Iran "would require few 'boots on the ground' and entail relatively few casualties, making an attack more politically palatable."[60]
     
    There is no Ukrainian lobby in the US, Ukraine really is a backwater that no one cares about.

    Russia really is a strange country but unlike that other strange country (Italy) it isn't part of the West and what goes of there isn't of too much significance. Not unless they get confused by a weather balloon and order a massive nuclear strike on the West as they almost did on January 25, 1995

    I recall you were confidently predicting before that the US would bomb Iran to smithereens by 2012.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    America has had its hands full with Arab Spring, Syria and then Islamic State. Obama said Iran is not going to allowed to get a nuclear weapon capability. Kerry said that just the other day. Iran made itself difficult to target by zig zagging but at end of day they are going to have to be stopped by military force.

    Daniel Pipes on RT He starts off with an explict comparison between Iran and Hitler, Pipes says he only wants to hit the nuclear infrastructure not invade but I think we all know his aim is to precipitate regeme change and fragmentation. Brendan Simms is the most extreme advocate for a military confrontation with Russia, see herehe is president of the Henry Jackson Society

    The USSR was confronted repeatedly because of threat escalation by the lobby. Dean of neocons Wohlstetter invented the the missile gap that made JFK pres. In 1974 Wohlstetter was at it yet again, accusing the CIA of underestimating Soviet strength, and Bush the elder who had just been appointed to the CIA authorised the Team B exercise that concluded the Soviet union was preparing for aggression against the West. By the early eighties Pipes was saying the Soviets had to dismantle their system or face war., and there was massive US military spending that Soviet Chief of Staff Marshal Ogarkov said the USSR could not match, he was sacked. Gorbachev opened the borders of the USSR and allowed Jews to leave the country for Israel. Everything was fine then apart from the little matter of Yetsin coming within 120 seconds of starting all out nuclear war.

    Couple of weeks ago it was anounced that Putin is selling anti aircraft missles to Iran. This is going to lead to pressure on the Ukraine front for Russia. Stratfor’s George Friedman predicts the breakup of Russia within a decade.

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  51. Fredrik says:
    @Tomi
    I don't really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you're looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of "decadent" Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It's actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

    Can’t understand it either. Your handle suggest Finnish background and if so you know just as well as I and the Balts and the Poles do what kind of country Russia easily becomes(and is today).

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  52. @Sam Haysom
    Yea that is the kind of reflexively self-pitying yet self righteous tripe that would produce a violent dysfunctional nation that completely lacks any kind of introspection or desire to reckon with the past.

    Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West. That's not even a rapist saying the bitch had it coming thats a rapist feeling sorry for itself because his victim started carrying mace.

    “Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West.”

    This. What has the Russian state ever done that neighboring states should have good feelings about it?

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    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Well the Russians founded our state for us. They allowed us to build schools for ethnic Finns which the Germanic Herrenvolk would have never allowed (and they fought bitterly against it as the Russian conquest initially left the Swedish and German minorities still in control of everything). The Russians let us begin building courts, a legal system and a Finnish administration which the Germanics would have never allowed. The Russians built railroads, despite objections that connecting inland areas to the world would mean that inland Finns would no longer be under domination of coastal Germanics.

    The Russians imported Scottish and English experts and capitalists to start the industrial revolution in inland Finland, despite objections from our own lovable Germanics. When the Englishmen tried to attack Russia through Finland during the Crimean War we fought against them despite their promises of supporting separatism and we were actually rewarded for loyalty, something unheard of under the Swedes. The Russians let ethnic Finns trade with foreign countries while the Swedish policy was to hold us down (one side of my family became instantly very wealthy because of this - thousands of hectares of land had not been worth much in Sweden because Finns couldn't get into the export business but in Russia tar and timber to England became a very profitable business).

    When the old capital burned down in the 1820s the Russians built up Helsinki as a new capital for us as an imitation of St Petersburg (a pretty nice thing to do considering that Tsar Peter nearly hunted us to extinction and enslaved a good part of the survivors to build the first St Petersburg). When Alexander II decided to have a democracy experiment (one of the rewards for the Crimean War), ethnic Finns were actually given some representation, something that greatly offended the Swedes and Germans who then spread their racial stuff around Europe about the threat of the Mongolian barbarian empire where the emperor actually convenes with wild people like Finns.

    It's too bad things went the wrong way since Nikolai II and the Bolsheviks, but Finns would be a primitive people living in dirt if it weren't for the relatively competent 19th century Russian Empire and especially the lucky break thanks to the Crimean War and Alexander II. I wish we could celebrate the return of Crimea with them given the connection but too much bad happened after that and Russia isn't developing in a promising direction. But the list of positive things Russia did for us is long and certainly much longer than the list of things that the West did for us.

    When it comes to Western russophobes and russophiles, it seems like nearly everyone has wrong reasons for their like or dislike because either they don't know anything about Russia and they're projecting their wishes or fears (or both) on it or they're listening to people who have an entirely false image in the West such as Swedes, the former tyrants of the north who are still bitter that the Russians put an end to their evil.
    , @AP

    What has the Russian state ever done that neighboring states should have good feelings about it
     
    Russia has had, in general, a bad impact on countries to its west but a good impact on countries to its east and south.
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  53. Fredrik says:
    @Anonymous
    It's just identity politics. There's not that much to understand. People identify with and attach themselves first and then spill ink in service of that attachment. This goes not just for the russophiles, but for the russophobes as well, who identify Russia as The Other and then spill ink and devise arguments critical of Russia.

    Those of us living near Russia do not consider being critical of the Russian leadership russophobia. It’s survival instinct.

    Look, when people in the browner parts of the world talk about the big bully USA we around the Baltic Sea see Russia project its power around the neighbourhood. As eg. now when they’re doing their best to prevent Sweden and Lithuania from building an interconnector between the Swedish and Lithuanian power grids that would help the Balts reduce their dependence on Russian energy.

    Yeah, I see the need to find some role model when the US (and most of Western Europe) is run by people that look like the depraved monsters of the fictional Panem but Russia isn’t the answer.

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  54. IA says:
    @Glossy
    "Postwar housing projects cover most of the city."

    These were built from 1955 until the breakup of the USSR.

    Stalin built little, but in a grand, beautiful style. During his industrialization campaign huge numbers of people moved from the countryside to the cities. Most of them were crammed into pre-existing housing stock. My father grew up in a communal apartment in Moscow. What that meant was that several families shared a single bathroom and a single kitchen. This was typical.

    When Khruschov came to power he began building for the masses. This must have been the biggest construction program in the history of the world up to that point. It has since been surpassed by the current Chinese housing boom. Khruschov rejected Stalin's neoclassical style and built the ugly boxes that you described as "post-war housing projects" in your post. Quantity over aesthetics.

    For tens of millions of people that was an improvement - a bathroom and a kitchen of their own, more space than they had before. They do look ugly from the outside though and you could hear your neighbors through their walls.

    Khruschov built 5-story apartment buildings. My parents lived in one of those when I was born. Brezhnev built 9, 12, 14 and 16-story buildings in the same boxy style. I grew up in a standard 12-story building of that era. Like most of Khruschov-Brezhnev period housing it was made out of huge pre-fabricated blocks.

    I've seen Westerners refer to ugly pre-fabricated architecture, both in the former USSR and in the West itself as "Stalinist". Nothing could be futher from the truth. Stalin built ornate, classical palaces. The blocky mass-produced housing that dominates former Soviet cities is actually Khruschovite and Brezhnevite in origin.

    Thanks for the erudition. I didn’t know the difference.

    I’ve known quite well a Real Stalinist building in Shanghai built by the Russians in the 50s. Very grand and ornate with columns and a spire.

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  55. @Anonymous
    It's just identity politics. There's not that much to understand. People identify with and attach themselves first and then spill ink in service of that attachment. This goes not just for the russophiles, but for the russophobes as well, who identify Russia as The Other and then spill ink and devise arguments critical of Russia.

    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on. Honestly this site has an entire blog devoted to Russian exceptionalism. That’s an American based site with a blog devoted to Russian superiority over the US. Of course some people are going to get tired of the cheast beating and say something. Hardly makes them Russophobes.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I don't mean on websites and blogs like this. You're right that there aren't that many russophobes on blogs like this, while there are russophiles. I mean in the wider, mainstream media and public. There's a russophobia there that seems to be largely based on identity politics.
    , @Cagey Beast
    I can understand when Balts, Poles and people from other countries that neighbour Russia get emotional about this topic but I really can't understand this sort of thing from a western European or North American. Anyone old enough to remember the Cold War should be able to stand back and see the current Russian Federation surpasses the most optimistic hopes and dreams of any sane anti-Soviet. Apart from bringing in a new Yeltsin-like regime to implement a new Morgenthau Plan on Russia, what do you people expect Russia to be?

    I think there are some people who find the mere existence of Russia to be intolerable. Maybe if the Russian Federation was broken up into 300 Bantustans, each run by someone like Mikheil Saakashvili or Ahmed Chalabi; would you be able to sleep soundly then?

    , @Ron Unz

    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on.
     
    Well, I don't really know anything about this "Sam Haysom" fellow, but the easiest way of testing whether someone is honest and has a room-temperature IQ is asking them to explain who generally controls American foreign policy and why e.g. we launched the Crazy Iraq War, which has cost us trillions of wasted dollars and killed maybe a million people or more.

    And No, the answer is not the Russophiles in the U.S. State Department...
    , @Bill
    Pure, unadulterated projection.
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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sam Haysom
    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on. Honestly this site has an entire blog devoted to Russian exceptionalism. That's an American based site with a blog devoted to Russian superiority over the US. Of course some people are going to get tired of the cheast beating and say something. Hardly makes them Russophobes.

    I don’t mean on websites and blogs like this. You’re right that there aren’t that many russophobes on blogs like this, while there are russophiles. I mean in the wider, mainstream media and public. There’s a russophobia there that seems to be largely based on identity politics.

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  57. @Sam Haysom
    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on. Honestly this site has an entire blog devoted to Russian exceptionalism. That's an American based site with a blog devoted to Russian superiority over the US. Of course some people are going to get tired of the cheast beating and say something. Hardly makes them Russophobes.

    I can understand when Balts, Poles and people from other countries that neighbour Russia get emotional about this topic but I really can’t understand this sort of thing from a western European or North American. Anyone old enough to remember the Cold War should be able to stand back and see the current Russian Federation surpasses the most optimistic hopes and dreams of any sane anti-Soviet. Apart from bringing in a new Yeltsin-like regime to implement a new Morgenthau Plan on Russia, what do you people expect Russia to be?

    I think there are some people who find the mere existence of Russia to be intolerable. Maybe if the Russian Federation was broken up into 300 Bantustans, each run by someone like Mikheil Saakashvili or Ahmed Chalabi; would you be able to sleep soundly then?

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    I sleep like a baby and who is getting emotional here- most likely the guy spinning imputed desires to me about seeimg Russia broken up. Nevermind that it's Russian policy not mine to support the creation of various Slavic "Bantustans" in neighboring countries. Nevermind as well that it was Soviet agents inside the US government and Stalk that pushed hardest for the Morgenthau Plan. So basically pure projection on your part.
    , @rod1963
    The primary group that is really pushing for are the Neo-Cons(AIPAC/AEI ) types who want to reduce Russia to a fractured state that they and their masters can loot at their leisure. This group seems to run GOP foreign policy, which almost guarantees a war with Russia if a Republican gets in.

    The second group is the political class. They need a war, but not the reasons above. They want a war to save their hides. The fact is our country is economically prostrate with perhaps 20% of our people permanently unemployed, our cities are barely kept from blowing up with a combination of bribes and policing. We're being flooded with tens of millions of 3rd world immigrants we don't want and cannot support. We're in the process of the signing the Trans Pacific Partnership that will wipe out millions more jobs and let in even more immigrants. Add to it the utter corruption of Congress and the executive branch and people getting fed up with them. A war is just what they need to distract the people from getting pissed at the leadership.

    If there is a war, I suspect the first things to go will be our civil liberties - all for the homeland of course to ensure our safety.
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  58. fnn says:
    @Tomi
    I don't really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you're looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of "decadent" Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It's actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

    Poland is an impotent vassal state of the America Empire-EU Branch. Russia is the only more or less Western (i.e., semi-European) country left to act as a counterbalance to the neo-Bolsheviks in Washington and Hollywood. This is in large part the result of the obsession of much of the Brit ruling class with destroying Germany as an economic competitor during most of the first half of the 20th Century.

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  59. stealth says:
    @Sam Haysom
    Yea that is the kind of reflexively self-pitying yet self righteous tripe that would produce a violent dysfunctional nation that completely lacks any kind of introspection or desire to reckon with the past.

    Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West. That's not even a rapist saying the bitch had it coming thats a rapist feeling sorry for itself because his victim started carrying mace.

    “Reckon with the past?” What’s that supposed to mean? In reality, “reckoning with the past” usually entails one group taking advantage of another group’s guilty conscience for the former group’s own advantage. Western Europe and the United States have been reckoning with the past for quite some time. It seems to be a never-ending process.

    I don’t think that punishing Russia for the past is really a good reason to risk a war in which millions of lives on all sides are at stake. I say we leave them alone.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Reckoning with the past in this case would mean accepting that as a result of repeatedly brutalizing their neighbors, Russia now faces a geopolitical situation in which their neighbors are looking to the West for security and prosperity. The fact that you see NATO expansion or support Ukraine as a kind of punishment makes my point for me. No one is talking about punishing Russia. Who is messing with Russia?
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  60. @Anonymous
    The Germans were far and away better soldiers during WW2. And the Soviet commissars had to shoot and threaten to shoot the Soviet soldiers to get them to fight and engage in their human wave attacks.

    The German army was by far the most effective in combat on a man for man basis measured by kill ratio, but the fact is Hitler was an incompetent grand strategist who ruined the Sixth Army’s cakewalk into Moscow. See generally Antony Bevor’s “Stalingrad.” Not to detract at all from the astounding bravery of the Russian soldier, detailed extensively in that same book.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Wasn't he betrayed by his generals?
    , @Avery
    { Hitler was an incompetent grand strategist who ruined the Sixth Army’s cakewalk into Moscow}

    “cakewalk” into Moscow ? Wow.

    Yes, Anglo-American revisionists, including Antony Bevor, keep spinning all sorts of reasons why Germans lost and the Red Army won.
    They just cannot admit that those, you know, “backwards” Russians could possibly defeat thems sophisticated, advanced, highly cultured Westerners.

    Hitler’s incompetence was far exceeded by Stalin’s: Stalin murdered or dismissed about 35,000 of Soviet Union’s most experienced Red Army officers, even before the war began. He forbade his armies to retreat as the Wehrmacht was encircling them, and caused their total annihilation or capture. Red army lost millions of troops due to rank stupidity and paranoia of Stalin.

    It’s never the Russian/Soviet ingenuity, or military skill, or patriotism, or tenacity of the Soviet soldier, or love of country.
    It was Mr Winter.
    It was the Lend Lease.
    It was Hitler’s incompetence.
    It was this. It was that.

    Yes, highly advanced Germans came up with the magnificent Tiger tank.
    It was so advanced, and magnificent that they could never produce enough of them reliably.
    Meanwhile those “backwards” Russians developed the T-34, with revolutionary sloped armor, and tracks/suspension that could go though mud like nothing. It was simple, but very reliable and effective and could be produced by the 1000s.
    Highly advanced and sophisticated Germans were so impressed by the T-34, that they copied it in their Panther tank.

    The WW2 revisionists are truly vile.
    Particularly the Brits.
    They ran like chickens in front of the Panzers: Hitler allowed them to evacuate at Dunkirk without annihilating them.
    If Hitler had not invaded USSR, European capitals, including London would be flying the swastika today.

    “Incompetent” Hitler had all of Europe conquered in a matter of months.
    He became “incompetent”, because he ran into the Red Army.
    Same as Napoleon: his brilliance was extinguished when he ran into that “backwards Russian” General Kutuzov.
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  61. @stealth
    "Reckon with the past?" What's that supposed to mean? In reality, "reckoning with the past" usually entails one group taking advantage of another group's guilty conscience for the former group's own advantage. Western Europe and the United States have been reckoning with the past for quite some time. It seems to be a never-ending process.

    I don't think that punishing Russia for the past is really a good reason to risk a war in which millions of lives on all sides are at stake. I say we leave them alone.

    Reckoning with the past in this case would mean accepting that as a result of repeatedly brutalizing their neighbors, Russia now faces a geopolitical situation in which their neighbors are looking to the West for security and prosperity. The fact that you see NATO expansion or support Ukraine as a kind of punishment makes my point for me. No one is talking about punishing Russia. Who is messing with Russia?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Reckoning with the past

    After you, Sam.

    would mean accepting that as a result of repeatedly brutalizing their neighbors

    That's exactly what Israel should reckon with. I'm glad you've mentioned it. And the neocons should accept responsibility for brutalizing Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya and Ukraine.
    , @annamaria
    And the Wolfowitz Doctrine is a recipe for Christmas cookies?
    You may profit from reading the European history that describes the relationships between neighboring states. Or you may check on how many countries the US have brutalized since the end of the WWII. Whatever "makes your point for you," for any more-or-less informed person, the US walk and quack like an aggressor on a global level. We all now live in a time of the drastically increasing danger of a nuclear war, which the spoiled US plutocrats (the owners of the Federal Reserve) are not able to comprehend due to their clinical psychopathy.
    The USSR had dissolved 25 years ago. This is a very inconvenient fact for the Russophobes that talk incessantly about past grievances. Meanwhile, the US-sponsored "democracy on the march" in Ukraine has ruined the Ukrainian economy and pushed the state towards the civil war. And do not forget the rise of neo-Nazism, this "gift" from the US neocons.
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  62. @Cagey Beast
    I can understand when Balts, Poles and people from other countries that neighbour Russia get emotional about this topic but I really can't understand this sort of thing from a western European or North American. Anyone old enough to remember the Cold War should be able to stand back and see the current Russian Federation surpasses the most optimistic hopes and dreams of any sane anti-Soviet. Apart from bringing in a new Yeltsin-like regime to implement a new Morgenthau Plan on Russia, what do you people expect Russia to be?

    I think there are some people who find the mere existence of Russia to be intolerable. Maybe if the Russian Federation was broken up into 300 Bantustans, each run by someone like Mikheil Saakashvili or Ahmed Chalabi; would you be able to sleep soundly then?

    I sleep like a baby and who is getting emotional here- most likely the guy spinning imputed desires to me about seeimg Russia broken up. Nevermind that it’s Russian policy not mine to support the creation of various Slavic “Bantustans” in neighboring countries. Nevermind as well that it was Soviet agents inside the US government and Stalk that pushed hardest for the Morgenthau Plan. So basically pure projection on your part.

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  63. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Tom Welsh
    The main difference is that in the West most of the systematic corruption has been legalized. So it arouses very little public outcry. Anyone living in Britain, for instance, could look at the regular feature "Rotten Boroughs" in "Private Eye". Every single issue, the column prints dozens of cases of official corruption in Britain alone; yet hardly ever are any of the culprits prosecuted, let alone punished. The usual outcome is for some kind of investigation to end in resignations. Those who resign get generous "golden parachutes" in accordance with their contracts. Having received a few hundred thousand by way of a bonus for their crimes, they then move into an equivalent job somewhere else within a few months. Thus being corrupt and being discovered is actually profitable.

    It’s done in a more sophisticated and legalistic fashion:

    http://nypost.com/2015/05/03/clinton-cash-is-a-blistering-indictment-of-hill-and-bills-behavior/

    The details of the Clinton operation vary, but the overall M.O. is fairly consistent, he writes.

    One: Dodgy rich businessman, often a foreigner in the middle of a mega-deal in some corrupt country, possibly one run by a dictator, writes a check that buys him the status of friend of Bill Clinton (FOB). The check is payable to the Clinton Foundation or to Bill himself, as an honorarium for a meaningless idealistic speech that is essentially a homily at a whorehouse.

    Two: When the cameras are turned off, Bill receives ultra-luxurious travel on someone else’s dime and attends a lavish party in his honor held by some dictator or shady businessman connected to the new FOB. Talks go on behind closed doors.

    Three: Millions of dollars of donations start flowing into the Clinton Foundation from the FOB and associates.

    Fourth: Potential roadblocks to the deal in the Senate or the State Department melt away. The business deal goes through. The new Clinton friend gets very, very rich.

    Fifth: Hillary forgets to disclose these donations.

    Six: The press doesn’t notice what just happened.

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    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    It's the tragedy of human government that laws and regulations can accomplish nothing by themselves. The other necessary factors is people who are willing to obey the laws consistently, regardless of their own personal interests, because they understand that everyone will be better off in the long run that way. The Romans in particular valued such civic virtue very highly: they loved stories of men who punished their own families (even occasionally having their sons executed) in order to uphold the law and for the good of the republic.

    It seems to me that respect for law has been rapidly eaten away in the past 40-50 years by, essentially, a rising tide of money. To adopt a chemical analogy, money is very nearly a universal solvent, like a strong acid. It seems almost impossible to erect any barriers that can contain it or prevent its spread.
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  64. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Penguinchip
    The German army was by far the most effective in combat on a man for man basis measured by kill ratio, but the fact is Hitler was an incompetent grand strategist who ruined the Sixth Army's cakewalk into Moscow. See generally Antony Bevor's "Stalingrad." Not to detract at all from the astounding bravery of the Russian soldier, detailed extensively in that same book.

    Wasn’t he betrayed by his generals?

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  65. @Cliff Arroyo
    "Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West."

    This. What has the Russian state ever done that neighboring states should have good feelings about it?

    Well the Russians founded our state for us. They allowed us to build schools for ethnic Finns which the Germanic Herrenvolk would have never allowed (and they fought bitterly against it as the Russian conquest initially left the Swedish and German minorities still in control of everything). The Russians let us begin building courts, a legal system and a Finnish administration which the Germanics would have never allowed. The Russians built railroads, despite objections that connecting inland areas to the world would mean that inland Finns would no longer be under domination of coastal Germanics.

    The Russians imported Scottish and English experts and capitalists to start the industrial revolution in inland Finland, despite objections from our own lovable Germanics. When the Englishmen tried to attack Russia through Finland during the Crimean War we fought against them despite their promises of supporting separatism and we were actually rewarded for loyalty, something unheard of under the Swedes. The Russians let ethnic Finns trade with foreign countries while the Swedish policy was to hold us down (one side of my family became instantly very wealthy because of this – thousands of hectares of land had not been worth much in Sweden because Finns couldn’t get into the export business but in Russia tar and timber to England became a very profitable business).

    When the old capital burned down in the 1820s the Russians built up Helsinki as a new capital for us as an imitation of St Petersburg (a pretty nice thing to do considering that Tsar Peter nearly hunted us to extinction and enslaved a good part of the survivors to build the first St Petersburg). When Alexander II decided to have a democracy experiment (one of the rewards for the Crimean War), ethnic Finns were actually given some representation, something that greatly offended the Swedes and Germans who then spread their racial stuff around Europe about the threat of the Mongolian barbarian empire where the emperor actually convenes with wild people like Finns.

    It’s too bad things went the wrong way since Nikolai II and the Bolsheviks, but Finns would be a primitive people living in dirt if it weren’t for the relatively competent 19th century Russian Empire and especially the lucky break thanks to the Crimean War and Alexander II. I wish we could celebrate the return of Crimea with them given the connection but too much bad happened after that and Russia isn’t developing in a promising direction. But the list of positive things Russia did for us is long and certainly much longer than the list of things that the West did for us.

    When it comes to Western russophobes and russophiles, it seems like nearly everyone has wrong reasons for their like or dislike because either they don’t know anything about Russia and they’re projecting their wishes or fears (or both) on it or they’re listening to people who have an entirely false image in the West such as Swedes, the former tyrants of the north who are still bitter that the Russians put an end to their evil.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Interesting in light of contemporary Sweden's reputation for liberalism. I knew this reputation was a bit misleading in light of things such as Sweden's imperial past and the relative popularity of fascism there before WW2, but I didn't know they were that hostile to the Finns. Why were the Swedes and Germanics so hostile to the Finns?
    , @inertial
    Ironically, the same deal was initially given to the Poles. A kingdom in personal union with the Czar but otherwise semi-independent; cultural autonomy, non-interference in the internal matters, and even a Constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and so on. A Constitution in that tie and place was unheard of, and in fact granting it to the Poles causes a lot of outrage in Russia, among both liberals and conservatives.

    Meanwhile, in the German part of Poland, Polish education and language was suppressed, the land was flooded by German settlers, all Polishness was being eradicated post haste. The situation in the Austrian part of Poland was better, but not much better. So, the brave Poles rose in revolt... against the side that treated them the best. But that's human nature for you.
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  66. Ron Unz says:
    @Sam Haysom
    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on. Honestly this site has an entire blog devoted to Russian exceptionalism. That's an American based site with a blog devoted to Russian superiority over the US. Of course some people are going to get tired of the cheast beating and say something. Hardly makes them Russophobes.

    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on.

    Well, I don’t really know anything about this “Sam Haysom” fellow, but the easiest way of testing whether someone is honest and has a room-temperature IQ is asking them to explain who generally controls American foreign policy and why e.g. we launched the Crazy Iraq War, which has cost us trillions of wasted dollars and killed maybe a million people or more.

    And No, the answer is not the Russophiles in the U.S. State Department…

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Well I know more than I care to know about Ron Unz (mostly because he won't shut up about how smart he is) and he made it clear whose side he was on during the debate over Prop 187. The same side as the neo-cons and far left.

    Honestly what the hell are you talking about? Who said anything about Russophiles in the State Department. I sure didn't. Maybe you think if the strawman is sufficiently big enough that's some sign of a high IQ, but really grow up Ron. If you honestly think your website, which was that subject of that quoted passage, isn't full of Russophiles then that would be generally well within keeping with the general cluelessness you show about other issues like immigration.
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  67. Avery says:
    @Penguinchip
    The German army was by far the most effective in combat on a man for man basis measured by kill ratio, but the fact is Hitler was an incompetent grand strategist who ruined the Sixth Army's cakewalk into Moscow. See generally Antony Bevor's "Stalingrad." Not to detract at all from the astounding bravery of the Russian soldier, detailed extensively in that same book.

    { Hitler was an incompetent grand strategist who ruined the Sixth Army’s cakewalk into Moscow}

    “cakewalk” into Moscow ? Wow.

    Yes, Anglo-American revisionists, including Antony Bevor, keep spinning all sorts of reasons why Germans lost and the Red Army won.
    They just cannot admit that those, you know, “backwards” Russians could possibly defeat thems sophisticated, advanced, highly cultured Westerners.

    Hitler’s incompetence was far exceeded by Stalin’s: Stalin murdered or dismissed about 35,000 of Soviet Union’s most experienced Red Army officers, even before the war began. He forbade his armies to retreat as the Wehrmacht was encircling them, and caused their total annihilation or capture. Red army lost millions of troops due to rank stupidity and paranoia of Stalin.

    It’s never the Russian/Soviet ingenuity, or military skill, or patriotism, or tenacity of the Soviet soldier, or love of country.
    It was Mr Winter.
    It was the Lend Lease.
    It was Hitler’s incompetence.
    It was this. It was that.

    Yes, highly advanced Germans came up with the magnificent Tiger tank.
    It was so advanced, and magnificent that they could never produce enough of them reliably.
    Meanwhile those “backwards” Russians developed the T-34, with revolutionary sloped armor, and tracks/suspension that could go though mud like nothing. It was simple, but very reliable and effective and could be produced by the 1000s.
    Highly advanced and sophisticated Germans were so impressed by the T-34, that they copied it in their Panther tank.

    The WW2 revisionists are truly vile.
    Particularly the Brits.
    They ran like chickens in front of the Panzers: Hitler allowed them to evacuate at Dunkirk without annihilating them.
    If Hitler had not invaded USSR, European capitals, including London would be flying the swastika today.

    “Incompetent” Hitler had all of Europe conquered in a matter of months.
    He became “incompetent”, because he ran into the Red Army.
    Same as Napoleon: his brilliance was extinguished when he ran into that “backwards Russian” General Kutuzov.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's not just revisionists. Mainstream historians also argue that Hitler's incompetence on the Eastern front was a factor. He was also betrayed by his generals.

    Napoleon lost because of the Russian winter and scorched earth policy. The Russians didn't seriously engage the Grande Armée. They relied on the weather and destroyed their own country.
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  68. Kiza says:

    Dictionary definition genocide over indigenous population of Americas by the US, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans killed by the Gringos to acquire Texas and California, millions of civilians killed in Korea and Vietnam, accessory to the genocide of Palestinians, current active participant in the destruction of Yemen, millions killed in Iraq and so on and so on. But, hey, it is Russia which should be ashamed of its past.

    Pure Anglo-Jewish victimhood and shutzpah aggression.

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  69. @Ron Unz

    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on.
     
    Well, I don't really know anything about this "Sam Haysom" fellow, but the easiest way of testing whether someone is honest and has a room-temperature IQ is asking them to explain who generally controls American foreign policy and why e.g. we launched the Crazy Iraq War, which has cost us trillions of wasted dollars and killed maybe a million people or more.

    And No, the answer is not the Russophiles in the U.S. State Department...

    Well I know more than I care to know about Ron Unz (mostly because he won’t shut up about how smart he is) and he made it clear whose side he was on during the debate over Prop 187. The same side as the neo-cons and far left.

    Honestly what the hell are you talking about? Who said anything about Russophiles in the State Department. I sure didn’t. Maybe you think if the strawman is sufficiently big enough that’s some sign of a high IQ, but really grow up Ron. If you honestly think your website, which was that subject of that quoted passage, isn’t full of Russophiles then that would be generally well within keeping with the general cluelessness you show about other issues like immigration.

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  70. Glossy says:
    @Sam Haysom
    Reckoning with the past in this case would mean accepting that as a result of repeatedly brutalizing their neighbors, Russia now faces a geopolitical situation in which their neighbors are looking to the West for security and prosperity. The fact that you see NATO expansion or support Ukraine as a kind of punishment makes my point for me. No one is talking about punishing Russia. Who is messing with Russia?

    Reckoning with the past

    After you, Sam.

    would mean accepting that as a result of repeatedly brutalizing their neighbors

    That’s exactly what Israel should reckon with. I’m glad you’ve mentioned it. And the neocons should accept responsibility for brutalizing Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya and Ukraine.

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  71. @Glossy
    I agree that there will be no war because of the nuclear deterrent but disagree with everything else.

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn't fight the USSR alone.

    NATO has a much bigger population than Russia, but also a much smaller proportion of the population that would perform well in a conventional war. HBD isn't all about IQ. Different populations are capable of different levels of bravery and self-sacrifice. Russians are especially high on altruism in emergencies. I have no idea why they were selected for this particular trait so much more than most peoples, but the fact is that they were.

    And Russia has no desire to attack the West while the neocons want regime change in Moscow. If nuclear weapons magically disappear tomorrow and all-out conventional world wars become possible again, the neocons would attack first. GIs from West Virginia would look at this as an adventure, while Russians would be defending the motherland. There's little doubt in my mind about how that would turn out.

    “There’s little doubt in
    my mind about how that would turn out.”

    Or mine. NATO is playing with fire.

    Do. Not. Poke. The. Bear.

    Particularly as the Dragon won’t lie idly by this time – hence all the current s**tstirring with Abe.

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  72. Isn’t Russia’s violent crime rate far higher than America? you make it sound like the slums are “peaceful and quaint” just lacking in amenities. Uhm…so where is all this crime occurring?

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  73. rod1963 says:
    @Cagey Beast
    I can understand when Balts, Poles and people from other countries that neighbour Russia get emotional about this topic but I really can't understand this sort of thing from a western European or North American. Anyone old enough to remember the Cold War should be able to stand back and see the current Russian Federation surpasses the most optimistic hopes and dreams of any sane anti-Soviet. Apart from bringing in a new Yeltsin-like regime to implement a new Morgenthau Plan on Russia, what do you people expect Russia to be?

    I think there are some people who find the mere existence of Russia to be intolerable. Maybe if the Russian Federation was broken up into 300 Bantustans, each run by someone like Mikheil Saakashvili or Ahmed Chalabi; would you be able to sleep soundly then?

    The primary group that is really pushing for are the Neo-Cons(AIPAC/AEI ) types who want to reduce Russia to a fractured state that they and their masters can loot at their leisure. This group seems to run GOP foreign policy, which almost guarantees a war with Russia if a Republican gets in.

    The second group is the political class. They need a war, but not the reasons above. They want a war to save their hides. The fact is our country is economically prostrate with perhaps 20% of our people permanently unemployed, our cities are barely kept from blowing up with a combination of bribes and policing. We’re being flooded with tens of millions of 3rd world immigrants we don’t want and cannot support. We’re in the process of the signing the Trans Pacific Partnership that will wipe out millions more jobs and let in even more immigrants. Add to it the utter corruption of Congress and the executive branch and people getting fed up with them. A war is just what they need to distract the people from getting pissed at the leadership.

    If there is a war, I suspect the first things to go will be our civil liberties – all for the homeland of course to ensure our safety.

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  74. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    @glossy

    I once discovered I had an exam – Three hours in a second language – two and a half days prior.

    I ate, slept and drank grammar/vocabulary for those two and a half days snatching three two-hour naps. Fortunately , I never needed much sleep.

    I passed the exam.

    That was my most extreme ‘cramming’ for an exam. But doing nothing for months and cramming for a month/a few weeks beforehand was absolutely typical: and I am Irish. Sometimes an exam would be a ‘night-before job’ as we called it, usually for rote,learning material like neuro. For more ‘thinking’ i.e. discursive stuff I, like many relied on inspiration. Since we were reasonably literate, we usually did well.

    Because crammers like me performed just as well and often better than the studious, who were in much smaller numbers , continuous assessment was introduced.

    I think this is a tempermental thing, rather than a national one.

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  75. AP says:
    @Cliff Arroyo
    "Russia brutally occupied its neighbors for a half of century and yet Russia acts like a victim when those neighbors align themselves with the West."

    This. What has the Russian state ever done that neighboring states should have good feelings about it?

    What has the Russian state ever done that neighboring states should have good feelings about it

    Russia has had, in general, a bad impact on countries to its west but a good impact on countries to its east and south.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    How so? Didn't they help introduce and support ommunism in China, North Korea, etc.?
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  76. AP says:
    @Tomi
    I don't really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you're looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of "decadent" Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It's actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

    I don’t really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia.

    Indeed.

    I’ll throw in stats for the USA and Ukraine also.*

    Divorce rate (2011-2010):

    Russia: 51%
    Poland: 27%

    USA: 53%
    Ukraine: 42%

    % of people who never go to church (2008):

    Russia: 30%-40% (same as Sweden and Germany)
    Poland: <10%

    Ukraine: 10%-20%

    % of pregnancies that end in abortion:

    Russia (2014): 29.3%
    Poland (2012): 1.95%

    USA (2011): 16.9%
    Ukraine (2010): 21.2%

    Homicide rate:

    Russia (2012): 9.2
    Poland (2011): 1.2

    USA: (2012): 4.7
    Ukraine(2010): 4.3

    Adult HIV prevalence (2011, according to WHO):

    Russia: 1.1%
    Poland: .1%

    USA: .6%
    Ukraine: .9%

    Amazing how in this conflict between Ukraine and Russia (and Poland stands with Ukraine), many so-called conservatives take Russia's side.

    *for Ukraine, there are huge internal differences, with the the West being more "conservative" in all values. Ukraine's East is probably worse than Russia, across the board.

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  77. AP says:
    @Glossy
    I agree that there will be no war because of the nuclear deterrent but disagree with everything else.

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn't fight the USSR alone.

    NATO has a much bigger population than Russia, but also a much smaller proportion of the population that would perform well in a conventional war. HBD isn't all about IQ. Different populations are capable of different levels of bravery and self-sacrifice. Russians are especially high on altruism in emergencies. I have no idea why they were selected for this particular trait so much more than most peoples, but the fact is that they were.

    And Russia has no desire to attack the West while the neocons want regime change in Moscow. If nuclear weapons magically disappear tomorrow and all-out conventional world wars become possible again, the neocons would attack first. GIs from West Virginia would look at this as an adventure, while Russians would be defending the motherland. There's little doubt in my mind about how that would turn out.

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn’t fight the USSR alone.

    Germany, Germany has as allies Hungary, Romania and Italy. Although the rest of Europe was occupied and required some troops to control. I suspect the number of soldiers Germany had tied up in the West for occupation (not to mention fighting on the other front) exceeded Hungarian, Romanian and Italian help.

    So actually, the USSR was fighting about 90% of Germany, a country with half its population. And it didn’t win easily, it won at a cost of tens of millions of dead, and indeed might have lost if winter had come a few weeks later, and/or a different strategy was employed.

    So Russia, with half the USSR’s population, vs. USA, with more than double Russia’s population, probably wouldn’t be a contest (and again, assume UK at least, plus Poland would be on USA’s side).

    Again, no way this happens due to nuclear deterrent and due to the fact that total war would be madness that nobody wants.

    And, I am not speaking of occupation but military victory. Short of genocide there is no way USA would be able to occupy and hold a country of Russia’s size and population.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You wouldn't need to occupy and hold all of Russia. Just the Volga and its valleys.
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  78. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jaakko Raipala
    Well the Russians founded our state for us. They allowed us to build schools for ethnic Finns which the Germanic Herrenvolk would have never allowed (and they fought bitterly against it as the Russian conquest initially left the Swedish and German minorities still in control of everything). The Russians let us begin building courts, a legal system and a Finnish administration which the Germanics would have never allowed. The Russians built railroads, despite objections that connecting inland areas to the world would mean that inland Finns would no longer be under domination of coastal Germanics.

    The Russians imported Scottish and English experts and capitalists to start the industrial revolution in inland Finland, despite objections from our own lovable Germanics. When the Englishmen tried to attack Russia through Finland during the Crimean War we fought against them despite their promises of supporting separatism and we were actually rewarded for loyalty, something unheard of under the Swedes. The Russians let ethnic Finns trade with foreign countries while the Swedish policy was to hold us down (one side of my family became instantly very wealthy because of this - thousands of hectares of land had not been worth much in Sweden because Finns couldn't get into the export business but in Russia tar and timber to England became a very profitable business).

    When the old capital burned down in the 1820s the Russians built up Helsinki as a new capital for us as an imitation of St Petersburg (a pretty nice thing to do considering that Tsar Peter nearly hunted us to extinction and enslaved a good part of the survivors to build the first St Petersburg). When Alexander II decided to have a democracy experiment (one of the rewards for the Crimean War), ethnic Finns were actually given some representation, something that greatly offended the Swedes and Germans who then spread their racial stuff around Europe about the threat of the Mongolian barbarian empire where the emperor actually convenes with wild people like Finns.

    It's too bad things went the wrong way since Nikolai II and the Bolsheviks, but Finns would be a primitive people living in dirt if it weren't for the relatively competent 19th century Russian Empire and especially the lucky break thanks to the Crimean War and Alexander II. I wish we could celebrate the return of Crimea with them given the connection but too much bad happened after that and Russia isn't developing in a promising direction. But the list of positive things Russia did for us is long and certainly much longer than the list of things that the West did for us.

    When it comes to Western russophobes and russophiles, it seems like nearly everyone has wrong reasons for their like or dislike because either they don't know anything about Russia and they're projecting their wishes or fears (or both) on it or they're listening to people who have an entirely false image in the West such as Swedes, the former tyrants of the north who are still bitter that the Russians put an end to their evil.

    Interesting in light of contemporary Sweden’s reputation for liberalism. I knew this reputation was a bit misleading in light of things such as Sweden’s imperial past and the relative popularity of fascism there before WW2, but I didn’t know they were that hostile to the Finns. Why were the Swedes and Germanics so hostile to the Finns?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Fredrik
    They were not any more than they were hostile to the Congolese. Finland as part of Sweden worked a lot like that if you wanted to become something you had to become Swedish which is no different to the assimilation processes in Belgium or France or other countries. And people did.

    Btw,
    the ones that created the Finnish culture and the Finnish written language and in general were behind the Finnish revival were influent Swedish speakers(Swedes if you like). There weren't many schools for ordinary people anywhere in the world during the 19th century (they arrived in Sweden 1842) so painting this like some genocidal policy is incredibly stupid.

    Some people really like their inferiority complex. It's quite common to hear drunk Finns talk about all Swedish men being Homo. Swedish men on the other hand rarely think about Finland unless we discuss why so many Finnish women marry browns and blacks. In fact, a lot of the women in Sweden who've hooked up with browns and blacks are Finnish immigrants or the children of such.

    Btw again,
    the ones that ensured Finns weren't serfs like Russian peasants were the Swedes.

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  79. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I don't think there'll be a NATO-Russia direct (as opposed to poxy) war either. But IF there is one, it will probably be one of the following.

    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other's territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia's military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.

    2) A fullscale conventional war. In this scenario, as you correctly note, Russia gets stomped both now and in the indefinite future. But here's the crux of the matter - such a conflict will go nuclear, at least if Russia follows its own military doctrine which relies on the concept of limited "de-escalatory" nuclear strikes (a strategy that bears a resemblance to NATO's during the Cold War when the Warsaw Pact had land military superiority). If NATO checks or raises instead of folding, Russia will continue reraising, up to and including a fullscale nuclear apocalypse. It's a reckless strategy, sure, but as a weak player that wishes to continue playing power poker on the global stage, it has no other choice.

    I agree with most of what you said, but:

    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other’s territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia’s military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.

    I agree that western Euro NATO armies are scaling down and indeed have scaled down; the German military, I’ve heard, is in shambles. But not all of NATO is declining.

    My best friend is a Pole from an elite political family in that country. From what I’ve heard, Poland’s elite have concluded that they cannot rely on the West (as in 1939 – Ukraine has been a lesson for them that has really consolidated opinion in this respect; an unintended consequence for Russia) and are planning a massive military buildup of their own. Obviously Poles are not planning to march on Moscow as in the 17th century, but they do have contingency plans to take out Kalinigrad (I was told this operation would only take a week), would defend the Baltics, and a a hypothetical Ukraine that has really consolidated with the West (it is not there yet, of course). Poles are not in awe of Russian military prowess as some westerners are – they remember fighting the Soviets to a draw in 1920 and often feel that they would have fared okay against the Soviets in 1939 had it been a 1:1 war.

    Poland is not going to be a superpower but it could easily become another Turkey; that is, a very formidable regional military power capable of defending its interests in its neighborhood – one that overlaps Russia’s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Why are you using a different handle now? Your nonsense is so ridiculous that I recognised it immediately, "Dr. Preobrazhensky".
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  80. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Avery
    { Hitler was an incompetent grand strategist who ruined the Sixth Army’s cakewalk into Moscow}

    “cakewalk” into Moscow ? Wow.

    Yes, Anglo-American revisionists, including Antony Bevor, keep spinning all sorts of reasons why Germans lost and the Red Army won.
    They just cannot admit that those, you know, “backwards” Russians could possibly defeat thems sophisticated, advanced, highly cultured Westerners.

    Hitler’s incompetence was far exceeded by Stalin’s: Stalin murdered or dismissed about 35,000 of Soviet Union’s most experienced Red Army officers, even before the war began. He forbade his armies to retreat as the Wehrmacht was encircling them, and caused their total annihilation or capture. Red army lost millions of troops due to rank stupidity and paranoia of Stalin.

    It’s never the Russian/Soviet ingenuity, or military skill, or patriotism, or tenacity of the Soviet soldier, or love of country.
    It was Mr Winter.
    It was the Lend Lease.
    It was Hitler’s incompetence.
    It was this. It was that.

    Yes, highly advanced Germans came up with the magnificent Tiger tank.
    It was so advanced, and magnificent that they could never produce enough of them reliably.
    Meanwhile those “backwards” Russians developed the T-34, with revolutionary sloped armor, and tracks/suspension that could go though mud like nothing. It was simple, but very reliable and effective and could be produced by the 1000s.
    Highly advanced and sophisticated Germans were so impressed by the T-34, that they copied it in their Panther tank.

    The WW2 revisionists are truly vile.
    Particularly the Brits.
    They ran like chickens in front of the Panzers: Hitler allowed them to evacuate at Dunkirk without annihilating them.
    If Hitler had not invaded USSR, European capitals, including London would be flying the swastika today.

    “Incompetent” Hitler had all of Europe conquered in a matter of months.
    He became “incompetent”, because he ran into the Red Army.
    Same as Napoleon: his brilliance was extinguished when he ran into that “backwards Russian” General Kutuzov.

    It’s not just revisionists. Mainstream historians also argue that Hitler’s incompetence on the Eastern front was a factor. He was also betrayed by his generals.

    Napoleon lost because of the Russian winter and scorched earth policy. The Russians didn’t seriously engage the Grande Armée. They relied on the weather and destroyed their own country.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {Mainstream historians also argue that Hitler’s incompetence on the Eastern front was a factor.}

    Everything is a factor in war.
    As I pointed out before, Stalin’s insanity and incompetence was a far greater factor in costing the Red Army millions of wasted troops.
    Hitler’s incompetence was more than balanced by Stalin’s.
    And the so-called ‘mainstream historians’ are all in the West: correct ?
    Western historians have an incentive to minimize the Red Army’s role in defeating the Nazi war machine. It is not palatable to admit that the same Wehrmacht which rolled over the Western militaries (including Brits) was crushed by the Red Army.
    It can't be that Russian generals and troops fought better: it _must_ be something else, like the winter, or incompetence.....

    { He was also betrayed by his generals.}
    Yes, those who lose always find some plausible excuse.

    { The Russians didn’t seriously engage the Grande Armée.}

    The battle of Borodino has been described as the greatest battle in human history up to that date, involving nearly a quarter of a million soldiers: I’d say that is serious engagement.
    After the inconclusive battle, where both sides lost a third of their forces on the battlefield, Kutusov wisely decided to draw the French in and bleed them slowly by pinprick attacks. He was criticized for the cautious approach at the time, but was proven right: of the approx 700,000 Grande Armée, only about 100,000 returned home alive.
    Napoleon lost his most experienced troops and officers: his military would never be the same.
    Russia won, and Napoleon lost.

    About the “winter” canard that Western revisionists always bring up to explain defeats in Russia:
    Russian/Soviet troops had to fight in the same temperature and conditions as Germans and French.
    Yeah, it’s their country and they know it better. I know where everything is in my house: an intruder has the disadvantage.
    British complained that Americans were not fighting fair and were sniping their officers while hidden.
    Brits of course would prefer Americans meet them on an open field so their superior training, discipline, experience would win the day.
    Americans fought dirty and won: too bad for the Brits.

    That’s how it works: you do whatever you have to do and muster whatever unfair advantage you can to defeat the invaders of your homeland.
    There is no Marquess of Queensberry rules in war.
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  81. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AP

    What has the Russian state ever done that neighboring states should have good feelings about it
     
    Russia has had, in general, a bad impact on countries to its west but a good impact on countries to its east and south.

    How so? Didn’t they help introduce and support ommunism in China, North Korea, etc.?

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    • Replies: @AP
    I was thinking more along the lines of Central Asia, Russia's Far East, and the Caucuses, areas under Russian rule

    Places such as Kazakhstan or even Uzbekistan are more developed and better places than, for example, Pakistan. Siberian natives have had it much better than North American Indians. Afghanistan under the Soviets was better than afterwards. I don't think one can say that on balance Russian influence in its non-European "near abroad" has been bad. Europe was another story...

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  82. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AP

    Germany had most of continental Europe working for its war effort. And besides that there were Hungarians and Romanians fighting for it at Stalingrad, Spaniards at Leningrad, etc. It didn’t fight the USSR alone.
     
    Germany, Germany has as allies Hungary, Romania and Italy. Although the rest of Europe was occupied and required some troops to control. I suspect the number of soldiers Germany had tied up in the West for occupation (not to mention fighting on the other front) exceeded Hungarian, Romanian and Italian help.

    So actually, the USSR was fighting about 90% of Germany, a country with half its population. And it didn't win easily, it won at a cost of tens of millions of dead, and indeed might have lost if winter had come a few weeks later, and/or a different strategy was employed.

    So Russia, with half the USSR's population, vs. USA, with more than double Russia's population, probably wouldn't be a contest (and again, assume UK at least, plus Poland would be on USA's side).

    Again, no way this happens due to nuclear deterrent and due to the fact that total war would be madness that nobody wants.

    And, I am not speaking of occupation but military victory. Short of genocide there is no way USA would be able to occupy and hold a country of Russia's size and population.

    You wouldn’t need to occupy and hold all of Russia. Just the Volga and its valleys.

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  83. inertial says:
    @Jaakko Raipala
    Well the Russians founded our state for us. They allowed us to build schools for ethnic Finns which the Germanic Herrenvolk would have never allowed (and they fought bitterly against it as the Russian conquest initially left the Swedish and German minorities still in control of everything). The Russians let us begin building courts, a legal system and a Finnish administration which the Germanics would have never allowed. The Russians built railroads, despite objections that connecting inland areas to the world would mean that inland Finns would no longer be under domination of coastal Germanics.

    The Russians imported Scottish and English experts and capitalists to start the industrial revolution in inland Finland, despite objections from our own lovable Germanics. When the Englishmen tried to attack Russia through Finland during the Crimean War we fought against them despite their promises of supporting separatism and we were actually rewarded for loyalty, something unheard of under the Swedes. The Russians let ethnic Finns trade with foreign countries while the Swedish policy was to hold us down (one side of my family became instantly very wealthy because of this - thousands of hectares of land had not been worth much in Sweden because Finns couldn't get into the export business but in Russia tar and timber to England became a very profitable business).

    When the old capital burned down in the 1820s the Russians built up Helsinki as a new capital for us as an imitation of St Petersburg (a pretty nice thing to do considering that Tsar Peter nearly hunted us to extinction and enslaved a good part of the survivors to build the first St Petersburg). When Alexander II decided to have a democracy experiment (one of the rewards for the Crimean War), ethnic Finns were actually given some representation, something that greatly offended the Swedes and Germans who then spread their racial stuff around Europe about the threat of the Mongolian barbarian empire where the emperor actually convenes with wild people like Finns.

    It's too bad things went the wrong way since Nikolai II and the Bolsheviks, but Finns would be a primitive people living in dirt if it weren't for the relatively competent 19th century Russian Empire and especially the lucky break thanks to the Crimean War and Alexander II. I wish we could celebrate the return of Crimea with them given the connection but too much bad happened after that and Russia isn't developing in a promising direction. But the list of positive things Russia did for us is long and certainly much longer than the list of things that the West did for us.

    When it comes to Western russophobes and russophiles, it seems like nearly everyone has wrong reasons for their like or dislike because either they don't know anything about Russia and they're projecting their wishes or fears (or both) on it or they're listening to people who have an entirely false image in the West such as Swedes, the former tyrants of the north who are still bitter that the Russians put an end to their evil.

    Ironically, the same deal was initially given to the Poles. A kingdom in personal union with the Czar but otherwise semi-independent; cultural autonomy, non-interference in the internal matters, and even a Constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and so on. A Constitution in that tie and place was unheard of, and in fact granting it to the Poles causes a lot of outrage in Russia, among both liberals and conservatives.

    Meanwhile, in the German part of Poland, Polish education and language was suppressed, the land was flooded by German settlers, all Polishness was being eradicated post haste. The situation in the Austrian part of Poland was better, but not much better. So, the brave Poles rose in revolt… against the side that treated them the best. But that’s human nature for you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zjerzy
    Poland didn't get the same deal as Finland. Couldn't. Finland was a backwater without strategic importance. So tsars could let themselves be soft and cuddly there. But Russia couldn't tolerate semi-liberal autonomous Poland – that was the part of the empire that connected them to Europe. Future wars would be waged there. So no deal, Poles.

    And believe it or not Russians weren't the best oppressors (that would be Austrians). The Constitution you speak of – Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland from 1815 was in force only for a few years. Almost from the start those liberal laws were broken and circumvented by bureaucracy. Russian standards of governance (whip and fist) were soon implemented, political promises were broken and situation quickly deteriorated. The result? A few uprisings, Siberia got a lot more inhabitants, many Russian bureaucrats got themselves new landed property.

    Meanwhile those bad Germans offered the rule of law and some economic progress. Eradication of Polish language and culture was tried but in the second half of the century, when Prussians realized that Poles don’t intend to Germanize by themselves and can even compete with them on economic ground. But even at their worst those XIX century Germans were never so oppressive as Russians.
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  84. Fredrik says:
    @Anonymous
    Interesting in light of contemporary Sweden's reputation for liberalism. I knew this reputation was a bit misleading in light of things such as Sweden's imperial past and the relative popularity of fascism there before WW2, but I didn't know they were that hostile to the Finns. Why were the Swedes and Germanics so hostile to the Finns?

    They were not any more than they were hostile to the Congolese. Finland as part of Sweden worked a lot like that if you wanted to become something you had to become Swedish which is no different to the assimilation processes in Belgium or France or other countries. And people did.

    Btw,
    the ones that created the Finnish culture and the Finnish written language and in general were behind the Finnish revival were influent Swedish speakers(Swedes if you like). There weren’t many schools for ordinary people anywhere in the world during the 19th century (they arrived in Sweden 1842) so painting this like some genocidal policy is incredibly stupid.

    Some people really like their inferiority complex. It’s quite common to hear drunk Finns talk about all Swedish men being Homo. Swedish men on the other hand rarely think about Finland unless we discuss why so many Finnish women marry browns and blacks. In fact, a lot of the women in Sweden who’ve hooked up with browns and blacks are Finnish immigrants or the children of such.

    Btw again,
    the ones that ensured Finns weren’t serfs like Russian peasants were the Swedes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The Finns weren't migrants to Sweden though, no? So wouldn't it be different from the assimilation process of migrants to Belgium and France?
    , @ogunsiron
    I find your comment interesting because it echoes that of another swedish commenter somewhere who gave me the impression that the swedes were acting the way they're acting partly out of an incredible sense of superiority. Both you and that other commenter remarked on how actual swedes do not in any significant number mix with the brown and black immigrants.

    It must be weird for all those somalis to reconcile the official anti-racist propaganda with the real life in which the swedes avoid them because the swedes view the brown and blacks as tasteless trash.
    danish society.
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  85. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Fredrik
    They were not any more than they were hostile to the Congolese. Finland as part of Sweden worked a lot like that if you wanted to become something you had to become Swedish which is no different to the assimilation processes in Belgium or France or other countries. And people did.

    Btw,
    the ones that created the Finnish culture and the Finnish written language and in general were behind the Finnish revival were influent Swedish speakers(Swedes if you like). There weren't many schools for ordinary people anywhere in the world during the 19th century (they arrived in Sweden 1842) so painting this like some genocidal policy is incredibly stupid.

    Some people really like their inferiority complex. It's quite common to hear drunk Finns talk about all Swedish men being Homo. Swedish men on the other hand rarely think about Finland unless we discuss why so many Finnish women marry browns and blacks. In fact, a lot of the women in Sweden who've hooked up with browns and blacks are Finnish immigrants or the children of such.

    Btw again,
    the ones that ensured Finns weren't serfs like Russian peasants were the Swedes.

    The Finns weren’t migrants to Sweden though, no? So wouldn’t it be different from the assimilation process of migrants to Belgium and France?

    Read More
    • Replies: @ogunsiron
    I don't think Fredrik is talking about immigration at all.
    He's probably talking about the way that a congolese or another african could become a full status french citizen (and maybe even a frenchman) during the colonial era. In colonial France, very capable (and outwardly non subversise) natives were allowed to receive french citizenship and to some extent they were allowed to marry into french society.

    It seems to me that the Belgians were much more paternalistic about their black subjects though.
    The belgian colony of the Congo was famous for not having bothered to educate even one native to university level by the time of independence.
    , @Mitleser
    It did not make a difference.
    Finland was an integral part of the Kingdom of Sweden.
    If Sweden had retained it, Finish would have become a language spoken by a minority in Finland.
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  86. 5371 says:
    @AP
    I agree with most of what you said, but:

    1) A localized, limited hi-tech clash in the Baltics or a rump Ukraine that joins NATO in which Russian and NATO forces engage each other directly, but refrain from incursions into each other’s territory proper. Russia will not be able to win now, most likely, but in between continued scaling down of NATO armies and Russia’s military modernization, that might change by the 2020s. Just by dint of geography, Russia is in a much more favorable position.
     
    I agree that western Euro NATO armies are scaling down and indeed have scaled down; the German military, I've heard, is in shambles. But not all of NATO is declining.

    My best friend is a Pole from an elite political family in that country. From what I've heard, Poland's elite have concluded that they cannot rely on the West (as in 1939 - Ukraine has been a lesson for them that has really consolidated opinion in this respect; an unintended consequence for Russia) and are planning a massive military buildup of their own. Obviously Poles are not planning to march on Moscow as in the 17th century, but they do have contingency plans to take out Kalinigrad (I was told this operation would only take a week), would defend the Baltics, and a a hypothetical Ukraine that has really consolidated with the West (it is not there yet, of course). Poles are not in awe of Russian military prowess as some westerners are - they remember fighting the Soviets to a draw in 1920 and often feel that they would have fared okay against the Soviets in 1939 had it been a 1:1 war.

    Poland is not going to be a superpower but it could easily become another Turkey; that is, a very formidable regional military power capable of defending its interests in its neighborhood - one that overlaps Russia's.

    Why are you using a different handle now? Your nonsense is so ridiculous that I recognised it immediately, “Dr. Preobrazhensky”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    No facts or arguments, only an insult.

    And, you probably shouldn't be engaging in discussions of posting histories:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/freeman-dyson-scientist-spies-arent-so-bad/#comment-909082

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  87. Tom Welsh says:
    @Anonymous
    It's done in a more sophisticated and legalistic fashion:

    http://nypost.com/2015/05/03/clinton-cash-is-a-blistering-indictment-of-hill-and-bills-behavior/

    The details of the Clinton operation vary, but the overall M.O. is fairly consistent, he writes.

    One: Dodgy rich businessman, often a foreigner in the middle of a mega-deal in some corrupt country, possibly one run by a dictator, writes a check that buys him the status of friend of Bill Clinton (FOB). The check is payable to the Clinton Foundation or to Bill himself, as an honorarium for a meaningless idealistic speech that is essentially a homily at a whorehouse.

    Two: When the cameras are turned off, Bill receives ultra-luxurious travel on someone else’s dime and attends a lavish party in his honor held by some dictator or shady businessman connected to the new FOB. Talks go on behind closed doors.

    Three: Millions of dollars of donations start flowing into the Clinton Foundation from the FOB and associates.

    Fourth: Potential roadblocks to the deal in the Senate or the State Department melt away. The business deal goes through. The new Clinton friend gets very, very rich.

    Fifth: Hillary forgets to disclose these donations.

    Six: The press doesn’t notice what just happened.
     

    It’s the tragedy of human government that laws and regulations can accomplish nothing by themselves. The other necessary factors is people who are willing to obey the laws consistently, regardless of their own personal interests, because they understand that everyone will be better off in the long run that way. The Romans in particular valued such civic virtue very highly: they loved stories of men who punished their own families (even occasionally having their sons executed) in order to uphold the law and for the good of the republic.

    It seems to me that respect for law has been rapidly eaten away in the past 40-50 years by, essentially, a rising tide of money. To adopt a chemical analogy, money is very nearly a universal solvent, like a strong acid. It seems almost impossible to erect any barriers that can contain it or prevent its spread.

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  88. “Sour grapes?” Not Aesop, but Jeremiah: The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.

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  89. Tom Welsh says:
    @Tomi
    I don't really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you're looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of "decadent" Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It's actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

    “…current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control”.

    It’s hard to take your comment seriously when you permit yourself such wild exaggeration.

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  90. Tom Welsh says:
    @Priss Factor
    "Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power."

    I think this had more to do with Soviet totalitarian power.

    It developed the means of massive central command and the most ruthless tactics in forcing Russian men to keep advancing against all odds.
    The men were driven less by courage against Germans than by fear of officers behind them ordered to kill anyone who refused to advance.

    Russian men weren't good fighters in WWI because there was no effective central command.

    Also, if USSR had been the size of France, it would have lost WWII.
    Hitler was right about the door. He was wrong about the size of the house.

    As for the French invasion, the French lost simply because they didn't have enough food.

    “…the French lost simply because they didn’t have enough food”.

    And their roads were too good. But actually, they also lost because they didn’t fight well enough.

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    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "And their roads were too good. But actually, they also lost because they didn’t fight well enough."

    Also because Russians eventually pulled back and didn't fight at all. The elements finished off the French.
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  91. Tom Welsh says:
    @unit472
    The last time there was high intensity combat between two well equipped conventional armies was the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Israel won pretty convincingly although the US had to airlift additional munitions to Israel for them to keep up their offensive tempo.

    How relevant that 1973 war is to today is dubious, the US military doesn't even buy main battle tanks anymore, and analogies to WW2 absurd because nations today will never be stronger than on the first day of hostilities. There will be no 'Arsenal of Democracy' or moving tank factories behind the Urals in order to build up forces for an offensive a year or two in the future. Precision guided munitions mean you don't need 1000 bombers to take out an industrial plant.

    Russia's problem is that it has fallen industrially and technologically further behind the west than the USSR ever was. Soviet equipment wasn't as good as Western armaments but it was close and they had a lot of it. Migs were good enough in Korea. They weren't over Lebanon in the 1980's and what Russia would use today against F-22's and B-2s is not clear. As mentioned the US no longer sees the tank as a viable weapons platform as it is relatively slow, vulnerable to low cost, lightweight, guided missiles and it requires an enormous logistical tail to keep a 70 ton, fuel and spare parts hungry piece of machinery operating. The US has decided that helicopters and drones are better than armor. Faster, greater range with just as much firepower. Russia still relies on armored formations for its combat power.

    Er, exactly which nation is it that has just been driving large columns of tanks and other armoured vehicles around Eastern Europe in an attempt to bring about a provocation? Not Russia.

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    • Replies: @unit472
    The US Army has prepositioned 150 Abrams tanks and Bradley armored fighting vehicles in the Baltics but, for the reasons I mentioned, they didn't drive them around Eastern Europe. Tracked vehicles don't do well on long road trips. That's why they are brought to a battle on ships, trains or trucks.

    They chew up roads, damage bridges and break down themselves besides the huge amounts of fuel they use. Now the US did send a column of wheeled Stryker armored personnel carriers that had been on joint exercises in the Baltics across Poland back to their bases in Germany as these kind of vehicles are capable of long road marches and do not weigh so much that they damage the local highways.
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  92. Avery says:
    @Anonymous
    It's not just revisionists. Mainstream historians also argue that Hitler's incompetence on the Eastern front was a factor. He was also betrayed by his generals.

    Napoleon lost because of the Russian winter and scorched earth policy. The Russians didn't seriously engage the Grande Armée. They relied on the weather and destroyed their own country.

    {Mainstream historians also argue that Hitler’s incompetence on the Eastern front was a factor.}

    Everything is a factor in war.
    As I pointed out before, Stalin’s insanity and incompetence was a far greater factor in costing the Red Army millions of wasted troops.
    Hitler’s incompetence was more than balanced by Stalin’s.
    And the so-called ‘mainstream historians’ are all in the West: correct ?
    Western historians have an incentive to minimize the Red Army’s role in defeating the Nazi war machine. It is not palatable to admit that the same Wehrmacht which rolled over the Western militaries (including Brits) was crushed by the Red Army.
    It can’t be that Russian generals and troops fought better: it _must_ be something else, like the winter, or incompetence…..

    { He was also betrayed by his generals.}
    Yes, those who lose always find some plausible excuse.

    { The Russians didn’t seriously engage the Grande Armée.}

    The battle of Borodino has been described as the greatest battle in human history up to that date, involving nearly a quarter of a million soldiers: I’d say that is serious engagement.
    After the inconclusive battle, where both sides lost a third of their forces on the battlefield, Kutusov wisely decided to draw the French in and bleed them slowly by pinprick attacks. He was criticized for the cautious approach at the time, but was proven right: of the approx 700,000 Grande Armée, only about 100,000 returned home alive.
    Napoleon lost his most experienced troops and officers: his military would never be the same.
    Russia won, and Napoleon lost.

    About the “winter” canard that Western revisionists always bring up to explain defeats in Russia:
    Russian/Soviet troops had to fight in the same temperature and conditions as Germans and French.
    Yeah, it’s their country and they know it better. I know where everything is in my house: an intruder has the disadvantage.
    British complained that Americans were not fighting fair and were sniping their officers while hidden.
    Brits of course would prefer Americans meet them on an open field so their superior training, discipline, experience would win the day.
    Americans fought dirty and won: too bad for the Brits.

    That’s how it works: you do whatever you have to do and muster whatever unfair advantage you can to defeat the invaders of your homeland.
    There is no Marquess of Queensberry rules in war.

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    • Replies: @IBC

    It can’t be that Russian generals and troops fought better: it _must_ be something else, like the winter, or incompetence…..
     
    What's your take on the USSR's Winter War with Finland? Home field advantage? Or was it all Stalin's fault? Yes, I know that Finland lost a lot of territory, but the Soviets certainly had to pay a high price for it.

    By the way, I'm not particularly pro or anti-Russian, though I am partial to Russian music and art and also appreciate the great scale of the land itself.
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  93. AP says:
    @5371
    Why are you using a different handle now? Your nonsense is so ridiculous that I recognised it immediately, "Dr. Preobrazhensky".

    No facts or arguments, only an insult.

    And, you probably shouldn’t be engaging in discussions of posting histories:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/freeman-dyson-scientist-spies-arent-so-bad/#comment-909082

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    • Replies: @5371
    Communicating the supposed fantasies of some Pole (who might well be imaginary himself) does not itself qualify as providing either fact or argument.
    More importantly, you didn't answer the question.
    , @Mitleser
    And a question you refused to answer, "Dr. Preobrazhensky".
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  94. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:
    @Tom Welsh
    "...the French lost simply because they didn’t have enough food".

    And their roads were too good. But actually, they also lost because they didn't fight well enough.

    “And their roads were too good. But actually, they also lost because they didn’t fight well enough.”

    Also because Russians eventually pulled back and didn’t fight at all. The elements finished off the French.

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  95. 5371 says:
    @AP
    No facts or arguments, only an insult.

    And, you probably shouldn't be engaging in discussions of posting histories:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/freeman-dyson-scientist-spies-arent-so-bad/#comment-909082

    Communicating the supposed fantasies of some Pole (who might well be imaginary himself) does not itself qualify as providing either fact or argument.
    More importantly, you didn’t answer the question.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I owe you no answers, abusive troll whose posting history indicates almost nothing but rude insults of commenters:

    http://www.unz.com/comments/commenter/5371/
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  96. unit472 says:
    @Tom Welsh
    Er, exactly which nation is it that has just been driving large columns of tanks and other armoured vehicles around Eastern Europe in an attempt to bring about a provocation? Not Russia.

    The US Army has prepositioned 150 Abrams tanks and Bradley armored fighting vehicles in the Baltics but, for the reasons I mentioned, they didn’t drive them around Eastern Europe. Tracked vehicles don’t do well on long road trips. That’s why they are brought to a battle on ships, trains or trucks.

    They chew up roads, damage bridges and break down themselves besides the huge amounts of fuel they use. Now the US did send a column of wheeled Stryker armored personnel carriers that had been on joint exercises in the Baltics across Poland back to their bases in Germany as these kind of vehicles are capable of long road marches and do not weigh so much that they damage the local highways.

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  97. Zjerzy says:

    “After all that’s happened, I don’t see how eastern Ukraine will ever accept being ruled by Kiev. It’s like a marriage that has crossed the line between verbal abuse and physical violence.”

    Yes. Indeed. And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow? This marriage went beyond physical abuse, deep into cold grave.

    Actually the answer is simple – cheap gas, lots of tanks, a bit of repressions, some disappearances. History gives the answers. And regular, good Russians so lovingly pictured by author will again sleep soundly knowing that borders of the empire are again secure.

    Scratch that last sentence. Borders of the empire have never been safe. Fascists, Georgians, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians are skulking on the borders sharpening knives, ever ready to drink Russian blood.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Ukraine has not been ruled by Moscow since 1991.
    And considering how bad Ukraine turned out, the Kremlin would not like to rule this mess.
    , @Robert Bruce
    Take your pic Russia or the US man? IF I were you, I would take Russia(If you are Ukrainian). At least the Russians have some kind of common bond with you, and although they are far from perfect, they have been subsidizing your economy for quite some time, while with Ukraine's new found status as being a US vassal state your economy is being hollowed out and your women if they are lucky might make it to the US East Coast as strippers. Ukraine chose the worse of the two evils economically and now you are going to be sucked dry by the vampire that is the US of A.
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  98. @Kiza
    "Without a higher purpose, the average Russian man often retreats into indolence, alcoholism, and self-destructive behavior. Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power."

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia. Other good observations have been expanded upon by Anatoly Karlin, but the quote above has not. I find this point more important than all other. The US elite, flanked by its EU vassals, may foolishly stumble into a war against Russia. Following the media build up of a typical Western preposterous propaganda, a shooting war is almost certain. I have been following the Western war enterprise (yes, it is a regular enterprise) and the propaganda-to-war pattern is crystal clear. But, as Frost and the commentators here state, the US political and bankster Anglo-Jewish elite has close to zero understanding of their Russian opponents. Germany and Russia have fought several wars and they know each other very well, but US does not at all. The British have had the last war against Russia in 1853, the Crimean/Easter War. The US Anglo-Jewish elite never has. Even the idea that US can confront Russia militarily and remain standing is unimaginable stupidity and madness combined, not only because of Russian nuclear weapons. Simply, Hitler had much more on his side against Russia than these US stupidos, the would be kings of the World. The US elite is not capable of managing the US properly, but they want to control the World. Pure megalomania.

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia

    When I read this article, I wondered if it was the same Peter Frost. Now I wonder if he has schizophrenia. His anthropology stinks in my estimation and yet here he was quite astute.

    If there is any ‘real’ war with Russia, likely tactical nuclear weapons could come into play. The Russian military doctrine calls for their employ in event of overwhelming technological or battlefield disadvantage. What’s more:

    A different development is discernable in the 2010 Russian doctrine.[4] In contrast to the developments in the US, Russia appears to expand the category of cases in which it will resort to nuclear force: Whether the threat is conventional or unconventional, massive attacks against Russia or her allies may occasion resort to nuclear strikes. The approach echoes an expansive aspect found in the French doctrine from 2008, which suggests that all options are on the table irrespective of the provenance or form of the initial aggression.[5] China has persistently maintained a no-first use posture.[6] However, a deliberate ambiguity in the Chinese doctrinal approach[7] has triggered speculations that China’s 2012 White Paper redirected a purely retaliatory approach to one in which China will ‘take all measures necessary to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial sovereignty’.

    http://nwp.ilpi.org/?p=2763

    ^ What the above clearly implies, juxtaposed to a USA doctrine disingenuously downplays use of nuclear weapons (while retaining a ‘right’ to ‘pre-emptive’ 1st strike) is, all law of war is antiquated, in fact there can no longer be any ‘rational’ justification for war in any respect. Time to tell General Breedlove at NATO to ‘grow up, the games of cowboys and Indians are no more.’

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    • Replies: @Sean
    If wars could be fought with 'tactical' nukes there would be no need for the massively expensive conventional forces that major powers have. Everyone wants to deter by being thought willing to use nukes against a conventional attack, but no one would. The Russians have a load of tactical nukes, but they are generally are thought to be for numerical weakness in relation to the Chinese army, it's a prestige - bluff thing, and China is getting all it wants from Russia with access to Russian natural resources now. The big winner in all this is China.
    , @Kiza
    Hello Ronald,

    I am glad that it least one knowledgeable and smart individual understands what I understand so clearly - that a shooting war, even a nuclear war, is much more likely than the zombie commentators on unz.com recognize. What makes me so uncomfortable is that the majority of the Western population thinks exactly the same - our "leaders" can war-monger as much as they like, spout lies and rubbish, do huge military exercises on the border of "aggressive" Russia, apply economic sanctions on Russia (an act of war), yet somehow all this will remain under control and Russia will somehow collapse on its own ( just like Hitler's: "We just need to kick the rotten door down..."). I ask - under the control of which idiots is all this war mongering, is it the same idiots who are totally wrecking all Western economies together by printing money like crazy? Wherever I look in the West there is incompetence, corruption, stealing and scheming. And yet, somehow, these wrecks of nations will be able to control their own aggression against Russia and China somehow???????

    Good luck with that.

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  99. Zjerzy says:
    @inertial
    Ironically, the same deal was initially given to the Poles. A kingdom in personal union with the Czar but otherwise semi-independent; cultural autonomy, non-interference in the internal matters, and even a Constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and so on. A Constitution in that tie and place was unheard of, and in fact granting it to the Poles causes a lot of outrage in Russia, among both liberals and conservatives.

    Meanwhile, in the German part of Poland, Polish education and language was suppressed, the land was flooded by German settlers, all Polishness was being eradicated post haste. The situation in the Austrian part of Poland was better, but not much better. So, the brave Poles rose in revolt... against the side that treated them the best. But that's human nature for you.

    Poland didn’t get the same deal as Finland. Couldn’t. Finland was a backwater without strategic importance. So tsars could let themselves be soft and cuddly there. But Russia couldn’t tolerate semi-liberal autonomous Poland – that was the part of the empire that connected them to Europe. Future wars would be waged there. So no deal, Poles.

    And believe it or not Russians weren’t the best oppressors (that would be Austrians). The Constitution you speak of – Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland from 1815 was in force only for a few years. Almost from the start those liberal laws were broken and circumvented by bureaucracy. Russian standards of governance (whip and fist) were soon implemented, political promises were broken and situation quickly deteriorated. The result? A few uprisings, Siberia got a lot more inhabitants, many Russian bureaucrats got themselves new landed property.

    Meanwhile those bad Germans offered the rule of law and some economic progress. Eradication of Polish language and culture was tried but in the second half of the century, when Prussians realized that Poles don’t intend to Germanize by themselves and can even compete with them on economic ground. But even at their worst those XIX century Germans were never so oppressive as Russians.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Conspicuously lacking from these outpourings is any acknowledgement of the oppressions exercised by the szlachta on peasants unfortunate enough to be entrusted to their mercies, which had the natural consequence that the latter, including ethnically Polish peasants, had no interest in restoring the Polish state and were happy to work with any authorities - Prussian, Austrian or Russian - against their oppressors. But then one wouldn't expect any historical realism from someone who ignores the difference between the parts of the Ukraine.
    , @inertial
    That's why I said "initially". After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of "Ukrainian" ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others') Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it. The past real or imagined wrong are mere rationalizations. The funny thing about it, this may well change in the future. The EU membership hasn't worked out all that hotly for Poland, it's economy has been basically treading water. On the other hand, Russian GDP has already caught up to that of Poland (on the PPP basis.) It may well exceed it in the future. Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It's possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.
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  100. AP says:
    @5371
    Communicating the supposed fantasies of some Pole (who might well be imaginary himself) does not itself qualify as providing either fact or argument.
    More importantly, you didn't answer the question.

    I owe you no answers, abusive troll whose posting history indicates almost nothing but rude insults of commenters:

    http://www.unz.com/comments/commenter/5371/

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  101. AP says:
    @Anonymous
    How so? Didn't they help introduce and support ommunism in China, North Korea, etc.?

    I was thinking more along the lines of Central Asia, Russia’s Far East, and the Caucuses, areas under Russian rule

    Places such as Kazakhstan or even Uzbekistan are more developed and better places than, for example, Pakistan. Siberian natives have had it much better than North American Indians. Afghanistan under the Soviets was better than afterwards. I don’t think one can say that on balance Russian influence in its non-European “near abroad” has been bad. Europe was another story…

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  102. If people want to form their own, fact-based opinion on the last year or so in Ukraine then they should have a look at the hours of video footage at YouTube under the title: “Roses Have Thorns”.

    We can all post hysterically about which Russian stole whose great-grandfather’s bicycle, whether Napoleon could beat up Paul Wolfowitz, whether Putin is a drunken Stalinist or we could try to stick to the issue at hand: whether Russia is the cause of the crisis in Ukraine and therefore a bear that must be “contained”.

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    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West

    If people want to form their own, fact-based opinion on the last year or so in Ukraine then they should have a look at the hours of video footage at YouTube under the title: “Roses Have Thorns”
     
    Here's the link to part one of 'Roses Have Thorns' (with links to the rest of the series)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwVUp4IWEKw

    Here's my separate open source intelligence analysis (series)

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/08/17/ukraine-for-dummies/

    Here's former CIA officer Philip Agee's exposé of the USA's (CIA) 'Color Revolutions'

    http://colorrevolutionsandgeopolitics.blogspot.be/2011/04/from-archives-philip-agee-terrorism-and.html

    ^
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  103. 5371 says:
    @Zjerzy
    Poland didn't get the same deal as Finland. Couldn't. Finland was a backwater without strategic importance. So tsars could let themselves be soft and cuddly there. But Russia couldn't tolerate semi-liberal autonomous Poland – that was the part of the empire that connected them to Europe. Future wars would be waged there. So no deal, Poles.

    And believe it or not Russians weren't the best oppressors (that would be Austrians). The Constitution you speak of – Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland from 1815 was in force only for a few years. Almost from the start those liberal laws were broken and circumvented by bureaucracy. Russian standards of governance (whip and fist) were soon implemented, political promises were broken and situation quickly deteriorated. The result? A few uprisings, Siberia got a lot more inhabitants, many Russian bureaucrats got themselves new landed property.

    Meanwhile those bad Germans offered the rule of law and some economic progress. Eradication of Polish language and culture was tried but in the second half of the century, when Prussians realized that Poles don’t intend to Germanize by themselves and can even compete with them on economic ground. But even at their worst those XIX century Germans were never so oppressive as Russians.

    Conspicuously lacking from these outpourings is any acknowledgement of the oppressions exercised by the szlachta on peasants unfortunate enough to be entrusted to their mercies, which had the natural consequence that the latter, including ethnically Polish peasants, had no interest in restoring the Polish state and were happy to work with any authorities – Prussian, Austrian or Russian – against their oppressors. But then one wouldn’t expect any historical realism from someone who ignores the difference between the parts of the Ukraine.

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy
    I don't even where to start… Why should I write anything about oppression of peasants? I was disagreeing with a post about comparing Finland to Poland under Partitions in XIX century. I didn't write either about oppression of women and gays by Catholic patriarchal Polish Culture, nor about the fate of Jews and space aliens from Mars. That's an oversight. Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?

    Even your reference to oppressed peasants is mostly incorrect. It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.
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  104. ogunsiron says:
    @Anonymous
    The Finns weren't migrants to Sweden though, no? So wouldn't it be different from the assimilation process of migrants to Belgium and France?

    I don’t think Fredrik is talking about immigration at all.
    He’s probably talking about the way that a congolese or another african could become a full status french citizen (and maybe even a frenchman) during the colonial era. In colonial France, very capable (and outwardly non subversise) natives were allowed to receive french citizenship and to some extent they were allowed to marry into french society.

    It seems to me that the Belgians were much more paternalistic about their black subjects though.
    The belgian colony of the Congo was famous for not having bothered to educate even one native to university level by the time of independence.

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  105. ogunsiron says:
    @Fredrik
    They were not any more than they were hostile to the Congolese. Finland as part of Sweden worked a lot like that if you wanted to become something you had to become Swedish which is no different to the assimilation processes in Belgium or France or other countries. And people did.

    Btw,
    the ones that created the Finnish culture and the Finnish written language and in general were behind the Finnish revival were influent Swedish speakers(Swedes if you like). There weren't many schools for ordinary people anywhere in the world during the 19th century (they arrived in Sweden 1842) so painting this like some genocidal policy is incredibly stupid.

    Some people really like their inferiority complex. It's quite common to hear drunk Finns talk about all Swedish men being Homo. Swedish men on the other hand rarely think about Finland unless we discuss why so many Finnish women marry browns and blacks. In fact, a lot of the women in Sweden who've hooked up with browns and blacks are Finnish immigrants or the children of such.

    Btw again,
    the ones that ensured Finns weren't serfs like Russian peasants were the Swedes.

    I find your comment interesting because it echoes that of another swedish commenter somewhere who gave me the impression that the swedes were acting the way they’re acting partly out of an incredible sense of superiority. Both you and that other commenter remarked on how actual swedes do not in any significant number mix with the brown and black immigrants.

    It must be weird for all those somalis to reconcile the official anti-racist propaganda with the real life in which the swedes avoid them because the swedes view the brown and blacks as tasteless trash.
    danish society.

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy

    I find your comment interesting because it echoes that of another swedish commenter somewhere who gave me the impression that the swedes were acting the way they’re acting partly out of an incredible sense of superiority.
     
    That restores my faith in humanity. Imagine if Swedes were acting the way they are acting because of true love and compassion toward immigrants. It turns out this is only status game, to show other Europeans that they are more compassionate and evolved.

    Also, handicap principle comes to mind: doing something costly to show others that your adaptation to the environment and fitness are excellent.
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  106. @Cagey Beast
    If people want to form their own, fact-based opinion on the last year or so in Ukraine then they should have a look at the hours of video footage at YouTube under the title: "Roses Have Thorns".

    We can all post hysterically about which Russian stole whose great-grandfather's bicycle, whether Napoleon could beat up Paul Wolfowitz, whether Putin is a drunken Stalinist or we could try to stick to the issue at hand: whether Russia is the cause of the crisis in Ukraine and therefore a bear that must be "contained".

    If people want to form their own, fact-based opinion on the last year or so in Ukraine then they should have a look at the hours of video footage at YouTube under the title: “Roses Have Thorns”

    Here’s the link to part one of ‘Roses Have Thorns’ (with links to the rest of the series)

    Here’s my separate open source intelligence analysis (series)

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/08/17/ukraine-for-dummies/

    Here’s former CIA officer Philip Agee’s exposé of the USA’s (CIA) ‘Color Revolutions’

    http://colorrevolutionsandgeopolitics.blogspot.be/2011/04/from-archives-philip-agee-terrorism-and.html

    ^

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  107. Mitleser says:
    @Anonymous
    The Finns weren't migrants to Sweden though, no? So wouldn't it be different from the assimilation process of migrants to Belgium and France?

    It did not make a difference.
    Finland was an integral part of the Kingdom of Sweden.
    If Sweden had retained it, Finish would have become a language spoken by a minority in Finland.

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  108. Mitleser says:
    @AP
    No facts or arguments, only an insult.

    And, you probably shouldn't be engaging in discussions of posting histories:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/freeman-dyson-scientist-spies-arent-so-bad/#comment-909082

    And a question you refused to answer, “Dr. Preobrazhensky”.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I use different names in different forums. AP was used for years on Karlin's blog, another one was used with Disqus where I interacted with Steve Sailer. Worlds collided here on Unz review where both contribute now. Ideas and facts are more important than handles - any problem?
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  109. Zjerzy says:
    @5371
    Conspicuously lacking from these outpourings is any acknowledgement of the oppressions exercised by the szlachta on peasants unfortunate enough to be entrusted to their mercies, which had the natural consequence that the latter, including ethnically Polish peasants, had no interest in restoring the Polish state and were happy to work with any authorities - Prussian, Austrian or Russian - against their oppressors. But then one wouldn't expect any historical realism from someone who ignores the difference between the parts of the Ukraine.

    I don’t even where to start… Why should I write anything about oppression of peasants? I was disagreeing with a post about comparing Finland to Poland under Partitions in XIX century. I didn’t write either about oppression of women and gays by Catholic patriarchal Polish Culture, nor about the fate of Jews and space aliens from Mars. That’s an oversight. Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?

    Even your reference to oppressed peasants is mostly incorrect. It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.

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    • Replies: @5371
    [Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?]
    From your previous comment:
    [And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow?]
    You're welcome.

    [It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.]
    In fairyland, perhaps. On earth, it was due to both Germany and Russia losing WW1.
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  110. @AP
    Correct. Fixed costs are very low in Russia. In addition to not having to pay mortgages or rent, and having very low utility costs, Russians generally don't have to worry about university tuition for their kids. I don't know anyone worrying about saving for private pensions, either. So essentially everything they earn that isn't food, is spending money. This is why one sees people with seemingly not large incomes by Western standards (more than those of pensioners, of course) wearing nice fur coats or Italian shoes.

    Actually, utility costs are no longer very low in Russia. They come to around 1/5-1/4 of the median wage which is hardly negligible. My mother’s pension covers them with not too much left over. Of course, my mother is not yet 60 and does not live on her pension alone, and pensions increase with age, but it is still significant.

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  111. Mitleser says:
    @Zjerzy
    "After all that’s happened, I don’t see how eastern Ukraine will ever accept being ruled by Kiev. It’s like a marriage that has crossed the line between verbal abuse and physical violence."

    Yes. Indeed. And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow? This marriage went beyond physical abuse, deep into cold grave.

    Actually the answer is simple - cheap gas, lots of tanks, a bit of repressions, some disappearances. History gives the answers. And regular, good Russians so lovingly pictured by author will again sleep soundly knowing that borders of the empire are again secure.

    Scratch that last sentence. Borders of the empire have never been safe. Fascists, Georgians, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians are skulking on the borders sharpening knives, ever ready to drink Russian blood.

    Ukraine has not been ruled by Moscow since 1991.
    And considering how bad Ukraine turned out, the Kremlin would not like to rule this mess.

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy
    If so - why do they want Ukraine back?
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  112. Zjerzy says:
    @ogunsiron
    I find your comment interesting because it echoes that of another swedish commenter somewhere who gave me the impression that the swedes were acting the way they're acting partly out of an incredible sense of superiority. Both you and that other commenter remarked on how actual swedes do not in any significant number mix with the brown and black immigrants.

    It must be weird for all those somalis to reconcile the official anti-racist propaganda with the real life in which the swedes avoid them because the swedes view the brown and blacks as tasteless trash.
    danish society.

    I find your comment interesting because it echoes that of another swedish commenter somewhere who gave me the impression that the swedes were acting the way they’re acting partly out of an incredible sense of superiority.

    That restores my faith in humanity. Imagine if Swedes were acting the way they are acting because of true love and compassion toward immigrants. It turns out this is only status game, to show other Europeans that they are more compassionate and evolved.

    Also, handicap principle comes to mind: doing something costly to show others that your adaptation to the environment and fitness are excellent.

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  113. Bill says:
    @Tomi
    I don't really understand how people pick Russia as a country to glorify. I mean, if you want a country that is more religiously conservative than average, I think Poland is more logical choice than Russia. If you're looking for a country with some sort of libertarian, meritocratic economic perspective, Baltic countries seem more obvious choice than a KGB-oligarchy. There are many other white countries that are not part of "decadent" Western Europe. You will also notice that most of these countries deeply dislike Russia (and for quite good reasons). This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical. It's actually comedic considering that current russian rulers are mostly just greedy and depraved ex-commie spies who are using cheap nationalist, antifascist and populist propaganda to keep idiotic masses under control.

    This new russophilia of western right-wingers is quite illogical.

    There isn’t any. What gets called russophilia is any effort to analyze Russia and US foreign policy posture towards her as if Russia is just a normal country, a country with its own interests which the US has to deal with. I, for one, don’t have a strong opinion one way or another about Russia, per se. To the extent I have an opinion, I don’t much like Russia. Onion domes are uninteresting to me. I regard the Orthodox as heretical schismatics. Russian music is treacley, Romantic barf. I’m well aware of their disgusting penchant for murdering babies. On the other hand, I like the Poles a lot.

    However, the fact that your foreign policy views are governed by your atavistic ethnic hatreds and psycho-sexual hang-ups does not mean everyone’s foreign policy views are so governed. It’s not “illogical” to think that the US foreign policy posture should serve US interests. On the other hand, it is illogical to think that the US should make Russia an enemy because it gives you good feelings to do so.

    So, as usual, the Russophobic side produces pitch-perfect projection.

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  114. Sean says:
    @Anonymous
    I recall you were confidently predicting before that the US would bomb Iran to smithereens by 2012.

    America has had its hands full with Arab Spring, Syria and then Islamic State. Obama said Iran is not going to allowed to get a nuclear weapon capability. Kerry said that just the other day. Iran made itself difficult to target by zig zagging but at end of day they are going to have to be stopped by military force.

    Daniel Pipes on RT He starts off with an explict comparison between Iran and Hitler, Pipes says he only wants to hit the nuclear infrastructure not invade but I think we all know his aim is to precipitate regeme change and fragmentation. Brendan Simms is the most extreme advocate for a military confrontation with Russia, see herehe is president of the Henry Jackson Society

    The USSR was confronted repeatedly because of threat escalation by the lobby. Dean of neocons Wohlstetter invented the the missile gap that made JFK pres. In 1974 Wohlstetter was at it yet again, accusing the CIA of underestimating Soviet strength, and Bush the elder who had just been appointed to the CIA authorised the Team B exercise that concluded the Soviet union was preparing for aggression against the West. By the early eighties Pipes was saying the Soviets had to dismantle their system or face war., and there was massive US military spending that Soviet Chief of Staff Marshal Ogarkov said the USSR could not match, he was sacked. Gorbachev opened the borders of the USSR and allowed Jews to leave the country for Israel. Everything was fine then apart from the little matter of Yetsin coming within 120 seconds of starting all out nuclear war.

    Couple of weeks ago it was anounced that Putin is selling anti aircraft missles to Iran. This is going to lead to pressure on the Ukraine front for Russia. Stratfor’s George Friedman predicts the breakup of Russia within a decade.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I think I remember you predicting a US strike against Iran some time ago. And I think I asked you why you thought it would happen in 2014 or whatever the year was and you responded with some version of "it's just going to happen, Obama will be persuaded to do it."

    The neocons want to do it, sure, but lots of people want to do lots of things. Something has been preventing them from doing it for all these years. Maybe it's the threat to worldwide oil flows, maybe it's something else. From their perspective Obama is a dove, by the way. Maybe he doesn't want to repeat W's mistakes, maybe he sees through the neocons a little.

    If someone is predicting that it's going to happen next year, the question to ask him is "what has changed?" It hasn't happened last year or the year before or the year before that. What do you think has changed that's going to make it happen now?
    , @Anonymous
    That's not really an argument for why you believe an attack on Iran is imminent. Yes, there are anti-Iranian hawks today, and there were anti-Soviet hawks during the Cold War. So what? What does that have to do with the claim that an attack on Iran is imminent?

    Friedman makes dumb and wrong predictions all the time. He was saying that the US and Japan would go to war in the early 90s:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Coming-War-With-Japan/dp/0312058365
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  115. Bill says:
    @Sam Haysom
    Where are all these Russophobes? No one ever attacks Russia until a Russophile starts bleating on and on and on about encirclement and poor victim Russia, so holy and so pure yet so picked on. Honestly this site has an entire blog devoted to Russian exceptionalism. That's an American based site with a blog devoted to Russian superiority over the US. Of course some people are going to get tired of the cheast beating and say something. Hardly makes them Russophobes.

    Pure, unadulterated projection.

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  116. Sean says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia
     
    When I read this article, I wondered if it was the same Peter Frost. Now I wonder if he has schizophrenia. His anthropology stinks in my estimation and yet here he was quite astute.

    If there is any 'real' war with Russia, likely tactical nuclear weapons could come into play. The Russian military doctrine calls for their employ in event of overwhelming technological or battlefield disadvantage. What's more:


    A different development is discernable in the 2010 Russian doctrine.[4] In contrast to the developments in the US, Russia appears to expand the category of cases in which it will resort to nuclear force: Whether the threat is conventional or unconventional, massive attacks against Russia or her allies may occasion resort to nuclear strikes. The approach echoes an expansive aspect found in the French doctrine from 2008, which suggests that all options are on the table irrespective of the provenance or form of the initial aggression.[5] China has persistently maintained a no-first use posture.[6] However, a deliberate ambiguity in the Chinese doctrinal approach[7] has triggered speculations that China’s 2012 White Paper redirected a purely retaliatory approach to one in which China will ‘take all measures necessary to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial sovereignty’.

    http://nwp.ilpi.org/?p=2763
     

    ^ What the above clearly implies, juxtaposed to a USA doctrine disingenuously downplays use of nuclear weapons (while retaining a 'right' to 'pre-emptive' 1st strike) is, all law of war is antiquated, in fact there can no longer be any 'rational' justification for war in any respect. Time to tell General Breedlove at NATO to 'grow up, the games of cowboys and Indians are no more.'

    If wars could be fought with ‘tactical’ nukes there would be no need for the massively expensive conventional forces that major powers have. Everyone wants to deter by being thought willing to use nukes against a conventional attack, but no one would. The Russians have a load of tactical nukes, but they are generally are thought to be for numerical weakness in relation to the Chinese army, it’s a prestige – bluff thing, and China is getting all it wants from Russia with access to Russian natural resources now. The big winner in all this is China.

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    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West

    If wars could be fought with ‘tactical’ nukes there would be no need for the massively expensive conventional forces that major powers have
     
    You can believe it's a bluff thing but then you'd be putting your faith in persons like NATO Supreme Commander General Phillip Breedlove, not exactly the brightest light on the block. In fact there has been no large scale conventional wars since tactical nuclear weapons had been introduced into the military inventories, in which case we don't know precisely under what circumstance they might or might not come into the play of larger conventional hostilities. Also your logic is flawed .. 'tactical' nuclear weapons were developed precisely for purpose of augmenting the existing conventional forces weapons inventory.

    If there were no serious consideration of tactical nuclear weapons use and these were strictly 'bluff' or 'deterrent' weapons, there'd be no need to 'upgrade' the USA's existing inventory of tactical nukes to make them more 'suitable' for use (i.e. reduced and less massive warheads)

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/02/14/tactical-nuclear-weapons-for-dummies/

    ^
    , @Kiza
    "The big winner in all this is China."

    And the problem of China winning is what? As long as the Chinese are paying for the Russian resources and not stealing them like the US wants, what is the issue? We really need to understand that this so called "Russian Aggression" is all bout stealing what Russia has. A similar tactic was applied by the West to other countries in the past which resisted the US, by using the story of "Human Rights". Behind it all is the taking of natural resources and enslaving the population, the classical colonialism with a new name.

    The old Western "Responsibility to Protect Human Rights" story has now morphed into the "Prevention of Russian Expansionism" story. But everything else is the same old story of the Western War Enterprise (crushing countries militarily and then sucking out their economic bone marrow).
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  117. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Sean
    The EU is not going to permit the US to start a war on the EU's borders. Nato is not under the orders of the US, whatever the Americans seem to think. US wants to be a unchallengeable superpower and resents having to take Russia into account. The US likes having Russia occupied in the Ukrainian imbroglio. If there was a peace settlement and Russia's hands were free, that would be more likely to result in war. When the US does to Iran what it did to Iraq (as it will), it will need to have neutralised Russia.

    Say there is peace in Ukraine, and Putin starts making noises that he won't stand for an attack on Iran; then you will get threats of war from the US (Israel Lobby).


    Pipes told Reuters in March 1981 that "Soviet leaders would have to choose between peacefully changing their Communist system in the direction followed by the West or going to war. There is no other alternative and it could go either way – Détente is dead."
     
    Daniel Pipes (son of Richard):

    Pipes currently advocates that U.S. President Barack Obama "give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity ... The time to act is now."[60] He claims that "circumstances are propitious" for the U.S. to initiate a bombing of Iran, and that "no one other than the Iranian rulers and their agents denies that the regime is rushing headlong to build a large nuclear arsenal." He further states that a unilateral U.S. bombing of Iran "would require few 'boots on the ground' and entail relatively few casualties, making an attack more politically palatable."[60]
     
    There is no Ukrainian lobby in the US, Ukraine really is a backwater that no one cares about.

    Russia really is a strange country but unlike that other strange country (Italy) it isn't part of the West and what goes of there isn't of too much significance. Not unless they get confused by a weather balloon and order a massive nuclear strike on the West as they almost did on January 25, 1995

    The EU is not going to permit the US to start a war on the EU’s borders.

    EU has no geopolitical subjectivity. US will say jump to EU–EU will ask how high. Plain and simple, in terms of formulating military policies EU’s weight is approaching zero and so do its real military capabilities.

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  118. Zjerzy says:
    @Mitleser
    Ukraine has not been ruled by Moscow since 1991.
    And considering how bad Ukraine turned out, the Kremlin would not like to rule this mess.

    If so – why do they want Ukraine back?

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Where did you get the idea that they want it back?

    The Kremlin wants the Ukraine neutralized.
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  119. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    The US was hampered by rules of engagement and political concerns in Iraq. Wouldn't a total war scenario be quite different? Also isn't most of Russia's population west of the Urals and in south Russia?

    There’s a lot of desert in the Sunni triangle and there is a lot of forest and tundra in Russia. The US lost a lot of troops (more than 5 thousand I think) holding the populated portions of the Sunni triangle.

    As for rules of engagement, I’m sure you could find some genocidally-minded neocons and some marines who lost friends and body parts in Iraq who’d tell you that they were too restrictive. A huge number of Iraqis died however. Some estimates go over a million. By historical standards the occupation was brutal.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's well established that US occupation forces in Iraq were significantly hampered by severe rules of engagement standards and political concerns. You know full well that those 1 million plus deaths in Iraq are due to Iraqi ethnic, tribal, and religious warfare, not due to US brutality. Just like high homicide rates in US inner cities has nothing to do with US police brutality, but are the result of politics that prevent US police from imposing order.
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  120. 5371 says:
    @Zjerzy
    I don't even where to start… Why should I write anything about oppression of peasants? I was disagreeing with a post about comparing Finland to Poland under Partitions in XIX century. I didn't write either about oppression of women and gays by Catholic patriarchal Polish Culture, nor about the fate of Jews and space aliens from Mars. That's an oversight. Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?

    Even your reference to oppressed peasants is mostly incorrect. It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.

    [Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?]
    From your previous comment:
    [And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow?]
    You’re welcome.

    [It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.]
    In fairyland, perhaps. On earth, it was due to both Germany and Russia losing WW1.

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy

    [Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?]
    From your previous comment:
    [And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow?]
    You’re welcome.
     
    Still do not se it. Russians ignited shooting war, looted the country, invited bandits from their caucasian satrapies. They are also demanding cultural and political submission from their "younger brothers" (that one must be especially infuriating). Where's the problem?

    [It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.]
    In fairyland, perhaps. On earth, it was due to both Germany and Russia losing WW1.


    Maybe in your fairyland. Here on earth Polish peasants were nationalized, mobilized and politicized and generally made a part of modern nation. They were Poles. As a result they gave recruits, paid taxes and generally helped to create independent Polish state. Compare Ukraine with it's much fresher nationalism after the fall of Russian Empire. When Ukrainians tried to organize their state they had problems with getting recruits, keeping them in the army and had to fought between themselves and many country based political movements (i. e. bands). As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully. Ukrainians lost.
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  121. Glossy says:
    @Sean
    America has had its hands full with Arab Spring, Syria and then Islamic State. Obama said Iran is not going to allowed to get a nuclear weapon capability. Kerry said that just the other day. Iran made itself difficult to target by zig zagging but at end of day they are going to have to be stopped by military force.

    Daniel Pipes on RT He starts off with an explict comparison between Iran and Hitler, Pipes says he only wants to hit the nuclear infrastructure not invade but I think we all know his aim is to precipitate regeme change and fragmentation. Brendan Simms is the most extreme advocate for a military confrontation with Russia, see herehe is president of the Henry Jackson Society

    The USSR was confronted repeatedly because of threat escalation by the lobby. Dean of neocons Wohlstetter invented the the missile gap that made JFK pres. In 1974 Wohlstetter was at it yet again, accusing the CIA of underestimating Soviet strength, and Bush the elder who had just been appointed to the CIA authorised the Team B exercise that concluded the Soviet union was preparing for aggression against the West. By the early eighties Pipes was saying the Soviets had to dismantle their system or face war., and there was massive US military spending that Soviet Chief of Staff Marshal Ogarkov said the USSR could not match, he was sacked. Gorbachev opened the borders of the USSR and allowed Jews to leave the country for Israel. Everything was fine then apart from the little matter of Yetsin coming within 120 seconds of starting all out nuclear war.

    Couple of weeks ago it was anounced that Putin is selling anti aircraft missles to Iran. This is going to lead to pressure on the Ukraine front for Russia. Stratfor’s George Friedman predicts the breakup of Russia within a decade.

    I think I remember you predicting a US strike against Iran some time ago. And I think I asked you why you thought it would happen in 2014 or whatever the year was and you responded with some version of “it’s just going to happen, Obama will be persuaded to do it.”

    The neocons want to do it, sure, but lots of people want to do lots of things. Something has been preventing them from doing it for all these years. Maybe it’s the threat to worldwide oil flows, maybe it’s something else. From their perspective Obama is a dove, by the way. Maybe he doesn’t want to repeat W’s mistakes, maybe he sees through the neocons a little.

    If someone is predicting that it’s going to happen next year, the question to ask him is “what has changed?” It hasn’t happened last year or the year before or the year before that. What do you think has changed that’s going to make it happen now?

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Obama had a lot of political capital as a peace pres and had a strongly anti war power base. That will be different. Again, the US got entangled in the Arab spring and then IS, and in addition the military were very reluctant to rerun Iraq. After Carter the neocons advisors were back and responsible for a sea change in policy.

    McCain would have done it in a second . Pipes was on Giuliani's team. Any future Republican would be quite likely.

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  122. Sean says:
    @Glossy
    I think I remember you predicting a US strike against Iran some time ago. And I think I asked you why you thought it would happen in 2014 or whatever the year was and you responded with some version of "it's just going to happen, Obama will be persuaded to do it."

    The neocons want to do it, sure, but lots of people want to do lots of things. Something has been preventing them from doing it for all these years. Maybe it's the threat to worldwide oil flows, maybe it's something else. From their perspective Obama is a dove, by the way. Maybe he doesn't want to repeat W's mistakes, maybe he sees through the neocons a little.

    If someone is predicting that it's going to happen next year, the question to ask him is "what has changed?" It hasn't happened last year or the year before or the year before that. What do you think has changed that's going to make it happen now?

    Obama had a lot of political capital as a peace pres and had a strongly anti war power base. That will be different. Again, the US got entangled in the Arab spring and then IS, and in addition the military were very reluctant to rerun Iraq. After Carter the neocons advisors were back and responsible for a sea change in policy.

    McCain would have done it in a second . Pipes was on Giuliani’s team. Any future Republican would be quite likely.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Obama has an anti-war fan base. Peaceniks don't hold any power. When peace prevails it's usually for reasons that have nothing to do with humanitarianism.
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  123. @Sean
    If wars could be fought with 'tactical' nukes there would be no need for the massively expensive conventional forces that major powers have. Everyone wants to deter by being thought willing to use nukes against a conventional attack, but no one would. The Russians have a load of tactical nukes, but they are generally are thought to be for numerical weakness in relation to the Chinese army, it's a prestige - bluff thing, and China is getting all it wants from Russia with access to Russian natural resources now. The big winner in all this is China.

    If wars could be fought with ‘tactical’ nukes there would be no need for the massively expensive conventional forces that major powers have

    You can believe it’s a bluff thing but then you’d be putting your faith in persons like NATO Supreme Commander General Phillip Breedlove, not exactly the brightest light on the block. In fact there has been no large scale conventional wars since tactical nuclear weapons had been introduced into the military inventories, in which case we don’t know precisely under what circumstance they might or might not come into the play of larger conventional hostilities. Also your logic is flawed .. ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons were developed precisely for purpose of augmenting the existing conventional forces weapons inventory.

    If there were no serious consideration of tactical nuclear weapons use and these were strictly ‘bluff’ or ‘deterrent’ weapons, there’d be no need to ‘upgrade’ the USA’s existing inventory of tactical nukes to make them more ‘suitable’ for use (i.e. reduced and less massive warheads)

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/02/14/tactical-nuclear-weapons-for-dummies/

    ^

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    • Replies: @Sean
    You can't bluff you'll use tactical nukes unless you have them; the more you have the better able you are to bluff. US Generals would not be taking the decision to use tactical nukes, that would be a political decision, and Kissinger said he advised not going nuclear under any circumstances. In the Cuba crisis the Soviets did give local commanders in Cuba authorisation to use tactical nukes if attacked but that was the other side of the world. There are special troop guarding Russian nukes and I think Putin would never authorise a first use.

    In reality everyone knows that going nuclear would be unlikely to turn things around because that possibility would have been accepted by the aggressor before attacking. Using a nuclear weapon would inexorably lead to a nuclear exchange. You can't fight wars with nuclear weapons and there is no military use for them in practice.
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  124. AP says:
    @Mitleser
    And a question you refused to answer, "Dr. Preobrazhensky".

    I use different names in different forums. AP was used for years on Karlin’s blog, another one was used with Disqus where I interacted with Steve Sailer. Worlds collided here on Unz review where both contribute now. Ideas and facts are more important than handles – any problem?

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  125. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    There's a lot of desert in the Sunni triangle and there is a lot of forest and tundra in Russia. The US lost a lot of troops (more than 5 thousand I think) holding the populated portions of the Sunni triangle.

    As for rules of engagement, I'm sure you could find some genocidally-minded neocons and some marines who lost friends and body parts in Iraq who'd tell you that they were too restrictive. A huge number of Iraqis died however. Some estimates go over a million. By historical standards the occupation was brutal.

    It’s well established that US occupation forces in Iraq were significantly hampered by severe rules of engagement standards and political concerns. You know full well that those 1 million plus deaths in Iraq are due to Iraqi ethnic, tribal, and religious warfare, not due to US brutality. Just like high homicide rates in US inner cities has nothing to do with US police brutality, but are the result of politics that prevent US police from imposing order.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Order reigned in Iraq under Saddam. It was destroyed by the US invasion. The neocons used US military might to unleash those sectarian passions in a divide-and-rule fashion. That was their goal and they succeeded at it.

    Most of the brutality was sectarian, but see above, and some of it was direct.
    , @Glossy
    I'm going to make another stab at expressing myself clearly about this. You referred to US police being prevented by rules of engagement from imposing order in America's inner cities. And I agree with you about that. But the analogy with Iraq breaks down. US troops were sent to Iraq to destroy an established order and to create disorder in its place. The neocons think that if Sunnis and Shia can be made to fight each other, they won't have much energy left for for fighting Israel. It's classic divide and rule.
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  126. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sean
    America has had its hands full with Arab Spring, Syria and then Islamic State. Obama said Iran is not going to allowed to get a nuclear weapon capability. Kerry said that just the other day. Iran made itself difficult to target by zig zagging but at end of day they are going to have to be stopped by military force.

    Daniel Pipes on RT He starts off with an explict comparison between Iran and Hitler, Pipes says he only wants to hit the nuclear infrastructure not invade but I think we all know his aim is to precipitate regeme change and fragmentation. Brendan Simms is the most extreme advocate for a military confrontation with Russia, see herehe is president of the Henry Jackson Society

    The USSR was confronted repeatedly because of threat escalation by the lobby. Dean of neocons Wohlstetter invented the the missile gap that made JFK pres. In 1974 Wohlstetter was at it yet again, accusing the CIA of underestimating Soviet strength, and Bush the elder who had just been appointed to the CIA authorised the Team B exercise that concluded the Soviet union was preparing for aggression against the West. By the early eighties Pipes was saying the Soviets had to dismantle their system or face war., and there was massive US military spending that Soviet Chief of Staff Marshal Ogarkov said the USSR could not match, he was sacked. Gorbachev opened the borders of the USSR and allowed Jews to leave the country for Israel. Everything was fine then apart from the little matter of Yetsin coming within 120 seconds of starting all out nuclear war.

    Couple of weeks ago it was anounced that Putin is selling anti aircraft missles to Iran. This is going to lead to pressure on the Ukraine front for Russia. Stratfor’s George Friedman predicts the breakup of Russia within a decade.

    That’s not really an argument for why you believe an attack on Iran is imminent. Yes, there are anti-Iranian hawks today, and there were anti-Soviet hawks during the Cold War. So what? What does that have to do with the claim that an attack on Iran is imminent?

    Friedman makes dumb and wrong predictions all the time. He was saying that the US and Japan would go to war in the early 90s:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Coming-War-With-Japan/dp/0312058365

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  127. Zjerzy says:
    @5371
    [Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?]
    From your previous comment:
    [And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow?]
    You're welcome.

    [It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.]
    In fairyland, perhaps. On earth, it was due to both Germany and Russia losing WW1.

    [Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?]
    From your previous comment:
    [And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow?]
    You’re welcome.

    Still do not se it. Russians ignited shooting war, looted the country, invited bandits from their caucasian satrapies. They are also demanding cultural and political submission from their “younger brothers” (that one must be especially infuriating). Where’s the problem?

    [It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.]
    In fairyland, perhaps. On earth, it was due to both Germany and Russia losing WW1.

    Maybe in your fairyland. Here on earth Polish peasants were nationalized, mobilized and politicized and generally made a part of modern nation. They were Poles. As a result they gave recruits, paid taxes and generally helped to create independent Polish state. Compare Ukraine with it’s much fresher nationalism after the fall of Russian Empire. When Ukrainians tried to organize their state they had problems with getting recruits, keeping them in the army and had to fought between themselves and many country based political movements (i. e. bands). As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully. Ukrainians lost.

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    • Replies: @AP

    Compare Ukraine with it’s much fresher nationalism after the fall of Russian Empire. When Ukrainians tried to organize their state they had problems with getting recruits, keeping them in the army and had to fought between themselves and many country based political movements (i. e. bands).
     
    True of the part of Ukraine that had been part of the Russian Empire, but not true of Galicia (you probably know this, I'm just adding this to your comment).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Ukrainian_People%27s_Republic
    , @5371
    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You're still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, "Yeah, sure, we'da kicked dat Hitler's ass!"
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  128. Glossy says:
    @Sean
    Obama had a lot of political capital as a peace pres and had a strongly anti war power base. That will be different. Again, the US got entangled in the Arab spring and then IS, and in addition the military were very reluctant to rerun Iraq. After Carter the neocons advisors were back and responsible for a sea change in policy.

    McCain would have done it in a second . Pipes was on Giuliani's team. Any future Republican would be quite likely.

    Obama has an anti-war fan base. Peaceniks don’t hold any power. When peace prevails it’s usually for reasons that have nothing to do with humanitarianism.

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  129. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    It's well established that US occupation forces in Iraq were significantly hampered by severe rules of engagement standards and political concerns. You know full well that those 1 million plus deaths in Iraq are due to Iraqi ethnic, tribal, and religious warfare, not due to US brutality. Just like high homicide rates in US inner cities has nothing to do with US police brutality, but are the result of politics that prevent US police from imposing order.

    Order reigned in Iraq under Saddam. It was destroyed by the US invasion. The neocons used US military might to unleash those sectarian passions in a divide-and-rule fashion. That was their goal and they succeeded at it.

    Most of the brutality was sectarian, but see above, and some of it was direct.

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  130. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    It's well established that US occupation forces in Iraq were significantly hampered by severe rules of engagement standards and political concerns. You know full well that those 1 million plus deaths in Iraq are due to Iraqi ethnic, tribal, and religious warfare, not due to US brutality. Just like high homicide rates in US inner cities has nothing to do with US police brutality, but are the result of politics that prevent US police from imposing order.

    I’m going to make another stab at expressing myself clearly about this. You referred to US police being prevented by rules of engagement from imposing order in America’s inner cities. And I agree with you about that. But the analogy with Iraq breaks down. US troops were sent to Iraq to destroy an established order and to create disorder in its place. The neocons think that if Sunnis and Shia can be made to fight each other, they won’t have much energy left for for fighting Israel. It’s classic divide and rule.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Ok, that's plausible, but that would be an esoteric strategy carried out by a minority faction in the civilian bureaucracy and political establishment, and that strategy would interfere with straightforward attempts by the military to hold and occupy the country. This would go against your original point that the US military had difficulty occupying Iraq because of lack of competence or military prowess.
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  131. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    I'm going to make another stab at expressing myself clearly about this. You referred to US police being prevented by rules of engagement from imposing order in America's inner cities. And I agree with you about that. But the analogy with Iraq breaks down. US troops were sent to Iraq to destroy an established order and to create disorder in its place. The neocons think that if Sunnis and Shia can be made to fight each other, they won't have much energy left for for fighting Israel. It's classic divide and rule.

    Ok, that’s plausible, but that would be an esoteric strategy carried out by a minority faction in the civilian bureaucracy and political establishment, and that strategy would interfere with straightforward attempts by the military to hold and occupy the country. This would go against your original point that the US military had difficulty occupying Iraq because of lack of competence or military prowess.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Official US troops are not going to be sent to the Ukraine or to Russia because mutually assured destruction works. We were, however, discussing a hypothetical: what if nukes magically disappeared tomorrow and all-out conventional warfare between superpowers once again became possible?

    In that case US troops would be sent to Russia to do the same thing that they did in Iraq: to destroy existing order and to create disorder in its place. Ethnic minorities would be encouraged to attack the majority, political power and property would be redistributed, new borders would be drawn, etc. The same kind of mayhem would be created, only in an area that's more than a hundred times larger than the Sunni triangle with a population that's much better at warfare than the Arabs are.

    The losses of the occupational forces would be astronomical. The occupational regime would collapse under their weight.

    , @Glossy
    The important question is "competence and prowess for doing what exactly?" The ability to do what? To create a Pax Americana of the white man's burden variety? That's not in demand. Peace, scientific progress and balance between competing interests the world over? Are you kidding me?

    What's in demand from policy-makers is mayhem creation for divide-and-rule purposes. And that creates a backlash among the natives against the tools which are used to create this mayhem. How much backlash? That depends on the number of the natives and on their ability level, among other things. At a certain level of backlash the occupational regime collapses.
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  132. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    Ok, that's plausible, but that would be an esoteric strategy carried out by a minority faction in the civilian bureaucracy and political establishment, and that strategy would interfere with straightforward attempts by the military to hold and occupy the country. This would go against your original point that the US military had difficulty occupying Iraq because of lack of competence or military prowess.

    Official US troops are not going to be sent to the Ukraine or to Russia because mutually assured destruction works. We were, however, discussing a hypothetical: what if nukes magically disappeared tomorrow and all-out conventional warfare between superpowers once again became possible?

    In that case US troops would be sent to Russia to do the same thing that they did in Iraq: to destroy existing order and to create disorder in its place. Ethnic minorities would be encouraged to attack the majority, political power and property would be redistributed, new borders would be drawn, etc. The same kind of mayhem would be created, only in an area that’s more than a hundred times larger than the Sunni triangle with a population that’s much better at warfare than the Arabs are.

    The losses of the occupational forces would be astronomical. The occupational regime would collapse under their weight.

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  133. Kiza says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    I do not find Peter Frost very interesting, he puts bombastic titles on his writing and inside there is little real content. Yet, this blog post has several high quality observations from his trip to Russia
     
    When I read this article, I wondered if it was the same Peter Frost. Now I wonder if he has schizophrenia. His anthropology stinks in my estimation and yet here he was quite astute.

    If there is any 'real' war with Russia, likely tactical nuclear weapons could come into play. The Russian military doctrine calls for their employ in event of overwhelming technological or battlefield disadvantage. What's more:


    A different development is discernable in the 2010 Russian doctrine.[4] In contrast to the developments in the US, Russia appears to expand the category of cases in which it will resort to nuclear force: Whether the threat is conventional or unconventional, massive attacks against Russia or her allies may occasion resort to nuclear strikes. The approach echoes an expansive aspect found in the French doctrine from 2008, which suggests that all options are on the table irrespective of the provenance or form of the initial aggression.[5] China has persistently maintained a no-first use posture.[6] However, a deliberate ambiguity in the Chinese doctrinal approach[7] has triggered speculations that China’s 2012 White Paper redirected a purely retaliatory approach to one in which China will ‘take all measures necessary to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial sovereignty’.

    http://nwp.ilpi.org/?p=2763
     

    ^ What the above clearly implies, juxtaposed to a USA doctrine disingenuously downplays use of nuclear weapons (while retaining a 'right' to 'pre-emptive' 1st strike) is, all law of war is antiquated, in fact there can no longer be any 'rational' justification for war in any respect. Time to tell General Breedlove at NATO to 'grow up, the games of cowboys and Indians are no more.'

    Hello Ronald,

    I am glad that it least one knowledgeable and smart individual understands what I understand so clearly – that a shooting war, even a nuclear war, is much more likely than the zombie commentators on unz.com recognize. What makes me so uncomfortable is that the majority of the Western population thinks exactly the same – our “leaders” can war-monger as much as they like, spout lies and rubbish, do huge military exercises on the border of “aggressive” Russia, apply economic sanctions on Russia (an act of war), yet somehow all this will remain under control and Russia will somehow collapse on its own ( just like Hitler’s: “We just need to kick the rotten door down…”). I ask – under the control of which idiots is all this war mongering, is it the same idiots who are totally wrecking all Western economies together by printing money like crazy? Wherever I look in the West there is incompetence, corruption, stealing and scheming. And yet, somehow, these wrecks of nations will be able to control their own aggression against Russia and China somehow???????

    Good luck with that.

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  134. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    Ok, that's plausible, but that would be an esoteric strategy carried out by a minority faction in the civilian bureaucracy and political establishment, and that strategy would interfere with straightforward attempts by the military to hold and occupy the country. This would go against your original point that the US military had difficulty occupying Iraq because of lack of competence or military prowess.

    The important question is “competence and prowess for doing what exactly?” The ability to do what? To create a Pax Americana of the white man’s burden variety? That’s not in demand. Peace, scientific progress and balance between competing interests the world over? Are you kidding me?

    What’s in demand from policy-makers is mayhem creation for divide-and-rule purposes. And that creates a backlash among the natives against the tools which are used to create this mayhem. How much backlash? That depends on the number of the natives and on their ability level, among other things. At a certain level of backlash the occupational regime collapses.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The point is that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties. The fact that there wasn't does not have anything to do with lack of competence, prowess, or will in the military or the American people, and everything to do with the aims and strategies of the civilian policy makers, as you acknowledge.
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  135. Kiza says:
    @Sean
    If wars could be fought with 'tactical' nukes there would be no need for the massively expensive conventional forces that major powers have. Everyone wants to deter by being thought willing to use nukes against a conventional attack, but no one would. The Russians have a load of tactical nukes, but they are generally are thought to be for numerical weakness in relation to the Chinese army, it's a prestige - bluff thing, and China is getting all it wants from Russia with access to Russian natural resources now. The big winner in all this is China.

    “The big winner in all this is China.”

    And the problem of China winning is what? As long as the Chinese are paying for the Russian resources and not stealing them like the US wants, what is the issue? We really need to understand that this so called “Russian Aggression” is all bout stealing what Russia has. A similar tactic was applied by the West to other countries in the past which resisted the US, by using the story of “Human Rights”. Behind it all is the taking of natural resources and enslaving the population, the classical colonialism with a new name.

    The old Western “Responsibility to Protect Human Rights” story has now morphed into the “Prevention of Russian Expansionism” story. But everything else is the same old story of the Western War Enterprise (crushing countries militarily and then sucking out their economic bone marrow).

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  136. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    The important question is "competence and prowess for doing what exactly?" The ability to do what? To create a Pax Americana of the white man's burden variety? That's not in demand. Peace, scientific progress and balance between competing interests the world over? Are you kidding me?

    What's in demand from policy-makers is mayhem creation for divide-and-rule purposes. And that creates a backlash among the natives against the tools which are used to create this mayhem. How much backlash? That depends on the number of the natives and on their ability level, among other things. At a certain level of backlash the occupational regime collapses.

    The point is that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties. The fact that there wasn’t does not have anything to do with lack of competence, prowess, or will in the military or the American people, and everything to do with the aims and strategies of the civilian policy makers, as you acknowledge.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    In a hypothetical universe that lacks nukes but is otherwise exactly like the world in which we live the conventional US invasion of Russia would be directed by exactly the same policy makers who directed the US invasion of Iraq.

    US policy towards Russia and the Ukraine is currently led by Victoria Nuland. Her brother in law Frederick Kagan is said to be the author of the Surge, which everyone who followed the second Iraq war remembers well. From the Wikipedia:

    "Kagan authored the "real Iraq Study Group" report as the AEI's rival to the ISG report of James Baker and Lee H. Hamilton in December 2006. The AEI report, titled Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq, was released on January 5, 2007, and Kagan was said to have won-over the ear of President George W. Bush,[3] strongly influencing his subsequent "surge" plan for changing the course of the Iraq War. Along with retired Gen. Jack Keane, retired Col. Joel Armstrong, and retired Maj. Daniel Dwyer, Kagan is credited as one of the "intellectual architects" of the surge plan.

    Since such an invasion would be planned by the same people moved by the same motivations, it would just be a scaling up of the Iraq experience in terms of size and intensity. And in terms of casualties. Russia is much larger than Iraq and Russians make for more effective insurgents than Iraqis.

    Imagining a different set of policy makers would introduce a second layer of make belief. We were already getting into silly territory (my fault entirely) with the no-nukes rule.

    , @annamaria
    Make belief.
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  137. AP says:
    @Zjerzy

    [Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?]
    From your previous comment:
    [And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow?]
    You’re welcome.
     
    Still do not se it. Russians ignited shooting war, looted the country, invited bandits from their caucasian satrapies. They are also demanding cultural and political submission from their "younger brothers" (that one must be especially infuriating). Where's the problem?

    [It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.]
    In fairyland, perhaps. On earth, it was due to both Germany and Russia losing WW1.


    Maybe in your fairyland. Here on earth Polish peasants were nationalized, mobilized and politicized and generally made a part of modern nation. They were Poles. As a result they gave recruits, paid taxes and generally helped to create independent Polish state. Compare Ukraine with it's much fresher nationalism after the fall of Russian Empire. When Ukrainians tried to organize their state they had problems with getting recruits, keeping them in the army and had to fought between themselves and many country based political movements (i. e. bands). As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully. Ukrainians lost.

    Compare Ukraine with it’s much fresher nationalism after the fall of Russian Empire. When Ukrainians tried to organize their state they had problems with getting recruits, keeping them in the army and had to fought between themselves and many country based political movements (i. e. bands).

    True of the part of Ukraine that had been part of the Russian Empire, but not true of Galicia (you probably know this, I’m just adding this to your comment).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Ukrainian_People%27s_Republic

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  138. @Priss Factor
    "Give him that purpose, and he will fight for it with almost superhuman power."

    I think this had more to do with Soviet totalitarian power.

    It developed the means of massive central command and the most ruthless tactics in forcing Russian men to keep advancing against all odds.
    The men were driven less by courage against Germans than by fear of officers behind them ordered to kill anyone who refused to advance.

    Russian men weren't good fighters in WWI because there was no effective central command.

    Also, if USSR had been the size of France, it would have lost WWII.
    Hitler was right about the door. He was wrong about the size of the house.

    As for the French invasion, the French lost simply because they didn't have enough food.

    Russians not good fighters? The Russians practically took out Austria Hungary out of the war in 1914 there jack. Hapsburg losses were enormous. The Austrians couldn’t win a battle thereafter without German help. Also the Russians severely weakened the Ottomans in the Caucasus, wiping out an entire army, allowing the British to finally win in Mesopotamia. As for the reference to WW II and the political commisars forcing the troops to advance, is for the most part propaganda. Sure it did happen, but it wasn’t standard operating procedure. I mean come on now, those guys were defending their homeland against a foreign power. No extra incentive was needed

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    • Replies: @AP

    Russians not good fighters? The Russians practically took out Austria Hungary out of the war in 1914 there jack. Hapsburg losses were enormous. The Austrians couldn’t win a battle thereafter without German help. Also the Russians severely weakened the Ottomans in the Caucasus, wiping out an entire army, allowing the British to finally win in Mesopotamia.
     
    Correct. And while successfully defeating 2 of the Central Powers, Imperial Russia also managed to hold the Germans at bay after losing Poland to them (comparable to the western allies losing Belgium and northern France before halting the Germans). Until the Russian military disintegrated due to Kerenesky's policies the Russian army was actually advancing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerensky_Offensive

    Denigration of the Tsarist war effort basically involved the collusion of traditional Russophobes with leftists and Russia's own communists.

    "As for the reference to WW II and the political commisars forcing the troops to advance, is for the most part propaganda. Sure it did happen, but it wasn’t standard operating procedure. I mean come on now, those guys were defending their homeland against a foreign power.

    A lot of Russians felt that their own government was a foreign power. Until the Nazis showed their own brutality Russians often required coersion to fight.
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  139. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    The point is that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties. The fact that there wasn't does not have anything to do with lack of competence, prowess, or will in the military or the American people, and everything to do with the aims and strategies of the civilian policy makers, as you acknowledge.

    In a hypothetical universe that lacks nukes but is otherwise exactly like the world in which we live the conventional US invasion of Russia would be directed by exactly the same policy makers who directed the US invasion of Iraq.

    US policy towards Russia and the Ukraine is currently led by Victoria Nuland. Her brother in law Frederick Kagan is said to be the author of the Surge, which everyone who followed the second Iraq war remembers well. From the Wikipedia:

    “Kagan authored the “real Iraq Study Group” report as the AEI’s rival to the ISG report of James Baker and Lee H. Hamilton in December 2006. The AEI report, titled Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq, was released on January 5, 2007, and Kagan was said to have won-over the ear of President George W. Bush,[3] strongly influencing his subsequent “surge” plan for changing the course of the Iraq War. Along with retired Gen. Jack Keane, retired Col. Joel Armstrong, and retired Maj. Daniel Dwyer, Kagan is credited as one of the “intellectual architects” of the surge plan.

    Since such an invasion would be planned by the same people moved by the same motivations, it would just be a scaling up of the Iraq experience in terms of size and intensity. And in terms of casualties. Russia is much larger than Iraq and Russians make for more effective insurgents than Iraqis.

    Imagining a different set of policy makers would introduce a second layer of make belief. We were already getting into silly territory (my fault entirely) with the no-nukes rule.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's not that far-fetched that the US military would have more influence over prosecuting a conventional war with a major military like Russia's.

    I'm still not exactly sure what your point is. Do you disagree with the claim that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties?
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  140. @Zjerzy
    "After all that’s happened, I don’t see how eastern Ukraine will ever accept being ruled by Kiev. It’s like a marriage that has crossed the line between verbal abuse and physical violence."

    Yes. Indeed. And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow? This marriage went beyond physical abuse, deep into cold grave.

    Actually the answer is simple - cheap gas, lots of tanks, a bit of repressions, some disappearances. History gives the answers. And regular, good Russians so lovingly pictured by author will again sleep soundly knowing that borders of the empire are again secure.

    Scratch that last sentence. Borders of the empire have never been safe. Fascists, Georgians, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians are skulking on the borders sharpening knives, ever ready to drink Russian blood.

    Take your pic Russia or the US man? IF I were you, I would take Russia(If you are Ukrainian). At least the Russians have some kind of common bond with you, and although they are far from perfect, they have been subsidizing your economy for quite some time, while with Ukraine’s new found status as being a US vassal state your economy is being hollowed out and your women if they are lucky might make it to the US East Coast as strippers. Ukraine chose the worse of the two evils economically and now you are going to be sucked dry by the vampire that is the US of A.

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy
    No.
    , @AP
    Ukrainians know more about their own country, Russia, and their immediate West than you do and they overwhelmingly choose the West over Russia.
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  141. 5371 says:
    @Zjerzy

    [Also where I was ignoring internal differences of Ukrainian state?]
    From your previous comment:
    [And how can Ukraine ever again accept being ruled by Moscow?]
    You’re welcome.
     
    Still do not se it. Russians ignited shooting war, looted the country, invited bandits from their caucasian satrapies. They are also demanding cultural and political submission from their "younger brothers" (that one must be especially infuriating). Where's the problem?

    [It was largely thanks to support of Polish peasantry that independent Polish state was reborn.]
    In fairyland, perhaps. On earth, it was due to both Germany and Russia losing WW1.


    Maybe in your fairyland. Here on earth Polish peasants were nationalized, mobilized and politicized and generally made a part of modern nation. They were Poles. As a result they gave recruits, paid taxes and generally helped to create independent Polish state. Compare Ukraine with it's much fresher nationalism after the fall of Russian Empire. When Ukrainians tried to organize their state they had problems with getting recruits, keeping them in the army and had to fought between themselves and many country based political movements (i. e. bands). As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully. Ukrainians lost.

    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You’re still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, “Yeah, sure, we’da kicked dat Hitler’s ass!”

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy

    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.
     
    If you want you can keep facepalming. Still dont see any problem here.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You’re still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, “Yeah, sure, we’da kicked dat Hitler’s ass!”
     
    You keep jumping from one conversation to another. First it was oppression of Polish peasants, then fairyland lifestyle of Polish peasants now it is time for tiny detachments of Red Army. Decide what kind of discussion you want. And for your information: it wasn’t tiny and you are speaking about two different wars. Secondly how could we boast “Yeah, sure, we’da kicked dat Hitler’s ass!” if September 1939 have never happened? More temporal logic, please.
    , @Jim
    Actually the performance of the Poles against the Soviets was pretty good. However what happened when the Soviets fought the Finns was one of the most astonishing things in history.
    , @AP

    You’re still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago
     
    I know you are trolling but by the summer of 1920 the Soviets had thrown 800,000 soldiers against Poland.
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  142. Mitleser says:
    @Zjerzy
    If so - why do they want Ukraine back?

    Where did you get the idea that they want it back?

    The Kremlin wants the Ukraine neutralized.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zjerzy

    Where did you get the idea that they want it back?

    The Kremlin wants the Ukraine neutralized.
     
    I would say that they want it neutralised if all else fails. Ideally they want Ukraine back in their loving arms. Without Ukraine there is no chance for imperial Russia rebirth and danger that Belorussia will follow Kiev.
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  143. Zjerzy says:
    @5371
    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You're still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, "Yeah, sure, we'da kicked dat Hitler's ass!"

    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.

    If you want you can keep facepalming. Still dont see any problem here.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You’re still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, “Yeah, sure, we’da kicked dat Hitler’s ass!”

    You keep jumping from one conversation to another. First it was oppression of Polish peasants, then fairyland lifestyle of Polish peasants now it is time for tiny detachments of Red Army. Decide what kind of discussion you want. And for your information: it wasn’t tiny and you are speaking about two different wars. Secondly how could we boast “Yeah, sure, we’da kicked dat Hitler’s ass!” if September 1939 have never happened? More temporal logic, please.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Theologians have the concept of invincible ignorance; your cretinism seems equally unassailable.
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  144. Zjerzy says:
    @Mitleser
    Where did you get the idea that they want it back?

    The Kremlin wants the Ukraine neutralized.

    Where did you get the idea that they want it back?

    The Kremlin wants the Ukraine neutralized.

    I would say that they want it neutralised if all else fails. Ideally they want Ukraine back in their loving arms. Without Ukraine there is no chance for imperial Russia rebirth and danger that Belorussia will follow Kiev.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    1. The Ukraine policy of the Russian government has failed.
    What happened in the last year was damage control.

    2. The Russian government does not want another costly empire.

    3. Ukraine is an excellent cautionary tale. No reasonable Belarusian would want a repeat of this mess in his country.
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  145. Zjerzy says:
    @Robert Bruce
    Take your pic Russia or the US man? IF I were you, I would take Russia(If you are Ukrainian). At least the Russians have some kind of common bond with you, and although they are far from perfect, they have been subsidizing your economy for quite some time, while with Ukraine's new found status as being a US vassal state your economy is being hollowed out and your women if they are lucky might make it to the US East Coast as strippers. Ukraine chose the worse of the two evils economically and now you are going to be sucked dry by the vampire that is the US of A.

    No.

    Read More
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  146. Jim says:
    @5371
    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You're still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, "Yeah, sure, we'da kicked dat Hitler's ass!"

    Actually the performance of the Poles against the Soviets was pretty good. However what happened when the Soviets fought the Finns was one of the most astonishing things in history.

    Read More
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  147. AP says:
    @Robert Bruce
    Russians not good fighters? The Russians practically took out Austria Hungary out of the war in 1914 there jack. Hapsburg losses were enormous. The Austrians couldn't win a battle thereafter without German help. Also the Russians severely weakened the Ottomans in the Caucasus, wiping out an entire army, allowing the British to finally win in Mesopotamia. As for the reference to WW II and the political commisars forcing the troops to advance, is for the most part propaganda. Sure it did happen, but it wasn't standard operating procedure. I mean come on now, those guys were defending their homeland against a foreign power. No extra incentive was needed

    Russians not good fighters? The Russians practically took out Austria Hungary out of the war in 1914 there jack. Hapsburg losses were enormous. The Austrians couldn’t win a battle thereafter without German help. Also the Russians severely weakened the Ottomans in the Caucasus, wiping out an entire army, allowing the British to finally win in Mesopotamia.

    Correct. And while successfully defeating 2 of the Central Powers, Imperial Russia also managed to hold the Germans at bay after losing Poland to them (comparable to the western allies losing Belgium and northern France before halting the Germans). Until the Russian military disintegrated due to Kerenesky’s policies the Russian army was actually advancing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerensky_Offensive

    Denigration of the Tsarist war effort basically involved the collusion of traditional Russophobes with leftists and Russia’s own communists.

    “As for the reference to WW II and the political commisars forcing the troops to advance, is for the most part propaganda. Sure it did happen, but it wasn’t standard operating procedure. I mean come on now, those guys were defending their homeland against a foreign power.

    A lot of Russians felt that their own government was a foreign power. Until the Nazis showed their own brutality Russians often required coersion to fight.

    Read More
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  148. AP says:
    @Robert Bruce
    Take your pic Russia or the US man? IF I were you, I would take Russia(If you are Ukrainian). At least the Russians have some kind of common bond with you, and although they are far from perfect, they have been subsidizing your economy for quite some time, while with Ukraine's new found status as being a US vassal state your economy is being hollowed out and your women if they are lucky might make it to the US East Coast as strippers. Ukraine chose the worse of the two evils economically and now you are going to be sucked dry by the vampire that is the US of A.

    Ukrainians know more about their own country, Russia, and their immediate West than you do and they overwhelmingly choose the West over Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    It's hard to say what they choose right now as honest polling is impossible in Ukraine. But here are the results from several years ago.

    R&B’s survey also found that 35 percent of Ukrainians would like to see Ukraine united with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, compared to 22 percent who wish to join the EU and ten percent who wanted to restore the Soviet Union. These results were confirmed by a poll published on June 17 by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). According to KIIS President Valery Khmelko, 23 percent of Ukrainians desire full unification with Russia – compared to only 12 percent of Russians wanting the same.
    ...
    While only a quarter of Ukrainian respondents want full unification with Russia, 68 percent want an EU-style border-free regime with Russia, with Russia and Ukraine being “independent but friendly states” without a visa regime or custom controls. Only 7.8 percent of respondents were in favor of Ukraine’s relations with Russia becoming the same as its relations with other countries, i.e. with border controls, customs and visas.
     
    I don't want to become syon but I just have to quote this nugget:

    In fact, this contrasts even with the prevailing sentiment in Russia, where respondents are far more cautious about union with Ukraine. Perhaps due to the Ukrainian leadership’s antagonistic policies toward Russia, emphasized by the Russian state-controlled media, only 50 percent of Russian respondents want to see a border-free regime between the two countries. Twenty-nine percent want relations with Ukraine to be the same as with all other countries. “Ukrainians’ attitude toward Russia is much better than the Russians’ attitude toward the Ukraine. Over 90 percent of people in Ukraine have a positive attitude toward Russia – and it has become even better over the past year,” Khmelko noted.
     
    You may dispute the results of these surveys but note that not long after this was published, in the last free presidential elections in Ukraine, the Ukrainians overwhelmingly voted for Yanukovich, the supposed pro-Russian puppet.
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  149. AP says:
    @5371
    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You're still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, "Yeah, sure, we'da kicked dat Hitler's ass!"

    You’re still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago

    I know you are trolling but by the summer of 1920 the Soviets had thrown 800,000 soldiers against Poland.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Did your imaginary Polish friend tell you so, sockpuppeteer?
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  150. Sean says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    If wars could be fought with ‘tactical’ nukes there would be no need for the massively expensive conventional forces that major powers have
     
    You can believe it's a bluff thing but then you'd be putting your faith in persons like NATO Supreme Commander General Phillip Breedlove, not exactly the brightest light on the block. In fact there has been no large scale conventional wars since tactical nuclear weapons had been introduced into the military inventories, in which case we don't know precisely under what circumstance they might or might not come into the play of larger conventional hostilities. Also your logic is flawed .. 'tactical' nuclear weapons were developed precisely for purpose of augmenting the existing conventional forces weapons inventory.

    If there were no serious consideration of tactical nuclear weapons use and these were strictly 'bluff' or 'deterrent' weapons, there'd be no need to 'upgrade' the USA's existing inventory of tactical nukes to make them more 'suitable' for use (i.e. reduced and less massive warheads)

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/02/14/tactical-nuclear-weapons-for-dummies/

    ^

    You can’t bluff you’ll use tactical nukes unless you have them; the more you have the better able you are to bluff. US Generals would not be taking the decision to use tactical nukes, that would be a political decision, and Kissinger said he advised not going nuclear under any circumstances. In the Cuba crisis the Soviets did give local commanders in Cuba authorisation to use tactical nukes if attacked but that was the other side of the world. There are special troop guarding Russian nukes and I think Putin would never authorise a first use.

    In reality everyone knows that going nuclear would be unlikely to turn things around because that possibility would have been accepted by the aggressor before attacking. Using a nuclear weapon would inexorably lead to a nuclear exchange. You can’t fight wars with nuclear weapons and there is no military use for them in practice.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ronald Thomas West
    You actually seem to think NATO is organized around and commanded by rational people .. except rational people wouldn't deploy nukes to begin with, let alone re-engineer them to a more precise strike capability...

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/02/14/tactical-nuclear-weapons-for-dummies/

    Here's a few of your people playing the game of 'bluff' (geopolitical poker) with tactical nukes

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/02/03/people-who-behave-as-stupid-as-they-look/

    And good luck with all that because the generals at the Pentagon and NATO have little regard for 'political decisions' made elsewhere, they're talking turkey nonstop as though they're blessed by 'god almighty' and it would seem they actually believe that:

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/09/12/democracy-the-nazi-meme/

    'I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Toto'
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  151. @Sean
    You can't bluff you'll use tactical nukes unless you have them; the more you have the better able you are to bluff. US Generals would not be taking the decision to use tactical nukes, that would be a political decision, and Kissinger said he advised not going nuclear under any circumstances. In the Cuba crisis the Soviets did give local commanders in Cuba authorisation to use tactical nukes if attacked but that was the other side of the world. There are special troop guarding Russian nukes and I think Putin would never authorise a first use.

    In reality everyone knows that going nuclear would be unlikely to turn things around because that possibility would have been accepted by the aggressor before attacking. Using a nuclear weapon would inexorably lead to a nuclear exchange. You can't fight wars with nuclear weapons and there is no military use for them in practice.

    You actually seem to think NATO is organized around and commanded by rational people .. except rational people wouldn’t deploy nukes to begin with, let alone re-engineer them to a more precise strike capability…

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/02/14/tactical-nuclear-weapons-for-dummies/

    Here’s a few of your people playing the game of ‘bluff’ (geopolitical poker) with tactical nukes

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/02/03/people-who-behave-as-stupid-as-they-look/

    And good luck with all that because the generals at the Pentagon and NATO have little regard for ‘political decisions’ made elsewhere, they’re talking turkey nonstop as though they’re blessed by ‘god almighty’ and it would seem they actually believe that:

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/09/12/democracy-the-nazi-meme/

    ‘I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto’

    Read More
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  152. Sean says:

    Post is about Russia, I mentioned Iran as relevant because Russia is giving Iran advanced weapons, which makes a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities much more difficult. Russia just sold anti aircraft missiles to Iran, and is in fact coming under pressure from the neocons of the Lobby who are the anti-Iranian hawks today, and were anti-Soviet hawks during the Cold War. The Soviet Union was to a non trivial extent taken down by the neocons.

    The US does not like it that Russia thinks it itself a country of consequence on the world stage. The Ukraine mess may have been a deliberate gambit to get Russia bogged down.

    AS part of that effort, the U.S. government has bankrolled the National Endowment for Democracy. The nonprofit foundation has funded more than 60 projects aimed at promoting civil society in Ukraine, and the NED’s president, Carl Gershman, has called that country “the biggest prize.” After Yanukovych won Ukraine’s presidential election in February 2010, the NED decided he was undermining its goals, and so it stepped up its efforts to support the opposition and strengthen the country’s democratic institutions. When Russian leaders look at Western social engineering in Ukraine, they worry that their country might be next. And such fears are hardly groundless. In September 2013, Gershman wrote in The Washington Post, “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents.” He added: “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

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  153. 5371 says:
    @Zjerzy

    [Where’s the problem?]
    I point out that you treat the Ukraine as a unit, when it is obviously nothing of the kind. You do the same thing again and ask where the problem is. Facepalm.
     
    If you want you can keep facepalming. Still dont see any problem here.

    [As a result when Soviets came Poland fought them (and Ukrainians) successfully]
    You’re still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago, after your initial invasion of the Ukraine was repelled? If September 1939 had never happened, to this day you would be boasting, “Yeah, sure, we’da kicked dat Hitler’s ass!”
     
    You keep jumping from one conversation to another. First it was oppression of Polish peasants, then fairyland lifestyle of Polish peasants now it is time for tiny detachments of Red Army. Decide what kind of discussion you want. And for your information: it wasn’t tiny and you are speaking about two different wars. Secondly how could we boast “Yeah, sure, we’da kicked dat Hitler’s ass!” if September 1939 have never happened? More temporal logic, please.

    Theologians have the concept of invincible ignorance; your cretinism seems equally unassailable.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zjerzy
    AP called you abusive troll. Seems he was right.
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  154. Mitleser says:
    @Zjerzy

    Where did you get the idea that they want it back?

    The Kremlin wants the Ukraine neutralized.
     
    I would say that they want it neutralised if all else fails. Ideally they want Ukraine back in their loving arms. Without Ukraine there is no chance for imperial Russia rebirth and danger that Belorussia will follow Kiev.

    1. The Ukraine policy of the Russian government has failed.
    What happened in the last year was damage control.

    2. The Russian government does not want another costly empire.

    3. Ukraine is an excellent cautionary tale. No reasonable Belarusian would want a repeat of this mess in his country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zjerzy

    1. The Ukraine policy of the Russian government has failed.
    What happened in the last year was damage control.
     
    I agree. Moscow fucked it up. Without civil war Ukrainias would be quickly disappointed with new government. Hello internal disturbances, new elections, new pro-Moscow government, situation secure for next few years till next Maydan. Rinse repeat.

    2. The Russian government does not want another costly empire.
     
    Strongly disagree. Empire - or lets call it improved buffer zone - is necessary for Russian self image and for their sense of security. If Ukraine goes western that means: loss of of land that was Russian since time immemorial (or at least for a few hundred years), loss of cradle of Holy Rus statehood - Kiev, longer borders that need to be secured, and of course West is closer the heart of Russia.

    3. Ukraine is an excellent cautionary tale. No reasonable Belarusian would want a repeat of this mess in his country.
     
    Mildly disagree. Belorussian statehood and sense of being distinct nation are weaker than Ukrainian but there is new generation growing up and they are looking for their roots. Some of them are looking on the tradition of Grand Duchy of Lithuania for example (that leads to quite funny situation, where Belorussians see themselves as true heirs of Grand Duchy, and see present day Lithuanians as Johnny-come-latelies from some backwater northern wilderness). They don’t want to be “ethnographic mass” without traditions, eternal younger siblings of Mother Russia, which can only offer them traditions of Second World War/Great Patriotic War.
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  155. @Kiza
    I am absolutely amazed at a general and complete misunderstanding of the most commentators here of the true situation. This is like everybody has soaked up so much regime propaganda that they are all brain dead (not to mention the extremist government propaganda trolls such as bossel). Proof?

    Well here a few sentences from today's The Nation:
    1) "Armed Services Committee Chairman, Senator John McCain...derided the Obama administration’s “so-called reset” policy and warned of Mr. Putin’s “neo-imperial objectives.” McCain accused Russia of violating the Minsk II cease-fire agreement."
    2) General Breedlove: “I support the use, um, [quickly correcting himself] the consideration, of offensive military aid to Ukraine …”
    3) The most hawkish of the three, the Atlantic Council’s Ian Brzezinski (perhaps channeling his father Zbigniew), opined that the United States should impose tougher sanctions on Russia in order to “aggressively shock the Russian economy by shutting off its energy and financial sectors from the global economy.”

    Conclusion of the article: "Today, it would seem, Democrats and Republicans are engaged in a contest of who can ‘out-hawk’ the other on Russia."

    The shooting war is inevitable because the US Congress is like a pack of rabid dogs, whilst the US population is in a deep propaganda induced brain stupor and un/underemployment. The only way the US regime can remain in power is by starting a big war.

    Finally, here is everything you need to know about the reasons for the forthcoming big war: What does Putin want? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-02/what-does-putin-want

    You started by telling us earlier that you did not find Peter Frost’s writings interesting – as if you were so special in some relevant way that we should be interested in that! Yet you are an anonymous blogger with no more obvious knowledge or authority than those young Chinese and Indian nationalist trolls to be found typically infesting Economist blog Comments and other less august blogs. You mostly make raw Colonel Blimpish assertions as if evidence and serious forensic advocacy were unnecessary (or beyond you) but I have done you the courtesy of following your link to a “zerohedge” translation of a piece apparently entitled “What Putin Wants”. While it does not lack all logic, as is common in obsessive’s one- eyed pursuits, it is fantasy, with the most obvious concrete faults in its structure the extraordinary inflation of Russia’s weight and importance in the world and in the eyes of American policy makers and the corresponding absence of any mention of China (ever heard discussion of “the Chinese Century”: you certainly won’t have heard anyone imagine a Russian Century?) or India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia’s. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources. He fails to mention the disaster for Russia of the collapse in oil prices and the re-emerging energy independence of the US which will last for long enough probably for new technology in the US and many other countries (but not Russia) to make dependence on conventional hydrocarbons to make the US (and others) permanently free from energy constraints. He fails to notice the difference between the US with double Russia’s population and no threatening neighbours as well as much of the cream of the world’s scientists working there in universities or to make big money as in Silicon Valley and Russia’s comparatively enfeebled condition. And you neglect the obvious on Russia’s doorstep: if it doesn’t back off enough to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland where they can achieve prosperity in freedom (from Russian domination or gross interference) there would be Ukrainian terrorists in Russia to add to the Chechens and others who are disaffected. As for your fantasy about a European conflagration stirred by America – words fail me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia’s. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources.
     
    In the long run the US is going to be majority unwhite and young, with a massive population. I am not sure what all these people are going to be doing that will earn them the standard of living they will expect in view of automation and new technology making many occupations obsolete. Moreover, the mainly white elderly living on to very advanced ages will be resented as a burden by a young population that will have been brought up on narratives of oppression by whites.

    The western countries of the European Union will be similar to the US but with a higher percentage of old people and white immigrants from east Europe. Countries like Poland are emptying of the most capable and qualified workers at quite a rate. If HBD is correct these are genetic seed corn being lost. Poland is going to implode. If there is anything to HBD, Russia could have a trump card in being the only majority white country of any size in reasonable demographic shape. I think it is becoming clear that economic growth is not really the greatest thing for a country. The booms are often mainly property based and running on immigrant labour. Although that is partially true even in Russia according to the post, it may have a basis for solid economic development ( not 'growth') better than the EU and the US.

    China is going to be the most powerful country in the world no question, but that is a problem for the US not Russia. The day is not far off when Russia will be needed in an alliance to contain China.

    , @inertial

    to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland
     
    83% of Ukrainians prefer to speak Russian in their every day life (according to Gallup, see the second graph.)

    If Ukrainian speakers secure a homeland just for themselves, it's going to be a very small one.
    , @Kiza
    Your wizardly majesty, my deep apology for writing my own opinion bout Peter Frost and offending your sensitive perceptions. There are several Western trolls like yourself inhabiting these websites and regurgitating the Western propaganda because your brains are not capable much more that repeating what your government says. It is so easy for you - you open radio, TV, newspapers or one of the websites and you get your opinion. Unlike those Indians and Chinese you know who your masters are.

    US not threatening its neighbors????? Is there anyone in this part of the Galaxy who would not laugh at this rubbish? Readers from another Galaxy are welcome to ask any South American country under the tender mercies of the US trained Death Squads how unthreatening neighbor the US is. I will not bother disputing the rest of the propaganda bunkum that you quote as your opinion, the future will show who has a future: the sickly corrupt and declining US or the recovering Russia.

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  156. 5371 says:
    @AP

    You’re still dining out on having managed to survive against a tiny detachment of the Red Army 95 years ago
     
    I know you are trolling but by the summer of 1920 the Soviets had thrown 800,000 soldiers against Poland.

    Did your imaginary Polish friend tell you so, sockpuppeteer?

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  157. Sean says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    You started by telling us earlier that you did not find Peter Frost's writings interesting - as if you were so special in some relevant way that we should be interested in that! Yet you are an anonymous blogger with no more obvious knowledge or authority than those young Chinese and Indian nationalist trolls to be found typically infesting Economist blog Comments and other less august blogs. You mostly make raw Colonel Blimpish assertions as if evidence and serious forensic advocacy were unnecessary (or beyond you) but I have done you the courtesy of following your link to a "zerohedge" translation of a piece apparently entitled "What Putin Wants". While it does not lack all logic, as is common in obsessive's one- eyed pursuits, it is fantasy, with the most obvious concrete faults in its structure the extraordinary inflation of Russia's weight and importance in the world and in the eyes of American policy makers and the corresponding absence of any mention of China (ever heard discussion of "the Chinese Century": you certainly won't have heard anyone imagine a Russian Century?) or India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia's. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources. He fails to mention the disaster for Russia of the collapse in oil prices and the re-emerging energy independence of the US which will last for long enough probably for new technology in the US and many other countries (but not Russia) to make dependence on conventional hydrocarbons to make the US (and others) permanently free from energy constraints. He fails to notice the difference between the US with double Russia's population and no threatening neighbours as well as much of the cream of the world's scientists working there in universities or to make big money as in Silicon Valley and Russia's comparatively enfeebled condition. And you neglect the obvious on Russia's doorstep: if it doesn't back off enough to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland where they can achieve prosperity in freedom (from Russian domination or gross interference) there would be Ukrainian terrorists in Russia to add to the Chechens and others who are disaffected. As for your fantasy about a European conflagration stirred by America - words fail me.

    India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia’s. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources.

    In the long run the US is going to be majority unwhite and young, with a massive population. I am not sure what all these people are going to be doing that will earn them the standard of living they will expect in view of automation and new technology making many occupations obsolete. Moreover, the mainly white elderly living on to very advanced ages will be resented as a burden by a young population that will have been brought up on narratives of oppression by whites.

    The western countries of the European Union will be similar to the US but with a higher percentage of old people and white immigrants from east Europe. Countries like Poland are emptying of the most capable and qualified workers at quite a rate. If HBD is correct these are genetic seed corn being lost. Poland is going to implode. If there is anything to HBD, Russia could have a trump card in being the only majority white country of any size in reasonable demographic shape. I think it is becoming clear that economic growth is not really the greatest thing for a country. The booms are often mainly property based and running on immigrant labour. Although that is partially true even in Russia according to the post, it may have a basis for solid economic development ( not ‘growth’) better than the EU and the US.

    China is going to be the most powerful country in the world no question, but that is a problem for the US not Russia. The day is not far off when Russia will be needed in an alliance to contain China.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    You make some valid points even if over positively. But why isn't China a problem for Russia? Vastly greater in population and in energetic talented people and with no history to bind them.... True, the US should, 20 years ago, have started enlisting China to manage the world but that was obviously beyond US imagination even at sophisticated levels partly because of US obsession with "democracy" and its rhetoric. China seems to have a more efficient form if government though having to catch up in so many areas it doesn't appear to be.

    Russia has the resources to become an exciting Wild West for those of suitable energy, temperament and lack of scruple. China may provide the greater part of them but the more fertile India should not be forgotten.

    The US population in 50 years time will be very different as you note and the ability of its already dysfunctional structure, system and practice of government to cope will be questionable.

    But where do you get the idea that Russia may have a demographic advantage over anyone? Whether in numbers, age or ethnicity that sounds like a crock to me.
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  158. inertial says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    You started by telling us earlier that you did not find Peter Frost's writings interesting - as if you were so special in some relevant way that we should be interested in that! Yet you are an anonymous blogger with no more obvious knowledge or authority than those young Chinese and Indian nationalist trolls to be found typically infesting Economist blog Comments and other less august blogs. You mostly make raw Colonel Blimpish assertions as if evidence and serious forensic advocacy were unnecessary (or beyond you) but I have done you the courtesy of following your link to a "zerohedge" translation of a piece apparently entitled "What Putin Wants". While it does not lack all logic, as is common in obsessive's one- eyed pursuits, it is fantasy, with the most obvious concrete faults in its structure the extraordinary inflation of Russia's weight and importance in the world and in the eyes of American policy makers and the corresponding absence of any mention of China (ever heard discussion of "the Chinese Century": you certainly won't have heard anyone imagine a Russian Century?) or India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia's. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources. He fails to mention the disaster for Russia of the collapse in oil prices and the re-emerging energy independence of the US which will last for long enough probably for new technology in the US and many other countries (but not Russia) to make dependence on conventional hydrocarbons to make the US (and others) permanently free from energy constraints. He fails to notice the difference between the US with double Russia's population and no threatening neighbours as well as much of the cream of the world's scientists working there in universities or to make big money as in Silicon Valley and Russia's comparatively enfeebled condition. And you neglect the obvious on Russia's doorstep: if it doesn't back off enough to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland where they can achieve prosperity in freedom (from Russian domination or gross interference) there would be Ukrainian terrorists in Russia to add to the Chechens and others who are disaffected. As for your fantasy about a European conflagration stirred by America - words fail me.

    to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland

    83% of Ukrainians prefer to speak Russian in their every day life (according to Gallup, see the second graph.)

    If Ukrainian speakers secure a homeland just for themselves, it’s going to be a very small one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    I've seen this poll also. It had a fairly small sample size (1000) and seems to be quite counterintuitive - the fully Ukrainian-speaking western oblasts have about 20% of Ukraine's population so this would mean that virtually nobody else uses Ukrainian in daily life. Which, if anyone who has visited Ukrainan-speaking villages and small towns outside Kiev, would know is false.

    Here is a much larger study involving 22,000 interviews in a representative sample across the country.

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    Page 4. When asked which language the people would want to conduct the interview in (what the Gallup poll measured), there was no statistical difference between preference for Russian or Ukrainian (that is, about a 50/50 split).

    When asked which language was easier to speak, 41.2% Ukrainian, 44.2% Russian, 14.5% both equally in 2002
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Very interesting about the language preference of Ukrainians. But so important a fact that I have made a note to follow it up - not least with my Ukrainian-Australian professor friend who wouldn't lie and I presume has ways of knowing as well as Gallup.
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  159. Zjerzy says:
    @Mitleser
    1. The Ukraine policy of the Russian government has failed.
    What happened in the last year was damage control.

    2. The Russian government does not want another costly empire.

    3. Ukraine is an excellent cautionary tale. No reasonable Belarusian would want a repeat of this mess in his country.

    1. The Ukraine policy of the Russian government has failed.
    What happened in the last year was damage control.

    I agree. Moscow fucked it up. Without civil war Ukrainias would be quickly disappointed with new government. Hello internal disturbances, new elections, new pro-Moscow government, situation secure for next few years till next Maydan. Rinse repeat.

    2. The Russian government does not want another costly empire.

    Strongly disagree. Empire – or lets call it improved buffer zone – is necessary for Russian self image and for their sense of security. If Ukraine goes western that means: loss of of land that was Russian since time immemorial (or at least for a few hundred years), loss of cradle of Holy Rus statehood – Kiev, longer borders that need to be secured, and of course West is closer the heart of Russia.

    3. Ukraine is an excellent cautionary tale. No reasonable Belarusian would want a repeat of this mess in his country.

    Mildly disagree. Belorussian statehood and sense of being distinct nation are weaker than Ukrainian but there is new generation growing up and they are looking for their roots. Some of them are looking on the tradition of Grand Duchy of Lithuania for example (that leads to quite funny situation, where Belorussians see themselves as true heirs of Grand Duchy, and see present day Lithuanians as Johnny-come-latelies from some backwater northern wilderness). They don’t want to be “ethnographic mass” without traditions, eternal younger siblings of Mother Russia, which can only offer them traditions of Second World War/Great Patriotic War.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    1. New elections would be too late to fix it. The damage was already done.

    2. Wanting a buffer zone between yourself and an expanding, hostile military alliance is not an imperial ambition, it's a rational security policy.

    3. I hope the number of Belarusians who thinks like that stays a minority. Belarus is modern nation. It does not need stupid nationalism.
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  160. Zjerzy says:
    @5371
    Theologians have the concept of invincible ignorance; your cretinism seems equally unassailable.

    AP called you abusive troll. Seems he was right.

    Read More
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  161. inertial says:
    @AP
    Ukrainians know more about their own country, Russia, and their immediate West than you do and they overwhelmingly choose the West over Russia.

    It’s hard to say what they choose right now as honest polling is impossible in Ukraine. But here are the results from several years ago.

    R&B’s survey also found that 35 percent of Ukrainians would like to see Ukraine united with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, compared to 22 percent who wish to join the EU and ten percent who wanted to restore the Soviet Union. These results were confirmed by a poll published on June 17 by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). According to KIIS President Valery Khmelko, 23 percent of Ukrainians desire full unification with Russia – compared to only 12 percent of Russians wanting the same.

    While only a quarter of Ukrainian respondents want full unification with Russia, 68 percent want an EU-style border-free regime with Russia, with Russia and Ukraine being “independent but friendly states” without a visa regime or custom controls. Only 7.8 percent of respondents were in favor of Ukraine’s relations with Russia becoming the same as its relations with other countries, i.e. with border controls, customs and visas.

    I don’t want to become syon but I just have to quote this nugget:

    In fact, this contrasts even with the prevailing sentiment in Russia, where respondents are far more cautious about union with Ukraine. Perhaps due to the Ukrainian leadership’s antagonistic policies toward Russia, emphasized by the Russian state-controlled media, only 50 percent of Russian respondents want to see a border-free regime between the two countries. Twenty-nine percent want relations with Ukraine to be the same as with all other countries. “Ukrainians’ attitude toward Russia is much better than the Russians’ attitude toward the Ukraine. Over 90 percent of people in Ukraine have a positive attitude toward Russia – and it has become even better over the past year,” Khmelko noted.

    You may dispute the results of these surveys but note that not long after this was published, in the last free presidential elections in Ukraine, the Ukrainians overwhelmingly voted for Yanukovich, the supposed pro-Russian puppet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    The poll you cite is correct and accurate. It was from several years ago. Two comments:

    1. The most "pro-Russian" parts of Ukraine have left. If that poll had been run without Donbas and without Crimea, EU would probably have won in terms of support, by a slim margin.

    2. Due to the seizure of Crimea and the war in Donbas, the rest of the country has swung far in an anti-Russian direction. KIIS has been tracking Ukrainian attitudes towards Russia for years and early 2014 saw a drastic drop in support for Russia.

    So two factors - loss of pro-Russian heartland, and backlash against Russia - now make Ukraine much more strongly oriented towards then West, than towards Russia.

    Here's detailed polling data tracking the changes over time and by region, by the same polling agency you cited:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=eng&cat=reports&id=507&page=1

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  162. Mitleser says:
    @Zjerzy

    1. The Ukraine policy of the Russian government has failed.
    What happened in the last year was damage control.
     
    I agree. Moscow fucked it up. Without civil war Ukrainias would be quickly disappointed with new government. Hello internal disturbances, new elections, new pro-Moscow government, situation secure for next few years till next Maydan. Rinse repeat.

    2. The Russian government does not want another costly empire.
     
    Strongly disagree. Empire - or lets call it improved buffer zone - is necessary for Russian self image and for their sense of security. If Ukraine goes western that means: loss of of land that was Russian since time immemorial (or at least for a few hundred years), loss of cradle of Holy Rus statehood - Kiev, longer borders that need to be secured, and of course West is closer the heart of Russia.

    3. Ukraine is an excellent cautionary tale. No reasonable Belarusian would want a repeat of this mess in his country.
     
    Mildly disagree. Belorussian statehood and sense of being distinct nation are weaker than Ukrainian but there is new generation growing up and they are looking for their roots. Some of them are looking on the tradition of Grand Duchy of Lithuania for example (that leads to quite funny situation, where Belorussians see themselves as true heirs of Grand Duchy, and see present day Lithuanians as Johnny-come-latelies from some backwater northern wilderness). They don’t want to be “ethnographic mass” without traditions, eternal younger siblings of Mother Russia, which can only offer them traditions of Second World War/Great Patriotic War.

    1. New elections would be too late to fix it. The damage was already done.

    2. Wanting a buffer zone between yourself and an expanding, hostile military alliance is not an imperial ambition, it’s a rational security policy.

    3. I hope the number of Belarusians who thinks like that stays a minority. Belarus is modern nation. It does not need stupid nationalism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zjerzy

    2. Wanting a buffer zone between yourself and an expanding, hostile military alliance is not an imperial ambition, it’s a rational security policy.
     
    Tell this to people forced to became your buffer zone.

    I hope the number of Belarusians who thinks like that stays a minority. Belarus is modern nation. It does not need stupid nationalism.
     
    Other peoples nationalism is generally stupid and barbaric when it doesn't agree with one's political view.
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  163. inertial says:
    @Zjerzy
    Poland didn't get the same deal as Finland. Couldn't. Finland was a backwater without strategic importance. So tsars could let themselves be soft and cuddly there. But Russia couldn't tolerate semi-liberal autonomous Poland – that was the part of the empire that connected them to Europe. Future wars would be waged there. So no deal, Poles.

    And believe it or not Russians weren't the best oppressors (that would be Austrians). The Constitution you speak of – Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland from 1815 was in force only for a few years. Almost from the start those liberal laws were broken and circumvented by bureaucracy. Russian standards of governance (whip and fist) were soon implemented, political promises were broken and situation quickly deteriorated. The result? A few uprisings, Siberia got a lot more inhabitants, many Russian bureaucrats got themselves new landed property.

    Meanwhile those bad Germans offered the rule of law and some economic progress. Eradication of Polish language and culture was tried but in the second half of the century, when Prussians realized that Poles don’t intend to Germanize by themselves and can even compete with them on economic ground. But even at their worst those XIX century Germans were never so oppressive as Russians.

    That’s why I said “initially”. After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of “Ukrainian” ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others’) Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it. The past real or imagined wrong are mere rationalizations. The funny thing about it, this may well change in the future. The EU membership hasn’t worked out all that hotly for Poland, it’s economy has been basically treading water. On the other hand, Russian GDP has already caught up to that of Poland (on the PPP basis.) It may well exceed it in the future. Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It’s possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    I respect your sentiment and your intentions, but Poles turning towards Russia???? Have you ever met any Polish person and asked him/her about Russia, I almost wonder? Their hate of Russia is incomprehensible. For all those spouting rubbish about Russia threatening Poland, the simple fact is that the Poles are Roman Catholic and the Russians are Russian Orthodox, and they will love each other as much as Shiites love Sunnis or Protestants loved Catholics. That is, the Poles will never, ever love the Russians and the Russians will never ever love the Poles. Peaceful coexistence is the only achievable goal. But Poland has joined the US/Western attack on Russia and it will probably get used up and kicked, this time as so many times before. The Poles appear not to comprehend that no matter how much they hate Russia, they must find a modus vivendi with it. But I read that Polish mercenaires are the bravest and the best fighters for the US/Nazi side in Ukraine.
    , @Zjerzy

    That’s why I said “initially”. After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of “Ukrainian” ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.
     
    The logic of Russian Empire was such that it couldn’t be Mr. Nice Guy for more than a few years. One chink in armor of authoritarianism and other minorities would start demanding similar treatment. Besides they were unable to abide by laws of constitution they had given. Those abuses caused the uprisings.

    On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal.
     
    Or maybe they were offered deal? Russia haven’t offered such. Even when tsar wanted to make some concessions in the interest of local civil and military bureaucracy was to sabotage them. There was power, money and promotions in ruling restless province. Consider also – three partitioning powers, all more or less authoritarian ruling Poland for more than century. And only one has almost continuous problems with armed uprisings. However you look at this Russia must be special.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others’) Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it.
     
    Trying to psychoanalyze whole nation now?

    Yes, there is something to this point of view. But it really surprises me that anybody can look at this as some kind of revelation. Russians ruled this part of Europe for fifty years and left a big mess after themselves. They fucked economy, culture, politics and history. They left graves and crooked political structures, healing injuries they left in collective consciousness will take at least one generation more. They basically left Eastern Europe with one big post-colonial syndrome.


    Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It’s possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.
     
    Actually this would be not funny but rather sad. And it’s neither probable nor desirable. Russia economic perspectives doesn’t looks so bright, Polish exports to Russia is falling. Russia’s knows how to export one thing - energy. Let’s hope this dependency is soon cured. And I doubt that even economic miracle beyond eastern border will change much in how Russia is seen.

    Generally I am an advocate of building humongous concrete wall on the eastern border of EU, putting a lot of razor wire and a lot of minefields. Let the Russians live behind this wall on a diet of their newly discovered traditionalist values and in happy cooperation with China. After a few centuries our descendants may try to check if any of them survived.

    , @AP

    On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of “Ukrainian” ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.
     
    Austrian relationship to Ukrainian nation-building was not much different from Russian role in the creation Latvian and Estonian nations. They financed schools and such but the work was all done by natives* (Austrians wanted to limit power of local Polish nobles in Galicia, Russians wanted to limit power of local German barons in the Baltic area).

    The "Austrian" Ukrainians were pretty tolerant: there were no massacres and such during their war against Poland. It was the next, post-Austrian generation who were the real brutal ones.

    The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians.
     
    Well, who brought communism to them? Communism screwed up Russia, why would you think that it wouldn't screw up Eastern Europe too?

    Did you know that in 1910 Galicia, despite being tied with Dalmatia as the poorest Austrian province, had a higher par capita income than Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Romania?

    The EU membership hasn’t worked out all that hotly for Poland, it’s economy has been basically treading water
     
    Poland has enjoyed years of steady economic growth, without the benefit of massive oil and gas deposits. Natural resources are about 30% of Russia's economy: remove that factor, and Russia's per capita GDP PPP becomes similar to that of Romania.


    * Caveat: Many Ukrainian activists were actually refugees from the Russian Empire.
    , @Davidski
    I don't think you realize how weak the relationship between Poland and Russia has become. Basically, at the moment, Russia is three things to Poland:

    a) the main natural gas supplier

    b) a potential threat

    c) another Slavic speaking country

    That's pretty much it, and it won't change within our lifetimes. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, I just think it's helpful to be realistic in these sorts of discussions. Otherwise, what's the point, because we might as well be discussing fiction.

    Poland's main trading partner by far is Germany, and billions of Euros are invested every year to help improve this relationship. So it's not a matter of choosing between the west and Russia, and flipping a switch when Russia starts doing really well. It's much deeper than that.
    , @Cliff Arroyo
    "The EU membership hasn’t worked out all that hotly for Poland, it’s economy has been basically treading water"

    I live in Poland and that statement is essentially bonkers. So far Poland is very satisfied with EU membership, the country got to export a lot of its unemployment and has avoided the worst of the ongoing economic crisis. If the country ever adopts the Euro that could change but the idea keeps getting put off.

    Lots of problems remain (not least being the eternal lagging of the eastern parts that were part of the Russian empire) but if you look at infrastructure in almost any major city you see huge improvements from 10 years ago.

    IME Polish people don't necessarily mind Russians individually but they have a strong (well founded) aversion to Russian governments and Russian territorial ambitions.
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  164. AP says:
    @inertial
    It's hard to say what they choose right now as honest polling is impossible in Ukraine. But here are the results from several years ago.

    R&B’s survey also found that 35 percent of Ukrainians would like to see Ukraine united with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, compared to 22 percent who wish to join the EU and ten percent who wanted to restore the Soviet Union. These results were confirmed by a poll published on June 17 by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). According to KIIS President Valery Khmelko, 23 percent of Ukrainians desire full unification with Russia – compared to only 12 percent of Russians wanting the same.
    ...
    While only a quarter of Ukrainian respondents want full unification with Russia, 68 percent want an EU-style border-free regime with Russia, with Russia and Ukraine being “independent but friendly states” without a visa regime or custom controls. Only 7.8 percent of respondents were in favor of Ukraine’s relations with Russia becoming the same as its relations with other countries, i.e. with border controls, customs and visas.
     
    I don't want to become syon but I just have to quote this nugget:

    In fact, this contrasts even with the prevailing sentiment in Russia, where respondents are far more cautious about union with Ukraine. Perhaps due to the Ukrainian leadership’s antagonistic policies toward Russia, emphasized by the Russian state-controlled media, only 50 percent of Russian respondents want to see a border-free regime between the two countries. Twenty-nine percent want relations with Ukraine to be the same as with all other countries. “Ukrainians’ attitude toward Russia is much better than the Russians’ attitude toward the Ukraine. Over 90 percent of people in Ukraine have a positive attitude toward Russia – and it has become even better over the past year,” Khmelko noted.
     
    You may dispute the results of these surveys but note that not long after this was published, in the last free presidential elections in Ukraine, the Ukrainians overwhelmingly voted for Yanukovich, the supposed pro-Russian puppet.

    The poll you cite is correct and accurate. It was from several years ago. Two comments:

    1. The most “pro-Russian” parts of Ukraine have left. If that poll had been run without Donbas and without Crimea, EU would probably have won in terms of support, by a slim margin.

    2. Due to the seizure of Crimea and the war in Donbas, the rest of the country has swung far in an anti-Russian direction. KIIS has been tracking Ukrainian attitudes towards Russia for years and early 2014 saw a drastic drop in support for Russia.

    So two factors – loss of pro-Russian heartland, and backlash against Russia – now make Ukraine much more strongly oriented towards then West, than towards Russia.

    Here’s detailed polling data tracking the changes over time and by region, by the same polling agency you cited:

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=eng&cat=reports&id=507&page=1

    Read More
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  165. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    You started by telling us earlier that you did not find Peter Frost's writings interesting - as if you were so special in some relevant way that we should be interested in that! Yet you are an anonymous blogger with no more obvious knowledge or authority than those young Chinese and Indian nationalist trolls to be found typically infesting Economist blog Comments and other less august blogs. You mostly make raw Colonel Blimpish assertions as if evidence and serious forensic advocacy were unnecessary (or beyond you) but I have done you the courtesy of following your link to a "zerohedge" translation of a piece apparently entitled "What Putin Wants". While it does not lack all logic, as is common in obsessive's one- eyed pursuits, it is fantasy, with the most obvious concrete faults in its structure the extraordinary inflation of Russia's weight and importance in the world and in the eyes of American policy makers and the corresponding absence of any mention of China (ever heard discussion of "the Chinese Century": you certainly won't have heard anyone imagine a Russian Century?) or India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia's. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources. He fails to mention the disaster for Russia of the collapse in oil prices and the re-emerging energy independence of the US which will last for long enough probably for new technology in the US and many other countries (but not Russia) to make dependence on conventional hydrocarbons to make the US (and others) permanently free from energy constraints. He fails to notice the difference between the US with double Russia's population and no threatening neighbours as well as much of the cream of the world's scientists working there in universities or to make big money as in Silicon Valley and Russia's comparatively enfeebled condition. And you neglect the obvious on Russia's doorstep: if it doesn't back off enough to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland where they can achieve prosperity in freedom (from Russian domination or gross interference) there would be Ukrainian terrorists in Russia to add to the Chechens and others who are disaffected. As for your fantasy about a European conflagration stirred by America - words fail me.

    Your wizardly majesty, my deep apology for writing my own opinion bout Peter Frost and offending your sensitive perceptions. There are several Western trolls like yourself inhabiting these websites and regurgitating the Western propaganda because your brains are not capable much more that repeating what your government says. It is so easy for you – you open radio, TV, newspapers or one of the websites and you get your opinion. Unlike those Indians and Chinese you know who your masters are.

    US not threatening its neighbors????? Is there anyone in this part of the Galaxy who would not laugh at this rubbish? Readers from another Galaxy are welcome to ask any South American country under the tender mercies of the US trained Death Squads how unthreatening neighbor the US is. I will not bother disputing the rest of the propaganda bunkum that you quote as your opinion, the future will show who has a future: the sickly corrupt and declining US or the recovering Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    Apart from your style of mere (unsubstantiated) assertion which can persuade no one you vitiate any claim to be heard by total failure to read and comprehend what you purport to respond to.

    To wit... I didn't say the US didn't/doesn't threaten its neighbours. I said it had no threatening neighbours which means, in case your English comprehension is limited by ethnicity or intelligence, that no neighbours threaten it - unlike Russia even if it us not being actively threatened on any scale right now.
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  166. Zjerzy says:
    @Mitleser
    1. New elections would be too late to fix it. The damage was already done.

    2. Wanting a buffer zone between yourself and an expanding, hostile military alliance is not an imperial ambition, it's a rational security policy.

    3. I hope the number of Belarusians who thinks like that stays a minority. Belarus is modern nation. It does not need stupid nationalism.

    2. Wanting a buffer zone between yourself and an expanding, hostile military alliance is not an imperial ambition, it’s a rational security policy.

    Tell this to people forced to became your buffer zone.

    I hope the number of Belarusians who thinks like that stays a minority. Belarus is modern nation. It does not need stupid nationalism.

    Other peoples nationalism is generally stupid and barbaric when it doesn’t agree with one’s political view.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    1. People aren't buffer zones, territories are.

    2. Nationalism is stupid and dangerous if it is based on lies/non-existent continuity like in this case.
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  167. Kiza says:
    @inertial
    That's why I said "initially". After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of "Ukrainian" ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others') Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it. The past real or imagined wrong are mere rationalizations. The funny thing about it, this may well change in the future. The EU membership hasn't worked out all that hotly for Poland, it's economy has been basically treading water. On the other hand, Russian GDP has already caught up to that of Poland (on the PPP basis.) It may well exceed it in the future. Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It's possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.

    I respect your sentiment and your intentions, but Poles turning towards Russia???? Have you ever met any Polish person and asked him/her about Russia, I almost wonder? Their hate of Russia is incomprehensible. For all those spouting rubbish about Russia threatening Poland, the simple fact is that the Poles are Roman Catholic and the Russians are Russian Orthodox, and they will love each other as much as Shiites love Sunnis or Protestants loved Catholics. That is, the Poles will never, ever love the Russians and the Russians will never ever love the Poles. Peaceful coexistence is the only achievable goal. But Poland has joined the US/Western attack on Russia and it will probably get used up and kicked, this time as so many times before. The Poles appear not to comprehend that no matter how much they hate Russia, they must find a modus vivendi with it. But I read that Polish mercenaires are the bravest and the best fighters for the US/Nazi side in Ukraine.

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    Consider the shift of Polish attitudes toward Germany...or Ukrainian nationalism. As Machiavelli teaches us, political sympathies follow the wallet.
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  168. AP says:
    @inertial

    to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland
     
    83% of Ukrainians prefer to speak Russian in their every day life (according to Gallup, see the second graph.)

    If Ukrainian speakers secure a homeland just for themselves, it's going to be a very small one.

    I’ve seen this poll also. It had a fairly small sample size (1000) and seems to be quite counterintuitive – the fully Ukrainian-speaking western oblasts have about 20% of Ukraine’s population so this would mean that virtually nobody else uses Ukrainian in daily life. Which, if anyone who has visited Ukrainan-speaking villages and small towns outside Kiev, would know is false.

    Here is a much larger study involving 22,000 interviews in a representative sample across the country.

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    Page 4. When asked which language the people would want to conduct the interview in (what the Gallup poll measured), there was no statistical difference between preference for Russian or Ukrainian (that is, about a 50/50 split).

    When asked which language was easier to speak, 41.2% Ukrainian, 44.2% Russian, 14.5% both equally in 2002

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial
    A sample of 1000 is a quite enough for the country the size of Ukraine.

    The genius of the Gallup poll is that they didn't ask people which language they speak, prefer to use, etc. The people tend to answer such questions in a PC way. Instead, the Gallup researchers pretended that the poll was about something else but gave the people the choice of language. Voila, revealed preference.
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  169. inertial says:
    @Kiza
    I respect your sentiment and your intentions, but Poles turning towards Russia???? Have you ever met any Polish person and asked him/her about Russia, I almost wonder? Their hate of Russia is incomprehensible. For all those spouting rubbish about Russia threatening Poland, the simple fact is that the Poles are Roman Catholic and the Russians are Russian Orthodox, and they will love each other as much as Shiites love Sunnis or Protestants loved Catholics. That is, the Poles will never, ever love the Russians and the Russians will never ever love the Poles. Peaceful coexistence is the only achievable goal. But Poland has joined the US/Western attack on Russia and it will probably get used up and kicked, this time as so many times before. The Poles appear not to comprehend that no matter how much they hate Russia, they must find a modus vivendi with it. But I read that Polish mercenaires are the bravest and the best fighters for the US/Nazi side in Ukraine.

    Consider the shift of Polish attitudes toward Germany…or Ukrainian nationalism. As Machiavelli teaches us, political sympathies follow the wallet.

    Read More
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  170. Zjerzy says:
    @inertial
    That's why I said "initially". After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of "Ukrainian" ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others') Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it. The past real or imagined wrong are mere rationalizations. The funny thing about it, this may well change in the future. The EU membership hasn't worked out all that hotly for Poland, it's economy has been basically treading water. On the other hand, Russian GDP has already caught up to that of Poland (on the PPP basis.) It may well exceed it in the future. Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It's possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.

    That’s why I said “initially”. After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of “Ukrainian” ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    The logic of Russian Empire was such that it couldn’t be Mr. Nice Guy for more than a few years. One chink in armor of authoritarianism and other minorities would start demanding similar treatment. Besides they were unable to abide by laws of constitution they had given. Those abuses caused the uprisings.

    On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal.

    Or maybe they were offered deal? Russia haven’t offered such. Even when tsar wanted to make some concessions in the interest of local civil and military bureaucracy was to sabotage them. There was power, money and promotions in ruling restless province. Consider also – three partitioning powers, all more or less authoritarian ruling Poland for more than century. And only one has almost continuous problems with armed uprisings. However you look at this Russia must be special.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others’) Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it.

    Trying to psychoanalyze whole nation now?

    Yes, there is something to this point of view. But it really surprises me that anybody can look at this as some kind of revelation. Russians ruled this part of Europe for fifty years and left a big mess after themselves. They fucked economy, culture, politics and history. They left graves and crooked political structures, healing injuries they left in collective consciousness will take at least one generation more. They basically left Eastern Europe with one big post-colonial syndrome.

    Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It’s possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.

    Actually this would be not funny but rather sad. And it’s neither probable nor desirable. Russia economic perspectives doesn’t looks so bright, Polish exports to Russia is falling. Russia’s knows how to export one thing – energy. Let’s hope this dependency is soon cured. And I doubt that even economic miracle beyond eastern border will change much in how Russia is seen.

    Generally I am an advocate of building humongous concrete wall on the eastern border of EU, putting a lot of razor wire and a lot of minefields. Let the Russians live behind this wall on a diet of their newly discovered traditionalist values and in happy cooperation with China. After a few centuries our descendants may try to check if any of them survived.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Your descendants... If you were serious about the future of your children, you would think about something more rational and reliable than a wall around a country that has been tried, at earnest, to integrate into Europe. Considering the Empire of Federal Reserve' stubborn resolve to keep its global hegemony by any means, including a nuclear war with another nuclear-armed country, the Russophobia is not just stupid but dangerous. By the way, Poland was not particularly sensitive to the human rights when the Cheney' directives made Poland a seat of torture chambers and illegal renditions. It also helps to think that both the US and Russian Federation are the multinational states. The crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime were implemented by Georgians, Jews, Russians, Latvians, Polish, Tatars... just name any ethnicity. The same ethnic diversity is seen among the best contributors to humanity. It is a courage that makes person a real mensch, not the ethnicity. You are focused too much on tribal trifles.
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  171. inertial says:
    @AP
    I've seen this poll also. It had a fairly small sample size (1000) and seems to be quite counterintuitive - the fully Ukrainian-speaking western oblasts have about 20% of Ukraine's population so this would mean that virtually nobody else uses Ukrainian in daily life. Which, if anyone who has visited Ukrainan-speaking villages and small towns outside Kiev, would know is false.

    Here is a much larger study involving 22,000 interviews in a representative sample across the country.

    http://www.kiis.com.ua/materials/articles_HVE/16_linguaethnical.pdf

    Page 4. When asked which language the people would want to conduct the interview in (what the Gallup poll measured), there was no statistical difference between preference for Russian or Ukrainian (that is, about a 50/50 split).

    When asked which language was easier to speak, 41.2% Ukrainian, 44.2% Russian, 14.5% both equally in 2002

    A sample of 1000 is a quite enough for the country the size of Ukraine.

    The genius of the Gallup poll is that they didn’t ask people which language they speak, prefer to use, etc. The people tend to answer such questions in a PC way. Instead, the Gallup researchers pretended that the poll was about something else but gave the people the choice of language. Voila, revealed preference.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    The genius of the Gallup poll is that they didn’t ask people which language they speak, prefer to use, etc.
     
    The Gallup poll didn't pretend it was about something else but simply asked what language people would prefer to be asked the questions in.

    That's the exact same method used in the much larger KIIS poll with 20,000 people. And the result was a 50/50 split.

    Again, 83% using Russian makes little sense, given that the Western 20% of the country is almost completely Ukrainian speaking. It would mean that almost nobody outside those regions speaks Ukrainian at home.
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  172. AP says:
    @inertial
    A sample of 1000 is a quite enough for the country the size of Ukraine.

    The genius of the Gallup poll is that they didn't ask people which language they speak, prefer to use, etc. The people tend to answer such questions in a PC way. Instead, the Gallup researchers pretended that the poll was about something else but gave the people the choice of language. Voila, revealed preference.

    The genius of the Gallup poll is that they didn’t ask people which language they speak, prefer to use, etc.

    The Gallup poll didn’t pretend it was about something else but simply asked what language people would prefer to be asked the questions in.

    That’s the exact same method used in the much larger KIIS poll with 20,000 people. And the result was a 50/50 split.

    Again, 83% using Russian makes little sense, given that the Western 20% of the country is almost completely Ukrainian speaking. It would mean that almost nobody outside those regions speaks Ukrainian at home.

    Read More
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  173. AP says:
    @inertial
    That's why I said "initially". After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of "Ukrainian" ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others') Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it. The past real or imagined wrong are mere rationalizations. The funny thing about it, this may well change in the future. The EU membership hasn't worked out all that hotly for Poland, it's economy has been basically treading water. On the other hand, Russian GDP has already caught up to that of Poland (on the PPP basis.) It may well exceed it in the future. Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It's possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.

    On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of “Ukrainian” ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    Austrian relationship to Ukrainian nation-building was not much different from Russian role in the creation Latvian and Estonian nations. They financed schools and such but the work was all done by natives* (Austrians wanted to limit power of local Polish nobles in Galicia, Russians wanted to limit power of local German barons in the Baltic area).

    The “Austrian” Ukrainians were pretty tolerant: there were no massacres and such during their war against Poland. It was the next, post-Austrian generation who were the real brutal ones.

    The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians.

    Well, who brought communism to them? Communism screwed up Russia, why would you think that it wouldn’t screw up Eastern Europe too?

    Did you know that in 1910 Galicia, despite being tied with Dalmatia as the poorest Austrian province, had a higher par capita income than Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Romania?

    The EU membership hasn’t worked out all that hotly for Poland, it’s economy has been basically treading water

    Poland has enjoyed years of steady economic growth, without the benefit of massive oil and gas deposits. Natural resources are about 30% of Russia’s economy: remove that factor, and Russia’s per capita GDP PPP becomes similar to that of Romania.

    * Caveat: Many Ukrainian activists were actually refugees from the Russian Empire.

    Read More
    • Replies: @inertial

    Austrian relationship to Ukrainian nation-building was not much different from Russian role in the creation Latvian and Estonian nations. They financed schools and such but the work was all done by natives*
     
    Not quite. The Rusyn nationalism appeared all by itself but there were several paths it could've taken. The Austrian authorities strongly discouraged, even suppressed, the strands that were a danger to them and encouraged those that were a potential threat to the Russian Empire.

    Natural resources are about 30% of Russia’s economy: remove that factor, and Russia’s per capita GDP PPP becomes similar to that of Romania.
     
    Actually, natural resource rents are now under 20% of Russian economy and falling.
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  174. Duplicate of the comment to another post of Unz.com web-site.

    I recently watched interview (in Russian) with the economics Professor Katasonov.
    He made a statement that the money from IMF and World Bank are directed to Ukraine with the purpose to bring them closer to State bankruptcy. After such bankruptcy will be announced, the division of assets follows. The negotiations are already going on in Kiev between Franklin-Templeton Investments, which previously bought a large fraction of Ukrainian sovereign debt (do not ask me, what is it), and finance minister of Ukraine, US-born Natalie Jaresko.

    Wikipedia: Jaresko held several economics-related positions at the US Department of State in Washington, D.C., and eventually coordinated activities of the State Department, the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, the United States Trade Representative, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in their economic relations with the Soviet Union and its successors. As part of her work she interacted with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Later from 1992 to 1995, she was the first Chief of the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, responsible for strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.

    Katasonov: Right now Jaresko is developing new laws, which will allow selling land in Ukraine to foreign owners. As an asset under the bankruptcy procedures, it is very attractive — famous Ukrainian “black soil” (chernozem) and easy to be claimed at pretty low price for that land.

    I am grateful to commentator SmoothieX12 for pointing to spelling confusion in my original comment.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Well, the good side of stripping off Ukraine of anything valuable and pushing population into deep poverty is that the Russians will be able to see the Western Defenders of Freedom and Democracy in action next door. Hopefully, this will reduce the influence of the pro-Western Russian Liberals who are aiming for a leading role if the same kind of stripping would return back to a weakened "aggressive" Russia, to repeat the Yeltsin era.
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  175. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    In a hypothetical universe that lacks nukes but is otherwise exactly like the world in which we live the conventional US invasion of Russia would be directed by exactly the same policy makers who directed the US invasion of Iraq.

    US policy towards Russia and the Ukraine is currently led by Victoria Nuland. Her brother in law Frederick Kagan is said to be the author of the Surge, which everyone who followed the second Iraq war remembers well. From the Wikipedia:

    "Kagan authored the "real Iraq Study Group" report as the AEI's rival to the ISG report of James Baker and Lee H. Hamilton in December 2006. The AEI report, titled Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq, was released on January 5, 2007, and Kagan was said to have won-over the ear of President George W. Bush,[3] strongly influencing his subsequent "surge" plan for changing the course of the Iraq War. Along with retired Gen. Jack Keane, retired Col. Joel Armstrong, and retired Maj. Daniel Dwyer, Kagan is credited as one of the "intellectual architects" of the surge plan.

    Since such an invasion would be planned by the same people moved by the same motivations, it would just be a scaling up of the Iraq experience in terms of size and intensity. And in terms of casualties. Russia is much larger than Iraq and Russians make for more effective insurgents than Iraqis.

    Imagining a different set of policy makers would introduce a second layer of make belief. We were already getting into silly territory (my fault entirely) with the no-nukes rule.

    It’s not that far-fetched that the US military would have more influence over prosecuting a conventional war with a major military like Russia’s.

    I’m still not exactly sure what your point is. Do you disagree with the claim that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    I agree with the anonymous below. The rules-of-engagement thing a loser's excuse. The neocons who set these rules felt no sympathy for Iraqis. They had no reason to restrict the brutality and to my knowledge they did not restrict in any unusual by war time standards way. There were plenty of well-documented incidents of horrendous brutality committed by US troops. By historical standards, compared with the record of past occupations through the centuries, US troops behaved in an absolutely beastly fashion. You won't acknowledge it for selfish reasons, but the world knows it. The word has seen the pictures and heard the victims' testimony.

    Most deaths were indeed due to sectarian violence, but a large percentage was caused by US troops directly. And the sectarian violence was deliberately unleashed by US troops in their capacity as neocons' tools. An existing order was overthrown and replaced with disorder.

    The neocons had to finally withdraw most US troops from Iraq because in spite of every possible technological and rules-related advantage they were still being killed at too high a rate for the TV audience at home. The war was lost. The Sunni triangle is now controlled by ISIS.

    , @Glossy
    Can you provide a list of things that US troops weren't allowed to do or couldn't get away with doing in Iraq which other occupational regimes in recent history could do? How exactly were US troops hampered compared with recent historical US and worldwide norms?
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  176. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The US was hampered by rules of engagement and political concerns in Iraq

    Just another ‘stab in the back’ claim with no basis in reality. ‘If only we took the gloves off we would have succeeded but were prevented from achieving victory ‘ revisionism of history. Rules of engagement and political concerns are there for a number of reasons, one of them being to prevent the entire population going over to the resistance due to being alienated.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Iraq has a population of 36 million. The highest estimates of Iraqi casualties are around 1 million. Contrast that with, for example, Korea. As Air Force general Curtis LeMay said: "We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.… Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?" We were saturation bombing, firebombing, and dropping napalm on towns in North Korea. The equivalent in Iraq would be to saturation bomb, firebomb, and napalm every town and village in Iraq and fry about 7 million Iraqis. We haven't done anything close to that. We've been doing the exact opposite with surgical drone strikes and ground patrols visiting villagers. We've been very soft to say the least.
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  177. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    It's not that far-fetched that the US military would have more influence over prosecuting a conventional war with a major military like Russia's.

    I'm still not exactly sure what your point is. Do you disagree with the claim that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties?

    I agree with the anonymous below. The rules-of-engagement thing a loser’s excuse. The neocons who set these rules felt no sympathy for Iraqis. They had no reason to restrict the brutality and to my knowledge they did not restrict in any unusual by war time standards way. There were plenty of well-documented incidents of horrendous brutality committed by US troops. By historical standards, compared with the record of past occupations through the centuries, US troops behaved in an absolutely beastly fashion. You won’t acknowledge it for selfish reasons, but the world knows it. The word has seen the pictures and heard the victims’ testimony.

    Most deaths were indeed due to sectarian violence, but a large percentage was caused by US troops directly. And the sectarian violence was deliberately unleashed by US troops in their capacity as neocons’ tools. An existing order was overthrown and replaced with disorder.

    The neocons had to finally withdraw most US troops from Iraq because in spite of every possible technological and rules-related advantage they were still being killed at too high a rate for the TV audience at home. The war was lost. The Sunni triangle is now controlled by ISIS.

    Read More
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  178. Kiza says:
    @Immigrant from former USSR
    Duplicate of the comment to another post of Unz.com web-site.

    I recently watched interview (in Russian) with the economics Professor Katasonov.
    He made a statement that the money from IMF and World Bank are directed to Ukraine with the purpose to bring them closer to State bankruptcy. After such bankruptcy will be announced, the division of assets follows. The negotiations are already going on in Kiev between Franklin-Templeton Investments, which previously bought a large fraction of Ukrainian sovereign debt (do not ask me, what is it), and finance minister of Ukraine, US-born Natalie Jaresko.

    Wikipedia: Jaresko held several economics-related positions at the US Department of State in Washington, D.C., and eventually coordinated activities of the State Department, the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, the United States Trade Representative, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in their economic relations with the Soviet Union and its successors. As part of her work she interacted with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Later from 1992 to 1995, she was the first Chief of the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, responsible for strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.

    Katasonov: Right now Jaresko is developing new laws, which will allow selling land in Ukraine to foreign owners. As an asset under the bankruptcy procedures, it is very attractive — famous Ukrainian “black soil” (chernozem) and easy to be claimed at pretty low price for that land.

    I am grateful to commentator SmoothieX12 for pointing to spelling confusion in my original comment.

    Well, the good side of stripping off Ukraine of anything valuable and pushing population into deep poverty is that the Russians will be able to see the Western Defenders of Freedom and Democracy in action next door. Hopefully, this will reduce the influence of the pro-Western Russian Liberals who are aiming for a leading role if the same kind of stripping would return back to a weakened “aggressive” Russia, to repeat the Yeltsin era.

    Read More
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  179. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    It's not that far-fetched that the US military would have more influence over prosecuting a conventional war with a major military like Russia's.

    I'm still not exactly sure what your point is. Do you disagree with the claim that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties?

    Can you provide a list of things that US troops weren’t allowed to do or couldn’t get away with doing in Iraq which other occupational regimes in recent history could do? How exactly were US troops hampered compared with recent historical US and worldwide norms?

    Read More
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  180. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @anonymous

    The US was hampered by rules of engagement and political concerns in Iraq
     
    Just another 'stab in the back' claim with no basis in reality. 'If only we took the gloves off we would have succeeded but were prevented from achieving victory ' revisionism of history. Rules of engagement and political concerns are there for a number of reasons, one of them being to prevent the entire population going over to the resistance due to being alienated.

    Iraq has a population of 36 million. The highest estimates of Iraqi casualties are around 1 million. Contrast that with, for example, Korea. As Air Force general Curtis LeMay said: “We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.… Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?” We were saturation bombing, firebombing, and dropping napalm on towns in North Korea. The equivalent in Iraq would be to saturation bomb, firebomb, and napalm every town and village in Iraq and fry about 7 million Iraqis. We haven’t done anything close to that. We’ve been doing the exact opposite with surgical drone strikes and ground patrols visiting villagers. We’ve been very soft to say the least.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    Since the Korean War ended in a draw, what's your excuse for not having won it? Still not enough villagers killed? How many would have been enough?
    , @Glossy
    The three main population groups in Iraq are Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs and Kurds. The US war in Iraq was waged specifically against Sunni Arabs (Saddam's people). They constitute around 15% of the total. The population of the entire country was 28.4 million in 2005. There would have been between 4 and 4.5 million Sunni Arabs in Iraq at the war's height. They are the ones who bore most of the losses.
    , @MarkinLA
    You have to define "win" first.

    The US could have won a war of conquest Roman style where Iraq becomes a vassal state and any attempt at refusing to pay tribute or refusal to recognize American supremacy will be met with extreme brutality so that it won't happen again in the lifetimes of anybody alive.

    Unfortunately, those days are long gone and we didn't go in with those goals in mind.

    Actually, given the chaos we made and the people who allowed it to happen, I think those people in AIPAC got exactly the result they wanted.
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  181. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Glossy, see my reply to anonymous above.

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  182. @Sean

    India or Japan for that matter to name only two countries whose economic weight does or will dwarf Russia’s. Russia has nothing going for it in the long run as a contender in the (quite, but not really) big league than its inefficiently exploited natural resources.
     
    In the long run the US is going to be majority unwhite and young, with a massive population. I am not sure what all these people are going to be doing that will earn them the standard of living they will expect in view of automation and new technology making many occupations obsolete. Moreover, the mainly white elderly living on to very advanced ages will be resented as a burden by a young population that will have been brought up on narratives of oppression by whites.

    The western countries of the European Union will be similar to the US but with a higher percentage of old people and white immigrants from east Europe. Countries like Poland are emptying of the most capable and qualified workers at quite a rate. If HBD is correct these are genetic seed corn being lost. Poland is going to implode. If there is anything to HBD, Russia could have a trump card in being the only majority white country of any size in reasonable demographic shape. I think it is becoming clear that economic growth is not really the greatest thing for a country. The booms are often mainly property based and running on immigrant labour. Although that is partially true even in Russia according to the post, it may have a basis for solid economic development ( not 'growth') better than the EU and the US.

    China is going to be the most powerful country in the world no question, but that is a problem for the US not Russia. The day is not far off when Russia will be needed in an alliance to contain China.

    You make some valid points even if over positively. But why isn’t China a problem for Russia? Vastly greater in population and in energetic talented people and with no history to bind them…. True, the US should, 20 years ago, have started enlisting China to manage the world but that was obviously beyond US imagination even at sophisticated levels partly because of US obsession with “democracy” and its rhetoric. China seems to have a more efficient form if government though having to catch up in so many areas it doesn’t appear to be.

    Russia has the resources to become an exciting Wild West for those of suitable energy, temperament and lack of scruple. China may provide the greater part of them but the more fertile India should not be forgotten.

    The US population in 50 years time will be very different as you note and the ability of its already dysfunctional structure, system and practice of government to cope will be questionable.

    But where do you get the idea that Russia may have a demographic advantage over anyone? Whether in numbers, age or ethnicity that sounds like a crock to me.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Russia and China can be friends, it isn't Russia that protects Taiwan.

    Mearsheimer: What's happening, however, is that the United States foolishly caused a crisis with Russia over Ukraine, which means that we are in effect driving the Russians into the arms of the Chinese. We are causing the Russians to ally themselves with China, which is not in America's interest and not in Japan's interest. Furthermore, because we have helped cause this crisis in Eastern Europe with Russia, we have to now strengthen our forces in Europe. So instead of pivoting away from Europe, if anything, we're strengthening our forces in Europe.

    Furthermore, we have foolishly declared war against ISIS in the Middle East, which makes it even more difficult to pivot to Asia. So because of our policies on Ukraine, which have caused this major crisis with Russia, and because we have decided to fight yet another war in the Middle East, we see two negative consequences in East Asia. One, we're driving the Russians into the arms of the Chinese and two, we're not pivoting -- in any meaningful way -- in East Asia. This is strategic foolishness of the first order

     
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  183. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    Iraq has a population of 36 million. The highest estimates of Iraqi casualties are around 1 million. Contrast that with, for example, Korea. As Air Force general Curtis LeMay said: "We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.… Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?" We were saturation bombing, firebombing, and dropping napalm on towns in North Korea. The equivalent in Iraq would be to saturation bomb, firebomb, and napalm every town and village in Iraq and fry about 7 million Iraqis. We haven't done anything close to that. We've been doing the exact opposite with surgical drone strikes and ground patrols visiting villagers. We've been very soft to say the least.

    Since the Korean War ended in a draw, what’s your excuse for not having won it? Still not enough villagers killed? How many would have been enough?

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    You are debating one of the ubiquitous internet generals that abound everywhere. Were they in command they would have won the war. The ones who were actually in charge were mere bumblers as compared to our all-wise master strategist. It's a hobby, they read all the war magazines and books, collect war regalia, visit all the websites and maybe even have a uniform or two in the closet. Most have never been in the military but at some point they start believing themselves to be potentially just as talented as Napoleon or MacArthur and speak knowingly with great certitude.
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  184. @Kiza
    Your wizardly majesty, my deep apology for writing my own opinion bout Peter Frost and offending your sensitive perceptions. There are several Western trolls like yourself inhabiting these websites and regurgitating the Western propaganda because your brains are not capable much more that repeating what your government says. It is so easy for you - you open radio, TV, newspapers or one of the websites and you get your opinion. Unlike those Indians and Chinese you know who your masters are.

    US not threatening its neighbors????? Is there anyone in this part of the Galaxy who would not laugh at this rubbish? Readers from another Galaxy are welcome to ask any South American country under the tender mercies of the US trained Death Squads how unthreatening neighbor the US is. I will not bother disputing the rest of the propaganda bunkum that you quote as your opinion, the future will show who has a future: the sickly corrupt and declining US or the recovering Russia.

    Apart from your style of mere (unsubstantiated) assertion which can persuade no one you vitiate any claim to be heard by total failure to read and comprehend what you purport to respond to.

    To wit… I didn’t say the US didn’t/doesn’t threaten its neighbours. I said it had no threatening neighbours which means, in case your English comprehension is limited by ethnicity or intelligence, that no neighbours threaten it – unlike Russia even if it us not being actively threatened on any scale right now.

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  185. Glossy says:
    @Anonymous
    Iraq has a population of 36 million. The highest estimates of Iraqi casualties are around 1 million. Contrast that with, for example, Korea. As Air Force general Curtis LeMay said: "We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.… Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?" We were saturation bombing, firebombing, and dropping napalm on towns in North Korea. The equivalent in Iraq would be to saturation bomb, firebomb, and napalm every town and village in Iraq and fry about 7 million Iraqis. We haven't done anything close to that. We've been doing the exact opposite with surgical drone strikes and ground patrols visiting villagers. We've been very soft to say the least.

    The three main population groups in Iraq are Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs and Kurds. The US war in Iraq was waged specifically against Sunni Arabs (Saddam’s people). They constitute around 15% of the total. The population of the entire country was 28.4 million in 2005. There would have been between 4 and 4.5 million Sunni Arabs in Iraq at the war’s height. They are the ones who bore most of the losses.

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  186. Davidski says:
    @inertial
    That's why I said "initially". After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of "Ukrainian" ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others') Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it. The past real or imagined wrong are mere rationalizations. The funny thing about it, this may well change in the future. The EU membership hasn't worked out all that hotly for Poland, it's economy has been basically treading water. On the other hand, Russian GDP has already caught up to that of Poland (on the PPP basis.) It may well exceed it in the future. Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It's possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.

    I don’t think you realize how weak the relationship between Poland and Russia has become. Basically, at the moment, Russia is three things to Poland:

    a) the main natural gas supplier

    b) a potential threat

    c) another Slavic speaking country

    That’s pretty much it, and it won’t change within our lifetimes. I’m not saying that’s a good or bad thing, I just think it’s helpful to be realistic in these sorts of discussions. Otherwise, what’s the point, because we might as well be discussing fiction.

    Poland’s main trading partner by far is Germany, and billions of Euros are invested every year to help improve this relationship. So it’s not a matter of choosing between the west and Russia, and flipping a switch when Russia starts doing really well. It’s much deeper than that.

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  187. @inertial
    That's why I said "initially". After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of "Ukrainian" ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others') Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it. The past real or imagined wrong are mere rationalizations. The funny thing about it, this may well change in the future. The EU membership hasn't worked out all that hotly for Poland, it's economy has been basically treading water. On the other hand, Russian GDP has already caught up to that of Poland (on the PPP basis.) It may well exceed it in the future. Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It's possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.

    “The EU membership hasn’t worked out all that hotly for Poland, it’s economy has been basically treading water”

    I live in Poland and that statement is essentially bonkers. So far Poland is very satisfied with EU membership, the country got to export a lot of its unemployment and has avoided the worst of the ongoing economic crisis. If the country ever adopts the Euro that could change but the idea keeps getting put off.

    Lots of problems remain (not least being the eternal lagging of the eastern parts that were part of the Russian empire) but if you look at infrastructure in almost any major city you see huge improvements from 10 years ago.

    IME Polish people don’t necessarily mind Russians individually but they have a strong (well founded) aversion to Russian governments and Russian territorial ambitions.

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    • Replies: @AP

    Lots of problems remain (not least being the eternal lagging of the eastern parts that were part of the Russian empire)
     
    An important point. Poland was ruled by three powers, and with the exception of Warsaw (the capital, an outlier), the historically Russian-ruled parts are backward compared to the other areas of the country.

    Same thing in western Ukraine: Russian-ruled Volhynia was quite backward compared to Austrian-ruled Galicia.
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  188. AP says:
    @Cliff Arroyo
    "The EU membership hasn’t worked out all that hotly for Poland, it’s economy has been basically treading water"

    I live in Poland and that statement is essentially bonkers. So far Poland is very satisfied with EU membership, the country got to export a lot of its unemployment and has avoided the worst of the ongoing economic crisis. If the country ever adopts the Euro that could change but the idea keeps getting put off.

    Lots of problems remain (not least being the eternal lagging of the eastern parts that were part of the Russian empire) but if you look at infrastructure in almost any major city you see huge improvements from 10 years ago.

    IME Polish people don't necessarily mind Russians individually but they have a strong (well founded) aversion to Russian governments and Russian territorial ambitions.

    Lots of problems remain (not least being the eternal lagging of the eastern parts that were part of the Russian empire)

    An important point. Poland was ruled by three powers, and with the exception of Warsaw (the capital, an outlier), the historically Russian-ruled parts are backward compared to the other areas of the country.

    Same thing in western Ukraine: Russian-ruled Volhynia was quite backward compared to Austrian-ruled Galicia.

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  189. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Glossy
    Since the Korean War ended in a draw, what's your excuse for not having won it? Still not enough villagers killed? How many would have been enough?

    You are debating one of the ubiquitous internet generals that abound everywhere. Were they in command they would have won the war. The ones who were actually in charge were mere bumblers as compared to our all-wise master strategist. It’s a hobby, they read all the war magazines and books, collect war regalia, visit all the websites and maybe even have a uniform or two in the closet. Most have never been in the military but at some point they start believing themselves to be potentially just as talented as Napoleon or MacArthur and speak knowingly with great certitude.

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  190. Sean says:

    “But where do you get the idea that Russia may have a demographic advantage over anyone? Whether in numbers, age or ethnicity that sounds like a crock to me.”

    Gunnar Heinsohn : “It is no wonder that young, hard-working people in France and Germany choose to emigrate. It is not just that they have to support their own ageing population. If we take 100 20-year-olds, then the 70 Frenchmen and Germans also have to support 30 immigrants of their own age and their offspring. This creates dejection in the local population, particularly in France, Germany and the Netherlands. So they run away. [...]I am very pessimistic about the future. Europe’s situation reminds me of the principle that is called ‘The Fifth Village’ in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg, who have experienced population decline. So four villages are being abandoned and the remaining population is moved to the fifth village. However, that does not increase the birth rate in the fifth village. And after some time the fifth village will also be populated by old people, and there are no young people in the vicinity to work for their pensions

    I’m no expert on demographics but medical technology in Western countries is going to mean a massive number of people routinely living into their nineties. Russia won’t have that problem and Russia is going to continue to be populated by ethnic Russians while the US won’t.

    ONE American in six is now Hispanic, up from a small minority two generations ago. By mid-century it will be more than one in four [...] Previous immigrant groups typically saw progress with each passing generation, but Hispanic numbers have a habit of stalling or even heading backwards. American-born children of Hispanic immigrants tend to be less healthy than their parents, have higher divorce rates and go to jail more often. Jump from migrants’ children to their grandchildren, and studies have shown academic results slipping in the third generation. Conservatives fret about “downward assimilation”. Academic texts have asked, “Is Becoming an American a Developmental Risk. Steve Murdock of Rice University, a former boss of the US Census bureau, recently published a paper warning Texans that Hispanics are not getting enough advanced degrees and qualifications to replace highly educated whites retiring from their state’s workforce. By 2050, his study predicts, Hispanic workers will outnumber white ones in Texas by almost three to one, but without a change in education policy the state will be poorer and less competitive.

    In Germany where 40% of women with advanced qualifications never have children the working population is going to fall precipitously, and be replaced by immigrants. in Germany there are newspaper stands where you are just trusted to pay. That kind of trust makes German society very efficient, but it is going…

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  191. MarkinLA says:
    @Anonymous
    Iraq has a population of 36 million. The highest estimates of Iraqi casualties are around 1 million. Contrast that with, for example, Korea. As Air Force general Curtis LeMay said: "We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.… Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?" We were saturation bombing, firebombing, and dropping napalm on towns in North Korea. The equivalent in Iraq would be to saturation bomb, firebomb, and napalm every town and village in Iraq and fry about 7 million Iraqis. We haven't done anything close to that. We've been doing the exact opposite with surgical drone strikes and ground patrols visiting villagers. We've been very soft to say the least.

    You have to define “win” first.

    The US could have won a war of conquest Roman style where Iraq becomes a vassal state and any attempt at refusing to pay tribute or refusal to recognize American supremacy will be met with extreme brutality so that it won’t happen again in the lifetimes of anybody alive.

    Unfortunately, those days are long gone and we didn’t go in with those goals in mind.

    Actually, given the chaos we made and the people who allowed it to happen, I think those people in AIPAC got exactly the result they wanted.

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  192. Sean says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    You make some valid points even if over positively. But why isn't China a problem for Russia? Vastly greater in population and in energetic talented people and with no history to bind them.... True, the US should, 20 years ago, have started enlisting China to manage the world but that was obviously beyond US imagination even at sophisticated levels partly because of US obsession with "democracy" and its rhetoric. China seems to have a more efficient form if government though having to catch up in so many areas it doesn't appear to be.

    Russia has the resources to become an exciting Wild West for those of suitable energy, temperament and lack of scruple. China may provide the greater part of them but the more fertile India should not be forgotten.

    The US population in 50 years time will be very different as you note and the ability of its already dysfunctional structure, system and practice of government to cope will be questionable.

    But where do you get the idea that Russia may have a demographic advantage over anyone? Whether in numbers, age or ethnicity that sounds like a crock to me.

    Russia and China can be friends, it isn’t Russia that protects Taiwan.

    Mearsheimer: What’s happening, however, is that the United States foolishly caused a crisis with Russia over Ukraine, which means that we are in effect driving the Russians into the arms of the Chinese. We are causing the Russians to ally themselves with China, which is not in America’s interest and not in Japan’s interest. Furthermore, because we have helped cause this crisis in Eastern Europe with Russia, we have to now strengthen our forces in Europe. So instead of pivoting away from Europe, if anything, we’re strengthening our forces in Europe.

    Furthermore, we have foolishly declared war against ISIS in the Middle East, which makes it even more difficult to pivot to Asia. So because of our policies on Ukraine, which have caused this major crisis with Russia, and because we have decided to fight yet another war in the Middle East, we see two negative consequences in East Asia. One, we’re driving the Russians into the arms of the Chinese and two, we’re not pivoting — in any meaningful way — in East Asia. This is strategic foolishness of the first order

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I am temperamentally disposed to take Mearsheimer's realism seriously and favourably so thanks for the reference.

    While I agree that Russia appears to be getting closer to China for both political and economic (though not, fortunately, at this stage, military) reasons under pressures largely generated by the US it is important to consider the quality and nature of the relationship which it is probably not very enlightening to call friendship. (I would say that it describes the unequal relationship between the US and Australia reasonably well. Countries like Britain, Canada and New Zealand could perhaps usefully - so as to point up relevant differences in relationships - have been called family until recently with a drift now towards friendship). In the case of China and Russia I suggest that China's attitude to Russia would make the friendship somewhere between that of Kaiser Wilhelm ll's "friendship" for Austria-Hungary and its relationship with Ottoman Turkey, in each case loaded with condescension, not to say contempt.

    The relationship will favour China 3:1 even though, or because, it is for Russia that it will be necessary, and Russia will resent it.

    America, in my perhaps naive view, ought to have been laying off the problems of global management by enlisting China in a respectful way to help at least from 9/11 if the idea hadn't occurred to anyone earlier. Perhaps the Chinese could have been effectually handed Afghanistan and its mineral prospects in return for assisting to put down the Taliban (remembering the close Pakistan -China relationship which is highly relevant) so they could squeeze hope and life out of their Uighur separatists. The hubris of post Cold War America and its self-image as the indispensable and exceptional country with a mission to spread democracy seems to have locked up imagination.
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  193. inertial says:
    @AP

    On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of “Ukrainian” ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.
     
    Austrian relationship to Ukrainian nation-building was not much different from Russian role in the creation Latvian and Estonian nations. They financed schools and such but the work was all done by natives* (Austrians wanted to limit power of local Polish nobles in Galicia, Russians wanted to limit power of local German barons in the Baltic area).

    The "Austrian" Ukrainians were pretty tolerant: there were no massacres and such during their war against Poland. It was the next, post-Austrian generation who were the real brutal ones.

    The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians.
     
    Well, who brought communism to them? Communism screwed up Russia, why would you think that it wouldn't screw up Eastern Europe too?

    Did you know that in 1910 Galicia, despite being tied with Dalmatia as the poorest Austrian province, had a higher par capita income than Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Romania?

    The EU membership hasn’t worked out all that hotly for Poland, it’s economy has been basically treading water
     
    Poland has enjoyed years of steady economic growth, without the benefit of massive oil and gas deposits. Natural resources are about 30% of Russia's economy: remove that factor, and Russia's per capita GDP PPP becomes similar to that of Romania.


    * Caveat: Many Ukrainian activists were actually refugees from the Russian Empire.

    Austrian relationship to Ukrainian nation-building was not much different from Russian role in the creation Latvian and Estonian nations. They financed schools and such but the work was all done by natives*

    Not quite. The Rusyn nationalism appeared all by itself but there were several paths it could’ve taken. The Austrian authorities strongly discouraged, even suppressed, the strands that were a danger to them and encouraged those that were a potential threat to the Russian Empire.

    Natural resources are about 30% of Russia’s economy: remove that factor, and Russia’s per capita GDP PPP becomes similar to that of Romania.

    Actually, natural resource rents are now under 20% of Russian economy and falling.

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    • Replies: @AP

    Not quite. The Rusyn nationalism appeared all by itself but there were several paths it could’ve taken. The Austrian authorities strongly discouraged, even suppressed, the strands that were a danger to them and encouraged those that were a potential threat to the Russian Empire.
     
    The Austrian relationship here is more complex. Until the 1860's, when Austria and Russia were allies, Austria encouraged a pro-Russian identity. Then, it began to favor the other side. But both competing sides were native (there were no Austrians inventing anything) and many factors that had nothing to do with Austrian support led to Ukrainian-identity victory. Wiki has a good, referenced summary:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Ukrainian_Russophiles#Pre-war_decline_and_fall


    Actually, natural resource rents are now under 20% of Russian economy and falling.
     
    Okay, that makes Russia without resources a little better than Romania..but still behind Poland.
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  194. @inertial

    to allow at least the Ukrainian speaking majority to have a secure homeland
     
    83% of Ukrainians prefer to speak Russian in their every day life (according to Gallup, see the second graph.)

    If Ukrainian speakers secure a homeland just for themselves, it's going to be a very small one.

    Very interesting about the language preference of Ukrainians. But so important a fact that I have made a note to follow it up – not least with my Ukrainian-Australian professor friend who wouldn’t lie and I presume has ways of knowing as well as Gallup.

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  195. @Sean
    Russia and China can be friends, it isn't Russia that protects Taiwan.

    Mearsheimer: What's happening, however, is that the United States foolishly caused a crisis with Russia over Ukraine, which means that we are in effect driving the Russians into the arms of the Chinese. We are causing the Russians to ally themselves with China, which is not in America's interest and not in Japan's interest. Furthermore, because we have helped cause this crisis in Eastern Europe with Russia, we have to now strengthen our forces in Europe. So instead of pivoting away from Europe, if anything, we're strengthening our forces in Europe.

    Furthermore, we have foolishly declared war against ISIS in the Middle East, which makes it even more difficult to pivot to Asia. So because of our policies on Ukraine, which have caused this major crisis with Russia, and because we have decided to fight yet another war in the Middle East, we see two negative consequences in East Asia. One, we're driving the Russians into the arms of the Chinese and two, we're not pivoting -- in any meaningful way -- in East Asia. This is strategic foolishness of the first order

     

    I am temperamentally disposed to take Mearsheimer’s realism seriously and favourably so thanks for the reference.

    While I agree that Russia appears to be getting closer to China for both political and economic (though not, fortunately, at this stage, military) reasons under pressures largely generated by the US it is important to consider the quality and nature of the relationship which it is probably not very enlightening to call friendship. (I would say that it describes the unequal relationship between the US and Australia reasonably well. Countries like Britain, Canada and New Zealand could perhaps usefully – so as to point up relevant differences in relationships – have been called family until recently with a drift now towards friendship). In the case of China and Russia I suggest that China’s attitude to Russia would make the friendship somewhere between that of Kaiser Wilhelm ll’s “friendship” for Austria-Hungary and its relationship with Ottoman Turkey, in each case loaded with condescension, not to say contempt.

    The relationship will favour China 3:1 even though, or because, it is for Russia that it will be necessary, and Russia will resent it.

    America, in my perhaps naive view, ought to have been laying off the problems of global management by enlisting China in a respectful way to help at least from 9/11 if the idea hadn’t occurred to anyone earlier. Perhaps the Chinese could have been effectually handed Afghanistan and its mineral prospects in return for assisting to put down the Taliban (remembering the close Pakistan -China relationship which is highly relevant) so they could squeeze hope and life out of their Uighur separatists. The hubris of post Cold War America and its self-image as the indispensable and exceptional country with a mission to spread democracy seems to have locked up imagination.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Australia is more or less a third world country in development terms. Britain's relationship with Russia revolves around City of London finance, which runs on Russian capital flight, a record $150bn in 2014 (South Korea had the death penalty for capital flight) . Russian money infects London Britain is actually the only country that has really lost manufacturing capacity, its genuinely post-industrial and growth in recent decades came from selling worse sevices, including financial ones of course. Britain can't go along with action against Russia, Cameron is trying to grow the economy and without a big manufacturing sector the only way left is by pumping up the property market. With Russian money going into property, schools and offshore money laundering and buying of EC debt, the City is turning into Londongrad . The US is quite capable of starting a war though.

    IF the West had judged the then US government which marched into Iraq without a resolution by the UN and without proof of the existence of weapons of mass destruction by the same standards as Putin today, then George W. Bush would have immediately been banned from entering the EU. The foreign investments of Warren Buffett should have been frozen, the export of vehicles of the brands GM, Ford, and Chrysler banned. “The American tendency to verbal and then to military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies, has not proven effective. The last successful major military action the US conducted was the Normandy landing. Everything else – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan – was a clear failure. Moving NATO units towards the Polish border [with Russia] and thinking about arming Ukraine are continuations of Washington’s policy of relying on military means in the absence of diplomacy.
     
    The US is excessively accommodating toward China already. The problem is that the neocon intellectual heritage is derived from Wohlstetter /Pipes, which influences reflexive bashing of Putin. Somewhere in the back of their minds neocons think the solution to the Middle East problems that preoccupy them lies in Russia. Civilian US advisors' thinking still owes a lot to Wohlstetter's idea that intervention could be done surgically, and if there was a serious problem tactical nuclear weapons would halt escalation.
    , @Sean
    Zardoz, the point about Australia is that it does not have technology and manufacturing. Countries like Sweden can make modern fighter planes (Gripen) Australia cannot. Russia's is more like Sweden than Australia technical infrastructure Russia can make air defence systems and fighter planes to sell to China, as it has: Russia and China An uneasy friendship. Of course the Chinese are buying to steal the technology, and the Economist at that link is saying that Russia is humiliated and being forced to sell on Chinese terms, but whether the neocon Hechmen like Brendan 'Defend the West' Simms or Economist types such as Phillipe 'immigration is always good and a human right' Legrain, like it, or not, the fact is that Russians are not in decline if they make anti-aircraft technology that can beat US airpower, and China (and Iran) think worth buying. Simms draws on alleged Russia expert and neocon godfather Richard Pipes for the idea that, just as the serfs were freed after Russia was defeated in the Crimean war, Russia would become a western style democracy if the it were bested in the Ukraine.

    The Economist types are actually in thrall to venerable ideas obout one way being best for all peoples:-


    [Herbert] Spencer believed that different types of society competed with one another as species do in the natural world, and suggested that two types of society, which he called "militant" and "industrial", were competing in his own day. In militant societies economic life was based on coercion and directed in one way or another by government, while in industrial societies the economy was based on contract and voluntary exchange. The monarchies and empires of continental Europe illustrated the militant type, while laissez-faire England in the mid-19th Century exemplified the industrial mode. Industrial societies were essentially peaceful, Spencer believed, while militant societies were prone to war. Throughout most of his long life - born in 1820, he died in 1903 - Spencer was sure which of the two types of society would prevail. The end-result of social evolution could only be that capitalism would spread everywhere. It was only towards the end of the 19th Century, with the rise of Bismarck in Germany and the outbreak of the Boer War, that Spencer began to suspect that militant societies might get the upper hand. Baffled by the course of events, he spent his last years in a state of deep gloom
     
    Germany likes being cocooned within friendly states where it can be a military freeloader and pursue ever more Austrian school policies. (ordoliberalism). Anyway, Russia without resources is vastly better than Romania or Poland. And in fact the skilled workforce of those east European countries countries is hemorrhaging in a way that Russia's is not. Moreover, here is quite a bit of indigenous emigration from Britain and the Netherlands by those becoming discouraged with their prospects.

    The indigenous Russian working people seem to be doing OK. Compare the effects in Britain of the mass of the population being replaced by immigrants as the supposed font of economic growth and innovation. Indigenous Europeans’ motivation isn't being improved by them being told they are an obsolete unintelligent population that is being phased out on the grounds of economic rationality and ethical principles. In his book Exodus, Collier discusses the increasing lack of orientation to achievement (‘hunkering down’) among the indigenous British in the face of their social capital networks being targeted for destruction while immigrant success is being facilitated, and trumpeted.

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  196. IBC says:
    @Avery
    {Mainstream historians also argue that Hitler’s incompetence on the Eastern front was a factor.}

    Everything is a factor in war.
    As I pointed out before, Stalin’s insanity and incompetence was a far greater factor in costing the Red Army millions of wasted troops.
    Hitler’s incompetence was more than balanced by Stalin’s.
    And the so-called ‘mainstream historians’ are all in the West: correct ?
    Western historians have an incentive to minimize the Red Army’s role in defeating the Nazi war machine. It is not palatable to admit that the same Wehrmacht which rolled over the Western militaries (including Brits) was crushed by the Red Army.
    It can't be that Russian generals and troops fought better: it _must_ be something else, like the winter, or incompetence.....

    { He was also betrayed by his generals.}
    Yes, those who lose always find some plausible excuse.

    { The Russians didn’t seriously engage the Grande Armée.}

    The battle of Borodino has been described as the greatest battle in human history up to that date, involving nearly a quarter of a million soldiers: I’d say that is serious engagement.
    After the inconclusive battle, where both sides lost a third of their forces on the battlefield, Kutusov wisely decided to draw the French in and bleed them slowly by pinprick attacks. He was criticized for the cautious approach at the time, but was proven right: of the approx 700,000 Grande Armée, only about 100,000 returned home alive.
    Napoleon lost his most experienced troops and officers: his military would never be the same.
    Russia won, and Napoleon lost.

    About the “winter” canard that Western revisionists always bring up to explain defeats in Russia:
    Russian/Soviet troops had to fight in the same temperature and conditions as Germans and French.
    Yeah, it’s their country and they know it better. I know where everything is in my house: an intruder has the disadvantage.
    British complained that Americans were not fighting fair and were sniping their officers while hidden.
    Brits of course would prefer Americans meet them on an open field so their superior training, discipline, experience would win the day.
    Americans fought dirty and won: too bad for the Brits.

    That’s how it works: you do whatever you have to do and muster whatever unfair advantage you can to defeat the invaders of your homeland.
    There is no Marquess of Queensberry rules in war.

    It can’t be that Russian generals and troops fought better: it _must_ be something else, like the winter, or incompetence…..

    What’s your take on the USSR’s Winter War with Finland? Home field advantage? Or was it all Stalin’s fault? Yes, I know that Finland lost a lot of territory, but the Soviets certainly had to pay a high price for it.

    By the way, I’m not particularly pro or anti-Russian, though I am partial to Russian music and art and also appreciate the great scale of the land itself.

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  197. annamaria says:
    @Anonymous
    The point is that the US military could have easily mounted a pacification campaign in Iraq with minimal American casualties. The fact that there wasn't does not have anything to do with lack of competence, prowess, or will in the military or the American people, and everything to do with the aims and strategies of the civilian policy makers, as you acknowledge.

    Make belief.

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  198. annamaria says:
    @Sam Haysom
    Reckoning with the past in this case would mean accepting that as a result of repeatedly brutalizing their neighbors, Russia now faces a geopolitical situation in which their neighbors are looking to the West for security and prosperity. The fact that you see NATO expansion or support Ukraine as a kind of punishment makes my point for me. No one is talking about punishing Russia. Who is messing with Russia?

    And the Wolfowitz Doctrine is a recipe for Christmas cookies?
    You may profit from reading the European history that describes the relationships between neighboring states. Or you may check on how many countries the US have brutalized since the end of the WWII. Whatever “makes your point for you,” for any more-or-less informed person, the US walk and quack like an aggressor on a global level. We all now live in a time of the drastically increasing danger of a nuclear war, which the spoiled US plutocrats (the owners of the Federal Reserve) are not able to comprehend due to their clinical psychopathy.
    The USSR had dissolved 25 years ago. This is a very inconvenient fact for the Russophobes that talk incessantly about past grievances. Meanwhile, the US-sponsored “democracy on the march” in Ukraine has ruined the Ukrainian economy and pushed the state towards the civil war. And do not forget the rise of neo-Nazism, this “gift” from the US neocons.

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  199. annamaria says:
    @Zjerzy

    That’s why I said “initially”. After Polish uprising of 1830 and others, the Russian policy had become no more Mr. Nice Guy. On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal. On the other other hand, the Austrians helped create the new, previously unheard of “Ukrainian” ethnicity, which eventually resulted in anti-Polish massacres and almost total ethnic cleansing of Poles from the former Austrian part of Poland.
     
    The logic of Russian Empire was such that it couldn’t be Mr. Nice Guy for more than a few years. One chink in armor of authoritarianism and other minorities would start demanding similar treatment. Besides they were unable to abide by laws of constitution they had given. Those abuses caused the uprisings.

    On the other hand, the Austrian Poles were quiescent, so they were gradually granted more and more freedoms, and by the end of the 19 century they certainly had the best deal.
     
    Or maybe they were offered deal? Russia haven’t offered such. Even when tsar wanted to make some concessions in the interest of local civil and military bureaucracy was to sabotage them. There was power, money and promotions in ruling restless province. Consider also – three partitioning powers, all more or less authoritarian ruling Poland for more than century. And only one has almost continuous problems with armed uprisings. However you look at this Russia must be special.

    By the way, I find your comment on economic opportunities unintentionally revealing. This, of course, is the number one reason for Polish (and others’) Russophobia. The Poles (and others) are behind the West in the living standards and they blame the Russians. This is it.
     
    Trying to psychoanalyze whole nation now?

    Yes, there is something to this point of view. But it really surprises me that anybody can look at this as some kind of revelation. Russians ruled this part of Europe for fifty years and left a big mess after themselves. They fucked economy, culture, politics and history. They left graves and crooked political structures, healing injuries they left in collective consciousness will take at least one generation more. They basically left Eastern Europe with one big post-colonial syndrome.


    Can you imagine Russia being wealthier than Poland and Eastern Europe? It’s possible, and even likely, that Polish economic fortunes lie in the East. If (when?) the Poles realize that their incomes depend more on Russia than on the West, their attitude toward Russia will do a 180.
     
    Actually this would be not funny but rather sad. And it’s neither probable nor desirable. Russia economic perspectives doesn’t looks so bright, Polish exports to Russia is falling. Russia’s knows how to export one thing - energy. Let’s hope this dependency is soon cured. And I doubt that even economic miracle beyond eastern border will change much in how Russia is seen.

    Generally I am an advocate of building humongous concrete wall on the eastern border of EU, putting a lot of razor wire and a lot of minefields. Let the Russians live behind this wall on a diet of their newly discovered traditionalist values and in happy cooperation with China. After a few centuries our descendants may try to check if any of them survived.

    Your descendants… If you were serious about the future of your children, you would think about something more rational and reliable than a wall around a country that has been tried, at earnest, to integrate into Europe. Considering the Empire of Federal Reserve’ stubborn resolve to keep its global hegemony by any means, including a nuclear war with another nuclear-armed country, the Russophobia is not just stupid but dangerous. By the way, Poland was not particularly sensitive to the human rights when the Cheney’ directives made Poland a seat of torture chambers and illegal renditions. It also helps to think that both the US and Russian Federation are the multinational states. The crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime were implemented by Georgians, Jews, Russians, Latvians, Polish, Tatars… just name any ethnicity. The same ethnic diversity is seen among the best contributors to humanity. It is a courage that makes person a real mensch, not the ethnicity. You are focused too much on tribal trifles.

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy
    Actually - not being a Russophobe after the experiences of European 20th century history would be a sign of mental retardation, of not being able to process facts and recognize patterns. Nothing good comes from the east.

    The crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime were implemented by Georgians, Jews, Russians, Latvians, Polish, Tatars… just name any ethnicity.
     
    No the crimes of Soviet Union were crimes committed by people of many nations - no disagreement here. But those people were operating under one specific ideology - communism united with traditional Russian imperialism. Most of them have renounced their national identity and took new one - of new Soviet Man (or pro-russian renegades as their victims were saying) . And now Russia is in fact functioning as a heir to Soviet ideology and accomplishment using Great Patriotic War as a foundations of it's national mythology.

    It is a courage that makes person a real mensch, not the ethnicity.

     

    No, it isn't. Should I drag exceptionally brave soldiers of SS into this discussion?

    You are focused too much on tribal trifles.
     
    National not tribal. There is a bit of difference.

    And yes, this wall needs building.
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  200. AP says:
    @inertial

    Austrian relationship to Ukrainian nation-building was not much different from Russian role in the creation Latvian and Estonian nations. They financed schools and such but the work was all done by natives*
     
    Not quite. The Rusyn nationalism appeared all by itself but there were several paths it could've taken. The Austrian authorities strongly discouraged, even suppressed, the strands that were a danger to them and encouraged those that were a potential threat to the Russian Empire.

    Natural resources are about 30% of Russia’s economy: remove that factor, and Russia’s per capita GDP PPP becomes similar to that of Romania.
     
    Actually, natural resource rents are now under 20% of Russian economy and falling.

    Not quite. The Rusyn nationalism appeared all by itself but there were several paths it could’ve taken. The Austrian authorities strongly discouraged, even suppressed, the strands that were a danger to them and encouraged those that were a potential threat to the Russian Empire.

    The Austrian relationship here is more complex. Until the 1860′s, when Austria and Russia were allies, Austria encouraged a pro-Russian identity. Then, it began to favor the other side. But both competing sides were native (there were no Austrians inventing anything) and many factors that had nothing to do with Austrian support led to Ukrainian-identity victory. Wiki has a good, referenced summary:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Ukrainian_Russophiles#Pre-war_decline_and_fall

    Actually, natural resource rents are now under 20% of Russian economy and falling.

    Okay, that makes Russia without resources a little better than Romania..but still behind Poland.

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  201. The Winter War is a very weird, and, my impression is, largely misunderstood war.

    The officially accepted view in the West is that the nasty Soviet bully attacked little defenseless Finland. The brave Finns then fought heroically against the incompetent juggernaut, but lost to sheer weight of force, and lost their precious territory, etc.

    In actuality, the Soviets saw a massive strategic problem in having an unfriendly and somewhat fascistic-minded nation a few miles north of Leningrad – a nation that had, until 20 years ago, been a peaceful backwater of Imperial Russia. So they proposed a territory trade (!) that, while perhaps somewhat harsh on Finland, was nothing compared to the British-approved Sudetenland landgrab of a year earlier, and had grounds in legitimate security concerns.
    Mannerheim refused, and Stalin ordered the assault. The Red Army, still bloodied from the recent purges, crashed against the most heavily fortified line in the world, a line manned by elite superbly equipped commandos.
    And won. As they later won against the Nazis.
    They also learned from their mistakes.

    Now, at the peace treaty, the Soviets, naturally, grabbed far more land that they had asked for earlier. Spoils of war and so on. The Soviets, however, did not take ALL of Finland, and they did not even force a regime change in Helsinki. Which decision came back to haunt them a year later, when Finland joined the Nazis in attacking the USSR. However, the Finns were never really particularly eager allies of the Axis, and I have read that, to the frustration of the Nazi besiegers, the southern-side sidewalks in Leningrad – where the Finnish shells would fall – were far safer than the northern one, where Nazi shells went.
    For whatever reason, the Soviets were surprisingly lenient to Finland after the war – a fact that Finns seem to appreciate, judging by the comments of the Finnish fellow above.

    Meanwhile, the Brits, who had been vocal critics of Moscow at the time of the Winter War, and had even considered mounting an expeditionary force to defend Finland, did send troops to raid Finland when, after 22 June 1941, the Finns went to recover the lands that the USSR had taken from them a year earlier.
    That’s diplomacy & politics for ya.

    The September 1939 invasion of Poland was bad, though. And Katyn was simply vile.

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  202. Sean says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    I am temperamentally disposed to take Mearsheimer's realism seriously and favourably so thanks for the reference.

    While I agree that Russia appears to be getting closer to China for both political and economic (though not, fortunately, at this stage, military) reasons under pressures largely generated by the US it is important to consider the quality and nature of the relationship which it is probably not very enlightening to call friendship. (I would say that it describes the unequal relationship between the US and Australia reasonably well. Countries like Britain, Canada and New Zealand could perhaps usefully - so as to point up relevant differences in relationships - have been called family until recently with a drift now towards friendship). In the case of China and Russia I suggest that China's attitude to Russia would make the friendship somewhere between that of Kaiser Wilhelm ll's "friendship" for Austria-Hungary and its relationship with Ottoman Turkey, in each case loaded with condescension, not to say contempt.

    The relationship will favour China 3:1 even though, or because, it is for Russia that it will be necessary, and Russia will resent it.

    America, in my perhaps naive view, ought to have been laying off the problems of global management by enlisting China in a respectful way to help at least from 9/11 if the idea hadn't occurred to anyone earlier. Perhaps the Chinese could have been effectually handed Afghanistan and its mineral prospects in return for assisting to put down the Taliban (remembering the close Pakistan -China relationship which is highly relevant) so they could squeeze hope and life out of their Uighur separatists. The hubris of post Cold War America and its self-image as the indispensable and exceptional country with a mission to spread democracy seems to have locked up imagination.

    Australia is more or less a third world country in development terms. Britain’s relationship with Russia revolves around City of London finance, which runs on Russian capital flight, a record $150bn in 2014 (South Korea had the death penalty for capital flight) . Russian money infects London Britain is actually the only country that has really lost manufacturing capacity, its genuinely post-industrial and growth in recent decades came from selling worse sevices, including financial ones of course. Britain can’t go along with action against Russia, Cameron is trying to grow the economy and without a big manufacturing sector the only way left is by pumping up the property market. With Russian money going into property, schools and offshore money laundering and buying of EC debt, the City is turning into Londongrad . The US is quite capable of starting a war though.

    IF the West had judged the then US government which marched into Iraq without a resolution by the UN and without proof of the existence of weapons of mass destruction by the same standards as Putin today, then George W. Bush would have immediately been banned from entering the EU. The foreign investments of Warren Buffett should have been frozen, the export of vehicles of the brands GM, Ford, and Chrysler banned. “The American tendency to verbal and then to military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies, has not proven effective. The last successful major military action the US conducted was the Normandy landing. Everything else – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan – was a clear failure. Moving NATO units towards the Polish border [with Russia] and thinking about arming Ukraine are continuations of Washington’s policy of relying on military means in the absence of diplomacy.

    The US is excessively accommodating toward China already. The problem is that the neocon intellectual heritage is derived from Wohlstetter /Pipes, which influences reflexive bashing of Putin. Somewhere in the back of their minds neocons think the solution to the Middle East problems that preoccupy them lies in Russia. Civilian US advisors’ thinking still owes a lot to Wohlstetter’s idea that intervention could be done surgically, and if there was a serious problem tactical nuclear weapons would halt escalation.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Why do you say Australia is a third world country in development terms?
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Your post purportedly replies to mine in which I questioned your use of friendship as an appropriate characterisation of the possibilities for Russia and China. But I am not sure what related point you are now making concerning the United Kingdom and Russia. More to the point I am at a loss to know what to make of your assertion that "Australia is more or less a third world country in terms of development".
    (a) If it were true, what follows from that truth in the context of this thread?
    (b) Are you using some private term of art or are you totally ignorant of Australia (and its history of relations with the United States)? Australia had the highest per capita income in the world in the 1880s before it actually federated as a nation in 1901. Protectionism and high labour costs slowed its development after that but the reforms effected in the 1980s and 1990s made it the only country in the world, with the possible exception of China to have had continuous absolute and per capita growth and no recession since 1990 (no other country has had any of it). It is true that manufacturing has, as in the US, been delegated to Asia apart from high skill or high fashion areas. Australia's mineral (and agricultural) exporting industries, plus education considered as an export and vast sums of Chinese money in residential building is making it possible for Australia to become a prosperous service economy.

    So what's your point and where are your facts to support such a curious statement.

    Your long quote: where and who is it from? If Mearsheimer I am surprised by the carelessness - which you make no comment on. I refer to his overlooking the first Iraq war under George H. W. Bush and to his failure to distinguish between attacking (by proxy and by "volunteers") a country whose integrity Putin had agreed to uphold and the attack on a country with which the US had not only concluded no peace treaty with since the First Gulf War but which was the subject of continuous US and British protection of the Kurds by their Air Forces.

    But yes, I agree at least that George W. Bush's Iraq (and perhaps Afghan) war was a blunder carried out incompetently and that is not just hindsight.
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  203. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sean
    Australia is more or less a third world country in development terms. Britain's relationship with Russia revolves around City of London finance, which runs on Russian capital flight, a record $150bn in 2014 (South Korea had the death penalty for capital flight) . Russian money infects London Britain is actually the only country that has really lost manufacturing capacity, its genuinely post-industrial and growth in recent decades came from selling worse sevices, including financial ones of course. Britain can't go along with action against Russia, Cameron is trying to grow the economy and without a big manufacturing sector the only way left is by pumping up the property market. With Russian money going into property, schools and offshore money laundering and buying of EC debt, the City is turning into Londongrad . The US is quite capable of starting a war though.

    IF the West had judged the then US government which marched into Iraq without a resolution by the UN and without proof of the existence of weapons of mass destruction by the same standards as Putin today, then George W. Bush would have immediately been banned from entering the EU. The foreign investments of Warren Buffett should have been frozen, the export of vehicles of the brands GM, Ford, and Chrysler banned. “The American tendency to verbal and then to military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies, has not proven effective. The last successful major military action the US conducted was the Normandy landing. Everything else – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan – was a clear failure. Moving NATO units towards the Polish border [with Russia] and thinking about arming Ukraine are continuations of Washington’s policy of relying on military means in the absence of diplomacy.
     
    The US is excessively accommodating toward China already. The problem is that the neocon intellectual heritage is derived from Wohlstetter /Pipes, which influences reflexive bashing of Putin. Somewhere in the back of their minds neocons think the solution to the Middle East problems that preoccupy them lies in Russia. Civilian US advisors' thinking still owes a lot to Wohlstetter's idea that intervention could be done surgically, and if there was a serious problem tactical nuclear weapons would halt escalation.

    Why do you say Australia is a third world country in development terms?

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    • Replies: @Sean
    It's got extraction industry, but no manufacturing to speak of. Russia has technological infrastructure.
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  204. Sean says:
    @Anonymous
    Why do you say Australia is a third world country in development terms?

    It’s got extraction industry, but no manufacturing to speak of. Russia has technological infrastructure.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    They still make Holdens there:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden

    I think some other car brands are manufactured there as well.
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  205. @Sean
    Australia is more or less a third world country in development terms. Britain's relationship with Russia revolves around City of London finance, which runs on Russian capital flight, a record $150bn in 2014 (South Korea had the death penalty for capital flight) . Russian money infects London Britain is actually the only country that has really lost manufacturing capacity, its genuinely post-industrial and growth in recent decades came from selling worse sevices, including financial ones of course. Britain can't go along with action against Russia, Cameron is trying to grow the economy and without a big manufacturing sector the only way left is by pumping up the property market. With Russian money going into property, schools and offshore money laundering and buying of EC debt, the City is turning into Londongrad . The US is quite capable of starting a war though.

    IF the West had judged the then US government which marched into Iraq without a resolution by the UN and without proof of the existence of weapons of mass destruction by the same standards as Putin today, then George W. Bush would have immediately been banned from entering the EU. The foreign investments of Warren Buffett should have been frozen, the export of vehicles of the brands GM, Ford, and Chrysler banned. “The American tendency to verbal and then to military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies, has not proven effective. The last successful major military action the US conducted was the Normandy landing. Everything else – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan – was a clear failure. Moving NATO units towards the Polish border [with Russia] and thinking about arming Ukraine are continuations of Washington’s policy of relying on military means in the absence of diplomacy.
     
    The US is excessively accommodating toward China already. The problem is that the neocon intellectual heritage is derived from Wohlstetter /Pipes, which influences reflexive bashing of Putin. Somewhere in the back of their minds neocons think the solution to the Middle East problems that preoccupy them lies in Russia. Civilian US advisors' thinking still owes a lot to Wohlstetter's idea that intervention could be done surgically, and if there was a serious problem tactical nuclear weapons would halt escalation.

    Your post purportedly replies to mine in which I questioned your use of friendship as an appropriate characterisation of the possibilities for Russia and China. But I am not sure what related point you are now making concerning the United Kingdom and Russia. More to the point I am at a loss to know what to make of your assertion that “Australia is more or less a third world country in terms of development”.
    (a) If it were true, what follows from that truth in the context of this thread?
    (b) Are you using some private term of art or are you totally ignorant of Australia (and its history of relations with the United States)? Australia had the highest per capita income in the world in the 1880s before it actually federated as a nation in 1901. Protectionism and high labour costs slowed its development after that but the reforms effected in the 1980s and 1990s made it the only country in the world, with the possible exception of China to have had continuous absolute and per capita growth and no recession since 1990 (no other country has had any of it). It is true that manufacturing has, as in the US, been delegated to Asia apart from high skill or high fashion areas. Australia’s mineral (and agricultural) exporting industries, plus education considered as an export and vast sums of Chinese money in residential building is making it possible for Australia to become a prosperous service economy.

    So what’s your point and where are your facts to support such a curious statement.

    Your long quote: where and who is it from? If Mearsheimer I am surprised by the carelessness – which you make no comment on. I refer to his overlooking the first Iraq war under George H. W. Bush and to his failure to distinguish between attacking (by proxy and by “volunteers”) a country whose integrity Putin had agreed to uphold and the attack on a country with which the US had not only concluded no peace treaty with since the First Gulf War but which was the subject of continuous US and British protection of the Kurds by their Air Forces.

    But yes, I agree at least that George W. Bush’s Iraq (and perhaps Afghan) war was a blunder carried out incompetently and that is not just hindsight.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    His Wizardly Majesty agrees with Sean on George W Bush, that is so pleasing.

    This character Wizard Of Oz is obviously some Ozzie roughin, who belittles commentators he does not agree with and dispenses his haute wisdom by using a characteristically bombastic and empty phraseology (similar to Peter Frost). Australia is a laid-back, she'll-be-right country, but occasionally one can encounter such "guardians of all wisdom", usually of English extraction. Who cares about his opinions except he and some fool attached to him? I do not.

    Sean, your quote is quite relevant. It illustrates so well the hypocrisy of the imperial servants of the EU. I also agree with you that Australia has a second-world extraction-oriented, inner-service focused economy which manufactures almost nothing. In terms of low economic diversification, Australia is terribly similar to Russia. Yet, the funniest is this character's rambling about Australia riding without a recession since 1990, but without mentioning why and how. This is purely and 100% thanks to China's counter-US-cyclical demand for resources, even after the US went into a depression, which its regime will never openly admit. At the moment, the Australian economy is on the edge of an abyss, due to the slowing Chinese economy and increased competition in the resources market, primarily from Russia and less from Canada. The Australian share/stock market sea-saws with any economic news coming from China. Therefore, yes, Australia has had an uninterrupted stint of economic prosperity, but this is at an end and Australian media are now in the business of pumping up unwarranted economic optimism. Australian economy has traditionally been going through these resource-driven boom-bust cycles and the current moment is on the down-swing which could last up to 10 years.

    Anyway, Sean, I am not convinced that this character deserves your attention.

    , @Sean
    Zardoz, beyond manufacturing, beyond love, beyond death, and with a different shaped gear knob on the Holden VE.

    Not true that manufacturing has declined in the US, if you use constant pricing manufacturing has increased in the US. It employs more people because it has got more efficient. Australia has a first world lifestyle, but Australia is making a big mistake thinking if can or should emulate Britain and ignore productive capacity. Many lucrative services are actually dependant on manufacturing and Britain (which has the City) is the odd one out in the West for becoming genuinely deindustrialised. It's no viable model for Australia. The quote was from Gabor Steingart
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  206. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Sean
    It's got extraction industry, but no manufacturing to speak of. Russia has technological infrastructure.

    They still make Holdens there:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden

    I think some other car brands are manufactured there as well.

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  207. annamaria says:

    The neocons’ decisive push to the WWIII: “The New York Times does its government’s bidding: Here’s what you’re not being told about U.S. troops in Ukraine. U.S. troops are now operating openly in Ukraine.” by PATRICK L. SMITH

    http://www.salon.com/2015/05/07/the_new_york_times_does_its_governments_bidding_heres_what_youre_not_being_told_about_u_s_troops_in_ukraine/

    This goes along with the “neocon disdain for career experts at CIA and state is legendary.”

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/05/able-archer-83-and-stovepipes-or-andropov-and-the-neocons.html#comments

    Take a note that the well-paid ignoramuses and opportunists at all levels of the US government and the so-called “think tanks” (pseudo-intellectual prostitutes) are not able to comprehend the nuclear-fallout future for their grandchildren. The psychopathic plutocracy that makes the selected club of major puppeteers, is able to understand the problem on a “nukular” level only, where ignorance converges with irresponsibility/unaccountability.

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    • Replies: @Kiza
    You are discussing this issue of the nuclear fallout. Here is a bit for on this for unz.com visitors from Australia and New Zealand.

    In case of a nuclear war, the US nuclear missile navigation facility in the center of Australia at Pine Gap is a certain target. Another somewhat less probable target is the renewed US Marine and Submarine (Pivot-to-Asia) base near Darwin in Northern Australia. Depending on the prevailing winds at the time from the center of Australia, one of the big cities will get a big serving of radioactive fallout: Sydney, Adelaide or Melbourne. In case of a global nuclear war, the safest places to run to in Australia are probably going to be Kimberly in the North-Western Australia and Northern Queensland. The New Zealanders will be luckier because they never allowed any US facility on their territory and they are unlikely to be reached by any heavy radio-active fall-out from Australia. Even under best case scenarios, not more than 20% of Australian and 50% of New Zealand population could survive, due to food shortages caused by a nuclear winter (The Mad Max scenario).

    Finally, there is this story about the Earth's atmosphere popping up like a balloon and disappearing into cosmos when all these nuclear weapons are activated within a few hours.

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  208. Kiza says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Your post purportedly replies to mine in which I questioned your use of friendship as an appropriate characterisation of the possibilities for Russia and China. But I am not sure what related point you are now making concerning the United Kingdom and Russia. More to the point I am at a loss to know what to make of your assertion that "Australia is more or less a third world country in terms of development".
    (a) If it were true, what follows from that truth in the context of this thread?
    (b) Are you using some private term of art or are you totally ignorant of Australia (and its history of relations with the United States)? Australia had the highest per capita income in the world in the 1880s before it actually federated as a nation in 1901. Protectionism and high labour costs slowed its development after that but the reforms effected in the 1980s and 1990s made it the only country in the world, with the possible exception of China to have had continuous absolute and per capita growth and no recession since 1990 (no other country has had any of it). It is true that manufacturing has, as in the US, been delegated to Asia apart from high skill or high fashion areas. Australia's mineral (and agricultural) exporting industries, plus education considered as an export and vast sums of Chinese money in residential building is making it possible for Australia to become a prosperous service economy.

    So what's your point and where are your facts to support such a curious statement.

    Your long quote: where and who is it from? If Mearsheimer I am surprised by the carelessness - which you make no comment on. I refer to his overlooking the first Iraq war under George H. W. Bush and to his failure to distinguish between attacking (by proxy and by "volunteers") a country whose integrity Putin had agreed to uphold and the attack on a country with which the US had not only concluded no peace treaty with since the First Gulf War but which was the subject of continuous US and British protection of the Kurds by their Air Forces.

    But yes, I agree at least that George W. Bush's Iraq (and perhaps Afghan) war was a blunder carried out incompetently and that is not just hindsight.

    His Wizardly Majesty agrees with Sean on George W Bush, that is so pleasing.

    This character Wizard Of Oz is obviously some Ozzie roughin, who belittles commentators he does not agree with and dispenses his haute wisdom by using a characteristically bombastic and empty phraseology (similar to Peter Frost). Australia is a laid-back, she’ll-be-right country, but occasionally one can encounter such “guardians of all wisdom”, usually of English extraction. Who cares about his opinions except he and some fool attached to him? I do not.

    Sean, your quote is quite relevant. It illustrates so well the hypocrisy of the imperial servants of the EU. I also agree with you that Australia has a second-world extraction-oriented, inner-service focused economy which manufactures almost nothing. In terms of low economic diversification, Australia is terribly similar to Russia. Yet, the funniest is this character’s rambling about Australia riding without a recession since 1990, but without mentioning why and how. This is purely and 100% thanks to China’s counter-US-cyclical demand for resources, even after the US went into a depression, which its regime will never openly admit. At the moment, the Australian economy is on the edge of an abyss, due to the slowing Chinese economy and increased competition in the resources market, primarily from Russia and less from Canada. The Australian share/stock market sea-saws with any economic news coming from China. Therefore, yes, Australia has had an uninterrupted stint of economic prosperity, but this is at an end and Australian media are now in the business of pumping up unwarranted economic optimism. Australian economy has traditionally been going through these resource-driven boom-bust cycles and the current moment is on the down-swing which could last up to 10 years.

    Anyway, Sean, I am not convinced that this character deserves your attention.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jimbojones
    Australia and Canada have economies that are based largely on primitive raw-resources extraction. But Australia and Canada have a few things going for them:
    - They are insanely large, and have vast amounts of all sorts of valuable resources.
    - They are invulnerable to invasion.
    - They have been in the dominant (over the last 2 centuries) Anglo-American sphere of influence for the entirety of their existence.
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  209. @Kiza
    His Wizardly Majesty agrees with Sean on George W Bush, that is so pleasing.

    This character Wizard Of Oz is obviously some Ozzie roughin, who belittles commentators he does not agree with and dispenses his haute wisdom by using a characteristically bombastic and empty phraseology (similar to Peter Frost). Australia is a laid-back, she'll-be-right country, but occasionally one can encounter such "guardians of all wisdom", usually of English extraction. Who cares about his opinions except he and some fool attached to him? I do not.

    Sean, your quote is quite relevant. It illustrates so well the hypocrisy of the imperial servants of the EU. I also agree with you that Australia has a second-world extraction-oriented, inner-service focused economy which manufactures almost nothing. In terms of low economic diversification, Australia is terribly similar to Russia. Yet, the funniest is this character's rambling about Australia riding without a recession since 1990, but without mentioning why and how. This is purely and 100% thanks to China's counter-US-cyclical demand for resources, even after the US went into a depression, which its regime will never openly admit. At the moment, the Australian economy is on the edge of an abyss, due to the slowing Chinese economy and increased competition in the resources market, primarily from Russia and less from Canada. The Australian share/stock market sea-saws with any economic news coming from China. Therefore, yes, Australia has had an uninterrupted stint of economic prosperity, but this is at an end and Australian media are now in the business of pumping up unwarranted economic optimism. Australian economy has traditionally been going through these resource-driven boom-bust cycles and the current moment is on the down-swing which could last up to 10 years.

    Anyway, Sean, I am not convinced that this character deserves your attention.

    Australia and Canada have economies that are based largely on primitive raw-resources extraction. But Australia and Canada have a few things going for them:
    - They are insanely large, and have vast amounts of all sorts of valuable resources.
    - They are invulnerable to invasion.
    - They have been in the dominant (over the last 2 centuries) Anglo-American sphere of influence for the entirety of their existence.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kiza
    Yes, I fully agree with all your points, but in the following meaning.

    Australia and Canada have been in the World-dominant Anglo-Sphere which was colonial and aggressive instead of recessive. Anglos have a definite streak of opportunistic pragmatism and people domineering in them, more pronounced than in the related Germanic tribes or in the less related Romanic tribes. Slavs, such as the Russians, have both characteristics almost totally absent. This aligns with (explains) the history of the last millennium. Yet, every human make-up has its limits. Traits which were positive in one couple of centuries could turn into a fault in the next. Being aggressively domineering the Anglos have, in the last two centuries, occupied and taken other people's stuff instead of being occupied or being taken advantage off. In short, a qualified yes for Australia and Canada having an advantage for being in the Anglo-sphere.

    Both were relatively invulnerable to invasion. Russia on the other hand, had salivating Napoleon and determined Hitler to invade them and wreck havoc, murder and destruction on the Russians. In this 21. century it has this Anglo-Jewish neocon alliance eyeing Russia's resources and treating its own people like mushrooms (keeping them in the dark and feeding them crap through MSM). There is a bit of racial distrust between Russia and China, but China has never wrecked havoc, murder and destruction on any racial group let alone on the Russians. Therefore, it appears that a real treat to Russia can come only from the same place again as usual - EU and the US, not from Asia. For China the treat can only come from the direction of Japan, courtesy of the US, of course. Thus, Russia and China are like two soldiers with their backs against each other, protecting themselves from the hostile and greedy global neighbors.

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  210. Kiza says:
    @jimbojones
    Australia and Canada have economies that are based largely on primitive raw-resources extraction. But Australia and Canada have a few things going for them:
    - They are insanely large, and have vast amounts of all sorts of valuable resources.
    - They are invulnerable to invasion.
    - They have been in the dominant (over the last 2 centuries) Anglo-American sphere of influence for the entirety of their existence.

    Yes, I fully agree with all your points, but in the following meaning.

    Australia and Canada have been in the World-dominant Anglo-Sphere which was colonial and aggressive instead of recessive. Anglos have a definite streak of opportunistic pragmatism and people domineering in them, more pronounced than in the related Germanic tribes or in the less related Romanic tribes. Slavs, such as the Russians, have both characteristics almost totally absent. This aligns with (explains) the history of the last millennium. Yet, every human make-up has its limits. Traits which were positive in one couple of centuries could turn into a fault in the next. Being aggressively domineering the Anglos have, in the last two centuries, occupied and taken other people’s stuff instead of being occupied or being taken advantage off. In short, a qualified yes for Australia and Canada having an advantage for being in the Anglo-sphere.

    Both were relatively invulnerable to invasion. Russia on the other hand, had salivating Napoleon and determined Hitler to invade them and wreck havoc, murder and destruction on the Russians. In this 21. century it has this Anglo-Jewish neocon alliance eyeing Russia’s resources and treating its own people like mushrooms (keeping them in the dark and feeding them crap through MSM). There is a bit of racial distrust between Russia and China, but China has never wrecked havoc, murder and destruction on any racial group let alone on the Russians. Therefore, it appears that a real treat to Russia can come only from the same place again as usual – EU and the US, not from Asia. For China the treat can only come from the direction of Japan, courtesy of the US, of course. Thus, Russia and China are like two soldiers with their backs against each other, protecting themselves from the hostile and greedy global neighbors.

    Read More
    • Replies: @singh
    Lol China has destroyed Indic civilization in xinjiang, over-ran formerly Persian & Hindu Central Asia & ethnically cleansed vietnamese, ahoms(assam) & various other small tribes at foothills of himalayas.

    Furthermore Tibet is today 40% how is this possible?

    More than being the 'jews' of Asia, the Han are the Arabs. Explicitly anti female policies & demographic expansion through use of surplus males.

    China will have to be cut down to size, literally.
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  211. Kiza says:
    @annamaria
    The neocons' decisive push to the WWIII: "The New York Times does its government’s bidding: Here’s what you’re not being told about U.S. troops in Ukraine. U.S. troops are now operating openly in Ukraine." by PATRICK L. SMITH
    http://www.salon.com/2015/05/07/the_new_york_times_does_its_governments_bidding_heres_what_youre_not_being_told_about_u_s_troops_in_ukraine/
    This goes along with the "neocon disdain for career experts at CIA and state is legendary."
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/05/able-archer-83-and-stovepipes-or-andropov-and-the-neocons.html#comments
    Take a note that the well-paid ignoramuses and opportunists at all levels of the US government and the so-called "think tanks" (pseudo-intellectual prostitutes) are not able to comprehend the nuclear-fallout future for their grandchildren. The psychopathic plutocracy that makes the selected club of major puppeteers, is able to understand the problem on a "nukular" level only, where ignorance converges with irresponsibility/unaccountability.

    You are discussing this issue of the nuclear fallout. Here is a bit for on this for unz.com visitors from Australia and New Zealand.

    In case of a nuclear war, the US nuclear missile navigation facility in the center of Australia at Pine Gap is a certain target. Another somewhat less probable target is the renewed US Marine and Submarine (Pivot-to-Asia) base near Darwin in Northern Australia. Depending on the prevailing winds at the time from the center of Australia, one of the big cities will get a big serving of radioactive fallout: Sydney, Adelaide or Melbourne. In case of a global nuclear war, the safest places to run to in Australia are probably going to be Kimberly in the North-Western Australia and Northern Queensland. The New Zealanders will be luckier because they never allowed any US facility on their territory and they are unlikely to be reached by any heavy radio-active fall-out from Australia. Even under best case scenarios, not more than 20% of Australian and 50% of New Zealand population could survive, due to food shortages caused by a nuclear winter (The Mad Max scenario).

    Finally, there is this story about the Earth’s atmosphere popping up like a balloon and disappearing into cosmos when all these nuclear weapons are activated within a few hours.

    Read More
    • Replies: @annamaria
    Money, power, and psychopathy.
    Degenerate puppeteers beget degenerate governmental policies.
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  212. Such crock. When they invaded they announced a government of Finnish Reds who’d be given the country to rule. That a Red regime led by some of the exact same men had already been seen here in 1918, briefly aided to power by Russian soldiers. I only exist because a socialist friend in 1918 tipped off my great-grandfather that the revolution was about to happen and that the Reds had put the family on the list of elite to be liquidated. A lot of landowners were not as lucky and got murdered. We have to thank the working class for actually deciding to fight in 1939 instead of welcoming another Red government.

    Fascism wasn’t our movement at all, it was for the revanchist losing side of World War I when WWI had ended very nicely for us. Why would we even need foreign anti-communist movements invented only after our own anti-communist Whites had won a Civil War? Our mistake before the war were Western-oriented liberal leaders looking to England, France and the League of Nations who offered speeches when the Axis would have offered actual security deals. But the entire elite was screaming about the evils of Hitler and ties to Germany were in a complete freeze.

    Finland didn’t refuse territory swaps (we were eager as they were offering more in exchange further north), we kept refusing their demand for a Russian military base next to Helsinki as part of the deal among other suspicious things.

    When I said traditional Russia had virtues that our Western neighbors lacked, I meant traditional Russia. The Bolsheviks destroyed it and created a state with no redeeming virtues at all.

    One of the previous virtues of Russia was the lack of identity persecution compared to Swedish Lutheran zealotry. Finns lived on both sides of the borders that kept changing and didn’t usually have to fear targeted persecution on the Russian side. Swedes, on the other hand, would promise to respect the other faith and then before the ink of the peace treaty had dried they started terrorizing Orthodoxes and other non-Lutherans. There were frequent refugee waves of (Finnic) Orthodoxes to Russia from Swedish conquests but no Finnish Protestant refugee waves from Russian conquests. This attitude ended when the Reds failed to win in Finland and Finns were put on the list of suspiciously bourgeois peoples and viewed with hostility that we never got in Russia before. Coethnics caught on the other side of the border were fleeing persecution to Finland long before World War II.

    Borders swapping in wars for strategic interests isn’t new and would create no big hatred, what was new was the ethnic purging of nearly half a million people from what had been some of our ethnic heartland for all of history’s border changes, followed by mass deportations of those still caught on the other side after the later part of WWII. That broke something very fundamental in our estimates of what to expect from Russia. Even in the most worst moment with the Tsars, the Great Northern War and the founding on St Petersburg, once peace had been made they just built a city on the ruins and most of the countryside around the city remained Finnish until WWII.

    They made ridiculously insulting demands like people leaving their belongings behind in their homes so that the Russian replacements could loot them. Sure, a great power can always go attack some small country, demand a big chunk of territory and insist on taking the homes and belongings as “war booty” for replacement colonists, but that hasn’t been done often since the golden age of Mongolian banditry because antagonizing neighbors to such an extreme and long lasting extent for tiny gains is just bad strategy – as it was here given that the immediate result was a very vengeful Finland jumping in with the German invasion.

    The long term result, well, we’ll see. We’ve escaped the peace treaty that bound us to the USSR but aren’t going to become a revanchist bad boy like Hungary because Russia is too strong. But they’re going nowhere with this conservative value stuff here (and they’re putting a lot of effort into it) which is ironic considering that if they hadn’t destroyed our very Slavic influenced eastern culture half the country would be sweating about how pro-Russian they are. Very long term, we clearly now have one of those Balkan type ethnic irredentas and these ones have a tendency to surface out of nowhere if the other side looks weak. After almost a millennium of wars over that corner of earth it took the socialist intellectuals to create an ethnic territorial grudge out of it.

    As for not really participating in the siege of Leningrad, that was Mannerheim overriding the generals. He was in his 70s and was mainly brought back from retirement to be a figurehead who made few decisions but that was one. I do not understand it at all (it’s what it would have taken to win the war and nobody else in the war had any problem with destroying cities; they could have surrendered any time). Mannerheim as an old Tsarist must have had too much attachment to the pretty palaces…

    We certainly did not get lenient treatment, in reparations and losses and the total lack of aid after the war (actually unique to us) we were the most harshly punished country and all we can say about the war is that at least we avoided massive civilian losses.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Immigrant from former USSR
    Hello, Mr. (?) Jaakko Raipala.
    Couple of words, which support your story from the other side.
    Ethnically Russian, my uncle was arrested and shot in Leningrad in 1937, his ethnically Russian wife was arrested and sent to gulag, her mother in turn was exiled to Kazakhstan together with two grand-daughters (my cousins.) After WW2 and Kazakhstan my cousins got University education. One of them became ophthalmologist and at the end of her carrier became (chief ?) ophthalmologist of USSR’s part of Finland, Karelo-Finnish SSR (KFSSR). She told me, after 1960-s, that in Petrozavodsk, the capital of KFSSR, she met people, communists, which in 1939 were prepared to become party bosses and administrative functionary in future “liberated” Finland. Eventually these bosses did not move further than Petrozavodsk.

    In my young years I spent several vacations at the lake Vuoksa (Vuoksi), kayaking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. What a gorgeous place! At the time we could not even dream of traveling abroad, even for technical conferences.

    I had a remarkable senior colleague with last name “Rautian”, which was russified variant of his father’s original Finnish name “Rautiainen”, while the mother of junior (the wife of senior) was ethnically Russian. All three were pretty good scientists. Junior eventually became a Member-Correspondent of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

    At some stage of USSR (1956 ?) the Karelo-Finnish SSR (KFSSR) was downgraded to the lower status: Karelo-Finnish Autonomous Republic. The joke of the time was that it was done for this reason.

    Joke: There were only two Finns in KFSSR at the time: finn-inspector (financial inspector) and Finn-kelstein. Under the closer scrutiny they turned to be one and the same person.
    In Russian:
    В КФССР было только два финна; фин-инспектор и Фин-кельштейн; при ближайшем рассмотрении оказались одним и тем же лицом.

    I had no acquaintances among Karels. Russian translation of epic poetry from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology “The Kalevala” was my favorite reading at the age about 8.
    Food from Finland (e.g. cheese “Viola”) and clothes and umbrellas from Finland was something, what my wife and I remember now with great nostalgia.
    Best to you, Jaakko Raipala.
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  213. annamaria says:
    @Kiza
    You are discussing this issue of the nuclear fallout. Here is a bit for on this for unz.com visitors from Australia and New Zealand.

    In case of a nuclear war, the US nuclear missile navigation facility in the center of Australia at Pine Gap is a certain target. Another somewhat less probable target is the renewed US Marine and Submarine (Pivot-to-Asia) base near Darwin in Northern Australia. Depending on the prevailing winds at the time from the center of Australia, one of the big cities will get a big serving of radioactive fallout: Sydney, Adelaide or Melbourne. In case of a global nuclear war, the safest places to run to in Australia are probably going to be Kimberly in the North-Western Australia and Northern Queensland. The New Zealanders will be luckier because they never allowed any US facility on their territory and they are unlikely to be reached by any heavy radio-active fall-out from Australia. Even under best case scenarios, not more than 20% of Australian and 50% of New Zealand population could survive, due to food shortages caused by a nuclear winter (The Mad Max scenario).

    Finally, there is this story about the Earth's atmosphere popping up like a balloon and disappearing into cosmos when all these nuclear weapons are activated within a few hours.

    Money, power, and psychopathy.
    Degenerate puppeteers beget degenerate governmental policies.

    Read More
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  214. Sean says:
    @Wizard of Oz
    Your post purportedly replies to mine in which I questioned your use of friendship as an appropriate characterisation of the possibilities for Russia and China. But I am not sure what related point you are now making concerning the United Kingdom and Russia. More to the point I am at a loss to know what to make of your assertion that "Australia is more or less a third world country in terms of development".
    (a) If it were true, what follows from that truth in the context of this thread?
    (b) Are you using some private term of art or are you totally ignorant of Australia (and its history of relations with the United States)? Australia had the highest per capita income in the world in the 1880s before it actually federated as a nation in 1901. Protectionism and high labour costs slowed its development after that but the reforms effected in the 1980s and 1990s made it the only country in the world, with the possible exception of China to have had continuous absolute and per capita growth and no recession since 1990 (no other country has had any of it). It is true that manufacturing has, as in the US, been delegated to Asia apart from high skill or high fashion areas. Australia's mineral (and agricultural) exporting industries, plus education considered as an export and vast sums of Chinese money in residential building is making it possible for Australia to become a prosperous service economy.

    So what's your point and where are your facts to support such a curious statement.

    Your long quote: where and who is it from? If Mearsheimer I am surprised by the carelessness - which you make no comment on. I refer to his overlooking the first Iraq war under George H. W. Bush and to his failure to distinguish between attacking (by proxy and by "volunteers") a country whose integrity Putin had agreed to uphold and the attack on a country with which the US had not only concluded no peace treaty with since the First Gulf War but which was the subject of continuous US and British protection of the Kurds by their Air Forces.

    But yes, I agree at least that George W. Bush's Iraq (and perhaps Afghan) war was a blunder carried out incompetently and that is not just hindsight.

    Zardoz, beyond manufacturing, beyond love, beyond death, and with a different shaped gear knob on the Holden VE.

    Not true that manufacturing has declined in the US, if you use constant pricing manufacturing has increased in the US. It employs more people because it has got more efficient. Australia has a first world lifestyle, but Australia is making a big mistake thinking if can or should emulate Britain and ignore productive capacity. Many lucrative services are actually dependant on manufacturing and Britain (which has the City) is the odd one out in the West for becoming genuinely deindustrialised. It’s no viable model for Australia. The quote was from Gabor Steingart

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Correction: [manufacturing] employs fewer people because it has got more efficient [and productive].
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  215. Jaakko Raipala , thanks for the comment, I’ve always been curious about the Finnish side’s view! I think that we fundamentally agree on a lot of points:
    - Whether due to revanchist tendencies or to fascist sympathies on the part of the Finns, Moscow correctly perceived the Helsinki regime as somewhat unfriendly.
    - There was a serious and reasonably generous offer for a territorial trade. That said, one has to give it to Helsinki – the Bolshies were anything but trustworthy.
    - For whatever reason, the Finns took it easy when it came to nailing Leningrad.
    - In turn, though they treated Finland as a nation on the losing side of the war, the Soviets did not impose a puppet regime in Helsinki, and allowed the famous Finnish neutrality of the Cold War.
    - Overall, Finland does not indulge in anti-Russian animus the way, say, Poland does. The Finns have not forgotten the harsh treatment they received in the hands of, say, the Swedes; while the Poles seem to have forgotten about the kind of things the Prussians did to them.

    As a bottom line, yeah, the Bolshies were very crazy, and the population transfers they conducted at whim were among the greatest follies and horrors of the 20th century.

    ——

    On a separate point – for all their aggression and hypocrisy, the Anglophone nations have made immense contributions to the world over the last few centuries. This is a point people on the hard left (such as Chomsky and William Blum) tend to often gloss over. So, apart from purely geographical factors, the Anglos have been successful, because they have been competent, inventive, and industrious. And God bless them for that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    I know arguing people who've decided to be apologists is futile but come on, there has to be a limit to making up nonsense. Revanche? For what? Stalin was the man in charge of nationalities policy who handed us independence with personal congratulations.

    In 1939 they of course presented no propaganda about the evils of allying with fascists because the Russians had just surprised everyone by allying with Germany and their international propaganda in 1939 was about trying to convince the world's shocked Leftists that allying with Nazis isn't such a bad thing. Some of the foreign volunteers we got for the war were actually communists who felt the Nazi-Soviet pact was an unforgivable betrayal of principles. "Fascism" became their propaganda word later.

    You can't understand the historical situation if you don't know our position in Russia and the Bolshevik involvement in our political developments. Because we were an autonomous region, we had separate politics, but the developments of course mirrored the developments in the rest of Russia. Because we were an exceptionally industrialized corner of the empire we had a very strong working class movement and because we were right next to Petrograd with our own liberal laws guaranteeing some freedom of speech and providing cover against Tsarist authorities, we were a very popular place with Russian revolutionaries.

    Lenin in particular had a thing for staying in Finland (he would have been an occasional neighbor in my formerly working class, now hipster neighborhood of Helsinki) and getting involved in Finnish politics with the leftists he'd stay with. Finland was growing very radical as Nikolai II had decided to reduce our autonomy and start russification policies which were seen as a major betrayal since we had been loyal for a century and had never rebelled or developed a separatism movement until then. You could watch aristocrats, landowners, servants, workers and beggars drop all their divisions to get together to rebel against the Tsarist authorities who struggled to maintain any control.

    This fit Lenin's theories perfectly as in the Leninist framework peoples oppressed by imperialist powers need to develop national consciousness and achieve national liberation first before the revolution can happen. The outside oppression united classes in their struggle against the outsider and once it would be removed all the political energy and radicalism developed for fighting the imperialist oppressor would get re-channeled and oppressed classes would rise against the oppressor classes.

    Lenin's predictions worked and independence did spark the Civil War in Finland. The Reds would have won the war too had it not been for surprise intervention by Germany on behalf of the Finnish Whites. That was a very bitter disappointment to Lenin's government which first saw their calculation working perfectly and then Germany showed up to steal impending victory from the Reds. That was likely not expected in the calculations at all as the same Germany had helped the Reds in power in Petrograd.

    Then Germany lost World War I and withdrew from Finland. Later it was taken over by Nazis and relations with Germany were broken and relations with the Soviet Union seemed to improve as we were talking about co-operating against the German threat until they surprised everyone with the Nazi-Soviet pact. Now the equation changed as they saw anti-communists in Finland would not have German support (or probably any support as Germany as a Russian ally blockaded the Baltic), hence if it was otherwise the same situation as in 1918 the Reds in Finland would win. They brought out some of the Red Finns who had been exiled to the Soviet Union to be the announced new government and thought that the working class wouldn't really resist them. The old "they'll welcome us as liberators".

    This is how Soviet propaganda portrayed everything during the invasion - that the Finnish worker was rebelling against capitalist masters and that a new Civil War and a new revolution was beginning. "Finnish revanchism" and "alliances with fascists" are the typical examples of Soviet revisionist propaganda where you tell the most shameless lies possible with the idea that people think there must be at least some truth to them - yet they were the openly fascist allied, revanchist power stating "correcting" the results of the previous war as their aim.

    Also, we were not neutral or really independent during the Cold War, it was another propaganda lie we were forced into. Through our former close ties we negotiated a unique semi-Soviet puppet regime in a special alliance but we were not exactly a free country. I still remember how in the 1980s we had to smuggle in some American movies and news about what was happening in Poland or Afghanistan because "anti-Soviet" news and movies weren't allowed. We were ruled for 25 years by the same KGB recruited President Kekkonen who was given semi-dictatorial powers and re-elected without elections because everyone knew he was "necessary for Soviet friendship".

    We were bound to the Soviet sphere by the peace treaty, forced into a military alliance (but avoided the Warsaw Pact) and the Allied Control Commission tried to staff as much of the media, administration etc with communists as possible. We ended up with a bizarre system where most of the intellectual and political life was sort of Sovietized but we managed to negotiate a mostly market economy (a big chunk of the economy was still handed to communists and integrated with the USSR, though).
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  216. Sean says:
    @Sean
    Zardoz, beyond manufacturing, beyond love, beyond death, and with a different shaped gear knob on the Holden VE.

    Not true that manufacturing has declined in the US, if you use constant pricing manufacturing has increased in the US. It employs more people because it has got more efficient. Australia has a first world lifestyle, but Australia is making a big mistake thinking if can or should emulate Britain and ignore productive capacity. Many lucrative services are actually dependant on manufacturing and Britain (which has the City) is the odd one out in the West for becoming genuinely deindustrialised. It's no viable model for Australia. The quote was from Gabor Steingart

    Correction: [manufacturing] employs fewer people because it has got more efficient [and productive].

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  217. Sean says:

    “A country whose integrity Putin had agreed to uphold”.

    One would have to be cracked to seriously think any Russian leader ever made an agreement to uphold Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence even if that was jeopardising the security of Russia. Putin has acted much like Reagan did in the Contra proxy war on Nicaragua, which was against a far less vital interest and with far less support from the populace in the land where the conflict was going on. Like Reagan, Putin can be criticised, but

    EVEN before Socrates, philosophers were in the habit of belittling politicians as cynical manipulators with forked tongues and crooked speech. The honest person was supposed to engage in “straight talk,” which the politician seemed inherently unable to provide. According to this model of transparency, the people should speak to their representative (democratically elected or otherwise), who should faithfully express their will, while the people in turn would transparently follow the commands of the government. Yet all this assumes that the will of the people and the orders of the sovereign power are transparently intelligible, though the arts of commanding and obeying involve as much interpretation as art or food criticism

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  218. @Jaakko Raipala
    Such crock. When they invaded they announced a government of Finnish Reds who'd be given the country to rule. That a Red regime led by some of the exact same men had already been seen here in 1918, briefly aided to power by Russian soldiers. I only exist because a socialist friend in 1918 tipped off my great-grandfather that the revolution was about to happen and that the Reds had put the family on the list of elite to be liquidated. A lot of landowners were not as lucky and got murdered. We have to thank the working class for actually deciding to fight in 1939 instead of welcoming another Red government.

    Fascism wasn't our movement at all, it was for the revanchist losing side of World War I when WWI had ended very nicely for us. Why would we even need foreign anti-communist movements invented only after our own anti-communist Whites had won a Civil War? Our mistake before the war were Western-oriented liberal leaders looking to England, France and the League of Nations who offered speeches when the Axis would have offered actual security deals. But the entire elite was screaming about the evils of Hitler and ties to Germany were in a complete freeze.

    Finland didn't refuse territory swaps (we were eager as they were offering more in exchange further north), we kept refusing their demand for a Russian military base next to Helsinki as part of the deal among other suspicious things.

    When I said traditional Russia had virtues that our Western neighbors lacked, I meant traditional Russia. The Bolsheviks destroyed it and created a state with no redeeming virtues at all.

    One of the previous virtues of Russia was the lack of identity persecution compared to Swedish Lutheran zealotry. Finns lived on both sides of the borders that kept changing and didn't usually have to fear targeted persecution on the Russian side. Swedes, on the other hand, would promise to respect the other faith and then before the ink of the peace treaty had dried they started terrorizing Orthodoxes and other non-Lutherans. There were frequent refugee waves of (Finnic) Orthodoxes to Russia from Swedish conquests but no Finnish Protestant refugee waves from Russian conquests. This attitude ended when the Reds failed to win in Finland and Finns were put on the list of suspiciously bourgeois peoples and viewed with hostility that we never got in Russia before. Coethnics caught on the other side of the border were fleeing persecution to Finland long before World War II.

    Borders swapping in wars for strategic interests isn't new and would create no big hatred, what was new was the ethnic purging of nearly half a million people from what had been some of our ethnic heartland for all of history's border changes, followed by mass deportations of those still caught on the other side after the later part of WWII. That broke something very fundamental in our estimates of what to expect from Russia. Even in the most worst moment with the Tsars, the Great Northern War and the founding on St Petersburg, once peace had been made they just built a city on the ruins and most of the countryside around the city remained Finnish until WWII.

    They made ridiculously insulting demands like people leaving their belongings behind in their homes so that the Russian replacements could loot them. Sure, a great power can always go attack some small country, demand a big chunk of territory and insist on taking the homes and belongings as "war booty" for replacement colonists, but that hasn't been done often since the golden age of Mongolian banditry because antagonizing neighbors to such an extreme and long lasting extent for tiny gains is just bad strategy - as it was here given that the immediate result was a very vengeful Finland jumping in with the German invasion.

    The long term result, well, we'll see. We've escaped the peace treaty that bound us to the USSR but aren't going to become a revanchist bad boy like Hungary because Russia is too strong. But they're going nowhere with this conservative value stuff here (and they're putting a lot of effort into it) which is ironic considering that if they hadn't destroyed our very Slavic influenced eastern culture half the country would be sweating about how pro-Russian they are. Very long term, we clearly now have one of those Balkan type ethnic irredentas and these ones have a tendency to surface out of nowhere if the other side looks weak. After almost a millennium of wars over that corner of earth it took the socialist intellectuals to create an ethnic territorial grudge out of it.

    As for not really participating in the siege of Leningrad, that was Mannerheim overriding the generals. He was in his 70s and was mainly brought back from retirement to be a figurehead who made few decisions but that was one. I do not understand it at all (it's what it would have taken to win the war and nobody else in the war had any problem with destroying cities; they could have surrendered any time). Mannerheim as an old Tsarist must have had too much attachment to the pretty palaces...

    We certainly did not get lenient treatment, in reparations and losses and the total lack of aid after the war (actually unique to us) we were the most harshly punished country and all we can say about the war is that at least we avoided massive civilian losses.

    Hello, Mr. (?) Jaakko Raipala.
    Couple of words, which support your story from the other side.
    Ethnically Russian, my uncle was arrested and shot in Leningrad in 1937, his ethnically Russian wife was arrested and sent to gulag, her mother in turn was exiled to Kazakhstan together with two grand-daughters (my cousins.) After WW2 and Kazakhstan my cousins got University education. One of them became ophthalmologist and at the end of her carrier became (chief ?) ophthalmologist of USSR’s part of Finland, Karelo-Finnish SSR (KFSSR). She told me, after 1960-s, that in Petrozavodsk, the capital of KFSSR, she met people, communists, which in 1939 were prepared to become party bosses and administrative functionary in future “liberated” Finland. Eventually these bosses did not move further than Petrozavodsk.

    In my young years I spent several vacations at the lake Vuoksa (Vuoksi), kayaking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. What a gorgeous place! At the time we could not even dream of traveling abroad, even for technical conferences.

    I had a remarkable senior colleague with last name “Rautian”, which was russified variant of his father’s original Finnish name “Rautiainen”, while the mother of junior (the wife of senior) was ethnically Russian. All three were pretty good scientists. Junior eventually became a Member-Correspondent of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

    At some stage of USSR (1956 ?) the Karelo-Finnish SSR (KFSSR) was downgraded to the lower status: Karelo-Finnish Autonomous Republic. The joke of the time was that it was done for this reason.

    Joke: There were only two Finns in KFSSR at the time: finn-inspector (financial inspector) and Finn-kelstein. Under the closer scrutiny they turned to be one and the same person.
    In Russian:
    В КФССР было только два финна; фин-инспектор и Фин-кельштейн; при ближайшем рассмотрении оказались одним и тем же лицом.

    I had no acquaintances among Karels. Russian translation of epic poetry from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology “The Kalevala” was my favorite reading at the age about 8.
    Food from Finland (e.g. cheese “Viola”) and clothes and umbrellas from Finland was something, what my wife and I remember now with great nostalgia.
    Best to you, Jaakko Raipala.

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    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala
    Well Petrozavodsk is where our communist archtraitor who was to become the leader of the Karelo-Finnish SSR was living in exile at that point.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Wille_Kuusinen

    He was to be the leader of the communist government that the USSR wanted to put in power in the Winter War. I don't know where the other exiled communists that were meant to be a part of his government lived as they're less famous but it's a good guess that they were staying in Petrozavodsk with Kuusinen. Very few Finnish communists survived the purges so there wouldn't have been a lot of Finns there, though.

    There are not many Karelians in Petrozavodsk or the rest of the Karelian Republic left either and if you find some they probably can't speak their language anymore. Our attempt to jump in bed with Germany for revanche did not do good for our ethnic relatives.

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  219. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Very interesting article.

    Just a few additional observations/remarks to round it off.

    “I just don’t get it,” said my wife. “Prices are almost as high here as in Canada, yet the wages are a lot lower. How do people manage to survive?”
     
    The essentials of life are much cheaper, though.

    (1) The prices of what in particular - fast food? In this case, your and your wife's experience was probably an exception. According to the Big Mac Index, standard fast food is quite a lot cheaper in Russia than Canada. Most food of the sort you buy in supermarkets - and especially in open door farmers' markets, which is where many Russians still do their groceries - are also a lot cheaper.

    (2) Most Russians - something like 90%, thanks to the privatization of homes - own their own properties, so few have to spend money on rent. Additionally, there is no public shame with living in with your parents for a long time, as you have in the Anglo-Saxon world. Utilities are also really cheap in global terms (even if they are constantly rising).

    The gray economy (additional wages in envelopes) is still pretty prevalent if less so than 10 years ago.

    Sure, imported goods like electronics are either as expensive or even more so, but in conjunction with the above factors, most Russians can now afford things like cell phones, computers, and cheaper cars.

    They are now aging badly, and North Americans wouldn’t hesitate to call them “slums.”
     
    They do indeed look pretty crap from the outside, but I found that this is in many cases a mistaken impression (albeit one that is reinforced by Russians' lack of care for maintaining nice clean public spaces). The room interiors themselves are usually a very different story with good wooden furnity, a Persian carpet on the wall, chandeliers, etc. Moreover, and somewhat surprisingly, the blocky Soviet era constructions - despite being aesthetically challenged - are usually structurally better than the artsier but much flimsier newer constructions. This is a joint result of the large-scale corruption in the construction industry and the capitalist motive to minimize costs.

    “They do indeed look pretty crap from the outside, but I found that this is in many cases a mistaken impression (albeit one that is reinforced by Russians’ lack of care for maintaining nice clean public spaces). The room interiors themselves are usually a very different story with good wooden furnity, a Persian carpet on the wall, chandeliers, etc.”

    So true – my family lives in a city 150 miles east of Moscow and all apartment complex/apartment relationships are like this. The apartment building is vandalized and reeks of urine, but the individual apartments are like oases of well kept beauty.

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  220. […] York Times: Maxim Trudolyubov, Putin’s Grudging Perestroika. 20. The Unz Review: Peter Frost, Impressions of Russia. 21. The Unz Review: Anatoly Karlin, Comment to “Impressions of Russia” 22. http://www.rt.com: […]

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  221. @jimbojones
    Jaakko Raipala , thanks for the comment, I've always been curious about the Finnish side's view! I think that we fundamentally agree on a lot of points:
    - Whether due to revanchist tendencies or to fascist sympathies on the part of the Finns, Moscow correctly perceived the Helsinki regime as somewhat unfriendly.
    - There was a serious and reasonably generous offer for a territorial trade. That said, one has to give it to Helsinki - the Bolshies were anything but trustworthy.
    - For whatever reason, the Finns took it easy when it came to nailing Leningrad.
    - In turn, though they treated Finland as a nation on the losing side of the war, the Soviets did not impose a puppet regime in Helsinki, and allowed the famous Finnish neutrality of the Cold War.
    - Overall, Finland does not indulge in anti-Russian animus the way, say, Poland does. The Finns have not forgotten the harsh treatment they received in the hands of, say, the Swedes; while the Poles seem to have forgotten about the kind of things the Prussians did to them.

    As a bottom line, yeah, the Bolshies were very crazy, and the population transfers they conducted at whim were among the greatest follies and horrors of the 20th century.

    ------

    On a separate point - for all their aggression and hypocrisy, the Anglophone nations have made immense contributions to the world over the last few centuries. This is a point people on the hard left (such as Chomsky and William Blum) tend to often gloss over. So, apart from purely geographical factors, the Anglos have been successful, because they have been competent, inventive, and industrious. And God bless them for that.

    I know arguing people who’ve decided to be apologists is futile but come on, there has to be a limit to making up nonsense. Revanche? For what? Stalin was the man in charge of nationalities policy who handed us independence with personal congratulations.

    In 1939 they of course presented no propaganda about the evils of allying with fascists because the Russians had just surprised everyone by allying with Germany and their international propaganda in 1939 was about trying to convince the world’s shocked Leftists that allying with Nazis isn’t such a bad thing. Some of the foreign volunteers we got for the war were actually communists who felt the Nazi-Soviet pact was an unforgivable betrayal of principles. “Fascism” became their propaganda word later.

    You can’t understand the historical situation if you don’t know our position in Russia and the Bolshevik involvement in our political developments. Because we were an autonomous region, we had separate politics, but the developments of course mirrored the developments in the rest of Russia. Because we were an exceptionally industrialized corner of the empire we had a very strong working class movement and because we were right next to Petrograd with our own liberal laws guaranteeing some freedom of speech and providing cover against Tsarist authorities, we were a very popular place with Russian revolutionaries.

    Lenin in particular had a thing for staying in Finland (he would have been an occasional neighbor in my formerly working class, now hipster neighborhood of Helsinki) and getting involved in Finnish politics with the leftists he’d stay with. Finland was growing very radical as Nikolai II had decided to reduce our autonomy and start russification policies which were seen as a major betrayal since we had been loyal for a century and had never rebelled or developed a separatism movement until then. You could watch aristocrats, landowners, servants, workers and beggars drop all their divisions to get together to rebel against the Tsarist authorities who struggled to maintain any control.

    This fit Lenin’s theories perfectly as in the Leninist framework peoples oppressed by imperialist powers need to develop national consciousness and achieve national liberation first before the revolution can happen. The outside oppression united classes in their struggle against the outsider and once it would be removed all the political energy and radicalism developed for fighting the imperialist oppressor would get re-channeled and oppressed classes would rise against the oppressor classes.

    Lenin’s predictions worked and independence did spark the Civil War in Finland. The Reds would have won the war too had it not been for surprise intervention by Germany on behalf of the Finnish Whites. That was a very bitter disappointment to Lenin’s government which first saw their calculation working perfectly and then Germany showed up to steal impending victory from the Reds. That was likely not expected in the calculations at all as the same Germany had helped the Reds in power in Petrograd.

    Then Germany lost World War I and withdrew from Finland. Later it was taken over by Nazis and relations with Germany were broken and relations with the Soviet Union seemed to improve as we were talking about co-operating against the German threat until they surprised everyone with the Nazi-Soviet pact. Now the equation changed as they saw anti-communists in Finland would not have German support (or probably any support as Germany as a Russian ally blockaded the Baltic), hence if it was otherwise the same situation as in 1918 the Reds in Finland would win. They brought out some of the Red Finns who had been exiled to the Soviet Union to be the announced new government and thought that the working class wouldn’t really resist them. The old “they’ll welcome us as liberators”.

    This is how Soviet propaganda portrayed everything during the invasion – that the Finnish worker was rebelling against capitalist masters and that a new Civil War and a new revolution was beginning. “Finnish revanchism” and “alliances with fascists” are the typical examples of Soviet revisionist propaganda where you tell the most shameless lies possible with the idea that people think there must be at least some truth to them – yet they were the openly fascist allied, revanchist power stating “correcting” the results of the previous war as their aim.

    Also, we were not neutral or really independent during the Cold War, it was another propaganda lie we were forced into. Through our former close ties we negotiated a unique semi-Soviet puppet regime in a special alliance but we were not exactly a free country. I still remember how in the 1980s we had to smuggle in some American movies and news about what was happening in Poland or Afghanistan because “anti-Soviet” news and movies weren’t allowed. We were ruled for 25 years by the same KGB recruited President Kekkonen who was given semi-dictatorial powers and re-elected without elections because everyone knew he was “necessary for Soviet friendship”.

    We were bound to the Soviet sphere by the peace treaty, forced into a military alliance (but avoided the Warsaw Pact) and the Allied Control Commission tried to staff as much of the media, administration etc with communists as possible. We ended up with a bizarre system where most of the intellectual and political life was sort of Sovietized but we managed to negotiate a mostly market economy (a big chunk of the economy was still handed to communists and integrated with the USSR, though).

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  222. Zjerzy says:
    @annamaria
    Your descendants... If you were serious about the future of your children, you would think about something more rational and reliable than a wall around a country that has been tried, at earnest, to integrate into Europe. Considering the Empire of Federal Reserve' stubborn resolve to keep its global hegemony by any means, including a nuclear war with another nuclear-armed country, the Russophobia is not just stupid but dangerous. By the way, Poland was not particularly sensitive to the human rights when the Cheney' directives made Poland a seat of torture chambers and illegal renditions. It also helps to think that both the US and Russian Federation are the multinational states. The crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime were implemented by Georgians, Jews, Russians, Latvians, Polish, Tatars... just name any ethnicity. The same ethnic diversity is seen among the best contributors to humanity. It is a courage that makes person a real mensch, not the ethnicity. You are focused too much on tribal trifles.

    Actually – not being a Russophobe after the experiences of European 20th century history would be a sign of mental retardation, of not being able to process facts and recognize patterns. Nothing good comes from the east.

    The crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime were implemented by Georgians, Jews, Russians, Latvians, Polish, Tatars… just name any ethnicity.

    No the crimes of Soviet Union were crimes committed by people of many nations – no disagreement here. But those people were operating under one specific ideology – communism united with traditional Russian imperialism. Most of them have renounced their national identity and took new one – of new Soviet Man (or pro-russian renegades as their victims were saying) . And now Russia is in fact functioning as a heir to Soviet ideology and accomplishment using Great Patriotic War as a foundations of it’s national mythology.

    It is a courage that makes person a real mensch, not the ethnicity.

    No, it isn’t. Should I drag exceptionally brave soldiers of SS into this discussion?

    You are focused too much on tribal trifles.

    National not tribal. There is a bit of difference.

    And yes, this wall needs building.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    I guess you are a Polish Catholic. If so, what would you say about the Christian atrocities in Europe and Americas? You also do not see any evil in the US ruthless moves for "full spectrum dominance" (world hegemony), which is a process of establishing a neo-feudalism worldwide. The history of Soviet Union is a painful one, but this state had dissolved, bloodlessly, 25 years ago. It is not anymore. It does not exist. The former Soviet Union is peopled with new generations that want freedom and material abundance, that is, there is no difference between desires and aspirations of those living in Eastern Europe and Siberia and those living in Western Europe and in the advanced countries of Asia.
    You are not shy to show your visceral hatred for everything Russian. This will bring you to not just nowhere, but to a really bad place, since the world will not survive a nuclear confrontation that the US has been provoking in Ukraine.
    Just a minor note on the tragedy of Bolshevik Revolution in Russia: the documents show the unwise involvement of Jewish-American bankers in financing the second, catastrophic stage of the coup d'etat in Russian Empire.
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  223. Mitleser says:
    @Zjerzy

    2. Wanting a buffer zone between yourself and an expanding, hostile military alliance is not an imperial ambition, it’s a rational security policy.
     
    Tell this to people forced to became your buffer zone.

    I hope the number of Belarusians who thinks like that stays a minority. Belarus is modern nation. It does not need stupid nationalism.
     
    Other peoples nationalism is generally stupid and barbaric when it doesn't agree with one's political view.

    1. People aren’t buffer zones, territories are.

    2. Nationalism is stupid and dangerous if it is based on lies/non-existent continuity like in this case.

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    • Replies: @Zjerzy

    1. People aren’t buffer zones, territories are.
     
    So do you have any uninhabited piece of land you want to make into buffer zone? Because last time I was looking all land in Europe is taken. If you want to make any land into buffer zone you must first cope with its previous inhabitants. What if they don't want to be your buffer zone?

    There is of course a solution to your problem. A solution brought to perfection by Russia: forcible population transfers. Or you can simply turn their lives into hell so they will run by themselves.

    2. Nationalism is stupid and dangerous if it is based on lies/non-existent continuity like in this case.
     
    I will repeat what I wrote: other people's nationalism is generally stupid and barbaric when it doesn't conforms to one's political view.
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  224. annamaria says:
    @Zjerzy
    Actually - not being a Russophobe after the experiences of European 20th century history would be a sign of mental retardation, of not being able to process facts and recognize patterns. Nothing good comes from the east.

    The crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime were implemented by Georgians, Jews, Russians, Latvians, Polish, Tatars… just name any ethnicity.
     
    No the crimes of Soviet Union were crimes committed by people of many nations - no disagreement here. But those people were operating under one specific ideology - communism united with traditional Russian imperialism. Most of them have renounced their national identity and took new one - of new Soviet Man (or pro-russian renegades as their victims were saying) . And now Russia is in fact functioning as a heir to Soviet ideology and accomplishment using Great Patriotic War as a foundations of it's national mythology.

    It is a courage that makes person a real mensch, not the ethnicity.

     

    No, it isn't. Should I drag exceptionally brave soldiers of SS into this discussion?

    You are focused too much on tribal trifles.
     
    National not tribal. There is a bit of difference.

    And yes, this wall needs building.

    I guess you are a Polish Catholic. If so, what would you say about the Christian atrocities in Europe and Americas? You also do not see any evil in the US ruthless moves for “full spectrum dominance” (world hegemony), which is a process of establishing a neo-feudalism worldwide. The history of Soviet Union is a painful one, but this state had dissolved, bloodlessly, 25 years ago. It is not anymore. It does not exist. The former Soviet Union is peopled with new generations that want freedom and material abundance, that is, there is no difference between desires and aspirations of those living in Eastern Europe and Siberia and those living in Western Europe and in the advanced countries of Asia.
    You are not shy to show your visceral hatred for everything Russian. This will bring you to not just nowhere, but to a really bad place, since the world will not survive a nuclear confrontation that the US has been provoking in Ukraine.
    Just a minor note on the tragedy of Bolshevik Revolution in Russia: the documents show the unwise involvement of Jewish-American bankers in financing the second, catastrophic stage of the coup d’etat in Russian Empire.

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    If so, what would you say about the Christian atrocities in Europe and Americas?
     
    Nothing. They are not subject of this discussion. Evil Russians are (by the way now Russians are also Christians - doesn't that make them doubly evil?)

    The history of Soviet Union is a painful one, but this state had dissolved, bloodlessly, 25 years ago. It is not anymore.
     
    Oh, there was a lot of blood. An effort to suppress independence of Baltic countries, various wars on Caucasus, etc. And now Moscow is trying to recreate its former empire.

    The former Soviet Union is peopled with new generations that want freedom and material abundance, that is, there is no difference between desires and aspirations of those living in Eastern Europe and Siberia and those living in Western Europe and in the advanced countries of Asia.
     
    Of course they want prosperity. Every man wants it. The problem is that countries are different than people, and have their own desires and interests. So Russia wants something quite different than a country in Western Europe may want.

    You are not shy to show your visceral hatred for everything Russian. This will bring you to not just nowhere, but to a really bad place, since the world will not survive a nuclear confrontation that the US has been provoking in Ukraine.

     

    Its not visceral hatred. Merely strong dislike. I think they earned it. I want only to build a great wall to isolate my country from them, I don't want their land or riches. If they left us alone I would be quite happy. However they could give back stolen artworks.

    Luckily nuclear war is rather exaggerated danger, for now.

    "Just a minor note on the tragedy of Bolshevik Revolution in Russia: the documents show the unwise involvement of Jewish-American bankers in financing the second, catastrophic stage of the coup d’etat in Russian Empire."

    You see? I can hate or dislike Russians and you can dislike (hate?) Jews. Isn't this great this diversity of opinions?

    Even if they financed it, Russian Revolution is what mainly Russians did to themselves. And others that had bad luck to live in neighborhood.
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  225. @Immigrant from former USSR
    Hello, Mr. (?) Jaakko Raipala.
    Couple of words, which support your story from the other side.
    Ethnically Russian, my uncle was arrested and shot in Leningrad in 1937, his ethnically Russian wife was arrested and sent to gulag, her mother in turn was exiled to Kazakhstan