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RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 8:19:13 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: NakedWeasel

Russian troops seize Ukraine marine base in Crimea: soldiers

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/24/us-ukraine-crisis-crimea-base-idUSBREA2N09J20140324

I don't get this. There was a referendum. A vote was held, and the Crimean's decided that they want to be Russian. The Russians annexed Crimea, without out very much violence, or fighting. The Ukrainians in general, have pretty much surrendered Crimea, like a child hands over his lunch money to a bully. They didn't seem to care about this whole affair, or could be bothered with fighting for their territory. Now, there's a few holdouts, that obviously didn't get the message that they lost. Still, no shots fired, stun grenades and Russian baddies all up in their base... Like just pack it in and get out of Russia's Black Sea Port, and try to hold on to what you've got left, already. It's kinda pathetic.


I'm just sayin...


There was a referendum, but it was a) not legitimate under the constitution, and b) not free and fair by any acceptable standards, being at the point of a gun and no time or opportunity to campaign for the options. This is far more reminiscent of the Austrian Anschluss referendum of 1938 which quickly followed a mostly-bloodless invasion, rather than the Scottish independence one which has been vigorously - and fairly - campaigning for a year and still has 6 months to go.

Ukraine is a barely functioning state, having been mismanaged for years. That IS the reason for the recent revolution which swept Yanukovych from power. The military is no exception, having long been starved of funds and with little ability to carry out meaningful actions. They know they cannot successfully resist any further invasion - there would be massive loss of life and they'd lose badly. Would it be worth it to gain martyrs? If you were in charge in Kiev, is that what you'd order, knowing you'd have to explain your decision to their families? This is not a case of 300 Spartans (plus the ignored 1000s of auxiliaries) fighting a losing but effective delaying action knowing there is a game-changing army mobilising. There is no such army to save the situation.

They know that in Moscow there are those who would wish for such a spark, as they'd spin it to portray Russians being attacked and so "justify" an annexation of Eastern Ukraine, maybe even the whole country so as to then annex Trans-Dniestria too. This does look remarkably like the lead-up to the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s where power-hungry nationalist autocrats sought to steadily build Greater Nations by force. Remember Crimea itself has a history of massive ethnic cleansing within living memory.

I think it would be argued that a better approach is to maintain a moral high ground, and exercise maximum restraint. Disarm local troops in bases so that they cannot respond to provovations, so any fabricated spark would clearly be an attack on unarmed men - a war crime. There is a recognition that Ukraine is effectively lost for the moment, but to maintain that dignified restraint which gains the sympathy of the world. This situation is not just the "now", but will have a major bearing on the next 10/20/30 years. Every time a base is overrun it temporarily boosts the triumphalism of the Russian ultra-nationalists, but adds longer-term respect for Ukraine in the outside world as they are thuggishly evicted from their own territory by those with overwhelming force at their disposal. IMO that latter effect will be more important in the long run, otherwise Gandhi would be less respected than those who sought to suppress his goals.

Just sayin'

< Message edited by guanotwozero -- 3/24/2014 9:20:21 AM >

(in reply to NakedWeasel)
Post #: 391
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 8:36:09 AM   
NakedWeasel


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Again, I was just stating my confusion that there are still Ukrainian soldiers there at all. They should have been ordered to return to the Ukrainian mainland days ago. Those bases are sovereign Russian territory now. They should not have to "storm" them, throw stun grenades about the place, risk shooting a Ukrainian "provocateur". Crimea is Russia now. The Ukrainians should not be there.

_____________________________

Though surrounded by a great number of enemies
View them as a single foe
And so fight on!

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 392
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 8:58:48 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: NakedWeasel

Again, I was just stating my confusion that there are still Ukrainian soldiers there at all. They should have been ordered to return to the Ukrainian mainland days ago. Those bases are sovereign Russian territory now. They should not have to "storm" them, throw stun grenades about the place, risk shooting a Ukrainian "provocateur". Crimea is Russia now. The Ukrainians should not be there.

Ah, but that's the point - according to Ukraine, international law and almost every other country in the world, it remains Ukrainian sovereign territory. The Russian control is de facto but not de jure. Thus the orders to peacefully resist as long as possible are probably the most effective way to highlight that it's an illegal and thuggish (though not bloodthirsty) occupation. A territory does not simply "become part of" another country by military occupation or sham referendums, otherwise you'd justify heavily-armed tyrants everywhere grabbing slices of other people's territory, like East Timor or Kuwait. International law would be meaningless. Would you really recommend we live in that sort of world, especially if someone were capable of annexing where you live?

< Message edited by guanotwozero -- 3/24/2014 10:09:30 AM >

(in reply to NakedWeasel)
Post #: 393
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 1:20:40 PM   
Demuder

 

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I don't have much of an opinion about the Ukraine crisis and my historical knowledge of the region dynamics is subpar, however everyone seems to miss the fact that the "annexed" territory only very recently became part of Ukraine. In fact, it could be argued that Russia (as in 18th Century Russian Empire) actually annexed Crimea directly invading the pre-existing Khanate there and thus brought it in the European realm of that time - as opposed to the eastern non-christian realm.

In fact Crimea was "given" to Ukraine only just in 1954, and that was under the impression that the Soviet Federation would exist forever, thus making no difference to Russia as to whom Sevastopol and the Crimean industrial complex (ore refineries and such) belonged to. Then of course, some 40 years later the Soviet Federation was dismantled. Again it could be argued that Crimea was "given" to Ukraine exactly then, 1994, only 20 years ago.

I am stating all this as a reminder to all those pretending, for the lack of a better term, to truly understand the dynamics of the region. This has evidently nothing to do with occupying and annexing Timor or Kuwait, although Kuwait and the whole Middle East is another prime example of the trouble caused by "cutting" and "giving" and creating "nations" by former empires. I dare say that the only "rightful" owners of Crimea are the Tatars - or the Greeks (who were ousted by the Soviets about the same time with the Tatars) if one really wants to go back.

I will not even go into the "national" and "ethnic" groups and whom they believe they should belong to. I will just say that right now in Ukraine and Crimea, live people that were born Russian (really old ones), born or became Soviet, and then became or were born Ukrainian.

In addition, this whole incident did not start with an invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. In my limited view - since I only get my info from western world news agencies, the Internet and a couple of expatriate Russian friends who used to live close to the Ukrainian border - the Russian invasion pretty much ended it. One cannot disregard the civil unrest present in Ukraine the months before Russia moved their troops in, as a separate conflict. In fact, the episodes before the Russian invasion were a lot bloodier. And one of the basic issues for the unrest was exactly that, whether the country should aim for an EU-bound or a Russian-bound future.

So, from as an objective stand point as I can take, there is only two sides in this conflict, Ukraine's and Russia's. Everyone else's point of view, be it the USA, NATO or EU is heavily skewed by at least half a century's misconceptions and terribly biased by their own strategic and economic interests. International law is all fine and dandy but just like national law, it cannot be taken literally but has to be actually interpreted after taking all the relative facts under consideration.

The only problem in this case is the lack of an impartial judge with the authority to actual pass judgement - the thought of the UN in this role just makes me laugh, taking into consideration its past record in such matters. I would go as far as saying that if the UN decides to step in or if the US or NATO decide to press the issue much further they would provoke a quite justifiable violent reaction from Russia. Not so much because Crimea was rightfully annexed by Russia, but because they would be stepping in for all the wrong reasons with all the false pretenses.



< Message edited by Demuder -- 3/24/2014 2:24:43 PM >

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 394
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 3:22:12 PM   
jdkbph


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This kind of thing can go on forever though. Trying to figure out who has the best claim to anything based on centuries or millenia of occupation, strife, eviction, re-occupation, etc, is just a huge rat hole. No matter who was there first, there was probably someone there before him.

At some point, lines needed to be drawn. Fair or not, this was done. The "caveat" which made this acceptable is that any disagreements there-after would be heard and adjudicated using a reasonable and reasonably acceptable forum and set of rules. This also was done (for the most part)... the ICJ (World Court) is such a body. And as far as I know, ALL the players in this Ukraine/Crimea thing signed up to this.

So the main problem, as I see it, is that Russia - whether morally/ethically justified or not - unilaterally decided that this was the way it was going to be, without reference or due consideration to international law or existing treaties and agreements.

And that is what makes what they're doing now wrong.

As for the rest of the world looking on... I hope the dude speaks for us all:

"This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man."

JD

(in reply to Demuder)
Post #: 395
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 4:35:17 PM   
Dobey455

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Demuder

In fact Crimea was "given" to Ukraine only just in 1954, and that was under the impression that the Soviet Federation would exist forever, thus making no difference to Russia as to whom Sevastopol and the Crimean industrial complex (ore refineries and such) belonged to.



And to a great extent this is the thing that annoys me the most.

As much as Russia argues that this is an issue of sovereignty or ethnicity the fact is Russia was quite happy for Crimea to belong to Ukraine, provided that Ukraine was Russia's subordinate.

Once it became clear Ukraine was lost to the west - and probably to NATO - Russia suddenly remembered its strong feelings for the Crimea.

Ukraine owning Crimea wasn't an issue 6 months ago, or a year, or 10 or even 50 years ago.
Only once Russia lost control of Ukraine.

This isn't about sovereignty, it is about domination.

It's about sending a message to those "former" Soviet states thinking of aligning with the west.
The message? "leave us, and we will crush you".

(in reply to Demuder)
Post #: 396
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 4:40:52 PM   
Demuder

 

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But that's my point exactly. This kind of thing is not happening for ages in the area, the Crimean Peninsula was for all intents and purposes Russian except for a brief period of the past 20 something years. Lines drawn on paper are fine, but I guess anyone would agree that they are much more useful for casus beli than for actually enforcing treaties, exactly because they don't take into account a lot of geopolitical facts. Palestine was drawn as a line on a paper as well.

All reports of western reporters on site say that the referendum did reflect the public opinion in the area and before that, the people in Crimea never really felt part of Ukraine anyway. Ukraine itself, doesn't really care about losing Crimea, if they did they are the least vocal nation in the world, much less vocal than EU and NATO. In fact, I believe Ukraine's biggest fear is that having Crimea going to Russia will further kindle the separatist movement that wants half of the whole Ukraine join Russia as well. And it is not a small separatist movement, at some places it is at 50% of the population, especially east of Kiev.

So it is quite evident that the people's wishes in Crimea is to rejoin Russia. I cannot say that I have been there, but there's no evidence of a popular uprising against the Russian forces, in fact there have been many accounts of quite peaceful celebration. And apart from any second hand reports from professional reporters I do have first hand reports from people that have lived near there 10 years ago.

Taking all this under consideration, Russia had no other choice than to intervene, invade and annex.

On the other hand, most western analysts and news agencies focus purely on the "invasion" and "annexing" without even taking into account what the populations involved actually want or the real reasons Russia intervened. They picture Russia as some warmongering belligerent nation that woke up from its intra-Cold War slumber and starts gulping parts of Europe. I am not saying Russia is not that, but it is quite evident that in this specific case, it isn't. Under that prism, the insistence of NATO and EU on Russia standing down is quite invasive on what is actually a bilateral mater and would warrant a strong, justified response from Russia. Unless they just put up a facade with no real will behind it in order not to lose too much face.

Of course it is a very nice opportunity for the western military-industrial lobby to rekindle the fear of the Red Bear and Cold War 2.0 and have western governments go into a weaponisation frenzy. Much like what Cold War 1.0 was really :-)

If that kind of thing interests you, a very nice report I saw a few days ago was on Truthloader about the referendum. I can't post links here yet, but you can easily find it on Truthloader's channel in Youtube.

(in reply to jdkbph)
Post #: 397
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 5:12:30 PM   
guanotwozero

 

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Earlier I posted a link to a leader in a recent edition of The Economist. It's one of the best argued opinions on the current situation that I've seen, so I'll post it in its entirety here (and hope the Economist doesn't really mind!)

quote:

ORIGINAL: The Economist 22 March 2014

“IN PEOPLE’S hearts and minds,” Vladimir Putin told Russia’s parliament this week, “Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia.” He annexed the peninsula with dazzling speed and efficiency, backed by a crushing majority in a referendum (see article). He calls it a victory for order and legitimacy and a blow against Western meddling.

The reality is that Mr Putin is a force for instability and strife. The founding act of his new order was to redraw a frontier using arguments that could be deployed to inflame territorial disputes in dozens of places around the world. Even if most Crimeans do want to join Russia, the referendum was a farce. Russia’s recent conduct is often framed narrowly as the start of a new cold war with America. In fact it poses a broader threat to countries everywhere because Mr Putin has driven a tank over the existing world order.


The embrace of the motherland

Foreign policy follows cycles. The Soviet collapse ushered in a decade of unchallenged supremacy for the United States and the aggressive assertion of American values. But, puffed up by the hubris of George Bush, this “unipolar world” choked in the dust of Iraq. Since then Barack Obama has tried to fashion a more collaborative approach, built on a belief that America can make common cause with other countries to confront shared problems and isolate wrongdoers. This has failed miserably in Syria but shown some signs of working with Iran. Even in its gentler form, it is American clout that keeps sea lanes open, borders respected and international law broadly observed. To that extent, the post-Soviet order has meaning.

Mr Putin is now destroying that. He dresses up his takeover of Crimea in the garb of international law, arguing for instance that the ousting of the government in Kiev means he is no longer bound by a treaty guaranteeing Ukraine’s borders that Russia signed in 1994, when Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons. But international law depends on governments inheriting the rights and duties of their predecessors. Similarly, he has invoked the principle that he must protect his “compatriots”—meaning anybody he chooses to define as Russian—wherever they are. Against all evidence, he has denied that the unbadged troops who took control of Crimea were Russian. That combination of protection and subterfuge is a formula for intervention in any country with a minority, not just a Russian one.

Brandishing fabricated accounts of Ukrainian fascists threatening Crimea, he has defied the principle that intervention abroad should be a last resort in the face of genuine suffering. He cites NATO’s bombing of Kosovo in 1999 as a precedent, but that came after terrible violence and exhaustive efforts at the UN—which Russia blocked. Even then Kosovo was not, like Crimea, immediately annexed, but seceded nine years later.

Mr Putin’s new order, in short, is built on revanchism, a reckless disdain for the truth and the twisting of the law to mean whatever suits those in power. That makes it no order at all.

Sadly, too few people understand this. Plenty of countries resent American primacy and Western moralising. But they would find Mr Putin’s new order far worse. Small countries thrive in an open system of rules, albeit imperfect ones. If might is right, they have much to fear, especially if they must contend with an aggressive regional power. Larger countries, especially the new giants of the emerging world, face less threat of bullying, but an anarchic, mistrustful world would harm them all the same. If international agreements are robbed of their meaning, India could more easily be sucked into a clash of arms with China over Arunachal Pradesh or Ladakh. If unilateral secession is acceptable, Turkey will find it harder to persuade its Kurds that their future lies in making peace. Egypt and Saudi Arabia want Iran’s regional ambitions to be tamped down, not fed by the principle that it can intervene to help Shia Muslims across the Middle East.

Even China should pause. Tactically, Crimea ties it in knots. The precedent of secession is anathema, because of Tibet; the principle of unification is sacrosanct, because of Taiwan. Strategically, though, China’s interests are clear. For decades, it has sought to rise peacefully within the system, avoiding the competition that an upstart Germany launched against Britain in the 19th century and which ended in war. But peace is elusive in Mr Putin’s world, because anything can become a pretext for action, and any perceived aggression demands a riposte.

Act now or pay later

For Mr Obama, this is a defining moment: he must lead, not just co-operate. But Crimea should also matter to the rest of the world. Given what is at stake, the response has so far been weak and fragmented. China and India have more or less stood aside. The West has imposed visa sanctions and frozen a few Russians’ assets. The targets call this a badge of honour.

At the very least, the measures must start to exceed expectations. Asset freezes can be powerful, because, as the Iran sanctions showed, international finance dreads being caught up in America’s regulatory machinery. Mr Putin’s kleptocratic friends would yelp if Britain made London unwelcome to Russian money linked to the regime (see article). France should withhold its arms sales to Russia; and, in case eastern Ukraine is next, Germany must be prepared to embargo Russian oil and gas. Planning should start right now to lessen Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and to strengthen NATO.

Ukraine needs short-term money, to stave off collapse, and longer-term reforms, with the help of the IMF, backed by as much outside advice as the country will stomach. As a first step, America must immediately pay its dues to the fund, which have been blocked by Congress for months.

Even if the West is prepared to take serious measures against Mr Putin, the world’s rising powers may not be inclined to condemn him. But instead of acquiescing in his illegal annexation of Crimea, they should reflect on what kind of a world order they want to live under. Would they prefer one in which states by and large respect international agreements and borders? Or one in which words are bent, borders ignored and agreements broken at will?



< Message edited by guanotwozero -- 3/24/2014 6:14:34 PM >

(in reply to Demuder)
Post #: 398
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 9:06:01 PM   
Demuder

 

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I have read this article, I think someone had posted a link to it earlier in this thread, it is a well constructed analysis with several well made arguments. However it demonstrates exactly one of my points, that western analysts and opinion makers only take into account their own interests and suggest action only based on whether it would serve those interests.

For example, nowhere in that otherwise well researched analysis is the actual disposition of the population (the Crimean or the Ukrainian) to be found. If I remember correctly, human rights are more important than international law. And one basic human right is to be able to choose what country one belongs too. Just because Chrustschow decided 60 years ago to donate Crimea to Ukraine, doesn't mean that the Russians living there liked it. Especially so soon after a WWII where some very interesting things happened in Ukraine. But it was the Soviet Union back then, what people wanted was irrelevant.

How convincing would the arguments in that text sound if it included just one paragraph about what the almost complete majority of the population in Crimea wants ? Or even if it included another one about what the 50% of Ukraine's whole population wants ? I am first to admit that maybe I am totally mistaken (I know I am not, but for the sake of argument) and that the Crimean populace actually wants to stay with Ukraine. This analyst -and others- however simply ignores even mentioning that, he just focuses on what the US, NATO and EU have to lose, what Russia has to gain and most importantly, how that would set a bad example for the other international "boogieman", China.

Sure it is bad for NATO to have Russia with a strong foothold in the Black Sea, sure it is bad for EU to have a Russia that controls not just the source of its natural gas but also the pipe (by weakening Ukraine) but does give them the right to intervene ? And noone pauses to even consider what that intervention might mean.

There's more to international politics than where the oil and natural gas flows and who can put what military assets in a certain region, there's actual people living there and they have the right to do as they please. In this case, they might even want to trade the sinking ship that Ukraine is, for the "motherly" hug of Mr Putin's Russia. Something that the West forgets all too often, or rather, chooses to ignore most of the time.

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 399
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 9:39:36 PM   
jdkbph


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From: CT, USA
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There's a really slippery slope here.

What if the population of, say, Wisconsin decided one day that they would rather be a part of Sweden (there are a lot of folks of Swedish decent there)? Should they be able to do that? Should the US Federal Gov't, or anyone else for that matter, accept an informal referendum, even if it accurately reflected the wishes of the inhabitants, as binding? Would it then be OK for the Swedish Army to roll in and plant a flag in the middle of Green Bay, declaring the whole place annexed!

JD

(in reply to Demuder)
Post #: 400
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/24/2014 10:01:04 PM   
NakedWeasel


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Given the liberal nature of many Wisconson-ites, I'd welcome that...

But anyway, I'd agree with you, it is indeed a contentious issue. Perhaps it should be a one-off type of thing. "Everybody who want's off the bus, or is even thinking of getting off the bus, better do so now. This is your last call for getting off the bus." Take a census, issue every Ukrainian that does not intend to be Ukrainian a one-way ticket to Crimea, or Russia, and be done with them. No take-backs. The Ukraine absorbs their property, and locks down their territory from further incursions and annexation. As a matter of course, I'd supply the Ukraine with all the light weapons it needs to maintain a very dangerous militia. Make Russia pay in buckets of blood for any more Ukrainian territory they think should be "liberated".

Ukraine needs to accept it's loss of Crimea, and man up/stand up for the rest of the territory it still has. The EU, and NATO should help it do so, and move forward towards a brighter future.

_____________________________

Though surrounded by a great number of enemies
View them as a single foe
And so fight on!

(in reply to jdkbph)
Post #: 401
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/25/2014 12:29:25 AM   
guanotwozero

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Demuder
I have read this article, I think someone had posted a link to it earlier in this thread, it is a well constructed analysis with several well made arguments. However it demonstrates exactly one of my points, that western analysts and opinion makers only take into account their own interests and suggest action only based on whether it would serve those interests.

I don't follow - which western analysts and opinion makers do you mean? The writers of the leader, or someone else? The Economist is a publication with an independent editorial staff, so I don't see how it's serving particular "interests". It's an old publication which remains widely respected for its impartiality, clarity of thought and quality of argument. "The West" is full of all sorts of people with all sorts of opinions about many things, and I don't see that it's possible to generalise in most cases.

quote:

For example, nowhere in that otherwise well researched analysis is the actual disposition of the population (the Crimean or the Ukrainian) to be found. If I remember correctly, human rights are more important than international law. And one basic human right is to be able to choose what country one belongs too.

Well, I'm not sure how the disposition of the population is particularly relevant in that, assuming self-determination is about actual free choice, not about a decision based on ethnic statistics. Human rights are irrespective of ethnicity. Crimeans' rights to self-determination should be more more or less than that of Chechens or anyone else, something Mr Putin has long opposed.

quote:

Just because Chrustschow decided 60 years ago to donate Crimea to Ukraine, doesn't mean that the Russians living there liked it. Especially so soon after a WWII where some very interesting things happened in Ukraine. But it was the Soviet Union back then, what people wanted was irrelevant.

Sure, but things change through time. Opinions change as new generations grow up with different circumstances and expectations. British settlers in North America became Americans with a very different world view through time. Ruthless Vikings and Varangians who loved raiding and pillaging became modern Scandinavians with strong positive social ideas. At least some Russian-speakers in Crimea seemed to prefer to choose modern Ukraine for reasons their parents would not appreciate, at least if this reportage has any validity.

quote:

How convincing would the arguments in that text sound if it included just one paragraph about what the almost complete majority of the population in Crimea wants ? Or even if it included another one about what the 50% of Ukraine's whole population wants ? I am first to admit that maybe I am totally mistaken (I know I am not, but for the sake of argument) and that the Crimean populace actually wants to stay with Ukraine.

How does anyone know what they want? Opinion polls may give us clues, but only a free-and-fair referendum would give us an actual answer, and there hasn't been one as yet.

If I were facing a referendum, I'd want to hear the ideas and arguments over a reasonable period of time before the vote, say a year or two. I'd want the campaigning to be fair, seen to be fair, and run by accountable people. I'd want it to be fully within the constitution of the overall country, so that a mature, sensible path to the future can be taken whatever the result. That means I'd want a responsible, accountable national government well-established before the decision to hold a local referendum is even made.

I would not want a context of occupation by mysterious soldiers roaming without insignia, strongly believed to be from one country but officially denied in what's clearly a big lie. I would not want local or imported thugs without any actual authority to storm the local administration centre, disrupting the accountable business of local government, or harassing journalists trying to get to cover the story. I would not want soldiers WITH insignia (or anyone else) beseiged in their bases, unable to take part in the debates or even the vote itself. I would not want dishonest campaigning or demonisation to occur.

I would want BOTH SIDES in the debate to base their manifestos on benefitting all locals, not favouring any one ethnicity. The core issues should be entirely about ideas and policies, not ethnic "tribal" domination. In short, if the recent events in Crimea were to happen in my homeland (irrespective of ethnicity), I would not accept that my people had a free-and-fair act of self-determination, and so it should not be accepted as legitimate by any right-thinking people. If they used such a sham to get a result I wanted, I'd feel angry that my wishes were robbed of any legitimacy, probably for a generation.

quote:

This analyst -and others- however simply ignores even mentioning that, he just focuses on what the US, NATO and EU have to lose, what Russia has to gain and most importantly, how that would set a bad example for the other international "boogieman", China.

Not so - the article pointedly explained how it would be bad for the whole world, especially the smaller countries who could now be "legitimately" bullied by larger neighbours by using the same approach, as well as the larger countries who would be worse off in such an unstable world.

quote:

Sure it is bad for NATO to have Russia with a strong foothold in the Black Sea, sure it is bad for EU to have a Russia that controls not just the source of its natural gas but also the pipe (by weakening Ukraine) but does give them the right to intervene ? And noone pauses to even consider what that intervention might mean.

Why should it be bad? If Russia were a responsible neighbour, respecting international law and human rights, it would be welcomed as a partner in making a better world. A strong, professional Russian military could help boost peacekeeping operations, and Russian culture could add to the mix of "soft power" that makes the modern world a good place to be. Most countries don't have petrochemicals, so have to get them from somewhere. Why should it be a problem buying from Russia any more than anywhere else? Russia could so easily stride the world's stage if its leadership was accountable, perhaps even visionary, and chose to take that route.

However, in my opinion anyway, at the moment it is bad. Russia isn't regarded as a good neighbour, is perceived to use its military to bully and be partisan, and and uses the petrochemical supply to change policies in other countries. It achieves what it wants by intimidation and toughness, not by persuasion or setting good examples. The "culture" of government seems more suited to the militarism and ethnic domination of 1914 than the cooperation and multiculturalism of 2014. Much more a problem than a benefit. Sure, that can be said of many other countries in the past too, but since 1991 the world has been gradually getting better and more countries, while still imperfect, have "arrived". Russia has yet to do so and is maybe going in reverse, though I hope that will change within my lifetime.

quote:

There's more to international politics than where the oil and natural gas flows and who can put what military assets in a certain region, there's actual people living there and they have the right to do as they please. In this case, they might even want to trade the sinking ship that Ukraine is, for the "motherly" hug of Mr Putin's Russia. Something that the West forgets all too often, or rather, chooses to ignore most of the time.

Instead, why not help rescue that ship instead of removing (whout legitimately asking for) a part of the hull while it's in difficulties? Now THAT would impress the world far more!

(in reply to Demuder)
Post #: 402
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/25/2014 12:41:46 AM   
ExNusquam

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jdkbph

There's a really slippery slope here.

What if the population of, say, Wisconsin decided one day that they would rather be a part of Sweden (there are a lot of folks of Swedish decent there)? Should they be able to do that? Should the US Federal Gov't, or anyone else for that matter, accept an informal referendum, even if it accurately reflected the wishes of the inhabitants, as binding? Would it then be OK for the Swedish Army to roll in and plant a flag in the middle of Green Bay, declaring the whole place annexed!

JD

With those arguments, you could be a politician!

The right to self determination is a huge tenant of international law and the UN. Many in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine felt very disenfranchised with their federal government, and felt that the government of Russia would serve them better. The issues arising from this are, regardless of popular opinion that Russia sent troops into a sovereign nation. Russia then proceeded to suppress any voices opposed to the "popular opinion". Even if it is what the Crimean Public wanted, it's still Putin giving the bird to the international community as a whole.

Your US example is a bit far fetched and a bit of a hyperbole. The US has a pretty well established history for dealing with secession, and even when states feel pretty disenfranchised by the federal government, they don't usually secede. Texas didn't leave after the 2012 election!

(in reply to jdkbph)
Post #: 403
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/25/2014 12:53:55 AM   
NakedWeasel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ExNusquam
Texas didn't leave after the 2012 election!


Which isn't to say a very great many of us didn't try. Proudly, I was among the first ten thousand to sign that petition.

_____________________________

Though surrounded by a great number of enemies
View them as a single foe
And so fight on!

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Post #: 404
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/25/2014 5:47:09 AM   
dandin384


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From the NY Times:

"President Obama and the leaders of the biggest Western economies agreed on Monday to exclude President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia from the Group of 8, suspending his government’s 15-year participation in the diplomatic forum and further isolating his country."

"In a joint statement after a two-hour, closed-door meeting of the four largest economies in Europe, along with Japan and Canada, the leaders of the seven nations announced that a summit meeting planned for Sochi, Russia, in June will now be held in Brussels — without Russia’s participation."


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Post #: 405
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/25/2014 8:55:27 AM   
safedisk

 

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Hi

I have been lurking on the forum for a few months now picking up hints for CMANO.

Having followed the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning i have a point to make.
The general consensus is that Putin is entirely in the wrong and the west should do what it takes to contain him/Russia.

To play devils advocate,

Putin sees that the west/NATO is expanding eastwards, something it promised that it would not do, and if Ukraine joins Nato then over half the western Russian border has a potentially hostile force butting up to it.
Russia and Europe have had a tumultuous history with both France and Germany invading and almost taking Moscow.
To a Russian, why is Nato any different than European powers of the past?
I know Nato is a defensive force but that is not what Putin saw when he watched Libya get bombed back into the stone ages.

The stationing of US interceptor missiles near the Russian border (targeted at Russian ICBM/IRBM missiles?) and US bases to the West south and East.
Would not a Russian think that maybe the US is the next power to try and take Moscow?

The US has not had a good reputation for its dealings with other countries in the last decade and I have the impression as do many others that i speak to, that they would rather bomb first and maybe ask questions later.

I think the west meddling in Ukraine was Putins last straw and he had to act.
If he does nothing he will lose his Black sea port, which he needs to curb potential US actions against Syria, his Ally.
He also will appear weak in the eyes of the world and more importantly, Russians.

He had to do something to send a message and he did it in typical blunt Russian style.

I was an army brat in Germany in the 80s, 30-40 minutes drive from the east german border.
Dad was a tanker in the UK BAOR.
He taught me all about the USSR and the soviet equipment/hardware, so i know a thing or two about current forces, both east and west.

thanks.

(in reply to dandin384)
Post #: 406
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/25/2014 6:19:55 PM   
guanotwozero

 

Posts: 378
Joined: 12/27/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: safedisk
Hi

I have been lurking on the forum for a few months now picking up hints for CMANO.

Hi! Welcome!

quote:

Having followed the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning i have a point to make.
The general consensus is that Putin is entirely in the wrong and the west should do what it takes to contain him/Russia.

To play devils advocate,

Putin sees that the west/NATO is expanding eastwards, something it promised that it would not do, and if Ukraine joins Nato then over half the western Russian border has a potentially hostile force butting up to it.

Well, "The West" is just a vague term now describing a bunch of states within a geographical area, who have a similar way of life and outlook. It's not an organisation, and there's no membership. It's really a subjective term, though is commonly shared. It has also changed its meaning over time, so now includes nations like Poland or the Czech Republic, once on the east side of the Iron Curtain. Indeed many people would now mean it to include Australia, NZ or Singapore.

NATO (which is a voluntary member-based organisation) has already turned down an application from Georgia, partly mindful of Russian sensibilities, and Ukraine has never even applied.

quote:

Russia and Europe have had a tumultuous history with both France and Germany invading and almost taking Moscow.

Sure, but remember those jumped-up little corporals who gave Russia such a hard time ALSO gave the other nations of Europe a hard time as well, as they used their cults of personality and vast armies to briefly create new empires, killing many millions in the process. Moscow managed to avoid occupation on both occasions, though at great cost; many European capitals did not.

Those struggles can be regarded as coming out of the earlier imperial, feudal and religious struggles that have plagued Eurasia since before written history. Very much the era of hard power when the few controlled the many. Nevertheless those other nations seem to have got over that and now peacefully cooperate pretty well. Why should Russia be any different?

quote:

To a Russian, why is Nato any different than European powers of the past?

Because it's an entirely voluntary alliance made up of many independent states, now all democracies. It is not an empire in any sense, has no mandate to grab territory, no sovereignty of its own, no means to enact laws or control people. Even external interventions require the unanimous agreement of all members. It was set up as a defensive alliance (to counter Stalin's expansionism), and its only external operations have been as a response to massive human rights violations where earlier diplomatic efforts failed. It is utterly unlike any European Power from the Age of Empires. While its function is hard power, the queue to join is very much due to soft power (or fear of someone else's hard power ).

quote:

I know Nato is a defensive force but that is not what Putin saw when he watched Libya get bombed back into the stone ages.

Err... Libya didn't get bombed into the stone age, at least not by NATO. When the Arab Spring reached Libya protestors took to the streets wanting democracy. The response included firing RPGs into unarmed protestors. It escalated into major human rights violations throughout the country, and a civil war began. The UN agreed a no-fly zone, and NATO participated. They used precision munitions on C&C installations and other military assets, and the collateral damage is regarded as pretty low.

The part of Libya that most resembled stone-age destruction was the town of Misrata, as Ghadaffi's artillery wrecked the place before being pushed back. Libya is still riven with problems as many militias remain and control enclaves, Islamsists are trying to gain influence, and the usual corruption and mismanagement is everywhere to some extent. Nevertheless most observers see the situation as far less bad than under Ghadaffi, and there is still a lot of optimism for a better future.

So, why didn't Russia offer to help the no-fly zone? Logisitics, or a wish for Ghadaffi to remain in power?

quote:

The stationing of US interceptor missiles near the Russian border (targeted at Russian ICBM/IRBM missiles?) and US bases to the West south and East.
Would not a Russian think that maybe the US is the next power to try and take Moscow?

If you mean the ABM system designed to deal with any threat by Iran, the US responded to Russia's concerns by cancelling the site originally meant be in Poland and replaced with a much more limited system. Or do you mean something else?

quote:


The US has not had a good reputation for its dealings with other countries in the last decade and I have the impression as do many others that i speak to, that they would rather bomb first and maybe ask questions later.

Very true, but that's almost entirely due to one specific action by one internationally unpopular leader (and an equally unpopular ally) - the Iraq invasion.

Note that the biggest critics of that invasion were NATO members; there was a major falling out between the US and France, Germany strongly objected too, and Turkey refused to allow US forces to invade Iraq from their territory (turning down a large pot of money in the process). Well, they're now all in a position to say "told ya so!"

The stated reason of tackling WMDs was nonsense, the legality of the invasion is still contentious, and most people will agree it was just a really bad idea based on sheer hubris. It seems Russia was quite happy to sit back and watch NATO squabble and the US & UK get themselves into a lot of trouble there.

Still, the main problem was not for Russia or the coalition forces, but for the Iraqi people who have swapped a cruel, murderous despot for sectarian, venal leaders who preside over recurring bouts of religious-inspired violence. Frying pan to fire. Only Kurdistan seems to have benefitted so far.

quote:

I think the west meddling in Ukraine was Putins last straw and he had to act.

So, the EU signing a voluntary trade agreement with Ukraine is somehow meddling? The same agreement that many other countries have also chosen to do? How so? Even Russian ally Serbia is intending to join following its previous arch-rival Croatia, and the low-level mess that is Kosovo will probably be resolved if it eventually joins too. When hard power is the response to soft power, you know there's a real problem somewhere.

Remember the EU is also an entirely voluntary organisation, made up of member states. It's basically a club with many benefits of membership, such as free trade, freedom of movement, equality of citizens irrespective of ethnicity, and economic support. It has conditions of membership, such as accountability, transparency of government and responsible(-ish! ) financial management. Any member state is free to leave if they don't like the conditions, though so far none have. Indeed there's a queue to join, and many other aspirants. Prior to joining they can sign trade agreements with the EU, with some immediate benefits. It's very much a "soft power" organisation, as there's no compulsion or coercion. It's attractive to many people with aspirations of a better life.

Recently, Ukraine negotiated such a trade deal, but the president (Yanukovych) then decided to cancel it. Ukraine was already in dire financial states due to many years of corruption and bad government, and to many Ukrainians this was the last straw. Protests arose in Kiev and elsewhere, and evolved into the Euromaidan movement. It's support was diverse, ranging from hard left to hard right, but mostly driven by a vast throng of ordinary people who just aspired to a better future. Their pressure eventually persuaded Yanukovych to flee, after a last-ditch attempt to salvage his position by Berkut snipers shooting the protestors. He was offically removed as president by the existing parliament (as they're entitled to do under the constitution), and elections were planned for later in the year. An interim president took over the job 'til then. Well, we know what happened next.

So, why did Putin act? Was he preempting NATO tanks rolling into Red Square and the ethnic cleansing of Russians in Simferopol?

Well, nonsense! NATO has shrunk in recent years, partly due to the recent financial crisis, and partly due to its larger members being stung by that non-NATO intervention that didn't go to plan. NATO was certainly not expecting to deploy in its eastern member states until Putin acted. Ethnic cleansing of Russians in Crimea did not happen, nor showed any signs of happening. People there (as elsewhere in Ukraine) suffered the effects of the many years of mismanagement by Kiev, not rampaging fascists.

So at what point did this become an "ethnic" issue rather than one of people vs. bad government? Part of that answer must come from outside Ukraine, as the mainstream Russian media started to refer to the Kiev protestors and EXISTING parliamentarians as Nazis. Sure, some hard-right people are there and should be regarded as a problem, but only a small minority with limited support. It's using a grain of truth to create a big lie. International law allows for interventions if human rights are being significantly abused, but that just didn't happen in Crimea. AFAIK the only Russian death was a protestor in Kiev. Fears of alleged fascists is not the same thing as actual fascists killing people. Plus, any such intervention does NOT include the right to annex.

quote:

If he does nothing he will lose his Black sea port, which he needs to curb potential US actions against Syria, his Ally.

The port was leased until 2042, long after he'll be in office, and there's no reason to suppose that wouldn't be extended thereafter. The loss of the port was absolutely not an issue at this time. Indeed if this annexation is eventually reversed, the current action will have most jeopardised its future. If your tenant kicks you out and steals the house, you might want not him to remain when you recover it. Any future legitimate referendum to join Russia may exclude the port area, just like how the UK retains bases in Cyprus or the US in Cuba.

quote:


He also will appear weak in the eyes of the world and more importantly, Russians.
He had to do something to send a message and he did it in typical blunt Russian style.

I think you've hit the nail on the head there - his perception of what his role should be seems to entail repeatedly appearing to be tough and nationalistic, rather than fair and responsible. As mentioned earlier, the culture of his government seems to be much more 1914 than 2014.


< Message edited by guanotwozero -- 3/25/2014 7:20:53 PM >

(in reply to safedisk)
Post #: 407
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 1:18:47 PM   
jtoatoktoe

 

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Russia's claim of the ABM System was a threat was always silly as it was always too small of a battery to realistically even put a dent in a full scale attack. Russia likes to whine because that's what the Russian Government likes to do. In the meantime always votes based on old Soviet lines and supports the dictators of the world who seek to abuse their own people with violence.
But I do love my Russian Women...lord do I!!!

(in reply to guanotwozero)
Post #: 408
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 1:31:49 PM   
Sardaukar


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This is interesting (from Vladimir Ryzhkov, a State Duma deputy from 1993 to 2007,a political analyst.):

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/the-kremlins-war-propaganda/496779.html

Several years ago, I traveled to the taiga in the republic of Altai with a former KGB officer who had worked in military propaganda during the war in Afghanistan. While we drank tea beside the campfire one night, he described in detail the principles of military propaganda. Today, I see that the Kremlin is implementing all of those principles in its information campaign surrounding the Ukrainian crisis.

In authoritarian countries like Russia, independent information is losing out to mass propaganda, and whole populations have become victims of brainwashing.

The main objective of war propaganda is to mobilize the support of the population — or in the case of Ukraine, an expansionist campaign. It should also demoralize the enemy and attract the sympathy and support of third countries. Widespread support among Russians for the military operations in Crimea and its ultimate annexation indicate that the Kremlin has succeeded in its first two objectives but has gained little ground on the third.

Moscow accomplished this by using seven basic methods:

First, it is necessary to convince the general population that the government is acting correctly and that the enemy is guilty of fomenting the crisis. That is why the Kremlin places the full blame for the entire Ukrainian crisis on the Maidan protesters and what it calls the Western-backed Ukrainian opposition. Moscow conspicuously leaves out the fact that former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych himself provoked the crisis by ruining the country's economy, double-dealing with the European Union and engaging in corrupt deals while also permitting extreme corruption among members of his family and inner circle.

To incite hatred for the enemy and deflect attention away from Yanukovych's flaws, the Kremlin says the new government in Kiev, dominated by the main opposition groups, is linked to everything that is despised and vilified in Russia: fascists, extremists, the U.S. and the West in general. It is necessary to paint the Western enemy as the aggressor.

Second, the Kremlin created myths about the terrible persecutions of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine, particularly in Crimea. Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko even came up with a story about victims of such aggression that nobody has been able to corroborate, saying there were casualties among locals in Simferopol from a Kiev-backed attempt to take over a police building. The claim was never verified.
The main idea behind such claims is to find just the right balance between truth and fiction. Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels once said that if you add one-fourth of the truth to three-fourths of a lie, the people will believe you. Hitler and Stalin applied the principles and techniques of war propaganda on a national scale.

Third, the enemy must be demonized. Just about anything will work, from alleging that one of the leaders of the opposition, acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is a Scientologist, or showing medical records that another leader was treated for a psychological disorder. NTV and other state-controlled television stations have been at the forefront in spreading these smear campaigns.
If an actual radical or nationalist can be found among the enemy's ranks, such as Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh, this is like manna from heaven for propagandists. Although they represent fringe factions, they are turned into the face of the enemy. The entire opposition, which in reality includes a wide range of moderate forces, is presented as "fascist" and "neo-Nazi."

Fourth, the authorities always disguise their aggressive actions as a humanitarian mission. "We have to protect defenseless Russians at the hands of fascists. They are in danger of being beaten and killed," propagandists say.

Fifth, the Kremlin has attributed its own cynical methods to the enemy. For example, if Moscow intends to annex part of a brotherly, neighboring country, it must first accuse the U.S. and the authorities in Kiev of striving for world domination and hegemony, while depriving Russia of its ancestral territories and its righftful sphere of influence in its own backyard.

Sixth, the authorities must present all of their actions as purely legal and legitimate, and the actions of the enemy as gross violations of international law. That is why President Vladimir Putin refers to the "legitimate and inherent right of Crimeans to self-determination" — the same right he strongly denied to the people of Chechnya and Kosovo.
According to this logic, the parliament's unanimous vote to strip Yanukovych of his authority on Feb. 22 was illegal, while the referendum for secession in Crimea — which violated the Ukrainian Constitution — is completely legal and legitimate.

Seventh, the success of war propaganda depends entirely on its totalitarian approach. The authorities must shut down every independent media outlet capable of identifying and exposing the propagandists' lies. That is why Ukraine blocked Russian television. It also explains why Moscow is cracking down on Dozhd television and why it recently replaced the head of Lenta.ru with a ­Kremlin-friendly editor-in-chief.
Information warfare is well known throughout the world and is used by all leading countries. The U.S. government successfully used the same principles when it bombed Yugoslavia and invaded Grenada, Panama and Iraq. The difference, of course, is that the U.S. government does not own mainstream media outlets, so their ability to manipulate the truth is less effective.

Take, for example, the Iraqi invasion in 2003. Within a relatively short time period after the invasion was initiated, leading Western media went the complete other direction by criticizing the U.S. government for misleading the public on the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that were never found. This self-correction process does not occur in Russia, where the main media outlets are state-controlled.

In authoritarian countries like Russia, independent information is losing out to mass propaganda, and whole populations have become victims of brainwashing. Politicians speak about the need for peace even while stirring up war hysteria. And that means the likelihood of war is far closer and more real than many might imagine.


_____________________________

"To meaningless French Idealism, Liberty, Fraternity and Equality...we answer with German Realism, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery" -Prince von Bülov, 1870-


(in reply to jtoatoktoe)
Post #: 409
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 1:34:49 PM   
NakedWeasel


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I too always found that line about ABM's being targeted at Russian ICBM's to be to be an utterly pathetic argument. How exactly can a purely defensive, kinetic energy missile be targeted at an un-launched ICBM? I mean, if your're going to do a comedy bit, at least wear your clown shoes. And don't get mad when I laugh at you...

_____________________________

Though surrounded by a great number of enemies
View them as a single foe
And so fight on!

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Post #: 410
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 2:16:35 PM   
Dimitris


Posts: 11651
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quote:

ORIGINAL: jtoatoktoe
Russia's claim of the ABM System was a threat was always silly as it was always too small of a battery to realistically even put a dent in a full scale attack.


This is true, and at the same time irrelevant.

Dent a Russian full scale attack? No.

Dent an attack by the handful of surviving missiles launched in retaliation after a US first-strike has wiped out the bulk of the Russian ICBM/SLBM force? Very likely.

Is the US able to mount such an attack? Read here: http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/warplan/Index.asp (Chapter 4 especially).

Does the US _intent_ to perform such an attack? Probably not, but the Russians, being pragmatists, deal with capabilities, not intentions. The latters shift on a whim.

And that, in a nutshell, is why the Russians are hostile towards US missile defence. In their eyes, it reduces the credibility of retaliation, and therefore deterrence.

You may laugh at this but the Russians don't.


< Message edited by Sunburn -- 3/26/2014 3:16:57 PM >


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Post #: 411
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 2:33:38 PM   
AlmightyTallest

 

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Thanks for the link Sunburn, some sobering stuff there in Chapter 4.

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Post #: 412
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 8:05:11 PM   
ExNusquam

 

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That link is fascinating Sunburn,thanks!

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Post #: 413
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 9:58:43 PM   
NakedWeasel


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Thanks for that link. Bookmarked.

_____________________________

Though surrounded by a great number of enemies
View them as a single foe
And so fight on!

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Post #: 414
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/26/2014 11:13:32 PM   
mikkey


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Very interesting link, thanks Sunburn

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Post #: 415
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/27/2014 4:52:58 AM   
flanyboy

 

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So in 30-40 years when demographics have shifted more would it be ok for a referendum in the southwest to take the states of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Southern California (not as state I know) and remove them from the US and give them back to Mexico? After they were part of Mexico for a long time.

Also with regards to the last few posts talking about Russian pragmatism regarding the threat of a US pre-preemptive attack I wonder if their fears or planning has changed at all now that the US's most capable land based ICBM for hard target kills was retired by Bush 5 or 6 years ago now (Peacekeeper)despite SALT II never being ratified.
quote:

ORIGINAL: NakedWeasel

Given the liberal nature of many Wisconson-ites, I'd welcome that...

But anyway, I'd agree with you, it is indeed a contentious issue. Perhaps it should be a one-off type of thing. "Everybody who want's off the bus, or is even thinking of getting off the bus, better do so now. This is your last call for getting off the bus." Take a census, issue every Ukrainian that does not intend to be Ukrainian a one-way ticket to Crimea, or Russia, and be done with them. No take-backs. The Ukraine absorbs their property, and locks down their territory from further incursions and annexation. As a matter of course, I'd supply the Ukraine with all the light weapons it needs to maintain a very dangerous militia. Make Russia pay in buckets of blood for any more Ukrainian territory they think should be "liberated".

Ukraine needs to accept it's loss of Crimea, and man up/stand up for the rest of the territory it still has. The EU, and NATO should help it do so, and move forward towards a brighter future.



< Message edited by flanyboy -- 3/27/2014 5:57:00 AM >

(in reply to NakedWeasel)
Post #: 416
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/27/2014 6:03:59 AM   
NakedWeasel


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In 30-40 years, when I'm dead, ask me again. Perhaps the question will rouse me with it's relevance. kidding. I guess we'll just have to see how far that demographic actually shifts, right?

The reason the Peacekeeper's could be retired in the first place, was that the cost in their production, basing, upkeep, maintenance, upgrades, etc. far outweighed their value as a deterrent (vengeance) weapon. The Peacekeapers were only good for countervalue- Armageddon-style population-incineration. They were the ultimate terror weapon. And as they were immobile, they were the Soviet's primary target. The REAL deterrence in America's nuclear arsenal, are the Trident missile subs and cruise missiles launched by strategic bombers. The air and sea-based legs of the triad are the biggest threat to Russia, because they are the most survivable. The USAF and Navy provide a second and third-strike option that would eventually vaporize whatever the first wave of land-based ICBM's missed.

The Russians know this, have always known this. They developed their most powerful "defensive" weapons- their own ABM's in Moscow, and the S-300 series of missiles to shoot down bomber-launched attack and cruise missiles. Which, by the way, makes them as guilty of sidestepping the ABM treaty as the US is. We could say that their Gazelle and Gorgon ABM's were threatening the delicate balance of peace provided by the MAD doctrine. Arguably, doubly so, given they were/are equipped with nuclear warheads.

So yeah, I stand by my statement, it's a pathetic argument whose only reason for existence is to further the posturing, obfuscation, and bluster that is synonymous with Russian propaganda and rhetoric. I've witnessed forty years of it so far, and I should be able to call it what it is by name when I smell it.

< Message edited by NakedWeasel -- 3/27/2014 7:26:47 AM >


_____________________________

Though surrounded by a great number of enemies
View them as a single foe
And so fight on!

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Post #: 417
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/27/2014 7:30:30 AM   
Dimitris


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quote:

ORIGINAL: flanyboy
Also with regards to the last few posts talking about Russian pragmatism regarding the threat of a US pre-preemptive attack I wonder if their fears or planning has changed at all now that the US's most capable land based ICBM for hard target kills was retired by Bush 5 or 6 years ago now (Peacekeeper)despite SALT II never being ratified.


The retirement of the Peacekeeper was made possible after the Trident IIs were equipped with the W88 hard-target warhead. Its widespread deployment has actually provided the US with a much stronger hard-counterforce capability than when Peacekeeper was the primary hard-target instrument. The reduced flight time also favors a first-strike attack.

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Post #: 418
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/27/2014 7:44:50 AM   
Dimitris


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NakedWeasel
The Russians know this, have always known this. They developed their most powerful "defensive" weapons- their own ABM's in Moscow, and the S-300 series of missiles to shoot down bomber-launched attack and cruise missiles. Which, by the way, makes them as guilty of sidestepping the ABM treaty as the US is. We could say that their Gazelle and Gorgon ABM's were threatening the delicate balance of peace provided by the MAD doctrine. Arguably, doubly so, given they were/are equipped with nuclear warheads.


Some points:

1) The ABM treaty specifically excluded SAMs and cruise missiles from its accounting rules. So neither the development of advanced strategic SAMs like Patriot and S-300P/V nor the deployment of theater/strategic cruise missiles was a violation of the treaty.

2) The Moscow ABM system, as well as the US equivalent (Safeguard/Sentinel) were expressly permitted by the ABM treaty as they were local-defence systems. (The US administration in the 1980s consistently accused Soviet leadership of covertly constructing a nationwide ABM system; these allegations proved to be false. The Soviets _did _ experiment with systems intended for nationwide deployment in the 50s, 60s and 70s, but not in the 80s). The new US BMD system, being a nationwide-coverage system, would have been a violation of the treaty (which is why the US government withdrew from it prior to its deployment).

3) In the past, both the US Safeguard ABM system (in the brief duration of its existence) and the Moscow ABM system used nuclear warheads (enhanced radiation warheads in fact, similar to the "neutron bomb"). The Moscow ABM system currently uses only the 53T6 Gazelle interceptor with a conventional warhead.

< Message edited by Sunburn -- 3/27/2014 12:13:09 PM >


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Post #: 419
RE: Ukraine 2014 - 3/27/2014 9:52:57 AM   
Demuder

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: flanyboy
So in 30-40 years when demographics have shifted more would it be ok for a referendum in the southwest to take the states of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Southern California (not as state I know) and remove them from the US and give them back to Mexico? After they were part of Mexico for a long time.


I understand you are trying to be sarcastic, but let's suppose that what you describe indeed happens sometime down the line. In fact, let's say it happens 150 years from now, so that the problem has some time to brew and fester.

Now try to imagine that when the crises breaks out, China and India sail in with their -by that time- mighty fleets, and say "hey boys, WE know what you should do about it, because WE found this book of International Law in our back pockets". How would that make the Mexicans or the US feel ?

I am not trying to say that Texas and Arizona should go to Mexico, I am not even saying that what Russia did was right. What I am saying is that sometimes -almost always in fact- the World Police intervene with no regard for the intricate social and political circumstances that lead to the crisis, but only because of their economic and strategic interests.

Just today, I read an article in the paper that the US and EU should organize their efforts (non military ones, thank God) against Russia, so that the EU secures a safe and steady energy source. Now, being Greek and part of the EU, I am all for a steady energy supply for the future. But how does that give me the right to have a say in what Crimea does in regards to who it decides it belongs to ? It is just as absurd as China decreeing that Texas and Arizona should stay with the USA (in your example above) under the pretense of International Law, so that Mexico doesn't increase it's industrial base and suddenly becomes a contender in manufacturing.

(in reply to flanyboy)
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