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Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 567

by flyingsquid (#47780177) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

We don't need to send "boots on the ground"; just help Ukrainian defenders with weapons.

It's not even clear that the issue is weapons. This isn't 1980s Afghanistan we're talking about. Ukraine is a former member of the USSR and was within spitting distance of NATO, so they're armed with fighter and attack aircraft, helicopter gunships, transport aircraft, artillery, armored personnel carriers, etc. etc. The Ukrainian military clearly has issues that have nothing to do with armaments- early on in the conflict, a group of soldiers simply surrendered their armored personnel carriers without a shot being fired, so there are major issues with leadership, discipline, morale, and organization. This is where U.S. military advisors could play a key role, and the U.S. has sent advisors over there, and presumably they're offering intelligence support such as satellite photos as well. The fact that the Ukrainian army is getting its shit together may be related to this. The fact that Russia has kept escalating the situation is in fact evidence that it's working; if the rebels were doing well against the government, they wouldn't need to intervene.

But the charlatan-in-chief would not even send Ukrainians the perfectly defensive helmets and body armor

This is just misleading. The US has sent body armor and night vision goggles. Perhaps more importantly, the West has committed $27 billion in aid to Ukraine over the next two years. With that kind of financial backing, they can simply buy whatever equipment they need.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 567

by flyingsquid (#47779807) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine
There is a saying, attributed to Napoleon, 'never get in the way of your enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself'. Putin may score points at home by annexing the Crimea and invading Ukraine. Internationally, however, Russia moving towards becoming a pariah state, like Iran, North Korea, or Libya under Qaddafi. He's invaded and annexed part of his neighbor, shot down a civilian airliner, imprisoned political opponents, clamped down on free speech and murdered journalists, criminalized having a different sexual orientation. If the long-term goal is to politically isolate Russia, to help contain Russian influence like during the Cold War, well, Putin is doing a fantastic job of it.

War has been called "politics by other means". Putin has launched this war because he is desperate not to let the Ukraine fall into the Western political sphere- probably the best analogy would be the way the U.S. got defensive about having communist governments in Cuba and Central America. At best, he'll manage to carve off the eastern edge of Ukraine to create some tiny, pro-Russian buffer states. In the process of gaining this territory, Russia will isolate itself and its political sphere of influence will shrink. Putin will never give up power, and the West will never trust him again, so we could be looking at another 10-25 years of this sort of behavior, before eventually someone succeeds him and tries to normalize relations with the West.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 567

by flyingsquid (#47779083) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Whatever you blame Bush for, the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq are squarely Obama's doing.

Bullshit. Obama might not have handled things terribly well, but Bush bears most of the blame here. Let's look at the first issue: former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki pursued a divisive, sectarian agenda that caused the country to split along religious lines. Could Obama have done more to influence Maliki to be inclusive? Maybe. But who created him in the first place? That's right- George W. Bush. Maliki was brought to power in 2006 with extensive US involvement and support. If Maliki's politics are to blame, then Bush is ultimately the one to blame for Maliki.

Second Issue: withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. Damn you, Obama! Except wait a minute, who was it who approved a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that called for all U.S. troops to leave in 2009... hm, it'll come to me... oh, that's right, it was BUSH! Maybe Obama could have pushed harder to keep a residual force, but he wasn't able to get an agreement. Turns out, he couldn't negotiate with Maliki. The guy, you will recall, put in power by the Bush administration.

Third Issue. These ISIS guys. Where do they come from? They're pretty badass, they act more like an occupying army than a terrorist organization. Turns out, there's a reason for that- they include a whole bunch of former Iraqi Army officers, who went to military academy and everything. Iraqi army officers who joined the insurgency after the Iraqi Army was disbanded by, wait for it... George W. Bush. Disbanding the Iraqi army was arguably the stupidest move of all, possibly even stupider than invading. It took the only force capable of holding the country together, destroyed it, and then then turned a bunch of disgruntled, unemployed soldiers and military officers loose to create an insurgency.

Fourth, Iraq invasion. It should be pretty obvious where the blame for that lies.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 567

by jfengel (#47777963) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Would Russia invade if Ukraine still had their nukes?

They might, actually. It's a decent bet that Ukraine wouldn't respond, even to invasion, with a city-destroying bomb. They would instantly become the bad guys in the situation. And if Russia responds to the escalation, the next bomb goes off in Kiev.

MAD never really had to cope with a ground invasion of the US by Russia, or vice versa. It's a very good thing that we didn't share a border, or somebody might have tested it. But even under MAD, there were all kinds of proxy wars, where our allies were invaded, and we never decided to reply with nuclear weapons, even while throwing thousands of lives and billions of dollars at it.

So yeah, Russia might well have taken a gamble on a ground invasion even with a nuclear-armed Ukraine. Nukes are a tricky weapon to use. The main thing they do is deter other nukes, and nobody's threatening Ukraine with nukes. Putin would have to ask himself if he thought the Ukrainian government was crazy enough to respond to its existential, but conventional, crisis with unconventional weapons. And given how aggressive he's been so far in flouting international judgment, he might well believe it.

Comment: Re:Cut the Russians Off (Score 2) 567

by IamTheRealMike (#47777231) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

That's a rather one-sided view of what happened. Yes, the Soviet Union did invade Afghanistan as part of pushing its global ideology, much like the USA invaded Vietnam. But the stone age state of Afghanistan at the time of the US invasion in 2001 was a direct result of America supporting religious fanatics in a proxy war, the mujahideen, who after the war ended and the Soviet's were defeated went on to become the Taliban. That's why bin Laden is so famously a former ally of the US.

The USA is not only building an empire but doing so in plain sight of everyone. To quote Putin directly:

Our partners, especially in the United Sates, always clearly formulate their own geopolitical and state interests and follow them with persistence. Then, using the principle “You’re either with us or against us” they draw the whole world in. And those who do not join in get ‘beaten’ until they do.

This principle is most clearly visible in two acts. One is that the sanctions on Iran are built as a "you're with us or against us" model. Any country that is seen by America to be "undermining" the sanctions i.e. not joining in is itself sanctioned. And the second act is again sanctions based: every financial institution in the world is being taken over by Washington via a system of recursive ("viral" if you like) sanctions that require banks to obey the USA even if that would contradict local laws. The goal is to collect tax from American's abroad. It's called FATCA and it's resulted in many, many nations having to repeal their own privacy laws, in order to allow banks to become agents of the US Government. They were given no choice in the matter.

So the USA has found ways of forcing people in countries all over the world to: (a) engage in economic warfare against America's enemies and (b) pay taxes directly to America, all regardless of what the local government wants or how the local people vote.

Being able to conscript people to their fights and force payment of taxes is the very foundation of empire itself.

Comment: Re:Alternate views (Score 1) 567

by IamTheRealMike (#47777045) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Check back in 6 months, compare what they reported on this conflict to what really happened. Because they were reporting the Ukrainian protests as being a bunch of Fascists who, if they had their way, would be building concentration camps for Russian speakers. Of course, the protesters won, got new elections, and turned out to be what they appeared to be; moderate youths who want increased relations with the EU.

Let's set aside the idea that RT is somehow horrendously biased and we can learn what really happened by, er, reading our totally neutral and trustworthy western newspapers.

Let's instead focus on an indisputable fact. This wonderful new parliament put in place by moderate youths who wanted only increased EU relations, on the very next day after the ex-President fled (the one who did actually win an election), voted overwhelmingly to repeal a law that made Russian an official language. Their first act wasn't to improve relations with the EU, or heal the giant rift between east and west Ukraine, their first order of business was to drive an even bigger wedge right between their own citizens.

Is it any wonder that this glorious democratic government our leaders love so much reacted to an independence movement in their country with massive military force, and has been shelling their own citizens ever since?

By the way, here's how RT reported it at the time. Seems pretty accurate to me.

Comment: Re:Cut the Russians Off (Score 1) 567

by IamTheRealMike (#47776375) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

That's sort of like saying the Soviet's didn't invade anywhere during the cold war. They just supported puppet governments and militias in their place, as did America (hence Osama bin Laden being a former employee of the CIA).

They all still have both political sovereignty, and also control of their legal borders.

You can't claim that America deciding unilaterally to engage in "regime change" to use the delightful term is respecting political sovereignty. What happens is the USA evaluates a government and if it's not one they like, sometimes they remove it by force and replace it with a new one they like better. Said country has "control of their borders" only if you ignore that the US military operates within those borders at will.

Comment: Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 567

by IamTheRealMike (#47776281) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

While people may have been all pissy about Bush, unilateral wars, and Team America World Police, the fact of the matter is that it was better than the alternative.

What alternative is that, exactly? That Iraq invades America? That the Afghans conquer Europe?

I'm trying to figure out how the world would look if Team America had not said "Fuck Yeah" so many times in the past decades. I think it'd probably look much the same as it does now, except quite possibly ISIS would not exist.

Comment: Re:Alternate views (Score 1) 567

by IamTheRealMike (#47776247) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Your comment will be down-voted into oblivion after a few hours.

Try 20 minutes. It went up to +5 Interesting almost immediately. Now it's at zero. What's hilarious is the stream of comments on these stories claiming that Russia is manipulating online forums. All I see is that right now anyone questioning the western party line is immediately zerod out so nobody sees it. I don't think that's because of cunning governmental manipulation though. I think people are just desperate for the old days when they could feel like they were the good guys in a fight of "good vs evil". Whacking Muslims in the desert just doesn't feel as awesome as a good old fashioned America vs Russia showdown.

Comment: Re:Alternate views (Score 1) 567

by IamTheRealMike (#47776059) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

It seems all governments do that at the moment. The USA even does so publicly.

Regardless, if you believe anyone who merely questions the obvious propaganda being bandied about by both sides is a paid employee of The Other Side then you're delusional. I'm hardly anonymous on this forum and my account dates back I'd guess about 13-14 years. The Guardian comment made claims that made me curious and is, at minimum, merely repeating claims made in other news outlets, which is worthy of exploration by itself.

Comment: Re:Alternate views (Score 1) 567

by IamTheRealMike (#47776011) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Not sure why you think it's the "other side of the story”. It has nothing to do with the story. Some elements of the Ukraine military may be defecting AND Russia may be invading. These are not mutually exclusive claims.

That's absolutely correct, but if it's true that the Ukrainian army is so shaky then Poroshenko has every incentive to claim that his country is being invaded because he would desperately want western intervention to tip the balance.

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