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AlexL
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An analysis of John Mearsheimer's position, which is: "it is not Putin but the West, especially the U.S., that’s principally responsible for this disaster. The Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault.”

The analysis continues:
 

Quote

This view has gained a sizeable audience. A lecture that Mearsheimer gave seven years ago, following Russia’s first invasion of Ukraine, has gone viral, racking up more than 27.7 million YouTube views. This is huge; if ranked among the most-viewed TED talks (which are typically under twenty minutes), Mearsheimer’s seventy-five-minute lecture would place among the top twenty-five of all time. Fans have reposted clips of Mearsheimer’s recent interviews to YouTube, drawing tens of thousands of views. Fittingly, he has admirers in Moscow. Days after the most recent invasion, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a tweet that approvingly quotes Mearsheimer’s 2014 article “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault.”

Mearsheimer has also received a polite hearing among public intellectuals. Jordan Peterson, at his followers’ urging, listened to Mearsheimer’s analysis and found it “singularly lucid.” The conservative-leaning Andrew Sullivan interviewed Mearsheimer on his podcast, as did Peter Beinart, a progressive writer. Both engaged him as a serious thinker. The New Yorker interviewed him. A column in the Washington Post gave his perspective a courteous nod.

What is Mearsheimer’s argument? What does it counsel? What consequences does it lead to? To understand Mearsheimer’s analysis is to appreciate the destructiveness of shrugging at the need for moral thinking.

Mearsheimer’s contrarian argument flows from his commitment to “realism” in international relations. But before we step inside that intellectual framework, we need to bring into the foreground three significant features of the Russia/Ukraine crisis. [...]

Read here the full analysis.

Edited by AlexL
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3 minutes ago, Doug Morris said:

Do you see any moral difference between NATO and Russia?

 

Different in what sense ?

Is NATO more moral than Russia ? Are we to gauge the aggregate moralness of the totality of the individuals in the two groups? Or weigh the morality of a multi-national bloc engaged in a mutual defense alliance? or the morality of specific activities that NATO has conducted since inception ? as against the morality of Russia as a concept/nation or against the person Putin?

FDR allied and propped up the USSR/Stalin before and during WW2 and then the US acquiesced to USSR controlling a significant territory in eastern Europe after the war precipitating the need for western Europe to enter a defensive league , no ? Has NATO remained as 'nonexpansionist' as its expressed claims since the 'fall' of the Soviets ? Is that apparent stance change to be judged solely as moral actions carried out in the face of changing 'circumstances on the ground'? Can any of Russia's actions or attitudes be viewed as consequences of reactions to NATO actions or have all of NATO's actions been solely reactionary to 'Russian imperialism'?

Is Putin responsible for the death and destruction the people of Ukraine are currently suffering ? I would say he is , he is the leader of a country that invaded militarily another country. Is the US and West's response the only conceivable moral choice? Should this conflict be gamed by the West as a mechanism to defeat Putin, either by removing him from power or decimating the Russian nation to the point that even were he not to be removed , Russia would/could no longer be considered a threat ? Don't either or those choices require a tremendous sacrifice of people and lives? and to what 'real' end?  

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4 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

Do you see any moral difference between NATO and Russia?

 

To take the behavior of each in the last year specifically and several decades, roughly evens. NATO and the EU lost moral stature for being conspicuous in their absence to try to defuse/avert this war before invasion (and - in April encouraged an escalation in conflict, by diverting Zelensky from the planned negotiations - 'we' can win this war). It is now well known that Ukraine* has been the NATO staging ground for several years for a large military build-up/training/advisers/etc., exploiting the situation to use Ukraine forces against the separatists and Crimea, tacitly and by implication, against Russia. It's to be supposed that Putin, seeing a new assault gathering this year, decided he'd waited long enough for Minsk implementations and security guarantees. Things could only get worse for Russia and the Donbas, he might have thought: if not now, when?

*In a NON-member of NATO, where it had no business in the first place.

Edited by whYNOT
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On 9/15/2022 at 4:25 PM, AlexL said:

An analysis of John Mearsheimer's position, which is: "it is not Putin but the West, especially the U.S., that’s principally responsible for this disaster. The Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault.”

[...]

Read here the full analysis.

Unfortunately, the link to the full analysis is wrong: it points back to my comment. No-one signaled it... Does it mean that the few people who commented on the analysis did not really read it ? ☹️

Here is the correct link, or explicitly, https://newideal.aynrand.org/why-john-mearsheimer-gets-ukraine-wrong/

An additional fragment from the analysis:

Quote

... we need to bring into the foreground three significant features of the Russia/Ukraine crisis.

First: the character of NATO. It was created in the Cold War to defend against the threat of the Soviet Union. The USSR was on a global crusade to overthrow free societies in the name of Communism. A distinctive feature of NATO is the agreement that if one member is attacked, all the others will come to its defense. Though NATO has added new member states since the end of the Cold War, none exhibits ambitions for territorial expansion toward Russia.

Second: the character of Putin’s regime. To be blunt, it is an authoritarian regime that has become progressively more dictatorial and aggressive. This is not the first time Putin’s regime has invaded Ukraine; that was in 2014, when Russia annexed parts of it. Russia, a patron of Syria’s brutal dictatorship and an ally of Iran’s theocracy, demands that Ukraine sacrifice its ambition to move toward a freer, less corrupt form of government. It must also forego closer economic and political ties with Europe. And it must be barred from membership in NATO.

To make sense of Putin’s aims, look at the nearly seven-thousand-word essay he wrote arguing that Ukraine is a made-up country, that it lacks sovereignty, and that it should therefore be reunited with the Russian nation. Given Putin’s imperialistic ambitions, it’s impossible to believe his claim that Russia is responding to an “existential threat,” a convenient pretext that reeks of a dictator’s lust for conquest.

Third: the character of U.S. (and European) policy, including NATO expansion. This has been confused and appeasing. The through line, across twenty-plus years, has been a failure to properly evaluate the aims and nature of Putin’s regime. After spending time with Vladimir Putin, President George W. Bush said that he had “looked the man in the eye” and “was able to get a sense of his soul.” Putin, Bush said, was “very straightforward and trustworthy.” This fantasy was punctured by Russia’s war against one of its neighbors, Georgia. The Obama administration sought a policy “reset” to foster warm relations with Russia, which entailed overlooking Putin’s aggression and despotism. Predictably, Putin continued silencing dissenting voices, attacked Ukraine, and bolstered the Syrian dictatorship. Under Trump the U.S. approach remained a study in contradictions. Trump praised Putin as a “strong leader” and a “bright and very talented man,” deflecting criticism of his brutality; the U.S. also imposed several layers of sanctions on Russia, notably in response to election interference.

[...]

 

 

Edited by AlexL
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Disingenuous.

Skirts around the end of NATO's fundamental raison d'etre ("to defend against the Soviet Union " ... "all others will come to its defense") - with the disintegration of that very same Soviet Russia.

What 'enemy' was its continuing purpose for existence, afterwards and now?

To steadily continue the expansion (despite assurances made to Gorbachev: not an inch past Germany) in these circumstances, NATO has been provocative, indeed. Why would it accept/invite many new members, mostly ex-Warsaw Pact, closing in on Russian borders? One doesn't need to be paranoid to find nothing benign in that. Nor certainly would any free-er, more respectable nation allow such an unexplained, irrational encroachment by any 'organisation' (one which refused its admission too).

Conclusion: The isolation, weakening, and regime change by revolution for Russia was intended and planned by think tanks, quite far back.

"Imperialistic ambitions"? (Inferred from Putin's essay). As Mearsheimer asked, "Where's the evidence?" - that Putin wanted or realistically could absorb Ukraine - and, *ever* invade deeper into Europe? None, presently deduced.

Oddly left out of this account, anything to do with the Russian Ukrainians, their repression by ultra-nationalists, the undemocratic overthrow of an elected Gvt., the right of a nation to be left alone by foreign powers for its self-determination (but wasn't), the ongoing civil war against the East by Kyiv, the Minsk treaties (cynically, signed by Kyiv "to buy time, to build the armed forces") that no 'body', the EU, NATO, UN or Ukraine insisted on being justly implemented. None again, who firmly insisted pre-war or after, that Russia and Ukraine meet diplomatically to avoid conflict.

Which can only indicate the war was meant to go ahead. These and more reasons could conceivably give Putin the notion of "an existential threat" to the RF.

Not forgotten, the relentless one-sided propaganda war, making publicly and internationally known only what is favorable for the aims of the great powers.

How much was, and how many people, can be judged sacrificially "immoral" in all that?

Edited by whYNOT
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A little puzzling by Journo: "This was not the first time Putin's regime has invaded Russia; that was in 2014 when Russia annexed parts of it".

"Parts"? He can only mean one part, the Crimea. The Donbass was not then annexed.

Not to excuse that (non-violent) invasion/annexation, and unknowing of the international legal status, but was the "administered" Crimea officially part of Ukraine?

Republic of Crimea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 
Republic of Crimea
Республика Крым
Other transcription(s)
 • Ukrainian Республіка Крим, Respublika Krym
 • Crimean Tatar Къырым Джумхуриети, Qırım Cumhuriyeti
Coat of arms of Republic of Crimea
Coat of arms
Anthem:
Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина (Russian)
Nivy i gory tvoi volshebny, Rodina  (transliteration)
"Your fields and mountains are magical, Motherland"
 
0:57
Location of the Republic of Crimea (red) in Russia (light yellow)
Location of the Republic of Crimea (red)

in Russia (light yellow)

Location of the Republic of Crimea (light yellow) in the Crimean Peninsula
Location of the Republic of Crimea (light yellow)

in the Crimean Peninsula

Coordinates: 17px-WMA_button2b.png45°24′N 35°18′ECoordinates: 17px-WMA_button2b.png45°24′N 35°18′E
Country Russia
Federal district Southern[1][2]
Economic region North Caucasus[3]
Capital Simferopol
Government
 
 • Body State Council
 • Head Sergey Aksyonov[4]
Area
[5]
 • Total 26,081 km2 (10,070 sq mi)
Population
 (2021 Census)[6]
 • Total 1,934,630
 • Estimate 
(2018)[7]
1,913,731
 • Density 74/km2 (190/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+3 (MSK Edit this on Wikidata[8])
License plates 82[9][10]
OKTMO ID 35000000
Official languages Russian;[12] Ukrainian;[11] Crimean Tatar[11]
Website crimea.gov.ru

The Republic of Crimea (Russian: Республика Крым, romanizedRespublika Krym, Ukrainian: Республіка Крим, Crimean Tatar: Къырым Джумхуриети, romanized: Qırım Cumhuriyeti)[a] is a federal subject (republic) of Russia. Before its invasion and annexation by Russia in 2014, the territory was administered by Ukraine as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and most countries recognize it as such.

The Crimean Peninsula, on which the de facto republic is located, became a part of post-Soviet Ukraine in 1991, upon the latter's independence, by virtue of Ukraine's uti possidetis inheritance of the territory from the Ukrainian SSR, of which Crimea was a part since 1954. Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014, and established two federal subjects there, the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol, a move which was internationally unrecognized.[14]

The capital city and largest city within the republic is Simferopol, which is also the second-largest city of the peninsula, behind Sevastopol. As of the 2021 Russian census, the republic had a population of 1,934,630.[6]

Edited by whYNOT
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23 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Disingenuous [...]

Your comments of Elan Journo’s analysis are rather anecdotal. For example this: “assurances made to Gorbachev [about NATO expansion]: not an inch past Germany.”

Can you please be more structured and systematic, and list a couple of the most fundamental Journo’s errors, that is the ones which invalidate his conclusions.

Please remember that, if you cite facts, I expect you to be able to substantiate them.

Edited by AlexL
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19 hours ago, AlexL said:

 rather anecdotal. For example this: “assurances made to Gorbachev [about NATO expansion]: not an inch past Germany.”

 

Please remember that, if you cite facts, I expect you to be able to substantiate them.

Amazed how little you know. Why "anecdotal"? This was common knowledge (until NATO's revisionism officially 'groomed' and denied a promise was ever made by Baker). Putin of course followed up several times querying further expansion (specifying Ukraine as the red line). NATO knew this full well, ignored and are exploting his resistance.  With bad faith actors, you need to get an assurance signed and documented in writing.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjNwf2wmqb6AhXQS0EAHWbwALMQFnoECAgQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fnatowatch.org%2Fnewsbriefs%2F2018%2Fhow-gorbachev-was-misled-over-assurances-against-nato-expansion&usg=AOvVaw1XvqQbte2oPa0G7AIYNXjb

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21 hours ago, AlexL said:

... cite facts,

Where was there a rigorous effort by nations and international organizations to make Ukraine stop its lengthy war against the Eastern separatists? (As negotiated).

When did those nations/orgs by any urgent means - threat of heavy sanctions, the withholding of cash, aid and weapons, etc. - on Russia AND on Ukraine, to force them to come to a diplomatic and peaceful solution before or even after the invasion? Before things escalated as any fool would predict.

None and none. They are "facts". Whatever NOT done is also factual. 

Making peace then, was not an option and that's the crucial fact. It tells you all you need to know of what has followed. This anticipated conflict mustn't be interrupted. (The greatest cynic might find that hard to stomach, war preferred over peace by advanced *western* civilisation).

Evidently the West had and has 'designs' on Russia. (Using Ukraine's position and population to do so).

Which then means Putin's invasion has been vindicated as preemptive self-defense.

 

Edited by whYNOT
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Journo:

"In his 2014 essay “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” Mearsheimer makes a revealing assertion. When “great powers get into brawls with weaker states,” talk of “abstract rights” such as “self-determination” — presumably including a sovereign nation’s goal of avoiding foreign despotism — is “largely meaningless.”4 This endorsement of injustice is a necessary consequence of Mearsheimer’s amoralist framework."

 

Mearsheimer from his essay/article:

"ne also hears the claim that Ukraine has the right to determine
whom it wants to ally with and the Russians have no right to pre
vent Kiev from joining the West. This is a dangerous way for Ukraine
to think about its foreign policy choices. The sad truth is that might
often makes right when great-power politics are at play. Abstract
rights such as self-determination are largely meaningless when power
ful states get into brawls with weaker states. Did Cuba have the
right to form a military alliance with the Soviet Union during the Cold
War? The United States certainly did not think so, and the Russians
think the same way about Ukraine joining the West. It is in Ukraine's
interest to understand these facts of life and tread carefully when
dealing with its more powerful neighbor."

Journo's editing of the paragraph imputes a level of injustice endorsement that Mearsheimer's ordering of the words/idea don't carry. While Mearsheimer's realpolitik doesn't allow for a moral condemnation of Putin based on his regime, his pragmatic/practical/'amoral' assessment doesn't necessarily negate a normative response to aggression  eg "sad truth that often might makes right when great-power politics are at play"

Journo's analysis about the nature of NATO also doesn't explain or bolster a claim of moral action qua nature of NATO as a defensive league. Ukraine not being a member state to the organization means direct military by NATO is not required and as Mearsheimer points out in his 2014 essay the US and European allies didn't consider a defense of Ukraine as a core strategic interest by the fact that when the Crimea was annexed they did not pursue direct military action.

Mearsheimer futher argues that Russia is a declining power and will weaken with time and that the western influence and push for the Europeanization of Ukraine was/is the main driver of Putin's aggression aimed toward keeping Ukraine out of NATO and more strongly aligned with the EU.

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 I think that different nations are at different stages of their (call it) "political evolution" - many are not badly oppressed autocracies , and the inhabitants aren't necessarily unhappy with that system allowing personal (but less) political liberties, not when they see democracy's sometimes difficulties and divisiveness elsewhere. Sure, some countries will enter into liberal democracy by popular agreement, eventually, while some could backslide. 

One upshot of 'realpolitic' I think is to avoid bringing pressure and intervention on any - politically, militarily or economically- which artificially accelerates the country's development beyond many or most of the present citizens.

People widely don't take kindly to being (as they see it) patronized by greatly evolved and powerful countries, although initially the promise of increased wealth and better living conditions and being accepted internationally, will be attractive. But their (often) corrupt governments or fraudulent elections will disillusion many when the promises are unfulfilled.  Also, most humans need to retain their original character, ethnic identity, cultures, etc. so contradictions and conflicts will arise. Like some people in Ukraine's bigotry against ethnic Russians, one incitement of the war.

Simply put, the moral thing is to mostly leave nations alone to determine their own way. It's not the duty of the great nations to uplift them into liberal democracy before they're ready.

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On 9/21/2022 at 8:28 PM, whYNOT said:

[...]

In my comment I challenged you to refute Journo’s analysis in a structured and systematic manner, by identifying a couple of his most fundamental errors, that is the ones which invalidate his conclusions.

Instead, you answered my challenge by 3 or 4 (!) separate comments, containing of a lot of remarks and objections, from futile to questionable to irrelevant.

Therefore: do you intend to accept my challenge – to concentrate on what you consider to be Journo’s most fundamental 2-3 errors of fact and or logic - or you don’t? If you do, I will then discuss these. For example “assurances made to Gorbachev”, or „part” vs „parts” [of Crimea], IF you will consider these as being fundamental.

Letting you identify your few essential objections and enabling me to concentrate on them is the only way to have a conclusive debate (vs. an interminable one of “whataboutisms”).

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On 9/19/2022 at 6:32 PM, AlexL said:

 

Here is the correct link, or explicitly, https://newideal.aynrand.org/why-john-mearsheimer-gets-ukraine-wrong/

An additional fragment from the analysis:

 

The essay is apologism for Ukraine and NATO. Laying the FULL moral culpability at Putin's door. The arguments are based on innuendo and suppositions and prejudice, portraying Putin the tyrant with imperial ambitions (unproven, non-apparent and unrealistic) and Ukraine's Govt. the innocent victim.

(The Ukraine citizens Journo rightly points out to be victims worthy of sympathy, but as usual no acknowledgment of the 8 years of citizens suffering Kyiv's attacks: that tells of double standards).

As such, the piece follows the conformist media narrative.

It is a weakly argued objective, moral case.

For example, missing the point with a strawman: "Though NATO has added new member states since the end of the Cold War, none exhibits ambitions for territorial expansion toward Russia".

Well, of course.

Whoever claims that any individual member state - in and by itself - has showed "ambitions for territorial expansion toward Russia"?! Has Poland or Latvia etc.,  done so? 

It has been NATO as an entity which expanded its membership drive towards Russia, without clear purpose or explanation... and there's the problem.

Elan Journo does not question the morality of western influences changing the political and military "balance of power" within Ukraine. a.) Funding and abetting the overthrow of a ¬democratically¬ elected Govt. b.) helping to build up a powerful Army. That's for several years PRIOR TO Putin's invasion - and - logically, why he would demand the "demilitarization" of Ukraine.

So much for this "liberal democracy" where any regime change is possible at whim. 

So NATO faces reasonable accusations of giving Ukraine "de facto" membership in NATO for NATO's long-term strategy. (None, for Ukraine's benefit).

Any nation or President would be remiss in not objecting to those interventions within a neighboring country - in politics and armed forces - by any agency. He'd have every right to insist on the security of his country. He'd want to know: What for?

He'd give notice that he would not allow it to continue, by force if necessary.

The answer was obvious and has become more apparent since the war started. This was earlier a covert and now overt assault on Russia's existence.

But beginning with the media-fed premise that Putin/Russia are inherently evil and inferior, and Zelensky/Ukraine perfect and 'good', moral judgment fails - unjust and sacrificial actions and policies follow logically. 

Edited by whYNOT
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7 hours ago, whYNOT said:

The essay is apologism for [...]

I expected you to concentrate on what you consider to be Journo’s most fundamental 2-3 errors of fact and or logic. 

Your last comment is anything but this. It is a diatribe blaming Journo for not blindly swallowing Putin's view about facts of the matter.

Just tell me if you do intend to accept my challenge - to select Journo’s most fundamental 2-3 errors of fact and or logic, or not. I already explain why is this the only way to have a conclusive debate.

Edited by AlexL
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On 9/23/2022 at 9:37 AM, AlexL said:

my challenge -

You have not been able to make a reasoned argument of your own, therefore I do not recognize your second handed "challenge" on someone else's argument. I've been clear about my stance and found evidence for it, show me what you've got.

 

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6 hours ago, whYNOT said:

You have not been able to make a reasoned argument of your own, therefore I do not recognize your second handed "challenge" on someone else's argument. I've been clear about my stance and found evidence for it, show me what you've got.

You brought forward a whole lot of - purported - arguments and evidence for calling Journo's analysis "disingenuous".

I did not refuse to consider your arguments and evidence. I simply asked you to chose yourself 2-3 from the multitude, the ones you consider fundamental to your verdict, so that I can concentrate on these, make a reasoned argument of my own, and see, at the end, if your evidence is true and your verdict is correct.

I am trying to avoid the situation when, if I eventually succeed in refuting your arguments, you will then raise other arguments ("but what about this, what about that"), and this will never end.

So: please read carefully what I wrote and tell me what do you decide about the path I propose.

At this point you can simply say that you do or do not agree. The I will decide about my next step. I believe this is a fair proposal, and I explained why it is fair.

Edited by AlexL
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11 hours ago, AlexL said:

At this point you can simply say that you do or do not agree. The I will decide about my next step. I believe this is a fair proposal, and I explained why it is fair.

It really doesn't matter, he's just going to talk about how woke he is about Russia and Ukraine and how blind we are to the real world and victims of propaganda. Anyway, Crimea was part of the Ukraine, notwithstanding that he is skeptical that it really was (insinuating that Crimea was actually part of Russia, therefore Russia wasn't actually invading the Ukraine, but Russia was asserting authority over its own land). 

 

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On 9/21/2022 at 3:32 PM, tadmjones said:

Journo:

"In his 2014 essay “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” Mearsheimer makes a revealing assertion. When “great powers get into brawls with weaker states,” talk of “abstract rights” such as “self-determination” — presumably including a sovereign nation’s goal of avoiding foreign despotism — is “largely meaningless.”4 This endorsement of injustice is a necessary consequence of Mearsheimer’s amoralist framework."

 

Mearsheimer from his essay/article:

"ne also hears the claim that Ukraine has the right to determine
whom it wants to ally with and the Russians have no right to pre
vent Kiev from joining the West. This is a dangerous way for Ukraine
to think about its foreign policy choices. The sad truth is that might
often makes right when great-power politics are at play. Abstract
rights such as self-determination are largely meaningless when power
ful states get into brawls with weaker states. Did Cuba have the
right to form a military alliance with the Soviet Union during the Cold
War? The United States certainly did not think so, and the Russians
think the same way about Ukraine joining the West. It is in Ukraine's
interest to understand these facts of life and tread carefully when
dealing with its more powerful neighbor."

Journo's editing of the paragraph imputes a level of injustice endorsement that Mearsheimer's ordering of the words/idea don't carry. While Mearsheimer's realpolitik doesn't allow for a moral condemnation of Putin based on his regime, his pragmatic/practical/'amoral' assessment doesn't necessarily negate a normative response to aggression  eg "sad truth that often might makes right when great-power politics are at play"

 

Journo's conclusion that Mearsheimer's realpolitik evaluation is an endorsement of injustice is predicated on the noxious practice of split quoting , no ? Feels a little ad homienm-y too .

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I would argue with this:

Quote

First: the character of NATO. It was created in the Cold War to defend against the threat of the Soviet Union. The USSR was on a global crusade to overthrow free societies in the name of Communism. A distinctive feature of NATO is the agreement that if one member is attacked, all the others will come to its defense. Though NATO has added new member states since the end of the Cold War, none exhibits ambitions for territorial expansion toward Russia.

Although NATO did have the stated purpose of defending Europe from the Soviet Union, it had another purpose. The US paid almost the entire cost of NATO. This meant that the European countries did not have to spend very much money on their own defense at all. This meant that they were free to spend the money on social programs instead. Therefore, NATO had the effect of subsidizing European socialism with US tax dollars. This allowed the Democrats to point to Europe as an example of "successful" socialism, so that they could advocate for it in the United States (even though it costs too much in the US because there is no one to subsidize the US's defense). It also gave socialists in Europe more power than they would have otherwise had. This is the main reason why NATO had to continue to exist even after the fall of the Soviet Union, and why Russia was not allowed to join.

Countries such as Germany have welcomed the opportunity to donate their old weapons systems to the cause in Ukraine and get free modern replacement systems from the US through NATO.

The Nordic countries didn't have to join NATO at first, because they were able to finance their socialism by selling fossil fuels, but now that those fuels are politically unpopular (because of environmentalism) they are eager to sign up for the free NATO loot.

Donald Trump earned enmity from the political class by insisting that several of these beneficiary countries bear more of the cost of their own defenses. Of course that would have helped to reveal the true price of socialism, and it would have disempowered the political class.

There is also the likelihood that Biden has personally been getting aid money from the US, intended for Ukraine, diverted to himself or to his favorite political causes. Hunter Biden served on the board of a gas company there and made a lot of money even though the only possible use he would have been to them is political. Trump got in trouble for merely asking for this to be investigated. Biden on the other hand actually got a Ukranian official fired for investigating it, and bragged about that firing later.

These facts tend to undercut Journo's argument even if his argument's moral judgment of Putin is completely correct.

It's bad guys versus bad guys.

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The Pro-Putin argument seems to be that Russia was aggressed on and that it is retaliating.

But the aggression from Ukraine can only be described as a threat of aggression, rather than actual aggression. In the case of Putin, the aggression is physical.

Now in terms of who benefits right now, wars usually will deliver benefits to many nefarious entities. It always has and always will. To someone who is NOT "in the know", like myself, Russia attacked and Ukraine. The Ukrainian regime did not fall apart like Iraq. People are willing to die for their country so Ukraine is not a population that wants to join Russia. In other words it does not look like NATO etc. are forcing the Ukrainians to fight for their territory.

So with that in mind, and the mobilization, it would be good to know what an appropriate negotiated settlement would should look like in the eyes of the pro-Russia side.

 

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24 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

So with that in mind, and the mobilization, it would be good to know what an appropriate negotiated settlement would should look like in the eyes of the pro-Russia side.

I suppose I'm concerned that NATO wouldn't want the war to be settled, because the political class has more money and power when the weapons are flowing than when they are not... and, like bank robbers, they are not good at thinking long-term, or assessing unexpected consequences.

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