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About the Russian aggression of Ukraine

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AlexL
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13 minutes ago, Doug Morris said:

Why is Russia going out of its way to trash Ukrainian culture?  Or do you deny this is happening?

Russia is, more importantly, going out of its way to trash Ukrainians and their dwellings.

Edited by AlexL
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Give a dog a bad name... This war is run on headlines by one side. Since the reporting of the event was central to the West's drive to necessarily place Putin and Russian soldiers in "the evil mode", and cast Ukraine as innocent victim, just imagine if the optics/headlines are factually the opposite of 'what we've been told'. The "war criminal" would be Zelensky and his cohorts. The dirtiest people, they who know better and stay silent - the already suspect media and political leaders in whom we place trust.

For now, I estimate Ritter's account of Bucha 80-20% the accurate one, going by all other actions, motives and general character exposed of both adversaries.

If nothing more, it must raise doubts for critical thinkers.

https://www.scottritterextra.com/p/bucha-revisited

 

Edited by whYNOT
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8 hours ago, Grames said:

Since when is Ukraine a western interest?  Never. 

"Ukraine is contested territory between two empires, the American Empire and the Russian Empire."

Basically, I agree with this characterization. Honestly, I don't care much about the Ukraine. I'm not trying to argue that "we need to save the Ukraine!" But I can ask a question like "by taking a position of either Russia or America, which is more in my interest? What could bring me closer to the type of government I want?" Your choice is Russia, not because you want to support the interests of Russia for Russia's sake, but because this is the best way to attack the evils within American government: 

"The American Empire is a personal threat to me and so I want it thwarted, defeated and even crushed in every project it undertakes." 

My choice is America, despite the evils I see within. I think the interests of an autocratic regime directly opposes and frustrates any attempts I might have towards making liberty a widespread belief globally and where I am standing. 

Of course, the way we disagree is exactly what kind of evil there is in the American government. If you're being consistent, when you say American Empire, you should be referring to just about everything since the Spanish-American war. And you find that the evil is just about on every level of Western society. But however in deep far back your dislike of the American "Empire" goes, clearly, you think that supporting the interests of Russia will bring you closer to the kind of world you want. 

Again, I don't care much for the Ukraine, but I do say that the Russian "Empire" (your words) is against my interests, so crushing every project that it undertakes sounds pretty good to me. I think the American government should have less business in the Ukraine than it does, but since I personally cannot change the course of events, I'm going to pick a side. It is clear where our moral preferences lie.

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53 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

"Ukraine is contested territory between two empires, the American Empire and the Russian Empire."

Basically, I agree with this characterization. 

But no. One can't ignore that Putin was very slow to action. If he'd chosen to expand a Russian Empire he could have invaded 1. soon after Ukraine's independence in 1991 2. after the Kyiv coup. 3. shortly after the Donbas civil war began.

The first two times, the country's forces were weak and could have been defeated easier.

But very apparently he endorsed the (fraudulent) Minsk attempts--and for 8 years waited to see if there was a peaceful resolution.

Only did he invade when (his Intel would have informed him all along) NATO had already strengthened the UAF and he no longer had the luxury of delaying further. That, or allow the Donbass to be lost. 

None of this affirms a move and intention by "the Russian Empire" -- the opposite, a reluctance to intervene. 

Edited by whYNOT
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But what was important evidently, is and was the clash between two "spheres of influence" and national security.

Basically: you have yours, we would like ours.

This is what didn't go down well in the West, a challenger to the international status quo. 

Edited by whYNOT
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I think "Empire" is often used loosely and metaphorically, the USA isn't one. It might appear to act like one.

Dramatizing 'the War between two Empires' seems how neocons and Leftist militants (dangerously) view their world. It looks to me they'd relish a return to the Evil Empire, so it can be soundly defeated in war this time.

We should be more precise.

empire. noun. em·pire ˈem-ˌpī(ə)r. : a major political unit with a large territory or a number of territories or peoples under one ruler with total authority. especially : one having an emperor as chief of state.

I suggest the US "hegemony".

heg·e·mon ˈhe-jə-ˌmän : something (such as a political state) having dominant influence or authority over others : one possessing hegemony

 

Edited by whYNOT
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6 hours ago, whYNOT said:

I think "Empire" is often used loosely and metaphorically, the USA isn't one.

There are some senses in which it is true, not that I would even call Russia or the US absolutely imperialistic. But largely the extent in which they are bad is the extent in which they are autocratic and acting intensely with regards to territory. So I agreed with the characterization, because that is the only way I think I can decide on a moral preference. On top of that, if foreign policy is going to be in terms of self interest, any moral preference should be one where I truly think that global and national trends in politics will go the direction I prefer for where I am personally living right now. 

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Aren’t the civilian casualties and physical destruction in Ukraine a consequence of US/Western hegemonic aspiration or management?
 

Doesn't the concept of hegemony necessarily push up against the concept or recognition of sovereignty?

I thank god all the time for the enjoyment of the standard of living I enjoy by virtue of having been born ‘under the umbrella’ and as a consequence of US hegemony /imperialism, but could that standard have been accomplished otherwise , in kind if not degree?

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7 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

Aren’t the civilian casualties and physical destruction in Ukraine a consequence of US/Western hegemonic aspiration or management?

The US is not bombing Ukraine. Russia is. Basically, I think the mistake you make is downplaying the fact that there are strong currents within the Ukrainian population who have a will of their own, and that will is moving towards some kind of integration with the West. It isn't a conspiracy operating in the shadows. 

10 minutes ago, tadmjones said:

Doesn't the concept of hegemony necessarily push up against the concept or recognition of sovereignty?

This is beside the point since Objectivism does not automatically recognize the sovereignty of a nation. Actual standards are involved when evaluating a nation's right to self-determination.

As I and @Eiuol have consistently argued in this thread, a dictatorship (like Russia) can claim no rights for itself as a legitimate entity so long as it actively violates the rights of its citizenry. 

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Laid out quite clearly below.

The more one finds out and interprets all these events, the greater the realization that combined Ukraine, NATO, the US, UK and EU did everything, pre-22, a foot short of making a full declaration of war on Russia.

While yet maintaining their "plausible deniability" with "unprovoked, unjustified invasion" if it went haywire.

Their pet media publicists covering for them - to keep their loyal people onside and riled up at the wrong instigator.

Russia was sent an engraved invitation they couldn't refuse, to a war party.

https://strategic-culture.org/news/2022/12/09/merkel-spills-beans-how-us-and-nato-partners-planned-war-ukraine-against-russia/

Edited by whYNOT
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On 1/13/2023 at 1:11 AM, Eiuol said:

There are some senses in which it is true, not that I would even call Russia or the US absolutely imperialistic. But largely the extent in which they are bad is the extent in which they are autocratic and acting intensely with regards to territory. So I agreed with the characterization, because that is the only way I think I can decide on a moral preference. On top of that, if foreign policy is going to be in terms of self interest, any moral preference should be one where I truly think that global and national trends in politics will go the direction I prefer for where I am personally living right now. 

The American foreign policy seems ruled by pragmatism. My enemy's enemy is my friend. (No, not necessarily). In that way, it has supported and enlisted some dubious political, ideological types in surrogate conflicts against other dubious types. For now it's utilizing Ukraine to damage/weaken/change regimes/etc. in Russia (with an eye on China). It should have left both alone, now it is clear. Some like me maintain that very few of those foreign "entanglements" (Thomas Paine?) have been in the US rational self-interest. And given those many more detractors an "imperialist US" reputation.

Edited by whYNOT
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" Docudramas" are not usually for me, but the film looks to my slight experience an authentic taste (to you warhawks present) of the micro realities in battle. Features the "Yellows" versus "Whites", neither shown in particular moral preference; while propagandist certainly for the infamous private Wagner Group. If war is hell, so you don't enter it lightly--but when you do, all bets are off.  I aim that, of course, at the Western alliance, who initiated and made the conditions for war unavoidable, and who tellingly shunned any diplomatic steps to stop it. The hypocrites who pretty it up and glamorize their Ukraine "heroes" (to their detriment) to justify prolonging and dangerously expanding the conflict for foul purposes.

"200's" are killed, "300's" the wounded.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4ZxWaRHhnQ

 

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19 hours ago, RationalEgoist said:

Why no mention of the recent Russian onslaught in Dnipro...

Because @whYNOT plays for Putin's team - while thinking about himself that he is a valiant rebel.

Edited by AlexL
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On 1/14/2023 at 10:05 PM, whYNOT said:

For now it's utilizing Ukraine to damage/weaken/change regimes/etc. in Russia (with an eye on China). It should have left both alone, now it is clear.

In a way. Perceived aggression was used as justification to attack the Ukraine. Whether or not you decide that it was aggression going on, or defensive action, the fact is that whatever it was, it was indirect. No overt violence. Manipulative, maybe, but it puts Russia in a bind. If Putin was being baited, there are many things he could have done besides attack the Ukraine with less cost in human lives and less reason to expect that anyone would intervene. He chose violence. (You might say that Putin was trying to save Russian people in the Ukraine, even at great cost to individual lives. Doesn't change the fact that violence was the route chosen, rightly or wrongly.)

Of course involvement now has to do with wanting to damage Russia in some way. That really is the point. What the conflict amounts to is whether or not you think Putin's Russia is a legitimate government. Intervention is not morally required if Russia is not legitimate, but some involvement is appropriate if Russia poses a risk for the promotion of liberty (not just liberty in the abstract, but for shaping the governments that influence your life right now directly where you live). Damaging or weakening Russia is a very good thing, you say it as if it's a bad thing. The only question that really matters is whether the cost is worth it, where isn't self sacrificial or altruistic.

If your argument is that the West is being too self sacrificial or altruistic, that's fair. It's a good question. I don't need to get into that though, because you weren't even trying to ask about liberty or achieving liberty. Mostly you have been on about how Russia has made legitimate choices given its context. As if autocracy and deliberately leaning away from liberty is totally excusable and understandable because apparently, there is no way for Russia to transition into a full-blown democracy 30 years after the fall of the USSR! 

As much as I absolutely hate Grames' position, at the very least, he's thinking about achieving liberty in his own life. Well, maybe that's also distorted and twisted when it comes to Russia and liberty, so I guess I would just say that he makes an argument with legs. 

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3 hours ago, AlexL said:

Because @whYNOT plays for Putin's team - while thinking about himself that he is a valiant rebel.

How westerners were permanently indoctrinated into a unified, collective mind (in a monolithic, 'alternate reality').

A Swiss study:

"The Propaganda Multiplier"

The Propaganda Multiplier

https://swprs.org/the-propaganda-multiplier/

 

 

Edited by whYNOT
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5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

In a way. Perceived aggression was used as justification to attack the Ukraine. Whether or not you decide that it was aggression going on, or defensive action, the fact is that whatever it was, it was indirect. No overt violence. Manipulative, maybe, but it puts Russia in a bind. If Putin was being baited, there are many things he could have done besides attack the Ukraine with less cost in human lives and less reason to expect that anyone would intervene. He chose violence. (You might say that Putin was trying to save Russian people in the Ukraine, even at great cost to individual lives. Doesn't change the fact that violence was the route chosen, rightly or wrongly.)

 

You are viewing this still too one-sided. Also, there is no one to appeal to when the cops are involved in the crime.

Besides the rest, Ukraine neutrality and so on, here was an urgent intervention by Putin in a longstanding civil war. It had been local and regional. And could have remained so, until dealt with peacefully, if Kyiv had been lawful and responsible towards a portion of its citizens. As would befit a proper "sovereign nation" - in which it failed.

Before foreign interference, the limited operation (SMO) by Russia was on the point of succeeding in its goals, primarily to pressure Kyiv into negotiations. It worked. Zelensky had already agreed in principle to meet and discuss Russia's demands. The UK PM, with US backing, stopped him. Z was assured he'd get full backing by the West in war--otherwise, be dumped. He caved, and committed his country to war, he and the West's representatives culpable.

I think Putin badly underestimated the designed trap he was about to fall into. Driven by the sheer, sacrificial and Russian-hating fanaticism of Western backing that has grown exponentially since, the war intensified and got out of hand. Putin, counting on a small operation bringing about talks, has had to respond accordingly with a full scale war effort.

You have to read between the lines.

Nobody has answered my question, as to why the Ukraine military was being steadily strengthened, armed and trained for several years by the West/NATO (with Kyiv and the European leaders treacherously using Minsk "to buy time").

There had to be a long-standing plan and a purpose for all the effort and expense.

Logical order of Ukraine/NATO military objectives, starting early 2022: 1. crushing the Donbass and then 2. retaking Crimea--then, since Putin could be counted upon to respond in defense of territories and populations - 3. taking on the Russian Army.

What else makes sense?

All above is based on known facts - my only speculation here, that Putin invaded earlier than expected, and pre-empted matters by maybe weeks.

 I'm always repeating, the war, cunningly devised to look to the world like a one-sided Russian aggression ('to conquer Ukraine and beyond', - etc.etc.) was calculated by the West, according to Putin's declared disvalues.

Ukraine is incidental, but it's where Putin's "red lines" were placed, and provided a convenient incitement and battleground to draw in and weaken Russia. Between a drawn out conflict and the economic measures Russia was supposed to have been crippled and Putin's govt suffering political collapse by now. Guess they badly underestimated Russia too - on all counts, military, economic, social and political, and haven't any honorable way out of the fix.

The dangerous consequences of western stupidity, arrogance and treachery are clear to see today. What tomorrow brings is uncertain, especially as they are greatly escalating weapons and instructors/mercenary supplies in the hope "something happens", a magic bullet, to spare their ignominy.

Appropriate Rand quote: "Do not bother to examine a folly, ask only what it accomplishes".

 

 

 

Edited by whYNOT
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8 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Also, there is no one to appeal to when the cops are involved in the crime.

There are numerous NGOs, many other countries, watchdog groups, and so on, that a country can appeal to. But it's strange that you talk about this, because that would mean Russia is being altruistic. 

It all comes down to whether or not you think Russia is a legitimate government. How you interpret facts really depends on that. 

8 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Nobody has answered my question, as to why the Ukraine military was being steadily strengthened, armed and trained for several years by the West/NATO (with Kyiv and the European leaders treacherously using Minsk "to buy time").

Defensive action with some degree of support without NATO membership, because the Putin regime is seen as bad. We've talked about this. Sounds fine to me. 

8 hours ago, whYNOT said:

then, since Putin could be counted upon to respond in defense of territories and populations

The Ukraine isn't Russian territory and the population within the Ukraine are not Russian. 

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

There are numerous NGOs, many other countries, watchdog groups, and so on, that a country can appeal to. But it's strange that you talk about this, because that would mean Russia is being altruistic. 

It all comes down to whether or not you think Russia is a legitimate government. How you interpret facts really depends on that. 

Defensive action with some degree of support without NATO membership, because the Putin regime is seen as bad. We've talked about this. Sounds fine to me. 

The Ukraine isn't Russian territory and the population within the Ukraine are not Russian. 

The opposite of altruistic, Russia has proven they will resist sacrificing themselves. A high cost to pay, but rational if the values gained are hierarchically higher.

Please, let's not be naive, there exist no other "groups" which could and would have enforced a just solution to NATO expansion, NATO building a greater Ukraine army, Ukraine's neutrality, the failed MInsk accords, etc. --in short: Russia's security concerns.

The extreme and insane efforts we see by NATO et al to assist the Ukraine forces in defeating Russia while avoiding an armistice, even when it is looking very bad for Ukraine, should remind anyone that this is all being done by NATO for a *non*-NATO member (I don't know, if legally)--now imagine what they'd do for Ukraine within NATO!

A permanent neighboring presence with a large and well trained NATO military contingent - in addition, being able to base ICBM's near the border any time they wanted, and any other measures intended to destabilize and threaten Russia.

Those conditions ~would~ pose the "existential threat" Putin is always on about; a ploy he used as self-justification for his belligerence- say the media pundits. 

 Except he predicted correctly. NATO plus Ukraine are plainly demonstrating their enmity to Russia, for all time.

To avoid that certain scenario in years to come, a rational far-sighted leader would know to act now.

Among the many facts to interpret, that I consider Russia "a legitimate government" or not, is of little importance.

Any country's gvt. has the right and responsibility to defend its citizens, in this case, pre-emptive self-defense, even if from another attacking country with 'better' governance and liberties. The legitimacy of the Kyiv Gvt. has little to boast about on that basis. One cannot claim "self determination" for one 'group' in a nation, forcibly denying the right to another.  

What matters, do the Russian people consider it legitimate? Does Putin and his Gvt. policies represent their interests? Do they back him?

On his approval rating still in the 80's, it seems they do. Many I think don't like this war (most don't hate the Ukrainian 'enemy' anything like they hate Russians), but I have noticed Russians articulate their understanding that there wasn't another way, no other options to external pressures, and simply want the war over quickly.

Edited by whYNOT
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17 hours ago, whYNOT said:
20 hours ago, AlexL said:

Because @whYNOT plays for Putin's team - while thinking about himself that he is a valiant rebel.

How westerners were permanently indoctrinated into a unified, collective mind (in a monolithic, 'alternate reality').

1. 🤣🤣🤣

2. How did you, a Westerner, escape from being «indoctrinated into a unified, collective mind (in a monolithic, 'alternate reality')»? Or you are not a Westerner anymore? An Easterner, maybe?😁

Quote

A Swiss study: "The Propaganda Multiplier"...

Same trash category as the Jacques Baud, the Swiss Intelligence officer you publicized here.

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40 minutes ago, RationalEgoist said:

You'd be better off talking to a wall, man. This guy is a dunce. 

I am not trying to convince him of anything.

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