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Topic: Tripe about Ukraine (Read 227099 times)

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #925
The current issue of The Spectator has quite a few clear-headed columns concerning Ukraine, Putin, Europe and U.S, policy, and more... Let me know if you want snippets and links. (I'm reading the print edition now.) :)
Which one? Is it spectator.co.uk or spectator.org? Or spectatorworld.com?

The American Spectator (spectator.org) seems to be the typical partisan blather from USA, very Oakdalean.

The other websites appear to be British, with articles about both European and American affairs.

I have sufficient access to all of them, if I want. I probably just don't want.



Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #926
The spectator.co.uk  is nothing more than a little Englander publication. They have a deep dislike of all things Scottish. especially our politics. Best avoided really.
The start and end to every story is the same. But what comes in between you have yourself to blame.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #927
(Mumbles something about books and covers...pots and kettles...trees and forests...)
@Luxor Next you'll tell me CapX is worthless... But -of course- I mean the U.S. edition (dubbed World, which I suppose rankles...:) 'Tany rate, it's good to hear from you again! (Any word on your erstwhile nemesis, the Howie?)
I have sufficient access to all of them, if I want. I probably just don't want.
I understand, you're attention is limited... That's what media analysts do: They anal-ize everything — that "official" sources offer. (I think I liked you better when you were navel-gazing!:)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #928
(Any word on your erstwhile nemesis, the Howie?)
Oh he'll be out there standing at the roadside, yelling "no surrender" whenever a march for independence is in his local area. Which there was today funnily enough..
The start and end to every story is the same. But what comes in between you have yourself to blame.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #929
Two pieces, three months.



Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #931
Nice to see a good translation :up:

But we also need to take into account that the EU biggies are trying to maneuvre a victory to Putin for this invasion, just like they did for the annexation of Crimea. Things often work out the way the biggies want, because they are the biggies, you know.

Russia more than triples its current account surplus to US$96 billion as EU energy giants pay in rubles

Even as conflicting messages continued to emerge from Brussels over the legality of complying with Moscow’s demands to pay for gas in rubles, Italy’s Eni SpA said it was opening a ruble account with Russia’s Gazprombank to keep the gas flowing.

It’s the clearest sign yet that the biggest European importers of Russian gas are counting on business as usual. Germany’s Uniper SE and Austria’s OMV AG also expect to find a way to keep buying.

Moscow’s demand on March 31 that gas payments should now be made in rubles threw markets and policy makers into disarray and companies have been scrabbling ever since for a way to keep the crucial energy flowing without breaching sanctions aimed at weakening Russia in its war in Ukraine.

The steady inflow of revenue from energy and other exports has — together with strict capital controls — helped support the ruble, turning the Russian currency into the best performer in the world this year.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #932
If you look at Europe and Russia as locked in a cold war, it makes sense to look at the relationship as a zero sum game. Europe's loss is Russia's gain and vice versa. In that case the optimal strategy for Europe is not to buy zero fossil fuel from Russia, but a low amount of fuel. The marginal value to Europe for the first 10% is far higher than the last 10%, while the top 10% gives Russia greater profit than the bottom 10%. Fadeout instead of a cutoff is a fair strategy.

If you don't consider Russia an enemy you would buy as much as is profitable.  As long as European countries use a noose-like strategy (ever-stricter sanctions) we're good. If on the other hand it is a short squeeze and let off to profit-maximizing, that would less great. But the noose is holding, and there are pretty rigorous preparations for the coming winter(s), so we are decarbonising fast.


Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #934
"http://%22https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Saeed_al-Sahhaf%22"??! What was that editor you use, again? :) (It's no substitute for your native intelligence...)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #935
I stupidly updated the BBCode extension this week. I remember now how hard I had to work to rewrite it so that it would function on this forum. Anyway, I will get to work again.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #936
Trivialities mean that much to you? :) Sure, it's fun to play with the means of posting... But shouldn't the matter matter more? :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #937
I throw this in here because  I'm  sort-a drunk; I remember what we'd talked about recently-, and -you might wanna learn something- here's an opinion Putin won't likely find elsewhere...
https://thedavebowmanshow.com/2022/06/11/tsv-the-next-thing/
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
 (iBook G4 - Panther | Mac mini i5 - El Capitan)

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #938
Trivialities mean that much to you? :) Sure, it's fun to play with the means of posting...
Most of my creativity goes into tinkering with the writing device and this is the way I prefer it. It is not a triviality.

My editor is Emacs. It provides me with the same joy of hacking that I had with old Opera, even more so.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #939
EU leaders grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova

The two poorest European countries, both in war, finally got their call. The fact that they are the two poorest - and in war - is a major failure of the EU. The EU touts itself as a bastion of diplomacy, but it has failed very hard precisely at diplomacy. So it does self-appeasing gestures of pity instead, against its own rules, losing last modicum of respect along the way.

The accession criteria, or Copenhagen criteria (after the European Council in Copenhagen in 1993 which defined them), are the essential conditions all candidate countries must satisfy to become a member state. These are:

  • political criteria: stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities;
  • economic criteria: a functioning market economy and the capacity to cope with competition and market forces;
  • administrative and institutional capacity to effectively implement the acquis and ability to take on the obligations of membership.

The Union's capacity to absorb new members, while maintaining the momentum of European integration, is also an important consideration.
The EU has not even properly absorbed and integrated Greece, not to mention the rest of the Balkan countries.[1] Yet it stupidly dreamed of dangling the carrot for Erdogan - and for Putin. God save us from those diplomats.
Or Cyprus. Or even Italy!

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #940
You keep blaming countries' failures on other countries. That is reasonable when that blamed country has colonised or destabilised the failed country in question, but not otherwise. Russia has had a negative influence on Ukraine for instance, and can be blamed. But no, it is not the EU's fault that Moldova is a poor country.

The threshold for EU candidate is countries reasonably high, but there is no working mechanism to stop member countries from backsliding once they have joined, like Poland and Hungary. If no such mechanism is agreed on Ukraine's membership can be long in waiting.

Russia has not been and will not be a member of the EU simply due to size.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #941
But no, it is not the EU's fault that Moldova is a poor country.
Specifically with regard to Moldova, this failed https://eubam.org/what-we-do/conflict-resolution/

If this were the only occasion where EU diplomacy failed, I would not attribute much blame. But unfortunately this failure is in addition to all other EU failures.

Sure, there are some success stories too, such as the Baltic countries. But the Baltic countries became a success story in part fighting back - or escaping as a matter of providential luck - some policies that the EU biggies were trying to impose, such as suicidal border agreements with Russia.

Russia has not been and will not be a member of the EU simply due to size.
The envisioned visa freedom that I will never ever stop recalling would have made Russia a de facto Schengen member. De facto without de jure is probably worse than mere de jure. But it's reasonable to have neither of course.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #942
The West isn’t ready to give Ukraine the security pledges it wants

Ukraine is pleading for binding security guarantees to ensure long-term survival. Allies just aren’t ready to do that yet.

Despite months of conversations about the subject, the Western alliance is still divided over nearly every element of how to respond to the request, according to five European diplomats.

Should NATO, which Ukraine is aspiring to join, be having that conversation? Or should the world’s biggest military powers provide individual pledges? Are any guarantees short of NATO membership worthwhile?

And, officials are wondering, what even constitutes a “security guarantee”?
My answer is that security guarantee is Article 5. It's Nato membership after the war. But to demonstrate that there is commitment to this promise, Nato should act right now as if Ukraine were already a Nato member and as if Article 5 had been invoked.

Article 5 has not been put to a real test yet. This is the test.

What is there to fear in following through with the promise? Collapse of Russia? USSR collapsed and nothing bad happened. Nothing bad to Europe anyway. Don't be nuke cowards.

Why chicken out and make wishy-washy commitments? According to the Budapest Memorandum, USA, UK and Russia were supposed to provide security assurances for Ukraine. This failed. Minsk Agreements — Russia, France, and Germany — also failed. Don't imagine that chickens can tame the bear. Okay?

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #943
The pope's peace plan did not get off the ground, but the war plan of Russian Orthodox Church is succeeding. Namely, Russia (through its traditional church) is exchanging ethnic Hungarian prisoners of war with Hungary instead of with Ukraine, who the prisoners are citizens of.

Russia knows the ethnic nationalism game very well. The West has prematurely tried to pretend that ethnicities do not exist, which has resulted in a long series of diplomatic and military blunders.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #944
Ukraine shifts Christmas to Western dates on Zelenskyy's proposal https://ukranews.com/en/news/944529-rada-changes-dates-of-public-holidays-statehood-day-july-15-defenders-day-october-1-christmas

Holiday on January 7 (the date of Orthodox Christmas) is cancelled. I won't be surprised if the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church becomes papist like Eastern Catholics whose liturgy is Orthodox and whose priests marry as is normal in Orthodoxy, but they acknowledge the pope on top of it.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #945
Ukraine’s Forces and Firepower Are Misallocated, U.S. Officials Say

Worth reading in full, how U.S. military topheads have recommendations on how to make Ukrainian counteroffensive more effective. The obvious counterargument is that if the West had kept its assurances as per Budapest Memorandum, we would not be in this problem in the first place. What Ukraine needs now is superior firepower (because it cannot have superior manpower compared to Russia) and this is up to the West.

The main recommendation by Americans is to concentrate forces to a particular point where progress is desired, namely southern section of the front, bringing in forces from the eastern section. To me it seems this is already the case, since Ukraine is currently making small gains in south while Russia is making small gains in east. Russia made important strategic decisions under Surovikin (now jailed or worse) during winter months of abandoning the city of Kherson and constructing strong defence lines to the remaining front. All the West, particularly Germany, did during winter months was whine about lack of Russian gas for heating.

Personally I thought Ukraine started the counteroffensive very well with intros straight into Russian soil, even though this did not apparently distract Russian forces enough. It is again the fault of the West, including USA, that they try hard to discourage Ukraine from attacking in and on Russian soil for fear of dragging Nato into the war, whereas Russia in contrast is naturally fully permitted to attack on Ukrainian soil, which is ludicrous. Besides, in Putin's mind he was in combat with Nato already before the annexation of Crimea. Now that the most effective Russian troops, namely Wagner, are gone from the front, there is a chance of breakthrough, if only pressure is kept up.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #946
In a war of attrition the Ukrainian strategy seems quite effective (backseat driving of course). If the goal is to grind the Russians down, this is a faster way to do it. So is counter-attacks in Russia.

Sure, that strategy would be more efficient if Western weapons could be used for the purpose, but I can see that Western powers, particularly the US, would be squeamish about having their weaponry attacking inside Russia. Western weapons in Ukrainian territory (which of course include Crimea and parts of the Black Sea) is no problem.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #947
Ukraine's president Zelensky visited Estonia this week. It caught my ear that he wants to get back those refugees who would be eligible for the army. Not sure how warmly the refugees take this.

This is the status on the politico-rhetorical front, as officially expressed by the most pro-Ukraine EU member:

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

I'd say the status is pretty bad. At 12:08: "I think there's a difference between 2014 and 2024. In 2014 I saw how quickly it went from Let's support Ukraine to Let's sit down and negotiate, give away the territory so that Russia is happy. This time we have been able to explain how giving in to the aggressor only gives you more war. Weakness provokes Russia. Strength doesn't."

Unfortunately no, we have not been able to explain this. First, we failed to explain this in 2014. As she acknowledges both earlier and later in the interview, there are still EU members who are unclear on the support for Ukraine and unclear on the needed outcome, and it is clear (to me) that she implies other/more members than Hungary. For example in the same context she mentions that there is still the illogical strategic requirement on Ukraine to not attack Russia's soil — this is something Hungary has nothing to do with.

The current support and sympathy that is flowing out towards Ukraine is not due to our explanations, but due to our strong example and initiative, and even more so due to the actual situation on the ground that very concretely proved the falsity and perversity of the position of western EU that left them utterly embarrassed. The concrete material proof did the trick. The EU biggies are convinced by no explanation ever. They needed an outbreak of hot war to lift their asses a bit.

However, their embarrassment is wearing off and they will soon fall back to their old attitude. Republicans in USA have already stopped the support from USA to Ukraine, so that the current balance of EU's support surpasses that of USA. This has the effect of the EU biggies thinking Our support to Ukraine is absolutely fabulous, bigger than that of USA, therefore we can pat ourselves on the back now and take it easy. Elections in USA are scheduled at the end of this year, so Democrats (and as a result entire USA) will be, in best case, cautious and indeterminate on the Ukraine topic for the entire year. In practice, "cautious and indeterminate" means a halt, and EU biggies will do the same with a delay, which is the way they have behaved all these decades.

 

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #948
Funny thing is, like mentioned in the Map thread, few in Europe seem to think that our support of Ukraine is just right. A fairly clear majority want us to do more, and a minority want us to do less (or preferably nothing at all). This applies to the political circles as well.

And I have yet to see anyone (outside that minority) happy about the current sorry state of the US, because of our own sorry state.

US and EU has had a well-working partnership through decades: US breaks things with weapons, EU rebuild them with money. US feels strong, EU feels good, and both get results, often the wanted ones.

Europe is on a rearmament trajectory, but the political goals are running ahead of the mechanics. That the US might break down in 2025 was a remote risk. Not only is the risk less remote, the US is breaking apart already in late 2023 already, which I didn't expect. That said, even if Trump should happen, the administration and Congress can ship a last package in the lame duck period. Election over, there is nothing the MAGA can do to what is left of the Republican party.

Re: Tripe about Ukraine

Reply #949
Funny thing is, like mentioned in the Map thread, few in Europe seem to think that our support of Ukraine is just right. A fairly clear majority want us to do more, and a minority want us to do less (or preferably nothing at all).
Yes, the majority wants us to do more and a minority wants to do less, but these are people who don't have much power over either national or union-level policies. The only effect they have is to get politicians to act busier for a few months before elections.

This applies to the political circles as well.
Not true. A majority of the political circles cannot "want to do more". They are the ones in position to do as much as they want.  If we assume that the political circles would like to do more, but cannot, then why is it exactly the political circles in western EU who are unable to do more?

Nope. Support for Ukraine is precisely at the level that the political circles have set. It is in their nature to think that they have already done their best. The state of affairs is as it is not because they cannot do more even though they would want to, but because they think they are performing top-notch according to polls, charts and maps.

Edit: An easy test for the members of the political circles is to ask them to formulate victory for Ukraine or defeat for Russia. Make a poll and see what sort of answers you get. Actually, how do you formulate victory for Ukraine yourself?

And I have yet to see anyone (outside that minority) happy about the current sorry state of the US, because of our own sorry state.
The western EU political circles are afflicted — always have, always will — with the superiority complex. Under this complex, they never see or acknowledge their own sorry state. Sorry state does not exist for them. Some foreign country such as USA can be in a sorry state. Eastern EU members can be blinded by a sorry "survivalist" mindset. EU biggies themselves in their own mind are not in any sort of sorry state, never have been. EU biggies don't think they have made any mistakes that need correcting.

For a moment Scholz was able to enounce that the Ostpolitik had led to an "Irrtum". What was the lesson he took from this in the same speech? To start militarising Germany. So this "Irrtum" has been taken care of this way. It did not involve doing more for Ukraine. In his mind, Scholz was briefly in an embarrassing situation, but he got quickly out of it.

Another example: Remember Macron's flights and phone calls between Putin and Zelensky, trying to get them to agree to a peace or ceasefire or negotiate a deal over something he himself was not certain of? Clearly Macron had no idea what he was doing. Clearly he had no idea that he was undermining any possibility of formulating a common EU policy. (Actually, I assume he was doing it deliberately precisely in order to kill anobody else's better initiative just to pretend to be relevant on the world arena just to ingratiate his own narcissism, but that aside.) His attempts fell through massively. His counterproductive "diplomacy" was overrun by USA/Baltic initiative of providing Ukraine with unconditional support. Has Macron regretted his macroning for a second? Does he see how destructive and dangerous he was? Or at least that he was or is in a sorry state? Nope. Nothing. Sorry state does not exist for him. Not for a second did he think he was doing anything wrong. He does not think he is doing anything wrong now and there's no chance in the universe for him to get in any sort of sorry state.

US and EU has had a well-working partnership through decades: US breaks things with weapons, EU rebuild them with money. US feels strong, EU feels good, and both get results, often the wanted ones.
Now, once you get over this flashy oversimplification, take some time to count the wanted results as opposed to unwanted results, and you should see how skewed this characterisation is. At least, you would if you took the on-ground situation more seriously. The EU has been miserable at diplomacy at every crucial turn. Not occasionally miserable, not getting "often the wanted" results, but making things worse at every single crucial turn, such as Balkan wars, messing up relations with Poland and Hungary after they joined the EU (and almost messing them up with more countries, Estonia being a close call), failing to see any threat in Russia. The results in those situations were deaths and misery, having to call in external superior firepower (against Serbia, which means that diplomacy failed), and signing agreements (Minsk Agreements) that were doomed to be either broken (which again means that diplomacy failed) or, if not broken, then perpetuate unlawfulness (which means that whoever signed the agreements had no sense of justice).

A far more accurate characterisation of the EU activities is the way Ukranians characterise it — it was Ukrainians who came up with the words "macroning" and "scholzing" as far as I know — and the way North Africans see it — as plain old French colonialism, slightly modernised, but still unmistakably colonialism. Moreover, the entire "Global South" perceive the EU/USA/Nato/IMF etc. "seven-headed beast" as a single colonial power headquartered in the so-called collective West.

Why do they perceive it this way? I'd say, given the actions of the entity, how could they not.

... even if Trump should happen...
The final test for USA is whether Trump happens again. All branches of government should demonstrate the resolve to take him out. Thus far the judicial branch has yielded the best results, but kind of mixed. For example, the gag orders produced no consequences, even though Trump clearly breached them. The best would be for SCOTUS to decide that Trump cannot run, which is up next, seems to me.

A party whose leader attempted a coup and who fails to condemn such a leader — quite the contrary, lets him run for presidency again — should be banned. This is probably in the competency of Congress, but the current Congress is absolutely not up for it. The executive branch is making a fair attempt by driving the secret documents case, but it seems to be narrowly running out of time.