• Isaac
    9.4k
    There must be, that doesn't mean you can determine it beforehand, or that it's on me to determine it.neomac

    Yeah, you can't wash your hands of it so easily. It's your governments making the decisions, it's your job to hold them to account. It's just morally bankrupt to throw up your hands and say "it's not up to me" that's just basically inviting authoritarian rule.
  • ssu
    6.6k
    A Great article!

    First have to quote that article on what it says about Russian propaganda, which has been prevalent in the discussion here too:

    This Russian propaganda has been amplified and endorsed by an unusual assortment of people in the United States, including the Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Democratic Socialists of America, and the Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs. The propaganda absolves Russia, blames the United States for the war, and has four main tenets: first, that a long-standing American effort to bring Ukraine into NATO poses a grave threat to Russian security. Second, that American shipments of weapons to Ukraine have prolonged the fighting and caused needless suffering among civilians. Third, that American support for Ukraine is just a pretext for seeking the destruction of Russia. And, finally, that American policies could soon prove responsible for causing an all-out nuclear war.

    Those arguments are based on lies. They are being spread to justify Russia’s unprecedented use of nuclear blackmail to seize territory from a neighboring state.

    Yet coming to the actual issue, this is simply obvious:

    A Russian defeat in Ukraine would strengthen the nonproliferation treaty. Ukrainian success on the battlefield has been achieved with conventional weapons aimed at military targets—not with nuclear weapons causing mass civilian casualties. If the nation possessing the most nuclear weapons in the world is unable to gain victory, the importance of having nuclear weapons will be greatly diminished.

    But to the core of the article, which is this:

    If nuclear threats or the actual use of nuclear weapons leads to the defeat of Ukraine, Russia may use them to coerce other states. Tactics once considered immoral and unthinkable might become commonplace. Nuclear weapons would no longer be regarded solely as a deterrent of last resort; the nine countries that possess them would gain even greater influence; countries that lack them would seek to obtain them; and the global risk of devastating wars would increase exponentially.

    In my view a Russian win even without the use of nuclear weapons will create a very severe Cold War and Cold War mentality. Putin has attacked his Poland, there's no going back to a "Munich settlement", a "reboot" of US-Russian ties as Bush, Obama and Trump all enthusiastically tried (of course, Trump could try again if elected). The attitude is shown in the article very well by quoting our prime minister Sanna Marin. What here should be noted that Marin is a social-democrat, and earlier Finnish social-democrat Presidents and prime ministers worked eagerly with Russia and it's leaders and made the very fabric of what now is truly a historical term, Finlandization.

    (Finnish cartoon from the Cold War: President Kekkonen and social-democrat prime minister Sorsa on a well trodden route to Moscow. Current social-democrat prime minister and Finnish president (conservative) are different.)
    40233558_1917066348339479_6330818782562353152_n.jpg?stp=cp0_dst-jpg_e15_q65_s320x320&_nc_cat=109&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=8024bb&_nc_ohc=b9c-7HfEozYAX8TkLM5&_nc_ht=scontent.fqlf1-2.fna&oh=00_AfA2TglAmIxBOtOiXdjRgOccgjB60v_isNsV8NYW00UgPw&oe=63F2387C

    Now Russian tanks and missiles are expended in Ukraine. The simple fact that now it is quite empty behind our border when it comes to the Russian military. The chief of Finnish military intelligence has estimated that it will take the 2020's for Russia to rearm: so large have been the materiel losses. Hence there isn't a threat right now, but with a victorious Putin, it's going to be very, very tense. Then the military buildup starts in earnest.
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    Russian propaganda, which has been prevalent in the discussion here too:ssu

    The trouble is that your arguments are based on lies.

    See how easy it is to dismiss all dissent by just claiming they're lies without offering a shred of evidence to that effect?
  • frank
    11.9k
    "A pro-Vladimir Putin TV host, Dmitry Kiselyov, said in May last year that these torpedoes would be capable of causing a 500-meter [1,640 feet] high tidal wave of radioactive seawater, and that they could "plunge Britain into the depths of the sea". Newsweek

    I'm starting to wonder if there's a big disaster at the end of this tunnel. (One which Russia won't survive).
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    Only someone who knows absolutely nothing about military hardware would think nuclear torpedoes can cause tidal waves, so don't worry.
  • frank
    11.9k
    Only someone who knows absolutely nothing about military hardware would think nuclear torpedoes can cause tidal waves, so don't worry.Tzeentch

    They can't? Why not?
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    thanks, I find The Atlantic's coverage pretty incisive.
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    Because the power of a nuclear device is dwarfed by the power required to cause tidal waves.
  • neomac
    681
    Yeah, you can't wash your hands of it so easily. It's your governments making the decisions, it's your job to hold them to account. It's just morally bankrupt to throw up your hands and say "it's not up to me" that's just basically inviting authoritarian rule.Isaac

    Roughly speaking, you think that Western governments are morally objectionable for their support to the Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression.
    I think that Western governments would be morally objectionable for not supporting (or not supporting enough?) the Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression, as long as Ukrainians are willing to fight.
    In any case it’s not on me nor on Western governments to decide to what extent Ukrainians are willing to fight with whatever military aid they get from the West.
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    I think that Western governments would be morally objectionable for not supporting (or not supporting enough?) the Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression, as long as Ukrainians are willing to fight.neomac

    Why?

    it’s not on me nor on Western governments to decide to what extent Ukrainians are willing to fight with whatever military aid they get from the West.neomac

    Obviously not. I don't see what that's got do with the issue. The question is whether we should be providing military aid in the way we are, and/or should be doing anything else. That fact that Ukrainians will decide what Ukrainians will do is (despite the bizarre frequency with which it's raised as if it were some Solomonesque insight) trivially uninteresting.
  • frank
    11.9k
    Because the power of a nuclear device is dwarfed by the power required to cause tidal waves.Tzeentch

    But apparently the US military thought it was possible.
  • jorndoe
    2.4k
    Simple enough moral starting point: the invaders ought to go home (mercs included).

    Agreeable?
  • Paine
    1.1k
    In regard to my challenge to your 'grouping' idea as it relates to having an opinion, I considered your following remarks:

    You've not yet provided any reason at all why the aggregated opinion of that particular group matters to us more than the opinion of any other group.

    The aggregated views of {all the people who live within that border} has no meaning. It's just a random means of stratification unrelated to the opinion being aggregated.

    The comments you cite say that there is no such thing as a Ukrainian identity, history, language and culture. I've also argued that there's no such thing as the will of the Ukrainians, or the motive of the Ukrainians. I've argued that no such thing exists because Ukraine (like all other countries) is an arbitrary line drawn by powerful people based on the amount of resources they had the power to control at the time. It does not in any way 'capture' some natural grouping of people all of whom think alike. It would be no more real then me taking a quick glance at the posts on religion here and announcing that "the belief of TPF is that there is a God".

    Sure, but same goes for a load of people getting together to do anything. Run a marathon. Clear mines. Save lives in wars zones. There's nothing unique about getting together to fight a common enemy which creates some moral purpose which we then are under an obligations to respect. The Nazis got together for a common goal.

    Yes? What connects the acceptance that there are motivations to fight back with somehow having to pretend those motivations are more politically important that the object of the most powerful nation on earth? The former is an argument about their mere existence, the latter is an argument about their importance in determining if western policy is morally acceptable.

    Still don't. There's no such thing as a Ukrainian identity. Ukrainians identify in all sorts of different, occasionally completely incompatible ways. That's why there was a civil war going on before this invasion.

    Of course Ukraine does not have its own history, language and culture. It's an arbitrary line on a map, it's absurd to think it somehow contains a natural grouping of language, history and culture.

    Tell me, how did the people who determined where the line should be ensure that it encompassed such a natural grouping? Were studies done, where polls taken? Because as I recall learning it, it was some politicians in a negotiating room that drew the line. Did Lenin consult ethnographers in 1922? Did Krushchev cede Crimea because his anthropologists insisted the 'culture' there belonged to Ukraine?

    No country's boundaries are carefully drawn around natural breaks in culture and language. It's one of the reasons we have so many fucking wars.

    In this case, you'd be blind to ignore the fact that the Russian-speaking population in the east of Ukraine have a different language to the rest, the suppression of which was instrumental in the pre-2022 war.
    — Isaac

    After all that, it is difficult to process:

    We're not talking about what opinion 'do' so I don't see the relevance of this. we're talking about the moral weight one ought give the aggregated opinion of a certain grouping.Isaac
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    Simple enough moral starting point: the invaders ought to go home (mercs included).

    Agreeable?
    jorndoe

    As a starting point? That suggests that the most important moral issue here is where everybody is and who's in charge of what.

    Surely the most important moral issue is the welfare of ordinary people?

    After all that, it is difficult to process:Paine

    Short of adding that to my collection of 'things Paine reckons' I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with that. discussion might be promoted if you were to tell me why any of that causes such a difficulty.

    The quotes you've selected seem mainly around the point that the border of Ukraine is arbitrary (has nothing to do with any natural breaks in culture).

    The final asserts that the question at hand is one of how much moral weight to put on any aggregated opinion (particularly that of those who happen to be within this arbitrary border).

    I can't see a problem there.
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    Well, had you asked me in 1944 or 1968 maybe I would have answered you differently.
  • ssu
    6.6k
    So Germany, or the German Chancellor, couldn't make up his mind about giving Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine or even accepting that other countries like Poland and Finland could give few. Finland has stated that it will give some tanks if the transfer is an European one meaning naturally that Germany has to OK the move.

    (Some spare. Finns have Leopard 2 tanks in the tank museum and even have put them as monuments on a highway where the armoured brigade is.)
    13-3-7205501

    The UK, which has it's tank force basically down to one regiment, is giving one tank company (14 Challengers) to Ukraine. On the other hand there are about 3500 Leopard 2 tanks produced with ample amount of older Leopard 2A4 tanks around, which still is quite potent.

    Germany, for some ludicrous reason, is now waiting for the US to give tanks too before it will (could?) give Leopards too. Which basically is a farce: tiny amounts of three different main battle tanks which only two (Leopard 2 and the M1 Abrams) have similar main gun ammunition and all have different logistical systems. Leopard 2 would be the optimal role as a) many countries are willing to give them and b) the Abrams is more complicated to take care of. Likely Ukrainians can sustain them (as like the Patriot SAMs). Likely we are talking about the equipment to basically one armoured brigade, yet likely the modern tanks would be used in company-size battlegroups spread around the front.

    Either it's the typical German feet-dragging or then Putin has bullied Scholz too much. Basically this is ridiculous political micromanagement when you already have committed yourself to support one side, but then make one single weapon systems quite a buffoonery. As if one weapon system would be either an escalation or some wunder-waffe that would change everything in a war where the combined arms is the real issue.
  • Isaac
    9.4k


    Stop complaining about the actions of other governments. This is supposed to be a thread about Ukraine! It's Russia who are to blame for Ukraine's situation, not anything Germany are doing, you're just trying to shift blame. Blaming other countries just plays right into Putin's propaganda.

    This is a war between Russia and Ukraine. Germany are not involved, so what they do, or don't do is irrelevant.
  • neomac
    681
    I think that Western governments would be morally objectionable for not supporting (or not supporting enough?) the Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression, as long as Ukrainians are willing to fight. — neomac


    Why?
    Isaac

    Briefly, I take national security to be the moral imperative of legitimate governments of sovereign states. If the Ukrainian government is legitimate and pursuing national security by resisting Russian aggression, I take it to be morally unobjectionable.
    If a Western government is legitimate and pursuing national security in supporting Ukrainian resistance, I take it to be morally unobjectionable. “National security” is a strategic notion and it’s essential about all available assets a community has to pursue its biological and cultural needs considering time span, uncertainty, and competitors. So there are 2 important reasons why we need to take into account what the Ukrainian government wants for a moral assessment: needs and decision making.

    it’s not on me nor on Western governments to decide to what extent Ukrainians are willing to fight with whatever military aid they get from the West. — neomac


    Obviously not. I don't see what that's got do with the issue. The question is whether we should be providing military aid in the way we are, and/or should be doing anything else. That fact that Ukrainians will decide what Ukrainians will do is (despite the bizarre frequency with which it's raised as if it were some Solomonesque insight) trivially uninteresting.
    Isaac


    My clarification is related to the comment of mine you misunderstood and objected to:

    but it is either the morally acceptable sacrifice to achieve your goals in your framework and "anything goes" or then there must be a line somewhere between tolerable and intolerable losses for these military objectives. — boethius


    There must be, that doesn't mean you can determine it beforehand, or that it's on me to determine it.
    neomac
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    I take national security to be the moral imperative of legitimate governments of sovereign statesneomac

    That doesn't seem at all intuitive. Why would you think maintaining control over resources a moral imperative? Is it, for example, a moral imperative for me to get hold of and keep as much stuff as I can?
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    Germany, for some ludicrous reason, is now waiting for the US to give tanks too before it will (could?) give Leopards too.ssu

    The reason is obvious.

    The United States can not and will not commit itself to a Ukrainian defense, because getting involved in a protracted land war with Russia would basically cede world hegemony to China without a fight.

    The Germans know this, and they are none to keen on getting thrown the hot potatoe of taking leadership in that protracted land war instead of the United States. In some part because it simply can't - Europe does not have the military capacity to fight Russia. In other part because Europe has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose in a land war with Russia.

    Thank God the Germans have some sense of how this game works. Merkel understood it too, that's why she blocked the American efforts to stir up a conflict in Germany's backyard.
  • frank
    11.9k
    Well, had you asked me in 1944 or 1968 maybe I would have answered you differently.Tzeentch

    Physics hasn't changed that much since 1944, Tzeentch. You don't know what you're talking about.
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    By all means, continue believing that nuclear devices can cause tidal waves then. :lol:
  • frank
    11.9k
    By all means, continue believing that nuclear devices can cause tidal waves thenTzeentch

    Ok. Thanks.
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    What is people's opinion on the current situation on the frontline?

    https://liveuamap.com/

    It seems to me the situation is rapidly deteriorating. Soledar fell relatively fast, Krasna Hora seems next in line to further cut off Bahkmut from supplies, which in turn is getting surrounded.

    Further, as the Russians advance several salients seem to be forming, most notably the urban agglomeration south of Bahkmut.

    Can the Ukrainian army deal with this?

    Media are relatively quiet around this issue. The emphasis is on the battle for Bahkmut, but as it stands the Russians seem to be aiming to surround and possibly siege the city.
  • ssu
    6.6k
    The United States can not and will not commit itself to a Ukrainian defense, because getting involved in a protracted land war with Russia would basically cede world hegemony to China without a fight.Tzeentch
    Umm...nobody is committing themselves to Ukrainian defense except Ukraine itself and Germany surely isn't. If it sends Leopard 2 MBTs along all other stuff already there, it really doesn't do any difference. The US is sending Patriot missile systems and 150 Bradley IFVs to Ukraine. And they (the US) are training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 combat aircraft. So what you are saying doesn't make sense.

    The Germans know this, and they are none to keen on getting thrown the hot potatoe of taking leadership in that protracted land war instead of the United States.Tzeentch
    Isn't the UK already giving tanks to Ukraine.

    First of all, NATO and EU is actually committed to give arms support for Ukraine and Germany has already given military hardware for Ukraine. Now if Germany prevents other countries, like Poland to give weapons to Ukraine, that may further question the validity to buy armaments from Germany at the first place.

    And basically it's just make supply and logistics worse when instead of one modern main battle tank you will have possibly three doing basically the same job. Leopard 2 would be the most logical choice.



    Thank God the Germans have some sense of how this game works. Merkel understood it too, that's why she blocked the American efforts to stir up a conflict in Germany's backyard.Tzeentch
    The Germans actually only showed that this attack (February 24th 2022) wasn't at all about NATO: because German's openly before the attack declared that they wouldn't allow Ukraine into NATO. But guess what: Putin attack and tried to capture Kyiv.

    But perhaps the American effort you are talking about was somehow to make Putin argue that Crimea, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia are integral parts of Russia and Nikita Khrushchev's act of giving Ukraine Crimea was illegal and in any case the Communists made the mistake in the first place of having Ukraine not part of the Russian Federation.
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    Umm...nobody is committing themselves to Ukrainian defense except Ukraine itself and Germany surely isn't. If it sends Leopard 2 MBTs along all other stuff already there, it really doesn't do any difference. The US is sending Patriot missile systems and 150 Bradley IFVs to Ukraine. And they (the US) are training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 combat aircraft. So what you are saying doesn't make sense.ssu

    When I say commit, I mean commit to a Ukrainian victory, obviously, which is going to involve NATO boots on the ground.

    And yes, you're right that nobody is doing that, and Germany is responding to that very fact by not doing that either.

    The Germans actually only showed that this attack (February 24th 2022) wasn't at all about NATO: because German's openly before the attack declared that they wouldn't allow Ukraine into NATO.ssu

    At the onset of the Russian invasion Ukraine was already a NATO member in all but name. Statements by Germany at this point aren't worth anything, since Ukraine entering the US sphere of influence was a de facto reality.

    The United States had been supplying and training the Ukrainian military overtly for at least a year, and covertly most likely since after the 2014 Crimea Crisis. Obviously any German "guarantees" at this point meant nothing to the Russians and it's a little naive to use that as "proof" the Russian invasion wasn't about Ukraine entering into NATO. Even if Ukraine didn't enter formally into NATO, by the onset of the Russian invasion it was a full-fledged US ally, barring the fact that the US hadn't guaranteed its independence.
  • ssu
    6.6k
    When I say commit, I mean commit to a Ukrainian victory, obviously, which is going to involve NATO boots on the ground.Tzeentch
    Why???

    At the onset of the Russian invasion Ukraine was already a NATO member in all but name.Tzeentch
    Nonsense.

    Being a member of a mutual defense pact means that other members come to your defense literally. No country has any defense agreements with Ukraine to come to help them in case of war. And Ukraine (foolishly) believed the words of Russia, the US and UK stated in the Budapest memorandum.

    Statements by Germany at this point aren't worth anything, since Ukraine entering the US sphere of influence was a de facto reality.Tzeentch
    Wrong. The biggest European country saying NO to membership, with likely a lot more countries having similar doubts was evident and means a lot in NATO. Don't confuse the words of US Presidents (Bush etc) as being the same as NATO countries giving the green light.

    If you didn't notice, for example the war in Iraq wasn't a NATO operation. Hence NATO isn't a rubber stamp for the US.

    And do notice, unlike now with Sweden and Finland waiting for Hungary and Turkey, no country made any bilateral defense agreements with Ukraine.
  • jorndoe
    2.4k
    That suggests that the most important moral issue here is where everybody is and who's in charge of whatIsaac

    :D Let's stick to the topic at hand

    (pattern (rhetoric): quote from original → reword (more generic, different scope, whatever) → comment on that instead)
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    Nonsense.

    Being a member of a mutual defense pact means that other members come to your defense literally. No country has any defense agreements with Ukraine to come to help them in case of war. And Ukraine (foolishly) believed the words of Russia, the US and UK stated in the Budapest memorandum.
    ssu

    This is literally adressed in my post:

    Even if Ukraine didn't enter formally into NATO, by the onset of the Russian invasion it was a full-fledged US ally, barring the fact that the US hadn't guaranteed its independence.Tzeentch

    ______________________________________


    Wrong. The biggest European country saying NO to membership, with likely a lot more countries having similar doubts was evident and means a lot in NATO.ssu

    What do you think such a statement really means, when the United States is already training and supplying Ukraine like its gearing up for another Vietnam? You need to get a sense of reality.

    No one cares about what the European nations say, because they don't have any credible military deterrent. At no point did Ukraine look to Europe for defense in case of a conflict with Russia, it looked to the United States.

    It is a good sign when the European nations, like Germany under Merkel, show that they understand how the game is played and don't blindly prostitute their countries to the United States agenda, but that's all it is. Germany saying no to NATO membership for Ukraine doesn't mean a thing when the United States simply circumvents NATO by turning Ukraine into an ally on a bilateral basis.

    Ukraine manoeuvred itself into a grey area where it was both almost a NATO member and almost a US ally. In both cases, what mattered is that the United States would guarantee its independence and provide a credible deterrent against Russia.

    Russia didn't fear the European armies. Those were non-existent anyway. It feared the United States, whether it involved itself in Ukraine through NATO or through other means. After Germany blocked Ukraine membership to NATO, the US sought those other means and the end result is the same.
  • Isaac
    9.4k


    It's the only point of disagreement, so unless we're all just going nod and congratulate each other on how virtuous we are then it's the only thing to discuss.

    Does Ukraine's territorial claim have any moral weight?

    Your comment seemed to suggests you think it does (primary issue - invaders go home). Not primary issue - make sure everyone is safe, fed, housed and cared for.

    Ukraine's territorial integrity is not more important than people's welfare even if Ukrainians themselves think it is. Majorities don't make things right. Morality isn't different in Ukraine depending on what the population think.

    There are children, future children, millions affected outside of Ukraine...

    So the question of what moral objective we have uppermost, far from being off topic, is the most important topic.

    I'd say the welfare of the most vulnerable is uppermost. That should be our starting point. Do you disagree?
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