## Ukraine Crisis

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A few more reports on the incident ... Reuters, AP News, Axios, BBC, CNN
Someone has become quick to accuse others of what they themselves are doing. :D
Maybe more details will come out if/when the drone recordings are declassified.

In other (but continuing) news ...

Ukraine war: Two Montreal companies sanctioned by U.S. for alleged ties to Russia
— Jacob Serebrin · The Star · Mar 7, 2023
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My guess is this was a deliberate attack from the Russians.

They're getting bolder now that the war on the ground seems to be going their way.

By attacking the drone, they are basically looking for the US response, which so far has been rather mild.

That tells them the US aren't looking for an excuse to get further embroiled in Ukraine. It also gives off the signal to the US that Russia doesn't shy away from directly attacking US assets if they are involved in the war in Ukraine.

The timing of this attack, right as the West might face another financial crisis, is possibly also no coincidence.

https://liveuamap.com/

The situation is looking dire.

Russia seems to have shifted to pure attrition warfare. Essentially they surround an area like Bakhmut and then exploit the compromised position of the defenders until the defense becomes too costly to maintain. Their goal is not to swiftly gain ground, but to destroy Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine seems to be reluctant to give up ground, though it would probably be the strategically sensible thing to do.

Avdiivka seems next on the chopping block, with Marinka possibly following after. In the process of taking these areas, also the urban area between Bakhmut and Avdiivka will become vulnerable.
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the war on the ground seems to be going their way.

Lol.
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The key question is whether Tuesday's encounter was an attempt by Russia to disrupt the US drone and its work, or whether it was a deliberate attempt to bring it down. [...] The US will now have to evaluate its response.

By the way, there's not really anything new about the recon, been going on for a long time, it's in international space anyway, and not just the US. Employing observations about their methods, we can hence conclude that they were provoking the watchers. :D Maybe drones should have a self-destruct mechanism that could take such jets down with it?
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The answer to US aggression against Russia is, the BRIC, the American empire is shaken.
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Maybe.

It is still pure madness to play around with this. The risks couldn't be higher.

I get the idea of sending a message, but, it's pretty wild.

Not that I believe or disbelieve what you are saying, it's just that the longer this drags on, besides more people dying, human error will rise, which is a problem in this war.
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Obviously at this point no solution seems good.

Hopefully it ends amicably
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Yep. We'll have to wait and see to get a bit better perspective on the issue. But regardless extremely reckless behavior.
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Downing a drone amidst a full-scale war isn't really a big deal, and it doesn't compare to the actual destruction wrought on Ukraine on a daily basis.

What is interesting is the US reaction to this.

If the US was looking to get more involved in Ukraine, one would have expected this attack to spark a lot of anti-Russian war rhetoric. Perhaps it would even be used directly as an excuse to further support.

Instead we saw a rather timid reaction, which may signal the opposite: that the US isn't looking to give Ukraine the direct support it desperately needs, or that may be looking to bail on Ukraine altogether.

That is something I and a few other posters here have been predicting for a while.
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That's a ridiculously low standard for what qualifies as a lack of suppression "if you're not banned of in jail, you're fine"

"Lack of suppression" doesn't mean "being fine", it means "lack of suppression". You were talking about "suppression" and that's a caricature.

If visibility in the mainstream dictates credibility, what happens if the mainstream become corrupt? Who points that out and to whom? Who holds mainstream media to account? Or are they Gods?

Hersh made his point in a substack article but anybody in the West could learn of its existence through mainstream outlets, like:
https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/nord-stream-2-un-journaliste-americain-accuse-washington-du-sabotage-20230213
https://www.zeit.de/zustimmung?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zeit.de%2Fpolitik%2Fausland%2F2023-02%2Fseymour-hersh-nord-stream-pipeline-anschlag-usa
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11760473/As-Pultizer-prize-winning-journalist-points-CIA-DID-blow-Nord-Stream-pipeline.html
https://www.corriere.it/esteri/23_febbraio_09/nord-stream-hersch-usa-esplosione-gasdotto-fc3f320a-a88b-11ed-b9c4-8c4ac5be6a91.shtml

the Western news platform credibility — neomac

...oh, turns out they are gods. Well, that answers that question.

If there is a relevant delta of credibility between BBC and TASS in favor of the former, and Hersh gets mentioned only by the latter, this is not a boost of Hersh's credibility. I guess. Unless one assumes that Hersh is the relevant meter by which one can assess BBC vs TASS credibility.

Do you think the mainstream press doesn't have a politics? Over 90% of Washington Post readers are Democrats. You're suggesting that's a coincidence? They're reporting the news unbiasedly and just happen to be liked overwhelmingly by one side?

Why do you think I think the mainstream press doesn't have a politics?
Where did I suggest that is a coincidence that over 90% of Washington Post readers are Democrats?
Or that they're reporting the news unbiasedly and just happen to be liked overwhelmingly by one side?
This way of questioning my claims is just random, because they are neither addressing what I actually wrote, nor the assumptions behind it.
Talking randomly about politics and bias, I guess also Hersh, Mearsheimer, and Chomsky are pretty popular among jacobins like you, aren’t they? And is Hersh’s news report completely unbiased?

the Nord Stream 2 blasts are object of a wide investigation involving several countries, related governments, intelligence services, news outlets — neomac

You've given a list which involves only two independant agents - governments and news agencies. You've dismissed results of half of the news agencies, and governments are not going to incriminate themselves, so you're basically saying the mainstream media are inviolable and we need never concern ourselves with the possibility that they may be biased.

No idea how you can possibly infer such conclusions from the claim of mine you quoted. Anyways I don’t need to take a strong position against Hersh’s version of the Nord Stream 2 story, because I do not have a strong position in favour of what is reported on the mainstream media, either. I’m simply relying on the assumption that the Western media systems give more room to dissenting voices than authoritarian regimes like Russia or China, so one way or the other a truth that is against the government’s narrative has more chances to be shared at some point in Western-like democratic regimes. Indeed, cases like Watergate, Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction were all covered/investigated by mainstream Western press. What’s more is that in the case of Nord Stream 2 Western interested parties are many, more directly involved and badly impacted so I would expect less complacency from the Europeans (starting with the Germans) toward the Americans, if there were serious evidences about the US being involved in such sabotage with abusive intentions.
The other point is that I don’t expect Western democracy and media to work during war time with exactly the same transparency and pluralism I would expect during peace time. But I find this predicament physiological and tolerable to the extant there is a non-negligeable threat to the world order from authoritarian regimes like Russia and China, if not a more direct threat to the national integrity and sovereignty. For the simple reason that there might be sensible security information available to decision makers that can’t be readily exposed to the wider public lest national and international enemies exploit it to their benefit. And as you suggested, emergency requires fast and powerful responses that can’t be slowed down by due diligence (having in mind procedures in non-emergency time), even if that might more likely lead to abuses. Once the emergence is over we can review what has been done. BTW Hersh too candidly admits to lie in his profession whenever he thinks he has a good reason to (https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/features/11719/).
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"Lack of suppression" doesn't mean "being fine"

So you're not fine with how Sy Hersh's story has been treated. Good. We agree on that.

Hersh made his point in a substack article but anybody in the West could learn of its existence

I didn't ask you where one can read about Sy Hersh's story. If you don't want to answer my questions just don't. There's no need to answer a different one.

If there is a relevant delta of credibility between BBC and TASS in favor of the former, and Hersh gets mentioned only by the latter, this is not a boost of Hersh's credibility. I guess. Unless one assumes that Hersh is the relevant meter by which one can assess BBC vs TASS credibility.

This is either deliberately obtuse or childishly naive. A broadcaster like TASS will give its eye teeth to publish a story which reflects badly on the US. Their doing so, therefore, has no bearing whatsoever on its credibility. Do you think they'd avoid anti-US stories because they're true. I mean its just dumbfoundingly stupid. A non-credible news agency like TASS doesn't actively seek out fake news. They publish news which promotes their agenda, true or not. So a news article appearing in TASS doesn't indicate it's false. It indicates that it's good for Russia. I hate to blow your tiny mind, but some things are both true and good for Russia, and Russian propaganda will publish those thing with no less enthusiasm than they publish flashhoods.

No idea how you can possibly infer such conclusions from the claim of mine you quoted.

I literally spelled it out for you. I'll try again. The agencies whose investigations you claim are relevant fall into two camps; governments and journalists. Governments will not report honestly their own collusion so you cannot trust a government to report on its own behaviour. You yourself pointed to the untrustworthiness of TASS.

So you're left with journalists.

But you've said that independent journalists lack sufficient credibility to be taken seriously.

So who's left?

Mainstream media.

You're saying that if the mainstream media don't report it, it doesn't deserve any credibility.

So I asked, if the.mainstream media have a problem, how do we hear about it?
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:D Don't say Russians don't have a sense of humor. Some of them anyway.

Russian politician fined for "noodle ears" stunt during Putin speech
— Mark Trevelyan, Kevin Liffey · Reuters · Mar 16, 2023

(Reuters) - A Russian local politician was fined nearly $2,000 on Thursday for "discrediting the armed forces" by dangling spaghetti from his ears while listening to a speech by President Vladimir Putin, a human rights monitoring group said. Mikhail Abdalkin was convicted for a stunt, which he filmed and posted on social media, based on a Russian saying that someone who has been strung along or deceived has had noodles hung on their ears. The implication was that he did not believe the content of the state of the nation speech that Putin delivered on Feb. 21, just before the first anniversary of his invasion of Ukraine. The monitoring group OVD-Info quoted Abdalkin, a Communist from the Samara region, as saying it had been an ironic gesture to express his dissatisfaction with "the president's silence about internal political problems". He was fined 150,000 roubles ($1,950).
Russia's parliament this month tightened laws passed shortly after the invasion that now stipulate fines or jail terms of up to 15 years for discrediting or spreading false news about the armed forces or others, such as the Wagner mercenary group, who are taking part in the war in Ukraine. (\$1 = 76.8455 roubles)

At least Abdalkin wasn't jailed (or worse).
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Garry Kasparov hitting the point when it comes to Russia:

Especially what he says starting 12:50 should be listened to.

Also, an interesting historical take on why Crimea is important to Russia, also culturally:

Of course, what is still a possibility is that Putin can win the war ...or at least hold onto the landbridge to Crimea and declare victory over the West (as in Russian propaganda it's fighting the West).
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Oh. we're back to just posting stuff we agree with, with only trite vapid commentary (if any).

I wouldn't want to rock the boat...
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Oh. we're back to just posting stuff we agree with, with only trite vapid commentary (if any).
I agree with this.
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As opposed to the in-depth and thoroughly argued...

should be listened to.ssu
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U
Well, the real issue here (from anti-war.com article):

As we mark the 20th anniversary of the devastating Iraq invasion, let us join with Global South leaders and the majority of our neighbors around the world, not only in calling for immediate peace negotiations to end the brutal Ukraine war, but also in building a genuine rules-based international order, where the same rules – and the same consequences and punishments for breaking those rules – apply to all nations, including our own.

...is just what those peace terms are. Russia simply should exit from Ukraine, including Crimea, and respect the territorial integrity of the country what it has accepted starting when the country became independent.

Having any problem with that?
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Let's not pretend we're now having an actual conversation. You know full well that many experts far more qualified to judge than you or I think that demanding a full Russian retreat is a non-starter. You'll say those experts are wrong because they haven't looked at 'The Facts', I'll ask how it is that you know 'The Facts' when they don't, and we'll be back to the question you keep refusing to answer - why you believe your experts. Why you choose the ones you choose.
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The war is between America and Russia the Ukraine's collateral damage and dupes.
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"Lack of suppression" doesn't mean "being fine" — neomac

So you're not fine with how Sy Hersh's story has been treated. Good. We agree on that.

I wasn’t talking about not being fine with how Sy Hersh's story has been treated.
I’m not fine with you talking about "suppression" in reference to Hersh's article.
It’s a rhetoric exaggeration, a caricature, due to your militant mindset.

I didn't ask you where one can read about Sy Hersh's story. If you don't want to answer my questions just don't. There's no need to answer a different one.

Well, then if you do not want to question my actual claims, just don’t. There is no need to question claims I never made. Mainstream media didn’t suppress Hersh’s article. And mainstream readers can read about that Hersh’s article from mainstream press however corrupted and politically biased you think they are.

If there is a relevant delta of credibility between BBC and TASS in favor of the former, and Hersh gets mentioned only by the latter, this is not a boost of Hersh's credibility. I guess. Unless one assumes that Hersh is the relevant meter by which one can assess BBC vs TASS credibility. — neomac

This is either deliberately obtuse or childishly naive. A broadcaster like TASS will give its eye teeth to publish a story which reflects badly on the US. Their doing so, therefore, has no bearing whatsoever on its credibility. Do you think they'd avoid anti-US stories because they're true. I mean its just dumbfoundingly stupid. A non-credible news agency like TASS doesn't actively seek out fake news. They publish news which promotes their agenda, true or not. So a news article appearing in TASS doesn't indicate it's false. It indicates that it's good for Russia. I hate to blow your tiny mind, but some things are both true and good for Russia, and Russian propaganda will publish those thing with no less enthusiasm than they publish flashhoods.

But that’s irrelevant to counter my argument. I’m not questioning the possibility that TASS is right in supporting Hersh’s story about Nord Stream 2 sabotage, I’m simply questioning the idea that Hersh’s story would earn greater credibility by being sponsored by Russian propaganda outlets like TASS relative to alternatives like the BBC.

The agencies whose investigations you claim are relevant fall into two camps; governments and journalists. Governments will not report honestly their own collusion so you cannot trust a government to report on its own behaviour. You yourself pointed to the untrustworthiness of TASS.
So you're left with journalists. But you've said that independent journalists lack sufficient credibility to be taken seriously. So who's left? Mainstream media. You're saying that if the mainstream media don't report it, it doesn't deserve any credibility. So I asked, if the.mainstream media have a problem, how do we hear about it?

First, to me the main problem with TASS is not that is a state-owned news agency , but that the Russian government is remarkably authoritarian (in the middle of a conventional war which Russia itself started), yet far from being vocally challenged by competitors internal or external to the government as democratic Western governments would be. I just don’t feel pressed to question a Western government’s deeds when there are so many powerful agents readily doing so (even more so if such agents opposing the current government can as well be suspected of equal corruption and political bias, if not more).
Second, I never claimed “independent journalists lack sufficient credibility to be taken seriously” nor that “if the mainstream media don't report it, it doesn't deserve any credibility”. In Western-like democracies one can find mainstream outlets with different political leanings, also in favour or against any given government. If an independent journalist wants to be read by many, he could sell his articles denouncing a government’s misdeeds to a mainstream outlets. If he doesn’t trust any mainstream outlets, he could still publish in some well reputed independent platform like https://www.icij.org/about/ (this may be also a big promotion for independent journalism if the article turns out to be enough accurate). But if he doesn’t do any of that, and prefers to self-publish, that’s his choice, not necessarily a problem of the mainstream outlets “suppressing” Hersh’s article (indeed many mainstream outlets talked about Hersh’s article anyways and if he couldn’t rely on the American media on this, he could also publish on European news papers) or the credibility of independent journalism in general.
Third, self-publishing leaves people like me with the doubt that either Hersh requires max freedom because he is fucking Hersh (yet he earned his reputation by actually working in the past for mainstream outlets reviewing/fact-checking/vetting his articles), or Hersh requires some serious reviewing/fact-checking/vetting even if he is fucking Hersh (also because he self-admittedly can lie). So as long as I see one version from the American government (which may sound suspicious independently from Hersh’s article accuracy) and another version from Hersh (which may sound suspicious independently from Hersh’s article accuracy), I can keep my doubts in either case and suspend my judgement. The fact that the Germans are supporting another investigative line could now give more weight on doubts against Hersh’s version, not overwhelmingly so though.
And that’s basically all I find reasonable to say about Hersh’s article credibility vs mainstream media credibility so far.
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:up:
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I wasn’t talking about not being fine with how Sy Hersh's story has been treated.
I’m not fine with you talking about "suppression" in reference to Hersh's article.
It’s a rhetoric exaggeration, a caricature, due to your militant mindset.

Well perhaps consider a little more tolerance and a little less childish pedantry. We're talking about the treatment of the article by the mainstream media on a public discussion forum. I don't think there's any chance of me accidentally starting the next Marxist revolution here so you can probably rest easy about my "militant rhetoric".

Mainstream media didn’t suppress Hersh’s article.

Then what did they do to it? What's the word you'd prefer we use to describe their smearing and studious avoidance? What word could we put in place of "suppression" which carries a lower risk of inciting the proletariat?

I’m simply questioning the idea that Hersh’s story would earn greater credibility by being sponsored by Russian propaganda outlets like TASS relative to alternatives like the BBC.

An idea nobody espoused.

I just don’t feel pressed to question a Western government’s deeds when there are so many powerful agents readily doing so

I must have missed those. Could you provide a couple of links to these 'powerful' agents (a primer on the concept of 'power' in international relations, if you need one - https://www.jstor.org/stable/2151022)?

the Russian government is... far from being vocally challenged by competitors internal or external to the government

...one of the more ridiculous things said today... If only more people would speak out against Russian actions...

If an independent journalist wants to be read by many, he could sell his articles denouncing a government’s misdeeds to a mainstream outlets. If he doesn’t trust any mainstream outlets, he could still publish in some well reputed independent platform like https://www.icij.org/about/

Could he? You just assume this on faith, yes?

I can keep my doubts in either case and suspend my judgement.

No. Your 'suspended judgement' is just consent to whatever the US (or your own country) are doing. Because they're doing it now. If you don't try to stop them, you consent. There's no 'suspended judgement' the situation is happening in front of you, right now and you have to decide one way or the other.

It's like seeing a man with a gun about to shoot another. You can't 'suspend judgement' about who's guilty, who's attacking whom. You either act (and protect the one being shot at) or you don't act (and let him get shot). 'Suspending judgement' is just performatively identical to the latter.
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Let's not pretend we're now having an actual conversation.
I have known for a long while that you don't want an actual conversation. I think others have noticed it too with you.

You know full well that many experts far more qualified to judge than you or I
Again an example of your curious worship of experts. Haven't you gone to the university or why do you have such an inferiority complex? This is international politics we are talking about.

why you believe your experts. Why you choose the ones you choose.
Again this expert-worship. Look, why is it so hard to understand that you can agree or disagree about the opinions and conclusions that people make? Scott Ritter as an weapons inspector gave a thorough analysis of the Iraqi weapons inspection process and I believed and agreed with his conclusion that there was no Iraqi WMD program anymore when Iraq was attacked. And that was before the Iraqi invasion, which later was shown to be the truth. He doesn't have similar insight into the war in Ukraine and his opinions are his opinions. It's you who is making this absurd classification of experts and not simply look at what they are saying. It's you who disregards certain information just from the source...not even bothering to say just what is wrong in what they are stating. Besides, it's totally normal to agree partly with a commentator and disagree with other opinions or conclusions he or she makes.

demanding a full Russian retreat is a non-starter.
And then comes the perfect example of the Putin apologist of the forum.

Nobody here on this forum has the idea that a US withdrawal from Iraq, or the Saudis withdrawing from Yemen, or Israel withdrawing from the occupied territories is a "non-starter". Nobody is defending them with the reason given by the countries. Nobody is "understanding" the reasons for these military operations as you are with Russia. It's simply hypocrisy to demand what is morally right on some occasion, but then to turn to "realpolitik" when it comes to other nations. If you are critical about the US when it does something bad, you ought to be critical when some other country does something bad.
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why is it so hard to understand that you can agree or disagree about the opinions and conclusions that people make?ssu

That's exactly the point I'm making. It's you who keeps declaring that certain experts don't know, or understand 'The Facts'. It's you who keeps raising your mere opinion above that level to distance it from the opinion of those you disagree with.

It's not the deification of experts we're concerned about here, it's the deification of your personal, uneducated, opinion. Your analysis of the facts has no special power. When others (qualified others) disagree with you, that means, by definition, that what you think is a 'fact' is not so. It is an opinion, about which there is expert disagreement.

Now, we can have a civilised discussion about opinions. It looks like this...

- I find professor X's theory compelling because of these reasons...

- Really, I find professor Y's contrasting opinion compelling because of these reasons...

It does not, as your posts, consist of telling everyone who disagrees with you that they've misunderstood something, or must be a Putin apologist, or must be unaware of 'The Facts'.

If you are critical about the US when it does something bad, you ought to be critical when some other country does something bad.ssu

Nonsense, because we're not fucking St Peter's little helpers. We're not compiling Santa's list, nor playing a game of 'who's the baddie'.

We're an English language forum, with a primarily Western audience, and comprise primarily Western members.

It is therefore the actions of primarily Western governments about which we protest. That's how politics works.
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Russia's Wagner mercenary group says it's no longer recruiting convicts. This may signal a shift in strategy
— Tim Lister · CNN · Feb 11, 2023
Russian Federation: UN experts alarmed by recruitment of prisoners by “Wagner Group”
— Ravindran Daniel, Aua Baldé et al · UN/OHCHR · Mar 10, 2023
Wagner Group recruiting in Russian schools after heavy losses in Bakhmut: report
— Snejana Farberov · New York Post · Mar 14, 2023
Wagner Group opens recruitment center in Murmansk
— Atle Staalesen, Georgii Chentemirov · The Independent Barents Observer · Mar 15, 2023
Russia's Wagner army is recruiting fighters on Pornhub in a desperate attempt to strengthen troops, report says
— Sophia Ankel · Business Insider · Mar 16, 2023

Prigozhin have announced that recruitment centers for the Wagner Group have opened in 42 Russian cities. (The Daily Digest summary)

Mercs: live by the sword, die by the sword (and not missed by the defenders).

Have to wonder what their job description and contract say.

"You run into the fire when ordered to by a commander, and kill as many Ukrainians as you can. Apart from 240,000 rubles a month, your pay reflects your kill count. If you survive long enough, then you might be promoted to commander. Defectors will be dealt with."
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