• Changeling
    1.4k
    I don't have the capability to censor or remove posts.Isaac

    You do for your own posts, and you should exercise the capability more often.
  • unenlightened
    8.8k
    You do for your own posts, and you should exercise the capability more often.Changeling

    I do that a lot; I'm glad you approve.
  • Tzeentch
    3.4k
    Heaven forbid folks get to hear words they don't like on a philosophy forum. :roll:
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    You do for your own posts, and you should exercise the capability more often.Changeling

    I'll be sure to follow your example and only post when I'm sure what I have to say is sufficiently jejune as to be worth less than disdain with which it is read.
  • ssu
    8.1k
    One interesting remark came from retired Lt. General Ben Hodges in an interview. His thought was that assuming Ukraine gets enough support from the West, it can in this year even take Crimea. Not by a methodical push by through the narrow routes to the peninsula, but by making it difficult to supply the troops there. Yet he continued his remark saying that next year this would be far more difficult.

    The reason why in 2024 it would be so is that the Russian defense industry has then had enough time to get it's act together and transform to the wartime economy Russians are obviously preparing. Perfect example of this is Iran. Iran had all it's military bought and brought from the West and after the revolution there was no support for these weapon systems and sanctions have basically continued up until to this day. And now Iran is selling Russia unmanned areal vehicles. All the talk about Russia not having chips and all the problems that have been countered in the Russian arms manufacturing lines won't be a problem year after year. When there's a will, there's finally a way.

    Countries don't transform the arms manufacturing from peace-time to wartime in an instant. The small expensive batches cannot be turned into cheaper and sustained mass production in an instant. The pledges of the German chancellor to dramatically increase military speding last year is a great example of this: it simply hasn't happened what he promised a year ago. Yet if this large scale conventional war slogs it's way to 2024, then there has been years to adapt to the new normal.
  • Paine
    2.1k

    Those calculations make sense but whether Russia can really find a work around to the sanctions is the big strategic question.

    I follow the general idea that time is not on Ukraine's side.
  • ssu
    8.1k
    Those calculations make sense but whether Russia can really find a work around to the sanctions is the big strategic question.Paine
    Russia is a police state and has firm control of it's citizens. If it's GDP actually goes down 15%, it doesn't matter for Putin. Sanctions and economic problems aren't your biggest problem when you are fighting a large conventional war. Just look at Ukraine: every tenth Ukrainian is out of the country and not producing to the GDP. There is a mere trickle of wheat and grain exports from Ukraine, Russia is bombing it's infrastructure every day. Ukraine's GDP shrank by -30% or so last year.

    Is Zelensky going to be fired because of the bad economic situation? No.

    And neither will the hidden recession (caused by the tough sanctions) be an existential question for Putin's survival. Russia accounts for 10% of the worldwide oil output. The world cannot go on chugging along with 90% of global oil production, hence Russia will find buyers for it's oil. And if it can sell it for the lower price that it has to sell it, then it's OK.

    I think the reason why we believe so much on sanctions is because if we would get similar treatment, the recession it would produce would likely make the present administration be the past administration after the next elections. But Russia cannot elect their leaders, not by democratic elections.

    I follow the general idea that time is not on Ukraine's side.Paine
    That's the worrying part.
  • neomac
    1.3k
    I'm not 'dishonestly' framing things the way it suits me. I'm doing so openly and honestl. The only difference between us is your dishonesty in pretending that you're doing otherwise. You defend the status quo and your rhetoric is designed to do that, just as mine is designed to oppose it.Isaac

    Yes you are framing things the way it suits you. And you did again in this comment. Claiming that Hersh’s article has not been suppressed having in mind how suppression of free press is actually practiced under authoritarian regimes is no rhetoric. It’s literally accurate. Your evoking the idea of “suppression” to comment the mainstream news outlets’ reception of Hersh’ article is a rhetoric trick (which I should “tolerate” to not sound “pedantic”) and is meant to suggest an equivalence between such treatment and the actual suppression perpetrated by authoritarian regimes. That’s what your militant rhetoric is designed to achieve. This associative talking and thinking is manipulative, typical of the worst propaganda. I don’t need such intellectually miserable tricks to make my point about Hersh’s article as you do. And that’s the key difference between me and you.


    Ignored, avoided, dismissed? Even if political interference might have obstructed Hersh’s publication in Western media (which doesn’t automatically imply that the article is accurate though), yet I see another problem: Hersh preferred self-publishing over going to mainstream media. So he might have been served the same cold treatment he himself served to the mainstream media. — neomac

    Might he? And what would posses mainstream media to act like a bunch of teenage girls in that respect? Is this the credible institution you laud? One which does not investigate serious allegations against the government because they came from someone who turned them down as a publication route? What are they, twelve?


    In the end, he could have always tried to sell his article to mainstream publishers, and after rejection he could have still self-published his article plus take revenge against mainstream publishers by publicly denouncing their refusal to publish his extraordinary piece. — neomac

    Yep, could have. Or, could not have. What difference does that make?

    I was making a general point. Here is a list of American media outlets with different political bias: — neomac

    I was asking you which of those had power? Which of those can cause the US government to act in a way it wouldn't otherwise?

    The same mainstream news outlets publishing experts and academics criticising Nato enlargement, American military aid to Ukraine, American refusing to negotiate with Russia, etc. could have published Hersh’s article as well. And take credit for it, if Hersh’s article turns out to be accurate. — neomac


    Yep. they could have. Or, again, they could not have. I don't see where this line of enquiry is going. What does it matter that Hersh could have not self-published? Editorial oversight is not the same as peer review. It's not like a scientific journal. Editors publish stories they think will sell papers, their decision is based on that and that alone, they're not Gods, there's no Secret Society of Editors dedicated to Truth. They have no special insight, no tools to get at the truth denied ordinary folk. They're just people, like Hersh.
    Isaac

    1 - I’m not lauding mainstream news media. That’s another example of exaggeration, caricature, distortion of what the reality is. The fact that I’m relying on them as many do out of necessity, and as a default entry point also for all news alternative sources may find contentious, it doesn’t mean that I do not have a critical understanding of their function and limits, nor it means that I’m ready to replace Western mainstream news with Hersh, substack, jacobin.com, or Tass. The latter too may misinform, run political agendas, and suffer from conflicts of interests. What’s worse is that the latter might more easily nurture the fanaticism of certain people trying to convince the less fanatics that they know better or they could do better because they have a more fervid imagination or more morally noble intentions. And their outraged sarcasm, caricaturing, insults against their opponents should prove it beyond any doubt, especially if their targets show intolerance and childishness by daring to protest against such an unfair treatment.
    2 - I already explained the difference. “The inconvenient upshot of such a counterfactual [trying to sell and then being rejected] might have been to solicit a public report on the reasons why his article got rejected by the mainstream publishers, something Hersh might have been interested to avoid”. In other words, we might have ended up having more evidences to assess Hersh’s article credibility vs mainstream media credibility: maybe the Washington Post or NYT would have accepted to publish his article, or maybe they would have rejected it because they fact-checked the article or identified his anonymous source and in either case his article was questionable, or maybe they would have rejected it without further comments but this might have been suspicious, etc.
    3 - I can’t nor need to predict under what conditions Western mainstream news media can influence any specific American policy. Lamenting the treatment Hersh’s self-published article received by the American mainstream news media must pertinently presuppose the belief that such news media have a certain capacity of shaping the general consensus around the American government foreign policies and influence it accordingly.
    4 - News platforms, mainstream and non-mainstream (like icij or propublica), may scrutinise more or less rigorously the pieces they publish in terms of fact checking, identification/assessment of the sources of information (like anonymous sources), and legal counseling/vetting (in case of legal consequences), especially in the case of controversial content. So it’s not just matter of selling newspapers and newsworthiness (was this the case, Hersh’s article is arguably very much newsworthy). Indeed, in that very interview I linked previously, Hersh himself claims that for his self-published article he worked with a team of editors, fact-checkers, and at-that-time “known” anonymous sources to address the interviewers’ concerns about the reliability of his piece (in addition to self-promoting remarks, I mean).
    Besides the claim “they have no special insight, no tools to get at the truth denied ordinary folk. They're just people, like Hersh” is obviously false: investigative journalism no matter if independent or not, is a specialised profession often relying on conditions (like special permissions granted only to professional journalists) and a network of informers (like anonymous inside witness and leakers), normally not available to ordinary folks.




    a pluralistic media and political environment may constrain news agencies’ misinformation more likely than under authoritarian regimes. — neomac

    Yes. I don't see anyone disagreeing with that. Are you suggesting the only two choices we have are Western corporate-infused media as we have it now, or authoritarianism? Is that really the limit of your imagination?
    Isaac

    In the Western-like pluralistic system one can find e.g. mainstream news outlets, independent investigative platforms (like propublica and icij), self-publishing platforms (like Substack), OSINT sources, academic papers platforms, etc. and different political orientations. That’s pluralistic and free enough compared to what one can get in authoritarian regimes like Russia, China, Iran, Nord Korea. And for that reason worth preserving.
    Said that, you shouldn’t convince me that is generically possible or desirable to improve the Western information system we currently have, if that’s what you’re trying to do with your pretentious questions. That’s easy to concede: between preserving and improving, I’d prefer improving of course. What you failed to do so far however, is to convince me that spreading anti-mainstream narratives no matter if they are accurate because it’s an emergency is the best way to improve the system. Actually I suspect this is part of the problem, more likely so if insults, sarcasm, caricatures are the best counterarguments you can offer.


    in the specific case of Hersh’s article about Nord Stream 2, why exactly couldn’t he? — neomac

    Simply put, all mainstream media is either directly owned by, or relies on revenue from, large corporations whose interests drive the editorial agenda. If it's in no corporate interest to publish a highly speculative story about US involvement in the Nord Stream bombings, then none will. Hersh seems to have concluded that to be the case sufficiently often to choose to rely on his own income stream. That decision having been made, he's hardly in a position to sacrifice it by giving the scoop to someone else. Self-employment isn't nefarious, it's not some oddity in need of explanation.
    Isaac

    I’ll repeat it once more. Hersh could have sold his piece to some Western mainstream news outlets (not given his scoop to somebody else for free or without acknowledgment). There are several, inside and outside the US , with different political orientations, and some critical toward Biden’s administration and his foreign policy (there are plenty of articles in mainstream outlets against NATO enlargement, military aid to Ukraine, refusal of peace negotiations, etc.). Besides there are also platforms for independent investigative journalism. The reputed ones apply some internal reviewing of the piece before publication, understandably so because no matter what economic and political reasons can distort such process, yet there might be reputational and legal hazards at the expense of the publisher to be assessed and addressed. Self-publishing spares the author such process imposed by another publisher.
    The kind of argument Hersh himself offered in that interview sound overly vague, erratic and colloquial to me, so there is room for speculation about his reasons for self-publishing (and relying on his actual statements would be more persuasive than guessing Hersh’s reasons out of your understanding of how mainstream media work) but we can not speculate about the reasons why his article got rejected by mainstream outlets such as Washington Post and NYT, because according to Hersh this didn’t happen (so his article neither got suppressed by the government nor rejected by mainstream news outlets). As he himself indirectly suggested, the combination of new technologies for self-publishing (like this “amazing” Substack) and polarised politics (which we are left to assume Hersh is averse to), created the conditions enabling (self-promoting?) independent journalists to compete with mainstream media for audience and reputation. His self-interested remarks plus innuendoes at the expense of the NYT (one might wonder if he ever got burned by one of his anonymous sources though) or lamenting the “doom for good reporting on newspapers” are pointing in that direction “in the long run” (not to mention that he seems to be in good company on this “amazing” Substack https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/01/27/substack-misinformation-anti-vaccine/). But if we are talking about competition, then it’s in the corporate interest of the publisher to minimise the impact of the competitor, certainly not to promote it (this is something also people older than 12 can understand, I guess), especially if the mainstream outlets had reasons to suspect that Hersh self-published because his article couldn’t pass a stricter review, or if the mainstream outlets were warned about a line of investigation more plausible (or more convenient?) than Hersh’s by their own anonymous insiders, because in this case they also had pretexts along with motives.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    Claiming that Hersh’s article has not been suppressed having in mind how suppression of free press is actually practiced under authoritarian regimes is no rhetoric. It’s literally accurate. Your evoking the idea of “suppression” to comment the mainstream news outlets’ reception of Hersh’ article ...is meant to suggest an equivalence between such treatment and the actual suppression perpetrated by authoritarian regimes. That’s what your militant rhetoric is designed to achieve.neomac

    I don't know what to say. If your head is really so far up your own arse that you can't even contemplate the idea that your rhetoric is anything but "literally accurate" whilst that of anyone who disagrees is "propaganda", then it's clear why we are at such an impasse. But in case there's just a glimmer of light...

    ...having in mind...neomac

    ...is rhetoric. What you "have in mind", the context in which you express opposition, the language game in which you determine the meaning of terms... that's rhetoric.

    I’m not lauding mainstream news media. That’s another example of exaggeration, caricature, distortion of what the reality is.neomac

    As opposed to...

    militant rhetoricneomac

    manipulative, typical of the worst propagandaneomac

    intellectually miserable tricksneomac

    ...which I suppose you'll hold to be "literally accurate"?

    I use the word 'lauding' to express your apparent sense of trustworthiness and that's a "exaggeration, caricature, distortion of what the reality is", but painting me a a militant wanting to bring about a return to some Putin-led authoritarianism is apparently "literally accurate"?

    the latter might more easily nurture the fanaticism of certain people trying to convince the less fanatics that they know better or they could do better because they have a more fervid imagination or more morally noble intentions.neomac

    Why? What mechanisms are in place in mainstream media to prevent people writing in those outlets from "trying to convince the less fanatics that they know better or they could do better because they have a more fervid imagination or more morally noble intentions"?

    we might have ended up having more evidences to assess Hersh’s article credibility vs mainstream media credibility: maybe the Washington Post or NYT would have accepted to publish his article, or maybe they would have rejected it because they fact-checked the article or identified his anonymous source and in either case his article was questionable, or maybe they would have rejected it without further comments but this might have been suspicious, etc.neomac

    Why? What mechanisms are in place in mainstream media to ensure, or promote the discovery/use of "more evidences" if a story is published there than if one is self-published?

    News platforms, mainstream and non-mainstream (like icij or propublica), may scrutinise more or less rigorously the pieces they publish in terms of fact checking, identification/assessment of the sources of information (like anonymous sources), and legal counseling/vetting (in case of legal consequences), especially in the case of controversial content.neomac

    Yep. Or they may not. Do you have anything beyond idle speculation?

    So it’s not just matter of selling newspapers and newsworthinessneomac

    No. Your evidence says "may", you can't conclude an "is not" from a "may". Pretty basic stuff. It "may not" be just a matter of selling newspapers... or it may be, depending on the outcome of any evidence that this "scrutinising" that you tell us "may" happen actually is, you know... happening.

    Hersh himself claims that for his self-published article he worked with a team of editors, fact-checkers, and at-that-time “known” anonymous sources to address the interviewers’ concerns about the reliability of his pieceneomac

    So... the mainstream would have done what differently?

    the claim “they have no special insight, no tools to get at the truth denied ordinary folk. They're just people, like Hersh” is obviously false: investigative journalism no matter if independent or not, is a specialised profession often relying on conditions (like special permissions granted only to professional journalists) and a network of informers (like anonymous inside witness and leakers), normally not available to ordinary folks.neomac

    Hersh is an investigative journalist.

    What you failed to do so far however, is to convince me that spreading anti-mainstream narratives no matter if they are accurate because it’s an emergency is the best way to improve the system. Actually I suspect this is part of the problem, more likely so if insults, sarcasm, caricatures are the best counterarguments you can offer.neomac

    I'm not trying to convince you.

    I’ll repeat it once more. Hersh could have sold his piece to some Western mainstream news outletsneomac

    It doesn't get more true the more you repeat it.

    there are also platforms for independent investigative journalism. The reputed ones apply some internal reviewing of the piece before publicationneomac

    Do they? Using what methods?

    there might be reputational and legal hazards at the expense of the publisher to be assessed and addressedneomac

    Are self-published authors immune from prosecution? That's news to me.

    not to mention that he seems to be in good company on this “amazing” Substackneomac

    Brilliant. The mainstream media must be right because people not on the mainstream media are wrong because the mainstream media says so. Got to hand it to you guys, you come up with the very best in utter bullshit.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    Adding to earlier observations, this Kremlin crap ...

    Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has said Moscow’s ultimate goal in Ukraine is to topple the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, an apparent pivot from the Kremlin’s earlier stance.
    Lavrov made the comments in Egypt at the beginning of a tour of Africa, where the top diplomat has sought to raise support while downplaying Russia’s role in blocking grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
    He told envoys at an Arab League summit in Cairo late on Sunday that Moscow was determined to help Ukrainians “liberate themselves from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime.”
    He also said Kyiv and “its Western allies” were spreading propaganda intended to ensure that Ukraine “becomes the eternal enemy of Russia.”
    “Russian and Ukrainian people would continue to live together, we will certainly help Ukrainian people to get rid of the regime, which is absolutely anti-people and anti-historical,” he said.
    Lavrov’s remarks contrasted with the Kremlin’s stated position in the days following the February 24 invasion, when Russian officials said they sought to “denazify” and “demilitarise” Ukraine and downplayed the prospect of overthrowing Zelenskyy’s government.
    Russia will help Ukrainians ‘get rid of regime’, says Lavrov · Al Jazeera · Jul 25, 2022

    Russia says it wants to end Ukraine’s `unacceptable regime’
    — Susie Blann · AP News · Jul 25, 2022

    There are no reasons for a transition of the situation in Ukraine to a peaceful course; achieving of the goals of the special operation is currently only possible by military means, Peskov said.RIA News · Mar 13, 2023

    ... goes to show a kind of transparent reality-removed sentiment (assuming it's genuine). Kyiv called it "schizophrenic". :D Naturally, it's up to the Kremlin to tell others what they think, want, etc, and if they don't comply then it's the bombs and the mercs. But, aims of the Kremlin are implicitly being put out there. Not surprising though, it's an MO.

    Georgia: Wikipedia 2008
    Moldova: RFE/RL Feb 9, 2023; VOA Feb 13, 2023; WSJ Feb 22, 2023; Reuters Mar 10, 2023; Yahoo Mar 14, 2023; WION Mar 17, 2023; CNN Mar 18, 2023
    Belarus: DW Feb 21, 2023; Telegraph Feb 21, 2023; MSNBC Feb 21, 2023 6m:46s; bne Feb 23, 2023
  • SophistiCat
    2.2k
    And if it was as Hersh says it was, it's really a panicky bad choice for Biden to make: Germany wasn't going to go for Nordstream gas anyway as there was no energy Armageddon or even one blackout in Germany this winter.ssu

    By that time Germany had already reduced its dependence on Russian gas from ~50% to ~9% and was on course to eliminate it entirely. And it wasn't getting any gas from Nord Stream anyway, since the Russians had already shut it down indefinitely in an apparent attempt to cause as much pain for Europe as they could before they lost their leverage entirely.
  • boethius
    2.2k
    Right, this argument is basically that the only thing important to us is to influence our own governments and since we aren't nationals of foreign countries, it's needless to talk about them, think about them at all and hence we can totally disregard them.ssu

    I use pretty clear language that it's a primary responsibility what we actually have power over.

    As for Russia, our Western governments (in Europe by deferring to the US to set the policy and accepting a position essentially of irrelevancy on the issue) refer to Russia as our rival / enemy, constantly talk of "containing" Russia, move missile bases closer to Russia on obviously spurious purposes and then stage a coup, get "there man" in power, build up military assets in Ukraine, arm Nazi groups (violating our own Western laws we had to pass because the optics were so bad) ...

    And then Russia (our stated enemy) attacks our "ally-but-not" Ukraine.

    What do you expect to happen?

    If Russia's so "bad" ok well that would explain why their our enemy, but why would we expect anything other than bad things from our enemy?

    If Russia isn't so bad, Putin not literally equivalent to Hitler, then clearly we've made an enemy for no reason and have brought about the destruction of Ukraine for no purpose while, especially in Europe, harming our own interests in the process.

    Now, I've consistently asked that, ok, assuming Russia is so bad, what's the actual plan to "defeat" the baddies?

    How can the drip feed of arms to keep Ukraine on life support but with zero chances of winning on military terms helping Ukraine?

    Suddenly we're sending tanks ... so all those apologists for the drip feed policy that bent over backwards and got themselves into so many knots to explain that we "cant' send tanks" for reason or then tanks wouldn't actually be useful, Ukraine doesn't need them, for more reasons etc. turn out to be totally wrong.

    We can send tanks, and we are ... but why now? Because, once again, we level up the arms support only when that is not actually an escalation in actual power terms.

    In the time the West has been discussing sending Tanks, the Russians have consolidated their lines, built up sophisticated defences, called up hundreds of thousands of additional troops. Not only have the Ukrainians lost significant number of tanks and tank crews in inferior tanks during this time, but providing tanks now still represents long lead times of training and building out the supply chain and maintenance skills, which are significant training and logistical challenges in peace time.

    The problem with this thinking is that it leads simplistic navel gazing where absolutely everything evolves around in the end the US and everyone else is either a pawn or a victim of the Superpower. And people thinking like this don't understand just how condescending they are toward others and how it leads to faulty conclusions.ssu

    Actual criticism and holding our governments to account, is literally the opposite of navel gazing.

    Navel gazing would be the just assuming the policy can't be criticised, can't be changed, and then just despondently muttering "chucks" as Russia wins the war and totally destroys Ukraine. That's navel gazing.

    Navel gazing is just declaring the war is just, the Western policies just, Russia is bad, and therefore we are not responsible for the outcome of pouring in billions of Euros of weapons. If it's counter productive to Ukrainian welfare ... well our hearts were in the right place and we have nice navels we were checking out ... all those single or widowed Ukrainian woman too that we can now integrate into our society's to boost the labour pool and the birthrate, we've had out eye keenly on those navels too.

    Now, is there a pathway to Ukrainian "victory"? No one in this discussion nor any where else have described it, and that's simply in conventional means. Russia can completely destroy Ukraine with nuclear weapons on a few minutes notice. Is that a good thing? Obviously not. But they can and it's just reality we have to deal with.

    A reality that is the actual reason for the drip feed arms support policy: go to far, actually place Russian forces in a position of "losing", and not only the cost-benefit to the use of nuclear weapons changes but there's also the justification (to Russians and their partners). Would there be "enough" justification? Who knows, it would be a big gamble but so too would be simply losing the war in conventional terms (which I do not dispute that Nato has the power to do, and even through Ukraine as a proxy at least at the start of the war--it maybe simply not feasible now as the drip feed policy has been successful), but what we definitely do know is that Western policy has been not to find out what Russia would do if nuclear weapons was the only military resort to salvage the situation, how effective Russian nuclear weapons would be, and how ordinary Russians and Russia's partners would react to the use of nuclear weapons. NATO could find out the answers to these questions, but chooses not to.

    But what's then the result? Ukraine loses the war in the most destructive mode possible short of nuclear weapons.

    Is this good for Ukrainians? Even Zelensky doesn't make that argument, but that Ukraine is fighting for "Western values" and Europes interest, not Ukrainians.

    First of all, to have a good understanding of international relations, politics and the overall international situation is by itself a valuable thing. It's worth wile discussing by itself. Not to discuss Russia and it's actions, because we don't have a way to influence the country, is a quite absurd idea.ssu

    We obviously have been discussing Russias actions, so it's not clear where this idea comes from. Your issue is that I don't support Western policies.

    As for simply morally evaluating Russias actions in themselves, I've made it clear that I'd take interest in that subject after the war is over and the imperative to determine what we actually do now no longer takes precedence over philosophical speculation. However, I've invited people who care to make the argument so that I could just review it and agree with it and made my position clear that an argument condemning Russia's invasion would either need to likewise condemn US/NATO invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, and intervention in Libya and Syria or then explain what's different. US felt Iraq was a threat to national security, invaded, caused the deaths of over a million Iraqis, turns out the evidence was fabricated; well, if this is moral nevertheless, certainly Russia's actions are far more moral considering no one disputes the bio labs in Ukraine and, regardless of their true nature and purpose, certainly actual labs that exist are more threatening than labs that don't exist at all (again, a fact no one now disputes about Iraq).

    However, ok, let's say someone does the actual work of supporting their position (based on a moral condemnation of Russia rather than the US is simply looking out for the US's interest in maintaining their hegemonic status, which so far is the only actual argument that tries to justify the US's policy: it's in their hegemonic interest to so) ... well, what do we do about it? Why is supplying arms to Ukraine in a drip feed manner without any chance of victory a reasonable policy even assuming the "West good / Russia bad" suppositions?

    And if for you this thing, the war in Ukraine, is something comparable to being a political activist or caring about Uganda, the war in Ukraine is quite real for me as it has had effects on my life with the Finnish military training on an intensity never seen even during the Cold War. And I've never seen the Russian border here so empty of any traffic.ssu

    The reason to mention Uganda and Saudi Arabia and so on, is to point out the duplicitous and self serving nature of this "What about Russia!" argument. The policy of our Western governments is that what nation states do is not our concern insofar as they serve our interests.

    Why would I care about the West's moral evaluation of Russia if the West doesn't apply that standard when it's inconvenient?
  • Tzeentch
    3.4k
    Why is supplying arms to Ukraine in a drip feed manner without any chance of victory a reasonable policy even assuming the "West good / Russia bad" suppositions?boethius

    My view has been that the outcome of the Ukraine war is not all that relevant to the United States, and that their intent has been to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia, and to remilitarize Europe.

    Renewed great power conflict is coming, and I think the United States feared Europe would not pick a side if war would break out between China (likely joined by Russia) and the US in the Pacific.


    Firstly, because the Europeans didn't have any militaries to speak of. Secondly, because the Europeans and Russians were mostly getting along. Thirdly, because European loyalty towards the United States has been diminishing since the end of the Cold War.


    By pursuing a military alliance with Ukraine, a major Russian reaction was guaranteed. The Russians promised us as much over the course of some fifteen years.


    The drip feed strategy is cheap and non-committal.

    - Europe is pressured into supporting Ukraine, which essentially puts it at war with Russia.

    - By providing arms to Ukraine, Europe further hollows out their already token military forces. That will either force them to revamp their militaries, or to be under permanent military threat from Russia.

    - This is further amplified by the fact that Russia is forced to mobilize and expand and develop its military.


    The reason I believe this theory is quite plausible, is because:
    1. The US knew Russia would react this way to their efforts to incorporate Ukraine into the western security structure.
    2. The US never seemed truly committed to defending Ukraine militarily, even though it was clear from the onset that Ukraine would lose without US/NATO military intervention.


    In other words, they knowingly provoked a conflict in which they were not committed to victory. In my view that can only mean that victory was never the objective.
  • boethius
    2.2k
    My view has been that the outcome of the Ukraine war is not all that relevant to the United States, and that their intent has been to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia, and to remilitarize Europe.Tzeentch

    I completely agree the primary goal is to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe.

    I'd also agree a secondary goal is to remilitarize Europe.

    However, I disagree it's vis-a-vis war with China.

    Remilitarizing Europe brings in mad arms contractor cash, so is just a bonus in the situation.

    The US cannot win a war with China and there are too many corporate inconveniences to such a war.

    Furthermore, if you actually wanted to fight a war with China you'd be super friendly to Russia so that their nuclear submarines and so on aren't a factor and likewise reduce the likelihood of a two front war as much as possible. What you would want is to start your war with China and Russia is in the position that it's not its business.

    Europe has no military relevance in the Pacific and that can't change in a reasonable time frame in any case and trading with China is by sea which would be blockaded in such a scenario, which the US could do so what Europe's policy would be (like usual) doesn't matter.

    Rather, precisely because the US has no appetite for war with China, the writing is on the wall for the US empire and the US dollar.

    With this war in Ukraine, and separating Europe from Russian resources, the US is destroying the viability of the Euro as a alternative to the dollar. Russia and China can do their own thing but you'd never get "the world" switching to Renminbi or Rubbles or any combination of BRICS moneys.

    The best bet for the US dollar is a fractured world and totally subservient Europe.

    One thing you learn in the corporate world: it's always about the money.

    I see no reason that would not continue to be the case.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    FYI, some graphs and such from around the time of the invasion ...

    lcwyiubgo8l66mal.jpg
    ↑ Source: The Graphic Truth: How do Russia and Ukraine stack up? · Gabrielle Debinski, Annie Gugliotta · GZERO Media · Feb 15, 2022

    Russia and Ukraine's Military Strength: Same Data, Different Visualizations
    — Juan Pablo Garnica Munévar · Datasketch · Feb 25, 2022

    National aid relative to national economy:

    lx2ihlzifvelj26m.jpg
    ↑ Source: The Countries Pulling Their Weight in Ukraine Aid · Martin Armstrong · Statista · Oct 21, 2022

    Some numbers by country (go to source for higher resolution):

    nhtz3jepv6naifgk.jpg
    ↑ Source: West continues arms supplies to Ukraine as war drags into 2nd year · Burc Eruygur, Elena Teslova · Anadolu Agency · Feb 25, 2023

    Nitty gritty details ...

    Ukraine Support Tracker
    — Katelyn Bushnell, André Frank, Lukas Franz, Ivan Kharitonov, Stefan Schramm, Christoph Trebesch · Kiel Institute · ongoing
    Arms Transfers to Ukraine
    — Forum on the Arms Trade · ongoing
    List of humanitarian aid to Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian War
    — Wikipedia · ongoing
    List of military aid to Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian War
    — Wikipedia · ongoing

    How can Ukraine deal with large Russian numbers/resources?
    How can Russia deal with large Ukrainian aid/resources?

    While the mercs are levelling Bakhmut, Russian military may be digging trenches in Crimea.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    missile bases closer to Russiaboethius

    Like these (Oct 16, 2022)?

    Russia can completely destroy Ukraine with nuclear weapons on a few minutes notice. Is that a good thing? Obviously not. But they can and it's just reality we have to deal with.boethius

    If they could, then they could level Poland, Finland, Moldova, Belarus, Slovakia, or ..., just the same. Perhaps the UK, though the distance is greater (they have mentioned/joked so, too). This is an open-ended threat.

    invasion of Iraqboethius

    ... have been fairly consistently and openly criticized (including by Americans), as well it should.

    Opinion: ‘At my first meeting with Saddam Hussein, within 30 seconds, he knew two things about me,’ says FBI interrogator
    — Peter Bergen · CNN · Mar 21, 2023

    Critique hasn't been shut down like it might have elsewhere (then again, it wasn't a land grab). Might be more to come.

    NATO has also helped dull national attention to defense. Switzerland and Sweden have a tradition of neutrality. Maybe those days are over?Jan 13, 2023
    the United States[’] intent has been [...] to remilitarize EuropeTzeentch

    ... or to have Europe (re)learn sufficient self-defense?

    the Europeans didn't have any militaries to speak ofTzeentch

    Lots of diverse Europeans in the US and vice versa. Worrying must be tiresome.

    Obama urges NATO members to pull their weight
    — Nolan D McCaskill · POLITICO · Nov 15, 2016
    NATO allies boost defense spending in the wake of Trump criticism
    — Michael Birnbaum, Thomas Gibbons-Neff · The Washington Post · Jun 28, 2017

    that Russia is forced to mobilize and expand and develop its militaryTzeentch

    Forced? No. (For that matter, they're not forced to keep Belarus on such a tight leash.) Putin has chosen (the tradition of) harsh/uncompromising dominance/control.
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    Uh-oh, here we go again ...

    UK accuses Russia of disinformation over depleted uranium
    — Jessie Gretener, Darya Tarasova, Jack Guy · CNN · Mar 21, 2023

    Today it became known that Great Britain, through the mouth of the deputy head of the Ministry of Defense of this country, announced not only the supply of tanks to Ukraine, but also shells with combined uranium. I would like to note that if all this happens, Russia will have to react accordingly. I mean that the collective West is already starting to use weapons with a nuclear component.Putin

    considerably less radioactive than natural uraniumInternational Atomic Energy Agency

    [...] the British Army has used depleted uranium in its armour piercing shells for decades. It is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities. Russia knows this, but is deliberately trying to disinform. Independent research by scientists from groups such as the Royal Society has assessed that any impact to personal health and the environment from the use of depleted uranium munitions is likely to be low.Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)

    By the way, I'm not sure the phrase "personal health" is appropriate here. :)
  • jorndoe
    3.4k
    The story of a defector to Russia, John McIntyre, told by various sources (including McIntyre), some anecdotal, some corroborated ...

    Feb 28, 2023 · via Russia Today · Murad Gazdiev
    Mar 01, 2023 · via Newsweek · Ellie Cook
    Mar 02, 2023 · via Task and Purpose · Jeff Schogol · has 17m:18s AV
    Mar 18, 2023 · via Business Insider · Alia Shoaib, Bethany Dawson · has 17m:18s AV

    There are more defectors from Russia than to Russia, making this one kind of unique.
    His former teams mates / colleagues didn't exactly have flattering words for him, but this, in turn, brings the protocols of the International Legion into question.
    I guess communism remains associated with Russia, though the political system isn't — a bit odd.
  • ssu
    8.1k
    By that time Germany had already reduced its dependence on Russian gas from ~50% to ~9% and was on course to eliminate it entirely. And it wasn't getting any gas from Nord Stream anyway, since the Russians had already shut it down indefinitely in an apparent attempt to cause as much pain for Europe as they could before they lost their leverage entirely.SophistiCat
    And thus the decision to do this would be just bizarre.

    I use pretty clear language that it's a primary responsibility what we actually have power over.boethius
    First and foremost, we discuss these issues here to understand them. We discuss here a lot of issues to understand them better, to have insights and to get the feel what others think. To know and understand what is happening in international politics is very important. To have feedback on what total strangers think of your ideas is good, because people in this Forum aren't totally clueless.

    Responsibility? We are going to have elections, so you could say that to vote in a democracy is a responsibility. If you talk about responsibility, well, I have the responsibility to train myself and my fellow reservists well if there would be a conflict between my country and one neighboring country of ours. Keeping That would have even more effect on my life than this crisis already has.
  • ssu
    8.1k
    What do you expect to happen?

    If Russia's so "bad" ok well that would explain why their our enemy, but why would we expect anything other than bad things from our enemy?

    If Russia isn't so bad, Putin not literally equivalent to Hitler, then clearly we've made an enemy for no reason and have brought about the destruction of Ukraine for no purpose while, especially in Europe, harming our own interests in the process.

    Now, I've consistently asked that, ok, assuming Russia is so bad, what's the actual plan to "defeat" the baddies?
    boethius
    How have we made an enemy "for no reason"?

    Putin chose to annex territory from Ukraine when Ukraine was suffering from a revolution. Then last year he went all in to annex a lot more with the plan to install a puppet government. To sideline the "Make Russia Great again" and just to think this is only reactionary development to the West is simply ignorant of the facts. If Russia wanted to stop US spreading it's control, it could do so just like it did in Central Asia. Just by waiting and not being openly hostile to the countries (like annexing territories). Imagine how different the World would be without Putin annexing Crimea in 2014. Europe wouldn't be rearming, likely it would have continued to disarm itself and there would be far more friends of Russia than now. The whole idea of an European country invading another would seem as pure fantasy.

    And plan to "defeat the baddies"? Why is this such a problem?

    How about the treaty of Portsmouth of 1905?

    How about the peace of Riga 1921?

    How about the treaty of Brest-Litovsk 1918?

    I could go on, but in all above Russia / Soviet Union existed afterwards, and was OK accepting peace terms that it originally wasn't ready to submit. And was defeated or fought to a stand still on the battlefield. So what on Earth is the problem??? History shows clearly that when faced with a disaster on the battlefield, Russia will bow down in wars of aggression that it itself has started.

    It's a bit different if you are trying to take Moscow as a foreing invader...
  • ssu
    8.1k
    Thanks for very interesting links!

    In the first graph about military personnel, this refers to peacetime and not the present. I've heard that basically Ukraine has a pool of 700 000 somewhat trained people to complement it's armed forces. How many can be given equipment and put into a combat unit is the real question. This is basically a well guarded secret, I guess.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    First and foremost, we discuss these issues here to understand them. We discuss here a lot of issues to understand them better, to have insights and to get the feel what others think. To know and understand what is happening in international politics is very important. To have feedback on what total strangers think of your ideas is good, because people in this Forum aren't totally clueless.ssu

    Well. We're 450 pages in. A quick summary wouldn't be out of place.

    What exactly have you 'understood' differently to how you came into this discussion 450 pages ago? What are the key takeaways you've learned from the not "totally clueless" forum members who've given you feedback on your ideas?
  • Tzeentch
    3.4k
    The US cannot win a war with China and there are too many corporate inconveniences to such a war.boethius

    That might be true. In my view some form of violent conflict in the Pacific is simply inevitable, whether nations want it or not.

    Taiwan and Korea are obvious flashpoints, almost guaranteed to boil over if the US is going to make any effort at maintaining its influence, which I'm assuming it will.

    Furthermore, if you actually wanted to fight a war with China you'd be super friendly to Russia...boethius

    This was tried by the US, but Russia rejected it, because they feared ending up as de facto US vassals like Europe.

    The problem for the US is that nations have caught onto its strategy of keeping Eurasia divided, which it does in order to avoid a peer competitor from rising. (theories by Mackinder, Brzezinski, Wolfowitz, etc.)

    Both Russia and China seem to be aware of this, which is why their unlikely alliance has taken form, and why it is unlikely to change while the US remains the world's dominant superpower.

    The only power on the Eurasian continent that seems unaware of how the cookie crumbles is Europe.
  • neomac
    1.3k
    Claiming that Hersh’s article has not been suppressed having in mind how suppression of free press is actually practiced under authoritarian regimes is no rhetoric. It’s literally accurate. Your evoking the idea of “suppression” to comment the mainstream news outlets’ reception of Hersh’ article ...is meant to suggest an equivalence between such treatment and the actual suppression perpetrated by authoritarian regimes. That’s what your militant rhetoric is designed to achieve. — neomac


    I don't know what to say. If your head is really so far up your own arse that you can't even contemplate the idea that your rhetoric is anything but "literally accurate" whilst that of anyone who disagrees is "propaganda", then it's clear why we are at such an impasse. But in case there's just a glimmer of light...

    ...having in mind... — neomac


    ...is rhetoric. What you "have in mind", the context in which you express opposition, the language game in which you determine the meaning of terms... that's rhetoric.
    Isaac

    And the context that gives meaning to the term “suppression” the way you used it, is exactly the one I previously described, namely one that given the clash between the US/NATO and Russia tries to blur the differences between news suppression under authoritarian regimes and “news suppression” under democratic regimes by surreptitiously stretching and deforming the meaning of the words like “suppression” (to the point of making such clumsy claim “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”, as if not being fine is enough to talk about being suppressed). Not surprisingly you are in good company with such militant terminology:
    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202303/1287409.shtml
    https://tass.com/world/1584753

    And no, you do not get to decide for me what “rhetoric” means:

    a: skill in the effective use of speech
    b: a type or mode of language or speech
    also : insincere or grandiloquent language


    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rhetoric

    speech or writing that is intended to influence or impress people, but which is often insincere or lacking in meaningful content

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english-french/rhetoric

    (formal, often disapproving) speech or writing that is intended to influence people, but that is not completely honest or sincere
    https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/rhetoric?q=rhetoric



    I’m not lauding mainstream news media. That’s another example of exaggeration, caricature, distortion of what the reality is. — neomac

    As opposed to...

    militant rhetoric — neomac

    manipulative, typical of the worst propaganda — neomac

    intellectually miserable tricks — neomac

    ...which I suppose you'll hold to be "literally accurate"?
    Isaac

    You supposed right. Let me repeat it once more: your militant rhetoric and intellectually miserable tricks are manipulative, typical of the worst propaganda. This is a literally accurate description of your attitude in most, if not all, posts you addressed to me and not only.

    I use the word 'lauding' to express your apparent sense of trustworthiness and that's a "exaggeration, caricature, distortion of what the reality is", but painting me a a militant wanting to bring about a return to some Putin-led authoritarianism is apparently "literally accurate"?Isaac

    Again I didn't "laud" the mainstream media in general, nor in particular for ignoring Hersh's article (which neither got suppressed by the government nor rejected by mainstream outlets, as far as I know). That's an exaggeration. I’m relying on the Western media system for the simple reason that is free and pluralistic enough that any truth against the government has more chances to become mainstream than under any authoritarian regime media system. I don't feel pressed to take a position wrt Hersh's article, nor I need Hersh’s article to suspect about the American involvement in Nord Stream 2 sabotage.
    And I'm not painting you something you are not. I find literally correct to call you militant and your arguments propaganda based on what you actually said and how you said it. Indeed I always quoted you and argued my understanding of your questionable arguments. You repeatedly solicited interlocutors to take our politicians accountable for their blameworthy foreign policies about the war in Ukraine (and not only) and passionately made that as your main if not exclusive argumentative focus. That shows your militant urge. Satisfying it with simplistic and poorly argued assumptions over moral, politics, and geopolitics, spreading views critical toward the government (independently from their accuracy), fallacious counterarguments, and mostly profusion of discrediting remarks and dishonest rhetoric tricks are exactly illustrations of what I literally take to be the worst propaganda. No need to attribute to you nor suggest any "wanting to bring about a return to some Putin-led authoritarianism” (however I think your claims literally instrumental to Putin-led authoritarianism and authoritarian regimes’ propaganda, indeed most of the arguments you made are the ones that the Russian propaganda supports). After all it’s hard to guess the endgame supported by somebody like you. Too limited imagination here, I’m afraid.




    the latter might more easily nurture the fanaticism of certain people trying to convince the less fanatics that they know better or they could do better because they have a more fervid imagination or more morally noble intentions. — neomac

    Why? What mechanisms are in place in mainstream media to prevent people writing in those outlets from "trying to convince the less fanatics that they know better or they could do better because they have a more fervid imagination or more morally noble intentions”?
    Isaac

    Your question doesn’t make much sense, if you understand my objection. To make it more explicit: people that are fanatically opposing a regime (thanks to their putative superior imagination and noble intentions), more easily find support on alternative sources of information critical of the mainstream narratives which they too oppose, of course, no matter if such sources are questionable in turn, often for the same reasons such fanatics question certain mainstream narrative (spinning political propaganda to serve cynical, if not ideologically obtuse, interests). That’s the mindset of fanatic people like you.

    we might have ended up having more evidences to assess Hersh’s article credibility vs mainstream media credibility: maybe the Washington Post or NYT would have accepted to publish his article, or maybe they would have rejected it because they fact-checked the article or identified his anonymous source and in either case his article was questionable, or maybe they would have rejected it without further comments but this might have been suspicious, etc. — neomac

    Why? What mechanisms are in place in mainstream media to ensure, or promote the discovery/use of "more evidences" if a story is published there than if one is self-published?


    News platforms, mainstream and non-mainstream (like icij or propublica), may scrutinise more or less rigorously the pieces they publish in terms of fact checking, identification/assessment of the sources of information (like anonymous sources), and legal counseling/vetting (in case of legal consequences), especially in the case of controversial content. — neomac


    Yep. Or they may not. Do you have anything beyond idle speculation?
    Isaac


    Not sure you understood the point I’m making. When we are uncertain about the accuracy of an investigative piece against the American government, we can wonder about the reliability of the source. The problem is when we have plausible reasons to doubt the reliability of the source too, and reciprocal avoidance (Hersh didn’t go to mainstream news publisher, many mainstream news publisher ignored Hersh’s article) doesn’t offer more useful contextual evidences to clarify the reasons of such reciprocal avoidance and use them to assess reliability. So one can speculate about direct political interference, political interest of involved parties or other reasons (marketing/reputational reasons). In any case, my assumption is that at some point the bitter truth about the American government (if there is one) will come out roughly with the same likelihood as it came out other times (also thanks to the kind of findings Hersh’s investigations could offer).
    If my speculations are idle, they are not more idle than your speculations (about political reasons and interference behind the treatment Hersh’s article received from mainstream/governmental sources). And the reason why I rely on my speculations more than yours is that they are arguably less unilateral and simplistic than yours.


    So it’s not just matter of selling newspapers and newsworthiness — neomac

    No. Your evidence says "may", you can't conclude an "is not" from a "may". Pretty basic stuff. It "may not" be just a matter of selling newspapers... or it may be, depending on the outcome of any evidence that this "scrutinising" that you tell us "may" happen actually is, you know... happening.
    Isaac

    I didn’t infer “is not” from a “may”. In clarifying my assumption, I talked in hypothetical terms when the subject I was referring to was “news platforms” (e.g. “news platforms, mainstream and non-mainstream (like icij or propublica), may scrutinise…”). Then I talked in actual terms when the subject I was referring to was the assumption itself: it’s not just matter of selling newspapers and newsworthiness. Roughly speaking, speculating is fine, but speculating over one’s own speculations would be a bit too much for this thread, I guess.




    Hersh himself claims that for his self-published article he worked with a team of editors, fact-checkers, and at-that-time “known” anonymous sources to address the interviewers’ concerns about the reliability of his piece — neomac


    So... the mainstream would have done what differently?


    the claim “they have no special insight, no tools to get at the truth denied ordinary folk. They're just people, like Hersh” is obviously false: investigative journalism no matter if independent or not, is a specialised profession often relying on conditions (like special permissions granted only to professional journalists) and a network of informers (like anonymous inside witness and leakers), normally not available to ordinary folks. — neomac


    Hersh is an investigative journalist
    Isaac
    .


    In that interview (starting from 20min03), Hersh claims that he didn’t approach the Washington Post or NYT, because he thought they wouldn’t publish his article, because they want to know his source and he got burned once by revealing his source to an editor of NYT (but he doesn’t like to talk about that because “the NYT is still a good newspaper” and then he complains about 90% of editors). Yet it’s not clear what “being burned” is supposed to mean nor what that past experience has to do with Hersh’s belief the NYT and Washington Post wouldn’t publish his piece now (maybe Hersh used and is still using anonymous sources that the NYT or Washington Post would find unreliable?).
    In other words, we are left to assume that there are some unspecified editorial issues with certain mainstream outlets behind Hersh’s decision of self-publishing. So the point is that mainstream publishers may choose editors and follow editorial guidelines to their liking not to Hersh’s liking. And if that’s the case, that’s a relevant difference.



    What you failed to do so far however, is to convince me that spreading anti-mainstream narratives no matter if they are accurate because it’s an emergency is the best way to improve the system. Actually I suspect this is part of the problem, more likely so if insults, sarcasm, caricatures are the best counterarguments you can offer. — neomac


    I'm not trying to convince you
    Isaac
    .

    Yet, reiterating in several occasions claims like “the US and it's allies are our governments. It is they who we must hold to account and they to whose electorate we are speaking (https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/787564), marketing the narrative you support with rhetoric tricks, and giving advice to people on how spin a counter-narrative (no matter if accurate) for a powerful response under emergency, as you did with me, they all look too much like attempts (however self-defeating) to convince people, as political propaganda is supposed to do. Unfortunately trying to deny it may also be part of the job. Unless, of course, you lack self-awareness.



    I’ll repeat it once more. Hersh could have sold his piece to some Western mainstream news outlets — neomac

    It doesn't get more true the more you repeat it
    Isaac
    .

    I don’t think the truth of that claim can be rationally challenged, of course. The reason why I repeated it is to avoid further objections based on a misunderstanding of my full argument which that claim is part of.

    there are also platforms for independent investigative journalism. The reputed ones apply some internal reviewing of the piece before publication — neomac

    Do they? Using what methods?
    Isaac

    Haruspex?


    there might be reputational and legal hazards at the expense of the publisher to be assessed and addressed — neomac

    Are self-published authors immune from prosecution? That's news to me.
    Isaac

    I wrote “publisher” which applies to both mainstream publishers and self-publishers. On the other side, if one is self-publishing, then he is more free to take greater risks, obviously. Is that news to you?

    not to mention that he seems to be in good company on this “amazing” Substack — neomac


    Brilliant. The mainstream media must be right because people not on the mainstream media are wrong because the mainstream media says so. Got to hand it to you guys, you come up with the very best in utter bullshit.
    Isaac

    First, your intellectually cringey understanding of what would make your arguments more rationally compelling reflects on your intellectually cringey understanding of your opponents’ claims. The argument you are clumsily attributing to me is in the end a self-defeating attempt to parody the very notion of epistemic reliance as I understand it. Indeed relying on a source of information (be it from your sense organs, memory, reasoning, instruments for observation and measurement, witnesses, professionals, experts) consists in a certain disposition to accept as plausibly true what the source of information presents as being the case, unless there are compelling reasons or evidences to the contrary (being all of them, in principle fallible). And we normally do not rely on a single source of information, but on an environment of sources of information that we learn to use and crosscheck depending on epistemic needs, background assumptions, and circumstances. That’s also how we can develop a critical non-naive understanding of media, mainstream or not, and therefore form opinions with greater caution. And that’s also the reason why wrote: “I’m relying on the Western media system for the simple reason that is free and pluralistic enough that any truth against the government has more chances to become mainstream than under any authoritarian regime media system.”
    Second, concerning Hersh’s article, I argued that I’m not pressed to dismiss it as unreliable, just because it didn’t make headlines in major news outlets. And this shows I do not automatically align with mainstream attitudes and views just as if mainstream news outlets are always right (BTW mainstream news can even contradict one another).
    Third, my comment wasn’t even about who is right or wrong, but about the fact that Substack (whose editorial principles sound promising on the papers) has become a haven for “anti-mainstream narrative” authors like him and posting a mainstream outlet denouncing substack articles is exactly illustrating the point I’m making. And, if you need it (coz I don't), similar accusations can be found elsewhere too:
    https://www.isdglobal.org/digital_dispatches/anti-vaxxers-qanon-influencers-and-white-nationalists-flocking-to-substack/
    https://act.counterhate.com/page/98112/petition/1?locale=en-GB
    https://mashable.com/article/substack-writers-leaving-misinformation
    https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2000220227551
    https://pressgazette.co.uk/news/campaign-group-chief-says-substack-profiting-from-misinformation-deaths/
  • neomac
    1.3k
    And if it was as Hersh says it was, it's really a panicky bad choice for Biden to make: Germany wasn't going to go for Nordstream gas anyway as there was no energy Armageddon or even one blackout in Germany this winter. — ssu


    By that time Germany had already reduced its dependence on Russian gas from ~50% to ~9% and was on course to eliminate it entirely. And it wasn't getting any gas from Nord Stream anyway, since the Russians had already shut it down indefinitely in an apparent attempt to cause as much pain for Europe as they could before they lost their leverage entirely.
    SophistiCat

    If we want to focus on the US (but I don't think it is the only suspect), the problem is not only if they actually ordered/executed the sabotage, but also if it can be proven that they somehow knew about the operation but they didn't warn the Germans, or somehow enabled it.
    Anyways, as long as there are proven Western responsibilities for that sabotage at the expense of Germany and whose importance is way more political than economical for the reasons SophistiCat explained, one may wonder if this predicament is such an own goal by the Westerners that it will severely destabilise if not end the Western alliance. I don't think that must be the case, Germany may leverage this predicament to demand and receive a convenient compensation for that, behind doors.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    given the clash between the US/NATO and Russianeomac

    What clash? I thought the US were barely involved and it was all about the Ukrainians?

    your militant rhetoric and intellectually miserable tricks are manipulative, typical of the worst propaganda. This is a literally accurate description of your attitude in most, if not all, posts you addressed to me and not only.neomac

    Pretty much summarises the quality of discussion. Anyone who disagrees with you must be spreading propaganda. Saves you the bother of actually having to argue the case. Just claim your opinion is "literally true" and all others are "miserable propaganda". Are you also the way and the light by any chance?

    I’m relying on the Western media system for the simple reason that is free and pluralistic enough that any truth against the government has more chances to become mainstream than under any authoritarian regime media system.neomac

    That makes no sense at all. The choice is between mainstream media and independent media. No Russians need be involved. Substack is not (last I checked) attempting to annex California.

    You repeatedly solicited interlocutors to take our politicians accountable for their blameworthy foreign policies about the war in Ukraine (and not only) and passionately made that as your main if not exclusive argumentative focus. That shows your militant urge.neomac

    I love this! It's now "militant" to hold one's government to account. "Just shut up and do as you're told".

    To make it more explicit: people that are fanatically opposing a regime (thanks to their putative superior imagination and noble intentions), more easily find support on alternative sources of information critical of the mainstream narratives which they too oppose, of course, no matter if such sources are questionable in turn, often for the same reasons such fanatics question certain mainstream narrative (spinning political propaganda to serve cynical, if not ideologically obtuse, interests).neomac

    The clarity wasn't the problem. I was quite clear on what you were claiming the first time you said it. What was lacking was any evidence whatsoever that your claim was actually the case.

    reason why I rely on my speculations more than yours is that they are arguably less unilateral and simplistic than yours.neomac

    OK, crack on then. Make that argument.

    I didn’t infer “is not” from a “may”. In clarifying my assumption, I talked in hypothetical terms when the subject I was referring to was “news platforms” (e.g. “news platforms, mainstream and non-mainstream (like icij or propublica), may scrutinise…”). Then I talked in actual terms when the subject I was referring to was the assumption itself: it’s not just matter of selling newspapers and newsworthiness.neomac

    Right. so nothing more than speculation then. They may scrutinise more, or they may not. Good to know both possibilities exist. Thanks for clearing that mystery up.

    the point is that mainstream publishers may choose editors and follow editorial guidelines to their liking not to Hersh’s liking. And if that’s the case, that’s a relevant difference.neomac

    Relevant how? You were claiming they had mechanism in place to better check sources. Now you're just saying they might choose editors Hersh doesn't like. How does 'Hersh not liking them' make them better at checking sources?

    they all look too much like attempts (however self-defeating) to convince people, as political propaganda is supposed to do. Unfortunately trying to deny it may also be part of the job.neomac

    I know... fucking mastermind, aren't I? Although I'll deny that too (but only by repeating it sarcastically)...triple bluff... or is it?*

    *(it isn't)**

    I don’t think the truth of that claim can be rationally challenged, of course.neomac

    Wow. So you think it is literally impossible that Hersh could have been unable to sell his story to some Western mainstream news outlets. You think the claim "Hersh could have sold his piece to some Western mainstream news outlets" is impossible to be false. Western mainstream outlets are what... somehow compelled by the laws of physics to buy Hersh's story?

    if one is self-publishing, then he is more free to take greater risks, obviously.neomac

    How so? Are the self published immune from prosecution? Do they get some kind of special redundancy payouts if their projects fail? What is this safety net that independent journalists have which the mainstream outlets lack?

    the fact that Substack (whose editorial principles sound promising on the papers) has become a haven for “anti-mainstream narrative” authors like him and posting a mainstream outlet denouncing substack articles is exactly illustrating the point I’m making. And, if you need it (coz I don't), similar accusations can be found elsewhere too:neomac

    So just repeating the same circular argument (sorry - I mean "self-defeating attempt to parody the very notion of epistemic reliance as I understand it.")?



    **... or is it?
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    2.1k
    The T-54 has finally shown up in Ukraine. I suppose a tank from 1948 is better than no tank. The inexhaustible supply of Russian tanks seems to be getting exhausted. It can't be that they are out of more recent tanks, it must be that some more modern ones are in too rough of a condition to repair.


    I also saw a video of a Ukrainian using a Maxim Gun. I wonder if it was pulled from a WWI museum.
  • ssu
    8.1k
    What exactly have you 'understood' differently to how you came into this discussion 450 pages ago?Isaac
    Look above your post the post I write. Nice to know something new. I think that's enough of an answer to your ad hominems etc.
  • ssu
    8.1k
    The T-54 has finally shown up in Ukraine. I suppose a tank from 1948 is better than no tank. The inexhaustible supply of Russian tanks seems to be getting exhausted. It can't be that they are out of more recent tanks, it must be that some more modern ones are in too rough of a condition to repair.


    I also saw a video of a Ukrainian using a Maxim Gun. I wonder if it was pulled from a WWI museum.
    Count Timothy von Icarus
    I saw on a Finnish fortress island in 2002 maxim machine guns still in stock, and now they have been finally taken away. If you have water and bullets, you can continue firing a maxim for hours... it won't heat up or stop functioning. The whole thing is very heavy and difficult to move, yet on an island you simply cannot have movement so much. And warfare on islands and in the archipelago means that normal supply routes by road don't exist and everything has to be moved either by ship or by air. So if you have very reliable weapon system that you can fire all day along, why not use them, if you don't have anything else to place on a forgotten remote piece of land surrounded by water?

    Same is with the thinking of using a T-54 in Ukraine today.

    If the Ukrainians have basically infantry in trenches and bunkers in the countryside, then a movable armoured gun is quite useful. Using an old tank like T-54 is preferable to an unarmored truck having some gun installed to it. That T-54 is useful if you don't have anything else, as long as you don't think that the old tank could go and face up an modern MBT.
  • Isaac
    10.3k
    Look above your post the post I write. Nice to know something new. I think that's enough of an answer to your ad hominems etc.ssu

    I asked you for a summary of what you've learned from others.

    You pointed to a post explaining how a graphic was now out of date.

    Is that it? You've learned that people post out of date graphics?
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