• Ukraine Crisis

    Meaning pointing out US's invasion of Iraq was not an act of "defiance" does not create some situation where the "contrasting" the concepts of maverick and defiance has anything to do with anything.

    You receive criticism ... can't deal with it, then move the goal posts. Obviously, you're no longer remotely arguing that Russia's breaking or not breaking international law is a justification for Western policies.

    First, you keep repeating that I made a strawman argument. Do you know what strawman argument means? Explained that to me. And show me how that applies to my counterarguments.neomac

    I point out that your argument about "defiance" is unsound and invalid, at no point does party A defying party B tell us anything about who is justified and what any of those or then third parties should do about it, and you then formulate my position as somehow contrasting maverick with defiance ... but they are compatible. Sure, you can also have the maverick defier, but that was not my statement which was just pointing out the US invasion of Iraq was not "an act of defiance" and then pointed out how your whole topsy-turvy defiance logic makes no sense.

    Which you've entirely abandoned, formulating your position as very clearly support for US hegemony.

    Forth, every time you call my claims trivialities, that means you agree with me.neomac

    No, when we say you've moved the goal posts to something trivial, the triviality maybe true, but that doesn't support your position.

    You have a bunch of elements in an argument that doesn't support your position: we point that out and then you move the goal posts to focusing on just one element, such as "defiance", or then just generalising your argument into a tautology which you quite clearly didn't say, but very clearly said something specific but unfortunately unsupported.

    Besides my arguments are always the same ones. Just looping through them for a while now. And if I find your approach conceptually flawed, I don’t feel rationally compelled to stick to it.
    Fifth, quote where I made such a claim “Russia is defying international law”, you serial liar.

    Do you just not remember what you've already written and what we've been discussing?

    And the problem I see is that Russia doesn't simply want to take a piece of land from Ukraine, but it wants to do it expressly in defiance and at the expense of the West/NATO/US: starting with the violation of international law till aiming at establishing a new World Order in alliance with at least two other authoritarian regimes (China and Iran) [1].neomac

    Clearly your position at the time can be summarised as Russia defying international law, the West/NATO/US therefore needing to apply that law somehow, and to make things more abundantly clear "violation of international law" is another way to say "defiance of international law".

    What do you mean by “justification”? I clarified for the thousand time my point when talking about practical rationality. While you keep playing with words.neomac

    So you're saying something that is of "practical rationality" to do would not be justified to do it? Why would it being both practical and rational to do ... not therefore be a justification to do it?

    How is "practical rationality" anything other than a pseudo-intellectual bullshit way of saying "justification".

    If I ask why you did something and you answered with the practical and rational reasons for doing it, how is that not you justifying your actions with those reasons?

    No, there is no reason to constrain the field to region in the sense you suggest here. When great powers struggle for hegemony they can do so over all domains within their reach on earth, sea, space, virtual space. Small powers pick their side according to their means and convenience. Besides I don’t reason through caricatural slogans like “might is right”. I’m not sure it makes even sense.neomac

    Again, so if Russia wins the "struggle" over Ukraine then it's actions were justified all along and Ukraine just picked the wrong side since 2014?

    You're only substantive criticism of Russia seems to be they haven't won yet ... but the US hasn't won this struggle yet either. "Might is right" is not a slogan, it's just exactly what you are describing: if the US can dominate Russia in this confrontation then it should do so, which of course exact same thing applies to Russia dominating Ukraine.

    When you are asking ME your questions you look as dumb, yes. I don’t share your conceptual assumptions. And for exactly the same reason, your rhetoric attempt of emotional/moral blackmailing me looks even dumber to me. And if you are doing it for your fans and sidekicks, I don’t give a shit about it.neomac

    You say this question of cost is both dumb and emotional/moral blackmail ... while stating you already answered this question literally a few sentences later:

    s the cost to Ukraine of such a policy morally acceptable?
    — boethius

    I answered yes and argued for it a while ago. It was among my first posts to the thread.

    Nothing is preventing anyone here arguing the cost is worth it. No one in the West hesitates to argue the cost to defeat Hitler was worth it. Sometimes great causes have great costs.

    Of course, in the case of WWII the people arguing the cost was worth it actually sent their own soldiers to fight and share that cost. Saying the cost to Ukraine is worth it for our policies, such as not needing to "win" just damage Russia a lot, is quite clearly a cynical exploitation of Ukraine for our own ends.

    However, nothing stops anyone from arguing the cynical exploitation and manipulation of Ukraine for our own ends is justifiable, that we will save more lives in the long run in the Baltics and Poland.

    However, my question is not some "conceptual framework" that makes sense to reject. If you advocate some goal, such as in this case harming the Russians, "what would be a reasonable cost to attain that goal?" is just common sense. Obviously you wouldn't sacrifice every single American to harm one Russian soldiers knee ... so between that and achieve your objective at the cost of a cup of coffee there obviously some zone of acceptable cost (to the US, to NATO, to Ukraine) which you're comfortable with.

    It's simply a common sense question to participants who reject a negotiated peace and any essentially any compromise whatsoever, what cost to Ukraine they think would be worthwhile in refusing to compromise. Would 300 000 lives be worth it to conquer Crimea? Is clearly a reasonable question. Of course, people can argue that 300 000 lives wouldn't be worth it, but it can be conquered with some amount of lives that is worth it. However, to be an honest participant in this debate one should be able to answer such simple questions.

    That the questions simply point to a total incoherence, ignorance and Russophobia underpinning your position doesn't somehow make these simple questions as part of some "conceptual framework" that can be rejected.

    Russia can still do lots of damage and especially at the expense of the American allies. Indeed if there is going to be a more direct clash between the 2 powers, this is going more likely to happen in Europe than on the American soil.neomac

    Like who? The Baltic states? Poland? Germany?

    And in what conditions and scenario does Russia just start invading East-ward?

    Also, if Russia can do what you say here, doesn't that just make them the Hegemon?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    "move fast and break things" maverick attitude, and not some sort of act of defiance.
    — boethius

    You are contrasting "maverick attitude" with "some sort of act of defiance", as if if they were incompatible, while Russia can be described as both.neomac

    Your full sentence was referring to Russia, whereas my statement was referring to the US invading Iraq was not "defiance". Maybe follow the context.

    You then setup some sort of maverick-defiance strawman stated above, which obviously has nothing to do with anything. As the following statements you cite demonstrate, pretty much doing anything can be construed as "defiance" of someone who disagrees.

    Why are we talking about defiance? Because your argument about the West needing to deal with Russia's "defiance" (originally of international law) justifying Western policy, couldn't standup to @Isaac's criticism so you've again do what you always do and focus on some trivialities and moving the goalposts: in this case moving the goal posts from Russia is defying international law and that broadly supports your position, to Russia is defying the "West".

    Secondly, the US’s invasion turned out to be a reputational failure for the US and set a dangerous precedent exploitable by anti-Western authoritarian regimes. Still the US is the hegemonic power which the Westerns rely on, so Western countries are not compelled to treat Russia with the same submissiveness they treat American abuses on geopolitical grounds. Russia is no peer of the US on the geopolitical arena. Period.neomac

    Notice how this, your actual position of supporting US hegemonic power, has nothing to do with justifications of US actions you throw against the wall to see what sticks and we've been cleaning up for hundreds of comments.

    Putting that aside, let's deal with this argument. First thing to notice, is that if Russia is a Hegemonic power in its neighbourhood then Ukraine should be compelled to treat Russia with submissiveness.

    The only justification here is who has the hegemonic power in the region should call the shots in Ukraine. If Russia comes out on top in the war then it was the Hegemonic power all along, Ukraine should have submitted and that would be that.

    Your argument basically boils down to might is right, so who has the might is the key question which the war is going to uncover.

    Your question is based on assumptions we do not share. It’s like asking to an atheist: is being gay a sin against God or not? Likely the atheist answer won’t be based on what is claimed in the Bible, but on his disbelief of any such thing as “sins against God”, right?neomac

    Just wow. The question of whether the cost to Ukraine of our policies of encouraging, financing, arming more war is worthwhile cost so far to accomplish ... "liberation" of the Donbas? Crimea? well whatever it's accomplished compared to the offer at the start of the war, and what further cost do Zelenskyites think would be reasonable to pay to accomplish the objectives of the "common cause" ...

    ... is akin to asking if being gay is a sin against God to an atheist.

    The same blablabla. We have already been through this, here is my answer once again:
    The end game for NATO/US involvement in this war doesn’t need to be to stop Russia or overturn its regime. But to inflict as much enduring damage as possible to Russian power (in terms of its economic system, its system of alliance, its capacity of military projection outside its borders, its its technology supply, its military and geopolitical status) to the point it is not longer perceived as a non-negligible geopolitical threat to the West.

    Your whole premise is:

    Russia is no peer of the US on the geopolitical arena. Period.neomac

    ... So what's there to fear?

    And notice how just after lauds the "common cause", it's made as plane as day there is no common cause as Ukrainian defeat is completely acceptable as long as enough damage has been done to Russia along the way.

    Is the cost to Ukraine of such a policy morally acceptable?

    It’s like asking to an atheist: is being gay a sin against God or not?neomac

    Truly remarkable.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Convenient, that Ukraine and others could come together in a common cause, huh? :D Democracies against autocrats, defenders against invaders, ...?jorndoe

    Again, if you declare martial law and disband the second largest political party, that does not qualify as democratic.

    But even putting aside that, is the cause common?

    Zelensky and his followers certainly want to "defeat" the Russians, that's certainly their cause, so if the cause was common what would follow from that is Ukraine would already have the weapons systems, training, even allied troops to accomplish this "common cause".

    We don't see that, so perhaps because the causes are different.

    US and co. is certainly happy to see the Ukrainians suffer a lot to make the Russians suffer somewhat, but unless the goal is to "win" I don't think that's what Zelensky et. al. have in mind.

    Hard to tell what would happen if, say, the UK was to deploy 6000 troops + equipment, Poland 6000, France 6000, Romania 3000, Spain 5000, the US 10000, Australia 2000, Luxembourg 10, Norway 800, in Ukraine. (just whatever came to mind while typing, and assuming this stuff would go through whatever procedures the respective governments have, however unlikely, but invitation accepted) Would Putin play the victim card (again)? Take Kim Jong-un's offer? Tell Lukashenko "Send what you got!"? Ukraine could become quite the battleground. Not sure how realistic something like this is, but one might hope not all that likely...? What might happen?jorndoe

    Yes, seems incredibly unlikely.

    If you agree on that point and just want to discuss hypotheticals, you haven't listed enough troops to make a significant difference.

    Cropsey's comment ↑ there doesn't need NATO so close by. NASAMS (and others) can help. :up:

    Lavrov says Ukrainians will be liberated from neo-Nazi rulers
    — TASS · Nov 26, 2022

    Getting old, the Nazi thing (and Lavrov perhaps). Been shown the door. Repeating doesn't make it so.

    I posted 6 videos of Western journalists investigating Nazi's in Ukraine and all concluding that there definitely seems to be Nazi's in Ukraine.

    But let's get back to that later and focus here on your argument form:

    Ukraine keeps blaming Russians for the war ... has that gotten "old" in your definition?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    How simply the same as now. Keep the course. Let's see after next year. As long as Ukrainians are willing to fight, it's their decision. It is them who are actually paying the cost, not us.ssu

    Our proxies will keep being proxies so therefore we should continue to use them as proxies? It's their country that gets fucked, not ours?

    And to accomplish what?

    First, "Ukrainians" make decisions now without any critical press or critical political parties and in a vast stew of propaganda. We don't really know what Ukrainians think and whether polls are accurate considering any dissent is viewed as "Russian collaboration" and may get you imprisoned and/or killed.

    Additionally, the West keeps saying it will support Ukraine indefinitely and with "whatever it needs" and so on, so even if the decision to fight was genuinely democratic, it maybe based on the Wests assertions about support.

    And, more fundamentally, they are still our weapons and we are still responsible for the outcome regardless of what the Ukrainians want to do. It maybe simply not morally acceptable to have Ukraine fight a lost battle even if they want to.

    There are also many benefits to peace.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Simple: to continue to undo "the greatest tragedy of the 2oth Century". Russia to claim dominance over it's "near abroad".ssu

    ... Like Belarus and Kazakstan and Georgia?

    Places Russia already dominates?

    What is the next step of this "rebuild the Soviet Union" plan?

    And the West has given him this: After annexing Crimea and starting in limited insurgency in the Donbas, what did Putin do? He took take the next step to make a large scale attack on Ukraine. Did then the West and NATO respond as it has now? No. There's your example from history.ssu

    What Putin did next was negotiate Mink I, which Ukraine didn't respect and the Western "guarantors" didn't use any leverage to pressure Ukraine to respect it, and later Ukraine said was just playing for time to build up their forces to have a big war, and then ... negotiate Mink II, which had the exact same result.

    However, the more important question remains what we can do about it.

    This whole "Russia will keep expanding in an unexplained way without any evidence or rational" is simply to justify the Western policy of having Ukraine pay an enormous price for harming the Russians. A price that will never be compensated, may not achieve even close to the military outcomes, and in which the West could intervene at any moment to provide real help, but doesn't.

    Tell that to people. (I have to remember to quote you later.) And btw radiation on the site where a tactical nuke has been used, it is a problem.ssu

    Radiation of tactical nuclear weapons simply isn't much. If there's a scenario in which a tactical nuclear weapon would be under consideration for military purposes, the radiation would not be a major concern. Of course, if there's zero military reason to use a nuclear weapon then the radiation, among a long list of things, is an additional reason not to use them.

    Where radiation from nuclear weapons is a real problem, is in a full strategic nuclear exchange. Strategic weapons create far more radiation, far more fallout, and there would be hundreds if not thousands of them exploding around the world. Additionally, you may have nukes hitting nuclear power plants (that contain far more radiation than a nuclear blast) or then just society collapsing and melt-downs and nuclear fires at various defunct nuclear power plants.

    Again you have no idea what you are talking about. In the age of drones and instant fire-missions that can rain down in few minutes, artillery poses a threat at any time to any concentration of force. That's why you don't see columns of Ukrainian tanks... or nowdays of Russian armour moving along. The unit size is smaller than before (Soviet doctrine was to operate with fronts and armies). This is obvious from the fact that the Russian forces, already before the war started, were deployed as Battalion-combat-teams. You don't operate with larger formation, brigades, divisions as in WW2.ssu

    Let's say Ukrainians form a bridge head over an important river and need to pour in significant resources to consolidate that bridge head ... drop a nuke on said bridge head and not only all those forces are gone, but it become clear that there is basically no way to ford the river in peace.

    The idea Nuclear weapons have no military use is just insanely naive.

    If there was no political reasons to not-use nuclear weapons, and it was just one of many capabilities, military commanders would find tactical uses for them.

    Now, if you're saying nuclear weapons would not "guarantee" victory, again, totally false. Russia could drop a nuclear weapon on every Ukrainian city and every command centre and the war would be over in a day.

    Again, there's lot's of reasons not to do that, but the idea nuclear weapons are some sort of nothing burger in a theatre of war seems just bizarre.

    I think it's obvious from what has been leaked even to the public. A conventional attack on Russian forces in Ukraine and Naval ships operating in the Black Sea. Hence notice the level of escalation: Russian sites in Russia aren't attacked. Then again Russia has an option to escalate: does it enlarge the battlefield to outside Ukraine and the Black Sea.ssu

    It seems, if what you say is true, Russia can suffer some acceptable losses for the privilege of nuking Ukraine.

    There would be a "cost of doing business" is what you are saying?

    Of course, we are in agreement that there are plenty of good reasons for Russia to not use nuclear weapons (the main one being they are sitting on the land bridge to Crimea and Ukraine can't seem to do anything about that anyways).

    However, that the cost to Russia of using nuclear weapons doesn't seem to be much, maybe explains why the West is careful to not create a situation where it would start to arguably a good idea to start using nukes: i.e. a situation in which Russia is actually losing in conventional warfare.

    Let's remember that for example in the Korean war the Soviet Air Force fought the USAF on a limited airspace next to the Chinese border. That indeed the two Superpowers were engaged in fighting was simply kept a secret by both sides not wishing to escalate matters.ssu

    We totally agree.

    Again, maybe just explains why the US and NATO aren't actually escalating to "help Ukraine win" which is why Ukraine has so far not won and suffering immensely for the honour of representing Western interests, in some vague way.

    But then again, this is the "sabre rattling" to Russia's "sabre rattling" in the first place. What actually NATO would do or not is another thing. Medvedev could be right and NATO wouldn't do anything, but be outraged.ssu

    Of course the West wouldn't strike Russia, why would they?

    However, West seems already at maximum outrage. I don't see what more outrage would accomplish.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    You are contrasting "maverick attitude" with "some sort of act of defiance"neomac

    Where do I do this?

    I do the opposite. The US's maverick attitude in invading Iraq with sufficient justification or a credible plan, somehow succeeding in making things worse than under Saddam, is an act of defiance against international law and morality. If Russia is doing the same, that's just called "learning" and being a fan, unless defying defiance is a thing, which I assume is what you'll be arguing next.

    You are just playing with words (without defining them) and I don't care about your miserable rhetoric games.neomac

    The word play in this little dialogue is your use of the word "defiance" to somehow imply justification of something, in this case, Western policies.

    Russia and allies "defied" Hitler in WWII ... did that make Hitler's war justified?

    "Defiance" doesn't justify anything. Ukraine was defying Russia by financing and arming Nazi's ... so according to you the entire Russian war effort is justified due to the defiance of Ukraine.

    What I care about is the substantial security threats that an expansionist Russia constitute for the West.neomac

    Again, what threat? Make your case. Russia is about to invade all of Western Europe? ... with it's incompetent army that can't do anything right?

    What is this threat to the West you keep talking about?

    Here I re-edited your caricatural bullshit to something that can express justified Western security concerns. BTW the West is doing something about Russian defiant attitude, no matter what the Western propagandist and the pro-Russia propagandist like you is saying.neomac

    The key question of the recent dialogue is "at what cost to Ukraine?" and is this cost reasonable to ask a proxy to pay.

    You and all the other Zelenskyites simply keep dodging the question.

    For example, Russia can just destroy the Ukrainian power grid. Is this a reasonable cost to Ukraine for the West to be seen "doing something about Russian defiant attitude".

    And what's the end result? There is no guarantee that the current policies actually turn out bad for Russia.

    In the current trajectory, Russia will have a far stronger army, ramped up arms industry, and has already reoriented its entire economy away from the West so if the West isn't willing to do more, Russia now has basically a free hand vis-a-vis it's neighbour's.

    What has the war established so far?

    It's mostly established NATO cannot defeat Russia through proxy means and is unwilling to intervene directly and sanctions are an empty threat that have already been expended, and the Russian military is willing to suffer large costs to achieve military objectives and can and will destroy your essential infrastructure if you "defy" them.

    We keep on being told Ukrainian victory is just a battle away, but that hasn't happened.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Appeasing the bully will just encourage Putin.ssu

    Encourage Putin to do what exactly?

    Sure, it sounds good to say we're "standing up to a bully", but what cost to Ukrainians do you think is worth it for the Western policy of not doing anything that risks Ukraine "winning"?

    And why is the West's policy to not go into Ukraine, no no-fly-zone, as well as severely limit weapons systems to Ukraine?

    Resulting in this situation where Russia has no particular need to use nuclear weapons.

    The disadvantages of nuclear weapons far outweigh the benefits ... but only because the West isn't really stopping Putin.

    - China is against the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.ssu

    The US/NATO are 100% clear that China is the real "competitor" and so on and they are enemies. China may have zero problem with Russia nuking NATO troops in Ukraine and then taking advantage of the uncertainty and fear to invade Taiwan.

    Point is, what China would want in what scenarios we can only speculate. Certainly China's current stance is that nuclear weapons would be a bad thing ... but also there's simply no reason to use nuclear weapons at the moment.

    Hence, why we don't see NATO troops in Ukraine as that may not only be reason enough for Russia to nuke them, but also their friends may see it is indeed reasonable course of action. As we've already discussed, Ukraine, with or without NATO troops, getting nuked would not be a reason to nuke Russia in turn.

    Furthermore, actually losing in Ukraine may change the calculus to the Kremlin being what China thinks no longer a primary concern.

    Hence, perhaps why we don't see Russia actually losing in Ukraine.

    - There's a serious risk of this escalating the war and not cowing the West push for cessation of fighting, but to do the opposite.ssu

    Obviously using nuclear weapons could escalate to more nuclear weapons and this is a reason not to escalate.

    ... again, maybe why we see the US placing limits to weapons and assistance, and everything organised around the principle of not threatening Russian defeat in any realistic sense.

    - Ukraine is next to Russia, hence radiation can easily travel to Russia by winds.ssu

    Radiation isn't all that big a concern when it comes to tactical nuclear weapons.

    - Destroying Ukrainian forces with tactical nuclear weapons is difficult: troops on the modern battleground are very dispersed.ssu

    The utility of nuclear weapons would be in the scenario where Ukraine is actually advancing a sizeable concentration of force. Dispersed forces are a defensive measure and not an offensive measure.

    There's also other uses of nuclear weapons such as destroying bunkers, bridges, logistics hubs, air bases, EMP and so on.

    Of course, if Russian troops aren't actually at risk of any real defeat there would be no reason to use nuclear weapons against any such target. For example, right now Ukrainian airforce isn't doing much ... so why blowup air bases with nuclear weapons?

    But, again, for the sake of argument, let's imagine the West actually supporting Ukraine in anyway it wants, and actually trained and equipped the Ukrainian airforce since the start of the war and now F-16's, B-2's, F-22's and F-35's, plethora of advances drones, and so on are an actual problem for Russia, then maybe nuking those airbases would be the only effective military option, and even China may see that as a reasonable response.

    Again, why the Western media, politicians and officials simply accept the framework of "support Ukraine ... but, shhhhh, not too much".

    - Forces operating in nuclear fallout areas will need training and equipment Russia doesn't have now: basically you will create a small no-go zone for your troops also.ssu

    Again, nuclear fallout of tactical nuclear bombs isn't all that big an issue, and you can just avoid these areas entirely or then, if it was a problem, only employe nukes far behind enemy lines to take out key infrastructure, such as the air base example above.

    - After the initial quick-capture strategy went bust (on day one) and created the logistical fiasco, Russia has actually been very risk-averse. Suddenly such an escalation would go against the way that Russia has fought the war after the initial push.ssu

    Agreed ... but the reason why is that their parallel operation to capture the land bridge to Crimea was an amazing military success and they are in a defensive posture to protect these gains. Capturing the rest of the Donbas would be a political victory, but doesn't secure the land bridge any better in and of itself (only if it was captured at a cost benefit maintaining or improving relative strength terms, which explains the super slow advances that minimise casualties and simply withdrawing from positions that are difficult to defend).

    - Russia has no interest to initiate World War 3. If the "Escalate to De-escalate" doesn't work, then there is nothing to gain from this kind of escalation. It has suffered severe losses in Ukraine already and the last thing would be to escalate the war to a totally new level.ssu

    Definitely. However, the question is what escalation the West would do that would be responded to with Nuclear weapons by Russia ... that the West would then not respond with nuclear weapons.

    It's NATO that would be escalating to a point of Russia using nuclear weapons and then ... nothing, which NATO wants to avoid, and is avoiding by limiting assistance to Ukraine, excluding things like a no-fly zone, certainly not sending troops, and so on.

    Nuclear "sabre rattling" has already deterred significant amount of actions that NATO (already "appeased" the nuclear bully in your parlance) would certainly have done if all this rhetoric was drummed up against a non-nuclear power.

    And, you may say, "what's wrong with that! of course we don't want to harm Russia so much that they may actually use nukes!!" ok, yeah I agree, but then we're not really "standing with Ukraine" but we have a policy of appeasement. Our actions are more symbolic than practical.

    This is the central absurdity of the West's position. It argues right up to its policy line with extreme rhetoric, standing up to Putin, Churchillian "never surrender" type stuff, Putin's a war criminal and the Russians are literally terrorists, and the entire world order is at risk, and basically the greatest moral imperatives you can think of etc. But when it comes to the question of "well, why not do more then, send modern tanks and fighter jets or then go in with our own planes and troops" the exact opposite direction of appeasement is argued that "of course the nukes". Well ... which one is it? Are we "doing what it takes" and fighting on the fields and beaches and and in the air and seas and so on, or are we actually tiptoeing around any actual risk to the Kremlins core goals and making clear we are appeasing with respect to those core goals so no need for any desperate measures?

    Now, when it comes question to just adjust a tiny bit this balance between fighting pure evil and appeasement, then what's trotted out by Western retired general is "don't worry about the nukes!" ... but that's disingenuous as if you really weren't worried about the nukes then it wouldn't be slight policy adjustments under consideration (such as ... well, still not sending Western tanks, but at least scrounging up old Soviet tanks)-; if you were really not worried about the Nukes you'd be right back to no-fly zones, and send in the cruise missiles, and troops and strike Russia on their own territory and so on.

    However, what this different arguments on different sides of the policy to sort of "squeeze it" to where NATO wants it to be means, is that there is no actual justification in any coherent moral or political philosophy. Different incompatible justifications are used to support conflicting elements of the policy framework. Putin is Hitler so we need to send some arms ... but also Putin isn't Hitler so we aren't going to actually go defeat Putin as we defeated Hitler. The analogy is only as relevant as we say it is!

    Why? Because the actual policy is just to separate Europe from Russian resources, in a cynical realpolitik move that has no moral justification.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    P1. If West/NATO/US has little respect for international law, then Russia didn’t violate international law in defiance of West/NATO/US
    P2. West/NATO/US has little respect for international law
    C. Russia didn’t violate international in defiance of West/NATO/US

    Again, more bullshit soup.

    What's the purpose of "defiance" in your strawman here?

    Obviously if West/NATO/US has little respect for international law, then breaking international law is a homage to their realpolitik "move fast and break things" maverick attitude, and not some sort of act of defiance.

    You seem to be holding on this word defiance like mould to stale bread because if Russia is "defying" the West ... then it follows in the topsy-turvy mental gymnastics of the propagandist the West must do something about that "defiance", regardless of the consequence on Ukrainians or even if our anti-defiance policies even work.

    So no, Russia didn't violate international law in "defiance" of the West/NATO/US.

    If the "WMD's" in Iraq that no one could find were justification to invade Iraq, then certainly the biolabs the US admitted in public were in Ukraine are more than enough justification to invade Ukraine. Russia is just paying homage to the West/NATO/US understanding of international law, if anything it's a sign of deep respect.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    From the Russian point of view, the presence of NATO troops in Ukraine would mean NATO did not wait to be directly attacked before fighting Russians.Paine

    These would not be "NATO" just whatever country they are from.

    For example, say Estonia announced they weren't going to just talk shit and launder money anymore, but actually put their beliefs in practice. "We're going to Ukraine!" they announce.

    And then they go. And, if this isn't NATO doing anything, then that would be announced and clear, that Estonia is making a bilateral alliance with Ukraine and declare an official state of war with Russia (as they have the sovereign right to do!) and they are going in! This would not create an article 5 situation. NATO would make clear that Estonia is on its own now in declaring .

    Now, let's also assume that Estonia troops don't matter in the slightest on the battlefield. Nothing would change in the current situation, except maybe Russia invading Estonia. That's what happens when you declare war on another country, and article 5 does not cover that.

    The reason this is not even considered by these countries is for the reason I explain. No one actually believes the propaganda that Russia is can or plans or even wants to conquer all of Easter Europe, it's just propaganda. If people actually believed that their own countries are in danger, "going in" would be a serious consideration.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    One of the ironies of the collective nature of NATO's decisions is that they protect Russia from individual nations joining the fight by themselves. Any boots on the ground from any member states would be treated as an attack by all. Cue WW3.Paine

    That view does not take into account the language of limited escalation being used by both Russia and NATO when it comes to Article 5.Paine

    Both these statements are not really true.

    First Article 5 is not "we start WWIII" but is technically only a commitment to meet and respond in some way.

    More importantly, NATO's article 5 does not cover troops in other countries anyways. For example, attacks on US troops in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or anywhere not in the US or some analogue they'll consider an attack (like an aircraft carrier), has nothing to do with NATO's Article 5 as these are not attacks on the US and article 5 is never invoked about any military interventions or wars of occupation.

    Countries within NATO could send in troops to Ukraine if they wanted to and them being attacked in Ukraine would have nothing to do with article 5.

    Countries don't send troops into Ukraine to help out because they don't care about Ukraine, and they don't actually believe that Russia will keep on expanding if not "stopped in Ukraine" and so have no actual security interest to ally with Ukraine.

    Ukraine is simply a tool of both realpolitik by the US, essentially as a gas play (wise or not), as well as an outlet for Russian resentment (in East-Europe) and virtue signalling in West-Europe.

    The war is the best possible distraction to all those starving children in Afghanistan. We're the good guys again, hurray!!

    In the case of both East and West Europe the policy of maintaining a total war rhetoric without an actual justified total war scenario, is insanely dangerous, and not just because of the nukes.

    Who is actually likely to attack other Eastern European countries once the war is done with Russia ... is Ukraine. They may not have an army big enough to go and defeat Russia, but they will be a formidable force to any of their neighbours, have zero economy and the likely outcome of the war for Ukraine is a "ultra nationalist" government dedicated to warfare. If they can't beat the Russians their attention will turn elsewhere. Anyone who thinks this war has made Eastern-Europe one happy family all of a sudden has never been to Eastern-Europe.

    Obviously, for Western Europe, the smart thing to do would have been to just trade putting online Nord Stream 2 to avoid a disastrous war ... a pipeline that (sans war that started immediately after the project was cancelled) benefits Western Europe and very obviously would maintain the peace. The idea of "sovereign" states allowing the pipeline to be built but then advancing a policy against their own countries interest to not open the pipeline, is just dumb and even more dumb that they then claim to be supporting the "sovereignty" of Ukraine by supplying arms. Of course, maybe the pipelines not a good idea, but the time to decide that is years, preferably many years, before it's completed. It's just common sense diplomacy that you don't let your neighbour build a 10 billion Euro infrastructure project to your own benefit and then just not let it start. No credibly sovereign state would actually do that.

    Now, what the US and Europe and other countries will do is a pretty open question, but what's not very difficult to guess is they aren't sending any troops to go help their non-ally.

    And, if people think you can have allies that you don't go defend when they are attacked, that's just not what ally means. Ukraine is a tool, willing or not for more or less actual Ukrainians, of Western, mainly US, policy.

    They will be the new Iraqi's, Afghanis, Kurds, whoever we were supporting in Libya, that, like them, in a relatively short amount of time we will have forgotten about and will be just a dirty word in any of, what @Olivier5 calls, "decent" conversation.

    Indeed, as far as I can tell that process has already started as no one in the West wants to hear Ukraine is being completely destroyed and millions are suffering intensely ... as that would have a followup question of if we're actually going to do anything substantive to help and maybe even some sole searching of why we encouraged and financed Ukraine into this situation.

    Once-upon-a-time leaders of countries were viewed as responsible for actual outcomes of their policies.

    That "the enemy" did bad things to you ... sort of goes without saying that that is their function, what makes them enemies.

    But people who lose wars, or get their country destroyed in the process of some disastrous stalemate, who throw their hands up in the air and say "our enemies did this": no shit Sherlock. Either avoid making them your enemy or have some plan to deal with the consequences.

    Why, perchance, the finger pointing has begun with Zelensky trying to throw the mayor of Kiev under the bus and blame him for not preparing for the obvious next step in the war ... what NATO retired officers were literally mocking Russia for months not doing on day one and being "weak" and then deducing Russia ran out of missiles after a month ... as clearly if they had the missile capabilities we thought they had they would take out Ukrainian infrastructure, but they weren't doing that, the incompetents!
  • Are blackholes and singularities synonymous?
    Light naturally travels in a straight line but, because it has mass, it will follow the contours of a gravitational field.alan1000

    Light does not have mass, it has momentum but that doesn't matter either.

    It's more correct to say light travels in geodesics in curved space. A geodesic is a straight-line in flat Euclidian space and in (smooth) curved space will appear straight over any sufficiently small distance, but over larger distances may appear curved (such as gravitational lensing).

    The central mass would only need to be slightly larger than any we can observe. Is that your position?alan1000

    This is correct and is already built into the theory of black holes.

    A collapsing star would, in any case, collapse to a density just enough to become a blackhole on its way to infinite density, and if that actually happens we cannot observe both because it's a blackhole and also we have no devices that count to infinity. That we cannot measure infinity anyways is the more general problem for all conjectures of real infinities in any context (size of the universe, electron density, whether space / fields are continuous in some aspects and so on).

    Beyond the event horizon there can easily be a force that stops further collapse.

    For example, neutron stars are pretty close to the threshold of becoming a blackhole.

    We can easily imagine the universe being such that neutron stars were a bit more dense and became blackholes, and so in this thought experiment, even if we came up with the idea of a neutron star, we could never verify they do actually exist as they'd all be hidden by event horizons.

    So if there was some force after a neutron star collapses that kicks in later and prevents further collapse, but was dense enough to be a blackhole, then we'd be in the same situation of having no idea about these forms of matter that prevent further collapse.

    And this is not all that counter intuitive, no more strange than why a planet doesn't collapse into a blackhole, the only difference being that we can't see what forces may be at play preventing further collapse in a blackhole.

    Also of note, if you want to create a particle accelerator large enough to "really find out", you just end up creating blackholes in your collisions and still can't see what's going on.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    They are still better than nothing.Olivier5

    How do you know they are better than nothing? How do you know without the West first making the entirely false promises and expectation that Ukraine would one day join NATO in a useful period of time (say anytime before Russia invaded) and also encouraging total war rather than a negotiated settlement early on, Ukrainians would not be far better off?

    How many allies does Russia have, again?Olivier5

    Ukraine does not have allies. Ukraine has arms suppliers.

    There's a big difference. Allies would be in Ukraine right now fighting on behalf of their ally.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Because we are stingy and reactive rather than proactive.Olivier5

    Behold Ukraine's friends / liabilities: stingy and reactive.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Oh, you lost the plot again! You can evaluate or criticise everything you want. Even Putin, if you ever wanted to…. Ha ha ha. It’s no skin off my nose. You keep on trying to make it personal, trying to hurt. But the war is not fought here on TPF and there is no point in using violence against other posters. Go fight in Dombass if you want to kill other human beings. Here, you will not succeed. You can yell at me at the top of your lungs, I don’t care and I won’t mind. I’m not the one calling the shots.Olivier5

    What violence?

    But anyways, again, excellent demonstration of the incapability of understanding a position other than pro-Zelensky or pro-Putin.

    I'm not going to go fight for Russia, nor Ukraine, and I'm not going to support my country going to fight for Ukraine and I recognise the obvious reality that the West isn't going to go do any actual fighting, actual "defending Ukraine". Ukraine is not our ally, not our friend, but a tool for Western policy.

    I do not view much difference between Ukraine and Russia. Neither represent "freedom".

    What can the West do?

    The West could try to broker a peace, which will take compromise and if the West wants a good outcome for Ukraine it would use the leverage it has.

    Since the West has dug itself into a propaganda whole of Russia ending up even with Crimea would be a "win" for Putin, compared to this delusional position any peace agreement is essentially by definition a win for Putin. But that's purely a consequence of Zelensky and the West's delusional approach to basic features of reality.

    The alternative is more war.

    After 8 months it's now clear what more war means. Russian soldiers are harmed, but the harm to Ukrainian society is orders of magnitudes worse.

    Compared to the offer Zelensky rejected early in the war (independent Dombas still part of Ukraine, recognising Crimea as part of Russia, neutral Ukraine), the price Ukraine has since paid to accomplish nothing remotely close to a better situation than this deal ... it's obviously a regrettable to any common sense person that doesn't actually want Ukrainians to suffer.

    So you think NATO countries should hand over tanks to Ukraine? They’ve taken thousands of them from Russians already. Ukraine now boasts the largest panzer army in Europe. What they really need is an airforce.Olivier5

    Ah, so we've gone from modern Western tanks would obviously be useful for Ukraine ... to Ukraine is totally fine just capturing Russian tanks. Not that your figure is remotely credible, but even if it was true what happens when all those tanks are destroyed; would it not by definition be useful militarily to be conducting the training and setting up the logistics of Western tanks "just in case"?

    Likewise for the anti-air. Why didn't the West send in sophisticated anti-air systems "just in case" the Russians attack critical infrastructure? There was 8 months to prepare to deal with the US own playbook of Shock and Awe.

    Why didn't we?

    I am the only poster to actually describe how an actual Western military intervention (in particular before the war) could have worked, why very likely it would have worked (send in troops, offer economic benefits like Nord Stream 2 going ahead: probability of war very low, mutual beneficial outcome for Russian and Europe ... but no new gas market for the US so of course we can't have a common sense peace).

    You are arguing against this sort of actual support for Ukraine.

    Why? Because any peace before or during the war would be "not-bad" for Russia. That it would be orders of magnitude better for Ukraine is not even part of your thinking.

    You and the other Zelenskyites are not pro-Ukraine. You are simply war horny Russophobes and so reject any peace plan or even military plan that does not result in continuing this mode of warfare with Russia.

    Now that you see the cost of your position, it creates cognitive dissonance neatly resolved by "it's the Ukrainian decision" and the West and citizens of the West can wash their hands of it.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Have you guys discussed this article yet? It argues that the war in Ukraine amounts to genocide. I am hard pressed to disagree. Yet it doesn't even go into the destruction of power infrastructure, which I am worried will lead to mass civilian casualties.hypericin

    The problem is that what the Russians are doing is simply Shock and Awe, which is a US military doctrine and involves targeting civilian infrastructure.

    Of course, when the West does it then it's because that infrastructure is required by the opposing military and for society to "function" and also we "don't count bodies".

    Although Ullman and Wade claim that the need to "[m]inimize civilian casualties, loss of life, and collateral damage" is a "political sensitivity [which needs] to be understood up front", their doctrine of rapid dominance requires the capability to disrupt "means of communication, transportation, food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure",[8] and, in practice, "the appropriate balance of Shock and Awe must cause ... the threat and fear of action that may shut down all or part of the adversary's society or render his ability to fight useless short of complete physical destruction."Shock and Awe, wikipedia

    Is a brief description.

    Anything the US also does, such as Shock and Awe as well as torture, the Western media isn't all that concerned about. Nothing wrong with a little "enhanced interrogation". Obviously if you have a thing, you'd want an enhanced version of the same thing.

    People in the West have been very convinced that Russia shouldn't do these things since the beginning of the war, but is there any feasible way to actually stop a nuclear power?

    In the words of Zelensky:

    We expect the reaction of friends — not just observers — Zelensky

    Apparently your arms dealer isn't your friend after all, as otherwise he wouldn't say this sort of things but just thank his friends the arms dealers.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    And so we're back to the truth of the matter: It mattered/matters less than what you can make people believe.jorndoe

    You're talking about everyone here?

    And that's your preferred form of government, what actually matters, and you're just a loyal patriot willing to believe?

    But otherwise, I fail to see your point.

    Things changed between the Poles and Ukrainians ... for now ... so presumably they could also change back? Or things change between the Poles and Ukrainians so presumably will change with the Russians too ... they'll remake the USSR after all?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    ↪boethius I don’t know what the Ukrainians would be willing to endure. My country sacrificed 2 millions men in WW1. The USSR sacrificed 9 million men in WW2.Olivier5

    That's what we're discussing.

    However, you're only argument here is "Ukraine business!", and it would be Ukraine business and mere academic interest for us, if we weren't sending them weapons.

    First, if we're sending them weapons knowing it is not enough to win anyways would that be a price worth paying (or telling Zelensky to pay)? Having Ukrainian sacrifice so much and still lose?

    And if you're talking about France as an example maybe honest to mention ... France capitulated in WWII, precisely to avoid damages once it seemed the war could not be won.

    So, if your position is "courage les gas, mais si vous abondonne ... c'est la vie!!" That would be more coherent as following the French example.

    But I get it, you won't actually take a position, just defer to the Ukrainians, deny any criticism of the freedom of that choice they are apparently fighting for, and evaluating our arms shipments is off limits, how confident we should be it can and will result in an good outcome for the "common good", or then if it's not enough, certainly tanks are in short supply ... can't spare them at the moment, sorry Ukraine, but we thank you for your sacrifice.

    Is there a better way to paraphrase your position?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    We can say so, of course. We must. An enormous sacrifice is being paid by Ukraine for the common good, which must be recognised.Olivier5

    Ok, there you go, price is worth it so far.

    Assuming it's 100 000 lives to get this far, would you sacrifice (or support Zelensky sacrificing) 300 000 more lives to complete their mission for the common good?

    In this context, common good being the reconquering of the territory in question.
  • Ukraine Crisis

    The decency of supporting a policy (or supporting other people with those policies) that results in thousands of people dying but ... shhh ... we do not say so?

    We focus only on the glory.

    That's what I was missing? The "decorum" of the elites?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    I compare it with the alternative, which is Russia getting its way in Ukraine, which would result in attrocious consequences for both Ukrainians and Russians.Olivier5

    ... Therefore Ukrainian lives are a price you're willing to pay (or support Zelensky paying) as a blood price to retake the territory that Russia currently has?

    Am I missing something?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    For people actually interested in the topic.

    What is confusing in this subject matter of international treatise, is that they are written in highly legal language and very formal, but they are of the same nature as informal and unenforceable agreements, similar to just most promises in normal life: promises of love, promises of taking out the trash, promises of being on time, and other informal promises as you may find between bros that have no standing in a court of law.

    Of course, your bros may actually love you and be on time to your sick and whack party, even helping to clean up and take out the trash in the morning, but there's no legal recourse if they don't.

    Normal people are like OMG the assurances weren't assurances in the Budapest Memorandum, but only because normal people are accustomed to any legal paper being a formal agreement that has legal standing (work contracts, insurance policies, sale terms, and so on) and, almost never, are the informal promises of daily life cast in a formal language.

    But, to understand what is really going on in these international relations, just stop and imagine if you made some legal looking paper for promises that you know don't need to be kept. It's fun and ceremonial, maybe has some useful information to note such as keep track of some important information (like who's taking out the compost and when), but it is not really a contract like your work contract is a contract.

    So, maybe people do what they say, but evaluating that would have little to do with your little legal ceremony.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Since you can't quote literally any parties to support your claim, you invent your own fictional evidences. You look so dumb, bro.neomac

    You clearly just have no reading comprehension.

    The claim that "security guarantees" are as meaningful as "trust us bro" is the claim that, just like between bros promising a sick and whack party, as you've already noted yourself, there's only "historical trends" in which to evaluate if the party will indeed be sick and whack. For instance, if your bros have thrown sick and whack parties previously, then stands to reason that this new party they speak of will be of a similar mintage. However, adding embellishment to the basic promise that the "party will be good" neither guarantees the party will in fact be good nor even guarantees it will happen at all. If your bros absolutely, positively, guarantee you, 100% fresh, the party is both happening and will be incredible ... we are no closer to being any more certain than we are based on the "historical trends" of these party throwers.

    Compare this to a company guaranteeing your computer will turn on. If it doesn't, you have legal recourse for damages and can sue this company. Could Ukraine sue the US for not keeping a promise? No.

    It doesn't matter how you dress up the promise, Ukraine will have no legal resource and have no reason other than, you put your finger on it, "historical trends" in which to decide the likelihood promises will be kept in an agreement.

    Calling the promises "security guarantees" does indeed sound fancy and something you can trust from ol' country, but it's a euphemism. It is a noun in the nominal world referring to an agreement, but that agreement can completely lack any guarantee.

    Just like, nominally, the "Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances" is very assuring indeed ... but if you actually read it, the actual real substance doesn't seem too assuring at all and didn't actually happen when the time came to "assure" Ukraine about the promises made.

    If it was actually assuring, representing some sort of real assuring substance of some kind, there would be no need for talk of any new security guarantees now, mighty fine nations have already committed to making sure Ukraine's borders are respected, so let them do that as they said they would.

    Of course they'll have to consult first, but that's just the first step of a much bigger plan they are clearly committed to.

    So, considering the Security Assurances were ornamental addition to what amounted to "trust us bro", why would just renaming what is in essence the same thing to "security guarantees" be a single gram of coke lighter than "trust us bro".
  • Ukraine Crisis
    The only reason they left Kherson was the suffering they went through.Olivier5

    What is it with your obsession with little me? This war is not about me. I pay no price for it, or very little.Olivier5

    You're the one debating here. Why would I join a discussion to discuss with people that are absent?

    But, if you don't have the courage of your convictions to lay out a reasonable price to pay for reconquering all of Ukraine, seems indeed you no longer have any position at all in this discussion. I'll note that down.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    You’ve been saying that for 8 month.Olivier5

    This process has been happening for 8 months.

    For example, media believed man-portable systems were enough to "beat the Russians", gushed unending praise ... eventually caught up with the reality that wasn't the case.

    In the summer Ukraine, the war was all but declared over aft the Russians withdrew from the North, and Ukraine was declared "winning" even if they were steadily losing ground, and eventually the media caught up with that reality.

    Right now, while Ukraine has been making advances, media has been gushing praise on Zelensky's uncompromising diplomatic positions, but is slowly catching up to the reality that we have not witnessed decisive battles, collapse of Russian forces and / or the economy and / or the political system, and the media is slowly catching up this reality.

    Always weeks and weeks after it is obvious.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    What is fallacious in your reasoning is that we are compelled to consider with "zero meaning" the "security guarantee" just because the word "guarantee" suggests to you certainty. This reasoning is utterly dumb and has no ground in geopolitical rationality. Indeed you are incapable of providing any parties (Russian or Ukrainian or Western) that understand the word "guarantee" the way you suggest.
    So you built a fictitious "straw man" to argue against. That's how intellectually desperate you are.

    You are literally describing how the word "guarantee" doesn't literally mean "guarantee" ... as why would it be a guarantee in any sense of certainty.

    In other words, according to your own explanation, guarantee in this context is ornamental and a euphemism for "trust us bro".

    Can we count on these "guarantees": of course not! Don't be silly! is your new position.

    Again, you may have "bro trends" or bro leverage or other broformation particular to the broverse in which you base your decision to trust your bros. But is the bro code 100% reliable, "guaranteed" in any meaningful sense. Alas, t'is not.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    It’s not my position. You’re very easily confused. I just tried to provide you with an answer to your question, based on what I heard and what seems reasonable to me. You are welcome to address my explainations, but they are not « my position ».Olivier5

    You are really saying after hundreds of pages of arguing the situation in Ukraine, that your position is not Ukraine is fighting a just war, can will, will win and therefore should keep fighting to victory?

    Or something very, very close to that ... so close, that this is an accurate and reasonable summary of your position?

    Note that the suffering is mutual. Over the past few months, the evidence is that the Russians suffered the most. I wonder why you keep forgeting their sufferings… not allowed in the putinista narrative I guess. Russians ought to be depicted as victors, always.Olivier5

    First, the suffering is not mutual. Ukrainian economy is in free fall, entire cities severely damaged or abandoned, industry in disarray and now the Russians are turning off the lights. Should somebody stop them? Maybe ... but I don't see anyone going and doing that.

    In simple military terms, Russians have withdrawn from one week point (West of the Dnieper) and one strategically unimportant area (around Kharkiv).

    Zero questions this is not desirable for the Russians and no questions it is embarrassing, especially Kherson. I am 100% aware that annexing territory and then withdrawing from it looks dumb. But that's intense warfare. UK, France, US, Germany, Japan, Russia all had embarrassing setbacks in WWII.

    However, embarrassment is not suffering.

    Ukraine paid a high cost for their offensives as well as continuing to pressure Russian force. We do not know the cost exactly, obviously every estimate will be accused of bias.

    What we can know is that it would be common military wisdom that if the Ukrainians are attacking and in addition the Russians are able to withdraw without being routed, that Ukrainian losses, aka. suffering, will be higher than the Russians.

    In other words, if Russia is suffering more losses than Ukraine while defending, that would be unexpected.

    Second, to expand on what @Isaac just explained to you, the amount of territory the Russians are occupying is pretty significant.

    As I described months ago, what actually matters at this stage in the war is losses multiplied by the distance covered.

    We don't know what the losses are, but what amount of losses would be worth it to you?

    For example, assuming that it took 100 000 dead Ukrainians to get this far, and just "eyeballing it" at this rate it's going to take another 200 000 to 300 000 Ukrainian KIA to reconquer the rest of the territory, would you pay that price?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Still a liar, my position didn't evolve.neomac

    You went from "pre-condition" to "rational requirement" to "considering the nuclear deterrence they both had" ... that I remind you "Ukraine doesn't have!" but apparently that had no relation to your original use of the word "pre-condition".

    That you were just pointing out US and Soviet Union had nuclear weapons, Ukraine doesn't have nuclear weapons, the nuclear weapons was a precondition for "something" ... just not the kind of deals we were actually talking about that Ukraine also agreed to.

    But your conjectures do not prove anything from a geopolitical point of view. What gives meaning to such agreements is the actual geopolitical and historical circumstances, and their trends.neomac

    You start by contradicting my position, that guarantees aren't ornamental ... and then just repeat my position back to me.

    We engage with promises that aren't guaranteed in any sense of the word all the time: All the way to the altar. It's in fact the usual state of affairs that people can break their promises to us. Of course, there can be plenty of reasons to trust someone even if there is no real consequence to them for breaking their word to you.

    There is very particular (and unusual) set of contractual promises in which guarantee is not ornamental. A company sells you something and guarantees the delivery date, quality, etc. and doesn't deliver, there is actual legal recourse to recover the damages. Of course, not guaranteed in the sense of certainty, but in this legal recourse sense.

    Now, if the word "guarantee" is ornamental and basically a euphemism for "trust me bro" then we are indeed in agreement that you'd need to be evaluating other things to decide if the United States, or any other state, is actually going to keep their word.

    You've basically transitioned into this euphemistic use of the word guarantee: not certain, not legal, no legal recourse ... but what's the status of such a promise with the word guarantee attached?

    It's: trust me bro.

    Now, maybe Biden, Sunak, Macron and the rest of them, really are Zelensky's bro's and they got his back for personal bro code reasons that are personal to them, even if it's against the interest of their respective nations. Maybe Zelensky can feel that bro spirit and knows the promises will be fulfilled when the time comes. Or, maybe Zelensky evaluates "historical trends" and determines that whatever is promised will be delivered for a bunch of reasons. Or maybe Zelensky has some leverage that would increase the cost of any party not respecting the deal, for instance we've already discussed the cost to Russia for another war would be primarily ... the cost of another war, Zelensky or a new Ukrainian presidents leverage being the fighting of another war. Zelensky could maybe have some leverage on the US, UK et. al. such as invading Poland or something, that would increase the cost of unkept promises.

    I explain at some length that there can be other reasons outside of what wording is used in an agreement to believe that people, even an entire nation, will keep their word: nearly all of it is called circumstances and leverage.

    However, if you want to be more certain than what amounts to futurology of historical trends, if you want a real and substantive "guarantee" from the parties, to be really sure they're keeping their word on their honour: is not on offer in international relations.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Blablabla, just to change subject while still implicitly proving that such agreements are not ornamental at all! Catastrophic!

    Congrats for your epic fail, dude!

    I go to some length to explain that agreements coordinate actions between willing participants, and also solve catch 22 situation where one party is willing only if another party is too.

    In the case of Russia evaluating NATO-Ukraine footsie, it maybe well aware that US promises such as:

    “We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO,” NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference, reading from a communique agreed at a summit of the pact’s 26 leaders in Bucharest.

    “That is quite something,” he added.

    Are meaningless insofar as promises go. Maybe US has zero intention of ever letting Ukraine join NATO.

    However, that Russia knows what promises from a more powerful state to a less powerless state are worth, it cannot know what the US actually intends or will do if the circumstances change.

    You have simply strawmanned my position with conflating the ornamental nature of guarantee with the idea no one ever does what they promise.

    Promises can be kept between nations, but because the promising party believed at the time of the agreement and continues to believe that it was a reasonable promise to make and in their interests to keep it. Adding "guarantee" or other flowery language is of minor consideration.

    For example:

    There's been this bizarre historical revisionism that Ukraine should have held out for "guarantees" rather than settle for "assurances" in the "Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances".

    Since these "assurances" turned out to mean nothing, the thinking is that people knew that at the time.

    But what's the substantive actual meaning of "assurances" ... is it really "means nothing"? Obviously not, at the time assurances was meaningful.

    It's only since these assurances turned out to be meaningless that "assurances" have become a euphemism for "nice things people say sometimes" in international political analysis.

    If the assurances turned out to be meaningful in 2014 when Ukraine first started complaining about the "commitments" not being kept, then people would not go around today saying these assurances were meaningless, they would point to US and other signatory actions as clear evidence of the meaning of the assurances.

    If a new agreement is struck and called "The guarantees agreement" and then the day comes where whatever is guaranteed should be fulfilled ... and it's not, then "guarantee" would be the new euphemism for what people say because it sounded nice at the time.

    The last clause states: "6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments."

    Which, notice the actual promise is only to "consult" ... but as far as I know these parties didn't do even that. Well what exactly is the meaning of "commitments" if all you're actually promising to do is "consult" about questions concerning them?

    Any new agreement will be in the exact ontological and epistemological and legal status as the "Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances".

    The mistake was not "ah, damn, if only we held out for the word 'guarantee', then Russia could not have invaded."

    The mistake was not navigating political reality since in a competent and non-delusional way and believing NATO's promises were meaningful from Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, rather than consider the possibility that NATO may not be able to offer meaningful protection ... at least not from the destruction that has been brought to Ukraine so far.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    I NEVER MADE SUCH A CLAIM, YOU LIAR, quote where I did! I just claimed that "security guarantees" (or equivalent) are neither "ornamental" nor "meaningless" and that it’s rational for Zelensky to pursue them based on the current geopolitical and historical circumstances.
    That is supported by the quotations I previously reported.

    I don't have time for the rest of your post just now, but I'd like to point out the reading comprehension that, perhaps, you could spend some time in the meanwhile to reflect on.

    What do I say, that you literally cite just above your reaction?

    Now, if you're saying Zelensky knows that security guarantees are only ornamental fluff to promises that will only be kept if it suits the promising party to keep the promise (aka. a nominal but meaningless promise), then I'd be happy to hear that Zelensky isn't delusional on this point of international relations.boethius

    Key words: "If you're saying".

    It's called "if" followed by a "then".

    It was honestly unclear to me what your position has evolved into with all the goal post moving around.

    So, if your position is A, then B.

    You can clarify that your position is "not-A", which you have done.

    As for your position, you literally cite as evidence for your position ... evidence that supports my position, such as international law is a voluntary thing (so obviously guarantees also voluntary, which is the opposite of guarantees).

    All you're discovering is that "guarantees" is euphemism for "trust us bro" (as I've been explaining) and, sure, it can be reasonable for Zelensky to get whatever promises and statements of trust he can in a deal, but "guarantees" are purely ornamental. If the US goes back on its word in the future (such as make certain "assurances" it doesn't give a shit about now), Ukraine will have no recourse. If Ukrainians complain "but I thought it was guaranteed" ... what's the answer going to be from the neocon appreciation brigade on reddit defending the US's position? "All is fair in love and war," or maybe "life's not fair, take care of your own security" etc.

    In addition, you are discovering the nominal world can be very different to the real world of actual substance.

    For example, I sell you a lemon, I guarantee you it's sour. You want to be sure so ask for that guarantee in writing, as you want it actually guaranteed and for some crazy reasons if the lemon turns out not to be sour you'll suffer incredibly high damages.

    So, I go and write a contract and I call it the "Boethius lemon super promise hyper guarantee" and in this contract I write clauses that explain I am not liable for anything.

    You read it and explain I'm not guaranteeing anything with this contract, and I respond "but it's got guarantee right in the title of the contract, you're crazy."

    What do we learn, that simply calling something a guarantee doesn't make it a guarantee. If there's zero consequence for me delivering a non-sour lemon or even no lemon at all, it maybe a nominal guarantee as it's a contract with guarantee in the contract but in the real world of actual substance it is not a guarantee as there's nothing to keep me to my word.

    Guarantee in the context of agreements refers to some actual consequence for not delivering.

    In this case of US guaranteeing something to Ukraine, no such consequence would be there, so no guarantee is there in actual substance of the real things in the world.

    Now, maybe US keeps it's word anyways, but maybe not.

    Again, think about things for a few seconds. If you ask me for that lemon, and I say I'll get it to you but maybe not, and you say "man, I really need to be sure, can you guarantee it" and I say "zero problems guaranteeing it, I guarantee you I'll get you that lemon, but of course maybe not, things could shake out that way" and then you say "that's not a guarantee then!!!" and then I say "but I literally just said I guarantee it to you!! ... just, with the added information that maybe not, because nothing is actually guaranteed."

    This is the kind of confusion you get yourself into if you mixup nominal ornamental things with real things in the world. There is a difference between calling something a "guarantee" and that thing being a guarantee in some substantive way.

    More appropriate term that describes reality would be that what diplomats call "security guarantees" are actually in the real world of substance "security reasons". They maybe reasons to accept the deal, they may even actually happen, but they are not guarantees in some substantive contractual sense of guarantee.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    I am struck by how quickly our good friend boethius here is prompt to lose the plot, or change the goal post. First he says Ukraine is part of no collective, then that the UN -- which includes Ukraine -- does not define itself as a collective, and when proved wrong on it, he then segues into the UN not currently operating as a collective... Well, it does and it does not, depending.Olivier5

    Proving what? A "collective" (as defined by the dictionary) has collective interests and collective actions and policies.

    The UN is mainly a diplomatic tool for different actual collectives (called nation states) to meet and try negotiate opposing (rather than collective) interests. Of course, from time to time and on some issues all interests align, or sufficiently so, and there's collective action on that point. But to say the UN brings the US, Russia, Ukraine, China, Iran etc. into one "collective" one unitary political body, is absurd.

    For example, contract the "United Nations" with the "United States of America". True, they both have the word "United" in their name, and, true, they both bring together different states into interaction and some shared resources and some collective actions, they even both have some sort of leader. However, the United States of America in an actual collective providing actual collective security to it's member states, and the United Nations is very much a different thing.

    Collective is not a good word to describe the United Nations and even if it was is a terrible example of a "collective" in the sense of "collective security" that Ukraine is apart of ... because Russia too is apart of the United Nations.

    It's almost unbelievable that that detail is lost on you guys. Bringing up the UN as a potential "collective" in which to invoke "collective security" (the topic of discussion) is just completely absurd as not only is Russia a member of the same "collective" but Russia is a far more powerful member with a veto on whatever the UN even tries to do on topics of security.

    And then you accuse others of losing the plot?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Did you read my answer to that question, re. the tanks? Maybe we can stop asking queestions that have been answered already.Olivier5

    You mean:

    I would think that the reasons for this are that tanks cost a lost of money, are in short supply, and you don't want the enemy to get hold of them.Olivier5

    That you believe this is sufficient explanatory power?

    For the airforce support I believe an additional issue would be related to avoid escalating the war.Olivier5

    Escalating the war to what? A war Ukraine can win? And if there going to win anyways, just barely, why not have them win sooner and save plenty of lives?

    Your position is that Ukraine can and will win ... but just barely after a maximum amount of preventable Ukrainian suffering, because if they won an inch faster that would be an escalation?

    Just because folks have opinions and share them here, does not make those a form of "parroting" of anyone. ssu and @SophistiCat have been critical of Zelensky after the Polish missile incident, and that is evidently at a variance with Ukrainian propaganda. You guys don't like it when we disagree with you, fair enough, but we are not parroting the enemies of the folks you are parroting.Olivier5

    Anyways, just so people are aware:

    If his country is attacked, it is totally logical for him to try to get as much assistance. That's the urge for a no-fly-zone earlier in the war. And because of the nuclear deterrent, that possibility was totally out of the question. Now later a gaffe that he has backtracked seems have you and Isaac all over for many pages describing the wickedness of the Ukrainians.ssu

    Is from @ssu and not my description. If you cite someone citing someone else, you should put in the effort to format things so that's clear ... at least retain the default behaviour which is still to copy the person's name and a dash, so it's clear it's a citation (just can't tell when it started without additional effort put into make your post clear).

    However, as I mention previously, I will go over the entire discussion when I have time to verify if indeed pro-Zelensky proponents aren't changing their positions to just reflect or defend what Zelensky or Ukrainian intelligence is saying at the moment.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    If you had spy satellites, you probably wouldn't feel manipulated.frank


    So... you're saying Zelensky is just stupid enough to lie to people who would know he's lying? So it's not a lie?

    ... Also, I don't have spy satellites, many other parties that jumped in to support Zelensky assuming he had some basis for what he was saying, also didn't have spy satellites.

    You're saying manipulating everyone else who doesn't have spy satellites ... we just don't care about them (like the Kurds ... and Afghanis ... and Iraqis ... and Georgians etc.)?

    But, even if we ignore everyone else, what if the US administration, who saw what happened with their satellites as you say they would, and saw it was a lie, but felt too invested in Zelensky to contradict him, so go along with the story. That's not manipulation?

    Even more alarming, what if the US administration, being the only other party with any information on what happened, decided it was a great lie that Zelensky is telling, suits US "goals", and they push the lie too. This wouldn't be manipulation on Zelensky's part because he has co-conspirators?

    Robber: "I didn't steal anything, you caught me red handed! Jeesh!! It's not robbing if the people you're trying to rob can stop you! Everyone knows that!!!!"
  • Ukraine Crisis
    I think you're following Isaac in doing your best not to understand that when you act to preserve your life in the face of a lethal threat, your actions can't be condemned, even if your actions result in the death of your attacker.frank

    This is not the issue. Zelensky isn't literally on the battle field kungfooing or whatever.

    Forget about Ukrainians for a moment, forget even about the collateral damage that can obviously be unjustifiable, focus for a moment on a simple question: Is it in our interest to accept Zelensky lying to us?

    Even if I thought it was reasonable for Zelensky (from his point of view) to manipulate me for his own benefit ... is it in my benefit to be manipulated?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Zelensky probably will use everything at his disposal to secure his goals. Since it's a matter of self-preservation, it can't be condemned. We'll all do what we have to do to survive, and for many, that extends to the political entities we're parts of.frank

    @Isaac has pointed out the basic problem with your statement.

    However, I think even more revealing is the underlining self-contradiction in this sort of apologetics for Zelensky.

    For, shouldn't Europeans also do what it takes to survive? Which may require throwing Ukraine under the bus in a deal for Russian gas?

    Now, imagine this was the self-interested and self-preserving action, for the sake of argument, would you maintain your position that it cannot be condemned? even the most viscous stab in the back (we can even go wild and imagine Ukrainians literally falling off of our aircraft as we high-tail our embassy staff and special forces the fuck out of there). It's self preservation after all.

    Yet ... how would this square with the West's own Churchillian ideals of defending freedoms and things? Just doing and saying whatever we need to manipulate the Ukrainians and secure our goals? Sending arms to fight the Russians when it advances our goals, cutting a deal and abandoning the Ukrainians when the circumstances change.

    Do we accept the (good, Western) Afghanis and (good, Western) Iraqis, and Kurds ... and Georgians, are only allies of convenience as they are foreign enough (some of them brown!) whereas Ukraine, because they have hot woman to a noble Western sensibility?, gets special treatment and we'll even pursue their goals at the cost of our own?
  • Ukraine Crisis
    First, in our exchange, you wasted all occasions to quote where Zelensky used the word "precondition" which would be relevant to your argument.neomac

    Why would this be relevant to my argument? The word precondition was already being discussed, the point of discussion was if Zelensky's precondition to negotiate were reasonable or not.

    If you want a citation of Zelensky literally using the word precondition, here you go:

    "We agreed that the Ukrainian delegation would meet with the Russian delegation without preconditions on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, near the Pripyat River," he said in a statement.Reuters

    Zelensky demands Russian troops leave Ukraine as precondition to diplomacyThe Times of Isreal

    How does citing Zelensky using the word precondition or journalist reporting on his preconditions relevant to the argument here?

    What is relevant here is that the word precondition was already being discussed, that was the whole focus of my point you were clearly trying to rebut.

    "Precondition" wasn't referred to deterrence means nor nuclear weapons (this is your misunderstanding), but to considering the available deterrence means as a rational ground for pursuing any kind of security agreement by geopolitical agents. In other words, I was referring to a rational requirement.neomac

    Again, look where you've moved the goal posts.

    You start off with bait-and-switch the meaning of precondition, which you were obviously using for the reason that it tied into the debate that was ongoing, not some maverick "off-book" and "I don' give a shit about your dictionary and I make my own rules, here's a new meaning for this word that server no pragmatic purpose to just randomly invent now with no explanation."

    Next, what do you explain here? Exactly what I describe, that in order to remove the original meaning from your statement to not admit saying something false and foolish, you are saying nothing at all. US and Soviet Union considered "available deterrence means" in making agreements ... and so did everyone else, including Ukraine, in joining various non-proliferation treaties.

    All you're saying is "agents" reason about things. Obviously they do. Moreso giant institutions that run entire countries.

    But that's simply obviously not the point you were making. In using the word "pre-condition" and emphasising that Ukraine is in a different nuclear status, you were clearly rebutting my position and supporting Zelensky's intransigence.

    If you were just chiming into say that people reason about things, just in a pseudo-intellectual bullshit way of speaking with "geopolitical agents" and all, then you would have made that clear: you would have said "of course, having nuclear deterrence isn't a precondition for anything, and I'd never mention the idea, but Ukraine may reason themselves to a peace deal or then reason themselves to continue fighting, both conclusion could be potentially reasonable hypothetically given everything that should be considered in making these kinds of decisions." In other words, if you were stating the obvious you would have said you were stating the obvious and then maybe explain something not obvious that follows from that.

    This argument is perfectly consequential and in contradiction to the claim that the military cooperation between Ukraine and the West is "zero meaningful" from a geopolitical point of view. This war is proving exactly the opposite of such spectacularly dumb claim of yours.neomac

    What the hell are you talking about?

    My point is that any promise to Ukraine by the West is meaningless in itself. The promise would be fulfilled if, later, it suits these powers to fulfil the promise. If, later, it doesn't suit these powers to fulfil the promise then it won't be fulfilled. There's alignment for now (for some arms, but "tut, tut, tut get your dirty hands of the shiny shit"), I'm just pointing out that if that alignment ever went away (such as happened with the Kurds) then no piece of paper is going to matter.

    An obvious reality you seem finally to agree with.


    “There is only one goal (from Russia): to destroy our independence. There’s no other goal in place. That’s why we need security guarantees. … And we believe we have already demonstrated our forces’ capability to the world.”Zelensky, quoted by CNN

    Now, if you're saying Zelensky knows that security guarantees are only ornamental fluff to promises that will only be kept if it suits the promising party to keep the promise (aka. a nominal but meaningless promise), then I'd be happy to hear that Zelensky isn't delusional on this point of international relations.


    Russia doesn't only cite nuclear weapons as a threat from NATO, but forward deployed missile bases.

    Tangible weapons systems in the real world owned and operated by NATO that require NATO membership to be deployed in your country.

    Now, there was a de facto understanding after the ascension of the Baltic's into NATO that certain systems wouldn't be forward deployed in order to reduce tensions and the possibility of accidents.

    NATO then forward deployed exactly those missile systems saying "something, something, Iran" even though that made no sense. Whether this was breaking a promise or not, clearly NATO's policy is to forward deploy threatening weapons systems.

    The deployment of actual weapons systems is what matters.

    If the Baltics were nominally in NATO but hosted no NATO infrastructure, then, yes, this isn't really a threat as no NATO attacks could be launched given this lack of NATO infrastructure to do so. It's a reasonable compromise to maintain a reasonable defensive posture: we won't forward deploy to the Baltics as we have no intention to attack you, but we will come to their aid if they are attacked.

    Of course, once you do forward deploy military systems you are by definition threatening the people in range of those systems and the logic of a defensive posture goes away.

    The apologetics logic about this is that Russia shouldn't view these forward deployed systems as a threat, even if there's no other reason for it, because in NATO's heart of hearts they're not "out to get Russia", that's paranoid delusion talk.

    But, if the first reaction of the West to this war in Ukraine is that it's an opportunity to weaken Russia, a geopolitical rival ... then obviously NATO was indeed threatening Russia all along.

    Now, being threatened by real weapons systems in the real world does not then justify any action, but it does make this story of "unprovoked attack" absurd propaganda. If you threaten me and I punch you in the face, I could definitely still be in the wrong and be convicted of assault, but it wasn't unprovoked.

    But to focus on the central issue we've been discussing:


    I have said adding the word "guarantee" to a promise is ornamental. The texts of international agreements still matter for what they actually do: coordinate actions of willing participants.

    If there's a peace deal and Russia wants to follow it, then what the peace deal says matters a great deal as they'll need to read it to implement it, and likewise other parties will see their actions and compare it to the deal to evaluate if the Russians are indeed intending to stick to peace (rather than attack again or then just not follow some parts of the deal as they don't feel like it, perhaps motivating others to not follow their parts of the deal that they only want to follow if Russia is doing their part).

    This coordination of willing participants to a deal is not ornamental.

    More importantly, real weapons systems in the real world is not ornamental.

    The military relevance of Ukraine joining NATO would be forward deployment of NATO weapons systems to Ukraine, which would then be there fore decades and under conditions that today we cannot predict.

    An analogy is that if I point a gun at you but assure you I don't intend to fire it. Well, even if that were true, maybe the situation changes and you want to fire it later, or then someone jumps out of a giant novelty cake in surprise and it startles you into firing it.

    The NATO apologetics on this issue is that NATO weapons systems aren't a threat to anyone: obviously they are.


    But to focus on another error in analysis. Everyone says that the footsie between NATO and Ukraine, even if we do see NATO policy is to forward deploy under stupid pretext (like "Iran" needs to be defended from the Baltics ... no closer NATO country or US / NATO base to Iran is convenient for that purpose), didn't matter because Ukraine wasn't going to join NATO anytime soon.

    How would the Russians actually know what's imminent or not?

    And, take a step back and think about this form of apologetics, as it is premised on the idea that it would be justified to attack Ukraine if NATO promises to Ukrainian weren't meaningless ornaments.

    However, I have not described promises in international relations as meaningless ornaments, only embellishing or trying to "lock in" the promise is, and can only be, ornamental. Promises are meaningful as people may actually intend to carry out the promise, and if that is the case then the exchange of promises coordinates further cooperative action ... just in no way guarantees things stay that way nor if one's belief in other people's declared intentions turns out to be a good idea in hindsight.

    But what's asked in this apology is that we must view Russia's concerns about NATO weapons systems in Ukraine as unfounded and foolish, because we must obviously know that NATO's promises to Ukraine are meaningless.

    But, if NATO, UKraine, Russia, and everyone else knows the promises from NATO to Ukraine are totally meaningless (of friendship and partnership and joining NATO presumably in a useful way before and not after being invaded and significantly harmed) ... what was the purpose of those promises in the first place other than simply to provoke Russia? Promises aren't going to happen, everyone knows that, so why make the promises?

    Now, what we should demand of Russia in interpreting such information is one topic, but clearly if the only explanation available is an intent to provoke a war, we can certainly all agree that the NATO-Ukraine footsie game was of criminal intent on NATO's part: would not and could not protect Ukraine, only meant to provoke a war at the expense of Ukraine.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    This is a pretty ridiculous canard, even by your standards. Nobody here repeats Ukrainian intelligence service material or whatever Zelensky says.Olivier5

    I have zero problem reading the entire thread and verifying your claim. Also, keep in mind that apologising for Zelensky is also apart of it ... which we just went through an example of:

    If his country is attacked, it is totally logical for him to try to get as much assistance. That's the urge for a no-fly-zone earlier in the war. And because of the nuclear deterrent, that possibility was totally out of the question. Now later a gaffe that he has backtracked seems have you and Isaac all over for many pages describing the wickedness of the Ukrainians.ssu

    If Zelensky lied or had delusional requests (like a no-fly zone) then we're asked to just understand that he's fighting a war and doing whatever, zero expectations to make sense. If he's caught in a lie ... that's just a "gaffe".

    I would think that the reasons for this are that tanks cost a lost of money, are in short supply, and you don't want the enemy to get hold of them.Olivier5

    How does this make any sense whatsoever? Again, exactly the apologetics for NATO policy I just described to avoid the inconvenient truth.

    First, tanks are not in short supply.

    [quote="List of currently active United States military land vehicles
    ;"]M1 Abrams – 5,000 active use. Approx. 3,000 stored[/quote]

    And that's just the US tanks ... doesn't seem like tanks are in short supply.

    Second, even if the tanks were in the short supply, one of the foundational justifications for arming Ukraine is so that Ukraine fights the Russians so we don't have to. So, if this was really the policy, you'd want to send tanks to do that fighting.

    So you think NATO countries should support Ukraine with fighter jets and tanks? I mean, that's an option worth considering.Olivier5

    The question here is, if the support to Ukraine really is genuine, why hasn't that happened since day one of the war?

    Western political leaders keep saying their objective is to support Ukraine with "whatever they need" to defeat the Russians.

    If we both agree fighter jets and tanks would be useful in that effort, and training is only a temporary problem and totally irrelevant as the war could still be on years or decades from now, why hasn't NATO already started those programs to train, supply, workout the logistics for tanks and planes months ago?

    Is my pointing this out anti-Ukrainian?

    Or, it is just the reality that the West is using Ukraine for its own purposes, not Ukraine's purposes, and those purposes don't include actually defeating the Russians (otherwise their actions would be consistent with such a goal).

    If that's the truth, objectives cannot be attained through military force (as NATO is holding back the support required to do that), then the alternative to indefinite war or a war that you lose, is compromise and make peace with the Russians.

    What I have issue with is people who accept NATO isn't really supporting Ukraine enough to win (obviously we agree here jets and tanks are nice to have) ... but also support indefinite fighting or uncompromising diplomatic positions.

    You can support an uncompromising diplomatic position, but that only makes sense (for Ukrainians) if you believe Ukraine can win, and therefore believe NATO is going to support that. But holding back weapons systems for no reason (if the goal is to actually defeat the Russians) is incompatible with the premise.
  • Ukraine Crisis
    Thanks for the laugh. You’re the voice of Moscow here. Of course you are anti-Ukrainian.Olivier5

    Essentially your position, along with the other Zelenkyites, is that support for Ukraine means support for Ukrainian propaganda, and especially whatever Zelensky says. If he contradicts himself (which he does often) then it is incumbent upon us to understand why Zelensky would want us believing something one day and the opposite the next day. If he gets caught lying (such as making accusations without justification; such as these missiles, existence of Nazi's sporting the black sun in his entourage, or the basic historical facts leading up to the war) then we must understand that of course he was motivated to lie to us! It was to his advantage for us to believe whatever he says and he's fighting a war!

    However, does just parroting whatever Zelensky or Ukrainian intelligence service say, benefit Ukraine?

    Let's take an example. One "pro-Russia" view I was accused of early on, was my conclusion that Javelins and other man-portable-weapons would not be enough to win any major offensive or counter-offensive, that armour is needed for this kind of warfare. At the time, NATO had a no-armour policy, and the pro-NATO and pro-Ukrainian position was that of course Javelins are enough.

    Now, many moons pass and it goes without saying that Ukraine needs armour to accomplish anything on the battlefield.

    Well, what did the obvious lie (NATO certainly knew as well as I you need armour for this kind of fighting on this kind of terrain) accomplish?

    Thousands of Ukrainians dead that maybe would be still alive if armour was supplied sooner.

    And, despite it being now completely obvious to everyone that Ukraine needs armour to compete on the battlefield, NATO still maintains the policy of no NATO produced tanks ... well, why is that? NATO just want Ukrainians to die when superior NATO tanks could save them?

    The excuse is that NATO tanks are different and it would require training ... ok, well, train them then. Considering this war could go on for years, the time it would take to train Ukrainians on NATO tanks doesn't seem all that relevant. Had things got started in February, seems to me that it would be quite easy to field several companies of Leopard 2 or M1 Abrams tanks. Sure it takes time, but it doesn't take more than 8 months to to train a tank crew, especially if they already have military and tank experience.

    Of course, it doesn't feel good that NATO is holding back weapons and training, getting Ukrainians killed that could have had better protection, all while claiming to be fully supporting Ukraine's fight. But that's the obvious truth.

    Worse, the substitute for NATO built tanks is Soviet built tanks, which NATO has been scrounging left and right to throw into Ukraine. Some of these tanks are incredibly outdated and basically a coffin on wheels. Of course, better than nothing, but not only is it simply hypocritical for NATO to hold back the good stuff, but what happens when Ukraine just runs out of tanks entirely?

    The day Ukraine simply doesn't have tanks and Ukrainian lines start to crumble because of that, wouldn't be the optimum time for NATO to sigh and finally provide the NATO built tanks and training.

    Pointing the policy is not genuine on NATO's part, is not anti-Ukrainian, it's just reality.

    Now, the apologetics for this reality is that NATO doesn't want to provoke Russia too much, so can't "go crazy" and just supply anything that would be useful to fight a war and accomplish the stated objectives (we're not even going to talk about F-16s ... much less F-35s) ... but why would these weapons systems be too provocative? Obviously because it might allow Ukraine to obviously win ... so, what's the policy? Clearly not let Ukraine actually win.

    What's the consequence of propping up Ukraine enough to fight but not with? A very large amount of suffering in the pursuit of objectives that cannot be accomplished.
  • Ukraine Crisis

    If his country is attacked, it is totally logical for him to try to get as much assistance. That's the urge for a no-fly-zone earlier in the war. And because of the nuclear deterrent, that possibility was totally out of the question. Now later a gaffe that he has backtracked seems have you and Isaac all over for many pages describing the wickedness of the Ukrainians.

    It would be typical of Russian propaganda to say Zelensky has "in mind to go all the way to nuclear war". As if he was the instigator of this war.

    Ah, ok, making false accusations in the context of a delusional "urge" to put the world on a path to nuclear war in order to get more assistance, is just a:


    Nothing to see here. All completely:

  • Ukraine Crisis
    The Nazi thing was and is a ruse.jorndoe

    Yes it was.

    But notice how eagerly it was employed even on this thread by some very active participants.

    Over 8 months ago I posted several reports by Western media (made before the war) investigating the Nazi's in Ukraine.

    Are these Western journalists working for Putin? Just part of the ruse you're talking about?

    If it's not a ruse ... well what is the ruse?

    Why didn't yourselves or anyone who thinks the Nazi's aren't a problem explain why these reports aren't alarming, 8 months ago or anytime since?

    At the time, the opposing view was that yes these Nazi's were a problem, there just wasn't enough of them to justify an invasion. I asked at the time, and several times since, what "enough Nazi's" would be; as to say there's not enough Nazi's with not enough power to justify invasion, implies some theory and analysis of where the line of too-many-Nazi's is and that the facts point to Ukraine being on the not-enough side of that line.

    A simple question one would presumably need to answer to support Ukraine is fighting a just war, rather than using an unjust war (started in 2014 against separatist who have a right to self determination same as Ukraine) to build a fascist regime where all their political opposition is banned.

    But, maybe you just forgot to respond to my comment and these reports I posted 8 months, and just require a friendly reminder to do so now:

    The backlash is people getting into severe cognitive dissonance which disrupts the war horny trance like state they were in previously, when they encounter the fact the "neo-Nazi" problem isn't some fringe skinheads in some seedy bar, but a whole institution.

    Which, please pay attention to the "black sun" which doesn't even have any apologist "it's just a rune" or "ancient Sanskrit symbol" whatever explanation, but literally created by the SS for the SS.

    And also discover, at least the US and Canada (... maybe not other NATO members like Germany, who are the experts on neo-Nazi's after all and arbitrate whether they exist or not in today's media landscape) exposed to be breaking their own laws, which was military aid was contingent on irregular forces not doing any fighting or getting any weapons or ammunition ... which journalists could just go debunk in like, a single day's investigation?boethius

    And discover ... that when people talk about this problem going back to 2014 ... there's times and BBC reportings on this very thing:boethius

    January First, is one of the most important days in their callender. It marks the birth of Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian partisan forces during the second world war.

    The rally was organized by the far right Svoboda Party. Protests marched amidst a river of torches, with signs saying "Ukraine above all else".

    But for many in Ukraine and abroad, Bandera's legacy is controversial. His group, the organization of Ukrainian Nationalists sided with Nazi German forces [but fortunately we have modern Germany to tell us there's no connection!] before breaking with them later in the war. Western Historians also say that his followers carried out massacres of Polish and Jewish civilians.

    [... interview with a guy explaining the importance of Stepan Bandera's birthday party ]

    Ukraine is a deeply divided country, however, and many in its East and South consider the party to be extremist. Many observers say rallies like today's torch light march only add to this division [really?!?! you don't say...].

    Or discover this one which interviews the FBI talking about these terrorists training with Azov ... but ... wait, "the war on terror" doesn't extend to white terrorists training "oversees".

    And has the quote (recorded on video) from one of the recruiters:

    We're Aryans, and we will rise again — totally not a neo-Nazi, according to the German government

    But ... the president is Jewish and is allied with these forces, who don't even hate Jews all that much! So obviously you can have Nazi's if their friendly Nazi's (to your side).boethius

    This one's just adorable.boethius
  • Ukraine Crisis
    The UN is not a collective and doesn't define itself like that:

    The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945. Currently made up of 193 Member States, the UN and its work are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.
    — boethius

    The UN Charter, which starts with:

    Key word:

    guidedthe UN

    Not "bound to" or "for sure going to happen".

    Or, in other words:

    The code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules. — Captain Barbossa

    It's a nice charter the UN has there, very pretty, I honestly wish I had a charter just as pretty.

    But how does the UN actually work (what it actually is) in it's own words:

    the one place on Earth where all the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions that benefit all of humanity.UN about page

    Key word is "gather", making the UN more of a "gathering" than a collective action organisation, at least how they put it.

    But, for the topic at hand, the UN is the worst possible example ... for, whatever you want to call it, Russia has a Veto, so it's pretty unlikely the UN will come to Ukraine's aid of "collective security" of the UN "collective", if you insist on calling it that anyways.

    And, keep in mind I am not an anti-Ukrainain advocate. I don't like Zelensky, that's for sure, but I've made my position very clear that what I have issue with is NATO supplying arms to Ukraine in a drip feed manner that results in maximum loss of life, trauma, economic destruction for Ukrainians. Now, it harms some Russian soldiers too, and this is purported as a justification for the policy, but I disagree with that justification.

    I'd be a lot happier if Ukraine did actually have real allies, was actually part of this "collective security" Zelensky is talking about, that there was a giant Cuban missile crisis standoff between the US and Russia before the war and some solution worked out that avoided war, using actual NATO power as leverage.

    Problem is US and company simply didn't care about Ukraine at the time, and wouldn't have A. the balls and B. the "national self interest" to carry out such a policy before the war to the benefit of Ukrainians.

    It was in the "national self interest" to keep teasing Ukraine about eventual NATO membership for the West's own purposes knowing full well it would never happen and the policy was not "charity", as some may call it, to Ukraine.

    Sending arms after the war starts and hiding behind the "but, but, but the nukes" as an excuse to not let our "friend" Ukraine into our little club, despite flying their flag on our lawns, avatars and prestigious buildings as if we cared, is cowardice and not "standing up to Russia". Our policy may indeed harm Russia (though this is not "guaranteed"), but whether Russia is in fact harmed or not in the long run, the costs to Ukrainians (and poor people's around the world due to the knock-on consequences) suffered for our policy is absolutely enormous.