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Thread: Russia invades Ukraine

  1. #851
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    It doesn't matter what you say in Russia, because the power of the state is absolute and most of its people are in a state of long-cultivated helplessness and nihilism. There is no point in what a candidate is saying, because it's all shamelessly rigged. Because it's really a mafia syndicate and the opposition gets jailed or killed or disqualified in some other way.

    The US still has democratic systems, however flawed and hollowed out they are. US courts may be stuffed with ideologues hand-picked by the Heritage Foundation and groomed by the Federalist Society, but by and large they still work to uphold the law. There are still independent judges who go against people who appointed them and they aren't killed if they do.

    The US media is sensationalist and there are a lot of partisan outlets, but there are still independent ones too and, as a rule, journalists aren't murdered for going against the state.

    If you take part in an anti-government protest, you might get shot with less lethal ammunition, tear gassed and beaten with batons, but the police isn't coming to visit your home afterwards to torture and rape you.

    The police in the US might be corrupt, constantly lie with impunity, and break the law knowing they have a degree of immunity from it and a union to protect them, but they aren't openly walking around demanding bribes and they might get fired or occasionally even go to jail if there's overwhelming indisputable evidence they did something wrong.

    Meanwhile, in Russia, this is what justice looks like:

    But most of all, the US still has a political system -- a barely functioning one, but it is there. The US has been moving in the direction of Russia, but it's not there yet. Of the two parties, one may be full of people eager to unfollow democracy and follow the path of Russia, but the other still cares for governing and preserving the US as a democratic state where there is a rule of law, free and fair elections, peaceful transfer of power, and the people get to enjoy at least some degree of fundamental freedoms.

    I guess we'll see today whether the US will follow the path of cheering for political violence, election denial, and following a strong leader to rule over them. But, as of yet, it's still a choice.
    I think you might have taken my last sentence out of the context of my two posts. I certainly didn't mean to suggest an equivalence between the US and Russia. My point was that I'm seeing two global trends reversing.

    The first is information awareness, which expanded globally throughout the 20th century and made everyone better informed, better educated, more worldly. I think it peaked in the early internet years when it was still free and open. But now governments have the best tools for information control they ever had, and most people are guided into limited information bubbles anyway by the tech they use. Propaganda is starting to win. The press is being squeezed in many places. And even where it remains free, it seems to be losing its independence and objectivity.

    The other trend reversing is the spread of Western liberal values like democracy, civil liberties, human rights, a strong legal system with an impartial judiciary, free and fair trade, competitive markets, etc. The two most populous countries in the world are going in the other direction. Russia is going in the other direction. Parts of South America and Africa and the Middle East as well. You saw what happened in the US at the Presidential level and hear about the big SCOTUS decisions, but what you might not see are the battles being fought at the lower levels by people with worse intentions than you ever heard from Donald Trump. We're really just a few percentage points of public opinion away from tearing this country apart. Over in Europe, Hungary already flipped, and Poland and Turkey were leaning that way until the invasion. The English went through with a hard BREXIT, and if the trend continues Marine Le Pen may be the next French president. It's hard not to feel like the world is slowly turning away from those values.

  2. #852
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    I don't actually know whether this golden era of the free press ever really existed or whether that's just the rosy history they want to present.

    Traditional US news was very much "on rails" and the only real dissent was between factions of the American white collar professionals, over which version of corporate/capitalist paternalism they favored.

    For better or worse, we effectively fell off the rails, and we are wandering around in the weeds now. While "overall worse" could be said, I'm not sure how words like "free" or "objective" even fit into this.

    Life was simpler when there were less people telling you what to believe and they spoon-fed you with "facts". That's basically the "better before" we're talking about. Also, the 1980s Satanic Panic came to us largely by the corporate media, so it's not even a given that we'd get less of that stuff if there was no internet. Maybe it was even harder to fact-check anything back then.

    The thing is: internal policies that get "debated" in the American corporate press represent areas where there's disagreement within the white collar professional cohort as to what's actually the best way forward. Stuff that white-collar professionals all agree on, the ALTERNATVE is not actually debated in the mainstream press, it's treated like some weirdo fringe views, even if 80% of the public actually agrees with it, in surveys. For example, paraphrashing Chomsky, they'll debate whether we should sanction Iran or bomb them, but they never bring anyone on who'll actually ask the question of why it's any of America's business to have military bases surrounding Iran.

    Take the New York Times for example. If discussing the internals of US policy debates, they took a sideline, so could be said to be pretty good at giving you the details of what's going on. But ... switch that to foreign affairs, and suddenly they're worse than Fox News, parroting far-right fringe takes on current events in Latin America for example. New York Times would often quote verbatim from Venezuelan papers which were the Fox News equivalent down there for example.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_...erican_Nations

    https://www.nytimes.com/search?query=UNASUR

    One example is coverage of UNASUR. Basically the New York Times ran a few stories mocking UNASUR, which is basically an inter-gorvernmental union modeled on the EU. UNASUR consisted of 100% of South America, other than states which are existing colonies of European nations. (although some far-right governments such as Bolsonaro's Brazil subsequently left the union).

    Clearly, the people threatened by this the most are the United States. So how did nytimes deal with this? By mocking it as never going to happen, but as soon as it DID happen, they basically enacted a ban on mentioning it, and the term UNASUR didn't appear in print in the times, for the next 4 years (2008-2012) after the union was ratified. After that, 13 stories mentioned UNASUR at least once, in the span of 2012-2019, more than half of which only mentioned it when Chavez died in 2012, and they haven't mentioned it again since 2019.

    I mean, UNASUR still exists, but they basically have a news blackout on it, unless something real bad happens in Latin America and it might get an offhand mention in the side notes of the story. To put that in perspective, imagine if the New York Times had only mentioned the very existence of the European Union 13 times since 2012, and not at all since 2019.

    What does that actually suggest about free and objective press just informing Americans and letting them make their own minds up? They're able to black out the existence of large chunks of reality, if the corporations all decide that it's inconvenient for the public to be aware of it.

    So UNASUR got mentioned 21 times, ever, in the New York Times. Maybe they think readers of the Times just aren't interested in economic unions in Latin America. Perhaps, however they'd have to explain their slavish coverage of Mercosur, the smaller but US-backed trade zone, which they somehow mentioned 324 times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/search?query=Mercosur
    Last edited by Cipheron; 16th Nov 2022 at 22:13.

  3. #853
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    UNASUR consists of 100% of South America...
    You didn't actually look at that link you posted, did you?

  4. #854
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    You saw what happened in the US at the Presidential level and hear about the big SCOTUS decisions, but what you might not see are the battles being fought at the lower levels by people with worse intentions than you ever heard from Donald Trump.
    I'm generally aware of the strategy to take power at the local level as envisioned by the likes of Bannon and co, and I occasionally get snippets from things like school board meetings, etc, but yes, it's very hard to follow local US politics due to the sheer size of it and also due to the level of local reporting having declined in the past decades, even as it became more accessible for the international audience.
    Last edited by Starker; 17th Nov 2022 at 04:45.

  5. #855
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    You didn't actually look at that link you posted, did you?
    I should have said 'consisted'. That's the only correction. This is the map from the link. Green are members. Are you going to tell me that this doesn't count at basically the entire continent being members:



    The lone holdout is French Guiana, which is still part of France, so not eligible to join.

    So when I said it was 100% of South America, I meant that.

    I am perfectly aware that in 2018, a bunch of right-wing governments left. But that doesn't change that this was a full treaty and in force for 10 years.

    ==========================================================

    BTW, they're also not telling you about CELAC. CELAC has almost three times as many countries as UNASUR did. Part of why UNASUR is obsolete is that they made a much bigger version:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commun...ribbean_States

    32 countries. It was 33, but Bolsonaro left in 2020. Most likely, Lula will rejoin however - since he had a hand in creating this in the first place.

    So all those nations which made a big noise about leaving UNASUR in 2018: they ALL stuck around in CELAC instead.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_CELAC_summit

    During the VI Summit, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, proposed the creation of a multilateral organization resembling the European Union to resolve conflicts in the region, promote unity in the Americas, and negotiate with other regional economic blocs. The succession of the Pro Tempore president of CELAC was also to be decided ...
    So they're still calling for a Latin American version of the EU, but this one goes right up to the US border. You'd think that was newsworthy, but it seems the US press would prefer people to be ignorant that stuff like this keeps happening. The point I'm making here is how incredibly inward-looking US media really is, and they definitely do NOT give you the full picture of what's going on in other nations, if that conflicts with US interests.

    I looked up the 2017 summit report, and got this:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20190710...go-declaration

    the progress made in CELAC's relations with the European Union, the First Meeting of CELAC-EU Foreign Ministers held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on October 25 and 26 2016, where the Declaration of Santo Domingo and the Assessment of Programmes and Actions were approved, and the Constitutive Agreement of the EU-LAC Foundation was signed
    I mean, CELAC literally has formal diplomatic relations with the EU.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 17th Nov 2022 at 12:16.

  6. #856
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipheron View Post
    So they're still calling for a Latin American version of the EU, but this one goes right up to the US border. You'd think that was newsworthy, but it seems the US press would prefer people to be ignorant that stuff like this keeps happening. The point I'm making here is how incredibly inward-looking US media really is, and they definitely do NOT give you the full picture of what's going on in other nations, if that conflicts with US interests.
    It probably has more to do with the amount of economic power these unions wield on a global scale than some sort of secret cabal of media companies wanting to keep the existence out of the public concious. If they were as important to the global economy as the US or EU, they'd likely feature more in US media. Even if that coverage would likely be along the usual lines of "Foreign union doesn't want to bend over and accept <name of trade agreement that is horribly skewed towards benefitting the US> without alterations."

    Then again, that would just be a spin-off of the usual media spiel of "Our ways are superior to everyone else's, why can't those dumdums see the inherent superiority of our ways?" that happens in every nation (and religion/political view/etc.).

    And you could substitute US with EU for this entire tangent and it would (mostly) be just as true. My tribe is better than your tribe.

  7. #857
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Cipheron -

    The NYT is an example of how things have gotten worse. I don't believe in a golden era of journalism. I think good journalists are still being good journalists and bad journalists... Anyway, I'm talking about people's information awareness not journalism.

    Wind back to the beginning of the 20th century. Information traveled by telegraph, mail, and/or courier. If you lived in a smaller town, you got all your news from one local newspaper and word of mouth. If you lived in a major city, you'd have a couple of major papers and some tabloids. I don't know what the papers were like in Europe and Australia back then, but in the US a lot of major papers were basically mouthpieces for a city boss, and the tabloids were outlets for the muckrakers.

    Then came newsreels, piggybacking on the latest and greatest entertainment trend, the cinema. People loved getting their news that way, and governments and advertisers took notice. Newsreels were quickly hijacked to serve propaganda during WWI and thereafter.

    Shortly after came radio, which greatly accelerated the rate at which news could travel around the world. When AM broadcasting started, suddenly you could reach a big audience without having to produce and distribute a printed product, and you could do it in real time. New stations faced low barriers to entry and gave people new sources of news that wasn't filtered through the editorial slant of the local newspaper(s).

    And after that came television broadcasting, then satellite communications, then cable TV, then the internet. Each new technology expanded information awareness. At the end of the 20th century, the internet was still relatively free and open and not in the hands of governments yet. But the open internet is too big of a fire hose for anyone to consume, so people naturally sought information aggregators, and then grew to want a curated news feed. Social media solved that problem, but greatly exacerbated the problem of filter bubbles. Along the way, governments also grabbed control of the internet and do their own filtering. Because of those two things, I think most people are more narrowly informed and more vulnerable to propaganda than they were two decades ago.

  8. #858
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipheron View Post
    So they're still calling for a Latin American version of the EU, but this one goes right up to the US border. You'd think that was newsworthy, but it seems the US press would prefer people to be ignorant that stuff like this keeps happening. The point I'm making here is how incredibly inward-looking US media really is, and they definitely do NOT give you the full picture of what's going on in other nations, if that conflicts with US interests.
    You shouldn't assume CELAC conflicts with US interests. Quite the contrary, the US would benefit from a Latin American common market, just as the US benefits from having the EU as a common market. We're traders and working with larger trading blocks is more efficient than having separate trade policies with lots of individual countries. The US would also benefit if CELAC can handle regional security matters in a manner similar to the African Union. South America is the only continent in the world that doesn't have any US military installations, and there's really no appetite remaining among the US populace for any sort of military intervention or peacekeeping there.

    Latin America needs another organization besides OAS, which has been a walking corpse ever since the Reagan administration. We kind of ruined OAS by trying to turn it into an anti-communist alliance, and even now we don't seem to have an interest in rehabilitating it. Biden just hosted the first OAS summit since 2018 in LA and it was handled fecklessly, giving the perception that we don't care. The message to Latin America is that we only care about what's spilling over our border. Which means, we care about the drug cartels in Mexico and the gangs in Central America. If CELAC can clean those up, we'd be overjoyed.

  9. #859
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    IDK, keep in mind i'm not saying there's an overt conspiracy here. However, corporate interests align with foreign policy, so they shape the Overton Window. And Latin American integration is just too far outside the Overton Window for US discourse. You can read Chomsky for an overview of how the media narrative is shaped in the USA using soft-power methods, compared to the hard propaganda of dictatorships and "managed" democracies like Russia.

    Coverage of stuff like CELAC is an example. Just googling "CELAC" i got sources from the official websites of the EU, ASEAN, United Nations, China, co-summits with the Indian government, Endless amounts of pages from the UN and EU about CELAC partnerships and initiatives. Australian department of foreign affairs

    Like, this is happening on YOUR doorstep (Americans only), but I can go to the Australian government's website to get a detailed explanation as to what it is, but the US state department mentions it zero times.

    The first media coverage was from Al Jazeera.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq5aido4m9I

    A new regional bloc that includes Cuba and explicitly excludes the USA, and is meant to replace the US-run OAS has surprisingly little mention in the USA compared to the rest of the world.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 17th Nov 2022 at 22:10.

  10. #860
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Searching Reuters, there's 5 pages of results, so 21-25. https://www.reuters.com/site-search/?query=celac

    State department, just three. https://findit.state.gov/search?quer...e=dos_stategov

    ...the US state department mentions it zero times.


    Anyway, I also want to point out that the "CELAC is EU for SA" is... Aspirational. It isn't that yet, and it's kind of hard to see how it becomes that in the near term, given the various economic tensions and actors involved. They get together annually, have some talks, negotiate incremental trade agreements (mostly based on pre-existing trade blocs), bitch at each other and basically everyone else, go home for the year.

    It's important. I'm not going to say it's not. But I don't think it's going to hold anyone's attention without the BS hyperbole you feel the need to drench it in. We could hardly get anyone to pay attention to trade disputes in a Star Wars film.
    Last edited by Pyrian; 17th Nov 2022 at 23:03.

  11. #861
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    Summits between the EU and Latin America have been going on since 1984:
    https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Di%C3%..._San_Jos%C3%A9

    CELAC was preceded by about 10 other pan-Latin American organizations. None of those organizations did anything because the only thing the members could agree on was that they needed something to balance against US influence. CELAC has the same problem. It's too big. The economic interests and the problems affecting Mexico are not the same as Central America, and far different from the larger countries of South America and the Caribbean. It will likely end up as ineffective as OAS.

    What would really serve the US interest is a regional alliance in Central America that will take on some of the issues with government stability, corruption, lawlessness, and the public welfare. The US has practically been begging governments in that region to get together and do more because this past year we had 2.76 million people cross the southern border illegally, and those numbers fuel xenophobia. But the problem in much of Central America is that the corruption is just too deep.

    When it comes to South America, our media pay attention to Venezuela because they're a big oil exporter and we have a large refugee population. And some of us pay attention to the health of the Amazon basin. I guess the US media liked picking on Bolsinaro's pandemic policies too. But otherwise, South America just doesn't get much coverage. For the last several years, there's been protest movements and political crises all over South America. But outside of Venezuela, we haven't been hearing about them from the US MSM. Protesters burned the capitol in Paraguay a few years ago and I don't think that was picked up. Peru has been in big trouble since the start of the pandemic and we're not hearing about that.

  12. #862
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I heard about Peru (albeit in a "maybe don't go to Machu Picchu right now" sort of way), but this is the first I heard about that incident in Paraguay.

  13. #863
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    Here's an article by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, making the same points I've made

    https://cepr.net/celac-speaking-for-...the-caribbean/

    As for when I said there were no search results, i mean googling just CELAC brought up zero search results for anything US-gov related in at least the first 10 pages of results, but plenty of stuff from other governments about it. I'm even getting results in Japanese and haven't come across a single .gov website that mentions it. That article I linked in this post actually comes up for just "celac" as a search result before even one American official site mention of this. If stuff is after page 10 of google results, it doesn't exist for any reasonable purpose.

    btw I came across a "summit of the americas" which is the rival US-backed summit to CELAC. Googling that exact term was completely different. The first page of search results consisted of 5 .gov domains, one link to the Council on Foreign Relations, and three separate links to youtube videos by US federal departments covering the event, along with the official .org page for the summit itself. The whole first page of search results is basically USA government press release stuff. IDK but it does sort of seem like they're treating that differently to CELAC. It feels like they SEO'd this stuff to the max.

    I don't think it's really much of a "conspiracy theory" to point out how US administrations and media have a pretty weird thing with the way they cover news about stuff in the US's backyard of Latin America. It's tied up with the crappy treatment of Cuba etc.

    Think about it this way: if I said 95% of the content on Fox News was self-serving propaganda to prop up the Republican Party, I'm sure you'd have no problem with that at all. But what I'm saying is that like 5% of stuff in the New York Times and Washington Post is self-serving propaganda to prop up the corporate/business/political elite of the USA. This is not an out-there conspiracy, it's self evident if you look into things.

    Here for example is a Washington Post OP-ED that seeks to draw a line between liberalism and leftism, with AOC and Bernie Sanders on the leftism side, but the only examples they can give of how leftism is different to liberalism make leftism sound like Leninism or Stalinism - they even mention Lenin and Stalin - with liberalism painted as being pragmatic and principled and in glowing terms, and leftism left sounding dogmatic and rigid. "liberal" is pretty much only used here as a nicer sounding way of saying "capitalist". This is actually a propaganda piece:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...rtez-liberals/

    C'mon, they're concerned about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton being improperly lumped into the same category, so they solve that by making a new category and lumping both Bernie Sanders and Stalin into the same category.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 18th Nov 2022 at 09:28.

  14. #864
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    I already said that NYT (and WaPo etc.) are evidence of the decline I was talking about.

    You keep trying to make a lazy point about media bias that everybody here already gets. Spare me, I'm not in university anymore, and it wasn't germane to the topic Starker and I started out on.

    Look at how the NYT works. They have people assigned to cover the State Department. They pay attention to whatever the State Department is paying attention to. They also have correspondents in Latin America who follow what's going on and write stories, but the ones that get published cater to US interests like migration, drugs, deforestation, crime and corruption. If I had to guess, I'd say I hear or read about 3x more news stories from Africa than South America, but I don't know if that's typical. Even the news out of Venezuela isn't getting a lot of coverage right now. We barely blinked at Bolivia's socialist revolution. You implicitly assume that the US should care a lot about what happens there. Why? Just because the name of the continent ends with "America"?

    Anyway, Al Jazeera is good, probably the best English language source of global news coverage about everywhere except the Middle East. The wire services are good too. US MSM has a domestic focus and can only seem to follow one or two international stories at a time.

    And of course the US media is going to cover the Summit of the Americas, because we hosted it here in Los Angeles. But like I said in my post above, the summit was a joke. It was organized at the last minute and there was a kerfuffle over who would attend. Some members were still sore that Trump blew them off in 2018, others boycotted because we didn't invite Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and all the US wanted to talk about is migration and climate change. I think OAS is dead. If the Biden administration isn't interested in it, then what future President is going to be?

    Anyway, South America suffered worse than the rest of world during the pandemic. Now they are dealing with inflation, a problem that many of them have struggled to control in the past. And the war is taking a toll as well, due to dependence on Russian aid and trade and gas shortages. The continent looks unstable and there could be another round of political revolutions as soon as the world tilts into recession. And the State Department is quiet about it. There are at least two explanations for that. First, they may be preoccupied by bigger things right now. Second, maybe they don't want to have their hands in the middle of South America if/when it starts blowing up. There's a lot of people here who wouldn't mind seeing China stuck with that tar baby.

  15. #865
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2020
    I was replying to Pyrian's post #860, specifically, when I wrote my post #863, it was not intended as a reply to your post. Maybe we got crossed wires then, because you seem pretty upset and maybe think I ignored your points completely. Well I apologize then, because i didn't intend that to be a response to what you wrote. I would have addressed the specific points you made if I had.

    ---

    Yeah, we got sidetracked, but keep in mind what I started from

    I don't actually know whether this golden era of the free press ever really existed or whether that's just the rosy history they want to present.

    Traditional US news was very much "on rails" and the only real dissent was between factions of the American white collar professionals, over which version of corporate/capitalist paternalism they favored.
    Point 2 is basically Chomsky's entire point of his books such as Manufacturing Consent and Understanding Power.

    As for the reason I brought up UNSAUR and CELAC specifically, the point wasn't about the details, these are just examples of the types of omissions Chomsky talks about. Whether or not any omission is deliberate isn't the point. The point is that these are things you could reasonably expected a well-informed resident of the western hemisphere to at least have heard of, even if they don't know any details, like NAFTA or something. But the media is completely failing to inform people about these things.
    Last edited by Cipheron; 19th Nov 2022 at 03:38.

  16. #866
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Meanwhile, in Russia, the FSB killed a group of airsoft enthusiasts and STALKER larpers, then claimed they were Ukrainian terrorists.

    Article in Russian: https://www.moscowtimes.io/2022/11/2...alistov-a26735
    Article in English: https://www.businessinsider.com/men-...report-2022-11

  17. #867
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    a terrible incident, but would think going around in military dress with airsoft rifles maybe isnt such a good idea during an active war?

  18. #868
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Germany
    But... but... but they said it's just a military special operation, not a war! -whine-

  19. #869
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    It wasn't as much these gamers getting killed that struck me -- people posting pictures of themselves with guns and military looking gear getting killed is very much unsurprising during a war, after all, but that the FSB would then subsequently display their gamer gear and game insignia as proof of terrorist activity. It's quite similar to the earlier Sims 3 incident where the "evidence" was obviously and quite sloppily doctored.

  20. #870
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Meanwhile, in Russia, the FSB killed a group of airsoft enthusiasts and STALKER larpers, then claimed they were Ukrainian terrorists.

    Article in Russian: https://www.moscowtimes.io/2022/11/2...alistov-a26735
    Article in English: https://www.businessinsider.com/men-...report-2022-11
    This is the type of gaffe that would have been hilarious if people hadn't died

  21. #871
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Russian state TV is at it again, philosophising about peace and war and the nature of empires...
    https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/s...89807171485696

    Key points (my comments in parenthesis):

    * Ukraine and even the memory of Ukraine must be destroyed (an example of genocidal rhetoric that's all too common on Russian TV)
    * it is possible to negotiate with Hungarians, Poles, Americans, Mexicans, and even penguins, but it's not possible to negotiate with Ukrainians (personally, I've never tried to negotiate with a penguin, but I would think that trying to hold a penguin up to their end of the bargain would be about as futile as expecting Russia to not break any treaties they signed when they are in a position of power... or think that they are)
    * it would be better for everyone, if Ukrainians didn't exist -- for Europeans, Poles, and even the Ukrainians themselves (no person, no problem, as they say in Russia)
    * Polish people have some issues with Russia, but they have absolutely no compassion for Ukrainians (which is why they have accepted so many refugees?)
    * Russia has had 30 years of peace (of the quality of this peace, maybe people of Grozny and Aleppo can tell you about)
    * this peace has very much been an anomaly and Russia is merely reverting to its customary state (that's actually something people critical of Russia have been saying)
    * Russia was, is, and can only be an empire (again, that's what some of the more pessimistic critics of Russia have been saying... it's a little weird to hear a Russian making the points that the critics have been called russophobes for)
    * it is natural for empires to pacify / bring into submission the barbarians at its borders (indeed, as many people have been pointing out, what Russia has been doing is little more than naked imperial aggression... I wonder if it can still be called russophobia if Russians are making these arguments themselves)
    * right now the barbarians are to the west of Russia (as one of these barbarians, I feel obligated to point out that, unlike many places in Russia, these barbarians at least have indoor plumbing)
    * Russia is like Rome (except without good roads or, indeed, indoor plumbing)
    * war is the natural course of history and the idea that countries could be at peace with each other is an illusion, a lie (if it's only natural for Russia to attack it's neighbours, though, then it's equally natural to resist the attack and for other countries to send aid to these neighbours, because these things are also well attested in history)
    * hence, it would be better for Russian people to reconfigure their brains for "war mode" (after decades of cultivated apathy, I don't believe it's quite as easy as he seems to think it is)

  22. #872
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Meanwhile, other pundits are bragging about how many job openings they have in Russia... suddenly... for some reason: https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/s...05533760073729

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