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Thread: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

  1. #131
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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleχity View Post
    Wrong. The nationwide electoral demographic information does not include the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Crimea, and the majority of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The nationwide elections could not be held in these areas.
    No what I said is not wrong because I am referring to the entire country, and the demographics in those areas are indeed as I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleχity View Post
    Please. Ukraine has everything a country needs to offer boundless election information. Over-the-air/cable/satellite television. Print media. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter. YouTube. 24/7 digital news for desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Billboards. Town hall meetings. Televised debates. The country was in conflict and this election was by far the most important since independence. It effected every facet of their lives and livelihoods. And you somehow believe they hadn't a clue about the stakes involved?
    Just because information is out there, that does not necessarily mean that people can/will take the trouble to find it, read it carefully, sort through it, comprehend it, think about the ramifications, and formulate clear well thought out conclusions from it. And if you think that most people do that, then you are living in a fantasy world, and that is the problem. Over and above that there is the problem of complete and accurate information being there in the first place. Major powers like the US and Russia do not disclose openly and completely EVERYTHING that they do and the actual reasons for doing it. It simply is not practical because their foreign policy would fail because their adversaries would know everything about them. So what you are putting forward is weak at best.

    See part of the problem as I see it is that people who advocate this very hardline towards Russia with regards to Ukraine live in this fantasy world where they think that the US can solve all the worlds problems. It is rather amazing how right wing militarist neoconservative fantasies blend well with liberal fantasies in this regard. This is one reason why people like Ariel Cohen and Victoria Nuland get along well with people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama with regards to this issue. They all have this common fantasy that the US can solve all the world's problems. It is a fantasy only. It is not reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpleχity View Post
    After living in the Czarist and Soviet Empires, the Ukrainians have firsthand knowledge of the ball-and-chain strings that come with Russian "benevolence". They've been there and done that. They wanted a whole new approach and Yanukovych reneged on his promise to align with the European Union.
    You are right that ball and chain strings do indeed come with Russian benevolence. But again, that is just reality, because guess what, ball and chain strings exist for Ukraine to align itself with the EU and the US. Very, very bitter strings are attached to EU benevolence. Ask the people of Greece about EU benevolence and see what they think,.

  2. #132
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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadvirus View Post
    Then maybe they should move to Russia instead of starting a war.
    That's similar to what the ultra nationalist Ukrainians think. That's why they have problems with the ethnic Russians and is a major reason why there is fighting in eastern Ukraine to this day.

  3. #133
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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    No he's not dumb at all. What would have been dumb, at least from the point of view of Russian national interests, is for him to have sit back and do nothing while Russia is pushed into a strategic corner from which they would not be able to exit.



    Indeed, if this does not result in a military conflict between Russia and the US, then certainly Obama has come out clearly the winner in this struggle. That is one reason why I reject attempts by some to paint Obama as weak, because he does play a rather shrewd game. However, it has come at the sacrifice of some larger principles that may have grave consequences in the future, which is why I feel it was not wise relative to the larger scheme of things.
    A shooting war between US and Russia is about as likely as me winning the lottery two days in a row. No, this is an economic war, and we're winning.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

  4. #134
    Educator GreatNews2night's Avatar
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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    I wonder if the annexation of Crimea had anything to do with Ukraine's move to join Nato.
    You wonder? Of course it does. That's actually Putin's stated excuse, that if Russia didn't act, their Sevastopol Black Sea fleet would be jeopardized by Ukraine eventually joining NATO.

    Sure, the Ukrainians are free to vote for not being non-aligned, and are free to petition NATO for membership.

    Now, this doesn't force NATO to accept them. If NATO does, this would be a COLOSSAL geopolitical mistake, for numerous reasons.

    1. Ukraine considered joining in 2008. NATO rightly considered them unattractive at the time.
    2. Ever since, Ukraine became even more of a basket case: political instability, unclear real percentage of support for the current government, territorial dispute, extreme right wing players in bed with the government, and military disarray. So, if NATO didn't want them then, why would it want them now?
    3. Russia does have a legitimate claim that eastward NATO expansion destabilizes Europe. It is not surprising that Russia became all paranoid about this.

    Now, in economic terms, NATO is not an economical block but rather a military club. However, naturally, if Ukraine were to be accepted into NATO, there would be a political push to also get Ukraine into the European Union. This would be another COLOSSAL mistake.

    1. Economic disarray. The EU would have a lot more to spend in Ukraine than to profit from them joining the union and trading more freely with the union.
    2. Unemployed and displaced population. Given free access to life and work in any of the 28 existing EU countries (even after the usual quarantine time), there would be massive migration from Ukraine into the EU countries, aggravating social problems and putting pressure in the employment markets there.
    3. Ideological problems with questionable commitment to democracy
    4. Cultural problems with much of Ukraine being more culturally identified with Russia

    What exactly is there to gain from Ukraine joining either NATO or the EU or both?

    For the people and the economy in the EU and the other NATO countries, nothing; just a big headache.

    For individual businessmen with some sectoral interests in parts of the Ukraine economy, sure, short term profits, but then, nobody profits from wars and instability, so if this throws Europe in turmoil, these businessmen are being very short-sighted and might end up losing a lot more than profiting, in the mid and long run.

    For strategic interests, Ukraine does sit in a tempting strategic geography, and does possess a belic industry that supplies Russia with parts for nuclear weapons and the such. However the price to pay for acquiring these strategic assets might be too steep, exactly in strategic terms, by pushing Russia into more extreme and desperate actions. I mean, Russia is a big nuclear weapons state. Is it really good strategy to go poke them in the ribs?

    So, these moves are DANGEROUS and are taking the world into a very bad path.

    (continued in subsequent posts)
    Last edited by GreatNews2night; 01-05-15 at 10:21 PM.

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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    What would be my recipe for dealing with this? I fully realize it's likely too late for it and we're already down a disastrous path, but if I had a time machine and could influence these major geopolitical decisions, here is what I'd do:

    ------------

    When Ukraine became divided in craving either more involvement with Western Europe or with Russia, including aid packages and energy packages, the West should have issued a strong, unequivocal, unambiguous NO!!!! The West should have clearly signaled to Ukraine that they were NOT welcome in NATO, NOT welcome in the European Union, should abandon all hope of ever joining, and only two paths were open to them: either continue neutrality and trade with both partners, or accept Russian's offer and enter an economic and military alliance with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (soon to also have Armenia and Kyrgystan; I wouldn't be surprised if Serbia turned down the EU and joined, in the future). Ukraine should have been told that culturally and historically they were in Russia's backyard and NOT WESTERN EUROPE'S PROBLEM. If they ever wanted to drop from non-aligned status, then the only alignment open to them would be with Russia.

    Now, this might have been sufficient to defuse the whole situation. If it didn't, and in spite of this clear message the events that we've seen still happened (such as the annexation of Crimea), the response of the West, as politically incorrect as it might sound, should have been the following:

    "Mr. Putin, we don't approve of what you are doing, practically redrawing borders by force. However, this is a regional conflict, in your backyard; it's your problem, the Pottery Barn rule applies - you break it, you own it - and if you want to get more closely involved with this basket case of a country, we will feel disgusted by your callous disregard for the Budapest Memorandum but we won't interfere, because IT'S NOT OUR PROBLEM. If you unilaterally violated that memorandum, well, we won't feel obliged to enforce it either. For us, do realize that it might be even a relief and a "good riddance" situation. Oh, by the way, there will be no economic sanctions; that's bull, and only causes difficulties for both sides' economies. We actually would value the new status we've been working on, of Russia as a commercial partner, and a partner in other ways such as the International Space Station, etc. We'd like to continue to trade and prosper on both sides of this equation. Cold war stuff will hurt both you and us.

    Now, one thing you must understand in a crystal clear way. We will NOT further expand NATO eastward, that's a firm and definitive promise; on the other hand we don't want any expansion of your Eurasian Union into NATO or EU territory either, and won't allow it. TRY IT, AND IT WILL BE MET WITH OVERWHELMING MILITARY RESPONSE. Stick a tiny little dirty finger into NATO territory (and no unmarked vehicles and unmarked uniforms shenanigans either - don't take us for fools) , and you'll rapidly see that we carry a MUCH BIGGER STICK THAN YOURS. By the way, your Crimea incursion, although like we said we won't do anything about it directly, WILL result is us waking up and beefing up DRAMATICALLY the military and strategic capacities of NATO. We dwarf you in military budget and equipment except in nuclear weapons for which we are even, but don't forget that we *are* even on that, by the way. What happened is that we've been complacent and disorganized; thank you Mister Putin for waking us up and giving us a reason to be fierce and organized. Now, with us being fierce and organized, YOU DON'T STAND A CHANCE, so don't even try. The consequences will be catastrophic for you and will be a humiliating military defeat that is likely to turn your own people against you; you'll be expelled from power at the very least - might as well end up dead, betrayed by someone from your own entourage. So we repeat, do as you wish in your backyard, BUT HANDS OFF NATO AND EU TERRITORY, OR ELSE! CLEAR?"

    And then, this talk would have to be IMMEDIATELY matched by all 28 countries moving up to the 2% of military investment required by the NATO treaty, construction of new military bases, allocation of significant military assets in personnel and equipment to NATO countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, and creation of an overwhelmingly strong rapid response force.

    --------

    This attitude (as long as firmly backed by political and military will and action) would have aborted the whole mess we're in now. It would have set clear expectations for both sides and for Ukraine. It would actually diminish tensions (it's the deterrence effect), and contribute to European stability, trade, and prosperity.

  6. #136
    Educator GreatNews2night's Avatar
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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    I'm posting this in three parts given the limit in number of words.

    ---------


    Of course, to have done that, we'd have needed real leaders, real statesmen and stateswomen in power in our governments, political unity both in domestic and regional/international affairs, clarity of vision, harmony and consistency in coordinated action, and so on and so for.


    We have nothing of the above. We have timid, ambivalent, scared leaders who are fumbling this whole thing more and more, and we don't speak of one voice. There are cracks and selfish interests all over the place.


    Therefore, Putin will continue to exploit our weaknesses, and the world will continue to go down this VERY DANGEROUS path. It's a shame, actually.

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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    He has done a good job playing a poor hand from the point of view of Russian national interests.
    Not lately he hasn't. He's taking down the ship.

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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    A shooting war between US and Russia is about as likely as me winning the lottery two days in a row. No, this is an economic war, and we're winning.
    If Putin gets backed to far into a corner he may try to start a shooting war, to take as many people with him when he goes just out of spite.
    Never underestimate the extremes to which a megalomaniac will go.
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  9. #139
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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    Analytically? That would require an analysis of the relationship between government and the mainstream media. That would require reading alternative news sources. Which I do.

    America is no angel, and neither is Russia.

    I suspect YOUR prejudice is that America is Saintly, or something like that. Perhaps exceptional. Any of the self-adulating terms employed by MSM.

    In reality, America kills many innocent people every month. We invade foreign countries under fraud. We invade the privacy by electronic means of nearly every person in the world.
    You have me all wrong. I don't believe America is saintly and our government has blood on its hands going all the way back to the genocide of the Native Americans. But we apparently agree Putin and Russia are not saints either.
    Last edited by EnigmaO01; 01-05-15 at 10:31 PM.

  10. #140
    Educator GreatNews2night's Avatar
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    Re: Outraging Russia, Ukraine takes big step toward NATO

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    A shooting war between US and Russia is about as likely as me winning the lottery two days in a row. No, this is an economic war, and we're winning.
    We may apparently be winning it now (although the low oil prices might have more to do with it than our sanctions), but it could easily backfire on us. A desperate Russia (and other blocs watching this situation develop, and unhappy about how it makes the West even more powerful) might move to further integration inside the BRICS, an alternative currency/trade system, the end of the Petrodollars monopoly, the end of the IMF monopoly, an arms race, and a more radical separation between these blocs than we've ever seen in the whole Cold War - this, if some mistake doesn't light the fuse and then all hell breaks lose.

    The main problem with this, is that people are thinking too short term. This situation is NOT GOOD. In the mid and long term, it is likely to actually become catastrophic for our interests.

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