• Russia's Defeat

    From Kaelon@VERT to All on Thu Jul 27 19:46:31 2023
    As we approach the 18 month horizon of Vladimir Putin's botched invasion of Ukraine, it affords us the recognition of what become very evident weeks after the start and can now only be undeniable: that Russia will inevitably be defeated in this war.

    So what does Russia's defeat look like?

    I have some thoughts:

    1. Crimea will eventually be retaken by Ukraine.
    2. Russia will be pushed out of the Donbas.
    3. An insurgency will advance in Belgorod.
    4. One or more additional coups will be launched against Moscow.
    5. Inevitable Civil War may befall the Russian Federation.

    Inflammatory, I know. What are your thoughts?

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  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Kaelon on Fri Jul 28 02:22:00 2023

    I have some thoughts:

    1. Crimea will eventually be retaken by Ukraine.
    2. Russia will be pushed out of the Donbas.
    3. An insurgency will advance in Belgorod.
    4. One or more additional coups will be launched against Moscow.
    5. Inevitable Civil War may befall the Russian Federation.

    Inflammatory, I know. What are your thoughts?

    Nothing is clear there, I agree that having this conflict extended in time and effectively blocking Russia's initial ambition to conquer Ukraine quickly, set new president and bring it back to puppet state, has failed.

    I believe they still believe they can do it, but as the front froze it's more about keeping what they've won and breaking/humiliating Ukrainian nation as much as they can through various actions.

    But that in my humble is their doom as:
    - I believe this war will continue for the next 2 years toward losing at least significant part of what they have conquered in Donieck and Zaporoznia, maybe the rest of Donbas, I don't believe it will be easy to win back Crimea, but I'd say this is important to Ukraine to try and destroy as much as possible all the strategic advance Russia thinks it has in the Black Sea... that must continue after the war

    - With or without losing any land, Ukraine will never surrender until it secures its ambition to be connected with NATO/EU through various direct alliances or intermediate moves that will get it close to be part of these alliances

    - Above will bring influx of money to Ukraine in after the war and it must be secured by NATO military presence as conditions that will create an obvious threat in Belarus, which will be surrended by NATO forces and with an example of Ukraine that rebelling against regimes and puppet govs is possible..

    - Cold war continues as Russia cannot afford losing Belarus now.. In the long run, all depends on China, as if it wakes up to test NATO/USA in a risk for an open conflic in Pacific area, Russians for sure would like to use it to come back to Ukraine and to destabilize EU.

    Chess game continues.

    All above assumes that USA won't change mind about the status of NATO and its interest in Europe.

    Trump wanted to kill the alliance, which triggered all this madness in
    the first place. If Biden stays for the next round, all above may be secured. If new president will be more like Trump regarding NATO, it may flip the table completely.

    -h1

    ... Xerox Alto was the thing. Anything after we use is just a mere copy.
  • From Dumas Walker@VERT/CAPCITY2 to KAELON on Fri Jul 28 08:30:00 2023
    1. Crimea will eventually be retaken by Ukraine.
    2. Russia will be pushed out of the Donbas.
    3. An insurgency will advance in Belgorod.
    4. One or more additional coups will be launched against Moscow.
    5. Inevitable Civil War may befall the Russian Federation.

    Inflammatory, I know. What are your thoughts?

    If Belarus gets more involved on the Russian side, or if Russia does
    something to bait the US or other countries into the fight more directly on
    the Ukrainian side, there could be a few other outcomes. If it is the
    latter, I suspect those outcomes will be more drawn-out, costly, and deadly.

    I think the whole point of this was not to take all of Ukraine but to take enough land to create a land bridge of Russian territory between the
    Ukranian break-away areas and Crimea. I am not even certain they will
    manage that without help.


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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Sat Jul 29 15:52:25 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to All on Thu Jul 27 2023 07:46 pm

    As we approach the 18 month horizon of Vladimir Putin's botched invasion of >
    So what does Russia's defeat look like?

    I have some thoughts:

    1. Crimea will eventually be retaken by Ukraine.
    2. Russia will be pushed out of the Donbas.
    3. An insurgency will advance in Belgorod.
    4. One or more additional coups will be launched against Moscow.
    5. Inevitable Civil War may befall the Russian Federation.

    Inflammatory, I know. What are your thoughts?

    _____
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    I pretty much think Russia will fail to achieve its 4 original invasion goals yet still render Ukraine a non-threat via attrition war.

    Which is to mean they won't take a significant portion of territory (because they lack resources for that) but can render Ukraine into a pseudo-failed state, just because they have superior firepower and can produce more cheap gear faster. Wars of attrition get lost by the party who runs out of people or weapons faster and so far Ukraine is bleeding out population and the NATO powers are getting disarmed themselves to supply Ukraine with gear.

    My guess is Ukraine will end up as a Mark between the West and Russia just because Ukraine itself won't have resources left to be anybody's ally after thedeal is done. We will have Cold War II because Russians won't trust the West
    after the Minsk backstab and the West won't trust the Russians after trashing an ally.

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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to hollowone on Sat Jul 29 15:58:24 2023
    Re: Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: hollowone to Kaelon on Fri Jul 28 2023 02:22 am


    Trump wanted to kill the alliance, which triggered all this madness in
    the first place. If Biden stays for the next round, all above may be secured > If new president will be more like Trump regarding NATO, it may flip the tab >
    -h1

    ... Xerox Alto was the thing. Anything after we use is just a mere copy.

    Then it is funny shit hit the fan with Biden in power instead of Trump.

    On the other hand, the USA is one of the hidden beneficiaries of the whole conflict since Europe has lost a supplier of power and resources, which makes it easier for the USA to extend influence over European countries.

    If anything, it is demonstrated that Europe is America's doormat at this point and I don't think many USAn politicians would like this status to change anytime soon.

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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Arelor on Sun Jul 30 10:09:18 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Arelor to Kaelon on Sat Jul 29 2023 03:52 pm

    Which is to mean they won't take a significant portion of territory (because they lack resources for that) but can render Ukraine into a pseudo-failed state, just because they have superior firepower and can produce more cheap gear faster. Wars of attrition get lost by the party who runs out of people or weapons faster and so far Ukraine is bleeding out population and the NATO powers are getting disarmed themselves to supply Ukraine with gear.

    I definitely agree that this has been a war sparked in part by Russia's demographic crisis, but this is also the same demographic crisis that Ukraine faces. Both have their origins in the Soviet Union's mass-casualties during the Second World War. Invariably, you are correct, that the party who runs out of people or weapons faster ends up losing the war. I don't see how the West will allow Ukraine - which now serves as its proxy to neuter Russia - to run out of weapons, and the morale in Russia (and mass-defections) have led to a neutering of the Russian population advantage.

    My guess is Ukraine will end up as a Mark between the West and Russia just because Ukraine itself won't have resources left to be anybody's ally after thedeal is done. We will have Cold War II because Russians won't trust the West after the Minsk backstab and the West won't trust the Russians after trashing an ally.

    Reasonable. Considering Putin's obvious tactical game is to render the Ukrainian state "failed", at least economically, he achieves this by rendering the industry of Ukraine largely inoperable. The Special Forces operation to destroy the dam in Donbas and the likely inevitable "disaster" that will unfold in the nuclear power plant, both, should render Southeast Ukraine generally economically inert. While Ukraine will receive plenty of assistance from the West, the limited options for advancement and a truly independent and prosperous Ukraine following Russian savagery will continue a demographic collapse mostly through emigration to a more prosperous West/United States.
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  • From Kaelon@VERT to hollowone on Sun Jul 30 10:20:48 2023
    Re: Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: hollowone to Kaelon on Fri Jul 28 2023 02:22 am

    - I believe this war will continue for the next 2 years toward losing at least significant part of what they have conquered in Donieck and Zaporoznia, maybe the rest of Donbas, I don't believe it will be easy to win back Crimea, but I'd say this is important to Ukraine to try and destroy as much as possible all the strategic advance Russia thinks it has in the Black Sea... that must continue after the war

    Agreed. I think Ukraine will spare no expense to making Crimea as irrelevant to the Russians as possible. The deployment of advanced sea drones and the repeated attacks on all of the bridges to the peninsula, along with the massing of major elements of their armored divisions on the "dragon's teeth" spine-line, show that they are prepared to do whatever it takes and force Russian generals to make catastrophic decisions, further collapsing what little morale remains.

    - With or without losing any land, Ukraine will never surrender until it secures its ambition to be connected with NATO/EU through various direct alliances or intermediate moves that will get it close to be part of these alliances

    I do think, personally, that a return to the pre-Kruschev borders (ceding Crimea, which is culturally and politically Russian) will be part of a lasting formula with the Russian Federation to end this war. Ukraine's admission to both NATO and the EU are a given, IMO. Belarus' fate remains to be seen, but Putin is expediting cultural and political integration of the two polities through the Union State initiative.

    - Above will bring influx of money to Ukraine in after the war and it must be secured by NATO military presence as conditions that will create an obvious threat in Belarus, which will be surrended by NATO forces and with an example of Ukraine that rebelling against regimes and puppet govs is possible..

    I definitely see Belarus being absorbed into the Russian Federation.

    - Cold war continues as Russia cannot afford losing Belarus now.. In the long run, all depends on China, as if it wakes up to test NATO/USA in a risk for an open conflic in Pacific area, Russians for sure would like to use it to come back to Ukraine and to destabilize EU.

    Russia, as a power, is now third-rate, at best. Putin's misguided and delusional aspirations to restore it to a major power (nevermind a superpower) have been demonstrably destroyed, most likely for the balance of its existence. Russia's military is entirely incompetent, low-morale, and incapable of delivering a combination of forces necessary to achieve geopolitical aims. This is a huge wake-up call to everyone, IMO, and has revitalized NATO (as a U.S.-led institution) and the EU (as a democratic economic bulwark to Sino-Russian machinations).

    Chess game continues.

    The real question is, like you say, what happens with China. It was pretty clear that the Chinese were looking at Russia's seizure of Ukraine as, in essence, the Spanish Civil War to its invasion of Poland. Both - Ukraine and Spain - were respective preludes to World War III and World War II, but unlike the Spanish example (which demonstrated the resilience of the Axis and the relative complacency of the world's democracies), the Ukrainian one has really complicated China's goals to seize the world's microchip supplies.

    In the Chess Game, China's own demographic crisis gives it a time horizon of less than 5-10 years to make its next move, and increasingly more likely it will make its move within this decade. It has a largely dysfunctional population eager to leave its oppressive state, and its only trump card has been numbers for cheap labor and centralized control to drive precious minerals and high tech gadgetry. Seizing the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would place China in control of ~90-95% of the world's silicon supply.

    With the United States building a vast state of the art factory in Arizona, and the European Union opening up precious minerals mining on its territory, it is increasingly clear that if China wants to combat the certain oil embargo it will face when it attempts to take Taiwan, it must act in the next 24-36 months. But it won't be check-mate for the West: China's entire gamble has been predicated upon the belief that the West wouldn't fight to intervene in smaller countries against the newly ascendant powers. Now that Russia is certainly not ascendant, and China's future becomes increasingly cloudy, I think we're in store for some very interesting and scary times.
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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Dumas Walker on Sun Jul 30 10:26:50 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Dumas Walker to KAELON on Fri Jul 28 2023 08:30 am

    If Belarus gets more involved on the Russian side, or if Russia does something to bait the US or other countries into the fight more directly on the Ukrainian side, there could be a few other outcomes. If it is the latter, I suspect those outcomes will be more drawn-out, costly, and deadly.

    I genuinely think Ukraine, from a vast geopolitical perspective, was the trial-run or beta-test for the next World War. Much like the Spanish Civil War was the practice round for the Axis vs. the Allies in World War II. And yet, unlike Spain, the Ukrainian example has demonstrated that authoritarian regimes are far less stable than they have suggested, and that corruption and mismanagement have placed their armed forces at a tremendous disadvantage. Remember: for China, who has been watching with baited breath, they have never had a successful military conflict with the West in their entire history. They need one to solidify their ascension to global superpower status.

    I think the whole point of this was not to take all of Ukraine but to take enough land to create a land bridge of Russian territory between the Ukranian break-away areas and Crimea. I am not even certain they will manage that without help.

    I think if you look at the incremental efforts by Putin - first in 2014 with the seizure of Crimea, and then again at the start of this war in 2022 - the objective has been the complete pacification of Ukraine to maintain a buffer state for Russia against the west. By all measures, he has failed: Finland and Sweden have joined NATO, ending over two centuries of neutrality, and Ukraine really does seem like it will win back most, if not all, of its seized territories.

    What comes next for Russia is deeply problematic. I am genuinely surprised that Putin has not been assassinated, or more likely "sent to a hospital in Siberia" and then replaced, because the string of failures Russia has encountered will lead to the emboldened separatism of its many republics (states). Remember: Russia is not ethnically Russian, and the demographic collapse of the Russian People and the Russian Federation as a whole, is largely existential. For Putin, he saw the restoration of the Soviet Empire as a way to forstall this sociopolitical collapse. That's clearly no longer genuinely possible, and with Russia's humiliation, it has become a regional player for the balance of its modern existence.
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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Sun Jul 30 15:26:59 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to Arelor on Sun Jul 30 2023 10:09 am

    I definitely agree that this has been a war sparked in part by Russia's demo > bly, you are correct, that the party who runs out of people or weapons faste > defections) have led to a neutering of the Russian population advantage.

    Europe has a bad track record when it comes to supporting members of the Union.Everything is songs and parties and praises to the big European family until
    something like the 2008 crisis hits and then it is everybody on his own. Greezeis an example people likes to bring to the table.

    There is not such a thing as an ally for the likes of us. There are people withshared interests at best. You can bet European countries will stop supporting
    somebody as soon as it is no longer profitable or no external stimmulus (such as the USA forcing their hand) to do so exists.

    When you combine the fact that we are self-interested suckers with the fact a whole lot of European countries have been disarming themselves - ie. we Spaniards spent our years since Zapatero closing weapon factories and switchingmany of the remaining ones to supply developping countries - it is easy to
    imagine once we run out of essential weapon reserves we will switch to eating popcorn watching the fireworks from afar.

    Minister Borrell already warned there isn't much more gear to spare left.

    It is therefore plausible that when the conflict ends, leaving Ukraine at whichever state, the West will declare the result a victory and send some tokenresources for helping rebuilding Ukraine that look good in the photo-ops but
    don't fix a thing. The reason is nobody really cares for Ukraine more than theycare for their doormat.

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  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Arelor on Sun Jul 30 23:35:00 2023
    If anything, it is demonstrated that Europe is America's doormat at this point and I don't think many USAn politicians would like this status to change anytime soon.

    Agreed. My own country (Poland) benefits from it.. but France and Germany are pissed like hell.

    -h1

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  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Kaelon on Sun Jul 30 23:47:00 2023
    Now that Russia is certainly not ascendant, and
    China's future becomes increasingly cloudy, I think we're in store for some very interesting and scary times. _____

    Agreed with all but Belarus. Huge chance that of course that Union will happen as some shallow warranty that Putin/Russia owns it. But...

    I still give them a fair chance to rebel.. and once that happens, Ukraine shows there may be allies with supplies at least.

    For the scary times.. well to some degree yes, but also it's already known to past generations what's gonna happen and western world lived through it in prosperity.. it was called Cold War and stood still for 40 years, until USSR collapsed.

    I think that the current cold war will not be any different.
    Constant provocations to no real outcome and the West (USA/EU/JP/AU) will just isolate and create independence of Chinese supply chain and Russian fossils.. until the latter discover that they are still in XX century while other countries are already set for XXII - civilization wise.

    Alternative reality is.. that by the end of this century, our grand kids learn Chinese as a second language, just like today English is taught in non-english speaking countries.

    -h1

    ... Xerox Alto was the thing. Anything after we use is just a mere copy.
  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Arelor on Sun Jul 30 23:53:00 2023
    Europe has a bad track record when it comes to supporting members of the Union.Everything is songs and parties and praises to the big European family until
    something like the 2008 crisis hits and then it is everybody on his own. Greezeis an example people likes to bring to the table.

    Agreed, that's why UK left at the end as well.
    And that's why I'm happy to see that with this conflict in Ukraine, Uncle Sam came back to the old continent showing who's the boss.

    EU led by Germany and France has no strategy other than to become a Rome like Rome was just before Huns raided it.... a land of pleasure and prosperity created in a bubble of assumptions that there is no threat around it and everybody just wants to trade and it can benefit from it..

    nothing more wrong to assume, if you learn history. That's why I strongly believe that EU will eventually collapse in this century, it's just it cannot do so in uncontrolled way and not without something that secures economic integrity of major players.. otherwise EU will have civil war motivated exactly by the same attitude like 2008's "me first, then the union, fuck greece.. we'll buy greece later"

    -h1

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  • From Kaelon@VERT to hollowone on Mon Jul 31 07:50:53 2023
    Re: Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: hollowone to Kaelon on Sun Jul 30 2023 11:47 pm

    Agreed with all but Belarus. Huge chance that of course that Union will happen as some shallow warranty that Putin/Russia owns it. But...

    I enjoyed your take, and I agree.

    Belarus does have a chance, but if you've been following a lot of the integration developments between Belarus and Russia, I don't rate the chance as particularly promising. For example, Belarus is socially far more Russian than the Ukrainians ever were, and the Russian language is still a primary language (with Belarussian being relegated to secondary and even pariah status). Social norms usually drive political ones, and we're seeing joint declarations of centralizing the Belarussian economy under Moscow's control. There is a pretty detailed multi-phase plan to fully consume Belarus, and I think barring Lukashenko's death and/or a mass public uprising against him, it will come to pass.

    For the scary times.. well to some degree yes, but also it's already known to past generations what's gonna happen and western world lived through it in prosperity.. it was called Cold War and stood still for 40 years, until USSR collapsed.

    I was born in 1979, so I definitely lived through the final twist of it (and as a child of Cuban immigrants, the Missile Crisis and Bay of Pigs looms large in my upbringing). There's no doubt that geopolitically, Russia's fate is sealed as a third-rate power. But there are genuine questions as to what lessons China is going to take from this, and whether it will in fact move towards isolation and eventual collapse.

    Remember, unlike the Soviet Union which was economically disconnected from the world, China is at the heart of the global economy and is the planet's factory. India has proven far less skilled and manageable in this regard, and while it has a very talented services sector, the world's help desk can't really easily replace China just yet. So this is going to have to be something that the West takes on with great expense.
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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Arelor on Mon Jul 31 07:55:41 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Arelor to Kaelon on Sun Jul 30 2023 03:26 pm

    Europe has a bad track record when it comes to supporting members of the Union.Everything is songs and parties and praises to the big European family until
    something like the 2008 crisis hits and then it is everybody on his own.

    The European Union is a problematic experiment, not least of which is the bureaucratic engine that its member-states really only half-heartedly support. Given the United Kingdom's withdrawal, and the looming rebellions in Eastern Europe (and a not-inconsequential rise of the Far Right in the Mediterranean, especially your native - and my homeland - of Spain), I think the future for the EU political bloc is grim.

    NATO, on the other hand, has been an enduring tool that has prevented the Continent from descending back into open warfare many times, and it is part of the central compact between the United States and Europe. The U.S. manages security and defense, and European states ensure there is an economic pay-for-play to keep the engine running. Russia single-handedly revitalized the centrality of this exchange, and given the Five Eyes (Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, and Australia) likely will join NATO in the next 36 months, it's probably going to remain the governing global security force of our lifetimes.

    European competition and collaboration, on the other hand, which you cite often, is a tremendous asset. While the United States has benefitted from its laboratories of democracy in its federalist system, Europe has benefitted tremendously from nation-state-hood and the increasing hyper-competition among the states that only infrequently turns deadly.

    There's a lesson in there for both the U.S. and Europe; together, we can drive different forms of competition to ensure Western Civilization continues to dominate the planet for the undeniable future to come.
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  • From Dumas Walker@VERT/CAPCITY2 to KAELON on Mon Jul 31 09:10:00 2023
    I genuinely think Ukraine, from a vast geopolitical perspective, was the
    rial-
    un or beta-test for the next World War. Much like the Spanish Civil War was
    he
    practice round for the Axis vs. the Allies in World War II. And yet, unlike
    pa
    n, the Ukrainian example has demonstrated that authoritarian regimes are far
    e
    s stable than they have suggested, and that corruption and mismanagement have

    aced their armed forces at a tremendous disadvantage. Remember: for China, who >as been watching with baited breath, they have never had a successful military >onflict with the West in their entire history. They need one to solidify their >scension to global superpower status.

    This is an interesting point. The Spanish Civil War was indeed a trial run
    for several of Germany's new war technologies and strategies. It is
    possible that Putin (or others) saw Ukraine as a similar test.

    What comes next for Russia is deeply problematic. I am genuinely surprised
    hat
    Putin has not been assassinated, or more likely "sent to a hospital in
    iberia"
    and then replaced, because the string of failures Russia has encountered will

    ad to the emboldened separatism of its many republics (states). Remember:
    ussi
    is not ethnically Russian, and the demographic collapse of the Russian People
    and the Russian Federation as a whole, is largely existential. For Putin, he
    a
    the restoration of the Soviet Empire as a way to forstall this sociopolitical

    llapse. That's clearly no longer genuinely possible, and with Russia's
    umiliat
    on, it has become a regional player for the balance of its modern existence.

    If this were the USSR days, I have no doubt that Putin would have been
    moved aside by now. You bring up another interesting point, that much of
    the territory of Russia includes republics that are not ethnically Russian.
    I have found some irony in this war in that one of Putin's supposedly most ardent supporters is the leader of Chechnya, which in the recent past had a strong separatist movement and is majority muslim. The current leadership
    has apparently gotten rich off of being an ally of Russia. Otherwise, I
    would expect that area to be the first to try to break away.

    I have not kept up recently with other areas of unrest in the Federation.

    IIRC, the Crimea is more ethnically Russian than Ukrainian. Crimea was
    moved under the Ukraine SSR by Moscow sometime during the Cold War.


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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Mon Jul 31 17:32:49 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to Arelor on Mon Jul 31 2023 07:55 am

    The European Union is a problematic experiment, not least of which is the bu > quential rise of the Far Right in the Mediterranean, especially your native
    Far-Right influence in Spain after the collapse of the Phalanx is anecdotic. Politicians use the thread of the far-right the same way grandmothers use Halloween stories to scare children. The so-called Far-Right party here are essentially like US Republicans, and I think it is clear they have peaked as a third-in-line political power and won't ascend much further if at all.

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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Mon Jul 31 17:46:22 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to Arelor on Mon Jul 31 2023 07:55 am

    The European Union is a problematic experiment, not least of which is the bu > quential rise of the Far Right in the Mediterranean, especially your native >
    NATO, on the other hand, has been an enduring tool that has prevented the Co > European states ensure there is an economic pay-for-play to keep the engine > n NATO in the next 36 months, it's probably going to remain the governing gl
    By the way, I dare say that the existence of the European Union has pacified the Eurozone more than, say, the existence of NATO, by virtuoe of a known phenomenom: people who trade among each other is much less likely to start stabbing each other deliberatedly, because they make more profits from trading. On the other hand, despite all the cool advertisements on the contrary, it is quite clear that NATO is mostly the US sending soldiers to fight and die while the population of the other NATO members scream bloody murder because America is an imperialist power that must be destroyed, and their respective governments hold Uncle Sam's coat in the process. I dare say the push to stop contributing to the NATO in Spain is stronger than any Far-Right imaginary threat.

    I don't think this is the foundation of a strong alliance. It is an alliance that may hold together but it is feebler than it seems. One of the reasons why Trump gathered support was that he dennounced (and rightly so) that American soldiers were coming back in plastic bags while everybody else sat on their fatasses criticising. I have family in the Spanish army, and I have been told that, when they were deployed in the MIddle East, one of the directives they got
    was to call for the Americans if anything happened.

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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Arelor on Tue Aug 1 11:00:57 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Arelor to Kaelon on Mon Jul 31 2023 05:46 pm

    By the way, I dare say that the existence of the European Union has pacified the Eurozone more than, say, the existence of NATO, by virtuoe of a known phenomenom: people who trade among each other is much less likely to start stabbing each other deliberatedly, because they make more profits from trading.

    There's no doubt that strong trading ties are a deterrent to war, but by no means are they a guarantee against it. Remember that the Weimar Republic / the Third Reich was linked to global trade networks, and the German Empire before it, but both had strong financial incentives to go their own ways.

    Similarly, Russia may have made a financially catastrophic miscalculation in invading Ukraine since it lost access to not only the planet's financial systems, but also to the only major loopholes (Swiss banks). It now relies extensively upon criminal networks and cryptocurrency to survive, but it has achieved / restored economic self-sufficiency relatively quickly. The lesson here is that the financial incentive to avoid war only lasts so long as there isn't an overriding geopolitical incentive.

    On the other hand, despite all the cool advertisements on the
    contrary, it is quite clear that NATO is mostly the US sending soldiers to fight and die while the population of the other NATO members scream bloody murder because America is an imperialist power that must be destroyed, and their respective governments hold Uncle Sam's coat in the process. I dare say the push to stop contributing to the NATO in Spain is stronger than any Far-Right imaginary threat.

    The brilliance behind both NATO and the United States' hyperpower strategy, by and large, is that it has created a largely irreversible global financial system that guarantees the United States' centrality. Europe has largely abandoned the expensive raising and financing of armies in favor of much smaller token and policing forces and a much vaster social safety net. This has the net effect of generally ensuring the United States is responsible for Europe's security, and Europe is on the hook for driving revenue across the U.S. system.

    Another key element of how the system works can be traced back to the Marshall Plan that largely rebuilt Europe and the earliest foundations of the EEC and the EU. Deficit spending, for the United States, is always profitable because it is in the form of defense and trade guarantees that are directed back to U.S. global industries that drive innovation and security. For every $1 of deficit spending in the United States, there is around $9 generated in net-new revenue for U.S. coffers in the form of trade. Countries that do not play by these rules - and there are many in Asia where this has become an issue - find themselves quickly losing investment from the United States.

    I don't think this is the foundation of a strong alliance. It is an alliance that may hold together but it is feebler than it seems. One of the reasons why Trump gathered support was that he dennounced (and rightly so) that American soldiers were coming back in plastic bags while everybody else sat on their fatasses criticising. I have family in the Spanish army, and I have been told that, when they were deployed in the MIddle East, one of the directives they got
    was to call for the Americans if anything happened.

    NATO works because the world funds its collective security and the United States leads it. For the European Union, or individual European states, to actually spend on their own defense, would absolutely wreck their economies and their social safety nets, which are already unsustainable due to the demographic crises most European countries face (chief of which is the sub-replacement birthrates). I see it remaining impenetrably strong because it has essentially created a symbiotic relationship (to put it diplomatically) whereupon much of the world has become client-states to the United States' geopolitical stewardship.

    It isn't a bad deal, so long as the United States maintains its end of the bargain and the rules-based liberal world order continues to create predictability so that economies can scale. But it would be a mistake to think of NATO as a purely defensive alliance. It is a global order that has a vast economic interdependent engine that fuels the American military-industrial complex.

    And that's exactly how everyone likes it.
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  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Arelor on Tue Aug 1 11:22:00 2023
    By the way, I dare say that the existence of the European Union has pacified the Eurozone more than, say, the existence of NATO, by virtuoe

    Define pacify? No more "Hitler alike" ignited war flaming the continent?
    I think Cold War with a continual threat that whole Europe may be Bolshevik and NATO/American presence on the continent pacified Europe.

    When both of these weakened EU tried to grow and struggle to maintain current growth level that keeps the traditional continental powers in charge.

    It is dragged into internal conflicts and most likely will miss the opportunity to become what ideally it could have.

    And the current conflict in Ukraine also shows that countries that were neutral rather believe in NATO than EU to keep the borders safe.

    I think that was surprising to Putin, to see Sweden and Finland joining the Alliance and Switzerland offering ammunition at the early stage of the conflict before anybody spotted that it's a move... when it was spotted the latter withdrew itself from the horizon, but Scandinavia is all about NATO for sure.

    -h1

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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Dumas Walker on Tue Aug 1 15:07:43 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Dumas Walker to KAELON on Mon Jul 31 2023 09:10 am

    This is an interesting point. The Spanish Civil War was indeed a trial run for several of Germany's new war technologies and strategies. It is possible that Putin (or others) saw Ukraine as a similar test.

    Certainly it has been a test for other authoritarians, and in particular China, to determine (a) what the World's reaction to an unprovoked seizure of a smaller country would be, and (b) how effective said seizure would unfold. It was clearly China's policy to enter into this "no limits" partnership with Russia as a way to supply and study Russia's occupation of Ukraine.

    Things turned out very badly for Russia - and by extension, as the senior partner of this endeavor, China - given Russia's absolute paper-tiger syndrome with its incompetent military, and obviously, the world's dramatic intervention into and support of Ukraine. So the calculus surely has gone something like this:

    China evaluates the feasibility of seizing Taiwan, which it must do in order to manage global confrontation with the United States. Ukraine becomes the testbed, like thge Spanish Civil War was the proving ground for Axis participation against democratic forces. Russia collapses, in large part due to corruption and incompetence (both of which are also rampant in the Chinese system). The World isolates Russia and it becomes a pariah state. China, desperate to distance itself from its terrible gamble, starts to float peace plans and deny alignment with Putin.

    China, however, doesn't have many options. Like Hitler and the Third Reich, Xi must seize Taiwan and control the world's microchip supply if he is to truly cement his legacy and provide China's ascent to super-power status. So I expect confrontation is all but inevitable at this stage, but it looks really messy for China and the West seems all the more ready to help Taiwan extract a vicious toll from any aggression.

    If this were the USSR days, I have no doubt that Putin would have been
    moved aside by now. You bring up another interesting point, that much of the territory of Russia includes republics that are not ethnically Russian.

    Russia has had significant cultural and demographic challenges that were largely obscured by the Soviet Union, which at least on its surface was titularly universalist and not aligned to any of its constituent republics' cultures (even if it was led by and controlled by the Russians). Now that the Russian Federation has had to contend with multiple separatist movements (Chechnya, as you mention, but also the other peripheral states), we see the terrible price that cultural and demographic discontinuity poses on a consistent basis for the Russian leadership.

    I have found some irony in this war in that one of Putin's supposedly most ardent supporters is the leader of Chechnya, which in the recent past had a strong separatist movement and is majority muslim. The current leadership has apparently gotten rich off of being an ally of Russia. Otherwise, I would expect that area to be the first to try to break away.

    Chechnya today is very different but not necessarily because of, for example, a Spanish-Basque detente. In that case, Spain recognized that economic disparity was the primary driver of Basque separatism, and spend many years investing in the autonomous region's prosperity in order to quell independence. It worked. But in Chechnya, Putinism was the strategy employed. This is deeply problematic for several reasons.

    Putinism, in essence, is a cult of personality similar to Hitlerism in the Third Reich. In many ways, Vladimir Putin clearly has modeled his confrontation strategy after the Fuhrer's. It's surprising given just how unsuccessful the underlying strategy was. It goes like this:

    1. Value loyalty over competence, always.
    2. Nurture acolytes willing to protect you (i.e., take the blame).
    3. Deploy thugs to manufacture cassus belli and/or chaos to control the security narrative.
    4. War.

    In Chechnya, Putin leveraged the FSB - the modern-day KGB - to forment pro-war sentiment by staging terrorist attacks in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and then blamed it on the Chechens. He then invaded Chechnya with overwhelming force, and used several key acolytes in the military to reduce Grozny to a pile of ash, to set an example for any other breakaway region. Finally, he installed similar thugs to "run" the new Chechnya, in essence, like a mafia: through intimidation, corruption, and crime.

    Kadyrov, as the very thug who leads the feared Chechen military, has been deployed to Ukraine and has been humiliated repeatedly. People may forget, but his elite squadron of murderers were sent to infiltrate Kyiv and assassinate Volodimyr Zelensky, and they were all killed by Ukranian troops except for Kadyrov himself. He's now relegated to propagandist behind the scenes.

    Russia is run this way: like a criminal enterprise whose sole purpose it is to drive Vladimir Putin's storyline - which prior to this invasion was simply limited to his own wealth, but now clearly has imperial ambitions. French President Macron has observed - because he had weekly phone calls with Putin during the pandemic - that at some point around October of 2021, Putin had a sudden personality change. Whether he suffered a stroke or a psychotic split, the result is the same: cabin fever turned this man into the impulsive monster that the world will have to end.

    I have not kept up recently with other areas of unrest in the Federation.

    IIRC, the Crimea is more ethnically Russian than Ukrainian. Crimea was moved under the Ukraine SSR by Moscow sometime during the Cold War.

    It's surprising that Nikita Kruschev's cession of Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR was not reversed earlier, given that it was largely a publicity stunt designed to "reward" Ukrainian people. Let's also not forget that Kruschev, like many Soviet Secretary Generals, also led the Ukrainian SSR, even though he himself was ethnically Russian. Ukraine has long represented some of the finest soldiers and scientists that the Soviet Union had access to, a fact surely not lost on Putin who laments the dissolution of the USSR as an "unforgiveable crime against history."
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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to hollowone on Tue Aug 1 16:49:35 2023
    Re: Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: hollowone to Arelor on Tue Aug 01 2023 11:22 am

    Define pacify? No more "Hitler alike" ignited war flaming the continent?

    I mean "No more Country_1 invades Country_2 because it likes some strategical feature of Country_2".

    European powers used to be at war against each other all day and now they aren't.

    Current European conflicts of interests may be dangerous (and even threatening at an existential level) but won't cause EU countries to invade other EU countries.

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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Arelor on Tue Aug 1 15:16:12 2023
    Re: Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Arelor to hollowone on Tue Aug 01 2023 04:49 pm

    Current European conflicts of interests may be dangerous (and even threatening at an existential level) but won't cause EU countries to invade other EU countries.

    This is certainly the hope, but I think we've seen signs that Eastern European countries, but especially Hungary, and even potentially Poland (with its Law and Justice party), are being pushed out of the European mainstream given that their behavior is rightly judged as anti-democratic. Remember that Austria, Romania, and Bulgaria all had similar aliberal moments in recent history, and that this behavior largely has led to the defeat of major EU treaties that would have driven centralization and expansion of the Union.

    The next logical step behind a lot of this, in my view, is that as the Eastern Europeans lean more into authoritarianism, there will be a clear incentive to separate from the European Union, and potentially settle differences in a far more confrontational manner. NATO is really the only safeguard against this happening, which is to say that EU member-states must all ultimately become NATO-aligned. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has essentially guaranteed NATO's global supremacy.
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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Tue Aug 1 17:12:40 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to Arelor on Tue Aug 01 2023 11:00 am

    Similarly, Russia may have made a financially catastrophic miscalculation in > orks and cryptocurrency to survive, but it has achieved / restored economic >

    This is a problem I have with the modern Western style in general: we think we are the center of the world and we believe we can destroy somebody just by refusing to be their friend.

    I think this problem comes from modern Cancel Culture. We as a civilitation have discovered we can destroy Jack if we convince enough people that Jack is afilthy fascist so they don't buy stuff from it. The issue is that then we
    try to translate this to higher spheres of politics and it just doesn't scale. The West has this idea that we are the most important people on the planet, so if we exclude you from Eurovision and our trade systems, your country has no more entertainment and no more trading going on. This fantasy falls appart quicklĄy once you realize there are more humans living in the Indochina area than out of it.

    RE: Everybody likes the NATO arrangement; there are strong anti NATO movements in member countries. Since NATO members tend to be (nominally) democracies, I think this is not to be dismissed. In fact a number of anti-NATO people I can think of would use your wording as an example of why NATO is to be avoided: it has NATO members pay protection money/resources so America gets to be the world's police (actually, the people I think of would rather say it has memberspay protection money so America gets to be an imperialistic power).

    The only thing you need to know is that for Spain to get into NATO, it took thePresidential Candidate Felipe González to tell his voters that he would never
    support a NATO deal in order to be elected, because nobody wanted to participate in the NATO. Then he got placed into office and supported the NATO deal anyway against the will of the voters.

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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Arelor on Tue Aug 1 17:05:10 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Arelor to Kaelon on Tue Aug 01 2023 05:12 pm

    This is a problem I have with the modern Western style in general: we think we are the center of the world and we believe we can destroy somebody just by refusing to be their friend.

    It's very clearly a pay-to-play scenario. You want access to western markets? Then, you need to play by our rules. I really don't see a problem with this, and part of our enablement of China's threatening rise is in fact us not following this maxim closely enough. We were very content letting China become our factory, and decided we wouldn't be picky about their authoritarianism and one-party state because, we thought, they'll eventually become a democracy if they work with us.

    Definitely a false narrative where China has successfully played the west. NATO, on the other hand, is the logical conclusion of entering and succeeding in the United States' global world order.

    If you want access to global markets, you have to play by our global rules: transparency, accountability, rules-based order, which largely replaced the arbitrary zeitgeist of Europe during the 1930s and triumphed over the Soviet ideology in the Cold War. If you want to help write the rules, you need to contribute - first, to the economic system (the WTO, or one of its regional trade blocs, including the EEC and Euro-Zone), and then enter into a political bloc that maintains judicial enforcement of the economic system (for Europe, it's the European Union mandated by Maastricht and successor treaties).

    NATO reaches the apex of the economic system by providing a defense bulwark against countries that adopt the U.S. pay-for-play standard: support our military industrial complex (i.e., allow us to invest in U.S. defense-aligned jobs in your territory, beginning with defense industries and concluding with military bases) and you can invest most of your profits into a social welfare cap.

    NATO becomes unpopular among jingoistic circles and among pacifists, but it rarely becomes a majority of the accountability-seeking electorate. And as the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows us, NATO is ultimately the pinnacle desire of any country that wants guarantees for its sovereignty and simultaneous participation in the US/EU world order. This is precisely why the Five Eyes (Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines) are primed to join NATO -- if we can still logically call it that -- in the next 24-36 months.
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  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Arelor on Wed Aug 2 05:51:00 2023

    Current European conflicts of interests may be dangerous (and even threatening at an existential level) but won't cause EU countries to invade other EU countries.


    I believe so too. Although I also observe a lot of tension occasionally in countries like:
    - Spain and separatist moves in Catalonia and Basque countries.
    - Belgium... it's just a facade of a single country with a lot of internal issues to keep its integrity aligned
    - Balkan countries which are still fresh after Post-Yugoslavia conflicts
    - Cyprus (Greek Cypriot vs. Turkish Cypriot vs. UK control over the island)

    Less drastic and less probable but even in Germany there are traditional voices the Bavaria is not Germany and doesn't need Germany as a whole to prosper... but mostly this is just some German-specific bollocks of their own romantic people.

    Truth is that after last two Great Wars in XX century every country in Europe has lost either land or influence or both. Everybody is a loser and I think also every country realized that not the open conflict but trade and alliances is much better way to rebuilt the perspective and then compete globally. I hope that can be kept this way, regardless if EU in current form survives or not.

    -h1

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  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Kaelon on Wed Aug 2 06:00:00 2023
    This is certainly the hope, but I think we've seen signs that Eastern European countries, but especially Hungary, and even potentially Poland (with its Law and Justice party), are being pushed out of the European mainstream given that their behavior is rightly judged as
    anti-democratic. Remember that Austria, Romania, and Bulgaria all had

    Poland is not authoritharian but ruled by conservatives who live more with American sentiment about how country should be organized in several fundamental aspects, which of course in socialistic EU, so driven by WOKE, it is a problem.

    Another problem with Poland and EU is that the current gov wakes up the sentiment about Poland being HQ of Central Europe driven alliances, not Germany. Three-Seas Alliance from Baltics to Greece is part of that program that can create European Union within European Union that is big enough to counter-balance German and French ambitions to have solo role in setting standards.

    And if that fails and 3-seas succeeds that alliance is about 250M people with growing domestic markets and being critical in the supply chain between East and West and being alternative factory for US/Western Europe if China rebels so they have economic argument to show German and French Standards a middle finger.

    Poland positions itself as interests should be more important than cultural values, Nobody in Poland wants other countries be more like Poland culturally, so nobody should tell Poland what the local culture should be. As long as everybody is only focused on business we don't care but just like nobody should tell Americans if they should have guns at home or not but other Americans.. the biggest mistake EU tries to make is to Germanize Poland's goals and ambitions, instead of partnering up...

    That mistake will most likely come out with another EU-exit by 2050 if that counterbalance as internal force to reform EU fails as strategic campaign.

    -h1

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  • From Dumas Walker@VERT/CAPCITY2 to KAELON on Wed Aug 2 07:29:00 2023
    Putinism, in essence, is a cult of personality similar to Hitlerism in the Thi
    Reich. In many ways, Vladimir Putin clearly has modeled his confrontation str
    egy after the Fuhrer's. It's surprising given just how unsuccessful the underl
    ng strategy was. It goes like this:

    1. Value loyalty over competence, always.
    2. Nurture acolytes willing to protect you (i.e., take the blame).
    3. Deploy thugs to manufacture cassus belli and/or chaos to control the securi
    narrative.
    4. War.

    It is certainly a surprise that he would model Hitler as you suggest. One
    or two reasons he might do so:

    1. He thinks he learned from the Nazi mistakes and can do it better (which could also mean he is crazy)
    2. If you study the early roots of the Russian Revolution, and what Stalin
    was up to in those years (thugs and chaos), it is possible he believes he is employing Stalinism rather than Hitlerism. Point #4 would then be covered
    by Putin's own dissappointment that the USSR was disolved and, as you
    pointed out, many of the USSR's best and brightest came from Ukraine so it makes sense to try to bring them back into the fold first.


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  • From Dumas Walker@VERT/CAPCITY2 to ARELOR on Wed Aug 2 08:24:00 2023
    I don't think this is the foundation of a strong alliance. It is an alliance that may hold together but it is feebler than it seems. One of the reasons why
    Trump gathered support was that he dennounced (and rightly so) that American soldiers were coming back in plastic bags while everybody else sat on their fa
    sses criticising.

    That, and that other countries were supposedly not paying their fair share
    of the cost to maintain NATO.


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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Wed Aug 2 12:42:48 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to Dumas Walker on Tue Aug 01 2023 03:07 pm


    Spanish separatists movements are all but quelled. NOne of them were ever bought with money. Try waving a Spanish flag in some areas near the Basque community - and I am not saying *in* the Basque community - and they will gang on you and break your face.

    What "worked" in order to eliminate terrorism was to grant terrorists the rightto a political party. Now we have separatists parties (such as Bildu) formed byex-ETA members. They no longer bomb stuff but their goals are the same and
    their determination has not diminished the least.

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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Wed Aug 2 12:45:23 2023
    Re: Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to Arelor on Tue Aug 01 2023 03:16 pm

    This is certainly the hope, but I think we've seen signs that Eastern Europe > ghtly judged as anti-democratic. Remember that Austria, Romania, and Bulgari > of the Union.

    The next logical step behind a lot of this, in my view, is that as the Easte > manner. NATO is really the only safeguard against this happening, which is > _____

    You are making my case.

    The EU has turned into a private club in which people with slightly different values will be labeled as anti-democratic and demeaned. This is another proof that the foundations are weaker than people think.

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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Wed Aug 2 13:00:08 2023
    Re: NATO
    By: Kaelon to Arelor on Tue Aug 01 2023 05:05 pm

    NATO becomes unpopular among jingoistic circles and among pacifists, but it > ts guarantees for its sovereignty and simultaneous participation in the US/E > hat -- in the next 24-36 months.

    You keep making my case.

    Your case is that it is beneficial for Europe and other satellite countries to pay protection to the USA so the rest of the countries can be Socialistic. In other words, the claim is that becoming a protectorate is good for the protectees.

    I don't agree this is the state of things, but if it was, then the situation would be unstable as heck. Protectorate models tend to crumble (and historically do) because they suck for the protectees.

    BUt in this case it is even worse because the protectees that must pay protection money are activelly becoming poorer and demolishing their economies in an ordered manner, to the point they won't be able to be Socialistic even with help. Unindustrialized countries have less ability to pay protection money.

    I am not saying the NATO will collapse because of this effect, but it is a matter of time that anti-NATO political movements will raise even more because they want the money used for military bases addressed to Hospitals instead. Thelevel of compromise from certain countries is very low.

    The party in power in Spain right now used to run many anti-American campaigns and has a history of withdrawing military support from hot zones other NATO members were covering. I expect most members without colonialistic interests tokeep a similar level of compromise.

    It looks functional but feeble to me.

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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to hollowone on Wed Aug 2 13:06:55 2023
    Re: Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: hollowone to Kaelon on Wed Aug 02 2023 06:00 am

    Poland is not authoritharian but ruled by conservatives who live more with A
    You know, the problem with the EU is, in my opinion, that it has stopped being a trade agreement and started being a trans-national government.

    It would not be *that* bad if European institutions weren't the place where National political parties park their failed politicians. Bonus points because many agencies within the European Union are composed of unelected officers, so you end up having a bunch of unelected people generating proposals and directives for EU members, and people tends not to like that.

    It is like the reglament of weapons and explosives in Spain. It was not a law and it was not written by an elected officer. It was written by the military and now our miners and building demolition squads have to obey the will of somedeep state officer who got never voted by anybody.

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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Dumas Walker on Wed Aug 2 13:15:02 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Dumas Walker to ARELOR on Wed Aug 02 2023 08:24 am

    That, and that other countries were supposedly not paying their fair share of the cost to maintain NATO.


    I count "not paying their fair share" as part of "sitting on their fat asses", but thanks for specifying :-)

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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Arelor on Wed Aug 2 13:09:34 2023
    Re: NATO
    By: Arelor to Kaelon on Wed Aug 02 2023 01:00 pm

    Your case is that it is beneficial for Europe and other satellite countries to pay protection to the USA so the rest of the countries can be Socialistic. In other words, the claim is that becoming a protectorate is good for the protectees.

    The problem with legacy protectorate models is that contributing to these systems was done in a way that diminished the sovereignty (suzerainy?) of these protectorates. Taxation, for example, is an overt diminishment of the capital capacity of the government and this fiscal burden largely builds resentment among populations and alienates the ruling class.

    NATO, and the Marshal Plan that (re-)built Europe after the War, is very different. Virtually none of the NATO member-states contribute the treaty-obligated 2% GDP to expenditures. That's not what funds the operation. Trade does. So thinking of NATO as some sort of classic protectorate model really belies its intended purpose: a trade union with defensive characteristics.

    In the United States, significant deficit spending (and the world's largest defense budget) is actually directed to NATO countries for development of industries and technologies that both benefit local consumers (like GPS) and generate nearly ten-fold in military revenues for the U.S. military. The system works so long as it remains pay-to-play, not pay-for-protection. Europe has already decided, fundamentally, it is not interested in its own protection.

    If NATO ceases to be a thing, or even worse, if the U.S. pulls out of the region (always a possibility given our xenophobic and aliberal tendencies every couple generations or so), then Europe will be left to smash its institutions, eliminate its social welfare states, and fund costly militaries to thwart Chinese, Russian, and Near-Eastern aggression. And no one wants that.
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  • From Kaelon@VERT to Dumas Walker on Wed Aug 2 13:14:17 2023
    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Dumas Walker to KAELON on Wed Aug 02 2023 07:29 am

    It is certainly a surprise that he would model Hitler as you suggest. One or two reasons he might do so:

    1. He thinks he learned from the Nazi mistakes and can do it better (which could also mean he is crazy)

    There is no doubt that Putin believes that Hitler's failure was a failure of imagination, not a failure of design. The central tenet of the expansion playbook - recognize nationhood among ethnic peoples, give them your citizenship through passports, and then intervene in other countries on their behalf - is exactly what Putin has done in Ukraine, Georgia, and elsewhere. It's the Sudetenland Playbook almost verbatim.

    2. If you study the early roots of the Russian Revolution, and what Stalin was up to in those years (thugs and chaos), it is possible he believes he is employing Stalinism rather than Hitlerism. Point #4 would then be covered by Putin's own dissappointment that the USSR was disolved and, as you pointed out, many of the USSR's best and brightest came from Ukraine so it makes sense to try to bring them back into the fold first.

    Absolutely right. Certainly Stalinism is something that Putin admires, but the bigger problem is the demographic deficit that he needs to solve. First and foremost, the collapsing birthrates and population numbers in Russia (and in Ukraine) are attributed to the demographic collapse of its people stemming from the population inbalances borne from the Second World War (and the ~100M Russians and Ukrainians that died).

    Secondly, and this one is far more complicated, recobbling the Soviet Union is a delusional objective that is divorced from the fundamental geopolitical realities with which the Russian Federation is faced. People forget that in the mid-1990s, Russia had a GDP smaller than Denmark's, and it was only through use of the petro-dollar and energy wars that Putin was able to construct a Russian economy that was largely extractive of value, not building said value.

    This is not a recipe for any of the constituent former USSR member-states to want to rejoin a Union State under Russia's leadership. Except, of course, for those who have significant economic and political dependency on Russia. Such as Belarus. And before 2014, Ukraine.
    _____
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  • From hollowone@VERT/BEERS20 to Arelor on Wed Aug 2 13:21:00 2023
    You know, the problem with the EU is, in my opinion, that it has stopped being a trade agreement and started being a trans-national government.

    It would not be *that* bad if European institutions weren't the place where National political parties park their failed politicians. Bonus points because many agencies within the European Union are composed of unelected officers, so you end up having a bunch of unelected people generating proposals and directives for EU members, and people tends not to like that.

    That's true.. I don't like it. I believe Brussels is just one big waste of tax payer money and recent corruptions only adds to that.

    And these folks are teaching my country what the democracy is. We lost independence because we were way more Democratic that these idiots will ever be.

    And one more reason why I believe EU like any union.. most likely and eventually will die.

    The only chance for EU to stay for hundreds of years is actually the federalization and it wants to become one... but the way its approaching the challenge is just not gonna work.

    I'd rather like to have another war with Germany than following current principles of EU mindlessly. Especially that these times that would be only an economic war and hard to isolate at regional level.

    -h1

    ... Xerox Alto was the thing. Anything after we use is just a mere copy.
  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Kaelon on Wed Aug 2 15:40:38 2023
    Re: NATO
    By: Kaelon to Arelor on Wed Aug 02 2023 01:09 pm

    Re: NATO
    By: Arelor to Kaelon on Wed Aug 02 2023 01:00 pm

    Your case is that it is beneficial for Europe and other satellite countri > > to pay protection to the USA so the rest of the countries can be
    Socialistic. In other words, the claim is that becoming a protectorate is > > good for the protectees.

    The problem with legacy protectorate models is that contributing to these sy > ent and this fiscal burden largely builds resentment among populations and a >
    NATO, and the Marshal Plan that (re-)built Europe after the War, is very dif > me sort of classic protectorate model really belies its intended purpose: a >
    In the United States, significant deficit spending (and the world's largest > military revenues for the U.S. military. The system works so long as it rema >
    If NATO ceases to be a thing, or even worse, if the U.S. pulls out of the re > elfare states, and fund costly militaries to thwart Chinese, Russian, and Ne > _____
    -=: Kaelon :=-

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    The theory would be sound if the US wasn't sinking deeper and deeper in debt, due in great part to their military budget. If they were leveraging debt in order to reap big gains due to their investment, they would not have the astronomical debt they carry.

    I don't see that much investment from American companies here either when compared to other actors. The ones that carry operations here have a big tendency to run decoy headquarters in Europe and run the thick of the actual work in Asia.

    What you see on the ground is a massive lack of supplies which suggests international supply chains are stressed. Peeople needs a prothesic knee replacement but it takes a month to arrive. People needs an AC coupling but theonly models available are the ones nobody wants to buy. This suggests trading
    is not running smooth. If your hipothesis is that the US is recouping their debt expenses via trading then I have to assume revenue is going low because suply chains are thin. This reinforces my own hypothesis that the model is not as tought as thought.

    They had to redefine "recession" and now the international market is overflooded by USDs that used to be circulating in the INternational market andnow are not being used. This kind of supports my hypothesis too.

    n fact I dare say that if I had to accept your premises, the NATO Itself would be under an extreme existential threat, at least as powerful as the one the Russian population think they face themselves.

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  • From Dumas Walker@VERT/CAPCITY2 to ARELOR on Thu Aug 3 08:07:00 2023
    That, and that other countries were supposedly not paying their fair share of the cost to maintain NATO.


    I count "not paying their fair share" as part of "sitting on their fat asses",
    but thanks for specifying :-)

    Indeed. I missed the implication. :)


    * SLMR 2.1a * White dwarf seeks red giant for binary relationship

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  • From Dumas Walker@VERT/CAPCITY2 to HOLLOWONE on Thu Aug 3 08:47:00 2023
    Another problem with Poland and EU is that the current gov wakes up the sentim
    t about Poland being HQ of Central Europe driven alliances, not Germany. Three
    eas Alliance from Baltics to Greece is part of that program that can create Eu
    pean Union within European Union that is big enough to counter-balance German d French ambitions to have solo role in setting standards.

    As an American, it is interesting to see someone from Europe discuss the
    German and French ambitions. That is also my observation... that it seems
    like those two countries in particular want to impose their "way" on the
    other countries, and especially those to their east, like Poland and
    Hungary.


    * SLMR 2.1a * A man attempting to walk around the world DROWNED today..

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  • From anthk@VERT to All on Tue Dec 5 04:59:07 2023
    On 2023-08-02, Arelor <PALANTIR!Arelor@vert.synchro.net> wrote:

    Re: Russia's Defeat
    By: Kaelon to Dumas Walker on Tue Aug 01 2023 03:07 pm


    Spanish separatists movements are all but quelled. NOne of them were ever bought with money. Try waving a Spanish flag in some areas near the Basque community - and I am not saying *in* the Basque community - and they will gang
    on you and break your face.

    What "worked" in order to eliminate terrorism was to grant terrorists the rightto a political party. Now we have separatists parties (such as Bildu) formed byex-ETA members. They no longer bomb stuff but their goals are the same and
    their determination has not diminished the least.

    --
    gopher://gopher.richardfalken.com/1/richardfalken

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    Bildu it's a coalliance, not just the former ETA/MLNV.
    It's closer to the rehash of Alianza Popular (ex-Francoists, for
    non Spaniards reading this out there) becoming the 'Partido Popular'.
    In the Popular Party you would get former Francoists
    and non-fascist center-right ones with a classical liberal (Adam Smith) side. Bildu has the same non-ETA people with the non HB folks such as Aralar or EA. It's far complex than the case you are trying depict.
    The goals of ETA were already on EA/Aralar's statements since they were born, -on non-violent terms and methods-. Ideologically EA, Aralar and HB were 95% the literal same except for the methods trying to get the independence.
    it just happened HB was the only Basque party who supported the violence.
    Then HB was merged with EA and Aralar as Sortu while publicly being against ETA (with judiciary proofs) and then the terrorist band was thrown
    into the dumpster of the History.

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