Jump to content
Zveroboy1

Uh so has Debaltseve fallen?

Recommended Posts

Speaking of "no new news" about M-17. Coincidentally this was released today by a Dutch news outlet:

http://news.yahoo.com/fragment-mh17-crash-supports-missile-theory-dutch-tv-160843056.html

I only post this to refute the notion that MH-17 is "forgotten".

Steve

 

Yeah, I just read that one after reading your earlier post. Any info at all if pilot's bodies have been recovered from the wreckage, and if there was any similar shrapnel inside their body tissue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The U.S. destroyer was not operating under a high threat SOP at that time.  In an acknowledged high threat environment anything with certain very broad limits of speed and radar cross section are engaged as fast as they are acquired and the can missiles launched. The problem with operating under this regime is it an excellent way to start a war if there is not one already under way.  This has been demonstrated multiple times.  Most recently by the idiots that shot down the airliner over Ukraine.  The U.S shoot down in the

Persian Gulf was another case, many years ago.  The U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea was told to assume the Russians didn't want to start a war, and not to start one on its own. Thus all they did was wave to the pilot.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By High Threat SOP do you mean all systems switched on, missiles armed and ready? How long does it take for a destroyer to go from nada to high threat SOP? Did the persian gulf situation take place because the vessel actually had orders to be under high threat SOP at the time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I certainly cannot 100% excuse the Vincennes incident, during the Tanker War the US Navy was basically in a non-declared state of war with Iran (and to a lesser extent, Iraq). There was already a case where acting imprudently lead to lethal consequences with the USS Stark (apparently the "Gun Boss" who had the key to arm the Phalanx was in the head at the time), and the US Navy had just finished the largest single naval engagement since WWII with Operation Praying Mantis.

Edited by Agiel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the points Steve, Panzer and other active members in this thread. Duly noted. I do disagree with some of your opinions above Steve - especially regarding armed gang control of Crimea. I have it on good authority from around 100 or so families whom i know from that region (whom we keep in contact with from time to time to see how things are developing), and they all unequivocally say that the place is very peaceful, and very Pro-Russia, no crime, no armed gangs etc. (Im in the maritime trade and used to service a passenger line between Odessa and Yalta before the current problems started, so I know many local seafarers, port agents, tour operators, technical services suppliers etc. and none of them have complained about anything that was bothering them. They are of the opinion that things are much better right now, salaries have gone up, pensions have gone up, fuel is cheaper, etc etc. Seafarers are usually very outspoken persons, as anyone here who is from the Navy will confirm, and they dont sugarcoat their opinions. If things were crap out there, they woulda said so.

The armed gangs seized private businesses for personal use by criminal gangs. If none of the 100 families you know own such businesses or properties, or work for them, it is easy to see how they would not know about it because certainly Russian media isn't reporting on it.

http://www.businessinsider.com/crimeas-new-russian-overlords-are-seizing-thousands-of-businesses-2014-12

http://carnegie.ru/eurasiaoutlook/?fa=59421

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article.php?id=516106

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/crimea-decides-to-stop-nationalization-on-march-1-382100.html

(note I found these with one Google search. I could quote plenty more

It is also reported that Crimean road employees haven't been paid since January.

http://nv.ua/ukraine/sotrudniki-krymavtodora-zayavili-chto-im-s-nachala-goda-ne-plalyat-zarplatu-39553.html

Here is a dated report on how Russia is administering Crimea:

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/putting-the-crime-back-in-crimea/501477.html

Report on continued political repression:

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/kyiv-post-plus/in-crimea-its-a-crime-to-talk-about-returning-to-ukraine-rule-382739.html

None of this is surprising as it is reflective of how Russia is governed in general.

 

Other points - Im not so well informed on them, so thanks for pointing me in the direction of the cossack problem and other "faults" with the Russian influence in the region. I will educate myself on the subject matters and possibly return to you with a debate on some of the interesting points that you have raised above, if I feel that I can argue a strong point for the other side.

There are several parties involved in the fighting on the separatist/Russian side. To oversimplify:

1. Russian Orthodox Army -> Girkin's organization that still has followers today. These are the true "Novorussian" organizations that started the war in the east and then reinforcements flooded in from Russia. They are ideologically motivated.

2. Ukrainian criminal organizations -> existed before and, as always, are quick to fill a power vacuum. They are motivated by power and money only.

3. Mercenaries -> various groups of people, in particular men from Caucuses, paid to fight. They are motivated by a mix of things, including money, adventuresome, bravado, boredom, etc.

4. DPR/LPR -> at first they were ruled by the Novorussian types, now there's been multiple changes of power. The current leadership is more compliant with Kremlin instruction.

5. Russian military -> "volunteers" and "vacationers" as well as organized Russian units. They are there because the Russian government ordered them to be there.

The Cossacks seem to fit inbetween several of these groups in terms of their motivation. Some are almost purely criminal, as even Girkin used to complain about. Others seem to be ideologically motivated. Since the start there has been sporadic armed conflicts between the various groups. But for many months now the LPR (backed by Russian special forces) has been waging war on the Cossacks. January was a particularly busy month.

 

But Steve, same way you get "depressed" when you have to point out to me that I heard something from a "confirmed liar", and base my opinion on that rather than on the logical reasoning related to a given circumstance, I get depressed when you relate to your news outlets back in the US as sources of much more informed/cleaner/truthful findings.

There is no Western media out there less unbiased than Russian. No media lies as regularly and as consistently as Russian media. That is, after all, why it is controlled by the Russian state.

Putin is a confirmed liar. Big time. Nothing he says should be trusted as far as you can throw him. As a source of information he is about the bottom of the barrel. This is based on his own words, not Western media's depiction of him.

 

Snowden showed the world just how capable your secret services are at either altering, witholding or modifying the truth,

Yet Snowden has released NO INFORMATION about Russia's activities. Now, either the NSA has no knowledge about any of these activities, or Russia engages in none, or Snowden is only telling half the story. Guess what the most obvious answer is?

 

and lets not even get into the control of the internet conspiracy theory (interestingly, some of the websites that I was trying to pull up just now to paste into here, which i read a few months back and which provided the "Russian point of view" in respect to MH17 (from private sources, not government related) - I cannot find them anymore!).

Conspiracy theory websites spring up and fade out on a regular basis. Nobody is suppressing them. The "Russian point of view" is very easy to see everywhere and it isn't very different from Russian media. Which is not surprising since much of it is coordinated and created in St. Petersburg office space.

 

That's why its good to talk about matters relating to whats going on in the world with other educated humans, and hear their points of view, hear what they have heard or seen, and make own opinion. I have come to better understandings of some aspects of the "situation" from some of your and other member's writings.

I agree that it is good to get a wide range of information. I've spent considerable time with the "Russian point of view" and so it is valuable. Not to inform me about reality, because rarely do I find it consistent with reality, but to see how otherwise smart and educated people (like yourself) can be tricked into thinking fiction is fact.

 

Just need to point out that your "totalitarian" necessity to outline all things wrong with Russia can be hard to stomach sometimes  :D . Its all good though, we get wiser from it.

I try very hard to keep my comments about the Russian government and its actions "factual". Yes, by any reasonable definition Russia is a totalitarian state. Some view it as more-or-less Fascist, but others call it a "Kleptocracy". Personally, as a historian I say there is little difference between the

two.

Also know that I have plenty of objections to my own government and those of Europe. But I am a "relativist", which means I view things relative to each other instead of black and white.

On a personal note, fortunately I was raised in a good community with good schools. Even though the Cold War was still going on, I was always taught not to confuse the people with their governments. Therefore, I was never taught to hate or fear Russians as people. I still feel the same way. In fact, some of Battlefront's best business partners are Russians. I worked closely with one to make the CM Afghanistan game and found them to be excellent.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the above Steve - I appreciate the time which you take to outline the points and list the arguments backing them. I was raised in the UK from about 9 years old (30 now), and I regularly go to Ukraine to visit family there, but havent been to Russia since 15, but for some reason that notion of "stop accusing my homeland of all wrongs in the world" still exists inside of me, and I (maybe subconsciously) want to believe in a nicer Russia than may exist in real life. Hence I appreciate all of the above. In any case, will do some research and will see if I can bring any suitable points to this debate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not entirely true mate. Last two years has seen Russia  (Putin) change the internal policies in a major major way, to stop the syphoning of state/public funds into private pockets. Granted, the top/elite will probably be given loopholes to continue their own enrichment (as is true for any western country as well, lets not be rosy-eyed about this), but for the most part, there is a huge drive by Putin to stamp out corruption in Russia.

It is true that Putin has recently made modest, and very imperfect, efforts to get reduce the lowest levels of corruption. It is not clear, at all, how successful or thorough these actions are in fact. Many commentators think it is just "window dressing". However, at the same time higher level corruption is not begin changed at all.

This is not to say that Putin did absolutely nothing in those earlier years. He basically established a policy where the most obvious forms of corruption, the ones average people saw in Yeltsin and Soviet Union, were hidden better. So definitely an improvement, yet Russia still ranks as one of the most corrupt nations on Earth. Ukraine is one of the few large countries that scores worse.

Putin missed a golden opportunity. After consolidating his power he could have chosen to use that power to crack down on corruption. However, his regime survives in large part because of that corruption. This is true for all other autocratic governments.

 

As for Ukraine, I really hope the government can stabilise the country and its economy, but lets not forget that the country's economy right now, is in the hands of 3 business men.  Who's businesses continue operating as normal, despite the war and the effect of the currency drop, I might add.

 

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2014/03/11/ukraine-names-oligarchs-and-gangsters-as-governors-ministers/

(p.s. I dont know why the first image has a JUDE sign in it, the article doesnt seem to be anti-semitic in its content, otherwise I wouldnt have posted it)

Hmm... well, I found a lot of dated and questionable material in the article, as well as a difficult time finding anybody to verify the credentials of the website itself. I didn't find anything that immediately discredited the website or the owner, but I found nothing to confirm it except for other like-minded websites. Generally this is a "Red Flag" and means it is questionable.

However, since I've followed the politics in the year following these two articles, I can say that things continue to get better. Still major problems, but a lot of good things have happened since. The leadership of many ministries and high level posts have changed several times with better people replacing worse ones.

As an aside, generally a website that displays a person with "Jüde" and a Star of David, raises another redflag.

 

Im not saying that Russian creme-of-the-crop are any better, but I would not go so far as to say that Ukraine is moving towards a reasonable level of corruption and governmental competency.

 

Ukraine is moving fast enough that anything that is more than 2-3 months old is likely out of date. There are plenty of credible articles discussing both Ukraine's successes and failures that are more relevant today than those questionable articles written a year ago.

 

Yeah, I just read that one after reading your earlier post. Any info at all if pilot's bodies have been recovered from the wreckage, and if there was any similar shrapnel inside their body tissue?

No. That is not something I would expect to see until much later on. Perhaps in the final report.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the above Steve - I appreciate the time which you take to outline the points and list the arguments backing them. I was raised in the UK from about 9 years old (30 now), and I regularly go to Ukraine to visit family there, but havent been to Russia since 15, but for some reason that notion of "stop accusing my homeland of all wrongs in the world" still exists inside of me, and I (maybe subconsciously) want to believe in a nicer Russia than may exist in real life. Hence I appreciate all of the above. In any case, will do some research and will see if I can bring any suitable points to this debate.

Thanks. Believe me, I am entirely sympathetic. As an Eastcoast American I grew up with a lot of people who fled Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and occupied Eastern Europe. I can tell you that for the most part they still loved their old homes, despite knowing that they left for good reasons.

One of the articles I linked to above had some quotes from Crimeans who oppose rule by Russia. They say they are staying in Crimea because it is their home and they love it. Again proving that "home" and "government" are not always viewed as the same thing.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Press reports indicate that on Saturday, a Russian SU-24 FENCER made ''multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes'' flying within 1000 yards of the USS DONALD COOK (DDG 75) at an altitude of approximately 500 feet. DONALD COOK is an ARLEIGH BURKE Class guided missile destroyer equipped with the Aegis Combat System, the SPY-1D phased-array radar and dozens of surface to air missiles, and the SU-24 is a Soviet-era all-weather attack jet still in service with the Russian Air Force. The incident was no doubt tense, but a few thoughts from someone who has dealt with a few close aboard passes may provide some context.

1. While this type of thing is not 'common', it is meticulously trained for. US ships are equipped with sophisticated embedded training devices that allow for very realistic training. The crew of the DONALD COOK has likely gone through scores if not hundreds of scenarios in which conditions very much like what were seen on Saturday are imposed upon the crew and the crew must then react. Although the exact wording and the rules of engagement that govern their use are classified, press reports indicate that the COOK made numerous attempts to contact the Russian aircraft, but were not answered. Those 'queries' would have been practiced throughout the training cycle and even from watch to watch while on deployment. The queries would have been made over at least two different frequencies, commonly known as the 'military air distress' frequency and the 'international air distress' frequency. It is likely that the pilot of the FENCER heard them, but was pre-briefed not to answer.

2. The Captain of the Destroyer had a lot of guidance. Prior to the DONALD COOK's transit into the Black Sea, it is likely that the Commanding Officer (CO) had in depth discussions of 'what if's' with both his immediate superior (the Battle Group Commander) and the Sixth Fleet Commander. They would have discussed a range of scenarios and the actions considered appropriate. They would have discussed concepts such as 'hostile acts' and 'hostile intent' in detail. Additionally, it is likely that while this incident was ongoing, the CO was in constant communication with his superiors, passing them pertinent information and characterizing the situation. The CO of a U.S. ship does not have a 'right' to self-defense. He has an obligation to exercise it. That obligation would have been near to his mind, and he would have had a clear understanding of just what constituted a self-defense engagement.

3. The CO was where he needed to be. The Aegis cruisers that joined the fleet in the 1980's were the first U.S. warships designed for the Captain to be somewhere other than the bridge during combat operations (as opposed to what we're used to seeing in WWII movies). The DONALD COOK is no different. It is very likely that the CO was in the 'Combat Information Center (CIC)', which is where his team of operators are located who employ the sensors, weapons, and command and control links that make the ship so powerful. Though the situation was likely very tense (at least initially), the space would have been eerily quiet, as most communication occurs over headsets and microphones, with perhaps a random radio frequency brought up in a speaker for emphasis. There are few things more impressive than a modern destroyer at the top of its game doing its job well. There is no wasted motion. All communication is brief. There is far more silence than there is chatter.

4. It is possible DONALD COOK knew the FENCER was inbound before it obtained radar contact. The United States continues to maintain an impressive array of 'national assets' that enable it to sustain surveillance on areas of high interest, which this part of the world assuredly is'at least now; DONALD COOK could have received reports that the Russian aircraft had taken off. Although the Black Sea is confined waterspace, it is also 700 miles across at its widest point, so it is likely that a plane taking off from Russia would have had several hundred miles to fly in order to intercept the ship. This of course, depends on where it launched from. DONALD COOK also could have been alerted by electronic emissions from the FENCER's onboard systems, which often are detected before radar contact is gained. It would be surprising indeed if DONALD COOK did not have 'heads up' on the FENCER before it (the FENCER) was in position to do anything mischievous. That said, until someone put a pair of human eyes on the FENCER, that it was 'unarmed' (as is reported) could not have been known. The FENCER would have been assumed to be armed. Often this visual confirmation is performed by a carrier based fighter jet (or in this geography, a land based jet), but there are no reports of there having been any U.S. jets involved in this scenario. Therefore, the 'unarmed call' would have been made by a trained observer topside on the destroyer only when the FENCER had come within visual range'which is well inside its weapons release range. This certainly would have added to the tension, but once the 'wings clean' report was received from the observer, tensions would have declined.

5. An attack on the DONALD COOK by the FENCER would have been illogical. It is logical that the Russians do not want war with us any more than we want war with them. The Russian pilot'unless he or she decided to act independently and crash the plane into the ship'was almost certainly under strict orders to avoid overtly provocative acts. For instance, we have reports that the FENCER passed at an altitude of 500 feet; if it got to 500 feet from a steep dive, this would be overtly provocative. More likely, the FENCER declined in altitude slowly, over time, in order NOT to be provocative. And while 1000 yards may seem close when one considers a jet moving at several hundred knots, it is still six ship lengths away from the DONALD COOK (or put another way, 45 DONALD COOKS in width). The closest point of approach to the ship was likely also something the pilot was ordered to observe. Given the illogic of an attack but the very clear logic of messaging and surveillance, the crew of DONALD COOK likely entered this situation with a bias toward it NOT being an attack. This should not be confused with it being 'unready'. Quite the opposite. But it would have been looking for deviations from the expected such as deep dive angle, erratic maneuvering, and high rates of speed, to overturn the initial (correct) bias.

6. The SPY Radar adds interesting wrinkles. Some are familiar with the concept of 'search' and 'track' radars, in that search radars generally are lower frequency with greater range (and poorer accuracy); while track radars are higher frequency and are more accurate. In days past, a ship searched a given volume of airspace with one radar and then relied on the tracking radar to provide 'fire control quality' data to the weapon system. The act of obtaining that data 'illuminating the target with fire control radar' could under certain circumstances' be viewed by a fighter/attack jet as a hostile act to which it would then be obligated to respond. This is not the case with the SPY radar. If the SPY radar holds the track, then the track can be engaged'no additional tracking radar is required in order to fire the missile (although a high frequency 'director' is used to illuminate the target during the final few seconds of missile flight). This is important because the FENCER pilot would have known the moment his onboard electronic sensors picked up the SPY radar transmission, that he or she was being tracked with sufficient accuracy to be shot down. This knowledge cannot be have made their flight terribly comfortable.

This sort of thing is likely to continue, and some behind the scenes discussions and coordination between the U.S. and Russia would be worthwhile. For the moment, my sense is that both sides realize what is at stake and are ensuring their tactical units are well-advised. So while it would be improper to overhype this incident, it would be just as improper not to view it with concern.


Bryan McGrath commanded the destroyer USS BULKELEY (DDG 84) from 2004-2006. He is currently the Managing Director of the FerryBridge Group and is the Assistant Director of Hudson Institute's Center for American Seapower.

 

Courtesy of "Ace of Spades HQ"

( http://minx.cc:1080/?post=348548 )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However, since I've followed the politics in the year following these two articles, I can say that things continue to get better. Still major problems, but a lot of good things have happened since. The leadership of many ministries and high level posts have changed several times with better people replacing worse ones.

 

That is true, I wont deny that some changes have been for the better. Ministers like Volodymyr Groysman seem to genuinely want to improve the lives of the people, and to improve the overall stability of the Nation. Even when he was mayor of the town of Vinnitsa in western Ukraine, he was credited with doing many good things for the benefit of the local populace. It must be difficult to do such a job sitting in the corrupt environment that still probably exists at large in Kiev, despite the many positive leadership changes, so I do sincerely hope that the most suitable measures are employed by such encouraging individuals, so as to benefit the country and the populace, rather than the ruling elite. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again proving that "home" and "government" are not always viewed as the same thing.

 

 

A very perceptive point!

 

@Mike - very interesting and informative read, thank you for that.

Edited by VasFURY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More evidence the Russian Soviet guards who went by inheritance, the Russian Army, is in Ukraine.

4122 mm self propelled guns "Carnation" unmarked non-stardard serial #'s engaged in an intensive fire.

The legend "Army DNR" observing, but in the background on board a military truck shines sign of Soviet Guard, the Russian Army, last 2 frames.

http://lostivan.com/news/Rossijskaya_texnika_v_obektive_kamer.html

Edited by Do Right

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The closet the US has to "propaganda" are what we refer to as "talking points". Both the left and the right of politics use these to try and control what is talked about and how it is talked about. The right is far, far, far better at this than the left. Sometimes the result is fairly similar to what happens in Russia, but it is still inherently not the same thing because there are opposing points of view which, usually, balance it out.

 

Not to mention that the "talking points" are given to the politicians and their staff but there are plenty of actual experts willing to discuss any issue without any party talking points.  So there are multiple points of view to be had in the Western Media.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are they moving gold in these Russian tanks?

In this video, on the dash of the tank, there is a huge bar of gold. What if the Russians are using the tanks to take gold they found in the pyramids (7)or more, off Crimea peninsula as payment for Ukraine debt. That would make sense, explain why the Russian Army (Soviet Guard), who are working on inheritance, would be in Ukraine.

Edited by Do Right

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is really good to get a detailed German perspective that is rational. So far we've only had a neo-Nazi chiming in from Germany, so it was not exactly productive :D

Ugh. Well, I will be able to widen the spectrum juust a little then. Unfortunately my more diplomatically worded (longer, rambling really) post got eaten, so I'll do this with more German directness.

 

Thanks for this too. I do not know that much about internal German politics, but it is consistent with what I've read and heard from Germans. Especially the ones I know that have US Green Cards and are trying to become citizens :D

The German woman I heard speak at the Camden Conference talked a little about this. She is, basically, ashamed of Germany's problems with leadership within Europe and the world. Germany is clearly the single most powerful and influential nation on the Continent. It is quick to act when money or EU regulations are involved, but on almost all other issues it seems reluctant to do anything without consensus. And consensus in Europe is an unnatural state, so not leading in favor of a particular position is very often the equivalent of not doing anything.

You will probably mostly get in touch with some slightly pro-US "regular Joes", some "late 48ers" (with you running a small business), and quite a bunch of so called "transatlantikers". They are most pro-US government (think AIPAC for USA) and the opposite of the "Putinversteher" (eng: Putin understander/sympathizer"). The Camden Conference would tend to attract "transatlantikers." The name is in reference to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantik-Br%C3%BCcke whom the "Putinversteher" like to describe as unjust foreign intervention/occupation, and there are lots of stories that feature them or the Bilderberger on the interwebs. As for German humor - unfortunately most high profile political kabarettists (popular type of format) are rather critical of the US (and the German right wing), so you don't make a lot of new friends in the West translating this into English. Here is two examples that should illustrate this abundantly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUgyo6RRv_0

It is also an acquired taste in many cases. These shows are not fringe though, they are run in governmental channels and used to have some 13% market share, especially among young people. Someone in the comments labeled that group (West German) "Salonglinker" or "drawing room leftist". This is not the same as "Putinversteher", as Schröder, who is nominally from a center-left party is generally perceived as a amoral sellout among them. Leaving out the one relatively small group that already had its representative here, most cliches are accounted for.

To give you some reference of (pre Snowdon) international influence approvals I could just dig up this: http://www.globescan.com/images/images/pressreleases/bbc2012_country_ratings/2012_bbc_country%20rating%20final%20080512.pdf

Germany's perception of: Russia, yay: 18% nay: 54%

Germany's perception of: USA, yay: 44% nay: 45% ( in 2011: 37% vs 44% - pretty jumpy)

As comparison the USA viewed Russia as 34% vs 41% (which may be about the post-Snowdon perception of the USA in Germany) or China with 42% vs 46%. The UK viewed France with 47% vs 41%. Once more a disclaimer: In Europe people tend to differentiate between government and people (as long as they have some reasonably free press, and aren't looking over iron sights).

You may already know this - Ukraine internal: http://www.public-consultation.org/studies/Ukraine_0315.pdf

 

 

This is a frustration for Americans. The old saying is "with power comes great responsibility". Germany has great power, but it wants little of the responsibility that goes with it. Which means when Europe is in obvious dysfunction, and the US steps in to give Europe the leadership that it lacks, the US is criticized. This is not to say that the US wants to give up all its leadership, nor does it mean that Germany only wishes to criticize the US. What I mean is that this is the inherent stress between the US and Europe but in particular Germany.

German influence: Yes. But it is easy to step on toes in Europe. The place is full of other people's toes. So move slowly or don't move if you don't have to.

German power: Nooo... If you keep "almost winning" wars you are not in a position of military power, or you have a brain power deficit. "Tiny little German interventions" also have the unfortunate habit of escalating badly. Keeping it short: Bismarck or Wilhelm II + nukes.

Long version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ujkepqU0w

I should sit my lazy ass down and do the captions for this thing. It is pretty darn good I think.

Europe dysfunctional (for population): You bet! But it is too big to fail ;). No seriously, it is a real issue and I am not sure Germany's leadership is tackling this well in the longer term.

 

The US is no different since it does this with many issues. I think the difference between the US and Germany outside of their borders is that the proportion of action and inaction are reversed for the two nations. The US is prone to too much action, Germany is prone to too much inaction. Neither is optimal. Internally, I think the US is prone to too little action and Germany too much. But of course that is debatable.

Yup, there is something to that. "Don't just sit there, do something!" vs "Don't just do something, sit there!" I think each is adapted to its immediate environment where the respective risk/benefit ratios (used to) merit such behavior. I'd second your internal point as well, but with two caveats: 1. Reunification. This was extremely abnormal, bordering on crazy behavior, judging by German general opinion and what came before and after. I also think it is by far the most underrated event by the average (West) German on the street. 2. We could try changing chancellors a little more often than in recent history, but that is a quibble.

 

Recent times is what I was referring to. Certainly Germany's history with Russia is even worse than with Poland.

Ah – this one is indeed a little tickly. Recent times don't factor all that much into these decisions I think. And with Poland the relation since the war has been very strained. I believe up to reunification East Germany kept a kind of national bully role towards Poland. The contacts between Germans and Poles were quite numerous, which also allowrd for screwing things up pretty bad on all levels. Especially if some people mentally equate East with "down hill." There's perhaps also a lack of closure to previous "rough treatments" on either side. I'm really not the expert (I should be) on this though.

With Russia you can more easily "call it quits." It is a shared experience that neither side will forget and feels the remotest desire to repeat (except perhaps in reenactments, and CM). Also going back a little further Russia was a fine ally against some arch-enemy in one decade or another. "Pack schlägt sich, pack verträgt sich." (eng: Fighting, when ended, is soon mended).

 

Yes, and we also know that the oil/gas industry has disproportionate political power due to its importance and money. For Germany, in particular. Schröder was not picked at random by GAZPROM, that is for sure.

 

Hahaa – but is that power really disproportionate then (if that aspect is so important)? Perhaps with regard to the large fraction of people who (believe they) want to go all renewable tomorrow... Certainly not from an industry perspective though. Remember, I said seniority is important. The German large corporations taking flak for foul play generally go back some 150 years (current government not even half that). Quite a few companies have papers with Napoleon's signature on them. Krupp made guns for the Thirty Years' War in 1618. You don't get to hang around that long by playing fair and being nice. BMW, Daimler, etc. are upstarts equivalent of US IT. SAP is actually an involuntary IBM spin-off. This stuff is not supposed to happen in continental Europe, that is not always clear to Americans.

 

Schröder sure was not picked by accident, I totally agree.

But neither was Joschka Fischer (Nabucco West).

Or these fellows: http://www.atlantik-bruecke.org/service/dokumente/a-message-from-germany.pdf. This list includes more than three dozen members of parliament, a handful of (ex-) Generals and Admirals, as well as other people in important functions (banks, mayors, media). As you can imagine it is big sport for the "Putinversteher" to try to imply a certain causality for this, a la this being the de facto SED of the West. The bottom line impact on trust in western media is somewhat significant.

While Putin is known ironically as the "Lupenreiner Demokrat" (eng: impeccable democrat) from an immortal Schröder quote, Obama is equally known as the "Friedensnobelpreisträger" (eng: Nobel Peace Prize laureate). "Liar" is not a word that captures the sentiment of the average Joe sufficiently with regard to either of them.

 

If Russia went through a relatively peaceful transition to a reform minded government (unfortunately, this is unlikely) then Germany would have two solid trade and energy partners instead of what it has now. Since favoring a strong Ukraine doesn't preclude a good relationship with Russia long term, I think it is pragmatic to ensure Ukraine doesn't become a failed state.

Amen to that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do Right:

RE: The video clip you posted.

The alleged  "bar of gold" was on the dahboard of an SUV filming the tank.  Now, please don't don't be silly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Putin missed a golden opportunity. After consolidating his power he could have chosen to use that power to crack down on corruption. However, his regime survives in large part because of that corruption. This is true for all other autocratic governments.

Steve

He didn't miss it.  He is totally opposed to it.  Look into his time in St Petersburg and the purchase of  60 tons of meat that suddenly vanished. Page 105 of Man without a face.  Putin is an old hand at corruption and his time in St Petersburg was rife with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sburke: As I've grown older, when I see a quote from a book, article, or whatever, the first thing that I do is research the author of the quote. It often reveals undisclosed motives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He didn't miss it.  He is totally opposed to it.  Look into his time in St Petersburg and the purchase of  60 tons of meat that suddenly vanished. Page 105 of Man without a face.  Putin is an old hand at corruption and his time in St Petersburg was rife with it.

True, Putin didn't get his reported $70-$90 Billion in personal assets through his KGB pension plan. Actually, I guess he sorta did :D

Anyway...

I think we've strayed too far into the political side of things, to say the least. It's been inevitable and the discussion was respectful so I think it wasn't a bad way to go. But I think the time has probably come to lock this thread as (hopefully) there won't be much new to talk about on the military front. The war is still going, the separatists continue offensive action and statements about wanting to kill Minsk 2, but the front is static enough for now. In the Spring, I'm sorry to say, I think there's a good chance that will change. We can start up a new thread at that time.

Thanks to all for in interesting and spirited discussion.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...