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Lethaface

New offensive in Donbass?

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Why do I get the feeling Russians will maneuver their forces to the border and call it a military exercise while hell is breaking loose in Ukraine. Oh wait, it has happened before.

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I watched Vortragsabend der Waldorfschule Überlingen and it' s really bad. This man is badly informed and/or intentionally deceiving is audience. He argues against strawmen most of time and seems to have a love for inaccurate analogys and metaphores. In a nutshell, he says that the german government is conspiring with the mainstream media to control the people, that democracy doesnt work because it brings people to power who have an opinion different from his, that everybody is so evil and immoral, and in particular the US and Israel. On the german Wikipedia it says that he, in other media, claims that 9/11 was an inside job and that the world is controlled by a zionist conspiracy.

 

In german, there is a word for what i felt while i watched the video, it' s Fremdschämen. The english language lacks a compareable word, but the dictionary of my choice translates Fremdschämen as follows: The feeling of shame for someone else who has done something embarrassing.

 

The newer version of Fremdschämen is Kollateralschämen (= collateral shame, also pronounced nearly identically)

I haven't watched that video. I can't stand to have to listen to him more than I have to - largely because of the zionist conspiracy bit. But also because of his unbalanced and blunt polemics, and his general demeanor. I really, really don't like the guy. There's a video where Serdar Somuncu (Mein Kampf - Satire) takes him apart on air. Unfortunately it is already over after 15 minutes - so it'll not quite make up for the Waldorfschule one I'm afraid.

I referenced to the other video on purpose though. He speaks very little because he has a bunch of other guests (no one from the "other side"/troll though). That has a very interesting effect + it shuts him up (the guests themselves comment on that!). Now if you look at the approval rating and comments under that video, you'll see why this is somewhat important.

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The funny thing is... before reading the Wikipedia page on him or any of the text on his YouTube Channel, I watched and listened to him for a few minutes and strongly suspected him to be a "whack job". Speech patterns, body language, the setting, the audience, etc. all led me to guess what he was saying without being able to understand it. Yet another example of me not being able to understand a language and yet still understand what's being said :D

Steve

 

I think that is not a bad assessment. However, broken clocks...

 

If you research the rest of the bunch you'll probably find that he is also the most extreme of the "whack jobs" on the "Gesprächsrunde" (he said: it is NOT a talkshow).

Each of them freely admits to being a "whack job". They pretty much all were demoted for "not following party line" - to paraphrase from their position a little. Wimmer was apparently an exception as he quit after having to (hypothetically!) bomb several German cities with nuclear warheads in a NATO exercise in 86. If you scroll down the video info you'll see the names and functions of the people in the last paragraph. You might want to take a look at Daniele as you're both historians, and thus share methods and vocabulary more than with the other "whack jobs". Oh, and the ETH is a bit of an address - he apparently was raking in 12 k$ monthly (before he kept asking the wrong questions, and perhaps before his 30-31B faux pas (dunno)).

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Huh, you have a natural right to force the Ukrainians to do what Russia wants? No wonder you have a hard time feeling this is one sided. Cause you are on the wrong side of history.

Anyway the point of this thread was to discuss a possible new offensive, not to spend time worrying about bruised Russian feelings about pursuing politics with the ham fisted tactics of the last century. I am afraid you won't find much sympathy here.

 

Sympathy. I 've been labeled as a somebody trying to condone Russia's policies because I pointed out at some discrepancies in several press reports, by using some basic logical reasonment supported by some equally basic technology facts. Trying to reason - and I'm one that has got no problems in changing his views if they are proven wrong - like you earlier stated is probably useless.

 

Stephen Cohen being called an apologist of Putin yet, in a democratic society, if he is, then so what? Listen to his arguments then decide if he is wrong or right, or something in between.

 

Yet, my impression is that people like him must be suppressed at once, quickly make them somebodies who are traitors, who have an agenda, who are apologetic. Don't you ever dare to put them debating the subject on the medias, against someone who has opposing views. 

 

Most of those who speak clearly are massively convinced that ALL what is good and just stays only on one side; it's one of the phenomenons that has hurt the human race more than most other things, that has caused so much wars, death and destruction that one must ask himself how come, in 21st century, humans are still prone to the same vices they had thousands of years before.

 

Also, some are quick in calling others reasons "wishful thinking", yet most of what they elaborate, when it comes to perform some mental effort (ie, not discussing news links), is that Russia failed, that Russian economy will not allow it to reach its goals, that Ukraine will come on top - not wishful at all.

 

You mention russia's policies of the last century - yet from your position you seem to fail to recollect all the disgusting feats the US has imposed to other countries, elected presidents assassinated and replaced by military juntas in all the third world: the unlimited support to fanatic religious governments like the Saudi one, who are even more liberticide and suppressive than Syrian, Iranian or Iraqi regimes (womens can't drive or go to school, thieves getting their hands cut and so on), and finally, when "soft power" is failing, the deliberate invasion of a sovereign country; also with the revolting intellectual dishonesty of an administration trying to justify it by inventing the presence of WMDs, and the goofy attempt to ostracize whatever countries tried to oppose that in the appropriate venues (freedom fries? u kidding?) That, on the aftermath of something like 911, for which whoever is responsible owes a neverending debt to the whole human race and of which, only folks who believe right or wrong always stays on one side may believe the explanations.

 

Today we are seeing all too well the results of the aforementioned policy - ISIS coming out right where the americans pulled out. Hey, the germans, the french, the russians did warn the international community of the danger : "The day america pulls off from Iraq, fanatics will arise and start genociding the populations of the area and pose a greater threat to humanity than Saddam Hussein". 

But Saddam had the biological laboratories on wheels - he had to be stopped.

 

Also the fact that the "previous administration" based part (not that it's known how big of a part) of its foreign acts on a document, beacon of freedom and democracy worldwide, entitled  something like "policies on US world dominance" (plenty of web content on "Wolfowitz Doctrine".

 

But, being this "whataboutism", I don't expect, nor desire, to get any sympathy. (Let the whole point of the world "Whataboutism" not concern us, some folks have arguments, others have tactics)

 

 

I am unsure whether the world is falling prey to a zionist conspiracy like somebody declares nowadays - it wouldn't surprise me, yet I want to think that reasonable men in places of power still can avert that kind of thing.

 

Yet accepting all the official views and propaganda on the Ukraine (and on all the other political/international crisis) , coming only from one side, to me equates to start calling folks "french" because they just don't want to accept my points of view.

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Sympathy. I 've been labeled as a somebody trying to condone Russia's policies because I pointed out at some discrepancies in several press reports, by using some basic logical reasonment supported by some equally basic technology facts. Trying to reason - and I'm one that has got no problems in changing his views if they are proven wrong - like you earlier stated is probably useless.

 

Stephen Cohen being called an apologist of Putin yet, in a democratic society, if he is, then so what? Listen to his arguments then decide if he is wrong or right, or something in between.

 

Yet, my impression is that people like him must be suppressed at once, quickly make them somebodies who are traitors, who have an agenda, who are apologetic. Don't you ever dare to put them debating the subject on the medias, against someone who has opposing views. 

 

Most of those who speak clearly are massively convinced that ALL what is good and just stays only on one side; it's one of the phenomenons that has hurt the human race more than most other things, that has caused so much wars, death and destruction that one must ask himself how come, in 21st century, humans are still prone to the same vices they had thousands of years before.

 

Also, some are quick in calling others reasons "wishful thinking", yet most of what they elaborate, when it comes to perform some mental effort (ie, not discussing news links), is that Russia failed, that Russian economy will not allow it to reach its goals, that Ukraine will come on top - not wishful at all.

 

You mention russia's policies of the last century - yet from your position you seem to fail to recollect all the disgusting feats the US has imposed to other countries, elected presidents assassinated and replaced by military juntas in all the third world: the unlimited support to fanatic religious governments like the Saudi one, who are even more liberticide and suppressive than Syrian, Iranian or Iraqi regimes (womens can't drive or go to school, thieves getting their hands cut and so on), and finally, when "soft power" is failing, the deliberate invasion of a sovereign country; also with the revolting intellectual dishonesty of an administration trying to justify it by inventing the presence of WMDs, and the goofy attempt to ostracize whatever countries tried to oppose that in the appropriate venues (freedom fries? u kidding?) That, on the aftermath of something like 911, for which whoever is responsible owes a neverending debt to the whole human race and of which, only folks who believe right or wrong always stays on one side may believe the explanations.

 

Today we are seeing all too well the results of the aforementioned policy - ISIS coming out right where the americans pulled out. Hey, the germans, the french, the russians did warn the international community of the danger : "The day america pulls off from Iraq, fanatics will arise and start genociding the populations of the area and pose a greater threat to humanity than Saddam Hussein". 

But Saddam had the biological laboratories on wheels - he had to be stopped.

 

Also the fact that the "previous administration" based part (not that it's known how big of a part) of its foreign acts on a document, beacon of freedom and democracy worldwide, entitled  something like "policies on US world dominance" (plenty of web content on "Wolfowitz Doctrine".

 

But, being this "whataboutism", I don't expect, nor desire, to get any sympathy. (Let the whole point of the world "Whataboutism" not concern us, some folks have arguments, others have tactics)

 

 

I am unsure whether the world is falling prey to a zionist conspiracy like somebody declares nowadays - it wouldn't surprise me, yet I want to think that reasonable men in places of power still can avert that kind of thing.

 

Yet accepting all the official views and propaganda on the Ukraine (and on all the other political/international crisis) , coming only from one side, to me equates to start calling folks "french" because they just don't want to accept my points of view.

 

Yet none of what you said matters because its a distraction, what Russia did is wrong, and I would be the first to tell you this country has screwed up plenty. America didn't invade Ukraine and cause what is happening right now though, sorry.

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Yet none of what you said matters because its a distraction, what Russia did is wrong, and I would be the first to tell you this country has screwed up plenty. America didn't invade Ukraine and cause what is happening right now though, sorry.

Yes, more distraction. This is the standard response when trying to pin down an apologist to accepting responsibility. "You accuse my friend of beating his wife, but let me tell you about your friend". It is a sign of how incredibly weak the argument is, especially when one doesn't try to defend his own friend's actions, but instead condemns them. That put the apologist into quite a bind. Now not only can he dodge responsibility for his friend, but he now looks to be a fool by trying to paint the other guy as a hypocrite when the opposite is the case.

As for "discrepancies", I see none that matter. Russia started the war in Ukraine on its own. It invaded Crimea within days of a change in power in Kiev. It followed no international standards or rules when it did so. It lied about it at all levels of government, even though a brain damaged imbecile could see that it was a lie. Then Russia annexed territory of Ukraine, the first instance of that since WW2 time frame. It then fomented protests/unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine, introducing violence where there would otherwise not have been much/any. Then it sent in its nationals, fully armed, into Ukraine's eastern cities to try and secure "Novorussia". It did this with full knowledge and support, eventually leading to sending in tanks and other heavy weaponry ahead of two major interventions by regular armed forces of Russia. Oh, and again lying about every single day.

On top of this, Russia has engaged in a regular and serious escalation of military tensions with the West. It has violated just about every peacetime practice for keeping tensions low that I can think of. Meanwhile, political leadership in Russia, to include Putin, has threatened nuclear war both in speeches and in actions (nuclear repositioning, exercises, bomber flights, etc.).

At the same time it has utterly rejected any real efforts to create peace. It will not allow the border with Ukraine to be monitored in any meaningful way. It will not allow 3rd party peace keepers to establish themselves on Ukrainian soil (which is a gross violation of international law). It will not even allow the OSCE, an organization it is a member of, operate effectively in Ukraine.

In the end there can be only one conclusion... Russia is responsible for the war in Ukraine from the start. Every single death, destroyed building, and displaced person has only Russia to look to for ultimate responsibility for all of this. Every person in a neighboring country that has wondered if they are to be next has only Russia to blame for their discomfort.

A apologist can try to nibble around the specifics of this or that action, but in terms of the big picture? Not a chance. And what I outlined above is about 1/5th of what I could lay at Russia's feet. For example, I didn't even mention MH-17, Transnistria, etc. because that usually gets into yet more distraction, even though the actions are very clearly the responsibility of Russia. What the US has done in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. is totally irrelevant. Even if the US did back a coup in Kiev (which is laughably at odds with the facts), it still doesn't excuse Russia's reaction to it even a tiny bit.

Steve

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Sympathy. I 've been labeled as a somebody trying to condone Russia's policies because I pointed out at some discrepancies in several press reports, by using some basic logical reasonment supported by some equally basic technology facts. Trying to reason - and I'm one that has got no problems in changing his views if they are proven wrong - like you earlier stated is probably useless.

 

Stephen Cohen being called an apologist of Putin yet, in a democratic society, if he is, then so what? Listen to his arguments then decide if he is wrong or right, or something in between.

 

Yet, my impression is that people like him must be suppressed at once, quickly make them somebodies who are traitors, who have an agenda, who are apologetic. Don't you ever dare to put them debating the subject on the medias, against someone who has opposing views. 

 

*snip*

 

Also, some are quick in calling others reasons "wishful thinking", yet most of what they elaborate, when it comes to perform some mental effort (ie, not discussing news links), is that Russia failed, that Russian economy will not allow it to reach its goals, that Ukraine will come on top - not wishful at all.

 

*snip*

You mention russia's policies of the last century - yet from your position you seem to fail to recollect all the disgusting feats the US has imposed to other countries,

*snip*

I am unsure whether the world is falling prey to a zionist conspiracy like somebody declares nowadays - it wouldn't surprise me, yet I want to think that reasonable men in places of power still can avert that kind of thing.

 

 

Hope you don't mind me editing out your response, I wanted to focus on specific items.

 

Stephen Cohen - I respect the intelligence he brings to a conversation, but I frankly think he really misses the boat on Putin.  See above link to Chatham House Report.  I think those guys do a very thorough job on looking at what Putin has said and done and the threat he represents not just to the West, but to Russia itself.  What Cohen doesn't appreciate is the damage the man is doing to Russia itself and the years Russia is losing going down a historical dead end that will have substantial cost.

 

As to Russia's economy, it is what it is.  It isn't wishful thinking to feel it is sinking and can't sustain what Russia is doing,  Again read the report and see if you don't think they make a pretty good well substantiated argument that Putin's swing in the 2004 period away from diversification and a more open business model has not in fact hurt Russia's future.  This based not on Ukraine at all, but on Russia's own needs and even prior to the conflict in Ukraine.

 

I know very well the failings of US policy, as I have stated here before, I have done actual jail time for my political positions on US policy.  The same Grand Jury that let Oliver North the scumbag skate put me away for 7 1/2 months (no I wasn't involved in Iran Contra, in the US system a  Grand jury investigates multiple unrelated cases.)  The attempt to tar me with that "but you ignore US doing the same thing" label won't fly.

 

I find it amazing that reasonable men even still use the term "zionist conspiracy", that is a red flag that exposes a fundamental nazi apologist position unacceptable in coherent rational discussion.  If you are unsure of that one I'd suggest you really need to do some fundamental rethinking before even considering participating in a discussion about international relations.  That is a position that will get you banned off this forum faster than you can say "oh s**t".

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Regarding the concept of "softpower", it seems there may be need for some definitions.  In reading the Chatham document it appears that Russian perception of the concept may differ from the Western concept significantly.  To quote the document.
 
But equating Russian and Western perceptions of soft power is to misunderstand Russian intentions. Russia has adopted the phrase, but applied it to an entirely different set of ideas.
191
As classically understood in the Euro-Atlantic community, soft power deals not with the actual wielding of power or influence by an actor but with the power of attraction. But, as Lavrov’s quid pro quo indicates, Russian minorities are expected to serve as a tool to influence or destabilize the host nation in return.
192
Russia’s approach to its neighbours is incompatible with the application of soft power as it is normally understood in the West. As put by a 2007 study on Russian influence on its neighbours, ‘Russia is primarily successful when influence is bought, taken or stems from dependence. There are, however, no successful positive forces of attraction.’
193

191 Yelena Osipova, ‘“Russification” of “Soft Power”: Transformation of a Concept’, Exchange Journal of Public Diplomacy, Vol. 5, Fall 2014.

192 Greg Simons, ‘Perception of Russia’s soft power and influence in the Baltic States’,
Public Relations Review (2014), http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0363811114001623.

193 Hedenskog and Larsson, Russian Leverage on the CIS and the Baltic States

 
 
The conceptual disconnect is exacerbated by the difficulty of translating the phrase in either direction. The Russian
phrase used for soft power is myagkaya sila, which carries a meaning much closer to soft force
, while explaining the Western notion of soft power in Russian requires much more complex and long-winded phrases.
For Russia, therefore, the concept translated here into English as ‘soft power’ includes direct coercion or destabilization by means that are not hard, i.e. short of direct military intervention. 194
So when we encounter references to soft power in Russian statements, rather than being encouraged we should bear in mind the whole range of economic, energy, cyber and other hostile tools at Russia’s disposal.


194 For a detailed examination of how the Russian concept of soft power includes what other states define as hostile influence operations, see Estonian Internal Security Service Annual Review 2012, https://www.kapo.ee/cms-data/_text/138/124/files/kapo-aastaraamat-2012-en.pdf

Edited by sburke

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