Let’s suppose, fairly safely, that Putin is a thug, a megalomaniac even, as the Western media has it. In which case, calling him names will be water off a duck’s back. It might be cathartic but it won’t help Ukrainians. Will severe financial, commercial and trade sanctions on Russia help? Will seizing the assets of Russian oligarchs? I don’t know. I just think it’s worthwhile considering.
It’s also worth considering what the objectives are of isolating Russia and its 146 million citizens.
Roger James (Return to Reason, 1980) drew attention to what he called Solutioneering. This is when the objective is lost sight of as some chosen solution takes its place and assumes centre stage. In this case what is the objective? I assume (?) it is the dual objective of restoring as much Ukrainian sovereignty and independence as possible while saving as many Ukrainian lives as possible.
The objective shouldn’t be to tighten the noose around Russia or punish Putin and his rich hangers on; however satisfying. These are the proffered solutions. Yet, political leaders and all sorts of experts that I read and watch doubt that sanctions will bring Russia to heel. Thus, the war will drag on, and will be prolonged too, by another solution which is to supply Ukraine with weapons. Is the objective in doing this to push Russia troops out of Ukraine by making it too costly for them to stay? Again, most experts doubt this will work.
So, what’s happening, apparently, is that NATO countries are doubling down on solutions that they don’t think will work to achieve their objective. That happens when the solutions become the objective and the actual objective is lost sight of. In the meantime, more and more Ukrainians are dying and fleeing their homeland and the chance of the war widening and a nuclear incident is becoming less remote than anyone would like.
Russia has offered a peace deal. I don’t know whether the offer is genuine or not but let’s take it at face value. There are four components. Ukraine is to cease military action, recognise Crimea as part of Russia, recognise the independence of the Russian- speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and change its constitution to enshrine neutrality (which would rule out ever joining NATO or the EU).
These conditions are unacceptable to Zelensky and I saw them described as “preposterous” in the editorial of my morning newspaper. To my way of thinking, a one-sided cessation of military action is preposterous. Are the other conditions all entirely preposterous? Just asking. Surely Crimea is already gone. As for Donetsk and Luhansk, might their independence remove a running sore? What about neutrality?
NATO, has gone from an initial twelve countries to thirty. It now includes countries which were formerly members of the Soviet Union or the Warsaw Pact. Most notably Poland joined NATO in 1999, Estonia, Latvia (both bordering Russia) and Lithuania joined in 2004. Under the current government Ukraine, with its very long land border with Russia, wants desperately to join.
I know we’re the good guys and Russia has nothing to fear from us good guys but do the Russians see it as clearly as we do? Just a guess, maybe not. True Ukrainians would lose an element of sovereignty in accepting neutrality. Could they close their eyes and think of Switzerland? And, unfortunately, Russia would have its aggression rewarded. Wouldn’t be the first. Think of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus; the Chinese takeover of Tibet.
To be clear, I don’t know the answer. But it would be good if cool heads were in charge to establish feasible objectives and to design solutions to achieve them and to be flexible as circumstances warrant. A headlong rush to impose more and more sanctions and supply more and more weapons, as objectives in themselves, not to mention this notion of a no-fly zone which seems to be gathering support, might become a road to perdition for Ukrainians and others.
59 thoughts on “Cool Heads Needed”
Lets suppose that most Ukrainian people are willing to die before taking the knee, what then?
They certainly don’t appear to be a mob of woke pussies like the current generation in the west.
Ah yes Cyprus, confined to the forgettery. And Turkey was a NATO member when it illegally invaded Cyprus.
Prediction: Putin will get 1-3.
On 4 a sort of compromise will be reached which will see NATO ambitions off the table indefinitely.
If only the West had sought to enforce Ukrainian adherence to the Minsk II Protocol instead of letting the situation in the Donbas fester, none of this need have happened. But you won’t see that opinion reported in an Australian newspaper.
Also if Putin wins where will he stop??????
Arm chair generals, prepare to be inundated.
I could not even contemplate the intricacies involved in the culture of the Ukraine let alone the politics.
Nevertheless Blind Freddie recognises the danger of the introduction of Nato into anywhere, let alone into the political matrix of these two major parties.
Then to top it off add a Biden brownie into the bowl just to further agitate the situation, one can anticipate a circus of epic proportions.
I’m no expert in world affairs but I assume like many others I was fairly happy with the way Trump dealt with arseholes
The West will call on the same level of expert advice as they did with COVID, as they are doing with climate change, and refugees to ensure a roaring success.
ha ha .. the woke in the west are so used to politicians shytting themselves when attacked in social media it must be a shock that Putin is ignoring their cancelling of him. taking it out on Russians generally is not a good idea, it has zero impact on Putin and his government
I can’t see anyone doing anything about this situation and eventually Putin will get what he wants
it’s not a bunch of tribes in the middle east being faced, this will be a force on force, peer to peer event if someone wants to take Putin on and the Americans know it very well and don’t want to start
anyway, why should young Americans die for Europeans who until lately wouldn’t even fund their own defence forces
it’s a real pity for the Ukraine, but when Putin takes over, at least Europe will have a legit enemy again
and the Ukrainians will never trust anyone ever again
Putin ‘s power is granted by the Oligarchs who are having their property seized in the West.
Plus his war is going nowhere.
They do appear to be pretty stupid though.
Ukes and Russians are more or less the same people, it’s as if Queenslanders were having a shooting war with the other states over some stupid shit that happened 6 generations ago..
When the four points were specified, I was surprised at how modest they were given we were D+12, and the Russians had pretty much secured a land bridge from Crimea to the Donbas. The longer this goes, and the more they gain, the more ‘preposterous’ the Russians will be, I think, laying claim to the area south and east of the Dnieper, although the area above Kharkov less so. They might even landlock Ukraine by taking Odessa.
As a student of history…. I must ask what the cost was of not stopping Hitler early.
Putin is not Hitler, yet. But in 1937-8, few people expected the Germans to start WW2. Those who did were called “warmongers” . Sound familiar?
Chamberlain sold out the Czechs in Munich. Sound familiar?
What we know about Putin, from his own mouth, is that he believes that the Soviet empire should never have fallen, and that his passion is restoring it. His heroes are Stalin and Czar Peter the Great. There is no reason why he will stop of his own accord, as long as violence (Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine 2014 and 2022) is getting him what he wants at a price that he considers acceptable.
Sanctions are one way of raising the cost to him, whether now, or next time. Wars are incredibly expensive. Denying Russia income, denies them the ability to build a bigger and more lethal military.
Things to consider.
Yes… it costs us. Consider the costs of doing nothing. There is no free lunch.
It’s their own stupid fault.
They voted for Zelenskyy as the Peace Candidate, he led them into a war.
Now he won’t make any concessions to end the war.
about as accurate as any armchair general
Re Russian aggression, C.L. made an excellent point over at his place:
No, it doesn’t.
This comment from the Unz Review should clarify the matter:
If Western Australia voted to secede, would we start shooting them?
Native Ukrainians are not Russian. They are not “basically the same”.
If you want to know just one reason why they may not want to live under Russian rule, look up “The Holodmor”. As a direct result of Russian Government policy, at least 3.5 MILLION Ukrainians starved.
That’s not trivial.
In 1932, Soviet records show that the Russian government confiscated enough wheat from Ukraine to feed 12 MILLION people.
No wonder the Ukrainians are willing to fight. I have no respect for those who want to desert them.
Two issues. What will Ukraine accept as settlement and what can NATO do?
On the first, Zelensky has said he will negotiate but not capitulate – he has made the offer of some of these concessions. On the second, NATO only has sanctions to play with and they must do that as hard as they can.
The real question is whether this autocrat has any off ramp in his mind. It certainly appears not. He is surrounded by ultra-nationalists who appear to not give sensible advice. (I noticed that a former Russian foreign minister says the huge defence budget push of recent years was largely diverted to yachts at Malta and mansions on the Riviera – so they didn’t dare tell him the Russian forces would not have secure comms or food or fuel or, it seems, ammo.)
If Putin gets what he wants he will have years of trouble in Ukraine. He might well continue his ludicrous assertion that NATO can’t be on his border – so then the fight is with Poland or Estonia.
There’s no easy way out when the autocrat is heavily armed and incompetent.
There was no Russian Government between 1917 and 1989.
They don’t want to fight, PeterW.
The US Department Of State [in Washington] and it’s Puppet Zelenskyy
[likely in the US Embassy in Warsaw since 22/2/2022] wants them to fight.
This was discussed about two weeks ago. The Russians are not synonymous with Soviets. And the victims of the wheat confiscations and the like were not just Ukrainian, but Russian and Kazak kulaks as well; all of the wheat-producing areas.
I don’t need to look it up, PeterW.
Is the Azov Battalion fighting to avenge your Holodmor?
It’s far more likely that the Azov Battalion are descended from the men who committed your Holodmor.
“Native Ukrainians are not Russian. They are not “basically the same”.
Ukrainians and Russians are basically the same.
1. Ukraine was long regarded as “little Russia”. Rus began in Kiev and it was only during the Mongol raids that Moscow was established as a political and administrative centre.
2. Ukraine is the epicentre of Russian Orthodoxy.
3. Until recently, there was never an independent Ukraine, it was originally part of the Polish/Lithuanian Commonwealth.
4. The Ukrainian and Russian languages are very, very similar. My brother-in-law’s White Russian mother says there’s little difference, if you know Russian, you easily understand Ukrainian and vice versa…..akin to Spanish/Portuguese.
If you want to know just one reason why they may not want to live under Russian rule, look up “The Holodmor”. As a direct result of Russian Government policy, at least 3.5 MILLION Ukrainians starved.”
I’m quite aware of the Holodomor thank you very much, as are others here so we don’t need to be lectured about the atrocity. The mass starvation was caused by the actions of Stalin and the Soviet Communist government, oh and the Politburo at the time comprised a few “Ukrainians”.
“In 1932, Soviet records show that the Russian government confiscated enough wheat from Ukraine to feed 12 MILLION people.”
Highly likely, but there were also similar famines due to Soviet policies in many other parts of the Soviet Union at the time, notably the the Kazakh famine of 1931–1933 when over 1.5 million people died and there were similar devastating famines in many other grain producing parts of the Soviet Union at the time…such as the Northern Caucasus, the Volga Region (frequently plagued by famine), the Urals and West Siberia.
I acknowledge that Ukraine and Ukrainians want to be independent…Ukraine should be. However Ukraine should also acknowledge that the Russian speakers in the eastern part of the country, particularly in the Donbas region, want to be free of Ukraine. It works both ways.
I also note that you have nothing to say about the manipulation and interference by the US in Ukrainian affairs since 2014….and seemingly don’t want to acknowledge that perhaps, just perhaps, such interference made the Russians slightly cross, or perhaps such inconvenient facts don’t suit your vapid narratives.
March 9, 2022 at 6:50 pm”
This is cloud-cuckoo land. In a week’s time, what Zelensky is willing to accept might be otiose. Putin’s off ramp was outlined two days ago but will likely change with future gains.
“In 1932, Soviet records show that the Russian government “
There was no “Russian government” in 1932.
Okay, and so were Americans living in the Union and those in the confederate states. I’m obviously arguing that I don’t much believe ethnicity really matters as much as what in this case Ukrainians want.
The USSR was primarily run by the Moscow government. Claiming otherwise is dishonest. The responsibility for the Holodomor rests squarely on Stalin and the central Soviet government.
In 1933 a WA State referendum a majority voted to secede. To leave the Australian Federation. The petition to do so was rejected and not followed up, but the possibility exists. Therefore it is reasonable to ask whether a state secession would result in Australian Federal troops being instructed to shoot at secessionist Westralians. We have a lot more in common with Westralians than Ukrainians have with Muscovites.
As for not wanting to fight… they ARE fighting, and you have no idea about soldiers if you think they will fight well for a cause that they don’t believe in. It’s the Russian conscripts who appear unwilling.
I don’t think incompetent is a word I would describe putin with. the “moth eaten sock puppet” in the white house on the other hand…
You brush off the intentional starvation of millions of people very lightly. I have no respect for that.
You similarly brush off the authority that the Russian Communist Party exercised over all the satellite states in the Warsaw Pact. Whether it was the starvation of Ukraine and Khazakstan, or the invasion of 200,000 foreign troops into Czechoslovakia to enforce political orthodoxy, it was oppressive and it was based out of Moscow.
Don’t pretend otherwise.
There just might be a reason why so many of those former Warsaw-pact states left the Soviet Union in 1991, and why so many applied to join NATO. They want a greater guarantee of independence than just Russian benevolence.
“Basically the same”?
Yeah, tell the Irish that they are basically English.
Try TELLING the Portuguese that they are basically Spanish.
That was Hitler’s argument for annexing Austria and the Sudetenland. Do you really want to validate that?
Here’s the reality. Resource-hungry dictators and elites have always made such claims. That doesn’t make them valid. We are all “basically human”. The differences are important.
Stalin wasn’t a Russian and his Government at that time contained few Russians.
The Forced Collectivisation of Agriculture in the Ukraine was overseen by Lazar Kaganovitch [ not a Russian] and his right hand man in the endeavour was Nikita Kruschev [Ukrainian}.
Further down the chain of command were the Commissars who may have been Ukrainian but were unlikely to have been Russian.
“You brush off the intentional starvation of millions of people very lightly. I have no respect for that.”
Your ramblings are tedious and false, I have zero respect for you.
Oh and Cassie?
You don’t get to use Biden as an excuse for throwing Ukraine under the bus. That says more about you and your political prejudices than it does about the Ukrainians.
But think about this. …. Russia has been a large, aggressive and dangerous neighbour for a long time. They are NOT safe…. so blaming nations with too many memories of Russian oppression, including an actual invasion in 2014, for trying to build relationships that might help protect them from the Russians, is neither fair nor right.
How many times does it have to be pointed out that “independence” means the right to choose your own friends. Boris Yeltsin’s signature is on a treaty guaranteeing this. Russia does not have the right to dictate the friendships and alliances that other countries form.
You are not showing yourself in a good light…..
Given your recent posts on the subject, I’ll take that as a compliment.
Brush-off you did. The Ukrainians have excellent historical reasons for wanting to be independent. Many of them view the Holodomor as punishment for Ukranian objections to aspects of Soviet Central rulership.
March 9, 2022 at 7:21 pm”
Confirmed……a troll. Not engaging or discussing, just pontificating and lecturing and doing it in a very vapid and sanctimonious way.
“You are not showing yourself in a good light…..”
My light shines longer and brighter than your dull light…sweetie.
“Given your recent posts on the subject, “
Yes, they’re good.
That’s about my read on it too. I reckon a big part of why this mess kept festering is people who confuse modern Russia with the Soviet union and treat them as such. Of course it’s too late now.
As I understand it, Putin’s statements about missing the soviet union are more to do with the utter collapse, devastation afterward in Russia and stranding ethnic Russians, than missing the government of the era. But what do I know really? I do know I’ve been lied to constantly by our media and political class.
I don’t especially care what the outcome of this is, other than I wish it to end as soon as possible for the sake of the ordinary people. They’re the ones suffering, not the elites in Moscow and wherever the Ukrainian cognoscenti have fled to. I count the poor mothers of Russian conscripts in this.
Going on the tactical and strategic situation though the war has bogged down. Russia has committed 100% of their initial TO&E and are currently trying to find warm bodies from under rocks in Syria and Siberia. Which says they’re terribly overextended and are being eaten for breakfast by attrition and the mud season.
There is absolutely zero chance of a Russian decisive victory. The place is too big and the population now hate Russians worse than STDs.
This is where it gets scary since Putin is so wedded to his life’s work I can’t see how he can compromise. And the Ukrainian general staff aren’t dumb: they know that if Russia collapses as a result of this overreach they have a huge chance to regain Donbas and Crimea. Which won’t be good for the Russian speakers there. I don’t approve, I’m just making a strategic observation.
And if Putin can’t get his way…well there’s this big red button on his desk. That’s the scary thing. Fortunately I read this week that in addition to his two daughters from his marriage he has two young daughters and two sons with his more recent girlfriend. They’re stashed in Switzerland. I hope this is true because it may provide a limit to his fury.
By this logic, people of Crimea and Donbass region should be free to vote for independence from Ukraine if they so wish (and they did in Crimea’s case) and Ukraine should not shoot at secessionist East Ukrainians.
Stalin wasn’t a Russian
Googlin’ Ukraine, came across this:
Main article: Economy of Ukraine
Kyiv, the financial centre of Ukraine.
Ukraine has a lower-middle income economy, which is the 55th largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the 40th largest by PPP. It is one of the world’s largest grain exporters. However, Ukraine remains among the poorest in Europe and most severely corrupt countries in the continent. According to the IMF, Ukraine’s GDP per capita by PPP is $14,146.[28
The Holodomor happened in the Wheat Growing areas in Eastern Ukraine, where the people either are Russian, speak Russian, or want to be part of Russia.
A toast to Poland (IMO)
“Blinken and Biden Fold, Pentagon Rejects Poland Offer for United States to Start World War III
March 8, 2022 | Sundance | 422 Comments
Ha-Ha-Ha… Oh, the Biden administration is not happy with Poland. Not happy at all.
Earlier this afternoon, Poland called Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s bluff, over the U.S. claims that Poland was going to send fighter jets into Ukraine. This followed Sunday’s announcement where Poland said the U.S. State Dept was lying.
Earlier today, Poland said they would give the U.S. the planes if Blinken and Biden wanted to start World War III, but Poland wasn’t going to help the U.S. create a war with Russia. This put the U.S. in a ‘put up or shut up’ position. Well, Blinken and Biden just folded, per the Pentagon:”
“Well played Team Poland, well played!”
And a mention I saw somewhere today of “The Top Trio” – “Winken, Blinken and Nod”
Plus – Things going “super gasp” eh?
“Leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates Refuse To Take Biden Phone Calls, Both Spoke to Vladimir Putin
March 8, 2022 | Sundance | 230 Comments”
No, we are not the good guys, we are the bad guys.
By “we” I mean the leadership of the West, not “we the people”.
What Putin has to fear he has already told us:
– the creeping expansion of NATO, including Ukraine becoming part of NATO. He doesn’t want nukes on his doorstep, especially on the soil of the puppet regime in Kiev.
So he does fear what the West is doing as it’s led by evil people who don’t want good outcomes.
Then add the other legitimate pretext for protecting the people:
– the constant shelling of innocent people in Donbass resulting in the deaths of over 13,000 people.
“Stalin wasn’t a Russian”
Correct. He was born in Gori, in Georgia.
blinken strikes me as a nasty scheming little faggot
Hmmm, that’s interesting.
I wonder whether these same “Russian” oligarchs are related to the Ukrainian President?
I also hear that much of the leadership installed in the Kiev regime is also of the same background. Which would also mean they are not Ukrainian.
Another good reason to only ensure natives are running your nation (and your businesses) and not outsiders.
How many times do we have to repeat this lesson?
the average ukrainian has a good understanding of how corrupt its leadership is, they were duped by the coke head into thinking it was going to be cleaned up, instead the moron invited death and destruction.
March 9, 2022 at 9:35 pm”
I tell you what’s interesting Judge Dreddy and that is it’s very clear you have a problem with Jews and Israel. You seem to think Jews control the world. You’ve posted links to some unsavoury websites before.
“Another good reason to only ensure natives are running your nation (and your businesses) and not outsiders.”
Que? The person running Ukraine is Zelensky, he’s a native born son. Ahhhh, I know what’s wrong, Judge Dreddy doesn’t like the fact that Zelensky is a Jew.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have here a full on anti-Semite.
Putin Address To Nations | IrnieracingReports March 8, 2022
There will be no peaceful coexistence for Russians and Ukrainians now. The best that can be hoped for is them to be kept separate.
For those who insist on saying that they’re one people, you are missing the point that that perception is not shared by the people themselves. They are acting on very old hatreds at this time, rightly or wrongly.
I wish we had not only cool heads but also peacemakers among us. There seems to be a welter of conflicting goals and obsessions among all the players involved. But it is the Ukrainians who are suffering. We in the West will largely forget once the next distraction squirrel is paraded before us. But those people will be rebuilding and restoring and recovering for a long time.
You seem to have gotten very riled up as soon as someone mentions something about someone who is Jewish not doing good things.
It’s not just the Jews – I am talking about any outsider who takes powerful and influential positions in a nation (Jew or not).
It is not my concern if Zelensky is Jewish, or those oligarchs now fleeing Russia. The point is they are not the blood of those nations and have caused trouble.
Unless of course you think multiculturalism is a good thing?
Dredd: you very clearly linked the religious attributes.
Cassie: you very clearly excuse Putin’s invasion
” The point is they are not the blood of those nations and have caused trouble.”
Oh dear. Thanks for confirming your anti-Semitism.
Just a wee word, I don’t care whether you post your racism here, that just reflects on you but you should be mindful of the links you post. Last week you posted a link to a Holocaust denial website.
I think you confusing religion and blood. Although the two are correlated, what the problem is when cultures collide bad outcomes throughout history come about.
Whether that be Jewish or not is not the point.
Here’s a more benign example for you: If a Swedish person becomes prime minister of Japan, that is not going to be a good outcome for the Japanese people. Why would it be any different anywhere else.
You scream racism and anti-Semite like they are magic words that can shut people up who tell the truth. But your magic words don’t work.
Next you’ll be calling me a bigot, homophobe, sexist, etc.
I know what your doing and see who you are, it doesn’t work.
I am told mariupol has fallen. the russians are not going after territory, they take a town or village and don’t try to hold it, they keep moving till they encounter resistance and eradicate it. putin did say the mission is to eradicate the neo-nazi forces in ukrain.
all this western propaganda that the invasion is going badly is just that propaganda. without external help it’s just a matter of time before the ukrainian forces are entirely eradicated.
Zelensky though that doing lines with hunter would get him access to usaf protection services. mistake.
Hahahahaha. Oh that was a good one. Anyway, back to my lgbtqia+ diversity training. I wonder if they have that in Russia?
Prior to the Russian invasion, the Russian government’s offer was acknowledgement of Ukrainian sovereignty over its (ethnic-Russian) eastern provinces and a cessation of support for the separatist movement there in exchange for Ukrainian acknowledgement of Russian sovereignty over the Crimea (plus some free gas).
That’s now off the table and the best the Ukrainians can hope for is that they keep Odessa and the Russians don’t advance into central and western Ukraine.
The biggest problem the Ukrainians face is that they can’t negotiate with the Russians on their own terms. The US State Department told Zelensky that he can’t negotiate, only the US can negotiate with Russia, so their country is a play thing for a foreign power. I think that the US will drag this war out for as long as they want to suit their own objectives, it may end just before the US mid-term elections when Biden is declared a peacemaker and gets a Nobel Prize.
Here’s a very in-depth analysis of the situation
Dry Bone’s comment today. They didn’t wait until the end.