Untenable end games don’t produce enduring peace

Ex-footballer Matt Le Tissier, now aged 53, resigned from his role as ambassador for his old club Southampton for retweeting a sceptical post about the events in Bucha. Apparently, the post noted the media lies about Saddam’s WMDs, Covid, and Hunter’s laptop, and queried whether the truth was being told about Bucha. Twitter outrage followed; the UK Telegraph reports, and the post was deleted.

In other words, nothing really happened out of the ordinary. These days, this is a dog bites man story. It does however reinforce the message: Don’t post anything on social media against the prevailing zeitgeist if you don’t want to get cancelled. Lucky for me I have nothing much which can be taken, which I’m desperate to keep.

Mind you, I’m human. That great weakness. So, at the start, let me make it clear that I’m on Ukraine’s side. Not to the same degree as I would be on Australia’s side or Britain’s side or America’s side or Israel’s side if attacked. But attacking a country and killing its people is an awful thing, whatever the supposed provocation – Ukraine cosying up to NATO etc.

However, being able to chew gum and walk at the same time, I still think facts matter. And this is particularly the case to avoid false pretexts for widening war. I saw Andrew Bolt interviewing retired American four-star general Jack Keane on Monday evening. They gave the distinct gung-ho impression of favouring NATO military intervention because of the reported atrocities in Bucha. This is the way wars gets going. 

This is from the editorial in this morning’s Australian: “Atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Bucha…where more than 400 civilians were tortured and killed, provide evidence of what [Zelensky] argues is genocide…”

Every civilian killed is one too many. But even if the account, presented as though it’s fact in the editorial, is true; it simply doesn’t nearly rise to the level of genocide. Moreover, do we know whether some of the civilians killed were caught in crossfire? Do we know whether the “civilians” killed were all non-combatants?  Perhaps some of them were armed and shooting. Simply wearing civilian clothes doesn’t make you a civilian, and soldiers don’t take kindly to those posing as civilians shooting at them. It’s “perfidy” in war and “execution” can ensue. And what about this charge of torture?

The editorial can be read as suggesting that all of the more-than-400 civilians killed were tortured. This might be just imprecise writing. Common these days among journalists. But the seriousness of the charge demands precision. How many were tortured and in what way? I’m not talking about grisly details. I’m talking about a reasonable level of information.

The fog of war complicates finding the truth. An independent inquiry should certainly be conducted in Bucha to try to discover the truth. In the meantime, it might be best if the media were to rein in war mongering. A diplomatic solution looks to be the only tenable long-lasting solution.

Painting Putin as a war criminal who cannot be allowed a win of any size of any kind, whatever the cost, might not be the optimal strategy. Just suppose the Ukrainians with western weapons were to push Russia back to its borders. What then? Cornering a nation of 146 million people, vast land area, vast resources, with nuclear weapons and allies in China and India, in perpetuity. Is that the end game?  Really?

48 thoughts on “Untenable end games don’t produce enduring peace”

  1. We can’t even run energy or covid policy properly. It’s best we don’t get involved, directly or indirectly, in anything more complicated.


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  2. Every civilian killed is one too many. But even if the account, presented as though it’s fact in the editorial, is true; it simply doesn’t nearly rise to the level of genocide.

    China’s treatment of the Uighurs comes much closer to genocide.

    Yet our parliament refused to condemn it as such.

    What’s The Australian‘s view on that?


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  3. Why is there NEVER any film of each news cycle’s curated outrage out of Ukraine?

    The Russians have denied direct responsibility and have suggested they may have been artillery casualties and have requested some form of independent investigation. “The tragic civilian deaths must be assessed honestly, not used to fuel the information war”

    https://www.rt.com/russia/553323-deaths-civilians-ukraine-bucha/
    (this RT link works i think)

    Some of the footage I saw had bodies with their hands tied behind their backs. This is not proof that the Russians were torturing civilians, and could be a ruse created by Ukrainian militia. Either way, there were a lot of murdered civilians.

    (Repost from Donbass) thread


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  4. How do we do this – how do we have facts discussed. How do we stop the femme hysterics.
    This has to boil over – I cannot understand how people believe news and current affairs.
    I cannot the good temperament of the majority.
    Then thinking about it, animal activists trespass and damage property with no consequences, protestors for anything damage property with no consequences, hideous wimenz, disrupt and cause damage and scream police brutality.
    We now believe roses clowns.


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  5. Either way, there were a lot of murdered civilians.
    You can’t say that with any certainty.
    We don’t even know if the bodies were real or crisis actors.
    And since The U.K. vetoed a Security Council Meeting requested by the Russian Federation to investigate the situation, all that anyone can say for sure is that there’s
    Something fishy about Bucha.


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  6. China’s treatment of the Uighurs comes much closer to genocide.
    Rubbish.
    The Uighur minority are another in a long list of Peoples led up the garden path by the U.S.
    Chechens were another.
    China had a choice:
    either turn a blind eye to Uighurs murdering Han Chinese in cold blood, or put a stop to it.
    China chose the second option.


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  7. Just suppose the Ukrainians with western weapons were to push Russia back to its borders.

    That’s not happening, Western weapons or no.
    They’re not fighting their way to the Russian Border with no Ammo and human shields.


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  8. Roger says:
    April 7, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Just in the past fifty years there has been an assortment of genocidal incidents yet our parliament, and the MSM, have been largely mute.

    But this time it’s different because it involves Russia – the wests perennial boogy-man. The biased reporting and effective blackout of any report that criticizes or queries Ukrainian non-compliance with the Minsk Agreement, Zelensky or his background, the brutal actions of the Ukrainian military towards Russian POWs, repeated Russian warnings to Ukraine on NATO, the Azov military faction within the Ukrainian National Guard or, precious little examination of the role the US played. For Christ’s sake, there has been more discussion and posts on these subjects on the Cat than in the MSM.

    Earlier today, Dover posted Donbass (2016). It demonstrates a concerted effort by the Ukrainian military to starve, terrorise and eventually drive the ethnic Russian population out of the area. Thousands of innocent civilians died.

    I don’t discount that Russian soldiers may have been responsible for the seemingly unwarranted killing in Bucha but I will await some irrefutable evidence before I condemn those involved.


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  9. The seppos foster so many insurrections, uprisings and little wars m, then stand back amused by the ease of it all

    This time there might be more serious consequences to their incessant meddling in other people’s lives

    All in the name of democracy, which is rich when you look at America today


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  10. I don’t discount that United States, French and Swedish trained Ukrainian Einsatzgruppen may have been responsible for the seemingly unwarranted killing in Bucha but I will await some irrefutable evidence before I condemn those involved.


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  11. Come on, guys, jump aboard the war train. It’ll be just like the movies. Surely the keyboard warriors are keen for themselves and their adult children to get to the front-line.


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  12. I’ll try and keep an open mind Ed. I don’t know the broad or specific individual circumstances and what justification existed (if any) to the killing. Were they just in the wrong place at the wrong time over a few weeks? A civilian uprising with some armed? Ukrainian artillery? Were the bound people informers or otherwise part of Zelensky’s civilian militia? I don’t even know, with certainty, how many – the MSM reports over 400 but the MSM is usually wrong/deceitful.

    All that is known is that Russian soldiers were in the area until 31 March.


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  13. Speedbox says:
    April 7, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    Roger says:
    April 7, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Just in the past fifty years there has been an assortment of genocidal incidents yet our parliament, and the MSM, have been largely mute.

    But this time it’s different because it involves Russia – the wests perennial boogy-man. The biased reporting and effective blackout of any report that criticizes or queries Ukrainian non-compliance with the Minsk Agreement, Zelensky or his background, the brutal actions of the Ukrainian military towards Russian POWs, repeated Russian warnings to Ukraine on NATO, the Azov military faction within the Ukrainian National Guard or, precious little examination of the role the US played. For Christ’s sake, there has been more discussion and posts on these subjects on the Cat than in the MSM.

    Earlier today, Dover posted Donbass (2016). It demonstrates a concerted effort by the Ukrainian military to starve, terrorise and eventually drive the ethnic Russian population out of the area. Thousands of innocent civilians died.

    I don’t discount that Russian soldiers may have been responsible for the seemingly unwarranted killing in Bucha but I will await some irrefutable evidence before I condemn those involved.


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  14. This is from the editorial in this morning’s Australian: “Atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Bucha…where more than 400 civilians were tortured and killed, provide evidence of what [Zelensky] argues is genocide…”

    If the corporate legacy media don’t start to deescalate their U.S sponsored war mongering and corruption coverup rhetoric, then it is quite conceivable that Plutonium stock piles could ultimately become the new reserve currency. The trick with riding a dead horse is knowing when to dismount.

    Facts and critical thinking used to be the two heads of the same coin, but not so much anymore, given that even blokes with dicks can be now defined as chicks with dicks within supposed factual educational and legal institutions.

    But then again, the West has been driven by one ruse (false flag) after another since the hole in the ozone layer became a thing.


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  15. “Leesays:
    April 7, 2022 at 7:09 pm
    Gung ho Bolt is getting increasingly irrelevant.”

    Blot is officially a joke. I watched him last night and he was saying that Daniil Medvedev should be banned from Wimbledon if he doesn’t condemn Putin. Unbelievable.


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  16. Speedbox
    “All that is known is that Russian soldiers were in the area until 31 March”

    Just like Chicago every weekend when many people die

    All that is known is there are police on duty in Chicago every weekend

    Doesn’t mean the police are responsible for the weekly death toll in Chicago though by msm logic, it does

    Don’t be led by the nose….

    e.g. The pope drinks water, Hitler drank water!

    Oh my, is the pope really Hitler?


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  17. From RT:

    In the period between February 25 and the middle of March, when Russian troops controlled this small town, it saw fierce fighting. But around the end of March, the Russians left and the Ukrainians entered the town, followed by journalists from French state media. They found dozens of dead civilians, some of which had been there, unburied, for days or even weeks, according to the journalists.

    What happened in Bucha is undoubtedly a terrible tragedy. It is also worth mentioning that both Russia and Ukraine sought a UN Security Council emergency meeting about what has happened in the town. However, the two countries describe what happened there in opposite terms. As of now, little can be said with certainty about events in Bucha. But one thing is clear – this tragedy calls for a proper investigation.

    However, some observations can be made right away. Most of these people must have been killed by artillery fire. There are several factors that support this theory. The most evident proof is that some of the bodies were found next to what look like shell craters, as seen in the videos. Fighting took place right on the streets of Bucha. On February 27, a large Russian military convoy was hit by Ukrainian artillery fire on Vokzalnaya street. The shelling by the Ukrainian military did not stop even after Russian troops seized the town.

    It has to be mentioned that both armies mainly use old tube and rocket artillery systems firing conventional high-explosive shells which have low target accuracy. When used in populated areas, they can easily kill someone even if they are far away from the actual target.

    On the other hand, armored vehicles were maneuvering along the streets of Bucha all the time, which unfortunately can lead to casualties among civilians, even when the troops don’t want it to happen. Visibility from inside an armored vehicle is very low, so the odds of crushing civilian vehicles when performing sharp maneuvers are very high. Local militia units actively use civilian transport, including ambulances, something which has become a distinctive characteristic of combat operations in Ukraine. This often leads to the military firing at any vehicles they find suspicious.

    Moreover, at least one of the bodies found on the road had their hands tied with a piece of white cloth. Oddly enough, this particular circumstance has a reasonable explanation – it is common practice to tie a corpse’s hands together for transportation, so that they don’t hang loose. The hands of killed rebel fighters, brought to a morgue in Donetsk in May 2014, were bound the same way. Back then it prompted speculation that the men had been executed.

    And finally, it has to be said that there are always gangs of looters operating in any war, whose actions are not driven by ideology. The mass distribution of weapons among the local population has made criminal groups stronger, which is confirmed by the fact that many of the bandits seized at crime scenes were heavily armed.

    The people whose bodies were found in Bucha, were most likely killed at various times and as a result of various occurrences, which explains, by the way, the strange indifference to the tragedy on local social media. As opposed to the reaction in the English-language press. This article is not intended to accuse or exonerate anyone, but the author would like to remind the reader that it always takes an unbiased investigation, and preferably an international one, to draw a line under a serious matter like this. Such tragedies can’t be prevented when two armies are fighting in an urbanized, densely populated area, with lots of civilians present.

    Right now, the only thing we know for sure about Bucha is that it is a terrible tragedy of war. The victims have to be mourned and commemorated, and combat actions need to be brought to an end by peace talks as soon as possible. Specific episodes of civilian deaths must be investigated properly in order to clarify the circumstances of each tragedy.

    It’s only natural to be overwhelmed with emotions at the sight of a disfigured corpse, but let’s not forget that any story of this kind also sets in motion military propaganda. Particularly in today’s social media-era, when such campaigns can manipulate global opinion in just a few hours.

    We must make sure that we are not misled by that too.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/553323-deaths-civilians-ukraine-bucha/


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  18. Just suppose the Ukrainians with western weapons were to push Russia back to its borders. What then?

    It’s a nice start. Not gaining anything would be sweet.

    As a bonus it gives China a hmmm moment. Thankfully the latter are also busy shooting themselves in the foot right now.


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  19. Have I stumbled into a Russian propaganda page? I was told this is an Australian conservatives site. Seems like you are all on Putin’s payroll.
    Disgusting
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  20. Lee says:
    April 7, 2022 at 7:09 pm
    Gung ho Bolt is getting increasingly irrelevant.

    Surely his audience is dwindling to unemployable levels. His blog is impossible to get a comment on unless you’re a left wing troll.

    He’s completely unreadable and unlistenable and has been for a while.


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  21. Fact, Russia invaded the Ukraine.
    Everything that happens after that is Russia’s fault.
    I don’t believe anything on mainstream media. I don’t believe anything any Government says.

    I believe that if Russia gains even a small victory in the Ukraine THEY WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE WEST. Maybe not immediately but certainly as soon as they regroup and restock their military.


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  22. Blot is officially a joke. I watched him last night and he was saying that Daniil Medvedev should be banned from Wimbledon if he doesn’t condemn Putin. Unbelievable.

    And why should he – or any other Russian – have to say anything at all about Putin, even leaving aside the fact that there could well be repercussions against him or his family if he does so.
    Do we demand that individual Chinese condemn the CCP over the Uighurs , or all Muslims apologise for, or condemn Islamist terrorist attacks?
    Of course not!
    I don’t know what has gone wrong with Bolt in the last few years.


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  23. Am puzzled by so many pro Russian comments. Has everyone forgotten Russia’s actions in Europe after WW2? On here I read Ukrainians to blame, maybe all the cities where the Reds have been are not really in ruins. Maybe we think that over 3 millions plus refugees are a myth as they flee from their homes and country. Maybe we missed the fact that Putin wants to restore the old Soviet Union. Does no one think he is not warring to gain valuable ports and shipping routes as many of Russia’s ports become icebound. Does no one remember the Hungarians invasion in 1956. Please do a little history. The old saying is more true now than ever….”One thing we learn from history is we learn nothing from history!”


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  24. Speedbox and Dave of the Gold Coast

    Russia was the hero of the western media and the “arts world”.
    To my understanding it became a bogey man when Putin called O Bama an idiot for adopting socialism and wishing harm on his own people.

    Dave – yes that disgusting communism. Up until now I could not set foot in Russia – could not believe a word they said. Now I cannot believe a word we say.
    The Maidan over throw was a blatant installation of a US puppet – the Same situation the media and arts world have been banging on about for all of my life.
    Burisma company – the director was a Ukrainian oil billionaire, joe Borden’s son, Pelosi son, Kerry son and Rodney’s son (remember how Romney attacked trump).
    Ukraine is the biggest country donor to the Clinton foundation.
    Dave remember it all – to me it’s what society do you want – be told what to do by lazy useless unskilled people or by some one who looks after his people and has skills eg soldier.Putin can look after himself, likes the outdoors, mucks around with technology etc.


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  25. let me make it clear that I’m on Ukraine’s side

    Then you’ve chosen the side of evil. The side of the Azov battalion. The side of a corrupt puppet. You have chosen to forget the thousands that were murdered in Donbass by that regime.
    Others could be forgiven for mistaking Russia as the bad guys, but on here you know the truth otherwise you wouldn’t be posting articles on this site.
    You’ve seen the truth and have chosen to ignore it as the lie makes you comfortable, and removes the unease that the whole Western media and political apparatus could be lying to you. Or perhaps it’s because you’re afraid of retribution if you speak the truth.
    When you sit on the fence, you will fall off on the side of the wicked. So there is a time for choosing sides and the fence is getting narrower.
    I would encourage you to speak the truth in your heart and keep pursuing the truth. And if you can’t speak it you should remain silent.


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  26. Some of us lived and worked in Russia, are married to Russians, even have a Eastern European heritage, and are shouted down by the experts who have never been near any of those places, the experts who know nothing of the carnage wreaked on the people of the Donbass region by Poroshenko and now by Zelenskyy and his hordes. Neither Putin or Zelenskyy are saints, the media feed us a stream of lies, and yet many people, this site excepted in the main, believe it all just as they believe/d that the “dreaded” could be caught from a Pizza box or perhaps over the telephone. The white hats are blameless of course but as usual will be up to their necks in the background, they always are. My family, some still in Russia are confused, so too are people like me, but not the experts.
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  27. But attacking a country and killing its people is an awful thing, whatever the supposed provocation – Ukraine cosying up to NATO etc.

    Look at the Donbass post below for provocation. Watch Dover’s video then scroll down and watch Frogger’s video of the Odessa massacre.

    In my ignorance, I used to think that this was baddies vs baddies. Now I’m not so sure.


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  28. visitor says:
    April 7, 2022 at 10:18 pm
    Have I stumbled into a Russian propaganda page? I was told this is an Australian conservatives site. Seems like you are all on Putin’s payroll. Disgusting

    Visitor – The historical issues going back as far as the 1950s that eventually resulted in Russia’s invasion have been examined in numerous posts and hundreds of comments on the Cat. If you took any time to examine those posts and comments you would understand the factors. You are confusing or interpreting Cat commentator understanding of historical context with ‘support’ for Russia’s actions. That is wrong. Understanding why it happened and consequently criticising the west is legitimate. This invasion was foreseen by every strategic thinktank and military analyst since the early 2000’s (at least). Some were even warning from the mid 1990’s. The Russian invasion reached a critical point from 2014/5 – although the situation could still have been avoided, Russia was calling for negotiations – yet, the western politicians, and the military hawks, carried on regardless.

    You would be advised to either sit back, read and learn or, remain silent whilst the grown ups are talking.


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  29. This whole fiasco proves what a useless organisation the United Nations is. The Russian ethnic provinces in the Ukraine, historically a part of Russia, have been subjected to persecution from the western Ukrainians for many years.

    The only solution is for the UN to demand a Russian withdrawal to their borders, the Ukrainian government to stop shelling and shooting their own citizens, and for a referendum to be conducted in the affected provinces where those citizens can choose to remain a part of Ukraine or form their own independent republic.

    This is what the UN was formed to do, to prevent wars, but it has failed.


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  30. Has everyone forgotten Russia’s actions in Europe after WW2?

    The UKR was a part the Soviet Union. I’m amazed that people ignore this when referring back to history.

    On here I read Ukrainians to blame, maybe all the cities where the Reds have been are not really in ruins.

    Have you not seen what the UKR has done in Donbass these last 8 years?


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  31. Fact, Russia invaded the Ukraine.

    It’s not so straightfoward:

    In fact, as early as February 16, Joe Biden knew that the Ukrainians had begun intense shelling the civilian population of Donbass, forcing Vladimir Putin to make a difficult choice: to help Donbass militarily and create an international problem, or to stand by and watch the Russian-speaking people of Donbass being crushed.

    If he decided to intervene, Putin could invoke the international obligation of “Responsibility To Protect” (R2P). But he knew that whatever its nature or scale, the intervention would trigger a storm of sanctions. Therefore, whether Russian intervention were limited to the Donbass or went further to put pressure on the West over the status of the Ukraine, the price to pay would be the same. This is what he explained in his speech on February 21. On that day, he agreed to the request of the Duma and recognized the independence of the two Donbass Republics and, at the same time, he signed friendship and assistance treaties with them.

    The Ukrainian artillery bombardment of the Donbass population continued, and, on 23 February, the two Republics asked for military assistance from Russia. On 24 February, Vladimir Putin invoked Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which provides for mutual military assistance in the framework of a defensive alliance.



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  32. The only solution is for the UN to demand a Russian withdrawal to their borders

    Not the only solution Old bloke. I doubt Russia would take any advice from the UN, let alone to surrender, which is what withdrawing to their borders is. A more likely solution is for Russia to withdrawal to its gains in the East and South and have Ukraine sign an undertaking not to join NATO.


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  33. The only solution is for the UN to demand a Russian withdrawal to their borders, the Ukrainian government to stop shelling and shooting their own citizens, and for a referendum to be conducted in the affected provinces where those citizens can choose to remain a part of Ukraine or form their own independent republic.

    Russia attempted this peacefully back in December when it issued a “non” ultimatum to the US/Ukraine. It was under no illusion as to what the answer would be and was preparing accodignly since at leat 2014 and arguably 2008 when the US and Israeli equipped and trained Georgians attacked russian peacekeepers on 08/08/08. Also a black sea statelet wanting to join Nato. These provocations are quite numerous. NED ring a bell?

    The ultimatum of Dec 2021 was artfully ignored and then followed up with more mutterings to join Nato and Ukraine to acquire nuclear weapons. The US was clearly goading Russia into an intervention. US had prepared Ukraine military as a de facto Nato state and what seems to be large scale preparations to invade Donbass in early March. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out the repsonse that was required from Russia, capituilation or war, ergo the planned repsonse.

    Now they have it. There are large geopolitcal reasons for this to do with US dollar reserve status and US global hegemony buttressed by unapologetic belligerency to any that may pose a threat or antagonise US financial supremacy.

    Any literacy into geopolitcal affairs will confirm an active containment and regine change operation along russian borders that has been occurring for a generation at least and articulated via Wolfowitz and Brzezinski for the last 30 years+.

    To say that Russia invaded, is yes, a statement of fact but rather disingenuous within the larger context of great power politics and clear provocations that pushed Russia into a corner and an existential crisis not of its own making.


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  34. On 24 February, Vladimir Putin invoked Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which provides for mutual military assistance in the framework of a defensive alliance.

    Wow. You learn something every day. Not from the corporate media or government of course.

    Thanks Dover.


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  35. Frogger says:
    April 8, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    To say that Russia invaded, is yes, a statement of fact but rather disingenuous within the larger context of great power politics and clear provocations that pushed Russia into a corner and an existential crisis not of its own making.

    This.


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  36. Blot is officially a joke. I watched him last night and he was saying that Daniil Medvedev should be banned from Wimbledon if he doesn’t condemn Putin. Unbelievable.

    Well Bolt would get a real argument from Brendan O’Neill, a semi-regular on his show, who has written one or two articles excoriating people like Bolt who are making those ultimatums towards individual Russians.


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  37. One thing I like about this blog is the diversity and quality of analysis of the big issues. Sure, we all have our likes/prejudices & everyone can see them. But, as a whole, the minds behind the monikers are pretty switched on to history and mankind’s foibles.

    For the “visitor” who imagines we must be all communist sympathisers:
    partisan comment is failure if serious analysis. There are many of us here who like Russians, have visited Russia, but who have no liking or sympathy for Communism. Quite the opposite.

    But political conviction should have nothing to do with analysis of actual events. While we may not always succeed in establishing the truth, it is a quest worth following. Always.


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  38. I posted this on the OT a couple of weeks ago. It is worth repeating:

    “I want to make it clear to everyone, both in our country and abroad, to our partners, that it’s not even about the line that we don’t want anyone to cross. The fact is that we have nowhere to retreat. They have pinned us against a line from which, sorry for the bad manners, we have nowhere to retreat,” President Vladimir Putin – December 2021, almost two months before he ordered the assault on Ukraine.

    At the time, Moscow was trying to come to an agreement with NATO on mutual security, hoping that the US-led bloc would agree to provide comprehensive written guarantees that it would not expand any further to the east.

    The existence of these red lines – most notably against NATO expansion into Ukraine – is not some subjective concept born in the minds of Russia’s current leadership. It had been discussed in the west for years.

    In 1998, George Kennan, American diplomat and historian said NATO expansion would mean nothing less than “the beginning of a new Cold War,” warning that it would be a “tragic mistake.” and “Of course, this will provoke a bad reaction from Russia. And when that happens, [those who made decisions about NATO expansion] will say that we have always told you the Russians are like that. But it’s just not true.”

    In 1997, 50 prominent foreign policy experts, including former senators, military leaders, and diplomats, sent an open letter to then-President Bill Clinton outlining their opposition to NATO expansion. “It is a policy error of historic proportions”.

    Conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan wrote in his 1999 book ‘A Republic, Not an Empire’, “By moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch, we have scheduled a twenty-first-century confrontation.”

    The current director of the CIA, William Burns, said in 2008 that for Russia, “Ukraine’s accession to NATO is the brightest of all red lines. I have not yet found anyone who would consider Ukraine in NATO as something other than a direct challenge to Russia’s interests.”

    Just so everyone is clear that a serious Russian response including invasion was anticipated, foretold, expected, envisaged, predicted and presumed if NATO’s push east continued.


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  39. Speedbox: your response to Visitor is surprising. Like them, I found a lot of Putin lines here. Notably the insistence on excuses for invasion that are not credible.
    Your argument seems to be that invasion was expected, which simply isn’t true. At least before 2014. Even so, this action was certainly a surprise.
    It is true that Putin embraces a desire to impose Soviet era influence or even to re-create the czarist hegemony. But that’s no excuse for what he has done.
    Now we have a terrible, intractable war in which very many non-combatants are killed and their homes laid waste. A very large number of Russians are dead. It is a war that cannot be won and now, through his tactics Putin has made it one the Ukrainians cannot settle – for fear of terrible consequences for any civilians left in conceded lands.
    Russia’s error is to assume that historical treatment of Ukrainians as lesser Russians is a realistic presumption when it comes to sovereignty.
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  40. Speedbox: I’d also mention that Ukraine was not allowed to join NATO. And on your argument, Putin is entitled to invade a number of other countries that are!
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  41. Unsurprising that the new Cat is siding with Putin. You lot do love a Lost Cause.

    I was not expecting Putin to actually commit in a public video to a policy of genocide, but here we are. The end game for Putin is Nazism, basically: assimilating entire countries to subjugation under his master race. Every accusation is a confession.

    Not sure what the end game for the West is. It’s hard to get past the conclusion that regime change in Russia is necessary, because Putin is not going to give up now. Does that require NATO invasion of Russia? Even if Russia’s army is destroyed in Ukraine and withdraws, you can’t starve out a nuclear superpower easily, or rely on a colour revolution to happen despite military law. Then it becomes a Cold War II, but a much less even one where the Russians get increasingly desperate.

    No one has a simple solution. Apart from Putin, who could stop it in a heartbeat, but of course he won’t. It’s already messy and the mess will only increase. Appeasing Putin will not placate him or lead to peace, he will always want more. Any talk of ceding Putin a “win” is wholly wrongheaded.

    Thank God this didn’t happen under Trump. Astounded that it didn’t, in retrospect.


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