Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:49 am

Dong Zhou wrote:So I ask a simple question due to something you said and I get that? I am not making a claim, I am asking a question. I'm kind of guessing you misunderstood the question, however I think last line did answer the question thankfully.


My apologies. I'm really quite sorry about that, quite clearly I did misunderstand the question. It did strike me as a bit odd that you were questioning Kosovo's relevance to Crimea based on the 'old maps' part of the formulation.

Dong Zhou wrote:Fourth Reich? Aryan Rule? That may come out worse then you intended.

Honestly not sure how saying "if we are going to change to an isolationist policy, we should do it in a proper way. If we are going to do be involved in Europe, take rough with the smooth and don't walk away when we gets tough"= proposing that.


Yeah, it did. Thanks for being charitable, I was not in the best of moods when I wrote that, lame excuse though that is. What set me off was the implicit idea of 'one European nation' which takes an active and expansionary interest beyond its borders.

I don't think I'm proposing isolationism, though. I see more grounds for American cooperation with Russia than most people tend to, but I also see Europe in particular needlessly pelting rotten fruit even at Russia's most democratic voices, like Sergei Mironov. Certainly I think the Russians were right about Syria just as they were right about the Boston bombers - and I think their actions show that they have a sincere interest in cooperation when it involves their own security.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Boydie » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:01 am

Would a mark of a strong leader be that he's know when and how to play his best hand?

Putin is a pragmatic bloke and he is intelligent. He understands how to play these games. You can do business with him and if the west stops treating him like an idiot and Russia like a pariah then this can be resolved.

The problems lie in the breathtaking hypocrisy shown by the western leaders (Obama and Cameron in particular) and the incredible stupidity demonstrated by the EU politicians, who appear not to be accountable to anyone, who have precipitated this whole mess by supporting the overthrow of a democratically elected government in the Ukraine and backing the admission of right wing neo-Nazi, Jew hating thugs into the new, unelected Ukrainian government.

The US administration is probably the biggest breakers of "international law" these days - there are ongoing protests in the USA against the use of state sponsored US terrorism in the form of drone strikes in other countries which have killed over 3000 civilians in Pakistan alone and the US led the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on trumped up excuses. How can they accuse other countries of breaking the very rules they have so blatantly ignored for the past ten or more years?

The latest right wing members of the Ukrainian government to get their snouts in the trough do not fill me with any confidence at all. One is calling for the reintroduction of the death penalty for those found guilty of treason or spying (ie anyone opposed to his point of view), while another has put forward legislation for the banning of all future public demonstrations against the government.

Any attempt to financially support the Ukraine will cost billions of EU money - most of which will probably come for Germany. From a comment by a German journalist I saw on TV this morning, I doubt very much whether Herr and Frau German will wish to pay even more into another EU money pit.

Can anyone who thinks Russia is the bad guy in all this and that we should rush to support the Ukraine please explain how western politicians think that supporting the morons and thugs now in power in the Ukraine is to anyone's benefit?

I have said it before on this forum - the western politicians are the problem here. The support given to the Ukraine by the EU politicians is going to bite them in the arse if they persist on this course.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:40 am

No problem WWD

I think there are things Russia could do to help foster long term relations/ease things generally (Russia needs to work on soft power and getting voice heard before things spiral) but Europe also needs to do better towards Russia. Far too much of the Ukraine revolt and Ukraine voting was portrayed as west vs east and so on.

Boydie
Would a mark of a strong leader be that he's know when and how to play his best hand?

Putin is a pragmatic bloke and he is intelligent. He understands how to play these games. You can do business with him and if the west stops treating him like an idiot and Russia like a pariah then this can be resolved.


It is excellent for foreign policy

I don't think we treat Putin like an idiot but we could more (possibly not right now) on the pariah issue.

Boydie wrote:Can anyone who thinks Russia is the bad guy in all this and that we should rush to support the Ukraine please explain how western politicians think that supporting the morons and thugs now in power in the Ukraine is to anyone's benefit?


I believe the West generally thinks we should block Russia from expanding further for a variety of reasons (I'm not sure Putin is that keen on pushing it that far mind) and making a show to reassure other eastern countries who are a bit nervous/pissed off, unfortunately with the way mindsets go that ends up being more pro Ukraine then it should be. Also when we mess up, I don't like the whistling and sliding away idea.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Boydie » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:32 pm

The Baltic countries are not pleading to be saved from the Russian Bear. The US wants to convince them that they should want to be saved from the Russians. The reality eludes our Yankee friends:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/17/uk-ukraine-crisis-latvia-idUKBREA2G17U20140317

What I find displeasing is the Baltic state's views, analysis and opinions on their relationship with other NATO Members and the extent of their efforts to provide security to themselves.

In effect, a direct mismatch between the supposed threat level with the political and financial effort to mitigate that threat.

DZ. Are you old enough to remember the economic situation in the UK during the '70s and early '80s? A time when the UK was so prosperous that it had to go cap in hand to the IMF. Do you remember the newscasts of the early '80s which always seemed to start with a summary of which factories had closed and the number of people put on to the dole? My family tell me of these bleak times.

Yes, they were bleak times. But still, the UK was putting 4.5-5% GDP into defence. A country that was not directly threatened by the Rooskies and was spending that money to help others in the NATO Alliance.

Compare that to the Baltics who have the big bear on their doorstep. They may be in an economic depression - but one less severe (subjective perceptions notwithstanding) than earlier. And yet they only bother to put 0.8%, 0.9% and 2% into their own defence. At least the Estonians are making a bit of an effort.

Here's an Estonian view on their neighbour (my bold)...

"Although its population is twice as large as Estonia's, defense spending is below 1 percent [of GDP] - in absolute terms, the amount is certainly not 350 million euros, as it is in Estonia,” Hoppe said.

"Therefore a country twice the size is spending much less on national defence. Honestly, this is noticed in NATO and everywhere. That's where all of the problems begin. If you don't allocate funds, you are sending the message in your country that military issues are not important,” Hoppe said.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Antiochus » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:23 pm

I'm going to move out of this discussion Wei Wen Di, since it seems to be going in a circle. A lot of your argument seems to be centered on the fact that you feel that its about a stance on Putin's policy on an ethical level and a comparison to the United States in terms of power-politics. I never went down the road of that first proposition in the discussion and started my part of the conversation that I reject the premise of the second.

I don't understand the source of your almost reflexive reaction, but I have other stuff to do than writing arguments that will always start with ''I did not say that... but...''
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:45 pm

Boydie, your article more suggests they are concerned at the cost of a sanctions war and want money?

I'm not old enough to have lived through those times but I'm aware of them. The issue there seems to be why let people and then keep them in Nato if they don't fulfil their monatry obligations? It does seem true that European countries loves being part of something pan-European or wider but not like rules or obligations and said organizations seem bad at expelling those who don't play along.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Jordan » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:31 pm

To what extent is this about self-determination and to what extent should self-determination guide future foreign policy?

Is self-determination a viable solution when there are a hodgepodge of different cultural groups clustered in one area, often with divergent national interests? Should humanity look toward transcending nationalism in order to create more viable multinational entities without nationalist conflict among different groups? Does nationalism have nothing to do with Crimea whatsoever, aside from being a pretext?
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:16 pm

Do you think Russia will care about being blocked out of the G8?
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:04 am

Jordan wrote:Is self-determination a viable solution when there are a hodgepodge of different cultural groups clustered in one area, often with divergent national interests? Should humanity look toward transcending nationalism in order to create more viable multinational entities without nationalist conflict among different groups? Does nationalism have nothing to do with Crimea whatsoever, aside from being a pretext?


Good questions, but I think the answer to the last one is a resounding 'no'.

Recently former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko (of the 'Batkivshchyna' party now in government in this junta) had this phone conversation, in which she gives voice to some rather disturbing sentiments regarding Russians and Russophone Ukrainians.



I will note that this is the sort of talk what got Libya invaded, supposedly. So where's Ms. Anti-Genocide Samantha Power now that we've got a major political oligarch and a Ukrainian MP discussing the nuclear annihilation / mass shooting / scorched-earth tactics to be taken against Ukraine's Russian minority? Anyone?
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Xiahou Jia » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:30 pm

Was kinda ironic to hear her talking in clear Russian. Well...good luck with nukes to her. For now the 145k army has turned into 6k combat ready troops only and the national guard is just forming.An attempt of genocide will definitely result in the 85k 'very, very sizable and very,very ready' reaching the Dniepr. No ifs,ands or buts here.
Seriously speaking though, I wouldn't treat her words seriously. She sounded very distressed and I doubt she really means getting rid of ethnic russians. She probably just wanted to let the steam out although she can say farewell to at least 8mil potential votes in upcoming elections,I suppose.
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