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

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:34 pm
by Sun Fin
Calamitus wrote:Politician who cares about people... About FOREIGN people... How can you call yourself "scholar" after that?


Sorry but I refuse to accept that everyone who goes in to, and succeeds, at politics do so for the wrong reasons. Especially within Britain's Labour party (note I'm not a blind Labour voter either), especially when you consider the huge pay-cut Blair took to become an MP compared to the money he was earning as a top barrister.

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:14 pm
by Shikanosuke
Calamitus wrote:

Politician who cares about people... About FOREIGN people... How can you call yourself "scholar" after that?


I'm with sun fin. Historians and commentators have long catalogued their opinions concerning whether a leader cared for X people. Your cynicism on the subject is noted, but the personal attacks can be checked at the door.

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

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:55 pm
by WeiWenDi
Sun Fin wrote:That's because people like Blair (I won't defend Bush's motives because I haven't studied it in any detail) genuinely care about TRYING to help the people and waiting for a situation to play out doesn't help the hundreds of people dying in the chaos. Where, as far as I can tell, Putin is only in the world politics game for self preservation/advantage reasons.


Sorry, but I have to agree with Calamitus on this one.

Putin as the 'only [politician] in the world politics game for self preservation / advantage reasons' doesn't hold water at all. For one thing, um, Halliburton, BP and Shell. If you really don't think that British or American wars are bought and paid for by big corporate interests, I have a bridge in New York to sell you. For another thing, Putin's actions as well as inactions can be interpreted to demonstrate a fundamental concern for his coreligionists, especially in areas like ME/NA. This image of Putin as Russia's all-powerful dictator who is only out for himself does certainly seem to be a tempting one for a certain type of American (or Brit) who doesn't understand Russia and doesn't want to, but it doesn't really help explain certain facts about where Russia is involved (and where it isn't involved) and why.

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

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:00 am
by Shikanosuke
WeiWenDi wrote:
Sun Fin wrote:That's because people like Blair (I won't defend Bush's motives because I haven't studied it in any detail) genuinely care about TRYING to help the people and waiting for a situation to play out doesn't help the hundreds of people dying in the chaos. Where, as far as I can tell, Putin is only in the world politics game for self preservation/advantage reasons.


Sorry, but I have to agree with Calamitus on this one.

Putin as the 'only [politician] in the world politics game for self preservation / advantage reasons' doesn't hold water at all. For one thing, um, Halliburton, BP and Shell. If you really don't think that British or American wars are bought and paid for by big corporate interests, I have a bridge in New York to sell you. For another thing, Putin's actions as well as inactions can be interpreted to demonstrate a fundamental concern for his coreligionists, especially in areas like ME/NA. This image of Putin as Russia's all-powerful dictator who is only out for himself does certainly seem to be a tempting one for a certain type of American (or Brit) who doesn't understand Russia and doesn't want to, but it doesn't really help explain certain facts about where Russia is involved (and where it isn't involved) and why.


You may need a whole lot of bridges, and the ability to show one's state of mind beyond political choices. I think its bogus to act as if politicians, even ones with self-interests of their own, are incapable of actually giving a hoot about other any other people.

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

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:27 am
by DreamGoddessLindsey
I agree with Shik and Sun Fin. You can't just assume that a politician is 100% self-serving with no care for others. That's absurd. For example, I think it's been noted around here how vocal I am about things and how much I care about people. If I were to somehow get elected to, say, the U.S. House of Representatives later this year, that doesn't mean I stop caring about others and only care about myself. There's not some sort of magical compulsion for politicians to not really care.

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

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:32 am
by WeiWenDi
DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:You can't just assume that a politician is 100% self-serving with no care for others. That's absurd.


Unless, of course, said politician happens to speak Russian.

Obviously certain folks have no problems with any such assumption on that ground alone.

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

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:42 am
by Sun Fin
WeiWenDi wrote:Sorry, but I have to agree with Calamitus on this one.

Putin as the 'only [politician] in the world politics game for self preservation / advantage reasons' doesn't hold water at all. For one thing, um, Halliburton, BP and Shell. If you really don't think that British or American wars are bought and paid for by big corporate interests, I have a bridge in New York to sell you. For another thing, Putin's actions as well as inactions can be interpreted to demonstrate a fundamental concern for his coreligionists, especially in areas like ME/NA. This image of Putin as Russia's all-powerful dictator who is only out for himself does certainly seem to be a tempting one for a certain type of American (or Brit) who doesn't understand Russia and doesn't want to, but it doesn't really help explain certain facts about where Russia is involved (and where it isn't involved) and why.


Sorry that was awful phrasing on my half.

What I meant was that Putin is self-serving on the World Stage out of a belief in Nationalism and that this maneuvering for power is best for Russia and her people.

Now you could certainly argue that the USA and the Western Powers also want to be the biggest fish in the pond but I do think that for the most part they try to use this power to try (and fail) to improve things for others.

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

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:19 am
by Calamitus
Sun Fin wrote:Now you could certainly argue that the USA and the Western Powers also want to be the biggest fish in the pond but I do think that for the most part they try to use this power to try (and fail) to improve things for others.

Surely, they care about those who are currently dying in Syria, Afganistan or Ukraine. There is no care on war (including political). There are only strategical, political and economical advantages. You can see black & white actions only in novels... like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, for example.

Shikanosuke wrote:I'm with sun fin. Historians and commentators have long catalogued their opinions concerning whether a leader cared for X people. Your cynicism on the subject is noted, but the personal attacks can be checked at the door.

I had not desire to insult, but i dont understand how its possible to discuss such things with feigned indifference of face.

Interesting fact - Putin's rating was actually very low before those events on Ukraine, now it is high instead. That what happens when someone tries to make civil war on your doorstep. Oh yes, many people think that his actions are mild and insufficient actually.

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

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:52 am
by Shikanosuke
Calamitus wrote:
Sun Fin wrote:Now you could certainly argue that the USA and the Western Powers also want to be the biggest fish in the pond but I do think that for the most part they try to use this power to try (and fail) to improve things for others.

Surely, they care about those who are currently dying in Syria, Afganistan or Ukraine. There is no care on war (including political). There are only strategical, political and economical advantages. You can see black & white actions only in novels... like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, for example.


These things are certainly considerations for leaders and people. But there's no reason to believe nor way to prove they are the exclusive or singular reasons.

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

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:01 pm
by Dong Zhou
I agree with WWD on Sun Fin's (now clarified) comments and the sense that, for some, that if Russia does something, Putin is doing it while twirling an evil moustache. I also disagree with WWD as I think he has then gone and done the same thing only with the west. While I would agree with him that oil, arms (or business as whole) lobby is far too powerful, we have different views on how far it reaches and where the damage is done.

I don't think it is helpful in these matters to assume one side is making a decision purely based on being evil or being puppet of evilcorp. Or looking at the entire system and deeming them all evil and corrupt with malign purposes. One can take a view on the morality or wisdom of things they do, say that there is bad influences or that something bad (or good) is playing a part in their judgement, but I would be wary of trying to portray any one decision as due to one evil factor/persona.