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

Discuss events that have an impact on you and the world today. A home for honest, serious, and open discussion.

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

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:27 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:I'd say a better comparison is with Hitler's early expansions. Sure, there was grumbling, but the policy of appeasement was the primary one. Same thing is happening now. Everyone already knows how utterly evil and sadistic Putin is, given his history of human rights violations. I can easily see this turning into World War III.


As far as the appeasement issue goes we'll have to see. Russia annexed Crimea it is true. But it hasn't done more, has engaged in some diplomatic talks (for whatever they're worth), and allies ( we) are shipping planes to the borders (Poland). I'm not he can be 'appeased' just yet as he Hasn't done much.

And while I'm far far from a fan of Putin or a lot of the Russian actions/policies I have no reason to call him evil or sadistic.
User avatar
Shikanosuke
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 4388
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:22 am
Location: US

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

Unread postby Aygor » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:07 pm

Here's my opinion:
Russia is on the verge of a demographic collapse and is trying to achieve the most it can before that befalls them, they exploited a -largely influenced by the USA- putsch and the particular political and ethnical situation of the state -not nation- of Ucraine to bring a russian core back to Moscow.
By doing so they help enforcing their international prestige through post URSS revanscism and strenghten their military position in the black sea and Caucasus; on a political and economical level they improve the position of the newborn Eurasiatic Union and Brics as alternatives to the weakened USA end EU spheres.
The price is a feud between big and small russians (sanctions really aren't much relevant so far and I doubt it will change): from an ethnic, historical and cultural point of view russians and east slavic ucrainians considered themselves as closely tied kin, not anymore.
The USA proved not powerful enough to prevent Putin's move but did manage, with quite little effort, to prevent Ucraine to slip off of their sphere of influence by alienating them from Germany and forcing Russia not to move further (Putin obviously wanted to at least annex the Donbass area too and if not for the USA he would have had with little to no effort). I guess Putin and Obama already agreed behind the curtains that there won't be any retaliation as long as Russia won't try to annex more land.
The USA have other problems to deal with on a geopolitical scale now and Europe isn't the centre of the world anymore and the Ucrainian crisis isn't that important on said level.
The EU, with it's stuttering moves around Ucraine before and during the crisis proved not only to be a non factor in geopolitics but to be less important than it's members in foreign politics.
分久必合,合久必分
Ἀτύφως μὲν λαβεῖν, εὐλύτως δὲ ἀφεῖναι
User avatar
Aygor
Langzhong
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:09 pm

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

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:32 pm

Aygor wrote:The USA proved not powerful enough to prevent Putin's move but did manage, with quite little effort, to prevent Ucraine to slip off of their sphere of influence by alienating them from Germany and forcing Russia not to move further (Putin obviously wanted to at least annex the Donbass area too and if not for the USA he would have had with little to no effort). I guess Putin and Obama already agreed behind the curtains that there won't be any retaliation as long as Russia won't try to annex more land.


I agree, and that's why Putin scares the hell out of me. This is absolutely Hitler all over again with appeasement and agreements not to retaliate as long as Russia "behaves after this". How many more times will this happen? It's said by Putin aides that he wants to take Finland:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... ia-former/

Putin is looking more and more like Hitler 2.0.

If it were up to me, there wouldn't be any agreements and we'd be over there stopping that sick bastard from conquering more territory.
DreamGoddessLindsey
Banned
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:50 pm

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

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:12 am

Aygor wrote:Russia is on the verge of a demographic collapse and is trying to achieve the most it can before that befalls them, they exploited a -largely influenced by the USA- putsch and the particular political and ethnical situation of the state -not nation- of Ucraine to bring a russian core back to Moscow.


The premise here is faulty. There is a quote attributed to the great Austrian statesman Metternich, to the effect that 'Russia is never as weak as she appears; Russia is never as strong as she appears'; that's certainly also the case here. Russia's population, at present, is growing - people in Russia are generally living longer now and having more babies than they were even half a decade ago. If there's a demographic implosion immanent, it's not showing up in the data.

Agreed, though, the rising life expectancy combined with the massive death toll during the Yeltsin years WILL create a crunch similar to the one that is portending for China. How bad it's going to be? Well, we'll have to watch. But somehow I think Russia will weather it.

Also, 'Russian core'? Have you been playing EUIV recently?

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:Everyone already knows how utterly evil and sadistic Putin is, given his history of human rights violations.


What 'everyone already knows' is usually wrong. At the very least, it's ill-informed.

Putin is, in the eyes of most Russians, neither evil nor a sadist. He has enjoyed a ridiculously high approval rating, due in large part to stabilising economic policies which (after the disaster capitalism of Yeltsin which starved as many as three million Russians to death in the streets) made sure that Russian workers wouldn't starve. And, after an administration which all but rolled over and played dead for the American government all throughout the '90's, Putin has begun to reassert Russian influence on the world stage - largely peaceably.

It is worth note that he enjoys high popularity in many countries along his southern border. Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, they all LOVE Putin. It goes without saying that Putin enjoys far more respect in these countries than their own dictators do.

Tellingly also, Armenians and Greeks love Putin. (After the events of WWI, Armenia is not known for harbouring a great love of crazy genocidal dictators; neither, after Metaxas, do most Greeks.)

Comparing Putin to Hitler is obviously the sign of someone lacking an argument.

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:It's said by Putin aides that he wants to take Finland:


:lol: I'll have to tell my Finnish friends that one. They could use a good laugh.

But seriously, the Washington Times? You must really be stretching if you're getting your news from evil cultists like the Moonies. Ooh, ooh, we can have a caption contest!

'Putin Will Go to Hell for Allowing Mixed-Race Marriages', The Epoch Times
'Putin - the Monogamist Whose Bigotry Knows No Bounds', Branch Davidian Weekly Waco Star
'And You Thought MY Kool-Aid Was Toxic, Check Out What the Russians Are Drinking!', Jim Jones Daily

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:If it were up to me, there wouldn't be any agreements and we'd be over there stopping that sick bastard from conquering more territory.


So it's a war with Russia you want, eh? Guess it's true what they say: scratch a 'socialist', find a neo-con.

At least Russia hasn't burned over forty (but probably more like 100) innocent civilians alive in a pogrom in Odessa, or missile-bombed civilians in Lugansk, or had their own troops shot for refusing to shoot civilians in Privolye. And yeah, I think the people who actually worship Hitler are more likely to be found on the other side. Like these fine upstanding Ukrainian citizens:

Image
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
User avatar
WeiWenDi
Hedgehog Emperor
 
Posts: 3855
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:09 am
Location: L'Étoile du Nord

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

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:39 am

WeiWenDi wrote:What 'everyone already knows' is usually wrong. At the very least, it's ill-informed.


Except in this case. Putin actually is a monster and is a fascist of the highest order. See:

http://www.civilrightsdefenders.org/tag/vladimir-putin/
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/24/russ ... soviet-era
http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/co ... ers/russia
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/f ... umanrights
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... times.html
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... buses.html
http://www.worldpolicy.newschool.edu/wp ... rch10.html
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... -unpreced/

That's just the first page of a Google search. I could easily post dozens more examples.

WeiWenDi wrote:Putin is, in the eyes of most Russians, neither evil nor a sadist. He has enjoyed a ridiculously high approval rating, due in large part to stabilising economic policies which (after the disaster capitalism of Yeltsin which starved as many as three million Russians to death in the streets) made sure that Russian workers wouldn't starve. And, after an administration which all but rolled over and played dead for the American government all throughout the '90's, Putin has begun to reassert Russian influence on the world stage - largely peaceably.


Hitler expanded several times "peacefully", if only because fighting back wasn't an option.

WeiWenDi wrote:It is worth note that he enjoys high popularity in many countries along his southern border. Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, they all LOVE Putin. It goes without saying that Putin enjoys far more respect in these countries than their own dictators do.

Tellingly also, Armenians and Greeks love Putin. (After the events of WWI, Armenia is not known for harbouring a great love of crazy genocidal dictators; neither, after Metaxas, do most Greeks.)


This doesn't make Putin any less a monster. Hitler has/had many rabid followers as well and was very popular for a time. If anything, this terrifies me even more because it means he won't be overthrown anytime soon.

WeiWenDi wrote:
Comparing Putin to Hitler is obviously the sign of someone lacking an argument.


Nope. Godwin's Law applies to "inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons". As such, Godwin's Law doesn't apply here because it's an appropriate comparison, is not inordinate, and certainly isn't hyperbolic. Let's make a list so far:

Elected after a period of unrest ... check
Stabilized the economy after major economic turmoil resulting from buckling to other countries' demands ... check
Rolling back civil rights ... check
Launched an invasion to annex land ... check
Appeased and not punished afterward ... check

That's how far into Hitler's reign Putin has gone... so far. There is absolutely no reason to think this isn't a case of "give an inch, take a mile". World War II did not start with the holocaust. Just because Putin isn't murdering by the millions right now doesn't mean he doesn't have the personality for it. In fact, I'd suggest it makes it quite likely.

I'm not the only one, either:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/currenteven ... lf-hitler/

WeiWenDi wrote::lol: I'll have to tell my Finnish friends that one. They could use a good laugh.


You don't think Putin could take Finland? That's the real joke. Russia would roll over Finland easily. If Russia has one thing going for it, it's the fact that he has the strongest military in eastern Europe.

WeiWenDi wrote:But seriously, the Washington Times? You must really be stretching if you're getting your news from evil cultists like the Moonies. Ooh, ooh, we can have a caption contest!

'Putin Will Go to Hell for Allowing Mixed-Race Marriages', The Epoch Times
'Putin - the Monogamist Whose Bigotry Knows No Bounds', Branch Davidian Weekly Waco Star
'And You Thought MY Kool-Aid Was Toxic, Check Out What the Russians Are Drinking!', Jim Jones Daily


Nice strawman. Don't get sidetracked with this nonsense.

WeiWenDi wrote:So it's a war with Russia you want, eh? Guess it's true what they say: scratch a 'socialist', find a neo-con.


We could stop him just by putting military divisions in eastern Europe, because his largest military in eastern Europe pales in comparison to the United States military. He'd have no answer. If he wanted to invade other countries, though, then yeah, we could give him a war. That doesn't make me a Neo-Con, it makes me a realist who wants to stop World War III from starting because of our avarice. If that actually happens before 2016, it'll be the worst screw-up of Obama's presidency and would ensure at least eight years of Republican dominance.

WeiWenDi wrote:At least Russia hasn't burned over forty (but probably more like 100) innocent civilians alive in a pogrom in Odessa, or missile-bombed civilians in Lugansk, or had their own troops shot for refusing to shoot civilians in Privolye. And yeah, I think the people who actually worship Hitler are more likely to be found on the other side. Like these fine upstanding Ukrainian citizens:


Yet. I never said Putin was DEE DEE DEE. I said he's a monster. Unfortunately, he's an extremely clever monster, and no one with a brain starts expansion with war. It worked for Hitler and history is repeating itself. If not World War III, it'll absolutely be another Cold War.
DreamGoddessLindsey
Banned
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:50 pm

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

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:20 am

DreamGodess, just a heads up, it is usually a very bad idea to compare anything or anyone with Hitler or the Nazi's in an internet forum. So far, Putin hasn't done the holocaust so if your argument is he is a warmonger who suppresses people's rights, you can probably find another example somewhere in European history.

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:You don't think Putin could take Finland? That's the real joke. Russia would roll over Finland easily. If Russia has one thing going for it, it's the fact that he has the strongest military in eastern Europe.


I think WWD is more questioning the idea that he will. Just because Putin could (as could the US and possibly some of Western Europe), doesn't mean Putin will attack Finland.

I don't like a lot of what Putin does and wouldn't want to live in Russia but sadistic isn't a word I would associate with him. As for WW3, always a risk but tensions seem to be cooling and I'm not sure flooding troops to Eastern Europe would do more then start them up again. I don't think Putin is going to invade anyone in the next few months, he doesn't want a world war either, but over time, he will likely seize places that he believes he can take quickly and ride out the backlash.

If we were going to try and make him more reluctant to try it again without risking WW3, harder sanctions would (off the top of my head) seemed the better option.
User avatar
Dong Zhou
A-Dou
A-Dou
 
Posts: 17048
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:32 pm
Location: "Now we must die. May Your Majesty maintain yourself"

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

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:41 am

I know it's usually a bad idea, but in this case, it fits. His record speaks for itself. I'm not the first to make the comparison, either. I stand by the comparison.
DreamGoddessLindsey
Banned
 
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:50 pm

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

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:00 am

According to Umberto Eco, the key signs of fascism are:

Syncretist-traditionalism, nativist nationalism, technology worship, worshipping action for action's sake, intolerance of dissent, appeal to frustrated bourgeois values, appeals to humiliation, contempt for pacifism, contempt for the weak, hatred of deliberative politics, and the tactical use of crude and elementary language to inhibit critical reasoning.

Now, Putin doesn't match very many of these. He's not a syncretist but an old-style cosmopolitan conservative in the mould of Ivan Ilyin (an anti-fascist for whom Putin has professed open admiration), is quite cautious, makes his appeals not to frustrated bourgeois values but to frustrated proletarian ones, and actually enjoys a reputation for being quite urbane and even witty in his use of language. Russia's own nativist nationalists (like Limunov and Zhirinovsky) utterly detest Putin, whom they see as 'soft' on Central Asians and immigrants. Putin clearly places a high value on diplomacy. He may be intolerant of dissent and impatient with deliberative politics, but that's about it.

On the other hand, we do seem to have a board member here who enjoys deploying crude language and dragging the conversation down to the lowest possible level. Who has shown a very clear contempt and intolerance for everyone who disagrees with her, and thereby of any notion of deliberative politics. Who has shown a clear contempt for the weak, particularly prisoners. Who constantly makes appeals to humiliation, particularly when it comes to sexual politics. Who appeals to bourgeois frustrations at every turn. Who makes syncretist appeals to the Americanist tradition of 'freedom' to support her own narrow political agenda - and accuses dissenters of being 'un-American'. And who has just in the past couple of posts shown a very clear contempt for any sort of anti-war sentiment as 'appeasement'.

I'll just stop here. I think I've made my point.

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:This doesn't make Putin any less a monster. Hitler has/had many rabid followers as well and was very popular for a time. If anything, this terrifies me even more because it means he won't be overthrown anytime soon.


These are people who live on Russia's borders. Who have better reason than anyone, if Putin was hell-bent on re-annexing everything that ever belonged to Russia or to Russian-speaking peoples, to fear him. But hey, if he makes some armchair wannabe-warrior who has never had a Selective Service mandate sitting behind a keyboard in the US uncomfortable - cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:You don't think Putin could take Finland?


Let's just say that, even if he wanted to do so, history's not exactly on Putin's side, and leave it at that.

And Finland still does have an active conscription policy. My friends over there have served in the Finnish armed forces. It's not as though they're completely unprepared, having a rather tetchy eight-hundred pound gorilla as a neighbor.

Mod edit (James): Trolling warning. Please see private message inbox.
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
User avatar
WeiWenDi
Hedgehog Emperor
 
Posts: 3855
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:09 am
Location: L'Étoile du Nord

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

Unread postby Aygor » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:11 am

WeiWenDi wrote:The premise here is faulty. There is a quote attributed to the great Austrian statesman Metternich, to the effect that 'Russia is never as weak as she appears; Russia is never as strong as she appears'; that's certainly also the case here. Russia's population, at present, is growing - people in Russia are generally living longer now and having more babies than they were even half a decade ago. If there's a demographic implosion immanent, it's not showing up in the data.
Agreed, though, the rising life expectancy combined with the massive death toll during the Yeltsin years WILL create a crunch similar to the one that is portending for China. How bad it's going to be? Well, we'll have to watch. But somehow I think Russia will weather it.

I don't think the premise is faulty, Putin knows that there will be harder times ahead and that he has to push a little while he is sure he can.
I was referring to that crunch, which I heard analysts predict as rather severe, but collapse is probably too strong as a word.

WeiWenDi wrote:Also, 'Russian core'? Have you been playing EUIV recently?

Ahaha EU3! not lately to be honest but thank you for catching the drift =)
分久必合,合久必分
Ἀτύφως μὲν λαβεῖν, εὐλύτως δὲ ἀφεῖναι
User avatar
Aygor
Langzhong
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:09 pm

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

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:40 am

I don’t think that Putin is going to be the next Hitler; Eden’s similar fear over Nasser led to the Suaez canal fiasco for Britian. However I do think DGL has some grounds for making a valid comparison.

Heck this quote from WWD could be talking about Hitler if you changed a few words and the decade to the era of appeasement.

WeiWenDi wrote:
Putin is, in the eyes of most Russians, neither evil nor a sadist. He has enjoyed a ridiculously high approval rating, due in large part to stabilising economic policies which (after the disaster capitalism of Yeltsin which starved as many as three million Russians to death in the streets) made sure that Russian workers wouldn't starve. And, after an administration which all but rolled over and played dead for the American government all throughout the '90's, Putin has begun to reassert Russian influence on the world stage - largely peaceably.


Hitler in the eyes of most Germans, neither is evil nor sadistic. He has enjoyed a ridiculous high approval rating, due in large to stabilising economic policies which (after the disaster the loss of WW2 inflicted on their economy) made sure that German workers wouldn’t starve. And, after an administration which all but rolled over and played dead to the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler has begun to reassert German influence on the world stage – largely peaceably.
Have a question about a book or academic article before you buy it? Maybe I have it!
Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand!
User avatar
Sun Fin
Librarian of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 7753
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:20 pm
Location: Vicar Factory

PreviousNext

Return to Current Affairs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved