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Is This 1936 All Over Again?


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17 minutes ago, tdhoosier said:

It seems, so far, that Putin has made a miscalculation. There are anti-war protests in Russia and around the world. He’s united Ukraine. He’s united NATO. He’ even united Democrats and Republicans. What’s scary is how somebody who made such a big miscalculation will react with his back to the wall. He came about this invasion in an irrational way. And you don’t like an irrational despot even talking about nukes. 

Russia President Putin meets with Defence Minister Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Gerasimov

Look at the picture from the conference where he announced he was putting his nuclear defense in an alert state.  It's pretty clear he's afraid of assassination.

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45 minutes ago, rogue3542 said:

Russia President Putin meets with Defence Minister Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Gerasimov

Look at the picture from the conference where he announced he was putting his nuclear defense in an alert state.  It's pretty clear he's afraid of assassination.

Good. I hope he’s alone. 

I know there’s been debate about if sanctions are even working. Or if the sanctions were strong enough, especially the initial sanctions. I’m no foreign policy wonk, but maybe having ‘deterrent’ sanctions rather than ‘preemptive’ sanctions was a strategy to push Putin into this corner with his own people. Deterrent (or reactive) sanctions says to the Russian people: “we warned Putin and he made his bed - now lie in it. Your economy is collapsing because of Putin. This was his choice.” As far as the Russian people are concerned, it helped shift the blame to Putin and puts internal pressure on him. Preemptive sanctions could’ve possibly had the opposite effect by united them against the West because all of the sudden Putin can play victim. 

One thing I do believe, if Putin is going to fall he’s going to fall as a result from an uprising in his own country. Keep losing all the peoples’ money, Vlad. Keep losing the oligarchs’ money. I hope the invasion was worth it. 

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I've been busy this week with work, dealing with a kidney stone, and getting kids where they need to be, so I've not kept up with actual news reports on this.  So, I have to ask whether the things getting posted here about how poorly it is going from Russia are from reputable and balanced news sources (if there is such a thing) or from partisan and/or sensationalized news sources?  

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11 minutes ago, 5fouls said:

I've been busy this week with work, dealing with a kidney stone, and getting kids where they need to be, so I've not kept up with actual news reports on this.  So, I have to ask whether the things getting posted here about how poorly it is going from Russia are from reputable and balanced news sources (if there is such a thing) or from partisan and/or sensationalized news sources?  

Pretty much all news outlets I've seen are saying it's not going well for Russia...

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On 2/26/2022 at 12:05 PM, IUFLA said:

Wasn't the current government elected through democratic means? 

I understand there has been corruption in Ukraine for some time, but saying you'd rather have a Russian appointed despot under Putin's thumb calling the shots rather than a duly elected government is lunacy to me...

Agreed. I’m not sure any election in Russia or Ukraine is exactly democracy at its purest…lest you believe Putin is legitimately elected as well (which I don’t). Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on the earth which is why we have withheld sending aid/arms/money to them for so many years. I think the majority in Ukraine that wanted to be under Russian authority (in Eastern Ukraine) already annexed themselves years ago through civil war….(over 15k died and 40,000 wounded in fighting in the past dozen years or so). The western Ukraine through its independence has slowly drifted away from Russia into relations with the EU which was threatening to put NATO on Putins doorstep and would end any chance in the future of him bringing those countries back into the fold of Russia again because once they were a NATO nation they received military defense from all member nations which Russia couldn’t take on. So before they could be adopted Putin saw this as his last ditch effort. He wanted to do it sooner but I honestly believe he feared military reprisal from Trump and counted on Biden simply using sanctions. (Not making this political just saying that seems to be a strong possibility after what he witnessed under Trump and in return Bidens Afghanistan withdrawal).
 

I think Putin vastly over estimated the support on the ground and the Ukrainian resolve for his invasion. At this point I think he will settle to have those two pro Russian states to be independent and that Ukraine disarm/withdrawal NATO membership application. I think in the beginning he thought he could take the whole Apple and maybe some other Baltic states but that aint happening. Honestly I just think his troops have no desire to fight this battle and die for his legacy of returning the Russian empire back to its USSR status. In the end this will be a strategic land grab and strategic ports etc and agreement to withdrawal from seeking NATO membership. We will see though.

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On 2/25/2022 at 8:11 PM, Lostin76 said:

I’m not surprised there are older people like that, but I mostly know younger Russians. If I asked randoms on the street here in Brighton Beach, I’m sure a lot of them would be pro-Russia/Putin. They tend to be older and more conservative.

Yep my neighbor is actually Ukrainian. She is sick at her stomach. Family had to evacuate. Those born in Ukraine after around the fall of the Soviet Union certainly have little connection to Russia and have grown up in a mostly westernized country. No doubt feel very similar to your friends there in NY. 

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4 hours ago, tdhoosier said:

Good. I hope he’s alone. 

I know there’s been debate about if sanctions are even working. Or if the sanctions were strong enough, especially the initial sanctions. I’m no foreign policy wonk, but maybe having ‘deterrent’ sanctions rather than ‘preemptive’ sanctions was a strategy to push Putin into this corner with his own people. Deterrent (or reactive) sanctions says to the Russian people: “we warned Putin and he made his bed - now lie in it. Your economy is collapsing because of Putin. This was his choice.” As far as the Russian people are concerned, it helped shift the blame to Putin and puts internal pressure on him. Preemptive sanctions could’ve possibly had the opposite effect by united them against the West because all of the sudden Putin can play victim. 

One thing I do believe, if Putin is going to fall he’s going to fall as a result from an uprising in his own country. Keep losing all the peoples’ money, Vlad. Keep losing the oligarchs’ money. I hope the invasion was worth it. 

I wouldn’t count on an uprising in Russia. Thing about the oligarchs is that they are rich and in their place because Putin put them/allow them there. History of Russian dictators say he will murder his own people and won’t think twice about it and I think Russian people know that. As long as those around him remain in power and rich and running the country they will help keep him in power. If they try to turn on him he will kill them just as easily and replace them. History of communist leaders says he likely won’t go down easily and the Russian people will suffer the majority of these sanctions.

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2 hours ago, dgambill said:

He wanted to do it sooner but I honestly believe he feared military reprisal from Trump and counted on Biden simply using sanctions. (Not making this political just saying that seems to be a strong possibility after what he witnessed under Trump and in return Bidens Afghanistan withdrawal).

Who knows what is in Putin’s mind, but i don’t agree with this theory at all. As you point out, Putin hates NATO - it’s one of the main reasons he’s invading Ukraine. Why would he interrupt Trump undermining and speaking badly about NATO at every turn. We’re talking about the guy who openly talked about pulling the US out of NATO. Trump was more successful at driving a wedge in NATO than Putin would ever be. I’m not saying Trump was doing Putin’s bidding, but their interests did align (albeit for different reasons) and Putin sure was cheerleading him from the sidelines. You really think Putin would even put Trump in the position to convene NATO by invading Ukraine while he was in office? It just doesn’t seem plausible.

Edited by tdhoosier
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Well this is about to tailspin and get shut down.  

Its odd how people can view this so differently based on one man.  Does no one else see how odd this is?  Jesus we need help.  Literally, not taking His name in vain.  

God bless freedom and peace and protect Mo.  

So sick of division.  

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11 hours ago, tdhoosier said:

Who knows what is in Putin’s mind, but i don’t agree with this theory at all. As you point out, Putin hates NATO - it’s one of the main reasons he’s invading Ukraine. Why would he interrupt Trump undermining and speaking badly about NATO at every turn. We’re talking about the guy who openly talked about pulling the US out of NATO. Trump was more successful at driving a wedge in NATO than Putin would ever be. I’m not saying Trump was doing Putin’s bidding, but their interests did align (albeit for different reasons) and Putin sure was cheerleading him from the sidelines. You really think Putin would even put Trump in the position to convene NATO by invading Ukraine while he was in office? It just doesn’t seem plausible.

I don't see this as accurate. Trump threatened to pull out of NATO to get increased funding. It worked. 

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/under-pressure-from-trump-allies-up-nato-contributions/

"While many in the foreign policy establishment have worried about the the Trump administration's approach to NATO, these findings point to a renewal in member countries' spending."

History shows Trump strengthened NATO- to the tune of several billion additional $.  Trump was also very clear to Putin, and XI, about not invading-  

https://nypost.com/2022/02/22/trump-talks-threatening-putin-mocking-merkel-at-mar-a-lago/

"There are other stories making the rounds, too, and they are even more provocative. One has it that Trump — noting that Putin seized land from Georgia when George W. Bush was president and seized the Crimean peninsula when Barack Obama was president — warned Putin against a land grab on his watch.

“If you move against Ukraine while I’m president,” Trump is said to have told the Russian leader, “I will hit Moscow.”

By far the biggest factor in all of this was Trump bringing the US to oil independence (hurt Russia) whereas now we are buying oil from Russia (helps Russia).

9 hours ago, HoosierFaithful said:

The other mods might think otherwise (we frequently disagree!), but I think this is perfectly fine.  Talking about politics dispassionately and like a historian would isn’t out of bounds here. 

I know myself and many others have been careful to keep politics out of this thread. This is obviously a geo political story. I agree that objective analysis is warranted.

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Ruble falls due to partial SWIFT ban. From the WSJ- 

"The European Union, the U.S., the U.K. and Canada announced a set of coordinated measures, including cutting some Russian banks off the Swift financial messaging system, a key piece of banking infrastructure that facilitates payments of all kinds in the economy.

They also announced a stinging set of sanctions on Russia’s central bank, seeking to neutralize the country’s $600 billion of foreign-currency reserves and sap Moscow’s ability to shore up the ruble and protect the economy from the wider disruptions of war. Trade in the Russian ruble essentially seized.

The quick unraveling in value of the ruble will impose severe costs on the Russian economy, stoking already-high inflation and likely prompting further aggressive interest-rate increases from the Russian central bank."

 

Today should be interesting day ...

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This topic is fine, but needs monitored. The biggest thing is to avoid the Trump/Biden angle.

Clearly there are opinions there, and it is hard to think which is leading the USA doesn't play a part in other leaders thinking.

But that tangent is just not going to go well at all.

And again, we all know the difference. :)

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8 minutes ago, Reacher said:

Ruble falls due to partial SWIFT ban. From the WSJ- 

"The European Union, the U.S., the U.K. and Canada announced a set of coordinated measures, including cutting some Russian banks off the Swift financial messaging system, a key piece of banking infrastructure that facilitates payments of all kinds in the economy.

They also announced a stinging set of sanctions on Russia’s central bank, seeking to neutralize the country’s $600 billion of foreign-currency reserves and sap Moscow’s ability to shore up the ruble and protect the economy from the wider disruptions of war. Trade in the Russian ruble essentially seized.

The quick unraveling in value of the ruble will impose severe costs on the Russian economy, stoking already-high inflation and likely prompting further aggressive interest-rate increases from the Russian central bank."

 

Today should be interesting day ...

I find it hard to cheer for this when the people it hurts the most are people like my friend!

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12 hours ago, tdhoosier said:

Who knows what is in Putin’s mind, but i don’t agree with this theory at all. As you point out, Putin hates NATO - it’s one of the main reasons he’s invading Ukraine. Why would he interrupt Trump undermining and speaking badly about NATO at every turn. We’re talking about the guy who openly talked about pulling the US out of NATO. Trump was more successful at driving a wedge in NATO than Putin would ever be. I’m not saying Trump was doing Putin’s bidding, but their interests did align (albeit for different reasons) and Putin sure was cheerleading him from the sidelines. You really think Putin would even put Trump in the position to convene NATO by invading Ukraine while he was in office? It just doesn’t seem plausible.

I think we see the T**** thing differently (and I have no clue how you feel about him overall nor am I trying to defend anything about him in general just saying looking at the result of his actions) but T**** for good or bad was simply trying to get the NATO members to pull their fair share of costs. People tend to focus too much on T****'s literal words and not at his actions. Everything is a negotiation is a deal....he was never going to back out nor could he have unilaterally done that without political suicide. He was posturing. NATO countries per agreement were to spend 2% of their GDP on defense spending....in 2014 only 3 of 30 met this criteria...and in 2020 it was up to 10. NATO was held together on the back of US tax payers....it wasn't fair and he called them out on it. He didn't drive a wedge he was forcing them to pull their weight and consider the seriousness of defending against Russia with no help from us...and it worked. He strengthened them by forcing them to commit to the agreement. Again like it or not how he went about doing it he got them to act when the members themselves had been freeloading off the US and UK's protection. IMO and of course could be terribly wrong but Putin was seeing NATO strengthening and renewing their commitments. Thus when he saw the recent opportunity that the time will never be better to attack then before Ukraine joins and during a time when he saw weak leadership in our exit from Afghanistan...he choose to make his move now. I think Putin's ego much much miscalculated the ability of his forces....he thought he would shock and awe them into surrender through strikes on their military bases and strategic defenses and yet leave much of the population and infrastructure in place (who he needs to win over if he is to put in their own selected leadership) but clearly his only way forward now is not through intimidation but shear force. I feel for the Ukrainian people but fear it is about to get really bloody. Nothing more dangerous than an embarrassed ego maniac who will need to save his image as a great Russian leader and Russia as a world power than this take over to stall. Sadly I think overwhelming/unrestrained force is on the way. Not sure there is a way for him to back out of this now and remain in power....and honestly he has to worry about his good ally in China on his Eastern front seeing how ineffective the Russians are and vulnerable they are. They might be financing his moves now...but tomorrow they could just as easily overpower a weakened and depleated Russian defense. When you are dealing with evil leaders on the level of Putin and Xi etc....they won't hesitate to turn when they see weakness. Friends today...until China decides Russia as an ally serves little purpose and decides it could make better use of their resources by taking instead of trading.

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There's still the hundred of quotes and clips calling NATO weak, a bunch of suckers, made up of poor leadership, etc. He left the 2019 summit early after getting in fights with Trudeau and Macron. Now I'm not debating whether these actions were warranted, or is it necessarily a criticism of Trump. Putin is a leader who loves to control the narrative. This narrative was benefitting him because it gave validation to his criticisms toward NATO. Trump fought with NATO and its leaders until the end. I'm only pushing back against the assumption that Putin didn't wait to invade because he was afraid of Trump.  There's a whole lot more to it. And by the way Trump withdrew from Syria because he didn't want to be the 'world's police'. Nobody really knows if Trump would've lifted a finger to help Ukraine when push comes to shove (he's said a lot of conflicting things when it comes to foreign policy).

That said, contrary to what some may think, I agree with Trump that NATO needed to pay more of their fair share. I also think that we get into the middle of way too many conflicts. But that's not the point I was debating. I'm also not going  back to assign blame to past administrations. Putin is to blame for this, period. 

The good thing is that, as of right now, we ultimately seem to be on the same page. I've felt as a country we've need this for a while. Ironically, Putin is the one bringing us together....against him. 

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49 minutes ago, Drroogh said:

I find it hard to cheer for this when the people it hurts the most are people like my friend!

Russian stock market and Ruble now down 50%. Nobody is cheering this. The Russian people are going to be hurt. Europeans wills be hurt. We will feel the consequences here in the US from higher gas prices but are more insulated than almost anywhere else.

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41 minutes ago, dgambill said:

No doubt....Russian billionaires will still eat and heat their homes.....avg Russian will no doubt suffer horribly. 😥

Then the average Russian/s need to take matters into their own hands.  Overthrow Putin and install a pure democratic government.

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30 minutes ago, tdhoosier said:

There's still the hundred of quotes and clips calling NATO weak, a bunch of suckers, made up of poor leadership, etc. He left the 2019 summit early after getting in fights with Trudeau and Macron. Now I'm not debating whether these actions were warranted, or is it necessarily a criticism of Trump. Putin is a leader who loves to control the narrative. This narrative was benefitting him because it gave validation to his criticisms toward NATO. Trump fought with NATO and its leaders until the end. I'm only pushing back against the assumption that Putin didn't wait to invade because he was afraid of Trump.  There's a whole lot more to it. And by the way Trump withdrew from Syria because he didn't want to be the 'world's police'. Nobody really knows if Trump would've lifted a finger to help Ukraine when push comes to shove (he's said a lot of conflicting things when it comes to foreign policy).

That said, contrary to what some may think, I agree with Trump that NATO needed to pay more of their fair share. I also think that we get into the middle of way too many conflicts. But that's not the point I was debating. I'm also not going  back to assign blame to past administrations. Putin is to blame for this, period. 

The good thing is that, as of right now, we ultimately seem to be on the same page. I've felt as a country we've need this for a while. Ironically, Putin is the one bringing us together....against him. 

If you read the NYPost article I linked, he supposedly sent a white flag to Merkel. NATO was on a path to irrelevance. Trump rejuvenated it and this Ukraine crisis reinforced it. 

Trump also supposedly said he would bomb Moscow if Putin invaded Ukraine. Whether he did or not, meant it or not, I think Putin had a healthy respect for Trump and was not going to push him. Putin needed a cold winter for the ground to freeze and support his tanks. I don't see any coincidence in his timing right after the Olympics, late winter, Trump gone. 

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9 minutes ago, rico said:

Then the average Russian/s need to take matters into their own hands.  Overthrow Putin and install a pure democratic government.

Anyone that has stood up to Putin....typically end up dead....even his political adversaries...his grip on power is very strong....much stronger than the avg dictator...and even those rarely get overthrown without significant outside influence...track record for citizenry succeeding is pretty low and the price very high.

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