Greedy Goblin

Monday, April 10, 2017

Kim Jong Un, the reasonable and wise politician

On August 1, when his polls were the lowest, I endorsed Donald Trump with the reasoning
in foreign politics, President Clinton would mean conflict after conflict for the US. I'm not saying they can't be won (they don't look that way though), but they would mean awful lot of money not spent on tax cuts nor on welfare. And the elephant in the room is that even if all conflicts would be won, Iraq would be a model democracy and Russia would crawl back beaten from the Crimea, still that wouldn't mean a single dollar reward or a single job for the US citizens while they would pay the price in trillions of dollars and thousands of corpses. Trump on the other hand would mean peace and partnership, which means saving all those dollars. And to reach that, he don't need to be smarter or more experienced than a piece of rock, all he needs to do is not actively starting more troubles, not messing with the internal issues of other countries (including what Assad does at home).
I was wrong. Trump couldn't intellectually outperform a piece of rock and - despite absolutely no US interests were at danger - he attacked Syria. Since attacks necessarily bring retaliation (Russia already suspended the Syrian anti-accidental clash cooperation, effectively threatening the US to shoot down their aircrafts in Syrian airspace), the situation will escalate, locking the US into another lengthy and unwinnable war, pouring another millions of refugees on Europe.

This creates an extremely weird situation: Kim Jong Un, the "crazy dictator" of North Korea turned out to be the only reasonable leader about the US foreign policies. While I naively believed that election of an outsider candidate who explicitly campaigns with no more pointless wars can prevent more pointless wars, he realized that only one thing can prevent American attacks is nuclear deterrent force. So by extreme sacrifices and defying international pressure, he built nukes and missiles that can reach Alaska and works on new ones to reach the mainland. And it's clearly working! Trump currently tries to make China do something about it, because he can't.

The US foreign policy remains - against the clear demand of its people - "we bomb whoever we want, whenever we want, the costs and consequences be damned". When you deal with someone who says "I kill you whenever I please", the only reasonable answer is "try it and you die". It feels very weird to realize that a communist dictator saw things clearer than me. But he did. He is safe from American airstrikes, while my country is not.

Please understand that "Assad gassed people" is completely irrelevant here, even if it's true (it's not). There are international organizations to deal with genocides. The administration of a country cannot be judge, jury and executioner of another sovereign country. With simpler words: the US president has no more right to bomb countries (that didn't attack the USA) than the president of Zaire. It's not a "moral" question. What if tomorrow some guys in the State Department come to the conclusion that my country did something unacceptable?! What Trump declared is that every other leader serves at his pleasure instead of answering to their people. As no free man can accept living under the rule of someone he couldn't vote for, I would vote for signing military alliance with Russia and inviting its ICBMs to Hungary. I'm fully aware that such treaty would mean that Hungary gives up the right to have an independent foreign policy and would have to follow Russia in international issues. But we would retain internal freedom, as Putin - unlike all US presidents in my lifetime - cares only about the interest of his own people instead of trying to police others (simple example: if we would introduce gay marriage or imprison gays, Putin wouldn't care either way. The US administration - regardless who is in charge - constantly meddles with these issues).

Now the hardest question: what would I suggest President Putin if I had a chance? Evacuate his forces and allies from Syria. This is about half million Syrians, mostly Shia Muslims to Iran (obviously with financial aid) and Syrian Christians to Russia. Let the "freedom fighters" and their American patrons "win". The sooner "freedom" takes over Syria, the sooner these fighters chop down American heads, blow up French, mow down Germans and kill anyone else who were fool enough to support them. Assad is a secular dictator keeping Islamists at bay (just as Trump said few months ago), doing a great service to the Western world. It's time for Atlas Shrugged Syria edition!

But I don't think he reads my blog. But you do, so I stop writing about politics that I can't change, write about game economics that hopefully open some eyes about market workings. With every people understanding markets, the amount of poor people who are voting for some "miracle" politician to save their butt decreases.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trump is dumber than a rock. This is why the statist/hawkish Republicans let him "win", knowing that they can steer him thanks to his maniacal ego and self-grandeur.

Bannon was the real threat to the establishment and he is on his way out, solidifying the family control of Trump new banana's Republic.

Clinton also taunted Trump into action by saying she would have bombed all the airfields. But in that case, Trump warned the Russians beforehand, thus wasting 50 Tomahawks for no real damage and a big ego boost for big boy that like big toys.

Smokeman said...

Trump is the sanest politician I've seen in years.

Sure, in a utopia we would all be rational actors and whatnot... but I hate to break this to you, but the Human Race is not an enlightened species full of rational actors.

Ok. What has he actually DONE in Syria. He bombed a minor air field in spectacular fashion. But did minimal damage, the runway was left intact and reports have it that the air field was back up in a day.

There are several actors that seem rational and won't do stupid shit here... Trump, Assad, and Putin come to mind. Morons in Congress? Morons in the media? Not so much. Morons in general? Way less than even those guys.

Sure, you can go off on a high moral ground and say "But! You can't attack a country! They have rights!" Well, good luck with that. This is the "Argument from due process" and it fails hard in the face of asymmetric warfare or massive differential in military ability.

It even fails hard inside a country. All you have to do to utterly overwhelm the due process system in a "free" nation like the US is clog the courts with crap. There are places in the US where there are more arrest warrants open than there are citizens. Not surprisingly, there is a lot of crime in these places, too.

If you watch the media,the world is on a path that has no win. The only outcome is totalitarian control that I call the "Judge Dredd Future."

The solution, if there is even one... is leaders that operate in a Machiavellian manner and manipulate the outcome, ignoring the wailing banshees in the media and the general population. We are our own worst enemy here.

Yaggle said...

I think it bothers Trump a lot that Americans think he won the election with the help of Russia. Probably this event makes him more popular to Americans and Trump would like us to think he is not friends with Putin. It may be impossible for many to believe that the leader of a country would attack another country to increase his popularity. But with Trump, I think it is very possible.

David Boshko said...

Ever since Libya it's been pretty obvious that developing nukes is a rational top priority for any country the US dislikes.

Jim L said...

Assad gassed people isn't true? Maybe you also really do believe that Australia does not exist. You have terrible sources of information and your reliance on only accepting personal experience had made it so you are terrible at judging the quality of a source of information.

Chad Masterson said...

@Smokeman

I don't understand, do you think that Trump is a Machiavellian genius or just another idiot who is at least calling out the media on their bullshit?

Also Trump has always been pro Fox News which is the most popular cable news network in the US by a huge margin, do you agree with his assessment that Fox isn't fake news?

Gevlon said...

@Smokeman: it's not a due process thing. It's not that the US government didn't follow some protocol by the letter. It's that the US government declared itself the ruler of the World. Imagine that Kongo would bomb Nigeria because of human rights violations (there are many). That would be a clear aggression. What makes the US more qualified to "discipline" other countries than Kongo?

@Yaggle: it's irrelevant why he did what he did. Others claim that Ivanka had a bad day and he did it to cheer her up. Doesn't matter. What matters is that he attacked a foreign country that was no threat to his.

@David: and since "US dislikes" can happen with anyone out of the blue (I was pretty surprised when Obama tried to destabilize my country in 2014 just because when Hillary in 2011 told us to change our constitution to be more liberal, our PM told her less than nice things), it's a rational self-interest of everyone. Funnily, Trump said that himself: http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/03/29/trump-i-hate-proliferation-but-it-would-be-better-if-japan-saudi-arabia-and-south-korea-had-nuclear-weapons/

OK, it's not so funny. Trump writing is still a great source of guidance, everything he SAID is still something I support. He just didn't mean any of that, just said to get elected and do what Hillary wanted to do.

@Jim L: no, according to ALL independent sources Assad had no chemical weapons. Hell, according to BARAK OBAMA he had no chemical weapons: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/world/middleeast/werent-syrias-chemical-weapons-destroyed-its-complicated.html?_r=0

He had absolutely no reason to use chemical weapons when he was clearly progressing without them.

NO ONE has any reason to use chemical weapons in small amount. They are called weapons of mass destruction for a reason. Gassing a whole rebellious province? Evil but makes sense. But gassing a few dozen random people?! Awful lot of bad press to ... save a barrel bomb?

I don't have reliable information who gassed those people, but I have a very good guess: https://twitter.com/senjohnmccain/status/339455679800700928?lang=en

Ðesolate said...

What Trump did... ...well, he threw 38+ Millions in conventional cruise missiles into the face of Assad. He did this and declared it, while Xi Jinping was on state visit.
So mouch about not wasting money.

But as long as we don't have to clean up the mess, after Amercia goes in all guns blazing, again... ...well at least nobody wants to destabilize the eu via the Middle East... *cough*

Ðesolate said...

PS:
About Assad gassing random people: Did you know the Iraq definetly had " weapons of mass destruction" in 2003? *smirk*

Anonymous said...

> Putin - unlike all US presidents in my lifetime - cares only about the interest of his own people instead of trying to police others

I debated within myself if what you're saying is wrong or not, but only because people backing Putin are deeply interested in policing others and Putin does just that. If you're mad about Trump's airstrikes, what makes them better than Putin's?

> simple example: if we would introduce gay marriage or imprison gays, Putin wouldn't care either way.

Now that's clearly wrong, since in Caucasus region of Russia, gays are being lynched as we speak with Putin's full blessing. Not like gay problems are my problems, but if they decide to to lynch all anti-dictatorship activists like I am, lynching will become my problem.

> and Syrian Christians to Russia

Why not Hungary? They are not wanted here.

maxim said...

Russia cannot affort to let ISIS win in Syria, because then ISIS will inevitably set its sights on southern russian territories. We already have a war to the west, which we are barely managing without direct intervention. If we get another war to the south, then we will have to intervene directly, which, in turn, will be just the opportunity USA and NATO needs to make their further moves.

The only thing Russia can do is provide all sorts of support to Syrian locals who don't want to abandon their land and understand fully the fate of themselves and their families in the event of ISIS winning (specifically, they'll be flayed alive and that's not a metaphor).

P.S: regarding the chemicals in Syria, it is my current understanding that what we had is an explosion of homebrew non-military-grade harmful chemicals, stockpiled by anti-government factions in hopes of using them as makeshift chemical weapons to use against the regime. The explosion itself could well have been triggered by an airstrike from Assad's military.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: I wouldn't mind Hungary sheltering some Syrian Christians (as opposed to young Muslim men). We already flied in some Egyptian Christians back when Mursi was in charge threatening them.
I don't question that Putin has a gay policy IN RUSSIA. But can you cite a single event when he commented on gays abroad, trying to tell others what to do with their internal issues?

@Maxim: that's a fair point. But notice that's a no-win strategy to Russia. As long as Russia fights ISIS, it protects the West and in turn the West calls Russia evil baby-killers. Russia and Assad now bears the costs of the fighting AND the PR costs of the collateral damage (because even if the gassing was false flag, Russian bombs do kill lots of civilians). Even if Russia could completely exterminate ISIS, all the West would remember the civilian losses and protecting the "horrible dictator Assad"

If Russia would stop fighting ISIS in the Middle East, indeed ISIS would become stronger and a bigger threat to Russia. But it would start being a threat to the West too, forcing the West to either:
- invade Syria and bear the costs of the endless war while protecting Russia as a side effect (ISIS member killed by US can't kill Russians)
- offer a deal to Russia for coordinated fighting ISIS

maxim said...

@Gevlon
Russia is indeed in a bad place. However, letting ISIS win is not an option. Whatever mythical pressures ISIS can erect aginst Europe pale in comparison to what it can do against us. Also, while Europe is sort of a distant ideological enemy of ISIS, Russia is actually in possession of some territories that ISIS seeks to unify under its "caliphate", so a much more direct and present enemy.
Also, Europe will either won't lift a finger to assist us against ISIS, or will extract an unacceptable price for it.

The winning scenario for Russia at this point is the same as the one it currently employs in Syria, as it does in both Ukraine and earlier Transnistria. That is, fortifying the locals to the point where nothing short of direct intervention by NATO ground forces or US nukes can dislodge them, thus denying USA the ability to solve its internal problems by exporting nocommital wars.

maxim said...

The PR costs in the West are slowly becoming less and less of a problem in Russia. We still have a significant chunk of "west-addicted" elite, but the popular sentiment is overwhelmingly that the West can collectively go kill itself.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: the pressure of ISIS in Europe is anything but mythical. There are a million young Muslim immigrants and about 5 million second generation Muslim youth in Europe with practically no sign of successful integration. I'm not saying they'll be all ISIS. But if only 1% will, that's 60000 suicide terrorists.

My point is exactly to leave the West alone with ISIS, so they'll be forced to do something.

The current strategy indeed denies the US win. But it also offers Russia no win. My strategy has the hope of such win.

Under "PR costs" I didn't mean in Russia, but in Europe. As long as the media can upkeep the "big bad Russia" image, the people will support sanctions and don't vote for politicians who appear pro-Russian. Remember the extreme witch-hunt against "Putin puppet Trump". Sure, he turned out to be a liar, but any honest politician looking to peacefully coexist with Russia would face the same hate.

Anonymous said...

> I don't question that Putin has a gay policy IN RUSSIA. But can you cite a single event when he commented on gays abroad, trying to tell others what to do with their internal issues?

Putin is a rating whore bigger than any karmawhoring internet resources have ever seen. He barely comments on anything (actually I don't remember him offering comments more often than once in two weeks), and when he does, he ensures that it's the comment that does not bring him any bad PR. His comments contradict his deeds more often than not, and sometimes are nonsensual(like he literally called all Internet "an ongoing CIA project", I'm not kidding) even despite this filter.
For talking shit he wants to say but can't due to rating whoring policy, he keeps a number of figureheads. Duty to spread his views on gay stuff usually falls on his executioner, Ramzan Kadyrov. However, last time, when Ramzan was accused on imprisoning about 100 people and executing 3 of them (here's some story in english http://www.towleroad.com/2017/04/state-department-chechnya/), even he didn't dare, and, following Putin's example, made his speech through his own figurehead, Heda Saratova. Words are believed to come from Putin himself, though no solid proof can be presented on the matter, and short version is: gay ain't human, any reports on killing and torturing gay victims will be ignored by authorities.
Whether you believe those are words of Putin or not doesn't matter - because his supporters do. And Russia under Putin has long degraded from setting policies by means of formal laws. Instead, what we have in place are informal rules called "notions". And speaking through figureheads is exactly the process of how Putin sets or changes those "notions". I can assure you that after this notion is set, after a grace period of allowing gays to flee the country, they will become "fair game".
Putin is a criminal - before and after presidency. Any government he controls, be it Abkhazian one or his pet republics in occupied parts of Ukraine, he will quickly populate those with criminals who will enforce his "notions", while almost ignoring formal laws. So I won't count on him leaving internal issues of anyone he can affect aside. Not setting them formally shouldn't fool you. He will set them.

Antze said...

What for you need Russia to win? The US is still a superpower, so it's reasonable that it's hard to win against it.

I waited for this post of your before commenting, so now it's time. Your conclusion is too fast. It's unclear yet if Trump really wants to escalate (it's still possible and you still may be right), but many facts are against it.

Trump wasted a lot of missiles to make minimal destruction (the airbase is still useable). Trump warned Russians before the attack so no Russians would suffer (confirmed by the US, then denied by the US, then confirmed by Russia). I have serious suspicion that he warned SYRIANS (or Russians did that, why not?) because apparently everything useful Syria had there was removed from the airbase beforehand. His administration said it was not a war campaign, but one-time punishment. Some Great Britain officials said the same I think.

This all seriously looks like Trump wanted to do something which looks big in the media as a military action (and a typical US-like international policeman's action) while indeed NOT being one. I wouldn't be surprised if someone digs out that he secretly paid Assad for expenses. Take a look what Assad and Putin said on that:

Putin: "that's an act of aggression; we cancel the anti-accidental clash treaty; but we can live without it and will continue cooperating in other ways"

Assad: "that was to encourage terrorists; we will still fight terrorists"

That's all. No one said anything irreversible, hard or insulting, which they would if they knew the situation is likely to be escalated. OK, for Putin it's normal to be careful, but Assad would really curse the US a bit if he really thought it was a serious attack on Syria.

These facts are still not enough to be sure, but time will show. Either Trump is indeed dumber than a piece of rock, or he was just forced to do this move, at the same time showing that he's not a Putin's puppet etc etc

Summary: you are totally right about Kim part of your post, you are too early to conclude things about Trump part of your post.

P.S.: more interesting facts to consider http://www.globalresearch.ca/deleted-daily-mail-online-article-us-backed-plan-for-chemical-weapon-attack-in-syria-to-be-blamed-on-assad/5339178

souldrinker said...

Everybody is entitled for having a political position, and blogging about it.

Everybody NEEDS to be brutally decieved by a politician at least once, to be put in context of the politics as a human activity.

For you, Gevlon, once is clearly not enough since you continue to have illusions about Putin. ;-)

Shalcker said...

@Anonymous:
Chechnya is separate case that has little to do with Putin's values - their vision is certainly not enacted in all of Russia. They are just most "traditionalist" in their own ways and are clan-based, so if there is shame brought upon clan (and they might see gays as such) you have to act and everyone there will understand and look the other way. Similar things can happen in case some clan member will happen to be terrorist.

And Heda Saratova is local human rights figurehead. What she said is that "noone came to me with this problem, but if they did I would turn them away"; by later explanation she was "200% certain" (her words) there were no gays there, there are other human rights problems, but gays aren't one of them - she never encountered problems with them in 18 years on that position... this obsession with gays and their rights is Western fad, people have bigger problems.

And setting anyone speaking as "Putin's figurehead" is ridiculous - you're basically saying entire country cannot have opinion that wasn't implanted by Putin.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: you don't understand me. It's obvious that Putin has a policy about gays in Russia. There is no precedent that he ever tried to EXPORT that policy. Ergo, it's possible (though I find it stupid) that Putin will remove gays from Russia. But there is absolutely no evidence that he gives a damn what we do with our gays. Please link a news item when Russia intervened in other country's issue without Russian interests in danger. The USA on the other hand is infamous to meddle with the internal issues of other countries even if it hurts US interests.

@Antze: I don't want to "win". Kim Jong Un has zero chance to defeat the US, but he achieved that the US leaves him alone.

It is irrelevant if Trump wants to escalate, because:
- he already made the point that he is the president of the World, ready to discipline any disobeying minions, despite he explicitly said that he won't be the president of the World, he'll put America First.
- escalation isn't up to him. Anyone can mix bleach with battery acid to make some chlorine gas, kill some civilians with it and upload it to the internet to make another "horrible gas attack by Assad". Now that the precedent is set, he would look weak if he wouldn't respond.

@Souldrinker: I have no illusions about Putin. I don't believe for a second that my life means anything to him. However I have a strong record of Putin doing realpolitik and I have PERSONAL EXPERIENCE living under Soviet-Russian rule (which were the formative time of Putin as spy). The slogan was "those not against us are with us", meaning "if you don't mess with us, you are free to live your personal life happily". No one in my family was violated by the Soviet-Russians and their Hungarian lapdogs (except during the direct aftermath of WW2), because they were not political, they were ordinary citizens wanting to make a living for their families. Sure, political people disappeared and found themselves in bad places for years or worse. I'm not longing that life, I can live that life. No one can live in Syria, Libya, Iraq or the other places under the US. People die there or go refugee.

Antze said...

I guess in the US narrative one can't simply avoid being the president of the World completely (dunno why), so he would "look weak" even before this precedent and that's exactly why he "responded".

If he keeps the escalation that way, by bombing barrens harder, then why not. But I too am afraid that this isn't the case.

Anonymous said...

I reject most of your post. Firstly any free or semi free nation has the right to invade a dictatorship. A dictatorship by it's nature is a violator of rights and as such can claim none of its own. America can morally invade Syria, North Korea, Russia, Iran and a whole bunch of other countries if it wishes because of the nature of those countries. The issue is whether it is worth spending American lives and resources to do it.

For the record North Korea is incapable of successfully attacking the USA with nuclear weapons. The defenses the US have and the distance between the countries make it unrealistic baring complete American incompetence. The real reason the US does eliminate North Korea is China getting involved and the likelihood of the North Korea successfully bombing South Korea.

For the record for Trump this is all posturing. He is the Peter Keating of Presidents. It is all persuasion tactics of trying to look tough while accomplishing nothing. It is purely reactionary action unguided by principles, irrelevant of the facts which has been Trump stance from day one.

As for policing the world Trump won't do anything until some other arbitrary line he draws is crossed or the move becomes popular publicly.

As to correct move I agree with you that the US shouldn't get involved further. The only way to end the conflict is to destroy Isis since going after Assad releases Isis on Europe. To end Isis though requires going after their state backers which is a huge war . Generally the answer to all the Muslim refugees is to control them coming into the European countries and sort them from the bad ones as best as possible.

Anonymous said...

"Please link a news item when Russia intervened in other country's issue without Russian interests in danger" - What about recent Crimea occupation ?

Gevlon said...

@Antze: a president who cares about how he looks is a puppet of those who make the looking (the media)

@First anon: who define who is "free nation" and who is a "dictatorship"? Everyone calls itself free. Hell, cliche African warlord countries have "republic" in their names. Your statement only makes sense if there is some above-human judge who decides.

Oh wait, there is, the UN Security council.

You and I have no idea about the nuclear capabilities of North Korea. Also, it's surely not hard to smuggle his nuke on a ship to Malaysia, place it on another ship that goes to the USA. Sure, it's not 100% foolproof, but I don't think any US president will make chances.

@Next Anon: Crimea has ethnic Russian population who want to join Russia. Before you'd say they are invaded and oppressed, please note that they don't wage an asymmetric war against the Russian "invaders", like the Iraqi people do against the American "liberators".

Anonymous said...

Go back to your original question, I will cite it again "Russia intervened in other country's issue without Russian interests in danger". What was the Russia interest there, which was in danger?

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/02/ukraine-dead-odessa-building-fire

I guess you are not familiar with Eastern Europe. Here being an ethnic minority isn't too much fun https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebrenica_massacre If Putin doesn't do SOMETHING (I'm not saying annexing was necessary or justified), there would probably be an ethnic cleansing in Ukraine against ethnic Russians.

Anonymous said...

Can you answer your own question? How Russia's interest was in danger, that they had to occupy Crimea? Ok, now they were "just saving innocent people", right? That's exactly what US said when trying to justify their actions.

I am myself from Eastern Europe, so believe I know quite a lot about it. People here still have relatives who were deported to Siberia like 70 years ago and died there. So, just please, stop playing "I am not brainwashed by mass media, I see true things". Sometimes your belief that "everyone is a moron, so common knowledge is wrong" can lead to some deep holes there.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: they were saving RUSSIANS. Their own people. The people of Chrimea are now citizens of Russia, serving in its army and paying its taxes.

The parallel would be that the people of Syria were English speaking, western culture people, the USA occupying Syria, making it the 51. state.

Antze said...

Everyone is a puppet of the media at some extent these days. If you "look bad" consistently, it's easier to undermine you, by impeachment or some postmodern color revolution.

Regarding your discussion with that anon, things are way simpler. While Putin is not all that bad like the angry anon with "notions" described, he's not that saintly to vehemently protect Russian ethnic minorities across the globe. Actually he's often criticized in Russia for not doing that, e.g. for not protecting Russians in Donbass "enough".

The explanation is way simpler: missile flight time from Crimea to Moscow equals 2 minutes, and if he hadn't done SOMETHING, there would be American missiles there (along with little lovely ethnic massacre as a bonus). Hence, having Crimea under Russian control falls into in Russia's geopolitical interests.

Anonymous said...

> There is no precedent that he ever tried to EXPORT that policy.

http://www.colta.ru/articles/society/14209

This is an article exactly about Putin's policy exports. I cba to translate it myself, so either struggle through google translate or find someone willing to do it.

Short point: it starts about russian "businessman" Malofeev, who's been confirmed as an actor affecting election results in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and (kek) Hungary. Then it goes on to a business of russian money export traffic concerning millions of people in europe somehow affected by it, which were turned into lobbyists by threatening to cease the flow of money they enjoyed operating on during the last decade. If this ain't "policy export" (like I said, we're well beyond having policies as formal laws here), then what is it?

Provi Miner said...

One needs to remember:

anti isis gadaffi sadam, they both had chemical programs and we left them alone. the moment they gave up their MWD we (and yes I mean we as in Europe too) suddenly decided we would rather have isis grow and threaten everyone than keep sadam and gaddafi around. Kim knows the price of giving up his MWD instant invasion and overthrow.

Provi Miner said...

Anon: don't be simple. Look at a racial break down of the ukrain pre soviet ownership.

the only reason why Crimea was a part of the ukrain is because some political scientist drew a line on a map for better control under the old Soviet union.

If we were talking historical owner ship..... yeah that belongs to Russia.

Smokeman said...

GEvlon:

@Smokeman: it's not a due process thing. It's not that the US government didn't follow some protocol by the letter. It's that the US government declared itself the ruler of the World. Imagine that Kongo would bomb Nigeria because of human rights violations (there are many). That would be a clear aggression. What makes the US more qualified to "discipline" other countries than Kongo?

You misunderstand. When I say an "Argument from Due Process" thing, I don't mean a failure of due process, I mean an appeal for magical due process that cannot exist. It's essentially the same as an appeal for justice from a deity, as in "God will punish you!" and then praying fervently for that outcome.

Perhaps I should have said "Argument from Cosmic Due Process", that would have been clearer.

To answer your question: "What makes the US more qualified to "discipline" other countries than Congo?" Nothing. But change the question to "What makes the US more ABLE to "discipline" other countries than Congo?" and the answer is different.

"Qualified" implies the application of Due Process above either country. "ABLE" merely implies stronger.

Was Japan more "qualified" to dish out Due Process when it bombed the snot out of Pearl Harbor? At the same time, was the US more "qualified" when it leveled 2 Japanese cities with nuclear weapons? Jesus... If you think chemical weapons are bad... But that aside, I'm sure in either case, both sides thought that they were qualified to make that determination. What they were, was able.

Anonymous said...

So, what you guys are saying here, Russia is free to do whatever they find it "right", for various reasons - "saving innocent people", "restoring historical ownership", "protecting from missiles", "other geopolitical interests" and so on. Though when US is doing the same, you are bitching about it.

Gevlon said...

@Antze: there is one lasting achievement of Donald Trump, he proved you wrong about "Everyone is a puppet of the media at some extent these days. If you "look bad" consistently, it's easier to undermine you, by impeachment or some postmodern color revolution." The whole media worked on making him look bad and made up the most inflammatory and defaming lies about him to no other result than making the reliability rating of THE MEDIA tank. We are in a post-media world with social media where everyone can be a content creator. Trump with his twitter account defeated CNN+MSNBC+NYT+everyone.

The missile argument is wrong. Crimea is twice as far from Moscow as Lithuania and Estonia, both NATO members.

@Smokeman: then we are at agreement. The US is simply an aggressor and the only reasonable answer is the one provided by Kim Jong Un.

@Anon: no. Russia act on its self interest. It gains stuff (land, bases, resources) for itself. The USA does NOT and vehemently claims that it's not. The USA act on "righteousness". Again: if the USA would annex Syria and make it the 51th state, I wouldn't have a problem with that. Hell, I wouldn't have a problem if the USA would annex my country and make it the 51th state. But it doesn't. It just makes a huge mess and leave a failed state for ISIS.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
"Leave ISIS alone with the West" is a myth. If anything, for purely geographic reasons.
Europe and USA have already shown enough duplicity for me to believe that they are going to make Russia into a bogeyman no matter what. So good PR for Russia within the West is not a goal worth pursuing.

The only thing we can do is to - as always - make any serious action against us waaaay too expensive while creating an alternative socioeconomic bloc.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: I am in the Western bloc (NATO member Hungary), I am a voter and an opinion leader of some sort. Yet, I am rejecting the Western World Police role and consider Russia a rational actor and a natural ally. My Prime Minister was the first Western leader who invited president Putin after the Crimea annex. Fun fact: when the liberals made a large opinion survey about the acceptance/rejecting of foreign leaders among the people to pressurize our government, they had to hide the results, because Putin won by large and Merkel was on the bottom, next to Kim Jong Un.

There are many people like me and PR within the West makes difference as it increases our numbers vs the numbers of Atlantist zombies. "The West" isn't a monolith and can be persuaded. Sure, the mainstream media will yell "Putin is raping babies" no matter what, but the Trump election shown how irrelevant they are. Remember that Trump won the US election with an openly "Putin friendly" agenda! Sure, he was a liar, but the point is that the AMERICAN people ALREADY voted for a someone who promised peace and partnership with Russia against someone who demanded war.

I believe the ONLY way Russia can get rid of the US/WestEU hostility is making the population of these countries pro-cooperation, forcing the leaders to change or lose elections. Sure, for a few more elections Trump-like con-men can fight it, but they can con people for only one cycle. Sooner or later a genuine pro-partnership candidate will emerge, win and change the Western politics, one country after the other.

I don't try to act like some angel here. It is my interest that Russia help us get rid of the Atlantist/Liberal leaders who oppress and exploit us for their own purposes. Remember that the US tried a regime change here in 2014, just failed because they couldn't muster any resemblance of local support.

Antze said...

The political situation is a bit different in both Lithuania and Estonia, they are currently far less radical and far more reasonable than the current government of Ukraine. If pro-Western Ukrainian government would be let have their way with Crimea, there would be a lot of anti-Russian military presence there (some Ukrainian radicals explicitly stated territorial claims for Kuban).

Ukraine can still station missiles in Chernihiv which is far closer to Russia than Crimea (or some other place), but it's hard, Ukraine has more pressing matters at their hands and Russia now could solve such situation if that happened without formally crossing the border with its army.

Also, I was a bit lazy and forgot to mention access to Black Sea in Crimea.

Summary: regardless of the missile argument (where I indeed failed, e.g. missile flight time is > than 2 minutes) Crimea is a place of extreme geopolitical and strategical importance.

Regarding Trump, I considered twitter and such being just alternative media, totally under control of the account's owner. I meant that every politician in the democratic world is still dependent on "looking good". What Trump did is decided to look good in front of DIFFERENT audience (not in front of his loyal supporters who expected him to MAGA and are disappointed now just like you).

Yes, this looks like a stupid move. But my point was not to call it brilliant. My point was to say that this is NOT starting a war so far. Yes, it's worse than if he'd just let Syria be. Still it's better than really causing serious troubles to Syria, which he clearly didn't want and isn't doing. Well... yet.

@Anon: no, we are not talking about Russia being "right" on anything. We're talking that Russia annexed Crimea because it didn't want armed mess near Russian borders, while the US created armed mess in Libya, Syria, etc because of reasons that have nothing to do with anything like "protecting the US from having armed mess near US' borders".

maxim said...

@Gevlon
With all due respect, you are a very minor opinion leader and i can't really imagine anyone of your disposition coming to actual power in EU within the next generation or two.

Also, there are reports of Trump getting more popular support after Syrian attacks. So i wouldn't idealise US people as some sort of peace-loving bunnies.

Either way, what i'm saying is that the amount resources required to get rid of US-Russia hostility is simply not worth any sort of reward we'll get out of it. Furthermore, we went down that route once when we gave up USSR. The decades that followed made it clear that you don't give up power for favour, because you'll have neither.

Константин Скрябин said...

I'm Russian citizen, and I'd like to remind you that Soviets actually meddled into other countries affairs under similar ideological pretenses, e.g., USSR brutally suppressed Hungarian rebellion in the 1950s with a justification that they are restoring "power to simple people" etc.

But maybe precisely because of that modern-day Russia is "inoculated" from participating in foreign conflicts when no country self-interest is at stake.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon:

That was a good example about occupation of your country. If you had a choice, would you choose to be occupied by Russia, or US?

All the bullshit and politics aside, just look at it simply, where do ordinary working people live better lives - in US/Western world (led by the "liberals" who you hate so much), or "Russia alike" countries you like so much - Russia itself, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, etc.

Me, living in a country which was occupied at some point by Soviet Union know exactly what I would prefer. And majority of people here, who experienced the life "then" and "now" know.

Could you tell me the main reason why your country at the moment is living worse than your neighbor countries, choose any, which were never affiliated with Soviet/Russia block.

I agree, the problem with USA/Western block is that they get carried with their liberal ideas too far, they apply their thinking/behavior model to all the other countries and get surprised when this does not work. Russia is more brutal, ancient, hardcore, cunning - call it any way you want, so they get along with countries which are more barbaric, to say so.

So, maybe US/Western world are doing wrong things, though I believe they do so because they are just naive, their true intentions might be actually good. If not, they do it for their own economic interests, oil and such - anyway, money. That's it, they really do not care about Russia at all.

Now, why Russia is doing that? Well, I believe they just need an enemy to keep the population minds busy. If there were no enemies everywhere, why the hell we are living so bad? Maybe our government is actually just a bunch of thieves, or are doing something wrong? No, Putin is our savior, all the things that are fucked up in our country is Obama/Trump's fault. Classic. So they are trying to do anything to piss US/Western world of - so when Western world finally reacts somehow (and usually they fail to react properly, being so naive), Putin has a perfect picture of the enemy to waive in front of zombie population (already formed by mass-media controlled by himself), to keep his popularity up.

maxim said...

@Anon
The "external enemy" pretense would hold up if even one year passed without the West going back on its own word and starting yet another war suspiciously close to our borders.
We may be paranoid, but this does not logically exclude the possibility that someone is indeed out to get us.

Also, if Putin is not "the saviour", then who is? Navalniy? Don't make my socks laugh.

Константин Скрябин said...

To the above comment: Russia has GDP per capita like 30% less than EU average: not a big difference, which could be explained by a variety of factors, not necessarily political structure of now dissolved USSR. E.g., harsh climate alone can account for that (for instance, same climate zone in Canada is almost uninhabited).

Saudi Arabia GDP is like 1.5 time more than EU, but you probably wouldn't say that their political structure is superior. Also, age of empires (e.g., early 20th century) saw similar difference in GDP between Europe and Russia.


Source on GDP numbers: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html#rs

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: My PM thinks very similarly as I do (no, I don't claim credit here) and already is the boogieman of the EUrocrats. He locked down the borders from their beloved immigrants, he invited Putin when everyone were yelling "aggressor" (he repeated it just 2 months ago: http://www.euronews.com/2017/02/02/budapest-s-warm-welcome-for-russian-president-putin), he resisted US pressure to liberalize the constitution, right now he is kicking out the university of Soros, despite all the EU is screaming. Don't give up on the hope that we'll be allies within a few years.

The US people aren't peace-loving bunnies. They are disappointed people who struggle with their bills and mortgage, while their taxes were taken for stupid wars with zero results and got their sons back in flag covered pine boxes. I'm sure they'd love glorious victories, but they didn't get any in the last decade and now they'd settle with peace.

@Константин Скрябин so did the Hungarian communists (68 invasion of Slovakia). I don't want communism back, but Putin is far from communist.

@Anon: easy question, I'd much rather have Russian occupation than American.

You mix US occupation with US citizenship. I would rather be US citizen than Russian, but that option isn't on the table. When Russia invaded Crimea, the people got Russian citizenship. When Iraq was invaded by the US, they got a failed state. I would much rather live in Crimea than Iraq.

The main reason why my country is behind the Western ones is Communism. You might noticed that I don't like any kind of socialist politics and I'm strictly pro-business.

I would take a "brutal, ancient, hardcore, cunning" leader any day over a "naive with good intentions" one. So does everyone in Syria.

@Maxim again: you ARE paranoid. The US isn't trying to get Russia. They are trying to get EVERYTHING!

maxim said...

@Gevlon
Seems like i need to catch up on Hungarian politics. Any neighbours of Hungary that feel similarly?

The US (or rather, the globalist superstate that is forming on its basis. As far as i'm concerned, actual US died with the Kennedy brothers) is indeed trying to get everything.
Russia is one of the major things preventing it from getting everything.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: Slovakia and Poland are both vehemently anti-immigrant. While they are worried about Russia (especially Poland), but they will soon have to choose between EU/NATO and getting a couple hundred thousand Islamist immigrants. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/708405/Brexit-revolt-Eastern-European-countries-Merkel-migrant-policy-politics

Czechs are both anti-immigrant and open to Russian partnership: https://euobserver.com/opinion/133789 It's mostly because of a CIA coup there https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Czech_political_corruption_scandal

You probably heard of Marine Le Pen, the frontrunner of the French election: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/24/europe/putin-le-pen-kremlin/

maxim said...

@Gevlon
I don't have any sort of good opinion towards Le Pen, because of bad blood between Russia and mid-European ultranationalism. Basically i fully expect her (and/or hers) to devolve into Nazis, given time. It would be nice to be surprised, of course, but i'm not betting on it.

I wouldn't expect Poland to ever feel warm towards Russia. Basically they feel the same way towards us the same way we feel towards european nationalism, only they have done so for the better half of the last millenium and i don't expect it to change in the future. For example, they are the ones who stand to directly gain the most from Ukranian conflict. Should circumstances every force Poland to accept any sort of deals with Russia, they will do so grudgingly, with a great deal of bad faith and will seek to defect on it at any convenient point.

Anti-immigrant is not the same as pro-Russian, but i guess this is grounds for some deals to be made.

Gevlon said...

@maxim: seeing Western Nationalism as any sort of Nazism is just as wrong as "Russian nationalism = Stalinism"

Poland doesn't need to feel warm. The EU/US will force them to take Muslim migrants who will do what they are already doing in the West (hint: bombs, trucks, knives). So the choices of Poland will be: "Russian tanks on our streets or ISIS head-choppers on our streets". You are right, that they will take this deal grudgingly, with a great deal of bad faith and will seek to defect on it at any convenient point. But from that point it's up to Russia to prove itself a good partner worthy of good faith. You have to admit that they have historic reasons to be in doubt.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
Just as Poland needs Russia to prove itself to them, we need the West to prove itself to us. The situation is made more complex by the fact that we are not going to bother proving anything to Poland as long as they think parading around SS veterans as "heroes that fought against Soviet occupation" is a cool thing to do. Apparently, the West will feel the same as long as Lenin is in the mausoleum.

In an odd twist of events, the very same SS parades will offer them a measure of protection against ISIS and will prevent them from accumilating any significant sort of islamic political presence. So i don't think ISIS is much of a concern to them.

Gevlon said...

@Maxim: indeed. Many insignias of nazism and communism persisted which cause great concern in people.

But here is the reason why ISIS is a concern to Poland: http://bbj.hu/politics/hungary-may-face-eu-quota-ultimatum-says-report_131096

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon - "I'd much rather have Russian occupation than American."

You are trolling, right? Let's go to more extreme - American or North Korea occupation?

Gevlon said...

@Anon: I don't know enough about North Korea to answer. But the Russia vs America is not trolling. If you believe it is, go to Iraq and live there!

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon -

Alright, I understand, you see no benefit in general in democracy, freedom of speech, etc. and all other common "western" values. You prefer dictatorship as far as it is able to handle the country, one way or another - via murder, lies, corruption, etc. who cares, as long as it gives result.

Russia is obvious choice then of course. Though I believe North Korea fits this model you prefer perfectly fine as well.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: no you don't understand.
I prefer to be a CITIZEN of the US or Germany over Russia or Turkey, because the former countries offer "western" values for their citizens, while the latter expect silent cooperation

I prefer to be OCCUPIED by Russia or Turkey over US or Germany, because the former countries offer life and safety for those who serve in silence, while the latter offer nothing but failed states, chaos and headcutting.

maxim said...

@Gevlon
I think Soviet insignias are fine and can stay. If this means Eastern European countries will be nervous - better them nervous than us cutting out five generations of history. Not in the least, because then we will be forced to relive those - that'she just how history works.

ISIS is not a concern of Poland on this scenario. EU is the concern. And, like I said, SS parades are revolting to me, but here they will prevent Poland from accepting any sort of migration quotas.

@Anon
I'm with Gevlon on this. US does not have a track record of taking any sort of care for people living on occupied territories.

This shouldn't come as any surprise. Their history started with genocide of indigenous people. Stuff like that doesn't just go away.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon (1 of 2)

1). The European immigrant problem is actually caused by European immigration policy. They have had a very relaxed stance on immigration due to their declining population and births. In order to keep their social welfare system going, they need more, younger people to work and provide tax money. The biggest problem is not that they are letting immigrants in but letting too many in at once. This creates a situation where the immigration population does not assimilate into the host country but rather, they form their own mini society with very different cultural properties that clash with the host country's culture.

2). Assad did use Sarin gas. ISIL does not have Sarin gas and never did. They and the opposition only have Chlorine gas. The Syrian Regime was known to have Sarin gas prior to their decommissioning of chemical weapons. The decommissioning part is what people have not really dived into further. Russia 'oversaw' the decommissioning of those chemical weapons and vouched for Syria. There was no international oversight at all on the matter and people just took their word for it.

What we know for sure is that Assad had Sarin gas in the past, it was not verified that he actually got rid of it, and the planes used in the bombing of Idlib were capable of dropping Sarin Gas bombs. I am sure that Trump has access to more information than you and I do and responded based on the information he received.

3). The International Community and the bodies that are supposed to handle genocide and war crimes are incredibly inept. The biggest example would be the international bodies accusing ISIL for genocide on the Yazidis but not doing anything to stop it. The actual enforcement and handling of such accusations really fall on the shoulders of the individual countries, many of whom won't do anything about it. The United States though typically does work on handling those situations.

The U.S. is limited by politics, social approval, and economic stability in order to do more. Example of this is Rowanda. The U.S. didn't provide much assistance there because there was very little political and social support within the U.S. to do so. Also, there was no economic stability factor that could have been used as a reason. The economic stability factor is often misconstrued as a means for the U.S. to get resources from a country but that isn't usually the case. With Iraq, global economic stability with concerns to oil output was a huge factor. The U.S. didn't get the lucrative oil deals from engaging the war, mostly Europe and China did. But what this caused was a stable, global oil market so places like Europe and China had greater access. That allows their productivity to be maintained and the intertwined global economy was protected.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon (2 of 2)

4). Kim Jong Un is far from being reasonable and wise. If he were to cease antagonizing the U.S. and our nearby allies, the U.S. wouldn't care about North Korea. It is an economic drain maintaining a military force in South Korea and deposing a non-hostile/antagonistic North Korea would serve no purpose. However, by threatening Japan and South Korea, North Korea threatens the U.S. economy. Many goods and technologies come from those two countries and a lot of Americans are employed by companies that are from Japan and South Korea. That is the first issue. The second issue is that we have treaties with those two countries that have been around for decades and we are legally obligated to uphold to those treaties.

As for Kim Jong Un. The best example of him going off on the deep end is to review China's response to North Korea. They have never threatened North Korea and have always backed them when it came to the United States. This has changed drastically in the past few months. China has openly criticized North Korea and even threatened to get militarily involved because of their actions. This is because China no longer sees North Korea as having a stable leadership and worth backing. Instead they see North Korea as being unstable and a liability.

To add to that, China also sees a United States that is willing to work with China in fixing the situation, which means China can support a pro-China government if Kim Jong Un is deposed. To add to all that, the situation in North Korea is pretty abysmal. The level of brainwashing that has gone on in that country is astounding and the human rights violations off the charts.

5). Everything that has happened recently has been done with precision. The air strike on Syria was done with enough forewarning that military assets and persons were evacuated from the airbase and ONLY the airbase that launched the chemical attacks was hit. Nothing else was targeted. After the air strike in Syria, the United States told Russia that we wanted to work with them concerning Syria instead of pushing them away. The positioning of military assets to Korea are designed to shoot down any missiles that would be fired off and to conduct a precision strike on the facility testing a nuclear weapon or firing off a long range missile.

At face value I can understand where people are coming from when they think that everything is be done rashly and without thought but if you look at what each action achieves on the global political spectrum, you can see what is being attempted. An example of this is the actions on North Korea showing Russia that if Syria continues, we will head shot them faster than Russia can react. Will we do that? Probably not but it shows Russia that we are not pussyfooting around anymore and that we want Russia to come to the table and work with us.

Anonymous said...

@Maxim

That is not correct. The U.S colonies started with cooperation with some indigenous tribes who were at war with other tribes (Iroquoi vs. Algonquins as an example). Expanding further out did cause conflict but those indigenous tribes were not innocent by any means. Many of them had killed off rival tribes before the American colonies were even a thing, in order to have larger hunting grounds or just a hatred for the rival tribe that stemmed generations. Further west you can see similar results with the Blackfeet, Souix, and Flathead tribes.

Basically you cant really peg a universally adopted practice to one group and say that because that group did it they are therefor bad, when the other groups would have done the same thing. I am not saying that things were all peachy and fun. I am just saying that you are condemning one group for actions that all the groups in the area were guilty of, because that one group won.

Gevlon said...

@Anon: Assad had zero reasons to use gas. The Russians had zero reason to allow Assad to have any gas that is good for nothing but trouble. I do not blame the ISIS and the opposition with the gas attack, I blame the USA Deep state.

Trump has the information that the CIA puts to his desk. The same CIA that spied on him for months.

3: then maybe the USA could put some life into such organizations. They are inept exactly because they became pointless next to the repeated US violations.

4: It's true that if Kim wouldn't be so aggressive, the USA would have reason to care. But the USA had no reason to care about Libya either. The USA seems to attack countries for absolutely no reason. I accept that the situation is bizarre: The USA would attack an unarmed Kim for no reason, but against an armed Kim they have absolutely valid reason to attack.

5: being not totally unhinged and killing Russian soldiers isn't something I would commend.

Russia has much less reason to work with the USA than ever. There is no reason to work with anyone who acts unreasonably and without interest. Which is exactly what the USA is doing for the last 15 years. Attacking Saddam for non-existent nukes and then NOT taking his oil is pants on head retarded. The US gained absolutely nothing from that campaign and even less from Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Syria. It seems a bunch of ideologically driven madman are setting the US foreign policy: "we must liberate everyone from tyranny"

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: 1 of 2

Assad has every reason to use gas. The biggest reason is because he does not have a large army anymore and cannot afford to lose troops in a ground war. Gassing opposition and ISIL ground forces allows him to create maximum casualties with no loss. That is why his army does not fully defend areas if they believe that they are going to lose the fight or take on too many casualties. He just doesn't have the human resources to fight a conventional war against both ISIL and opposition forces.

Trump has the information the the CIA, NSA, NGA, DIA, and other intelligence agencies give him. I will agree that in some areas, there are issues and bias but with the totality of information presented to him, he can actually made very informed decisions.

Those organizations were inept because they have zero enforcement capabilities.

I agree with your assessment of Libya. Godoffi was a terrible person but complied completely after Saddam was removed. However, his removal was a policy decision under a different administration and not under Trump. My personal belief is that Obama was anti colonialism and was supporting the Arab Spring movement to remove the last vestiges of colonialism (Western approved governments) in the Middle East. There is/was absolutely no reason for Obama to support opposition in Syria. Syria was the only country aside from Israel to be a modern, western leaning (culturally), secular government. Sadly we are cleaning up that mess.

Russia actually has far more to gain in working with Trump and his administration. Easing or removing sanctions would be huge, trading with the United States would also be significant, and the current U.S. administration has zero desire to expand U.S. influence outside of trade deals.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon 2 of 2

On a separate note, the attack on Saddam was not entirely about nukes. He had weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) and he had used them multiple times. The biggest reason for going into Iraq was to prevent his two sons from taking control of the country. Both were very unstable and since Saddam appointed his youngest as his successor, there would have been civil war (because in Arab culture the oldest inherits the leadership position but Saddam's oldest was too unstable and Saddam gave that position to is youngest son).

The other part is economic stability. Iraq is an oil rich nation near other oil rich nations. Disrupting the flow of oil at that time would have massive negative, global effect. This is not about the U.S. getting the oil but making sure the global market got the oil. Europe and China specifically would have had severe issues economically if there was an oil shortage due to Iraq attacking Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or other nearby oil producing countries. The backlash would have hit the U.S. since we rely on China for cheap manufactured goods and Europe for other trade.

The real issue with the second Iraq war is that Bush Jr. made the colossal mistake of disbanding the Iraqi military instead of incorporating it and building up the country. That is why we are still there and why ISIL is around now. The forever war mentality of Neocons is pretty disturbing but real.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon

Oh, you and I could have a lengthy discussion on why the U.S. for the last 24-28 years has royally messed up the wars we have engaged in. It really boils down to using real and legit reasons for going to war and then stretching it out so that special interest groups gain maximum profit on it. Resources are not a big deal when you can increase the taxes on 325 million people.