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  1. #11
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    Surely his objective is to recreate the Soviet sphere of domination, and thereby go down in history as a great man? It also helps divert attention from domestic problems that are weighing on his popularity. Rather than a fragile economy hampering his ambitions, I think it actually increases the incentive to take more risks.

    Maybe it's not a realistic goal, but the reason history is full of examples of over-optimistic expansion plans is that people don't learn the lesson. There seems to be something in the psychology of autocrats that they can't be satisfied with dominating only their own country.
    Indeed, the Eurasian Economic Union has been in development since 2015, and while Ukraine was not initially part of it, I think we must assume Putin wants Ukraine inside rather than out. And unless Ukraine thinks it can 'stand alone' or grow closer to the European Union, I assume it faces a dilemma in terms of its own economic development. But if this is the case, it begs the question -why use military force? If there is an economic/trading logic to being part of the Eurasian Economic Union, it would not need guns and bombs to achieve. But maybe Ukraine doesn't see itself as a 'Eurasian' country?

    "The Eurasian Economic Union is an institution formalized in January 2015 for the purpose of regional economic integration; it includes five countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan, and may include Mongolia and Tajikistan in the future. With a GDP of $1.59 trillion in 2015, an industrial production of $1.3 trillion in 2014, and population of almost 200 million as of 2016, the EEAU could represent a geopolitical success that supports both Putin's ambitious political agenda and the Union's economic prospects. Although the efforts of this Union are ongoing and long-term success is not certain, the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union can be considered a hybrid half-economics and half-political “Janus Bifrons” that serves as a powerful illustration of what Putin envisions for the post-Soviet space. Despite promising steps so far, more should be done toward the achievement of economic development and balanced opportunity for all Eurasian countries. Russia's longstanding role within the Union, as well as its power and political motivations, are all considerations that must be accounted for."
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...79366517300258



  2. #12
    filghy2 Silver Poster
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
    You know what Reagan or Bush Sr. would have done? They'd have pulled Ukraine into NATO in defiance of Putin, and put so many Air Force bases there that Russia would be begging us to stay out of Crimea. Trump might have done something similar, but more on base impulse than wise counsel. But now maybe you're starting to see the problem of having a laughably weak President. Suddenly it's a problem for Europe too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
    I didn't read that, but it's interesting. On the other hand who knows what Trump would do. Right now he's out there on his own with no advisors just hamming it up. I don't really have a preference here, it's just a game of brinksmanship between Putin and Biden, which Biden will lose. Far as Ukraine itself goes, they're a raw materials country, iron and steel and such, and we don't need anything from them, nor do we have any cultural ties there. I mean hell, much as I hate to admit it, Trump may be right.
    That reminds me of this article
    https://theconversation.com/american...-stands-130370
    "Participants were asked whether they supported the current policy, which was that the U.S. would take no additional military action against Iran. While 70% of Democrats agreed, only 37% of Republicans concurred.

    Those surveyed were then told that the policy of refraining from additional military action was Donald Trump’s decision. Support for the policy of restraint fell among Democrats to 58%, but jumped to 81% among Republicans once they learned it was what Trump wanted."


    Funny ol' world innit



  3. #13
    Terribly Mysterious Veteran Poster Nick Danger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    That reminds me of this article
    https://theconversation.com/american...-stands-130370
    "Participants were asked whether they supported the current policy, which was that the U.S. would take no additional military action against Iran. While 70% of Democrats agreed, only 37% of Republicans concurred.

    Those surveyed were then told that the policy of refraining from additional military action was Donald Trump’s decision. Support for the policy of restraint fell among Democrats to 58%, but jumped to 81% among Republicans once they learned it was what Trump wanted."


    Funny ol' world innit
    Well Flighty, unlike you, I'm not going to act as if I know what the best foreign policy is. You seem to be trying to convince me that I've contradicted myself somehow, when all I'm doing is speculating about how other world leaders would handle this situation. As I'm sure you'll agree, there is 100% no telling what Trump would do. At this point he's simply going to contradict everything Joe Biden does, if he were President he might do something completely different, ALTHOUGH, his "America First" policy trope would agree with keeping hands off Ukraine.

    The problem isn't what Trump would do or what leaders from the past would do, it's what Biden is actually doing right now. The guy is totally clueless, is he going to intervene, is he going to allow a certain level of incursion (you surely remember that famous gaffe), and if he does intervene is it going to be economically or militarily? I'll tell you right now, he doesn't know. Because he doesn't have a plan, he has made zero decisions, which is fine if you want to allow the situation to degenerate into a clusterfuck. Does he give a shit what happens to Ukraine or not? And if so or if not, what action is he going to take or not going to take? That's the exact opposite of leadership, what he's doing right now. Literally the entire planet is waiting for him to simply make up his fucking mind. What a fucking loser.

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  4. #14
    filghy2 Silver Poster
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
    At this point my sole interest is in griping about everything Joe Biden does. I don't care if I know nothing about the issue and have no coherent viewpoint. I'm boring and limited, so what else do you expect?
    Noted, and I'll try not to forget again. It looks like nobody else is interested in responding to you, so I guess that's it from you.
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    Last edited by filghy2; 02-04-2022 at 10:49 AM.

  5. #15
    Terribly Mysterious Veteran Poster Nick Danger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Quote Originally Posted by filghy2 View Post
    Noted, and I'll try not to forget again. It looks like nobody else is interested in responding to you, so I guess that's it from you.
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    Yeah that's twice you used the "canceled" joke, Flighty, which is reminiscent of the rest of the garbage you regurgitate straight off CNN. I'll be leaving for Germany in a couple days, so you probably are rid of me, I don't intend to spend my hard-earned leisure time arguing with you lot of foreign instigators. But don't go acting as if I've been shut down by your liberal enlightenment here, Flighty, or I'll come back to haunt you. I haven't heard much that makes even a little sense from any liberal on this board, which reflects the problem with the larger liberal community - being 100% full of shit.

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  6. #16
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Although I allowed this thead to morph from Russia's 'dirty money' in the UK into the current situation threatening peace in the Ukraine, I think the original issue is now back on the front page, given the warning to Russia's Oligarchs by 'Luxury' Liz Truss, our Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs-

    "On Monday, Liz Truss warned Russia’s oligarchs that there will be “nowhere to hide” their dirty money in London."

    Rather than waste time contrasting the ineffective 'Right is Might' tactic posd against a supposedly 'Liberal' 'let's talk' one when dealing with the Russians (and neither Republicans nor Democrats in the US can claim their tactics have changed the world), we end up following the money.

    From the quote above I recommend this examination, with the fun fact that on my way to work in the City of London all those years ago, I passed the Moscow Narodny Bank on the north side of London Bridge, and that with my first wages, I opened an account with the Midland Bank.
    https://unherd.com/2022/02/how-brita...ns-playground/

    As for Boris, a man who demonstrably loves to spend other people's money, how serious is he going to be if it denies him all-expenses paid holidays in other people's villas, dinners in other peope's luxury homes, and links to the really big money that swivels his eyeballs into dollar signs?
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/24...garch-problem/



  7. #17
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    If I link the above with the OP, then the issue at stake will be the sanctions that the US, the EU, the UK and their allies impose on Tsar Putin. The problem is that according to the opposition leader of Belarus, Putin has been building cash reserves of $600 billion, so my guess is that his response to the question -What are you going to do if I formally annexe Luhanks and Donetsk into Russia -sanctions?' would be, 'So what?'.

    There is a theory in international relations that stretches back to those other days of Empire -the British one in particular- when two apostles of capitalism argued that states that trade with each other don't war with each other. It took a cenury for this justification for Globalization to materialize, but as in the 19th century the political ambitions of the Germans undermined Cobden and Bright's 'Capitalism as Peace', so the benefits of Globalization in the late 20th century appear to have been traded away, so to speak, for the poitical ambitions of Tsar Putin, and those two other Emperors of the blind -Xi in China, and Modi in India.

    Putin is sore because so many non-Russians made staggering sums of money from their investment in what, in 1990, was a technologically backward, financially chaotic, politically repressed and economically underdeveloped country. Indeed, Putin himself when he took over from Yeltsin welcomed this investment, for the simple reason that he helped himself to a lot of it, becoming according to some people, the richest man in the world, richer even than Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the sort of man who can pay $1,000 for a kahwa and it doesn't bother him.

    At some point, probably in the wake of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein but developing in nuclei before that, an idea occurred to him -Russia First! (Hmm that sounds familiar...).
    The Munich Conference in 2007 is now taken to be the moment when Putin indicated Russia was not going to honour the various agreements that had been signed, either by Gorbachev in the declining days of the USSR, or by Yeltsin and indeed, himself. A useful overview of this can be found here-
    https://www.politico.com/news/magazi...-2007-00009918

    What puzzles me is that while Putin can use the 'Defend Russia!' argument for domestic consumption, he may never feel the impact of sanctions, but the Russian people will. Moreover, what is the point of annexing territory if the people there don't benefit? I am not sure if the residents of the Crimea are happier now to be in Russia than the Ukraine, but the Russians have not invsted much in Transnistria or South Ossetia or Abkhazia (the latter two in Georgia) which they annexed, so the irony is that where Trade was seen as the motor of a beneficial relationship rather than politics, it appear that it is the Politics which is in Command, as Mao once put it, and nothing else matters.

    China, we can assume, will support Putin because his annexations of the Ukraine which he says is really Russia anyway, is no different from Xi claiiming Taiwan is merely an island off the coast of China, rather like the Isle of Wight is to the UK. Modi in India may jump the wrong way too, as his priority in India has been to do all he can to obliterate the Muslim presence there short of the mass extermination of Muslims, though quite a few get bumped off in rural areas by Hindu Nationaists for whom there is no distinction between India and the Hindu, with equally negative consequences for India's Christians.

    So maybe the apostles of Trade -and later, in the US, Global Interdependence (Keohane and Nye) were right, and Nations that Trade with Each Other Don't War With Each Other. But if Trade is either relegated to a secondary position, or used itself as a weapon of war, as Trump tried to do, then the era of peace is over, and we are at war again, even if it is not a shooting war and we don't say goodbye to sons and daughters at the airport, the train station or the Docks.

    And what is it all for? Money? Pride? Territory? As Israel has had to learn, there is no triumph, no benefit in annexing territory for the state if those living in it don't benefit and loathe the state that has taken over. So we don't yet know how this will evolve, how far Putin will go to extend Russian power, but we do know sanctions will follow, and that the only people who will suffer most from those sanctions will be the very same people 'we' don't want to hurt.


    Last edited by Stavros; 02-22-2022 at 09:45 AM.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Here is another thought. When following the Russian money trail, which runs through Switzerland and the City of London, one inevitably ends up in Trump's pockets. It may have begun in the 1980s, it certainly was cemented with Trump's relationship with Felix Sater, while both Trump Jr and Skittles have both confirmed the crucial role played in their wealth by the Russians, as the latter stated -
    “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017...nt-golf-course

    More here-
    https://www.businessinsider.com/dona...18-2?r=US&IR=T

    We know that the Trump campaign held over 100 meetings with Russians close to or supporters of Putin in 2016, that the Trump campaign knew that the US was under attack from the Russians, but instead of informing the FBI and the CIA of these known facts, chose to support the Russian attack on the US, Trump himself begging the Russians twice in one day to attack his country proving beyond doubt that he not only broke US election law, but that he was and remains a traitor to the USA.

    Question now is, what did Trump and Putin discuss in their private meetings, the records of which have never been made public. Moreover, even if there is a US transcript, Trump may have -illegally- destroyed it to cover up his knowledge of Putin's intentions, and indeed, because it confirms that breaking the global supply chain of commodities in order to 'repatriate' production and jobs from Asia to the US, is part of the economic nationalism on which both Putin and Trump agree. Trump also thinks he can destroy or hoard as many Presidential documents as he wants to, having absolutely no interest in maintaing the rule of law in the US. In this instance, rather like Putin in Russia, one can almost hear Trump say out loud I am the Law.

    Trump may well be having a good laugh at Biden's predicament, knowing in advance it was going to happen, that he supported it, and that to protect the flow of Russian money into his pockets, he has chosen to go with the money rather than his country, and that concept, the one that makes Trump go red with rage, freedom. After all, he was himself prepared to bribe and bully the Ukraine for his own political ends. Looks like those ends just met in the Middle.

    Don, meet Vlad. And here's ten bucks for your taxi fare.



  9. #19
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    Right on cue, here come the judge-

    "Mr Trump said in an interview on Tuesday that he admired "tough cookie" Mr Putin, describing his latest move as "genius".
    "Putin declares a big portion of Ukraine as independent. That's wonderful. How smart is that? This is genius," he told The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.
    "I knew Putin very well. I got along with him great. He's got a lot of great charm and a lot of pride. He loves his country."
    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/donald-tru...231334390.html

    Charm? Of all things people have said about Putin, Charm never made it before.

    So, Don, you 'know him very well'...care to exand on that?



  10. #20
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    Default Re: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are...oh, they're here...

    "Moments after Russia announced a military operation in Ukraine, former US president Donald Trump once again praised president Vladimir Putin’s move as “smart” at an event in Florida and subsequently appeared on Fox News to blame the invasion on a “rigged election”.
    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/trump-unde...062006966.html

    - Would it not be more relevant to say that Putin has regarded Brexit weakening, and dividing Europe against itself? It is not as if Boris Johnson has imposed tough sanctions on Russia. The Swift banking arrangements are in place, the Russians who fund the Conservative Party are not at risk because they are on the UK Electors Register -how did they get there? Er....jingle-jangle...

    -So Putin says the leaders of the Russian backed 'autonomous' regions of Luhansk and Donetsk appealed for Russian help to stop Ukraine attacking them. It might not be 'Genocide', but is it strange that Ukraine attack these two fragmets of the Ukraine that was seized with military violence that has not stopped since it started in 2014?

    -I can see the miitary logic of occuping an extended area west of Donetsk and Luhansk, but does Russia intend a full annexation of Ukraine or use its military might to force a change of regime in Ukraine, with Zelensky replaced by a compliant servant of Putin?

    -Could Putin conceivaby ask Donald Trump to move from Florida to Kyiv and be his Man of the Moment? The job comes tax-free, which should be music to Don's ears.



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