Putin: Warmonger, Or, Is He Just Misunderstood?

  • Little Wing replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    I think there is an underhanded interest in turning Russia into an enemy. One should always be suspicious when politicians make those kind of noises. I think Russia's potential for a Middle East peace settlement has also upset a few apple carts. They don't like it uppem and they want settlements that suit major interest parties not the people who need justice. ... What's new?

  • I then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    Putin is dangerous. He's invaded Ukraine, seized Crimea and killed many thousands in the process. And taken the killing to Syria, hardly a peacemaker.

    And its not as if he hasn't got form here, Chechnya, Georgia, Trans-Dniester etc.

    I never go by what someone says. I go by what they do. Putin's actions are that of a butcherer, hacking away at the meat, bit-by-bit, except in his case the "hacking" (putting aside all the cyber crime) is against people. Killing them.

    I do not see how there is any conceivable way the West can have a normal relationship with Putin.

  • Little Wing then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    They need to be able to have a relationship with a lot of dodgy leaders because to get hostile toward them might be just what they're looking for. The world is full of dangerous dictators and lunatic cults at the moment, so treading carefully is almost certainly the best bet.

    The last thing I would want for my people if I were a leader is for them to be plunged into war unnecessarily. That should be avoided at all costs. Tony Blair could have avoided it and he didn't. Making his contribution just as horrific. Many died and there is now the IS insurgency problem.

    Politicians must be very careful to avoid getting into bed with the wrong people and one's enemy's enemy is never one's friend.

    Only one's people should be important. Not oil, not golden handshakes, not alliances to empower imperial civilizations. Leaders who can withstand this are, I suspect, nowhere to be seen in our time.

    Pity ...

  • I then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    I don't disagree with your Iraq reference there, but there comes a point when you just can't bend over and let these despots do what they want.

    THe Ukrainians didn't fight, they assumed America would intervene. So, a shot was barely fired in Crimea. The Russians just walked in and took their bases over which, conveniently, were right next to Russian bases

  • Little Wing then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    I agree that these conflicts are dreadful. But - getting involved in other national conflicts over things that do not affect one's own people in the same ways they are upsetting the natives, is a (politically) unwise thing. Hence the debacle of Blair in Kosovo. He should have minded his own business. He did it again in Iraq. Bad move.

    The Ukraine has a large Russian faction of support. The history of these old Soviet regions is so fraught with ethnic injustices and oppression that getting involved from outside is going to be messy and, like trying to wipe a spider web off your hands, not easy to achieve. It's actually better to let them work things out for themselves, as it is in the Middle East. Or was, until those conflicts became everyone else's business too and got things all twisted up so that violent radicals found an excuse to go on the rampage and other opportunists found an excuse to blame it all on the Islamic religion and to brand all Muslims as fiends. This is actually a smokescreen for protesting against immigration and a great way for Israel to maintain its settlement of Palestinian land. None of it has done any good. Politicians should try to keep their fingers out of other people's pies.

    I'm wondering how long it's going to be before Trump fouls up on issues like this.

    Going to war against Russia is stupid beyond imagining. North Korea will find this most useful and attack South Korea while everyone else is busy killing one another. Radical Islam will use its bargaining power to supply oil to favoured clients. The result will be that someone is commanded to push the nuclear button and we can all say goodbye to the earth.

    Sanctions are pretty useless. They cause suffering to the people not the politicians creating the problems. They are a silly bandage on a running sore. Why some leaders think they are a good idea is possibly tied to their inability to do anything else and their wish to appear to be doing something positive when in fact they are giving people an opportunity to hate them.

    The problem of imperialist powers is an ongoing one, though. The solution needs changing. I would suggest that to do anything worthwhile about it one would need intelligent compassion for the people who have little choice in the matter and pressure on leaders to reform. This isn't easy and some dictators need putting down. How to do this without upsetting the country's infrastructure or enforcing your own system on them requires more intelligence and planning than any basically brainless politician I can think of today has in his arsenal of ideas. Most don't really have any ideas at all and are simply free riding a huge expense account, or dallying with personal aims that are more often than not tied to religious beliefs or ideology that has no bearing on the nature of human conflicts.

    This may seem odd to some, but I would not have gone to war over the twin towers. It achieved nothing and gave oxygen to terror groups. Plus it opened the way for insurgency and devastated ancient heritage sites, killed countless citizens and generally depleted the coffers, made a lot of soldiers and civilians sick from depleted Uranium inhalation and traumatised a generation of soldiers who need never have gone to war.

    If anyone thinks what happened is intelligent, or somehow moral, then they need to examine their own beliefs about warfare and its outcome. Because it is invariably unworthy of the fuss made about its dubious achievements.

  • And I then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    On Kosovo and Yugoslavia (as was) I disagree.

    A Serbian nutter decided through extreme nationalism that he was going to cleanse "his" territory of non-Serbs. Another one in Croatia had similar aims. Chaos and death ensued on a horrendous scale in what was a beautiful country.

    I agree that we should not get inbetween everyday rival tensions in different countries, but this was not a normal occurrence and ultimately led to the genocide in Szrebiniza.

    I fully supported Blair's actions in Yugoslavia.
    On Trump, I agree, but he may not see it as a foul up as he does have a very high opinion of himself.
    On your going to war with Russia bit, leaving aside militant Islam, Israel etc. Again, perhaps we can explore those issues in the future. Back to Putin.

    He's a bully. He's a bully with nukes.

    If there had been a stronger American president, Ukraine wouldn't have happened, neither would've Georgia, neither would've....

    As the former American commander to Nato in Europe put it, Putin has become so emboldened, he may do anything.

    I respect your viewpoint that we shouldn't confront Putin because of the potential catastrophe that could occur, but I disagree. And I turn that argument on its head and say if we don't confront him, a catastrophe may happen in any case.

    What happens if he thinks he can send his "little green men" with no official insignia/identification on them, into the Baltics?

    The time for confronting him was 10 years, but we are where we're are. He cannot be allowed to continue to do whatever the hell he wants.

    It's not been a zero sum game for him so far, that needs to change. As the same American general put it, perhaps if Putin were to receive quite a few of his little green men back in bodybags, it may, may, make him think twice about any other "ventures." And of course since then, we've now had Syria, proving that the general was correct.
    Regarding sanctions, I agree. The sanctions on Russia don't hurt Putin or the oligarchs. The rich always do want they want, sanctions or not.
    On your imperialist powers bit, I agree with you here overall.

    We had the UN to be the "policeman" after WW2, but it doesn't work because those with the power, military power, are the same who hold a veto at the security council. They are the same imperialist powers that you speak of, assuming you don't just means western countries. Russia and China are imperialist in their aims and more recently, their actions too.

    There's two issues here. One surrounding how do you deal with the tinpot dictator/despot? I think there is room for agreement here between the world's powers on how to deal with them using, as you say, careful planning and a bit of thought. These nutjobs could probably be got rid of without bombs and bullets. But, secondly, how do you deal with those countries, namely Russia and China, who hold the huge responsibility of a permanent seat at the security council with veto power while also abusing that position by threatening and/or killing their neighbours and behaving absolutely atrociously.

    As with your other paragraphs, they are a complete topic in themselves which perhaps we may explore and expand on in the future.
    The twin towers attack was an act of war on America. Any response other than a military one, would have emboldened America's enemies and likely caused further attacks on American soil. Once the bombs started to drop in Afghanistan, Bin Laden had to hide in his bat cave. He was still dangerous up until the point he was killed, but America's response to him and his organisation, in my opinion, prevented further attacks on America.

    I think you are mainly talking about the Iraq War and its aftermath, which I would agree with you was/is highly controversial. The attack on Afghanistan, in my opinion, was justified and the correct thing to do.

  • hoxton then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    Agree about Afghanistan. What is particularly galling about Iraq is that Afghanistan was a success until the US/UK diverted their attention towards Iraq.

    Even so I still believe all we did is bring forward an inevitable destabilisation of the region. Dictatorships were not going to last forever, especially there is corruption and huge wealth inequality - you can get away with it if most people are well off e.g. Saudi.

  • Little Wing then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    I think the issues are important and foremost in not repeating history. It's really gratifying to see May saying no to torture. It's also a relief to see her saying no to the sort of military engagements of the past Presidents that hooked the UK into fiascos that need never have happened.

    I'm not at all sure about this special relationship thing. I don't see one, to be honest. Britain is no longer an imperial power, so to have a special relationship with America (the USA is an imperial power) is to court disaster when it comes to being obliged to support it on flimsy excuses.

    Russia and China are fast becoming imperial powers. So there is a triplicity of conflicting interests and everyone else is more or less a target, a flunkie or just in the way. That is the 21st century's big issue. The left is still mired in bothering about the nazis and who is and who is not "a bigot" or a "racist" and weeping over not enough hugging, etc, whilst three unrelated giants are looming out of the mists of a new millennium. To be a politician in the coming times is going to take some deft manoeuvring.

    I disagree that the twin towers was an act of war as no country was responsible for it. It was an act of terror. There is a difference. When Bush declared war on terror it was such an unfocused statement that it amounted to an idea more than a strategy. Upon this idea the US launched an attack on Afghanistan because the Taliban was ensconced there. It didn't help.Bin laden hid in plain sight in Pakistan and it was Obama who tracked him down. But terrorism merely bloomed into a more complex flower and is now ubiquitous on account of unbridled immigration and free movement that is the cherry on the gingerbread of left wing globalism.

    Now that the pathogens are in the body getting rid of them is going to prove very difficult. One can spend a fortune on security measures that turn society into a miserable police state style experience, or one can try and do something about the causes of terrorism and work with the places from whence it originates and spreads its tentacles.

    Thus far, leaders have applied band aids to running sores in this respect. They are unwilling to tackle the causes. They do the same with regard to social problems, substance abuse and resource management. And they seem to be hog-tied by petty legislation, human rights excesses and the need to play to the fickle electorate that only votes to keep its benefits going and force governments to serve the whims and indulgences of individuals without recourse to control. Austerity is met with violence in the streets. The opposite of austerity creates untold social decay.

    It's not always the fault of politicians. The electorate itself is largely to blame when politicians suggest solutions and voters balk at any kind of change. Humanity hasn't grown up and in our time the juvenile adult is catered for and pandered to in the worst possible ways. The west is now filled with fat, obnoxious babies of all ages, demanding pleasure 24/7 and utilizing desperate "immigrants" for all the hard work and unpleasant tasks their own forebears used to do.

    I don't know what one does about such a scenario. History reveals that civilizations that have gone too far tend to implode and never resurrect themselves. We can learn a lot from history but there is a reason why we also have a saying that history tends to repeat itself. I have to presume this is because no one takes any notice of the lessons it offers.

    The future looks grim if those who voted for a bridle on hedonism get trampled by its supporters instead. It's up to people to stop and think. They don't know just how close to global conflict they are, rather than a global love-in. It's important to have strong internal support when those giants are going to be asking you whose side you're on and trying to sell you special relationships that don't exist anywhere but in their dreams of power.

  • I then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    I think your "we don't learn lessons from history" is a good one. As you say, civilisations have come and gone, but no lessons learned. But sometimes civilisations don't implode, they explode...

    Linking this directly to Putin, there was once the city state of Carthage, centre of a ancient empire which in all respects was far more advanced than the Roman Empire, yet, there is no Carthage today.

    The Romans, by various methods, absorbed the knowledge and technology of Carthage into their own and once they were strong enough, destroyed Carthage. The Romans became the big bully and destroyed their more advanced "parent."

    We have to stand up to Putin. We cannot allow him to carry on doing exactly whatever the hell he wants to do. (And China.) Otherwise, President Putin will be hailed Cesar, or, Tsar...

    You mention band aids and just trying to deal with minor sores. But the medicine, as it were, the UN, is flawed to the core.

    How can the body that is meant to deal with the most serious of issues in the world like genocide "police" the world when two of its permanent members are themselves despots, killers and psychopaths, namely Russia and China? How can anything be done in the world when Russia and China can veto any meaningful action?

    Ukraine should not have happened, it is NOT an internal Russian issue, or just a issue between neighbours that everyone else should stay out of.

    Syria should not have happened. None of them should have happened, but I don't know what the "medicine" is to get rid of the "pathogens" either. But I argue, that by doing nothing is not a solution as it only makes the disease spread further until the point it kills you.

  • Little Wing then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    Yes, alas poor Carthage. But then this also happened to ancient Sumer. The Akkadians came saw and conquered, utilized what Sumer had built, passed on the mythology from The Epic of Gilgamesh that became the Hebrew Biblical myth of the flood and goodbye Sumerians.

    They are not alone with Carthage. The Cloud Warriors of Peru were conquered by the Incas and a similar horror occurred. They adopted aspects of Chachapoya culture but the Cloud Warriors themselves were driven to extinction by two forces, one local the other the invading Spanish.

    I am personally very disturbed by this thread throughout human history. Even the Thracians and Etruscans vanished.

    These cultures and civilizations had one thing in common - they were small. Let's add Crete in there too. When you look up and the barbarous hordes are coming over the hills or across the sea you know you're finished because you haven't enough manpower and equipment to fight them off and even if you have you run the risk of depleting your gene pool of the best of your fighters and breeders (if you'll pardon the latter term but they are vital to healthy populations).

    I would suggest that the situation when confronted with giants like America, Russia and China is to close borders and tighten up your defences. Develop military deterrents of advanced capability and don't sell too much of your knowledge in this regard to every Tom, Dork and Harriet. It might be good business but it isn't terribly good for your survival.

    The only way for a small, viable, advanced culture or civilization to survive a greater numerical offensive is to shut it out and shoot it down if it comes anywhere near you with intent to invade. This is only possible by means of a rational closure of the society, the best ground to air defence possible, excellent anti-hacking capability, and a strict immigration policy. Switzerland has been quite successful in this regard.

    Now I know the Open Society is a fun project for lefties and liberals and has been ever since Karl Popper and company were placed in university Philosophy courses and we were all expected to believe that the average human would naturally live peacefully alongside his fellow travellers if certain principles were adhered to and held sacred.This is not feasible and its lack of appeal lies in its practical failure to accommodate the diversity of human communities and cultures and the disparate levels of scientific advancement therein. The truth is that we are just not all the same. We are incredibly diverse, even inside our various ethnic groups. How we are going to prevent war and live in endless genderless bliss is a mystery to me.

    We need to somehow enable independent nations against huge imperialist armies. Alliances might be a good way to start. But at the rate of free flow that characterises the world at present this is the chink in that armour. The west has leaks. The enemy has motive. The outcome is obvious.

    One thing seems certain. If you want to do something about it you need to be quite clear on what you want to do and why and you need to be confident enough to stand firm on your policies because you can explain that your cause is just. Of course it actually does have to be just and can't just pay lip service to justice. I think this kind of sea change might have appeal. It will also stir up hysteria among the status quo and its masses of terrified acolytes who quite genuinely believe that one world is the solution to aggro and "hate". This is absolute bull. However, telling people that doesn't do much to wake them up. They are finding out the hard way and they may run out of time.

    So it seems that whoever may have a better idea than the present one that doesn't have a snowball's hope in hell of succeeding or fending off large imperialist powers, had better make a move and present their case before we all get pushed into WWIII.

    Often ancient civilizations went belly up because they had become decadent. They had internal weaknesses that just needed a good shove to breach the walls. The west has actually provided the breached entrance and added welcome mats. It even castigates its own inhabitants for being concerned. Germany was ruined by a genocidal maniac who longed to be a tall, handsome Aryan and now it's run by a silly midget who has opened Pandora's box. That is irony, it's true, but it's scary irony.

    Humans are not as intelligent as they would like to think they are. Humans are suckers for a good story and so they swallow one lie after another throughout their history and seldom has that small boy who remarked that the emperor was naked ever been given any credit for his ability to see past today's smoke and mirrors. Mention the naked emperors now and you'll be called a bigot. They'll all cluster together and hiss at you.

  • I then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    Just to be clear here LW, you lump America in with Russia and China, ie they're all imperialists? IS that correct?

    I'm not certain yet whether you think America is benign or not. I'm starting to think that you view America as malevolent. Is that correct? Fair enough, if that is your view, it's just not one I agree with.

    I'll answer your post when I'm sure at what angle you're coming from, because obviously it can put a very different light on it.

    Terrific posts of yours, by the way LW. Whether I agree with them or not (and that's irrelevant) they're great.

    I'm really going into the lions den here of debating with seasoned political debaters... I had better sharpen up my skills!

  • Little Wing then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    No, I'm not putting imperialists of one kind and another into one category of "malevolent". There are varying categories of imperialist endeavour. As I said somewhere else, the world perspective from outside of the big hitters often differs from that inside and from the people who feel they need to be on one or other side of big hitters.

    America is a soft imperialist in that it seeks to convert nations to its version of "democracy" by implanting icons of its culture into their civilizations. To many inside those cultures this is a kind of invasion by passive offensive and sometimes it gives radicals the oxygen and platform they require to go on the offensive against some named "evil" or threat.

    America is the gung-ho prefect with the big stick behind his back. Believes he holds all the cards, all the dollars and all the good ideas. Believes that these must be foisted on the rest of the world and does so through media outlets that seek to brainwash and indoctrinate vast numbers of people. America uses the evangelical method (no surprises there) of offering rewards and threats to the integrity and moral self image of its target audience.

    This works well with nations already accustomed to being controlled this way, but has difficulty with nations who have strong beliefs of another kind and annoys secular groups intensely. So America is splitting into at least two major ideological camps with a number of small groups who side with those against the head prefect. Their enemy's enemy is their friend in this case because they are not large enough to become hitters in their own right. I'm thinking of the growing Libertarian camp at the moment. They are closer to some of the Founding Fathers than present day leaders.

    Obama was the exception here and he stood mostly as an individual and a humanist in a sea of seething antagonism to a number of issues he thought were more important than making money. I still think his slogan of "Yes, we can!" is a good one. Because, ironically perhaps, it is the war cry of the independent resilient soul, which has been the American ideal since America first fought off its colonial masters.

    America has changed over the decades and is now the home of political correctness, extremist feminism and a globo cop mentality that takes little to no cognizance of the diversity of human cultures. A far cry, perhaps, from its original constitutional ideals. It therefore has a number of enemies the world over because it has interfered in places that offer its engine the fuel it needs to keep expanding and conquering the earth, no matter the cost. And oil has therefore become the central issue. America needs oil. It subsequently has a chequered history of trying to control the cultures of those desert nations with big oil reserves. Iran fell to theocratic oppression on the back of this as fundamentalists saw an opportunity and went for the gap.

    Saddam Hussein told America that its efforts in the Middle east were doomed to failure because "you don't understand the Arab mind." This is panning out in Technicolor.

    China, on the other hand, is imperialist in a racialist way. It seeks to contain all things deemed "Chinese." It takes no heed of independent nations like Taiwan nor of nations like Tibet. It's a Leviathan that eats up little countries. China is trying to ignore its own eventual social collapse in attempting to continue the Communist methods of indoctrination and control that made its era of oppression one from which ordinary citizens would like to escape. This causes ordinary citizens to look to America and think of freedom but in fact they would merely be gazing into the eyes of another ideological monster. They need to be free Chinese, not clones of another civilization. They have the world's oldest continuous civilization and if they want to bring it to an end they will ignore both threats.

    Their ideological enforcers are busily presenting Japan as a great evil by teaching sexed up accounts of this conflict to young students in schools. This is akin to the EU (another imperialist Leviathan) pumping endless tales of Hitler and the nazis, of racism and fascism into western minds. It's all done with the intention of holding onto power and extending that power by means of the oldest trick in the book, indoctrination.

    The new China is a heavily polluted over-industrialised monster. The old China is dying. Chinese people are being stirred around in a cauldron of possibilities, spiced with threats to clamp down on anyone expressing those possibilities beyond the control and wishes of an oligarchical socialist elite. This isn't unfamiliar to other civilizations both in the developed world and in the newly emerging former second world nations. It's causing a lot of conflict. Often the powers that be see this as potential to assert control. They seldom decide it might be time to relinquish their reins to a new era. They often have to be prised off of their thrones by revolutionary forces. And this is possibly because most don't learn from history. They are too short-sighted in their need to remain in power. This has just happened in Gambia. But the ousted leader did faff about for a week in order to empty the state coffers. Not really a leader at all, just a greedy overlord, like so many others who pounce on politics as a way to enrich and empower themselves.

    Russia is also having trouble relinquishing the Soviet era and its methods. One set of oligarchs makes way for another, and often the same forces that worked in the former regime turn up in the new one. They seize upon weaknesses in their former enemies' armour and use these to gain leverage for their own empire building proclivities. The people get shunted back and forth between a rock and a hard place. When this becomes perilous to the powers that be, wars break out to cement the cracks in the dome of the Citadel. It is no different from any other scenario, just tends to follow certain cultural or ideological patterns that make people think the west is better because it is "free".

    The west isn't half as free as it thinks it is.

    So, in answer to your query about whether I place America in the imperial bracket the answer is yes. It is a cultural imperialist like the old Catholic Church that turned the fallen Roman Empire into the Holy Roman Empire. It is the purveyor of a new global democracy Empire, where "democracy" gets new clothes and is dressed up in political correctness training (think of China, Russia and the EU's indoctrination methodology), offers most nations can't really refuse and really big guns. You can do as they say, or you can face the consequences. These consequences are detailed diversely but have similar ends in view.

    You will join the party or the door will be closed on you forever. You will get an invitation. You'd better attend. If you make a mistake and you vote for the wrong thing, you will magnanimously be granted a second chance to vote for the correct thing. Be wise, vote for the correct thing. If you don't you will be threatened with various hells that pertain to your particular circumstances and you will be classed as one of the little folk who didn't take the golden handshake. You will be classed as a pariah. Cast out of Eden, you will be sent to dwell with Cain in the land of Nodd.

    What is the antidote to this frightening arena of big gladiators with powerful backers and little challengers with small weapons and big hearts? Certain defeat.

    Unless ... the small challengers pool their resources and build an alliance. Then face the juggernauts with a resounding "no thanks!" and take your chances on the high seas of true liberty. They are full of pirates, it's true, and the booming voice of "I told you so!" will echo across the waves, but keep going. Land is out there and you won't reach it if you don't keep sailing toward it. Others may join you and the booming voice will diminish to a petulant tantrum. You'll be too far away to hear it or care to hear it. You will have found land.

    Try not to start fighting with each other when you do. There is nothing a big bully likes to hear more than the sound of internecine warfare among his erstwhile foes.

  • I then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    ...Thanks for the post as it helps to clarify your earlier posts which I will get back to later, especially that comment about Switzerland which I found curious...

    As always, there are about half a dozen different subjects there which perhaps we can explore in future threads. I intend to create one about globalisation aka Americanisation, which is one of themes of your posts. But, I'll restrain myself here and stick to Putin!

  • Heero Yuh then replied in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    I think it's also important to look at the historical perspective from the Russian point of view. At the end of WWII Russia had a bulwark of like minded nations essentially under control from the Kremlin to "protect" the Russian homeland from any potential invasion from the west or unrest from the south.

    That bulwark has been slowly eroded by internal revolution, the EU and NATO. While this did not directly affect Russian interests and also during the glasnost era Russia did not feel threatened. All that changed when the Crimea and the Russian military base on the Black sea was about to defect to the west. In trying to ferment unrest in Syria the west also threatened the only base in the Mediterranean that the Soviets had hence their support for the Syrian regime.

    IMHO we are as responsible for Putin's behavior as Putin himself.

  • And finally I posted this in the original forum to this topic and said this:

    Russia/The Soviet Union suffered immensely during WW2, but that was a long time ago.

    Putin's continued mantra that they, the Russians, are victims doesn't really fit into a peaceful Europe with no one threatening Russia. In fact the only one who threatens European peace and stability is Putin.

    Putin's actions in Syria and Ukraine are not just about military bases, quoting Putin himself when he admitted that Russian forces were involved in Ukraine, "if we can't control them, then we'll cause chaos."

    Ukraine is a sovereign country, regardless of whether Russian military bases are there or not. Ukraine is not Russia.

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