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What's going on in the world
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
John McCain is the most wicked and despicable politician in the United States. I utterly detest that man. I wish he would take his yellow teeth to a far-off island and not show his face in public again.
04-Mar-2014 08:18 PM
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TsarMatt Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
Man, RT (Kremlin funded propaganda) is doing its hardest to convince its viewers that Putin hasn't invaded the Crimea and, if he did, it is justifiable.

I just wish both the West and Russia will leave Ukraine along. Russia use it for its naval fleet and the fact that it borders with EU countries and the West will use it to expand NATO forces... Nobody cares about the Ukrainian people. It just feels like a proxy country for a Cold War that never ended.
05-Mar-2014 04:26 AM
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Kieran (03-05-2014)
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RE: What's going on in the world
(04-Mar-2014 08:18 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  John McCain is the most wicked and despicable politician in the United States. I utterly detest that man. I wish he would take his yellow teeth to a far-off island and not show his face in public again.

He's a crap politician, but endured unparalleled turmoil during the Vietnam War.

I mean, it's amazing he got out of alive.
05-Mar-2014 04:27 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
The French army is making war preperations in the Ukraine. Additional reverse gears have been fitted to all tanks and President Hollande is expected to surrendur before the week is over.
05-Mar-2014 10:14 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
That was funny britbox! Seriously, though, Crimea is staying under Russian control for the foreseeable future. The eastern Ukraine will remain a political toy for Putin to get other concessions about the EU and Syria.

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05-Mar-2014 10:24 AM
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RE: What's going on in the world
whatever passes as local authority in crimea (a bit like councils in the uk I presume ?) have announced a referendum for the people of crimea to decide if they want to become part of Russia or stay as part of Ukraine..

I think this referendum will be as soon as march 16th.

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06-Mar-2014 07:28 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
Well, the U.S. political elite and media are sinking to even lower depths than I had imagined possible. Hillary Clinton just compared Putin to Hitler, and she got support from a supposed ideological enemy in Bill O'Reilly. Speaking of O'Reilly, Fox News's coverage of the Ukraine crisis has been outrageously stupid and hypocritical. They are trotting out every disgraced former member of the Bush administration - as if those fools have any credibility - to stoke up anti-Russian animus.

The comparison of Putin to Hitler is truly one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. For all the billions spent on what is inappropriately called "education" in America, the best we can get from it is a legion of clowns in media and politics who compare everything they dislike or oppose to Hitler. The Tea Party compares Obama to Hitler. The Beltway establishment compares every foreign leader it doesn't like to Hitler. Simply equation: everything you don't like = Hitler.

Half of Ukraine is Russian-speaking and belonged to Russia up until 1954. This is a natural and profound issue for Russia to be involved with. The United States needs to get out and worry about its one million internal problems - such as how a man like John McCain is anywhere near a position of influence in our country.

And, perhaps the greatest irony is that the United States has just propelled explicitly neo-fascist/anti-Semitic groups to power in Kiev. The stupidity and hypocrisy of U.S. leaders truly cannot be measured.
(This post was last modified: 06-Mar-2014 11:26 PM by calitennis127.)
06-Mar-2014 11:20 PM
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TsarMatt Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
Yeah, the Crimea is staying with Russia. What happens for the rest of Ukraine is ambiguous at this stage. NATO will do everything to expand its presence into the country, that's for sure.
07-Mar-2014 01:10 AM
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TsarMatt Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
(06-Mar-2014 11:20 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  Well, the U.S. political elite and media are sinking to even lower depths than I had imagined possible. Hillary Clinton just compared Putin to Hitler, and she got support from a supposed ideological enemy in Bill O'Reilly. Speaking of O'Reilly, Fox News's coverage of the Ukraine crisis has been outrageously stupid and hypocritical. They are trotting out every disgraced former member of the Bush administration - as if those fools have any credibility - to stoke up anti-Russian animus.

The comparison of Putin to Hitler is truly one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. For all the billions spent on what is inappropriately called "education" in America, the best we can get from it is a legion of clowns in media and politics who compare everything they dislike or oppose to Hitler. The Tea Party compares Obama to Hitler. The Beltway establishment compares every foreign leader it doesn't like to Hitler. Simply equation: everything you don't like = Hitler.

Half of Ukraine is Russian-speaking and belonged to Russia up until 1954. This is a natural and profound issue for Russia to be involved with. The United States needs to get out and worry about its one million internal problems - such as how a man like John McCain is anywhere near a position of influence in our country.

And, perhaps the greatest irony is that the United States has just propelled explicitly neo-fascist/anti-Semitic groups to power in Kiev. The stupidity and hypocrisy of U.S. leaders truly cannot be measured.
The mainstream media are an absolute joke. Look, I don't personally like Putin, but equating him with Hitler is moronic in the extreme. Still, neither the West nor Russia are innocent here. They're merely trying to exploit Ukraine's geographical significance for their own personal gains. Any politician who says they support this side or that side for 'humanitarian reasons' are just full of it.
07-Mar-2014 01:12 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
So the land-grabbing dictator Putin gets compared to the land-grabbing dictator Hitler...sounds fair to me. What? Do you think they were comparing him to everything Hitler ever did?

I think Stalin is more Putin's type, anyway, but in this example in Ukraine, there are fair comparisons with Hitler's moves in Sudetenland.

(06-Mar-2014 11:20 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  Half of Ukraine is Russian-speaking and belonged to Russia up until 1954. This is a natural and profound issue for Russia to be involved with.


94% of Ireland is English-speaking and belonged to the United Kingdom up until 1948. What's the point you're making?

100% of Crimea is Ukrainian, and Russia isn't "naturally and profoundly involved with it" - they've invaded it. They've annexed it and are threatening to invade Ukraine. Who's next? You think the Baltic states feel safe? And by the way, there's a huge Russian population in Estonia and Latvia - what will you think when Russia becomes "naturally and profoundly involved with them?" They're both members of NATO. And if you think I'm exaggerating the extent of Eastern European fears, and especially the Ukrainians, Poles and Baltics, try talking to people from them regions who lived through the previous reign of evil brought on them by Russia. There's a large population from each of these states in Ireland and they're in a condition of extreme agitation at what's going on in Ukraine.

Now, I don't mind you arguing for US isolationism, that's fair enough: you're American. You might tell me what the rules are, out of friendship, for American isolationism, by the way. When and where do they apply it. I know Obama has neither the will nor the expertise to make the US a big player on the world stage, but is this something you prefer? And if so, are you happy for a guy like Putin to make the running?

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07-Mar-2014 04:53 AM
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TsarMatt (03-07-2014)
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RE: What's going on in the world
^ You're missing some subtle points here Kieran.

The Crimea was traditionally part of Russia. It was "given away" by a Russian leader to the Ukraine without any consultation, referendum... They became "Ukranian" on a whim without a say in the matter.

Now the autonomous democratically elected Crimean parliament have VOTED to return to Russia - now they have been given the option to decide for themselves. The people will get a referendum. It's self-determination.

Now, I'm unclear why you think that's so horrific or Stalin-esque.

The alternative? Being controlled by a bunch of people who overthrew a democratically elected government in Kiev in what was essentially a violent coup.

There is no comparison with Ireland. The Irish people in the republic would neither welcome or vote for a UK government to be running the country.

I'm also confused what you are expecting or wanting Obama to do. Perhaps you'd like to explain... because as it stands it appears that you think Obama should somehow force the Crimeans to be ruled by a government that overthrew a democracy in a coup, a government they don't identify with and don't want to be a part of. Would you be looking at Stalinist measures to crush their self-determination and force them to be governed by them?

I said in the first post on the thread that Russia would take the Crimea. They won't go anywhere near Estonia, Latvia and Lithunia. If they do, we'll revisit it... but all that is, is scaremongering and propoganda from the western press. I didn't see the Americans complaining when the Saudis sent in troops to crush pro-democracy opposition in Bahrain or the regular breaches of sovereignty using drones in Pakistan, supporting massive breaches of sovereignty in Syria, Libya and overthrowing the regime in Iraq. International law is only recognised when somebody else is breaking it.

As it stands right now, the Russians have about 16,000 troops in the Crimea. They are actually allowed 25,000 in their existing arrangement with the Ukraine anyway.
07-Mar-2014 05:37 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
Buddy, I can't believe you think the Crimean parliament is legitimate and can decide arbitrarily to join Russia - without noticing the fist that's forcing things there. Putin the Liberator! That sounds grimly familiar. No No

As for the Baltics, tell them not to worry. Tell anyone who lived in the former USSR not to worry about the autocratic KGB guy who's flexing the big Bear's muscles.

As for Obama and the west, the very least they should do is show that Europe is no longer the gift of tyrants. Economically they can go in hard with sanctions, and if needs be, they can throw some aid to the Ukrainians to help them fight the Russians. Remember, the democratically elected prez of Ukraine was no renaissance man. The alternative may not even be better: none of this gives Putin the right to steal lands that are not his, which is a fact he agreed with until recently...

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07-Mar-2014 05:54 AM
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TsarMatt Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
(07-Mar-2014 04:53 AM)Kieran Wrote:  So the land-grabbing dictator Putin gets compared to the land-grabbing dictator Hitler...sounds fair to me. What? Do you think they were comparing him to everything Hitler ever did?

I think Stalin is more Putin's type, anyway, but in this example in Ukraine, there are fair comparisons with Hitler's moves in Sudetenland.

(06-Mar-2014 11:20 PM)calitennis127 Wrote:  Half of Ukraine is Russian-speaking and belonged to Russia up until 1954. This is a natural and profound issue for Russia to be involved with.


94% of Ireland is English-speaking and belonged to the United Kingdom up until 1948. What's the point you're making?

100% of Crimea is Ukrainian, and Russia isn't "naturally and profoundly involved with it" - they've invaded it. They've annexed it and are threatening to invade Ukraine. Who's next? You think the Baltic states feel safe? And by the way, there's a huge Russian population in Estonia and Latvia - what will you think when Russia becomes "naturally and profoundly involved with them?" They're both members of NATO. And if you think I'm exaggerating the extent of Eastern European fears, and especially the Ukrainians, Poles and Baltics, try talking to people from them regions who lived through the previous reign of evil brought on them by Russia. There's a large population from each of these states in Ireland and they're in a condition of extreme agitation at what's going on in Ukraine.

Now, I don't mind you arguing for US isolationism, that's fair enough: you're American. You might tell me what the rules are, out of friendship, for American isolationism, by the way. When and where do they apply it. I know Obama has neither the will nor the expertise to make the US a big player on the world stage, but is this something you prefer? And if so, are you happy for a guy like Putin to make the running?

Honestly, if the Crimea never provided a gateway to their naval fleet, this wouldn't be happening right now...
07-Mar-2014 05:56 AM
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Kieran (03-07-2014)
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RE: What's going on in the world
^^ Exactly. It's militarily strategic, not benevolence for the sake of Russian speakers in the region...

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07-Mar-2014 06:00 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
(07-Mar-2014 05:54 AM)Kieran Wrote:  Buddy, I can't believe you think the Crimean parliament is legitimate and can decide arbitrarily to join Russia - without noticing the fist that's forcing things there. Putin the Liberator! That sounds grimly familiar. No No

As for the Baltics, tell them not to worry. Tell anyone who lived in the former USSR not to worry about the autocratic KGB guy who's flexing the big Bear's muscles.

As for Obama and the west, the very least they should do is show that Europe is no longer the gift of tyrants. Economically they can go in hard with sanctions, and if needs be, they can throw some aid to the Ukrainians to help them fight the Russians. Remember, the democratically elected prez of Ukraine was no renaissance man. The alternative may not even be better: none of this gives Putin the right to steal lands that are not his, which is a fact he agreed with until recently...

The Crimean parliament was democratically elected before this unfolded... let's just say they have far more legitimacy than the current rabble in Kiev who aren't democratically elected.

One important point getting overlooked here is that the former president Viktor Yanukovych was largely carried to power by votes from the Eastern regions of the Ukraine. The regions that lean toward Russian influence. That was a democratic election. He's been overthrown by people in the west who lean toward greater European integration.

Now, you appear to be demanding that these regions fall in behind the leadership they didn't vote for, isn't democratically elected and have basically ridden roughshod over the vote of the Ukraine as a whole nation. Moreso, you want the United States to start throwing it's weight around...

The Baltics might "worry" - largely because of the ridiculous western press reporting and scaremongering to whip everyone into a frenzy. Russia will not be invading the baltics or have tanks lined up on the Polish border anytime soon....

Now the smart move by Obama, the US Administration and the EU is to bark loudly in public and do next to nothing.

Why? First of all, the US and the EU are to all intent and purposes broke. Getting involved in some large scale confrontation in the Ukraine with the Russians is not Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria.... and look how they have turned out.

Secondly, the Americans and EU would be foolish to give too many billions in aid to the Ukraine, because most of it will end up in Russian banks. Why? The Ukraine owe Russia billions for gas. Russia could turn off the gas supply to the Ukraine overnight on a whim. They will get paid.

Thirdly, sanctions will be applied (and they will be made out to be more significant in the western press than the reality). In reality, Russian's biggest export is energy. It supplies Europe with 40% of it's energy. No way,the EU will sanction that. The UK have also asked for the "City of London" to be exempt from any proposed EU sanctions with Russia.
It's trade with the U.S. is minimal and it's fastest growing trade partner is China.

So, while you think Obama is being stupid and weak, he's probably actually being a whole lot smarter than you realize. Behind the scenes, both sides will already be laying out lines in the sand... and I'd expect the west to have acknowledged Crimea has already gone. Worst case scenario, is Putin does a bit more land grabbing in the east (which I'd suggest is unlikely)... no way, he'll be rolling tanks into the western regions unless some major events completely change the whole situation.
07-Mar-2014 06:18 AM
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TsarMatt Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
(07-Mar-2014 06:00 AM)Kieran Wrote:  ^^ Exactly. It's militarily strategic, not benevolence for the sake of Russian speakers in the region...

Yeah, I laugh at those who think Russia invaded for "humanitarian reasons". It's all strategic. Putin doesn't give a crap about the "ethnic Russians". Nobody really cares about the Ukrainian people here. The West want it for NATO and Russia want it for its naval fleet, among other things.
07-Mar-2014 06:55 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: What's going on in the world
^ No government cares about "humanitarian reasons"... but Russia needs people. The demographic estimates for Russia indicate a big population drop over the next 50 years. Russia has a "people" requirement.
07-Mar-2014 07:04 AM
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RE: What's going on in the world
(07-Mar-2014 06:18 AM)britbox Wrote:  The Baltics might "worry" - largely because of the ridiculous western press reporting and scaremongering to whip everyone into a frenzy. Russia will not be invading the baltics or have tanks lined up on the Polish border anytime soon....

I think the Baltic states are even closer to Russia than the western media: they make their own minds up. They lived under a regime that took away their liberty and tried to wipe out any independent thinkers. Putin is a guy they recognise, without being told by the west who he is. Both Poland and Lithuania have invoked Article 4 of the NATO treaty, which any member is entitled to invoke if they feel threatened. It's the first time in NATO's 55 year history that a meeting relating to this article this has been called, in Europe.

Quote:Marko Mihkelson, who chairs the Estonian parliament's foreign policy committee, tweeted on Saturday, "If West does not wake up to Russian aggressive foreign policy, tomorrow will be too late."

Crimea was taken by force. I'm surprised you're overlooking this. You seem to think that whatever they decide now is democratically decided. Maybe it is, the way Russians do democracy. You said above that Crimea 'was "given away" by a Russian leader to the Ukraine without any consultation, referendum... They became "Ukranian" on a whim without a say in the matter.'

What would a referendum mean, in the old USSR? Seriously. It would mean that whatever the secretary of the Communist Party wanted, maybe with 100% for, and 3% against. That kind of thing. Fact is, since then Russia has reiterated that Crimea is Ukrainian.

Now they'll hold a referendum, when? Is it tomorrow? Or next Tuesday? Gives them all plenty of time to campaign, but why would they need to campaign? What would be the point?

Now, maybe Yanukovych was "overthrown", but do you think this was unfair? I'm not saying that the change of power has given Ukraine a better system, but I doubt it's given it a worse one. Even still, none of this gives Russia rights to invade and steal Crimea.

None of it.

The Wests role in this - going forward - is going to be interesting. The fact that Russia has threatened war with Ukraine and is throwing shapes on the border, allied to the fact that - as you say - "Russia could turn off the gas supply to the Ukraine overnight on a whim" - makes the case for intervention of some sort actually imperative. But I agree it won't happen. They'll rattle bin heads and do nothing. And Putin will see their weakness and won't stop there. He didn't stop in Georgia and he won't stop in Crimea. You may disagree, but that's what the forum is for! Wink

My own wish at the start of this thread was simple: is it too much to ask that Ukraine sorts this out in-house? Of course it is, but Putin's invasion of a sovereign state is the worst possible start to any solution in the region... No No

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RE: What's going on in the world
(07-Mar-2014 07:04 AM)britbox Wrote:  ^ No government cares about "humanitarian reasons"... but Russia needs people. The demographic estimates for Russia indicate a big population drop over the next 50 years. Russia has a "people" requirement.

There's a way of achieving this without stealing them. I could tell you but you might ban me... :snigger

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RE: What's going on in the world
(07-Mar-2014 07:57 AM)Kieran Wrote:  
(07-Mar-2014 06:18 AM)britbox Wrote:  The Baltics might "worry" - largely because of the ridiculous western press reporting and scaremongering to whip everyone into a frenzy. Russia will not be invading the baltics or have tanks lined up on the Polish border anytime soon....

I think the Baltic states are even closer to Russia than the western media: they make their own minds up. They lived under a regime that took away their liberty and tried to wipe out any independent thinkers. Putin is a guy they recognise, without being told by the west who he is. Both Poland and Lithuania have invoked Article 4 of the NATO treaty, which any member is entitled to invoke if they feel threatened. It's the first time in NATO's 55 year history that a meeting relating to this article this has been called, in Europe.

Quote:Marko Mihkelson, who chairs the Estonian parliament's foreign policy committee, tweeted on Saturday, "If West does not wake up to Russian aggressive foreign policy, tomorrow will be too late."

Crimea was taken by force. I'm surprised you're overlooking this. You seem to think that whatever they decide now is democratically decided. Maybe it is, the way Russians do democracy. You said above that Crimea 'was "given away" by a Russian leader to the Ukraine without any consultation, referendum... They became "Ukranian" on a whim without a say in the matter.'

What would a referendum mean, in the old USSR? Seriously. It would mean that whatever the secretary of the Communist Party wanted, maybe with 100% for, and 3% against. That kind of thing. Fact is, since then Russia has reiterated that Crimea is Ukrainian.

Now they'll hold a referendum, when? Is it tomorrow? Or next Tuesday? Gives them all plenty of time to campaign, but why would they need to campaign? What would be the point?

Now, maybe Yanukovych was "overthrown", but do you think this was unfair? I'm not saying that the change of power has given Ukraine a better system, but I doubt it's given it a worse one. Even still, none of this gives Russia rights to invade and steal Crimea.

None of it.

The Wests role in this - going forward - is going to be interesting. The fact that Russia has threatened war with Ukraine and is throwing shapes on the border, allied to the fact that - as you say - "Russia could turn off the gas supply to the Ukraine overnight on a whim" - makes the case for intervention of some sort actually imperative. But I agree it won't happen. They'll rattle bin heads and do nothing. And Putin will see their weakness and won't stop there. He didn't stop in Georgia and he won't stop in Crimea. You may disagree, but that's what the forum is for! Wink

My own wish at the start of this thread was simple: is it too much to ask that Ukraine sorts this out in-house? Of course it is, but Putin's invasion of a sovereign state is the worst possible start to any solution in the region... No No

In-house? You mean via an electoral system? or by force? They already had the latter and it was overturned by force. You might not be aware that a few days before Yanukovych fled, a deal had already been ironed out to bring forward and hold elections. A deal brokered by the EU. It wasn't enough for the mob, who overthrew a democratically elected government who had signed up to let Ukraine decide it's future earlier rather than later.

I'm really not sure why you are batting for these guys brother - it flies in the face of any form of democractic self-determination.

You might also be aware of the lead up to these events. Yanukovych spurned the original EU deal because they would only commit to 800 million in supportive measures. It wasn't enough to feed the family canary, let alone the whole country. The Russians offered 15 billion + subsidised gas prices. The alternative deal was far better for the Ukraine than anything the cash strapped EU could offer.

I'd compare the alternatives (Russia vs anything the west brings to the table) in 6-12 months time. The west will bark more than bite in assistance offered to the Ukraine, because the Ukraine (other than being a potential thorn in the side of Russia) offers the west next to nothing... and if you overlook the barking by the western nations, this will see the Ukraine implode. 1 billion in US assistance will keep the county afloat for a couple of months... and ask yourself this... why would they want to commit more?

All the "aid" (as in money to pay the gas bills) and keep the Ukraine running will end up straight in Russian coffers. Putin has played the west like a fiddle. There are no "real" sanctions up for grabs that will hurt Russia enough... as I stated earlier, they won't get sanctioned on energy as they supply 40% of the EU's natural gas. Brussels will not sanction them on energy... Sanctions will be toothless and have little or no effect.

If the Crimeans and Crimean economy are better served by Russia then leave them to it. It was an autonomous authority and the people there align themselves with the Russia. So be it.

PS - Lithunia, Latvia, Estonia etc... won't ever have declared a NATO emergency without consulting the Americans first. More than likely they were directed to do it in the first place.
(This post was last modified: 07-Mar-2014 09:07 AM by britbox.)
07-Mar-2014 09:00 AM
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