padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
The the CIA coup against Sihanouk, the installation of Lon Nol & the civil war that followed
think you're on much firmer ground here - Kissinger cynicism knew full well/didn't care at all what effects would be outside of as you say strategic concerns
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
such wars begin long before the first shots are fired
kinda surprising people have to continuously relearn these lessons. the specific tools are different + that dictates somewhat different approaches but the tactics aren't new at all.

I do get the difficulty of recognizing anything as it's happening, esp something based on disinformation/subterfuge, but it's not some wholly new pattern.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Yeah, his paranoia is "understandable" in so far that he is career KGB
we covered that upthread, the inherent paranoia of the siloviki

the many reasons, historical + current, for Eastern European paranoia toward Russia are so obvious they don't need to be rehashed, surely

more interested in Russian paranoia, which we also covered somewhat upthread
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
you're conflating 2 different kinds of cynicism

Eisenhower era is typical Cold War, overriding concern is holding the line against communism so we'll do whatever it takes. that's further intensified in JFK era, combined with a shockingly naive idealism, + a can-do attitude/belief in efficiency. the ends always justify the means, so if needs be roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty. "We had to bomb the village to save it" v much comes out of that milieu. Nixon/Kissinger otoh is sheer cynical realpolitik. no one cares about the saving the village, only what marginal geopolitical gains destroying it can bring. Kissinger has no ideals to betray.

whether one is worse than the other is the question. I tend to think Kissinger style is worse, but the U.S. has certainly paved many roads to hell w/good intentions, so who knows.

Good post - I think this is a useful distinction. Put like that, it sounds like the Iraq invasion was motivated by both tendencies.

Back to Russia for a moment: does anyone here use Quora, or get their email digest at least? This just in:

Why is Russia so easy on Britain for their outrageous conduct in the Skripal matter? Why doesn't Russia demand an apology or redress at the UNSC?

One of the replies is:

This person has added over 100 answers in the last 24 hours, the first forty or so all praising Russian and Vladimir to the skies (I stopped scrolling after that). I reported “her” as a fake profile, since “Russian troll” wasn't an option.

A worthy effort, although shutting down Russian bot/troll accounts is surely about as useful as cutting off the Hydra's heads...
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
the bots and astroturfing etc started as a private, commercial innovation didn't it? an advertisers subterfuge?
and then spread to national governments, israel, russia etc? in america youd assume its political use is limited to privately funded 'institutes' and 'think-tanks' and so on. just as doping in sport is state run in russia, privatised in the US?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
having said that the intelligence agencies in america must be messing about with it at some level.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Russia's ambassador to the U.K. says Britain has a history of violating international law and can't be trusted in investigating the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko told reporters on Thursday that Britain has blamed Russia for the March 4 nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in southwestern England but presented no evidence.

Yakovenko says his country "can't take British words for granted," and accused the U.K. of having a "bad record of violating international law and misleading the international community."

He says "history shows that British statements must be verified. We demand full transparency of the investigation and full cooperation with Russia" and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

He has a point.
 

Leo

Well-known member
the bots and astroturfing etc started as a private, commercial innovation didn't it? an advertisers subterfuge?


absolutely, i can vouch for this. i worked at a PR agency many years ago and we'd occasionally invent bogus "institutes" that sounded like an industry organization or think tank but were just fronts funded by one or more clients in those industries. i helped found the "mutual fund forum", which was supposed to be a stable of objective investment industry experts providing advice to consumers on how they should invest their money...but it was actually created for and funded entirely by oppenheimer funds.

it was somewhat acceptable when pushing products and services but evil now when applied to politics and elections.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
absolutely, i can vouch for this. i worked at a PR agency many years ago and we'd occasionally invent bogus "institutes" that sounded like an industry organization or think tank but were just fronts funded by one or more clients in those industries. i helped found the "mutual fund forum", which was supposed to be a stable of objective investment industry experts providing advice to consumers on how they should invest their money...but it was actually created for and funded entirely by oppenheimer funds.

it was somewhat acceptable when pushing products and services but evil now when applied to politics and elections.

Reminds me of a Paul Merton gag about how you'd sometimes read a report in the papers about how saturated animal fats were good for you after all, and if you read all way to the end you'd find the words "...in a paper sponsored by the British Lard Council."

And this was 20-odd years ago.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Has anyone here ever come across this entertaining theory? Could just as easily go in the Why Conspiracy Theories? thread, but I thought I'd put it here instead. It came up as an answer to a question on Quora about a month ago:

What do Russians think of the British?

These last times, I told you a number of Russian jokes.

What I will tell in this answer is not a joke. It is absolutely serious. But it will sound as a joke. Be ready.

When I was a kid, Britain (sorry, Scots and Welsh, we the Russians call it Angliya, England) was seen as a land of gentlemen who drink tea with milk at five o’clock and play soccer. And, of course, the land of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

[photo of two Russian actors playing Holmes and Watson]

Russian Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes as played by Vitali Solomin and Vasily Livanov. Russians are fiercely proud of them. Livanov has even been awarded the Order of the British Empire for his performance.

However, since the beginning of the 2000s a new perception of Britain emerged, thanks to the Russian nationalist philosopher and blogger Dmitry Galkovsky.

[photo of Galkovsky]

Dmitry Galkovsky declared that Britain is one of the three world powers of the last century, two others being US and the alliance of France and Germany. All other countries in the world are dependent on the said three. Some of them are cryptocolonies. For instance, Russia, China and India are British cryptocolonies. [emphasis in original]

It all started in the 19th century, says Galkovsky. The First International took place in London because it was controlled by British authorities. Indeed, the whole Socialist and later Communist movement was inspired and controlled by the British (though the German government has managed to take its Socialists under control in the end of the 19th century). Most Communist and post-Communist countries therefore were and are British puppets, and they oppose the USA simply because Her Majesty the Queen says so.

[Lenin, Stalin, Mao etc.]

Some of the British stooges according to Galkovsky

The US is the only great enemy of Britain and the only real rivalry in the world is between the US and the UK. The WW2 was expected to take place between these two powers and it was only thanks to British astuteness that the two countries were nominally allies.

In other words, in Galkovsky’s conspiracy theory British are real masters of most of the world, the puppeteers behind many political figures and the real perpetrators of most world atrocities. Soviet Union was their nuclear platform used to blackmail the hegemonic USA. The theory was developed by another superpopular Russian blogger known as Bohemicus. According to him, Russia is the ‘continental spade’ of Britain and most Russian wars were fought in British interests including the ongoing war in Syria in support of the London-educated Assad, another British agent.

Both Galkovsky and Bohemicus are very well-educated people. I am not sure if they believe themselves in their theory. It could be just an intellectual game, destined to show some deficiencies of the Soviet Union (both bloggers are vehemently anti-Soviet) and to excuse Soviet atrocities as caused by perfidious foreigners. However, the theory mesmerized many of their readers and firmly took root in the Russian nationalist blogosphere. And some people - they are only few, of course, but quite present in Runet - surely see Britain as a nation of Illuminati.

Once you adopt this theory, many things will start making sense to you. Why did Khrushchev, Andropov, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin always start their foreign visits with Britain? Why do Russian and Indian millionaires prefer to go to London? Why are many Russian firms registered in Cyprus, British Virgin Islands, or Gibraltar?

[QEII]

Putin, Modi and the Chinese Politburo are obedient to this lady. And all the European monarchies. And all the heads of Commonwealth countries. And her main goal is to destroy the USA. Breathtaking, isn’t it?

Are these apparently highly influential Russian nationalist bloggers a sort of home-grown equivalent of the American alt-right?

And how does anyone take seriously an idea as crazy as Britain secretly controlling Russia, let alone being some crypto-communist superpower?
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
Oh, for some reason I had the idea it was something you took an interest in. As you were.
 
over 3 times the amount of bombs dropped (over Vietnam) than the entirety of WWII

I seem to remember the number is vastly higher than this, more in the range of hundreds rather than three. All in all though it is hard to measure as the Vietnam war took place in at least three countries, and arguably started in the early 40's and ended in 1979. And to add to the litany of death, there were all the people that died of infection when the peasants were forced into internment camps as part of the strategic hamlet programme.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
I think it might depend on the comparison used. If you look at just US WWII bombing it may well be hundreds of times, if you look at total tonnage in the entire war on all sides you get.

The Indochinese bombings amounted to 7,662,000 tons of explosives, compared to 2,150,000 tons in the world conflict.

Which is staggering considering WWII bombing devastated several European countries, much of Russia, Japan and several Pacific, & South asian nations.

And to add to the litany of death, there were all the people that died of infection when the peasants were forced into internment camps as part of the strategic hamlet programme.

Operation Phoenix alone involved the torture, mutilation and targeted killing of up to 100,000 people.
 

firefinga

Well-known member
Vietnam war took place in at least three countries, and arguably started in the early 40's and ended in 1979.

A thing that everyone seems to have forgotten - the French glorious attempt to resurrect their colonial empire was the root of the Vietnam debacle.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
I dont think theyve forgotten in Vietnam.

Regardless, the wars should have stopped after Dien Bien Phu.
 
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