padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I don't think it's unreasonable at all to have complicated, mixed feelings about this war

don't agree w/all points in biscuit's initial post - it's conflating many things that vary widely in both severity and likelihood - but the general sentiment I do

a healthy of portion of the Ukraine cheerleading is just papering all of that over

very hard to blame Ukrainians themselves - every war produces Manichean thinking, let alone wars that are a true existential threat to a culture's existence (as opposed to say, imperial adventurism, revanchist border skirmishes - which still produce plenty of Manichaeism)

less acceptable from a relatively safe distance. it's really been astounding to watch some people more or less uncritically swallow narratives at face value that they would dismiss and likely mock if a Russian (or American, for that matter) spokesperson were spouting them.

obv the Putin govt has been doing completely unacceptable things - assassinations on foreign soil, wars of aggression, internal repression of dissidents and minorities, etc - for a long time. Plenty of Western allies in good standing do the same things. Russia is worse but it's a matter of degree (which definitely matters, tbc) not kind. That's not a whatabout argument to justify what Russia is doing - there is no justification for it - but it is a very good reason to find plenty of Western media coverage, and individual attitudes, both laughable and galling. deeply galling.

the charge that the West et al are perfectly content to fight to the last Ukrainian rings very true. undoubtedly natsec apparatchiks in think tanks across the land have been metaphorically rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of Russia bogged down in an endless, bloody quagmire (the U.S. and Russia really seem to just pass that role back and forth).

and obviously if this war was in Africa no one would give any kind of a fuck about war crimes and the plight of refugees and so on - hundreds of thousands of people (at least - that's only counting violent death) died in the awful Congolese wars of the late 90s-early 00s, millions more were displaced, and no one cared. and no one cares now. just as essentially no one cares about Yemen, or Eritrea (edit: I'm sorry, I'm meant Ethiopia, tho Tigray is right next to Eritrea), or etc. not that I'm unhappy, of course, that people do care about what's happening to Ukrainians - that is an unqualified good and I hope it helps as many people as possible rebuild their lives, hopefully in Ukraine and that's not possible, somewhere else.

but spare us these pious hypocrisies at least.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I don't think it's unreasonable at all to have complicated, mixed feelings about this war

don't agree w/all points in biscuit's initial post - it's conflating many things that vary widely in both severity and likelihood - but the general sentiment I do

a healthy of portion of the Ukraine cheerleading is just papering all of that over

very hard to blame Ukrainians themselves - every war produces Manichean thinking, let alone wars that are a true existential threat to a culture's existence (as opposed to say, imperial adventurism, revanchist border skirmishes - which still produce plenty of Manichaeism)

less acceptable from a relatively safe distance. it's really been astounding to watch some people more or less uncritically swallow narratives at face value that they would dismiss and likely mock if a Russian (or American, for that matter) spokesperson were spouting them.

obv the Putin govt has been doing completely unacceptable things - assassinations on foreign soil, wars of aggression, internal repression of dissidents and minorities, etc - for a long time. Plenty of Western allies in good standing do the same things. Russia is worse but it's a matter of degree (which definitely matters, tbc) not kind. That's not a whatabout argument to justify what Russia is doing - there is no justification for it - but it is a very good reason to find plenty of Western media coverage, and individual attitudes, both laughable and galling. deeply galling.

the charge that the West et al are perfectly content to fight to the last Ukrainian rings very true. undoubtedly natsec apparatchiks in think tanks across the land have been metaphorically rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of Russia bogged down in an endless, bloody quagmire (the U.S. and Russia really seem to just pass that role back and forth).

and obviously if this war was in Africa no one would give any kind of a fuck about war crimes and the plight of refugees and so on - hundreds of thousands of people (at least - that's only counting violent death) died in the awful Congolese wars of the late 90s-early 00s, millions more were displaced, and no one cared. and no one cares now. just as essentially no one cares about Yemen, or Eritrea (edit: I'm sorry, I'm meant Ethiopia, tho Tigray is right next to Eritrea), or etc. not that I'm unhappy, of course, that people do care about what's happening to Ukrainians - that is an unqualified good and I hope it helps as many people as possible rebuild their lives, hopefully in Ukraine and that's not possible, somewhere else.

but spare us these pious hypocrisies at least.
Some good points here, P, but some stuff I'm not sure I agree with, too.

"the West et al are perfectly content to fight to the last Ukrainian" makes me want to counter (and no doubt you feel you're in familiar Mr. Tea's Excessive Literalism Hour territory here) that 'the West' isn't doing the fighting: Ukrainians are. They're the ones killing Russians and being killed by them. They are not simply instruments of a Western anti-Russian agenda - and while I know you're not saying this, a lot of people on both the left and the right do take this position, at least implicitly and sometimes explicitly. I've also seen some really awful, disingenuous, faux-reasonable, faux-pacifist takes, along the lines that the Ukrainians are just extending their own suffering by not doing the sensible thing and simply surrendering, and that the West is complicit by arming them. You see people who regard themselves as progressives taking this line, but it's funny how you never hear progressives saying the same thing about Palestinian resistance towards Israel. You also don't generally hear anyone calling Iran the primary aggressor in the conflict because they supply arms to Hezbollah.

Regarding the relative levels of outrage over this war vs those in Africa and elsewhere - yeah, there's no way racism doesn't have a lot to do with it. You only have to look at the truly dreadful conservative takes early on, expressing shock that such a thing could happen between people who "seem so like us" (culturally Christian whites, of course). OTOH, I don't think it's unreasonable for people in Europe to be more concerned about a war that's happening in Europe, just as I wouldn't blame someone in Nigeria for being more worried about what's going on in the DRC than in Ukraine. There's also the fact that Ukraine is a major wheat exporter and Russia is the biggest, and there's already talk of massive price hikes in basic foods being caused by the war, which could trigger famines in many poorer countries. On top of all that, the wars in DRC and Ethiopia haven't involved a country with a huge nuclear arsenal, led by a dictator who likes to make not-very-veiled threats about using it...
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Apparently RT's chief editor has said the war (which is now a real war, not a "special military operation") hasn't been won yet, because NATO is holding nothing back and is throwing its full might into defending Ukraine.


Honestly, has any country had such an inflated idea of its own victimhood as Russia?
 

Leo

Well-known member
Kremlin Insiders Alarmed Over Growing Toll of Putin’s War in Ukraine

Almost eight weeks after Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine, with military losses mounting and Russia facing unprecedented international isolation, a small but growing number of senior Kremlin insiders are quietly questioning his decision to go to war.

To be sure, support for Putin’s war remains deep across much of Russia’s elite, with many insiders embracing in public and in private the Kremlin’s narrative that conflict with the West is inevitable and that the economy will adapt to the sweeping sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies. And public backing remains strong as the initial shock and disruption from sanctions has given way to a kind of surreal stability in Russia.

Still, more and more top insiders have come to believe that Putin’s commitment to continue the invasion will doom Russia to years of isolation and heightened tension that will leave its economy crippled, its security compromised and its global influence gutted. A few business tycoons have made veiled statements questioning the Kremlin’s strategy, but many powerful players are too fearful of the widening crackdown on dissent to voice their concerns in public.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Incredible. In amongst all the woke-bashing culture-wars bullshit and Musk-worship, they've got a link to an actual news story, and the best some asshole can do is "This contradicts my prejudices and is therefore false."

Screenshot_20220420-172141_Chrome.jpg
 

wektor

Well-known member
You only have to look at the truly dreadful conservative takes early on, expressing shock that such a thing could happen between people who "seem so like us" (culturally Christian whites, of course).
As ridiculous takes mentioned were, Ukraine's citizens being "culturally Christian whites" are a idea put together recently which I cannot feel does not support a certain narrative of comparing people's pain.

"Whiteness" is very much a western construct which, like many that are used in the current discourse, simply does not make much sense in the context of eastern europe.
Do you really think Ukrainian/Polish/Lithuanian/Latvian working class people who, after bread, moved to pre-brexit UK got treated as "white"?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
As ridiculous takes mentioned were, Ukraine's citizens being "culturally Christian whites" are a idea put together recently which I cannot feel does not support a certain narrative of comparing people's pain.

"Whiteness" is very much a western construct which, like many that are used in the current discourse, simply does not make much sense in the context of eastern europe.
Do you really think Ukrainian/Polish/Lithuanian/Latvian working class people who, after bread, moved to pre-brexit UK got treated as "white"?
Oh, for sure - I mean the sort of people who come out with this stuff would probably the first to say "Sorry, no room at the inn" to Ukrainian refugees.

And it was only a century ago that the upper classes here and in the USA regarded the Irish as sort of "semi-white".
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
This guy reckons Russia's nuclear arsenal is mostly non-functional due to decades of neglect:


Hopefully not a proposition that's going to be tested any time soon, but the argument is that Putin knows this and doesn't want the world to know it, so that his nuclear threats are basically empty.

OTOH, who really wants to risk finding out?
 
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