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Yes, Putin would

Cardinal

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For the past two days, I’ve become increasingly unsettled by the international sanctions against Russia because I believed they would be perceived as an attack on Russia, thereby denying Putin an off ramp and escalating the possibility he would resort to nuclear weapons. By contrast, I have fully supported arming and supplying Ukraine because not only is that an attack on the invasion (a semantic but important distinction), but it also follows the seventy year rule book that states that Russia and the US may arm each other’s enemies to the teeth, but they may not fire at each other (this is incidentally why the proposal of a no fly zone is so catastrophically stupid). But to the point, my resolve has been notably squishy when it comes to these sanctions, as well as every business and financial institution cutting ties with Russia. It all seemed over the top and it alarmed me.

However, I think this interview with Fiona Hill, one of the foremost experts on Putin, presents an extremely compelling argument for why this full blown response is absolutely necessary, and why denying Putin his agenda in Ukraine is vital to the future security of the world.

If you find yourself on the fence as I did, or merely want a granular and in-depth look into Putin’s motivations, look no further than this article. But fair warning: the inverse proportional relationship between wisdom and happiness holds true here.

 

Cardinal

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This article makes me think back on an anecdote about a meeting between Biden and Putin in 2011:

Biden: “Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.”
Putin, smiling: “Then we understand one another.”
 

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She called Putin Hitler. She's part of the problem.
 

radioman

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She called Putin Hitler. She's part of the problem.
What can I say?
Launch an unprovoked attack on a sovereign country and people might call you names.
Vlad will just have to live with it.
Eventually, Putin will recover from this insult.
 

Antiwar

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What can I say?
Launch an unprovoked attack on a sovereign country and people might call you names.
Eventually, Putin will recover from this insult.

It escalates the tensions. Just as they say "we don't negotiate with terrorists," "we don't negotiate with Hitler." It's an incredibly stupid thing for her to have said. It's an incredibly stupid strategy.
 

radioman

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It escalates the tensions. Just as they say "we don't negotiate with terrorists," "we don't negotiate with Hitler." It's an incredibly stupid thing for her to have said.
Right you are.
Name calling is right up there with Vlad's nuclear threats in terms of escalation.
Thank goodness she didn't call Putin a pipsqueak.
 

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Right you are.
Name calling is right up there with Vlad's nuclear threats in terms of escalation.
Thank goodness she didn't call Putin a pipsqueak.

It's not just name-calling. It's a stupid strategy to make it so there's no negotiating with Putin, which makes it even more likely for Putin to launch the largest nuclear arsenal on Earth. Then the stupid USG mother****ers will launch the second largest nuclear arsenal on Earth.
 

radioman

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It's not just name-calling. It's a stupid strategy to make it so there's no negotiating with Putin,
Nobody has said "Don't negotiate".
Russia/Ukraine meetings occurred on Monday, I believe.
which makes it even more likely for Putin to launch the largest nuclear arsenal on Earth. Then the stupid USG mother****ers will launch the second largest nuclear arsenal on Earth.
Putin had already brought possible use of nukes into the discussion.
That was before Fiona Hill called him names.
 

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Nobody has said "Don't negotiate".
Russia/Ukraine meetings occurred on Monday, I believe.

Putin had already brought possible use of nukes into the discussion.
That was before Fiona Hill called him names.

Do you think that the USG would negotiate with someone they're calling Hitler? The people that say that shit want to escalate the war so they can try to shift the 'world order' even more in their favor. They're willing to risk nuclear war. They're at least half of the problem. 'They' being some people in the USG.
 

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Putin had already brought possible use of nukes into the discussion.

You know why? The US/NATO has nuclear weapons 100 miles away from Russia.
 

radioman

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Do you think that the USG would negotiate with someone they're calling Hitler? The people that say that shit want to escalate the war so they can try to shift the 'world order' even more in their favor. They're willing to risk nuclear war. They're at least half of the problem. 'They' being some people in the USG.
Okay...you've convinced me.
I think we should all get together with Vlad the impaler, and tell him what a strong powerful leader he is.
We'll tell him those naughty neo-Nazi drug addicts forced him into this very dumb invasion.
Then, we can show home movies of Vlad, shirtless, riding a mighty stallion.
After that, we do a group hug,
Vlad is mollified and we can all get back to despoiling the planet in a conventioal, non-nuclear manner.
 

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Okay...you've convinced me.
I think we should all get together with Vlad the impaler, and tell him what a strong powerful leader he is.
We'll tell him those naughty neo-Nazi drug addicts forced him into this very dumb invasion.
Then, we can show home movies of Vlad, shirtless, riding a mighty stallion.
After that, we do a group hug,
Vlad is mollified and we can all get back to despoiling the planet in a conventioal, non-nuclear manner.

Maybe someone will think your commentary is witty.
 

Evilroddy

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For the past two days, I’ve become increasingly unsettled by the international sanctions against Russia because I believed they would be perceived as an attack on Russia, thereby denying Putin an off ramp and escalating the possibility he would resort to nuclear weapons. By contrast, I have fully supported arming and supplying Ukraine because not only is that an attack on the invasion (a semantic but important distinction), but it also follows the seventy year rule book that states that Russia and the US may arm each other’s enemies to the teeth, but they may not fire at each other (this is incidentally why the proposal of a no fly zone is so catastrophically stupid). But to the point, my resolve has been notably squishy when it comes to these sanctions, as well as every business and financial institution cutting ties with Russia. It all seemed over the top and it alarmed me.

However, I think this interview with Fiona Hill, one of the foremost experts on Putin, presents an extremely compelling argument for why this full blown response is absolutely necessary, and why denying Putin his agenda in Ukraine is vital to the future security of the world.

If you find yourself on the fence as I did, or merely want a granular and in-depth look into Putin’s motivations, look no further than this article. But fair warning: the inverse proportional relationship between wisdom and happiness holds true here.

Cardinal:

A very good article. Thank you for posting it. We are all following historical patterns which may lead us all straight to hell. But being able to see those patterns, even vaguely, allows us to demand that we change those patterns and perhaps forestall or even avoid that damnation.

Ms. Hill's characterisation that we have been in WWIII but just haven't realised it fully is however unfortunately just one of those patterns which we have been following blindly. It's the "Us vs. Them" pattern which polarises, breeds suspicion and ultimately leads to conflict and war. In times of peace (as defined by the absence of hot wars) consumers and businesses should see autocratic states for the dangers which they are. Their response should be to sanction and boycott these states peaceably and not as part of their own states' economic warfare strategies. State sponsored sanctions can be seen as acts of war, but grass roots sanctions and boycotts can not realistically be seen as anything but persons' choices. These ideological struggles should not be characterised as war, so long as they remain peaceful.

However when a state, democratic or authoritarian, crosses the line from internal manipulation/abuse of its own into waging wars of choice abroad, then that is a different matter. Then there is war and wars must be understood to be highly resistant to being controlled or managed or limited. Wars further polarise, escalate and spiral into larger wars far too often. We should all learn this and use this knowledge to inform and temper our public policies when dealing with war and states at war. Stronger policies are need, for sure, but those policies must be seen as attempts to end the war, not to widen its scope and increase its intensity. That creates the negative feed-back loop I think we are entering into right now between the West and autocratic Russia. We must be careful to find ways to constrain and punish Russia without letting Russians feel they are cornered into an existential war for their national survival. Thinking and saying that we are already in WWIII does not help us all achieve that important balance. It only ratchets up tensions and polarisation to the point where escalation and wider ruin become more likely.

Cheers and be well.
Evilroddy.
 

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HitShe called Putin Hitler. She's part of the problem.
Putin is the 21Century Hitler. His justifications and his methods geopolitically are Hitlers methods. He has not killed 7 million nor committed a genocide in Ukraine as yet. Whoopdy-ding-dong. Big dif.
 

tacomancer

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I don't think the Hitler comparisons will be apt until he starts killing millions of people. He is an evil sociopath who probably deserves the ole Rasputin though.
 

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I don't have a hard time believing Putin might just be vain/suicidal enough to use nukes. But I have a much harder time believing his billionaire buddies would prefer to have their skin melt off their skeletons over yachting around the Mediterranean ****ing super models. I also think it would be pretty damn hard for the guy that's ordered to push the button knowing he's almost certainly about to be responsible for the death of his entire family at minimum, and likely end of civilization as we know it.
 

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Ii like Hill. However I did notice that both the interviewer and Hill completely ignored the protests within Russia itself and the existence of real political opposition in Russia even in the face of assassination.

I think it is a clear hole in her analysis. If anyplace in this world has a clear history of opposition, its Russia. It takes a good deal to get them wound up but that is in part a strength. You appear to have the populace under control, under control, under control and then suddenly its a big python choking the life out of you.

The rest of her analysis is fine though I struggle with where in Ukraine Putin would use nukes....even tactical nukes. Its not like this is open field warfare in the plains of Europe. This is city fighting that has yet to get as brutal as city fighting can get. This is going to end up Stalingrad in WW2 where you could have only used nukes if you were satisfied with leveling Stalingrad and leaving it and everything around it uninhabitable for 100 years.
 

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For the past two days, I’ve become increasingly unsettled by the international sanctions against Russia because I believed they would be perceived as an attack on Russia, thereby denying Putin an off ramp and escalating the possibility he would resort to nuclear weapons. By contrast, I have fully supported arming and supplying Ukraine because not only is that an attack on the invasion (a semantic but important distinction), but it also follows the seventy year rule book that states that Russia and the US may arm each other’s enemies to the teeth, but they may not fire at each other (this is incidentally why the proposal of a no fly zone is so catastrophically stupid). But to the point, my resolve has been notably squishy when it comes to these sanctions, as well as every business and financial institution cutting ties with Russia. It all seemed over the top and it alarmed me.

However, I think this interview with Fiona Hill, one of the foremost experts on Putin, presents an extremely compelling argument for why this full blown response is absolutely necessary, and why denying Putin his agenda in Ukraine is vital to the future security of the world.

If you find yourself on the fence as I did, or merely want a granular and in-depth look into Putin’s motivations, look no further than this article. But fair warning: the inverse proportional relationship between wisdom and happiness holds true here.


There is no question Putin would use nuclear weapons if he feels it's necessary for his survival, and winning this conflict is necessary for his survival. He has to defeat Ukraine. How he does it does not matter.

I haven't read all of Hill's recent comments but it seems that her comments are in line with many others who really do know Putin, including Garry Kasparov and others. Ukraine is not the end for Putin; it's the beginning. His real target is American and Western power. He wants to destroy the same geopolitical system that is being used to strangle Russia's economy right now. And in his mind, the best way he can do that is with aggression and fear. He would not only use nuclear weapons to win in Ukraine but also to terrify civilians in NATO countries, to get them to re-think their commitments to conflicts beyond their borders.

It's absolutely necessary to stand up to Putin. We can offer an exit lane, but that can come in the form of working out a deal for neutrality - real neutrality. But anything outside of that should be off limits. And the more Putin doubles down, the more extreme the sanctions should be.

I'd add one thing: Putin supports far-right insurgencies, including the one in our country, for a reason. He thinks he can divide democracies and weaken their resolve to stand up to him. He will use these far-right movements to destroy or weaken democracies in the countries that oppose him, including ours and including those in Europe and elsewhere (China will, too, but Russia's better at it)
 

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There is no question Putin would use nuclear weapons if he feels it's necessary for his survival, and winning this conflict is necessary for his survival. He has to defeat Ukraine. How he does it does not matter.

I haven't read all of Hill's recent comments but it seems that her comments are in line with many others who really do know Putin, including Garry Kasparov and others. Ukraine is not the end for Putin; it's the beginning. His real target is American and Western power. He wants to destroy the same geopolitical system that is being used to strangle Russia's economy right now. And in his mind, the best way he can do that is with aggression and fear. He would not only use nuclear weapons to win in Ukraine but also to terrify civilians in NATO countries, to get them to re-think their commitments to conflicts beyond their borders.

It's absolutely necessary to stand up to Putin. We can offer an exit lane, but that can come in the form of working out a deal for neutrality - real neutrality. But anything outside of that should be off limits. And the more Putin doubles down, the more extreme the sanctions should be.

I'd add one thing: Putin supports far-right insurgencies, including the one in our country, for a reason. He thinks he can divide democracies and weaken their resolve to stand up to him. He will use these far-right movements to destroy or weaken democracies in the countries that oppose him, including ours and including those in Europe and elsewhere (China will, too, but Russia's better at it)
Russia's weakness is that it does not have a diverse enough economy to conduct international military or economic battle. It has fossil fuels and weaponry and that is all it has. It cannot outlast anybody really. The issue is resolve and only resolve. Either we have it or we don't. We certainly cannot allow Putin to bluff his way to success and even if he is not bluffing it literally does not matter.

To our advantage, it is only Putin that needs to be toppled. Russia itself does not have to be toppled. The Russian people don't have to be conquered. This that is going on in Eastern Europe is HIS vision and nobody else's vision. Even the Oligarchs if they had their way would have their yachts and resort homes and jets a access to Western Society. While I am critical of "LondonGrad" and US money laundering it has given the Oligarchs a taste for a life they simply can't have in Russia and will never have in Russia under Putin.

The west has let Putin bump along as long as his ruthlessness only extended within the borders of Russia itself. Well OK, I guess its a form of the same strategy we have had with China. But the wolf is out of the forest now and is feasting in the farmland of peaceful peoples. Its time to clamp down on him before he is feasting on the farmlands of our close friends. He is not going to stop at Ukraine and to think he will is sheer folly.
 

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For the past two days, I’ve become increasingly unsettled by the international sanctions against Russia because I believed they would be perceived as an attack on Russia, thereby denying Putin an off ramp and escalating the possibility he would resort to nuclear weapons. By contrast, I have fully supported arming and supplying Ukraine because not only is that an attack on the invasion (a semantic but important distinction), but it also follows the seventy year rule book that states that Russia and the US may arm each other’s enemies to the teeth, but they may not fire at each other (this is incidentally why the proposal of a no fly zone is so catastrophically stupid). But to the point, my resolve has been notably squishy when it comes to these sanctions, as well as every business and financial institution cutting ties with Russia. It all seemed over the top and it alarmed me.

However, I think this interview with Fiona Hill, one of the foremost experts on Putin, presents an extremely compelling argument for why this full blown response is absolutely necessary, and why denying Putin his agenda in Ukraine is vital to the future security of the world.

If you find yourself on the fence as I did, or merely want a granular and in-depth look into Putin’s motivations, look no further than this article. But fair warning: the inverse proportional relationship between wisdom and happiness holds true here.

Thugs and bullies can "only" be stopped with force. Using common sense and attempting to convince them to "back off" does not work. People that think with their "balls" can only be stopped by castrating them. The sanctions castrate the country and the country is the body of Putin.

Unfortunately there is a big risk in trying to castrate a bull if he is aware that is what is trying to be done. A bull will use all of the tools available and that could be deadly. By the same token, allowing a bull to continue to run rampant with his balls still there is also not a solution as he will continue to attack anyone he feels is a risk to his manhood and that is not a solution either.

Castrating Putin is the only solution that is available.
 

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He could use battlefield nukes against Ukranian without attacking other countries. That's actually part of their military doctrine.
 
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