Wednesday Open Thread

“When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.”

–Mark Twain

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    I've been reading from the Washington Post to the NY Times to WSJ to CNN and as best I can tell – there's no clear goal for the West. There's lots of discussion about what to do now. And a fair amount of what to do over the next year or so.

    But I'm getting a bad feeling no one leading all of us is even thinking about what victory is. What are the goals that we will keep fighting for until we achieve them?

    Because if we're not clear on our ultimate goals, then we're leaving the eventual resolution to random chance.

    • So far the West's definition of victory is supporting Ukraine in whatever level of territorial integrity it wants to define as victory. Its secondary goal is to not trigger a regional conflict or a nuclear strike.

      These are fine goals all on their own. The West isn't committed to a war, and its goals must be defined by that restriction. So far we are the chicken and not the pig at the breakfast table.

    • ParkHill says:

      You are asking the good questions.

      To consider Russia's goals… They perceived Ukraine's turn toward Europe, and accepting military support as a threat to Russia's influence. I'm sure that Putin is viewing the whole situation as a recapture of the old SSRs into Russia's sphere of influence.

      At first they wanted regime change, meaning to decapitate the Ukrainian leadership broadly defined to include political and business across the country, so that the Ukrainian people would have new, pro-Russian leaders. Ukraine would still exist.

      Now they are arguing the case that Ukraine should actually be part of Russia, and that Ukrainian society has been deceived and brain-washed. So de-nazification means a more sinister eradication of  Ukrainian culture, identity and population. "Genocide" is a very loaded word. Russia is using it to mean de-Ukrainification.

      Knowing Russia's goals helps clarify what the Goals of the West should be. That would include solidifying and expanding NATO. Pressuring Russian sympathizers, including Hungary. Offering financial incentives and pressure to Azerbaijan, Cuba, Venezuela and Belarus. 

      With the mask of Russian military power and the financial destruction of the Russian economy, there are a lot of centrifugal forces acting on the former USSR.

      Oh, and take advantage of the crisis and the awareness of depency on Oil & Gas to boost renewable energy and electric cars.

      • ParkHill says:

        Also, the Russian invasion has created a huge vulnerability in the MAGA political movement. Right-wing Evangelicals have a deep psychological-emotional tie with Putin, and the Republican Party & Trump are vulnerable to accusations of being pro-Russian.

        Remember that the first impeachment was about preventing Ukraine from getting anti-tank weapons. Something like 150 Republicans voted to authorize Trump to pressure Ukraine.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        That's details. In fact, you could reach those points and have Russia remain a very dangerous entity getting ready for it's next attack. It is correct that Ukraine gets to decide when to sign a peace treaty with Russia.

        But if the West makes their fundamental goals clear, that gives Ukraine the ability to fight until they achieve their part of those goals. And it keeps the sanctions tight until we reach it.

        Think about it. In the Revolutionary War the British kept offering the rebels off-ramps. But once the Continental Congress said the goal was independence, that meant we fight until that was achieved.

        In the Civil War the goal was no state can leave the Union. That stopped the compromise peace proposals. Unfortunately, as the goal did not touch on slavery, it left open the possibility of it surviving. And it ended up allowing Redemption because equal rights was not a fundamental goal of the Union.

        In WWII the goal was unconditional surrender. That was critical to keeping Stalin in the Alliance and to make it clear that the troops would not stop short and hope for a negotiated surrender. Unfortunately, the goals did not include freedom for Eastern Europe and so Stalin got that.

        We need something clear, simply stated, that when achieved, reduces Russia to a regional player and makes China realize that attacking Taiwan will be a giant mistake.

    • Voyageur says:

      The goal: containing Russian Imperialism.

      The means: all aid to Ukraine short of war.

      The budget: up to $50 billion a year from US., Matched by NATO and other democratic countries.

      Additionally, powerful economic sanctions.

      Sanctions eased when Russia withdraws to preinvasion border with ceasefire.

      International arbitration settles Donets, Luhansk, Crimea.

      Following ceasefire, military aid to Ukraine converts in part to economic reconstruction.

      Sweden, Finland to join NATO.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        "converts in part to economic reconstruction…."

        Maybe. But Russia will owe billions in reparations. And no sanctions relief without reparations. 

        • Voyageur says:

          Absolutely. Disagree.  You want to permanently destroy the Russian economy and then force it to pay reparations?  How’d that work out for the Weimar Republic?

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            Totally different times and scenarios. Minimal resemblance at best.

            • Voyageur says:

              Read John maynard Keynes,, the economic consequences of the peace.  It is just stupid to think you can destroy an economy and then milk it for reparations.

              Please explain your formula for getting blood out of a turnip.

              • Duke Cox says:

                I have been the turnip…

                No bueno….

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                Russia is the largest country, in area, on the planet and is full of natural resources. Like I said, no comparison with the Weimar Republic.

                As for destroying their economy, blame Putin, his Russian cronies, and his supporting 5th column, from the far right wing, here in the US.

                • Voyageur says:

                  Weimar Germany was the second strongest economy in the world until idiots destroyed it.  Russia isn’t even in the top ten.

                  Face it, Banger.  I have a masters degree in economics, you like to hang out in the thin air of mountain tops.

                  The difference shows and you would be wise to stop digging .

                  Let me add there are many areas, mostly environmental, where your expertise trumps !mine. But mt econ degrees and two years on the staff at West Point give me some indsightd into war/diplomacy and reconsyruction.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I may be wrong, but I don't think there is anything like "The West" where nations would unite in a clearly stated single set of objectives.

      Biden has made two goals absolutely clear: 

      * the US will oppose Russian violence by supporting Ukraine and its allies with a broad variety of military equipment and war-fighting services;  will impose punishing economic measures to rachet up the Russian costs of war; and

       * the US will support Ukrainian people with humanitarian aid and support of asylum or refugee services.

      Biden also re-iterated the US commitment to NATO's Article V and dispatched additional forces to nations on the Russian borders.  He made it clear that the US and NATO as a whole will not insert troops or conduct air or naval warfare, and supplying equipment and services will be on a case-by-case review of need and potential consequences.

      Finally, he has made it clear that his personal opinion is not the official position of the United States government. As it stands, the outcome of the war will be determined by Ukraine and Russia, not by his opinion of Putin.

    • MattC says:

      Goals:

      You keep waiting for someone to please you.
      State your goals or shut up.

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    Yuppies with Subarus are descending on CD3 FOR A MONTH!! The end is near 🤪

    “Sheriff’s departments in Grand and Jackson counties, alongside U.S. Forest Service officials, confirmed that the Rainbow Family appears poised for a month-long gathering in Colorado this summer.

    Rainbow Family gatherings can bring thousands of people together for what Vice reported amounts to a “weird version of Burning Man,” mixing “bikers, Jesus freaks, computer programmers, naked yogis and gutter punks,” looking to escape the thralls of everyday life.”

     

  3. MichaelBowman says:

    Things that make you go 😳 

    As Republicans accuse others of being “groomers,” new details are surfacing about Congressman John Rose (R-TN), who met his now-wife in his 40s while she was an underage teenager. He paid her with a scholarship that she says “made everything possible” and then married her.

     

  4. skeptical citizen says:

    It's one Big Lie after another for Fascist autocrats.

    1)Would like some more verification here, but certain fits Putin's claim of the need for the denazification of Ukraine. https://inews.co.uk/news/russia-news-ria-novosti-demands-liquidation-ukraine-ukrainians-war-crimes-civilians-putin-15583783

    2)Trump with his Big Lie 

    3)Hitler of course, blaming everything from the Treaty of Versailles forward on the Jewish

     

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I don't recall when I last read something like (my emphasis)

      bipartisan House Bill 1344 — sponsored by state Reps. Patrick Neville and David Ortiz, both U.S. Army veterans — passed through the House Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee unanimously.

      now, if only there was an equivalent development on, say, roads or property taxes.

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