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Well, it sure feels like "the right thing to do", just like many people wanted Britain to support Finland in 1939 against Russia. But you can't make policy based only on emotions.

My view is that arming Ukraine might be a good idea (or not - I haven't decided), but it certainly won't be decisive.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 05:36:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blowback. That's the least worst possible outcome I'm  seeing here, and it's  pretty awful. Arms sent to Ukraine won't  necessarily  stay there. What happens when the cool toys we sent to Poroshenko start popping up in the arsenals of criminal organizations. Or ISIS?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 12:05:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blowback is always a risk. Doing nothing is also a risk. I don't think anyone has argued for sending anti-air missiles - the Russians don't use their airforce in any case. What's needed are anti-tank weapons. That's not a big problem from a blowback perspective.

This does not, however, mean that sending arms or military support is the right choice. But it sure seems pretty hypocritical for me to say that, as the defence policy of Sweden is founded on the very expectation that foreign troops and arms will come to our aid if we are attacked.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 05:51:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's needed are anti-tank weapons. That's not a big problem from a blowback perspective.

ISIS aside, this seems to be a huge problem. Anti-tank weapons would make a hell of an asset for bank robbers.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 07:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really. If you want to open a vault, you need plastic explosives. Not a shaped-charge warhead which will create a 1 cm wide hole through the vault door.

Not that banks even have money in most branch offices any longer (not many branch offices left either...).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:28:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's needed are anti-tank weapons.

Let's suppose that (1) the Ukrainian army only gets anti-tank weapons, (2) learns to use it properly, (3) manages to evade similar weapons held by the rebels, (4) eliminates all heavy armour held by the rebels, and (5) Russia has no further ideas of military assistance to the rebels. Even in this unrealistically optimistic scenario, what do you do about small arms?

However, IMHO it is much more realistic to expect Ukraine to get some big toys whose use will result in limited rebel losses and a couple more hospitals blown up,  met by a further arming-up of the rebels; that is, a further escalation of the bloodshed with no end in sight. And let's face it: the USA has hardly a good record on counter-insurgency to provide help to a badly trained Ukrainian army.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 04:30:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Ukraine can win this war on the battlefield, foreign weapons or no. The idea behind sending weapons is to make the war more expensive for the enemy, by restricting their ability to utilize armoured forces with the same freedom they have today.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:30:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After the experience of the Bosnia war in the 1990s I decided that if foreign powers are not willing to go in in full force and stop the fighting, they should also not impose weapons embargos, because that not only lengthens the war but ensures that it is the side that is better connected with mafias of weapons smugglers, or that has the backing of a "rogue" state willing to violate an international arms embargo, that wins the war.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"the side that is better connected with mafias of weapons smugglers"

With further precision, "the side, dominated by a faction that is better connected with mafia..."

As Kosovo, the EU's Mafia Superstate, has so amply shown.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 07:02:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and Kosovo wars:

German diplomacy is a joke, precisely because Germany does not have an army behind it. And so, we all wait around while many people get killed until uncle Sam finally comes to the rescue. Classic EU statecraft led by Germany.

Germany recognised states (thinking esp. but not only Croatia) it had no business taking the lead in recognising, as it had no intention nor wherewithal to actually take responsibility for that action. (And no, social democratic idealists, it is not reasonable to say "ah the bad Serbs they are responsible for everything! If they hadn't attacked and yada yada yada," because you deal, in such matters, with the way things really are, and not as you think they ought to be.

At least the French and the Brits are capable of taking care of their own diplomatic back yard, whatever else you can say about it. Of course, Ukraine is Germany's diplomatic back yard. And as Stalin said, how many divisions?

And we all wonder why Victoria Nuland is so bellicose? What choice does she have? Unlike many social democratic types in the EU, she remembers her recent Balkan wars history...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 07:09:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Iraq, Syria patterns of Uncle Sam's saving will apply, I guess.
by das monde on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 07:14:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And in any event, the comparisons are invalid. Irak was a war started by the Americans. The wars of the Yugoslav succession were not. And, in many important ways (not least on the diplomatic front) they were egged on by major EU players.

Confused here: is the holding up of the US example in Irak supposed to therefore excuse the German pattern of essentially starting a war and then refusing to participate in it?


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 08:38:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh come on. Eurogreen mentioned some beautiful examples of the USA not creating anything resembling order in its "diplomatic back yard", who started war or not is irrelevant. As for who started or not, if Germany's recognition of Croatia's and Slovenia1s unilateral declaration of independence should count as starting the war, US support for the KLA should in the case of Kosovo, much more so...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 10:49:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU nations, Germany at the forefront, make a complete hash of the wars (and I did employ the plural) of the Jugoslav succession, getting many people killed in the process and not just in Bosnia, but plenty in Croatia too.

Who comes in finally to clean up? And has to deal with Milosevic, strengthened by the understandable Serbian reaction to German meddling in the process of disintegration of the Jugoslav state? The US. Not for nothing that the Dayton accords happened in the industrial heartland of the US rather than somewhere in Germany, industrial heartland of Europe. Why? Because the Europeans were incapable of doing anything but make the deadly mess worse.

By that point, mass had already been said as regards Kosovo, once it had been seen what the Dutch soldiers were capable of allowing due to German style preparedness, I don't think anyone was prepared to see the same thing happen again. And your insinuation that US alliance with KLA was by choice is fairly offensive. Far from the case, see Mig's comment on "the side with the best arms mafia contacts." Unfortunately for the social democratic world view, in the real world you deal with actual power centres and actual facts on the ground, not the ones you think ought to be.

I think if Europeans want to complain about US actions in Europe, there is a very easy solution: stop free-riding on the US security guarantee, and ask the troops to leave. Leave Nato too. A lot would be solved right there.

But then, you would have to reckon with the fact that you still need security. And, since the past generation of Nato diplomacy was mostly about fucking Russia (the Yeltsin years in particular), you are going to have to make nice to Moscow and make use of their capabilities (ah, but no one, social democrat or no, wants to do this, wonder why?) or build your own, which less than half of Europe ( Russophobic -understandably or no - nations plus France and UK).

When Europe starts building its own, it can justifiably belly-ache about US actions in Europe. But not before.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 04:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
" if Germany's recognition of Croatia's and Slovenia1s unilateral declaration of independence should count as starting the war"

uttermost nonsense. remember the timeline.

The destruction of Yugoslavia was started by Milosevic in Kososvo in 1989.

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:40:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you leave me out of your debate with redstar?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 03:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why?
by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:53:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because you look as if you can't recognise a counterfactual.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is abuse, not argument.
by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:32:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is abuse? In the comment I protested, you quoted the counterfactual part of my argument which paraphrased what redstar claimed, and commented it as if it were a factual claim of my own.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:34:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"As for who started or not, if Germany's recognition of Croatia's and Slovenia1s unilateral declaration of independence should count as starting the war,"

So it shouldn't?

And the dissolution wars of Yugoslavia did start in Yugoslavia by its inhabitants?

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:52:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You've got it. Now, can we progress the second part of my argument towards redstar?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:04:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not the right person here. My impression of american hard power gaining positive results for american policy in the last, say forty years isn't that high. To much had "we had to destroy the city to save it" results. The one big success - dissolution of the eastern block - is very much the result of soft power.

This whole discussion - The EU this, the US that creates a false dichotomy anyway. Apart from Iraq most foreign policy is a common enterprise anyway.    

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:50:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US doesn't do foreign policy - the US does domestic policy in foreigns way.

The primary aim of US domestic policy is Wall St profit.

If that means starting a war of fifteen or subverting popular democracies around the world, that's considered business as normal.

This makes the US seem more like a military failure than it actually is. The US does not use military force to maintain its empire. It uses military force as an excuse for domestic military profit, and as a misdirection from less overt forms of political manipulation.

The primary difference between the US and the Soviet Union is that the US mastered two very important arts - overt international lifestyle propaganda, used to define imperial values as self-determining high-status markers, and covert indirect repression.

The USSR never understood the value of either. Putin doesn't seem to have learned that lesson. He's still doing the 'You know we have nukes and soliders, so you'd better take us seriously' thing in the Ukraine.

It may work there, for a while, but - unless those nukes are used - it may dent US hegemony, but it won't destroy it.

China is the only country which has more military leverage and longer experience of building empire through careful status management and media control. Post-communist China isn't there yet, but it has certainly has the potential to win a narrative war against the US.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 08:19:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess Putin is aware of the power of the Western propaganda, that being the reason he does not even try to compete there. He does not particularly resist the painted image of himself, and relies on "reality based" measures to hold onto what he can. And surely, Putin is opportunistic with the freedom from appearances.

The US-led indirect repression has increased risks with worse global economy and energy resource limits in sight (as Greece exemplifies). Russia and China might just reasonably expect to wait for the "reality" to hit harder.

by das monde on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 10:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eh. Do you remember RT exists? I'd rather say this is one of the cases where he doesn't particularly object to the picture painted.

Similar to ISIS in some  ways. They're propaganda strategy is to show everyone what badass motherfuckers they are and how the West is shitting its collective pants. The NATO strategy is to show what terrible murderers they are and building up hysteria to get more funding and make those surveillance, torture and bombed wedding scandals go away. Which is the same strategy minus the coarse language.

by generic on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't come across RT that often. Is it really addressed in any measure towards a dialogue recognizable to "convertible" Westerners?

All this ISIS, Putin, Hebdo, North Korea circus is to make otherwise smart people keep  wondering what is happening.

by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:38:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Is it really addressed in any measure towards a dialogue recognizable to "convertible" Westerners?

Yes, precisely. In English, German, and French.

Putin personally supervised a shake-up of Russian communications with the rest of the world. RIA Novosti in English (rather a good news agency) was merged with Voice of Russia to make the surprising Sputnik News. Russia Today in English was boosted with more means, now more languages.

das monde:

the power of the Western propaganda, that being the reason he does not even try to compete there.

He is most definitely trying to compete, and with some success.

das monde:

Putin is opportunistic with the freedom from appearances.

Really?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:17:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the international stage, I expected some participation in the Western media, adressing damning implications, a more complete narrative. But apparently I am clueless about what appeals to fellow (?!) human brains, or how to do mass propaganda.
by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:08:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, one way to appeal to human brains is to plant stories which are picked up by other media and enthusiastic conspiracy theorists and thus get read by people critical of their governments but uncritical of their alternative news sources, to which you gave us an involuntary demonstration.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:47:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that is so massively significant... The advantage for Russia is that it does not need much deliberte effort to appeal to quite a few kinds of analytical, unorthodox, certain justice or truth seeking brains - if only because the West is consistently leaving vast vacuum here and there. In that particular case of "involuntary demonstration", you don't need TASS or BBC to have a heretic question about the ATC records - still undisclosed (apart from a few bits) and not under discussion.
by das monde on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:52:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, yes, we know your conspiracy theories don't require evidence, or even plausible stories from creditable third parties.

Troll-rated for promulgation of MH 17 troof.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 12:59:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All I am telling for that tangent (brought up by DoDo) is that the offical troof theory does require that existing (and often decisive) evidence to be brought up to the public. That is an interesting fact... But let me just get away from this - troll rate what you want with your undisputable authority.
by das monde on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 02:26:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I highlighted is your selective propaganda blindness, which is quite on-topic regarding your claim that Russia supposedly doesn't do effective propaganda. The subject of the linked example is immaterial, your treatment of information is. Someone who can't be bothered to distinguish who in a story is a "single anonymous source", "Interfax", and "BBC", and can't distinguish between a fact-checked article and live-blogging, shouldn't kid himself about having an analytical mind. The right word is "paranoid".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 01:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you are telling, the Kremlin issued that isolated "propaganda" bit of TASS info, and then never tried anything better? That absent propaganda from Russia is what I am talking about in this thread.

Leonard Cohen sings:
   There is a crack in everything
   That's how the light gets in.

I had some education in crack sensing in the last Soviet years. That TASS/BBC blip -- a deviation from the eventual presented makeup - is what I recognize as a crack. That's all.

by das monde on Thu Feb 19th, 2015 at 03:09:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression of american hard power gaining positive results for american policy in the last, say forty years isn't that high.

Then we are actually in agreement!

This sub-thread was started by redstar with the premise that a successful foreign policy needs military power, claiming the Kohl government's independence recognitions as evidence. Be it due to passion for controversy or a bout of Germanophobia to externalise his justified despair over the state of the French Left, he couldn't refrain from stating it with a distracting hyperbole that spun the narrative of pro-Serbia apologists even further (Kohl and Genscher's move quite arguably only aggravated the conflict, but that's a far cry from starting it). However, the greater problem of his argument was that recent examples of imperial foreign policy backed with military power weren't exactly successful. Redstar tried to explain this away by denying US agency in the conflict in Kosovo, although the support for the KLA was a quite significant move (aggravating the situation much more than the independence recognitions): it not only led to the escalation of rebel and Serb police/military violence before and especially during NATO's bombing campaign, but virtually ensured that independent Kosovo become the mafia state it is now. (And yes, the Kosovo conflict didn't begin with the US support for the KLA, either.)

Apart from Iraq most foreign policy is a common enterprise anyway.

But with increasing disagreements and running-apart strategies, see Ukraine again.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 07:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...recent examples of imperial foreign policy backed with military power weren't exactly successful...
...the support for the KLA... virtually ensured that independent Kosovo become the mafia state...

On the other hand, one can argue that Kosovo as a mafia state is a foreign policy success for the USA.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 07:16:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
O come on. Russia has a South Ossetia too. That is only fair!
by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
To much had "we had to destroy the city to save it" results. The one big success - dissolution of the eastern block - is very much the result of soft power.

Couldn't agree more. This is why I think it was folly to push Ukraine to the brink. The only way to imagine that February 2014 would stand was if Russia respected the distinction between soft and hard power. Russia may be trying, even with some success, to do soft power, but it never bought the 'military power is obsolete' or that it is 'uncivilized', etc.

The only sensible approach was to have left Yanukovich in power and not to have gotten involved in November '13. But that would imply that foreign policy is based on national interests. Here I agree with TBG. I think it is, but only in the sense that national interests, so far as they extend to the nation and people as a whole, have been hijacked and conflated with the interests of the elite wealth extraction crowd to whom the importance of maintaining their control over the domestic population far exceeds any other concern. This is true about the USA, Great Britain, Germany and France if in differing degrees.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 12:18:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This concern with appearances has led easily to a 'politics begins at the border' approach to foreign policy issues, where they become important mostly for the way they can be used to manipulate the population. In the USA this  goes back to the 'who lost China' nonsense which was instrumental in JFK's initial steps in Vietnam and, especially, in LBJ's escalation. I hated it then and hate it now.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 12:25:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the history books generally would say two years later, 1991, declaration of independence of Slovenia and Croatia.

Saying 1989 is a political statement, one I may or may not agree with, relating to actions Milosevic took relative to an internal Serbian matter on the statute of Kosovo. A political statement, not a statement of fact. Otherwise, why stop at 1989? We can go to 1981...that wasn't even Milosevic...or again, why stop there, we can go back to the famous 11th century or whatever that Serbian nationalists are always on about.

Again, you present a political statement as a fact.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No political in history books or, heaven beware, us nationalism either?

"The history books" - charming.

The destruction of the self-government of Kossovo was a fact and I watched it back then in real time. It was a internal yugoslavian matter, destroying the balance of Yugoslavia.

by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:07:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean the same balance that produced even more severe repression in Kosovo in the early 1980's when Milosevic was still in law school or whatever?

Tito died in 1980. What followed was predictable, and predicted. Except maybe to those perpetually and irresponsibly naive, which is my cheif criticism here.

Of course, this makes me a Milosevic lover. In the same way, I suppose, that AJP Taylor is called a Hitler lover by some equally naive people.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:40:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you both miss the 80ies destruction of the Yugoslav economy with IMF and "reforms" and all. Though that was the US, so I am not at all sure were this fits into your discussion.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 02:56:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tito died in 1980. What followed was predictable, and predicted.

But in  this case the famous "recognition§ had no influence on events anyway.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:05:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Redstar is not wrong in pointing out that in suppressing Kosovo, you could go back at least to the bloody repression of the 1981 protests in Kosovo: the elimination of intra-Serbian autonomy doesn't suffice as the start of war or even the start of dissolution. (The Gazimestan speech, on the other hand, came close to a declaration of war, or at least a declaration of intransigent fightr for self-interest against the other Yugoslav republics.) You should have noted instead that, even if 1991 be the starting date, the Ten-Day War was months before Germany's recognition.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:54:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That speech and the suppression of the independent administration started the dissolution and the civil wars. That was obvious even back then.

"You should have noted instead that, even if 1991 be the starting date, the Ten-Day War was months before Germany's recognition."

Why? I didn't caim teh war started with recognition. The facts are obvious after all.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That speech and the suppression of the independent administration started the dissolution and the civil wars.

That's a way too cavalier summary of the events between March 1989 and June 1991. To make that claim, there would have to been near-continuous civil war during that period, but even the (not yet fighting) paramilitaries appeared in late 1990 only and hostilities started in March 1991.

Why?

Because it would have been a valid argument against redstar's position, obviously. 1989 as the starting date of the civil war is most definitely not standard history,  but you don't need that to disprove redstar.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:17:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"1989 as the starting date of the civil war is most definitely not standard history,"

Oh come on. That is as close to standard history as it is going to get.

What is your interpretation? That the dissolution of Yugoslaiva started in Slovenia and serb politics had nothing to do with it?

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actualaly it was feared in Slovenia that an "anti-bureaucratic revolution, that is Milosevic takeover could happen there too.
by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As in here:

proto civil war in december 19889

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rally_of_Truth

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, standard history says 1991:

Yugoslav Wars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Yugoslav Wars were ethnic conflicts fought from 1991 to 2001 on the territory of former Yugoslavia.

Every civil war obviously has non-immediate causes and background, and how far back in time you follow those depends on the historian. I note that by referencing the "anti-bureaucratic revolution" in another comment, you already followed it back to 1986.

If you are curious about my personal interpretation of the events, I think even with the bad preconditions – the loss of Tito as a symbolic connecting figure (a Croat fighting WWII with mostly Serb supporters), existing nationalist movements reaching into the top ranks, and a federal make-up giving structure to rather than mitigating conflict –, for the total escalation, the specific ambitions and style of power of the leaders was crucial. Above all Milo's tendency to attempt to grab more power with an ever firmer grip but losing even more of it slipping through his fingers: a more intelligent supreme leader wannabe would have realised that it's not good to have everyone against him at the same time. But several others bear responsibility for not attempting to wait longer and play for Milo's eventual overthrow and further the escalation one way or another, above all Tuđman, with his de-Serbification campaign and his little deal with Milo regarding Bosnia (March 1991!). Among foreign meddlers, in addition to the IMF, the USA, Germany and Russia, I could mention Hungary's first democratically elected government which secretly sent a large cache of arms to Tuđman's government in late 1990.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 09:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a HD Genscher Strasse in your neighbourhood too?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:34:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"This was followed by the mass replacement of opposing communist leaders in the provinces, called the "anti-bureaucratic revolution". Many Albanians were killed in March 1989 when demonstrations against the new constitution were violently suppressed by Serbian security forces. By June 1989, the atmosphere in Kosovo was calm but tense"

Thta was the timeline. Babbling about early 1980s, there after all no civil war was staretd, is irrelevant in that context.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The situation in June 1989 was exactly like after the bloody clampdown in 1981: repression successful. The civil war started well after, for which you needed the conflict with the other republics. It doesn't help your position to dismiss arguments as "babbling".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No it wasn't. the other republics couldn't accept the take over of the votes of the provinces by Serbia, leading to dissolution. I see no hidden german hand here, do you?

And yes, deflecting form the situation in 1989/1990/1991 by talking about the eraly eighties isn't much of an argument

A situation starting to develop in mid 1989 was not caused by something happening in december 1991.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 1981 events were triggered by Kosovan demands for statehood, something hardly irrelevant to the subsequent elimination of autonomy. For Milo's power grab within Yugosavia, the takeover of his supporters in the republic of Montenegro is just as relevant than the two autonomy regions (the first of which fell in 1988 already in the Yogurt Revolution). I don't understand what you mean by the other republics "not accepting" the takeovers: they took active part in the Presidency until March 1991 at least.

I still don't get why you're so hung up on March 1989 when June 1991 already destroys redstar's argument.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:35:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...in the EU - you need to go back to pre - unification Germany EU logic.

Once you go there you understand.

Timing is everything.

I suppose, in a more perfect world, Gysi is chancellor and Redstar not only isn't Germanophobe, but is busy learning German and sick of the ball - less french among whom he has lived for years.

But hey, you go to war with the Germany you have,  not the one you wished you have.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 09:00:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany recognised states (thinking esp. but not only Croatia) it had no business taking the lead in recognising, as it had no intention nor wherewithal to actually take responsibility for that action. (And no, social democratic idealists, it is not reasonable to say "ah the bad Serbs they are responsible for everything! If they hadn't attacked and yada yada yada," because you deal, in such matters, with the way things really are, and not as you think they ought to be.
Interestingly, Croatia is still full of "Hans Dietrich Genscher street".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 09:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is vastly overestimating the importance of recognition. At time germany pushed ahead and recognized croatia a few weeks earlier, there had been already month of civil war.

>(And no, social democratic idealists, it is not reasonable to say "ah the bad Serbs they are responsible for everything! If they hadn't attacked and yada yada yada,"<

That is the only reasonable way to see things. By the way where is your hero Milosevic now and how has Serbia pofited in he end of all his wars?

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
where is your hero Milosevic now

Is that really necessary? Still Milosevic dying during his trial in a cell in de Haag should hardly be a point of pride for the interventionist side.

by generic on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:10:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, even if you want to give Kohl & Genscher a pass so that you can give Schröder & Scharping a pass (not to mention other Western powers or Russia), you have to at least recognise the proto-fascist streak on Franjo Tuđman's side and lay some blame there.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 02:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a curious method for keeping out of debates

"you have to at least recognise the proto-fascist streak on Franjo Tuđman's side and lay some blame there."

Sure, but that is very much a cause of dissolution from inside Yugoslavia. I didn't say anything about the independence movement in  Slovenia and Croatia being a good thing. I just pointed out that is was very real thing, leading to civil war long before the recognition crisis.

"so that you can give Schröder & Scharping a pass (not to mention other Western powers or Russia)"

Is this a new theory that makes Germany the prime mover in the Kosovo war? Not the US?

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:59:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but that is very much a cause of dissolution from inside Yugoslavia. I didn't say anything about the independence movement in  Slovenia and Croatia being a good thing. I just pointed out that is was very real thing, leading to civil war long before the recognition crisis.

In other words, you can do nuance and do not really think that redstar's caricature of a supposedly SocDem view, that "the bad Serbs are responsible for everything", is "the only reasonable way to see things".  Shoot less from the hip, less confusion.

Germany the prime mover in the Kosovo war? Not the US?

Not shooting from the hip would also let you to notice nuance when reading what others wrote. That way, you could distinguish between my position and that of redstar.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:27:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I haven't seen much nuance from you on this topic so far. The dissolution of Yugoslavia started when Milosevic removed the autonomy of the autonomous province inside Serbia and so destroyed the balance of feral Yugoslavia.

As far as recognition was involved I looked up the timeline:

"Germany advocated quick recognition of Croatia, in order to stop ongoing violence in Serb-inhabited areas, with Helmut Kohl requesting recognition in the Bundestag on 4 September."

Recognition by the EU happened on January 15th and Germany jumped ahead and recognized on December 19th.

But at this time the croatian civil war was already under way a full half year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_of_Croatia#General_recognition  

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:45:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, you are debating redstar, not me. You don't need to see me invest energy into the 100th detailed debunking of this simplistic narrative to deduce a different view from my previous comments.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your interlocutor here claims that Milosevic started everything in 1989 when he revoked Kosovo's autonomous stature. 5I think he did the same in the Hungarian province too, but not with the same result although I think Monica Seles mentioned it as a reason to take US citizenship if memory serves).

And what was my point? That when two years later, Bonn recognises, before everyone else, Croatian and Slovenian independence, unilaterally, with no military contingency plan or negotiations with Belgrade, that this recognition very predictably would escalate into war.

And you don't need to be a Milosevic lover or a Germanophobe or whatever other insults to which some of you are on thread are prone, to recognise this.

This is what I meant by you deal with the world as it is, and not how the social democrat thinks it ought ot be. To which, again, one is either a Milosevic lover or a simplistic carcaturer of social democrats (leaving aside the fact that , predictably, your social democrat interlocutor on this subject immediately started blaming Milosevic for being...Milosevic, which in my world is called a tautology)

Seems to me that you can't call me an idiot because I point out it was naive to think Milosevic was not going to be Milosevic, and at the same time point fingers in the end at Milosevic because he was Milosevic. Because it is precisely that sort of idiocy I am criticising in the first place.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I note we have elided here to the intervention in Kosovo, seven years after what I was describing as a serious failure of EU and EU-member state foreign policy.

The Kosovo crisis is of course very much related, but I do hope you and your interlocutor here can see the nuance and the shift in focus which is undertaken, in both of your rhetoric, which is of course advantageous to the viewpoint you both seem to want to put forth (hard power bad, US hard power very bad).

Remember, my main practical point was simply that German foreign policy relating to the former Jugoslavia in 1991-1992 was irresponsible and played a significant contributing part in the escalation of the wars in Bosnia and Croatia, conflict in which US hard power, in support of diplomatic efforts culminating in Dayton peace accords which hold to this day, was eventually needed, given EU member state armed response was pathetically inadequate. I further avered that if the US has a hard time taking EU diplomacy in this part of the world (today Ukraine) the recent past, and decades of under-investment in security on the part of many EU nations (and especially Germany, which enjoys a security guarantee by the US) can help explain it.

I never of course said that I approved of Ms. Nuland's worldview or words or acts. Simply put them in context.

To this I am treated to...wait for it...accusations of US misbehaviour in the middle east, as if I think those imperial wars were justified. And why not talk about Kosovo, which happened 7 years later (and which I further mentioned, given the strengthening of Milosevic in the first Jugoslav wars in Croatia and Bosnia)? Why not keep misdirecting?

Again, I was commenting on unilateral recognition of an independent state in Europe with a very large Serbian minority, at a time when a nationalist was entrenching his power in Belgrade. It doesn't take a genius to suspect that, given what was known about Milosevic already, the man in Belgrade was not going to take such declarations lying down.

This is just how things were, and stating this does not make one a Milosevic lover, as your interlocutor has explicitly stated.

And my "caricature" of the social democratic response was simply, again, a statement about the inability to be realistic about such things, to recognise Croatia unilaterally without so much as pourparlers with Belgrade or military contigency plans in the event of the inevitable. But this somehow makes me a Germanophobe and "distraught at the state of the French left".

And the reason for this is that we are in the same place with Putin right now, and the EU have a similarly weak response. Again, I am not a Putin lover for saying this. There are times when a  military response is warranted, or at the very least a credible threat, else diplomatic pressure can be ignored, something Putin has shown time and again, and any Georgian can tell you about this.

If folks on this site are going to decry lack of nuance, I would suggest folks on this site try to employ it for themselves.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:27:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
If folks on this site are going to decry lack of nuance, I would suggest folks on this site try to employ it for themselves.

If contributors are going to start whining about "this site", I would suggest they go try another one.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:33:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was not whining about this site. I was amused at the hypocritical whining (and casual insults) of two contributors of this site.

Nuance.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:09:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an invitation to debate without the whining and the victimisation.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:44:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which has been an invitation for so many previous contributors to leave.

I see.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:47:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No you don't.

In almost ten years, very few people have been banned or "invited to leave".

Keep up the pissy insinuations, you're going to be treated as a straightforward troll.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 07:49:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But certain "site cops" do have a way of intervening. It isn't what is said, it is the way it is said, and when the intervention is chosen.

Ad homs on being Milosevic lover? Germanophobe? Et c.? No intervention.

Call people on it? Afew to the rescue.

You may not have a practise of banning people but, let's just say, certain people do have a very strong habit of making others quite unwelcome.

It is a passive aggressive form of the same thing.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 08:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you choose the sig line you have, you don't bitch about being called Germanophobic. You have chosen to make your Germanophobia patent.

Nobody called you a "Milosevic-lover", any more than anyone called you an idiot. You are just posing as a victim.

As for people who complain about how "this site" is run, I told you further up. Try another place to see if it fits your style better.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 09:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thumbs down for the escalation here.
by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 09:57:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:21:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

As you have now decided to engage in a ratings battle, I'm warning you that any more of it will see your ratings wiped and your right to rate shut down.

 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 09:34:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"we have elided here to the intervention in Kosovo,"

We have done nothing of that sort. Yozu wnated for whatever reason peddle pro Milosevic myth of the dissolution of Yugoslavia. One again: At the time Germany recognized Croatia (unilaterally, but only a few weeks prior to the rest of the EC) there was already a civil war in Croatia raging for half a year. A hard power devotee like you should recognize facts on the ground or not?

And you germanophobia is well known. That was perhaps one of its milder eruptions.

(hard power bad, US hard power very bad).

No. Rather: hard power has its limits. Take Bosnia:the US ended it, but how? By just freezing the frontlines - after Serbia captured the enclaves by the way. And now? Bosnia is de fato still in the same state of frozen frontlines. Is that really a success?

A common EU/USA failure of course - as so often.

And now in Ukraine, what exactly is american hard power doing?

by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"pro-Milosevic" myths.

What is it with you and ad hominem?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:54:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Says the person, who thinks "huns" funny. And yes, you are peddling pro Milosevic myhts. I haven't forgotten the actual timeline. If you have, look it up again.
by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the time Germany recognized Croatia (unilaterally, but only a few weeks prior to the rest of the EC)

This is a self-serving qualifier, which might lead the careless reader to assume that the EC would have anyway recognized Croatia.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:19:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it would have. Recognition on january 15th was already decided.
by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 04:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, Germany forced its partners' hand. From a contemporary source:

Slovenia and Croatia Get Bonn's Nod - NYTimes.com

At a fractious European Community meeting last week, Germany announced to its partners that it was planning to recognize Slovenia and Croatia, even if it had to do so alone. To preserve a semblance of unity, the 12 member countries approved a resolution authorizing recognition of new nations that meet certain conditions, including stable borders, respect for democracy, and protection of minority rights. Thousands Killed in Fighting

Several European leaders, as well as President Bush and Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar of the United Nations, had urged Germany not to proceed with plans to recognize the two republics immediately. They suggested instead that recognition be withheld until it could be granted as part of an overall peace settlement.

Both supporters and opponents of recognition say their position will help end the fighting, which has claimed thousands of lives since since Slovenia and Croatia declared independence this summer. Troops of the Serbian-dominated regular army and militias have taken over a third of Croatia's territory in their attempt to block Croatian secession.

I don't understand why you have to defend Kohl & Genscher here: they were clearly wrong in assuming that recognition will end the fighting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:46:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"they were clearly wrong in assuming that recognition will end the fighting. "

Sute. But the claim here was that the recognition startedthe figfhting. Not quite the same.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Munich newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of whose correspondents was killed this year while covering the Yugoslav conflict, today criticized the Government's action as "an empty gesture" that was "a foreign policy reaction to domestic political pressure."

Was hardly universally applauded in Geemany bachj then, too.

That said:

"Under the European Community resolution, today was the first day on which a member country could declare that Croatia or Slovenia had met the conditions for recognition. The community set Jan. 15 as the first day for formal recognition, and whether Germany has adhered to that deadline or acted too quickly was described in Bonn as a matter of interpretation. "

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:53:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I blame Mitterand much more than Kohl.

Germany was a foreign-policy midget, and should have been treated as such by its EU partners, who should have developed a coherent and morally defensible common position. Public pressure in Germany, based more on previous historical affinities (no, I'm not just talking about WWII) than current events, should not have been the determining factor in recognising the post-Yugoslav republics.

France, as the senior foreign-policy actor in the EU, had the largest responsibility in providing an adequate response. But here too, policy-makers  maintained their historic affinity with the Serbs, always their preferred hegemon in the Balkans (going back a long way). Mitterand apparently saw nothing wrong with the Serbs mutilating the Yugoslav federal system in order to seize power. He was such an arsehole in foreign policy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 09:08:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a quite militaristic view on diplomacy... Methinks things would have been rather more bleak had Germany played around in its "diplomatic back yard" the same way the USA did in Iraq.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 10:43:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to restart any balkan discussions but what do you mean by "At least the French and the Brits are capable of taking care of their own diplomatic back yard"?

Because I distinctly remember the French starting with the bombing Libya only to go to the US hat in hand because they were running out of bombs.

But really most western armies are a joke, because the procurement process and military leadership is devoid of any accountability. You can sort of work around it by throwing infinite money at the problem, but still.

by generic on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 11:35:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And, at least in the case of European joke armies, I say und das ist auch gut so.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 11:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
until you actually need it.

Leben ist alles, Rose, wenn Sie ein Träumer sind.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:07:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
Unfortunately, hard power is not an aspect of a flowering society, but at best one nearing the end of its universal state, heading towards decline.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 03:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But viewed in a manicheistic manner, I can see how they could be taken that way.

Because the northern European vision of society is about something other than decline? Just look at the birth rates.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Feb 14th, 2015 at 05:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
backyard. Libya was clearly a mistake, but it wasn't the case that this was due to French bungling of the classic diplomacy/force tandem, because there was no diplomacy to speak of. It was pure US-style power project for sake of power projection, and not even the US has resources for that, as Irak has shown.

I am refering to the area of the world known as Françafrique (using the term by the way means I am not lending my approval to it, just stating it as a fact), and recent interventions include Côte d'Ivoire a couple years ago, or more recently Mali and Centrafrique.

Libya is definitely not in Françafrique. You use of it is a red herring.

Where has Germany succesfully used its diplomatic power to alleviate tensions, and how has it done so?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:05:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least the French and the Brits are capable of taking care of their own diplomatic back yard, whatever else you can say about it.

Echoing generic below, I think the Libyan intervention contradicts that.  My memory is of Sarko and Poshboy being incapable of taking a firm position and tying themselves in knots until Obama finally said, "Okay, let's get involved."  And then France and Britain ran out of bombs and everybody in the US was, like, "wut?"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:22:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, IMHO France's military adventures in Africa and the notion of "taking care of one's own diplomatic backyard" are in the category of post-menopausal imperialism.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:48:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nearly spit my beer out reading that. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And we all wonder why Victoria Nuland is so bellicose? What choice does she have?

She and her buddies, along with the US Government could and should have left Ukraine the fuck alone instead of running their 'color revolutions' and orchestrating the coup that led to Petro Poroschenko. Had Obama wanted to avoid this US fiasco/Ukrainian tragedy he should have reassigned her and her fellow travelers. But no, we had to undermine the Ukraine because Putin is the heir of Stalin. The whole current situation is due to that group's influence and the subsequent refusal by the US to allow a functional degree of autonomy for the Donbas.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 09:25:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're ascribing way too much agency to the US in this conflict, just as others ascribe way too much agency to Putin. Sure, colour revolution, yadda yadda yadda; but once Pandora's box is opened, nobody can predict how it turns out, and nobody's micro-managing either side, as far as I can see.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 03:34:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps, and perhaps others, such as yourself, are ascribing too little. It was certainly no Iraq, but Nuland, Pyatt and others certainly felt they had accomplished something great, pulling Ukraine away from Russia, and through the agency first of the Orange Revolution, and then of the protests that led to the downfall of the recently elected government of Yanukovich. The US was fishing in troubled waters, organizing, financing and facilitating what came to pass: "Bringing Democracy to Ukraine." A match struck in just the right/wrong circumstances can set a prairie on fire, as I found out at age six. They are not six year olds.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 08:10:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"German diplomacy is a joke, precisely because Germany does not have an army behind it"

You are stuck in the 19th century.

"At least the French and the Brits are capable of taking care of their own diplomatic back yard,"

No wonder africa is in such a godd shape.

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:42:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the threat of heavy arms for the Ukraine government has forced Putin to stop sending heavy arms to the rebels.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:42:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't see how that's correct. Russian regulars armed with heavy equipment like tanks and rocket artillery are constantly in action against Ukrainian units. They are even rotating troops in and out of the battle zone. As late as today I saw pictures of Russian soldiers with strikingly Asiatic (think turko-mongol) features in the area.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 06:06:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed, but Putin's fiction is that they are not Russian army regulars but "volunteers" (I'm not sure if they are leasing tanks from the army or what).

If he concedes border controls in the negotiations, he won't be able to rotate his troops in and out any more. Or at least, not with the heavy weapons, pretty visible by satellite.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 09:34:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin said it was not the best night in his life, but agreed with "good morning". (Youtube ~20s). The ruble rate improved though.

English speaking Asovians were definitely spotted in Mariupol.

by das monde on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 07:05:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears that in the all-night party between Putin, Poro, Merkel and Hollande, agreement has been reached on closing the Russian border. This would presumably put an end to the possibility of driving (privately-owned) tanks over it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:39:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens when the cool toys we sent to Poroshenko start popping up in the arsenals of other criminal organizations.

Fixed it for you.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 06:01:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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