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Everything posted by 213374U

  1. So Zelensky to preside over the Red Square May Day parade, then?
  2. I'm the last to complain when the rich get eaten. That being said, I wish we'd see a more frequent and uniform application of the law that allowed for that.
  3. I think he was referring to ethnic Russians in Ukraine, not Russians in Russia.
  4. That's a bit of an assumption. The city council or local military command decides whether the city surrenders, not the average Ivan on the street. If the mayor of a city insisted in holding out as long as possible in a hopeless situation to for political reasons or w/e, regardless of the cost, he could do it against Ivan's wishes. And subsequent deaths could be pinned on "reckless" local authorities by propaganda. It all depends on the spin.
  5. Actually I haven't. We sometimes get a lot of desert dust from Northern Africa but that picture is quite striking. Very cool except for the fact that breathing that **** is really bad, and it's happening around the same time as polen levels are on the rise...
  6. No, not because it's rude, but because literally the only thing that an institution like the ICC works on is credibility as there is no actual international law enforcement. If you systematically only try non-Westerners, because every time someone brings up the possibility of trying a NATO brass commander it must be postponed indefinitely because of "whatever reasons", it's never going to work. And without it, what you get is a might-makes-right international politics which lead to things like Putin invading Ukraine because he can.
  7. This was brought up in the context of Russian shelling of residential buildings where Ukrainian troops were sheltering. As per the Geneva Conventions, this makes it a legitimate military target, and has been the justification in, for example, Israel bombing hospitals. The extent to which the damage is excessive in relation to the military reason given is debatable, and ultimately, a question of law. Pointing out precedent is neither "a tangent" nor "whataboutism*" -- it is just that, precedent that is used to establish context. The same argument you are directing at Zoraptor could be just as easily adapted to suggest that you don't care about Palestinians killed by Israeli airstrikes. It's... not terribly useful to infer motivations, and it generally leads to discussions degenerating into petty squabbles. I'd happily see Putin tried for launching a war of aggression in the ICC. But if we are going to have that working, other people need to be tried there first -- because their crimes predate Putin's. *this has to be one of the most perverse buzzwords in a long time. Anyone pointing out any sort of inconsistency? Just claim "whataboutism" and you don't need to address any actual points. Accusations of hypocrisy? Don't worry, fire back with "whataboutism" and you win automatically. It's basically a way to justify the old "do as I say, not as I do", but with less words and no possible rebuttals. It's great! Also, please do not circumvent the word filter. Thanks.
  8. I mean, if by "news" you mean 2020, then sure. Uzbekistan said it doesn't recognize the DPR and LPR (i.e. it doesn't recognize them at this time) but that's not really news. Literally no country except Russia has recognized them, no matter how friendly with Russia they are. Not even Belarus. Kazakhstan's stance, for example, is much opposed to Russia's in this matter. And this is despite Russia sending troops there to help quash a rebellion there two months ago. But this isn't really news either, it's the same as it has been since this begun three weeks ago -- either silence or outright opposition. Twitter "news" are like anything else from Twitter: crap. But man, it's really starting to make me miss the days when people would post Breitbart "news". I mean, how many dead Russian generals already? 20? 2000? 20 million?
  9. Is it? It's basically going back to the status quo pre-2014 -- minus Crimea, which there's no way in hell they are getting back anyway. If Russia is offering those terms, there might be something to the reports that they are significantly depleted and would struggle to sustain combat operations long enough to fully de-militarize Ukraine, remove Zelenskyy and forcefully secede the Donbass. However what alternative is there? NATO isn't getting involved and I don't see any possible scenario where Ukraine wins this.
  10. Yeah, general Gerard of Rivera was a bit unsettling. Fantastic game, they released a patch late last year that remade the base game to have it work with the improved engine from the latest expansion. Great time to get into it.
  11. No. You simply were wrong in stating that the US were funding the Soviets before WWII, because WWII started in 1939, and not in 1941 when the US entered the war.
  12. Seriously. before preposition /bɪˈfɔː(r)/ /bɪˈfɔːr/ earlier than somebody/something -- There is no definition of this word, in any dictionary, that makes true the statement: "America was 'funding' everyone before WW2 including soviets." Your link tells of the well-known Lend-Lease aid which I referenced before (so I don't see why you felt the need to link it to me), which only started arriving in in 1941 (WWII is generally agreed to have begun with Germany's invasion of Poland, in Sept. 1939), and only after Germany broke their non-aggression pact with the USSR. Furthermore, the Soviets still had to pay for the stuff, even at heavy discounts. That debt carried over and survived the Soviet Union, and was only fully liquidated in 2006.
  13. No. The only US started pumping money (and equipment) into the Soviet Union when it became useful to do so to keep the Germans bleeding out in the East. In fact, one of the main reasons why Roosevelt attempted to restore diplomatic relations with the USSR pre-war was so the latter would resume Tsarist-era debt payments to the US. Another was to have the Soviets act as a sort of counterweight to Japan in the Pacific.
  14. Yeah. Let's not get too carried away discussing other users, guys.
  15. If you are looking for a sandbox, look elsewhere. SWTOR is an on-rails themepark MMO. The endgame scene is in a bad place right now. The expansion scaling and tuning is bad, there is no new endgame content, and the grind is terrible. I've quit the game over how bad it is, and I had been doing consistent raiding for the last, eh, 5 years or so. It's a complete dumpster fire. That being said, if you want to play with someone else and aren't especially interested in endgame I'd say give it a go. A lot of the F2P restrictions won't impact you overmuch and the base content, the class stories, is probably the best the game has to offer even after all these years. They have pretty much removed the grindy aspects the game used to have back when you played it and you can basically take it as a single player or coop CRPG.
  16. Note that I'm not saying it's illegal -- there's always some loophole or bit of fine print somewhere buried in that document that no one bothered to read when they voted on that referendum fifteen years ago. What I'm saying though is that it's hypocritical. If we are willing to use the same tools as the likes of Turkey and Russia, then we have lost the moral authority to criticize them. Either the ends justify the means, or they don't. "Sometimes" in this context means very much yes. Why, "philantropists", of course.
  17. Again, no. "Speech in support for breaking other people's human rights" isn't grounds for censorship. Otherwise they could have banned any number of outlets and voices over the past 20 years that peddled bull**** (actual bull****) in support of frivolous wars all over the world. Also Chinese-affiliated media, Persian Gulf state-affiliated media, not to mention all the voices claiming for suspension of basic rights during the pandemic. A fundamental principle stops having any use or being meaningful if you just claim "exceptional circumstances!" to ignore it whenever it suits you. Doing that while denying opponents the same is textbook hypocrisy. Either we have a free, open and mature democratic society that can not be seriously confused, contaminated and disrupted by propaganda and fake news, or we do and all the authoritarian garbage pushed by the likes of Xi Jinping and Putin is actually on point. You can't just have both simply because you claim to have the moral high ground.
  18. No. That may be some edge interpretation of the American 1st Amendment, but not really what free speech is about. Free speech is a guiding principle that applies to everyone who is committed to an open society. You don't have a protected right while on that platform, but that doesn't immediately invalidate the principle itself. It is on the private entity running the platform to decide whether they want to uphold that principle and assume the costs and consequences. I fully support YouTube's right to nuke RT, but I find the decision unfortunate, the execution ham-fisted, and the reasoning given laughable. They have chosen to remove the entire RT channel, but not everything in there was Russian gov't propaganda. Unless you somehow figure that documentaries about the life in deep Siberia of some 30-something guy that looks like a teenager is pro-war Kremlin tripe. All the while claiming to do so under the "violent content" protection guidelines. What I don't support is ****ing Ursula von der Leyen deciding for some 450 million people what they can and cannot watch in the privacy of their homes. That is censorship, but after what we've been seeing lately, I'm not at all surprised that seldom anyone seems to have a problem with this.
  19. Sure thing. When Russia attacks a NATO member, that will trigger Article 5. Hasn't happened though, so your fantasizing about a reconstituted cavalry charging against Russians in Crimea (heh) is either describing a fictional scenario, or simply advertising your personal lust for war. A war which, by your own admission, you'd watch on TV. In either case, it's out of place and... weird. ...which brings us to the next point. Yes, my dear armchair general. As a former member of the armed forces, I was part of the active reserve for 5 years after leaving. The law provides for recall of former members in exceptional circumstances so, if things got bad enough, I would probably be called to wear the uniform again, as I am physically fit and not old enough to be excluded. You can bet your ass that I'd rather go to a military prison than be sent to kill Russians on a war started by some plutocrat clique in the US, though. It's a typical tactic. Make no actual arguments, but paint anyone with an opinion that disagrees with the party line as a commie subversive Russian apologist. Note that he previously labelled Prof. Mearsheimer as one, too. In any case, I guess that if I'm a Putin apologist by suggesting that the West has played a big role in setting the stage for this war, notorious commie subversives American patriots like Henry Kissinger, Jack F. Matlock, and even Joe ****ing Biden are also Putin apologists, as they all acknowledged that eastward NATO expansion would inevitably trigger a Russian response. In a predictable exercise of intellectual dishonesty, this is also assumed to mean an excuse of Russia's actions (it isn't) and so, an immediate disqualification of the opponent.
  20. Ain't "our" war, friend. Last I checked, Ukraine is not a part of NATO. You're casually talking about launching a completely new war, one that would have a fair chance of escalating into a major nuclear conflict. So yeah, maybe wait until Russia attacks you before going full Major Kong? I always find this noble talk about "willing to die to defend you" quite cringe-worthy, by the way. Of course, it's not going to be you doing the dying, right? Nah, you'll be comfortable in your very much unbombed university halls, while others do the actual dying. Heh. Yeah. By all means, find better things to spend that money on. Won't happen, sadly.
  21. Very nice. Would be great if you could fight that war on your own country instead of shooting up other people's places, for a change.
  22. Yes. The Crimea situation wasn't settled after 1992 any more than it is now after Russia seized it in 2014. The main difference seems to be that back then, Ukraine and Russia were willing to find common ground and respected each other... at least compared to now. Ukraine went from granting it special economic status and allowing Crimea to have its own constitution to stripping that constitution and detaining and exiling the overtly separatist Crimean president. Add to the mix ethnic and historical factors on both sides and you get a much fuzzier picture than "X said that Y belongs to Z and signed so-and-so treaty to that effect". You really can put anything on paper. As an aside, I find it interesting how some people are seemingly much more receptive to Catalonian arguments for self-determination than they are to similar pleas when they are put forth by Crimeans. There are a lot of parallels between the two.
  23. Diplomacy has no "win" condition. It is both a process and a state of affairs. So long as you are avoiding war between parties with conflicting interests, you are winning. I'm not a fan of the idea that, without the threat of massive force, one cannot have normal relations with one's neighbors. France and Germany have had a history of hostilities and preying on each other's weaknesses at different times. After WWII, a different approach was attempted. It is an open question whether without the Soviet threat, cooperation between them would have borne fruit as it has. What's certain is that if they had continued to regard each other as rivals waiting to stick a dagger in each other's back, the peace we now take for granted would be a pipe dream. We keep refusing to even consider the Russian perspective -- Ukrainians (and Baltics peoples, and Poles, and...) may be right to be wary about potential Russian aggression. And yet, this isn't mutually exclusive with Russian fears of Western aggression, especially in light of NATO's role after the Soviet collapse. Media and political leaders insist on painting Putin as an insane megalomaniac, when signs point to him rather being a calculating, pragmatic bureaucrat with a mild nostalgia for the past. It pays to remember that Russia has been under siege by the West, economic or military, for more than a century now. Whether this is the Russians' fault is immaterial -- the siege mentality is there, for both the people and the leaders. Dogged ignorance of this is a huge obstacle in the path to building normal relations. Arrogance in diplomacy isn't conducive to good deals. This much is obvious when we look at Putin's demands. And yet, this principle doesn't seem to apply to the West. The issue about nuclear powers perpetually looking as bullies to their neighbors isn't trivial either. Non-proliferation efforts are a joke, and a cynic could think they are more intended to gatekeep nations from graduating to "equal" status than preventing nuclear war. This of course has the opposite effect of pushing countries that feel threatened to seek nuclear weapons as an existential safeguard. If we really want a world where diplomacy and the international rule of law decide matters, we must push for nuclear disarmament. Otherwise, an exclusive club of countries will always exist that reserve the right to do as they please. As for why countries seem to flock to the US... funny story. We've had a history of political opposition to hosting NATO here. And yet, every single political leader who has held a position contrary to NATO since the early 80's, magically flips after being elected to office. Acceptance of the cold realities of politics, or utter corruption? Perhaps they are one and the same in this day and age?
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