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Ukraine Conflict - The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his


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31 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Slightly off topic, for which apologies, but who do you think was the most recent genuinely good American president? (And why, perhaps.)

The reason I ask is that some kind of loathing for the government tends to be so common among Americans, and I often wonder whether they regard their system of government as inherently effed or whether they just think they've had particularly bad rulers in the recent past. Either way it is, I think it's extremely unfortunate, particularly because so many Americans seem to be totally uninterested in the whole political process or regard it as not worth participating in.

In my view, this is in sharp contrast with the fact that so many Americans also think that it's the greatest country in the world and it generally has nothing whatsoever to learn from any other country anywhere. And these two things fit together rather badly, in my view.

I tend to be both sceptical and critical towards my own government, but as a rule, I think the system actually works quite well: I am extremely pleased with everything that I have received with the taxes that I've paid (everything from superb education to excellent health care and so on), and while "the system" certainly isn't perfect, I honestly think it's at least OK and definitely a lot better than in most countries in the world. Size, of course, is a factor, which I certainly am aware of.

Anyway, I would love it if Americans were more interested in their system, cared more about refining it and didn't constantly comment so disparagingly upon it. But it is also possible that they are right in thinking that it's all beyond saving now -- and if that is the case, it's a sorry state indeed.

This is difficult for me to answer because I didn't start paying much attention to politics until roughly a decade ago, when I (sort of) got my **** together. Before that, I was too busy being a **** up to give it much thought. My answer may be surprising as he wasn't a terribly effective president in terms of enacting his policies, but Jimmy Carter seems to be the most genuinely good human being of the former presidents still alive. He's been vocally anti-war and pro diplomacy his entire career and not just lip service, he really tried to de-escalate conflicts, wasn't effective sometimes, but he did try. He's dedicated much of his life to humanitarian work and he seems to live a relatively modest life for a person of his prominence. Jimmy Carter is the last president I can think of that I would call a genuinely good man.

To be clear, I love America. I criticize our government precisely because I love America and I want us to be better. For all our atrocities, we've never done anything even remotely as horrific as, for example, Stalin. I think it's really difficult for anyone to be a good president right now because the corruption in the District of Columbia runs so deep. Special interest groups are so ingrained in the system and the military industrial complex wields so much power that when someone with real ideals tries to become president their own party will cut them off at the knees (e.g. Bernie Sanders, twice). We'll probably see that repeated with RFK Jr. this time around if he manages to gain any traction.

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1 hour ago, Keyrock said:

This is difficult for me to answer because I didn't start paying much attention to politics until roughly a decade ago, when I (sort of) got my **** together. Before that, I was too busy being a **** up to give it much thought. My answer may be surprising as he wasn't a terribly effective president in terms of enacting his policies, but Jimmy Carter seems to be the most genuinely good human being of the former presidents still alive.

Ok, thanks. Funnily enough, I both thought that Carter was going to be your choice and think that he would probably me my choice, too.

And no, Carter wasn't all that effective. After all, when the question of his re-election came up, his message of "Let's talk better mileage" couldn't compete with Reagan's message of "Let's kill the bástards".

As far as getting your string of four asterisks together is concerned, I remember the soccer player Megan Rapinoe telling of how she became eligible to vote and then went on and voted for George W. Bush thinking that her action was commendable simply for the fact that she was voting in the first place. Subsequently, her views have obviously changed. But the point was that her choice of candidate and her reasoning (d'oh) for the choice was yet another example of the kind of thing that makes me wonder how on earth does the world's richest nation get to have such an awful system of education. I mean, it's effing unbelievable. (And yes, I know that the US probably also has the best education in the world available, but that's not the norm, as I'm pretty sure we'd agree.)

There's an awful lot I like about the US, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my stays there. But I almost certainly wouldn't want to live there, unless it was somewhere like Boulder, Colorado, or a place like that.

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1 hour ago, Gfted1 said:

Russia had plenty of everything before the start of the war. Imo, what we are witnessing is literally a failure of every other conceivable metric: planning, predeployment, equipment readiness, leadership capability, troop training and morale, equipment that doesnt perform to expectations, execution of objectives, etc... Now theyve suffered brain drain and crushing technological sanctions, so I dont see any way theyre a conventional force threat again in the next decade or longer.

The mirror, incidentally, is not a Russian invention.

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Oh that wacky Melnyk.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Apparently the 9 new Ukrainian brigades trained in the west are ready:

That's pretty surprising as the leaked documents showed that most of them hasn't even started training before March.
The original plan was to provide some 3 months of training for each of them.

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8 minutes ago, pmp10 said:

Apparently the 9 new Ukrainian brigades trained in the west are ready:

That's pretty surprising as the leaked documents showed that most of them hasn't even started training before March.
The original plan was to provide some 3 months of training for each of them.

https://eurasiantimes.com/head-on-collision-leopard-2-tank-rams-into-another-mbt/

#doubt

"because they filled mommy with enough mythic power to become a demi-god" - KP

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Haha yes, I knew someone would mention that as soon as I saw the headline. They may also have had 9 brigades worth of equipment pledged, but... well. Those few battalions of modern tanks pledged are going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting for all the 70s stuff like M113s (that were pretty awful even then).

Suppose I should mention the leaks confirming that the Russians can effectively jam military GPS too, since it was a subject of some debate a few years ago during the US attacks on Syria.

6 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

Now theyve suffered brain drain and crushing technological sanctions, so I dont see any way theyre a conventional force threat again in the next decade or longer.

I mean, the previous list would imply that they weren't actually a threat beforehand, yes*?

I doubt the technological sanctions will actually do anything much except make a few things marginally more expensive. We've had interminable articles about how they're crippling Russia's war production, but no actual evidence and it seems that production is either unchanged or increased for most things. That isn't particularly surprising though, as most of the western wunderfwaffe supplied actually use components older than a Playstation.

*though I don't really agree, their performance was ruined by the belief that Ukraine wouldn't fight so they could do it all quickly and cheaply. If they'd focused on defeating them militarily they'd likely be in a far better position.

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23 minutes ago, Zoraptor said:

by the belief that Ukraine wouldn't fight

To this day I do not understand how they were so misinformed as to think that it would just be a repeat of Crimea. Either their intelligence was lacking, or they were fed false information.

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"because they filled mommy with enough mythic power to become a demi-god" - KP

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4 hours ago, Sarex said:

Well, clearly this is a one off and not indicative of anything, as it's BLUFOR .

16 minutes ago, Sarex said:

To this day I do not understand how they were so misinformed as to think that it would just be a repeat of Crimea. Either their intelligence was lacking, or they were fed false information.

That and the sluggish approach to following their doctrine. They started attacking the power grid how many months late? Mobilized way too slow.

 

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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The mobilisation was slow because they thought they didn't need to, same with the power stuff. Don't want to blow things up that you [think you] will own yourself in a few months; you just end up paying for blowing it up and repairing it. They clearly believed they'd get both the Zap' and Yuzhno' nuclear power complexes, plus the Dniepr hydro systems; and that is the majority of Ukraine's production (and a pretty large majority too, iirc).

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8 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

Russia had plenty of everything before the start of the war. Imo, what we are witnessing is literally a failure of every other conceivable metric: planning, predeployment, equipment readiness, leadership capability, troop training and morale, equipment that doesnt perform to expectations, execution of objectives, etc... Now theyve suffered brain drain and crushing technological sanctions, so I dont see any way theyre a conventional force threat again in the next decade or longer.

Oh no, they'll recover alright, they're already learning from their mistakes and Western sanctions certainly aren't gonna cripple them when they have markets elsewhere.  Most of the world aren't white and nerdy people living in Western countries and aren't particularly hostile towards Russia (Though most aren't exactly thrilled with the invasion) so Russia will be fine.  It's just I can't help but wonder at this point how some people perceived the Russian military as superior when the basic laws of economics are truly telling.  You need money and reserves to win a ground war, and Russia did not have much of either. 

China's the one you really gotta watch out for.  They actually have money and are rapidly gaining technological prowess and are keenly learning from Russia's mistakes like lack of reserves and their total failure on the informational warfare.  China's military doctrine is rapidly evolving now.

I'm generally agreeing Zoraptor but the caveat I have is that the Russian military should have already had an ample supply of manpower reserves in case things go hairy.  They didn't and their ability to fight the informational war and gain the narrative was extremely poor.  Sure, it's easy to say all this NOW after the fact but this is why I like China so much, they are always right there to learn from Russian mistakes and take notes.

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7 hours ago, Sarex said:

To this day I do not understand how they were so misinformed as to think that it would just be a repeat of Crimea. Either their intelligence was lacking, or they were fed false information.

They were not necessarily misinformed, except for the guy making the big decisions. It seems to me that this was a particularly clear case of subordinates telling the boss what he wanted to hear and the boss then making his decisions on the basis of completely inaccurate information. Apparently the subordinates had been telling Putin all sorts of rubbish for years and years, just to please him.

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7 hours ago, ComradeYellow said:

so Russia will be fine.

This requires a particular definition of "fine", though. Russia's economy was astonishingly small for a country of its size to begin with, and it is unlikely to improve because of the war. The freedoms of the average Russian citizen weren't all that great to begin with, and things have got a lot worse since the war began. So I wouldn't say "fine" in any meaningful sense that I can interpret the word.

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7 hours ago, ComradeYellow said:

Oh no, they'll recover alright, they're already learning from their mistakes and Western sanctions certainly aren't gonna cripple them when they have markets elsewhere.  Most of the world aren't white and nerdy people living in Western countries and aren't particularly hostile towards Russia (Though most aren't exactly thrilled with the invasion) so Russia will be fine.  It's just I can't help but wonder at this point how some people perceived the Russian military as superior when the basic laws of economics are truly telling.  You need money and reserves to win a ground war, and Russia did not have much of either. 

China's the one you really gotta watch out for.  They actually have money and are rapidly gaining technological prowess and are keenly learning from Russia's mistakes like lack of reserves and their total failure on the informational warfare.  China's military doctrine is rapidly evolving now.

I'm generally agreeing Zoraptor but the caveat I have is that the Russian military should have already had an ample supply of manpower reserves in case things go hairy.  They didn't and their ability to fight the informational war and gain the narrative was extremely poor.  Sure, it's easy to say all this NOW after the fact but this is why I like China so much, they are always right there to learn from Russian mistakes and take notes.

" fight the informational war and gain the narrative was extremely poor " :lol:, thats undisputed. I agree 

But its  a bit hard to gain the meaningful narrative when you in the wrong. Can you imagine trying to spin the Russian invasion reality especially after stating publicly " we not going to invade Ukraine, its just a training exercise "

But there  are still  lots of people who believe the Russian propaganda narrative and still repeat  the 3 N lies  that include " Russia had no choice....they  had to defend ourselves because of Nazi, Nukes and NATO" 

So I would argue the Russian narrative  is as active and believable for Vatniks and pro-Putin people as its always been. But it doesnt change and never will change the reality of the consequence of the invasion which is Western sanctions and Western military aid for Ukraine

But the outcome of the invasion will be decided  by the appetite and fortitude  of both Ukraine and Russia to continue to fight. And because Ukraine was invaded and its about there country and right to decide their own destiny they are much more committed and this war is almost existential to them at least around there own borders and  what defines Ukrainian territory 

 

 

 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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16 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

This requires a particular definition of "fine", though. Russia's economy was astonishingly small for a country of its size to begin with, and it is unlikely to improve because of the war. The freedoms of the average Russian citizen weren't all that great to begin with, and things have got a lot worse since the war began. So I wouldn't say "fine" in any meaningful sense that I can interpret the word.

Its impossible to realistically clarify what "fine " means unless you have an agreed on definition of what is not fine and what is fine and since the Russian economic data is mostly classified and the war is ongoing it would be difficult to understand the benchmark for "Russia will be fine " 

Its like saying during the worst stages of Corona and before we had vaccines " the world will be fine "...we all hoped that was the case but no one could say with 100% certainty because of virus mutations 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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15 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

Its like saying during the worst stages of Corona and before we had vaccines " the world will be fine "...we all hoped that was the case but no one could say with 100% certainty because of virus mutations 

/nitpick

That was actually an easy prediction to make. If you’re wrong nobody’s going to be alive hold it against you 😇

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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6 minutes ago, Gorth said:

/nitpick

That was actually an easy prediction to make. If you’re wrong nobody’s going to be alive hold it against you 😇

True, good point :grin:

I am watching this HBO  series called the Leftovers, its about the biblical  end of the world and where people suddenly vanish and then the people left behind have to move on and process how to survive in this new world where 20% of the population suddenly vanished and when I mean vanished I mean a husband\wife would vanish or some of the kids and not the whole family 

But its second time I am  watching it, the first time I watched it I only watched the first season and I watched it during the first depressing and draconian month of lockdowns and the global response to the lockdowns. I had to stop watching it back then in 2020 because it started depressing  me and making me anxious :grin:

 

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Gorth said:

That was actually an easy prediction to make. If you’re wrong nobody’s going to be alive hold it against you 😇

It's like the astonishing split-second decisions that people make in extremely urgent and dangerous situations and manage to save themselves. They are impressive, yes, but it's not as if decisions like that are the rule: it's just that if you make any other decision, there will be no tale to tell.

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https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2023-04-21-poll-should-we-be-concerned-about-not-getting-an-invite-to-the-g7/  

South Africa use to generally  be  invited to G7 meetings but this year Japan didn't invite us and  they invited the current head of the AU instead of SA directly

Im not surprised, our inconsistent foreign policy statements are anathema to what we say is our value system and I expect to see more of this

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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14 hours ago, Zoraptor said:

The mobilisation was slow because they thought they didn't need to, same with the power stuff. Don't want to blow things up that you [think you] will own yourself in a few months; you just end up paying for blowing it up and repairing it. They clearly believed they'd get both the Zap' and Yuzhno' nuclear power complexes, plus the Dniepr hydro systems; and that is the majority of Ukraine's production (and a pretty large majority too, iirc).

Should have realized they weren't getting those by March or April 2022, though.  There was a piece from a (snort) RAND analyst that was somewhat interesting, will have to find it, but just on how Russia didn't follow their plan of airstrikes then ground assault.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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On 4/23/2023 at 10:08 AM, xzar_monty said:

Slightly off topic, for which apologies, but who do you think was the most recent genuinely good American president? (And why, perhaps.)

The reason I ask is that some kind of loathing for the government tends to be so common among Americans, and I often wonder whether they regard their system of government as inherently effed or whether they just think they've had particularly bad rulers in the recent past. Either way it is, I think it's extremely unfortunate, particularly because so many Americans seem to be totally uninterested in the whole political process or regard it as not worth participating in.

In my view, this is in sharp contrast with the fact that so many Americans also think that it's the greatest country in the world and it generally has nothing whatsoever to learn from any other country anywhere. And these two things fit together rather badly, in my view.

I tend to be both sceptical and critical towards my own government, but as a rule, I think the system actually works quite well: I am extremely pleased with everything that I have received with the taxes that I've paid (everything from superb education to excellent health care and so on), and while "the system" certainly isn't perfect, I honestly think it's at least OK and definitely a lot better than in most countries in the world. Size, of course, is a factor, which I certainly am aware of.

Anyway, I would love it if Americans were more interested in their system, cared more about refining it and didn't constantly comment so disparagingly upon it. But it is also possible that they are right in thinking that it's all beyond saving now -- and if that is the case, it's a sorry state indeed.

These are all things I've given a lot of thought to, and would have extensive things to say about them. But I won't, because I truly believe, sadly, that in today's America those things I'd have to say would get me targeted for persecution, including especially within my career. All I'll say is that I would come at this from an ideological direction opposite from you and others here.

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On 4/23/2023 at 3:19 AM, Gorth said:

Erdogans price may end up being steep though. It would require at least a few billion dollars on his Gibraltar and New Jersey bank accounts to buy Ukrainian membership 😝

A lot of predictions of the upcoming elections in Turkyie are talking about him having very serious opposing candidate this time. So there is a big chance, this would not be needed soon 😛

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By the way, the arrest of the journalist Evan Gershkovich makes the current Russia look even worse than any of the previous ones, in terms of what is tolerated. There is, of course, the remote possibility that he is guilty of what he's accused of, but that looks very unlikely. What is happening is that Russia is becoming more totalitarian than it ever was. And that's scary. Journalists and diplomats have been treated much better before.

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