UKRAINE

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A system of cells interlinked
One development to pay attention to is that three leaders of three NATO countries are headed to Kyiv.





We're one stray bullet or bomb away from a Prime Minister of a NATO country being killed.
I wonder if it is subterfuge, while the leaders actually meet somewhere else...
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I wonder if it is subterfuge, while the leaders actually meet somewhere else...

If they're in Ukraine and the Russians have no idea where they are, that's arguably even worse. We're still one stray bullet or bomb or missile from a NATO Prime Minister being killed. That would basically suck NATO in to Ukraine and we're off to the races. War for real, not by proxy.



If they're in Ukraine and the Russians have no idea where they are, that's arguably even worse. We're still one stray bullet or bomb or missile from a NATO Prime Minister being killed. That would basically suck NATO in to Ukraine and we're off to the races. War for real, not by proxy.
That sounds so much like the trigger for WW1: as back in 1914 it was the assassination of someone important triggered WW1.

I hope that NATO keeps their heads cool. Russia is determined to take Ukraine by force (the ressurrection of the Russian Empire is Putin's dream and his approval ratings have increased since he ordered the invasion), so the best I can hope for is that NATO stays in the sidelines and either the Russians give up after heroic Ukrainian resistance or that Ukraine surrender to Russia's demands.



IMO, there seems to be only 2 solutions at this point:

1.) Just let Putin continue his massacre and take Ukraine at the cost of millions of lives - which seems to be the prevailing strategy by everyone except Ukraine itself, as sanctions amount to no more than a joke to Putin and measures of deterrence have already failed miserably.

2.) Or form a U.N. coalition to stop Russia with an armed force on the ground, in the sea and in the air... identified with no flag except the U.N. flag (or some sort of global coalition flag; doesn't necessarily have to be called the U.N. or associated with it - it could be an entirely new Allied force consisting of all the countries that voted to condemn Russia) - it would preferably have to be led by non-NATO countries, but would require the participation of all that voted to condemn Russia.

The message to Putin would have to be: stop now, or else take on 144 countries. i.e. You against the world.

Until the countries of the world are willing to come together and present a united front of absolute force, then the massacre will continue (or practically ensure nuclear Armageddon if NATO countries alone attack Russian forces to defend Ukraine).

There is no guarantee against nuclear war with any scenario, but action by NATO alone raises that risk, whereas a united world front might lower it because Putin would have to be willing and able to obliterate the entire world, not just his enemies in NATO.



The UN solution you mentioned would be nice, but won't happen. It's not even feasible with Russia on the security council and most UN nations not wanting to get involved in the conflict.

I predict Russia wins, they get Ukraine...Then China who's patiently watching this chess match and learning, will take Taiwan in a near bloodless military action, North Korea will become more belligerent. The world becomes more dangerous as bullies with nuclear arsenals learn they can get anything with the threat of nukes...and the U.S. will join Britain as a once powerful nation.



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IMO, there seems to be only 2 solutions at this point:

1.) Just let Putin continue his massacre and take Ukraine at the cost of millions of lives - which seems to be the prevailing strategy by everyone except Ukraine itself, as sanctions amount to no more than a joke to Putin and measures of deterrence have already failed miserably.

2.) Or form a U.N. coalition to stop Russia with an armed force on the ground, in the sea and in the air... identified with no flag except the U.N. flag (or some sort of global coalition flag; doesn't necessarily have to be called the U.N. or associated with it - it could be an entirely new Allied force consisting of all the countries that voted to condemn Russia) - it would preferably have to be led by non-NATO countries, but would require the participation of all that voted to condemn Russia.

The message to Putin would have to be: stop now, or else take on 144 countries. i.e. You against the world.

Until the countries of the world are willing to come together and present a united front of absolute force, then the massacre will continue (or practically ensure nuclear Armageddon if NATO countries alone attack Russian forces to defend Ukraine).

There is no guarantee against nuclear war with any scenario, but action by NATO alone raises that risk, whereas a united world front might lower it because Putin would have to be willing and able to obliterate the entire world, not just his enemies in NATO.

Ages ago, I would have said, "Trust our leaders. Trust that there is a process." Now... ...I just don't know. I don't think Russia can win this, so I think it is a question of how they're going to lose it.



"How tall is King Kong ?"
The way it's heading, it looks like a guy beating his ex-wife to a pulp until she promises she won't marry any other person. The onlookers try to protect her without offending the guy ("hey take this mouth guard i had in my pocket, need a plaster too or is it too soon ?") all while asking her to abide with the guy's demand ("anyway we wouldn't have married you, you know, come on, you can promise him, it's not such a big cost for not being killed").

There's progress in the negotiation towards a neutral status and the promise to never join NATO. Yay. Win-win. Russia doesn't conquer other countries, merely bombs them and slaughters them until they take the political decisions he prefers.

That said, I unfortunately disagree with Yoda's perspective. It's not actually an outside, unrelated thing. Everything is collective, everything is produced and enabled by cultural currents, by mankind, by people. It's what defines the thinkable and the do-able. Putin -or more exactly Putin's power- is sustained by the values he incarnates and their popular support, which nowadays goes through global validation. It's a slow process, it's a very high inertia process, it's a complex, chaotic process (like various streams of diverse colors and temperatures colliding in a fluid), but we're all its constituting molecules. We all exert pressures on ideas, closely, remotely, directly, indirectly, on a vast continuum.

And the admiration that Putin benefited from, worldwide, fed itself. His national support was also international, comforted by remote interactions, feedback, praises - heck, even the elections of leaders considering him a model. As for many things (such as global ecology), individual responsibilities are impalpable, too diffuse, but they are what, together, shape concrete realities on all scales. Dismissing the infinitesimal factors is like dismissing an individual vote in an election because it changes nothing by itself.

But it's convenient. For oneself (the freedom of not feeling co-responsible for the world) and for communities (let's not endanger our nice valued cohesion over such petty details). So of course, a forum's very existence depends on this perspective.

But it's a fallacy. One of the many fallacies that we're forced to sustain in order to function in everyday life. That forgiving veil covers a much uglier and awkward reality.

For Yoda's sake, let's keep playing pretend. But some of us do it knowingly.
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That said, I unfortunately disagree with Yoda's perspective. It's not actually an outside, unrelated thing. Everything is collective, everything is produced and enabled by cultural currents, by mankind, by people.
All of which is true, but none of which really disagrees with what I'm saying, and to be honest almost feels like a willful misunderstanding of it.

That "everything is produced and enabled by cultural currents" is technically true, but not a contradiction. Saying you can trace everything back to culture does not imply that you can trace everything back to our culture, let alone a particular sliver of it. And even if you could, it would still not follow that we have that influence now, at this point in the conflict, so at most the venting and arguing about the situation now could be said to maybe possibly indirectly contribute to some future conflict. So yes, it is clearly on the outside; the advocacy to freely argue about barn doors doesn't retrieve the last horse.

It's what defines the thinkable and the do-able. Putin -or more exactly Putin's power- is sustained by the values he incarnates and their popular support, which nowadays goes through global validation. It's a slow process, it's a very high inertia process, it's a complex, chaotic process (like various streams of diverse colors and temperatures colliding in a fluid), but we're all its constituting molecules. We all exert pressures on ideas, closely, remotely, directly, indirectly, on a vast continuum.
"Goes through global validation" sounds like rhetorical laundering, some process our opinions pass through that render them more meaningful. We're part of the globe, there is some global opinion which exerts some influence, ergo we influence the war, ergo why can't I lay into this stupid guy I hate on this movie forum.

Here's my question: what doesn't this apply to? If everything is downstream of culture, doesn't that mean every topic can be defended this way? Once we discard distinctions based on both size of influence and direct/indirect, I see no limiting principle. Why can't I say, using the same logic, that a bitter argument about Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville is part of achieving gender parity in the Middle East, and if someone won't let me they're not taking that issue seriously enough?

And the admiration that Putin benefited from, worldwide, fed itself. His national support was also international, comforted by remote interactions, feedback, praises - heck, even the elections of leaders considering him a model. As for many things (such as global ecology), individual responsibilities are impalpable, too diffuse, but they are what, together, shape concrete realities on all scales.
True, but individual responsibilities have chokepoints around things like elections, and between those chokepoints many of them are swamped.

Dismissing the infinitesimal factors is like dismissing an individual vote in an election because it changes nothing by itself.
This is exactly the analogy I was going to use, actually. But it's not like dismissing one vote, it's like dismissing the value of arguing about one vote, on the internet, after the polls have closed.

But it's convenient. For oneself (the freedom of not feeling co-responsible for the world) and for communities (let's not endanger our nice valued cohesion over such petty details). So of course, a forum's very existence depends on this perspective.
It also depends on the members not despising each other and carrying grudges from thread to thread.

If you think I have some delusion (or even eventual expectation of) "cohesion," then we're not on the same page at all. The people constantly bristling at the rules they don't like sees to that all by itself. Nor have I advocated people simply stop caring about the state of the world. In fact, I went out of my way to preemptively nod to some of the relationships you're talking about:
please do not confuse the importance of the news with the importance of a thread about the news. This thread has no effect on the conflict, and whether it remains open or closed has no effect on your individual abilities to follow the news or express your opinion about it on a million other sites, most of which are more appropriate for that expression anyway.
Self-governing societies probably benefit from their citizens being moderately knowledgeable, but I think that relationship is tenuous and mixed, and I doubt compulsively doomscrolling things half a world away is at the optimal point in that curve.
maintain distance and perspective as to what our role our observation and discussion actually play here
Nothing we say here will change or even improve this event as it unfolds. We are following history together, not making it.
Note the phrasing: no effect on "the conflict." "This event." Noting a relationship in self-governing societies even though it is "tenuous and mixed." Noting there is some optimal point in the curve (which, by itself, is obviously a rebuke of either extreme). Nothing here implies that culture has no relationship to world events, and for a very good reason: because I don't believe that.

But it's a fallacy. One of the many fallacies that we're forced to sustain in order to function in everyday life. That forgiving veil covers a much uglier and awkward reality.
The fallacy is that we would change that ugly and awkward reality if only we could confront it on your forum, etc. Let's forget the layers and filters between our trickles of culture and world events. Let's concede their importance totally: even then, there is still the assumption that arguing about something here will produce better "culture" in any particular instance. I'd have thought the last few years would have obliterated that notion. It certainly isn't something that can be assumed.

Or, put another way: have you ever decided a given argument was not worthwhile? If so, why, in light of all these downstream effects? Whatever your answer is, you'll probably find it similar to my answer as to why any particular thread should be closed. You'll probably find a subjective difference (or maybe one in degree), and not a total one.



...and the U.S. will join Britain as a once powerful nation.
Which country are you defining as “once powerful”? Better not be the UK.
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Tragic how this woman was mortally wounded during the maternity hospital bombing. Her baby born dead & she later passed too.

WARNING: spoilers below



Which country are you defining as “once powerful”? Better not be the UK.
Yes Britain. (Why the angry face?)

At one time the British empire spread across the globe. There was a slogan, 'The sun never set on the Union Jack'. But after WWII the world power Britain once was faded to second tier and that's where America is at too.



Which country are you defining as “once powerful”? Better not be the UK.
I agree, but this is a very common sentiment.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
I read that as fweh-ehw. On this, I think we can all agree and come together as One Forum, One Fweh-ehw. This might even be a line from The Princess Bride, prophesying our peace. I'm not sure though.
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Tragic how this woman was mortally wounded during the maternity hospital bombing. Her baby born dead & she later passed too.

WARNING: spoilers below

I wonder how many images citizens of other nations should have to contemplate at length because of their blasé, ignorant, or totally oblivious response to the foreign adventuring of their own governments. I wonder how many people hate me simply for being American and I wonder how much cause they have. Am I absolved because I am powerless to change the course of foreign policy? Is there blood on my hands because it was done in my name by my "representatives"? I have never protested a war, at least not with a sign on any street in any place that could have resulted in me being arrested. I have kept quiet and minded my own business, privately expressing with my friends. I have only railed righteously semi-anonymously on forums like this (how courageous?). How many were killed in America's adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other nations in the global War on Terror? This source puts it at, at least, one million people. I can't wrap my head around that or maybe I just don't want to? At the very least, we have to start having the conversation (not here, but with family, friends, and colleagues) and we have to start making war a priority at the ballot box. For every picture like this that Russians should have to see coming out of Ukraine (and they should see them), there is another picture I should have to see.







Yes Britain. (Why the angry face?)

At one time the British empire spread across the globe. There was a slogan, 'The sun never set on the Union Jack'. But after WWII the world power Britain once was faded to second tier and that's where America is at too.
Winding you up. Changed it from a smiling face.

I took the frownie face to be kind of in jest, FWIW.
Totally. Winding up CR for his hurtful comments about the British Empire. “Second tier”? How dare he.

I agree, but this is a very common sentiment.
Just having a laugh with CR.