The Don…and the Donbass

 

When The Godfather opened, fifty years ago this month, one thing that really made it hit home to so many Americans, especially “white ethnics” like me, and probably many of you, was its sense of rough urban justice; when crime is out of control and the police can’t or won’t protect you, there’s a strongman who’ll stand up for you and avenge the humiliations and injustices you’ve suffered, even if there’s always a price to be paid.

That was New York City in the Seventies; painfully aware of how far it had fallen, aware and bitter about how much of it had been the city’s own fault, defensive and angry about having it rubbed in our faces by outsiders.

And that’s also the story of Russia in the Nineties. To many of the working class Russians who experienced them, Putin is Don Corleone; sure, they’ll say, his methods are undeniably rough, but it’s a tough neighborhood and there are a lot of scores to settle.

Russia was screwed in the Nineties, yes. But they weren’t simply innocent victims; the transition away from Communism was never going to be soft and easy. We didn’t demand that they allow gangsters to have free run of the place. That part was them, not us.

There are a few points where I have to give even the devil his due. I wouldn’t have pursued Clinton’s air war against Serbia in 1999, and many Hollywood conservatives protested it as firmly as we could. Even the millionaire guys walked a picket line when Madeleine Albright gave a speech at the Beverly Hills Hotel. We had media coverage that didn’t air. No impact—zip, zero, nada. To the media, Hollywood being antiwar was only adorable most of the time, not all of the time.

Serbia is Russia’s little brother. That particular war seems to have really stuck in Putin’s craw. It’s a moot point now. We were never going to make the guy into Thomas Jefferson or James Madison, but we could and should have handled Russia better.

There’s a type of liberal who seemed to have no problem with Putin until he declared himself, basically, anti-gay. The dioxin poisoning, the Corleone-style government, etc. was nothing compared to the supreme importance of “He won’t let them read ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’!”

Of course, there’s also a type of conservative who’s the exact opposite. “Sure, he’s lying scum and a nuclear-armed thug who hates us. But the really important thing is, he knows what bathroom to use.”

As of Monday, February 21, Putin’s strategy looked like it was going to continue his shrewd ability to play a limited stake into a win. The world hesitated to evaluate what it would mean to go to war over internationally recognized Ukrainian territory that had more or less been controlled by pro-Russian locals for eight years. There were already Russian troops there. There was just enough ambiguity to give the cautious a reason to hesitate.

He could have got the Donbass “countries” up and running and made them a tempting economic magnet for the alleged pro-Russian hordes in the rest of Ukraine. Sure, Kiev and most of the West would have rightly steamed over it, but the way the rest of the world would have seen it, Kiev wouldn’t have lost anything they hadn’t already lost.

That was Monday.

Once he rolled tanks five minutes after his predawn speech on Thursday, his winning streak ended. Putin wanted Crimea 2014 writ large; at best, he’s got Hungary 1956 on his hands now.  “Let them hate us, as long as they fear us” has the sound of cynical truth, but when it shatters, they no longer fear you, and they hate you for generations.

There’s always a place for speculation and strategy debates, and getting inside the mind and viewpoint of an opponent doesn’t make you a traitor or weakling. IMHO, there can sometimes be a problem of candor when someone starts out merely saying “Putin has a point about history” and then continues on to give every indication that they themselves see it totally his way. “Not that I’m defending that point of view…” That can be sincere, of course.

There was a time when it was useful to understand things from Putin’s side. There was a point when it was useful to listen to OJ Simpson complaining about his marriage. But when these guys reached for the knives, I lost my motivation to try to understand their points of view.

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  1. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    The Girlie Show (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    I honestly couldn’t vouch for most US politicians that, were they installed as the head of a government that lacked checks and balances, that they wouldn’t start to act without conscience.

    Hence the reason we have checks and balances.

    We do?  I think we used to, and it sort of worked.  When the 3 entities are colluding instead of colliding, you get chowdermonkeys like Pelosi, Biden, and hell, Romney.  Pick one.  Pick 535 of ’em.

    The reason for the overreaction to the Jan. 6 riot is because for the first time, in a very, very long time, they were afraid of something other than not getting re-elected.  That the DC reality might be as solid as a floor of glass, and shatters at the drop of a brick.

    • #31
  2. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Traveling in eastern Europe, especially in the bad old days, always had me trying to factor out so many things that are different there. The culture of the different countries vary a lot, of course, and some common factors are really obvious: You’re in the Old World, constricted by past conflicts–clashing empires, religions, and languages. And Marxism–even the poorest countries in western Europe didn’t have the resentful, frustrated attitudes of the east.

    But there was something else, another major factor beyond a timeless landscape and the chains of Communism. The best of their films had a deeper understanding of the tragic aspects of life than ours did. I’ve heard it said–you Southrons out there can correct me–that the literature of the American South, unlike that of our North, is infused with a knowledge that good doesn’t always prevail, that sadness is everyone’s lot sooner or later, that some humility in the face of God, or fate, is in order. Eastern Europe knows that, too. That’s a vitamin we could use more of in our own cultural diet. It’s a powerful reason why Polish films, for example, are among the strongest Catholic works in today’s world.

    But take it from the Irish and Scots: a bitter acceptance of the randomness of bad fortune can be taken too far, particularly–how shall I say this?–when alcohol gets involved. This is also very much a part of Russian life.

    What’s the line about the Irish? All their stories are tragedies? Something like that.

    No.  The line is that they’re short, and their mommies dress them funny.

    • #32
  3. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Maybe you should do a review of Brat and Brat2. They perfectly encapsulate a lot about these times and continuing attitudes.

     

    Yeah, they sure do! Where’d you see them, Hang On? I’d bet The Reticulator has seen them too. I wish more Americans had the chance to see what the post-Soviet years were like. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Brat (Brother) is the life and times of a young hoodlum. Like Alex in A Clockwork Orange, he’s an attractive villain, steely-nerved and resourceful. He looks like a choir boy. But he’ll kill you.

    Brat became such a hit that Brat 2 had the money to film sequences in Chicago. The movie is entertaining but not quite as honest or pure as the first one. One thing that was true to life was the comically flashy, trashy outfit that his brother adopts when he comes to America. It’s his American dream to dress like a 70s playboy/pimp.

    Both movies are available on YouTube. A Russian blogger Roman NFRKZ did long reviews of both movies and showed scenes in St Petersburg from today vs when the movie was made in 1999 or so. After that, I found the movies and watched them.

    • #33
  4. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Fair enough. But what is our goal in all of this?

    I think from a coldly cynical American point of view my hope would be that either Putin fails outright or pays an extremely high cost for this without the US having to be involved in a direct military confrontation. We (the US) do not have a goal in this because our elites are feckless and we never bothered to develop a consistent world view or geostrategy to deal with the world after the cold war. Additionally the cold war was the last time we really had adults in charge of the two parties, so we were unprepared to be serious.

    Putin is very unlikely to pay a price beyond sanctions. Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents. The Russian standard of living is far higher than it was 20 years ago..

    And the sanctions will cause huge energy and food price rises throughout the rest of the world.

    Europe is likely to pay a huge price with all the arms that are flowing into Ukraine. They are arming future mafia gangs of young men who will manage to construct drug, weapons and human trafficking networks in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain. 

    • #34
  5. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Putin is very unlikely to pay a price beyond sanctions. Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents. The Russian standard of living is far higher than it was 20 years ago..

    True (I’ll take your word for it), but the operating principle would be the “rising expectations revolution.”  I recall for SOC 102 or something the unintended lesson that a suppressed people will remain suppressed until they expect better.  They expect better when something gets a little better but isn’t wonderful.  And not all “revolutions” are in the streets — it can be a changing of the guard driven by none of the guards.

    Still, I think that time-honored Soviet suppression tactics can still hold the fort, so to speak.

    • #35
  6. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    BDB (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Putin is very unlikely to pay a price beyond sanctions. Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents. The Russian standard of living is far higher than it was 20 years ago..

    True (I’ll take your word for it), but the operating principle would be the “rising expectations revolution.” I recall for SOC 102 or something the unintended lesson that a suppressed people will remain suppressed until they expect better. They expect better when something gets a little better but isn’t wonderful. And not all “revolutions” are in the streets — it can be a changing of the guard driven by none of the guards.

    Still, I think that time-honored Soviet suppression tactics can still hold the fort, so to speak.

    Putin will be 70 in October (we have the same birthday. I won’t be sending him a card this year.) So there will be a change of the guard in the not too distant future. His cronies are about his age. 

    Rising expectations have been met and are likely to continue to be met. China and India are his huge markets that he can do business with in non-dollars all day long. He wanted the oligarchs to either come home permanently or leave permanently. Western governments have done that for him. So revolution or being overthrown by oligarchs or military putsch after what is on glide path to a successful Ukraine venture with the Ukrainian army surrounded and being boiled in eastern Ukraine is a pipe dream. 

    • #36
  7. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Fair enough. But what is our goal in all of this?

    I think from a coldly cynical American point of view my hope would be that either Putin fails outright or pays an extremely high cost for this without the US having to be involved in a direct military confrontation. We (the US) do not have a goal in this because our elites are feckless and we never bothered to develop a consistent world view or geostrategy to deal with the world after the cold war. Additionally the cold war was the last time we really had adults in charge of the two parties, so we were unprepared to be serious.

    Putin is very unlikely to pay a price beyond sanctions. Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents. The Russian standard of living is far higher than it was 20 years ago..

    And the sanctions will cause huge energy and food price rises throughout the rest of the world.

    Europe is likely to pay a huge price with all the arms that are flowing into Ukraine. They are arming future mafia gangs of young men who will manage to construct drug, weapons and human trafficking networks in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain.

    Probably all true, but the trouble that Russia is facing fighting a Ukraine that is armed with Western equipment may curb Putin’s ambitious to move into a NATO country.  NATO rearming and working together is an unexpected positive outcome of this which may show that alliance is not dead and is capable of defending itself.  The Russian military isn’t looking like the world beater it was billed as,  that is helpful in the grand scheme of things.  It is also very hard to hold onto a large group of people that don’t want to be held onto.   Russia learned this in Afghanistan as did we. They may learn it in Ukraine as well.   At the very least the longer it takes Russia to digest Ukraine the more time before they can move onto their next conquest.   Perhaps if it takes long enough we can get less feckless leaders.

    I fully expect we can either accede to Russia and China becoming dominant in the world or we will need to fight them militarily.  If they succeed.  The world will be a much worse place.  Plus I am not even sure we could accede to their demands if we wanted to.  I think they really see the destruction of the West in general and the US in particular as an imperative.

    Since I am not willing to commit suicide, personally, nationally, or civilizationally,  I expect that we will need to fight Russia and China, we need time to prepare for that.  Ukraine is unfortunately going to be what we trade for that time.  I am under no illusions that this is an optimal solution or that this will be less that a total calamity and tragedy for Ukraine and probably for the West as well, but I don’t see a better alternative.

    • #37
  8. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    BDB (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Putin is very unlikely to pay a price beyond sanctions. Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents. The Russian standard of living is far higher than it was 20 years ago..

    True (I’ll take your word for it), but the operating principle would be the “rising expectations revolution.” I recall for SOC 102 or something the unintended lesson that a suppressed people will remain suppressed until they expect better. They expect better when something gets a little better but isn’t wonderful. And not all “revolutions” are in the streets — it can be a changing of the guard driven by none of the guards.

    Still, I think that time-honored Soviet suppression tactics can still hold the fort, so to speak.

    Maybe.  They didn’t ultimately prevail in Afghanistan.  They may not ultimately prevail in Ukraine either.  Russia today isn’t what it was under the Soviets, It is much closer to what it was under the Czars.  I honestly don’t know if that makes it more likely work in Ukraine or less.  

    • #38
  9. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Hang On (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Putin is very unlikely to pay a price beyond sanctions. Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents. The Russian standard of living is far higher than it was 20 years ago..

    True (I’ll take your word for it), but the operating principle would be the “rising expectations revolution.” I recall for SOC 102 or something the unintended lesson that a suppressed people will remain suppressed until they expect better. They expect better when something gets a little better but isn’t wonderful. And not all “revolutions” are in the streets — it can be a changing of the guard driven by none of the guards.

    Still, I think that time-honored Soviet suppression tactics can still hold the fort, so to speak.

    Putin will be 70 in October (we have the same birthday. I won’t be sending him a card this year.) So there will be a change of the guard in the not too distant future. His cronies are about his age.

    Rising expectations have been met and are likely to continue to be met. China and India are his huge markets that he can do business with in non-dollars all day long. He wanted the oligarchs to either come home permanently or leave permanently. Western governments have done that for him. So revolution or being overthrown by oligarchs or military putsch after what is on glide path to a successful Ukraine venture with the Ukrainian army surrounded and being boiled in eastern Ukraine is a pipe dream.

    Well, sounds like you’ve got this all sewn up.

    • #39
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Putin is very unlikely to pay a price beyond sanctions. Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents. The Russian standard of living is far higher than it was 20 years ago..

    True (I’ll take your word for it), but the operating principle would be the “rising expectations revolution.” I recall for SOC 102 or something the unintended lesson that a suppressed people will remain suppressed until they expect better. They expect better when something gets a little better but isn’t wonderful. And not all “revolutions” are in the streets — it can be a changing of the guard driven by none of the guards.

    Still, I think that time-honored Soviet suppression tactics can still hold the fort, so to speak.

    Maybe. They didn’t ultimately prevail in Afghanistan. They may not ultimately prevail in Ukraine either. Russia today isn’t what it was under the Soviets, It is much closer to what it was under the Czars. I honestly don’t know if that makes it more likely work in Ukraine or less.

    Yeah, AFG and UKR are different from the internal stuff.

    • #40
  11. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Gary McVey: There was a time when it was useful to understand things from Putin’s side. There was a point when it was useful to listen to OJ Simpson complaining about his marriage. But when these guys reached for the knives, I lost my motivation to try to understand their points of view.

    You had me right up to this line.

    One doesn’t need to understand OJ’s point-of-view unless one is dealing with him personally.  Observing him from afar, he is not a threat so it doesn’t matter, but for someone who has little choice but to deal with him (e.g. servants, staff, etc.) understanding his point-of-view could be vital for their survival.

    Putin, by contrast, has much greater reach into the lives of folk all around the planet, cuz he has nukes.  Understanding his point-of-view is vital for the planet’s survival.

    • #41
  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Our over-reaction to this has just played into his hands. It reinforces all the anti-Western paranoia he feeds into. 

    • #42
  13. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    Probably all true, but the trouble that Russia is facing fighting a Ukraine that is armed with Western equipment may curb Putin’s ambitious to move into a NATO country.  NATO rearming and working together is an unexpected positive outcome of this which may show that alliance is not dead and is capable of defending itself.  The Russian military isn’t looking like the world beater it was billed as,  that is helpful in the grand scheme of things.  It is also very hard to hold onto a large group of people that don’t want to be held onto.   Russia learned this in Afghanistan as did we. They may learn it in Ukraine as well.   At the very least the longer it takes Russia to digest Ukraine the more time before they can move onto their next conquest.   Perhaps if it takes long enough we can get less feckless leaders.

    Or is it that Putin has never had any intention of moving into a Nato country? I think that is far more likely.

    The Russians weren’t world-beaters except in the propaganda press. The expectations in the propaganda press (the same one that said all the crap about Trump, so why are you believing them?) is that Putin thought he could roll into Kiev, take it in 48 hours, blah, blah, blah. Putin is fighting a very different war. And doing well from his perspective. He is not doing shock and awe. He’s doing fight, negotiate, fight ratcheting up the pressure, negotiate, . . . It’s still early, but the Ukrainian army in the east is fully encircled and the pressure is being ratcheted up on them. He has not gone for cities, he has gone for armies.

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    I fully expect we can either accede to Russia and China becoming dominant in the world or we will need to fight them militarily.  If they succeed.  The world will be a much worse place.  Plus I am not even sure we could accede to their demands if we wanted to.  I think they really see the destruction of the West in general and the US in particular as an imperative.

    We will not have to fight them militarily if we have two brain cells. But I am not convinced at this point anyone in the Biden administration has even one brain cell. Nor any of the Republicans in congress.

    I certainly don’t think Russia wants the destruction of the US. At all. He would be left with China and his intent is to play them off against one another. In other words, the strategy WE should have been playing has been left to Putin because neither the Biden administration and the Republican dolts in congress have only one brain cell per person – tops.

    • #43
  14. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Maybe you should do a review of Brat and Brat2. They perfectly encapsulate a lot about these times and continuing attitudes.

     

    Yeah, they sure do! Where’d you see them, Hang On? I’d bet The Reticulator has seen them too. I wish more Americans had the chance to see what the post-Soviet years were like. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Brat (Brother) is the life and times of a young hoodlum. Like Alex in A Clockwork Orange, he’s an attractive villain, steely-nerved and resourceful. He looks like a choir boy. But he’ll kill you.

    Brat became such a hit that Brat 2 had the money to film sequences in Chicago. The movie is entertaining but not quite as honest or pure as the first one. One thing that was true to life was the comically flashy, trashy outfit that his brother adopts when he comes to America. It’s his American dream to dress like a 70s playboy/pimp.

    Both movies are available on YouTube. A Russian blogger Roman NFRKZ did long reviews of both movies and showed scenes in St Petersburg from today vs when the movie was made in 1999 or so. After that, I found the movies and watched them.

    The star of the Brat films, Sergei Bodrov Jr., became famous playing the lead in Prisoner of the Mountains, a film directed by his father about the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the double success of Brat and Brat 2, the young Bodrov directed Sisters, a fine film that was the female side of the story. In 2002, we (the American Cinema Foundation) gave Sisters our top prize at the Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad) film festival. Bodrov apologized that he couldn’t be there to accept it, as he was already on location for his next film. Sadly, he was killed in an avalanche. He was only 30.

    A droll note that says something about the place and times: Our prize wasn’t just a nice trophy, but also $5000 US, a lot of American money for Russians at the end of the impoverished Nineties. We’d sent it via “secure” wire transfer a couple of weeks before he died. Bodrov never received it; someone else, no one knows who, cashed it a week after his death. 

    • #44
  15. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Our over-reaction to this has just played into his hands. It reinforces all the anti-Western paranoia he feeds into.

    As the old line goes, even paranoids have real enemies, and he’s made a lot of real enemies. You’re right, but I don’t realistically see how to calibrate the response. 

    • #45
  16. Iver Mectin Prussian Oligarch Inactive
    Iver Mectin Prussian Oligarch
    @Pseudodionysius

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Gary McVey: There was a time when it was useful to understand things from Putin’s side. There was a point when it was useful to listen to OJ Simpson complaining about his marriage. But when these guys reached for the knives, I lost my motivation to try to understand their points of view.

    You had me right up to this line.

    One doesn’t need to understand OJ’s point-of-view unless one is dealing with him personally. From afar, he is not a threat so it doesn’t matter, but for someone who has little choice but to deal with him (e.g. servants, staff, etc.) understanding his point-of-view could be vital for their survival.

    Putin, by contrast, has much greater reach into the lives of folk all around the planet, cuz he has nukes. Understanding his point-of-view is vital for the planet’s survival.

    And energy, and minerals, and gold etc etc

    • #46
  17. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

     

    Or is it that Putin has never had any intention of moving into a Nato country? I think that is far more likely.

    I hope you are right about this but I don’t see how he can realize his ambitions without eventually moving on NATO.

    The Russians weren’t world-beaters except in the propaganda press. The expectations in the propaganda press (the same one that said all the crap about Trump, so why are you believing them?) is that Putin thought he could roll into Kiev, take it in 48 hours, blah, blah, blah. Putin is fighting a very different war. And doing well from his perspective. He is not doing shock and awe. He’s doing fight, negotiate, fight ratcheting up the pressure, negotiate, . . . It’s still early, but the Ukrainian army in the east is fully encircled and the pressure is being ratcheted up on them. He has not gone for cities, he has gone for armies.

    We have reports and examples of cases where he has “gone for the cities”  in the siege warfare sense; however, those could be erroneous it is difficult to say, but that is certainly a reading of what could be going on right now.  I am not sure. As I have said before very hard to say what is real and what is fake in this situation.  I hope you are right and he isn’t needless amping up the misery.  

    Raxxalan (View Comment):
    I fully expect we can either accede to Russia and China becoming dominant in the world or we will need to fight them militarily. If they succeed. The world will be a much worse place. Plus I am not even sure we could accede to their demands if we wanted to. I think they really see the destruction of the West in general and the US in particular as an imperative.

    We will not have to fight them militarily if we have two brain cells. But I am not convinced at this point anyone in the Biden administration has even one brain cell. Nor any of the Republicans in congress.

    You think that either is going to give up their plans?  Based on what? 

    I certainly don’t think Russia wants the destruction of the US. At all. He would be left with China and his intent is to play them off against one another. In other words, the strategy In other words, the strategy WE should have been playing has been left to Putin

    [Apologizes for the unnatural split but there is a lot to unpack here]

    He hasn’t really seemed to be doing much that in the past.  I don’t disagree that is what we would like to do with him although that was complexed by the stupid and self-defeating Russia-Gate B.S.   He seems to be pretty happy with allying with China.   I can’t remember a single issue where it was Russia/US verses China, but I may be wrong. 

    Russia wants dominance and we are in the way.  Plus there are some, maybe not ordinary Russians, but Putin certainly who still want to settle the old scores of the Cold War.

    neither the Biden administration and the Republican dolts in congress have only one brain cell per person – tops.

    On this point I am in full agreement with you.

    • #47
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    I’d bet The Reticulator has seen them too. I w

    Oh yes. I’ve watched the original Brat a few times and the sequel once. Also Gruz 200, by the same director. 

    • #48
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Hang On (View Comment):
    Why we have any notion that Putin is unpopular in Russia is a mystery to me. He is far more popular than American presidents

    Both are true.

    • #49
  20. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Our over-reaction to this has just played into his hands. It reinforces all the anti-Western paranoia he feeds into.

    Underreaction would reinforce his belief that the West is feckless and without anything approaching resolve, no?

    • #50
  21. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Im sorry to continue to be the Debbie Downer.  But Russia and Putin are winning this war and are currently negotiating with Zelensky for the surrender of his country.

    Everything you are being told by western media is pure propaganda.  Russia and Putin have done extraordinarily well.  They are wining and if the price of gas is an indicator we are losing.  I really wish people would to start to question what is happening.

    We need to stop judging Russia by our standards.  They have a very different standard of victory and a different way of war than us.  

    We wouldnt believe our media about covid, but it surprises me that we buy them on the state of the war, despite most of the stuff they tell us about is debunked 48 hours later.

    • #51
  22. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    Everything you are being told by western media is pure propaganda. 

    What about everything we are  being told by the extra-terrestrial media. Also pure propaganda? And if so, is it true propaganda or false propaganda? 

    • #52
  23. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I haven’t seen anyone on this thread cheering for war. I haven’t seen anyone here claim that Ukraine has much of a chance of winning. Everyone knew from before this started that Russia was a bigger country with a bigger military. 

    Rapists generally have the ability to overpower their victims. They wouldn’t get to be called rapists if they didn’t. 

    • #53
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