Author Topic: The Biden Presidency  (Read 16518 times)

Offline Peter B

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #105 on: February 14, 2022, 03:10:51 AM »
I was wondering whether it would be the halftime show, but apparently not.

There are few times I've been happier to be wrong.

My next prediction is that Putin will just keep large numbers of troops on the borders indefinitely. The effect it's been having in terms of general uncertainty and encouraging foreigners to leave presumably can't be good for the Ukrainian economy, plus Putin can hold the threat of cutting off Russian gas to Western Europe for a while yet.

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #106 on: February 16, 2022, 07:10:55 AM »
I was wondering whether it would be the halftime show, but apparently not.

There are few times I've been happier to be wrong.

My next prediction is that Putin will just keep large numbers of troops on the borders indefinitely. The effect it's been having in terms of general uncertainty and encouraging foreigners to leave presumably can't be good for the Ukrainian economy, plus Putin can hold the threat of cutting off Russian gas to Western Europe for a while yet.

The invasion force is too small.  The Ukrainian army has been upgraded substantially since 2014.  Look at the combat records in the rebellions in eastern Ukraine, the army there held out on several occasions for months against substantially larger forces.  Crimea was an embarrassment for the Ukrainian military; that most likely is not going to be repeated.

If Russia really does want to launch a full invasion of Ukraine, it can, and it can win, at least initially; the guerilla war (of the sort that got the Americans to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Soviets from Afghanistan before that) is another story.  But the force on the borders of Ukraine is way too small for that.

One theory is all the hysterical noise coming out of Washington about an imminent invasion, is to make Putin look more foolish when the invasion doesn't happen.

I think Putin stuffed this one up royally.  Probably he thought, just move some troops to the border, make a loud and scary noise, and the concessions he wants will be forthcoming.  If this ends with Finland and Sweden joining NATO, well that would be the polar opposite of what he was trying to achieve.  A retired military officer gave an interview recently in which he called on Putin to resign.  Now, maybe that's just his opinion, but the active military, who are unable to speak freely, have a history of using retired officers to speak when they have something to say.

Now, all that said, once Putin is gone (be that relatively soon or years from now), and everyone sees what follows, most westerners are going to be longing for the good old Putin days . . .

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #107 on: February 24, 2022, 03:45:07 AM »
And it begins.

With an invasion force much too small for a full-scaled occupation of Ukraine, nonetheless targets in Kiev have apparently been hit.

It is far from obvious what Putin's objective is.  If it is to end his life outside of a prison cell, I am not sure this was a wise move.

Offline Obviousman

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #108 on: February 24, 2022, 01:44:03 PM »
The UN should be acting NOW, putting together a coalition of forces, attacking the Russian front lines to drive them out of the Ukraine, and strengthen the Ukrainian forces until the Russian forces withdraw.

Nothing else will work. Diplomacy and statesmanship do NOT work with people such as Putin. Direct - and OVERWHELMING - military force is the only way this will end well. And it sends a clear message to China, who - as it stands - will probably launch an invasion of Taiwan within weeks.

Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #109 on: February 24, 2022, 02:55:56 PM »
not everybody wants to start WWIII over a non-NATO country.
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Offline Obviousman

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #110 on: February 24, 2022, 03:33:36 PM »
not everybody wants to start WWIII over a non-NATO country.
That's why this should be a UN operation, and not a NATO action. Although it affects European stability, strictly speaking it does not involve them.

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #111 on: February 25, 2022, 02:05:30 AM »
not everybody wants to start WWIII over a non-NATO country.
That's why this should be a UN operation, and not a NATO action. Although it affects European stability, strictly speaking it does not involve them.

Well they are unlikely to get a security council resolution through, given that Russia has a veto there.  They learned their lesson more than 70 years ago when they (well, the Soviets) were boycotting the UN, and the Korean war resolution got through because they weren't there to veto it (and China's seat was held by the ROC, which is the reason the Soviets were boycotting it).

Apparently there is a bill going through the US congress calling on the UN to kick Russia of the security council; then they wouldn't have a veto any more.  This could be done by amending the UN charter, but any amendment must be agreed to by all permanent members of the SC, which I consider unlikely given that Russia is one of them.

But I don't see why a SC resolution is needed, this looks like a pretty clear case of defence, not like 2003 when the US and the UK "defended" themselves against Iraq, or now, when Russia is "defending" itself from Ukraine.

But the big players don't seem to have their hearts in it.  Some of them announced in advance that they wouldn't be fighting in Ukraine, which probably wasn't the best way to keep Russia from invading.  I think Ukraine will not lack for foreign assistance when it comes to weapons and supplies, but they will probably have to do the bleeding themselves.

This whole thing makes no sense at all.  It is immensely unpopular in Russia.  The president has made his career keeping the moneyed classes happy, but they're not going to like this one.  Huge protests in St. Pete's also.  Russia hasn't had a "colour" revolution yet, but maybe it will now.

And the force is too small for a sustained occupation.  What are they going to do, take Kyiv, put in a new government, and then leave?  The last pro-Russian president was overthrown and now lives in Russia.  Maybe any new government (if Russia even takes Kyiv) can last longer.  The government they left behind in Afghanistan lasted 2.5 years (the one the Americans left there lasted about a week).  If they want the any new government in Kyiv to last, they're going to need more muscle than this.  And if that's not the objective, then I don't know what is.

Well Russia's military performance in Grozny in the 1990s and in Georgia in 2008 was so bad it was embarrassing.  They've upgraded a lot since then, but so has Ukraine.  Crimea went down without a fight in 2014, but that's a place where there is very strong pro-Russian sympathy; the rest of Ukraine isn't like that.

I used to think that although Putin might be ruthless, he wasn't a moron.  I'm having to reassess that now.

If Putin wants to bomb someone, he might want to take lessons from the Americans.  They just bombed Somalia again, and hardly anybody gives a rat's arse, or even knows that it happened.  But when you bomb Europeans, people get upset.

Offline LionKing

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #112 on: February 25, 2022, 07:31:19 AM »
We import 60 percent of our wheat from Ukraine!

I feel with Ukrainian people for we have passed through the same thing. This Putin lives in the middle ages.
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline Peter B

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #113 on: February 25, 2022, 07:46:26 AM »
We import 60 percent of our wheat from Ukraine!

Hopefully there will be other countries willing and able to make up the shortfall.

Quote
I feel with Ukrainian people for we have passed through the same thing. This Putin lives in the middle ages.

Speaking of the Middle Ages, I've read that a medieval (Caucasian) Georgian fort was renamed "Kiss My Backside" in commemoration of the commander's response to a Turkish invitation to surrender. Which leads inevitably and sadly to the (unconfirmed) response of Ukrainian border guards to a Russian warship's request that they surrender...

I hope it becomes a meme.

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #114 on: February 25, 2022, 09:08:59 AM »
So Russia's wealthiest individuals lost US$1.625 billion per hour during the first 24 hours of this war.  Putin is not taking care of his clientele.

This Putin lives in the middle ages.

If Putin quit after his second term in 2008, he'd be remembered as one of the best leaders Russia had for a long, long time.  But he stayed on a bit too long . . .

Speaking of the Middle Ages, I've read that a medieval (Caucasian) Georgian fort was renamed "Kiss My Backside" in commemoration of the commander's response to a Turkish invitation to surrender. Which leads inevitably and sadly to the (unconfirmed) response of Ukrainian border guards to a Russian warship's request that they surrender...

The report I saw is, they're all dead now :(

Offline LionKing

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #115 on: February 25, 2022, 10:37:33 AM »
We import 60 percent of our wheat from Ukraine!

Hopefully there will be other countries willing and able to make up the shortfall.

Quote
I feel with Ukrainian people for we have passed through the same thing. This Putin lives in the middle ages.

Speaking of the Middle Ages, I've read that a medieval (Caucasian) Georgian fort was renamed "Kiss My Backside" in commemoration of the commander's response to a Turkish invitation to surrender. Which leads inevitably and sadly to the (unconfirmed) response of Ukrainian border guards to a Russian warship's request that they surrender...

I hope it becomes a meme.

We have one month supplies. Hopefully it gets solved.

Regarding surrender, Ukraine seems to be surrendering as it seems to be ready to withdraw from NATO. I am against NATO but also against using war and power when the military force was not used by NATO against Russia.
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #116 on: February 25, 2022, 12:01:41 PM »
Regarding surrender, Ukraine seems to be surrendering as it seems to be ready to withdraw from NATO.

??

Ukraine is not in NATO.  It has something of a promise to be able to join, which in my judgement is more or less the same thing as not having a promise to be able to join.

NATO has about seven times the population of Russia, and about 25 times the GDP.  If Russia (which really has no allies in this whole endeavour, except for Belarus) attacks a NATO country, and NATO is unable to deliver a humiliating defeat, then that will be the end of the alliance, methinks.

Offline LionKing

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #117 on: February 25, 2022, 12:47:09 PM »
Regarding surrender, Ukraine seems to be surrendering as it seems to be ready to withdraw from NATO.

??

Ukraine is not in NATO.  It has something of a promise to be able to join, which in my judgement is more or less the same thing as not having a promise to be able to join.

NATO has about seven times the population of Russia, and about 25 times the GDP.  If Russia (which really has no allies in this whole endeavour, except for Belarus) attacks a NATO country, and NATO is unable to deliver a humiliating defeat, then that will be the end of the alliance, methinks.

Imeant the decision to join was declared to be negotiable, which means most likely they will not join.
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi

Offline Luther

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #118 on: February 25, 2022, 06:44:34 PM »
Imeant the decision to join was declared to be negotiable, which means most likely they will not join.

Oh, I think this whole thing will make Ukraine much more likely to join NATO.

NATO has been a zombie alliance for thirty years, its reason for existence having disappeared.  Well it may have been brought back to life now, we'll see.  I wouldn't be surprised if Sweden and Finland join now.  If the goal of this whole thing is to keep NATO away from Russia's borders, it may backfire in a big way.  Well China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and North Korea are unlikely to join.  Soviet membership was rejected in 1954, and despite many favourable statements by Putin in the early days of his presidency, it doesn't seem like there has ever been a serious attempt by Russia to join.

Ukraine is currently a member of the NATO "Partnership for Peace" programme, but then again, so is Russia.  According to the Wikipedia page,

Quote
NATO builds relationships with partners through military-to-military cooperation on training, exercises . . .

I wonder whether the current activities qualify.

In other news that should surprise absolutely no one, the UN security council resolution condemning the attack has been vetoed.

American sources are reporting that Ukraine has offered stiff resistance, the military command and control structures continue to operate, the air force continues to challenge Russian jets, and not a single major population centre has fallen.  It's hard to tell whether this is accurate or propaganda though.

Pictures have surfaced of the former president of Ukraine on the streets of Kyiv with an AK-47, ready to fight.  However, he might have to take some time off if the ongoing treason case against him isn't dropped.  Supposedly the target is to get 130,000 new militia members trained.  So civilians who take up arms to defend their country against foreign invasion.  The sort of people who were usually called "insurgents" or "terrorists" in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Well in Afghanistan they were called "freedom fighters" in the 1980s when they were fighting the Soviets, they didn't become "terrorists" until they started fighting the Americans.

Offline LionKing

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #119 on: February 26, 2022, 06:31:43 AM »
They can't continue with resistance too much with such a powerful country as Russia. With USA not willing to interfere, and France stating they will give them only weapons, I see a scenario dimilar to Iran and Hizbollah in Lebanon. The result will be that Ukraine will be destroyed, then the hreat countries will sit down and agree together, and the weak will pay the price, unfortunately.
“When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
... When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
 Rumi