The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready (New York Times Editorial Board)

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    • #487710
      Babel 17
      • Total Posts: 6,554

      The editorial reminded me of reading Gone With the Wind, the parts where Scarlett talked of how the South was winning the war in a glorious fashion but those pesky Yankees stubbornly fought on, so the ultimate victory would have to wait a while.

      Anyway, I’ll grab four interesting paragraphs from down a ways in the editorial. It’s a long one, as “Ukrainian military good!/Russian military bleh!” seems to have needed to be firmly established by the editorial board before the hard reality could be brought forth, so the New York Times readers could be prepared for the neck breaking shift in reporting that was soon to come, after months of the readers getting nothing but glorious tales of the victories of Generals Lee, Jackson, Stuart, Longstreet, Forrest, Pickett, and Beauregard.

      A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. Though Russia’s planning and fighting have been surprisingly sloppy, Russia remains too strong, and Mr. Putin has invested too much personal prestige in the invasion to back down.

      The United States and NATO are already deeply involved, militarily and economically. Unrealistic expectations could draw them ever deeper into a costly, drawn-out war. Russia, however battered and inept, is still capable of inflicting untold destruction on Ukraine and is still a nuclear superpower with an aggrieved, volatile despot who has shown little inclination toward a negotiated settlement. Ukraine and Russia now “appear further apart than at any other point in the nearly three-month-long war,” as The Times reported.

      Recent bellicose statements from Washington — President Biden’s assertion that Mr. Putin “cannot remain in power,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comment that Russia must be “weakened” and the pledge by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, that the United States would support Ukraine “until victory is won” — may be rousing proclamations of support, but they do not bring negotiations any closer.

      In the end, it is the Ukrainians who must make the hard decisions: They are the ones fighting, dying and losing their homes to Russian aggression, and it is they who must decide what an end to the war might look like. If the conflict does lead to real negotiations, it will be Ukrainian leaders who will have to make the painful territorial decisions that any compromise will demand.


      Don't Kill the Whale
      Don't feed the trolls

    • #487714
      • Total Posts: 8,337

      And it is not Putin, but the US/UK/NATO/West that has too much personal prestige – and corruption – at stake to back down.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      "Sometimes when I try to understand a person's motives, I play a little game. I assume the worst. What's the worst reason they could possibly have for saying what they say and doing what they do? Then I ask myself, 'How well does that reason explain what they say and what they do?'" GRRM

      A YouTube comment – we need new conspiracy theories – the old ones have all come true.

    • #487716
      • Total Posts: 2,894
    • #487730
      • Total Posts: 9,150

      talks to Ukrainians who aren’t public officials.

      But then, this is about Ukraine, not Ukrainians.

    • #487735
      • Total Posts: 467
    • #487753
      • Total Posts: 9,174

      They’re saying Russia can grind along for years and Ukraine can’t hold out forever, so they have to work out the best way to give up, surrender, etc. This is a surprising admission from the NYT.

    • #487761
      • Total Posts: 753

      Although, I think they are so far down the propaganda rabbit hole that they are bullshitting themselves. Every one of those paragraphs contains glaring lies and false assumptions. No wonder everyone I have discussions about Ukraine seem to be all over the place with painfully obvious inconsistencies and counter-factual assertions.

    • #487769
      • Total Posts: 2,436

      …by taking aggressive, expansionist postures on what are peripheral, even tangential issues, in terms of balance of power, in a multi-polar world. Those are Ukraine in Europe and Taiwan in East Asia. The truth is both disputes are secondary, to the primary issue of not getting locked into a rigid geopolitical arrangement. The instigator, in this case the US, has eliminated its ability and flexibility to maneuver in its own national interests, to fulfill the goals of parochial interests in its domestic political power structure aligning itself to old historical and ideological grudges prevalent in Eastern Europe.

      The focus on Taiwan in the east is even more inexplicable, and seems to be the result of an alignment of old Japanese, US, and UK imperial interests divorced from balance of power realities. Now that the US has tied itself to a dead horse in Europe in the form of Ukraine, the “new” asymmetric arms assistance to a Taiwan that is really not interested in war with its neighbor appears to be a subtle backing off from a more aggressive anti-Chinese US policy in Taiwan. This seems like an expedient move rather than some fundamental reassessment of a rigidly anti-PRC policy. Will we continue to hear more anti-Chinese rhetoric during Biden’s Asian trip?

      惑世誣民 혹세무민

      • #487860
        • Total Posts: 3,193

        well, that’s only the same story as Palestine, Greece, Italy, Syria, Iran, Laos, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Lebanon, Cuba, the Congo, Indonesia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bolivia, Chile, Bangladesh, East Timor, Chad, Afghanistan, Angola, Mozambique, the Philippines, Turkey, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq, Russia, Venezuela, Georgia, Honduras, Yemen, Libya, and Ukraine

        it’s easy (and correct) to interpret this as the behavior of a global empire or hyperpower, able to cremate any random hamlet around the globe, then promptly forget about it–and even bristle at any talk of responsibility or cautions of blowback (JFK was gung-ho about the Green Berets and even Carter said “the damage was mutual” in Vietnam)

        but let’s compare this to the other Powers: France fucks up ex-colonial Africa, Britain goes after canals and oil, Russia beats on its immediate neighbors; further down the power spectrum …

        * China sticks nukes in Sichuan and bends the rules most magnificently by dumping sand on tidal islands to the south
        * Indonesia and India seizing British, Dutch, and Portuguese protectorates
        * Argentina cut its teeth murdering peasants in Nicaragua and Bolivia, then tangled with Chile and Britain over sheep isles until it got its ass stoved in despite the Blond Angel of Death throwing 17yo conscripts at the SAS
        * South Africa’s Boerarchy tried to play the “the Poms were MEAN to us 1900, so we can send tanks out to Katanga”: no sale
        * now we come to the regional powers–Cuba, Brazil, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel, Nigeria, Libya, Turkey, Mexico all have pursued pragmatic and/or ideological interventions in other countries, even across oceans
        * Tanzania topples Idi Amin, Vietnam Pol Pot, Peru threatens Pino-shit, Venezuela mounts the Caribbean Legion for democracy, Guatemala and Venezuela make claims on Belize and Guyana

        so we’ve come to the bottom of the spectrum of foreign intervention–but what do they all have in common that Langley and Foggy Bottom don’t? many of their intelligence/meddling agencies ARE as new and unable to understand the country they’re trying to topple as the CIA; many of the leaders involved WERE utter twits; many of these interventions DO backfire hideously

        but no other country has had all three factors happen at once and in EVERY intervention: if Bratislava talks shit about big new *plans* for its Hungarian minority Orban’s sending in the tanks; if Washington hallucinates a PRO-American government in Laos is a mortal danger to Colorado precisely because it’s so unimportant (where else would the Fiend strike?) and we had no actual evidence of Soviet infiltration (only one country could erase all its fingerprints!); we don’t have a Big Board with generals and DCIs pushing around little figures of ayatollahs and presidents and cocaine, we have the pie fight Kubrick cut as too silly

        “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal” –Kissinger

    • #487788
      • Total Posts: 616

      Especially now that there’s a handful of Repubs in congress for the M$M to blame.

      Ya gotta love all the commenters claiming NYT are now Putin puppets. And that they’ll now have to go to Wapo for the real news.

      And @babel17 , love your Gone with the Wind ref!

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