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Ukraine

#121 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-April-22, 18:15

Re: The above post about the Marshall Plan. Perhaps it is not too soon to think of a Marshall-like Plan, and it is good to be reminded that the MP was a part, an important part but still a part, of post-war efforts. But the thing staring us in the face is that the MP began after the war was over. We could see what we were dealing with.
So ok, we can think about it for the future, but it will be a while before we see just what the post-war situation is.
Ken
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#122 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-April-22, 22:34

Quote

triggered calls for a Marshall Plan for Ukraine.


Before this can happen, there will have to be a Julius Caesar moment for Putin.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#123 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-April-23, 05:36

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-April-22, 22:34, said:



Before this can happen, there will have to be a Julius Caesar moment for Putin.


Has anyone seen recent video of Putin?

He does not look at all well.
Alderaan delenda est
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#124 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-April-23, 14:21

Katrin Bennhold at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....war-energy.html

HANOVER, Germany — On the evening of Dec. 9, 2005, 17 days after Gerhard Schröder left office as chancellor of Germany, he got a call on his cellphone. It was his friend President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Mr. Putin was pressing Mr. Schröder to accept an offer to lead the shareholder committee of Nord Stream, the Russian-controlled company in charge of building the first undersea gas pipeline directly connecting Russia and Germany.

“Are you afraid to work for us?” Mr. Putin had joked. Mr. Schröder might well have been, given the appearance of possible impropriety — the pipeline he was now being asked to head had been agreed to in the final weeks of his chancellorship, with his strong support.

He took the job anyway.

Seventeen years later, the former chancellor, who recounted the events himself in a pair of rare interviews, remains as defiant as ever.

“I don’t do mea culpa,” Mr. Schröder said, sitting in his sprawling light- and art-filled office in the center of his home city, Hanover, in northwestern Germany. “It’s not my thing.”

With Mr. Putin now waging a brutal war in Ukraine, all of Germany is reconsidering the ties with Russia that — despite years of warnings from the United States and Eastern European allies — have left Germany deeply reliant on Russian gas, giving Mr. Putin coercive leverage over Europe while filling the Kremlin’s war chest.

That dependency grew out of a German belief — embraced by a long succession of chancellors, industry leaders, journalists and the public — that a Russia bound in trade would have too much to risk in conflict with Europe, making Germany more secure while also profiting its economy.

Mr. Schröder was far from alone in that conviction. But today he has become the most prominent face of that long era of miscalculation, not only because he expresses no regret, but because he has also profited handsomely from it, earning millions while promoting Russian energy interests.

His close ties to Mr. Putin have made him a pariah in his own country, where many now criticize him for using his clout and connections over the past two decades to enrich himself at the expense of Germany.

“He took advantage of the reputation and influence of the chancellor’s office and offered himself up as an agent for Russian interests to get rich,” said Norbert Röttgen, a conservative lawmaker, former minister and longtime Russia hawk.

In the interviews, Mr. Schröder, now 78, spoke with undiminished swagger, cracking jokes but arguing in essence that, well, if he got rich, then so did his country. When it came to Russian gas, everyone was on board, he pointed out, mocking his detractors over copious amounts of white wine.

“They all went along with it for the last 30 years,” he said. “But suddenly everyone knows better.”

Mr. Schröder scoffed at the notion of now distancing himself personally from Mr. Putin, 69, whom he considers a friend and sees regularly, most recently last month in an informal effort to help end the Ukraine war.

Mr. Schröder refuses to resign from his board seats on Russian energy companies, despite calls to do so from across the political spectrum, not least from Chancellor Olaf Scholz, a fellow Social Democrat, who worked closely with Mr. Schröder when he was chancellor.

Distancing himself now, Mr. Schröder said, would lose him the trust of the one man who can end the war: Mr. Putin. Even so, after all of his years of close relations with Mr. Putin, he walked away with nothing during his one brief interlude trying to mediate in the Ukraine conflict.

It is hard by now — with Mr. Putin unrelenting more than two months into the Ukraine war — to avoid the impression that Mr. Schröder is useful to the Russian leader as a cat’s paw to further his own interest in hooking Germany on cheap Russian gas.

Germany’s reliance on Russian gas surged to 55 percent before Russia’s attack on Ukraine began in February, from 39 percent in 2011, amounting to 200 million euros, or about $220 million, in energy payments every day to Russia.

It has helped make Mr. Putin perhaps one of the world’s richest men, has buoyed his otherwise feeble economy, and has enabled and emboldened him to pursue his aggression in Ukraine.

Even as Mr. Putin was massing troops on the Ukraine border last fall, Mr. Schröder visited the Russian leader in Sochi, one of Mr. Putin’s favorite retreats, across from the Black Sea coast that Russian forces are now trying to rip from Ukraine.

A cellphone photograph that Mr. Schröder showed me from that visit shows the two men smiling at each other, Mr. Putin in red hockey gear and Mr. Schröder in a light blue shirt and blazer. Asked what they talked about, he told me, “Soccer.”

Mr. Schröder distanced himself from the war, though not from Mr. Putin. I asked about the by-now notorious atrocities in Bucha, a Kyiv suburb. “That has to be investigated,” Mr. Schröder said, but added that he did not think those orders would have come from Mr. Putin, but from a lower authority.

“I think this war was a mistake, and I’ve always said so,” Mr. Schröder said. “What we have to do now is to create peace as quickly as possible.”

“I have always served German interests,” he added. “I do what I can do. At least one side trusts me.”

That side is not the German side.

Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began, the entire staff of Mr. Schröder’s parliamentary office resigned in protest, including his chief of staff and speechwriter of 20 years, who had been with him since his days as chancellor.

He relinquished his honorary citizenship in Hanover before his home city could strip it from him — something it last did, posthumously, to Adolf Hitler. When even the soccer club Borussia Dortmund, which Mr. Schröder has supported since he was 6, demanded a strong statement on Mr. Putin from him, Mr. Schröder canceled his membership.

Calls for his expulsion are growing louder among Social Democrats, too.

But Mr. Schröder is undaunted. He remains chairman of the shareholder committee of Nord Stream, reportedly earning about $270,000 a year, and served as head of the supervisory board of Nord Stream 2, which built a second pipeline connecting Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, until it was shuttered before the war.

Three weeks before Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, Gazprom — the Soviet energy ministry turned Russian state-controlled gas company, which owns 51 percent of Nord Stream and all of Nord Stream 2 — announced that Mr. Schröder would join its board, too. (Mr. Schröder would not say whether he would accept the nomination.)

Since 2017, he has also presided over the board of the Russian oil company Rosneft, earning another $600,000 a year, according to public records, on top of his monthly $9,000 government stipend as former chancellor.

Mr. Schröder’s entanglement with the Russian president and Kremlin-controlled energy companies overshadows all he achieved in seven years as chancellor, from 1998 to 2005, a pivotal period of leadership when he was lauded for refusing to join the United States in the Iraq war; giving immigrants a regular path to citizenship; and putting in place far-reaching labor market overhauls that would pave the way for a decade of growth under his successor, Angela Merkel.

That legacy has been permanently tainted.

But even his fiercest critics acknowledge that Mr. Schröder’s close and lucrative dealings with Russia are also emblematic of his country’s decades-old approach of engagement with Russia. Lobbied aggressively by Germany’s export industry and cheered on by labor unions, successive chancellors, including Ms. Merkel, collectively engineered Germany’s dependency on Russian energy.

“Schröder is the tip of the iceberg,” said Wolfgang Ischinger, a former ambassador to the United States and veteran diplomat. “But there is a whole iceberg below him.”

Quote

Mr. Putin spoke fondly of Mr. Schröder in February during a joint news conference with Mr. Scholz, the current German chancellor, who visited the Kremlin in a last-ditch effort to avert war.

“Mr. Schröder is an honest man whom we respect and whose goal is first and foremost to promote the interests of his own country, the Federal Republic of Germany,” the Russian leader said.

“Let German citizens open their purses, have a look inside and ask themselves whether they are ready to pay three to five times more for electricity, for gas and for heating,” Mr. Putin added. “If they are not, they should thank Mr. Schröder because this is his achievement, a result of his work.”

On Russian state television, Mr. Schröder is frequently cited as a Western voice of reason, proof of the Kremlin’s contention that Europe’s current leaders have sold their countries’ interests out to a “Russophobic” United States.

In January, Dmitri Kiselyov, the host of the marquee weekly news program on Russian state television, “Vesti Nedeli,” lauded Mr. Schröder as the last German chancellor before Europe “lost its own voice” in foreign affairs.

“It was all downhill from there,” Mr. Kiselyov intoned.

But to Mr. Putin’s critics, Mr. Schröder is the epitome of a craven class of Western politicians who enable Mr. Putin by financing and legitimizing the Kremlin.

After Mr. Putin’s main domestic rival, Aleksei A. Navalny, was poisoned in 2020 in what the German government, among others, said appeared to be a state-sponsored assassination attempt, Mr. Schröder publicly played down the matter in the German news media.

Asked about it in the interviews, he noted that Mr. Navalny had been convicted in Russia. Last month, Mr. Navalny was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony after being found guilty by a Russian court of large-scale fraud and contempt. I pointed out that he had been poisoned. “Yes, but by whom?” Mr. Schröder replied.

After he came out of a coma after being poisoned, Mr. Navalny told Bild, a German tabloid, that Mr. Schröder was “Putin’s errand boy who protects murderers.”

Still, Mr. Schröder holds to his unwavering belief that peace and prosperity in Germany and Europe will always depend on dialogue with Russia.

“You can’t isolate a country like Russia in the long run, neither politically nor economically,” he said. “German industry needs the raw materials that Russia has. It’s not just oil and gas, it’s also rare earths. And these are raw materials that cannot simply be substituted.”

“When this war is over,” Mr. Schröder said, “we will have to go back to dealing with Russia. We always do.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#125 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-April-23, 14:31

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-April-22, 22:34, said:



Before this can happen, there will have to be a Julius Caesar moment for Putin.


Assuming some Casca (there is no Brutus) escapes suicide and is willing to face the mob.
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#126 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-April-23, 18:17

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-April-23, 05:36, said:

Has anyone seen recent video of Putin?

He does not look at all well.
3/1/2022

#127 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-April-30, 12:47

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-April-22, 22:34, said:



Before this can happen, there will have to be a Julius Caesar moment for Putin.

Why? After WWII, the US provided support to (West) Germany despite a significant portion of the country being occupied by Communist forces and all without Stalin being assassinated. I would assume that after the current conflict reaches a non-hot phase, presumably with an occupation of significant portions of South and East Ukraine, it would still be possible for a similar plan to be used for the rest of the country whether Putin is in power or otherwise.
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#128 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-April-30, 12:57

View PostGilithin, on 2022-April-30, 12:47, said:

Why? After WWII, the US provided support to (West) Germany despite a significant portion of the country being occupied by Communist forces and all without Stalin being assassinated. I would assume that after the current conflict reaches a non-hot phase, presumably with an occupation of significant portions of South and East Ukraine, it would still be possible for a similar plan to be used for the rest of the country whether Putin is in power or otherwise.


Because the fighting has to end first. And with it, the risk for future reengagement. No reason to rebuild only to have Putin tear it down again.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#129 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-02, 10:17

Tony Blair on How Russia’s War Will Change the World
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#130 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 14:44

View Posty66, on 2022-May-02, 10:17, said:



I finally got around to listening to that this morning. I might well go through it again.

There is also a very interesting piece ni Bloomberg reminding us that the Pearl Harbor bombing happened after US sanctions on Japan let them into desperation.

https://www.bloomber...gn=sharetheview

The author, Hal Brands, makes a point of saying that analogies are never completely accurate. But I think many have been wondering just what will happen next as we tighten sanctions on Russia. Dangerous times.
Ken
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#131 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-07, 15:43

View Postkenberg, on 2022-May-07, 14:44, said:

I finally got around to listening to that this morning. I might well go through it again.

There is also a very interesting piece ni Bloomberg reminding us that the Pearl Harbor bombing happened after US sanctions on Japan let them into desperation.

https://www.bloomber...gn=sharetheview

The author, Hal Brands, makes a point of saying that analogies are never completely accurate. But I think many have been wondering just what will happen next as we tighten sanctions on Russia. Dangerous times.

Analogies don't have to be perfect. I think Japan also felt war with the U.S. was inevitable so might as well strike first. Dangerous times indeed.
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#132 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-14, 18:58

The Turkish Drone That Changed the Nature of Warfare by Stephen Witt at The New Yorker

Quote

The Bayraktar TB2 has brought precision air-strike capabilities to Ukraine and other countries. It’s also a diplomatic tool, enabling Turkey’s rise.

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#133 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-May-18, 05:13

On a Russian talk show, a retired colonel stuns his colleagues by pointing out that the invasion isn’t going well
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#134 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-May-18, 06:01

Reported to me by my friend in Moscow (original in Russian, google translated, source unknown):

The Russian government has allowed automakers to release simplified models with lower environmental and safety standards. The corresponding decree of Mikhail Mishustin will be valid until February 1, 2023.

Now Russian car factories are allowed to produce cars of any environmental class - even Euro-0. Also, companies can produce cars without anti-lock braking system (ABS), airbags and dynamic stabilization system (ESP).

It is assumed that such innovations will allow, in the face of a shortage of imported components, to continue the production of machines and ensure the employment of personnel.
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#135 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-May-18, 06:16

It also means they can use the components that make the cars so posh for their (hopefully) dwindling stock of war machines.
I keep seeing reports that Putin is A) on corticosteroids - eg prednisolone, and B) sick with cancer (which would fit with certain types of chemotherapy that includes (A)).

A well-known and very common side-effect of treatment with steroids is rage - amongst a whole bunch of other psychiatric symptoms.
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#136 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-18, 06:28

View Posty66, on 2022-May-18, 05:13, said:



From the article: "Mr. Khodaryonok did not immediately respond to a request for further comment." Yes, I can imagine he might not be available for further comments. Ever.

Here is an obvious fact:
When soldiers from country A are fighting soldiers from company B, and when the fighting is taking place for possession of country B, the outcome is a great deal more important to the soldiers from country B.
Khodaryonok reached back to Marx and Lenin for explanations of the problem. Ok, maybe so, but I think that the above Obvious Fact is the place to start.


I have never been in battle or even in military uniform, I have not studied military history, so I agree that I don't know s--t. But some things are obvious even to me.
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#137 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-18, 06:29

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-May-18, 06:01, said:

Reported to me by my friend in Moscow (original in Russian, google translated, source unknown):

The Russian government has allowed automakers to release simplified models with lower environmental and safety standards. The corresponding decree of Mikhail Mishustin will be valid until February 1, 2023.

Now Russian car factories are allowed to produce cars of any environmental class - even Euro-0. Also, companies can produce cars without anti-lock braking system (ABS), airbags and dynamic stabilization system (ESP).

It is assumed that such innovations will allow, in the face of a shortage of imported components, to continue the production of machines and ensure the employment of personnel.


This is a very interesting example of What leads to What, and how prediction is tough.
Ken
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#138 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-May-18, 06:40

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-May-18, 06:16, said:

It also means they can use the components that make the cars so posh for their (hopefully) dwindling stock of war machines.
I keep seeing reports that Putin is A) on corticosteroids - eg prednisolone, and B) sick with cancer (which would fit with certain types of chemotherapy that includes (A)).

A well-known and very common side-effect of treatment with steroids is rage - amongst a whole bunch of other psychiatric symptoms.


About 40 years ago I had an auto-immune disease that was treated with prednisone, starting at something like 120mg a day, tapering off over a year or so. At one point I found it difficult to think clearly. I was teaching an advanced math class and my style was to welcome questions and spontaneous discussion. There was a point in the treatment when that was just impossible. I claim that this side-effect has gone away, but we never know.

The Ukrainians are obviously suffering greatly but it is hard to see how anyone will come out better from this invasion. That suggests some sort of delusional thinking is going on.
Ken
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#139 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-May-18, 09:03

I'm not sure if Putin has cancer; however, I'm certain Putin IS a cancer.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#140 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-May-21, 14:23

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-May-18, 09:03, said:

I'm not sure if Putin has cancer; however, I'm certain Putin IS a cancer.

Putin is actually a Libra.
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