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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The lamps are going out (Page 3)

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Author Topic: The lamps are going out
Lyrhawn
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The Union is eternal.
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Elison R. Salazar
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I feel like there's such a fundamental miscommunication that its actually impossible to resolve.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
The Union is eternal.

Down with separatists!
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jake:
That exact thing--a lack of a word for "no", but a negating word that effectively means "not" is exactly what I was talking about with Thai.

That's so funny. Slavic languages (and Slavic people in generally), are extremely comfortable with saying no. Sometimes they say no even when they mean yes.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
I feel like there's such a fundamental miscommunication that its actually impossible to resolve.

You appeared to be suggesting that there was, at some point, a serious possibility that Japan would be admitted to the United States as a full state in its own right. That seems...unlikely is understating things, but if that's not what you meant, I don't know what you did mean.
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Lyrhawn
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I don't think he meant it was an actual possibility. I think he meant it might have been better for them, and that for a brief period, the Japanese people themselves might have considered it, which leaves the American side of the equation out of it. I don't know enough about Japanese history to know if they really would have considered it, but that's a more limited statement.
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Samprimary
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http://imgur.com/gallery/kGH9v2k

lol

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BlackBlade
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Oh man those expressions...
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Samprimary
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a guy like putin being the ruler of russia is kind of a perfect demonstration of how much it has descended into a goonish kleptocracy

it's just so amazing. russia was going to have crimea no matter what, but putin can't do it in a way which doesn't do a number on their already tenuous international standing.

with luck though maybe the G7 will stop pretending it's the G8

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Lyrhawn
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Merkel said today that Russia no longer has a place in the G8.
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Samprimary
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ha!

see, right there. AND russia's going to spend a few years finding out what it's like to be a corrupt petro state that has spooked its primary markets (europe, etc) out of trusting them to hold the energy reins.

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Elison R. Salazar
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Surprised this thread hasn't had much more posting given whats going on in Eastern Ukraine.

Anyways, updating the scoreboard since I made some claims and should own up to them:

-Wrong w.r.t G8, although one could argue its important functions are superseded by the G20.

-Wrong on Russian expanding into Ukraine, this one actually baffles me as taking Crimea was risky enough and generally an all around "win", while the insertion into Ukraine appears to have been "lessons learned" and better executed this makes me feel like its crossing the line for what Russia can get away with. Its not what I'ld do when playing Hearts of Iron. :colbert:

-Currently though there is still no significant effort to economically relieve Ukraine on the order of the 80 billion$ it needs, it maybe has about 10 billion possibly going its way. The IMF are still being austeritarian dicks. Same as below I'll consider this one a draw as who knows what'll happen.

-Sanctions are currently still pisspoor and don't amount to anything, and wouldn't have amounted to anything with just Crimea, at this point anything is possible. But the economics are not making the situation favorable for hard action by EU/NATO. I consider this one a draw.

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Samprimary
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russia taking crimea in the way that they did was not an all around 'win' - as i mentioned before

quote:
IMF are still being austeritarian dicks
how do you define austeritarian, and do you think the imf's strategy here is driven by an attempt to put ukraine through austerity politics
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Elison R. Salazar
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Did you mean to put a question mark?

The IMF, from what I've read, isn't interested in handing out funds to countries that they believe aren't "serious" in cutting their debts, so they insist on deep cuts to essential spending (such as pensions for old people), spending that has an important role in maintaining employment and economic growth; essentially Shock Therapy 2.0. For Ukraine this is political suicide, if they force it, they'll just get toppled again. Stability is what Ukraine needs, not further austerity measures.

There are some politicians and people who seem important within the IMF, EU and US administrations that seem willing to simply provide Ukraine the funds it needs without preconditions but I haven't seen movement in that regards.

As for The Hero City of Sevastopol, where I remind you, except for maybe the Rzhev meatgrinder probably some one of the highest concentrations of dead Russians defending the glorious motherland from the Hiterlites who were seeking to exterminate the sacred Russian people (this is for illustrative purposes of Russian thinking) that was illegally given to Ukraine with all of its Russian peoples by a drunk idiot; where now the Baltic Fleet, famous for its history of excellent service to the motherland, for their bravery in battle is currently berthed, and in which there isn't any other naval bases in the black sea in which they could dock if denied Sevastopol...

It was clearly in the Russian interest, to ensure that in the face of a clearly hostile government in Kiev to insure that there was no strategic danger to the Black Sea fleet.

So now the current situation is that the Black Sea Fleet will never be in danger, was taken without firing a shot and no longer need to give blackmail money to the corrupt and illegitimate government in Kiev.

From this prism/perspective how was taking Crimea and securing THE HERO CITY OF SEVASTOPOL not a clear "win"? The sanctions at the time were negligible and the rubble stabilized, there was to be no serious consequences.

Now would it have been how I would have done it? I think if Putin was more concerned with Russian interest more then Putin's interest he would have occupied it, but not annexed it, and used it as a bargaining chip with Kiev to secure an indefinite lease and perhaps greater autonomy for Crimea and an agreement to not join NATO.

As it is now whelp, but that's more a result of seemingly wanting more.

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Mucus
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Honestly, what a mess. Protesters overthrowing one government, other protesters overthrowing another government, both sides accusing each other of sending in agents to encourage uprisings, both sides denying it. One side's protesters are Nazis, the other side's protesters are terrorists ... I wish we could stay out of it.
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Samprimary
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quote:
From this prism/perspective how was taking Crimea and securing THE HERO CITY OF SEVASTOPOL not a clear "win"?
like i said before:
quote:
russia was going to have crimea no matter what, but putin can't do it in a way which doesn't do a number on their already tenuous international standing.
congratulations, russia gets their HERO CITY OF WHATEVER (and spook the petro sales base that tenuously floats that ridiculous corrupt mess of a has-been country) (which is not a win)
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Tuukka
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But will Europe really cut down the amount of oil and gas they buy from Russia?

Here in Finland, refining Russian oil is currently the biggest standalone export industry we have (Since Nokia went down). I doubt we are going to sacrifice our own economical interests in order to honor international justice.

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Samprimary
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In the short term: nah not really, and I would be flabbergasted if europe didn't purposefully move to weaken sanctions against russia.

In the long term: we already know that the international relations scenario has changed enough that Russia would NOT attempt what they did as recently as 2009, where Gazprom turned off Ukraine's subsidized cash flow to put some fire under the pants of the government of the time. There was a resulting shortage. But it hurt Gazprom too much for Russia to easily debate or even remotely consider a similar shutoff.

Between the two incidents, Russia has spooked its main export markets and hurt its image as a reliable, long term provider. You don't want to do that. The damage will not come in sanctions; it will come in that the Europeans will take this as incentive to treat Russia as a weaker bet for stable energy supply, and move towards a heavier diversification of oil and gas supply that isn't from russia, as well as enhancing alternate energy systems that wean Europe off the tap.

Wanna see how Russia makes hard times for itself for a decade? You're seeing it right now. Russia is so greatly dependent on its energy revenues that it is a classic petrostate. History shows that these are susceptible to corruption, autocracy and violent conflict, as well as bust contractions that hurt. Greatly.

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BlackBlade
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Also already we've seen hundreds of billions of dollars of capital flood out of Russia. Investors don't like uncertainty, and Russia is dishing out a lot of it.
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Lyrhawn
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Europe is already talking Ukrainian investment. They'll invest billions in Ukraine's gas market to get fracking up and running. It'll prop up Ukraine with a much needed influx of cash and it'll create a long term investment in freeing themselves from Russian gas exports. Ukraine has a huge amount of untapped natural gas. They just lack the funds and technical know-how to unlock it. The West will help with that.

It was something the West never needed or wanted to do before, but with Putin's latest moves, it's almost a done deal.

Putin made these moves for short term political reasons. Long term they are huge blunders.

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BlackBlade
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Ukrainian helicopters shot down during a raid in Eastern Ukraine against separatists.

The IMF is also saying they will have no choice but to restructure their loan to the Ukraine if they lose control of the East as that is where so much of their manufacturing is.

Man, this just gets worse and worse for Ukraine.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think the Crimea only breaks away if Ukraine splits in two for real. If the West breaks away to form its own nation and seeks closer ties to the EU and the East goes to Russia, the East and Russia will get the Crimea.

But there's no way Russia will annex it outright.

Six months later ...

quote:
Russian armored columns said to capture key Ukrainian towns

Russian soldiers, tanks and heavy artillery began rolling into southeastern Ukraine in earnest Thursday, the Ukrainian government said, as well-armed detachments captured key towns, burned buildings and sent the underequipped Ukrainian forces into full retreat — a show of military force that the United States now considers an invasion in all but name.

U.S. officials began saying privately for the first time Thursday that they consider the escalation of recent days tantamount to a Russian invasion, but President Obama stopped short of using the term at a news conference late in the afternoon. He said the United States would continue to rely on sanctions in an effort to deter Russia.

...

Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe the behind-the-scenes diplomacy, said the purpose of Russia’s “armed intervention” may be to try to open a land route to Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine earlier this year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russian-and-ukraine-troops-battle-in-south-prompting-fears-of-widescale-invasion/2014/08/28/04b614f4-9a6e-40f4-aa21-4f49104cf0e4_story.html
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BlackBlade
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I kinda want to be mad at Russia for waging a war without having the guts to declare war or admitting to anything, but it seems like they've been studying the American school of diplomacy/warfare quite well.
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Dogbreath
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*nods* Having actually taken part in similar military actions in the Philippines, I can say that the U.S. doesn't really have the moral high ground on this. Then again, we were acting in support of the Filipino government against rebels and terrorists with less than noble intentions (the bombing of a catholic school that dared to educate girls is something I remember rather vividly), but how many Americans even know that we have troops deployed in the Philippines? How many care? I mean, we've been involved in the fighting there since 2005, and while I read news reports of the conflicts there, they never seem to made the front page.

If the Ukraine was located in the Middle East or Africa or southeast Asia, I wonder if many people would even know this conflict was going on.

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