That would mean the CIA wants to spy on everybody.
Russian president Vladimir Putin provided further indications that his administration will be tightening control over internet access in the country on Thursday, when he condemned the internet as being a CIA-controlled "project". The Associated Press quoted Putin in saying at an event in St. Petersburg that the internet was a …
He is a politician, therefore nothing he says must have any basis in fact and most of what he says will be completely illogical on the surface. Only the motive can be followed. Perhaps he wants to limit or control the internet in Russia and is looking for an excuse? Or maybe he believes the inventor of the internet, Al Gore, has it in for him..
Yes he is jealous that his mob were only able to set up ways to make money for themselves. This is probably why he is getting his henchmen to take over IT operations in his slave camp.
By the way I always thought that a Putin was what prisoners used before cells had proper facilities for use over night.
Anyway lets try to ensure that Tzar Putin can be consigned to his imperial palaces without any external interruptions.
Cut them off from the internet and do us all a favour.
He used to remind me of Bismarck. Strategically brillant, using nationalism, success and great deftness to maintain a sort of hybrid democracy/dictatorship. Mostly with restraint and subtlety, but with the odd bit of brutality showing through, to keep the more adventurous in check.
But now I'm not so sure. What he's doing in Ukraine, doesn't seem to make any sense. I don't see enough gain from turning Ukraine into even more of a basketcase than it already was, to make up for the downside of all the enemies he's making.
Angela Merkel, mostly an ally, said after a phone call with him last week that he seemed to be detached from reality. That's surprisingly un-diplomatic language…
@ I ain't Spartacus
Who told you that he is "doing it" in Ukraine. He may have started it, but it does not look like him "doing it" any more.
For starters, Ukraine is bordering to Transdnestr which is:
1. Lawless product of a stale civil war with the mob and illegal weapons trading being the biggest economy contributors
2. Predominantly Russian (despite being in Western Ukraine).
3. Sitting on one of the biggest weapons caches in the region and selling some of it from time to time to other conflicts in the region.
4. Shipping russian nationalism and mercenaries throughout the region the same way Chechen were trading in mercenaries during the previous decade (the Bosnia wars, Afganistan, Middle East).
5. Crimea takeover was organized and executed with Putin "doing it". What is happening now is no longer Crimea.
Add to that every nationalist nuthead (and Russia has quite a few of those) picking up a gun from the closet (Russia has quite of few of those too) and shipping out south-west. Frankly, I do not think he (or anyone) is in control any more.
While I understand the geopolitical motivation of the Eu and USA, what they have done in Kiev is going to bite us in a way compared to which Afganistan and Syria will be nothing.
@ Voland's Right Hand
Transdnestr is only around 30% Russian
Transdnestr is part of Moldova not 'in Western Ukraine'.
Transdnestr has a large Russian garrison and is widely considered to be under de facto Russian control
The evidence of direct Russian interference in Western Ukraine is clear - coordinated , clearly trained and heavily armed troops carrying Russian weapons and Russian uniforms (without badges) - oh, and Putin has now admitted the Crimean 'insurgents' were his soldiers. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/04/putin-says-no-russian-troops-east-ukraine-2014417132436806530.html
Do you have the slightest bit of evidence about your Transdnestr theory?
Voland's right hand,
I have no doubt that Putin is not in control of what's happening in Eastern Ukraine. No-one is.
But there's pretty good evidence that Russia was more than just a little involved. Firstly I've heard reports on the BBC World Service - where guys occupying the police stations seemed to be clearly all (or mostly) local. They knew each other and seemed to know the local area. But some of them admitted that the guys who'd done the actual storming had been unknown to them, and carrying uniforms without insignia and better weapons. Normally this wouldn't be enough to make me believe a conspiracy theory. Except that it's exactly the same MO as worked in Crimea. Something Putin said he wouldn't do the day before he did it, denied at the time, and then smugly talked about giving the special forces guys medals for 2 weeks later.
Secondly Russia has been noisily carrying out military excercises on the Ukrainian border. This is either the prelude to an invasion, or it's just posturing to totally fuck up the new Ukrainian government. It's now looking more like the prelude to a full-scale invasion, because of the special forces guys already sent in. But it still might be just an attempt to destabilise Ukraine, and create a low-level civil war. Who can tell? However it's also a clear signal to the pro-Russia extremists that they can try and attract Russia to come in, and is a deliberately destabilising gesture.
Thirdly, even after signing a deal with the Ukraine government and Western governments to de-escalate, the Russian government has kept up the rhetoric, and started new military excercises in Rostov. And not called for the protesters to stand-down.
Oh and fourthly, disparate, grass-roots rebel movements don't storm 50-odd buildings virtually simultaneously one morning, with zero reported casualties.
So yes. Russia is definitely involved. In several ways. Some of them even they don't deny. And they've since admitted what they did in Crimea. What their final intention is, that's another matter. I can't believe they'd gain enough from annexing Eastern Ukraine to be worth the costs of occupying it, dealing with the probably huge diplomatic fallout, possible resistance and the mess they'd make of the remnants of Ukraine. NATO would have to invite Ukraine in, which they really don't want to do, probably also Georgia - and those are 2 things the Russians definitely don't want. NATO would also probably have to permanently station troops in the Baltic States. Poland can easily hold out long enough to be re-inforced, they've got 5 armoured divisions.
Also I don't know what the passport position is, but Russia has in certain cases been very eager to hand out Russian passports to Russian minorities in the surrounding countries. After all, it was one of the reasons they gave/manufactured for the war with Georgia. I don't know how much of that has been going on in Ukraine, but there's quite a big chance that whatever happens in Ukraine, a mostly harmonious relationship between people who see themselves as Ukrainian and those who see themselves as Russian is breaking down. This could turn catastrophic, and lead to serious civil conflict. Does he really want a couple of million penniless refugees to deal with? The Russian government isn't made of money. And their economy is taking a serious beating form this crisis as is. Full EU sanctions would be crippling - and he'd suddenly be less popular - after the nationalistic fervour has died down - and people realise how much poorer they are. A gas boycott of the EU bankrupts Russia faster than it freezes Europe, and Qatar's LNG, American shale-gas, and the EU gas inter-connectors make this a pretty poor time to play that game anyway. They can't sell gas to China until they've built a new pipeline and LNG infrastructure is no quicker to create.
He's not crazy. He's just called the Western bluff. Both sides truly believe that democracy and human rights and all that is bullshit good for the plebs (elections ahoy), and what it's really about is who's got bigger dick. But they decided (gentlemen s' agreement) to screw available holes "gently", to make it look like they do it democratically and humanly, not to make other boys jealous. But new times (postmodernism, eh?) call for new measures, pushing boundaries, etc., and Putin decided that if he waved his dick in public, rather than just show his bulging underwear, the other boys won't dare protest too much, because, really, fucking an available hole is pleasurable and profitable, and trading blows with other boys... well, only every now and then, and on top of the will (none) you need some muscle (none). The only risk he's running is that he has exposed their posturing and no boy likes being exposed in full view of the worldwide plebs for what they really are: lying cunts. So, as the boys don't dare pick up a fight with Putin, they will do what such boys do - piss in his vodka, make rude gestures (from afar), you-can't-play-with-us thing. This, itself, is little harm in comparison with the gains, but might last a while and be a little annoying to Putin. That said, there's a long tradition and practice of "siege mentality", so it does help to rally the Russian plebs around the cause of the motherland (apparently some 80% of Russians support their little (?) Hitler, no need to "adjust" the poll results here).
..inflamed by western propaganda.
Mr Putin could equally point out that the Maidan coup d'etat was financed by U.S. "NGOs" and the new+illegal president of Ukraine has been determined by a Ms Nuland from the U.S. state department.
He could finally point out that he merely reciprocates the nasty tricks of U.S. and New York interests (which are not necessarily the same or subsets of each other).
Mr Putin could equally point out that the Maidan coup d'etat was financed by U.S. "NGOs" and the new+illegal president of Ukraine has been determined by a Ms Nuland from the U.S. state department.
He could indeed. It would be total bollocks though. It's pretty clear that there are lots of dissatisfied people in Ukraine ready to protest spontaneously. It's also pretty clear that big demos and building occupations have more political effect than anything else. Which is because Ukraine doesn't have a working political system, and is corruptly run by a small bunch of oligarchs. Even more so than Russia.
Also Ukraine's old regime collapsed. There was no coup, although there might have been about to be. They lost support from their own party in Parliament before that could happen, and buggered off. Parliament picked the new government and called elections. Which is as legal and democratic as was possible at the time.
The US interfered to some extent. Who knows how successfully. But did so legally. Diplomats are allowed to talk to parties forming new governments you see. That's called diplomacy!
Oddly enough though, invading and annexing parts of your neighbours is different. It's illegal. Given that Russia had signed a treaty 20 years ago promising it would respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for their nuclear disarmament - that makes it even worse.
I've seen plenty of defences of Putin. And they're all bollocks. There is no possible excuse for the invasion of Crimea. None whatsoever. There was no attempt at honest diplomacy beforehand, and so far none afterwards. To compound the sin, the Russian government is now deliberatly destabilising a friendly (well it was friendly anyway) neighbouring country to the extent of either starting a civil war or creating conditions to allow a second invasion to annex even more of it.
The seizure of Crimea sort of made some kind of sense. It gained a strategic port, removed some of Ukraine's negotiating leverage, re-intergrated a population with a majority that may regard itself as Russian. The referendum was rigged, but that doesn't mean that an honest one wouldn't have gone the same way - I seem to recall seeing that Crimea voted to stay with Ukraine in the 90s by 55 - 45%. So pretty close.
Putin could have called it quits, dealt diplomatically and smugly sat back having suffered minimal sanctions for a job-well-done. Of course he's have made an enemy of Ukraine by invading it, and removing a good chunk of the voters that make pro-Russian governments possible. But he's gone on to start a civil conflict that could escalate badly. And will now struggle to back down without serious damage - whereas he's backed the West into a corner where they'll have to impose more meaningful sanctions now. Also NATO will have to seriously consider a much stronger posture in Eastern Europe. And there might be a humanitarian crisis in a next-door country with a porous border, hence millions of refugees. These are all things that Russian policy has sought to avoid.
Which leads one to wonder. Is he the tactical genius he was made out to be? Or is 13 years in power going to his head? Or has he decided that Russia's best interests are served by some kind of return to 19th Century Nationalist conflict - or even 1930s style? It's all very odd.
Crazy like a fox then.
Western Europe depends heavily on gas from Russia. US & especially Western Europe sell a lot of stuff to Russia. Both factors weigh heavily against the West applying really hurtful economic sanctions like what happened to Iran.
The UN? Between its own veto and China, Russia has little to fear there.
Obviously, no one in the West wants to go to war defending poor Ukraine.
So where does that leave Putain? Grandstanding happily towards a public whose direct news media is controlled by the Kremlin. A public which has never really come to terms with their country becoming a second rate power. They'll gobble it up, as long as they are not themselves too badly hurt in their wallet.
Any Western pressure short of something really painful only allows him to pose as the defender of the poor misunderstood and maligned Russian national identity. NATO re-alignment to the East? Probably a vote winner as well. He needs external "enemies" to divert attention because he sure isn't succeeding on more conventional metrics like economic growth, democratic freedoms and lack of corruption. Or even having a competent military.
It's Georgia 2008 all over again. Didn't stop France from selling Russia assault landing ships afterwards, did it? Think Merkel is gonna cut off all her country's exports? Hah!
That part about the internet being a CIA tool? Laughable.
Except that Snowden showed us it was largely being abused by the NSA. Something for the US to mull about - not sure what the gains were in terms of anti-terrorism but there is a definite reputation and diplomatic cost to what the US did. Even though Putain is overstating his case quite a bit it makes it much harder to discredit him.
Bottom line is that he will likely get away with it short term. 20 years from now is not his problem, he just needs to keep his cronies happy now. Merkel is thinking like a Western politician, facing a democratic re-election process. Putain doesn't need to as long as oil prices stay up.
The guy is a dictator intent on turning Russia into a communist state with a state controlled pseudo-capitolist economy.
Unfortunately I have to admire what he has achieved for his country - he is a consumate strategest and has been playing the long game with the west for over ten years now, during which time he has manouvred Russian utilities, minerals and raw materials businesses into key positions underpinning western european economies, while the heads of those countries have bent over backwards to accommodate the oligarchs and wealthy Russian businessmen who have hungrilly started to acquire their national assets.
It was only a matter of time before Putin started delivering the killer blows by pretty much nationalising those same businesses from under the feet of their owners, while we in the west were so preoccupied by the thought of foreign cash that our so called leaders failed to see what they were getting themselves into - and we now have zero leverage to do anything about the current situation in Crimea.
Goes to show you should always protect your national interests first and foremost. This is NOT the time to be cutting defence budgets, and the fact that almost all investment in UKs major infrastructure projects is coming from overseas (ie China!!!) is a truly frightening thought indeed.
Lessons need to be learnt.
And Gerhard Schröder named Putin a flawless democrat ("lupenreiner demokrat").
@I ain't Spartacus
...and under Bismarck it still was a state governed by the rule of law.
Unfortunately, I doubt that Putin is detached from reality. Reality is, he can do whatever he wants. All he has to "fear" are some rather weak sanctions from EU/USA.
Well, Britain made outrageous demands on Kerensky, after the country had just gone through the revolution that overthrew the Tsars.
And then Germany helpfully shipped Lenin in from Switzerland.
So the West is responsible somewhat for Russia's agony under Communism.
Oh, I thought he meant Tim Henman...
[Thinks: Berners-Lee sits at his beautiful black NEXT box, he's a bit stuck as to how this particular bit of code goes together, when suddenly from the radio he hears several posh voices shouting in anguish, "Come on Tim!"]
"Around the same time, Google Maps in Russia decided to begin logging Crimea as part of Russia."
"He has also expressed a distrust as of late for American technology. Even before slamming the CIA's supposed control of the internet, Putin's administration dumped Apple's hardware over security concerns, and opted instead for Korean firm Samsung's products."
Samsung -> Google = Google Maps: Crimea as part of Russian
Apple = Apple Maps: Crimea as part of Ukraine
It all makes sense now....
Apple = Apple Maps: Crimea as part of Greece, this is Apple Maps you're talking about.
Was being driven by 17 year old daughter the other day, and she was using her iphone to navigate. I thought the shitness of apple maps was some kind or urban myth. Nope. It had us going in an infinite loop around the city of Bath. Unbelievable. Erm...yeah and Russia, Putin and stuff......yeah, how about those rooskies......
Idly wondering what would happen if Putin decides to cut all of Russia from the Internet.
Rapid decrease in spam, hacks, malware, botnets, once the master command&control centres become unavailable
Rapid decrease in pr0n, "dating" (read: prostitution) sites, and Russian mail order brides.
Leading to brains of hordes of nerds overdriving like Scotty's warp drives trying to go warp 9001. Leading to another scenario of "paradigm shift" and "this time it's different" which will make the insanity of the dot-com and web2.0 bubbles look like lost change behind the couch cushions.
Hmm, now I know what Civilization: Beyond Earth uses as its "Big Mistake" background...
An analysis of the Pros:
The master C&Cs have not been in Russia for a long time. Russia economy is emergin out of the ex-Wild East state and the ex-mobsters who have gone legit are not particularly forgiving when their interests are affected in any way. You are more likely to find the master C&C in Ukraine or one of the failed African states now. It is still run by the same mob, just not on Russian soil.
An analysis of the Cons
You live in the past. The days when mail-order brides were advertised on Slashdot and shipped to key Linux kernel developers (with all the consequences) are long over. Same story - as economy improves the migratory pressure decreases.
I remember the early days of the Net, tons of pr0n and others that you mention. The hi-story spirals now, and does in Russian segment as well, with a little advance which the modern tech presently presents :-) Everything is under comstruction yet, and you won't believe, dear Hoff, how many people still do not know that the Address Space even exists. Imagine the view of them finally getting to know not only that it exists, but also what *it is*, with all power of philosophical machine which now can join the dots to have a comprehensible output on the matter, presenting this spectacular entertainment, or The Game. And Hoff, you will have no chance to not having recognised that it's indistinguishable from magic.
feels more like the cold war warriors think they are back in business. All we need now is JEH to feature in Resurrection and its done. USSR collapsed partly thru USA spending it into bankruptcy. I suspect that the Russian Federation, arisen from the ruins of USSR wishes to return the favour to an even more bankrupt USSA(sic). I considered survivalists to be nuts once.
"feels more like the cold war warriors think they are back in business"
Many of them hope they will be. Big threats are an excuse for big government, so everybody's happy. And although the War on Terror (TM) was good whilst it lasted, the terrorists didn't deliver what was expected, so the proles started to think it was indeed a scam to justify more control of the population by political elites. But luckily, Putin's activities mean we now need NATO again, fingers on buttons, aircraft on QRA, and all that jazz.
The only interesting thing I see about this is the extent to which the Western population think that Putin started this (largely because they believe the mainstream news spoon fed by news services that are no longer the fourth estate). Putin is a highly intelligent thug, pure and simple, but the starter for this current crisis has been two decades of meddling and regime change in central-eastern Europe by the Yanks. Even famously right wing reactionary senator Ron Paul stood up in Congress in 2008 and condemned proposals for the expansion of NATO as being purely driven by a hope to reward the new leaders of Ukraine and Georgia following US-sponsored revolutions (his words, not mine). Fast forward six years and we have more evidence of US meddling in Ukraine - having once before swung their chosen darling into power, they again felt the need for a little bit of revolution, to evict Yanukovych for a second time.
The underlying ethnic problems between Russia and Ukraine were not started by the West. But the more recent political problems in Ukraine were, and the subsequent reaction of the US stinks of dishonesty and hypocrisy. By deliberately provoking Putin, the Yanks hoped to undermine him. Instead, I suspect he's come over as intelligent, decisive and brave in many parts of the world, particularly those many regions where democracy is weak or non-existent. Moreover, the crisis that the US has precipitated has given the world a lesson that giving up nuclear weapons reduces you to the status of a third world battleground.
I'm sure none of this was the expected outcome of the US meddling, but looking at it all you can understand why Russians are so good at chess, and Americans have to settle for the basketball trophies.
I'm sure none of this was the expected outcome of the US meddling, but looking at it all you can understand why Russians are so good at chess, and Americans have to settle for the basketball trophies.
You're joking right? The Russian economy is taking big hits as foreigners pull their money out of Russia, the Rouble has been downgraded to BBB- (which is one step above "junk" status), and most of all, Putin has effectively made the US look like the good guys again. These are not the moves of a brilliant chess player...
BBB- and presumably headed downwards if Russian businesses are cut off from the internet.
Yes, there's a lot of gas over there but guess what, there's a lot of shale elsewhere that might come on stream in the near future, especially if Putin's friends decide to hike the gas price. The same probably goes for most other primary resources: Russia can either continue to sell at the world market price or it can voluntarily send its *own* economy into a nosedive. If it wants to ever be anything other than a primary producer, it needs to develop manufacturing and service industries and in the 21st century that is not compatible with firewalling the entire country off from the rest of the internet. You might as well cut yourself off from physical transport networks, or the postal service, or international finance.
Similar advice, of course, applies to China, whose economy continues to grow as long as it sells its own people down the river, and stops growing as soon as it tries to cash in (*) any of the benefits of being an economic giant. (* like, raising living standards)
The other "Tiger" economise of Asia learned this ages ago. Growth was phenomenal whilst they were playing catch-up. Once they caught up, they discovered that further growth was as difficult for them as it was for us.
The picture revealed here .... http://thedailybell.com/editorials/35244/Nelson-Hultberg-Keynesianisms-Ugly-Secret/ ..... tells all of Uncle Sam's coming home to roost woes?
And whenever a true picture, what does it tell y'all about Western intelligence? Super premium rate skyscraper or sub-prime dank basement?
And what is the Bank of England planning to do to save the day and lead the way? Anything at all brilliant and novel, or just more of the same old same old nonsense it has built everything recently upon?
Watch this. I shall summon legions of unbalanced thinkers and fantasy realists with my evil magic.
How is Vladimir Putin saying the Internet is a CIA plot to (whatever) any different than the CIA saying WoW and SecondLife are terrorist training simulations? How is Putin spying on his subjects any different than the US or the UK government spying on their
subjects citizens? How is Putin engaging in aggressive military action against a far less military sophisticated nation any different than the US and our 'Special Friends' engaging in aggressive military conflict against a far less militarily sophisticated nation?
Other than the fact Putin actually has style the only difference is that Putin is acting true to his role, and arguably hisself. Everybody expects the 'Commies' to do stuff like his. The Commies expect the Commies to do stuff like this. That's why they don't go waving their constitution in everyone's faces and carpet bombing 'freedom' onto everybody. Their bombs are filled with no ideals or virtues, just good old fashioned high explosive and they don't bullshit about that fact.
But not the US and UK. Oh hell no sir. We hoist our laws and ideals on enormous poles of 100% Pure USDA Grade A Fuck You, and let the hot air of our bullshit keep them waving in everyone's faces. Our bombs and propaganda are so full of bullshit that it should be a breach of biological warfare conventions. Yet we claim Putin is dangerous.
Well. I guess it's more accurate to say Putin claims he is dangerous. Not with words so much, but the highlights of his CV include KGB field agent and KGB spymaster. He runs around bare chested hunting giant apex predators with a crossbow and he's stone cold sober the entire fucking time. There's no doubt the little fella is dangerous. But, I think, not as dangerous as people who put their Harvard, Oxford and Trinity educations on display, run around in the most boring suits outside of an accounting conference and claim to be upholding high ideals like inalienable Human Rights and virtues like hard work and perseverance but spend all their time doing the exact same nasty shit as Putin, with zero crossbows. It's all just so sleazy snd unrelievedly dangerous to boot. The Subprime Minister over in the England even looks sleazy. I wouldn't let that guy park my car.
All in all, nobody who has a horse in this race has the slightest right to be pointing any fingers. I say we just toss the lot of them in a pit and let them fight for dominance, then just bury the not dead guy in the pit. You could sell tickets and completely do away with budget woes for the next five generations at least.
I think I can summarise what you've said as 'they're all just as bad as each other - to hell with them'. Forgive me if I've misunderstood.
Well, don't end on the negative. How would you make the world better? What ideals would you stand up for? How would you stand up for them? Do you condemn the people who break those ideals on both sides, or do you follow the (two wrongs make a right) 'we're just as bad' attitude?
It's easy to be against things. It avoids all the contradictions and difficulties of real world dilemmas. It makes you feel nice and pure. Real world choices are often not between one obviously 'right' and one obviously 'wrong' option. But is standing on the sidelines booing really going to make the world a better place?
Ah, a college student!
As you get older you'll find being against any given something is far, far more difficult than supporting any given something. That's doubly true when it's your own people responsible for the something you're against. Unfortunately, there's no way to truly support, or defy, anything of significance without becoming the enemy of at least a portion of your county/peer/family and that's where most people fall down.
They lack the courage to actually stand against those they otherwise respect/love and to view and treat those people as the enemy. They lack the courage to stand for something once the cost of their defiance is made clear to them. It's a huge failing of understanding amongst the general public that the 'right' to make a stand also gives them the right to do so without consequences or retribution. Once those consequences and the manner of retribution is communicated and demonstrated it is always those who were supporting something that suddenly become the most zealous converts to the opposing issues.
It's all fine and dandy to proclaim your righteousness, but are you willing to endanger your family and friends to oppose something? Are you willing to make a enemies of your family and friends if they choose to continue support for something you truly oppose?
I am, I have and I will do so again. I had to transplant a big portion of my wife's family from their native country because it became apparent that retribution for my retribution (on my wife's behalf) was going to see some of them killed during one of the arrests they were being continuity subjected to. My wife can't travel alone anywhere, ever again, without a security detail. I didn't see or communicate my own kids from 2001 until 2012 because I exported them to New Zealand for anonymous education after one of them was severely beaten by some brainwashed teenager who blamed me for his family being outcast from their native South American home. I make light of the fact there's a small army living on my property, but it fucking sucks to have armed soldiers buzzing around all the time. It harshes your buzz you know?
I joke about a lot of things, but you'll never see me back down from defying what I see as wrong. I will endanger everyone around me, my livelihood and my own existence to do so. I have done so. How about you? How far are you willing to go? That's the only question you need to be asking.
Will you leave your job if you disagree with something some far removed from you branch of your company is doing? Will you refuse to even discuss $20M+ contracts because you won't manufacture things that have no morally acceptable purpose? Will you refuse to fight if your country called upon you to engage an enemy over an issue you don't support? Even though you'll be branded as a quitter/traitor/coward for the rest of your life. Will you financially support a losing political candidate even though you've got no money for that kind if thing?
It's always interesting to see where people's convictions end and their self interest begins. It's the worst when those convictions are jettisoned 'for the sake of another'. Because if you're going to oppose something successfully you're going to get people hurt. If you aren't down for that just get on the support train of your choice, there you've only got to sacrifice your own morals and ethics.
As far as how I change the world, I do it one person at a time. I throw huge resources at things with no return other than scuttling the plans and aspirations of those who engage in activities I refuse to tolerate. I suppose I could make a run a deposing the President, Prime Minister or Supreme Former Soviet, I might even be able to pull it off. But you know who would get me? The supporters of those people, those who claim to stand for something bigger, but are supporting the very thing they claim to oppose. So instead of gloriously sacrificing myself I'll just keep on changing the world one person at a time. Make sure they have the resources to stand against something, not just sit in support of what's easy and safe.
Hey, just my take on this, but why is this post all about you?
Can we have the old DonJefe back? The guy who had incisive insights about running businesses and technology?
Lately, we've been treated to stories about how many horses you have in Redneckistan or wherever you live. How many guns you have. How many armed guards you have. Tedious and not at all germane to the point.
On the internet nobody knows you are a dog. Basically, that means you could be spinning total BS for all I know.
Most of us on this forum will NOT have had to deal directly with real life and death questions of ethics. That's because we live in basically fairly peaceful societies with relatively benign political systems. Yes, even if, and I agree with you there, our hands are NOT free of blood in foreign countries.
If and when the sh*t hits the fan, that's when people make the choices that count. Just because you were put in a position where you made some important choices, maybe even the right ones, doesn't mean that you are automatically more correct on Ukraine than others who have not been put in your position.
Now, I happen to disagree with your claim that Putin and the West are equivalently morally bankrupt.
Yes, we "did" Iraq. But look what happened to Dick & Bush - history will not be kind to them and the politicians who supported that war mostly got booted out in later elections.
Putin, is still there, after Georgia, the 07 Estonian cyberattacks, and especially the bloodbaths of Chechnya.
And, sorry, the fact that we f***ed up big time in Iraq does not make his treatment of Ukraine one ounce more ethical.
But you are welcome to argue otherwise and I generally respect your opinions.
Just leave your horse count out of it, willya? And calling someone a college student, whatever you mean by that, aint exactly a brilliant rhetorical flourish, innit?
The US, UK and friends didn't annex Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Libya, Bosnia etc.
They also didn't create the problems there in the first place, in order to give them an excuse to invade. There were already huge problems. In the case of Bosnia, Kosovo and Sierra Leone they weren't even acting out of raw national interest, they were intervening on humanitarian grounds. Were all motives pure and lilly-white? I doubt it. This is diplomacy and international politics we're talking about.
But any comparison to Russia's nakedly aggressive and foolish actions in Ukraine is utterly ridiculous.
Even in the case of Iraq, which was the most fucked-up and least easy to justify of the recent conflicts we've got involved in, something had to be done. Iraq was a proven aggressive state, in a very sensitive area, with lots of lovely oil. Plus chemical weapons and a desire to use them. And a desire to massacre his own population. Which we'd decided not to ignore, and so we had promised protection to the Kurds and Marsh Arabs (after letting lots of them get killed first). Sanctions were breaking down, in large part due to Russia (and France), but also the neighboring countries not wanting to enforce them. Whether Sadam had much in the way of working, deployable, chemical weapons was unknown, but no-one seriously doubted that there were still some stockpiles left, and most of the scientists were still around to rebuild the program extremely quickly.
The US and friends didn't then simply invade. They spent a year saying what they'd do. Agreed to send in relatively neutral inspectors, so Sadam could cooperate if he wanted to avoid war. He didn't. So he didn't. Then they fucked up the rebuilding. But they didn't level the place and then just bugger off. They attempted to rebuild, get the oil industry going to fund the economy and set up a working government. In the middle of the civil war that was probably inevitable in Iraq after Sadam fell. The minority from the Sunni centre of the country still wanted to run the place - and everyone else had good reason to hate them for it.
What didn't happen was a sneaky overnight invasion, with no attempt at negotiation - with no legitimate reason to do so. If you can't see the difference in that, and the danger in that, I suggest you read some history of international relations.
Let me get this straight,
Iraq under saddam (notwithstanding we put him there , and on the basis he wasn't a raving religious maniac, kept him there for at least 20 of the 30 years he was in power) was worse than:
do you _actually_ believe that?
any suggestions as to why it was, we didn't do something about _any_ of these other guys?
now then miss rice (for it is clearly you writing)
Your administrations ENTIRE justification for flying in the face of international law was:
"IRAQ could launch a nuclear attack against the west with less than 45 minutes warning"
So, do you stand by that?
no, not even the taxi driver that originally wrote it stands by it.
dubyah invaded Iraq 'cos dick told him to. dick wanted a war for the money
at least vlad is his own man.
(not that that will provide much comfort to those about to die)
sadly the west has NO moral high ground left from which to lecture the bad ol' commies. we are every bit as bad, but at least they are a tad more honest about it.
we are every bit as bad, but at least they are a tad more honest about it.
Actually that's precisely my point. We're not just as bad. The West ain't perfect. Not even close. But we have often acted altruistically as well as self-interesdly, sometimes at serious cost of blood and treasure.
As for the honest bit - that's an even more important point. Putin has been anything but. He's broken a serious treaty committment, and even lied about an invasion he launched. Plus breaking an agreement he made only days ago to de-escalate. That's almost as serious as the invasion. By poisoning the diplomatic well he makes it very hard to make peace afterwards. Which everyone really needs to do.
Also, despite much whining about how no-one ever takes poor Russia's interests into account, and it's not fair - he's doing precisely that. While the EU and US are doing everything they can to avoid even diplomatic conflict, he's ratcheting up the tension continuously. Which is just stupid. We have the power to collapse his economy. He has the power to damage ours - it's not clear quite how seriously. Obviously we also have the power to nuke each other.
He's giving Ukraine's government no space to compromise. Yet he's going to have to make some kind of peace with what's left of Ukraine afterwards. If nothing else most of Russia's gas exports to Europe go through it.
By the way, my post didn't justify the invasion of Iraq. Despite all the downvotes. What I pointed out was that even the worst thing the US and UK have been accused of in recent years isn't as bad as annexing Crimea. Something had to be done about Iraq. Invasion might not have been it, but there weren't any good options to choose from. Life is complicated, and can't just be divided into bad/good. You have to look at motives, methods and available options. Also, in the case of Iraq, diplomacy was tried for about a year before the invasion. In the case of Crimea - diplomacy was not attempted. If you don't find this deeply worrying, you're a fool.
Oh and by the way, the invasion of Iraq wasn't against international law. The justification was thin - but there was one. International law is fundamentally broken, in that there's no unbiased court in which to hold the case, and get a definitive ruling. Hence it will only ever work imperfectly. But Iraq was in breach of several of the ceasefire terms from the war in 91 - as well as in breach of a deliberately ambiguously worded Security Council motion - which was designed to threaten military action without quite using the legally correct language. Russia, France and China should have vetoed that one, in order to be clear that they wouldn't allow force to be used. But didn't. Messy, but there you are. There is no possible legal justification for the Russian invasion of Crimea. Or Georgia, come to think of it (but that one's more complicated).
The illegal one in the pack is Kosovo. That was a wholly illegal war, by international rules. It was also wholly justifiable. It's had unfortunate diplomatic consequences, and cost us money and diplomatic capital for no real gain. Other than it was the right thing to do.
As for your list of countries we haven't intervened in - are you complaining about it? You're complaining the invasion of Iraq was bad, but you want more?
Plus what we have done is attempted to use diplomacy, in order to get a more peaceful resolution. With at least some success, in some cases. Again we used diplomacy before force to achieve our aims. Do you notice the difference?
There are precisely zero good guys in any if this. Nobody is any better or worse than the next idiot that gets the job. There's zero honesty in any of this. There's not a national political figure in any of these countries who hasn't been caught out, in public, outright lying.
I don't like any of the ethic-less fucks, they're all the worst elements of our respective societies. You're not nearly as worldly and intelligent as you'd like to believe if you can't step away from nationalism and political ideologies long enough to see that it's blind support for openly douchey fuckos that keep those sorts of people in charge of your life. And make no mistake about it. You are their puppet if you won't even question who is pulling your strings, and why.
There are precisely zero good guys in any if this. Nobody is any better or worse than the next idiot that gets the job. There's zero honesty in any of this.
And yet you call someone out for college level thinking, and accuse me of naivety...
Sorry, that kind of faux-worldy more-cynical-than-thou bullshit doesn't wash. And shouldn't be deployed in any serious political argument. It's demonstrably not true.
To some extent all politicians are the same. They have to engage with compromise, power and competing interests in order to get anything done. That's life. There are rarely any black-and-white easy decisions, where you can 'do the right thing' with no downsides.
I therefore make a point of questioning all the information I see, and the all the politicians I hear from. Even the ones I agree with. I also try, not always successfully, to change my opinions as the facts change, or it turns out I was wrong about what was really happening.
But not all politicans are the same. That's just a lazy, stupid point to make. You try to vote for the better ones. As an electorate we have to do that, or we encourage the most venal, lying fucks to keep at it. If you don't reward the better ones for doing unpopular things, or telling unpopular truths, then they'll all be forced to tell lies and be populists. And it will be our fault, just as much as theirs.
It's like blaming the banks for the recent crash. We, as a society, took on lots of credit we couldn't really afford to pay for. We voted for higher spending, but lower taxes - until our governments were running huge bubble-stoking deficits. Our politicians failed to see that regulation wasn't really working, and failed to act on the obvious imbalances in the global economy that had China racking up $4-5 tr trillion worth of foreign reserves in order to force down their own peoples' wages and their currency to outcompete everyone on manufacturing. And the bankers and financial industry were stupid, greedy and rubbish at their jobs too. The whole finance culture is fundamentally screwed-up and needs fixing. But it ain't all their fault. The answers are always more complicated than mere polemic allows. And we, as voters, need to look at what we can do to sort stuff out, as well as complaining - and making our politicians aware of what we expect from them. If we just call them all evil, and ignore them, then we're ignoring our responsibilities - and amazingly enough ignoring problems doesn't tend to solve them.
As for politicians all being liars, that's also not true. It used to be that lying was a serious political crime in UK politics. That could end careers. Not telling the whole truth is a different thing. It's obviously not honest, but there's a big difference. Both morally and practically.
Trust is important. If you outright deny something, then it ought to be possible to believe you. Because the consequences of lying ought to be fatal to your career, to encourage others. And also becuase it then makes deal making much more likely.
One of the problems Putin has created is to destroy diplomatic trust by continually lying. And seemingly being pleased with his cleverness for doing it. Because at some point, deals have to be done. Starting a war you have no way to end is stupid.
Putin's actions are morally and materially different to the recent actions of the US and UK. Particularly the wholesale slaughter and kidnapping in Chechnenya. Most of this not a result of a post-invasion civil war, or foreign insurgents joining in to make things worse. This a direct result of the Russian army levelling the capital city, with no care for civillian casualties, and the total lack of discipline among the Russian troops, who were making money on the side by kidnapping thousands of locals for ransom - as well as general rape and pillage.
I rate Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as unusual in British politics, in their willingness to outright lie, where evasion of the truth or silence would have served them just as well. And the electorate rewarded them with 3 terms in office, and then chose to distrust all politicians, rather than trying to look at who lied and who didn't. Which is understandable, but a real danger to the health of our politics.
There is just one problem with Putin. He was a KGB colonel. Have you ever seen a colonel commanding generals?
Putin may be deranged. He may believe himself to be the Czar. However, that makes him all the easier to manipulate and I can't shake that nagging feeling there's another power behind the throne and it's not even that hard to find.
I'd like the CIA to give me a faster connection. That covert download of my plans for total global domination will never finish with my bonded DSL pair. My minions are trying to grab the files too and it's all clogged up.
As for Samsung instead of Apple - LOL! That's not really a step in a different direction, especially if Google, Microsoft, or China is helping out with the software.
Putin will be doing what he can to control the internet in Russia because it is closer to the brink of financial collapse than many realize, any sound of dissent will need to be closed out. The upcoming war with Ukraine is going to be a tool to feed the masses sense of Nationalism, not only this it will be useful to have external sources to blame for the coming financial problems.
You can be sure that the US will put even stronger sanctions on Russian banks, effectively cutting them off from the global banking system, I wouldn't be surprised if Putin ordered full on cyber warfare as a result against USA/EU, something for which we are not fully prepared.
At times when fiscal budgets are tight, Western dominance in finance, trade, technology, military might ... are all under threat And jobs in the public sector are under threat..
Well, who benefits most from the conflagration and return of cold war?
Maybe the advisers to governments who advise more needs to be done?
Hint: never ask a specialist consultant what needs to be done as the answer will always require another conultancy ?
What is stopping EU, US and Russia agreeing towards federalism-independence model based on what seem to be strong ethnic differences?
Maybe that would be too easy a solution, avoid wars and conflicts and make for a peaceful remedy even if imperfect?
You earthlings, what you like?
The mere fact that you are happily posting severe criticism of the US/UK governments on a website shows you believe that you are not going to get in trouble for doing so. I cannot think that you'd post with such little fear of retribution were you a Russian resident criticising Putin.
I'd say, Nortrub, that most of the time that critics is fully deserved.
Well... frankly speaking, in Russia you can say whatever you'd want to, until you are not a unit of any of those propaganda and mass media bulk buying companies contracted by the Team Oval or some of the honourable congressmen. Then you get your dose of unwilling attention on Russian net forums, and it sounds like an orchestra.
[An American tourist, walking up the Red Square, speaking to the guide: "You don't have no freedom of speech in Soviet Russia. You just don't know what it is. In America, I can go to the White House and shout that president Nixon is a scumbag, and the police officer will not even pay any attention to it".
"Yes, mister, we know what a freedom of speech is! In Soviet Russia, I also can go to the Red Square and shout that president Nixon is a scumbag".]
Investigational journalism is kinda oppressed, yeah; please always remember where it can originate from. Besides, Russians had to catch up with the Western economical rules after reformatting the Soviet Union.* While, let's say, "the West" was developing its own rules of behaviour and business morals for several hundred years, the "after-Soviet" Russians had to manage doing it just in last twenty years (including the production of its own billionaires and its "middle class"), and it was hell yeah hard times... and almost each of the Russians kinda bit misses the times of the "Roaring 90s" with the unprecedented freedom to do whatever you want, with the only rule of the economy on the popular level - take as much as you are able to grasp (or sell it to the West for a fistful of glass pearls). 99 percents of the population of the country were not aware of what is really going on. Nowadays, even should they become wiser, those having a tight grip are strongly opposing any idea of transparent explaination of the true origin of "their" riches.
And, of course, Ed Snowden would be absolutely impossible in Russia (Russians have no surnames like his one), the country where the television is watching YOU. Please be sure to believe that most of the people absolutely care not that they are being monitored. Even if they really were.
P.S. The experiment is likely going to be recognised as failed in the current situation, as the country possibly obviously can stand it no more. Then, the role of the Communists Party will emerge (worldwide), and the privatisation of the Soviet producing ancestry will be declared "robbery', etc. Thank you Western leaders for the Jackson - Vanik amendment, for cheating the country after Perestroika, for the Ukraine and the sanctions. Russia is going East... this way, please.
All you guys posting against Putin are in in real trouble.
Remember, the Big Brother never forgets & forgives.
The ruthlessness is pandemic in Russia. Putin is a thoroughbred KGB (Now FSB) and these types are carefully chosen and nurtured. (Ideally orphaned having no moral/family/Human values or empathic emotions).
Beware. All of you posing and posting here are just blather for them powers that be. The real action (currently Ukraine) is where they thrive and relish the adrenaline rushes.
And what would be the corollary and obverse of that be, AC, if one be posting and in support of Putin and not just blathering for them powers that be?
I'm pretty sure the powers that be would be more than just interested in the result of that Alternative Astute Action Manoeuvre and Big Brother AIMovement ...... Political Tectonic Plate Shift.
No, really, it might be true.
What is the greatest threat to the CIA? Having nobody like Putin around to justify the CIA's existence.
I expect to see a film in 20 years' time which blows the lid on how the CIA subverted Russia with this Putin glove-puppet.
Those pictures of Putin wih a dead Tiger? Classic CIA tactics! (Etc.)
And the CIA and their ilk are become a Russia project .... or would the Great Game and Greater IntelAIgent Gamesplays be better servered with them being a Russian project with post modern civilised revolutionary programming for smarter assets in dumb terminal situations?
Or is that the Core Essence of the American Dream now lost and subverted and perverted/diminished and downgraded and degraded to simplified command with the supply control of fiat paper wealth, now conveniently accommodated via practically instantaneous electronic digital transfer of sums into accounts held virtual hostage in the right dodgy banking sector?
A place of self-serving middlemen and cuckoos acting their part as being invaluable and vital to intelligence?
el reg shouldn't mess with politics
karma -1 ... Ramazan
I disagree, Ramazan, for politics is way too important to be left to self-serving, intellectually challenged career media dependent politicians. And politics is all about communications and systems programming and perceptions management and sublime and subliminal brainwashing with brave hearts and sterling minds capture for stealthy command and virtually remote control, and that is an IT/Internet thing, is it not, and right up El Reg Avenue. So El Reg aren't messing with politics, they're reporting on virtual reality developments as they pertain to their own wide-ranging fields of expanding interest.
And here be something which all should know, for although nothing brand spanking new, is it always bang up to date and most relevant, no matter where one would be and no matter what one would be doing and/or trying to do ...... and all quotes of an Edmund Burke, who was obviously nobody's fool or useless tool ...
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.
And when politics is an Eton mess, only fools and their horses and useless tools don't step in and up to the plate to provide the systems fix and alternative views from a new system of operation with advanced intelligently designed otherworldly perspective.
My internet in Russia already is censored in a totally irrational manner.
The best way to describe it is "mad printer" develops access to "total perspective vortex".
This gives rise to the alternate theory that the UK would have become a similar authoritarian country were it not for the inefficiency and incompetency of the bureaucracy.
Fortunately for us people like Arthur Blair (nothing to do with Teflon Tony), warned us that censorship & a state owned media were really a poor substitute for Winston Smith and his searching for meaningful existence.
To our eternal credit, our own state owned media censored just about everything from that writer too.
Being a regular visitor to the largest internet network in the world, I can hardly say that Putin's construct based on the demography of a country in population not much larger than that of Germany really holds water.
I mean, they seem to get on with their CIA version of the world quite well behind the Great Wall, and at least we don't have to tolerate real hedgemony there like f..Book or oogle in that corner.
Strangely, the little ex KGB colonel seems to have got us all so fixieated about the relative fortunes of a country of about 45 million, we seem to have forgotten the "mere" 450 Million online only a few short miles from the ex-USSR apologist's borders.
Is it another example of placing the amphora on the sea bed, or cuddling sedated tigers?
Now I wonder how he managed to achieve that propaganda trick without even trying?
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