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Thread: The myth of Russian humiliation

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The myth of Russian humiliation

    An excellent, succinct commentary by Anne Applebaum in the WaPo, a SME on Eastern Europe. SWC have debated the issues and mistakes around the Crimea, Ukraine and other incidents of late. See:http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...73_story.html?

    She ends in part with:
    Our mistake was not to humiliate Russia but to underrate Russiaís revanchist, revisionist, disruptive potential. If the only real Western achievement of the past quarter-century is now under threat, thatís because we have failed to ensure that NATO continues to do in Europe what it was always meant to do: deter. Deterrence is not an aggressive policy; it is a defensive policy. But in order to work, deterrence has to be real.
    Some think we are in a new 'Cold War', others that Russia has outplayed the West. Personally I think the new NATO members face a bleak prospect as winter arrives.
    davidbfpo

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    Slap,

    In your quote of her article, "potential" is the operative word. Unfortunately, Applebaum washes over entirely the chaos that constituted the Yeltsin period and set the conditions for the "revanchist, revisionist, disruptive" policies of the Putin administration. And, the question should be asked, from where do such policies and ideologies originate? It's easy to disregard the continuity of history but Russia since the 17th century has regarded itself as a 'great power', and when there's a deficit between a state's perceived status and ascribed statuis, it provides incentives for risk-taking policies. Applebaum acknowledges that the same kind of people in power during the Soviet era returned to power in a weakened Russia, but somehow concludes that these elites did not feel humiliation from the loss of superpower status?
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Slap,

    In your quote of her article, "potential" is the operative word. Unfortunately, Applebaum washes over entirely the chaos that constituted the Yeltsin period and set the conditions for the "revanchist, revisionist, disruptive" policies of the Putin administration. And, the question should be asked, from where do such policies and ideologies originate? It's easy to disregard the continuity of history but Russia since the 17th century has regarded itself as a 'great power', and when there's a deficit between a state's perceived status and ascribed statuis, it provides incentives for risk-taking policies. Applebaum acknowledges that the same kind of people in power during the Soviet era returned to power in a weakened Russia, but somehow concludes that these elites did not feel humiliation from the loss of superpower status?
    AP,
    I didn't post this davidbfpo did. Later Slap

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    American Pride,

    Yes Anne Applebaum does not include the Yeltsin era as contributing to the return of "old wine" in a new Putin-shape. One reason why I used succinct.

    I am not a Russian observer, but my recollection is that in the Yeltsin era communist rule ended and the economy was looted by the oligarchs. In my opinion Russia - if there was such a collective identity - humiliated itself, that often happens after such a revolution. No wonder Putin was elected.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Slap,

    In your quote of her article, "potential" is the operative word. Unfortunately, Applebaum washes over entirely the chaos that constituted the Yeltsin period and set the conditions for the "revanchist, revisionist, disruptive" policies of the Putin administration. And, the question should be asked, from where do such policies and ideologies originate? It's easy to disregard the continuity of history but Russia since the 17th century has regarded itself as a 'great power', and when there's a deficit between a state's perceived status and ascribed statuis, it provides incentives for risk-taking policies. Applebaum acknowledges that the same kind of people in power during the Soviet era returned to power in a weakened Russia, but somehow concludes that these elites did not feel humiliation from the loss of superpower status?
    AP since it was the Communists that actually failed as their entire system collapsed under the weight of years long lies to themselves--yes we are the greatest as we produced X million tons of this and or that.

    And that is what humiliation?

    The GDR fall apart for the exact same reasons the Soviet Empire fell apart---years long internal lies of how great their economies were doing/growing as compared to the West and how great the development was progressing on the development of the "socialist individual".

    A house of ards better know as the great Ponzi scheme can go on for awhile but at some point always fails.

    BUT again this is what humiliation?---Come on at least someone in the former Soviet Union and now Russia should stand up and take responsibility.

    BUT no it is always the fault of the West is it not--nothing that occurred was they own fault?

    Just as now--it is all about the "it ain't me" attitude and it has not changed since 1991.

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Outlaw,

    You missed the point. And that point is the importance of the word 'potential'. Since the nuances of history often escape you, I'm going to lay out in simple terms:

    In 1991, there was the potential for Russian integration in the US-centric democratic-capitalist international model. This momentum actually carried through into the early years of the Putin administration as well. There was, as has now materialized, the potential also for an aspiritional nationalist-realist Russia as well. Unlike other states that experienced the 'shock therapy' of overnight transformation from command economies to free enterprise, the security institutions of Russia more or less remained intact even as the political institutions disappeared. And unsurprisingly, this institution collectively entrenched itself in the new way of doing business. They were helped in this matter because of the weakness of Yeltsin, who was like a tame and drunk Milosevic (remember, it was Yeltsin's agitation for an independent, nationalist Russia from the USSR that ended the possibilities of reforming or keeping the Union together the same way that Milosevic's Serbian nationalism destroyed Yugoslavia). In the early phases of the 'collapse', the full extent of it was not immediate evident. Initially, only the Baltic states wanted to exit the USSR, and the senior leaders in the other republics had planned to reform the Union Treaty and keep the rest of the state together. Between Yeltsin's agitation and the KGB coup attempt, that project failed.

    Now, as I've explained to you before, the Soviet (and Russian Empire) state models were not based on the West's Westphalian model. An entirely different political tradition informs Russian political experience. That tradition is 'empire' - the domination of the periphery by the economic/political/military center. Historically, the 'center' was Moscow/St. Petersburg (the Russian core), with the periphery extending as far as Poland, Georgia, and Turkmenistan. Crimea for example had been a part of the Russian empire since the 1780s (that's over 200 years in case you didn't count).

    So - that takes us to the continuity of history. When the Soviet Union collapsed and from it emerged 20+ new countries, this was not simply or only the end of a system of government or a particular state. It was also a rapid contraction of an empire that had stood for several centuries. When the state disappeared, the history did not, and neither did the embedded ideas and aspirations that were reinforced by that history. New systems, ways of thinking, and political relations were introduced. When one takes a long view of Russian history and also understands the historical Russian claim to great power status reaching as far back as Peter I, then yes, it is a 'humiliation'. It's like the host country of the World Cup failing miserably in competition.

    And that takes us full circle to today. The risk aversion of states is affected by the difference(s) between their perceived and ascribed status. The Russian elite have for many centuries perceived Russia as a great power - the end of the USSR did not also end that perception; it offended it. Russia's ascribed status is no longer a superpower for all the reasons debated in this forum and elsewhere. It's that discrepency - the yearning to restore Russia's 'place' - that makes states less risk averse. And this has been evident in Russia's policies since Putin came to power. That's not surprising.

    What's most interesting about state status, however, is that elites also tend to measure their current status with some mythologized height of power - in the Russian case, this would be the Soviet Union. So despite all the economic progress Russia has made between 1991 and 2014, it is still insufficient because it does not compare to how Russia's perceive the power and stability of the USSR (whatever the factual accuarcy of their perceptions). Now we can discuss all day long what you perceive to be the moral bankruptcy of Russia and Russians, but it won't do us any good in actually resolving the problem of a "revanchist, revisionist, disruptive" state.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Outlaw,

    You missed the point. And that point is the importance of the word 'potential'. Since the nuances of history often escape you, I'm going to lay out in simple terms:

    In 1991, there was the potential for Russian integration in the US-centric democratic-capitalist international model. This momentum actually carried through into the early years of the Putin administration as well. There was, as has now materialized, the potential also for an aspiritional nationalist-realist Russia as well. Unlike other states that experienced the 'shock therapy' of overnight transformation from command economies to free enterprise, the security institutions of Russia more or less remained intact even as the political institutions disappeared. And unsurprisingly, this institution collectively entrenched itself in the new way of doing business. They were helped in this matter because of the weakness of Yeltsin, who was like a tame and drunk Milosevic (remember, it was Yeltsin's agitation for an independent, nationalist Russia from the USSR that ended the possibilities of reforming or keeping the Union together the same way that Milosevic's Serbian nationalism destroyed Yugoslavia). In the early phases of the 'collapse', the full extent of it was not immediate evident. Initially, only the Baltic states wanted to exit the USSR, and the senior leaders in the other republics had planned to reform the Union Treaty and keep the rest of the state together. Between Yeltsin's agitation and the KGB coup attempt, that project failed.

    Now, as I've explained to you before, the Soviet (and Russian Empire) state models were not based on the West's Westphalian model. An entirely different political tradition informs Russian political experience. That tradition is 'empire' - the domination of the periphery by the economic/political/military center. Historically, the 'center' was Moscow/St. Petersburg (the Russian core), with the periphery extending as far as Poland, Georgia, and Turkmenistan. Crimea for example had been a part of the Russian empire since the 1780s (that's over 200 years in case you didn't count).

    So - that takes us to the continuity of history. When the Soviet Union collapsed and from it emerged 20+ new countries, this was not simply or only the end of a system of government or a particular state. It was also a rapid contraction of an empire that had stood for several centuries. When the state disappeared, the history did not, and neither did the embedded ideas and aspirations that were reinforced by that history. New systems, ways of thinking, and political relations were introduced. When one takes a long view of Russian history and also understands the historical Russian claim to great power status reaching as far back as Peter I, then yes, it is a 'humiliation'. It's like the host country of the World Cup failing miserably in competition.

    And that takes us full circle to today. The risk aversion of states is affected by the difference(s) between their perceived and ascribed status. The Russian elite have for many centuries perceived Russia as a great power - the end of the USSR did not also end that perception; it offended it. Russia's ascribed status is no longer a superpower for all the reasons debated in this forum and elsewhere. It's that discrepency - the yearning to restore Russia's 'place' - that makes states less risk averse. And this has been evident in Russia's policies since Putin came to power. That's not surprising.

    What's most interesting about state status, however, is that elites also tend to measure their current status with some mythologized height of power - in the Russian case, this would be the Soviet Union. So despite all the economic progress Russia has made between 1991 and 2014, it is still insufficient because it does not compare to how Russia's perceive the power and stability of the USSR (whatever the factual accuarcy of their perceptions). Now we can discuss all day long what you perceive to be the moral bankruptcy of Russia and Russians, but it won't do us any good in actually resolving the problem of a "revanchist, revisionist, disruptive" state.
    And again AP you missed the actual meaning of the author's article.

    1.you yourself voiced almost the same lines of Russian argumentation when the Crimea broke out ie oh it was NATO's fault for pushing up to Russian borders, oh we the West were interfering with Russia's own spheres of influence and on and on

    Go back and reread some of your comments.

    2. she was simply stating the same arguments that Russia made for their Crimea and Ukrainians invasions nothing more nothing less and then provided reasons that those Russian arguments were null and void.

    AND AP--now after six months go back and see if Russia has made the exact same statements in say the last four months---absolutely not a single sentence has been repeated WHY--it was an excellently designed info war argument and you and a lot of the Western media bought into it

    If you had spent some time here in Germany and especially Berlin up to the Wall coming down and if you had dealt with GDR refugees by the dozens from say 1975 until say until say roughly July 1989 you would have seen exactly what I stated and yet you missed the point.

    Both the Soviet Empire and especially the GDR collapsed under the weight of their own internal contradictions especially around the concepts of economic development vs say an arms race ie the Soviets. If you had ever had the opportunity to speak for hours with some of the Soviet and or GDR business types ie economists you would have known that the entire system was just one great Ponzi scheme built on monthly faked production numbers delivered up the chain making everyone look great and when the crash came in Nov 1989--for example the entire GDR senior Communist leadership was actually stunned on just how bad their economy had been---just as I have told you here a number of times---Putin is in an "altered state of reality" as he truly is believing his own propaganda just as the Soviet leadership did and the GDR leadership did.

    By late 1988, the younger generation in the GDR was no longer buying into the constant lies as they saw the reality day in and day out--and exactly the same developments were ongoing among the equally young Soviet youth--by the Wall the Soviets and the GDR had "lost" their youth generation ie the 16-25 year olds.

    Regardless of what Russia thinks, acts or does, Russian leadership somehow just keeps on forgetting that a "true" superpower must have an equally superpower economy on which to build a superpower military and then to project that power. Russia to include the Soviet period was never an economic powerhouse---it was one massive house of cards built on corruption and lies and it still is today as the "new Russia"---the inherent Soviet style corruption has been at the lead in holding back a number of the former east bloc countries economically developing since 1991---ESPECIALLY the Ukraine.

    In some aspects Obama recently hit it on the head with the comment "has anyone" in the world seen the world when confronted with a serious problem "call" on the Russians to deliver some sort of answer to the problem---ever wonder why AP?

    Russia ie the former Soviet Union as I have stated for you a number of times is simply and has been simply a regional power just with the ability to push the button on nuclear weapons. Even under the Czars they were just a regional player in Europe.

    You did take notice that Putin has expressly threatened the US with a nuclear war three times in the last six months.

    And that is what the mark of a "great" leader or even better the mark of an individual who is "panicking" because his belief in the great Russian economy and it's oil/gas wealth has evaporated in what just a little over two months and it is sinking faster than it did in 1998.

    So again as per the article that you somehow did not read---was Russia ever humiliated---her answer was no.

    Did Russia "spin" the truth a big way?--heck yes it did six months ago and a lot of commenters and the western media bit it hard and swallowed it hook line and sinker.

    That AP is exactly what info warfare is all about and Russia plays the game like a pro and we in the West should sit down and finally admit that we lost this particular "info war". We are not even in the same league.

    AP just look how Russia is "spinning" the reality of one of their mini subs being cornered in Swedish waters---same old answer as for the last six months---"it ain't us".

    First it was the Dutch and now a "lost Japanese mini sub from WW2". AND yet the emergency signal was sent in Russia to Kaliningrad and there are two mother ships hanging out 40 miles off the Swedish coast and Russia has yet to answer why they are there.

    http://news.yahoo.com/submarine-hunt...122310593.html

    And if it is forced to surface then the argument will be "their were on vacation and got lost" and ended up 30 miles from Stockholm. By the way European bloggers picked up on the story three days before the western media even took notice.

    AND none of that was western caused humiliation for the Soviets and now Russia.

    When will you finally state that even a regional power must at some point take responsibility for it's own actions just as a superpower sometimes has to do. and stop playing the "humiliation card".
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 10-20-2014 at 07:52 PM.

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    See AP--while you and others were accepting the concepts of Russian "humiliation" and Russian "historical" development you and the others have simply forgotten one thing about the current Russia---

    1. Putin's KGB past and believe me many have forgotten what he was responsible for in Dresden-.--there is an old Russian saying---once a KGB man always a KGB man and if you tracked his climb after 1991 he was always next to the heart beat of the new FSB

    AND again AP you and others have failed to see the four legged decision making process in Moscow ie the military, the security services, the oligarchs and the Russia mob using the guise of the ROC to give them religious legitimacy when Putin in his KGB career was never religious. Right now that four legged process is largely being driven by the FSB and the military as they attempt to restore "Russian glory and the Russian Empire".

    ALL the time Putin is the sole moderator.

    Read and I suggest really intently thinking about this Politico article that came out yesterday as I fully agree with it and it explains a number of Putin's decisions in the last six months where there normally is no explanation for them. Even though I am always wary of Politico articles this author nails it.

    Remember when and I disagreed and I said Putin is all in because he cannot afford a failure---the article explains now why that is.

    It also explains just why he has gone all in militarily and will continue on to his land corridor concept.

    My concern is that there are more and more indicators that seem to indicate he is seriously considering the destruction of all of the Ukraine that would and does explain his constant nuclear attack threats---meaning if he does go that route he wants the West to assume that he is in fact willing to use tactical nuclear weapons to protect that goal--he fully understands the West has a great reluctance to go that route so he knows he is home free and clear if he decides to make that move.

    Your comments about history and humiliation blanch in the face of pure power geopolitics. AND you fully failed to understand his info war campaign that has been extremely successful to even having a Russian blogger take part here in SWJ throwing his FSB tirades and being at the same time protected by the SWJ rules of conduct where in other blogs they are simply blocked and or thrown out. It is often extremely hard to counter them if the concept is to attack the message not the messenger--that is why the Russian info war is working so well.

    Example: AP just how many western media outlets picked up on the Ukrainian SF's killing of a highly trained GRU recon team outside of Mariupol led by a high ranking extremely professional FSB/GRU General-----ONE and it was in the UK.

    AND again AP the use of the old propaganda lines of "humiliation and Russia's historical development" are part and parcel of a very elegant disinformation campaign largely believed by many in the West who basically packed Russia in the closet after the Wall came down and then went straight to business as usual as the business world made tons of money by packing Russia in a closet and thinking Russian neo imperialism driven by ethno fascism would never occur again.

    Taken from yesterday's Political article:

    Putin’s Coup

    How the Russian leader used the Ukraine crisis to consolidate his dictatorship.

    By BEN JUDAH
    October 19, 2014

    The war in Ukraine is no longer only about Ukraine. The conflict has transformed Russia. This increasingly is what European leaders and diplomats believe: that Vladimir Putin and his security establishment have used the fog of war in Ukraine to shroud the final establishment of his brittle imperialist dictatorship in Moscow.

    Among those who believe that this is happening, and that Europe will be facing down a more menacing Russia for a long time to come, is Radek Sikorski, who was Poland’s foreign minister from 2007 until September.

    “I think psychologically the regime has been transformed by the annexation of Crimea,” Sikorski told Politico Magazine. “This was the moment that finally convinced all doubters and turned all heads. This was Napoleon after Austerlitz. This was Hitler after the fall of Paris. This was the moment that finally centralized everything into the hands of Vladimir Putin.”

    Sikorski is formerly a glamorous figure in Brussels who played a leading role in shaping the European Union strategy toward both Russia and Ukraine. European leaders, intimidated by his charisma and outspoken views on Russia, chose not to appoint him as Europe’s high representative for foreign affairs earlier this year. Today Sikorski is the hawkish speaker of the Polish parliament, and he says that the West has been so distracted by the crisis in Ukraine it has missed the more important developments further east.

    “What is happening now is the full embrace of neo-imperialism,” Sikorski says. “They have exploited every post-Soviet and neo-Soviet atavism and made it real because an alarming proportion of the population believes it. This is how they have refueled their regime.”

    Sikorski is outspoken but not alone. Powerful officials inside Russia also see a darker cast to the regime, with the influence of the free-market economists and loyal oligarchs whom Putin once surrounded himself with significantly diminished. The liberals, relatively speaking, are out; the Russian president is reportedly now only working closely with security officials and the Defense Ministry. Some European diplomats even question whether Putin is still fully in charge, so beholden is he to the siloviki – the military and security establishment. “Every year the ruling circle shrinks smaller and smaller,” said one Kremlin source. “The only people that Putin is listening to are the military and the intelligence.”

    Fear has returned to Moscow. Paranoia has gripped Russian officials and business elites. Those privy to sensitive information no longer carry smartphones. Instead they carry simple old cell phones and now remove the battery – to make sure the phone is dead – when they talk about Kremlin politics among themselves. This is because they assume the security services are now recording what is being said and this can disable the recording device. There is real fear that the next dramatic event in Russian politics could trigger a wave of sackings, arrests or even purges.

    “This is the new ruling elite – the GRU military intelligence, which was the spearhead on the ground in Ukraine and the defense ministry,” says Sikorski, referring to Russia’s largest foreign intelligence agency, which commands its own special forces. “The removal of old elites has not started yet, but that’s the next logical step. … They have unleashed patriotic euphoria. They made this happen by exploiting the psychological and sociological resentment of the all the new and the old intelligence and security services toward the hated class of billionaires with their yachts and their mansions in London. That’s why they are so committed and loyal.”

    Carl Bildt, who was Sweden’s hawkish foreign minister until this month, also believes Putin’s revanchist team is using the nationalistic fury whipped up by the Ukraine war to consolidate its power. But Bildt suggests the new, hard-line Russian regime might also be brittle beneath the surface. “The mood from my Russian contacts is one of extreme pessimism and fear,” Bildt told Politico Magazine. “They have no idea where the future leads. They fear that Putin may rule forever or collapse very suddenly because the regime has such weak foundations. From what I am hearing, the military are overjoyed right now. This is because they are receiving what militaries want, which is prestige and vast new transfusions of money. But the oligarchs are frightened and the regional governors are angry. This is because they are the ones losing out on that big fat Moscow check.”

    Putin has instilled fear of stepping out of line with talk from his propagandists about the “sixth column.” The regime has long smeared the opposition with textbook accusations of them being Russia’s “fifth column.” But the Orwellian new invention of a “sixth column” refers to those inside the regime opposing expansionism due to their ties to the West. Alexander Dugin, the Kremlin-controlled ideologue now promoted across official airwaves as the champion of this new conservatism, has even called these insiders the main existential enemies of Russia. “The oligarchs with property in London know they are the outdated remnants of a previous era,” said one Kremlin adviser.

    Within the establishment there have been sudden sackings of intelligence officials and generals believed to be disloyal. Meanwhile, beyond the Kremlin walls, the security services have moved to finish the job on the Russian opposition. Through repression and infiltration, there is no meaningful opposition activism left. The main opposition leaders have all been forced to flee the country, isolated or placed under house arrest. The protest movement is dead. “We believe most of the people who took to the streets of Moscow back in 2011 have emigrated,” one Russian official familiar with the matter says. “And we believe the rest will soon follow.”

    There is growing fear among professionals in Moscow that the regime is contemplating requiring exit visas, a restrictive practice that vanished for most part with the Soviet Union. This appears for the most part to be a rumor spread by the Kremlin to encourage the remaining liberal activists to flee. However, there is a reality here as well: More than four million officials tied to the military and security services are now effectively banned from leaving the country. “They are closing the border slowly,” explains one Russian government adviser

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...#ixzz3GknepNaE
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 10-21-2014 at 05:50 AM.

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    The Washington Post article concerning Russian humiliation and some commenters responses to it are interesting as it proves to a degree the effectiveness of the current Russian info war.

    I will divert for a movement and take an interesting development of the last two days that has completely gone under the radar in Western media and has whipped up the blogging open source world and has raised some serious questions on why one should and or should not trust the comments made by Senior Intelligence Agency leaders ie the German Intelligence Agency BND--their CIA.

    On Monday they released via Bild Newspaper and Der Spiegel an interview where they openly stated the MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian captured BUK and the mercenaries fired it--the Russians jumped on it naturally since it relieved them of any responsibility and placed the blame on the Ukrainians for losing and or allowing their BUK to be captured.

    Now the Russian info war goes full into gear with countless press releases harping the fact they were not responsible and asking the Germans to provide the "evidence" of their statement.

    My question now is WHY did the German BND post their arguments and claim to have thorough evidence about the captured Ukrainian BUK--were they attempting to give Russia an exit ramp and was it approved by Merkel?

    WHY do I ask the question---THE BUK that was being mentioned as captured has now been identified and geo located inside the Ukraine by open source searches and it is fully identified as being damaged as the Ukrainians have always claim thus unable to fire even a rubber band much less a SAM.

    SO again just WHY did the German CIA Director risk his career over a BUK that has been proven incapable for firing a SAM thus destroying basically his whole press release?

    AND who was and or is he supporting with that theory of a Ukrainian BUK being behind the shot down--WHEN via open source analysis the actual BUK launcher was clearly ID'd and geolocated the day of the shot down?

    For a thorough open source analysis and geo locating of the Ukrainian BUK check the work done by ukraineatwar.blogspot.nl

    Perfect example of Russian info warfare but supported by the Germans---and for what reason?

    AP--it goes to the heart of your humiliation comments.

    Taken from ukraineatwar:

    It is clear that the BUK has been disabled.

    So this is the definite and ultimate proof that Ukraine was right when they said they disabled the BUKs that were at risk to be captured.

    Conclusion: the (Russian proxy) 'separatists' NEVER captured any Ukrainian (functional or repairable) BUK.

    This article is a following up of this one: Google Earth shows Russia used photos from 2010 to prove its proxies captured a BUK.

    Also see: President of German Intelligence and media are (AGAIN) making false statements.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 10-21-2014 at 06:26 AM.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    While human factors, such as "humiliation" will always play a part in human endeavors, we need to be careful to not overly focus on the factors that make the most sense, or that are the most soothing to our own perspective on an issue. Do Russians feel humiliation? probably some at some level, but equally they feel fear as we press NATO deeper and deeper into their vulnerable side.

    This is best viewed in terms of geostrategy, spheres of influence and national interests. Russia has acted consistently over the centuries to attempt to shore up an extremely vulnerable western flank that has been attacked repeatedly by western European powers.

    This does not make Russia "right" to act out to increase their security - but we can hardly objectively assess recent events if we assume that it is we that are "right" instead. Geography does not care about politics and power, but it certainly shapes how those things play out.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Bob,

    You bring up good points. I'd add that popular perceptions are important, even in quasi-dictatorships. A Levada Center poll recently stated that almost 80% of Russians view the West - particularly the U.S. and U.K - as enemies of Russia. Most recent research into the exercise of power evidences that even under conditions amounting to dictatorship, the complicitly of the population is essential to the functioning of the state. Also, regime type is important in affecting risk aversion in foreign policy, but at the same time, even the most stringent dictatorships are responsive to internal interests so the aggression of autocratic regimes is heavily qualified when compared to aggression by democratic regimes. How much of the narrative in Russia is directed by the Kremlin and how much of it is Kremlin opportunism playing on the ideological momentum of the population? Ultimately humiliation and fear are about perception of a state's status, and that is important in shaping how state's make decisions. Whatever the alarmists may state, Putin and his crew are, ultimately, human and subject to the same principles governing human behavior.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 10-21-2014 at 08:29 PM.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Bob,

    You bring up good points. I'd add that popular perceptions are important, even in quasi-dictatorships. A Levada Center poll recently stated that almost 80% of Russians view the West - particularly the U.S. and U.K - as enemies of Russia. Most recent research into the exercise of power evidences that even under conditions amounting to dictatorship, the complicitly of the population is essential to the functioning of the state. Also, regime type is important in affecting risk aversion in foreign policy, but at the same time, even the most stringent dictatorships are responsive to internal interests so the aggression of autocratic regimes is heavily qualified when compared to aggression by democratic regimes. How much of the narrative in Russia is directed by the Kremlin and how much of it is Kremlin opportunism playing on the ideological momentum of the population? Ultimately humiliation and fear are about perception of a state's status, and that is important in shaping how state's make decisions. Whatever the alarmists may state, Putin and his crew are, ultimately, human and subject to the same principles governing human behavior.
    And again AP you simply do not get it based on this sentence you wrote:

    Whatever the alarmists may state, Putin and his crew are, ultimately, human and subject to the same principles governing human behavior

    Here is your core problem---ethno driven neo imperialism is all about emotions and driven by propaganda---also a trigger for human emotions otherwise propaganda will/would never work.

    If Putin and his crew were in fact driven by human behavior then it would be far easier to determine just where he is headed---and right now his driving principles are not those of say European leaders or in fact the common man on the street in Paris. Why because we in the west took him at his word until the Crimea and failed to even take notice of the new Russian ethno defined and driven neo imperialism and the ever developing form of Russian "fascism".

    The problem is that Putin as he has built his new ethno neo imperialism built it using the already existing Russian ultra nationalism ie fascism which appeals to a total different side of "human nature" being inherently racist in nature.

    If as you write below you keep referring to "humiliation" and even Bob got into the same trend.

    Just "how did Russia" get so paranoid since 1991--virtually all of Europe has effectively reduced their military since 1991 to virtually non existent, the US withdrew literally all of their ground combat power and reduced their air power to a minimum and that was for Iraq and AFG. So pray tell was the "threat" especially in light of the fact that NATO is a shadow of itself? AND Russia and Putin knows this simple fact.

    SO again AP where was this supposedly Western threat to the security of Russia to come from?---what the German Army which has only currently in their inventory 221 tanks and 60 of them are in repair or say the Italian Army? or say the Estonian Army with a single active mechanized brigade and that is it say Holland?

    Come on AP---just what was the "humiliation"---nothing more nothing less that an elegant info war myth to drive the west into believing the Russian claims that they had been the "victim" and were just "responding to protect their victimness".

    And again I had asked you to reread recent Russian statements on the Ukraine since say September---have you seen written and or heard anywhere the Russian FM or Putin repeat the myths of "humiliation"---not a single word and or sentence has been lost on that "myth" and yet many in the west fell for it hook line and sinker---THAT was the reasoning behind the article actually. Why have they restrained themselves--because in fact the propaganda "myth" actually worked so therefore no further need to keep hammering the messaging that would be overkill and would have been seen as the propaganda it was.

    This AP is what the European northern countries think right now about the Russian "humiliation" in light on this Russian leadership that is currently not reacting as normal sane thinking humans.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2014/10/31/d...cs-278694.html
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 10-22-2014 at 09:42 AM.

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    AP--see this is how the myths of Russia work.

    Yesterday and today in Europe---massive headlines about cluster munitions being used by the Ukrainian Army against Donetsk civilians by the Russian Chapter of the Human Rights Watch who O have a good repo with especially those that worked in Iraq and at Fort Irwin.

    BUT again released by the Russian chapter of HRW not the international headquarters.

    BUT spread all over the major newspapers and western media---with the voice of the Ukrainian government not being heard that no they have never used the munitions.

    THEN this on the blogging side THAT has not hit the attention of the western media.

    #OSCE denies #HRW information on use of #cluster munitions by #Ukrainian army

    Representatives of international... http://fb.me/1nCYNhGWO


    SO AP--who do you believe---the military and civilian monitors on the ground in the Donetsk and tasked to report neutrally on anything and everything or the MOSCO chapter of the HRW in a country that has somehow forgotten to have HRW registered as a NGO and the disbanding their own human rights group that has a massive worldwide reputation for doing great work?

    THAT my friend is how "myths" become reality in the world of propaganda.

    And AP another current Russian "myth" no Russian sub in Swedish waters.

    Russian vessel "Professor Logachev" approaching Sweden equipped with 'hangar for midget submarines'.
    http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/rysk...r-sig-sverige/

    AND the ultimate Russian "myth" --Gazprom delivers value for money gas pricing and is a true EU competitive company and deals correctly with all of their contracts.

    Interfax today:
    13:20 ARBITRATION INSTITUTE OF STOCKHOLM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ACCEPTS NAFTOGAZ SUIT ON INTERIM GAS PRICE - UKRAINIAN PM YATSENYUK

    Note Russia is charging the Ukraine for undelivered gas volumes that in the contract is stated Ukraine must pay even if they do not take the gas.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 10-22-2014 at 10:14 AM.

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    Again AP---here is the Russian FM "attempting" to redefine the "humiliation myth" in a totally new direction---this time "arguing" Russians actions in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine were based on "international laws"

    Notice not a single mention of the Budapest Memorandum which had it's basis in international law.

    Come on AP "just what existing international laws define Russians claims on Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

    See AP just how propaganda created the "humiliation myth"?

    RIA from today.

    MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Ukrainian crisis is the direct result of the West's attempts to preserve lines of division in the Euro-Atlantic area, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

    "The Ukrainian crisis is a direct consequence of the attempts of our Western colleagues again to preserve and move to the east the dividing lines in the Euro-Atlantic area," Lavrov said in a meeting with representatives of the Russian Youth Public Chamber.

    According to the minister, Russia is not seeking confrontation with anyone else, but will defend its interests on the basis of international law.

    "We will act as we think is right and fair on the basis of international law, which we respect," the minister added. "We believe that this is the best way to ensure the national interests of the Russian Federation," Lavrov stated.

    In mid-April, Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. The United States and the European Union have repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs and escalating the crisis, but Moscow has repeatedly denied these allegations. In the meantime, Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over NATO's increasing military presence close to its borders.

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    International law is so diluted by US actions in recent years claiming exceptions in the name of interests claimed and defined by us, that one would have a hard time finding a fair and honest judge who would not at least believe the Russians make a similar case.

    These laws are more contracts between sovereign parties than binding codes anyway - and when parties act unchecked outside the terms of a contract they change the terms of the contract iaw said conduct.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    Here is your core problem---ethno driven neo imperialism is all about emotions and driven by propaganda
    We've already had this conversation about your misuse of the term 'neo-imperialism'.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    If Putin and his crew were in fact driven by human behavior then it would be far easier to determine just where he is headed---and right now his driving principles are not those of say European leaders or in fact the common man on the street in Paris.
    What does the views and experiences of the 'common man on the street in Paris' have to do with Putin's own perceptions and decision-making?

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    Why because we in the west took him at his word until the Crimea and failed to even take notice of the new Russian ethno defined and driven neo imperialism and the ever developing form of Russian "fascism".
    Actually the mainstream criticism of Washington policy towards Russia since 1991 has been that the U.S. not taken into account any of Russia's words, legitimate or not. The U.S. has more or less assumed that Russia is no longer a big deal. And, we've also already discussed your misuse of the term 'fascism'.

    Playing fast and loose with the concepts doesn't help anyone, but I'm pretty sure you're not here to actually have a conversation about Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    So pray tell was the "threat" especially in light of the fact that NATO is a shadow of itself?
    As I've already explained, it's about perception, and that perception is also within the context of historical continuity. I know, difficult concepts. World War II (you know, that conflict that killed up to 25 million Soviet people or 14% of the population) put Russian security paranoia into overdrive and it has not abated much since. It's called national or transgenerational trauma and it's deeply rooted in Russian foreign policy and national security. Combine that with the deficit between Russia's perceived and ascribed status and you have a reciepe for risk-taking in foreign policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    Come on AP---just what was the "humiliation"---
    Like neo-imperialism, fascism, and state risk-taking, I've also already answered this question.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    "victim" and were just "responding to protect their victimness".
    That's your interpretation. I've never used the word 'victim'. And that terminology doesn't provide any value-added to understanding Russia's motives.

    Quote Originally Posted by outlaw
    This AP is what the European northern countries think right now about the Russian "humiliation" in light on this Russian leadership that is currently not reacting as normal sane thinking humans.
    And I'll ask my question once again that you have repeatedly avoided: if Russian leadership is "not reacting as normal sane thinking humans" or if they are "irrational" and live in an "altered state of reality", how can you be confident that any Western response will produce the desired results in Russian behavior? You can't have it both ways: either Russia is a rational, predictable state and countermeasures can elicit a predictable response, or Russia is an irrational state and countermeasures will produce unpredictable responses.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 10-22-2014 at 03:41 PM.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Russia's use of the term international law is always interesting--on one side they claim "humiliation" then why the extensive use of "blocking international organizations" designed to observe and report on potential "violations" of international law?


    U.S. Mission to OSCE ✔ @usosce

    #Russia blocks expansion of #OSCE border observation mission - #OSCEPC can only approve 1 month extension -
    READ: http://1.usa.gov/1ou7wCO

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    We've already had this conversation about your misuse of the term 'neo-imperialism'.



    What does the views and experiences of the 'common man on the street in Paris' have to do with Putin's own perceptions and decision-making?



    Actually the mainstream criticism of Washington policy towards Russia since 1991 has been that the U.S. not taken into account any of Russia's words, legitimate or not. The U.S. has more or less assumed that Russia is no longer a big deal. And, we've also already discussed your misuse of the term 'fascism'.

    Playing fast and loose with the concepts doesn't help anyone, but I'm pretty sure you're not here to actually have a conversation about Russia.



    As I've already explained, it's about perception, and that perception is also within the context of historical continuity. I know, difficult concepts. World War II (you know, that conflict that killed up to 25 million Soviet people or 14% of the population) put Russian security paranoia into overdrive and it has not abated much since. It's called national or transgenerational trauma and it's deeply rooted in Russian foreign policy and national security. Combine that with the deficit between Russia's perceived and ascribed status and you have a reciepe for risk-taking in foreign policy.



    Like neo-imperialism, fascism, and state risk-taking, I've also already answered this question.



    That's your interpretation. I've never used the word 'victim'. And that terminology doesn't provide any value-added to understanding Russia's motives.



    And I'll ask my question once again that you have repeatedly avoided: if Russian leadership is "not reacting as normal sane thinking humans" or if they are "irrational" and live in an "altered state of reality", how can you be confident that any Western response will produce the desired results in Russian behavior? You can't have it both ways: either Russia is a rational, predictable state and countermeasures can elicit a predictable response, or Russia is an irrational state and countermeasures will produce unpredictable responses.
    See again AP you cannot get the wording correct---in the world of international relations when a country uses the term "humiliation" the "presumption" is that the country is a "victim" of something---or has that not changed in the English language usage these days?

    Secondly, really really go back and reread the article concerning the use of the word "humiliation".

    She lists a number of "humiliation arguments" that Russia claims to be "aggrieved" on.

    Then she takes each one of those "aggrieved complaints apart" and behold it is nothing more nothing less that a standard Russian "myth" used to push it's own geopolitical agenda.

    Truly go back and reread then answer the authors arguments.

    Thirdly--if you really think the sanctions, sinking oil price, and free falling Rubel has not reigned in nor gotten the attention of Putin and his advisory crew then absolutely nothing will.

    If as you argue they are "rational thinking human beings"---then one would say totally defying the laws of economics in the face of a fully collapsing economy is intensely damaging to one's career if you are a leader of a "normal thinking" country.

    That is another perfect example of the term you really hate to use "altered state of reality". So if they are not "rational thinking beings" THEN what is driving them to avoid being one?---ethno neo imperialism cloaked in the simple term fascism or DO you have an explanation for the eight Russian mercenary groups which are truly Russian fascists fighting in the Ukraine against from Russia alleged to be Ukrainian Nazi's?

    Think about it.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 10-23-2014 at 05:38 AM.

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    AP---think about the term "Russian humiliation" for a moment.

    Here are two further examples of Russian annexation moves which if one takes the "normal view that human beings act in normal fashions" goes completely against the view of "Russian humiliation" and towards Russian expansionism ie neo imperialism driven by ethnicity.

    1. In addition to the annexation of the tiny Yaya Island located in the desolate Laptev Sea------in the Artic and never Russian territory and never "threatened by NATO moving eastwards since 1991"

    2. Russia stated yesterday they are signing legal documents with the Georgian enclaves which are basically a half step away from total annexation and under Russian law lay the groundwork for total annexation---AND AP not a single peep from the west

    And that is what "Russian humiliation" or simply Russian expansionism at work?

    Oh--forgot -it was caused by NATO's eastward movements right?

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    AP---let us go back and revisit your concept of "rational thinking human behavior" for a moment.

    I think you might agree with me for a moment that any leader of a country that is "rational thinking" in the face of a "free falling economy" WOULD in fact do everything possible to 'save" his or here country.

    BUT what if he or she takes a completely different stance---meaning a military geopolitical victory takes precedence over virtually everything else.

    IS that leader "acting rationally or ill rationally"?

    As you can see the Russian economy is dangerously starting to repeat the free falling crash of 1998.

    #Russia Central bank trying to save the RUB from collapse, sold > $ 1 billion for the last one hour (!)
    pic.twitter.com/KoY849ipuB


    Oil slump leaves Russia even weaker than decaying Soviet Union | via @Telegraph http://fw.to/6tkC8lK

    OR AP does this signal that in fact Russia wants to annex the eastern Ukraine or what Putin called three times in Milan---New Russia.

    #BreakingReport Russian military experts are in #Donbas to help "DNR" and "LC" create a "unified military command" and structure

    #Ukraine positions came under fire 30times w/in 24hrs. Heavy fire n Debaltseve, #Donetsk, #Mariupol

    #Putin signed a law to compensate families of #Russia soldiers, who went missing on maneuvers
    Missing in maneuvers? Never happened to #NATO
    (By the way AP it is European bloggers who are stating and have been stating the MIAs number in the hundreds---and not a word from western media ---ever wonder why?)

    SO AP---just what maneuver did the Russian soldier sgo missing on? ---if a Russian maneuver then they were inside Russia and no one can find them in Russia?---come on AP "rational and or ill rational thinking/actions"?

    Appears to me Putin is not interested in a solution other than what he dictated in his DUMA speech six months ago.

    AND yet what does Putin do---threatens Georgia with further annexations, still sends Russian troops into the Ukraine as confirmed today by two respected UK Moscow journalists on the ground seeing them there and the Russian FM stating today Russia might not accept nor honor the Ukrainian elections from this weekend because the junta threw out the former President "illegally".

    #Russia has taken serious measures derail whatever it costs #Ukraine Upper Rada election under false flag / pretext.
    pic.twitter.com/hyOdduve2g


    Ukrainian intelligence finds large weapons cache in #Novoaidar to disrupt the elections on Sunday
    pic.twitter.com/XZVQs6KtMc


    Rational thinking leader and or ill rational thinking leader?

    AND yet you seem to not want to accept the term "altered state of reality" or some in the interrogation world would call it "cognitive dissonance" if you do not like altered state.
    Last edited by OUTLAW 09; 10-23-2014 at 09:18 AM.

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