Nuclear Belarus

Belarus renounced its non-nuclear status today and will let Russia place nukes there. Is the NATO justified in feeling threatened by this and sending troops into Belarus?

I know there are people here who like discussing the NATO (wink, wink), so let’s discuss.

50 thoughts on “Nuclear Belarus

  1. NATO is unlikely to feel threatened since it is a military organisation directed by, for the most part, the US.

    Every European nation that is part of the NATO alliance or, for that matter, any nation in close enough proximity, though, is undoubtably feeling threatened not only by Russian nukes on Belarusian soil, but by the entire situation, which is threatening in and of itself.

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      1. No, of course not. That would be both unethical and would create the exact outcome that NATO was created to prevent.

        The core of the matter is that the relevant negotiations took place after WW2 up until the dissolution of the USSR.

        Central to the dissolution of the USSR were promises made by US led NATO countries that NATO would not expand to the East, so that there would be a buffer of neutral countries in between NATO countries to the West, and nuclear armed Russia to the East.

        The purpose of that buffer was to deny either side the opportunity to launch a first strike attack on the other, so that any negotiations and dealings would be free of dominating military force.

        The wrongdoers who caused the issue of the day are those who invited neutral nations into the NATO alliance, as well as the leaders of those nations for agreeing to it, because they are responsible for reneging on 1990s promises to Russia that were central to USSR dissolution, and so, in turn, are responsible for increasing and inflaming the tensions that led to a Russian response.

        Since NATO is comprised of nuclear armed nations that are capable of arming missiles with nuclear warheads that can easily be placed on Russias border, the expansion of NATO to the East is equal to a nuclear provocation.

        As such, NATO may not claim victimhood or moral outrage when Russia or its satellites perform the same action in return.

        That said, as a neutral in all of this, I think that both sides are performing actions that are as wrong as the actions of the other.

        In my opinion, the correct action that should be performed right now is that the two leading states, being the US and Germany, should both commit to a written promise to return to the conditions of March 1990, so that The Baltic states all the way down to Ukraine/Bulgaria once again become neutral and pose no potential threat to either Russia or any Western NATO members that remain.

        To answer the question specifically about whether anyone is justified in invading Belarus, the answer is no since the originators of the provocation are Western states, while the logical outcome of such an invasion would be the precise outcome that NATO was formed to prevent, of widespread war.

        In my opinion, both Ukraine and Russia are victims of aggression that ultimately originates from the US, with more victim states to follow both in Central Europe and South/South East Asia.

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        1. Russia is a victim of American aggression? How so? Also I would have to strongly disagree with you, reverting to the conditions of March 1990 would give Putin carte blanche to basically just rebuild the whole Soviet Empire. Russia is a lot stronger today than it was when the Soviet Union broke apart. The idea of leaving the former Eastern European Soviet and Warsaw Pact states neutral was much more doable then, because Russia didn’t have the capability to take them back even if it wanted to. But now is different. If you remove them from NATO, Putin (who is a bully) will seek to forcibly conquer them. He is not going to be like, “Oh okay, great, so they are no longer in NATO and the West has seen the error of its ways, so there is a nice neutral buffer now between Russia and the West, so no need for any intimidation.” You cannot appease someone like him. He is like a saltwater crocodile.

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          1. “Russia is a victim of American aggression? How so?”

            NATO is controlled by the US. NATO moving to the East allows the US to position first strike capable missiles that cannot be defended against on the border between Ukraine and Russia, in turn allowing the US to threaten Russia disproportionately and in so doing, dominate her. That US led encroachment is aggressive.

            “reverting to the conditions of March 1990 would give Putin carte blanche to basically just rebuild the whole Soviet Empire.”

            No it wouldn’t. NATO would be to the West, with a newly established neutral buffer zone made up of the Baltic states plus Ukraine etc fully armed and equipped not only with weapons but with a new mandate to preserve that neutral zone by any means on behalf of a population that is acutely aware of why that zone must be maintained.

            Russia, meanwhile, would be back within its now well delineated borders with practically no ability to persuade anyone that encroaching West is a good idea for quite a long time, while facing demographic collapse that gives it at most another 8 to 10 years of appreciable military strength, after which they will no longer be able to do anything other than symbiose with the Chinese, who are in a similar predicament anyway.

            All of this could be accomplished with a small change in policy regarding how NATO is instructed to operate.

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            1. “NATO moving to the East ”

              NATO didn’t “move” or “expand” to the East, it was invited by countries that know Russia, its mode of operation and potential intentions far better than you.

              You’re essentially blaming the former Warsaw Pact countries for wanting protection against Russia….

              And any promise made in 1990 (was there ever anything in writing?) was made null and void for Ukraine in 2014 when Russia broke its written commitment to protect Ukrainian territorial integrity (Budapest memorandum).

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              1. “NATO didn’t “move” or “expand” to the East, it was invited by countries that know Russia, its mode of operation and potential intentions far better than you.”

                If they were really that smart, Russia wouldn’t be invading, their economy wouldn’t be obliterated, they wouldn’t be facing sovereign default, and they wouldn’t be completely dependent on the West.

                “You’re essentially blaming the former Warsaw Pact countries for wanting protection against Russia….”

                No, I’m blaming the US for creating a circumstance that they knew would provoke a response.

                “And any promise made in 1990 (was there ever anything in writing?) was made null and void for Ukraine in 2014 when Russia broke its written commitment to protect Ukrainian territorial integrity (Budapest memorandum).”

                The promise is on film and as per regular contract law, stands. Anyway formality means little when the parties are willing to defend their claim with an army.

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              2. Russians are smart but intelligence is powerless when emotions are strong. Russians have hate Ukraine for 400 years. They have invaded many times throughout the century. This is just a new cycle in a long, long story.

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              3. @ DWeird: “You’re talking to that population now. How acutely aware of the need to preserve this highly imaginary state of neutrality do we look to you?”

                Oh well it looks more like you prefer war to neutrality.

                “Neutral border zones are largely a fiction and have failed in preventing conflict in every case I remember them being implemented.”

                They seemed to work in the period 1991 up until 2014. Only now that a solid wall of NATO is on Russia’s Western border is Putin talking about nuclear bombs.

                “In reality, what would actually happen is that there would be constant provocations and attempts to integrate the boundary states – possibly from both sides”

                Yes, that is exactly what is happening now, and is my point. The Baltic states, Ukraine etc are being integrated into the NATO side. Obama bragged about $5 billion being spent in Ukraine to do it.

                “You want to sleep soundly and not have to worry about a nuclear power going ballistic, fine, understandable. But lets not make it out like turning the entirety of eastern Europe into a strife-ridden hellhole to make that happen is for our benefit.”

                First, it is better to deal with strife than to be dead from a war, and also, there are 4 military bases within a 20 minute drive of my location. We have more in common than you might think imo.

                “the possibility you’re outlining, to have a boot in our face forever so the rest of Europe can continue to enjoy their well-earned retirement – no thank you.”

                There is no boot. The possibility that I am outlining to you is common. The place in which I live is like that. As a nation, Taiwan is like that as well. Some of us are born on strategically important land. This is reality.

                “And I wish I was as confident as you are that USA has some grand overarching plan to choke out Russia”

                Russia is a rising regional power. The US publishes writings and the speeches of its luminaries talking about how they are to suppress Russia and other rising regional powers. It is standard operating procedure.

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              4. If it’s not too much to ask (and fine if it is), what country are you in fact living in? I ask because you seem to be drawing from a theoretical framework that broadly make sense to me – world powers vs regional, containment, limited windows of opportunity, etc., but also a lot of assumptions about what baseline reality is like in the post-soviet/russian relationship that come off as simultaneously optimistic and cynical in weird places that don’t map to anything I’ve seen. I’d like to know what the analogy you’re drawing from is.

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              5. @ DWeird: “If it’s not too much to ask (and fine if it is), what country are you in fact living in?”

                I do not want to say my exact location because that might lead to unpleasant real world outcomes for me. But, if you click this link, there is a map of the world showing US/NATO facilities as green dots, and US/Asia-Pacific facilities as orange dots.

                Most of the people on this blog are directly affected by what is happening with the green dots, while I am connected to a European country, yet affected by the orange dots.

                The US is the dominant power in Europe that is steering the world against the Russians, and is also the dominant power in the Asia/Indo-Pacific steering the world against China.

                I think that your inability to place my perspective against anything you have seen is because you are probably less familiar with how things work in the Asia/Indo-Pacific region, but have intricate or nuanced knowledge about how everything works in Eastern Europe.

                In my experience, it is the same general pattern, except that in Europe it is more convoluted because Europeans are craftier, more autocratic, and much more aggressive that South/South East Asians.

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              6. “They seemed to work in the period 1991 up until 2014. Only now that a solid wall of NATO is on Russia’s Western border is Putin talking about nuclear bombs.”

                Neutral border zones did not work until from 1991 to 2014, it is just that during that period, Russia was severely lacking in strength to do much of anything.

                “Russia is a rising regional power. The US publishes writings and the speeches of its luminaries talking about how they are to suppress Russia and other rising regional powers. It is standard operating procedure.”

                That’s because of Russia’s history of constant aggression and conquest. The U.S. does not talk of suppressing peaceful regional powers.

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              7. “The US is the dominant power in Europe that is steering the world against the Russians, and is also the dominant power in the Asia/Indo-Pacific steering the world against China.”

                The U.S. has not been “steering the world against the Russians,” the Russians are the ones that have been contributing to that with their own actions. And steering the world against China? Again that makes no sense. The Chinese are the ones who bully Tibet, who took over Hong Kong, who enslave the Uyghur Muslims, who want to take over Taiwan and control the South China Sea, who continually seek to undermine the U.S. and our economy, etc…while being a brutal dictatorship. So it should be understandable why the U.S. seeks to contain them.

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              8. Thank you, PMan, for catching the flag when I was falling to the ground. I deeply appreciate it. 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦

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              9. @PMan: “Neutral border zones did not work until from 1991 to 2014, it is just that during that period, Russia was severely lacking in strength to do much of anything.”

                This comment does not make sense on grounds that the US bragged about spending $5 billion in Ukraine to destabilise the government which caused war in 2014. It is more logical to say that neutral border zones worked until the US polarised the formerly neutral state of Ukraine so that it was not neautral anymore, causing war. Here is a link to read:

                https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2014/mar/19/facebook-posts/united-states-spent-5-billion-ukraine-anti-governm/

                “That’s because of Russia’s history of constant aggression and conquest. The U.S. does not talk of suppressing peaceful regional powers.”

                Incorrect. The US routinely publishes about global hegemony and explains the need to suppress regional powers of any kind. I have read about it many times over the years and listened to talks of various kinds from various officials, academics, think tank types, pundits etc. Here is a link to read:

                https://www.academia.edu/41682867/GLOBAL_HEGEMONY_VS_REGIONAL_HEGEMONY_HOW_THE_US_STRATEGICALLY_INFLUENCES_POWER_Comparative_Politics_Vol_11_No_1_2020

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              10. @PMan: “The U.S. has not been “steering the world against the Russians,” the Russians are the ones that have been contributing to that with their own actions. ”

                The US openly bragged about spending $5 billion to destabilise Ukraine prior to, and resulting in, the 2014 crisis. This is well known and understood, with a link for you in the previous reply to read. In addition, the US has steered the world against Russia via the implementation of economic sanctions – which are an act of war, by the way – for years now.

                “And steering the world against China? Again that makes no sense. ”

                It makes perfect sense. When Obama was elected he announced something called a “pivot to Asia” to “rebalance the Pacific”, to counter the threat of a growing China. Military bases were constructed or expanded in the region, and terms like Asia-Pacific changed to Indo-Pacific so as to reflect strategic alliance with India.

                More recently, something called a QUAD alliance and AUKUS Alliance were announced specifically directed against China. The countries participating in QUAD are the US, India, Australia, and Japan. The countries participating in AUKUS are the US, UK, and Australia.

                These alliances involve such things as buying or building nuclear submarines to oppose China both directly in terms of territory and military projection, and to control trade routes about the Straits of Malacca in particular, which of course affect economy, energy etc.

                “The Chinese are the ones who bully Tibet, who took over Hong Kong, who enslave the Uyghur Muslims, who want to take over Taiwan and control the South China Sea, who continually seek to undermine the U.S. and our economy, etc…while being a brutal dictatorship. So it should be understandable why the U.S. seeks to contain them.”

                Earlier you said that the US steering the world against China makes no sense. Now you offer explanation and justification as to why it makes sense, and say it is “understandable”. You are arguing two opposite things at the same time.

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              11. Just George, your link about the U.S. spending money in Ukraine refutes your assertion that the U.S. “bragged” about spending money in Ukraine to destabilize anything; rather, that we have just spent money in Ukraine to aid in their democracy-building, which they have been seeking to do for years. Putin of course doesn’t want Ukraine to be any Western-style liberal democracy. As for the U.S. and regional powers, very few in the U.S. talk anything about suppressing regional powers, unless they are a threat to the free world. Otherwise, we have no problem.

                You cite the U.S. and other countries allying to counter China militarily and economically with being equivalent to the U.S. steering everyone against China. Those are not the same. The U.S. and said countries are allying because of the obvious threat that the rising China constitutes. You make it sound like China is innocent and the U.S. is seeking to turn everyone against them.

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              12. George is taking a much needed break but yes, absolutely, Ukrainians wanted to live in a real democracy. It’s an eminently rational thing to do and nobody had to pay them to want it. It’s ludicrous to suggest that the Ukrainian revolution was somehow forced upon Ukrainians by the US.

                My friend who is a scholar of Eastern European politics, spent countless hours in 2013-4 in Ukraine, interviewing the people who went out to fight for democracy in Ukraine. Their feelings were completely genuine and strong. We are in a sad place, indeed, when Americans find it hard to believe that anybody would want to live in a democracy of their own free will.

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            2. “NATO would be to the West, with a newly established neutral buffer zone made up of the Baltic states plus Ukraine etc fully armed and equipped not only with weapons but with a new mandate to preserve that neutral zone by any means on behalf of a population that is acutely aware of why that zone must be maintained.”

              You’re talking to that population now. How acutely aware of the need to preserve this highly imaginary state of neutrality do we look to you?

              Neutral border zones are largely a fiction and have failed in preventing conflict in every case I remember them being implemented. Certainly any ability to have a life of peace and prosperity while part of such a cordon doesn’t really exist. In reality, what would actually happen is that there would be constant provocations and attempts to integrate the boundary states – possibly from both sides, but certainly from Russia, since it cares more. You want to sleep soundly and not have to worry about a nuclear power going ballistic, fine, understandable. But lets not make it out like turning the entirety of eastern Europe into a strife-ridden hellhole to make that happen is for our benefit.

              Russia has been invading us since before USA even existed, they don’t NATO a reason. What’s more, they don’t really have as developed package as USA does to dominate through indirect means – no elaborate trade deals, no cultural attraction, no promise of a better life – just good old military presence, mass resettlements and suppression by either ideology or secret police. We’ll bear a boot in the face today if it means we will no longer have a boot in our face tomorrow, but the possibility you’re outlining, to have a boot in our face forever so the rest of Europe can continue to enjoy their well-earned retirement – no thank you.

              And I wish I was as confident as you are that USA has some grand overarching plan to choke out Russia, but what I’m saying is an erratic mix of ideological fervor and plutocratic opportunism, and I don’t see how “we’ll aim a gun at your head for the rest of time unless you do as we say” can reasonably fit into that.

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            3. With respect, but I think you are living in a fantasy land. The current Baltic NATO states being removed from NATO but acting as a “neutral buffer zone?” It would be impossible for them to remain neutral with the West to one side and Russia to the other. And how are they going to be “full armed and equipped” without aid from the West overall? They are not exactly the most economically strong countries or large. What would happen is Russia would constantly provoke and bully them and threaten attack and since they would no longer be part of NATO, that would mean no threat of attack by American and Western European forces. Yes there MIGHT be a lull if Russia gets defeated in Ukraine, but give it ten or so years and they’ll likely be back to their old selves, and that’s assuming the best case scenario. As for this whole “demographic collapse” preventing them from attacking, I don’t believe it. Go ten years and they’ll still be plenty demographically capable of engaging in miltitary aggression.

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              1. “With respect, but I think you are living in a fantasy land. The current Baltic NATO states being removed from NATO but acting as a “neutral buffer zone?” It would be impossible for them to remain neutral with the West to one side and Russia to the other.”

                You mean like it is now, with the West flooding Ukraine with weapons, ready to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.

                “And how are they going to be “full armed and equipped” without aid from the West overall?”

                I meant that the actual NATO members would be fully armed with weaponry sufficient to stop Russia, not the neutral states.

                “What would happen is Russia would constantly provoke and bully them and threaten attack and since they would no longer be part of NATO, that would mean no threat of attack by American and Western European forces.”

                The logical thing to do would be for both NATO and Russia to agree never to attempt integration with those states or to place weapons there, but to defend them if they were ever invaded by the other.

                “es there MIGHT be a lull if Russia gets defeated in Ukraine, but give it ten or so years and they’ll likely be back to their old selves, and that’s assuming the best case scenario.”

                The facts indicate otherwise, since Russia repeatedly asked for assurances from the West that Ukraine remain neutral, and only engaged in military action when they were denied, when money was spent into Ukraine etc.

                Going off raw facts, the aggressors are from the West. It isn’t fair (or logical) to endlessly suspect that Russia might do something that others are actually doing, without mentioning a word about the ones actually doing it.

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              2. “You mean like it is now, with the West flooding Ukraine with weapons, ready to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.”

                It’s not neutral right now. It hasn’t been since Russia attacked it in 2014. And the West is sending Ukraine weapons because Russia attacked Ukraine and Ukraine seeks to be free and democratic. It also sends a message to Russia that the West will challenge its aims at expansion.

                “I meant that the actual NATO members would be fully armed with weaponry sufficient to stop Russia, not the neutral states.”

                Then what will happen is Russia will take over the neutral states and thus become an ever larger threat to the West.

                “The logical thing to do would be for both NATO and Russia to agree never to attempt integration with those states or to place weapons there, but to defend them if they were ever invaded by the other.”

                The Russians have never functioned by such logic and don’t need to invade them necessarily to bring them under their sphere of influence as they are experts at utilizing all manner of other nefarious techniques. But if the agreement is for each side to defend the other if invaded, that is a form of NATO right there, just modified. But I would still never trust the Russians with such a thing. You are seeking to appease the crocodile which never works.

                “The facts indicate otherwise, since Russia repeatedly asked for assurances from the West that Ukraine remain neutral, and only engaged in military action when they were denied, when money was spent into Ukraine etc.

                Going off raw facts, the aggressors are from the West. It isn’t fair (or logical) to endlessly suspect that Russia might do something that others are actually doing, without mentioning a word about the ones actually doing it.”

                Money was spent into Ukraine when Russia took the Crimea in 2014 . And what “aggression” from the West do you speak of? The West does not have any massive military buildup near Russia nor has it forcibly taken over any countries as of late, whereas Russia has. Also it is very fair to endlessly suspect that Russia might do something considering that Putin has done it already (with Georgia in 2008 and then Crimea in 2014), that Putin has said repeatedly that he wants Ukraine and wants to rebuild the Russian empire, and that Russia historically has done such actions.

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        2. If the expansion of the NATO to the East (which didn’t happen in the eve of this or the previous invasion of Ukraine by Russia) is a provocation, it has got to follow that an expansion of Russia to the West (which is actually real) is also a provocation. Anything else is a double standard.

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          1. “it has got to follow that an expansion of Russia to the West (which is actually real) is also a provocation.”

            I think that provocation is the wrong word because the situation had already arisen from the originating provocation from the West, so in my opinion Russia invading Ukraine is better characterised a reaction (over-reaction) or escalation.

            But yes, I think that Russia did something just as bad and so is just as guilty of doing something wrong.

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            1. I really fail to see how allowing some countries into your defensive club is on the same level as invading another country and causing massive loss of lives.

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              1. “I really fail to see how allowing some countries into your defensive club is on the same level as invading another country and causing massive loss of lives.”

                Because as soon as the first nuke is placed on the border, the defensive club becomes the offensive “do as we say or else” club.

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              2. “Because as soon as the first nuke is placed on the border, the defensive club becomes the offensive “do as we say or else” club.”

                Because poor Russia doesn’t have like 6000 nukes of their own, right?

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              3. Who says the West would place nukes right on Russia’s border? And helping Ukraine shore up its defenses after Russia’s aggression in 2014 is not any provocation or aggression on its part.

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              4. Also what is this, “Do as we say or else” idea? Russia has a bunch of its own nuclear weapons, the West can’t just bully it around, and that’s assuming the West would even want to place nukes right on its border. Allowing other nations into NATO is about allowing those nations additional protection, not being able to forward deploy nuclear weapons closer and closer to Russia.

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              1. “Wasn’t the aggressive expansion of the Soviet block the original provocation?”

                Yes. NATO’s first Secretary General publicly defined the alliance’s purpose as “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and Germany down.”

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              2. “Wasn’t the aggressive expansion of the Soviet block the original provocation?”

                Yes. NATO’s first Secretary General stated that the purpose of the alliance was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

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    1. Everyone is acting so shocked, but to me, I’ve always thought Putin would go for Ukraine when he could. His mindset is that old Soviet communist way of thought that is still affected by what happened to Russia in WW2, in which case Ukraine is a huge strategic asset to hold. 70% of Soviet agricultural production came from Ukraine. It has the most fertile agricultural soil in the world. It is, I believe, a primary route through which to invade Russia. It provides access to the warm water port at Sevastopol. It cannot be allowed to fall into Western hands..

      The Russians haven’t fully gotten over what happened in WW2 with Germany and are distrustful of the West in fear that such a thing could happen again. There IS some truth to this as even today, many argue it would be a bad idea to let Germany become an offensive capable military power. And then you combine that with the whole communism mindset which calls for spreading communism around the world and you get a way of seeing the world that is rather alien to a Westerner. People shocked he invaded are applying a Western mindset to a man that has a Soviet nationalist mindset.

      As for Belarus, saying they’ll let Putin put nukes there sounds like Putin throwing a fit because he can’t get Ukraine so easily. But I would say that it does not justify an invasion. It could justify sending in covert special operations forces to sabotage said nukes though. But a full invasion, what does that do? Now you’re talking about NATO forces invading a country, to do what exactly? And would the Belarusian people even want them there? Not to mention to it’s risky due to the whole nuke issue itself.

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  2. I’m getting the distinct impression that the powers that be are hoping to take advantage of the Russia/Ukraine situation to do…something. I’m not sure exactly what. Do you think they’re just taking advantage of something that conveniently cropped up for them or do you think they intentionally manufactured this situation, and if so, how? I have a few muddled thoughts of my own but would like yours.

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    1. Ukraine’s economy has now collapsed with the chance of sovereign default within 5 years at 90%, which means that Ukraine is now a very weak state that can be dominated by governments and bankers to the West using security and debt, while also being the bread basket of Europe capable of feeding 600 million people, right at a time when the Chinese state can be destabilised if not outright toppled by controlling food supply & prices, all right at the time the US needs cash that can be easily raised by supplying the energy that Russia will no longer supply.

      I think that these factors are important in there somewhere.

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    2. Well, Putin just decided to shit on the future of Russians for generations, so yeah, they will be taken advantage of now. The ruble just lost 40% of its value and Russia is about to become China’s whore.

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  3. “So are these [NATO] nations justified in invading?”

    In a word, no. That would make NATO the aggressors starting an unjustified and unnecessary regional European war. Belarus is a sovereign country, just like Ukraine, and if it chooses to favor Putin over the West in its political choices, so be it.

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      1. “You guys will argue this away until a nuke strikes New York.”

        Nah, lady. Some of us old retired military types who’ve been everywhere and seen everything actually know what we’re talking about.

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        1. Your mistake is in thinking that Russia acts reactively. But it doesn’t. It’s going to do what it’s going to do irrespective of any actions the West will or won’t take.

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          1. Unfortunately, the same is true of the U.S., and our oligarchs are not only every bit as wicked as Putin* but drooling idiots. And the people running the EU are the same people who drove the covidiocy and all its remorseless tyranny there. The Davos crowd vs. Putin (In Xi’s pocket?) vs. the Ukrainian kleptocrats (in the Bidenreich’s)…

            Everyone loses. May God have mercy on the people of Ukraine and Russia (and us) and spare them from our horrible rulers.

            (*If not more, I think we recently murdered hundreds of thousands of our own people just to pay off Pfizer and get Trump and for lulz. Bad as he is, I do not think Putin ritually mutilates children or hires people to torture beagle pups to death )

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            1. I could post the photos of dead Ukrainian children but you get my point. Russians yesterday took a maternity hospital hostage threatening to murder newborns and their moms.

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              1. Yes you could. Queer that you can, because we cannot. Only some dead children, some vivisected infants are allowed past the net censors. The Ukrainian dead are useful now to the evil people who run our country. Never
                mind. Having a clear target for the rage and grief helps. This is what we did to the Iraqis. Mea maxima culpa.

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              2. Well, excuse me for caring about a war going on in the country where I grew up. I have barely stopped crying, my blood pressure is through the roof, my resting heart rate went from a stsble 67 to 79 within days. I walk around in a daze. If all of this helps me, I honestly don’t see how.

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              3. I am sorry. We are talking at cross-purposes. When I read your posts, I do them back-to-front. So when you told the story about Klara and the animals and the secret language I thought at first you were talking about all if us invaded and conquered by the bugmen, the oligarchs, and their court eunuchs! That us where my head is at. As I keep telling my mom, just because our house is being gnawed to pieces by termites, doesn’t mean someone won’t try to set it on fire, too.

                The last thing you need is me showing up with black-pills, to argue with your American commenters, or worse, you. I’ll stay mum except for bits like the below.. And I’ll still keep praying for the people of Ukraine.

                From the excellent A Song of Joy blog https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/rare-juvenile-ghost-shark-caught-in-new-zealands-chatham-rise-180979615/

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          2. “mistake is in thinking that Russia acts reactively”

            I think it’s partly reactive but, the response is to a particularly…. Russian way of perceiving the world.
            Post WWII Russia (or is it older?) wants to be idolized and admired and anything that falls short of pure adulation and emulation is perceived as outright hostility.

            Former Warsaw PAct countries saying “Sorry, we don’t want a poltical and military alliance with you” is perceived by representatives of the Russian state as “We are so better than you miserable bastards and we will invade and crush you at our earliest convenience!”

            It’s a little like trying to speak rationally to a schizophrenic… nothing you can say can compete with the voices in their heads….

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            1. As for result of the Mongol invasion that lasted 100 years, Russia fell behind the rest of Europe. The realization of that inferiority came with Peter the Great who slaughtered 20% of the Russia’s population at the time to Westernize the country. He largely failed to Westernize. As a result, a narrative arose that grew throughout in power during the nation -building era of the 18th and 19th centuries that it was the West that was actually inferior and Russia was going to prove it. The 19th century in Russia was one of a continuous ideological battle between the pro-Westerners and anti-Westerners.

              There are very, very deep roots to all this. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a force in Russia that would come up with a narrative conducted in different terms that are not based on competing with the West.

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            2. Back in 2014, I had many conversations with Russian people that all went according to the same pattern.

              “Russia invaded Ukraine.”

              “Yes, but Americans invaded Iraq. If they can do it, why can’t we?”

              They could compete with Americans in something good. Like making sure that the 20% of their population that still doesn’t have indoor plumbing finally gets to have actual toilets and not outhouses. They could do something to improve their roads. But no, let’s compete in the number of invasions instead.

              Like

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