July 27, 2014
That said, Russia does plenty of other stuff to tick off the US. Backing Syria, for example, doesn't really give Russia any internal benefits, other than keeping the US and other Western nations occupied with the resulting mess.
So, we can't effectively stop Russia from doing dastardly things in its near abroad, we don't really want to associate ourselves with the people those things are being done to, and we've got other things to worry about with them. Can't we even manage a little quid pro quo? You know, troll hints that we'll happily sell the Ukranians a thousand MBTs at a discount, then say "you know, if you guys let Syria swing in the wind, we'll back off this one", kind of thing?
The alternative is to quit pretending that Russia is a friendly nation at all - at best an unfriendly rival, at worst still an enemy despite the fall of the Soviet Union. Treat 'em accordingly. Freeze them out of markets, disrupt their supply chains, isolate them politically, maybe even the sort of low-level sabotage that we used to get up to (good luck defending those pipelines, Putin...) Make it clear that pissing us off has a cost and that we're perfectly happy to go on screwing with them. If "well, we don't want to start World War 3" can be used to deter us from taking drastic action, surely it works in the other direction - and if the Soviet Union couldn't manage to win the Cold War, there's zero chance the Russians can pull it off on their own.
If we're not going to go that far, why piss them off at all?
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Sun Jul 27 21:47:43 2014 (ZeBdf)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tue Jul 29 16:07:35 2014 (RqRa5)
Given that we don't have any enemies, nothing is an actual threat, and actually fighting is just an unjustified and barbaric use of our illegitimately-gained imperialistic power anyway, we don't actually have any use for allies. Unlike those who are opposed to us, who have legitimate grievances which we can appease, allies have interests in common with us and thus are fellow illegitimate imperialists, and also at fault for communism not taking over the world and even failing in Russia, where it would have worked except that we were too busy fighting it in order to preserve our own illegitimate imperial power. Furthermore, allies often have their own grievances which, while illegitimate, get in the way of us appeasing those who mistakenly think themselves our enemies except that they just haven't been fully appeased yet.
Eastern European allies are the worst, because their specific grievance is against communism, which is the worst of both worlds - their anti-communist attitude works directly against the idea that communism was a voluntary alignment which its peoples were happy with, and implies that other countries besides the US and its allies can be illegitimate imperialists instead of perfectly rational actors with legitimate historical grievances against Western imperialist offenses. Further, their embrace of Western capitalist values and forms of government and subsequent success can be taken as an implied endorsement of responsible and frugal government, and of capitalism as superior to communism, and is thus bad and shameful.
The Ukrainians don't have this issue because their government is hopelessly corrupt and a perfect example of why democratic and capitalist values are bad. But having them conquered by Russia is bad, because an expansionist Russia (despite having a historic grievance) makes our Eastern European neighbors nervous and they start demanding less appeasing and more concrete actions, which might put us in a position where appeasing the perfectly legitimate historical grievances of others would be politically difficult. Further, armed conquest of the Ukraine begs the question of why the Ukraine broke away in the first place, which goes to all sorts of places no liberal of good understanding wishes to pursue (especially as they relate to atrocities committed by the USSR and resolutely ignored by the left since). How much happier if the Ukrainians were to merely appease the Russians by simply ceding their entire territory, which would both appease the Russians and allow the spread of Putin's regime to additional area, further discrediting capitalism since everyone already knows how corrupt it is.
Furthermore, it's drawing political attention away from Israel, where the Palestinian tactic of using civilians to screen its rocket attacks will only work if people pay attention to the dead civilians that pile up after, and since the Palestinian cause is of course the world's Super Most Important Historical Legitimate Grievance, that's bad in and of itself. How can the evil Israelis, who of course have no legitimate historical grievance because they're allied with the West, possibly be pushed into the sea if nobody is paying attention to their atrocities while studiously ignoring the morality of firing unguided rockets vaguely in the direction of civilians due to your simmering legitimate historical grievance?
Good lord, that hurt to write.
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Wed Jul 30 03:48:08 2014 (ZeBdf)
The appalling thing is that what you say isn't an over-the-top parody of government incompetence; it's how the present administration (and a significant proportion of the Western world) seems to think.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wed Jul 30 04:08:35 2014 (PiXy!)
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Wed Jul 30 15:40:04 2014 (zJsIy)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wed Jul 30 23:18:57 2014 (+rSRq)
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Thu Jul 31 01:03:09 2014 (DnAJl)
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