Putin's Gauntlet
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2022-09-22 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 723 references Ignore this thread
Putin's Gauntlet
[Comments enabled]

Putin gave a speech and the media is all a-twitter over it.

"To those who allow themselves such statements regarding Russia, I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate components and more modern than those of NATO countries, and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal," Putin said in a Wednesday address.

"It's not a bluff," he added.

Do recall that Russia is not the USSR.  Unlike Stalin there are now constraints that are in fact quite-democratic; in fact Putin is constrained by the Duma, which must pass laws to enable his acts and power.  We may well disagree with the determinations of the legislature there just as we might with regard to Mexico, Canada or France but what's unmistakable is that said power is in fact delegated, not predicated on dictatorship or monarchy.

In other words Putin is not Hitler, nor is he Stalin.  He might, however, be somewhat akin to Xi.

There are referenda being taken in one and part of a second province of eastern Ukraine as I write this.  These are areas of the nation that historically, before Ukraine was "spun off", were Russian.  The people there identify as Russian and the land shares a border with Russia.  In the case of Crimea it was literally purchased by Russia long before the USSR (an "agglomeration" of lands) existed.

I have, as you might expect, plenty of questions about the legitimacy of said polling; is it truly free in that it expresses the will of the people in these parts of the nation?  I don't know the answer to that but what I do know is that if the people of a land have the right of self-determination when it comes to their government that extends, with certainty, to them choosing to ally themselves with a government that happens to be immediately-adjacent on one of the sides of the land in question.

You either stand on this principle, without which The United States has no right to exist or you don't:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Therefore the limits of said inquiry are whether the referendum was in fact representative -- that is, is it fraudulent or was it freely taken among the people of said land?  That's the beginning and end of it, and if it was freely taken and results in said people choosing to be Russian in terms of their legal identity then the expelled government is in fact an unlawful occupier unless they immediately and peacefully depart.

If someone forcibly invades your land then whatever you must do to expel them is just.

Everyone lies during war, and virtually everyone who wants a war lies too.  All the time.  One cannot take anything from parties with a vested interest in the outcome as having any veracity whatsoever without strict proof, which is almost impossible to obtain due to active obstruction.  As a result I cannot offer an opinion as to whether these votes are just or not and neither can anyone else.

But what we must ask ourselves is whether we, as the United States, are willing to commit our nation including both material and treasure to enforce another nation's demand that people live under their rule who do not wish to be so because there is a very real argument that in fact that is going on right now.

Should we not first determine if indeed any such claim is in fact legitimate or manufactured nonsense before we offer said commitment?

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Whitehat 10k posts, incept 2017-06-27
2022-09-22 08:03:37

We have to accept the fact that our country's chief executive is possibly mad/demented and a threat to our well being. This being said there is the argument that we are dealing with his supporters also of deranged mind and/or manipulating him for their own ends.

Mentally ill and possessed of a corrupt nature seem to define leaders who bring their countries to bad ends. Russia is no stranger to this; i.e. Stalin was as mentally sick as he was evil, including his cadre of supporters.

This message must be repeated often and spread far and wide. Only then can the forces of accountability wake up and start addressing the matter.

It is very possible that the Russians know this to a greater degree than our own people. They might be playing along in the hopes that we wake up if the threat seems real and dangerous to a significant degree.

smiley Je souhaite
Prof_dilligaf 398 posts, incept 2021-09-02
2022-09-22 09:16:27

But what we must ask ourselves is whether we, as the United States, are willing to commit our nation including both material and treasure to enforce another nation's demand that people live under their rule who do not wish to be so

The US has been doing so since at least the turn of the last century, down in the banana republics, and has continued to do so through the likes of Operation Ajax and the various "low-intensity" wars the Empire That Lies always seems to have ready to fire up when needed.

The question is, will they ever stop? An epochal inflection point is upon us, and I expect those with the power will make the worst choice, as they always do. But in the past, there's never really been the option for Global Thermonuclear War, so the past isn't (hopefully) prologue.
Neal 193 posts, incept 2014-01-09
2022-09-22 09:16:27

It is a certainty that the vote will be for joining Russia. Im sure there are many irregularities such as pro Ukraine and ethnic Ukrainians from those regions will not have voted as they fled west to Ukraine proper or to take refuge in the EU. But with those regions being predominantly ethnic Russians, and with Russia being much better off economically than Ukraine, the result will be an honest reflection of the will of the locals.
BTW how would it be even possible to truly verify who Is entitled to vote considering that the Ukraine once had 50 million people and now has under 30 million? Do the 10 million plus now in Russia and the EU and elsewhere get to vote if they have some connection to Eastern Ukraine? Likely only those currently there get to vote so that there are millions disinfranchised will be used to discredit the result.
Jack_crabb 15k posts, incept 2010-06-25
2022-09-22 09:16:27

Gotta pull this one out again:


Molon Labe
Where is Henry Bowman when you need him?
How many are willing to pledge this? We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor
Dcsleeper 596 posts, incept 2012-10-11
2022-09-22 09:16:27

Whadya want?
Facts and adherence to them?

Silly rabbit
Frat 11k posts, incept 2009-07-15
2022-09-22 09:16:27

@Tickerguy wrote..
Should we not first determine if indeed any such claim is in fact legitimate or manufactured nonsense before we offer said commitment?

But if we were to do that, however could politicians from both of our political parties - including and especially the current (p)resident and his entire family - continue to fleece said nation and steal the foreign aid funded by our tax dollars?!

Or... is that part of the point? Ah, I see what you did there.

We're fucked. There will be no happy ending here; there is no going back to 'normal.'. There are only bad outcomes and worse outcomes. And we don't get to choose those, either.
Mooreupp 772 posts, incept 2007-10-31
2022-09-22 09:30:48

I am more pro-Ukrainian on this board than most (in a war sense; I don't like either governemnt). I have seen a lot more that has convinced me that there is not widespread support for this in eastern Ukraine than that there is (although agree every one has an angle and I cannot completely trust that conclusion).

All that said, cost/benefit analysis must still be used and our response is terrible no matter what you believe about what is right or wrong. Turning the dollar into a weapon hurts the US a lot more outside a very limited time frame and was insane.

Even if supplying some weapons was justified, Russia has already paid a heavy price here and a full mobilization is going to eventually get them their objectives. Continuing to go near all in after they start drafting, is going to result in Europe freezing and increase the chance this becomes something more without likely changing the odds all that much. I can understand arguments to help in ways till now, but Putin is already in a corner, don't make him desperate and open to choices we don't want him to make.

The Constitution is the law. It is not, and was never meant to be a "living document."
Ocdawg 345 posts, incept 2019-03-14
2022-09-22 09:38:03

Faux News had a report yesterday... State Department intel that Putin gambled the world would be very against invading Ukraine but after a lot of noise and chest thumping, it would all die down and no one would ultimately act against him. But that was predicated on a 2-4 week "war"... we just passed 7 months

Now, as for Gampy Shit Pants' UN speech... whatever the Hell he was slurring about...

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didnt exist. -Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects
Njca 215 posts, incept 2018-10-16
2022-09-22 10:01:26

What happens when Ukraine's attacks on former breakaway republics becomes attacks on newly acquired, or perhaps reacquired, Russian terrority?
Tickerguy 188k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-09-22 10:03:42

Well that is exactly the problem @Njca; if those referenda pass then quite-arguably any further aggression by Ukraine is an attack on Russian soil.

NASA faked out a computer instead of running the test.
Then tried to launch and aborted instead of going "BOOOM!"
Did they abort the JABS after faking THOSE tests?
Jayhawk 53 posts, incept 2010-08-20
2022-09-22 10:13:24

Two areas of Ukraine have already voted to join the Russian Federation and were denied. The reason for their denial was the shit storm that occurred when Crimea was admitted in the same manner as is being discussed now. The plan at that time was to work out a deal with Ukraine that would grant those oblasts a degree of autonomy and self government. Ukraine did not maintain that agreement and threatened to subdue the regions by military force.

I don't agree that it is our responsibility not to accept the process until we can establish that it was a valid vote, but to accept the vote and honor the process unless it can be definitely shown that it was staged by inimical forces.
Flappingeagle 4k posts, incept 2011-04-14
2022-09-22 10:13:38

That's the funny thing about LAND. The LAND has been there so long that 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, groups can all claim it as "theirs" because either they live on it now or some ancestor of theirs lived there 100, 300, 500,2000,... years ago.


Here are my predictions for everyone to see:
S&P 500 at 320, DOW at 2200, Gold $300/oz, and Corn $2/bu.
No sign that housing, equities, or farmland are in a bubble- Yellen 11/14/13
Trying to leave
Tickerguy 188k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-09-22 10:14:14

Oh you mean sort of like this?

NASA faked out a computer instead of running the test.
Then tried to launch and aborted instead of going "BOOOM!"
Did they abort the JABS after faking THOSE tests?
Bakerv 855 posts, incept 2021-04-21
2022-09-22 10:14:42

"but Putin is already in a corner"

This is how bad decisions are made, believing this kind of stuff.
Veeger 669 posts, incept 2013-02-13
2022-09-22 10:17:16


I'll go with the latter


or manipulating him for their own ends.

The coup happened mid 2020 when all the other Dem candidates withdrew over one weekend.

As for Russia? He cannot afford to lose/back down now. The Law of Unintended Consequences is in full play. Not just for Putin but even more so for Europe and the US

There's no avoiding a bad outcome for us 'little people'. Bend over and grab your ankles. Here it comes.

I remember the Diamond Princess.

Slowly at first, then all of a sudden.
Iou 1k posts, incept 2009-03-16
2022-09-22 10:27:25

The propaganda out of the west regarding Ukraine is a joke. They want to continue sending "Aid" so they can continue to line their own pockets. How many times are we going to let them get away with this shit? WAKE THE FUCK UP!

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies
Twainfan2 996 posts, incept 2018-12-04
2022-09-22 10:27:30

Still don't think any of it is our business. Let them settle their own disputes. Shitler should go back to his basement and take his entire administration with him until those nations settle it on their own.
Jdough 218 posts, incept 2012-05-04
2022-09-22 10:27:40

Njca said:
What happens when Ukraine's attacks on former breakaway republics becomes attacks on newly acquired, or perhaps reacquired, Russian territory?

That's the big question. My take is Putin's plan is this:

1. Annex the currently occupied territories to Russia and declare them under the nuclear deterrent umbrella
2. Bring the newly called up reservists in as an occupation / defensive army
3. Declare the Special Operation complete and a success

The problem is that by all appearances Ukraine has seized the initiative in the war and I don't think they or their western backers will want to stop pressing, they will want to test this red line. What is the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times". Yeah

America is a third world country with iPhones - Anonymous
Buckywon 28 posts, incept 2019-01-16
2022-09-22 10:29:12


This is what happens smiley
Dbigkahunna 382 posts, incept 2010-01-10
2022-09-22 10:36:53

I am rather agnostic toward either side seeing as there is NO United States overriding interest in this kerfuffle. For the 40+ Billion dollars we have invested so far, what do we get from it?
Would our world be any different if Russia had taken what they believe is theirs and the world went on its way? But the ruling class brings up Hitler and him not being stopped at the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, Austria ad nauseum. The ruling class believes Putin has dibs on all of Europe.
Does he?
I dunno.
But the way he has acted in the past on other border issues makes me think not. And if this was strictly about energy, there are other former Soviet republics that would be better targets than Ukraine. What does Russia have to gain realistically that will improve their country and economy if they take the whole Ukraine? I can see some incremental improvements, but nothing that cost the blood and treasure that is being expended.

Blessed, Grateful and Living a Dream
Davinci 52 posts, incept 2021-10-12
2022-09-22 10:47:23

The other piece of the narrative I don't buy is that if the West allows Putin to win in Ukraine, then he will keep moving west into Europe. Not buying it.
Scottj175 561 posts, incept 2010-09-06
2022-09-22 10:47:27

Don't roast me if I'm oversimplifying but didn't our position change with regard to self-determination of government in the 1860s?
Tickerguy 188k posts, incept 2007-06-26
2022-09-22 10:48:05

I'm perfectly fine with the Founder's answer to anyone taking that position.

NASA faked out a computer instead of running the test.
Then tried to launch and aborted instead of going "BOOOM!"
Did they abort the JABS after faking THOSE tests?
Hapie 258 posts, incept 2020-07-25
2022-09-22 11:03:40

Ukraine is just a battle ground, like Afghanistan once was between USSR and USA.
Or, Vietnam once was between China and USA.

However, the current war for domination of Ukraine is between Russia and the Globalists. The USA ceased to exist as a nation after the current puppet was installed at the white house. And so did Ukraine after USA installed their own puppet government in Ukraine.

As per history, Afghanis somehow threw out both, USSR first and later a far more persistent USA. Vietnam was another loss for the USA.

The current war in Ukraine will determine whether or not the Globalists can continue with their onslaught and tyranny on all of humanity.

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