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Machjo

Your views on Russia?

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Though I don't agree with the annexation of Crimea, I can still understand the complexities of the situation. Prior to the annexation, protests in Kiev had gotten so far out of control that protesters were starting to occupy ministry headquarters while western politicians condemned the government for its use of force.

Now let's put this in perspective for a moment. Imagine downtown Washington DC in flames and protesters burning police cars and the Department of the Interior. Any objective viewer would conclude that the protesters, having taken control of a federal building of that importance, had reached the point of posing a genuine revolutionary threat to the survival of the state. Now imagine based on this reasonable assessment that congress declares a state of emergency and martial law and gives the military the authority to use lethal force to regain control of central government administrative offices.

Now imagine that the EU condemns this and that some members of the the European Parliament (think John Baird in Kiev's streets) come to visit Washington DC to show their support for these revolutionaries posing a genuine threat to the stability of the state and condemn the state's use of force against them as if they were just peaceful protesters. Add to that that Russia, the most powerful country in the world, has military bases stationed in Mexico and Cuba and has long expressed a certain aggressiveness towards Canada, and the revolutionaries want to join the EU which is essentially Russian-led for all intents and purposes.

Now imagine that Canada is militarily far more powerful than the US but not Russia and the EU, that New York State had long been a part of Canada before it later became a part of the United States, and most New Yorkers have long identified themselves as culturally Canadian. Now imagine that there are a few other pockets of ethnic Canadians living across parts of the northern US, that ethnic Americans have long treated ethnic Canadians in the US as second-class citizens, and as the political situation worsens, these ethnic Canadians start to worry for their safety and so start to organize to separate from the US to join Canada.

Canada, expressing concern for the rapidly deteriorating situation along its border and Russian and other European leaders cheering it on, decides to annex New York State after the state calls a quick referendum.

Now it may be that Canada would have long dreamed of retaking  New York State and just saw this as their pretext to do so. Canada would most certainly be wrong to do this. But at the same,  we'd need to understand the Canadian situation. Firstly, the US would essentially have been facing a rising revolution (and no, not just a minor protest but a violent revolution) in the streets of Washington DC that would have been falling out of control and that would already have spread like wildfire across the entire northern US along the US-Canada border with ethnic Canadians already organizing themselves militarily. European leaders would have come to Washington DC's streets to cheer the revolutionaries (and I'm sorry, but once they start burning police cars and federal  buildings, they're not just protesters anymore), and the US president would already have sought refuge in Canada. In that context, while we could disagree with Canada's actions, we could also understand them. Canada would be wrong and would deserve universal condemnation. But at the same time, how could we ignore the will of New Yorkers? It still wouldn't be an excuse to illegally annex New York of course. And if the referendum was rushed, it could warrant at least another internationally-monitored referendum, and even then Canada would still have been wrong in annexing New York State even with the will of the New Yorkers themselves without the consent of the government in Washington DC.

 

So I'm not saying that it would have been right to annex New York State or that Canada would not have deserved universal condemnation in such a scenario. What I am saying though is that Russian and other European politicians and anti-Canadian revolutionaries in the streets of Washington DC  would have provoked Canada into doing this. If I punch you just as you are about to punch me, that might constitute legitimate self defense. If I punch you after you've already punched me and started to walk away, that's assault since you no longer posed a threat to me at the time that I punched you, but you still would have to accept responsibility for having provoked me. In the same way, while we can certainly condemn Russia's actions, we cannot deny that we provoked Russia into that action, and so we too need to accept equal responsibility for the Russian annexation of Crimea.

So while we accept Russia's culpability, we need to acknowledge ours too. With that, let's not cast the first stone, accept that we messed up by provoking Russia into this action, and re-establish friendly relations with Russia.

 

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I'll just add. If revolutionaries were burning cars and occupying and burning government ministry buildings in Ottawa, I can guarantee you that Canada would have done the exact same thing the Ukrainian government had done in re-impose law and order through the use of lethal force. That governments were criticizing the Ukrainian government for the use of force against active revolutionaries taking over government headquarters made those governments look like fools. Any government with some sense would understand the gravity of the situation once revolutionaries start burning police cars and government ministry headquarters in the capital. We were fools to condemn the Ukrainian government in such a situation.

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How timely.  We were just discussing this very thing at lunch today.  One of my now deceased friends and director of one of our US companies was a key man (actually THE key man) for an international institution in Moscow when Garby opened things up.  I got to vicariously experience Russia for the first 5 years of perestroika and glasnost and have some sense of just how badly Russians regarded Kruschev screwing around with the Crimea in the first place.   It was seen as a sign of extreme weakness and betrayal to yield territory.   I have also been for a while running all over Ukraine in those years, and can tell you that in the East, it was a VERY Russian place in language and culture.  We needed a translator to facilitate the Ukrainian speakers among us.

I regard Russia as nothing more than a vastly more powerful, wealthy and dangerous version of some of the most corrupt places on Earth.  Nigeria and Venezuela have nothing on it.  The big difference is that Putin absolutely understands the Russian respect for "strong man" leadership and is sufficiently ruthless to carry out whatever it takes to have unfettered personal access to its vast resources.  That includes taking back Crimea - that has historically been THE main Russian Black Sea access.

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19 minutes ago, cannuck said:

How timely.  We were just discussing this very thing at lunch today.  One of my now deceased friends and director of one of our US companies was a key man (actually THE key man) for an international institution in Moscow when Garby opened things up.  I got to vicariously experience Russia for the first 5 years of perestroika and glasnost and have some sense of just how badly Russians regarded Kruschev screwing around with the Crimea in the first place.   It was seen as a sign of extreme weakness and betrayal to yield territory.   I have also been for a while running all over Ukraine in those years, and can tell you that in the East, it was a VERY Russian place in language and culture.  We needed a translator to facilitate the Ukrainian speakers among us.

I regard Russia as nothing more than a vastly more powerful, wealthy and dangerous version of some of the most corrupt places on Earth.  Nigeria and Venezuela have nothing on it.  The big difference is that Putin absolutely understands the Russian respect for "strong man" leadership and is sufficiently ruthless to carry out whatever it takes to have unfettered personal access to its vast resources.  That includes taking back Crimea - that has historically been THE main Russian Black Sea access.

So however much responsibility Russia must accept for its illegal annexation of Crimea, do you think Canada and other Western countries that were cheering on revolutionaries in the streets of Kiev and condemning the Ukrainian government's legitimate use of lethal force under the circumstances to re-impose law and order, to be equally responsible for having provoked Russia to this action?

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I wouldn't say provoked the action, but I would say that they gave Putin the perfect excuse to help Putin excuse/justify his actions.   I have never met Uncle Vlad, but since I have been privy to some of the earlier goings on, my theory on him is that he is a student of Stalin - not in the Marxist sense, but in the strong-man sense.  You have to give him credit: he managed to rule with as tight a grip as Joe with only a tiny fraction of a percent of the number of people being disposed of along the way.  He has to know the behind-the-scenes story of Russian history, and would thus realize the importance of the Crimea to the people - and indeed to the economy of Mother Russia.

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22 hours ago, Machjo said:

So however much responsibility Russia must accept for its illegal annexation of Crimea, do you think Canada and other Western countries that were cheering on revolutionaries in the streets of Kiev and condemning the Ukrainian government's legitimate use of lethal force under the circumstances to re-impose law and order, to be equally responsible for having provoked Russia to this action?

You're leaving out that the reason for the demonstrations was that Russia bribed the then president to move Ukraine away from its intended economic pacts with Europe and closer into Russia's sphere of influence, aren't you? Ukraine had only recently become independent. Its people were not interested in becoming a Russian client state again.

As for my "views on Russia" I think of Russia as a third world shithole filled with ignorant drunken peasants run by murderous kleptocratic oligarchs who may as well be referred to as a group of organized crime bosses. Everything in the country is backward (including its social development) except for its military. 

Edited by Argus

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Russia has an extraordinary history of cultural, scientific and technological achievement and there’s no reason why Russians couldn’t enjoy a standard of living similar to Europeans or Canadians if they had better political institutions. As Nemtsov observed (before he was shot), corruption is a problem even in Sweden but in Russia it’s the system. Xenophobia and military conflicts are used to distract attention from the dishonesty and incompetence of those in charge. 

Edited by SpankyMcFarland

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12 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Russia has an extraordinary history of cultural, scientific and technological achievement a

Russian scientific and technological achievement over the past fifty or sixty years seem to mostly be related the huge amount of money they've put into military research and development. Aside from that they're pretty much an empty page.

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13 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Russia has an extraordinary history of cultural, scientific and technological achievement and there’s no reason why Russians couldn’t enjoy a standard of living similar to Europeans or Canadians if they had better political institutions. As Nemtsov observed (before he was shot), corruption is a problem even in Sweden but in Russia it’s the system. Xenophobia and military conflicts are used to distract attention from the dishonesty and incompetence of those in charge. 

I tend to agree with much of your post. I recall my Russian/Soviet history prof at university, who had spent time studying in Moscow and who admired Russian culture, lamenting the fact that throughout its history Russia was prone to top-down governance that undermined its potential. And that was well prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He believed that the Soviet Union constituted a weak state beyond Russia proper and felt it was likely to dissolve in the face of a major crisis. He got that right. I wonder what he'd think about Putin's regime? My guess is that he'd be dismayed but not surprised. It's interesting that the Chinese have been able to develop a system that somewhat successfully combines a form of productive capitalism with autocracy, which the Russians haven't been able to emulate.

Edited by turningrite

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I never liked Russia. They were brutal even to their own people sending millions to Siberia not to mention occupation of half of Europe for 50 years and military invasions against whoever tried to become independent. Not to mention more recent adventures like invasion of Afghanistan and Ukraine and bombardment of civilian tergets in Syria as recent as a few months ago in order to prop up murderous regime of Assad and their support for murderous regime of Iran.

Russia has been under many dictatorships and I have met many Russians in my life and I find them not classy and very selfish and money oriented. Russia as oppose to USA has done much harm to the world. Their only industry are those related to military for killings and space for showing off but none else. Even in military hardware they are no match for western military like tanks and fighter jets. In summary I love USA and Canada and I hate Russia.

Edited by CITIZEN_2015
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On 7/4/2018 at 9:25 PM, Machjo said:

Russia, the most powerful country in the world,

Now wait a minute, I don't remember uncle Sam raising the white flag. I take offense to that, you're making my American flag tattoo on my buttocks itch with patriotism ...We kick russian,iranian, chinese,north korean ass anywhere in the world. Git Sum!!! Muricah!

Russia and China are "near peer" competitors, most analyst believe they are still 10 years behind the US on war fighting capabilities. 

Anyways, look as far as ukraine is concern they are legitimately looking to adopt the western Democratic model. That's something we should be proud of and encourage not shy away because of a bully wanting to fight dirty. America has and always will fight for what's right. We are the fist of democracy and will shove freedom down their russian necks. We are absolutely un-appolgetic about that.

Edited by paxrom

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On 7/4/2018 at 7:25 PM, Machjo said:

Though I don't agree with the annexation of Crimea, I can still understand the complexities of the situation. Prior to the annexation, protests in Kiev had gotten so far out of control that protesters were starting to occupy ministry headquarters while western politicians condemned the government for its use of force.

Now let's put this in perspective for a moment. Imagine downtown Washington DC in flames and protesters burning police cars and the Department of the Interior. Any objective viewer would conclude that the protesters, having taken control of a federal building of that importance, had reached the point of posing a genuine revolutionary threat to the survival of the state. Now imagine based on this reasonable assessment that congress declares a state of emergency and martial law and gives the military the authority to use lethal force to regain control of central government administrative offices.

Now imagine that the EU condemns this and that some members of the the European Parliament (think John Baird in Kiev's streets) come to visit Washington DC to show their support for these revolutionaries posing a genuine threat to the stability of the state and condemn the state's use of force against them as if they were just peaceful protesters. Add to that that Russia, the most powerful country in the world, has military bases stationed in Mexico and Cuba and has long expressed a certain aggressiveness towards Canada, and the revolutionaries want to join the EU which is essentially Russian-led for all intents and purposes.

Now imagine that Canada is militarily far more powerful than the US but not Russia and the EU, that New York State had long been a part of Canada before it later became a part of the United States, and most New Yorkers have long identified themselves as culturally Canadian. Now imagine that there are a few other pockets of ethnic Canadians living across parts of the northern US, that ethnic Americans have long treated ethnic Canadians in the US as second-class citizens, and as the political situation worsens, these ethnic Canadians start to worry for their safety and so start to organize to separate from the US to join Canada.

Canada, expressing concern for the rapidly deteriorating situation along its border and Russian and other European leaders cheering it on, decides to annex New York State after the state calls a quick referendum.

Now it may be that Canada would have long dreamed of retaking  New York State and just saw this as their pretext to do so. Canada would most certainly be wrong to do this. But at the same,  we'd need to understand the Canadian situation. Firstly, the US would essentially have been facing a rising revolution (and no, not just a minor protest but a violent revolution) in the streets of Washington DC that would have been falling out of control and that would already have spread like wildfire across the entire northern US along the US-Canada border with ethnic Canadians already organizing themselves militarily. European leaders would have come to Washington DC's streets to cheer the revolutionaries (and I'm sorry, but once they start burning police cars and federal  buildings, they're not just protesters anymore), and the US president would already have sought refuge in Canada. In that context, while we could disagree with Canada's actions, we could also understand them. Canada would be wrong and would deserve universal condemnation. But at the same time, how could we ignore the will of New Yorkers? It still wouldn't be an excuse to illegally annex New York of course. And if the referendum was rushed, it could warrant at least another internationally-monitored referendum, and even then Canada would still have been wrong in annexing New York State even with the will of the New Yorkers themselves without the consent of the government in Washington DC.

 

So I'm not saying that it would have been right to annex New York State or that Canada would not have deserved universal condemnation in such a scenario. What I am saying though is that Russian and other European politicians and anti-Canadian revolutionaries in the streets of Washington DC  would have provoked Canada into doing this. If I punch you just as you are about to punch me, that might constitute legitimate self defense. If I punch you after you've already punched me and started to walk away, that's assault since you no longer posed a threat to me at the time that I punched you, but you still would have to accept responsibility for having provoked me. In the same way, while we can certainly condemn Russia's actions, we cannot deny that we provoked Russia into that action, and so we too need to accept equal responsibility for the Russian annexation of Crimea.

So while we accept Russia's culpability, we need to acknowledge ours too. With that, let's not cast the first stone, accept that we messed up by provoking Russia into this action, and re-establish friendly relations with Russia.

 

Using biological weapons to kill people in an allied nation says you’re wrong,

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12 hours ago, Argus said:

Russian scientific and technological achievement over the past fifty or sixty years seem to mostly be related the huge amount of money they've put into military research and development. Aside from that they're pretty much an empty page.

Communism and authoritarianism tend to do that. Look at the 19’th century, a blizzard of achievement especially in literature and music from almost a standing start. Compare with Canada’s sparse collection of genuine stars in these areas. Then there’s chess as well and the Periodic Table. There’s no reason why Russians shouldn’t be as prosperous as Canadians. Indeed every Russian should be indignant about this wealth gap on a daily basis. 

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1 hour ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Communism and authoritarianism tend to do that. Look at the 19’th century, a blizzard of achievement especially in literature and music from almost a standing start. Compare with Canada’s sparse collection of genuine stars in these areas. Then there’s chess as well and the Periodic Table. There’s no reason why Russians shouldn’t be as prosperous as Canadians. Indeed every Russian should be indignant about this wealth gap on a daily basis. 

Because with an authoritarian model, there is no incentives for feedback. Hence the political system is stagnant.

Edited by paxrom

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19 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

Communism and authoritarianism tend to do that. Look at the 19’th century, a blizzard of achievement especially in literature and music from almost a standing start. Compare with Canada’s sparse collection of genuine stars in these areas. Then there’s chess as well and the Periodic Table. There’s no reason why Russians shouldn’t be as prosperous as Canadians. Indeed every Russian should be indignant about this wealth gap on a daily basis. 

You have to go back two centuries to talk about Russian scientific achievement? Yeah, Canada's was pretty sparse in the freaking 19th century, given there weren't a lot of people here and damn few universities.. Even today they have over four times our population (but a smaller GDP). But the place is a hole. Crappy, run down Soviet era buildings with a sprinkling of modern palaces built by corrupt oligarchs. Its people are, more often than not, ignorant drunken peasants who admire people like Putin because "He's a real man!", and are incredibly chauvinistic towards anyone not Russian. They seem to be perfectly content to live in a shithole as long as its a militarily powerful shithole that can bully other countries.

 

 

Edited by Argus

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Russia has contributed far more to western literature, art, science, and engineering than Canada has....sorry, but that's the historic reality.

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2 hours ago, Argus said:

You have to go back two centuries to talk about Russian scientific achievement? Yeah, Canada's was pretty sparse in the freaking 19th century, given there weren't a lot of people here and damn few universities.. Even today they have over four times our population (but a smaller GDP). But the place is a hole. Crappy, run down Soviet era buildings with a sprinkling of modern palaces built by corrupt oligarchs. Its people are, more often than not, ignorant drunken peasants who admire people like Putin because "He's a real man!", and are incredibly chauvinistic towards anyone not Russian. They seem to be perfectly content to live in a shithole as long as its a militarily powerful shithole that can bully other countries.

 

 

I don't have to go back that far, of course. One of the 20'th century's greatest writers in English, Vladimir Nabokov, was a reluctant exile from Russia and, in the present day, any country would be proud to have produced a mathematician of Grigori Perelman's stature. Anybody who has major surgery will probably benefit from stapling technology pioneered in the Soviet Union and orthopaedic limb lengthening was entirely developed there:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavriil_Ilizarov

The 19'th century was picked merely as an example to show what Russia could do with a modest amount of feeedom - in one hundred years produce a body of literature to rival that of France and better classical music than Britain ever managed. Its military and technological achievements even under communism were impressive - Zhukov was probably the best general the Allies had and the space program was an incredible achievement - but other areas inevitably suffered.

Russia is indeed far poorer than Canada at the moment but that's testament to its deplorable political and administrative class. There's no reason why such a situation should be permanent any more than Eastern Europe was doomed to poverty forever. Young Russians are waking up to their plight and asking why they have to emigrate to be as successful as Sergey Brin. 

Edited by SpankyMcFarland

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10 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

Russia has contributed far more to western literature, art, science, and engineering than Canada has....sorry, but that's the historic reality.

Yes they are contributing as we speak. Bombing civilains in Syria and they have contributed a lot in the past too. Military and political occupation of half Europe, military invasions of Afghanistan, Hungry and Zchekoslavakia killing of civilains in Chechnya not to mention taling territories from weaker countries for many centuries by military force.

It appears in every occasion you attack Canada. What the hell are you doing here on a Canadian forum? But to response to your statement, you are comparing two countries Canada and Russia the latter having centuries of (bloody) history whereas the former being a new and modern democracy and the latter having 5 times the population.

Edited by CITIZEN_2015

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27 minutes ago, CITIZEN_2015 said:

....It appears in every occasion you attack Canada. What the hell are you doing here on a Canadian forum? But to response to your statement, you are comparing two countries Canada and Russia the latter having centuries of (bloody) history whereas the former being a new and modern democracy and the latter having 5 times the population.

 

History is not an attack....certainly Canada has made contributions too, but it is just ignorant to say that Russia has not.   Both Canadian and Russian immigrants have also done well in the United States.

More Russians died fighting Germany than Americans and Canadians combined during WW2.

 

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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People have the idea that if you get rid of Putin and his regime then there would be some nice and democratic regime taking over.

Unfortunately, if Putin goes he may be replaced by someone who would make us miss Putin.

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I tend to agree with the sentiment that if Putin goes we cannot expect a miracle.

Look the problem with Russia today is that there is corruption at every level almost embedded in their culture. No one can change such system dramatically. Equally, we cannot just remain oblivious to their contributions. Whether it is art, music or medicine.

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If the people there are tremendously unhappy with the way things are, they can change it. 

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Russia is just another country with a bloody history. Nowadays they are busy with massacring civilians in Syria.

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On 7/6/2018 at 2:54 PM, CITIZEN_2015 said:

 Russia as oppose to USA has done much harm to the world.

Russia does not have the projection via multiple military bases on the USA's border.  The opposite is true.

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5 minutes ago, Altai said:

Russia is just another country with a bloody history. Nowadays they are busy with massacring civilians in Syria.

The USA has done enough there as well. Because the reaction to an alleged (and not even vetted) gas attack on civilians is to send cruise missiles into the nation. Destruction and death is a response to destruction and death.

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