T Nation

Geopolitical Catch-all


#61

Order is really important. Yanukovich wasn’t impeached and then chose to flee. After Yanukovich and his supporters fled the capital due to the violence, those remaining in the capital chose to impeach him citing non-existent provisions of the constitution. It’s a pretty basic case of winning the fight and then writing the history.

I’m not trying to argue that the Ukraine issue is cut and dry. There is actually a ton of gray area. I just fail to see a clear objective difference between Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the interventionist policies of the US implemented in Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa. If Mexico had a civil war, you can’t really expect we’d sit on the sidelines and let “democracy” take its course. We love democracy so long as they vote for the right people.

There is a fundamental historical difference between the relationship between Russia and Ukraine and between Russia and, for instance, Estonia.

But Putin didn’t destabilize Ukraine. It would make no sense if he did. The government pre-Maidan was very pro-Putin. Why would he try to destabilize it?

No. But I appreciate that you would prefer to make assumptions about who I am rather than address the substance of the topic.

Georgian forces invaded Southern Ossetia, an area that they claim to already have sovreignty over. That’s pretty stable…


#62

Because Yanukovich, egged on by future Trump’s advisor Manafort, narrowly won the election on a clear pro-EU platform and the promised signing of the EU Association Agreement.

Then he was suddenly summoned to Moscow (where in a show of strength Putin made him wait three hours) and ordered to renege on the agreement and sign Ukraine’s accession to Eurasian Union a.k.a the Russian World. So the quisling, visibly uncomfortable on TV, meekly acquiesced. No wonder he soon lost his nerve and fled.

And the Ukrainian people had enough and took to the streets. They weren’t dumb, they’ve seen what happened to the GDP of countries like Estonia and Poland after the breakup of the USSR and how countries fare when they’re out of the Russian sphere of influence.

And not wanting to become another Armenia, the people rebelled. Unfortunately for Putin and Yanukovich, Berkut riot police wasn’t enough to quell the unrest so Russians from Russia proper started pouring in on Putin’s orders. Future DNR/LPR warlords such as Arsen Pavlov aka Motorola came from Russia and made their first appearance on the streets of Kiev in violent clashes with the protesters.

In the spring 2014 supposedly “pro-Russian” east of Ukraine and Donetsk in particular saw massive pro-western protests who were quickly dispersed by thugs from Russia (titushki) wielding guns, knives and baseball bats, wounding and killing scores.

So much for Kremlin narrative about Eastern Ukraine siding unanimously with “Yanukovich and the democratically elected government”.

So in short, everything you said is bullshit, and the false equivalency with US actions is a dead giveaway. You didn’t answer my question - is it cold?


#63

There’s a veritable cottage industry in Russia catering for washed up US celebrities. If you are ready to shit on the US in general and preferably drop the n-word when mentioning President Obama, you’ll be taken care of - a modest monthly salary, an attractive girlfriend… And a false impression that you (still) matter.

Whether you’re a former B movie star engaging in a very unsettling performance with Europe’s last dictator - Belorussian Lukashenko :

Or a failed MMA fighter who discovers the wonders of communism:


#64

[quote=“loppar, post:62, topic:222407, full:true”]

Не знаю. Я в бостоне. А почему ты спрашиваешь про санкт петербург?

As for the rest, I retain a healthy skepticism about the American media’s reports on the happenings in Eastern Europe. I’ve been for myself and seen that much of what you can read in the news doesn’t match what is happening on the ground.


#65

I’m asking because your username is a slightly corrupted slang word for peasant/redneck (selyak), therefore I’m not buying the Boston angle.


#66

@loppar
What’s the word locally (Europe) on US troops and mechanized in Poland? Not a huge force, but not like only a few observers either.

Sure Russia is not happy, but wondered about Nato.


#67

To quote one German journalist: “You know the feeling we’ve had for the last fifty years or so, that the world’s greatest power is our friend? Well, enjoy it for the next few days because it ends on Friday”

Everybody is obsessively counting every US soldier and MBTs on the ground, Poles are out in droves waving American flags and taking pictures with US soldiers and equipment but the general feeling is “fuck, we’re all on our own from Friday”

Don’t get me wrong, Poland for example has a superb army with over 100k men under arms , but those few hundred soldiers are invaluable in terms of showing US commitment to the Transatlantic alliance, something that has been taken for granted (obviously too much) for the last five decades.

So politicians and soldiers are scrambling to find an adequate response, even thinking about creating a mini-NATO without the US, while every positive comment from the President-Elect about Putin sends a collective chill down everybody’s spines.

Or to quote word-for-word my brother who did two tours in Afghanistan: “I’ve been shot at by the fucking Taliban because the Americans asked to come to that fucking shithole of a country to show our loyalty and now we’re Trump’s fucking first-date gift to his Russian boyfriend”


#68

Yes, I created a username here 5 years ago, posted videos from my workouts and competitions (in the US), and have commented and discussed a wide range of topics on T-nation all leading up to my master plan of raising doubts about the validity of criticism of Russian actions in Ukraine. You figured me out. I should have chosen a better user name.
.


#69

There is a whole list of celebrities I love to send to Russia: Cher, Amy Schumer, and Lena dunham for starters. Any asshole celebrity who was arrogant enough to believe their idle threats would influence a single American vote, can leave.


#70

Hey @loppar. I didn’t see you answer my question and I am genuinely curious. Since you have been to Iran and felt it’s pulse. Do you think an economic surge is enough for the people to turn a blind eye to they tyranny of their government that they are currently pressuring. Would a Rolls Royce in every driveway quiet the storm?


#71

Sorry, missed this one…

First of all, there are already Rolls Royces in Tehran. Mostly for rich kids of the regime’s elite, naturally. In Iran the line between entrepreneurs and politicians is very blurry, if not nonexistent.

It’s a country of staggering inequality, with urban middle and upper class kids just a few yards from beggars and junkies. There are A LOT of junkies in Iran, by the way.

The conservatives, like everywhere else (Trump ahem, ahem), have used this poor countryside vs. urban elites tension for their advantage - and Islam and it’s corresponding penal code is the great equalizer. If you’re a son of some dirt poor pistachio farmer in the south the country, there’s no greater joy that beating or arresting a rich kid for some infraction of the morality laws. It’s not about piousness, it’s about revenge. He’s rich, you’re poor - fuck him, according to their mindset.

That’s why the Religious Police in upper class neighborhoods is always recruited from the poorest peasants.

The countryside is not extracting their revenge through the ballot box, but through the political/religious apparatus.

But the thing is, there are a lot of very, very poor people in Iran, at it’s at the level many people in the West cannot even comprehend. It’s not about not being able to buy something or eating only junk food, it’s about eating, period. These people are not interested in the US, Israel, Syria, the Nuclear Deal or the relaxation of morality laws. They’re worried whether their families will literally starve next week.

If there is someone that can somehow alleviate their condition, they will vote for him - naturally in the confines of the Iranian theocratic quasi-democracy.

And that’s why Ahmadinejad won two terms - not because people bought his foaming-at-the-mouth rhetoric against US and Israel, but because he alleviated somewhat the plight of the poorest classes. And for those wondering whether they’ll have enough to eat tomorrow, that’s the only thing that matters.

Take a look at the contrast between this:

Now, back to your question, would “a Rolls in every driveway” quiet the storm. Not sure. There are already a countries with “a rolls in every driveway” and those are Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia.

Let me explain to you one thing. There’s no “fun” in “Islam”. “Islam” means “submission” and there is literally no way to have fun. I’m not talking about fun like drugs and booze, I’m talking about those small things that we take for granted.

Therefore, there isn’t much to do - there’s a reason why cuisines of Musim countries are filled with absurdly high levels of sugar and caffeine - they’re the only legal stimulants they can use. So in Saudi Arabia, for example, you can eat, buy electronics and pimp your car. Afterwards, you can drive your Hummer or something like that with huge rims, custom paint jobs and extra lights at 10 mph around the block, exchanging compliments through the window with other dudes “Hey, Abdullah, nice rims!”

And all of the people in Iran I’ve met are pissed. The stifling, oppressive atmosphere that forces you to do much of the fun stuff (hanging out with friends, listening to a concert, having a pet) inside your four walls.

Admittedly, things are changing for the better - the regime is making small concessions constantly, coupled with bursts of brutal oppression, but the divide is clear - those that are literally hungry are interested only in their physical survival. Only if these basic needs are met, the average Iranian starts worrying about “luxuries” such as personal freedoms and so on…


#72

Thanks Loppar, I will read the articles when I get a chance.


#73

Ok why isnt this missle test a violation?
Do any know why a missle that could travel 1000 km before exploding, would not be capable of carrying nuclear payload?
I have no idea what necessitates able to deliver conventional vs nuclear warhead.

https://www.ft.com/content/9c4c0eca-e796-11e6-967b-c88452263daf


#74

With Russia so much on our minds, some of you might enjoy this little trip down memory lane.

http://thefederalist.com/2016/07/25/5-times-liberals-mocked-mitt-romney-for-warning-about-russia/


#75

India and China doing the sabre rattling dance.

China really is becoming a menace to its neighbors on all sides. But we have funded it, and allowed them to participate in the monetary and trade organizations like it was no problem.


#76

A current event that captures the thread title…

A Kurdish state seems very likely at this point, its implications spread throughout most current US interests.

A new nation state near the gateway of civilizations is bound to cause some tension. This story has gone severely unreported by the MSM despite its current and log term ramifications. Should be a very interesting geopolitical study if anything.


#77

No. The Iranians are rolling up pockets of Kurdish resistance as we speak. It’s a brilliantly executed blitzkrieg and for now it seems that they may overrun the entire Iraqi Kurdistan killing for the umpteenth time the dream of Kurdish independence.

The US fucked over Kurds once again (honestly, I’ve lost count by now) - they were useful when they were getting killed in droves stopping and eventually pushing back ISIS but now that the ISIS threat has receded they’re being dealt with by their enemies. Only the Israelis have stood by them, but so far only verbally.

I think the MSM couldn’t explain the schizophrenic situation in which US equipped Iranian Quds Guardsmen driving US tanks and US APCs are taking over Kurdistan while the US is effectively blindsided.

Those reports are that come through, mention the “Iraqi Army” fighting the Kurds. Well, the “Iraqi Army” is effectively commanded by this guy:


#78

Solemaini is playing both sides of the conflict, they’re retaking disputed provinces such as Kirkuk to hold their sway over the Iraqi Shiites and keep useful oil rich territory inside Iraq proper. At the same time the IRGC is meeting directly with Peshmerga forces (even telling them how they’ll attack and where) to play mediator. Iran doesn’t want to push a useful partner towards a Arab/Israeli alliance and also has its own Kurdish populace to deal with. That’s why they are exercising restraint and not waging the same type of campaign they did against ISIS. It’s a matter of territory not subjugation at this point

The Kurds have been repeatedly fucked over… by everyone. It sucks but at this point the US didn’t have another decent option. They decided to leave the Kurds on their own rather than alienate Baghdad and Turkey. With ISIS out of the way the US is now refocusing on curbing Iran’s influence over Baghdad (albeit rather ineffectively…)


#79

North Korea - what should be done realistically?

I think Kim and top brass should be decapitated by bombing at next May Day type parade. Hundreds maybe thousands of innocents will die, in exchange for millions. This festered for decades, and the cure, if possible, will be terrible.


#80

One phone call from China and Kim dies. NK is their client state. He is their distraction. While everyone watches him do missile tests they are slowly building islands and increasing their naval presence. Cut a deal with China to make him behave.