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Bezotcovschina OP wrote

And all that "But what about Azov?" - EVERY Eastern European anarchist will spit to your fucking face, if you are lucky, when they hear it from you.

"War is bad, but..." my ass

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loukanikos wrote

Always good to check whataboutism but I just wanna say that I am worried about this. There is a chance this conflict becomes a protracted Russian occupation with heavy insurgent elements. In that case, many anarchist organizations will emerge (this has already begun). We could very well see the black army reborn under the spirit of Nestor Makhno's ghost.

However anarchist organizations will certainly not find support amongst the terrifyingly well organized and provisioned right wing outfits in the region. Sure, they may be united by a common enemy at the moment, but that doesn't mean there is a common goal there.

All this of course can be waved away if the conflict is short-lived and reasonable statists (can believe I just said those words) come back into power. Yet I can imagine a darker and grittier version of this war where Azov and its ilk are a real threat to those who would seek to establish truly free revolutionary projects in Ukraine.

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Bezotcovschina OP wrote

You know the worst take I'll ever heard from some western leftoid? It's:

"but at least all that sanctions will move russia closer to China. Putin already doing heavy regulation to economy, moving it further leftward. We will have a strong left-leaning block to oppose USA"

aaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Put your head in your ass and move it leftward, fucking cumstain!!!!!!

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ziq wrote (edited )

saw the same exact argument on hexbear. they were fantasizing about russia and china getting so close that russia brings back the ussr (while in the same breath dismissing Ukrainians fighting for their lives as nazi scum, naturally)

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ziq wrote

there was one hapless leftist i saw on twitter who was saying 'we' should just let russia take ukraine and Ukrainians can just be allowed to live in whatever other country they want. when someone objected and said what if they want to live in their own country? the leftist called them a nationalist.

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temtemy wrote

Tell them that Israel should take the whole of Palestine and Palestinians can just be diasporas. Watch as to how they do a full 180 on that, lol

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loukanikos wrote

Was that person a leftist? I saw that tweet too but just assumed it was a weird centrist take. What passes for leftism today is... Well anyways I guess this is why I have trouble identifying under the big tent anymore.

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ziq wrote

it's highly likely you saw an entirely different tweet since that argument is pretty common in the 'libertarian' left

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Styx wrote

But the Westerners call too, so I do my best explain the basic stuff I grew up with and some of the stuff that was passed on to me by the generations of trauma. Or what is the correct pronunciation of Kharkiv. Or, the worst: they want to explain to me how this is a NATO created conflict, or, if they happen to feel more generous, they come up with some kind of “both sides to blame” rhetoric. Look, Ukrainians are waving national flags, FASCISTS! If we could erase and dismiss your entire regions as easily as you do ours we absolutely would, sadly the internet is once again, also pretty much controlled by your lot. Well done – direct action right now would be log off, at least our timelines would be polluted less.

hear hear!

You, decades after the Eastern European version of communism collapsed and Russia turned into a turbocapitalist, authoritarian regime, are still claiming that the man in charge of it is some kind of “anti-imperialist” hero, despite him doing pretty much all he can to assure his stated aim of rebuilding the Russian empire and beyond. Similarily, in your heads, NATO and other Western organisations are always on the wrong side, and always perpetrators of everything bad in this world. You could, ofc, google it, but who would bother if you have such intellectual figures as Noam Chomsky with his disgraceful, relativising stances to tell you what to think.

HEAR HEAR!

Offtopic, but I giggled at:

Large parts of the left, supported by their glorious leader Jeremy Corbyn,

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Styx wrote

Here are the NATO bits for the lazy, but it's a divine rant, well worth reading.

So, let me tell you a few things about Eastern Europeans and NATO and Russia.

We see NATO in a completely different, and I dare say much more nuanced way. We are not fans of it, and we can agree with you on many, many reasons to criticise it. But when you say “Fuck NATO” or “End NATO expansion”, what I hear is that you do not care about the safety and wellbeing of my Eastern European friends, family and comrades. You are happy to put my mum at risk for cheap political points you would not even be able to act on, you bastards!

When you talk about “expansion”, with everything this word implies, really, you are referring to this process in which Eastern Europe, for the reason of other countries making decisions over our heads in 1945, quite literally tip-toed around Russia petitioning it to allow us do what we wanted to do. Eventually, this resulted in Russia signing something called the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation. This happened in May 1997 and Russia, finally, agreed to what you are now calling “expansion” provided that certain conditions are met. These conditions effectively made us second-class members of NATO, but hey ho, that is all we could get and we went for it. Poland joined NATO in 1999, the Baltic countries followed in 2004. And for now, I want them to stay there, and it doesn’t have much to do with politics tbh. It is a self-preservation instinct, but this is another thing you will just not get. You talk more about “NATO expansion” than you talk about the fact that you are the funding members of it.

Further, you talk about how you desire to stop “NATO expansion” but you don’t really mention what, exactly, would be a viable alternative to it. This is not acceptable at all, it just shows your privilege of growing up in a country where your life story was not littered with, how exciting, tantrums and aggressions of various scales of this great, unpredictable force that assumes it can throw its way anywhere where there is no NATO. So tell me, how exactly will you assure our safety? What is this NATO alternative you are advocating for? Have you considered asking us what we think of it? Or did you just decide, as you did many times in your history, and to many other countries you felt superior towards, that it will be you, and your leaders, who will be setting the cards on the table, and we just need to submit? Did you already take out your ruler to make straight lines on the map, except that this time it will be the map of the place where I grew up?

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Bezotcovschina OP wrote

My personal opinion: every time one says “Fuck NATO” or “End NATO expansion” in the context of Eastern Europe - they are working for Putin. That's not lazy - that's truth. In my personal opinion

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loukanikos wrote

I'm not an expert on NATO history by any means but I whole heartedly disagree. The fatal flaw in this line of reasoning, as I see it, is that just because something serves a useful purpose or is necessary -- as NATO and it's expansion has and is -- does not mean it's above criticism.

This is similar to the "oh you think we should improve society somewhat, yet you participate in society" argument.

To accept that NATO expansion was good simply because it helped certain people at a certain time is to accept a lack or originality and innovation in world politics and diplomacy.

You know what else helps a lot of people, saves untold millions of lives? Antibiotics, fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizer. Can those things also be the cause of our downfall as a species? Absolutely. Everything is good until it's not anymore. Its up to us as critical thinkers to imagine new world systems and new ways of living instead of just continuing old ones because they're there.

NATO and it's expansion in the 90s was a classic example of Statists just pursuing a continuation of an existing, cold war era policy when the moment called for something new and better.

Am I speaking from a place of privilege here? Definitely. Do I have the benefit of a quarter century of retrospect? Surely. Does that mean I should shut the fuck up? I think not. To accept the status quo of the international ststem as the best possible outcome is in my view not just unimaginative but perhaps a betrayal of our duty to recognize the failings of statism.

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Styx wrote

I would give them the benefit of doubt that they simply don't know what they are talking about. But I absolutely agree that that's Putin's talking point and it only strengthens his imperialism.

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bloodrose wrote

The only people I have ever seen criticize NATO are Trumpers. And we know they were influenced by Putin's troll farms. Yes, they don't know they were but we do. I've never heard a non-Trumper be anti-NATO. It may well exist but I've never seen it.

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Styx wrote (edited )

There are quite a few of them on this very site and I doubt they are all Trumpers (although I would bet our resident Catholic may well be a Trumper too).

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bloodrose wrote

Is it a tankie stance?

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Styx wrote (edited )

No, I would say this is a somewhat blind and confused attempt to prove that the 'west' is the real problem. And don't get me wrong, there's a lot of heinous stuff that the West has done, but as this article nicely articulates, the 'west' doesn't have a monopoly on atrocities. And it's particularly irritating (to be polite about it) that seemingly everyone is desperately scrambling to point out the obvious -- ie. the 'West' is bad' -- while Russians are indiscriminately shelling Ukrainian nuclear plants, kindergartens and hospitals. It's just a very tasteless version of 'not all men.'

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fortifiedmischief wrote

is there not a way to criticize NATo without being a trumper or using the west as a scapegoat?

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Styx wrote (edited )

Of course there is and there should be. But what's happening right now is an equivalent of the whole manosphere spamming women complaining about sexual assault with 'well men are raped too, why don't you talk about that?'

If there is one thing that NATO has ever done right, it is its so-called 'expansion,' its acceptance of the former Soviet satellites and its promise to defend them in case they get invaded/attacked (as they were in 1939, 1945, 1948, 1956 and 1968 -- not to forget how many times they were 'sacrificed' by the west to appease either Hitler or Stalin). It's ridiculous to think that Russia has any right to dictate the alliances of independent countries (particularly of her former 'colonies') and by criticising 'NATO expansion' as a reason for Russia acting out, you (general you) are basically validating Russia's right to dictate this. What do you think Russia's response would be if NATO criticised her chumming up to China and Syria?

It's equally ridiculous to think that NATO needs Russia's neighbouring states as members to be able to attack (invade??) Russia. NATO didn't need them when it went to Afghanistan, Iraq or the Balkans. It doesn't need them today either. And it's especially ridiculous to think that fucking Estonia or Czechia, or even Poland and Ukraine (significantly larger countries), in any way expand the military power of an alliance that already includes the US, Turkey, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Yes, they might make this fictional invasion much easier due to their proximity (although Turkey is just one tiny Georgia away and somehow Russia doesn't have an issue with Turkey -- curious, no?). However, had your country been either controlled or outright occupied by the Soviets for almost half of a century, you might also be happy to accept few radars and military bases on your territory and hope they deter Putin from doing what he is doing to Ukraine just right now as I type this.

In the good ol' Soviet days, the Soviet leaders at least had a point when they criticised the West for its imperialism, racism and worker exploitation. But this post-Soviet bitching about Nato is absolutely unsubstantiated. There was never any agreement and in any case, Russia does not get to have a say in this. Needless to add, Putin is not attacking Ukraine because of NATO, but because it is the only remaining country in its proximity that is NOT in NATO and also doesn't have a Russian puppet government.

If you want to criticise NATO, please be my guest. But make sure you know what you are talking about. Because if you are critical of the 'NATO expansion', whether you know it or not, you are supporting Russia's imperialism.

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fortifiedmischief wrote

wouldn't additional countries joining NATO mean that its existing members carry less responsibility when it comes to getting involved militarily? i.e. if more countries are enlisted to send troupes, then germany, say, wouldn't be required to send as many... the burden is shared. it is an economical alliance as much as it is militaristic, no? and joining NATO doesn't just grant you a promise from the big guys to defend you in war -- it also requires you to contribute to that defense mechanism.

i'm confused as to whether NATO "needs to exist," let alone whether its expansion is beneficial. I can't see anything wrong with independent countries making alliances, but hasn't it been made abundantly clear that NATO... just the idea of NATO has become a symbolic weapon on the geopolitical stage, and that appears to be more offensive than defensive? Am I wrong to take it for granted that NATO is synonymous with american imperialism? And wouldn't it be prudent to criticize all imperialist players in this war, in favour/in defense of the Ukrainian people?

i annoyingly phrase these statement all as questions because that is their current standing in my mind rn... they have not been granted tenure yet

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fortifiedmischief wrote

i just reread the article... so it seems that the temporary answer to why nato needs to exist is that it is protecting certain countries from russian imperialism. yes. what about long term?

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Styx wrote

What do you do about Russia and China's imperialism long term?

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Styx wrote

wouldn't additional countries joining NATO mean that its existing members carry less responsibility when it comes to getting involved militarily? i.e. if more countries are enlisted to send troupes, then germany, say, wouldn't be required to send as many... the burden is shared. it is an economical alliance as much as it is militaristic, no? and joining NATO doesn't just grant you a promise from the big guys to defend you in war -- it also requires you to contribute to that defense mechanism.

Expanded members are little shits (and/or very poor shits) like Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, fucking ALBANIA! Yes, they do contribute with their armed forces, but that's literally (and I mean 'literally') like bringing a bag of stones to a nuclear war. It's ridiculous to think that Czechia can contribute militarily/financially in any comparable way to the US or UK.

Russia doesn't have an issue with the expansion because it makes NATO stronger (that's an absolutely ridiculous thought; just look up the founding members), but because it makes it impossible for her to mess with her former colonies.

i'm confused as to whether NATO "needs to exist," let alone whether its expansion is beneficial.

Do you not see what is happening in Ukraine? Had the Baltics not literally BEGGED NATO to take them, they would now be part of Russia. Read that fucking article and please, try to listen to what I am telling you. The recent members are all countries that the Soviet Union either occupied or forced into communism (after Hitler had had his way with them). These are tiny, poor, underdeveloped countries that stand no chance against Russia going mad yet again.

NATO exists because of the WW2 and the Cold War. Even if it were to dismantle as a formal alliance, its founding members (US, UK, FRANCE, GERMAN, etc.) would still be allies. It doesn't matter that they have some official structure that they all agreed to. They did not impose themselves on Central and Eastern Europe, but Central and Eastern Europe lobbied NATO for YEARS just so that it could join it because they know only too bitterly that when shit hits the fan, it will hit it right above their heads.

Am I wrong to take it for granted that NATO is synonymous with american imperialism? And wouldn't it be prudent to criticize all imperialist players in this war, in favour/in defense of the Ukrainian people?

No NATO is not synonymous with American Imperialism -- what are you talking about? You are mistaking NATO with the US and they are not the same thing (although undoubtedly, because of its military power and experience, the US gets to call the shots). To my knowledge, NATO hasn't annexed any country. Afghanistan or Iraq didn't become the 51st state of the US (or France or the UK)! A point that clearly needs to be underscored: NATO is STILL refusing to interfere in Ukraine, despite the war crimes, despite the seizure of nuclear plants.

If you want to be prudent then maybe for once, criticise also Russia. If you want to dismantle NATO, call also for the demilitarisation of Russia and the rest of the world (which somehow you never hear when people bring up NATO). Learn about what Russia has been doing in Ukraine for the past 8 years (and just past 9 days) and what it did in Syria, Georgia and Chechnya (so much for our liberator of the oppressed!). Learn about her past 'military exercises' at the borders of the Baltic states and Finland. Dig up Putin's speeches from 15 years ago in which he described his wish to renew the Russian Empire. And then, tell me what has NATO ever done that could even remotely be compared to this.

I cannot stress enough that what you are doing now is asking 'Yeah, but what was she wearing?' Yes, NATO had no business in Lybia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush, Blair and the rest should be hanged for war crimes. But that's separate from what is happening to Ukraine (in which, yet again, NATO IS STILL REFUSING TO INTERFERE -- so much for its imperialism) and why Central and European countries would give up both of their kidneys in exchange for being in NATO. And by being unable to separate these two issues, you are validating Russian imperialism (after all, here we are yet again, talking about NATO as if Russia was not bombing hospitals and kindergartens in Ukraine just as we speak). And no Russia's imperialism is not better or more gentle than American imperialism.

If you are against imperialism, then now you have a chance to practice it and it's not by criticising an alliance that is pretty much doing 'netflix and chill,' but a country with a long history of her own imperialism that is yet again deliberately committing war crimes just so it gets to control yet another independent country.

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fortifiedmischief wrote

I hear you. And it brings the issue of NATO and Ukraine even more into question. What was the point of NATO dangling the promise of membership in front of Ukraine's face, aggravating a war mongering tyrant with it, and then refusing to get involved once the whole thing exploded? It makes the whole thing feel like it had nothing to do with offering Ukraine protection, or limiting Russia's imperial power.

If I was pulling the gross "yeah but what was she wearing" card, I'd need to be talking about Ukraine, but I think it's obvious that Ukraine's been fucked over by both sides. My concern is that I think the west is refusing to acknowledge the ways in which it has helped escalate the situation. obviously the blame of invasion lies completely with russia. But if NATO was really shield that you claim it to be, then wtf just happened?

I've come to realize the role NATO plays in protecting former soviet countries. ANd it's a good point you make -- if NATO was truly the imperialist machine that I see it as, then why stand by and do nothing while Ukraine is bombarded? I have some understanding of your points, however I'm left feeling that in relation to Ukraine, NATO is neither good at offering the protection you say it is meant to offer, nor is it good at being the imperialist power I say it has become....

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Styx wrote (edited )

Nato was not dangling the promise of membership in front of Ukraine's face. There seems to be an impression that a country can just hop on the NATO gravy train as if the ascension didn't take years, sometimes even decades, and came with very strict conditions. The Baltics wanted into NATO the second they had left the USSR in 1991 and they only got in only in 2004. Ukraine applied in 2008 and then withdrew when pro-Russian Yanukovych got elected. NATO is not throwing its memberships around at everyone like fucking Oprah!

The troubles in Ukraine also didn't necessarily start with NATO (ask Georgia about this, though), but because Yanukovych refused to sign an agreement with the EU (not membership, just some agreement about closer economic relations). This is why the Maidan protests started. Then Russia got involved and started occupying Ukraine, even though Russia, together with the US, signed a treaty promising that they'll protect Ukraine in case of invasion in exchange for Ukraine giving up her (Soviet, really) nuclear weapons (which she couldn't afford anyway).

It was Russia who broke that contract by invading Ukraine (already in 2014) and the US (the US not NATO) also broke it because it didn't come to Ukraine's help as it had promised it would. Don't get me wrong, the US is obviously providing everything from ammo to intel, but it signed a pact that the US is not honouring.

So if you want to find a fault with the West, then this is it: Its refusal to get involved militarily in the current conflict (and in 2014 when this whole mess started). And the reason why they are not going to Ukraine directly is simple enough: the nuclear war. Russia stands no chance against the US, let alone NATO, forces and there is a reason why Putin is reminding everyone of his nuclear arsenal.

So what is a solution here? Do we start a nuclear war out of a principle, or do we wait and hope this somehow resolves itself? Quite smartly, I would say, the US decided to wait and not get involved just yet. Since Ukraine is not a member of NATO, NATO is not obliged to help her.

The point of this 'westplaining' that is being criticised here is that you guys seem to be unable to even acknowledge that what is happening in Ukraine is a unique situation that cannot be filtered through your knowledge of Afghanistan/Iraq/CIA. The former Eastern Bloc is pro-Western for the exact same reasons the Middle-East is anti-American. It's not CIA propaganda. The former Eastern Bloc did not suffer from Western imperialism but from Russian/Soviet imperialism and Russia continues to meddle in its affairs the same way the US meddles in the Middle East and South America. You might not like it, you might think it's delusional to be pro-Western, given all the atrocities the West has caused (everywhere but in the former Eastern Bloc), but it is what it is. The Former Eastern Bloc is, by large, pro-Western because of Soviet/Russian imperialism, which, as you can see if only you put on the news, is still a real threat.

There are so many things you can blame on the West, NATO and the US, but Russia invading Ukraine is not one of them. Ukraine has every right to decide with whom it will sign partnerships and what kind of alliances it will join. Russia, or any other country, does not get to have a say in this. And it's hugely condescending to think that Ukrainians are somehow being manipulated by the West (because of the cOlD wAr -- or whatever other reason), when in fact they have spent hundred years trying to free themselves from Russia's influence.

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fortifiedmischief wrote (edited )

lots of helpful info here.

(ask Georgia about this, though)

brb asking Georgia

So if you want to find a fault with the West, then this is it: Its refusal to get involved militarily in the current conflict (and in 2014 when this whole mess started).

you say this but then you say this:

Do we start a nuclear war out of a principle, or do we wait and hope this somehow resolves itself? Quite smartly, I would say, the US decided to wait and not get involved just yet.

is this not a contradiction?

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Styx wrote

brb asking Georgia

Might be too busy trying to get into the EU as of <checks notes> ... yesterday!

Russia had the same nuclear weapons in 2014. It is indisputable that the US didn't keep its promises to defend Ukraine, but it also had a good reason not to.

2014 also looked very different. Russia shouldn't have invaded and annexed Crimea, but Crimea is Russian. There were better ways to get it back, but I think even Ukraine has come to terms with the fact that she's not getting it back. Donbas is an altogether different matter. We know those little men in green were Russian, but they didn't have Russian insignia so there was a degree of plausible deniability.

So in 2014, you could have made an argument that the conflict was about problematic areas (I don't want to say 'disputed' because they were not. However, Crimea is Russia and Donbas had separatist movements). But today Russia is bombing most of Ukraine, including its northern (Ukrainian Ukrainian) cities, while Putin is openly saying he aims to overthrow Zelensky's government (and ideally kill him). This is a very different situation.

I worry though that this won't last for too long. Russia is losing big time and it's just a matter of time the nukes start flying.

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fortifiedmischief wrote

ya what the hell is going on with the russian army. started watching this and just ended up feeling a broad hopelessness ...
we've outgrown war. war peaked in the first quarter of the 20th C and now it just feels like such a ridiculous waste of everything. apparently there are russian troops abandoning their tanks... no one wants this to be happening except old-world oligarchs who've severed themselves so thoroughly from reality, they probably wouldn't even notice if we dumped them on mars.

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Styx wrote

I just read a tweet that Belarus was supposed to join a week ago and it still hasn't happened. Apparently, some generals resigned, others were against it, soldiers refused to cross borders, etc. Here it is: https://twitter.com/franakviacorka/status/1500197649307348994

It was also reported that Russians are leaving their dead soldiers just lying wherever they dropped dead, even on the streets and city centres! No wonder the morale is low.

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fortifiedmischief wrote

jesus. i wonder if russia is trying to get armenia involved too.

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gone_to_croatan wrote

It went like this:
The buildings tumbled in on themselves
Mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble
And pulled out their hair

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bloodrose wrote

Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts on this. I am under-educated on it and so a lot of it doesn't make sense to me and I can tell the news is not a place to get knowledge. I appreciate that you spent time on this. Thank you. <3

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Styx wrote

Here, just from today's free talk: https://raddle.me/f/lobby/141132/-/comment/242103

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bloodrose wrote

That's funny. I read that comment and didn't understand how to interpret it. I couldn't tell if it was "we need an alliance and NATO hasn't done enough" or "fuck NATO". I don't think I know enough about the history of NATO to understand nuance about it. Thanks for helping with my comprehension of that comment. I was really not understanding what was being said. <3

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Styx wrote

For me it was this sentence:

Now instead I will maybe die in nuclear holocaust because Bill Clinton and a bunch of electoralists needed to win some swing states.

No, stop it. Clinton is not bombing Ukraine.

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granite wrote

Probably why many say Trump is the devil. Didn't he attempt to pull USA out of NATO?

You can see why now. NATO is like bringing a nerf gun to a slaughter house full of loose hogs.

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loukanikos wrote

You, decades after the Eastern European version of communism collapsed and Russia turned into a turbocapitalist, authoritarian regime, are still claiming that the man in charge of it is some kind of “anti-imperialist” hero, despite him doing pretty much all he can to assure his stated aim of rebuilding the Russian empire and beyond

There is an extreme dissonance in the Western consciousness as to what exactly has happened in Eastern Europe since the end of the USSR. At some point growing up, I saw acknowledgement in Western media of what the author calls "turbocapitalism". Then it all was sort of hand waved and sanitized. Eastern European characters was kind of turned into a trope in most film/TV/storytelling, not unlike the concept of noble savage. A funny example of this was about Ukraine, where Nicolas Cage and Jared Leto played arms dealing brothers in a movie called Lord of War which ironically climaxed in a scene with Jared Leto trying to do a massive line of cocaine in the shape of the borders of Ukraine.

I do believe the author is in some aspects creating a strawman here but there is no doubt that westerners, esp. Americans, are completely ignorant to Eastern European history on the whole. Most American history textbooks are pretty light on details after about 1980. That's not exactly helpful to having an informed public. I think what is needed to innoculate this type of relativisation (using authors word) is concise and well written history of the contemporary period in post-Soviet states. I'm not talking about a great man history following Ceausescu, Nazabayev, Yeltsin, Putin, Lukashenko, etc. We have that shit -- far too much of it. I mean a real people's history. Something akin to Howard Zinn. Maybe this already exists? If anyone knows let me know.

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Comatoast wrote

The rich get richer and the left grows more and more sectarian by the minute. Good times!

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