NZ policy is consistent about Russian invasion

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 pm, December 23rd, 2023 - 118 comments
Categories: chris hipkins, Christopher Luxon, International, jacinda ardern, Russia, Ukraine, uncategorized, United Nations, war - Tags:

Unlike Mike Smith and other noisy members of the imperialist support group, I applaud that NZ foreign policy has remained consistent in upholding UN and ICC policies against invasions and forced annexations.

Christopher Luxon has finally managed to do something that wasn’t simply blindly negative for the sake of garnishing support from the unthinking in our society.

He is following in the path of our last two prime ministers in support of New Zealand’s long support of the principles of the United Nations.

In June 2022 Jacinda Ardern called Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“My key message back to the leadership in Ukraine would be that our support will continue regardless of a visit. New Zealand is standing in solidarity with Ukraine, and I hope they have seen that through our ongoing support,” she said.

She said the conflict could be “long and drawn out” but “New Zealand’s support would continue”.

In May 2023 Chris Hipkins has ‘warm and insightful’ phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“New Zealand steadfastly supports Ukraine and will continue to look for ways we can provide meaningful contributions,” Hipkins said.

Hipkins was expected to announce further support for Ukraine while in the UK, but a visit to Ukraine was currently not on his schedule.

In December 2023 Christopher Luxon reiterates NZ’s support ‘strong and constant’ in war against Russia.

“I’ve just spoken with Ukraine President and reiterated New Zealand’s support in response to Russia’s war of aggression,” Luxon posted.

The reason for New Zealand’s support is based in international law and history. The UN was founded on the principles of national sovereignty, peaceful resolution of conflicts, self-determination of peoples, and an abhorrence of the threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

The signing of the UN charter by states including the USSR, USA and the various imperialistic states of Europe and Asia didn’t mean that examples of these war-inducing violation of international relations didn’t happen. But their incidence, and the incidence of the mayhem, deaths and maiming of people that had been so prevalent in the previous 150 years has been massively reduced. That is despite the massive world increases in population since 1945.

We haven’t seen the kinds of inter-state wars on the scale of wars of the 19th and first part of the 20th century like the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, Second Sino-Japanese War, and World War II. Most of the larger casualty conflicts after the establishment of the UN have been civil wars, and even those seem muted compared to wastelands between 1800 and 1947. Have a look down the abhorrent list of estimated casualties recorded in wars over time.

Or have a look at a view from 1816 to 2007 that accounts for population increases and highlights the reduced death risks from wars. Since 2007, and despite some increases in conflicts, the rate has has continued to decrease.

Sure, Russia appears to have a problem with the UN ideas of territorial integrity. It seems to prefer instead to sprout the ideas of imperial rights due to stealth (like sneaking special forces into Crimea out of uniform) and might (a sneak attack against Ukraine). Nor do they have no respect for self-determination of peoples (referendums in occupied territories under martial law with no impartial observers are just fakes). Bullshit unsubstantiated propaganda making mountains out of molehills about far-right Ukrainian neo-nazis who could only get a few percent in national elections being the most obvious.

Frankly I don’t rate any of this bullshit as worth excusing. The crap of moving military over a borders and then annexing large swathes of territory were the causes of the high casualty rates that decimated the early 20th century. These are all tired tactics of imperialists doing the usual bullshit about manifest destinies and causing the enormous military casualties and the downstream deaths of even more in civilian deaths

Yet apparently, there are some people weak minded enough to believe this crap. Somehow they seem to want more wars and more casualties for some kind of daft ideological reasons – that they simply cannot articulate in any coherent form. Mostly it usually seems to end up with some kind of anti-US imperial focus. That sometimes has some validity – most notably in the completely stupid Iraq war from 2003-2011. However it doesn’t include any territorial acquisitions since 1947.

Since 2014, Russia has now done a number of forced annexations of Republic of Crimea,  Donetsk People’s Republic, and  Luhansk People’s Republic after military occupation since 2013. They also lay claim to territories in Ukraine that they do not even occupy. It also appears to have several more potential annexations using the same kinds of ethnic arguments underway in Russian occupied Transnistria in Moldova, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in northern Georgia.

Personally I looked through all of military and political history of conflicts when I was a teenager, and came to the conclusion that article 2 of the UN charter, for all its obvious flaws like the security council vetoes, was better than anything else devised to limit conflicts. The low casualty rates in the history of the last 70+ years supports that.

That isn’t because militarism has been any less rampant. It has been because there has been some pretty clear bounds to the advantages of territorial expansion by conquest. As citizen and ex-soldier I am extremely glad that New Zealand does not support the kind of rank military territorial imperialism that the Russia Federation and Israel are the current state exponents of.

118 comments on “NZ policy is consistent about Russian invasion ”

  1. lprent 1

    If you want to write your own 'post' then use Open Mike.

    Stick to the content of my post when leaving comments on my post.

    Passing in pretty obvious fake information and propaganda will just result in me getting irritated and using the Open Mike button or simply banning if you get persistent.

    If anyone can tell me the rationale for a military occupation with territorial annexations causing peaceful resolutions to conflict, then I will be happy to point out the thousands of contrary historical examples that often take centuries of rebellions, unrest and oppression to reach any kind of equanimity. Ukraine itself is a pretty good example of that under the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, Austrian empire, Russian empire and the Soviet empire.

    • mikesh 1.1

      If my memory of history is correct, the Ukrainian Cossacks originally sought an alliance with Russia (called Muscovy in those days), because they feared an invasion from the Polish-Lithuanian empire, an invasion which they felt themselves not strong enough to resist. This eventually resulted in their absorption by Russia. I think that was how they became part of the Russian empire. It seems tragic that seventy odd years of communism seems to have soured them towards Russia. Otherwise a Russia which included Ukraine could well have emerged as the most powerful country on the planet, both militarily and economically.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.1.1

        Putin is absolutely wanting "a Russia which included Ukraine"…problem is, the Ukrainians don't want it. The "70 odd years of communism" was really 70 odd years in the Russian empire, which included mass deportations, russification and events such as the Holodomor.

        States previously "absorbed" into the USSR / Russian empire, are stangely reluctant to return (all states that currently have a freeish press / democracy – no one really knows about opinions in those already in the process of Russian "reabsorption" – i.e. Belarus).

      • lprent 1.1.2

        Not exactly – that is a nice Russian propaganda line and relates to a treaty of protection. One that the Russians violated 13 years later when they came to an agreement with Poland to divide up the territory between themselves by occupation.

        Wikipedia:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ukraine#Cossack_era

        The 1648 Ukrainian Cossack (Kozak) rebellion or Khmelnytsky Uprising, which started an era known as the Ruin (in Polish history as the Deluge), undermined the foundations and stability of the Commonwealth. The nascent Cossack state, the Cossack Hetmanate,[54] usually viewed as precursor of Ukraine,[54] found itself in a three-sided military and diplomatic rivalry with the Ottoman Turks, who controlled the Tatars to the south, the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania, and the Tsardom of Russia to the East.[citation needed]

        The Zaporozhian Host, in order to leave the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, sought a treaty of protection with Russia in 1654.[54] This agreement was known as the Pereiaslav Agreement.[54] Commonwealth authorities then sought compromise with the Ukrainian Cossack state by signing the Treaty of Hadiach in 1658, but—after thirteen years of incessant warfare—the agreement was later superseded by the 1667 Polish–Russian Truce of Andrusovo, which divided Ukrainian territory between the Commonwealth and Russia. Under Russia, the Cossacks initially retained official autonomy in the Hetmanate.[54] For a time, they also maintained a semi-independent republic in Zaporizhzhia and a colony on the Russian frontier in Sloboda Ukraine.

        Subsequently they annexed it in conjunction with Austria

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ukraine#Russian_Empire_and_Austria-Hungary

        During subsequent decades, Tsarist rule over central Ukraine gradually replaced ‘protection’. Sporadic Cossack uprisings were now aimed at the Russian authorities, but eventually petered out by the late 18th century, following the destruction of entire Cossack hosts. After the Partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795, the extreme west of Ukraine fell under the control of the Austrians, with the rest becoming a part of the Russian Empire.

        After which Russia increasingly treated the territories of Ukraine as a colony to extract wealth and resources from in ways that resembled the worst of the world colonial extractions. From land and later from the resource rich areas in eastern Ukraine.

        This history is primarily why Ukrainians don’t trust Russia, and attempted many times to break free.

        It seems tragic that seventy odd years of communism seems to have soured them towards Russia. Otherwise a Russia which included Ukraine could well have emerged as the most powerful country on the planet, both militarily and economically.

        It wasn’t communism that was the basic problem. That was just a continuation of the same inept administration as imperial Russia. It is the same reason why Russia despite its vast resources has problems maintaining their own economy without their previous conquests like Ukraine to extract wealth and resources from.

        • mikesh 1.1.2.1

          The Cossacks entered into an alliance with Muscovy, which at the time was at war with the Poles, recognizing the sovereignty of the Czar in return for his protection. It was the Cossacks who eventually broke that alliance, in 1708, joining with the Swedes in their Northern War with Russia. The Cossack elites apparently believed that their rights and freedoms had been encroached upon by the Russian authorities.The Swede/Cossack combo lost to Muscovy in 1709, in the battle of Poltava. The Russians resumed control of Ukraine after finally defeating Sweden 1721, and commenced the disestablishment of the hetmanate. This was completed by Catherine II towards the end of the century.

          Ukranian nationalism grew in the 19th century, as a part of what seems to have been a world wide movement toward nationalism, but by the beginning of the 20th century the Ukraine was still part of the Czarist Russian empire.

          What might have happened had the 1917 revolution not occurred and the Kerensky government had remained in office is largely speculation on my part. However most of the information above comes from a book The Russo-Ukranian War by Serhii Plokhy, a Harvard professor of history and Ukranian national

          • SPC 1.1.2.1.1

            Unsurprisingly the alliance between Ukrainians and Sweden in 1708 occurred after Russia and Poland divided Ukraine between them in 1667.

  2. UncookedSelachimorpha 2

    Thanks lprent, excellent post.

    When you are a tiny country like NZ, encouraging wide agreement on a rules-based (and humanitarian) global order is completely in our interests, as it can protect us far better than any military force we are able to muster on our own.

    I suppose the UN is better than nothing – although it seems terribly compromised (a sitting member of the UN Security Council is currently committing ubiquitous war crimes etc).

    I understand NZ has some light armored vehicles we could usefully send to Ukraine – we should do that. And Australia should send its retired F15s.

  3. Ghostwhowalks 3

    "Sure, Russia appears to have a problem with the UN ideas of territorial integrity."

    Such an aspirational aim :UN idea of territorial integrity.

    Pity Nato doesnt believe in it either

    Cyprus – part occupied by Nato member Turkey since 1973

    Kosovo province of Serbia – occupied by US National Guard troops since 1999

    Libya – civil war which involved Nato members bombing and ground forces ( at least Israel has the excuse Hamas 'restarted' their long war, Nato didnt in Libya)

    Lets all give a hurrah for the Nato blue helmets and territorial integrity!

    Maybe ask about NZ consistency and action against Turkey over Cyprus

    • Francesca 3.1

      Yep, and we've been consistent about sanctions against Russia …20 rounds of them

      That consistency not so apparent over Israel .. number of sanctions?….zero

      Common denominator?

      I would say the US embassy

      • lprent 3.1.1

        I actually agree about Israel.

        Clearly in this current conflict in Gaza and the actions of the Israeli state supported settler movement clearly pointing to an attempt to repeat the deliberate Israeli state campaign to cause the nakba of 1948.

        On the other hand this particular conflict is now about 76 days old and it is distinctly different to previous campaigns against Gaza.

        MFAT isn't prone to making fast decisions, especially when we have a change of government with a substantial caretaker period during it.

        Right now after reading the analysis of the Israeli campaign and the political chaos that is the Israeli government, I think that NZ should push to reverse their mistake in supporting the formation of the divided mandate of 1947.

        Clearly Israel has failed to form a state that conforms to principles of the UN charter and appears to currently be in the process of ethnic cleansing and genocide. It should be treated accordingly.

        The rate of civilian casualty rates in 76 days exceed any since WW2 are a deliberate decision by the barbarians of the Israeli government and its armed forces. That should be unacceptable to both us and our government.

    • lprent 3.2

      Agreed that the UN isn't perfect. That wasn't my point – which was that having the UN and its charter has reduced the levels of conflict markedly.

      As I pointed out with the examples of Russian occupied territory there is a world of difference between a forced annexation under occupation. If you read the history of forced annexations, they are the direct cause of more wars, revolts, rebellions, and great power wars than anything else.

      Kosovo was and still is a direct response to a multi-state promoted ethnic cleansing and deliberate genocide in the former Yugoslavia. The UN troops are there to prevent the Serbian army spilling over the border and resuming it. They are also there to protect a Serbian minority in Kosovo. What exactly is your position – tyat it should be allowed to happen? How humane of you.

      The UN sanctioned campaign in Libya ended in 2011, the same year that it started. It was mandated to prevent Muammar al-Gaddafi from bombing mostly unarmed civilian targets after a civil war erupted to topple him. Most of the limited number of civilian casualties (a few thousand as I recall) occurred after that period. The majority from the LNA. Umm… try reading this for a breakdown of airstrikes and deaths. Wikipedia has a more general casualty analysis.

      As far as I am aware NZ has been absolutely consistent on its position on Cyprus. Perhaps you need to read the MFAT position

      Cyprus has been a divided state since 1974. New Zealand, alongside the majority of the international community, recognises only the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

      New Zealand has consistently supported the UN-led efforts to find a peaceful, just and lasting solution to end the division of the island. The mandate for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus is considered by the United Nations Security Council every six months and New Zealand has played a supportive role in these discussions.

      Members of the New Zealand Police served with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus between May 1964 and June 1967. Eminent New Zealander, Dame Ann Hercus, served as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Cyprus from May 1998 to September 1999 in efforts to re-open channels of communication between the two communities.

      If you have any evidence otherwise, then perhaps you could link to it. Otherwise I'll just consider that to be a stupid mistake – that diminishes any respect I have for the rest of your opinion.

      BTW: The UN decisions in Palestine and the indiscriminate bombing and targeting of civilian infrastructure by the IDF there make the UN flaws amply clear. The use of unguided bombs that are being used to level residential buildings are a direct consequence of the UN's failure in its partitioning plan in 1948.

      Not quite sure why you left that out. NZ's position on Palestine has been inconsistent since 1947.

    • SPC 3.3

      I think you are wrong and this is why.

      The issue is respect for territorial integrity.

      No one has recognised any annexation of an area of Cyprus by Turkey. Which was preceded by plans to make the island part of Greece (by the Greek majority on Cyprus).

      Libya still has the same borders (the UN mandate was for NATO to enforce a no fly zone so the government could not bomb civilians areas and so force it to talks to rebels – they went beyond their mandate and attacked Libyan ground forces allowing the rebels to win. The foreign forces there now are Russian and Turk (supporting two different local groups).

      Egypt occupied Gaza 1948-1967 and Jordan did the WB 1948-1967 were they based on a lack of respect for a Palestinian nation state in these borders, or for the state of Israel in any borders?

      Kosovo is an interesting case given the membership of Yugoslavia in the UN before it broke-up, leaving its constituent republics Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina to become recognised by the UN.

      But before Serbia and Montenegro joined, there was the matter of a Kosovo war of independence, 1998 through 1999.

      The UNSC placed in a NATO peacekeeping force, and provided for some autonomy which included a 120-member assembly.

      It was at this point that Serbia and Montenegro joined the UN – though Montenegro separated from their union and now recognises the independence of Kosovo.

      Russia, as a U.N. Security Council promised they would veto and plan for Kosovo independence that did not address Serbia’s concerns. 102 nations recognise the independence of Kosovo (declared in 2008).

      Preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity — the Republic of Serbia’s activities in this area reflect the country’s efforts to protect the principles of international law, the UN Charter and the legally binding UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) which guarantees the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia. Always stressing the importance of observing the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999), the role of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and of other international presence in Kosovo and Metohija, the Republic of Serbia places great value in Security Council sessions about UNMIK operations, with a view to continuously informing the international community about the political and security situation in Kosovo and Metohija, particularly as regards the status of Serbs and other non-Albanian groups of the population, the rule of law, the sustainable return of internally displaced persons, and the protection of cultural and religious heritage.

      https://www.mfa.gov.rs/en/foreign-policy/serbia-international-organizations/united-nations/serbia-un

      Ukraine was a member of the UN in 1945 despite also being part of the USSR (all its consitituent republics had the right to secede in their constitutions). It included Crimea and the Donbass, then and after 1991. The Donbass and Crimea were only occupied by the Russian military decades later.

      Egypt occupied Gaza and Jordan the WB from 1948-1967 as part of an Arab League policy of rejecting an Israeli state. The UN put up with that, should it have? Is occupation by a state with ambition for land beyond its recognised borders more problematic?

  4. Francesca 4

    Just reading the first paragraph, I'm amused to see Mike Smith characterised as a supporter of imperialism .

    I wouldn't have thought of him as a defender of America, although that stance is becoming quite popular here

    • lprent 4.1

      Like you, Mike does appear to me to be a supporter of current Russian imperialism. I guess that you're a little light on Russian imperial history? The Russian Federation seems to be locked in the ideas of the 18th and 19th centuries.

      Try doing some actual research outside of your usual light propaganda channels.

      • mikesh 4.1.1

        Russia is not particularly "imperialist", but she does appear to take umbrage at the evil empire seeking to intrude into her own "backyard" – an attitude similar to that expressed in America's own so called "Munro doctrine".

        • SPC 4.1.1.1

          Hegemony in a region is a form of imperialism.

          • mikesh 4.1.1.1.1

            The word "hegemony" refers to leadership rather than control. Its use in modern politics would seem to be a mild form of Orwellian "newspeak".

            • SPC 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Hegemony

              leadership or dominance, especially by one state or social group over others.

              "Germany was united under Prussian hegemony after 1871"

              Goebbels newspeak for fascist dictatorship … . The Communist Party with control of Moscow ruling over the USSR, then + Warsaw Pact.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.1.2

          …hence russia "defends itself" by launching wars inside other people's countries.

    • Incognito 4.2

      Like so many others [here], you are incapable or unwilling to focus on and address the message, and instead aim for the messenger.

      • Francesca 4.2.1

        ?
        You disagree that Aotearoa is becoming increasingly closer to the US?
        Thats hardly an attack on the “messenger”

        • SPC 4.2.1.1

          It seems you only object to American imperialism to the point of not seeing any other imperialist.

  5. Francesca 5

    Well , thats where we differ .I'm looking for Russian colonies all over the world, I'm looking for something to rival the 750 military bases the US maintains outside of US proper

    Russia isn't a true imperialist's arsehole

    Imperialism ? try this :

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/15/the-us-hidden-empire-overseas-territories-united-states-guam-puerto-rico-american-samoa

    Rather than consistency (and my god we've seen plenty of that regarding compliance to US diktats) I'd rather see a truly independent foreign policy .Little hope of that while we're in 5 Eyes and clamouring to join Aukus Pillar 2

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1

      Russia is an empire, but one that has contiguous land borders. The current Russian Empire is a conglomeration of multiple cultures and societies, now colonised and with their languages and cultures suppressed.

      This youtube channel has 6 videos (in English) made by a Russian graduate of Cultural Studies. She describes in detail the history of the Russian empire and contrasts this with Russian media and educational material as taught in schools in Russia (i.e. internal Russian state media and educational curriculum in Russian, not the stuff seen on RT, TASS etc). You will learn a lot if you have a listen.

    • lprent 5.2

      Russia has old colonies in the form of large ethic Russian minorities in countries from the Baltics through to the Chinese, Afghanistan, and Turkish borders in countries that used to be part of imperial Russia and then the USSR. For instance eastern Ukraine was one.

      They didn't get there by chance. There was a deliberate seeding colonial policy amongst the areas conquered and annexed by imperial Russia and the USSR. For instance in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine where Russia had a deliberate policy of Russification and expelling local populations of Tatars, Cossacks and Rutherians.

      In many of those now independent countries once conquered by Russia, there are Russian military bases from Belarus (which was used to invade Ukraine) to currently Syria.

      Crimea had one – which was used as a infiltration port to take over that part of Ukraine.

      Seriously you need to learn how to read things that don't have easy to assimilate propaganda stupidities that are obvious bullshit.

      Have a look at the list of current, previous and planned Russian bases in other countries.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_military_bases_abroad

      • mikesh 5.2.1

        Seriously you need to learn how to read things that don't have easy to assimilate propaganda stupidities that are obvious bullshit.

        If a country has to choose between defending itself against a perceived threat, or strictly adhering to international law, it will probably choose defence. In fact its government probably has a responsibility to its citizens to do so. And if it uses what appears to be bullshit propaganda in in support of a defensive, but illegal, move, so what?

        • SPC 5.2.1.1

          That gives the USA and UK a pass on Iraq and Israel one in Gaza and WB ops.

          • mikesh 5.2.1.1.1

            Apart from law there are also systems of ethics and morality.

            • SPC 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Avoiding umbrella tips or drinking tea with Putin and not learning to fly from the nest by being thrown out a window is a necessity where there is no morality or ethics.

              Also having anti-tank weapons, a missile shield and some long range artillery.

              • SPC

                Why now, so he is forgotten when the Presidential election is held?

                The region is notorious for long and severe winters. The town is about 100km from Vorkuta, whose coal mines were among the harshest of the Soviet Gulag prison-camp system.

                “It is almost impossible to get to this colony; it is almost impossible to even send letters there. This is the highest possible level of isolation from the world,”

                https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/301032378/imprisoned-russian-opposition-leader-navalny-located-in-penal-colony-3-weeks-after-contact-lost

              • mikesh

                Avoiding umbrella tips or drinking tea with Putin and not learning to fly from the nest by being thrown out a window is a necessity where there is no morality or ethics.

                It seems somewhat ethnocentric of you to say so. As I think I have remarked elsewhere, they probably do politics differently in that part of the world. I’m sure there are people in Russia who would bump off Putin if they had the chance. Perhaps they tried when the they thought he returning home on MH17.

        • lprent 5.2.1.2

          In law, personal, state and international there are two things that are looked at, the actual acts and the actual intents. Both have to be present before a criminal act has occurred. There is a reason for that, and you obviously haven't thought it through…

          In your world. apparently, you want to add in a doctrine of preemptive strikes in a fear of possible but unproven intent should be legitimate.

          That is an outright dangerous and extremely stupid idea. According to that doctrine of law (to take some simple US examples that even you may have heard of from your obvious extensive viewing of RT) …

          • southern racists should have an absolute right to hang niggers because they might become uppity (the unofficial doctrine of the KKK),
          • in 1947 after the US had sufficient nuclear weapons they should have bombed the USSR with nuclear weapons just in case they lost their monopoly (the doctrine of Curtis LeMay)
          • the UN should have allowed the 1991 war against Iraq to continue just in case Saddam invaded a neighbouring state again (the unofficial G W Bush reason for the second Gulf War)

          Now the same case could be made for any number of historical examples. For instance the Nazi's had a fear of the jewish world conspiracy, and the genetic impact of 'inferior' races.

          Under your doctrine, they were entirely justified in their policy of gassing both groups.

          Tell me – do you ever think things through before writing them?

          Your idea provides the exact excuse required by every barbarian, rapist ('she might turn me down'), murderer, racist and of course cynical dictator (trying to not get ousted) to use for any criminal act.

          Or at a more personal level, imagine if I ever used that policy on this site. I'd have to ban you permanently just in case anyone took up your insane ideas.

          Fortunately I just view you as a gibbering idiot who needs to learn how to think. Which is why I used simple ideas from RT bullshit as examples.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2.1.3

          Funny. Russia redefines "defense" as ordering your armies over borders to invade peaceful neighbours.

          Propaganda 101. First, deny all standard norms and definitions.

          • mikesh 5.2.1.3.1

            Funny. Russia redefines "defense" as ordering your armies over borders to invade peaceful neighbours.

            Where are these peaceful neighbours you mention? Surely you don't mean Ukraine, where there was a civil war going on between the government and some separatists?

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2.1.3.1.1

              True, russia began its current invasion of Ukraine in 2014, when it sent tens of thousands of regular troops, plus Wagner PMC (100% funded by russia, Putin now admits), modern russian battle tanks and other weapons into Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. In Eastern Ukraine a sham separatist movement was headed by russian citizen, FSB agent and russian army veteran Igor Girkin aka Strelkov. Girkin had previously played a role in the russian subjugation of Chechnya. Russia's involvement was strenuously denied by Putin at the time, but direct russian involvement is beyond dispute (including direct shelling of Ukrainian troops in Ukraine, by the russian army firing artillery located in russia).

              • mikesh

                I think Russia moved, troops, tanks and armoured vehicles into Donbas on August 24 2014. The fighting started before that though. (MH17 was shot down on July 17th, and there was a Ukranian fighter Jet shot down shortly before that.) It was not a full scale invasion however, but merely to occupy the Eastern oblasts. Russia may have offered provocation by attempting set up autonomous communities in those areas.

                • UncookedSelachimorpha

                  I think Russia moved, troops, tanks and armoured vehicles into Donbas on August 24 2014.

                  Why do you believe this? Putin says that is an utter lie.

                  • mikesh

                    My source is The Russo-Ukranian War by Serkii Plokii, a professor of history at Harvard and Ukranian national.

                    Where does Putin say that this information is an "utter lie"? Plokhyii seems slightly biased in favour of Ukraine, but his account of the war seems pretty factual.

            • Belladonna 5.2.1.3.1.2

              Surely 'peaceful neighbours' refers to countries which are not attacking you.
              Whether or not they are dealing with an internal insurgency – is not relevant – unless the warfare spills over into your country.

              And hardly relevant in this situation – since Russia/Putin have subsequently admitted that the ‘insurgency’ was a Russian-run operation – so Black Ops warfare.

      • Ghostwhowalks 5.2.2

        the Black Sea coast was established as Russian colonies in the time of Catherine the Great. Odessa Sevastapol were creations of then Russian state . Long before that Greek city states , again as colonies existed in the area.

        At the time it was Turkish Ottoman territory- who also had a large empire.

        I think most of your ideas about indigenous peoples such as Tartars and Cossacks comes from Ukraine sources ( yes Criean tartars were expelled from Crimea for siding with the nazis but a Tartar republic exists along the Volga

        Leni and Stalin of course created the Ukraine of today plus Khrushchev added Crimea

        The Ukrainian language probably was dominant in around 1/3 of the existing country in the area around Kviv and to the Polish border

    • You_Fool 5.3

      How's this? Here is a list of imperialistic counties (my opinion and not complete and just in the order i decided to write it)

      • The USA
      • Russia
      • China
      • UK

      So anyone who defends/support these are pro-imperialism…

      Ok for you?

      • SPC 5.3.1

        Russia is involved in a reprise of the German claim of the 1930's that wherever its ethnic peoples live, it has the right to be the dominant power. The USA did this back in the 19th C (annexing land off Mexico).

        It has gone further and also claimed the right to decide for other countries their economic, defence, security and foreign policy arrangements, based on the premise that its concerns are more important than the sovereignty of other nations. Because it has nukes and is on the UNSC and because it is governed around the premise of its own self-centred nationalism.

        In this, a de Tocquveille might note the exceptionalism of the Tsardom/Putinista and the American New World imperial dollar order have similarities.

        Iran has de facto control of Lebanon and Iraq, via groups it arms there as they can defeat the national army in battle. I could add Yemen, but it is no longer a functioning state just an area where the Houthi operate (the new Somalia). Iran is of course revolutionary regime whose regional ambitions are part of its “reason for being/raison d’être”.

        China incorporates Tibet and the NW, when others would allow more autonomy/self government and wonders why Taiwan does not want in. But it's the actions in the south China Sea (it promised it would not militarise the atolls when they made them islands) and territorial and economic zone claims there are where it has crossed the line into regional hegemony imperialism.

        These are the main 4.

        There are unresolved matters – Kurds. NK – Armenia and Azerbaijan. India-Kashmir. Ethiopia (separatism). More locally Indonesia is not giving locals in in West Papua autonomy, instead occupying the area while working with foreign corporates to loot its resources.

        • Ghostwhowalks 5.3.1.1

          This was the borders claimed by Ukraine nationalists at the 1919 Versailles conference – where they were given short shrift.

          Big parts of White Russia , Moldova and up to the Volga and to Georgia
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Peace_Conference_%281919%E2%80%931920%29#/media/File:Map_of_Ukraine_for_Paris_Peace_Conference.jpg

          Poland didnt like its loss of control under the Austrians but Polish nobility of what was known as Galicia centered on Lvov as was decided at Versailles So the Poles invaded 1919-21 during the Russian civil war and won the Ukraine speaking Galicia.

          Ukraine is quite happy to retain the eastern borders of Russian empire exapansion around its borders with Romania, Hungary , Slovakia and Poland

          • SPC 5.3.1.1.1

            The USSR constitution allowed the constituent republics to leave, it's just a pity Ukraine was ever included and was subordinate to a one party order of rule.

            But Ukraine was in the UN from 1945, including Crimea. And with its own self-governance after the Dec 1991 referendum.

            Under UN rules, the borders of nation states are inviolate.

            1. Collective security of nation states attacked (unless a veto).

            2. From 1949, no recognition of any loss of territory after a war.

            It might take $300B from Russia for Ukraine to accept cession of any territory.

            • mikesh 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Under UN rules, the borders of nation states are inviolate.

              Who makes the rules, and whom do rules benefit? Who decides where the borders lie? As I suggested above rules probably don't matter when a country's security is threatened.

              • SPC

                Think again.

                You cannot name one country since 1949 which has successfully acquired land off another and had the UN recognise it. And this is because that is UN policy – it is called collective security. It is the reason why there is a UNSC. To defend the territorial integrity of all member states.

                • mikesh

                  It is interesting that you should choose 1949 as your starting point given that we know what happened in 1948. But even so there can always be a first time.

                  • lprent

                    Look at the date of the formation of the UNRWA. Even international bodies learn after they have to deal with the consequences of their decisions. In this case the deliberate Israeli ethnic cleansing creating refugees caused the UN to have to deal with those displaced for the last 70+ years

                    https://www.britannica.com/topic/United-Nations-Relief-and-Works-Agency-for-Palestine-Refugees-in-the-Near-East

                    It is a pity that you never actually look at actual history and think about it. Instead you just repeat idiotic slogans repetitively..

                  • SPC

                    Mikesh, while I could do better, I am not the UN, not now, nor in 1949.

                    The UN made its decision to clarify the situation as it was.

                    5 Arab armies and Palestinian Arabs rejected the 1947 partition plan, thus had not secured the Palestinian state border. They said they would declare war on any state of Israel.

                    The UN accepted the Israeli state as a member on its 1949 borders, but also said clarified their position on winning territory through war. Regardless of who started them it would not recognise change in borders by war.

                    This left the awkward position of Egypt and Jordan occupying territory awarded for a Palestinian state simply because they (and Palestinian Arabs) would not recognise a state of Israel within Palestine.

                • mikesh

                  China acquired Hong Kong from Britain in 1997. This has probably been recognized by the UN.

    • Ghostwhowalks 5.4

      Yes. Pacific Ocean – our backyard and the exclusive economic zones

      Notice the Empire of the Bald Eagle

      And the Empire of the Kiwi and the French Empire

  6. adam 6

    Glad you mentioned Georgia, with so many Russians fleeing the country in the wake of the war, Georgia was the country of choice for many. As such many Russians living their have learnt the hard way how imperialist Russia really is.

    One friend I talked to a while ago said "we wake up every morning and look out our window as see tanks, and other Russian Military across the valley, we have left Russia, but Russia is just a gun's throw away" They could not believe coming from nice and safe Saint Petersburg, that Russia was like this. But they have been learning. They are thinking of moving again, I've been encouraging them to do so.

    From the off this was a war which should never happened, but in some ways was inevitable. Russian paranoia being what it is. And the greed of the arms industry being what it is.

    I'll be honest I'm no fan of Ukraine, its' current government and its anti worker attitude. And unlike lprent, any neo-nazis in the Ukraine military, are in my opinion a major problem. That said, Russia has neo-nazis in their military, and that is a major bloody problem too.

    I want this war over, and a negotiated settlement is the only answer to that. But when the war mongers on both sides beat their jingoistic drums, it's hard to see any solution on the horizon.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1

      From the off this was a war which should never happened….. And the greed of the arms industry being what it is.

      Russia launched the war and the Russian arms industry is mostly state-owned, so are you saying greed by the Russian state contributed to the Russian state’s decision here – they wanted to increase profit in their state-owned enterprises?

    • mikesh 6.2

      Russian paranoia being what it is.

      I think Russia's fears are more than just "paranoia".

  7. Ad 7

    Hope the Russians lose.

    • mikesh 7.1

      Hope the Russians lose.

      I hope the Yanks lose.

      • Sanctuary 7.1.1

        Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have died for that ephemeral idea of freedom – freedom to determine their own future, freedom to decide what sort of society they might wish to be. It seems so naive to us that a man might lay down something so precious as his existence for an idea. But they do.

        In response, deeply unserious fools like you see this entire exercise in righteous self defense solely through the lens of student common room anti-americanism. It is a testament to your emotional immaturity and political churlishness that you prefer to justify the subjugation of a nation than revisit your childish prejudices.

        • mikesh 7.1.1.1

          Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have died for that ephemeral idea of freedom – freedom to determine their own future, freedom to decide what sort of society they might wish to be. It seems so naive to us that a man might lay down something so precious as his existence for an idea. But they do.

          The enjoyed that freedom until 2014, at which point they threw it away. In any case, with freedom comes responsibility. They seemed to have forgotten that.

          • Belladonna 7.1.1.1.1

            Freedom to do only what your larger neighbour tells you is OK, is not freedom.

            • mikesh 7.1.1.1.1.1

              What about freedom to form an alliance with your neighbour's mortal enemy. That was probably the only thing Russia said was not OK. It seems ironic that Ukraine appears to be on the point of losing their freedom and sovereignty as a result of stupidly ignoring that stipulation.

              • SPC

                Was it not just wanting to join the EU?

                • mikesh

                  Their legally elected president, Yanukovich, accepted an economic assistance deal from Russia, which was by all accounts a better deal than the EU were offering, at which point all hell seems to have broken loose. Yanukovich, who we would assume had the authority to accept Russia's offer, was unconstitutionally ousted, and some in the East sought autonomy but within the Ukranian state. With the new government not accepting Eastern autonomy, a civil war broke out.

                  I think US meddling had a lot to do with events in Ukraine in 2014.

                  • Belladonna

                    was unconstitutionally ousted,

                    Seems pretty clear that Yanukovich ran away – and was formally removed from office, arguably legally – by the Rada (73% of the membership voted for his removal and early elections – including members of Yanukovich's own party).

                    The 'arguable' bit is that there is no formal way to remove a head of government who is neither dead nor incapacitated – just not present. The Rada had to work around this.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Yanukovych#Removal_from_presidency

                    There were also multiple claims of unethical and downright illegal behaviour about Yanukovich (vote rigging, imprisoning political opponents, corruption, kleptocracy, etc.). He was hardly a shining light of democratic rule.

                    • mikesh

                      Yanukovych tried to set up an alternative seat of government in Kharkiv but failed. He then planned on setting one up in the Crimea but, on his way to the peninsula, he was picked up by Putin's agents and taken, against his will, to Russia As far as I know he still lives in Russia. Putin had other plans for the Crimea.

              • Belladonna

                If Russia regarded the EU (which is the only alliance that Ukraine had proposed making) as a "mortal enemy" – it's pretty clear that their policy is being driven by paranoia, rather than by reality.

                Russia has now driven most EU members into regarding them as an enemy, rather than an economic partner (look at the transformation of attitudes in Germany, for example). And driven the largest update in NATO membership in history (all of the Nordic countries, virtually en masse).

                Talk about a massive own goal.

                • mikesh

                  If Russia regarded the EU (which is the only alliance that Ukraine had proposed making) as a "mortal enemy" – it's pretty clear that their policy is being driven by paranoia, rather than by reality.

                  It wasn't that that brought about the invasion. Military hostilities didn't start till after Yanukovych declined to sign up to the associate membership that the EU had offered, and he was ousted from the presidency as a consequence.. According to Yanukovych Putin said that if he signed Russia would block the access to Russian markets that Ukrainian products enjoyed. I assume this would have been disastrous for Ukraine since Russia was her major trading partner.

          • mikesh 7.1.1.1.2

            PS: The Ukranians have certainly chosen to regard the idea of freedom as "ephemeral".

            • Belladonna 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Every neighbour of Russia has very good reason to believe that Russia regards their freedom as 'ephemeral'

              • mikesh

                What they believe is merely what they believe. It ain't necessarily so.

                • Belladonna

                  Much like your opinion that Russia has a right to pre-emptive self-defence – even if there is no actual threat.

                  That is just an excuse for international thuggery.

                  • mikesh

                    If you think that movement of NATO to the Russo-Ukranian border was either not threatened, or was not in fact threatening, then you would seem to be someone who engages in wishful thinking.

                    • Belladonna

                      If you think the active invasion of Ukraine by Russia – beginning with the Crimea isn't actual warfare, then you seem to be someone who engages in wishful thinking.

                    • mikesh

                      Now you are just being silly. When Have I ever denied that the invasion was actual warfare.

                    • mikesh

                      Now you are just being silly. I have never denied that what has been going on in Ukraine is actual warfare.

        • Blazer 7.1.1.2

          Yet you yourself declared it as a proxy war between the U.S and Russia.

          It's…tragic.

      • Belladonna 7.1.2

        “I hope the Yanks lose.”

        With not a single American soldier on the ground – it's difficult to see how the US can 'lose' in the Ukraine conflict.

        • mikesh 7.1.2.1

          They are effectively losing in Ukraine inasmuch as they have ambitions of world hegemony, and the likes of Russia and China are the main obstacles to this. They are losing probably because they are unwilling to put "boots on the ground" otherwise they would probably be winning, but at a cost: the yanks do not like to see their young men returning home in body bags. The Russians are less squeamish which is probably why they will win.

          Nevertheless the yanks will no doubt fight to the last Ukrainian. (A bit corny to say this I know, but you get the idea).

          • Belladonna 7.1.2.1.1

            The US already has "world hegemony" – through economic means. They don't need to fight wars. Russia, on the other hand, is an economic basket case – despite their substantial natural resources – which is a large part of why no one wants to ally with them. The other part is, of course, that Russia appears to regard all other countries as enemies – rather than allies.

            I find your continued inability to admit that Ukraine is a country, which has the right to make its own choices – deeply disturbing.

            Does this dismissal of national self-determination only apply to ex-Soviet countries? Or do you believe this principle (that might is right) should apply elsewhere?

            • mikesh 7.1.2.1.1.1

              The US already has "world hegemony" – through economic means. They don't need to fight wars. Russia, on the other hand, is an economic basket case – despite their substantial natural resources

              Russia is not a basket case. If it were it would not be capable of fighting this war. The US however is a basket case, having sent a lot of its manufacturing to China and other poorer countries. It lives on borrowed money, and has a massive public debt which will never be repaid. In order to live this way it depends on controlling the world oil industry. This cannot last. About the only industry it has left is the armaments industry.

              I find your continued inability to admit that Ukraine is a country, which has the right to make its own choices – deeply disturbing.

              Ukraine made a choice. The chose an alliance with Russia's enemy, the US. The consequences of that don't seem to have been something anybody would wish for. The country is a shambles. What they should have realised is that free choice is limited by the hand one has been dealt. In their case the dealer is Mr Geography.

              PS: Russia was a basket case in the early nineties. This was due to communism which proved an inadequate system, and Boris Yeltsin’s attempt to introduce democracy. This last was such a disaster that the Russian people have harboured a dislike of democracy ever since. Still, the economy has improved since those dreadful days.

              • Belladonna

                Russia is absolutely an economic and technological basket case. And this war has shown that.

                Russia went from having what was internationally considered to be one of the best ground armies in the world, to something approximating 3rd tier status – exposed when they had to fight a war against a modern opponent. Their soldiers are poorly trained, poorly equipped, poorly supplied, have very low morale, and are losing against an opponent which is maybe one twentieth of their size.

                I would not regard the oligarchical dictatorship under Putin as being an improvement (economically, socially or democratically) over the Yeltsin administration. Not claiming that either were 'good', just that Putin is no better.

                • mikesh

                  Russia went from having what was internationally considered to be one of the best ground armies in the world, to something approximating 3rd tier status

                  Russia pulled out of Afghanistan because their economy had deteriorated to such an extent that they could no longer afford carry the war. I note that the "better trained and better equipped" US army did not do much better. As far as whether they are losing in Ukraine is concerned you have your opinion and I have mine – it depends on whose propaganda we listen to – I don't want to debate that question. Time will eventually answer it.

                  However the Ukrainian situation required immediate action. They could not afford to wait until their army was better trained. It is a pity they didn't go in earlier before Ukraine had got its act together. A lot of destruction and bloodshed may have been avoided.

              • Belladonna

                Ukraine made a choice. The chose an alliance with Russia's enemy, the US. The consequences of that don't seem to have been something anybody would wish for.

                You still don't seem to get it. Ukraine is a sovereign country. They have the right to make foreign policy – even if it is policy that Russia doesn't agree with – or finds frightening.

                That does not give Russia the right to attack and invade Ukraine. They can choose other sanctions (refusing to trade, stopping transit through Ukraine, hiking tariffs etc.) – but flat out attacking another country is not one of them.

                TBH – even if Russia 'wins' the war in Ukraine (which I find highly dubious, considering their achievements to date) – they have lost the campaign. All of the other 'neutral' states in Europe have been driven into a defensive alliance against them. They have no friends. They have few trading partners (China and the Middle East – at the end of long easily interruptible routes). And they have squandered any hope of rapprochement that resulted from the Soviet Union allowing the Republics to depart peacefully. This is the old, aggressively imperialist Russia, back again.

                • mikesh

                  They have no friends. They have few trading partners

                  Oh, I don't know. At the end of the day it's Mr Geography who decides these things, and attitudes change over time.

                  As Kissinger said: America has no friends, only interests. Perhaps the same thing applies to Russia.

                • mikesh

                  They have the right to make foreign policy

                  Of course they do, but they have to be willing to accept any consequences that a policy may entail.

                  That does not give Russia the right to attack and invadeUkraine.

                  Russia did not invade because they believed they had the "right to do so". They invaded because the feared Ukraine’s becoming a member of NATO, or even just a client of NATO.

                  • mikesh

                    Actually, and further to the question of whether they had right to attack, but when Ukraine was severed from Russia just after the Orange Revolution, Yeltsen indicated that there was still a border dispute in existence, but that Russia would probably not pursue it as long as Ukraine remained "friendly". The dispute seems to have involved the areas now occupied by Russia plus Odesa. Russian intellectuals are claiming that these areas were never part of Ukraine and should not have been insluded in the areas conceded by Lenin in 1921 when the Ukrainian soviet socialist republic was set up.

                    In 1998, Solzhenitzyn wrote an essay advocating Russia's annexation of these territories.

                    Unfortunately, I am not able to comment on the correctness of these claims. I just offer them as something that may have a bearing on the invasion.

                    My source is Serhii Plokhy the Harvard historian I mentioned earlier.

                    • Belladonna

                      Still no right to attack a sovereign nation.

                      You seem to be advocating that might makes right.

                      Not an ethical choice that I would be expecting most of the Left to agree with.

                    • mikesh

                      You seem to be advocating that might makes right.

                      Might needs to be reckoned with. Obviously it doesn't make right, but that seems to be irrelevant. I think it's unwise for a country to base her foreign policy on an assumption that a strong neighbour will refrain from using force should the need arise, based merely on the principle that "might does not make right".

                  • Belladonna

                    No. They attacked because they felt they had a right to do so.

                    If they had accepted that they had no veto over Ukraine's foreign policy, they would not have attacked.

                    Ukraine is a sovereign country. They have the right to make foreign policy – even if it is policy that Russia doesn't agree with – or finds frightening.

                    • mikesh

                      I don't agree with that. Russia has a right to defend itself, even if that requires preemptive action. In any case fighting was occurring before the invasion, so her action was not entirely preemptive.

              • joe90

                Russia is not a basket case.

                A country where 20% of households use long-drops and 30% of households have no access to centralised sewage systems is a basket case.

                And then there's health care….

                Thus, as of January 1, 2019, out of 116,865 buildings in which medical care is provided assistance, 14% were in disrepair, 30.5% had no running water, 52.1% – hot water supply, 41.1% – central heating, in 35% – sewerage, in 47% accessibility for disabled people and others was not ensured low mobility groups of the population. Another problem is the lack of qualified personnel. There are not enough specialist doctors specializations providing medical care to children. Pediatric service is insufficiently staffed, and more than 7% of pediatricians do not have the necessary qualifications.

                google translate

                source: page 8/128 https://web.archive.org/web/20230916021259/https://ach.gov.ru/upload/iblock/84e/84ed13237c0fe2b0dae052063e371cfe.pdf

                • mikesh

                  "Self determination", as you are using the term, would seem would seem to imply that a country can adopt whatever policies it likes regardless of the consequences for other countries. By that argument Russia can adopt a policy of making defensive preemptive attacks on other countries in self defense, and if the other country is obliterated in the process then so be it.

                  • Belladonna

                    Your view of self-determination appears to be a distinctly warped one.

                    So long as Russia keeps their reactions inside their own borders, then can do as they please in response to their dislike of Ukraine's foreign policy. Impose trade barriers, ban exports, refuse to participate in sporting or cultural relationships, even exercise commercial pressure (refuse to trade with countries which trade with Ukraine) – whatever they please. That's their right of self-determination – to run their own foreign and economic policy.

                    When it crosses over into outright warfare against another country, with zero actual provocation (outside, of course, of their paranoid imaginings) that's when their actions become illegal (not to mention immoral and unethical).

                    Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine – what military action had NATO or the EU actually taken against Russia post 1989? None that I can think of.

                    Even if Ukraine did actually join (which seemed likely to be a very long drawn-out process – given the membership requirements, and the ability of other members to veto) – what risk did Russia realistically run? Very little, if any. NATO had zero interest in prodding the bear – and the EU countries were perfectly happy to have Russia as a trading partner. Russia already had a border with EU/NATO countries – without this being a significant issue.

                    The result of the Russia-Ukraine war has been to frighten every neutral country within Europe into NATO – as well as motivating NATO to fast-track their membership – and made it very clear that Russia is not to be trusted. A defensive treaty partnership which was well on the way to becoming moribund (with the demise of the Soviet Union, and the emergence of Russia as a trading partner – vice Angela Merkel) – has been refreshed and strengthened against an obvious and imminent Russian threat.

                    Even if Putin admits his error tomorrow, and rolls back to the pre 2014 borders, it's too late. Europe is not going to trust Russia for another generation (if then).

                    • mikesh

                      The result of the Russia-Ukraine war has been to frighten every neutral country within Europe into NATO

                      Fine. Now they know what Russia will do if threatened. They can put in their pipes and smoke it.

                    • mikesh

                      Sorry I’ve done it again

                    • Incognito []

                      Please sort it; the incorrect ones will go straight to trash from now on.

                • mikesh

                  All countries, I suppose, have pockets of poverty, some more than Russia's. That doesn't make them "basket cases".

                  [Please remove the text from your user name in your next comments, thanks – Incognito]

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Russia is not a basket case?

                Here are 100 reasons why

                https://nitter.privacydev.net/osint_69/status/1619416277633896448#m

            • mikesh 7.1.2.1.1.2

              Does this dismissal of national self-determination only apply to ex-Soviet countries? Or do you believe this principle (that might is right) should apply elsewhere?

              The US does not seem to worry about international law. It believes itself to be the "exceptional " country. Instead it harps on about a "rules based order"; and that's great, (providing of course that it’s the US that makes the rules. and makes them in its own interests. wink, wink).

              • Belladonna

                I note that you didn't answer the question.

                • mikesh

                  You asked if this denial of self determination applied only to Russia. I indicated by way of reply that it applied also, and perhaps more so, to the US as well.

                  • Belladonna

                    Does this therefore imply that you don't believe that self-determination is a workable strategy for the 21st century?

                    Given that you've admitted that Russia doesn't support it, claimed that the US doesn't support it, and we have strong evidence that China doesn't support it.

                    Are we living in the new imperialist age?

                    • mikesh

                      [Does this therefore imply that you don't believe that self-determination is a workable strategy for the 21st century?]

                      I've never really thought of self determination as a strategy. A strategy is a plan aimed at achieving some goal. If the goal is, say, peaceful co-existence, then I don't think self determination is a particularly effective way of achieving that. Countries will always seem to want to might over something or other. srelf determination can never be a way of resolving disputes because in itself it doesn't provide a method of resolving disputes. For that counties need debates, negotiations, or, dare I say it, wars.

                      Self determination is a goal in itself, I think, but goal a country may have to fight to achieve.

                      [Are we living in the new imperialist age?]

                      Maybe. America seems to be an empire. Russia has imperialist tendencies though, to paraphrase Shakespeare, they appear to be having "imperialism thrust upon them". I get the impression that Putin would prefer to join with other countries east of the Black Sea and North Sea in some form of customs union.

                    • mikesh

                      Well, there you go. He seems to have joined a customs union already. I had not been aware of that.

                  • mikesh

                    Sorry, I didn't notice it at the time, but your original question was a loaded one, since I never denied "self determination". All I said was that countries should be careful about what they determine since determinations have consequences.

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