Friday, April 27, 2007

The Gremlins From the Kremlin

What a translation by Veronica Khokhlova at Global Voices characterizes as the suppression of a Russian minority in Estonia is portrayed by La Russophobe as interference by Russia in an internal decision by Tallinn to move a war monument.

As Estonian authorities cordoned off the central square where the Red Army war memorial has been for decades, about 1000 pro-Russian demonstrators gathered nearby to protest. Their demonstration turned into a riot in which police used water cannon, rubber batons, and flash and sound grenades to disperse crowds and prevent youths from forcing their way through a police cordon. "One person died after being taken to hospital and 43 have been treated for injuries sustained in the violence," Tallinn police chief Raivo Kuut said on Estonian Television.


Version 1: "When I arrived ... 2 to 3 thousand people were already there, chanting 'Shame!' and 'Fascists!'. " Version 2: "The leader of the Russian senate called for diplomatic relations with Estonia to be broken because of the removal of the monument. Russia's foreign ministry called the move 'blasphemous' and said relations would be examined." This in the wake of Putin's threat to trash a treaty limiting the deployment of troops and conventional military equipment in Europe unless the US stops its plans to provide missile defense for Eastern Europe.

La Russophobe notes the incident is a battle over history on many levels. Not everyone in the West, especially those who fondly recall "Uncle Joe", remembers that Eastern Europe was overrun by two sets of dictators, Hitler and Stalin, whose victims found there wasn't a dime's worth of a difference between them.

Ethnic Estonians see the memorial as a symbol of 50 years of Soviet occupation while Russia considers it a symbol of the fight against Nazism in World War II. ... The plan to relocate the statue has caused anger in Moscow, which says the Estonians are glorifying fascism by insisting on moving it.

Boris Yeltsin was laid to rest a few days ago. In the coffin with him were the days when Russia deferred to the West. The very atmosphere around Putin screams that Russian agressiveness is back. No one should worry. If Segolene Royal becomes the next President of France, Europe will put Putin in his place.

82 Comments:

Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The Baltic states were active collaborators of Hitler's. Hitler overran the Baltic states in the same fashion he overran Austria and the Sudetenland.

I just hope Putin is in a better mood for their nonsense. I would've had very little patience for these people.

4/27/2007 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger martintg said...

Stalin became the first Nazi collaborator when he signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Hitler to divide up Eastern Europe in 1939.

4/27/2007 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

There were substantial Estonian collaboration with Hitler. Estonian guard units were at some concentration camps. And they comprised the all-volunteer 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Estonian). But Estonia also had a long history of conflict with Russia which was ample cause for bitterness.

Estonia was part of the Russian empire until 1918 when it proclaimed its independence. Russia recognised it as an independent state under the 1920 Treaty of Tartu.

During the two decades that followed it tried to assert its identity as a nation squeezed between the rise of Nazism in Germany and the dominion of Stalin in the USSR.


Wikipedia details what Russia did to Estonia under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the two dictators:

Estonia was occupied by Soviet troops in June 1940, as a consequence of the secret amendment to the August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany. Estonia was formally annexed by the Soviet Union in August 1940 as the Estonian SSR. Many of the country's political and intellectual leaders were killed or deported to remote areas of the USSR by the Soviet authorities during 1940 to 1941. The repressions also included actions taken against thousands of ordinary people. When the German Operation Barbarossa started against the Soviet Union, thousands of young Estonian men were forcibly drafted into the Red Army. Hundreds of political prisoners, whom the retreating Soviets had no time to move, were killed. The country was occupied by Germany from 1941 to 1944 and many Estonians joined the German Armed Forces. Soviet forces reconquered Estonia after fierce battles

Of course, Estonia was not alone in providing Hitler with troops. French volunteers to the SS formed the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French), which in 1945 was among the final defenders of Berlin. Belgium supplied the 373rd infantry battalion of Wehrmacht. But proportionately, pro-Nazi sentiment seemed greater in the Baltic, probably for historical reasons.

Neither Belgium nor France were retaken by the Soviet Union in the wake of Germany's collapse, as Estonia was. But that was probably due to British and US Armies more than anything else.

4/27/2007 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

martintg,

The Nazis were winning local elections in the Baltics long before the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed, let alone publicized. Anyhow, the Soviets did what they did and bought time so as to rearm and gain strategic territory. What was the British/ French excuse when they signed away Austria and Czechoslovakia?

4/27/2007 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

What was the British/ French excuse when they signed away Austria and Czechoslovakia?

Fear of Hitler and fear of Stalin in equal measure. Much of the British government saw Hitler as a bulwark against Bolshevism until Molotov-Ribbentrop. Part of the British government believed Germany was too strong to stop by the time the anchluss rolled around. And many believed Hitler was simply reaching for Germany's "just" place in the sun after the humiliation of Versailles. The fear of both Stalin and Hitler in equal measure made the West sell out Austria and Czechkoslovakia.

The mechanics of Baldwin's and Chamberlain's appeasement are architecturally similar to those of today. How many analysts think the Sunni extremists are a bulwark against the Ayatollahs? Who even now mourn Saddam? How many think that if we only give radical Islam its just place after so much Western oppression we will have peace in our time? Fear in equal measure and delusion as icing. All that's needed is a little realism. In 1939 the West was willing to feed the Ethiopians, the Jews and Eastern Europeans to the dictators. Today it is the Kurds, the Copts and perhaps, the Jews that are the offering. Maybe I'm seeing too many parallels. The two phenomena though separated by 70 years are superficially similar enough. Whether the same sad outcome will result remains to be seen. Maybe we're like the Bourbons, who Talleyrand described as remembering everything and learning nothing.

4/27/2007 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The menu is always the same, Wretchard. It's those "shitty little people" who get in the way of imperialistic swine and their dreams of Empire.

4/27/2007 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I took some classes with a Sovietologist of some renown for my PoliSci degree. He taught the stuff about what Latvia/Lithuania/Estonia states did during WWII, but went on at length re: what the Soviets were doing to those countries during the Cold War; trying to erase them via shipping in lots of Russians and Soviet culture. It is no surprise that there should be a fracas over moving that statue.

4/27/2007 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

"If Segolene Royal becomes the next President of France, Europe will put Putin in his place."

If Royal becomes the next president of France, they will find her under a table at the next summit meeting making Putin fell like Bill Clinton

4/27/2007 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

To get some sense of what the Russians are about, read the Asia Times link provided by Elijah at the Elephant Bar.

A new dividing line in Europe

***

4/27/2007 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Veronica Khokhlova said...

Correction: the first link is not to Veronica Khokhlova's views of the events, but to her translation of a post by a Tallinn-based blogger. Thanks.

4/27/2007 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

The Soviete did much more than simply sign a non-aggression pact with the Nazis. They provided places for the Germans to train, away from the monitoring required by the WWII treaty.

And the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 was a JOINT Soviet-Nazi invasion of that country. The USSR even claimed to be entering Poland for the purpose of helping the Polish defend themselves and then said "Surprise! We are taking over part of the country per the secret deal with cut with the Nazis." Then they shot thousands of Polish officers and buried them in mass graves.

What choice did Estonia have but to throw in with the Nazis? Finland did much the same thing. And the Soviets did try to transplant Russian culture (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) into the Baltic States after WWII. The Russians there now are merely the part of the invading forces that never went home; long past time that they left.

Too bad we can't put our antimissile defenses there.

4/28/2007 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger dchamil said...

I endorse the comments by 3Case and RWE. Many of the ethnic Russians in Estonia and other Baltic states today are descendants of those moved there on purpose by Stalin to dilute national cohesion. It is a sort of ethnic cleansing by dilution.

4/28/2007 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Good. So there should be no objections when the Russians repatriate those Swedes and have them swim back across the sea to where they came from.

4/28/2007 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Andris said...

Mətušélaḥ,

AFAIK, the only place in Baltics where Nazis were winning local elections was the city of Klaipeda, Lithuania which was majority German population and used to be a part of Prussia until 1923, when Lithuania took it from Prussia by military force. That's like Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia and is not representative of Baltics at all.

4/28/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

It's curious how Germany in WWII had many more allied countries than we did in WWII, as well as in Gulf1 and Gulf2. They must have looked unbeatable at the time.

And how back then many of our allies had no militaries left (save maybe show bands) after demobilizing and honoring arms control agreements made at the close of WWI, same as now.

I can also imagine criminals, to say nothing of Hitler, giggling at the notion of a "gun-free" zone.

4/28/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Andris said...

To clarify the facts about Baltic SS legions:

1. Baltic legions were not exactly voluntary. All military age men in Estonia and Latvia were given a choice between "volunteering" for SS Waffen legions, serving in the German army as "auxiliaries" (laborers behind the front lines), commanded by German officers and often treated as subhumans, or being sent to a slave labor camp in Germany. Those who tried to avoid either of those options were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Some number of legion soldiers believed in Nazi ideology, most were there either because they viewed Stalin as greater danger or because they prefered frontline to slave labor camp.

2. Legions were not completely loyal to Germany. One of most popular Latvian legion songs was along the lines "We will beat the Russians now and we will beat the Germans after that" (with euphemisms for Russians and Germans). Something like that happened in WWI, when Germany and Russia bled while fighting one another, to the degree that Baltics gained their independence, and people were hoping that would repeat in WWII.

Due to their shortage of manpower in the second half of WWII, German army would tolerate less-than-fully loyal legions.

3. After WWII, Allies recognized that Baltic legions were of different nature than the regular SS units. In 1950, US Displaced Person Committee declared:
"With respect to their ideology, actions and composition, Baltic Waffen SS legions are distinct and different from German SS units. Therefore, Committee does not consider them as hostile to US."
Even before that, a significant number of former Latvian SS legion soldiers (around 1000) were used by Allies as guards at Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, guarding Nazi war criminals. I can't imagine Allies using people from the "real SS" in that way.

4/28/2007 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Andris,

There's more to history than an abbreviated wiki snippet..

As soon as the Soviets granted these formally Russian territories autonomy in 1920's, all three Baltic territories had fascistic governments installed. In 1933, Hitler was not even Chancellor yet, when these fascistic swine already enjoyed a decade implementing their discriminatory fascistic laws. This is quite remarkable when you consider that Hitler's own Nuremberg Laws didn't come into being until 1935.

4/28/2007 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger ricpic said...

Referring back to the post: the russification of the baltic states has resulted in nations that are as full of internal rancor as Belgium, or the province of Quebec, or increasingly, our own southwest.
Two different peoples cannot exist on one piece of land without constant friction.

4/28/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

"As soon as the Soviets granted these formally Russian territories autonomy in 1920's, all three Baltic territories had fascistic governments installed."

What utter claptrap. Soviets "granted" nothing, we kicked their butts all the way to St. Petersburg, and nearly sacked that swampland development before the Brits intervened. Your use of the term "Fascistic" speaks volumes about your intellectual honesty.

4/28/2007 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Mətušélaḥ,

You seem to suggest the Balts invented fascism back in 1920. Good try!

They won their independence by arms. As Sam said in his post, the Estonians had St. Petersburg surrounded until the dogs were called off.

None of the governments in the Baltic States in the 1930s were any prize.

They call K. Pats' reign in Estonia in the late 1930s "the era of silence". But compared to what else was going on in Europe at the time, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were an veritable oasis of democracy.

And quantitatively, would have been better to live in 1930s Estonia or Latvia than under any Russian or Soviet government -- ever?

4/28/2007 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The agreement was between the Germans and the Soviets. That should tell you something.

4/28/2007 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Scott and Sam,

I find your take on history extremely amusing. First, none of these Baltic territories had their own armies. Second, when the German Army came in, it came in unopposed. Third, the German army came in unopposed because Russia was undergoing an internal Communist revolution, as was Germany btw, though the Germans Army exercised a little more control over its units. It was therefore mutually decided between the Germans and the Soviets to leave this matter between them for a later date. And that's how these Baltic territories got a grant of political autonomy. It was a fluke of history. And you can thank the Communists, both Russian and German, for facilitating it.

4/28/2007 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

WWII was started by Russia and Germany in 1939 when Poland was carved up and then invaded.

You would not know this by going to most WWII museums.

Fewer still will tell you that Finland was invaded by Russia on November 30, 1939.

And that Russia was severely defeated by Finnish Militia at the Battle of Suomussalmi.

And that Germany mistakenly saw that battle as proof that it could decisively defeat the Russians itself.

4/28/2007 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Mətušélaḥ, perhaps you were not aware. All f---ing communists must hang. If time is short, a bullet through the head will suffice. But under no conditions is it ever necessary to thank a communist for anything.

Thanks for the opportunity to post this Public Service Announcement.

4/28/2007 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

Yes, you're quite right. I'm sure the world would have been much more amusing having to watch inebriated Nazi reptiles try and pass themselves off as human beings.

4/28/2007 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger weswinger said...

Mətušélaḥ seems to think that there was a radical difference between the Soviets and the Nazis. The difference was this and this only: the Soviets were international socialists, and the Nazis were national socialists. All the "advanced" thinkers were clear on the benefits of socialism. There was no big surprise in the Molotov-Ribbendorff pact. The war, when it came, was the usual vicious leftist internecine power struggle: see Stalin versus Trotsky.

4/28/2007 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

weswinger,

That's cute. Set up a false dilectic. Perhaps out me as a Commie? Or maybe I just care for the unvarnished truth a tad more than you do? Should we consider that?

4/29/2007 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

In America the love of God is spread abroad in the hearts of believers and allows so many different people to live together here in peace. What a blessing for us all.

Thank you Jesus for your indescribable gift to us.

4/29/2007 02:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tenet tries to shift the blame. Don't buy it.
Michael F. Scheuer,

4/29/2007 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger Elijah said...

Well, Scheuer has some interesting statements, especially as the Iran situation progresses.

From the article cited in this thread -

"the CIA repeatedly warned Tenet of the inevitable disaster an Iraq war would cause...spurring a bloody Sunni-Shiite war and lethally destabilizing the region"

From the Rolling Stone article -

"The Shiites in Iran will not tolerate the re-emergence of a Sunni government in Iraq. And the last thing the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Egyptians, Jordanians and the rest of the Sunni-dominated states will tolerate is letting the Shia control another oil-rich state in the Muslim heartland. So you’re going to see those states running guns and money to Sunni fighters in Iraq. For Jordan and Egypt, this is a golden opportunity to send their young firebrands to fight in Iraq as they did in Afghanistan."

especially this part -
"It’s kind of a pressure-release valve for Sunni dictatorships: People who would be out causing problems because their governments aren’t Islamic enough will be out in Iraq fighting the ultimate heretics, the Shia."

and finally, Luttwak's article from January is interesting in view of the above -

Having failed in that worthy purpose, another, more prosaic result has inadvertently been achieved...

4/29/2007 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, Mətušélaḥ. Hell is too good for Nazis. By all means the rest of the Thousand-Year Reich should be spent in serving the rest of the world - most fittingly, as they have chosen, by making the worst sort of porn movies for global consumption.

However, we have not communists to thank for the Eastern Front, which I guess is your point - but Russians. Which is Estonia's (et al) whole point.

The communist system failed. Stalin spent the first few days of Operation Barbarossa cowering in a bunker getting/staying stinking drunk. What saved Russia was the generals the NKVD hadn't managed to liquidate yet. And, believe it or not, the Church. And, of course, the stolid, indomitable muzhik in the trenches. And Lend-Lease. And, let's not forget, Generals January and February (or if you like, Marshals Mud and Snow).

No, sir, the communists are better credited with starting WWII than with ending it. Ideally of course the USSR and Germany would have annihilated each other entirely, but you can't have everything.

4/29/2007 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

elijah,

re: "It’s kind of a pressure-release valve for Sunni dictatorships: People who would be out causing problems because their governments aren’t Islamic enough will be out in Iraq fighting the ultimate heretics, the Shia."

Since the US began military operations against Islamists in September 2001, jihadists from across the globe have flocked to various battlefields, dying by the thousands. The remains of Canadian, Australian, American, and European Islamists have been found on these various battlefields - thereby releasing jihadist pressure in these Western regions as well, it might be suggested.

Engaging jihadists in Iraq, and elsewhere for that matter, has been expensive, although comparatively less expensive than the cost of 9/11 and certainly far less expensive than other campaigns (WWII took 40% of GDP). In an existential war, what does expense—relative, comparative, or real—matter?

4/29/2007 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

___”evidence of extremist manipulation”

Boy, there is a lot of that going around.

“The building of the security barrier, or "wall", around the Sunni neighborhood in Adhamiya is back on track. Dave Kilcullen, the Senior Counter-Insurgency Advisor for Multi-National Force Iraq, explains that Prime Minister Maliki re initiated the project after he was briefed on the need for the barrier and how the protests came about. ‘As I understand it, once the reasons for the project and the likely benefits in terms of lives saved were explained to the PM, he was happy for it to continue. I understand that the evidence of extremist manipulation was also a factor.’”

Bill Roggio

***

4/29/2007 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

With varying degrees of intellectual integrity and intelligence, appraisal of LTC Yingling’s thesis and his publisher is underway by milbloggers.
Yingling’s Thesis

A man cannot learn who cannot err.

Blackfive et al

***

4/29/2007 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo:

"Hell is too good for Nazis."


But Hell is not what they got. What they got is Visas to South America Canada and the US of A, and Soviet subsidized easy living for the next 50 years.

What I'd like to see is "Real Work Training Camps" established to mirror the ones the Lithuanians the Estonians the Latvians established for their Jews, after these Jews helped them build up the country following WWI and the great depression. Here, these Baltic Huns, will enjoy their more pleasant re-education experiments reproduced to exact specifications. For example, we will bring in primary school students, have their blood drained out of them, and watch them train for their day of real labor for their country. There are many other creative science education programs to be duplicated, and I'm sure our beloved Baltic Huns will enjoy them all.

4/29/2007 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

... But Hell is not what they got. What they got is Visas to South America Canada and the US of A, and Soviet subsidized easy living for the next 50 years.

What I'd like to see is "Real Work Training Camps" established to mirror the ones the Lithuanians the Estonians the Latvians established for their Jews, after these Jews helped them build up the country following WWI and the great depression. Here, these Baltic Huns, will enjoy their more pleasant re-education experiments reproduced to exact specifications.


A lot of "Baltic Huns" already went to those. They started going in 1940, a year before the onset of World War II. Before the German Army came.

You drip with hate and contempt, Mətušélaḥ. I suggest you get some fresh air and sunshine before it becomes a permanent condition.

4/29/2007 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Yes, all us Estonians viciously killed the Estonian Jews, all one thousand of them, who built our country up after World War I. You should apply for the Dean of History at Oxford University, I'm sure they'd appreciate a good laugh.

Let's simply ignore the fact that the Soviets invaded us after they signed the MRP with the krauts, killed tens of thousands of people, then got kicked out when their buddy-buddy plan with Hitler backfired, returned "victoriously" after the Nazis high-tailed it out of Tallinn, and executed, deported, jailed and tortured tens of thousands more Estonians (and Jews).

Let's ignore my great-grandfather being beaten and tortured in an NKVD detention center in the 1950s for a week. Let's ignore my great-grandparents being shot by the advancing "Liberators" for being "kulaks" (they owned a small mill). Let's ignore the fact that Estonia lost one third of her population to the "Liberators". No, since a handful of anti-Semites collaborated with Nazi occupiers, let's ignore all that and give the Soviet Union a free pass in rewriting history.

4/29/2007 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/29/2007 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

So what you're trying to tell me is, that it was just a handful of anti-Semites collaborating with the German occupier that welcomed the German fascists with open arms at every single instant and gave them an open military corridor to Russia; That it was a just handful of anti-Semites, collaborating with the Germans that enacted their version of the Nuremberg Laws, banning Jews from entering local universities, banning them from the armed forces, banning them from holding any kind of civil service job, banning them from living in the centre of town; It is was just a handful of anti-Semites collaborating with the German occupier that had Jews beaten and lynched at every opportunity.. It was just a handful of anti-Semites, and we should not give the Soviets a free pass in rewriting history, or allow them to erect monuments to the fiction of millions who died fighting a handful of anti-Semites.

4/29/2007 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

allen stated,

1) ”extremist manipulation”

i thought the anglos and hebrews were playing checkers in a world full of chess players

Many Syrians say they are worried Iraq’s sectarian strife might spread to Syria; the execution of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, at the hands of Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, infuriated many. The conversion of Syrians to Shiism could create still more conflict.


Sunnis were irate that Shia traditions were given primacy (as they are more and more in Iraq these days) and that Shias disrespected the tradition and killed Saddam on this day. Because the Iraqi constitution itself prohibits executions from being carried out on Eid, the Iraqi government had to officially declare that Eid did not begin until Sunday the 31st. It was a striking decision, virtually declaring that Iraq is now a Shia state.

2) "jihadists from across the globe have flocked to various battlefields, dying by the thousands."

One martyr will have followers, ten martyrs will be admired and emulated.
One thousand dead martyrs who died unheralded die in vain.


Listen to the hypnotic threnody of the Muslim Brotherhood's chanted motto: Allah ghayatuna/Al Rasul zaimuna/Al Quran dusturuna/Al Jihad sabiluna/Al mawt fi
sabil Allah asma amanina/Allah akbar.

- translated...

Our aim [target/that-upon-which-we-always-focus] is Allah

We want to reach [be-in-unity/always-act-in-accordance] with [the purposes/wishes of] Allah

[In all this] The Prophet is the leader

Everything [all the time] we do [make efforts in] is in accordance with the Qur'an

Our way is struggle in the way of Allah [jihad]

To die in the way of Allah is our greatest wish

Allah is the greatest

4/29/2007 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

elijah,

re: 1001 (unheralded) Arabian knights

On this happy note:

US aircrews show Taliban no mercy

H/T Small Wars Journal

Do watch the video provided by the telegraph.

"‘When you are on top of the enemy you look, shoot and it's, 'You die, you die, you die.
The odds are on our side. I really enjoy it. I told my wife, if I could come home every night then this would be the perfect job.’"
___Lt. Denton

4/29/2007 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

elijah,

re:
1) ”extremist manipulation”

Those who raged a few short days ago about the "wall" have fallen silent.

You may agree: A man cannot learn who cannot err.

4/29/2007 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

We shouldn't give anyone a free pass to re-write history, regardless of their politics.

You can call the artwork monuments, but they serve as propaganda. Soviets soldiers did not fight and die as free men, their sacrifice was compelled. What is to honor?

So Germans and Soviets died by the tens of millions. Perhaps now they understand that the public bears some responsibility for their leadership's actions. Best not to let a Hitler or a Stalin write a check that Hans or Boris can't cash.

4/29/2007 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Then tear down the Vietnam the Korean and all other War memorials, because the soldiers were conscripted and therefore were compelled to fight in those conflicts.

4/29/2007 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

US conscripts had alternatives to combat. Soviet conscripts had to be concerned about the guns behind them.

4/29/2007 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Sam,

Though Estonia doesn't exactly fit the mold set by Lithuania and Latvia, what strikes me is that no one lifted a finger to save the Jews, even the mere thousand of them. No one protested and no one cared. Some accuse me of hate, but I've yet to graduate to indifference. I hate hateful things and hateful people. I don't know you nor your family, and my quarrel is not with you or with them.

4/29/2007 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

'"You officers amuse yourselves with God knows what buffooneries and never dream in the least of serious service. This is a source of stupidity which would become most dangerous in case of a serious conflict."
- Frederick the Great'

Change the word "officers" above to "Congressmen". Yingling is naive.

4/29/2007 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

raymondshaw,

Mutiny and desertion is a capital offense in most countries, including the United States I believe.

4/29/2007 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Mətušélaḥ, as a Jew (as am I) you may have a beef. If you are a Russian (as were my great-grandparents until 1920), well, Solzhenitzyn (no arch-friend to Jews) himself said, in one of his autobiographical novels, that he'd never met a bad Estonian.

Of course this would have been in the camps, but as a soldier in the Great Patriotic War, you'd think Solzhenitzyn would have held a grudge if any had been there to be held.

Yes, the Jews had a real bad time in the Baltics. IIRC everybody had a bad time in the Baltics. By all means, turn the spit for any evil Balts, but they ain't all bad.

In fact at least one Russian/Estonian converted to Judaism and came to this country, where I had the time of my life with her. So on an anecdotal basis, I am not disposes utterly to crap on Estonians. Your mileage may of course vary. (I suppose I could thank the USSR for making life so unbearable that she came here, but somehow I don't.)

Also, while Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc., are not making trouble on the world stage, Russia certainly is. It would be one thing if they had been arrant asses fifty years ago but had come round. I fear it will be a while yet before the poison is out of their systems.

4/29/2007 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

No, they're not all bad; Tearing down a war monument dedicated to those that fought against the Nazis is.

4/29/2007 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

3case,

re: Yingling is naive.

If he thought for a moment he could get through to a thoroughly cynical and pretentiously callous American public, he was. By now, I am sure he has learning the error of his ways - poor boy.

4/29/2007 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

- US aircrews show Taliban no mercy
- Video: Targeting the Taliban
- at 1:36 in the video
"The new tactics have seen pilots given free reign to launch attacks"

This is what Kaplan refers to in Imperial Grunts as a horizontal hierarchy or a decentralized system of command in which orders flow from the bottom up...rather than from the top down (vertical hierarchy).

...The extreme decentralization of a network organization with semiautonomous units calls for the mission-order system of command (the German concept of Auftragstaktik). In the mission-order system, small-unit commanders are granted the freedom to deal with the local tactical situation on the spot while following the overall commander’s
intent.

Would the Apaches be considered a swarm unit?

4/30/2007 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

I must say, Mətušélaḥ, you have a certain degree of a point.

For all that the circumstances were unfortunate in every way, the Russians did indeed, ah, free the Baltics from Hitler. It must be admitted that Estonia et al certainly did not do it themselves (unless I am in error about the extent of their resistance operations). Equally it must be admitted that they were not freed for their own sweet sake. The USSR did things strictly for their own benefit. Viz. Warsaw, Katyn Forest among many.

In particular, I am not up on Litvia or Estonia in the war, but my info, or at least my preconceptions, indicate that Lithuania of course was everything you say. Scum. (Although there are doubtless nice Lithuanians, though I know of none.)

Even in the case of Lithuania, though, the USSR had laid a heavy hand on the region. There are reasons the Germans were greeted as liberators until they started the Lebensraum/Untermenschen meat machine (Einsatzgruppen, etc.).

But I am not here to crap on Lithuania. The point is, the Russians had not been any sort of good neighbors for a very long time. There is probably something salubrious about memorializing the Russian impact during WWII, but no one should be surprised that it rankles.

Assuming we do not carry all the war guilt forward to today (and after all we do not even spit on a Frenchman or a German or a Japanese in the street today, do we?) you will notice the glee with which the Baltics, and every other Soviet pawn aside from maybe Byelorussia. No part of this relationship has been happy for the Baltics or anyone in Eastern or Central Europe.

The Estonians, meanwhile, are not smashing this or "tearing it down." They are moving it. Russia itself has been moving around various monuments. In fact I believe that even Lenin's Tomb has been somewhat degraded.

I think Estonia is entitled to, shall we say, alter the presentation of the historical relationship, if not to eradicate it. I have not read the links yet (will do so; have them open in new tabs), but granting that there is some restraint, I don't see the need for a pity party for Russia.

How do you feel about the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan? You know about this of course, the historic war memorial of Japanese dead, that includes the names of men declared (without very much argument from me) to be war criminals. A perpetual bone in China's throat for one.

It's all rather confusing, in truth. I guess the victors write the history? Or perhaps the writers of history are the victors. I really have a hard time objecting to watch the USSR getting crapped on, try as I might.

I hope they enjoyed fathering those three-odd million German bastards; I should say that on their scale of values that was tolerably fair payment. About their speed, I should say. The fact that they went on to rape the rest of the Eastern Bloc for the next fifty years was, perhaps, excessive.

Incidentally, how about Poland? I suppose you could say the USSR eventually 'liberated' Poland from the Nazis. Poland also had a checkered history with its Jews and, of course, the lion's share of Jews murdered during WWII were Polish. Does Poland have the right to object to Kremlin statuary?

Ultimately to decide justice in this case I would need more facts. Other memorials, other countries, other actions. You only seem to present one side of the case. As it is considered bad form/ad hominem (not that it would stop C4, say), I will not inquire into your background, but to know more about where you're coming from would help me to understand your point.

4/30/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Also, as a side note, fascism was not then the discredited ideology of today. After Mussolini many, even in the West, thought it was the coming thing.

4/30/2007 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

I hope you don't mind, but I will have to forfeit. Some other time, perhaps.

4/30/2007 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger DrCruel said...

Honouring the Bolsheviks for fighting the Nazis is akin to honouring the Nazis for fighting the Bolsheviks. It's even worse in Estonia - whereas the death camps run by th eNazis were eventually liberated, and the Nazis responsible brought to accounts, the death camps run by the Bolsheviks stopped killing only when the Soviet Union fell of its own account. Not one Stalinist was brought to account in an international court for his crimes. As for the Marxists 'liberating' Estonia from the Nazis by seizing its territory, murdering its leaders, and enslaving its people, I consider the entire idea just as outrageous as Estonians must.

Marxists have a monstrous historical record to answer for, one arguably worse than the Nazis. It's bad enough that so many people were forced to suffer under the tyranny of socialists, either of a nationalist or internationalist variety; their victims certainly should not be forced to celebrate that record. That some people would dare to make such an argument, even now, proves how little we've learned from that accursed time.

4/30/2007 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

drcruel,

Two words: Master Race


And if you're not German, you need not apply. That means Estonians, Latvian, Lithuanians, Polaks, Ukrainians, Hungarians, and all the other Nazi collaborators.

Sometimes you really wish that the Nazis would've won, just so you wouldn't have to listen to these fscking cold war morons, because they'd all be fscking dead.

4/30/2007 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

I hope you don't mind, but I will have to forfeit. Some other time, perhaps.

4/30/2007 07:15:00 PM


Not at all, the question of who was worse, Nazis or Soviets, has preyed on me for a long time. I hope I have not given (excessive) offense.

5/01/2007 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger nikita said...

Putin's threat to trash a treaty
Do you mean CFE treaty, that NATO countries didn't even ratify to this date? Of course, it's really a sign of "Russian agressiveness" (a cliche habitually living under mental bed of so many people) to withdraw from a treaty that only Russia executes. Incomparably more agressive, than USA unilateraly withdrawing from ABMT---a cornerstone of strategic stability.

5/01/2007 03:45:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

nikita?! :)

Heheh. Well, thank you for coming to the rescue!

5/01/2007 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Yes, think of all the little Russian babies about to be murdered in their beds by the Airborne Laser, the THAAD missile, the Navy Upper Tier. All those city-destroying defensive weapons. Why, I'm sure you would feel safer being surrounded by Pershings and Honest Johns!

Even if we had thousands of these weapons and they all worked perfectly, all it would mean is that Russia had to find another way of killing millions of innocent people. Is it your immediate game plan to kill millions of innocent people? Is there a schedule? I need to set my calendar.

As it is, there will be perhaps twenty of these missiles in Alaska. I only wish there would be as many as a hundred.

So what does that mean? If Russia wants to kill millions of Americans or Europeans, they have to fire twenty-one missiles instead of twenty.

Boo fscking hoo. My tears for you would float a boat.

Obviously, though you cannot seem to be understand, BMD is not directed at Russia. It is directed against the petty nuclear powers. North Korea, Pakistan, Iran. In the best possible scenario, China.

You understand the need to protect yourself against the Chinas of the world, don't you? I mean, why is Moscow ringed with nuclear Galosh missiles? Why are you digging out the Yamantau complex? Surely you're not afraid that the US will attack you? (Or don't you think we know these things?)

Look, it would be nice to make you feel better, but the fact is, there is nothing to allay Russian fears, Russian paranoia I dare say, except for the rest of the world to abase themselves and offer their throats to your knife. Then of course you will be merciful and spare us. Except that the history of the Russian state, back to before the Czars, is not distinguished by its capacity for mercy.

You know, one reason many here have had sympathy for you is because we thought we understood that embattled Russia feared for its future as a Christian country, hemmed in by all your dangerous neighbors. But really, this is a joke, because since when has Russia been a Christian country?

Personally I was satisfied with your statues being out in the street where birds could crap on them. You should probably thank Estonia and the rest for bringing them safely indoors. But thanking is not in your nature. A great many things are not in your nature.

Now listen to me carefully, because I'm going to try and save your lives:

You. Are. In. No. Danger. From. The. USA. Except. That. You. Create. Yourselves.

In Russia, whether some or all of the rest of the world is scorched by your nuclear fires depends on one thing (competency of your arsenals aside). Whether Putin drank Starka or samogon the night before. In the USA, however, it depends on the will of the people. Even if you ran over the President's dog, the national will is what prevails here.

I know you don't understand it because you wear democracy like a robber's mask, but just accept it as true. As such, then, you should avoid angering, threatening and just plain annoying the American populace with your antics.

Behave like civilized people, and you will be treated that way.

That is all.

5/01/2007 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

The most amazing thing, really, is that you just can't figure out why everybody hates and/or fears you. Then again, many rapists persist in a delusion that the woman enjoyed it.

5/01/2007 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger nikita said...

Nichego, I am a little worried by your answering your own post so agressively. But then, honestly, I failed to completely grasp the meaning of the first one ("Yes, think of all the little Russian babies...") in which you seem to neither understand why ABMT is an important tool in restraining nuclear arm race, nor explain why Russia should be bound by treaty that other parties never bothered to implement, and in which, supporting my remark about mental cliches, a whole bunch of them, of the drunk-bears-dancing-on-the-snowy-streets variety has been lucidly displayed, so maybe there is some deep meaning in that.

5/01/2007 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

The tactic is the same as used in WWII. The Europeans could have stopped Hitler and had ample opportunity and overwhelming legal and military power to do so. But they wanted to build Hitler up and redirect him towards the Soviets. That was the plan.

The same tactic is being used today. Redirect the Islamic menace onto the neo Soviets. That's the only logic behind the limited Missile Defense System and unlimited appeasement of the Islamo fascists. It is a hostile, crude, and craven tactic. And it is being practiced by both sides. It is also extremely stupid, as the experience of WWII should have plainly demonstrated.

5/01/2007 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Nikita, let's unpack your post, the one where you misspell my handle (it's ok, happens to everyone - or is this a Russian pun?).

The followup comment was just that, not answering myself.

On ABMT:

Unless you want to take over the world, or worry that we are going to make like Hitler and Napoleon and invade you (better you should look east than west, tovarishch), you are afraid for the Russian babies., i.e. afraid of being attacked with nuclear weapons.

This can happen in one of three ways:

A major nuclear power like the US or Russia attacks you.

A medium nuclear power like the UK or China or Israel or France or India attacks you.

A petty or nascent nuclear power like Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, Libya, AQ, etc., attacks you.

In the first case, all your Galoshes may keep your feet dry, but they will not save your leadership or your nation. Game over. Unless you have not dozens, but thousands of missile interceptors.

A score of ABMs can neutralize a mistaken launch, perhaps, or eliminate the first step in nuclear escalation by preventing you from doing limited strikes, say an EMP attack or a few city-busters on the major metro areas. A hundred might perhaps defend New York or Washington - unless you launch two hundred warheads against Washington or New York.

They do not alter the calculus of major nuclear war. Russia's, or the US', nuclear deterrents remain assured.

Against a medium nuclear power, an ABM system at the high end could provide a reasonable shield, not perfect, but good. This is perhaps destabilizing for France or India but we don't care about that, do we? After all they are not signatories anyway.

Against a petty nuclear power you are safe, barring system failure. This should actually be stabilizing in the sense that it should convince them to stop; it could be destabilizing in the good sense that their evil governments have no defense or deterrent and are more vulnerable to invasion or revolution.

If you think this is a foot in the door and these missiles are the first of, as I say, thousands, just say so. However, at least that day is very far away.

Now as to the treaties. There are steps you are supposed to take before we take ours. The sad fact is that your forces are a menace to everyone and they are not welcome. They do not really help to defend Russia, either. As before, your best defense is defense in depth. You would not win any war in Estonia, you would win it at Borodino.

Not sure how to respond to your remark about mental cliches. I do not think I have called you all boors, though thuggish is an accurate description of your foreign policy. As for Putin, it was a general observation of his absolute power and unaccountability. He looks like a cold fish, one doubts that he drinks at all.


...


Mətušélaḥ, if you are afraid of being attacked by Iran, why are you supporting their nuclear program? This defies belief, not to mention sanity or logic.

However, yes, I understand what you mean about the Western powers desiring a Russo-German war of annihilation. Hitler would have made a lot of friends that way. It didn't help, of course, that the Soviets so supported him, but there were mistakes made on both sides, as you say. He should certainly have been stopped in 1936 or 1938.

But as for this modern Islamo-Russian war scenario, this makes no sense. First, you have your own problems with the Muslims. Remember Afghanistan? Chechnya? And Iran and you have never gotten along. What would you have done in 1948 if we hadn't kept you out of there? How do you think that would have played out?

If you think missile defense protects us and leaves you vulnerable, well, we have offered to share technology with you. And after all, you have your own nuclear interceptors. Messy but no doubt effective.

What appeasement? Iraq is appeasement? I agree we have not been aggressive enough, but do you think, b any stretch of the imagination, that you have helped? Did I miss where you offered a hundred thousand troops for the invasion or stabilization of Iraq or something?

I do note that you have stopped work in Iran, supposedly because of nonpayment. It's never too late to learn.

I do agree that logically you are more of a threat and a target to Islam than we are. Our threat is more ideological, nobody wants to grow up and be like you, but in reality you can do them a lot of damage very quickly and conveniently, and without shipping troops and their gear ten thousand miles. You can just bus them in.

I certainly agree that the West and Russia should cooperate, or cooperate more, against the Islamic menace.


...


On a side note, the anti-spam system never gets it right the first time. Annoying.

5/01/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"Mətušélaḥ, if you are afraid of being attacked by Iran, why are you supporting their nuclear program? This defies belief, not to mention sanity or logic."


It also defies reality.

5/01/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

"Mətušélaḥ, if you are afraid of being attacked by Iran, why are you supporting their nuclear program? This defies belief, not to mention sanity or logic."


It also defies reality.


Uh, Met? Who is building their reactors? Talk about defying reality. Or is this all a lever scheme to defraud the poor wogs and you were never going to give them the fuel or critical technology?

5/01/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

As I said before, the difference between wild dogs, is that the real dog if you feed it, will not bite you. The only Jihadi nuclear reactor built is the Paki reactor built by the Kanukistanis.

5/01/2007 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Mətušélaḥ, this is not an answer. The wild dogs bit is amusing, but unclear. The Pak program is a concern, of course...I hope somehow we have a handle on that. I don't thank Canada for that little piece of work, and I don't thank Russia for helping Iran.

5/01/2007 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

Re: amusing, but unclear:
alQaeda = Pakistani secret service

That's the reason I laughed when Wretchard asked who do we bomb?

5/01/2007 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Canada would not have built that reactor if it didn't get the go ahead from the US. So what happened to the sanctions the US was supposed to slap on Pakistan? What happned to Dr Khan? Right, I forgot, the Pakis are our partner in the War on Terror.

5/01/2007 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Mətušélaḥ,

1) What kind of name is that? I mean, what language? I don't recognize that orthography at all.

2) So, we should bomb, invade, or destabilize Pakistan? I did get that this was a grudge of yours; what I did not quite follow was the wild dog stuff. You mean Pak is our dog and should be nice, but in reality is a wild dog? Still confused.

3) Well, if the Soviets had not been raping the world, and particularly Afghanistan - and if India hadn't been playing footsie with you - we would not have had to cosy up to them.

4) Don't feel bad, they are so tight with China it makes little difference to you. By the way, I'd bet you know better than I this question. China only has maybe twenty missiles, and I think twenty warheads, that can strike the US at all.

But I bet they have more than that on shorter ranged stuff. How many nukes do you think they can hit Russia with?

5) How dare you arrest Gary Kasparov?!?!?!

5/01/2007 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

1\ Hebrew: Metushalach = to death he has sent them
2\ Pakistan should've been incinerated. Totally and completely.
3\ You're talking nonsense here.
4\ NoKor = China.
5\ Weinstein should stick to playing checkers.

5/02/2007 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger nikita said...

Nikita, let's unpack your post, the one where you misspell my handle (it's ok, happens to everyone - or is this a Russian pun?).
Sorry about that; "nichego" (pronounced "nichevo") is Russian for "nothing".

They do not alter the calculus of major nuclear war. Russia's, or the US', nuclear deterrents remain assured.
Your assessment of ABMT role is based on wrong understanding of anti-ballistic system usage. It doesn't protect your cities. Rather, it is to protect your silos and command centers, to preserve your capability to withstand first strike (when your opponent starts the war), and to make second (when you start it). Of course, ABMT is very crucial to maintaining stability in MAD condition, and there is a whole lot of literature on the subject. Also, oft-quoted idea that "game is over" in the case of full-scale nuclear attack from major nuclear power is a gross overstatement. Nuclear arsenal of the US is not sufficient to collapse country of the size of Russia (and vise versa), and military control chains are designed to sustain it. Hypotheses of "nuclear winter" sort are too speculative and too long term to have immediate effect.

Now as to the treaties. There are steps you are supposed to take before we take ours.
So, to repeat: currently Russia is the only country that does limit (and for many years) its conventional forces in Europe in accordance with CFE, and its unwillingness to continue to do so unilaterally is a clear sign of aggressiveness, right?

The sad fact is that your forces are a menace to everyone and they are not welcome.
Hehe, don't repeat wretchard's mistake of talking about issues you know only from "media outlets". It was Georgia that begged Russia to install military bases on its territory in July of 1992, to stop "civil war" (ethnic cleansing, in fact), and to separate Georgians from Ossetians and Abkhaz. Which duty, given never ceasing war mongering of new Tbilisi regime, is as actual as ever.

As before, your best defense is defense in depth. You would not win any war in Estonia, you would win it at Borodino.
Thank you for advice, but I'd better take chances, if only to break centuries of monotonous history of our peaceful western neighbors attacking "aggressive Russia" (of course, it was Russia that provoked Napoleon, Hitler, Poles, Teutons, right?) and killing millions of my compatriots before being stopped at Borodino (var. Stalingrad, Moscow), and driven back to swamps.

I do not think I have called you all boors, though thuggish is an accurate description of your foreign policy.
So your speaking of "Russian paranoia", "merciless Russian history" (idea based on a deep knowledge of the topic, I reckon), and comparing nation of hundred millions to a rapist, all fit into caption of "accurate description"?

As for Putin, it was a general observation of his absolute power and unaccountability.
Ah, "general observation". You mean what, CNN? Strangely enough, I, being much closer to Putin (if only geographically) made an observation of weakness of his power, of his fighting with numerous factions, and his selecting his steps very carefully to avoid rapid fall. Somehow the fact, that external observers (should I call them "generic observers"?) fail to note these obvious facts (i.e., that they fail to begin to understand the mechanics of Russian affairs) makes the relevance of their conclusions doubtful.

He looks like a cold fish, one doubts that he drinks at all.
Is that supposed to be a new approach to political analysis? Wait... it's not new, Dr. Goebbels already practiced it, sorry. And by the way, if he doesn't drink at all, then your dichotomy of "Starka or samogon" is not exhaustive and requires amendment, right?

Uh, Met? Who is building their reactors?
Interesting question indeed. Let's look:
The Iranian nuclear programme was launched in the 1950s with the help of the United States... Bushehr would be the first plant, and would supply energy to the inland city of Shiraz. In 1975, the Bonn firm Kraftwerk Union AG, a joint venture of Siemens AG and AEG Telefunken, signed a contract worth $4 to $6 billion to build the pressurized water reactor nuclear power plant... President Gerald Ford signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel...
And so on for 30 years.

5/02/2007 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Have only seen, heard it as "nichevo." I also understand it has more meanings - "never mind," "forget it," "this is not happening," etc. As my great-aunt Filia, an emigre at the age of 8 and a Russian literature professor, used to say, "Nichevo covers a multitude of sins."

But thanks for the "nichego" info. Perhaps it is the Cyrillic-Roman thing?

Re: ABMT: Yes, but Washington and New York are in essence command centers just as Moscow is. I said nothing about protecting Chicago or LA. My premise is that given the limited size of the program, any point target - Cheyenne Mountain or Yamantau, Pantex and Los Alamos or Arzamas-16 and Chelyabinsk-70, the submarine pens in New London or Vladivostok - is vulnerable to a concerted attack.

The calculus used to be, last I checked, that 40 warheads would be targeted on New York, and this with no defenses (unless you thought we had secret defenses somewhere). This is just because it is so vital to US society and economy. 40 warheads would be cut in half by, say, 20 interceptors. So either you would accept hitting NYC with only 20 warheads, or you would launch 60.

As I understand it, each of our arsenals has the capacity to cover every square inch of the other's country with rapidly lethal doses of radiation. If this is not "game over," it will do for the present. The next game will be played by the >1 million survivors.

Treaties: Putin's move is an obvious provocation. It is also insignificant chest-beating, so it is worrisome more in the sense of his sentiments than his actual capabilities or intentions.

Georgia: *Install* military bases? You mean you had to construct new ones? What happened to the old ones? Anyway, I agree it is a mess over there and there are not enough facts on offer at present. I used to follow this issue in more detail.

Borodino: But in fact this works better than forward defense. It's not like you're trying to save the lives of muzhiks (moujiks?), you want to preserve the nation in essence. Defense in depth is a luxury few nations have.

And another common mistake was that indeed, Russia tried to be too clever in many of these cases. You were with Napoleon and against him, with him and against him, meanwhile opportunistically snapping up bits of real estate like Finland when backs were turned. You played booty with Hitler and it is not surprising that he betrayed you, if you wish to call it that.

As for Poland, aside from post-WWII, it seems to me they were more sinned against than sinning. Was it Russia whose entire territory was divided up between its four largest neighbors, or Poland which ceased to exist?

As for Teutons, kill all the Germans you like. You will have to find someone else to object on that score. (The raping thing didn't work out so well for you since a) this created more Germans, b) they benefited from the infusion of Russian genes, c) they are a nation of prostitutes anyway so unlike in Bosnia, the shame element didn't come into play. Stick to killing.)

Or excuse me, did you mean Swedes?

But as to all of the above, Russian duplicity, while appearing cunning and clever to you, has actually worked against you. Playing in the middle of the road is not as safe as it seems.

Also on the defense in depth: I repeat that your far most likely threat of actual on-the-ground invasion, by an army of sufficient size to really make you fear for your nation, is from China in the East. With your main forces safely in the interior, not only would they be much harder to annihilate by Western air supremacy (I trust we shall not have to argue over this), they would be that much closer to the defense of Siberia.

Boors: I stand firmly behind "paranoia" and "merciless," going back to the Czars (Tsars?) if not before. As for rapists, Germany aside (I'm giving you a pass there), the metaphor is fairly apt, though I do not claim that you literally sexually abused millions of Czechs, Hungars, Yugoslavs, Bulgars, etc.

Would you prefer "terrorized and exploited" to "raped?" Soviet propaganda was free enough with such descriptions in its time that I should not expect you to be so prudish.

Putin: When you say "rapid fall," what do you mean? Impeachment? Political isolation? Coup or assassination? Defeat in war?

You know, it is allowed, in the rules of our (USA's) game at least, for Presidents to become politically unpopular or even to be legally removed from office. This is part of the process and affects everyone's actions, helping to yield compromise and consensus. This is known as "the balance of powers."

While the effects have given displeasure in the past, it is not considered desirable for President G.W. Bush to assassinate Noam Chomsky or Rosie O'Donnell, or arrest and expropriate George Soros, wring Congress like a limp dishrag, or force Gov. Babineau to let troops into Louisiana (Hurricane Katrina) without a say in the matter. Some of this would be desirable, yes, but we feel that ultimately it would not work out well.

Cold fish: One Russian stereotype I have not bought into is humorlessness, but keep trying. If he doesn't drink, then obviously other factors would affect his mood and whim.

Reactors: I aked who *was*, not who *is*. Iran is a near-great country who, before 1979, was destined for great things. Since 1979 it is no longer wise to promote this growth. Please note that Iran is not ever going to be your friend no matter how well you arm them.

5/02/2007 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Excuse me: I asked who is, not who was.

5/02/2007 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Nichevo,

You spend too much time on the keyboard. :)

5/02/2007 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Mətušélah, I used to think that, but now I know: I just think and type faster than normal. ;>

5/03/2007 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger nikita said...

Re: ABMT: Yes, but Washington and New York are in essence command centers just as Moscow is. I said nothing about protecting Chicago or LA.
Neither Washington nor New York are important in sustaining integrity of military control during total war. Grand Forks is.

The calculus used to be, last I checked, that 40 warheads would be targeted on New York, and this with no defenses (unless you thought we had secret defenses somewhere). This is just because it is so vital to US society and economy. 40 warheads would be cut in half by, say, 20 interceptors. So either you would accept hitting NYC with only 20 warheads, or you would launch 60.
Except that number of Sprint/Sentinel/Safeguard or A-135 style interceptors is not 20, but is closer to 100, and instead of sending 20 warheads to the NORAD control center, 120 is required, and yet, success is not guaranteed.

As I understand it, each of our arsenals has the capacity to cover every square inch of the other's country with rapidly lethal doses of radiation.
Sorry, but this is nonsense. Radiation level drops as the square of distance from an epicenter. Nuclear weapon can destroy major cities and economy, but this is not enough to put determined nation on its knees. In autumn of 1941 USSR lost larger fractions its European part (which basically equals to industrially developed one), yet this wasn't enough.

Treaties: Putin's move is an obvious provocation.
You wisely avoids answering the question of whether Russia's decision to stop unilaterally limiting its conventional forces in Europe is a sign of aggressiveness.

Georgia: *Install* military bases? You mean you had to construct new ones?
Exactly, more troops, weapons, etc. Don't you mean that not only you claimed that "your forces are a menace to everyone and they are not welcome" without knowing actual facts, but didn't even bother to study them after being pointed to?

What happened to the old ones?
"Old ones" were only enough to protect Soviet weapon and ammo stocks (and wisely so, as these were attacked first at the start of civil war).

And another common mistake was that indeed, Russia tried to be too clever in many of these cases. You were with Napoleon and against him, with him and against him, meanwhile opportunistically snapping up bits of real estate like Finland when backs were turned. You played booty with Hitler and it is not surprising that he betrayed you, if you wish to call it that...

But as to all of the above, Russian duplicity, while appearing cunning and clever to you, has actually worked against you. Playing in the middle of the road is not as safe as it seems.

You mean it was USSR that signed Munich Treaty, selling Czechs to Hitler and setting him free? Wait... it wasn't even invited. Or may be Prime Minister of Her Majesty who returned to London waving the "treaty of eternal peace" that he signed with his "good friend Hitler" was Soviet agent? Or it was USSR that failed to land in Europe for 4 years (under pretext of "bad weather in the Channel" mostly), to make war longer and to weaken ones who did fight?

As for Poland, aside from post-WWII, it seems to me they were more sinned against than sinning. Was it Russia whose entire territory was divided up between its four largest neighbors, or Poland which ceased to exist?
Yes it was. Again, learning of facts is advised. Do you know who False Dmitries were, and how Polish troops got stationed in the Kremlin? Also, studying of history of the territories, that USSR alienated from Poland in 1939, would be quite illuminating.

As for Teutons, kill all the Germans you like. You will have to find someone else to object on that score...
And to complete this excellent line of reasoning all Jews have to be exterminated to account for ethnic cleansings described in Old Testament in all the horrible details. And Americans for Manifest Destiny and unprecedented planned genocide of the population of whole continent (albeit, I am pretty sure American history textbooks paint this quite differently). And justice for all, I presume.

Boors: I stand firmly behind "paranoia" and "merciless," going back to the Czars (Tsars?) if not before.
And I am standing firmly behind "cliche", unless examples of said unusual mercilessness are provided. Speaking of cliches, Mrs. Rice in her latest public speech delivered on occasion of that very "trashing the treaty" we are talking about, more than once mentioned "*Soviet* interests" and "*Soviet* treats". Which tells quite a bit about a mind-set and level of adequacy of policy makers.

Putin: When you say "rapid fall," what do you mean? Impeachment? Political isolation? Coup or assassination? Defeat in war?
Isolation.

You know, it is allowed, in the rules of our (USA's) game at least, for Presidents to become politically unpopular or even to be legally removed from office.
Sure, the same here. How many of the first two Presidents of the US were impeached, by the way? We almost got one.

This is part of the process and affects everyone's actions, helping to yield compromise and consensus. This is known as "the balance of powers."
It exists here too. Not according to CNN, but that's quite different matter.

While the effects have given displeasure in the past, it is not considered desirable for President G.W. Bush to assassinate Noam Chomsky or Rosie O'Donnell, or arrest and expropriate George Soros...
Ah, you are probably hinting that Putin ordered some of his political opponents to be assassinated or to perform a mock trial on them? Didn't you learn that, by any chance, from the same sources whose utter inadequacy has already been pointed above?

Reactors: I aked who *was*, not who *is*.
So it was fine for the US to plot against popularly elected Iranian PM, finance riots, trigger a coup (leaving hundreds dead), install a Shah and hand him nuclear technologies, but once this puppet regime fell down, Iran is "no longer great country" and Russia is wrong. That is, "great country" is one that allows British Petroleum to exploit its oil reserves, and bad one is one that doesn't. I see.

Reminds me of another line of reasoning. First, pour enormous amount of money (half billion a year) into Afghanistan fundamentalists, train them, organize them, arm them. Then, once they successfully fight off major world power and got huge self-confidence, they will naturally attack next one, that is *you*. Blame Iraq.

5/03/2007 03:50:00 AM  
Blogger Nichevo said...

Nikita, I am going to have to cry off for now, will get back to you later. Am busy with a presentation I have to deliver tomorrow. In that sense, yes, I have spent too much time here lately. Procrastination. But I will get back to you. Meanwhile, you have included a couple of teasers hee, one-liners designed to make me think. Very well, but while I am gone, perhaps you will flesh them out with a few more facts.

For instance, there is a joke I am minded to tell which centers on the fact that "almost one" is zero. What about this impeachment attempt? Yeltsin faced problems I would characterize as more trenchant than this, if you mean him.

I fully admit that Russia has many serious problems which affect their reality in ways that, for instance, did not apply to our Founding Fathers after the War of Independence.

5/03/2007 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger nikita said...

For instance, there is a joke I am minded to tell which centers on the fact that "almost one" is zero. What about this impeachment attempt? Yeltsin faced problems I would characterize as more trenchant than this, if you mean him.
I meant, that Russia too has legal impeachment procedure in place, and it was even tried in practice, quite quickly.

5/04/2007 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger nikita said...

Nichevo, one more thing for you: "If we see that Germany is winning, we ought to help Russia, and if Russia is winning, we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible." Are you able to identify who said that? Duplicity, as you say.

5/04/2007 03:08:00 PM  

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