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View Diary: The Cold War Is BACK! (130 comments)

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  •  Ugh. (9+ / 0-)

    I get why they're doing it - Poland and the Baltics have been understandably on edge recently - but escalation just breeds more escalation, etc. It's not like Putin is going to say, "Oh shit, they're serious" and recall troops from Ukraine. I don't know what this announcement serves other than, as you said, to rattle sabers back in his direction.

    One day this whole back-and-forth between Russia and the West will make a great case study for students of history, especially for people who study the way too-intertwined economies conduct passive-aggressive conflict. We'll send troops, but not officially; we'll impose sanctions, but not fully; we'll ban imports, but only some; etc. etc. Almost a comedy, if there weren't so much suffering underneath.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 01:07:28 PM PDT

    •  I spent a lot of time (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, pico, TomP, OCLefty, LordMike

      reading about the gestation of the original cold war. It really took about three years for it to become irreversible. This really feels like deja vu.

      •  Except That We Weren't Spending On Cold War (6+ / 0-)

        at super cold war levels, when the last one started ramping up.

        We've been overspending on our basic defense spending, more now not counting the wars than when the USSR was at its peak.

        That's where we're starting this round from.

        This time we'll show them.

        --Them domestic liberals.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 01:14:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In 1945 the US was holding (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG, vzfk3s, Azazello

          over half of the world's monetary gold. It had vastly expanded its production capacity. Meanwhile most of the rest of the industrial world had managed to destroy much of its industrial capacity and wreck it economies. We were truly King of the hill.

          The US was not really the prime instigator of the beginning of the cold war. The Truman administration was planning to demobilize and leave Europe to its own devices. It was the British and French who began pushing things. Churchill was stirring the pot even before the war ended.    

          •  Different people date the beginning Cold War 1.0 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Richard Lyon, Claudius Bombarnac

            differently. Tony Judt, in Postwar, dates it to the North Korean invasion of the South in 1950. Steven Kinzer, The Brothers, says it started in Mach of '47 when Truman announced his "doctrine" to a joint session of Congress. Both the NSC and the CIA were started in July of that year. The original Cold War might have made a little sense, although I personally never believed in the "Soviet Threat," Cold War 2.0 in utter nonsense.

            The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

            by Azazello on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:13:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have always considered the Berlin blocade (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Azazello, LordMike

              to be a good point. However, it was definitely a complex process so there's room to have different opinions.

            •  I date the beginning of the Cold War (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LordMike, Azazello

              to the Tehran Conference in 1943, when Churchill and Roosevelt started making excuses about their unreadiness to open a second front in northern Europe.

              •  Until the battle of the Atlantic was over (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LordMike, Azazello

                and the U-Boats were nullified, there was no way that the US would be ABLE to open a second front.

                Stalin was already spying on the Manhattan project at that point.  Clearly he had eyes for the post-war period and territorial gains.

                Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
                I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
                —Spike Milligan

                by polecat on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 09:49:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The US invaded North Africa in 1942, and (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Azazello, Alhambra

                  Italy in 1943. Second fronts were opened, but where they had  carried less casualty risk less strategic impact on the course of the war (Meanwhile the Soviets were fighting at Stalingrad and Kursk and losing over a million dead at Leningrad). Stalin suggested Churchill and Roosevelt were more interested in salvaging the British sphere of influence in the Mediterranean than in risking casualties in northern Europe, and he used this issue to lean on Churchill-- who offered to acknowledge that postwar Poland would have a government "friendly" to the USSR and its border would be shifted westward to the Curzon Line.

                  Later at the 1944 Moscow Conference Churchill tried to salvage the British sphere of influence by presenting Stalin with a checklist of nations and their respective percentages of British and Soviet "influence."

                  It was Churchill in 1943-4, not Roosevelt at Yalta, who consigned Poland to the Soviet Bloc.

      •  The NATO "spearhead brigade" is a (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Azazello, limpidglass, Alhambra

        stillborn idea. It will never happen because it would tie all NATO members to ill-considered precipitous action against Russia, and there isn't the unity of will among NATO for that. Germany, for example, wants to broker peace talks, not escalate the conflict in Ukraine. (And thank God for that.)

        In the future rapid response spearhead brigades will take the form of private contractor forces, not NATO armies or state armies. Private contractor forces have the advantage of not being politically accountable; they can plead plausible deniability. Putin realizes this and has made brilliant use of it.

        The civil war in Ukraine is being fought largely between politically unaccountable private contractor forces subsidized by oligarchs (Kolomoiskii's Donbass Brigade, the Azov Brigade, the militia of the Donetsk Republic, etc.). The regular Ukrainian Army has no taste for the fight, and Russia has no interest in large-scale formal military intervention.

        During the Bush-Cheney regime the US began relying on private contractor forces to do its dirtiest work in Iraq and Afghanistan. Expect this trend to continue as US politics become even more polarized and "national interest" harder to identify. And expect banks and energy multinationals hiring contractors to become military actors on as large a scale as nation-states and alliances like NATO.

    •  Not just the Baltics, (7+ / 0-)

      Romania is nervous as well and Moldava must be positively going out of their minds. I don't know what they're going to do if there's some kind of link from Russia to Transnistria. Romania has been making noises about forming a closer union with Moldava but that just puts them more in jeopardy.  

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 01:36:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Get out of MSM (5+ / 0-)

      Putin didn't start this shit we did, Victoria Nulands to be exact- you know- Robert Kagan's wife. Kagan who helped organize the Iraq war. We funded a coup, and and put Yats, our technocrat in power. Crimea voted to leave and join Russia, just like Scotland is attempting to do right now in the UK. The government we put in power is full of Right Sector nazis-literal nazi's, they worship Bandera. Donestk and Lugansk held a referendum to leave the Ukraine after a number of anti-russian laws were passed. Putin requested that the referendum not be held, but after Right Sector burned a number of pro-russian demonstrators alive in Odessa, the two oblasts broke away. Since then they have been handing the ukrainian army its backside. due in large part to massive corruption and incompetence on the part of the oligarchs running the country. I have no doubt Putin helping the rebels on the sly... news flash the U.S. is pouring in money and equipment too, plus german body armor, and large numbers of Polish soldiers. While you talk about Putin, the government you back has killed civilians in massive numbers by shelling the cities, attacking aid convoys, and launching Tocsha ballistic missiles at civilian areas. Several Ukrainian officials have openly spoken of ethnically cleansing the East. But hey its all on Putin, right? Plus more and more info points to the fact that a Ukrainian jet shot down the airliner, and they used that as a false flag to gain Euro support- funny how no info has been released on that- the administrations "proof" was doctored tapes and social media. No real evidence, kinda like Iraq a few years before.

      •  lol nt (5+ / 0-)

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:54:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bahaha. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pico, Tony Situ, killjoy, LordMike

        While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:58:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Alright, I'll play: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tony Situ, LordMike

        What sources do you think I should be reading that I'm apparently not?

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:41:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, Ukraine shot that airliner down... (0+ / 0-)

        Don't bogart whatever your'e smoking, Mrs. Putin.

        It's really sad that you got 3 recommends for this neo-Soviet propoganda. What is it with some of the memeber of dKos and their absolute love of Putin. It's like being on RedState or something....

        "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

        by LordMike on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:06:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  did you also (0+ / 0-)

        find yarosh's business card under your bed?

      •  From the beginning the US State Dept and media (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        have simply refused to recognize that East Ukrainians might have legitimate reasons to protest the Maidan coup and fear for their autonomy and prosperity. From the beginning we echoed Kiev's line that they were "terrorists," "vermin," or at the least "Russian dupes." There has been no serious effort to find out what they really want (most of them may not be real "separatists") because there has been no effort to include them in negotiations. Even humanitarian aid to them was blocked for weeks (which became another propaganda victory for Putin).

        A lot of needless suffering could be averted if there were a cease-fire and serious talks. But the more the civil war in Ukraine escalates and the more each side demonizes the other, the more likely the conflict will turn into ethnic cleansing.


        •  There can't be serious talks... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...because the "rebels" in Ukraine are mostly Russian citizens.  The fact is, even though many in the East had qualms about the new government, they don't want to be incorporated into Russia. Polling has confirmed that. The vast majority of the fighters aren't even from the region.  They've been sent by Putin to further his aims.

          "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

          by LordMike on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 09:56:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You illustrate my point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You simply assume the "rebels" are "mostly" Russian infiltrators and that east Ukrainians couldn't possibly have been involved in the demonstrations, building occupations, and referenda of the spring. They made it clear what they wanted: greater autonomy under elected rather than appointed oligarch governors; protection of Russian as a second language; maintaining some trade ties with Russia so as to keep their mining and metallurgy jobs; the pledge that Ukraine wouldn't be dragged into NATO.

            Those are reasonable, understandable demands, and they could have been peacefully negotiated. But Kiev responded with war.

            Certainly some Russian infiltrators with military experience were subsequently sent over the border to help turn the resistance into an armed struggle once confrontations with Ukrainian troops began, and Putin has exploited that. But you just can't entertain the possibility east Ukrainians could have legitimate grievances of their own, that they had reasons to support the militias and that tens of thousands of east Ukrainian citizens being bombarded by Kiev forces now have reason to flee into Russia.

            The government in Kiev wants to build a united Ukraine-- so it's shelling and rocketing east Ukrainian cities, killing civilians it supposedly wants to claim as its own citizens. What madness!


      •  Your comment reeks of Soviet era Maskirovka. Ev... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Your comment reeks of Soviet era Maskirovka. Everything you have posted is demonstrably false. Polish troops? The Poles would not risk it. They are already worried about their own borders. Crimea's 'vote' for independence was as legitimate as North Korea's. The elections in the Donbas were bogus as well. The video of the pro-russian demonstrators being burned clearly shows the fire being started by the same demonstrators starting the fire themselves by tossing Molotov cocktails off the roof of the building, accidentally starting the fire. The entire conflict in Ukraine would be a political one if it weren't for Putin's megalomania.

    •  The non-escalation path so far... (0+ / 0-)

      ...hasn't worked to well, either. In fact, it's been seen by Putin as a green light to do whatever he wants to do.

      "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

      by LordMike on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:03:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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