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Bristol

 Iron_Captain wrote:
If NATO had been disbanded Russia would not have followed down the same road. Does the West carry all the blame? No. A lot of blame? Yes.


You have no evidence or proof for this claim.

On the other hand, there is the invasion and annexation of parts of the Ukraine to support that, without NATO, countries along Russia's borders are likely to be attacked by Russia if it feels like it should and can get away with it.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/03/14 08:44:03


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 sebster wrote:
One element of this story I haven't seen raised much is Skripal being in the UK as a result of a prisoner swap. Remember back when the FBI uncovered the network of Russian sleeper agents in the US, and everyone lost their gak because one of them was a pretty girl? Well that whole deal got sorted when the US, UK and Russia came to a deal over a prisoner swap. At that point Skripal was sitting in a Russian jail, after he'd been caught handing intel over the UK. As part of the spy swap where Russia got its 10 operatives back, Skripal was released, pardoned of his crimes, and sent to live in the UK.

So Russia killing him now, ten years after that deal seems to be a big issue not just because Russian agents went on to UK soil and tried to kill a man and his daughter, and ended up also seriously a policeman as well.


But why would Russia kill him 10 years after the fact? It doesn't make any sense.
   
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They are sending a message "Don't be a traitor. We will find you and we will kill you. You are never safe". And given the wide definition of traitor (anyone who disagrees with the Russian state in any way) it is a message to a lot of people.

 insaniak wrote:
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 Iron_Captain wrote:
Disciple of Fate wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Disciple of Fate wrote:
All we have is Putin claiming Russia wanted to join NATO and the US declined. But Putin claims lots of things, like Ukraine shooting down flight MH17 or that there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine or etc. etc. So......

As for the Soviets joining NATO, that wasn't going to happen with them still occupying the Baltic States.
You might want to look up what the word occupation means. The Baltic states were sovereign republics and integral parts of the Soviet Union with the same rights and privileges as all other Soviet republics. They had governments made up of people from their own republic, and each of them had people to the federal Soviet government. They were not occupied territories ruled by Russians. As should be immediately obvious from the events that took place around this time in those republics.

Then you might want to look up what the history of the Baltic States. The Baltic States didn't want to be part of the Soviet Union or Tsarist Russia. Between 1939 and 1941 and after 1944 when the Soviets regained the Baltics twice, to beat down opposition to the Soviet Union, tens of thousands died and hundreds of thousands were deported or imprisoned in peacetime. The idea that the Baltic States weren't occupied is a joke.

They were invaded and occupied. Once. But the history of the Baltic states did not end there. They got a new government and the occupation ended after a few years. After that they were reasonably content in the Soviet Union (The Baltic states profited economically from membership in the Soviet Union and became its richest republics, which is a large factor in why they stayed put for so long) until unhappiness over not being independent and nationalist feelings started to become more prominent in the 1980's again, eventually leading to them seceding with Russian support. But by that point the Baltic states weren't any more "occupied" by the Soviets than Russia or Ukraine were.

A few years? It took almost 15 years to fully beat down any independent thought in the Baltics. They were reasonably content because all dissidents would face the internal security services. The idea that just because your occupier gives you a level of self rule it doesn't make you occupied doesn't really work. Following that logic Eatern Europe wasn't occupied either, although any level of dangerous independent thought saw Soviet tanks roll in. History is pretty clear on this, the Baltics didn't want to be part of the Soviet Union. They only became part of it through force and heavy handed occupation. The Soviets gave them the illusion of self rule, but slip that thight leash and the Soviets would come over and fix it.

And the Baltics might have done better economically outside than inside the Soviet Union.

 Iron_Captain wrote:
Disciple of Fate wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Disciple of Fate wrote:
As for NATO expansion, its been covered over and over. If anything Ukraine and Georgia shows that those countries had the right idea to join up. Any independent foreign policy lands you on the chopping block. Its quite a dishonest argument that "oh you have nothing to fear, joining NATO is bad!" to countries who had been opressed by the Soviets less than five years ago.
Soviets that were no longer in existence. The Soviet Union was not Russia. This is russophobia at its finest. You are basically saying you can't trust Russians, even though at that point in time there was no indication whatsoever that the new Russian government (which had fought alongside the governments of all of the states you just mentioned against Soviet oppression) would ever make an aggressive move towards those states. On the contrary, it did everything to peacefully cooperate with them and recognise their sovereignty, despite the horrible way in which some of these states decided to treat the Russians that suddenly found themselves living within their borders.

The Soviets no longer existed, but the people in charge were barely different. Just because the state fell apart doesn't mean that history gets erased. In 1917 Tsarist Russia fell apart, that didn't mean the Soviet Union didn't come knocking on the Baltics door. What guarantee did they have that "this time its different, honest!"? I'm not saying don't trust the Russians, so knock it with the 'russophobia' crap. I'm saying that after only a few years of independence from the former belligerent neighbour next door, are you really going to take your chances? I could turn anything into a phobia like that, the idea that the Germans would try to invade Russia again after WW2? Germanophobia! The idea NATO will invade Russia? NATOphobia!

The people in charge were very different. The people in charge were the people who fought against the Soviets, so literally the opposite. And what guarantee they had? Well, maybe the fact that Russia supported and recognised their independence? You are not saying "don't trust the Russians" except that is exactly what you are saying. Your only argument is "The Russians did it before, so they will do it again, despite what they are saying now." That is like the total opposite of trust. And why? Poland, Germany and Sweden also invaded the Baltics at different points in the past. Yet I do not see you or anyone else claiming they will do that again. No, it is only the Russians who will do that again, because they are Russian. Like it or not, but your argument rests on nothing but bigotry.

Just because they fought the Soviets doesn't mean they were the opposite. They were power hungry and ambitious, largely in it for themselves. They cut the Soviet Union to pieces because it suited them at the time. There was nothing that guarenteed they would't start looking outward again once they had a firm grip on power.

Supported and recognized there independence? What good did that do for Ukraine? Supported and recognized sounds nice, but it came from a period of utter weakness. There was nothing that kept them from just breaking their promises later down the line. I mean even the US might do this with the Iran deal under Trump. Nothing is set is stone and leaders and policies change. There would be no airtight guarentee.

The problem with not claiming the others won't invade the Baltics is that those others are largely in the same organizations. They might do so again in the far future, but in the short term Russia is a more likely threat than Poland, Germany and Sweden. You have to recognize the false equivalance right? Three countries that are largely aligned with the Baltics versus one opposed to almost all the organizations and certain countries the Baltics are aligned with.

You should stop with the dishonesty of pushing it on 'hatred' of Russians. The reality of the matter just heavily weighs towards Russia being the most likely candidate for the short term future. While still acknowledging that its very very unlikely. Its nothing against Russia, its just recognizing 20th century history combined with how Russia sees it foreign policy and simply being the only real power next door. If China was next to the Baltics I would say this about China. For certain South American states the US plays/played the same role Russia did/does. Even the West engages in it and that heavily plays in the humanitarian intervention debates. But when talking about the Baltics, the one to talk about is Russia.

 Iron_Captain wrote:
Disciple of Fate wrote:While it is commendable that Russia was willing to let the past rest, don't forget that the other ex-Soviet and Eastern European states had a lot more bloody history to lay to rest,which they could attribute directly to Russia's predecessor. Of course that doesn't make it right, but it does make it slightly more understandable.
True. It is very understandable. But not right.

Never right, sadly it will be decades at least before those things die down. Education plays a part, but with certain nationalistic tendencies that won't happen. Historical victimhood can be a powerful tool.

 Iron_Captain wrote:
Disciple of Fate wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Disciple of Fate wrote:
As for the article, I guess this line says it all in there: "West’s visceral and ancestral hatred and suspicion of Russia." Leaves a lot of room for debate!
You would want to argue such a hate does not exist? When your own comments here show exactly the opposite? When all one needs to do is to open a Western newspaper? I have lived here in the West most of my life and I see it in almost every newspaper, every broadcast, every documentary about Russia that I watch. Seriously, do you even watch Western movies? Notice how many times the bad guys are Russians? Maybe you do not see it, because you are Western and simply do not know better. Maybe it is something you think subconsciously. But we Russians do see it.

Uh my comments don't show hate, just a basic understanding of international relations. What states did in joining NATO is classic neorealism. You choose to ignore all history before 1991 and then pretend those countries acted crazy or irrational.

Hate exists, but its a two way street. Shared between many countries, Russia is no exception. Almost every state has some sort of beef. Germany pre-1945 felt they were hated. Poland felt it was hated. China felt it was hated. Main difference is how you act on it.

Yes, movies and videogames make Russians and 'Arabs' the bad guys. Its just the lazy man's storytelling, its easy and convenient. Does it speak to some deep seated towards Russia? Very questionable.

Russia catches a lot of flak in the West, for good reason. The West catches a lot less flak in Western media because its harder to recognize your own flaws and political sides play a larger role. That doesn't mean its hatred towards Russia, even though reporting is unbalanced, you can still distinguish between objective and subjective. Yet Russia has the same view of the West turned up a notch, its main English speaking outlet frequently engages in half-truths if not exactly lies.
A basic understanding of international relations requires an understanding of Russian sensibilities and viewpoints, both past and current.
I am not saying that former Soviet satellites wanting to join NATO is irrational. Quite the contrary. It was an understandable thing for them to do. You want to be part of the West, you join the Western alliance. Even Russia itself set out on that path before everything changed. But understandable does not mean right. The West should have known better. It either should have made sure to draw Russia firmly within NATO's sphere of influence or it should have respected its promises to the Soviet Union. Basically, everything except "we expand right up to Russia's borders but keep Russia out". Basically, Russia in 1991 wanted to start with a clean slate. But it was not granted that opportunity, because everyone assumed that Russians are evil and will invade them again, just because they did it once in the past.

And if that whole portraying Russians as evil isn't hatred, then what is it according to you?

Perhaps the West should have known better, but the path Russia followed wasn't set in stone either. Russia didn't have to become what it is today just because its neighbours aligned with the West.

No country is really given a clean slate. Even Japan and Germany post 45 didn't get clean slates. They had to work for it and Japan still is. You can't expect to be given a clean slate. History matters for neighbours and sadly for Russia it was seen as the primary driver of the Soviet Union.

As for NATO, the only real request to join came from Gorbachov. As far as I know besides what Putin claimed Russia never really asked.

As for media portrayel. A lot of it is just historical. Nazi movies don't imply hatred for Germans. Movies about Russians are about or inspired by the Cold War, but saying Russian is a lot easier than explaining Soviets. Then it became 'Arabs' because of 9/11. Its either historically inspired or just being very lazy for story purposes. We don't see a lot of Chinese bad guys because its not very relatable historically speaking. I wouldn't assign hatred to that, just historical relatability/laziness.

 Iron_Captain wrote:
Disciple of Fate wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
 Disciple of Fate wrote:
Also this line: "we betrayed the eastern Europeans who longed for security, yet ended up (in NATO!) feeling less secure than they did in the years following Russia’s democratic revolution." Geeh, I wonder why they feel less secure now then right after the Soviets collapsed
Yeah, they would have felt much more secure if NATO had been disbanded and Russia incorporated into the larger democratic European community. That would have been a nice future. But I guess we are starting to get off topic now.

And what if NATO had been disbanded and Russia would still have followed the same road? As it stands the author is full of gak. We all known why even in NATO those states feel less secure now than in the days that Russia couldn't organize a funeral in a graveyard.

Putting all the blame on the West for how Russia developed and its current belligerence to its neighbours is just laughable.
If NATO had been disbanded Russia would not have followed down the same road. Does the West carry all the blame? No. A lot of blame? Yes.

I think Russia carries the most blame. It depends if you want to go all neorealist or neoliberal for weighing if Russia or its neighbours carry the same importance.

 Iron_Captain wrote:
Disciple of Fate wrote:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
Relations between the UK and Russia took a dive in 2006 when the Russians poisoned Litvinenk in London with radioactive Polonium. Things got worse thanks to the invasion of the Crimea in 2014.

There hasn't been a single incident of the UK attacking Russia in any assassination or military style.

It just seems to me that Russian actions are disproportionate and designed to push the situation worse and worse.

Its obviously a retaliation for our subliminal "visceral and ancestral hatred" towards them

Yes, ridiculing and belittling Russian feelings sure will make things better.

Im ridiculing an author who as far as I'm aware isn't Russian. Not Russian feelings, which is why it has quotation marks.

Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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 avantgarde wrote:
 Disciple of Fate wrote:

Is this a joke, largely on Dubya, Europeans and Obama? Heaven forbid some independence in national foreign affairs not get you invaded right?
I'm serious, but I take a neo-realist approach when looking at Russian behavior. I want to stress this is not a political philosophy, but a tool to view international relations. Since the Russians like power politics, neo-realism is generally good at assessing their intentions.

I like playing devil's advocate so let's look at Georgia's situation from a morale angle and then from a neo-realist angle. My contention is that from either PoV, mistakes were made. Let's set some background, at the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit, Bush the Younger pushed for the inclusion of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO.
The New York Times wrote:Referring to democratic revolutions in both Ukraine and Georgia, [Bush] said: “Welcoming them into the Membership Action Plan would send a signal to their citizens that if they continue on the path to democracy and reform they will be welcomed into the institutions of Europe. It would send a signal throughout the region” — read Russia — “that these two nations are, and will remain, sovereign and independent states.

Some German officials described the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, as upset and even angry on Wednesday. She and Mr. Bush have talked repeatedly about the issue in the past two months. Mrs. Merkel had thought that a compromise was in the works, the officials said, with Washington supporting a warm statement welcoming the interest of Ukraine and Georgia in NATO and encouraging them to work toward entering the membership plan program.

Germany and France have said they believe that since neither Ukraine nor Georgia is stable enough to enter the program now, a membership plan would be an unnecessary offense to Russia, which firmly opposes the move.

After the 2008 NATO Summit, which Putin was invited to, the Russians reacted hostilely to the proposed membership plan for Ukraine and Georgia.
REUTERS wrote:Russia will take military and other steps along its borders if ex-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia join NATO, Russian news agencies quoted the armed forces' chief of staff as saying on Friday.

“Russia will take steps aimed at ensuring its interests along its borders,” the agencies quoted General Yuri Baluyevsky as saying.“These will not only be military steps, but also steps of a different nature,” he said, without giving details.

Russia is opposed to NATO plans to grant membership to ex-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia, saying such a move would pose a direct threat to its security and endanger the fragile balance of forces in Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week that Moscow will do everything it can to prevent the two countries, run by pro-Western governments, from becoming NATO members.

Morale Angle
Countries should be sovereign, representative and have self determination. This is the ideal we should strive for. Full stop.

Bush offered the Ukrainian and Georgian people a free choice and the Russians, the dicks that they are, are unequivocally saying they will use their military to prevent this choice from occurring. The US and Georgia held joint wargames to demonstrate their resolve in protecting Georgia against aggression right up to the invasion.

When the Russians entered South Ossetia, the right thing to do here was back up the Georgians since A) Bush put the NATO membership on the table B) Follow through on the ideals of national sovereignty and self determination. C) Stop the Russians to show the world donkey-cave behavior like this won't be tolerated. You can't stop all the world's evils, but you should try. Instead the US sat on the sidelines and watched the Georgians get mashed by a tyrant. What's worse is we gave the Georgians false hope. Dubya fethed up.

Neo-Realism Angle

Every country has security concerns and competing interests, from the most basic (survival) to the complicated (economic integration). Relationship deteriorate and conflicts can arise when nations do not respect the security concerns of others in pursuit of their own interests. Part of avoiding these conflicts means recognizing what a nation's main concerns are and identify which of those they're unwilling to compromise to on.

NATO leaders knew this was going to cheese off the Russians. Merkel warned Bush, Sarkozy warned Bush, Gordon Brown warned Bush and most importantly Putin warned Bush. Bush bulled forward and ignored the Russian concerns in favor of the concerns of the former soviet republics. He also refused to compromise and find some middle ground with the former soviet republics and the Russians at the behest of the senior NATO leadership.

When the Russians entered South Ossetia, the US decided the Georgians wasn't worth dead Americans and watched the Georgians fight a lopsided beatdown that could have been avoided. Dubya fethed up.

tl;dr I absolve Russia of all agency.

Its more of a neoliberal angle than moral. But you can view both Russia and its neighbours through the neorealism angle. It doesn't absolve Russia of agency. I could reverse the reasoning and absolve the US and Europe of agency in the same manner, because pulling towards NATO is the natural neorealist tendency. Simplifying it as such carries no value in assigning blame. Your PoV in neorealism is already slanted towards a certain angle/outcome.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/14 10:45:34


Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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 Techpriestsupport wrote:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
How does rivalry between NATO and Russia justify the use of illegal chemical WMDs in a British cathedral city?


Could you define ''cathedral city''?


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

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 sebster wrote:
 Disciple of Fate wrote:
As for economic help. This is what happens. The West doesn't bail out countries, the IMF goes in with a harsh list of demands and if you comply they might help. Western help wouldn't have exactly made the situation better at first.


Sort of. I'm not going to claim the IMF is always right, because they're far from it. But those demands are often there from hard won experience - just offering up stablising cash with no reforms can be just pouring gasoline on the fire. Assistance needs to come with demands that the problems that caused the emergency will be fixed.

There's an issue that the demanded reforms are often just boiler plate neo-classical econ with no understanding of local cultural and social issues, but the existence of demands in itself isn't an issue. And in the case of Russia the IMF probably wasn't harsh enough, perhaps if the loans came with mechanisms that would reform politics and the law they might have stopped the capital flight and given Russia a real platform.

I'm don't mean harsh negatively. The IMF has a reputation for very rough overhauls. The problem with the IMF certainly in the past was its one size fits all approach. Of course demands and terms had to be made, that would only be normal.

Like you said, the IMF deals in boiler plate econonics, its left a lot of resentment in the 90's and was a driver of China being able to step into its semi-role as an alternative to the IMF. As the IMF was/is heavily viewed as a battering ram for US economic interests. Which to be fair is right to an extent, certainly in the IMF handling of the Asian Financial Crisis.

Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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 Iron_Captain wrote:
You would want to argue such a hate does not exist? When your own comments here show exactly the opposite? When all one needs to do is to open a Western newspaper? I have lived here in the West most of my life and I see it in almost every newspaper, every broadcast, every documentary about Russia that I watch. Seriously, do you even watch Western movies? Notice how many times the bad guys are Russians? Maybe you do not see it, because you are Western and simply do not know better. Maybe it is something you think subconsciously. But we Russians do see it.


Seriously? This is your evidence that the west hates Russia? The fact that a lot of films during and just after the cold war had Russians as bad guys? Obviously they also have the UK because of the number of British villains:




It's so much of a cliché that Jaguar made an advert using it. I'm afraid that this does not speak of anyone hating Russia but of a persecution complex.


 insaniak wrote:
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And sometimes, it's just a case of too much scotch combined with too many buttons...
 
   
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 sebster wrote:

 Disciple of Fate wrote:
Also, what does heavily anti-Russia even mean?


It means you have a set of values that happen to contradict whatever it is Russia wants to do at that particular point in time. Similarly, I get called anti-China all the time because I think they can't just ignore international rulings and claim the South China Sea. I also got called anti-American because I thought the invasion of Iraq was a really terrible idea.

The only way you can avoid being called anti-whatever, is to pick one side and just mindlessly follow them all the time. This will require some incredible rationalising skills.

True, I once spent an hour trying to explain to a German how UNCLOS worked, the ruling on the SCS and the actions of the US and China in the region after he was calling me an American imperialist (as a Dutch person ) He grudgingly had to agree with me afterwards.

As for anti-China. I have heard that plenty as well for going against the narrative of "America's coming war with China", a documentary the journalist's name escapes me at the moment.

Logic and reason need not apply for these issues.

Sorry for my spelling. I'm not a native speaker and a dyslexic.
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London

Well, the first retaliatory step has just been announced:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43402506

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on former spy in Salisbury, the PM says.

Theresa May said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as "undeclared intelligence officers".


Inevitable, really. I'd expect this to just be the opening act in a potentially very messy spiral of tit-for-tat.
   
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Curb stomping in the Eye of Terror!

Ruh-oh...
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia-nato/nato-calls-on-russia-to-give-full-details-on-nerve-agent-program-idUSKCN1GQ1O1

NATO is officially "on it".

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 Steve steveson wrote:
They are sending a message "Don't be a traitor. We will find you and we will kill you. You are never safe". And given the wide definition of traitor (anyone who disagrees with the Russian state in any way) it is a message to a lot of people.


Why wait 10 years to make that message? If you wanted to make a show of force why not assassin him a month or two after the prison exchange?
   
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Curb stomping in the Eye of Terror!

Interesting read:
Is Russia's Nerve Gas Attack in Great Britain An Act of War?

by Austin Bay
March 13, 2018
The British government has directly accused Russia of using a very sophisticated chemical weapon ---a "poison gas" in common idiom -- in a failed attempt to murder a former Russian defector and his daughter.

A vengeful Kremlin assassination team prowling Britain sounds like a scene in a Cold War spy novel and the botched March 4 homicide has Cold War echoes. The targets, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were sitting on a park bench in Salisbury, England.

However, immediate 21st century contexts matter. Vladimir Putin's Russia is an especially relevant context. Putin's Kremlin is currently engaged in global political and cyber agitation while waging so-called "hybrid war" in Ukraine and Syria.

Putin's Kremlin practices what some analysts call "gray zone warfare."

Waging a gray zone campaign requires maintaining "plausible deniability" -- in order to escape retribution, be able to deny responsibility for the dirty and destructive operations.

Propaganda, crime, covert influence operations, cyber intrusions and old-fashioned bribery are gray zone weapons.

The Putin-led Kremlin employs all of them and more. The April-May 2007 Russian sustained cyber assault on Estonia illustrates plausible deniability. Estonia traced the economy-crippling attacks to "state agencies in Russia." Russia denied the charge, attributing the attacks to criminals and vandals.

Violence is an integral gray zone tool. In Ukraine, Russia has used agitators, mercenaries, assassins, special operations soldiers and occasionally Russian conventional forces. But violence is risky. In order to avoid international reprisals that seriously damage Russian interests, gray zone violence must be constrained. The bloodshed must be kept below that hazy threshold where an adversary suddenly retaliates with damaging consequences.

More or less, Russia has managed to do that in Ukraine. Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008 stayed below the threshold. That invasion mimicked the "creeping war of aggression" Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic launched in 1991 when Serbia attacked Croatia. Serbia would launch an attack, take a small piece of territory, and then hunker down to absorb the political blowback from the UN and Western Europe.

Putin's Kremlin has employed assassins in Western Europe. Since 2003, 14 people in Britain with Russian connections have died under mysterious circumstances. They were either Russian expatriates (several were former intelligence agents) or individuals with connections to Russian businesses or opposition political figures. Putin critic Alexander Litvinenko is perhaps the most famous. In 2006 the former security officer drank tea poisoned with polonium-210 and died in agony. In 2016 a British investigators concluded that it was "highly probable" he was assassinated by the FSB, Russian domestic security service.

But the use of an illegal chemical weapon that could be employed on a battlefield makes the March 4 crime qualitatively different. The assassins used Novichok -A-230, an "enhanced" nerve agent dispersible as a liquid or powder. Reports claim it is eight times more toxic than VX liquid nerve agent. In February 2017 North Korean assassins used VX to murder Kim Jong Nam, dictator Kim Jong Un's half-brother.

I think this is one reason British Prime Minister Theresa May has framed the March 4 incident as no ordinary assassination. May argued that the incident can be characterized as a state-directed chemical weapon attack that occurred on British territory -- in other words, an act of war. She mentioned invoking NATO Article 5 as a response to incident.

NATO Article 5 -- also called The Three Musketeers Clause -- commits the alliance to defend an ally when its territory is attacked. The daring French musketeers promised one for all and all for one. Article 5 makes a similar serious commitment. It has only been invoked once: after al-Qaida's attack on the U.S.

I doubt that Britain will invoke it. However, Britain is telling Putin's Kremlin "gray zone war" is still war. And the March 4 incident is a very pale white shade of gray.

Let's imagine it this way. If this is not an act of war, then presumably Russia could repeat the offense... right?

How many times does a foreign power get to use a weapon of mass destruction on your home soil before it becomes an act of war?

The question is not whether or not using a WMD on your home soil is an act of war. The question is what is the appropriate response so that it deters future attacks??

EDIT: fixed broken link/quote

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/03/14 14:27:35


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 ulgurstasta wrote:
 Steve steveson wrote:
They are sending a message "Don't be a traitor. We will find you and we will kill you. You are never safe". And given the wide definition of traitor (anyone who disagrees with the Russian state in any way) it is a message to a lot of people.


Why wait 10 years to make that message? If you wanted to make a show of force why not assassin him a month or two after the prison exchange?


Because Russia's economy continues to go down the drain and Putin wants something to distract people and get him more time to line his pockets. So, assassinate someone in a way that makes it obvious it was you, wait for the host country to respond and then paint them as the aggressor in your state media.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/14 14:35:51


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Little mentioned about the other guy who died during PM Questions. However this is of course an ongoing investigation (by counter-terrorism, rather than the regular police I believe) as was there mention of re-opening the cases on a number of suspected assassinations (if they're just outright saying the Russians are the perpetrators here it'll be a Monty Hall if the same is applied to all those other blatant murders).

Hopefully over the rest of the week, give that Britain's now committed to saying that this was Russia (beside's Corbyn, who in appearances got shunned by most of the other MPs for his comments), we'll see further responses from the rest of the EU and America.

Naturally we should all prepare for cyber attacks, which Russia will of course deny whilst saying, "oh, it wasn't us, but you deserved it. Must have been the Ukrainians doing it again!".

 
   
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 Wyrmalla wrote:
Little mentioned about the other guy who died during PM Questions.


My guess would be that this is because they don’t want to take any chances. If this is mentioned at all officially and it turns out not to be Russia and turns out the guy had a heart attack or was murderd by someone else the Russian government would be all over that and point to it. I would guess that they will not be mentioned together until someone is as sure as they can be of Russian involvement.

 insaniak wrote:
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And sometimes, it's just a case of too much scotch combined with too many buttons...
 
   
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Edit: already posted. Whoops. :(

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/14 17:30:19


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 War Drone wrote:
Well, the first retaliatory step has just been announced:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43402506

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on former spy in Salisbury, the PM says.

Theresa May said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as "undeclared intelligence officers".
[


I'm not sure what the appropriate response to this would be, but this feels pretty underwhelming.

 Spinner wrote:
It's interesting; I'd think a statement seriously comparing Eldar players or Star Trek fans or middle-aged divorcees or what have you to ISIS would draw a hell of a lot of blowback and some sort of colored text, and yet here it is, barely remarked on.
 
   
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 Ouze wrote:
 War Drone wrote:
Well, the first retaliatory step has just been announced:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43402506

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on former spy in Salisbury, the PM says.

Theresa May said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as "undeclared intelligence officers".
[


I'm not sure what the appropriate response to this would be, but this feels pretty underwhelming.


Transcript of today's PM Questions (scroll a bit down a bit, that page gives the minutes for the whole meeting)

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury, the PM says.

Theresa May said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as "undeclared intelligence officers".

She also revoked an invitation to Russia's foreign minister, and said the Royal Family would not attend the Fifa World Cup later this year.

Russia denies being involved in the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.

The Russian Embassy said the expulsion of 23 diplomats was "unacceptable, unjustified and short-sighted".

Former spy Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, remain critically ill in hospital after being found slumped on a bench on 4 March.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey also fell ill responding to the incident, and is in a serious but stable condition, but is thought to be improving.


Also:

A freeze on Russian State Assets in the UK (not confirmed if that includes those of private citizens, though investigating the extent of Putin's specifically was mentioned).

Reviewing prior deaths of Russian nationals which were likely committed by the Russian state, in addition to the death of another Russian official yesterday.

Potentially some form of cyber response.

With further sanctions pending.

(Oh and the Labour Party leader managing to isolate himself from most of parliament with his comments)

The government's currently speaking to their allies in regards to how to respond. The French have backtracked a bit however in asking for more evidence (which the UK Intelligence Agency presumably have, as it'll be them who're dictating the language here). The full list of sanctions s due to be announced at some point today (7PM GMT?), which likely will be followed up a response from the EU member states later.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/03/14 18:53:18


 
   
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And there goes any hope for Corbyn winning the next election. That will follow him forever now.

Nice to see the Russian government continues with the same line as they always have.

 insaniak wrote:
Sometimes, Exterminatus is the only option.
And sometimes, it's just a case of too much scotch combined with too many buttons...
 
   
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What I don't understand is... why the feth are we picking a fight with Russia? We have no national interest in pursuing a conflict with Russia. They keep sending us warnings, and we keep ignoring them. Now they're using chemical weapons against us. Thats a deliberate escalation, and a clear warning not to feth with them. They're telling us that if we want a fight, they're happy to give us one and it'll be nastier than we can stomach.

The Russian Ambassador to the UN is on Sky News now saying that there are rumours about the UK retaliating with a cyber attack against Russia...Why??? What the feth will that achieve?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 A Town Called Malus wrote:
 Iron_Captain wrote:
If NATO had been disbanded Russia would not have followed down the same road. Does the West carry all the blame? No. A lot of blame? Yes.


You have no evidence or proof for this claim.

On the other hand, there is the invasion and annexation of parts of the Ukraine to support that, without NATO, countries along Russia's borders are likely to be attacked by Russia if it feels like it should and can get away with it.


An invasion and annexation which came after we deliberately and openly encouraged (if not directly supported) a rebellion against the ruling Government that once served as a neutral buffer state friendly to Russia.

Don't pretend that we weren't being provocative when we sent EU officials to Kiev to express explicit approval of the revolution.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/14 20:37:42


 
   
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 Shadow Captain Edithae wrote:
What I don't understand is... why the feth are we picking a fight with Russia? We have no national interest in pursuing a conflict with Russia. They keep sending us warnings, and we keep ignoring them. Now they're using chemical weapons against us. Thats a deliberate escalation, and a clear warning not to feth with them. They're telling us that if we want a fight, they're happy to give us one and it'll be nastier than we can stomach.

In what way did we pick a fight with Russia. They, with no provocation, deployed a WMD in the middle of a British city and your answe is “well we best ignore them then”? They used a sodding nerve agent in a UK city. What exactly did the UK do? Nothing. Russia belie they can act as they wish and your answer is “well, leave them to it”?

 insaniak wrote:
Sometimes, Exterminatus is the only option.
And sometimes, it's just a case of too much scotch combined with too many buttons...
 
   
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Fort Campbell

 Steve steveson wrote:
 Shadow Captain Edithae wrote:
What I don't understand is... why the feth are we picking a fight with Russia? We have no national interest in pursuing a conflict with Russia. They keep sending us warnings, and we keep ignoring them. Now they're using chemical weapons against us. Thats a deliberate escalation, and a clear warning not to feth with them. They're telling us that if we want a fight, they're happy to give us one and it'll be nastier than we can stomach.

In what way did we pick a fight with Russia. They, with no provocation, deployed a WMD in the middle of a British city and your answe is “well we best ignore them then”? They used a sodding nerve agent in a UK city. What exactly did the UK do? Nothing. Russia belie they can act as they wish and your answer is “well, leave them to it”?


You guys tried this once before. 1938/39 time frame right?

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 Shadow Captain Edithae wrote:
What I don't understand is... why the feth are we picking a fight with Russia? We have no national interest in pursuing a conflict with Russia. They keep sending us warnings, and we keep ignoring them. Now they're using chemical weapons against us. Thats a deliberate escalation, and a clear warning not to feth with them. They're telling us that if we want a fight, they're happy to give us one and it'll be nastier than we can stomach.

The Russian Ambassador to the UN is on Sky News now saying that there are rumours about the UK retaliating with a cyber attack against Russia...Why??? What the feth will that achieve?
Militarily, any escalation is going to get into "armageddon" territory very quickly, and the Russian military isnt in any position to engage in a major open conflict woth NATO, so thats unlikely. The things they're engaging in is stuff that pushes the envelope but isnt going to actually kick off any greater direct force response. Their targets are chosen carefully, theyre people who used to occupy positions of power in Russia and arent native UK citizens, and theyre not particularly hardened. On the nation-state scale of things, this is someone flicking you in the nose, something that really gets your attention but is ultimately not going to actually hurt you.

Given that the military escalation scenario is most likely off the table for those reasons, unless we get really stupid leadership, we are left with economic and diplomatic conflict.

Neither of which Russia is poised to succeed at if the chips really fall. Russia is painfully dependent on imports for critical modern technology and information (literally every modern piece of electronics in the Russian navy uses imported components or systems unavailable domestically), and is heavily dependent on commodity resource exports for revenue, while London remains the financial capital of the world and the next closest on that list, New York, is not far behind and is firmly in the UK's camp, making the economic warfare aspect rather one sided.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/03/14 20:53:44


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 Steve steveson wrote:
 Shadow Captain Edithae wrote:
What I don't understand is... why the feth are we picking a fight with Russia? We have no national interest in pursuing a conflict with Russia. They keep sending us warnings, and we keep ignoring them. Now they're using chemical weapons against us. Thats a deliberate escalation, and a clear warning not to feth with them. They're telling us that if we want a fight, they're happy to give us one and it'll be nastier than we can stomach.

In what way did we pick a fight with Russia. They, with no provocation, deployed a WMD in the middle of a British city and your answer is “well we best ignore them then”? They used a sodding nerve agent in a UK city. What exactly did the UK do? Nothing. Russia belie they can act as they wish and your answer is “well, leave them to it”?


No, I'm not saying we should fething ignore them. Its far too late for that. I'm saying it should never have gotten to this point in the first place, we've been poking them for decades for no clear national benefit and this is their response.

"Oh, you want to feth with us? Then this is how nasty we will get. Are you ready for this?".
   
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You didn’t answer the question. How have we poked them? Russia have time and again acked in this way and every time you get the same reaction from them of indignation and denial. It’s not the UK that has killed political opponents overseas
or people claiming political asylum or sent military jets to violate national airspace of other countries. Russia has. For years they have been poking at other countries. This is 100% on Russia. They are not some innocent party being picked on by the west. It is not a warning to say don’t provoke them, it’s a warning to say “we can do what we want. Don’t get in our way, no matter what country we invade, what human rights we violate or how we attack you”.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/03/14 21:00:17


 insaniak wrote:
Sometimes, Exterminatus is the only option.
And sometimes, it's just a case of too much scotch combined with too many buttons...
 
   
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On moon miranda.

 Shadow Captain Edithae wrote:
 Steve steveson wrote:
 Shadow Captain Edithae wrote:
What I don't understand is... why the feth are we picking a fight with Russia? We have no national interest in pursuing a conflict with Russia. They keep sending us warnings, and we keep ignoring them. Now they're using chemical weapons against us. Thats a deliberate escalation, and a clear warning not to feth with them. They're telling us that if we want a fight, they're happy to give us one and it'll be nastier than we can stomach.

In what way did we pick a fight with Russia. They, with no provocation, deployed a WMD in the middle of a British city and your answer is “well we best ignore them then”? They used a sodding nerve agent in a UK city. What exactly did the UK do? Nothing. Russia belie they can act as they wish and your answer is “well, leave them to it”?


No, I'm not saying we should fething ignore them. Its far too late for that. I'm saying it should never have gotten to this point in the first place, we've been poking them for decades for no clear national benefit and this is their response.

"Oh, you want to feth with us? Then this is how nasty we will get. Are you ready for this?".
Or, it could be seen as "we really dont have the ability to confront or compete with you directly, we're gonna do some shady stuff coupled with intensive propaganda/maskirovka efforts, and hope it spooks people enough to let off or at least distract them from our other shennanigans".

Yeah, they can kill dissidents using Bond-style gimmicks, beyond that, whats the next level of in-kind escalation on their part that doesnt potentially involve armageddon in a few hours time? There isnt really one for Russia. Theyre doing what they think they can get away with, not sending subtle warning messages.

More to the point, lots of this stuff isnt always done for external audiences, in many ways they're playing the NK game, using external threats and conflicts to shore up internal power and silence dissent, not so much a direct response to something the UK did of late...the exactness of which could be anybodies guess.

IRON WITHIN, IRON WITHOUT.

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I'm of an age where I'd never guess that the political right of the West would be cheerleaders for Russia, but here we are. What a brave new world.

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I'm a bit sad because I work with some Russian companies. One of them makes one of our most successful apps. Another of them distributes our graded readers to the Moscow school district.

I don't believe the ordinary Russian in the street wants to go around nerve gassing large market towns. They want to get on with their life and get some prosperity and happiness

I don't believe they want to feth with the British any more than the British want to feth with them. There isn't anything worthwhile to be gained from this kind of feth-ery by anyone except Putin and his cronies.

I broke the swear filter again!

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We supported the expansion of NATO, (an anti-Russia military alliance) deep into Eastern Europe and the former Warsaw Pact right up to the borders of Russia; long after Russia admitted defeat in the Cold War, dissolved the Soviet Union and relinquished its hold over the former Warsaw Pact nations as a gesture of goodwill. A direct threat against Russia's security.

We recruited Skripal in 1995, 5 years after the Cold War ended and we were supposed to be defrosting relations with Russia.

There was our stupid fake rock spy plot in Moscow in 2006.

We encouraged a Revolution in Ukraine, a nominally neutral buffer state with a Government that was friendly towards Russia. A direct attack on Russia's national interests.

We're currently pursuing a policy of regime change against Syria, a military ally to Russia

We meddle in internal Russian politics by supporting and funding Russian dissidents and opponents of the Government (a Government I do not like btw, but do not see how their politics is any of our business). We give them safe harbour in Britain. Then we cry foul when Russia reciprocates and meddles in our internal politics, like the 2017 US election, or accusations of Russian troll Ops.

Do I think Putin is a tyrant? Yes.
Do I think Russia is corrupt? Yes.

But I do not see how we have any National interest in picking a fight with them, especially when we're friends with equally as nasty despotic regimes such as Saudi Arabia, we turn a blind eye to many other dictators in the world, and we engage in assassination programs ourselves. We use drone strikes on British Jihadi's in Syria for christ's sake. How much collateral damage do we cause?

I just don't understand why we insist on squaring up to Russia when there are more pressing issues like the migrant crisis, the rise of Islamism and the ongoing implosion of the Arab World.

Russia is weak and Russia feels threatened (for good reason), so Russia is using everything at its disposal to deter us.

I view Russia as a wounded animal, snarling and lashing out as we approach it.

Why not just leave it the feth alone? Maybe hash out a few treaties to agree geo-political zones of influence, agree not to expand NATO further into Eastern Europe, agree not to go around trying to depose the dictators of designated countries that Russia is allied with, and in return they'll respect the territorial sovereignty of its neighbours, stop assassinating Russian defectors on Western soil etc.

I'd prefer Diplomacy over a second Cold War.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
I broke the swear filter again!


This seems to happen regularly, and I've seen people get crucified by mods for "circumventing" the swear filter when it appeared to me that they were merely complacent and assumed that the word variant they used would be covered. I've certainly done that myself from time to time.

Can the swear filter not be updated regularly every time a new loophole crops up? If F***ery breaks the filter, can the site admins not update the filter to default to Feth-ery?


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 feeder wrote:
I'm of an age where I'd never guess that the political right of the West would be cheerleaders for Russia, but here we are. What a brave new world.

Nobody is cheerleading for Russia here (except perhaps Iron Captain ).

As for me, I'm simply scratching my head wondering why we're looking to pick a fight with them. This nerve gas attack didn't happen in a vacuum, it didn't come out of the blue. This is a direct retaliation against our policies and past hostile actions against Russia, and a warning not to feth with them any further.

I think we have far more pressing issues to deal with. At least we did, until we provoked them so far that they started using nerve agents. It feels to me like this is becoming a self fulfilling problem, like a negative feedback loop.


This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2018/03/14 21:58:04


 
   
 
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