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kleinbl00  ·  323 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The War in Ukraine Was Provoked—and Why That Matters to Achieve Peace  ·  

    George Orwell wrote in 1984 that "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." Governments work relentlessly to distort public perceptions of the past.

Governments are not the only ones, of course, but they are certainly the greatest practitioners. The term of art is "active measures", a direct translation of the term used by the Cheka. The first active measures campaign was The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a badly transliterated version of a diatribe against Napoleon III riven through with blood libel in order to gin up support for the pogroms.

Put a pin in that for a minute. I am 1/4 Belarusian Jew. My ancestors had means and had emigrated from The Pale to Moscow so experienced most of the second pogrom second hand, in the accounts and losses of their friends and relatives to antisemitic terrorism and genocide. They decamped for Boston in 1891 because they saw the proverbial writing on the wall; thanks to the work of the Okhrana, the active measures of the Cheka had a circulation of 900,000 a week thanks to Henry Ford. As a consequence, this discussion is academic to me? But also not academic. There are no more Belarusian jews. Prior to the pogroms, Jews were 15% of the population. There are now fewer than 20,000. American antisemitism and its propagation delayed American entry into WWII and objectively made the Holocaust worse.

There's a term coined and used by the Bolsheviks that is relevant to this discussion: fellow travelers, or those with similar goals but no formal alignment with the Communist Party. And there's a term coined and used against the Bolsheviks that is relevant to this discussion: useful idiots, or those who lack the intelligence to not serve the purposes of adversarial political forces. Donald Trump is a useful idiot. Jeffrey Sachs is a fellow traveler.

Thomas Rid, in his seminal work Active Measures, catalogs the distortions of public perceptions of the past and future from the Renaissance (when it wasn't practiced) through the 2016 election (where it was practiced extensively). Aside from one Japanese example (a false Soviet battle plan between wars) and two American examples (a CIA-published fashion and lifestyle magazine distributed in East Berlin and material support for an underground Ukrainian independence movement through 1991), all catalogued examples of active measures have been practiced by Russia under the Okrana, the Cheka, the nKVD, the KGB and the FSB. Rid goes one further by pointing out that democratic governments have a poor risk/reward ratio with active measures because if they are discovered, the democratically-elected government loses credibility and, therefore, power. Totalitarian governments suffer no such misfortune as their actions are not constrained by popular will. A democratic government operates with the permission of the populace and Watergate breaks the government. A totalitarian government can spread the rumor that AIDS was genetically engineered against the Africans to cover up systematic Soviet poisoning of Afghan wells to cripple the Mujahideen without experiencing a single hit to its agency.

Now that we've set the scene, let's continue:

    Regarding the Ukraine War, the Biden administration has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the Ukraine War started with an unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

This is more a diplomatic measure by the United States than anything else because if they call it February 2014 then the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of Dutch tourists would arguably have triggered Article 5 and led to continental war. If you examine the conflict as a whole, the Russio-Ukrainian War is generally accepted to have commenced with the Russian invasion of Crimea In response to the Maidan on February 20, 2014.

    In fact, the war was provoked by the U.S. in ways that leading U.S. diplomats anticipated for decades in the lead-up to the war, meaning that the war could have been avoided and should now be stopped through negotiations.

"Provocation" was the justification for the Munich Agreement, whereby Britain opted not to "provoke" Nazi Germany by defending Czechoslovakia against invasion. This was the basis for Nevill Chamberlain's "Peace for our time" speech, now widely considered to be the greatest diplomatic failure of the 20th century. The Tory government bargained that Hitler would be satisfied with annexation of Czechoslovakia and thus would not jeopardize the West-leaning Polish Republic. Poland, of course, was invaded less than a year later.

As outlined in The Gates of Europe, a history of Ukraine from the Scythians to the Maidan, "provocation" has been the fundamental justification of war in Ukraine, Poland and Belarus since the dawn of empire. The plain between the Urals and the Alps has always been considered a "buffer state" for whomever is more civilized at the time against whoever is less civilized and in general, the stretch of land between Armenia and Sweden is the first to betrayed and the first to get overrun. Despite this extensively bloody history, the only polity to routinely practice genocide against the Cossacks, Slavs and Tatars are the Russians, first under Ivan the Terrible, then under the First Pogroms, then under the Second Pogroms, then under the Russian Civil War, then under the Holodomor, then under the Deportation of the Crimean Tartars..

"Provocation", then, has historically meant "letting authoritarianism do what it wants when it wants where it wants" and any act that defies the authoritarian is seen as justification of authoritarian behavior. By the authoriarians, anyway. And the fellow travelers and useful idiots.

    A far better approach for Russia might have been to step up diplomacy with Europe and with the non-Western world to explain and oppose U.S. militarism and unilateralism.

Note the careful use of the words "might have been" here - speculative passive voice. It's never worked before, but maybe this time would have been different.

    The Biden team uses the word “unprovoked” incessantly, most recently in Biden’s major speech on the first-year anniversary of the war, in a recent NATO statement, and in the most recent G7 statement.

In no small part because the FSB has flooded the zone with the word "provoked."

    There were in fact two main U.S. provocations. The first was the U.S. intention to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea region by NATO countries (Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia, in counterclockwise order).

Worthy of note: Russia was participating in NATO at the time.

    The second was the U.S. role in installing a Russophobic regime in Ukraine by the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014.

Right - the same Yanukovich who defied his own parliament and shot hundreds of the 800,000 protesters that demanded his resignation? Speaking as an American, "free elections and the defeat of tyranny" are big on my list of core values. If the price of freedom is "provoking" Putin, gimme the stick.

    Biden and his foreign policy team refuse to discuss these roots of the war. To recognize them would undermine the administration in three ways. First, it would expose the fact that the war could have been avoided, or stopped early, sparing Ukraine its current devastation and the U.S. more than $100 billion in outlays to date.

(By allowing a pro-Putin despot to take over a nascent European democracy)

    Second, it would expose President Biden’s personal role in the war as a participant in the overthrow of Yanukovych, and before that as a staunch backer of the military-industrial complex and very early advocate of NATO enlargement.

Just so we're clear: the argument here is that if the US had allowed the FSB to overthrow Ukraine unimpeded, there'd be no war in Europe. Let's not look away from that.

    Third, it would push Biden to the negotiating table, undermining the administration’s continued push for NATO expansion.

And just so we're crystal clear: It is my firmly held opinion, as an avid scholar of The Deep State, that the 2016 election cemented and prioritized the destruction of Russia by Western intelligence services. An uneasy detente has existed between Russia and the USA since Yeltsin but the benefits of this relationship have diminished yearly while maintaining the fiction of diplomatic alignment has grown ever costlier. Once the Russians attempted to provoke the collapse of American democracy, American operatives dusted off their operational plans and set about to negate Putin. The CIA holds a grudge. The Iranian regime will never be allowed to thrive until the CIA feels satisfied that justice has been served for the barracks bombing and Bill Buckley. There is a straight, bright line between Vladimir Putin and January 6 and whenever Russian mouthpieces talk about American plans for the destruction of Russia, the only thing I can say is "damn right."

But that's not about Ukraine. That's about a criminal organization that thinks nothing of murder, torture and genocide.

    The archives show irrefutably that the U.S. and German governments repeatedly promised to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move “one inch eastward” when the Soviet Union disbanded the Warsaw Pact military alliance.

Yeah and they show a mutual defense pact between Ukraine and Russia in exchange for Ukraine giving up their nuclear weapons, too. That didn't exactly work out.

    The great US scholar-statesman George Kennan called NATO enlargement a “fateful error,” writing in the New York Times that, “Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”

Worthy of note: Kennan basically established The Cold War by arguing that The Russians were too crazy to be reasoned with. Furthermore, Ukraine in 1997 sure as shit wasn't Ukraine after two Democratic revolutions. Kennan is two decades dead; considering how he felt about democracy I suspect his opinion would be different but Sachs doesn't get into that.

    President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Perry considered resigning in protest against NATO enlargement. In reminiscing about this crucial moment in the mid-1990s, Perry said the following in 2016: “Our first action that really set us off in a bad direction was when NATO started to expand, bringing in eastern European nations, some of them bordering Russia. At that time, we were working closely with Russia and they were beginning to get used to the idea that NATO could be a friend rather than an enemy ... but they were very uncomfortable about having NATO right up on their border and they made a strong appeal for us not to go ahead with that.”

He's still saying it. His primary concern, however, is Russia's nukes:

    The bitterness that emerged from dismissing Russia as irrelevant created a climate ripe for the rise of an autocratic leader who would instead demand respect and power through force. And there is no force greater than possessing a nuclear arsenal capable of bringing about the end of humanity. For those who had asked, “what could this defeated nation do to us?” the newly installed President Vladimir Putin would soon have an answer.

Perry, of course, has exactly fuckall to say about his engineering of the Budapest Memorandum which saw Ukraine disarmed, or about the fact that a document he wrote obligates the United States to defend Ukraine against Russia ("Seek immediate Security Council action to provide assistance to the signatory if they "should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used").

    Former Zelensky advisor Oleksiy Arestovych declared in a 2019 interview “that our price for joining NATO is a big war with Russia.”

Arestoyvich was merely parroting Wallerstein, Kaplan, Zeihan, John McCain and others. For reasons of demography, the geopolitical rationalists have been predicting a Russian invasion of Ukraine before 2025 since the early 2000s.

    During 2010-2013, Yanukovych pushed neutrality, in line with Ukrainian public opinion.

During 2010-2013, Yanukovich acted as an agent of Russia and suppressed anti-Putin dissent. This is why 800,000 protesters took to the streets to depose him.

    After Yanukovych’s overthrow, the war broke out in the Donbas, while Russia claimed Crimea.

"The war broke out." Not "Russian special forces stripped of insignia or flags invaded Donbas in order to kidnap and murder elected Ukrainian officials in furtherance of the future annexation of a sovereign nation."

    The new Ukrainian government appealed for NATO membership, and the U.S. armed and helped restructure the Ukrainian army to make it interoperable with NATO.

Under the terms of the Budapest Memorandum - see above.

    Russia’s leaders put NATO enlargement as the cause of war in Russia’s National Security Council meeting on February 21, 2022.

It's worth watching that meeting:

...and it's worth watching the template for that meeting:

    Historian Geoffrey Roberts recently wrote: “Could war have been prevented by a Russian-Western deal that halted NATO expansion and neutralised Ukraine in return for solid guarantees of Ukrainian independence and sovereignty? Quite possibly.”

"Peace for our time" where "our time" turned out to be exactly 334 days.

    By recognizing that the question of NATO enlargement is at the center of this war, we understand why U.S. weaponry will not end this war.

This is historically inaccurate. For over two thousand years, peace in the geographic area we call "Ukraine" has occurred only after the destruction of the invading empire. As a territorial buffer between regions more easily defended, the invasion of Ukraine has been the first step in over a dozen wars of territorial expansion. For over a hundred years, peace in Ukraine has come at the cost of genocide. There will be no peace in Ukraine until Putin is out of power and Russia is under a new regime. Full stop.


The above is two hours I didn't have to spend. If you were not a friend, I would have responded with a simple "lol eat shit tankie." As it is, I see you neither as a "useful idiot" nor as a "fellow traveler."

So I implore you to think a little, investigate easily disproved allegations and exercise caution before putting the words of fellow travelers on your lips.

kleinbl00  ·  1232 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Last Children of Down Syndrome  ·  

I'm curious as to why we need to augment your self-loathing on this one, Ben. The article is a nuanced, long-form investigation of "velvet eugenics" and the impact of prenatal testing on parents, children and society. By your own admission you've undergone professional and voluntary education and training on medical ethics, so this is likely something you've grappled with your entire adult life. You're an intelligent man, capable of distinction and compartmentalization but lately you've eschewed all that to get people to yell at you. It seems to be a form of "the religious shouldn't breed" and no amount of discussion around "this isn't a religious discussion" or "this isn't a people shouldn't breed discussion" dissuades you from your monolithic pursuit of castigation.

It's a shame because clearly you could add to this discussion but you're instead choosing to obfuscate it with inflammatory language so the discussion can be all about you. What are you worried about us discussing? What are you trying to distract us from? As someone whose life has been shaped by congenital defects I would value your input if you chose to share it. Speaking for myself, we went out of our way to get our kid genetically tested. We absolutely would have aborted if we'd popped Trisomy 21 because yeah - that's an 80% mortality rate with profound lifestyle impacts. Some of the other stuff? We didn't plan. Fortunately it didn't matter. So I have a perspective on this, and appreciate the perspectives of others. And I'm curious what you're so afraid of.

I'm guessing there's an outward "I wish I was never born" performative dance that supports you socially, combined with an inner "but I love my fiancee and am actively planning a future" hopefulness that can't be reconciled, so you go through this "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" Kabuki because if you have to admit that you actually hope you wake up every morning you'll be forced to address that you have something to lose now and you're just too spiritually weak to accept that the world would regret your passing. After all, if you value the world and the world values you, you might just have to press pause on your wholesale outward rejection of your entire inherited value system. You might have to examine your core beliefs and attempt to mature as a man. And it's so much easier being the angry product of arrested development.

You're getting lazy with it though. It's transparent. It also demonstrates how uncomfortable you are with yourself and your self image, which is usually a sign of readiness for growth.

I, for one, am here to help. Happy Holidays!

steve  ·  1233 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Last Children of Down Syndrome  ·  

You know... I originally posted a picture of a friend of mine with Downs and jokingly said “my other friend Ben said you can eat a bag of dicks”.

But I had to delete it. This Ben would never say that. Frankly, he’d never say anything mean like that. Ben reminds me of all that is good in the world. He is a man filled with love. He lights up a room. He is happy.

So I deleted the picture of Ben because he would be sad if he knew that I weaponized him because I was frustrated with your disregard for his life. He would hug you and tell you he “loves you too much”.

So you don’t get a picture of Ben with a snippy response from me. Instead you get this response. Which is me being sad for you. Sad that you’re so angry at the world that you would rob the humanity from people who are often times the best of us. I’m embarrassed that I sunk to your level.

user-inactivated  ·  1377 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Soon we’ll all be cancelled  ·  

i think hubski was a great idea and i respect you for creating it as an experiment. its failures, however they might be defined by any of the users who have quit in disgust over the years, or by me, or whomever, i believe are mostly inherent in the medium.

that said, i still encounter new, interesting ideas on the internet fairly often, and none of them come from here (anymore).

Quatrarius  ·  1402 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Adam Rapoport's 'Bon Appetit' was a terrible magazine  ·  

who gives a shit about edam applesauce or any magazine or newspaper in the year 2020

there are about two things in the world that don't suck and eggs is one of them, ok, eggs sustain me

i will eat an egg whoever or however puts it in front of me

when i make eggs for myself i will only ever do it one way

i fry them in butter until the white is mostly set and the yolk is runny, then i salt and pepper them

this is the only way i cook eggs when eggs aren't just a single component in something

i know exactly how long it takes and how hot the nburner should be and how.much butter because i only do it one way

who needs a recipe for an omelet eggs are like the cheapest food ever and even when they get all fucked up they're still at least edible

people who write recipes or guides for eggs are stupid motherfuckers almost universally

just cook the egg until it's the way you want it to be

i will punch anybody! don't fight me! I'll cry!

user-inactivated  ·  1730 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Labor Econ Versus the World  ·  
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user-inactivated  ·  1927 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Knockdown of the year? The super rare double knockdown in Japan.  ·  
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palladiummag.com  ·  #travel  ·  #china
FirebrandRoaring  ·  2280 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'Alien megastructures' debunked. Why are we so quick to assume it's aliens?KIC 8462852  ·  

Need we really spell out why we'd rather have an alien megastructure than cosmic dust?

malen  ·  2518 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 228th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread  ·  

Only recently learned about Langley Schools Music Project, and I was just enchanted by it. So emotional

Complexity  ·  2945 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: LEFTIST FASCISTS THREATEN THE LARGEST DEMONSTRATION IN HISTORY  ·  

This is all well and good. However if you really want to create a financially viable proposition to pitch to supporters, you will need to focus on smaller, more digestible texts. Or transition to video.

Very few in your target demographic will have the patience to make their way through large blocks of dense text. If you want to plug into the outrage dollar, you'll need to make your message clear, concise and copyable.

Focus on short, attractive titles that inspire both curiosity and anger in your target demographic. The title for this post, for example, is reasonably engaging but could be improved by turning it from a declarative statement (which at best will provoke in your demographic agreement) into an implied question/answer proposition: "Why Leftist Fascists... etc". That simple change will also provoke in your customer-base a desire to click through in order to discover the secret.

You might try the "Ten Reasons Why..." formula, which is almost overplayed these days, yet still provokes a visceral reaction in completists, but this often locks you into generating actual content.

I would suggest you bring your text down both in length and reading comprehension. Shorter texts are a better proposition for sharing and lower grade comprehension targets will get your message across quickly.

You can use tools like these to double check reading comprehension and edit down: https://readability-score.com/

I would tend to offer a strong title, a three paragraph text, and then a strong call to action (i.e. where to send you financial support) and that call should relate to the point you addressed in the text. Rather than the generic "Like what I write" which offers the option for a reader to answer "No", instead have a a double-bind or move forward call. For this article, you could try: "Help Fight Socialist Fascism For $1". Anchor that number in the call to action, then link to a spread of support options which offer higher value. "For only $5 you can..." This is all pretty basic marketing, you can research it yourself.

However the greatest cross-marketing shift you can make is to begin producing video content. I would keep these short, too. Aim in the first instance to produce brief videos that are both single message and echo in sentiment your demographic's emotional pitch. You will be able to calibrate your message by measuring something very simple, say, the thumbs up/thumbs down ratio on the video.

You need to aim for parity - this should indicate your demographic support on one hand and the outrage of others' reactions to your message on the other. Inspiring an irrational emotional response in others will of course have them spread your content in order to revile it. This will eventually bring it back to your target demographic. The more active your Youtube comments section, the more squabbling and infighting you generate, the more buzz you'll have online. There's no such thing as bad publicity, only unused publicity. Think about creating a few puppet accounts to attack yourself, share the content elsewhere and ridicule yourself.

Do remember that in a video you can have a much clearer and more emotive call to action. I'm presuming your main call is to have those whose views you echo send you money. Don't be coy about this part. Hundreds of entirely insincere televangelists have made enormous coin by spending at least half of their allotted broadcast soliciting funding.

The leap into video is tricky. On the one hand you don't want to appear too polished, for fear of alienating the common man from whom you're siphoning funds. On the other hand you don't want to appear completely insane, for fear of people accusing you of post-modern profiteering. It's a fine line and a practiced skill. Study successful televangelists, reality show stars, unconvicted banking magnates etc.

It's great to see enterprise in turbulent times. With a little careful planning you will be able to secure a better revenue stream for yourself within a few months.