War, what is it good for?

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Octavious
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War, what is it good for?

#1 Post by Octavious » Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:26 pm

Huh, yeah etc.

Serious question though. What could be the potential benefits of a war? In particular, a war between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia has been building up troops on the border with Ukraine for some time. I've been assuming that this is a distraction technique, much like the fun and games going on in Belarus with the surge of asylum seekers against the EU's heavily fortified border in Poland. The trouble is that I can't for the life of me figure out what Russia is trying to distract us from.

But what if it isn't a distraction. What if the military build up of forces capable of invading Ukraine turns out to be a military force designed to do just that? It's typically assumed that war is generally a very bad idea, as both sides (especially with major powers) will lose a great deal more than they could hope to gain... but is that true of Russia invading Ukraine?

Russia in recent years successfully acquired large areas of Ukraine at the considerable expense of trashing their reputation and lowering their international standing. If they were to try another invasion there would be no reputational risk as they no longer have a good reputation to lose. But what could they gain? Additional territory, certainly. A massive rise in the price of oil and gas, which would be a significant boost for the Russian economy? A massive kick in the balls for the Western economic system when it's already weak... leading to inflation, a collapse of the Euro, market crashes galore?

Are we approaching a dangerous stage in European history where war makes more sense to those with the power to start it than peace? Are we already there?
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Re: War, what is it good for?

#2 Post by taylor4 » Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:39 pm

In some of the Paleolithic bands, humanoids had much leisure time, men and women were equal, and grapes were fermented into wine. Bands of 25 to 100 Neanderthals or humans were the standard, though for shamanistic purposes larger groups gathered together. Meat was seldom eaten but if an antelope, say, came near a rock cliff, the women and men would chase it over the edge - and feast. Some of these peoples lived mainly off fruit: shoots, seeds, roots & nuts.
Languages developed. In Papua/New Guinea there were 800 languages/distinct dialects before imperial colonists invaded the coasts. A few decades ago, a Rockefeller came among them and - who knows what happened to him.
'Native' or surface GOLD was melted and made into jewelry. Cave paintings, such as Lascaux -, reference shamanistic usages of 'Madonna and Child', 'sainted' humans, 'miracles', etc. displayed in churches and cathedrals of Renaissance Italy.
*
WAR - what is it good for? Establishing a colony on someone else's landed property homeland; maintaining and defending a militaristic Empire, etc. Also inventing a couple of ways to pass the time playing with toy soldiers on an electronic device with a four-color light display. Aye, there's the rub. And conscience doth not make cowards of all.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#3 Post by orathaic » Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:49 pm

@taylor, you seem to be neglecting the main development which lead to war being possible/common place.

Once you arm a group of individuals within your society you must feed them. As such you need a surplus of food (though many early groups pressed farmers into service for part of the year, these armed forces would be unreliable as the able bodied dispersed home to harvest their crops and prevent their families from starving). Once some kind of surplus was achieved, you could use your armed force to extract resources from neighbouring groups, taxes. Initially paid in the form of food.

So your neighbour has a choice, settle down, begin farming and produce a surplus, or flee, migrate to another area far enough away that your armed forces can't reach (or hide in the mountains, where armed forces have typically been less able to bring their numbers to bear... Cf: Afghanistan).

So, settle, and be conquered, or flee your homes. War is only good for the armed forces if they managed to bring in more tax than they cost (in feeding the troops). That said, this the typical analysis tends to look at a hunter/gatherer -> first farmers transition, while ignoring the pastoral/nomadic/herding groups which migrated with their livestock. Though we have Irish travellers and Roma in Europe (to name but those group i am familiar with) the most famous migratory group (at least when it comes to war) would be the Mongol Horde(s).

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#4 Post by orathaic » Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:53 pm

@Oct, perhaps Putin is trying to distract his voting public with the conditions for national pride, aka knocking over a neighbour's sand castle and telling your people how great and strong this makes you...

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#5 Post by orathaic » Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:59 pm

Also, it is noteworthy that (by some measure) we are not the only species to engage in warfare.

Troupes of 20-30 male chimps have been know to go into neighbouring territory and kill other chimps they find there. Even attacking groups of Gorillas (and killing and eating at least one baby gorilla).

It looks like it is a successful evolutionary strategy, so long as you have sufficient force to apply. And your opponent can be damaged enough that they can't retaliate.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#6 Post by Randomizer » Mon Nov 15, 2021 5:19 pm

Putin knows, from doing it repeatedly, that the Western countries will soon return to accepting him no matter how egregious the acts of war. He's invaded and got to keep pieces from other countries, shot down a commercial airplane, and assassinated enemies in their countries. Russia isn't some third world country that the West can slap down like Iraq. He doesn't;r even need the support of his puppet, Trump.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#7 Post by taylor4 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:18 pm

There's little profit in a psychological study of Kremlinology at a time when Russia's puppet is disrupting the EU with force-feeding humans into Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. British troops are enroute there, if not there already.
Belarus seeks the status quo ante.
So restore the Austro-Hungarian Empire, my grandmother would have said, and deport me back there; she'd love the journey and getting back to speaking one of its 23 languages and dialects. She had some hate in her darling heart in her great age for the Suseda: the neighbor across the street.
When William F Buckley jr was editing NATIONAL REViEW, C. Lehmann-Haupt was writing for that conservative 'zine, and plumping for the restoration of the Hapsburgs to their lands and to their throne. Buckley laughed but he printed that drivel.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#8 Post by taylor4 » Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:38 pm

Sadly, to the List of 3 nation-states plus Britain involved in the Belarus-Poland, anti-EU human propulsion strategy, must be added the sovereign nation Estonia, bordering on this strategic future quagmire. To be exact, Estonian troops are moving to its South East border and Russian overflights are prohibited starting now (19 xi 2021) for one week.
* - QAnon, what is it good for? Those people have mobilized the Saskatchewan submarine fleet.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#9 Post by taylor4 » Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:21 pm

THE USA's New York Times's Page 1 Linkage of the Ukraine troop border buildups addressed in the original msg in this Topic, the natural gas supply & delivery to the EU nations plus the immigrant shuffling & shuttling back and forth near Minsk - all reminiscent of Santayana's "Those who ... " and/or Vico's cycles --, is it not?
Linkage: the N.Y. TIMES prints on this same Page 1 within the body of the aforesaid article the headshot photo of one Leader.
Of hegemonic juggling and playing, we speak not a word more.
Is this purported "Linkage" a nuke danger?
War war better than jaw jaw?

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#10 Post by Octavious » Sat Feb 19, 2022 7:13 am

The head of the Donetsk People’s Republic has called on all able men to stand up to “Kiev’s aggression”.
“I urge compatriots who are in the [army] reserve to come to military enlistment offices,” Denis Pushilin said in a video address. “I call on all men in the republic capable of carrying arms to stand in defense of their families, their children, wives, mothers.”
The protection offered by the Chinese winter Olympics will soon be gone. Is war now inevitable?

Oh, and a smaller but interesting question. There was a lot of talk about an invasion last Wednesday, which flew in the face of all the earlier predictions that Russia wouldn't dare embarrass China by declaring war during their sports tournament, and always seemed highly unlikely. So why on earth were Western politicians pushing this bizarre narrative? Did they hear some misleading intelligence that fooled them ? Were they desperately trying to give the impression that they have some influence over events, and hinting that war on Wednesday was avoided thanks to their warnings?
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Re: War, what is it good for?

#11 Post by flash2015 » Sun Feb 20, 2022 6:03 pm

I find it weird/interesting how the opponents to intervention have changed.

It used to be that the left used to be the ones that were most against intervention here...partially due to the left having the most pacifists/isolationists (though there were always some notable isolationists on the right too like Pat Buchanan - I have one of his books) and partially due to some having sympathizing with Russian "socialism".

Now partially due to internal political issues in the US (Mueller probe, Hunter Biden and Ukraine etc.) the extreme right are the ones now against intervention in Ukraine. Also since Trump saw himself as a strongman and who lauded strongmen, the extreme right are against intervention because they sympathize with Russia not for "socialism" but with the "strong man"/authoritarianism which Putin and Russia embodies.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#12 Post by Octavious » Mon Feb 21, 2022 8:32 am

I think that it's worth clarify what you mean above by the terms "extreme right" and "intervention". In the UK there's a remarkable unity in favour of non military intervention to prevent war from pretty much everyone, and no enthusiasm for military involvement from anyone. You get the occasional pro-Russian mutterings from Corbyn and his ilk, but that's about it.
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Re: War, what is it good for?

#13 Post by flash2015 » Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:04 pm

Extreme right. People like Tucker Carlson. I am not sure if he believes the nonsense he spouts but the people that watch him believe it and regurgitate it back:

https://www.businessinsider.com/tucker- ... isa-2022-2

Or Candace Owens, a contributor to the Daily Wire, one of the biggest conservative opinion sites on the net. We should invade Canada instead apparently instead of supporting Ukraine (she previously suggested Australia needed regime change for their COVID "concentration camps"):

https://www.newsweek.com/candan-owens-c ... st-1680950

Or even Senate candidates like JD Vance (famous for "Hillbilly Ellegy"). He made the cardinal sin of not supporting Trump in 2016...and is now going overboard with the Trumpiness to make up for it:

https://www.salon.com/2021/07/06/jd-van ... e-for-him/
https://www.businessinsider.com/gop-can ... ine-2022-2
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... -gop-ohio/

This is just scratching the surface. There are thankfully still many moderate Republicans that are not so nuts...though people like Tucker and the Daily Wire especially have massive audiences.

Yes, no-one is suggesting backing up Ukraine directly with US troops. I am only talking about other interventions to dissuade Russia from invading...including sending arms to Ukraine.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#14 Post by flash2015 » Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:12 pm

A more general article on right winger's showing support for Putin:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ ... ero-524041

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#15 Post by flash2015 » Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:23 pm

If I could go back in time, I kind of wish Romney had won in 2012. He did raise Russia as an important issue but Obama said "the 80s want their foreign policy back".

Even though I don't agree with Romney on many things, he was competent and he was known to be able to create bipartisan policy. I think we would be in a much better place if he had won.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#16 Post by alexintour » Tue Feb 22, 2022 8:51 am

flash2015 wrote:
Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:12 pm
A more general article on right winger's showing support for Putin:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ ... ero-524041
Politico opens the article calling Putin a dictator, which he is not.
From what I see the rest of the article is full of stereotypes and false accusations, so I think it is supposed to spread some internal propaganda and not really be a good analytic article.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#17 Post by Jamiet99uk » Tue Feb 22, 2022 11:49 am

alexintour wrote:
Tue Feb 22, 2022 8:51 am
flash2015 wrote:
Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:12 pm
A more general article on right winger's showing support for Putin:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ ... ero-524041
Politico opens the article calling Putin a dictator, which he is not.
From what I see the rest of the article is full of stereotypes and false accusations, so I think it is supposed to spread some internal propaganda and not really be a good analytic article.
He is the leader of an authoritarian regime with rigged elections, who manipulates the Country's constitution as he sees fit, to consolidate and maintain his power. Any serious political opponents are intimidated, jailed, or murdered.

But no, he isn't a dictator.
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Re: War, what is it good for?

#18 Post by flash2015 » Tue Feb 22, 2022 7:18 pm

alexintour wrote:
Tue Feb 22, 2022 8:51 am
flash2015 wrote:
Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:12 pm
A more general article on right winger's showing support for Putin:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ ... ero-524041
Politico opens the article calling Putin a dictator, which he is not.
From what I see the rest of the article is full of stereotypes and false accusations, so I think it is supposed to spread some internal propaganda and not really be a good analytic article.
If he isn't a dictator, how else would you describe him?

Can you expand on what you think are "stereotypes and false accusations" in the article?
Last edited by flash2015 on Tue Feb 22, 2022 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#19 Post by flash2015 » Tue Feb 22, 2022 7:22 pm

<duplicate>

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Re: War, what is it good for?

#20 Post by Octavious » Wed Feb 23, 2022 11:50 am

He isn't a dictator in the full sense of the word, and indeed enjoys rather higher approval ratings from the public than those enjoyed by Macron, Boris, and Biden. If Russia had a free and fair election tomorrow there's little doubt that Putin would win it. But he's certainly veered rather heavily towards authoritarianism and has little respect for the true democracy experienced in the West.
flash2015 wrote:
Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:04 pm
Or Candace Owens, a contributor to the Daily Wire, one of the biggest conservative opinion sites on the net. We should invade Canada instead apparently instead of supporting Ukraine (she previously suggested Australia needed regime change for their COVID "concentration camps"):
I have seen literally nothing to suggest that Candice Owens wants to invade Canada. I've heard her speak a couple of times and can't recall anything I'd describe as extreme.

That stuff Tucker said doesn't seem much different to the line that left wing webDippers took back when Putin took Crimea. Again, I'm not picking up extremism.

As for the Senator, whilst it shows a disappointing lack of vision, he is probably representing the view of the majority of Americans who almost certainly don't give a damn about Ukraine
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