Lenin's Doom

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Paul McKeown
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:34 am

Phil Neatherway wrote:According to Wkipedia, Crimea is 58% ethnically Russian. In which case, a plebiscite would seem to be a reasonable thing to do.
True, largely due to Stalin's crimes. The ratio is a figure, though, that has been falling quite rapidly due to the voluntary return of the Crimean Tartar's from Uzbekistan. A life without dignity or economic prospects in a tent city in Simferopol seems to be preferable.
Matt Mackenzie wrote:As no friend of Putin or Russian imperialism more generally, I still think their claim to Crimea is quite a strong one.

This is one of those things that might just have been sorted two decades ago, had the USSR not collapsed with such astonishing rapidity.
Perhaps, although in the absence of negotiations, or good faith, it might be seen as a shameless Anschluss.

Ironically our standing army is now smaller than it was at the time of the Crimean War. Never mind our "fleet", consisting of 17 warships, which Good King Harry would find considerable shame in. As a nation we have previous experience of Conservative governments slashing defence expenditure. And it has never previously had a good outcome. The Polish government offered to host the BAOR, at its own expense, a request which was politely declined by Whitehall. I hope that won't turn out to be a matter of later regret.

Naturally, enough, Trident is to be renewed, whilst actually useful defence systems are cut in their entirety, without any sign of ultimate replacement. Trident is more of a national virility symbol, a token rather than a matter of utility. Or perhaps a sacred cow. £80 billion would go a long way over the coming half century towards paying for tanks, ships, aircraft and trained personnel.
Last edited by Paul McKeown on Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:47 am

Paul McKeown wrote: Ironically our standing army is now smaller than it was at the time of the Crimean War.
I looked that one up. It was a war between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the UK, France and one of the Italian states. An objective was to prevent Russia establishing a naval base in Sevastapol. The peace treaty actually contained a clause to that effect, but when France established an alliance with Russia around twenty years later, the provision became unenforceable.

PeterFarr
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by PeterFarr » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:42 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote: Ironically our standing army is now smaller than it was at the time of the Crimean War.
I looked that one up. It was a war between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the UK, France and one of the Italian states. An objective was to prevent Russia establishing a naval base in Sevastapol. The peace treaty actually contained a clause to that effect, but when France established an alliance with Russia around twenty years later, the provision became unenforceable.
The UK is perhaps not best placed to question Russia's right to a naval base outside it's own territory (there is also Kaliningrad of course).

I doubt that a Russian intervention in Ukraine has ever had a high place in Western military planning, and nor should it, as there is surely no possible military action the West could take to prevent it.

Economic sanctions could be a weapon, though Russia's oil and gas supplies suggest that's unlikely.

Really the only things to stop Russian intervention are the Ukrainians themselves, Russian public opinion, and the cost and general stupidity of it. Whether that is enough seems doubtful.

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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by PeterFarr » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:43 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote: Ironically our standing army is now smaller than it was at the time of the Crimean War.
I looked that one up. It was a war between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, the UK, France and one of the Italian states. An objective was to prevent Russia establishing a naval base in Sevastapol. The peace treaty actually contained a clause to that effect, but when France established an alliance with Russia around twenty years later, the provision became unenforceable.
The UK is perhaps not best placed to question Russia's right to a naval base outside it's own territory (there is also Kaliningrad of course).

I doubt that a Russian intervention in Ukraine has ever had a high place in Western military planning, and nor should it, as there is surely no possible military action the West could take to prevent it.

Economic sanctions could be a weapon, though Russia's oil and gas supplies suggest that's unlikely.

Really the only things to stop Russian intervention are the Ukrainians themselves, Russian public opinion, and the cost and general stupidity of it. Whether that is enough seems doubtful.

John McKenna
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by John McKenna » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:56 pm

Paul McKeown>Ironically our standing army is now smaller than it was... Never mind our fleet...<

Great post by Paul, but why omit to mention the RAF?
(Edit: The plan was to restore it to its WW I size - with refurbished Sopwith Camels.)

This skit from America -
Barak: Hey honey, I shrunk the army! (He is in fact considering doing so.)
Michelle: Maybe you should do some ironing next.
B: You mean iron out the Navy and Airforce?
M: No I mean that pile of washing in the utility room.
B: Don't we have folks to do those kinda chores?
M: Usually we do but they're all busy trying to find their kids jobs now they can't join up.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Paul McKeown
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Paul McKeown » Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:43 pm

I understand that Arseniy Yatsekyuk and his Ukrainian government has indicated his nation's willingness to defend its territory and people and has asked Western European powers for a guarantee of its territorial integrity. I believe that NATO should provide such a guarantee. The Crimea can secede or return to Russia, but only by fair plebiscite, not by direct annexation.

I believe also that the West should stop mincing words regarding Putinism. Saying that it is "a populist nationalist authoritarianism sustained by ballot stuffing, media control and opaque links with business", is merely a longwinded way to give fascism a polite name.

David Robertson
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by David Robertson » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:28 pm

Trouble is, Paul, the Ukrainian nationalists aren't exactly a bunch of hoppity-skippity hippies either

Paul McKeown
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Paul McKeown » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:42 pm

David Robertson wrote:Trouble is, Paul, the Ukrainian nationalists aren't exactly a bunch of hoppity-skippity hippies either
There were far right elements involved in the Maidan, but they were, and are, a small minority in Ukrainian politics. The Putinist line has been to tar all Ukrainians with the same brush, basically playing on Russian historical sentiments.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:28 pm

Though it has to be said, bringing the fascists into the new Kiev government didn't really help. Nor did effectively making Russian-speakers second class citizens.

Did they really not see how Putin would exploit these things? :roll:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Paul McKeown
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Paul McKeown » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:37 pm

A couple of fair points, Matt. I would suggest that reversing the language law allowing each Ukrainian oblast or republic to use Russian as well as Ukrainian as an official language, if that province had a minimum of 10% Russian speakers, was a very bad signal.

Colin S Crouch
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Colin S Crouch » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:03 pm

Some thoughts about the 1930s. Under Stalin, there were great famines in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and no doubt in some of the smaller republics. This was not the result of climatically induced collapse. It was instead a man-nade famine. Basically, the soviets wanted to create super-rapid indusreialisation, not least to show that under communism, they, unlike the west, could overcome the economic decline of the early thirties. To do this, they needed to squeeze out the “peasants”, by taxing and ordering food requesition and seizing food. By this means, the proletariat, essentially the industrial classes, become the economic beneficiaries.
One wonders whether this old class antagonism still holds in the current crisis at Ukraine. The impression is given, from what I hear on the radio, that pro-Russian support is heavily concentrated on the industrialised parts of the east, while towards the west, the wish to keep the Russians at bay would be a far greater concern. In Crimea, with its nexus of port and industry and militarism, it is hardly surprising that large numbrtd of people veer towards Russia.
Quite clearly, this is only a partial picture. My instincts are however that we do need to keep in mind aspects of social and economic geography. Anyone here with the ability to broaden the picture? Or to refute my whole argument?

John McKenna
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by John McKenna » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:32 am

Hi Colin, only got time to mention a few quick points -

During the 1930s the situation throught the world was precarious.
The collectivisation of agriculture in the USSR was done mainly at the expense of richer peasants called 'kulaks'.
Even in the 1920s the Bolsheviks resumed grain exports when there was internal famine, I believe.
(Some Imperialist & Colonialist administrations have probably done a similar thing - think of past famines in Ireland & India.)

I do not think anyone will refute much if any of your post above.
Capablanca said - fundamemtal strategic principles never change, though their mode of application may not always be the same... Do you agree?
(Let me know at your leisure.)

The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep
And one more post to go before I sleep.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Peter D Williams
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Peter D Williams » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:28 pm

[quote="Paul McKeown

I believe also that the West should stop mincing words regarding Putinism. Saying that it is "a populist nationalist authoritarianism sustained by ballot stuffing, media control and opaque links with business", is merely a longwinded way to give fascism a polite name.[/quote]

Afternoon All
The West can say what it likes about the situation Putin not scared of the West. The Russian army is far to strong to be worried about any action by UK or Europe.
Intefax news and Reuters news is saying Russia's fleet has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until 3am to surrender or "face a storm",

The Crimea is now under the protection of the Russian Federation and the majority of the people in the Crimea support the action taken by Putin as can be seen via the greeting the Russian troops received by the locals.I notice the BBC/Sky where rather annoyed to have to report this :wink:

Well i going to walk the dog as the sun is now out
when you are successful many losers bark at you.

John McKenna
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by John McKenna » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:25 pm

Peter... wait.. don't go yet

Never mind about international affairs - think internally.
I just thought of how you could get to become ECF President and Carol CEO.
You and Carol join as Bronze members - if you have not already been forced to.
Then apply to be the two Bronze reps to the ECF.
(Or if you want to carry more weight upgrade to Silver class there are twp empty rep seats there too.)
That will at least get you ring-side seats at the Paulson-Short bout in April.
And, with ECF reps secret hidden powers yous can take it from there.
All manner of chances and opportunities will arise for you to climb the greasy pole.
With so many set to slide down the snakes while yous two climb the ladders you'll be tops within no time.

Hope he reads that when he gets back.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Lenin's Doom

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:17 pm

Peter D Williams wrote: I believe also that the West should stop mincing words regarding Putinism. Saying that it is "a populist nationalist authoritarianism sustained by ballot stuffing, media control and opaque links with business", is merely a longwinded way to give fascism a polite name.
Afternoon All
The West can say what it likes about the situation Putin not scared of the West. The Russian army is far to strong to be worried about any action by UK or Europe.
Intefax news and Reuters news is saying Russia's fleet has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until 3am to surrender or "face a storm",

The Crimea is now under the protection of the Russian Federation and the majority of the people in the Crimea support the action taken by Putin as can be seen via the greeting the Russian troops received by the locals.I notice the BBC/Sky where rather annoyed to have to report this :wink:

Well i going to walk the dog as the sun is now out
This has now been denied - a fair amount of disinformation about on all sides right now, methinks......
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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