#161

the absolute shamelessness of using your own campaign to conceal Kiev's losses as CYA for Kiev losing

#162
that would explain why I have to scroll so far down on google's shitty newsfeed to find ukraine articles today
#163

that would explain why I have to scroll so far down on google's shitty newsfeed to find ukraine articles today

absolutely 100% would be my guess yeah

#164

Elsewhere in the conflict zone, Carpenter confirmed reports by British military intelligence this week that Russian occupiers in the contested region of Kherson in southern Ukraine had forced locals to use Russian rubles as currency and that Russian teachers were forcing a Russian curriculum on local children. The Kremlin has applied similar tactics previously, including in its occupation of nearby Crimea beginning in 2014.

“Russia will highly likely claim its occupation of Kherson as evidence of delivering improved governance and living standards to the Ukrainian people,” according to an assessment from the U.K. Ministry of Defense this week.

U.S. News documented in 2016 this particular tactic succeeded in convincing many locals that the quality of life for Ukrainians improved under Russian occupation.

#165

zhaoyao posted:

Elsewhere in the conflict zone, Carpenter confirmed reports by British military intelligence this week that Russian occupiers in the contested region of Kherson in southern Ukraine had forced locals to use Russian rubles as currency and that Russian teachers were forcing a Russian curriculum on local children. The Kremlin has applied similar tactics previously, including in its occupation of nearby Crimea beginning in 2014.

“Russia will highly likely claim its occupation of Kherson as evidence of delivering improved governance and living standards to the Ukrainian people,” according to an assessment from the U.K. Ministry of Defense this week.

U.S. News documented in 2016 this particular tactic succeeded in convincing many locals that the quality of life for Ukrainians improved under Russian occupation.

it doesnt even pass the most basic smell test - the logical structures is so broken - you'd have to be anosmic to not see it.

statement 1: Russian occupiers in the contested region of Kherson in southern Ukraine had forced locals to use Russian rubles as currency and that Russian teachers were forcing a Russian curriculum on local children

statement 2: Russia will highly likely claim its occupation of Kherson as evidence of delivering improved governance and living standards to the Ukrainian people

how do these two statements simultaneously make sense to the reader... haha who cares just print it brah

#166
the russians are committing holocaust part 2 but they are also issuing passports to those who apply for them, chilling
#167
chilling how russia uses its occupation to provide improved governance and living standards to ukrainians, which has fooled the locals into thinking their quality of life has improved
#168
i'm just waiting for the US to inevitably trigger some kind of China-Taiwan conflict, implement similar sanctions on China, which will cause a major portion of the global south to align with the East, thus accelerating de-dollarization and ending US hegemony. talk about owning yourself.
#169

Synergy posted:

i'm just waiting for the US to inevitably trigger some kind of China-Taiwan conflict, implement similar sanctions on China, which will cause a major portion of the global south to align with the East, thus accelerating de-dollarization and ending US hegemony. talk about owning yourself.

i'm also waiting for my wildest dreams to come true

#170

tears posted:

how do these two statements simultaneously make sense to the reader... haha who cares just print it brah

Yeah a rhetorical vacuum forms around the implied question, "So, what will be 'claimed' as improved governance and living standards?" and the whole article just swirls into it and flushes down the toilet.

It suggests something I'd noticed during the height of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories among Democrats in the U.S.: I think a surprisingly large amount of the rank-and-file didn't really believe the absurd assertions they were making—in that case, that the United States (the most powerful country in the world) was somehow being puppeteered by the government of Russia (decidedly not). They didn't act like they believed it, after all.

Certainly among the most well-connected (and marginally less crazy-sounding) anti-Russian conspiracy theorists, there was and is an extreme cynicism at play, different from the way that that ideology is often believed, or at least more than half-believed, by the bourgeoisie that benefits from it. But that's not that notable by itself, because in most cases, some part of the social machinery to maintain ideology requires someone consciously lying or "reframing" with the intent to deceive, usually some middleman for propaganda who has to make the "facts" align. And there will probably be at least a few people in leadership who are just plain thrilled with their ability to lie and be believed, who can't help but revel in it.

What's notable to me is, a lot of the intended audience here seems swept up in a similar thrill, the thrill of deception "for a good cause". They know these are lies, and they're proud of themselves for lying to themselves as directed, just like the big boys. (This is probably easier than ever to achieve given that e.g. the average audience for U.S. News and World Report must have contracted significantly since the effective end of print news magazines, down to solely the sort of "news junkie" favorable to what was already a stalwart neo-conservative publication in the 2000s.)

Unlike the height of the Cold War, I don't think there is really a general low-level paranoia among the U.S.-propaganda audience that nuclear war could break out, or a ground war in which Moscow overruns Western Europe, or anything like that, that beneath all the posturing is a real conflict that might affect them. The untouchable power of the U.S. and its allies seems taken for granted.

The current anti-Russian fervor in the U.S., where the war in Ukraine is seen de facto as a war the U.S. is waging against Russia, exploits an idealized Cold War nostalgia that can only exist in the absence of a real threat. In this mental fantasyland, everyone in the U.S. was all in on anti-Moscow patriotism from 1917 to 1991, a fairy tale where the extreme doubt and distrust of the U.S. government among its people has nothing to do with the 1970s revelations of Washington's Cold-War persecution of every domestic group that could possibly be painted a shade of red. In this fantasy world, anti-Moscow propaganda was a consciously collaborative effort among every person in the U.S., where class does not exist and everyone gets along. (and IMO this fantasy can't last, because the U.S. police state will hardly restrain itself to Trump and his allies in the future.)

So I think a lot of the target audience will read that part of the article quoted, where its train of thought falls apart, and feel this slight queasiness as they realize the propaganda isn't entirely connecting, when they realize that those Rooskies must have SOME argument for their position, rather than none, if such an argument is being described... But the intended readership will quickly think Oh! I realize the lie they're trying to tell here, and feel clever for realizing it and being able to carry it forward. So to the extent that any of them ever bring any of this up with anyone, including silently to themselves, they will just repeat the part about the Russian language (enemy tongue) and rubles (scary money) and feel content they have "done their part". Though that sort of queasiness probably won't go away, so the audience will have to engage in constant upkeep of it by the day.

You'd think the culture of the U.S. would also make them wonder aloud when they're getting paid for it but I guess not.

#171
I feel like conceptually inherent to all of this is a presumed audience of gullible "Middle America" spiritual-flyover-country suckers to whom none of the self-aware mini-propagandists relate, but with whom they believe they are in constant one-sided communication... this imagined audience cares a whole bunch about the potential evils done to "us" by Putin and Russia and so on; they wait with bated breath for the next revelation of Muscovian infamy... but, at the same time, they don't have predetermined opinions about those topics, so they can be fooled by the transmission of this information through savvy & half-disbelieving fellow Amerikkkans... and they MUST be fooled, it's IMPERATIVE they be fooled, or else the enemy will win (the enemy apparently being a pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party, not Russia). This hypothetical group serves as the theoretical ultimate audience for these self-conscious deceptions.

I feel personal doubts that those people exist as a sizable group, mainly because that would be impossible. Like... I don't think the average person in United $naKKKe$ today thinks about Russia much at all. And so I don't think it's going to work out particularly well for the White House to blame gas prices on the Russians.
#172
when they ask you what war is like

#173

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

#174
tbh this seems like another internal conflict in Ukraine's government the Western press isn't allowed to acknowledge.

Because some of the people at the top in Kiev must know this EXACT sort of shit is why the eastern regions rejected the "Euromaidan" coup government, and doubling down on it is essentially a commitment to war without end, since revoking anti-Russian-language laws would be a prerequisite for any peace given how, you know, HALF OF UKRAINE speaks Russian at home.... but while the country's still at war, nationalism will prevent those laws from being revoked.... and declaring forever war on everyone who speaks Russian is very bad news for their government's stability. While the people who actually passed these new laws are extremely busy competing in a Heiling Hitler contest with each other to determine possible succession if & when those currently in power are overthrown.

And in the meantime Washington is in favor of anything that "bleeds Russia" at the low low cost of other Slav lives so yeah it's really good and cool to RFERL that they "explain" why the first language of half of Ukraine is illegal there now.

I suppose it's only a marginal P.R. problem that the only language that Washington's propaganda machine can possibly employ here is literal Nazi language, both because the Kiev government used that language itself and because there's really no other words for it.
#175

just watched this again a couple days ago lol. This map is a truth so evident that neither "IR realism" nor Papyrus typeface can depreciate it

#176
Thats actually ITC tempus sans and not papyrus. However the point stands
#177

what
#178
putin, ostracised from the whites-only lane,
#179
Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded
#180
G7 is going to try to get the entire world to form a buyers’ cartel to “cap” the price of Russia’s oil and natural gas. The problem is that (1) if Moscow just cut exports for a couple months in retaliation, the global price would skyrocket, and (2) a bunch of countries would just ignore the “cap” and buy from Russia anyway. The EU can’t even convince its own members to go along with its existing embargo lol
#181
hmm

The year 2018, according to projections of the International Energy Agency was supposed to be the year that the shale industry finally turned a profit. The IEA wrote in early 2018 that “higher prices and operational improvements are putting the US shale sector on track to achieve positive free cash flow in 2018 for the first time ever.” Since it began, until the Saudi price crash, that is from 2000-2014, US shale companies as a whole according to IEA estimates, already generated a cumulative negative free cash flow of more than $200 billion. With glowing predictions for a “new Saudi Arabia, and banks willing to lend to after the 2008 financial crisis, money poured into shale. Companies claimed once infrastructure was in place the profits would soon flow. It didn’t. Despite over two years of rising world oil prices, some 33 US publicly traded shale companies had a combined negative cash flow of$3.9 billion in the first half of 2018.

But with possible war with Iran and the unrest in Venezuela combined with projections of a growing US economy, the US shale industry told their bankers that 2019 would be the year finally of net profit. The reality has been the opposite. Shale company combined capital expenditures for the first Quarter of 2019 alone have exceeded operating cash flow by a whopping $5 billion. And now with oil prices stuck seemingly at$58 and the prospects for economic slowdown, not only abroad but more recently in the USA itself, many bank lenders to the US shale oil bonanza are having second thoughts.

#182
Yeah that’s believable. It’d be like the fake “default”: global finance is fine with it because they know Russia actually has the money to make debt payments, and they know the end game is to downgrade Russia as a borrower which gives more power to them, both as financiers during negotiations and as imperialists seeking to seize control over Russian assets. They will get their money one way or another. So they don’t stand to lose anything for the time being.

Oil companies and their investors exercise direct control over the election prospects of U.S. federal politicians, and they know (1) the world can’t actually do without Russian oil, and (2) the White House, Congress and courts are theirs under either bourgeois party, so (3) any price distortions induced by anti-Russian policy will be shaped to benefit the West’s oil companies as a primary goal on par with hurting Moscow. If that goal fails, then they at least believe that there will be “conversation around it” and the policy will be changed to remedy their ills immediately, if not retroactively.

I think this assurance would probably fall apart at a point of extreme distortion relative to price swings over the last 40 years, certainly at the point it provoked widespread social unrest. But the plan at that point would be to have the National Guard called out to shoot at the rioters so.
#183
in any case the West is buying Russian oil laundered through Indian refineries and pointedly looking the other way. Because they don’t have much choice
#184

#185
it’s so funny that instead of becoming ronin Germany is committing seppuku at its daimyo’s request
#186

Edited by cars ()

#187

kornfan posted:

it’s so funny that instead of becoming ronin Germany is committing seppuku at its daimyo’s request

some of it is just excuse-making to try to keep their union-corporate-state structure intact under other economic stressors. A lot of that going on right now for various national regimes that enforce labor discipline. But it's also real to the extent that Berlin can't exactly pull a Budapest here, the gas isn't going to flow until they ease sanctions.

#188

CNN has moved into the "ad copy" phase of the war

#189
dicks out for this big gun
#190
Without any research or knowledge what that weapon is I’m going to assume it is the same one that was the highlight of todays npr story: “actually it’s propaganda that the Russians have already blown up the super strong gun the US gave Ukraine 2 weeks ago”
#191
to avoid a vacuum of power, today I have nominated and confirmed myself as the new super strong gun
#192

blastoise posted:

Then you can debt trap and shock doctrine their remaining assets at fire sale prices

#193
blastoise proven right again!
#194
#195
a fun game to play for the POW camp in Donetsk is to go through any Western mass-media news article on the topic and see

(1) how long it takes for the writer to suggest that Kiev couldn't possibly have bombed an enemy garrison guarding POWs

(2) how long it takes for the writer to admit they're pushing the conspiracy theory that Moscow bombed its own soldiers on purpose, just to kill enemy soldiers who had already been captured
#196
I wonder if most Western writers even realize how pathetic it looks that they're not allowed to say who was running the POW camp in articles about the POW camp
#197

gyrofry posted:

sure, that is the vehicle du jour, but it could literally be anything. it's a pretext, not a driver. like much effective propaganda, it has the appearance of being grounded in a moral claim

also, I would suggest that the kind of nationalist fervor we're witnessing will eventually (if it hasn't already) take on a life of its own as it did during the depths of the cold war, and hating russia will begin to simply be popularly regarded as good and right for its own sake. this will still be manipulated and leveraged for geostrategic objectives, but it will make it a lot easier when the need for pretexts to catalyze this begins to wither away.

damn this was spot on

#198

cata posted:

damn this was spot on

cars posted:

#199
#200
been watching blue checkmarks rhapsodize and beat off to a bridge exploding.

relatedly:

"on my way home"

this feels like a good time to bring up the referendum in which crimean voters showed up in force to make their voices heard to the effect that they wanted to disentangle from ukraine once and for all.

"ah," the lib-hawk replies, "but you can't trust the 2014 crimean referendum for the same reason you can't trust this Donbass referendum: because russia was already in the process of occupying, and/or annexing the area, and therefore surely influenced things"

the response is, naturally, to thank them for bringing up that referendum, as it is another very good data point. however, it is not the event under discussion:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Crimean_sovereignty_referendum

for you see, crimea has wanted out of ukraine for many decades, now. shortly after that one, they declared independence, and ukraine said "fuck that, we're keeping you."

yet another referendum followed, still pushing for more autonomy and dual citizenship with Russia. the effort was declared illegal and summarily ignored.

still: "on my way home," says the social-media crimean brand-entity, to the cheers of Harry Potter Cinematic Universe fans everywhere

the breakaways have of course been petitioning russia for adoption since 2014, as well, which russia had been pointedly ignoring until this year. so of course now the new Donbass referendum (distinguished from the old one) is also completely untrustworthy, because russia. even serbia is refusing to accept it, though i guess they can at least hide behind the justification that to recognize donbass would legitimize kosovo

i sometimes visualize this conflict as four concentric circles, like a dartboard, with each layer bearing down on the one internal to it. NATO is the outermost: nothing threatens them, they face no existential threats and have no vital strategic interests at stake, but nevertheless they continue their expansion, pressuring the next circle, which is Russia. Obviously, Russia invaded Ukraine, the next circle. And Ukraine, in turn, has been shelling the innermost circle, Donbass, for most of a decade, among other things. (remember those Minsk agreements? yeah, neither does Ukraine.) Donbass, for its part, is not oppressing anyone; they just want to quit Ukraine. (There hasn't been as much hot-warfare with Crimea in that time, but Ukraine was engaging in fuckery like cutting off their water, so it's probably fair to include them in the Donbass circle, too.)

in this schema, the innermost and outermost actors seem to me to have an outsized role in the justification of the events on the ground. e.g., ceteris paribus, Russia's actions gain credibility to the exact extent that it cloaks its reasoning in a) the defense of Donbass/Crimea and b) opposing NATO. similarly, as much as i would very much like russia not to be in ukraine, ukraine has likewise lost credibility to exactly the same degree in the opposite direction on both of those issues. ("ceteris paribus" maybe needs to be said a bit louder in ukraine's case, what with the egregious nazi shit since the maidan coup)

at the end of the day, though, all my feeble attempts to make sense of the war are ultimately undone by the simple fact that history began in February. nothing much i can do about that one, sorry. I can't help having all these confusing memories from before then, no doubt themselves created as well at the instant the world sprang into being fully formed on Feb 24th, 2022. for this i can only blame the demiurge, whom i have been assured is none other than vladimir putin.

"on my way home," the hand-puppet croons

Edited by Constantignoble ()