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“But, Dimitri…” Ukrainian Shades of Dr. Strangelove

Why should I be shocked? But the echo of President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) to the Russian Premiere in their red phone call is uncanny, down to the tone of the reporter’s voice.

What this villain has to say is indescribably deplorable, especially after being shown the blurred death of a six year old Ukrainian. @Michael, sorry, mate, I promised not to post politics, but this goes beyond politics directly to inhumanity. People must see Putin’s stooges in full feather.

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Comments

  • edited March 1

    This is utter madness. I was not in the frame of mind to watch that, I thought, having just got my vision back after eyedrops from a visit to the ophthalmologist. This was the first media I have consumed today, I'm heartbroken. Putin has lost his mind, and his spokesman is threatening "annihilation" if there is NATO or Western military assistance? I grew up in the cold war, and even Yeltsin was more temperate than that.

  • edited March 1

    @ExAsperis99, I know, utter insanity and horror. Maybe I should just delete this thread. The harmonic resonance from Strangelove, tho… uncanny and prophetic,

    Here’s the “Dimitri” clip I was channeling. It happens around 0:30.

    Damn, that title screen looks like a nuclear detonation. I never saw that… till now.

  • Yeltsin didn’t have the little dick energy nor the same pressures that Putin has from his oligarchs nor from himself. He is a monster of his own making.

  • >

    What this villain has to say is indescribably deplorable, especially after being shown the blurred death of a six year old Ukrainian. @Michael, sorry, mate, I promised not to post politics, but this goes beyond politics directly to inhumanity. People must see Putin’s stooges in full feather.

    This is 100% true. Nothing I say below is intended to contradict this. I hope Putin's reign is coming to an end (though there are worse monsters in Russia, so maybe not).

    But it's also true of all the various western wars of the last 30 years. There's really no such thing as a clean war, and as soon as the decision is made, this kind of stuff is inevitable. Every army says they are 'moral', avoid civilians - but its all bullshit because it's impossible. Sure you can avoid civilians if you're prepared to take heavier casualties to your side, but almost noone (including the US) really does this in practice. Precision bombs aren't that precise, intelligence is always inaccurate. And the moment you decide to take a city (e.g. Fallujah) shelling will occur, civilians will die. All the moral posturing is bullshit, because nobody is willing to take the casualties that would ensue if you truly did your best to avoid civilians. And it gets worse if civilians start engaging in the fight as well, because now soldiers (not unreasonably) assume that anyone they see might be about to attack them (this is why all the stuff you see about molotov cocktails atm is so dangerous, because it makes anyone a potential target).

    Whenever people talk about humanitarian wars I always want to ask them how many civilians are worth your objectives? How many children dying are worth this? Because a lot will die. All wars are terrible, no matter who is carrying them out. And so far this war really isn't that bad. That's not apologetics for Russia, but more a comment on how bad wars in Syria/Lebanon/Yemen/Iraq/Somalia/Ethiopia/Chechnya can get. Or how much worse this one may get.

    And the US government has zero high ground here. Some of the worst war crimes post WWII were committed by the US, a few were quite recent (e.g. Fallujah). Many others were committed by US allies, with US help (e.g. Yemen). Unfortunately the Russians are right when they accuse the west of hypocrisy. I would very much like to live in a world where that was not the case. It would be nice if one outcome of this war is that people apply the same criticisms to the west.

  • There's some truth to this, but logistics is also hard for all armies. An awful lot of successful wars had stuff like this too. One of the biggest issues all armies have is that tanks etc breakdown an awful lot, so it's not that unusual for equipment to be abandoned. If you read much military history, at a granular level it mostly seems to be confusion, incompetence and disaster. It's only at the grand sweep level that it seems competent quite often, even when talking about successful armies/wars.

    And in the East Russian troops have done far better, which is why we've heard a lot less about that.

  • @cian said:
    And the US government has zero high ground here. Some of the worst war crimes post WWII were committed by the US, a few were quite recent (e.g. Fallujah). Many others were committed by US allies, with US help (e.g. Yemen). Unfortunately the Russians are right when they accuse the west of hypocrisy. I would very much like to live in a world where that was not the case. It would be nice if one outcome of this war is that people apply the same criticisms to the west.

    I'm sure you realise that the vast majority of us here also opposed the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Lybia. The fact that our own governments have waged illegal and immoral wars is not some new revelation.

  • I do critique the West for their hypocrisy and wars, so do plenty of other’s here on the forum. Still doesn’t give Putin the right to invade Ukraine.

  • Eric Ding is one of the least reliable people on twitter FWIW. He doesn't verify anything, and seem to pass along any rumor that comes his way. Addicted to the clicks I guess.

  • @richardyot said:

    >

    I'm sure you realise that the vast majority of us here also opposed the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Lybia. The fact that our own governments have waged illegal and immoral wars is not some new revelation.

    Okay, good. But it does appear to be a revelation to the media. Who are treating what is (so far) a fairly moderate war as the worst war crime since Barbarossa or something. And who have political/military commentators guilty of far worse pontificating about how immoral the Russians are. And the ghouls who are getting excited at the possibility of a Ukrainian guerrilla war is nauseating.

    And okay it's my fault I was dumb enough to look up at the TV in the doctor's waiting room when MSNBC had Hillary Clinton on, but good god of all the people to get on her moral high horse...

  • edited March 1

    @cian said:
    Okay, good. But it does appear to be a revelation to the media. Who are treating what is (so far) a fairly moderate war as the worst war crime since Barbarossa or something. And who have political/military commentators guilty of far worse pontificating about how immoral the Russians are. And the ghouls who are getting excited at the possibility of a Ukrainian guerrilla war is nauseating.

    The lies leading up to the Iraq war changed my outlook on centrist media forever, and disillusioned me completely about my government who only a few years earlier had promised to carry out "an ethical foreign policy". (To be fair the politician who made that promise was also opposed to the war in Iraq).

    But Ukraine is a very big deal, because it's the first major war in Europe since WW2. This is going to be one of the biggest events of our lives, and I think it's unwise to downplay it. I know you are a good guy, with good intentions, but at times you have come across almost as an apologist for the Russian regime. Your views are more nuanced than that I know, but I don't think you've quite grasped the importance of what is unfolding. And that Putin is a monster, which he is.

  • @cian, mate, this is simply not the time for whataboutery. 🤷

    Finally. Long overdue. But the HU/UA border is now properly open, people keep entering, no admin obstacles, the first groups said to have reached Budapest. Even the administration of pets was minimised 👍 so there's no delay when they are brought along and the EU can follow up later.

  • @cian said:
    And okay it's my fault I was dumb enough to look up at the TV in the doctor's waiting room when MSNBC had Hillary Clinton on, but good god of all the people to get on her moral high horse.

    If you have the potential to use the ol' switcheroo to understand someone else:

    That's how I felt when I saw TFG (we call him The Former Guy on the left) on TV for 6 years.
    Putin definitely made the difference in that election using Cyber Warfare. Trump only won by 80,000 votes in some very specific counties. Where to target was what Manafort was doing by sharing critical election data with the Russians.

    Trump say the effectiveness of this complaint and crafted a "I did really loose" lie that has captured the imagination of the bulk of Republicans and will cause our future elections to be rigged internally following the post Soviet model of "democratic" decision making. It also follows some techniques the Mob likes to use in the gambling world.

    Let's keep talking about Dr Strangelove and the musical score by Laurence "Laurie" Reginald Ward Johnson. Kubrick loved to select pre-recorded music for his soundtracks and does so here too to punctuate the humor to soften a nightmarish conclusion. This movie is very relevant to current events.

    Putin is going to be a visual sight gag for movies going forward of a paranoid, megalomaniac that kills his neighbors for no other reason than his hatred of powerful forces far away that they seem to want to be closer to. He's the model jilted lover that goes insane... "If I can't have you then you're better off dead. It's for your own good. And I want my gifts back. Bitch."

  • A good Twitter thread about Putin and his dark history:

  • @richardyot said:
    I don't think you can describe a war that has only gone for a few days with relatively light casualties and damage as a 'major' conflict. It may well become one, though I would very much hope it doesn't. I don't really see how saying it's not a major war (currently) is a defense of Putin. He clearly wanted a quick, low casualty, war because it would make his political objectives far more achievable. Well he failed, so I guess things will become nastier from here on in.

    During the 1990s Europe had the Yugoslavian 'civil war'. So I think it's a little hyperbolic to describe this as the first major European war since WWII.

    Putin's a bad guy, but you might want to save monster for some of the truly terrifying people within the region such as Islam Karimov, some of the Chechyan warlords. And Russia's repressive, but it's still far better than somewhere like Tajikstan. We haven't seen anything like the (mostly ignored) massacre in Kazakhstan of striking oil workers. Or indeed Saddam Hussein who truly was a monster.

    Putin's just a mid-level communist thug who was in the right place at the right time, and was a bit better at politickeering than some of his contemporaries. He's a symptom. His replacement may well be very similar.

  • Putin flattened Grozny in the Chechen wars, he has absolutely no regard for civilian lives. He most definitely is a monster. That other monsters exist does not negate that fact.

    If you don't think this is a major war, what can I say? This war will probably finish Putin and redraw European allegiances for a generation. That's if it doesn't escalate into something much worse of course.

  • "Some other guy is worse" is poor argumentation -- and is nothing more than an attempt to deflect from the person being discussed.

    I also don't get the "Putin is just a mid-level thug". He now has a history. Being at the right place and right time is irrelevant -- that's true of anyone that succeeds (or loses) -- no one is entire control of their destiny. It is also true that merely being at the right place at the right time doesn't take you very far past that right place and time. Unless one was born on the top of the ladder, it can be said of just about anyone who succeeds. It is pretty irrelevant to any analysis of what someone has done once they are in the right place.

  • As terrific and horrible as the events of the last six days have been, it is impossible not to be astonished by the galvanizing effects Putin’s actions have had for the rest of the world. Switzerland, who was neutral as Hitler was doing his worst, Ohrban and the Taliban coming out against the invasion, the standing ovation this morning for Zelenskyy’s impassioned speech, the major oil companies withdrawing their participation, FIFA and other sports orgs banning Russian atheletes, the unified world response in financial sanctions, the actions of Germany, Sweden and Japan, even the Republican response, for the most part, here in the US. etc, etc? All these things things were pretty unthinkable ten days ago.

    It is tragic that Ukrainians have to suffer to bring to light the threat of authoritarianism in the early 21st century. But what else could wake people up?

    As always, everything is point and counterpoint. I heard a Nigerian student tell of being thrown off a Polish bound train by Ukrainian border guards… because he is Black…. Lest we think every Ukrainian is a hero. Unfortunately, often tragically, we are stuck being Homo Sapiens… the murderers of every other Homo species we encountered so long ago.

  • @richardyot said:
    Putin flattened Grozny in the Chechen wars, he has absolutely no regard for civilian lives. He most definitely is a monster. That other monsters exist does not negate that fact.

    Fair enough, but by that criteria you're also including Truman (Japan, Korea), Eisenhower (Korea), Johnson (Vietnam), Nixon (Vietnam), Bush Jr (Iraq, particularly Falljujah), Obama (Battle of Mosul) and Biden (Afghan famine).

    I'm not the biggest fan of any of them, but monstrous seems a stretch for most of them. It seems to be the logic of wars that when they go wrong, war becomes more brutal, no matter what the intentions going in might have been. The desire for victory tends to outlast the desire for morality sadly.

    If you don't think this is a major war, what can I say?

    It isn't a major war yet. Minor wars can have surprisingly major outcomes, while major wars can have almost no affect at all.

    This war will probably finish Putin and redraw European allegiances for a generation. That's if it doesn't escalate into something much worse of course.

    I'd love to assume the former but it seems premature - and it may well just result in a far more repressive Russia which would be bad. As for the latter - we'll see I guess. I think we'll see a lot of rhetoric, some big promises. Maybe an increase of spending on European white elephant defense projects (got to keep those domestic defense companies ticking over). Beyond that? Who can say. Definitely a good time to own defense stocks though. Go long Raytheon.

  • My exwife gf thinks anyone who mistreats a dog is a monster. Perhaps we are humans who do monstrous things. It’s just a matter of degree.

  • @LinearLineman said:

    I heard a Nigerian student tell of being thrown off a Polish bound train by Ukrainian border guards… because he is Black….

    Yes. There are blatant examples of Racism against africans and Indians at the Border. Pretty fucked up.

    I can also see that Ukraine is getting special consideration over a lot of similar situations in Asia and African because of "white" empathy. What's going on with the 12 million Uyghurs in China and genocides in Africa and the middle east (Kurds, for example) doesn't get the same level of support and interest.

    Managing racial prejudice is a social cancer that will take another few centuries to balance out as people move freely between continents overtime.

    Still, the arc of history is long but it bends (or wobbles) towards justice.

  • All the fine young hypocrites…

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