What would be considered "anti-imperialist" positions re: Russia?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
What would be considered "anti-imperialist" positions re: Russia?

Just trying to get what people here would see as a range of views on that country that would be part of the "anti-imperialist" spectrum?

Here's my view:

Russia isn't as strong a country militarily as the US.  At this point it doesn't have as great a potential to create a global empire as the US does.  Nonetheless, it is anti-democratic, repressive and edging towards a set of policies I would describe as state bigotry(official homophobia, repression of non-Russian cultures and non-Russian Orthodox religions), state sanctioned violence(the first reading, but not as yet final passage of the bill legalizing certain forms of violence against women and children within the family), environmental recklessness, and aggressiveness towards neighboring counties, some of which seems to be based on a desire to regain control of areas that gained national independence after 1989.

So I believe Russia is pre-imperialist and will move more and more towards an imperialist program the longer Putin remains in power.

Russia is, in theory, a counterweight to US aggression.  But I find it difficult to embrace the implication, which is part of the subtext of some posts and threads here, that Russia should be given at least some sort of tacit international left support as "the enemy of (our)enemy".  And while US imperialism needs to be checked, I don't think what Russia is doing will ever truly act as such a check.

I reject the idea that criticism of internal repression within Russia equates to aid and comfort for the American empire, or equates to "Russophobia"-I don't think anyone here hates Russia, Russian culture as such, or the people of the Russian Federation, AND I oppose with equal passion the idea that the US should be in a confrontational posture towards Russia or take any steps that move us closer to a return to the Cold War.  Any US-Russian confrontation could easily lead to a nuclear exchange, and I doubt that any nuclear exchange could possibly stop short of the universal extinction of life on this planet.

And I stand in solidarity with all of the people Putin has repressed, as I do with all victims of repression everywhere else.

Would people here consider the views I set out there to be "anti-imperialist" or "imperialist"?  And would the rest of you be willing to lay out what YOUR exact views

lagatta4

They are pretty much the same as mine. I view the US as far more dangerous in terms of military aggression and adventurism, but Russia does seem set on recovering its regional land empire, which is huge. Moreover we must not lose sight of the imperialism of other capitalist states - I'm thinking in particular of the latter-day colonialism of France and Britain in former African colonies. They aren't as militarized as the US (the US economy is utterly deformed by the dependence on military spending and bases, making it a perverse kind of "illfare state") but imperialism is not only a matter of the armed forces; there is a very strong economic component.

One thing that is clear: I utterly refuse to excuse human-rights violations, oppression and repression by a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" logic.

6079_Smith_W

Without framing it in those terms (which I think we just aren't going to agree on) I agree with almost all of what you say. I do think the current government there is reaching as far as it has the power to militarily, I think it is trying to prop itself up with an illusion of empire, and I think its greatest threat internationally isn't its military, but in its promotion of disinformation, fascism, and discrimination. In that, it is easily a match for the U.S. Better, I'd say.

I'd add that it is too bad this is all focusing on the negative. And it is even more unfortunate that all the focus here is on the two most powerful and central players, not those caught in between.

There are a lot of good and progressive things in that country, and in the legacy of the Soviet Union, even if they aren't reflected in the current Russian government, and I think it is a real counterweight of sorts, if not a military one.

I definitely saw both sides of it over there. Positive and negative. And also how quick some were to try and erase any trace of that legacy.

But this situation is at a crisis point, which all sides bear some responsibility for, so it stands to reason the negatives are at the top of the list.

 

Sean in Ottawa

I agree as well. The smaller less dangerous imperialist is still an imperialist. I never see justification in saying this is bad you ahve to support that. Binary ways of looking at things are very unhelpful.

sherpa-finn

C'mon folks, a little appreciation of history please. Given that the Russian Empire in the 19th century stretched from Poland and Hungary in the west to Alaska in the east, we cannot really talk about Russia today being "pre-imperialist".  

Maybe "re-imperialist" would work better?  Or perhaps "imperial recidivist"?

6079_Smith_W

And the Caucasus. That was part of my disagreement,but I figured I'd leave that bit

Webgear

Why is there this constant belief here on the forum that the Russia Military isn’t as capable or as strong as the US Military?

What are these personal assessments based on?  

 

Sean in Ottawa

I like imperial recidivist

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So is Canada an imperial or colonial power? As part of the NATO team our mining corporations are ensconced around the world stealing other people's resources. As well our own government at home is in the process of denying indigenous people's the right to self determinaton over their tunceded territories.

I guess we must be some kind of hybrid. 

Quote:

The term "imperialism" is often conflated with "colonialism", however many scholars have argued that each have their own distinct definition. Imperialism and colonialism have been used in order to describe one's superiority, domination and influence upon a person or group of people. Robert Young writes that while imperialism operates from the center, is a state policy and is developed for ideological as well as financial reasons, colonialism is simply the development for settlement or commercial intentions. Colonialism in modern usage also tends to imply a degree of geographic separation between the colony and the imperial power. Particularly, Edward Said distinguishes the difference between imperialism and colonialism by stating; "imperialism involved 'the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distant territory', while colonialism refers to the 'implanting of settlements on a distant territory.'[9] Contiguous land empires such as the Russian or Ottoman have traditionally been excluded from discussions of colonialism, though this is beginning to change, since it is accepted that they also sent populations into the territories they ruled.[10]:116 Thus it can be said that imperialism includes some form of colonialism, but colonialism itself does not automatically imply imperialism, as it lacks a political focus.[further explanation needed]

Imperialism and colonialism both dictate the political and economic advantage over a land and the indigenous populations they control, yet scholars sometimes find it difficult to illustrate the difference between the two.[11] Although imperialism and colonialism focus on the suppression of an other, if colonialism refers to the process of a country taking physical control of another, imperialism refers to the political and monetary dominance, either formally or informally. Colonialism is seen to be the architect deciding how to start dominating areas and then imperialism can be seen as creating the idea behind conquest cooperating with colonialism. Colonialism is when the imperial nation begins a conquest over an area and then eventually is able to rule over the areas the previous nation had controlled. Colonialism's core meaning is the exploitation of the valuable assets and supplies of the nation that was conquered and the conquering nation then gaining the benefits from the spoils of the war.[12] The meaning of imperialism is to create an empire, by conquering the other state's lands and therefore increasing its own dominance. Colonialism is the builder and preserver of the colonial possessions in an area by a population coming from a foreign region.[13] Colonialism can completely change the existing social structure, physical structure and economics of an area; it is not unusual that the characteristics of the conquering peoples are inherited by the conquered indigenous populations.[14]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Webgear wrote:

Why is there this constant belief here on the forum that the Russia Military isn’t as capable or as strong as the US Military?

What are these personal assessments based on?  

So you are saying that despite it spending more than its enemies and friends combined the Russians and presumably the Chineses are capable to going toe to toe with the US. What a rip off for the people of the US "democracy."  The US is clearly another type of hybrid imperial regime since its military is primarily used for seizing other people oil and other resources but it does not govern it instead leaves behind chaos which the corporations profit from.

6079_Smith_W

Maybe it is the "capable" thing. That they aren't as good, which no one said. But the sheer numbers do not lie.

As for Canada. I'd say colonial, seeing as we have always been along on someone else's ride.

 

sherpa-finn

On the comparative assessments of the major military powers of the world,  this graph pretty much captures the key data. 

 

Of course, in terms of military spending as a share of the national economy, Saudi Arabia wins that crown going away. While Russia's spending is at Israeli "siege mentality" levels, - two-thirds higher than the US (ie 5.4% of GDP, vs 3.3%).    

ETA: Source of this data is the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (2015).

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Webgear wrote:

Why is there this constant belief here on the forum that the Russia Military isn’t as capable or as strong as the US Military?

What are these personal assessments based on?  

So you are saying that despite it spending more than its enemies and friends combined the Russians and presumably the Chineses are capable to going toe to toe with the US.

I would say that would be very scenario driven... they could give US forces a good fight in certain situations. Logistics is the ball and chain of the modern combat force. Supporting a high intensity conflict far from their own boarders would still be more problematic for them than the USA. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So you don't think they are as capable? I would agree that with over 180 military bases around the world they likely have more logistic capabilities.  Canada has always played a big role on logistics for NATO.

It seems to me that we are still in the MAD era especially with China deploying missiles on its own territory that are within range of the Pacific seaboard.

jjuares

Webgear wrote:

Why is there this constant belief here on the forum that the Russia Military isn’t as capable or as strong as the US Military?

What are these personal assessments based on?  

 


It isn't just this forum that says Russia's military is weaker than the Americans.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:

C'mon folks, a little appreciation of history please. Given that the Russian Empire in the 19th century stretched from Poland and Hungary in the west to Alaska in the east, we cannot really talk about Russia today being "pre-imperialist".  

Maybe "re-imperialist" would work better?  Or perhaps "imperial recidivist"?

Revanchist is another term that could be used.  I wasn't sure we could connect the Russian government of today to the Tsarist regime.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

sherpa-finn wrote:

C'mon folks, a little appreciation of history please. Given that the Russian Empire in the 19th century stretched from Poland and Hungary in the west to Alaska in the east, we cannot really talk about Russia today being "pre-imperialist".  

Maybe "re-imperialist" would work better?  Or perhaps "imperial recidivist"?

Revanchist is another term that could be used.  I wasn't sure we could connect the Russian government of today to the Tsarist regime.

I would connect it more with the Tsarist regime rather than the USSR. The undercurrents in Russia's internal politics and culture that we are so opposed to come from the revived and once again powerful Orthodox Church. 

Quote:

One may further note that a new agreement between the Church and the Counts’ Court was recently signed in Moscow. It aimed to raise morale in Russia, impaired by corruption, a real blight there; and safeguard the national spiritual, historical and cultural heritage, necessary for the social good. On the occasion of signing, Patriarch Cyril declared that “The work of the Counts’ Court has a substantial impact on society’s moral climate. We know that corruption degrades human beings. And if corruption reaches a significant extent, it erodes the healthy fabric of society and undermines the basis of the State.”

In fact, for Cyril, the “current vices, connected with theft of public and state property” are attributed to the difficulties faced by the population in the ’90’s and early 2000’s. They are, “the collapse of the economy, the destruction of certain ideals and the attempt to create new ones”.

For these reasons, the Kremlin considers the Church a fundamental ally to preserve Russia’s spiritual and cultural identity. Politics and the Church are intertwined: the Kremlin needs to promote the Church as an organ representing the nation’s values to regroup consensus; it is opportune for the Church to collaborate with politics to promote choices protecting the family and safeguarding public morality. With reference to safeguarding life, the Orthodox church has worked hard to explain that abortion is nothing but the killing of an innocent human being. The work of many NGOs promote the pro-life cause in Russia.

Another emblematic case of the common political strategy linking the Orthodox church and the Kremlin is the anti-blasphemy. This was adopted following the episode of three feminist activists, Pussy Riot, who played in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Their rock music, blasphemous in character, was performed on the platform of the altar, to protest against Putin’s policy. For the secular authorities the gesture was considered as one by hooligans or vandals; for the Ecclesiastical leaders it was blasphemous profanity.

Further, the Church supported the new regulations limiting access to abortion; and Putin’s law forbidding the publication of material portraying homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.

The Orthodox church’s action also spreads internationally, appearing as the promoter of dialogue between different religions and cultures. Patriarch Cyril actually stated the need to build orthodox geopolitics, in line with Putin’s foreign policy. To favour this role, the “Inter-Religious Council of the Russian Federation” and its analogous “Inter-religious Council of the CSI” (Community of Independent states) were set up in 1998. Orthodox Christians, 230 million in all, include: countries orthodox by tradition (Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, the Ukraine), with their own orthodox national Churches, countries containing orthodox ethnic-cultural minorities (Albania, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, Slovakia), and countries containing orthodox faithful, principally in Western Europe. Patriarch Cyril often visits countries from the former Soviet belt to consolidate cultural, religious, but also political relations. The Orthodox church moves in the former Soviet area, which the Kremlin aims to regroup. All this, supports the government’s foreign policy, continually appealing to a shared values between the “sister nations” with “a unique story, a unique Church and unique future”.

To closer understand the importance of it, one may refer to Eirini Patsea’s luminary work, “Church diplomacy: Greece, Russia and beyond”The author stresses that “after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Orthodox post-Soviet states chose to submit to the spiritual leadership of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople; not the Patriarchate of Moscow. It was important, for those states and for their western interlocutors, that they cut the cord from the ROC and the Soviet politics”. Or, as prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic vividly remarked in his recent editorial on Greece: “Russia is a legal, not an ideological, successor of the late Soviet Union. Many in Greece and Latin America mingled the two”.

With reference to foreign policy, the situation lived in the Ukraine following the conflict is also interesting. In this country Orthodox church exponents were submitted to pressure from the Ukraine’s new “nationalist” authorities and other organisations. The latter wished to take over faculties to transfer the clergy depending on the Moscow Patriarch under the Kiev Patriarch (the latter not recognised, not even by the Constantinople Patriarch). In this regard it should be stressed that the Ukraine counts the highest number of orthodox parishes after Russia.

To conclude, it is fundamental to underline that this type of collaboration between Church and state has facilitated the rebirth of faith in Russia. It is possible in the traditional acephalus-national reality of Orthodoxy, which has made the “symphonic” Caesaropapism the true foundation of Russian identity for centuries. It is then clear that the model cannot be exported. However, the National character of the orthodox Ecclesiastical reality has not hindered the possibility of an “orthodox ecumenism” open to international dialogue between cultures and religions.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-rebirth-of-the-patriarch-of-moscow-mosc...

 

voice of the damned

Kropotkin wrote:

As part of the NATO team our mining corporations are ensconced around the world stealing other peoples' resources.

How does our membership in NATO effect what our mining companies do?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

Kropotkin wrote:

As part of the NATO team our mining corporations are ensconced around the world stealing other peoples' resources.

How does our membership in NATO effect what our mining companies do?

NATO forces open markets and when the locals really get uppity they send in the troops to protect the mining and other interests of the corporations.

Quote:

The NATO war in Mali is expanding and Harper is doing all he can to help steal the riches of that land for Canadian mining corporations.
 
The UK has just agreed to send 40 troops and another $5 million to support the French led operation and Harper is due to renew his contribution to the takeover on March 14. Other African nations have also begun to mobilize troops.
 
Once again we see an open-ended intervention that may drag on and become the African version of NATO’s quagmire Afghanistan. The West has no intention of leaving the continent to its own people; there is too much money to be made.
 
While the intervention in Mali has fallen off the front pages on Canadian newspapers, the business sections have been abuzz with stories of Canadian mines in more or less trouble because of potential unrest. According to Robert Besseling, deputy head of Africa forecasting at the political risk firm Exclusive Analysis, certain area of the continent are becoming harder to mine in because of what he terms “resource nationalists”—or people who are opposed to the pillaging of their land.
 
And Canadian corporations—like Barrick Gold, the largest gold-mining company in the world—have a lot of pillaging to do. Canadian mining investment in Africa has reached $31 billion, up from only $5 billion in 2005. That is a rapid acceleration that is also resulting in more blow-back.
 
In 2011, people in Tanzania attacked a Barrick gold mine, protesting the destruction of both their land and their livelihood. It is estimated that 400,000 African miners have lost their jobs due to the large multinationals moving in. The response was swift: police and security forces killed seven people to keep them away from the mines.
 
Like the De Beers diamond mine that loots millions while nearby indigenous people in Attawapiskat are denied basic housing, mining in Africa steals riches while leaving people in poverty. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries on earth, despite having roughly $40 billion in gold reserves. It is also, by no coincidence, one of the countries that Canada has targeted for a new Canadian military base--part of Harper's plan to spend $490 billion on the military over 20 years.

http://www.socialist.ca/node/1646

 

voice of the damned

^ Formattijng messed up. The second box, labelled "quote", is my reply.

 

 

 

voice of the damned

kropotkin1951 wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Kropotkin wrote:

As part of the NATO team our mining corporations are ensconced around the world stealing other peoples' resources.

How does our membership in NATO effect what our mining companies do?

NATO forces open markets and when the locals really get uppity they send in the troops to protect the mining and other interests of the corporations.

Quote:

 

Yes, in many cases. But the phrase "As part of the NATO team..." implies that there's a connection between a government being part of NATO, and the corporations operating in certain countries. But a nation doesn't need to be a member of a military alliance in order for its corporations to move into areas the alliance has occupied. Gazprom and PetroChina both cuurrently have operations in Iraq, arguably under the auspices of the western occupation, even though neither Russia nor China is part of any western-based military alliance, or played any role in the 2003 invasion or subsequent interventions.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So VOD did you miss this part of  the quote. Our governments use troops and coordinate those actions through NATO. Of course other countries also do mining but so far I haven't seen them do the deployment of troops on a regular basis like NATO does to support its corporations. The imperialism we live under is a corporate fascism with a democratic facade. You seem to be pointing at the facade. 

"The UK has just agreed to send 40 troops and another $5 million to support the French led operation and Harper is due to renew his contribution to the takeover on March 14. Other African nations have also begun to mobilize troops.
 
Once again we see an open-ended intervention that may drag on and become the African version of NATO’s quagmire Afghanistan. The West has no intention of leaving the continent to its own people; there is too much money to be made."

lagatta4

I guess that since NATO no longer has any "legitimate" reason to exist (in the Cold War logic), it can deploy just about anywhere? Because most Canadian mining concerns are in the Americas and Africa ... also some in Southeast Asia, as we recall. NATO no longer has any reason to exist period.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I've always found it curious that the annexation of the Baltic states (along with others) somehow doesn't count as imperialism.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I've always found it curious that the annexation of the Baltic states (along with others) somehow doesn't count as imperialism.

I guess I missed that.  Or are you just confusing Russia with the USSR. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Perhaps I'm just confusing Moscow with Moscow.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Perhaps I'm just confusing Moscow with Moscow.

Yup another Cold War warrior who doesn't accept the Russian people's version of democracy. You got regime change in Russia but because it is not a satrap of the West it is illegitimate and must accept the sins of the USSR as ther own. 

contrarianna

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I've always found it curious that the annexation of the Baltic states (along with others) somehow doesn't count as imperialism.

I guess I missed that.  Or are you just confusing Russia with the USSR. 

Nevermind. The usual trolling.

Someone replies "What are you talking about that was the Stalin's Soviet Union!"

Cue the innumerable fearmongering stories of Putin's imminent goosestepping into the western nuclear-backed Baltic states..  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I have no beef with Russia's electoral choices.

But why do we keep pretending that the USSR (in other words, Russia plus all the other countries they could occupy) are somehow different from the British Empire (in other words, England, and all the other countries they could occupy)?

I get that current-day Russia isn't trying to RE-annex Latvia, any more than England is trying to rule New Zealand.  But why do we need to whitewash Russia's imperialism?

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I don't support Putin, largley because of his demestic policies as outlined by Ken.

However, as concerns Russian foreign policy, Crimea voted 97% to rejoin Russia in the Feb 2014 referendum. Note that Crimea was part of the Russian SSR until the Kruschev regime moved it to the Ukranian SSR following Stalin's death. So i veiw Russia's annexation of Crimea as respecting the self-determination of the Crimean people. I also see no evidence of any other aggressive moves on the part of Russia against Ukraine, Belarus, or the baltic states, and so claims that these states need "protection" from Russia appear to be U.S.--Nato propaganda.

My demands with regards to Russia are as follows:

  1. The recognition by the international community that Crimea has been part of Russia since 2014, and the adjustment of maps to reflect this reality.
  2. The end to all economic sanctions against Russia.
  3. An end tho U.S.--NATO agression against Russia, and the dissolution of NATO.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I've always found it curious that the annexation of the Baltic states (along with others) somehow doesn't count as imperialism.

If you're talking about NATO incorporating the Balkan states (and others) into it's alliance, that certainly counts as imperialism. If you're talking about Russiann annexation of the Balkan States (and others), I have heard of no attempts by Russia to do this, and U.S.--NATO claims to this effect appear to be nothing more than propaganda.

I addressed in my post upthread my views about Crimea.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I have no beef with Russia's electoral choices.

But why do we keep pretending that the USSR (in other words, Russia plus all the other countries they could occupy) are somehow different from the British Empire (in other words, England, and all the other countries they could occupy)?

I get that current-day Russia isn't trying to RE-annex Latvia, any more than England is trying to rule New Zealand.  But why do we need to whitewash Russia's imperialism?

This thread is about the current state of the world only people stuck in the past think that understanding that Russia is not the USSR is a whitewash.  I not am surprised you haven't raised Belgium and Germany when you delve into past empires.  

In the meantime Russia is not trying to annex the Baltic's and you are demanding that in any discussion of imperialism that we must equate Russia with the USSR. I can never figure out whether you are being deliberately obtuse or are just a right winger who likes to hang out with progressive people so you can poke and prod until you get a reaction. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If you're talking about NATO incorporating the Balkan states (and others) into it's alliance, that certainly counts as imperialism. If you're talking about Russiann annexation of the Balkan States (and others), I have heard of no attempts by Russia to do this, and U.S.--NATO claims to this effect appear to be nothing more than propaganda.

I see.  But it seems they all fought for, and got, their independence.

Independence from what?  They were just always independent but didn't know it?

 

sherpa-finn

Left Turn wrote: If you're talking about NATO incorporating the Balkan states (and others) into it's alliance, that certainly counts as imperialism. 

That is such a silly comment that it actually diminishes the use and the power of the word 'imperialism'.

Three small nations are forcibly occupied, annexed and exploited by a super-power for 50 years before they finally secure their independence.

Uncertain of their future, the newly autonomous people and governments of these nations freely and openly choose to join an alternative military alliance and economic union - one that pledges to respect (and if necessary defend) their national independence.

"IMPERIALISM!" the armchair critics shout out from afar.  So lame.  

6079_Smith_W

See what I mean? Everything is carrying on pretty much as it was before. If it was a case of a political viewpoint being suppressed they clearly didn't finish the job.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Left Turn wrote:

I addressed in my post upthread my views about Crimea.

Crimea is an interesting case. Back when it happened I said there was no way Putin would let go of Sevastopol because of its strategic naval importance. So the invasion and rigged referendum is quite understandable. As realpolitik, if there was case I would ever give an imperialist nation a pass on, that would be it. But I don't deny it was an invasion.

My question is how much of the invasion of east Ukraine was an attempt to screw them up, and how much of it was him hoping he'd be able to blast a land bridge through to Crimea - a venture which has so far failed.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Rigged referendum? 6079 you spew propaganda like Trump  does. 

Sean in Ottawa

Crimea is an interesting case. I think that there is no way that you could rig a referendum there that would not favour Russia. I am not saying that the Russians did this well or nicely but to suggest Crimea was taken against its will is truly amazing.

I think like many geopolitical conflicts trying to find a nice good side is fruitless. This was not simply about not letting go. There is Russian history there (and yes I am familiar with the other side on this and the people who left years ago). The people there now are strongly aligned with Russia. I would be absolutely stunned if they, given a choice, picked Ukraine over Russia.

The rest of Eastern Ukraine is messy with many divided loyalties as well as those with clear ones.

6079_Smith_W

That they would have won? Not too surprising. That they would have won by 95.7 percent? Call me a skeptic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014

 

Sean in Ottawa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

That they would have won? Not too surprising. That they would have won by 95.7 percent? Call me a skeptic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014

 

I am not going to debate the quality of the referendum or the specific number -- we are not equipped to do so. The region's economic well being, culture and sympathies were very much tied to Russia. Ukraine was not doing well. I could be skeptical about 95% but really I would not say impossible.

Certainly I would not suggest that the number would be so close as to be in any doubt. Without doubt, why would they feel the need to rig it?

I am not excusing either side or taking sides but I would not dispute where I think Crimea wants to be.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If you're talking about NATO incorporating the Balkan states (and others) into it's alliance, that certainly counts as imperialism.

I see.  So if they choose to join NATO, that's imperialism.

If Moscow chooses them for some "new government", that's not imperialism.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

If you join the NATO club you become a junior member in an imperialist organization. Its like joining any other gang of murderous thug. You have to pony up some muscle and some armaments. So yes they chose to be imperialists.

Crimea has always been a Russian naval base since 1783 so the idea that the people who mostly speak Russian were forced to join is ludicrous. After the Ukrainian putsch the new leadership was talking about cultural genocide against Russian speakers. I suspect that was a driver for the high yes vote.  

Quote:

1) Crimea has more different ethnicities than any other region of the former Russian Empire. They all live together in the medium of the Russian language, some intermarrying but typically retaining their ethnic identities, even when they do intermarry.

(2) Crimeans have the strongest sense of regional or local patriotism of anyplace I know in the former Soviet Union. Crimean identity tends to be more important than ethnic identity. In fact, all of the Ukrainian-Crimeans I know, although they know Ukrainian, choose to speak Russian even at home, self-identify as Crimeans, and most favor Crimea’s unification with Russia.

(3) The term “ethnic Russian,” although widely used, is a misnomer. Although thoroughbred ethnic Russians can be found, Russian language and culture do not belong to them. Many who identify as Russians are not really ethnically Russian. When asking someone in Crimea and, for that matter, throughout most of the former USSR, what their nationality is, they will be likely to say something like: “My father is half Belorussian and half Jewish. My mother is one quarter Chuvash, one quarter Kalmyk, and half Ukrainian. Therefore I am Russian.” “Russian” is not just an ethnicity, nor is it just a citizenship. It is a civilization. And Crimea is perhaps the best exemplar in the former Soviet Union of this civilization.

An important reason why so many Crimeans, including so many ethnically-Ukrainian Crimeans, wanted out of Ukraine is because the ethno-cultural definition of the Ukrainian state is directly antithetical to the cosmopolitan sense of nation and nationality that prevails in Crimea.

https://www.quora.com/Do-they-speak-Russian-or-Ukrainian-in-Crimea

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Crimea has always been a Russian naval base since 1783 so the idea that the people who mostly speak Russian were forced to join is ludicrous.

OK, but I was referring to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.  Do you feel that they also wanted to join?  And if so, why did all three seem to want out so badly?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Crimea has always been a Russian naval base since 1783 so the idea that the people who mostly speak Russian were forced to join is ludicrous.

OK, but I was referring to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.  Do you feel that they also wanted to join?  And if so, why did all three seem to want out so badly?

Your Cold War era politics is making me nostalgic for the good old days of propaganda. Has anyone in this thread denied that the USSR absorbed those three countries after the second world war?

6079_Smith_W

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Certainly I would not suggest that the number would be so close as to be in any doubt. Without doubt, why would they feel the need to rig it?

That's a good question. Insurance, perhaps. But if for no reason other than the Tatar minority I find the 95 percent number hard to believe.That, and the little green men who just happened to be everywhere prior to the refendum, who surrounded the Ukrainian military base, who tore through the hotel where journalists were staying. Who were on street corners everywhere with armoured personnel carriers which appeared out of nowhere.

And as I have already said there was no way Russia was going to let go of Sevastopol, so I'm not actually disputing the situation either. But neither am I going to deny the imperialism in the act, or in the history of the place. The large ethnic Russian population is there in part because of others who were deported.

We don't ignore imperialism in the western sphere of influence. Why turn a blind eye to it when it comes to that part of the world. Again, especially considering I am acknowledging that Sevastopol is far too strategic a position for them to lose?

If anyone is wondering why people in the Baltics are nervous, it is because Putin is talking openly about defending ethnic Russians everywhere.

And the Soviets didn't occupy the Baltics after world war two. They did it at the beginning of the war as part of their agreement with the Nazis.

 

 

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

One of the biggest disasters of the 20th Century was the dismantling of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev sold them all down the river. It made the US the sole super power in the world and ever since they've been crowned the masters of the universe. No other super power to keep them in check. A return of the USSR would improve the current state of the world.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So you don't think they are as capable? I would agree that with over 180 military bases around the world they likely have more logistic capabilities.  Canada has always played a big role on logistics for NATO.

It seems to me that we are still in the MAD era especially with China deploying missiles on its own territory that are within range of the Pacific seaboard.

I assume you're talking to me... I think they are more than capable of giving the USA a fight; depending on the location of said fight. (I think I said this before?)

Give me a location on the planet and I'll give you my (educated?) opinion on which side would do better.

As for the 180 base "thing" that is a straw man argument built by the Russia and company... If you look at the real, and I mean the real, distribution of US combat power on the planet most all those "bases" are small intelligence gathering facilities. They are not the type of base that would support a large military force.

But don't let me stop you from thinking otherwise. I challenge you to show me how wrong I am... with real stuff, not that fake shit Russia came up with. 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So you don't think they are as capable? I would agree that with over 180 military bases around the world they likely have more logistic capabilities.  Canada has always played a big role on logistics for NATO.

It seems to me that we are still in the MAD era especially with China deploying missiles on its own territory that are within range of the Pacific seaboard.

I assume you're talking to me... I think they are more than capable of giving the USA a fight; depending on the location of said fight. (I think I said this before?)

Give me a location on the planet and I'll give you my (educated?) opinion on which side would do better.

As for the 180 base "thing" that is a straw man argument built by the Russia and company... If you look at the real, and I mean the real, distribution of US combat power on the planet most all those "bases" are small intelligence gathering facilities. They are not the type of base that would support a large military force.

But don't let me stop you from thinking otherwise. I challenge you to show me how wrong I am... with real stuff, not that fake shit Russia came up with. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So you don't think they are as capable? I would agree that with over 180 military bases around the world they likely have more logistic capabilities.  Canada has always played a big role on logistics for NATO.

It seems to me that we are still in the MAD era especially with China deploying missiles on its own territory that are within range of the Pacific seaboard.

I assume you're talking to me... I think they are more than capable of giving the USA a fight; depending on the location of said fight. (I think I said this before?)

Give me a location on the planet and I'll give you my (educated?) opinion on which side would do better.

As for the 180 base "thing" that is a straw man argument built by the Russia and company... If you look at the real, and I mean the real, distribution of US combat power on the planet most all those "bases" are small intelligence gathering facilities. They are not the type of base that would support a large military force.

But don't let me stop you from thinking otherwise. I challenge you to show me how wrong I am... with real stuff, not that fake shit Russia came up with. 

More Russia crap. Russia is not the source of all those reports on US bases. The anti-war/peace movement has been tracking them for decades. I understand that the size of bases varies and some of them are very small. That would be why I talked about logistics because most of them are eyes and ears on the ground in other people's countries.

However contrast that with the US position on foreign troops. The Mexican army helped with the relief  work after Katrina and they were the first foreign troop deployment allowed on US soil since WWII.  

 

sherpa-finn

alan smithee wrote:

One of the biggest disasters of the 20th Century was the dismantling of the Soviet Union. ... A return of the USSR would improve the current state of the world.

Yeah, the end of empire is never fun. My grandfather (British Army ret'd) once confided to me with some regret how "letting India go" was effectively the beginning of the end for the British Empire. Sad.

Of course the 150 million citizens of the fourteen or so now independent republics that sprang from the ashes of the Soviet Union may not be quite so nostalgic as you for that whole 'Back in the USSR" shtick.

(If anybody's counting, that would be Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.) 

Rather than bemoan the dismantling of one empire, why not anticipate the dismantling of all? Any bets on which will be independent first - Califormia or Tibet? 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:

alan smithee wrote:

One of the biggest disasters of the 20th Century was the dismantling of the Soviet Union. ... A return of the USSR would improve the current state of the world.

Yeah, the end of empire is never fun. My grandfather (British Army ret'd) once confided to me with some regret how "letting India go" was effectively the beginning of the end for the British Empire. Sad.

Of course the 150 million citizens of the fourteen or so now independent republics that sprang from the ashes of the Soviet Union may not be quite so nostalgic as you for that whole 'Back in the USSR" shtick.

(If anybody's counting, that would be Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.) 

Rather than bemoan the dismantling of one empire, why not anticipate the dismantling of all? Any bets on which will be independent first - Califormia or Tibet? 

Good question since neither of them have ever been independent.

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