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Source: (consider it) Thread: I'm finally getting pissed off with the BBC
Martin60
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Over Syria.

A nasty man and his nasty allies are murdering a hundred people a day, every day in an apparent vacuum. For no reasons of their own at all. They're doing it because they're nasty.

Why are they being so nasty? Somebody stop them! Declare that it must stop in the highest council on Earth. That'll stop it.

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Love wins

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Baptist Trainfan
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How does this relate to being pissed off with the BBC? [Confused]
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rolyn
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They kept Alleppo in the spotlight so much it was making young Western people depressed. The idea pressumably was to heap world opinion against the nasty bloke in the hope he'd thrown in the towel.
This didn't happen so now we hear a lot less about Syria's suffererings.

Like the American said this morning, -- does the West really want a war with Syria, Iran and possibly even Russia? I think not.
The rebels whom we vaguely hoped might rid the ME of another tinpot dictator are on there own, time is running out for them.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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The Iraqi postgrads I work with think that their government, and that of Assad, pulled out of 'Sunni areas' and created a purposeful power vacuum in order to let something like ISIS thrive. Having seen it, the West might be less keen on regime change a-la Libya. Well, that bit seems to be working out.

Is it inevitable that Muslim-majority states need a hard man at the top to keep the lid on? My contacts seem to think so (10-12 postgrad engineering students over the last 3 years).

Does the BBC do a 'ooh, look at the nasty men, that isn't NICE' act as Martin suggests? Yes indeedy, but don't they reflect us the audience who seem to want the world to just come on for goodness sake and join the National Trust, and shop in John Lewis? (And when nasty men do things, if we have any say in it we'll un-fund them, as people are personally doing over Oxfam and calling for with regards to a UN sex scandal. So let's punish the poor who most need that money, because it's better than being tainted by association with people who aren't NICE).

I think this might be a consequence of a morality which is at root aesthetic, but that's probably a tangent.

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(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Martin60
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Hmmm. So nobody has any idea why this nastiness is so totally, completely asymmetric? Did somebody say rebels?

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Love wins

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rolyn
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Once placards were put down in favour of assault rifles and grenade launchers 7 long years ago, the nastiness soon became fairly evenly matched.
That's what war is isn't it? Civil war possibly even more so I'm guessing. That's if you can even call the Syrian situation a Civil war, ISTM like a whole hideous caldron of God knows what.

Still not sure what the Beeb is supposed to do about it.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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quetzalcoatl
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Yes, I don't understand what it's got to do with the BBC.

Apart from that, it's power politics, isn't it? Assad and Russia are out to crush the rebels, which they will, the US presumably is OK with this, despite originally supporting some rebels, and the UK govt will stay out of it.

I'm curious as to what happens afterwards, as presumably Sunni areas will be tightly controlled by Assad as former rebel areas. I don't know then if they have the stomach to oppose Assad any further.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Russia is working to prevent USA from closing it off to the south. Hence also Ukraine. They have both chosen sides: when has it really mattered to anyone if the side chosen is murderous towards anyone? The point is economic control, the people are expendable. It's another Great Game.

I listened to a BBC4 radio panel discussion rebroadcast about the Boxer Rebellion in China in the 19th century this morning. They did good work at showing how these economic exploitative motives are the intent, the locals don't matter, and the usual veiled warning of the risks of outcome decades hence. The listener has to do some work and not just passively listen to connect it to present day events.

I find the BBC radio bits I hear are different than the short pieces often heard elsewhere except to my ears some of the commentary and interview programs on CBC radio. So perhaps the BBC complaints are about TV?

[ 25. February 2018, 14:20: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Martin60
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The beeb reports it as if there were no war. Just nasty people bombing residential housing. Nothing about mortar fire from Goutha in to Damascus. Not that that justifies the massively disproportionate deliberate targeting of children. Which is what the rebels fully knowingly provoke, as in Houthi Yemen. Or Palestinian forces in Gaza every few years.

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Love wins

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Enoch
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Martin, I don't agree with you, on two fronts.

1. Yes, you're right that Assad is pretty nasty. But there's nothing nice about the rebels. There have never been any goodies in the Syrian Civil War. There has never been much to choose between any of them. There are no nice, cuddly liberal minded democrats waiting to come to power in Syria if only Assad could be defeated and the Russians would stop backing him. And by and large most of the rest of the world's 'people like us', provided they are prepared to keep their heads down, are probably marginally better off (even if only marginally) being ruled by the Assad regime than being ruled by any of the other groups of nasties.

We should not have been backing any of them in the first place, and we shouldn't be doing so now.

2. Because the BBC still presents the rebels as the people we're supposed to sympathise with, it's the one who has been reporting the recent horrors as though a "nasty man and his nasty allies are murdering a hundred people a day, every day in an apparent vacuum". That's where you get that impression from. So the BBC is actually on the same side as you are.


For a long time (possibly from the start of the fighting), horrible though you might think it is to read this, there have been quite strong arguments for saying that the least bad thing that could happen in Syria is for Assad to win, as soon as possible, simply because that is the only way the war could come to an end.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Boogie

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A Guardian headline -

quote:
Waiting for Putin and Assad to run out of people to kill. Is that our plan?
[Frown] [Tear]

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rolyn
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That is war, and the pursuit of that aim is sometimes how wars are won. Step in a time machine, go back and ask the people of Europe.

If the West got involved at this late stage it would cause more death, more suffering and many more dislocations. The sooner the rebels lay down their arms the better.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Russia is working to prevent USA from closing it off to the south.

Oh for fucks sake. Look at a map. It's on the other side of Turkey. There's no way that Russia has to help Assad murder his own people in order "to prevent USA from closing it off to the south."
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Martin60
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I don't understand Enoch, sorry. What you disagree with me about and how I'm on the same side as the BBC?

Russia is maintaining its Shia buffer against Sunni Arabs as it has for centuries. Turkey is friends and enemies with everyone at the same time. Except the Kurds. Makes the Balkans look like a rainbow coalition.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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The US backs the Arab Sunnis. An axis of evil as far as the Russians are concerned.

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Love wins

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Russia is working to prevent USA from closing it off to the south.

Oh for fucks sake. Look at a map. It's on the other side of Turkey. There's no way that Russia has to help Assad murder his own people in order "to prevent USA from closing it off to the south."
Keeping the USA busy aren't they?

This may help (pdf) and and this (also pdf).

Stratfor (look it up) discussed several times that Russia has felt threatened by NATO, USA and European efforts in the former territories of the USSR, with the Ukrainian thing being a real trigger for them. I'm not inventing here.

[ 26. February 2018, 07:24: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Russia is working to prevent USA from closing it off to the south.

Oh for fucks sake. Look at a map. It's on the other side of Turkey. There's no way that Russia has to help Assad murder his own people in order "to prevent USA from closing it off to the south."
Keeping the USA busy aren't they?

This may help (pdf) and and this (also pdf).

Where, in either of those, is the part that says Russia is helping Assad in order to prevent the US from "closing it off to the south"? Again, Syria is not on Russia's border.
quote:
Stratfor (look it up) discussed several times that Russia has felt threatened by NATO, USA and European efforts in the former territories of the USSR, with the Ukrainian thing being a real trigger for them. I'm not inventing here.

"Efforts" to do what, exactly? Help them integrate into the rest of Europe? I don't think that justifies an invasion, however much the Russians may be triggered by the idea of Ukraine choosing its own economic and foreign policies.

And if you think Stratfor can provide helpful information, why don't you look it up and provide a link?

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Barnabas62
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no prophet ....

This may be the very last broken scroll lock I ever have to fix! The new software seems to cope on its own. But please remember to use post preview, and particularly when including links.

(Nice job on the quotation, Dave W)

B62, Purg Host

[ 26. February 2018, 07:30: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Martin, I don't agree with you, on two fronts.

1. Yes, you're right that Assad is pretty nasty. But there's nothing nice about the rebels. There have never been any goodies in the Syrian Civil War.

The original demonstrations were by pro democracy activists, though they were very small in number and localised in origin, and so rapidly overtaken by various shades of extremist Islamic sects fighting Assad on sectarian lines. Some of which the West has seen fit to arm. Assad is a nasty piece of work but minorities rallied to the government because they feel they'd be eliminated by the extremists should they ever come to power.

Armed conflict has been going on for a few years now. It is hard not to reach the conclusion that the rebels would have run out of arms ages ago had it not been for western intervention.

Unfortunately we are now at the stage in Western politics where lobbing bombs from a distance at middle eastern countries is the 'decent and moderate' thing to do.

The most secular/modernist in outlook forces in the region are the Kurds in Afrin, and having fought back against ISIS incursions into the Kurdish area they are now facing attacks from Turkey, that Western ally, with no words from the usual suspects in the commentariat.

[ 26. February 2018, 08:00: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Stratfor (look it up) discussed several times that Russia has felt threatened by NATO, USA and European efforts in the former territories of the USSR, with the Ukrainian thing being a real trigger for them. I'm not inventing here.

"Efforts" to do what, exactly?
To gain economic influence. To move those territories towards trading with USA and Europe rather than Russia, which would weaken Russia and make it more reliant on (and therefore subservient to) USA and Europe for economic viability.

The EU's eastward expansions have very little to do with noble ideals of European Brotherhood and Cooperation, and rather more to do with reducing Russia's influence over the continent by taking away a bunch of its trading partners. Ukraine was apparently the point at which Russia decided that it had had enough, so in went the tanks to keep as much of the country as possible in the Russian circle of influence.

It would seem that they quite like having Syria in that circle as well. And let's not forget the overtures they've been making towards Turkey lately - if they get Turkey on side then they'll gain unfettered access to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea, which in turn will give them vastly increased access to the Middle East and North Africa.

It may not be communism versus capitalism any more, but there's still a cold war going on. It's just that this one is about whether the money flows east or west rather than who follows which political ideology.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Stratfor (look it up) discussed several times that Russia has felt threatened by NATO, USA and European efforts in the former territories of the USSR, with the Ukrainian thing being a real trigger for them. I'm not inventing here.

"Efforts" to do what, exactly?
To gain economic influence. To move those territories towards trading with USA and Europe rather than Russia, which would weaken Russia and make it more reliant on (and therefore subservient to) USA and Europe for economic viability.

The EU's eastward expansions have very little to do with noble ideals of European Brotherhood and Cooperation, and rather more to do with reducing Russia's influence over the continent by taking away a bunch of its trading partners. Ukraine was apparently the point at which Russia decided that it had had enough, so in went the tanks to keep as much of the country as possible in the Russian circle of influence.

[snip]

It may not be communism versus capitalism any more, but there's still a cold war going on. It's just that this one is about whether the money flows east or west rather than who follows which political ideology.

I was asking what NP meant, but I guess you can wave the flag of false equivalence just as well.

An offer of potential membership in the EU isn't "taking away a bunch of [Russia's] trading partners" - no one's taking anything, they're not going anywhere, and they don't belong to Russia anyway.

No external force is stopping the Russians from un-fucking-up their own economy; just because current leadership can't or won't figure out a way to have viable economic relations with their neighbors without invading them, there's no reason to pretend that's anything like an invitation to join the EU.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Marvin explained rather well.
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Dave W.
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Oh, so you too are OK with the idea that invading your neighbor is somehow a sensible response to the prospect they might sign an association agreement with the EU. Good to know!
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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Stratfor (look it up) discussed several times that Russia has felt threatened by NATO, USA and European efforts in the former territories of the USSR, with the Ukrainian thing being a real trigger for them. I'm not inventing here.

"Efforts" to do what, exactly?
To gain economic influence. To move those territories towards trading with USA and Europe rather than Russia, which would weaken Russia and make it more reliant on (and therefore subservient to) USA and Europe for economic viability.

The EU's eastward expansions have very little to do with noble ideals of European Brotherhood and Cooperation, and rather more to do with reducing Russia's influence over the continent by taking away a bunch of its trading partners. Ukraine was apparently the point at which Russia decided that it had had enough, so in went the tanks to keep as much of the country as possible in the Russian circle of influence.

It would seem that they quite like having Syria in that circle as well. And let's not forget the overtures they've been making towards Turkey lately - if they get Turkey on side then they'll gain unfettered access to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea, which in turn will give them vastly increased access to the Middle East and North Africa.

It may not be communism versus capitalism any more, but there's still a cold war going on. It's just that this one is about whether the money flows east or west rather than who follows which political ideology.

How is their access fettered?

Anyone heard of gas and oil pipelines?

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Love wins

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Martin, I don't agree with you, on two fronts.

1. Yes, you're right that Assad is pretty nasty. But there's nothing nice about the rebels. There have never been any goodies in the Syrian Civil War. There has never been much to choose between any of them. There are no nice, cuddly liberal minded democrats waiting to come to power in Syria if only Assad could be defeated and the Russians would stop backing him. And by and large most of the rest of the world's 'people like us', provided they are prepared to keep their heads down, are probably marginally better off (even if only marginally) being ruled by the Assad regime than being ruled by any of the other groups of nasties.

We should not have been backing any of them in the first place, and we shouldn't be doing so now.

2. Because the BBC still presents the rebels as the people we're supposed to sympathise with, it's the one who has been reporting the recent horrors as though a "nasty man and his nasty allies are murdering a hundred people a day, every day in an apparent vacuum". That's where you get that impression from. So the BBC is actually on the same side as you are.


For a long time (possibly from the start of the fighting), horrible though you might think it is to read this, there have been quite strong arguments for saying that the least bad thing that could happen in Syria is for Assad to win, as soon as possible, simply because that is the only way the war could come to an end.

This- both parts.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Oh, so you too are OK with the idea that invading your neighbor is somehow a sensible response to the prospect they might sign an association agreement with the EU. Good to know!

No one said approval. Just explanation. Why Russia is doing what it is doing. They probably subscribe to a version of the "domino theory" which was the western idea about the spread of communism.

Re good and bad. I dunno, I can't pick most of the time. Everyone kills lots of people. Right now Assad is doing the worst according to the news. We'd all do to be sceptical of the news considering how other conflicts and invasions in the region have come down and who has done more of the killing.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Oh, so you too are OK with the idea that invading your neighbor is somehow a sensible response to the prospect they might sign an association agreement with the EU. Good to know!

Neither of us has suggested that we support or agree with the Russian government's response to the economic threats it is facing. We are merely pointing out the underlying political motivation behind their actions in Syria, Ukraine, etc.

It's funny, nobody round here gets their panties in a twist when people suggest that Western armed forces in the Middle East are there primarily because their presence serves the economic interests of the West (or at least the powers that be therein). Yet suggest the same thing of Russian intervention in the area and suddenly it's bullshit. Why?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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nice crosspost!

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Dave W.
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# 8765

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Oh, so you too are OK with the idea that invading your neighbor is somehow a sensible response to the prospect they might sign an association agreement with the EU. Good to know!

Neither of us has suggested that we support or agree with the Russian government's response to the economic threats it is facing.
I'm simply objecting to this bullshit phraseology that frames Putin's support for Assad as Russia trying "to prevent USA from closing it off to the south" (again, look at a fucking map), or the prospect of a Ukrainian association agreement with the EU as an "economic threat" (by that standard, this could be considered a casus belli.)
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Martin60
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Ahhhhh, Albertus, Enoch. My irony was too oblique I see. I agree. Except in your disagreeing with me.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.:
Oh, so you too are OK with the idea that invading your neighbor is somehow a sensible response to the prospect they might sign an association agreement with the EU. Good to know!

Neither of us has suggested that we support or agree with the Russian government's response to the economic threats it is facing.
I'm simply objecting to this bullshit phraseology that frames Putin's support for Assad as Russia trying "to prevent USA from closing it off to the south" (again, look at a fucking map), or the prospect of a Ukrainian association agreement with the EU as an "economic threat" (by that standard, this could be considered a casus belli.)
Matrushka HAS to have secure borders in depth therefore take your own fornicating cartographic advice Sir!

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Love wins

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