Russian invasion of Ukraine

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  • So the newsweek article is deliberately misleading / puts a false spin on things?

    Here's an interview with Chomsky from April

    https://theintercept.com/2022/04/14/russ­ia-ukraine-noam-chomsky-jeremy-scahill/

    NC: I think that support for Ukraine’s effort to defend itself is legitimate. If it is, of course, it has to be carefully scaled, so that it actually improves their situation and doesn’t escalate the conflict, to lead to destruction of Ukraine and possibly beyond sanctions against the aggressor, or appropriate just as sanctions against Washington would have been appropriate when it invaded Iraq, or Afghanistan, or many other cases. Of course, that’s unthinkable given U.S. power and, in fact, the first few times it has been done — the one time it has been done — the U.S. simply shrugged its shoulders and escalated the conflict. That was in Nicaragua ,when the U.S. was brought to the World Court, condemned for unlawful use of force or to pay reparations, responded by escalating the conflict. So it’s unthinkable in the case of the U.S., but it would be appropriate.

    However, I still think it’s not quite the right question. The right question is: What is the best thing to do to save Ukraine from a grim fate, from further destruction? And that’s to move towards a negotiated settlement.

    There are some simple facts that aren’t really controversial. There are two ways for a war to end: One way is for one side or the other to be basically destroyed. And the Russians are not going to be destroyed. So that means one way is for Ukraine to be destroyed.

    The other way is some negotiated settlement. If there’s a third way, no one’s ever figured it out. So what we should be doing is devoting all the things you mentioned, if properly shaped, but primarily moving towards a possible negotiated settlement that will save Ukrainians from further disaster. That should be the prime focus.

    Sorry for the long quote.

    excerpt from the NYT,

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/04/opini­on/peace-ukraine.html

    Chomsky, for his part, believes that Russia’s military is simply too strong to lose; in the absence of a settlement, Ukraine will be destroyed.

    this is what I understand from these two interviews:

    There can be support for Ukrainian defense. it should only be enough to improve their position to bargain and make concessions.

    too much support will lead to Ukraine's destruction. As it is impossible for Russia to lose (key Chomsky point)... So you are essentially doing damage limitation. Move to the point of reaching an agreement, giving Russia what they want to cease the invasion as soon as possible. 'Ukraine will be destroyed before Russia loses this war' or something like that.

  • No point negotiating with Russian liars.

  • Chomsky, for his part, believes that Russia’s military is simply too strong to lose

    This is where his argument fails.

    However the Russians have a National myth of victory via massive sacrifice and may choose to lose their way to victory as they did in WWII. Taking casualties at a rate of between 1:7 and. 1:3 against the Germans.

    Or it might be 1917 a collapse of the army and revolution at home. Maybe Olaf Scholz isn’t dicking around trying not to send help to Ukraine hoping for a gentle Russian regime change but is secretly preparing another sealed train.

  • Hold tight Roman.

  • Is that meant to be a child seat on the bike? Looks like a 'Z'

  • I had no idea who Chonsky was until I saw his name being mentioned on LFGSS recently.

    Nor me, but I imagined him as a fatter version of Noam Chomsky. Or maybe that's Chonksy.

    Seriously though: he basically invented modern linguistics, is a long time anti-war activist and political thinker (since 'nam) and a hugely respected academic - among the most cited authors ever, dead or alive. Why would we listen to him?!

    He also coined the wonderful sentence "colourless green ideas sleep furiously", proving that grammatically 'correct' sentences can also be semantically empty, a major one in the eye for grammatical prescriptivists such as @Oliver Schick

    IMO he was a better linguist than a political thinker.

    (N.b. he is also divisive and tends to scorn and belittle people who disagree with him, but perhaps educate yourself on who this academic, philosophical and political heavyweight is before writing him off).

  • but perhaps educate yourself on who this academic, philosophical and political heavyweight is before writing him off).

    I'm the one trying to convince people to listen and understand what he is saying (as opposed to agree with it) rather than fall for possibly deliberately misleading articles and twitter posts...you're preaching to the choir!

    And yep, I didn't know who he was. I bow before your superior intellect.

  • I bow before your superior intellect

    lol. I just did a linguistics degree!

    You're right, I am preaching to the choir. And I don't even like Chomsky much these days to be honest. But I feel he should be given some credit if only because some of his early linguistic work was genius (if divisive, like almost everything he's done).

  • But I feel he should be given some credit if only because some of his early linguistic work was genius

    You don't get credit if you're talking borderline bollocks just because your early work was good. If he's still being interviewed in the way he was by Owen Jones, his words today have to stand up on their own.

  • Speaking of linguistics, I feel there should be a word for what Erdogan is doing when obstructing Sweden and Finland's entry into NATO. Placing your hand on a huge lever of power just because you can, and mixing together two fairly separate areas of discussion and dispute. It's like obstructing your neighbour's entire building permit because their cat once attacked your cat.

  • You don't get credit if you're talking borderline bollocks just because your early work was good. If he's still being interviewed in the way he was by Owen Jones, his words today have to stand up on their own.

    Have you watched/listened to the interview? Are you basing your opinion that he is talking borderline bollocks on tweets and the only news article written about the interview in English...or are you basing it on what he said?

    I'm not even arguing that he is right in what he says...its just that it gets under my skin when people read a false summary of something and take that as gospel.

  • That's not even remotely what I'm saying. I'm saying that the idea that you have to give someone credit today for being smart yesterday is bollocks. I don't have much interest in what Chomsky says, I've spent enough time reading his stuff and listening it it in the years to waste another hour on that interview.

  • He might just be bigging up the nationalist vote. He's got a general election next year

  • 70% inflation in Turkey (and he has refused to up interest rates), so he's not going to get re-elected on the success of the country economically
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-6133­2272

  • Small dent, doesn’t affect ride, structurally fine :-)

  • As a dictator he doesn't really need to worry about getting re-elected.

  • I'm always amazed that Turkey is in NATO

  • They were a more modern country in 1952 than today.

  • Better to have it in than be part of the Warsaw Pact.

  • Thank you for that link.

  • Thanks, probably wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.

  • cartoon showing it like it is https://fb.watch/d9KKHzRk-l/

  • A quite decent episode of the Doomsday Watch podcast. The lady being interviewed points out that Russian authorities have been relatively transparent about Russian war casualties. They've published figures that are not that far off those of Ukraine and the West. She suggests doing so could help them create a circular logic that can go a long way to justifying the invasion – if our men are dying for it then it must be a war worth fighting.

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Russian invasion of Ukraine

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