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Back in the mid-2000s, in a conversation with a Taiwanese exchange student, the topic somehow turned to international relations (proof that I am not making this up just because it’s now a hot topic). I recall asking him what he thought would happen if China was to invade.

His response? He thought that a good majority of the soldiers – mostly conscripts, back then – would quickly desert or surrender. Perhaps 20% would be outright happy to collaborate. I just looked at the polls and they happen to be equivalent to almost exactly equivalent to the 70%-80% Taiwanese who are opposed to unification with China. There is good cause to believe his assessment was accurate (and he wasn’t a fan of the PRC either).

I think this demonstrates an important point. While the Taiwanese might not want to be ruled from Beijing, very few of them want to die for Taiwan (a fake, and now literally gay, country).

In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before a Russian invasion in 2014. While the Ukrainian Army is very brave at shelling Donetsk civilians, they surrender or skulk away as soon as uniformed Russian soldiers show up. The Galician guys in Crimea surrendered without firing a shot, even if they did hold out the longest.

This suggests that China must avoid an aeronaval conflict over Taiwan to the extent possible – while it is much better prepared for it now than in prior years, it still has no real counter to the Virginia-class attack submarines that will be the main foil to any amphibious invasion. Risky as it is, an airborne assault like the German conquest of Crete in WW2 might just work. While China’s strategic airlife capabilities are still rather meager, there’s no reason that its vast civilian air fleet couldn’t be pressed into service. Demoralized, disorientated by missile strikes, and riven by Sinophile treason and sabotage, it could quickly fold even before a pretty small Chinese force. In addition, this will have the effect of presenting America with a fait accompli and forestalling further escalation.

Of course a better idea is to just continue expanding its economic and military dominant, brain draining the svidomy renegades, and putting them out of their misery come midcentury or so.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Geopolitics, Military, Taiwan 
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  1. I think this demonstrates an important point. While the Taiwanese might not want to be ruled from Beijing, very few of them want to die for Taiwan (a fake, and now literally gay, country).

    It’s the same in real countries like Germany. It is a product of apathy and nihilism rather than anything to do with the country’s status. Pakistan is much faker (if, to be fair to them, less gay) yet 89% of Pakistanis would fight for their country.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Yeah, I know, but TBH this WVS poll is rather meaningless.

    E.g., when Brits hear "fighting for your country," I assume most take it to mean taking part in yet another American (mis)adventure in the Middle East. Obviously not many would fight for their country (unless, perhaps, very generously recompensated for it).

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I'm sure Britain would go up to 90%.

    What Pakistanis (or 80 IQ Third Worlders in general) say about this is utterly meaningless. They couldn't stop an American spec ops team from penetrating the heart of their country (a few blocs from their General Staff HQ) and taking out OBL.
    , @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    The 18% in Germany is actually shockingly high, if you ask me.
    , @Pericles
    Lol, look at peacenik Sweden being totally gung-ho. I wonder how many of the 20% foreigners, who however are equally as Swedish as anyone, answered 'yes'.

    Joining NATO does seem to collapse support for defending your country. Perhaps logical, because let the Americans do it.
  2. On brain draining of the Taiwanese middle class to Mainland China: Keep in mind that they get hired above market wages in the Mainland due to their perceived expertise, and the majority, if not most, actually work for Taiwanese companies’ Mainland operations (nowadays, any serious Taiwanese company has to have the majority of revenue to be Mainland-related).

    They don’t become “Mainland Chinese” in China. Their mentality is closer to say, Polish workers in the UK. Home for the 1 million Taiwanese middle class in China is still Taiwan for the most part. They don’t really socially interact with Mainlanders much outside of work. They have their own social scenes, WeChat groups, and use VPNs. Most major Chinese cities have a section of town that caters to Taiwanese families, with Taiwanese schools and hospitals both strictly adhering to Taiwanese standards. Taiwanese singles usually don’t live in these areas as they live wherever is cheap/close to work, but even then they mingle with each other more so than with locals.

    Even for cross-strait marriages, the half-Taiwanese, half-Mainland kid is usually raised in a Taiwanese bubble by the Mainland mom, if not back to Taiwan itself, and identifies as such.

    For all intents and purposes, Taiwanese in the Mainland should be largely seen as expatriate workers. Whatever I wrote above also largely applies to Hong Kongers.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    I hired a Taiwanese employee at my firm. She unfortunately didn't adjust to the workload and left shortly. Your remark about an entire Taiwanese ecosystem doesn't struck me as true. She wasn't able to find much in the way of other Taiwanese. There was a bar where a lot of Taiwanese hung out but she didn't know of other spots. She was only in Beijing temporarily but if its as obvious as you describe I would think she would have found more hangouts and people.
    , @Dmitry
    I saw an interesting discussion on Quora about a topic you were discussing last time here - what do you think?

    Why are Taiwanese cities so shabby?

     

    https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Taiwanese-cities-so-shabby
  3. @Kent Nationalist

    I think this demonstrates an important point. While the Taiwanese might not want to be ruled from Beijing, very few of them want to die for Taiwan (a fake, and now literally gay, country).

     

    It's the same in real countries like Germany. It is a product of apathy and nihilism rather than anything to do with the country's status. Pakistan is much faker (if, to be fair to them, less gay) yet 89% of Pakistanis would fight for their country.

    https://i.redd.it/nk1uzja3wvby.png

    Yeah, I know, but TBH this WVS poll is rather meaningless.

    E.g., when Brits hear “fighting for your country,” I assume most take it to mean taking part in yet another American (mis)adventure in the Middle East. Obviously not many would fight for their country (unless, perhaps, very generously recompensated for it).

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I’m sure Britain would go up to 90%.

    What Pakistanis (or 80 IQ Third Worlders in general) say about this is utterly meaningless. They couldn’t stop an American spec ops team from penetrating the heart of their country (a few blocs from their General Staff HQ) and taking out OBL.

    • Replies: @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I’m sure Britain would go up to 90%.
     
    Probably true

    Let's take an anecdote from the other side of the Anglosphere.

    In late 1939, over 95%of Americans, per Gallup, were opposed to American entry into a war in Europe.

    95 friggin' percent!!

    And a large number of these Americans, though possibly not a majority, were at least suspicious of Franklin Roosevelt's policies. Many were convinced of the truth that he was trying to get us into the war.

    But that did not stop that same vast percentage (more) of Americans from doing everything in their power "for the war effort."

    My country, right or wrong. Apparently, every Anglophone is Stephen Decatur at heart. It's only ever a very few who won't go along.

    , @Mr. XYZ
    Are you going to put more value on Pakistani opinions if they will raise their average IQ up to its genetic ceiling (probably low 90s or so--considering that Pakistanis in Britain have an average IQ of about 93)?
  4. You have to consider where the PRC sympathisers are too. They’re in the business community, among the KMT political elite, among the rich, among those with ties to the mainland, among the military. You’re far more likely to want unification if you’re on the top of the heap than on the bottom of it.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Most KMT business elites actually don't favor immediately reunification. They favor the geopolitical status quo while strengthening cross-strait economic and people-to-people exchanges as much as possible and against the gay disco that the DPP shoved down Taiwanese throats at 72% disapproval rate.

    They however do support "eventual reunification", with no concrete plans whatsoever on the timeline and terms and conditions of reunification. For now, the CCP would accept a Taiwan that focuses on economic relations while adhering to the 92 Consensus with no timeline for actual reunification. This may change in the future depending on where the economy and stability of the CCP goes.

    Likewise, Hong Kong becoming a regular Chinese city will be an unrecoverable disaster for its entire business elite, causing capital flight and emigration on par with 1949 Shanghai. Even Mainland interests will be significantly harmed in that case. Although if the Blue Empire does shatter 1C2S by revoking the US-Hong Kong Act and treating Hong Kong/Hong Kongers the same as Mainlanders, Taiwan should have mechanisms ready to pick up the slack if it was smart.
  5. anonymous[361] • Disclaimer says:
    @AquariusAnon
    On brain draining of the Taiwanese middle class to Mainland China: Keep in mind that they get hired above market wages in the Mainland due to their perceived expertise, and the majority, if not most, actually work for Taiwanese companies' Mainland operations (nowadays, any serious Taiwanese company has to have the majority of revenue to be Mainland-related).

    They don't become "Mainland Chinese" in China. Their mentality is closer to say, Polish workers in the UK. Home for the 1 million Taiwanese middle class in China is still Taiwan for the most part. They don't really socially interact with Mainlanders much outside of work. They have their own social scenes, WeChat groups, and use VPNs. Most major Chinese cities have a section of town that caters to Taiwanese families, with Taiwanese schools and hospitals both strictly adhering to Taiwanese standards. Taiwanese singles usually don't live in these areas as they live wherever is cheap/close to work, but even then they mingle with each other more so than with locals.

    Even for cross-strait marriages, the half-Taiwanese, half-Mainland kid is usually raised in a Taiwanese bubble by the Mainland mom, if not back to Taiwan itself, and identifies as such.

    For all intents and purposes, Taiwanese in the Mainland should be largely seen as expatriate workers. Whatever I wrote above also largely applies to Hong Kongers.

    I hired a Taiwanese employee at my firm. She unfortunately didn’t adjust to the workload and left shortly. Your remark about an entire Taiwanese ecosystem doesn’t struck me as true. She wasn’t able to find much in the way of other Taiwanese. There was a bar where a lot of Taiwanese hung out but she didn’t know of other spots. She was only in Beijing temporarily but if its as obvious as you describe I would think she would have found more hangouts and people.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Beijing's Taiwanese community isn't that large. The Taiwanese community in China is heavily concentrated in the Yangtze River Delta, coastal Fujian, and Guangzhou/Shenzhen.

    A disproportionate amount of Taiwanese expats in China are young families, who do have an entire ecosystem catering to them at least in most of the Yangtze River Delta.

    But the fact that she went back to Taiwan after being unable to find a big enough Taiwanese community suitable for her further emphasizes the fact that the Taiwanese feel very different from the Mainlanders and do not/would not mingle with them. Most Taiwanese experience some type of culture shock when coming to the Mainland. A stint in the Mainland in fact causes most Taiwanese to feel even more different from the Mainland than before they went.

  6. @Ernest
    You have to consider where the PRC sympathisers are too. They're in the business community, among the KMT political elite, among the rich, among those with ties to the mainland, among the military. You're far more likely to want unification if you're on the top of the heap than on the bottom of it.

    Most KMT business elites actually don’t favor immediately reunification. They favor the geopolitical status quo while strengthening cross-strait economic and people-to-people exchanges as much as possible and against the gay disco that the DPP shoved down Taiwanese throats at 72% disapproval rate.

    They however do support “eventual reunification”, with no concrete plans whatsoever on the timeline and terms and conditions of reunification. For now, the CCP would accept a Taiwan that focuses on economic relations while adhering to the 92 Consensus with no timeline for actual reunification. This may change in the future depending on where the economy and stability of the CCP goes.

    Likewise, Hong Kong becoming a regular Chinese city will be an unrecoverable disaster for its entire business elite, causing capital flight and emigration on par with 1949 Shanghai. Even Mainland interests will be significantly harmed in that case. Although if the Blue Empire does shatter 1C2S by revoking the US-Hong Kong Act and treating Hong Kong/Hong Kongers the same as Mainlanders, Taiwan should have mechanisms ready to pick up the slack if it was smart.

    • Replies: @Ernest
    They might not favor immediate reuinification, but given the choice between an attempt at independence, which would destroy their interests, and supporting the PRC against the independence movement and then becoming a SAR, which one would they choose? Independence would not be pretty even in the unlikely event that they could achieve a 'military victory'. They'd be cut off from the mainland, their economy would be destroyed, they'd struggle to gain diplomatic recognition (with the PRC opposing them at every turn), etc. In fact, the idea that Taiwan could gain independence itself tends to go unexamined in these discussions. What does that even mean? Even with US help they don't have the ability to make the PRC recognize their independence or acquiesce to their recognition by the UN and the rest of the world. It would take all-out war against the PRC to force them to recognize Taiwanese independence, rather than merely stop an invasion. Maybe limited conflict would lead to the US and some of its allies formally recognizing Taiwan, but the PRC has plenty of weapons against global recognition. The situation wouldn't be that much different to what we have now, except that Taiwan would be in a much worse state and US-China relations would be worse.
  7. @anonymous
    I hired a Taiwanese employee at my firm. She unfortunately didn't adjust to the workload and left shortly. Your remark about an entire Taiwanese ecosystem doesn't struck me as true. She wasn't able to find much in the way of other Taiwanese. There was a bar where a lot of Taiwanese hung out but she didn't know of other spots. She was only in Beijing temporarily but if its as obvious as you describe I would think she would have found more hangouts and people.

    Beijing’s Taiwanese community isn’t that large. The Taiwanese community in China is heavily concentrated in the Yangtze River Delta, coastal Fujian, and Guangzhou/Shenzhen.

    A disproportionate amount of Taiwanese expats in China are young families, who do have an entire ecosystem catering to them at least in most of the Yangtze River Delta.

    But the fact that she went back to Taiwan after being unable to find a big enough Taiwanese community suitable for her further emphasizes the fact that the Taiwanese feel very different from the Mainlanders and do not/would not mingle with them. Most Taiwanese experience some type of culture shock when coming to the Mainland. A stint in the Mainland in fact causes most Taiwanese to feel even more different from the Mainland than before they went.

  8. @AquariusAnon
    Most KMT business elites actually don't favor immediately reunification. They favor the geopolitical status quo while strengthening cross-strait economic and people-to-people exchanges as much as possible and against the gay disco that the DPP shoved down Taiwanese throats at 72% disapproval rate.

    They however do support "eventual reunification", with no concrete plans whatsoever on the timeline and terms and conditions of reunification. For now, the CCP would accept a Taiwan that focuses on economic relations while adhering to the 92 Consensus with no timeline for actual reunification. This may change in the future depending on where the economy and stability of the CCP goes.

    Likewise, Hong Kong becoming a regular Chinese city will be an unrecoverable disaster for its entire business elite, causing capital flight and emigration on par with 1949 Shanghai. Even Mainland interests will be significantly harmed in that case. Although if the Blue Empire does shatter 1C2S by revoking the US-Hong Kong Act and treating Hong Kong/Hong Kongers the same as Mainlanders, Taiwan should have mechanisms ready to pick up the slack if it was smart.

    They might not favor immediate reuinification, but given the choice between an attempt at independence, which would destroy their interests, and supporting the PRC against the independence movement and then becoming a SAR, which one would they choose? Independence would not be pretty even in the unlikely event that they could achieve a ‘military victory’. They’d be cut off from the mainland, their economy would be destroyed, they’d struggle to gain diplomatic recognition (with the PRC opposing them at every turn), etc. In fact, the idea that Taiwan could gain independence itself tends to go unexamined in these discussions. What does that even mean? Even with US help they don’t have the ability to make the PRC recognize their independence or acquiesce to their recognition by the UN and the rest of the world. It would take all-out war against the PRC to force them to recognize Taiwanese independence, rather than merely stop an invasion. Maybe limited conflict would lead to the US and some of its allies formally recognizing Taiwan, but the PRC has plenty of weapons against global recognition. The situation wouldn’t be that much different to what we have now, except that Taiwan would be in a much worse state and US-China relations would be worse.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Which is why the KMT-supporting business elite is doing what they can to ever avoid having to make this choice and stay with the status quo. This is also why Taiwanese svidomists are idiots.
  9. While the Ukrainian Army is very brave at shelling Donetsk civilians, they surrender or skulk away as soon as uniformed Russian soldiers show up. The Galician guys in Crimea surrendered without firing a shot, even if they did hold out the longest.

    If the ‘brave’ separatists had not found it convenient to hide within civilian quarters, I’m sure that there would have been fewer civilian casualties. Besides, who can really say from which bullets and bombs civilians died the most?

    As far as Galicians holding out the longes in Crimeat, what can you really expect if the government in Kyiv was in a state of change and no orders were being given as to how to react?

    Things are a little bit different today, eh Anatoly, now that the Ukrainian armed forces are much better equipped and more alert as to possible Russian intrusions?

    Looks like Ukraine is settling in for the long term:

    https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/ukraine-might-be-designated-as-major-non-nato-us-ally.html

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    You sound like you’re gloating.
    , @Mikel

    who can really say from which bullets and bombs civilians died the most?
     
    Undoubtedly, from the ones who were trying to storm the towns where those civilians lived after having shown how much disregard they had for their lives, for example in the Lugansk Square bombing (ie, the Ukrainians).
  10. @Ernest
    They might not favor immediate reuinification, but given the choice between an attempt at independence, which would destroy their interests, and supporting the PRC against the independence movement and then becoming a SAR, which one would they choose? Independence would not be pretty even in the unlikely event that they could achieve a 'military victory'. They'd be cut off from the mainland, their economy would be destroyed, they'd struggle to gain diplomatic recognition (with the PRC opposing them at every turn), etc. In fact, the idea that Taiwan could gain independence itself tends to go unexamined in these discussions. What does that even mean? Even with US help they don't have the ability to make the PRC recognize their independence or acquiesce to their recognition by the UN and the rest of the world. It would take all-out war against the PRC to force them to recognize Taiwanese independence, rather than merely stop an invasion. Maybe limited conflict would lead to the US and some of its allies formally recognizing Taiwan, but the PRC has plenty of weapons against global recognition. The situation wouldn't be that much different to what we have now, except that Taiwan would be in a much worse state and US-China relations would be worse.

    Which is why the KMT-supporting business elite is doing what they can to ever avoid having to make this choice and stay with the status quo. This is also why Taiwanese svidomists are idiots.

  11. The Ukrainian Army is not first-rate, but its performance in Donetsk wasn’t a complete disaster either. They seem to have done fine as long as they kept out of range of Russian artillery. The “shelling civilians” canard is below you; the Ukrainian taste for artillery bombardment is basically identical to the SAA’s and for the same reasons. In fact the Ukraine Army has a lot in common with the SAA: an unprofessional conscript army with aging or outright “obsolete” Eastern Bloc equipment. Maybe somewhat better equipped but with a substantially less functional government.

    There hasn’t been a successful parachute invasion against an even marginally capable enemy since Crete, and there won’t be again.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    There hasn’t been a successful parachute invasion against an even marginally capable enemy since Crete, and there won’t be again.
     
    Indeed Crete was something of a Pyrrhic victory. Hitler completely lost faith in airborne attacks and only used the Fallschirmjaegers as elite infantry from that point.
    , @Mikel

    the Ukraine Army has a lot in common with the SAA
     
    Yes. But an important difference is that the West pretends to care a lot for the civilians killed by the Syrian Army and even takes military action against them whereas it doesn't show the slightest concern for the civilians killed by the Ukrainians. In fact, it has blindly supported all Ukrainian military moves against the secessionist regions and provided them with military equipment and advisers.

    If shelling civilians in Donbas is justified by the lack of professionalism and bad equipment of the poor Ukrainians, why wouldn't the same apply to Syria's efforts to recover territory in the hands of Al-Qaeda like types?

  12. In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before a Russian invasion in 2014.

    Popular reaction is unpredictable. What you suspect could happen, but military aggression might also galvanize and unify the Taiwanese public. Much also depends on how the Taiwanese Relations Act is implemented in the event of hostilities.

    If the Chinese misplay it, they could end up with an independent Taiwan on their hands, which is why they play it cautiously. Time is likely on their side.

  13. @sfoil
    The Ukrainian Army is not first-rate, but its performance in Donetsk wasn't a complete disaster either. They seem to have done fine as long as they kept out of range of Russian artillery. The "shelling civilians" canard is below you; the Ukrainian taste for artillery bombardment is basically identical to the SAA's and for the same reasons. In fact the Ukraine Army has a lot in common with the SAA: an unprofessional conscript army with aging or outright "obsolete" Eastern Bloc equipment. Maybe somewhat better equipped but with a substantially less functional government.

    There hasn't been a successful parachute invasion against an even marginally capable enemy since Crete, and there won't be again.

    There hasn’t been a successful parachute invasion against an even marginally capable enemy since Crete, and there won’t be again.

    Indeed Crete was something of a Pyrrhic victory. Hitler completely lost faith in airborne attacks and only used the Fallschirmjaegers as elite infantry from that point.

  14. @Kent Nationalist

    I think this demonstrates an important point. While the Taiwanese might not want to be ruled from Beijing, very few of them want to die for Taiwan (a fake, and now literally gay, country).

     

    It's the same in real countries like Germany. It is a product of apathy and nihilism rather than anything to do with the country's status. Pakistan is much faker (if, to be fair to them, less gay) yet 89% of Pakistanis would fight for their country.

    https://i.redd.it/nk1uzja3wvby.png

    The 18% in Germany is actually shockingly high, if you ask me.

    • Replies: @L Woods
    They're probably mostly "migrants," and they're referring to their country of origin.
  15. @Anatoly Karlin
    Yeah, I know, but TBH this WVS poll is rather meaningless.

    E.g., when Brits hear "fighting for your country," I assume most take it to mean taking part in yet another American (mis)adventure in the Middle East. Obviously not many would fight for their country (unless, perhaps, very generously recompensated for it).

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I'm sure Britain would go up to 90%.

    What Pakistanis (or 80 IQ Third Worlders in general) say about this is utterly meaningless. They couldn't stop an American spec ops team from penetrating the heart of their country (a few blocs from their General Staff HQ) and taking out OBL.

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I’m sure Britain would go up to 90%.

    Probably true

    Let’s take an anecdote from the other side of the Anglosphere.

    In late 1939, over 95%of Americans, per Gallup, were opposed to American entry into a war in Europe.

    95 friggin’ percent!!

    And a large number of these Americans, though possibly not a majority, were at least suspicious of Franklin Roosevelt’s policies. Many were convinced of the truth that he was trying to get us into the war.

    But that did not stop that same vast percentage (more) of Americans from doing everything in their power “for the war effort.”

    My country, right or wrong. Apparently, every Anglophone is Stephen Decatur at heart. It’s only ever a very few who won’t go along.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ

    But that did not stop that same vast percentage (more) of Americans from doing everything in their power “for the war effort.”
     
    Americans wanted Britain and France (and later only Britain) to win, but they didn't want to do a lot of bleeding themselves. Makes sense.
    , @Pericles
    Not to mention all those midwestern Germans.
  16. I wonder how much popularity the “Chinese option” will receive in Taiwan after a Chinese conquest of Taiwan. Is it going to experience a massive Crimea-like boost? (Or would the polls no longer be reliable due to Chinese totalitarianism and fear of China among the Taiwanese?)

    Also, I wonder how many Taiwanese will flee to the US after a Chinese conquest of their country. If a lot of them will (be allowed to) come to the US, then this could potentially benefit the US just like the mass immigration of Vietnamese from 1975 onward probably benefited the US.

    • Replies: @songbird

    like the mass immigration of Vietnamese from 1975 onward probably benefited the US.
     
    I could do without the Hmong. I don't directly dislike normal Vietnamese, but unfortunately, I believe they vote like blacks, and by their nature generally support open borders.
  17. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I’m sure Britain would go up to 90%.
     
    Probably true

    Let's take an anecdote from the other side of the Anglosphere.

    In late 1939, over 95%of Americans, per Gallup, were opposed to American entry into a war in Europe.

    95 friggin' percent!!

    And a large number of these Americans, though possibly not a majority, were at least suspicious of Franklin Roosevelt's policies. Many were convinced of the truth that he was trying to get us into the war.

    But that did not stop that same vast percentage (more) of Americans from doing everything in their power "for the war effort."

    My country, right or wrong. Apparently, every Anglophone is Stephen Decatur at heart. It's only ever a very few who won't go along.

    But that did not stop that same vast percentage (more) of Americans from doing everything in their power “for the war effort.”

    Americans wanted Britain and France (and later only Britain) to win, but they didn’t want to do a lot of bleeding themselves. Makes sense.

  18. @Anatoly Karlin
    Yeah, I know, but TBH this WVS poll is rather meaningless.

    E.g., when Brits hear "fighting for your country," I assume most take it to mean taking part in yet another American (mis)adventure in the Middle East. Obviously not many would fight for their country (unless, perhaps, very generously recompensated for it).

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I'm sure Britain would go up to 90%.

    What Pakistanis (or 80 IQ Third Worlders in general) say about this is utterly meaningless. They couldn't stop an American spec ops team from penetrating the heart of their country (a few blocs from their General Staff HQ) and taking out OBL.

    Are you going to put more value on Pakistani opinions if they will raise their average IQ up to its genetic ceiling (probably low 90s or so–considering that Pakistanis in Britain have an average IQ of about 93)?

  19. Chiming here only because a friend of mine is fierce Taiwanese nationalist.

    Whenever the topic of “reunificatioin” comes up a mild-mannered white collar professional, nearing middle age, transforms into something else entirely.
    Hehe…actually, whenever I want a..how to put it…passionate geopolitical conversation I just mention that topic. Hyde replaces Dr. Jekyll in instant. Asian version, that is.
    Make of that what you will.

    The only important in that game is something else, though: as long as US doesn’t want “reunification” it simply ain’t happening.
    Not Beijing, not Taipei…Washington.

    Simple as that.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    There’s little reason to think that the us government will still be able to dictate that within one generation or so.

    China-Russia and India-UAE and other trade pairings are increasingly ditching the US Dollar and denominations their commerce in yuan, rubles, rupees, and doing more and larger currency swaps. This process appears to be gaining steam and will tend to undermine the USD’s status as sole or dominant world reserve currency, perhaps eliminate it for much of the world.

    The way the US gov has been acting, like an unreasonable bully and a fool, dictating where “allies” can buy weapons and what they may do, sanctioning on false pretenses and/or just to harm and provoke or serve the interests of people other than Americans (Russia, Iran), it leaves other countries little choice but to try and make arrangements to disentangle from us and reduce the us leverage over their economies and governments. So they’re doing it.

    Also, let’s think about how a USA that is severely divided between multiple indifferent-to-hostile racial, religious, and ideological camps, bankrupt, hopelessly in debt and raising taxes or printing unbacked paper currency to keep up with interest on the debt, facing mass unemployment (partly due to increased automation and AI), widespread racial and deprivation rioting / looting as a result, and more.

    That’s not a country that can credibly sustain the projection of power, let alone fight a major non-defensive war far abroad and muster the cohesion, courage, and sacrifice to win without simply nuking.

    As an American who LOVES what my country was and what it can be, I take no pleasure in saying this, but man, you are in a rude awakening if you think that China will need to be frightened or concerned about the USA’s “demands” with regard to Taiwan or much else in their part of the world pretty soon. China is likelier to be “a going concern” as a culture, an economy, and a reasonably unified and proud people, than we are in the USA.

    The US government (I no longer say “we”) will be in no position to credibly threaten Russia, let alone China, without risking devastating economic and military consequences. So time is likely on China’s side with regard to the declining ability of the USA to interfere and dictate an outcome.
  20. @Mr. XYZ
    I wonder how much popularity the "Chinese option" will receive in Taiwan after a Chinese conquest of Taiwan. Is it going to experience a massive Crimea-like boost? (Or would the polls no longer be reliable due to Chinese totalitarianism and fear of China among the Taiwanese?)

    Also, I wonder how many Taiwanese will flee to the US after a Chinese conquest of their country. If a lot of them will (be allowed to) come to the US, then this could potentially benefit the US just like the mass immigration of Vietnamese from 1975 onward probably benefited the US.

    like the mass immigration of Vietnamese from 1975 onward probably benefited the US.

    I could do without the Hmong. I don’t directly dislike normal Vietnamese, but unfortunately, I believe they vote like blacks, and by their nature generally support open borders.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    Didn't Vietnamese support the GOP during the Cold War, though?
  21. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan
    The 18% in Germany is actually shockingly high, if you ask me.

    They’re probably mostly “migrants,” and they’re referring to their country of origin.

  22. Reunification will only be possible via military force. Well past time to sprint to parity with the US in conventional and nuclear capabilities.

  23. Anon[144] • Disclaimer says:

    Millions of Taiwanese live and work in China. Low birth rate and brain drain are a serious problem for Taiwan as more and more young talents leave for China. And despite their government’s threat, a lot of Taiwanese are getting the Chinese resident card which allows them almost the same rights as the Chinese citizens and comes with a lot of benefits — Preferential college admission, special loan for businesses, free rental office space for startups, etc.

    After Taiwan got rid of conscription a couple years ago, its military really has a hard time of getting enough people to serve, and those who serve aren’t some of the best people. It’s been reported that the top brass are worried there won’t be enough quality people to promote and lead a few years down the road.

    Surveys conducted by Taiwan National Security Survey have consistently shown that most Taiwanese don’t want to fight and prefer the status quote (neither independence nor unification), and believe reunification will occur eventually.

    Time is on China’s side, with or without the CPC. The CPC won the civil war 70 years ago, and can wait another 50 years if Taiwan doesn’t declare independence. But the war could happen any time if the US pushes for it.

  24. @Mr. Hack

    While the Ukrainian Army is very brave at shelling Donetsk civilians, they surrender or skulk away as soon as uniformed Russian soldiers show up. The Galician guys in Crimea surrendered without firing a shot, even if they did hold out the longest.
     
    If the 'brave' separatists had not found it convenient to hide within civilian quarters, I'm sure that there would have been fewer civilian casualties. Besides, who can really say from which bullets and bombs civilians died the most?

    As far as Galicians holding out the longes in Crimeat, what can you really expect if the government in Kyiv was in a state of change and no orders were being given as to how to react?

    Things are a little bit different today, eh Anatoly, now that the Ukrainian armed forces are much better equipped and more alert as to possible Russian intrusions?

    Looks like Ukraine is settling in for the long term:

    https://www.kyivpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/0487d06d23f2ab7a8eac1eb9919cbe525a7c5204-1-800x520.jpg

    https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/ukraine-might-be-designated-as-major-non-nato-us-ally.html

    You sound like you’re gloating.

    • Disagree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    No, you're projecting again, I think that you've got me mixed-up with the American soldier who looks like he's smirking receiving a Ukrainian passport from the Ukrainian general. Lately, smirking seems to be such an upsetting gesture...almost as bad as gloating.
  25. Anonymous[679] • Disclaimer says:

    In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before a Russian invasion in 2014. While the Ukrainian Army is very brave at shelling Donetsk civilians, they surrender or skulk away as soon as uniformed Russian soldiers show up. The Galician guys in Crimea surrendered without firing a shot, even if they did hold out the longest.

    If Russia had been stupid enough to do this, I’m sure that the CIA would have had a great time using the efficacy of asymmetric warfare to turn Ukraine into 80s Afghanistan 2.0 and humiliate Russia. However, I think that President Putin, to his credit, is not interested in establishing Russian sovereignty over non-Russian countries, and thus would never have considered such a foolhardy move.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    I suspect that Anatoly believes that Ukraine would have experienced a massive boost in pro-Russian sentiments after a Russian conquests like Crimea did. Crimea experienced a roughly 1.4 standard deviation increase in favor of union with Russia before and after the Russian conquest (from roughly 40% to 90+%). Considering that the same 2014 poll showed that support for a union with Russia was at 12% in Ukraine as a whole, a 1.4 standard deviation swing after a Russian conquest of Ukraine would have meant that around 59% of Ukrainians would have supported a union with Russia if/after Russia would have conquered Ukraine. Of course, this figure includes extremely Russophobic Galicia; without Galicia (which could have been left to its own devices and allowed to form Banderastan), the percentage of Ukrainians who would have supported a union with Russia after a Russian conquest of Ukraine would have been somewhere in the 60s.

    Personally, this sounds way too optimistic for me. However, this would be Anatoly Karlin's argument here.

    (Note: The 59% (or 60+% without extremely Russophobic Galicia) figure is going to be the average for all of Ukraine after a Russian conquest of Ukraine. There would be huge regional variation in this data--with support being much lower in central and western Ukraine and much higher in Crimea, the Donbass, and Odessa city.)

  26. @peterAUS
    Chiming here only because a friend of mine is fierce Taiwanese nationalist.

    Whenever the topic of "reunificatioin" comes up a mild-mannered white collar professional, nearing middle age, transforms into something else entirely.
    Hehe...actually, whenever I want a..how to put it...passionate geopolitical conversation I just mention that topic. Hyde replaces Dr. Jekyll in instant. Asian version, that is.
    Make of that what you will.

    The only important in that game is something else, though: as long as US doesn't want "reunification" it simply ain't happening.
    Not Beijing, not Taipei...Washington.

    Simple as that.

    There’s little reason to think that the us government will still be able to dictate that within one generation or so.

    China-Russia and India-UAE and other trade pairings are increasingly ditching the US Dollar and denominations their commerce in yuan, rubles, rupees, and doing more and larger currency swaps. This process appears to be gaining steam and will tend to undermine the USD’s status as sole or dominant world reserve currency, perhaps eliminate it for much of the world.

    The way the US gov has been acting, like an unreasonable bully and a fool, dictating where “allies” can buy weapons and what they may do, sanctioning on false pretenses and/or just to harm and provoke or serve the interests of people other than Americans (Russia, Iran), it leaves other countries little choice but to try and make arrangements to disentangle from us and reduce the us leverage over their economies and governments. So they’re doing it.

    Also, let’s think about how a USA that is severely divided between multiple indifferent-to-hostile racial, religious, and ideological camps, bankrupt, hopelessly in debt and raising taxes or printing unbacked paper currency to keep up with interest on the debt, facing mass unemployment (partly due to increased automation and AI), widespread racial and deprivation rioting / looting as a result, and more.

    That’s not a country that can credibly sustain the projection of power, let alone fight a major non-defensive war far abroad and muster the cohesion, courage, and sacrifice to win without simply nuking.

    As an American who LOVES what my country was and what it can be, I take no pleasure in saying this, but man, you are in a rude awakening if you think that China will need to be frightened or concerned about the USA’s “demands” with regard to Taiwan or much else in their part of the world pretty soon. China is likelier to be “a going concern” as a culture, an economy, and a reasonably unified and proud people, than we are in the USA.

    The US government (I no longer say “we”) will be in no position to credibly threaten Russia, let alone China, without risking devastating economic and military consequences. So time is likely on China’s side with regard to the declining ability of the USA to interfere and dictate an outcome.

  27. @Anonymous

    In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before a Russian invasion in 2014. While the Ukrainian Army is very brave at shelling Donetsk civilians, they surrender or skulk away as soon as uniformed Russian soldiers show up. The Galician guys in Crimea surrendered without firing a shot, even if they did hold out the longest.
     
    If Russia had been stupid enough to do this, I'm sure that the CIA would have had a great time using the efficacy of asymmetric warfare to turn Ukraine into 80s Afghanistan 2.0 and humiliate Russia. However, I think that President Putin, to his credit, is not interested in establishing Russian sovereignty over non-Russian countries, and thus would never have considered such a foolhardy move.

    I suspect that Anatoly believes that Ukraine would have experienced a massive boost in pro-Russian sentiments after a Russian conquests like Crimea did. Crimea experienced a roughly 1.4 standard deviation increase in favor of union with Russia before and after the Russian conquest (from roughly 40% to 90+%). Considering that the same 2014 poll showed that support for a union with Russia was at 12% in Ukraine as a whole, a 1.4 standard deviation swing after a Russian conquest of Ukraine would have meant that around 59% of Ukrainians would have supported a union with Russia if/after Russia would have conquered Ukraine. Of course, this figure includes extremely Russophobic Galicia; without Galicia (which could have been left to its own devices and allowed to form Banderastan), the percentage of Ukrainians who would have supported a union with Russia after a Russian conquest of Ukraine would have been somewhere in the 60s.

    Personally, this sounds way too optimistic for me. However, this would be Anatoly Karlin’s argument here.

    (Note: The 59% (or 60+% without extremely Russophobic Galicia) figure is going to be the average for all of Ukraine after a Russian conquest of Ukraine. There would be huge regional variation in this data–with support being much lower in central and western Ukraine and much higher in Crimea, the Donbass, and Odessa city.)

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I suspect that Anatoly believes that Ukraine would have experienced a massive boost in pro-Russian sentiments after a Russian conquests like Crimea did.
     
    Isn't the population of Crimea mostly ethnic Russians, though, unlike most of the rest of Ukraine?
  28. @songbird

    like the mass immigration of Vietnamese from 1975 onward probably benefited the US.
     
    I could do without the Hmong. I don't directly dislike normal Vietnamese, but unfortunately, I believe they vote like blacks, and by their nature generally support open borders.

    Didn’t Vietnamese support the GOP during the Cold War, though?

    • Replies: @songbird
    It's similar to Cubans. 1st generation supports GOP, 2nd doesn't.

    When you control for environment by making everyone American-born, IMO, that allows you to maximally test heritability.
  29. “…it still has no real counter to the Virginia-class attack submarines that will be the main foil to any amphibious invasion. ”

    The deepest part of the taiwan straits is only about 150m. The virginia class subs will stick out like catfishes in a clear shallow stream. Its jolly good hunting season for the PLAN’s ASW squad. These subs will be killed like “clubbing baby seals”, even if the PLAN’s ASW possesses only antiquated WWII depth charges. And then, they have the mines…

    And all this is predicated on whether the empire is willing to risk its precious “boys and girls” for taiwan. Heh, heh, he, heee….

  30. Anonymous[679] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. XYZ
    I suspect that Anatoly believes that Ukraine would have experienced a massive boost in pro-Russian sentiments after a Russian conquests like Crimea did. Crimea experienced a roughly 1.4 standard deviation increase in favor of union with Russia before and after the Russian conquest (from roughly 40% to 90+%). Considering that the same 2014 poll showed that support for a union with Russia was at 12% in Ukraine as a whole, a 1.4 standard deviation swing after a Russian conquest of Ukraine would have meant that around 59% of Ukrainians would have supported a union with Russia if/after Russia would have conquered Ukraine. Of course, this figure includes extremely Russophobic Galicia; without Galicia (which could have been left to its own devices and allowed to form Banderastan), the percentage of Ukrainians who would have supported a union with Russia after a Russian conquest of Ukraine would have been somewhere in the 60s.

    Personally, this sounds way too optimistic for me. However, this would be Anatoly Karlin's argument here.

    (Note: The 59% (or 60+% without extremely Russophobic Galicia) figure is going to be the average for all of Ukraine after a Russian conquest of Ukraine. There would be huge regional variation in this data--with support being much lower in central and western Ukraine and much higher in Crimea, the Donbass, and Odessa city.)

    I suspect that Anatoly believes that Ukraine would have experienced a massive boost in pro-Russian sentiments after a Russian conquests like Crimea did.

    Isn’t the population of Crimea mostly ethnic Russians, though, unlike most of the rest of Ukraine?

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    It's mostly Russian but I believe that Anatoly previously posted data that showed that even Crimean Ukrainians are pretty pro-Russia. Based on that data, even Crimean Tatars are ambivalent about Russian rule.
  31. @RadicalCenter
    You sound like you’re gloating.

    No, you’re projecting again, I think that you’ve got me mixed-up with the American soldier who looks like he’s smirking receiving a Ukrainian passport from the Ukrainian general. Lately, smirking seems to be such an upsetting gesture…almost as bad as gloating.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I stand corrected. Not projecting, though, since I’m not gloating.

    I think that generally the us gov should not interfere in countries bordering Russia and China — which certainly means withdrawing any troops that the us has in those neighboring countries, and not encouraging those countries into armed conflict — and those powers should do the same for us.
  32. @Mr. XYZ
    Didn't Vietnamese support the GOP during the Cold War, though?

    It’s similar to Cubans. 1st generation supports GOP, 2nd doesn’t.

    When you control for environment by making everyone American-born, IMO, that allows you to maximally test heritability.

  33. agree that taiwan would surrender quickly and wouldn’t put up much of a fight, if at all. totally possible they put up zero fight and fold immediately. obviously they lose fast and hard if they do put up a real fight, which would make things worse for them, and they probably know it.

    as with most things, taiwan remains an independent nation only as long as the US government can afford to pay the yearly bill for the US navy. as soon as america can’t afford that giant defense budget every year, and can’t field those 11 aircraft carriers and 50 nuclear subs, taiwan becomes part of china.

    which at this rate, should be by 2050 or so?

  34. @Anonymous

    I suspect that Anatoly believes that Ukraine would have experienced a massive boost in pro-Russian sentiments after a Russian conquests like Crimea did.
     
    Isn't the population of Crimea mostly ethnic Russians, though, unlike most of the rest of Ukraine?

    It’s mostly Russian but I believe that Anatoly previously posted data that showed that even Crimean Ukrainians are pretty pro-Russia. Based on that data, even Crimean Tatars are ambivalent about Russian rule.

  35. “The King and Country Debate is a name that was given to a debate that occurred on 9 February 1933 at the The Oxford Union Society. The motion presented, “This House will under no circumstances fight for its King and country,” passed at 275 votes for the motion and 153 against it. The motion would later be named “the Oxford Oath” or “the Oxford Pledge”.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_and_Country_debate

    Yet:

    “Risky as it is, an airborne assault like the German conquest of Crete in WW2 might just work.”

    No way. The German forces who took Crete lived & breathed on initiative. The Germans were known for tactical & operational initiative down to its lowest levels. For instance, during the Battle of Sedan, a German NCO & his 11-man squad, on their own initiative, totally wreaked the French defense & opened a bridgehead for the 10th Panzer Division.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sedan_(1940)#10th_Panzer_at_Wadelincourt

    I’m pretty sure the CCP discourages initiative among its forces. No way they could take Taiwan from the air without a ton of soldiers who are willing & able to practice taking their own initiative instead of waiting for orders.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    No way. The German forces who took Crete lived & breathed on initiative. The Germans were known for tactical & operational initiative down to its lowest levels.
     
    I think it is somewhat ironic that Germans used mission-based tactics while Anglo forces relied more on commands from higher up, given how this is a reversal of the stereotypical cultural images of Germans and Anglo-Saxons.
  36. @Pale_Primate
    "The King and Country Debate is a name that was given to a debate that occurred on 9 February 1933 at the The Oxford Union Society. The motion presented, "This House will under no circumstances fight for its King and country," passed at 275 votes for the motion and 153 against it. The motion would later be named "the Oxford Oath" or "the Oxford Pledge"."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_and_Country_debate


    Yet:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TlkN-dcDCk


    "Risky as it is, an airborne assault like the German conquest of Crete in WW2 might just work."

    No way. The German forces who took Crete lived & breathed on initiative. The Germans were known for tactical & operational initiative down to its lowest levels. For instance, during the Battle of Sedan, a German NCO & his 11-man squad, on their own initiative, totally wreaked the French defense & opened a bridgehead for the 10th Panzer Division.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sedan_(1940)#10th_Panzer_at_Wadelincourt

    I'm pretty sure the CCP discourages initiative among its forces. No way they could take Taiwan from the air without a ton of soldiers who are willing & able to practice taking their own initiative instead of waiting for orders.

    No way. The German forces who took Crete lived & breathed on initiative. The Germans were known for tactical & operational initiative down to its lowest levels.

    I think it is somewhat ironic that Germans used mission-based tactics while Anglo forces relied more on commands from higher up, given how this is a reversal of the stereotypical cultural images of Germans and Anglo-Saxons.

    • Replies: @Bonner Tal
    Germans say what they think is correct, even if it means disagreeing with a superior. Anglos are way more circumspect in that regard. Germans follow rules slavishly, but not necessarily commands. So, for me it fits perfectly into my stereotypical cultural images of Germans and Anglo-Saxons.
  37. Maybe the Japanese should give the island another go; they did wonders for it the first time around.

  38. This suggests that China must avoid an aeronaval conflict over Taiwan to the extent possible – while it is much better prepared for it now than in prior years, it still has no real counter to the Virginia-class attack submarines that will be the main foil to any amphibious invasion. Risky as it is, an airborne assault like the German conquest of Crete in WW2 might just work. While China’s strategic airlife capabilities are still rather meager, there’s no reason that its vast civilian air fleet couldn’t be pressed into service. Demoralized, disorientated by missile strikes, and riven by Sinophile treason and sabotage, it could quickly fold even before a pretty small Chinese force. In addition, this will have the effect of presenting America with a fait accompli and forestalling further escalation.

    As kauchai said, the subs won’t be that much of a problem.
    And you understimate how difficult an air invasion of Taiwan is.

    Depending on the conflict/opfor and the environment it might make sense to conduct air drops of airborne forces.

    For a Taiwan contingency, the small size of the island and the vulnerability of transport aircraft to ROC IADS in the opening phases of a conflict (and even by the time they are significantly degraded) means any attempt to air drop forces will likely experience losses of aircraft. The small size of Taiwan as an island also means any airborne forces that land at a dropzone will likely quickly encounter opposing forces with heavier weapons and be unable to exploit the advantages of airborne forces which is to exploit surprise and attack opfor weak points behind their lines.

    Of course, it is possible the PLA could try to create the right circumstances for an airborne drop if they really wanted to, but it would require substantial localized SEAD/DEAD, preemptive air/missile interdiction of enemy forces near the drop zone, and massive supporting jamming, not to mention needing air superiority over Taiwan in the first place… But putting together all of those set pieces to enable an airborne assault against would be somewhat complex, and then there’s the issue of what the point of an airborne drop would be — i.e. what could they achieve that such a risky operation is necessary on the first place?

    That isn’t to say there would be nk aerial component for a hypothetical Taiwan invasion; i.e. I fully expect helicopter air assault would occur to ferry small units of troops to support the main amphibious assault forces.

    As for why airlift would be important after the opening phases of a conflict once the PLA manage to secure some ports — exactly, I don’t think it would be very important. At most the role of airlifters would be to transport more high priority materiel if the PLA were able to secure some airports or air bases. However it is only after the early phases of the conflict that it would be minimally safe enough for transporters to conduct an airdrop if the PLA really wanted to. In other words, I’m saying I don’t think the PLA would attempt any airdrop at all for the length of a hypothetical Taiwan invasion.

    This commenter did also write:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20190403131401/https://thediplomat.com/2019/04/anatomy-of-a-taiwan-invasion-the-air-domain/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20190423145321/https://thediplomat.com/2019/04/anatomy-of-a-taiwan-invasion-part-2-missile-and-naval-domains/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20190519161101/https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/anatomy-of-a-taiwan-invasion-part-3-taiwans-countermeasures/

  39. @Kent Nationalist

    I think this demonstrates an important point. While the Taiwanese might not want to be ruled from Beijing, very few of them want to die for Taiwan (a fake, and now literally gay, country).

     

    It's the same in real countries like Germany. It is a product of apathy and nihilism rather than anything to do with the country's status. Pakistan is much faker (if, to be fair to them, less gay) yet 89% of Pakistanis would fight for their country.

    https://i.redd.it/nk1uzja3wvby.png

    Lol, look at peacenik Sweden being totally gung-ho. I wonder how many of the 20% foreigners, who however are equally as Swedish as anyone, answered ‘yes’.

    Joining NATO does seem to collapse support for defending your country. Perhaps logical, because let the Americans do it.

  40. @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    If OTOH there were Nazis (actual ones) preparing Sea Lion again, I’m sure Britain would go up to 90%.
     
    Probably true

    Let's take an anecdote from the other side of the Anglosphere.

    In late 1939, over 95%of Americans, per Gallup, were opposed to American entry into a war in Europe.

    95 friggin' percent!!

    And a large number of these Americans, though possibly not a majority, were at least suspicious of Franklin Roosevelt's policies. Many were convinced of the truth that he was trying to get us into the war.

    But that did not stop that same vast percentage (more) of Americans from doing everything in their power "for the war effort."

    My country, right or wrong. Apparently, every Anglophone is Stephen Decatur at heart. It's only ever a very few who won't go along.

    Not to mention all those midwestern Germans.

  41. @Mr. Hack
    No, you're projecting again, I think that you've got me mixed-up with the American soldier who looks like he's smirking receiving a Ukrainian passport from the Ukrainian general. Lately, smirking seems to be such an upsetting gesture...almost as bad as gloating.

    I stand corrected. Not projecting, though, since I’m not gloating.

    I think that generally the us gov should not interfere in countries bordering Russia and China — which certainly means withdrawing any troops that the us has in those neighboring countries, and not encouraging those countries into armed conflict — and those powers should do the same for us.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    On the other hand, it's understandable that Ukraine would try to find new, more powerful backers that respect its desires to forge ahead into a more independent course, independent of Russia. Both Russia and the US were signatories to the Budapest Memorandum. Only one of the three signatories respects Ukraine's right to its own sovereignty over its borders, another has thuggishly broken its promise and has actually stolen territory. I think you know who is who within this scenario.
  42. You ever read From The Fatherland, With Love? In it, the North Koreans take over Japan’s Kyushu Island without a major amphibious invasion. I wonder if China could do something similar to Taiwan.

  43. @RadicalCenter
    I stand corrected. Not projecting, though, since I’m not gloating.

    I think that generally the us gov should not interfere in countries bordering Russia and China — which certainly means withdrawing any troops that the us has in those neighboring countries, and not encouraging those countries into armed conflict — and those powers should do the same for us.

    On the other hand, it’s understandable that Ukraine would try to find new, more powerful backers that respect its desires to forge ahead into a more independent course, independent of Russia. Both Russia and the US were signatories to the Budapest Memorandum. Only one of the three signatories respects Ukraine’s right to its own sovereignty over its borders, another has thuggishly broken its promise and has actually stolen territory. I think you know who is who within this scenario.

  44. I think AK is spot on here. I lived in Taiwan for a few years, speak Chinese, and am married to a Taiwanese woman. Taiwan is a deeply divided country. A substantial percentage of the Taiwanese people (including my in-laws) no longer regard Taiwan as a real country, but as an experiment in anti-Chinese, Western-style nihilism. Many look to China as a protector and defender of Chinese identity.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    I lived in Taiwan for a year ('00-01) working in the semiconductor industry. It was my general impression that most people considered themselves to be Chinese first, and that they were just waiting for Mainland China to catch up in standard of living as well as becoming somewhat more democratic, before reunification. Democratic did not necessarily mean a multi-party democracy. But, rather, something like Singapore's People's Action Party. I think most Taiwan people would go for this.

    Having been to both China and Taiwan in the last decade, I would say that China's standard of living (at least in the major eastern cities) is now at Taiwan levels. However, the CCP seems to be doing some "walk-back" under president Xi with regards to free markets and politics. Prior to him, it did seem that the CCP was trying to make itself into a continental scale version of Singapore's PAP.
  45. In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before

    How would China land its soldiers on the island – like D-Day infantry invasions?

    Surely, for Chinese amphibious assault ships to enter Taiwan’s beaches and land enough soldiers and supplies, China would need air superiority. If China does not have air superiority, ships would be hit with missiles, and their soldiers would be massacred in the landing transition. (Even the British had some disasters in this area, despite overall air superiority, in the Falklands War).

    Currently, China’s air-force technology is 30-40 years behind America’s level. However, Taiwan’s airforce is not modern either, and only received planes (F-16) at the beginning of the 1990s.

    Still, Taiwan also have anti-ship cruise missiles they can fire from land.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsiung_Feng_III

    If those anti-ship missiles are successful, trying to land ships on Taiwan’s beaches, would surely be a massacre for China.

    China could alternatively just bomb island with missiles, without invading. But then what would be the final goal, except damaging an object you want?

    • Replies: @Anon
    "Two weeks", that is how long Taiwan can last if China attacks. That is the answer from Taiwan's defense minister under the questioning in the Taiwan's parliament a few years ago. Some Taiwanese retired generals estimated Taiwan would not last 2 weeks; some retired Chinese generals estimated that China would take over Taiwan less than a week if a war broke out.
  46. @AquariusAnon
    On brain draining of the Taiwanese middle class to Mainland China: Keep in mind that they get hired above market wages in the Mainland due to their perceived expertise, and the majority, if not most, actually work for Taiwanese companies' Mainland operations (nowadays, any serious Taiwanese company has to have the majority of revenue to be Mainland-related).

    They don't become "Mainland Chinese" in China. Their mentality is closer to say, Polish workers in the UK. Home for the 1 million Taiwanese middle class in China is still Taiwan for the most part. They don't really socially interact with Mainlanders much outside of work. They have their own social scenes, WeChat groups, and use VPNs. Most major Chinese cities have a section of town that caters to Taiwanese families, with Taiwanese schools and hospitals both strictly adhering to Taiwanese standards. Taiwanese singles usually don't live in these areas as they live wherever is cheap/close to work, but even then they mingle with each other more so than with locals.

    Even for cross-strait marriages, the half-Taiwanese, half-Mainland kid is usually raised in a Taiwanese bubble by the Mainland mom, if not back to Taiwan itself, and identifies as such.

    For all intents and purposes, Taiwanese in the Mainland should be largely seen as expatriate workers. Whatever I wrote above also largely applies to Hong Kongers.

    I saw an interesting discussion on Quora about a topic you were discussing last time here – what do you think?

    Why are Taiwanese cities so shabby?

    https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Taiwanese-cities-so-shabby

    • Replies: @Anon
    Many of those buildings were built during the economic boom in the 70s and the 80s. Not only do they look ugly and shabby, they are unsafe, not built to handle a big earthquake. Taiwan is in a seismically active zone, and these shabby buildings could kill a lot of people. (I read a report from an expert, but forgot the estimated casualty number, but it was high) But there is not much the Taiwanese government can do about it because of its laws. And no Taiwanese politician wants to change the laws when facing the possibility of losing votes and election.
  47. @Mr. Hack

    While the Ukrainian Army is very brave at shelling Donetsk civilians, they surrender or skulk away as soon as uniformed Russian soldiers show up. The Galician guys in Crimea surrendered without firing a shot, even if they did hold out the longest.
     
    If the 'brave' separatists had not found it convenient to hide within civilian quarters, I'm sure that there would have been fewer civilian casualties. Besides, who can really say from which bullets and bombs civilians died the most?

    As far as Galicians holding out the longes in Crimeat, what can you really expect if the government in Kyiv was in a state of change and no orders were being given as to how to react?

    Things are a little bit different today, eh Anatoly, now that the Ukrainian armed forces are much better equipped and more alert as to possible Russian intrusions?

    Looks like Ukraine is settling in for the long term:

    https://www.kyivpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/0487d06d23f2ab7a8eac1eb9919cbe525a7c5204-1-800x520.jpg

    https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/ukraine-might-be-designated-as-major-non-nato-us-ally.html

    who can really say from which bullets and bombs civilians died the most?

    Undoubtedly, from the ones who were trying to storm the towns where those civilians lived after having shown how much disregard they had for their lives, for example in the Lugansk Square bombing (ie, the Ukrainians).

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Eastern Ukraine: Both sides responsible for indiscriminate attacks
     

    Most of the deaths, which took place in residential neighbourhoods, appeared to be the result of indiscriminate attacks, with the attacking forces using weapons that could not be targeted with sufficient accuracy to distinguish between civilian and military objects.
    The organization’s research strongly suggests that separatist forces fired from these neighbourhoods, and Ukrainian government forces fired into them. In at least one instance, government forces placed an artillery position in a residential area. “Both sides in this conflict have been responsible for a pattern of indiscriminate attacks on populated areas. They have killed and injured civilians, and destroyed civilian homes, and there would appear to be little impetus on both sides to end these violations,” said John Dalhuisen.
     
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/11/eastern-ukraine-both-sides-responsible-indiscriminate-attacks/
  48. @sfoil
    The Ukrainian Army is not first-rate, but its performance in Donetsk wasn't a complete disaster either. They seem to have done fine as long as they kept out of range of Russian artillery. The "shelling civilians" canard is below you; the Ukrainian taste for artillery bombardment is basically identical to the SAA's and for the same reasons. In fact the Ukraine Army has a lot in common with the SAA: an unprofessional conscript army with aging or outright "obsolete" Eastern Bloc equipment. Maybe somewhat better equipped but with a substantially less functional government.

    There hasn't been a successful parachute invasion against an even marginally capable enemy since Crete, and there won't be again.

    the Ukraine Army has a lot in common with the SAA

    Yes. But an important difference is that the West pretends to care a lot for the civilians killed by the Syrian Army and even takes military action against them whereas it doesn’t show the slightest concern for the civilians killed by the Ukrainians. In fact, it has blindly supported all Ukrainian military moves against the secessionist regions and provided them with military equipment and advisers.

    If shelling civilians in Donbas is justified by the lack of professionalism and bad equipment of the poor Ukrainians, why wouldn’t the same apply to Syria’s efforts to recover territory in the hands of Al-Qaeda like types?

    • Replies: @sfoil

    why wouldn’t the same apply to Syria’s efforts to recover territory in the hands of Al-Qaeda like types?
     
    It does. Is this supposed to be some sort of gotcha? Yes, the US supports who it supports and opposes who it opposes. People who support [Syria/Ukraine] recovering territory from armed rebels through military action implicitly accept that this will involve a bunch of civilians killed, plundered, or displaced because every war involves this, that's what war *is*. Just like any military offensive includes artillery bombardment, any modern counteroffensive includes propaganda about how morally outrageous the enemy action is.
  49. @Bamboo Recluse
    I think AK is spot on here. I lived in Taiwan for a few years, speak Chinese, and am married to a Taiwanese woman. Taiwan is a deeply divided country. A substantial percentage of the Taiwanese people (including my in-laws) no longer regard Taiwan as a real country, but as an experiment in anti-Chinese, Western-style nihilism. Many look to China as a protector and defender of Chinese identity.

    I lived in Taiwan for a year (’00-01) working in the semiconductor industry. It was my general impression that most people considered themselves to be Chinese first, and that they were just waiting for Mainland China to catch up in standard of living as well as becoming somewhat more democratic, before reunification. Democratic did not necessarily mean a multi-party democracy. But, rather, something like Singapore’s People’s Action Party. I think most Taiwan people would go for this.

    Having been to both China and Taiwan in the last decade, I would say that China’s standard of living (at least in the major eastern cities) is now at Taiwan levels. However, the CCP seems to be doing some “walk-back” under president Xi with regards to free markets and politics. Prior to him, it did seem that the CCP was trying to make itself into a continental scale version of Singapore’s PAP.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    When it comes to wages and material wealth, Chinese cities on the Eastern seaboard has largely caught up to Taiwanese living standards. However, overall, the Taiwanese are much more competent than the Mainland Chinese especially if we look at the middle and working classes. More civilized, less haphazardly done work, less ignorant. Taiwanese middle class today are still highly sought after in the Mainland as middle managerial or R&D positions due to their quality of work compared to locals.

    Most Taiwanese favor the status quo. Reunification is out of the picture as subsuming Taiwan in the current Mainland system will not only cause the Taiwanese people to lose their advantages overseas such as a separate passport, but also many aspects of Chinese society will take decades before catching up to Taiwanese standards. Examples include property rights, rule of law in the judicial system, and having a stock exchange that doesn't function like a casino.

    So unlike what Karlin's edginess may say, reunification with China on China's terms will make the Taiwanese even more miserable. The DPP is definitely a gay and fake party leading Taiwan down the path of "we wuz samurais" in a gay disco. But a serious, highly respectable, country can still be made out of it if it goes back to actually becoming the only province under the Republic of China administratio, passing laws and conducting geopolitics centered around that. Its not like Ukraine and Russia, as 2013 Ukraine is much poorer, more corrupt, and less functional than 2013 Russia.

    And on Taiwanese attitudes towards China: I noticed a huge shift that a few years ago, China was called "the Mainland" but now people are starting to call China just "China". While things might change during a hot war, people nowadays generally have a resigned attitude in case of a PLA invasion.
  50. @Mikel

    who can really say from which bullets and bombs civilians died the most?
     
    Undoubtedly, from the ones who were trying to storm the towns where those civilians lived after having shown how much disregard they had for their lives, for example in the Lugansk Square bombing (ie, the Ukrainians).

    Eastern Ukraine: Both sides responsible for indiscriminate attacks

    Most of the deaths, which took place in residential neighbourhoods, appeared to be the result of indiscriminate attacks, with the attacking forces using weapons that could not be targeted with sufficient accuracy to distinguish between civilian and military objects.
    The organization’s research strongly suggests that separatist forces fired from these neighbourhoods, and Ukrainian government forces fired into them. In at least one instance, government forces placed an artillery position in a residential area. “Both sides in this conflict have been responsible for a pattern of indiscriminate attacks on populated areas. They have killed and injured civilians, and destroyed civilian homes, and there would appear to be little impetus on both sides to end these violations,” said John Dalhuisen.

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/11/eastern-ukraine-both-sides-responsible-indiscriminate-attacks/

    • Replies: @Mikel
    Yes, everybody knows that both sides have shelled civilian areas. But your claim that it is not possible to know which side has caused more civilian casualties is illogical. In case you were not paying attention, in 2014 Ukraine recovered more than half of the territory controlled by the rebels and expelled them from numerous towns after intense bombardment campaigns that even led Girkin to quite desperately request help from the Kremlin.

    It is logically the army advancing on localities occupied by the enemy that causes the most civilian casualties. The allies killed thousands of French civilians when expelling the Germans from the areas they occupied after the Normandy landing and it was the US rather than the defending IS who killed over 1,000 civilians during the liberation of Raqqah, according to the same source you are using. I don't know what makes you think that this obvious principle would not apply in Ukraine. Still trying to convince people that the Donbas rebels shelled the areas that they controlled themselves?

  51. @Mr. Hack

    Eastern Ukraine: Both sides responsible for indiscriminate attacks
     

    Most of the deaths, which took place in residential neighbourhoods, appeared to be the result of indiscriminate attacks, with the attacking forces using weapons that could not be targeted with sufficient accuracy to distinguish between civilian and military objects.
    The organization’s research strongly suggests that separatist forces fired from these neighbourhoods, and Ukrainian government forces fired into them. In at least one instance, government forces placed an artillery position in a residential area. “Both sides in this conflict have been responsible for a pattern of indiscriminate attacks on populated areas. They have killed and injured civilians, and destroyed civilian homes, and there would appear to be little impetus on both sides to end these violations,” said John Dalhuisen.
     
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/11/eastern-ukraine-both-sides-responsible-indiscriminate-attacks/

    Yes, everybody knows that both sides have shelled civilian areas. But your claim that it is not possible to know which side has caused more civilian casualties is illogical. In case you were not paying attention, in 2014 Ukraine recovered more than half of the territory controlled by the rebels and expelled them from numerous towns after intense bombardment campaigns that even led Girkin to quite desperately request help from the Kremlin.

    It is logically the army advancing on localities occupied by the enemy that causes the most civilian casualties. The allies killed thousands of French civilians when expelling the Germans from the areas they occupied after the Normandy landing and it was the US rather than the defending IS who killed over 1,000 civilians during the liberation of Raqqah, according to the same source you are using. I don’t know what makes you think that this obvious principle would not apply in Ukraine. Still trying to convince people that the Donbas rebels shelled the areas that they controlled themselves?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. I don't have any figures, do you? I rely on what I read, and the article that I'm quoting seems rather impartial and ascribes blame for civilian deaths to both sides, also without specifying any numbers. While the rebels often did hide within civilian enclaves, resulting in both sides firing unfortunately, indiscriminately:

    The organization’s research strongly suggests that separatist forces fired from these neighbourhoods, and Ukrainian government forces fired into them.
     
    Both sides were firing one on another and civilians were killed, and we're to believe that you instinctively know that the government forces were less accurate and killed more civilians - give me a break!
  52. @Abelard Lindsey
    I lived in Taiwan for a year ('00-01) working in the semiconductor industry. It was my general impression that most people considered themselves to be Chinese first, and that they were just waiting for Mainland China to catch up in standard of living as well as becoming somewhat more democratic, before reunification. Democratic did not necessarily mean a multi-party democracy. But, rather, something like Singapore's People's Action Party. I think most Taiwan people would go for this.

    Having been to both China and Taiwan in the last decade, I would say that China's standard of living (at least in the major eastern cities) is now at Taiwan levels. However, the CCP seems to be doing some "walk-back" under president Xi with regards to free markets and politics. Prior to him, it did seem that the CCP was trying to make itself into a continental scale version of Singapore's PAP.

    When it comes to wages and material wealth, Chinese cities on the Eastern seaboard has largely caught up to Taiwanese living standards. However, overall, the Taiwanese are much more competent than the Mainland Chinese especially if we look at the middle and working classes. More civilized, less haphazardly done work, less ignorant. Taiwanese middle class today are still highly sought after in the Mainland as middle managerial or R&D positions due to their quality of work compared to locals.

    Most Taiwanese favor the status quo. Reunification is out of the picture as subsuming Taiwan in the current Mainland system will not only cause the Taiwanese people to lose their advantages overseas such as a separate passport, but also many aspects of Chinese society will take decades before catching up to Taiwanese standards. Examples include property rights, rule of law in the judicial system, and having a stock exchange that doesn’t function like a casino.

    So unlike what Karlin’s edginess may say, reunification with China on China’s terms will make the Taiwanese even more miserable. The DPP is definitely a gay and fake party leading Taiwan down the path of “we wuz samurais” in a gay disco. But a serious, highly respectable, country can still be made out of it if it goes back to actually becoming the only province under the Republic of China administratio, passing laws and conducting geopolitics centered around that. Its not like Ukraine and Russia, as 2013 Ukraine is much poorer, more corrupt, and less functional than 2013 Russia.

    And on Taiwanese attitudes towards China: I noticed a huge shift that a few years ago, China was called “the Mainland” but now people are starting to call China just “China”. While things might change during a hot war, people nowadays generally have a resigned attitude in case of a PLA invasion.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    I think you're right. You also bring up several points.

    First, values such as property rights, rule of law, and functional capital markets seem to me as being absolute necessities that define functional societies. I fail to understand why many of the aficionados of traditionalism in here as well as alt-right blogs are so dismissal of these values.

    Secondly, I think most Taiwan people would be willing to accept reunification if the CCP were really trying to make itself into a continental version of Singapore's PAP. Afterall, Singapore is a one party state for all practical purposes, yet still promulgate the virtues of property rights, objective rule of law, and functional capital markets. The CCP was publicly committed to becoming like this 15 or 20 years ago. But they seem to be "back sliding" since the ascension of President Xi.
    , @Mr. XYZ
    Russia had a 3:1 population advantage over Ukraine; for China and Taiwan, the ratio is something like 50:1.

    Also, how many Taiwanese do you think would move to the US if China conquered Taiwan and the US actually allowed Taiwanese to move en masse to the US (as political refugees) afterwards?
  53. @Hyperborean

    No way. The German forces who took Crete lived & breathed on initiative. The Germans were known for tactical & operational initiative down to its lowest levels.
     
    I think it is somewhat ironic that Germans used mission-based tactics while Anglo forces relied more on commands from higher up, given how this is a reversal of the stereotypical cultural images of Germans and Anglo-Saxons.

    Germans say what they think is correct, even if it means disagreeing with a superior. Anglos are way more circumspect in that regard. Germans follow rules slavishly, but not necessarily commands. So, for me it fits perfectly into my stereotypical cultural images of Germans and Anglo-Saxons.

  54. @Mikel
    Yes, everybody knows that both sides have shelled civilian areas. But your claim that it is not possible to know which side has caused more civilian casualties is illogical. In case you were not paying attention, in 2014 Ukraine recovered more than half of the territory controlled by the rebels and expelled them from numerous towns after intense bombardment campaigns that even led Girkin to quite desperately request help from the Kremlin.

    It is logically the army advancing on localities occupied by the enemy that causes the most civilian casualties. The allies killed thousands of French civilians when expelling the Germans from the areas they occupied after the Normandy landing and it was the US rather than the defending IS who killed over 1,000 civilians during the liberation of Raqqah, according to the same source you are using. I don't know what makes you think that this obvious principle would not apply in Ukraine. Still trying to convince people that the Donbas rebels shelled the areas that they controlled themselves?

    I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything. I don’t have any figures, do you? I rely on what I read, and the article that I’m quoting seems rather impartial and ascribes blame for civilian deaths to both sides, also without specifying any numbers. While the rebels often did hide within civilian enclaves, resulting in both sides firing unfortunately, indiscriminately:

    The organization’s research strongly suggests that separatist forces fired from these neighbourhoods, and Ukrainian government forces fired into them.

    Both sides were firing one on another and civilians were killed, and we’re to believe that you instinctively know that the government forces were less accurate and killed more civilians – give me a break!

    • Agree: byrresheim
    • Replies: @Mikel
    The best known cases of the rebels killing multiple civilians in Donbas are Volnovakha and Mariupol, not surprisingly when they finally managed to advance and recover a small part of the territory they had lost in Southern Donetsk.

    If you don't understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.

    I never claimed that the Ukrainians are more prone to committing atrocities than the rebels or the Russians (although a case could be made in favor of this hypothesis based on the fact that they have shown little restraint in killing large numbers of what they consider their own civilian countrymen). The only thing I claimed is that, as things played out, Ukrainians have actually killed more civilians than their opponents.

    Nobody has exact figures but the OSCE, while never assigning guilt to any party, have gathered a large database of incidents with civilian casualties noting which positions the fire came from. And I understand that the Russians are compiling a list of war crimes in Donbas for future use in criminal proceedings.

    Being Ukrainian, I can understand your bias and unwillingness to accept uncomfortable facts but the events in Ukraine five years ago led the whole world to a very unwelcome return to the Cold War. You shouldn't underestimate how informed the rest of us are about what's going on in your country. There is a lot at stake for the rest of us too.
  55. @AquariusAnon
    When it comes to wages and material wealth, Chinese cities on the Eastern seaboard has largely caught up to Taiwanese living standards. However, overall, the Taiwanese are much more competent than the Mainland Chinese especially if we look at the middle and working classes. More civilized, less haphazardly done work, less ignorant. Taiwanese middle class today are still highly sought after in the Mainland as middle managerial or R&D positions due to their quality of work compared to locals.

    Most Taiwanese favor the status quo. Reunification is out of the picture as subsuming Taiwan in the current Mainland system will not only cause the Taiwanese people to lose their advantages overseas such as a separate passport, but also many aspects of Chinese society will take decades before catching up to Taiwanese standards. Examples include property rights, rule of law in the judicial system, and having a stock exchange that doesn't function like a casino.

    So unlike what Karlin's edginess may say, reunification with China on China's terms will make the Taiwanese even more miserable. The DPP is definitely a gay and fake party leading Taiwan down the path of "we wuz samurais" in a gay disco. But a serious, highly respectable, country can still be made out of it if it goes back to actually becoming the only province under the Republic of China administratio, passing laws and conducting geopolitics centered around that. Its not like Ukraine and Russia, as 2013 Ukraine is much poorer, more corrupt, and less functional than 2013 Russia.

    And on Taiwanese attitudes towards China: I noticed a huge shift that a few years ago, China was called "the Mainland" but now people are starting to call China just "China". While things might change during a hot war, people nowadays generally have a resigned attitude in case of a PLA invasion.

    I think you’re right. You also bring up several points.

    First, values such as property rights, rule of law, and functional capital markets seem to me as being absolute necessities that define functional societies. I fail to understand why many of the aficionados of traditionalism in here as well as alt-right blogs are so dismissal of these values.

    Secondly, I think most Taiwan people would be willing to accept reunification if the CCP were really trying to make itself into a continental version of Singapore’s PAP. Afterall, Singapore is a one party state for all practical purposes, yet still promulgate the virtues of property rights, objective rule of law, and functional capital markets. The CCP was publicly committed to becoming like this 15 or 20 years ago. But they seem to be “back sliding” since the ascension of President Xi.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ

    Afterall, Singapore is a one party state for all practical purposes,
     
    Singapore has (more or less) free and fair elections, no? Sure, one party consistently wins, but this is similar to Russia--with the case being that opposition parties consistently fail to attract mass support among the population.
    , @Daniel Chieh

    First, values such as property rights, rule of law, and functional capital markets seem to me as being absolute necessities that define functional societies.

     

    Because it is fundamentally not true, especially historically in China? Let's go with property rights, for example. If wealth is inviolate and the wealthy were pretty powerful already, such as my ancestors who were the "landlord" class, an inevitable spiral will be that the wealthy will gradually acquire more servants, more tenants, more soldiers, and become a feudal clan that is capable of resisting state centralization and eventually lead to civil war. This extended especially to infrastructure projects - I remember there's an instance of the Emperor prosecuting a wealthy landowner who basically build a dam for a city with tens of thousands of workers. If local landowners can replace government functions, then the government is threatened and it must act to reassert its monopoly on force and property.

    Would a more outright capitalistic Chinese history led to more development? I don't know but I would say that it would have led to a lack of China, with much more splitting into perhaps Spring and Autumn states. This isn't theoretical, as the Warring states period shows. Ultimately, it had to lead to its own end as a single contender(Qin in this case) overtook all others and though Legalism itself fell from vogue, concerns of asserting centralization of the government would be a primary consideration of the dynastic courts from then on.

    It wasn't that China lacked all of those things - obviously the landowners remained powerful and influential so a significant(but not guaranteed) property rights were present, the Confucian literari were generally capable and provided adequate "rule of law"(which really means "rule by judges), and of course, ancient markets are all over China. Its just these principles have never exceeded the ultimate importance of the state's centralized power. In that sense, really, the CCP is just norm to tradition.
  56. @AquariusAnon
    When it comes to wages and material wealth, Chinese cities on the Eastern seaboard has largely caught up to Taiwanese living standards. However, overall, the Taiwanese are much more competent than the Mainland Chinese especially if we look at the middle and working classes. More civilized, less haphazardly done work, less ignorant. Taiwanese middle class today are still highly sought after in the Mainland as middle managerial or R&D positions due to their quality of work compared to locals.

    Most Taiwanese favor the status quo. Reunification is out of the picture as subsuming Taiwan in the current Mainland system will not only cause the Taiwanese people to lose their advantages overseas such as a separate passport, but also many aspects of Chinese society will take decades before catching up to Taiwanese standards. Examples include property rights, rule of law in the judicial system, and having a stock exchange that doesn't function like a casino.

    So unlike what Karlin's edginess may say, reunification with China on China's terms will make the Taiwanese even more miserable. The DPP is definitely a gay and fake party leading Taiwan down the path of "we wuz samurais" in a gay disco. But a serious, highly respectable, country can still be made out of it if it goes back to actually becoming the only province under the Republic of China administratio, passing laws and conducting geopolitics centered around that. Its not like Ukraine and Russia, as 2013 Ukraine is much poorer, more corrupt, and less functional than 2013 Russia.

    And on Taiwanese attitudes towards China: I noticed a huge shift that a few years ago, China was called "the Mainland" but now people are starting to call China just "China". While things might change during a hot war, people nowadays generally have a resigned attitude in case of a PLA invasion.

    Russia had a 3:1 population advantage over Ukraine; for China and Taiwan, the ratio is something like 50:1.

    Also, how many Taiwanese do you think would move to the US if China conquered Taiwan and the US actually allowed Taiwanese to move en masse to the US (as political refugees) afterwards?

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    This is hard to tell, but if the US actually opened the door to the Taiwanese immigration after a Chinese takeover, my guess is that a couple million. While the US is nowhere near as great as it was in the 20th century, this would be offsetted by the fact that there's already significant existent East Asian communities and amenities unlike the 20th century where the Vietnamese, Cubans, and Koreans are being essentially airdropped in an alien Anglo-Saxon country. Parts of California is essentially a part of East Asia built in an American suburban setting. This would entice some people who might have not moved to the US if otherwise.

    Other countries that will likely take in a smaller amount of Taiwanese in such a situation would include Canada, Singapore, Australia, and to a lesser extent Japan.

    Overall, a similar dynamic would arise with Cuban immigration to the US post-1959, with about 10% of the population leaving for the US, and most of them concentrated in one part of the US. For Cubans, it was Miami, with "tentacles" in NYC and Tampa. For Taiwanese, the main concentrations will be the Bay Area and LA, with "tentacles" in NYC and possibly Texas (Houston followed by Dallas).

    The exact same phenomenon will hold for Hong Kong if/when it starts getting treated as the same entity as Mainland China, whether its ushering in Mainland law by the Chinese government or the revocation of visa-free access and free trade agreements by the Blue Empire. Except in this case, expect much less exodus to the US and the bulk ending up in Canada, Australia, Taiwan (if it doesn't get invaded by then), and Singapore. In Anglo countries, they too will stick to themselves almost exclusively
  57. @Abelard Lindsey
    I think you're right. You also bring up several points.

    First, values such as property rights, rule of law, and functional capital markets seem to me as being absolute necessities that define functional societies. I fail to understand why many of the aficionados of traditionalism in here as well as alt-right blogs are so dismissal of these values.

    Secondly, I think most Taiwan people would be willing to accept reunification if the CCP were really trying to make itself into a continental version of Singapore's PAP. Afterall, Singapore is a one party state for all practical purposes, yet still promulgate the virtues of property rights, objective rule of law, and functional capital markets. The CCP was publicly committed to becoming like this 15 or 20 years ago. But they seem to be "back sliding" since the ascension of President Xi.

    Afterall, Singapore is a one party state for all practical purposes,

    Singapore has (more or less) free and fair elections, no? Sure, one party consistently wins, but this is similar to Russia–with the case being that opposition parties consistently fail to attract mass support among the population.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    There is a heavy "hand on the scale" in favor of PAP in Singapore. I do not think it unreasonable to characterize Singapore as a one-party state even though they do have several political parties. My point is that a single-party system is not necessarily incompatible with property rights, objective rule of law, and transparent financial markets. Since these latter three virtues are clearly associated with economic growth and prosperity, I fail to understand why the CCP does not push for them. The only explanation I can think of is that the critics of the CCP are correct in describing it as nothing more than the preservation of corruption and parasitism. Adopting these values on a nation-wide basis would essentially guarantee that China would become the hyperpower of the 21st century. In not doing so, the Chinese seem to be cutting of their noses to spite their face.
  58. @Mr. XYZ
    Russia had a 3:1 population advantage over Ukraine; for China and Taiwan, the ratio is something like 50:1.

    Also, how many Taiwanese do you think would move to the US if China conquered Taiwan and the US actually allowed Taiwanese to move en masse to the US (as political refugees) afterwards?

    This is hard to tell, but if the US actually opened the door to the Taiwanese immigration after a Chinese takeover, my guess is that a couple million. While the US is nowhere near as great as it was in the 20th century, this would be offsetted by the fact that there’s already significant existent East Asian communities and amenities unlike the 20th century where the Vietnamese, Cubans, and Koreans are being essentially airdropped in an alien Anglo-Saxon country. Parts of California is essentially a part of East Asia built in an American suburban setting. This would entice some people who might have not moved to the US if otherwise.

    Other countries that will likely take in a smaller amount of Taiwanese in such a situation would include Canada, Singapore, Australia, and to a lesser extent Japan.

    Overall, a similar dynamic would arise with Cuban immigration to the US post-1959, with about 10% of the population leaving for the US, and most of them concentrated in one part of the US. For Cubans, it was Miami, with “tentacles” in NYC and Tampa. For Taiwanese, the main concentrations will be the Bay Area and LA, with “tentacles” in NYC and possibly Texas (Houston followed by Dallas).

    The exact same phenomenon will hold for Hong Kong if/when it starts getting treated as the same entity as Mainland China, whether its ushering in Mainland law by the Chinese government or the revocation of visa-free access and free trade agreements by the Blue Empire. Except in this case, expect much less exodus to the US and the bulk ending up in Canada, Australia, Taiwan (if it doesn’t get invaded by then), and Singapore. In Anglo countries, they too will stick to themselves almost exclusively

  59. @Mr. XYZ

    Afterall, Singapore is a one party state for all practical purposes,
     
    Singapore has (more or less) free and fair elections, no? Sure, one party consistently wins, but this is similar to Russia--with the case being that opposition parties consistently fail to attract mass support among the population.

    There is a heavy “hand on the scale” in favor of PAP in Singapore. I do not think it unreasonable to characterize Singapore as a one-party state even though they do have several political parties. My point is that a single-party system is not necessarily incompatible with property rights, objective rule of law, and transparent financial markets. Since these latter three virtues are clearly associated with economic growth and prosperity, I fail to understand why the CCP does not push for them. The only explanation I can think of is that the critics of the CCP are correct in describing it as nothing more than the preservation of corruption and parasitism. Adopting these values on a nation-wide basis would essentially guarantee that China would become the hyperpower of the 21st century. In not doing so, the Chinese seem to be cutting of their noses to spite their face.

    • Replies: @Anon

    Since these latter three virtues are clearly associated with economic growth and prosperity, I fail to understand why the CCP does not push for them. The only explanation I can think of is that the critics of the CCP are correct in describing it as nothing more than the preservation of corruption and parasitism.
     
    You are not the only one who thinks that way. Only if things are that simple. Your conclusion is wrong because You don't have a good grasp of how the CCP works. Gordon Chang wrote "The coming collapse of china" almost 20 years ago. He is a smart guy, and knew a lot about China. His conclusion is wrong because he really didn't know how the CCP worked and underestimated the CCP. He knew the facade, the skin but didn't know structures and the internal organs.
  60. I would think the Chinese mainland would wish to take Taiwan thru diplomacy as wouldn’t Taiwan be a ‘cash cow’ for China if it’s taken with minimal damage and most of the infrastructure intake…

    Otherwise it’s such a small place and China itself so large that taking it thru war and making it worthless well probably wouldn’t be worth it to China…

    I think…

    • Replies: @Mitleser
    2much focus on economics, not enough on politics.
  61. As mainland China become more prosperous mainland probably will appeal to Chinese nationalism and ethnic pride to woo the Taiwan people. But there is a problem. Under its watch PRC’s territory is one size smaller than when the ROC was running the place. For example as far as ROC is concerned Mongolia is still part of ROC’s territory because the ROC has never conceded and recognizes Mongolia’s independence, whereas the CCP did. And South Tibet was annexed by India under the CCP’s watch even though both sides never recognize this piece of land grab by India.

    PRC should regain this territories first before talking of reunification.

  62. @NYMOM
    I would think the Chinese mainland would wish to take Taiwan thru diplomacy as wouldn't Taiwan be a 'cash cow' for China if it's taken with minimal damage and most of the infrastructure intake...

    Otherwise it's such a small place and China itself so large that taking it thru war and making it worthless well probably wouldn't be worth it to China...

    I think...

    2much focus on economics, not enough on politics.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    To be fair, so far China is largely a country focused on making the largest possible profit, and it keeps a somewhat low profile geopolitical stance to make that happen.

    But this is starting to change. As memories of a poor, starving peasant China relying on UN handouts fades, eventually we might see an assertive, expansionist China whose population will be willing to fight for national priding, accepting if not straight up taking pride in endure economic hardship and international pariahdom. If this happens, then all bets are off, in which case Taiwan will be invaded, Hong Kong's special status terminated, and the South China Sea fully militarized.

  63. @Mitleser
    2much focus on economics, not enough on politics.

    To be fair, so far China is largely a country focused on making the largest possible profit, and it keeps a somewhat low profile geopolitical stance to make that happen.

    But this is starting to change. As memories of a poor, starving peasant China relying on UN handouts fades, eventually we might see an assertive, expansionist China whose population will be willing to fight for national priding, accepting if not straight up taking pride in endure economic hardship and international pariahdom. If this happens, then all bets are off, in which case Taiwan will be invaded, Hong Kong’s special status terminated, and the South China Sea fully militarized.

    • Replies: @Anon

    in which case Taiwan will be invaded, Hong Kong’s special status terminated, and the South China Sea fully militarized.
     
    Nonsense. You have no idea how important Hong Kong's special status is to China. When billionaire financier George Soros raided Hong Kong's market, it was Beijing who saved Hong Kong from ruins. If anything, Beijing might extend Hong Kong's special status because of what it brings.

    Taiwan's constitution hasn't changed? has it? It still states that Mainland China is part of China and Taiwan is part of China. Taiwan's official name is "The Republic of China". It was the US who kicked Taiwan out of the UN and replaced "The people republic of China" as the legitimate China.

    Back in the 80's, Deng Xiao Ping at one point offered a deal to Taiwan's president Chiang Ching-kuo : the CPC would rule half of China, and give half China to Taiwan. Let two systems compete, and the one that is doing better would lead, and China would slowly change into one system. It is fun to imagine what China would be if that actually happens.

    Given how integrated culturally and economically today between China and Taiwan, China has no need to invade Taiwan because unification is inevitable, of course, unless the US uses Taiwan as a pawn to start war. Something the US might do. No country likes war more than the US.

    As for South China Sea, Navy ships from the US, France, UK move around there all the time, and the US controls Straits of Malacca. You don't think China would somehow think of way to protect its sea lane?

    , @Mitleser

    To be fair, so far China is largely a country focused on making the largest possible profit, and it keeps a somewhat low profile geopolitical stance to make that happen.
     
    Does not apply to China's eastern Asia policy ("muh SCS, muh Senkakus, muh Taiwan"), though.
  64. Be careful whom you root for and take a good look at Siberia.

  65. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:
    @AquariusAnon
    To be fair, so far China is largely a country focused on making the largest possible profit, and it keeps a somewhat low profile geopolitical stance to make that happen.

    But this is starting to change. As memories of a poor, starving peasant China relying on UN handouts fades, eventually we might see an assertive, expansionist China whose population will be willing to fight for national priding, accepting if not straight up taking pride in endure economic hardship and international pariahdom. If this happens, then all bets are off, in which case Taiwan will be invaded, Hong Kong's special status terminated, and the South China Sea fully militarized.

    in which case Taiwan will be invaded, Hong Kong’s special status terminated, and the South China Sea fully militarized.

    Nonsense. You have no idea how important Hong Kong’s special status is to China. When billionaire financier George Soros raided Hong Kong’s market, it was Beijing who saved Hong Kong from ruins. If anything, Beijing might extend Hong Kong’s special status because of what it brings.

    Taiwan’s constitution hasn’t changed? has it? It still states that Mainland China is part of China and Taiwan is part of China. Taiwan’s official name is “The Republic of China”. It was the US who kicked Taiwan out of the UN and replaced “The people republic of China” as the legitimate China.

    Back in the 80’s, Deng Xiao Ping at one point offered a deal to Taiwan’s president Chiang Ching-kuo : the CPC would rule half of China, and give half China to Taiwan. Let two systems compete, and the one that is doing better would lead, and China would slowly change into one system. It is fun to imagine what China would be if that actually happens.

    Given how integrated culturally and economically today between China and Taiwan, China has no need to invade Taiwan because unification is inevitable, of course, unless the US uses Taiwan as a pawn to start war. Something the US might do. No country likes war more than the US.

    As for South China Sea, Navy ships from the US, France, UK move around there all the time, and the US controls Straits of Malacca. You don’t think China would somehow think of way to protect its sea lane?

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    You are absolutely right on all 3 counts regarding the current general consensus of both the Chinese government and public opinion.

    The situation I'm describing is a hypothetical Karlin-style nationalist wave sweeping through China in the future. Again, this is just a possibility but could be reality with the correct societal and political dynamics in place, and current trends do slightly point in that direction.

    The ingredients for "Karlinism" to spread like a wildfire in China would be a mixture of severe economic recession, loss of public confidence in the CCP, refusal of the CCP to undergo reforms, and at least one face-losing geopolitical incident.

  66. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dmitry

    In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before
     
    How would China land its soldiers on the island - like D-Day infantry invasions?

    Surely, for Chinese amphibious assault ships to enter Taiwan's beaches and land enough soldiers and supplies, China would need air superiority. If China does not have air superiority, ships would be hit with missiles, and their soldiers would be massacred in the landing transition. (Even the British had some disasters in this area, despite overall air superiority, in the Falklands War).

    Currently, China's air-force technology is 30-40 years behind America's level. However, Taiwan's airforce is not modern either, and only received planes (F-16) at the beginning of the 1990s.

    Still, Taiwan also have anti-ship cruise missiles they can fire from land.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsiung_Feng_III

    If those anti-ship missiles are successful, trying to land ships on Taiwan's beaches, would surely be a massacre for China.

    China could alternatively just bomb island with missiles, without invading. But then what would be the final goal, except damaging an object you want?

    “Two weeks”, that is how long Taiwan can last if China attacks. That is the answer from Taiwan’s defense minister under the questioning in the Taiwan’s parliament a few years ago. Some Taiwanese retired generals estimated Taiwan would not last 2 weeks; some retired Chinese generals estimated that China would take over Taiwan less than a week if a war broke out.

  67. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:
    @Abelard Lindsey
    There is a heavy "hand on the scale" in favor of PAP in Singapore. I do not think it unreasonable to characterize Singapore as a one-party state even though they do have several political parties. My point is that a single-party system is not necessarily incompatible with property rights, objective rule of law, and transparent financial markets. Since these latter three virtues are clearly associated with economic growth and prosperity, I fail to understand why the CCP does not push for them. The only explanation I can think of is that the critics of the CCP are correct in describing it as nothing more than the preservation of corruption and parasitism. Adopting these values on a nation-wide basis would essentially guarantee that China would become the hyperpower of the 21st century. In not doing so, the Chinese seem to be cutting of their noses to spite their face.

    Since these latter three virtues are clearly associated with economic growth and prosperity, I fail to understand why the CCP does not push for them. The only explanation I can think of is that the critics of the CCP are correct in describing it as nothing more than the preservation of corruption and parasitism.

    You are not the only one who thinks that way. Only if things are that simple. Your conclusion is wrong because You don’t have a good grasp of how the CCP works. Gordon Chang wrote “The coming collapse of china” almost 20 years ago. He is a smart guy, and knew a lot about China. His conclusion is wrong because he really didn’t know how the CCP worked and underestimated the CCP. He knew the facade, the skin but didn’t know structures and the internal organs.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Unlike Chang, I don't think China's economy will collapse. Rather I think they will enter a Japan-like stagnation. Up until President Xi, the Chinese were making all of the right moves. However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization's sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity. This is what I meant by the term "backsliding". China seems to be backsliding. If this continues, they will probably enter the stagnation period by 2030 or even by 2025. If they did not backslide, I think China's economy would continue to grow, in a more decentralized form, until mid century (2050) where they really would be 3-4 times bigger than the U.S.

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential. I have lived and worked in both Taiwan and Mainland China. The Chinese people I have been around have a strong work ethic, are intelligent, and very entrepreneurial. They have a chaotic nature to them. They do not work well in large teams, unlike the Japanese. It seems to be the decentralized model of free market economic development is the one most suited for this temperament. For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    I know some of you guys think different about this. But my gosh! What a waste!

    Could this "inward" conservatism that some of you guys (especially alt-right and religious types) be driven by the aging process? Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster. At least the young people of the 80's and 90's were like this (I think you people today are damaged due to vaccines and xenoestrogens).

    Instead of an inward-oriented conservativism, perhaps the solution is radical life extension. Of course the latter solution is the one I prefer.
  68. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dmitry
    I saw an interesting discussion on Quora about a topic you were discussing last time here - what do you think?

    Why are Taiwanese cities so shabby?

     

    https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Taiwanese-cities-so-shabby

    Many of those buildings were built during the economic boom in the 70s and the 80s. Not only do they look ugly and shabby, they are unsafe, not built to handle a big earthquake. Taiwan is in a seismically active zone, and these shabby buildings could kill a lot of people. (I read a report from an expert, but forgot the estimated casualty number, but it was high) But there is not much the Taiwanese government can do about it because of its laws. And no Taiwanese politician wants to change the laws when facing the possibility of losing votes and election.

  69. @Mr. Hack
    I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. I don't have any figures, do you? I rely on what I read, and the article that I'm quoting seems rather impartial and ascribes blame for civilian deaths to both sides, also without specifying any numbers. While the rebels often did hide within civilian enclaves, resulting in both sides firing unfortunately, indiscriminately:

    The organization’s research strongly suggests that separatist forces fired from these neighbourhoods, and Ukrainian government forces fired into them.
     
    Both sides were firing one on another and civilians were killed, and we're to believe that you instinctively know that the government forces were less accurate and killed more civilians - give me a break!

    The best known cases of the rebels killing multiple civilians in Donbas are Volnovakha and Mariupol, not surprisingly when they finally managed to advance and recover a small part of the territory they had lost in Southern Donetsk.

    If you don’t understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.

    I never claimed that the Ukrainians are more prone to committing atrocities than the rebels or the Russians (although a case could be made in favor of this hypothesis based on the fact that they have shown little restraint in killing large numbers of what they consider their own civilian countrymen). The only thing I claimed is that, as things played out, Ukrainians have actually killed more civilians than their opponents.

    Nobody has exact figures but the OSCE, while never assigning guilt to any party, have gathered a large database of incidents with civilian casualties noting which positions the fire came from. And I understand that the Russians are compiling a list of war crimes in Donbas for future use in criminal proceedings.

    Being Ukrainian, I can understand your bias and unwillingness to accept uncomfortable facts but the events in Ukraine five years ago led the whole world to a very unwelcome return to the Cold War. You shouldn’t underestimate how informed the rest of us are about what’s going on in your country. There is a lot at stake for the rest of us too.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    If you don’t understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.
     
    And discussing the Donbas war with somebody who thinks that all of the civilians there were pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian is even more of a waste of time. In 2014 - 2015 a large portion of the fighting by the 'pro-government' side was being conducted by military formations comprised of locals and Eastern-Ukrainians like the Azov and Aidar battalions (there were others too). If Russian 'think tanks' in Moscow had not initially hatched and implemented the Crimean and Donbas scenarios, there would not be a reigniting of Cold War 2. If you think otherwise, then you are clearly delusional.
    , @AP

    The best known cases of the rebels killing multiple civilians in Donbas are Volnovakha and Mariupol, not surprisingly when they finally managed to advance and recover a small part of the territory they had lost in Southern Donetsk.

    If you don’t understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.
     
    I agree that it would be hard to believe that the rebels and their Russian helpers killed more civilians than did the Ukrainian military. OTOH, rebels essentially using civilians as human shields by shooting from civilian areas gives them some culpability for civilian deaths. If Ukrainian soldiers are killed by mortars fired from apartment buildings and fire back upon the rebel positions (in part - to save themselves) the rebels are not blameless for the resultant civilian deaths.

    And I understand that the Russians are compiling a list of war crimes in Donbas for future use in criminal proceedings.
     
    Given that Russia did the same thing in Chechnya but on a far bloodier scale, and supports Assad doing a similar thing in Syria, also on a far bloodier scale than Ukraine-Donbas, nobody should take these Russian investigations seriously.
  70. @Anon

    in which case Taiwan will be invaded, Hong Kong’s special status terminated, and the South China Sea fully militarized.
     
    Nonsense. You have no idea how important Hong Kong's special status is to China. When billionaire financier George Soros raided Hong Kong's market, it was Beijing who saved Hong Kong from ruins. If anything, Beijing might extend Hong Kong's special status because of what it brings.

    Taiwan's constitution hasn't changed? has it? It still states that Mainland China is part of China and Taiwan is part of China. Taiwan's official name is "The Republic of China". It was the US who kicked Taiwan out of the UN and replaced "The people republic of China" as the legitimate China.

    Back in the 80's, Deng Xiao Ping at one point offered a deal to Taiwan's president Chiang Ching-kuo : the CPC would rule half of China, and give half China to Taiwan. Let two systems compete, and the one that is doing better would lead, and China would slowly change into one system. It is fun to imagine what China would be if that actually happens.

    Given how integrated culturally and economically today between China and Taiwan, China has no need to invade Taiwan because unification is inevitable, of course, unless the US uses Taiwan as a pawn to start war. Something the US might do. No country likes war more than the US.

    As for South China Sea, Navy ships from the US, France, UK move around there all the time, and the US controls Straits of Malacca. You don't think China would somehow think of way to protect its sea lane?

    You are absolutely right on all 3 counts regarding the current general consensus of both the Chinese government and public opinion.

    The situation I’m describing is a hypothetical Karlin-style nationalist wave sweeping through China in the future. Again, this is just a possibility but could be reality with the correct societal and political dynamics in place, and current trends do slightly point in that direction.

    The ingredients for “Karlinism” to spread like a wildfire in China would be a mixture of severe economic recession, loss of public confidence in the CCP, refusal of the CCP to undergo reforms, and at least one face-losing geopolitical incident.

  71. @Mikel

    the Ukraine Army has a lot in common with the SAA
     
    Yes. But an important difference is that the West pretends to care a lot for the civilians killed by the Syrian Army and even takes military action against them whereas it doesn't show the slightest concern for the civilians killed by the Ukrainians. In fact, it has blindly supported all Ukrainian military moves against the secessionist regions and provided them with military equipment and advisers.

    If shelling civilians in Donbas is justified by the lack of professionalism and bad equipment of the poor Ukrainians, why wouldn't the same apply to Syria's efforts to recover territory in the hands of Al-Qaeda like types?

    why wouldn’t the same apply to Syria’s efforts to recover territory in the hands of Al-Qaeda like types?

    It does. Is this supposed to be some sort of gotcha? Yes, the US supports who it supports and opposes who it opposes. People who support [Syria/Ukraine] recovering territory from armed rebels through military action implicitly accept that this will involve a bunch of civilians killed, plundered, or displaced because every war involves this, that’s what war *is*. Just like any military offensive includes artillery bombardment, any modern counteroffensive includes propaganda about how morally outrageous the enemy action is.

  72. anon[239] • Disclaimer says:

    “In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before a Russian invasion in 2014. ”

    Interesting. I might suspect the pozzed US military itself might fold a couple of decades from now in the face of Chinese attack. For most recruits these days, the American military is just a job and an excuse to wear a fancy uniform. Patriotism is a declining factor.

    “In addition, this will have the effect of presenting America with a fait accompli and forestalling further escalation.”

    Alternatively, the invasion fails and the US retaliates by using its navy to blockade China, perhaps also cutting off her oil at the source: the Middle East. That would be disastrous for China. I like you Karlin, but you’re not a military planner. Here’s what China would actually do in a confrontation with Taiwan:

    China would likely use her navy to blockade the island a la the Cuban Missile Crisis and force a peaceful resolution on terms favorable to Beijing, little or no violence required. Taiwan might be allowed autonomy similar to Hong Kong in exchange for cancelling American defense arrangements and acquiescing to certain other Chinese demands. In the process, the US would be exposed as impotent, setting the stage for China to roll up American commitments across the Asian Pacific.

    At that range from around the Chinese coast, China’s Russian-bought S-400 will be able to cover most of Taiwan, giving China’s navy an effective air defense screen against all but the most advanced American aircraft, which may not be built in sufficient numbers to decide the outcome for many years. The Chinese DF-21 will also keep American aircraft carriers at bay, forcing the US to rely 1) on local partners for staging areas. However, this will put those areas in the line of fire as well, so expect some countries to back down in the face of that prospect and deny the US access 2) on external fuel tanks for carrier-launched F-35s, which would make the aircraft vulnerable to Chinese air defenses (including air-to-air) as doing so increases the F-35’s radar cross section dramatically. The US really made a foolish mistake in adopting COIN doctrine instead of building their airforce and navy to counter a peer rival as they did in the Cold War; now, they are behind the eight ball with ill-suited craft like the F-35.

    There is also the possibility China could implement short wavelength radar air defenses capable of achieving a weapons-grade lock within the next 15-20 years or so, which would dramatically reduce the effectiveness of stealth. The US would have to then rely on hackable drones or a massive aerial attack in that case. There is not the will for the latter and China’s tech industry will likely come up with effective electronic countermeasures for the former.

    Also, a single DF-21 missile impact could probably also destroy a US aircraft carrier, or at least damage it so that it cannot launch aircraft for months or years; that would be a huge loss for the US. America has only 12 carriers last I checked but China has hundreds of DF-21 missiles. And don’t believe any nonsense from any F-35 pilot either about being able to take out the DF-21. Not only does the USAF have a poor track record of countering mobile, ground-based launchers (Serbia in the 1990s) but the F-35’s limited twin payload will make attacks through sophisticated electronic countermeasures very difficult for all but any force that doesn’t marshal a huge number of them, while the PLA only needs one missile to hit.

    Of course, the US has means of retaliation of its own, such as an attempted blockade of shipping to China. However, this would require a huge commitment from the US and risks a wider war; the global economy would also crash and the EU may intervene to stop the US from escalating. I don’t think there is the political will in the US for that anymore and there likely never will be absent an attack from China on the US, which is why the Chinese will attempt to enact a plan which gives the US an exit without necessitating war, which your plan would probably start. China will also have an impressive navy by 2030, powerful enough to repel all but the largest and most determined adversary, which the US will not be anymore in the future due to demographic stresses/infighting.

    This plan, if successful, would preserve China’s image in the world as a peaceful power (necessary for expansion elsewhere) while also serving as a means to deal the American Empire a severe confidence blow (“cross this line, I dare you” … then they don’t). After American invincibility is exposed peacefully as a sham, the US gets rolled up across Asia in the following decades as nations rush to make peace with China on terms favorable to them before China gets too powerful.

    Personally, I think this is a great plan. As long as Xi retains power over the PLA hotheads who might screw it up with an invasion, it could work. Look for something like this in the future.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    At that range from around the Chinese coast, China’s Russian-bought S-400 will be able to cover most of Taiwan, giving China’s navy an effective air defense screen against all but the most advanced American aircraft
     
    You don't seem to understand that the Earth is not flat, so the theoretical range of any air defense systems is only valid at some (very high) height, below which it's perfectly safe for enemy aircraft to operate.

    The Chinese DF-21 will also keep American aircraft carriers at bay
     
    Assuming it's able to receive targeting information from something. Carriers are moving targets, so not a trivial task to find and track their exact location. It's also difficult for the targeting device to survive: satellites could be downed, AEW airplanes might not be survivable, other tracking devices might be destroyed, too... you get the picture.
  73. @AquariusAnon
    To be fair, so far China is largely a country focused on making the largest possible profit, and it keeps a somewhat low profile geopolitical stance to make that happen.

    But this is starting to change. As memories of a poor, starving peasant China relying on UN handouts fades, eventually we might see an assertive, expansionist China whose population will be willing to fight for national priding, accepting if not straight up taking pride in endure economic hardship and international pariahdom. If this happens, then all bets are off, in which case Taiwan will be invaded, Hong Kong's special status terminated, and the South China Sea fully militarized.

    To be fair, so far China is largely a country focused on making the largest possible profit, and it keeps a somewhat low profile geopolitical stance to make that happen.

    Does not apply to China’s eastern Asia policy (“muh SCS, muh Senkakus, muh Taiwan”), though.

  74. @Abelard Lindsey
    I think you're right. You also bring up several points.

    First, values such as property rights, rule of law, and functional capital markets seem to me as being absolute necessities that define functional societies. I fail to understand why many of the aficionados of traditionalism in here as well as alt-right blogs are so dismissal of these values.

    Secondly, I think most Taiwan people would be willing to accept reunification if the CCP were really trying to make itself into a continental version of Singapore's PAP. Afterall, Singapore is a one party state for all practical purposes, yet still promulgate the virtues of property rights, objective rule of law, and functional capital markets. The CCP was publicly committed to becoming like this 15 or 20 years ago. But they seem to be "back sliding" since the ascension of President Xi.

    First, values such as property rights, rule of law, and functional capital markets seem to me as being absolute necessities that define functional societies.

    Because it is fundamentally not true, especially historically in China? Let’s go with property rights, for example. If wealth is inviolate and the wealthy were pretty powerful already, such as my ancestors who were the “landlord” class, an inevitable spiral will be that the wealthy will gradually acquire more servants, more tenants, more soldiers, and become a feudal clan that is capable of resisting state centralization and eventually lead to civil war. This extended especially to infrastructure projects – I remember there’s an instance of the Emperor prosecuting a wealthy landowner who basically build a dam for a city with tens of thousands of workers. If local landowners can replace government functions, then the government is threatened and it must act to reassert its monopoly on force and property.

    Would a more outright capitalistic Chinese history led to more development? I don’t know but I would say that it would have led to a lack of China, with much more splitting into perhaps Spring and Autumn states. This isn’t theoretical, as the Warring states period shows. Ultimately, it had to lead to its own end as a single contender(Qin in this case) overtook all others and though Legalism itself fell from vogue, concerns of asserting centralization of the government would be a primary consideration of the dynastic courts from then on.

    It wasn’t that China lacked all of those things – obviously the landowners remained powerful and influential so a significant(but not guaranteed) property rights were present, the Confucian literari were generally capable and provided adequate “rule of law”(which really means “rule by judges), and of course, ancient markets are all over China. Its just these principles have never exceeded the ultimate importance of the state’s centralized power. In that sense, really, the CCP is just norm to tradition.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    I should add: this was not out of lack of practicality, obviously. Qin's powerful forces were largely because of their Legalistic practices:


    Shang introduced land reforms(DC: aka broke up clan lands), privatized land, rewarded farmers who exceeded harvest quotas, enslaved farmers who failed to meet quotas, and used enslaved subjects as rewards for those who met government policies. As manpower was short in Qin relative to the other states at the time, Shang enacted policies to increase its manpower. As Qin peasants were recruited into the military, he encouraged active immigration of peasants from other states into Qin as a replacement workforce; this policy simultaneously increased the manpower of Qin and weakened the manpower of Qin's rivals(DC: Note the early example of cheap labor through immigration).

    Shang made laws forcing citizens to marry at a young age and passed tax laws to encourage raising multiple children. He also enacted policies to free convicts who worked in opening wastelands for agriculture. Shang abolished primogeniture and created a double tax on households that had more than one son living in the household, to break up large clans into nuclear families. Shang also moved the capital to reduce the influence of nobles on the administration.
     
  75. @Daniel Chieh

    First, values such as property rights, rule of law, and functional capital markets seem to me as being absolute necessities that define functional societies.

     

    Because it is fundamentally not true, especially historically in China? Let's go with property rights, for example. If wealth is inviolate and the wealthy were pretty powerful already, such as my ancestors who were the "landlord" class, an inevitable spiral will be that the wealthy will gradually acquire more servants, more tenants, more soldiers, and become a feudal clan that is capable of resisting state centralization and eventually lead to civil war. This extended especially to infrastructure projects - I remember there's an instance of the Emperor prosecuting a wealthy landowner who basically build a dam for a city with tens of thousands of workers. If local landowners can replace government functions, then the government is threatened and it must act to reassert its monopoly on force and property.

    Would a more outright capitalistic Chinese history led to more development? I don't know but I would say that it would have led to a lack of China, with much more splitting into perhaps Spring and Autumn states. This isn't theoretical, as the Warring states period shows. Ultimately, it had to lead to its own end as a single contender(Qin in this case) overtook all others and though Legalism itself fell from vogue, concerns of asserting centralization of the government would be a primary consideration of the dynastic courts from then on.

    It wasn't that China lacked all of those things - obviously the landowners remained powerful and influential so a significant(but not guaranteed) property rights were present, the Confucian literari were generally capable and provided adequate "rule of law"(which really means "rule by judges), and of course, ancient markets are all over China. Its just these principles have never exceeded the ultimate importance of the state's centralized power. In that sense, really, the CCP is just norm to tradition.

    I should add: this was not out of lack of practicality, obviously. Qin’s powerful forces were largely because of their Legalistic practices:

    Shang introduced land reforms(DC: aka broke up clan lands), privatized land, rewarded farmers who exceeded harvest quotas, enslaved farmers who failed to meet quotas, and used enslaved subjects as rewards for those who met government policies. As manpower was short in Qin relative to the other states at the time, Shang enacted policies to increase its manpower. As Qin peasants were recruited into the military, he encouraged active immigration of peasants from other states into Qin as a replacement workforce; this policy simultaneously increased the manpower of Qin and weakened the manpower of Qin’s rivals(DC: Note the early example of cheap labor through immigration).

    Shang made laws forcing citizens to marry at a young age and passed tax laws to encourage raising multiple children. He also enacted policies to free convicts who worked in opening wastelands for agriculture. Shang abolished primogeniture and created a double tax on households that had more than one son living in the household, to break up large clans into nuclear families. Shang also moved the capital to reduce the influence of nobles on the administration.

  76. @Mikel
    The best known cases of the rebels killing multiple civilians in Donbas are Volnovakha and Mariupol, not surprisingly when they finally managed to advance and recover a small part of the territory they had lost in Southern Donetsk.

    If you don't understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.

    I never claimed that the Ukrainians are more prone to committing atrocities than the rebels or the Russians (although a case could be made in favor of this hypothesis based on the fact that they have shown little restraint in killing large numbers of what they consider their own civilian countrymen). The only thing I claimed is that, as things played out, Ukrainians have actually killed more civilians than their opponents.

    Nobody has exact figures but the OSCE, while never assigning guilt to any party, have gathered a large database of incidents with civilian casualties noting which positions the fire came from. And I understand that the Russians are compiling a list of war crimes in Donbas for future use in criminal proceedings.

    Being Ukrainian, I can understand your bias and unwillingness to accept uncomfortable facts but the events in Ukraine five years ago led the whole world to a very unwelcome return to the Cold War. You shouldn't underestimate how informed the rest of us are about what's going on in your country. There is a lot at stake for the rest of us too.

    If you don’t understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.

    And discussing the Donbas war with somebody who thinks that all of the civilians there were pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian is even more of a waste of time. In 2014 – 2015 a large portion of the fighting by the ‘pro-government’ side was being conducted by military formations comprised of locals and Eastern-Ukrainians like the Azov and Aidar battalions (there were others too). If Russian ‘think tanks’ in Moscow had not initially hatched and implemented the Crimean and Donbas scenarios, there would not be a reigniting of Cold War 2. If you think otherwise, then you are clearly delusional.

  77. @Anon

    Since these latter three virtues are clearly associated with economic growth and prosperity, I fail to understand why the CCP does not push for them. The only explanation I can think of is that the critics of the CCP are correct in describing it as nothing more than the preservation of corruption and parasitism.
     
    You are not the only one who thinks that way. Only if things are that simple. Your conclusion is wrong because You don't have a good grasp of how the CCP works. Gordon Chang wrote "The coming collapse of china" almost 20 years ago. He is a smart guy, and knew a lot about China. His conclusion is wrong because he really didn't know how the CCP worked and underestimated the CCP. He knew the facade, the skin but didn't know structures and the internal organs.

    Unlike Chang, I don’t think China’s economy will collapse. Rather I think they will enter a Japan-like stagnation. Up until President Xi, the Chinese were making all of the right moves. However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization’s sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity. This is what I meant by the term “backsliding”. China seems to be backsliding. If this continues, they will probably enter the stagnation period by 2030 or even by 2025. If they did not backslide, I think China’s economy would continue to grow, in a more decentralized form, until mid century (2050) where they really would be 3-4 times bigger than the U.S.

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential. I have lived and worked in both Taiwan and Mainland China. The Chinese people I have been around have a strong work ethic, are intelligent, and very entrepreneurial. They have a chaotic nature to them. They do not work well in large teams, unlike the Japanese. It seems to be the decentralized model of free market economic development is the one most suited for this temperament. For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    I know some of you guys think different about this. But my gosh! What a waste!

    Could this “inward” conservatism that some of you guys (especially alt-right and religious types) be driven by the aging process? Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster. At least the young people of the 80’s and 90’s were like this (I think you people today are damaged due to vaccines and xenoestrogens).

    Instead of an inward-oriented conservativism, perhaps the solution is radical life extension. Of course the latter solution is the one I prefer.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential.
     
    Do you know what else is an enormous waste of human capital and potential? Massive, endemic internal wars.

    For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.
     

    Its not "now." Its always been the case, and as I've noted, for thousands of years. It has at least survival value.

    Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster.
     

    I'm almost certainly younger than you, and have been pretty reactionary all my life. Society moved the needle from my original beliefs which were merely considered "old-fashioned" to "EVUL."

    At some point it seems to basically draw to some weird logical conclusion such as "Moscow should just go independent as a nation and it'll have much higher gdp per capita, maximized capitalism is the best thing ever" and well, no. Just no.

    , @AaronB

    They have a chaotic nature to them
     
    .

    Wait, what? I thought the HBD position that Chinese are not innovative because they are conformist was well established by thorough research, vast personal experience with Chinese, and had acquired the status of scientific fact.

    Lol.
    , @Jason Liu
    It's not because of age. China is suffering from nation-wide autism and ego trips, in which people are afraid of criticizing each other and pointing out mistakes. Many of Xi's dumber policies are a reflection of this.

    The complete lack of soft power, the total absence of international media credibility, the inability to make new friends, the failure to present China as a kinder alternative to the US (in the age of Trump, this should be easy mode). It's all caused by a lack of internal criticism and poor social skills across society.

    Most Chinese are still in the mindset where money is all that matters and getting rich solves all problems, even diplomatic and cultural ones. This just isn't true and if things don't change soon China will have squandered a great portion of its rise.
    , @Anon

    However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization’s sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity.
     

    For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.
     
    They already rolled back some of that. One thing about the Chinese government in the last 20 years is that it doesn't lack adaptability. It makes mistakes, for sure, but it is quick to change course when mistakes are made.
  78. @Abelard Lindsey
    Unlike Chang, I don't think China's economy will collapse. Rather I think they will enter a Japan-like stagnation. Up until President Xi, the Chinese were making all of the right moves. However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization's sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity. This is what I meant by the term "backsliding". China seems to be backsliding. If this continues, they will probably enter the stagnation period by 2030 or even by 2025. If they did not backslide, I think China's economy would continue to grow, in a more decentralized form, until mid century (2050) where they really would be 3-4 times bigger than the U.S.

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential. I have lived and worked in both Taiwan and Mainland China. The Chinese people I have been around have a strong work ethic, are intelligent, and very entrepreneurial. They have a chaotic nature to them. They do not work well in large teams, unlike the Japanese. It seems to be the decentralized model of free market economic development is the one most suited for this temperament. For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    I know some of you guys think different about this. But my gosh! What a waste!

    Could this "inward" conservatism that some of you guys (especially alt-right and religious types) be driven by the aging process? Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster. At least the young people of the 80's and 90's were like this (I think you people today are damaged due to vaccines and xenoestrogens).

    Instead of an inward-oriented conservativism, perhaps the solution is radical life extension. Of course the latter solution is the one I prefer.

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential.

    Do you know what else is an enormous waste of human capital and potential? Massive, endemic internal wars.

    For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    Its not “now.” Its always been the case, and as I’ve noted, for thousands of years. It has at least survival value.

    Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster.

    I’m almost certainly younger than you, and have been pretty reactionary all my life. Society moved the needle from my original beliefs which were merely considered “old-fashioned” to “EVUL.”

    At some point it seems to basically draw to some weird logical conclusion such as “Moscow should just go independent as a nation and it’ll have much higher gdp per capita, maximized capitalism is the best thing ever” and well, no. Just no.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    My point is that any form of human association is to accomplish something. For example, if I wanted to do a start-up to develop fusion power (like Tri-Alpha or Helion Energy), my start-up would be of a specific form with specific individuals (e.g. plasma and materials science engineers). If I wanted to cure aging, it would consist of bio-engineering people. Space X, Blue Origin, and the entire bio-engineering community are examples of the technology-driven trend of the empowerment of individuals or small groups being able to accomplish what could formerly only be done by national governments or large corporations. If you extend this trend into all areas of human endeavor, this case is argued that large scale human institutions are obsolete. They are obsolete because they are bureaucratic and cannot accomplish what the smaller, more nimble groups can do.

    The reactionary politics seems to ignore this pattern.

    BTW, is there ever any survival value in inhibiting productive enterprise? I would think not.

    The only reason I can think of for wanting to be a part of a larger group where it is not about accomplishment, per so, is for having a support group in case you fall down. This need is driven exclusively by the aging process and the fact that we currently do not have whole-body regeneration. The goal of the bio-engineering community is to solve both of these problems and, thus, make individuals (and by extension, societies) more resilient as a result.

    I simply do not understand this reactionary obsession many of you guys have with the group identity thing.
    , @Abelard Lindsey
    Yeah, this centralization has survival value but with the price of stagnation. If what you say is correct, then China will most certainly enter a Japan-like stagnation no later than 2030 (at which point its total GDP will be somewhat larger than that of the U.S. but the per capita significantly less). China will not collapse because they clearly have a system that is functional enough to prevent this, unlike the old Soviet Union.

    My point was not just the waste of talent and potential. But that the history of stagnation for China has not been a good one. The last time China was stagnant, China was subject to a lot of abuse (e.g. the century of humiliation). The previous time of stagnation was when China lost the opportunity to settle/colonize the Americans and Australia (when the huge trading ships were burned at the end of the Ming dynasty). I would think the Chinese would have learned the lesson e.g. that stagnation is bad). Maybe not. Our people here (central bank, finance community) certainly did not learn the lesson of the Japan bubble. They still haven't.

    Maybe I am silly to believe the Chinese are more capable of learning these kind of lessons than anyone else.

    OTOH, people don't invade each other any more. At least not like the Khanate or the Manchus taking over China like they did. So, maybe China can go into another period of stagnation, with enough of a defense system to keep anyone from f**king with them and everything will be fine.

    Do you think a future stagnant China will try to keep aspirational types from leaving? There is a discussion on Marginal revolution about how leftist authoritarian regimes try to keep people from leaving but that rightwing ones (Pinochet Chile, Franco Spain, etc.) do not. Perhaps a stagnant China will actually encourage the aspirational types to leave (so as not to rock the boat).
  79. @Abelard Lindsey
    Unlike Chang, I don't think China's economy will collapse. Rather I think they will enter a Japan-like stagnation. Up until President Xi, the Chinese were making all of the right moves. However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization's sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity. This is what I meant by the term "backsliding". China seems to be backsliding. If this continues, they will probably enter the stagnation period by 2030 or even by 2025. If they did not backslide, I think China's economy would continue to grow, in a more decentralized form, until mid century (2050) where they really would be 3-4 times bigger than the U.S.

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential. I have lived and worked in both Taiwan and Mainland China. The Chinese people I have been around have a strong work ethic, are intelligent, and very entrepreneurial. They have a chaotic nature to them. They do not work well in large teams, unlike the Japanese. It seems to be the decentralized model of free market economic development is the one most suited for this temperament. For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    I know some of you guys think different about this. But my gosh! What a waste!

    Could this "inward" conservatism that some of you guys (especially alt-right and religious types) be driven by the aging process? Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster. At least the young people of the 80's and 90's were like this (I think you people today are damaged due to vaccines and xenoestrogens).

    Instead of an inward-oriented conservativism, perhaps the solution is radical life extension. Of course the latter solution is the one I prefer.

    They have a chaotic nature to them

    .

    Wait, what? I thought the HBD position that Chinese are not innovative because they are conformist was well established by thorough research, vast personal experience with Chinese, and had acquired the status of scientific fact.

    Lol.

  80. Reunification has been drummed into the heads of many Chinese, but I would actually prefer an independent Taiwan that was pro-China, anti-liberal democracy, and willing to back China in geopolitical disputes. It’d be like having having a buddy at the world’s table instead of just yourself.

    Not only is it more realistic, China needs friends and annexing Taiwan would scare the neighbors even further into the west’s arms. The PRC’s current attitude towards Taiwan is probably why they embraced a liberal cat lady who pushed gay marriage through. Beijing fails to realize that their hostility towards Taiwan turns the island into a beachhead for ideological and cultural invasion. We want a nationalistic Taiwan that tells the US to get lost, and take its crappy liberal ideas with them.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    The PRC’s current attitude towards Taiwan is probably why they embraced a liberal cat lady who pushed gay marriage through.
     
    Untrue. The problem is that Taiwanese existed as a counter-government to China and therefore by necessity is a threat to the Communist power; when Taiwan wasn't "fake and gay", there was a consistent state of low level warfare.

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

    After the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis ended in stalemate, both sides settled upon a routine of bombarding each other every other day with shells containing propaganda leaflets. ROC troops on the island continued constructing tunnels, bunkers, and other underground facilities. Commandos (often known as 水鬼, or "water ghosts" by ROC troops) were sent by both sides to conduct sabotage or attack lone sentries. The bombardment finally ended in 1979 with the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the United States and the PRC.
     
    Once it was obvious that the CCP was never going to lose power, this basically left Taiwan without much of a purpose for existence. Virtue signaling liberalism is a substitute religion, now that the original purpose is gone.
    , @random rand
    You have to stop with this "if CCP acted differently, the world will view China better" cucked bullshit. Most Taiwanese don't support gay marriage. In fact, when Taiwan had a referendum for it last year, gay marriage was rejected. Pro-independence DPP supporters fall into two camps. 1) Hokkien chauvinists and 2) middle class young people. Pro-DPP Hokkien chauvinists don't actually support gay marriage because a huge amount of them (in the South) are lower class and socially conservative. They're also mostly idiots whose whole worldview is shaped by DPP propaganda (basically no different from lower class Chinese people who only listen to CCP propaganda). It is middle class young people that are pro gay marriage because they want to LARP as Westerners. So Taiwan becoming more woke and legalising gay marriage is definitely not because of CCP actions. English Vegetable legalised it despite the referendum because she wants the youth vote (her poll numbers are abysmal). As for why young Taiwanese middle class people are getting woker and woker it is because they think it is higher status to LARP as westerners to make up for their decrease in relative wealth. Basically it is a bunch of status signalling to make themselves feel better. It is the same in Hong Kong and now happening in Singapore with middle class young Singaporeans becoming more and more woke (there goes LKY's legacy). Really don't think Singaporeans becoming woke is because they want to say "fuck you" to the CCP.

    I grew up with a lot of Straits Chinese and I know for a fact that they are incredibly classist and view Chinese people with extreme prejudice back when China was still poor. Now that China is richer they make up their loss in relative status by LARPing more and more as Westerners and talking about how "democratic" and "western" Singapore is. Dealing with these people isn't hard. All you need to do is to become richer and more powerful than them and eventually they'll come around. Status drives the world and Chinese people are huge status seekers. I personally know a lot of Chinese mainlanders who thinks "Western" is higher status. Contrary to all the nonsense about different cultural development, the Taiwanese middle class act the way they do because they're exactly like Chinese people, which isn't surprising because, well, genes.

    Reunification has been drummed into the heads of many Chinese, but I would actually prefer an independent Taiwan that was pro-China, anti-liberal democracy, and willing to back China in geopolitical disputes. It’d be like having having a buddy at the world’s table instead of just yourself.
     
    You can't ensure people's good will simply by being nice to them. If Taiwan becomes independent there's nothing legally stopping them for hosting a US military base or whatever, and if that happens, China will have to invade anyways in order to stop a US military base being beside its richest cities and provinces. There's no way the government will risk that. This is absolutely garbage geopolitical advice.
  81. Support the Taiwanese
    Support the Donbass
    Support the Palestinians
    Support the Catalans
    Support the Kurds
    Support the Cape Town Republic
    Support the US Southerners
    Support the Californians
    Support the Chechens
    Support the Scots
    Support the Québécois
    Support the Tibetans
    Support the Uighurs
    Support the Balochis
    Support the Pashtuns

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Don't forget to "support the supporters"! :-)


    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/jock-strap-royalty-free-image/200486141-001
  82. @Abelard Lindsey
    Unlike Chang, I don't think China's economy will collapse. Rather I think they will enter a Japan-like stagnation. Up until President Xi, the Chinese were making all of the right moves. However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization's sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity. This is what I meant by the term "backsliding". China seems to be backsliding. If this continues, they will probably enter the stagnation period by 2030 or even by 2025. If they did not backslide, I think China's economy would continue to grow, in a more decentralized form, until mid century (2050) where they really would be 3-4 times bigger than the U.S.

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential. I have lived and worked in both Taiwan and Mainland China. The Chinese people I have been around have a strong work ethic, are intelligent, and very entrepreneurial. They have a chaotic nature to them. They do not work well in large teams, unlike the Japanese. It seems to be the decentralized model of free market economic development is the one most suited for this temperament. For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    I know some of you guys think different about this. But my gosh! What a waste!

    Could this "inward" conservatism that some of you guys (especially alt-right and religious types) be driven by the aging process? Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster. At least the young people of the 80's and 90's were like this (I think you people today are damaged due to vaccines and xenoestrogens).

    Instead of an inward-oriented conservativism, perhaps the solution is radical life extension. Of course the latter solution is the one I prefer.

    It’s not because of age. China is suffering from nation-wide autism and ego trips, in which people are afraid of criticizing each other and pointing out mistakes. Many of Xi’s dumber policies are a reflection of this.

    The complete lack of soft power, the total absence of international media credibility, the inability to make new friends, the failure to present China as a kinder alternative to the US (in the age of Trump, this should be easy mode). It’s all caused by a lack of internal criticism and poor social skills across society.

    Most Chinese are still in the mindset where money is all that matters and getting rich solves all problems, even diplomatic and cultural ones. This just isn’t true and if things don’t change soon China will have squandered a great portion of its rise.

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    "The complete lack of soft power, the total absence of international media credibility, the inability to make new friends, the failure to present China as a kinder alternative to the US (in the age of Trump, this should be easy mode). It’s all caused by a lack of internal criticism and poor social skills across society. "

    This has been a constant theme of your posts. I really didn't see any of that, really, unless you only read news from MSM and never travel aboard. Give me one example to substantiate your claims please.
    , @Anon
    Baby step, Jason. China still has a long way to go. 30 , 40 years ago China was one of the poorest nations in the world. Since market reforms in 1978, over 700 million Chinese have been lifted out poverty, and a large middle class created. But 300 million people still live below poverty line.

    China has done many things right, but still needs to improve in many areas. The ruling CCP are the first one to tell you that. And people are still learning how to navigate in this rapidly changing new China. You simply don't catch up with the first world countries in everything in one or 2 generations.

  83. @Brabantian
    Support the Taiwanese
    Support the Donbass
    Support the Palestinians
    Support the Catalans
    Support the Kurds
    Support the Cape Town Republic
    Support the US Southerners
    Support the Californians
    Support the Chechens
    Support the Scots
    Support the Québécois
    Support the Tibetans
    Support the Uighurs
    Support the Balochis
    Support the Pashtuns
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Well, it is consistent, at least.

    For instance, Babitsky was a supporter of Chechen independence for self-determination reasons, for which he won plaudits from the West, but then remained consistent and supported Crimean and Donbass self-determination as well, which got him sacked from RFERL and blacklisted from Western journalism in general: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-moor-has-done-his-duty/
  84. @Jason Liu
    Reunification has been drummed into the heads of many Chinese, but I would actually prefer an independent Taiwan that was pro-China, anti-liberal democracy, and willing to back China in geopolitical disputes. It'd be like having having a buddy at the world's table instead of just yourself.

    Not only is it more realistic, China needs friends and annexing Taiwan would scare the neighbors even further into the west's arms. The PRC's current attitude towards Taiwan is probably why they embraced a liberal cat lady who pushed gay marriage through. Beijing fails to realize that their hostility towards Taiwan turns the island into a beachhead for ideological and cultural invasion. We want a nationalistic Taiwan that tells the US to get lost, and take its crappy liberal ideas with them.

    The PRC’s current attitude towards Taiwan is probably why they embraced a liberal cat lady who pushed gay marriage through.

    Untrue. The problem is that Taiwanese existed as a counter-government to China and therefore by necessity is a threat to the Communist power; when Taiwan wasn’t “fake and gay”, there was a consistent state of low level warfare.

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

    After the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis ended in stalemate, both sides settled upon a routine of bombarding each other every other day with shells containing propaganda leaflets. ROC troops on the island continued constructing tunnels, bunkers, and other underground facilities. Commandos (often known as 水鬼, or “water ghosts” by ROC troops) were sent by both sides to conduct sabotage or attack lone sentries. The bombardment finally ended in 1979 with the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the United States and the PRC.

    Once it was obvious that the CCP was never going to lose power, this basically left Taiwan without much of a purpose for existence. Virtue signaling liberalism is a substitute religion, now that the original purpose is gone.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    That was the past. Today the KMT would be at least neutral towards the the PRC, or a more moderate DPP president would be elected if the Taiwanese people didn't feel so threatened.
    , @Mr. XYZ
    So, basically, just like the Bolsheviks felt that they had to "liberate" Georgia from the Mensheviks in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of Russia, the CCP feels that it has to eventually "liberate" Taiwan from the KMT in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of China?
  85. @Mr. Hack
    Don't forget to "support the supporters"! :-)


    https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/jock-strap-royalty-free-image/200486141-001

    Well, it is consistent, at least.

    For instance, Babitsky was a supporter of Chechen independence for self-determination reasons, for which he won plaudits from the West, but then remained consistent and supported Crimean and Donbass self-determination as well, which got him sacked from RFERL and blacklisted from Western journalism in general: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/the-moor-has-done-his-duty/

  86. @Daniel Chieh

    The PRC’s current attitude towards Taiwan is probably why they embraced a liberal cat lady who pushed gay marriage through.
     
    Untrue. The problem is that Taiwanese existed as a counter-government to China and therefore by necessity is a threat to the Communist power; when Taiwan wasn't "fake and gay", there was a consistent state of low level warfare.

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

    After the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis ended in stalemate, both sides settled upon a routine of bombarding each other every other day with shells containing propaganda leaflets. ROC troops on the island continued constructing tunnels, bunkers, and other underground facilities. Commandos (often known as 水鬼, or "water ghosts" by ROC troops) were sent by both sides to conduct sabotage or attack lone sentries. The bombardment finally ended in 1979 with the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the United States and the PRC.
     
    Once it was obvious that the CCP was never going to lose power, this basically left Taiwan without much of a purpose for existence. Virtue signaling liberalism is a substitute religion, now that the original purpose is gone.

    That was the past. Today the KMT would be at least neutral towards the the PRC, or a more moderate DPP president would be elected if the Taiwanese people didn’t feel so threatened.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Sure, the KMT is now more moderate. But ultimately for a party to have resonance, they have to be for something rather than be the "Well, we aren't the crazy people who'll get us all invaded and killed." The KMT message is just very garbled at the moment and its a problem that it has had for a long time, along with corruption.

    I mean, "we are the glorious restoration of the Chinese people" is the CCP message now and there's really no non-insane way that the KMT can copy that after all of the defeats.
    , @Anon

    or a more moderate DPP president would be elected if the Taiwanese people didn’t feel so threatened.
     
    China-Taiwan relation is an important but not a determining factor in Taiwan's election.

    When Ma was the president, the Cross-Strait relations were good, but The KMT got slaughtered in the 2016 election.

    English Vegetable appeared to be moderate when she was running for president. She got a lot of votes from swing voters and even from some KMT voters. As soon as she became the president, she voided the "92 consensus", which she had supported in the the past. When China hit back, she would ratchet up the rhetoric. Taiwan can talk tough against China because China isn't going to take any harsh action. But when there are disputes between Taiwan and Japan, or Taiwan and the Philippines, or any other neighboring countries, Taiwan just got pushed around. Tsai's tough stance against China hasn't made her any more popular.

    Every new president candidate gets vetted by Washington. They literally have to go to the US to get the blessing. Anyway, the polls show that English Vegetable will unlikely get elected, and if the midterm election is any indication, the DPP will lose many seats in the parliament in the next election.

  87. @Jason Liu
    That was the past. Today the KMT would be at least neutral towards the the PRC, or a more moderate DPP president would be elected if the Taiwanese people didn't feel so threatened.

    Sure, the KMT is now more moderate. But ultimately for a party to have resonance, they have to be for something rather than be the “Well, we aren’t the crazy people who’ll get us all invaded and killed.” The KMT message is just very garbled at the moment and its a problem that it has had for a long time, along with corruption.

    I mean, “we are the glorious restoration of the Chinese people” is the CCP message now and there’s really no non-insane way that the KMT can copy that after all of the defeats.

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    What the KMT need to do is charge the CCP of conceding traditional Chinese territories left and right once the CCP came into power among other disgusting things it did during Mao's time. This should be embarrassing for the CCP.
  88. @Jason Liu
    It's not because of age. China is suffering from nation-wide autism and ego trips, in which people are afraid of criticizing each other and pointing out mistakes. Many of Xi's dumber policies are a reflection of this.

    The complete lack of soft power, the total absence of international media credibility, the inability to make new friends, the failure to present China as a kinder alternative to the US (in the age of Trump, this should be easy mode). It's all caused by a lack of internal criticism and poor social skills across society.

    Most Chinese are still in the mindset where money is all that matters and getting rich solves all problems, even diplomatic and cultural ones. This just isn't true and if things don't change soon China will have squandered a great portion of its rise.

    “The complete lack of soft power, the total absence of international media credibility, the inability to make new friends, the failure to present China as a kinder alternative to the US (in the age of Trump, this should be easy mode). It’s all caused by a lack of internal criticism and poor social skills across society. ”

    This has been a constant theme of your posts. I really didn’t see any of that, really, unless you only read news from MSM and never travel aboard. Give me one example to substantiate your claims please.

  89. AP says:
    @Mikel
    The best known cases of the rebels killing multiple civilians in Donbas are Volnovakha and Mariupol, not surprisingly when they finally managed to advance and recover a small part of the territory they had lost in Southern Donetsk.

    If you don't understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.

    I never claimed that the Ukrainians are more prone to committing atrocities than the rebels or the Russians (although a case could be made in favor of this hypothesis based on the fact that they have shown little restraint in killing large numbers of what they consider their own civilian countrymen). The only thing I claimed is that, as things played out, Ukrainians have actually killed more civilians than their opponents.

    Nobody has exact figures but the OSCE, while never assigning guilt to any party, have gathered a large database of incidents with civilian casualties noting which positions the fire came from. And I understand that the Russians are compiling a list of war crimes in Donbas for future use in criminal proceedings.

    Being Ukrainian, I can understand your bias and unwillingness to accept uncomfortable facts but the events in Ukraine five years ago led the whole world to a very unwelcome return to the Cold War. You shouldn't underestimate how informed the rest of us are about what's going on in your country. There is a lot at stake for the rest of us too.

    The best known cases of the rebels killing multiple civilians in Donbas are Volnovakha and Mariupol, not surprisingly when they finally managed to advance and recover a small part of the territory they had lost in Southern Donetsk.

    If you don’t understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.

    I agree that it would be hard to believe that the rebels and their Russian helpers killed more civilians than did the Ukrainian military. OTOH, rebels essentially using civilians as human shields by shooting from civilian areas gives them some culpability for civilian deaths. If Ukrainian soldiers are killed by mortars fired from apartment buildings and fire back upon the rebel positions (in part – to save themselves) the rebels are not blameless for the resultant civilian deaths.

    And I understand that the Russians are compiling a list of war crimes in Donbas for future use in criminal proceedings.

    Given that Russia did the same thing in Chechnya but on a far bloodier scale, and supports Assad doing a similar thing in Syria, also on a far bloodier scale than Ukraine-Donbas, nobody should take these Russian investigations seriously.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    rebels essentially using civilians as human shields by shooting from civilian areas gives them some culpability for civilian deaths.
     
    Well, it's not like the Ukrainian army avoids positioning itself inside populated areas and only operates in open terrain... Both sides are equally guilty on that count, as reported extensively by the OSCE monitors. Besides, the Ukrainians started shelling civilian areas from the start of the "ATO" operation. It wasn't a question of the enemy opening fire against them from those areas, it was a question of gaining control of the cities occupied by the rebels by using all the might of the Ukrainian armed forces.

    Both Ukraine and the rebels/Russian always had the option of not opening fire against civilian areas and letting the enemy control them rather than cause innocent casualties but they chose to do the contrary, notably the former.

    Isn't it strange that an atheist like me considers this option the only ethical one while a Christian believer like yourself seems to condone killing civilians for the political gain of controlling territories where people don't even have much loyalty to Ukraine?

    nobody should take these Russian investigations seriously
     
    Perhaps. But well over 4,000 civilians have been killed in Donbas, according to figures of the UNHCR. That's roughly the same number as the total documented deaths by the Pinochet regime in Chile. I don't see why Ukraine deserves less than Chile or Yugoslavia in finding those responsible for the killings. That at least a one-sided effort is being made to find who was guilty for those deaths is probably better than doing nothing about them.
  90. @Daniel Chieh
    Sure, the KMT is now more moderate. But ultimately for a party to have resonance, they have to be for something rather than be the "Well, we aren't the crazy people who'll get us all invaded and killed." The KMT message is just very garbled at the moment and its a problem that it has had for a long time, along with corruption.

    I mean, "we are the glorious restoration of the Chinese people" is the CCP message now and there's really no non-insane way that the KMT can copy that after all of the defeats.

    What the KMT need to do is charge the CCP of conceding traditional Chinese territories left and right once the CCP came into power among other disgusting things it did during Mao’s time. This should be embarrassing for the CCP.

  91. @Jason Liu
    Reunification has been drummed into the heads of many Chinese, but I would actually prefer an independent Taiwan that was pro-China, anti-liberal democracy, and willing to back China in geopolitical disputes. It'd be like having having a buddy at the world's table instead of just yourself.

    Not only is it more realistic, China needs friends and annexing Taiwan would scare the neighbors even further into the west's arms. The PRC's current attitude towards Taiwan is probably why they embraced a liberal cat lady who pushed gay marriage through. Beijing fails to realize that their hostility towards Taiwan turns the island into a beachhead for ideological and cultural invasion. We want a nationalistic Taiwan that tells the US to get lost, and take its crappy liberal ideas with them.

    You have to stop with this “if CCP acted differently, the world will view China better” cucked bullshit. Most Taiwanese don’t support gay marriage. In fact, when Taiwan had a referendum for it last year, gay marriage was rejected. Pro-independence DPP supporters fall into two camps. 1) Hokkien chauvinists and 2) middle class young people. Pro-DPP Hokkien chauvinists don’t actually support gay marriage because a huge amount of them (in the South) are lower class and socially conservative. They’re also mostly idiots whose whole worldview is shaped by DPP propaganda (basically no different from lower class Chinese people who only listen to CCP propaganda). It is middle class young people that are pro gay marriage because they want to LARP as Westerners. So Taiwan becoming more woke and legalising gay marriage is definitely not because of CCP actions. English Vegetable legalised it despite the referendum because she wants the youth vote (her poll numbers are abysmal). As for why young Taiwanese middle class people are getting woker and woker it is because they think it is higher status to LARP as westerners to make up for their decrease in relative wealth. Basically it is a bunch of status signalling to make themselves feel better. It is the same in Hong Kong and now happening in Singapore with middle class young Singaporeans becoming more and more woke (there goes LKY’s legacy). Really don’t think Singaporeans becoming woke is because they want to say “fuck you” to the CCP.

    I grew up with a lot of Straits Chinese and I know for a fact that they are incredibly classist and view Chinese people with extreme prejudice back when China was still poor. Now that China is richer they make up their loss in relative status by LARPing more and more as Westerners and talking about how “democratic” and “western” Singapore is. Dealing with these people isn’t hard. All you need to do is to become richer and more powerful than them and eventually they’ll come around. Status drives the world and Chinese people are huge status seekers. I personally know a lot of Chinese mainlanders who thinks “Western” is higher status. Contrary to all the nonsense about different cultural development, the Taiwanese middle class act the way they do because they’re exactly like Chinese people, which isn’t surprising because, well, genes.

    Reunification has been drummed into the heads of many Chinese, but I would actually prefer an independent Taiwan that was pro-China, anti-liberal democracy, and willing to back China in geopolitical disputes. It’d be like having having a buddy at the world’s table instead of just yourself.

    You can’t ensure people’s good will simply by being nice to them. If Taiwan becomes independent there’s nothing legally stopping them for hosting a US military base or whatever, and if that happens, China will have to invade anyways in order to stop a US military base being beside its richest cities and provinces. There’s no way the government will risk that. This is absolutely garbage geopolitical advice.

  92. @AP

    The best known cases of the rebels killing multiple civilians in Donbas are Volnovakha and Mariupol, not surprisingly when they finally managed to advance and recover a small part of the territory they had lost in Southern Donetsk.

    If you don’t understand the simple concept that armies trying to conquer populated areas are by far the most likely to inflict casualties on the civilians living in those areas, arguing with you is pointless.
     
    I agree that it would be hard to believe that the rebels and their Russian helpers killed more civilians than did the Ukrainian military. OTOH, rebels essentially using civilians as human shields by shooting from civilian areas gives them some culpability for civilian deaths. If Ukrainian soldiers are killed by mortars fired from apartment buildings and fire back upon the rebel positions (in part - to save themselves) the rebels are not blameless for the resultant civilian deaths.

    And I understand that the Russians are compiling a list of war crimes in Donbas for future use in criminal proceedings.
     
    Given that Russia did the same thing in Chechnya but on a far bloodier scale, and supports Assad doing a similar thing in Syria, also on a far bloodier scale than Ukraine-Donbas, nobody should take these Russian investigations seriously.

    rebels essentially using civilians as human shields by shooting from civilian areas gives them some culpability for civilian deaths.

    Well, it’s not like the Ukrainian army avoids positioning itself inside populated areas and only operates in open terrain… Both sides are equally guilty on that count, as reported extensively by the OSCE monitors. Besides, the Ukrainians started shelling civilian areas from the start of the “ATO” operation. It wasn’t a question of the enemy opening fire against them from those areas, it was a question of gaining control of the cities occupied by the rebels by using all the might of the Ukrainian armed forces.

    Both Ukraine and the rebels/Russian always had the option of not opening fire against civilian areas and letting the enemy control them rather than cause innocent casualties but they chose to do the contrary, notably the former.

    Isn’t it strange that an atheist like me considers this option the only ethical one while a Christian believer like yourself seems to condone killing civilians for the political gain of controlling territories where people don’t even have much loyalty to Ukraine?

    nobody should take these Russian investigations seriously

    Perhaps. But well over 4,000 civilians have been killed in Donbas, according to figures of the UNHCR. That’s roughly the same number as the total documented deaths by the Pinochet regime in Chile. I don’t see why Ukraine deserves less than Chile or Yugoslavia in finding those responsible for the killings. That at least a one-sided effort is being made to find who was guilty for those deaths is probably better than doing nothing about them.

    • Replies: @AP

    Both Ukraine and the rebels/Russian always had the option of not opening fire against civilian areas and letting the enemy control them rather than cause innocent casualties but they chose to do the contrary, notably the former.
     
    When someone fired upon your position you have a right to defend yourself and fire back upon the mortars that fire upon you. The rebels are actually firing from the populated areas onto Ukrainian troops. They shoot back.

    Isn’t it strange that an atheist like me considers this option the only ethical one while a Christian believer like yourself seems to condone killing civilians
     
    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

    Perhaps. But well over 4,000 civilians have been killed in Donbas, according to figures of the UNHCR. That’s roughly the same number as the total documented deaths by the Pinochet regime in Chile
     
    You are comparing apples and oranges.
  93. Anon[134] • Disclaimer says:
    @Abelard Lindsey
    Unlike Chang, I don't think China's economy will collapse. Rather I think they will enter a Japan-like stagnation. Up until President Xi, the Chinese were making all of the right moves. However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization's sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity. This is what I meant by the term "backsliding". China seems to be backsliding. If this continues, they will probably enter the stagnation period by 2030 or even by 2025. If they did not backslide, I think China's economy would continue to grow, in a more decentralized form, until mid century (2050) where they really would be 3-4 times bigger than the U.S.

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential. I have lived and worked in both Taiwan and Mainland China. The Chinese people I have been around have a strong work ethic, are intelligent, and very entrepreneurial. They have a chaotic nature to them. They do not work well in large teams, unlike the Japanese. It seems to be the decentralized model of free market economic development is the one most suited for this temperament. For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    I know some of you guys think different about this. But my gosh! What a waste!

    Could this "inward" conservatism that some of you guys (especially alt-right and religious types) be driven by the aging process? Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster. At least the young people of the 80's and 90's were like this (I think you people today are damaged due to vaccines and xenoestrogens).

    Instead of an inward-oriented conservativism, perhaps the solution is radical life extension. Of course the latter solution is the one I prefer.

    However, with Xi, they seem to be placing more importance on centralized authority for centralization’s sake than they are on overall economic growth and widespread prosperity.

    For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.

    They already rolled back some of that. One thing about the Chinese government in the last 20 years is that it doesn’t lack adaptability. It makes mistakes, for sure, but it is quick to change course when mistakes are made.

  94. AP says:
    @Mikel

    rebels essentially using civilians as human shields by shooting from civilian areas gives them some culpability for civilian deaths.
     
    Well, it's not like the Ukrainian army avoids positioning itself inside populated areas and only operates in open terrain... Both sides are equally guilty on that count, as reported extensively by the OSCE monitors. Besides, the Ukrainians started shelling civilian areas from the start of the "ATO" operation. It wasn't a question of the enemy opening fire against them from those areas, it was a question of gaining control of the cities occupied by the rebels by using all the might of the Ukrainian armed forces.

    Both Ukraine and the rebels/Russian always had the option of not opening fire against civilian areas and letting the enemy control them rather than cause innocent casualties but they chose to do the contrary, notably the former.

    Isn't it strange that an atheist like me considers this option the only ethical one while a Christian believer like yourself seems to condone killing civilians for the political gain of controlling territories where people don't even have much loyalty to Ukraine?

    nobody should take these Russian investigations seriously
     
    Perhaps. But well over 4,000 civilians have been killed in Donbas, according to figures of the UNHCR. That's roughly the same number as the total documented deaths by the Pinochet regime in Chile. I don't see why Ukraine deserves less than Chile or Yugoslavia in finding those responsible for the killings. That at least a one-sided effort is being made to find who was guilty for those deaths is probably better than doing nothing about them.

    Both Ukraine and the rebels/Russian always had the option of not opening fire against civilian areas and letting the enemy control them rather than cause innocent casualties but they chose to do the contrary, notably the former.

    When someone fired upon your position you have a right to defend yourself and fire back upon the mortars that fire upon you. The rebels are actually firing from the populated areas onto Ukrainian troops. They shoot back.

    Isn’t it strange that an atheist like me considers this option the only ethical one while a Christian believer like yourself seems to condone killing civilians

    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

    Perhaps. But well over 4,000 civilians have been killed in Donbas, according to figures of the UNHCR. That’s roughly the same number as the total documented deaths by the Pinochet regime in Chile

    You are comparing apples and oranges.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

     

    If that is the only thing that you condone, you would be, like me, against the whole "ATO" operation, where the large-scale death of civilians only started when the Ukrainian army charged with all its might to assert control over the disputed territory. Like in any real anti-terrorist operation, their main goal should have been to safeguard the lives of the civilian population allegedly threatened by the alleged terrorists.

    But we've discussed this before and I didn't find your position to be precisely that of a pious Christian. Neither are your frequent remarks on the defects of the inhabitants of Donbas as a whole.

    You are comparing apples and oranges
     
    Not really. The particular circumstances of the killings of one set of civilians and the other may have been different but if these Latin Americans found it healthy to clarify how each of the victims was killed and who was personally responsible for their deaths, I don't see why a similar exercise could not be done on European soil with a similar amount of victims. Sadly, imperfect and one-sided as it might be, the only ones showing interest in doing this right now are the Russians.
  95. Anon[134] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jason Liu
    It's not because of age. China is suffering from nation-wide autism and ego trips, in which people are afraid of criticizing each other and pointing out mistakes. Many of Xi's dumber policies are a reflection of this.

    The complete lack of soft power, the total absence of international media credibility, the inability to make new friends, the failure to present China as a kinder alternative to the US (in the age of Trump, this should be easy mode). It's all caused by a lack of internal criticism and poor social skills across society.

    Most Chinese are still in the mindset where money is all that matters and getting rich solves all problems, even diplomatic and cultural ones. This just isn't true and if things don't change soon China will have squandered a great portion of its rise.

    Baby step, Jason. China still has a long way to go. 30 , 40 years ago China was one of the poorest nations in the world. Since market reforms in 1978, over 700 million Chinese have been lifted out poverty, and a large middle class created. But 300 million people still live below poverty line.

    China has done many things right, but still needs to improve in many areas. The ruling CCP are the first one to tell you that. And people are still learning how to navigate in this rapidly changing new China. You simply don’t catch up with the first world countries in everything in one or 2 generations.

  96. @AP

    Both Ukraine and the rebels/Russian always had the option of not opening fire against civilian areas and letting the enemy control them rather than cause innocent casualties but they chose to do the contrary, notably the former.
     
    When someone fired upon your position you have a right to defend yourself and fire back upon the mortars that fire upon you. The rebels are actually firing from the populated areas onto Ukrainian troops. They shoot back.

    Isn’t it strange that an atheist like me considers this option the only ethical one while a Christian believer like yourself seems to condone killing civilians
     
    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

    Perhaps. But well over 4,000 civilians have been killed in Donbas, according to figures of the UNHCR. That’s roughly the same number as the total documented deaths by the Pinochet regime in Chile
     
    You are comparing apples and oranges.

    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

    If that is the only thing that you condone, you would be, like me, against the whole “ATO” operation, where the large-scale death of civilians only started when the Ukrainian army charged with all its might to assert control over the disputed territory. Like in any real anti-terrorist operation, their main goal should have been to safeguard the lives of the civilian population allegedly threatened by the alleged terrorists.

    But we’ve discussed this before and I didn’t find your position to be precisely that of a pious Christian. Neither are your frequent remarks on the defects of the inhabitants of Donbas as a whole.

    You are comparing apples and oranges

    Not really. The particular circumstances of the killings of one set of civilians and the other may have been different but if these Latin Americans found it healthy to clarify how each of the victims was killed and who was personally responsible for their deaths, I don’t see why a similar exercise could not be done on European soil with a similar amount of victims. Sadly, imperfect and one-sided as it might be, the only ones showing interest in doing this right now are the Russians.

    • Replies: @AP

    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

    If that is the only thing that you condone, you would be, like me, against the whole “ATO” operation, where the large-scale death of civilians only started when the Ukrainian army charged with all its might to assert control over the disputed territory.

     

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory. So the initial invasion and its consequences was justified. Once stalemate was achieved, indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas is unacceptable. However, retaliatory strikes (shooting back when one has been shot upon) is acceptable. Soldiers have the right to defend themselves. When rebels choose to shoot at Ukrainian positions from apartment buildings, they are guilty of putting those civilians in danger.

    Most of the strikes into rebel-held territory are legitimate retaliatory strikes.* If the Ukrainian government had a policy of deliberately killing civilians, the civilian death toll would be in the 10,000s if not over 100,000, not about 4,000.

    You are comparing apples and oranges

    Not really. The particular circumstances of the killings of one set of civilians
     
    In one case, civilians are deliberately targeted, arrested and killed. In another case, civilians die because rebels shoot out of their buildings and when fire is returned they die. Completely different circumstances.

    *There are documented cases of random attacks. These are rare, and crimes.
  97. anon[268] • Disclaimer says:

    “We want a nationalistic Taiwan that tells the US to get lost, and take its crappy liberal ideas with them.”

    Perhaps China could offer Taiwan a special status as a major, independent treaty ally rather than pursue reunification. Basically, offer them a deal they can’t refuse: weapons sales from both the mainland and Russia as a guarantee of their quasi-independence in exchange for cancelling US defense sales and military cooperation. This could additionally set a precedent for other nations to sign treaties with China kicking out the US after China proves to the world that they are true to their word with Taiwan. This island could be a major political asset if played correctly.

    • Agree: AquariusAnon
    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    The fact that the Chinese have managed to alienate the entire post-97 generation of Hong Kong, and with the new extradition law, has even ruffled feathers within the generally pro-China business community, is a face palm in international relations. If they can't even manage to win hearts and minds of young upwardly mobile Hong Kongers, repeating the same for the Taiwanese would be an even more difficult task. After all, Deng proposed the HKSAR in the first place as the model for Taiwan reunification.

    However any specific event that ends Hong Kong's special status and close ties with the first world West will be at the hands of the Blue Empire within the next couple of years. If the trade war goes beyond a trade war and an actual anti-Chinese crusade, I can totally see Congress revoking the US-Hong Kong Policy Act, which will pretty much destroy Hong Kong as we know it.
  98. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/introducing-china’s-other-aircraft-carrier-program-58557

    China is rapidly equipping its Marine forces with the new Type 05 amphibious armored vehicle. According to the November 2018 edition of Naval and Merchant Ships [舰船知识], there is actually a family of such amphibious vehicles, which include not only the well-armed attack variant, but also communications and crucially an “obstacle clearing vehicle [破章车]” that deals with mines and the like. If that wasn’t enough, a “new type assault boat [新型冲锋舟]” was unveiled at the 2018 Zhuhai air show, and profiled in a recent edition (2018-23) of Ordnance Science and Technology [兵工科技].

    Western analysts, who assume that allied submarines will put China’s amphibious task force on the bottom should note that the Taiwan Strait is exceedingly shallow. That means it is not favorable to submarines, especially the larger nuclear submarines that comprise the U.S. undersea fleet. To make matters worse, the same bathymetry means these waters are easy to mine—a cheap and reasonably successful counter to submarine operations. If only sinking a few Chinese large, amphibious attack ships would decide the campaign, that would be expedient, of course. However, Chinese doctrine in the case of a large-scale amphibious assault will flood the Strait with hundreds if not thousands of ships (and boats), making the targeting problem impossible. Indeed, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences recently published a piece in PLA Daily [解放军报] under the interesting headline “Wooden Boats Versus Warships [木船vs军舰],” observing that the PLA employed 2,249 boats including mainly civilian craft in its successful conquest of Hainan Island during early 1950.

    Unfortunately, the U.S. foreign policy “blob” seems to be in a state of torpor regarding the military balance across the Strait, dismissing the facts stated above with the wave of a hand as “so much propaganda.” As they continue the quixotic search for the American wonder weapon that will “save Taiwan,” American legislators meanwhile seem to delight in “poking the panda” between the eyes. While plenty of scholars, in contrast, contend that a negotiated solution exists for this most vexing diplomatic problem—e.g., confederation—these options remain almost entirely unexplored, even though Taiwan and Mainland leaders met face-to-face for a historic breakthrough summit as recently as November 2015. Ignoring both history and geography, we stand on the edge of an ever steeper precipice, seemingly daring Beijing to “break the kettles and burn the boats [破釜沉舟]” with a sudden all-out attack.

    – Lyle J. Goldstein, Research Professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI

  99. AP says:
    @Mikel

    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

     

    If that is the only thing that you condone, you would be, like me, against the whole "ATO" operation, where the large-scale death of civilians only started when the Ukrainian army charged with all its might to assert control over the disputed territory. Like in any real anti-terrorist operation, their main goal should have been to safeguard the lives of the civilian population allegedly threatened by the alleged terrorists.

    But we've discussed this before and I didn't find your position to be precisely that of a pious Christian. Neither are your frequent remarks on the defects of the inhabitants of Donbas as a whole.

    You are comparing apples and oranges
     
    Not really. The particular circumstances of the killings of one set of civilians and the other may have been different but if these Latin Americans found it healthy to clarify how each of the victims was killed and who was personally responsible for their deaths, I don't see why a similar exercise could not be done on European soil with a similar amount of victims. Sadly, imperfect and one-sided as it might be, the only ones showing interest in doing this right now are the Russians.

    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

    If that is the only thing that you condone, you would be, like me, against the whole “ATO” operation, where the large-scale death of civilians only started when the Ukrainian army charged with all its might to assert control over the disputed territory.

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory. So the initial invasion and its consequences was justified. Once stalemate was achieved, indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas is unacceptable. However, retaliatory strikes (shooting back when one has been shot upon) is acceptable. Soldiers have the right to defend themselves. When rebels choose to shoot at Ukrainian positions from apartment buildings, they are guilty of putting those civilians in danger.

    Most of the strikes into rebel-held territory are legitimate retaliatory strikes.* If the Ukrainian government had a policy of deliberately killing civilians, the civilian death toll would be in the 10,000s if not over 100,000, not about 4,000.

    You are comparing apples and oranges

    Not really. The particular circumstances of the killings of one set of civilians

    In one case, civilians are deliberately targeted, arrested and killed. In another case, civilians die because rebels shoot out of their buildings and when fire is returned they die. Completely different circumstances.

    *There are documented cases of random attacks. These are rare, and crimes.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mikel

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory.
     
    Not at any price, obviously.

    I have the right to assert control over my house. But if some terrorists occupy it with my family inside it, my main concern would be to make sure that they don't get harmed, even if I have to cede control of my rightful possession.

    This is totally uncontroversial in the part of Europe Ukraine aspires to belong to. In any anti-terrorist operation the security forces would be expected to exercise utmost care for the lives of any endangered civilians.

    I am also not very sure that a government whose legitimacy is disputed by a majority of inhabitants of a seceding region is entitled to use deadly force against them to keep control of that territory. This is debatable. And to this day I don't understand how the post-Maidan authorities planned to address the dissatisfaction of the regions that had voted overwhelmingly for the deposed president.

    Completely different circumstances.
     
    No. Regardless of the accessory circumstances, in both cases individual people took the decision to use lethal force against civilians. This is exactly how the Italian courts view this matter and are trying to prosecute the authors of the Ukrainian indiscriminate shelling that killed an Italian journalist.

    I don't quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime but, in any case, an investigation of each such incident looks appropriate to me in a civilized society. Ukraine is not the USSR anymore and the relatives of the victims probably deserve to at least know all the circumstances of how they died. Isn't that what Ukraine itself is trying to do with the victims of the MH-17 flight?


    If the Ukrainian government had a policy of deliberately killing civilians, the civilian death toll would be in the 10,000s
     
    I did not claim that the Ukrainian government is trying to exterminate the people of Donbas (although we know that some Ukrainian politicians like Timoshenko toy with that idea in their private conversations). I only claimed that they haven't hesitated to kill scores of their own civilians in order to keep Donbas under their control.
  100. Anon[134] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jason Liu
    That was the past. Today the KMT would be at least neutral towards the the PRC, or a more moderate DPP president would be elected if the Taiwanese people didn't feel so threatened.

    or a more moderate DPP president would be elected if the Taiwanese people didn’t feel so threatened.

    China-Taiwan relation is an important but not a determining factor in Taiwan’s election.

    When Ma was the president, the Cross-Strait relations were good, but The KMT got slaughtered in the 2016 election.

    English Vegetable appeared to be moderate when she was running for president. She got a lot of votes from swing voters and even from some KMT voters. As soon as she became the president, she voided the “92 consensus”, which she had supported in the the past. When China hit back, she would ratchet up the rhetoric. Taiwan can talk tough against China because China isn’t going to take any harsh action. But when there are disputes between Taiwan and Japan, or Taiwan and the Philippines, or any other neighboring countries, Taiwan just got pushed around. Tsai’s tough stance against China hasn’t made her any more popular.

    Every new president candidate gets vetted by Washington. They literally have to go to the US to get the blessing. Anyway, the polls show that English Vegetable will unlikely get elected, and if the midterm election is any indication, the DPP will lose many seats in the parliament in the next election.

  101. @Daniel Chieh

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential.
     
    Do you know what else is an enormous waste of human capital and potential? Massive, endemic internal wars.

    For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.
     

    Its not "now." Its always been the case, and as I've noted, for thousands of years. It has at least survival value.

    Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster.
     

    I'm almost certainly younger than you, and have been pretty reactionary all my life. Society moved the needle from my original beliefs which were merely considered "old-fashioned" to "EVUL."

    At some point it seems to basically draw to some weird logical conclusion such as "Moscow should just go independent as a nation and it'll have much higher gdp per capita, maximized capitalism is the best thing ever" and well, no. Just no.

    My point is that any form of human association is to accomplish something. For example, if I wanted to do a start-up to develop fusion power (like Tri-Alpha or Helion Energy), my start-up would be of a specific form with specific individuals (e.g. plasma and materials science engineers). If I wanted to cure aging, it would consist of bio-engineering people. Space X, Blue Origin, and the entire bio-engineering community are examples of the technology-driven trend of the empowerment of individuals or small groups being able to accomplish what could formerly only be done by national governments or large corporations. If you extend this trend into all areas of human endeavor, this case is argued that large scale human institutions are obsolete. They are obsolete because they are bureaucratic and cannot accomplish what the smaller, more nimble groups can do.

    The reactionary politics seems to ignore this pattern.

    BTW, is there ever any survival value in inhibiting productive enterprise? I would think not.

    The only reason I can think of for wanting to be a part of a larger group where it is not about accomplishment, per so, is for having a support group in case you fall down. This need is driven exclusively by the aging process and the fact that we currently do not have whole-body regeneration. The goal of the bio-engineering community is to solve both of these problems and, thus, make individuals (and by extension, societies) more resilient as a result.

    I simply do not understand this reactionary obsession many of you guys have with the group identity thing.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    If you extend this trend into all areas of human endeavor, this case is argued that large scale human institutions are obsolete. They are obsolete because they are bureaucratic and cannot accomplish what the smaller, more nimble groups can do.
     
    Your argument is invalid since your facts are fundamentally incorrect. SpaceX lives of billions of government subsidies, Blue Origin both uses subsidies and is part of a gigantic megacorporation that is for all practical purposes a government; your argument requires the assumption that "technology"(interchangeable with "magic" in your case) has eliminated the cost of production in total. It hasn't; it has lowered the human effort involved while increasing the chains needed for fossil fuels, special metal alloys, additives, and so on. Nor does it address transfer costs from companies or individuals who get "foot in door" and then cannot be easily removed without incredible cost to the company(try eliminating Microsoft from your organization), or ultimately address the final reality that cognitive cycles are far cheaper from organic brains than from mechanical ones.

    So to answer if there is survival value in inhibiting "productive" enterprise, the answer is...an obvious yes. For the same reason why governments hold a monopoly on violence, because if you were capable of productively providing violence, then not only would people not need said government for protection, it would be obvious that it cannot protect. It would not survive. Its survival and success as a competitor depends on your failure.

    In a world of limited resources and status, there are a lot of points of competition.
  102. @Abelard Lindsey
    My point is that any form of human association is to accomplish something. For example, if I wanted to do a start-up to develop fusion power (like Tri-Alpha or Helion Energy), my start-up would be of a specific form with specific individuals (e.g. plasma and materials science engineers). If I wanted to cure aging, it would consist of bio-engineering people. Space X, Blue Origin, and the entire bio-engineering community are examples of the technology-driven trend of the empowerment of individuals or small groups being able to accomplish what could formerly only be done by national governments or large corporations. If you extend this trend into all areas of human endeavor, this case is argued that large scale human institutions are obsolete. They are obsolete because they are bureaucratic and cannot accomplish what the smaller, more nimble groups can do.

    The reactionary politics seems to ignore this pattern.

    BTW, is there ever any survival value in inhibiting productive enterprise? I would think not.

    The only reason I can think of for wanting to be a part of a larger group where it is not about accomplishment, per so, is for having a support group in case you fall down. This need is driven exclusively by the aging process and the fact that we currently do not have whole-body regeneration. The goal of the bio-engineering community is to solve both of these problems and, thus, make individuals (and by extension, societies) more resilient as a result.

    I simply do not understand this reactionary obsession many of you guys have with the group identity thing.

    If you extend this trend into all areas of human endeavor, this case is argued that large scale human institutions are obsolete. They are obsolete because they are bureaucratic and cannot accomplish what the smaller, more nimble groups can do.

    Your argument is invalid since your facts are fundamentally incorrect. SpaceX lives of billions of government subsidies, Blue Origin both uses subsidies and is part of a gigantic megacorporation that is for all practical purposes a government; your argument requires the assumption that “technology”(interchangeable with “magic” in your case) has eliminated the cost of production in total. It hasn’t; it has lowered the human effort involved while increasing the chains needed for fossil fuels, special metal alloys, additives, and so on. Nor does it address transfer costs from companies or individuals who get “foot in door” and then cannot be easily removed without incredible cost to the company(try eliminating Microsoft from your organization), or ultimately address the final reality that cognitive cycles are far cheaper from organic brains than from mechanical ones.

    So to answer if there is survival value in inhibiting “productive” enterprise, the answer is…an obvious yes. For the same reason why governments hold a monopoly on violence, because if you were capable of productively providing violence, then not only would people not need said government for protection, it would be obvious that it cannot protect. It would not survive. Its survival and success as a competitor depends on your failure.

    In a world of limited resources and status, there are a lot of points of competition.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey

    For the same reason why governments hold a monopoly on violence, because if you were capable of productively providing violence, then not only would people not need said government for protection, it would be obvious that it cannot protect. It would not survive. Its survival and success as a competitor depends on your failure.
     
    I fail to understand why anyone right in the head would believe that any form of monopoly is desirable. Indeed, I consider the belief in the benefice of monopoly (of any form) to be pathological.
  103. @anon
    "In fact, I strongly suspect that Taiwan will fold much like the Ukraine would have crumpled before a Russian invasion in 2014. "

    Interesting. I might suspect the pozzed US military itself might fold a couple of decades from now in the face of Chinese attack. For most recruits these days, the American military is just a job and an excuse to wear a fancy uniform. Patriotism is a declining factor.

    "In addition, this will have the effect of presenting America with a fait accompli and forestalling further escalation."

    Alternatively, the invasion fails and the US retaliates by using its navy to blockade China, perhaps also cutting off her oil at the source: the Middle East. That would be disastrous for China. I like you Karlin, but you're not a military planner. Here's what China would actually do in a confrontation with Taiwan:

    China would likely use her navy to blockade the island a la the Cuban Missile Crisis and force a peaceful resolution on terms favorable to Beijing, little or no violence required. Taiwan might be allowed autonomy similar to Hong Kong in exchange for cancelling American defense arrangements and acquiescing to certain other Chinese demands. In the process, the US would be exposed as impotent, setting the stage for China to roll up American commitments across the Asian Pacific.

    At that range from around the Chinese coast, China's Russian-bought S-400 will be able to cover most of Taiwan, giving China's navy an effective air defense screen against all but the most advanced American aircraft, which may not be built in sufficient numbers to decide the outcome for many years. The Chinese DF-21 will also keep American aircraft carriers at bay, forcing the US to rely 1) on local partners for staging areas. However, this will put those areas in the line of fire as well, so expect some countries to back down in the face of that prospect and deny the US access 2) on external fuel tanks for carrier-launched F-35s, which would make the aircraft vulnerable to Chinese air defenses (including air-to-air) as doing so increases the F-35's radar cross section dramatically. The US really made a foolish mistake in adopting COIN doctrine instead of building their airforce and navy to counter a peer rival as they did in the Cold War; now, they are behind the eight ball with ill-suited craft like the F-35.

    There is also the possibility China could implement short wavelength radar air defenses capable of achieving a weapons-grade lock within the next 15-20 years or so, which would dramatically reduce the effectiveness of stealth. The US would have to then rely on hackable drones or a massive aerial attack in that case. There is not the will for the latter and China's tech industry will likely come up with effective electronic countermeasures for the former.

    Also, a single DF-21 missile impact could probably also destroy a US aircraft carrier, or at least damage it so that it cannot launch aircraft for months or years; that would be a huge loss for the US. America has only 12 carriers last I checked but China has hundreds of DF-21 missiles. And don't believe any nonsense from any F-35 pilot either about being able to take out the DF-21. Not only does the USAF have a poor track record of countering mobile, ground-based launchers (Serbia in the 1990s) but the F-35's limited twin payload will make attacks through sophisticated electronic countermeasures very difficult for all but any force that doesn't marshal a huge number of them, while the PLA only needs one missile to hit.

    Of course, the US has means of retaliation of its own, such as an attempted blockade of shipping to China. However, this would require a huge commitment from the US and risks a wider war; the global economy would also crash and the EU may intervene to stop the US from escalating. I don't think there is the political will in the US for that anymore and there likely never will be absent an attack from China on the US, which is why the Chinese will attempt to enact a plan which gives the US an exit without necessitating war, which your plan would probably start. China will also have an impressive navy by 2030, powerful enough to repel all but the largest and most determined adversary, which the US will not be anymore in the future due to demographic stresses/infighting.

    This plan, if successful, would preserve China's image in the world as a peaceful power (necessary for expansion elsewhere) while also serving as a means to deal the American Empire a severe confidence blow ("cross this line, I dare you" ... then they don't). After American invincibility is exposed peacefully as a sham, the US gets rolled up across Asia in the following decades as nations rush to make peace with China on terms favorable to them before China gets too powerful.

    Personally, I think this is a great plan. As long as Xi retains power over the PLA hotheads who might screw it up with an invasion, it could work. Look for something like this in the future.

    At that range from around the Chinese coast, China’s Russian-bought S-400 will be able to cover most of Taiwan, giving China’s navy an effective air defense screen against all but the most advanced American aircraft

    You don’t seem to understand that the Earth is not flat, so the theoretical range of any air defense systems is only valid at some (very high) height, below which it’s perfectly safe for enemy aircraft to operate.

    The Chinese DF-21 will also keep American aircraft carriers at bay

    Assuming it’s able to receive targeting information from something. Carriers are moving targets, so not a trivial task to find and track their exact location. It’s also difficult for the targeting device to survive: satellites could be downed, AEW airplanes might not be survivable, other tracking devices might be destroyed, too… you get the picture.

  104. @Daniel Chieh

    The PRC’s current attitude towards Taiwan is probably why they embraced a liberal cat lady who pushed gay marriage through.
     
    Untrue. The problem is that Taiwanese existed as a counter-government to China and therefore by necessity is a threat to the Communist power; when Taiwan wasn't "fake and gay", there was a consistent state of low level warfare.

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

    After the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis ended in stalemate, both sides settled upon a routine of bombarding each other every other day with shells containing propaganda leaflets. ROC troops on the island continued constructing tunnels, bunkers, and other underground facilities. Commandos (often known as 水鬼, or "water ghosts" by ROC troops) were sent by both sides to conduct sabotage or attack lone sentries. The bombardment finally ended in 1979 with the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the United States and the PRC.
     
    Once it was obvious that the CCP was never going to lose power, this basically left Taiwan without much of a purpose for existence. Virtue signaling liberalism is a substitute religion, now that the original purpose is gone.

    So, basically, just like the Bolsheviks felt that they had to “liberate” Georgia from the Mensheviks in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of Russia, the CCP feels that it has to eventually “liberate” Taiwan from the KMT in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of China?

    • Replies: @Anonymoose
    KMT is not in power. It's the pozzed DPP globohomo cucks currrently.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    No, the problem is at its heart, KMT and CCP both claim all of China; the sense of "Mandate of Heaven" remains. The DDP or TaiDu, which is the ruling party now, wants independence but they're also insane on every level - even basic economic competence.

    A fantasyland ending is KMT-led autonomous Taiwan integrates back into China while the Communist government loosens control enough that the "minor parties" like the "Chinese KMT" can merge with the existing KMT, so no one loses face. This is all a dream given the 1)CCP paranoia, 2)Taiwanese suspicion(justified negativity from Taiwanese), and 3)unpleasant events in HK(justified negativity in Mainland).
  105. @AP

    I condone soldiers defending themselves from attack.

    If that is the only thing that you condone, you would be, like me, against the whole “ATO” operation, where the large-scale death of civilians only started when the Ukrainian army charged with all its might to assert control over the disputed territory.

     

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory. So the initial invasion and its consequences was justified. Once stalemate was achieved, indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas is unacceptable. However, retaliatory strikes (shooting back when one has been shot upon) is acceptable. Soldiers have the right to defend themselves. When rebels choose to shoot at Ukrainian positions from apartment buildings, they are guilty of putting those civilians in danger.

    Most of the strikes into rebel-held territory are legitimate retaliatory strikes.* If the Ukrainian government had a policy of deliberately killing civilians, the civilian death toll would be in the 10,000s if not over 100,000, not about 4,000.

    You are comparing apples and oranges

    Not really. The particular circumstances of the killings of one set of civilians
     
    In one case, civilians are deliberately targeted, arrested and killed. In another case, civilians die because rebels shoot out of their buildings and when fire is returned they die. Completely different circumstances.

    *There are documented cases of random attacks. These are rare, and crimes.

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory.

    Not at any price, obviously.

    I have the right to assert control over my house. But if some terrorists occupy it with my family inside it, my main concern would be to make sure that they don’t get harmed, even if I have to cede control of my rightful possession.

    This is totally uncontroversial in the part of Europe Ukraine aspires to belong to. In any anti-terrorist operation the security forces would be expected to exercise utmost care for the lives of any endangered civilians.

    I am also not very sure that a government whose legitimacy is disputed by a majority of inhabitants of a seceding region is entitled to use deadly force against them to keep control of that territory. This is debatable. And to this day I don’t understand how the post-Maidan authorities planned to address the dissatisfaction of the regions that had voted overwhelmingly for the deposed president.

    Completely different circumstances.

    No. Regardless of the accessory circumstances, in both cases individual people took the decision to use lethal force against civilians. This is exactly how the Italian courts view this matter and are trying to prosecute the authors of the Ukrainian indiscriminate shelling that killed an Italian journalist.

    I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime but, in any case, an investigation of each such incident looks appropriate to me in a civilized society. Ukraine is not the USSR anymore and the relatives of the victims probably deserve to at least know all the circumstances of how they died. Isn’t that what Ukraine itself is trying to do with the victims of the MH-17 flight?

    If the Ukrainian government had a policy of deliberately killing civilians, the civilian death toll would be in the 10,000s

    I did not claim that the Ukrainian government is trying to exterminate the people of Donbas (although we know that some Ukrainian politicians like Timoshenko toy with that idea in their private conversations). I only claimed that they haven’t hesitated to kill scores of their own civilians in order to keep Donbas under their control.

    • Replies: @AP

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory.

    Not at any price, obviously.
     
    Sure.

    I have the right to assert control over my house. But if some terrorists occupy it with my family inside it, my main concern would be to make sure that they don’t get harmed, even if I have to cede control of my rightful possession.
     
    Planes with terrorists get stormed (presumably family members of those trapped inside do not make this decision).

    If a few hundred or thousand terrorists seized part of French cities and declared a caliphate, I suspect the French governent would not leave them and their declared Caliphate in peace in order to avoid civilian collateral damage. Nor would they ignore mortar fire upon French positions from inside this Caliphate in order to avoid civilian collateral damage.

    But there has not been a comparable situation on Euroepan soil. IRA never simply seized parts of Northern Ireland. Catalan activists did not arm their people and seize government buildings and residential areas. If they did you think the Spanish government would not shoot at all and just allow independence totally bloodlessly?

    Completely different circumstances.

    No. Regardless of the accessory circumstances, in both cases individual people took the decision to use lethal force against civilians.
     
    Okay. You think arresting a civilian and killing him is the same thing as a civilian being killed when the army shells a rebel-controlled area where the civilian happens to be. Just differnet "accesory circumstances."

    I see your problem however. You think the Ukrainian governemnt made a decision to use force against civilians, rather than against armed rebels, with the civilians being collateral damage. Rest assured, if the Ukrainian government made a decision to kill civilians there would be much more than 4,000 of them dead. If the Ukrainian governent wanted to cull the Sovok population of Donbas, as Syria wanted to cull the Sunni population, there would be a Syria-level death toll with over 100,000 dead.

    This is exactly how the Italian courts view this matter and are trying to prosecute the authors of the Ukrainian indiscriminate shelling that killed an Italian journalist.
     
    Prosecutors can make all sorts of stupid and odd decisions.

    I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime
     
    No pilot made a decision "against Luhansk square."

    You have already been correected on this:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/netanyahu-was-in-moscow-so-what/#comment-2332148

    Pilot tried to hit an armed rebel-held government administraton building next to the square, but the missile hit the square instead and killed civilians. The missile wasn't aimed at the square. There is thus no crime there by the pilot.

    Why repeat a falsehood?

    This is not comparable to arresting and executing civilians.

    I did not claim that the Ukrainian government is trying to exterminate the people of Donbas (although we know that some Ukrainian politicians like Timoshenko toy with that idea in their private conversations). I only claimed that they haven’t hesitated to kill scores of their own civilians in order to keep Donbas under their control.
     
    Of course they have hesitated. Compare civilian death toll in Donbas to civilian death toll in Chechnya, where they did not hesistate. Or Syria, where they seem to deliberately kill rebel sympathizers.
  106. @Daniel Chieh

    If you extend this trend into all areas of human endeavor, this case is argued that large scale human institutions are obsolete. They are obsolete because they are bureaucratic and cannot accomplish what the smaller, more nimble groups can do.
     
    Your argument is invalid since your facts are fundamentally incorrect. SpaceX lives of billions of government subsidies, Blue Origin both uses subsidies and is part of a gigantic megacorporation that is for all practical purposes a government; your argument requires the assumption that "technology"(interchangeable with "magic" in your case) has eliminated the cost of production in total. It hasn't; it has lowered the human effort involved while increasing the chains needed for fossil fuels, special metal alloys, additives, and so on. Nor does it address transfer costs from companies or individuals who get "foot in door" and then cannot be easily removed without incredible cost to the company(try eliminating Microsoft from your organization), or ultimately address the final reality that cognitive cycles are far cheaper from organic brains than from mechanical ones.

    So to answer if there is survival value in inhibiting "productive" enterprise, the answer is...an obvious yes. For the same reason why governments hold a monopoly on violence, because if you were capable of productively providing violence, then not only would people not need said government for protection, it would be obvious that it cannot protect. It would not survive. Its survival and success as a competitor depends on your failure.

    In a world of limited resources and status, there are a lot of points of competition.

    For the same reason why governments hold a monopoly on violence, because if you were capable of productively providing violence, then not only would people not need said government for protection, it would be obvious that it cannot protect. It would not survive. Its survival and success as a competitor depends on your failure.

    I fail to understand why anyone right in the head would believe that any form of monopoly is desirable. Indeed, I consider the belief in the benefice of monopoly (of any form) to be pathological.

  107. I’m almost certainly younger than you, and have been pretty reactionary all my life. Society moved the needle from my original beliefs which were merely considered “old-fashioned” to “EVUL.”

    I maintain that an “inward” orientation while youthful is pathological. I suspect a lot of it is due to Mercury poisoning, some from dental amalgam and a lot from vaccines. I will bring this dynamic in a future posting in this blog.

  108. @Mr. XYZ
    So, basically, just like the Bolsheviks felt that they had to "liberate" Georgia from the Mensheviks in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of Russia, the CCP feels that it has to eventually "liberate" Taiwan from the KMT in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of China?

    KMT is not in power. It’s the pozzed DPP globohomo cucks currrently.

  109. @anon
    "We want a nationalistic Taiwan that tells the US to get lost, and take its crappy liberal ideas with them."

    Perhaps China could offer Taiwan a special status as a major, independent treaty ally rather than pursue reunification. Basically, offer them a deal they can't refuse: weapons sales from both the mainland and Russia as a guarantee of their quasi-independence in exchange for cancelling US defense sales and military cooperation. This could additionally set a precedent for other nations to sign treaties with China kicking out the US after China proves to the world that they are true to their word with Taiwan. This island could be a major political asset if played correctly.

    The fact that the Chinese have managed to alienate the entire post-97 generation of Hong Kong, and with the new extradition law, has even ruffled feathers within the generally pro-China business community, is a face palm in international relations. If they can’t even manage to win hearts and minds of young upwardly mobile Hong Kongers, repeating the same for the Taiwanese would be an even more difficult task. After all, Deng proposed the HKSAR in the first place as the model for Taiwan reunification.

    However any specific event that ends Hong Kong’s special status and close ties with the first world West will be at the hands of the Blue Empire within the next couple of years. If the trade war goes beyond a trade war and an actual anti-Chinese crusade, I can totally see Congress revoking the US-Hong Kong Policy Act, which will pretty much destroy Hong Kong as we know it.

  110. anon[211] • Disclaimer says:

    “Assuming it’s able to receive targeting information from something. Carriers are moving targets, so not a trivial task to find and track their exact location.”

    That’s true, but they are working on a MRV version which will make the task a lot easier. Regardless, Washington will think twice before jamming a carrier into the area because they cannot be sure the Chinese do not have some way of tracking the carrier. If they are wrong and the Chinese can successfully plant a warhead on the deck of one of these ships, you can say bye bye to dozens of the country’s best pilots and thousands of American seamen. That’s something the Americans will certainly take into consideration.

    “It’s also difficult for the targeting device to survive: satellites could be downed, AEW airplanes might not be survivable, other tracking devices might be destroyed, too… you get the picture.”

    That’s why they are developing drones and other technologies resistant to be being shot down (drones, stealth and hypersonic aircraft); naval assets could also be used to guide the warhead, and they only need one to hit when they have lots of them. The USA also understands that concept and is developing the ability to quickly replace lost satellites with mobile orbital vehicles.

    “It’s also difficult for the targeting device to survive”

    Not true. The Americans have no technology that can reliably shoot down the missile with absolute certainty. China has a lot of missiles, so even if they did have a defense, China would still only need one to hit. ~100 missiles vs. 6 – 8 carriers, well you do the math.

    “You don’t seem to understand that the Earth is not flat, so the theoretical range of any air defense systems is only valid at some (very high) height, below which it’s perfectly safe for enemy aircraft to operate.”

    No, I understand perfectly. You just don’t know what you’re talking about. Nothing in that comment disproves anything I said, and it demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of the various technologies involved on your part. Please try to know what you’re talking about before commenting.

    “systems is only valid at some (very high) height, below which it’s perfectly safe for enemy aircraft to operate.”

    Eye roll.

    1) The limited payload of the F-35 will make it difficult to deliver its merchandise effectively through electronic jamming, and beyond the horizon radar systems will compensate for the curvature of the earth; the Chinese and Russians are busy developing both. You can also expect the Chinese to upgrade their navy in the 2020s to house weapon systems equivalent to the S-400.

    2) Aircraft fly high for several reasons. In the case of the F-35, it will have a much inferior kinetic performance compared with air superiority craft like the F-22 or the Sukhoi-35. This will make it extremely vulnerable to Chinese fighter aircraft at low altitudes and within visual range, which enemy craft will be able to close to very quickly with the help of long-wavelength radar. The Chinese will also have naval assets capable of tracking low-flying stealth aircraft as they approach and shooting them down if their carriers are kept at a distance and external fuel tanks are, therefore, added to the craft.

    The viability of stealth is the ability to shoot down your enemy first and escape before conventional aircraft can close the distance. The F-35 can get off a good first shot, but its payload, range, increased cross section from external fuel tanks, and inferior kinetic performance makes it vulnerable to counterattack. Expect to lose lots of F-35s / American pilots in any such a scenario. In fact, Rand already ran this scenario back in 2008 or 2009, I believe. Result: Just as a I said, all F-22s involved were downed, one way or another (and that’s a much better aircraft for this particular assignment) and China successfully took Taiwan because whatever advantages these craft had were too little too late … and that was all before deals for the S-400 and Sukhoi-35 were signed.

    My scenario wouldn’t even require the Chinese do that. Your ill-informed scenario assumes the Americans would foolishly rush in head-first, without regard to their valuable pilots or aircraft carriers; they won’t do that. Only an extremely large number of American aircraft and naval assets marshaled together stand any chance against a Chinese naval blockade of Taiwan in the year 2030, which would certainly end up in WW3 if they tried, which was my point.

    From the Wiki: “With a 400 km (250 mi) coverage range, aircraft in disputed areas off the coast could be targeted by SAMs from the mainland; all of Taiwan would be covered from Fujian, and the Diaoyu Islands would be covered from Shandong, making it difficult for the US and Japan to deploy combat aircraft over those airspaces.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-400_missile_system

  111. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory.
     
    Not at any price, obviously.

    I have the right to assert control over my house. But if some terrorists occupy it with my family inside it, my main concern would be to make sure that they don't get harmed, even if I have to cede control of my rightful possession.

    This is totally uncontroversial in the part of Europe Ukraine aspires to belong to. In any anti-terrorist operation the security forces would be expected to exercise utmost care for the lives of any endangered civilians.

    I am also not very sure that a government whose legitimacy is disputed by a majority of inhabitants of a seceding region is entitled to use deadly force against them to keep control of that territory. This is debatable. And to this day I don't understand how the post-Maidan authorities planned to address the dissatisfaction of the regions that had voted overwhelmingly for the deposed president.

    Completely different circumstances.
     
    No. Regardless of the accessory circumstances, in both cases individual people took the decision to use lethal force against civilians. This is exactly how the Italian courts view this matter and are trying to prosecute the authors of the Ukrainian indiscriminate shelling that killed an Italian journalist.

    I don't quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime but, in any case, an investigation of each such incident looks appropriate to me in a civilized society. Ukraine is not the USSR anymore and the relatives of the victims probably deserve to at least know all the circumstances of how they died. Isn't that what Ukraine itself is trying to do with the victims of the MH-17 flight?


    If the Ukrainian government had a policy of deliberately killing civilians, the civilian death toll would be in the 10,000s
     
    I did not claim that the Ukrainian government is trying to exterminate the people of Donbas (although we know that some Ukrainian politicians like Timoshenko toy with that idea in their private conversations). I only claimed that they haven't hesitated to kill scores of their own civilians in order to keep Donbas under their control.

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory.

    Not at any price, obviously.

    Sure.

    I have the right to assert control over my house. But if some terrorists occupy it with my family inside it, my main concern would be to make sure that they don’t get harmed, even if I have to cede control of my rightful possession.

    Planes with terrorists get stormed (presumably family members of those trapped inside do not make this decision).

    If a few hundred or thousand terrorists seized part of French cities and declared a caliphate, I suspect the French governent would not leave them and their declared Caliphate in peace in order to avoid civilian collateral damage. Nor would they ignore mortar fire upon French positions from inside this Caliphate in order to avoid civilian collateral damage.

    But there has not been a comparable situation on Euroepan soil. IRA never simply seized parts of Northern Ireland. Catalan activists did not arm their people and seize government buildings and residential areas. If they did you think the Spanish government would not shoot at all and just allow independence totally bloodlessly?

    Completely different circumstances.

    No. Regardless of the accessory circumstances, in both cases individual people took the decision to use lethal force against civilians.

    Okay. You think arresting a civilian and killing him is the same thing as a civilian being killed when the army shells a rebel-controlled area where the civilian happens to be. Just differnet “accesory circumstances.”

    I see your problem however. You think the Ukrainian governemnt made a decision to use force against civilians, rather than against armed rebels, with the civilians being collateral damage. Rest assured, if the Ukrainian government made a decision to kill civilians there would be much more than 4,000 of them dead. If the Ukrainian governent wanted to cull the Sovok population of Donbas, as Syria wanted to cull the Sunni population, there would be a Syria-level death toll with over 100,000 dead.

    This is exactly how the Italian courts view this matter and are trying to prosecute the authors of the Ukrainian indiscriminate shelling that killed an Italian journalist.

    Prosecutors can make all sorts of stupid and odd decisions.

    I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime

    No pilot made a decision “against Luhansk square.”

    You have already been correected on this:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/netanyahu-was-in-moscow-so-what/#comment-2332148

    Pilot tried to hit an armed rebel-held government administraton building next to the square, but the missile hit the square instead and killed civilians. The missile wasn’t aimed at the square. There is thus no crime there by the pilot.

    Why repeat a falsehood?

    This is not comparable to arresting and executing civilians.

    I did not claim that the Ukrainian government is trying to exterminate the people of Donbas (although we know that some Ukrainian politicians like Timoshenko toy with that idea in their private conversations). I only claimed that they haven’t hesitated to kill scores of their own civilians in order to keep Donbas under their control.

    Of course they have hesitated. Compare civilian death toll in Donbas to civilian death toll in Chechnya, where they did not hesistate. Or Syria, where they seem to deliberately kill rebel sympathizers.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Mikel needs to come to the conclusion that collateral civilian deaths are an unfortunate by product of modern warfare. This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences. Following the Donbas war as much as the next observer, I've only been able to discern one palpable reason given by the separatists for this war: a hastily concluded law promulgated in the center regarding Ukrainian language rights that were to affect the whole country, circumscribing Russian language usage within government structures. I don't even think that this law ever really got off of the ground before hostile activities were already launched. It could be that the law was too restrictive and should have been more carefully crafted, however, by no means had it resulted in much if any discomfort by locals. The way I see it, the language issue was a convenient pretext to start the war that was originally planned and acquiesced to by Moscow political structures, certainly not a homegrown movement large enough to foment all out secession and war. Maybe I've missed something?
    , @Mikel

    You have already been correected on this:

    ...

    Why repeat a falsehood?
     
    You lose a lot of credibility with this kind of debating style. We have indeed discussed that disgraceful episode in the past. The fact that you proclaimed something and I wasn't bothered to pursue the debate much further does not mean that what you proclaimed became established as the truth.

    In fact, I found your arguments most unpersuasive which is why I brought up the Lugansk Square bloodshed once again as an example of the unethical behavior of the Ukrainian authorities.

    Speaking of dishonorable falsehoods, if the Ukrainians found that bombing legitimate why did they try to blame it on the rebels once the consequences became public?
  112. @AP

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory.

    Not at any price, obviously.
     
    Sure.

    I have the right to assert control over my house. But if some terrorists occupy it with my family inside it, my main concern would be to make sure that they don’t get harmed, even if I have to cede control of my rightful possession.
     
    Planes with terrorists get stormed (presumably family members of those trapped inside do not make this decision).

    If a few hundred or thousand terrorists seized part of French cities and declared a caliphate, I suspect the French governent would not leave them and their declared Caliphate in peace in order to avoid civilian collateral damage. Nor would they ignore mortar fire upon French positions from inside this Caliphate in order to avoid civilian collateral damage.

    But there has not been a comparable situation on Euroepan soil. IRA never simply seized parts of Northern Ireland. Catalan activists did not arm their people and seize government buildings and residential areas. If they did you think the Spanish government would not shoot at all and just allow independence totally bloodlessly?

    Completely different circumstances.

    No. Regardless of the accessory circumstances, in both cases individual people took the decision to use lethal force against civilians.
     
    Okay. You think arresting a civilian and killing him is the same thing as a civilian being killed when the army shells a rebel-controlled area where the civilian happens to be. Just differnet "accesory circumstances."

    I see your problem however. You think the Ukrainian governemnt made a decision to use force against civilians, rather than against armed rebels, with the civilians being collateral damage. Rest assured, if the Ukrainian government made a decision to kill civilians there would be much more than 4,000 of them dead. If the Ukrainian governent wanted to cull the Sovok population of Donbas, as Syria wanted to cull the Sunni population, there would be a Syria-level death toll with over 100,000 dead.

    This is exactly how the Italian courts view this matter and are trying to prosecute the authors of the Ukrainian indiscriminate shelling that killed an Italian journalist.
     
    Prosecutors can make all sorts of stupid and odd decisions.

    I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime
     
    No pilot made a decision "against Luhansk square."

    You have already been correected on this:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/netanyahu-was-in-moscow-so-what/#comment-2332148

    Pilot tried to hit an armed rebel-held government administraton building next to the square, but the missile hit the square instead and killed civilians. The missile wasn't aimed at the square. There is thus no crime there by the pilot.

    Why repeat a falsehood?

    This is not comparable to arresting and executing civilians.

    I did not claim that the Ukrainian government is trying to exterminate the people of Donbas (although we know that some Ukrainian politicians like Timoshenko toy with that idea in their private conversations). I only claimed that they haven’t hesitated to kill scores of their own civilians in order to keep Donbas under their control.
     
    Of course they have hesitated. Compare civilian death toll in Donbas to civilian death toll in Chechnya, where they did not hesistate. Or Syria, where they seem to deliberately kill rebel sympathizers.

    Mikel needs to come to the conclusion that collateral civilian deaths are an unfortunate by product of modern warfare. This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences. Following the Donbas war as much as the next observer, I’ve only been able to discern one palpable reason given by the separatists for this war: a hastily concluded law promulgated in the center regarding Ukrainian language rights that were to affect the whole country, circumscribing Russian language usage within government structures. I don’t even think that this law ever really got off of the ground before hostile activities were already launched. It could be that the law was too restrictive and should have been more carefully crafted, however, by no means had it resulted in much if any discomfort by locals. The way I see it, the language issue was a convenient pretext to start the war that was originally planned and acquiesced to by Moscow political structures, certainly not a homegrown movement large enough to foment all out secession and war. Maybe I’ve missed something?

    • Replies: @AP

    I’ve only been able to discern one palpable reason given by the separatists for this war: a hastily concluded law promulgated in the center regarding Ukrainian language rights that were to affect the whole country, circumscribing Russian language usage within government structures. I don’t even think that this law ever really got off of the ground before hostile activities were already launched.
     
    1. The law was never ratified before the rebellion began.
    2. The proposed law merely returned Ukraine to the statud quo pre-2011. Under Kuchma, for example.

    So clearly it was just a pretext.
    , @Mikel

    This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences.
     
    How ironic that the usually more mercurial Mr Hack ends up formulating the simple conclusion that I'm trying to arrive at and that AP looks unable to accept.

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them. At the beginning of this conflict I wasn't particularly sympathetic to any side and, if anything, I had the typical anti-Putin bias of most people in the West. It did piss me off however to see how the EU and the US were once again meddling in the affairs of foreign countries that they have little knowledge of.

    It was't until the bloodletting of civilians began that I became quite anti-Ukrainian.

    Contrary to what AP thinks, if the IS managed to control a part of the French territory with French civilians inside, the French would exercise much more care for those civilians than what the Ukrainians have been able to show. And I have very little doubt that the Spaniards would never resort to shelling any civilian part of Barcelona or Tarragona. They would quite undoubtedly let the Catalans go rather than killing thousands of civilians. I have Catalan friends and happen to know the situation there quite well.

    I suspect that one of the reasons why politicians in the West are deciding to turn a blind eye to the killing of civilians by our new Ukrainian partners is because they just don't expect any better of them. Which may be unfair, I think that most ordinary Ukrainians (among them many voters of Zelensky) would actually prefer to stop the carnage in the East even if that means losing Donbas.
  113. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Mikel needs to come to the conclusion that collateral civilian deaths are an unfortunate by product of modern warfare. This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences. Following the Donbas war as much as the next observer, I've only been able to discern one palpable reason given by the separatists for this war: a hastily concluded law promulgated in the center regarding Ukrainian language rights that were to affect the whole country, circumscribing Russian language usage within government structures. I don't even think that this law ever really got off of the ground before hostile activities were already launched. It could be that the law was too restrictive and should have been more carefully crafted, however, by no means had it resulted in much if any discomfort by locals. The way I see it, the language issue was a convenient pretext to start the war that was originally planned and acquiesced to by Moscow political structures, certainly not a homegrown movement large enough to foment all out secession and war. Maybe I've missed something?

    I’ve only been able to discern one palpable reason given by the separatists for this war: a hastily concluded law promulgated in the center regarding Ukrainian language rights that were to affect the whole country, circumscribing Russian language usage within government structures. I don’t even think that this law ever really got off of the ground before hostile activities were already launched.

    1. The law was never ratified before the rebellion began.
    2. The proposed law merely returned Ukraine to the statud quo pre-2011. Under Kuchma, for example.

    So clearly it was just a pretext.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Any other real or imagined reasons that kept Donbasians up at night that would abruptly cause them to want to secede from Ukraine and organize militarily to do so? Do you believe that without outside direction from Moscow (a big thumbs up), all that transpired in Donbas in 2014 could have occurred?
  114. @Daniel Chieh

    My point is (and this is for you Daniel Chieh) is, what a waste! What a waste of human capital. What a waste of potential.
     
    Do you know what else is an enormous waste of human capital and potential? Massive, endemic internal wars.

    For the Chinese government to now want to pursue a more centralized, top-down direction just represents an enormous waste of human potential and increased opportunity in general.
     

    Its not "now." Its always been the case, and as I've noted, for thousands of years. It has at least survival value.

    Aging tends to make people more inward oriented. Young people, in contrast, are very outward oriented. They have dreams and aspirations and want to make the world their oyster.
     

    I'm almost certainly younger than you, and have been pretty reactionary all my life. Society moved the needle from my original beliefs which were merely considered "old-fashioned" to "EVUL."

    At some point it seems to basically draw to some weird logical conclusion such as "Moscow should just go independent as a nation and it'll have much higher gdp per capita, maximized capitalism is the best thing ever" and well, no. Just no.

    Yeah, this centralization has survival value but with the price of stagnation. If what you say is correct, then China will most certainly enter a Japan-like stagnation no later than 2030 (at which point its total GDP will be somewhat larger than that of the U.S. but the per capita significantly less). China will not collapse because they clearly have a system that is functional enough to prevent this, unlike the old Soviet Union.

    My point was not just the waste of talent and potential. But that the history of stagnation for China has not been a good one. The last time China was stagnant, China was subject to a lot of abuse (e.g. the century of humiliation). The previous time of stagnation was when China lost the opportunity to settle/colonize the Americans and Australia (when the huge trading ships were burned at the end of the Ming dynasty). I would think the Chinese would have learned the lesson e.g. that stagnation is bad). Maybe not. Our people here (central bank, finance community) certainly did not learn the lesson of the Japan bubble. They still haven’t.

    Maybe I am silly to believe the Chinese are more capable of learning these kind of lessons than anyone else.

    OTOH, people don’t invade each other any more. At least not like the Khanate or the Manchus taking over China like they did. So, maybe China can go into another period of stagnation, with enough of a defense system to keep anyone from f**king with them and everything will be fine.

    Do you think a future stagnant China will try to keep aspirational types from leaving? There is a discussion on Marginal revolution about how leftist authoritarian regimes try to keep people from leaving but that rightwing ones (Pinochet Chile, Franco Spain, etc.) do not. Perhaps a stagnant China will actually encourage the aspirational types to leave (so as not to rock the boat).

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    China will have to adapt to the changing realities of the future, but obviously survival is important and to the Party, of paramount value. All in all, I think its safe to say that the risks of chaos exceed the risk of stagnation.

    The "non-stagnant" countries aren't doing too great.
  115. @AP

    I’ve only been able to discern one palpable reason given by the separatists for this war: a hastily concluded law promulgated in the center regarding Ukrainian language rights that were to affect the whole country, circumscribing Russian language usage within government structures. I don’t even think that this law ever really got off of the ground before hostile activities were already launched.
     
    1. The law was never ratified before the rebellion began.
    2. The proposed law merely returned Ukraine to the statud quo pre-2011. Under Kuchma, for example.

    So clearly it was just a pretext.

    Any other real or imagined reasons that kept Donbasians up at night that would abruptly cause them to want to secede from Ukraine and organize militarily to do so? Do you believe that without outside direction from Moscow (a big thumbs up), all that transpired in Donbas in 2014 could have occurred?

    • Replies: @AP
    I think Ukrainians overemphasize Moscow's role but that without Moscow this rebellion would not have occured and, dependng on stage, would have been quite brief..

    That is, no encouragement and no volunteers at the beginning, and it would have just been protests, some armed, a few dozen dead at most.

    No flow of weapons and volunteers, and the Kiev government would have taken control quickly and relatively painlessly, (a few hundred casualties, maybe over a thousand, at most).
  116. @Mr. Hack
    Mikel needs to come to the conclusion that collateral civilian deaths are an unfortunate by product of modern warfare. This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences. Following the Donbas war as much as the next observer, I've only been able to discern one palpable reason given by the separatists for this war: a hastily concluded law promulgated in the center regarding Ukrainian language rights that were to affect the whole country, circumscribing Russian language usage within government structures. I don't even think that this law ever really got off of the ground before hostile activities were already launched. It could be that the law was too restrictive and should have been more carefully crafted, however, by no means had it resulted in much if any discomfort by locals. The way I see it, the language issue was a convenient pretext to start the war that was originally planned and acquiesced to by Moscow political structures, certainly not a homegrown movement large enough to foment all out secession and war. Maybe I've missed something?

    This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences.

    How ironic that the usually more mercurial Mr Hack ends up formulating the simple conclusion that I’m trying to arrive at and that AP looks unable to accept.

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them. At the beginning of this conflict I wasn’t particularly sympathetic to any side and, if anything, I had the typical anti-Putin bias of most people in the West. It did piss me off however to see how the EU and the US were once again meddling in the affairs of foreign countries that they have little knowledge of.

    It was’t until the bloodletting of civilians began that I became quite anti-Ukrainian.

    Contrary to what AP thinks, if the IS managed to control a part of the French territory with French civilians inside, the French would exercise much more care for those civilians than what the Ukrainians have been able to show. And I have very little doubt that the Spaniards would never resort to shelling any civilian part of Barcelona or Tarragona. They would quite undoubtedly let the Catalans go rather than killing thousands of civilians. I have Catalan friends and happen to know the situation there quite well.

    I suspect that one of the reasons why politicians in the West are deciding to turn a blind eye to the killing of civilians by our new Ukrainian partners is because they just don’t expect any better of them. Which may be unfair, I think that most ordinary Ukrainians (among them many voters of Zelensky) would actually prefer to stop the carnage in the East even if that means losing Donbas.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them.
     
    Did the separatists show any first signs of trying to negotiate? Creating military units is not a good faith sign of wanting to negotiate. Allowing military units to be formed with outside Russian help is also not a sign of goodwill. Where in the world would such a military breakaway movement financed by a hostile neighboring government be countenanced by any national government?

    BTW, I don't see anywhere where AP has shown any reluctance to accept a negotiated resolution, especially initially before any conflict begins, rather than resorting to military conflict? Maybe you really are somewhat delusional?

    , @AP

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might,
     
    Political settlement with whom? The rebels weren't local elected officials. They were unelected activists, about half of whom were foreign citizens. Imagine if some unelected German activists and German citizens seized parts of Strasburg. Would the French negotiate with them, on the sovereignty of Strassburg?

    If the local elected government in Donbas had declared they don't recognize the Kiev events and demand negoatiations you would have had a point. But the armed gangs often imprisoned the local elected officials.

    Contrary to what AP thinks, if the IS managed to control a part of the French territory with French civilians inside, the French would exercise much more care for those civilians than what the Ukrainians have been able to show
     
    Don't change the subject. Do you claim that in order to eliminate civilian casualties the Frnech would simply allow ISIS to operate its Caliphate undisturbed on French territory wtithout trying to storm the region?

    And I have very little doubt that the Spaniards would never resort to shelling any civilian part of Barcelona or Tarragona. They would quite undoubtedly let the Catalans go rather than killing thousands of civilians.
     
    We have already established that you are dishonest so your claim here is meaningless.

    If your claim was true, why wouldn't the Catalans arm the police and take over their region, if the Spaniards would no nothing in response and therefore there would be a bloodlessly achieved independent state?

    The reason the Catalans don't do that is because the Spanish governent would repsond with some level of force, and the Catalans do not want any civilian losses. They care more about the civilians who elected them, than did the pro-Russian gangs in Donbas about the civilians who did not elect them.
  117. @Mikel

    This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences.
     
    How ironic that the usually more mercurial Mr Hack ends up formulating the simple conclusion that I'm trying to arrive at and that AP looks unable to accept.

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them. At the beginning of this conflict I wasn't particularly sympathetic to any side and, if anything, I had the typical anti-Putin bias of most people in the West. It did piss me off however to see how the EU and the US were once again meddling in the affairs of foreign countries that they have little knowledge of.

    It was't until the bloodletting of civilians began that I became quite anti-Ukrainian.

    Contrary to what AP thinks, if the IS managed to control a part of the French territory with French civilians inside, the French would exercise much more care for those civilians than what the Ukrainians have been able to show. And I have very little doubt that the Spaniards would never resort to shelling any civilian part of Barcelona or Tarragona. They would quite undoubtedly let the Catalans go rather than killing thousands of civilians. I have Catalan friends and happen to know the situation there quite well.

    I suspect that one of the reasons why politicians in the West are deciding to turn a blind eye to the killing of civilians by our new Ukrainian partners is because they just don't expect any better of them. Which may be unfair, I think that most ordinary Ukrainians (among them many voters of Zelensky) would actually prefer to stop the carnage in the East even if that means losing Donbas.

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them.

    Did the separatists show any first signs of trying to negotiate? Creating military units is not a good faith sign of wanting to negotiate. Allowing military units to be formed with outside Russian help is also not a sign of goodwill. Where in the world would such a military breakaway movement financed by a hostile neighboring government be countenanced by any national government?

    BTW, I don’t see anywhere where AP has shown any reluctance to accept a negotiated resolution, especially initially before any conflict begins, rather than resorting to military conflict? Maybe you really are somewhat delusional?

    • Replies: @AP
    He is basically dishonest, as we have seen.
    , @Mikel
    As we all saw, the support of the Russians for the Donbas rebels was very limited and amateurish, especially at the beginning. A large majority of the insurgents were locals.

    They were certainly not in a very negotiating mood and I'm not saying that it would have been easy to compromise with them but didn't you say yourself that it is always better to try to negotiate than to unleash a war? That's what you do even with bloody terrorists. Why not with a part of your own population?

    Speaking of which, I have only been to Ukraine once, in the 90s. But with my limited knowledge of the region by March 2014 I was expecting the eruption of violence in the East. To my surprise, it ended up being the democratic, pro-EU side the one that caused massive damage to civilians. If someone like me could predict a violent reaction in the regions that had voted for the ousted president, what plans did the new authorities have for these regions? Let them suck their defeat?
  118. @AP

    Governments have a right to assert its control over its own territory.

    Not at any price, obviously.
     
    Sure.

    I have the right to assert control over my house. But if some terrorists occupy it with my family inside it, my main concern would be to make sure that they don’t get harmed, even if I have to cede control of my rightful possession.
     
    Planes with terrorists get stormed (presumably family members of those trapped inside do not make this decision).

    If a few hundred or thousand terrorists seized part of French cities and declared a caliphate, I suspect the French governent would not leave them and their declared Caliphate in peace in order to avoid civilian collateral damage. Nor would they ignore mortar fire upon French positions from inside this Caliphate in order to avoid civilian collateral damage.

    But there has not been a comparable situation on Euroepan soil. IRA never simply seized parts of Northern Ireland. Catalan activists did not arm their people and seize government buildings and residential areas. If they did you think the Spanish government would not shoot at all and just allow independence totally bloodlessly?

    Completely different circumstances.

    No. Regardless of the accessory circumstances, in both cases individual people took the decision to use lethal force against civilians.
     
    Okay. You think arresting a civilian and killing him is the same thing as a civilian being killed when the army shells a rebel-controlled area where the civilian happens to be. Just differnet "accesory circumstances."

    I see your problem however. You think the Ukrainian governemnt made a decision to use force against civilians, rather than against armed rebels, with the civilians being collateral damage. Rest assured, if the Ukrainian government made a decision to kill civilians there would be much more than 4,000 of them dead. If the Ukrainian governent wanted to cull the Sovok population of Donbas, as Syria wanted to cull the Sunni population, there would be a Syria-level death toll with over 100,000 dead.

    This is exactly how the Italian courts view this matter and are trying to prosecute the authors of the Ukrainian indiscriminate shelling that killed an Italian journalist.
     
    Prosecutors can make all sorts of stupid and odd decisions.

    I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime
     
    No pilot made a decision "against Luhansk square."

    You have already been correected on this:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/netanyahu-was-in-moscow-so-what/#comment-2332148

    Pilot tried to hit an armed rebel-held government administraton building next to the square, but the missile hit the square instead and killed civilians. The missile wasn't aimed at the square. There is thus no crime there by the pilot.

    Why repeat a falsehood?

    This is not comparable to arresting and executing civilians.

    I did not claim that the Ukrainian government is trying to exterminate the people of Donbas (although we know that some Ukrainian politicians like Timoshenko toy with that idea in their private conversations). I only claimed that they haven’t hesitated to kill scores of their own civilians in order to keep Donbas under their control.
     
    Of course they have hesitated. Compare civilian death toll in Donbas to civilian death toll in Chechnya, where they did not hesistate. Or Syria, where they seem to deliberately kill rebel sympathizers.

    You have already been correected on this:

    Why repeat a falsehood?

    You lose a lot of credibility with this kind of debating style. We have indeed discussed that disgraceful episode in the past. The fact that you proclaimed something and I wasn’t bothered to pursue the debate much further does not mean that what you proclaimed became established as the truth.

    In fact, I found your arguments most unpersuasive which is why I brought up the Lugansk Square bloodshed once again as an example of the unethical behavior of the Ukrainian authorities.

    Speaking of dishonorable falsehoods, if the Ukrainians found that bombing legitimate why did they try to blame it on the rebels once the consequences became public?

    • Replies: @AP

    You lose a lot of credibility with this kind of debating style. We have indeed discussed that disgraceful episode in the past. The fact that you proclaimed something and I wasn’t bothered to pursue the debate much further does not mean that what you proclaimed became established as the truth.
     
    Interesting excuse for your past dishonesty. You were caught lying, you can't defend your lie, so you say nothing.

    In fact, I found your arguments most unpersuasive which is why I brought up the Lugansk Square bloodshed once again as an example of the unethical behavior of the Ukrainian authorities

     

    You thought you could repeat a false claim.

    The Ukrainian government tried to bomb a rebel-held building, the plane's missile hit an adjacent square and killed civilians, and you implied the Ukrainian government was targeting civilians.

    This is a lie, pure and simple.

    The Ukrainian government (or its pilots) can be accused of being incompetent and sloppy, but the idea that it tried to kill those people in the square, and that these deaths are somehow comparable to the targetting arrest and execution of civilians by various regimes, is a lie.

    Speaking of dishonorable falsehoods, if the Ukrainians found that bombing legitimate why did they try to blame it on the rebels once the consequences became public?
     
    The Ukrainian government was hardly competent, this tragic accident would be spun as something deliberate by dishonest people such as you, so it lied.

    BTW pro-Kiev sources themselves debunked the Ukrainian government claim that its plane didn't bomb the square:

    https://www.stopfake.org/en/analysis-of-events-in-luhansk/
  119. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Any other real or imagined reasons that kept Donbasians up at night that would abruptly cause them to want to secede from Ukraine and organize militarily to do so? Do you believe that without outside direction from Moscow (a big thumbs up), all that transpired in Donbas in 2014 could have occurred?

    I think Ukrainians overemphasize Moscow’s role but that without Moscow this rebellion would not have occured and, dependng on stage, would have been quite brief..

    That is, no encouragement and no volunteers at the beginning, and it would have just been protests, some armed, a few dozen dead at most.

    No flow of weapons and volunteers, and the Kiev government would have taken control quickly and relatively painlessly, (a few hundred casualties, maybe over a thousand, at most).

  120. @Mr. Hack

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them.
     
    Did the separatists show any first signs of trying to negotiate? Creating military units is not a good faith sign of wanting to negotiate. Allowing military units to be formed with outside Russian help is also not a sign of goodwill. Where in the world would such a military breakaway movement financed by a hostile neighboring government be countenanced by any national government?

    BTW, I don't see anywhere where AP has shown any reluctance to accept a negotiated resolution, especially initially before any conflict begins, rather than resorting to military conflict? Maybe you really are somewhat delusional?

    He is basically dishonest, as we have seen.

  121. AP says:
    @Mikel

    You have already been correected on this:

    ...

    Why repeat a falsehood?
     
    You lose a lot of credibility with this kind of debating style. We have indeed discussed that disgraceful episode in the past. The fact that you proclaimed something and I wasn't bothered to pursue the debate much further does not mean that what you proclaimed became established as the truth.

    In fact, I found your arguments most unpersuasive which is why I brought up the Lugansk Square bloodshed once again as an example of the unethical behavior of the Ukrainian authorities.

    Speaking of dishonorable falsehoods, if the Ukrainians found that bombing legitimate why did they try to blame it on the rebels once the consequences became public?

    You lose a lot of credibility with this kind of debating style. We have indeed discussed that disgraceful episode in the past. The fact that you proclaimed something and I wasn’t bothered to pursue the debate much further does not mean that what you proclaimed became established as the truth.

    Interesting excuse for your past dishonesty. You were caught lying, you can’t defend your lie, so you say nothing.

    In fact, I found your arguments most unpersuasive which is why I brought up the Lugansk Square bloodshed once again as an example of the unethical behavior of the Ukrainian authorities

    You thought you could repeat a false claim.

    The Ukrainian government tried to bomb a rebel-held building, the plane’s missile hit an adjacent square and killed civilians, and you implied the Ukrainian government was targeting civilians.

    This is a lie, pure and simple.

    The Ukrainian government (or its pilots) can be accused of being incompetent and sloppy, but the idea that it tried to kill those people in the square, and that these deaths are somehow comparable to the targetting arrest and execution of civilians by various regimes, is a lie.

    Speaking of dishonorable falsehoods, if the Ukrainians found that bombing legitimate why did they try to blame it on the rebels once the consequences became public?

    The Ukrainian government was hardly competent, this tragic accident would be spun as something deliberate by dishonest people such as you, so it lied.

    BTW pro-Kiev sources themselves debunked the Ukrainian government claim that its plane didn’t bomb the square:

    https://www.stopfake.org/en/analysis-of-events-in-luhansk/

    • Replies: @Mikel

    You were caught lying, you can’t defend your lie
    ...
    You thought you could repeat a false claim
    ...
    This is a lie, pure and simple.
    ...
    that these deaths are ... is a lie.
    ...
     
    Having been made aware of how unnecessarily you put your credibility as an honest debater at risk, you resort to an infantile attempt to provoke an emotional response from me. No thanks, I'm not interested in the slightest in spending any part of my weekend descending to those levels.

    What makes your outburst most silly is that I am quite willing to stand corrected if I ever say something that is factually incorrect.

    There aren't many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday must be a desperately difficult thing to do but still, if I had been shown by someone with better argumentative skills than you that anything I said about that carnage was wrong, I wouldn't have hesitated to take it back.
  122. @Mr. Hack

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them.
     
    Did the separatists show any first signs of trying to negotiate? Creating military units is not a good faith sign of wanting to negotiate. Allowing military units to be formed with outside Russian help is also not a sign of goodwill. Where in the world would such a military breakaway movement financed by a hostile neighboring government be countenanced by any national government?

    BTW, I don't see anywhere where AP has shown any reluctance to accept a negotiated resolution, especially initially before any conflict begins, rather than resorting to military conflict? Maybe you really are somewhat delusional?

    As we all saw, the support of the Russians for the Donbas rebels was very limited and amateurish, especially at the beginning. A large majority of the insurgents were locals.

    They were certainly not in a very negotiating mood and I’m not saying that it would have been easy to compromise with them but didn’t you say yourself that it is always better to try to negotiate than to unleash a war? That’s what you do even with bloody terrorists. Why not with a part of your own population?

    Speaking of which, I have only been to Ukraine once, in the 90s. But with my limited knowledge of the region by March 2014 I was expecting the eruption of violence in the East. To my surprise, it ended up being the democratic, pro-EU side the one that caused massive damage to civilians. If someone like me could predict a violent reaction in the regions that had voted for the ousted president, what plans did the new authorities have for these regions? Let them suck their defeat?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    To my surprise, it ended up being the democratic, pro-EU side the one that caused massive damage to civilians. If someone like me could predict a violent reaction in the regions that had voted for the ousted president, what plans did the new authorities have for these regions? Let them suck their defeat?
     
    You're opining generalities that are not substantiated. From my own perceptions, most of Eastern and Southern Ukraine (with the exception of Crimea) didn't go along with the idea of creating a separate 'NovoRossija' state or to become a part of Russia. In the final analyses, even Odessa, a largely russified city, didn't show any strong inclinations for separation. We'll never really know about Donbas, for it was never allowed to voice its opinions in any sort of civilized manner. A few dozen local yahoos supported with an equal amount of outside agitators is no way to judge a movement's true motivations 5 years later on.
  123. AP says:
    @Mikel

    This is another reason to try and negotiate differences peacefully before resorting to war with its always unfortunate consequences.
     
    How ironic that the usually more mercurial Mr Hack ends up formulating the simple conclusion that I'm trying to arrive at and that AP looks unable to accept.

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might, I would have sided with them. At the beginning of this conflict I wasn't particularly sympathetic to any side and, if anything, I had the typical anti-Putin bias of most people in the West. It did piss me off however to see how the EU and the US were once again meddling in the affairs of foreign countries that they have little knowledge of.

    It was't until the bloodletting of civilians began that I became quite anti-Ukrainian.

    Contrary to what AP thinks, if the IS managed to control a part of the French territory with French civilians inside, the French would exercise much more care for those civilians than what the Ukrainians have been able to show. And I have very little doubt that the Spaniards would never resort to shelling any civilian part of Barcelona or Tarragona. They would quite undoubtedly let the Catalans go rather than killing thousands of civilians. I have Catalan friends and happen to know the situation there quite well.

    I suspect that one of the reasons why politicians in the West are deciding to turn a blind eye to the killing of civilians by our new Ukrainian partners is because they just don't expect any better of them. Which may be unfair, I think that most ordinary Ukrainians (among them many voters of Zelensky) would actually prefer to stop the carnage in the East even if that means losing Donbas.

    If the Ukrainians had tried to negotiate a political settlement rather than crush the rebellion with all their military might,

    Political settlement with whom? The rebels weren’t local elected officials. They were unelected activists, about half of whom were foreign citizens. Imagine if some unelected German activists and German citizens seized parts of Strasburg. Would the French negotiate with them, on the sovereignty of Strassburg?

    If the local elected government in Donbas had declared they don’t recognize the Kiev events and demand negoatiations you would have had a point. But the armed gangs often imprisoned the local elected officials.

    Contrary to what AP thinks, if the IS managed to control a part of the French territory with French civilians inside, the French would exercise much more care for those civilians than what the Ukrainians have been able to show

    Don’t change the subject. Do you claim that in order to eliminate civilian casualties the Frnech would simply allow ISIS to operate its Caliphate undisturbed on French territory wtithout trying to storm the region?

    And I have very little doubt that the Spaniards would never resort to shelling any civilian part of Barcelona or Tarragona. They would quite undoubtedly let the Catalans go rather than killing thousands of civilians.

    We have already established that you are dishonest so your claim here is meaningless.

    If your claim was true, why wouldn’t the Catalans arm the police and take over their region, if the Spaniards would no nothing in response and therefore there would be a bloodlessly achieved independent state?

    The reason the Catalans don’t do that is because the Spanish governent would repsond with some level of force, and the Catalans do not want any civilian losses. They care more about the civilians who elected them, than did the pro-Russian gangs in Donbas about the civilians who did not elect them.

  124. @Mikel
    As we all saw, the support of the Russians for the Donbas rebels was very limited and amateurish, especially at the beginning. A large majority of the insurgents were locals.

    They were certainly not in a very negotiating mood and I'm not saying that it would have been easy to compromise with them but didn't you say yourself that it is always better to try to negotiate than to unleash a war? That's what you do even with bloody terrorists. Why not with a part of your own population?

    Speaking of which, I have only been to Ukraine once, in the 90s. But with my limited knowledge of the region by March 2014 I was expecting the eruption of violence in the East. To my surprise, it ended up being the democratic, pro-EU side the one that caused massive damage to civilians. If someone like me could predict a violent reaction in the regions that had voted for the ousted president, what plans did the new authorities have for these regions? Let them suck their defeat?

    To my surprise, it ended up being the democratic, pro-EU side the one that caused massive damage to civilians. If someone like me could predict a violent reaction in the regions that had voted for the ousted president, what plans did the new authorities have for these regions? Let them suck their defeat?

    You’re opining generalities that are not substantiated. From my own perceptions, most of Eastern and Southern Ukraine (with the exception of Crimea) didn’t go along with the idea of creating a separate ‘NovoRossija’ state or to become a part of Russia. In the final analyses, even Odessa, a largely russified city, didn’t show any strong inclinations for separation. We’ll never really know about Donbas, for it was never allowed to voice its opinions in any sort of civilized manner. A few dozen local yahoos supported with an equal amount of outside agitators is no way to judge a movement’s true motivations 5 years later on.

  125. @AP

    You lose a lot of credibility with this kind of debating style. We have indeed discussed that disgraceful episode in the past. The fact that you proclaimed something and I wasn’t bothered to pursue the debate much further does not mean that what you proclaimed became established as the truth.
     
    Interesting excuse for your past dishonesty. You were caught lying, you can't defend your lie, so you say nothing.

    In fact, I found your arguments most unpersuasive which is why I brought up the Lugansk Square bloodshed once again as an example of the unethical behavior of the Ukrainian authorities

     

    You thought you could repeat a false claim.

    The Ukrainian government tried to bomb a rebel-held building, the plane's missile hit an adjacent square and killed civilians, and you implied the Ukrainian government was targeting civilians.

    This is a lie, pure and simple.

    The Ukrainian government (or its pilots) can be accused of being incompetent and sloppy, but the idea that it tried to kill those people in the square, and that these deaths are somehow comparable to the targetting arrest and execution of civilians by various regimes, is a lie.

    Speaking of dishonorable falsehoods, if the Ukrainians found that bombing legitimate why did they try to blame it on the rebels once the consequences became public?
     
    The Ukrainian government was hardly competent, this tragic accident would be spun as something deliberate by dishonest people such as you, so it lied.

    BTW pro-Kiev sources themselves debunked the Ukrainian government claim that its plane didn't bomb the square:

    https://www.stopfake.org/en/analysis-of-events-in-luhansk/

    You were caught lying, you can’t defend your lie

    You thought you could repeat a false claim

    This is a lie, pure and simple.

    that these deaths are … is a lie.

    Having been made aware of how unnecessarily you put your credibility as an honest debater at risk, you resort to an infantile attempt to provoke an emotional response from me. No thanks, I’m not interested in the slightest in spending any part of my weekend descending to those levels.

    What makes your outburst most silly is that I am quite willing to stand corrected if I ever say something that is factually incorrect.

    There aren’t many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday must be a desperately difficult thing to do but still, if I had been shown by someone with better argumentative skills than you that anything I said about that carnage was wrong, I wouldn’t have hesitated to take it back.

    • Replies: @AP

    Having been made aware of how unnecessarily you put your credibility as an honest debater at risk, you resort to an infantile attempt to provoke an emotional response from me.
     
    I call a lie a lie. To do otherwise would be dishonest of me. I don't care about the emotional level of your response.

    Your crebility is gone and it is important to make it clear, not for you but for other readers.


    What makes your outburst most silly is that I am quite willing to stand corrected if I ever say something that is factually incorrect.
     
    A lie. As we see here.

    You equated the deaths of civilians from the an errant missile that was supposed to hit a rebel-held government building, to the arrest and execution of civilians. You implird it was a deliberate act. This is dishonest.


    There aren’t many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday
     
    Another lie. Saying something was not a deliberate targetted act is not to "justify" it. It may have been criminally incompetent. But those civilians were not deliberately targeted as you dishonestly implied.

    if I had been shown by someone with better argumentative skills than you that anything I said about that carnage was wrong, I wouldn’t have hesitated to take it back.
     
    No, you would have just lied as usual. Pattern is clear and your lies will always be identified for what they are.
  126. AP says:
    @Mikel

    You were caught lying, you can’t defend your lie
    ...
    You thought you could repeat a false claim
    ...
    This is a lie, pure and simple.
    ...
    that these deaths are ... is a lie.
    ...
     
    Having been made aware of how unnecessarily you put your credibility as an honest debater at risk, you resort to an infantile attempt to provoke an emotional response from me. No thanks, I'm not interested in the slightest in spending any part of my weekend descending to those levels.

    What makes your outburst most silly is that I am quite willing to stand corrected if I ever say something that is factually incorrect.

    There aren't many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday must be a desperately difficult thing to do but still, if I had been shown by someone with better argumentative skills than you that anything I said about that carnage was wrong, I wouldn't have hesitated to take it back.

    Having been made aware of how unnecessarily you put your credibility as an honest debater at risk, you resort to an infantile attempt to provoke an emotional response from me.

    I call a lie a lie. To do otherwise would be dishonest of me. I don’t care about the emotional level of your response.

    Your crebility is gone and it is important to make it clear, not for you but for other readers.

    What makes your outburst most silly is that I am quite willing to stand corrected if I ever say something that is factually incorrect.

    A lie. As we see here.

    You equated the deaths of civilians from the an errant missile that was supposed to hit a rebel-held government building, to the arrest and execution of civilians. You implird it was a deliberate act. This is dishonest.

    There aren’t many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday

    Another lie. Saying something was not a deliberate targetted act is not to “justify” it. It may have been criminally incompetent. But those civilians were not deliberately targeted as you dishonestly implied.

    if I had been shown by someone with better argumentative skills than you that anything I said about that carnage was wrong, I wouldn’t have hesitated to take it back.

    No, you would have just lied as usual. Pattern is clear and your lies will always be identified for what they are.

    • Replies: @AP

    "There aren’t many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday "

    Another lie. Saying something was not a deliberate targetted act is not to “justify” it. It may have been criminally incompetent. But those civilians were not deliberately targeted as you dishonestly implied
     
    Just to clarify. There should be an investigation but an attack on a rebel government building in response to armed rebel attacks on Ukrainian border positions is in and of itself a legitimate action. One would need to judge the level of carelessness involved to determine whether the extent of incompetence was somehow criminal in nature.
    , @Mikel

    I call a lie a lie...
    A lie...
    Another lie...
    you would have just lied as usual...
    your lies will always be identified for what they are...
     
    It is sad to see you descend to a Gerard level of trollishness, from whom I recall having defended you in the past. I have seen you do much better than that and actually win arguments with other commenters here but you've totally lost it this time.

    Gerard's language is more obscene but the inflammatory nature of these latest posts of yours and his are identical. Perhaps he's actually less dishonest than you. He seems to mostly believe what he writes but there's no way to take your childish accusations seriously.

    As I had to warn you on another occasion, calling someone a liar is a very ugly thing where I come from. I don't think you have forgotten that remark, seeing that you remember details of past conversations so well.

    - You have never provided any evidence that there were armed rebels in that civilian building on the day of the carnage, because you obviously have none.
    - What everybody, including yourself, knew that day and knows today with certainty is that there were lots of civilians in that building and its surroundings.
    - Not surprisingly in the slightest, throwing a bomb in that place caused numerous civilians to get killed and maimed with no military gain whatsoever except that of terrorizing the population that was then defenseless against air attacks.
    - The Geneva Convention establishes that attacking civilian places from the air is a war crime.
    - No court in any civilized country would ever fail to apply the harshest punishment to anyone throwing a bomb in a place full of civilians and actually killing lots of them regardless of any pretext of the kind you're trying to make up.

    And still I wouldn't go as far as calling you a liar. There is a possibility that you've somehow managed to convince yourself that all of the above points are not true. After all, you seem to think that someone who refuses to discuss the same tired issue with you for hours on end is actually agreeing with what you say.
  127. @Mr. XYZ
    So, basically, just like the Bolsheviks felt that they had to "liberate" Georgia from the Mensheviks in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of Russia, the CCP feels that it has to eventually "liberate" Taiwan from the KMT in order to complete their mission of spreading the revolution to all of China?

    No, the problem is at its heart, KMT and CCP both claim all of China; the sense of “Mandate of Heaven” remains. The DDP or TaiDu, which is the ruling party now, wants independence but they’re also insane on every level – even basic economic competence.

    A fantasyland ending is KMT-led autonomous Taiwan integrates back into China while the Communist government loosens control enough that the “minor parties” like the “Chinese KMT” can merge with the existing KMT, so no one loses face. This is all a dream given the 1)CCP paranoia, 2)Taiwanese suspicion(justified negativity from Taiwanese), and 3)unpleasant events in HK(justified negativity in Mainland).

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    On unpleasant events in HK, I feel like the sequences of events occurred like this:

    1. CCP, by initially honoring the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, decides to keep a very low profile in Hong Kong and give power mostly to the tycoons, mostly pro-Beijing due to economic reasons but not necessarily in personal convictions.

    2. This worked "well" for around 15 years starting in 1997, especially post SARS as Hong Kong's economy grows, white expats return, and people started getting patriotic. Although later on it became clear that the tycoons have managed to run Hong Kong as a oligarchy. This left Hong Kongers dealing with insane house prices completely out of reach of the middle class, overtourism from Mainlanders using it as a tax-free shopping center and entry level "foreign" travel destination, and to a lesser extent, falling public education standards.

    3. The blame somehow gets deflected from the tycoons towards the CCP; the Hong Kong middle classes youth, who are by far the biggest losers of this development, turn towards the Western gay disco for hopes of putting themselves out of the misery caused by housing + tourism bubble, both of which put a noticeable dent on quality of life that can be constantly felt. Not to mention that the rapid growth of Chinese cities and rapid increase of Mainlanders studying/working in Hong Kong made competition for Hong Kong jobs much tougher, both from Mainlanders taking Hong Kong jobs and multinationals moving a lot of China-centric operations to Mainland tier-1 cities.

    4. This started around 2009 and came to a climax in 2014 with Occupy. This was nominally a protest with the "democracy with Chinese characteristics" proposal, a decent proposal in better times in fact.

    5. The straw that broke the camels back turning yet another protest into a massive act of civil disobedience blocking the roads was the police using too much force by using tear gas (not a problem with China at all but with the morale of the police in that time period); in the immediate days after the incident, even many pro-Beijing Hong Kongers sided with the students, rapidly growing this into a civil disobedience act shutting down parts of Central. The CCP held incredible restraint in this time period (unlike what most predicted) and let the protests fizzle out

    6. But in the aftermath, they started exerting their influence publicly in Hong Kong, largely as a bulwark against the Blue Empire. The Hong Kong people's anger hasn't died down since the Occupy protests ended with zero concessions, causing a landslide victory for the localists. This is when the Chinese government started stepping in publicly, by banning them (the localists did do themselves in by swearing and infighting in the LegCo), arresting the Causeway Bay booksellers, and a massive in-your-face pompous display of Communist-style slogans on the 20th anniversary of HKSAR. Suffering a major defeat, the now Cathedral-backed Hong Kong middle class youth retreated from politics yet their anger is still bubbling under the surface. This was also the peak of Hong Kongers not feeling they're Chinese, to the point that people even stopped going to Tiananmen Square remembrance events because "it happened in China and has nothing to do with Hong Kong".

    7. This anger burst right back into the front and center of society since the extradition law, which is a whole can of worms itself. Right now, the solution and long term effects are unknown

    Worst Possible Effect

    The Blue Empire, embroiled with a trade dispute, with China, might revoke Hong Kong's special status on their part (US-Hong Kong Policy Act) thinking it might send a nuclear blow to the CCP. This has not only the usual middle class youth spooked, but also upper class of all ages.

    We'll see how much the CCP is willing to work with the Hong Kong upper class to make sure this doesn't happen. If this does happen and Hong Kong gets treated the same as Mainland by the USG, expect a massive economic recession and capital flight/emigration at levels at least as high as the 1989-1997 emigration wave.

  128. @Abelard Lindsey
    Yeah, this centralization has survival value but with the price of stagnation. If what you say is correct, then China will most certainly enter a Japan-like stagnation no later than 2030 (at which point its total GDP will be somewhat larger than that of the U.S. but the per capita significantly less). China will not collapse because they clearly have a system that is functional enough to prevent this, unlike the old Soviet Union.

    My point was not just the waste of talent and potential. But that the history of stagnation for China has not been a good one. The last time China was stagnant, China was subject to a lot of abuse (e.g. the century of humiliation). The previous time of stagnation was when China lost the opportunity to settle/colonize the Americans and Australia (when the huge trading ships were burned at the end of the Ming dynasty). I would think the Chinese would have learned the lesson e.g. that stagnation is bad). Maybe not. Our people here (central bank, finance community) certainly did not learn the lesson of the Japan bubble. They still haven't.

    Maybe I am silly to believe the Chinese are more capable of learning these kind of lessons than anyone else.

    OTOH, people don't invade each other any more. At least not like the Khanate or the Manchus taking over China like they did. So, maybe China can go into another period of stagnation, with enough of a defense system to keep anyone from f**king with them and everything will be fine.

    Do you think a future stagnant China will try to keep aspirational types from leaving? There is a discussion on Marginal revolution about how leftist authoritarian regimes try to keep people from leaving but that rightwing ones (Pinochet Chile, Franco Spain, etc.) do not. Perhaps a stagnant China will actually encourage the aspirational types to leave (so as not to rock the boat).

    China will have to adapt to the changing realities of the future, but obviously survival is important and to the Party, of paramount value. All in all, I think its safe to say that the risks of chaos exceed the risk of stagnation.

    The “non-stagnant” countries aren’t doing too great.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Are there any non-stagnant countries these days? It seems like everyone, including the U.S., is stagnant these days.

    David Goldman (Spengler) has written about the decline of entrepreneurship , in general, in the U.S. since around 2000. He considers this (as do I) the single most significant problem the U.S. faces today.

    China is not going to get invaded by anyone no matter how stagnant they are like they were by the Khanate and Manchus. Even the logistics of this kind of large scale invasion is simply not possible any more. So maybe your right that the risks of stagnation are much reduced as compared to 19th century and before, and the Chinese understand this.

    After all, no ones talking about invading Japan.

  129. AP says:
    @AP

    Having been made aware of how unnecessarily you put your credibility as an honest debater at risk, you resort to an infantile attempt to provoke an emotional response from me.
     
    I call a lie a lie. To do otherwise would be dishonest of me. I don't care about the emotional level of your response.

    Your crebility is gone and it is important to make it clear, not for you but for other readers.


    What makes your outburst most silly is that I am quite willing to stand corrected if I ever say something that is factually incorrect.
     
    A lie. As we see here.

    You equated the deaths of civilians from the an errant missile that was supposed to hit a rebel-held government building, to the arrest and execution of civilians. You implird it was a deliberate act. This is dishonest.


    There aren’t many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday
     
    Another lie. Saying something was not a deliberate targetted act is not to "justify" it. It may have been criminally incompetent. But those civilians were not deliberately targeted as you dishonestly implied.

    if I had been shown by someone with better argumentative skills than you that anything I said about that carnage was wrong, I wouldn’t have hesitated to take it back.
     
    No, you would have just lied as usual. Pattern is clear and your lies will always be identified for what they are.

    “There aren’t many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday ”

    Another lie. Saying something was not a deliberate targetted act is not to “justify” it. It may have been criminally incompetent. But those civilians were not deliberately targeted as you dishonestly implied

    Just to clarify. There should be an investigation but an attack on a rebel government building in response to armed rebel attacks on Ukrainian border positions is in and of itself a legitimate action. One would need to judge the level of carelessness involved to determine whether the extent of incompetence was somehow criminal in nature.

  130. @Daniel Chieh
    China will have to adapt to the changing realities of the future, but obviously survival is important and to the Party, of paramount value. All in all, I think its safe to say that the risks of chaos exceed the risk of stagnation.

    The "non-stagnant" countries aren't doing too great.

    Are there any non-stagnant countries these days? It seems like everyone, including the U.S., is stagnant these days.

    David Goldman (Spengler) has written about the decline of entrepreneurship , in general, in the U.S. since around 2000. He considers this (as do I) the single most significant problem the U.S. faces today.

    China is not going to get invaded by anyone no matter how stagnant they are like they were by the Khanate and Manchus. Even the logistics of this kind of large scale invasion is simply not possible any more. So maybe your right that the risks of stagnation are much reduced as compared to 19th century and before, and the Chinese understand this.

    After all, no ones talking about invading Japan.

  131. @Daniel Chieh
    No, the problem is at its heart, KMT and CCP both claim all of China; the sense of "Mandate of Heaven" remains. The DDP or TaiDu, which is the ruling party now, wants independence but they're also insane on every level - even basic economic competence.

    A fantasyland ending is KMT-led autonomous Taiwan integrates back into China while the Communist government loosens control enough that the "minor parties" like the "Chinese KMT" can merge with the existing KMT, so no one loses face. This is all a dream given the 1)CCP paranoia, 2)Taiwanese suspicion(justified negativity from Taiwanese), and 3)unpleasant events in HK(justified negativity in Mainland).

    On unpleasant events in HK, I feel like the sequences of events occurred like this:

    1. CCP, by initially honoring the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, decides to keep a very low profile in Hong Kong and give power mostly to the tycoons, mostly pro-Beijing due to economic reasons but not necessarily in personal convictions.

    2. This worked “well” for around 15 years starting in 1997, especially post SARS as Hong Kong’s economy grows, white expats return, and people started getting patriotic. Although later on it became clear that the tycoons have managed to run Hong Kong as a oligarchy. This left Hong Kongers dealing with insane house prices completely out of reach of the middle class, overtourism from Mainlanders using it as a tax-free shopping center and entry level “foreign” travel destination, and to a lesser extent, falling public education standards.

    3. The blame somehow gets deflected from the tycoons towards the CCP; the Hong Kong middle classes youth, who are by far the biggest losers of this development, turn towards the Western gay disco for hopes of putting themselves out of the misery caused by housing + tourism bubble, both of which put a noticeable dent on quality of life that can be constantly felt. Not to mention that the rapid growth of Chinese cities and rapid increase of Mainlanders studying/working in Hong Kong made competition for Hong Kong jobs much tougher, both from Mainlanders taking Hong Kong jobs and multinationals moving a lot of China-centric operations to Mainland tier-1 cities.

    4. This started around 2009 and came to a climax in 2014 with Occupy. This was nominally a protest with the “democracy with Chinese characteristics” proposal, a decent proposal in better times in fact.

    5. The straw that broke the camels back turning yet another protest into a massive act of civil disobedience blocking the roads was the police using too much force by using tear gas (not a problem with China at all but with the morale of the police in that time period); in the immediate days after the incident, even many pro-Beijing Hong Kongers sided with the students, rapidly growing this into a civil disobedience act shutting down parts of Central. The CCP held incredible restraint in this time period (unlike what most predicted) and let the protests fizzle out

    6. But in the aftermath, they started exerting their influence publicly in Hong Kong, largely as a bulwark against the Blue Empire. The Hong Kong people’s anger hasn’t died down since the Occupy protests ended with zero concessions, causing a landslide victory for the localists. This is when the Chinese government started stepping in publicly, by banning them (the localists did do themselves in by swearing and infighting in the LegCo), arresting the Causeway Bay booksellers, and a massive in-your-face pompous display of Communist-style slogans on the 20th anniversary of HKSAR. Suffering a major defeat, the now Cathedral-backed Hong Kong middle class youth retreated from politics yet their anger is still bubbling under the surface. This was also the peak of Hong Kongers not feeling they’re Chinese, to the point that people even stopped going to Tiananmen Square remembrance events because “it happened in China and has nothing to do with Hong Kong”.

    7. This anger burst right back into the front and center of society since the extradition law, which is a whole can of worms itself. Right now, the solution and long term effects are unknown

    Worst Possible Effect

    The Blue Empire, embroiled with a trade dispute, with China, might revoke Hong Kong’s special status on their part (US-Hong Kong Policy Act) thinking it might send a nuclear blow to the CCP. This has not only the usual middle class youth spooked, but also upper class of all ages.

    We’ll see how much the CCP is willing to work with the Hong Kong upper class to make sure this doesn’t happen. If this does happen and Hong Kong gets treated the same as Mainland by the USG, expect a massive economic recession and capital flight/emigration at levels at least as high as the 1989-1997 emigration wave.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    I would say that the Chinese government made 2 major miscalculations:

    1. Trusting the tycoons at first to run a society that benefits the middle class.

    2. Beijing interference in Hong Kong post-2014, whether justified or not, has become a major PR disaster. The Causeway Bay bookstores incident is a great example of a likely unnecessary PR disaster, or jumping ahead of the local courts on the localist banning issue. In first world international finance hubs like Hong Kong, sometimes PR matters just as much as the actual policies.
    , @AP
    Your guys' discussion is very interesting for this non-Chinese observer. Thank you.
  132. @AquariusAnon
    On unpleasant events in HK, I feel like the sequences of events occurred like this:

    1. CCP, by initially honoring the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, decides to keep a very low profile in Hong Kong and give power mostly to the tycoons, mostly pro-Beijing due to economic reasons but not necessarily in personal convictions.

    2. This worked "well" for around 15 years starting in 1997, especially post SARS as Hong Kong's economy grows, white expats return, and people started getting patriotic. Although later on it became clear that the tycoons have managed to run Hong Kong as a oligarchy. This left Hong Kongers dealing with insane house prices completely out of reach of the middle class, overtourism from Mainlanders using it as a tax-free shopping center and entry level "foreign" travel destination, and to a lesser extent, falling public education standards.

    3. The blame somehow gets deflected from the tycoons towards the CCP; the Hong Kong middle classes youth, who are by far the biggest losers of this development, turn towards the Western gay disco for hopes of putting themselves out of the misery caused by housing + tourism bubble, both of which put a noticeable dent on quality of life that can be constantly felt. Not to mention that the rapid growth of Chinese cities and rapid increase of Mainlanders studying/working in Hong Kong made competition for Hong Kong jobs much tougher, both from Mainlanders taking Hong Kong jobs and multinationals moving a lot of China-centric operations to Mainland tier-1 cities.

    4. This started around 2009 and came to a climax in 2014 with Occupy. This was nominally a protest with the "democracy with Chinese characteristics" proposal, a decent proposal in better times in fact.

    5. The straw that broke the camels back turning yet another protest into a massive act of civil disobedience blocking the roads was the police using too much force by using tear gas (not a problem with China at all but with the morale of the police in that time period); in the immediate days after the incident, even many pro-Beijing Hong Kongers sided with the students, rapidly growing this into a civil disobedience act shutting down parts of Central. The CCP held incredible restraint in this time period (unlike what most predicted) and let the protests fizzle out

    6. But in the aftermath, they started exerting their influence publicly in Hong Kong, largely as a bulwark against the Blue Empire. The Hong Kong people's anger hasn't died down since the Occupy protests ended with zero concessions, causing a landslide victory for the localists. This is when the Chinese government started stepping in publicly, by banning them (the localists did do themselves in by swearing and infighting in the LegCo), arresting the Causeway Bay booksellers, and a massive in-your-face pompous display of Communist-style slogans on the 20th anniversary of HKSAR. Suffering a major defeat, the now Cathedral-backed Hong Kong middle class youth retreated from politics yet their anger is still bubbling under the surface. This was also the peak of Hong Kongers not feeling they're Chinese, to the point that people even stopped going to Tiananmen Square remembrance events because "it happened in China and has nothing to do with Hong Kong".

    7. This anger burst right back into the front and center of society since the extradition law, which is a whole can of worms itself. Right now, the solution and long term effects are unknown

    Worst Possible Effect

    The Blue Empire, embroiled with a trade dispute, with China, might revoke Hong Kong's special status on their part (US-Hong Kong Policy Act) thinking it might send a nuclear blow to the CCP. This has not only the usual middle class youth spooked, but also upper class of all ages.

    We'll see how much the CCP is willing to work with the Hong Kong upper class to make sure this doesn't happen. If this does happen and Hong Kong gets treated the same as Mainland by the USG, expect a massive economic recession and capital flight/emigration at levels at least as high as the 1989-1997 emigration wave.

    I would say that the Chinese government made 2 major miscalculations:

    1. Trusting the tycoons at first to run a society that benefits the middle class.

    2. Beijing interference in Hong Kong post-2014, whether justified or not, has become a major PR disaster. The Causeway Bay bookstores incident is a great example of a likely unnecessary PR disaster, or jumping ahead of the local courts on the localist banning issue. In first world international finance hubs like Hong Kong, sometimes PR matters just as much as the actual policies.

  133. @AquariusAnon
    On unpleasant events in HK, I feel like the sequences of events occurred like this:

    1. CCP, by initially honoring the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, decides to keep a very low profile in Hong Kong and give power mostly to the tycoons, mostly pro-Beijing due to economic reasons but not necessarily in personal convictions.

    2. This worked "well" for around 15 years starting in 1997, especially post SARS as Hong Kong's economy grows, white expats return, and people started getting patriotic. Although later on it became clear that the tycoons have managed to run Hong Kong as a oligarchy. This left Hong Kongers dealing with insane house prices completely out of reach of the middle class, overtourism from Mainlanders using it as a tax-free shopping center and entry level "foreign" travel destination, and to a lesser extent, falling public education standards.

    3. The blame somehow gets deflected from the tycoons towards the CCP; the Hong Kong middle classes youth, who are by far the biggest losers of this development, turn towards the Western gay disco for hopes of putting themselves out of the misery caused by housing + tourism bubble, both of which put a noticeable dent on quality of life that can be constantly felt. Not to mention that the rapid growth of Chinese cities and rapid increase of Mainlanders studying/working in Hong Kong made competition for Hong Kong jobs much tougher, both from Mainlanders taking Hong Kong jobs and multinationals moving a lot of China-centric operations to Mainland tier-1 cities.

    4. This started around 2009 and came to a climax in 2014 with Occupy. This was nominally a protest with the "democracy with Chinese characteristics" proposal, a decent proposal in better times in fact.

    5. The straw that broke the camels back turning yet another protest into a massive act of civil disobedience blocking the roads was the police using too much force by using tear gas (not a problem with China at all but with the morale of the police in that time period); in the immediate days after the incident, even many pro-Beijing Hong Kongers sided with the students, rapidly growing this into a civil disobedience act shutting down parts of Central. The CCP held incredible restraint in this time period (unlike what most predicted) and let the protests fizzle out

    6. But in the aftermath, they started exerting their influence publicly in Hong Kong, largely as a bulwark against the Blue Empire. The Hong Kong people's anger hasn't died down since the Occupy protests ended with zero concessions, causing a landslide victory for the localists. This is when the Chinese government started stepping in publicly, by banning them (the localists did do themselves in by swearing and infighting in the LegCo), arresting the Causeway Bay booksellers, and a massive in-your-face pompous display of Communist-style slogans on the 20th anniversary of HKSAR. Suffering a major defeat, the now Cathedral-backed Hong Kong middle class youth retreated from politics yet their anger is still bubbling under the surface. This was also the peak of Hong Kongers not feeling they're Chinese, to the point that people even stopped going to Tiananmen Square remembrance events because "it happened in China and has nothing to do with Hong Kong".

    7. This anger burst right back into the front and center of society since the extradition law, which is a whole can of worms itself. Right now, the solution and long term effects are unknown

    Worst Possible Effect

    The Blue Empire, embroiled with a trade dispute, with China, might revoke Hong Kong's special status on their part (US-Hong Kong Policy Act) thinking it might send a nuclear blow to the CCP. This has not only the usual middle class youth spooked, but also upper class of all ages.

    We'll see how much the CCP is willing to work with the Hong Kong upper class to make sure this doesn't happen. If this does happen and Hong Kong gets treated the same as Mainland by the USG, expect a massive economic recession and capital flight/emigration at levels at least as high as the 1989-1997 emigration wave.

    Your guys’ discussion is very interesting for this non-Chinese observer. Thank you.

  134. I found this recent article about China: https://www.city-journal.org/china-xi-jinping-antidemocratic-regime

    The article contains a mishmash of things. But one thing the author says which relates to what I remember about China in the 90’s and today is the role of SOE’s.

    In the 90’s it was generally recognized that the SOE’s were obsolete. The problem with the SOE’s, being government entities is the usual one of bloated bureaucracy, lack of leanness and agility to respond to market demand and the like. The challenge was to phase them out over a long enough time period such as not to generate the unemployment that usually accompanies a shift from state planning to market system. The Chinese were doing quite well on this up until around ’08 or so, where they abruptly changed course and decided to bring the SOE’s back into the forefront of the economy. Perhaps someone in the know here can explain the reasoning for this change of course. It is this change of course that i referred to in earlier postings as “back sliding”. I don’t understand why China is now back sliding on economic policy. Such backsliding will most certainly put them into a Japan-like stagnation far earlier than they would if they had maintained the direction towards a complete free-market system.

    Japan’s failure to reform their domestic economy is the primary reason for their 28 years and counting stagnation. The thing that i can’t understand about Japan’s reluctance to reform their domestic economy is that their workforce population is declining as such a rate that they could enact a complete reform of their domestic economy and likely not experience any transitional unemployment at all. In other words, its an opportunity with lots of upside and essentially no downside and they still refuse to do it.

    One reason for the backsliding is simply that the CCP fears the loss of power that could result from the transition to a full free-market system. In the words of a close friend of mine, they want to be in charge for no other reason than the sake of being in charge.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Perhaps someone in the know here can explain the reasoning for this change of course. It is this change of course that i referred to in earlier postings as “back sliding”.
     
    Post-Xi, harsh punishment of corruption saw significant improvements in SOE efficiency, so the idea that they could be structurally reformed was increasingly popular. There's not inconsiderable evidence that some of them are actually quite efficient now, actually competitive on the world market(where it is seen as unfair competition, due to the benefit of the state behind them).

    SOE reform is indeed a political question because it is about how much control the Chinese Communist Party has over the Chinese economy and society. And while there are issues with it, most notably extremely low cost lending by government banks to them causing money to be wasted, simply letting the ultrawealthy run free would pretty much result in chaos and possibly even outright rebellion, not to mention utterly devastate the interior regions who wouldn't get any investment at all except from the government.

    In other words, its an opportunity with lots of upside and essentially no downside and they still refuse to do it.
     
    This is really terrifyingly like "unlimited immigration is like leaving dollars on the floor." There are consequences to such actions.
  135. @Abelard Lindsey
    I found this recent article about China: https://www.city-journal.org/china-xi-jinping-antidemocratic-regime

    The article contains a mishmash of things. But one thing the author says which relates to what I remember about China in the 90's and today is the role of SOE's.

    In the 90's it was generally recognized that the SOE's were obsolete. The problem with the SOE's, being government entities is the usual one of bloated bureaucracy, lack of leanness and agility to respond to market demand and the like. The challenge was to phase them out over a long enough time period such as not to generate the unemployment that usually accompanies a shift from state planning to market system. The Chinese were doing quite well on this up until around '08 or so, where they abruptly changed course and decided to bring the SOE's back into the forefront of the economy. Perhaps someone in the know here can explain the reasoning for this change of course. It is this change of course that i referred to in earlier postings as "back sliding". I don't understand why China is now back sliding on economic policy. Such backsliding will most certainly put them into a Japan-like stagnation far earlier than they would if they had maintained the direction towards a complete free-market system.

    Japan's failure to reform their domestic economy is the primary reason for their 28 years and counting stagnation. The thing that i can't understand about Japan's reluctance to reform their domestic economy is that their workforce population is declining as such a rate that they could enact a complete reform of their domestic economy and likely not experience any transitional unemployment at all. In other words, its an opportunity with lots of upside and essentially no downside and they still refuse to do it.

    One reason for the backsliding is simply that the CCP fears the loss of power that could result from the transition to a full free-market system. In the words of a close friend of mine, they want to be in charge for no other reason than the sake of being in charge.

    Perhaps someone in the know here can explain the reasoning for this change of course. It is this change of course that i referred to in earlier postings as “back sliding”.

    Post-Xi, harsh punishment of corruption saw significant improvements in SOE efficiency, so the idea that they could be structurally reformed was increasingly popular. There’s not inconsiderable evidence that some of them are actually quite efficient now, actually competitive on the world market(where it is seen as unfair competition, due to the benefit of the state behind them).

    SOE reform is indeed a political question because it is about how much control the Chinese Communist Party has over the Chinese economy and society. And while there are issues with it, most notably extremely low cost lending by government banks to them causing money to be wasted, simply letting the ultrawealthy run free would pretty much result in chaos and possibly even outright rebellion, not to mention utterly devastate the interior regions who wouldn’t get any investment at all except from the government.

    In other words, its an opportunity with lots of upside and essentially no downside and they still refuse to do it.

    This is really terrifyingly like “unlimited immigration is like leaving dollars on the floor.” There are consequences to such actions.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Yes, I do remember that Xi really pushed a crackdown on corruption when he first came in. If his policies can actually make the SOE's more efficient (in a market sense), who am I to judge them? Nevertheless, there is still lots of corruption in China.

    BTW, Taiwan has a lots of corruption surrounding infrastructure projects (Taipei subway, Taiwan shinkansen, etc.).

    I would think free markets would actually funnel money into the interior regions because of their lower cost of labor as well as lower overall cost of production. An analogy would be the semiconductor industry in the U.S., which started in Silicon Valley (where the name came from) then moved to lower cost areas such as Arizona and Texas. I would expect a similar process in China as the coastal areas become expensive, manufacturing would move to the interior. Perhaps this is not happening because of poor infrastructure. I know that one thing the Chinese government IS good at is building infrastructure.

    This is really terrifyingly like “unlimited immigration is like leaving dollars on the floor.” There are consequences to such actions.
     
    My point is that the only argument against the kind of free market reform I was talking about is the unemployment that results from such. Of course this unemployment is temporary, which goes away once the economic growth resulting from such reform kicks in. My point is that with its declining working age population, Japan could easily reform its domestic economy WITHOUT generating that temporary unemployment, thus nullifying the only significant argument against such reform. That is what I meant about their being a lot of upside with minimal downside.
  136. @AP

    Having been made aware of how unnecessarily you put your credibility as an honest debater at risk, you resort to an infantile attempt to provoke an emotional response from me.
     
    I call a lie a lie. To do otherwise would be dishonest of me. I don't care about the emotional level of your response.

    Your crebility is gone and it is important to make it clear, not for you but for other readers.


    What makes your outburst most silly is that I am quite willing to stand corrected if I ever say something that is factually incorrect.
     
    A lie. As we see here.

    You equated the deaths of civilians from the an errant missile that was supposed to hit a rebel-held government building, to the arrest and execution of civilians. You implird it was a deliberate act. This is dishonest.


    There aren’t many ways to square a circle and justifying the dropping of a bomb on a place full of civilians on a weekday
     
    Another lie. Saying something was not a deliberate targetted act is not to "justify" it. It may have been criminally incompetent. But those civilians were not deliberately targeted as you dishonestly implied.

    if I had been shown by someone with better argumentative skills than you that anything I said about that carnage was wrong, I wouldn’t have hesitated to take it back.
     
    No, you would have just lied as usual. Pattern is clear and your lies will always be identified for what they are.

    I call a lie a lie…
    A lie…
    Another lie…
    you would have just lied as usual…
    your lies will always be identified for what they are…

    It is sad to see you descend to a Gerard level of trollishness, from whom I recall having defended you in the past. I have seen you do much better than that and actually win arguments with other commenters here but you’ve totally lost it this time.

    Gerard’s language is more obscene but the inflammatory nature of these latest posts of yours and his are identical. Perhaps he’s actually less dishonest than you. He seems to mostly believe what he writes but there’s no way to take your childish accusations seriously.

    As I had to warn you on another occasion, calling someone a liar is a very ugly thing where I come from. I don’t think you have forgotten that remark, seeing that you remember details of past conversations so well.

    – You have never provided any evidence that there were armed rebels in that civilian building on the day of the carnage, because you obviously have none.
    – What everybody, including yourself, knew that day and knows today with certainty is that there were lots of civilians in that building and its surroundings.
    – Not surprisingly in the slightest, throwing a bomb in that place caused numerous civilians to get killed and maimed with no military gain whatsoever except that of terrorizing the population that was then defenseless against air attacks.
    – The Geneva Convention establishes that attacking civilian places from the air is a war crime.
    – No court in any civilized country would ever fail to apply the harshest punishment to anyone throwing a bomb in a place full of civilians and actually killing lots of them regardless of any pretext of the kind you’re trying to make up.

    And still I wouldn’t go as far as calling you a liar. There is a possibility that you’ve somehow managed to convince yourself that all of the above points are not true. After all, you seem to think that someone who refuses to discuss the same tired issue with you for hours on end is actually agreeing with what you say.

    • Replies: @AP

    As I had to warn you on another occasion, calling someone a liar is a very ugly thing where I come from.
     
    Which is why it is unfortunate that you choose to engage in lies.

    I will repeat that you equated the deaths of civilians due to an errant missile strike to the arrest and execution of civilians by violent governments.


    You have never provided any evidence that there were armed rebels in that civilian building on the day of the carnage, because you obviously have none.
     
    The building was stormed by pro-Russians, who had also stormed the SBU armory and been well-armed. It was the headquarters of an armed uprising against the Ukrainian state. I doubt you really think there were no armed people in the rebel headquarters building.

    The air strike occurred right after the rebels, whose government was headquartered in that building, had attacked a Ukrainian border post and was part of a series of air strikes against rebel forces in a failed attempt to prevent the rebels from seizing border guard bases:

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

    On June 2, at 12:30 AM, 100 rebel fighters attacked the Border Guard Base, but the guard exchanged fire and managed to repel the attack. However, the numbers of rebels increased to 400, and according to the Border Guards, the rebels then went to residential areas, and fired from the tops of nearby apartments.[13][14] Militants used automatic weapons, and RPG's against the border guards.[15] A lone plane was detached to try to support the border guards, who were battling the rebels.[16] According to the Border Guards, some of the militants were foreign fighters from Russia.[16]

    Ukrainian fighter jets launched air raids on separatist strongholds in Luhansk itself, to try to support the border guards.[17] At least one airplane was seen flying ahead, and a rocket, fired by the Ukrainian Air Force, exploded at the Luhansk RSA, killing 8–13 civilians and injuring many others. The Government of Ukraine, denied that they were responsible and claimed it was caused by a misfired rebel portable surface-to-air missile.[8][18] However, the next day, the OSCE published a report, based on 'limited observation', in which they blamed the explosion on an air-strike.[19] The military admitted conducting over 150 air-strikes during the day in the Luhansk area.[20]


    – Not surprisingly in the slightest, throwing a bomb in that place caused numerous civilians to get killed and maimed with no military gain whatsoever except that of terrorizing the population that was then defenseless against air attacks.
     
    The bomb missed the target (rebel headquarters) and hit an adjacent square.

    – No court in any civilized country would ever fail to apply the harshest punishment to anyone throwing a bomb in a place full of civilians and actually killing lots of them regardless of any pretext of the kind you’re trying to make up.
     
    Tell me which court did not fail to prosecute and apply the harshest punishment against the French, British, Israelis, Russians or Americans when they accidentally hit civilian areas while bombing enemy positions in Libya, Africa, Chechnya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Gaza, etc. It was not an aerial attack, but no British person was even prosecuted for Bloody Sunday.

    – The Geneva Convention establishes that attacking civilian places from the air is a war crime.
     
    Rebel HQ was not a civilian place and this was what was attacked.

    It is dishonest to suggest that the plane was targeting an actual civilian place, such as the square.

    Let's look at the Geneva Convention:

    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.

    2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

    Primary purpose of the bombing was the decapitate the armed rebel uprising by destroying its headquarters. Jet targeted this building, not random civilian areas to spread terror.

    3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

    4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:

    (a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;

    Rebel HQ was a military objective.

    (b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or

    Missiles may misfire or miss but they can and were directed at a specific target.

    (c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

    Targeted the rebel HQ not every building in the area, civilian or rebel.

    5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:

    (a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and

    Missile targeted (but failed to hit) a single building, the rebel HQ.

    (b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

    Loss of a few civilians, tragic as it is, is not excessive compared to the destruction of the rebel HQ,s o this standard was not met.

    6. Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.

    Civilians weren't the target of this attack, so it wasn't a reprisal against civilians.

    7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

    This applies to rebels setting up weapons in apartment buildings and residential areas.

    :::::::::::::::::

    So as you can see, it was not a war crime, just as every time an errant missile killed civilians in Chechnya, Iraq, Libya, etc. were not war crimes.

  137. AP says:
    @Mikel

    I call a lie a lie...
    A lie...
    Another lie...
    you would have just lied as usual...
    your lies will always be identified for what they are...
     
    It is sad to see you descend to a Gerard level of trollishness, from whom I recall having defended you in the past. I have seen you do much better than that and actually win arguments with other commenters here but you've totally lost it this time.

    Gerard's language is more obscene but the inflammatory nature of these latest posts of yours and his are identical. Perhaps he's actually less dishonest than you. He seems to mostly believe what he writes but there's no way to take your childish accusations seriously.

    As I had to warn you on another occasion, calling someone a liar is a very ugly thing where I come from. I don't think you have forgotten that remark, seeing that you remember details of past conversations so well.

    - You have never provided any evidence that there were armed rebels in that civilian building on the day of the carnage, because you obviously have none.
    - What everybody, including yourself, knew that day and knows today with certainty is that there were lots of civilians in that building and its surroundings.
    - Not surprisingly in the slightest, throwing a bomb in that place caused numerous civilians to get killed and maimed with no military gain whatsoever except that of terrorizing the population that was then defenseless against air attacks.
    - The Geneva Convention establishes that attacking civilian places from the air is a war crime.
    - No court in any civilized country would ever fail to apply the harshest punishment to anyone throwing a bomb in a place full of civilians and actually killing lots of them regardless of any pretext of the kind you're trying to make up.

    And still I wouldn't go as far as calling you a liar. There is a possibility that you've somehow managed to convince yourself that all of the above points are not true. After all, you seem to think that someone who refuses to discuss the same tired issue with you for hours on end is actually agreeing with what you say.

    As I had to warn you on another occasion, calling someone a liar is a very ugly thing where I come from.

    Which is why it is unfortunate that you choose to engage in lies.

    I will repeat that you equated the deaths of civilians due to an errant missile strike to the arrest and execution of civilians by violent governments.

    You have never provided any evidence that there were armed rebels in that civilian building on the day of the carnage, because you obviously have none.

    The building was stormed by pro-Russians, who had also stormed the SBU armory and been well-armed. It was the headquarters of an armed uprising against the Ukrainian state. I doubt you really think there were no armed people in the rebel headquarters building.

    The air strike occurred right after the rebels, whose government was headquartered in that building, had attacked a Ukrainian border post and was part of a series of air strikes against rebel forces in a failed attempt to prevent the rebels from seizing border guard bases:

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

    On June 2, at 12:30 AM, 100 rebel fighters attacked the Border Guard Base, but the guard exchanged fire and managed to repel the attack. However, the numbers of rebels increased to 400, and according to the Border Guards, the rebels then went to residential areas, and fired from the tops of nearby apartments.[13][14] Militants used automatic weapons, and RPG’s against the border guards.[15] A lone plane was detached to try to support the border guards, who were battling the rebels.[16] According to the Border Guards, some of the militants were foreign fighters from Russia.[16]

    Ukrainian fighter jets launched air raids on separatist strongholds in Luhansk itself, to try to support the border guards.[17] At least one airplane was seen flying ahead, and a rocket, fired by the Ukrainian Air Force, exploded at the Luhansk RSA, killing 8–13 civilians and injuring many others. The Government of Ukraine, denied that they were responsible and claimed it was caused by a misfired rebel portable surface-to-air missile.[8][18] However, the next day, the OSCE published a report, based on ‘limited observation’, in which they blamed the explosion on an air-strike.[19] The military admitted conducting over 150 air-strikes during the day in the Luhansk area.[20]

    – Not surprisingly in the slightest, throwing a bomb in that place caused numerous civilians to get killed and maimed with no military gain whatsoever except that of terrorizing the population that was then defenseless against air attacks.

    The bomb missed the target (rebel headquarters) and hit an adjacent square.

    – No court in any civilized country would ever fail to apply the harshest punishment to anyone throwing a bomb in a place full of civilians and actually killing lots of them regardless of any pretext of the kind you’re trying to make up.

    Tell me which court did not fail to prosecute and apply the harshest punishment against the French, British, Israelis, Russians or Americans when they accidentally hit civilian areas while bombing enemy positions in Libya, Africa, Chechnya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Gaza, etc. It was not an aerial attack, but no British person was even prosecuted for Bloody Sunday.

    – The Geneva Convention establishes that attacking civilian places from the air is a war crime.

    Rebel HQ was not a civilian place and this was what was attacked.

    It is dishonest to suggest that the plane was targeting an actual civilian place, such as the square.

    Let’s look at the Geneva Convention:

    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.

    2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

    Primary purpose of the bombing was the decapitate the armed rebel uprising by destroying its headquarters. Jet targeted this building, not random civilian areas to spread terror.

    3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

    4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:

    (a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;

    Rebel HQ was a military objective.

    (b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or

    Missiles may misfire or miss but they can and were directed at a specific target.

    (c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

    Targeted the rebel HQ not every building in the area, civilian or rebel.

    5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:

    (a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and

    Missile targeted (but failed to hit) a single building, the rebel HQ.

    (b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

    Loss of a few civilians, tragic as it is, is not excessive compared to the destruction of the rebel HQ,s o this standard was not met.

    6. Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.

    Civilians weren’t the target of this attack, so it wasn’t a reprisal against civilians.

    7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

    This applies to rebels setting up weapons in apartment buildings and residential areas.

    :::::::::::::::::

    So as you can see, it was not a war crime, just as every time an errant missile killed civilians in Chechnya, Iraq, Libya, etc. were not war crimes.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I think that this is the most complete description of your point of view, given in the least vitriolic manner. I really hope that Mikel will supply at least one more reply. He should be commended for his resolute unwavering stance that includes compassion for civilian wartime casualties. But at the end of the day, the facts are the facts.
    , @Mikel
    Unfortunately, you spent so much useless energy yesterday accusing me of being a liar, liar, liar that I never even understood what I was supposed to be "lying" about. To the best of my understanding, what in your eyes constitutes a categorical proof of mendacity is saying that a Ukrainian airplane bombed a square when in reality the intended target was not the square itself but... a building in that square.

    This is all of course so silly that I don't think it is very wise to spend too much time defending me of such an accusation. If some criminal idiot bombs a bridge and kills lots of civilians crossing it he will forever be remembered as the criminal idiot who bombed the bridge, regardless of whether his intended target was a building across that bridge or whatever.

    And referring to that episode as the "bombing of the bridge" rather than as the missed bombing of the intended target across the bridge will never be construed as a "lie" by any rational person.

    In your lengthy and less passionate reply today you do manage to make some points that put into question whether an independent court would declare that pilot a war criminal or not. I am not an expert in these matters (neither are you) and cannot offer a categorical opinion. But there are several points that I think you're missing:

    The intended target apparently was the Regional State Administration. This is the office of the governor of the Oblast and, as such, a civilian building. I don't know if any armed people were inside that building (possibly yes) but what there definitely were is civilians working inside. In fact, I remember that one of the dead was the newly appointed head of Health Services.

    The fighting around the Lugansk Border Base was taking place many miles away from that location. Peaceful residents of Lugansk, including children and elderly people, were going about their lives in the square, completely unaware that a military plane from their own government was about to launch a strike against that place. If not a war criminal, this pilot and his superiors were definitely guilty of criminal recklessness.

    The importance of the Luganks Square massacre, in the context of what was originally discussed in this thread, is that we know the facts quite well and shows that, from the very beginning, the Ukrainian government pursued a policy of shelling civilian areas and causing innocent casualties. So it is not true that those innocent casualties have been caused by the rebels opening fire from civilians areas and Ukrainians having to defend themselves, as you claimed above.

    In some cases that may have occurred but the Lugansk example shows that the Ukrainian government was quite willing to sacrifice civilian lives in Donbas regardless of where the rebels opened fire from.

    About the Lugansk Square massacre my opinion is exactly the one that was voiced at the time by the Eastwest.eu magazine, hardly a pro-Russian publication with people like Romano Prodi, Emma Bonnino or ex-NATO chief Javier Solana in its editorial board:


    Nothing can justify an air attack on a city that - it should be remembered - it is not a war zone, but where its inhabitants continue their everyday life, despite the presence of armed rebels.
     
    https://eastwest.eu/en/opinioni/open-doors/what-is-the-truth-of-the-lugansk-massacre

    If you're going to carry on accusing people of "lying" take that up with them.

  138. @AP

    As I had to warn you on another occasion, calling someone a liar is a very ugly thing where I come from.
     
    Which is why it is unfortunate that you choose to engage in lies.

    I will repeat that you equated the deaths of civilians due to an errant missile strike to the arrest and execution of civilians by violent governments.


    You have never provided any evidence that there were armed rebels in that civilian building on the day of the carnage, because you obviously have none.
     
    The building was stormed by pro-Russians, who had also stormed the SBU armory and been well-armed. It was the headquarters of an armed uprising against the Ukrainian state. I doubt you really think there were no armed people in the rebel headquarters building.

    The air strike occurred right after the rebels, whose government was headquartered in that building, had attacked a Ukrainian border post and was part of a series of air strikes against rebel forces in a failed attempt to prevent the rebels from seizing border guard bases:

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

    On June 2, at 12:30 AM, 100 rebel fighters attacked the Border Guard Base, but the guard exchanged fire and managed to repel the attack. However, the numbers of rebels increased to 400, and according to the Border Guards, the rebels then went to residential areas, and fired from the tops of nearby apartments.[13][14] Militants used automatic weapons, and RPG's against the border guards.[15] A lone plane was detached to try to support the border guards, who were battling the rebels.[16] According to the Border Guards, some of the militants were foreign fighters from Russia.[16]

    Ukrainian fighter jets launched air raids on separatist strongholds in Luhansk itself, to try to support the border guards.[17] At least one airplane was seen flying ahead, and a rocket, fired by the Ukrainian Air Force, exploded at the Luhansk RSA, killing 8–13 civilians and injuring many others. The Government of Ukraine, denied that they were responsible and claimed it was caused by a misfired rebel portable surface-to-air missile.[8][18] However, the next day, the OSCE published a report, based on 'limited observation', in which they blamed the explosion on an air-strike.[19] The military admitted conducting over 150 air-strikes during the day in the Luhansk area.[20]


    – Not surprisingly in the slightest, throwing a bomb in that place caused numerous civilians to get killed and maimed with no military gain whatsoever except that of terrorizing the population that was then defenseless against air attacks.
     
    The bomb missed the target (rebel headquarters) and hit an adjacent square.

    – No court in any civilized country would ever fail to apply the harshest punishment to anyone throwing a bomb in a place full of civilians and actually killing lots of them regardless of any pretext of the kind you’re trying to make up.
     
    Tell me which court did not fail to prosecute and apply the harshest punishment against the French, British, Israelis, Russians or Americans when they accidentally hit civilian areas while bombing enemy positions in Libya, Africa, Chechnya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Gaza, etc. It was not an aerial attack, but no British person was even prosecuted for Bloody Sunday.

    – The Geneva Convention establishes that attacking civilian places from the air is a war crime.
     
    Rebel HQ was not a civilian place and this was what was attacked.

    It is dishonest to suggest that the plane was targeting an actual civilian place, such as the square.

    Let's look at the Geneva Convention:

    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.

    2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

    Primary purpose of the bombing was the decapitate the armed rebel uprising by destroying its headquarters. Jet targeted this building, not random civilian areas to spread terror.

    3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

    4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:

    (a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;

    Rebel HQ was a military objective.

    (b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or

    Missiles may misfire or miss but they can and were directed at a specific target.

    (c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

    Targeted the rebel HQ not every building in the area, civilian or rebel.

    5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:

    (a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and

    Missile targeted (but failed to hit) a single building, the rebel HQ.

    (b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

    Loss of a few civilians, tragic as it is, is not excessive compared to the destruction of the rebel HQ,s o this standard was not met.

    6. Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.

    Civilians weren't the target of this attack, so it wasn't a reprisal against civilians.

    7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

    This applies to rebels setting up weapons in apartment buildings and residential areas.

    :::::::::::::::::

    So as you can see, it was not a war crime, just as every time an errant missile killed civilians in Chechnya, Iraq, Libya, etc. were not war crimes.

    I think that this is the most complete description of your point of view, given in the least vitriolic manner. I really hope that Mikel will supply at least one more reply. He should be commended for his resolute unwavering stance that includes compassion for civilian wartime casualties. But at the end of the day, the facts are the facts.

    • Replies: @AP

    I think that this is the most complete description of your point of view, given in the least vitriolic manner.
     
    Thank you. I do not engage in abusive language, but when something is a lie I call it that, which therefore makes the person who spreads these lies, a liar. If it turns out the person was merely mistaken, I retract my description.

    Mikel is a decent poster but for whatever reason he has chosen to believe lies spread by the anti-Maidan side and to repeat those lies. I bring this to attention in my responses to those repetitions.
  139. @Daniel Chieh

    Perhaps someone in the know here can explain the reasoning for this change of course. It is this change of course that i referred to in earlier postings as “back sliding”.
     
    Post-Xi, harsh punishment of corruption saw significant improvements in SOE efficiency, so the idea that they could be structurally reformed was increasingly popular. There's not inconsiderable evidence that some of them are actually quite efficient now, actually competitive on the world market(where it is seen as unfair competition, due to the benefit of the state behind them).

    SOE reform is indeed a political question because it is about how much control the Chinese Communist Party has over the Chinese economy and society. And while there are issues with it, most notably extremely low cost lending by government banks to them causing money to be wasted, simply letting the ultrawealthy run free would pretty much result in chaos and possibly even outright rebellion, not to mention utterly devastate the interior regions who wouldn't get any investment at all except from the government.

    In other words, its an opportunity with lots of upside and essentially no downside and they still refuse to do it.
     
    This is really terrifyingly like "unlimited immigration is like leaving dollars on the floor." There are consequences to such actions.

    Yes, I do remember that Xi really pushed a crackdown on corruption when he first came in. If his policies can actually make the SOE’s more efficient (in a market sense), who am I to judge them? Nevertheless, there is still lots of corruption in China.

    BTW, Taiwan has a lots of corruption surrounding infrastructure projects (Taipei subway, Taiwan shinkansen, etc.).

    I would think free markets would actually funnel money into the interior regions because of their lower cost of labor as well as lower overall cost of production. An analogy would be the semiconductor industry in the U.S., which started in Silicon Valley (where the name came from) then moved to lower cost areas such as Arizona and Texas. I would expect a similar process in China as the coastal areas become expensive, manufacturing would move to the interior. Perhaps this is not happening because of poor infrastructure. I know that one thing the Chinese government IS good at is building infrastructure.

    This is really terrifyingly like “unlimited immigration is like leaving dollars on the floor.” There are consequences to such actions.

    My point is that the only argument against the kind of free market reform I was talking about is the unemployment that results from such. Of course this unemployment is temporary, which goes away once the economic growth resulting from such reform kicks in. My point is that with its declining working age population, Japan could easily reform its domestic economy WITHOUT generating that temporary unemployment, thus nullifying the only significant argument against such reform. That is what I meant about their being a lot of upside with minimal downside.

  140. Daniel,

    I think a good test of whether Xi’s policies are only about eliminating corruption or whether they really do want to reign everything in and control the economy in general would be if my Japanese friend and I were to go to China and start an OEM manufacturing MOCVD equipment for III-V semiconductor device manufacturing. A Chinese company tried to buy Aixtron about 5 years ago and the U.S. State department put the kibosh on the deal. Even though Aixtron is a German company, most of their operations are in the U.S. (including where they build most of their MOCVD systems) such that the state Department felt they could weight in on it. So, this tells me that there is an opportunity to start such a company in China. Of course we don’t plan to do this because my friend (who is Japanese) is not keen on working with the Chinese (both of us were burned badly in a deal with a certain Chinese guy from Taiwan) and both of us have been out of this field for 10 years.

    BTW, what is the deal with this social credit system? Our mainstream media does a poor job of covering it (surprise, surprise!) and the rightwing alternative media is full of conspiracy and paranoia (again, surprise, surprise!). What i have been able to find out about it is that it is a “Lee-Kuan-Yew_-like attempt to change stereotypical behaviors of Chinese people to get them to behave better. Other information I’ve read suggests that it really is an Orwellian method to eliminate dissent. Perhaps it is both. Can you shed some light on this?

  141. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    I think that this is the most complete description of your point of view, given in the least vitriolic manner. I really hope that Mikel will supply at least one more reply. He should be commended for his resolute unwavering stance that includes compassion for civilian wartime casualties. But at the end of the day, the facts are the facts.

    I think that this is the most complete description of your point of view, given in the least vitriolic manner.

    Thank you. I do not engage in abusive language, but when something is a lie I call it that, which therefore makes the person who spreads these lies, a liar. If it turns out the person was merely mistaken, I retract my description.

    Mikel is a decent poster but for whatever reason he has chosen to believe lies spread by the anti-Maidan side and to repeat those lies. I bring this to attention in my responses to those repetitions.

  142. @AP

    As I had to warn you on another occasion, calling someone a liar is a very ugly thing where I come from.
     
    Which is why it is unfortunate that you choose to engage in lies.

    I will repeat that you equated the deaths of civilians due to an errant missile strike to the arrest and execution of civilians by violent governments.


    You have never provided any evidence that there were armed rebels in that civilian building on the day of the carnage, because you obviously have none.
     
    The building was stormed by pro-Russians, who had also stormed the SBU armory and been well-armed. It was the headquarters of an armed uprising against the Ukrainian state. I doubt you really think there were no armed people in the rebel headquarters building.

    The air strike occurred right after the rebels, whose government was headquartered in that building, had attacked a Ukrainian border post and was part of a series of air strikes against rebel forces in a failed attempt to prevent the rebels from seizing border guard bases:

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

    On June 2, at 12:30 AM, 100 rebel fighters attacked the Border Guard Base, but the guard exchanged fire and managed to repel the attack. However, the numbers of rebels increased to 400, and according to the Border Guards, the rebels then went to residential areas, and fired from the tops of nearby apartments.[13][14] Militants used automatic weapons, and RPG's against the border guards.[15] A lone plane was detached to try to support the border guards, who were battling the rebels.[16] According to the Border Guards, some of the militants were foreign fighters from Russia.[16]

    Ukrainian fighter jets launched air raids on separatist strongholds in Luhansk itself, to try to support the border guards.[17] At least one airplane was seen flying ahead, and a rocket, fired by the Ukrainian Air Force, exploded at the Luhansk RSA, killing 8–13 civilians and injuring many others. The Government of Ukraine, denied that they were responsible and claimed it was caused by a misfired rebel portable surface-to-air missile.[8][18] However, the next day, the OSCE published a report, based on 'limited observation', in which they blamed the explosion on an air-strike.[19] The military admitted conducting over 150 air-strikes during the day in the Luhansk area.[20]


    – Not surprisingly in the slightest, throwing a bomb in that place caused numerous civilians to get killed and maimed with no military gain whatsoever except that of terrorizing the population that was then defenseless against air attacks.
     
    The bomb missed the target (rebel headquarters) and hit an adjacent square.

    – No court in any civilized country would ever fail to apply the harshest punishment to anyone throwing a bomb in a place full of civilians and actually killing lots of them regardless of any pretext of the kind you’re trying to make up.
     
    Tell me which court did not fail to prosecute and apply the harshest punishment against the French, British, Israelis, Russians or Americans when they accidentally hit civilian areas while bombing enemy positions in Libya, Africa, Chechnya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Gaza, etc. It was not an aerial attack, but no British person was even prosecuted for Bloody Sunday.

    – The Geneva Convention establishes that attacking civilian places from the air is a war crime.
     
    Rebel HQ was not a civilian place and this was what was attacked.

    It is dishonest to suggest that the plane was targeting an actual civilian place, such as the square.

    Let's look at the Geneva Convention:

    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.

    2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

    Primary purpose of the bombing was the decapitate the armed rebel uprising by destroying its headquarters. Jet targeted this building, not random civilian areas to spread terror.

    3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

    4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:

    (a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;

    Rebel HQ was a military objective.

    (b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or

    Missiles may misfire or miss but they can and were directed at a specific target.

    (c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

    Targeted the rebel HQ not every building in the area, civilian or rebel.

    5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:

    (a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects; and

    Missile targeted (but failed to hit) a single building, the rebel HQ.

    (b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

    Loss of a few civilians, tragic as it is, is not excessive compared to the destruction of the rebel HQ,s o this standard was not met.

    6. Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.

    Civilians weren't the target of this attack, so it wasn't a reprisal against civilians.

    7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

    This applies to rebels setting up weapons in apartment buildings and residential areas.

    :::::::::::::::::

    So as you can see, it was not a war crime, just as every time an errant missile killed civilians in Chechnya, Iraq, Libya, etc. were not war crimes.

    Unfortunately, you spent so much useless energy yesterday accusing me of being a liar, liar, liar that I never even understood what I was supposed to be “lying” about. To the best of my understanding, what in your eyes constitutes a categorical proof of mendacity is saying that a Ukrainian airplane bombed a square when in reality the intended target was not the square itself but… a building in that square.

    This is all of course so silly that I don’t think it is very wise to spend too much time defending me of such an accusation. If some criminal idiot bombs a bridge and kills lots of civilians crossing it he will forever be remembered as the criminal idiot who bombed the bridge, regardless of whether his intended target was a building across that bridge or whatever.

    And referring to that episode as the “bombing of the bridge” rather than as the missed bombing of the intended target across the bridge will never be construed as a “lie” by any rational person.

    In your lengthy and less passionate reply today you do manage to make some points that put into question whether an independent court would declare that pilot a war criminal or not. I am not an expert in these matters (neither are you) and cannot offer a categorical opinion. But there are several points that I think you’re missing:

    The intended target apparently was the Regional State Administration. This is the office of the governor of the Oblast and, as such, a civilian building. I don’t know if any armed people were inside that building (possibly yes) but what there definitely were is civilians working inside. In fact, I remember that one of the dead was the newly appointed head of Health Services.

    The fighting around the Lugansk Border Base was taking place many miles away from that location. Peaceful residents of Lugansk, including children and elderly people, were going about their lives in the square, completely unaware that a military plane from their own government was about to launch a strike against that place. If not a war criminal, this pilot and his superiors were definitely guilty of criminal recklessness.

    The importance of the Luganks Square massacre, in the context of what was originally discussed in this thread, is that we know the facts quite well and shows that, from the very beginning, the Ukrainian government pursued a policy of shelling civilian areas and causing innocent casualties. So it is not true that those innocent casualties have been caused by the rebels opening fire from civilians areas and Ukrainians having to defend themselves, as you claimed above.

    In some cases that may have occurred but the Lugansk example shows that the Ukrainian government was quite willing to sacrifice civilian lives in Donbas regardless of where the rebels opened fire from.

    About the Lugansk Square massacre my opinion is exactly the one that was voiced at the time by the Eastwest.eu magazine, hardly a pro-Russian publication with people like Romano Prodi, Emma Bonnino or ex-NATO chief Javier Solana in its editorial board:

    Nothing can justify an air attack on a city that – it should be remembered – it is not a war zone, but where its inhabitants continue their everyday life, despite the presence of armed rebels.

    https://eastwest.eu/en/opinioni/open-doors/what-is-the-truth-of-the-lugansk-massacre

    If you’re going to carry on accusing people of “lying” take that up with them.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    A solid rebuttal, offering some different perspectives of the tragedy that occurred in Luhansk. Perhaps, the Ukrainian soldiers were indeed reckless in even trying to target an area so close to civilian activity (perhaps not?). This would be something for a court of detached judges to review. I am moved by your reply, however, especially after watching a film last evening about the famous war correspondent, Marie Colver, who gave her life while trying to convey the tragedies of collateral civilian deaths. In this film, Syrian leader Asad is not being accused of collateral civilian deaths, but of being the mastermind of thousands of directed deaths of Syria's civilians, especially in the city of Homs. I think that the Luhansk situation is more in a grey zone, and not clearly black/white.

    https://youtu.be/TTf0Lc5YAcc

    , @AP

    Unfortunately, you spent so much useless energy yesterday accusing me of being a liar
     
    It was a description, not an accusation.

    And I am as calm in describing your behavior as I am in describing how the Luhansk missile strike was not a war crime according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    There were your words:

    "I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime"

    1. Missile was shot against the building, not the square. It hit the square. So this was a lie.
    2. Pinochet regime deliberately arrested and executed people. Pilot hit the square by accident. Equating the two situations is likewise dishonest. Extremely so. You are falsely claiming that the pilot and his superiors executed those civilians, as the Pinochet executed civilians.


    is saying that a Ukrainian airplane bombed a square
     
    You stated (point 1) and implied (point 2) that the pilot deliberately targeted the square, which would obviously be a warcrime and which was not true. You thus lied about the event. How does one describe someone who does that? Either retract your dishonest statement, or own up to what you are.

    The intended target apparently was the Regional State Administration. This is the office of the governor of the Oblast and, as such, a civilian building.
     
    Offices of the government are not considered to be civilian buildings if those offices involve people associated with the war. Apartments, schools, markets, and hospitals are civilian buildings. When a government headquarters, presidential palace etc. are bombed these acts are not considered to be war crimes. A specific government building devoted exclusively to non-military functions (such as an entire building being a health ministry or education ministry building) would be off-limits as a target. The Regional State Administration Building was not limited to that. It was the government HQ.

    This was the Luhansk Head of State at the time of the bombing:

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

    His office was certainly a legitimate target according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.


    The fighting around the Lugansk Border Base was taking place many miles away from that location.
     
    So what? Attacking government buildings where the leaders of a war are based is not off limits. Strikes are not limited to the frontline. If Russia were at war it would certainly not be a war crime for its enemies to target the Kremlin. Nor would it be a war crime to target the White House (office of the Commander-in-Chief) by whoever the USA would be at war with.

    If not a war criminal, this pilot and his superiors were definitely guilty of criminal recklessness.
     
    Even this is questionable, though it is a little more realistic than the accusation of war crimes.* The purpose was to decapitate the enemy government by taking out its building. Presumably this would have to be done during working hours and it would have to be a surprise attack. There was no point in bombing the building at night when there was zero chance that the enemy commander and his government were there.

    *The government would have to be aware that its missiles weren't working properly or that its pilot was terribly incompetent. No eviddnce that this was the case, and that this wasn't the sort of errant missile fire that even Western militaries sometimes make.


    The importance of the Luganks Square massacre, in the context of what was originally discussed in this thread, is that we know the facts quite well and shows that, from the very beginning, the Ukrainian government pursued a policy of shelling civilian areas and causing innocent casualties.
     
    1. This was not shelling, it was a missile strike.

    2. Missile was aimed at a government building, not a civilian structure.

    Thus it is a lie that the missile strike represents a "policy of shelling civilians areas and causing innocent casualties."

    The Ukrainian government also shelled enemy positions that the enemy (in violation of the Geneva Convention) placed in civilian areas from which they attacked Ukrainian positions. This is legitimate.

    Neither retaliatory strikes against rebel positions that the rebels placed in civilian areas, nor Luhansk square being hit by the missile, are war crimes.

    There have also been documented cases of Ukrainian forces shelling civilian areas randomly, usually out of frustration. These specific cases are of course war crimes. They account for a small % of civilian deaths in Donbas. They certainly were not government policy, even though AFAIK the government has not done anything to bring these people to justice.

    So your dishonesty continues.


    So it is not true that those innocent casualties have been caused by the rebels opening fire from civilians areas and Ukrainians having to defend themselves, as you claimed above.
     
    I did not claim that about Luhansk Square. Retract your statement.

    my opinion is exactly the one that was voiced at the time by the Eastwest.eu magazine
     
    Voiced by a single writer published in the magazine, not a statement by that magazine's editorial board.

    If you’re going to carry on accusing people of “lying” take that up with them
     
    You are responsible for your own words here.
  143. @Mikel
    Unfortunately, you spent so much useless energy yesterday accusing me of being a liar, liar, liar that I never even understood what I was supposed to be "lying" about. To the best of my understanding, what in your eyes constitutes a categorical proof of mendacity is saying that a Ukrainian airplane bombed a square when in reality the intended target was not the square itself but... a building in that square.

    This is all of course so silly that I don't think it is very wise to spend too much time defending me of such an accusation. If some criminal idiot bombs a bridge and kills lots of civilians crossing it he will forever be remembered as the criminal idiot who bombed the bridge, regardless of whether his intended target was a building across that bridge or whatever.

    And referring to that episode as the "bombing of the bridge" rather than as the missed bombing of the intended target across the bridge will never be construed as a "lie" by any rational person.

    In your lengthy and less passionate reply today you do manage to make some points that put into question whether an independent court would declare that pilot a war criminal or not. I am not an expert in these matters (neither are you) and cannot offer a categorical opinion. But there are several points that I think you're missing:

    The intended target apparently was the Regional State Administration. This is the office of the governor of the Oblast and, as such, a civilian building. I don't know if any armed people were inside that building (possibly yes) but what there definitely were is civilians working inside. In fact, I remember that one of the dead was the newly appointed head of Health Services.

    The fighting around the Lugansk Border Base was taking place many miles away from that location. Peaceful residents of Lugansk, including children and elderly people, were going about their lives in the square, completely unaware that a military plane from their own government was about to launch a strike against that place. If not a war criminal, this pilot and his superiors were definitely guilty of criminal recklessness.

    The importance of the Luganks Square massacre, in the context of what was originally discussed in this thread, is that we know the facts quite well and shows that, from the very beginning, the Ukrainian government pursued a policy of shelling civilian areas and causing innocent casualties. So it is not true that those innocent casualties have been caused by the rebels opening fire from civilians areas and Ukrainians having to defend themselves, as you claimed above.

    In some cases that may have occurred but the Lugansk example shows that the Ukrainian government was quite willing to sacrifice civilian lives in Donbas regardless of where the rebels opened fire from.

    About the Lugansk Square massacre my opinion is exactly the one that was voiced at the time by the Eastwest.eu magazine, hardly a pro-Russian publication with people like Romano Prodi, Emma Bonnino or ex-NATO chief Javier Solana in its editorial board:


    Nothing can justify an air attack on a city that - it should be remembered - it is not a war zone, but where its inhabitants continue their everyday life, despite the presence of armed rebels.
     
    https://eastwest.eu/en/opinioni/open-doors/what-is-the-truth-of-the-lugansk-massacre

    If you're going to carry on accusing people of "lying" take that up with them.

    A solid rebuttal, offering some different perspectives of the tragedy that occurred in Luhansk. Perhaps, the Ukrainian soldiers were indeed reckless in even trying to target an area so close to civilian activity (perhaps not?). This would be something for a court of detached judges to review. I am moved by your reply, however, especially after watching a film last evening about the famous war correspondent, Marie Colver, who gave her life while trying to convey the tragedies of collateral civilian deaths. In this film, Syrian leader Asad is not being accused of collateral civilian deaths, but of being the mastermind of thousands of directed deaths of Syria’s civilians, especially in the city of Homs. I think that the Luhansk situation is more in a grey zone, and not clearly black/white.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    Hey, glad to see that in the end we are largely in agreement.

    Perhaps one other thing that the innocent victims of these conflicts deserve is that distant observers like us don't engage in absurd semantic arguments about their tragedy.
  144. AP says:
    @Mikel
    Unfortunately, you spent so much useless energy yesterday accusing me of being a liar, liar, liar that I never even understood what I was supposed to be "lying" about. To the best of my understanding, what in your eyes constitutes a categorical proof of mendacity is saying that a Ukrainian airplane bombed a square when in reality the intended target was not the square itself but... a building in that square.

    This is all of course so silly that I don't think it is very wise to spend too much time defending me of such an accusation. If some criminal idiot bombs a bridge and kills lots of civilians crossing it he will forever be remembered as the criminal idiot who bombed the bridge, regardless of whether his intended target was a building across that bridge or whatever.

    And referring to that episode as the "bombing of the bridge" rather than as the missed bombing of the intended target across the bridge will never be construed as a "lie" by any rational person.

    In your lengthy and less passionate reply today you do manage to make some points that put into question whether an independent court would declare that pilot a war criminal or not. I am not an expert in these matters (neither are you) and cannot offer a categorical opinion. But there are several points that I think you're missing:

    The intended target apparently was the Regional State Administration. This is the office of the governor of the Oblast and, as such, a civilian building. I don't know if any armed people were inside that building (possibly yes) but what there definitely were is civilians working inside. In fact, I remember that one of the dead was the newly appointed head of Health Services.

    The fighting around the Lugansk Border Base was taking place many miles away from that location. Peaceful residents of Lugansk, including children and elderly people, were going about their lives in the square, completely unaware that a military plane from their own government was about to launch a strike against that place. If not a war criminal, this pilot and his superiors were definitely guilty of criminal recklessness.

    The importance of the Luganks Square massacre, in the context of what was originally discussed in this thread, is that we know the facts quite well and shows that, from the very beginning, the Ukrainian government pursued a policy of shelling civilian areas and causing innocent casualties. So it is not true that those innocent casualties have been caused by the rebels opening fire from civilians areas and Ukrainians having to defend themselves, as you claimed above.

    In some cases that may have occurred but the Lugansk example shows that the Ukrainian government was quite willing to sacrifice civilian lives in Donbas regardless of where the rebels opened fire from.

    About the Lugansk Square massacre my opinion is exactly the one that was voiced at the time by the Eastwest.eu magazine, hardly a pro-Russian publication with people like Romano Prodi, Emma Bonnino or ex-NATO chief Javier Solana in its editorial board:


    Nothing can justify an air attack on a city that - it should be remembered - it is not a war zone, but where its inhabitants continue their everyday life, despite the presence of armed rebels.
     
    https://eastwest.eu/en/opinioni/open-doors/what-is-the-truth-of-the-lugansk-massacre

    If you're going to carry on accusing people of "lying" take that up with them.

    Unfortunately, you spent so much useless energy yesterday accusing me of being a liar

    It was a description, not an accusation.

    And I am as calm in describing your behavior as I am in describing how the Luhansk missile strike was not a war crime according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    There were your words:

    “I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime”

    1. Missile was shot against the building, not the square. It hit the square. So this was a lie.
    2. Pinochet regime deliberately arrested and executed people. Pilot hit the square by accident. Equating the two situations is likewise dishonest. Extremely so. You are falsely claiming that the pilot and his superiors executed those civilians, as the Pinochet executed civilians.

    is saying that a Ukrainian airplane bombed a square

    You stated (point 1) and implied (point 2) that the pilot deliberately targeted the square, which would obviously be a warcrime and which was not true. You thus lied about the event. How does one describe someone who does that? Either retract your dishonest statement, or own up to what you are.

    The intended target apparently was the Regional State Administration. This is the office of the governor of the Oblast and, as such, a civilian building.

    Offices of the government are not considered to be civilian buildings if those offices involve people associated with the war. Apartments, schools, markets, and hospitals are civilian buildings. When a government headquarters, presidential palace etc. are bombed these acts are not considered to be war crimes. A specific government building devoted exclusively to non-military functions (such as an entire building being a health ministry or education ministry building) would be off-limits as a target. The Regional State Administration Building was not limited to that. It was the government HQ.

    This was the Luhansk Head of State at the time of the bombing:

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

    His office was certainly a legitimate target according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    The fighting around the Lugansk Border Base was taking place many miles away from that location.

    So what? Attacking government buildings where the leaders of a war are based is not off limits. Strikes are not limited to the frontline. If Russia were at war it would certainly not be a war crime for its enemies to target the Kremlin. Nor would it be a war crime to target the White House (office of the Commander-in-Chief) by whoever the USA would be at war with.

    If not a war criminal, this pilot and his superiors were definitely guilty of criminal recklessness.

    Even this is questionable, though it is a little more realistic than the accusation of war crimes.* The purpose was to decapitate the enemy government by taking out its building. Presumably this would have to be done during working hours and it would have to be a surprise attack. There was no point in bombing the building at night when there was zero chance that the enemy commander and his government were there.

    *The government would have to be aware that its missiles weren’t working properly or that its pilot was terribly incompetent. No eviddnce that this was the case, and that this wasn’t the sort of errant missile fire that even Western militaries sometimes make.

    The importance of the Luganks Square massacre, in the context of what was originally discussed in this thread, is that we know the facts quite well and shows that, from the very beginning, the Ukrainian government pursued a policy of shelling civilian areas and causing innocent casualties.

    1. This was not shelling, it was a missile strike.

    2. Missile was aimed at a government building, not a civilian structure.

    Thus it is a lie that the missile strike represents a “policy of shelling civilians areas and causing innocent casualties.”

    The Ukrainian government also shelled enemy positions that the enemy (in violation of the Geneva Convention) placed in civilian areas from which they attacked Ukrainian positions. This is legitimate.

    Neither retaliatory strikes against rebel positions that the rebels placed in civilian areas, nor Luhansk square being hit by the missile, are war crimes.

    There have also been documented cases of Ukrainian forces shelling civilian areas randomly, usually out of frustration. These specific cases are of course war crimes. They account for a small % of civilian deaths in Donbas. They certainly were not government policy, even though AFAIK the government has not done anything to bring these people to justice.

    So your dishonesty continues.

    So it is not true that those innocent casualties have been caused by the rebels opening fire from civilians areas and Ukrainians having to defend themselves, as you claimed above.

    I did not claim that about Luhansk Square. Retract your statement.

    my opinion is exactly the one that was voiced at the time by the Eastwest.eu magazine

    Voiced by a single writer published in the magazine, not a statement by that magazine’s editorial board.

    If you’re going to carry on accusing people of “lying” take that up with them

    You are responsible for your own words here.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    Sorry but your Asperger syndrome level of obduracy makes pursuing any further discussion with you a waste of time.

    On top of your puerile insistence in using inflammatory language against a person who hasn't said anything different from what many pro-Maidan and even blatantly Russophobe people were forced to admit at the time of the massacre, you have also begun to speak ex cathedra, as if you had had access to the written orders of the day of the bombing.

    There is no way of knowing who was in that civilian building at the time of the attack, who the Ukrainian military though they would able to target (apart from many civilian public servants, whose presence, incompetent though they proved to be, could not possibly ignore) or what the real intentions of the pilot were. We can make some educated guesses about all of this but, absent a thorough judiciary investigation, the only certainty you and me can have is what the actual consequences were.

    For all we know, that pilot may have been half-drunk or done something totally different from what he was ordered. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he died a few months ago in what was described as an air accident so we're very unlikely to ever know the exact circumstances of the tragedy he provoked.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile so, again, I happen to have a very good knowledge of the Pinochet regime and the distortions that have been propagated about it. Some people were killed under barbaric circumstances but virtually none of them were random, innocent civilians like the casualties of the Lugansk Central Square. I definitely stand by my opinion that the Lugansk victims deserve the same investigation that each of the identified victims of the Pinochet regime received through the Rettig Report and subsequent trials. Consciously or not, you have actually conceded this point in one of your ramblings above, making this debate even more circular.
  145. @AP

    Unfortunately, you spent so much useless energy yesterday accusing me of being a liar
     
    It was a description, not an accusation.

    And I am as calm in describing your behavior as I am in describing how the Luhansk missile strike was not a war crime according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    There were your words:

    "I don’t quite see how the pilot who shot the missile against the Lugansk Square and those who ordered him to do it are less criminal than the perpetrators of excesses during the Pinochet regime"

    1. Missile was shot against the building, not the square. It hit the square. So this was a lie.
    2. Pinochet regime deliberately arrested and executed people. Pilot hit the square by accident. Equating the two situations is likewise dishonest. Extremely so. You are falsely claiming that the pilot and his superiors executed those civilians, as the Pinochet executed civilians.


    is saying that a Ukrainian airplane bombed a square
     
    You stated (point 1) and implied (point 2) that the pilot deliberately targeted the square, which would obviously be a warcrime and which was not true. You thus lied about the event. How does one describe someone who does that? Either retract your dishonest statement, or own up to what you are.

    The intended target apparently was the Regional State Administration. This is the office of the governor of the Oblast and, as such, a civilian building.
     
    Offices of the government are not considered to be civilian buildings if those offices involve people associated with the war. Apartments, schools, markets, and hospitals are civilian buildings. When a government headquarters, presidential palace etc. are bombed these acts are not considered to be war crimes. A specific government building devoted exclusively to non-military functions (such as an entire building being a health ministry or education ministry building) would be off-limits as a target. The Regional State Administration Building was not limited to that. It was the government HQ.

    This was the Luhansk Head of State at the time of the bombing:

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

    His office was certainly a legitimate target according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.


    The fighting around the Lugansk Border Base was taking place many miles away from that location.
     
    So what? Attacking government buildings where the leaders of a war are based is not off limits. Strikes are not limited to the frontline. If Russia were at war it would certainly not be a war crime for its enemies to target the Kremlin. Nor would it be a war crime to target the White House (office of the Commander-in-Chief) by whoever the USA would be at war with.

    If not a war criminal, this pilot and his superiors were definitely guilty of criminal recklessness.
     
    Even this is questionable, though it is a little more realistic than the accusation of war crimes.* The purpose was to decapitate the enemy government by taking out its building. Presumably this would have to be done during working hours and it would have to be a surprise attack. There was no point in bombing the building at night when there was zero chance that the enemy commander and his government were there.

    *The government would have to be aware that its missiles weren't working properly or that its pilot was terribly incompetent. No eviddnce that this was the case, and that this wasn't the sort of errant missile fire that even Western militaries sometimes make.


    The importance of the Luganks Square massacre, in the context of what was originally discussed in this thread, is that we know the facts quite well and shows that, from the very beginning, the Ukrainian government pursued a policy of shelling civilian areas and causing innocent casualties.
     
    1. This was not shelling, it was a missile strike.

    2. Missile was aimed at a government building, not a civilian structure.

    Thus it is a lie that the missile strike represents a "policy of shelling civilians areas and causing innocent casualties."

    The Ukrainian government also shelled enemy positions that the enemy (in violation of the Geneva Convention) placed in civilian areas from which they attacked Ukrainian positions. This is legitimate.

    Neither retaliatory strikes against rebel positions that the rebels placed in civilian areas, nor Luhansk square being hit by the missile, are war crimes.

    There have also been documented cases of Ukrainian forces shelling civilian areas randomly, usually out of frustration. These specific cases are of course war crimes. They account for a small % of civilian deaths in Donbas. They certainly were not government policy, even though AFAIK the government has not done anything to bring these people to justice.

    So your dishonesty continues.


    So it is not true that those innocent casualties have been caused by the rebels opening fire from civilians areas and Ukrainians having to defend themselves, as you claimed above.
     
    I did not claim that about Luhansk Square. Retract your statement.

    my opinion is exactly the one that was voiced at the time by the Eastwest.eu magazine
     
    Voiced by a single writer published in the magazine, not a statement by that magazine's editorial board.

    If you’re going to carry on accusing people of “lying” take that up with them
     
    You are responsible for your own words here.

    Sorry but your Asperger syndrome level of obduracy makes pursuing any further discussion with you a waste of time.

    On top of your puerile insistence in using inflammatory language against a person who hasn’t said anything different from what many pro-Maidan and even blatantly Russophobe people were forced to admit at the time of the massacre, you have also begun to speak ex cathedra, as if you had had access to the written orders of the day of the bombing.

    There is no way of knowing who was in that civilian building at the time of the attack, who the Ukrainian military though they would able to target (apart from many civilian public servants, whose presence, incompetent though they proved to be, could not possibly ignore) or what the real intentions of the pilot were. We can make some educated guesses about all of this but, absent a thorough judiciary investigation, the only certainty you and me can have is what the actual consequences were.

    For all we know, that pilot may have been half-drunk or done something totally different from what he was ordered. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, he died a few months ago in what was described as an air accident so we’re very unlikely to ever know the exact circumstances of the tragedy he provoked.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile so, again, I happen to have a very good knowledge of the Pinochet regime and the distortions that have been propagated about it. Some people were killed under barbaric circumstances but virtually none of them were random, innocent civilians like the casualties of the Lugansk Central Square. I definitely stand by my opinion that the Lugansk victims deserve the same investigation that each of the identified victims of the Pinochet regime received through the Rettig Report and subsequent trials. Consciously or not, you have actually conceded this point in one of your ramblings above, making this debate even more circular.

    • Replies: @JL
    I don't understand the point of this discussion. There is not going to be any investigation into the Lugansk incident, or any similar incidents, because these are only initiated by the "international community" and only against their enemies. At the end of the day, the Ukrainians have paid the price for their brutality with the permanent loss of that territory. Donbas people will never be shoved back into the Ukrainian state.

    To AP's credit, he seems to be cognizant of this reality, as he has advocated for the Ukraine to abandon their claims to Crimea and ОРДЛО (Granted, this doesn't explain his support of the war candidate in the last presidential election there, but I digress). This would be the best, most humane solution for the Ukrainian state, the people of the Ukraine, and the people of the Donbas. It would be an unsatisfactory solution for the United States and Russia, who seem to care little about the people of the Ukraine and Donbas, respectively, and only see them as some kind of bargaining chips in their geopolitical standoff. Unfortunately, modern Ukrainian political culture, beholden to a relatively small group of radicals and susceptible to democracy in the streets, precludes any such sensible outcomes.

    These endless litigations of history, both recent and ancient, may help answer the question of who is to blame, but there is precious little discussion of what is to be done.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile
     
    My wife and I visited Chile and Argentina recently and were rather struck by the contrast of relative chaos in the latter, and the order and stability of the former. We asked as many people as we could for an explanation and invariably always received the same answer, in the same sheepish manner: "Well, Pinochet really put our house in order". This actually gives us some hope for Russia's future post-Putin.
    , @AP

    your Asperger syndrome level of obduracy
     
    My description of you as a lair was proven by facts. You just engage in insults.

    you have also begun to speak ex cathedra, as if you had had access to the written orders of the day of the bombing.
     
    No evidence that the square was the target, and AFAIK nobody claims it wasn't a mistake.

    There is no way of knowing who was in that civilian building at the time of the attack
     
    You have been shown that according to the Geneva Convention a government building housing offices of people involved in war is not a civilian building.

    Yet here you claim it was, again. You know what your words are.

    Any time a building is hit it cannot be 100% certain who is in it. So?

    or what the real intentions of the pilot were.
     
    To bomb the HQ of the rebels.

    If the purpose were to kill civilians, logically, an apartment building full of them would be hit. Then there would be more victims.

    You are now really making things up.

    For all we know, that pilot may have been half-drunk or done something totally different from what he was ordered.
     
    By that logic, for all we know he was a Russian agent and this was a false-flag or something.

    Without evidence these far-fetched musings are ridiculous.

    Rather than admit that you were wrong or that you lied (it is hard for you), you now engage in this silliness.

    The truth is simple: rebel HQ was targeted, missile hit the adjacent square instead. By Geneva standards rebel HQ was a legitimate target and risk of collateral damage was acceptable. This sort of thing happens often during war, unfortunately.

    You don't have to make up speculation about Ukraine sending a half-drunk guy in one of its few planes on a very important mission. The truth is much simpler.

    I definitely stand by my opinion that the Lugansk victims deserve the same investigation that each of the identified victims of the Pinochet regime received through the Rettig Report and subsequent trial
     
    You said more than that - you equated those deaths.
  146. JL says:
    @Mikel
    Sorry but your Asperger syndrome level of obduracy makes pursuing any further discussion with you a waste of time.

    On top of your puerile insistence in using inflammatory language against a person who hasn't said anything different from what many pro-Maidan and even blatantly Russophobe people were forced to admit at the time of the massacre, you have also begun to speak ex cathedra, as if you had had access to the written orders of the day of the bombing.

    There is no way of knowing who was in that civilian building at the time of the attack, who the Ukrainian military though they would able to target (apart from many civilian public servants, whose presence, incompetent though they proved to be, could not possibly ignore) or what the real intentions of the pilot were. We can make some educated guesses about all of this but, absent a thorough judiciary investigation, the only certainty you and me can have is what the actual consequences were.

    For all we know, that pilot may have been half-drunk or done something totally different from what he was ordered. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he died a few months ago in what was described as an air accident so we're very unlikely to ever know the exact circumstances of the tragedy he provoked.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile so, again, I happen to have a very good knowledge of the Pinochet regime and the distortions that have been propagated about it. Some people were killed under barbaric circumstances but virtually none of them were random, innocent civilians like the casualties of the Lugansk Central Square. I definitely stand by my opinion that the Lugansk victims deserve the same investigation that each of the identified victims of the Pinochet regime received through the Rettig Report and subsequent trials. Consciously or not, you have actually conceded this point in one of your ramblings above, making this debate even more circular.

    I don’t understand the point of this discussion. There is not going to be any investigation into the Lugansk incident, or any similar incidents, because these are only initiated by the “international community” and only against their enemies. At the end of the day, the Ukrainians have paid the price for their brutality with the permanent loss of that territory. Donbas people will never be shoved back into the Ukrainian state.

    To AP’s credit, he seems to be cognizant of this reality, as he has advocated for the Ukraine to abandon their claims to Crimea and ОРДЛО (Granted, this doesn’t explain his support of the war candidate in the last presidential election there, but I digress). This would be the best, most humane solution for the Ukrainian state, the people of the Ukraine, and the people of the Donbas. It would be an unsatisfactory solution for the United States and Russia, who seem to care little about the people of the Ukraine and Donbas, respectively, and only see them as some kind of bargaining chips in their geopolitical standoff. Unfortunately, modern Ukrainian political culture, beholden to a relatively small group of radicals and susceptible to democracy in the streets, precludes any such sensible outcomes.

    These endless litigations of history, both recent and ancient, may help answer the question of who is to blame, but there is precious little discussion of what is to be done.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile

    My wife and I visited Chile and Argentina recently and were rather struck by the contrast of relative chaos in the latter, and the order and stability of the former. We asked as many people as we could for an explanation and invariably always received the same answer, in the same sheepish manner: “Well, Pinochet really put our house in order”. This actually gives us some hope for Russia’s future post-Putin.

    • Replies: @AP

    I don’t understand the point of this discussion.
     
    Sloppy summary: Mikel repeats lies he has heard that the Ukrainian government is trying to kill Donbas civilians as policy, and presents a false picture of this bombing as an example. I simply debunk this.

    To AP’s credit, he seems to be cognizant of this reality, as he has advocated for the Ukraine to abandon their claims to Crimea and ОРДЛО (Granted, this doesn’t explain his support of the war candidate in the last presidential election there, but I digress).
     
    Abandoning claims to this territory goes hand in hand with having a strong military to keep this territory away and to prevent it from expanding. I'm not really a supporter of Poroshenko but I saw him as the safer choice, than Zelensky.

    I agree with the all the rest of your post.
    , @AP

    At the end of the day, the Ukrainians have paid the price for their brutality with the permanent loss of that territory. Donbas people will never be shoved back into the Ukrainian state.
     
    Another point: during World War II Soviet partisans deliberately provoked the Germans into reprisals against Belarusian villages, because the Belarusian villagers were not sufficiently anti-German. They identified a neutral village, ambushed a nearby German patrol, which made sure that the Germans would make a massacre in that village. 100,000s of Belarussian villagers were killed this way.

    One reason why the Sovoks embed their forces in civilian areas from which they attack Ukrainian government positions may be that this guarantees return fire, civilian deaths, and hardening anti-Kiev attitudes. It's an exponentially milder version of what occurred 70 years ago. Ukrainians are not massacring people in retaliation; indeed, they are just returning fire onto positions from which they were fired upon which is a completely legitimate action. But a few civilians die, and that's good for the ones who want anti-Kiev sentiment there.

    If one were to set aside the horrible deaths of civilians (I do not), it's a good strategy for both sides. Donbas ought to have left Ukraine long ago, but did not want to. Now it probably does. Thank you, Sovok provocateurs, for making this possible.

    Even before 2013, smarter people in Kiev or Lviv had wished that this region would have left Ukraine in 2004. Ten lost years.
    , @Mikel

    I don’t understand the point of this discussion.
     
    Neither do I :-) Which is why I said that I won't be pursuing it any more.

    But, as you can see, AP doesn't take a no for an answer and intends to carry on forever.

    I think that this all began when he called me a "liar" for saying that the Ukrainians bombed the Lugansk Central Square rather than a building in that square. If you don't have anything better to do, you can follow the thread from there to this point.

    One comical thing is that, based on past discussions with him, I don't believe that we have any major disagreement. To the extent that it wasn't swept under the rug by the Ukrainians and their Western backers, everybody who expressed an opinion once the facts became clear called for a criminal investigation of this horrific action, including prominent people in the latter camp, as I've shown above. And AP has also expressed this opinion himself, which makes the whole discussion ridiculous.

    Sadly, in this thread his pigheadedness has led him to try to legitimize this brutal murder of innocent civilians. The fact that he seems to have limitless amounts of time to engage in byzantine discussions will not save him from being reminded of his words in the future.

    Other than that, I very much agree with your post, notably with the situation in Chile (although not everything is as rosy as it looks during a short visit) but perhaps I disagree with one important point. The Ukrainian conflict marked the beginning of the senseless and dangerous Cold War in which we have all ended. Discussing what led to that conflict and how the different parties behaved (among them the EU and the US, who were far from innocent in stoking the conflict) should actually be done more often.

  147. AP says:
    @Mikel
    Sorry but your Asperger syndrome level of obduracy makes pursuing any further discussion with you a waste of time.

    On top of your puerile insistence in using inflammatory language against a person who hasn't said anything different from what many pro-Maidan and even blatantly Russophobe people were forced to admit at the time of the massacre, you have also begun to speak ex cathedra, as if you had had access to the written orders of the day of the bombing.

    There is no way of knowing who was in that civilian building at the time of the attack, who the Ukrainian military though they would able to target (apart from many civilian public servants, whose presence, incompetent though they proved to be, could not possibly ignore) or what the real intentions of the pilot were. We can make some educated guesses about all of this but, absent a thorough judiciary investigation, the only certainty you and me can have is what the actual consequences were.

    For all we know, that pilot may have been half-drunk or done something totally different from what he was ordered. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he died a few months ago in what was described as an air accident so we're very unlikely to ever know the exact circumstances of the tragedy he provoked.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile so, again, I happen to have a very good knowledge of the Pinochet regime and the distortions that have been propagated about it. Some people were killed under barbaric circumstances but virtually none of them were random, innocent civilians like the casualties of the Lugansk Central Square. I definitely stand by my opinion that the Lugansk victims deserve the same investigation that each of the identified victims of the Pinochet regime received through the Rettig Report and subsequent trials. Consciously or not, you have actually conceded this point in one of your ramblings above, making this debate even more circular.

    your Asperger syndrome level of obduracy

    My description of you as a lair was proven by facts. You just engage in insults.

    you have also begun to speak ex cathedra, as if you had had access to the written orders of the day of the bombing.

    No evidence that the square was the target, and AFAIK nobody claims it wasn’t a mistake.

    There is no way of knowing who was in that civilian building at the time of the attack

    You have been shown that according to the Geneva Convention a government building housing offices of people involved in war is not a civilian building.

    Yet here you claim it was, again. You know what your words are.

    Any time a building is hit it cannot be 100% certain who is in it. So?

    or what the real intentions of the pilot were.

    To bomb the HQ of the rebels.

    If the purpose were to kill civilians, logically, an apartment building full of them would be hit. Then there would be more victims.

    You are now really making things up.

    For all we know, that pilot may have been half-drunk or done something totally different from what he was ordered.

    By that logic, for all we know he was a Russian agent and this was a false-flag or something.

    Without evidence these far-fetched musings are ridiculous.

    Rather than admit that you were wrong or that you lied (it is hard for you), you now engage in this silliness.

    The truth is simple: rebel HQ was targeted, missile hit the adjacent square instead. By Geneva standards rebel HQ was a legitimate target and risk of collateral damage was acceptable. This sort of thing happens often during war, unfortunately.

    You don’t have to make up speculation about Ukraine sending a half-drunk guy in one of its few planes on a very important mission. The truth is much simpler.

    I definitely stand by my opinion that the Lugansk victims deserve the same investigation that each of the identified victims of the Pinochet regime received through the Rettig Report and subsequent trial

    You said more than that – you equated those deaths.

  148. AP says:
    @JL
    I don't understand the point of this discussion. There is not going to be any investigation into the Lugansk incident, or any similar incidents, because these are only initiated by the "international community" and only against their enemies. At the end of the day, the Ukrainians have paid the price for their brutality with the permanent loss of that territory. Donbas people will never be shoved back into the Ukrainian state.

    To AP's credit, he seems to be cognizant of this reality, as he has advocated for the Ukraine to abandon their claims to Crimea and ОРДЛО (Granted, this doesn't explain his support of the war candidate in the last presidential election there, but I digress). This would be the best, most humane solution for the Ukrainian state, the people of the Ukraine, and the people of the Donbas. It would be an unsatisfactory solution for the United States and Russia, who seem to care little about the people of the Ukraine and Donbas, respectively, and only see them as some kind of bargaining chips in their geopolitical standoff. Unfortunately, modern Ukrainian political culture, beholden to a relatively small group of radicals and susceptible to democracy in the streets, precludes any such sensible outcomes.

    These endless litigations of history, both recent and ancient, may help answer the question of who is to blame, but there is precious little discussion of what is to be done.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile
     
    My wife and I visited Chile and Argentina recently and were rather struck by the contrast of relative chaos in the latter, and the order and stability of the former. We asked as many people as we could for an explanation and invariably always received the same answer, in the same sheepish manner: "Well, Pinochet really put our house in order". This actually gives us some hope for Russia's future post-Putin.

    I don’t understand the point of this discussion.

    Sloppy summary: Mikel repeats lies he has heard that the Ukrainian government is trying to kill Donbas civilians as policy, and presents a false picture of this bombing as an example. I simply debunk this.

    To AP’s credit, he seems to be cognizant of this reality, as he has advocated for the Ukraine to abandon their claims to Crimea and ОРДЛО (Granted, this doesn’t explain his support of the war candidate in the last presidential election there, but I digress).

    Abandoning claims to this territory goes hand in hand with having a strong military to keep this territory away and to prevent it from expanding. I’m not really a supporter of Poroshenko but I saw him as the safer choice, than Zelensky.

    I agree with the all the rest of your post.

  149. AP says:
    @JL
    I don't understand the point of this discussion. There is not going to be any investigation into the Lugansk incident, or any similar incidents, because these are only initiated by the "international community" and only against their enemies. At the end of the day, the Ukrainians have paid the price for their brutality with the permanent loss of that territory. Donbas people will never be shoved back into the Ukrainian state.

    To AP's credit, he seems to be cognizant of this reality, as he has advocated for the Ukraine to abandon their claims to Crimea and ОРДЛО (Granted, this doesn't explain his support of the war candidate in the last presidential election there, but I digress). This would be the best, most humane solution for the Ukrainian state, the people of the Ukraine, and the people of the Donbas. It would be an unsatisfactory solution for the United States and Russia, who seem to care little about the people of the Ukraine and Donbas, respectively, and only see them as some kind of bargaining chips in their geopolitical standoff. Unfortunately, modern Ukrainian political culture, beholden to a relatively small group of radicals and susceptible to democracy in the streets, precludes any such sensible outcomes.

    These endless litigations of history, both recent and ancient, may help answer the question of who is to blame, but there is precious little discussion of what is to be done.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile
     
    My wife and I visited Chile and Argentina recently and were rather struck by the contrast of relative chaos in the latter, and the order and stability of the former. We asked as many people as we could for an explanation and invariably always received the same answer, in the same sheepish manner: "Well, Pinochet really put our house in order". This actually gives us some hope for Russia's future post-Putin.

    At the end of the day, the Ukrainians have paid the price for their brutality with the permanent loss of that territory. Donbas people will never be shoved back into the Ukrainian state.

    Another point: during World War II Soviet partisans deliberately provoked the Germans into reprisals against Belarusian villages, because the Belarusian villagers were not sufficiently anti-German. They identified a neutral village, ambushed a nearby German patrol, which made sure that the Germans would make a massacre in that village. 100,000s of Belarussian villagers were killed this way.

    One reason why the Sovoks embed their forces in civilian areas from which they attack Ukrainian government positions may be that this guarantees return fire, civilian deaths, and hardening anti-Kiev attitudes. It’s an exponentially milder version of what occurred 70 years ago. Ukrainians are not massacring people in retaliation; indeed, they are just returning fire onto positions from which they were fired upon which is a completely legitimate action. But a few civilians die, and that’s good for the ones who want anti-Kiev sentiment there.

    If one were to set aside the horrible deaths of civilians (I do not), it’s a good strategy for both sides. Donbas ought to have left Ukraine long ago, but did not want to. Now it probably does. Thank you, Sovok provocateurs, for making this possible.

    Even before 2013, smarter people in Kiev or Lviv had wished that this region would have left Ukraine in 2004. Ten lost years.

    • Replies: @Dreadilk
    Pray tell me what Ukranians doing near Donbass cities in the first place? Last I checked there is a lot of space in Ukraine.
  150. @JL
    I don't understand the point of this discussion. There is not going to be any investigation into the Lugansk incident, or any similar incidents, because these are only initiated by the "international community" and only against their enemies. At the end of the day, the Ukrainians have paid the price for their brutality with the permanent loss of that territory. Donbas people will never be shoved back into the Ukrainian state.

    To AP's credit, he seems to be cognizant of this reality, as he has advocated for the Ukraine to abandon their claims to Crimea and ОРДЛО (Granted, this doesn't explain his support of the war candidate in the last presidential election there, but I digress). This would be the best, most humane solution for the Ukrainian state, the people of the Ukraine, and the people of the Donbas. It would be an unsatisfactory solution for the United States and Russia, who seem to care little about the people of the Ukraine and Donbas, respectively, and only see them as some kind of bargaining chips in their geopolitical standoff. Unfortunately, modern Ukrainian political culture, beholden to a relatively small group of radicals and susceptible to democracy in the streets, precludes any such sensible outcomes.

    These endless litigations of history, both recent and ancient, may help answer the question of who is to blame, but there is precious little discussion of what is to be done.

    I spent over a decade of my life in Chile
     
    My wife and I visited Chile and Argentina recently and were rather struck by the contrast of relative chaos in the latter, and the order and stability of the former. We asked as many people as we could for an explanation and invariably always received the same answer, in the same sheepish manner: "Well, Pinochet really put our house in order". This actually gives us some hope for Russia's future post-Putin.

    I don’t understand the point of this discussion.

    Neither do I 🙂 Which is why I said that I won’t be pursuing it any more.

    But, as you can see, AP doesn’t take a no for an answer and intends to carry on forever.

    I think that this all began when he called me a “liar” for saying that the Ukrainians bombed the Lugansk Central Square rather than a building in that square. If you don’t have anything better to do, you can follow the thread from there to this point.

    One comical thing is that, based on past discussions with him, I don’t believe that we have any major disagreement. To the extent that it wasn’t swept under the rug by the Ukrainians and their Western backers, everybody who expressed an opinion once the facts became clear called for a criminal investigation of this horrific action, including prominent people in the latter camp, as I’ve shown above. And AP has also expressed this opinion himself, which makes the whole discussion ridiculous.

    Sadly, in this thread his pigheadedness has led him to try to legitimize this brutal murder of innocent civilians. The fact that he seems to have limitless amounts of time to engage in byzantine discussions will not save him from being reminded of his words in the future.

    Other than that, I very much agree with your post, notably with the situation in Chile (although not everything is as rosy as it looks during a short visit) but perhaps I disagree with one important point. The Ukrainian conflict marked the beginning of the senseless and dangerous Cold War in which we have all ended. Discussing what led to that conflict and how the different parties behaved (among them the EU and the US, who were far from innocent in stoking the conflict) should actually be done more often.

    • Replies: @AP

    But, as you can see, AP doesn’t take a no for an answer and intends to carry on forever.
     
    When you are wrong I will point it out.

    this brutal murder of innocent civilians
     
    This is the lie that you repeat.

    Murder means intent.

    Definition: "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another."

    You are dishonestly claiming that the pilot intended to kill the people on the square.
  151. @Mr. Hack
    A solid rebuttal, offering some different perspectives of the tragedy that occurred in Luhansk. Perhaps, the Ukrainian soldiers were indeed reckless in even trying to target an area so close to civilian activity (perhaps not?). This would be something for a court of detached judges to review. I am moved by your reply, however, especially after watching a film last evening about the famous war correspondent, Marie Colver, who gave her life while trying to convey the tragedies of collateral civilian deaths. In this film, Syrian leader Asad is not being accused of collateral civilian deaths, but of being the mastermind of thousands of directed deaths of Syria's civilians, especially in the city of Homs. I think that the Luhansk situation is more in a grey zone, and not clearly black/white.

    https://youtu.be/TTf0Lc5YAcc

    Hey, glad to see that in the end we are largely in agreement.

    Perhaps one other thing that the innocent victims of these conflicts deserve is that distant observers like us don’t engage in absurd semantic arguments about their tragedy.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    That I agree with you that these sorts of matters should be reviewed by detached legal and military experts does not translate into my endorsement of the proposition that semantic arguments are somehow 'absurd'. It's these sorts of matters that will be carefully examined and decided by semantic arguments. AP, in my opinion, has a great command of the facts and is only using his gift of the written word to try and make his case. His case seems strong, but getting a consensus of legal minds to agree with it is another thing. JL is probably correct in assessing that this tragedy will never be reviewed,and the pilot of this great tragedy is no longer with us...But as Marie Culver points out within the film that I've cited, all governments at the end of the day try to present their deeds and misdeeds in the best light, does it really matter to the grieving families left behind?
  152. AP says:
    @Mikel

    I don’t understand the point of this discussion.
     
    Neither do I :-) Which is why I said that I won't be pursuing it any more.

    But, as you can see, AP doesn't take a no for an answer and intends to carry on forever.

    I think that this all began when he called me a "liar" for saying that the Ukrainians bombed the Lugansk Central Square rather than a building in that square. If you don't have anything better to do, you can follow the thread from there to this point.

    One comical thing is that, based on past discussions with him, I don't believe that we have any major disagreement. To the extent that it wasn't swept under the rug by the Ukrainians and their Western backers, everybody who expressed an opinion once the facts became clear called for a criminal investigation of this horrific action, including prominent people in the latter camp, as I've shown above. And AP has also expressed this opinion himself, which makes the whole discussion ridiculous.

    Sadly, in this thread his pigheadedness has led him to try to legitimize this brutal murder of innocent civilians. The fact that he seems to have limitless amounts of time to engage in byzantine discussions will not save him from being reminded of his words in the future.

    Other than that, I very much agree with your post, notably with the situation in Chile (although not everything is as rosy as it looks during a short visit) but perhaps I disagree with one important point. The Ukrainian conflict marked the beginning of the senseless and dangerous Cold War in which we have all ended. Discussing what led to that conflict and how the different parties behaved (among them the EU and the US, who were far from innocent in stoking the conflict) should actually be done more often.

    But, as you can see, AP doesn’t take a no for an answer and intends to carry on forever.

    When you are wrong I will point it out.

    this brutal murder of innocent civilians

    This is the lie that you repeat.

    Murder means intent.

    Definition: “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.”

    You are dishonestly claiming that the pilot intended to kill the people on the square.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    When you are wrong I will point it out.
     
    For the rest of our lives??

    Murder means intent.
     
    Exactly. While we cannot be sure what this hapless pilot had in mind, it was exceedingly difficult to launch a missile against a building occupied by civilians and kill lots of them unless he really intended to do that.
  153. @AP

    But, as you can see, AP doesn’t take a no for an answer and intends to carry on forever.
     
    When you are wrong I will point it out.

    this brutal murder of innocent civilians
     
    This is the lie that you repeat.

    Murder means intent.

    Definition: "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another."

    You are dishonestly claiming that the pilot intended to kill the people on the square.

    When you are wrong I will point it out.

    For the rest of our lives??

    Murder means intent.

    Exactly. While we cannot be sure what this hapless pilot had in mind, it was exceedingly difficult to launch a missile against a building occupied by civilians and kill lots of them unless he really intended to do that.

    • Replies: @AP

    Murder means intent.

    Exactly. While we cannot be sure what this hapless pilot had in mind, it was exceedingly difficult to launch a missile against a building occupied by civilians and kill lots of them unless he really intended to do that.
     
    Building wasn't hit, the square was.

    You claimed the people in the square were murdered. That is a lie.

    Government building is a legitimate target, as was pointed out to you. Do you claim all soldiers who have killed are murderers?
  154. AP says:
    @Mikel

    When you are wrong I will point it out.
     
    For the rest of our lives??

    Murder means intent.
     
    Exactly. While we cannot be sure what this hapless pilot had in mind, it was exceedingly difficult to launch a missile against a building occupied by civilians and kill lots of them unless he really intended to do that.

    Murder means intent.

    Exactly. While we cannot be sure what this hapless pilot had in mind, it was exceedingly difficult to launch a missile against a building occupied by civilians and kill lots of them unless he really intended to do that.

    Building wasn’t hit, the square was.

    You claimed the people in the square were murdered. That is a lie.

    Government building is a legitimate target, as was pointed out to you. Do you claim all soldiers who have killed are murderers?

    • Replies: @Mikel

    Building wasn’t hit, the square was.

    You claimed the people in the square were murdered. That is a lie.
     
    Most, if not all of the murdered civilians were killed at the entrance of the RSA building. Some of them were heading to or coming from their civilian duties in that building. Launching a missile at that building was a sure way to kill civilians and that was indeed the result of the pilot's action. What part of all of this have you blocked your mind to understand?

    And the building was definitely hit by the missile. Am I really discussing this with someone who hasn't even seen the footage of the attack?

    http://tomgiuretis.com/2014/06/an-assessment-of-the-june-2-luhansk-administration-building-attacks/

    Government building is a legitimate target
     
    Repeating this mantra ad-nauseam doesn't magically make it true.

    This was the regional civil administration building. It had been seized by the anti-Maidan rebels just like many RSAs had been earlier seized elsewhere by Maidan rebels. It was not a "military" target, let alone a "legitimate" one, because, to begin with, there were no military operations declared by the Ukrainian government, that claimed to be conducting an anti-terrorist operation.

    And its military/anti-terrorist value was non-existent because one thing we can be pretty sure of is that the leaders of the armed actions taking place in Lugansk were not idiotically all assembled in an easily identifiable and defenseless building. Your comparison of the Lugansk RSA in June 2014 with the Kremlin is grotesque.
  155. @Mikel
    Hey, glad to see that in the end we are largely in agreement.

    Perhaps one other thing that the innocent victims of these conflicts deserve is that distant observers like us don't engage in absurd semantic arguments about their tragedy.

    That I agree with you that these sorts of matters should be reviewed by detached legal and military experts does not translate into my endorsement of the proposition that semantic arguments are somehow ‘absurd’. It’s these sorts of matters that will be carefully examined and decided by semantic arguments. AP, in my opinion, has a great command of the facts and is only using his gift of the written word to try and make his case. His case seems strong, but getting a consensus of legal minds to agree with it is another thing. JL is probably correct in assessing that this tragedy will never be reviewed,and the pilot of this great tragedy is no longer with us…But as Marie Culver points out within the film that I’ve cited, all governments at the end of the day try to present their deeds and misdeeds in the best light, does it really matter to the grieving families left behind?

    • Replies: @AP

    That I agree with you that these sorts of matters should be reviewed by detached legal and military experts does not translate into my endorsement of the proposition that semantic arguments are somehow ‘absurd’.
     
    It's also more than merely semantic. He is accusing the Ukrainian government and that deceased pilot of deliberately killing the civilians on the square, calling it murder, which would be a war crime. It's a serious accusation, and clearly a lie.
  156. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    That I agree with you that these sorts of matters should be reviewed by detached legal and military experts does not translate into my endorsement of the proposition that semantic arguments are somehow 'absurd'. It's these sorts of matters that will be carefully examined and decided by semantic arguments. AP, in my opinion, has a great command of the facts and is only using his gift of the written word to try and make his case. His case seems strong, but getting a consensus of legal minds to agree with it is another thing. JL is probably correct in assessing that this tragedy will never be reviewed,and the pilot of this great tragedy is no longer with us...But as Marie Culver points out within the film that I've cited, all governments at the end of the day try to present their deeds and misdeeds in the best light, does it really matter to the grieving families left behind?

    That I agree with you that these sorts of matters should be reviewed by detached legal and military experts does not translate into my endorsement of the proposition that semantic arguments are somehow ‘absurd’.

    It’s also more than merely semantic. He is accusing the Ukrainian government and that deceased pilot of deliberately killing the civilians on the square, calling it murder, which would be a war crime. It’s a serious accusation, and clearly a lie.

  157. @AP

    Murder means intent.

    Exactly. While we cannot be sure what this hapless pilot had in mind, it was exceedingly difficult to launch a missile against a building occupied by civilians and kill lots of them unless he really intended to do that.
     
    Building wasn't hit, the square was.

    You claimed the people in the square were murdered. That is a lie.

    Government building is a legitimate target, as was pointed out to you. Do you claim all soldiers who have killed are murderers?

    Building wasn’t hit, the square was.

    You claimed the people in the square were murdered. That is a lie.

    Most, if not all of the murdered civilians were killed at the entrance of the RSA building. Some of them were heading to or coming from their civilian duties in that building. Launching a missile at that building was a sure way to kill civilians and that was indeed the result of the pilot’s action. What part of all of this have you blocked your mind to understand?

    And the building was definitely hit by the missile. Am I really discussing this with someone who hasn’t even seen the footage of the attack?

    http://tomgiuretis.com/2014/06/an-assessment-of-the-june-2-luhansk-administration-building-attacks/

    Government building is a legitimate target

    Repeating this mantra ad-nauseam doesn’t magically make it true.

    This was the regional civil administration building. It had been seized by the anti-Maidan rebels just like many RSAs had been earlier seized elsewhere by Maidan rebels. It was not a “military” target, let alone a “legitimate” one, because, to begin with, there were no military operations declared by the Ukrainian government, that claimed to be conducting an anti-terrorist operation.

    And its military/anti-terrorist value was non-existent because one thing we can be pretty sure of is that the leaders of the armed actions taking place in Lugansk were not idiotically all assembled in an easily identifiable and defenseless building. Your comparison of the Lugansk RSA in June 2014 with the Kremlin is grotesque.

    • Replies: @AP

    Most, if not all of the murdered civilians were killed at the entrance of the RSA building.
     
    None were in the building, which was the target of the attack. So none of the dead were the target.

    Some of them were heading to or coming from their civilian duties in that building. Launching a missile at that building was a sure way to kill civilians and that was indeed the result of the pilot’s action
     
    Again, according to the rules of the Geneva Convention, civilian casualties are acceptable if the target is legitimate. The building was targeted because it was the rebel HQ and base of the rebel leaders.

    And the building was definitely hit by the missile.
     
    I stand corrected on this, I was focused on the casualties.

    Government building is a legitimate target

    Repeating this mantra ad-nauseam doesn’t magically make it true.
     
    Are you offended because it is the truth?

    https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1361&context=ils

    pg. 157, "government offices"

    It is occasionally questioned “whether government buildings are excluded under any clear rule of law from enemy attack.”111 But this sweeping statement is wrong. Government offices can be considered a legitimate target for attack only when used in pursuance or support of military functions. The premises of the Ministry of Defense have already been mentioned. Any subordinate or independent Department of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Munitions and so forth is embraced. As for the edifice of the Head of State, circumstances vary from one country to another. Whereas the White House in Washington would constitute a legitimate military target (since the American President is the Commander–in-Chief of all US armed forces), Buckingham Palace in London would not (inasmuch as the Queen has no similar role).

    The Luhansk RSA served as the base for the rebels waging war against the Ukrainian state.

    Indeed, the rebel leadership was inside the building at the time of the attack:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%B0%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%80_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D0%B7%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8E_%D0%9B%D1%83%D0%B3%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%B8_2_%D0%B8%D1%8E%D0%BD%D1%8F_2014

    The aim of the air strikes,according to the the leadership of the LNR, was the attempted assassination of the head of the Lugansk People's Republic of Valery Bolotov and his entourage, which at that moment were in the building.

    This is the man in the building at the time:

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

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/Valeri_Bolotov.png/220px-Valeri_Bolotov.png

    Very much the military leader.

    Thus, the government building and rebel HQ was a legitimate military target.

    And its military/anti-terrorist value was non-existent because one thing we can be pretty sure of is that the leaders of the armed actions taking place in Lugansk were not idiotically all assembled in an easily identifiable and defenseless building.
     
    They were in the building at the time.

    So you are either mistaken or lying as usual.

    How does it feel to be wrong?

    Your comparison of the Lugansk RSA in June 2014 with the Kremlin is grotesque.
     
    The only thing grotesque is your repeated dishonesty.

    RSA served as HQ for the rebel leadership. The bombing was an attempt to take them out. It would be just like bombing the White House, or the Kremlin (which also have civilians working in them) during a military conflict.
  158. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Building wasn’t hit, the square was.

    You claimed the people in the square were murdered. That is a lie.
     
    Most, if not all of the murdered civilians were killed at the entrance of the RSA building. Some of them were heading to or coming from their civilian duties in that building. Launching a missile at that building was a sure way to kill civilians and that was indeed the result of the pilot's action. What part of all of this have you blocked your mind to understand?

    And the building was definitely hit by the missile. Am I really discussing this with someone who hasn't even seen the footage of the attack?

    http://tomgiuretis.com/2014/06/an-assessment-of-the-june-2-luhansk-administration-building-attacks/

    Government building is a legitimate target
     
    Repeating this mantra ad-nauseam doesn't magically make it true.

    This was the regional civil administration building. It had been seized by the anti-Maidan rebels just like many RSAs had been earlier seized elsewhere by Maidan rebels. It was not a "military" target, let alone a "legitimate" one, because, to begin with, there were no military operations declared by the Ukrainian government, that claimed to be conducting an anti-terrorist operation.

    And its military/anti-terrorist value was non-existent because one thing we can be pretty sure of is that the leaders of the armed actions taking place in Lugansk were not idiotically all assembled in an easily identifiable and defenseless building. Your comparison of the Lugansk RSA in June 2014 with the Kremlin is grotesque.

    Most, if not all of the murdered civilians were killed at the entrance of the RSA building.

    None were in the building, which was the target of the attack. So none of the dead were the target.

    Some of them were heading to or coming from their civilian duties in that building. Launching a missile at that building was a sure way to kill civilians and that was indeed the result of the pilot’s action

    Again, according to the rules of the Geneva Convention, civilian casualties are acceptable if the target is legitimate. The building was targeted because it was the rebel HQ and base of the rebel leaders.

    And the building was definitely hit by the missile.

    I stand corrected on this, I was focused on the casualties.

    Government building is a legitimate target

    Repeating this mantra ad-nauseam doesn’t magically make it true.

    Are you offended because it is the truth?

    https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1361&context=ils

    pg. 157, “government offices”

    It is occasionally questioned “whether government buildings are excluded under any clear rule of law from enemy attack.”111 But this sweeping statement is wrong. Government offices can be considered a legitimate target for attack only when used in pursuance or support of military functions. The premises of the Ministry of Defense have already been mentioned. Any subordinate or independent Department of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Munitions and so forth is embraced. As for the edifice of the Head of State, circumstances vary from one country to another. Whereas the White House in Washington would constitute a legitimate military target (since the American President is the Commander–in-Chief of all US armed forces), Buckingham Palace in London would not (inasmuch as the Queen has no similar role).

    The Luhansk RSA served as the base for the rebels waging war against the Ukrainian state.

    Indeed, the rebel leadership was inside the building at the time of the attack:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%B0%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%80_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D0%B7%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8E_%D0%9B%D1%83%D0%B3%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%B8_2_%D0%B8%D1%8E%D0%BD%D1%8F_2014

    The aim of the air strikes,according to the the leadership of the LNR, was the attempted assassination of the head of the Lugansk People’s Republic of Valery Bolotov and his entourage, which at that moment were in the building.

    This is the man in the building at the time:

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

    Very much the military leader.

    Thus, the government building and rebel HQ was a legitimate military target.

    And its military/anti-terrorist value was non-existent because one thing we can be pretty sure of is that the leaders of the armed actions taking place in Lugansk were not idiotically all assembled in an easily identifiable and defenseless building.

    They were in the building at the time.

    So you are either mistaken or lying as usual.

    How does it feel to be wrong?

    Your comparison of the Lugansk RSA in June 2014 with the Kremlin is grotesque.

    The only thing grotesque is your repeated dishonesty.

    RSA served as HQ for the rebel leadership. The bombing was an attempt to take them out. It would be just like bombing the White House, or the Kremlin (which also have civilians working in them) during a military conflict.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    You shouldn't have tried to defend a horrific action that the very people who committed it refused to defend. Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.

    But, if for any obscure reason, you felt the urge to defend it, you should have definitely refrained from using offensive language against me. I only expressed the same judgements that many pro-Kiev, anti-Russian observers voiced at the time so everything that you say about me for my choice of words you are directing it at them too.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein (?) explains his legal views in a document marked with the warning The opinions shared in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the U.S. Naval War College Too much pain for no gain.

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were but they did have absolute certainty that they were targeting a building full of civilians. Throwing a missile at that building was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but it was guaranteed to cause scores of civilian casualties and that is exactly what happened.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.

    As a matter of fact, the missile bouncing on the square before hitting the building (a predictable trajectory, for a missile of the non-guided type) caused civilian casualties outside the building but a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as "legitimate" as intended.

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a "legitimate" target.

    And if anyone would say that this Yanukovich action was a crime, you would have surely found it necessary to call them dishonest liars, wouldn't you?
    , @Mikel
    You shouldn't have tried to defend a horrific action that the very people who committed it refused to defend. Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.

    But, if for any obscure reason, you felt the urge to defend it, you should have definitely refrained from using offensive language against me. I only expressed the same judgements that many pro-Kiev, anti-Russian observers voiced at the time so everything that you say about me for my choice of words you are directing it at them too.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein (?) explains his legal views in a document marked with the warning The opinions shared in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the U.S. Naval War College Too much pain for no gain.

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were but they did have absolute certainty that they were targeting a building full of civilians. Throwing a missile at that building was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but it was guaranteed to cause scores of civilian casualties and that is exactly what happened.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.

    As a matter of fact, the missile bouncing on the square before hitting the building (a predictable trajectory, for a missile of the non-guided type) caused civilian casualties outside the building but a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as "legitimate" as intended.

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a "legitimate" target.

    And if anyone would say that this Yanukovich action was a crime, you would have surely found it necessary to call them dishonest liars, wouldn't you?
  159. @AP

    Most, if not all of the murdered civilians were killed at the entrance of the RSA building.
     
    None were in the building, which was the target of the attack. So none of the dead were the target.

    Some of them were heading to or coming from their civilian duties in that building. Launching a missile at that building was a sure way to kill civilians and that was indeed the result of the pilot’s action
     
    Again, according to the rules of the Geneva Convention, civilian casualties are acceptable if the target is legitimate. The building was targeted because it was the rebel HQ and base of the rebel leaders.

    And the building was definitely hit by the missile.
     
    I stand corrected on this, I was focused on the casualties.

    Government building is a legitimate target

    Repeating this mantra ad-nauseam doesn’t magically make it true.
     
    Are you offended because it is the truth?

    https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1361&context=ils

    pg. 157, "government offices"

    It is occasionally questioned “whether government buildings are excluded under any clear rule of law from enemy attack.”111 But this sweeping statement is wrong. Government offices can be considered a legitimate target for attack only when used in pursuance or support of military functions. The premises of the Ministry of Defense have already been mentioned. Any subordinate or independent Department of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Munitions and so forth is embraced. As for the edifice of the Head of State, circumstances vary from one country to another. Whereas the White House in Washington would constitute a legitimate military target (since the American President is the Commander–in-Chief of all US armed forces), Buckingham Palace in London would not (inasmuch as the Queen has no similar role).

    The Luhansk RSA served as the base for the rebels waging war against the Ukrainian state.

    Indeed, the rebel leadership was inside the building at the time of the attack:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%B0%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%80_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D0%B7%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8E_%D0%9B%D1%83%D0%B3%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%B8_2_%D0%B8%D1%8E%D0%BD%D1%8F_2014

    The aim of the air strikes,according to the the leadership of the LNR, was the attempted assassination of the head of the Lugansk People's Republic of Valery Bolotov and his entourage, which at that moment were in the building.

    This is the man in the building at the time:

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

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/Valeri_Bolotov.png/220px-Valeri_Bolotov.png

    Very much the military leader.

    Thus, the government building and rebel HQ was a legitimate military target.

    And its military/anti-terrorist value was non-existent because one thing we can be pretty sure of is that the leaders of the armed actions taking place in Lugansk were not idiotically all assembled in an easily identifiable and defenseless building.
     
    They were in the building at the time.

    So you are either mistaken or lying as usual.

    How does it feel to be wrong?

    Your comparison of the Lugansk RSA in June 2014 with the Kremlin is grotesque.
     
    The only thing grotesque is your repeated dishonesty.

    RSA served as HQ for the rebel leadership. The bombing was an attempt to take them out. It would be just like bombing the White House, or the Kremlin (which also have civilians working in them) during a military conflict.

    You shouldn’t have tried to defend a horrific action that the very people who committed it refused to defend. Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.

    But, if for any obscure reason, you felt the urge to defend it, you should have definitely refrained from using offensive language against me. I only expressed the same judgements that many pro-Kiev, anti-Russian observers voiced at the time so everything that you say about me for my choice of words you are directing it at them too.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein (?) explains his legal views in a document marked with the warning The opinions shared in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the U.S. Naval War College Too much pain for no gain.

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were but they did have absolute certainty that they were targeting a building full of civilians. Throwing a missile at that building was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but it was guaranteed to cause scores of civilian casualties and that is exactly what happened.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.

    As a matter of fact, the missile bouncing on the square before hitting the building (a predictable trajectory, for a missile of the non-guided type) caused civilian casualties outside the building but a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as “legitimate” as intended.

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a “legitimate” target.

    And if anyone would say that this Yanukovich action was a crime, you would have surely found it necessary to call them dishonest liars, wouldn’t you?

    • Replies: @AP

    You shouldn’t have tried to defend a horrific action
     
    While war in general, is horrific this specific action was no more horrific than other legitimate acts of war. An attack was made on the rebel leadership at the rebel HQ. Who knows, maybe if it succeeded the rebellion (at least in Luhansk) would have collapsed and in the long run far fewer people would have died.

    Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.
     
    More likely - they botched the attack, instead killed some civilians, this was embarrassing so they lied about not doing it.

    If the attack succeeded they probably would have (justly) hailed their accomplishment of liquidating the terrorist leadership.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein
     
    Nothing obscure. Came up very quickly on googlesearch. Didn't find contradictory opinions about this sort of case. Author is one of the world's most prominent legal scholars on war:

    He served twice as the Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2003.[2][11][12] He was also a Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, a Meltzer Visiting Professor of Law at New York University, and a visiting Professor of Law at the University of Toronto.[12]

    Dinstein is President of Israel's national branch of the International Law Association and of the Israel United Nations Association. He served as Chairman of the Israel national branch of Amnesty International and as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.

    ::::::::::

    Again, what I say matches his conclusions.

    Can you cite scholars who claim that a rebel HQ where works the supreme commander of the military is not a legitimate military target, because there are also civilians there?

    Just repeating something ad nauseam does not make it true :-)

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were
     
    They were confidant that the leader of the rebellion was in his headquarters. Headquarters are generally where leaders tend to be. Only you were so silly to claim that there was no chance that he would be in his own HQ.

    The fact that much of his entourage was there at the same time suggests that Ukraine had good intelligence about the whereabouts.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.
     
    The target was Bolotov and his men. Deaths other than his could not have been murder, because there was no intention to kill the civilians.

    Had Bolotov been killed, this would have been murder. At least, as much as is the killing of any soldier by another soldier during military conflict is murder.

    But the people killed, weren't those in the building. So their killings was not murder. And that makes you a liar for claiming that they were.

    a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as “legitimate” as intended.
     
    A direct hit on many legitimate targets during military conflict would result in many civilian deaths. The Kremlin, White House, even the Pentagon are full of civilians. So?

    On a lighter note, remember the scene in Clerks when they talk about the Death Star?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4MVQby0InQ

    Now you change the subject:

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a “legitimate” target.
     
    If there was a war between Galician militants and the Kiev government, and the militants were based in the RSA building, the RSA building/rebel HQ would have clearly been a legitimate target according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    To say otherwise would have been dishonest.

    One can say that Kiev would be wrong, one could root for the Galicians and hope they win (I would do so), but facts are facts and that would not be a war crime.

    It is sad that you don't think so, and prefer to be dishonest, and think that others are dishonest as you are. I guess a thief thinks everyone is a thief, a liar such as you thinks others are liars also.
  160. @AP

    Most, if not all of the murdered civilians were killed at the entrance of the RSA building.
     
    None were in the building, which was the target of the attack. So none of the dead were the target.

    Some of them were heading to or coming from their civilian duties in that building. Launching a missile at that building was a sure way to kill civilians and that was indeed the result of the pilot’s action
     
    Again, according to the rules of the Geneva Convention, civilian casualties are acceptable if the target is legitimate. The building was targeted because it was the rebel HQ and base of the rebel leaders.

    And the building was definitely hit by the missile.
     
    I stand corrected on this, I was focused on the casualties.

    Government building is a legitimate target

    Repeating this mantra ad-nauseam doesn’t magically make it true.
     
    Are you offended because it is the truth?

    https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1361&context=ils

    pg. 157, "government offices"

    It is occasionally questioned “whether government buildings are excluded under any clear rule of law from enemy attack.”111 But this sweeping statement is wrong. Government offices can be considered a legitimate target for attack only when used in pursuance or support of military functions. The premises of the Ministry of Defense have already been mentioned. Any subordinate or independent Department of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Munitions and so forth is embraced. As for the edifice of the Head of State, circumstances vary from one country to another. Whereas the White House in Washington would constitute a legitimate military target (since the American President is the Commander–in-Chief of all US armed forces), Buckingham Palace in London would not (inasmuch as the Queen has no similar role).

    The Luhansk RSA served as the base for the rebels waging war against the Ukrainian state.

    Indeed, the rebel leadership was inside the building at the time of the attack:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%B0%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%80_%D0%BF%D0%BE_%D0%B7%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8E_%D0%9B%D1%83%D0%B3%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B9_%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%BC%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D0%B8_2_%D0%B8%D1%8E%D0%BD%D1%8F_2014

    The aim of the air strikes,according to the the leadership of the LNR, was the attempted assassination of the head of the Lugansk People's Republic of Valery Bolotov and his entourage, which at that moment were in the building.

    This is the man in the building at the time:

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

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/Valeri_Bolotov.png/220px-Valeri_Bolotov.png

    Very much the military leader.

    Thus, the government building and rebel HQ was a legitimate military target.

    And its military/anti-terrorist value was non-existent because one thing we can be pretty sure of is that the leaders of the armed actions taking place in Lugansk were not idiotically all assembled in an easily identifiable and defenseless building.
     
    They were in the building at the time.

    So you are either mistaken or lying as usual.

    How does it feel to be wrong?

    Your comparison of the Lugansk RSA in June 2014 with the Kremlin is grotesque.
     
    The only thing grotesque is your repeated dishonesty.

    RSA served as HQ for the rebel leadership. The bombing was an attempt to take them out. It would be just like bombing the White House, or the Kremlin (which also have civilians working in them) during a military conflict.

    You shouldn’t have tried to defend a horrific action that the very people who committed it refused to defend. Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.

    But, if for any obscure reason, you felt the urge to defend it, you should have definitely refrained from using offensive language against me. I only expressed the same judgements that many pro-Kiev, anti-Russian observers voiced at the time so everything that you say about me for my choice of words you are directing it at them too.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein (?) explains his legal views in a document marked with the warning The opinions shared in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the U.S. Naval War College Too much pain for no gain.

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were but they did have absolute certainty that they were targeting a building full of civilians. Throwing a missile at that building was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but it was guaranteed to cause scores of civilian casualties and that is exactly what happened.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.

    As a matter of fact, the missile bouncing on the square before hitting the building (a predictable trajectory, for a missile of the non-guided type) caused civilian casualties outside the building but a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as “legitimate” as intended.

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a “legitimate” target.

    And if anyone would say that this Yanukovich action was a crime, you would have surely found it necessary to call them dishonest liars, wouldn’t you?

  161. AP says:
    @Mikel
    You shouldn't have tried to defend a horrific action that the very people who committed it refused to defend. Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.

    But, if for any obscure reason, you felt the urge to defend it, you should have definitely refrained from using offensive language against me. I only expressed the same judgements that many pro-Kiev, anti-Russian observers voiced at the time so everything that you say about me for my choice of words you are directing it at them too.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein (?) explains his legal views in a document marked with the warning The opinions shared in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the U.S. Naval War College Too much pain for no gain.

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were but they did have absolute certainty that they were targeting a building full of civilians. Throwing a missile at that building was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but it was guaranteed to cause scores of civilian casualties and that is exactly what happened.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.

    As a matter of fact, the missile bouncing on the square before hitting the building (a predictable trajectory, for a missile of the non-guided type) caused civilian casualties outside the building but a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as "legitimate" as intended.

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a "legitimate" target.

    And if anyone would say that this Yanukovich action was a crime, you would have surely found it necessary to call them dishonest liars, wouldn't you?

    You shouldn’t have tried to defend a horrific action

    While war in general, is horrific this specific action was no more horrific than other legitimate acts of war. An attack was made on the rebel leadership at the rebel HQ. Who knows, maybe if it succeeded the rebellion (at least in Luhansk) would have collapsed and in the long run far fewer people would have died.

    Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.

    More likely – they botched the attack, instead killed some civilians, this was embarrassing so they lied about not doing it.

    If the attack succeeded they probably would have (justly) hailed their accomplishment of liquidating the terrorist leadership.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein

    Nothing obscure. Came up very quickly on googlesearch. Didn’t find contradictory opinions about this sort of case. Author is one of the world’s most prominent legal scholars on war:

    He served twice as the Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2003.[2][11][12] He was also a Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, a Meltzer Visiting Professor of Law at New York University, and a visiting Professor of Law at the University of Toronto.[12]

    Dinstein is President of Israel’s national branch of the International Law Association and of the Israel United Nations Association. He served as Chairman of the Israel national branch of Amnesty International and as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.

    ::::::::::

    Again, what I say matches his conclusions.

    Can you cite scholars who claim that a rebel HQ where works the supreme commander of the military is not a legitimate military target, because there are also civilians there?

    Just repeating something ad nauseam does not make it true 🙂

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were

    They were confidant that the leader of the rebellion was in his headquarters. Headquarters are generally where leaders tend to be. Only you were so silly to claim that there was no chance that he would be in his own HQ.

    The fact that much of his entourage was there at the same time suggests that Ukraine had good intelligence about the whereabouts.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.

    The target was Bolotov and his men. Deaths other than his could not have been murder, because there was no intention to kill the civilians.

    Had Bolotov been killed, this would have been murder. At least, as much as is the killing of any soldier by another soldier during military conflict is murder.

    But the people killed, weren’t those in the building. So their killings was not murder. And that makes you a liar for claiming that they were.

    a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as “legitimate” as intended.

    A direct hit on many legitimate targets during military conflict would result in many civilian deaths. The Kremlin, White House, even the Pentagon are full of civilians. So?

    On a lighter note, remember the scene in Clerks when they talk about the Death Star?

    Now you change the subject:

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a “legitimate” target.

    If there was a war between Galician militants and the Kiev government, and the militants were based in the RSA building, the RSA building/rebel HQ would have clearly been a legitimate target according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    To say otherwise would have been dishonest.

    One can say that Kiev would be wrong, one could root for the Galicians and hope they win (I would do so), but facts are facts and that would not be a war crime.

    It is sad that you don’t think so, and prefer to be dishonest, and think that others are dishonest as you are. I guess a thief thinks everyone is a thief, a liar such as you thinks others are liars also.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    I guess a thief thinks everyone is a thief, a liar such as you thinks others are liars also.
     
    On the contrary, Sir. I received a good upbringing and was taught to behave in an honorable manner. That includes abstaining myself from responding in kind to this type of cheap provocations from people like you.

    I support the independence of my native Basque Country but years ago some Basque independentists blew up a car bomb by the barracks of a Spanish Civil Guard outpost, where officers live along with their families. They killed 11 people, mostly civilians and including 5 children. When they were caught in Spain and France they also engaged in the same babbling of being "at war against the Spanish State" and military police barracks being a "legitimate target".

    It was all to no avail. They were handed the long prison sentences they deserved, with the French Courts actually ruling a harsher sentence than their Spanish counterparts on one of the perpetrators, a French national.

    It is common to find all kinds of strange behaviors and extremist attitudes, especially in the anonymity of the internet. Becoming surprised is very difficult these days. But defending a crime that its own perpetrators felt unable to defend, claiming that killing his own innocent relatives would be a legitimate action if it was necessary for the execution of a vicious strike that an Israeli professor deems lawful and believing in a revengeful god that applies collective punishments to whole nations is a very remarkable combination.

  162. @AP

    You shouldn’t have tried to defend a horrific action
     
    While war in general, is horrific this specific action was no more horrific than other legitimate acts of war. An attack was made on the rebel leadership at the rebel HQ. Who knows, maybe if it succeeded the rebellion (at least in Luhansk) would have collapsed and in the long run far fewer people would have died.

    Realizing that no decent person would admit the legitimacy of their attack, they preferred to lie and actually deflect the outrage towards the rebels by blaming them for the massacre.
     
    More likely - they botched the attack, instead killed some civilians, this was embarrassing so they lied about not doing it.

    If the attack succeeded they probably would have (justly) hailed their accomplishment of liquidating the terrorist leadership.

    You have put yourself in the need to search for obscure webpages to support your case, like the one where some Yoram Dinstein
     
    Nothing obscure. Came up very quickly on googlesearch. Didn't find contradictory opinions about this sort of case. Author is one of the world's most prominent legal scholars on war:

    He served twice as the Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2003.[2][11][12] He was also a Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, a Meltzer Visiting Professor of Law at New York University, and a visiting Professor of Law at the University of Toronto.[12]

    Dinstein is President of Israel's national branch of the International Law Association and of the Israel United Nations Association. He served as Chairman of the Israel national branch of Amnesty International and as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.

    ::::::::::

    Again, what I say matches his conclusions.

    Can you cite scholars who claim that a rebel HQ where works the supreme commander of the military is not a legitimate military target, because there are also civilians there?

    Just repeating something ad nauseam does not make it true :-)

    I concede the point that Bolotov may have been in the building at the time of the attack. If he said so, it is likely true. But the city was in the hands of the rebels. The Ukrainians could not have much certainty of where different people were
     
    They were confidant that the leader of the rebellion was in his headquarters. Headquarters are generally where leaders tend to be. Only you were so silly to claim that there was no chance that he would be in his own HQ.

    The fact that much of his entourage was there at the same time suggests that Ukraine had good intelligence about the whereabouts.

    The very definition of a multiple murder, by your own quote above. There was nothing accidental about those deaths.
     
    The target was Bolotov and his men. Deaths other than his could not have been murder, because there was no intention to kill the civilians.

    Had Bolotov been killed, this would have been murder. At least, as much as is the killing of any soldier by another soldier during military conflict is murder.

    But the people killed, weren't those in the building. So their killings was not murder. And that makes you a liar for claiming that they were.

    a direct hit on the RSA would have probably been more deadly for civilians inside the building and its surroundings, due to the collapse of the structure and debris flying around. Perhaps the Lugansk civilians were lucky that the attack was not as “legitimate” as intended.
     
    A direct hit on many legitimate targets during military conflict would result in many civilian deaths. The Kremlin, White House, even the Pentagon are full of civilians. So?

    On a lighter note, remember the scene in Clerks when they talk about the Death Star?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4MVQby0InQ

    Now you change the subject:

    As I said above, the Maidan rebels also took over several RSA building around the country. And, as AK pointed out some time ago, there was also talk of secession in Western Ukraine. What you are telling us here is that, if some Maidan rebels had taken armed action in Lviv, the Yanukovich government would have been justified to bomb the Lviv RSA building, even if that caused scores of civilian victims, perhaps your own relatives, because under this equivalent scenario that building would have become a “legitimate” target.
     
    If there was a war between Galician militants and the Kiev government, and the militants were based in the RSA building, the RSA building/rebel HQ would have clearly been a legitimate target according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

    To say otherwise would have been dishonest.

    One can say that Kiev would be wrong, one could root for the Galicians and hope they win (I would do so), but facts are facts and that would not be a war crime.

    It is sad that you don't think so, and prefer to be dishonest, and think that others are dishonest as you are. I guess a thief thinks everyone is a thief, a liar such as you thinks others are liars also.

    I guess a thief thinks everyone is a thief, a liar such as you thinks others are liars also.

    On the contrary, Sir. I received a good upbringing and was taught to behave in an honorable manner. That includes abstaining myself from responding in kind to this type of cheap provocations from people like you.

    I support the independence of my native Basque Country but years ago some Basque independentists blew up a car bomb by the barracks of a Spanish Civil Guard outpost, where officers live along with their families. They killed 11 people, mostly civilians and including 5 children. When they were caught in Spain and France they also engaged in the same babbling of being “at war against the Spanish State” and military police barracks being a “legitimate target”.

    It was all to no avail. They were handed the long prison sentences they deserved, with the French Courts actually ruling a harsher sentence than their Spanish counterparts on one of the perpetrators, a French national.

    It is common to find all kinds of strange behaviors and extremist attitudes, especially in the anonymity of the internet. Becoming surprised is very difficult these days. But defending a crime that its own perpetrators felt unable to defend, claiming that killing his own innocent relatives would be a legitimate action if it was necessary for the execution of a vicious strike that an Israeli professor deems lawful and believing in a revengeful god that applies collective punishments to whole nations is a very remarkable combination.

    • Replies: @AP

    On the contrary, Sir. I received a good upbringing and was taught to behave in an honorable manner. That includes abstaining myself from responding in kind to this type of cheap provocations from people like you.
     
    I only post facts, even unfortunate ones - including about you. You were given facts, and after that your words cannot be described as mistakes. You chose to state falsehoods. Apparently your concept of honor does not exclude falsehood.

    I only know about you, what you post. You value human life, which is good and a big point in your favor. But you also choose to lie a lot and to spread lies.

    But defending a crime
     
    Lie.

    claiming that killing his own innocent relatives would be a legitimate action
     
    Under the specific circumstances you described it would be a legitimate act of war according to the Geneva Convention. That is a fact.

    By implying that I would consider my relatives being killed otherwise or in general as you did (by leaving out the part that I added, above) in your post, you are again being dishonest.

    Lying by omission.

    that an Israeli professor deems lawful
     
    Nationality of the legal expert is irrelevant. You could have posted he is also a leader in Amnesty International, hardly a warmongering organization. Or his numerous awards and positions.

    I asked you provide a legal scholar who disagrees with what I wrote.

    You failed, and preferred to instead make a post filled with dishonest statements. Sad.

    You know, it's a lot easier to just write the truth and acknowledge when you are wrong about something.

    believing in a revengeful god that applies collective punishments to whole nations

     

    You are really trying to defect from your lying statements, rather than just be honorable and admit it. :-)
  163. AP says:
    @Mikel

    I guess a thief thinks everyone is a thief, a liar such as you thinks others are liars also.
     
    On the contrary, Sir. I received a good upbringing and was taught to behave in an honorable manner. That includes abstaining myself from responding in kind to this type of cheap provocations from people like you.

    I support the independence of my native Basque Country but years ago some Basque independentists blew up a car bomb by the barracks of a Spanish Civil Guard outpost, where officers live along with their families. They killed 11 people, mostly civilians and including 5 children. When they were caught in Spain and France they also engaged in the same babbling of being "at war against the Spanish State" and military police barracks being a "legitimate target".

    It was all to no avail. They were handed the long prison sentences they deserved, with the French Courts actually ruling a harsher sentence than their Spanish counterparts on one of the perpetrators, a French national.

    It is common to find all kinds of strange behaviors and extremist attitudes, especially in the anonymity of the internet. Becoming surprised is very difficult these days. But defending a crime that its own perpetrators felt unable to defend, claiming that killing his own innocent relatives would be a legitimate action if it was necessary for the execution of a vicious strike that an Israeli professor deems lawful and believing in a revengeful god that applies collective punishments to whole nations is a very remarkable combination.

    On the contrary, Sir. I received a good upbringing and was taught to behave in an honorable manner. That includes abstaining myself from responding in kind to this type of cheap provocations from people like you.

    I only post facts, even unfortunate ones – including about you. You were given facts, and after that your words cannot be described as mistakes. You chose to state falsehoods. Apparently your concept of honor does not exclude falsehood.

    I only know about you, what you post. You value human life, which is good and a big point in your favor. But you also choose to lie a lot and to spread lies.

    But defending a crime

    Lie.

    claiming that killing his own innocent relatives would be a legitimate action

    Under the specific circumstances you described it would be a legitimate act of war according to the Geneva Convention. That is a fact.

    By implying that I would consider my relatives being killed otherwise or in general as you did (by leaving out the part that I added, above) in your post, you are again being dishonest.

    Lying by omission.

    that an Israeli professor deems lawful

    Nationality of the legal expert is irrelevant. You could have posted he is also a leader in Amnesty International, hardly a warmongering organization. Or his numerous awards and positions.

    I asked you provide a legal scholar who disagrees with what I wrote.

    You failed, and preferred to instead make a post filled with dishonest statements. Sad.

    You know, it’s a lot easier to just write the truth and acknowledge when you are wrong about something.

    believing in a revengeful god that applies collective punishments to whole nations

    You are really trying to defect from your lying statements, rather than just be honorable and admit it. 🙂

    • Replies: @Mikel

    lie a lot ... spread lies ... Lie ... Lying by omission ...
     
    You don't seem to get it. I do take offense at being called a liar but of course it all depends on the context.

    My 4-year old son has already learned that lies are a bad thing. But if he were to have a childish tantrum and start calling me "liar, liar' or something similar I would only give his words the value they have.

    Likewise, the more I see you engage in the same childish behavior (on top of the behaviors I described in the last sentence of my post above), the less seriously I am able to take anything you say.

    You also fail to understand that many pro-Kiev Western politicians and especially a sizeable group of anti-Russian bloggers who studied the facts much more thoroughly than you (I put an example above) arrived at the same conclusions as me, so they would have been "lying" under your irrational premises.

    I won't waste my time belaboring the contradiction between your solemn proclamations of the absolute legality of the Lugansk massacre and the need to conduct an investigation that you defended above to see if it was "somehow criminal in nature" (sic). Someone who believes in divine punishments of nations will have no problem persuading himself that there's no contradiction there.
  164. @AP

    On the contrary, Sir. I received a good upbringing and was taught to behave in an honorable manner. That includes abstaining myself from responding in kind to this type of cheap provocations from people like you.
     
    I only post facts, even unfortunate ones - including about you. You were given facts, and after that your words cannot be described as mistakes. You chose to state falsehoods. Apparently your concept of honor does not exclude falsehood.

    I only know about you, what you post. You value human life, which is good and a big point in your favor. But you also choose to lie a lot and to spread lies.

    But defending a crime
     
    Lie.

    claiming that killing his own innocent relatives would be a legitimate action
     
    Under the specific circumstances you described it would be a legitimate act of war according to the Geneva Convention. That is a fact.

    By implying that I would consider my relatives being killed otherwise or in general as you did (by leaving out the part that I added, above) in your post, you are again being dishonest.

    Lying by omission.

    that an Israeli professor deems lawful
     
    Nationality of the legal expert is irrelevant. You could have posted he is also a leader in Amnesty International, hardly a warmongering organization. Or his numerous awards and positions.

    I asked you provide a legal scholar who disagrees with what I wrote.

    You failed, and preferred to instead make a post filled with dishonest statements. Sad.

    You know, it's a lot easier to just write the truth and acknowledge when you are wrong about something.

    believing in a revengeful god that applies collective punishments to whole nations

     

    You are really trying to defect from your lying statements, rather than just be honorable and admit it. :-)

    lie a lot … spread lies … Lie … Lying by omission …

    You don’t seem to get it. I do take offense at being called a liar but of course it all depends on the context.

    My 4-year old son has already learned that lies are a bad thing. But if he were to have a childish tantrum and start calling me “liar, liar’ or something similar I would only give his words the value they have.

    Likewise, the more I see you engage in the same childish behavior (on top of the behaviors I described in the last sentence of my post above), the less seriously I am able to take anything you say.

    You also fail to understand that many pro-Kiev Western politicians and especially a sizeable group of anti-Russian bloggers who studied the facts much more thoroughly than you (I put an example above) arrived at the same conclusions as me, so they would have been “lying” under your irrational premises.

    I won’t waste my time belaboring the contradiction between your solemn proclamations of the absolute legality of the Lugansk massacre and the need to conduct an investigation that you defended above to see if it was “somehow criminal in nature” (sic). Someone who believes in divine punishments of nations will have no problem persuading himself that there’s no contradiction there.

    • Replies: @AP

    But if he were to have a childish tantrum..the more I see you engage in the same childish behavior
     
    Projection and insult.

    I provided facts that support my conclusions about Luhansk and about you.

    I provided:

    1. The definition of the word "murder" and how it does not apply here.

    2. The relevant text from the Geneva Convention and how by the standards of international law this was not a war crime. I also provided text from an expert on international military law showing that buildings just like that are legitimate military targets. I asked you for contrary findings from other experts. You failed to provide any.

    3. Evidence that disproves your ridiculous idea that the rebel leader could never be in his own headquarters, by showing that he and his men were in the building at the time of the attack.

    All you have done is:

    1. Repeat your lies

    2. Engage in name-calling and talking about your "honor."

    3. Refer to some bloggers and politicians, and posting from a single article by a non-expert in intenrational law.

    We can see who is childish here.

    And lying about a dead man, suggesting he might have failed his mission because he was "half-drunk", etc. is particularly "honorable."

    You also fail to understand that many pro-Kiev Western politicians and especially a sizeable group of anti-Russian bloggers who studied the facts much more thoroughly than you (I put an example above) arrived at the same conclusions as me
     
    You failed to provide opinions by any experts on international law who claim that this was a war crime.

    Someone who believes in divine punishments of nations
     
    An atheist complaining about beliefs being strange is rather funny. Perhaps in your mind, your lies are really some sort of postmodern version of "truth?"
  165. AP says:
    @Mikel

    lie a lot ... spread lies ... Lie ... Lying by omission ...
     
    You don't seem to get it. I do take offense at being called a liar but of course it all depends on the context.

    My 4-year old son has already learned that lies are a bad thing. But if he were to have a childish tantrum and start calling me "liar, liar' or something similar I would only give his words the value they have.

    Likewise, the more I see you engage in the same childish behavior (on top of the behaviors I described in the last sentence of my post above), the less seriously I am able to take anything you say.

    You also fail to understand that many pro-Kiev Western politicians and especially a sizeable group of anti-Russian bloggers who studied the facts much more thoroughly than you (I put an example above) arrived at the same conclusions as me, so they would have been "lying" under your irrational premises.

    I won't waste my time belaboring the contradiction between your solemn proclamations of the absolute legality of the Lugansk massacre and the need to conduct an investigation that you defended above to see if it was "somehow criminal in nature" (sic). Someone who believes in divine punishments of nations will have no problem persuading himself that there's no contradiction there.

    But if he were to have a childish tantrum..the more I see you engage in the same childish behavior

    Projection and insult.

    I provided facts that support my conclusions about Luhansk and about you.

    I provided:

    1. The definition of the word “murder” and how it does not apply here.

    2. The relevant text from the Geneva Convention and how by the standards of international law this was not a war crime. I also provided text from an expert on international military law showing that buildings just like that are legitimate military targets. I asked you for contrary findings from other experts. You failed to provide any.

    3. Evidence that disproves your ridiculous idea that the rebel leader could never be in his own headquarters, by showing that he and his men were in the building at the time of the attack.

    All you have done is:

    1. Repeat your lies

    2. Engage in name-calling and talking about your “honor.”

    3. Refer to some bloggers and politicians, and posting from a single article by a non-expert in intenrational law.

    We can see who is childish here.

    And lying about a dead man, suggesting he might have failed his mission because he was “half-drunk”, etc. is particularly “honorable.”

    You also fail to understand that many pro-Kiev Western politicians and especially a sizeable group of anti-Russian bloggers who studied the facts much more thoroughly than you (I put an example above) arrived at the same conclusions as me

    You failed to provide opinions by any experts on international law who claim that this was a war crime.

    Someone who believes in divine punishments of nations

    An atheist complaining about beliefs being strange is rather funny. Perhaps in your mind, your lies are really some sort of postmodern version of “truth?”

  166. I’m going to try and allow the both of you an honorable way out of this circular discussion. Let’s just let it go for now. You’ve both brought up some good points, have agreed on a few of them, and have even said one or two good things about each other. If the two of you had originally met in a pub and had this discussion over a pitcher of beer, I’m sure that the rancor would have been much less. Although it’s good to discuss serious matters like these over a blogsite, we can’t really expect to come to any really final solution, when so many difficult issues are being discussed? Let’s leave that to the experts.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    I’m going to try and allow the both of you an honorable way out of this circular discussion.
     
    Yes, that sounds like a good idea to me. I never intended to spend this much time debating online but AP has been unlucky this time around. My family is vacationing in Europe so I am more free than usual and eventually decided that I wouldn't let him bully me. However, I'm OK with making peace with him and getting at a mutually acceptable conclusion.

    I think that my only demands are these:

    - We clearly disagree on the nature of the Lugansk airstrike. I think that there's no possible way to justify this massacre of innocent civilians from an ethical point of view. He thinks that the attack was justified based on his interpretation of the rules of war. That obviously doesn't make me or him a liar. He should just accept our disagreement and drop his liar accusation.

    - He has defended his personal view about the legitimacy of this attack but he is no expert in criminal law. Among the things he may be missing are: how applicable the Geneva Convention is to the situation in Lugansk on June 2nd 2014, what constitutes a "government building" or a "military headquarters" in a situation like that, how much was the proportionality also talked about in the Geneva Convention respected in that attack,... Let's not forget that the Ukrainian Government itself abstained from defending their action. The exact nature of this act could only be determined by a competent, independent tribunal. I have conceded as much when I said that I don't know what the ruling would be (although I'm confident that the pilot and his superiors would be condemned). He should do the same instead of pretending to know beforehand that they would be declared innocent and basing his personal attacks against me on that presumed knowledge.

    From my side, I take back the Asperger syndrome comment. He's just probably a stubborn man who sometimes gets fixated on an issue for a long time.

    I don't ever use abusive language online but I have been accused in the past of making left-handed comments that some people find hurtful so I'm open to take back any other comment of that nature.
  167. @Mr. Hack
    I'm going to try and allow the both of you an honorable way out of this circular discussion. Let's just let it go for now. You've both brought up some good points, have agreed on a few of them, and have even said one or two good things about each other. If the two of you had originally met in a pub and had this discussion over a pitcher of beer, I'm sure that the rancor would have been much less. Although it's good to discuss serious matters like these over a blogsite, we can't really expect to come to any really final solution, when so many difficult issues are being discussed? Let's leave that to the experts.

    I’m going to try and allow the both of you an honorable way out of this circular discussion.

    Yes, that sounds like a good idea to me. I never intended to spend this much time debating online but AP has been unlucky this time around. My family is vacationing in Europe so I am more free than usual and eventually decided that I wouldn’t let him bully me. However, I’m OK with making peace with him and getting at a mutually acceptable conclusion.

    I think that my only demands are these:

    – We clearly disagree on the nature of the Lugansk airstrike. I think that there’s no possible way to justify this massacre of innocent civilians from an ethical point of view. He thinks that the attack was justified based on his interpretation of the rules of war. That obviously doesn’t make me or him a liar. He should just accept our disagreement and drop his liar accusation.

    – He has defended his personal view about the legitimacy of this attack but he is no expert in criminal law. Among the things he may be missing are: how applicable the Geneva Convention is to the situation in Lugansk on June 2nd 2014, what constitutes a “government building” or a “military headquarters” in a situation like that, how much was the proportionality also talked about in the Geneva Convention respected in that attack,… Let’s not forget that the Ukrainian Government itself abstained from defending their action. The exact nature of this act could only be determined by a competent, independent tribunal. I have conceded as much when I said that I don’t know what the ruling would be (although I’m confident that the pilot and his superiors would be condemned). He should do the same instead of pretending to know beforehand that they would be declared innocent and basing his personal attacks against me on that presumed knowledge.

    From my side, I take back the Asperger syndrome comment. He’s just probably a stubborn man who sometimes gets fixated on an issue for a long time.

    I don’t ever use abusive language online but I have been accused in the past of making left-handed comments that some people find hurtful so I’m open to take back any other comment of that nature.

    • Replies: @AP

    I wouldn’t let him bully me
     
    When you wrote falsehoods about a dead pilot I called you out on it and this becomes bullying?

    I think that there’s no possible way to justify this massacre of innocent civilians from an ethical point of view.
     
    Once can condemn the airstrike while also being honest about it. Specifically:

    1. The intended target was not hit. Thus these were not murders.

    2. The operation was legal according to the Geneva Convention, detailed here:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/on-chinese-reunification/#comment-3260391

    Something can be legal, yet morally unjustifiable. Something can be horrible, but not murder. We may disagree on the morality of this war (though perhaps not by much) but specific facts are facts and one must be honest about them.


    The exact nature of this act could only be determined by a competent, independent tribunal. I have conceded as much when I said that I don’t know what the ruling would be (although I’m confident that the pilot and his superiors would be condemned).
     
    Whether it was murder is clear, it is like defining black as black and not as white. Pilot wasn't trying to hit the square, all deaths there were unintentional, thus no murder.

    Geneva convention rules are pretty clear that HQ used by military commander is a legitimate legal target even if civilians also die.

    You can argue whether it is moral, whether it is worth the loss of life (you would certainly not be a liar for having such opinions) but it isn't a war crime according to the Geneva Convention, which can be specifically defined.


    He’s just probably a stubborn man
     
    Slavs are stubborn, it is why in the end we all have our countries.

    I will end this exchange by repeating that you do seem to be a good guy - you do seem to value human life and that is very important. People are complicated, even nice ones can have negative traits. There are some people here who lie all the time and who have no redeeming qualities. If you do something bad I will state it, but I wish you no ill will. This conversation was useful because it inspired me to read the literature on war crimes. Initially I strongly suspected the air strike was not an illegal operation, now it is confirmed as legal.

    Anyways, in a few days I will be wandering the Alps with my wife and kids and from that time will not be posting for a couple of weeks.

  168. AP says:
    @Mikel

    I’m going to try and allow the both of you an honorable way out of this circular discussion.
     
    Yes, that sounds like a good idea to me. I never intended to spend this much time debating online but AP has been unlucky this time around. My family is vacationing in Europe so I am more free than usual and eventually decided that I wouldn't let him bully me. However, I'm OK with making peace with him and getting at a mutually acceptable conclusion.

    I think that my only demands are these:

    - We clearly disagree on the nature of the Lugansk airstrike. I think that there's no possible way to justify this massacre of innocent civilians from an ethical point of view. He thinks that the attack was justified based on his interpretation of the rules of war. That obviously doesn't make me or him a liar. He should just accept our disagreement and drop his liar accusation.

    - He has defended his personal view about the legitimacy of this attack but he is no expert in criminal law. Among the things he may be missing are: how applicable the Geneva Convention is to the situation in Lugansk on June 2nd 2014, what constitutes a "government building" or a "military headquarters" in a situation like that, how much was the proportionality also talked about in the Geneva Convention respected in that attack,... Let's not forget that the Ukrainian Government itself abstained from defending their action. The exact nature of this act could only be determined by a competent, independent tribunal. I have conceded as much when I said that I don't know what the ruling would be (although I'm confident that the pilot and his superiors would be condemned). He should do the same instead of pretending to know beforehand that they would be declared innocent and basing his personal attacks against me on that presumed knowledge.

    From my side, I take back the Asperger syndrome comment. He's just probably a stubborn man who sometimes gets fixated on an issue for a long time.

    I don't ever use abusive language online but I have been accused in the past of making left-handed comments that some people find hurtful so I'm open to take back any other comment of that nature.

    I wouldn’t let him bully me

    When you wrote falsehoods about a dead pilot I called you out on it and this becomes bullying?

    I think that there’s no possible way to justify this massacre of innocent civilians from an ethical point of view.

    Once can condemn the airstrike while also being honest about it. Specifically:

    1. The intended target was not hit. Thus these were not murders.

    2. The operation was legal according to the Geneva Convention, detailed here:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/on-chinese-reunification/#comment-3260391

    Something can be legal, yet morally unjustifiable. Something can be horrible, but not murder. We may disagree on the morality of this war (though perhaps not by much) but specific facts are facts and one must be honest about them.

    The exact nature of this act could only be determined by a competent, independent tribunal. I have conceded as much when I said that I don’t know what the ruling would be (although I’m confident that the pilot and his superiors would be condemned).

    Whether it was murder is clear, it is like defining black as black and not as white. Pilot wasn’t trying to hit the square, all deaths there were unintentional, thus no murder.

    Geneva convention rules are pretty clear that HQ used by military commander is a legitimate legal target even if civilians also die.

    You can argue whether it is moral, whether it is worth the loss of life (you would certainly not be a liar for having such opinions) but it isn’t a war crime according to the Geneva Convention, which can be specifically defined.

    He’s just probably a stubborn man

    Slavs are stubborn, it is why in the end we all have our countries.

    I will end this exchange by repeating that you do seem to be a good guy – you do seem to value human life and that is very important. People are complicated, even nice ones can have negative traits. There are some people here who lie all the time and who have no redeeming qualities. If you do something bad I will state it, but I wish you no ill will. This conversation was useful because it inspired me to read the literature on war crimes. Initially I strongly suspected the air strike was not an illegal operation, now it is confirmed as legal.

    Anyways, in a few days I will be wandering the Alps with my wife and kids and from that time will not be posting for a couple of weeks.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    It was predictable that you wouldn´t accept my reasonable proposals. You got too worked up during the exchange.

    On the second one, you´re actually doubling down. You demand that we all accept the authority of your conclusions after whatever research you have done on the internet that, among many other things, doesn´t even consider Article 14 of the Geneva Convention (The harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not "excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated" by an attack on a military objective).

    This doesn´t work that way at all. The criminal nature of an airstrike causing a large number of civilian casualties gets determined by the thorough and dispassionate investigation of the facts by a competent Court, not by Mr AP proclaiming something on the internet.

    I do take note however that you have been able to say a couple of good things about the person that you repeatedly attacked and provoked. This shows that you´re not implacably resentful and can exercise some sensible judgement in the middle of a heated debate.
  169. @AP

    I wouldn’t let him bully me
     
    When you wrote falsehoods about a dead pilot I called you out on it and this becomes bullying?

    I think that there’s no possible way to justify this massacre of innocent civilians from an ethical point of view.
     
    Once can condemn the airstrike while also being honest about it. Specifically:

    1. The intended target was not hit. Thus these were not murders.

    2. The operation was legal according to the Geneva Convention, detailed here:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/on-chinese-reunification/#comment-3260391

    Something can be legal, yet morally unjustifiable. Something can be horrible, but not murder. We may disagree on the morality of this war (though perhaps not by much) but specific facts are facts and one must be honest about them.


    The exact nature of this act could only be determined by a competent, independent tribunal. I have conceded as much when I said that I don’t know what the ruling would be (although I’m confident that the pilot and his superiors would be condemned).
     
    Whether it was murder is clear, it is like defining black as black and not as white. Pilot wasn't trying to hit the square, all deaths there were unintentional, thus no murder.

    Geneva convention rules are pretty clear that HQ used by military commander is a legitimate legal target even if civilians also die.

    You can argue whether it is moral, whether it is worth the loss of life (you would certainly not be a liar for having such opinions) but it isn't a war crime according to the Geneva Convention, which can be specifically defined.


    He’s just probably a stubborn man
     
    Slavs are stubborn, it is why in the end we all have our countries.

    I will end this exchange by repeating that you do seem to be a good guy - you do seem to value human life and that is very important. People are complicated, even nice ones can have negative traits. There are some people here who lie all the time and who have no redeeming qualities. If you do something bad I will state it, but I wish you no ill will. This conversation was useful because it inspired me to read the literature on war crimes. Initially I strongly suspected the air strike was not an illegal operation, now it is confirmed as legal.

    Anyways, in a few days I will be wandering the Alps with my wife and kids and from that time will not be posting for a couple of weeks.

    It was predictable that you wouldn´t accept my reasonable proposals. You got too worked up during the exchange.

    On the second one, you´re actually doubling down. You demand that we all accept the authority of your conclusions after whatever research you have done on the internet that, among many other things, doesn´t even consider Article 14 of the Geneva Convention (The harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated” by an attack on a military objective).

    This doesn´t work that way at all. The criminal nature of an airstrike causing a large number of civilian casualties gets determined by the thorough and dispassionate investigation of the facts by a competent Court, not by Mr AP proclaiming something on the internet.

    I do take note however that you have been able to say a couple of good things about the person that you repeatedly attacked and provoked. This shows that you´re not implacably resentful and can exercise some sensible judgement in the middle of a heated debate.

  170. AP says:

    It was predictable that you wouldn´t accept my reasonable proposals.

    I said 2 + 2 = 4. You said 2 + 2 = 6. I’m not going to be “reasonable” and agree that 2 + 2 = 5.

    (The harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated” by an attack on a military objective

    Taking out the leadership command of the rebel forces allows for considerable civilian casualties according to the laws of war. If it were just some random soldiers in the building it would be a different story. So attacking the White House which is full of non-military people would be legitimate because the commander in chief is there. The Luhansk RSA was a legitimate target because not only the rebel commander, but his top people were with him at the time.

    Who knows, if this attack had been successful maybe the rebellion would have ended and thousands of lives would have been saved.

    I found one top legal scholar who opined on this. He stated that attacks on objects such as the White House are acceptable. I found no contrary opinions from experts on such laws (had I found them, I would have provided them) – because it is quite clear.

    The criminal nature of an airstrike causing a large number of civilian casualties gets determined by the thorough and dispassionate investigation of the facts by a competent Court, not by Mr AP proclaiming something on the internet.

    1. And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act. You are inconsistent.

    2. By that logic, one can never declare anyone innocent of a crime, unless there has been a formal trial? Very silly.

    3. Again, statutes are clear.

    I do take note however that you have been able to say a couple of good things about the person that you repeatedly attacked and provoked.

    I described you accurately, in both good and bad aspects. I do wish you well.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    Taking out the leadership command of the rebel forces allows for considerable civilian casualties
     
    In my opinion, in Lugansk Central Square on June 2nd 2014 at 2 pm it allowed for none. Once again, you are stepping up to the pulpit to preach how many civilians were allowed to be shredded in pieces, as if it was a simple issue like adding 2+2.

    And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act.
     
    I definitely believe that it was a criminal act. Everybody who expressed an opinion thought the same as me, including such pro-Kiev sources as RFERL, CNN, eastwest.eu, the Kyiv Post and countless others. The anti-Putin Guardian journalist Alec Luhn called it a genocide.

    And still, I have said that I don't know what exactly a criminal court would rule. You, on the contrary, proclaim to have found in your research what the ruling would be and declare that, having listened to your conclusion, all those of us who continue to disagree can only do so by being dishonest liars. That is not just silly. It's plain Sovok.

  171. @AP

    It was predictable that you wouldn´t accept my reasonable proposals.
     
    I said 2 + 2 = 4. You said 2 + 2 = 6. I'm not going to be "reasonable" and agree that 2 + 2 = 5.

    (The harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated” by an attack on a military objective
     
    Taking out the leadership command of the rebel forces allows for considerable civilian casualties according to the laws of war. If it were just some random soldiers in the building it would be a different story. So attacking the White House which is full of non-military people would be legitimate because the commander in chief is there. The Luhansk RSA was a legitimate target because not only the rebel commander, but his top people were with him at the time.

    Who knows, if this attack had been successful maybe the rebellion would have ended and thousands of lives would have been saved.

    I found one top legal scholar who opined on this. He stated that attacks on objects such as the White House are acceptable. I found no contrary opinions from experts on such laws (had I found them, I would have provided them) - because it is quite clear.

    The criminal nature of an airstrike causing a large number of civilian casualties gets determined by the thorough and dispassionate investigation of the facts by a competent Court, not by Mr AP proclaiming something on the internet.
     
    1. And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act. You are inconsistent.

    2. By that logic, one can never declare anyone innocent of a crime, unless there has been a formal trial? Very silly.

    3. Again, statutes are clear.

    I do take note however that you have been able to say a couple of good things about the person that you repeatedly attacked and provoked.
     
    I described you accurately, in both good and bad aspects. I do wish you well.

    Taking out the leadership command of the rebel forces allows for considerable civilian casualties

    In my opinion, in Lugansk Central Square on June 2nd 2014 at 2 pm it allowed for none. Once again, you are stepping up to the pulpit to preach how many civilians were allowed to be shredded in pieces, as if it was a simple issue like adding 2+2.

    And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act.

    I definitely believe that it was a criminal act. Everybody who expressed an opinion thought the same as me, including such pro-Kiev sources as RFERL, CNN, eastwest.eu, the Kyiv Post and countless others. The anti-Putin Guardian journalist Alec Luhn called it a genocide.

    And still, I have said that I don’t know what exactly a criminal court would rule. You, on the contrary, proclaim to have found in your research what the ruling would be and declare that, having listened to your conclusion, all those of us who continue to disagree can only do so by being dishonest liars. That is not just silly. It’s plain Sovok.

    • Replies: @AP
    The statute says: " “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated”"

    So clearly some is allowed.

    Wiping out the rebel leadership is an enormous advantage, thus the number of civilians collateral damage allowed would be considerable. Remember the White House example. So yes, 2 + 2 = 4 here.

    If more than one building were taken out, or if it were an enormous one with hundreds of civilian casualties, you would have a better case. Though in that case the rebel leadership would be at fault for headquartering itself among civilians.

    Indeed, if you were correct, military leaders could always place their HQ among civilians and no one could ever touch them. So your idea is absurd.


    And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act.

    I definitely believe that it was a criminal act. Everybody who expressed an opinion thought the same as me, including such pro-Kiev sources as RFERL, CNN, eastwest.eu, the Kyiv Post and countless others.
     

    Post some who said this once it became clear the leadership was in the building at the time of the attack. You haven't.

    You, on the contrary, proclaim to have found in your research what the ruling would be and declare that, having listened to your conclusion, all those of us who continue to disagree can only do so by being dishonest liars. That is not just silly. It’s plain Sovok.
     
    Sovoks wouldn't do "their own research."

    You yourself claim it's not criminal unless a court says so. So by your own standard your claim is wrong.

    But looking at the rules it is clearly a legitimate attempt. Rebel HQ with reel leaders in it is a legitimate target, in such cases civilians dying also is not a war crime.

  172. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Taking out the leadership command of the rebel forces allows for considerable civilian casualties
     
    In my opinion, in Lugansk Central Square on June 2nd 2014 at 2 pm it allowed for none. Once again, you are stepping up to the pulpit to preach how many civilians were allowed to be shredded in pieces, as if it was a simple issue like adding 2+2.

    And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act.
     
    I definitely believe that it was a criminal act. Everybody who expressed an opinion thought the same as me, including such pro-Kiev sources as RFERL, CNN, eastwest.eu, the Kyiv Post and countless others. The anti-Putin Guardian journalist Alec Luhn called it a genocide.

    And still, I have said that I don't know what exactly a criminal court would rule. You, on the contrary, proclaim to have found in your research what the ruling would be and declare that, having listened to your conclusion, all those of us who continue to disagree can only do so by being dishonest liars. That is not just silly. It's plain Sovok.

    The statute says: ” “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated””

    So clearly some is allowed.

    Wiping out the rebel leadership is an enormous advantage, thus the number of civilians collateral damage allowed would be considerable. Remember the White House example. So yes, 2 + 2 = 4 here.

    If more than one building were taken out, or if it were an enormous one with hundreds of civilian casualties, you would have a better case. Though in that case the rebel leadership would be at fault for headquartering itself among civilians.

    Indeed, if you were correct, military leaders could always place their HQ among civilians and no one could ever touch them. So your idea is absurd.

    And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act.

    I definitely believe that it was a criminal act. Everybody who expressed an opinion thought the same as me, including such pro-Kiev sources as RFERL, CNN, eastwest.eu, the Kyiv Post and countless others.

    Post some who said this once it became clear the leadership was in the building at the time of the attack. You haven’t.

    You, on the contrary, proclaim to have found in your research what the ruling would be and declare that, having listened to your conclusion, all those of us who continue to disagree can only do so by being dishonest liars. That is not just silly. It’s plain Sovok.

    Sovoks wouldn’t do “their own research.”

    You yourself claim it’s not criminal unless a court says so. So by your own standard your claim is wrong.

    But looking at the rules it is clearly a legitimate attempt. Rebel HQ with reel leaders in it is a legitimate target, in such cases civilians dying also is not a war crime.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    You yourself claim it’s not criminal unless a court says so.
     
    I say that we can have our different opinions about what a court would say and we can also have different opinions about the morality of the action, regardless of what a court would say.

    Is this really so difficult to get??

    Sovoks wouldn’t do “their own research.”
     
    Oh yes, they would.

    I used to receive Communist propaganda written in English by Novosti in Moscow and they were argumentative as hell. They would also write lengthy explanations of why International Law, the UN Charter, bilateral agreements and all that justified their invasion of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, etc. And surely they wouldn't have hesitated to kill many civilians for the odd-chance of killing a rebel leader of a break-away Soviet republic along with them.

    Definitely Sovok, all of it.

    As for the facts:

    The best evidence we have that Bolotov was in that building is that he himself said so. This proves that not even the rebels at that point believed that the Ukrainians would react in such a barbaric way and that they didn't think that revealing the presence of one of their leaders in that building would lead anyone to justify the massacre.

    Assuming that the Ukrainians had good intelligence that Bolotov and his friends were somewhere in that building (which may or may NOT have been the case), the only way to make sure that they got killed was by totally flattening the building, which would have caused many more civilian deaths.

    Throwing one or two unguided missiles that could barely be aimed directly at the target was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but virtually guaranteed to kill many civilians, as proven by the actual outcome. I don't see any proportionality whatsoever and I'm not even sure that it wasn't an attack against a symbolic target rather than a purposeful assassination attempt.

    The idea that killing Bolotov could have possibly ended the rebellion doesn't make any sense. By that point, there were thousands of locals, Cossacks, defectors, Russian volunteers and Russian military advisers taking part in the rebellion across both Donbas regions. You are not using good logic here. There is literally zero chance of Strelkov and all the rest escaping to Russia just because the Ukrainians had killed Bolotov.

    What actually happened was that only days after that airstrike the rebels received anti-aircraft weapons and started taking down Ukrainian planes and helicopters, to the point that the Donbas airspace has pretty much been closed to Ukraine to this day.

    I remember that, having seen the footage of the Lugansk Square, I couldn't help feeling happy that the Ukrainians could no longer attack civilians from the air. But unfortunately, they did carry on killing thousands of civilians with artillery attacks. And this proliferation of deadly weapons and vicious fighting led to the MH17 catastrophe.

    Speaking of which, and according to your own verdict, all the Russians would have to do to avoid being convicted of a crime is claim that they never intended to strike the civilian airline and their intention was to shoot down a military target (which almost certainly is true).

    Finally, I don't know what Laws of War you have been researching because a cursory examination of their contents provides additional grounds for incriminating the perpetrators of the Lugansk attack:

    Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    .../...

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;


    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]


    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]


    https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/assets/files/other/customary-law-rules.pdf
  173. @AP
    The statute says: " “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated”"

    So clearly some is allowed.

    Wiping out the rebel leadership is an enormous advantage, thus the number of civilians collateral damage allowed would be considerable. Remember the White House example. So yes, 2 + 2 = 4 here.

    If more than one building were taken out, or if it were an enormous one with hundreds of civilian casualties, you would have a better case. Though in that case the rebel leadership would be at fault for headquartering itself among civilians.

    Indeed, if you were correct, military leaders could always place their HQ among civilians and no one could ever touch them. So your idea is absurd.


    And yet without any trial you declare it to be a criminal act.

    I definitely believe that it was a criminal act. Everybody who expressed an opinion thought the same as me, including such pro-Kiev sources as RFERL, CNN, eastwest.eu, the Kyiv Post and countless others.
     

    Post some who said this once it became clear the leadership was in the building at the time of the attack. You haven't.

    You, on the contrary, proclaim to have found in your research what the ruling would be and declare that, having listened to your conclusion, all those of us who continue to disagree can only do so by being dishonest liars. That is not just silly. It’s plain Sovok.
     
    Sovoks wouldn't do "their own research."

    You yourself claim it's not criminal unless a court says so. So by your own standard your claim is wrong.

    But looking at the rules it is clearly a legitimate attempt. Rebel HQ with reel leaders in it is a legitimate target, in such cases civilians dying also is not a war crime.

    You yourself claim it’s not criminal unless a court says so.

    I say that we can have our different opinions about what a court would say and we can also have different opinions about the morality of the action, regardless of what a court would say.

    Is this really so difficult to get??

    Sovoks wouldn’t do “their own research.”

    Oh yes, they would.

    I used to receive Communist propaganda written in English by Novosti in Moscow and they were argumentative as hell. They would also write lengthy explanations of why International Law, the UN Charter, bilateral agreements and all that justified their invasion of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, etc. And surely they wouldn’t have hesitated to kill many civilians for the odd-chance of killing a rebel leader of a break-away Soviet republic along with them.

    Definitely Sovok, all of it.

    As for the facts:

    The best evidence we have that Bolotov was in that building is that he himself said so. This proves that not even the rebels at that point believed that the Ukrainians would react in such a barbaric way and that they didn’t think that revealing the presence of one of their leaders in that building would lead anyone to justify the massacre.

    Assuming that the Ukrainians had good intelligence that Bolotov and his friends were somewhere in that building (which may or may NOT have been the case), the only way to make sure that they got killed was by totally flattening the building, which would have caused many more civilian deaths.

    Throwing one or two unguided missiles that could barely be aimed directly at the target was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but virtually guaranteed to kill many civilians, as proven by the actual outcome. I don’t see any proportionality whatsoever and I’m not even sure that it wasn’t an attack against a symbolic target rather than a purposeful assassination attempt.

    The idea that killing Bolotov could have possibly ended the rebellion doesn’t make any sense. By that point, there were thousands of locals, Cossacks, defectors, Russian volunteers and Russian military advisers taking part in the rebellion across both Donbas regions. You are not using good logic here. There is literally zero chance of Strelkov and all the rest escaping to Russia just because the Ukrainians had killed Bolotov.

    What actually happened was that only days after that airstrike the rebels received anti-aircraft weapons and started taking down Ukrainian planes and helicopters, to the point that the Donbas airspace has pretty much been closed to Ukraine to this day.

    I remember that, having seen the footage of the Lugansk Square, I couldn’t help feeling happy that the Ukrainians could no longer attack civilians from the air. But unfortunately, they did carry on killing thousands of civilians with artillery attacks. And this proliferation of deadly weapons and vicious fighting led to the MH17 catastrophe.

    Speaking of which, and according to your own verdict, all the Russians would have to do to avoid being convicted of a crime is claim that they never intended to strike the civilian airline and their intention was to shoot down a military target (which almost certainly is true).

    Finally, I don’t know what Laws of War you have been researching because a cursory examination of their contents provides additional grounds for incriminating the perpetrators of the Lugansk attack:

    Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]

    https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/assets/files/other/customary-law-rules.pdf

    • Replies: @AP

    I used to receive Communist propaganda written in English by Novosti in Moscow and they were argumentative as hell. They would also write lengthy explanations of why International Law, the UN Charter, bilateral agreements and all that justified their invasion of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, etc.
     
    Not written by independent individuals but by official organs of the state.

    The best evidence we have that Bolotov was in that building is that he himself said so. This proves that not even the rebels at that point believed that the Ukrainians would react in such a barbaric way
     
    LOL. First you made the false claim that no legitimate target was in the building, it was purely civilian and thus a war crime.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there it was because the rebel leaders couldn't believe that the Ukrainian government would them, despite ordering attacks on Ukrainian positions, because they were among civilians.

    But unfortunately, they did carry on killing thousands of civilians with artillery attacks.
     
    Some of those actions would indeed be war crimes by Ukrainians (and many would not be). Don't change the subject after you are proven wrong.

    Speaking of which, and according to your own verdict, all the Russians would have to do to avoid being convicted of a crime is claim that they never intended to strike the civilian airline and their intention was to shoot down a military target (which almost certainly is true).
     
    You are again changing the subject to deflect from being wrong.

    But I'll indulge you.

    This one may indeed not be a war crime for the reasons you stated. However:

    1. In Luhansk the specific rebel leaders were identified as being in the specific building that was targeted. Ukrainians didn't just bomb random buildings in the center. They bombed the rebel HQ with rebel leadership in it. The rebels, OTOH, saw a plane and shot it down. For these situations to be analogous some Ukrainian general would have to have been on the Malaysian plane among the civilians. Or in his own plane nearby and the wrong one was accidentally shot down.

    2. Related to above, but rule states “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.” A plane full of civilians probably isn't equal to just a random military aircraft. They would have to have info that it was some high value target.

    Conclusion: may or may not have been a war crime. In contrast to the Luhansk operation that clearly was not one.

    Finally, I don’t know what Laws of War you have been researching
     
    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    The actual rules according to the Geneva Convention:

    Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

    But thank you for further confirming that you were wrong:

    Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;
     
    Attack on the specific rebel HQ was obviously not an "indiscriminate" attack. They didn't just shell the whole downtown. They sent a plane and launched a missile at the specific building where the rebel leaders were.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    See above. They didn't unload their artillery on a massive strike of Luhansk. If they did that the casualties would be like in Syria.

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Sending a plane to hit the specific building is taking a feasible precaution. It would have been easier and safer to just shell everything. But also criminal. So they made a risky operation to hit the one specific building when the rebel leaders were in it.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Yes, they shouldn't expect to warn the target that they are about to hit it.

    But now we have a great example of your "honesty." You "forgot" to post some specific points.

    Rule 23. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    Rule 24. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, remove civilian persons and objects under its control from the vicinity of military objectives. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    It is very possible that by locating themselves in the Luhansk RSA and not removing the civilians from their headquarters, the rebel leaders committed a war crime.

    Funny how an honest man such as yourself didn't notice those two points?
  174. AP says:
    @Mikel

    You yourself claim it’s not criminal unless a court says so.
     
    I say that we can have our different opinions about what a court would say and we can also have different opinions about the morality of the action, regardless of what a court would say.

    Is this really so difficult to get??

    Sovoks wouldn’t do “their own research.”
     
    Oh yes, they would.

    I used to receive Communist propaganda written in English by Novosti in Moscow and they were argumentative as hell. They would also write lengthy explanations of why International Law, the UN Charter, bilateral agreements and all that justified their invasion of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, etc. And surely they wouldn't have hesitated to kill many civilians for the odd-chance of killing a rebel leader of a break-away Soviet republic along with them.

    Definitely Sovok, all of it.

    As for the facts:

    The best evidence we have that Bolotov was in that building is that he himself said so. This proves that not even the rebels at that point believed that the Ukrainians would react in such a barbaric way and that they didn't think that revealing the presence of one of their leaders in that building would lead anyone to justify the massacre.

    Assuming that the Ukrainians had good intelligence that Bolotov and his friends were somewhere in that building (which may or may NOT have been the case), the only way to make sure that they got killed was by totally flattening the building, which would have caused many more civilian deaths.

    Throwing one or two unguided missiles that could barely be aimed directly at the target was very uncertain to kill Bolotov but virtually guaranteed to kill many civilians, as proven by the actual outcome. I don't see any proportionality whatsoever and I'm not even sure that it wasn't an attack against a symbolic target rather than a purposeful assassination attempt.

    The idea that killing Bolotov could have possibly ended the rebellion doesn't make any sense. By that point, there were thousands of locals, Cossacks, defectors, Russian volunteers and Russian military advisers taking part in the rebellion across both Donbas regions. You are not using good logic here. There is literally zero chance of Strelkov and all the rest escaping to Russia just because the Ukrainians had killed Bolotov.

    What actually happened was that only days after that airstrike the rebels received anti-aircraft weapons and started taking down Ukrainian planes and helicopters, to the point that the Donbas airspace has pretty much been closed to Ukraine to this day.

    I remember that, having seen the footage of the Lugansk Square, I couldn't help feeling happy that the Ukrainians could no longer attack civilians from the air. But unfortunately, they did carry on killing thousands of civilians with artillery attacks. And this proliferation of deadly weapons and vicious fighting led to the MH17 catastrophe.

    Speaking of which, and according to your own verdict, all the Russians would have to do to avoid being convicted of a crime is claim that they never intended to strike the civilian airline and their intention was to shoot down a military target (which almost certainly is true).

    Finally, I don't know what Laws of War you have been researching because a cursory examination of their contents provides additional grounds for incriminating the perpetrators of the Lugansk attack:

    Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    .../...

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;


    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]


    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]


    https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/assets/files/other/customary-law-rules.pdf

    I used to receive Communist propaganda written in English by Novosti in Moscow and they were argumentative as hell. They would also write lengthy explanations of why International Law, the UN Charter, bilateral agreements and all that justified their invasion of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, etc.

    Not written by independent individuals but by official organs of the state.

    The best evidence we have that Bolotov was in that building is that he himself said so. This proves that not even the rebels at that point believed that the Ukrainians would react in such a barbaric way

    LOL. First you made the false claim that no legitimate target was in the building, it was purely civilian and thus a war crime.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there it was because the rebel leaders couldn’t believe that the Ukrainian government would them, despite ordering attacks on Ukrainian positions, because they were among civilians.

    But unfortunately, they did carry on killing thousands of civilians with artillery attacks.

    Some of those actions would indeed be war crimes by Ukrainians (and many would not be). Don’t change the subject after you are proven wrong.

    Speaking of which, and according to your own verdict, all the Russians would have to do to avoid being convicted of a crime is claim that they never intended to strike the civilian airline and their intention was to shoot down a military target (which almost certainly is true).

    You are again changing the subject to deflect from being wrong.

    But I’ll indulge you.

    This one may indeed not be a war crime for the reasons you stated. However:

    1. In Luhansk the specific rebel leaders were identified as being in the specific building that was targeted. Ukrainians didn’t just bomb random buildings in the center. They bombed the rebel HQ with rebel leadership in it. The rebels, OTOH, saw a plane and shot it down. For these situations to be analogous some Ukrainian general would have to have been on the Malaysian plane among the civilians. Or in his own plane nearby and the wrong one was accidentally shot down.

    2. Related to above, but rule states “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.” A plane full of civilians probably isn’t equal to just a random military aircraft. They would have to have info that it was some high value target.

    Conclusion: may or may not have been a war crime. In contrast to the Luhansk operation that clearly was not one.

    Finally, I don’t know what Laws of War you have been researching

    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    The actual rules according to the Geneva Convention:

    Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

    But thank you for further confirming that you were wrong:

    Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;

    Attack on the specific rebel HQ was obviously not an “indiscriminate” attack. They didn’t just shell the whole downtown. They sent a plane and launched a missile at the specific building where the rebel leaders were.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    See above. They didn’t unload their artillery on a massive strike of Luhansk. If they did that the casualties would be like in Syria.

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    Sending a plane to hit the specific building is taking a feasible precaution. It would have been easier and safer to just shell everything. But also criminal. So they made a risky operation to hit the one specific building when the rebel leaders were in it.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]

    Yes, they shouldn’t expect to warn the target that they are about to hit it.

    But now we have a great example of your “honesty.” You “forgot” to post some specific points.

    Rule 23. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    Rule 24. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, remove civilian persons and objects under its control from the vicinity of military objectives. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    It is very possible that by locating themselves in the Luhansk RSA and not removing the civilians from their headquarters, the rebel leaders committed a war crime.

    Funny how an honest man such as yourself didn’t notice those two points?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I thought that your exchange would have ended by now, but since it hasn't and it's still an interesting one, I'll just add in my own two cents. Besides your credible manner in tying in the specific matter at hand, the bombing of the Luhansk government building that was converted into a makeshift HQ for the separatist rebels with the rules of war of the Geneva convention, you're openness to admit that the Ukrainian side was most likely culpable for other war crimes, points to your objectivity. Why else would you go to such lengths to make your point here, if you didn't feel that it was true?

    Some of those actions would indeed be war crimes by Ukrainians (and many would not be).
     
    , @Mikel

    Funny how an honest man such as yourself didn’t notice those two points?
     
    An honest man like me has never disputed that the rebels have also committed crimes. You need to find someone else for that debate. I did not examine point by point the articles of the Law of War but I did notice this one:

    Rule 140. The obligation to respect and ensure respect for international human-itarian law does not depend on reciprocity. [IAC/NIAC]

    So the rebels committing crimes does not exempt the Ukrainians from abiding to the Law of War.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there
     
    You presented good evidence that (a) Bolotov was likely in the building at the time of the attack because he said so himself. And I acknowledged that good evidence. But Bolotov's statements fall tremendously short of acquitting Ukraine from a war crime. You have not presented proof that (b) the Ukrainians knew where Bolotov was or (c) their attack was specifically aimed at him.

    a, b and c are totally different things. Bolotov could have been in the building without the Ukrainians knowing it, the Ukrainians could have attacked the building without Bolotov being in it because he actually lied in his statements and the Ukrainian attack could have been decided independently of all the above.

    In a criminal investigation the Ukrainians would need to present proof that a, b and c were all true.

    But still that wouldn't clear them from a war crime because we have all the rest of the articles that I mentioned above and that you were ignoring until I brought them up:

    Rule 14. Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Zero rebel leaders killed and at least eight civilians shredded to pieces on the spot with many more injured. The moment the pilot opened fire he knew perfectly well that his action would cause random civilian victims. In fact, independent investigators (OSCE and munition experts consulted by the CNN) found that it had not been a single unguided missile. The square was full of craters caused by 30 mm ordnance: the bullets of an airplane cannon that had absolutely no chance of being directed at any specific person inside the building and would kill anyone on their path at the time of the attack (lots of peaceful civilians walking around Lugansk Central Square).

    https://www.cnn.com/2014/06/03/world/europe/ukraine-luhansk-building-attack/index.html

    Total failure to apply Rule 14.

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;


    Rule 12 provides 3 definitions of what exactly constitutes an indiscriminate attack. I have highlighted the third one because the Lugansk attack falls squarely on that example. The effects of unguided missiles and autocannon bullets shot from the sky cannot be limited in scope and were guaranteed to cause civilian victims.

    Zero compliance with Rule 12.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    See above. The time of the attack, the location of the target in the middle of a city, the type of weapons used to attack the target, the lack of any previous warning to the civilian population,... all glaring examples of no precautions taken to avoid or minimize incidental loss of life.

    Zero compliance with Rule 15.

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    See above. Zero compliance with Rule 17.

    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Assuming any minimum degree of professionalism, the Ukrainians must have indeed assessed if this attack would cause all the civilian deaths and damages that indeed it caused but decided to go ahead with it nonetheless, gaining no military advantage whatsoever. The rebellion was not stopped, the National Guard compound outside Lugansk was captured and no plausible effects of this attack would have prevented any of those outcomes, as discussed earlier in the thread.

    Zero compliance with Rule 18.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]

     

    The Ukrainian government could have perfectly warned the Ukrainian citizens in Lugansk that they shouldn't approach certain buildings or be close to armed rebels. This is explicitly what Rule 20 demands but it spectacularly failed to comply with rule as well, in spite of being a very common practice in armed conflicts.

    In a previous comment above I said that the explanation that you gave about the Law of War put into question that the Ukrainian side would be ruled guilty of a war crime but I shouldn't have trusted you so much. After reading its articles myself I must take back what I said then and conclude that you were wrong.

    Ultimately, the only argument that you presented is that civilian casualties in a war are not necessarily a crime and that the Ukrainians shot at a military target. But anyone capable of understanding English can see that the Law of War, from its very Rule #1, puts very strict limits to actions that may cause civilian damage. I don't see that Ukraine respected any of the ones I just mentioned.

    And, from an ethical perspective, an aggravating factor is that Ukraine failed to comply with these rules on its own civilian population.
  175. @AP

    I used to receive Communist propaganda written in English by Novosti in Moscow and they were argumentative as hell. They would also write lengthy explanations of why International Law, the UN Charter, bilateral agreements and all that justified their invasion of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, etc.
     
    Not written by independent individuals but by official organs of the state.

    The best evidence we have that Bolotov was in that building is that he himself said so. This proves that not even the rebels at that point believed that the Ukrainians would react in such a barbaric way
     
    LOL. First you made the false claim that no legitimate target was in the building, it was purely civilian and thus a war crime.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there it was because the rebel leaders couldn't believe that the Ukrainian government would them, despite ordering attacks on Ukrainian positions, because they were among civilians.

    But unfortunately, they did carry on killing thousands of civilians with artillery attacks.
     
    Some of those actions would indeed be war crimes by Ukrainians (and many would not be). Don't change the subject after you are proven wrong.

    Speaking of which, and according to your own verdict, all the Russians would have to do to avoid being convicted of a crime is claim that they never intended to strike the civilian airline and their intention was to shoot down a military target (which almost certainly is true).
     
    You are again changing the subject to deflect from being wrong.

    But I'll indulge you.

    This one may indeed not be a war crime for the reasons you stated. However:

    1. In Luhansk the specific rebel leaders were identified as being in the specific building that was targeted. Ukrainians didn't just bomb random buildings in the center. They bombed the rebel HQ with rebel leadership in it. The rebels, OTOH, saw a plane and shot it down. For these situations to be analogous some Ukrainian general would have to have been on the Malaysian plane among the civilians. Or in his own plane nearby and the wrong one was accidentally shot down.

    2. Related to above, but rule states “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.” A plane full of civilians probably isn't equal to just a random military aircraft. They would have to have info that it was some high value target.

    Conclusion: may or may not have been a war crime. In contrast to the Luhansk operation that clearly was not one.

    Finally, I don’t know what Laws of War you have been researching
     
    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    The actual rules according to the Geneva Convention:

    Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

    But thank you for further confirming that you were wrong:

    Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;
     
    Attack on the specific rebel HQ was obviously not an "indiscriminate" attack. They didn't just shell the whole downtown. They sent a plane and launched a missile at the specific building where the rebel leaders were.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    See above. They didn't unload their artillery on a massive strike of Luhansk. If they did that the casualties would be like in Syria.

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Sending a plane to hit the specific building is taking a feasible precaution. It would have been easier and safer to just shell everything. But also criminal. So they made a risky operation to hit the one specific building when the rebel leaders were in it.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Yes, they shouldn't expect to warn the target that they are about to hit it.

    But now we have a great example of your "honesty." You "forgot" to post some specific points.

    Rule 23. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    Rule 24. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, remove civilian persons and objects under its control from the vicinity of military objectives. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    It is very possible that by locating themselves in the Luhansk RSA and not removing the civilians from their headquarters, the rebel leaders committed a war crime.

    Funny how an honest man such as yourself didn't notice those two points?

    I thought that your exchange would have ended by now, but since it hasn’t and it’s still an interesting one, I’ll just add in my own two cents. Besides your credible manner in tying in the specific matter at hand, the bombing of the Luhansk government building that was converted into a makeshift HQ for the separatist rebels with the rules of war of the Geneva convention, you’re openness to admit that the Ukrainian side was most likely culpable for other war crimes, points to your objectivity. Why else would you go to such lengths to make your point here, if you didn’t feel that it was true?

    Some of those actions would indeed be war crimes by Ukrainians (and many would not be).

    • Replies: @AP
    Thank you.

    It's interesting for me too. My opponent engages in dishonesty but he is clever so the argument is not boring, and moreover it yields proofs that I can return to in future discussions if the subject comes up again with him or with someone else.

    While I strongly suspected that the Luhansk bombing was a legitimate act of war, an honest look at the rules really confirms it was so, point by point. They also seem to point to the Chechen War probably not being characterized as criminal in nature (although there were particular war crimes committed during that war) though it would be a much easier case to make that the Chechen War was criminal, than that the Donbas war has been.
  176. Mikel says:
    @AP

    I used to receive Communist propaganda written in English by Novosti in Moscow and they were argumentative as hell. They would also write lengthy explanations of why International Law, the UN Charter, bilateral agreements and all that justified their invasion of Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, etc.
     
    Not written by independent individuals but by official organs of the state.

    The best evidence we have that Bolotov was in that building is that he himself said so. This proves that not even the rebels at that point believed that the Ukrainians would react in such a barbaric way
     
    LOL. First you made the false claim that no legitimate target was in the building, it was purely civilian and thus a war crime.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there it was because the rebel leaders couldn't believe that the Ukrainian government would them, despite ordering attacks on Ukrainian positions, because they were among civilians.

    But unfortunately, they did carry on killing thousands of civilians with artillery attacks.
     
    Some of those actions would indeed be war crimes by Ukrainians (and many would not be). Don't change the subject after you are proven wrong.

    Speaking of which, and according to your own verdict, all the Russians would have to do to avoid being convicted of a crime is claim that they never intended to strike the civilian airline and their intention was to shoot down a military target (which almost certainly is true).
     
    You are again changing the subject to deflect from being wrong.

    But I'll indulge you.

    This one may indeed not be a war crime for the reasons you stated. However:

    1. In Luhansk the specific rebel leaders were identified as being in the specific building that was targeted. Ukrainians didn't just bomb random buildings in the center. They bombed the rebel HQ with rebel leadership in it. The rebels, OTOH, saw a plane and shot it down. For these situations to be analogous some Ukrainian general would have to have been on the Malaysian plane among the civilians. Or in his own plane nearby and the wrong one was accidentally shot down.

    2. Related to above, but rule states “excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.” A plane full of civilians probably isn't equal to just a random military aircraft. They would have to have info that it was some high value target.

    Conclusion: may or may not have been a war crime. In contrast to the Luhansk operation that clearly was not one.

    Finally, I don’t know what Laws of War you have been researching
     
    https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/Article.xsp?action=openDocument&documentId=4BEBD9920AE0AEAEC12563CD0051DC9E

    The actual rules according to the Geneva Convention:

    Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

    But thank you for further confirming that you were wrong:

    Rule 11. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;
     
    Attack on the specific rebel HQ was obviously not an "indiscriminate" attack. They didn't just shell the whole downtown. They sent a plane and launched a missile at the specific building where the rebel leaders were.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    See above. They didn't unload their artillery on a massive strike of Luhansk. If they did that the casualties would be like in Syria.

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Sending a plane to hit the specific building is taking a feasible precaution. It would have been easier and safer to just shell everything. But also criminal. So they made a risky operation to hit the one specific building when the rebel leaders were in it.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Yes, they shouldn't expect to warn the target that they are about to hit it.

    But now we have a great example of your "honesty." You "forgot" to post some specific points.

    Rule 23. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    Rule 24. Each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, remove civilian persons and objects under its control from the vicinity of military objectives. [IAC/arguably NIAC]

    It is very possible that by locating themselves in the Luhansk RSA and not removing the civilians from their headquarters, the rebel leaders committed a war crime.

    Funny how an honest man such as yourself didn't notice those two points?

    Funny how an honest man such as yourself didn’t notice those two points?

    An honest man like me has never disputed that the rebels have also committed crimes. You need to find someone else for that debate. I did not examine point by point the articles of the Law of War but I did notice this one:

    Rule 140. The obligation to respect and ensure respect for international human-itarian law does not depend on reciprocity. [IAC/NIAC]

    So the rebels committing crimes does not exempt the Ukrainians from abiding to the Law of War.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there

    You presented good evidence that (a) Bolotov was likely in the building at the time of the attack because he said so himself. And I acknowledged that good evidence. But Bolotov’s statements fall tremendously short of acquitting Ukraine from a war crime. You have not presented proof that (b) the Ukrainians knew where Bolotov was or (c) their attack was specifically aimed at him.

    a, b and c are totally different things. Bolotov could have been in the building without the Ukrainians knowing it, the Ukrainians could have attacked the building without Bolotov being in it because he actually lied in his statements and the Ukrainian attack could have been decided independently of all the above.

    In a criminal investigation the Ukrainians would need to present proof that a, b and c were all true.

    But still that wouldn’t clear them from a war crime because we have all the rest of the articles that I mentioned above and that you were ignoring until I brought them up:

    Rule 14. Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Zero rebel leaders killed and at least eight civilians shredded to pieces on the spot with many more injured. The moment the pilot opened fire he knew perfectly well that his action would cause random civilian victims. In fact, independent investigators (OSCE and munition experts consulted by the CNN) found that it had not been a single unguided missile. The square was full of craters caused by 30 mm ordnance: the bullets of an airplane cannon that had absolutely no chance of being directed at any specific person inside the building and would kill anyone on their path at the time of the attack (lots of peaceful civilians walking around Lugansk Central Square).

    https://www.cnn.com/2014/06/03/world/europe/ukraine-luhansk-building-attack/index.html

    Total failure to apply Rule 14.

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;

    Rule 12 provides 3 definitions of what exactly constitutes an indiscriminate attack. I have highlighted the third one because the Lugansk attack falls squarely on that example. The effects of unguided missiles and autocannon bullets shot from the sky cannot be limited in scope and were guaranteed to cause civilian victims.

    Zero compliance with Rule 12.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    See above. The time of the attack, the location of the target in the middle of a city, the type of weapons used to attack the target, the lack of any previous warning to the civilian population,… all glaring examples of no precautions taken to avoid or minimize incidental loss of life.

    Zero compliance with Rule 15.

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    See above. Zero compliance with Rule 17.

    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]

    Assuming any minimum degree of professionalism, the Ukrainians must have indeed assessed if this attack would cause all the civilian deaths and damages that indeed it caused but decided to go ahead with it nonetheless, gaining no military advantage whatsoever. The rebellion was not stopped, the National Guard compound outside Lugansk was captured and no plausible effects of this attack would have prevented any of those outcomes, as discussed earlier in the thread.

    Zero compliance with Rule 18.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]

    The Ukrainian government could have perfectly warned the Ukrainian citizens in Lugansk that they shouldn’t approach certain buildings or be close to armed rebels. This is explicitly what Rule 20 demands but it spectacularly failed to comply with rule as well, in spite of being a very common practice in armed conflicts.

    In a previous comment above I said that the explanation that you gave about the Law of War put into question that the Ukrainian side would be ruled guilty of a war crime but I shouldn’t have trusted you so much. After reading its articles myself I must take back what I said then and conclude that you were wrong.

    Ultimately, the only argument that you presented is that civilian casualties in a war are not necessarily a crime and that the Ukrainians shot at a military target. But anyone capable of understanding English can see that the Law of War, from its very Rule #1, puts very strict limits to actions that may cause civilian damage. I don’t see that Ukraine respected any of the ones I just mentioned.

    And, from an ethical perspective, an aggravating factor is that Ukraine failed to comply with these rules on its own civilian population.

    • Replies: @AP

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there

    You presented good evidence that (a) Bolotov was likely in the building at the time of the attack because he said so himself. And I acknowledged that good evidence. But Bolotov’s statements fall tremendously short of acquitting Ukraine from a war crime. You have not presented proof that (b) the Ukrainians knew where Bolotov was or (c) their attack was specifically aimed at him.
     

    The building that was the target of the attack was his HQ so it was reasonable to assume he was there. And indeed he was. If you think they had some other motive than the obvious one, you would have to prove it.

    Even if it turned out that he wasn't there at the time the Ukrainians would have had a good case of their attack being legitimate by saying - we tried to get him because it was his HQ. The HQ of the armed rebellion is a legitimate target.

    Why would the Ukranians specifically send a jet into the center of Luhansk to bomb this one particular building if not for the reason that it was the rebel HQ? If you think they were trying to kill civilians wouldn't they just unleash a massive artillery barrage upon the city, as Syrians and Russians do? Or hit a large apartment building at night when it is full of people and it would be easier to deny that they did it? So clearly the target and time of attack were chosen because the rebel leaders were based there.


    But still that wouldn’t clear them from a war crime because we have all the rest of the articles that I mentioned above and that you were ignoring until I brought them up:
     
    I ignored them because I thought there was no reason to repeat the conclusion that the bombing was not a war crime.

    I will be happy to explain for you once again how you are wrong, however.


    Rule 14. Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    I bolded the part that you pretended to fail to understand.

    1. This point obviously means that some civilian casualties are acceptable, according to the rules. The number of dead civilians just has to be in proportion to the military advanage anticipated. So for example killing 100 civilians in order to take out one low-ranking infantryman is not acceptable.

    2. Decapitating the rebellion by destroying its leadership allows a huge concrete and direct military advantage, thus the number of acceptable civilian casualties in such an operation is substantial. Bolotov and his top aides were based in that building.

    So Rule 14 supports the Ukrainain government, obviously.


    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    See above. The time of the attack, the location of the target in the middle of a city, the type of weapons used to attack the target, the lack of any previous warning to the civilian population,… all glaring examples of no precautions taken to avoid or minimize incidental loss of life.
     

    Your dishonesty drives you to derive the opposite conclusion.

    Time of the attack - best time to get the rebel leaders at work. Warning would have simply warned the rebel leaders to stay away. These were not feasible actions to take. Type of weapon used was the most precise ones the Ukranians had - they flew a jet to the building and launched a missile at it. This minimized civilian casualties.

    So Ukrainians clearly took all feasible precautions. Warning of the attack was not feasible. Attacking the building at night when the rebels leaders were asleep rather than at work was not feasible. Using weapons they did not possess was not feasible. But sending a plane into the city to directly target only this one building where the rebels were based, at the time of day when they were likely to be in the building (and indeed were there) was feasible.

    An actual war crime would have involved massive artillery shelling of the center, which could have killed the rebel leaders but also have resulted in many hundreds if not thousands of casualties. That's what it looks like if feasible precautions to limit civilian deaths are not taken. It's what we see in Syria and, arguably, to a lesser extent in Chechnya.


    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]

    Assuming any minimum degree of professionalism, the Ukrainians must have indeed assessed if this attack would cause all the civilian deaths and damages that indeed it caused but decided to go ahead with it nonetheless, gaining no military advantage whatsoever
     

    They gained no military advantage only because the attack failed to directly hit the target. Had the building been hit directly and the rebel leadership destroyed, the military advantage would have been considerable. So the attack was obviously not criminal in nature. It was a military target, with feasible precautions taken to limit civilian casualties. The Ukrainian government made a good call to try to take out the rebel leaders the way they did. It's very unfortunate that the pilot missed hitting the building directly, but actual war is not like in the movies.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]

    The Ukrainian government could have perfectly warned the Ukrainian citizens in Lugansk that they shouldn’t approach certain buildings or be close to armed rebels.
     

    Read the bolded part and think. A surprise attack to take out the rebel leadership in their own HQ was a circumstance that obviously would not permit advance warning. Ultimately the rebels leaders are to blame for mixing in with civilians.

    :::::::::::::

    Overall conclusion: the only side who arguably committed a war crime with regards to the dead civilians in Luhansk Square were the rebels who chose to place their HQ in a civilian area. But this is a central part of their strategy - to hide among civilians, to shoot artillery at Ukrainians out of residential areas and draw return fire. A Soviet approach. It is a credit to the Ukrainains for limiting civilian casualties to 4,000 in this war. Rather than praise the Ukrainians for their restraint and for generelly following the rules of war (while one can and should condemn individual cases of war crimes) while condemning the rebels for breaking those rules as their general policy, you lie about the Ukrainians while writing very little about the rebels.

  177. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Funny how an honest man such as yourself didn’t notice those two points?
     
    An honest man like me has never disputed that the rebels have also committed crimes. You need to find someone else for that debate. I did not examine point by point the articles of the Law of War but I did notice this one:

    Rule 140. The obligation to respect and ensure respect for international human-itarian law does not depend on reciprocity. [IAC/NIAC]

    So the rebels committing crimes does not exempt the Ukrainians from abiding to the Law of War.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there
     
    You presented good evidence that (a) Bolotov was likely in the building at the time of the attack because he said so himself. And I acknowledged that good evidence. But Bolotov's statements fall tremendously short of acquitting Ukraine from a war crime. You have not presented proof that (b) the Ukrainians knew where Bolotov was or (c) their attack was specifically aimed at him.

    a, b and c are totally different things. Bolotov could have been in the building without the Ukrainians knowing it, the Ukrainians could have attacked the building without Bolotov being in it because he actually lied in his statements and the Ukrainian attack could have been decided independently of all the above.

    In a criminal investigation the Ukrainians would need to present proof that a, b and c were all true.

    But still that wouldn't clear them from a war crime because we have all the rest of the articles that I mentioned above and that you were ignoring until I brought them up:

    Rule 14. Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    Zero rebel leaders killed and at least eight civilians shredded to pieces on the spot with many more injured. The moment the pilot opened fire he knew perfectly well that his action would cause random civilian victims. In fact, independent investigators (OSCE and munition experts consulted by the CNN) found that it had not been a single unguided missile. The square was full of craters caused by 30 mm ordnance: the bullets of an airplane cannon that had absolutely no chance of being directed at any specific person inside the building and would kill anyone on their path at the time of the attack (lots of peaceful civilians walking around Lugansk Central Square).

    https://www.cnn.com/2014/06/03/world/europe/ukraine-luhansk-building-attack/index.html

    Total failure to apply Rule 14.

    Rule 12. Indiscriminate attacks are those:

    …/…

    (c) which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law;


    Rule 12 provides 3 definitions of what exactly constitutes an indiscriminate attack. I have highlighted the third one because the Lugansk attack falls squarely on that example. The effects of unguided missiles and autocannon bullets shot from the sky cannot be limited in scope and were guaranteed to cause civilian victims.

    Zero compliance with Rule 12.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    See above. The time of the attack, the location of the target in the middle of a city, the type of weapons used to attack the target, the lack of any previous warning to the civilian population,... all glaring examples of no precautions taken to avoid or minimize incidental loss of life.

    Zero compliance with Rule 15.

    Rule 17. Each party to the conflict must take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of warfare with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    See above. Zero compliance with Rule 17.

    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]
     
    Assuming any minimum degree of professionalism, the Ukrainians must have indeed assessed if this attack would cause all the civilian deaths and damages that indeed it caused but decided to go ahead with it nonetheless, gaining no military advantage whatsoever. The rebellion was not stopped, the National Guard compound outside Lugansk was captured and no plausible effects of this attack would have prevented any of those outcomes, as discussed earlier in the thread.

    Zero compliance with Rule 18.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]

     

    The Ukrainian government could have perfectly warned the Ukrainian citizens in Lugansk that they shouldn't approach certain buildings or be close to armed rebels. This is explicitly what Rule 20 demands but it spectacularly failed to comply with rule as well, in spite of being a very common practice in armed conflicts.

    In a previous comment above I said that the explanation that you gave about the Law of War put into question that the Ukrainian side would be ruled guilty of a war crime but I shouldn't have trusted you so much. After reading its articles myself I must take back what I said then and conclude that you were wrong.

    Ultimately, the only argument that you presented is that civilian casualties in a war are not necessarily a crime and that the Ukrainians shot at a military target. But anyone capable of understanding English can see that the Law of War, from its very Rule #1, puts very strict limits to actions that may cause civilian damage. I don't see that Ukraine respected any of the ones I just mentioned.

    And, from an ethical perspective, an aggravating factor is that Ukraine failed to comply with these rules on its own civilian population.

    Now that it is pointed out to you that indeed the rebel leadership was there

    You presented good evidence that (a) Bolotov was likely in the building at the time of the attack because he said so himself. And I acknowledged that good evidence. But Bolotov’s statements fall tremendously short of acquitting Ukraine from a war crime. You have not presented proof that (b) the Ukrainians knew where Bolotov was or (c) their attack was specifically aimed at him.

    The building that was the target of the attack was his HQ so it was reasonable to assume he was there. And indeed he was. If you think they had some other motive than the obvious one, you would have to prove it.

    Even if it turned out that he wasn’t there at the time the Ukrainians would have had a good case of their attack being legitimate by saying – we tried to get him because it was his HQ. The HQ of the armed rebellion is a legitimate target.

    Why would the Ukranians specifically send a jet into the center of Luhansk to bomb this one particular building if not for the reason that it was the rebel HQ? If you think they were trying to kill civilians wouldn’t they just unleash a massive artillery barrage upon the city, as Syrians and Russians do? Or hit a large apartment building at night when it is full of people and it would be easier to deny that they did it? So clearly the target and time of attack were chosen because the rebel leaders were based there.

    But still that wouldn’t clear them from a war crime because we have all the rest of the articles that I mentioned above and that you were ignoring until I brought them up:

    I ignored them because I thought there was no reason to repeat the conclusion that the bombing was not a war crime.

    I will be happy to explain for you once again how you are wrong, however.

    Rule 14. Launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited. [IAC/NIAC]

    I bolded the part that you pretended to fail to understand.

    1. This point obviously means that some civilian casualties are acceptable, according to the rules. The number of dead civilians just has to be in proportion to the military advanage anticipated. So for example killing 100 civilians in order to take out one low-ranking infantryman is not acceptable.

    2. Decapitating the rebellion by destroying its leadership allows a huge concrete and direct military advantage, thus the number of acceptable civilian casualties in such an operation is substantial. Bolotov and his top aides were based in that building.

    So Rule 14 supports the Ukrainain government, obviously.

    Rule 15. In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects. [IAC/NIAC]

    See above. The time of the attack, the location of the target in the middle of a city, the type of weapons used to attack the target, the lack of any previous warning to the civilian population,… all glaring examples of no precautions taken to avoid or minimize incidental loss of life.

    Your dishonesty drives you to derive the opposite conclusion.

    Time of the attack – best time to get the rebel leaders at work. Warning would have simply warned the rebel leaders to stay away. These were not feasible actions to take. Type of weapon used was the most precise ones the Ukranians had – they flew a jet to the building and launched a missile at it. This minimized civilian casualties.

    So Ukrainians clearly took all feasible precautions. Warning of the attack was not feasible. Attacking the building at night when the rebels leaders were asleep rather than at work was not feasible. Using weapons they did not possess was not feasible. But sending a plane into the city to directly target only this one building where the rebels were based, at the time of day when they were likely to be in the building (and indeed were there) was feasible.

    An actual war crime would have involved massive artillery shelling of the center, which could have killed the rebel leaders but also have resulted in many hundreds if not thousands of casualties. That’s what it looks like if feasible precautions to limit civilian deaths are not taken. It’s what we see in Syria and, arguably, to a lesser extent in Chechnya.

    Rule 18. Each party to the conflict must do everything feasible to assess whether the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. [IAC/NIAC]

    Assuming any minimum degree of professionalism, the Ukrainians must have indeed assessed if this attack would cause all the civilian deaths and damages that indeed it caused but decided to go ahead with it nonetheless, gaining no military advantage whatsoever

    They gained no military advantage only because the attack failed to directly hit the target. Had the building been hit directly and the rebel leadership destroyed, the military advantage would have been considerable. So the attack was obviously not criminal in nature. It was a military target, with feasible precautions taken to limit civilian casualties. The Ukrainian government made a good call to try to take out the rebel leaders the way they did. It’s very unfortunate that the pilot missed hitting the building directly, but actual war is not like in the movies.

    Rule 20. Each party to the conflict must give effective advance warning of attacks which may affect the civilian population, unless circumstances do not permit. [IAC/NIAC]

    The Ukrainian government could have perfectly warned the Ukrainian citizens in Lugansk that they shouldn’t approach certain buildings or be close to armed rebels.

    Read the bolded part and think. A surprise attack to take out the rebel leadership in their own HQ was a circumstance that obviously would not permit advance warning. Ultimately the rebels leaders are to blame for mixing in with civilians.

    :::::::::::::

    Overall conclusion: the only side who arguably committed a war crime with regards to the dead civilians in Luhansk Square were the rebels who chose to place their HQ in a civilian area. But this is a central part of their strategy – to hide among civilians, to shoot artillery at Ukrainians out of residential areas and draw return fire. A Soviet approach. It is a credit to the Ukrainains for limiting civilian casualties to 4,000 in this war. Rather than praise the Ukrainians for their restraint and for generelly following the rules of war (while one can and should condemn individual cases of war crimes) while condemning the rebels for breaking those rules as their general policy, you lie about the Ukrainians while writing very little about the rebels.

    • Replies: @Mikel

    So Ukrainians clearly took all feasible precautions.
     
    I have thoroughly debunked this assertion, citing chapter, verse and logic based on the actual circumstances.

    I'm not going to keep beating this poor dead horse just because you refuse to accept the obvious.

    Warning of the attack was not feasible.
     
    Rule 20 is spectacularly clear. The warning is not directed at the enemy, it is directed at the civilians that may be affected by the attack. It does put the attackers at a tactical disadvantage by also warning the enemy but that is the whole point of the Rule.

    It was perfectly feasible for the Ukrainians to warn civilians through TV, radio, leaflets,... that henceforth they should avoid certain places but they chose not to comply with that Law of War.

    the military advantage would have been considerable.
     
    The military advantage of killing Bolotov and some of his colleagues would have been negligible. In the following 1 or 2 days the National Guard compound would have been equally taken by the hundreds of rebels and Russian volunteers that surrounded it.

    If I'm not very mistaken, Bolotov was in fact killed or purged by his own comrades, like so many other rebel leaders, and none of that changed the war in Donbas. They were automatically replaced by other leaders.

    you lie about the Ukrainians
     
    You are becoming too predictable. The more you see yourself losing the argument the more you feel the need to engage in gratuitous name-calling.

    My original point in this discussion was to dispute Mr Hack's statement that we don't know which side killed more civilians. Having followed the events as closely as I could from the beginning, I think that we do know that quite well and I put the Lugansk airstrike as an example of the Ukrainian disregard for civilian losses since the beginning of the Donbas war. I could have put many others.

    Your have focused on defending the idea that the Lugansk massacre of civilians was technically not a war crime (a point that is not of so much interest to me and does not refute my original claims). You have resorted to repetitive personal attacks and dogmatic assertions of what is and is not correct. But all you have achieved with that tactic is turn my attention to the narrow point you have focused on and actually realize that you are also wrong on that, as I have clearly shown in #176.

    If that's going to make you go back to your original Sovok tactic of attacking the person that dares to show how wrong you are, so be it. I have no control over you amygdala.