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#15312634
Rancid wrote:Assuming it's true. What a jackass. It's like those asshats that moved to Russia from Canada, and then realized Russia sucks. :lol: Another example of people just making up stories in their head. The very fact Putin has been in power for decades should be a giant red flag for anyone considering going there....


it reminds me of a woman who was a Greek immigrant that got her US citizenship and married a man from Mexico that was without papers. They opened a steakhouse in a small town in Texas. She voted for Trump because he is a great businessman and not a Washington insider. He then proceeds to give Texas the freedom to deport Mexican illegals at will. Without criminal records who report to ICE every six months. Her husband is one of them. He is picked up and deported because they went on a honeymoon to Niagara Falls in Canada and he lied and said he was a US citizen and was not. Since he lied to go on a honeymoon with his wife he is a felon. Instant deportation. The Trump voting town is outraged. We liked Roberto...he was not a bad hombre. Why did they punish his family? We thought Trump was a nice guy.

Ignorance. :lol:
User avatar
By Rancid
#15312636
Tainari88 wrote:
it reminds me of a woman who was a Greek immigrant that got her US citizenship and married a man from Mexico that was without papers. They opened a steakhouse in a small town in Texas. She voted for Trump because he is a great businessman and not a Washington insider. He then proceeds to give Texas the freedom to deport Mexican illegals at will. Without criminal records who report to ICE every six months. Her husband is one of them. He is picked up and deported because they went on a honeymoon to Niagara Falls in Canada and he lied and said he was a US citizen and was not. Since he lied to go on a honeymoon with his wife he is a felon. Instant deportation. The Trump voting town is outraged. We liked Roberto...he was not a bad hombre. Why did they punish his family? We thought Trump was a nice guy.

Ignorance. :lol:


He was "one of the good ones". Of course, until it becomes convenient to throw him under the bus.
#15312638
Rancid wrote:He was "one of the good ones". Of course, until it becomes convenient to throw him under the bus.


The Greek American wife voted for the asshole who betrayed her husband. Why? because he was a successful businessman and they had a small business.

The people who vote for these assholes Rancid, are not analyzing policy at all. Their thing is images of crap. Total lies are gobbled up like Gospel Truths. :roll:
User avatar
By Rancid
#15312639
Tainari88 wrote:
The Greek American wife voted for the asshole who betrayed her husband. Why? because he was a successful businessman and they had a small business.

The people who vote for these assholes Rancid, are not analyzing policy at all. Their thing is images of crap. Total lies are gobbled up like Gospel Truths. :roll:


Many voters/supporters are single issue voters/supporters. This is the danger of that sort of the inability to wholistically analyze situations. Also, these type of people are easier to manipulation since they do not think about what they support or are voting for in the context of other factors. It's less likely someone would detect inconsistency (and lies) in say, the Trump message (or anything else for that matter).

There's often a denial associated with all of this. The slap in the face to get you out of that denial is when your husband gets taken from you.
#15312640
Rancid wrote:Many voters/supporters are single issue voters/supporters. This is the danger of that sort of the inability to wholistically analyze situations. Also, these type of people are easier to manipulation since they do not think about what they support or are voting for in the context of other factors. It's less likely someone would detect inconsistency (and lies) in say, the Trump message (or anything else for that matter).

There's often a denial associated with all of this. The slap in the face to get you out of that denial is when your husband gets taken from you.


This video is about the slap in the face to Guatemalans, Venezuelans, etc migrants who did the journey and they wind up in a detention facility in the US locked up and treated harshly....

There they are....fue una vil mentira the Guatemalan guy says. It was a vile lie he says. The US is not going to let us go in there.

Why do they believe this total BULLSHIT Rancid?

The one man there in Spanish said, we walked, we got hungry, were thirsty, had to make sacrifices and so on and so forth? To be locked up. In Guatemala you go to jail and they give you a phone call and you do get a meal on time, and you have some rights. Here it is not even a phone call permitted. I did not think the US was this way at all.

They do not know jack shit about the USA. It is all risk. All lies.

That one woman says, it was all not true. There is nothing for us here. I have to go back. Maybe when they change laws we can try again.

Once you get documented you never get legal status EVER. They do not understand that.



You talk to each one of those people for a long time? What are they going to say?

Most of them are totally completely IGNORANT of what that whole deal is about politically, economically and realistically in the USA. No clue. None.

Rumours of wealth. Rumours of what?

The guy with one leg a Venezuelan said all that work to be left without any progress at all? What are the expectations?

The Ukrainians are now migrating allover the place. In Europe. Why? It is closer.

This is about geography too. Who live near you and the wealthy nations who live near you?

The poor of Latin America are having kids. They are not declining drastically. Who are going to be the ones who are interested in US citizenship? Irish? English? No. Mexicans, Chinese, Indians from India, and Cubans, and Venezuelans, etc. The ones interested. Are they going to let them in?

Who knows. Might be never. If that is the case? You got to deal fairly with the people you have staying there and stable.
#15312642
@Godstud did you ever have to go through any of that shit getting to Thailand?

Your circumstances are not theirs.

I think all that is stupid in the extreme. Why go through that? Violence. Gangsters and problems. Latin America needs to kick these criminals in Latin America in the ass. They can't. They have no investment in law and order. Total impunity with these criminals. Then you get a Bukele president kicking their asses hard. 90% approval ratings and people cheering in the streets. But human rights watch people are freaking out.

There are enormous problems in Latin America. If you want to stop the flow deal with the ROOT causes of these issues. Lock them up is not going to make Guatemala better or anyone else. Call the presidents, do meetings, make plans and get it done. Lock up these gangsters. And go to war on these criminals, and then jobs that pay a living wage. Invest in families. Change those societies. If not? they are going to jump into the USA. Guaranteed.

#15312644
Rancid wrote:Assuming it's true. What a jackass. It's like those asshats that moved to Russia from Canada, and then realized Russia sucks. :lol: Another example of people just making up stories in their head. The very fact Putin has been in power for decades should be a giant red flag for anyone considering going there....

UPDATE

this looks very logical to me " the Muscovites kidnapped and r***d a Z-blogger and communist American because they mistook him for a spy, then when they realized their mistake , they murdered and dismembered him to silence him. Brutal"

#15312647
Godstud wrote:...The French were the first "genociders" in what is now Canada,


Really? Who did they genocide? The Acadians? The Métis? Who?

I need to know this for my job. And this is a subject that I have studied (you know - read books about...) for half of my adult life.

... and you're a hypocrite and a liar.


That you know so little history that you have to make up obvious lies in order to participate in discussions... is sad. Aren't there motorcycle-discussion forums out there where your expertise might provide some insight?
#15312660
My knowledge of history is better than that knowledge you got from the toilet paper you call a Political Science degree, @QatzelOk. :lol: You were robbed. I hope you never had to pay for it.

You are a hypocrite and a liar because you side with a people who have exploited and colonized peoples in the worst possible ways, throughout the world. Stick to your threads on bicycle helmets, car hating, and wanting to genocide suburbia, while rambling like Trump in a speech. It makes more sense.
#15312662
Tainari88 wrote:@Godstud did you ever have to go through any of that shit getting to Thailand?
No, because I decided not to be a criminal and come to Thailand legally. It's a hassle I have to constantly deal with, but the alternative is being a criminal. No thank you.

The "why" does not matter if the end result is that you are viewed as a criminal, and rightly so, because you are breaking the laws.

Children are separated from criminals when the criminals are arrested(child services takes over the care). This happens all over the Western world. It is also true that if they have a hard time identifying people, that there might not be evidence that the children are actually theirs. This happens, as well, with children sometimes being smuggled into the country for less than savoury reasons, by truly bad people. The reasons for separation are valid, even if it seems uncaring on the surface.
#15312664
Rancid wrote:He was "one of the good ones". Of course, until it becomes convenient to throw him under the bus.


That or some of the Republicans are crazy or stupid or both at the same time.

Here is an example, ammendments to the US funding bills for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan etc from our favourite, you probably know her:

8 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Requires all Members of Congress who vote in favor of this Act to conscript in the Ukrainian Military. Submitted
12 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine stops persecuting Christians. Submitted
13 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine closes all bio-laboratories. Submitted
21 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funding to victims of the Lahaina, Hawaii, fires. Submitted
22 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funds to victims of the East Palestine(OHIO) train derailment. Submitted
23 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funds to the Attorney General to initiate mass deportations of illegals. Submitted
49 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Reduces every dollar amount in the bill to zero. Made in Order
50 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Strikes the entire bill and replaces it with H.R. 2. Submitted
51 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funding in the bill to build The Wall. Submitted
52 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funding to families of individuals who die from fentanyl. Submitted
53 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Creates a Treasury fund from which the Attorney General shall provide assistance to families of individuals killed by illegal aliens. Submitted
56 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until Ukraine's Corruption Perceptions Index reaches a level commensurate to that of its NATO-member neighbors. Revised
57 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until Ukraine bans abortion. Revised
58 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding for the Azov Battalion. Revised
59 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until Ukraine turns over all information related to Hunter Biden and Burisma. Revised
61 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Reduces the Presidential Drawdown Authority to $100 million. Revised
63 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding for NATO troops in Ukraine. Revised
64 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Directs the president to withdraw the U.S. from NATO. Revised
65 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until peace negotiations begin between Russia and Ukraine. Revised
66 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Funds made available by this Act shall be offset by the salaries of Members who vote in favor of it. Revised
67 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until former actor Volodymyr Zelensky resigns as President of Ukraine. Revised
76 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Requires any country that receives U.S. financial aid to provide the U.S. with funds to build a wall on the southern border. Submitted
127 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine lifts restrictions on the right of ethnic minorities, including Hungarians, to use their native languages in schools. Submitted
11 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine holds free and fair elections. Submitted

First I wanted to copy the most fun ones but then I just copied everything and bolded what was left lol. I mean, what the fuck? Who elected her?

Edit, somebody has a sense of humor:

62 Version 4 Moskowitz (FL), Landsman (OH) Democrat Revised Sense of Congress that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14) should be appointed as Vladimir Putin's Special Envoy to the United States Congress. Revised
#15312668
JohnRawls wrote:That or some of the Republicans are crazy or stupid or both at the same time.

Here is an example, ammendments to the US funding bills for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan etc from our favourite, you probably know her:

8 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Requires all Members of Congress who vote in favor of this Act to conscript in the Ukrainian Military. Submitted
12 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine stops persecuting Christians. Submitted
13 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine closes all bio-laboratories. Submitted
21 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funding to victims of the Lahaina, Hawaii, fires. Submitted
22 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funds to victims of the East Palestine(OHIO) train derailment. Submitted
23 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funds to the Attorney General to initiate mass deportations of illegals. Submitted
49 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Reduces every dollar amount in the bill to zero. Made in Order
50 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Strikes the entire bill and replaces it with H.R. 2. Submitted
51 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funding in the bill to build The Wall. Submitted
52 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Redirects funding to families of individuals who die from fentanyl. Submitted
53 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Creates a Treasury fund from which the Attorney General shall provide assistance to families of individuals killed by illegal aliens. Submitted
56 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until Ukraine's Corruption Perceptions Index reaches a level commensurate to that of its NATO-member neighbors. Revised
57 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until Ukraine bans abortion. Revised
58 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding for the Azov Battalion. Revised
59 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until Ukraine turns over all information related to Hunter Biden and Burisma. Revised
61 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Reduces the Presidential Drawdown Authority to $100 million. Revised
63 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding for NATO troops in Ukraine. Revised
64 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Directs the president to withdraw the U.S. from NATO. Revised
65 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until peace negotiations begin between Russia and Ukraine. Revised
66 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Funds made available by this Act shall be offset by the salaries of Members who vote in favor of it. Revised
67 Version 2 Greene (GA) Republican Revised Prohibits funding until former actor Volodymyr Zelensky resigns as President of Ukraine. Revised
76 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Requires any country that receives U.S. financial aid to provide the U.S. with funds to build a wall on the southern border. Submitted
127 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine lifts restrictions on the right of ethnic minorities, including Hungarians, to use their native languages in schools. Submitted
11 Version 1 Greene (GA) Republican Prohibits funding until Ukraine holds free and fair elections. Submitted

First I wanted to copy the most fun ones but then I just copied everything and bolded what was left lol. I mean, what the fuck? Who elected her?

Edit, somebody has a sense of humor:

62 Version 4 Moskowitz (FL), Landsman (OH) Democrat Revised Sense of Congress that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14) should be appointed as Vladimir Putin's Special Envoy to the United States Congress. Revised


Marjorie Taylor Greene is your woman. She hates socialism. Lol.
#15312670
Godstud wrote:No, because I decided not to be a criminal and come to Thailand legally. It's a hassle I have to constantly deal with, but the alternative is being a criminal. No thank you.

The "why" does not matter if the end result is that you are viewed as a criminal, and rightly so, because you are breaking the laws.

Children are separated from criminals when the criminals are arrested(child services takes over the care). This happens all over the Western world. It is also true that if they have a hard time identifying people, that there might not be evidence that the children are actually theirs. This happens, as well, with children sometimes being smuggled into the country for less than savoury reasons, by truly bad people. The reasons for separation are valid, even if it seems uncaring on the surface.


The root cause is poverty, gangs taking over entire cities in Central America, bad government and bad economics. If you go over carefully every single Central American nation that is heavily bleeding people to the border? It is directly linked to US corporations funneling money to undermine worker rights and labor protections and extremely bad governments manipulated by the CIA interventions for years and years Godstud. Every time some Guatemalan peasants want a raise in some banana farm or the workers want to get some progress on pay? All hell breaks loose. The US says they are Communists even though all of them are Mayan peasants who never read a book on Communism in their lives, and they interfere and create HORROR. The economy goes to pot and guess who wind up going to the caravan.

Open a thread on Central America. I worked with three of those countries for years and years and am an expert on that subject. Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and also Nicaragua. Panama was interfered with severely too and so was Belize...by the UK. Costa Rica made a deal with the US and has no standing army.

Go over these nations and it is really horrific history and the US is directly responsible for destroying those economies, labor unions, peasant small plot farmers, traditional Mayan culture lands held in common and much more.

Then the accusations of they are criminals. Do you know how it looks to me when the US invaded Puerto Rico and overrode all votes. Miltiary dictatorship for 50 years. Drafting Ricans for death for Vietnam wars. No votes from the island. They do not give a shit about our need for real democracy. But they play the game that vermin are invading and criminals. Who the fuck are these two-faced lying assholes?

I really should take a break. It pisses me off.

Criminals. Be broke, making one dollar an hour, and with almost no education Godstud and a hungry kid and or kids to feed and you are told by some Hollywood shit story that the USA is Disneyland and all your troubles go away there if you just go there because there are jobs for everyone and you live in a Hollywood house.

You are dealing with people with no realism. Zero.
#15312673
@Tainari88 The CIA has not been involved in Central America for decades. That isn't a catch-all excuse for people illegally entering other countries.

Again, you are justifying criminality for "reasons" like poverty. That is not justification for committing crimes. It is an explanation, but that's not the same thing. You know this.

If you commit crimes you are a criminal, regardless of you think it's justified or feel that it isn't.
User avatar
By paeng
#15312674
Rugoz wrote:I'm not the one making outlandish claims about "printing money". The money multiplier (M2/monetary base) has actually decreased significantly since the great recession. E.g. https://fredblog.stlouisfed.org/2023/07 ... activities.

Either way, central banks care about interest rates on assets of various maturities. They don't care about the money supply. They create as much money as needed to bring interest rates to target. The entire debate is archaic.


From "conspiracy theory" to "archaic". You're playing both sides.
User avatar
By paeng
#15312675
Rancid wrote:Assuming it's true. What a jackass. It's like those asshats that moved to Russia from Canada, and then realized Russia sucks. :lol: Another example of people just making up stories in their head. The very fact Putin has been in power for decades should be a giant red flag for anyone considering going there....


The West has been working readily with such countries for decades, e.g., uranium, oil, and gas from Russia, all sorts of goods from China, oil from Saudi Arabia, etc. It even supported similar in various developing countries throughout the same decades for personal gain.
#15312676
Why is there so much off-topic bullshit in this thread? This is not about immigration or Mexico or Thailand or Canada.

It's about the ongoing war between Russia and NATO/US in Ukraine.

The Looming Ukraine Debacle
There is indeed a serious risk that, rather than the West teaching Russia a lesson and putting Putin in his place, the opposite may occur.

With Ukraine’s military situation deteriorating, NATO foreign ministers have gathered in Brussels to develop a long-term plan to deliver the necessary supplies to Kyiv. As NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg put it, “Ukrainians are not running out of courage, they are running out of ammunition.” Distracted by other matters, America increasingly looks to Europe to coordinate the defense of Ukraine. But, other than scrambling for shells and money or unveiling a modest EU defense industry strategy, European leaders do not appear to have the ideas or the means to intervene in a decisive or timely fashion.

French president Emmanuel Macron’s suggestion that NATO troops may enter Ukraine was supported by Poland and Czechia but caused some consternation in France itself. More importantly, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States still rule out boots on the ground. Instead of a new approach, the old pattern continues: NATO mulls over how to help Ukraine without provoking open war with Russia and fails, in the end, to deliver the kind of decisive assistance needed to turn the course of the war.

Another established pattern is the repetition of moralistic binary language. The West “cannot let Russia win.” The “rules-based order” could unravel. Then there is the new domino theory: if Ukraine falls, Russian hordes will flood further west. The personalization of the conflict onto one evil man, Vladimir Putin, continues with the death of Alexei Navalny. It is a Manichean struggle of good and evil, democracy and authoritarianism, civilization and darkness. There can be “no peace until the tyrant falls.” The Western alliance must not waver in its commitment to Ukraine.

What is lacking throughout the discourse is realism. What is the real balance of power between the warring nations, and what can be concluded from two years of Russia-NATO hard power competition? Unsurprisingly, Western leaders are reluctant to admit that the dire situation facing Ukraine is related to their own fundamental miscalculations about Russia. Russia’s multiple blunders in this war are well-known but what of those made by the Western alliance?

The West’s Plan A Failed; Russia’s Plan B is Slowly Succeeding.
About two years ago, it became clear that Russia’s Plan A in Ukraine failed. Putin’s initial approach was a sudden movement of troops into Ukraine that, in the best case, could topple Ukraine’s government or, at least, coerce Kyiv into signing a new and less favorable version of the Minsk II agreement. Russia’s Plan A was resisted by the Zelenskyy government, whose military forces held firm on the outskirts of Kyiv in March 2022. After the collapse of the Istanbul peace negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow in April, Russia shifted to Plan B: waging a grinding war of attrition to exhaust Kyiv’s will and capacity to resist while testing the Western alliance’s collective ability to sustain Ukraine.

Russia’s Plan B had mixed results in 2022. While Russia won important, if costly, victories in Mariupol and Severodonetsk, Ukraine exploited Russia’s lack of manpower to win back territory in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions. However, following a partial military and economic mobilization, Russia turned the corner, defeating Ukraine’s offensive in 2023 and taking the upper hand in 2024.

As the slow success of Russia’s Plan B becomes more apparent, the failure of the West’s own Plan A to deal with Russia is now clarified. This plan consisted of sanctions to derail the Russian economy, diplomacy to isolate the Putin regime, and the use of NATO weapons and know-how to inflict serious damage on Russia on the battlefield. The optimal outcome would be Russia’s humiliation and withdrawal from Ukraine. But experts assured us that whatever happened, Russia would be seriously weakened and put in its place. This, however, is not what has materialized.

Faulty Assumptions
Russia’s economy was rated as weak and vulnerable to sanctions, given its energy dependency and relatively low GDP score, which is calculated by converting the value of its economy into U.S. dollars. This measure did not account for Russia’s strategic industries, resource self-sufficiency, and access to alternative trading partners. Western sanctions on Russia’s energy exports backfired, damaging some European economies more than Russia. They also caused a spike in energy prices, ensuring Russia received more than enough revenues to fund its war effort. The hope that most non-Western states would stop trading with Russia also proved unfounded; Russia has increased its trade flows with India, Turkey, and China, while many of Russia’s neighbors quietly profit by reselling sanctioned goods to Moscow.

The assumption that Russia is a kleptocracy led to personal sanctions on wealthy Russians that were expected to have political side effects; losing access to their assets and luxuries in the West, Russia’s kleptocrats would surely turn on Putin. Instead, the sanctions have largely incentivized them to invest money in their own country and give their loyalty to the regime. Western sanctions were thus a double failure: they did not wreck the Russian economy or destabilize the elite coalition around the regime.

The other set of assumptions was military in nature. Russia’s failed use of hard power in the first two months of its “Special Military Operation” was taken as an indicator of gross military incompetence. Claims of high Russian causalities and equipment losses were linked to corruption, poor morale, and disorganization. Most commentators and reporters have accepted at face value the Ukrainian, U.S., and UK estimates of Russian losses, as well as the equipment loss count of the open-source intelligence unit “Oryx.” The claims of astronomical Russian losses reinforced the long-standing assumption of NATO military superiority over Russia, creating a remarkable war optimism in the West. Ukraine would now use higher caliber Western weapons, tactics, and training to defeat Russia comprehensively. NATO’s game-changing wonder weapons were kept on the sidelines and could be introduced when Ukraine needed decisive assistance.

These military assumptions have now been proven incorrect. The drip-feeding of advanced weaponry, calibrated to avoid crossing Russian redlines too flagrantly, did not allow the Ukrainians to achieve decisive success in 2023. While access to NATO intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems has given Ukraine a crucial advantage in battlefield targeting, NATO training, equipment, and planning proved unsuitable for Ukraine’s 2023 offensive. NATO countries have not provided consistent types of weaponry or kept up with the basic needs of munitions production or procurement into 2024. Overall, NATO was not well prepared for the war in Ukraine; its military doctrines foresaw interventions in civil wars or conflict with weaker opponents, not a proxy war of attrition with a peer competitor.

In contrast, Russia was better prepared for the long haul of military production and has also successfully innovated in response to the military setbacks it has experienced. The Russian military has adapted to conditions of near total battlefield visibility, the mass use of drones, and the vastly reduced power of tanks and aircraft. This includes innovative infantry assault tactics, new methods of using and countering drones, and, more recently, the devastating use of glide bombs that allow Russian air power to be used while evading anti-aircraft fire. On the tactical and operational level, Russia is engaging many parts of the front simultaneously, forcing Ukraine into an exhausting and constant redeployment of troops. Presenting Russian military successes as “human wave” or “meat assaults” is clearly inaccurate. Russia’s approach is gradual, attritional, and anything but mindless.

Given these dynamics, widespread talk of a Ukrainian victory has been replaced by the specter of defeat if the West cannot deliver the needed weapons and supplies. Yet, even if the shells arrive in time, Ukraine also has a manpower problem that is much harder to solve. The Ukrainian government’s deep reluctance to issue another mobilization may reflect a fear of popular discontent and doubts over the state’s capacity to deliver the required number of men.

Despite all the above indicators, many in the West want to continue Plan A: more sanctions on Russia, new weapons, and more training for Ukraine, all to somehow prepare Ukraine to launch another offensive in 2025. Yet it remains unclear how Ukraine can survive 2024 if Russia is outproducing the West by more than three-to-one in shells and has more troops at its disposal. Something has to give in the next phase of the war.

What Next?
The current rather desperate effort to scrape together munitions to ensure Ukraine’s immediate survival does not constitute a Plan B for the West in Ukraine. A definition of “victory” is still lacking. It is unclear what prerequisites must be in place for “honorable” negotiations with Russia. The Western alliance’s Plan B must be a choice between rapidly developing an effective means of doubling down its support for Ukraine or starting to talk about a compromise with Russia.

Macron’s variant of a Western “double-down” in Ukraine looks unconvincing. Talk of NATO troop deployment is not a serious threat to Russia’s military dominance. More likely, it represents a signal of Western commitment intended to bolster Ukrainian morale at a crucial time, as well as ensure that, in case of a debacle, Macron himself cannot be accused of having been silent. But in real terms, what could 2,000 French troops do in Ukraine to change the military balance? Surely, it would be nothing more than a stopgap, but one with risks of further debacle, given that a NATO contingent in Ukraine would not be protected by Article 5 and would most likely be “fair game” for Russian missiles and drones.

Statements made in recent weeks do not hold together. Russia cannot be “allowed” to win, but the West lacks the means to defeat Russia. The Western alliance lacks the desire or the means to take the initiative in Ukraine. For all the bluster about how the West must not self-deter and cross Russia’s redlines without fear, there is no real appetite to engage in brinksmanship over a Russia-NATO war.

The lack of realism in Western discourse is clear. There is indeed a serious risk that, rather than the West teaching Russia a lesson and putting Putin in his place, the opposite may occur. Is Russia, in fact, educating the West on what it means to use hard power and wage interstate conflict in twenty-first-century conditions? Russia advertises its version of great power sovereignty, in which a united, resilient, and unwavering state can defeat the pooled sovereignty of the EU and NATO.

We have all heard the objection that Putin simply cannot be trusted and that he wants nothing less than the complete elimination of Ukraine as an independent state. Yet, does not the blind continuation of the West’s dysfunctional Plan A also threaten the total physical destruction of Ukraine? It is for this reason that Pope Francis has called on Western leaders not to be “ashamed to negotiate before things get worse.”

A new approach to the war in Ukraine will not emerge from rhetorical and moralistic proclamations. Words alone will not prevent a Russian victory. What is needed is a clear accounting of what can be realistically achieved with the means available, as well as the cost, risks, and benefits of different scenarios. Trying what has failed before and expecting new results is, after all, not a recipe for success.
https://nationalinterest.org/feature/lo ... cle-210160






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