From Pine View Farm

Drumbeats category archive

The Strategist 0

Caption:  Russian Collateral Damage.  Image:  Russian generals in conference.  One, pointing at a map, says,

Via Job’s Anger.

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Unmitigated Gall 0

Plus a textbook example of psychological projection.

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Putin on the Ritz 0

David talks with Jack Barsky, ex-KGB spy, about Putin’s motivations for invading Ukraine. I found that it helps puts events in Ukraine in some historical context.

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Putin on the Fritz 0

Title:  Delirium Tremens.

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Afterthought:

Me, I think Putin sees himself more as Peter than as Joe.

I also think he expected the people of Ukraine to welcome him, not to resist him.

He was wrong on both counts.

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Russian Impulses 0

A Rand gesture.

Aside:

This adulation of authoritarianism is appalling.

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Potempkin Pillages 0

Der Spiegel offers a long and detailed analysis of what’s currently happening as regards the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

I commend it to your attention.

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All That Was Old Is New Again 0

Der Spiegel interviews British historian Antony Beevor about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It is a fascinating read. Beevor sees many echoes of Russia’s imperial past (and echoes of previous military miscalculations) in what is happening right now. Here’s one exchange:

DER SPIEGEL: As of 1941, German troops had invaded the Soviet Union, devastated large parts of Eastern Europe and perpetrated horrific massacres. Is the self-imposed task of fighting National Socialism – both the real manifestation in the past and the fictitious one in Ukraine – another parallel between Stalin and Putin? In your book “Berlin,” you concluded that because of that mission, the Red Army “could behave entirely as it liked, both personally and politically.”

Beevor: Putin’s distorted mindset, obsessed with the triumphant war against Nazism, has turned everything inside out. Isn’t it a great propaganda task to liberate the enemy of Nazism? Putin and his ideologues grotesquely depict the Ukrainians as born-again Nazis who need to be eliminated and re-educated, as the utterly manic article in RIA Novosti by Timofei Sergeitsev describes. The role of liberator from Nazism did indeed give the Red Army the idea that it could behave as it wanted both personally and politically. It was a notion of superiority. Rights of conquest meant not only imposing a Soviet regime on neighboring states. It also involved the comprehensive looting of the country as a form of reparation, and the idea that what Ilya Ehrenburg called “the blonde witch” – German women and girls – should pay for their menfolk’s crimes in the Russian motherland.

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Psychopaths on the War Paths 0

Does this remind you of anyone in the news?

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Supply Change 0

Ukraine is a major exporter of grain.

Der Spiegel takes an in-depth look at the implications of Putin’s war for the world’s food supply. It is disquieting.

A snippet:

The grain produced by the region’s fertile soil is vital for the global food system. In combination with Russia, whose exports have also collapsed as a result of sanctions, Ukraine covers around 30 percent of the world’s wheat exports and roughly 15 percent of corn and barley exports. And the two countries are responsible for fully two-thirds of all global exports of sunflower oil. According to one study, the two countries produce around 12 percent of all calories consumed in the world.

Now that a significant share of this supply has vanished from the tightly woven global market, it has created a shockwave that can be felt in many areas of the world . . . .

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Russian Impulses 0

The Arizona Republic’s E. J. Montini tries to remember, just what was the word for providing aid and comfort to an enemy?

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Suffer the Children 0

Der Spiegel visits a children’s hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine.

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Russian Impulses 0

At the Arizona Republic, E. J. Montini comments on the Republicans who are supporting Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. A snippet:

Also recently, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the Putin wing* “lonely voices” and said, “I wouldn’t pay much attention to them.”

I bet he would if they were Democrats.

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*A reference to Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s characterizing the Republicans who voted against sanctions against Russia as the “Putin wing” of the Republican Party.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Crypto criming.

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Spin Cycle 0

Frame One, captioned

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The Cover Story 0

Vladimir Putin, standing at microphone, says,

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The Lies of the Land 0

Behavioral economist Lionel Page explores how propaganda works. A tiny little snippet from a very long article:

One of the simplest but most profound truths about propaganda is that it works for people who want to believe in it.*

In a related vein, Badtux argues that, strictly defined, propaganda may be slanted and manipulative, yes, but it may not necessarily be false.

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*Hence the success of Fox News.

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A Tune for the Times 0

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The False-Flag Waver 0

Bus Stop Guy says,

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The Victim 0

Russian oligarch on giant yacht reading the news on his phone says,

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Stray Thought, War and Mongers of War Dept. 0

A bayonet is not a scalpel.

On the battlefield, there is no such thing as a “surgical strike,” despite what the mongers of war would have you believe.

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