Insane in the Ukraine

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beatbandito
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby beatbandito » Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:31 pm

Jesus christ responding to a post about how the conscripts aren't war criminals with "... Yet!!" and "I'm not even showing how bad some of the stuff people that aren't them have done!"

It's a fucking parody. This isn't news in the news thread.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:42 pm

beatbandito wrote:Mongrel please touch some fucking grass.
Yoji wrote:To borrow from a Twitter rando, I don't want to touch some grass. I want to see terrible things happen to people with too much power.

^
You are approaching this like another world of tanks theory thread and turning every post you make in every thread into this war correspondence otherism of the CIA in the 80s.

I genuinely can't even parse this.

In any case, a couple months ago, I mistakenly posted some of this thread's content in another thread. You were upset and asked me to keep such things in the Ukraine thread, and I apologized for my error and have done exactly that (which I was doing anyway because a great deal of what's posted ITT requires a CW). Is it not implicit in such a request that confining such content to a clearly marked thread allows anyone who wishes to avoid such posts can do so?
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:43 pm

beatbandito wrote:"I'm not even showing how bad some of the stuff people that aren't them have done!"

Do you think I am lying???

Would you honestly like me to prove this to you?

It will take some time, and probably not be healthy for me to revisit, but if graphic imagery is what you require as proof in order to understand what is occurring in Ukraine, I will provide this for you.

Jesus christ responding to a post about how the conscripts aren't war criminals with "... Yet!!"

Yes, that is exactly what I said here
Regardless, I think I've made it clear on many occasions when I do have sympathy for the troops involved, especially when you can see they've just showed up and thus haven't had the chance to be involved in atrocities yet. Maybe they too would have done something given time, but we're not here to prosecute thoughtcrime. The Germans in WWII were indeed victims as well as enablers and perpetrators.

Honestly Beat, it feels like you've been looking to start shit ITT for a while, aren't bothering to read anything in detail or objectively, which... why would you if you already think of me as some "bloodthirsty keyboard warrrior" (who's going to be recruited by... the Russians? That was a really nonsensical reply.), and that engaging on this is just completely pointless.

I'm not interested. If you don't like this thread, just stay out of it.

If you somehow think I'm going to taint the community by continuing, I would say, hey maybe give people here a little more credit than imagining fuckin' Mongrel can brainwash them.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Newbie » Fri Sep 23, 2022 4:22 pm

I don't think beatbandito is challenging your ability to locate NSFL content; I think the point is that we cannot use the existence of NSFL content to generalize about an entire population, no matter how Putin-pilled many of them are. No such thing as a good war even when one side is entirely justified; doesn't mean we can demonize the other side justifiably.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby atog » Fri Sep 23, 2022 4:40 pm

Newbie wrote:No such thing as a good war

"War is no picnic," my granddad said. The ants media moguls and chemical companies and arms manufacturers and multinational mining firms and international child trafficking rings disagreed.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:09 am

To be fair, I know these have been longer lately, but there's also been a *LOT* going on the last two weeks.

- The mobilization effort to draft 1.2 million men (was revised upwards a bit), is already overwhelming local bureaucracies who were wholly unprepared for this order.

- Russian milbloggers have been front and centre in the first days of the mobilization. While such nationalist voices are still the strongest ones in favour of all-out war, this is not the serious and professional response they were hoping for, and they're not shy about continuing their criticism of the Kremlin and the military in general over unlawful mobilization practices, putting up videos, commentary, witness accounts, etc. of serious Russian mobilization problems.

The milbloggers reported receiving complaints or accounts of:

    - Older men, students, employees of military industries, and civilians with no prior military experience are receiving illegal mobilization notices.
    - Re: Ages, it appears average age of those mobilized is over 40. Younger men without children or loans have "more options to escape", while older men are more likely to buy into the dream of restoring the USSR, or are at least more subject to inertia.
    - Airport and airline employees and workers, shipyard workers, engineers, and other from other supposedly exempt industries are being mobilized in contravention of the stated law.
    - An FAQ on the Russian government's website states that "local mobilization-enforcing officials may mobilize part-time students", despite the Kremlin’s assurances that no students will be mobilized.
    - Military recruitment centres have been observed mobilizing men with chronic illnesses.
    - Even in cases where those with prior service have been mobilized, many of these man are being assigned to very different military specializations from those in which they served.

Older men indeed.

65-70, we'd be talking Afghanistan vets from the 70's pressed into service as officers. Also, a reminder that the average male life expectancy in Russia is only 65.5 years as it is.

This one is plain absurd. What do you even say about a system that sends conscription notices to the guys who maintain the cruise missiles and ICBMs?! (I don't think this is to replace them with guys who will be happier to chuck nukes for Putin, that it's just another ridiculous cock-up... probably).

Concerns were also raised about the mobilization system as a whole (recall that many trainers and administrators have already been sent to Ukraine):
The quality of Russian bureaucrats and military trainers are also raising fears among the Russian pro-war crowd that the partial mobilization effort may not succeed. Milbloggers noted that employees of the military enlistment centers are unmotivated and underpaid, reducing their enthusiasm to adhere to the envisioned mobilization plan. Milbloggers also pleaded with officers and commanders in charge of preparing mobilized men for war to train them before deployment.

[...]

Some of the reports suggest that regional mobilization officials have been given quotas to fill and received pressure to fill them in ways that are more likely to cause errors than to reward adherence to the stated principles and the needs of an effective, combat-ready reserve force.

It's not inconceivable that these problems are just an early bit of chaos, or that the majority of men mobilized do fall within those to whom the draft would apply, but Russian performance in all other regards to date has not exactly been inspiring, and conflicts are already erupting:
Divergences from the mobilization decree and from Putin’s and Shoigu’s statements about the categories of men who are exempt from mobilization are also causing anger and mistrust toward Russian federal subjects and the Kremlin itself. Some social media footage already shows mobilized men fighting with enlistment officers, arguing with mobilization representatives, and refusing to serve under unlawful orders.[8] Some milbloggers claimed that some of the discontented men who have been wrongfully mobilized would have accepted their fate if they had actually met the mobilization criterium.[9] The Kremlin is thus committing unmotivated and potentially angry men to war with the task of regaining the initiative in an offensive war in a foreign land on a battlefield far from home.

Some of the milbloggers themselves seem to be on the verge of finally breaking away from their on-again, off-again support for the Kremlin
One milblogger stated that the Kremlin’s poor handling of the partial mobilization is giving rise to “separatist movements” and opposition media.[11] Another milblogger noted that the Kremlin’s failure to fix mobilization practices within the military recruitment centers may shatter Russians‘ trust in the military-political leadership.[12] A failed or badly flawed partial mobilization campaign may risk further alienation of the Russian nationalist crowd that has been supportive of the war and mobilization.

"Unmotivated and underpaid" may even turn out to be an understatement, as prominent milblogger Rybar alleged that many of the military-recruitment staff were actually illiterate (I'm assuming he meant low literacy, I don't know how you do a job filling forms with ZERO literacy), and accused them of being so incompetent as to be guilty of sabotage and treason(!).

- Some of the mobilized though seem quite eager about the whole situation.




- On the PoW swap, the milbloggers are still raging. Some are suggesting that Putin may be dead, others that Putin is simultaneously a Chinese and an American spy (lol).

More seriously, CW as there are pictures circulating comparing the deathly emaciated Ukrainians, some with untreated or improperly treated injuries, with the Russian prisoners looking fit, even fat.

- In Chechnya, Kadyrov was bellowing and braying again

He followed that up with a threat to draft any protesters in Chechnya and send them "straight to the front". He also backed off later it he same day, stating that he "encourages those opposing mobilization to respect Russian sovereignty instead of using the constitution to avoid service." har har har.

Kadryov's refusal to further mobilize any more Chechens (for now) in spite of his record as one of the war's stronger supporters is, IMO, a potential indicator that even he is afraid of the consequences of a mobilization which spins out of control. especially since we already know that some of the Kadryovites have been held back in Chechnya.

On the military front...

- Ukrainian forces continued to encircle Lyman from the north, pushing east. Russian comments on social media said that some Russian reservist units in the area have lost contact with the army entirely. Perhaps the "get into jail free" cards are doing work, or we can hope so anyway.

- The Ukrainians also publicly release a statement that they will not shoot at any Russian military units who rebel against their officers and suggested that any group of 400+ men is too large a group for any senior officers to stop. They also added that should they see rebelling Russian units who are being shot at by their superiors, a loyalist unit, or pseudo commissars, they will in fact help any such rebels fight back and support their escape. Honestly this is pretty wild, but Zelenskyy's speech yesterday was on the same theme. The Ukrainians are willing to extend a great deal of effort and trust for any Russians who don't want to shoot Ukrainians.

Ukrainian channels also gave instructions for domestic Russian protesters:
Protests should happen near district administrations, blocking them, every day at 19:00. Everything is frightening, until you have decided to kick out first door.

After that, collapse of power is imminent. Multiple districts, and Rosguardia can't do anything. Whole world is watching at you, we support you.

I don't think this does anything, but it's still a part of the overall messaging.

- The earth really has shifted in terms of artillery. The only remaining section of the front line where Russians maintain clear superiority of numbers in artillery is near Bahkmut, a mere 30km wide area out of the entire 1300km front line.

- No major changes in Kherson. The Russian apparently tried to push back across a wide portion of the front lines, but were not successful. The Ukrainians did some heavy targeting of anti-air positions, which may be a further confirmation that Russian air defences in Kherson are in deep trouble. Though I'm not sure it will matter too much, as the Ukrainian air force already seem to be able to operate in the area with a great deal of impunity.

- Ukrainian forces are starting to see (and shoot down) the new Iranian drones supplied to Russia. They don't seem to be having a major impact.

- There was this interesting bit:
Russian occupation officials claimed that Ukrainian forces broke through Russian defenses in western Zaporizhia Oblast. Russian-appointed Zaporizhia Oblast occupation official Vladimir Rogov claimed on September 23 that a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group broke through Russian defenses near Polohy and traveled toward Rozivka, likely along the N08 highway, in off-road vehicles.[35] The Zaporizhia Occupation Administration announced a 500,000-ruble reward for information leading to the capture of the “saboteurs.”[36] ISW cannot independently confirm these reports.


- Referendum voting has opened. I don't think there's really all that much to go into as we know Ukrainians in occupied area being coerced to show up, and the outcome is already predetermined. There isn't even really an attempt at false legitimacy here, as TV footage showed no ID was checked, there were no voting screens, and people were outright being instructed by armed soldiers or police on how to mark their ballots (kind of gives the game away, that). People were also rounded up on the streets by Russian soldiers and delivered to polling stations.

Still many Ukrainian civilians resist anyway.
The Ukrainian head of the Luhansk Military Administration, Serhiy Haidai, reported that armed men threatened to break into apartment buildings that refused them entrance and told voters who offered identification that ”we already know you.”[45] Haidai reported that occupation authorities are recording the names of those who vote no on the referendum, indicating that Russian authorities are likely preparing to retaliate against uncooperative Ukrainian civilians.[46]

Russian milbloggers are at least cooperating fully with the Kremlin line for the sham referenda, and have already manufactured one explanation for any reported low turnout.
One milblogger reported on September 23 that occupation administrations in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia oblasts have not maintained the telephone lines meant to inform residents in Ukraine and Russia about where polling stations are located.[51] The milblogger claimed that no employees answered the phone at informational call centers and that many residents in Ukraine and Russia cannot vote because they do not know where the polling stations are located. Russian milbloggers may use this misleading narrative to justify low turnout or coercive door-to-door “polling” of residents.


But no worries, international diplomacy is not dead in Russia!

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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby beatbandito » Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:21 am

Sorry people asking for any amount of self-reflection from you take away from the fun you're having for a moment before you can back to *looks up* laughing at war refugees being denied amnesty.

This entire thread is the most obvious slide someone has taken into actual harmful beliefs that they're willing to spread, and the forums seem to be fine with letting it happen here in its own thread. Where it can only impact people who are the most concerned about these things. Also he's only been making similar comments are the Chinese and Iranians in other threads so those don't really count.

I swear the only reason anyone gave a shit about Guild's behavior is because he was DMing them so it wasn't as easy to just ignore it and say it's fine.

Context changes things. Dumb Mongrel Comments on events are just Dumb Mongrel Comments until he has a thread with probably over a million words on why all russians are bad based on their political leader and a few things some post online. Then suddenly things like this go from an eyeroll to legitimately unacceptable:
Mongrel wrote:Well, Zoroastrianism does involve keeping an eternal flame lit... that's a lot easier if everything is on fire, right?


Meanwhile in this thread I was trying (and would love) to just ignore, this is happening:
Mongrel wrote:
Friday wrote:The irony is not lost on me that the news is now the source of making me feel good and not suicidal

I pray every night that it stays that way and Ukraine continues to kick ass

You're not the only one, believe you me.


Like, jesus christ. This is a time when everyone has too much going on. But convincing yourself, and trying to convince others, that a war that doesn't impact you and is causing the deaths of thousands will somehow alleviate any of the actual social issues going on is pure propaganda, and not going to actually help anyone. Like, fuck, literally go touch grass and feel, unless, oh right. Only one thing makes you feel good now that you've crawled into this hole.
Yoji wrote:To borrow from a Twitter rando, I don't want to touch some grass. I want to see terrible things happen to a bus full of farmers that had nothing to do with this






bonus points:
Mongrel wrote:If you somehow think I'm going to taint the community by continuing, I would say, hey maybe give people here a little more credit than imagining fuckin' Mongrel can brainwash them.
Alex Jones is a loud idiot, too.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby beatbandito » Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:54 am

Mongrel before 40 pages of "information on the war":

Mongrel wrote:I don't want to overuse King to the exclusion of others, but there's a story which is particularly apt. At a convention in 1962 a literal card-carrying member of the American Nazi Party jumped on stage and punched him. The crowd were so stunned they didn't even react at first. Only when the Nazi kept punching did they swarm the stage and tear him off King. And King's response was to yell desperately not to harm the Nazi, that they had to pray for him. Yet King didn't just sit there and take further punches - he had no objections whatsoever to the crowd stopping the man.

Was that the right thing to do? Honestly? I'm not sure, though I think it really probably was.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Sat Sep 24, 2022 9:43 am

There's a few legitimate points buried in that absolute shitshow of the two posts above me, but as usual, your complete lack of decorum and respect makes them extremely hard to parse. You are an emotional person and you post emotionally. This is evident by your weird grammar errors and such. I know, because when I get real upset I do the same shit when I type. So I'm going to cut you a little bit of slack because I can tell you are legit upset about this, and not just a little upset but a lot upset.

I actually don't think you're a troll. I never have. Guild was a troll and Sora was a troll and eloH was a troll. I think you think that this thread is actively harmful to others in this community. And like I said, you have a few points buried under your usual uhhhhhhhhhhh "style" of posting, but my god dude. Please try to respect the person you're addressing.

Do you have a social disorder? I'm honestly asking you because you are consistently angry and abrasive whenever you do this and you have a long, long history of doing it. I have tried to be more friendly to you in recent years, because again, I don't think you're a bad actor but instead someone with social issues, but you make it real fuckin' hard to be friends when you act like this. I think you're the person with the most problematic posts left on the boards. I do not mean that as an insult. But I do mean it. You're not as bad as some of the other people who don't post here anymore, but you have serious problems when you interact with other people here.

Your lack of respect when you post is never going to win anyone over. Ever. You write every post like it's a war. We've all known each other for twenty fucking years now and you're posting here like we're all random assholes on Something Awful.

Seriously, do you have a social disorder? I think I remember you talking about it in a thread a long time ago.

I don't even think your post is entirely wrong. I do think Mongrel has been wrong about stuff and how he feels here and there and I have told him this. I make no secret of the fact that I disagree with Mongrel a lot. I do think you put words in the mouth of YOJI of all people, like the world's most chillest, nicest dude, and that pisses me off. Mongrel is Mongrel and he can defend his own self, he doesn't need me to do it for him. But Yoji has fuck-all to do with this and editing a post he made weeks ago to make him look like an asshole to prove some sort of point is GRADE S+++ TIER ASSHOLE BEHAVIOR.

You need to apologize to Yoji. Not kidding. That's fucked up, dude. Legit fucked up.

The other stuff, when I look past your abrasive, shitty and emotional posting style, I will now address.

1. Mongrel has been over the line at times in terms of how much reveling he's doing in Russia losing, in my opinion. You are correct in this point.

2. Not as much as you say, though.

3. It's okay to be happy that Ukraine is winning. It's not okay to be happy that people are dying. However, Ukraine cannot win without Russians dying. Sucks, but that's how it is.

4. You're acting like you have a bone to pick with Mongrel. I don't know why, maybe he made you mad in the past. He's made me mad in the past, so I understand. I used to hold onto grudges like that. I held onto grudges for years against Kazz, Thad, Niku, and more until I realized that I was a fucking idiot. Some of the best posters in the community. Did they fuck up? Maybe. Or maybe it was me overreacting, which is something I do a lot. But even if I assume they did fuck up, what the fuck was I doing holding it against them for that long? Did I never fuck up? Was it fair to continue to hold them accountable for stupid posts they made when they were 24 when we were nearing 30? No. Disregard this if you do not have a bone to pick with him or a grudge, but it sure seems like you do.

5. Mongrel has put a lot of work into this thread. I personally respect him for it. I get it, that's why you think it's a bad thread. You think Mongrel is fetishizing over this war, and yeah, he is. You drew an analogy between World of Tanks and this thread and I think there's a degree of truth to that in that he is a dude who enjoys wargames. So there is a bit of treating this war like a bloodsport that creeps into the thread. But I do not see any behavior from him that warrants this level of response. And I especially don't see the need to post with an utter and complete lack of respect if you do choose to have a response like this.

6. If you're worried that Mongrel is turning me into a Russian hating racist nationalist, I hope this post has dissuaded you of that thought. You once called me a racist because I said "China is the enemy of the free world" in #finalfight while we were discussing how awful China was being in current events with all the genocide. I ceded that it was an incomplete statement almost immediately and added "The US, Russia, and China are the enemies of the free world" and then a bunch of Americans started talking about we're not really free because of healthcare being shit and things got sidetracked. But I'll always remember you calling me a racist for one line. I asked you about it directly and you took it back, but man, that's a real knee-jerk thing to say over a single line that was disparaging China for doing genocide. I even clarified that when I said China and Russia and The US I meant their governments and their military industrial complexes, not the common people, who do not bear the burden of guilt that their overlords carry. The world is complex and blaming an entire people is never correct, but it is acceptable and even morally required to point out the fucked up shit that the horrible fascist racist governments of the world do. I give this example because it is an example of how you overreact a lot of the time. I said something categorically wrong, you rightfully corrected me, I nearly instantly admitted it was wrong and amended it, and you still called me a racist.

Believe it or not, beat, I still respect you as a person and still consider you a friend because I believe your heart is in the right place. I 100% believe you are on the side of the angels. But this behavior is bad. It's been bad for a long time. You ask others in this thread to do some self-reflection? Fair.

Now do some yourself.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby beatbandito » Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:29 pm

Friday wrote:I don't even think your post is entirely wrong. I do think Mongrel has been wrong about stuff and how he feels here and there and I have told him this. I make no secret of the fact that I disagree with Mongrel a lot. I do think you put words in the mouth of YOJI of all people, like the world's most chillest, nicest dude, and that pisses me off. Mongrel is Mongrel and he can defend his own self, he doesn't need me to do it for him. But Yoji has fuck-all to do with this and editing a post he made weeks ago to make him look like an asshole to prove some sort of point is GRADE S+++ TIER ASSHOLE BEHAVIOR.

You need to apologize to Yoji. Not kidding. That's fucked up, dude. Legit fucked up.

??

Mongrel wrote:
beatbandito wrote:Mongrel please touch some fucking grass.
Yoji wrote:To borrow from a Twitter rando, I don't want to touch some grass. I want to see terrible things happen to people with too much power.
It was literally a quote-in-a-quote from the Mongrel post I was replying to. Yoji took something generic from twitter that has real meaning. Mongrel used it as an excuse for further demonizing "soldiers" that definitely do not want to go to war.

That only thing I feel bad about is the patronizing way in which I implied you were being drawn into the belief that harm against this group of people would somehow improve your life. But I guess we're beyond a point where it's a fear of that happening, because we're already at the point where you believe this:

Friday wrote:3. It's okay to be happy that Ukraine is winning. It's not okay to be happy that people are dying. However, Ukraine cannot win without Russians dying. Sucks, but that's how it is.


What is "winning"? Which aspects of many peace talks are the ones that made more death the better options? What are the specifications of "winning"? When will other countries in the region have grain and heat returned because of sanctions of third parties? Why do Russians have to die for the Ukraine to be at peace? The ones dying aren't the ones making the decisions for war or peace, themselves.

Also I remember the talk about China otherism in #ff, and am sad to hear the takeaway was that I was wrong to say that was racist. I was probably wrong to call you a racist, the way I said it. But if you make judgements about the actions of certain groups of people based on their nationality or ethnicity. Well, there's no better term for it. That doesn't mean you're a racist because you used to believe those things. But if you still believe them, and that thinking moves with you to, say, this discussion about Russians...
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby beatbandito » Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:36 pm

Also these Russians that need to die to protect Ukrainians. Whose map are we using to decide where certain people fall?
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 24, 2022 3:21 pm

I believe Friday is referring to this.
beatbandito wrote:Like, fuck, literally go touch grass and feel, unless, oh right. Only one thing makes you feel good now that you've crawled into this hole.
Yoji wrote:To borrow from a Twitter rando, I don't want to touch some grass. I want to see terrible things happen to a bus full of farmers that had nothing to do with this


For the record, I'm not even mad at you Beat, but I don't think your head is in a good place here. There's way too many things you've said ITT where you appear to be misreading clear intent, not fully understanding the basics at all, or not even making coherent statements - IMO - for me to think that anything is going to come of discussing this right now. When you quoted me talking about King, you've managed to take my statement in complete reverse of what it clearly meant in context (i.e. that I wasn't sure if it was the right move for him to not defend himself, even after being struck). You've literally described me as analogous to Alex Jones; I don't know how I would even begin to address that.

I know there's a good chance this will be taken as condescension, but it's not. You're coming from a place of decent intent here and there's no shame in that and I don't want to shame you for that either. I just honestly have no idea how to meaningfully communicate with you right now and that's both frustrating and worrying.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Newbie » Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:04 pm

I am not sure how well I can articulate that it's reasonable to celebrate the fact that the awful situations which are occurring are not quite as heinous as they COULD be, and that this does not necessarily mean one is specifically wishing harm upon those who suffered the worst in the situation which occurred. Like, my last post was an affirmation that those who suffered the most are still worthy of consideration, but I don't think continuing to report on the development of this situation is at all inappropriate? Despite what I said, I don't think wallowing in the misery of this is actually helpful. Would it be of benefit if I linked articles about the use of dark humor as a coping mechanism in response to trauma and tragedy?
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Upthorn » Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:26 pm

I'm sorry for stepping in here. I was trying to mediate by rephrasing the part of beat's concerns that I understood and agreed with in a less aggressive way, but I should have like, actually made sure I fully understood beat's issues before trying to address them, because going in half-cocked like I did really backfired.

So, here goes an attempt to clean up some of the mess I made:

First, Beat, a couple of things:

1)
beatbandito wrote:
Friday wrote:You need to apologize to Yoji. Not kidding. That's fucked up, dude. Legit fucked up.

??

There's a useful theory of communication, wherein, if a reasonable person can read or hear what you said, and believe you said a thing, then you did say that thing. Here, it looks like you were putting those words in Yoji's mouth.

On closer re-reading I can see you're accusing Mongrel of wanting/saying things logically equivalent to that, but it takes effort to arrive at that interpretation, as opposed to the one where you're accusing yoji of being a genocide-supporting asshole.

So, since it's very easy to read what you said and get that impression, you kinda, functionally, did call yoji a genocidal asshole, and it may be reasonable to apologize for that.
Does that make sense?

2) I understand your concerns that Mongrel is sliding towards anti-Russian sentiment, and I have definitely seen a bit of a slide towards the like official foreign policy stances of the US government, but I definitely do not see Mongrel calling for the death of all Russians, the way you seem to see him doing.

I do see him falling into a mode of thought where "Ukrainians are the good guys" and he has no interest in hearing it if they're doing anything untoward, and "Russians are the bad guys" and must be repelled at any cost. But at current, this mostly seems to be supported by the facts. And it's not like he's been calling for Ukraine to invade Russia or anything, just to, like, keep their borders as they were internationally recognized after the Crimean annexation, and potentially to pressure Russia for the diplomatic return of Crimea.

So this seems like a pretty reasonable stance to take. I mean, if somebody comes to your house with a gun and demands you give them your home... I don't think it's unreasonable to do whatever it takes to kick that guy out, even if you could stop the violence earlier by compromising and just letting him have the garage and half the living room.

3a) While I share your concerns that Mongrel may be treating this war like a sporting event or a video game, I do think the information gathering, collation, and analysis he's providing here is useful, and I don't really think there's any problem with him continuing to do so.

3b) I also understand your concerns that he may be obsessing over the war to an unhealthy level, and I can neither support nor oppose your belief. He might be. He also might not be. The health of Mongrel's decisions about where to invest his time and effort are for Mongrel and his doctors to decide. You've voiced your concern, and now you need to accept that you don't get to make decisions for Mongrel.


Now, Mongrel:
It's true that there's clear evidence of war crimes being committed in the occupied areas of Ukraine, but, based on my understanding from your many detailed reports on the situation, there are several different parties involved in the occupation: Russia's official military, Chechnya's military, the Wagner private military contractor, the local Donetsk Republic separatist army, and so forth. So it's highly irresponsible to characterize all Russian soldiers as war criminals when, as far as I'm aware, we don't even know which of the several Pro-Russian armies are responsible, let alone which units within those groups. And while can understand the viewpoint that anyone who's there and isn't stopping the crimes is complicit, we don't know when the crimes were committed, let alone who might have been present and in a position to intervene.

Plus, like, there are a lot of social power dynamics at play that could make it difficult to intervene, even when the opportunity is there. Consider, for instance, all the people who sit around, watching in horror, when police officers murder unarmed black men in broad daylight. So, no, just as the existence of the Azov battalion doesn't make all Ukrainian soldiers fascist, you really can't act like all Russian soldiers are war criminals.

Obviously, I'm not going to blame any Ukrainian soldiers or civilians for killing invading soldiers, but you aren't in a life-or-death situation when you're commentating on it, so you have the luxury of being able to make those distinctions where possible when reporting on events, and I think it's really troubling if you don't at least try.

Especially now that many of the Russian soldiers are anti-war protestors who were conscripted as punishment for protesting. I mean, fuck, dude. You at least have to recognize what a fucked up situation those guys are being forced into.

I know that Russian soldiers looting goods from occupied areas has been pretty widespread, and that's certainly not great. But, if you can set aside the geopolitics for a moment, please consider that, as always, the first people sent to the front lines are the people that the leaders are most comfortable sacrificing. You have to realize that the people sent in are mostly destitute and desperate people, trying to gain anything of worth out of the fact that they've been shipped out to be traumatized and die for a cause they don't believe in.

Can you really read all those desperate text messages Russian soldiers keep sending to their mothers, and not realize that?
And I'm pretty sure you've read those texts, because I wouldn't have seen them if you hadn't decided they were worth sharing here...
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:16 pm

Assigning collective responsibility for widespread atrocities is a thorny issue (never mind the wider topic of generalizations being a crucial component of language which allows us to meaningfully discuss subjects involving larger scales), but I do want to stress that it's not just a few units abusing Ukrainians or worse, it is a very large portion of the occupation forces, possibly even the majority of them. At a minimum every branch of service is involved and has been documented as committing war crimes.

Racism against and dehumanization of Ukrainians by Russians is endemic and pervasive, and crimes are being committed on a large enough scale - such as the widespread kidnapping of Ukrainian children, a crime which is very clearly genocidal both morally and legally - that a very large number of Russians must by definition be involved in them, and far more are complicit. This part is not opinion, it is mathematics.

There is also the larger case of the entire war being unjustified - it still is a unilateral war of conquest, and that even participating in such an action is immoral, and we cannot lose sight of that. From the very beginning it has been possible to surrender or refuse to fight - only after months and months of losses and failures has the leadership turned to Soviet-style command at gunpoint to try and prevent the total collapse of the Russian army in large sectors. But regardless of either, the whole war is a crime. The whole war is an immoral act.

I think if anyone wishes to reflect on how we speak about this situation, a good place to start is asking oneself "How do we look at and speak about responsibility of both the German armed forces in WWII and the German people themselves? Similarly, how do we look at the conduct of the South in the American Civil War? Or even the North, where the desire for reconciliation was eventually placed above the desire for justice? Where we generalize, are those generalizations fair?"

Objectively I think everyone knows there are innocents to be found on any side in any war, but is that how the discussion is always framed? As societies, we bear collective responsibilities in many ways, even if we didn't commit any crimes ourselves - the history of restitution for colonialism is a very clear example of this. In the case of the current war, I think that's a crucial question to be asked: How much collective responsibility do the Russians bear as a society or as a people? The Russian media is playing propaganda and has done so for decades, but at the same time it's also playing to its audience, who do wish for a return of what was a colonial empire, and hold widespread revanchist and illusory attitudes about the past.

Even so, I have at times provided examples of exceptions (as Upthorn even pointed out), of individual Russians who are standing up for others, and my understanding was that my sharing these accounts is an implicit statement that we can't thoughtlessly demonize people universally. But it's also worth remembering that these people are not just working against a tyrannical government, they are working against their neighbours, their families, their friends. If this wasn't clear, let me make it so: Such people are heroes and should be all the more celebrated and supported for the incredible courage this takes. But bear in mind that such people are in a very clear minority in Russian society.

In any case, I would defer to the Ukrainians themselves on this. They're the ones being invaded, they're the witnesses and victims of the actions of the Russians, they have experienced literally hundreds of years of the Russian nation trying to exterminate them as a people.

So what do they have to say?

Well, they're angry, they're traumatized and upset, but even now, the Ukrainians are also willing to say, if you surrender, we will treat you well. If you rebel out of conscience or even plain old self-preservation, we will help you - we will even protect you. If you are willing to reject violence then you are not our enemy and will be treated as generously as we are able. Of course this is practical on many levels, as preserving enemy lives is preserving your own. But this is a logic often lost in the fires and hate of all-out war.

There is of course another side to that coin and that is that is their warning that for anyone who has been so notified, but who wishes to continue as a member of an illegal and unjustified invasion, for anyone who wish to commit or continue to murder and rape and mutilate and pillage their way across Ukraine, they will not hesitate to defend themselves to the fullest. Not out of vengeance or malice, but out of simple necessity. Self-defence is not just morally justified but a moral obligation, to themselves, their families, their neighbours, and all their other fellow citizens who might otherwise be victims.

I think that is one of the most profoundly moral stances I've ever seen a nation as a whole take in a war, and I have an absolutely enormous respect for their being willing to do so. The Ukrainians - generally, as there are no doubt exceptions among them as well - have seemingly grasped the incredibly important understanding that trauma begets trauma, and that minimizing trauma as much as you possibly can, even though emotions may be high and the situation dire, is in your own interests and matters to your own future just as much as it does anyone else's.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Friday » Sat Sep 24, 2022 10:21 pm

I'm really, really upset and sad that you think I'm a racist. I don't know what else to say.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Joxam » Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:31 am

I know this is the news forum and I know this is the Ukrainian War thread in that forum but I have personally not been comfortable with the tone and tenor of this thread for quite a while. At some point the tone shifted from, "Just The Facts Ma'am" to "Mongrel Live Blogs a War with Guest Contributions" and I couldn't stomach it.

Interspersing just the most depressing horrifying news imaginable with war propaganda and anti-Putin/Russian jokes/cartoons doesn't sit right with me.

Russia is a dictatorship with compulsory military service and punitive conscription. While it may be true that there are plenty of pro-war Russians it is also true that an unknowable number of Russians, some still teenagers, were sent to and are currently being sent to their death for a country and a war they didn't believe in. Ukrainians don't have the ability or the luxury to make that distinction while fighting for their lives and homes, obviously, but we do.

You don't have to scroll back too far in this thread to find blatant war propaganda. I stopped reading this thread months ago because, to be frank, it depressed the shit out of me to see people I consider my friends make light of something as horrifying as war.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Yoji » Sun Sep 25, 2022 12:55 am

Did I really come across as wishing wholesale death on the Russians? I'm seriously not sure. Because try as I might, anyone who knows me well enough knows how incredibly boneheaded I can be. So I wouldn't be surprised if I said something I should've thought through more. ETA: I also seem have a knack for unintentionally offending people by accident over small things. Ask me about how my father is semi-estranged over fine woodworking sometime!

I thought I was making a point about how it's always greedy old men like Putin starting these wars, but always young people like the Crying Guy* who are sent to die in it, and how not many people would be sad to see the script flipped every so often. It's awful seeing normal people getting turned into either monsters or corpses while the ghouls in charge face almost no consequences.

*... wait, I can't find it? Video of a Russian soldier- some kid, really- crying while some Ukrainians berated him over his involvement in the war. I guess he surrendered after his vehicle ran out of fuel and he was left stranded with dwindling supplies. I remember this as one of the first signs that something was wrong with Russia's war and that so many people in it were just absolutely out of their depth. It was really sad to watch, and I thought I'd do the same in his shoes.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:03 am

Yoji, you have done absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever.

I referred to an old post of yours which was making fun of the silly "touch grass" barb, and Beat quotehacked in a way that unintentionally make you look like some nasty fuck. Personally I read the quotehack as intended, but I can also absolutely see where the people mad at Beat are coming from too.
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Re: Insane in the Ukraine

Postby Mongrel » Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:49 am

There were no major NEW developments today, so I can keep my update for today extremely brief, in the interests of not overwhelming the discussion.

- Russia's mobilization is being hampered by major conflicts between various branches of the bureaucracy, namely the Ministry of Defence, local offices, and regional governments. The MoD is trying to stand firm on orders that only men legally eligible to serve should be drafted, while local military commissars appear to be subordinate not to the MoD, but to the regional governments, who are simply issuing quotas demanding they be filled.

- Russian forces are reportedly already forcing Ukrainian men and PoWs in occupied areas into penal battalions, even though the theoretical Russian legal basis for doing so (annexed area are obligated to provide troops same as any other Russian region) is not valid as the referendum is incomplete, never mind that coercing PoWs to fight against their own side is a very clear violation of the Geneva Conventions.

- In Kherson, the Russians are trying to set up secondary defensive lines further back from the front to withdraw the more exhausted units to so they can rotate them, but without major reinforcements, they're still just rotating the same exhausted troops.
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