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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Wednesday links

                                  Source. But  I saw it from an RT from Dr. Richard Waterloo. 

Latest Joseph Matheny Substack. 

 Celebrating Lawrence Ferlinghetti. 

A question about the war in Ukraine. (Update: Comment from RAW Semantics on Twitter.) And a statement from the Libertarian Party of Russia. 

On Scott Adams. 

Why music schools are your best friend if you like classical music. (From me). 

The libertarian case for basic income. 


Chad said...

Good to see libertarians worldwide taking their respective regimes to task for the atrocity. I wonder if there’s a Ukrainian Lib Party hammering the Zelensky regime?

I hope/assume that question about Ukraine/NATO was rhetorical!

Oz Fritz said...

This seems like a simple question to me , I don’t know about issues of “ framing”, though by now it can only be rhetorical. If telling Russia that Ukraine won’t join NATO in order to prevent the invasion, why couldn’t they do that? One possible answer: because of the American power possessor’s massive egoism and hubris, framing it as “we can’t let Russia tell us what to do.” Zelensky was ready to concede that at the beginning of the war when it seemed they would lose. Another possible answer: because weapons manufacturers make much more money with war than with peace. For elaboration on the last point, see the chapter on WAR in Bob Dylan’s new book, The Philosophy of Modern Song.

I wasn’t the only one asking thus simple or complex question BEFORE the Russian invasion.

Brian Dean said...

The premise of the question, "If everyone was certain Ukraine wouldn’t join NATO...", made no sense to me. Not a question of "certainty" for "everyone" at all.

I'd restate it as follows: The *likelihood* of Ukraine being accepted into NATO appeared very low based on existing conditions & for *foreseeable* future (which could change, and which it wasn't upto Russia to dictate). And this, I think, seemed very publicly the stance.

Brian Dean said...

To expand a little. Quite early on (although I don't remember if it was before the invasion) I read comments from someone in US admin, to the effect that it was long "understood" (ie internationally) that Ukraine was very unlikely to be accepted into NATO precisely because of the implications with Russia (although that wasn't the only reason). This was public - but it was also reflected in (for example) the later-reported private conversation between Boris Johnson and Putin - Johnson uses the wording, "for the foreseeable future". Not couched in terms of "certain", cast-iron, future-proof. Ukraine wanted to join NATO. US/NATO wouldn't say, "No, 100% never, ever", for fairly obvious reasons that don't *necessarily* need to be seen as the stuff of "Evil Western Empire". Putin wanted formal guarantees, and there were attempts to draw up agreements, involving Ukrainian negotiators (which didn't satisfy Russia - eg April 2022 negotiated settlement). Given that background, Hanania's wording of the "simple" question seems, to me, based on faulty premise/framing.

chad said...

I like the reframing exercise a lot, though at this point, Ukraine seems to be a de facto NATO member, so I'm not sure clarifying old statements and intentions is all that worthwhile.

There appear to be numerous instances of the US acting in a threatening manner (or what could reasonably be perceived as such) toward Russia, and in their backyard. There are also instances of what seem to be "the West" (i.e., US / Britain) sabotaging peace talks post-invasion. And now with the pipeline allegation (credible or not), the US can fairly be perceived as a co-belligerent (which IMO is in keeping with their historical role in wars).

I'm far from being in the know on foreign policy, let alone domestic current events, but what always irks me a great deal about complex issues is how unaware of the complexity the majority of Americans are.

In my view, war is possible in large part through passive acceptance by the populace. I know too many people who are content with the Hitler-of-the-week narrative, who seem casually accepting of America's role as the violent-enabler (others seem hungry for more), with no knowledge of America's role in the lead-up.

That lack seems far more irresponsible to me than my admittedly anti-American Empire narrative. We can and should blame politicians and warmakers, but at what point do the citizens bear some responsibility for the actions of their own government?

Oz Fritz said...

I agree with you Brian Dean that the question which started this thread seemed poorly worded for all the reasons you delineate. The question I asked before the invasion: given the unlikelihood of Ukraine joining NATO in the near future, why couldn’t the US and NATO agree to meet Russia’s primary demand and say they wouldn’t join NATO? They could have always changed their mind if it turned out Russia acted in bad faith and didn’t acquiesce when the demand got met.

Another question: why don’t they work to negotiate a settlement NOW? And negotiate a ceasefire while they negotiate a settlement. All the “experts” I’ve heard say the war ends this way. So why wait?