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Shills (16/06/22 07:58:18) Reply
    "A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps or gives credibility to a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with said person or organization. Shills can carry out their operations in the areas of media, journalism, marketing, politics, sports, confidence games, or other business areas. A shill may also act to discredit opponents or critics of the person or organization in which they have a vested interest."

    We see lots of them nowadays. The worst, IMO, are academics of various affiliations, preaching defeatism in the Ukraine war by labelling the Ukrainian defense efforts and the sactions against Russia as useless and ineffective.

    They aren't. They are very effective - otherwise the Russian stealing-and-murderingg campaign would already be all over Moldova and the Baltics - chewing its way towards Lisboa.

    It is high time that longer-range weapons reach the eastern front, to take out the terrorist cannons of Putin and drive out his murder gangs. It is time to pick serious holes in the floating tin boxes blocking the southern harbours. And it is time to liberate Kherson and stop the water supplies to Krim.

    We should start now to weed out the fifth columnists in the press: journalists and editors alike. Human error is forgivable. Being a shill for Putin isn't.

Re: Shills (16/06/22 17:20:15) Reply
    It is high time that longer-range weapons reach the eastern front, to take out the terrorist cannons of Putin and drive out his murder gangs.

    i am quite surprised by your position on this.
    or maybe i misread or misunderstand.
    what happened to e the pacifist?
    the e that contemplated (and even liked) this list:

    Things might have been different:
    If the League of Nations mandates were run differently.
    If the Balfour Declaration never existed.
    If the Jews in Europe did not perceive a need for a homeland away from Europe.
    If the Royal family in Arabia were steered away from Wahabi Islam fifty years ago.
    If Islam did not view secular humanism as being an infidel.
    If being an infidel wasn't condemned in the Quran.
    If the US had maintained the isolationism that they had before WWII.
    If the US gave no support/money/weapons at all to Israel.
    If Abraham had treated Isaac and Ishmail the same.

    the thread id (and your comments on this) in private, IF you want/need it :)

    We should start now to weed out the fifth columnists in the press: journalists and editors alike.

    and how would you do that, if i may ask...


    remember i wanted to say something about cossacks 2 threads ago?


    last time i seen some of them on a channel 1 interview, a nameless commander said:"we train like cossacks!"


    i am not echoing any propaganda, and i have a lot of ukrainian friends (jewish more or less, probably less) who support ukraine, and so do i.
    but with smallish reservations. orthodox christianity in the east did not lose its antisemitic and xenophobic aftertaste... (i should know ;) )

    i am also absolutely for ukraine to enter the eu since i think thats where it belongs, for multiple historical reasons (despite the fact that some minority of the ukranians i know say otherwise [*] ) and because i think people should be entitled to their own self-determination, even if its silly (there are other examples besides ukraine and balfour - eg bulgarians)


    another silly thing...
    one of my grandmothers was from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernivtsi (spoke 5 languages, including yiddish)
    should the ukrainians cede these regions back to romania? they hold several and refuse to... (remember russification?)


    take your time in digesting my post (and questions) properly, for what it is. perspective. or total nonsense, you decide.


    [*] some stuff to skim over (hopefully in chronological order)


Re: Re: Shills (18/06/22 08:54:06) Reply
    Impossible, I think, to give you a one-to-one reply on this. Or a single-session reply. Piece-by-piece is possible. If I try to reply all-in-one, I will start reformulating and improving paragraphs that are essentially finished. So the immediate ones must remain closed. After that, inspiration – if it comes – may produce more paragraphs.


    Before WWI Europe was, for some purposes, borderless. Simple times. A person could go abroad to learn - a craft, the arts (I'm thinking of painting and music), and I would think sciences too, without all the complex registering and surveillance. It was possible to work one's way, too. Bureaucracies and police were otherwise occupied. It may have been for the few - but when we see the mobility towards America at the time, it couldn’t have been that exclusive. Young people with stamina and capable of simple living could go. I think today’s migrants from outside Europe may be a related sort of people. Anyway, I am all for the principles of mobility. The technical toools are much better; the political regulation has turned out for the worse, the systems are more vulnerable and more in need of protection, but the EU, with the freedom of movement – I like that. There are losers, too, in that game, and politics should be about helping the losing minorities (and in oligarchies: the losing majorities) cope in a set of difficult or even outright hostile surroundings.


    I have come to the personal conclusion that the main schism between progressives and reactionaries is centered around learning. Reactionaries are unwilling to learn, unwilling to assimilate new knowledge, unwilling to let new knowledge lead to improvements in the adaptation to the present time. Or should I say: -- the peaceful adaptation to the present time.

    One key element in this - IMO - is the willingness to refrain from having an emotional relation to history. History happened, but most if not all people involved are now dead, and we need to shake it off, register it, learn from it, make plans to prevent repetition. Only then can we make the world of today a good one for the living.

    How am I to react if I am attacked by an armed atranger whose intent is to kill me on the spot – for my ethnicity, for my skin colour, for the shape of my nose, for my knowledge about the inner workings of some institution? There will be no room for negotiation. My only real chance would be to have a weapon on my own and shoot first.

    I am presently reading Conquest’s Harvest of Sorrow. Stalin’s attitudes and statements are almost to the word those that I read in the papers as coming from Putin or his court. So I will offer another counterfactual case: What if the rest of Europe had been willing and able to see through the lies and genocidal workings of Stalin - and intervened? Actually, there was some intervention.

    «Hans Fredrik Dahl: Useful Idiots? Nansen & Quisling in Ukraine in the 1920s Fridtjof Nansen and his assistant Vidkun Quisling both had first-hand knowledge of the Ukrainian famine 1921-1923 as is shown in their letters and writings collected in the archives of the National Library of Oslo. Indeed, the catastrophical famine situation in the new Bolshevik state was the very reason for The International Red Cross to set up an urgent help service headed by Nansen, and for Nansen to choose Quisling (then a young & promising army officer) as his envoy in Ukraine. The two overviewed the famine closely; Quisling as a field worker in Ukraine and Crimea in those years, Nansen as the head of enterprise (along with H. Hoover) and closely collaborating with his envoys to relieve the situation. The question of course rose: How did the rich agricultural area of Ukraine, known to be the largest grain producer, plunge into such a disaster as the catastrophic condition of starvation and poverty? Was the reason the Civil war which had shaken the country for years? Or was it clumsy governmental steps as to the shortage of nutrition? Or bad weather conditions? Quisling pondered about this in his letters to Nansen as well as in his reports of the famine situation to the League of Nations headquarter in Geneva. Clumsy politics – but why and how? Was there indeed a responsivity with the Russian government for the shortage of grain? With Bolshevik mentality in general? To address this question, I will draw upon sources such as the Nansen-Quisling correspondence and reports; the cooperation in 1923 of the two in advocating a formal recognition of Bolshevik Russia & independent (and not so independent) Ukraine (Nansen’s book on Russia 1923), and what they in general might expect from the Bolsheviks - and others materials. Nansen of the two died in 1930 but Quisling went on and in 1937 issued a strong warning against the Holodomor as Stalin’s act of deliberately verging a war against the Ukrainians. Did he at that time think back on his own experience with famine some twelve years earlier? Had they in fact been Lenin’s ’useful idiots’ as famine workers in the 1920s?»

    «2018 marks 85 years since the famine known as Holodomor ravished Ukraine, taking millions of lives in the 1920s and 1930s. Today, 16 countries, including Great Britain, Canada and the United States, recognize Stalin’s eradication-through-starvation policies in 1932-1933 Ukraine as a genocide. Researchers at the National Library of Norway have delved into the library’s archives to study the historical facts and domestic policy controversies linked to Norwegian aid to Ukraine during this period. In the 1920s, commissioned by the League of Nations and the Red Cross, Fritjof Nansen worked actively to bring assistance to the people of Ukraine. Nansen was a model example of a European politician who greatly contributed to help refugees and victims of the hunger disaster. One of his co-workers in the 1920s was Vidkun Quisling. Over the next decade, Quisling would reverse his position and begin to place blame on the victims of the famine. Leading up to his tenure as Minister of Defense of Norway from 1931-1933, he used pictures from Ukraine in his Nazi propaganda against the Bolsheviks, attempting to depict Ukrainians as lower race humans. Meanwhile, in 1933, the Norwegian Prime Minister Johan Ludwig Mowinckel worked to convince the League of Nations to take measures to assist the people of Ukraine. The seminar will offer a unique opportunity for academics from Norway and Ukraine, to enter into a productive dialogue around these burning issues, re-discovering Norwegian archives.»

    «There was no intention of carrying provisions of any kind to these armies, but only to help rescue the unhappy civilians in this rear from death and starvation. I remonstrated with Nansen that despite all precautions to the contrary the Bolshevik part of Russia would look upon such an expedition as help given to White Generals. Being on his way to see León Bourgeois the French statesman and member of the allied supreme council Nansen invited me to accompany him. In the car while the snow was falling slowly outside, we continued our conversation. In the office of León Bourgeois, the pros and cons were debated, and M. Bourgeois seemed to agree with me that the plan had better be postponed. A few days later, acting on the advice of Mr. Herbert Hoover the American statesman, Hansen nevertheless presented his plan to President Wilson as chairman of the Allied Supreme Council. The Council agreed on the plan on condition that its execution should wait until the cessation of hostilities in Russia. The Bolshevik authorities in Moscow replied that the hostilities were not of their making and would soon cease if the allies stopped supporting the Whites, and that 5 they could not sacrifice the future of the country for the obtaining of relief supplies, however badly these supplies were needed. So, finally, the realization of Nansen’s plan had to be postponed»

    I think Quisling’s involvement somehow is related to the present-day accusations of nazism in Ukraine. But trigonal: On one side the observer Quisling (rightly) could pinpoint the criminal cruelty of Soviet policy in Ukraine; on the other side Quisling the nazi used the victim status of the Ukrainians as evidence of Ukrainians being an inferior breed – almost to the word the accusation that Putin presented before sending his troops cross the border.

Follow-up (18/06/22 12:43:05) Reply
    After the 1930-33 hunger massacre the true nature of the soviet government was obvious to anyone Ukrainian. So the nazi invasion 0f 1942 could initially be taken as some sort of liberation.

    "Despite its territorial gains and the damage inflicted on the Red Army, Operation Barbarossa failed in its primary objective: to force the Soviet Union to capitulate. Though Hitler blamed the winter weather for the failure of the Moscow offensive, the entire operation had suffered from a lack of long-term strategic planning. Counting on a quick victory, the Germans had failed to set up adequate supply lines to deal with the vast distances and the harsh terrain.

    They had also underestimated the strength of the Soviet resistance, which Stalin skillfully encouraged with his calls to defend “Mother Russia.” Hitler’s Commissar Order and other ruthless behavior on the part of the Germans also served to solidify the Red Army’s determination to fight until the end."

    another angle

    "Secondly, Hitler had failed to learn a lesson from the Japanese assault on China, where another highly mechanised and technically superior force attacked a country with a vast landmass. It showed that you can certainly win in the beginning but the shock and awe of cruelty, which Hitler also used against the Soviet Union, ends up provoking as much resistance as it does panic and chaos. Hitler never took this into account. “Kick in the door and the whole structure will come tumbling down,” was the phrase he kept using, but he completely underestimated the patriotism of most Soviet people, their feelings of outrage and determination to fight on."

    This was obliquely off-topic. But it shows to me that the Ukrainians were catastriphically situated - because two genocidal great powers were fighting each other over their territory, but both were agreeing on committing genocide against the inhabitants.

Re: Chernivtsi  (20/06/22 08:21:56) Reply
    A son and his wife made a pre-wedding honeymoon in Ukraine, say 2008. Chernivtsi was - IIRC - their main destination, along with Lviv. They made their pilgrimage to the - now empty - Jewish villages and showed me a series of photographs which really melted me down. It was the first time for me that Holocaust was a show-me, not a tell-me. It showed the quiet and peaceful life of simple people, not the tools used by their killers, or the naked numbers which are incomprehensible (to me, at least, but less incomprehensible now that I have become so old).

    With experience from the scandinavian peninsula I'd say that borders are of minor importance if people can travel and work and trade across them without restrictions from the national states involved. So - for the n'th time: It's one of the things I love about the EU (and in this respect Norway is a member). Of course, it requires that the national states are on reasonably good terms, and .no and .se are. All involved are forward-looking and let bygones be bygones. It could be a lesson for some southern European states, no names mentioned.

    Shills that should be stopped? Those who are siding with the reactionaries, the expansionists, the money-grabbers, the hypocrites. It's unnecessary, I think, to use police or military or violence or berufsverbot. We could start with right-thinking people raising their voices in sufficient numbers in the right fora, plus strict enforcement of rules of behaviour. I think we have a good deal of it here - but not enough, and not enough enforcement of rules for behaviour.

    In some countries (none mentioned), even the parliament members cannot behave, not even during official sessions. Shame on them.

Re: Re: Chernivtsi  (20/06/22 16:25:25) Reply
    i must admit the Quisling bit was a little boring at first, but i must admit i wasnt aware of how deep was hes involvement.
    thank you. i will pursue this further perhaps.

    >> or the naked numbers which are incomprehensible (to me, at least, but less incomprehensible now that I have become so old).

    allow me just a tangential and unneeded remark, i simply need to get this off my chest.
    speaking from my gut of course, it _should_ remain incomprehensible. any _systematic_ killing of humans by other humans should (not just the holocaust)
    and that should not be measured by the success of such endeavor, but by the _intent_ behind it.
    then again, i never excelled at any conformity test (remember asch?)

    once, someone on this forum tried to equate the nazi crimes with a crime of passion. worst offense ever to humanity at large imo.
    i can understand a crime of passion. losing your head in the heat of the moment etc...
    i cannot and will never accept the so called banality of planning the _systematic_(industrial even) execution of entire populations.
    its unthinkable to me. but sadly it can be studied and understood. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave_(experiment)
    then why isnt it a basic requirement to tech this in school? how do we prevent the next "event"?
    pardon my rant.

    >>One key element in this - IMO - is the willingness to refrain from having an emotional relation to history.
    >>History happened, but most if not all people involved are now dead, and we need to shake it off, register it, learn from it, make plans to prevent repetition.
    >>Only then can we make the world of today a good one for the living.

    i agree. as well as to other things you wrote in this thread, but...
    sometimes, history has a certain continuity that persists no matter how much you try to put things in perspective/behind.

    let me be brief for now, since this is a far more complex issue than it seems and probably requires more than one post and quite some time.

    further expanding on my reservation as to certain social and political forces in ukraine and who pules the strings.

    1) a far fetched scenario to illustrate my point.

    can we be certain that supplying ukraine with arms is wise?
    i mean the wind may change, more nationalistic winds may blow...
    "the west" has a track record of shooting itself in the foot by arming "freedom fighters" against... well, against russia.
    what are the steps taken by us to ensure the right wind keeps blowing in ukraine? besides supplying arms and humanitarian aid. education, narrative etc...
    just trying to learn from past mistakes ;)

    2) if youll dig into the history and present situation of the republic of moldova, you are bound to see the continuity and willingness for a reunion with romania.

    essentially, this is not just history, the present situation is that the two people are one (or at least _view themselves_ as one) (https://eurovisionworld.com/eurovision/2022/moldova <- read the english lyrics carefully! i love them!)
    my opinion? in principle, im all for unification. most my family is from... lets call it "the greater moldavia area" or principality if you will (more on this later when ill have some spare time)
    but there is a catch.


    sounds like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Israel


    i refuse to align myself with nationalistic lunatics.

    and yet, the point remains valid. moldova and romania ARE the same people separated by the forces that be.
    otoh, over nationalistic bullshit tends to annoy me almost as good old adolf.
    i have an intrinsic fear of nationalism (milan kundera quote, you should know it - fists in the air etc...)
    and again, otoh, there is a present situation here to address as well as a historical injustice.

    enough for now.
    oh my, im a messy writer.
    it would have been better if i waited for a better moment to write this more coherently.

Good you didn't wait. (20/06/22 17:04:56) Reply
    I know something about self-censorship, and I know from experience that new matters will appear tomorrow and take over the writing capacity I had planned for yesterday's topic.

    Weapons to Ukraine? All weapons can be turned towards their donor.

    I think one needs to analyse the actual situation - on the receiving end and on the donor side. To me the Ukrainian defense looks much more like a bottom-up movement than a top-down movement. I don't hold it against them that morale is weakening after a long time of fighting. I am still convinced that the Ukrainians have a large majority that for almost any price will fight against becoming Part of Putins Paradise.

    But when they have won, they will need to follow it up. They will need to clean up the bureaucracies and weed out the majority of corrupt politicians and civil servants and police, but not by filling up the prisons. Even useless and corrupt, even overt criminal, people can be useful if put in the right places, given the right tools and followed up constructively. In Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom (sic) there was some branch called Provincial Reconstruction Team.

    It might be possible to learn from those failures. Popular support and political infrastructure seem much stronger in Ukraine than in Afghanistan.

    The name was a nice one.

But (20/06/22 17:28:59) Reply
    I think we have a bunch of reconstruction failures and a few relative successes. Post-Soviet Russia was a failure. Post-invasion Iraq and post-invasion Afghanistan were failures.

    Ukraine is such a big country, so experience from smaller countries may be irrelevant. How was it with Portugal? Post-Napoleonic France? Italy? Yugoslavia? Hungary? Post-WW2-Japan?

    Post-WW2-West Germany would be big enough and may possibly counted as successful. The failures in the incorporation of DDR into Germany must be gone through in an honest manner.

    Rules must be set and followed up. All potential opportunities for robber barons must be blocked at the start. Business must be subordinate to honest and well-planned politics.


Boabdil. Worth knowing? (20/06/22 18:14:48) Reply
    "The Christian victory marked the completion of the long Christian reconquest of Spain and ended seven centuries in which Christians, Jews and Muslims had for the most part lived peacefully and profitably together.

    “Five centuries after his death, it’s timely to consider the impact of his defeat then and now,” added Drayson. “Boabdil was a man of culture and war: a schemer, rebel, father, husband and brother. He was a king, yet also the pawn of the Catholic monarchs. I wanted to show why his life matters – and the meanings it now has at this time of extreme tension between the west and the Islamic states.”

    The end of Muslim rule at the heart of Spain came to an end on January 2, 1492 when Boabdil relinquished the keys to the Moorish capital to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. “These are the keys to paradise,” he said before leaving the city with his mother Aixa.

    Legend has it that as Boabdil retreated into exile, he turned around for one final, distant look at Granada – sighed, and burst into tears. His mother, betraying little sympathy for her vanquished son, is said to have told him: “You do well, my son, to cry like a woman for what you couldn’t defend like a man.”

    The ‘last sigh’ has long been used by historians to belittle and diminish Boabdil’s legacy, ignoring – according to Drayson – the immense sacrifice he demonstrated in saving his people from certain slaughter at the hands of Ferdinand and Isabella’s irrepressible armies which encircled Granada.

    “The fall of Granada was of such magnitude that a mythical story was needed to explain, accept or legitimise the immense upheavals the conquest brought about,” said Drayson.

    According to her, Boabdil’s heroism, long repudiated by most historical commentators, is evident in his ability to recognise the futility of further resistance, and the choice he made in rejecting the further suffering, starvation and slaughter of his people. Instead, he bargained for the best terms of surrender possible, rejecting martyrdom and willingly sacrificing his reputation for the greater good.

    “The loss of Granada is viewed by modern writers as a prelude to the repression of the Muslim world,” added Drayson. “At a time when Europe is seeking a way of addressing issues of racial and religious intolerance, equality and freedom, we might look closely at the Spanish Muslim society of which Boabdil was the final heir, which successfully tackled some of these problems.

    “Today, Boabdil represents a last stand against religious intolerance, fanatical power, and cultural ignorance; his surrender of the city and kingdom of Granada symbolised the loss of the fertile cross-cultural creativity, renewal and coexistence born out of the Muslim conquest of Spain.”"


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