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American Politics Thread

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1. Seven, more likely.

2. Remember the controversies about public schools teaching creationism? I really miss the simpler times.
Yeah the Dems will probably hold onto the Senate for a little while longer, but we like to joke around here.

And I literally would take a mid-2000s creationism scandal over the CRT moral panic any day.
 



Joe Biden has told other Nato and EU leaders that the US believes Vladimir Putin has decided to carry out an invasion of Ukraine, which could happen in the next few days, according to diplomatic sources.

Biden’s call to allies followed a situation room meeting at the White House to discuss the latest intelligence on the Russian military buildup, and on Putin’s thinking.

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Friday there were “very troubling signs of Russian escalation”.

“We’re in a window when an invasion could begin at any time – and to be clear, that includes during the Olympics,” Blinken said.

The White House said Biden was calling transatlantic leaders “to discuss our shared concerns about Russia’s continued buildup of military forces around Ukraine, and continued coordination on both diplomacy and deterrence”.

A European diplomat said that the US had asked for the urgent call with Nato allies and the heads of the EU council and commission, to share the new intelligence.

Western intelligence agencies believe that the most likely goal of a Russian offensive would be to surround Kyiv and force regime change.


Within minutes of Biden’s call. The UK foreign office urged British citizens in Ukraine “to leave now via commercial means while they remain available.”

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said non-essential personnel at the Russian diplomatic mission to Ukraine were being advised to leave the country “for a while”, according to Tass news agency. Other embassies stepped up evacuations on Friday.

According to Walla News, Israel ordered family members of diplomatic staff out of the country, the European Union was reported to be planning to evacuate its own staff and the Kyiv Post reported that the US had called for American members of the Ukraine monitoring mission run by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to leave the country by Tuesday.

Vice-Admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes, the head of the Norwegian intelligence service, said Russia now had 150,000 troops massed around Ukraine, and said the decision on whether to attack rested with Vladimir Putin.

“Now it is first and foremost up to President Putin if he chooses to do so,” Stensønes said. “It is difficult to say whether it is probable or not probable, because it is solely up to the Russian president to make that decision.”

He added that Russians “have all they need to carry everything out, from a minor invasion in the east to minor attacks here and there in Ukraine, or a complete invasion, with, possibly, an occupation of all or parts of Ukraine”.

Western intelligence agencies largely agree that Putin has now put in place enough troops to attempt an invasion, a sentiment reflected in warnings in the last 24 hours from Biden and the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson.

A number of invasion scenarios are considered possible, but there is a prevailing belief that any military intervention ordered by Putin would be designed to achieve regime change in Kyiv. That could see a lightning attack, aimed at encircling Kyiv, with the intention of forcing the collapse of President Zelenskiy’s government, and trying to install a pro-Russian regime without urban warfare.

Johnson emphasised on Thursday that any invasion would amount to a massive miscalculation by Putin because Ukraine would “fight and they will resist very strongly”. Any belief in the Kremlin that a Russian intervention would be welcome by anything other than a tiny minority is mistaken, British ministers stress.

The raised alert follows the failure of several diplomatic initiatives to lead to a breakthrough. Reports suggested that much of Emmanuel Macron’s more than five hours of talks with Putin in Moscow on Monday, was taken up by lengthy historical lectures from the Russian leader, with very little substance on current events.

Accounts from German officials on “Normandy format” talks in Berlin between Russian, Ukrainian, German and French officials had been difficult and offered no prospects of defusing tensions.
 
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From PBS:

"National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the U.S. still did not know if Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade, but that all the elements are now in place for a rapid incursion."

Absolutely irresponsible reporting to act like this is a sure thing.
 
From PBS:

"National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the U.S. still did not know if Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade, but that all the elements are now in place for a rapid incursion."

Absolutely irresponsible reporting to act like this is a sure thing.
Full quote:


Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, said: “We have not seen anything come to us that says a final decision has been taken, [that] the go order has been given.”

“I will say that the way that he has built up his forces and put them in place, along with the other indicators that we have collected through intelligence, makes it clear to us that there is a very distinct possibility that Russia will choose to act militarily, and there is reason to believe that that could happen on a reasonably swift timeframe,” Sullivan said.

“Now, we can’t pinpoint the day at this point, and we can’t pinpoint the hour but what we can say is that there is a credible prospect that a Russian military action would take place, even before the end of the Olympics.” The Winter Olympics in China close on 20 February.

“We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border,” Sullivan told reporters. “We are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time.”


EDIT: Russian Embassy in Ukraine is now pulling the classic "accuse your opponent of what you yourself are doing" trick:

 
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“Now, we can’t pinpoint the day at this point, and we can’t pinpoint the hour but what we can say is that there is a credible prospect that a Russian military action would take place, even before the end of the Olympics.” The Winter Olympics in China close on 20 February.

“We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border,” Sullivan told reporters. “We are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time.”
That doesn't challenge my point at all. "An invasion could happen" is not "an invasion will happen," and it's irresponsible to report as if it is.

(To say nothing of the fact that I do not trust "American intelligence sources" as far as I can throw them)
 
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That doesn't challenge my point at all. "An invasion could happen" is not "an invasion will happen," and it's irresponsible to report as if it is.

(To say nothing of the fact that I do not trust "American intelligence sources" as far as I can throw them)
Well, here's "Russian intelligence sources" for a change:


Nothing suspicious going on, it seems...

EDIT: Biden just concluded his phone call with Putin:

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin talked by phone for over an hour on Saturday in what is widely seen as a last-ditch effort to fend off a Russian invasion of Ukraine which the US has warned could start as early as Wednesday.

The US has said there was a high risk of a Russian attack on Ukraine before the end of Winter Olympics in China on 20 February, and the CIA was reported to have briefed allies that Russian troops have been ordered to be ready by Wednesday.

Western intelligence agencies have predicted that a Russian attack would be immediately preceded by a fabricated pretext, such a “false-flag” attack on Russia or the Donetsk and Luhansk regions run by Moscow-backed separatists.

Michael Kofman, the director of Russia Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses, said the Russia Duma was due to consider recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics on Monday.

“14 February looks like it may offer a basis for Russia to extend security guarantees, and militarily protect those considered to be Russian citizens living in the separatist regions,”
Kofman said on Twitter. “This may be interpreted as a clause which formally authorises the Russian state to use force in Ukraine.”
 
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It's only a matter of time until the GOP tries to push the same "anti-LGBT propaganda" laws Putin did in Russia.

Which is one of the many reasons why all the progressives who defend Russia's expansionism are so incredibly short-sighted.


Anyhow, happy Day of Unity, folks.
 
It's only a matter of time until the GOP tries to push the same "anti-LGBT propaganda" laws Putin did in Russia.
You can probably pinpoint the start of the GOP change in attitude on Russia to February of 2014, when Russia's anti-LGBT laws came under international scrutiny ahead of the winter Olympics in Sochi. That's when I first noticed it, anyway.
 
You can probably pinpoint the start of the GOP change in attitude on Russia to February of 2014, when Russia's anti-LGBT laws came under international scrutiny ahead of the winter Olympics in Sochi. That's when I first noticed it, anyway.
I do fully understand why the GOP is nowadays such a fan of Russia. Putin's Russia is a christian ethno-fascist state. The image of an arch-conservative strongman crushing all so-called "degenerates" appeals to them. They don't surprise me at all.

It's the US left that has surprised and disappointed me. You can read all of my past posts in this thread and you'd see that I've always argued in favor of rights for minorities, in favor of LGBT people, in favor of more equality and tolerance. I've always criticized those politicians who tried to strip Americans of their rights.

I did this despite not being American myself. Why should I, an Easterm European, care about human rights in the faraway USA? Perhaps because I naively thought that this is a two way street, and If I support liberal values in the US, then Americans will support liberal values in my country too.

I was stupid. Isolationism was always a core belief among many US leftists. The US couldn't even be bothered to help stop Hitler had the Japanese not attacked Hawaii. And even then, it was Hitler who afterwards declared war on the US.

Bush's disastrous wars in the Middle East poisoned the discourse. Many leftists are now unable to imagine the US ever being a force for good in the world. They claim that NATO is forcing its way into Eastern Europe. This is a very simplistic world view that completely denies agency to Ukrainians, whose government are themselves begging for support to defend their freedom and souveregnity, in the face of a neo-imperialist Russia.

History weighs heavily on me, because it was my country that got dismembered by Nazis when the Munich Agreement was signed by the West. The paralels I see when I observe many modern day Americans calling for Ukraine to hand over land to Russia, in the name of peace for our times, are chilling.

Our lives really don't matter. How ironic.

It's really hearthbreaking that some of the people who clicked 'like' on my posts when I criticized far-right Republicans are now spitting fire at me for criticizing Putin's far-right regime. People in Ukraine dared to dream years ago about joining the West and its values, and for that they were punished with war and devastation. Now they're being threathened with even more war and devastation if they keep refusing Putin's idea of an ultra-conservative society with limited rights. Remember, the war in Ukraine started when Ukrainians demanded to sign an association agreement with the EU. Not NATO, but the European Union.

This is not going to stop with Ukraine falling to Putin. It will continue until the EU is dissolved and when even my country, which borders Ukraine, will adopt Putin's New European Order. And there will be no place in such a world for people like me.
 
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The US couldn't even be bothered to help stop Hitler had the Japanese not attacked Hawaii. And even then, it was Hitler who afterwards declared war on the US.

That's a vast oversimplification. While there was by no means a united front on the idea, the US had been supporting the allied war effort in a very tangible way (i.e: weapons) well before Pearl Harbour
 
@Volphied I get it, I’ve also been frustrated seeing supposed leftists defending Russia (and in some cases, outright cheering them on). But it’s important to remember these people don’t have any real power or influence on US policy. They’re over represented online, but their numbers are negligible IRL.
 
That's a vast oversimplification. While there was by no means a united front on the idea, the US had been supporting the allied war effort in a very tangible way (i.e: weapons) well before Pearl Harbour
I am aware of the fact that the US has been sending weapons and other materiel to Europe. Nevertheless, I'm also certain that if that were the only thing the US did, then Europe would have still fallen. I doubt there would be any D-day Normandy landings without direct US participation. The USSR was the loudest advocate in favor of opening a second front in western Europe.
@Volphied I get it, I’ve also been frustrated seeing supposed leftists defending Russia (and in some cases, outright cheering them on). But it’s important to remember these people don’t have any real power or influence on US policy. They’re over represented online, but their numbers are negligible IRL.
Maybe you're right. But, I'm still worried to see many leftists and right-winger shaking hands together in a perverse modern recreation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. I shudder to imagine how the current crisis would have turned out had Trump won re-election.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a new interview with Axios said he hopes Republicans vote out any lawmaker "who believes Ukraine's borders are more important than our borders."

As Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine's border in recent months, Carlson has defended Moscow amid fears the Kremlin is planning an invasion. The Fox News host, for example, recently said the Russian military buildup on Ukraine's border is just Putin trying "to keep his western borders secure." This rhetoric is near-identical to Kremlin propaganda.

As the most-watched host on cable news, Carlson has immense influence. His rhetoric on Ukraine has been parroted by far-right Republicans like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona.

"My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we're not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia's 'reasonable' positions," Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey said in a tweet on Monday.
 
A far cry from "couldn't even be bothered to help stop Hitler".
Sorry, but that's what happened for the longest time before Pearl Harbor.

In the 1940 United States presidential election, Roosevelt campaigned on promising that there would be no US involvement in the war in Europe, if he were re-elected. Sending materiel was the bare minimum, and would not stop Hitler. So no wonder the UK and the USSR thought the US wasn't serious about defeating him. Isolationist and non-interventionism were the dominant political positions in the US, for most of its history.
 
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You can't have it both ways. By your own admission the situation was more complex than, and I quote you once more: "The US couldn't even be bothered to help stop Hitler had the Japanese not attacked Hawaii". In fact, by your own admission, that statement was outright wrong. The US had been aiding the Allied war effort in tangible way before the attack on Pearl Harbour.

You want to argue that US isolationist attitudes are still alive and well, go ahead. But don't expect to be able to make inflammatory statements like that without getting fact-checked
 
You can't have it both ways. By your own admission the situation was more complex than, and I quote you once more: "The US couldn't even be bothered to help stop Hitler had the Japanese not attacked Hawaii". In fact, by your own admission, that statement was outright wrong.
This is a really silly ongoing derail, but whatever, I'll keep biting.

If my previous statements is indeed "inflammatory", then I'll modify it as follows:

The isolationist mood in the US was so strong that even in 1940, after Hitler had already attacked both Poland and France, the US president was forced to promise on his re-election campaign that he'll keep the US away from the war. Had Japan not attacked Hawaii, the US would most definitely not enter the war at all.

Please tell if it is still "outright wrong".
The US had been aiding the Allied war effort in tangible way before the attack on Pearl Harbour.
And what aid it was! The US didn't even allow American ships to transport this aid, out of fear that if they were sunk by the Germans they would then be forced to actually fight in WW2. Here's some "inflammatory" and "outright wrong" Dr. Seuss cartoons from 1941.
3a0e7845c372f203c9f1e7663f075eaa.jpg
8338251dcdc8f69a184ec654c736c068.jpg
image02.jpg
f41763b2864d29c73dd0c6e4cd7fde89.jpg
 
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