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Trainee neophyte

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When the plan was rumbled they were forced to back down and abandon the plan.
No, when the USA agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey, the USSR removed the missiles from Cuba. It's not rocket science ;-). Interestingly the USSR trusted the Americans sufficiently to allow them a 6 month grace period, so they wouldn't lose face - the Cuban missiles were removed before the Turkish missiles. It is unlikely that Russia will trust the west ever again to that extent.
 

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I think in reality the idea that the Soviets intended to put missiles in Cuba in response to the provocation of missiles in Turkey was propoganda. I don't think that argument had a lot more credibility that Putin claiming that the invasion of Ukraine was in response to NATO aggression. After all you had batteries of missiles on both sides of the Soviet European border. I think the real reason was that it irked the Soviets that, for purely geographical reasons, they were unable to deploy missiles as close to the US as the US and it's allies could to them. To have had missiles right in the US backyard in Cuba would have been a real coup if they could have managed it.
 

Fergie 307

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No, when the USA agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey, the USSR removed the missiles from Cuba. It's not rocket science ;-). Interestingly the USSR trusted the Americans sufficiently to allow them a 6 month grace period, so they wouldn't lose face - the Cuban missiles were removed before the Turkish missiles. It is unlikely that Russia will trust the west ever again to that extent.
a bit of a simplistic view. The missiles were installed at the request of Castro, ostensibly to avoid a repetition of the US attempted invasion. Classic move used by Hitler and repeatedly by the soviets, and now Putin, satellite asks for help against an agressor and in you go. When the US realised what was going on they effectively blockaded Cuba to prevent further missiles and infrastructure arriving. This very nearly resulted in an engagement between the US and Soviet navies as Soviet ships approached the blockade line. When it became apparent that the US were not prepared to back down the Soviets did so. In the background the agreement was reached, and just as well. So diplomacy worked but only because the Soviets came to the view that the US were prepared to stop them by force if necessary, and that was what arguably brought them to the table. As to trust I'm not sure I understand your point. The Soviets deployed missiles to Cuba in the utmost secrecy, so if anyone was not to be trusted it was probably them, although you can see why they wanted to do it, would have brought huge kudos to them and been very embarrassing for the Americans. It is very sad to reflect that just as Gorbachev sought to bring his great nation into a more open stance, so Putin seems bent on returning them to the worst of the Soviet era.
 

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No, when the USA agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey, the USSR removed the missiles from Cuba. It's not rocket science ;-). Interestingly the USSR trusted the Americans sufficiently to allow them a 6 month grace period, so they wouldn't lose face - the Cuban missiles were removed before the Turkish missiles. It is unlikely that Russia will trust the west ever again to that extent.
Again not sure this is entirely correct. My understanding has always been that when the project was discovered the US military predictably wanted to go straight out and bomb everything in sight. Kennedy was persuaded to take a less aggressive approach because it appeared that the missiles were not yet operational, hence the blockade. This seems entirely plausible as I can't see that The Soviets would have acted as they did if the missiles had been fully operational.The Soviets were effectively caught with their pants down and weren't really in a position to argue much once they had conceded. Kennedy wanted to leave it a year before withdrawing the Turkish missiles, so it would appear to be some kind of altruistic coincidence. And I seem to recall that it was actually longer than six months. So lots of sneaky behind the scenes stuff on both sides.
 

Keith Cocker

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There's a lot of Putin apologists out there who say it was provoked - NATO expansionism etc.
But even if it was provoked the barbaric and brutal Russian reaction doesn't fit the narrative. They have enormous global economic power through fuel and food resources and could serve their ostensible interests far better through diplomacy or even peaceful economic bullying.
It makes the alternative narrative more convincing; that Putin, a crazed dictator in his dying days, is having megalomaniac fantasies about reclaiming the lost Russian empire of Peter the Great.
There could be no end to that, until he drops dead or the Russians have had enough of him.
Yes there are Putin apologists. There were Hitler apologists and Stalin apologists. But they were all wrong and evil. No decent person supports or excuses what Russia is doing in Ukraine.
 

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I think in reality the idea that the Soviets intended to put missiles in Cuba in response to the provocation of missiles in Turkey was propoganda. I don't think that argument had a lot more credibility that Putin claiming that the invasion of Ukraine was in response to NATO aggression. After all you had batteries of missiles on both sides of the Soviet European border. I think the real reason was that it irked the Soviets that, for purely geographical reasons, they were unable to deploy missiles as close to the US as the US and it's allies could to them. To have had missiles right in the US backyard in Cuba would have been a real coup if they could have managed it.​
???

There were no missiles in Turkey? Is that your suggestion? Or the medium range nuclear missiles were just "defensive", and therefore not really threatening?


The Cuban Missile Crisis is one of the most studied moments of the Cold War. It is a story every eighth-grade American child is taught and is paraded about as a victory for the United States. In most retellings, the US is seen as a victim in an act of unprovoked aggression by the Soviets. After some show of US Naval force, this narrative ends with the Soviets running away with their missiles. What is often forgotten is the fact that the Soviets were not acting unprovoked. In 1961, after a failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the United States moved American Jupiter ballistic missiles into Italy and Turkey. This put American missiles within range of Moscow. In response, the Soviets sent nuclear warheads to Cuba. For the first time in the Cold War, both the US and the USSR had a real threat posed against their mainland.
Kennedy was astonished to learn that the Americans had missiles in Turkey - it wasn't a politically authored policy.

If what you know about 60 year old history is wrong, how certain are you that current affairs are really happening as stated by Jeremy Bowen? Of course, if you want to keep on believing that what you know is true, then we are not really having a conversation, are we? I shall leave you to your agreed upon narrative, while I keep rummaging for reality.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Humanity has the capacity to destroy mankind - it matter not whether the threat is biological chemical or nuclear.

The rational would not contemplate a first strike knowing that the response would likely be both immediate and terminal. This relies upon world leaders behaving rationally, or at least having a chain of command which can challenge the irrational. Sadly there are no guarantees.

Events have shown that one nation cannot dominate globally. Minimising risks relies upon shared solutions, dialogue, fairness, negotiation and integrity. The UN does not have a mandate to stop wars, but (IMHO) they could do far more to stop them starting.

The position we find ourselves with respect to Ukraine is in large part of our own making:
  • since the break up of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, many ex-union countries have been welcomed into EU and NATO with little regard for Russian sensitivities.
  • in 2014 Russia invaded Crimea and supported a separatist movement in the Donbas in clear breach of internationally agreed borders. The West and UN did close to nothing
  • the current conflict was (in part) enabled due to a failure to address these earlier deficiencies
  • we cannot allow Russia to "win" - it will simply encourage future expansion in the knowledge that the West is effectively impotent.
  • equally Russia cannot be seen to lose - it could provoke a very unpleasant response. A negotiated settlement to save both sets of faces seems a likely outcome.
  • the balance is thus providing a level of support to Ukraine which is assessed as unlikely to lead to destructive escalation. Again there are no guarantees!
 

Noel

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Humanity has the capacity to destroy mankind - it matter not whether the threat is biological chemical or nuclear.

The rational would not contemplate a first strike knowing that the response would likely be both immediate and terminal. This relies upon world leaders behaving rationally, or at least having a chain of command which can challenge the irrational. Sadly there are no guarantees.

Events have shown that one nation cannot dominate globally. Minimising risks relies upon shared solutions, dialogue, fairness, negotiation and integrity. The UN does not have a mandate to stop wars, but (IMHO) they could do far more to stop them starting.

The position we find ourselves with respect to Ukraine is in large part of our own making:
  • since the break up of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, many ex-union countries have been welcomed into EU and NATO with little regard for Russian sensitivities.
  • in 2014 Russia invaded Crimea and supported a separatist movement in the Donbas in clear breach of internationally agreed borders. The West and UN did close to nothing
  • the current conflict was (in part) enabled due to a failure to address these earlier deficiencies
  • we cannot allow Russia to "win" - it will simply encourage future expansion in the knowledge that the West is effectively impotent.
  • equally Russia cannot be seen to lose - it could provoke a very unpleasant response. A negotiated settlement to save both sets of faces seems a likely outcome.
  • the balance is thus providing a level of support to Ukraine which is assessed as unlikely to lead to destructive escalation. Again there are no guarantees!


Better not upset Vladimir, so here's 25% of our country. Take it and stop attacking the rest of the place.
Oh, and by the way, don't get any ideas about nicking more of the country.

Are you serious?
 

johna.clements

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Again not sure this is entirely correct. My understanding has always been that when the project was discovered the US military predictably wanted to go straight out and bomb everything in sight. Kennedy was persuaded to take a less aggressive approach because it appeared that the missiles were not yet operational, hence the blockade. This seems entirely plausible as I can't see that The Soviets would have acted as they did if the missiles had been fully operational.The Soviets were effectively caught with their pants down and weren't really in a position to argue much once they had conceded. Kennedy wanted to leave it a year before withdrawing the Turkish missiles, so it would appear to be some kind of altruistic coincidence. And I seem to recall that it was actually longer than six months. So lots of sneaky behind the scenes stuff on both sides.

The USSR had fully operational tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba which were stupidly under local control. Some of the USSR's submarines that were being harrased by the US navy had nuclear tipped torpedoes which again were under the control of the submarine captain.
 

Fergie 307

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The USSR had fully operational tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba which were stupidly under local control. Some of the USSR's submarines that were being harrased by the US navy had nuclear tipped torpedoes which again were under the control of the submarine captain.
And equally there are accounts that the missiles, although complete with warheads weren't able to be fired as all the necessary infrastructure wasn't in place. In reality the only people who know the truth are not going to tell us, so I don't think we can say definitively one way or the other. The bottom line is that neither leader was prepared to start a full on war over it. So effectively the world's future depended on the actions of two individuals, crazy.
 

Fergie 307

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Humanity has the capacity to destroy mankind - it matter not whether the threat is biological chemical or nuclear.

The rational would not contemplate a first strike knowing that the response would likely be both immediate and terminal. This relies upon world leaders behaving rationally, or at least having a chain of command which can challenge the irrational. Sadly there are no guarantees.

Events have shown that one nation cannot dominate globally. Minimising risks relies upon shared solutions, dialogue, fairness, negotiation and integrity. The UN does not have a mandate to stop wars, but (IMHO) they could do far more to stop them starting.

The position we find ourselves with respect to Ukraine is in large part of our own making:
  • since the break up of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, many ex-union countries have been welcomed into EU and NATO with little regard for Russian sensitivities.
  • in 2014 Russia invaded Crimea and supported a separatist movement in the Donbas in clear breach of internationally agreed borders. The West and UN did close to nothing
  • the current conflict was (in part) enabled due to a failure to address these earlier deficiencies
  • we cannot allow Russia to "win" - it will simply encourage future expansion in the knowledge that the West is effectively impotent.
  • equally Russia cannot be seen to lose - it could provoke a very unpleasant response. A negotiated settlement to save both sets of faces seems a likely outcome.
  • the balance is thus providing a level of support to Ukraine which is assessed as unlikely to lead to destructive escalation. Again there are no guarantees!
The big problem for the UN is that no one seems to have considered what would happen if a permanent member of the security council went rogue. Rather leaves them hamstrung.
And of course we cannot have a situation where a sovereign nation is prevented from joining NATO or the EU just on the basis that Russia won't like it, I doubt that there would have been much scope for addressing Russian concerns through diplomacy. Putin's stance is that any expansion of NATO is threatening. The irony being that of course now Sweden and Finland are going to join the alliance, something he definitely didn't want to happen but which has been brought about directly by his actions, and the very real threat posed by Russia to its neighbours.
We also need to beat in mind others who have expansion on the agenda. If we allow this to go unchecked then who will be the next to try it.
 

Fergie 307

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Better not upset Vladimir, so here's 25% of our country. Take it and stop attacking the rest of the place.
Oh, and by the way, don't get any ideas about nicking more of the country.

Are you serious?
Exactly. Ok Me Hitler and Mr Stalin you can keep Poland etc, and murder as many of the inhabitants as you like, just as long as you absolutely promise, hand on heart, that you will stop there.
And yet then there were plenty who advocated exactly that, just as there are those now who would abandon Ukraine, Bernie Ecclestone presumably being one.
 

Fergie 307

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???

There were no missiles in Turkey? Is that your suggestion? Or the medium range nuclear missiles were just "defensive", and therefore not really threatening?


The Cuban Missile Crisis is one of the most studied moments of the Cold War. It is a story every eighth-grade American child is taught and is paraded about as a victory for the United States. In most retellings, the US is seen as a victim in an act of unprovoked aggression by the Soviets. After some show of US Naval force, this narrative ends with the Soviets running away with their missiles. What is often forgotten is the fact that the Soviets were not acting unprovoked. In 1961, after a failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the United States moved American Jupiter ballistic missiles into Italy and Turkey. This put American missiles within range of Moscow. In response, the Soviets sent nuclear warheads to Cuba. For the first time in the Cold War, both the US and the USSR had a real threat posed against their mainland.
Kennedy was astonished to learn that the Americans had missiles in Turkey - it wasn't a politically authored policy.

If what you know about 60 year old history is wrong, how certain are you that current affairs are really happening as stated by Jeremy Bowen? Of course, if you want to keep on believing that what you know is true, then we are not really having a conversation, are we? I shall leave you to your agreed upon narrative, while I keep rummaging for reality.

Of course the Americans had missiles in Turkey, don't know if anyone who would doubt that. I do think the idea that Kennedy knew nothing about it is rather naive.
Let's face it it has always been fairly standard practice throughout history to try and gain an advantage over your opponent, then cry foul when he matches it. So I agree that the narrative that the US barked and the Soviets ran away is nonsense. The fact is that they very nearly pulled off a tremendous strategic coup right under the American's noses, unfortunately from their perspective they were caught before they had quite managed to put the cherry on top of the cake.
And you are quite right that the fiasco of the attempted invasion of Cuba handed the Soviets a justification for their actions on a plate. But that does not mean that the Soviets were entirely motivated out of a desire to protect the poor little Cubans from their nasty neighbours. It would be strange indeed if weaponising Cuba had not always been on the Soviet agenda, why else would they have been so interested in the place, cigars? No, it's position gave it a strategic importance out of all proportion to its value in any other respect.
 

Trainee neophyte

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The position we find ourselves with respect to Ukraine is in large part of our own making:
  • since the break up of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, many ex-union countries have been welcomed into EU and NATO with little regard to Russian sensitivities.

This was actually in breach of at least two treaties between eu/NATO and the Russian Federation. This is the root of why Russia has now resorted to "techniical means" to solve its perceived security issues. They tried for the last 8 years to get people to listen to them, but no one was interested.



in 2014 Russia invaded Crimea and supported a separatist movement in the Donbas in clear breach of internationally agreed borders. The West and UN did close to nothing

This is actually not what happened. Russia not only didn't invade, but Russia refused to acknowledge the referendums asking to allow the two "breakaway republics" to join the Russian Federation. Why didn't Russia just bite off the east of the Ukraine then and there, when it was offered? The two areas declared independence because they didn't want to be ethnically cleansed - people were locked in buildings and then burnt to death, civilians were strafed by fighter jets at a market - little things that get forgotten. Russia didn't invade (although there were claims of "little green men", an invasion is what you are seeing now, not 8 years ago).
The West and UN did close to nothing
The west did a lot - they spend $5 billion on building up an armed insurrection that toppled the government. The USA in the guise of Victoria Newland is on record overturning the head of state, selecting which billionaire gangster would be the new king etc. Interestingly Victoria Newland is married to a Mr Kagan who's sister runs the think tank that the BBC and everyone else use as a source of expert knoledge: Institute for the Study of War Just to be clear, the West created the situation we are now in, purely for the purpose of "putting pressure" on Russia. 14,000 dead people later, Russia finally intervened only when it was clear that the Ukrainian government (pressured by the USA) were about to invade the Donbas, again purely to put pressure on Russia. In other words, we broke it, so we now get to own it.
the current conflict was (in part) enabled due to a failure to address these earlier deficiencie
The current conflict is entirely due to work done by the west. The Russians tried to resolve the issues, tried to get agreements, sponsored the two Minsk agreements. No one in the west had any intention of honouring these solutions because the plan was always for war.

we cannot allow Russia to "win" - it will simply encourage future expansion in tihe knowledge that the West is effectively impotent.
Russia has confirmed repeatedly that they view this as an existential war. Biden has said that "Putin must go", and that Russia must be broken up (ie cease to exist). Russia (Putin himself) has explained that a world without Russia serves no purpose, so has no reason to exist. That was a hint. Are you sure you want that?
the balance is thus providing a level of support to Ukraine which is assessed as unlikely to lead to destructive escalation. Again there are no guarantees!
As mentioned in various places - fight to the last Ukrainian. This is now happening. Various estimates have Ukranian casualties at over 100,000 (more than the entire British army, for comparison). Most units seem to be 60%or more under strength, with the majority of soldiers on the line untrained new conscripts, who are dieing in droves. The Ukraine will be calling up women from October, and has just passed a law allowing conscription of disabled persons. Winning! What could possibly go wrong?

Here is an alternative view of how we got to where we are, and how: Jacques Baud: The Military Situation In The Ukraine - Update. - Labour Heartlands
 

niemeyjt

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China and India, over the next two years, will increase their coal consumption by 700,000 tons. As a comparison, the total US consumption of coal is 600,000 tons.

While European Governments nobble their industries and hike their costs with more expensive energy and green taxes Chinese and Indian Companies don't face such costs and hurdles.

So how many people are prepared to give up on Alibaba, Banggood and Chinese manufactured items to help save the planet?
 

Blackswanwood

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This was actually in breach of at least two treaties between eu/NATO and the Russian Federation. This is the root of why Russia has now resorted to "techniical means" to solve its perceived security issues. They tried for the last 8 years to get people to listen to them, but no one was interested.





This is actually not what happened. Russia not only didn't invade, but Russia refused to acknowledge the referendums asking to allow the two "breakaway republics" to join the Russian Federation. Why didn't Russia just bite off the east of the Ukraine then and there, when it was offered? The two areas declared independence because they didn't want to be ethnically cleansed - people were locked in buildings and then burnt to death, civilians were strafed by fighter jets at a market - little things that get forgotten. Russia didn't invade (although there were claims of "little green men", an invasion is what you are seeing now, not 8 years ago).

The west did a lot - they spend $5 billion on building up an armed insurrection that toppled the government. The USA in the guise of Victoria Newland is on record overturning the head of state, selecting which billionaire gangster would be the new king etc. Interestingly Victoria Newland is married to a Mr Kagan who's sister runs the think tank that the BBC and everyone else use as a source of expert knoledge: Institute for the Study of War Just to be clear, the West created the situation we are now in, purely for the purpose of "putting pressure" on Russia. 14,000 dead people later, Russia finally intervened only when it was clear that the Ukrainian government (pressured by the USA) were about to invade the Donbas, again purely to put pressure on Russia. In other words, we broke it, so we now get to own it.

The current conflict is entirely due to work done by the west. The Russians tried to resolve the issues, tried to get agreements, sponsored the two Minsk agreements. No one in the west had any intention of honouring these solutions because the plan was always for war.


Russia has confirmed repeatedly that they view this as an existential war. Biden has said that "Putin must go", and that Russia must be broken up (ie cease to exist). Russia (Putin himself) has explained that a world without Russia serves no purpose, so has no reason to exist. That was a hint. Are you sure you want that?

As mentioned in various places - fight to the last Ukrainian. This is now happening. Various estimates have Ukranian casualties at over 100,000 (more than the entire British army, for comparison). Most units seem to be 60%or more under strength, with the majority of soldiers on the line untrained new conscripts, who are dieing in droves. The Ukraine will be calling up women from October, and has just passed a law allowing conscription of disabled persons. Winning! What could possibly go wrong?

Here is an alternative view of how we got to where we are, and how: Jacques Baud: The Military Situation In The Ukraine - Update. - Labour Heartlands

Your post reminds me that until recently you described yourself as Putin Apologist (or similar).

I’m sure Russia feels wronged that NATO and the EU have expanded. At the end of the day though democratically elected governments decided they wanted to join the EU and NATO presumably as they didn’t like the look of an increasingly undemocratic Russia.

I don’t understand what Russia fears about it’s neighbours deciding their own destiny to the point of being willing to turn them into rubble. Perhaps it’s that their ruling elite would prefer to keep living in a country that doesn’t have free elections or free speech.
 
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