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Old July 13th, 2017, 03:03 PM   #21

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Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
I wouldn't call the invasion of Ukranian territory, the shooting down of an airliner or the alleged meddling in the US election particlarly peaceful. Tho it is probably a bit better than MAD.
Not to minimize things, but how many other nations have/ are doing very similar things? Your list does not constitute a threat anymore than the U.S. is a threat. Once again, whatever aid would have been given to Russia would not have ensured that they became a democratic nation. Take a look a some of the other places around the world where nation building has been attempted where democracy is not part of their past. I was voting in 1990 in U.S. elections. I would not have voted for a candidate who wished to enact some sort of Marshall plan for Russia. Frankly, I think such a proposal would have severely offended nations like Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic who suffered greatly under the S.U. To this day, such nations continue to be weary of Russia. Offering aid and assistance during their break up? That would have been rightly interpreted as trying to save their oppressor.
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Old July 13th, 2017, 07:23 PM   #22
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Ironically the US famously meddled in Russia's 1996 election and the man they helped get elected would make Putin President. Furthermore the emails the Russians supposedly leaked also revealed...interference in an US election. After the first week people stopped talking about what the Russians leaked though and replaced it with "hacking our election" because the Russians did give the American voters information that they should have known before making our choice. The source was accurate and I find the argument that Democratic voters in particular shouldn't have known about the DNC's behavior in their primary just because the source was foreign very disturbing.

Also Crimea was controlled by Russia for centuries and wanted to join Russia. It is messed up that Ukraine traded their nukes in for it and ended up with neither though but Russia had a solid claim. I think most of the people parroting this story of Russia as this huge threat are forgetting that over the last 30 years we've expanded our nuclear shield from East Germany to the Baltic. Today's borders with the exception of the old East Prussia are very similar to the harsh settlement the Germans were going to enforce on the Russians at the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. Hard to see the Russians as the aggressors if we look at the historical context IMO as we have needlessly expanded our alliance deep into Russia's old pre Soviet sphere of influence.

Of course most Americans don't know this and just think that the Russians are neo-soviets threatening Europe.

Agree that we shouldn't have done a Marshall plan for Russia. Their's a difference between not wanting to provoke a nuclear state and nursing your former enemy back to health.

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; July 13th, 2017 at 07:27 PM.
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Old July 13th, 2017, 11:16 PM   #23
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West basically victimized the former soviet countries and encouraged them to sell everything off to american and european interests for peanuts.

Instead they could easily have given loans to invest in infrastructure and help create local businesses from the ground up to rebuild a real economy but they had absolutely no interest in that.
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Old July 13th, 2017, 11:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Ironically the US famously meddled in Russia's 1996 election and the man they helped get elected would make Putin President. Furthermore the emails the Russians supposedly leaked also revealed...interference in an US election. After the first week people stopped talking about what the Russians leaked though and replaced it with "hacking our election" because the Russians did give the American voters information that they should have known before making our choice. The source was accurate and I find the argument that Democratic voters in particular shouldn't have known about the DNC's behavior in their primary just because the source was foreign very disturbing.

Also Crimea was controlled by Russia for centuries and wanted to join Russia. It is messed up that Ukraine traded their nukes in for it and ended up with neither though but Russia had a solid claim. I think most of the people parroting this story of Russia as this huge threat are forgetting that over the last 30 years we've expanded our nuclear shield from East Germany to the Baltic. Today's borders with the exception of the old East Prussia are very similar to the harsh settlement the Germans were going to enforce on the Russians at the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. Hard to see the Russians as the aggressors if we look at the historical context IMO as we have needlessly expanded our alliance deep into Russia's old pre Soviet sphere of influence.

Of course most Americans don't know this and just think that the Russians are neo-soviets threatening Europe.

Agree that we shouldn't have done a Marshall plan for Russia. Their's a difference between not wanting to provoke a nuclear state and nursing your former enemy back to health.
Every country on earth influences elections in other countries and often they do so openly and legally like with china and israel in the US, one reason democracy has proven to be very corrupt. It is only when you start saying you have literally hacked the election and changed the votes in the voting machines that things become absurd.
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Old July 14th, 2017, 05:55 AM   #25
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West basically victimized the former soviet countries and encouraged them to sell everything off to american and european interests for peanuts.
That's just the sour-grapes-conspiracy-theory. No one in the west ever got much money out of Russia.

What DID happen is that well-placed RUSSIANS people who knew how the Soviet system had worked and where the value was, AND has the right contacts and Protection robbed Russia blind.

Putin pruned back some of the most excessive oligarchs early in his reign, but never replaced them, just made them clearly subservient to the the political power in the Kremlin (himself), meaning wealth in Russia matters not unless one also as political protection. (Since the laws only operate when there is political will to apply them, which typically is when political protection is in place).

THEN these people spirited as much loot as they could manage outside of Russia, to all kinds of tax-havens. Of which there are not a few in the west (Russian bilionares' penchant especially for London including sending their children out of Russia for education, and another kind of future, one not Russian). But that's it.

No, the westerners did nothing to stop any it. But then, stopping the Russians from doing what they do in Russia isn't something the west can actually do.

No amount of power-fantasies of how the westerners are AT THE SAME TIME incredibly useless at all things, while at the same time damn near all-powerful, that is generated in Russia, and environs, changes this.
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Instead they could easily have given loans to invest in infrastructure and help create local businesses from the ground up to rebuild a real economy but they had absolutely no interest in that.
Russian WAS given billions in aid for a decade. Most of that was simply stolen in Russia, by Russians.

And "creating businesses from the ground up"... Well, nothing is preventing Russians from doing this themselves. Not then, not now. EXCEPT the problem of Russian laws beginning with how property and business laws do not protect the people that would be creating these businesses "from the ground up". The ask then becomes that the westerners should provide for the Russians stump up the money, take all the financial risks, make life better for the Russians, and in the Russian state in the en will rob them for their efforts. It's why in a decade, 2005-2015, the proportion of government ownership of the Russian economy changed from 1/3 to 2/3. It's a massive state-owership nationalization program going on. It is actively willed by the Kremlin, and it's killing Russian private enterprise and this kind of "from the ground up" businesses.

The problems over this reside IN Russia. Nothing prevented Putin from using the oil revenue that WASN'T stolen (about half) in the years when the going was good, from making the reforms and necessary adjustments. It's just that he didn't. He spent the money and the time on... other things. (The money might in the en be the LESS important part, and the time lost more crucial.)
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Old July 14th, 2017, 06:06 AM   #26
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Also Crimea was controlled by Russia for centuries and wanted to join Russia.
That's not the issue. The issue is that by International agreement, beginning with Ukraine and Russia, the territory IS recognized Ukranian territory. And Russia used military force and a unilateral annexation decision to change that.

The problem is the precedent this sets military force and unilateral annexations. Could become VERY interesting.

If Russia wanted a renegotiation of the status of Crimea, there were a slew of other options to explore.
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Old July 14th, 2017, 06:09 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Also Crimea was controlled by Russia for centuries and wanted to join Russia. It is messed up that Ukraine traded their nukes in for it and ended up with neither though but Russia had a solid claim. I think most of the people parroting this story of Russia as this huge threat are forgetting that over the last 30 years we've expanded our nuclear shield from East Germany to the Baltic. Today's borders with the exception of the old East Prussia are very similar to the harsh settlement the Germans were going to enforce on the Russians at the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. Hard to see the Russians as the aggressors if we look at the historical context IMO as we have needlessly expanded our alliance deep into Russia's old pre Soviet sphere of influence.
Countries that assert a sphere of influence always need a buffer around the sphere of influence, which buffer becomes part of the sphere of influence, which then requires a buffer....
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Old July 14th, 2017, 06:33 AM   #28

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Originally Posted by Larrey View Post
That's just the sour-grapes-conspiracy-theory. No one in the west ever got much money out of Russia.

What DID happen is that well-placed RUSSIANS people who knew how the Soviet system had worked and where the value was, AND has the right contacts and Protection robbed Russia blind.

Putin pruned back some of the most excessive oligarchs early in his reign, but never replaced them, just made them clearly subservient to the the political power in the Kremlin (himself), meaning wealth in Russia matters not unless one also as political protection. (Since the laws only operate when there is political will to apply them, which typically is when political protection is in place).

THEN these people spirited as much loot as they could manage outside of Russia, to all kinds of tax-havens. Of which there are not a few in the west (Russian bilionares' penchant especially for London including sending their children out of Russia for education, and another kind of future, one not Russian). But that's it.

No, the westerners did nothing to stop any it. But then, stopping the Russians from doing what they do in Russia isn't something the west can actually do.

No amount of power-fantasies of how the westerners are AT THE SAME TIME incredibly useless at all things, while at the same time damn near all-powerful, that is generated in Russia, and environs, changes this.

Russian WAS given billions in aid for a decade. Most of that was simply stolen in Russia, by Russians.

And "creating businesses from the ground up"... Well, nothing is preventing Russians from doing this themselves. Not then, not now. EXCEPT the problem of Russian laws beginning with how property and business laws do not protect the people that would be creating these businesses "from the ground up". The ask then becomes that the westerners should provide for the Russians stump up the money, take all the financial risks, make life better for the Russians, and in the Russian state in the en will rob them for their efforts. It's why in a decade, 2005-2015, the proportion of government ownership of the Russian economy changed from 1/3 to 2/3. It's a massive state-owership nationalization program going on. It is actively willed by the Kremlin, and it's killing Russian private enterprise and this kind of "from the ground up" businesses.

The problems over this reside IN Russia. Nothing prevented Putin from using the oil revenue that WASN'T stolen (about half) in the years when the going was good, from making the reforms and necessary adjustments. It's just that he didn't. He spent the money and the time on... other things. (The money might in the en be the LESS important part, and the time lost more crucial.)
Very good summary. Russia does not have "capitalism"--it has "crony capitalism", and the crony capitalists who stole Russia's oil and gas industry are still protected in Russia, as long as they don't cross Putin.

The mistake the West made when the USSR collapsed was to not launch an education campaign to expose the problems and evils of communism, a la the campaign to expose the evils of Nazism after WWII. Without that, we still have a lot of fairly well educated people who believe in communism, and some on this board who believe that the USSR was wonderful.
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Old July 14th, 2017, 07:57 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrey View Post
That's just the sour-grapes-conspiracy-theory. No one in the west ever got much money out of Russia.

What DID happen is that well-placed RUSSIANS people who knew how the Soviet system had worked and where the value was, AND has the right contacts and Protection robbed Russia blind.

Putin pruned back some of the most excessive oligarchs early in his reign, but never replaced them, just made them clearly subservient to the the political power in the Kremlin (himself), meaning wealth in Russia matters not unless one also as political protection. (Since the laws only operate when there is political will to apply them, which typically is when political protection is in place).

THEN these people spirited as much loot as they could manage outside of Russia, to all kinds of tax-havens. Of which there are not a few in the west (Russian bilionares' penchant especially for London including sending their children out of Russia for education, and another kind of future, one not Russian). But that's it.

No, the westerners did nothing to stop any it. But then, stopping the Russians from doing what they do in Russia isn't something the west can actually do.

No amount of power-fantasies of how the westerners are AT THE SAME TIME incredibly useless at all things, while at the same time damn near all-powerful, that is generated in Russia, and environs, changes this.

Russian WAS given billions in aid for a decade. Most of that was simply stolen in Russia, by Russians.

And "creating businesses from the ground up"... Well, nothing is preventing Russians from doing this themselves. Not then, not now. EXCEPT the problem of Russian laws beginning with how property and business laws do not protect the people that would be creating these businesses "from the ground up". The ask then becomes that the westerners should provide for the Russians stump up the money, take all the financial risks, make life better for the Russians, and in the Russian state in the en will rob them for their efforts. It's why in a decade, 2005-2015, the proportion of government ownership of the Russian economy changed from 1/3 to 2/3. It's a massive state-owership nationalization program going on. It is actively willed by the Kremlin, and it's killing Russian private enterprise and this kind of "from the ground up" businesses.

The problems over this reside IN Russia. Nothing prevented Putin from using the oil revenue that WASN'T stolen (about half) in the years when the going was good, from making the reforms and necessary adjustments. It's just that he didn't. He spent the money and the time on... other things. (The money might in the en be the LESS important part, and the time lost more crucial.)
Spot on.

Even Finland, at the time in very deep recession, gave loads of development aid to Russia. But when instead of using the money as had been agreed on infrastructure & public projects (water & waste water cleaning plants and the like) Russia wastes to military & corruption (as it happened) that source of money goes dry real quick.
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Old July 14th, 2017, 11:18 AM   #30

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This thread has proved interesting, may I enquire whether there were any people living in Russia at the time of the fall who witnessed this first hand and did they ever think things might change?

Perhaps this is a good defence of history? One might make a similar claim for the Arab Spring failing simply because of the autocratic history of the Middle East?
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