Talking about Ukraine, Donbass and Russia

Today I recorded a long chat with Regis Tremblay about Ukraine, Donbass and Russia as part of his ‘Global Conversations’ series. You can watch it below. (Hopefully, he will correct the PhD thing!)

Happy viewing.

8 thoughts on “Talking about Ukraine, Donbass and Russia”

  1. Well, I think I am more in the Regis camp w/regard to whether or not the U.S. gov’t reps believe in their exceptionalism or are just great liars. Maybe I’m just cynical.

    But I did recall this youtube of Victorial Nuland stating that the U.S. had invested $5 billion in Ukraine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2fYcHLouXY They could have the idea they “bought” the place and they are in charge. It is in a spot that is of great interest to their campaign to surround Russia, after all. Thanks for this really interesting conversation.

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  2. Great conversation. Really. Intelligent discussion and listening to multiple perspectives are hard to come by these days. Hope there is a sequel 🙂

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  3. Very interesting interview, Professor, thanks for posting!

    A few notes on some (to me) “high points”:
    1.) “Misattribution syndrome” – otherwise known as Jungian projection. Like, when American government projects their bad intentions onto Russia or China.
    2.) Mention of India’s “inevitable” rise. This is an important point. Happened to be dining with a group of ordinary Americans the other day, the topic of India came up, in the context of the pandemic, and India’s poor response to that. Saw a lot of eye-rolling and fake pity among my “colleagues”, like they felt sooooo sorry for the poor benighted barbarians of India; I kept my mouth sewed shut but cynically thought to myself that this is the typical American mentality and the way that ordinary Americans deal with people from other countries that are not America: By feeling vastly superior to them.
    3.) “Rules-based international order”, which you explained so well how that works. Phrase springs to mind, something about sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander. Which would be opposite of said order.
    4.) And on that note, Regis correctly noted the vast and crushing extent of America’s violation of other nations’ civil rights over the decades; but I wish he would have also mentioned America’s equally despicable violation of internal (American) rights, namely the treatment of African-Americans and indigenous peoples over the centuries. Which makes it doubly laughable that they preen themselves so and pose as the defender of other people’s rights. Griboedov phrase springs to mind: “Who are the judges?

    5.) And, last but not least, as King Lear might have said, while hauling Cordelia’s carcass offstage: I absolutely LOVED your comparison of the American hegemon with the Boss Ape. Who pounds his chest while nervously looking over his shoulder. Another Shakespearean saying pops into mind: “Uneasy sits the head that wears the crown.” Even on a monkey.

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    1. Glad you liked it, Yalensis. My original inspiration for the Boss Ape thing was Desmond Morris’s book ‘The Human Zoo’. He provides a list of behaviours required of the alpha baboon, which sound remarkably like how the international hegemon behaves.

      There are also some psychologists who suggest that being secure makes you feel insecure. Evolution favored humans who were twitchy about threats (complacent ones soon got bumped off). Consequently, we’re sort of hard-wired to look for danger, and when we find it, it’s sort of reassuring, as we then can start thinking about what to do about it. But when we can’t see danger, we get all paranoid – we’re wired to know that danger must be out there, but we can’t see it, and so we get all upset and extra twitchy.

      Morris has a similar theory about how humans, as hunter-gatherers, require stimulation for psychological ease. But being cooped up in modern cities, we lack the dangers we would face in the wild, so we invent dangers in order to stimulate ourselves. Alternatively, we do it by proxy – stir up other people, so that they start fighting each other and then get our stimulation by watching them.

      How true any of this, I cannot say, but I find it all interesting as theory.

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      1. I think SOME people are definitely like that: They seek thrills and danger, take unnecessary risks, get adrenalin highs from danger, etc.

        I don’t think everybody is like that, though. I am definitely not. I don’t know if I am more evolved than an ape, or simply a coward, but all I want is a calm, safe, secure, and completely stress-free life! And I wish the same for everybody else in the world (who wants it, at least…)

        🙂

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  4. It feels this is by far the best exchange of ideas with you I had the pleasure to watch that far, not least since Regis Trembly gave you so much space … Maybe?

    Thanks a lot to both of you.

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  5. Basically the ‘rules based order’ is a way of circumventing the UN and those pesky international laws the Americans so like to ignore when they’re committing their genocides and war crimes. It seems that the Russians and the Chinese have cornered the market on using a beefed up UN as the center of their multipolar world order, an expanded security council and its use for de facto dispute resolution. Doesn’t it sound like the basis for a sound and just world as opposed to the depressing, oppressive death machine that now stalks the planet masquerading as having anything to offer, whilst ignoring all international laws, national sovereignty and slaughtering at will – using NATO as the can opener. One thing is for sure, the world doesn’t agree with the US, it is cowed by it, although that is changing. I see America as isolated, ruling by fear, vassaldom and carnage, the idea of ‘surrounding’ a country like Russia is a poor joke when it is the largest country on the planet and has access to 4 fifths of the planets population in terms of trade. The US will ultimately be responsible for creating (by accident) the largest autarky that history has ever known.
    I enjoy this format for discussion, it allows for a more broad based approach without tight time constraints. I’d love to hear more of them. I would actually like to here a discussion with someone from US foreign policy think tankdom or some such (not one of the looney neocons) but I’d really like to understand how they think and how they believe this is all going to turn out (you know, those awkward exit strategies the U S seems so intent on ignoring) – I want a glimpse behind the curtain of maddness as it were.

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