There are many videos online showing Russian tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and assorted other vehicles being hit and destroyed by anti-tank weaponry, much of which is supplied to Ukraine by the UK and the US and sundry other NATO countries. Heavily armoured vehicles such as tanks are designed to be able to withstand the impact of armour-piercing rounds from other tanks. Top do this, Russian tanks have what is called explosive reactive armour (ERA). At the impact of an anti-tank shell the armour explodes outwards, hopefully destroying the incoming shell. However, the new anti-tank weapons (for example NLAW, a joint development of the UK and Sweden1) have worked out how to overcome this. They use ‘direct-attack’ for unarmoured or lightly armoured vehicles, where the missile hits the side of the vehicle, and blows it to smithereens, often killing everyone inside. For tanks, especially those with ERA, the new missiles have the capability of what they call Overfly Top Attack (OTA), where the missile goes up over the tank and comes down on top of it, avoiding the ERA1 and striking it where the other armour is thinner. The result is the same; everyone inside dies. The US-made Javelin anti-tank missile operates much the same way2.

Given that each Russian tank weighs about 42 tonnes and, when hit, some of them end up in bits, often with the turret blown off, these anti-tank weapons must be extraordinarily powerful. What most people don’t actually seem to register is that there is a crew of three inside each tank and, in these videos, when an anti-tank missile hits that tank, there are three families in Russia who will never see their father, husband, brother, son or nephew ever again. What remains of them will be an unrecognisable blackened, burnt lump inside their metal coffin.

Someone online said that they ‘rejoice at the death of every Russian in Ukraine’. I don’t. The dead are just the pawns for the malevolent, murderous kleptocrat Putin. Russia has admitted that about 1,300 of its troops have been killed, while reports from the UK estimate that 15,000 have been killed, and Ukraine estimates that number may be as high as 22,0003.

One of my interests is military history and I have read extensively on that topic extending from Wellington’s Peninsular War through to Vietnam, with all the horror of so many shattered bodies and shattered minds. I suppose this interest was a way for me to try to understand what some of my relatives went through in both world wars, and some of my acquaintances and colleagues went through in Vietnam. Whatever understanding I have obtained simply makes me angry at politicians who seem to go to war at the drop of a hat, or at the request of a powerful ‘friend’. It brings to mind American spymaster William Donovan’s famous quote: “I know too much about war to glory in it. But wars are made by politicians who neglect to prepare for it”4.

I hope Putin lives long enough to regret the death and destruction he has caused, and that he suffers long and hard for it.

Sources

  1. https://www.saab.com/products/nlaw
  2. https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/products/javelin.html
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereksaul/2022/04/26/russia-ukraine-wars-mounting-death-toll-latest-estimates-suggest-russian-troops-have-been-hit-harder/
  4. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3144849922

32 Comments

  • Phil Gorman says:

    Killing is killing.
    Everybody is someone’s son, daughter, bother sister, parent, uncle or aunt.
    Every death is a tragedy, a loss, a waste.

  • James Faulkner says:

    You’re right, of course. I don’t enjoy the glorification of this for much the same reason, I’ve studied more than enough military history to understand what kind of mess these weapons leave of people. Yes, absolutely they’re people, even if our media and all the moral goody two shoes have decided to draw a line that says “Russian equals evil” which has basically been the state of play since 1945. While I agree that Putin is a massive bastard, I tend to also think that one of this would be happening if the yanks had just dismantled nato when the ussr had ceased to exist instead of maintaining their capitalist bullies club. All Putins individual psychoses aside, any russian leader would be getting annoyed with the continued existence and influence of nato when it’s quite obvious that nato is out to get Russia and Russia alone. Every nato action since perestroika has been directly or indirectly geared towards fucking with Russia. This would be legit if Russia were sacrificing children to the elder gods or crucifying entire cities, but they’re not, they’re just fucking people with a madman at the helm. Same as america, Britain and Australia when you stop to think about it. We just don’t have a glut of young suicidal men or AFVs to waste like the yanks do.
    The problem really is that culturally we still haven’t gotten out of the glories of war ideology, and probably won’t for a while to be honest. While we can point to Howard for the increased military glorification in Australia, we were always going to be messed in our heads when we celebrate (celebrate, really?) Anzac Day. We should let that history lie in the past, not crap on about the glory of ten thousand young men dying in a war that had absolutely nothing to do with them. It’s not glorious. It’s horrible. It bloody, tears and begging for mercy, crawling in the mud trying to find your legs, holding intestines inside burst guts, bleeding slowly and painfully to death in a ditch, or having yourself incinerated in a blast of fire and metal that shreds your body into an unrecognisable paste. Yeah right. So fucking glorious i could gouge my eyes out.
    Thanks blot for this. I think the human monkeys out there may have forgotten what war actually means.

    • admin says:

      James,
      While much of what you say is true with regard to the US, I cannot apportion much blame to NATO. I suspect if Russia was a democracy there would be no problem as it would not have invaded Ukraine under some ‘regaining past glories’ delusion. While there will always be what-ifs, the fact is the Russian armed forces invaded Ukraine. That makes all the what-ifs disappear in a puff of smoke from incinerated corpses. If NATO did not exist, I suspect that there would be many former soviet countries who’d be very nervous at a time like this. I suspect that is why Sweden (yes Sweden!) and Finland have started moves to join NATO. While their interoperability with NATO has been fairly long-standing (presumably because of Russia), their wishing to join officially shows how concerned they are. That concern can largely be put down to one man, Putin, and the fact that he is a dictator, and Russia is not a democracy.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Here we go again with the long, long discussion we had in late February and early March about NATO and Russia. Who knows what would have happened in Russia if NATO had quietly dissolved itself soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union? Nobody can possibly know, but one possibility might be that now in 2022 we have a less bellicose Russia, possibly with Putin nowhere to be seen (never in power in the first place) and no invasion of Ukraine or anywhere else.

        I’m not about to repeat all that argument from two months ago, it’s still there on the record, but I still maintain that although Putin is undoubtedly the heart of the problem, NATO can’t be seen as 100% blameless.

    • Jon says:

      Apportioning blame to NATO for Putin’s actions is ridiculus imo. No doubt the same view will exist in some pockets should China act against Taiwan because that country has defence ties to the USA. Would Putin not have invaded had Ukraine not sought NATO membership? Highly unlikely.

      NATO has no record of aggressive interference in Europe afaik. If anything they are loath to act where they probably should. It took them an age to enter the Balkan conflict even as ethnic atrocities were being openly reported by their own “monitoring” commanders on the ground.

      NATO is the only bulwark against dictatorial aholes like Putin in Europe. He’s a mass murderer wreaking destruction on people, cities and the environment for no arguable reason. Personally I’d like to see him publicly hung.

      • James Faulkner says:

        Hey, not arguing whether or not Putin is a prick. Hanged after a fair trial, tho, or we wouldn’t be upholding our own apparently superior ethics.

        As for nato, to ignore its role in this is cutting off your nose to spite your face. It’s lovely that you’ve been worked up into a nice moral outrage by the media and other propagandists, which is exactly how they want you. If you were to refer to Sun Tzu’s Art of War you would find one of the first steps in conducting war is to gain the moral prerogative amongst your own populace. This ensures the morale of the army and the country, and the longevity of a campaign if it bogs down. If you think that you’re not being manipulated by the West, you’re a fool.
        Of course NATO has a fuck load to do with this. Apart from not quietly going away once the USSR had the way they were meant to, they (by which I really mean the yanks) have not really given Russia much of a chance to “democratise” or whatever nonsense they carry on about when their lips are flapping (I tend to tune out when I hear yanks). If they wanted good relations, they sure didn’t do much to ensure it apart from the mass corporate buyout just after perestroika. Other than than, it’s been a case of deliberately poking the bear just to keep an enemy staying an enemy. I mean, where’s the evidence they even really tried to let Russia into the global scene? Nato is just an extension of American belligerence thinly disguised as a policy and treaty organisation of free countries. (But like animal farm, only the free countries we like, cos all countries are equal, just some are more equal etc etc etc. I think you get my point.)

        Once again, I agree that the war in Ukraine is unnecessary conflict. I agree Putin has crossed the line into war crimes. I’m not sure if Russia is signatory to the international law community, especially as regards war crimes. I do know that America does not recognise The Hague re war crimes, and ourselves have only a half agreement with them, which is why we deal with arses like RobertsSmith internally rather than hanging him out to dry internationally. I’d prefer we fully signed up myself, but the yanks won’t let us . So, as far as war crimes go, there’s really no one who can hold a candle to the effort of the Americans on the 6th and 9th August 1945. That was a real war crime for which they have never been held to account, and no amount of ‘saving the war by a thousand lives’ or whatever bullshit argument will convince me or most of the real world otherwise.
        So when we say it’s all Russia’s fault,I say, is it? it really any one’s fault bar the yanks for creating a world in which psychopaths like Putin continue to get power because it gives the yanks someone to fight.

        You’d have to be dense not to figure out that this situation has been manipulated from the beginning by the American military industrial complex for no other reason than power and profit.

        Come at me, brother, I’m waiting for death blow.

        • Jon says:

          While acknowledging that “our views” are often tainted by one-sided commentary I’m not in the least persuaded by the west is bad, everything is propaganda view you’re wedded to James. There are plenty of analyses around about European politics, why NATO is an important buffer for less-powerful European countries, and even more lessons to be learnt from history. There is plenty wrong with USA politics and foreign policy but we’d be fcuked without them providing a balance.

          Putin’s actions have sfa to do with some hyperbolic perception that Russia is threatened by the NATO alliance, which seems to be the primary basis for your rants. He. like Xi Jinping in China, sees himself as the great emperor who will reclaim “Russia’s” territories (and then some) – especially if they are as wealthy and productive as the Ukraine’s are. He also sees the west’s growing disdain for being involved in conflict as a weakness. He was right about that and has exploited it quite successfully to date. His great mistake so far has apparently been his confidence in the assurances from the sycophants around him that Russia was ready for war on an ill-prepared neighbour.

          • James Faulkner says:

            How does that Flavor-Aid taste?

          • admin says:

            Jon,
            It is all getting a bit ‘QAnon’, isn’t it?

          • James Faulkner says:

            Nah, not that bad. I just don’t trust the Americans. I think we’d be better off slowly backing out of any military alliance with the USA, and establishing ourselves as a neutral albeit economic entity.

            As for Putin, I support a kill team to assassinate the prick

          • admin says:

            James,
            I don’t trust any other country completely. Just because I don’t trust them doesn’t mean they are always in the wrong, and that anything they do is reprehensible. The countries I trust the least are dictatorships. They are at the mercy of the vanity or the narcissism of the fruitcake in control; viz. Saddam, Galtieri, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Amin….. While the US has problems in coping with reality and is too ready to resort to violence (as most great powers do); this I think is because the US is a particularly violent community. This attitude to violence seems to pervade everything they do.

          • James Faulkner says:

            It would be interesting to dig about inside the psychosocial causes for their violence, but I suspect it’s a combination of insecurity and self loathing that’s at the heart. I don’t even understand why we are looking up to the bastards when they can’t manage their own society. In many ways we in Australia are Millenia ahead. For example, we have a universal health care system, they make their citizens pay private health insurance. We direct debit welfare payments. They use a three party, private enterprise payee system that can’t even manage to send cheques ( yes! Cheques, ffs) on time to the struggling citizen. Their ‘power’ is built upon their twentieth century technique of turning up at the end of two world conflicts and claiming victory without the hard slog, and the subsequent payments they managed to extort from their so called friends.

            These are not friends. They are bullies, liars, and tyrants as well, and we should not be a party to their dishonesty.

          • admin says:

            James,
            The US is a bit of a patchwork, really. While parts of it are just like bits of Australia, great swathes aren’t. Mostly what has happened there is that the corporate class have taken over the government by making massive donations to the two main political parties. I saw a very pertient quote from Noam Chomsky where he opined that the Democrats and the Republicans were simply two factions of the Business Party. That is pretty close to the truth as both have been bought by oligarchs. Much the same has happened here, but so far to a lesser extent. However, we are heading that way too. Over the last year or two, some hundreds of items have been removed from Medicare, and the verminous Greg Hunt extolled the virtues of having the US system here in his maiden speech to parliament (I wrote a piece about it a while ago). The US system is one where most private health care is part of your employment. It is a system which kills people because they are poor or black or both. However, the oligarchs make money out of it.

          • James Faulkner says:

            Until the USA admit to the war crimes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as being the war crimes they are, the yanks really have no moral ground to stand on. Only because of fear have we let them get away with that. Fear, bullying and cultural and economic colonisation of friendly nations. The last is probably the worst they have done to us. Why else do you think we get arsehats like John Howard and the parliament Pentecostals and twenty five years of pandering to big business rather than the citizenry? All these things are what you rally against, blot, but you won’t point to why. You know why, and I know why. We all know why it’s like this in Australia, because the yanks can’t keep their own bullshit out if our faces.

            We may have forgotten the real reason why we chose septic tank as the rhyme when there were so many possibilities available.

          • admin says:

            James,
            I have had a great deal of glee in explaining why ‘seppo’ is used for Americans, and what it is shortened from, to American colleagues. As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki being war crimes, my comeback would be: was the bombing of London and Coventry a war crime? Was the firebombing of Dresden? Was the rape of Nanjing? I would argue that they were all war crimes. All war is just a multifarious series of crimes, one after the other. While we have wars, war crimes will exist. However, to look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I can understand why the Americans did it; not to excuse it, but to explain it. After their experiences on Okinawa and Iwo Jima, where the Japanese fought to the death (including civilians), the Americans were shit-scared that invading the Japanese home islands would lead to something similar, and that many thousands of American troops sailors and airmen would be killed. On Iwo Jima, 7,000 US combatants were killed and 20,000 wounded. Of the Japanese, only about 200 were captured and 21,000 died. On Okinawa, it was worse. About 20,000 American service personnel were killed and about 60,000 wounded. About 110,000 Japanese troops died, as well as about half of the prewar civilian population of 300,000, some of whom were drafted to fight. Only 7,000 Japanese troops and 3,000 Okinawan conscripts surrendered or were captured during the fighting. I think in that situation, I’d want to protect as many of my compatriots’ lives as possible, especially if I had to front the parents of the dead and explain why dropping two nuclear weapons was too awful to contemplate.

  • Arthur Baker says:

    So effectively, NATO might, just possibly, in your opinion, bear 1% of the responsibility for the current situation. I’ve hesitated to attach a number to its responsibility, and still do, but your suggestion is 1%. And once again, I call you out for being disingenuous. And, if I may say, flippant.

    You are as well aware as anyone else that NATO is, and has been for a long time, a massively influential organisation, a powerful alliance of mostly rich nations. That’s because its primary backer and promoter is the United States of America, possessor of the most powerful military the world has ever seen, an economy which has been dominant for longer than most people can remember, a social/media influence which has propelled the English language to what linguists now call “hypercentral” status (English is the only one in that bracket) – the list of the USA’s major world influences goes on and on. The USA speaks, even with a mouthpiece as demented as Donald Trump, and the world listens. Because it has to.

    NATO doesn’t even have to do much to exert power and influence on the geopolitical realm. Its very existence is itself an influencer. And its continued lurking presence, right up to Russia’s borders, really MUST have had some influence on Russia’s internal attitude to the outside world, and its tolerance to being ruled by a militaristic and narcissistic autocratic despot.

    NATO could have quietly gone out of existence in the early 1990s, saying hey, we won that nasty old Cold War, now let’s try a tad more peaceful option. But no, the demented Republican-stacked US Senate couldn’t bring itself to consent to a bit of humility and any gesture of peace, reconciliation or olive-branch in the interests of avoiding nuclear war, despite Glasnost and Perestroika. Just like American capitalism, they had to WIN. And be seen to WIN, and DESTROY those commie bastards, despite the fact that post-Gorbachev, Russia was no longer remotely commie – if it ever even had been. It was capitalist. NATO and the USA WON. They won, but they simply couldn’t resist rubbing Russia’s nose in it.

    Humility in defeat is a wonderful quality. Humility in victory is superior by an order of magnitude. The USA-controlled NATO didn’t have it, and still doesn’t.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      You were right, I was being flippant. Most of what you say is true. However, if NATO had dissolved itself when the USSR collapsed, I suspect we would be in a much worse situation than we are now. The cold war did not end, it just went into an hiatus until normal service resumed under Yeltsin and to a much greater extent Putin. Nobody in their right mind could consider Russia to be full of commies. There are a few in the Duma now, but they seem to have been bought off by Putin and his mates. Russia is not so much a capitalist society as a kleptocratic society. The apparatchiks tearing down the main drag in Moscow in their Zil limousines, have been replaced by Putin and his oligarchs tearing about the place in their Mercs or whatever the bastards’ favoured transport is these days. NATO had bugger all to do with Russia’s invasion of Georgia (2008) or Chechnya (1994-1996; under Yeltsin). What frightened Putin in Chechnya was that they had declared independence, while in Georgia the Abkhazian/South Ossetian punchup was used as an excuse to attempt to damage Georgia which had become democratic (after Shevardnadze had been given the arse). After its toying with democracy for a few years, that democracy has been subverted by Putin, who has now effectively installed himself as president for life. NATO is not the problem, any more than he Entente Cordiale was to blame for the First World War, or the Anglo-Polish agreement was to blame for Germany’s and the USSR’s invasion of Poland. Putin and the demise of democracy (such as it was) in Russia is the problem.

      • James Faulkner says:

        I really suppose it’s up to how much of the garbage from western media you are willing to swallow before you’re eventually truly revolted by both sides of the conflict. It’s a bit lame to call the nato argument tired and rehashed when it was never fully resolved anyway, and barely touched by the virtue signaling media. It’s as if the concept is that west is best. It’s not. It never was.

        Now, while I recognise democracy as being a relatively fair approach to government, I’m also not one to claim that any non-democracy is therefore inherently bad. Given the utter bullshit that our own Australian democracy has undergone in the last say, twenty odd years of Liberal tyranny (Rudd-g-Rudd aside) and the shambles that is British, European, American or Canadian democracy, I’m not stupid enough to claim democracy is better. Clearly it isn’t, and any study of history shows that any form of govt can be bad or good, it depends on the individual. Putin is a huge wanker, but….. so is Boris, Morrison , Biden and The Chinese guy whose names escapes me at this moment, the Malaysian pres, the Indonesian pres, the Turkish prez, Charles and Camilla, etc etc etc. They are all huge arsehats of the highest order who care little for the people their positions essentially rely upon. Consider the tyrannos in Ancient Greek, from which the word tyrant derives, whose overall social and public impact was the improvement of the city state, which phenomenon allowed the Hellenic world we know as Athens to flourish. Consider even just Caesar, possibly the most hated of dictators who did more for Rome than the any of the gold soaked emperors did.
        My point is that democracy sucks balls, hugely, and isn’t a good enough reason to pin the tail on the Putin. Maybe the fact he is a belligerent and self interested psychopath would be a reason, but if you’re gonna make that call, we’d better be willing to take down Peter Dutton, Boris Johnson, trump, and a bunch of other psychopaths as well, before they can cause their own Ukraine.
        I’m not unsympathetic to the people of Ukraine, except for the dodgy Donbas elections, I’m just going to fall for your virtue signalling pro democracy nonsense. No govt is a stable government because humans are involved. Maybe the best thing we could have is a beneficent AI overlord. We humans are clearly too selfish and stupid to be allowed to self govern.

        • admin says:

          James,
          The problem with democracy is, as you say, that it is peopled by humans. There are supposed to be checks and balances, but the problem with that is that it is the politicians who maintain those checks and balances, and it is often in their immediate interests to subvert those. In this, the Murdoch media aids and abets the Morrison, Johnson, and until recently, the Mango Mussolini. Another problem with non-democratic systems is that any benign system always, always ends up being anything but benign. The dictatorship of the proletariat ended up killing more Russians than the Nazis did. I was first made aware of this when in Moscow. I was staying in an academy hotel and met a couple of historians from the UK and US who were studying Russian history. They told me that the ‘official’ figures were a gross underestimate of those killed in the Stalin pogroms. When I was there, I watched the news as much as I could, despite having very limited Russian language. The only thing that appeared on Russian news from the outside world (that I remember) was the 1992 race riots in Los Angeles. In this, the Russian system is much like the US. I have a friend who did a postdoc at Cornell and in the few years he was there, the only news he saw from the outside world was the Falklands War of 1982. Democracy is not something which can be set and left to run with everything being sweetness and light. It is something that needs constant tending to keep it working. A federal integrity commission is one step along that route. When I was in Russia, I worked fairly closely with a few people over the couple of months I was there. They are just like us; they love their kids and their country just as much as we do. However, they operate under a system which is rotten. The rottenness is a matter of degree. Putin kills journalists and others he considers ‘dangerous’ to him, both in Russia and in other countries, while the US, UK and Australia just imprison them.

  • James Faulkner says:

    Ok, so I pose this question to admin

    If Russia is really the problem, why?

    Why? Please explain.

    Is it because of their culture?
    Is it because they were commies once?
    Is it because they are trying to regain past glories?
    Is it their geography that makes them evil?
    Is it their history?
    Is it the religion?

    Come on… it’s none of those you bigot. It’s got a lot to do with an entire population being told they were evil by the western quarter of the world ( yep, not a hemisphere, because not many outside Europe or yankeeland stand in this court.) for about the last hundred odd years, possibly longer if you take into account the western pacific trade wars of the late nineteenth ( in which the septics went to great efforts to blockade, bombard and control every eastern trade route they could, and the Russians were the ones who resisted best.)

    Every analysis of the history of events leading up to this suggests to me the problem begins with American interference in another countries ability to determine its direction.

    • admin says:

      James,
      Russia is not the problem. Putin is the problem. It seems to be a catch 22. To have a stable democracy, the prerequiste seems to be to have a history of stable democracy. Russia doesn’t have that. As I said elsewhere, most Russians have little interaction with the outside world, not least because the media is heavily controlled. However, I also expect that it is partly because of the size of the country. With a big population, a lot happens that makes the news and that absorbs the time available for its dissemination. I suspect that is why in a not as controlled media landscape in the US there is little outside news also. Also many countries have a great deal of internal propaganda. In the US, it is all the ‘land of the free’ horseshit, which has led some in the US (I have spoken to some of them) to believe that people in Europe live in socialist hell-holes. I saw a television show where they took one of these people to Europe and he couldn’t believe how ‘free’ these people were. In Australia, part of it seems to be the ‘mateship’ horseshit. As I have said elsewhere, Russians, as well as Poms, Danes, Americans, Kiwis, Swedes, Kazakhs, are all much like us. I am sorry you think I am a bigot. I try not to be.

      • Jon says:

        Clearly Putin and his minions are the problem, not the Russian people, who in really have no say in, and likely at best a limited understanding of how their administrations behave. Would they have supported for example the massive transfer of Russian national wealth into private hands (something which has happened in the USA and here to a lesser extent) had they been informed and given an option?

        • admin says:

          Jon,
          Somehow I doubt it. As I said in a discussion with Arthur, when I visited Russia in 1992, among some of those I worked with, there was a great deal of optimism for the future that the ‘soviet’ system had effectively ended. However, Putin put an end to that optimism. On a list server to which I subscribe, a few Russian colleagues, some of quite high profile, have come out against the depredations in the Ukraine. They have received a great deal of support from colleagues across the world if only electronically. I am not sure I would be as brave as those Russians if I was in the same situation.

        • James Faulkner says:

          I doubt they would have supported the theft of the commons by private interests. Whether it be the private interests of russki oloigarchs, or American corporations. That said, we did. I don’t if you noticed but we let the neoliberal economic turds sell off our infrastructure assets, our mineral wealth and our communications without any recognition of the share we all had in it, in the common wealth. And as far as I can see, so did all the other western “free “ countries. You would have to retarded not to think that we are the biggest citizen idiots in history when we allowed, stress, ALLOWED, permitted, the sale of our commons.
          So to try turning that one on the Russians is a totally disingenuous. We, the west, forced neoliberal capitalism onto Russia, without the preceding decades of the more social minded capitalism that had created a wealth in the commons.

          Again, I thought this was obvious and that any commentary on Russia would be able to take this into account.

          • Jon says:

            One can stridently criticise Russian autocrats, systems and excesses while simultaneously acknowledging our own negligent complacency and lack of political integrity James. However, placing our system and in/actions on the same tier as Russia’s is on the whole (nb) hyperbolic nonsense imo, despite our publicly meek compliance on foreign affairs issues like Vietnam and Iraq, which are complex in themselves. The two systems are chalk and cheese, despite the obvious flaws in our democracy, the increasing wealth gap, tax systems which are rorted by the wealthy etc etc.

            Australian governments have WITHOUT DOUBT either collaborated in or facilitated the transfer of significant common wealth into the hands of individuals and corporations for decades. I’ve ranted about the $100B Howard-Costello tax concessions (aka welfare) provided to multinational petro companies for years on various forums and in letters to newspapers. It was imo the single most egregious and unnecessary act of wealth transfer by any govt in my adult lifetime. There are myriad smaller examples, some of which have been exposed by this blog’s authors. How this excuses the Russian invasion of the Ukraine is beyond my very limited intellect.

            I for one don’t subscribe to the fairy tale notion of a peaceful world without megalomaniacs/sociopaths (for anyone interested, history – both ancient and modern – is littered with reasons why I hold that view). Having accepted that as a reality, I’ve also accepted the reality that until we are prepared to acquire a nuclear deterrent and massively increase our defence spending we will always be reliant on ANZUS, AUKUS etc, and the commensurate pressure that brings on govt to support particular USA-led conflicts (whether they are arguably justifiable or clearly excessive) .

            It’s an complex, very grey world inhabited by mostly decent human people but greatly diminished by imperfect systems, human excesses including greed, and our own individual complacency. Mea culpa.

      • Mark Dougall says:

        You are not a bigot.

        • James Faulkner says:

          FFS. This is what you cling to when I disagree about a single factor in the argument. I’m not arguing pro Putin. I’m trying to say that we shouldn’t trust our own sources, something I thought blot knew very well. Perhaps my leftist tendency to mistrust the west as much as I mistrust ANY OTHER SYSTEM is based on the lies we tell ourselves about what a better people we are just because we label ourselves democracies. My very extensive studies of human history, not just Greco Roman history, also Asian and for what it’s worth American, do not lend me much reason to trust any human to be responsible at the wheel of a nation, (fuck, we aren’t even responsible behind the wheel of our own cars most of the time). But you won’t find arguments about psychopaths being a problem from me. I can guarantee the issue is not historical, it’s biological and to a degree cultural. History is simply the reflection of the madmen and the madness.

          I’m not sure what political/governmental system is actually best, and I’m not retarded enough to stake a claim in democracy when, let’s be honest, over sixty per cent of the voting population in this country are too fucking stupid, greedy or undereducated to allowed that right. This is why we ended up with a quarter century of Liberal tyranny. Again, I thought it was obvious. How to deal with that enormous flaw in democracy is not something I can answer right now, but perhaps if we made an effort to think intelligently about this, and not thrust compassion for the stupid ahead of us, we might actually progress into the twenty first century. Right now, it’s still quite firmly 1984.

          • admin says:

            James,
            That is where we differ. I would like to say I trust democracies more than other systems, but it is best expressed as ‘I distrust other systems more’. All systems fall prey to the lust for power from sociopaths or psychopaths, and you can see it in Putin, Johnson, Trump and Morrison. The only saving grace of democracy is what we will be going through in a couple of weeks, an election. Morrison has clearly overstepped the mark and people are starting to realise that he is a religious fruitcake who only wants power. Morrison will be gone at some stage, hopefully at this election. Putin is there as long as he wants and to tell him otherwise could lead a person to be poisoned or fall off a balcony. The problem with Australian democracy, or any democracy for that matter is that people like Morrison want to subvert it for their own ends. In this they are aided by the thick who either do not follow politics or if they do, have no understanding of it. They are also aided by the corruption of the media with oligarchs owning most of it, with Murdoch being by far the worst. That is what we have to fix. As for the unengaged, the way to get around their stupidity is to have no party logos on ballot papers and to have Robson rotation for all ballot papers.

  • Mark Dougall says:

    I find this a difficult discussion/argument to buy into, particularly as I think war, guns, weapons, conquering shit, and all the fucking paraphernalia of the barely grown men-children who have fucked our world up forever, are obscene and criminal, no matter whether it is Dutton, Biden, or Putin, but, here goes. Putin is a foul murderous prick. He has had journalists killed. He has had opposition politicians murdered. He has killed innocent people in countries that are far from his land who just happened to pick up a bottle of what they thought was perfume. This bloke is an insane pig. He has created a brutal war machine using conscripts who know nothing, and who are dying appallingly, and run by horrible vicious lovers of cruelty. They have slaughtered people in Syria. He has now unleashed this on the people in Ukraine and he has condemned many of his own unsuspecting soldiers to death as well as so many innocents in Ukraine. He is disgusting in all those ways that various other murderous dictators have been. To point that out is not bigotry. To not see that is simply foolish.

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