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Be sure: nobody that matters in the West is capable of thinking that way (ie. 'beyond the next move').

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Sanctions are one of the worst weapons - yes, they certainly hurt the populations of the targeted countries, but that only empowers the regimes ruling them. Sanctions serve as a propaganda tool to claim "everybody/evil country X is against us", while helping the government to redistribute what is left to reinforce its support base.

That's why you rarely if ever see regimes collapsing after they have been hit by sanctions.

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Oh, you see. But it takes many years.

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That's the part that is unproven as of yet, unfortunately.

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The sanctions are having almost no effect on Russia's ability to wage war. Turns out that they are very easy to circumvent using shell companies. Everyone looks the other way. In addition Russia is getting drones with Chinese technology from Iran. And a lot of countries are hedging their bets - they don’t know who will win and don’t want to piss off either side too much.

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Sanctions in fact are useful for the West making it independent from Russian gas and oil.

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I missed nothing. And now it is obvious that Europe must spend a lot more and to have an adequate army to be safe and not wait the USA to protect it. To feed Russia with money was and is a bad practice. Buying oil and gas elsewhere except in Russia is to invest in security.

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In reality you wrong. That was Moscow, who stop pump gas by pipeline, NOT EU. And West still buy russian gas, and LNG, and oil, and oil products and coal and all other goods

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I strongly recommend you to study English in order not to be ridiculous.

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Sanctions SPECIALY not hit the russian army. For example: sanctions banned western luxurity to import to Moscow empire. Oh. Less spends on luxurity, - more on weapons

West is businwss partner to Moscow, so ALL shouts about sanctions are just shows and lies

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Have asked you to stop, you didn't stop...

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

This is quite an article... I have a few counter arguments, but the only answer will be on the battlefield - if there is a plan behind what we see.

My 2 cents - one has to fight a war with what one HAS. And surrendering initiative is a recipe for eventual defeat.

Thank you.

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Yup. And that's one of ridiculous things in any war: 'it can still work, one can never know'....

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Pretty sad…

My biggest question has always been about the argument of “preventing escalation” by not supplying certain weapons to Ukraine. I’m afraid it works exactly the opposite way: West’s hesitation to escalate only emboldens Putin.

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Let yourself be bullied by a bully, and see what happens...

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Thank you for the report Tom, always good to hear from you and your thoughts. And if I can add to your point on politics, here in my country in the Philippines, in the past administration, our politicians at the time don't seem to realise how sorely under equipped the armed forces are in comparison to our neighbours and yet there was no urgency to overhaul and modernise. Sure there's an actual program, but not only was it moving at a snails pace, they cut down the original budget set for the modernization down to half, the department responsible for giving out the funds didn't even meet the total funding given, and there's so little to show from the programs fruits. Yet for some reason, none of the politicians want to address because their own agenda takes priority

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Oh gosh, yes: Philippines - their governrnents and security policy.... :rolleyes:

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

As a symbolic summary: one would have thought that, after a year, an effective counter against Lancets killing artillery systems and radars should have been provided... So far, a few extra dozens Gepard/Cheetah that will likely take several months to arrive is the best we can hope for? Even assuming they'll be used in the front and not to protect cities.

As much as I respect David Petraeus, I remember in the opening months of the war him saying that the Switchblades were going to be a gamechanger and help with softening RU defences.... I think we haven't shamed enough NATO military industry and HQs for being completely exposed and left behind in the race for loitering and suicide drones... Both in counter measures or responding with a (mass-produced) equivalent.

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

They could have been if provided in sufficient quantities. That’s the problem with West’s help - not sufficient (I wouldn’t say too little) and definitely too late.

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That with shaming NATO military industry isn't even going to happen - because 'those having the final say' are usually 'already under contract' of big corporations from the defence sector, and thus continuing to place orders for obsolete weapons, while ignoring advanced technologies....

Indeed (and just for example), the last gent who attempted to reform the Pentagon, was forced out by a shameful and fake defamation campaign - and then by a jerk who then left the service few weeks later for a highly-paid job in the defence sector...

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Typical reaction of a bureaucratic institution where the main aim is self-preservation. We see the same in UNO, Red Cross and so on.

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Who are you referring to?

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To those for whom people work, who are then requesting me to sign my books with, 'For People in need of fresh Air'.

This is a longer story that would take very long to explain to anybody not monitoring it regularly and for years. If you want to find out more about it, google such topics like 'pentagon, acquisition, reform' etc.

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The Switchblades turned out below expectations for sure. A $1000 FPV drone is much better than spending $20,000 on the Switchblade 300

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

"….at least I cannot imagine this can be done by (belated) deliveries of obsolete weaponry, the stocks of which are certain to run out by the end of this year…" What's the forecast after out of stock situation?

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I have no idea. Can only hope the production of that new German/Korean MBT might really start by then... and the production of artillery shells is going to be in full swing.

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Thanks, Tom. Very sad ☹️

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Thanks Tom.

Don’t you think it might be helpful if you publish a list of the systems ZSU needs: the artillery pieces, the drones, the antiaircraft/antimissile systems, attack helis and/or fighter jets (maybe Gripen will be more suitable), etc. With your wide following, maybe some experts on the Ukrainian side will start to edit their wish lists.

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023Author

The moment I start doing that, I'll have a bunch of people all over me, complaining about pointless details.

Thus, the most you can get out of me in such cases is: just like NATO, ZSU needs latest technologies. No 50-years old stuff like bent and worn-out F-16s, but stuff like F-35s; no '3 radars and 2 EW systems', but '60 radars and 100 EW systems'; no '12 SAM systems' but '40 SAM systems' and, foremost, lots of cyber warfare and robots.

The Russians are happy to 'die for Motherland' (and Pudding's money).

I say: let them do so - while saving Ukrainian lives.

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They are not "happy", only just passive and submissive. Russian territory is so large that the great majority of its population simply has no way out.

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There is nothing to eat and plenty of insects in Russia woods. The comparison of Russian territory with the Balkans is a great mistake.

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RemovedJun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023
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There are NO TRUCKS in Russian woods. You have not been to Siberia not even to Russia , I am sure. There is no food production in Siberia now. The same during the Soviet period.

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There is just no need to hide, because there are still no criminal prosecutions for not obeying mobilization writs - the only way to get in trouble is to went through enlistment office and then to military unit, and THEN to disobey your orders. By disobeying mobilization writ you can get a very moderate fee (if you are stupid enough), and that's all.

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Jun 18, 2023·edited Jun 18, 2023

Yes, those who want to avoid mobilisation, do not need to go abroad, e.g. look for the story of Artem in https://edition.cnn.com/2023/04/12/europe/russia-conscription-bill-ukraine-intl/index.html

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

There are still no criminal prosecutions for not obeying mobilization writs - the only way to get in trouble is to went through enlistment office and to military unit, and THEN to disobey your orders. So, the size of the country is completely irrelevant. It's just the size of both obedience and avarice as social norms there.

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The size of the country is highly relevant to the consideration to escape abroad or to emigrate. In the Russian Empire and in the Soviet Union there was no emigration up to the period of the emigration of Soviet Jews in 1970-s which was strongly opposed by the government. To have an intention to escape a person must have a real way out, and in Russia it is often impossible because of its geographical position.

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023

So you say an average Russian person still has to cross their country on foot and has no money to buy a railway ticket. That's a strong point.

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Crucial is moral acceptance of emigration - or of simply crossing the border in case of threat. Russian and Soviet literature from the times of Tiutchev cultivates nostalgia for "Russian beriozkas" and the like. The "loss of the Motherland" is traditionally described as the worst occurrence imaginable.

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Jun 18, 2023·edited Jun 18, 2023

No need to go abroad to avoid mobilization, e.g. look for the story of Artem https://edition.cnn.com/2023/04/12/europe/russia-conscription-bill-ukraine-intl/index.html

Elena, hand oh heart, all mobilized consents to Russian chauvinism, they agree with stealing UA land, killing civilians and all that Pudding's propaganda. (Maybe they do not want to die for that, but still agree with that.)

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Thanks for the quick and pointed reports

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

"I do not see any kind of serious, long-term strategy in what is the government in Kyiv doing. Even less so in what are all of its ‘allies’ in the West doing."

Today I have some sort of opinion and I want to say it. May be tomorrow I'll have another opinion...

:)

1. Strategy.

About Ukraine.

I'll be brief to not bother. My country (Bulgaria) suffering from Russia's "hybrid and conventional wars" against us since 1878. So, I don't like Russian Empire (in all its forms).

So, I think I can somehow understand ukrainians. I think their first feeling about the RF is hate - pure and strong. They want (their aim is) justice - to punnish the rossians. Their strategy - we must be strong enough to smash them. (i.e. - give us arms, figth together with us,..).

About the West. I want to talk only about the USA.

USA wants to be The World's Hegemon. I.e. there are 2 things (aims) to be achieved: as a capitalistic country - a profit, as a democratic country (I believe in this) - the democratic ideals. So their strategy is - smash the concurrents (in the first place - those with nuclear bombs). In this case their strategy is - "we will gently cook the frog".

2. Tactic

About Ukraine.

For the today situation - I agree with this man:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNcZM17YGb8

(The first half, in the second he mentions the "frog")

Example:

- "Yesterday you lose 15 "Bradley"s!"

- "Yes, but nobody died".

About the West. I want to talk only about the USA.

Help ukrainians, but - "slowly".

("You see what happened near Kiev when we gave them enough ammo!")

Example:

- "Yesterday they lose 15 "Bradley"s! Drones!"

- "OK, we'll give them another 15 (we have about 6000 of them). And we'll give them 15 anti-drone riffels too".

- "Two people was killed."

- "It's a war."

P.S. I don't want ukrainian people to die! (And stupid rossians - too!)

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author

....I can't say it often enough: the more I study wars, the more I despise wars...

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023

This guy "Arthi Green" just parroting the ukrainian self invented narrative (talking points) "west is trying to change russian tzar, boil frog, blah blah blah". That is what literally every ukraining talkng head is promoting. This way only their own population are boiled to death, sorry to say.

I followed him a while ago, listened carefully, he is just kind of narcissist exloiting his military servide position, i am not saying he is useless as an military serviceman, i am just saying here he just rehearsing ukrainian TV talking points, bringing zero of his own inside, just to become popular

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Thank you for the sharing your opinion! For me what he said has sense. I have no insiders neither in Washington neither in Kiev, :). I'm sure this sort of analysis is sometimes "fake analysis", sometimes "real analysis", sometimes "ferytales", sometimes "just wishes". sometimes "propaganda"... etc.

But they are stories. Some stories become a "real life" when people begin to believe in them. (The stories on this forum do the same...)

Never-the-less, thank you again for the sharing your opinion about this man!

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023

You are welcome :) Specific to Arthi Green, again. He is a really good example of ukrainian perceiving of patriotism. Them are sure patriotism is about telling "feel good" stories to the audience, also it goes well for popularity purpose. This is pure 100% propaganda though. Self-hurting their defence and military purposes though. But, even worse, the opposite is also true, - other more honest way to inform the public is oficialy claimed to be treason and such a person will never appear again on any of ukrainian "mainstream" channels.

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Another very funny take about a man, who is not a patriot at all (his views are of "universalist" kind, wich is opposed to patriotic ones).

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Jun 18, 2023·edited Jun 18, 2023

Very funny to see this characteristics about a man, who hates both official "patriotic" narratives and talking heads (an a part of commanders too - like Budanov and Shaptala), speeks Russian only and warns nearly every time that the war will be much more hard and bloody then his auditory wants to think.

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

As you say, all of these issues have been apparent since March 2022, but have really come to a head in this "counteroffensive". As for GUR MO's long-range drone strikes and other operations on Russian soil, I think, culturally, the Ukrainian intel services and military are still very much steeped in Soviet thinking and doctrine. However it's ludicrous to expect Ukraine to just suddenly reform and "fight like NATO".

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To fight like NATO you need doctrine like NATO. And to implement doctrine like NATO you need means like NATO. That's not the case now. So current UA doctrine is fight your enemy by means at hand. And this will be so until situation with "means" will not change

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USA army lose to mountain tribes in Afkhanistan. This is THE FAMOUSE NATO STILE!

Ukrainians are all in deep awe!

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“Sure, pick-up-mounted KPT machine guns are frequently effective against them, but they are too few, and too scattered: there’s no way the ZSU can buy enough of these. “

As for this, I’m not so sure - it should be much easier and cheaper to buy 100-200-300 pick-ups and mount KPT than procuring 10 or 20 Gerards which probably are also needed in the hundreds. If anything this war has proven that Ukraine needs not so much a few state-of-art systems but mass and vast quantities of cheap and easy to use weapons, machinery, etc

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Ukraine is too big for either.

IMHO, there's no solution past cyber-attack on the software-producer. But, I see no trace of anybody at least coming to such ideas....

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Cyber-attacks never have lasting consequences.

If they delete files, those will be restored from a backup.

If they steal algorithms and hack the communication to the drones, it will take a week to device new algorithms unknown to the hackers.

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Pfff. One of our major banks was hacked several years ago. It took them half a year to restore their functions.

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A bank functions by updating several databases in real-time. If money were discounted from one account they should always be added to another account. That "always" rule causes lots of trouble in distributed systems https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAP_theorem

Drone programming is about creating a firmware that is compiled and copied to each drone. Every programmer has a copy of the entire project and can build it and write to his development board that is nearly identical to the drone's processing unit. Thus if the central server is hacked, the project is easy to restore from one of the programmers' laptops. There is no database involved, no need to synchronize accounts, no money transfers that may affect clients or cause legal issues. Every involved programmer has everything needed for drone production.

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I know little about drone manufacturing, so cannot judge if you're right about it. My reply was about your over-generalization above.

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It depends on the business. Hacking can hurt anything connected to the Internet, but drones are not connected, and the factory that produces them may not be connected as well.

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

“Like already the last year, the ZSU not only still has no solution for Orlans, but now even less so has a working solution for Lancets.”

I don't agree with this, but I agree with your next conclusion:

“Unsurprisingly, NATO is still no ‘two-’, but ‘five steps’ behind: still in the process of shipping largely obsolete weapons and ammo it should’ve shipped 8-9-10 months back; and still not thinking about re-equipping the ZSU with latest in its technologies – and then in large numbers.“

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023

Seems to me, the only *economical* way to counter enemy UAV operations would be to locate their operating positions, and if in the open target them with one's own suicide drones. To clarify, I have no idea how feasible this would be in theory.

"For the start - and feel free to correct me: I’ll feel better if I’m wrong, but - I do not see any kind of serious, long-term strategy in what is the government in Kyiv doing."

Well, yes. There is a *strategy*, one that has been apparent for a year: liberate the south to threaten Crimea and form a northern pincer into Donbass, and prepare a northern pincer from the general area of Severodonetsk/Lysychansk, deliver the final blow to the separatists, etc. But I don't believe the relevant actors have a confident idea of ways and means towards achieving it.

It might be telling that the UA government hasn't taken the opportunity of a total war to do more against domestic corruption.

https://investigator.org.ua/news-2/255584/

https://kyivindependent.com/investigative-stories-from-ukraine-3/

Reznikov was reportedly set to be sacked in February, but this was revoked without warning. Why?

"they do not even think about outthinking Pudding"

Or, you know, politicians are not usually military-strategic geniuses who can unilaterally formulate a bold and aggressive vision. Blame the NATO generals and natsec advisors before you blame the politicians, not that I'm here to defend politicians' dignity and honor...

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023Author

I do blame the politicians, because they have the final say, but are corrupt.

They let themselves be 'influenced' by 'innocent and lovely people sponsoring their election campaigns' (usually for such reasons like 'the one that pays [more taxes] has the final say'), and they're surrounding themselves by 'yes sayers' - because 'these are easier to handle'.

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Would a politician - a national leader - who wasn't captured in any of those ways perform differently? How would they, someone who doesn't know the Crimean War from the Battle of the Bugle for example, discern the right thing to do? This isn't like climate change, where the same clear, actionable, principle is espoused by all the experts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dLkmkSffFo&pp=ygUNc2Nob2x6IHNwZWVjaA%3D%3D

I'm not saying that politician is or isn't corrupt, but I do think that he believes, based on his career, worldview, experience, the media and political environment of his country, and the internal advice he receives, he has handled Ukraine policy about as appropriately as he could have.

So the obstacle here is much more complex than some stereotype of corrupt, lazy politicians.

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023Author

Tell me one politician that is not corrupt.

Money corrupts, power corrupts. And the prevalent policy in the West of the last few decades is that of laying low and 'not making any mistakes': of administering pools and public opinion while creating the outlooks to cashing, big style, later on. That's a matter of fact. So, even politicians with best intentions at the start of their careers, get spoiled over the time.

Unsurprising result is that nowadays we do not even have 'ideologies' any more: when everything is put together, there's no 'left' and no 'right'. This is going so far that 'different' political parties are 'sponsored' by same private- and corporate interests, resulting in a situation where all the political parties are, more or less, 'centrists with ties to private and/or corporate interests, stressing the economy is holier than holly'...

....while all of this is supported, 'wholeheartedly' by the media and an electoral body too lazy and too distracted to think.

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If we stipulated every bit of that, then imagined a world without corrupt politicians - how would those latter inherently understand the "right" approach to the Ukraine War?

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By side that, technically, it's impossible to have 'professional politicians' that aren't corrupt.

The problem on hand is that we do not need 'professional politicians' - but strategists. People with ideas: characters not 'impressed' by Pudding's blackmails, not limited to belated reacting all the time, and not acting only if kicked up their backside - but thinking 5-10 months/years ahead, searching for new solutions, and acting.

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Jun 17, 2023·edited Jun 17, 2023

I'm not sure how productive it is to debate this, but from my perspective what you're describing isn't an alternative to corruption, but a true aristocracy of geniuses with amazing perception and virtue, which as a system has basically never existed in any society. In that sense we are doomed to live in what you describe as a corrupt system, because the alternative is a utopia.

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The voters elect politicians which they like to elect and the politicians act the way to satisfy the voters, otherwise they are not elected. (E.g. according to one recent research, 45% voters in U.S.A. still prefer D. Trump. And Trump had a little support of U.S. oligarch back in 2008.) Better politicians fail to be elected often, because "they have no charisma" or "they are corrupt anyway because all of them are corrupt" etc. So, we have what "we" want and we can change it easily if "we" want. But still much better than to live in autocracies like Russia or China.

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Maybe the Western politicians are simply not fit for war as some men are not fit to be effective soldiers. I think that a great part of European generals have never been on the battlefield and have never lead their men. The last great war with the professional army that lasted for years was the war in Vietnam long time ago and it was lead by the USA.

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Jun 17, 2023Liked by Sarcastosaurus

Jesus Tom, 'depressive day' could be considered an understatement :D

Let's hope to get better news in the coming days (and I don't mean from you but from the field).

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I'm not 'depressive', but expressing (bitter) critique, which I explain, too.

There are lots of things to reform and reorganise. Nothing of that is going to happen without substantiated critique, first.

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