23 thoughts on “John Mearsheimber: Ukraine Being Destroyed Due to NATO’s Expansion Policy”

  1. Great discussion. I love to ask Putin haters to show me proof that Putin ever said or did anything to prove that he wanted to reconstitute the old Soviet Union. Mearsheimer is my source for that wager.

    Watching Putin take the insults and crap from the U.S. for years and not retaliate in kind at first made me think he was being a good Christian by turning the other cheek. Finally it got so bad that I came to the conclusion that Putin didn’t own a pair. He is slow to anger, but he finally backed up his red line as he should have.

    1. A lot of people take his statement that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a “calamity” as evidence that he wants to reconstitute it, but that seems like the wrong understanding. The collapse of the Soviet Union WAS a “calamity” for millions of people who had lived under a particular system of government for 70 years and were suddenly left without the parts of it that they could at least somewhat count on. Think of the situation that Social Security recipients in the US would be in if the US regime collapsed tomorrow, for example.

      Putin has mainly tried to be a good custodian, working to slow/stop the decline of what’s left of the Russian empire as best he can. And for many years he seemed to have learned the lessons of Chechnya and not be inclined toward further disastrous foreign military misadventures. I sometimes wonder whether Ukraine was just a massive brain fart on his part, or whether he was pressured into it by hardliners among the powers behind his throne. I doubt that his magical retroactive secret baptism had much to do with it. That looks a lot more like him co-opting Orthodox Christianity on behalf of his custodial role than any kind of actual conversion, especially given his subsequent maneuvering of a fellow chekist into the church’s leadership.

      1. Your mind is made up about Putin and nothing is going to change it. You despise the man because he doesn’t allow anarchy.

        1. I don’t despise him any more than most organized crime lords (also known as politicians), and less than some. Given the situation he inherited when he rose to power, he could have done a lot worse than he has. The Ukraine fiasco is an outlier, not the norm, for him.

          1. Organized crime lord? You believe the propaganda put out to demonize Putin. None of it has been proven.

          2. Read what I wrote — ALL politicians are organized crime lords, because government is organized crime.

            As organized crime lords go, I don’t see that Putin is any worse overall than, say, Zelenskyy, Biden, Netanyahu, Macron, Trudeau, et al.

            On SOME issues, I’d even rate him as not as bad.

            But I’m not going to pretend he’s not what he is.

          3. Unfortunately we are stuck with states, government and politicians because we have no mechanism to settle disputes except through law. I am sympathetic to living in our natural condition of egalitarian anarchy, but I don’t see any way to square that with our urban industrial society. And there are too many of us to live as hunter-gatherers.

          4. “we have no mechanism to settle disputes except through law.”

            Free market anarchism (with the exception of its subset absolute pacifism) does not reject the concept of enforceable law. It simply does not endorse any organization having a monopoly on the definition and implementation of that law.

            The state asserts its authority to have the sole power to define what instances of violence, and therefore what instances of law enforcement, are legally permitted. Once we grant the state that authority, it expends most of its effort and energy trying to preserve that monopoly. The idea that the state can even possibly be a force for serving the general good of the people, with this fact in mind, would appear to be ludicrous.

          5. For more information on what supremeborg is talking about, I suggest starting with Gustave de Molinari’s The Production of Security (1849). While the idea that only the state can provide law, law enforcement, and courts has always been nonsense and contrary to experience, he was really the first one to codify the philosophical case against it in modern times.

          6. Even if we did, and there are laws, we have not proven to be reliable. We don’t need no stinking laws, we are the indispensable nation, the white house on the hill, The One.

          7. I have never known Thomas to bow to any propaganda about anyone. He thinks for himself, and is willing to admit when he has been wrong.

            Is Putin as bad as any other politician? In a general sense, yes. Is he as bad in all ways as Biden or Trump? No, certainly not. But are Biden and Trump as bad in all ways as Putin? No, certainly not.

            Mary, your reaction to someone criticizing Putin seems to be knee-jerk, going something like this: MSNBC, CNN, the WP, the NYT, etc. have a negative opinion of Putin and MSNBC, CNN, the WP, the NYT, etc. are purveyors of propaganda, therefore ANYONE (including Thomas Knapp) who views Putin even partially negatively is in league with the purveyors of propaganda. I am sorry, Mary, but you have failed your Logic 101 exam. Your reasoning here is similar to the Democratic Party establishment’s statements to the effect that, “If you are not with us on this, you are MAGA.”

            Perhaps if you would actually read and understand what Thomas is writing here, you could tone down the closed minded knee-jerk reactions and actually have an intelligent conversation.

            When Thomas describes Putin as an “organized crime lord,” he is definitely not singling Putin out, as his statements are meant in a very general way. The state as an institution is brutal and violent. Anyone ruling a state will, at least partially, act with violence and brutality. I challenge you to find ANY head of state for which this statement is not true, including Putin.

          8. I think the knee-jerk reactions comes from those who immediately assume that Putin is guilty of everything bad. I never said Putin is a saint. I don’t know the content of his soul, but I do know that he is way smarter than any of our leaders, including those in Europe, and he does have the preponderance of truth on his side regarding NATO/U.S. and the war in Ukraine.

            As for my Logic 101 exam, I am in good company with people like Prof. John Mearsheimer, Col. Doug Macgregor, Alex Christophorou, Alexander Mercouris, and many others. For facts and logic you should read the book, “How the West Brought War to Ukraine” by Benjamin Abelow. It might remove the scales from your eyes.

          9. “but I do know that he is way smarter than any of our leaders”

            Wouldn’t disagree with you, as that is a very low bar. However, he definitely made a blunder by invading Ukraine. He didn’t learn sufficiently from the foreign policy mistakes made by Western leaders which have caused us to lose the good will of much of the world.

          10. The bar is indeed low in the US and Europe as far as leaders go, but Putin’s bar is very high. He is well educated, experienced, measured, slow to anger, classy in his responses to threats and insults, and he is careful in guarding Russia from aggressors like the U.S. and NATO. Putin does learn from his mistakes and those made by other countries, particularly the U.S.. He doesn’t rule by listening to or fearing world opinion. He charts his own course. He plays 3D Chess to Biden’s Checkers.

          11. “As for my Logic 101 exam, I am in good company with people like Prof. John Mearsheimer, Col. Doug Macgregor, Alex Christophorou, Alexander Mercouris, and many others.”

            What does my statement about failing a logic exam have to do with a foreign policy question? You are clearly not reading what I write and digesting it. Have you completely forgotten that on foreign policy issues these people you mention, yourself, and myself basically agree 99% of the time?

            The statement about failing a logic exam was about your insistence on endorsing the guilt by association meme, that because the Democratic Party media establishment has a negative view of Putin, and Thomas Knapp has a negative view of Putin, Thomas Knapp must, therefore, be guilty of the same foreign policy sins as the Democratic Party media establishment. You not only failed the Logic 101 exam yesterday, you failed it again when you retook it today. You are clearly NOT reading what I write. Either that, or you are proving what I said about a knee-jerk reaction on your part.

            Now, once again (please read and digest), my criticism of you here has nothing to do with a foreign policy position per se (as stated, I am pretty sure we agree on 99% of that). It is your twisted logic, or rather your total lack of any logic whatsoever, which leads you to posit that Thomas’ criticisms of Putin are derived, not from independent thinking on his part, but from the influence of anti-Russian propaganda. You did not offer one shred of evidence for this claim, simply an appeal to guilt by association. You completely ignored my analogy in regard to the Democratic Party establishment’s statements to the effect that “If you aren’t with us on everything, you’re MAGA.” You honestly can’t see that you are doing exactly the same thing here?

      2. Many in Russia yearn for the days when there was guaranteed medical, educational advances, along with a guaranteed pension. Older Russians in particular. Concerning the attack on Ukraine, hardliners wanted “shock and awe”, just level everything. Putin has stated and continues to state that he does not intend to “take over” Ukraine.

    2. [100% agree with your comments]

      Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.

      -Vladimir Putin

  2. NATO should have been dissolved when the USSR & Warsaw Pact were dissolved & the Berlin Wall was dismantled. NATO grew despite that. It keeps adding new members. Sweden & Finland recently joined NATO. France returned to NATO after Nicholas Sarkozy became the president. There could be more nations joining NATO sometime in the future.
    NATO’s expansion and the fact that Ukraine persecutes the Russian Speakers there caused that war to start. It will not end any time soon.

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