Archives for posts with tag: Ukraine

After reading this interview for a second time, I asked myself: ‘Why are you paying so much attention to this guy?!? After all, he doesn’t say anything new…’

Then it hit me!

“Russia” and “we” are two different things.

Russia, the country, cannot indeed afford to “lose”. To ‘lose it’, to be more precise.
Russia will survive, no matter how many more ‘mistakes’ the morons currently running it will commit.

“We”, on the other hand, are the ones who can. And eventually will. Lose. Everything.

And the longer those “we” are allowed by Russia itself to run the Kremlin, the worse it will be.
For everybody. Us – the rest of the world, included.

‘But when will this nightmare end?’

That I don’t know.
All I know is that it will eventually do that. End.

Look at the picture above.
When have you seen anything more British than that?
OK, fake British. Make-believe British. But British nonetheless.

That was which hit me.
That during its entire history, Russia had tried to emulate Britain.
The Russian elite has for ever tried to rise itself to ‘British standards’. From Peter the Great to Putin.
All the while convincing the Russian People that the road they were trundling on was unique…

The sooner the ordinary Russians will figure out that they have been misled – and enough of the elite will understand that British-ness is good only for the Brits, they will make peace.
Among themselves.
With the their Ukrainian cousins.
And with the rest of the world!

Homo Sapiens Sapiens is a species of cultured animals simultaneously capable to place a highly sophisticated IR telescope on an orbit around their native planet, the Earth, and to reduce a country to a pile of rubble.

Interestingly enough, the technology used to accomplish both, the rocket, has been imagined a little more than a century ago.
By, among others, Herman Oberth.

He had built his first rocket as a school project, when he was 14. About then he also came up with the concept of a multistaged rocket.
Lack of resources convinced him to study medicine. After only two years he was drafted into the German Imperial Army to serve during WWI. Initially as a foot soldier and then moved to a medical unit. In that period he found enough “spare time” to conduct experiments which had later enabled him to present “designs of a missile using liquid propellant with a range of 290 km to Hermann von Stein, the Prussian Minister of War.
During WWII he had worked at Peenemunde, were he was awarded a decoration for bravery during an aerial attack, and then at the German WASAG organization developing solid fueled anti-aircraft rockets.

Between the wars he had contributed to a series of experiments in Germany. For one of which he was helped by an 18 years student. Werner von Braun.

After WWII, Oberth moved to Italy to continue, for the Italian Navy, some of the work he had started at WASAG. Then returned to Germany to publish “Mankind into Space, in which he described his ideas for space-based reflecting telescopes, space stations, electric-powered spaceships, and space suits.”

Oberth eventually came to work for his former student, Wernher von Braun, who was developing space rockets for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama.

He retired in 1962 and had a brief stint in far right politics (the National Democratic Party of Germany).
He was invited to the US in 1969 to witness the Apollo 11 crew being sent towards the Moon and in October 1985 to view the Space Shuttle Challenger being launched carrying the D-1 Spacelab mission – “the first with German mission management and controlled from the German Space Operations Center
However, his primary interest during his retirement years was to turn to more abstract philosophical questions. Most notable among his several books from this period is Primer For Those Who Would Govern.

Humans, as a species, have harbored the same ‘amount’ of brain for the last 200 000 years. That was when the Homo Sapiens had arrived. But that brain had produced something only about 70 000 years ago. That’s why the second Sapiens was added, by us, to the name of those living since that time. To underline the fact that humans had become ‘fully’ conscious only ‘recently’. That having a big brain was not enough. That becoming fully human also implied self awareness. Wisdom…

Apparently that’s not enough.
After experiencing, first hand, the horrors of WWI such a creative mind as Herman Oberth’s was still capable of building offensive weapons for Hitler.
After experiencing, first hand, the horrors of WWII such a creative mind as Herman Oberth’s was still able of joining an extreme right political party…

After experiencing, first hand, the horrors of WWII at the hands of the nazi, the modern day, post communist, Russia is capable of inflicting the same kind of horrors to their close cousins, the Ukrainians.

When are we going to become Sapiens enough to stop this insanity?
To concentrate our creativity exclusively towards ‘elevating’ purposes?

When I was six, my father took me to a German kinder-garden.

He was learning German, at 35, and thought I should start earlier.
In the end, I didn’t exactly learn the language but during the process I met a lot of nice German speaking people.

At 16 I read

The Death Factory, a book about the Auschwitz concentration camp

Well, actually it was translated in Romanian but the original cover is far more suggestive for non-Romanians.

That was when I learned to distinguish between a people as a whole and the atrocities committed by a minority.

As I grew up, under communist rule, I noticed the ‘little compromises’ my parents had to make in order to provide a better life for me. The small bribes offered whenever ‘necessary’, not speaking up their minds in ‘official settings’, allowing stupid, but powerful, individuals to boss them around…
As a young adult, I understood how those small compromises, made by almost all of us, added up and eventually caused the entire regime to collapse. Eaten up, from inside, by institutionalized corruption.

As a no longer young adult, after the regime change, I noticed that ‘compromise’ was so entrenched in our habit that it had been carried over into the new regime. As if the new found liberty had been interpreted as the freedom to accept ‘un-earned benefits’ from whoever offered them. In exchange for things which were not ours to give…
The same was happening in other ex-communist countries. The closer to Moscow, the more intense the phenomenon.

That was when I learned to dissociate corruption from any particular political regimen.

Soon after that I learned the international dimension of the whole thing.

BONN, Germany (AP) _ Germany is set to outlaw tax deductions for bribes paid to foreign officials, falling in line with a U.S.-led drive to fight corruption and promote fair competition.
The change is part of proposed tax reforms presented Monday by the new center-left government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Parliament is expected to approve the measure before the end of the year.
Currently, kickbacks paid by German companies abroad or at home to win contracts are tax deductible as legitimate business expenses unless the person who made the payout is found out and convicted of bribery. In practice, that rarely happens
.”

AP NEWS, November 10, 1998

Gerhard Schroeder, who had called „the Russian president a “flawless democrat””, „has been tapped to join the Gazprom supervisory board”.

That was when I realized how many of those living inside a country have no effing idea about what some of their compatriots do when ‘working’ abroad.

A few short years later, a Romanian president had the audacity to shout ‘the emperor is naked’.

Corruption belongs to both the public and private sectors, and the president has said he does not shift responsibility to anyone, but that it must be “shared and assumed.”
An official cannot be corrupted if there is no one to pay a bribe, just as a ministry cannot pay 50% more for a contract if there is no consultant to do an expertise in this regard, Basescu explained.
“Let’s get out of the hypocrisy. If there is corruption, the state alone cannot be corrupted, it has a partner. The state cannot be alone. It has a partner and this is the private economy.”
Basescu was present yesterday at the launch of the Romanian Competitiveness Report prepared by AmCham.

Claudiu Medrega, Ziarul Financiar, 15/12/2011

That was when I learned that democracy alone is not enough to cure corruption. That democracy can also be eaten from the inside by this worm. If ‘the people’ do not pay enough attention!

This morning, on top of the already ‘normal’ news from the Ukrainian front, I learned that

“Last week, Boris Romanchenko, a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor, was killed when shelling hit his ordinary flat in the war-ravaged Ukrainian city of Kharkiv”
“The multi-storey apartment building where Romanchenko lived was shelled and caught on fire,” said the statement.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, has been under heavy fire from Russian artillery throughout the invasion, which Russian President Vladimir Putin calls a “special military operation” necessary to disarm and “denazify” its neighbour.”

Reuters, March 22, 2022

That was when I understood that ‘what goes around, comes around’ is driven by our bad choices.
By our unwillingness to make good what we have already learned from past mistakes.

Should have learned from past mistakes…

Really guys?
The Red Army had spilled its blood to free the people herded to be killed at Auschwitz and a survivor from Auschwitz is killed by a Russian bomb attempting to ‘denazify’ Ukraine?!?
Which Ukraine wanted nothing but to join the EU and NATO?
But couldn’t! Crimea was occupied while Donetsk and Luhansk have rebelled against the central government… and NATO – like all other clear headed alliances do not admit new members which are already involved in ‘border disputes’.

Putin says Russia’s concerns expressed over three decades about NATO’s expansion were dismissed by the West, and post-Soviet Russia was humiliated after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.”
He says NATO, as an instrument of the United States, was building up its military on Ukraine’s territory in a way that threatened Russia.
On March 11, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin the West was beefing up military forces close to Russia’s Western borders. Putin asked Shoigu to prepare a report on how to respond
.”

For almost 25 years, the West believed Russia could be tamed by diplomacy and trade to maintain stability and security in Europe. In 1997, NATO and Russia signed a “founding act” that was designed to build trust and limit both sides’ force presence in eastern Europe.
The alliance also sought to build a partnership with Russia, which took part in NATO exercises in the Baltic as recently as 2012, according to retired U.S. Admiral James Foggo, who commanded U.S. and NATO fleets in Europe for almost a decade until 2020.

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014… NATO created small, multinational combat units in Poland and the three Baltic states, which serve as a forward presence to deter Moscow. But the force numbers are designed not to violate the “founding act,” which has hindered NATO’s ability to move troops into the Baltics and Poland on a permanent basis.

So. Putin, spooked by a NATO who doesn’t dare to violate the ‘founding act’ – not even after Russia had occupied Crimea, orders the Russian Army to demilitarize and denazify a country whose independence and integrity was guaranteed by the Budapest Memorandum.

And, caught in the middle, a man whose life had been saved – some 75 years ago, by the Red Army ends up being killed by the Russian one…

Simply because we didn’t pay attention.
And allowed what went around to come back!

Boris Romantschenko of Ukraine, along with five other former prisoners, renews the oath of Buchenwald, from April 19, 1945, at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial, in Weimar, Germany, April 12, 2015. Picture taken April 12, 2015. Michael Reichel – Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

I grew up in a communist country, Romania.

Russian films were ‘readily’ available.
Some of them were good. Really good.

Besides going to the movies, I was an avid reader.
I must confess that the ‘great Russian classics’ didn’t impress me. No special reason.
But I did read a lot of Russian literature. About the partizans fighting the Nazis during WWII, about the communists fighting for freedom – for their version of freedom, in the early ‘920-ies, some Sci-Fi novels about the happy lives the Russians were going to live in the next millennium.

This morning I was listening to the radio.
The news bulletin was, of course, about what’s going on in Ukraine.

A refugee, a woman who had fled accompanied by her young daughter – her husband and her son remained at home to fight, was speaking in her native language.
I know that Ukrainian is different from Russian. But for my ears they sound very much the same.

Imagine what I felt.

I grew up associating the Russian language with the struggle for freedom. With the promise of a better world.

As I learned things… my understanding of history had become more ‘nuanced’.
The Soviet Union had collapsed after Afghanistan. The regime finally got what was coming to it.
As Putin crushed Chechnya, killed Litvinenko, ‘peacefully’ occupied Crimea … things were no longer ‘nuanced’…

But this!

They say that an image is worth a thousand words… I’m no longer sure about that!

There is so much violence paraded in front of our yes that our ‘retina’ has become calloused.

Hearing that brave woman trying to convey her tragedy in a language I associated in my childhood with the promise of liberty really did it for me.

This time the oppressor itself was speaking Russian.
Russian soldiers were doing the very same thing the Russian people had experienced during the WWII. And they were doing it to their ‘brothers’.

Russian soldiers were turning Kyiv into rubble!
Kyiv, the birth place of the Rus-ian people…

All this conveyed in a language which, for me, sounds very much the same as the language I had associated in my childhood with the quest for freedom.

I wept.

Hoping the Kremlin will learn to understand tears.
Maybe not the present ruler but at least the stony walls…

Cineva tocmai a făcut un inventar. Chestii care umblă ‘folcloric’ – adică din gură-n gură, pe internet.
Omul acela, destul de destupat la minte de felul lui, a ajuns să se îndoiască de propria sa capacitate analitică.

Există câteva narațiuni pe care nu le pricep sub nici un chip…

N-am citez inventarul cu pricina. Până citiți voi postarea asta, oricum va fi caduc.
Dacă vă interesează, sau dacă vreți să vedeți cât de bine le demontează „omul acela”, click pe citatul de mai sus și gata. Sunteți în pâine.

Dar o explicație mică…

Propaganda lui Putin funcționează mult mai bine decât armata pe care a trimis-o să-i învețe minte pe Ucraineni!
Pentru că e mult mai ușor să stai la calculator, la căldurică, și să vii cu metode cât se poate de creative prin care să zăpăcești de cap oameni care au un interes secundar cu privire la problemă. Oameni pe care nu-i aleargă nimeni dar care au deja un bagaj de sentimente și prejudecăți. Sentimente și prejudecăți numai bune de exploatat!
Pe ‘câmp’, în schimb, când și ceilalți trag în tine… iar tu știi, în adâncul sufletului tău, că ei sunt cei care au, de fapt, dreptate…

Și, poate chiar mai important, pe internet ajunge o măciucă la un car de oale!
E destul ca cineva priceput la băgat limba-n ureche să vină cu o chestie suficient de credibilă… că Gică Contra care să răspândească jumătățile de minciună… se găsesc gârlă!

Uite-așa, o jumătate de minciună ici… o jumătate colea… te trezești cu cozi la benzină și cu o frumusețe de criză de ulei.

Chiar mai important, te trezești cu o masă captivă de oameni dispuși să creadă aproape orice.

‘Rusia nu a atacat Ucraina, doar vrea să protejeze niște Ruși nevinovați de abuzurile săvârșite de Ucraineni’.
Spitalul era dezafectat iar cei din poze erau actori…

“After the bombing of the hospital, Twitter removed two posts by the Russian embassy in London which claimed the attack had been faked.
The embassy’s tweets made unfounded claims that the hospital was not operational at the time and that injured women pictured at the scene were actors.”

Și, ca să nu rămâneți cu impresia că am explicații pentru toate cele, hop și eu cu o nedumerire proprie.

Ăia care se pricep la băgat limba-n ureche, cei care vin cu toate ‘trăsnăile’ astea, cum pot să doarmă noaptea? Să-și sărute copiii pe frunte? Să facă dragoste?
Oameni inteligenții fiind – mult peste medie, nu-și dau seama unde duc eforturile lor?

Lasă că mor oameni… poate că stau prost cu empatia!
Dar nici măcar la pielea lor nu se gândesc?
Cât o să mai stea ‘Putin’ la putere?

Pe veci?!?
Iar ei, cei care sunt acum în grațiile lui ‘Putin’, vor rămâne tot acolo… Pe întreaga durată a domniei lui!
Păi da, dictatorii sunt cei mai fideli oameni din lume…
Se duc la următorul?
Și cât o să mai țină povestea asta?

Sper să nu mă luați acuma cu libertatea cuvântului!!!

The internet is full of articles attempting to understand Putin’s motives starting from what he had said about the subject.

Here’s but the last I’ve read.
Why has Russia invaded Ukraine and what does Putin want?

Nothing special inside but it illustrates well enough the point I’m trying to make.

At first, Putin’s words are summarized and then proven ‘wrong’. Misleading. Or plain false.
In the next section of the article, the author – Paul Kirby, like many more before him, attempts to divine what Putin will do. Starting from the same words which have just been proven false and/or misleading.

?!?

No, the author is not ‘dense’.
He simply does what he was trained to do.

We, here in the land of democracy, understand language as a medium for negotiation.
And negotiation as an exchange where we let our needs be known, in earnest. As an exchange where we ‘trade’ information with the goal of finding the best mutually acceptable solution for whatever problem we attempt to solve.
In this sense, a negotiation is a form of cooperation. And compromise is something which both sides find beneficial.

For people conversant in ‘dictatorian’, ‘compromise’ is something to be shoved down the throat of the weaker side. The bigger the power differential, the harder to swallow becomes the ‘compromise’.

Doesn’t make much sense?
To us, democrats?
Because we know that shoving things down the throat of now weaker people doesn’t work on the longer time frame?

‘Assuming’ is the worst thing a negotiator may make.

We keep assuming that dictators are rational. Even worse, that they follow the same ‘ratio’ as we do.
That we – as in we and them, see the same world and have ‘slightly’ different goals.
And express those different goals in the same manner. Using the same kind of language.

We are wrong.

We, the democratically minded, are trained – conditioned is a truer word, to consider ‘the other’ as being equivalent to us.
At least some of the others, but that’s another discussion.
We actually ‘know’, in our bones, that we cannot ‘do’ anything by ourselves. That we exist only in cooperation with those around us. That everything we have ever accomplished was the result of a common effort.

People conditioned in dictatorial regimes see things rather differently.
They don’t cooperate, they just obey.
Their existence does not stem from the common effort but from following orders.
Language is not at all a medium where information is being passed between equivalent agents but a two way conduit. Orders are flowing from top to bottom and acknowledgments crawl from bottom to the top.

‘And what about ‘information’?!?
How does it travel among those people?’

Piecemeal.
Exclusively on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Nobody ‘volunteers’ any information unless expressly asked about it by a superior.

This is why dictatorships end up crumbling under their own weight.

That’s why we don’t understand, for real, what Putin attempts to communicate.
That’s why he is extremely annoyed right know.

Putin no longer understands what’s going on.
Let aside the fact that nobody around him dares to volunteer any information – which would be contrary to what Putin wants to hear.
My point being that Putin had been accustomed to having his way.

I’m not going to enumerate all the things he had done. Things we should have reacted against…
As in ‘reacted’, not meowed meekly.
As a consequence, he had grown accustomed to shoving things down our throats…

Suddenly, we have stopped swallowing!
Without giving him a ‘reasonable’ reason…
A reason he could understand!

Do you remember what I’ve told you?
A few moments ago? That dictators don’t care about those who are weaker? Nor about the long term consequences of their decisions?
That dictators are concerned exclusively with their own survival?

Savvy?

This beautiful – but almost empty, park is in Bucharest.
In Bucharest, Romania.

By the look of it, by how empty it is, it could have been anywhere in Ukraine.

Which reminds me of Churchill’s words.

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Currently, the Ukrainian people defend not only their freedom but that of the entire Europe.
And that of the Russian people!

Who now have the opportunity to conquer theirs!

Ever since Putin had ordered his army to invade Ukraine, I keep hearing about what drove Putin to do it.
About his dreams of rebuilding the old Russian Glory. About his drive to become the most important Russian personality. About NATO ‘pushing itself’ closer and closer to Russia’s borders. About…

The map above is the last argument I came by. And the last straw…
The person who posted the map doesn’t agree with Putin. Not at all.
But cannot ‘forget’ the fact that at one time Kiev did belong to Russia.

Well… I’ll be blunt about it!

This person, along with many others, tries to explain what is going on in a rational manner. They attempt to find an objective reason for a subjective decision.

Putin is flattening out Ukraine because he is afraid.

The Soviet Union had survived 1956 Hungary, 1968 Prague, and 1980 Solidarnosc. All of these ‘movements’ had been, somehow, quashed. Dealt with.

The Soviet Union had, finally, crumbled under its own weight after Afghanistan. After a people didn’t cave in. After a people, an entire people, found it in themselves how to resist. How to say no!

Putin had successfully quashed Yeltsin’s oligarchs, the Chechen rebellion, the first Orange revolution, dealt with Saakashvili, helped Lukashenko save his throne and put a lid upon the recent Kazahstani attempt at making a small step towards democracy.
And was contemplating the Western Europe planing to give up burning gas and oil.

‘His’ gas and oil…

He had to do something. Otherwise ‘his’ people were going to throw him out.

If Ukraine was allowed to continue on the self determination path, who was going to stop the Russians from following suit?

So yes, the circumstances described by that map are valid.
But it is Putin who bears the entire responsibility for what’s going on.
And for creating the circumstances in which ‘next’ is going to happen.

Can you imagine what’s going on in these children’s souls?

Circa 840, “three noble brothers” of Viking origin – Rurik, Sineus and Truvor, established “what came to be called Kievan Rus”.

“Rus,” which is where the name “Russia” comes from, purportedly derives from an old Nordic word for “men who row.”

882. Oleg the Prophet captures Kyiv and moves the capital of the Viking kingdom from Novgorod to Kyiv.
Thus the Rus becomes Kievan.

1703. Peter the Great of Rus-sia established Sank Petersburg as a bulwark against the Swedish Kingdom.
The city served as Russia’s capital from 1712 to 1918

1941. Hitler breaks the German Soviet Non Aggression Pact and starts a war against the Soviet Union.
Leningrad – the city formerly known as Sankt Petersburg, had been put under siege from September 8, 1941 to January 27, 1944

2022. February 24. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the present day ruler of Rus-sia, in complete defiance of the Budapest Memorandum, started a “special military operation” meant to achieve the “demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine,”

Kyiv hasn’t been besieged yet but has already been under heavy bombardment.

I’m Romanian.
Romanians don’t have very fond memories of what had happened to their country whenever the Russian soldiers had come by to ‘visit’.
As a teenager I read The 900 Days The Siege of Leningrad, 1968, by Harrison Salisbury

And wept.

Now, an already old man, I check out, on the Internet, what’s going out in Kyiv – the former capital of the Kievan Rus.

And weep.

Homo homini lupus has become a massive understatement.

1. Sow doubt.
2. Drop a loud fact. Or two… This will simultaneously ‘water’ the previously planted seed and act as a ‘foot in the door’ for your next move.
3. ‘Miss-interpret’ another fact.
4. Mention an universal human emotion, inviting your audience to identify itself with the ‘victim’.
5. Squarely state what you want your audience to believe.

1. ‘The Soviet Union didn’t crumple under its own weight. It was dissolved by Yeltsin so that Gorbachev’s position would disappear.
Leaving Yeltsin as the top dog of the day. Even if at the helm of a little smaller empire…’

2. ‘After the Cold War had ended, the West should have treated the ‘defeated’ as Germany, Italy and Japan had been treated after WWII. The West should have helped the Soviet Union to overcome the transition hurdles by extending to it an equivalent of the Marshall Plan.
Instead of that, the Americans had come up with the Wolfowitz – later Bush, Doctrine.’

3. ‘Gorbatchev was told by James Baker that NATO will not move an inch eastward’

4. “…1998, Yeltsin, late Yeltsin: ‘you promised not to do this! So, how do we trust you, if you make a promise?’ “

5.1. Vladimir Putin has been created by the United States.
5.2. The so called free media in general – and New York Times in particular, cannot be trusted to provide honest information.

Pozner’s discourse is far more ‘byzantine’ than the ‘stream-lined’ version I used to illustrate what skillful propaganda looks like. Skillful maskirovka, more likely?

This post has become long enough. Let me wrap it up.

The main question here being ‘did he actually say it? Did Baker actually promised Gorbachev that “NATO will not move an inch eastward” ‘?

Having met with Genscher on his way into discussions with the Soviets, Baker repeated exactly the Genscher formulation in his meeting with Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze on February 9, 1990, (see Document 4); and even more importantly, face to face with Gorbachev.
Not once, but three times, Baker tried out the “not one inch eastward” formula with Gorbachev in the February 9, 1990, meeting. He agreed with Gorbachev’s statement in response to the assurances that “NATO expansion is unacceptable.” Baker assured Gorbachev that “neither the President nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place,” and that the Americans understood that “not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”

‘So he actually said it!’…

the Americans understood that “not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”

The Soviet Union is long gone, all the states which have been admitted into NATO are ‘in’ because they had asked themselves to join – and are now extremely glad to be protected by the famous 5th article – … while the only (frustrated) ‘agent’ who ever cried foul was Putin.
Not only cried foul but eventualy acted out his frustrations!

But Putin is not exactly alone…

Putin’s Munich speech was the first explicit warning of serious trouble if the West did not abandon its increasingly aggressive posture toward Russia; the Kremlin’s latest demands for security guarantees and a NATO military pullback from Russia’s borders may be the last warning. The United States and its allies are backing Russia into a corner, and that is profoundly unwise if the goal is to avoid war with a heavily armed great power.

Ted Galen Carpenter, Senior Fellow, Cato.org January 24, 2022

Trump: “How smart is that?”
Pompeo: “I have an enormous respect for him!”

Pozner seems to be somewhat right, after all.
His arguments don’t stand – as he had framed them – but he does have an inkling…

And yes, you can – and actually should, analyze my post following the steps I already mentioned.
Then please read this:

Manipulation: useful tool, mortal sin or what?!? April 27, 2015
‘Causing’ Circumstances March 1, 2022

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