Good to hear such level headed, civil toned remarks from Mr. Burja. Thx for bringing him into our cyber world. Now I need to go listen to the first segment.

No one except perhaps his closest contacts can tell us if Putin is truly insane, or not. His desire for a "protection zone" to keep NATO away from Moscow might be considered part of a "long train of abuses" from his perspective as NATO moved ever Eastward. We note these added countries asked to join; they were not forced to do so. Putin does not acknowledge that at all.

But his desire to recreate a Russian Tsarist empire clearly goes against the rest of our Declaration of Independence, the life - liberty focus, and equal rights for all mankind (self evident or not). I perceive that these and related Enlightenment ideas grew out of the Western Christian culture. But I wonder how the presumably equally Christian Eastern Orthodox church did not seem to evolve into accepting the same core individual liberty oriented ideas. Perhaps Mr. Burja can address this in a future pod cast.

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One last thing @Razib...we are about the same age and I do am skeptical of the foreign policy establishment, but we can't let things that happened almost 20 years ago make us no believe things out of hand forever. The intelligence community was dead-on about Putin's invasion so far.

Like all agencies they have their biases, agendas, etc. We know and accept all presidents lie. Well so do government agencies. We have to learn how to parse it.

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Thank you so much Razib. I lived through the Iraq era and that old triumphalism is back. It just seem incredible to me that India, China, South America, Africa, Middle East isn't looking at what the West is doing to Russia and not wondering.....hmmmm.....

And now there is talk about Putin and war crimes....which are likely real. But here is the catch: What of those that can be attributed to Bush admin in Iraq war?

And what if the one after Putin is worse than Putin?

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Seems Razib and Burja called this out. The first indirect economic casualty of this war

Sri Lanka? https://archive.ph/uWGT8

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I'm somewhat confused that there are quite a few stories in the media about the poor performance of the Russian military in comparison to his comments, which imply they have had some hiccups but are still reasonably on schedule--albeit maybe failing in an initial quick strike to decapitate the Kiev government.

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Remarkable . Mr Borja gives voice to what many are anticipating competing economic blocks . Germany is the loser, not being fully independent, UK the winner in Europe, it has always has always tried to keep Germany down and stay aligned with US. In fact to use American shoulders to attack enemies.

It is true that Russia has not used the kind of savage tactics it used in Grozny and then with Irans help in reducing Syrian cities to rubble.

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Yes, it was unlike the devaststion the Russians visited on Chechnya and Syria where the cuties with hundreds of years of heritage have bern demolished by the Iranian-Assad-Russian onslaught.

The other question is where are the refugee tents?

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I'm also concerned about the economic ramifications of this conflict. In addition to gas for Europe, there will be famine in 3rd world countries dependent on little Ukrainian wheat, strategic minerals not being available for green and other technologies, and dislocation of world-wide financial markets. All of this on top of the US government's stimulus money fueling inflation. I've lost a fair amount in the decline of the stock market and I'm re-evaluating my financial situation. More important is the loss of life by those affected by this strife. It's sad. (Nice couple of podcasts, though. Very informative.)

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Sobering, but helps validate my own less professional views, which are not what most people want to hear. See https://arnoldkling.substack.com/p/our-collective-amygdala-313 and earlier posts.

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Mar 14, 2022·edited Mar 14, 2022

I agree with him in regard to Europe dismal future, due to extremely high social spending, lack of innovation and general demographic collapse (while at the same time not supporting the type of economy that attracts high end highly productive immigrants). Yep, all of that...

However you guys didn't really get into detail about what Putin might want. My belief is that if you look at a linguistic map of Ukraine, he wanted to take over all of Southern Ukraine because it is predominately Russian speaking, and create a land corridor which gives him direct access to the Moldovan break-away region of Transnistria, which is dominated by ethnic Russians and has a Russian military presence.

This corridor will also give Russia control over the mouth of the Dnieper River, so he could control much of a Ukrainian rump states trade, without having to put troops in most of the country.

Keep in mind Ukraine is the second biggest nation in Europe by Sq km, with about 40 million people - Russia does not have the troops to occupy that area indefinitely and the Ukrainians are likely not going to stop fighting in the near future, even if it is only guerrilla warfare, assassinations, terrorist attacks in the new "Russian annexed regions"...what I suggest above would unite all the majority Russian areas of Europe, and give the Russian homeland a strategic southeastern border. The only direct NATO exposure would be the Baltic states, as well as Turkey and NATO on the Black Sea Coast.

I disagree that Putin's regime thought things would go this long. I say that because he put his FSB chief under house arrest, and fired several generals. You could say that was strategic housekeeping, that was pre-planned, but I doubt it.

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Your comments on the southern Ukrainian "campaign" make a lot of sense. I am surprised that early on most of the commentary I recall seeing did not add this "outside the box" viewpoint to the discussion, limiting themselves to aspects of the invasion's real goal was only to carve off the two Western more Russia oriented districts.

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just came to me looking at language/ethnicity maps of the region.

And keep in mind although Russia is exposed directly to NATO through the Baltics, the Baltics would be supplied through the Suwalki Gap, which Russia could cut off as it goes through Belarus and Kaliningrad.

So I think Putin is very worried about Ukraine because it is the first time a nation could Westernize on his border he could not have real strategic leverage over.

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