Speaking of Armchair Experts

This guy’s in a goddamned La-z-Boy recliner.  As a general rule these people tend to take Russia’s side, but here we’ve got a Swedish dude who decided to go all in on Maidan and the Ukrainian government for some unknown reason. I say unknown because it turns out he’s never been to Ukraine and apparently everything he knows about what’s going on comes from English-speaking sources on the internet as he admittedly has no understanding of Ukrainian or Russian either.

Of course none of this stops him from labeling people “false-flag” propagandists of the Kremlin. Which people, do you ask? If you look at the first name on the list, old Graham Cracker himself, it almost seems like he’s competent. Graham Phillips is pretty much openly a pro-Kremlin propagandist. After all he’s grateful to Putin and Yanukovych for maintaining the 90’s mentality and conditions which have provided him with such a wide selection of possibly trafficked prostitutes. Keep reading, however, and you see something is seriously wrong.

Yes, that’s it. Keep reading. There you will see the names of people who are routinely attacked and trolled by pro-Kremlin yahoos accusing them of waging an information war on behalf of the West. And yet this Swede is accusing them of being propagandists for Putin. To build his case he uses “evidence” in the form of tweets and excerpts from their writing where they acknowledge things such as Ukrainian government complicity in the humanitarian situation, shelling of civilian areas by the Ukrainian military, and apparently meeting separatist leaders without immediately attempting to rip out their throats with their teeth in a heroic attempt to end the rebellion once and for all.

Look, I hate to ruin anyone’s day, but it is a fact that the Ukrainian military has been complicit in shelling civilian areas. The OSCE puts reports up on its website nearly every way. While they don’t point fingers, usually you can tell who most likely fired on who using a map and the OSCE analyses of the projectiles’ trajectory. Moreover, the Ukrainian government has been criticized for indiscriminate shelling of civilian-populated areas. Like the Russian government, some people want to trust Human Rights Watch and the OSCE only when they support their side and dismiss them when they don’t. And while there may be no moral equivalence in this conflict, I see Ukraine’s government as only having a slight edge in this respect.

Once again the lesson here is that the internet cannot make you an expert in things. By all means, read all the sources you like, but unless you put in serious work and leave your house, your criticism or opinion doesn’t really count for much against someone on the ground.

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11 thoughts on “Speaking of Armchair Experts

  1. Pingback: Armchair Pundit Phalanx | Russia Without BS

  2. gbd_crwx

    Sorry for bumping this thread, but as a Swede I might give some enlightenment. I think he is not really interested in Ukraine as such. If you look at his blog and bio there he seems to have at least some military experience (Probably as a conscript NCO and/or possibly a few years as a low level Company officer in the Swedish Army) and could be considered a military nerd, and as such in Sweden that means suspicious of the russian state. So I think his pro-ukrainian stance is more of a vehicle for his waryness of RF than a genuine love of ukraine.

    (Actually if you read his blog, including the Swedish posts, the overall expression is that his main concern is the anorectic Swedish military and the low interest in the Swedish media has for the “hard part” of foreign realations)

    Reply
      1. gbd_crwx

        I’m not sure these are correlated. The wellfare state was quite good in the 70:ies and 80:ies too when the the defence spending was some 3-3,5% of GDP. (I’m not suggesting that amount of defence spending, although I am in favour of spending more than today). But I digress, this is not a blog about Sweden.

        And let me tell you, Sweden was concerned with the hard part foreign relations for a long time, at least until the fall of the berlin wall, and the fear of russians went Deep.

      1. Jim Kovpak Post author

        It’s a lot like their pop music. To be fair, a lot of their hatred is justified. In the past Russian movies got decent budgets and effects but they tend to be terrible or unimaginative. The comedies manage to outdo Hollywood in terms of banality and the big-budget war films are just plain insulting.

      2. gbd_crwx

        This sounds very interesting. Is the Russian Movie scene and/or pop Music, something you will cover in post in the future?

      3. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I tend to cover it in a very indirect way. I wanted to do that more with the podcasts. I suppose in the future I could but the problem is that a lot of Russia’s music and movies is never marketed abroad. Many films are never dubbed into other languages or equipped with subtitles. As for music, I can’t think of any pop group that attained international fame in the recent past apart from Ta.Tu, and that was back in 2002-4 I think. They barely made a dent in America, I think due to the fact that their international fame was related to Eurovision. America is mercifully protected from most Eurovision songs by a special sonic barrier constructed by the US Navy in the 80’s and special customs agreements with record companies.

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