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Transnational Thursday for March 14, 2024

Transnational Thursday is a thread for people to discuss international news, foreign policy or international relations history. Feel free as well to drop in with coverage of countries you’re interested in, talk about ongoing dynamics like the wars in Israel or Ukraine, or even just whatever you’re reading.

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What game is Macron playing? He's previously suggested France might send French troops into Ukraine if Odessa or Kiev looked like they might fall and has been doubling down on this weird kind of non-committal brinksmanship.

“If Russia were to win, the lives of French people would change," Macron said. "We would no longer have security in Europe."

The French president spent much of the interview arguing in favor of remaining ambiguous, saying only that France would not “lead the offensive or take initiative."

In an Odoxa poll, 68 percent of French respondents said Macron's comments on Western troops in Ukraine were "wrong."

Some in the Z-sphere have been suggesting that the plan is to send French troops to rear areas in Ukraine where they're mostly out of danger and can free up Ukrainian troops for the front. Somebody has to watch Transnistria after all. Eventually, the Russians will break through and NATO forces will advance to block Russia from annexing the whole country, rather like how the Russians had blocking forces in Yugoslavia back in the day. The Z people, like Putin, run on realpolitik and have long been expecting a partition of some kind - Lviv returning to Poland. Western leaders run on a fundamentally different geopolitical model, which is one of the key causes of the conflict.

Is Macron just trying to look tough? Is he angry about the French special forces getting killed in a missile strike, if that even happened? Is he playing a mixed strategy to induce doubt in the Kremlin?

Another perspective: Macron is trying to position himself as leader of Europe

One theory I've heard floated is that there are a significant number of dead French special forces in Ukraine. Putting troops into the country and staging a bus explosion or something gives Macron cover to bring them back with full military honors.

So far France has been one of the stingiest in giving aid to Ukraine: Just 0.07% of GDP to military aid. Compared to, say, Germany, at 0.6%, almost 10 times as much. Maybe Macron is getting some heat for not doing enough and now he has to make a big spectacle to make up for it? Or it's just that moving soldiers to the backlines doesn't cost much money.

France seems to have sent its aid under the EU banner per the bottom right chart, they're third in total aid sent. Though a lot of the EU aid seems to be 'committed' rather than 'dispursed'.

Isnt that mostly humanitarian aid? Im just talking about military aid. (And also as a %, since france is one of the larger Eu economies youd expect them to send more)

If it helps contextualize things, here's a video of a phone call between Macron and Putin, listened in on by Macron's advisors, apparently from before the war started.

I admit, I am somewhat seduced by the idea of "Macron-as-European-overlord," but that may be the tiny neoreactionary part of me noticing the conspicuously-Napoleon-shaped-hole in the West.

Thanks for sharing this. Just reinforced my impression of Putin. A conniving piece of trash. But I gained more respect for Macron.

Is he angry about the French special forces getting killed in a missile strike, if that even happened?

what is the source for that one?

(and if it is official statement of RF I will just laugh at you)

Lviv returning to Poland


-- Pole

This past week I was surprised to encounter vast quantities of weapons-grade op-ed copium in the form of media "explainers" telling me why the Irish referendums "modernizing" the government's approach to women and family, to everyone's utter shock, failed by the widest margins in Irish referendum history.

Of course, I had never even heard of these referendums. Which shouldn't be too surprising, I'm not Irish (nationally or by heritage) and I don't spend a lot of time reading international news or watching international elections. But also apparently "everyone" (by which I mean: leftist journalists and politicians) was so completely certain this particular bit of de-Catholicization of the Irish legal system would sail through easily, just like same-sex marriage and abortion did in 2015 and 2018, no one felt the need to belabor it.

"All politics is local" surely applies; apparently even many groups that supported the referendums did so with noses firmly held, while some groups one might think naturally aligned with the proposals opposed them on the grounds of technical issues rather than supporting them for having the right "vibe." Everything I've read so far seemed quite anxious to assure me that this is definitely not a conservative backlash and in fact purely a problem with language, which leads me to believe the government has already decided it will simply re-tool and try again until the voters fall into line. (As seems to be the way with political movements everywhere--though it still makes me smile to ruminate on the way Brexit happened despite repeated attempts to get the voters to recant, it seems a keen exception to the rule.)

I would be interested to hear from others closer to the situation, of course. Were these referendums just another symptom of woke America's cultural colonization of Ireland? Or are there perhaps real, specific legal problems being caused by the current language, which the government hoped to solve through these failed proposals? I have not been able to find any news stories detailing any positive case for the referendums beyond "this is so old-fashioned and sexist." Which to my mind explains the failure of the referendums entirely: cui bono? If your only argument is "I'm bothered by the language," then it's easy to think the government probably has better things to focus on...

Tsk Tsk, sleeping on the job Nara. I think we've already had two effort posts on the topic, one in the CWR thread last week and one still live.

I was saving it for Transnational Thursday!

You could at least provide me with links. *pouts*

I'm at the end stretch of my 24 hour on call shift, my energy for Motte-posting and being helpful are simultaneously at zenith and nadir lol.

I do recall the first CWR post was by FarNearEverywhere, and that had its own share of discussion, even if it's a ripe topic.


(GP to kindly provide link to more recent thread. This is intended to cause any other UK doctors to die on sight, not that I think we have any)