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  • Putin, Crimea and Ukraine

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on March 5th, 2014 (All posts by )

    UPDATE #2: Investor’s Business Daily agrees about the best response to the Russian invasion of Crimea.

    The West’s best Russia policy is a bold energy policy.

    Russia’s economy is barely growing and is increasingly dependent on energy production. Oil and gas account for more than half of Russia’s federal tax revenues and about 75% of total exports. Three-fourths of natural gas shipments go to Europe. Europe is dependent on Russia, but the tables are starting to turn.

    Drill, Baby, Drill ! Plus LNG exports.

    UPDATE: Michael Totten has an update on Crimea.

    The new ruler is a former gangster whose street name was “Goblin.”

    Lawmakers were summoned, stripped of their cellphones as they entered the chamber. The Crimean media was banished. Then, behind closed doors, Crimea’s government was dismissed and a new one formed, with Sergey Akysonov, head of the Russian Unity party, installed as Crimea’s new premier.

    It if was a crime, it was just the beginning. Akysonov’s ascent to power at the point of a gun presaged all that has happened since — the announcement of a referendum on Crimean independence and the slow, methodical fanning out of Russian forces throughout the peninsula, ostensibly to protect Russians here from a threat no one can seem to find.

    But here’s the most interesting bit: Aksyonov’s sudden rise as Moscow’s crucial point man in Crimea has revived simmering allegations of an underworld past going back to the lawless 1990s, when Akysonov is said to have gone by the street name “Goblin,” a lieutenant in the Crimean crime syndicate Salem.

    Putin is dealing from a weak hand but Germany was near bankruptcy when Hitler invaded Poland. Holman Jenkins at WSJ, has a nice summary of where we are.

    Vladimir Putin probably would not have spent 90 minutes on the phone with President Obama on Saturday if he intended to make a grab for eastern Ukraine. He would not have jawed twice on Friday and Sunday on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who subsequently doubted his grip on reality.

    He is not going to try to annex the eastern Ukraine where Russian speakers are alleged to be crying for rescue from The Ukraine.

    He is even using fake videos like the Palestinians have done before to make his argument. The Russian speakers are not buying.

    The Russian speakers are only about 17% of the whole Ukraine population.

    350px-Russians_Ukraine_2001

    They are concentrated in the eastern portions which are also the poorest and least productive. Ukraine could do without them except for the precedent set.

    Western leaders are a risk-averse, short-term-minded lot, but if their decisions are dictated by a conviction of Mr. Putin’s iron grip on Russia, they make a mistake. Many sanguine voices, in fact, already note how the U.S. shale revolution has weakened Mr. Putin’s hand. If Western leaders were so inclined, they might surprise themselves at how vulnerable Mr. Putin’s petro-dependency makes him.

    Ukraine has signed contracts with western oil firms to explore what seems to be a large area of oil shale. This is a big threat to Russia’s sole export and prop of its declining economy.

    Withdraw Europe’s support for pipelines Mr. Putin wants to build. These, by way of the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, aim to reduce Ukraine’s leverage as transit path for gas exports that generate much of his regime’s income. Mr. Putin might like to shut off the gas but he can’t. He needs the money.

    Get moving on the pending U.S. trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade partnerships, which grant member countries automatic approval of U.S. liquefied gas exports. The mere prospect of U.S. exports has already eroded Russia’s pricing power.

    Let Exxon and other Western oil firms queuing up to explore Siberia and Russia’s Arctic know their efforts are not currently appreciated. A single caustic hearing on Capitol Hill should do it.

    They could do as well in Ukraine.

    Ukraine, with its control of strategic pipelines, moving toward energy independence and even energy competition with Russia (it recently signed shale deals with Shell and Chevron ) was not acceptable.

    Most of all, “Putin lost Ukraine” would have been a powerful meme in the hands of his enemies, who are numerous and don’t actually care about Ukraine.

    The West followed down his path, which bears passing resemblance to the petro-regime of Saddam Hussein, because Russia has nuclear weapons and Mr. Putin seemed preferable to chaos. The West may eventually get chaos anyway. Secretary of State John Kerry managed to put his finger on a truth. Mr. Putin knows no more about the true sources of 21st-century wealth and power than a swordfish knows about macramé. No, the Cold War is not returning. Russia does not have the heft to sustain a Cold War even against placid Europeans or a strategically listless President Obama. His current Western enablers just hope Mr. Putin self-destructs on somebody else’s watch.

    The Russian speakers in east Ukraine are not convinced this is the right course.

    But in Monday’s survey, 82% of his party’s loyalists rejected any such generosity. Even the adherents of the Communist Party, who tend to feel entitled to all of Russia’s former Soviet domains, said with a broad majority — 62% — that Russia should not jump into Ukraine’s internal crisis.

    Putin’s captive media in Russia can convince Russians in Russia that the west was behind the coup in Ukraine.

    Moreover, 45% blamed western influence for bringing people on to the streets of Kiev, where the “Euromaidan” protests that were originally in favour of further European integration later turned into a general condemnation of the corrupt regime.

    The results are still in doubt.

     

    37 Responses to “Putin, Crimea and Ukraine”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Putin may have a weak hand, but he is playing a rube who does not know he is the mark.

    2. dearieme Says:

      “Putin’s captive media in Russia can convince Russians in Russia that the west was behind the coup in Ukraine.” But wasn’t it, in part at least?

    3. Michael Kennedy Says:

      “But wasn’t it, in part at least?”

      Only in the way that Reagan was behind the Soviet Union collapse. They want what we have. They know that they can’t get it in the Russian gangster state. Seeing the deposed president;’s estate was a wonderful lesson. The most anti-communist people in Europe are the former citizens of eastern bloc countries. Russians, themselves are nationalist. The others are anti-Russian.

    4. dearieme Says:

      Reagan was patient and sage; his aim was to end the Cold War. Is the present US administration (or the EU one) patient or sage? Is their aim to avoid a Cold War with Russia, or provoke one? Put otherwise, are they likelier to bring about another Berlin Wall moment, or an Iraq invasion moment?

    5. dearieme Says:

      Now then, enough bleating about Ukraine, what we need are ideas. Here’s mine. Invite the Crimean parliament to add another option to its forthcoming referendum, to wit to become the 51st state of the USA. That has the additional advantage of potentially reducing the size of Obama’s error on the matter of the number of states. Win, win.

    6. PenGun Says:

      ““Putin’s captive media in Russia can convince Russians in Russia that the west was behind the coup in Ukraine.” But wasn’t it, in part at least?”

      Indeed we have the Neuland, Kagans wife, intercept where the term “f&^% the EU”was used in answer to their concerns about the fascists in the Maiden group.

      This is just another regime change attempt. You might remember the attempts to implement regime change in Syria. Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan have not worked out well.

      Putin is KGB. You can be sure he has a good grasp of the situation in the Ukraine.

    7. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      dearieme Says:
      March 6th, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Realistically, there is nothing that we can do in the short term to prevent the Crimea from joining Russia [as they "voted" to do this morning, noting that the group voting are Russian functionaries who do as they are told by Russia]. Leftists, here and elsewhere, are trying to put out the meme that those who take exception to the invasion of Ukraine are the equivalent of Soviet-era “Capitalist, Imperialist, warmongering running-dogs of Wall Street” [which is an interesting concept giving that the Left controls our government] who seek an American military intervention in Ukraine and direct combat with the Russian troops.

      Those claims are false, and with the possible exception of some fringe “wacko-birds”, or Leftist false flags which I have not heard of; there are no such recommendations.

      We do not have the forces in Europe or immediately available, to go into main-force combat with the Russians in Ukraine, or to be honest in the NATO area. The bluff has been called. And the Russians know it.

      Realistically, we cannot do squat to prevent the Russians from taking as much of Ukraine as they want to, all the way to the border with Hungary.

      France has declined to join in any non-military action against Russia, because they are selling military equipment to Russia [yesterday they delivered a helicopter carrier to the Russian Navy]. Britain does not want to risk its investments in Russia, and Russian investments in Britain and declined a couple of days ago. Germany has suddenly started realizing that their Green Energy effort has been a waste of money and that if Putin turns the valves on the pipelines Germany and Western Europe has no energy. So no military action, and no non-military action.

      They are being … European.

      The Ukraine is scrod as far as outside support. They may resist further invasion. They have the option of guerrilla warfare [and a history of it]. But there is nothing to stop a Russian conquest.

      To be honest, I rather expect that if Russia threatened military action against the core NATO countries, they would yield without fighting. Western Europe cannot depend on us, and we cannot depend on them.

      There are options we [the US, not Europe] have, non-military options that do not involve boycotts; that could make Russia pay a price in the medium to long term and make it harder for them to repeat this act. But to do so would violate the religious faith of our government; who devoutly hate anything that advantages the US.

      So instead, the regime makes illogical and unconnected with reality statements, and looks to pretend that nothing important has happened [except perhaps Obama having to cancel the vacation in Florida that was scheduled this coming weekend].

      It is the second order effects that are going to hit us. If you are an Eastern European country, or an Asian country; how much faith are you going to place on security guarantees by a United States government that obviously and openly lacks the will and means to fulfill those guarantees? When faced with threats of aggression by nuclear armed superpowers; the choices are submission or the acquisition of your own countervalue WMD [various options, with nuclear being the most likely] deterrent totally under your own control. Either will not be good for the US.

      Subotai Bahadur

    8. Grurray Says:

      “To be honest, I rather expect that if Russia threatened military action against the core NATO countries, they would yield without fighting. Western Europe cannot depend on us, and we cannot depend on them.”

      Germany would sell their own mothers if it meant keeping the Russian pipes open.

      France would fight in theory, if it involved one of their former colonies and they could call the shots.
      That right there looks like they are out, but, for whatever reason, they have very close ties with Romania, if the threat spread west they might conceivably throw their hat into the ring.

      Britain won’t fight. They were the ones who probably “leaked” that phone call the other day accusing Ukrainians of shooting themselves.

      There’s no one else. The Club Med countries can’t even get out their own way let alone contribute to an expeditionary force.
      Benelux isn’t even on this planet most of the time.
      Austria, Czech, Balkans-
      the more you go down the list, the more you wonder why Russia hasn’t invaded all of them.
      I guess Poland is enough of a speed bump that they haven’t mustered the motivation… yet.

      The best bet is arm the rebels mujaheddin style.

    9. MikeK Says:

      “Germany would sell their own mothers if it meant keeping the Russian pipes open.”

      That is why Reagan was so opposed to the pipeline, even to the point of blowing it up. That is also why fracking is our best weapon. The more energy we produce, the less power Russia has. We don’t have to fight anybody. There is no down side to fracking and energy production unless you are a member of the religion of environmental extremism. Unfortunately, Obama joined that church after he left Rev Wright’s.

    10. MikeK Says:

      “Germany would sell their own mothers if it meant keeping the Russian pipes open.”

      That is why Reagan was so opposed to the pipeline, even to the point of blowing it up. That is also why fracking is our best weapon. The more energy we produce, the less power Russia has. We don’t have to fight anybody. There is no down side to fracking and energy production unless you are a member of the religion of environmental extremism. Unfortunately, Obama joined that church after he left Rev Wright’s.

      Another problem, which should not be a problem, is that Europe does not have private mineral rights. The government owns mineral rights everywhere and is currently in the hands of greenies. Our fracking revolution is in spite of the government.

    11. dearieme Says:

      Madness, madness. Why are you all such warmongers? I know you’ve run out of Injuns to invade, but this is ridiculous. If the Balkans weren’t worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier to Bismarck, what on earth is Ukraine worth to the USA? A few more sales opportunities for US corporations? A few more weapons orders for the military-industrial complex? Get a grip. Talk of red lines, and lines in the sand, are poppycock if you draw them in the wrong places.

    12. Grurray Says:

      Unfortunately Dearime

      No red blooded American is able to sit out a war in Europe caused by naked aggression (or any aggression for that matter)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwoXJernqCc

      Even Pete Seeger, the biggest pacifist pinko I know, served in WWII for crying out loud

    13. Grurray Says:

      By the way, I’m only a partial war-monger.
      I’m officially on record supporting peace with Iran, staying out of Syria, and withdrawing from the South China Sea
      I agree with Dr Kennedy that Israel will ultimately triumph and achieve peace with its neighbors by developing its energy deposits and growing it’s economy.

      But when it comes to Eurasia, like Patton, I have no desire to drink with Putin or any other Russian sonofa b****h

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu11QRO9BrQ

    14. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      dearieme Says:
      March 6th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Madness, madness. Why are you all such warmongers? I know you’ve run out of Injuns to invade, but this is ridiculous. If the Balkans weren’t worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier to Bismarck, what on earth is Ukraine worth to the USA? A few more sales opportunities for US corporations? A few more weapons orders for the military-industrial complex? Get a grip. Talk of red lines, and lines in the sand, are poppycock if you draw them in the wrong places.

      Just for giggles, could you list who here is a warmonger? What I see is a consensus that there is nothing in the way of any option that can impede ANYTHING the Russians want to do. That there are NO military options. And the European segment of the supposed Western Alliance is deliberately foregoing any non-military options. And that the “Lightworker” in DC has no concept of what is going on, and to the limited extent that he might have a glimmer; considers Putin to be the Alpha Dog and is rolling over and exposing his mom-jeans clad belly.

      Is it “warmongering” to openly accept the reality of a situation and that the United States is not an island that is forever unaffected by what happens between other countries? Or that the second and third order effects of those interactions may not be to our benefit?

      Subotai Bahadur

    15. MikeK Says:

      Dearieme, Americans got burned by avoiding foreign entanglements in the 30s. We went to war in Europe because FDR convinced the people that Hitler was worse than Japan and that Europe was worth saving. I don’t know how big a fraction of the US population would agree with that now.

      I happen to be very fond of UK and France and have spent a bit of time there. Most Americans haven’t in spite of air travel.

      Without 9/11 there would have been no invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan. The real cause of the 2003 Iraq invasion was the incompetence of Schwartzkopf who negotiated a truce in 1991 without any State Department or Defense Department advice. He allowed the Iraqis to keep their helicopters and allowed a lot of not-very-well-thought-out features of the truce which propped up Saddam and his regime.

      Saddam then waged a low intensity war against us for the next decade. Bush believed he could not be left in place after 9/11. Had we kicked his ass and left, we might have the same situation we now have post-Obama.

      No, we are not going to war over Ukraine. Obama has done what Chamberlain did in the late 30s. He missed a lot of chances to solve problems and waited until they became too big to solve. I don’t think Putin has the power to invade anybody bigger than Crimea. If he did we could give Ukraine covert aid if they wanted it.

    16. dearieme Says:

      “covert”? Fat chance.

    17. dearieme Says:

      The less bad Roosevelt “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. Modern USA “Shriek loudly and wave a stick of rhubarb.”

    18. MikeK Says:

      Dearieme, I don’t disagree. Did you know there were 10,000 lawyers in the Defense Department when Rumsfeld was Sec Def ?

      We have been able to do covert only against Obama’s domestic rivals with the IRS, FBI and CIA. Even that is breaking down.

      Britain used to be able to keep secrets. Gordievsky defected to Britain because he didn’t trust the US to keep a secret..

    19. ErisGuy Says:

      I was surprised my Nuland’s comment, too. I thought our government was completely staffed by Euro-toadies. In any case, it’s halfway to the truth and a good sentiment at any time. BTW, has anyone noticed how the Guardian, (Mr. Sockpuppet) Greenwald, Snowden, et. al. have condemned the spying on American diplomats?

      It’s also true that America has no more “Injuns” to invade. Pity, too. After the Spanish and Portugese (that is, Europeans) killed 100 million of them there weren’t many left by 1776. Everyone opposed to genocide should oppose Europe, source of so many of them.

      I guess HIllary is wrong: Putin isn’t Hitler. Otherwise economic sanctions would have restrained Tojo and Hitler.

      No wonder the EU condemns the fascists in Euromaidan: jealous is a terrible emotion.

      After seeing the consequences of WW1 and WW2 and the more minor conflicts afterwards, I say if Europeans want to kill and enslave each other, then sell all sides weapons. Europeans are incapble of freedom. Their only collective dream is of dictatorship, whether by strong men like Putin or faceless bureacrats in Brussels.

    20. PenGun Says:

      I’m pretty well all the way to ROTFLMFAO and Obama imposing sanctions is what put me over the edge.

      The man has learned almost nothing about power and it’s use, in an American president that is impressive. You keep doing the same stupid thing and it keeps giving you the same “hey dummy” and you do it again.

      Vlad will do what he has to. About the only adults in the entire debacle appear to be Vlad and Angela.

    21. MikeK Says:

      “About the only adults in the entire debacle appear to be Vlad and Angela.”

      Agreed but I would add the Poles. They know what the stakes are.

    22. ErisGuy Says:

      Vlad and Angela, both former? communists as the only adults. Great.

    23. Grurray Says:

      “Agreed but I would add the Poles. They know what the stakes are.”

      http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/03/czech-and-slovak-views-ukraine

      The Poles are increasingly going it alone it seems.

      Perhaps Sweden would lend some support. The Russians like to practice invading them every spring, so you would think there would be no love lost.

    24. Sgt. Mom Says:

      For my money, the most apt comment on this has already been made by one “Anonymous” at The Diplomad.

      ” Worst of all, the hubris. This is what should frighten us most. This is fantasy football meets collective academic psychosis meets a government/university complex conducted by perpetual political parties as an ongoing criminal enterprise … What we are watching is the comeuppance of the Harvard-Balloi (sic) subculture of global supremacists that has broadly infiltrated our federal government leadership and its agencies … There is no quality of serving a foolish cook can’t ruin; no success a fool cannot destroy; no achievement a fool cannot undo.

      Leadership is crucial. Hubris, fatal. At some point, too much will have become undone by these psychotically self-important academic fabulists.”

      The whole thread is here – http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/2014/03/cage-fighter-vs-pajama-boy-putin.html#comment-form

    25. Joe Wooten Says:

      The last comment laid out a very disturbing scenario…..

      “Despite his upbringing as a Communist, he is now devoutly religious and wants to see religion restored to Russian life. As the jihadis have discovered, they have in Putin a rival as ruthless and religiously committed as they, and not bound by the conventions of political correctness.”

      I believe you have put your finger on Putin’s next international gambit once the dust from the Crimea mess has settled. I’ve been wondering lately who, if any, is going to stand up for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East and Africa. It certainly won’t be the pro-Islam Obama or the post-Christian leaders of Europe.

      I believe it will be Vladimir Putin. He will speak out on behalf of the persecuted Copts and Nigerians. He may even begin sending them aid and weapons. And Christians around the world will flock to his banner, bringing the idea of Moscow as the “Third Rome” to fruition.

      I have read where Putin declares that Russia is a much more religious nation than the US.

    26. Joe Wooten Says:

      From your link to the Diplomad article Sgt. Mom….

    27. Mrs. Davis Says:

      We went to war in Europe because FDR convinced the people that Hitler was worse than Japan and that Europe was worth saving.

      C’mon Mike. We went to war in Europe because Hitler declared war on us honoring his treaty commitment to Japan. Had Hitler not declared war on us it is entirely possible we would have set out the war in Europe. I would not sacrifice my son if Putin ran past the Rhine.

    28. dearieme Says:

      The electorate had the chance to elect a grown-up to office but rejected Mr Romney on grounds of … what? Religious prejudice? Deep-dyed silliness?

    29. Sgt. Mom Says:

      All that, Dearie, plus the hard work of the Democrat Party Public Affairs Office (otherwise known as the mainstream media), very likely a certain amount of strategic vote fraud in key districts … and nobbling of various Tea Parties by the IRS, etc.

    30. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Mrs. Davis Says:
      March 7th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      … We went to war in Europe because Hitler declared war on us honoring his treaty commitment to Japan. Had Hitler not declared war on us it is entirely possible we would have set out the war in Europe. I would not sacrifice my son if Putin ran past the Rhine.

      I agree on both points. One of the major turning points of the war was the German declaration of war, because if that had not happened we would not have gotten involved in Europe in time or at all. Consider the historical changes if there had been no US resupply convoys to Russia or to Malta. And seeing what Europe has become, not only would we both not sacrifice our sons; it is likely most Germans and French would not either.

      I have noted in a posting above that neither the US nor the Europeans have the will or ability to stand up to Russia, and the bluff of NATO has been called.

      If the Russians push on into Ukraine as is likely [They have to take the Eastern Ukraine because that is where the power and water for the desert Crimea comes from. If they do that, they might as well take out the entire country to stop future attempts to counterattack.] they WILL defeat the Ukrainians. In the absence of US support, and EU support [I really like the French excuse that they cannot support Ukraine because they are making too much money selling weapons and warships to the Russians] Ukraine will fall to the Russians. The Ukrainians know what will happen to them, since they remember the Holodomor. They remember that Putin was KGB, and the KGB was the successor organization to the NKVD that killed millions of Ukrainians. They have nothing to gain by surrender, nothing to lose by resistance. Their only hope is to come up with a strategic countervalue deterrent.

      I have written elsewhere in the last couple of days about the only thing that they can do. Shortened form:

      If the Ukraine has any smarts, they are thinking of two things; first getting ready to expel any ethnic Russians that will not formally renounce Russia and swear loyalty to Ukraine [won't get all of the troublemakers, but will clear the field somewhat], and second setting destruct charges on the electrical and water infrastructure in Ukraine that supplies Crimea and all the branches of the gas pipelines to Western Europe that pass through Ukraine in case of the invasion of Eastern Ukraine and/or the rest of the country. This would make the Europeans pay for failing to support them by cutting off most of their natural gas supply, and thoroughly bugger the Russian economy. The Europeans would be kicked back to a much more primitive economy, and if they had half a lick of sense [not something guaranteed] they would seek non-Russian replacement sources. Most of Russia’s profitable foreign trade comes from the sale of that gas to Europe. The ruble would be toast, with or without caviar. That is the closest thing to a counterstrike they can put together. It will not save Ukraine, but it will avenge it.

      Subotai Bahadur

    31. MikeK Says:

      “second setting destruct charges on the electrical and water infrastructure in Ukraine that supplies Crimea and all the branches of the gas pipelines to Western Europe that pass through Ukraine in case of the invasion of Eastern Ukraine and/or the rest of the country. ”

      This of course was the Swiss strategy in WWII. They were very well prepared to resist. There were lots of German speakers in Switzerland but they did not want “Anschluss.”

      Switzerland’s alpine railways were of central importance for transports between Germany and Italy . In case of an attack on Switzerland, the Swiss Army would have destroyed important bridges and tunnels, and would have paralyzed the connection for years. The Swiss compromise offer to Germany and Italy was, that Switzerland would allow transports between Germany and Italy in sealed box cars without checking the contents – in exchange for the supply of vital raw materials and goods. This obviously was more attractive to Germany than a destroyed railway line. On the other hand, exporting industry products (chemicals, pharmceutics, machinery and electrical equipment) was far more vital for Switzerland as a small country than importing was for Germany and Italy – big nations having together 25 times the Swiss population and being able to use industrial resources all over occupied Europe.

      Putin has been trying to create alternate route pipelines but has not yet done so.

      They still go through Ukraine.

    32. MikeK Says:

      Here is a cautionary bit on Ukraine from Theodore Dalrymple.

      His Ukrainian plumber (remember the Polish plumber ?) told them that everyone in Ukraine is corrupt. Even the opposition was corrupt and largely supported by the oligarchs. This is not worth a war but building our own energy resources will do two things we need; restrain Russia and rebuild our own economy.

    33. Grurray Says:

      From the Financial Times today:

      But although gas can be sold freely to countries with which the US has a trade agreement, exports to other countries require approvals from the energy department that companies complain are taking too long.

      Since 2011 the US energy department has approved six permits for export terminals for LNG from the shale boom. But the first, Sabine Pass in Louisiana, is not due to begin exporting until the second half of 2015. At least 24 applications are pending

    34. VVXC Says:

      Well there’s another point of view, that Yanukovych was in fact democratically elected, that he saw that Ukraine was facing national bankruptcy with the EU loan and turned to Russia, that he does not want the EU/ECB doing again what the IMF did to Ukraine (as well as Russia) in the 90s.

      And we overthrew him with goons and tech billionaries playing Super-Hero.*

      We are involved, not in Reagan’s way, but in the Soros Way, with E-Bay’s Pierre Omidyar playing Soros the Secret Agent who robs hundreds of Billions. Not exactly the Scarlet Pimpernel.

      To overlook the Rape of Russia by the IMF (and that’s the US kids) in the 90s is a bit like overlooking say World War II, or the Holodmor. Which of course we do overlook history when we work off the Media accounts.

      “They want what we’ve got”. Actually We in terms that mean anything want everything they have managed to build up again after we raped them with President Billy Bob, Harvard Economists and the IMF in the 90s. That’s the WE they see, the we who counts.

      We’ll shortly see what it’s like ourselves, that Harvard Team is now at the US Federal Reserve [Stan Fischer Gang]. We don’t actually need a Clinton President but we’ll probably have one, and that helps.

      It helps the crowd of villains above.

      Don’t worry about Ukraine. Worry about America.

      *I find it fascinating that they duplicate their own denounced caricature of American 19th century Latin American policy.

    35. VVXC Says:

      Let’s not “help” the Ukrainians anymore, let’s quite leave them alone.

      We should attend to our pressing matters at home.

    36. MikeK Says:

      “We should attend to our pressing matters at home.”

      So, you oppose increasing fracking and efforts to help the Ukraine learn how to do it ? Plus export of LNG ?

      Nobody is advocating the US go to war or even, I don’t, put a US warship in the Black Sea. It’ too much a trip wire like US troops in South Korea.

      The “rape of the USSR” in the 90s was mostly Jeffrey Sachs selling Keynes.

      His sentiments are more obvious now.

      Sachs is the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia’s School of Public Health. He is Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    37. grey eagle Says:

      This stand off with Russia can end in global thermonuclear war. There is one sure sign that the missles are going to fly.

      Obama will load his wife and daughters on board air force I and leave Washington DC. He will take with him his closest advisers and the most loyal members of the press. Air force I is the command post for missile launch. Obama has already replaced commanders of our missiles. He has stationed a guided missile destroyer in the Black Sea that can suppress Russian ICBM launches. Another ship is off Siberia. The Russian boomers are being tracked.

      Obama was seriously embarrassed by Putin in re Syria. He needs to get even. He is gambling that he, Obama, can go down in history as the man who destroyed the Russian Empire by forcing Putin to back down. If Putin gives up the Ukraine, the rest of Russia’s 25 provinces will declare independence. If Putin launches his ICBMs, Obama bets he can shoot most of them down.

      YouTube has a fine selection of ‘duck and cover’ videos from the 1950′s.