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Sanctions Against Russia Symbolic of a Hollow Culture
Townhall.com ^ | March 19, 2014 | Rachel Marsden

Posted on 03/19/2014 4:50:36 PM PDT by Kaslin

PARIS -- There are fewer things more pathetic than watching someone take a running dive off a high board only to end in a spectacular belly flop and still think that they're scoring a perfect 10. That's U.S. President Barack Obama right now on the issue of sanctions against Russia. It's a worrying attitude that increasingly permeates Western culture.

Europe and America supported a coup d'état against a democratically elected government and president in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, which in turn led to Russia backing a democratic vote March 16 in Crimea -- the southeast corner of the country -- to reject the coup and separate.

The West wants Russia to leggo its Eggo, and that's just not going to happen. So now here comes the pain, comrades. European sanctions are no joke. They involve the European bureaucracy, whose primary purpose is to act as a supermax prison for wallets in order to keep the socialist dream alive.

In fact, the EU bureaucracy is so efficient that it preceded itself: Even before the EU identified 21 Russian and Ukrainian individuals as the targets of economic sanctions this week -- all subject to asset freezes and travel bans -- the Cypriot newspaper Famagusta Gazette had already reported that Cyprus had launched investigations into freezing the assets of 18 Ukrainians, including President Viktor Yanukovych and his prime minister. In light of the EU bailout Cyprus received last year, and despite being a renowned home to the money of Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs, it doesn't appear as if Cyprus is going to do anything to derail the Brussels-to-Nicosia gravy train, even with the country's former foreign minister, George Lillikas, calling for Cyprus to oppose sanctions against Russia.

Hot on the heels of the EU sanctions, Obama announced some of his own: Seven Russian officials and four Ukrainian officials will be barred from vacationing at Disney World or earning Bank of America loyalty points. Nor will they be permitted to visit the moon, cure cancer or ride on Cher's "Dressed to Kill" tour bus.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin responded on Twitter, the appropriate venue for retorts to hollow threats: "Comrade @BarackObama, what should do those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn't think about it?" Rogozin speculated that a "prankster" had drafted Obama's sanctions.

"We're making it clear that there are consequences for their actions," Obama said. But I don't think that word he keeps invoking, "consequences," means what he thinks it does.

Obama really shouldn't be toying with sanctions anyway. I don't think that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cohorts are being unreasonable in their actions thus far with respect to Ukraine. But if Obama is going to impose sanctions anyway, he needs to make them meaningful and follow through reliably, or else he should just zip it. Obama appears to use threats of "consequences" to fill conversational vacuums, as though they were the equivalent of "uhs," "ums" and "likes."

Unfortunately, Obama increasingly appears to typify many of the people who voted for him -- so in love with mere ideas and visions that they fail to sufficiently consider the reality of implementation.

During the Ronald Reagan years, we Generation Xers grew up watching movies like "Flashdance," "Top Gun" and "Rocky." Pop culture and society's message was clear: Unless you invest the sweat capital, you aren't getting anywhere. There was no faking it, no shortcuts. Exceptionalism was earned, not granted. These days, hard work has been replaced by hot air, and Rocky Balboa has been replaced by reality-television stars whose main talent is attracting attention to themselves.

Passion is largely dead -- unless it means defending one's own ego. Putin, by contrast, has an undeniable passion for things beyond his personal self -- his country, his people -- possibly to the point of obsession. But obsession means that you're thinking about it day and night, and passion means that after all that thinking, you're ultimately driven to act. Sadly, Western leaders are no match for this.

What we're witnessing now is a culture war. Think Rocky Balboa facing off against a Kardashian. And our biggest enemy isn't Russia or any other nation -- it's within. We no longer have the heart and fire even to be who we once were.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Russia
KEYWORDS: sanctions; vladimirputin

1 posted on 03/19/2014 4:50:36 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Obama will have more flexibility. Or something.


2 posted on 03/19/2014 4:58:24 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: Kaslin
Think Rocky Balboa facing off against a Kardashian.

ROFL. Well said.

3 posted on 03/19/2014 4:59:20 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: F15Eagle; Kaslin; everyone

4 posted on 03/19/2014 5:04:32 PM PDT by potlatch ("Dream as if you'll live forever...Live as if you'll die today")
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To: potlatch

The Sun will now rise in the West. Per Pen and Phone!


5 posted on 03/19/2014 5:05:46 PM PDT by DocJhn
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To: potlatch

Something was being transmitted there; absolutely.


6 posted on 03/19/2014 5:07:07 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: DocJhn

“From this day on, the official language of the US will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now... 16 years old!”


7 posted on 03/19/2014 5:09:10 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: DocJhn

When Obama said ‘flexible’, he meant limp wristed and spineless...


8 posted on 03/19/2014 5:10:27 PM PDT by potlatch ("Dream as if you'll live forever...Live as if you'll die today")
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To: potlatch

It was to be Rope-A-Dope time, but Obama, Biden, Kerry etal got tangled up.


9 posted on 03/19/2014 5:14:04 PM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Take out the trash)
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To: F15Eagle

If only we knew exactly what!!
Call me silly but it’s strange to see Michelle, her mother and the girls suddenly flying off to CHINA.....and for what?

If Obama suddenly leaves the country I’ll be worried, lol.


10 posted on 03/19/2014 5:22:10 PM PDT by potlatch ("Dream as if you'll live forever...Live as if you'll die today")
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To: stocksthatgoup
It was to be Rope-A-Dope time, but Obama, Biden, Kerry etal got tangled up.

Obama and Kerry got tangled up in their 'red lines'...


11 posted on 03/19/2014 5:25:33 PM PDT by potlatch ("Dream as if you'll live forever...Live as if you'll die today")
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To: Kaslin

Obama projects weakness with a laser-like intensity


12 posted on 03/19/2014 5:35:29 PM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Kaslin; dfwgator

This is excellent! Thank you.


13 posted on 03/20/2014 12:52:22 AM PDT by MarMema (Run Ted Run)
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