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Idiocy from the Economist on What to Do About Russia ^ | April 19, 2014 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 04/19/2014 6:13:08 AM PDT by Kaslin

In "Insatiable" the Economist says "The cost of stopping the Russian bear now is high—but it will only get higher if the West does nothing".

Economist: Mr Putin has used the Ukrainian crisis to establish some dangerous precedents. He has claimed a duty to intervene to protect Russian-speakers wherever they are. He has staged a referendum and annexation, in defiance of Ukrainian law. And he has abrogated a commitment to respect Ukraine’s borders, which Russia signed in 1994 when Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons. Throughout, Mr Putin has shown that truth and the law are whatever happens to suit him at the time.

Mish: What a bunch of one-sided hypocritical nonsense. The US and EU have shown the that truth and the law are whatever happens to suit them at the time. The US has a drone policy that has killed or injured thousands of innocent victims, including children. The US had no pretext for invading Iraq but did so anyway. Warmongers now sabre-rattle Iran. The EU removed elected leaders in Greece and Italy and replaced them with technocrats. The US fomented events in Ukraine by helping overthrow Viktor Yanukovych. President Ronald Reagan promised Russia NATO would stay away from Eastern Europe. Apparently it's OK for citizens to overthrow the elected government in Ukraine in violation of the constitution, but it's not OK for citizens in Crimea to do the same. Russia did not take a bite out of Ukraine as depicted by the Economist. Rather, a section of Ukraine voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia. Once again, I am not proposing two wrongs make a right, rather I am proposing this is none of our business.

Economist: The West needs to show Mr Putin that further action will be costly. So far, its rhetoric has marched far ahead of its willingness to act—only adding to the aura of weakness. Not enough is at stake in Ukraine to risk war with a nuclear-armed Russia. And European voters will not put up with gas shortages, so an embargo is not plausible. But the West has other cards to play. One is military. NATO should announce that it will hold exercises in central and eastern Europe, strengthen air and cyber defences there and immediately send some troops, missiles and aircraft to the Baltics and Poland. NATO members should pledge to increase military spending.

Economist: Another card is sanctions, so far imposed on only a few people close to Mr Putin. It is time for a broad visa ban on powerful Russians and their families. France should cancel the sale of warships to Russia. A more devastating punishment would be to cut Russia off from dollars, euros and sterling. Such financial sanctions, like those that led Iran to negotiate over its nuclear programme, would deprive Russia of revenues from oil and gas exports, priced in dollars, and force it to draw on reserves to pay for most of its imports. They would be costly to the West, especially the City of London, but worth it. Impose them now, and give Mr Putin reason to pause. Do any less and the price next time will be even higher.

Not Our Battle

For starters, this is not our battle. Moreover, Europe is tired of our heavy meddling in it. (see European Countries Resent US Hectoring Tone).

If Crimea prefers to associate with Russia rather than the Ukraine, it is absolutely none of our business. Let the people involved, sort it out for themselves.

Warmongers Can't Think

France cutting off military sales to Russia would hurt France and help Russia - No one needs any more military junk. Pray tell tell what does Russia need warships for? Indeed, the idea is so silly, Russia should cancel the orders right now.

Putting missiles in Poland and Baltics is counterproductive. Precisely what problem would that address?

Here's the irony: The Economist says "Not enough is at stake in Ukraine to risk war with a nuclear-armed Russia." OK. Then what are the missiles for?

At best, the proposal is waste of money all around. And who is going to pay for it?

Further proving that warmongers cannot think, The Economist notes "European voters will not put up with gas shortages, so an embargo is not plausible." Amusingly, the Economist then continues with proposals to cut Russia off from dollars, euros and sterling, as if Russia would not retaliate.

If extreme sanctions are put on Russia, then Russia will cut off all gas to Europe and likely default on all foreign denominated bonds.

How come idiots cannot see consequences of their proposals? Because they are idiots, that's why. No one wins from idiocy. Unfortunately, idiocy abounds.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Russia
KEYWORDS: antiwar; ukraine

1 posted on 04/19/2014 6:13:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Many non-factual assertions in the bizarrely anti-American rant from what is presumably the author of the piece.

2 posted on 04/19/2014 7:18:44 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Kaslin

The author of this piece claims everyone is an “idiot” who thinks that what Putin is doing in Ukraine is a dangerous prelude to something worse.

The author believes there was “no pretext” for the US and its allies invasion in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein.

I grant that the post-invasion plans in Iraq and Afghanistan have been disastrous, but there most definitely was a pretext for invasion, or at least taking out the current regimes.

The author claims that Reagan’s promise to “Russia” to stay out of Eastern Europe has been violated?? First, I don’t recall Reagan saying any such thing, and second, even if he did - it was to the Soviet Union, not Russia!

I don’t want to see American blood spilled in Eastern Europe either. I want to see Western Europe take care of their own mess for once. I don’t have a problem with military hardware being sold to Western Europe, and I don’t have a problem with the Missile Shield being set up (which should have been done already but Obama nixed it).

I felt compelled to post in response to the author’s weird sense of history and justice.

3 posted on 04/19/2014 7:57:06 AM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: Kaslin

None of the Cold Warriors has explained how punishing Russia would really deter it or help us.

Russia has vital national interests in Ukraine. And no amount of pressure will force Russia to give up on them.

The truth is we’re dealing with the largest country in the world. Its sheer size renders it immune to practical pressure. And the Russians can withstand a lot of pain.

Is Crimea an American interest? No - so we have no business sanctioning Russia over it. Is Ukraine an American interest? No - so that logic also applies there. We do have an American interest in a peaceful and stable Europe.

But currently nothing exists over which we need to make an enemy out of Russia. Our tough he-man posturing is not going to get us a receptive hearing in Moscow. Its sheer idiocy.

4 posted on 04/19/2014 8:13:06 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Kaslin
In "Insatiable" the Economist says "The cost of stopping the Russian bear now is high—but it will only get higher if the West does nothing".

"Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." -Winston Churchill

5 posted on 04/19/2014 8:13:13 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: Kaslin
The question then is what should be done? Sure, people messed up on both sides. Putin is a bully. The coup, and it was a coup, in Ukraine had 'owners' and, anyways, maybe a coup - or if people want to call it a revolution -may have been handled better. Obama has created a weakened perception of the US. Europe has been proven to be weak. Etc etc etc.

Ok, so what should be done now?

Thing is 'nothing' is not the answer. Why? Not because Russia will now move to Moldova and gobble it up! That is not the issue, and anyways Transnestria already appears to have made a decision to move to the Russian ambit.

The reason 'nothing' is not an answer is due to another nation that is stronger than Russia and has far greater (and global) objectives.


China has a GDP several times larger than Russia's. It has a military growing at a frenetic pace. As for its ambitions, to match Russia's it would have to focus only on Taiwan and other areas it considers 'renegade provinces.' However, Chinese focus spans the globe, with huge gains made in Africa and Latin America. In my PE oriented travels I have seen Chinese investments in places like Angola (talk about ghost cities created like magic) and Uruguay that would boggle your minds. Not to mention Chinese attentions on its neighbors, with countries ranging from Japan to Viet Nam taking VERY serious attention to Chinese interpretation of what its sovereign territory extends to.

The reaction of the West is most definitely getting a lot of Sino attention. A lot. And so far it has been silly and weak. Have sanctions worked on Russia? Yes, they have. Just not to a sufficient level to affect Russian political AND public opinion (and would have worked even less against China).

What worries me is not that World War 3 will be triggered by anything happening in Ukraine. It will NOT, and as things appear the situation will be resolved in a few weeks, just as I predicted some weeks ago. Russia threatens to make a move to Eastern Ukraine - negotiations are held - Russia pulls back - everyone congratulates themselves and says Russia pulled back when a strong front was put up - and Russia walks away with the Crimea, which by now is no longer even a point of discussion. It is like me coming to your house, stealing your car, threatening to take your kitchen as well, we talk, I agree not to take your kitchen, you tell everyone how you showed me who's boss, as I drive away with your car.

China is watching, and as I was saying my worry is not the start of WW3.

My worry is that this is the point that America may be proven to be a powerful regional power.

And that is a message China will be happy to find out.

6 posted on 04/19/2014 9:10:40 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: spetznaz
Ukraine - negotiations are held - Russia pulls back - everyone congratulates themselves

Two steps forward, one step back, then call it a 'reasonable compromise'

7 posted on 04/19/2014 12:30:52 PM PDT by Ivan Mazepa
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To: wideawake

I wonder what his FR scree name is...

8 posted on 04/19/2014 12:32:31 PM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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