Skip to comments.The west risks collateral damage by punishing Russia
Posted on 07/29/2014 3:15:03 PM PDT by Lorianne
When I read last weeks revision in the International Monetary Funds forecasts, I was reminded of William Gilmore Simms, a 19th century US historian, who said: I believe that economists put decimal points in their forecasts to show that they have a sense of humour.
If only that were true. The latest update of the IMFs World Economic Outlook puzzled me in two decimal-point respects, neither of them humorous.
The sanctions to be decided this week are known in EU jargon as tier three; the red-alert stage. As reported by Peter Spiegel, the Financial Times Brussels bureau chief, the European Commission wants a ban on purchases by EU citizens and companies of equity and debt issued by state-controlled Russian banks that has a maturity of more than 90 days. The ban would also include investment services. No EU bank would be allowed to help Russians banks raise funds on a regulated market. The rule would extend to development finance institutions. Last week, the EU and the US used their majority vote on the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to stop the banks investments in Russia, which accounts for almost 20 per cent of its invested assets.
With the US sanctions, this is an impressive list. Even the tier one and tier two measures introduced after the annexation of Crimea appear to have had an impact. German industrial production started to fall soon after those sanctions took effect, by a combined 2 per cent in April and May. It has also gone down elsewhere in the eurozone.
(Excerpt) Read more at ft.com ...
All I know is that there is a dartboard in Putin’s den with 3 faces on it — Bezler, Strelkov, and Borodai.
Is that what Russia Today is reporting?
So on the dartboard: stomach remedy, a new vodka and the most expensive caviar in the world?
Russia Today would never report that.
But those 3 have to share in the responsibility for the downed MH17 and had it not been shot down the only likely sanctions would have been from the US.
Guess the EU wants to buy gas with gold backed BRICs currency? And we don’t mind if the ruskis dump 500 billion in US dollars. This is gonna get fun I’m betting.
The EU will be getting a lot more gas and oil from the Middle East as Russia tries to figure out how to get what it has out of the ground.
The pro-russia terrorists are Putin puppets.
I think he blames those 3 above all others for the downing of MH17 — and had it not been for that there would be no sanctions.
They may be puppets but they are puppets whose necks he would like too wring if he could but he can’t because he needs them.
Well, no shit.
Maybe Schroeders plan wasn’t so cool after all?
It’s never a good idea to make yourself “dependent” on anything from someone who shares interests that are mutually exclusive with ones own, where your long term geo-political interests are on a collision course, where the basic philosophical tenets that organize society are incompatible. It’s about as stupid as the US being dependent on Middle Eastern energy. Or the US giving away the keys to the kingdom to China (WTO, most favored trade...)
There are times where their is tension among the Western nations, most of the time this is over hyped nonsense anyway. But our interests are in a macro sense all the same. Germany, UK, US, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, S. Korea... The McDonald’s or the Golden Arches theory has a lot of merit.
The problem is that the Russian political system and the German political system do not differ that much at all. In both countries there are practically no possibilities of the sole citizen to take influence on politics as long as it does not join political parties and as long the citizen does not indentify itself with the program of the political parties. In Germany all political parties stand for more or less the same policy just like in Russia (national socialist do gooder BS). Therefore both countries could be seen als “guided” democracies.
The question if Germany and Russia share practical interests or not is therefore mostly a question of the political leaders and their personal preferences. Schroeder liked Putin, Merkel who is a russophobe does not. Objektive, Germany has an interest to do business with all possible clients. No matter if its the US or North Korea.
Business with anybody makes one less “dependent” from others. Merkel therefore violates the interests of her nation just to kiss Obamas as*.
BTW - the people in eastern Ukraine and the Krim (I know quite a few and I have been there before) want to be Russians. They are not interested to be a member of the NATO, the EU or another western society.
Germany thinks regionally, not globally, when it comes to security matters. Germany thinks globally economically.
The feelings you express are common. One common trait of a republic and democratic process is that it makes everyone a little bit unhappy, no one really gets 100% what they want, it is slow, and it even might resist what the majority wants in that moment since the rules of past prevent certain actions in the present. However, Germany is a republic and does have democratic processes at work. The geopolitical interests of Germany and Russia are incompatible, always have been and will remain so. Schroeder was simply bought off and committed treason, in the literal meaning of this word. But the Germans wouldn't have the balls to call it what it is today, even though at this point many do realize the truth.
Russia is not a real republic, it does not have a real democratic process, or real courts, freedom of the press... it's interests are in direct conflict with those of Germany... The Germans have this infatuation with the Russians, maybe it is a form of Stockholm Syndrome, but Russian interests collide with those of Germany on nearly everything security related: Ukraine, Israel, Iran, Serbia, NATO, Russian nuclear forces, missile defense. I am sure that the 17 million East Germans have a different attitude towards Russia than the Western component, I am also fairly confident that for much of the uber liberal and secular media, there is somewhat of an ideological desire to have the Russians be some buddy (even if subconscious), i.e. Der Spiegel etc... The Germans do not want a new Cold War, they don't want strife with Russia, but this is more a placating than it is being in agreement or friendship and that is also why when the Russians went on an extermination spree a few years back, assassinating all sorts of folks even in Western Europe, and media in their own country, you saw no action by the Germans and even little was said, “let's not make waves.”
The West is ruled by an economic and political model that causes divisiveness both internally (opposition politics) and between the nations (interests). Post Cold War you no longer have a unified front, even against the most aggressive and vile regimes such as with Iran and North Korea.
The West has also has a media that fuels this since this media lives off of scandals and conflict. Without conflict, there is no story.
Western culture is affluent and secure, and it has been so for so long that this is taken for granted. The idea that most of this world lives with the boot of a despot on their throat and will go to bed hungry tonight is foreign to most Western people. The reality that this was true for most of mankind is also a foreign concept. In the West, where most people live in an urban world, where you have an information society, where post modernism, relativism and socialism have removed religion and a natural order to things, people no longer have a world view as in the past. The primary health issue in the West is obesity among the so called poor, who are malnourished because of the highly processed foods they eat that lack nutrition but are loaded with fat, sugar and salt, all things that throughout all of mankind were scarce. You have a “Weltanschauung” that is completely unattached from reality at this point in the Western world.
Western civilization has become secular, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic. Western civilization has largely lost their national, racial, religious and even family identity. Most people today do not care if a Mosque is built behind their home and they are not able to tell you the names of their great grand parents. As such, people aren't even shocked or appalled at the idea that their entire race, culture/religion, is being diluted and washed out through massive immigration and the influence of the media, i.e. Germany, France the Netherlands... The US is included in this too. The US also had a national identity and while it was a mix of Euro cultures, it did have it's own flavor in how these mixed together. You see this in the US main stream churches for example that were heavily influenced by the dispensationalist and Calvinist movements. There was this broad but mainstream idea in the past of what an American identity is, what our culture was, what our religious values were... and in fact Kennedy was faced with this issue because he was a Catholic. Today, none of this matters anymore because America really has no culture, just like most Western/First world nations no longer have a culture. Al Jazzier broadcasting in Europe and North America is not a shock, but just part of the multiculturalism which Westerners have been taught to embrace.
The bottom line in all of this is that you no longer have the political will, nor a homogeneous society that comes together, cares, there are no values around which people rally, or a society that can stomach reality. The West is riding on the inertia of her past, but if you look at a world map, you'd see that Western influence is not expanding world wide, but shrinking. Western influence is shrinking in North Africa, Kenya, Lebanon was Christian all the way into the 60s... Western influence is declining in Asia where China is emerging as the hegemony, the Russians are making a comeback and the West shrank in the Ukraine and Republic of Georgia... Today, we live in an era where Iranian influence is expanding in Latin America (Venezuela), or where Turkey is on a trajectory towards a more fundamentalist Islamic state with less western influence. Even inside Western nations the fastest growing demographics are often traditionally non-Western cultured groups, economically/technologically others are beginning to catch up... The West et al. is in decline, and there are many in the West cheering this on.
As to the Ukraine, you are full of crap. If you trust any polls, go back to before you had the Russians meddling inside the Ukraine. In the referendum of 1991, 90% of the population voted (extreme high turn out), and 92% voted for Ukrainian Independence. Even the election of Yanukovovych was heavily influenced through the meddling of the Russians with their media, financial support, and election fraud.
You have pockets of separatists, and were it not for direct Russian involvement, they would have never even began their fight nor would they have lasted this long. The Ukraine was basically invaded in a way that doesn't appear that way. A massive coordinated Information Operation by Russian media that is state run, Intell, special forces, plain clothed intell folks that are sent to deliberately incite problems, equipping of separatists, political blocking of any aid to the Ukraine on the international stage... It's a de facto invasion that simply had/has a different face. This is something that had been prepared for a long time, and the Russian move to take the Ukraine or at least make it a basket case that will never be a EU or NATO member and remain under the sphere of influence of Russia, should have been anticipated. It is unfortunate, that a West that essentially promised support for the Ukraine if they give up their nuclear and strategic weapons in 1994, shrank when the Russians who promised to respect the sovereignty of the Ukraine, made their move.
This is a perception you have because Germany is a very stable society socially speaking. Germany is not a nation with massive social mood swings like the US, where there is a new fad of the moment and everyone that doesn't accept this gets socially ostracized... Germany is what it is, and it's not a society that accepts change easily, or where new ideas take a quick foothold (GMO, nuclear power, even microwave ovens years past). Germany was a place where most moms stayed home all the way into the 80s.
The US has a society that is always on the move, in regards to social norms and values. While 25 years ago Germany was liberal compared to the US, now when it comes to homosexual issues, the US is more extreme than Germany, with every government agency having LGBTQ month, paying for gender reassignment surgery through the health care system, giving homosexuals benefits that were always intended for families that have children... All the arts/media is pumping out an endless drivel of homo positive messages, every American politician is stumbling over the other to try to promise more to the homosexuals and they all suddenly have a homosexual relative somewhere...
The US is a society that changes like the wind, where history and religion are reinvented, and science is skewed to validate the current prevailing values, and that isn't good either. American society and the values are almost like clothing, everything is fashionable. While abortion was entirely illegal in 1970, today you can have late term abortions, with no waiting time, as an under age minor, without parental consent... While 50 years ago people had issues with a Presidential candidate because he was Catholic, today it's no issue if you attended a Black Liberation Theology church while in IL for many years, and studied Islam in a school for years while in Indonesia.
The US is a place of extremes and rapid social movements that sweep through and change everything. It is a place where you go from loving the soldier to spitting on him in 2 years, where you go from a single mom or divorce being a horrible social stigma, to no one caring and creating a tax code that all but incentivizes it. America is a place where the social and political pendulum swings fast and far in any direction it might be swinging at that moment. 40 years ago everyone smoked, today in the US smokers get hit every way they look. 60 years ago racial based discrimination was everywhere, today you have this over compensation and white guilt that is similar to the German Holocaust guilt. 40 years ago interracial relationships were still taboo, today they are trendy and even in commercials. America is a nation where everything is a fad, and while drinking and driving was no big deal many years past, within 10 years they crucified a drunk driver on the biggest cross they could find, and then hit him in the head with the biggest legal book. While they didn't allow any women in certain occupations years past, today they are all but pushing them into these rolls with quota's that they refuse to call such. America went from a policy of assimilation to one of diversity, from movies where all the Indians were the bad guys and the cowboys the good guys, to the Indians being the good guys and the cowboys the bad guys. America is a place of extremes, and that is the opposite of what you see as a guided democracy which in reality is a society that is very stable.
Your perception is not shaped by the political system that is in place, but rather a society/culture that is more critical and resistive to change, that like the Reinheitsgebot has a tendency to stick to the way things are and has an appreciation for this. The German government would be much more volatile and the social movements would be much more extreme as in the US, if the people wanted it that way. But would you want a Turkish decent Chancellor that smoked pot, snorted cocaine, hung out with terrorists, had a mom that was a far left nut and posed in S&M magazines, went to a wacky church and attended a school in Indonesia where they instructed Islam? In the US that would be possible!
Isn't Russia, or any country that can do so, better off if they can become independent of the global banking nightmare?