Cupid Is As Cupid Does
Posted on April 29, 2014
Students of World War II are finding dangerous parallels between the events leading up to that war and what is now happening in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is using precisely the same tactics used by Adolf Hitler in the run up to World War II, and like Hitler he is betting on and benefiting from a weak response from the west. As I observe the idle threats being made by President Obama and John Kerry painful memories of a sniveling Neville Chamberlain come to mind. While the West impotently talks about sanctions and even imposes a few, Putin continues to mass troops on the Ukrainian border for what he calls “military maneuvers.”
I fear there is much more at stake here than the Crimea. To understand what is happening in Ukraine it is necessary to first understand Vladimir Putin’s real intentions: He wants to re-establish the “evil empire.” Putin has stated publicly that the greatest tragedy of the 20th Century was the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s a tragedy President Putin would like to erase from Russian history in the same manner that Adolph Hitler sought to eradicate what he saw as the shame of the Treaty of Versailles following World War I. Just as Hitler wanted to reincorporate land lost to Germany in the aftermath of the Great War—thus the bloodless takeover of Austria followed close on by the forced annexation of the Sudetenland—Putin wants to take back what was lost when the Soviet Union collapsed. His Crimean adventure was just the first step along these lines. It won’t be the last.
You can be sure that Putin has studied Hitler’s actions in the years leading up to World War II as well as the weak-kneed, impotent response of the west. Putin seems to know history better than today’s Western leaders who allowed World War II to happen when Hitler could have been easily stopped in his tracks. Neville Chamberlain and other Western leaders thought they could negotiate with Hitler. They were fools. But even a fool knows you cannot negotiate with a hungry bear, and the Russian bear with prodding from Putin is obviously hungry. Unfortunately, President Obama and John Kerry seem to be cut from the same cloth as Neville Chamberlain. They want to negotiate and threaten and talk, talk, talk. If anyone in the Obama administration had an ounce of foreign policy sense they would understand that all a hungry bear ever wants is more.
In the years leading up to World War II, Hitler first brought Austria under the Nazi jackboot with the Anschluss. Anschluss is German for political annexation. It worked like this. First Hitler stirred up pro-German sentiment in Austria. Then he massed troops and tanks along the Austrian border. Finally, he “allowed” Austria to annex itself to Germany in lieu of being invaded by Nazi Storm Troopers and Panzers. If you have been paying attention, the Crimean Region of Ukraine just had its own Anschluss, but this time it was Putin and the Russians who demanded a vote while pointing guns at the voters. Unfortunately, as they did prior to World War II, western leaders—most auspiciously President Obama—are responding with words and weakness. Putin on the other hand is taking action.
Hitler’s next annexation was the Sudetenland, a small sliver of land that was part of Czechoslovakia. Like the Crimea, the Sudetenland had a large contingent of citizens loyal to the invading country. The German speaking, pro-Nazi citizens of the Sudetenland—led by Konrad Henlein—agitated for annexation and, of course, Hitler was only too happy to oblige. Surrounded by Nazi tanks and troops, the Sudetenland acquiesced to Hitler’s demands and became part of Germany. The people of the West adopted a who-cares attitude toward Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland. France and Britain were not willing to go to war over a sliver of land in which many of the people spoke German and were loyal to Hitler. The West basically said to Hitler, “You can have the Sudetenland.” This would have been a small enough tragedy had Hitler been content to stop there, but of course he wasn’t. Nor will President Putin be content to stop his expansion efforts with the Crimea. As it did with the Sudetenland, the West has adopted a who-cares attitude toward the Russian annexation of the Crimea. Just as it was with the Sudetenland, this would be only a minor tragedy if Putin’s aggression stopped there. But it won’t, and Western leaders are fools if they think it will.
Mitt Romney said on Sunday that President Barack Obama is naive when it comes to Russia, has shown ‘faulty judgment’ about Moscow’s intentions and could have done more to try to deter its annexation of Crimea.
The 2012 Republican presidential nominee said Obama didn’t have the foresight to anticipate Russia’s moves and should have been working earlier with allies to make clear the penalties that Russia would face if it moved into Ukraine.
Romney did acknowledge that such steps may not have been enough though to hold back Russia President Vladimir Putin.
‘Had we communicated those things, there’s always the potential that we could have kept them from invading a country and annexing it into their own,’ Romney said on CBS’ Face the Nation.
During the 2012 campaign, Romney took criticism from Obama for saying Russia was America’s ‘number one geopolitical foe,’ rather than al-Qaida. Now Romney seems to be claiming the right to say, essentially, ‘I told you so.’
‘There’s no question but that the president’s naivety with regards to Russia, and his faulty judgment about Russia’s intentions and objectives, has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face,’ Romney said.
‘And unfortunately, not having anticipated Russia’s intentions, the president wasn’t able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you’re seeing in the Ukraine, as well as the things that you’re seeing in Syria.’
He said the U.S. should now welcome nations that seek entry into NATO, should forgo cuts to the U.S. military budget and reconsider putting a missile defense system into the Czech Republic and Poland, as once planned.
During the 2012 campaign, Romney had tried to portray the Democratic incumbent as soft on Russia. Writing in Foreign Policy magazine, he said that ‘for three years, the sum total of President Obama’s policy toward Russia has been: “We give, Russia gets.”’
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who just returned from Ukraine, said it was Romney who was naive.
Durbin, referring to Putin, a former officer in the Soviet KGB, said Putin is ‘a bully and we’ve got to call him for what he is. But this notion that some sanction is going to stop a former colonel in the KGB from his ambitions of a Russian empire is naive.
Romney also used the appearance to criticize Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama’s first secretary of state who now is considering a presidential run in 2016.
Romney said he couldn’t think of a major country that had greater respect and admiration for the U.S. than it did ‘after five years of the Obama administration and Secretary Clinton.’
‘You look over the past five years and say, “what’s happened?” Good things have not been bursting out all over,’ he said.
Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, said on CBS that Romney suffered from ‘political amnesia.’
‘Osama bin Laden is gone. The war in Iraq is over. Afghanistan is coming to a close. And this president has worked with many of these nations successfully to put pressure on Iran, the sanctions, bringing them to the negotiating table,’ Durbin said.
He said Romney has ‘forgotten those facts.’
Russia’s defense minister says the country is planning bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and just last week, Putin’s national security team met to discuss increasing military ties in the region.
“They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”
Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command said there has been a “noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel” in Latin America.
“It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence,” Kelly said at the March 13 hearing.
With the American presence waning, officials say rivals such as Russia, China and Iran are quickly filling the void.
Iran has opened up 11 additional embassies and 33 cultural centers in Latin America while supporting the “operational presence” of militant group Lebanese Hezbollah in the region.
“On the military side, I believe they’re establishing, if you will, lily pads for future use if they needed to use them,” Kelly said.
China is making a play for Latin America a well, and is now the fastest growing investor in the region, according to experts. Although their activity is mostly economic, they are also increasing military activity through educational exchanges.
The Chinese Navy conducted a goodwill visit in Brazil, Chile and Argentina last year and conducted its first-ever naval exercise with the Argentine Navy.
Meanwhile, the U.S. had to cancel the deployment of its hospital ship USNS Comfort last year.
“Our relationships, our leadership, and our influence in the Western Hemisphere are paying the price,” Kelly said.
Army War College adjunct professor Gabriel Marcella said Russia’s maneuvering is more about posturing than a real threat.
“Latin America is seen as an opportunity to challenge the United States in terms of global presence,” he said. “They want to show the flag to assert their presence and say they need to be counted on the world stage.”
Other experts said the encroachment of rivals has huge economic implications for the U.S., which has more trade partners in Latin America than in any other region in the world.
“[Russia’s presence] serves to destabilize what has become a more stabilized, middle class continent with an increasing respect for the rule of law. … Any type of unsettling of that environment will scare off investors,” said Jason Marczak, deputy director at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
“Market economies and democracies are fundamental for trade, for jobs, and for stable investment environments,” he said.
Marczak noted the instability in Venezuela, which is facing civil unrest from anti-government protestors.
“In Venezuela, a lot of the money that’s been able to prop up President Chavez and now Maduro has been Chinese money,” Kelly said.
So far, 31 protestors have been killed in clashes with government security forces.
“I see a real degradation in what used to pass as Venezuelan democracy. There’s less and less of that now,” Kelly said.
And while Chinese investment in Latin America could have positive aspects for the region, it could also make it more difficult for U.S. official to push labor and environmental safeguards that it argues are building blocks for democracy, Marczak said.
Angel Rabasa, a senior political scientist at RAND, said cuts to the defense budget are going to accelerate a long trend of U.S. neglect and disengagement with Latin America.
According to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), there are 10 countries in Latin America that currently have no U.S. ambassador because they either haven’t been nominated yet or confirmed, a sign that the region is seen as a low priority.
“We will be losing the ability to influence developments in a region that is very important to us because of proximity,” Rabasa said.
Posted by Dave Ross on Mar 19, 2014
Obama administration now classified as “PRANKSTER”. Thank you Mr. Putin, Number One Imperialistic Dictator, for telling it like it is! My personal definition may be a little less PC when I say, simply, that Obama is a JOKE!!! Of course, the truth is there is no difference, only a matter of semantics.
For a little perspective on the current state of international affairs that hold monumental consequences for the future of this globe let us revisit a scene just a few short decades ago: the confrontation of then U.S. President Reagan and the USSR Czar “Mr. Khrushchev”. Let’s see, I was young then, perhaps in my late twenties or early thirties and uninvolved in politics, especially worldwide matters of importance! BUT, I do recall President Reagan having the balls to tell Mr. Khrushchev to “TEAR DOWN THE WALL”. As I recall, the Czar did not take kindly to President Reagan’s demands and in one confrontation became so angry that he proceeded to beat the hell out of the table at which he was sitting.
Oh what a difference true leadership makes. Reagan displayed strength and insisted on freedom; Obama apologizes for America’s strength and tells today’s dictator that he will be more accommodating. Under Reagan the wall came down and the USSR dissolved; under Obama Crimea falls and Obama’s reaction is considered a joke!
Makes one wonder if Mr. Putin can get the USSR rebuilt during the remaining Obama tenure. Any one care to place a bet??
On Monday the U.S. government took steps to seize the US-based assets of Russian lawmakers and anyone else that the US government deemed complicit in supporting the Crimean secession movement.
We’ve seen the U.S. government do this in countless cases surrounding drug and financial crimes, and sometimes even against foreign leaders like Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega.
What makes this particular instance so unprecedented and terrifying is that President Obama went so far as to issue a new Executive Order to give himself the authorization to do so, because the laws of the United States are such that our government is not allowed to simply take someone’s bank assets, home or business without due process.
Here’s the kicker.
Be careful what you say. Be careful what you write. President Obama has just given himself the authority to seize your assets.
According to the president’s recent Executive Order, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine” (first reported by WND’s Aaron Klein), the provisions for seizure of property extend to “any United States person.” That means “any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.”
Like most Executive Orders and government legalese, the definitions for why an individual would have their assets seized under this directive are extremely broad and they could, for all intents and purposes, be used against anyone who supports Russian interests, or simply argues against those of the United States.
You can read the full Executive Order at the White House web site. The key points are noted below:
All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(i) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following:
(A) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine;
(B) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or
(C) misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine
This new Executive Order has crossed a very dangerous line. It’s one that turns the notions of property rights and due process upside down by effectively bypassing the U.S. Constitution.
While we’re sure the President and his staff would argue that such a law would never be used against Americans who are protected by free speech, the fact is that the Executive Branch now believes it has the self-manifested authority to target any individual who engages in activities that undermine US interests abroad or at home.
If a President of the United States believes he has the authority to make it illegal for you to provide support to Russia by way of political commentary, charitable donations or other methods, could he also use similar directives to push forward other agendas?
President Obama has already re-authorized an E.O. giving him the ability to seize farms, food, processing plants, energy resources, transportation, and skilled laborers during national emergency.
This article was posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 6:32 am
MOSCOW – Russia’s deputy prime minister laughed off President Obama’s sanction against him today asking “Comrade @BarackObama” if “some prankster” came up with the list.
The Obama administration hit 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials with sanctions today as punishment for Russia’s support of Crimea’s referendum. Among them: aides to President Vladimir Putin, a top government official, senior lawmakers, Crimean officials, the ousted president of Ukraine, and a Ukrainian politician and businessman allegedly tied to violence against protesters in Kiev.
It remains to be seen whether the sanctions will dissuade Russia from annexing Crimea, but one an early clue that they will not be effective came just hours later when President Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, perhaps an early step towards annexation.
U.S. official have warned of additional sanctions for Russian action, hoping it will deter Russia from any further aggression towards Ukraine, but it didn’t appear to upset the often outspoke Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
Rogozin, a friend of actor Steven Seagal, took to Twitter to tweak Obama, tweeting he thinks “some prankster” came up with the sanctions list
In a later tweet addressed to “Comrade @BarackObama,” he asked, “what should do those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn’t think about it?”
Another Russian on the sanctions list, Vladislav Surkov, also seemed unconcerned.
Surkov, a top Putin ideologue often called the Kremlin’s grey cardinal, reportedly told a Russian newspaper, “It’s a big honor for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”
U.S. officials said that, among the sanctioned individuals were the “key ideologists and architects” of Russia’s Ukraine policy, while adding that some of the Russian officials were included in the list for their role in curbing “human rights and liberties” in Russia.
The sanctions freeze any assets under American jurisdiction and prevent American banks from doing business with the named individual, essentially freezing them out of the international banking system. The sanctions also impose a ban on their travel to the United States. Separately, but in coordination with the White House, the European Union announced sanctions today on 21 individuals that it plans to name later. U.S. officials told reporters that the American and European lists “overlapped” in some area, but declined to say how.
While some of the sanctioned officials are bold faced names, the White House move is unlikely to affect Russia’s decision making with regard to Crimea’s bid to join the Russian Federation. Russia’s stock market actually improved on the news that so few officials were included on the list. U.S. officials warned that, if Russia does go ahead with annexation of Crimea, additional penalties will follow, with more, harsher measures to come if Russia attempts to enter eastern Ukraine.
Vladislav Surkov – An aide to President Vladimir Putin, he was once considered one of Russia’s most powerful men. He has been called the Kremlin’s “gray cardinal” for his role as a power broker behind the scenes. He’s also credited the architect of Russia’s political system, with power concentrated in the presidency. In the past he was credited with shaping the ideology of the ruling United Russia party. He has also written rock music lyrics and is rumored to have authored a book.
Sergei Glazyev – An economic aide to Putin who oversaw relations with Ukraine. He frequently blasted the protest movement in Kiev and was outspoken in his criticism of American and European support for the protests.
Dmitry Rogozin – An outspoken, hawkish Deputy Prime Minister, he’s known to have a close friendship with Hollywood actor Steven Seagal. As a member of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s government, Rogozin is responsible for the armed forces and arms industry.
Elena Mizulina – A senior lawmaker, she is considered one of the Kremlin’s morality enforcers in the parliament. She is perhaps best known as the co-author of last year’s homosexual “propaganda” law which sparked outrage overseas. She also proposed a measure to give Ukrainians Russian passports.
Leonid Slutsky – A lawmaker in the lower house of Parliament. He is the chair of the Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots. He was one of the Russian observers attending Sunday’s referendum in Crimea.
Andrei Klishas – A member of the upper house of Parliament, the Federation Council, who proposed retaliatory action in case of Western sanctions on Russia. He is chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society.
Valentina Matviyenko – The head of the Federation Council, she is the most senior lawmaker on the sanctions list.
Sergey Aksyonov – Once an obscure pro-Russian politician in Crimea, he has now been declared the prime minister.
Vladimir Konstantinov – The newly declared speaker of Crimea’s parliament.
Viktor Medvedchuk – A pro-Russian politician, he is being sanctioned for having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support” to impeached President Viktor Yanukovich. Ukraine’s opposition has accused him of orchestrating or aiding a crackdown on protesters and opposition.
Viktor Yanukovich – The ousted president of Ukraine. He was elected in 2010 but was chased from office by protests last month.
The West’s outrage at Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea found full expression at Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
It was announced that 21 Russian and Crimean politicians and officials face a travel ban and asset freeze, a sanction matched by America. Thus, a tiny number of Moscow’s elite and their puppets find their Harrods cards suspended.
And in case you are wondering, it is as likely that President Vladimir Putin’s £25billion personal fortune will be discovered sitting in a current account at the Kensington branch of NatWest as that Sevastapol will win the 2014 Holiday Destination of the Year prize.
Armed aggression: Putin’s actions in Ukraine rely on exactly the same arguments that Hitler once deployed
Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind yesterday dismissed this pea-shoot gesture as ‘pathetic’, and he is right.
Whatever the historic arguments for Crimean secession from Ukraine – and some exist – Putin’s act of armed aggression, with threats of more to come, relies on exactly the same arguments that Hitler deployed to justify his 1938-39 lunges into Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Russia’s brutish president plays golf abroad with only one club in his bag — force, or the threat of it.
Nothing that has been said or done by the West since the Ukrainian crisis began will have caused him a moment’s discomfort.
Russia cannot impress the world by social or industrial achievements, because it boasts none. It can gain our attention only by inspiring fear or sponsoring mayhem, whether in Crimea, Iran or Syria, and Putin is content that this should be so.
The United States yesterday warned of further sanctions against Russia, including expulsion from the G8.
But it remains unlikely that the leading Continental nations will support convincing economic action.
Half of Europe cooks on Russian gas, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes a display of real defiance against Putin, or indeed any foreign enemy.
Rally: Putin speaks at an event in front of a background reading ‘Crimea, we are together’
Unafraid: Kremlin supporters flood Red Square in celebration of the incorporation of Crimea into Russia
Thus the master of the Kremlin has concluded that the West is weak, jelly weak. The evidence of almost three decades since the Cold War’s ending suggests he is right.
Europe’s major powers have largely dismantled their armed forces. NATO is more dependent on the Americans than ever in its history for any display of military power.
U.S. radar surveillance aircraft and U.S. fighters yesterday patrolled the skies over Eastern Europe, and mighty sick the American people are becoming of paying the bill for our defences.
And where in all this is Britain? The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have talked bravely since the crisis began.
Yesterday in the Commons, William Hague deplored Russia’s ‘land grab’, the manner in which Moscow has rejected ‘respect for the law of that country, or for international law’.
He asserts that Putin has made ‘a big miscalculation’; that Russia will face ‘costs and consequences’ for its military intervention in Ukraine.
Brave talk: Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned Putin, but Britain now commands little respect internationally.
But why should Moscow be impressed? This British Government, for all its pretensions since 2010 to play a heroic lead, has conducted its affairs in a fashion that leaves us singing falsetto on the international stage.
A friend who recently accompanied a national delegation to the Middle East told me how depressed he was to discover how respect for Britain has slumped.
We have lost two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, albeit as junior partners to the Americans; then made an almighty mess of policy towards Syria.
There, David Cameron and William Hague marched to the top of the hill, then had to come scuttling down again when they found nobody else following. Libya is now a shambles.
Defence cuts have made a sorry impression. We can no longer posture in Washington as a credible partner in military operations, and the Government lies through its teeth about the state of our Armed Forces.
Stuck with two absurd giant aircraft-carriers under construction, it refuses to admit a truth well known in Whitehall – that it can afford only a handful of American-built F-35 jets to fly off them.
Ministers pretend they can make good their drastic reduction in Army strength by recruiting more reservists. Yet every man, woman and sniffer dog in the services knows the reserves scheme is dead in the water.
Moreover, in the secrecy of the Ministry of Defence, discussions have already started about prospective Army cuts below the planned 82,000 establishment, on the assumption that even this will soon be unaffordable.
David Cameron has placed Britain’s security in the hands of an accountant, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who displays as much understanding of strategy as Davina McCall.
It is welcome that a British Government should recognise our diminished place in the world. It is sad, however, that respect for this country should be so drastically reduced.
Accountant: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has overseen plans to slash the Armed Forces
Britain commands enthusiasm among the rich and mighty as a great destination for shopping, country week-ending and Michelin-starred dinners.
But William Hague’s stern remarks about Ukraine impress foes and friends alike no more than the same lines delivered by Winnie the Pooh.
The lessons of the Ukraine crisis are written in neon lights. First, after decades in which the Left has denounced American ‘meddling’ in the affairs of other nations, here we see what happens when the greatest democracy on earth renounces its historic leadership role.
Barack Obama’s presidency is a failure for many reasons, rooted in the weird detachment of the man himself.
But it is scary indeed to see what happens when a big, ugly state such as Russia, ruled by a gangster elite, decides that the United States and its leader are no longer capable of resisting its thuggery.
Beyond this, it has been plain for decades that the U.S. is unwilling much longer to bankroll and spearhead our defence – and why should it, when Europe is a rich continent? Now, we see Germany refusing even to use its vast economic muscle to deter Moscow.
We must keep a sense of historical perspective. The Ukrainian crisis is grave, but it is not 1914 nor 1939. Nonetheless, it should provide a giant wake-up call to Europeans.
History did not end with the conclusion of the Cold War. There are still very bad people out there, willing to do very bad things unless they are deterred or stopped.
It is indispensable for NATO to warn Moscow, and mean it, that any act of aggression towards the Baltic states would provoke a major showdown.
Instead of imposing personal sanctions on a mere 21 Russians and Crimeans, every member of the Russian parliament who voted for invasion and annexation should be denied entry to the U.S. and EU.
Germany must recognise that its place as the richest and most powerful nation in Europe demands that it should start to do its share towards protecting our common security, as it has not done since 1990.
The British Government must find the money to rebuild our crumbling Armed Forces. We need a credible strategy for the 21st century, instead of a mere defence balance sheet.
Crumbling forces: Reductions in Armed Forces spending has left us less able to act
It is a misfortune for the world that Russia, a great nation, should have fallen into the hands of brutes. Putin reveres Stalin, one of the most successful mass murderers of the 20th century.
Freedom and dissent are, in the Russian president’s eyes, unacceptable in his new czardom.
Yesterday, a Ukrainian servicemen was shot and killed at a base that came under attack in Crimea’s main town of Simferopol.
The acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called it a war crime and said the Crimean conflict has now entered a ‘military phase’. These are chilling words indeed.
We neither need nor wish to fight Russia, but the West must abandon its dismally failed attempt to appease its leader.
The bear will continue to claw victims unless we display the will to drive him back into his lair – before he comes hunting closer to our own door.
When George Mallory was asked in 1924 why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he snapped, “Because it is there.” Fourteen years later, Adolf Hitler might well have given the same answer if asked why he wanted to annex the Sudetenland. And nearly a century later, Vladimir Putin is swallowing up the Crimea for the same reason: Because it is there for taking. Putin knows when it comes to invading and annexing the Crimea, no one is going to stop him.
Consider the three candidates you might think at first glance would stand in Vladimir Putin’s path. First, there’s Ukraine. But its military is no match for Moscow.
Second, there’s the European Union. But Western Europe’s anemic military budgets have taken a back seat to welfare spending in once-great nations that have said since World War II, “We’ll sit this one out; we gave at the office between 1939 and 1945.”
Third, there’s the United States. But it is led by the weakest, most feckless, least intimidating President in the history of the republic. As Russian dissident Garry Kasparov recently said, “Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill.” Putin knows that Crimea is there for the taking because he knows Barack Obama would rather collect Nobel Peace Prizes than stand up for American allies and interests and values.
This weak excuse for a President isn’t about to “fight on the beaches”; he only fights in courtrooms defending Obamacare and on the stump excoriating wealth and success. He isn’t offering “blood, toil, tears, and sweat”; he’s only offering cheaper student loans and free birth control. He isn’t chomping on a cigar and praising his countrymen during their “finest hour”; he’s wearing mom jeans and apologizing for his countrymen to the rest of the world.
Whereas Vladimir Putin is a Cold Warrior, Barack Obama is a class warrior. When he declares that “we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends,” the enemies he’s talking about are entrepreneurs with the audacity to think they actually built their business, and the friends he’s talking about are the adoring fans of this Celebrity-in-Chief. His style of warfare plays well among union leaders and community organizers, but it isn’t much help against KGB-agents-turned-lawless-dictators intent on territorial expansion.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to go to war over Crimea. America shouldn’t be the world’s policeman. Instead, what I want is a president who projects strength. I want a president who understands that weakness provokes aggression. I want a president who doesn’t draw red lines he can’t back up; who protects our diplomats from terrorists in places like Benghazi; who invests in militarily necessary projects and soldiers; who isn’t afraid to make a detainee stand on his feet for a few hours during an interrogation; and who doesn’t telegraph his spinelessness by flip-flopping for political reasons on everything from gay marriage to campaign matching funds to the individual mandate.
In his best imitation of a real leader, President Obama has vowed that “there will be costs” to Putin’s aggression in Crimea. I doubt it. But there are costs to American weakness. Sadly, the people of Crimea are paying those costs.
Scottie Hughes is TPNN’s News Director and Contributor, a former talk radio producer princess, Patriot Update Contributor, and a Townhall Finance Columnist.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet at Winfield House in London on Friday March 14, 2014 to discuss the Ukraine crisis. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)
(CNSNews.com) – Sending Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with his Russian counterpart in a failed bid to avert a Moscow-backed referendum in Crimea was “like sending a cupcake to negotiate with a steak knife,” former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said on Sunday.
Speaking as the referendum was underway, Bolton told Fox News that both the Obama administration and the European Union (E.U.) were demonstrating weakness in their handling of the Ukraine crisis.
“We sent Secretary of State John Kerry to London to negotiate with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov – that’s like sending a cupcake to negotiate with a steak knife,” he said.
Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said there was “a real failure of leadership” in the West.
“We’ve ignored the security issues that are inherent in Ukraine not being part of NATO after the Europeans rejected it in 2008, so after five years of failing to even think about this issue we’re now seeing the consequences,” he said. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW VIDEO)
The U.S. in 2008 backed putting both Ukraine and Georgia on a formal path to NATO membership, but objections by E.U. countries leery about Russia’s strong objections meant the required consensus was not achieved, and the decision was put off.
Now that Ukraine’s Crimea region – effectively under Russian military control – has voted to join Russia the willingness of the West to confront President Vladimir Putin will again be put to the test, beginning Monday.
For weeks the Obama administration and E.U. leaders have been talking about “costs” and “consequences” for Russia’s military intervention, and the White House said Sunday that President Obama in a phone conversation with Putin had done so again.
“[Obama] emphasized that Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that, in coordination with our European partners, we are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions,” it said.
So far actual punitive measures have been mild. The State Department has instituted a visa ban on a group of undisclosed “officials or other persons who have been complicit in or responsible for supporting actions which threaten the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.”
Separately, Obama has issued an executive order creating the authority for sanctions against such individuals or entities – but no targets have yet been named.
Even after Kerry’s last-ditch talks with Lavrov on Saturday failed to avert the referendum, Kerry seemed reluctant to talk about sanctions.
Asked during a press conference after the talks whether U.S. and E.U. sanctions would now be a fait accompli on Monday, he agreed that Obama and the E.U. “have said if the referendum takes place, there will be some sanctions” – but then added immediately, “There’ll be some response, put it that way.”
Kerry referred several times during the press availability to Russia’s “legitimate concerns” and “legitimate interests” in Ukraine.
“We hope President Putin will recognize that none of what we’re saying is meant as a threat. It’s not meant as a – in a personal way,” he said.
Kerry also held out the hope that Putin’s pledge to honor the outcome of the referendum did not necessarily mean he would move to annex Crimea.
“The reality is that President Putin’s statement that he will respect the vote offers him many options as to how he chooses to respect the vote,” he said.
Kerry said that Putin could “respect the vote” by ensuring that Crimea’s autonomy is increased and its people’s needs respected, “without necessarily having to make a decision to annex.”
E.U. foreign ministers meeting on Monday will decide on what steps to take in response to the referendum, with travel bans and asset freezes on some officials under active consideration.
Meanwhile in Crimea, the separatists are wasting little time. Local lawmakers were scheduled to meet on Monday morning (around 4 AM eastern U.S. time) to begin the “political process of reunification with Russia,” Voice of Russia reported. From there a delegation planned to visit Russia to take the matter forward
It said the final decision on the Russian side would rest with both houses of parliament and with Putin.
The leader of the third-largest party in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, Sergei Mironov, predicted lawmakers would quickly pass the necessary measures on Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation.
State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin told Russian television the Crimea referendum was a historic development after years of Russia “losing” people – a reference to the breakup of the Soviet Union and consequent loss of Russian minorities in former Soviet states.
“Here at last we’re getting our compatriots back,” Naryshkin said. “That’s a historic moment for Russia.”
In his March 6 Executive Order, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,” Obama declares that support for Crimean self-determination constitutes “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/06/executive-order-blocking-property-certain-persons-contributing-situation
Obama and the lawyers who drafted his executive order did not notice that the way the order is drafted it applies to Obama, to the unelected coup government in Kiev, and to the Washington and EU regimes. The order says that any person “responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly . . . actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine” is subject to having his assets frozen.
Washington and the EU are the only two governments whose personnel have undermined democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine by overthrowing the elected government and imposing an unelected one.
Obama worshippers–yes there are still people that stupid–object when I call Obama the White House Fool. Yet, here is Obama or his lawyers proving that he is a fool by issuing an executive order that requires the property of Obama, Victoria Nuland, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, the UK prime minister, the German chancellor, the French president, the EU Commission and any number of associated persons to be frozen by the US government.
Of course, Obama’s executive order will not be applied to those to whom it is applicable. It will be applied to those to whom it is not applicable–authorities who permitted the Crimean population to exercise democratic processes in order to determine their own fate.
Washington has stood democracy on its head. Overthrowing Ukraine’s democratic government and installing a puppet regime does not undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine, but anything that allows self-determination to go forward in Crimea does undermine democratic processes.
Clearly, the West can no longer be associated with democracy.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
This article was posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 at 6:36 am
The Washington Examiner ran an interesting headline on Thursday: “John Kerry: Russia has until Monday to reverse course in Ukraine.” The Examiner continued: “If there is no sign [from Russia] of any capacity to respond to this issue … there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.” Chief among those “steps?” “…the U.S. and its European allies will not recognize (Russia) as legitimate under international law.” That ought to learn ‘em. Yet, unaccountably, The New York Times reported Thursday that, even in the face of Kerry’s paper kitten, Russia is busily massing forces on the borders of Ukraine.
The Washington Examiner quoted Kerry in saying how impressed he was at “… how united our European allies are on the issue…they are very, very committed to make sure there is accountability…” So was the U.N. when they shook their finger at Saddam Hussein for over twelve years. When Senator Lindsey Graham asked Kerry what the administration would do should Russia make further inroads into the Ukraine Kerry responded cautiously but in full pie-in-the-sky mode: “Our hope is not to create hysteria or excessive concern about that at this point in time,” he said. “Our hope is to avoid that, but there’s no telling that we can.” Hope. Hmmm. As the tune says, it seems we’ve heard that song before. Unfortunately for “Clap-For-Tinkerbelle” Kerry, he might have to wrestle with that very eventuality. The New York Times had the breaking story: “Russia’s Defense Ministry announced new military operations in several regions near the Ukrainian border on Thursday… A day after a deputy minister denied any military buildup on the border; the Defense Ministry released a series of statements beginning early Thursday that appeared to contradict that. They outlined what was described as intensive training of units involving artillery batteries, assault helicopters and at least 10,000 soldiers. The operations confirmed, at least in part, assertions by Ukrainian leaders on Wednesday that Russia was massing forces…columns of armored vehicles and trucks in a border village called Lopan, only 30 miles from the Ukrainian city Kharkiv.” The latest estimate of Soviet forces parked on Ukraine’s doorstep is 25,000 troops.
Angela Merkel and the rest of the European adherents of finger-wagging policy have joined America’s Secretary of State, warning Russia off of incurring possible economic and diplomatic sanctions. Europe’s trading ties with Russia, particularly when it comes to oil however, suggest that such a tack might be a case of the EU cutting off its nose to spite its face. Particularly when Russia is in a position to acquire the wealth of Ukraine. One would guess that Putin might be willing to gamble that Europe’s posture might hurt them more than it would hurt him.
Statists have long chosen to pervert what Ronald Reagan really meant by “peace through strength.” Although Reagan did not endorse military conflict he knew that not having a strong military would send a catastrophic signal to cultures that respect only strength. Democrats, believing that what they want makes their desires true, prefer diplomacy and sanctions and ignore the failures of the past. They eagerly neuter U.S. armed forces while providing military aid to nations hostile to America.
Kerry, although he has taken up room on planet earth for over 71 years, has not learned very much. Not surprising considering that Kerry earned a D in history, twice, at Yale. But he has, unfortunately, been foisted on a hapless America as Secretary of State. Even should he be willing to give up junk food to shield his own grades from public view, The Lyin’ King might have looked into Kerry’s political science grade at Yale before appointing Kerry: D. One can’t blame Kerry for everything even if what passes for The Lyin’ King’s ludicrous foreign policy is right up his alley. But embarrassing himself is one thing; making America a perennial clown on the world’s stage is another. And having Europe for company in the overcrowded clown car won’t help should the elephants run amok. Diplomacy is an ineffectual bludgeon; wielding it hasn’t worked throughout all of recorded history. Fear of an opponent’s strength has. Proof of this is rapidly becoming evident. Friday, Kerry met with his Russian opposite number, Sergei Lavrov, in London. After five hours of implementing his sure-fire diplomatic strategy the Kremlin told Kerry to stick an onion-domed minaret where the sun don’t shine. FOX News summed up Kerry’s dismay in the aftermath: “…he said that he came with ‘good faith with constructive ideas’ to address the concerns of both Ukraine and Russia. But he said Putin is not backing down.” Who could have seen that coming?
Europe and the free world used to rely upon America’s military might for safety, allowing them the fantasy of overcoming evil with a Coke and a smile. The world’s bad players may have dawning awareness, however, that America is becoming less of a threat and more Kool-Aid and a rictus grin.
LT. COL. RALPH PETERS: Putin establishes facts on the ground. Look, the vote in the Crimean parliament today, begging to be allowed to join Russia — it’s a done deal. The plebiscite coming up in less than two weeks is a done deal. Crimea now belongs to Russia. As I’ve said on FOX before, the only remaining question is how much more of Ukraine Putin will take and when he will take it.
But the weakness, the lack of unity between the EU and the United States — the greed, the financial cowardice — is absolutely stunning, and Putin isn’t going to stop, and he’s going to do worse.
This administration lives in a dream world that negotiations solve everything. This administration, look, they still indulge in this fantasy that you can talk Putin out of Crimea. It is absolutely insane. Putin is not crazy, he’s not delusional; our president and this administration are delusional.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: But it sounds like, Ralph, what you’re saying is that it would take a military build-up of the kind that you just explained in order to get his attention. That’s not something the U.S. is prepared to do.
PETERS: Well, look at the START treaty. There’s no cost. It doesn’t have to increase our defense budget significantly or anything else. But Obama wants that as part of his legacy even though the U.S. gave up valuable dual-use systems. The Russians gave up junk. Stationing forces, offering to station forces in the Baltic and Poland doesn’t have to be extremely costly, and the EU could pony up for that. It doesn’t have to take a huge Reagan-era military build-up, although, by God, Reagan’s build-up certainly worked against the Soviets and brought them to economic collapse. There are innovative solutions and answers, but you have to be brave, you have to have courage, you have to have vision. You can’t pretend that negotiations will solve all the problems when your enemy — and Putin is our enemy — solves them with military force, establishes facts on the ground you cannot change with blather and visa restrictions. This is shameful.
Speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday morning, Ambassador John Bolton slammed President Obama’s foreign policy approach and what he called the Obama doctrine.
“Our biggest national security crisis is Barack Obama,” Bolton said.
Bolton touched on the ongoing crisis with Russia but classified the 9/11 terror attack in Benghazi as Barack Obama’s biggest foreign policy failure.
“Libya is the paradigm of the Obama doctrine’s failure,” Bolton said. “Since Benghazi, Obama has done nothing to avenge Chris Stevens death.”
Bolton added that Stevens was a personal respresentative of President Obama in Libya, yet nothing has been done to bring his killers to justice.
“Under Barack Obama, you can get away with murdering his personal representative and get away scot-free,” Bolton said.
Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
“ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING! Intrepid investigative journalist Katie Pavlich rips the lid off Team Obama’s murderous corruption and anti-Second Amendment zealotry” says Michelle Malkin.
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Buy Katie’s book today and help us keep the pressure on Obama and his attorney general Eric Holder and expose the cover-up.
There’s a video report from the Wall Street Journal: “Russia Taking Over Ukraine’s News Media.” Pretty outrageous. I didn’t know that Putin even had an FCC. He’s put hall monitors in his own media, like they want to do here. But seriously, folks, this Ukraine business, I like to always find ways to put things in perspective that might be persuasive. And this Ukraine business — we had a call yesterday from a very articulate woman, an African-American, who said, “Look, this Ukraine business isn’t gonna change anybody’s mind on Obama. This Ukraine business is esoteric. You gotta talk about those black pastors that have 25,000 signatures now on a petition to impeach Eric Holder.”
I said, “We did, I talked about it twice.” But her point was nobody cares about this stuff. It isn’t gonna change any low-information voter’s minds. And sadly, she’s right. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t find a way nevertheless to make it connect. That’s my constant struggle, is to take all this esoteric stuff, make the complex understandable. And I think the way to understand Ukraine is to boil it down to its essence, to step back and think about what we are witnessing. This is the KGB vs. ACORN.
Now, what do you think is gonna happen in this conflict? We have a top KGB officer — by the way, I have a little thing I printed here for the Stack of Stuff. It is a picture of Reagan in Moscow — it says 1988 — at a summit. He’s standing outside the Kremlin, and Gorbachev is there and other Soviet officials, and there is a man disguised as a tourist with a camera around his neck. It’s Putin! The KGB showed up as families that the Russians, the Soviets, wanted Reagan to meet. And these KGB people pretending to be families supposedly hit Reagan with accusatory questions, just like the left would do here if they got hold of people they didn’t like on television or something.
And Putin is there with blond hair. It says it’s Putin, and it’s a side shot, but not full-on side, maybe a little diagonal front-side shot. But it looks like Putin’s face with a lot of blond hair. Not hippie hair. Nice, combed hair over the ears, got a camera, looks just like a tourist. It’s Putin! Pretending to be a Russian family. And apparently the Reagan people knew it, because the story says that there are people surrounding Reagan in the American entourage a little upset at the questions Reagan’s getting. “Ah, don’t worry, we knew this. These are not families. They’re all KGB families.”
So what we’ve got here in the Ukraine, we have the KGB, a top KGB, not former, because no one ever leaves the KGB. We have a top KGB officer, Vladimir Putin, versus a failed community organizer, Barack Obama. Who do you think is gonna come out on top on this? The KGB vs. ACORN. That’s what we’re witnessing. That’s what Ukraine is. What has been Obama’s boldest move so far? To give the Ukrainian government a billion dollars. Ostensibly loan guarantees, but it’s a handout. That billion dollars is gonna end up in Putin’s back pocket. It’s just enough for them to be able to pay their natural gas bill they have to get from Putin.
So Obama is paying Putin, essentially, not Ukraine. Putin, a billion dollars, so Ukrainians can continue the free flow of natural gas, and we’ve thrown in Crimea. Who was it, Governor Cuomo, somebody said, “Give Saddam a couple of islands, he’ll go away.” Somebody said here, “Give Putin Crimea, he’ll go away.” So a billion dollars and Crimea in the battle between the KGB and ACORN. Now, what is the Russian word for “shaft”? Because that’s exactly what we’re gonna get here. It’s pathetic, folks. It is laughable and it is pathetic. The Putin photo is legit. He was pretending to be a KGB family, a Soviet family, just a guy, a father with a camera. (laughing)
John Bolton is at CPAC today. CPAC opened up today. John Bolton said, “under Obama you can get away with murdering his personal representative,” Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, “and get away scot-free.” See, folks, this is the kind of simple devastating truth that could eventually go into some of the most successful, effective political ads we could ever see. Can you imagine a Republican candidate running against whoever the next Democrat is and equate that next Democrat with Obama, and say, under Obama or under the Democrats, you can get away with murdering their personal representatives and get away scot-free. It’s amazing.
Posted by Michael Becker on Mar 6, 2014
This is astonishing. Our leaders are unable to muster anything that the Europeans will join that will hurt Putin.
We can remember back to 2008 when one of the big reasons we were supposed to be thankfully voting for Senator Barack Obama was that adults would be in charge of foreign policy. No more “cowboy antics”. World leaders were going to respect the US. Heck, the people around the world would like us. It would be spring in the Middle East. Muslims would stop killing their neighbors, and each other, and a new era of peace would be ushered in.
Newly elected President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for just being, well, not-Bush. He was a visionary. He was the most intelligent guy in the room. He may not have been the “Prince of Peace”, but he sure was the “President of Peace”.
He was everything. He was what we’ve been waiting for.
We apologize for inflicting the following on you, but it’s important we remember just how narcissistic our Imperial President really is.
Our head hurts. It’s not like we weren’t warned. The amazing thing is that he got away with this sham twice. Shame on our country, and most of all, shame on the three million people who voted for John McCain and then sat on their couches and refused to vote for Mitt Romney because he wasn’t [fill in the blank] enough.
Krauthammer is right, delusional, but Charles doesn’t go far enough. It’s not just his foreign policy, domestic policy is no better. But that’s a subject for another day.
Whatever you have on your calendar this year, come November do not sit on your couch. Go to the polls and vote against any Democrat that is running in your races. Don’t just vote against the Democrat, vote for the Republican even if you have to hold your nose to do it. The only way to stop the agenda is take back the Senate.
If we don’t take the Senate you can be sure Benghazi will be forgotten. The IRS will not only continue to run roughshod over taxpayers’ rights, they’ll ramp up the attack. When other federal agencies run by long time Democrat “civil servants” see that nobody does anything about the IRS they’ll get in the game too.
Before November work for the Republican in your state/district. On election day VOTE and vote Republican.
Your children and grandchildren are depending on you
The Obama administration and the hotheads in Congress are threatening to hit Russia with “economic sanctions” for moving troops into Crimea. Yes, those sanctions would sting a little bit, but what our politicians should be made aware of is the fact that Russian officials are promising “to respond” if economic sanctions are imposed on them. As you will read about below, one top Kremlin adviser is even suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and start dumping U.S. debt. In addition, he is also suggesting that if sanctions are imposed that Russian companies would not repay the debts that they owe U.S. banks. Needless to say, Russia could do far more economic damage to the United States than the United States could do to Russia. The U.S. financial system relies on the fact that the rest of the planet is going to use our currency to trade with one another and lend gigantic piles of it back to us at super low interest rates. If the rest of the world starts changing their behavior, we are going to be in a massive amount of trouble. Those that believe that the United States is “economically independent” are being quite delusional.
In order for U.S. economic sanctions against Russia to be effective, Europe would also have to get on board.
But that simply is not going to happen.
There is no way that Europe could risk having Russia cut off the gas, especially considering the economic condition that Europe is currently in.
To get an idea of just how incredibly dependent the rest of Europe is on Russian natural gas, check out the chart in this article. A whole bunch of European nations get more than half their natural gas from Russia.
And according to the Telegraph, even the UK has already completely ruled out economic sanctions…
Europe would be pushed back into recession, Russia into financial meltdown. This is not the sort of self harm Europe is prepared to contemplate right now. Indeed, thanks to the indiscretion of a UK official, who was snapped going into Downing Street with his briefing documents on display for all the world to see, we know this to be the case. Trade and financial sanctions have already been ruled out.
So the U.S. can do whatever it wants, but Europe is not going to be any help. Perhaps Canada will stand with the U.S., but that will be about it.
On the flip side, the Russian Foreign Ministry is promising “to respond” if the United States does impose economic sanctions…
Russia said on Tuesday that it would retaliate if the United States imposed sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
“We will have to respond,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. “As always in such situations, provoked by rash and irresponsible actions by Washington, we stress: this is not our choice.”
So what would the response look like?
Lukashevich did not say, but top Kremlin adviser Sergei Glazyev is suggesting that Russia could abandon the U.S. dollar and refuse to pay back loans to U.S. banks…
“In the instance of sanctions being applied to stated institutions, we will have to declare the impossibility of returning those loans which were given to Russian institutions by U.S. banks,” RIA quoted Glazyev as saying.
“We will have to move into other currencies, create our own settlement system.”
He added: “We have excellent trade and economic relations with our partners in the east and south and we will find a way to reduce to nothing our financial dependence on the United States but even get out of the sanctions with a big profit to ourselves.”
Glazyev also stated that Russia could start dumping U.S. debt and encourage other nations to start doing the same. The following comes from a Russian news source…
“We hold a decent amount of treasury bonds – more than $200 billion – and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner,” he said. “We will encourage everybody to dump US Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency and leave the US market.“
Clearly Russian officials understand the economic leverage that they potentially have. In fact, Glazyev seems fully convinced that Russia could cause “a crash for the financial system of the United States”…
“An attempt to announce sanctions would end in a crash for the financial system of the United States, which would cause the end of the domination of the United States in the global financial system.”
On that last point Glazyev is perhaps overstating things.
On their own, the Russians could do a considerable amount of damage to the U.S. financial system, but I doubt that they could completely crash it.
However, if much of the rest of the world started following Russia’s lead, then things could get very interesting.
Just yesterday, I wrote about how China has chosen to publicly stand in agreement with Russia on the Ukrainian crisis.
If China also decided to abandon the U.S. dollar and start dumping U.S. debt, it would be an absolute nightmare for the U.S. financial system.
And keep in mind that the Chinese were already starting to dump a bit of U.S. debt even before this latest crisis. In fact, China dumped nearly 50 billion dollars of U.S. debt in December alone.
The only way that the current bubble of debt-fueled false prosperity in the U.S. can continue is if the rest of the world continues to lend us trillions of dollars at ridiculously low interest rates that are way below the real rate of inflation.
If the rest of the world stops behaving in such an irrational manner, interest rates on U.S. government debt would rise dramatically and that would also mean that interest rates on virtually all other loans throughout our financial system would rise dramatically.
And if that happened, it would be a complete and utter nightmare for our economy.
Unfortunately, most Americans have no understanding of these things. They just assume that we are “the greatest economy in the world” and that nothing is ever going to threaten that.
Well, the truth is that we are rapidly approaching a “turning point”, and after this bubble of false prosperity pops things will never be the same in the United States again.
Get a look at the future of America: The Beginning of the End