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It appears that Obama’s plan is working.  Even with T-90 tanks on the border the economic sanctions against Russia are taking effect.

If you only follow America’s three lettered media… here are some things they have kept from you:

Global finance is more frightened of the US Securities and Exchange Commission than Russian T90 tanks

  • Hope of recruiting Beijing as an ally to blunt Western sanctions looks doomed
  • China did not stand behind Russia in the UN Security Council vote on Crimea, as it had over Syria.
  • Its foreign ministry stated that “China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country’s internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
  • Turkmenistan’s gas used to flow North, hostage to prices set by Gazprom. It now flows East.
  • in Kazakhstan, where Chinese companies have taken over much of the energy industry.
  • It is surely unlikely that imperious Xi Jinping will throw away the great prize of G2 Sino-American condominium to rescue a squalid and incompetent regime in Moscow from its own folly.
  • Enough of Europe’s gas pipelines have been switched to two-way flows since 2009 to help at least some of the vulnerable frontline states
  • Officials have been ordered to draft plans within 90 days to break dependence on Gazprom… Imports of Russian may be slashed by half within a decade.
  • Russia’s central bank cannot defend the rouble without tightening monetary policy, driving the economy deeper into recession in the process.
  • Russian banks and companies must roll over $155bn of foreign debts over the next twelve months in a hostile market, at a premium already over 200 basis points.
  • Any sanction against any oligarch linked to any Russian company could shut it out of global capital markets, potentially forcing default
  • The price of oil is poised to fall — ceteris paribus — as Iraq’s output reaches a 35-year high, the US adds a million barrels b/d a day this year from shale, and Libya cranks up exports again. The International Energy Agency says global supply jumped by 600,000 b/d last month. Deutsche Bank predicts a glut. So does China’s Sinopec. Mr Putin needs prices near $110 to fund his budget. He may face $80 before long.

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So in attacking Ukraine, Putin has lost China, lost middle Asia, lost Merkel, and unless it is immediately taken by force, lost all attempts to woe Ukraine back into the union.

He’ll attack shortly for domestic consumption.  if he doesn’t he is done at home.  The US should announce 20,000 troops are headed to Ukraine, and they should be stationed in reserves for military reasons; … to prevent them from being taken out in an opening sneak attack.  If we could convince the Chinese to join us, we could quite possibly have decades more of peace in our times…..

That will depend on Obama.

 

 

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one Russia

Dear fellow members of the Human Race.

I speak to you now from the heart.  People are people.  Some have good souls and some do not.  You know as well as do I that no nation is composed of all of one type or all of the other… Each of our nations have both good and bad people in them.  With every choice of direction taken, we must analyze if either of our nations are making a correct or incorrect step…. In fact across every life, each person must daily battle over whether what they are doing, the course of action they are pursuing, is indeed the correct one they should be upon….

This is coming to you from the heart.  Your nation’s course of action is puzzling to me, to my nation, and to your fellow members of the human race now scattered across the planet.  Your nation has come so far since the 1992,  You are a highly respected member of the international community.  You recently awed us by your mastery in hosting the entire world at your Olympics in Sochi.

With all that behind you today it is puzzling that your nation is embarking on a course of action that negates all that.  One that makes you appear to be less of a great power in this world.  Instead of greatness one would expect from  the pageantry of Sochi, the very nation that beget Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy,  we are getting the behavior of a warlord existing in a land in which there is no law and there is no order.

Among our species, there will always be disputes.  There will always be disagreements between nations for as long as there will be disagreements between individual people. But civilized people have forged a means that deal with such.  We have institutions that we respect and that we trust will not side with either one or another solely because of personal favoritism, but decide what they do, because they honestly think their decision will make the world a better place.  For one to take a course of action because one has a superiority of force, is not conducive to a better future for anyone.

For it will cause my side to react.  It will cause your government to  react to our reaction.  It will cause us to react to that new threat imposed on us by your reaction to what we did…. in all regards, further continence on the current path will be a step backwards for the world community, and for the entire species of man… It will be a return to the Cold War Days, where as one of your diplomats stated, “our tanks are again on your front lawn.”   I hope you can see that if your nation’s current threat of force is continued, and that if this old retired idea that taking sovereignty from other nations were again to become the norm of Russia’s international behavior, then our nation and allies will have no recourse but to implant ourselves on the soil of those nations bordering next to your great country, for only the sole purpose to keep each of them from becoming the next Crimea.

This will of course intensify an arms race for both our nations.  A race of resources that will have great negative economic consequences for your country, as well as ours.  We are prepared and capable of undergoing it again, and you the Russian people should not doubt, that based on a comparison of our two economies, all global experts predict our side will win, again.

I hereby ask you to challenge your ruler, who seems bent on pursuing this destructive action.  And one can make no mistake that it parallels a course our nation chose a decade ago when we wrongly under the guise of protecting our national interests, did something similar. However there are vast differences between our past, and this present.  We tried diplomacy first; we used the UN weapons’ inspectors; we took our case before our own people, then to the United Nations, and from both we got a consensus of support.  Unlike us, your nation just moved in.

To your nation’s credit, there has not yet been violence. You have acted far more civilized than did ours.  There is still time for your nation to chose to return to the previous status quo of two weeks ago, then make your case to the UN, the US, and the EU.  As is all diplomacy among civilized human beings, nothing will be dismissed out of hand.

You are a great nation. one that has come far.  I ask the Russian people to consider whether going backwards in time, returning again to a Cold War, is truly the best option available to your nation… Isn’t cooperation, as was seen in the Olympic games held on Russian soil, a far more productive, a far more fruitful enterprise of action, than exerting one’s will through military occupation?

The stakes are not high.  Yet your leaders hold them much higher and stress them far more important than most others think they seem to be.  We simply ask that your nation returns to your rightful bases; that the referendum is postponed and allowed to be done properly with adequate international observation solely to provide credibility to its results.  Our intelligence tells us the outcome is not in question; the numbers seem to be in your favor.  However by rushing the referendum and having it take place in occupied territory, certainly will cast a shadow over many decades to come, of whether or not those results were indeed legitimate.  As Russian people you should have no fear of legitimacy..  You have spawned many new nations since 1992, because those people chose through elections to be independent from Russia.  It would certainly be fair in the eyes of the international community, if a nation or part of one, wanted to come back in…

But there needs to be legitimacy.  It needs to be done in a certain way, under certain guiding principles, with the approval of the global community…   Being wrong in the international community’s eyes is a costly endeavor; one of wasted investment.  Again, many in the world community likewise disapproved of my nation, the United States’ military intervention into the Mideast now over a decade ago. Many Russian people were among them…   I ask you now, speaking from the heart, if it was wrong for us, and it was, why would it not be wrong for Russia to do exactly the same thing?

There are many commonalities between the Russian people and those of the United States of America.  We both have children, and grandchildren.  We both want what is best for them probably more than we care about ourselves…  The collision course our two nations are headed towards now, is not good for either of our progeny, no matter where they call home….

We have no quarrel with where Crimea itself wishes to end up.  My only concern is how that gets determined, and whether I have to expend expensive resources to make sure that no other nation with a border touching Russia, ever has to worry about the same thing happening to them…  Western Europe is thriving and prosperous today, because of actions that the US took 70 years ago.  Indeed our investment back then has paid off handsomely.  We are prepared to do it again if we must.  However our doing so, does not help your children or our children, have the better future which they could have, if our two nations were to always work within the structure and framework provided by, for and to the global community, in order to achieve our interests and build to better future…

I ask all Russian people to make their will known, that they as we suspect, would also prefer a peaceful world, a civilized world, a world whose future is based on the best intentions of mankind, to one day hand over to both our children…

There is still time for Russia to act magnanimously; if there is the Will. …By the grace of the God present in us all on either continent, we pray for the sake of the civilized future of both our nations, that deep within every Russian, that Will is still there….

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Photo courtesy of the EPA.

That would be my advice.  Truth is, we quickly make Russia into a demon.  They do the same to us.  If there is anything we have learned over 100 years since the Great War started in August 1914,  it is that going to war, should be the last resort…

Back in the early ’90’s upon being given the privilege to look over the Soviet’s intelligence when Communism fell,  we were shocked that all their aggressive actions were seen in their eyes as defensive moves against possible aggression being planned by us….It is best represented by a young officers story from the cold war.  I’ve long forgotten the source, if it comes up later I’ll tag it in…

But a young officer was in charge of a section of the German fence, and on his first shift, received a request for orders and told the reconnaissance  brigade to go 5 more miles along the fence past where they usually turned around.  They called back to say they’d stumbled on fresh movement of troops being maneuvered to that gap on front line we never had bothered to inspect..  After finding our troops were now outnumbered  by their new response, this young officer ordered another brigade to move up from the south.   That brigade also discovered another large number of troops moving in from the eastern reserves to that same point… The officer began to sweat. Was he witnessing on his watch, in his territory, the beginning of the long-feared invasion of Western Europe by the Soviets?  He called up two more brigades and ordered them to dig in around that point.  The Soviets brought up tanks, and lined them up for an invasion… The young officer then picked up the phone…  Far away, the head of command looked over all the evidence… Finally he gave this advice… Pull your troops out, by ten miles…. he did, and the Soviets pulled theirs back as well.  Ok, came the next order. Resume normalcy.  And soon, everything again was routine….

For those that don’t understand war,  the point of the story was, that the young officer caused the crises.  The whole Russian buildup, was because of him.  He made a move the Russians didn’t understand, and since they didn’t understand, they prepared for an attack. As we brought up more, so did they. They were simply matching our moves… Fortunately someone wise enough to understand that he Russians really didn’t want to go to war, stepped in and averted a possible WWIII start-up incident…

As if on cue, already dumb John McCain is rattling swords and demanding we nuke Moscow.  Soon Lindsey Graham will follow as Tweedle Dumb always follows Tweedle Dee… Likewise, Putin will also have his exact same crowd (probably riding Harleys), his group of idiots, clamoring for war as well…

The Western press has already begin its war talk, leading with the condemnation of the Russian Government…  But really, isn’t that a bit premature?   No one has died.  Far less than anything that happened in Kiev earlier this week….

Let’s wear Putin’s shoes for moment….

What if the predominantly Mexican population of San Diego wanted to be aligned with Mexico instead of the USA, all because we couldn’t get Republicans to pass immigration laws.. What if they gathered en masse in San Diego to protest, stayed, burned down government and private buildings.  What if we tried to make them stand down, and it roused up even more Mexicans to their defense.  What if the Mayor fled to Yuma, and camped out in a sanatorium. …   …

What would the US do.  OUR entire Pacific Fleet rests in San Diego… We would probably act prudently. and move outward to expand our perimeter.  We would probably commander all airports and ship docks in that area in order to be able to land reinforcements if necessary.  We would probably park a couple of gunboats facing the city as an intimidating force reminding the Mexicans we had forces they couldn’t get to, so their behavior should keep that in mind.  We’d probably block access roads leading into the port, so an invasion army wouldn’t be able to charge in unannounced…

Just to play devils advocate, what might happen if we took no action to defend ourselves?  As most Americans are asking the Russians to do? We saw the Mexicans had little respect in town for law and order.  There are a lot more of them than there are of us… What if 10,000 of them just walked on to the base, armed with shotguns, hunting rifles, and a few semi automatics.  What if they boarded all our ships, our subs, and put our sailors at gunpoint into the brig, and announced they were in charge of the Baja Mexican Navy… Now the 2nd largest navy in the world.   What would the US do?  Would we sail into our own harbor as did the Free French and blow what used to be our own ships up out of the water?

Of course the Mexicans would say we are invading their new country.  Of course every Spanish tonged nation South of our border would be condemning us for invading Mexican California… despite the fact that a lot of gringos, maybe even a majority, live around San Diego and support our American troops being there and keeping the masses of Mexicans from turning on them….

Point is, we would ourselves, do what Russia just did...

So how can we condemn them, when we have contingency plans to do exactly the same thing?

There is further evidence this is not like Sudetenland, . One, no one has died. It was a smooth peaceful quiet takeover, textbook by American Standards.   Two, action is isolated to the port and Crimea.  Three,  all evidence points to these actions solely for the purpose of controlling access to the base.

As Americans we would laugh at Europe, Russia, and China telling us to abandon San Diego.  There are a lot of similarities between that and the Russian base. The number one move now appears to be: for the Kiev Ukraine government to insist that the base will forever stay Russian, and guarantee the safety of all Russians living on Crimea… Second, it should state that the current administration insists  there will be no change for those who like having Russians close by. For that select group, there will be only two options.  Life goes either goes on the same; or it gets better.  The third option that it may get worse, is forever off the table.. .

It would be the equivalent of that American young officer calling off his men, and telling them to retreat backwards 10 miles..  it would be the opposite of what happened 100 years ago, where threats begot threats and soon rigid plans took effect and not one leader had the chutzpah to stop it from going forward.  6 million soldiers died, 15 million civilians died, and a whole generation of young men was wiped out.  Girls had to marry men their father’s age.. and in the end  Western Europe’s borders were right back where they were before the whole event started.

Cool heads must prevail.  Of course the McCains will spout off.  They don’t matter.  What matters is that we treat the Russians with respect just as we would like them to do for us, if the shoe were on the other foot and we were fighting the battle of San Diego…..