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Monday, March 17, 2014

Crimea River: The Obama "Sanctions" Kick in; Moscow Stock Exchange Moves Up

Wow!

Those are some "sanctions" on Russia, eh? My head is just reeling! So much testosterone in the air!

These "sanctions" are so powerful, so worthy of a mighty nation such as the United States, so in accord with all the hoopla raised over Putin's moves on Ukraine that . . . the Moscow stock exchange jumped upward several percentage points today. Putin and Lavrov must be "trembling" as Russia's economy keeps on chugging.

The "sanctions" are pathetic and absurd. They do, however, fit in with the sort of thing I noted before when discussing sanctions on Russia and how this misadministration would use them,
[S]anctions are supposed to be targeted, smart, appropriate--come up with your own tired cliche--and are meant to show a steely resolve, but a flexible steely resolve, that inflicts pain without being too painful, and doesn't hurt anybody too much and who is too important and who might get angry and do something nasty back at us. In other words, it's nonsense that often does less than nothing, and many times makes you look weak and silly in the eyes of your opponent. 
Think I got that prediction nailed down pretty well.

If anything, Obama's sanctions are even more absurd than I could have imagined. We learn that they are aimed at seven, yes, seven Russians and four Ukrainians whom Obama considers particularly offensive and bearing a special onus for the Crimea crisis,
"We are imposing sanctions on specific individuals for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine," Obama said."We are making it clear that there are consequences for their actions." 
The high-level government officials named by the White House are: Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrei Klishas, Valentina Matviyenko, Dmitry Rogozin, and Yelena Mizulina. 
Surkov and Glazyev are presidential advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The five others hold various positions in the Russian parliament and Russian government.
The punitive measure -- which will almost certainly heighten tensions between U.S. and Russia -- does not target Putin directly. 
The sanctions focus on the individual personal assets, but not companies that the officials may manage on behalf of the Russian state. Any assets that the individuals have in U.S. jurisdiction have been frozen and Americans are prohibited from doing business with them.
In addition, the Treasury Department announced it is imposing sanctions against former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, former Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk as well as Crimea-based separatist leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov.
OK, could we look any sillier and weaker? We are going to "sanction" seven Russians, thereby making them instant heroes in Russia. Notice any names missing? How about Putin and Lavrov for starters? Nah, those guys are powerful and mean, and might actually do something, better to pick on a collection of near nobodies.

I am positively ashamed that we have a leadership so inept that it flogs its weakness and ineptness like some sort of honor. There is nothing we can do to stop Putin from taking Crimea and probably another chunk or two of Ukraine. There, however, are things we can do right away, without ever saying "sanctions," that would strengthen our position in the world and weaken Russia's economy, national budget, and war machine, but which this misadministration has refused to do. Frack! Drill! Dig coal! Unleash the enormous US energy resources on the world market; just an announcement that we are doing this would drive down the price of oil $10-20/barrel, strengthen the dollar, and hit the Russians hard in the pocketbook. Once we started fracking, drilling, and digging in earnest, Russia would be in deep trouble as would other problem children such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Iran.

But, no; instead, we will prevent Sergey Glazyev from buying a Buick and visiting Disneyworld.

38 comments:

  1. Hugh Hewitt, who is a good interviewer, had John Burns the NYT foreign bureau chief on today. He brought up Kosovo and the potential future of the Baltics.

    http://www.hughhewitt.com/nyts-john-fischer-burns-putins-russia-ma-370/#more-22431

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fear for the Baltics, considering that they are bracketed by Russia Proper, the Kaliningrad Oblast, and Belarus.

      Delete
    2. Porfirio Diaz, well-known pal of the common man, is credited by legend with the smart-ass remark, "Poor Mexico! So far from God and so close to the United States!" My lefty relatives couldn't get enough of it, it was so endlessly hilarious.

      Well. Poor Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and so on; so far from the United States and so close to Russia.

      Delete
    3. Even the Finns have been getting Russian pressure. Apparently they want Russian to be made one of Finland's official languages.

      Delete
  2. re: "Once we starting fracking, drilling, and digging in earnest, Russia would be in deep trouble as would others such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Iran."

    But we can't do that! What would the EPA say? Also Greenpeace and the Sierra Club - they would all be in an uproar concerning the use of America's resources. Then there is the UN, who would accuse America of being 'mean'.

    ReplyDelete
  3. D-Mad,

    It is clear that you do not understand the brilliance of the current Powers. Think about the TSA and their random searches; they're effective in thwarting the hijacks of dozens of pigeons daily! Following on that success, The Administration is expanding the randomization to other venues!!!

    That's right! The sanctions were places on people drawn at random from a squirrel cage filled with capsules with the names of people that the crack(ed) White House Staff thought they recognized! (They've already apologized to Spitzer for that mistake, and to Rosanne Barr, for that matter)

    Green Bear

    ReplyDelete
  4. For an incredible perspective on the Crimea and other borders of Europe through history, that will explain much check this fantastic current entry: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/24023-European-borders.html
    This be Jack, number ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just checked it out - great link - most informative

      Delete
  5. Well perhaps some good will come from this in that NATO has been exposed as the mere social club it's become instead of a military alliance. And the EU should now realize that through their policies they are alone and defenseless.
    James the Lesser
    PS Your line "Russian troops are leaving the Crimea and moving deeper into Ukraine" I have stolen and used brazenly several times!

    ReplyDelete
  6. "I am positively ashamed that we have a leadership so inept that it flogs its weakness and ineptness like some sort of honor. "

    This is what happens when we're lead by a poseur academic in high-water mom jeans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He'll "unfriend" Putin from FB any time now! Just you watch!

      I have never been so embarrased (if not dispirited) in my life.

      Delete
    2. Merk, that's way too provocative. Won't happen.

      Delete
    3. Maybe he'll unfriend some underlings.

      Delete
  7. Just looked up the impeachment rules again to be sure. Conviction requires two thirds of the Senators present to vote in favor. Maybe in 2015.

    ReplyDelete
  8. But, but, but... Climate change!

    #8

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am truly at the point where I cannot believe the idiocy of this person. A true case of arrested development. He remains the age he was when he smoked his first joint, and snorted his first line.


    pmc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. O's past is so shrouded in mystery that we do not know whether he smoked his first joint at the same age that he snorted his first line.

      It would not surprise me to have him deny vehemently, under oath, that he has ever snorted a line, only to have it come out years later that, yes, he has been known on occasion to snort a line *segment*.

      Thus: Bill Clinton denied on the stand that there "is" a sexual relationship between himself and that woman, Monica Lewinsky. He did not deny, because he was not asked, that there *was* a sexual relationship between himself and that woman, Monica Lewinsky--perhaps as recently as fifteen minutes previously--or that there probably would be, as soon as fifteen minutes later. It all depends on what the definition of "is" is.

      Delete
  10. But, my friend, we (America, as represented by the Obama Administration) don't *want* Russia and the other problem children to be in deep trouble.

    That is Cold War Mentality, a horrible disease. I speak as a fellow sufferer. I myself am so deeply sunk in CWM that I cannot even explain what it is that we do want.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Let me see, Sarah Palin mentioned Ukraine might become an issue and also wanted to "drill baby, drill."

    Imagine where we'd be now if Palin's prescriptions had been followed.

    I know, crazy talk.

    -Blake

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah Palin is anathema to the MSM for a number of other reasons: she self-identifies as a Christian, is a gun-toting huntress, and she kept and raised her Down Syndrome baby rather than aborting him. The last is the unforgiveable sin to the feminists and their eunuchs, for it shows that Palin despised the holy sacrament of modern American mass culture.

      I also recall Tina Fey mocking Sarah Palin for commenting on the proximity of Russia to its former North American colony, and the glee reflected from the whole of the East Coast faux-siphticated crowd (nod to my younger son) over how "stupid" the Alaskan governor was. At the time, I made an entire loungeful of colleagues go silent when I said that Russia was indeed close to Alaska, and that I was ashamed of the news pundits who mocked Palin over this issue.

      BTW, Dip, when I took the foreign service exam, I recall a question about the three countries with which the USA shares actual borders--Canada, Mexico, and Russia (only five miles between the two Diomedes). Further, back in 1989, I recall the shock on some European colleagues' faces when I reminded them that in the whole NATO alliance, the USA, like Turkey and Norway, could look from its own territory at Soviet (rather than East German or Bulgarian territory).

      I am not, nor have I ever had the honor of being an Alaskan. Yet I think too much of our Western chattering class forgets a few elementary facts of American geography.

      Delete
    2. I found this gem over at HuffPo:


      Noreen S.

      Uber Liberal And Proud Of It

      I finally found something that republicans are good for. Let's ship them off to Crimea and let them fight with their hero Putin. They love him, they love his policies, they think he's the big man in town.

      18 Mar 11:48 AM
      ---
      Wow. Not long ago they were laughing at conservatives for trying to remind them that Russia was still a risk to our national interests, and now they think nothing of acting as though we're on Putin's side, since he is no longer BFFs with Sir Golfsalot.

      Delete
  12. At least Biden is now in Poland reassuring our allies.
    Wait...what?
    (bangs head on wall even harder)

    ReplyDelete
  13. We were preoccupied with gays being able to march on St Patrick's day -- missed out on that "Russia invading its neighbor" thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A part of me thinks that "gay rights" means either:

      1. The right to be happy once in a while, or

      2. No-one can be stoned to death for homosexuality without due process of law.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, Keph, but under Sharia law, "due process" isn't what you think.

      Delete
  14. I must have missed the Executive Order that created the Ministry of Silly Sanctions.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Misadministration sanctions as the Russians visit Disneyland.

    http://www.informationdissemination.net/2014/03/watching-russians-off-floridas-coast.html

    (Dave E? You're entering the wrong search terms - try "Silly Sanctions Czar.")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, the Misadministration is all about the Czar. Doh!

      Delete
    2. A is for aisle, B is for bdellium, C is for czar
      And if you see him would you mind telling him?

      Delete
  16. Now you know how intelligent people in the UK felt when Chamberlain went to "deal" with the chancellor of the new Germany.

    I guess all those years of leadership training in the adjunct faculty lounge aren't so hot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is, I don't see a Churchill on the political horizon.

      Delete
    2. Putin has more than balls.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSX2ALtIejw#t=40

      And what do we get?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUfo-RxkXA8

      Sickens me. I think we have now become the sick old man of the west. Where is the Ottoman Empire when you need him?


      leaperman

      Delete
    3. Short answer.
      NO.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS4yf723kmY

      leaperman

      Delete
  17. I think in this case "sanctions" means "approval."

    ReplyDelete
  18. Putin looks to me like the champion of democracy by standing up on the call of the majority of the people in Crimea. The independence movement of Crimea from Ukraine has two decades of history.

    Obama looks to me like a bad man who is pulling strings of the mobs that hijacked Kiev and overthrew the elected President of Ukraine. I do not know what strategic plans he has. If Putin withdraws army as he demanded, what we will likely to see is a civil war in Ukraine. What would he do? Ask Russians to go into Ukraine for peace keeping?

    ReplyDelete
  19. We have nothing to worry about. John Kerry has again assured us, in his trademark ponderous manner, that the Russians are "on the wrong side of history." So we can all sleep well at night, safe in the assurance that "history" has everything under control.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You misunderstand. He meant, on the wrong side of History, with a capital letter H.

      Capital-H History is the name of the god that socialists worship. It has a will. It demands human sacrifices. It has a clerisy--actually, several competing clerisies, like Islam and Christianity and (to a far lesser degree) Judaism. When it moves, it is like a freight train. You don't want to get on its wrong side.

      So you see, you are casting aspersions on his religion. Naughty naughty.

      Delete
  20. Sec. of State Tiger Lilly aka John Kerry, doesn't want Putin to "take it personally". He won't. Meantime Putin's Poodle aka Barack Obama is filling out his NCAA brackets.

    ReplyDelete