Author Topic: Russia/US-- Europe  (Read 109184 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Prague
« Reply #650 on: September 05, 2022, 12:02:51 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Well, this is rather eloquent , , ,
« Reply #651 on: September 07, 2022, 04:23:57 PM »
"Russia's melancholy oligarchs," via Financial Times on Russian tycoons "bitter about sanctions that have left them ostracized in the west and impotent at home," including one (Mikhail Fridman) offering to finance Ukraine reconstruction if the U.S. spares him;

G M

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Re: Well, this is rather eloquent , , ,
« Reply #652 on: September 07, 2022, 04:31:48 PM »
We will see how long europe can stick it out.

I bet the Russians will be welcomed back with open arms well before spring.


"Russia's melancholy oligarchs," via Financial Times on Russian tycoons "bitter about sanctions that have left them ostracized in the west and impotent at home," including one (Mikhail Fridman) offering to finance Ukraine reconstruction if the U.S. spares him;


G M

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #655 on: September 14, 2022, 04:32:24 PM »
   
Daily Memo: Putin and Scholz Discuss Ukraine, Gas
The German chancellor urged Moscow to withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
By: Geopolitical Futures

Difficult discussions. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory and seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict during a phone call on Tuesday. It was the leaders’ first conversation since late May. According to the Kremlin, Putin said Russia remains a reliable energy supplier and claimed that Western sanctions were to blame for the stoppage of deliveries through the Baltic Sea natural gas pipeline.

Crafty_Dog

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MY: Prague-- fewer Uke flags
« Reply #656 on: September 15, 2022, 02:01:50 PM »

G M

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Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Russia hits Europe in the breadbasket
« Reply #659 on: September 21, 2022, 07:32:51 AM »
September 21, 2022
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Russia Hits Europe in the Bread Basket
When it comes to fertilizers, Europe has no good alternatives.
By: Ekaterina Zolotova

It’s autumn in Europe, which for European farmers means it’s time to start placing orders for fertilizer for the spring. Of course, prices have been much higher recently. World nitrogen prices are up significantly since the start of 2021, driven by elevated demand for agricultural produce and pandemic-related supply disruptions. European prices of natural gas – a factor in nitrogen-based fertilizer production – since the second half of 2021 have shot up by even more. And the elevated price of nitrogen fertilizers has already pushed purchasers toward phosphorus or potash fertilizers, bringing their prices to multiyear highs as well. Then, in February 2022, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was added to the mix.

Higher energy and fertilizer prices means higher food prices, without a fanciful surge in output or state intervention. This will increase the risk of social unrest in Europe, a major concern for European governments and the European Union. It’s clear that Europe must do something, but the most important factors in the soaring costs are the war in Ukraine and – indirectly, in the case of fertilizers – Western sanctions against Russia. For Moscow, one of the world’s largest producers of natural gas and nitrogen fertilizers, this is crucial leverage, which it will use to try to extract significant concessions on sanctions. Europe’s next best alternative — finding supplies somewhere else in the next few months – is unlikely to pan out, and it may eventually have to give the Kremlin some of what it wants.

Disruptions, Real and Imagined

Put a large market with lots of manufacturing capacity next to a treasure trove of natural resources, and you get interdependence. Over the years, infrastructure and commercial linkages, made possible by proximity and circumstance, have tied the European and Russian markets together. In addition to being a massive natural gas exporter, Russia supplies approximately 45 percent of the world’s ammonia nitrate fertilizers, 20 percent of potash fertilizers and just under 15 percent of phosphate fertilizers. Most of this production goes to Europe. Russia receives a constant influx of foreign currency, reinforcing the regime’s stability. Europe, most of the time, receives a cheap, steady flow of critical inputs: About 40 percent of its gas imports and, for example, about a third of its ammonium for the production of fertilizers. Roughly a quarter of Europe’s fertilizers are imported from Russia, and together with Belarus, a Russian ally, provides more than half of Europe’s potash fertilizers.

Fertilizer Nutrients and Imports' Share in EU Consumption
(click to enlarge)

EU Fertilizer Production by Nutrient, 2019
(click to enlarge)

Since December 2021, the Kremlin has had quotas in effect on exports of nitrogen and compound nitrogen fertilizers to states outside the Eurasian Economic Union, but those quotas have been gradually relaxed without spurring a significant increase in Russian fertilizer exports to Europe. Western sanctions do contribute, but not directly. There are sanctions in effect that target individuals who run Russian fertilizer companies, but no measures target the fertilizers themselves. The European Union did adopt a quota on the import of Russian potassium fertilizers for one year, but the quota limit is very close to typical trade volumes. Instead, the effect of Western sanctions is mostly transmitted through logistics and finance.

In terms of logistics, Baltic ports that usually receive shipments have become less accessible to Russian producers. Buyers have encountered difficulties chartering large bulk carriers, forcing them to rely on smaller vessels and raising transport costs and delivery times. Financially, some Russian banks are blocked from using SWIFT, the dominant messaging system for interbank transactions. As a result, payments are more complicated, and some potential buyers are avoiding Russia entirely for fear of blowback. In total, nearly 300,000 tons of fertilizers are reportedly blocked from European ports and can’t reach the buyers.

Toliatti-Gorlovka-Odessa Ammonia Pipeline
(click to enlarge)

With respect to ammonia specifically, the war in Ukraine is a direct obstacle to the delivery of supplies. The 2,500-kilometer (1,550-mile) Togliatti-Gorlovka-Odesa pipeline is capable of transporting 2.5 million tons of ammonia per year from Russia’s Volga region to the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Yuzhny, near Odesa. But it also happens to traverse the parts of Ukraine witnessing the most intense fighting, including Kharkiv. And since ammonia is highly toxic and corrosive, the war is a problem.

Europe’s Options

An additional problem for Europe is the lack of alternative suppliers. Domestically, the nearly 30 percent increase in natural gas prices put a damper on Europe’s own fertilizer production. As much as 15 million tons of European ammonia capacity has been shuttered or is at risk of it, equivalent to almost a third of Europe’s annual output. Producers of nitrogen fertilizers face significant competition for scarce natural gas from other industries as well as households. And Europe lacks the capacity to significantly raise production of other types of fertilizers. Ideally, Europe would try to develop homegrown resources –preferably not nitrogen, whose processing for fertilizers requires lots of natural gas. Mines in east Germany have started test-drilling for potassium, but again, it would take time to spin those up to meaningful production levels.

European buyers have reached out to other gas and fertilizer producers in the Middle East, North Africa and Canada. The bloc is discussing natural gas with Algeria and fertilizer with Morocco, which already provides 40 percent of Europe’s phosphate imports and contains more than 75 percent of proven world reserves of phosphorite. But Europe faces obstacles here as well. Gas-producing countries are already taking advantage of their access to cheaper gas and running fertilizer plants producing nitrogen at near full capacity. Quickly raising production of other fertilizers is even more difficult. Lastly, importing more fertilizers does nothing to help domestic fertilizer firms stay afloat.

European Fertilizer Consumption by Crop
(click to enlarge)

Then there are the long lead times. Although fertilizer is usually applied a couple of months before planting season (February-March), farmers usually order fertilizer between September and November. The European Union is working on a strategy to increase domestic fertilizer production, protect and create jobs, and diversify supplies, but such a reform will take more time than Europe has – and possibly more unity too.

This leaves Europe with two options: muddle through, or compromise with Russia. Already, there are indications that Europe is investigating the latter. According to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the West is discussing increasing ammonia nitrate supplies through the pipeline in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already given his support to the idea. And the United Nations proposed that gaseous ammonia owned by Russian fertilizer maker Uralchem be piped to the border with Ukraine, where U.S.-based trader Trammo would buy it.

Compromised

But Russia is aware that Europe does not have many options, so Moscow is in no hurry to respond to appeals to make better use of the Togliatti-Gorlovka-Odesa pipeline. The Kremlin intends to squeeze Europe to, for instance, ease restrictions on logistics or payment for Russian goods. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently called on Europe to ease restrictions on port access for fertilizer shipments bound not just for Europe but for non-European markets as well. Several ports, including Rotterdam and Finland’s Kotka, have responded positively to proposals to make exceptions for Russian fertilizers. However, Brussels is nervous that simplifying logistics or otherwise easing up the pressure will restore maritime or rail connections and give Russia more access to foreign currency and trade.

Given the likely shortages of fertilizers for the spring, the prospects for Europe’s 2023 harvest are murky but downbeat. Moscow can use the situation to promote its interests and seek favorable contract terms. It will delay restoration of pipeline supplies for as long as possible under various pretexts, from unexpected repairs to retribution for refusal to pay in rubles. Therefore, food prices are unlikely to stabilize by next summer, and prices in the EU as a whole will remain elevated, heaping more pressure on the bloc.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Russia-- Moldova
« Reply #660 on: September 24, 2022, 04:12:28 AM »
Gas prices. Moldova’s National Energy Regulatory Agency said the price of natural gas for consumers will increase by 27 percent beginning Oct. 1, as a result of the rising cost of Russian gas. The government in the Eastern European country is coming under increasing pressure with anti-government protests erupting there already this month.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Why would Poland spurn Germany?
« Reply #661 on: September 26, 2022, 09:44:56 AM »


September 26, 2022
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Why Would Poland Spurn Germany?
The answer is domestic and, to a lesser extent, European politics.
By: Ryan Bridges

“We were dependent on Russia, but today we are cutting this dependence,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week while inaugurating a new canal to the Baltic Sea. The canal’s contribution to this goal is dubious, but it will enable vessels to reach or depart the Polish port of Elblag without needing to traverse Russian territorial waters around Kaliningrad. More interesting was Morawiecki’s next statement: “We are cutting our dependence on both Russia and Germany.” This comes just a few weeks after Poland demanded $1.3 trillion in World War II reparations from Germany.

Warsaw’s reasons for distancing itself from Moscow – a hostile power with a proven history of invading its neighbors – are clear, but Berlin’s offenses are less obvious. Germany is Central Europe’s strongest country, with a latent capability to dominate most of the Continent. The Western powers’ strategy toward Germany since World War II has been to smother it with friendship – integrating its military into a U.S.-dominated alliance with its neighbors and, beginning with the European Coal and Steel Community, giving its economy the keys to a market of more than 450 million consumers and their countries’ resources. Germany’s docility today in the face of Russia’s attack on the NATO-Russian buffer shows that the Western strategy was, if anything, too successful. When it comes to the immediate threat to Poland, Berlin is a friend to Warsaw. Why, then, is the head of Poland’s government trumpeting cryptic plans to reduce ties with Germany? The answer is domestic and, to a lesser extent, European politics.

The German Question

The roots of the European Union lie in predominantly U.S. efforts to find a way to unleash German economic potential while calming German anxieties about potential encirclement. For reasons having to do with geography, climate, culture, history and probably countless lesser factors, the Germans are experts at producing complex industrial goods – far more than the German population could possibly consume. This raises two problems: First, the resources necessary to produce all these unparalleled goods exceed Germany’s own resource pool. The German economy has to get them from somewhere else, whether via cheap trade and investment or conquest. Second, a population of approximately 80 million couldn’t possibly consume all the vehicles, machinery, etc. that German industry can produce. The German economy needs easy access to foreign consumers – again, through preferential trade arrangements or conquest – to offload the excess. The U.S. strategy, which Washington advanced through deft diplomacy, economic incentives and security guarantees despite the reluctance of France and Britain, successfully resolved both German problems peacefully. The European common market was born, nestled in a political framework that had to grow with economic integration.

The resulting union is what Poland and other newly independent Soviet satellites and republics were desperate to join as the Soviet Union started to disintegrate. The EU all but guaranteed explosive economic growth and could open the door to NATO membership – that is, American military protection. Poland applied for EU membership in 1994 and joined in 2004 alongside nine of its neighbors. As expected, NATO invited Warsaw into its ranks in 1997, and the marriage was sealed less than two years later. The Polish economy saw 28 years of economic growth – even through the 2008 recession and Europe’s own subsequent crisis – before shrinking briefly in 2020.

But while this was happening, the post-Cold War world was taking shape. Politically, economically and militarily peerless on the world stage, the United States scrambled to capitalize on its advantage. It pushed for a more globalized world, with more and stronger political and economic bindings. Militarily, it enlarged the trans-Atlantic alliance and, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, embarked on an ill-fated campaign to spread democracy by force in the Muslim world. The shock of the 2008 Great Recession gravely wounded social cohesion, not only in the U.S., and raised serious questions about the attractiveness and viability of the U.S.-led economic order and leadership. At the same time, America’s disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its chaotic interventions in Libya and elsewhere undermined domestic support for military adventurism. By 2022, after some three decades of U.S. preponderance, the world is riddled with crises, and Americans’ willingness to pay the cost of being the world’s policeman has receded. (By how much is an open question. U.S. assistance to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia suggest it’s still higher than some observers believed.)

The Sovereignty Question

Where do Polish-German relations fit into this well-known history? Just as the Americans had their phase of overexuberance after the Cold War, so did the Europeans, including the Poles and other newly independent peoples. EU enlargement wasn’t an especially difficult sell. Incorporating much poorer ex-Soviet satellites and vulnerable states would be expensive, but the potential payoff was irresistible. Western European investors could snatch up cheap land, resources and companies, yielding a healthy profit, while Eastern European workers could flood the EU with cheap labor. Bureaucrats in Brussels gave considerable thought to how best to politically integrate the former communist states. It was not enough to make them see European integration in the same light as the founding members.

From the world wars, many Europeans and most Germans learned that European nationalism must be contained in the name of peace. During the Cold War, the early members of what would become the European Union got decades of practice trusting one another and cooperating for mutual benefit. But across the Iron Curtain, Moscow was stamping out European nationalism in its own way: using brutal covert and overt repression. While Western Europeans were discussing deeper political, economic and monetary integration in the late 1980s, the Soviets’ dire economic situation was depriving them of the ability to contain nationalism in Eastern Europe. By 1990, nationalism and democracy had won out in Central and Eastern Europe.

But democracy alone is not enough. Whereas Western Europe’s collective identity over decades had focused on multilateralism and compromise, its liberated neighbors to the east had been learning the value of cohesiveness, national pride and sovereignty. Without those things, they would not have regained their autonomy. Where a West German saw the loss of some national sovereignty to Brussels as the price of prosperity and peace – and thus a net positive for Bonn’s sovereignty overall – a Pole was mistrustful of any appeals to share decision-making power.

National identities form over generations, and changing them is hard. Poland’s current leadership, the Law and Justice Party (PiS), is particularly committed to Polish nationalism and conservative values. Its largest political opponents are pro-European liberals and centrists, closer to the prevailing politics in Western Europe, where the bulk of EU decision-making power lies. Drawing on their cultural and historical memory, Polish national-conservatives are xenophobic, especially Islamophobic, and generally intolerant of social diversity. (The Western European experience, despite its imperfections, is simply different.) The prevailing ideology in Poland, while reserving its most intense disdain for the Kremlin, is highly mistrustful of Germany’s relative social liberalism.

More important, PiS wants to make fundamental changes to the Polish judicial system, but it has failed to convince most of the EU that its intentions are good and its concerns legitimate. Brussels and most Western European capitals suspect PiS is working to weaken or eradicate Polish political and social liberalism, a challenge to their own regimes but also to the EU, which is founded on liberal ideas like compromise, diversity, civil rights and the rule of law.

Germany Is the Rock, Russia Is the Hard Place

The main battlefield between PiS and Brussels is over the reversal of some Polish judicial reforms and the delivery of 35 billion euros ($34 billion) of EU money for Poland’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The European Commission set milestones for the reversal of PiS’ judicial reforms that it says Warsaw must meet before it will transfer the funds. Obviously, PiS wants to concede as little as possible, but the economic slowdown, rising interest rates and the war next door are pressuring it to get the funds soon. What’s more, Poland is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections by November 2023, and if it doesn’t receive the assistance before then, PiS will be gambling its electoral fortunes on an orderly end to the war in Ukraine and an economic rebound, ideally by the summer.

The Polish government’s rhetorical assault on Germany, therefore, is part of its power struggle with the EU, as well as a backup campaign strategy. Germany is the most influential member of the European Union, but it cannot single-handedly decide whether Poland will receive its 35 billion euros. Poland’s prime minister knows this. But Berlin is a popular object of antipathy for his party’s base – much better than targeting the EU itself, which is immensely popular with Poles. Anti-German rhetoric signals PiS’ resolve while leaving the EU room to maneuver. And if the EU calls PiS’ bluff, then as a last resort it could go into the election blaming the Germans for allowing Russia to invade Ukraine, not doing enough to stop the war and withholding needed financial assistance that rightfully belongs to the Poles.

Whether this strategy will work depends on how the economic situation evolves in Poland, as well as political and social stresses in Europe as a whole. At the moment, there’s little reason to expect a dramatically improved economic situation over the coming months. And EU institutions, with sufficient backing from the member states, do not seem to be in a compromising mood. The United States could try to intervene, but Washington usually steers clear of EU internal politics, and the Biden administration would likely prefer a more liberal government in Warsaw anyway. Most important, the U.S. does not want to risk widening any rifts in Europe at a time when its days of significant involvement on the Continent are ending. If the U.S. is going to reduce its trans-Atlantic commitments while leaving Europe intact and able to defend itself, then it will need the Germans to take the helm.

Poland is unlikely to make a full climbdown on its judicial reforms, but Brussels has most of the leverage. A cease-fire where the EU gets most of what it wants and PiS lives to fight another day – after next year’s elections – is probable. Most important, even a PiS-led Poland is unlikely to actually reduce its dependence on Germany. This would be tantamount to reducing ties to most of Europe, and with the Americans having one foot out the door to Poland’s west and the Russians knocking on the door to its east, that is not an option.


DougMacG

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Russia/US-- Europe, the pipelines
« Reply #663 on: October 04, 2022, 06:53:31 AM »
Mor on the pipelines.  We still don't know, right?  Even though one post said 100% sure.

https://www.newsweek.com/putins-nord-stream-gamble-backfires-russia-losing-energy-war-1747951

The pipelines were not in use when it happened?  Is that right?

"Neither pipeline was in operation at the time, after Gazprom, the state-owned company that operates the pipeline, stopped running Nord Stream 1 on August 19, citing maintenance issues. In July, the pipeline had been shut down for annual repairs. The Nord Stream 2 project was scuppered by Western sanctions."
-----------------------------------------

"Methane Hydrates"
https://thelawdogfiles.com/2022/09/nordstream.html
« Last Edit: October 04, 2022, 07:10:35 AM by DougMacG »

ccp

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #664 on: October 04, 2022, 08:28:56 AM »
"Gazprom, the state-owned company that operates the pipeline, stopped running Nord Stream 1 on August 19"

The greens are pissed
this takes away one of their talking points..

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe, the pipelines
« Reply #665 on: October 04, 2022, 08:34:24 AM »
Mor on the pipelines.  We still don't know, right?  Even though one post said 100% sure.

https://www.newsweek.com/putins-nord-stream-gamble-backfires-russia-losing-energy-war-1747951

The pipelines were not in use when it happened?  Is that right?

"Neither pipeline was in operation at the time, after Gazprom, the state-owned company that operates the pipeline, stopped running Nord Stream 1 on August 19, citing maintenance issues. In July, the pipeline had been shut down for annual repairs. The Nord Stream 2 project was scuppered by Western sanctions."
-----------------------------------------

"Methane Hydrates"
https://thelawdogfiles.com/2022/09/nordstream.html

I contacted a friend who is retired LE and by his description "17 years in the oil field and 4 years in the military blowing shit up"
doesn't agree with the Lawdog theory at all. I will try to post what he said in more detail.

ccp

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #666 on: October 04, 2022, 09:04:17 AM »
"Lawdog theory"

What are you referring to?

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #667 on: October 04, 2022, 09:13:01 AM »

G M

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The NS Investigation
« Reply #668 on: October 04, 2022, 09:17:19 AM »
https://twitter.com/AZmilitary1/status/1577225979591680000

Theories are nice, but find evidence and see where it leads you.

DougMacG

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #669 on: October 04, 2022, 09:25:32 AM »
Given Putin has nukes, we should do what then?

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #670 on: October 04, 2022, 09:28:51 AM »
Given Putin has nukes, we should do what then?

Broker a peace deal. Stop fcuking around on Putin's front porch and focus on the dumpster fire the US has become.

Putin didn't burn down American cities in 2020.

Your actual enemies are much closer.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #671 on: October 04, 2022, 11:16:06 AM »
All possible responses suck.

The suckeries with GM's proposal are:

a) we teach that nuke black mail works;
b) we underline what an unreliable ally we are-- we told the Ukes we had their back, now as the stand to win at the cost of much blood and treasure, we pull the rug from under them.
c) those in the Taiwan region will draw lessons accordingly.
d) we still won't be defending our border.

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #672 on: October 04, 2022, 01:05:24 PM »
All possible responses suck.

The suckeries with GM's proposal are:

a) we teach that nuke black mail works;

N. Korea already did that.

b) we underline what an unreliable ally we are-- we told the Ukes we had their back, now as the stand
to win at the cost of much blood and treasure, we pull the rug from under them.

When did “we” (The American people sign on for the CIA’s color revolution and long term aggression against Russia after we promised we would not at the end of the Cold War?


c) those in the Taiwan region will draw lessons accordingly.

Those in the Taiwan region know exactly who we are and that the PRC has the Biden crime family as it’s catspaw.

d) we still won't be defending our border.

But we should send our troops to defend Ukraine’s border!


DougMacG

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #673 on: October 04, 2022, 03:22:17 PM »
I don't think one inch of Ukraine is on Putin's porch. Sounds like border denial, and sovereignty means nothing?

Where is Putin's porch  after he takes Ukraine.  US out of Poland next?

How do you broker a non-consensual surrender?  From which side?  We are trying to broker his surrender.

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #674 on: October 04, 2022, 04:14:30 PM »
I don't think one inch of Ukraine is on Putin's porch. Sounds like border denial, and sovereignty means nothing?

I care about America's border, every other country's border is their problem. Especially a Mafiya-Thugocracy like Ukraine. Which border applies to Ukraine?




Where is Putin's porch  after he takes Ukraine.  US out of Poland next?

When did Poland become a part of the US? I missed that debate in congress.

How do you broker a non-consensual surrender?  From which side?  We are trying to broker his surrender.

We can just cut off the money/weapon faucet, 70% or which was stolen anyway.

Did Zelensky and his crew become multi-millionaires or Billionaires from our tax money?


DougMacG

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #675 on: October 04, 2022, 06:53:24 PM »
With that logic, Texas isn't really US, added more recently.  Where is our southern border?  Is there one?

If nothing outside the US affects us or interests you, why all the threads and discussions?

Let China take Taiwan?

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #676 on: October 04, 2022, 07:02:59 PM »
With that logic, Texas isn't really US, added more recently.  Where is our southern border?  Is there one?

If nothing outside the US affects us or interests you, why all the threads and discussions?

Let China take Taiwan?

One must adjust to the situation as it is, not how we wish it to be.

Charity, and self defense starts at home.

The rotting husk of what used to be the US is in no condition to be edging the world towards a global nuclear apocalypse.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Belarus: LNG sales
« Reply #677 on: October 19, 2022, 02:27:49 AM »
Belarusian reinforcement. Russian troops who will form a new group to jointly guard the Belarusian border with host-country troops arrived in Belarus over the weekend, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said. The ministry also said it is conducting a rotation of units to reinforce its border with Ukraine, focused especially on bridges, crossings and railways. Lastly, it’s been reported that Belarusian military personnel have been told they are no longer allowed to take leave outside the country, save to travel to Russia. While these preparations may not be used to invade Ukraine from the north, they could be enough to put pressure on Poland to respond.

Russian energy sales. Europe's purchases of Russian liquefied natural gas are rising despite its sanctions on Moscow. While piped gas deliveries from Gazprom declined in the first nine months of this year, Russian LNG exports to Europe increased by 50 percent, to 15 billion cubic meters, compared with the previous year. Novatek, a major Russian gas producer, said its third-quarter global sales increased by 12.9 percent, though it did not disclose how much of the deliveries Europe accounted for. The firm continues to sell gas to Europe in foreign currencies, while Gazprom has switched to payments in rubles.

DougMacG

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Re: GPF: Belarus: LNG sales
« Reply #678 on: October 19, 2022, 06:56:05 AM »
Some sanctions don't work.

If you ban Russian energy sales to Europe, are you sanctioning Russia, who may sell it elsewhere, or are you sanctioning Europe, who needs to heat homes and businesses.

It's a tangled web.  Too bad to restrain US energy production and put a stick in the eye of the Saudis at the same time you want to put the squeeze on Putin.

DougMacG

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #679 on: October 19, 2022, 08:36:29 AM »
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/nation-world/story/2022-10-19/putin-declares-martial-law-in-annexed-regions-of-ukraine

"The upper house of Russia’s parliament quickly endorsed Putin’s decision to impose martial in the annexed Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions. The approved legislation indicated the declaration may involve restrictions on travel and public gatherings, tighter censorship and broader authority for law enforcement agencies."
----------------------------------------------------------


Does anyone here believe the "elections" conducted by the Russians in the annexed regions were free and fair?  Is THIS what they voted for?

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #680 on: October 19, 2022, 09:06:29 AM »
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/nation-world/story/2022-10-19/putin-declares-martial-law-in-annexed-regions-of-ukraine

"The upper house of Russia’s parliament quickly endorsed Putin’s decision to impose martial in the annexed Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions. The approved legislation indicated the declaration may involve restrictions on travel and public gatherings, tighter censorship and broader authority for law enforcement agencies."
----------------------------------------------------------


Does anyone here believe the "elections" conducted by the Russians in the annexed regions were free and fair?  Is THIS what they voted for?

About as free and fair as ours are.


G M

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #683 on: October 20, 2022, 06:40:48 PM »
"Make the best deal it can"?

And what will that look like?

What lessons will China draw after Afghanistan and then this?


G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #684 on: October 20, 2022, 10:11:19 PM »
"Make the best deal it can"?

And what will that look like?

A permanently neutral buffer state.

What lessons will China draw after Afghanistan and then this?

1. The USG is run by highly credentialed idiots who will get us into wars that we have no idea how to win while we piss away endless blood and treasure.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #685 on: October 21, 2022, 03:50:08 PM »
Indeed.

My point about the Macgregor article remains.  He eloquently describes the deep problems with one side of the dilemma we face, but ignores the deep problems that on the other side of the dilemma.

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #686 on: October 23, 2022, 12:05:46 PM »
Indeed.

My point about the Macgregor article remains.  He eloquently describes the deep problems with one side of the dilemma we face, but ignores the deep problems that on the other side of the dilemma.

Our dilemma is how to avoid global thermonuclear war.

Step 1. Stop fucking with Russia through our Uke proxy.

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DougMacG

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Russian TV boss calls for war crimes against Ukes
« Reply #688 on: October 24, 2022, 05:44:42 AM »
https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-boss-says-drown-ukrainian-children-burn-families-alive-1754116
---------------

"Rape them, drown them, burn families alive."

Pure evil.  Putin bad isn't some joke or takeoff on OrangeManBad.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2022, 11:01:19 AM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #689 on: October 24, 2022, 06:27:37 AM »
https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-boss-says-drown-ukrainian-children-burn-families-alive-1754116
---------------

"Rape them, drown them, burn families alive."

Pure evil.  Putin bad isn't some joke or takeoff on OrangeManBad.

 :roll:


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Re: Russia/US-- Europe, Nikkei, Asis
« Reply #690 on: October 24, 2022, 03:10:08 PM »
https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Comment/West-and-allies-must-never-yield-to-Russia-s-nuclear-threat
West and allies must never yield to Russia's nuclear threat
Easy compromise could make the world a far more dangerous place


Has World War III already begun? Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to be constantly reminded of the dire consequences of his recklessness.

HIROYUKI AKITA, Nikkei commentator
October 23, 2022 10:05 JST

TOKYO -- With Russia showing no sign of ending its brutal invasion of Ukraine, concern is growing that President Vladimir Putin may ultimately resort to tactical nuclear weapons; he has made such threats repeatedly.

Some pundits say Russia might go the nuclear route to break Ukraine's will if it concludes that it cannot win the war with conventional arms.

How can the West and its allies protect the people of Ukraine and restore peace without yielding to Putin's threat? The world is now at a critical juncture.

Policymakers, military leaders as well as academic and other experts from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere gathered in Warsaw, Poland, on Oct. 4 and 5 to discuss the issue at the Warsaw Security Forum. Tensions were running high in the country, where more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to.

In open debate, many participants called for unified support for Ukraine, but in closed-door sessions they focused on more sensitive topics, particularly on how to respond to Putin's nuclear threat.

Giving in to Putin could encourage North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping to take the path of nuclear brinkmanship. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
There is a slight division within NATO on the issue, with the U.S., U.K., Poland and the three Baltic states taking a much tougher stance on Russia than Germany, France and a few other members.

Overall, NATO members agree they should never succumb to Putin's threat and continue to support Ukraine until the invasion ends in failure. They also agree that if Russia uses nuclear weapons, it should face a massive retaliation from either the U.S. or NATO.

However, some experts are calling for a more cautious approach: If Putin is cornered as the war progresses, the risk of his using nuclear arms will increase. Some even said Ukraine should be persuaded to negotiate a cease-fire with Moscow for the sake of avoiding a nuclear attack on itself.

For some, it might seem better to appease Putin than risk nuclear conflict, but the reverse is true. Any concession to Putin would not only hamper the security of Ukraine but also make the world a far more dangerous place.

There are three reasons for this. First, if Ukraine agrees to a cease-fire while Russian troops are still on its soil, that would mean Putin's nuclear threat has worked. Once he tastes success, he might use the same tactics to expand his control to all of Ukraine or to further threaten Eastern Europe and other regions.

Poland has experienced the Russian menace many times in the past. It was invaded by both Germany and the former Soviet Union during World War II. Though it regained independence after the war, the country was soon incorporated into the Soviet sphere.

A Polish expert on Russia warns that compromising with Putin -- giving him a cease-fire on his terms -- will undoubtedly lead to Moscow launching another invasion.

Second, if the West gives any hint of yielding to the Russian threat, China, North Korea and other nuclear nations will try to emulate Russia, convinced that nuclear threats work. China might increase its military pressure on Taiwan while warning the U.S. that it will not hesitate to use its nuclear arsenal if Washington interferes.

Third, some countries might seek to go nuclear to protect themselves if nuclear powers begin to use threats and intimidation to get their way. Recent polls in South Korea, which faces a nuclear threat from North Korea, show that a majority support their country gaining nuclear arms.

To end the Ukrainian crisis, the West and its allies need to do more than increase their military support to Ukraine while calling for the withdrawal of Russian forces. They must increase their diplomatic and other pressure so that Putin will think twice before deciding to go nuclear.

A medical worker runs past a burning car after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 10.    © AP
In other words, Putin needs to be made aware that if he chooses the path of destruction, he would face a full-scale retaliation from NATO. Once Putin realizes what such retaliation would do to his military, he might hesitate to use the ultimate weapon. The West also needs to urge China and India, two major fence-sitters, to oppose Russia's use of nuclear arms.

Specific retaliatory measures are being discussed within NATO. One senior official said the U.S. and Europe share information on all possible options while holding almost daily talks.

Such options likely include the annihilation of Russian forces in Ukraine and the Black Sea, according to former high-ranking U.S. and European military officers. The attacks would likely use conventional weapons, military experts say.

The White House, which has already warned Russian leadership of retaliatory action, should keep sounding the warning. Putin said on Sept. 21 that his nuclear threat is not a bluff; NATO needs to make him see that neither is its warning of retaliation.

The world now faces the greatest risk since the Cold War. Fighting between NATO and Russian forces, if it occurs, could lead to World War III or something close to it.

Fiona Hill, who led Russian policy at the U.S. National Security Council in the Donald Trump administration, told U.S. media last month that World War III has already begun. To prevent an armed escalation in Ukraine, the West and its allies need to keep reminding Putin and other Russian leaders of the dire consequences of their reckless actions

Crafty_Dog

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Gatestone: Turkey with Putin
« Reply #691 on: October 25, 2022, 03:00:22 AM »
The Putin Pawns in the NATO Alliance? How the West Emboldens Erdoğan's Aggression
by Burak Bekdil  •  October 25, 2022 at 5:00 am

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Turkey's Islamist President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been militarily threatening a fellow NATO ally, Greece, using increasingly threatening language. He also proudly announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised him to make Turkey an international natural gas hub, therefore selling his gas via Turkey, avoiding Western sanctions.

What does Erdoğan get in return? Huge American (and other Western) pats on the back.

Erdoğan, while explicitly threatening a NATO ally, has a plan to seriously undermine Western sanctions on Russia.... The project will enable Turkey to store Russian gas in Thrace and sell it to willing European buyers. This will effectively kill Western sanctions on Russia. Turkey will earn transit fees from every cubic meter of Russian gas sold to European buyers. A win-win for two autocrats.

What was the U.S. administration's response to all that? Approval for fighter jet sales!... An earlier version of the bill had linked the sale to the condition that Turkey would not use the aircraft against Greece.

Erdoğan is now hopeful that Congress should give the green light to the F-16 deal before the end of the year.

What other insane, anti-Western moves should Erdoğan make before U.S. President Joe Biden understands that Turkey's Islamist autocrat is a Putin pawn inside the NATO alliance?

Or is Biden a Putin pawn as well?

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: On the phone with the Russkis
« Reply #692 on: October 25, 2022, 09:02:38 AM »
Second

Moscow's message. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone on Sunday with the defense ministers of Britain, France, Turkey and the United States about the situation in Ukraine. In their conversations, Shoigu accused Ukraine of planning a provocation using a “dirty bomb.” The British Defense Ministry said the defense secretary "refuted these claims and cautioned that such allegations should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation."

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Re: GPF: On the phone with the Russkis
« Reply #693 on: October 25, 2022, 09:58:42 AM »
Second

Moscow's message. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone on Sunday with the defense ministers of Britain, France, Turkey and the United States about the situation in Ukraine. In their conversations, Shoigu accused Ukraine of planning a provocation using a “dirty bomb.” The British Defense Ministry said the defense secretary "refuted these claims and cautioned that such allegations should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation."

Maybe it's a good sign they are talking.  I don't think Russia was talking when they were winning.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #694 on: October 25, 2022, 11:45:16 AM »
I have a similar read.

We all know the Russians flagrantly lie and do false flags and the clear statement by the Brits blowing off this latest piece of horseshit tells the Russkis that they will get zero traction with this one.

Note Putin's former speech writer on growing discontent within the Russian military:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wDLnzXij8Q and the possibility that they would reject command to launch.   This adds significance to the comms between Shoigu and our side's defense ministers.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2022, 12:16:32 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: What to expect from Italy's new govt
« Reply #695 on: October 25, 2022, 12:19:26 PM »
second post

What to Expect From Italy's New Right-Wing Government
While more protectionist, Italy's new government will largely remain on the path of economic reform, fiscal prudence, and support for sanctions against Russia set out by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Political instability is likely to increase after the winter as intra-coalition rivalries emerge and the popularity of the country's new prime minister starts waning. Italy's new right-wing government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was sworn in on Oct. 22 following weeks of negotiations between coalition parties to assign key cabinet positions. Her team, unveiled on Oct. 21, includes nine ministers from her far-right Brothers of Italy party, five ministers from each coalition partner (the right-wing Lega and Forza Italia parties), and various technocratic figures.


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Take $300B of Russian cash and give it to the Ukes
« Reply #696 on: October 26, 2022, 04:23:59 PM »
Russian Cash Can Keep Ukraine Alive This Winter
There’s precedent for transferring the more than $300 billion in frozen reserves as compensation.
By Robert B. Zoellick
Oct. 26, 2022 12:17 pm ET

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers a video speech to a conference in Berlin, Oct. 25.
PHOTO: OMER MESSINGER/GETTY IMAGES

Countries win wars through economic resilience, not by force of arms alone. Ukraine’s army is winning battles, but its economy faces a bitter winter. Vladimir Putin knows this, which is why he is bombarding the country’s energy infrastructure. To strengthen Kyiv’s economic hand, the U.S. and the Group of Seven partners need to change Mr. Putin’s calculus. They must force him to recognize that he can’t break Ukraine and that the economic costs of his war will be turned against him.

This week the German government and European Commission hosted a conference in Berlin on Ukraine’s economic plight. Like a similar event in July, the meeting was long on good intentions and short on practical results. Despite references to a Marshall Plan for Kyiv, attendees forgot what the former secretary of state said in his 1947 speech announcing his plan for a war-ravaged Europe: “The patient is sinking while the doctors deliberate.”

Kyiv is fighting a war while coping with losses similar to those of the Great Depression. The country’s economy will shrink by about one-third this year, as inflation has wreaked havoc and tax revenues have collapsed. Kyiv needs about $5 billion a month to cover nonmilitary spending. Out of 43 million Ukrainians, some seven million have become refugees and another seven million have fled within the country.

Mr. Putin has bet that the initial surge of Ukrainian adrenaline would give way to fatigue. The U.S. needs to help turn that gamble against him, which it can do without any direct military intervention.

The U.S. should deploy its best asymmetrical weapon: financial power. In cooperation with its G-7 allies, the U.S. should begin the process under the international law of transferring the more than $300 billion in frozen Russian reserves to Ukraine and other afflicted countries as compensation for Mr. Putin’s aggression.

Various scholars, such as University of Virginia professor Philip Zelikow and Anton Moiseienko of Australian National University, have mapped out how this may work in practice. As Messrs. Zelikow and Moiseienko identify, the United Nations General Assembly recognized in 2002 the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts.

In combination with several U.N. resolutions and a ruling from the International Court of Justice that have found that Russia has waged a war of aggression, those articles establish the international legal basis for transferring Russia’s reserves to Ukraine. In doing so, the U.S. and allied countries wouldn’t be taking Russian reserves for themselves; they would transfer them to an international fund for compensation.

The U.S. should also propose to the U.N. that frozen Russian reserves could finance a U.N. claims commission to compensate low-income countries victimized by Russia’s shock to food supplies. There’s precedent for such a decision. After Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, a U.N. commission awarded more than $50 billion to more than a million claimants, including funds to Kuwait, Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia for environmental claims.

Sen. James Risch (R., Idaho), ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, has been working with colleagues of both parties on legislation to authorize the transfer. After granting almost $60 billion for Ukraine, Congress and the public can reasonably ask why the U.S. shouldn’t transfer Russian money to Ukraine.


Mr. Putin has violated fundamental international rules and endangered the security of all nations. He’s sought not only to overrun a neighbor but to annex its occupied lands. He has threatened the use of nuclear weapons, not as a deterrent, but as an offensive weapon in a war of conquest. His war has cost poor countries the ability to feed the hungry by disrupting the grain trade.

A U.S.-led financial assault could effectively turn the tables on Mr. Putin and give Ukraine a lifeline to survive and rebuild.

Some Western policy makers are likely to have reservations about the approach. Some may worry, for example, that Russia will retaliate by seizing foreign assets. But it has already done so. If Russia turns to sabotage, it should be forced to pay.

Others may argue that a transfer of Russian reserves risks confidence in the U.S. dollar. But countries hold dollar reserves for reasons of macroeconomic stability, not so they can invade neighbors. China may worry about holding dollar reserves, but Beijing would already substitute other reserves if it could. Its turn toward self-sufficiency and market controls won’t help it create an alternative reserve currency. China and other countries hold dollars because they sell more to the U.S. than they buy. If they dump dollars, they will shrink their sales and economies.

A transfer of Russian reserves respects international law. It also represents a potential item in negotiations to end the war. If Mr. Putin reaches a settlement, Moscow may be able to recover some of its reserves.

The U.S. needs to reset the strategic chessboard. Washington can change the terms of battle by using its strongest economic weapon. By relying on international law, the U.S. would also reinforce the rules-based order that Russia wants to destroy. That would achieve justice as well as peace.

Mr. Zoellick served as U.S. trade representative (2001-05), deputy U.S. secretary of state (2005-06) and World Bank president (2007-12). He is the author of “America in the World.”

Crafty_Dog

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What we are fighting for and what Putin makes of it
« Reply #697 on: October 27, 2022, 05:30:50 PM »
https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/10/26/democrat-declares-woke-war-one-against-russia/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DmzAw_iTgo
==============================================

cf:

How Do Drag Shows Advance U.S. National Security?
The Biden administration pushes woke ideology on the world at the expense of American values.
By John Ratcliffe and Cliff Sims
Oct. 27, 2022 6:17 pm ET


The exportation of American culture has long been one of our nation’s greatest soft-power assets. But instead of using it to affirm Western values and U.S. interests, the Biden administration is proselytizing for woke ideology. The foreign-policy implications could be catastrophic.

In an effort to “promote diversity and inclusion,” the State Department is funding “drag theater performances” in Ecuador through cultural grants. The purpose of the grants, according to official documents, is to “support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security.”

Left unexplained is how drag-queen shows enhance American national security or advance our interests—let alone why U.S. taxes should pay for it. Meanwhile, a Chinese consortium controls the two largest copper mines in Ecuador. A lot of good drag theater will do when we can’t find enough copper for essential manufacturing.

This moment of diplomatic idiocy pairs nicely with the Biden administration’s request earlier this year for $2.6 billion to export woke ideology in the form of “gender equity and equality” around the world.

In another cringeworthy example of the State Department’s woke virtue signaling, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest tweeted a “Who said it?” quiz that asked Hungarians to guess whether various statements had been made by Vladimir Putin or a Hungarian politician.

A “downright barbaric ideology is gaining ground,” one quote began, “originating in U.S. universities, which denies all the value that humanity has created.” This supposedly scurrilous statement, with which many Americans would agree, was uttered by Hungary’s deputy prime minister—a thoughtcrime that the U.S. Embassy implies puts him on par with a global pariah.

These are grade-school antics, not the projection of American power. When the U.S. has issues with foreign leaders, it should deal with them through adult diplomacy. Instead, our diplomatic efforts under President Biden, a self-styled foreign-policy expert, could be summed up as “anyone I don’t like is Putin.”


Hungary beefed up NATO’s eastern flank with military deployments after Russia invaded Ukraine and has absorbed masses of Ukrainian refugees this year. But instead of encouraging Hungary to continue bolstering these efforts, the Biden administration ridicules its leaders for being justifiably repulsed by the woke ideology of American universities.

During the Trump administration, one of us (Mr. Sims) asked the ambassador of a Five Eyes ally why he was confident that his country would stay aligned with the U.S. in the face of increasing Chinese aggression. He replied with a single word: values.

Woke ideology frustrates and confuses allies and undermines our strength by attacking the very values on which America is built. To reclaim America’s role in the world, we must lead by example. American foreign policy must have as strong a moral core as the American people. Our leaders need to understand that our strength abroad emanates from our best traditions at home—strong families, patriotism, grit and determination, and a military that our service members and citizens can be proud of.

Throughout the Trump administration, our National Security Strategy focused on the values of “principled realism,” acknowledging that “the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others,” but asserting that “advancing American principles spreads peace and prosperity.” These American principles included a respect for national sovereignty, a realistic view of global competition and the limits of U.S. capabilities, and a total confidence in America’s ability to be a force for good in the world.

America’s traditions made our culture the envy of the world. They also helped the U.S. build alliances and, when necessary, win wars. Ideological indulgences like drag shows only drive away allies. It’s time to stop pushing destructive woke ideology on the rest of the world and bring sanity back to American diplomacy.

Mr. Ratcliffe served as director of national intelligence, 2020-21. Mr. Sims served as deputy director of national intelligence for strategy and communications, 2020-21.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 08:04:49 AM by Crafty_Dog »


DougMacG

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Re: What happened to the Russian troops in Kalinigrad?
« Reply #699 on: October 28, 2022, 10:40:24 AM »


https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2022/10/27/12000-russian-troops-once-posed-a-threat-from-inside-nato-then-they-went-to-ukraine-to-die/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=news_tab&sh=a24185133750

Good post.  One point they make...

[Kaliningrad] "sandwiched between two NATO countries along a strategic sea",   


...brings up this point.

This exposed part of Russia has been surrounded by NATO all these years and never been attacked by NATO.

Makes you wonder if their rationale for invading Ukraine, the fear NATO would attack Russia via Ukraine, was BS.

If NATO is the aggressor (complete BS), why didn't they invade Kaliningrad?

Same reason NATO still hasn't attacked Russia in this conflict or ever since formed.  NATO isn't an aggressor.  [Putin is lying about that.]  NATO is barely a defense of member nations treaty.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 10:55:23 AM by DougMacG »