Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ukraine - Unsanctified Sanctions

Wars are started by and for the benefit of the rich and powerful.  They are fought by the children of the poor and if civilians suffer it is usually the poor again who bear the brunt of it.  Wars are paid for by taxes (direct or indirect) on the general public and if infrastructure is destroyed hopefully it is in the enemy's country and not yours.  America has fought three such wars in the past 25 years plus all kinds of little adventures.  A great deal of blood has been shed by combatants and by civilians (collateral damage as it is known) and the rich and powerful in America have become more rich and powerful.  However the general public are tired of body bags and especially tired of paying for these imperial wars from which they get no benefit, only costs.

Economic and related sanctions on the other hand are a way to damage the enemy without physical harm to one's own country, without high expenses, without body bags.  Seems safe enough...BUT.  It only works cost free to the perpetrators of the sanctions if the country is poor and under developed, like Iraq or Iran.  The "but" is when in a globally integrated economy of a reasonably sized country, the sanctions bite back.  They don't hurt the general public but horror of horrors, they hurt the rich and powerful who have invested in the enemy country, who trade with the enemy country.  We can't have that.  Better to send the offspring of the poor to their deaths in their thousands and have the public pay than the rich and powerful should suffer.

The big oil companies have already reassured Putin they are with him all the way.  The notion that the West wanted Ukraine in their camp so the hydrocarbon companies could profit is not true as they will get theirs anyway.  Can you imagine the fuss if Obama sanctions oil companies working in Russia?

London is THE banking centre for the offshore billions of the Russian Oligarchs. Do you think Britain will do anything foolish?  And every two-bit company in Europe is lobbying the EU fiercely against sanctions as it might affect their bottom line.  Steal skim milk from a sick kitten, they would, and sell it to their blind grandmother for cream.

The war of words over Ukraine continues, though I haven't checked in a couple hours so if someone started shooting, I missed it.  Russia has its military on the border with Ukraine to back up its words; America has some pretty stiff sanctions they can apply to back up theirs (IF). I do not want to talk about the EU.

All the articles I read today were about sanctions. This one is worth passing on as it advocates more effort to defeat Russian subversion. Window on Eurasia: Western Sanctions versus Russian Subversion

12 comments:

  1. War and fighting is in our DNA. We are not peaceful by nature. But note, it is not just the rich that back wars - it is also old men... Old men are bellicose, especially those who have never fought.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. The pensioners who have had it very tough in Ukraine and long for the days of the Soviet Union are certainly one of the main driving forces behind the separatists both in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Those who fought in the Afghan War, not so much.

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  2. Last I head, the Russians had flown over Ukrainian territory six times today. They won't stop until they get their war.

    Did you know that Bush wouldn't even allow soldier's caskets to be photographed? I don't know that America is as tired of body bags as of the expense of never not being in one hopeless war or another. It has also cost me most of my respect for the military. It's one thing to think they're there to protect my country, and quite another to think they're there to fight without reason, and that they're okay with that. Otherwise, why would they keep joining?

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    1. Snow, they join because it is a job, because it is an education/training. They fight because they are told to and they obey orders, even though it has nothing to do with defending the nation or any nation.
      I agree about the expense. Empires crumble because the citizens who pay for them are never the ones who benefit from them.

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    2. I understand the pluses of the military, but to join when you know there's a war going on without examining the causes for that war and deciding that they're worth losing your life for strikes me as asinine. I want to respect my military, but I have trouble anymore because I see what they're doing as hurting my country rather than helping it.

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    3. The spin is that they are keeping America safe. No, they are keeping the 1% safe and making them richer.

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  3. As an American I think America should mind its own business unless asked for help.

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    1. America, like Russia, seems to decide what is their business, regardless of the opinions of others.

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    2. "America, like Russia, seems to decide what is their business, regardless of the opinions of others."

      Yes, that's true. America travels the world wasting money and lives, and leaving destruction in our wake.

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    3. But making the rich very rich.

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  4. Our American leaders use us to fight wars for the rich, that are really the ones running this country.

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    1. That is what empires are about. Enriching the already rich and powerful at the expense of the poor who die and the middle class who pay for it.

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