Patterico's Pontifications

2/23/2022

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Well Underway

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:35 pm



Twitter is alight with news, and some of it may be fake, so beware. That said, multiple correspondents for different television networks have heard explosions in Kyiv. There have been explosions in multiple other cities. The U.S. embassy reports:

Air raid sirens are going off in Kyiv as I write this. People are trying desperately to get out:

Here is video of the debris of a cruise missile in the capital city:

Zelensky has declared martial law, and the Ukrainian government reports that the Russian military has attacked military targets all over the country. The first wave of attacks appears to be targeting air defense. Reports are that all military airports have now been destroyed:

A family friend has a mom in Kyiv. She reports to her daughter: “War.”

Meanwhile, as you have surely read, the repugnant punk Tucker Carlson has gone to town propagandizing for Putin, asking his audience: what did Vladimir Putin ever do to you? Did he call you a racist, or make fentanyl, or eat dogs? Why, no! As stupid as that sounds, I’m not even making it up. I’ll show you the version shown on Russian state television, with subtitles that gleefully proclaim this useful idiot propaganda to the Russian people:

Nor am I making up Trump’s talk tonight to his dullard crowd in Mar-a-Lago as he fanbois for Putin, dreamy-eyed at the thought of a “smart” man who can just waltz in and take over huge tracts of land without repercussion:

Trump is a monster. Tucker Carlson is a sinister propagandist. Now if there is anything they can do for us:

Keep the people of Ukraine in your thoughts. And as to the evil Vladimir Putin and his sinister propagandists in the United States, like the unspeakable cretin at Mar-a-Lago, or Father Carlson, I wish them . . . nothing good.

UPDATE: Russian cyberattacks have taken down Ukranian news sites:

Our friend with the mom in Kyiv told us the same thing tonight.

UPDATE: Russians are firing rockets indiscriminately into the city. The face of a victim:

UPDATE:

UPDATE:

I’m going to bed. I’ll leave you tonight with this message:

421 Responses to “Russian Invasion of Ukraine Well Underway”

  1. Just terrible, terrible people.

    Patterico (7e54d1)

  2. Christopher Miller is a great source, and so is Max Seddon.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  3. Well, he’s been planning this for 15 years and made no secret of wanting it since the USSR dissolved in ’91. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to ‘folks’ paying attention. The real concern for the U.S. is Taiwan, where we do have genuine interests and may be called upon to honor commitments. So how this is managed and plays out will be a blueprint for how Xi approaches it.

    Prayers for your friend’s Mom safety in Kyiv, P. Probably best to just stay home and weather the storm.

    Still, Trump isn’t president; nor is Tucka… and this blunderbuss incompetent isn’t a confidence builder, either:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCA2vODnL3M

    ‘Mister Trouble never hangs around;
    When he hears this mighty sound;
    “Here I come to save the day…”
    That means that ‘Mighty Mouth,’ is on the way.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  4. I agree with David French. Fry every external asset they have.

    And people should turn off Tucker on FOX and start sending him victim pictures.

    Nic (896fdf)

  5. Seddon summarizes Putin’s speech in this thread.

    Putin’s speaking on Russian TV. He says he’s launched a “special military operation” in the Donbas and isn’t planning to occupy Ukraine. But he’s demanding Ukraine’s army lay down its weapons and says Kyiv will be responsible for “possible bloodshed.”

    You heard it right, Putin is not responsible for a multi-front offensive strike, it’s Ukraine’s fault for defending itself from his war-making.

    Putin: “The goal is to defend people who have been victims of abuse and genocide from the Kyiv regime. And we will strive to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine. We will also hand over everyone who committed bloody crimes against civilians, including Russian citizens, to court.”

    Genocide? De-Nazify?

    Putin: “I am sure Russia’s armed forces will fulfill their duty professionally and bravely. I have no doubt that all levels of government will work effectively together: the specialists in charge of economic stability, the financial and social system, and our business.”

    Putin’s warning to Ukrainians: “I call upon you to lay down your weapons and go home.” He claims soldiers who give up will be left untouched.

    “All responsibility for possible bloodshed will be completely and totally on the conscience of the regime ruling on Ukrainian territory.”

    Um, no, the responsibility is all on Putin, no one else but Putin.

    Putin warns anyone “who might be tempted to meddle in the ongoing events: whoever tries to stand in our way or create threats for our country and people should know Russia’s response will be immediate and lead you to consequences you have never encountered in your history.”

    This threat–this bullying–from the Russian dictator is inexcusable.

    “Russia’s fate is in the capable hands of our people,” Putin says. “The decisions we take will be fulfilled, our goals achieved, and the safety of our motherland safely guaranteed. I believe in our support, in that unconquerable force that gives us our love of our Fatherland.”

    More unhinged. I’m thinking that an Inglorious Basterds scenario might’ve been applicable to Putin.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  6. Maybe the craziest thing is that, from his suit, tie, and surroundings, it looks like he recorded this speech two days ago, during the same session where he sweated his top security guy into agreeing to the annexation of the separatist territories before that issue had even been officially proposed. I guess the guy got confused since everything was apparently happening the same day.

    Patterico (7e54d1)

  7. @4. Sanctions… that’s not going to deter them. Especially as this has been well planned for a very long time.

    Remember, they’re a tough, proud people who’ve endured great hardships- successes and failures; turned back Napoleon, defeated the Nazis at a cost of 25+ million dead and rolled tanks over fields full of the frozen bodies of their own dead comrades. Sanctions won’t bother them.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  8. Patterico, in this thread from Seddon, Putin is wearing the same clothes, same tie, everything in his war declaration speech as his unhinged speech on Monday. Below are some excerpts from Zelensky’s speech, which Laura Ingraham dishonestly called a “pathetic display”.

    Zelensky speaks to the nation. The gravity of the situation looks to have really gotten to him.
    “Today I initiated a phone conversation with the president of the Russian Federation. The result was silence. Although it’s the Donbas where there should be silence.”

    He addresses Russians in Russian.
    “We are divided by a shared border of more than 2,000km. Almost 200,000 of your troops and thousands of military vehicles are standing alongside it. Your leadership has ordered them to move forward, onto another country’s territory.”

    “This step could be the start of a big war on the European continent. The whole world is talking about what could happen any day now,” says Zelensky. “Any provocation. Any flare-up – one that could burn everything.”

    “They’re telling you that this flame will liberate the people of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people are free. They remember their past and are building their future,” Zelensky says. “Ukraine on your TV news and the real Ukraine are two totally different countries. Ours is real.”

    Zelensky talks about all the times he spent as an entertainer in the Donbas and how many friends he has with family from there.
    “They told you I’m ordering an attack on Donbas, to open fire and bomb indiscriminately […] to shoot at whom? to bomb whom?”

    Zelensky remembers a lot of specific places in Donetsk and Luhansk oblast he’s been. “I’m speaking Russian, but nobody in Russia understand what these places, streets, and events are. This is our land and our history. What are you fighting for? And with who?”

    “Lots of you have relatives in Ukraine, you studied in Ukrainian universities, you have Ukrainian friends. You know our character, our principles, what matters to us. Listen to yourselves, to the voice of reason. The people of Ukraine want peace.”

    “The government of Ukraine wants peace. It’s doing everything it can. We’re not alone. That’s true, lots of countries support Ukraine. Because this isn’t about peace at any price. It’s about peace, principles, justice, international law, the right to determine your own future.”

    “This is about society’s right to be safe and people’s rights to live without threats. This is all important for us and for the world. I know for sure that this is important for you too.”

    “We know for sure that we don’t need war – neither cold, nor hot, nor hybrid. But if troops attack us and someone tries to take away our country, our freedom, our lives, the lives of our children, then we will defend ourselves.”

    “We will defend ourselves. When you attack, you will see our faces, not our backs. War is a great misfortune and it comes at a great price. People lose their money, reputation, freedom, living standards, and most importantly – they lose their loved ones nad themselves.”

    “Nothing’s ever enough in a war, but there’s more than enough pain, dirt, and death. Tens of thousands of deaths. They’re telling you that Ukraine could be a threat for Russia. That never happened in the past, it’s not not and won’t in the future.”

    “You demand security guarantees from Nato. We demand guarantees of our security. The security of Ukraine. From you, Russia, and the other guarantors of the Budapest memorandum. We aren’t in any defensive alliances. Ukraine’s security is tied to our neighbors’ security.”

    “Today we need to talk about the security of the whole of Europe. But our main goal is peace in Ukraine and the security of our citizens, Ukrainians. We will tell everyone, including you, in different formats, in any venue.”

    “War will take guarantees away from everyone. Nobody will have security guarantees anymore. Who will suffer most of all? People. Who doesn’t want that to happen more than anyone? People. Who can stop that? People.”

    “These people are among you. I’m sure. Activists, journalists, musicians, actors, athletes, scientists, doctors, bloggers, stand-up comedians, TikTokers, and many others. Ordinary people, simple people, men, women, the old, the young, fathers, and most of all – mothers.”

    “Just like the people in Ukraine. Just like the government in Ukraine. However they try to convince you otherwise. I know that Russian TV won’t show my speech. But citizens of Russia need to see it. They need to see the truth. The truth is you need to stop before it’s too late.”

    “And if the leadership of Russia doesn’t want, for the sake of peace, to sit at the table with us, maybe it’ll sit at the table with you. Do the Russians want war? I’d love to answer that question. But the answer only depends on you – citizens of Russia.”
    The first two minutes of that speech were in Ukrainian. Zelensky updated the nation on the state of emergency and his contacts with Ukraine’s western allies. “I thank everyone who supports Ukraine. We keep on working, he ended.”

    But the next nine minutes, in which Zelensky addressed Russians directly, were absolutely astonishing.
    A powerful, dignified, mature, and heartfelt appeal for peace between Russians and Ukrainians that couldn’t have been any more different from Putin’s resentful rant.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  9. The Confluence of Incompetence.

    More concerned about Taiwan, where the U.S. has genuine interests, commitments and is increasingly likely to be called upon to honor them. Forget about Ukraine; it’s done. Xi has seen how Joe managed the Afghan withdrawal debacle and is watching how Joe reacts to this. It will tell him how to move on Taiwan. And I expect he will within a year.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  10. Stock market taking a dive in the morning.

    Patterico (7e54d1)

  11. Both the House and Senate should move a motion of censure against Trump for “taking sides against the Untied States, and adhering to foreign powers.”

    Kevin M (38e250)

  12. Stock market taking a dive in the morning.

    Why? I mean it might, but this isn’t exactly a surprise. It may already be built in. The market has been tanking for a few weeks now.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  13. Stock market taking a dive, the price of oil is going to *skyrocket*, and you thought we had inflation problems already?

    I’m a child of the 80s. My formative political memories were the line from glasnost through the tearing down of the wall through the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This is *horrifying*. We gambled, in the 90s, that Russia could be brought into the international order. *We lost that gamble*.

    This isn’t an attack just on Ukraine — it’s an attack on the entire notion of the western-dominated rules based international order. We *cannot* fight this with ground troops — and our cities are not in direct threat — but it’s a war with us, too.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  14. And people should turn off Tucker on FOX and start sending him victim pictures.

    I turned off Fox a whale ago. I’m finding CNBC to be a good news source lately, particularly Shep Smith’s show. Actual news.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  15. > Both the House and Senate should move a motion of censure against Trump for “taking sides against the Untied States, and adhering to foreign powers.”

    As I said to Patterico in a comment via Twitter: i’m low key hoping that the tiny silver lining to this s***show is that this causes people to start ignoring Trump.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  16. They should really be using both sides of the road leaving Kyiv.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  17. Remember, they’re a tough, proud people who’ve endured great hardships

    Fine, let them live without money, electronics or wheat. Obviously, we didn’t squeeze then hard enough last time.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  18. @12. Check out gold, Kevin; it has jumped $35 in a day to $1945.00/oz; oil is around $92/$95/bbl.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. I am wondering how we avoid a wider war. There are terrible temptations here.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  20. Just terrible, terrible people.

    Patterico (7e54d1) — 2/23/2022 @ 10:35 pm

    Bingo. And speaking of terrible people, Glenn Greenwald must be seething that he didn’t get to share the RT shoutout. He was Team Putin when Tucker was still in bow ties.

    lurker (59504c)

  21. @Kevin@19 We can’t actually go in. We can send intel, weapons, supplies, but we can’t send people.

    Nic (896fdf)

  22. > I am wondering how we avoid a wider war. There are terrible temptations here.

    That’s a good question. Can we force it into a long-term neo-cold-war, sacrificing Ukraine for a generation? Seems immoral to treat them that way. And i’m not convinced we have the willpower to hold hard sanctions for decades. We (the west broadly) got economically entangled enough that this is going to be ****ing painful even in the best case scenario.

    There’s a f***tonne of risk here. More than we’ve had in my adult lifetime.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  23. More Zelensky:

    Virtuosic Zelensky speech, addressed to Russians in Russian. “You’ve been told I’m going to bomb Donbass. Bomb what? The Donetsk stadium where the locals and I cheered for our team at Euro 2012? The bar where we drank when they lost? Luhansk, where my best friend’s mom lives?”

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  24. Check out gold, Kevin; it has jumped $35 in a day to $1945.00/oz; oil is around $92/$95/bbl.

    It is still within its historical range. Adjusted for inflation in 2022 dolalrs, the all-time high was $2450 in January 1980.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  25. Nic — what happens in a few years when Putin decides to go after one of the Baltics?

    We lost the credibility of our deterrence. That’s *going* to be next, unless Putin unexpectedly dies.

    Do we go to war then, and risk annihilation? Or do we let the international order, such as it is, shatter, and lose most of the normative regulation of state behavior that’s developed since Westphalia?

    This is an existential threat. Not Ukraine per se, but what Ukraine *means*, and how the cost of fighting it will go up the later we wait. Donbass is Munich.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  26. Fine, let them live without money, electronics or wheat.

    They have. Don’t underestimate them. That’s part of the problem.

    nk was right about this a few threads back; they have an inferiority complex and you don’t hjave tro scratch them very deep for it to surface in almost any venue.

    Don’t kid yourself; this sort of stuff truly bugs them- and stays with them:

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

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. Sure, the futures markets say that the market drops another 2-3% tomorrow, but it does that a lot lately. This has been part of the market for some time.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  28. We lost the credibility of our deterrence.

    I doubt that, because sanctions–or the threat of sanctions–were never a good deterrent against bad actors. They’re meant to punish, and I hope Biden does some major punishing.
    Putin knows we’re going to defend NATO members. He’s afraid of Article V, IMO, so he won’t touch the Baltic states.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  29. Do we go to war then, and risk annihilation?

    NOT going to war might be worse. A conventional ground war in Europe ends with the utter defeat of Russia. As things stand, we could have absolute air superiority by next week.

    The whole point of nuclear weapons is that they cannot be used. I don’t think that people really understand the vast difference between a Hiroshima bomb and a modern thermonuclear weapon.

    I wonder how it plays out if Israel intervenes.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  30. > The whole point of nuclear weapons is that they cannot be used

    Do you trust Putin not to use them?

    Do you think he trusts us *to* use them? If he doesn’t, there is no deterrence.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  31. Paul is right, of course. We have the ability to throttle Russia. To make them starve in the cold and the dark. We never took the Cold War to that extreme. And, no, China won’t help them because China doesn’t need Russia like they need tthe USA. Sho in a starving Russian can China sell to?

    More likely they consider ripping off the Russian East.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  32. @24. That’s still a helluva flight to quality jump in 24 hours, Kevin; but the market futures are redder than Vlad’s underwear:

    https://www.cnbc.com/pre-markets/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  33. Do you think he trusts us *to* use them? If he doesn’t, there is no deterrence.

    We will certainly use them second, and in overwhelming quantities. We will certainly not use them first.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  34. Yeah, of course China is going to give them rhetorical cover but otherwise sit this out.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  35. I doubt that, because sanctions–or the threat of sanctions–were never a good deterrent against bad actors. They’re meant to punish, and I hope Biden does some major punishing.

    Sanction require unifier so don’t bet on it, Paul; this is punishing… to Americans, because we’re told we have to pay for his incompetence:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCA2vODnL3M

    This should be airing on every television station 24/7.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  36. @Kevin@19 We can’t actually go in. We can send intel, weapons, supplies, but we can’t send people.

    Why? Not saying we should, or that Biden would consider it, but why “can’t” we? For that matter, why can’t someone else? Israel needs friends and no one is going to nuke Israel without a serious response; most of Russia is within range of Israel. Putin is not going to use them anyway because he’s saner than Stalin, who didn’t.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  37. Putin knows we’re going to defend NATO members. He’s afraid of Article V, IMO, so he won’t touch the Baltic states.

    He’ll never assault NATO/Europe. You don’t shoot your BEST energy customers. But you can rob them blind; ask Rex Tillerson. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. I’ll say this much about Barack Obama: He has had the good sense to keep his Twitter quiet about Russia thus far. Instead he’s blathering on about gerrymandering. Apparently even he understands at some basic level just how stupid his “the 80s called and they want their foreign policy back” quip is going to look to history, even if it did win him the plaudits of the progressive intelligentsia at the time.

    If only Donald Trump could be so circumspect.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  39. Hopefully, this tears it with Trump and Real Republicans.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  40. You don’t shoot your BEST energy customers.

    The only way that Russian energy comes to Europe now is after we liberate the oil fields.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  41. @21. We can’t actually go in. We can send intel, weapons, supplies, but we can’t send people.

    Yeah Nic. So no matter who dies, guess who wins: the MIC.

    Move over Big Pharma, after six months vacation, losing $85 billion of equipment in Afghanistan and blowing $5 tillion on a 20 year war, there’s a fresh player back at the table. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  42. @40. Don’t bet on it. It will find a way.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  43. @aphrael@25 If Russia goes into a NATO state, they’ve committed an act of war against a NATO member. Ukraine isn’t a NATO member and doesn’t have defensive treaties with us, so at the moment it’s a proxy war instead of an actual one for us. Going into a NATO country would make it a hot one for us.

    Nic (896fdf)

  44. It’s a military and cyber attack by Putin.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  45. Nic, @43: we have a treaty commitment to defend Ukrainian territorial integrity. Signing it was the price we paid to get them to agree to turn the nukes back over to Russia.

    We are not going to keep that commitment, just as we did not keep it in 2014.

    Why should Putin believe we’ll keep to *other* treaty commitments?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  46. Note that i’m not disputing that we would keep that commitment. I’m saying that in the game of deterrence, perception is what matters, and it would be *easy* for Putin to believe that we wouldn’t keep to that commitment just like we aren’t keeping to this commitment.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  47. @Kevin@36 If we send people in, it makes it a hot war with us and the only option Russia has against us at full investment is nukes. Other countries could go in, but we can’t. It may seem like a distinction without a difference, but it isn’t. We cannot put a single member of the US military into battle in the Ukraine without making it a hot war and putting nukes in play.

    Nic (896fdf)

  48. 1) Ukraine should not have given up its nukes.

    2) NATO should have admitted Ukraine as a member.

    3) Carlson is Russia’s version of Tokyo Rose. “Tokyo Tucker”.

    4) Romney had a much clearer understanding of the Russian threat than both Obama and Trump.

    5) I wonder how fast Taiwan could develop its own nukes.

    norcal (5948da)

  49. Smart request:

    Ukraine is to request that 🇹🇷Turkey closes the Black Sea straits for Russian navigation in the event of a full-fledged attack.

    How Erdogan responds will tell us whether Turkey is NATO or AINO (Ally In Name Only).

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  50. We have a treaty commitment to defend Ukrainian territorial integrity. Signing it was the price we paid to get them to agree to turn the nukes back over to Russia.

    No. Ukraine isn’t a NATO member, and there’s no mechanism in the Budapest Memorandum that obligates the US to militarily defend Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  51. @aphrael@45 the Budapest Memorandum doesn’t actually obligate us to the defense of Ukraine.

    Nic (896fdf)

  52. Sanctions are a joke. Joe and his minions figure him to be ‘another LBJ’… this might be a smart time to start:

    ‘The United States and NATO largely ignored the situation in Czechoslovakia. While the Soviet Union was worried that it might lose an ally, the United States had absolutely no desire to gain it. President Lyndon B. Johnson had already involved the United States in the Vietnam War and was unlikely to be able to drum up support for a potential conflict in Czechoslovakia. Also, he wanted to pursue an arms control treaty with the Soviets, SALT. He needed a willing partner in Moscow in order to reach such an agreement, and he did not wish to potentially risk that treaty for Czechoslovakia. For these reasons, the United States made it clear that it would not intervene on behalf of the Prague Spring, giving the USSR a free hand to do as it pleased.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Pact_invasion_of_Czechoslovakia
    __________

    Quite by accident the other night, was perusing some old CNN videotape from June 6, 2014 which had coverage of 70th anniversary D-Day celebrations and happened to have some heavy reports about Putin, the Ukraine situation, Russian sanctions then and Obama encountering Putin in Normandy w/all the other WW2 nation heads. The most chilling bit was a clip with CNN’s Acosta interviewing Susan Rice on the topic at hand and her responses were virtually word-for-word identical to what ol’Joe said in his televised address the other day.

    Susan Rice is running the show, kids.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  53. @45. Why should Putin believe we’ll keep to *other* treaty commitments?

    Why should China’s Xi? That’s the real concern now.

    Forget about Ukraine. It’s gone. Focus on Taiwan– where U.S. interests and commitments will likely come into play before the end of the year.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  54. Why China will stay out of this…
    Russian trade with China: $140 billion.
    American trade with China: $756 billion.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  55. @38. Not really. Russia remains a regional power. The flaw lay in repeatedly rubbing the former superpower’s nose in it for 20 years. President GHWBush handled the USSR collapse the best; no gloating, help made available if asked…[but no peace dividend for us.] Today, it is to Putin’s credit that he is playing the superpower game w/t resources of a regional power at hand and repeatedly winning pots with a pair of deuces. That speaks to the layers of incompetence in the Western powers.

    Go-to-anti-Putinite-favorite Kasparov noted similar musings in CSPAN spot a few weeks ago in a reveal all its own. By his own analysis, in short, Garry is a chess player, can observe both his and his opponent’s pieces on the board and anticipate the moves available. It’s all there to see. But Putin is a poker player, with his cards in a hidden hand, thus an opponent only knows for certain the cards held in their own hand, and is kept guessing on what the opponent has, how the betting or bluffing will go- and how the cards will be played.

    This rollout is exceptionally well planned, masterfully executed and flexibly timed. Just as Japan executed a boldly successful plan attacking Pearl Harbor- or the Patriots did stealing signs and deflating balls to win Super Bowls. Acknowledging the success doesn’t mean you’re rooting for the bad guys. Just see it for what it is– and ask why the other side wasn’t better prepared.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  56. Zelensky is calling out all former members of the military and for civilian volunteers.

    Nic (896fdf)

  57. Zelensky is calling out all former members of the military and for civilian volunteers.

    It might be smarter about now for him to be calling a cab… to the airport, and fly to London.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  58. “The first casualty of war is truth.” – Hiram Warren Johnson
    _________

    War is failure.

    Think about it- WW1; WW2; Cold War, a few border scuffles; and now this, in a little over 100 years.

    Europe is one fvcked up continent.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  59. The whole point of nuclear weapons is that they cannot be used. Do you trust Putin not to use them? Do you think he trusts us *to* use them? If he doesn’t, there is no deterrence.

    Uh, we have used them.

    Twice.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  60. Romney had a much clearer understanding of the Russian threat than both Obama and Trump.

    No. He didn’t.
    And doesn’t. He’s way too 20th Century and excels at leading from behind.

    See #55. Russia is a regional power.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  61. ‘The United States has historically and presently had a policy of strategic ambiguity on several issues.

    Taiwan

    The oldest and longest running of the United States’ deliberately ambiguous policies was whether and how it would defend the Republic of China on Taiwan in the event of an attack by the People’s Republic of China (Mainland China). This issue is at the cornerstone of United States–Taiwan relations and a central sticking point in United States–China relations. This policy was intended to discourage both a unilateral declaration of independence by ROC leaders and an invasion of Taiwan by the PRC. The United States seemingly abandoned strategic ambiguity in 2001 after then-President George W. Bush stated that he would “do whatever it takes” to defend Taiwan. He later used more ambiguous language, stating in 2003 that “The United States policy is one China”.

    In October 2021, President Biden announced a commitment that the USA would defend Taiwan if attacked by the People’s Republic of China. But then the White House quickly clarified: “The president was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy”.

    Political analyst Salem Al Ketbi argues that the U.S. is pursuing the same policy [strategic ambiguity] in the Russo-Ukrainian War, perhaps also toward Iran in the context of the Vienna nuclear talks.

    The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing and protracted conflict that started in February 2014, primarily involving Russia and pro-Russian forces on one hand, and Ukraine on the other. The war has centered on the status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, which are internationally recognized as part of Ukraine. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine erupted especially from 2021 to 2022, when it became apparent that Russia was considering launching a military invasion of Ukraine. In February 2022, the crisis deepened with diplomatic talks with Russia failing and escalated as Russia moved forces into the separatist controlled regions on 22 February 2022. On 24 February, Russia conducted a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy_of_deliberate_ambiguity

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Ukrainian_War

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  62. Joe and his 81 million are to blame. The idiot needs to be cut off.

    mg (8cbc69)

  63. I find it nuts that you highly educated people watch cable news. Why? Fox? lmmfao. cut the cable, dude.

    mg (8cbc69)

  64. When does president boob go back to the oil and gas system Trump put into place? It worked, we had low prices and Russia was flucked. But know nothing Joe and his 81 million have to ruin everything.

    mg (8cbc69)

  65. @63. I find it nuts that you highly educated people watch cable news. Why?…

    Because Walter Cronkite is dead, mg.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  66. II was a Huntley – Brinckley Report fan.

    mg (8cbc69)

  67. “This rollout is exceptionally well planned, masterfully executed and flexibly timed.”

    DCCCP, the modern Lindbergh. Not sure I’m in the mood to listen to him cheer on evil while innocent people die….and try to steer a distraction over to Taiwan. Evil is on the march and he’s doing everything in his rhetorical power to minimize, excuse, and rationalize it, while opposing any stern response. Sad.

    It is situations like this why character matters….and how bad people are using our partisan differences to distract us from calling evil out. This should be the beginning of a movement to shun Tokyo Tucker and Putin’s good friend Donald. These are dangerous times. Wars come with great uncertainty and unpredictability. One wrong move or wrong perception and we can be heading toward Armageddon. We need to sober up and stop viewing tyrrants as reality TV drama….and praising them. We need to be better…..

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  68. 1) Ukraine should not have given up its nukes.

    norcal (5948da) — 2/24/2022 @ 12:42 am

    IIUC Ukraine had nothing worth keeping. The nukes were on Ukrainian soil, but that was it. The Russians weren’t idiots, so they never gave the Ukrainians the codes required to use the nukes for anything but hat racks. Without Russians to man the sites, the nukes posed no threat to anyone but Ukraine, for whom they were a huge maintenance and disposal liability.

    lurker (59504c)

  69. AJ is right about dcsca.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  70. russia invades ukraine, make it about trump and fox

    never let a crisis go to waste

    JF (e1156d)

  71. People voted for Biden to spite a President doing a much better job.

    Strap yourselves in folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    Obudman (893091)

  72. Pusillanimous Pussygrabbers For Putin!

    nk (1d9030)

  73. russia invades ukraine, make it about trump and fox

    That’s classic, considering that so many on FoxNews are blaming Biden for Putin’s acts.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  74. Fifth Columns are called columns because they’re lined up in tandem. Trump backed by Carlson backed by JF ….

    nk (1d9030)

  75. Mitt Romney:

    Putin’s Ukraine invasion is the first time in 80 years that a great power has moved to conquer a sovereign nation. It is without justification, without provocation and without honor.

    Putin’s impunity predictably follows our tepid response to his previous horrors in Georgia and Crimea, and our naive efforts at a one-sided ‘reset’, and the short-sightedness of ‘America First’. The ’80’s called’ and we didn’t answer.

    The peril of again looking away from Putin’s tyranny falls not just on the people he has violated, it falls on America as well. History shows that a tyrant’s appetite for conquest is never satiated.

    America and our allies must answer the call to protect freedom by subjecting Putin and Russia to the harshest economic penalties, by expelling them from global institutions, and by committing ourselves to the expansion and modernization of our national defense.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  76. Paul Montagu @ 75,

    Again, Romney is spot-on. It’s unfortunate he was mocked for his prescience just a few years ago. I would feel much more confident if he were running the show. But thank God this yahoo isn’t.

    Dana (5395f9)

  77. And if this does not prove “Russian collusion”, I don’t know what does. As long as Trump was Putin’s lapdog, Putin was content to let him bark at NATO for him. With Trump out, Putin will have to do the job himself.

    nk (1d9030)

  78. Yes, nk. Thanks. Didn’t realize I hadn’t successfully linked it.

    Dana (5395f9)

  79. This rollout is exceptionally well planned, masterfully executed and flexibly timed. Just as Japan executed a boldly successful plan attacking Pearl Harbor- or the Patriots did stealing signs and deflating balls to win Super Bowls. Acknowledging the success doesn’t mean you’re rooting for the bad guys. Just see it for what it is– and ask why the other side wasn’t better prepared.

    “Acknowledging the success doesn’t mean you’re rooting for the bad guys” — and yet that’s exactly what it sounds like. Perhaps it’s the notable absence of any real criticism of these horrific acts that makes you sound like a Tucker Carlsonesque cheerleader for Putin. You’d rather use this opportunity to take a cheap swipe at Joe Biden or Putin’s other antagonists than take a moment to acknowledge the monstrous evil taking place today.

    You were already on thin ice here and I share the view of other commenters that I’m not particularly in the mood to hear people cheerleading a totalitarian murderer conducting a wholly unwarranted, immoral, and entirely inexcusable invasion of a sovereign country, lobbing missiles at apartment buildings with the supreme indifference to human life that has characterized his reign from the beginning, when he bombed his own people to justify a Chechen war.

    Patterico (7e54d1)

  80. Pat,

    And poisoned all those kids – to rescue them. 100’s died. How Putin survived…

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  81. Putin was content to let him bark at NATO for him.

    Trump said that pulling out of NATO and trashing the alliance with South Korea would be good second-term projects — after he was told that doing so before the election would be politically harmful.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  82. And poisoned all those kids – to rescue them. 100’s died. How Putin survived…

    That was emblematic of the New Soviet Union. The commandos had plenty of weaponized fentanyl but its hospitals did not have enough naloxone (the antidote) or the wherewithal to otherwise counteract the fentanyl’s lethality.

    nk (1d9030)

  83. The loathing of Russia among the foreign policy elite seemed to develop in the period 2013-2016, when they sensed that it was “anti-woke” or whatever. (Certainly, there was no consensus that it was an enormous threat in 2012, as we recall from the Romney/Obama debate.) Then, after Putin was alleged to have “stolen” the 2016 election from Clinton, things went off the deep end. And so they remain.

    American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War has been characterized by arrogance and recklessness. We can be “better” than Russia and still be foolish by, for example, pushing NATO expansion which needlessly antagonized Russia and drove them into the arms of China. It was a serious error and we can see the consequences.

    mikeybates (6ca850)

  84. An orange lapdog, mangy though it is, will have its fleas.

    nk (1d9030)

  85. Putin:
    “The two self-proclaimed “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the breakaway Ukrainian region of Donbas, which he had officially recognized as independent less than two days before, had “turned to Russia with a request for help,” he said. To answer that call he was launching a “special military operation.” Its purpose: to “demilitarize” and “denazifiy” Ukraine. ”

    I think Trump has admiration for Putin based on his own experience as the ultimate business authority in his operation.
    If Trump wants to be involved he has the same type of conversation illustrated above. He plays both roles in the conversation.
    I really wonder if Putin even spoke with anyone in the breakaway territories and if he did was it to say “call me in 10 minutes on the line the CIA has tapped and ask me to come help”
    Putin probably didn’t do even that. He probably is paraphrasing his decision as head of both

    steveg (e81d76)

  86. and yet that’s exactly what it sounds like.

    That’s the inference listener draws not the implication the speaker intends. Hard to tell, sometimes.

    ” Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book! ” ― George S. Patton Jr.

    Do we this infer that Patton was admiring Rommel, or defying him?

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  87. pushing NATO expansion which needlessly antagonized Russia

    Ah, poor Russia “encircled” by NATO. Have you looked at a map lately?

    And how arrogant of the U.S. and its allies to allow other countries to join NATO if they choose to! That just provokes Russia to invade its smaller neighbors and install puppet regimes and absorb them into a reconstituted USSR, or Greater Russia, which is clearly Putin’s goal — and that’s not arrogant at all! No, he’s just saving Russia’s neighbors from the horrors of “liberalism” and drag queen story hour — or “de-Nazifying” them. Take your pick.

    Some Russian celebrities and ordinary Russians have spoken out against Putin’s war of aggression — at risk to themselves. We have no idea how many other Russians are opposed to Putin’s actions, because Putin’s regime has a very low tolerance for dissent. It’s also clear that high Russian officials weren’t all enthusiastic about attacking Ukraine, but they have to bow to Putin.

    But hey, Vlad has made a show of patronizing the Russian Orthodox Church, and in some people’s estimation that more than outweighs any unpleasantness in his tactics.

    It’s weird when the theme of “America has been the big bully and the most destructive force in the world” comes from people who also claim to be the real patriots.

    Putin was alleged to have “stolen” the 2016 election from Clinton

    I haven’t seen anyone seriously making that claim. But the evidence is pretty clear that Russian officials received propriety data from the Trump campaign, and that Russia launched a targeted influence operation through social media to sway voters in battleground areas, etc.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  88. “Acknowledging the success doesn’t mean you’re rooting for the bad guys” — and yet that’s exactly what it sounds like.

    Except it’s not.

    Perhaps it’s the notable absence of any real criticism of these horrific acts that makes you sound like a Tucker Carlsonesque cheerleader for Putin.

    Except it’s not.

    You’d rather use this opportunity to take a cheap swipe at Joe Biden or Putin’s other antagonists than take a moment to acknowledge the monstrous evil taking place today.

    Let’s be clear: thid action has ben tgelegraphed ny Putin for years. It should be no surprise to any

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  89. It is possible to think of a way Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson could still be useful, if you have read, for example, a few of these Larry Niven stories.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  90. When Stalin died in his bed, he ended a “six-game” streak of Czar assassination. (Yes, I’m including Lenin.) Treachery and paranoia are the jewels in the Russian crown. Only a fool expects good faith and good will from a Russian leader, and of all the Presidents, Trump has been the biggest fool of all.

    nk (1d9030)

  91. ^… no surprise to anybody paying attention to Putin’s intentions and desires since 1991. Certainly since 2014. There’s simply nothing the West can do about it short of ‘sanctions’ anymore gtan it could in 1968 when tanks rolled into Prague. But the real issue is Taiwan, where genuine U.S. interests are in peril. This isn’t about flag waving, Pat. Mr. Biden said himself that Putin wouldn’t do this with him elected president. So calling him out on his own words is hardly a cheap shot; it’s legitimate. He is the president.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  92. The loathing of Russia among the foreign policy elite seemed to develop in the period 2013-2016, when they sensed that it was “anti-woke” or whatever. (Certainly, there was no consensus that it was an enormous threat in 2012, as we recall from the Romney/Obama debate.) Then, after Putin was alleged to have “stolen” the 2016 election from Clinton, things went off the deep end. And so they remain.

    That’s a silly revision of history. It ignores and downplays his aggressive acts toward Ukraine and Putin’s cyber and propaganda attacks on America.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  93. Taiwan is to Xi as Ukraine is to Putin.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  94. @67. AJ, pause, review the U.S. assets and interests at risk in Taiwan.

    ‘It is situations like this why character matters…’

    Yes, it does:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCA2vODnL3M

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  95. @87. Yep.

    The teachable moment from this is how we protect our interests and honor our commitments to Taiwan.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  96. “You know, we’re dealing with NATO from the days of the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. We need to either transition into terror or we need something else.”
    –Donald J. Trump, foreign policy expert, March 2016

    “I said a long time ago that NATO had problems: Number one, it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago.”
    –Donald J. Trump, unaware that the Constitution was designed many many years ago, January 2017

    And then Trump objected to Montenegro’s entry to NATO because they’re “very strong” and “very aggressive”, as if a country of 628k would launch a unilateral strike on Russia and start WWIII.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  97. Putin took people by surprise, after all. (Zelensky was having foreign leaders visit him in Kyiv. The Polish and Lithanian presidents flew in on Wednesday)

    A few hours before, top people in the U.S. military were sure something would happen, because one sent a text message saying that to ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz in Lviv (which was not attacked and also not thought to contain much of military interest to Russia (he or possibly she also told her to be carefuk and said the war could go on for a long time.

    Text messag from “a senior Pentagon official” said:

    “You are likely in the last hours of peace on the European continent for a long time to come. Be careful.”

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  98. Radegunda – Here is a recent CNN poll of Russians and Ukrainians. Among other things they found that Russians were expecting a peaceful end to the crisis.

    Contrary to Western warnings that Russian President Vladimir Putin is putting forces in place for an attack on the country’s western neighbor, only 13% of Russians think the Kremlin is likely to initiate military action towards Ukraine.

    Most Russians also do not expect a Ukrainian attack on their country — only 31% of Russians said that was likely. In fact, two out of three (65%) expect a peaceful end to the tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

    There’s much more in the poll, much that shows that Putin did not have unanimous, or even, on some issues, majority support from the Russian people.

    (Caveat: Of course we have to be cautious about poll results in a nation with an effective secret police. But those Russians who were rightly fearful in answering the poll questions would be more likely to try to give the answers Putin wants.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  99. There is something perverse about calling for “de-Nazification” in nation that just elected — by a very large margin — a president who is a Jew.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  100. Who says this war can’t go nuclear:

    A Ukraine Invasion Could Go Nuclear: 15 Reactors Would Be In War Zone
    ………
    Ukraine is heavily dependent upon nuclear power, maintaining four nuclear power plants and stewardship of the shattered nuclear site at Chernobyl. In a major war, all 15 reactors at Ukraine’s nuclear power facilities would be at risk, but even a desultory Russian incursion into eastern Ukraine is likely to expose at least six active reactors to the uncertainty of a ground combat environment.
    ……..
    A Russian invasion, coupled with an extended conventional war throughout Ukraine, could generate multiple International Atomic Energy Agency “Level 7” accidents in a matter of days. Such a contingency would induce a massive refugee exodus and could render much of Ukraine uninhabitable for decades.

    Turning the Ukraine into a dystopian landscape, pockmarked by radioactive exclusion zones, would be an extreme method to obtain the defensive zone Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to want. Managing a massive Western-focused migratory crisis and environmental cleanup would absorb Europe for years. The work would distract European leaders and empower nativist governments that tend to be aligned with Russia’s baser interests, giving an overextended Russia breathing room as the country teeters on the brink of technological, demographic, and financial exhaustion.

    Put bluntly, the integrity of Ukrainian nuclear reactors is a strategic matter, critical for both NATO and non-NATO countries alike……
    ………
    Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is a particular risk. It is the second-largest nuclear power plant in Europe (essentially tied with a French reactor complex near Calais), and one of the 10 largest nuclear power plants in the world. The site has little protection, and the six VVER-1000 pressurized water reactors could easily be embroiled in any Russian invasion.

    ……..The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located only 120 miles from the current “front line” in the Donbass region and is on the hard-to-defend east bank of the Dnieper River. Aside from the geographical hazards, the power plant provides about a quarter of Ukraine’s total electrical power. Given the importance of the electricity, plant managers will be reluctant to shut it down, securing the reactors only at the very last possible second. Ukraine’s desperate need for energy only compounds the opportunities for an accident.
    ………
    Related:
    Zelensky says Russian forces trying to seize Chernobyl nuclear plant

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  101. Perhaps it’s the notable absence of any real criticism of these horrific acts that makes you sound like a Tucker Carlsonesque cheerleader for Putin.

    Carlson’s a TV host, Pat; you attribute far too much credibility to him. What would you have the West do, Pat? Kill Putin? We know where he eats and sleeps and we certainly have the methods to do it. I know from personal experience the U.S. would certainly be willing to try– a la Kaddafi. You can respect the success of Yamamoto’s plan to attack Pearl Harbor– but we still shot him down. War is bad and criticizing Putin’s actions is a given deplorable– but how do you stop him short of bumping him off? How many leaders in the Wesdt have tried to placate him since 1991 and his rise to power? Why did NATO/Germany’s Merkel coddle Putin for great energy deals? THis has ben his whole plan. You certainly know the quickest way of dealing w/Russians is to hit back at them immediately– they respect strength. But little effective measures were done when he annexed Crimea or pulverized Syria. The Afghans brought Russia to its knees w/attrition– and Stinger missiles. There’s little more the West can do. But any American should be concerned about our own interests at risk – and that is Taiwan. My neighbor, a USMC Lt., certainly is. He spent 6 months in Palau ‘war gaming’ scenarios with China.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  102. 91. nk (1d9030) — 2/24/2022 @ 8:49 am

    When Stalin died in his bed, he ended a “six-game” streak of Czar assassination.

    Quite possibly not really true.

    The doctors killed him before he could kill the doctors.

    hey certainly had an opportunity after his stroke, when they gave him Coumadin, which causes more bleeding.

    Khrushchev died naturally, approximately seven years after peacefully being deposed and allowed to retire.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  103. “it was obsolete, because it was designed many, many years ago.”

    The U.S. Constitution was designed many more years ago.

    One idea I’ve seen among the MAGA-heads is that: 1) The internationalist policies of the Cold War era are no longer appropriate to our situation today, being designed for a different time. 2) Therefore we need to go back to George Washington’s vision of America’s place in the world.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  104. Here are Garry Kasparov’s thoughts on what we should do, now.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  105. Notice how easily some MAGA-heads have gone from “America First” to Blame America First.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  106. If we send people in, it makes it a hot war with us and the only option Russia has against us at full investment is nukes

    Not so. It didn’t happen in 1991.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  107. Russia Is A Major Supplier Of Oil To The U.S.

    As tensions rise between Russian and Ukraine, one of the issues being discussed a lot in the West is what a military conflict may do to oil prices.

    Russia is one of the world’s largest oil producers. According to the 2021 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, in 2020 Russia produced 10.1 million barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil and natural gas condensate. That was good for second place behind the U.S. at 11.3 million BPD. Saudi Arabia was third at 9.3 million BPD.

    However, the U.S. also consumes far more oil (17.2 million BPD) than Russia (3.2 million BPD) or Saudi Arabia (3.5 million BPD). The net result is that the U.S. is a net importer of crude oil, while Russia and Saudi Arabia are major crude oil exporters.

    This also means that the U.S. economy is more vulnerable to oil price shocks, while higher oil prices are a net benefit to Russia and Saudi Arabia. Various talking heads have suggested that there will be a $5-$20 premium on oil prices if Russia invades Ukraine.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2022/02/21/russia-is-a-major-supplier-of-oil-to-the-us/?sh=27263b5718c3

    How do we rationalize this? We’re dealing with Putin- a murderous killer.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  108. whoa people, slow down, we’re hardly done blaming trump for covid

    JF (e1156d)

  109. Look, the only way that nuclear weapons are used between superpowers is when one of them goes bug-f-nuts. Not even to “avoid” losing a war. Both are losses, but one has your country living afterwards. BIG difference.

    The plan for the entire Cold War was to fight a conventional war in Europe. All treaties made during the era were to make such a war more containable, although the danger of it getting out of control limited the interest in even the conventional thing.

    Yesterday, Putin tore all that up and decided to make this a hot war. Not with us immediately, but with us eventually. It really won’t matter if we use military might to contain him, or strangle him with sanctions. Why his regime crumbles is not going to make a difference in the end.

    If he is intending to use nukes, what difference would it make if it’s because the tanks are at his door, or famine is?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  110. @105. But Garry’s a chess player, Jim. Putin’s a poker player.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  111. The corrupt criminal traitor Trump always has a dozen alibis for everything he does. And he means everyone of them, too … for fifteen minutes or so.

    nk (1d9030)

  112. Why China will stay out of this…
    Russian trade with China: $140 billion.
    American trade with China: $756 billion.

    And since Russia’s foreign income is going to crater, it’s worse going forward. They’ll sell him a few things (e.g. rare earths) at great cost, but for the most part they’ll be looking to see what they might grab when Russia folds up again.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  113. Uh, we have used them.

    And again, why is this troll still here?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  114. Therefore we need to go back to George Washington’s vision of America’s place in the world.

    And Washington’s vision resulted in the US paying tributes (aka ransoms) to the Barbary states:

    After finding American commerce in the Mediterranean had almost stopped due to the pirates, the Continental Congress agreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. Congress appointed a special commission, consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations. The following year, Congress authorized a maximum of $80,000 to spend on tribute treaties with all the Barbary States.

    In 1787, the United States signed a tribute treaty with Morocco. This proved to be a reasonable treaty, costing the United States a one-time only tribute of about $20,000. Except for a few brief disagreements, Morocco never again harassed American shipping.

    Algiers, the most powerful of the Barbary States, was a different story. In the summer of 1785, pirates from Algiers captured two American merchant ships and held the 21 men aboard them for ransom. The United States offered $4,200 for the captives. The ruler of Algiers, called the dey, demanded nearly $60,000. The Americans refused, and negotiations dragged on for more than 10 years.

    The two commissioners most involved in tribute treaty negotiations were John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Adams favored paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce moving again in the Mediterranean. Jefferson disagreed. He saw no end to the demands for tribute. He wanted matters settled “through the medium of war” and proposed a league of trading nations to force the end of Barbary piracy.

    In 1790, pirates from Algiers captured 11 American ships and more than 100 prisoners to add to those already held for ransom. This shocking news produced a serious debate in the newly formed U.S. Congress over the need to build a navy. But it took five years before Congress authorized the construction of six warships.

    Finally, in 1796, the United States signed a peace treaty with Algiers. The United States agreed to pay $642,500 plus annual tribute of naval supplies and presents to the dey. In exchange, the dey promised to release of the American captives and protect American shipping. The United States had to borrow money to make the primary tribute payment.

    Over the next two years, the United States negotiated similar tribute treaties with Tripoli and Tunis. The treaties with these countries cost a total of $160,000 plus supplies and presents to the Barbary rulers…….
    ………..
    After capturing several of the dey’s pirate ships, (Commodore Stephen) Decatur coolly sailed into Algiers harbor on June 29, 1815. The next day, under the threat of Decatur’s warships, Dey Omar agreed to a peace treaty and the release of all American prisons without any ransom payment. In addition, Article II of the treaty stated, “No tribute, either as biennial presents or under any other form shall ever be required by Algiers from the United States on any pretext.” Then in an unprecedented act, the Americans demanded that Dey Omar pay the United States $10,000 as compensation for property taken from its citizens. ……

    About a year later, Dey Omar wrote to President Madison, proposing a renewal of the tribute treaty the United States had signed with Algiers in 1796. Madison wrote back that “the United States, whilst they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none.” He concluded that it was the “settled policy” of the United States “that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.”

    Sometimes war is the answer.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  115. @114. It’s truth, Kevin.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  116. Kevin, see #108.

    Back in the day Exxon put a tiger in your tank. Today it’s a safe bet Putin has put a bear in it.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  117. Kevin M (38e250) — 2/24/2022 @ 12:04 am

    I am wondering how we avoid a wider war. There are terrible temptations here.

    Just hold your fire and warn Putin, who knows there is no gain to him from a wider war.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  118. I wonder how fast Taiwan could develop its own nukes.

    What makes you think they have not? Since their name has been struck off the non-proliferation treaty, and since China had nuclear weapons when they originally signed, Taiwan’s NPT status is murky at best. There is a long and convoluted history. My bet is that they have several plutonium bombs. God knows they have the technical know-how, being on a par with the US, Japan and South Korea in hi-tech.

    Taiwan and Nonproliferation

    Kevin M (38e250)

  119. I was a Huntley – Brinckley Report fan.

    Me, too. And I still remember Brinkley’s editorial comments the evening of Nov 22, 1963, when he warned the public not to be stampeded into anything. You know, like invading Cuba.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  120. IIUC Ukraine had nothing worth keeping. The nukes were on Ukrainian soil, but that was it. The Russians weren’t idiots, so they never gave the Ukrainians the codes required to use the nukes for anything but hat racks. Without Russians to man the sites, the nukes posed no threat to anyone but Ukraine, for whom they were a huge maintenance and disposal liability.

    There was nuclear material, mostly plutonium triggers, that could have been extracted (at great cost) and repurposed.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  121. “Because Putin knows, if I am President of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over. I’m going to stand up to him. He’s a bully…” – Joe Biden

    Ukraine, in Eastern Europe, was invaded by Russia’s Vladimir Putin yesterday.

    And Putin issued an intimidating threat to the West – [which includes the USA] with ‘consequences greater than any you have faced in history’ if it intervenes in his invasion of Ukraine.

    Putin’s playing poker, Joe. And he seems to be calling your bluff.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  122. Kevin, they’re not fighting w/nukes- but around them; Ukranian troops just lost the battle w/Russians over the wreckage of Chernobyl.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  123. All I hear from DC is admiration for Putin, and no serious criticism. Instead, the criticism is leveled at Americans.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  124. Trump thought US troops are fighting Russians in Ukraine. Really.
    ……..
    A short time after the attack began, former President Donald Trump dialed in to Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show to offer his reaction. Earlier in the evening, Trump delivered a speech to Mar-a-Lago club members in which he praised Putin, describing him as “smart” because he’s “taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions.” On Ingraham’s show, Trump tried to lay blame for Putin’s aggression squarely at Biden’s feet, telling her ominously that the invasion couldn’t have happened during his presidency for “a very good reason, and I’ll explain that to you someday.”

    In comments indicative of much of the coverage of the invasion on right-wing TV, Ingraham and Trump teamed up to denigrate the American president, with Ingraham saying that Putin decided to “go for it” because he sees “a lot of weakness in the United States.” (At another point Ingraham tried to blame the Russia investigation, saying “I lay the blame at the feet of the people who tried to hound [Trump] out of office.”)

    The former president agreed with her and then went even further, claiming that Russia’s invasion is only happening “because of a rigged election.” In order words, Ukrainians may be getting killed tonight, but Trump is the real victim.

    [Putin] sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration. As an American I am angry about it and saddened by it. And it all happened because of a rigged election. This would’ve never happened. That includes inflation and that includes millions of people pouring in on a monthly basis, far more than three million people, they are coming from 129 different countries. We have no idea what’s happening and they are destroying our country.

    …….
    Ingraham at one point mentioned a report she heard about Russian troops making an amphibious landing at Odessa. But the former president thought she was talking about American troops making a landing in Ukraine to fight Russians, and started criticizing the military for not maintaining better operational secrecy.

    “You know what’s also very dangerous is you told me about the amphibious attack by Americans. You shouldn’t be saying that, because you and everybody else shouldn’t know about,” Trump said. “They should do that secretly, not be doing that through the great Laura Ingraham.”

    Ingraham corrected him.

    “No, those are the Russians,” she said.

    “Oh, I thought you said that we were sending people in,” he said. “That’ll be next.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  125. That’s the inference listener draws not the implication the speaker intends. Hard to tell, sometimes.

    ” Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book! ” ― George S. Patton Jr.

    Do we this infer that Patton was admiring Rommel, or defying him?

    No, he was gloating about how thoroughly he (Patton) had trashed Rommel’s forces. It’s only “hard to tell” if you have your eyes shut.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  126. @124. ???? See #102, Paul. You cannot ignore the discipline of his plan– he’s been resolutely dedicatged to it for 15 years– certainly since 2014. It’s working.

    Then peruse #108… and explain the U.S. oil imports.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  127. Maybe we should fire up HUAC and drag Carlson before it.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  128. How do we rationalize this? We’re dealing with Putin- a murderous killer.

    Oil is fungible. We use Venezuelan oil, too. What we should be doing (what we had been doing) is drill, baby, drill.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  129. Paul, the West could end this PDQ. We know where Putin eats and sleeps: kill him.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  130. @120. What we should be doing (what we had been doing) is drill, baby, drill.

    That’s right. Kev -but Joe’s left flank has crippled domestic production. Our own people are working against us.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  131. ” Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book! ” ― George S. Patton Jr.

    Did George S. Patton say that or George C. Scott? Oh, what’s the diff? Right?

    (It was George C. Scott.)

    nk (1d9030)

  132. Ukranian troops just lost the battle w/Russians over the wreckage of Chernobyl.

    Fine, let them hold them. And it would be terrible if there was some unexpected leakage.

    See Heinlein, Situation Unsatisfactory

    Kevin M (38e250)

  133. Paul, the West could end this PDQ. We know where Putin eats and sleeps: kill him.

    He’s been in a secure location since Tuesday. Mount Stalin or somesuch.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  134. Maybe we should fire up HUAC and drag Carlson before it.

    Or turn him off and watch ‘Jeopardy!’ instead. People worry way too much about these TV talking heads– they’re only on the air to draw eyes and click and ad revenue. No audience, no gig. Carlson’s attitudes flamed out at CNN and MSNBC before he fell into the O’Reilly time slot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  135. @134. And the 15 years before that? He was a sitting duck in Normandy on June 6, 2014.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  136. Here’s what a professor who has studied strategy thinks:

    Putin is by no conceivable definition of the term a strategic genius; in fact, quite the opposite. Even a cursory survey of his record clearly reveals that the Russian leader is something of a strategic fool.

    Sadly, his foolishness will lead to great losses for Ukraine, as well as Russia.

    This will follow the horrible Russian losses from COVID, at least twice what they should have been, because of Putin’s blunders.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  137. @132/@126 nk/Kevin: ‘It was a German name Clausweiz that had written a book in 1837 on how to lead an infantry with certain tactics. It was the book that impressed Hitler and prompted him to enlist Rommel. General Rommel believed the book to be the sound basis for a war strategy. It was the same book that Patton read as he devised his strategy for defeating Rommel.’

    https://profitsplus.org/monthly_article_I_read_your_book.html

    The shorthand intent was there. Felt never said ‘Follow the money’ either; but the message was.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  138. Freeze the kleptocrats’ assets worldwide and they’ll kill him have him “hospitalized with a slight cold”. Putin, I mean.

    (Is ’80s reference, comrades.)

    nk (1d9030)

  139. Kevin, do you believe a global thermonuclear war would be unleashed if Vladimir Putin was “eliminated?”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  140. @139. LOL

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  141. @138. He’s playing poker, Jim.

    So how do you go about beating him at his own game? Ever see the ‘Cincinnati Kid’ Or ‘The Sting’ ??”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  142. China, seemingly surprised by sudden Ukraine incursion, denies backing Russian attacks

    China on Thursday denied backing Russia’s military assault in Ukraine as it trod a cautious line in response to a conflict that many Chinese analysts just days before were predicting wouldn’t happen.
    ……..
    Yun Sun, director of the China Program at the Stimson Center, noted Tuesday that the Chinese policy community appeared to be in “shock” at the sudden escalation of fighting after having “subscribed to the theory that Putin was only posturing and that U.S. intelligence was inaccurate as in the case of invading Iraq.”

    For instance, in an interview on Tuesday, Ma Bin, a Russia expert at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Chinese publication Yicai that the ball was in Ukraine’s court and “there would not be a war” because Russia still preferred a diplomatic resolution.

    That same day, when China warned its nationals in Ukraine about a worsening situation, it did not tell them to leave the country. On Thursday, with explosions going off nearby, many of the 6,000 Chinese passport holders in the country took to microblog Weibo to call for help.

    The Chinese Embassy responded to the outcry with a statement urging everyone to stay put and not to panic as well as suggesting that anyone traveling long distances by car place a Chinese flag in an obvious place on the vehicle’s body. It did not mention evacuation plans.
    ……….
    Taiwan is to Xi as Ukraine is to Putin.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  143. How NATO’s expansion helped drive Putin to invade Ukraine

    ‘During the early 2000s, President George W. Bush pushed for Ukraine to become a NATO member. France and Germany opposed it, fearing escalation with Russia.’

    https://www.kpbs.org/news/international/2022/01/29/explaining-nato-and-ukraine-how-a-30-year-old-debate-still-drives-putin-today

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  144. Taiwan is to Xi as Ukraine is to Putin.

    Welcome aboard.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  145. And the West’s reaction will be the same.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  146. A WSJ reporter in Moscow reports that some very brave souls are staging an anti-war march through the streets this evening. It will be interesting to see how Putin handles that. My guess would be that he will suffer it with forbearance, so long as the protests remain relatively small. If they should grow, though, then all bets are off.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  147. Joe’s speech is Susan Rice-speak. Echoes of 2014. And Putin hasn’t been planning this “for months”… but for years.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  148. Joe will not open up U.S. oil production and believes he can talk other oil consuming/producing nations into helping out the U.S.

    Just unreal. His left flank has him held hostage.

    If this was a parliamentary system a vote of no confidence would occur, a GE held and he’d be out of office.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  149. I wonder what weak-assed thing the allies will approve, but here is my plan:

    1, Sanctions. No financial transfers into Russia or banks doing business with Russia. A Russian holdings outside Russia are frozen, including any new ones.

    2. Sanctions. No sales of any item containing American IP to Russia or firms doing business with Russian firms. Other countries encouraged to join.

    3. Sanctions. No sales of food of medicine to Russia or forms doing business with Russia.

    4. Sanctions: Block all pipelines as the come out of Russia, embargo all sales of raw materials.

    5. World Court: Bring charges of Crimes Against Humanity (to wit, a war of conquest) against Putin and his senior aides.

    6. Demands: That Russia withdraw all forces from all parts of Ukraine, that all Russian citizens leave or renounce Russian citizenship, and that a Committee on Reparations be formed.

    7. Resolution: Once Russia withdraws, the accused are delivered to The Hague, and acceptable reparations have been agreed to, sanctions will be gradually withdrawn.

    8. Ukraine will then join NATO.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  150. A WSJ reporter in Moscow reports that some very brave souls are staging an anti-war march through the streets this evening. It will be interesting to see how Putin handles that. My guess would be that he will suffer it with forbearance, so long as the protests remain relatively small. If they should grow, though, then all bets are off.

    Agree. Big picture; he’s getting what he wants. The final casualty tallies will be of interest. The losses so far- as reported; certainly aren’t in the 50,000 range as ‘predicted.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  151. I think the decorum at Biden’s press conferences could stand some improvement.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  152. aphrael (4c4719) — 2/24/2022 @ 12:39 am

    we have a treaty commitment to defend Ukrainian territorial integrity. ……

    Untrue.

    From the Budapest Memorandum (not a treaty approved by the US Senate):

    4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;

    My emphasis. Ukraine has not been threatened with nuclear weapons, and the commitment from the UK and USA is to go to the UN Security Council, nothing more.

    The Russian Federation, however, is in clear violation several times over:

    1. The Russian Federation, ……reaffirm(s) (its) commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

    2. The Russian Federation, …… reaffirm(s) (its) obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

    3. The Russian Federation, ……. reaffirm(s) (its) commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;
    …………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  153. Would love to be a fly on the wall aboard the ISS… do the Americans or the Russians ‘spacewalk the plank?’ 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  154. If some comrades knew more than what Putin was telling them in their sleep, they would know that American drillers and frackers are themselves, of their own accord, voluntarily, limiting production as a market strategy, and not because the government is telling them to.

    (The U.S. government, that is. I don’t know about the OPEC governments.)

    nk (1d9030)

  155. And the West’s reaction will be the same.

    Europe at least has NATO. SEATO is defunct.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  156. Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world …. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.

    Ronald Reagan, 8 March 1983, National Association of Evangelicals

    Kevin M (38e250)

  157. @155. See #108.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  158. Cabbages and beets. “America imports oil” is an entirely different proposition from “Biden is stifling domestic oil production”.

    nk (1d9030)

  159. I don’t mean for this to be a dig at President Biden, but do you know who really needs to take the lead in this mess? Germany. They are the biggest economic power in Europe and accordingly stand to be hurt the most by a prolonged conflict. And they have done more than any other Western power (put aside the snarky rejoinders about Barack Obama and Donald Trump for one moment) to legitimize Putin’s Russia and ensure that its energy sector is flush with money. Germany also has been free-riding on its NATO allies for some time now — never mind the absolute garbage that Angela Merkel was fond of spewing about Germany being the alliance’s leader in humanitarian outreach to the dispossessed — not only failing to spend its mandated 2% of GDP being spent on defense, but now acknowledging that figure will drop to 1.25% over the next couple of years. It’s now time for them to pull their weight.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  160. @157. Shorter:

    Far better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.

    The earliest appearance located occurred in a 1907 collection titled “The Supreme Conquest and Other Sermons Preached in America” by William L. Watkinson.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  161. Russians not all in on conquering Ukraine:

    But outcries of anger were not only felt on the streets of Moscow, where the Guardian did not encounter support for the military assault.

    Russia’s cultural and sporting elite, usually firmly behind Putin and often called upon by the president during election campaigns to gather popular support, also expressed their deep worries about Russia’s invasion.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  162. @159. More like cabbage and beans; all comes back to gas, nk.

    _____

    @160. I don’t mean for this to be a dig at President Biden, but do you know who really needs to take the lead in this mess? Germany.

    Yep. And given they’re part of the ‘Alliance’ the NATO partners needed to exert some kind of common sense on allowing partners to hook up to Russia’s “gas station” and literally “fuel” his long term plans. It’s the Confluence of Incompetence. Years of it layered into Western gov’t bureaucracies.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  163. Russia starts to crack down on protests.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  164. Remember???:

    GENEVA, March 6, 2009 (Reuters) – Obama Administration U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red “reset button” to symbolize improved ties.

    Obama imposes new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

    Washington CNN — Russia has failed to take steps to end the Ukraine conflict, President Barack Obama said Wednesday in announcing expanded sanctions targeting two banks, two energy companies, Ukraine separatists and defense companies. European Union leaders also said they intended to increase sanctions, signaling growing Western concern over Russia’s continued support for separatists battling the Ukrainian military in the country’s eastern region.

    https://www.cnn.com/2014/07/16/politics/ukraine-russia-sanctions/index.html

    US hits Russia with new Crimea sanctions after Trump blames Obama for annexation

    Washington (CNN)The Trump administration announced additional sanctions against Russia Thursday over its ongoing occupation of Crimea and its interference in eastern Ukraine.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/08/politics/treasury-russia-crimea-sanctions/index.html

    US imposes sanctions against Russian oligarchs and government officials

    Washington CNN — The Trump administration is unleashing additional sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin along with 12 companies they own or control. The measures announced by the Treasury Department on Friday were also aimed at 17 senior Russian government officials and the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport, which has long-standing ties to Syria and its subsidiary, Russian Financial Corporation Bank.

    The punitive actions are the latest escalating step by the US to punish Putin’s inner circle for interfering in the 2016 election and other ongoing aggressions across the globe in Crimea, Ukraine and Syria.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/06/politics/russia-sanctions-oligarchs/index.html

    Sanction don’t work w/Putin. He’s been planning this move on Ukraine for years.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  165. US expels Russia’s No. 2 diplomat at Washington embassy

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has expelled Russia’s second-ranking diplomat in Washington in retaliation for the Russian expulsion of the No. 2 U.S. diplomat in Moscow earlier this month, a senior State Department official said Thursday. The expulsion is unrelated to the unfolding Russian invasion of Ukraine and is part of a long-running dispute between Washington and Moscow over embassy staffing. However, it comes as tensions between the two capitals have hit a post-Cold War high over Ukraine.

    https://wgnradio.com/news/political-news/us-expels-russias-no-2-diplomat-at-washington-embassy/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  166. Growing protests in Russia against Putin’s war.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  167. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/24/2022 @ 1:07 am

    President GHWBush handled the USSR collapse the best; no gloating, help made available if asked…[but no peace dividend for us.]

    GHWB is famous for the “Chicken Kiev” speech. He was afraid of what would happen if Ukraine attempted to be independent.

    https://www.proquest.com/openview/85f79c475c29fcedb96cefe11b762a23/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1816956

    On 1 August 1991 Bush announced in Kyiv that Americans would not support Ukrainian independence. He admonished Ukrainians to sign onto Gorbachev’s Union Treaty, calling Ukrainian democratoc aspirations “suicidal nationalism” a phrase provided by Gorbachev. He further exhorted them to remember that “freedom is not the same as independence” (Goble 1993; Iwanciw (1993b)

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  168. @167. Do you think that’s going to deter or bother him?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  169. @168. President GHWBush handled the USSR collapse the best; no gloating, help made available if asked…[but no peace dividend for us.]
    GHWB is famous for the “Chicken Kiev” speech. He was afraid of what would happen if Ukraine attempted to be independent.

    He was at his best then, Sammy. And that’s because of the depth of his experience. Especially when he offered to help if asked. He knew how manage a proud people w/a deep inferiority complex amidst a humiliating defeat. We sorely need that perspective today. Bob Gates was so tragically right about Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  170. Giuliani says that Republicans who praise Putin’s savvy don’t like him (maybe for some of them that’s very true) – he says he made Biden look like a fool for predicting an invasion that never came for four weeks.

    The important question, he said was what to do afterwards.

    (Zelensky wanted the sanctions put on before. They said that would give up leverage, in other words, as in chess, that the threat is stronger than the execution. It’s true it couldn’t have any impact in time. But there was the question of whether it would be done at all. They tried letting Putin know that the war maybe wouldn’t go so easily as he thought.),

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  171. JVW @160. Shades of 1939? Followed by the same “Phony War”?

    nk (1d9030)

  172. I see the neo-con artists vietnam war draft dodging chicken hawk war mongers like mark levin are demanding other then themselves go fight putin. Hey mark whats stopping you from picking up a gun and go fight over there singing over there the yanks are coming over there?

    asset (537266)

  173. @171. Zelensky wanted the sanctions put on before.

    Yes. But Putin is playing poker, not chess. It will always be an astonishment to me how other players with better cards keep folding and he keeps winning year after year with such weak hands.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  174. @174 they fold because this could happen. We just got run out of afganistan.

    asset (537266)

  175. But Putin is playing poker, not chess.

    Cheka.

    nk (1d9030)

  176. @176. Meh. That works.

    Oil sloshing around $100/bbl., now You know, I remember a Saturday afternoon back in the 1970s when my late father was on the phone w/someone at Conoco, Mobil or such dickering with him about doing oil trade deals at just $4/bbl. Unreal.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  177. Paul, the West could end this PDQ. We know where Putin eats and sleeps: kill him.

    Silly.
    We would be breaking our own rule of law as well as committing an act of war, the kind of offensive strike that you have no idea how the Russians would respond.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  178. Putin threatens West with ‘consequences greater than any you have faced in history’ if it intervenes in his invasion of Ukraine

    https://www.businessinsider.com/putin-threatens-worst-ever-consequences-if-west-intervenes-in-ukraine-2022-2

    Consider how that bet, raising stakes, this poker player has tossed into the pot; it is a bold bluff by a regional power to a much better-equipped and financed superpower-laden West.

    Do you call him on it? How do you b-tch-slap back at this play when you know you’re holding much better cards? Just sanctions? What would Reagan do? Or Trump? Bush? Nixon even Truman, Ike or JFK? It’s just amazingly brazen.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  179. @178. Silly? No. It’s not, Paul. It’s a viable solution- and certainly been explored toward other heads-of-state amidst other conflicts in other conflicts in outr times; both overtly and covertly. And when has ‘rule of law’ mattered; all’s fair in love and war. Do you believe a thermonuclear war would erupt if Putin was ‘eliminated’?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  180. JVW @160. Shades of 1939? Followed by the same “Phony War”?

    It was Kissinger or some other Cold War figure who used to say that Europe would never be Europe again unless Germany is strong, and Europe will never again permit Germany to be strong. Instead Germany pulled off the neat trick of getting rich and influential while remaining rather weak, at least beyond its own borders. I think an awful lot of Americans are looking at the investment we have made over the past 75 years in keeping Germany (and thus Europe) secure, and are starting to believe that it is now Germany’s turn to take on the lion’s share of that burden.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  181. Do you call him on it?

    If the Russians shoot down a NATO aircraft outside of Ukraine, yes. It’s too bad we withdrew 98% of the nuclear weapons and all of the intermediate range missiles.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  182. Russian citizens are risking arrest to protest Putin’s war on Ukraine.

    GOP pols are trying to make hay out of Putin’s war by trashing the U.S. government.

    “Conservative” pundits are blaming the United States for “provoking” Putin.

    I made the right decision to leave the GOP.

    Radegunda (c970ff)

  183. From Quinn Hillyer at NRO:

    There is a simple an obvious reason why Putin waited until now to invade, rather than when Trump was there. It had NOTHING to do with how tough Trump was, etc. Putin did not have control of Belarus until last year. He wanted Belarus as a help for encircling Ukraine. Now he has it— Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) February 24, 2022

    JVW (ee64e4)

  184. @182. Rip, but suppose it was an accident? We lost a U-2 over Cuba in ’62 and didn’t launch WW3. But he hasn’t done anything but play that in-your-face card.

    How do you respond? Up the ante? Check the bet? Fold?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  185. Kevin M (38e250) — 2/24/2022 @ 10:57 am

    5. World Court: Bring charges of Crimes Against Humanity (to wit, a war of conquest) against Putin and his senior aides.

    At Nuremberg in 1946 thise were two completely separate charges

    They were tried on 4 countsL

    1) Seizure of power

    2) planning and waging aggressive war’

    3) War crimes

    4) Crimes against humanity (basically murders unrelated to advantage in war)

    You have us demanding that Putin turn himself in.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  186. There is a simple an obvious reason why Putin waited until now to invade, rather than when Trump was there.

    That and Trump was doing Putin’s dirty work in destabilizing Ukraine for him. Trump continually undermined the Ukraine government by insisting they provide “evidence” against the Bidens (remember his “perfect” phone call?). Trump also delayed approximately $390M (in violation of the law) in security assistance to the Ukrainians, again, undermining their ability to stave off the Russian-supported insurrectionists.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  187. @181. I think an awful lot of Americans are looking at the investment we have made over the past 75 years in keeping Germany (and thus Europe) secure, and are starting to believe that it is now Germany’s turn to take on the lion’s share of that burden.

    Remember, E&W Germany only reunited in 1990. And the generation of folks in office then, the powers that be back in the day, were a little wary of a powerful, well-armed Germany on the loose again in Europe after 1918 and 1945. The wealth accumulated after reunification consolidated much faster then many observers expected, too.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  188. nk (1d9030) — 2/24/2022 @ 11:10 am

    American drillers and frackers are themselves, of their own accord, voluntarily, limiting production as a market strategy, and not because the government is telling them to.

    Stock market.proxy vote strategy.

    They don’t want to invest more but would rather pay dividends. May be affected by possibility of a carbon tax They are only drilling enough to maintain production at current levels.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  189. It is interesting how the cablers are in 24/7 war mode now for a European conflict but programming grew pretty sporadic over the 20 years of the Afghan war. Better show, no doubt.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  190. @182. Rip, but suppose it was an accident? We lost a U-2 over Cuba in ’62 and didn’t launch WW3. But he hasn’t done anything but play that in-your-face card.

    Then the Russians should be damm careful. The difference is that the Cuban Missile Crisis was not a hot war and the U-2 was over Cuban territory. Since the Ukraine insurrectionists and their Russian masters have already demonstrated they have no problem with shooting down an unarmed passenger plane, I’m sure they would have no problem shooting down a surveillance plane over the Baltics, Poland, or Germany.

    If that happens, I would move the boomers closer to Russian waters and make it a public show. That would make them think a little bit harder about the consequences. It might even give the Russian military chiefs or the Politburo a reason to move against Putin.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  191. @191. Considering Putin’s been planning this literally for years, he’s likely been as careful as possible to minimize errant exposure– and has Politburo thugs in his pocket– you saw that Russian spy chief literally shaking in his boots in that Q&A w/Putin. Playing that butt-out-or-else card is his warning to stay out of his way. But agree, some stronger, more resolute show of strength and unified resolve is necessary in response. It elevates risk, too– but given what has been thrown in the pot, don’t see incremental sanctions as effective– they haven’t worked for years.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  192. JVW @160. Shades of 1939? Followed by the same “Phony War”?

    Closer to 1938, when Germany was allowed to carve up Czechoslovakia and the rest of Europe pretended like a wider war could be averted. Right down to the German lies about being attacked at the border.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  193. Hey Joe – Hows that red line in the sand going?

    mg (8cbc69)

  194. You have us demanding that Putin turn himself in.

    No. I expect that Putin will be overthrown by the businessmen who don’t like what this is doing to business.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  195. I’m with Cindy. Where are the candle light vigils for no more war?
    No American soldiers should be deployed in Bidens blunder.

    mg (8cbc69)

  196. It’s too bad we withdrew 98% of the nuclear weapons and all of the intermediate range missiles.

    I’m damn glad we did and why haven’t the other 2% come home? The use of nuclear weapons isn’t about size. If you are going to use them, you use all of them. Don’t tempt people with the idea that you can just kinda nuke someone.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  197. Lasr week Tuesday

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/02/15/remarks-by-president-biden-providing-an-update-on-russia-and-ukraine

    Thus week Tuesday:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/22/world/europe/biden-ukraine-speech-transcript.html

    Today:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/02/24/remarks-by-president-biden-on-russias-unprovoked-and-unjustified-attack-on-ukraine

    1:43 P.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Sorry to keep you waiting. Good afternoon. The Russian military has begun a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine without provocation, without justification, without necessity.

    This is a premeditated attack…And at the very moment that the United Nations Security Council was meeting to stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty to stave off invasion, Putin declared his war.

    Within moments — moments, missile strikes began to fall on historic cities across Ukraine.

    Then came in the air raids, followed by tanks and troops rolling in….Today, I’m authorizing additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia.

    This is going to impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.

    We have purposefully designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our Allies.

    And I want to be clear: The United States is not doing this alone….Twenty-seven members of the European Union, including France, Germany, Italy — as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and many others — to amplify the joint impact of our response.

    I just spoke with the G7 leaders this morning, and we are in full and total agreement. We will limit Russia’s ability to do business in Dollars, Euros, Pounds, and Yen to be part of the global economy. We will limit their ability to do that. We are going to stunt the ability to finance and grow Rus- — the Russian military.

    ….We’ve already seen the impact of our actions on Russia’s currency, the Ruble, which early today hit its weakest level ever — ever in history. And the Russian stock market plunged today. The Russian government’s borrowing rate spiked by over 15 percent….

    ….As promised, we’re also adding names to the list of Russian elites and their family members that are sanctioning — that we’re sanctioning as well.

    As I said on Tuesday, these are people who personally gain from the Kremlin’s policies and they should share in the pain. We will keep up this drumbeat of those designations against corrupt billionaires in the days ahead.,,,

    ….Some of the most powerful impacts of our actions will come over time as we squeeze Russia’s access to finance and technology for strategic sectors of its economy and degrade its industrial capacity for years to come….

    …..You know, in our sanctions package, we specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue…..I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump. This is critical to me.

    But this aggression cannot go unanswered. If it did, the consequences for America would be much worse. America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom. This is who we are.

    Let me also repeat the warning I made last week: If Russia pursues cyberattacks against our companies, our critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond.

    For months, we have been working closely with our private — with the private sector to harden their cyber defenses, sharpen our ability to respond to Russian cyberattacks as well.

    I spoke late last night to President Zelenskyy of Ukraine and I assured him that the United States, together with our Allies and partners in Europe, will support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country. We’ll provide humanitarian relief to ease their suffering.

    And in the early days of this conflict, Russian propaganda outlets will keep trying to hide the truth and claim success for its military operation against a made-up threat.

    But history has shown time and again how swift gains in territory eventually give way to grinding occupations, acts of mass civil — mass civil disobedience, and strategic dead-ends….And Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will end up costing Russia dearly — economically and strategically. We will make sure of that. Putin will be a pariah on the international stage. Any nation that countenances Russia’s naked aggression against Ukraine will be stained by association….

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  198. Russian spy chief literally shaking in his boots

    Do you know how the South Korean dictator Park Chung Hee died?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  199. When Joe was asked about Hungary he said he just had prunes.

    mg (8cbc69)

  200. I’m damn glad we did and why haven’t the other 2% come home?

    Security blanket for NATO. From the link @182:

    The United States and its NATO allies do not disclose exact figures for its European-deployed stockpiles. In 2021, it is estimated that there are 100 U.S.-owned nuclear weapons stored in five NATO member states across six bases: Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel Air Base in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi Air Bases in Italy, Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey. The weapons are not armed or deployed on aircraft; they are instead kept in WS3 underground vaults in national airbases, and the Permissive Action Link (PAL) codes used to arm them remain in American hands. To be used, the bombs would be loaded onto dual-capable NATO-designated fighters. Each country is in the process of modernizing its nuclear-capable fighters to either the F-35A, the F-18 Super Hornet, or the Eurofighter Typhoon.

    By removing the Pershing II and other missiles, it now gives the Russians more confidence they could attack NATO without a nuclear battlefield response.

    And yes, I have seen all the movies portraying a European-Soviet nuclear exchange (Threads (1984), The War Game (BBC, 1966)). The War Game is so graphic that the BBC banned until 1984.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  201. Not 1 U.S. Dollar should be given to this avoidable blunder by Biden.

    mg (8cbc69)

  202. We couldn’t beat cave dwellers. We don’t need another donation to the Cheney weapons dealers.

    mg (8cbc69)

  203. By removing the Pershing II and other missiles, it now gives the Russians more confidence they could attack NATO without a nuclear battlefield response.

    Better would be to see the 1050’s H-bomb tests and look at the actual footprints of the blast. 100% kill at 50 miles, that kind of thing.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  204. Considering Putin’s been planning this literally for years, he’s likely been as careful as possible to minimize errant exposure…..

    Putin may be careful, but a newly commissioned/drunk (I may be repeating myself) lieutenant in the Air Defense Troops, or a gung ho Russian pilot, or a gung ho/drunk Ukrainian insurrectionist, all who see a big fat target on their radar and fire without checking what the target really is, may not be as careful. Remember Malaysian Airlines Flight 17? And KAL 007? The Russians/Soviets (again repeating myself) have an IFF problem with civilian airliners.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  205. The Biden Bunch is incoherent, no surprise Ginger Goebbels wants out.

    mg (8cbc69)

  206. @205. Yes, and that was an issue w/t ’62 U-2 shootdown, another straying into Soviet airspace and other events of that era– and similar events in recent times as well. That’s why second-guessing and caution must prevail. Are you going to launch an all out thermonuclear exchange over an airliner shootdown? Was the mideast vaporized when Sadat was assassinated? Look how we handled Kaddafi per my comment on the other thread;’ Sometimes it comes down to losing a few people to save hundreds of millions. It makes for very hard choices and hard days– and you want competent people making them. That’s the world we’ve created and have to live in.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  207. I see that mg is an acolyte of Neville Chamberlain.

    Nic (896fdf)

  208. Biden has been presented with options for massive cyberattacks against Russia
    ………
    Two U.S. intelligence officials, one Western intelligence official and another person briefed on the matter say no final decisions have been made, but they say U.S. intelligence and military cyber warriors are proposing the use of American cyberweapons on a scale never before contemplated. Among the options: disrupting internet connectivity across Russia, shutting off electric power, and tampering with railroad switches to hamper Russia’s ability to resupply its forces, three of the sources said.
    ……….
    The sources said the options presented include pre-emptive responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, irrespective of whether Russian launches its own cyberattacks on the U.S. in retaliation for sanctions. They said most of the potential cyberattacks under consideration are designed to disrupt but not destroy, and therefore fall short of an act of war by the United States against Russia. They say the idea is to harm networks, not people. Officials are debating the legal authorities under which the attacks would take place — whether they would be covert action or clandestine military activity. Either way, the U.S. would not publicly acknowledge carrying out the operations, the sources say. U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, the CIA and other agencies would have a role to play in the operations, the sources said.
    ………
    The White House did not initially respond to a request for comment. After publication, Emily Horne, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement, “This report is wildly off base and does not reflect what is actually being discussed in any shape or form.”
    ………
    Officials stressed that the options being presented to Biden cover a broad range, from fairly modest disruptions to drastic ones. U.S. officials anticipate that Russia will retaliate, the sources say, likely with Colonial Pipeline-style attacks that seek to hurt American consumers.
    ……..
    U.S. cyber options, a Western intelligence official said, “will be guided by ethics and proportionality of response, bearing in mind the likelihood of any collateral damage, especially civilian. The U.S. is not at war with Russia.”
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  209. NIc – Whats Joe gonna do – send in the transgender Generals to woke this thing up?

    mg (8cbc69)

  210. Pelosi wants to give these people 600 million
    10% for the big guy

    mg (8cbc69)

  211. meanwhile the real invasion goes on at the Mexican – U.S. border.

    mg (8cbc69)

  212. @205. Yes, and that was an issue w/t ’62 U-2 shootdown, another straying into Soviet airspace and other events of that era– and similar events in recent times as well. That’s why second-guessing and caution must prevail.

    Again, those attacks did not involve a hot war. As I suggested, making a show of moving SSBNs closer to the Russia would drive home the point that two can play at that game. Murdering Americans by shooting down unarmed planes (which Russia/USSR has done multiple times and gotten off scott-free) needs to come with a price of some sort. Maybe cyber attacks as described above.

    As you are fond of doing:

    Bartlet:
    What’s the virtue of the proportional response?

    Admiral Fitzwallace:
    I’m sorry?

    Bartlet:
    What is the virtue of a proportional response? Why’s it good? They hit an airplane, so we hit a transmitter, right? That’s a proportional response.
    ……..
    Bartlet:
    But they know we’re gonna do that. They know we’re gonna do that! Those areas have been abandoned for three days now. We know that from the satellite, right? We have the intelligence. [over Leo’s attempt to speak up] They did that, so we did this. It’s the cost of doing business. It’s been factored in, right?
    ……..
    Bartlet:
    Then I ask again, what is the virtue of a proportional response?

    Admiral Fitzwallace:
    It isn’t virtuous, Mr. President. It’s all there is, sir.

    Bartlet:
    It is not all there is.

    Leo:
    Sir, Admiral Fitzwallace —

    Admiral Fitzwallace:
    Excuse me, Leo…pardon me, Mr. President, just what else is there?

    Bartlet:
    The disproportional response. Let the word ring forth, from this time and this place, gentlemen, you kill an American, any American, we don’t come back with a proportional response. We come back with total disaster! [He bangs the table]

    General:
    Are you suggesting that we carpet-bomb Damascus?

    Bartlet:
    I am suggesting, General, that you, and Admiral Fitzwallace, and Secretary Hutchinson, and the rest of the National Security Team take the next sixty minutes and put together an American response scenario that doesn’t make me think we’re just docking somebody’s damn allowance!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  213. People on this blog are mostly smart. So express how you’d effectively deter Putin– because incremental sanction have been shown not to work– and especially after Putin threatened the West with ‘consequences greater than any you have faced in history’ if it intervenes in his invasion of Ukraine.’ He has played a face card – is it a bluff? How do you respond? Up the ante? Check the bet? Fold? Blink? Or kill him??? Macron’s response was to check the bet w/’Hey Vlad, NATO’s a nuke power, too.’ Speaking for myself, nearing 70, never thought I’d live to see the third land war in Europe over 100 years. Confluences of incompetence with this depth and breadth are rare– but occur– and this one is a doozy.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  214. @214. That’s semantics. Hot, cold… the situations and events aren’t dissimilar. The damage is the same; the threat just as dangerous. The rule of thumb is usually to always give your opponent an out. Play out where relief valve is in this for us. Because he’s committed to Ukraine now.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  215. @24. That’s still a helluva flight to quality jump in 24 hours, Kevin; but the market futures are redder than Vlad’s underwear:

    The actual markets closed up. Dow 30 +0.28%, S&P 500 +3.34%, NASDAQ +1.50%

    As I said, this was already built into the market.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  216. https://www.informationliberation.com/?id=62913
    Great to see the president with Sean Penn.
    wtf

    mg (8cbc69)

  217. @217. Seems that way, Kevin. Gold tumbled back fast, too.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  218. @mg a preoccupation regarding whether or no a person still has the tits or balls they were genetically predisposed to is a you problem. The ability to command isn’t dependent on sexual characteristics or gonads and neither a tank nor a fighter jet care about the testosterone levels of commanders.

    The borders situation has been roughly the same for last 50 years. The idea that it’s suddenly an urgent invasion is ideological nonsense.

    Nic (896fdf)

  219. Play out where relief valve is in this for us. Because he’s committed to Ukraine now.

    Putin has an out. He can just stop and withdraw his troops. He has made his point. But he is in danger of overextending himself.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  220. I can’t imagine what would have emboldened Putin to do this. Maybe the POTUS telling his lackey that he (POTUS) would have more room to maneuver after the US elections. So don’t worry about our missile defense systems, Vlad.

    Or maybe when the US did nothing to stop Putin’s invasion of Crimea. Or when the US did nothing after Putin crossed Obama’s line in the sand in Syria.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  221. whatever, nic – the U. S. military is concerned with being woke karens, not warriors.

    mg (8cbc69)

  222. Putin has an out. He can just stop and withdraw his troops. He has made his point. But he is in danger of overextending himself.

    That has some merit but at this point, it’s not really viable; an out would be to not occupy but establish a puppet regime and bring the boys home for a May Day Red Square parade. He has geography on his side, too; Afghanistan was distant; Crimea and Ukraine are on the Russian border– and if you check the map, from his nostalgic POV of Soviet history, Ukraine belongs at home w/Mother Russia.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  223. @mg Preoccupation with wokeness is still a you problem. I’ve know military members that had far right beliefs and far left ones. Their politics didn’t make them good or bad servicemembers, their abilities and actions did.

    Nic (896fdf)

  224. You’d rather use this opportunity to take a cheap swipe at Joe Biden or Putin’s other antagonists than take a moment to acknowledge the monstrous evil taking place today.

    Let’s be clear: thid action has ben tgelegraphed ny Putin for years. It should be no surprise to any

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/24/2022 @ 8:43 am

    Even while you deny cheering him on, in dozens of comments on this thread you manage to avoid uttering a harsh word about Putin’s blood soaked expansionism. Instead you insist you’re just telling it like it is. That “is/ought” distinction is a valid one, but editorial can be smuggled into description, and whatever your intention, your assertion of Putin’s brilliance drips with glee.

    I can’t know what’s in your head, and as long as Pat lets you comment here you certainly don’t owe me any explanations. Just know that, having been told repeatedly how you’re coming across, you’ve done nothing to dispel that impression. So I guess you keep doing you, and we’ll keep drawing the inferences.

    lurker (59504c)

  225. @222. He has not hidden his view that the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was the greatest debacle of the 20th century from his perspective; nor has he hidden his designs and intent to restore some semblance of same as he rose to power. The expansion of NATO from his POV is a threat- and keep in mind, as nk noted several threads ago- Russia has always had an ‘inferiority complex’ w/t West– and reminding them of their loss of superpower status to a regional power only aggravates it. Some of us on this blog have seen it surface up close— and it doesn’t take much to scratch, expose and aggravate it in almost every competitive venue. He’s been telegraphing this message of ‘restoration’ for years and clearly been planning accordingly. You can overlay periods of Western strength and weakness- particularly w/regard to NATO– and measure where advantages were taken, weaknesses exploited. Mistakes were made– and this confluence of it all is a bad one.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  226. Sam Greene has a good thread on the bravery of Russians in Russia protesting Putin’s war.

    One more thread today, and then I’m going to take a break and decompress for a while. This one’s about protests and Russian public opinion.

    Per @OvdInfo, there have been ~1700 arrests at anti-war protests across Russia today. Given the propensity of these numbers to lag, the actual number is probably higher.

    We don’t know how many people came out to protest. It may not have been very many, but it will likely have been 10-20 times the number who were arrested, at least.

    Bear in mind that the Russian protest scene has been dormant since riot police more or less wiped the streets with Navalny supporters in the early months of 2021. After that, the opposition called off protests, out of concern for the physical welfare of their supporters.

    Given the level of ambient repression, the fact that anyone is coming out at all is striking. Striking as well is the fact that the riot police came out before the protesters did — especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but not only, according to reports.

    And the police didn’t exactly behave themselves. At least one of my friends in Moscow was delivered to a police station unconscious, with a fractured skull.
    […]
    Tens of millions of Russians have Ukrainian heritage or, indeed, were born there. They have family and friends there. The cities they are bombing are cities many of them have visited.

    There’s more.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  227. @226. Instead you insist you’re just telling it like it is.

    Lurker: but it is what it is. He’s a bad guy who has telegraphed to the world what he was going to do for 15 years– and his intent and mindset since 1991. Some listened, some warned, some ignored and hooked up to his energy supplies and look the other way– while others showed up with a ‘reset button.’ Hitler wrote a book telling the world what he was going to do. Some in Europe believed it- some ignored it; Churchill warned that his book ‘is what it is.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  228. At least you called him a “bad guy.” Baby steps I guess.

    lurker (59504c)

  229. Lurker- this is how they do it; ‘it is what it is’ – ‘On the night of August 20, 1968, approximately 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring”—a brief period of liberalization in the communist country. Czechoslovakians protested the invasion with public demonstrations and other non-violent tactics, but they were no match for the Soviet tanks. The liberal reforms of First Secretary Alexander Dubcek were repealed and “normalization” began under his successor Gustav Husak.’

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/soviets-invade-czechoslovakia

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  230. Nobody disputes the “how it is.” The objection is to how gleeful you seem about it.

    lurker (59504c)

  231. @230. You’re too emotional, lurker. War colleges will tell you Japan crafted a clever, successful plan to attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941; but we still shot down bad guy Yamamoto; The bad guy Patriots stole signals and deflated footballs but successfully won Super Bowls. It is what it is.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  232. 232. Lurker, nobody’s gleeful about war; war is failure.

    But it’s hard not to smile over this:

    “Because Putin knows, if I am President of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in Eastern Europe are over. I’m going to stand up to him. He’s a bully…” – Joe Biden

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCA2vODnL3M

    It reaffirms Robert Gates is right. As was Mr. Biden’s former boss:

    “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f–k things up,” President Obama, 2020

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  233. Putin has an out. He can just stop and withdraw his troops. He has made his point. But he is in danger of overextending himself.

    I think not. He’s cast his die across the Rubicon, to mangle a metaphor.

    There are several possible outcomes.

    1. Serious sanctions happen, crippling the Russian economy and threatening to bankrupt the natural resource exporting companies when their buyers quit (or demand vast disconuts and secret deliveries). This will result in Putin’s downfall, as his cronies are just businessmen who have no real interest in Putin’s rebuilt USSR.

    2. Cosmetic sanctions and ineffectual actions let things go on as before. Then, in a few years, who wants to go to war for Estonia?

    3. Acquiescence. At which point Eastern and Central Europe consider a pact outside NATO, and Putin smiles.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  234. So, the actual response here is “destroy Putin.” I think it entirely possible that we wanted him to invade before we closed the trap. Now, if we threaten to bankrupt the exporting companies, Putin has only bad choices. Pull back and be so weakened he falls. Double down and try to stop his internal opponents from seizing on the economic disaster (this would include a phony election or two). Or go for broke and try to retake Poland and the Baltics in the face of a truly pissed off NATO.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  235. Notes:

    Joe Biden wants to say that he correctly predicted what would happen – that is, now he says nobody expected the snctions to work. That is not what some of his subordinates were saying.

    Vladimir Putin appears to have taped his Thursday speech at the same time as his Monday one – Inside Edition.

    Chernobyl disaster site appears to have been surrendered – Ukraine said no casualties.

    Russian paratroopers surrounded.

    Russia target some apartment buildings – and also hospitals, like in Syria. This is a new war crime.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  236. Bartlet:
    I am suggesting, General, that you, and Admiral Fitzwallace, and Secretary Hutchinson, and the rest of the National Security Team take the next sixty minutes and put together an American response scenario that doesn’t make me think we’re just docking somebody’s damn allowance!

    IIRC, they ended up with the proportional response anyway.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  237. Thank you, Norway.

    Ragnar, a russian yacht owned by former KBG agent Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, who is a good friend of Putin, was earlier today borded by Norwegian police and coast guard in the harbor of Narvik.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  238. The bad guy Patriots stole signals and deflated footballs but successfully won Super Bowls.

    Let’s not ever forget or forgive the Houston Astros.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  239. Let’s not ever forget or forgive the Houston Astros.

    Kevin M (38e250) — 2/24/2022 @ 5:04 pm

    Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, is a wuss for not doing more to punish the Astros.

    norcal (5948da)

  240. @236. Putin has only bad choices. Pull back and be so weakened he falls. Double down and try to stop his internal opponents from seizing on the economic disaster (this would include a phony election or two). Or go for broke and try to retake Poland and the Baltics in the face of a truly pissed off NATO.

    Those are plausible, Kevin. If he opts to go for broke Article 5 makes him a dead man. You think a thermonuclear war would erupt over offing Vladimir Putin w/a ‘To Russia With Love’ cruise missile ahead of time? Vaporize the planet over one guy? I don ‘t. And after a lot of hemming, hawing and Inspector Renaulting and the illegalities, Russians might just be relieved. We tried to off Hussein; hunted Castro; offered to liquidate Kaddafi… Just whack him. Not cricket, but a very Soviet thing to do. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  241. @239. This is where the West looks weak, Paul. You don’t board it.

    You sink it.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  242. Apparently, the Ukraine has a functioning command and control structure and has inflicted severe losses on the 76th airborne Guards and repelled a brigade sized armored infantry unit near Chernoble.

    Ukraine just declared a full war mobilization, 300,000 trained reservists.

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  243. Sam Greene’s thread on sanctions to date. The short of it: Not good enough.

    Reading between the lines on sanctions, it’s a decidedly mixed picture.
    What has been announced thus far is very clearly not the full package of sanctions that had been on the table. Exactly why that’s the case is a question worth discussing.

    To be clear, these sanctions will hurt. Quite a bit. Together with the falling ruble, the financial and banking sanctions will sap Russia’s reserves and raise its capital costs.

    The sanctions on the offspring of oligarchs are more interesting. These are designed to sharpen the focus of the entirety of the Russian elite on the future, and to force them to reconsider whether they’re willing to let Putin mortgage their kids’ futures.

    But missing are the ‘nuclear option’ sanctions designed effectively to turn Russia into Iran — isolated from the global economy, unable to trade or invest effectively, and increasingly impoverished.

    Clearly, the Europeans weren’t on board with broader sanctions — though they claim not yet to have taken them off the table. There are two reasons I can see behind this reluctance (if we leave conspiracies to one side).

    One reason is that European leaders still want to avoid causing harm to the Russian population en masse, which are — for all intents and purposes — hostages here. (There have already been nearly 2k arrests at anti-war protests.)

    The other reason is that European leaders want to keep powder dry as a deterrent against further aggression.

    Both of these arguments strike me as illogical. First, sanctions are no longer really a deterrent: they’re a tool of punishment in the first instance, and potential regime change in the second.

    The only way sanctions will make things better for Ukraine is by sparking Russian elites and masses to seek leadership that is less eager to play games with their future. They may or may not succeed, but the US and the EU at this point have little choice but to try.

    If you’re pursuing that goal, the US/EU need to sharpen the minds not only of the Russian elite, but of ordinary Russians, too — because mass unrest will then further sharpen the minds of the elite, who pose the most direct threat to Putin.

    And if you’re worried about further aggression, I’m afraid you’ve lost me. Unless you think there’s a chance that Putin would cross a NATO border — in which case Article 5 is all the deterrence you need — how much further can Putin’s aggression go?

    There is, of course, another part of the explanation, and that’s politics. Biden and Macron are on shaky electoral ground, while Johnson and to a lesser extent Scholz stand on weak parliamentary legs. The cost to their own electorate is a factor they cannot afford to ignore.

    My guess, though, is that we’re not done yet. Trans-Atlantic talks look set to continue, and there’s nothing that says they have to wait for Putin to escalate further before implementing new sanctions. Both sides can play the strategic ambiguity game.

    A note on sanctioning Russian banks.

    Sam — the sanctions on the state banks cutting them off from $ transactions are much more severe than any SWIFT cut off. There will be a run on the banks, the CBR will be forced to bail them out. The reserves are big but not endless and it’s not clear how they withstand this.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  244. Halliburton Eurasia comprises Russia, Ukraine, Caspian West and Caspian East. This large area presents challenges that are quite diverse, including shallow water, environmentally sensitive North Caspian with deep, high pressure, H2S/CO2 oil wells; mature oil fields in Kazakhstan and Siberia; high flowrate gas fields in Northern Siberia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan; and extreme weather conditions in the large part of the Eurasia region.

    While this region represents a tremendous variety of technical, logistical, and supply chain challenges, Halliburton’s organization in this region, coupled with a strong national workforce, is well established to provide creative and innovative solutions. The potential of the resources and the diversity of the plays demand a great variety of new technologies.

    https://jobs.halliburton.com/content/eurasia/?locale=en_US

    … and the band played on.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  245. Zelenskyy knows how to tweet. God save Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  246. @230. You’re too emotional, lurker.

    Me? Why would I be emotional? Because my wife is from south Russia, near Ukraine, where her mother, uncle and cousins report that fleeing Ukrainians are flooding into their home town? Because she has dozens of Ukrainian friends and relatives, including her best friend’s brother who until yesterday was a cop in Kiev, so today is of course in the Ukrainian army? Because she can’t think of an adequately demonstrative way to tell Putin to shove her Russian passport up his kleptocratic жопа?

    The question isn’t why I’m emotional. It’s why aren’t you?

    I tried, DCSCA. You don’t get it. I’m out.

    lurker (59504c)

  247. Sorry to hear about the situation with your wife’s friends and relatives, lurker.

    norcal (5948da)

  248. Thanks, norcal.

    lurker (59504c)

  249. @248. Because it is what it is. Been to the Soviet Union, Lurker. Good people; lousy soup.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  250. @249. What have you done to get them out, Lurker; Ukranians have known this was coming for some time. Will say a prayer for their safety. But even Biden told all Americans to leave Ukraine several days ago.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  251. More about Zelenskyy’s tweet.
    Reportedly audio from Snake Island in Black Sea:

    -This is a Russian military ship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims. Otherwise we will open fire on you.
    -Russian military ship, go f–k yourself.
    They were all killed.

    For clarity. The 13 Ukrainian defenders of the island were killed, after refusing to surrender, as per Ukrainian official info. President Zelenskiy said they’d all be given hero of ukraine medal posthumously.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  252. Because it is what it is.

    Wasn’t Hitler’s blitzkrieg across Europe amazing? He had been planning it for YEARS. It’s really none of our business. We should stay out of it. It is what it is.

    norcal (5948da)

  253. Oreo, Coca-Cola facilities suspend production in Ukraine

    A number of companies have suspended production or limited manufacturing output in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion early Thursday.

    Companies that made those announcements include Carlsberg, a Coca-Cola bottling company, snack maker Mondelez and steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal. They join a number of airlines that have already suspended operations to Ukraine as its airspace has been closed.

    Russia’s invasion of its neighbor has roiled global stock markets and sent its currency to record-low levels.

    https://www.ocregister.com/2022/02/24/oreo-coca-cola-facilities-suspend-production-in-ukraine/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  254. R.I.P. Sally Kellerman, 84

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  255. Rob Manfred, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, is a wuss for not doing more to punish the Astros.

    Word has it — if you find Sports Illustrated’s reporting credible — that Manfred was boxed in by the fact that a quiet investigation had determined that at least a dozen MLB teams were engaging in some version of using technology to steal signs. We know the Red Sox got caught up in this too, but SI was reporting that the Dodgers, yankees, Cardinals, and other teams were also cheating to some degree, though of course not as pronounced as what the Astros were caught doing. Rather than open that can of worms, Manfred chose to give the Astros a very light slap on the wrist and be done with the scandal.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  256. @254. We did stay out of it, norcal.

    Until December 11, 1941 when Germany declared war on the United States

    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/germany-declares-war-on-the-united-states

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  257. @DCSA@243 *channeling my privateer ancestors* Nah, it’s always better to take the prize than to sink it. That way you get the asset and can repurpose it for fun and profit.

    Nic (896fdf)

  258. This is where the West looks weak, Paul. You don’t board it.

    You sink it.

    Calm down, DCSCA. That’s an act of war and would draw Norway into the conflict. Although, to be fair, Ragnar is accused of cutting underwater fiber-optic cables which would also be an act of war on Russia’s part, except of course that Putin will have plausible deniability since Ragnar is a “private” craft. But the Norwegian Coast Guard has the yacht hemmed in at the dock, and they have plenty of time to determine how to proceed.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  259. Word has it — if you find Sports Illustrated’s reporting credible — that Manfred was boxed in by the fact that a quiet investigation had determined that at least a dozen MLB teams were engaging in some version of using technology to steal signs.

    I didn’t know that. So, Manfred decided not to punish all of those teams because it might have been a deathblow to MLB. Sweep it under the rug. I get it.

    Perhaps I’m just too idealistic. I say throw the book at all of them, and if a new baseball league has to arise, so be it.

    norcal (5948da)

  260. You don’t sink ships if you can possibly avoid it. They’re valuable prizes, to which the officers and the crews are entitled a proportionate share.

    nk (1d9030)

  261. The officers and the crews of the ship that seized it, not the prize’s.

    nk (1d9030)

  262. @261 even Bobby Thomson’s fabled “Shot Heard ’Round the World” was the result of elaborate sign stealing

    you’d have to throw the book at some legends

    JF (e1156d)

  263. It’s the law of the sea.

    nk (1d9030)

  264. Also a venerable Viking tradition.

    nk (1d9030)

  265. Legends too, JF. To hell with the lot of them.

    norcal (5948da)

  266. @260. JVW??? It’s a yacht.

    You call up MI6, send in 007 and ‘scuttle’ the thing. Then home for a martini, shaken, not stirred.

    ‘That boat, is she yours?’ – James Bond [Sean Connery] ‘Thunderball’ 1965

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  267. “This is genius. Bin Laden takes down these buildings with a couple of planes. How smart is that? That’s pretty savvy.

    “Bin Laden liked me. I liked him. Had I been in office, this wouldn’t have happened.”

    –Former President Bill Clinton, what he didn’t say, September 12, 2001
    (h/t George Conway)

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  268. @262. You don’t sink ships if you can possibly avoid it. They’re valuable prizes, to which the officers and the crews are entitled a proportionate share.

    Maggie Thatcher missed that memo. 😉

    https://janetpanic.com/which-argentine-ships-were-sunk-in-the-falklands-war/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  269. Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/24/2022 @ 6:34 pm

    But Paul, you just don’t UNDERSTAND. 9/11 hurt Americans! Who care about Ukrainians? War bonds..something, something, and Reaganomics!

    norcal (5948da)

  270. @269. You forgot ‘outsmarting a multi-trillion-dollar DoD with just $500,000.’ Forced a re-evaluation and a lot of positive changes for the good of the country.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  271. @271. You’re projecting too emotionally, norcal.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  272. @261 even Bobby Thomson’s fabled “Shot Heard ’Round the World” was the result of elaborate sign stealing

    you’d have to throw the book at some legends

    The great yankees teams of the late 70s had a set up where a guy with high-powered binoculars would sit up in the catwalks at the top of stadium and use a walkie-talkie to send messages to the dugout. They claimed that all they were doing was setting defensive positioning for the fielders, but it became pretty obvious they were sending in stolen signs as well. MLB eventually made them stop, but I don’t know that there was ever any punishment meted out.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  273. JVW, remember, ‘an act of war’ is a matter of interpretation by the players. Blockading Cuba in 1962 was ‘an act of war.’ Until it wasn’t. No missiles landed in Pittsburgh. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  274. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/24/2022 @ 6:47 pm

    You spelled “imitation” wrong.

    norcal (5948da)

  275. @260. JVW??? It’s a yacht.

    Did you look into the Tweet stream that was linked? It’s really more like a workboat, complete with crane and possibly a small submarine, refitted with a nice upper deck to look like a yacht. The Russian Navy has apparently been taking older ships like this and selling them to oligarchs who then put a hot tub on the heliopad and a bar and carpeting in the ship’s mess, and then cruise around in them the same way that some dudes here manage to obtain surplus military vehicles and park them in the driveway.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  276. JVW, remember, ‘an act of war’ is a matter of interpretation by the players.

    Granted, Russia is unlikely to go to the mat over a sunken oligarch’s yacht, but I think at this point it is wise of Norway to play it conservatively and not give Putin any issue to turn into some of his manufactured outrage propaganda.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  277. JVW (ee64e4) — 2/24/2022 @ 6:49 pm

    Why must integrity be sacrificed? Do we worship sports too much?

    norcal (5948da)

  278. Once again the ever-helpful Jen Psaki is there to tell the White House Press Corps that President Biden didn’t actually mean what he said earlier he when momentarily averted his gaze from the teleprompter and tried to freestyle a rare tough question from a reporter. They sure are gonna miss her when she’s gone.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  279. Seriously, what do you think would happen if some entity- ‘a nameless power’ killed Putin w/a cruise missile? We hunted Hussein; targeted Castro… marked Kaddafi, etc. etc. If one lousy guy is offed? He is supposedly personally running the command and control show of this mess. What could happen? Anybody believe a global thermonuclear war would explode? Over one guy? Nothing would happen. Oh after a few weeks of hurt bird how dare you do this indignation noise– but a little reparations, some vodka.. and Russians might just turn out to be thankful for the help.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  280. Why must integrity be sacrificed? Do we worship sports too much?

    No, it’s that there’s too much goddam money in them. It’s like asking Hollywood to produce quiet, reflective, meditative movies rather than crank out another Marvel Universe popcorn flick.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  281. @269 “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

    —what trump didn’t say about putin (h/t dubya)

    JF (e1156d)

  282. @277/278. Yes but isn’t the objective of all this to hurt the yacht owner not save the yacht?????

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  283. Seriously, what do you think would happen if some entity- ‘a nameless power’ killed Putin w/a cruise missile?

    Probably the same thing that would happen if Trump were still the President, and were the target. You’d have a Vice-President and other acolytes who would engage in a contest as to who could be the Trumpiest, and then seek revenge, even if it meant Armageddon.

    norcal (5948da)

  284. JF (e1156d) — 2/24/2022 @ 7:05 pm

    Yes, that was utterly foolish of W. Both his statement and Trump’s statements concerning Russia are stupid. Embrace the emancipation of pointing out errors no matter who is committing them, JF.

    norcal (5948da)

  285. —what trump didn’t say about putin (h/t dubya)

    When the sitting President was not imposing sanctions on Putin for invading Ukraine. (h/t a sane perspective)

    nk (1d9030)

  286. JVW (ee64e4) — 2/24/2022 @ 7:03 pm

    I posit that the worship preceded the money. 😛

    norcal (5948da)

  287. This could be a scenario if/when Kyiv falls.

    A lot of focus on whether Kyiv will fall or can be defended. But this may be a bit of a false dichotomy. I can easily imagine a situation where Russian forces enter the capital, only to find themselves incessantly sniped at and ambushed by urban guerrillas.

    Of course, Putin could respond with Grozny-style atrocities, but the eyes of the world will be watching in a way that they weren’t there.

    It would be interesting if social media becomes a PR weapon against Putin’s occupation.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  288. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/24/2022 @ 3:29 pm

    never thought I’d live to see the third land war in Europe over 100 years.

    Everyvody’s forgetting the wars in the former Yugoslavia – or, for that matter, the Russia-Polish war of 1920 where French Marshal Foch saved Warsaw

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Russo-Polish-War-1919-1920

    Not to mention other conflicts related to the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, called together the Russian Civil War. From 1918-1922. The city of Kiev changed hands several times. (pronounced Key-ev in Russian, and Keeve in Ukrainian)

    Wait! Come to think of it, 1922 was 100 years ago. World War I (called at the time, The European War – a name which continued in the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature till 1976! -was over 100 years ago.

    So we do have only three. World War II, the wars in Yugoslavia, and now this.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  289. There’s deterrence, and there’s deterrence, and then there’s deterrence. Three different kinds (really, look them up). I like the third kind whereby the enemy is deterred from fighting because he does not have the capacity to fight. No weapons, no ammunition, no food or medicine, no shoes.

    Reagan-terrence! Glorious!

    nk (1d9030)

  290. Paul Montagu (5de684) — 2/24/2022 @ 7:25 pm

    I’d love to see Kiev make a stand a la Leningrad. Ironic justice for Putin.

    norcal (5948da)

  291. On Twitter thread:

    So something interesting that could be developing at the UN: Ukraine appears to be laying the groundwork to challenge whether the Russian Federation is the legitimate successor to the USSR’s seat and veto on the Security Council

    Suppose you could do that – Communist China also has a veto.

    Just ignore the UN if you’re thinking along those lines.

    Right now, the 5 permanent members happen to be equal to the 5 major nuclear powers, although that’s only been true since 1971. Whixh was 50 years ago, come to think of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  292. Sink the yacht. Take the canoli. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  293. Once again the ever-helpful Jen Psaki…

    How does she do that job w/a straight face given the material she has to work with?

    We see so much of her, you’d think she was the POTUS- let along an elected official.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  294. @DCSCA@284 In all seriousness, not really. If this guys if former KGB and a member of Putin’s circle, the actual point is probably intel and that’s a lot easier to get off of an intact above water boat than a sunken one.

    Nic (896fdf)

  295. Natural gas transmission system of Ukraine

    ‘The natural gas transmission system of Ukraine is a complex of natural gas transmission pipelines for gas import and transit in Ukraine. It is one of the largest gas transmission systems in the world. The system is linked with natural gas transmission systems of Russia and Belarus on one hand, and with systems of Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia on the other hand. The system is owned by Government of Ukraine and operated by Ukrtransgaz. Some local transmission lines together with distribution sets are owned by regional gas companies. The gas transmission system of Ukraine could be divided into three transit corridors which are the western transit corridor, the southern transit corridor, and the north–south internal corridor for Russian domestic gas transportation.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_transmission_system_of_Ukraine#

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Ukraine_gas_disputes

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  296. @296. Nic, you’d think some kind of ‘pain’ could be inflicted on these guys. Sink a yacht; ; whack a mistress — do something to what they value. Otherwise, the whole effort is just ‘show-boating’… they have to experience genuine discomfort or ‘pain’ of some kind. Tony Soprano could make his point. That’s all these guys seem to understand.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  297. Take the money, the most painful thing for these guys.

    Nic (896fdf)

  298. @299. Well, general sanctions seem to be ineffective. If targeting specific dudes to grab thie money works, good. Recall we’d just settled into our place in ’68 when the tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia. ‘Course then it was similar to the times you were there- E/W Germany, the Wall and a very hot Cold War. The Prague Spring was a very ’60s styled movement and those old stiff-suited farts Kosygin and Brezhnev were having none of it– and they moved in quick to stop the movement from spreading. Recall how worrisome it was and how empty the streets were – even in London- as the tanks rolled into Prague. ‘Course there was no CNN so we’d get bits of info on the BBC or AFR. Nobody was certain where they’d stop or how long it would progress. So it’s a little surreal seeing this roll out on cable television. It’s just surprising to me hoe unprepared they appear with so many weeks of storm clouds gathering.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  299. @DCSCA@300 Yeah, I’m also surprised at the lack of military preparedness that Ukraine has shown. IDK how you have a country threatening to invade your country and you don’t have the entire military on alert, AF ready to scramble, mobile units ready to roll. However I’m also surprised how slow the response from the US and EU has been. They should’ve been ready to freeze assets the moment a Russian missile fired into Ukraine. At least in the US we should’ve been ready to lock them all down. I know that my viewpoint is more military strategy than policy, though, so there may be diplomatic reasons we didn’t do that.

    Nic (896fdf)

  300. @301. Totally agree. You could debate the pros and cons of applying ‘sanctions’ before the tanks physically rolled in, freezing assets and such; in but given the markets are so electronic and global now they could have dropped the hammer almost instantly. Perhaps some cyber issues were involved, but yes, time is money and he was making $ on rising oil prices even as he’s moves in on the country.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  301. @301. There’s another aspect of this to possibly consider, too. The timing. Putin wants to secure a legacy and that ‘return to the USSR’ thing, and he’ll be 70 this October. Making this move now could have less to do w/t perception of Biden’s fecklessness and more to do w/Vlad’s own physicality. He may have tumor or some other medical issue that limits the time he has left and wants to get on with his dreams before his dreams come to an end.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  302. It could be. He’s over the average age of death for Russian men and they lived in a horrible chemical stew over there back in the day and he probably got exposed to some bad stuff as a KGB agent. Cancer or cardio-vascular issues wouldn’t be a surprise, especially given his reported extreme caution regarding.

    Actually, I think that would be a pretty good bit of anti-Putin counter-propoganda. Everyone going around asking if Putin has cancer/Leukemia/failing health, is that why he’s doing this? because he’s weakening and needs to do it now? He’s always spent so much effort in putting forth the effort of physical strength and health, he’d hate it more than anything.

    Nic (896fdf)

  303. @304. Well, you would have a better feel for this than the average person but it seems a 100% certainty that any incursion into NATO territory would instantly invoke Article 5 and he’d get his head cracked open, depending on the measure, level and intensity of a NATO response. And given his current actions, it would not only be swift but severe. I’m just wondering how NATO planners are prepared to assess any kind of genuine accident or inadvertent incursion into NATO terriroty or air space. You know, fog of war and such.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  304. I can tell you that there were plans for how to react if the USSR rolled tanks into E. Europe in 1989. I have no doubt there are some vigorous plans in place in case Russia aggressively crosses into NATO space now.

    Probably if one jet made an incursion into NATO airspace it would get a warning to turn around or land and as long as it didn’t do anything else, we would complain loudly and do not a lot. More than that, we might shoot them first and apologize later.

    Nic (896fdf)

  305. @306. What about an errant cruise missile? They’re accurate but not perfect- battle damage to any of the avionics or airframes could easily send them off course. Recall seeing a few i/t Gulf War go askew on camera. ‘Course tghey could always be knocked down. Maybe that’s too in the weeds but the more automated and detached we get from these fast moving weapons systems the less immediate ‘hands on’ control there can be. It’s almost like combat on autopilot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  306. Sink the yacht. Take the canoli. 😉

    Even though it’s wrong, it’s funny. The problem is, for those of us who don’t block commenters for philosophical reasons, is 100 comments of dreck from this troll worth the one comment that has value?

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  307. @308. Paul, but isn’t the objective of all this to hurt the yacht owner not save the yacht? Sink his damn boat.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  308. DC, a Putin flunkie lost his toy because he’s a Putin flunkie. That sends a message to Putin’s other flunkies.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  309. @310. The message is weak; you took a toy away for a time from the bad boy. That doesn’t hurt him. Break his toy forever- that stings. We’re supposed to be sending a strong message with these sanctions.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  310. Paul, but isn’t the objective of all this to hurt the yacht owner not save the yacht? Sink his damn boat.

    Give it to me. I promise to sink it.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  311. There are more Russian oligarch yachts for the taking.

    Viktor Vekselberg’s $120,000,000 yacht is currently docked in Europe, the Spanish islands. It could be seized.

    Roman Abramovich’s $590,000,000 yacht Eclipse is in Sint Maarten (Netherlands territory). It could be seized.

    Why not extend those takings to Russian oligarch real estate? It’s easier to take cash through American civil asset forfeiture.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  312. @313. You know what you’re dealing with now; so what message do you want to send: Mary Poppins sanctions takes them; Tony Soprano sanctions sinks/burns them.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  313. Anyone know how antifa feels about this?

    mg (8cbc69)

  314. Wonder if Putin has a buffalo hat?

    mg (8cbc69)

  315. joe: “Get me Putin on the secure line we are going to straighten this out now!!

    Putin: Hello Joe what’s up?

    joe: You better get your forces out of Ukraine or I’ll get really angry and apply more sanctions!

    Putin: Joe, I’m so glad you called. There is something that has been on my mind?

    joe: What’s that?

    Putin: Well you know Joe Alaska is historically part of Russia.

    joe hangs up.

    mg (8cbc69)

  316. Day 2 of war and Russian tanks already in the northern outskirts of Kyiv. That’s fairly quick movement in 48 hours.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  317. hot knife
    butter

    mg (8cbc69)

  318. You can bet that Romney is expanding his fortune right now by selling short on the warmongering market crash deliberately staged by the same pack of vermin who got rich off the COVID hysteria. Our so called “leaders” are looting this nation on a daily basis. And they’ve got a core of imbeciles they can count on to fall for their BS every single time.

    mg (8cbc69)

  319. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/24/2022 @ 11:31 pm

    It is tempting – from a highly remote perch – to posture with statements such as “Vlad sends one of Ukraine’s guys to the hospital, they should send two of his to the morgue!” or ” Better to just nuke’em from orbit, just to make sure!”

    The wise course for Ukraine is to make a face-saving show, then fully roll-over. The meek inherit the Earth.

    felipe (484255)

  320. The wise course for Ukraine is to make a face-saving show, then fully roll-over.

    So Putin can rape them, starve them, and exterminate them at leisure, the way Stalin and Hitler did.

    The meek inherit the Earth.

    Not if the gas ovens are in working order.

    nk (1d9030)

  321. The wise course for Ukraine is to make a face-saving show, then fully roll-over. The meek inherit the Earth.

    felipe (484255) — 2/25/2022 @ 3:38 am

    “C’mon fellas, let’s let the thieves inside our house, and then let them take everything they want. It’s the last thing they’ll expect us to do. That’s how we win!”

    The main war is not winnable. It never was. But the wisest thing for Ukraine to do is to continue a guerrilla effort after the cessation of official hostilities. Bleed the Russians over time. Make them pay to hold on to their conquest. Then hope that the combination of your shallow cuts, plus international sanctions against Russia, make them want to go home.

    Demosthenes (3fd56e)

  322. ” AJ, pause, review the U.S. assets and interests at risk in Taiwan.”

    There is nothing pressing China into war over Taiwan. And they won’t unless they are 100% sure that they will win and not suffer severe political and economic consequences. It’s overly simplistic to think that leaving Afghanistan….of which, in the end, both parties agreed with….somehow changes China’s calculations. The U.S. maintains a position of “strategic ambiguity” with regards to Taiwan and that figures into China’s risk. The chip fabs make Taiwan immensely important to the world which increases risk for China. Xi is probably content with seeming to crack down on Taiwan independence and not risk the world blowback of an invasion. He doesn’t need an invasion.

    On the military side, a direct conflict between the US and China could be horrendous. Our biggest sticks are political and economic. Direct conflict 100 miles off of China’s coast would be ugly given the 1000’s of cruise missiles China has plus that it has deployed nukes if it is provoked enough. China does not mean the US takes its eye off Russia, Iran, North Korea, or ISIS. It’s a dangerous world and why we can’t waste time on unserious leaders or leaders past their prime. Bernie, Oprah, or Cuban are not qualified to think this through. That’s why we have to break this Trump fascination….to JF’s continued frustration. He is one of the leading GOP voices…and continues to make nonsense self-serving comments about how the Ukraine invasion happened because of an illegal election. He needs to go and I would gladly reinforce JF’s efforts to support better alternatives….

    AJ_Liberty (a8d121)

  323. @321. The wise course for Ukraine is to make a face-saving show, then fully roll-over. The meek inherit the Earth.

    Yes. You’re right. The brutal reality is, in the end, that’s essentially the way it is playing out. Brave resolve is admirable –and they were given weapons for a fight– [other than the German pallet of helmets] but they’re going through them quickly and already near-begging for more arms from the West– but it is next to impossible to get ’em in as they lose control over air and land routes. They’ll end up ‘going French’- a Resistance– no point in destroying their own homes, businesses and infrastructure. Russia can install a puppet regime, not occupy, and go home to a May Day Parade. It’s just surreal that in the 21st century we can watch this roll out on smartphones, TV sets and the internet in real time half a world away as we cook up or scrambled eggs.

    ______

    @325. There is nothing pressing China into war over Taiwan…

    See #61, AJ.

    Expect Xi to make a move within 18 months. They want Taiwan; they’ve already made it known there’s a New World Order emerging. You should mention your POV to my neighbor, AJ… a USMC Lt., who spent 6 months last year deployed to Palau simulating ‘war gaming’ w/ China over Taiwan. The outcomes were not encouraging and he is apprehensive that they’ll be re-deployed. We have interests there and the decision to defend or cut and run will be with… Joe Biden.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  324. Ub one place I read or heard that Kyiv has a population of 4 milion – in another, 2.8 million.

    https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/kiev-population

    ….says 3 million.

    So does https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/22765/kiev/population bith using, I think, UNited Nations figures for the metropolitan area.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  325. DCSCA,

    Burning money is stupid. Please stop being stupid.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  326. You can bet that Romney is expanding his fortune right now by selling short on the warmongering market crash

    Market bonkers up for second day

    Kevin M (38e250)

  327. The meek inherit the Earth.

    In small plots, six feet deep.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  328. nk (1d9030) — 2/24/2022 @ 7:30 pm

    There’s deterrence, and there’s deterrence, and then there’s deterrence.

    Rge vest kind of deterrence is when you’ve deterred a threatening army or a navy or an air force or missiles completely out of reality.

    Like the United States has, for instance, with Venezuela or Mexico.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  329. There is nothing valuable that Taiwan has that Xi can get by force. Taiwan’s economic value to the world is in world’s-best fabs that would be defended, if possible, and destroyed if not. If you really think a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is likely, you should be buying Intel stock.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  330. @328. Thank you, Mary Poppins.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  331. There is nothing valuable that Taiwan has that Xi can get by force.

    =blink=

    Except Taiwan itself.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  332. Oh DCSCA….

    https://www.newsweek.com/china-changes-tack-xi-tells-putin-negotiate-peace-ukraine-1682644

    By the way, your position (ignore Ukraine, concentrate on Taiwan) is ultimately self-contradictory. If Biden sort of retreats to minimal sanctions, that will embolden China to make that strike on Taiwan. Y’know, past performance being the best predictor of future results and all that.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  333. Ukraine, on the other hand, is a breadbasket. We will see a perpetual Holomodor in which Russia starves the Ukrainians to feed the Muscovites. And the Sitzpinkler will grow their bellies and smile.

    nk (1d9030)

  334. If Biden sort of retreats to minimal sanctions,

    Retreats? He has to advance first. Right now, there is no sanction against Russian energy exports, its moneymaker, and no cutting off from SWIFT. And the reason is the nation of “men” who sit down to pee — Stalin’s partner in 1939.

    nk (1d9030)

  335. AJ

    Taiwan has a large standing army and airforce. Their tanks are remade super hi tech m60’s almost out of a Japanese kids comic book. They have literally thousands of missiles and thousands of buried artillery – more than North Korea. They two years ago started building offensive surface to surface missiles and you can bet they are pointed at the Dams of China.

    Red China doesn’t have the airlift or sealift to promulgate an invasion and support the large follow on army that will be needed to take Taiwan

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  336. Reports thousands of Russian troops died or wounded very few Ukranians. Two missile strike on large Russian airbases were wildly successful. These strikes have shocked the Russian high command

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  337. “You should mention your POV to my neighbor, AJ… a USMC Lt., who spent 6 months last year deployed to Palau simulating ‘war gaming’ ”

    DoD will always war game to be ready for anything. I’m not sure what significance you’re drawing from that.

    I’m sure they look at everything but a big factor would be logistically supporting an attack in China’s back yard. Certainly the US has S. Korea, Japan, and Guam in the theater, but China has their 10 man-made islands in the South China Sea that in essence serve as unsinkable aircraft carriers. Geography favors China. They have more ships in their Navy; though our ships are unquestionably more technically capable. If the chip fab facilities are feared to be destroyed or lost. you would figure much of the world will rally against China and support the fight. Alliances favor the US, especially with Russia pre-disposed and the Philippines aren’t really in a position to pick wrong. We likely lead in submarine tech, military satellites, cyber, and unmanned vehicles, but China is catching up…especially with missiles and cyber. I’m not arguing that we would lose….eventually we would get an advantage but at high cost…..and with the specter of nuclear weapons being used to change the calculus. Probably no one wins.

    A USMC LT is maybe 25 years old…..I’m sure he is a hard charger….but maybe find someone who has a longer perspective and can bring in the uncertainty of war as well

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  338. @335. Oh, Appalled:

    Confucius Say Man On Top Of Hill Not On Level:

    Biden takes veiled swipe at China in condemning Russia backers on Ukraine

    WASHINGTON/BEIJING, Feb 24 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said any country that backed Russia’s onslaught in Ukraine would be “stained by association,” after China rejected calling Moscow’s move an invasion and instead urged all sides to exercise restraint… Some geopolitical analysts said Russia’s action could embolden China over Taiwan, a democratically governed island Beijing says is part of China and has vowed to reclaim by force, if necessary.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-rejects-calling-russia-move-invasion-urges-citizens-ukraine-stay-home-2022-02-24/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  339. @340. A USMC LT is maybe 25 years old…

    Maybe you really shouldn’t make suppositions like that… but it’s quaint.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  340. And here we are… saddled with the So Called Ruler of the United States.

    SCROTUS was last seen at his podium, staring blankly into space and picking his teeth.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  341. @335/@340

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/us/politics/us-china-russia-ukraine.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

    After one diplomatic exchange in December, U.S. officials got intelligence showing Beijing had shared the information with Moscow, telling the Russians that the United States was trying to sow discord — and that China would not try to impede Russian plans and actions, the officials said. The previously unreported talks between American and Chinese officials show how the Biden administration tried to use intelligence findings and diplomacy to persuade a superpower it views as a growing adversary to stop the invasion of Ukraine, and how that nation, led by President Xi Jinping, persistently sided with Russia even as the evidence of Moscow’s plans for a military offensive grew over the winter.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  342. 334.

    There is nothing valuable that Taiwan has that Xi can get by force.

    Yes there is.

    Refutations of lies about Chinese history and culture.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  343. And also: A counter-example.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  344. @343. Wait ’til you view the SCOTUS ‘hostage’ video, Colonel. Masked nominee and VP appear rigidly bound and gagged.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  345. Financial losses for Putin’s oligarchs:

    The escalated sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union on Putin and his cronies have already exacted a significant toll. Business Insider (“Russia’s richest 22 billionaires have lost $39 billion in one day after the invasion of Ukraine“):

    Apparently, investors think Putin has blundered.

    (As I write, the Dow Jones is up more than 2 percent for the day.)

    I don’t believe that investors, as a group, have unique insights — but they are putting their own money on the line. I would be mildly impressed if some of this site’s trolls were doing the same thing.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  346. https://www.newser.com/story/317409/ukraine-leader-to-putin-lets-sit-down.html

    This all began when Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Vladimir Putin in a video on Friday: “There are fights all over the country,” he said, per the Washington Post. “Let’s sit down.” A Kremlin spokesman responded by saying Russia was willing to send a delegation to Belarus for a sit-down, provided Ukraine would agree to “demilitarization” as one of the pre-conditions, per the BBC.

    Zelensky had said he was “not afraid” to discuss a possible “neutral status” for Ukraine, [like Austria in 1955, and even till now, but the problem is this won’t help – it only put Putin on the spot on this issue – SF] perhaps one in which it would pledge not to join NATO, but he gave no sign he would consider demilitarization, notes the BBC.

    The AP puts it this way: “The Kremlin accepted Kyiv’s offer to hold talks, but it appeared to be an effort to squeeze concessions out of Ukraine’s embattled president instead of a gesture toward a diplomatic solution.”

    Adding to the uncertainty: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov then suggested that it was too late for talks and that Zelensky should have agreed to them earlier. As of Friday afternoon, it appeared the two sides had stopped communicating about the idea, per the New York Times.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  347. nk (1d9030) — 2/25/2022 @ 5:11 am

    I expected hyperbole. If Putin is going to genocide, rape, pillage, etc., he’ll do it regardless.

    “C’mon fellas, let’s let the thieves inside our house, and then let them take everything they want. It’s the last thing they’ll expect us to do. That’s how we win!” – Demosthenes (3fd56e) — 2/25/2022 @

    What a lazy mis-characterization for you to make, Demos. This is unworthy of you.

    So you do agree with me after giving it some thought. The French resistance IS being meek. Ukraine, the Government, is not going to win against such a superior force. Their best bet is to preserve what they can. Then the people of Ukraine, can organize their resistance. Play the long game.

    felipe (484255)

  348. 348. Jim Miller (406a93) — 2/25/2022 @ 11:23 am

    Apparently, investors think Putin has blundered.

    I think he just doesn’t care.

    Analyss were taken by surprise – they can’t figure out why. I think we don’t have the information that could tell us why, but a good possibility is a false belief on the part of Putin.

    And if we don’t know how Ukraine could endanger his rule, he is not about to tell anyone.

    I don’t believe that investors, as a group, have unique insights — but they are putting their own money on the line.

    Most of them are managing other people’s money, but then on the other hand, many get a percentage of their gains. Even taxed at capital gains rates

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/carriedinterest.asp

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  349. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/25/2022 @ 9:57 am

    With age, comes clarity. We may be ancient, DCSCA, but we’re still standing.

    felipe (484255)

  350. https://www.newser.com/story/317405/ex-president-picks-up-rifle-joins-kyiv-defenders.html

    Like most men his age in former Soviet countries, former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko spent time in the military as a young man. The 56-year-old has now picked up a Kalashnikov again to defend Ukraine’s capital from Russian invaders. Poroshenko, who left office in 2019, told CNN Friday that Vladimir Putin is “simply crazy.” “Everybody should understand, Putin declared a war not for Ukraine. Putin declared a war to the whole world,” he said. Russian troops entered the outskirts of Kyiv Friday. Poroshenko, who spoke surrounded by other defenders, said his battalion was about 1.5 miles from the fighting.

    ….Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelensky urged citizens to resist the invasion and told the military to “stand strong” in a speech early Friday. He also told EU leaders that “this might be the last time you see me alive” as he requested more help, per Axios. Putin, meanwhile, urged Ukraine’s military on Friday to overthrow the government. The Guardian reports that the Russian leader was “visibly angry” during a televised address in which he described the country’s leaders as a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis” who have “taken hostage the entire Ukrainian people.” …

    Don;t say Putin was angry. Say he was acting well.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  351. Kevin M (38e250) — 2/25/2022 @ 10:01 am

    Sigh.

    felipe (484255)

  352. Biden seems pre-occupied with winning an argument he is no danger of losing – that Russia is in the wrong. He’s also more interested in positioning the U.S. and Allies than in dong anything practical.

    It’s all hand waving.

    That doesn;’t mean that some lower rnkng people aren’t tying anything anyway/

    There are instances in history of a superior army being turned back. Finland. The Maccabees. More.

    And the Russian military is weaker than you might think.

    His army could be effectively destroyed. One problem is, you wouldn’t want to leave Putin only with nuclear weapons.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  353. Contrary to wghat I thought at first, places n the far west of Ukraine have been attacked. But maybe only with missiles. Well, also a local airfield in the Lutsk region.

    Russi appears to be trying to prevent re-supply

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  354. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 2/25/2022 @ 11:04 am

    Hi, Colonel! Good to read your comments again; they add spice.

    felipe (484255)

  355. This is going about like I said it would in earlier posts. Biden will whine and say shame on you putin. Republicans will call him weak. The neo-con vietnam war draft dodging chicken hawk warmongers will do every thing ;but pick up a gun and form another abraham lincoln brigade to go fight. Defense contractors will make money. In other words SSDD! People in ukraine will fight and die. Tanks have problems fighting in built up urban areas like hue and baghdad. A house by house defense of kiev will be a mini stalingrad. Any volunteers?

    asset (ceaf98)

  356. Thanks, felipe. Hope all is well with you and yours.

    I only note that most of the usual lefty simp pathetics what gather here have gone to ground…

    Whether it’s a confab on talking points creation or pillow biting, may they get well soon.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  357. So you do agree with me after giving it some thought. The French resistance IS being meek. Ukraine, the Government, is not going to win against such a superior force. Their best bet is to preserve what they can. Then the people of Ukraine, can organize their resistance. Play the long game.

    Nah! I don’t agree with you. I agree with “Russian warship, go f*** yourself”.

    And, anyway, aren’t you supposed to believe

    Anyone destined for captivity goes into captivity.
    Anyone destined to be slain by the sword shall be slain by the sword.
    Such is the faithful endurance of the holy ones.
    Revelation 13:10 (USCCB)?

    What’s all this resistance stuff?

    nk (1d9030)

  358. Except Taiwan itself.

    We’ll tip it over on the way out.

    But seriously, a smidgen more land and a bunch more mouths to feed? Without the tech infrastructure, the value is debatable.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  359. The proper game for the Ukrainians is to make this cost Russia dearly. Every Russian death hurts Putin, and there are no Russians laying down their lives for Vlad.

    Then, hopefully, someone finds Biden’s balls, and they put absolute sanctions (There is Russia, there is everything else. GFY) on Putin until he falls. And he will fall — what he is doing is bad for business. My only concern is a second Holdomor.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  360. @361. LOL

    … the value is debatable.

    ‘Seward’s Folly’, eh.

    Then you won’t be bothered when they go ahead and take it anyway.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  361. Ukraine’s western side borders nato countries just like afganistan borders pakistan as America and russia found out the hard way. Trump supposedly told putin he would blow up moscow if putin invaded ukraine over at ace blog. ( so you have to consider the source)

    asset (ceaf98)

  362. U.S. expected to impose sanctions on Putin as soon as today, sources tell CNN

    ‘The US is planning to impose sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin as soon as Friday, according to two people familiar with the decision. The Russian leader will become the highest-profile target in the effort to impose costs on the Russian economy and Putin’s inner circle in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Additional Russian officials are likely to be included, one of the people said.’ -cnn.com

    What the hell is Biden waiting for? This package should have been prepped to drop weeks ago.

    Oh. Right. The Confluence of Incompetence.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  363. The part you quoted was for Demos. But yes, the Scripture you quote is pretty obvious, even to atheist.

    “What’s all this resistance stuff?”

    I know, right?

    Oh, wait…

    felipe (484255)

  364. Ukraine’s western side borders nato countries just like afganistan borders pakistan as America and russia found out the hard way. Trump supposedly told putin he would blow up moscow if putin invaded ukraine over at ace blog.

    Mary Poppins vs. Tony Soprano; that’s about as close to him saying, ‘I’ll kill you.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  365. During the korean war chinese volunteers intervened at chosen reservoir. Putin would not be happy if biden grew a pair and called for volunteers like the flying tigers and abraham lincoln brigade.

    asset (ceaf98)

  366. A New York Times editorial today (apparently including a fact) gave an insight into Chinese policy regarding its policy regarding Russia and Ukraine:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/opinion/putin-biden-ukraine-russia.html

    …The world inadvertently caught a glimpse when official guidance to the media on how to treat the Russian invasion was briefly posted online. A senior editor at Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, wrote on social media that China has to give Russia emotional and moral support but to refrain from “treading on the toes” of the United States and the E.U. In the future, the editor added revealingly, China will need Russia’s support on Taiwan, the independent island-state Beijing is determined to bring under its control.

    Of course, the guidance and the censorship is also a secret. But somebody stumbled.

    This is apparently the screenshot (in Chinese) timestamped 2022-02-21 20:56 (Chinese time?)

    https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/SEBdF_Ty3oMT5n7v8E4J1Q

    This guidance may also contain lies. That is, not give the full, or correct, reason But the approach they are to take in public should be genuine.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  367. Apparently, investors think Putin has blundered.

    Depends on your POV; he ‘blundered’ into a helluva rich real estate deal: for starters, breadbasket/mineral-cached Ukraine is roughly the size of Texas.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  368. Professor Joyner also linked to this Paul Krugman column:

    Filip Novokment, Thomas Piketty and Gabriel Zucman have pointed out that Russia has run huge trade surpluses every year since the early 1990s, which should have led to a large accumulation of overseas assets. Yet official statistics show Russia with only moderately more assets than liabilities abroad. How is that possible? The obvious explanation is that wealthy Russians have been skimming off large sums and parking them abroad.

    The sums involved are mind-boggling. Novokment et al estimate that in 2015 the hidden foreign wealth of rich Russians amounted to around 85 percent of Russia’s G.D.P. To give you some perspective, this is as if a U.S. president’s cronies had managed to hide $20 trillion in overseas accounts. Another paper co-written by Zucman found that in Russia, “the vast majority of wealth at the top is held offshore.” As far as I can tell, the overseas exposure of Russia’s elite has no precedent in history — and it creates a huge vulnerability that the West can exploit.

    And Krugman claims that we — the US and our allies — can seize most of those assets bought with stolen money.

    (Those who have been planning to buy a yacht may want to wait a year or so, when all those assets bought with stolen money start going up for auction. And there may soon be relative bargains available in London real estate, soon.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  369. Sanctions? Sanctions?? Sanctions???

    Any specifics????

    “Zee American Express Card; don’t leave Moscow without it!” – Vladimir Putin 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  370. “Maybe you really shouldn’t make suppositions like that… but it’s quaint.”

    What I don’t have to suppose is 2LT – LT – CAPT – MAJ – LtCol – Gen. He’s a junior officer. If he’s prior enlisted and went through OCS, could be a bit older…but still a junior officer. I have a finger for you to pull if you think an LT is making consequential strategic decisions about war with China…whatever his age.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  371. FBN reports as of today, the United States is still buying Russian oil.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  372. @373. Keep trying, AJ.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  373. Russia’s GDP is, according to a quick Google search, about 1.5 trillion US dollars. Eighty percent of that is 1.2 trillion. I think we should aim to seize at least 1 trillion of those overseas assets bought with stolen Russian money. That would pay for a lot of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

    In contrast, Ukraine’s GDP is about 156 billion (and will be less after the war, however long it goes on. And, occupation troops aren’t cheap, so, even if Putin manages to conquer Ukraine, Russians will still lose, heavily. Including many of his oligarchs.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  374. @376. What price “Texas”??

    You know, there may be another facet to this; Nic and I were chatting about it last night- he may be ill. Putin wants to secure a legacy and that ‘return to the USSR’ thing, and he’ll be 70 this October. Making this move now could have less to do w/t perception of Biden’s fecklessness and more to do w/Vlad’s own physicality. He may have tumor or some other medical issue that limits the time he has left and wants to get on with his dreams before his dreams come to an end.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  375. Kevin; you’re right about the markets having this already ‘baked in’- the DJI is up 834 today; gold tumbled another $35/oz today- that’s a $70/oz drop in two days or so.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  376. Oh, and there may soon be some condos in Florida for sale, at bargain prices, too. (Felipe can probably fill us in on where they are concentrated.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  377. Ukraine asks for cease fire and peace talks. (faux news)

    asset (ceaf98)

  378. Send in Vindman

    mg (8cbc69)

  379. The United tates seems to have known something wold happen at about 11L39 om Wednesday night Ukraine time. That;s when some reporters heard and Zelensky made a televised address to Russia at 2 am. Why they knew? It might have been too many orders impossibele to cancel or orders for things that didn”t need followu orders.

    The invasion – or missile atacks which were the first thing – may have taken a little bit longer than expected to et rolling.

    Putin;s speech was broadcast less than an hour before it began.

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  380. Wondering if the rooskies have mobile crematoriums so they can fix the books on dead red soldiers?

    mg (8cbc69)

  381. Biden the Idiot™ sanctions government people, as if this matters. Those guys are invested completely in this invasion; if it fails they die. They will laugh at your sanctions, then pay the premium to get around them.

    What you need to do is threaten the billionaires with ruin. Block all exports of oil, gas and raw materials and cut them off financially. The Big Buys will cave and bring you Putin’s head on a platter; they don’t give a crap about politics, all they care about is money.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  382. *Big Guys

    Kevin M (38e250)

  383. Then you won’t be bothered when they go ahead and take it anyway.

    Hell, no. I own a lot of Intel stock.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  384. Oh. Right. The Confluence of Incompetence.

    Sanctioning Putin is utterly useless. It’s a cosmetic act, there only to fool fools. Putin. Doesn’t. Care.

    If this invasion fails, Putin is dead, so these sanctions have no use. OTOH, if Putin is dead, the invasion fails, so that’s angle to play. Make the crooks and oligarchs see their businesses disrupted by sanctions, and they will do our work for us.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  385. Jim @376:

    Yes. Putin only gets to play as long as the oil and gas boys are making money. When that stops they will do whatever it takes to get it started again. Seizing their foreign holdings may hurry that, but there IS a problem doing that lawlessly.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  386. (Biden is) also more interested in positioning the U.S. and Allies than in dong anything practical.

    Such as?

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  387. I only note that most of the usual lefty simp pathetics what gather here have gone to ground…

    Or they have lives beyond posting on forums.

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  388. Headline News Rip Taylor!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  389. RIP Ukranian Marine Vitaly Skakun… what a courageous man!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  390. He’s no Bearclaw!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  391. Taiwan has a large standing army and airforce.

    The Taiwanese army is a joke.
    ………
    Soldiers, strategists and government officials in Taiwan and the U.S. say the island’s military is riven with internal problems, many of which have built up over years of calm and economic prosperity and now are eating away at Taiwan’s ability to deter China.

    Among the most pressing concerns are poor preparation and low morale among the roughly 80,000 Taiwanese who are conscripted each year and the nearly 2.2 million reservists.
    …….

    Adding to unease among Taiwanese and U.S. officials are major investments by China’s armed forces. With a military budget 13 times the size of Taiwan’s, China now has more than one million ground troops, according to Pentagon estimates. Taiwan’s military has shrunk to 187,660 active-duty soldiers, from 275,000 in 2011.

    This year, China put into service its first ship capable of launching armored troop-carriers, hovercraft and helicopters for amphibious assaults. It held drills simulating sea crossings and beach landings, and has fielded rocket artillery systems with the range to strike Taiwanese targets, according to Pentagon reports.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  392. More on the Taiwanese “army”:

    Taiwan used to require about two years of mandatory service for men. It now requires four months. After that, they become reservists, with some, though not all, called up again every one or two years for a refresher course that usually lasts five to seven days. The period will be extended to two weeks beginning next year. Plans to phase out conscription entirely have been stalled by difficulties in attracting volunteers.

    Rip Murdock (d67a00)

  393. The world is going to hell.

    Joe is going to Delaware.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  394. “Keep trying, AJ.”

    Why? I made my point.

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  395. Dana – Here’s a cartoon for you. Not everyone will like it, but I think it expresses the feelings many of us have.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  396. Biden seems pre-occupied with winning an argument he is no danger of losing – that Russia is in the wron

    lol Sammy, good point.

    I guess we all knew this was coming the moment Biden said he would tolerate a limited incursion. He’s incredibly ineffective.

    I figured it would happen when Trump was bowing and worshiping Putin, building him up like he did North Korea and the Taliban.

    Obama was even worse with Russia than Trump was.

    It’s been a very long time since America had a good leader. Instead of the world worrying what China will do, it would be nice if the USA was thinking about her own interests and blowing up some Iranian WMD factories while Russia can’t possibly do a thing about it. There’s sanctions too I guess, but really, there are geopolitical things the USA can do with Russia totally unable to stop them, and there is zero chance they will. Stuff like that is part of China’s calculations these days.

    America has been polluted with dumb social media and hysterical partisans. We are forcing our own decline despite remaining the greatest nation, with the most potential. I pray for a correction.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  397. All hail DCSCA’s Marine Lieutenant neighbor, whose knowledge of China and Taiwan is unparalelled!

    I’ve lived in Beijing, have been to my ex-wife’s country of Taiwan several times, and speak fluent Chinese, but I don’t know anything.

    norcal (5948da)

  398. @399. Prattle on, AJ

    @402. ‘I’ve lived in Beijing, have been to my ex-wife’s country of Taiwan several times, and speak fluent Chinese, but I don’t know anything.’

    You said it, norcal.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  399. You can lead a DCSCA to water, but…

    norcal (5948da)

  400. he’s so mad

    Anyway, part of saving America is appreciating how great it is, right now, with all the BS. It’s still great. Worth loving and protecting from the partisans and the nutcases.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  401. Hear, hear, Dustin! Yes, the U.S. is still a great place. It’s a continual source of amazement to me just how well our country works, in spite of the partisans, nutcases, and poorly-educated people.

    norcal (5948da)

  402. @406. P.K.B.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  403. @310. DC, a Putin flunkie lost his toy because he’s a Putin flunkie. That sends a message to Putin’s other flunkies.

    Mary Poppins sanctions, Paul. It has to be Tony Soprano sanctions to send the message:

    This is why you SINK THE DAMN YACHT:

    https://nypost.com/2022/02/25/russian-tank-maliciously-crushes-civilian-car-with-driver-inside/

    Fortunately the driver survived. His car didn’t- because it got yachted, Tony Soprano-style.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  404. I say we hashtag the “F” out of Putin

    steveg (e81d76)

  405. “Wasn’t Hitler’s blitzkrieg across Europe amazing?”

    Yes it was. And it doesn’t make me a Hitler facist loving TrumPutinerzer for saying so. Ask the Poles, Danes, English and French.

    steveg (e81d76)

  406. I never wanted a yacht before:
    “It’s really more like a workboat, complete with crane and possibly a small submarine, refitted with a nice upper deck to look like a yacht. The Russian Navy has apparently been taking older ships like this and selling them to oligarchs who then put a hot tub on the heliopad and a bar and carpeting in the ship’s mess” Russian figure skaters as crew I hope.

    steveg (e81d76)

  407. You’d have to use a captured Russian cruise missile to take out Putin for the plausible deniability.
    My guess is they are hard to come by

    steveg (e81d76)

  408. I say we hashtag the “F” out of Putin

    LOL

    Summed up my thoughts really well. A whole lot of folks on twitter and facebook stating the obvious, just loudly. A lot of the stories out of Ukraine are not true. Obviously Russia is the bad guy, and Ukraine the victim, but that doesn’t make Ukraine a trustworthy government apparently.

    Dustin (47bccc)

  409. Ari Onassis’s yacht was a surplused out WWII Canadian submarine chaser. North Sea trawlers have always been popular for conversion to yachts because they’re already extremely seaworthy.

    nk (1d9030)

  410. The best deterrent is often similar to video of dogs fighting over your dead next to your burning vehicles.

    steveg (e81d76)

  411. Dustin (47bccc) — 2/26/2022 @ 4:55 pm

    Obviously Russia is the bad guy, and Ukraine the victim, but that doesn’t make Ukraine a trustworthy government apparently.

    The casualty figures don;t seen right – underestimated or limited to very officially recorded for Ukrainians, and overestimated for Russian soldiers, Zelensky also said he is in Kyiv by showing video of him and others important in his government in front of an important government building. (that he was within city limits is probably true for thaat moment) He rejected an offer to be evacuated from Kyiv (probably to another city) but saying the fight is in Kyiv.

    This is probably driven by fear of a loss of confidence like that in South Vietnam in 1975, Or France in 1940 or Afghanistan in 2021. This is a worry but really less than it was in other places and times.

    There’s also too much bravado, and they don’t need every last soldier. No need to play partisan. Things are not at that stage, and this is almost pretending it is. If it made sense, this calling for any male civilian and this handing out of arms would make sense in case Putin tried too set up a puppet government, but so far there is no sign of it. And they are holding on to all major cities.

    The Russian invasion is floundering. They are even probably getting ready to ask for a ceasefire.

    It’s something to take, provided resupply is allowed and some other ways to benefit from the break.

    They could also add to it some discussions about exchange of prisoners (to incentivize the Russian military to support that the ceasefire be kept longer. Maybe some sanctions could be held off or reversed for a few days on the condition the ceasefire has hold for a few days. (it doesn’t matter if Putin can temporarily hold on to some more of his money.)

    Russia will break it, or should be expected to. It might take five or six ceasefires to get one that lasts for at least many months. But an agreement, in fact several successive agreements, if carefully negotiated, can strengthen the Ukrainian position more than the Russia. Putin doesn’t understand the problems with his army.

    A succession of ceasefire plus agreements may be the only way, short of overturning the Russian government, which can happen, and if it did it might be over almost right away, but it can’t be the only hope to get Russia to leave Ukraine alone.

    Putin has got to get used to it. (He won’t give up all at once)
    .

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  412. My cynical side wonders if arming civilians is to goad russians into shooting into apartment buildings etc.
    Logistic vehicles are lightly armored and the troops escorting them might use heavy weapons to shut down AK47 fire and/or molotov cocktails dropped from rooftops. If I’m a conscript or even an enlistee that doesn’t really support this action, I still will defend my men with the means at hand

    steveg (e81d76)

  413. Any news on how the Vindmans flight into Poland was? Were there enough meals? Did the bathroom in first class get overloaded?
    Maybe they are waiting for that NIL sponsorship from Oscar Meyer so they can take the Weinermobile to Ukraine and start kicking butt

    steveg (e81d76)

  414. I thought the number of troops surrounding Ukraine was underestimated because it did not include Belarus.

    Now a U.S. official says that Belarus is preparing to send troops into Ukraine maybe as soon as Monday. (New York Post)

    Sammy Finkelman (46ec7d)

  415. Some Russian troops surrendered in Kharkiv the other day – threw weapons into the street. They were actually pushed back a little.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)


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