X Close

Our Russia strategy has backfired Biden is more likely to be toppled

Wonder what his energy bills are like. (YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Wonder what his energy bills are like. (YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)


June 24, 2022   5 mins

Whatever the origins of the Ukraine war, the West and Russia are now engaged in a broader confrontation that is not confined to the military struggle: the war has become a competition in pain-tolerance.

This is, as Thomas Schelling wrote, “a conscious process of dirty bargaining”, whereby each side tries to inflict pain and suffering on the other side until one or both yield. Put simply, the West and Russia are playing a violent version of the schoolyard game Mercy. The centrepiece of the West’s effort to inflict pain on Russia is what the historian Nicholas Mulder has called “the economic weapon”, which has been deployed at unprecedented scale. The centrepiece of Russia’s effort to inflict pain on the West is the commodities weapon. In this competition in pain-tolerance, it is not immediate whether the West or Russia has the upper hand.

The West unleashed the economic weapon with considerable fanfare. Russia, with a GDP smaller than South Korea, was treated not as a great power adversary but as a rogue stake akin to Iran — a nuisance that could be rather effortlessly strangled through the unrestrained use of Western sanctions. Great hope was placed on the idea that these sanctions would inflict such catastrophic pain on Russia as to undermine the Putin regime.

These hopes and expectations were based on wishful thinking. Non-Western powers — China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa — simply refused to play along with the West. They appeared more worried by the West’s weaponisation of the dollar system than by Russian aggression against Ukraine. Even more importantly, Western leaders were gravely mistaken in their idea that Russia was a second-rate power that could be simply crushed with the economic weapon.

This idea was inconsistent with any clear-eyed evaluation of the facts. The Red Army was the strongest land army in the world from the mid-Thirties to the late-Eighties, and by the early 2000s, Putin had revived the Russian army following a brief period of disinvestment and neglect. The Russian army has seen action in a series of small wars since Putin came to power, demonstrating operational and tactical competence.

Thanks to its nuclear arsenal, Russia has enjoyed strategic parity with the United States since the late Seventies, which has allowed it to deter more direct US intervention in the Ukraine war. President Biden has wisely ruled out sending US combat forces to directly engage Russian forces. And despite a botched invasion plan, the baseline scenario for the Ukraine war remains an outright Russian victory. If that happens, the Ukraine war will look in retrospect very much like the Winter War of 1939-1940, in which, despite many early reversals and heavy losses inflicted by the Finns, the Soviet steamroller ultimately prevailed through sheer material superiority.

Russian GDP may be small, but Russia is, together with the United States, one of the only two states in the international system that can survive relatively unscathed in complete autarchy. Indeed, Russia is not dependent on the world for hard-to-replace stuff — the world is dependent on Russia. It supplies a significant fraction of the world’s energy, metals, fertilisers, and food.

The upshot is that the West’s economic war on Russia is generating tremendous blowback in the form of sky-high commodities prices and the mother of all inflationary shocks to the world economy. Just like imposing an economic blockade on Saudi Arabia is a recipe for self-harm, trying to economically strangulate Russia is a fool’s errand. The breakdown of Russo-Western relations has generated a food crisis, an energy crisis, and a broad-based inflationary shock the likes of which we haven’t seen since the oil price shocks of the Seventies. So, the Russo-Western confrontation is extremely costly for the world at large. Meanwhile, Russia’s coffers are overflowing from commodities exports. So much for the economic weapon.

It is not just that imposing costs on Russia is very costly to the West and the rest of the world. With Western opinion leaders fantasising about Russia after Putin, it pays to be clear-eyed about regime stability on both sides. Russia is what Jeffrey Winters calls a “Sultanistic oligarchy” — a political economy characterised, above all, by the need to temper conflict between oligarchs through the concentration of power in the hands of one man. China is also a Sultanistic oligarchy. The difference between Russia and China is that, while Putin faces a small and stable number of oligarchs, China’s oligarchy is constantly growing in size, wealth, and power. The stability of the Russian oligarchy endows the Putin regime with considerable stamina. No serious Russian analyst believes it to be at risk of collapse, no matter what the West dishes out.

The contrast with the West couldn’t be starker. The Biden administration and the Democrats look set to crash and burn on the shoals of inflation. The president’s approval rating has sunk below 40%. Democrats will almost surely lose control of Congress come November. Of course, other issues condition Democrat fortunes. But it can hardly be denied that the greatest threat to the Democrats is inflation. And inflation is at least partly under Putin’s control — he can turn the knob up and down to maximise the delivery of pain to the West.

In fact, considerably more than the Democrat’s performance in November is at stake. Biden’s wager on Ukraine is running the risk that the Democrats could be locked out of power for the rest of the decade. That would, among other things, put the US energy transition at risk. No doubt Putin will do all he can to replace Biden with Trump. He may very well succeed. Instead of the West engineering a regime change in Russia, it is Russia that is likely to succeed in engineering a regime change in the United States. Is there any way to avoid this nightmare scenario?

Again, we must be clear-eyed: the source of the problem is Western misperception of Russian weakness. American Russia policy is based on the assumption that Russia is weak and the West strong. But, as we’ve seen, this assumption is unwarranted. In terms of what we can dish out to him and what he can dish out to us, it is Putin who has the upper hand.

The United States, and the West more generally, have committed to supporting Ukraine as it fights for its existence against Russia. It is not politically possible for Washington to throw the Ukrainians under the bus, even if doing so made sense from the perspective of cold-hearted realism.

Washington is gearing up for a protracted struggle intended to bleed Russia through proxy war in Ukraine and with the liberal use of the economic weapon. This policy is premised on the idea that time is on the West’s side. This assumption, like the assumption of Russian weakness, is wrong. If Putin has the upper hand in the competition in pain-tolerance, then time is on his side. With his current policy, Biden is running a significant risk that the US, instead of Russia, will be destabilised politically. The correlation of forces calls for a different foreign policy. What might that look like?

The Ukrainian struggle has won the hearts and minds of the West. But Ukrainian interests are not necessarily congruent with American or Western interests. Moreover, as paymasters, armorers and tactical intelligence providers, the Americans enjoy considerable leverage over the Ukrainians. A hard-nosed policy would use this leverage to get the Ukrainians to the bargaining table sooner rather than later, and possibly much sooner than the Ukrainians would prefer.

A Western peace policy would seek to, first of all, get the warring parties to begin negotiating as soon as possible. Second, it would clearly set out what the US seeks from a negotiated diplomatic settlement. At a minimum, it should seek a Ukraine free from Russian coercion and free to seek non-military relations with the West. Third, the West must concede that Ukraine will never be part of the Western military alliance. Indeed, the point of departure for productive diplomacy is Ukrainian neutrality. The details should be left to the two warring parties.

Credibly backed by the West, the Ukrainians will not necessarily have the weaker hand in their negotiations with the Russians. The West has demonstrated that it can impose large costs on the Russians. But the Russians have also demonstrated their capacity to inflict pain on the West. With these demonstrations, the door is now open for a diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine war. The United States will find that there is considerable support at home and abroad for a principled peace policy that does right by the Ukrainians without destroying Western political economy in the process.


Anusar Farooqui is a writer and analyst who blogs at Policy Tensor.

policytensor

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

185 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Andrew Allan
Andrew Allan
1 year ago

Regime change in the US a nightmare strategy? Greater than 60% of US citizens disagree. The Biden administration is systematically destroying the US without any help from Putin.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Allan

But what about the energy transition? Won’t someone please think of the energy transition?

(And I love the idea that a US administration being held accountable for economic problems and replaced with the other side is ‘regime change’ in the sense our thinktankers were talking about back in March).

Su Mac
Su Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

And what could be better for energy transition than running out of the bad old stuff haha.

Amos Sullivan
Amos Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

Remember oil from Saudi Arabia or Venezuela does not affect climate change.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Allan

Anyone who is even partially awake can see how rotten Biden’s “regime” is, including lifelong Democrats and international lefties of many and various descriptions. The poor man is obviously suffering from senile dementia and is in no fit state to be “leading” what we might euphemistically refer to as the “free world”. His “regime” has been captured by private interests. That Trump is a lying, cheating, narcissistic, misogynistic, greedy, simplistic, dimwitted philistine is beside the point. At least he is nakedly self-interested, a wolf in wolf’s clothing.

Live not by lies.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

However useless you think the current government is in the States, it clearly isn’t a regime as in a few years you’ll be able to vote to remove them for the opposition. The same can’t be said for Putin

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

We can vote for whoever we want, but it won’t be able to change the neocon/neoliberal policies of the deep state.

The Empire is here to stay, no matter who we vote for.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

Far too defeatist. Did Trump make a difference, in your view?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Right, because Trump’s administration behaved just like Biden’s.

Amos Sullivan
Amos Sullivan
1 year ago

Which is why it really is time for a real revolution.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I sympathise to some extent with that view. And I don’t want to live in Putin’s Russia – he’s a despicable pathetic little man with a massive ego who is responsible for so much misery and death. But it is no longer the case that there is a level political playing field in the States or in Western Europe. You can’t vote, in the UK or the US, for a genuine alternative to the horrorshow presented by our mainstream politicians because they are all suffering for the same awful delusion that they can make things better within the paradigm that they grown up. I don’t believe that they can. Maybe I am wrong. But there lies, I believe, the most fundamental fault line of our whole society and politics.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

That’s largely a fault of the electoral systems used. Perhaps switching to PR instead of FPTP would make it easier for smaller parties to have some influence and allow the vote to spread instead of bulking up the major ones?

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I wish I could agree that such a solution could be that simple. It isn’t the voting system. It’s the broader socio-cultural-economic-political system in which we are all bound up. It’s going to require some brave souls to summon some courage to challenge and reverse the slide into delinquency that our society is now on, but I (have to) believe it can be done.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The much-lauded Germany has PR and is making the most moronic and almighty mess of its energy policy! Net Zero, but getting rid of nuclear because……. Germany lies on a well known unstable geological fault line..?! – Oh it doesn’t…? Well nuclear is just ‘howible’, and responsible for Hiroshima (or some such utter garbage).

Germany has become in essence an energy satrapy of Russia, with a few decorative wind farms! (Ok, that is a slight exaggeration, but since wind doesn’t blow all the time, not by much).

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Veronica Clevenger
Veronica Clevenger
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Germany is worried about Putin shutting down Nord Stream 1, and not restarting it,

Joe Padilla
Joe Padilla
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It clearly isn’t a regime? How do you figure? Because ours is “elected” by insecure mail in ballots? And those ballots are tabulated by machines without even basic data security and are not NIST compliant? And are connected to the internet?

Nobody takes a governments integrity, they give it away. And then they are a regime, not a government.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

I think it is going a bit too far to say Trump’s character as a recent and prospective President of the United States is exactly ‘besides the point’. In fact despite his adulation by his ‘base’, he has weakened the conservative opposition to Woke Left insanity in the US. You could add ‘untrustworthy’ to the charge list as he showed no loyalty of any kind to people on his own side. De Santis though might be a much better bet.

ken rogers
ken rogers
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Allan

100%. The results are undeniable. Biden is the bulldozer of America

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Allan

It isn’t “regime” change though; it’s a change in government by voters. Further, there is no “regime” in the U.S. That term should be reserved for anti-democratic dictatorships.

Vlad Ginsburg
Vlad Ginsburg
1 year ago

I’d like to clarify at least one thing I completely disagree with in this article

Russian GDP may be small, but Russia is, together with the United States, one of the only two states in the international system that can survive relatively unscathed in complete autarchy.” Seriously? 

As another commentator already mentioned, Russia is expecting a 15% fall if GDP. I’ve seen official estimation of fall of 7.8%, but I believe it’s downplaying. But even 7.8% is a huge impact, not “relatively unscathed”.

But let’s take a look in some examples:
– russian car industry now produces just around 15% of what they did just several month before. Reason is that lack western electronics spare details. And China refused to help them. Now Russia is planning to build a new version of Lada Granta car – without ABS, EDS, airbags and all other electronics. Car that looks like from 2010s, but with perks from 1950s. This is the only option they have. It’s a collapse, not “relatively unscathed”
– russian air industry cannot produce planes at all. For the same reason: they hugely depends of western technologies. Now they have 2 passenger planse (SuperJet & МС-21), and both cannot be produced now. Because of it Russia is planning to revive soviet models, but it will take 5-10 year, and I doubt they will succeed (not least because salary of air industry engineers is no larger than the salary of average Moscow barista). It is an apocalypse I’d say. If current sanctions would last, in 5 years time they will not have planes to fly.
– printer paper. They cannot do a white A4 lists. They started to produce a brownish ones,. Many state offices now requires you to bring your own paper if you want them to print some certificates or something.
– In russia shop prices jumped on everything. According to official statistics, 15-20%. According to my friends personal experience – 50-120%
– todays news: “The situation in the Russian woodworking industry is close to “catastrophic”, said at a round table in the Federation Council” (Federation Council is Upper house of russian parliament).
– Russian main tank factory has stopped to work: no details they imported.
– Russia alsmost completely stopped to use against Ukrain its modern rockets (e.g. “Caliber”) because it cannot produce them without Taiwanese electronics, it switched to old soviet ones.

And these are just some, most visible problems. As I read russian Telegram channels and talk to people in forums, I see much more economic problems people begin to meet in their lifes. 

If someone really wants to know about Russian economics, this person should read articles of russian economists like Sergey Aleksashenko, Sergey Guriev (see the book “Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century”) or Konstantin Sonin. Though they all exiled, they try to be quite objective (especiall Sergey Aleksashenko)

To resume: Russia faces very (maybe extremely) serious economic consequences, but not immediately, they grow with each month. These are good news.

The bad news is that it will not stop Putin. He simply doesn’t care about how common people live. He has a very efficient security forces, and russian people are extremely compliant to the rulers (due to 500 hundreds years living with Stochholm syndrome).

But I believe these sanctions are absolutely necessary. They are for long game, not for a short one. Also, as I said, they already help ukranians because russian has to use ancient tanks T-62 and rockets X-55 instead of something modern.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

Interesting thank you. At a loss to understand the down votes.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

Yes: very interesting if true (and I’ve no reason to doubt you: you seem well researched).. so it’s basically the Laurel and Hardy sketch with the pair destroying the other guy’s property while he tears apart their car! Makes you wonder if the ‘elites’ aren’t complete fools? But then of course the outcome for the elites is likely to be entirely different from the outcome for the other 99%..

Vlad Ginsburg
Vlad Ginsburg
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

My numbers can be verified by googling. Though I’m not sure if there are enough analytics, e.g., about car/air industries in English (I’m getting information from Russian sources, both pro- and against Putin).
There are much more that this. e.g:

  • Russia has a huge problem with milk industry (https://www.dairyglobal.net/industry-and-markets/market-trends/sanctions-threaten-to-cripple-russian-dairy-sector/
  • a proper dentistry in many places became is 3-5 times more expensive (guess where did they take material for implants etc.)
  • building industry is greatly damaged
  • even agriculture sector is impacted: until the crisis I didn’t know how much it was depended on foreign seeds.
  • hi-tech: Russian has planned to advance their processors Baikal and Elbrus, but cannot do it now because they were manufactured in Taiwan.

etc. etc.
It’s a million of tiny (or not so tiny) punctures.

But it will not kill the Russian economics. In case if sanctions would continue, it will downgraded, will became noticeably less efficient, but it will survive. Russia will not become another Venezuela. More probably it will be another Iran.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

That’s a long post to state the obvious. In an integrated economy, a middle sized economy such as Russia would be brutally impacted by being cut off.

There are a couple of caveats in your argument.
Firstly, Russia have not yet retaliated – Energy, fertilizer, certain key inputs like Neon, Foodgrains. When and if they choose, it will be Armageddon for the global economy and especially Europe. Food and fuel (both which Russia is self sufficient in) are a bit more important than A4 papers and new cars.

Secondly, it’s also about appetite to withstand suffering.

Russians know what they need to do to get sanctions removed: accept a hostile NATO next door, accept historically Russian regions being pumelled into submission by people who admire Bandera, accept being treated with contempt as a nation.

And the West knows why Russia needs to be stopped: to support a corrupt, backward country far away from their borders, to fulfil their necon fantasies about cutting down Russia, and to stand up against “aggression” because they themselves would never launch unprovoked wars or kill civilians.. .. all of which definitely worth sitting a freezing house in the dark cold winter, I suppose.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

This is simply European history for the last 500 years.

Whoever tries to dominate gets obliterated. Ask Napoleon, the Kaiser and Adolf.

And since Russia failed to learn that harsh lesson after 1991, it looks to eventually end up like Germany in 1945.

Sorry, no second chances.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Mr Logan, clearly you’ve been living under a rock or something for the past 4 months. Best go back to bed and pull the rock or whatever over yourself as your capacity to process events in the real world seem way beyond your capacity. Sleep tight.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Henry, Josef and various Louis’s might beg to differ?

Su Mac
Su Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Add USA to that list. De-dollarisation, a move to a multipolar world and the end of the last “Western” empire is currently underway.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

A lot of false equivalences here. The ‘neocons’ (largely a boo word now) are not in power. The West’s interventions, however poorly thought through or executed, have not been undertaken with a view to the long term conquest of other countries, as is rather evidenced by the fact that the US is no longer in Iraq.

So many critics of the West and especially the United States miss a fundamental difference with its authoritarian adversaries: the United States really does see itself as a more enlightened and freedom loving civilization, and this is not just self delusion. Despite many foreign policy disasters I think it is pretty unquestionable that a world without it really would be a much worse one – dominated by some combination of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Mao’s China, perhaps theocratic Iran etc. Which killed hundreds of millions of people between them; we are not arguing about minutiae here.

I have still never heard a clear argument why the war to save South Korea (invaded by the North) was a good thing, but the one to save South Vietnam; (invaded by the North) was a terrible overreach by the US!

Jim Cheoros
Jim Cheoros
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Perhaps you should research the Monroe Doctrine. And maybe read General Smedley Butler’s essay “War is a Racket”.

“the United States really does see itself as a more enlightened and freedom loving civilization, and this is not just self delusion.”

How does a vast landmass “see itself”?
What you really mean is that many US citizens believe it is a more enlightened and freedom loving civilisation, but so what? US foreign policy isn’t run by the average US citizen, it’s run by a coterie of psychopaths, and, yes, Victoria Nuland – probably the single person most responsible for the Ukraine of today – and her Kagan clan really are neocons, and they are highly influential.
The US federal government is loathed around the world for very good reasons, reasons that the average American is unaware of because their corporate media covers up or spins their government’s most egregious acts. Why? Because the corporate media is a loss-leader for the MIC.
You can discover what the US is really all about if you like. The same impulse that led to the slaughter and dispossession of your indigenes never went away; it just moved offshore.

Anusar Farooqui
Anusar Farooqui
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The author here. This is a great question: “I have still never heard a clear argument why the war to save South Korea (invaded by the North) was a good thing, but the one to save South Vietnam; (invaded by the North) was a terrible overreach by the US!” Let me make an attempt.
South Vietnam was an artificial creation of the United States and France. The struggle against the Japanese had endowed Ho Chi Minh with people’s “mandate of heaven.” Diem was a corrupt strongman. He and his successors could not have survived without the US protection — they were at war with their own people whose allegiance lay north.
The invasion of South Korea by the North prompted a defensive war by the US. Kim Il-sung did not enjoy “mandate of heaven.” The early escalation of war aims were soon abandoned. The war was fought for limited aims — to restore the status quo ante. In that, it was more like the Gulf War than the Iraq war or Vietnam.
Not coincidentally, limited aims made for success and impossible goals (defending the West’s creation in Indochina and forging a Western democracy in Mesopotamia) for failure.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

Hi Anusar,
You made some good points but surely history tells us that united West can achieve victory against much stronger adversary.
Yes, Soviet Block was stronger than Russia but it collapsed by 1990.
Regan proved that Russia can not compete with the West in military terms.
We should increase military spending both conventional and nuclear and bring Russia to its knees.
Another important point your article gets wrong is energy prices.
Yes war contributed to increase but trend was up for years.
That was due to idiotic “net zero” policies.
However, my main disagreement is with your argument for negotiation.
It is for Ukraine to decide when to stop fighting.
West should provide all required military assistance to allow Ukraine to carry on.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew F
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

Thank you. Some welcome common sense and facts. Completely agree.

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

Well, as you said it’s a different thing when the Russian regime is indifferent to the concerns that ordinary people would complain about. Unlike in the West, gas prices going up aren’t going to lead to a change in leadership in Russia.

The Russian war machine is advancing. Putin has not called for talks or seriously sued for peace. The Russian economy has not imploded. The Russian state is still very much functioning and appears to be very much in control.

This was supposed to be “economic Armageddon” but the Bear is still advancing.

In fact the Bear is laughing at you now, with a smile that says:

That all you got?

Edit as to the “Long Game” I don’t think it will play out how you think it does. I believe the long game will result in the end of Western hegemony, if Russia doesn’t implode. And they don’t look like they’re dissolving from here.

Last edited 1 year ago by burke schmollinger
Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

It will be interesting to see what happens. Russia is indeed taking some hits, both economically and militarily. But Russia is not suffering from the fight itself, and probably never will. All the battles are taking place on Ukrainian soil.
So Ukraine is taking harder hits. Its economy is in shambles, its population displaced, and its military being hammered. Rumbles against the Ukrainian government are rising as casualties rise. Untrained recruits are being sent as cannon fodder to the front, where still more will be needed.
The West is helping, but only with weapons, sanctions, and economic aid. No other country has declared war on Russia. Nor will they. The help we provide does help, but it’s too much like bandaids on a gaping wound.
It’s hard to know what to do in this situation, but we do need to face reality rather than stand on abstract principle. Too bad for the West that we have a principled but hapless Joe Biden heading its strongest power instead of a less principled realist like Donald Trump.
This article paints with broad strokes, but it paints a pretty accurate picture. There are risks no matter what we do, but we will likely do best by pushing for peace rather than victory.
“An unjust peace is better than the most just war.”
“The purpose of war is peace, not victory.”

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

The realist Trump would simply hand over 40 million people to Russian colonialism

tim hardacre
tim hardacre
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

A good and reasoned comment. However I challenge the point about “brownish” printing paperThe whitening agent in paper production mainly comes from mineral deposits in Southern Africa and Ceylon No sanctions there.
I calculate the war will finish at the beginning of 2023 as a result of a coup against Mr Elensky by the Ukrainian Army (Not the Bandera Boys)

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  tim hardacre

Is spelling Zelenskys name Elensky some kind of antisemite trope? (Like spelling Jeltsins name Eltsin).

James Watson
James Watson
1 year ago

No it’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to his regime’s banning of the display of the latter ‘z’ because of its use by the Russian and Donbas forces to identify themselves.

Emre 0
Emre 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

From what you’re saying, it sounds like what’s keeping Russia is Chinese sanctions as opposed to Western ones which is not a surprise as most of the world’s production is happening in China.

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

Excellent article. It is profoundly wrong and depressingly defeatist to suggest that Biden’s Russia policy is a failure. Look at the real threat, China. China under Xi presents a genuine existential threat to Western global hegemony. The Chinese have been persuaded that they are worthy of being the dominant world power, and have the means to achieve that goal.

We don’t hear anything like that rhetoric from Russia. Putin’s war on Ukraine is essentially defensive, designed to rebuild the buffer states that once protected Moscow from Western aggression. The geopolitical imperatives of both Tsarist Russia and the USSR were exactly the same. Putin follows the ancient script.

What Putin has done is to fumble the move. Implicit in the quasi-alliance by the two big Eurasian powers of Russiaand China would have been a conversation about China’s ambitions. We all know, because China says so, that China’s next move after the crushing of Hong Kong is the acquisition of Taiwan. Success in this venture enables China to totally dominate the South China Sea and also strangle Japan. Neither the US nor Japan are as myopically Eurocentric as the author of this article.

What Biden is doing in Ukraine is denying China the military support of Russia during China’s own planned expansion. Putin has blundered by moving first and proving the weaknesses of the Russian military. If it was ever the Chinese intent that Russia would open a second front in Europe, distracting the US while China ran amok in the Pacific, Putin has dealt a fatal blow to that plan. The question therefore becomes, what will China do now that its timetable has been upset?

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Rupert Steel

excellent observation on the bigger picture

Jim Cheoros
Jim Cheoros
1 year ago
Reply to  Rupert Steel

Biden & co have allowed the Western MIC’s desire for NATO expansion (and resultant arms sales therefrom) to drive Russia into the arms of China. This will eventually be seen for what it is – the greatest possible strategic blunder on the part of the Western elites. They don’t care, obviously, because they’re immediately downstream from the moneyspigots, but the average Western taxpayer is getting poorer by the day (not to mention the fate of poor Ukrainians caught in the crossfire).
Putin’s use of 40k troops in a lightning attempt to frighten Zelenskyy into exile failed, and it cost him soldiers and reputation, but the Russians are now gaining ground steadily in the East. If you still think the Russian military is “weak” you’re not keeping up with events on the ground. Their artillery-centric approach is proving itself in a battlespace where MANPADS make it impossible to impose complete air dominance, and I’d be very surprised if we don’t see NATO changing their own doctrines in response.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

Thank you, very interesting. Perhaps this scenario plays out and we have fragmentation within Russia… the rail infrastructure is a fascinating weakness… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzCoJXxb5xI&list=LL&index=24

Jim Cheoros
Jim Cheoros
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

I seem to recall reading this list of imminent problems for the Russian economy at least two months ago, and yet their war machine rumbles on.
As for the sanctions preventing their arms manufacturers getting hold of key materiel, well – we can’t even prevent drugs getting into prisons – I’m pretty sure Russia will have no problem smuggling in what they need, assuming the Chinese really aren’t selling them whatever they want under the counter, which I find highly unlikely; the Chinese leadership are well aware that if Russia fails, it jeopardises their own geostrategic ambitions.
If you think the deployment of T-62 tanks is indicative of anything, you need to read more widely. Russia now occupies vast swathes of Ukraine, and a T-62 is a perfectly good armoured vehicle to have dug in at one of the many checkpoints spread across the countryside. It would be insane to use a T-90 for the same purpose; they’re all off at the front (not that their superior armour will make much of a difference against a Stugna, but that’s a different issue).
Russia has food, it has energy, it has vast reserves of raw materials. They launched the space race 60+ years ago. It may take them a while to gear up domestic production, but I don’t think the West’s sanctions are going to hurt the average Russian as much as they’ll hurt the average Westerner.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

You know, I seem to recall anyone who ever dared point out how sanctions would backfire and how the Russian military was a large enough and strong enough force to keep pushing the Ukrainians even after their initial losses were called unpatriotic, traitorous, Kremlin stooges.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Probably because the people who said that, sounded like their real plan was to ‘throw the Ukrainians under a bus’ and give Putin what he wanted. The first requirement of forcing Russia to accept less than her maximum demands is to convince her that her opponents are not going to fold anytime soon. It is hardly certain that this author’s plan can succeed, but at least he is clearly trying.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Putin drove the bus towards Ukraine.

Our policy response is tantamount to standing at the kerb shouting advice about avoiding buses and increasing the taxes on buses and bus users everywhere.

In no meaningful way are we, the West, stopping Putin’s bus driving over Ukraine.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

What is your proposal, then? Hand Ukraine over to Putin? Go to war with Russia? Weapons help and political-economic support (hang on, is that not what we are doing)?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Aren’t you forgetting the US/UK backed coup? The enormous corruption of the new regime ..the rise of neo Naziism? ..the persecution of Russian sympathisers in the Donbas? And the unwarranted and illegal spread of NATO and the threat of NATO membership?
I know it’s a bit late for all that but if we don’t know where we’ve been, are confused about where we are, then sure as hell (good term I think) how can we know where we’re going? It wouldn’t surprise me Putin planned the whole thing: eg what if his attack on Kiev was to ensure maximum western involvement (ie he’d no intention of taking Kiev?) After all, the West ignored Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 didn’t it? Maybe the whole shemozzle was designed to finish the job of taking down the USA.. if it was it’s looking good so far for Putin!!

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Indeed, Putin inflicted 10,000 casualties on his own troops, while losing 100s of armoured vehicle–all to lure us into a trap.

Pure genius!

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Mr Martin, please go back to sleep.

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Can you recognise irony when you see it?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

‘what if his attack on Kiev was to ensure maximum western involvement’

More likely to check the Ukrainian will to resist. He found out.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago

Watch the news over the next 3 weeks – it’ll show the Ukrainians capacity to resist has completely collapsed. The ‘kill ratio’ is now running at 20:1 in Russia’s favour. Even though Russia’s expeditionary force of ~ 200,000 is less than a third the size of Ukrainian forces, that ‘kill ratio’ will ultimately decide the outcome.

John Aronsson
John Aronsson
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Biden and the EU will fight to the last Ukrainian.

Jim Cheoros
Jim Cheoros
1 year ago

I get tired of people who believe they can read Putin’s mind, and then say he’s “failed” because he hasn’t achieved their invented goals, but I’m inclined to agree with the speculation that he tried a quick feint at Kiev in the hope it would scare Zelenskyy into exile and a new government would implement the Minsk Agreement and resume the pre-2014 status quo ante of Ukraine being a Russia client state.
The manoeuvre failed, obviously, but I can see why Putin gave it a go. If it had succeeded it would have saved a lot of blood and treasure, but in failing it cost the Russian army its reputation for competence, as well as troops and materiel; though I doubt anywhere near as many soldiers were killed as the Ukrainians claim.

John Aronsson
John Aronsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Further, Ukraine has been nothing but a satrapy of the Democratic Party and defense industry since February 2014. A good deal of the aid also finds its way back into the coffers of the Biden family..

Veronica Clevenger
Veronica Clevenger
1 year ago
Reply to  John Aronsson

That’s why Ukraine got so much money from Biden.

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

‘The unwarranted and illegal spread of NATO? Seriously? Would you make the same comment about ‘the illegal and unwarranted spread of the EU’? Recent additions to the defensive alliance of NATO come from former members of the USSR and/or former members of the Warsaw Pact. These nations have chosen democracy over communist autocracy and repression, and now seek membership of an alliance committed to protect democracies. Would you deny their wishes?

Jim C
Jim C
1 year ago
Reply to  Rupert Steel

Russia is more of a democracy than post-2014 Ukraine is, sadly.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Mexico
– Will not be allowed join a military alliance hostile to US. If it does they will be invaded and destroyed.
– Does not get uppity over disputed geographic areas where it might have claims…..or else.
– Does not get to bomb minorities or ban use of English language
– Can’t form openly “problematic” military units or name streets after Himmler

Has Mexico been thrown under the bus?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I’d say that Mexico (or even Cuba) has a lot more freedom or independence than Belarus, or than Russia is willing to grant Ukraine. But OK, you think we should accept that Russia absorbs Ukraine, either as a puppet state or simply as a part of Russia. Good to know.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Mexico is much more free than Russia OR Ukraine, or Kazakhstan or any of that region. The entire West is far more free than Russia, Ukraine, most of the world in fact. Doesn’t make a difference. If Mexico tried to ally with China, the US will destroy them. As simple as that.

I think you will find Russia wouldn’t “absorb” the Ukrainian speaking bulk of that country even if Zelensky begged them. That’s part of the problem when you believe your own propoganda and ignore what the other, “evil” guys are saying.

Last edited 1 year ago by Samir Iker
Tim Lever
Tim Lever
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Russia has accepted since the Minsk agreements that Ukraine including the Donbass (but not Crimea) is a single sovereign country. Ukraine refused to implement the agreements and France and Germany did nothing to support them or even encourage them to do so and the US armed Ukraine, which used the arms to attack civilians in the Donbass. Any loss of territory and defeat in war for Ukraine is entirely due to poor statesmanship and lack of diplomacy on the part of the west. It could have all been avoided so easily. A tragedy that the current generation of Western politicians are so lacklustre. As summed up by the mediocrity that is Liz Truss.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Lever

The problem with the Minsk agreement was that it would give Luhansk and Donetsk – which are Russian puppets – what amounted to a veto over Ukrainian policies. I would say that Russia only accepted Ukraine as a single sovereign country, *provided* that it was fully under Russia’s thumb. One is reminded of East Germany, which was so neutral that it did not even interfere in its own internal affairs.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The Donbas did not have a veto over Ukrainian policies under the Minsk agreements. That was a Ukrainian talking point, not reality.
The Minsk agreements were a reasonable compromise that Ukraine undoubtedly wishes now they had agreed to. But they (understandably) wanted more.
This war is the result.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Of course, none of what you say is factually correct.

But you knew that already.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Just as anyone who dared point out that brutal fear-based, communist-inspired “lockdowns” and other lunatic interventions would backfire and how SARS-CoV-2 would be transmissible and strong enough to force itself around the world whatever we did were called unempathetic, callous, selfish covidiots.

Our so-called intellectual and political elites are failing us, badly. The brightest of them know it but they don’t know what to do about it; the dimmer, more dangerously deluded ones (Biden and most of the other WEF-enthusiasts included), haven’t a clue about the deluge into which they – and the rest of us with them – are about to be plunged.

Art C
Art C
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Indeed. The people posturing as our leaders, plus a bunch of unelected control freaks like Gates succeeded in driving western economies off a cliff. And now they’re gambling the wreckage on a war they cannot hope to win.

Art C
Art C
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Yep. Reminds one of the covid drama. Took almost 2 years for the penny to drop that the “conspiracy theorists” were right all along.
My prediction is that Putin will end up getting everything he wants. And that this is the beginning of the end of Western financial hegemony in the world.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

A very interesting article and one that is to Unherd’s credit because the msm will not print anything like the analysis presented here.
The latest Spectator youtube edition also discusses the Ukraine war and one of the points they make is that, in the short term, the sanctions might not be nearly as effective against Russia as initially hoped. In the long term, however, they will utterly degrade the Russian economy. I suspect the Spectator analysis is correct although it doesn’t help the Ukrainians in the near future.
Negotiation seems like the way out of this mess in the near term, but Biden has talked himself into a corner, labelling Putin a war criminal and setting in motion a process that will, in theory, try Putin for those crimes. Biden can’t possibly walk away from his steadfastness on Ukraine before the US midterms or the Republicans will roast him.
Winter will be the real test. Let’s hope Germany and France and other European nations have stored enough fuel to get them through the cold months. Otherwise the allied resolve will crumble and the Ukraine conflict will be laid bare, as the author suggests, as a proxy war between the US and Russia, and other nations will question whether they want to be part of that effort.

Vlad Ginsburg
Vlad Ginsburg
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m sorry to say, but it’s not “analysis” at all. The author is clearly not familiar with situation in Russia (as I’ve shown in my comment). So, he’s article is based not in real data, but in his guesses.

Also I don’t agree that it was Biden labelled Putin as a war criminal. It is Putin labelled himself as is – by commiting these war crimes. So, Biden didn’t have much choice: ignoring such obvious, outrageous, unprovoked crimes on such a scale (I’d say now we have at least 30 000 dead Ukrainian civils) will make you accomplice.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

I don’t see the comment you refer to, Vlad. Could you try to repost please.

Vlad Ginsburg
Vlad Ginsburg
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I posted it twice, but it was removed both times. Will try to to it

Vlad Ginsburg
Vlad Ginsburg
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I reread community rules, edited my comment to be sure it’s 200% within guidelines and tried it again, no luck, it’s still deleted. Sorry, Judy, I’d like to share my data, but by unknown reason I’m not allowed to.

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

Thanks for trying.

Jim Cheoros
Jim Cheoros
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I assume Vlad refers to a comment he posted that had a variety of assertions claiming to prove that Russia’s economy is in deep trouble.
The problem is that the assertions were not backed up by any evidence, and that I read the same claims a good two months ago, yet the Russian war machine rumbles on.
Maybe we’ll know what the truth is one day, but as it stands, nothing coming from Ukraine or Russia can be trusted, and the Western media has gone “all-in” on repeating whatever Ukraine has to say.
I can understand why they sympathise with the Ukrainians’ position, but their job is to report the truth, not be stenographers for one side, regardless of the “rightness” of their cause.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jim Cheoros
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

War criminal: anyone who launched a murderous war and kills civilians, as long as it’s not the US bloc or their allies. Yemen is actually still going on. Right now. With arms and military training provided by the same people who are going on about Putin.

Remember My Lai? The perpetrators mostly got away, the few convicted were soon “pardoned”. The whistleblowers who brought it into the open (there were many My Lai) were not as lucky. Their lives were destroyed.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Yep: evil bas*tards the lot of ’em. The US forfeited it’s right to accuse anyone of any crime during its Vietnam massacres: 3m Vietnamese dead but the average US person will tell you 50k died: of course that 50k Us troops: surs the 3m Vietnamese don’t count!

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

2 things: 1-When you have to schlep My Lai 1968 to make an equivalence, it’s very likely false. 2-There was no “invading force” in the Yemen conflict. It was instigated by the Iranians, and is a true proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It bears no resemblance to events in Ukraine.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Ginsburg

I’ll wager some of those war crimes will have been a) staged and b) committed by the Azov brigade against Russian sympathisers. My money is on an even 3 way split! All 3 are highly likely: I trust none of the belligerents.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

More false equivalence. Either Putin bootlicker or lacking in grey cells.

Jim Cheoros
Jim Cheoros
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Yes, anyone who doesn’t believe everything the Ukrainians (or their Western sponsors) assert is a Putin bootlicker, or lacking in grey cells.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I too found the article very interesting; in particular, the emphasis on which side (Russia or the West) has the greatest pain threshold. From all the discourse around institutional wokism, one might assume the West would find the economic pain the hardest to bear. One only has to look at the cries of “help us!” from the populace (at least as portrayed in the msm) with regard to what is historically moderate inflationary pressures, and the lack of understanding of how those pressures continue to arise, to draw such a conclusion.
I do, however, have hope. Despite the by-election results in the UK i believe that certainly from the British point of view, there is a greater sense of realism among the silent majority than we’re ever given credit for. It was, after all, the largely silent majority who voted for Brexit which was predicated upon having to undergo some short-term economic pain. But then factor in the costs of the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine and it will indeed be a test of our resilience – hence why i found the article a refreshingly framed exposition.

Anusar Farooqui
Anusar Farooqui
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The author here. You are quite right that “there is a greater sense of realism among the silent majority than we’re ever given credit for.” Note that that is inconsistent with the assumption that “the West would find the economic pain the hardest to bear.” US pain tolerance is indeed lower because inflation is politically destabilizing and the connection between foreign policy and inflation is not widely appreciated. Were it to be widely appreciated, then there would be electoral pressure for a pacifist foreign policy that seeks to quell price instability by nipping it in the bud — at the source of Zoltan Pozsar’s commodities shock.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The U.S. is not in a “proxy war.” The U.S., like most of the Western world, is simply reacting to the invasion of a sovereign nation by an expansionist dictator and his minions. Should China invade Taiwan, will the American and Western reaction constitute a “proxy war” too? Talk like this echoes Putin, nothing more.

Anusar Farooqui
Anusar Farooqui
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

The author here. I am not a pacifist across the board. I believed the Uniformitarian principle is inapplicable to military policy — there are good wars and bad wars. Indeed, I have argued that the US should place a division in Taiwan to carry out direct denial of the island (Dunn’s “drive them back into the sea” strategy) because deterrence is weakening as US escalation dominance over China evaporates with Chinese strategic modernization. See my https://policytensor.substack.com/p/a-note-on-us-military-policy; and https://policytensor.com/2013/08/21/asymmetric-escalation-games-and-the-taiwan-dilemma/.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

More delusional pro-Russian nonsense.
The idea that Russia needs nothing from the West is just plain wrong. Russia is chronically weak in advanced technologies and will suffer increasing brain drain to the West – what talented young engineer or scientist would want to live in a state like Putin’s Russia when far better paid jobs in the West are available (without the risk of military conscription) ?
The West has a real and genuine interest in protecting the democracies of Eastern Europe. Who seriously now believes that Russia would stop at Eastern Ukraine ?
Russia as it stands today is a) not stable, b) a threat to its neighbours and c) a threat to its own people. It exports corruption, lies and violence around the world.
It is also in the interests of the Russian people as a whole that Putin’s regime is defeated and overthrown.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You’ll probably be down voted to oblivion by the “just asking questions” crowd, but that won’t mean that you’re completely correct.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Russia is fighting this war without large scale military conscription.

And this isn’t a war for “democracy” – considering that the Western arms are ending up in Ukraine, which is LESS democratic than Russia The objective is very transparent – provoke Russsus using the threat of NATO expansion, use the ensuing war and sanctions to bleed Russia. Just didn’t anticipate how expensive it would be for the West though.

And the above might explain why Putin and the war enjoy so much support in Russia. Whatever else they might be, yhey are not stupid.

David NebeskĂœ
David NebeskĂœ
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Ukraine is “less democratic than Russia”? That is not true, Russia is a pure dictatorship without a hint of democracy and you know it. I do not need to read your lies anymore.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

Russians get to vote: ok it’s virtually a one party system.. but seriously, is there a real choice in the US? Is it really much different?Tweedledum v Tweedledee. When a govt is installed via a coup as in Ukraine, (thereby overthrowing a freely elected leader) you can hardly call that democracy now can you?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Of course they’ve had several free elections after that.

But that’s inconvenient to you and Putin

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

There is a huge difference between the Right and Left in the U.S., as Trump’s election, administration and subsequent election loss revealed. This notion that “they’re all the same” has been shown to be false by Trump’s administration and, to a lesser extent, by De Santis in Florida.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Do they pay you, or are you doing it for love?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

500 Roubles and a full tank of gas every comment, comrade.
They tried to con me by paying me in Euros, but wasn’t having any of it.

Try this for an experiment though – compare the current crop of democracy lovers in Washington and London and their behaviour, to how Americans and their allies behaved in say 1942.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

???

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

What would be the point of such a ridiculous comparison? And,if a comparison must be made, it should be with the allies of 1938, not 1942, when all the allies were seriously at war.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

That sounds quite plausible to me!

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

If people don’t get conscrpted, of course the war is popular–which is why Putin can’t mobilize.

But Bucha lets every Ukrainian know what will happen if they retreat, so they tend to hang on a lot longer.

Jim Cheoros
Jim Cheoros
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

The SBU and Kraken units will shoot anyone who isn’t wearing a blue armband?
It wasn’t the Russians who put the kibosh on calls for an independent international investigation.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

If you think Ukraine has demonstrated that it is an Eastern European democracy, then we live on different worlds.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

That is not what I said. As I suspect you well know.
Doubtless you will now dispute that the Baltic States are democracies … and Poland … etc
Ukraine is not there today – but this is the only way it has a chance to be so an d escape from the residual Russian empire and all the misery that brings.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

I’m not saying your wrong but it’s a bit hard to believe that Russia is short on technology given it has developed and deployed the supersonic missile? ..and many other advances in very high tech areas? I find it confusing..

Last edited 1 year ago by Liam O'Mahony
martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

All with chips from other nations.

Russia is in to wheat and oil, not chips.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It is not confusing at all. They bought in all the advanced technology.
Putin’s Russia is based exclusively on extractive activities – raw materials, basic agricultural commodities. They have become like Saudi Arabia in assuming they can just buy in whatever they need and don’t need to do the hard technology work. That’s what you get in a kleptocracy. Ity should not be a surprise.
They do not produce any manuctured products or technology that are competitive in world markets. Their defence industry is now busted as the current conflict has demonstrated that their kit is vastly inferior to Western equipment – and they will not be able to get the chips to build much more.
Add in the fact that most of the defence equipment engineers in Russia are now old. As I said, what young Russian would want to hang around given what’s currently on offer ?

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Russia is totally dependent on computerchips from Taiwan. As is China. And the US.

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
1 year ago

…and France

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Russia as it stands today is a) still advancing on Ukrainian positions, b) showing no signs of imploding, and c) making more money from exporting energy than they were a year ago

Rupert Steel
Rupert Steel
1 year ago

The Russians may be advancing, but they do so into a wasteland of their own making. In the process they have lost something like 50 colonels and lieutenant colonels and nearly 20 generals. There are reports at least 3 generals were assassinated by their own troops. Putin has reportedly just sacked his most recent appointee as operational commander of the invasion of Ukraine, Dvornikov. Yep, it’s going well.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Very sneaky attempt by this author to shift the blame of inflation upon Putin, which is the Biden admin’s strategy. Printing $5 trillion out of thin air, within in 2 years, while factories are shut, is the cause for inflation. End of story.
And to think that this current administration has the capacity to strategically maneuver out of this war is simply ridiculous. Finally, this war would have never happened under a Trump administration in the first place. I have to guffaw at the apoplectic shrills from the left during the last campaign that a Trump presidency would cause WWIII. How utterly wrong can people be and still claim to be thinking humans?

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

More often than not they can because they’re not.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

The analysis on a sanctions is sound. The bizarre thing is no one needed hindsight to write it. I’m a nobody BTL commentator and this was abundantly obvious at the beginning of the year.

Make no mistake, I’m not saying Putin wasn’t the cause, but our response was very much of our own choosing. I’m left to conclude the influential people thought the same as I did and still proceeded down the path we’re on.

There was no popular clamour to do what we’ve done, that has been orchestrated by governments. So it isn’t being a conspiracy theorist to ask why the obvious was ignored. What was the real motivation to respond in the way we have after Putin offered up the opportunity?

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Well, what were the alternatives?
Do little or nothing while Putin swallowed up Ukraine and decided on who to invade next?
Go to war with Russia?
Weapons help and economic pressure seemed the least bad option. One hoped it might work, and if nothing else making the victory as costly as possible seemed like the best way to prevent Putin from gobbling up ever more countries.
What would you have done that would have given a better result?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Accede to Russia’s modest demands re: NATO membership, cessation of Azov crimes against Russian speakers in Donbas: cimply with Minsk II and accept Crimea as a fait accompli. The last was granted anyway as the West did nothing whatever after Russia annexed Crimea 8 years ago!

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Are you one of the Petersburg O’Mahony’s or from the Moscow wing of the family?

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago

Jaysus, I hope you’re not one of the Cork O’Sullivans. They’re an evil bunch

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

There were a a few more modest demands: Not making economic deals with the EU (the cause of the 2014 trouble), and joining a Russia-centred economic and political system. No one doubts that Ukraine could have achieved the same proud independence and prosperity as Belarus or Chechenya. But just how different would that have been from installing a pro-Russian government by force? You would have to show me where Russia ever offered Ukraine anything better than becoming a Russian vassal state.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

This is such rubbish. Putin himself has stated on more than one occasion that Ukraine — all of it — is an integral part of Russia. He’s also made his expansionist aims clear enough that all of his neighbours, who democratically joined NATO to defend themselves from the Russian bear, were/are terrified, including democratic states like Finland and Sweden. Were this 1938, you’d be arguing that Britain should just accept the annexation of Danzig and wait for the dictator to take his next bite.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
Jeanie K
Jeanie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

A better result would have come about if the Americans (and EU) had not interfered in Ukraine politics in 2014; There is trouble all over the World due to American interference in other countries.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

Better for whom? For Putin, certainly, he would have Ukraine as a vassal state by now. For the Ukraini9ans???

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

War is always a good cover for corrupt and inept politicians.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I’m inclined to agree: there must be another agenda: otherwise it’s just devoid of logic (as well as any humanitarian concerns)..

Ed Cameron
Ed Cameron
1 year ago

Early days to be calling “failure”, Mr Farooqui.
Biden may well go (by death or vote), but the assumption here seems to be that his replacement will be weaker.
I know the headline is not the article, but there’s only one “regime” involved and it isn’t the United States.

Tim Lever
Tim Lever
1 year ago

It seems that adopting a cordial, businesslike and mutually beneficial trading relationship with Russia and not stoking up Russophobia on her borders is a policy that is beyond even contemplating for most Western commentators. We don’t need to like Russia – after all we trade with Saudi Arabia. Seems like the West would prefer to attempt to dominate Russia and go down trying rather than have a multipolar world.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tim Lever
Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Lever

Saudi Arabia is not currently invading an European neighbor. We who lives closer to Russia (I am Swedish) know this is serious. Anybody might be next.

Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
1 year ago

Don’t join NATO then, they won’t help you if you do, ask Ukraine.
Anyway, you’ve never had a problem before so why go causing trouble now. Then again if you join NATO I’m sure they’ll have you causing trouble with Russia in no time, just like they had Ukraine doing.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Andrews

Well, Ukraine wasn’t a member of NATO, so NATO didn’t have a defense obligation. Do you think that it is a coincidence that Putin did attack nonmember Ukraine and not a small NATO member like Estonia. Or that he decided to attack before Ukraine had a chance to become a member.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff Andrews

a-Ukraine is not a NATO member; and b-NATO countries have provided Ukraine with lots of support. c-NATO does not, and has rarely if ever, “caused trouble” for Russia, even if the aggressive yet super defensive Russians believe otherwise.

Tim Lever
Tim Lever
1 year ago

An incredible comment! Saudi Arabia is carrying out atrocities in Yemen. And as per Jeff Andrew’s comment below it’s not in your interest to antagonise your neighbours.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Lever

Yes, Saudi Arabia does that. And China commits atrocities in Xinjiang. But neither of them are in our vicinity. Even the U.K. Is closer to Russia and Ukraine, and we in Sweden are obviously closer. There is very little risk of Saudi Arabia invading either Sweden or the U.K.
As for not antagonizing neighbors, selling away your freedom so as to not antagonize a dangerous neighbor is not a good future. After all, the real reason Putin invaded Ukraine is that he couldn’t accept a neighbor taking steps away from kleptocracy and corruption towards freedom and democracy.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Lever

Yemen is not one of Europe’s neighbours.

Tim Lever
Tim Lever
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

So human rights are only for Europeans? Not brown people? They’re not a universal principle but purely a convenient tool to beat countries we don’t like.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago

If anything the war has helped distract from Biden’s difficulties. His initial offer was to provide Zelensky with a helicopter.

Tom Bergerson
Tom Bergerson
1 year ago

No doubt Putin will do all he can to replace Biden with Trump.
I just laughed heartily. I thought people paying attention had dropped that canard, which has been conclusively despatched.

Putin is likely the richest person in the world. How? Through forced ownership of raw materials like oil. So how does he accumulate more power and wealth? With a higher oil price? Or a lower oil price?

Oh a higher oil price you say? Now ask, which POTUSes are associated with which? Hillary and Biden are Net Zero lunatics (yes the “tansition” the author seems to approve is another strike against them). Their policies result in HIGHER oil prices, a benefit to Putin. Trump wants America strong and producing as much oil as possible. Thaat means LOWER energy prices. That hurts Putin. So again, which people would Putin rather see in office? Hillary and Biden. Which out of office? Trump.

QED

He fooled you but good though.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Bergerson
Gary Baxter
Gary Baxter
1 year ago

It’s so deja-vu.
Each time America takes action against its enemy, you can expect, before long, some “cool-headed” and “objective” wise guy will appear to accuse America of recklessness, predict disaster and appeal for peace. Peace at any cost. In the present instance, though, the cost may be the return of the Soviet Russian Empire enfolding all the small countries in East and Central Europe.
We need to grow some spine, now, to deal with the Bear and the Dragon, needn’t we?

Last edited 1 year ago by Gary Baxter
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Baxter

Too simplistic..

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  Gary Baxter

If only America did not have twenty years of expensive and counterproductive foreign policy disasters, people might not be so skeptical of this latest one pushed by the same people responsible for the last four screw ups.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

US Government policy is no longer driven by what is seen as best for the American Empire. It is driven by the desire to plunder the coffers of the US government. Arms manufacturers and NGOs seek to continue the war in Ukraine indefinitely. Winning it is not important.

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 year ago

I’ve been saying it from the beginning, despite being laughed at initially:

It’s the West which isolated itself with its response to the Ukraine war as much as Russia. The rising bloc of nations will not acquiesce to the Wests demands and ultimately these actions will accelerate the shifting economic balance from West to East as the West imposes a self-made energy famine on itself. Instead of 1 big financial system there will now be rivals growing that will be impervious to Western actions. Every leader of a non-aligned nation would be a traitor for not divesting of western control tools such as Apple Pay or Visa that can be shut off at the whim of a foreign government.

And frankly, the idea that India for example (a nation where GDP per cap comes out to about $5/day) was going to go along with this famine was always foolish thinking.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Being “isolated” in the West means being surrounded by like-minded democratic countries that the rest of the world look to for, well, pretty much everything. Yes, Russia gets to pally around with the likes of Chna and Iran, whereas we isolated folks in West are surrounded by like-minded states, all of whom have problems for sure, but nothing like the countries that not-isolated Russia has no choice but to deal with.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

“Instead of the West engineering a regime change in Russia, it is Russia that is likely to succeed in engineering a regime change in the United States. Is there any way to avoid this nightmare scenario?”
Why is this a nightmare scenario?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

Based on what the author wrote, it seems likely he buys into some of the more apocalyptic global warming rhetoric, much of which has become unmoored from basic science. Believing climate change is real is scientifically justified. Believing it will bring changes and have economic costs is quite reasonable. Believing it will lead to the extinction of humanity is hogwash and should be regarded as such.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

There is no “regime change” in the U.S. There is simply a change in government due to voter preference, something that is impossible in Russia. False equivalence prize.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Indeed, a fact that the author fails to acknowledge or even recognize. It’s almost as if the author doesn’t care about the process, elections, votes, or other people’s opinion. A system where the process doesn’t matter, and the only thing important is protecting the regime because those ghastly rebels would destroy us all if they came to power. Gosh that sounds familiar. What country always seems to default back to strongman autocracy no matter the era or political philosophy? Let me think…..

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

None of the people who talk about NATO “expansion” eastward seem to care about process, elections, votes, etc., as they are happy and/or unconcerned about dismissing the democratic choices those countries made to join NATO because of their entirely understandable and historical fear of Russian expansionism and domination.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

I agree. Russia has nobody to blame but themselves for NATO expansion. Russia is, as ever, its own worst enemy.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Or a change in government despite voter preference

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
1 year ago

The fact that he seems to think that would be a ‘nightmare scenario’ should alert readers to question some of his other conclusions on the grounds he’s not that bright.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

No mention in the article of the damage being caused to the Russian economy, whose own finance chief (I forget the official title) predicts will shrink by 15% as a result of the sanctions and loss of business with the west?

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Doesn’t suit the narrative.

Like Brexit, a failure of imagination and derring do will probably result in the worst of all outcomes. What could have been either a defeat for Russia (if the west had been steadfast and united), or a conflict largely unimpacting on the west (if we hadn’t got involved at all), will end as a defeat for the west.

This article is Cheems mindset foreign policy.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

I think that you forget that Ukraine actually has a say in this. Do you really think that the Ukrainian people will support a negotiated end to the war after all that the Russian barbarians have done to their country? They would rather die, which many of them will before they reclaim the smouldering, ethnically cleansed graveyard which is the eastern part of their country, which they will.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

You’ve got one thing wrong: the ethnic cleansing was and still is by the Ukrainian Azov thugs on Russian sympathisers in the Donbas..

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The other 90% of Ukraine knows what will happen if they don’t fight.

Grozny taught every enemy of Russia well.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I was thinking more of the tens maybe hundreds, of thousands forced east by the Russians, and the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of refugees flooding west. You may recall that Stalin had a similar policy, albeit on a somewhat larger scale, which the Ukrainians well remember. Re ‘Azov thugs’, no doubt things were nasty but I have yet to see any ‘evidence’ of wholesale wrongdoing – perhaps you could direct us to a reputable source to elucidate?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Putin bootlicker.

Jeanie K
Jeanie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Why is everyone under the illusion that Ukraine was such a nice, honest country. It is not and never has been. It was run by Oligarcs and is totally corrupted. Zelensky is president in name only. He was told years ago that if he did not comply with their wishes, he would be executed by the Azov gangs.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

It wasn’t. Zelenski stood on a platform (NB a widely accepted democratic vote) to change that. I have not the knowledge to say how he did, although I have read to say that he was progressing, but I suspect that after this war the oligarchs and gangsters will not have the leverage they had before.

rue boileau
rue boileau
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Well, according to Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe after Russia. 

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  rue boileau

“After Russia” being the two key words in your comment.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeanie K

another putin bootlicker.

Todd Kreigh
Todd Kreigh
1 year ago

I am 100% behind Putin as he affects regime change in the US. The fat orange narcissist might be funny-looking .. but he did ignite one of the most impressive economic recoveries in US history. Biden? Well, the only thing he’s proven to do well is fill his shorts. It’s no coincidence Putin waited until we had a doddering, toothless excuse for a President before launching Enslave Ukraine 2.0.

Art C
Art C
1 year ago
Reply to  Todd Kreigh

And of course Biden also provided Putin with a live demonstration of his resolve in the form of the Afghanistan debacle. Televised live to the whole world. Which is probably why so many countries won’t get on board with the sanctions. Why back a dying horse?

David Dougherty
David Dougherty
1 year ago

Good article. Having served in the US military it is refreshing to see the Ukraine war presented in realistic terms. Biden has proven to be a poor president and his decision making on the Ukraine war has been dismal.

Su Mac
Su Mac
1 year ago

This feels like a rehash of all the trivial info read in the mainstream press for 4 months. “Negotiations” says the author without mentioning that the USA has refused to take part in those in Turkey, called for regime change meantime, the UK has undermined any progress and the West has encouraged Ukraine to ignore the last agreements i.e Minsk 1 and 2.

Why should Russia negotiate now? They will finish the job on their own terms. Anyone who thinks they are out to conquer all of Ukraine hasn’t looked properly at the map! The war area is a mere fringe of an enormous landmass.

A proxy war to weaken Russia/Putin and have another go at controlling all those lovely commodities, cause trouble in Europe, refund the arms manufacturers all while distracting from the controlled demolition of Western Civilisation.

ken rogers
ken rogers
1 year ago

A fools errand. Russia is decimating Ukraine, one day at a time. The entire western world is following a senile demented fool Biden to the gates of hell while nobody in America listens to a word he says. NATO along with Ukraine poked the Russian bear one too many times, now they own it. Putin well within his rights to defend Russias interests

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

Some good points but rather a strange article with some completely unexamined assumptions. I do not know why getting power out of the hands of the unhinged and indeed unpatriotic Left (in a fundamental deep sense) is supposed to be a disaster for the United States. Nor dropping the stampede into an utterly self-defeating ‘energy transition’. (Note: which for China, Russia, Saudi, the entire developing world is not going to happen any time soon).

As to the tragedy of the the Russian invasion of Ukraine itself, the problem with all these breezy recommendations for negotiations is that we’ve had them before, and they have proved completely worthless. Surely by now there can now be no serious doubt that Russia simply cannot be trusted and has no serious intention of ever accepting a meaningfully independent Ukraine.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Joe Padilla
Joe Padilla
1 year ago

Need more transparency on Joe Biden’s dubious relationship with Ukraine. Seems like our military is being used to prop up his partner, not ours. Wish I were wrong but how can we know when our media lies so much and so often for the Democrats.

N T
N T
1 year ago

Perhaps in the short term, but that is so typical that it is a thing: start a war to stay in power.
However it is not a matter of if the current regime will be removed from within, but when. It may be years, but it will be, because history may never repeat, but it does rhyme.

John H Abeles
John H Abeles
1 year ago

The author is ignoring the flood of modern, sophisticated weaponry being sent to Ukraine that could in time sway the conflict against the Russian incursion

Conversely there are reports that the Russians’ armamentarium is being depleted

The outcome of the conflict could thus be a surprising one still..

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  John H Abeles

Possibly but I very much doubt it: when even the Ukrainian propaganda machine says Ukraine is losing you can believe that for sure!

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Losing one small corner of Luhansk.

People don’t bother to look at maps.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  John H Abeles

As an article in a recent edition of Royal United Services Institute set out in cold grinding logic, Russia has the capacity to destroy more NATO weapons in Ukraine per month or year than the entire West can produce in the same period.
We simply don’t have the industrial base to produce these weapons at scale and it would take at least 5 years to partially remedy that situation.
Meanwhile ………..

Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  John H Abeles

The ‘flood’ as you call it, gets divided into three. One part goes to the Balkans for future uses by AfriCom, the other third is sold on by Poles and Ukrainians and what reaches the front line is destroyed as soon as it’s used. 12 no M777 howitzers yesterday alone.

Max Rottersman
Max Rottersman
1 year ago

Hi Anusar, are you overthinking this? The West isn’t trying to inflict pain on Russia for pain’s sake. It’s simply excluding Russia from Western trade. Many businesses are doing it on their own–especially the aircraft leasing companies! The government is only creating laws to codify what Western businesses want (which is make sure all businesses comply with the strategy and all get fair treatment).
Russia isn’t significantly larger than Iran. If it wants autarky I believe the West can live with it.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

Wow! This writer really put his pro Russia blinkers on – just too much to counter that I can’t be bothered to start.
“The Russian army has seen action in a series of small wars since Putin came to power, demonstrating operational and tactical competence.”
This world leading army can’t even beat a minor border country with no decent defences – if you think that’s competent then you’re either biased or ignorant.
”And despite a botched invasion plan, the baseline scenario for the Ukraine war remains an outright Russian victory. â€œ
They’ll gratefully claim Donbas as a victory. Worth the cost of being sanctioned for the next twenty years? No, even if it is ‘just’ western countries.
”Indeed, Russia is not dependent on the world for hard-to-replace stuff — the world is dependent on Russia. â€œ
Again, biased or ignorant. Covered by other posters here.
”The stability of the Russian oligarchy endows the Putin regime with considerable stamina. â€œ
Really? The bulk of the oligarchy has lost most of its fortune and access to the west. You call that stable?
”And inflation is at least partly under Putin’s control — he can turn the knob up and down to maximise the delivery of pain to the West.”
Yes he can, until the end of this year – when the incredibly flexible west, which you seem to consider a great weakness, revises it’s supply chains. Job done, Putin weakened permanently.
”No doubt Putin will do all he can to replace Biden with Trump. â€œ
You think Putin wants Trump back with all his unpredictability? Trump has already stated that he’d take firmer action against Russia over Ukraine.
ahhh just lost interest.
But funnily enough, I don’t disagree with your conclusion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

The writer seems to be totally ignorant of the military dimension of this conflict, as are most observers.

All of Russia’s “gains” are in a tiny corner of Luhansk. But since the only thing most people know about the Russian army is what they did in WW2, they default to the image of waves of Siberian ski troops coming over the horizon.

Hint: they’re not coming.

Ukraine is far more mobilized manpower-wise than Russia currently is. Indeed, all of Russia’s forces are committed, and most have even less battle experience than the Ukrainians. Moreover, Russia’s main advantage now is in Soviet-era artillery–something that may well be negated by the flood of NATO-standard artillery now coming in to Ukraine.

This doesn’t mean that any side is destined to win. It means this war will be decided long before 2024.

It’s fun to dream of alternate realities.

But in this sub-lunary sphere, facts do still matter.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

This is mostly a rubbish article. For example, the contention that “No serious Russian analyst believes it to be at risk of collapse, no matter what the West dishes out,” whereas “the contrast with the West couldn’t be starker. The Biden administration and the Democrats look set to crash and burn on the shoals of inflation. The president’s approval rating has sunk below 40%. Democrats will almost surely lose control of Congress come November.”
Note to author: A democratic system isn’t “at risk of collapse” because one party’s fortunes are tanking. More broadly speaking, comparing the so-called “stability” of a dictatorship with that of a democracy is like comparing apples to fish.

Last edited 1 year ago by harry storm
Stephen Mash
Stephen Mash
1 year ago

The complexities and depth of this article will be way beyond the average Democrat’s ability to reason though. But I liked it.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

In 2011 oil prices reached $102/barrel, by 2015 Shale oil brought prices down to $46 /barrel and in 2016 they were $38/barrel and in 2017 OPEC cut production causing them to increase to $49/barrel.
Development of Shale Oil and Gas could bring the cost of barrel down to $40 and reduce cost of fertilisers and food. Keep oil at $40/barrel and Putin has little money. How much of the banning of Shale Oil and Gas is due to Putin’s assets operating in The West?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

After all the intentional slaughter committed by Putin’s army — the latest being an intentional attack on a crowded shopping mall — it ought to be clear that this is NOT a person “we” (i.e., the West or, esp. the Ukrainians) can do business with.

Amos Sullivan
Amos Sullivan
1 year ago

Our idiot leaders here in America may very well push Putin to a very bad place where he must use nukes to survive, then it is Katie Bar The Door as we all watch why liberals should never be in charge.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

This article hasn’t aged well, lol