I find it difficult to read the reports of the unfolding horror being perpetrated on the people of the sovereign state of Ukraine.
To restate my previous thoughts leading up to this:
It was a bad idea for US/NATO to "poke the bear". I heard one analyst say that George Bush did even worse by not ruling out admitting Ukraine into NATO but not letting them in either. The argument was that maybe if Ukraine were in NATO Putin may have been hesitant to invade Ukraine. So our policy was worst of both worlds. Antagonizing Russia but not deterring them.
I think Biden/Congress/Europe are trying to thread the needle here. We are not going to police the world but we are going to impose economic levers. After all, Russia didn't do anything to oppose our military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. What right do we have to stop them in their military adventures?
Having said that, I am a believer in self government and Ukraine's government was legitimately elected. So, I would not equate our interventions with this Russian effort to thwart the political freedom of Ukrainians not to mention the death and destruction.
Putin threatens nukes if we intervene. Of course that gives all of us pause. On the other hand, doesn't that become a blackmail card. "I'm taking back our Poland. Don't interfere or I'll nuke Europe." When asked about the mutual assured destruction Putin responds, "If there is no Russia, what is the point of their being a world?"
Showing weakness standing by as Ukraine is slaughtered will, perhaps, embolden Putin. At some point, we will have to call his bluff, or give him everything he wants.
Propaganda side note: State run TV (Putin's mouth piece) claims a variety of lies:
This is a military exercise.
Our troops are being welcomed as liberators.
The military campaign is on schedule with little or no casualties.
The Ukrainian government are Nazis (the most disgusting of all his lies).
And for good measure, they run clips of Trump (R) praising Putin, Tulsi Gabbard (D) and Tucker Carlson's (FOX) rants (some of which are lies) to justify their military invasion.
Painful to watch. Exactly what was the reason we've spent trillions upon trillions on our military if not for stopping a bully like Putin.
"well Ukraine is a small country in Europe and Russia is a large country" I guess we all knew elections have consequences. These questions you pose are begging for an answer from Biden and company. And yet day after day its embarrassment, shame and failure.
Don't forget Trudeau, hiding in the weeds, afraid to at least send some body to listen to the complaints
There we have it
2/7th's of the G7 hiding from their own people, afraid to listen or answer questions
Possibly doing as much damage to our economy as Putin's russia
Efforts to decimate Russia's economy to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine could have serious and unpredictable implications at home for the U.S. and its allies.
The Russian economy has begun to crumble after the U.S., United Kingdom, European Union and other partners imposed unprecedented sanctions with stunning speed.
The Russian government and major financial firms have been cut off from much of the global financial system, dozens of international companies have pulled out of the country, and the value of the ruble has plunged as the Russian central bank scrambles to prevent a deeper crisis.
“The United States and Europeans are explicitly stating that they're engaging in economic warfare with Russia,” said Daniel Glaser, former Treasury assistant secretary for financial crimes, during a Thursday webinar hosted by compliance firm K2 Integrity.
“Normally when you hear the U.S. and Europeans talk about the application of sanctions, you hear a lot about how targeted they want it to be,” he continued. “I'm not saying that the U.S. and Europeans don't care about collateral damage, but that’s not the talking point that they're using. The talking point that they’re using is how much pain they're trying to inflict on Russia, and it's just jaw-dropping.”
U.S. and allied officials have argued intense economic pain is essential to punishing Russian President Vladimir Putin domestically for the invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions regime is designed to not only hinder the Russian economy but also limit Moscow’s ability to ease the economic pain. The U.S. and its allies blocked transactions with the Central Bank of Russia and froze about half of the $600 billion in Russia's foreign reserves, which Moscow had parked in other countries. The moved locked up what experts called Putin’s sanctions war chest.
The threat of future penalties has also prompted a mass exodus of international companies from Russia. Dozens of companies that may be able to operate outside of sanctions are leaving Russia instead of risking blowback from the U.S. government and losing access to the American dollar.
“There are certain tools they can use to manage,” said Rachel Ziemba, founder of macroeconomic advisory firm Ziemba Insights, of the Russian government.
They're headed toward, yes, a recession but a much more internally focused economy that basically takes all the reforms over the last couple of decades and almost does the reverse,” she added.
Even so, mounting economic pain at home hasn’t curbed Putin’s military ambitions in Ukraine.
Russian forces claimed to take control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant overnight in Ukraine, prompting deep concern among U.S. officials. The attack on the plant, which sparked a fire overnight, drew widespread panic and fueled calls among U.S. lawmakers to take more aggressive action against Putin’s regime.
Members of Congress in both parties have ramped up pressure on President Biden to block Russian oil. Doing so would almost certainly send gas prices higher given the globally connected nature of oil markets.
The U.S. is a net exporter of oil, but higher demand for American crude would push up energy prices globally as European allies scramble to replace Russian petroleum and natural gas.
While Biden has sought to prepare Americans for potential economic fallout at home, experts say the unprecedented nature of the penalties creates unpredictable risks for the U.S. economy.
Energy and food prices are the quickest way Americans could feel shockwaves from Russia’s decline, particularly if Biden takes action against Russian oil imports
metmike: Sorry again for the huge delay in the response time here. Almost a minute at times. Somebody(s) doesn't want us to remain on line.