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01 March 2014

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Thomas

Jonst,

On the Senkaku-Diaoyu Island disputes, China claims the Cairo Declaration of 1943 gives them control. Every one is in an island dispute with each other over there and diplomatic arbirtration is the way to go, but Abe is balking. Japanese revisionist history is antagonizing both China or South Korea.

You are correct in that this is not sitting well with Europe and things could be spiraling out of control.

"Russia is threatening peace in Europe with its military actions in Ukraine and must immediately de-escalate tensions, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Sunday.

"What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations charter,” Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels. “It threatens peace and security in Europe.”

His comments were echoed by former Swedish prime minister, Carl Bildt, who drew comparisons to the disputes that escalated into the start of World War One in 1914.

“On the centenary of 1914, we are suddenly in a Europe of invasion, aggression and threats of massive use of military force,” he wrote on Twitter. “When Russian forces demands that Ukraine forces in Crimea surrender weapons it's clearly a military occupation that is taking place.”"

Fred

joe,

How's Target's security system doing after the last bout of hacking? Do you really think "Cyber Command" is going to stop any kind of retaliatory action made against American firms and their customers?

Charles I

And the Germans are not going to be going crazy for it when collection plate is passed around either. It will be impossible to pretend a few billion pledged from a conference given to whoever manifests "legitimate authority" can address Ukraine's dire economic and political culture, or change local maps the way a boot on the ground can.

On this point alone any banker public or private should be closefisted if presented with short term magical thinking. The corruption ensuing the Orange Revolution has crippled the political and economic culture to the point of Revolution. That corruption must have been integrated into Ukraine/Russia relations both legitimate and criminal, as well as have been the purview of unknown Deep State actors of the sort that got $70bn out the door while the giddy liberated crowd voted for more of the same, only not commies. Drastic, "extraordinary measures" will be required the new interim leader confessed as currency controls were announced among the first order of new business.

Economics be damned, in the short the gas will be used cynically as possible when opportunity knocks even as Lavarov pledges assistance today. Crimea is going where it is going.

So you are correct to be dubious


One can only now hope to be on the losing side of the western debate on who will pony up and take the reins of this nag. There'll be no war.
There will be no real Marshall plan for Western Ukraine that Moscow does not allow and benefit from either. I am sure they''l be content with billions of lolly being injected into the Ukraine banking system. The IMF is already afoot with its own designs so I expect the machinations, not many taking account of our new found fellow, er, democrats, but focusing on how to get dispositive rights and mechanisms in place before the Russians (owed near $2bn for gas alone) have their way.

Charles I

The country was so corrupt and apparently so looted that bankruptcy and or revolution was imminent,most realistically to be staved off by the Russians and the gas and growing consumer economy instead of having been wooed by an EU not prepared to weigh, let alone pay the freight. Any EU deal was a band-aid, latent with the same Russian perspective of its well entrenched interests, sunk investment and realistic consideration of their local agency.

Alba Etie

WRC
Its very ironic to me that in this context I very much support Putin's decision to go into Crimea - to paraphrase JFK - "We are all Russian now " Ms Victoria Nuland Kagan and the rest of the R2P , neocon Harpies be damned .

confusedponderer

PL,
" we seized vast Iranian private assets and it has done us no good at all. "

Oh come on, I bet that somebody at least felt good for being tough on something.

US policy vis a vis Iran for a long tome has consisted of being tough for the sake of being tough, and sanctions have always been part of it.

After a couple decades, US hawks are running out of things to sanction or seize, so, to ratchet up the pressure some more they took what they could get their fingers on. The private assets were a low hanging fruit in this regard.

Whether it actually works is a quite secondary a consideration to that.

Naturally, the neocon instinct in face of the brick wall at the end of that cul-de-sac is to double down, break through the wall and boldly change the game!

For instance war with Iran is to them an option that allows them 'to change the game' without having to change the policy of accepting nothing but unconditional surrender from their various enemies of choice.

War as a 'game changer' thus must always 'be an option', 'on the table', precisely because it is the only alternative to a reality based reassessment of something that obviously doesn't work. One just needs to look at their record.

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