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14 July 2017


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Chris Chuba

Whatta thread!

In the Oliver Stone interview, Putin describes the situation this way, he met with the Oligarchs and said they can keep their ill gotten wealth but from now on must pay taxes and contribute to the Russian Federation. That they will not be able to bribe their way out of trouble (paraphrasing).

Some of the Oligarchs were subsequently sued for various tax fraud cases, lost their wealth, and emigrated to the U.S. This is the source that proclaims that Putin seized private property to enrich himself.

Who do we believe in this situation? The meme, Putin is a crook and the richest man in the universe comes mostly from 4 -5 people who have the advantage that the U.S. wants to believe them. The testimony for the Magnistky act came mostly from one person, Browder, described above.

Talking heads smirk and say that the U.S. treasury or CIA should document the billions of $ that Putin has stolen from Russia. If we had any evidence, or could manufacture it convincingly, don't you think it would have been released by now? Our number 1 competency is Information Warfare, sigh, I wish it was something less pungent.

Chris Chuba

Dances with Bears discovers the 'traitor clause' in the new Congressional sanctions bill.

It will punish Russian Oligarchs who are patriots while rewarding those who support dissident groups (I wonder if there is a Putin assassination bonus).

"(A) An identification of the most significant senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation, as determined by their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth. ...

B) An assessment of the relationship between individuals identified under subparagraph (A) and President Vladimir Putin or other members of the Russian ruling elite. ... (5) The potential impacts of imposing secondary sanctions with respect to Russian oligarchs, Russian state-owned enterprises, and Russian parastatal entities, including impacts on the entities themselves and on the economy of the Russian Federation, as well as on the economies of the United States and allies of the United States.”

The article does a good job of describing how punitive the new sanctions are on individuals based on their political affiliation. Wow, and we accuse them of meddling. It is a misrepresentation to suggest that this bill is just codifying sanctions to prevent the Administration from removing them without Congressional oversight (I disagree with that limited purpose as well).

Babak Makkinejad

Likely, US (and the Western Fortress with her) are going to sanction herself out of leverage with Russia. When it becomes clear that sanctions are not working, she will proceed to try to get others to join her in sanctioning Russia. When that also in turn fails, US will proceed to neogiate with Russia and agree to a 10-year old deal.. Another ceasefire deal, like the JCPOA.

Patrick Armstrong

Already has, I would say. Russia is better off, USA hardly affected, EU is worse off. As a small example Canada used to pretty reliably export $500 worth of pork to Russia. That market is all gone for good -- Russia, thanks to its clever counter sanctions and wise investment is now self-sufficient in pork. Long since in chicken and soon to be in beef (gestation and growth rates make the difference).
So my guess is that, when and if the Western-imposed sanctions end, Moscow won't care very much and it won't make too much difference.
Another stunning achievement of the fools and traitors who have been running our countries for two or three decades. (Fools is self-explanatory, traitors? well what do you call people whose every action weakens their own constiutuencies? whether the will it or not.)


Babak, all:

"As mentioned above SWIFT has disconnected all Iranian banks from its international network as a sanction against Iran. Similarly, in August 2014 the UK planned to press the EU to block Russian use of SWIFT as a sanction due to Russian military intervention in Ukraine.[33] However, SWIFT refused to do so. In their official statement they said, "SWIFT regrets the pressure, as well as the surrounding media speculation, both of which risk undermining the systemic character of the services that SWIFT provides its customers around the world".[34] SWIFT also rejected calls to boycott Israeli banks from its network.[35] -wiki

I assume SWIFT will hold strong regards the potential oligarch targeting. I wonder if Iran might be allowed back in any time soon.

Babak Makkinejad

I think in that case, the flow of gas to Europe would have been stopped, not to resume for years.
The thing about Western Fortress that find exasperating is their near-juvenile approach to Power; seemlingly oblivious to the Other Side's ability to retaliate.

Chris Chuba

Babak and others, I agree in general that the U.S. is overplaying the sanctions card and that it is becoming less effective. But the the DWB article is saying that it can devastate the fortunes of individual Russian oligarchs. So tying sanctions based on their political beliefs is much more intrusive meddling then stealing and then releasing truthful emails during an election cycle U.S. (truth is not supposed to be able to destroy a democracy). It's a not so subtle hint to encourage a palace revolt.

I'm not saying that it will work because I do not believe the U.S. is living in reality anymore but just when I think that I cannot be surprised by our hypocrisy, something like this turns up.


Okay, thanks for clarifying. Please accept my regrets.

different clue

The anti-Russia sanctions are an unintended experiment in what Protectionism can allow a country to do for itself/ its economy. The sanctions restrict trade between Russia and non-Russia. The inventors of those sanctions actually believe that Forced Free Trade is good for the countries which the Forced Free Traders target for their Forced Free Trade.

Russia is treating this non-sale of foreign goods into Russia as the functional equivalent of what Protectionism would be if Russia had applied Protectionist Exclusion its very own self against those same foreign goods.
If the Russian economy , especially the non-oil sector, grows faster under these sanctions than it did before these sanctions; then Protectionism will be revealed as a successful tool to permit a large country with multi-faceted economic potential to develope its own potential to its own benefit.

I have read that one of the products now embargoed from sale into Russia is the corn-fed aqua-feedlotted "salmon" grown in Norway and etc. If these sanctions stay in place long enough for Russia to upgrade the Trans-Siberian railroad up to Western European standards, such that wild Kamchatka salmon can be brought to Russia west-of-the-Urals as easily as Norwegian farmed "salmon" was brought there, the Russians may well decide they like Kamchatka REAL salmon more than they liked Norwegian farmed "salmon" anyway. At which point, Protectionism will have shown itself to be completely superior to Forced Free Trade in terms of monetizing and availabilizing good quality REAL salmon into the Russian marketplace.


Chris, Babak, thanks. Reality on the ground works both ways, i.e., Europe prefers not to freeze to death this winter. I recall Putin giving them a taste of that a few years ago.

It would be nice if this bill had arisen from the rabble of the House, but no. Congress reminds me of Wile E. Coyote, except Wiley was sincere.

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