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An Ordinary Country Led By Someone From Chicago

July 29th, 2014 - 4:22 pm

The Washington Post and the New York Times disagree on the who’s leading the charge in imposing new sanctions on Russia. The NYT says “Obama Joins Europe in Expanding Sanctions on Russia”, while the Washington Post writes “Obama announces expanded sanctions against Russia as E.U. aligns”.

The NYT’s version of events is:

President Obama announced expanded sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, just hours after the European Union imposed its most sweeping measures yet penalizing Moscow for its role in supporting separatists in neighboring Ukraine….

Until now, European leaders have resisted the broader sorts of actions they agreed to on Tuesday and their decision to do so reflected increasing alarm that Russia is not only helping separatists in Ukraine but directly involving itself in the fighting.

The Washington Post sees it as Merkel’s conversion to the Anglo-American point of view.

LONDON — The European Union on Tuesday overcame months of misgivings about forcefully confronting Russia and unleashed a wave of tough economic sanctions intended to push Moscow into backing down from its destabilizing role in eastern Ukraine….

Europe’s harder line has long been sought by Washington, but was for months resisted by European officials who have been anxious about the implications for their own economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel led a faction of European leaders who sought to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine through dialogue with Moscow, rather than punitive measures.

But the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine this month galvanized politicians in capitals across Europe to move swiftly against Moscow in retaliation for an attack that the West has blamed on pro-Russian rebels….

“The plane changed everything,” said Sophia Pugsley, a specialist in E.U.-Russia relations at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “And it’s really the German attitude that has changed. They’re the ones that are going to feel the pain in the parts of the economy that rely on Russia.”

Nobody quite knows how the Russians will respond, but despite denials that there’s a new Cold War, the only comparisons the interviewed experts could cite were the Cold War.  James Nixey, head of the Russia and Eurasia program at the London-based think tank Chatham House said “the truth is we beat Russia in the Cold War, particularly due to our economic strength, and we can do so again if we’re unified.”

But unified under whom? The sense conveyed by both the NYT and the WaPo is that Obama is now a peer among  equals. Boehner may have decided not to impeace Obama as president of the United States, but the Germans have apparently removed him from the post of Leader of the Free World.

In that sense this marks the first objective fulfillment of his implied foreign policy. America is no longer a special country. What Merkel matters as much as what Obama decides. Perhaps Angela Merkel has not been shy about making her views known. Today she said:

“The decision today was thus unavoidable,” Merkel said in a statement, adding that EU leaders had repeatedly warned Moscow that the annexation of Crimea and continued destabilisation of east Ukraine were not acceptable.

“It is now up to the leadership in Russia to decide whether they want to go the way of de-escalation and cooperation,” Merkel said. “The EU sanctions can be reviewed but further steps are also possible.”

It is perhaps a sign of the times that Japan is scheduling military exercises with France. Japan has been acting like it must increasingly see to its own defense. Who can blame them, as the Chinese Navy exercised in the East and South China seas forcing the cancellation of 200 commercial flights.

Russia will probably respond to the sanctions as all other sanctioned countries have done. The way Iran, North Korea and Iraq did, only on a much bigger, more competent scale. We should never forget that the Cold War was marked by periods of intense conflict, Korea and Vietnam being just two.  It was only “cold” by comparison to World War 2. For good or ill, president Obama has fundamentally changed the world, not only rolling back not only the victory of the Cold War, but to a certain extent even the legacy of World War 2.

Little ducks, there’s trouble in Russia. Let’s hope Aunt Angela can handle it.

This may be all for the best or it may not. Maybe it would have happened anyway, as an inevitable process of history. As John Kerry, who was physically searched before being allowed to see the Egyptian president discovered, being Secretary of State ain’t what it used to be.  Maybe he can still persuade Central America not to invade the USA.

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Top Rated Comments   
OT, another ritual sacrifice:

Lt. Col Matthew Dooley, a West Point graduate and highly decorated combat veteran, was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University.

He had 19 years of service and experience, and was considered one of the most highly qualified military instructors on Radical Islam & Terrorism. He taught military students about the situations they would encounter, how to react, about Islamic culture, traditions, and explained the mindset of Islamic extremists. Passing down first hand knowledge and experience, and teaching courses that were suggested (and approved) by the Joint Forces Staff College.

The course, "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism", which was suggested and approved by the Joint Forces Staff College, caught the attention of several Islamic Groups, and they wanted to make an example of him. They collectively wrote a letter expressing their outrage, and the Pro-Islamic Obama Administration was all too happy to assist.

The letter was passed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey. Dempsey publicly degraded and reprimanded Dooley, and Dooley received a negative Officer Evaluation Report almost immediately (which he had aced for the past 5 years). He was relieved of teaching duties, and his career has been red-flagged "He had a brilliant career ahead of him. Now, he has been flagged."

Same Demsey who commented on the ''workplace violence'' at Ft Hood and bragged about the ''diversity'' they had there.

A pathetic excuse for an officer--would any of these guys ever have the guts to resign in protest?

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
We're now facing the fact that there is NO legitimate way for citizens to limit an out-of-control presidency. Either I'm wrong about the seriousness of the consequences or control will be attempted by ILlegitimate means.

I figured all this impeachment hysteria from the Dems was a dual-pronged tar baby/fundraising scheme. But I've seen multiple people posit something that didn't occur to me (dammit):

What if they are front-running some Executive actions so utterly egregious that it may even get the attention of the LIVs? Prep the battlespace now so that they can say, "I told you those evil Rethuglikkans were out to get our first black President!" after they have made the coup de grace.

That makes a lot of sense, given how they've worked things so far. I consider myself pretty cynical about the state of American politics, and that possibility didn't even cross my mind. The possibility scares the ever-livin' crap out of me.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
So the fundamental transformation of America continues. Our top brass has been decapitated. Our media have become obedient eunuchs. Our identity is being diluted. Our confidence in ourselves has dissolved. Our friends no longer trust us and our enemies no longer even bother to take us seriously. We are perched on a bubble that will burst, probably some time early in 2017 or whenever George S. decides. The only things missing are a Spanish Flu pandemic and/or a nuclear war.

This administration may turn out to be the most successful one in our history as measured by how many of its objectives have been achieved.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (108)
All Comments   (108)
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Rolling back the gains civilization made in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Cold War, WWII, the Civil War, the Revolution, the siege of Vienna ...
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let the soft power handle it. I’m sure it will work.

This war, like the European Civil War (1939-1945) is between rival claimants for to succeed the prior German and Russian socialist governments. One one side, the ideological heirs of German and Russian socialism (the EUSSR) and on the other side, a former noble in the Russian socialist regime who has seized the crown for himself.

Who ever wins, no American blood or treasure should be spent or spilled. We should sell weapons to both sides; make a profit.

Let the trial by combat begin.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The comments so far are first rate. The problem is how do we proceed from here?

My humble thoughts and suggestions:

1. O and his henchmen are systematically destroying the US, and are enabling a world full of carnage and rising danger to the people of the US.

2. He is a 2nd rate Marxist that went well beyond the Peter Principle and is in a position where he can do potentially fatal damage to this country.

3. Impeachment and conviction of O will do nothing because then you get Biden, or you get Boener.

4. What one needs to do for damage control (to prevent things from becoming worse) is to isolate and neutralize O.

5. This will take an effort from both sides of the aisle. You will not get congress critters to do the right thing on their own. They need to feel heat and to realize that their relationship with O is toxic to them.

6. The model for this is somewhat like the take down of Pablo Escobar. You find associations or links, then you have you see that the people in these links find that their association with O and his inner circle, e.g., ValJar, Holder, et al, are detrimental to those individuals in circles of association further out. Congress critters are the ones where the links need to be broken. It will be in their self interest.

7. The mainstream media are the same situation. Those links need to be broken, they must see that it is political and business suicide to stay with O and his inner circle. They look after their own interests.

8. An example: John Kerry has been O's good little dog doing O's bidding. He is now viewed as a fool tool of O. He has no credibility. He is ridiculed, and becoming a pariah. The best thing Kerry can do for himself is to resign as SoS and cut his losses. Maybe an aware congress critter can have a quiet talk with him and show him the way.

9. The trick is how to approach each person at the layer of the circle and break the link between them and O and his inner circle.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Couple of quibbles:

#3: Biden and Boehner (#s 2 and 3 in succession, right?) are competence-challenged but neither is a narcissistic sociopath who believes America lies at the root of most of the world's evils. At this point either would be a considerable step upward.

For example, neither would deliberately defy laws OR give the middle finger to Congress.

#4: Obama has already isolated himself from virtually all the people a president normally would work with. Who is he still linked with? SUBORDINATES in the executive branch -- people he can step on at will and who (in many cases) also have him by whatever small appendage he possesses. And big money/high power supporters outside the government.

#7: The media are on the victim end of an abusive relationship. Even if he beats them to a pulp tonight they'll be begging him to take them back tomorrow. They LOVE him; they know that he LOVES them ...

It's going to be VERY hard to isolate Obama from people who report to him and the media. I'm not disagreeing with the theory; it's where we get the power to actually do the work.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
We must respect other cultures, chapter XXII:
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
From what movie was that clip taken from? I missed that one.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Security cabinet directs IDF to continue operation, complete destruction of terror tunnels

"According to the official, speaking after a four-hour security cabinet meeting, the IDF operation has led to “significant achievements on the ground” and is hitting at the “strategic apparatus” that Hamas has invested in for years.

The official said that the IDF also has had “significant achievements” in degrading the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, and will “continue to expand” those operations."
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Security cabinet directs IDF to continue operation, complete destruction of terror tunnels...

A better strategery would be to direct the IDF to continue operation until the complete destruction of HAMAS, AND The Tunnels.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many once thought that Jake Tapper was an exception in the MSM, with great coverage in Iraq.

The Bloodthirsty Joos are too much for him to stand, however, and now he spouts the party line that "More Palestinian Children have been killed in this operation than Israel has lost soldiers in the last Eight Years of Conflict."

Idiot Savant.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
MachiasPrivateer: "A key image has emerged that confirms MH17 was most likely shot out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile ..."

Let's stipulate that MH17 was brought down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile. Who had SA-11 missiles in the relevant area? The Kiev regime definitely had multiple batteries which had been moved into the area shortly before -- strange, because the freedom fighters had no aircraft. Said freedom fighters (or terrorists, if you are a NYT reader) had apparently captured a single SA-11 battery from the Kiev regime a few days earlier, although the regime said it had disabled that battery before abandoning it.

Let's stipulate that both regime & freedom fighters had SA-11. Which group fired the missile? I don't know; you don't know. The people who may have real evidence, such as US & European governments, are putting no factual data into the public domain. Other entities, such as the Kiev regime, are actively withholding evidence, such as the Air Traffic Control tapes.

Under such conditions, it is as irrational for US citizens to blame Putin as it is for those English punks at the London Telegraph to blame the US. Let's see the facts before getting dragged into a European war!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Still pushing those 2-week old dried out blinis? Nobody's buying.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment if BHO is gonna go to war w/Putin!

How does Pootie Poot Sleep???
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is so strange about the Ukrainians having SAMs when the RUSSIANS had been flying in armed men in helicopters???? The RUSSIANS were violating the territory of a sovereign state. The RUSSIANS had seized the Crimea.

I will concede your (a)moral equivalence of Obama and Putin. They both favor BIG GOVERNMENT AND THE BIG LIE. But the evidence comes from an Australian newspaper.

What ever happened to the meme, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER?

As I suggested below, the Germans ought to re-start their nuclear power plants. Spend their energy Euros domestically. Cut off Putin's cash flow. The Ukraine survived the RUSSIAN incompetence at Chernobyl. As FDR's ghost would tell Merkel, "The only thing you have to fear is fear itself."

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a sane World we'd also be building a LNG Port on the east coast as quickly as possible and calling on the Euros to beef up their storage and distribution capabilities.
Didcot power station cooling towers demolished - video

Three cooling towers at the disused Didcot A power Station in Oxfordshire are demolished on Sunday morning. 180kg of explosives were used in the demolition, flattening 36,000 tonnes of material in seconds.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
We're already exporting record amounts of coal to Germany. We're stretching our railroads and port facilities to their limits.

Agreed on the LNG exports too.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
3,331 mi
Distance from Maine to France

4,792 mi
Distance from New Orleans, LA to Paris

I wondered why my source (that I've forgotten) was calling for a new facility instead of using existing facilities on the Gulf.

Didn't take too long to figure out that a significantly shorter route would result in many more deliveries with the same number of ships.

Currently, it would probably be profitable to beat Petrol Putin's demands with shipments from the Gulf.
Does Ukraine fear an invasion if the pipelines are blown up?
(...more probably fear a cutoff of gas for them, I guess)
Reset, indeed.
Does Ukraine fear an invasion if the pipelines are blown up?
(...more probably fear a cutoff of gas for them, I guess)
Reset, indeed.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The two foremost totalitarian ideologies in the world; Islam and Marxist/Progressivism... smell blood in the water. They see an America governed by a President, supported by a Party and media whose only response to aggression is appeasement. They see an America whose President is actively promoting the destruction of America's social cohesion. Only sheer incredulity on the part of our external enemies can explain their hesitancy in greater aggression. But when the lion is gravely injured, at some point the hyena attacks. It is no longer a matter of if but of when the attacks will come.

"Government Sources: Rise in Illegals from Countries with Ties to Terrorism"
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Only sheer incredulity..."?

Maybe they realize that the most important force in Obama's regime has been TOTUS. And there is a war going on for control of TOTUS and Obama is losing.

The King of the Jungle lolls around all day while the lionesses do the work. It takes a lot to get him to act, but you do not want to be on the receiving end of his wrath. Maybe those jackals sense that the King is getting pissed.

Who is the real king? We the People. Obama is just a cipher.

He is the farcical rerun of Harold Washington, another black, Hyde Park liberal icon to the media and the LIVs.

Who runs Chicago today? A white guy, Rahmbo. And even he is feeling the heat.

Beirut on the Lake has become Benghazi on the Potomac.

As some wag put it, "The first time as tragedy, the second as farce."
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Who is the real king? We the People. Obama is just a cipher."

Your faith that the governance of America still rests within the hands of the people is touching. Its good to know that some retain their idealism.

Unfortunately, the reality of our southern border alone argues otherwise.

There's also the little matter of 40+% of 'the people' supporting that 'cipher', which while not a majority, does prevent the majority from doing anything about that cipher.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Prevent the majority from doing anything"?

We've taken the Great Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and turned him into an object of derision.

The Leader (From Behind) of the Free World is now ignored by people globally. His party is likely to lose the governorship of THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF ILLINOIS!

There is a preference cascade abuilding.

As to those kids from south of the border. I like their GUMPTION. How many inner city Americans would re-locate one thousand miles to get a paying job? Head lice and scabies are curable. Fear of the unknown is a much bigger challenge. So much of the influence of "progressives" is based on fear of the unknown, LIVs trading freedom for a little security.

The "conventional wisdom" is that Democrats will gain the support of these kids. Having worked for what they get, they may be loath to surrender it to the government. "Unintended consequences" are a trademark of progressivism.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Speaking about the ads on PJM..

I get one that complains that Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois, didn't pay any Social Security taxes!!!!

That ignores the fact that state public employees, such as the current governor, Pat Quinn, do not pay Social Security taxes on their government paychecks. They have underfunded state government pensions instead.

No wonder Illinois's credit rating is in the toilet. Rauner has a HUGE lead in the polls.

Maybe the LIVS can learn from experience.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment

" reports on a research project into anti-Semitism led by Monika Schwarz-Friesel, at Berlin’s Technical University.
According to Schwarz-Friesel there has been a huge increase in anti-Jewish sentiment online. Many of the insults were 'falling back on old stereotypes,' with people using phrases like 'usurer,' 'child murderer' and 'global conspiracy.'
'The Internet has become the primary distribution medium for the new anti-Semitism,' the Technical University said in a statement Monday."

Now, we discover that Mr. Obama "raised his voice" while admonishing Mr. Netanyahu. The Führer was a yeller among yellers.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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