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Anonymous #1

World War III
    #21766630 - 06/06/15 01:33 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

“We live in dangerous times. There have been three periods in the past hundred years when the annual GDP growth in Europe went below 1 percent: first in 1913, just before the First World War, second in 1938, just before the Second World War, and third in 2014."

-Times


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Anonymous #2

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #1]
    #21769370 - 06/06/15 05:22 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

World war 3 can lick my anus


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Anonymous #3

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #1] * 1
    #21769408 - 06/06/15 05:33 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I bought a kukri for the impending war. Im going zelda on WW3.


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Anonymous #4

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #3]
    #21769654 - 06/06/15 06:48 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

There is no tyranical dictator running through countries left and right in europe.  I think that's more important for a world war then some coincidental economics.


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Anonymous #1

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #4]
    #21769773 - 06/06/15 07:13 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Global tensions surge as NATO, Russia hold rival military exercises
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/28/nato-m28.html


Chinese navy issued warnings eight times as a U.S. surveillance plane on Wednesday swooped over islands that Beijing is using to extend its zone of influence.

The series of man-made islands and the massive Chinese military build-up on them have alarmed the Pentagon, which is carrying out the surveillance flights in order to make clear the U.S. does not recognize China's territorial claims. The militarized islands have also alarmed America's regional allies.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell told CNN's Erin Burnett Wednesday night that the confrontation indicates there is "absolutely" a risk of the U.S. and China going to war sometime in the future.
http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/20/politics/south-china-sea-navy-flight/index.html

Anon 4,

Quote:

The United Nations has reported that in 2014 there were more refugees, (both internal and cross border) than there have been since World War 2. About 18 million of them are cross border refugees, people trying to emigrate from their native land. A huge majority of these refugees have been fleeing from wars, directly or indirectly created by the United States, Britain, France, Turkey and Gulf States.

Around 2 1/2 million are from Afghanistan, a nation dismembered by George W. Bush and Tony Blair.

Another 2 1/2 million people have fled from Syria, a country that has been dismembered by the United States, Turkey, France and the Gulf States who have created, armed, trained, financed and given logistical support to every single anti government entity that initiated and are presently prosecuting that country’s civil war.

There are 1.2 million refugees from Somalia, a country devastated by the support of Washington and Riyadh for Al Shabaab,  Washington has done this in part for Geo Political reasons. That is that Somalia, like Yemen, (the new escalation of Washington’s regional wars) controls the shipping lanes to the Gulf of Aden leading into the Red Sea, where 3 1/2 million barrels of oil flow daily, mostly to Europe. Washington also knows that there is oil in Somalia, (the Puntland fields) and possibly a lot more off of its coast.

There is also another 635,000 refugees from the Sudan, a country the American have finished dismembering, creating a failed state called South Sudan. Again the reason was oil. South Sudan was the part of the Sudan where all the oil was. According to the World Bank; “South Sudan is the most oil-dependent country in the world, with oil accounting for almost the totality of exports”.

Another 1/2 million refugees are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, (DRC). The DRC is the richest area of resources in Africa, with according to Forbes over $24 trillion in known “untapped deposits of raw mineral ores, including the world’s largest reserves of cobalt and significant quantities of the world’s diamonds, gold and copper.”

In Africa, Washington pits political, tribal, regional and religious factions against each other, giving money and weapons to whoever will best help it to maximize profits for its Multinationals. In the DRC that has led to this rich country being “the world’s least developed ………in terms of life expectancy, education, standard of living and key health indicators, like maternal and child mortality.” And Washington has helped to create and fund wars in that country that according to the International Committee of the Red Cross have killed more 5.4 MILLION people.

Over the past 20 years of Washington instigated and fueled DNC wars, how much wealth has been extracted from the country by Anglo American and French transnationals and how much has gone to the people? The half million refugees from the DRC today, represent the continuation of this bleeding.

And then we have another 400,000 refugees from Iraq. George W. Bush and Tony Blair know well who destroyed their country.

The United Nations Commission on Refuges, (UNCR) from whom these figures come, do not count the 5 million Palestinian refugees, who have fled from the US and British backed conquest of their lands by European Zionists.

But the 17 million figure for international refugees given by the UNCR, pails compared to the 38 million who are internally displaced. That is people who have lost their homes and livelihoods and had to flee to an uncertain fate in a hoped for more peaceful part of their own country. The number of the internally displaced has soared by 11 million in 2014 alone, where 30,000 people every day became homeless.

Among the new countries with soaring rates for internal displacement last year was Nigeria, with more than 1.5 million people. That has been due to Boko Haram, which is a CIA extortion racket again being done for oil.

In Libya there are now 400,000 internally displaced, thanks to then French  president Sarkozy, Obama and Hillary Clinton’s dismemberment of the country.

And now in the Ukraine there are now 1.2 million internally displaced thanks to Obama’s Maidan Square coup. And There are also 900,000 Ukrainians from the Southeastern Provinces of the country who have fled to Russia thanks to a Washington backed civil war in the country waged by its political puppets in Kiev.

These numbers are not even counted in the UNHR’s figure of 18 million refuges.

And now in 2015, since Washington and its vassal state Saudi Arabia are starting a war against Yemen, besides the dead, as a humanitarian crisis grows, the refuge problem both external and internal will also soar.

In the world of internally displaced people, the worst is still Syria at 7.6 million and Iraq 2.2 million. Those are both places where Obama and his stooges have done their very worst.

With the others wars, still in full swing and the new war in Yemen having only just begun, it would be a sure bet to say the number of refugees for 2015 will print significantly higher than this 2014 report.




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Anonymous #4

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #1]
    #21769789 - 06/06/15 07:17 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

There are many more people alive today then in 1945, plus refugees is no indication of a world war.  Libia is in a civil war, yemen is in a civil war in the middle east there are refugees because of instability in the region, it's also not even close to the same geopolitical stability as in 1945.

There are a lot of factors at work.

Was an interesting read, but I don't see what it has to do with a world war.



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Anonymous #5

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #4]
    #21769823 - 06/06/15 07:25 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

World War 3 is a civil war, between the People, and the Powers That Be.




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Anonymous #1

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #5]
    #21769961 - 06/06/15 07:55 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Let's hope.


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Anonymous #6

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #5]
    #21769989 - 06/06/15 08:04 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Anonymous #5 said:
World War 3 is a civil war, between the People, and the Powers That Be.







we can all hope.

i think it will be governments and resourses myself!


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Anonymous #4

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #6]
    #21770251 - 06/06/15 09:14 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

The people would get smoked.  The military of governments are far too powerful especially the US, the US could kill everyone in that country with out blinking if they saw the people as a threat to the institutions of government.  A war like that would have loyalists and rebels, so there would be plenty of trained people to kill all the rebels.


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Anonymous #5

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #4]
    #21770354 - 06/06/15 09:41 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

The military.. The hardware is operated by by the People.

If there is a true revolution, there will be revolt. Platoons will cross over to the People. Tank crews. Navy vessels. Nuclear submarines. Forts will turn on central authority and side with the People.

Thats what revolution is, true revolution.

It almost happened in China.


Here's the glorious sight of the Paris fire department turning on the riot police:



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Anonymous #6

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #5]
    #21770393 - 06/06/15 09:53 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

only if we saw more of that in the world


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Anonymous #7

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #6] * 1
    #21771140 - 06/07/15 01:55 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I can't wait to eat human ribs.


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Anonymous #4

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #5]
    #21771225 - 06/07/15 02:28 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

You act like "the people" hold the same political beliefs, they do not.  It's called a civil war because 2 groups of people are fighting for power.  Those loyal to the US would fuck up the other side with their military, even if it's half of what it is currently.


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Anonymous #8

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #4]
    #21782148 - 06/09/15 05:33 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I disagree. I know plenty of people who spent most of their life in the military and they are the first to tell me they would without a doubt attack the government if shit ever went down.


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Anonymous #9

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #8]
    #21782880 - 06/09/15 08:41 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Anonymous #8 said:
I disagree. I know plenty of people who spent most of their life in the military and they are the first to tell me they would without a doubt attack the government if shit ever went down.





Those people have no idea what the military could have done to their brain while they served.  Some whistle could go off and trigger soldiers brains to just go into kill mode.  Hypnosis and brainwashing have to be used all the time I assume?


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Anonymous #4

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #8]
    #21783165 - 06/09/15 10:03 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Anonymous #8 said:
I disagree. I know plenty of people who spent most of their life in the military and they are the first to tell me they would without a doubt attack the government if shit ever went down.



So because you know a few people in the military all the people hold the same political beliefs?  Have you taken a look at congress lately?  The whole thing is conflicting political beliefs.

IMO your thinking is too simplistic.  Good guy vs bad guy.  Things are a lot more complicated then that.


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Anonymous #10

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #4]
    #21786128 - 06/10/15 08:12 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

WW3 would kill you all if superpowers went to war. There would be no human or animal left alive on the planet after a full scale nuclear exchange.


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Anonymous #4

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #10]
    #21786162 - 06/10/15 08:21 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Anonymous #10 said:
WW3 would kill you all if superpowers went to war. There would be no human or animal left alive on the planet after a full scale nuclear exchange.



Entire continents yes, over the planet I think there would be some survivors.  Radiation would kill more people then anything else.  We'll never know until russia and USA face off in nuclear war.


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Anonymous #11

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #4]
    #21786451 - 06/10/15 09:28 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Unfortunately this is no laughing matter, my fellow shroomerites.

The USA's empire is on the decline. Russia and China have refused too bow down and be vassals for the West. Confrontation is growing more and more likely. Eventually, the Dollar will lose its status as the world reserve currency and it will go down in value, triggering economic decline for the US. Unless, of course, we have another major war. If it wasn't for nuclear weapons, this war would have already started.

Most recently the USA supported a coup in Ukraine and started a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, in which well over 50 thousand people have died. We are also saber rattling against China over the South China Sea.

Most of Europe are a bunch of pussy lapdogs/vassals who do whatever the USA tells them. So they join in on the Russia-bashing.




"Ukrainians Have Been Dispossessed" Paul Craig Roberts Warns "Americans Are Next"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-08/ukrainians-have-been-dispossessed-paul-craig-roberts-warns-americans-are-next


Over the last 15 months Ukrainians have paid for Washington’s overthrow of their elected government in deaths, dismemberment of their country, and broken economic and political relationships with Russia that cost Ukraine its subsidized energy. Now Ukrainians are losing their pensions and traditional support payments. The Ukrainian population is headed for the graveyard.

On June 1 the TASS news agency reported that Ukraine has stopped payments to pensioners, World War II veterans, people with disabilities, and victims of Chernobyl. According to the report, Kiev has also “eliminated transport, healthcare, utilities and financial benefits for former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps and recipients of some Soviet-era orders and titles. Compensations to families with children living in the areas contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl accident will be no longer paid either. Ukraine’s parliamentary opposition believes that the Prosecutor General’s Office should launch an investigation against Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk who actively promoted the law on the abolition of privileges.”

Notice that this is a yank of the blanket from under the elderly in Ukraine. “Useless eaters,” they are assigned to the trash can. How do the deceived Maiden student protesters feel now that they are culpable in the destruction of their grandparents’ support systems? Do these gullible fools still believe in the Washington-orchestrated Maiden Revolution? The crimes in which these stupid students are complicit are horrific.

Yatsenyuk, or Yats as Victoria Nuland calls him, is the Washington stooge that the US State Department selected to run the puppet government established by Washington. Yats sounds like a right-wing Republican when he refers to pensions, compensations, and social services as “privileges.” This is the Republican view of Social Security and Medicare, programs paid for by the payroll tax over the working lives of Americans. The Republicans stole the payroll revenues and spent them on their wars that enrich Wall Street and the military/security complex, and now blame “welfare handouts” for America’s fiscal plight.

Is Monsanto’s right to turn Ukraine into GMO food production a privilege? ls VP Biden’s son’s right to destroy Ukraine’s surface and underground water in fracking operations a privilege? Are the external costs imposed on Ukrainians by these looting activities a privilege? Of course not! These are not privileges. This is the operation of free market economics creating the greatest good for the greatest number. (As many Americans will not realize that I am engaging in satire, I would like to affirm that I am.)

The news report does not say whether the abolished “privileges” are one part of a reform that will replace the terminated “privileges” with a new social support system. Possibly this is the case, but as the termination of pensions and payments was triggered by the coming into effect of Yat’s law to “stabilize the financial condition of Ukraine,” the purpose of the termination of Ukraine’s social welfare system might be to free up money to hand over to the IMF and Western banks. In Ukraine, as in Greece, the gullible and naive population that saw salvation in unity with the West will be driven into the ground.

Russia, of course, will be blamed. I can already write the New York Times and Washington Post editorials and the words that will come from Obama, CNN, and Fox “News.” In fact, so can my intelligent readers.

...

more at link.


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Anonymous #12

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #11]
    #21786776 - 06/10/15 11:38 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

ouch


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Anonymous #13

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #12]
    #21789434 - 06/11/15 02:36 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

LONG LIVE THE PARIS COMMUNE


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Anonymous #14

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #7]
    #21822106 - 06/18/15 11:33 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Anonymous #7 said:
I can't wait to eat human ribs.



Me too.


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Anonymous #1

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #14]
    #21822133 - 06/18/15 11:43 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I will only eat humans who were organic vegans.


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Anonymous #1

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #1]
    #21833577 - 06/21/15 04:16 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

"Russia just announced the yuan be used for bank and oil transactions. So all those European countries will follow as they are dependent on Russian gas. When the Saudi arabia joins then the domino effect is unstoppable."
Can someone please explain what this means?




Quote:

It means the USD is losing its status as the world's reserve currency. Basically, a big reason the USD -- a worthless piece of paper -- has value is because countries have to keep it (well, treasury bonds) on hand to buy oil. So it dramatically inflates the value of the USD.
If the big players ditch the dollar for petroleum trade and start using, say, Chinese currency instead, then the USD loses a huge part of its value. It's the biggest danger to the USD. It's what prompted the US to invade Iraq. (Saddam switched from the USD to the Euro for oil sales.)
tldr: It's the beginning of the end for the US economy.
Jim Willie (many interviews on youtube) does a great job of slogging through the details, as it gets into derivatives, etc.:
06.10.2015 Jim Willie: Derivatives accidents, QE $1Trillion per quarter, Petrodollar dismantling..
br />



Quote:

The USD is not worthless. Search 'petrodollar'.
This IS a shotgun blast to the face of Western hegemony.




Quote:

The Dollar (and by extension, the US Economy) sits on a three-legged stool.
Petrodollars. Crude oil, natural gas, are bought and sold primarily in US Dollars, or at least that's how it was. Worth noting that we (re)invaded Iraq shortly after Saddam started trading in Euros.
Narcodollars. I'm not talking about buying an ounce of weed from the hippie kid you met at the coffee shop. If you're in the market for a moving van full of heroin, you're paying for it in US Dollars.
Interest from Loans. An entirely different can of worms, obviously.
Anyway, you get the picture...you've got a three-legged stool, and somebody is in the process of sawing one of the legs off.




Quote:

When the US prints a trillion dollars out of thin air, the cost is shuffled off to other countries. For example, the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the USD. $1 USD gets you $7.8 HKD. When the US prints out that trillion, the HKD to USD remains the same.
If HK did that, randomly printed money, then it's dollars value would drop. Therefore all nations are shouldering the burden of US debt.
The U.S. owes China roughly $2 trillion (haven't seen the recent figure). If the US were to click a button and "make" $2 trillion appear, would you be willing to accept that money for real goods and services rendered?




     
Quote:

U.S. owes China roughly $2 trillion
The Zionist mafia and China has ripped off the US for the last couple of decades. Why exactly should we pay them for that?




Quote:

This is the Month that the Saudis have had enough of the Dollar, supposedly.




Quote:

WW3 will probably start in a few months, that's what it means. The elite of the USA won't just stand and watch from the sideline.




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Anonymous #12

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #1]
    #21833811 - 06/21/15 05:26 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

:lol:


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Anonymous #15

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #12]
    #21833876 - 06/21/15 05:41 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

I have my spot reserved, I'm ready for WWIII


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Anonymous #16

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #15]
    #21835294 - 06/21/15 11:40 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Oh Lord, what a morning when the stars begin to fall...
The missiles are flying, oh Lord. Hallelujah.



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Anonymous #12

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #16]
    #21836853 - 06/21/15 09:48 PM (7 years, 3 months ago)

mmMMMmm


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Anonymous #1

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #12]
    #21885107 - 07/02/15 06:14 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Prepare your buttholes bitches!

Quote:

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin
By John J. Mearsheimer
Download Article
Listen to Article
Download Audio
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.

But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine -- beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 -- were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president -- which he rightly labeled a “coup” -- was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.

Putin’s pushback should have come as no surprise. After all, the West had been moving into Russia’s backyard and threatening its core strategic interests, a point Putin made emphatically and repeatedly. Elites in the United States and Europe have been blindsided by events only because they subscribe to a flawed view of international politics. They tend to believe that the logic of realism holds little relevance in the twenty-first century and that Europe can be kept whole and free on the basis of such liberal principles as the rule of law, economic interdependence, and democracy.

But this grand scheme went awry in Ukraine. The crisis there shows that realpolitik remains relevant -- and states that ignore it do so at their own peril. U.S. and European leaders blundered in attempting to turn Ukraine into a Western stronghold on Russia’s border. Now that the consequences have been laid bare, it would be an even greater mistake to continue this misbegotten policy.

THE WESTERN AFFRONT

As the Cold War came to a close, Soviet leaders preferred that U.S. forces remain in Europe and NATO stay intact, an arrangement they thought would keep a reunified Germany pacified. But they and their Russian successors did not want NATO to grow any larger and assumed that Western diplomats understood their concerns. The Clinton administration evidently thought otherwise, and in the mid-1990s, it began pushing for NATO to expand.

The first round of enlargement took place in 1999 and brought in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. The second occurred in 2004; it included Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Moscow complained bitterly from the start. During NATO’s 1995 bombing campaign against the Bosnian Serbs, for example, Russian President Boris Yeltsin said, “This is the first sign of what could happen when NATO comes right up to the Russian Federation’s borders. ... The flame of war could burst out across the whole of Europe.” But the Russians were too weak at the time to derail NATO’s eastward movement -- which, at any rate, did not look so threatening, since none of the new members shared a border with Russia, save for the tiny Baltic countries.

Then NATO began looking further east. At its April 2008 summit in Bucharest, the alliance considered admitting Georgia and Ukraine. The George W. Bush administration supported doing so, but France and Germany opposed the move for fear that it would unduly antagonize Russia. In the end, NATO’s members reached a compromise: the alliance did not begin the formal process leading to membership, but it issued a statement endorsing the aspirations of Georgia and Ukraine and boldly declaring, “These countries will become members of NATO.”

Moscow, however, did not see the outcome as much of a compromise. Alexander Grushko, then Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said, “Georgia’s and Ukraine’s membership in the alliance is a huge strategic mistake which would have most serious consequences for pan-European security.” Putin maintained that admitting those two countries to NATO would represent a “direct threat” to Russia. One Russian newspaper reported that Putin, while speaking with Bush, “very transparently hinted that if Ukraine was accepted into NATO, it would cease to exist.”

Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008 should have dispelled any remaining doubts about Putin’s determination to prevent Georgia and Ukraine from joining NATO. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was deeply committed to bringing his country into NATO, had decided in the summer of 2008 to reincorporate two separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But Putin sought to keep Georgia weak and divided -- and out of NATO. After fighting broke out between the Georgian government and South Ossetian separatists, Russian forces took control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Moscow had made its point. Yet despite this clear warning, NATO never publicly abandoned its goal of bringing Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance. And NATO expansion continued marching forward, with Albania and Croatia becoming members in 2009.

The EU, too, has been marching eastward. In May 2008, it unveiled its Eastern Partnership initiative, a program to foster prosperity in such countries as Ukraine and integrate them into the EU economy. Not surprisingly, Russian leaders view the plan as hostile to their country’s interests. This past February, before Yanukovych was forced from office, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the EU of trying to create a “sphere of influence” in eastern Europe. In the eyes of Russian leaders, EU expansion is a stalking horse for NATO expansion.

The West’s final tool for peeling Kiev away from Moscow has been its efforts to spread Western values and promote democracy in Ukraine and other post-Soviet states, a plan that often entails funding pro-Western individuals and organizations. Victoria Nuland, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, estimated in December 2013 that the United States had invested more than $5 billion since 1991 to help Ukraine achieve “the future it deserves.” As part of that effort, the U.S. government has bankrolled the National Endowment for Democracy. The nonprofit foundation has funded more than 60 projects aimed at promoting civil society in Ukraine, and the NED’s president, Carl Gershman, has called that country “the biggest prize.” After Yanukovych won Ukraine’s presidential election in February 2010, the NED decided he was undermining its goals, and so it stepped up its efforts to support the opposition and strengthen the country’s democratic institutions.

When Russian leaders look at Western social engineering in Ukraine, they worry that their country might be next. And such fears are hardly groundless. In September 2013, Gershman wrote in The Washington Post, “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents.” He added: “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

CREATING A CRISIS

The West’s triple package of policies -- NATO enlargement, EU expansion, and democracy promotion -- added fuel to a fire waiting to ignite. The spark came in November 2013, when Yanukovych rejected a major economic deal he had been negotiating with the EU and decided to accept a $15 billion Russian counteroffer instead. That decision gave rise to antigovernment demonstrations that escalated over the following three months and that by mid-February had led to the deaths of some one hundred protesters. Western emissaries hurriedly flew to Kiev to resolve the crisis. On February 21, the government and the opposition struck a deal that allowed Yanukovych to stay in power until new elections were held. But it immediately fell apart, and Yanukovych fled to Russia the next day. The new government in Kiev was pro-Western and anti-Russian to the core, and it contained four high-ranking members who could legitimately be labeled neofascists.

Although the full extent of U.S. involvement has not yet come to light, it is clear that Washington backed the coup. Nuland and Republican Senator John McCain participated in antigovernment demonstrations, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, proclaimed after Yanukovych’s toppling that it was “a day for the history books.” As a leaked telephone recording revealed, Nuland had advocated regime change and wanted the Ukrainian politician Arseniy Yatsenyuk to become prime minister in the new government, which he did. No wonder Russians of all persuasions think the West played a role in Yanukovych’s ouster.

For Putin, the time to act against Ukraine and the West had arrived. Shortly after February 22, he ordered Russian forces to take Crimea from Ukraine, and soon after that, he incorporated it into Russia. The task proved relatively easy, thanks to the thousands of Russian troops already stationed at a naval base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Crimea also made for an easy target since ethnic Russians compose roughly 60 percent of its population. Most of them wanted out of Ukraine.

Next, Putin put massive pressure on the new government in Kiev to discourage it from siding with the West against Moscow, making it clear that he would wreck Ukraine as a functioning state before he would allow it to become a Western stronghold on Russia’s doorstep. Toward that end, he has provided advisers, arms, and diplomatic support to the Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, who are pushing the country toward civil war. He has massed a large army on the Ukrainian border, threatening to invade if the government cracks down on the rebels. And he has sharply raised the price of the natural gas Russia sells to Ukraine and demanded payment for past exports. Putin is playing hardball.

THE DIAGNOSIS

Putin’s actions should be easy to comprehend. A huge expanse of flat land that Napoleonic France, imperial Germany, and Nazi Germany all crossed to strike at Russia itself, Ukraine serves as a buffer state of enormous strategic importance to Russia. No Russian leader would tolerate a military alliance that was Moscow’s mortal enemy until recently moving into Ukraine. Nor would any Russian leader stand idly by while the West helped install a government there that was determined to integrate Ukraine into the West.

Washington may not like Moscow’s position, but it should understand the logic behind it. This is Geopolitics 101: great powers are always sensitive to potential threats near their home territory. After all, the United States does not tolerate distant great powers deploying military forces anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, much less on its borders. Imagine the outrage in Washington if China built an impressive military alliance and tried to include Canada and Mexico in it. Logic aside, Russian leaders have told their Western counterparts on many occasions that they consider NATO expansion into Georgia and Ukraine unacceptable, along with any effort to turn those countries against Russia -- a message that the 2008 Russian-Georgian war also made crystal clear.

Officials from the United States and its European allies contend that they tried hard to assuage Russian fears and that Moscow should understand that NATO has no designs on Russia. In addition to continually denying that its expansion was aimed at containing Russia, the alliance has never permanently deployed military forces in its new member states. In 2002, it even created a body called the NATO-Russia Council in an effort to foster cooperation. To further mollify Russia, the United States announced in 2009 that it would deploy its new missile defense system on warships in European waters, at least initially, rather than on Czech or Polish territory. But none of these measures worked; the Russians remained steadfastly opposed to NATO enlargement, especially into Georgia and Ukraine. And it is the Russians, not the West, who ultimately get to decide what counts as a threat to them.

To understand why the West, especially the United States, failed to understand that its Ukraine policy was laying the groundwork for a major clash with Russia, one must go back to the mid-1990s, when the Clinton administration began advocating NATO expansion. Pundits advanced a variety of arguments for and against enlargement, but there was no consensus on what to do. Most eastern European émigrés in the United States and their relatives, for example, strongly supported expansion, because they wanted NATO to protect such countries as Hungary and Poland. A few realists also favored the policy because they thought Russia still needed to be contained.

But most realists opposed expansion, in the belief that a declining great power with an aging population and a one-dimensional economy did not in fact need to be contained. And they feared that enlargement would only give Moscow an incentive to cause trouble in eastern Europe. The U.S. diplomat George Kennan articulated this perspective in a 1998 interview, shortly after the U.S. Senate approved the first round of NATO expansion. “I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies,” he said. “I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anyone else.”

Most liberals, on the other hand, favored enlargement, including many key members of the Clinton administration. They believed that the end of the Cold War had fundamentally transformed international politics and that a new, postnational order had replaced the realist logic that used to govern Europe. The United States was not only the “indispensable nation,” as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright put it; it was also a benign hegemon and thus unlikely to be viewed as a threat in Moscow. The aim, in essence, was to make the entire continent look like western Europe.

And so the United States and its allies sought to promote democracy in the countries of eastern Europe, increase economic interdependence among them, and embed them in international institutions. Having won the debate in the United States, liberals had little difficulty convincing their European allies to support NATO enlargement. After all, given the EU’s past achievements, Europeans were even more wedded than Americans to the idea that geopolitics no longer mattered and that an all-inclusive liberal order could maintain peace in Europe.

So thoroughly did liberals come to dominate the discourse about European security during the first decade of this century that even as the alliance adopted an open-door policy of growth, NATO expansion faced little realist opposition. The liberal worldview is now accepted dogma among U.S. officials. In March, for example, President Barack Obama delivered a speech about Ukraine in which he talked repeatedly about “the ideals” that motivate Western policy and how those ideals “have often been threatened by an older, more traditional view of power.” Secretary of State John Kerry’s response to the Crimea crisis reflected this same perspective: “You just don’t in the twenty-first century behave in nineteenth-century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.”

In essence, the two sides have been operating with different playbooks: Putin and his compatriots have been thinking and acting according to realist dictates, whereas their Western counterparts have been adhering to liberal ideas about international politics. The result is that the United States and its allies unknowingly provoked a major crisis over Ukraine.

BLAME GAME

In that same 1998 interview, Kennan predicted that NATO expansion would provoke a crisis, after which the proponents of expansion would “say that we always told you that is how the Russians are.” As if on cue, most Western officials have portrayed Putin as the real culprit in the Ukraine predicament. In March, according to The New York Times, German Chancellor Angela Merkel implied that Putin was irrational, telling Obama that he was “in another world.” Although Putin no doubt has autocratic tendencies, no evidence supports the charge that he is mentally unbalanced. On the contrary: he is a first-class strategist who should be feared and respected by anyone challenging him on foreign policy.

Other analysts allege, more plausibly, that Putin regrets the demise of the Soviet Union and is determined to reverse it by expanding Russia’s borders. According to this interpretation, Putin, having taken Crimea, is now testing the waters to see if the time is right to conquer Ukraine, or at least its eastern part, and he will eventually behave aggressively toward other countries in Russia’s neighborhood. For some in this camp, Putin represents a modern-day Adolf Hitler, and striking any kind of deal with him would repeat the mistake of Munich. Thus, NATO must admit Georgia and Ukraine to contain Russia before it dominates its neighbors and threatens western Europe.

This argument falls apart on close inspection. If Putin were committed to creating a greater Russia, signs of his intentions would almost certainly have arisen before February 22. But there is virtually no evidence that he was bent on taking Crimea, much less any other territory in Ukraine, before that date. Even Western leaders who supported NATO expansion were not doing so out of a fear that Russia was about to use military force. Putin’s actions in Crimea took them by complete surprise and appear to have been a spontaneous reaction to Yanukovych’s ouster. Right afterward, even Putin said he opposed Crimean secession, before quickly changing his mind.

Besides, even if it wanted to, Russia lacks the capability to easily conquer and annex eastern Ukraine, much less the entire country. Roughly 15 million people -- one-third of Ukraine’s population -- live between the Dnieper River, which bisects the country, and the Russian border. An overwhelming majority of those people want to remain part of Ukraine and would surely resist a Russian occupation. Furthermore, Russia’s mediocre army, which shows few signs of turning into a modern Wehrmacht, would have little chance of pacifying all of Ukraine. Moscow is also poorly positioned to pay for a costly occupation; its weak economy would suffer even more in the face of the resulting sanctions.

But even if Russia did boast a powerful military machine and an impressive economy, it would still probably prove unable to successfully occupy Ukraine. One need only consider the Soviet and U.S. experiences in Afghanistan, the U.S. experiences in Vietnam and Iraq, and the Russian experience in Chechnya to be reminded that military occupations usually end badly. Putin surely understands that trying to subdue Ukraine would be like swallowing a porcupine. His response to events there has been defensive, not offensive.

A WAY OUT

Given that most Western leaders continue to deny that Putin’s behavior might be motivated by legitimate security concerns, it is unsurprising that they have tried to modify it by doubling down on their existing policies and have punished Russia to deter further aggression. Although Kerry has maintained that “all options are on the table,” neither the United States nor its NATO allies are prepared to use force to defend Ukraine. The West is relying instead on economic sanctions to coerce Russia into ending its support for the insurrection in eastern Ukraine. In July, the United States and the EU put in place their third round of limited sanctions, targeting mainly high-level individuals closely tied to the Russian government and some high-profile banks, energy companies, and defense firms. They also threatened to unleash another, tougher round of sanctions, aimed at whole sectors of the Russian economy.

Such measures will have little effect. Harsh sanctions are likely off the table anyway; western European countries, especially Germany, have resisted imposing them for fear that Russia might retaliate and cause serious economic damage within the EU. But even if the United States could convince its allies to enact tough measures, Putin would probably not alter his decision-making. History shows that countries will absorb enormous amounts of punishment in order to protect their core strategic interests. There is no reason to think Russia represents an exception to this rule.

Western leaders have also clung to the provocative policies that precipitated the crisis in the first place. In April, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden met with Ukrainian legislators and told them, “This is a second opportunity to make good on the original promise made by the Orange Revolution.” John Brennan, the director of the CIA, did not help things when, that same month, he visited Kiev on a trip the White House said was aimed at improving security cooperation with the Ukrainian government.

The EU, meanwhile, has continued to push its Eastern Partnership. In March, José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, summarized EU thinking on Ukraine, saying, “We have a debt, a duty of solidarity with that country, and we will work to have them as close as possible to us.” And sure enough, on June 27, the EU and Ukraine signed the economic agreement that Yanukovych had fatefully rejected seven months earlier. Also in June, at a meeting of NATO members’ foreign ministers, it was agreed that the alliance would remain open to new members, although the foreign ministers refrained from mentioning Ukraine by name. “No third country has a veto over NATO enlargement,” announced Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s secretary-general. The foreign ministers also agreed to support various measures to improve Ukraine’s military capabilities in such areas as command and control, logistics, and cyberdefense. Russian leaders have naturally recoiled at these actions; the West’s response to the crisis will only make a bad situation worse.

There is a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, however -- although it would require the West to think about the country in a fundamentally new way. The United States and its allies should abandon their plan to westernize Ukraine and instead aim to make it a neutral buffer between NATO and Russia, akin to Austria’s position during the Cold War. Western leaders should acknowledge that Ukraine matters so much to Putin that they cannot support an anti-Russian regime there. This would not mean that a future Ukrainian government would have to be pro-Russian or anti-NATO. On the contrary, the goal should be a sovereign Ukraine that falls in neither the Russian nor the Western camp.

To achieve this end, the United States and its allies should publicly rule out NATO’s expansion into both Georgia and Ukraine. The West should also help fashion an economic rescue plan for Ukraine funded jointly by the EU, the International Monetary Fund, Russia, and the United States -- a proposal that Moscow should welcome, given its interest in having a prosperous and stable Ukraine on its western flank. And the West should considerably limit its social-engineering efforts inside Ukraine. It is time to put an end to Western support for another Orange Revolution. Nevertheless, U.S. and European leaders should encourage Ukraine to respect minority rights, especially the language rights of its Russian speakers.

Some may argue that changing policy toward Ukraine at this late date would seriously damage U.S. credibility around the world. There would undoubtedly be certain costs, but the costs of continuing a misguided strategy would be much greater. Furthermore, other countries are likely to respect a state that learns from its mistakes and ultimately devises a policy that deals effectively with the problem at hand. That option is clearly open to the United States.

One also hears the claim that Ukraine has the right to determine whom it wants to ally with and the Russians have no right to prevent Kiev from joining the West. This is a dangerous way for Ukraine to think about its foreign policy choices. The sad truth is that might often makes right when great-power politics are at play. Abstract rights such as self-determination are largely meaningless when powerful states get into brawls with weaker states. Did Cuba have the right to form a military alliance with the Soviet Union during the Cold War? The United States certainly did not think so, and the Russians think the same way about Ukraine joining the West. It is in Ukraine’s interest to understand these facts of life and tread carefully when dealing with its more powerful neighbor.

Even if one rejects this analysis, however, and believes that Ukraine has the right to petition to join the EU and NATO, the fact remains that the United States and its European allies have the right to reject these requests. There is no reason that the West has to accommodate Ukraine if it is bent on pursuing a wrong-headed foreign policy, especially if its defense is not a vital interest. Indulging the dreams of some Ukrainians is not worth the animosity and strife it will cause, especially for the Ukrainian people.

Of course, some analysts might concede that NATO handled relations with Ukraine poorly and yet still maintain that Russia constitutes an enemy that will only grow more formidable over time -- and that the West therefore has no choice but to continue its present policy. But this viewpoint is badly mistaken. Russia is a declining power, and it will only get weaker with time. Even if Russia were a rising power, moreover, it would still make no sense to incorporate Ukraine into NATO. The reason is simple: the United States and its European allies do not consider Ukraine to be a core strategic interest, as their unwillingness to use military force to come to its aid has proved. It would therefore be the height of folly to create a new NATO member that the other members have no intention of defending. NATO has expanded in the past because liberals assumed the alliance would never have to honor its new security guarantees, but Russia’s recent power play shows that granting Ukraine NATO membership could put Russia and the West on a collision course.

Sticking with the current policy would also complicate Western relations with Moscow on other issues. The United States needs Russia’s assistance to withdraw U.S. equipment from Afghanistan through Russian territory, reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, and stabilize the situation in Syria. In fact, Moscow has helped Washington on all three of these issues in the past; in the summer of 2013, it was Putin who pulled Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire by forging the deal under which Syria agreed to relinquish its chemical weapons, thereby avoiding the U.S. military strike that Obama had threatened. The United States will also someday need Russia’s help containing a rising China. Current U.S. policy, however, is only driving Moscow and Beijing closer together.

The United States and its European allies now face a choice on Ukraine. They can continue their current policy, which will exacerbate hostilities with Russia and devastate Ukraine in the process -- a scenario in which everyone would come out a loser. Or they can switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win.




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Anonymous #4

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #1]
    #21885112 - 07/02/15 06:16 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Just a heads up folks... You can buy oil with what ever currency you damn please.

This common sense is brought to you by reality:thumbup:


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Anonymous #17

Re: World War III [Re: Anonymous #4]
    #21885168 - 07/02/15 06:34 AM (7 years, 3 months ago)

Gotta admit it. Annon #1 put sum content up in his post tho, gotta give him that.


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