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Old 02-19-2014, 09:14 PM  
listopencil listopencil is offline
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Anyone Following The Protests In The Ukraine?

I've been seeing some impressive pics of protests in Kiev.


Protests against new anti-democratic laws in Ukraine are increasing in intensity, with four citizens reported dead. As you can see in these extraordinary images by Ilya Varlamov, the demonstrators are using rockets made with fireworks. They look like scenes from some science-fiction movie about urban warfare.

The latest reports talk about at least four people killed and hundreds injured by the police. After the massive protests against the government's rejection against the European Union in favor of an alliance with the former Russian oppressors, Kiev officials announced new repressive laws limiting the people's right to protest. These urban battles are the people's reaction to those laws.

Ukraine was a former Soviet Republic, created after a civil war between pro-communist and the Ukrainian People's Republic armies at the beginning of the 20th century, right after the fall of the Russian Empire. The communists won, and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was established. In theory, it was an independent state, but in fact—like all republics in the USSR and satellite countries—it was under a tight control by the Kremlin.

http://sploid.gizmodo.com/spectacula...rai-1507432049

Pics to follow...
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:18 AM   #1621
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Okay, now that is a blatant act of war. And it's being done by one of our entangling alliances aka what Cochise values as an ally.
It's not an act of war until it actually happens. And given the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it wouldn't be the original act of war, it would be "blowback". Are you familiar with the term?
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:18 AM   #1622
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
I think it's changing though. We didn't fall for the Syria intervention last summer, and polls are showing zero appetite for any major action in Crimea either. Americans are tired of these endless wars, and tired of having the newest bogeyman paraded on TV for us to all boo-hiss.
We don't need to use the military to oppose Putin if we are displeased, we can use dollars, trade, and sanctions. It's not like there was ever going to be an armed conflict between the US and Russia over this. But we could economically make the use of aggression not to be in his best interest.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:24 AM   #1623
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
We don't need to use the military to oppose Putin if we are displeased, we can use dollars, trade, and sanctions. It's not like there was ever going to be an armed conflict between the US and Russia over this. But we could economically make the use of aggression not to be in his best interest.
Coming from a nation seen as run by aggressors that doesn't hold much presence.
It's just being a counter bully. Doesn't work. And that amount of sanctions could hurt us too and still lead to war.

You are too stupid to realize this though.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:25 AM   #1624
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
So surround them, push NATO up to their borders, get more former republics inside the EU to provoke them etc. If they react, then we sanction them to death....to weaken them. Then we can go into Syria for regime change, bomb Iran and change regimes there....then move on to other places. Africa?
Sounds like a decent plan.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:46 AM   #1625
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Expand the asset freeze sanctions greatly, tear up the arms control agreement Obama gave to the Russians at the beginning of his administration, deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic (if they're still interested), expand NATO to those countries, arm Ukraine, and target Assad's regime in Syria. That would probably be enough to demonstrate to Putin that Obama has awakened from his naive slumber.
I don't have an issue with any of those. You could really stick it to Putin by making a deal with Ukraine to house a US Military base.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:05 AM   #1626
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Partner with the EU to crank sanctions up on oil and gas. Not even an embargo, just a percentage decrease. It would damage an already tepid economy in Russia and attach a high price tag to aggression.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:12 AM   #1627
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:22 AM   #1628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
Partner with the EU to crank sanctions up on oil and gas. Not even an embargo, just a percentage decrease. It would damage an already tepid economy in Russia and attach a high price tag to aggression.
This is far more effective than the US putting any trade sanctions on since we're only 2% of their trade. But as we've already pointed out, harming Russia harms the EU as well and they're already fragile economically as it is. If they're willing to risk recession then they can proceed.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:39 AM   #1629
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I don't have an issue with any of those. You could really stick it to Putin by making a deal with Ukraine to house a US Military base.
That would start a war. You people are just as bad as the Russians.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:46 AM   #1630
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I disagree. The point of freezing assets and travel is not really to take the money away as much as it is to make it impossible for them to enjoy the benefits of it. As I stated from the onset, Putin's friends have long enjoyed Western luxuries while bleeding their own country dry. Make that difficult or impossible and they will take notice.

Pretty sure the oligarchs don't want to return to a time when their main vacation choice was Cuba.
Just grabbing a random post in our discussion.

Here is yet another reason why asset seizure/freezing will do nothing to Putin.

tl;dr We can't even track down their assets to seize them.

http://qz.com/189005

Quote:
While new US economic sanctions freezing the sanctions Russian leaders didn’t strike fear into the heart of financial markets, they did raise a question: Would the US even know if someone like, say, Russian President Vladimir Putin was keeping some money in its backyard?

US presidential spokesperson Jay Carney was asked this question today. He declined to answer. But the fact of the matter is that American laws support all kinds of secretive financial structures that corrupt foreign officials have long taken advantage of. (After all, Iran owned and operated a skyscraper in downtown Manhattan until last year. )

Typically, corruption is only caught after sanctions are put in place. But illicit financial flows do surface periodically, especially when they’re so glaring even bankers can’t find manage to look the other way—for instance, if an “unemployed student” keeps $1 million in shrink-wrapped $100 bills in her safe-deposit box.

That’s what Yamilee Bongo-Astier, daughter of Gabon’s President Omar Bongo, was doing a few years back. (She told her bank that her father had brought the cash to the US using his diplomatic immunity.) The anecdote comes from one of my favorite US senate reports [pdf], a 2010 look at how powerful political figures smuggle millions into the US banking system, using shell companies and escrow accounts to sidestep lax screening procedures at American banks.

As for Putin, there’s a lot we don’t know about his personal wealth. While he has publicly disclosed assets including two apartments and bank accounts worth perhaps $500,000, it is said that personal stakes in state-run oil firms Gazprom, oil supplier Surgutneftegas, and a Swiss oil dealer, Gunvor, have delivered Putin a fortune worth as much as $70 billion, which would make him the richest man in the world.

These investments are reportedly held through opaque corporate structures and shell companies. Just as interesting, however, are investigations dating back to Putin’s service in the St. Petersburg city government in the early nineteen nineties, when he was alleged to have participated in two different contracting kick-back schemes—one concerning a mineral export deal, another a construction company with opaque ownership—that siphoned money from the government budget, and may have resulted in Putin receiving a villa in Spain.

These are similar tactics that the US Senate report and the World Bank say lead to most corruption-related illicit flows, particularly through shell companies and trusts that don’t reveal who actually owns them. But little has been done in recent years to tighten secrecy rules within the United States, even as the US has pushed other countries reveal US tax evaders through broader information sharing.

So for the US to know if Vladimir Putin—or any other powerful autocrat—is keeping money in the country, it will need to do a better job requiring banks and corporations to ensure they are dealing with legitimate businesses. Of course that would mean extra work, and perhaps fewer deposits for financial institutions, and more scrutiny for major US companies who use subsidiaries to shift money around the world. And that’s why it doesn’t look especially likely any time soon.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:52 AM   #1631
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We couldn't prevent them from withdrawing $100B out of the Fed last week. Surely the "asset freeze plan" could've prevented this obvious of scenario?
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:55 AM   #1632
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The Russians can destroy our dollar and ruin our economy.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:56 AM   #1633
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The Russians can destroy our dollar and ruin our economy.
No, they can't.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:57 AM   #1634
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This is far more effective than the US putting any trade sanctions on since we're only 2% of their trade. But as we've already pointed out, harming Russia harms the EU as well and they're already fragile economically as it is. If they're willing to risk recession then they can proceed.
Well, this should also serve as an object lesson that if Russia is going to be belligerent, the EU should not rely on them so much for their energy needs.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:58 AM   #1635
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We couldn't prevent them from withdrawing $100B out of the Fed last week. Surely the "asset freeze plan" could've prevented this obvious of scenario?
Freezing the assets of 7 people was just a show piece, designed to make it look like the Obama administration was doing something but not doing anything with any real political risk.
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