Where Obama could hurt Putin if he wanted

posted at 4:01 pm on July 21, 2014 by Noah Rothman

There has never been a weak response to a crisis that its advocates did not defend as methodical and deliberative. That is precisely what President Barack Obama’s supporters are saying about his response to the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Monday.

Four days after pro-Russian separatists used sophisticated Russian hardware to destroy a civilian airliner, killing nearly 300 mostly Western European non-combatants, the president’s strategy remains the same.

Hours after that attack, President Barack Obama refused to alter his campaign-style speech tour and fundraising schedule in order to address this crisis. Preferring instead to call it a “tragedy,” Obama stressed that the West should thoroughly investigate the incident.

On Friday, Obama repeated his demand that the attack be investigated, adding only the demand that pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site facilitate that independent investigation. But pro-Russian rebels had already contaminated that site before Obama made this demand, and they continued to do so over the weekend.

While still refusing to alter his fundraising schedule so as not to project the impression that an ongoing international crisis was just that, Obama reiterated his unviable request for an unimpeded and impartial investigation for a third time. While he noted that Ukraine’s separatist fighters had flagrantly ignored his demands of Friday, Obama declined to outline any specific consequences for those militants or the great power which enables them.

Obama’s supporters have followed the president’s lead and are focused entirely on the investigation into this attack. The audience for that evidence, they add, are those in Europe who remain skeptical of the United States’ intelligence gathering capabilities 11 years after the invasion of Iraq.

This is fatuous, self-serving nonsense. Obama has admitted that OSCE investigators have been blocked from accessing the crash site. Flight recorders were spirited off by rebels who maintained sole authority over the site, and will only be surrendered to investigators on Monday. Some of the bodies of those who died in that attack have been repossessed by rebels at gunpoint, loaded onto a refrigerated train, and taken to an unknown location. The pro-Russian rebels’ opposition to an investigation into this attack is self-evident.

Ultimately, assuming the West’s process of indicting pro-Russian rebels in the court of world opinion is successful, the goal would then be to convince reluctant European powers to consent to imposing harsher sanctions on Moscow. The evidence already suggests that Russia was complicit in allowing this attack, certainly enough to warrant stronger measures aimed at isolating Moscow. If Europe continues to balk, it is not due to a lack of evidence that Russia is actively destabilizing eastern Ukraine.

In spite of Russia’s indirect responsibility for the shedding of European blood, E.U. nations may remain unmoved to the threat a revanchist Russia poses. The president could, if he wanted to, take measures to address Russian aggression on his own by directly targeting the personal finances of that country’s autocratic president, Vladimir Putin, and his allies.

In a Friday appearance on CNN, Michael Weiss, Interpreter Magazine’s editor-in-chief, identified how Obama could unilaterally isolate the Kremlin by adapting a strategy of sanctions aimed at the Russian economy and narrow their focus to Putin and his allies as individuals.

Weiss noted that the West can chip away at some of Putin’s credibility and sky-high approval rating among average Russians by identifying the many foreign assets he holds. He urged U.S. officials to begin by naming and targeting the foreign properties, bank accounts, and businesses in which Russian authorities expatriate Rubles. “U.S. intelligence knows where this stuff is,” Weiss said.

“Information warfare in this crisis is crucial,” Weiss added. “They’re using it to a remarkable degree, and we’re being very kittenish in how we respond.”

This would be just one prong in what would have to be a multipronged approach to the crisis in Eastern Europe but, as a compliment to a diplomatic offensive, it has the potential to be effective. Targeting Putin personally would be a way in which United States could project strength in a fashion that the president has thus far only conveyed though rhetoric.

Europe will have to be an active partner in order for any sanctions regime, but even unilateral U.S. actions which target Putin and his allies individually would be effective. They would also signal a measure of sorely lacking American leadership.


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Here, here

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Where Obama could hurt Putin if he wanted

Karnac: “A bath house in Chicago…”

Judge_Dredd on July 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Why would a baby bear hurt Papa bear?

faraway on July 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

LilliPutin rules on Iran/nukes.

LilliPutin rules in Gaza.

LilliPutin rules in Syria.

LilliPutin rules with the euroweenies.

Here’s why – the West is dead broke.

obama has zero to say.

The oaf dared to use the term “pivot”.

He truly has children write for him.

But then he is a teenager.

Lavrov to the Talking Horse “John, you raise your voice and Iran and us will drop the US dollar for oil, understand?”

“Da, da, my friend, da”.

End of story

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 1m
STATE DEPT URGES U.S. CITIZENS IN YEMEN TO DEPART COUNTRY

Oil Can on July 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Block all Russian Imports. Embargo all Russian businesses. Freeze all Russian Assets. Cancel all Russian visas, including student visas. Ban any and all co-operation between NASA and Russia, get our astronauts off the ISS immediately. Ban the use of Russian built parts in American rockets. Ban Russia Today from being carried on any US cable or broadcast outlets.

Those are all things Obama should do.

He won’t do a single one of them.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

It’s raining yemen.

faraway on July 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Some of the bodies of those who died in that attack have been repossessed by rebels at gunpoint, loaded onto a refrigerated train, and taken to an unknown location.

They are being taken to Kharkov where the Dutch will take custody of them.

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Putin is the luckiest bastard on Earth.

He rules in the age of obama.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Pivot? PIVOT? Ozrama needs to stick his thumb up his brain and pivot on that. God help us.

vnvet on July 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Europe will have to be an active partner in order for any sanctions regime, but even unilateral U.S. actions which target Putin and his allies individually would be effective. They would also signal a measure of sorely lacking American leadership.

Unless the US, in conjunction with Canada, take efforts to expand North American energy production, specifically in natural gas, and establish trade agreements with Europe to supply them with LNG from North America, any effort to have Europe be an active partner against Putin / Russia will be significantly hampered. Europe is too dependent on Russian natural gas to take a hard line against Putin – and that is before we even consider Europe’s largely diminished and ineffective military to back any diplomatic effort.

Europe and the US couldn’t even get France to delay or halt the delivery of 2 contracted carriers for Russia in the wake of the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea. Unless Europe has a unified front (looking at France…) they can’t be counted on to be an active partner.

I don’t see this Administration taking the direct economic actions against Putin or changing the domestic energy policy in such a manner to assist Europe and offer a multi-pronged approach to oppose the Russian thug. This Administration is far more likely to just punt this as a European problem that they need to address without the US.

Athos on July 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM

OIL AND GAS. The same reason the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia is making all of its money off of its increased oil and gas production. If we opened up our vast quantities of un-drilled territory we’d crush their market, and crush them.

eski502 on July 21, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Its true Putin has out thought and out fought the West, but its not just Obama that is the problem. Russia has played a long game to date and the question is did they strike too soon. They have hooked Germany in particular to Russia natural gas and oil so much so that the mere threat of cutoffs to Germany is intolerable for the German govt.

The Russians have been methodically rebuilding their military to be a smaller and more modern force that can move against NATO’s flanks and weaker nations.

Russia has preached co-operation and peaceful co-existence for years as fertilizer to NATO’s deepening cuts to their common defense.

Given this, Putin has NATO by the short hairs and Germany by the balls. Now throw in a feckless, cynical and uneducated Obama to this mix and the West drifts and loses interest quickly to whatever Putin is doing. Nothing positive will come of this airliner tragedy.

richardb on July 21, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Putin has out-smarted Obama every single time.

No reason to expect that to change.

MichaelGabriel on July 21, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Is the US still arming and training ISIS?

Just wondering.

Akzed on July 21, 2014 at 4:26 PM

So this tragedy is going to be used to hurt Putin. And Putin is going to turn around and say this whole thing was fabricated so they could hurt me and our country.

Russians are fiercely nationalistic and very insecure. That is the worst recipe for disaster you could have. The West doing stuff that will hurt their economy will feed their paranoia even more, and it would be like giving Putin a card blanche to F with the world with a 99% approval rating in Russia.

It’s not enough to have a plan, you have to think the plan through. You have to think off all possible outcome to the best of your abilities. That being said I think this plan is counter productive. Turning Putin in a Pariah seems like the thing to do because everybody is mad as hell, but this is only going to make him react like a bear in a corner. A bear with the means to make the West’s worst dreams come true. If they Russians suffer, they will want to share the pain. Believe me. that’s how they roll.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Block all Russian Imports. Embargo all Russian businesses. Freeze all Russian Assets. Cancel all Russian visas, including student visas. Ban any and all co-operation between NASA and Russia, get our astronauts off the ISS immediately. Ban the use of Russian built parts in American rockets. Ban Russia Today from being carried on any US cable or broadcast outlets.

Those are all things Obama should do.

He won’t do a single one of them.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Russia’s trade with the US is 4% of their trade total. And you want to punish Russia by stopping the US space exploration. lol The Russians are having their meltdown and it seems that some Americans are having theirs.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Some of the bodies of those who died in that attack have been repossessed by rebels at gunpoint, loaded onto a refrigerated train, and taken to an unknown location.

They are being taken to Kharkov where the Dutch will take custody of them.

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

And what has happened to them in the mean time? They’ve had several days now to transfer the bodies and still have not done so. Supposedly they’re enroute now, but I’ll believe they’ve handed over bodies when they actually, you know, do. Also, it’s at most 2/3 of the bodies being transferred. What are they doing with the rest?

sumpnz on July 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Russia’s trade with the US is 4% of their trade total. And you want to punish Russia by stopping the US space exploration. lol The Russians are having their meltdown and it seems that some Americans are having theirs.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

We don’t HAVE a space program. Thanks to Obama. NASA’s main mission is “muslim outreach”. 45 years ago we put men on the Moon. Obama abandoned our last method of putting men into ORBIT and killed the program that was to replace it.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Going after Putin’s personal finances won’t do anything. He can get what he needs and wants.

WHAT would cripple Russia and Iran would be to flood the world with more American gas & oil…..

THAT would put a crimp in the plans of both Russia and Iran.

redguy on July 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

coolrepublica is so ignorant he doesn’t even know that we’ve been using Russian rockets to get to the ISS since Obama took office.

Color me surprised!

TarasBulbous on July 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Going after Putin’s personal finances won’t do anything. He can get what he needs and wants.

WHAT would cripple Russia and Iran would be to flood the world with more American gas & oil…..

THAT would put a crimp in the plans of both Russia and Iran.

redguy on July 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Obama wants to stop the production of American gas and oil.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

A slap at Israel:

US Secretary of State John Kerry announces US is providing $47 million to help address humanitarian situation in Gaza – via @NBCNews

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Since the President and his sycophants seem to believe that the only tool available to affect Russia is to give a speech threatening to give another speech if they don’t bow to his royal wishes (which only punishes the few unfortunates who listen to the man), their position seems to be that… Russia can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, and however it wants.

Well, that is a position. Whether or not we agree, at least we know where they stand on the issue.

Or, if that’s not the case, perhaps they might suggest exactly what Putin could do that would cause the President to delay a tee time or miss an appointment with a cheeseburger.

IndieDogg on July 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

coolrepublica is so ignorant he doesn’t even know that we’ve been using Russian rockets to get to the ISS since Obama took office.

Color me surprised!

TarasBulbous on July 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Yep. They could have delayed the retirement of the shuttle (and cut down the number of flights a year) and given NASA the funding they needed to complete the new Orion vehicle on an accelerated schedule.

But Obama hates American Exceptionalism, and nothing is a more glaring example of that than our space program, which is why he sent our shuttles off to the museum and canceled Orion as fast as he could.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Russia’s trade with the US is 4% of their trade total. And you want to punish Russia by stopping the US space exploration. lol The Russians are having their meltdown and it seems that some Americans are having theirs.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

We don’t HAVE a space program. Thanks to Obama. NASA’s main mission is “muslim outreach”. 45 years ago we put men on the Moon. Obama abandoned our last method of putting men into ORBIT and killed the program that was to replace it.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Yeah. But think of all the jobs he created.

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

So this tragedy is going to be used to hurt Putin. And Putin is going to turn around and say this whole thing was fabricated so they could hurt me and our country.

Russians are fiercely nationalistic and very insecure. That is the worst recipe for disaster you could have. The West doing stuff that will hurt their economy will feed their paranoia even more, and it would be like giving Putin a card blanche to F with the world with a 99% approval rating in Russia.

It’s not enough to have a plan, you have to think the plan through. You have to think off all possible outcome to the best of your abilities. That being said I think this plan is counter productive. Turning Putin in a Pariah seems like the thing to do because everybody is mad as hell, but this is only going to make him react like a bear in a corner. A bear with the means to make the West’s worst dreams come true. If they Russians suffer, they will want to share the pain. Believe me. that’s how they roll.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Can someone translate this atrociously written piece of claptrap for me? Preferably someone not from Alabama?

Judge_Dredd on July 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM

I wonder if Snowden has given Putin some info that Obama really,really,really,really,really doesn’t want leaked?

Obama is being weaker on this MH17 crisis than he usually is.

portlandon on July 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Can someone translate this atrociously written piece of claptrap for me? Preferably someone not from Alabama?

Judge_Dredd on July 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Translation: Obama ’16!!

portlandon on July 21, 2014 at 4:43 PM

It’s not enough to have a plan, you have to think the plan through. You have to think off all possible outcome to the best of your abilities. That being said I think this plan is counter productive. Turning Putin in a Pariah seems like the thing to do because everybody is mad as hell, but this is only going to make him react like a bear in a corner. A bear with the means to make the West’s worst dreams come true. If they Russians suffer, they will want to share the pain. Believe me. that’s how they roll.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Doing nothing is what encouraged Putin in the first place. Secondly, you don’t treat a man like Putin as a bear or act that you fear what he may do. That only emboldens him more.

You have to show him you’re committed to standing up for your beliefs, your country and are willing to protect the rights of others. You have to respond on his level, not some fruity liberal level.

I have no idea what world you people live in.

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

They act like this is a PR contest.

Brute force is the most real of realities…

mjbrooks3 on July 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

coolrepublica is so ignorant he doesn’t even know that we’ve been using Russian rockets to get to the ISS since Obama took office.

Color me surprised!

TarasBulbous on July 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

yeah I do know we have been using their rockets to get to the ISS, that is why I am wondering why we would want to stop going to space to prove a point.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Can someone translate this atrociously written piece of claptrap for me? Preferably someone not from Alabama?

Judge_Dredd on July 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Translation: Whatever you do don’t make Putin mad !1!!!!!1!1!!!11!!1

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Putin has out-smarted Obama every single time.

No, that’s the plan. Screw up the USA so badly that it will take decades to undo the mess.

Anyway Jugears is a commie, so he really doesn’t want to hut Putin. All this posturing is just for show.

txdoc on July 21, 2014 at 4:46 PM

coolrepublica is so ignorant he doesn’t even know that we’ve been using Russian rockets to get to the ISS since Obama took office.

Color me surprised!

TarasBulbous on July 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Yep. They could have delayed the retirement of the shuttle (and cut down the number of flights a year) and given NASA the funding they needed to complete the new Orion vehicle on an accelerated schedule.

But Obama hates American Exceptionalism, and nothing is a more glaring example of that than our space program, which is why he sent our shuttles off to the museum and canceled Orion as fast as he could.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

…I was privileged to speak to the graduating class of Yale this year, and it was particularly a pleasure because it happened to turn out to be, literally, I hate to say it, 48 years to the day that I was privileged to speak as a graduating senior to my own class. And I talked to them about sort of the world we’re in right now, but at the end I tried to remind them all, which I remind you of, we are – I get always a little uptight when I hear politicians say how exceptional we are – not because we’re not exceptional, but because it’s kind of in-your-face and a lot of other people are exceptional, a lot of other places do exceptional things.~SecState Kerry

[In Austria where they speak Austrian]

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I have no idea what world you people live in.

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I think at the end of the day it’s a chawklit city.

Judge_Dredd on July 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

yeah I do know we have been using their rockets to get to the ISS, that is why I am wondering why we would want to stop going to space to prove a point.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Well hey, we could just reconstitute our once world leading space program … but that might make Muslims feel bad or something. Plus they might have to stop paying for Obamaphones.

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Can someone translate this atrociously written piece of claptrap for me? Preferably someone not from Alabama?

Judge_Dredd on July 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM

if I thought you would read my claptrap I would have done a better job. But you swore that you ignored everything I wrote, so I did not take you into consideration. Now that I know that you are reading my claptrap again, I will do a better job net time. ;-)

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

And what has happened to them in the mean time? They’ve had several days now to transfer the bodies and still have not done so.

The Ukrainians have just agreed to a truce (within 40 km/25 miles of the crash site). Kharkov is held by the Ukrainians so sending a train there requires their cooperation.

The OSCE has monitors who have inspected the railcars and bodies.

Also, it’s at most 2/3 of the bodies being transferred. What are they doing with the rest?

sumpnz on July 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

I don’t know who has them. The rebels were taking the bodies FROM someone else and putting them on the refrigerated railcars that is now on its way to Kharkov. Maybe that group (Ukrainian emergency services?) has them? They obviously had some of the bodies, perhaps they have the rest?

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Going after Putin’s personal finances won’t do anything. He can get what he needs and wants.

WHAT would cripple Russia and Iran would be to flood the world with more American gas & oil…..

THAT would put a crimp in the plans of both Russia and Iran.

redguy on July 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Obama wants to stop the production of American gas and oil.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Yep, so that is why we need to call attention to it……

This could be a big loser for Hillary/Warren/Brown or any other democrat who might try to run in 2016.

redguy on July 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

And what has happened to them in the mean time? They’ve had several days now to transfer the bodies and still have not done so.

The Ukrainians have just agreed to a truce (within 40 km/25 miles of the crash site). Kharkov is held by the Ukrainians so sending a train there requires their cooperation.

The OSCE has monitors who have inspected the railcars and bodies.

Also, it’s at most 2/3 of the bodies being transferred. What are they doing with the rest?

sumpnz on July 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

I don’t know who has them. The rebels were taking the bodies FROM someone else and putting them on the refrigerated railcars that is now on its way to Kharkov. Maybe that group (Ukrainian emergency services?) has them? They obviously had some of the bodies, perhaps they have the rest?

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

It’s probably a Trojan horse….the train might be full of explosives…….

redguy on July 21, 2014 at 4:52 PM

yeah I do know we have been using their rockets to get to the ISS, that is why I am wondering why we would want to stop going to space to prove a point.

And you want to punish Russia by stopping the US space exploration

How is this punishing Russia? Are you punishing your friends when you tell them to stop driving your loser-ass around because you can’t afford a car?

Jesus Christ you are fucking daft.

TarasBulbous on July 21, 2014 at 4:52 PM

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

It was the “card blanche” that drew my attention. A Golden Girl I assume?

Judge_Dredd on July 21, 2014 at 4:53 PM

yeah I do know we have been using their rockets to get to the ISS, that is why I am wondering why we would want to stop going to space to prove a point.

And you want to punish Russia by stopping the US space exploration

How is this punishing Russia? Are you punishing your friends when you tell them to stop driving your loser-ass around because you can’t afford a car?

Jesus Christ you are daft.

TarasBulbous on July 21, 2014 at 4:53 PM

The ‘oligarchs’ everyone is so happy to discuss are Russia’s billionaires.

110 of these Russian billionaires own a staggering 35% of all of Russia’s wealth. This is the highest percentage of any modern nation’s wealth owned by such a small group of individuals in the world.

Because so much of Russia’s economy is controlled by these billionaires, it is highly likely that Putin is acting in their interests.

What are their interests?

The Donetz Basin not only represents the eastern portion of Ukraine, it is also the name of a great mining area, half of which is under Russia. The Russian half had 32 coal mines in operation in 1999 and produced about 10 million tons of coal, the other half which stretches under eastern Ukraine to Donetz produced 36 million tons in 1999.

There is a vast mining facility, the size of a city located in eastern Ukraine that is capable of processing rare metals. This is of great value to industry and national interests.

The area of eastern Ukraine is heavily populated, the most heavily populated region outside of Kiev.

The southern part of Ukraine borders the Black Sea from Odessa to the Russian border. The Black sea grants access, via the Bosphourous Strait at Istanbul, to the Sea of Marmara, and from the Sea of Marmara through the Dardanelles to the Aegean and the Mediterranean. This is the only water route from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Obviously, control of the ports of in Ukraine along the Black Sea is key to shipping interests.

Incidentally, the shore of the Black Sea in Ukraine has been described at ‘Russia’s riviera’ and the area is home to many world class resorts. The region is a preferred vacation area, not only to Russian’s but to Europeans and many from the rest of the world as well. This drives the local economy and most resorts are owned by those same Russian billionaires, although there has been a great deal of foreign investment as well.

The oligarchs, billionaires, of Russia are also heavily invested abroad.

thatsafactjack on July 21, 2014 at 4:54 PM

sumpnz on July 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

I think that the train has 282 bodies which is all that has currently been found. I think the 196 number came from earlier reports.

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

The leader of the pro-Russian rebels has agreed to hand over both black boxes from Flight MH17 to Malaysian investigators who are in Ukraine, Malaysia’s prime minister said early Tuesday.

Prime Minister Najib Razak also said that as part of an agreement he reached by phone with rebel leader Alexander Borodai on Monday evening, independent international investigators will be given “safe access” to the site where the Malaysia Airlines jet went down in eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard.

Najib said that as part of the agreement, the black boxes would be handed over to the Malaysian team in Donetsk at 9 p.m. Monday Ukraine time.

http://nypost.com/2014/07/21/pro-russia-rebels-agree-to-hand-over-mh17-black-boxes/

It is now 11:56 PM in Donetsk.

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 4:57 PM

It’s probably a Trojan horse….the train might be full of explosives…….

redguy on July 21, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Heh

I suspect the train will be inspected by the Ukrainians.

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 4:57 PM

You think Putin has Dear Leader’s college transcripts…?

d1carter on July 21, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Jesus Christ you are daft.

TarasBulbous on July 21, 2014 at 4:53 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrbu6l2-c0U

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Asked if MH17 black boxes would be handed over tonight, Malaysia delegation says ‘we have no idea’ – via @ChristopherJM

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 4:59 PM

thatsafactjack on July 21, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Great post.

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Should have said “non-monarchy owned nation” above.

thatsafactjack on July 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM

if I thought you would read my claptrap I would have done a better job. But you swore that you ignored everything I wrote, so I did not take you into consideration. Now that I know that you are reading my claptrap again, I will do a better job net time. ;-)

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Just the bare minimum to get by. Just like your cult-leader HUSSEIN.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power on MH17: ‘There is one party from which we have heard very little condemnation: Moscow’ – @USUN

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Well hey, we could just reconstitute our once world leading space program … but that might make Muslims feel bad or something. Plus they might have to stop paying for Obamaphones.

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Yeah our once great leading space program cost a lot of money and since taxes can only be used for things the constitution says the government is responsible for, that leading space program had to take a pay cut. ;-)

I have to add that today has been marvelous for me. Very educational. Today I learned that we have a debt crisis that will bankrupt the country, but we can keep giving foreign aid to countries as long as they are not Muslim countries. We can also built missile defense programs all over Europe in countries Putin might have an eye on. Bring up the troop level in Germany back to cold war level even though the Russian army is very small. And we can pay for it all by cutting entitlement programs that are eating the budget, and are not in the constitution. the example I was giving was medicare which is the biggest offender.

That is on top of the troops we need to keep in Afghanistan. All that money we are going to spend in Europe to check Russia is on top of all the money we are going to need to spend in Asia to check China which actually has an army and a giant navy and lots of money and wants to claim territory far away from its border.

I am getting a headache thinking of the trillions we are going to be spending in the next 10 years to keep all those players in check. I think it’s safe to say that this debt crisis is a myth. We have lots of dough as long as it’s money for military expansion.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

No, that’s the plan. Screw up the USA so badly that it will take decades to undo the mess.

Anyway Jugears is a commie, so he really doesn’t want to hut Putin. All this posturing is just for show.

txdoc on July 21, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I think you are correct.

Obama has deliberately done more damage in 6 years, with God knows how much more he will do in his last 2, than can be fixed during 3 conservative Presidencies, with congressional majorities made up of actual conservatives, with conservative leadership.

In other words, it’s never going to BE fixed. And George Soros (who is the one giving the orders, Obama is just the frontman who gets to take the Vacays)knows this.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to UN Security Council on MH17: ‘We will not rest until this is done. We will not rest until we bring them home’ – @abcnews

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Peter Baker @peterbakernyt

.@PressSec condemns anonymous sources. Just arriving in email: White House invitation to reporters for call with anonymous admin officials.

davidk on July 21, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Some actual evidence is starting to come out…

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/21/mh17-disaster-ukraine-obama-live-updates

David Gleave, a former aviation safety investigator, corroborated pictures that appeared to show shrapnel damage from a missile to a section of fuselage from the stricken aircraft.”It looks like there are markings on the external to the internal of the aircraft, meaning it’s not a bomb blowing outwards. That’s not the main bit where the missile hit, it’s the periphery of the explosion. It looks like secondary damage.”

I’m not convinced [the contamination of the crash site] is quite as bad as people say. If it’s a missile then all the conventional stuff we need for data-gathering goes out of the window. A black box isn’t going to tell you it was a missile,” he said.

The Guardian’s Alec Luhn, citing the Financial Times and The Times’ Tom Coghlan, has tweeted photos of MH17 wreckage that appear to have evidence of missile damage and shrapnel.

The report from east Ukraine from Harriet Salem (@HarrietSalem) continues, with a Dutch expert saying that rebels and locals who helped recover bodies may not have been as callous as previously thought:

The cleanup operation, which has been roundly criticised by the international community who fear pro-Russia rebels are contaminating the site to cover up signs of their involvement, was cautiously praised by one of the Dutch experts at the scene, at least when it came to the collection of the bodies.

Given the hot weather, the size of the crash site and the military operations going on in the vicinity, the operation was “very difficult” and he was impressed with the efforts of local emergency workers and volunteers, who have spent three days sifting corpses and body parts from the crash site. He added though, that the area needed a “full, forensic sweep” by proper experts.

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Sell US produced LNG to Europe as fast as they can take it. Have tankers lined up all winter long like an LNG convoy.

elowe on July 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

the West can chip away at some of Putin’s credibility and sky-high approval rating among average Russians by identifying the many foreign assets he holds

Barry is a punk who’s only tough with a gang to back him up and hasn’t got the nerve for a nose to nose fight with Vlad.

There’s probably plenty Vlad could do in return, as well.

Birth cert, etc.

formwiz on July 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Sell US produced LNG to Europe as fast as they can take it. Have tankers lined up all winter long like an LNG convoy.

elowe on July 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

China and the Far East are offering $15-18 while Europe pays $10-12.

They will sail towards the east unless paid to go to Europe.

Who subsidizes the difference?

Borrow more money from China?

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 5:22 PM

I am getting a headache thinking of the trillions we are going to be spending in the next 10 years to keep all those players in check. I think it’s safe to say that this debt crisis is a myth. We have lots of dough as long as it’s money for military expansion.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

You tend to babble with no real focal point and without sufficient knowledge to back up what you’re babbling about.

That said, I think your point is we must continue to sacrifice defense and programs such as the space program to keep the entitlement racket growing.

In reality I don’t think you understand how much we spend on social programs. I don’t think you understand we run a deficit every year because we have to borrow to run the government.

When we put a man on the moon we spent approximately 25% of revenue on social programs. Now it’s above 90%. In 2011 we spent 100% on social programs.

In all seriousness, you really need to take a few minutes to research how much we spend and where it goes. Now keep in mind that many social programs come out of the budgets of various departments … food stamps is run by the USDA for instance.

You can find the info anywhere … even at whitehouse.gov.

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 5:24 PM

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

St. Olaf?

DisneyFan on July 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM

the example I was giving was medicare which is the biggest offender.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Actually Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security run about the same.

If I were you I wouldn’t worry too much about Medicare or Medicaid because the obvious plan is single payer. Soon it’ll just be one gigantic health care cost. Sure we can pay for it but taxes will have to go up … way up. Not just on the evil rich folks either. You’ll have to pay about 40-50% of your income for the privilege of having the government decide your health care for you.

Now isn’t that better than NASA exploring space and putting people on Mars or the Moon again?

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM

RE: if I thought you would read my claptrap I would have done a better job. But you swore that you ignored everything I wrote, so I did not take you into consideration. Now that I know that you are reading my claptrap again, I will do a better job net time. ;-)

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

You sure will sweetums….you sure will.

Von Kleist on July 21, 2014 at 5:41 PM

I think it’s safe to say that this debt crisis is a myth. We have lots of dough as long as it’s money for military expansion Yellen prints it.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I think it’s safe to say that this debt crisis is a myth. We have lots of dough as long as it’s money for military expansion Yellen prints it.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Yeah, we could do all that stuff to Russia right now, but we were just as bad in Iraq, flouting the international community, so we really shouldn’t do anything; it’d be hypocritical of us. /liberaldumbasrocksmoralrelativism

brentspolemics on July 21, 2014 at 5:47 PM

and it would be like giving Putin a card blanche to F with the world with a 99% approval rating in Russia.

nonpartisan called it “carte blanhe”. You call it “card blanche”.

It’s carte blanche, erudites — just us rubes

It’s not enough to have a plan, you have to think the plan through. You have to think off all possible outcome to the best of your abilities. That being said I think this plan is counter productive. Turning Putin in a Pariah seems like the thing to do because everybody is mad as hell, but this is only going to make him react like a bear in a corner. A bear with the means to make the West’s worst dreams come true. If they Russians suffer, they will want to share the pain. Believe me. that’s how they roll.

coolrepublica on July 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Putin, the cornered bear

obama “the bear on the loose” — Valerie Jarrett

Bears are having a ball.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Obama will cancel Putin’s Facebook account…and maybe Twitter…

albill on July 21, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Black boxes handed to Malaysian delegation

The Guardian’s Shaun Walker reports that the “black boxes will be passed to the Malaysians right now – at 1.10am on the 11th floor of this occupied government building.”

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 6:18 PM

“It is no secret that the gist of western thinking has been that sanctions against Russia would pressure its economy enough to force Putin to finally crawl to the negotiating table, tail between his legs, and beg for western forgiveness. Call it the law of unintended consequences striking once again, because while Russia’s economy continues to hum along (if only for now, something that can’t be said about Ukraine’s) and has forced the Kremlin to seek a variety of deals with China to avoid western isolationism, one other country may have been crippled far faster than Russia: Germany.

As Germany’s Bundesbank reported overnight, in its latest current monthly report that was widely ignored due to the blanket media coverage of events in the Ukraine, if not so much in Gaza, “Germany’s economy may have stagnated in 2Q.”

Who is to blame? Why the ongoing Ukraine conflict of course, and more specifically, the western response to it. As Deutsche Welle reported, “the institution said in a monthly report released Monday that second-quarter growth in Germany had likely slipped due to turbulence in Ukraine and Iraq and a number of public holidays which led to shorter work weeks.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/world%20cup%201_2_0.jpg

Viator on July 21, 2014 at 6:33 PM

One thing that the US should not attempt to do short term is to win the propaganda war IN RUSSIA. Understand that it is not uncommon in Russia to claim that Putin has billions overseas. Official media simply dismiss this as nonsense. There is no evidence that you can present that they cannot declare fraud orchestrated by the US.

Winning the hearts of Russians should not be a priority. This will come eventually (one would hope) if we follow a reasonable policy. We want to trade with a generic Russian businessman. We do not want to trade to people connected to Putin. Make this distinction clear in practice, and treat these two groups differently so that they would notice!

PBH on July 21, 2014 at 6:38 PM

He could hurt Putin by showing satellite pics of the missile launchers.

Just a thot.

Akzed on July 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Nothing substantive will be done because the Bamster and the Administration just. doesn’t. care.

No airliner crashing in Minsk or Pinsk is going to affect how much cash the donor class in Los Vegas is willing to pony up.

No missiles splatting down on hook-nosed people in the middle east will lengthen or shorten his vacay in the Vineyard, won’t improve his personal portfolio, won’t bask him in the glow of adoring sycophants.

He and his coterie truly believe that its all just noise offstage, and whether they react or don’t react, except in how it plays in the American media, is of no import.

He has finally learned that he can’t control the narrative offshore anymore, so perhaps he’ll do more speeches of blahblah meaningless platitudes instead of saying things (red line!) that some foreigner might take seriously.

We should certainly take none of what he says about situations overseas seriously. He will do NOTHING.

Ever.

I believe we will see a crisis within the next 6 months or a year that will be specifically created to test whether this president will react when baited by a serious loss of American life. When he doesn’t react substantively, it will be Katy bar the door for our enemies.

Dolce Far Niente on July 21, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Where Obama could hurt Putin if he wanted

…JugEars can’t kick him in the ba11s…he has no idea where those are.

JugEarsButtHurt on July 21, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Ramping up drilling on U.S. Federal lands instead of decreasing it would have been a good start. Russia is wholly dependent on energy revenue.

Putin has studied Obama carefully and knows Obama’s religion of Global Warming trumps all of his national security concerns, ensuring Russia has nothing to fear.

Perspicacious on July 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM

I don’t see it happening. Europe isn’t going to get tough on Russia as long as they’re using Russia’s gas to make up for the shortfall caused by their green fantasies. Militarily, Western Europe (in its entirety) can’t cobble together an entire division.

Obama could target something of Putin’s – but Putin would retaliate by squeezing Europe, who would in turn put pressure back on the US.

Still, it strikes me as a little ironic (hypocritical) on all the wailing and gnashing of teeth here over a Russian provided SAM… How many people did our Fast and Furious guns kill in Mexico? How many innocent people have been killed by the weapons we provided to the Sunni terrorists in Syria (which has also spilled into Iraq)?

John_G on July 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

The cooperation in space, on the ISS, should continue until Putin says it can’t — they are, after all, his launch vehicles, we don’t have any that can transport men to or from the ISS.

Until then, however, the US should embark on a high-priority mission to build its own space fleet, so we won’t have to depend on the Russians.

J Baustian on July 23, 2014 at 1:32 AM