Streetwise Professor

May 3, 2014

Define “Disruption”

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:50 pm

Yesterday in the Rose Garden, Merkel and Obama said that the dreaded Third Stage sanctions on Russia if that country disrupts the Ukrainian election on the 25th. (Merkel phrased it “unable to hold the election.”)

But nobody that I’ve seen has asked the crucial question: what constitutes “disruption”, and disruption by Russia specifically? Is the election “disrupted” if it does not take place in some regions, such as Donetsk? Or would Obama and Merkel require the election to be canceled to  deem that it has been disrupted? What if the election is disrupted by local forces but under covert Russian direction? What evidence would Merkel and Obama require to assign responsibility to Russia? Would Merkel accept NSA intercepts as evidence?

 

This election disruption standard came out of thin air, and for all the world appears to be a team can-kicking exercise. Now Obama and Merkel have an excuse to do nothing for three weeks. Then when three weeks comes, and the elections turn into a chaotic fiasco, they’ll be able to find some other excuse. It was Ukrainian incompetence that caused the problem. There’s no reliable evidence that Russia deliberately disrupted the election. Something. Anything.

Regardless, Putin now has a guaranteed three weeks to continue to wreak havoc using spetsnaz and local irregulars (i.e., thugs). Ukraine may counterattack in one place, or a couple. But even if they succeed (and there is no reason to believe on past performance that they will), Ukraine is a big place and you can bet that a new Russian uprising will break out somewhere else.

Will he invade? I think not. Not because he couldn’t go through Ukraine like a hot knife through butter (or sh*t through a goose, as Patton used to say), but because holding the place would be hard, and outright invasion could even force Merkel and Obama into doing something half-way serious (kicking and screaming all the way). But because he can achieve his objectives by fomenting a civil war.

If it does come to civil war, it will be vicious, especially in the center of the country, in places like Kiev and Odessa, that contain large Ukrainian and Russian populations. (Civil wars are always most brutal in such borderlands. Like Sarajevo. Or in western Missouri in the Civil War.)

Merkel and Obama have basically signaled an unwillingness to act, and have given Putin a defined time window to act with no fear of punitive sanctions. And when that period ends, it will be extended, most likely. German industry (led by Hitler’s favorite firm, Siemens) are putting unrelenting pressure on Merkel. What’s more, the country is rife with “Russia understanders” like Hans Werner Sinn, who penned this egregious oped in the WSJ. Sinn and his ilk are like termites that have eaten away German resolve from within.

Which means I cannot see Germany acting, under any circumstances. Since Obama has already said that he prefers unity in inaction to acting alone (or with a coalition of the willing), Germany-by which I mean Siemens, BASF, Adidas, etc., and “understanders” like Sinn and Helmut Schmidt and the just plain corrupt like Gerhard Schroeder-therefore has a veto over American action.

The floor is yours, Vlad. All yours.

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4 Comments »

  1. NYT’s Thomas Friedman is surpassing himself again and again: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/opinion/sunday/friedman-its-not-just-about-obama.html

    “The decisions by the Bush I and Clinton teams to expand NATO laid the seeds of resentment that helped to create Putin and Putinism.”

    Will anyone tell this tool that Bolsheviks/KGB existed long before Bush I? However resentful the Soviet nomenklatura feel because they cannot invade Poland or Lithuania as easily as they did Georgia and Ukraine (and Czechoslovakia and Hungary) it’s nothing compared with the resentment of having to tear down the Berlin wall. So how come Friedman did not mention Ronald Reagan?

    “This is not just about Obama.” – you bet, Friedman is high up there on the list.

    Comment by Ivan — May 4, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  2. Putler “understanders” don’t understand a goddamn thing

    “However, it must be borne in mind that the present crisis was triggered by the West. The overtures made by NATO to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in recent years effectively threatened to encircle Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the only ice-free port at its disposal.”

    === umm, Sochi, anyone? umm, how would a Black Sea Fleet already “encircled” in Ukraine be “threatened” merely by Ukraine or Georgia becoming members of NATO? Teacher, teacher, I know, I know – it would deter a psychotic little dictator named Putler from invading neighboring countries. How “Russophobic” – prevent Putler and Kremlinoid Rashans from invading neighboring countries.

    “After killing millions of Russians in World War II and enjoying the good fortune of a peaceful reunification thanks also to Russia’s support, it is the duty of Germany in particular to de-escalate the conflict with Russia. ”

    ===== ummm, the people who were killed the most were Ukrainians. They got it from both sides. The Germans came during the day, the sovoks came at night. And the Rasha had already murdered millions of Ukrainians prior to WWII, and murdered several million more after WWII. And the Sovoks raped German women. Resorting to imposing a guilt trip on Germany is a non-starter. “de-escalating the conflict with Rasha?” Rasha foments conflict, it thrives on conflict, it wants conflict in order to export misery, corruption, poverty and dictatorship. Rasha today follows the same tactics as the sovok union – keep poking a finger in everyone’s eye to make Rasha feel important. Rasha supplies weapons to Syria so Assad can kill hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Rasha supplies nuclear materials to Iran, to crazies in Iran can shoot nuclear weapons. All so Putler can tell people in Rasha that “Rasha is great.” All so Putler can protect his own palaces and wealth, while people in the Rasha live in abject misery. As putler said on his latest media mash – “why do you need a car if the roads are bad? what is this, a provocation?”

    ” No reasonable party can be in favor of the economic destabilization of Russia and a trade war.”

    ==== umm, the Rasha has already conducted trade wars with Ukraine, Georgia and a host of other countries. Putler has already done everything he can to de-stabilize Ukraine. Do 45 million people not count? Have they simply disappeared and vanished into thin air, to make way for Vlad Dracul Putler?

    “How can the cost of any further annexations be raised for Russia and the chances of finding a peaceful solution be strengthened, without doing any damage to Russia, Ukraine or the EU? The answer lies in the offer of a free trade agreement with Russia and the Ukraine as part of a new international agreement on Ukraine’s future.”

    === ummm, A GODDAMN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WAS ON THE TABLE BETWEEN THE EU AND UKRAINE – PUTLER GOT HIS PANTIES ALL IN A BUNCH AND DISRUPTED IT, AND IS STILL TRYING TO DISRUPT IT. PUTLER DOESN’T WANT NO STINKIN’ FREE TRADE AGREEMENT – HE WANTS A CUSTOMS UNION IN WHICH THE KREMLIN DICTATES EVERYTHING. BUY GEORGIAN WINE – IT’S MORE FREEDOM THAT IS ALLOWED IN PUTLER-LAND.

    ” In the interest of preserving peace in Europe, it is high time for Berlin to actively pursue a strategy of convincing the EU bodies to forge good neighborly relations with Russia, and with Ukraine and the other countries situated between the power blocs. ”

    ==== GODDAMN GOOD NEIGHBORLY RELATIONS WITH THE RASHA IS WHAT UKRAINE WAS IN FACT PURSUING BEFORE YANUKONVIKT GOT INTO POWER AS PUTLER’S BUTT BOY. GODDAMN NEIGHBORLY RELATIONS WITH THE EU IS WHAT UKRAINE WAS PURSUING WITH THE EU BEFORE PUTLER’S BUTT BOY, ACTING ON PUTLER’S ORDERS, PUT THE KABOSH ON THE WHOLE THING – LEADING TO DEMONSTRATIONS IN UKRAINE, AND ULTIMATELY TO PUTLER PUTTING “LITTLE GREEN MEN” IN UKRAINE – ALL SO PUTLER CAN PROTECT HIS DICTATORSHIP AND HIS PALACES AND HIS OWN WEALTH.

    SHEISS

    Comment by elmer — May 4, 2014 @ 9:19 am

  3. Unbelievable, this Sinn(los) guy. So, a Russian border across Ukraine – fine, never mind, let’s trade. How about a Russian border across Berlin? Still OK, your house on the western side? How do you know it will be the same line as last time?

    Comment by Ivan — May 4, 2014 @ 9:49 am

  4. from Ukraine – disruption of elections – bombers over Crimea:

    “I count 7 large AN transports and 4 fighters in less than 2 minutes.

    Reminds me of the flights of helicopters at the end of Feb. for the completion of military occupation.

    If these transports are bringing in additional airborne the beginning of operations on the southern front can’t be far off.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgE571wIZX0&feature=youtu.be

    http://news.yahoo.com/russian-bombers-fighter-jets-seen-over-crimea-143320553.html

    Russian bombers, fighter jets ‘seen over Crimea’

    Simferopol (Undefined) (AFP) – Several dozen Russian planes including what appeared to be strategic bombers and fighter jets have been spotted in the sky above the Moscow-controlled peninsula of Crimea, witnesses and experts said.

    According to Russian media, President Vladimir Putin is poised to visit Crimea on Friday after overseeing the main military parade on Red Square when Russia celebrates its victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

    A local aviation expert told AFP on Sunday that he had sighted a number of planes over the peninsula’s main city of Simferopol on Saturday, including supersonic heavy strategic bombers and heavy military transport aircraft.

    The expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had also seen refuelling tankers and MiG-29 jets.

    Another expert, Alexei Savich, who was shown footage of the aircraft, said a Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet could be seen among the planes.

    He also identified the tankers and military transport planes.

    Many local residents have also seen the aircraft rumble over the peninsula including in Simferopol and the neighbouring town of Bakhchisarai.

    “It was a bit scary,” local resident Arzy Khaibulaeva told AFP. “Children were frightened.”

    She said the planes were flying low and some were seen re-fuelling in mid-air.

    The Russian defence ministry declined to comment on Sunday.

    Savich suggested that Moscow might be moving “some serious military aircraft” to the peninsula.

    “Russia is most likely ramping up its military presence on the peninsula,” he told AFP.

    In March, Putin sent troops to Ukraine’s Russian-speaking peninsula claiming he had to protect the local population after a popular uprising ousted Ukraine’s Moscow-backed president.

    Comment by elmer — May 4, 2014 @ 10:07 am

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