Russia

Canceling Putin, Canceling Russians

Which boycotts, cancellations, and sanctions are defensible and well-targeted against the state actors who are responsible for the attack on Ukraine?

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Reason works with a contractor who lives in small-town Siberia. As Vladimir Putin's tank convoy rolled toward Kyiv in early March and a flurry of economic sanctions were imposed on Russia by public and private actors, I found myself asking if we could still pay our guy, whether we should do so in bitcoin, and what the consequences might be if we did.

Most of this issue of Reason was already edited when Russia's invasion of Ukraine started, so this is the only place in these pages you'll see mention of the potentially earth-shattering conflict involving a nuclear nation. (For breaking news, check out reason.com.)

But as this magazine goes to press, the most urgent concern is not whether the U.S. will send troops to the front lines of a foreign war. President Joe Biden has categorically ruled that out under current circumstances, for good reason and to good effect.

Instead, a whole host of other potential interventions—most of them cultural or economic—are forcing global politicians and businesspeople to do an even more complicated moral calculation.

There's undeniably something inspiring about seeing a global consensus against a violent occupation emerge in real time. But which boycotts, cancellations, and sanctions are defensible and well-targeted against the state actors who are responsible for the attack on Ukraine, and which are overly punitive and possibly counterproductive against ordinary Russians, many of whom don't support Putin's actions?

The World Taekwondo organization's decision to withdraw the honorary 9th dan black belt it conferred on Putin in 2013, for instance, is extremely defensible, narrowly targeted, and frankly hilarious. Less clearly worth it is the accompanying edict not to "organise or recognise Taekwondo events in Russia and Belarus."

On the other end of the spectrum are the clearly indefensible actions of the vandals who shattered windows and tore down a flag outside of Russia House, a restaurant across the street from Reason's D.C. office that isn't even owned by Russians. But surely if the same restaurant declared all proceeds would be going to support the Russian war effort, it would be laudable for a hungry customer to walk 15 minutes to the Ukrainian-owned D Light Cafe instead?

In both of these examples, the stakes are relatively low, which makes the moral math easier. But in many other cases the stakes are very high indeed, even as the gray area is vast and murky.

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was roundly denounced on Twitter in early March for his overly simplistic claim that "there are no more 'innocent' 'neutral' Russians anymore. Everyone has to make a choice—support or oppose this war. The only way to end this war is if 100,000s, not thousands, protest against this senseless war. Putin can't arrest you all!" But this same thinking shapes the criticism of Valery Gergiev, a Russian conductor who was fired from his position with the Munich Philharmonic for refusing to "distance himself…from the brutal war of aggression which Putin is leading." Surely brave acts of civil disobedience are not always morally mandatory, even if they are praiseworthy.

Mere days after the war began, Nike and Apple have closed their online stores in Russia. MSC and Maersk, the world's biggest shipping lines, have suspended container shipping to and from Russia. Boeing and Airbus have stopped supplying parts and support to Russian airlines and cut off access to manuals required for repairs. The energy sector has the most to lose in cutting ties with the fossil fuel giant, but even Shell and BP are literally abandoning the field.

There is no doubt that locking top Russian banks out of the SWIFT payment system will put the squeeze on Putin and his oligarchs. And Visa and Mastercard have blocked those sanctioned Russian financial institutions from their payment networks as well. But the per capita GDP in Russia is half of what it is in the United States; depending on skyrocketing inflation and other economic cascades, the rest of the Russian population could well be choked to death before Putin's intimates start to feel a pinch.

Then there are the economic systems designed to work outside of the state to begin with. Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov has asked digital asset platforms to freeze all Russian users' blockchain addresses. And in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared herself "disappointed" that not all crypto exchanges were complying, complaining that they were "refusing to end transactions with Russia for some philosophy of libertarianism or whatever."

Among those exchanges still serving Russians are Binance and Kraken, which have argued that most of those users are against the war and that to freeze their assets due to state action would be against the ethos of the crypto movement.

The list goes on and on. DirecTV should absolutely not be required to carry the Russian state propaganda network RT. Meanwhile, Netflix has refused to carry RT within Russia itself, and the likely result is that the streaming service will be blocked there. Disney has preemptively withdrawn cinematic releases from Russian theaters. Again: Will cutting off regular Russians from outside media and global markets help or hurt?

This question haunts the debate over state-imposed economic sanctions as well. Iran, Cuba, and North Korea have been under U.S. sanctions for several decades, to little geopolitical effect and at massive costs to the ordinary people who live under those authoritarian regimes. (Not to mention the costs to American consumers and producers.) The Russian sanctions are harsher and reach deeper into the economy than previous sanctions have done, but citizens being fed propaganda may well decide, with some justice, that they are the targets of a global conspiracy with the predictable effect on nationalism and expansionism.

As an editor, one thing I think a lot about is when to use the word we. Most of Reason's writers are American. Most of our readers are American. But one of our fundamental beliefs is that governments and citizens are different. And then there's our Russian contractor.

"We" do not go to war; governments go to war—sometimes conscripting an unwilling "we" to go along. "We" do not buy tanks; governments take our money under threat of imprisonment and spend it on munitions. "We" do not exclude refugees; governments block borders and ports with armed agents to turn people away regardless of whether a citizen would welcome them into her home.

Government is not, in fact, simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together, as former Rep. Barney Frank (D–Mass.) is dubiously reputed to have said. Even in the pages of Reason, these terms can get dodgy. We've been known to slip up and use "the United States" as a synonym for "the U.S. government." But it isn't.

One of the best things about living in a liberal democracy is that the space between citizens and the state is safeguarded (not always as well as I'd prefer, to be sure). But in Russia, for decades if not centuries, that space has been crowded out, squeezed down, crushed beneath a boot.

That's no accident. Due to Russia's deeply, corruptly entangled public and private sectors, it's nearly impossible to tell where the state ends and markets begin. Authoritarian regimes like it that way, because they treat citizens as means, not ends in themselves—as cannon fodder and cogs in a managed economic machine, not free people deserving of rights and dignity. As a consequence, private citizens who just want to go about their business will suffer horribly for the crimes of their government.

Many punitive actions taken by countries and companies are driven by intuition rather than principle. There is a sense, admirable in itself, that to be complicit with a regime willing to stage a violent occupation is wrong. But it is also deeply wrong to be complicit in the economic destruction of innocent civilians, millions of whom reside within Russia's borders.

NEXT: Brickbat: Bookkeeping Error

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  1. Cancel propaganda by supporting free speech.

    1. Uh huh, and kill all the Jews, right nazi?

      1. None of you irrational bigots have ever proven what you claim or refute what you deny.

        If you fools are advocating denying what you can’t refute, through your behaviour, what’s your argument against holocaust denial?

      2. WTF?!?!

        1. That’s it eh?

    2. Is the picture above Putin assuming the fetal position after hearing of all the dead Putineers he has on his hands?

      That's free speech too, and so is this:

      Fuck off, Nazi!

      1. How many times have you made that request? How’s it working for you?

        Insanity is defined by doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

        I enjoy demonstrating your irrational, bigotry.

        1. Well,, you see, Dr. Phil Mengele ...
          I got High Hopes!
          I got High Hopes!
          I got high apfel strudel in the sky hopes!

          So, next time i'm feeling low,
          'Stead of letting go,
          I just remember Sobibor!

          Oops! There goes another Nazi death camp!
          Oops! There goes another Nazi death camp!
          Oops! There goes another Nazi death camp!

          Fuck off, Nazi!

          1. Nooooo! Not show tunes arrrrgh….gasp.

            The reason your feeble attempts at coercive speech always fail is that you have no authority, zero credibility.

            You post anonymously because you’re ashamed of what you say. You are a no account coward who can never prove what you claim nor refute what you deny.

            Show tunes. Hahaha.

            1. Show tunes at The Cabarets sure gave the Nazis a lot of problems, so they're fine by me.

              And "Coercive speech?" How is my mere non-threatening speech coercive? Who but a Totalitarian could come up with the idea of "coercive speech?"

              I post anonymously because you can't cancel or censor an idea if you don't know from whom or from whence it came. Something you Aryan Pure Supermen just can't get your skull calipers around, huh?

              Again, Fuck Off, Nazi!

              1. Say please

  2. But as this magazine goes to press, the most urgent concern is not whether the U.S. will send troops to the front lines of a foreign war. President Joe Biden has categorically ruled that out under current circumstances, for good reason and to good effect.

    I don't recall Biden using the "under current circumstances" circumlocution but I'm sure he meant it. Trying to guess what Biden intends to do by what he says he intends to do is as much a fool's game as it is with any politician, it's all just meaningless blather.

    1. Well, Biden does not necessarily speak for the Biden Administration.

      1. At least half the time, Biden does not necessarily speak for Biden.

    2. You don't need to predict Biden's moves or intentions. They always involve Jello Pudding, Boost, Hoveround, and Depends.

    3. If you're interested in understanding what's going on at all, very informative article from a former NATO+UN official (the title is hyperbolic, and I have to assume was not produced by the author)

      https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/09/former-nato-military-analyst-blows-the-whistle-on-wests-ukraine-invasion-narrative/

      1. Lmao.

        When did you become so easy to fucking dupe nardz?

        That piece of crap article literally opens with this "The term “pro-Russian” suggests that Russia was a party to the conflict, which was not the case"

        That's a lie right off the bat. The Russians have been agitating in the do bass since they annexed Crimea, they were trying to take those areas WHILE they tried taking Crimea.

        Second retard putin cock sucker says "The information that we receive then comes practically all from the Polish intelligence services and does not “match” with the information from the OSCE: in spite of rather crude allegations, we do not observe any delivery of arms and materials Russian military"

        He has not cites, he simply says "well everyone else says they saw it, but IIIIII didn't. So its not real". Meanwhile the separatists have been documented using Russian weapons since this began, Russian soldiers have been captured among the separatists since 2014, and of those claiming to be "separatists" nearly 50% are Russian citizens, not native to the Donbass region or Ukrainian. There's entire Wikipedia pages with numerous links about it.

        Then this gem "However, let us remember, there were never any Russian troops in the Donbass before February 23-24, 2022. Moreover, OSCE observers have never observed the slightest trace of Russian units operating in the Donbass. Thus, the US intelligence map published by the Washington Post on December 3, 2021 does not show Russian troops in Donbass."

        So he uses a retarded map that is in reference to this specific conflict to say "see they didn't draw a red circle around Donbass! No Russians there!". Despite the fact that no one ever said Russia had standing units in Donbass. Everyone knows Russia has been funneling weapons and agent provocateurs there. Literally no one said Russia moved marked ground units there, until this invasion. And this is verified over and over again by the large portion of detained donbass "separatists" not even having Ukrainian citizenship. Or the actual Russian troops who have been killed and captured there in the past 8 years.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_separatist_forces_in_Donbas

        Read this and click through some of the links and references. There's numerous articles from 2014-2021 linked in just this Wikipedia page that basically prove wider Russian agitation in the Donbass since 2014.

        But the fucking stooge you posted ignores all of that, because he's a fucking stooge!

        1. LOL
          Sure, I'm the dupe.
          You're literally parroting allegations w/o evidence, and citing Wikipedia, from the people who do literally nothing but lie.
          You Slava ukraini if you want to, but fuck US involvement, fuck Zelensky, fuck Ukraine, and fuck globalist totalitarian liars.

        2. "Literally no one said Russia moved marked ground units there, until this invasion."

          Yes, they did. They still do. I'm not going to forget what I've been reading for 8 years just because it's convenient.

      2. Also. Did you fall for the zelensky is a secret billionaire after his payoff to be a world economic forum patsy, propoganda too?

        Dont lie I bet you did!

        You should spend a few hours looking into Putins ties to klaus Schwab and the WEF. There's a better chance/more evidence that putin did this, because he's actually a documentable WEF puppet, to destroy the global economy and usher in the Great reset faster (can't do that with a dominant US petrodollar), than there is zelensky is acting as the west's puppet.

        1. I don't know how much Zelensky has, but he is all over the Pandora Papers and he was literally groomed.
          Whether or not Putin is a real enemy or just an elaborate heel has nothing to do with the facts of the situation (which you've decided to apparently ignore) leading to predictable, rational actions.
          Russia hacking the election, Russia collusion, Russia chem weapons - all bullshit, but I'm sure the reporting is totes accurate now. Well, except for all the Ukrainian stories that have already been proven false.
          To hell with critical thinking, so much easier to just go with the msm/State line.

      3. This Jaques Baud character whom you cite in defense of Russia says:

        In my role as chief of doctrine for peacekeeping operations at the UN, I worked on the issue of the protection of civilians. We then saw that violence against civilians took place in very specific contexts. Especially when weapons abound and there are no command structures.

        So this guy you cite works with the United Nations and thinks that civilians should be disarmed in the face of an invading, evil, tyrannical force.

        Doesn't this put Baud in the same category as the Davos Man, One World, Rome-With-A-Single-Neck, New World Order types that you accuse your opponents of being?

        It looks to me like you support not just Russian Revanchism, but Russian Revanchism as part of something even bigger and equally sinister.

        In any event, you've just earned your own unique salutation from me:

        Fuck off, Revanchist!

        1. You really have to stretch to get he's in favor of disarming citizens when the context is Zelensky handing out weapons, with no training, and NATO flooding the country with tens of billions of (our) dollars worth of weapons.
          I'm just fucking tired of faggots like you who cheerlead for war with Russia while you sit on your ass and do absolutely nothing about your leaders taking our freedoms at home.
          Definition of a useful idiot.

          1. *Walking and chewing rainbow gum, condemning Putin, making biting zingers against Biden, trashing Alt-Right, Ctrl-Left, and even criticizing Delete/Clean/Reboot/Rebuild Libertarians when they engage in self-sabotage. All while humming "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?"*

            I'd say that makes me useless to any tyrant and pretty handy for myself.

  3. As Koch / Reason libertarians, we want to inflict as much pain as possible on Russians, Ukrainians, and indeed the populations of every other country.

    Because our highest priority is making our billionaire benefactor Charles Koch even richer. And the worse things get overseas, the more desperate people will be begging to immigrate to the US where they can provide cost-effective labor for Mr. Koch.

    #WarIsGoodBecauseItCreatesRefugees
    #CheapLaborAboveAll

    1. Fiona approves.

    2. Wasn't there a good Koch brother? The one who believed that (ghasp!) even women have individual rights... before he died?

      1. Hey bro, hows life in the 60s?

      2. Yes, Bob Koch. He helped me fix a flat tire before he was struck by lightning.

    3. C+. Too on-the-nose.

  4. There's undeniably something inspiring about seeing a global consensus against a violent occupation emerge in real time.

    There's undeniably something mind blowing about hearing someone who lived through the Bush II era say this out loud.

    1. Seriously, try to imagine KMW in a cheerleader outfit in the early '00s cheering "Gooooo Colin Powell! Coalition of the Willing, Yeah! W! W! He's our man! If he can't do it, no one can!"

      1. Are you shaming KMW just because she used to work for The Weekly Standard — the pro-Israel / pro-war magazine run by Bill Kristol? Who wrote an entire book advocating the Iraq War?

        #LibertariansForEmbracingNeocons
        #(AtLeastTheyreProImmigration)

        1. Are you shaming KMW

          Uh, yeah, imagining KMW in a cheerleader outfit to, uh, shame her. Yeah. *avoids eye contact*

        2. Hmmmmm....seeing KMW in a pom pom. Interesting visual. 🙂

          1. Yeah, and imagine her in a striped shirt ????

            1. Mine? With me?

    2. ^this

      I have been amazed to see everyone turn on a dime about this stuff. After spending now about 2 decades complaining about Bush jr, and the 100% ironclad, guaranteed, multi nation agreed upon proof that we needed to invade Iraq.

      It took about 5 minutes of Snake Island and Ghost of Kyiv stories and they are frothing at the mouth for another go, because our media and leaders told them to.

      "Mission Accomplished", media

      1. Well said.

      2. Hey, if we can't bend compliant minds with hysterically clever propaganda, why even have a media?

    3. I've defended KM-W since she was just a junior editor but this is the last straw. Fuckin' neocunt.

      1. Looky there! The Mindless Sieve is back in a new and different sockpuppet shell. Break out the ZOM BE GONE!

    4. Worldwide moral certitude and literal cancellation and destruction by a mob are new and disgusting developments. Most people are necessarily the voice of their tribes. They could care less about the truth or circumstances. Right now, they are howling insanely for the death of Putin. Our leaders wanted Saddam and Gaddafi dead. There was a lot of blood.

  5. The heart of the matter might be best expressed in the second to last paragraph and the acknowledgement that authoritarian regimes often mix the public and private sectors of the economy. Just a building a hospital next to a munitions plant make destroying one but not the other impossible. The mixing of the economy allows the leader and his allies access to public money and protection from sanctions. Just as you can have physical collateral damage from bombs, we see economic collateral damage from sanctions. In both cases the outcome of dictates the methods used. I am sorry for the ordinary Russian affected by sanctions, but they are second to the ordinary Ukrainian being bombed by Russians.

    1. You are not sorry.

      1. Oh he’s plenty sorry.

    2. I think you miss the point. The issue at hand isn't 'sanctions', it's that this is a 'global shunning' directly targeted at innocent civilians who have no real way to control the government of their state - they don't even have the fig leaf of democracy that we have.

      Imagine that after our invasion of Afghanistan the rest of the world cut all ties with us - you couldn't even attend a chess game in Prague - and demanded we did whatever it took - even unto violence - to replace the Bush administration as price of re-admission to the world.

      1. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is poor analogy because we sought out support before our invasion and in fact NATO supported us under article 5.

        Better analogy would be our annexation of land in the SW from Mexico. Americans flooded into Texas and then declared independence from Mexico and eventually petitioned for statehood. We were not shunned at the time, but had it happened today we might well be shunned.

        1. How about Iraq then. Aside from Britain playing the role of Belarus, even traditional allies like Canada were opposed, and most of the world condemned it, but the US went in anyway.

  6. I'm still confused as to how these sanctions can be hurting Russia when I've been told over and over how protective tariffs benefit the economy. These tariffs strengthen domestic industry by steering customers away from foreign goods. Shouldn't sanctions do the same thing? Sanctions are protectionism on steroids! Russia's economy should be booming with them not buying imported products!

    1. If you possess the capability and resources to have certain industries local, it makes you more robust and able to withstand sanctions.

      The ruble is doing fine. It may be stronger than it was before the war because of this.

      Maybe the concept of “Free Trade” as a means for universal peace was because moving industry out of your country made you dependent on other nations controlled by the UN and sanctions would lead to unrest as people were deprived of goods.

      Like the US being deprived of oil, foodstuffs, and fertilizer.

      1. There is also the hidden cost of supply chain risk that isn't shown until realized and we are still seeing the costs of. How people still can't see that is amazing.

        1. How people still can't see that is amazing.

          Again, many of these are people who don't distinguish hidden costs and externalities or intended/unintended consequences and talk about 'externalities' when it comes to AGW and the global economy without invoking celestial events (SMOD). When you walk into a bar and order a drink, the effect that has on the global pool of carbon is, somehow, an externality (despite the fact that it still affects you and the bartender/owner pretty much equally). But if you walk into a bar, order a drink, and the bartender says "Hey! I know you! You slept with my sister! And smashes the beer over your head." Getting a beer smashed over your head or smashing a beer over someone's head is just part of owning a bar, having a sister, and sleeping with people.

          1. Externalities don't negate Econ101. The principles remain.

            1. There is more to trade than what is taught in econ 101 dummy.

            2. This is like saying aircraft don't have to estimate drag because physics 101 is taught largely with frictionless mechanics

              1. Except what I'm hearing is more like Einstein's theory of relativity showed Newtonian physics to be wrong, and anyone who still uses it is a dummy.

                That's why I ignore you. You can't even have a civil conversation about something like economics.

                1. You ignore people by replying to them?

                2. Haha, Jesse’s off the list.

                3. You said something stupid, and then cried because I called it out.

                  You think Econ is simpler than physics? LOL. Econ has to deal with irrational and complex interactions. It is far more complicated.

                  Saying "Because Econ 101 says so" is so simplistic as to be nonsense.

    2. Hey, more strawman arguments. Mist be nice having a world view derived from simplistic world views. Tariffs are generally bad. But when a country such as China is already abusing the free market and international trade through theft and other measures, tariffs can impose a cost to that country or cause a supply shift to another country. This has negligible downstream effects if there are enough total suppliers to fill demand.

      China's theft actually causes greater consumer costs due to required increase of costs per good for security. It also reduces future research and development. When those costs are higher than a single tariff, then they are more harmful to a consumer than a tariff focused at reducing said theft.

      1. You do know that’s all pops and buzzes to him, right?

    3. Benefiting the economy is protectionist equivocation for protecting the Captains of Industry from competition in price and quality. Tariff protectionists exploited Republican religious horror at the raping of slave women and punitive mutilation of male slaves--this to package in increased coercive revenue-grabbing by the political State. To this day the fake association lingers and it repeated as "and to prevent terrorism" is tacked on to make purely totalitarian enactments seem palatable.

  7. One of the best things about living in a liberal democracy is that the space between citizens and the state is safeguarded (not always as well as I'd prefer, to be sure).

    Think you mean constitutional republic.

    1. If you can keep it.

    2. I would prefer my constitutional republic to also be a liberal democracy.

      1. Democracy has no limits. Look at the ancient greeks and see if that is truly what you want.

        1. That's why "liberal" modifies it. "Liberal" means (in my mind and I think that this is pretty much the standard meaing) that the presumption is that people can do as they will unless there is a compelling societal interest that the government be involved. It would be perfectly possible to have a constitutional republic that violates people's rights and individual autonomy all over the place. A constitution isn't enough, nor is a republican form of government or a democratic one. You need the liberal basis for government too. And a societal value of freedom and individual rights.

  8. Most of this issue of Reason was already edited

    Sure it was.

    1. HS Teacher: Kathie, I noticed here in your magazine, there are a couple of places where it says things like "[insert supporting evidence here]", people saying things like "There is 1 justice system for rich people and 1 justice system for poor people.", and even rather appallingly "someone with personal proclivities about a public defender hates due process". You really need to focus harder on editing if you're going to get an 'A' and go one to be a great magazine editor some day!

      Kathie: It's not my fault! The war in Ukraine ate my homework and I didn't have time to edit properly!

  9. Reason:
    - You can't make them bake the cake, but sure, don't use them, support groups you want to, even if it hurts residents, local taxes, property values because Those people are choosing to stay.

    - It is not okay to not support states because it hurts employees, local taxes, property values despite those people are choosing to stay.

  10. "But which boycotts, cancellations, and sanctions are defensible and well-targeted against the state actors who are responsible for the attack on Ukraine?"

    Duh, the ones that give us the most immediate emotional satisfaction without having to think much.

    1. Isn't the 'approved' libertarian response: 'Support or Do not. There is no Government' That is, the US government should be neutral, neither promoting or prohibiting boycotts by others.

      1. Good luck selling media clicks or getting elected with that attitude.

        1. Oh, aye. Just the principle is different than the monetizable product.

          1. The principle may eventually be monetizable into single votes, a commodity the Kleptocracy media values at about the price of a gram of black market cocaine. Some libertarian conclusions are easier to market to looters than others, hence exploitable as the entering wedge that has for fifty years crushed bad laws as LP vote tallies went from 4000 to 4 million. Shedding anarchist Quislings should bring that total to 40 million in another couple of Administrations.

            1. LP votes are lost every time you post a comment. Fucking weirdo.

        2. Getting elected does not change the Constitution or jurisprudence. Drawing away spoiler votes so the egregious lose fastest has prompt and lasting effect for good or ill. The Prohibition Party rewrote the Constitution averaging 1.4% of the vote during 11 campaigns. Before the 1972 LP women were breeder dams, a youngster with a lid went straight to prison, and politicians sent press gangs to kidnap youths into involuntary conscription to murder in foreign wars. Spoiler votes change laws! That is a matter of record.

    2. That eloquently sums up the 90% who still vote for the initiation of force out of fear of disappointing the looter Kleptocracy.

    3. Personally, I like the exploding tanks. Kaboom!

  11. The central thesis is wrong: By naming, shaming and cancelling....Putin will get his comeuppance and leave Ukraine in disgrace - utterly defeated.

    ROTHFLMFAO if KMW really thinks this to be the case. Maybe with that level of naivete she really should be wearing pom poms.

    1. Ok, but what is H about your floor?

      1. Heated?

  12. Just wait until the US government does something the CCP doesn't like and China imposes sanctions on all of us - aided by all of Africa, most of Europe, and even some of our own Midwest states.

    1. "but, but, but . . . we're the *good guys*!"

  13. Good, relevant, yet understated. China boycotted British Indian opium traders late in 1837 and banned homegrown. After 112 years of wars & revolution, communists got entrenched. Meanwhile "excluded" Chinese boycotted U.S. products as of 1903. The resulting "silent panic" led to "Pure Food" prohibitionism, the Hague antiopium Convention & Harrison Act. These caused a drug glut in the Balkan source and European refining nations that blossomed into two World Wars and many Crashes and Depressions.

  14. Who cares about the Russian really? Im a conservative cali native and the rest of the country hates me because I get lumped in with the obnoxious libs from socal. Thats just how it is, for them also.

  15. " economic destruction of innocent civilians,"
    Unintended consequences are a bitch. Maybe you should think twice before Sieg Heiling in the streets or engaging in emperor worship or even ignoring those who want to rob your neighbor and divide the spoils with you?

  16. Russians go with out luxuries while Ukranians die, poor Russians how terrible. some one has a strange sense of how the world works. will sanctions hurt average Russians of course but that is often how revolutions get started when people have had enough.

    1. Can you name a single example of a revolution starting because of externally imposed economic sanctions? I'm not coming up with much.

      1. Aparteid in Africa.

        1. How's that going these days?

          1. Not to mention that it took about 2 decades of continual sanctions, and the ruling party finally saying "aw fuck it" and giving up.

        2. Maybe. Took a long time and I wouldn't exactly call it a "revolution".

  17. Just think back to the Iraq war. Most of us opposed it, but what power did we have to change it? None at all. Imposing sanctions on us wouldn't do anything but piss us off.

    And now the ruble is back to pre-war levels and the rest of the world is figuring out how to get by without us. Yet another move of Biden Brilliance.

  18. https://twitter.com/Bernd__Neuner/status/1513443108658327552?t=H72SJlpYVl-89mo_aKofPw&s=19

    Excellent analysis of the Gestapo-like role the Ukrainian Security service (#SBU) has taken in recent years when it comes to terrorizing and silencing the opposition.

    Detailed list of heinous deeds and victims.

    #Ukraine is NOT a democracy.

    [Link]

  19. https://twitter.com/BethanyCherisse/status/1513451877349806085?t=OPtOEokW1WctMQcQ8mqSLA&s=19

    China is LITERALLY torturing and killing off its citizens under the guise of 'protection' from a virus, in an attempt to achieve the impossible - covid zero. And not one Western government is condemning it. At this point you can no longer even pretend this is about saving lives.

    I don't know what is haunting me more - the screams of those locked in shoebox high rise apartments slowly starving to death, some throwing themselves off balconies unable to endure another day. Or the death throes of helpless pets, as they are culled mercilessly.

    I feel sick.

    Or maybe it is the sight of little children, stripped of individuality, moving like automatons, tests forced up their noses, covered from head to toe in masks and hazmat suits, forced to line up and be processed like nothing more than parts on an assembly line. Robbed of life.

    I'm going to hug my family and my pets a little closer tonight. God save us all from this heinous evil, and the perverted and depraved minds of those of you who defend it.

    1. Laura M. Glass is the mastermind.

    2. Hey, everybody! Shhhhh! Don't tell Nardz that Putin considers Emperor Xi and Red China to be an ally! The cognitive dissonance will completely blow his mind!

      1. You really are not an intelligent being.
        You're fucking worthless, encog.

        1. I know that Putin is an ally of Emperor Xi and Red China and you don't.

  20. “And in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared herself "disappointed" that not all crypto exchanges were complying, complaining that they were "refusing to end transactions with Russia for some philosophy of libertarianism or whatever."”

    Once again Clinton shows the insight, wit and charm That produced landslide presidential victories for her in 2008 and 2016

    1. Give Madcow a break-she has to have something to bitch about now that mask/vax mandates and Jan 6th are fading into irrelevance, so she must bring in perhaps the most irrelevant politician of the moment.

  21. There should be no state-mandated sanctions between me and the people of Russia.

    Seriously why should I even care about a European border dispute?

    The US government has no right to tell me if I can transact with people from either of those countries involved.

  22. Choice of picture is retarded. Everyone takes falls in Judo so the other guy can practice his throws.

    1. In Russia, Judo falls take you.

  23. https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1513574076383645699?t=apiJy7Xm4IU6t8FmSI4A6w&s=19

    NOW - White House warns of "extraordinarily elevated" inflation data.

    [Video]

  24. https://twitter.com/MattH_4America/status/1513326251553046529?t=9D0Z0vrcrUr5A8m4o4i4ng&s=19

    They now openly talk about a "Great Reset" and "New World Order" because they believe we can't stop them.

    1. Putin is certainly resetting the good ol' days of "The Evil Empire" and "Ivan The Red Bear" and shoe-banging "We will bury you speeches," right?

  25. At this point I'm fine with cancelling Russia, Russians, and anything to do with either of them.

    Russia is evil. Until their people overthrow Hitler junior, they have no right to exist on the world stage.

    1. How very Putin-ish of you. Our enemies must be eliminated at all costs! To hell with the suffering of millions of innocent people!

      I appreciate not being blamed for everything our idiot, evil rulers do, I try to extend the same courtesy to Russians and anyone else with a shitty government.

      1. Oh shove it nazi.

      2. It's not Putin-ish at all, unless you limit your thinking to the neocon drawn caricature.
        It's cowardly, servile, and pathetic.

    2. another useful idiot lining up to do his masters' bidding

    3. At this point I'm fine with cancelling Russia, Russians, and anything to do with either of them.

      Of course you are. Just like you would have been fine with "canceling the Jews" and "canceling Poland" in the 1930's. Because that's how you think and how you operate.

  26. https://twitter.com/Malbrunot/status/1512814126367662088?t=7G6qbWq60aluDmjSUi12hQ&s=19

    La visite de Boris Johnson à Kiev confirme la place de Londres comme premier allié de l'Ukraine. "Les unités d'élite des forces spéciales SAS sont présentes en Ukraine depuis le début de la guerre, de même que les Delta américaines", confie une source française du renseignement.

    [Translation: Boris Johnson's visit to kyiv confirms London's place as Ukraine's first ally. “Elite SAS special forces units have been present in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, as have the American Deltas,” confides a French intelligence source.]

  27. https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1513541036215136256?t=8az-2rIO7mms13sbmqXcWA&s=19

    The evidence shows that it isn’t just about Hunter Biden - it’s the Biden Family.

    Ignoring political corruption will be catastrophic for America.

  28. If we are going to handout punishment for this war we must punish the people who caused it. First should be Ukraine it's self for violating treaties, harboring Nazis and allowing Bio labs. Then we have the US for arming them and funding them. Then NATO for constantly threating Russia. This should be done only to the leaders who did these things not the people of their countries.

    1. I got news for you and all the Putineers: Any place that harbors living things can be a Bio-Lab.

      I fondly remember my Biology teacher in High School teaching us to grow mold culrures on pieces of bread from spores found in all kinds of areas, including outdoors.

      He said we could even wave our bread in the air...but cautioned us to do so only at night, since the neighbors might see you and try to have you put away. 🙂

      1. Oh, and there might not be so many places breeding and attracting bio-hazards if Putin wasn't driving people from their homes and murdering them and leaving the dead bodies exposed and on display for all passers-by.

        1. can you imagine being this dumb? It's hard to imagine but there's millions like this idiot.

          1. What's dumb about citing a scientific fact about abandoned, uncleaned structures and dead bodies drawing bio-hazards?

      2. I got news for you and all the Putineers: Any place that harbors living things can be a Bio-Lab.

        Ukraine clearly had bio-labs that contained biological warfare agents and that received US financial support; we know that because the US government officially admitted it.

        1. And Ricin, one of the most deadly biological toxins known to man, is made from Castor Beans. Would crops of this count too?

          And what if the bio-labs were originally from the Soviets and the U.S. was seeing to it that the contents of the labs were secure?

          The biggest danger of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons is that the effects can come back upon the user. Does the U.S. have a death wishfor Ukraine and are Ukrainian fighters suicidal Jihadis?

          And how is Putin securing bio-labs by firing Thermobaric weapons that suck away all the Oxygen and can smash Petri Dishes, test tubes, slides, and other containers?

          "Inquiring Minds Want To Know..."

  29. Clearly, OPEC punished the average American in 1973, by refusing to export oil to U.S. buyers, because of the U.S. government's support of Israel.

    Clearly, the Middle Eastern countries that comprise OPEC expected average Americans to demand that the government change its policy about Israel. It didn't work.

  30. The latest polls show 80% of Russians support Putin's war. They should feel the consequences of the actions of the leader they so admire. Just like 95% to the Germans approved of Hitler. They rightfully suffered the consequences. I was one of them. I lived in Berlin until Jan. 45 got evacuated to Dresden. Got lucky there too.
    There is no such thing as an innocent Russian just as there was no such thing as an innocent German.

    1. I'm glad you agree leftists should be "feel the consequences" of our current situation in the US.
      As you should "feel the consequences" of any of these sanctions you so blindly support.

    2. Not even Pussy Riot, who did prison time from protesting Putin and Patriarch Kirill? Not even the thousands of Russian protesting the invasion of Ukraine and the brave ethnic Russian Citizens of Ukraine?

      I hate Putin and the Putineers, but respect Russians the same as all other individuals when they do good things.

    3. What makes you guilty isn't the fact that you were part of the German population when Hitler was in power, what makes you guilty is that you obviously still cling to that totalitarian, fascist, collectivist mindset.

  31. "On the other end of the spectrum are the clearly indefensible actions of the vandals who shattered windows and tore down a flag outside of Russia House, a restaurant across the street from Reason's D.C. office that isn't even owned by Russians."

    This is how f***ing stupid many Americans are... particularly the Millenials who think violence and vandalism are how you solve problems.

    1. Millennials like the QAnon Shaman?

      1. he committed no violence

    1. Fantastic and comprehensive take on the prevailing Russian culture throughout history.

      ...And just think: Nardz and all the Putineers on the Religious Right want Russians and Ukrainians both frozen like insects in amber in that Superstitious, Authoritarian, deceitful, ultraviolent culture...And they evidently want this for the rest of us as well.

    2. Here is a libertarian's take on how the Finns think:

      https://mises.org/library/nato-our-international-welfare-queens

    3. Great read. Only quibble I see is that Alexandr Dugin (mentioned almost in passing) is a much darker figure. Just as influential as mentioned (the geopolitical brain of the Kremlin) but unless you try to figure out his end game, it is difficult to see where Putin's strategies/actions lead.

      But gets clearer and darker Once you figure Dugin out ( eg an article titled Putin's Rasputin - with a bit of info on the conflict between the Russian (resuscitated by the KGB who are the inner core of Putin circle) and Ukrainian Orthodox Church - andthe difference between how the three Rus tribes see themselves and the other two in their founding myth.

      Dugin can say aloud what Putin doesn't. But when Putin talks about 'brothers', he's thinking Cain and Abel and fratricide

  32. There's undeniably something inspiring about seeing a global consensus against a violent occupation emerge in real time.

    And by "global consensus", you mean the increasingly unpopular technocracy running Western nations, war mongers, and the military-industrial complex.

    Most of the people on the globe either don't know about it, don't care about it, or believe it's none of their business. And most governments in the world, representing most of the people on this planet, don't give a f*ck

    The idea of a "global consensus" on this is delusional and completely out of touch.

    1. To progressives, representatives of 12% of the world's population = "global consensus"

      1. And "representatives" that are mostly unelected and hate their own citizens

  33. There are many better libertarian issues to address here. Eg one article in Foreign Affairs titled Return of Conquest talks about th challenge to the postWW2 norm against violent state death.
    Many commenters here applaud that goal - and aren't squeamish about the violent part either.

  34. To cancel Putin is a sacred thing, I think. I am a Russian American myself who moved to the US from the Russian Federation as soon as Putin came to power. I immediately realized that this is a bandit of what else to look for. Perhaps when he leaves and the government changes, I will turn to https://www.russia-travel.com/visa-services/ to go home and not leave anymore. But for now I think I should try to be patient in the states until the end. I hope that the situation with Ukraine will be resolved peacefully and Putin will be punished in the Hague.

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