Ukraine

Why Sanctioning Russia Will Fail

The best way to de-escalate fighting in Ukraine is to give Putin a face-saving exit, not immiserating his people by cutting them off from the world.

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In response to the brutal, unprovoked, and illegal invasion of Ukraine, the U.S., the U.K., and countries in the European Union have effectively cut Russia out of the global financial system.

Germany suspended construction of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and is talking about beefing up its military. Italy and France are seizing yachts and other assets of Russian citizens on the grounds that they are kleptocrats profiting from an outlaw regime. U.S. Congress is contemplating a bill that would let the government grab Russian assets in America above $5 million and use the proceeds to aid Ukraine. 

A slew of private companies have also voluntarily withdrawn from Russia. Apple and Google Pay have stopped working on Moscow's public transit system. Russian filmmakers with ties to the government have been disinvited from showing their work abroad. The International Cat Federation has banned Russian felines from competition.

Such actions are of course understandable in the face of unjustifiable aggression, but will they actually work to facilitate Russia's withdrawal from Ukraine or weaken Vladimir Putin's regime? If history is any guide, the simple answer is no. And not only that, they will mostly harm the already long-suffering people of Russia and quite possibly be used by Putin to justify even more egregious behavior.

Historically, sanctions, especially in authoritarian regimes, often galvanize the targeted countries. U.S. economic sanctions on imperial Japan before World War II were taken as an act of war and encouraged more repression at home and expansion abroad. An October 2019 Government Accountability Office report found sanctions often have unintended consequences, including "negative impacts on human rights or public health."

Sanctions against Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela haven't had the desired effects of regime change and liberalization. In fact they've served as a scapegoat for bad economic and police-state policies.

Sanctions don't work because there are almost always workarounds, notes Johns Hopkins economist Steve Hanke. That's especially true in the current case, with China and India largely abstaining from the Western response.

And why punish regular citizens in autocratic regimes for the crimes of their unelected leaders? Everyday Russians, thousands of whom have been imprisoned for protesting, are also victims of Putin's madness.

Private companies opting to withdraw from Russia voluntarily is less objectionable than government mandated sanctions, but it's also not clear what they accomplish other than stoking jingoism and punishing innocent people

Backing Putin into a corner politically isn't going to lead him to retreat. Rather than doubling down on sanctions and promising ever-more draconian measures, the Biden administration should be developing "off ramps" or ways to de-escalate the conflict by giving Putin some sort of face-saving measure to withdraw or abide by a settlement that gives maximum peace and safety to Ukraine and stability and security to Europe. 

In all likelihood, there is no perfect solution. But as America's experience of the past 20 years should remind us, foreign policy is ultimately not a game of good triumphing over evil or idealism winning out over realism. It's about making the world a better place—not a perfect place.

Photo Credits: Bai Xueqi Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Ronen Tivony/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Richard B. Levine/Newscom; Celestino Arce/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Dominika Zarzycka/Sipa USA/Newscom; Alexander Sayganov / SOPA Images/Newscom; Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS/Sipa USA/Newscom; Aleksandr Podgorchuk/Kommersant Photo / Polaris/Newscom; Dmitry Azarov/Kommersant Photo / Polaris/Newscom; Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Abaca Press/Yaghobzadeh Alfred/Abaca/Sipa US/Newscom; Abaca Press/Madiyevskyy Vyacheslav/Ukrinform/Newscom; Madiyevskyy Vyacheslav/Ukrinform/Newscom; Anton Belitsky/ZUMA Press/Newscom; zumaamericaseleven208605; Alexander Miridonov/Kommersant Photo / Polaris/Newscom; Eneas De Troya, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Alexei Druzhinin/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

Music: "Raises," by Tomas Novoa.

Written and narrated by Nick Gillespie. Editing by Regan Taylor.

NEXT: Great Moments in Unintended Consequences (Vol. 6)

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  1. Why Sanctioning Russia Will Fail

    Because the primary market for Russia's primary export isn't included in the sanctions.

    The best way to de-escalate fighting in Ukraine

    You're assuming that the point is to de-escalate the fighting and not encourage it to continue.

    1. Because the primary market for Russia's primary export isn't included in the sanctions.

      To expand on this a little, western European governments are the friendliest in the world to the Biden regime, and the Biden regime can't even convince those guys to get on board with their own stated foreign policy agenda.

    2. This, 100%. Putin wants war with Ukraine. If he wins, he looks like a strong leader; if he loses, he whips up Russians into a fervor over the newest existential threat (*spins the wheel of enemies* click clack click, ooh I see we landed on NATO), thereby consolidating power either way.

      1. If Boston is so strong, why does it vote for Elizabeth Warren?

    3. We had strict economic sanctions against the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact, and the Soviets and Warsaw Pact fell, economically imploded. We had and have "free trade" with Red China in the hope that trade and prosperity will bring political liberalization (or maybe even "libertarianization"). Yet, Red China has remained, and is becoming more, authoritarian. "Free trade" and the technology obtained by it has only strengthened the Red Chinese military and enabled tighter control and oppression of the people.

      1. Things have changed since 1991...China wasn't the manufacturing/nuclear superpower that it is today. Also, the United States wasn't a service economy with 30 trillion dollars of debt.

  2. For Putin, if the majority of people are disinclined to follow quarantine measures or calls to be vaccinated, failing to force compliance only calls attention to a weakness that the architecture of the system was designed to mask in the first place. “This dynamic is especially dangerous in a time of constantly sinking popularity, when people have started to fall out of love with you,” Schulmann said. In the past several years, the Levada Center has found consistently falling levels of trust and job approval for Putin; last month, a survey showed that trust in the President was fifty-three per cent, the lowest such figure since 2012. “To enact harsh or unpopular measures and then see them ignored or sabotaged only deepens the feeling of crisis,” Schulmann told me. “The most dangerous thing of all is to give an order that won’t be followed.”

    At the same time, the Russian public seems relatively unconcerned about the pandemic. Part of the reason is that covid deaths tend to happen at the hospital, out of sight, and so seem to be less a plague than a series of individual tragedies. Maria Volkenstein, the head of a market-research firm in Moscow [improperly anglicized Москва, pronounced "Mosk-va"- come on, if we can do it for Kyiv, we can do it for Moscva, who's with me?], has overseen a focus group of Russians since the start of the pandemic, following their attitudes over time. She told me of a noticeable lack of collective experience. “There is not a feeling that we are living through a tragedy all together, but rather that each person is solving things for him or herself.”

    1. What would Biden do for 53% job approval? Start a war, maybe!

      1. Either that, or increase US oil production. And he ain't increasing oil production.

        1. War it is then.

          1. The more interesting question is, what would he do for a klondike bar.

      2. World War III a.k.a World War Final

  3. Oh shit. Reason is now Putin apologists.

    1. When Orban said sanctions wouldn't work before Russia invaded, he was a power-hungry despot. Now that he's in favor of sanctions, Reason decides to admit sanctions won't work.

  4. The best way to de-escalate fighting in Ukraine is to give Putin a face-saving exit, not immiserating his people by cutting them off from the world.

    I think Putin's face-saving exit is an independent Donbas region and no expansion of NATO.

    1. Yes, you can only save face if you get everything you wanted.

      1. I think if the US committed to never inducting the Ukraine into NATO, he'd acquiesce.

        Given the way the EU has conducted itself, I think we should say "We'll defend Poland, maybe Romania. Fuck NATO."

        1. I think if the US committed to never inducting the Ukraine into NATO, he'd acquiesce.

          I don't.

          Frankly, I'd rather you be right than me, but I think Putin wants wide open territory linking Russia to the winter ports in Crimea. Sevastapol is a prize, but way easier to reach from the north than the east, and grabbing Eastern Ukraine makes sure they are not connected to Ukraine and will never revert to Ukrainian.

          1. Crimea is Russian. It's always been Russian but for a brief Soviet interlude. Ukraine's post Soviet constitution acknowledged their right to autonomy (in fact, Crimea had/has its own constitution). They immediately seceded upon the Maidan coup, without violence, then held one a referendum to join Russia in an overwhelming result (something like 96% on 90% turnout). You can credit this to the State Department's baseless claim that it was an illegitimate vote, but you'll have trouble supporting based on any observations or facts.
            I do not know that LPR or DPR have held any votes regarding incorporation into Russia, but both did declare independence via referendum with 75-80% in favor. Russia has not yet, since that vote 8 years ago, asked or suggested that either LPR or DPR become part of Russia, just that their independence be respected. That may change at some point, but we haven't seen it yet.
            LPR and DPR will be "protectorates" more or less, and will likely host Russian troops. This would secure Russian overland access to Crimea (the Kerch Bridge also connects Crimea to mainland Russia).

            1. The Russian run referendum in Crimea was not on seceding from Ukraine. The choices were seceding to an independent state or seceding to become part of Russia. There was no option to remain part of Ukraine. That is why it is illegitimate to use as a gauge of how Crimeans thought about being a part of Ukraine.

              1. "Russian run"
                LOL

                Notice how little substance there is in Mickey's retort. Starts it off with straight State Department framing, then omits an important fact: autonomous Crimea's assembly had already voted to secede from Ukraine, since Ukraine had violated the constitution thus breaking the contract that bound them, before then holding a referendum to join Russia.
                There was no option to remain part of Ukraine because THEY WEREN'T PART OF UKRAINE anymore.
                Again, no significant violence (unlike everywhere else in Ukraine), and an overwhelming vote to join Russia rather than remain independent.

                1. Mickey believes in "sovereignty" and "self determination" except when the people make decisions he doesn't like.
                  Much the same as the US State Department.

            2. Also "Crimea has always been Russian" is an interesting assertion, as the Russian Empire did not take it away from the Ottoman Empire until the 1770s.

              1. Yes, it has always been Russian, that is if you can conveniently forget that all the native Tatars were deported, the latest deportation taking place as recently as 1944.

          2. I think if the US committed to never inducting the Ukraine into NATO, he'd acquiesce.

            I don't.

            I should've maybe been more clear about the context:
            NATO w/Ukraine, Ukraine w/ Crimea/Donbas, EU w/Ukraine - No face-saving exit.
            NATO w/o Ukraine, Ukraine w/ Crimea/Donbas, EU w/Ukraine - Face-saving exit.
            NATO w/o Ukraine, "Independent" Crimea/Donbas, EU w/Ukraine - Face-saving exit.
            NATO w/o Ukraine, "Independent" Crimea/Donbas, EU w/o Ukraine - Total victory

            IMO, the first provides him a face-saving exit with the least concessions and is, objectively, the most the US can reasonably do. I also think it significantly lessens his motivations WRT the other two criteria. I think annexing Crimea/Donbas and the Ukraine joining NATO and the EU would put us right back here quickly if it did anything at all.

            1. The minimum I think Russia is going to except is independence of the Donbass and opening of the old soviet canal that Ukraine blocked that supplies the Crimea with fresh water. That's assuming a neutrality agreement where the Ukraine will never join Nato.

              If Russia can't get that concession and a stalemate results its possible you see a divided Ukraine and everything east of the Dnieper controlled by Russia ala North/South Korea.

              Ukraine will get a white peace if somehow sanctions work on Russia in some unforeseen miraculous fashion and Ukraine pushes Russia back to the Donbass. I don't see that happening as Russia has all the necessary resources to be self-sufficient for an extended period (just maybe not comfortably).

              Really being cut off from the global economy isn't going to break Russia as long as they print their own currency and produce bare necessities of energy/food. Anything else they can barter resources with China or just go without.

          3. I somewhat agree, but I think the prize is uranium. Ukraine has the largest deposits of uranium Europe. One of Putin's stated goals when Obama was in office was to become the world's leading exporter of energy.

            1. I believe the prize for both the west and Russia is the untapped gas/oil reserves. The west would like to get away from Russian dependence of energy, Russia sees this dependence as critical to their national protection. East europe is one big plane and Russia has a huge border to defend, imagine if Ukraine became Nato and had ready supplies of gasoline..Russian defense doctrine is wearing the enemy out with a defense-in-depth scorched earth police...that just won't work against a modern blitzkrieg by a combined Nato force that close to Russia's own oil production.

      2. Well, I'm told from some sectors that Putin wants to take the entirety of the Ukraine. While I have no idea what Putin is actually thinking, I suspect that's not the case.

        1. Russian demands have been remarkably consistent for 8 years now.
          -neutrality as Ukrainian constitutional amendment
          -recognition of LPR and DPR independence
          -recognition of Crimea as Russian
          -cessation of hostilities by Ukraine against LPR and DPR

          I'd imagine they add something about no longer including (neonazi) extremists as units in Ukraine's military, reserve or otherwise, and perhaps a trade deal.

          There is no indication this is a war of conquest or that it is intended to be a first step in reestablishing Imperial Russia. Such a goal isn't even rational.

          1. You're a propagandist for thinking Putin isn't Hitler. Nevermind that I argued vociferously that Putin isn't Hitler a scant couple of years ago when he moved on Crimea. It's you that's insane.

          2. There is no indication this is a war of conquest or that it is intended to be a first step in reestablishing Imperial Russia. Such a goal isn't even rational.

            I hope you're right. I believed that until Russia actually made moves toward Kiev itself. Maybe the Ruskies did that to apply pressure and would back off if they were given Donbas and Crimea.
            If I was U.S. Prez and it was my power and responsibility to negotiate, I'd advise the Ukrainians to cede Donbas and Crimea if those peoples vote to secede in free and open elections. As a libertarian non-interventionist, I don't believe the U.S. should be in NATO. I'd have little objection if Ukraine promised Russia not to join NATO. U.S. Sec. of State James Baker promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand one inch east of Germany. We should honor that verbal commitment.

            However, none of this necessarily means that Russia can be trusted in the future given its authoritarian regime and the fact that it has invaded Ukraine. No agreement should preclude Ukraine from possessing the weapons necessary to defend itself. If Ukraine had not given up its nukes to Russia in '94 in exchange for empty assurances, it would not be facing invasion right now. Any agreement between Ukraine and Russia should allow Ukraine to possess nukes for its self defense. Every free nation that possesses nukes no longer needs to be protected under the U.S. "nuclear umbrella", thereby releasing the U.S. from nuclear risk to protect them.

          3. I also have no idea what Putin's ultimate goals are. Ukraine has been waging war on Lpr and Dpr for years. Should libertarians consider that their goal of independence might be valid?

            1. Are you saying libertarians are a separate ethnic group...technically the Donbass is primarily ethnic-Russians with about 75% of homes speaking the Russian language? Western Ukraine on the other hand are ethnic-Ukrainians with their own culture and language, even the form of Orthodoxy they practice is different. The North and South probably had better claims during the American Civil War than libertarians have.

    2. I think at this point, NATO needs a face-saving exit. They're not going to commit to defending Ukraine, and they're not going to war with Russia unless Russia shoots first, and I don't believe Putin's going to shoot first. The only way out of this for Europe is to give him what he wants.

      I think Putin can grind this out as long as he needs to. Someone pointed out on another thread, he hasn't committed his main force in Ukraine. And every day he prolongs this and NATO does nothing, it's worse for NATO.

      1. Tough shit, Ukraine, then?

        1. What do you want to do about it, dipshit?

          1. He's barking for sanctions.

            A bit under 100,000 children have starved in Yemen in the last 4 years due to a civil war, fueled in part by tacit American backing of the Saudi regime, which has been exacerbating and fighting in Yemen.

            Has chemleft even once given a shit? No. Because Jeff's humanity begins and ends with the talking-points on his ActBlue cheat sheet.

            1. There are no good options here for the US or Europe. But unfortunately, the least bad option for the US is "tough shit, Ukraine."

              1. There's a perfectly good option for the US: Russia is being a dick, but you do you.
                Unfortunately, the State Department wants war (see the Polish fighters fiasco, as well as the very well funded and coordinated propaganda campaign) or, failing that, to turn Ukraine into Syria/Afghanistan.

              2. That’s always been the only rational option. The crime was to lead Ukraine to believe that it ever was anything else.

          2. Well, there are two questions here - the moral one, and the practical one.

            The moral question is, do Western democracies have a moral obligation, however vague it might be, to defend a sovereign democracy against military invasion from its neighbor?

            If the answer to this question is "no", then the matter is settled - "tough shit, Ukraine" it is.

            But if the answer is "'yes", then that leads to the practical question - what should be done to fulfill this obligation, given the empirical realities of the situation? I don't believe in black/white thinking, that the only two possible options are "do nothing" or "total nuclear war". I think there are a range of possible reasonable responses. It could be total nuclear war, sure. It could be the sanctions that the West have imposed, sure. It could be something in between. It could be a completely token gesture. It could be Lindsey Graham's suggestion to assassinate Putin. It could be something else. There are an infinite number of possibilities. I'm open to considering anything. But the second question depends on the answer to the first question. That's the important point here.

            1. The answer to the moral question is yes.

              What to do should be based enlightened self interest, including the value all humans derive from a universal sense of moral responsibility for others and the specific interests a nation may have for another, and tempered with what is possible and sensible based on risk/reward analysis.

              1. You're dreaming, Joe = The answer to the moral question is yes.

                Nations have interests, not morals.

                1. If the US has a moral obligation, it's to the security of its own people and its own sovereignty, to preventing and de-escalating conflict for its own citizens. This bogus appeal to "moral imperative" is what has gotten the US sucked into countless conflicts across the globe and made America into the world police. And it's selectively applied, and we almost always fuck it up and make things worse, not better.

                  1. "This bogus appeal to "moral imperative" is what has gotten the US sucked into countless conflicts across the globe and made America into the world police. And it's selectively applied, and we almost always fuck it up and make things worse, not better."

                    This is progressivism.

                2. Commenter, we all - including countries - have enlightened self interest, if we recognize them. That's the point of them: You often benefit yourself and yours by helping others.

                  1. Yes, and what you call “benefiting yourself by helping others” in reality means “enriching yourself by massive military action around the world; by spreading death and destruction and creating regime change everywhere”.

                    1. Don't forget a key component: screwing over your own middle/working class citizens

              2. Yeah, that’s what war mongers and authoritarians like you actually believe: you won’t rest until the entire world has been subjugated to a bunch of US/European-run institutions, if necessary by bombing then into the Stone Age.

            2. “ The moral question is, do Western democracies have a moral obligation, however vague it might be, to defend a sovereign democracy against military invasion from its neighbor?”

              What if a sovereign non-democracy is invaded by a country halfway around the world? Asking for a US President…

          3. He won’t do shit.

        2. No, the U.S. can resupply Ukraine from the west so that Ukraine could fight a guerrilla war indefinitely. The U.S. could turn Ukraine into another Afghsnistan for Russia.

          Ukraine needs to have its own nukes. That way, it can discourage attacks upon it without NATO nuclear backup. If Ukraine had kept its share of Soviet nukes back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

        3. Pretty much...if you're not a nuclear power you're a pawn. One thing I know is that Ukraine is kicking themselves for giving up their Soviet Nukes. There is the slimmest of hope that Ukraine pulls some hail Mary off, but I think the most likely outcome is Russia gets most if not everything they asked for initially. Russia is going to come out of this weakened...both sides probably kicked off Cold War 2.0 being so shortsighted and acting without thought to unintended consequences, both in regard to the invasion but also the Wests attempt to break Russia economically. I really don't see normalization an option given the amount of distrust generated from either action. Russia underestimated the situation entirely and thought this was going to be viewed as another Georgia.

      2. The only way out of this for Europe is to give him what he wants.

        And the US can't give him that. The only thing the US can do is signal to the rest of NATO and the EU that "You slightly-less-oppressive-than-Putin-motherfuckers are on your own."

        Not that the US is much less corrupt and oppressive, but if two wrongs don't make a right, then a tortured contract between 3(+) wrongs don't either.

        1. He wants to be dictator of the entire world - same thing all dictators want.

          Giving him what he wants is not a solution.

          1. This makes no sense, and is the product of a propaganda deluded mind

  5. Private companies opting to withdraw from Russia voluntarily is less objectionable than government mandated sanctions, but it's also not clear what they accomplish other than stoking jingoism and punishing innocent people.

    What was accomplished? Orwell described it well:

    "The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blow lamp."

    1. 'Careless Talk Costs Lives'
      'Dig For Victory'
      'Lend A Hand On The Land'
      'Look Out In The Blackout'
      'Put that light OUT! '
      'Make Do and Mend'
      'V for Victory'

  6. Our government gets along just fine spending money on whatever they feel like doing without regard to income, why couldn’t the Russians do the same?

  7. Sanctions are unlikely to convince Putin to end his war on Ukraine, but not having sanctions will fail as well. The only viable way is if the Ukrainians make conquering them too costly. To pretend otherwise is to chase unicorns.

    1. Complicating that is do all of them, by region, not want to be conquered?

    2. Exactly. If Ukraine had not given up its nukes for empty security assurances back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Ukraine needs to acquire its own nukes so it does not need to depend upon anyone else to provide nuclear backup to guarantee its security. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

    3. Your assuming that's possible without spiking off WW3...granted Ukraine has performed admirably but they are eventually stalling the inevitable unless they plan on waging a decade long insurgency unless another country intervenes. It will essentially make the breadbasket of Europe a wasteland for the duration. The USA can feed herself...she can't feed the entire world.

  8. As if politicians, corporations, and caring people perform public acts and statements for actual effect.

    1. But they care sooo much.

      They care sooo much it hurts.

      They care sooo much it hurts us all.

  9. This is a silly moral discussion. Everything governments do, by definition, conscripts the public to do the leaders' bidding, against their will. War is collective punishment on one leader's people against some other leader's people. Both suck.

    The only question here is whether the Russian public gets a second dose of pain from Putin. They are already in pain from Putin's actions; should they get some more pain which might help the Ukrainian public avoid more pain from Putin?

    1. They are already in pain from Putin's actions; should they get some more pain which might help the Ukrainian public avoid more pain from Putin?

      Just so you're aware, once the chain of pain gets too long and convoluted, I have a tendency to jump straight to the "Kill 'em all and let God sort them out." camp.

      1. But enough about globalists and leftists...

    2. when soldeirs int eh field realize their families back home have it worse than them they start to leave and in some cases if we believe the media some have already but not enough. wars are not won by killing soldeires you have to demoralize the entire population and if sanctions don't work and if we really care then war is the next step.

      in reality its the Atom bomb that brought us to this point, Putin and China both realize no one wants to go their so they are free to do what they want

      1. Exactly. If Ukraine had not given up its nukes for empty security assurances back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Ukraine needs to acquire its own nukes so it does not need to depend upon anyone else to provide nuclear backup to guarantee its security. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

      2. You mean because they can't get the latest Iphone or a Big Mac...seriously, they have all the energy and food they ever need. I'm sure Huawei is ready to start selling their smartphones to the Russian populace. It's not like the USA is going to drive a spike between China and Russia using a fiat currency and a load of debt. Russia has real assets and raw materials that China would like to get their hands on. Russia is probably ready to have a fire sale on them shortly.

  10. Hey, give the sanctions a chance. They're a lot better than some of the alternatives.

  11. Putin has a face saving exit, he has had a few and thrown out all of them. People act as if Putin responds like a normal head of state, even a dictator would. He has not, and he will not. Let us be clear, this is about Putin's issues, not Russia's security and it never has been, look at how the 2 previous Russian presidents tried to join the world community, and how Putin paid lip service at best before telling the world to fuck off. He wants his empire, no denying that, and he just stated he will only accept a total surrender.

    Ukraine is fucked.

    1. Whatever you think of Putin’s legitimacy, his demands and actions have been consistent for years. It’s the West that ignored them and thought he was irrelevant, a serious miscalculation.

      It’s the same a—hole Stoltenberg who mouthed off to both Trump and Putin, and he represents the causes of this war perfectly.

      1. If Ukraine had not given up its nukes for empty security assurances back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Ukraine needs to acquire its own nukes so it does not need to depend upon anyone else to provide nuclear backup to guarantee its security. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

        1. Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons in return for empty promises from the West. Hopefully, other nations will take notice and not believe US or European diplomats in the future.

          However, overall, it’s probably better that Ukraine get conquered by Russia than having a nuclear conflict in Ukraine. It’s likely better even for Ukrainians.

  12. So reward Putin for his malfeasance (and penalize Ukraine) and it’s okie dokie as long as the reward is smallish? How does this discourage other would be invaders - or Putin himself - from doing something like this again?

    I understand the sentiment but don’t see how it helps.

    1. Nothing will discourage others from behaving this way again. The sooner you realize this the better.

      Putin had made these demands for years, he had the nuclear weapons to back them up, and the Ukraine is suffering because idiot Western diplomats badly miscalculated.

      The West doesn’t run the world. The West needs to recognize the limits of its powers and restrict itself to the welfare of its own citizens.

    2. It helps by not spiking off WW3 and not causing a global crisis of food and energy. Ukraine is the sacrificial lamb because the West insisted on making vague promises and giving false hope to a government that believed them. Russia will be weakened for a time from all this and hopefully give the USA times to shore up all her empty promises.

  13. Wow, even Reason has made the list for Ukraine bots.
    Wonder where all the funding for their PR push is coming from?

    J/K. We all know that, like their weapons and officials' salaries (Odessa mayor was being paid $200k/year directly by the US at one point), it's coming straight out of our pockets at the point of US government guns.

  14. From his point of view, Putin is acting logically. His goal is to recreate the Soviet Union but more in the mold of Tsarist Russia rather than Worker's Paradise. He has a shitload of nukes, and he has seen empirically that the West will not attack a nuclear power (Iran, North Korea), even if they don't have ICBM's, even if they have overwhelming conventional military dominance. He's already succeeded in getting Belarus to effectively "rejoin" through his puppet there. So what does he have to lose? He doesn't give a shit about public opinion or the opinion of the West. If China plays ball with him, he won't even need the West, not even for selling energy, he can just dump it all in to China instead.

    1. From his point of view, Ed Gein was acting logically. Rational outsiders may have disagreed.

      1. Yeah, but that doesn't matter. The proposition presupposes that Putin wants out. There is zero reason to suspect this is the case.

    2. Acting logically to achieve a purpose does not mean the purpose is correct.

      1. What did you use to deduce the purpose is not correct, logic?

    3. If Ukraine had not given up its nukes for empty security assurances back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Ukraine needs to acquire its own nukes so it does not need to depend upon anyone else to provide nuclear backup to guarantee its security. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

  15. Remember how the press, yes the same press "informing" you about Ukraine, covered this one?

    https://twitter.com/KweenJosie/status/1502081072078671873?t=GSD9UroMJ2s6gzj-nLhQgw&s=19

    BREAKING #JussieSmollett will serve 30 months felony probation, pay restitution of $106,000, a fine of $25,000 and serve 150 days in the Cook County Jail beginning today.

  16. "To hell with logic!"
    -everybody in US government/media and waving their Ukraine flags

    https://twitter.com/ClintEhrlich/status/1502082025137664002?t=ZqgiP2AF4xUq_sIqxDoZQA&s=19

    The difficulties Russia's military has faced in Ukraine make Putin LESS likely to invade NATO members.

    If we can just keep NATO out of this war, the odds of a future conflict with Russia will actually *decrease.*

    That's what makes fighting them now such a horrible idea.

  17. https://twitter.com/TheLastRefuge2/status/1502083739794427915?t=jVIWqFKScCWl_SGcJGPT_A&s=19

    Has the underlying messaging (from 2009) ever been more accurately revealed than at this moment in social media history?

    Do you know how hard they have denied this for years; and, poof, just like that, now they admit it.

    [Link]

    1. So what? People get what they ask for.

  18. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/exclusive-who-says-it-advised-ukraine-destroy-pathogens-health-labs-prevent-2022-03-11/

    The World Health Organization advised Ukraine to destroy high-threat pathogens housed in the country's public health laboratories to prevent "any potential spills" that would spread disease among the population, the agency told Reuters on Thursday.

    Biosecurity experts say Russia's movement of troops into Ukraine and bombardment of its cities have raised the risk of an escape of disease-causing pathogens, should any of those facilities be damaged.

    1. just hope the WHO is on hand to assure everyone there's no human-to-human transmission until it's too late to stop the next pandemic

  19. As in Viet Nam, that light at the end of the tunnel is just a sign saying "no exit".

    Putin will stop when he controls Ukraine, or his troops are defeated militarily.

    1. More likely they'll fight a stalemate.

      1. Doubt it...Russia already has one Nuclear plant and are diverting troops to another. Ukraine has the civilian manpower to fight back as long as they don't lose moral but lack of food and energy will eventually overtake any logistical attrition that Russia takes.

  20. WTF? The authors write:

    "...the Biden administration should be developing "off ramps" or ways to de-escalate the conflict by giving Putin some sort of face-saving measure to withdraw or abide by a settlement that gives maximum peace and safety to Ukraine and stability and security to Europe."

    Sure. Uh, like what? A ranch in Idaho stocked with unicorns where he can pretend to be a retired oil exec who bought it from a right wing real estate firm? Putin burned his own bridges. If the authors have any idea what we might come up with, why didn't they suggest it?

    As to sanctions not working - no country has been subjected to the sanctions Russia has and in the modern world of interconnected economies and communications. At the same time, their aggression is expensive and they were not exactly wealthy when they began it.

    These writers suck.

    1. Fuck off, war monger.

    2. In order for Sanctions to work you need to place them on a country that is lacking in fundamental necessities (food, energy, shelter) ...what makes you think Russia doesn't have those resources. They were a distinct and fully self-sufficient economy for decades during the cold war.

  21. the Biden administration should be developing "off ramps" or ways to de-escalate the conflict by giving Putin some sort of face-saving measure to withdraw or abide by a settlement

    I'd like to know what these people think this could possibly be.

    In reality our best hope if for the Ukraine to inflict such heavy losses Putin realizes the longer he fights the weaker he gets. Sanctions by themselves generally fail, but combined with battlefield losses they may be more effective than normal. They should also be offering 10k to every Russian soldier who surrenders, with bonuses for surrendered equipment.

    1. They should also be offering 10k to every Russian soldier who surrenders, with bonuses for surrendered equipment.

      That's actually not a bad idea.

      1. You say that because you aren’t thinking clearly.

      2. chem, my guess is that the greater number of Russian soldiers would never take that as it would mean their banishment from their home, family, and all they've ever known. Most humans will not do that.

        1. They're Russians. You could buy half of them for a pack of smokes and a rare knife skin in Counter Strike.

          1. Until they go home to their Communist Grandmother who tells them how weak they are and what she had to endure from the Nazi's to protect Mother Russia...

    2. I'm not sure a pissed of nuclear superpower with shaky leadership and a justified vendetta against the western world is our best hope.

      1. If Ukraine had not given up its nukes for empty security assurances back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Ukraine needs to acquire its own nukes so it does not need to depend upon anyone else to provide nuclear backup to guarantee its security. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

        1. That's enough, Lil fella

    3. Have sanctions ever worked? I don’t think in my lifetime they’ve caused any bad actor to stop and reconsider.

      1. Have sanctions ever worked?

        South Africa ending Apartheid.

        1. So it worked once against what already amounted to a western nation with close ties to the UK.

  22. I don't get how letting Russia conquer Ukraine unopposed would make the world a better place.

    The only way to stop them is to do what they did in Syria - bomb the hell out of them. It might not have gotten them out of it, but it did cut down the massacres and stopped their use of chemical weapons

    1. This makes no sense.

    2. Do you think the works would be a better place if the Northern hemisphere isn’t covered in radioactive slag? That, for starters, is one reason not to bomb Russian troops.

      Ukraine isn’t our business. If you want to volunteer for their army, go right ahead. If you want to donate money, go right ahead. Our government should stay out of it.

      1. If Ukraine had not given up its nukes for empty security assurances back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Ukraine needs to acquire its own nukes so it does not need to depend upon anyone else to provide nuclear backup to guarantee its security. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

        1. A Russian/Ukraine nuclear conflict would be horrific too.

          The simple fact is that Ukraine’s position was simply untenable no matter what. The biggest sin was the hubris and empty promises of Western powers.

          1. There WOULDN'T BE any conflict if the Ukrainians had nukes - WAY to dangerous for either side. One nuke is worth a billion empty promises. But, I do agree that the U.S. should have kept its verbal promise to Gorbachev not to expand NATO east of Germany. (As a libertarian non-interventionist, I don't think the U.S. should be in NATO.) But, that doesn't gaurantee that Russia wouldn't turn authoritarian and paranoid. In the abscence of NATO, the only thing that will effectively guarantee Ukrainian security and freedom is it's own strong military, an armed populace and nukes. If Russia didn't have nukes, then Ukraine wouldn't need nukes. But, Russia has nukes. Which means Ukraine will need nukes if it wants to be independent and secure from Russia without NATO.

            1. TOO dangerous, not "to" dangerous

            2. There would have been conflict immediately, which is why the Budapest memorandum was necessary.

            3. There WOULDN'T BE any conflict if the Ukrainians had nukes

              I don't think that's true because Ukraine has no good way of delivering those nukes through Russia's defenses.

              In the abscence of NATO, the only thing that will effectively guarantee Ukrainian security and freedom is it's own strong military, an armed populace and nukes.

              Security and freedom in what sense? Does that include the predominantly Russian enclaves? Does that include Crimea? What makes Ukraine's nominal borders today sacrosanct? What makes Ukraine's government sacrosanct?

              I have no idea what Ukraine should be or what its relationship to Russia should be. What I am absolutely certain about is that it is not the business of the US government and that US taxpayers shouldn't be forced to foot the bill to favor one or the other outcome.

  23. Also, again, every Reason article should have some sort of disclaimer about their former association of Russia's state owned propaganda outlet, which Reason was still appearing on as late as 2011 (maybe until 2014, the first Ukraine invasion)

    1. Robby was on RT this year, I believe.

      1. "Guarantee" not "grantee"

      2. RT Reason Television or Russia Today. I'll miss RT - one of the few unbiased sources of U.S. domestic news, RT and Al Jezeera.

  24. Psychotic, and pure abuse of the American people

    https://twitter.com/The_Real_Fly/status/1502129475701596178?t=3d07vOBjZFPsQGfnPrXm9w&s=19

    More than 40 Republican U.S. senators called for President Biden to aid “the transfer of aircraft and air defense systems” to Ukraine

    1. If Ukraine is willing to pay for those systems itself, fine. So long as they are Ukrainians, not United Statesians, flying those planes and operating those systems, the Russians won't do shit - all bluff. The Russians will be thwarted, they won't like it. But, there'll be nothing they could do about it. They won't risk nuclear anihilation.

      What Ukraine really needs is nukes, If Ukraine had not given up its nukes for empty security assurances back in '94, it would not be facing invasion today. Ukraine needs to acquire its own nukes so it does not need to depend upon anyone else to provide nuclear backup to guarantee its security. Nukes keep us safe. Nukes keep us free.

      1. Ukraine doesn't have any money to buy those things, it's all US "aid"

  25. https://twitter.com/M_Millerman/status/1502110488687263770?t=btfWqtCn3S8xXTAOWuae6Q&s=19

    name a fundamental principle of liberal democracy that in your opinion has not been destroyed/abandoned over the last two+ years across the Western world

      1. Though, I'll admit, the Democrats do try to evade and nullify both decisions.

  26. https://twitter.com/KateHydeNY/status/1502015693881028608?t=wOrfCufqMjxp7iEgYvfsOA&s=19

    This chart ends before Biden was in office.

    "@WhiteHouse
    U.S. natural gas production is at a record high. In fact, the U.S. was a net exporter of petroleum and petroleum products in each of the last two years, and will be a net exporter of natural gas for years to come. [Graph]"

    1. I love the guy saying “they literally said this was their plan” and the two morons being all “this is the new talking point” and “prove it”.

      Democrats have said since Obama was President how they wanted to drive the price of gas up. This is not controversial or misinformation, It’s been their stated policy in order to fight climate change.

      1. It is “misinformation” is it doesn’t fit official propaganda. Truth has nothing to do with it.

  27. https://twitter.com/ClintEhrlich/status/1502138577525743617?t=AlIHxKjmLZqn0q9gkw8lNg&s=19

    BREAKING: A hospital in Germany is now withholding all medical care from Russians and Belarusians.

    These aren't people connected to Putin's government –they're ordinary people who are now being "unpersoned."

    [Link]

  28. https://twitter.com/ConceptualJames/status/1502141385067094017?t=IKOWWRsd-ttsHzyIH8_-_A&s=19

    New Leftist narrative just dropped with buzzword: "Putin's price hike" rather than "Dems' price hike."
    [Link]

  29. https://twitter.com/daleastark/status/1502032204133666841?t=XA9vLjA5uUyi5yWf6cgXeg&s=19

    Remember when China hacked all of our security clearance information & OPM was like, no worries, here’s one year of free credit monitoring!!!

  30. A face saving exit?

    Are you guys high? Are you believing the propaganda? It has been 2 weeks. We still do not know the real reason for the invasion (but if you believe Nazis and genocide and NATO expansion are the reasons, I have a bridge to sell you).

    So what on earth makes you think they are desperate to quit? You don't even know what the definition of success is. It could be anexation if all of Ukraine. It could be a partial anexation of the east all the way down to Crimea. It could be the installation of a puppet regime. It could be control of the oil and gas fields (take bets on that one... Follow the money).

    Putin sure didn't seem awfully interested in negotiations before invading, so the NATO expansion promise seems unlikely to have been a palliative for the situation.

    But saving face? WTF guys? He is winning. This is a war of choice. There was no pride on the line. Why do you think he is looking for a fig leaf to cut and run? He doesn't mind killing people. He doesn't mind being made out a liar (he personally guaranteed the previous Ukraine borders in exchange for the nuclear arsenal from the Soviet era. That did not stop him from taking Crimea or the east.)

    1. We do have history to consult, Cyto. Consider 1956 Hungary. Why should America's policy today be any different than America's policy then?

    2. The real reason is what Putin said it was: he’s been consistent about that for years.

      The reason he has attacked now is that the US and Europe have become exceptionally weak, and that NATO expansion seemed to have entered a new phase.

    3. If I had to guess, and it is a guess, Putin honestly thought he could knock over Ukraine in 3 days because everyone around him lies to him about the quality of his own military and the quality of the militaries he wishes to tangle with and most of of those "Russian oligarch superyachts" you see sailing the seven seas are built with money that wiser men might have used to put gas in tanks or buy meals for soldiers. He probably is looking for a way out of this war...

      but...

      Ukraine is not.

      "abide by a settlement that gives maximum peace and safety to Ukraine and stability and security to Europe"
      Reason must be retarded if they think that Ukraine is going to give away vast swaths of territory and concessions to Russia for them to go away. Imagine if Russia invaded the USA and then offered to stop attacking if we let them have everything west of the Mississippi and signed a pact promising to never build a military again. That's insane. It's not war mongering to reject appeasement.

      1. Guess we can count you as another who only believes in "sovereignty" and "self determination" when centrally planned/approved by globalist government cabal.
        Kiev has been waging war on two republics who declared independence for 8 years. Suppose it's "libertarian" now to support Ukraine government violently subjugating them, huh?

  31. Yes, give Putin what he wants so he can save face and stay in power and do it again somewhere else. Seriously? Fuck you, Nick and Regan.

  32. Putin's rationale for war is bullshit . Whatever the Russian apologists say.

    1. Putin’s rationale is exactly what he says it is: he doesn’t want NATO and the EU on his borders, and he wants part of the Ukraine.

      You may think his desires are unreasonable or irrational, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is actually his rationale.

      1. He does not get a say.

        1. He does not get a say.

          Well, you certainly share the attitude of Cheney, Stoltenberg, and Soros there: "we set the rules and the rest of the world must kiss our ring". Trouble is: that's hubris and it's obviously not working. The majority of the world doesn't want to live by Western rules, in particular given the kind of internal problems the West has right now.

          Putin obviously gets a say in whether to reduce Ukraine to rubble, whether Europeans freeze in the winter, or whether Paris gets reduced to a glowing crater.

          1. NOYB2, before the Russians invaded, I'd have tended to believe you. Maybe all the Russians want is NATO away from its borders, maybe not. Where has NATO ever INITIATED force, where a member has not been attacked? Paranoia is part of the authoritarian mindset. What Putin is afraid of is that a free Ukraine on its borders would inspire demands for freedom in Russia, and that Russians WILL want to live by Western rules.

            1. "Where has NATO ever INITIATED force, where a member has not been attacked?"

              LOL
              You have to be completely ignorant of the entire post USSR history of NATO to ask this question with a straight face.

              1. Give me an example of NATO action not in response to an attack on a member state. NATO accompanied the U.D. in Afghanistan because of an attack upon the U.S. by an organization based in Afghanistan. It should be easy enough - let's have an example. The Iraq wars were not NATO operations.

                1. accompanied the U.S. the U.S.

              2. I will grant that the U.S. outside of NATO has fought or aided aggressive wars/actions - the Iraq wars, Panama/Noriega, narcs in Columbia and Mexico.

                So, I will grant that the U.S. is not always to be trusted. But, there's still a significant probability the Russians would have invaded Ukraine for their own agenda, regardless.

                1. So, I will grant that the U.S. is not always to be trusted. But, there's still a significant probability the Russians would have invaded Ukraine for their own agenda, regardless.

                  Correct. Which tells you that the premise that Putin doesn't have a say in what happens in Ukraine is plainly false.

                  Putin has been clear about his demands, and he has both the conventional and nuclear arsenal to back it up.

                  People like Stoltenberg, Obama, and Biden foolishly ignored him, and that's how we got where we are.

            2. Where has NATO ever INITIATED force, where a member has not been attacked?

              Are you effing kidding? The US has been destroying regimes it didn't like or who inconvenienced US or European interests all over the world regularly by fomenting revolutions and other covert means. That's on top of using numerous pretexts to bomb countries.

              1. That's the U.S. itself, not NATO. Though U.S. actions do not inspire trust.

            3. What Putin is afraid of is that a free Ukraine on its borders would inspire demands for freedom in Russia, and that Russians WILL want to live by Western rules.

              Yes, that is what he is afraid of. What's your point?

              We're discussing whether Putin has a say in it, and the inescapable fact is that he does.

  33. Silly comment at 2:25. When you are fighting a war you are fighting an entire country not just it's leadership. The populace provides resources for the war. Food, fuel, weapons, and personnel. This childish idea is why few isdues in the world have been solved with war since WW2. The reason the Germans and Japanese surrendered was because thier society, nation, and country were a ll defeated and they knew it. That is why wars never end in the Middle East. Guys go home and wait to fight another day. If war is not hell and there is no Victor, it goes on forever.
    Don't you people watch Star Trek TOS or both to look at wars through out history.

  34. 1. Putin's face-saving exit is a bullet in the head.

    2. Giving tyrants what they want is never, ever, ever the right play. Ever. They want everything.

    3. The goal of fighting a war is to destroy your opponent's ability to make war. The goal of sanctions is to economically hinder your opponent's ability to make war. In this regard, sanctions HAVE succeeded against other despots, and WILL succeed in this case. Will they change the attitudes of these tyrants? No, almost certainly not. But as in the case of North Korea and others, they will change the tyrant's ability to behave in tyrannical ways.

    4. Fuck Vladimir Putin, fuck Joe Biden, and fuck you, Nick and Regan for suggesting that you should EVER make a deal with someone who wants control of the whole world.

    1. Idiots like you are responsible for the war in Ukraine, and idiots like you will start WWIII

      1. Well if it takes you out it'll be worth it.

        1. Yup, that’s what war mongers like you actually believe. Everybody is expendable to serve your virtue signaling and your entitlement and privilege. You and Putin come from the same mold.

  35. I have to agree up to a point. I would pay good money to see Putin lowered into woodchipper. But at the same time I have friends in Russia who are being screwed over by this war already, and sanctions just make it worse for them. Putin is who should be punished, not the average Russian trying to feed his family.

    Up to a point. Putin is in office because of an oligarch. We need to target them without blaming the ordinary Russian. That's really hard to do. But if we can we need to do it. Identify their foreign assets and freeze/seize them.

    Politics thinks there are easy solutions. There never are, especially not in war. We need cooler heads prevailing. And dare I say it, this is mostly Europe's problem. We can do what we can by allowing Ukrainian refugees, even Russians fleeing their tyrant.

    Hitler rose to power because of severe punishments levied on the German people after WWI. We must not make the same mistake today, or our kids will be fighting WWIII.

  36. good grief. Sanctions don't always work but its where you go before war which is the only other choice since the article gave no other solution to the problem. Not sanctioning China has not done anything to keep them from committing genocide either. there is no Libertarian ideal or solution for stopping such problems so maybe this is when libertarians should just not say anything.

    BTW Americas sanctions against Japan were after they started their war machine and killing so sanction do not start wars. Sanctions did not start WWII they did delay it for a short time

    1. Sanctions primarily hurt the civilian population. They are almost always ineffective in changing policy. They are a propaganda tool for important Westerner governments. What would end the war quickly is for NATO and the EU to stop expanding .

      From a libertarian point of view, NATO, the EU, and any US involvement in the Ukraine conflict are anathema. The libertarian ideal is to say: “our government has no business interfering, but if you want to volunteer, go right ahead!”

      1. doing nothing is the same as saying its okay and Ukraine won't be the last stop. there are consequences for silence. Have i called for war no. and as far as Nato or EU expansion thats up to the individual states to decide if they want to join and that is libertarian. that said i don't see the need for expansion and allowing in marginal countries is a problem and hence why i'd be happy if we puled out of NATO but even if we were out of NATO Sanctions would be the right thing to do to an invading country

        1. doing nothing is the same as saying its okay

          Who precisely is "saying it's okay"? Sanctions are imposed by a bunch of executive branch politicians bent on reelection. Why is their virtue signaling sufficient justification for sanctions?

          And while Putin's war is obviously not okay, neither is the way the West has been conducting foreign policy. Western leaders arrogantly told Putin that he could go suck a lemon with his demands, and, brutal dictator with a nuclear arsenal that he is, he demonstrated that the West's power is limited.

          Finally, what's the point of sanctions if they hurt the civilian population badly? Almost every attempt by the West to spread "liberal democracy" through government or military action has ended in disaster.

          What's the point of sanctions if, in the process, we destroy the last remaining shreds of a free society we have here in the West? Seizing private property of people who have done no wrong? Firing people who refuse to repeat the right political slogans? That's what you are defending?

          What the US should do is unilaterally and consistently impose tariffs on any and all countries that do not have sufficiently free markets or individual liberty. That means tariffs on Russia, on China, on Saudi Arabia, and many of other countries. If you want to call that "sanctions", that's fine. Weaponizing SWIFT, seizing private assets without legal justification, etc., on the other hand, corrupts us far more than it hurts our enemies. And for our government to send taxpayer money to foreign warzones also corrupts us.

          1. Oh good, you got evil wokeness in there. We'd hate for this to be remotely coherent.

            1. I listed a long list of mainstream Western policies that have failed and resulted in the destruction of societies and nations around the world. These are predominantly mainstream neo-liberal and neocon policies.

              Wokeness has nothing to do with it. Wokeness remains largely a US-internal problem, since no other nation is stupid enough to go along with that nonsense.

          2. What the US should do is unilaterally and consistently impose tariffs on any and all countries that do not have sufficiently free markets or individual liberty. That means tariffs on Russia, on China, on Saudi Arabia, and many of other countries.

            I agree. There's no such thing as free trade with unfree nations. China (and Russia) would be nothing without Western technology. They use "free trade" to obtain military, police and surveilance technology to upgrade their military and oppress their people.

            The west had a strict boycot of the Soviets snd the Soviets fell by economic implosion & bankruptcy. The U.S. has had "free trade" with Red China and Red China is still authoritarian and "free trade" bails out their opptessive system.

            1. Yeah, and sharia-law Saudi/Wahabi Arabia too. Without the West, they're nothing.

      2. So the libertarian view is that if Ukraine wants to join the EU and the EU wants Ukraine, they should instead suck Putin's dick and not expand?

        1. The libertarian view is that the US government has no business interfering.

          The libertarian view is that if you want to help Ukraine, you are welcome to personally take up arms and head over there with anybody who shares your beliefs.

  37. The time for sanctions was when the Russians massed troops on the border. Sanctions take time to take effect. Had they pulled the trigger then, Putin could have left and claimed what he was already claiming at the time... exercises only, nothing to see here, stupid Americans getting wound up by nothing. Ratcheting sanctions a little at a time gives Putin more time to finish his conquest before sanctions really hit. Leave a puppet government and a "peacekeeping" force, and go home. Then Biden will start dropping sanctions. Do they think Putin didn't factor this in before his attack. I suspect the private businesses pulling out is hurting Russia worse than anything else.

  38. let him have Donbas

    who cares

    Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries on Earth

    really makes little difference

    1. meanwhile China killed 10 million people with an escaped bioweapon funded by Fauci

      Fauci is still in charge and China has faced no sanctions

      narratives are more important than facts

  39. The authors are dead wrong to claim any and all sanctions will fail to deter Putin.

    But the sanctions imposed by Biden (which the WH and left wing media propagandists have praised) have not only failed to deter Putin, but have/will further enrich and embolden him.

  40. Military strategists are saying that Putin's operation is insane. His motivation is insane. He's not well. Sure, if the war can be stopped by figuring out what trifle would appease his ego, then do that. But reconstituting the Soviet Union by bombing maternity wards is not that trifle. The sanctions are not tactical, they are about doing the maximum possible damage without engaging in combat.

    And while we're here, we might as well use the opportunity to deter Russia from its delusions of relitigating the Cold War, put other autocrats on notice about what "the West" values, and finally end the absurdity of letting shithole petrostates dictate our affairs.

    As the mouthpiece of the Koch brother, this magazine will of course never take the position that we should liberate ourselves from the petroleum beneath the feet of psychotic tyrants, no matter how much sense it makes.

    1. Military strategists are saying that Putin's operation is insane. His motivation is insane. He's not well.

      Yes, that's the same military strategists who failed to avert this war.

      1. It seems that most people (not me) didn't believe he'd invade.

        I see a hundred thousands soldiers on a border and I think, isn't this the land of Chekhov's gun?

        1. It seems that most people (not me) didn't believe he'd invade.

          So why do you cite those "military strategists" as authorities on Putin's mental status?

          1. They're authorities on military strategy.

            1. Yes, and they are obviously blithering idiots, making empty promises to Ukraine and misreading Putin again and again.

              1. What's to misread? I'm thrilled to hear your explanation of Putin's actually smart and actually not catastrophic real plans.

                The fact is Putin has been isolated and growing increasingly paranoid, though his general worldview has not changed. He actually believed he would be greeted as a liberator in Ukraine. Now that his Potemkin army is struggling to advance, he's probably the most dangerous man in the world right now. And you're concerned with, what, woke Biden trans kids?

                1. The fact is that Putin has done exactly what he says he was going to do for a couple of decades. The fact is that Western diplomats spat in his face and didn't take him seriously. The fact is that the Ukraine invasion was entirely predictable and that Biden and your "military strategists" have failed.

                  It is precisely because Biden and his military strategists have misdiagnosed Putin that the people of Ukraine are now in this miserable war.

                  As for your last point, where have I been concerned with "woke Biden trans kids"? I didn't mention them anywhere, in this thread or any other. For all I care, progressive parents in blue states can castrate and sterilize their kids all they want.

                  1. Biden was the one who predicted the invasion lol. To the howls of disbelief of nearly everyone else.

                    You can throw up handfuls of excuses all you want, but it will never undo the fact that Putin invaded a free country without provocation and is targeting pregnant women now. What are you even complaining about? That the world has responded in the only way you could possibly expect it to respond?

                    1. If Biden actually “predicted the invasion”, he should have strengthened Ukraine beforehand and killed Nordstream 2. Since he did neither he either (1) didn’t predict the invasion, (2) is terminally incompetent, or (3) is a Russian puppet. Take your pick.

                    2. What am I complaining about? The fact that idiots like Obama and Biden are simultaneously creating the conditions that enable people like Putin to invade free countries and wreck the US economy and then fail to take responsibility for their failures. That’s what I’m complaining about.

                      Those dead mothers and babies? That’s blood on Obama’s and BIden’s hands because they could have prevented this.

      2. Are these the same strategists that withdrew us from Afghanistan?

    2. As the mouthpiece of the Koch brother, this magazine will of course never take the position that we should liberate ourselves from the petroleum beneath the feet of psychotic tyrants, no matter how much sense it makes.

      To the contrary: this mouthpiece of the Koch brothers has strongly advocated liberating ourselves from the petroleum beneath the feet of psychotic tyrants, namely by expanding drilling in the US and expanding the use of nuclear energy.

      It is the psychotic tyrant that is currently running this country, namely Joe Biden, who made it is life's goal to destroy the US oil and gas industry and create massive dependencies on rare earths and lithium from China.

      1. Expanding drilling in the US (which would require the government subsidizing it at this point) only reinforces our dependence on a product that is largely sold by psychotic tyrants on the global market.

        I am all for nuclear. Of course that can't even in principle exist without massive public subsidy, though I'm sure Chuck will insist that he get a cut.

        1. Expanding drilling in the US (which would require the government subsidizing it at this point)

          False.

          only reinforces our dependence on a product that is largely sold by psychotic tyrants on the global market.

          False.

    3. And while we're here, we might as well use the opportunity to deter Russia from its delusions of relitigating the Cold War, put other autocrats on notice about what "the West" values

      Yes, that is what nasty imperialists like you actually believe: impose "what the West values" on the rest of the globe, by any means necessary. Tony, just like your reprehensible progressive predecessors, you really believe in "the white man's burden".

      and finally end the absurdity of letting shithole petrostates dictate our affairs.

      That is indeed an absurdity, an absurdity for which Democrats like Obama and Biden, plus much of Europe and NATO are principally responsible. You can witness their arrogance and incompetence here.

      1. I said it was an opportunity. We didn't start this war, for once. I believe major global events should be exploited for all they're worth for the cause of democracy and freedom. What's the alternative? Crying into our handkerchiefs?

        I agree that it was a blunder by Germany to say nuclear wasn't environmentally friendly but methane is. The petro tentacles are long and stupid.

        1. We didn't start this war, for once. I believe major global events should be exploited for all they're worth for the cause of democracy and freedom.

          And by "the cause of democracy and freedom", you mean "conquest and subjugation".

          What's the alternative? Crying into our handkerchiefs?

          The alternative is for our governments to mind their own f*cking business. But if you personally want to fight in Ukraine (or Russia) or donate money to them, that should be your prerogative.

          I agree that it was a blunder by Germany to say nuclear wasn't environmentally friendly but methane is. The petro tentacles are long and stupid.

          It is utterly absurd to blame the policy of the German Greens on "petro tentacles".

          In reality, Germany tried very, very hard to become carbon neutral and they failed because it simply isn't possible given current technologies.

          1. By mind our own business, you mean let Russia take Ukraine unopposed, and perhaps throw down rose petals for their soldiers? Be clear in what you believe, because I'm not even sure you know.

            I think Koch and his fellow petro lunatics like nuclear because it's expensive and controversial. All the better to keep burning petroleum for a little while longer.

            1. By mind our own business, you mean let Russia take Ukraine unopposed,

              What are you talking about? Russia is taking Ukraine unopposed. The US, Europe, and NATO aren't going to risk any soldiers there.

              I think Koch and his fellow petro lunatics like nuclear because it's expensive and controversial. All the better to keep burning petroleum for a little while longer.

              Nuclear is only "expensive and controversial" because environmental nutcases have made it so; without ridiculous government regulations, nuclear would be very cheap.

              1. Yes, let's be less careful about nuclear fission reactors. Capital idea.

                1. There is zero evidence that nuclear regulations improve reactor safety.

                  1. "There is zero evidence that nuclear regulations improve reactor safety."

                    You're just parroting someone's talking points, The idea that nuclear reactor operators mustn't be bound to any pesky regulation and just show up in the control room and wing it according to whim, making it up as they go along, is madness or a joke.

              2. "nuclear would be very cheap."

                The insurance won't be. Look at all the accidents in the world over the past 70 years. Overwhelmingly caused by human error. No matter how attractive the technical specs are for nuclear, they'll always be operated by humans. They try to second guess what's going on in the reactor, they get tired, they are reckless and ambitious, they anger when their orders are questioned, their communications get cross wired and confusing, they misinterpret data, etc.

                Often these hated regulations are put in place as a result of some kind of accident and are there to prevent it from happening again. The idea that they should be repealed so that someone can make more money is folly.

                1. The nuclear accidents we have had are the result of idiotic restrictions on new reactor designs, i.e. bad regulations.

                  And this isn’t about letting “someone make more money”. If you want to reduce carbon emissions, then nuclear is the only option right now.

                  We cannot power Western nations with solar and wind. It’s simply not going to happen.

                  1. "The nuclear accidents we have had are the result of idiotic restrictions on new reactor designs, i.e. bad regulations."

                    Bad regulations like exemptions over insurance. Such an accident causing burden!

                    "We cannot power Western nations with solar and wind."

                    It's been done before. The West was won by the pony express and the cavalry, both solar powered means of transport.

                    1. It's been done before. The West was won by the pony express and the cavalry, both solar powered means of transport.

                      Maybe we can ride our horses to work and to go grocery shopping. I wonder how much petroleum would be used growing oats to feed the horses.

                    2. Also, wonder how much powdered horseshit we would all breathe as dried horseshit gets ground up and kicked up by the horses hooves. Maybe we'll all be wearing masks to avoid breathing dried horseshit rather than virus.

              3. So not only do we have to wait for the world to be dotted with expensive new nuclear plants before we can do anything about climate change, we have to wait for governments that are willing to build them with enormous risk profiles. But don't forget, keep burning oil until we get that done!

                What's wrong with solar again? The entire world could be powered if all roofs were converted to solar panels. All roofs are already connected to oil infrastructure, so that's hardly on the order of an insurmountable challenge, especially to save the human species from extinction.

                1. You don’t know what you’re talking about. The entire world cannot be powered by rooftop solar.

                  And the idea that climate change is leading to human extinction is equally absurd.

                  You really know absolutely nothing about science, Tony. You just repeat talking points from Russian and Chinese propaganda.

      2. "That is indeed an absurdity, an absurdity for which Democrats "

        It's the Republicans who've traditionally had close relationships with America's oil companies, globalists à outrance.

        1. We're not talking about who had close relationships with whom, we're talking about why the US has become dependent on those shithole petrostates. That is solely the fault of Democrats, foremost Obama and Biden.

          1. "the US has become dependent on those shithole petrostates"

            The answer is easy but not what you think it is. There's easy money and no pesky democracy in petrostate oil. Blame it on the capitalist impulse to squeeze every dollar possible out of enterprise. Planning for and implementing an economy capable of 'energy independence' runs counter to the pursuit of profit. This is communism 101. And libertarianism 101 as well.

            You are letting yourself get caught up in partisanism insisting the Democrats are responsible for this. Oil from the gulf is easy to pump, easy to refine, and the cost of security for shipment is born by the US taxpayer and the US navy. There are no Indians or their sacred burial grounds in Saudi Arabia.

  41. Russia is at war with Ukraine.
    The USA is not at war.
    NATO is not at war.
    And Biden is supposed to fix that?

  42. Biden hates fossil fuel producers and wants to cancel Russia.

  43. If the goal of sanctions is regime change or spreading of democracy, then it will fail.

    If you simply think of sanctions as conscientious nations and companies refusing to do business with evil and prevent their money being used to fund their activities, then they're perfectly justified. Yes, we do plenty of business with tyrants. But there are certain lines that cannot be crossed.

    The Ukranians are being bombed. Russians are losing Apple and Mcdonalds. They're mostly losing out on life's conveniences and vanity. We're not bombing their farms, poisoning their water supply, and blockading life saving medicine in an effort to starve them out. Russia is more than welcome to come up with their own banking system, social media or fast food joints that foreign companies are no longer supplying them with.

    Ask yourselves - how did a handful of once backward societies become peaceful, global power they are now? That's right, through war and or violent conflict. The Korean War was basically the opposite of Ukraine - a coalition of nations fought over a tiny ass peninsula nation that doesn't produce oil, and a bunch of people who probably never even heard of Korea died to save the southern half. Now that region is free and exports some questionable Kpop all over the world.

    You can't win wars without firing a single bullet towards the enemy, and peace can't be achieved without no one being inconvenienced. Reason, who take upon a role of a warrior when it comes to cops, drug wars and immigration, with no thought to unintended consequences of their actions, becomes predictably demure when dealing with actual fascist states.

  44. MUST every article on this or any related subject recite that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was UNPROVOKED?

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