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If Goods Don't Cross Borders, Armies Will

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Submitted by Pieter Cleppe of OpenEurope

If Goods Don't Cross Borders, Armies Will

While the conflict in Ukraine rages on, EU member states havedecided to impose (not so much more stringent)economic sanctions against Russia, which was predictably followed by Russian counter-measures. The question which isn't being asked often enough, is whether these sanctions will actually improve the situation. Here's an analysis following four concrete questions:

1. Can things get even worse in Russia?

2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?

3. Can the West contribute to a sharpening of the crisis?

4. How can the West protect itself against this conflict?

* * *

1. Can things get even worse in Russia?

Of course. That answer may seem evident, but many analysts implicitly assume that there really are no worse alternatives for the Putin regime. That Russia has an authoritarian regime, is an understatement. At the moment there even is a power struggle ongoing between Kremlin hardliners and business leaders, according to the BND, Germany's intelligence service. Nevertheless, Putin is some kind of a moderate in Russia, at least when judging his approval rate, which would be around 80%, the highest in six years. Even if Putin's real domestic support would be a lot less strong in reality, it's clear that there are a lot ofradical alternatives. Putin doesn't mind toassociate himself with some of them, for example the ultra-nationalist ideology Aleksandr Dugin. Such pressures on Putin partly explain aggressive policies, like the Crimean invasion.

The primary reason for the support Putin enjoys for his Ukrainian ventures is of course the Russian minority. Many in Russia do not consider Ukraine to even be a country. That Russian minorities in Latvia aren't always treated fair and equally, makes it easier for Putin to justify intervention. One of the first measures of the new Ukrainian government was to no longer allow Russian, the mother tongue of about a quarter of the population, to be used as a regional governance language, an enormous PR failure, although the measure was quickly vetoed by interim President Oleksandr Turchynov. Recently, the Ukrainian government has bannedRussian films and the Communist Party. The latter convinced 13% of the electorate in 2012 and supports decentralisation of the country. Its stronghold is located in the South East, where a lot of Ukrainian Russians live, and it has spoken out against the military offensive of the Ukrainian army, which was recently also criticised by Human Rights Watch for killing 16 civilians with unguided rockets.

As a result, it could be expected that Putin would intervene, although perhaps not by eurocrats like European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. During the negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, the EU basically forced the divided country to choose between Russia and the EU. Barroso himself stated in February 2013: "One country cannot at the same time be a member of a customs union and be in a deep common free-trade area with the European Union,", referring to Putin'sEurasian Economic Union. That's the result of the general lack of flexibility the EU employs in its relations with non-EU member states, something which certainly hasplayed a role in the worsening of this crisis. A similar all-or-nothing framework has contributed to worsening relations with Turkey. The Commission had a mandate to conduct trade talks with Ukraine, but basically used this to conduct foreign policy, even challenging the Kremlin. This annoyed EU member states, which meanwhile have taken over, pushing the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Cathy Ashton, aside. The EU, which is strongly divided, should stay away from foreign policy as far as possible, certainly with regards to the sensitive relationship with Russia, where a risk of escalation is certainly present. After a monster fine of $50bn was imposed on Russia for nationalising Yukos, the Financial Times quoted an anonymous source close to Putin saying: "There is a war coming in Europe…Do you really think this matters?"

2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?

The West could at least try not to make matters worse. Despite the mistakes which were made before the crisis by the EU, it sent an appropriate signal byunilaterally abolishing a few trade barriers for products from Ukraine. Thisangered agricultural lobbyists in Brussels, always happy to impose costs on consumers or taxpayers.

Unilateral opening of borders for trade is only a bad thing for those who think that trade "costs" something. The opposite has been proven over the centuries. Certain producers with good political connections in protected economic sectors may of course face more competition, but consumers enjoy lower prices and more freedom to choose, and that's what counts.

The opening to China made by US President Richard Nixon probably was the most succesful example of foreign policy in the second half of the 20th century, along with the treatment of post-war Germany. Without waiting for China to abolish its protectionism, such as the obligation for investors to enter into "joint ventures", the U.S. allowed entry for Chinese products. About half a billion Chinese were lifted out of extreme poverty in less than 40 years and Western consumers enjoyed lower prices. On its turn, this helped to deal with factory closures in Western economies which can only partly be blamed on foreign competition. Excessive regulation and tax pressure are the real culprits, also preventing the creation of sufficient new enterprises to replace the disappearing old industry.

On the long term, there is only one strategy which has proven to be succesful: opening borders for trade. That Ukraine wants to leave the Russian sphere of influence, is in this respect no coincidence. The country's economy is less dependent on natural resources (5%) than for example Kazachstan's (32%). An independent critical middle class only emerges in countries where it's hard for the government to get a grip on the economy. It never emerges when the regime merely needs to control the natural resources and no significant economic activity outside of governmental control exists.

3. Can the West contribute to a sharpening of the crisis?

As explained, the West could open its borders for trade with Ukraine and Russia, in order to support the development of a critical middle class on the long term. That would be a modest but effective contribution to the situation in societies which are hard to influence from abroad.

For Western countries, it's however also perfectly possible to make sure that the crisis deteriorates. There is a policy which fails time over time, apart from the odd occasion when it works, just like a broken clock works twice a day: economic sanctions.

- North Korea, more an open air prison than a country, is still isolated. Years of sanctions have prevented a Chinese or Vietnamese scenario, with gradual liberalisation which also profits the regime, thanks to the gains of external trade.

- Also in the case of Iran and Libya under Gaddafi did sanctions prevent a real improvement of relations with the West. They failed to undermine the regime domestically, on the contrary. That's a pity because the "Persian nation" should be a more natural ally in the region than Saudi Arabia, which is even less secular and because Libya harbours the biggest oil reserves in Africa. Anyhow, understandable aversion against the two regimes has been trumping all other considerations. The illusion prevailed that blockades and force could convince countries without any democratic tradition to adopt better practices.

- Sanctions and wars, the former's continuation by other means, against the Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, have resulted in turning one of the most secular countries of the Middle East into a true hellhole where the " Islamic State", a group even more murderous than Al-Qaeda, controls large parts of the territory.

- Then we even haven't discussed Cuba. It's simply a waste of time to explain why the country would for long have been flooded by American investment and capitalism if the senseless embargo against the economically and morally bankrupt Castro-regime would have been lifted.

- Sanctions against South-Africa, which were supposed to help end apartheid, were introduced in 1963. That was 30 years before the system was abolished, meaning that the link between sanctions and the end of apartheid was weak at best. Some analysts contend that the sanctions even proved to be a boon for the ruling regime. ARMSCOR, the government's arms procurement agency, was established primarily as a response to the sanctions and developed a capability which far exceeded South Africa's requirements. Because of the many jobs dependent on it, the regime would have enjoyed support from a key constituency that directly benefited from the sanctions.

- The policy also failed in Zimbabwe. Sanctions introduced in 2002 targeted the regime of the grim dictator Robert Mugabe. He's infamous for taking up the policy of "quantitative easing" a little too enthusiastically, subjecting his population to a period ofhyperinflation. He's still in charge, throwing parties while unofficially unemployment data would be above 90%. This year, the Belgian ambassador to South Africa, Johan Maricou, demanded an end to the sanctions, explaining that "they are counterproductive, because Zimbabwe's regime uses them to explain everything which goes wrong in the country."

- A last example is Burma, where it took 20 years after sanctions were introduced before things started moving in the right direction. The regime introduced liberalization, reacting to domestic protests from 2007 on. No link with the policy of sanctions can be witnessed.

Despite the many failures of economic sanctions, everyone is of course free to believe that this time around, it will be different.

In a comment in support of economic sanctions, The Economist - the newspaper which in 1854 was still railing against those attempting to stir up war in Crimea - was only able to cite a few obscure succesful examples of the policy. One is how it would have forced Iran back to the negotiating table during its recent cyberwar with the U.S., to discuss its nuclear programme. That sanctions have motivated Iran, is not certain at all and either way no improvement in the Iranian relationship with the West can be witnessed since 1979, when the Ayatollahs rose to power and the U.S. imposed sanctions.

Research by academic Gary Clyde Hufbauer investigating all economic sanctions since 1914, concludes that these only "work" in 34% of cases, while they only succeeded in 20% of occasions to disrupt relatively minor military adventures where that was the goal. Those who favour the current measures against Russia should reflect upon the researcher's findings that apparently, politically or economically weak countries are more vulnerable and that the more sanctions cost the country imposing them, the less likely it is that they will succeed. To do nothing is indeed sometimes better than "to do something", certainly when it's likely that the latter would make the situation even worse.

When Putin became President again, he made it into one of his goals to " nationalise the elite", thereby forcing those in his inner circle to sell off foreign assets, so they would be less vulnerable and more loyal in case of international tension. None of the five or six former KGB-cronies in Putin's inner circle would still have any foreign assets.

Is there anyone who believes that Russian oligarchs, the only ones who still may have a certain degree of independence from Putin to speak out, would try to stop him if they would no longer have any more assets abroad? Mark Champion, the former bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal in Brussels, points out that if tough measures against Russia would be decided, "any future land grabs would incur smaller additional costs for Russia." American think tank Brookings Institution warns that Putin himself rowed back from modernizing Russia's economy from 2012 on, instead pursuing deluded goals as import substitution and autarky, a policy likely to be accelerated in case more sanctions are imposed. Tony Brenton, the former British Ambassador in Moscow, sums it up nicely : "The pressure on Western governments to "do something" has become acute (...) Economic sanctions (...) won't work. We will have to negotiate with Vladimir Putin (...) In countries as prickly as Russia, sanctions simply strengthen the forces most hostile to the West. It has even become a badge of patriotic pride among senior Russians to be on the sanctions list. Every new round reinforces Putin's standing with the public as their champion against a predatory West."

Perhaps it is also useful to quote Vladimir Putin himself. According to a biography published in 2000, he once stated: "You should never drive a rat into a corner."

Obviously, sanctions would succeed in damaging the Russian economy. According to Alexei Kudrin, who served as Putin's Finance Minister for eleven years, the Russian economy could collapse in six weeks time as a result of it. Also the EU could get in trouble. Southern European banks have a considerable exposure to Russia. The most vulnerable is Italian bank Unicredit, which also helps to explain the stance of the Italian government. Russia exports more to the Netherlands than to any other European country (16% of Russian export, mainly because Rotterdam serves as Russia's port totransfer its oil to world markets, as Russia doesn't have an ice free port). Either way, recent data show that the German economy, the motor of the continent, already suffered economic damage as a result of the tensions.

4. How can the West protect itself against this conflict?

The answer to this question naturally depends in the first place on whether this is an internal Ukrainian conflict, whether it's a Ukrainian-Russian war or whether there is a serious danger for the conflict to expand to Moldova or even the Baltic states, and to what extent this ultimately endangers security and stability in Western Europe. This issue raises the question whether it was such a good idea after all to adopt the Baltic states into NATO, and why a country like Finland isn't keen at all to join NATO, regardless of the isolated opinion of its new EU-federalist Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who has also warned that sanctions would hit his country economically.

This issue leads us to comparisons between on the one hand Finland, which has a rather neutral, stable relationship with Russia, and on the other hand Poland and the Baltic states, who address Russia in a ratheraggressive way, despite their strong energy-dependence from the country, hoping that their NATO - membership is more than just a piece of paper. At least Polish Foreign Mininster Rados?aw Sikorski seems to think it isn't. In a secret recording which was being leaked - perhaps by Russia, to undermine NATO cohesion - he stated: " "You know that the Polish-US alliance isn't worth anything (...) It is downright harmful, because it creates a false sense of security ... Complete bullshit. We'll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we'll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers [, that's what we are]."

It's a good thing that these questions are being asked, because sooner or later we'll have to debate it. To give a clear answer, is however difficult, because it all depends on how public opinion in the West thinks about this, and what can be described as "the West".

In my humble opinion, we can't say there is any aggression against the West in the current conflict, certainly now that the U.S. have declared not to have any evidence of a direct Russian link to the attack on the Malaysian plane.

A majority of the population in Germany and Italy is against Ukrainian NATO - membership, so there isn't democratic support in Western Europe to defend the country in a military way. Only in 2010, 93% of Ukrainians said they regarded Russia in a positive light, which was six years after the Orange Revolution where anti-Russian sentiment was present. Now things are likely to be different, but it's hard to argue that this "conflict between brothers" can be described to Westerners as "our war".

A policy of non-intervention isn't necessarily the same as naive pacifism. It's clear that this conflict could have a lot of indirect consequences for Europe and NATO-countries, which should at least lead to major attention for the efficiency of defense spending. It's even clearer that any intervention in this conflict is extremely risky.

Diplomacy and maintaining effective defense capabilities can be the only answers. That's ambitious enough. Perhaps the way in which a country like Finland deals with Russia can offer lessons. Then I don't refer to "Finlandisation", which meant that the Soviet Union was involved in every major decision in the country, but to the policy after 1991. Since then, Finland clearly has sided with the West, but it has also maintained a good commercial relationship with Russia, not suffering from the illusion that it is capable of shaping Russia into the model its desires, otherwise than through trade, indirectly.

"Neo-conservatives" offer the ideological framework for economic sanctions and military interventions and would stem from reformed Trotskyists, who may no longer believe in bureaucratic planning of the economy but still think social engineering is possible in foreign policy. After the disastrous adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya , they should now grab the opportunity to remain silent. Sanctions and confrontation are dangerous. It is time for realpolitik.

Ultimately, we need to trust the following wisdom: "If goods don't cross borders, armies will".

Pieter Cleppe represents the independent think tank Open Europe in Brussels

www.twitter.com/pietercleppe

www.openeurope.org.uk

 

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Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:34 | 5078510 NewAmericaNow
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Good reference to have if things go from bad to worse

http://newamerica-now.blogspot.com/2014/02/beyond-collapse.html

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:42 | 5078535 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Since votes don't cross borders illegals will. - POTUS

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:53 | 5078618 Bastiat
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He lost me at "Crimean Invastion."  What Crimean invasion?  How about the WAshington's Kiev coup?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:59 | 5078648 y3maxx
y3maxx's picture

...Satelite Wars may be up next.

Knockout American Satelites....playing field is now level.

(thinking outside the box)

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:13 | 5078725 Anusocracy
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Pieter Cleppe of OpenEurope, your brain was designed 10,000 years ago. It's out of date .

Just another fascist neocon suck up spouting we're good, they're bad garbage.

How about this?

Everyone mind their own friggin business.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 01:47 | 5080685 JustUsChickensHere
JustUsChickensHere's picture

Dont forget, America now has a dwindling capacity to replace it's spy satelites - at least until it works out how to make huge rocket motors that it can no longer buy from Russia.

About two years from now, that means a gradual decay in capability for the USA spy satelite network....

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:01 | 5078668 max2205
max2205's picture

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

 

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:23 | 5078772 ChiangMai
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I skipped right to the comments at:

2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?

 

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:25 | 5078784 Freddie
Freddie's picture

This is one of the worst articles I have ever seen on ZH.  I would say 85% of the people posting here have a better idea what is going on.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 23:06 | 5080404 globalvagabond
globalvagabond's picture

Russians don't fight in winter.  Thanks, Napoleon and Hitler.  I call game over by Christmas.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:40 | 5078530 Malachi Constant
Malachi Constant's picture

Woah, woah, hold it, patnah.

2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?

This is a wrong question, let me fix it for you:

2. Is the West able to wake up to the fact that it was never commissioned by anyone to "guide"?

But this brings us to the next point:

3. Can the West contribute to a sharpening of the crisis?

Of course! It's the only thing they know how to do. The West's job is to spread death, disease and misery, for if they don't, all people will be equal, and where's fun in that?

4. How can the West protect itself against this conflict?

Simple: Stop shoving your filthy hands, noses and paper in other people's businesses, and there will be no confilcts to talk about.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:06 | 5078558 Rainman
Rainman's picture

1. Can things get even worse in Russia ?

 

                < see Siege of Sebastopol  '41-'42  >

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:27 | 5078796 Anusocracy
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@M. Constant

Comment of the day.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:45 | 5078566 Abitdodgie
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If we stayed out of everyones countries how would we kill people and that is just un American .

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:02 | 5078676 what's that smell
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do you think the russians give a flying buttfuck what you western pink panty fanboys think?

fanboys worry about their make-up, their facebook likes, and their hip hopping wigger worship.

russians? napoleon, wehrmacht, bolsheviks, communism, famine, war.....

come on.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:05 | 5078694 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Just adopt the St Louis protocol, we can set presedent here.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:15 | 5078736 LawsofPhysics
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more importantly, how would the real owners and their political puppets keep exporting inflation?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:46 | 5078569 agent default
agent default's picture

It is too late for the West to protect it self.  It has thumbed its nose too much into other peoples faces for too long and now everyone has said fuck it.  The West will be lucky to be left with just a broken nose by the time this is over.  And as far as the warmongering goes, if they are stupid enough to start a war they will lose it. 

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:08 | 5078704 negative rates
negative rates's picture

We would naturally feel neglected if we didn't intevene, almost a naked feeling of needing others warmth as we protect and finance you at the same time. 

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:23 | 5078777 LawsofPhysics
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Yes,  ...full faith and credit.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:26 | 5078786 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

I think it was Walter Williams who had this saying on how to live your life:

Mind your own business and don't hit your sister.

Pieter, along with most everyone else, is incapable of learning that.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:39 | 5078533 AC_Doctor
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Eat more bush meat!

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:49 | 5078573 ZerOhead
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.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:48 | 5078585 ZerOhead
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I hear bat-kabobs are all the rage..

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:03 | 5078665 tenpanhandle
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Are you advocating for the election of Jeb Bush?

If so, better change your slogan; America's had enough.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 19:37 | 5079449 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Don't know of anybody who wants to eat Bush meat.
Not even the Bushes.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:41 | 5078544 vyeung
vyeung's picture

all that needs to be done is Germany flipping east and then France. There will be peace thereafter. America cannot do anything without these big allies. Sometimes the solutions is right in front of us.

Germany wins and EU can avert further damages to its pathetic approach to Russia. Kickout the eurocrates, they were not elected and they do not deserve to dictate where europe should head. They are criminal and deserve to be put in jail.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:53 | 5078624 Utah_Get_Me_2
Utah_Get_Me_2's picture

Is that all Germany needs to do huh? 'Flipping east'? It's that easy huh?

Remember a week or two ago when the NY FED a hung the derivitives wrecking ball precariously above Deutsche Bank? Not long after the news broke about a secret land for gas deal? Of course you don't remember this not so subtle threat to Merkel and German economy. If they could have 'flipped east' they'dve done so already. What do you think the NSA is for vyeung?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:42 | 5078550 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Hah!

If 'goods for free' doesn't work anymore, and fake force is another illusion of power, what's next? Golf?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:47 | 5078574 viator
viator's picture

Jeeze, the socialist central planners heard from.

Maybe somebody should tell this dude Russia just delivered fighter jets and attack helicopters to al-Maliki in Baghdad.

Maybe Pieter Cleppe should worry more about ISIS who may be knocking at the Gates of Vienna shortly.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:48 | 5078587 kowalli
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bad article with HUGE mistakes

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 18:12 | 5078971 silverserfer
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What else would you expect from a man named Cleppe from Brussels...

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:54 | 5078600 socalbeach
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Obama admin is not exactly brilliant, but if their goal is to get Russia directly involved in war, they can probably succeed. Russia can't allow the militias to be defeated, so the question is whether or not Russia can increase covert support to compensate. And even if they can, there are other trouble spots the US can exploit, such as Transnistria or Azerbaijan-Armenia. 

The Russian counter-sanctions against EU food imports can be seen as a way to lessen dependence on the EU, and pre-empt a future EU blockade of Russian food imports, should things escalate.

(11.08.2014)

Punisher junta throw American howitzers M
 
Heavy American weapons channelled to Ukraine, as reported the Agency Voenkor.info with reference to a source in the new Russia.

With Altus air force base in Oklahoma flew C-17 58th air transport squadron, loaded 155-mm howitzer M, ammunition and personnel. The plane sent to Ukraine, tentatively in Kharkiv or Odessa.

M is howitzer using high-precision, long-range ammunition M982 Excalibur. When using an external pointing via satellite or UAVs such missiles at distances up to 40 km can direct hits to hit even separate tanks and cars. M effective and counterbattery struggle.

 

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:10 | 5078710 tenpanhandle
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Uncle Sam to Ukrain:  Here's some howitzers. You fire them but we'll aim them.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:50 | 5078607 1000yrdstare
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These questions are irrelevant, war has been planned and war it will be, how else can you hide the massive economic mess, there is NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE! Well...other than punishing the scumbags that created the problems and getting rid of the bankers and politicians...but I digress...THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE!!

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:11 | 5078717 tenpanhandle
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A tiny virus in Zambola disagrees.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:17 | 5078746 LawsofPhysics
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Correct, no way those in charge (who committed and profitted from the ongoing fraud) will indict or jail themselves.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:55 | 5078634 Karl von Bahnhof
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OpenEurope straight from Soros mouth.

Tylers, please... Et tu?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:01 | 5078664 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

This is the nest of the worst City of L cocksuckers filled with useful idiots managed by satan himself

http://www.openeurope.org.uk/Page/Board/en/LIVE

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:15 | 5078742 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

Succinctly put.

 

When I saw the "world-renowned" geopoltical expert Kirstie Allsop

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirstie_Allsopp was a backer of the

think tank I just knew I had to sit up and take notice. <sarc>

 

I hope Tyler was paid for posting this crap.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:24 | 5078774 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

It a "propaganda drill" - an odd article planted here and there to sharpen our bullshit senses.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 20:40 | 5079768 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

No, my guess is the Tylers get paid to post certain articles. The mainstream media has been doing it for years, and some of that black budget money shows up in influential blogs such as the hedge.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 21:14 | 5079931 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

t does feel like some articles are sponsored material, going completely against the sentiment. I'm fine with it. Whatever helps pay for the site. Us - regulars are unaffected.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 05:11 | 5080876 TweedleDeeDooDah
TweedleDeeDooDah's picture

Yeah... whatever helps pay... certainly not some of those "regulars"...
With their one-sided coins, stories, brains...

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 16:59 | 5078640 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

This is an odd article.

"How can the West protect itself from this conflict?"

Um...the West caused this conflict.

"Recently, the Ukrainian government has banned Russian films and the Communist Party"

So banning a political party is a democracy?

"The opening to China made by US President Richard Nixon probably was the most succesful example of foreign policy in the second half of the 20th century."

No, it screwed over the U.S. populace and ensured the slavery of billions of Chinese ruled by Oligarchs in the Military.

And finally; the West is not going to "guide" Russia, in any way.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:09 | 5078708 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Small selection from OE board

Advisory Council
Lord Leach of Fairford Director, Jardine Matheson Holdings
Lord (Rodney) Leach of Fairford is Chairman and founder of Open Europe, and was previously Chairman of Business for Sterling, which campaigned to keep Britain out of the euro. He is also currently a Director of Jardine Matheson, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Hongkong Land, Mandarin Oriental,  Dairy Farm

Mark Darell Brown Managing Partner, Brown Vanneck Partners
Mark Darell Brown is Managing Partner at Brown Vanneck Partners. He is a former Director of UK Equities and Chief Investment Officer (Equities) at RAB Capital which he joined in August 2001. He is also former joint investment manager of the RAB UK Fund, lead manager of Elite-RAB UK Dynamic Fund

Previously he was responsible for the management of UK equity fund portfolios on behalf of retail and institutional clients at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (previously Mercury Assest Management), from 1993 to 2001, as well as managing the Merrill Lynch British Blue Chip Fund.

Justin Dowley Chairman, Intermediate Capital Group
Justin Dowley is Chairman of Intermediate Capital Goup. He was a founding partner of Tricorn Partners, the independent advisory firm and previously he had been head of UK investment banking at Morgan Grenfell and head of european investment banking at Merrill Lynch.

David Frost CEO, Scotch Whisky Association
David FROST CMG is the Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, one of Britain’s biggest trade associations. He spent 25 years as a diplomat in the British Foreign Office, where he was inter alia British Ambassador to Denmark; Director for the European Union, and Head of the Planning Staff. He has been posted in Brussels (EU), New York (UN), and Paris. Most recently he was Britain’s most senior trade policy official and Full Member of the EU’s Trade Policy Committee. He is a specialist in and commentator on the European Union, global economic and commercial issues, and multilateral diplomacy.

Gerard Griffin Portfolio Manager, GLG Partners
Gerard Griffin, Portfolio Manager at GLG Partners. Prior to joining GLG in 2010, Gerard was CEO and founder of Tisbury Capital Management. Gerard currently serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of Isaac Newton Academy and as a Director of ARK Schools, and is on the board of St Luke's Centre in Manchester. He received a joint B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Yale in 1990, and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1996.

Rupert Hambro Chairman, J O Hambro Ltd
Rupert Hambro is Chairman of J O Hambro; a Mergers and Acquisitions and Investment Management business. He also has his own private equity business with investments in a number of businesses. He was formerly Chairman of Hambros Bank.

His voluntary positions include: Chairman of Trustees of The Silver Trust; Deputy President of The National Association of Clubs for Young People and Vice Patron of the Royal Society of British Sculptors; and Chairman of the Trustees of Chiswick House & Gardens Trust and Hon President of BAAF (British Association of Adoption & Fostering).

Alex Hickman Managing Partner, Chartwell Partners
Alex Hickman spent 9 years involved in the debate about the future of Britain and Europe as Chief Executive of Business for Sterling, The No Campaign, Vote 2004, Vote No. He was a co-founder of Open Europe in 2005. He worked as an advisor to David Cameron (2006/7). He is Managing Partner of Chartwell Partners, a speaker agency and advisory firm.

Sir Martin Jacomb Former Chairman, Prudential plc
Sir Martin Jacomb is former Chairman of Prudential plc. He is also former Chairman of Barclays de Zoete Wedd , the British Council and Delta plc. He has held directorships of The Telegraph plc, Marks and Spencer plc and Canary Wharf Group plc. He is Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.

Sir John Jennings CBE Former Chairman, Shell Transport & Trading plc
Sir John Jennings CBE is former Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading Company plc. He is currently Chancellor of Loughborough University, Chairman of IdaTech, a non-executive Director of Nexant Inc and a member of the Advisory Board of Xyleco.

Tom Kremer Chairman, Seven Towns Ltd
Tom Kremer is Chairman of Seven Towns Ltd, the ideas company he founded in 1969 which is now the leader in its field in Europe. Successes include the Rubik’s Cube of which over 100 million were sold by the end of 1982. A graduate of Edinburgh University and the Sorbonne, Tom also pioneered game-based therapy for psychologically disturbed children with the Inner London Education Authority and designed educational games for UK primary schools.

Johanna Möhring Visiting fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Johanna Möhring, a German national living in Paris, is Visiting fellow at the Mackinder Programme for the Study of Long-Wave Events, LSE. She has previously worked at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), as a private sector consultant and for the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

David Ord Managing Director, The Bristol Port Company
David Ord is Managing Director of the Bristol Port Company. He is a Council member of Bristol University (Chairman of the Finanace Committee) and a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers.

David Reid Scott Chairman, Stonehage Advisory
Mr Reid Scott worked for White Weld & Co in New York and London, before spending a number of years as Senior Advisor to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency responsible for the investment of the Kingdom’s foreign exchange reserves.  In 1985 he became a founding partner of Phoenix Securities, which was sold to Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette in 1996 when he became Vice Chairman of European Investment Banking.  Between 2001 and 2009 he was Chairman of Hawkpoint Partners.

In 2010 he joined Stonehage Limited, a leading multi family office advisory business, as Chairman of its advisory activities.  He also works with a number of charities and endowments in the UK and Ireland, as well as in Mozambique where he has sponsored a major eco tourism project.

Lord Renwick of Clifton Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, J P Morgan (Europe)
Lord Renwick of Clifton is Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, of JPMorgan Europe and Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Cazenove. He is also Chairman of Fluor Ltd (UK), a Trustee of The Economist and a former Director of British Airways. He was Ambassador to the United States from 1991-95. He was made a peer in 1997 and sits in the House of Lords as a cross-bencher.

Lord Salisbury Director, Gascoyne Holdings Ltd
Lord Salisbury is Director of Gascoyne Holdings Ltd. He was a Conservative MP from 1979-87 and Leader of the House of Lords from 1994-97. He is also Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire.

Hugh Sloane Founder, Sloane Robinson
Hugh Sloane co-founded Sloane Robinson in December 1993 and has been the CEO and manager of the International and Japan portfolios since the inception of the firm. Hugh began his investment career at GT Management in 1979, where he worked initially in Hong Kong as an economist for the Asian Region. In 1986 he became Investment Director of GT Japan, responsible for Japanese equity portfolio’s, and chaired the Asian regional investment committee. In 1991 he moved to London to become GT’s CIO for Europe.

Nigel Smith Former Chairman, the No (Euro) campaign
Nigel Smith is former Managing Director of Glasgow based manufacturers David Auld Valves Ltd. He was Chairman of the cross-party No (Euro) campaign from 2002-2004. He was also Chairman of the cross-party ‘Yes’ campaign which won the referendum on the Scottish devolution in 1997.

Sir James Spooner Former Director, John Swire and Sons
Sir James Spooner is a former Director of John Swire & Sons. He is also a former Director of J. Sainsbury plc and Barclays Bank, and was Chairman of the Council of King's College London from 1986 to 1998.

George Trefgarne Consultant, Maitland
George Trefgarne, former Economics Editor of the Daily Telegraph and City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph. He is now a consultant at Maitland, a financial communications firm.

Sir Brian Williamson Senior Advisor, Fleming Family & Partners
Sir Brian Williamson is a Senior Advisor at Fleming Family and Partners, and a Director of NYSE Euronext. He is also a Director of HSBC Holdings plc and was formerly Chairman of LIFFE (London International Futures and Options Exchange).

Prof. Dr. Michael Wohlgemuth Director, Open Europe Berlin

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:14 | 5078735 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

thanks for not printing a large selection.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:23 | 5078770 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Sorry dude, iPad rubbish. Wil shorten it later, but message was transferred :)

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:29 | 5078802 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

do you live in a train station?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:50 | 5078884 Karl von Bahnhof
Karl von Bahnhof's picture

Jck sheet / Das Bahnhof? :)

No, Its just a odd local joke. But sorry for that long post. I might just live in train station because of that ;)

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:18 | 5078751 Bemused Observer
Bemused Observer's picture

Yes, agreed, it is odd. Like this..."Unilateral opening of borders for trade is only a bad thing for those who think that trade "costs" something."

So he is saying that unilateral opening of borders for trade is GOOD? How can something one-sided be good? Especially when it comes to trade, which MUST involve more than one entity?

Unilateral approaches are why we are here in the first place.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:01 | 5078667 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

For fuck's sake, can't this joker write straight? Reads like an English as foreign language term paper before running the grammar checker.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:10 | 5078712 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Well numerology is the great equalizer, so fuck the letters and just go by the sound.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:48 | 5078705 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

"They" REALLY DO think we are THAT DUMB!

 

It's difficult to know where to start in describing the brazen false premises - especially the howler of "Western Guidance" (yeah, "Guidance" to the abattoir) - in this article .

Unless, of course, it's an "Onion" spoof... in which case, I apologise to the author.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:09 | 5078707 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

Why is this shite being posted at Zerohedge?

 

http://www.openeurope.org.uk/Page/Supporters/en/LIVE

 

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:13 | 5078729 SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

No shit... after... "like the Crimean invasion."  I stopped reading.  WTF...

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:12 | 5078720 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

here is another one of my favorite quotes from the same era...

"The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood." -

Otto von Bismarck

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:14 | 5078730 trgfunds
trgfunds's picture

First it was 6 reasons to buy US Treasuries. Now this. ZH is like the west's RT. I see what you did there.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:29 | 5078787 ekm1
ekm1's picture

When is the coup on the white house going occur?

The president is hired to actually do work.

If he refuses to work, then somebody will tell him to vacate the office

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:30 | 5078793 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

My suggestion is for Putin to comply with Western demands and move the army as far from the Ukrainian border as possible...

... to Cuba. That ought to make Obama happy.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 17:34 | 5078826 BOPOH
BOPOH's picture

Author of this article is western mudak

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 05:06 | 5080873 TweedleDeeDooDah
TweedleDeeDooDah's picture

BOPOH is eastern durak.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 18:08 | 5078958 Perimetr
Perimetr's picture

1. Can things get even worse in Russia?

Worse then they are here?


2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?

The coup in Kiev hasn't worked out as well as D.C. and Langley hoped, so why not try nuclear war?


3. Can the West contribute to a sharpening of the crisis?

Sure, nuclear first-strike.


4. How can the West protect itself against this conflict?

Give up on the whole hegemony thing.

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 20:39 | 5079767 Jack4952
Jack4952's picture

This article by Pieter Cleppe of OpenEurope needs no further rebuttal than provide by Perimetr immediately above.

As an American who has lived in Ukraine permanently since 2009, I consider Pieter Cleppe's article to be total bullshit !!!!

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 19:04 | 5079278 bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Save your four questions for Passover, bubala, when it comes to the west there's only one question:

WHO ARE THEY GOING TO FUCK OVER NEXT?  AND WHEN?

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 21:54 | 5080127 Capissimo
Capissimo's picture

...the West could open its borders for trade with Ukraine and Russia, in order to support the development of a critical middle class on the long term...
---
Demagoguery. 

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 22:50 | 5080356 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

1. Can things get even worse in Russia?

2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?

3. Can the West contribute to a sharpening of the crisis?

4. How can the West protect itself against this conflict?

You left out:

5. I don’t know (i.e., I’m too stupid to have a meaningful opinion about complicated issues like this) which seems to be a staple in every public opinion poll these days, especially on the internet.  

 

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 00:27 | 5080583 Moonrajah
Moonrajah's picture

2. Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?

The West isn't able to guide itself down the right path, for Christsakes! The blind leading the sighted? Gimme a break!

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 02:04 | 5080708 basho
basho's picture

who is this wet-behind-the-ears a**hole?

instead of this shit why not post some Pogo comic strips.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 02:26 | 5080759 RichardParker
RichardParker's picture

" Is the West able to guide Russia and Ukraine down the right path?"

Perhaps The Obama Regime should have thought of that before they decided to use neonazis and mercenaries to overthrow the democraticly elected leader of Ukraine?

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