Stopping Russia

By Simon Johnson

The rhetoric of confrontation with Russia seems to be escalating, including with the remarkable suggestion – from Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – that the US provide “small arms and radio equipment” to Ukraine.

Encouragement for a military confrontation is not what Ukraine needs.  As Peter Boone and I have argued in a pair of recent columns for the NYT.com’s Economix blog, Ukraine needs economic reform (with a massive reduction in corruption as the top priority).   This reform requires, above all, a massive and immediate reduction in – or elimination of – corruption.

Throwing a lot of external financial assistance at Ukraine’s government, for example with a very large loan from the International Monetary Fund, is unlikely to prove helpful.  Based on recent prior experience, such lending may even prove counterproductive.

And this seems to be exactly the path that our foreign policy elite has placed us on.

33 responses to “Stopping Russia

  1. So, in 1994 Bill Clinton, and Boris Yeltsin agreed to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, in exchange for them giving up nuclear weapons, but now it would be unnecessarily provocative to give them ‘small arms and radio equipment’?

    The next time a POTUS offers something to a country….

  2. The US also desperately needs economic reform, especially in regard to the soft bribery of politicians by corporate money. Wall Street is at odds with Main Street, and the resolution of this could be disastrous.

  3. How many people has the Russian army killed during this, supposed, snatch of territory?

    Meanwhile, back in Palestine….and the USA, for that matter….

    Guys armed with clipboards (“sanctions”) provided by banksters kicking in doors and throwing Grandma’s belongings out on the street – yea, lets talk about how “safe” USA is from economic sanctions.

    What regulations are keeping track of fraudulent “sanctions” and official “sanctions”?. No corruption or fraud happening as “sanctions” are put in place?

  4. Your Rx for Ukraine could be equally remediative for the U.S., Great Britain, Germany and France. Come to think of it. Double the dose!

  5. Senator Ed Markey warns that the price of natural gas jumped 25 percent last year , which only helped coal sales and the advocates of global warming. Why do we always seem to support right wingers or fascists ? The U.S. is not making friends with their NSA invasions . Maybe we can solve the Ukraine problem before the 2014 election and be more of a strong silent type instead of a strong violent type. Simon,you liked my bumperticker “trust me I’m a banker” how about “Use your brain with Ukraine”

  6. jeff montanye

    what annie said.

  7. Tricky phrases are the childish effort to refuse to see consequences or solutions except the ones currently in place. We can’t solve anything, and the election cycle is the ball bouncing off the 2 year wall. The solution will come from a God you don’t believe in, and by then, it will have been to late for you.

  8. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/03/24/3418277/jimmy-carter-gender-inequality/#

    Slave Lords in Atlanta GA – yea, I don’t believe in their “god” and will never bend my knee to them. Lock and load. Looks like the only way to not get mutilated by the religions of authority who conduct psychological autopsies on your soul while you still inhabit the flesh….savages….

    Savage economy, savage society. Congolese savagery – wait until harvest is picked then kill them all…so keep blathering about Russia not wanting to end up like the USA….

    Who out of the 480 USA citizens that are worth a collective total of 2.08 TRILLION from thieving savagery (fiat $$ issued as “debt”) have lost their cotton-pickin’ mind with this martha-stewarding of Putin? Koch?

  9. Let’s look at the timeline – this all started BEFORE the Olympics in Sochi – didn’t it?

    The opening ceremony was how Russians see themselves – as “dreamers”.

    So maybe there is something going on like in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”….? Maybe “chosen ones” are being called to the Mother Ship in Russia? We’re sculpting a “vision” with our Food Stamp gruel….

    Didja all ever think about that with an “open mind”? :-)

    As for accusations about reverting back to 19th century thinking – excuse me, but the WASPs in USA are all Dickensonian in reaction to this “economy”. Shutting up their wallets against INVESTMENT in reality and the Middle Class that was the buffer zone around them…their “psychobabble” to the NON SLAVES that built modern USA is “…there is nothing we can do to help the “displaced”…..” Get it? They’re telling the people who CREATED modern USA that there is nothing they (WASPs) can do to yank the PRODUCERS out of fiat $$ manufactured poverty….

    NSA + Zuckerwhore – Crabs in the pubis….who isn’t looking for a cure?!

  10. I don’t think Russia under Putin is a threat. It aspires to be a competitor.

    The Soviet Union under Gorbachev had a functioning if stagnant economy with enormous human capital and a strong industrial sector. If Russia had taken a managed and value enhancing road to capitalism, like China, today you might be seeing Tupolev or AvtoVAZ compete with Boeing or Volkswagen.

    Instead, during the highly destructive Yeltsin period the Russian economy came crashing down. Everything from the nation’s oil to attractive women was sold to the mafia or dispersed through inept privatisations, often ending up with the mafia again. Promising industrial companies were exposed to competition abruptly, pilfered, or shut down instead of being modernised. Russia ended up with basic extractive industries instead of emerging as a tech and industrial powerhouse. During this wholesale destruction of Russian capital the West cheered – believing it to be Shumpeterian renewal, or maybe just a speculative opportunity.

    Putin’s brand is to undo the damage of the Yeltsin-mafia years and restore some of Russia’s political and economic standing. He persecuted the smooth operators who appropriated Yukos, blocked its sale to the West, and re-nationalised the company through Rosneft. In Crimea he’s reclaiming the naval bases in and around Sevastopol, without which Russia’s naval power in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean becomes irrelevant. I think this is a plan to restore Russia’s domestic capital and elevate it to a world player instead of having the country sold off to foreign opportunists, which many in the West would like.

    Putin’s methods are unacceptable. He’s using the entire category of LGBT people as a political distraction/scapegoat. But the West has to be honest about what change we’d like to see in Russia. If we want democracy and human rights in Russia, that’s awesome. If we want Russia to revert to being an oil field with a “business friendly” government easily pliable to Western interests, like Saudi Arabia, I think most Russians will disagree.

  11. Bruce E. Woych

    It really is all about Ukraine, and not about stopping Putin or Russia.

    http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/id-moe/09407.pdf

    INTERNATIONAL POLICY ANALYSIS
    MRIDULA GHOSH October 2012
    The Extreme Right in Ukraine

  12. Bruce E. Woych

    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/16/mainstream-us-media-is-lost-in-ukraine/

    Mainstream US Media Is Lost in Ukraine
    March 16, 2014
    “Exclusive: The U.S. mainstream news media is reaching a new professional low point as it covers the Ukraine crisis by brazenly touting Official Washington’s propaganda themes, blatantly ignoring contrary facts and leading the American public into another geopolitical blind alley, writes Robert Parry.”
    By Robert Parry

  13. Bruce E. Woych

    The Real News Network. (1 of a full series of interviews concerning Ukraine)

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=11516

  14. Bruce E. Woych

  15. Bruce E. Woych

    Michael Hudson has several articles on Ukraine issues here:

    http://michael-hudson.com/

  16. @Pavlos, “….Putin’s methods are unacceptable. He’s using the entire category of LGBT people as a political distraction/scapegoat….”

    Sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about…I was referring to the bombings in Volgograd and the increase of Nihilism in Russia :

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/30/terrorist-attacks-russia-winter-olympics-near/

    So what was wrong with Putin’s tactics regarding security of the games when he knew this was coming…? Be honest, no one would have taken their kids to the bath houses in NYC before AIDS to educate them about human rights to have sex…..

    http://www.euronews.com/2014/02/06/sochi-un-chief-joins-voices-against-lgbt-discrimination-in-russia/

    @Woych – thanks for the link to Putin’s speech – looks like he knows the psychology of the west, such as it is, better than the west knows him:

    snippet from Putin’s speech, “….We keep hearing from the United States and Western Europe that Kosovo is some special case. What makes it so special in the eyes of our colleagues? It turns out that it is the fact that the conflict in Kosovo resulted in so many human casualties. Is this a legal argument? The ruling of the International Court says nothing about this. This is not even double standards; this is amazing, primitive, blunt cynicism. One should not try so crudely to make everything suit their interests, calling the same thing white today and black tomorrow. According to this logic, we have to make sure every conflict leads to human losses…..”

    Read more: http://praguepost.com/eu-news/37854-full-text-of-putin-s-speech-on-crimea#ixzz2x1soAzft
    Follow us: @praguepost on Twitter | praguepost on Facebook

    Looks like the “Tall Whites” outside Las Vegas must be a different group of “aliens” than the ones calling Russians back home to the MotherShip :-))

    After being hurled out into the world because of WWII from her ancient home in what is now Belarus, my Mom gained experience with society and culture in Germany, England, Argentina, Canada and USA. She remarked that she finally realized how UNIQUELY “good and honest” were the people she called her own for CENTURIES in that “breadbasket”. Centuries. She said it was like “Paradise” because of the good people.

    Call this GenX wave what it REALLY is worldwide – “Nihilism”. What is left to destroy? Ah, yes, even the dream to rebuild Mom’s earthly Paradise.

    Don’t think that Putin et al do not know what has happened here in USA to people like my Mom, and her children, here in USA….and yes, that knowledge will be “opportunistically” used by him….

  17. Less than 10 people in Mom’s Paradise survived the Nazi roll-over after the Bolshevik roll over. Universal acceptance into many eugenics program – good peasant stock. They’re all the geniuses – go figure….

    Thought we were never going to forget the land grabs….? So maybe what lines were drawn in blood shed do not remain drawn as civilization struggles to rebuild itself after pointless wars? Wars argued as better because there was only a loss of lives in the 100K+ range, and we did not take any of their resources or land, yet? So what was the point of THAT war – just to kill off people??!!

    If lines can be drawn through war, then they can be drawn in peace. Or is that an international law that USA does not want to abide by? How’s that for a critique. We have a Merchant of Venice saga unfolding in EU over the default of Russia, while east of that is the 11th century and then east of that is Oriental sagas….whole different timeline. Yes, a complex economic world, no doubt. Solved by regional plans to stick to the man to land ratio for a set quality of life for their culture, since all have highly evolved cultures they re-build, over and over again.

    Supposedly, USA economy is the best economic blender of cultures, if you will. So beware that it can get downright goofy. Some “fusion” dishes never make it to the menu. Ditto and more for how goofy gizmo worship can get.

    The best economic blender for cultural trade. And so how is that going with the investment in contractor armies? Fair to ask about taxpayer money, and when from the other side, banksters are using your account as their own with their fingertips….?

    Less than 10 and it took an army of assaults throughout life to keep one woman down in the USA. Your morals better catch up quick to your politics.

  18. I tracked some of them down for you Annie, the guy who made the radiator out of plastic should be shot, soon they will be making the bumpers out of plastic and at a costly fix I might add. What ever happened to 5 mph thick rubber bumper idea, he took a lickin, and kept on tickin. I guess when when you are the best, the only other thing to do is get rid of that, start with something new, and improve on that, making money the whole time. And the key in the dash was fine, we could have moved it up and made it an easier inter changeable system. But we had to do away with that, and move it to the steering columb, where it now does way more than it needs to do, and far more than it should ever have been doing, all costing money and for the love of money. So by defining your morals, you are defining your politics. How do we know if we have the moral sense? We don’t, but others can tell if you do or not, just by the words you choose, or don’t choose.

  19. You mean like the psychobabble pivot to talking about the “poor” in USA as if they never had 50K+ in savings that were turned into soylent green for the 480 who are worth 2.08 TRILLION through pre-emptive WARS?

    Those kinds of moral plays with words?

  20. Nope, it’s the kind we find in law books, nice try though.

  21. The legislature does not legislate anymore, remember?

    “Look Ma, no regulations!” Wheeee….

    More misery for others = More $$$$ for ME ME ME

    Buzkashi games – toss the goat around for fun and let people starve because the goat was not milked for cheese – “…but it is not illegal….”

  22. Correctamundo, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be controlled by them, so, show me the money.

  23. More like “show me the tanks and jets”, no?

    The mercenary army that was stood up by skinning alive the USA middle class taxpayer now plans to STEAL Russia’s weaponry, and yes that is “illegal” but that never stops the crook….USA has highest prison population in the world, no? Some of those prisoners get paid to TROLL discussion forums for “religionists” and psychobabble-abuse any INTELLIGENT analysis of the problem and the implementation of solutions that work!

    embedded crabs in the pubis – crotch politics – they are disgusting and no one is living with that situation because every human being has the right to make their lives less miserable through honest work – like creating a better Lice-be-Gone :-)

  24. BTW, to continue to have this discussion about crashing the USA’s “economy” WITHOUT paying attention to how spy agencies like the NSA

    (why were even Moussad agents and Saudi agents allowed to get in on the act?!)

    were collecting metadata on USA citizens – in “secret” – at the very same time they were “crashing” the economy is DELUSIONAL.

    Did the NSA and all the other “security” forces coordinated under The Patriot Act not know what the Wall Street hooligans were doing???!!!

  25. Jeffery "The Dr." Burk
  26. Russia is SO WINNING the diplomatic performances – this is priceless:

    http://rt.com/business/crimea-zone-tax-break-345/

  27. http://rt.com/news/nato-poland-ukraine-rasmussen-609/

    Here we go, the incessant Zionist agenda in action through Poland’s “leadership”. If Poland is not fighting for its own unique existence as a culture and civilization, then Poles need to sit down and shut up. There is nothing “fascist” in Poland’s history from the timeline when Rome fell and much empire building drifted north to join forces with the agriculturists….the peaceful “producers”.

    Poland and Russia can ONLY compete with each other in the areas of invention and land management (sustainable standard of living through invention). Poland has SO MUCH MORE in common with Russia then it does with USA, that it’s ridiculous to threaten your own security hooking up with USA Zionists – opportunistically….

  28. http://rt.com/news/putin-letter-us-ukraine-944/

    Percentage-wise, the RT news org. puts out more real “news” that is devoid of propaganda twist. There is a lot that needs the attention of everyone else in society who is NOT a War, Drug or Slave Lord’s sycophant.

    USA needs to elect people from science, engineering, and the “trades” for lack of a better word (skilled labor?) to go represent CIVILIZATION and the people who created CIVILIZATION through legislation – JUSTICE.

    I think it is fair to ask, where is USA’s follow-up assistance? It’s all a massive war drain. Blow shit up, kill the people at the core of their country’s civilization, and take it all. It is an EXTREME POLITICAL NIHILISM. See? There is no follow-up plan.

    No wonder why Putin shot to the top of the NWO stage street fair. He’s like an alien from an advanced planet compared to that crowd of vicious, vindictive and vengeful monkey brains.

    Obviously, psychology did nothing useful in managing the talents of fascist-leaning white man ambitions. They morphed into Nihilists.

    Heck, I’m all for replacing human jobs with robots. Let the ladies in Russia have a go at that one :-) Their consumer economy of robots would be a hoot :-))

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