Posted by Curt on 24 March, 2023 at 12:05 pm. 27 comments already!


by Don Surber

My opposition to sanctions against Russia was always twofold.
First, sanctions do not work. Sanctions against North Korea for 70 years did not deter Kim Jon Un from acquiring nuclear weaponry. Sanctions against Cuba for 60 years did not deter Fidel Castro from acquiring a billion-dollar net worth. Sanctions against Iran for 40 years did not deter the ayatollahs from acquiring nuclear weaponry.
Second, Biden’s sanctions forced Russia to turn east and ally with Red China. Biden is a fool who believes NATO is the leader of the world. It represents less than 10% of the world, is largely old and its birth rate barely keeps up with its death rate.
Under Biden’s sanctions, the ruble strengthened and the euro weakened.
Nixon saw cleavage between the Soviet Union and Red China a half century ago. He widened the gap, which helped the USSR collapse.
Biden has brought the two together again. I said it earlier.
Biden diplomacy failed. Don’t take my word for it. I am just a thousandaire. The richest man in the world said it.
Collin Rugg of Trending Politics tweeted, “While everyone is distracted with Trump’s impending arrest, President Xi just called Putin his dear friend.
“Thanks to Joe Biden, America is divided while our two strongest adversaries are now united.”
Elon Musk tweeted back, “Inevitable. U.S. diplomacy skill is bronze tier.”
Before Musk bought Twitter a few months ago, his tweet would have been censored because it criticized the government — the government that funded Twitter’s censorship.
Last month, Craig Mellow of Barron’s wrote, “Russia Sanctions Haven’t Failed. They Just Need Time.”
He assured us, “It’s way too early to call sanctions a failure, however. Russia’s moderate GDP decline masks more profound damage to its civilian economy, as cash from last year’s record oil and gas exports was funneled directly into the military and security services. Automobile production cratered by two-thirds in 2022. Retail sales fell by at least 9%. Low official unemployment figures exclude nearly three million workers on unpaid leave.
“And the real sanctions have just started. The European Union, former top customer, stopped buying Russian crude oil last December and refined products this month. Crude seems to be finding alternative buyers in India and China, and at prices above the $60 cap decreed by the G-7 Western alliance. Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, and colleagues estimate an average of $74 per barrel since the EU embargo took effect.
“Refined products, which accounted for a quarter of Russia’s energy exports last year, may prove less fungible, however. Putin himself crippled the natural gas trade—worth $108 billion, or another third of Moscow’s 2022 energy haul—by cutting European sales. With tougher price-cap enforcement, total oil and gas revenue could fall by more than half this year, Ribakova says.”
OK, sanctions have hurt the economy, according to those who pushed the sanctions.
But the purpose of sanctions is to undercut the support of the leader. That has not happened because Putin uses sanctions to rally his people against the attack by Western imperialists. The Kims do the same. Castro did the same. The ayatollahs do the same.
Getting the Belgian-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which handles financial transactions and payments among banks worldwide, to impose sanctions backfired because Russia had developed the SPFS alternative in anticipation of such a banishment.
Ribakova said, “If SWIFT had been cut off in 2014, their domestic messaging system would have collapsed. This time, their domestic system managed to function.”
The Barron’s boy just doesn’t get it. He wrote, “If Putin wants to drain his country of its last ruble to fight on in Ukraine, he can likely do that for years. But if he, or a successor, wants to return Russia to some hope of prosperity, they will have to get sanctions lifted, and negotiate accordingly.”
Putin wants power. Prosperity would be nice but power is his goal.
66% of Russians approve of Putin, according to Gallup.
That’s the highest level since he reached 68% when he invaded Crimea.

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