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Biden's sanctions backfired
We suffer, while 5,000 miles away Zelensky has tea with King Charles
Stephen M. Walt, a columnist at Foreign Policy, on Thursday gave the best summation of the war in Ukraine.
Walt wrote, “Since Russia invaded on February 24, 2022, the two combatants have each suffered more than 100,000 casualties, along with thousands of tanks and other armored vehicles lost.
“Ukraine’s economy has shrunk by roughly 30%, and more than 30% of its population has been displaced. Its infrastructure is being wrecked, and some 40% of its electricity-generating capacity has been damaged.
“Neither side seems willing to compromise or even consider a cease-fire; if anything, Moscow, Kyiv, and Ukraine’s Western supporters are doubling down.”
The war is a collection of idiocies by NATO leaders. The most idiotic of these idiocies is Biden’s economic sanctions on Russia.
While Biden now blames inflation on the Ukraine War and while Germany now struggles to keep warm as it deals with skyrocketing energy prices, Putin is warm and cozy and watching his economy bounce back.
Even the New York Times finally has admitted Biden’s economic sanctions made Russia great again. NYT did so in two stories.
The first one was, “Russia’s economic growth suggests Western sanctions are having a limited impact.”
The story began, “The resilience of Russia’s economy is helping fuel global growth, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund, suggesting that efforts by Western nations to weaken Moscow because of its war in Ukraine appear to be faltering.
“In a report issued on Monday, the I.M.F. predicts that Russian output will expand 0.3% in this year and 2.1% next year, defying earlier forecasts of a steep contraction in 2023 amid a raft of Western sanctions.
“A coordinated plan by the United States and Europe to cap the price of Russian oil exports at $60 a barrel is not expected to substantially curtail its energy revenues.”
How can this be?
Biden promised us his plan would bring Putin to his knees.
On February 22, 2022, Biden announced sanctions. He said, “That means we’ve cut off Russia’s government from Western financing. It can no longer raise money from the West and cannot trade its new debt on our markets, or European markets either.”
Two days later, he announced more sanctions. He said, “The U.S. stands up to bullies. We stand up to freedom.”
Interesting that Biden said stand up to freedom instead of standing for.
On April 6, he announced more sanctions. He said, “We will keep raising the economic cost and ratchet up the pain for Putin and further increase Russia’s economic isolation.”
But Biden’s Sanctions have worked about as well as that liberal boycott of Chick-fil-A did in 2012. I stood in line for a half-hour waiting for a chicken sandwich with one lousy slice of pickle on it. However, the waffle fries are heavenly.
Here’s how Russia prevailed.
NYT’s other report said, “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends.
“A surge in trade by Russia’s neighbors and allies hints at one reason its economy remains so resilient after sweeping sanctions.”
Putin, like Ringo, gets by with a little help from his friends.
The NYT story said, “Russian trade appears to have largely bounced back to where it was before the invasion of Ukraine last February. Analysts estimate that Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.
“In part, that could be because many nations have found Russia hard to quit. Recent research showed that fewer than 9% of companies based in the European Union and Group of 7 nations had divested one of their Russian subsidiaries. And maritime tracking firms have seen a surge in activity by shipping fleets that may be helping Russia to export its energy, apparently bypassing Western restrictions on those sales.”
The sanctions proved NATO allies need Russia more than Russia needs them. Far from isolating Putin, NATO isolated itself. Russia turned east and found new economic partners: BRICS.
BRICS is the acronym for five countries on three continents who have banded together as trading partners — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. They do not need Europe. Their combined populations are almost 10 times that of Europe, sans the Muslim refugees who are over-running the continent.
Waiting in the wings are Indonesia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Red China is on the rise and attracting allies. Henry Kissinger said, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” He dated Jill St. John when he was 50.
Biden’s Sanctions are as useless as he is. The Russian economy brushed off both.
NYT reported, “Some parts of the Russian economy are struggling, Sergey Aleksashenko, former deputy minister of finance of the Russian Federation, said, pointing to car factories that shut down after being unable to secure parts from Germany, France, Japan and South Korea. But military expenditures and higher energy prices helped prop it up last year.”
The euro was worth 90 rubles when sanctions began. Now the euro is worth 77.
I said at the time economic sanctions do not work. Let us review:
40 years of economic sanctions have not stopped Iran.
60 years of economic sanctions have not stopped Cuba.
70 years of economic sanctions have not stopped North Korea.
This time it will be different, right? President Dum Dum knew the sanctions failed almost at the outset. Last June 15, Business Insider — a Democrat tool — spun it as, “Biden officials worry their Russia sanctions were so powerful they also brought economic suffering to the U.S., report says.”
We suffer 5,000 miles away from the action. But Zelensky’s wife made the cover of Vogue and Congress gave him $100 billion in unmarked bills and military equipment, so somebody in the West is making out like a bandit.
Given the spectacular failure of Biden’s Sanctions — aka B.S. — I would be as shocked as Captain Renault to learn Biden got a piece of the action.
Zelensky even got a “truly special” audience (as The Sun put it) with King Charles, who overlooked that stupid green T-shirt Zelensky wore. I wonder if he ever washes it. Maybe he has more than one.
But His Majesty did not deign to dine with the Italian prime minister last night.
Reuters reported, “Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni criticized France and Germany on Thursday after she was not invited to a dinner in Paris with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, adding to friction between the European Union allies.
“French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met Zelenskiy on Wednesday evening ahead of an EU summit on Thursday.
“But unlike last year, when the then-Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi worked hand-in-hand with Macron and Scholz on Ukraine, Meloni was left out in the cold.”
Why the snub? Was it misogyny?
Reuters said, “Meloni's brand of nationalist politics has put her at odds with both Macron and Scholz on an array of other issues and the close ties that Draghi forged with Paris and Berlin seem a distant memory.”
That’s rich. Men who praise Ukrainian loyalists are looking down their noses at nationalism, but by nationalism, they mean anti-communist.
If NATO leaders are going to snub Italy, maybe Italy should re-think supporting NATO and hosting U.S. bases. The last thing Italy got from NATO was the triggering of a civil war in Libya that led to refugees overrunning Italy.
Now NATO wants Italy to aid Zelensky but it must bring the loot by the back door because Zelensky does not want to be associated with That Woman.
Getting back to the sanctions that failed, NYT also reported, “Matthew Klein, an economics writer and a co-author of Trade Wars Are Class Wars, is one of the people drawing conclusions about this Russia-size hole in the global economy. According to his calculations, the value of global exports to Russia in November was just 15% below a monthly pre-invasion average.
“Global exports to Russia most likely fully recovered in December, though many countries have not yet issued their trade data for the month, he said.”
Klein said, “Most of that recovery has been driven overall by China and Turkey particularly.”
Yikes. Turkey is a NATO ally. Klein left out the part where Iran and North Korea — the surviving members of the Axis of Evil — are helping out Old Vladimir, as is Saudi Arabia, which refused to pump out more oil. That meant Russia could continue its windfall profits from expensive petroleum.
Meanwhile, Putin not only dropped Europe for BRICS but he took action against the West, using its dominance of the fertilizer industry against the West.
This was predictable as days after the Biden Sanctions began, Progressive Farmer reported on March 3, 2022, “Russia-Ukraine Conflict Adds More Pressure to World Fertilizer Market.”
The story said, “A global fertilizer market that has already seen many challenges in the past 18 months will see added pressure from the Russia-Ukraine military conflict, according to The Fertilizer institute. However, the exact magnitude is unknown for now.
“TFI said in news release Wednesday it was concerned about the destabilizing situation occurring in the Ukraine. Its main concern is the safety of all the citizens in harm's way.
“The actions of Russia will affect the global fertilizer market, as 90% of all fertilizer is consumed outside of the United States, according to TFI.
“Russia is the second-largest producer of ammonia, urea and potash and the fifth-largest producer of processed phosphates. The country accounts for 23% of the global ammonia export market, 14% of urea, 21% for potash and 10% of the processed phosphates.”
Yes, dear readers, Putin used fertilizer to fight B.S. (Biden’s Sanctions).
There is a silver lining to this war and that silver is lining the coffin of globalism.
Nearly a year before this NYT admission of the B.S. backfiring, the Washington Post reported on March 5, 2022, “Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the financial reckoning imposed on Moscow in response are proof that the triumphant globalization campaign that began more than 30 years ago has reached a dead end.
“Fallout from the fighting in Ukraine will take a meaningful bite out of the global economic recovery this year, with the greatest impact in Europe, economists said. A spike in oil prices to more than $110 per barrel and renewed supply chain disruptions — including fresh headaches for the auto industry — also are likely to aggravate U.S. inflation, already at a 40-year high.”
There is a lesson in all this. Far from protecting American interests by giving the ungrateful and corrupt Zelensky $100 billion in aid and cash, Biden and Congress are undermining American interests. The New World Order of Bush 41 and Gorbachev made the United States — and the rest of the West — too reliant on Russia and Red China. Bush took our victory in the Cold War and handed it back to the remnants of the USSR and the CCP.
Thus, of course Biden’s sanctions backfired. NATO allies need Russia more than they need Ukraine, but they were too stupid to realize it at the time. Now they are too arrogant to admit they were wrong — even as Putin and Zelensky flatten Ukraine.