like so much emanating from the US government of late, this current round of sanctions looks like performative cargo cultism. it has the outward appearance and bluster of “doing something.” it is certainly “press release optimized.” but when you read them closely, it rapidly becomes apparent than this is a movie set, not an old western town.
this, once more, causes me to wonder: “at whom are these sanctions™ aimed?” because it looks less and less like it’s the russians.
you can read them HERE.
this is some pretty tough talk. unprecedented. expansive. severe costs. maximize consequences. and if you stop reading here (as most will) this looks pretty serious and seems to imply purpose and resolve.
but let’s dig a little deeper: (boldface mine)
“Treasury is taking serious and unprecedented action to deliver swift and severe consequences to the Kremlin and significantly impair their ability to use the Russian economy and financial system to further their malign activity,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “Our actions, taken in coordination with partners and allies, will degrade Russia’s ability to project power and threaten the peace and stability of Europe.
so here is the goal.
but already, we see the waffling start:
The United States consulted closely with partners to tailor the economic costs of these actions to weigh most heavily on the Government of the Russian Federation (GoR) and its economy while mitigating impacts to America and its allies.
because, let’s face it, the EU and germany in particular is massively dependent on russian energy. this is the big hard currency earner. over 50% of german coal and gas comes from russia. more than 1/3 of their oil does. the germans desperately need it and the russians will want to get paid. so a whole pile of exceptions are added as “general licenses.”
you could drive an entire division of tanks through these loopholes. the sanctions™ are starting to look an awful lot like the science™. it’s the venn intersection of “narrative support” and “functionally useless.”
so, we’re going to throttle the russian banks, well, at least in 30 days we will (see below), but not for agricultural or medical commodities, energy, derivative contracts (the manner in which most energy, materials, and ag is sold) certain debt or equity (and lord knows what that could mean), and the winding down of existing transactions (which will include months and possibly years of forward sales on commodities etc.)
the holes here are so vast that even calling this a “sieve” is likely generous. the details appear carefully crafted to give back nearly everything of importance that the headlines so boldly claimed to take.
and hey, take your time setting up for it. no hurry.
Correspondent and Payable-Through Account Sanctions on SberbankToday Treasury is imposing correspondent and payable-through account sanctions on Sberbank. Sberbank is uniquely important to the Russian economy, holding about a third of all bank assets in Russia. Sberbank is the largest financial institution in Russia and is majority-owned by the GoR. It holds the largest market share of savings deposits in the country, is the main creditor of the Russian economy, and is deemed by the GoR to be a systemically important financial institution. Within 30 days, OFAC is requiring all U.S. financial institutions to close any Sberbank correspondent or payable-through accounts and to reject any future transactions involving Sberbank or its foreign financial institution subsidiaries. Payments that Sberbank attempts to process in U.S. dollars for its clients — with examples ranging from to technology to transportation — will be disrupted and rejected once the payment hits a U.S. financial
Correspondent and Payable-Through Account Sanctions on Sberbank
Today Treasury is imposing correspondent and payable-through account sanctions on Sberbank. Sberbank is uniquely important to the Russian economy, holding about a third of all bank assets in Russia. Sberbank is the largest financial institution in Russia and is majority-owned by the GoR. It holds the largest market share of savings deposits in the country, is the main creditor of the Russian economy, and is deemed by the GoR to be a systemically important financial institution. Within 30 days, OFAC is requiring all U.S. financial institutions to close any Sberbank correspondent or payable-through accounts and to reject any future transactions involving Sberbank or its foreign financial institution subsidiaries. Payments that Sberbank attempts to process in U.S. dollars for its clients — with examples ranging from to technology to transportation — will be disrupted and rejected once the payment hits a U.S. financial
you guys getting this? they have 30 days to wind down accounts and stop payment flow.
also notably absent is any mention whatsoever of the SWIFT system. this is because they did not lock russia out.
this is press release and fury signifying nothing.
the US sanctions appear near totally toothless. we can target a bunch of people by name and it’s great propaganda, but does anyone really think that “russian elites” as they are termed in the release have been leaving piles of money where the US can grab it? going after their kids and extended families sounds tough, but they all get their money from the very industries that were just excluded.
at best this is the DEA grabbing 100 kilos of weed and claiming progress in the war on drugs.
it’s empty bluster and grandstanding. it’s not going to hit them where it hurts. this is, sorry to say it, an impotent tantrum.
this will be obvious to russia and to other state level actors.
it’s not going to fool them.
this is the domestic economic and social equivalent of one of those CDC mask studies with a strident headline but whose methodology would get it rejected from a 7th grade science fair.
either US leadership has gone so far down the post modernist rabbithole that it can no longer tell difference between kabuki theater and geopolitical realpolitik (possible) or this theater is focused on the domestic audience, not the foreign one.
it’s to fool americans and europeans, not russians and certainly not chinese.
this is the US and the EU capitulating while claiming they are doing something. it’s a show for our people and will soon be turned into a pretext for surveilling them and an excuse for economic underperformance and inflation.
they will use it to push crony corporatist projects that will make the problem worse. this is exactly what got the EU into this mess and adding more will only further destabilize grids.
and russia cannot help but see this. they are acutely aware that killing nuclear and “going green” is what made germany so helpless. in it’s fine tradition of hapless appeasement, europe is literally threatening itself and mistaking it for threatening the regional bully. it’s really quite a show.
the west and it’s talking shops have become deeply unserious.
a UN resolution of condemnation carries about the weight of a filibuster from the catbutt indiana middle school student council. and we cannot even manage that.
and this makes it clear where other aspiring powers will line up.
“china russia bi-lateral trade will continue as normal…”
this brings me back to my question from yesterday:
what are we doing out here?
why are we embroiled in this and what benefit does this endless montage of foreign policy misstep and misapprehension get us?
the US is poorly suited to play at empire building. we should stop.
That's because this isn't empire building but western destruction. They destroyed millions of small businesses, made millions dependent on government, choked supply chains, now they are engineering an energy crisis that will not effect Russia at all. It will hurt Americans and Europeans. Just wait til' they start poking the dragon and he takes Taiwan. The US gets 88% of its pharmaceuticals from the dragon, chips, auto parts, lots of crap. That's when the real fireworks begin. They don't need to get people to own nothing on their own, they will make sure there is nothing to buy and their currency is worthless.
And German utilities just rejected the call to keep the last 3 nuclear plants open, which even BEFORE the invasion was going to cause untold hurt on the German people. Slow motion suicide.
What are we doing? The pandemic has taught me that we are probably attempting to scare the people into allowing control of financial transactions and online speech as a way of combating Russian disinformation and cyber terrorism. This is just the first step.
Quote: "this is the US and the EU capitulating while claiming they are doing something. it’s a show for our people and will soon be turned into a pretext for surveilling them and an excuse for economic underperformance and inflation."
This! This is what people need to see. We're all being used by a tiny group of our "betters." We are a threat to them, a threat they would risk a nuclear war to contain. This is where we are. The real war is on us!
The true goal seems to be the destruction of the west, and we are allowing it.
We can thank poor Greta for collapsing our domestic oil reserves. Thank you Greta for perpetrating a war.
Riddle me this, Catman: sanctions designed to take Russia to task, and pieces of cloth that you wear as a mask.
Which is less effective?
It was shocking to see a reporter actually doing his job in the press conference about the sanctions:
All the west can do is hand waving and buzzwords, they already checkmated themselves before the shooting started.
Hunter Biden and Ukraine
There is at least as much disinformation from western governments (especially US) around this as there has been with Covid.
Just like with Covid, we're supposed to believe that one side represents all that is good (in this case, "democracy"). Meanwhile the other side is evil and has no valid reasons for what it does.
I'm no expert on Russia and Ukraine, but here are a few counter points:
1. US has been expanding NATO towards Russia for years, despite agreements to the contrary. Russia has protested this for national security reasons, demanding it be stopped. This was never seriously discussed in Western media.
2. The US with EU allies toppled the pro Russian Ukranian govt. in 2014 and installed a pro NATO government to do their wishes.
3. Russia has repeatedly warned that bringing Ukraine into NATO and placing missiles in Poland and Romania were crossing its national security red lines. They also said for years if this continues, they will eventually annex Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
4. Ukrainian govt. has been shelling Donetsk and Luhansk for years, in breach of the Minsk agreements, killing citizens.
looking more and more like WEF are the pied piper leading us all to our doom
If Putin had parked some semis in Ottawa instead of invaded the poor downtrodden people of Ukraine, he'd have really had western governments spitting venom at him.
I can't wait until this is all over and they've "built back better". It's going to be so wonderful. Birds singing everywhere, clear skies, blue pristine lakes and rivers, wildlife frolicking all over. And no people. Utopia is going to be great! For someone.
Another first class analysis of the situation Mr Bad Kitty.
I am inclined to the view that this is only peripherally about diverting attention away from failed domestic policies and agenda driven Covid response strategy. This is a useful fig leaf for politicians in the here and now. But I think it’s more likely ongoing cover for the bringing about of the NWO. Say hello to The Great Upset.
A series of mysterious mega-yachts sinking and private jets having engine failure on the runway would end this faster.
My country, America, is a failed state.
This isn’t serious foreign policy, it’s incompetence. Biden fueled the invasion with insulting platitudes and empty threats in place of incisive understanding of the seriousness of Russia’s historically based resolve to protect its territorial integrity. The Russian perception of America’s mocking attitude towards its concerns, and with no reasonable hope of resolution, led Putin to take a calculated risk and going all in. It looks like his strategic action will ultimately prove to be in Russia’s national interest. Ukraine is an indirect victim of a US foreign policy that is largely devoid of strategies based upon national interest. Actions and proclamations are guided by short term interests that are tactical at best, based upon a goal of leveraging global profit centers for an influential oligarchic class too cushioned by wealth to feel the reverberations of missles, bullets, and bombs.
China is watching.
Taiwan will be next.
The interventions that created and sustain the American Empire are a disaster on every front. It has caused, directly or indirectly, the deaths of millions and the displacement and impoverishment of countless more.
The fiscal and social policies associated with empire have transformed the US from a peaceful commercial powerhouse with the greatest wealth-creating economy in the world to an utterly corrupt kakistocracy where the elites, surrounded by their concentric circles of cronies and court "economists" and other experts, ruthlessly loot the populace at large whilst engaging in a perpetual propaganda campaign that somehow bamboozles most into accepting it.
They have bankrupted the US in every way: economically, socially, morally.
This is the end game of a century of progressivism. It was both predictable and predicted.
And it started with the first real progressive president, Woodrow "He Kept Us Out Of War" Wilson.
This is what the British Bulldog had to say about Wilson's catastrophe:
"America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War. If you hadn’t entered the war the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the Spring of 1917. Had we made peace then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism, no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism in Germany. If America had stayed out of the war, all these `isms’ wouldn’t today be sweeping the continent of Europe and breaking down parliamentary government – and if England had made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over one million British, French, American, and other lives."
– Winston Churchill 1936 interview, the New York Enquirer
I don't know how, but there needs to be a drastic awakening and political realignment back to our founding principles if our nation is to survive.
Our current path is, as our leftist friends are so fond of saying, *unsustainable*.
The Western elite class never understands that the East is always in it for the long game. Please show me one Western country not led by an absolute moron at this moment in time. I really despise Putin and Xi but by God they are not stupid. You strike when your adversary is at his weakest, and if pronouns aren't the screaming signal on that...
I agree, Taiwan will be next. I look for it to happen sometime in the next year or so, and we will do nothing but say bad kitty, bad kitty. There is a writer online who calls himself "market ticker" who had a piece recently about the "or else" principle. Meaning all the protests, demonstrations, sanctions and the like are worthless without the ability to enforce what you want. Neither Russia nor China gives a Charles River Sprague-Dawley rat's ass about world opinion--China is not going to give up Tibet or Hong Kong or stop what it is doing to the Uyghurs just because some people are upset about it. Same with Ukraine. Unfortunately I think that those in charge are just dumb enough and suicidal enough to try to start WWIII and it will not go well for them this time.
Psychopaths are not smart, they’ve never had an original thought, they just repeat the same patterns over and over. The older they get… the more dangerous they become!
Joe Biden has benefitted financially from being personally involved in Ukraine. It should be questioned by the press, but of course, the press is in the denial of reality business, not the reporting of it.
Maybe the whole Ukraine invasion and lead up to it is part of the Directors script. Sniffy gets his lines to bluster about an upcoming invasion of Ukraine. Sputum gets his lines and stage stage directions. Who benefits? It sure takes the spotlight away from the whole corona-vax-supression of early treatment fiasco. Sniffy's Directors benefit. Sputum's Directors benefit. Perhaps Sniffy's and Sputum's Directors are one and the same? Yes it's crazy conspiracy theory and far from definite or directly provable. There are however some circumstantial things so I'm open to the possibility that it may be this way.
We talk about the push towards globalization. I think that for the elite globalization has already happened and there are those who are resistant to it. For the Directors the concept of nation states is just window dressing. The mega monopolies are transnational. Their loyalty is to $$$$ and power.
The whole corona thing may have been a planned excercise to see how much being in synch nation states can be in. What percentage of a population resist? A sort of measurement of the Directors' power. Also helped to introduce the concept of digital ID across national boundaries. ID that might some day contain much more information. The Directors will learn from this experience. They will use what they have learned in the next act.
Biden's sharing intel w China should be an impeachable offense. His administration is run by a bunch of leftist Obama-leftovers.
Ever since it came to light, I've been saying that the Biden Burisma Bribes did NOT come from Ukraine, but were funneled THRU Ukraine, from Russia......
fake sanctions from a fake govt.
The Europeans cannot afford to anger Russia or their energy gets shut off. That extends to the US. If we do too much they shut off Europe’s energy. I am guessing that these sanctions were worked out between Europe and the US through Russian diplomats.
One person I know who is affected by sanctions is a pastor in Odessa. He and his church are sheltering many orphans & caring for many people. Their mother church is in Russia so they cannot acces their own charity funds because of the bank sanctions.
I'm not taking the US sanctions seriously until I see Nancy Pelosi publicly dumping all her Russian Vodka down the drain.
We will be lucky to live through this "Presidency."
White House asks Congress for $6.4 billion to aid Ukraine https://www.axios.com/ukraine-russia-biden-congress-aid-e9a0d218-4d5b-4d5e-9d34-5e7e3323aa62.html
Never waste a crisis and if no crisis available, create one. Let the thieving rage on and don’t forget, 10% for the “big guy!”
"the sanctions™ are starting to look an awful lot like the science™"
Same authors, same audience, same objective of portraying illusion as reality. It always brings to mind the old Washington adage, An ounce of facade is worth a pound of substance. Q.E.D.
the locus of Biden's corruption lies in Ukraine. And not only Biden's but many others in the foreign service. They are powerless because they have compromised themselves.
Taiwanese should start their exodus NOW!
Western media and politicians just lie ceaselessly even up to the point of denying reality. (See the "safe and effective" covid shots, e.g.)
How long until we go full Baghdad Bob in denying reality?
Dateline March 15, 2022
MSM: "There are no Russian troops in Kiev."
TASS: "Um, look at this at this picture. That's a Russian flag over city hall and those are our troops standing around in the street."
MSM: "No it isn't."
TASS: "Um, and here's a picture of our defense minister taking a tour around Kiev."
A history lesson on how we got here provided by the late great journalist Robert Parry in 2015.
Wait! So you start a WAR and get 30 day warning that bank accounts will be frozen,
maybe . But, you start a non-violent protest against government over-reach and bank account is seized without any due process!!?? I'll leave ya'll with this... hear that... the sound of gas powered generators keeping the lights & heat on at homes throughout Germany. It's the future of self reliant energy in Deutschland.
Maybe if your country is president of the UN Security Council and you start a war with another member you should loose your title. Nah! That would be too radical for this feckless organization. Why are we still part of this joke of this group?
It would be hilarious for the western NWO if Russia invaded Ukraine, China invaded Taiwan, and right-wing Trump deplorables declared civil war, all at the same time. Brandon would crap in his diapers, and Space Cadet Kamala would go into a non-stop laughing fit.
To laser-focus and personally 'target' a powerful head of state, like Putin, with phony "sanctions," what you are really telling him, Russia, and anyone with two brain cells is that all diplomatic avenues are closed off to you and your nation with this "sanctioned" head of state. No commo possible.
Not a smart move. More like petulant playground pre-teen bullies we've all come across. "No! we won't ever talk with you! We'll hold our breath until we die!" (give it a try!)
Biden's handlers, our corrupt State Department, and the MIC again confirm their idiocy. Although I am not qualified to make medical or mental evaluations or judgments, seems to me these DC folks exhibit some kind of bizarre childhood behaviors--an inability to grow up to adulthood and perceive reality. Living in a dreamworld of their own making.
Or, as we Truck Driver's used to say of such deranged-thinking people: "They are breathing their own exhaust fumes!'
They need to hire Trudeau and Freeland. They are much better at stealing money....happy to do it...and they just got their fingers smacked by their Masters at the WEF, so are looking for somewhere besides Canadian Banks to wreak havoc... be glad to loan them out permanently
It would be better to issue NO sanctions than what has been proffered here. An example of “better to remain silent and appear the fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” Our leaders should stop treating us like stupid children and explain the geopolitical realities. Of course, it’s possible our leaders don’t understand the geopolitical realities….
These are the “masks stop the virus” of sanctions. A sop for the rubes to comfort themselves so they can go back to sleep in their comfortable Facebook and Twitter dream time. It is the equivalent of buying a truckload of toilet paper to fight a pandemic.
Remember a million (or was it one) year ago the US was energy independent, and we could afford not to give a shit about Russian oil?
These motherfuckers put sanctions on their own people's individual freedoms and liberties for two years over curves and shots that don't work, they never had the backbone to flex the stick, fuck these clowns and their current distractions from their failures. Talk about Netflix and the board and the Ukraine president and the US politics with vested interest in Ukraine
By the way, Dementia Joe said in his moronic speech that the US will continue to buy Russian oil so we won’t see huge rises in gas prices.
Biden needs a win and he can't get it at home because people see the reality in front of their faces. When it comes to Ukraine, the 'leaders' can lie all they want because we can't see what's really happening.
Get Woke, Go Broke