March 27th, 2014

While Europe Sleeps*…

Putin doesn’t.

Europe has long relied on the US to save it. But courtesy one Barack Obama, America is now trying to be more like Europe.

[*NOTE: The title of this post is a twist on a combination of the titles of this book and of this one.]

26 Responses to “While Europe Sleeps*…”

  1. Artfldgr Says:

    Ukraine Asks Obama for Military Assistance – Instead He Offers Food Rations

    And, there’s more… The Meals Ready to Eats (MREs), the only aid the U.S. has agreed to provide for the Ukrainian army, have not yet left their storage locations in the United States.

    i recind my conceptual that the Baltics are next
    no. they arent… the North Pole is probably next.
    given the riches in raw materials, and the economy of russia, the easiest wealthiest unprotected target they can take without a fight is the north pole…

    (they also have a very large community of ex pats in alaska who dominate the economy there… maybe putin will rescue them and that would then return the land they had like they had before with the ukraine)

    dont matter as i said this was going to go this way as early as 2009…

    the bigger question is how many countries will they take before the US stands up to them in a way that means something?

    then the question is… how will the US fight with the purges, reductions, infiltrations, agit prop, inability to borrow, and a population that cant operate the equipment even if you handed it out for defense in an emergency

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    too bad we cant see current satelite images other than what they let us..

    Ukraine claims 100,000 Russian troops near border

    Almost 100,000 soldiers are stationed on the borders of Ukraine and in the direction … of Kharkiv, Donetsk, ” Andriy Parubiy, chairman of Ukraine’s national security council, said via a webcast from Kiev.

    “Russian troops are not in Crimea only, they are along all Ukrainian borders. They’re in the south, they’re in the east and in the north,” Parubiy said.

    Air France says a plane carrying 495 passengers and 22 crew was diverted on its way from Shanghai to Paris after Russia announced at short notice that part of its airspace was closed for a military exercise.

    Russia’s Baltic and Northern fleet ships start joint maneuvers in Mediterranean Sea

    Pskov airborne units will take part in Russian-Belarusian exercises

    and another country
    Russia stages exercises in breakaway Moldova region of Transnistria

    NATO’s top military commander said on Sunday he was worried that Russia might have its eye on Transnistria a largely Russian-speaking region that borders western Ukraine, after seizing Crimea, which has a narrow ethnic Russian majority.

    Russia has introduced passport control at border with Belarus

    Armed border guards are checking documents and search cars.

    Russia has introduced passport control at the border of Russia and Belarus. Russian border guards with arms stop and search cars, check documents and cargo.

    One of the border guards told a Nasha Niva’s reporter that their task is to detect and inspect Ukrainians going to Russian through Belarus.

    Usually there is no border and customs control at the border between Belarus and Russia.

    Border guards pay attention to the cars on Ukrainian license plates, while they do not bother cars with Belarusian plates much, the newspaper points out.

  3. expat Says:

    Neo,
    Another similar title is While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer, although it is about radical Islam, not Russia.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The irony of cosmic justice. Europeans finally have enough Americans emulating them, only to discover that in doing so, the doors to the cage have been thrown open and the tigers realize it. The EU’s bureaucratic elite will appease and then finally flee, perhaps to Canada.

  5. parker Says:

    Western Europe has had a free ride ever since WW2. They were floated huge loans to rebuild and we provided for their defense via NATO. Even today, 5+ decades later, they rely upon the US tax payer to defend them. This enabled them to direct a majority of their GDP into a nanny state of cradle to grave programs. Now they are discovering that the messiah is really not interested in defending the West, but far more interested in turning America into Greece.

    Some people never learn until it is too late.

  6. Eric Says:

    This is why I harp on setting the record straight on the Iraq enforcement (recent example, scroll down), and why doing so is urgently relevant:

    With most Europeans regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as failures, voters would rather see their governments focus on domestic spending than risk getting entangled in another foreign conflict.
    . . .
    “You can’t underestimate the effect of Iraq and Afghanistan not just on the British public, but also on the British government,” Dannatt said. “Politically speaking, there are no votes in defense.

    I repeat my comment from here:

    Patient zero is Operation Iraqi Freedom. What was at stake in Iraq for the US and a US-led liberal world order was greater than the 4 corners of Iraq.

    The premises of hegemonic American exceptionalism, international law enforcer and leader of the free world, and polar center of gravity defining the liberal world order were staked on the Iraq mission.

    When the Iraq mission was stigmatized by the Left’s activists, the premises of American leadership and the liberal world order built on those premises were also stigmatized.

    The Russians understood this relationship from the start.

    The Russians from the beginning tied the legitimacy and legality of the Iraq mission to the US-led Balkans intervention. In other words, the Russians understood that stigmatization of the Iraq mission meant the replacement of the US-centered international rule-set everywhere else so that future US interference in the Russian-claimed sphere of influence would be weakened, if not (yet) entirely prevented.

    From the standpoint of the post-Cold War rule-set, our Iraq mission was legitimate and legal, ie, normal. But turning the normal into the abnormal also turns the abnormal into the normal.

    Despite our revolutionary success in the war and post-war peace operations in Iraq, the Left’s activists successfully stigmatized the Iraq mission, along with the premises staked on the Iraq mission.

    Thus, the abnormal was made normal, and now we’re seeing the new normal capitalized upon by our competitors who helped engineer the new normal.

    This could have been prevented had the Right possessed Marxist-method activists capable of winning the norm-setting propaganda contest over Iraq. But as is, the Right ceded the all-important activist battle and allowed the Left’s activists to win that world-changing contest barely opposed.

  7. rickl Says:

    But courtesy one Barack Obama, America is now trying to be more like Europe.

    And the leftist Europeans cheered his election, and awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize. So glad to be rid of those American cowboys!

    File under “Be careful what you wish for.”

  8. Charles Says:

    Well, Europe can be SOL as far as I am concerned.

    Europe more or less hated Bush and his “war” attitude; Europe rather liked Obama.

    So when WW3 breaks out in Europe, the US should just stay out of it. period.

  9. rickl Says:

    America saved Western Europe twice in the 20th Century. Three times, if you count the Cold War.

    During the Cold War, America spent untold billions on the military, which enabled Western European countries to build their elaborate welfare states.

    As thanks, their intellectuals spit in our faces and called us warmongers.

    Even worse, American intellectuals pointed to European socialist welfare states as ideals to be emulated. Free health care! Six weeks vacation! Those European societies are so advanced compared to benighted America!

    And now they’ve won. They have converted America into a socialist welfare state and are dismantling our military as fast as they can.

    Enough already. To hell with Europe. I don’t want to spend a dime or a drop of American blood defending them yet again. I don’t care if Russia rolls all the way to Ireland.

    They have made their bed, now let them lie in it.

  10. Michael Says:

    Should Europe ever need military assistance you better believe that you will see my smiling face at the front of the anti-war protest riots.

    Not that the President would do anything other than try to find a location to move the red line so as not offend the Russians.

    Probably the middle of the Atlantic.

  11. Matt_SE Says:

    I’m going to take a contrarian position:

    Putin may take eastern peripheral regions of Ukraine; the ones with the most Russian ethnicity and support (Crimea fit this description). These are targets of opportunity, and have little cost involved.
    I doubt Putin will move on Ukraine proper, nor will he move on the Baltic states.

    I think Putin’s endgame was always to stabilize Ukraine financially by suckering the west into bailing them out. The sabre rattling is theater to instill a sense of urgency.
    He will then influence the country with his usual dirty tricks and sabotage, returning it to a state of vassalage.

    The only way he would commit to drastic action is if his hand were forced: sabotage of the pipelines, a shooting war with occupational forces in the annexed regions, or if Ukraine seems poised to join NATO.

    I could be wrong, though.

  12. J.J. Says:

    I agree with you Matt_SE.

    The other thing I’m pretty sure of is that if Putin sees any chance of expensive bloodshed, he will pull back and bide his time. Putin has been active in trying to undermine any pro EU moves by Ukraine. They much prefer to have it as a vassal state than to spend a lot of blood and money taking and holding it.

    The U.S could make a lot of difference by immediately offering arms and intel to Ukraine. Just the threat of a prolonged hot war might keep Putin in his cage. As long as we are merely miffed or threatening sanctions and he sees a chance for bloodless coups ala Crimea, he will make those moves.

    As Sergey has pointed out here in the last few weeks, Russia is not in any economic position to go into an expensive shooting war. Putin knows now that Obama and the Euro-weenies are not up to facing him down. He’s going to keep kicking sand in their faces and trying to make cheap, bloodless gains.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  13. Matt_SE Says:

    A willing population would be a benefit to Russia. An unwilling population (Ukraine proper) would be a long-term cost. It would also escalate the situation, as nationalist forces would attack where they could, which would likely be the pipeline.

  14. Michael Says:

    Both JJ and Matt_SE are right to a large degree.

    It is true that Putin will never do anything that leads to a shooting war. But then he has no need to do so. He will do nothing to provoke any serious economic or political reactions from the West. But then he has no need to do so as he has already shown that the President will do nothing (well, maybe postpone the Individual Mandate) and that Europe will fold even faster.

    He might invade the Eastern Ukraine just to prove the point (and get more Russians), but beyond that all he will have to do is yell ‘jump’ and the West and former Eastern aligned countries will ask how high on the way up.

    I think we are entering a new era, the Russian era. Not so much because Russia is all that strong, but because Russia will assert itself and roar from time to time and the West will do as told lest they inconvenience their pleasures. At this point it is a matter of will and I believe the West has none. I think that Russia wins the Cold War. But then what is the surprise – the Taliban won in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I remember reading somewhere that when it comes to barbarism vs civilization that civilization has a pretty poor record. I see nothing to alter that observation.

    The comment re attacks on the pipeline are interesting but it can be re-routed. Heck, Putin could probably get the West Europeans to guard it as they have a deep interest in its proper functioning. Come to think on it, the second solution might well tickle Putin’s funny bone.

    With the possible exception of the Europeans guarding the pipeline I would like to think I am wrong, but am not too sure.

  15. expat Says:

    Isn’t it interesting that Gerhard Schröder was the first person to loudly say no to Iraq, and that he now leads a Gazprom branch? Was Putin whispering in his ear way back then?

  16. expat Says:

    Michael,
    Why do you think Schröder and Putin are doing the Baltic pipeline that will bypass the former Russian satellites? Schröder didn’t want the German gas supply from Russia to be vulnerable.

  17. Matt_SE Says:

    @Michael

    I mostly agree, except the part about the “Russian era.” This whole mess is a direct result of having a cowardly weasel like Obama in the Oval Office. If we get a decent president in 2016, the “Russian era” will end up lasting 3 years.

    I had also previously considered Europe’s self-interest in the Ukrainian pipelines. It seemed plausible that they would sell out the Ukrainians in order to keep it intact…I just doubt it would be quite as overt as them sending troops to guard it (but who knows?).

    I considered this especially in light of the Ukrainian’s position: it seems to me they are in a rough spot. Caught between Scylla and Charybdis, as it were. The only real power they have is to hold the pipeline hostage, but that is very dangerous. It could easily lead to an escalation, and that’s assuming they can even get by without it. Attacking the pipeline could ironically make the Russians and Europeans have common cause.

  18. Mike Says:

    I used to live there. Three years.

    Old Europe went Commie ages ago. Only America footing their defense allowed them to use our money, effectively, to pay for their Commie “stuff” while remaining marginally free.

    Now let them see what its like when they have to choose freedom and less “stuff, or dependency on the Russian Bear.

    My prediction is they choose dependency. They lost their religion first. That means they will necessarily lose their freedom. Just a matter of time. They have zero chance of keeping the religion lost and maintaining freedom. Zero.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    we can now have a contest..
    (more useful thatn what has blossomed forth from prattle)

    Whats next? (after consolodating ukraine)

    north pole?

    a good possibility as our equipment is not tuned for open battle in the artic and obama might not think its worth going to war to prevent them from taking the natural resources

    Donetsk?

    probably… but its wont be thought of as anything separate

    Transistrai?

    more places around black see to consolodate and protect their land bridge to the middle east and africa as i laid out about a half decade ago here…

    since i laid that out, and the plan that was negated by obama, russia has consolodated its hold on the key land country parcels that would guarantee it this land access to these other areas of the world.

    Crimea gives them complete control over the black sea. like a tower in a prison yard it over looks the whole of it jutting out into it.

    transnistria is probably next as its a nothing thing and would put Moldova into a very cooperative mood. romania will not be invaded as its already in the hip pocket.

    they are thinking war…

    abkhazia, south ossetia, and nagorno- give them control over georgia and azerbaijan without actually having to own it.

    the countries cant kick them out, and cant ignore the parasite that is attached that guarantees that it has a land brige from russia into iran… then to the rest of the lower contentns

    Armenia?

    its a possiblity that they may seek to take a point that is at the crux of the three states…

    and last on my list is the MOST INTERESTING

    NARVA

    there was even a speech by biden nearby… ie. the baltics.
    no, this is not a skewed position based on heritage.
    its based in history

    you have the three baltic states. After stalin had them, each had new russian speaking minorities placed in them. like parasites put into a host. they did not integrate and ahve been the constant source of what they were put there for to be used for.

    they had already had some russian minorities, but this russification was extreme…. the people were put into cattle cars and shipped out to the tiaga

    [ah, which would then bring you to Ruta U. the Anne Frank of another part of the war, but not jewish, so she doesnt count or matter to be remembered - you know, like the 6 million forgotten when people discuss things. no importance. if they were, they would get part of the time and peopoe would know. this is why dancing with the stars is more important]

    Narva is in Estonia, and sits less than 125 kilometers from St pertersberg… unlike crimea, the majority of citizens in this place identify themselves as russia, not estonian.

    to take this town, would require that they cross a bridge and walk 400 meters…

    but you ask what is the value of it?

    the day they do that, and obama does not respond
    is the day NATO is defunct.

    he does not have to risk much..
    ie. take the twon… if NATO responds, give it back with a “so soddy” if it does not, its treaties and protections are pretty much NULL and russia will keep that tiny place and the rest of europe will quake as to the fear of the new superpower… that could invade their less than prepared countries easily. even easier if they decide to use a tactical nuke. if obama wont fight for a town, he sure as heck wont get into a fight that has that in it.

    Ideiology, culture, demographics, and such DO matter, as do maps and all that. Wonderland has not changed at all, it is you that have changed your view of things. the actions that were so last century, are quite this century too, and the horror of it does not stop it. just ask MAXIM – he tried to make it so horrible that no one would bother… how’d that work out?

  20. Artfldgr Says:

    On another note…
    welcome to the next nuclear race…

    after all, if the US is no longer going to protect europe, japan, indonesia, singapore, taiwan, and a whole lot of others, like south korea…

    what do you think they will do?

    bend over and let china drive OR start building nukes as a prevention to the take over by conventional means?

    think carefully, as without the US, how long would korea last in a conflict where they cant nuke the opposition, but the opposition can sort of nuke them, and their protector wont nuke the opposition back for them as that would get china to expose their involvement (ie. change the appearances from false to more real)

    indonesia is too poor… it will bend
    india is a nuclear state (As is pakistan)
    nepal is history if they act
    taiwan and saigon are the cherries whose technological no how, processes, western secrets and such is the creme filling in their truffles

    but… lets see how the ignoranti do, believing they are cognocenti that can pull answers from their arse like magicians pull rabits from hats…

  21. Artfldgr Says:

    Wait… here is an example of how far they reach…

    then realize, that no matter how far X is, their next move can always be a bit farther down the road.

    Protests over Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan ‘ban’ on lacy underwear
    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/21/business/kazakhstan-lace-underwear-ban/

    I guess by banning Victoria Secret, they hit amertican slut feminists where it hurts…

  22. Artfldgr Says:

    Think the Crimean incident has no historical parallel? Think again
    An aggressor’s position is subverted actively. The military buildup is not taken seriously. The aggression was not met tit for tat in force and halted. The aggressor eventually clashes with those who did not act and so defeats and punishes those that interfered (and lost).
    No… it’s not Hitler, who inspired the premises being recycled…
    No… It’s not Russia taking Czech and Slovakian republics…
    1959 – Longju in Nefa, and Kongkala in Ladakh
    First they felt threatened thinking they were up against a small number, maybe a regiment or two (3-5000)… In truth, it was a division… 15,000 troops… [see the Crimean area way over a year ago. I tried to mention the buildup… ]
    Between 1959 and 1961 the number of troops were slowly and incrementally increased. Being used to this over time, they did not gather their resources and prepare – despite it all in the open
    November 1961, the prime minister met with them discussed it and like today, the reports always say that they did not think that force would be used. After all, if you believe that, then you’re a paranoid or a war hawk, right? This despite the history that once land was acquired or held onto, no one would let go of it without force… (Move in, occupy, dig in, and wait – the force that did not appear to prevent the move, and did not prevent occupation, and did not stop the digging in, now has a big disadvantage in having to unseat prepared positions – meaning they need over 3X forces and expect lots of casualties)
    Prime Minister Nehru, the man who is mostly remembered for a fashionable minimalist shirt collar (which became beloved of cartoon TV dictators and evil geniuses, and democratic politicians trying to look multicultural), did not bother to respond and increase forces
    The soviets were, as always (given their siociopathy), contemptuous of their weakness.
    The leftist in power always decides that the other will not attack (as they would not attack being pacifist). This is projection, like the rabbit that goes out to talk to the wolf… even funnier, they thought that the threat of Nehru siding with Moscow would make the Chinese think twice…
    He did not understand the Chinese
    He did not understand the Russians
    So it was not surprising that in 1962, the people’s liberation army came on in and took Tibet

  23. McHenrybob Says:

    Do we have an incompetent narcissist or a Russian sleeper in the Whie House? Perhaps his maternal grandfather’s missing FBI file has the amswer. Considering Obama’s backgrouind why would anyone think he wanted to make the world a better place?

  24. Matt_SE Says:

    @Artfldgr, 9:44

    IMO, Putin is picking the low-hanging fruit because it’s easy. The scenarios you describe are much higher risk for the reward. The idea of Navra is intriguing, as it would certainly cast NATO into disarray, if it didn’t kill it outright. But as I said, much higher risk.
    We’ll see…

    10:59 post:

    I agree. The rest of the world is coming to the conclusion that they can’t trust the US to defend them. The result will be nuclear proliferation, and the rest will have the example of Iran to justify it.
    This was probably Obama’s plan to weaken our “imperialistic” influence overseas.
    Ironically, he may have done us a favor (maybe not) as there were too many “free riders” anyway. Also, nukes are verboten as offensive weapons, so in the event of projecting power they may not hurt our influence any.

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    Nuclear proliferation doesn’t give non state actors an offensive tool?

    I doubt they will be satisfied with that line.

  26. Matt_SE Says:

    I was referring to state actors. There’s no accounting for non-state actors.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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