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Like most in the Daily Kos community, I want Barack Obama to start a nuclear war with Russia as soon as possible. I'm not a sucker for Russian propaganda! Unfortunately, this is not going to happen. In fact, we don't have much leverage at all against Russia. Simply put, Russia controls too much of Europe's energy supply for the nuclear holocaust we crave to ever happen -- Crimea or no.

Enter Gazprom:

Gazprom is Russia's enormous, state-controlled, multi-headed energy and national resources mega-conglomerate.

How big? It is said to account for ten percent of Russia's GDP.

State-controlled? Yep. Russia owns 50% of the company, plus one share. But who is controlling whom? The former head of Gazprom, Dmitri Medvedev, went on to be the President of the Russian Federation, when Putin had to swap in a substitute to get around Russian term limit laws. As with Goldman Sachs in the U.S., Gazprom executives go in and out of government through a revolving door that guarantees them access to policymaking at the very highest levels.

Multi-headed? Gazprom owns a dizzying array of energy, natural resources and financial subsidiaries inside and outside of Russia. It is tentacled into everything, domestically and globally.

We are Daily Kos. We crave war. Specifically, we crave a nuclear war with Russia because a U.S.-backed revolutionary movement ousted the legitimately-elected government of their country and Russia responded by occupying a part of Ukraine in a show of strength. To disagree is to fall for Russia propaganda.

However, the nuclear war will not happen -- nor will sanctions be effective in dealing with Russia.

First, Russia knows that the U.S. and Europe don't really give a damn about Ukraine.

If we did, we'd be offering them a far more attractive deal to abandon Russia and seek the comforting arms of the West. We'd be giving them cash -- lots of it. Developmental aid. Access to markets. European Union membership. Schengen-treaty borders.

We're not:

We're offering them punishing austerity measures that will deeply damage their economy and further destabilize it politically, while keeping it isolated and out of the European mainstream. We. Don't. Care. About. Ukraine. Except to whatever degree we can make it useful to us by antagonizing Russia.

Second, Gazprom. Gazprom, Gazprom, Gazprom.

Russia's mega-conglomerate is absolutely pre-emininent as a gas supplier to the European Union. This sentence from Wikipedia says it all:

By the end of 2004 Gazprom was the sole gas supplier to at least Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Finland, Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Serbia and Slovakia, and provided 97% of Bulgaria's gas, 89% of Hungary's, 86% of Poland's, nearly three-quarters of the Czech Republic's, 67% of Turkey's, 65% of Austria's, about 40% of Romania's, 36% of Germany's, 27% of Italy's, and 25% of France's.
And Russia's government controls both price and availability of all it.

Sanctions? What sanctions? Europe and the U.S. aren't going to do anything that threatens that.

Plus, remember what I said about Gazprom being owned 50% plus one share by Russia?

The exact ownership of Gazprom is difficult to track down online, as it is administered through a complicated arrangement whereby Russia owns half the company outright and the rest is split between to schemes, one of which accounts for 26.5% of the company and is held through American Depository Receipts and the other accounts for 23.5% and is held through various capital investment deals.

The conventional wisdom, however, is that American individuals and companies hold the majority of privately-held shares in Gazprom, meaning that moves against Russia's biggest exporter -- again, sanctions -- will likely punish some big movers and shakers whose lobbyists are more or less permanent residents of the White House and Congress.

So ...

Back to the Crimea.

Yeah, Russia is occupying it. It might take it. And it looks like the Crimean population would largely support such a move.

We ain't going to declare war on Russia -- sorry, folks. And we can't impose meaningful sanctions on them.

What we can do is put together an aid and development package for Ukraine that draws them closer into the Western sphere with promises that we'll let them share in our prestige and prosperity.

We're not going to do that either. We're all Neo-liberals here. We know what happens to countries that get into a debt they cannot pay -- they are stripmined by wealthier countries and their assets are sold off to our corporations and oligarchic class.

We're lucky to have a missing Malaysian plane to keep us occupied for now, because the Ukraine situation is Russia's to play with at this point. They can do whatever they want.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 2-)

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:19:12 AM PDT

  •  It cuts both ways. If Russia is so dependent (5+ / 0-)

    on natural gas and oil exports for its revenues, then any dramatic cuts will affect their bottom line. They are not going to like that neither. Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey, Poland, etc all joined NATO despite Russia controlling the gas spigot and Russia didn't shut off the gas.

    •  some of putin's oligarch buddies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      won't be too pleased with a pipeline cutoff.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:45:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Putin just postponed a huge deal for gas to China (0+ / 0-)

      until May this year. The sticking point is that China wants the gas at lower European pricing.

      Another factor is the US is gearing up for exports of their massive amounts of fracked LNG to Europe. The Ukraine is working on a LNG re-gassifier terminal at a cost of $1.3 billion.

      I can see the headlines now,

      "Support Freedom Gas - America needs to ship more LNG gas to support democracy and freedom of the Ukrainian people. The Russian menance needs to be stopped now before it takes over all of Europe."

  •  WTF?! (8+ / 0-)

    What kind of a bizarre world do you live in?  Just because many here oppose Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, they're for nuclear war?  This argument reminds me of the arguments made by rightwingers when I opposed the invasion of Iraq under Dubya.

    Like most in the Daily Kos community, I want Barack Obama to start a nuclear war with Russia as soon as possible. I'm not a sucker for Russian propaganda! Unfortunately, this is not going to happen. In fact, we don't have much leverage at all against Russia. Simply put, Russia controls too much of Europe's energy supply for the nuclear holocaust we crave to ever happen -- Crimea or no.

    snip

    We are Daily Kos. We crave war. Specifically, we crave a nuclear war with Russia because a U.S.-backed revolutionary movement ousted the legitimately-elected government of their country and Russia responded by occupying a part of Ukraine in a show of strength. To disagree is to fall for Russia propaganda.

    HR for the asinine demagoguery.  If you think that lowly of your fellow Kossacks, you probably should find another site to participate in.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:28:58 AM PDT

    •  Illegal Schmillegal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ

      Our proxies illegally over-threw the legitimately-elected government of the country.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:31:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right.... the Ukrainian people are just a bunch (7+ / 0-)

        of brainless zombies with no agency of their own...

        Your colonialist mindset is showing.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:35:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those Svoboda guys (0+ / 0-)

          Seem to have plenty of Agency.  

          •  You mean these guys?: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kalmoth, fcvaguy
            Putin’s Neo-Nazi Helpers

            10.03.14 | Halya Coynash

            Russian TV has a new hero, “elected” by the people and persecuted for his beliefs by the new baddy regime in Kyiv.  Pavel Gubarev is certainly pro-Russian and, as of March 6, in custody, but his neo-Nazi background, seemingly shared by some of his most vocal defenders, makes him a curious choice.  The Kremlin, after all, claims to be fighting what it labels the fascist hordes, not supporting them.

            A Donetsk small-time business man and head of the “People’s Militia”, Gubarev took part in a big demonstration on March 1 in Donetsk during which he was supposedly elected “people’s governor”.  On that and subsequent days Gubarev led crowds in storming the Donetsk regional administration building, hanging a Russian flag. On March 5 pro-Russian activists are reported to have attacked EuroMaidan activists on Lenin Square.  The police say that about 10 people from both sides were injured, with three needing to be hospitalized.

            Gubarev, claiming to be the people’s governor, demanded that the regional authorities oppose the new Kyiv administration and that a referendum be held on whether the oblast should secede or otherwise change its status.  He also directly called for Russian military intervention in the oblast.

            snip

            Gubarev was a member of the neo-Nazi, Russian chauvinist Russian National Unity movement, and judging by his address on March 1, this chauvinism has not changed. According to reports in the Ukrainian media, Russian nationalists with xenophobic and far-right views may be involved in the separatist movements in Donetsk and the Crimea.  A member of the “Other Russia” party led by National Bolshevik leader Edward Limonov, Rostislav Zhuravlyov is believed to have negotiated with the SBU attempting to obtain Gubarev’s release.  Other members of Other Russia are currently being recruited as volunteers for the secessionist moves in the Crimea , while Igor Azar, a Russian journalist, asserts that Alexei Khudyakov from the migrant-bashing Russian organization “Shield of Moscow” is also helping Gubarev.

            http://khpg.org/...

            Oh... wait....

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:28:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              Svoboda are not Russian Chauvanists.  Not at all.   Not surprised that Putin is making common cause with dirtbags like that, though.  After we set the precedent  and lowered the bar.  

              •  Ah, it's our fault that Putin is using Neo-Nazis (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy

                and other national chauvinists to try and take over parts of Ukraine?

                That is taking the "blame America first" type of argument to a whole new level...

                And jfyi, this isn't the first time that the Putin regime has relied on Neo-Nazis to implement its agenda.  I suggest you read the following:

                Russian neo-Nazi leader Maxim Martsinkevich continues to organize and execute his nationwide spree of homophobic, anti-semitic and racist kidnappings from prison, with the help of Russian social media giant VKontakte (aka VK.com).

                Just yesterday, Martsinkevich posted a help-wanted request on VK.com, seeking coconspirators to conduct more kidnappings of minorities in Russia.  (Martsinkevich’s organization, called Occupy Pedophilia, claims to have conducted nearly 1,500 abductions in the past 18 months.)

                VK.com, founded by Russian social media mogul Pavel Durov, and now-controlled by friend-of-Putin billionaire-oligarch Alisher Usmanov, is the platform favored by Russian neo-Nazis when planning and publicizing the nearly 1,500 abductions they claim to have committed in just the past two years.

                snip

                So in a very real way, some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s best oligarchs are Nazi-enablers, as is Putin himself. Keep that in mind the next time you hear the Russians shed some crocodile tears about the “Nazis” they’re fighting in Ukraine.

                http://americablog.com/...

                There definitely is method to the madness...

                "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                by Lawrence on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:10:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Which apparently you supported... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, fcvaguy

        ...since you are giving Putin carte blanche to all of Eastern Europe, regardless of the feelings of the people who are about to be occupied.  Aren't we supposed to be the empathetic ones?

        "I know you cannot force people to care. Ukraine is far away for many, all have own problems. But even if cynical, realize problem will grow. It isn't only people like me, raised in a dictatorship, who don't want it to happen to others"-Gary Kasparov

        by LordMike on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:36:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you're (4+ / 0-)

        smarter than that.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:46:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would like to have some of what you're having... (0+ / 0-)

        on second thought, in my state it's probably illegal, and it apparently doesn't give a nice mellow feeling.

    •  LOL... I think you're taking this too literally. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limpidglass

      And I find it nothing less than hilarious that you would accuse anyone else of demagoguery. That's your whole schtick when it comes to matters of war and peace. Seriously, have you ever accused another user of supporting Assad or Gaddafi for not supporting American military intervention? That is the essence of being a demagogue.

      If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

      by HairyTrueMan on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:31:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're overlooking the spectacular fire that (0+ / 0-)

    will come from the gas pipeline after we bomb it.

    That alone makes nuclear war ending life on earth totally worthwhile.

    /snark off

  •  if crimea splits (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amyzex, kalmoth, fcvaguy

    ukraine becomes a much more western leaning nation.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:43:26 AM PDT

  •  No Nukes, but What we can do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ

    is a diplomatic boycott.  Kick them out of collaborative fora and contact groups like the p5+1 working on Iran non proliferation, the Geneva Contact Group working on the Syria mess, then we will be able to act unilaterally, and start multiple, hopefully non nuclear wars between our proxies and Russia's proxies.  
    No more START, HIV/AIDS collaboration.
    What more could China and WalMart wish for?

    •  Start planning for an alternate supply route (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wreck Smurfy

      to Afghanistan too.

      •  yup (0+ / 0-)

        all the 'Stans come back in play.  Putin gets frustrated in the east, he turns west.  awful terrain for a war.

        •  Russia's SouthStream pipeline caused the US backed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          whizdom

          NABUCCO pipeline through Turkey to be put on hold.

          The framework for shipping natural gas to China as well as LNG terminals on Russia's east coast for shipment to Korea and Japan is already in play.

          China is currently working on a pipeline direct to Turkmenistan which preempts the American backed TAPI through Afghanistan.

          China Pursues New Central Asian Gas Route
          2014-02-10

          China appears to be buying an expensive insurance policy for natural gas imports from Central Asia with its plans to build a pipeline through Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

          Since 2006, China has invested heavily in developing gas imports from Turkmenistan, opening its Central Asia Gas Pipeline (CAGP) across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan at the end of 2009.
          ...
          But China's next expansion of pipeline capacity is planned to take a new route from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to the border with Xinjiang.

          While the US has been busy filling coffins in the last decade and a half, China and Russia have been busy filling coffers. Both countries have the benefit of huge state financing with their nationalized oil companies.
    •  If Russia is kicked out of the P5+1 (0+ / 0-)

      you can kiss a deal with Iran on their nuclear program goodbye.  If they really wanted to stick it to us the Russians would enter into formal defense treaties with all the countries we list as state sponsors of terrorism.

      The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

      by amyzex on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  damn... what a bummer... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    Here we've been practicing "duck and cover" for a week now!  What a waste of time.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:47:35 AM PDT

  •  More on Gas Wars ... (0+ / 0-)

    The EU is actually thinking about reworking Gazprom's pipelines to pump gas west-to-east into Ukraine. ☛ naked capitalism

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:50:45 AM PDT

  •  'Freedom Fracking" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, TJ, Claudius Bombarnac

    lost of shale gas reserves in central europe, but those whacky greenie  Euros think it is too environmentally irresponsible to exploit.

    Not like the great US, we will send them all the fracked gas they want!  For Peace!  BTUs For Britain!

    •  Not if you're the Ukraine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, whizdom, Claudius Bombarnac
      But Russia's Gazprom, controlling almost a fifth of the world's gas reserves, supplies more than half of Ukraine's, and about 30% of Europe's gas annually. Just one month before Nuland's speech at the National Press Club, Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas deal with US energy giant Chevron "that the ex-Soviet nation hopes could end its energy dependence on Russia by 2020." The agreement would allow "Chevron to explore the Olesky deposit in western Ukraine that Kiev estimates can hold 2.98 trillion cubic meters of gas." Similar deals had been struck already with Shell and ExxonMobil.
      The Guardian

      They're going to get fracked by oil corporations.

      •  Hence the urgency (0+ / 0-)

        driving this farce of a coup.   We couldn't wait until 2015 to do it the old fashioned way, rigging elections.  

      •  American firm to build LNG terminal in Ukraine (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whizdom
        Global FSRU Leader Signs Up for Ukraine's LNG Terminal Project
        KYIV, Ukraine, April 24, 2013 PRNewswire --

        American LNG solutions company Excelerate Energy will launch a preparation of engineering works for the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in the Black Sea near the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa. Such is the outcome of the agreement signed between the company and the Ukrainian state enterprise LNG Terminal National Project, as reported by the official website of the State Agency for Investment and National Projects of Ukraine.

        The FSRU is expected to become operational in 2014. The capacity of the unit will amount to 5 billion cubic meters, informs the state agency's website. The significance of the project is that it allows Ukraine to find an LNG solution that can be launched earlier than an on-shore construction, according to the head of the State Agency for Investment and National Projects of Ukraine Vladyslav Kaskiv.

        Excelerate Energy is one of the few companies in the world that possess the floating regasification technology, which makes the recently signed agreement a crucial element in streamlining the Ukrainian LNG terminal project.

  •  Tip: Try understatement instead of irony. It works (7+ / 0-)

    Shilling Russian propaganda or nuking Russia to smithereens aren't the only two choices on the menu and they're the two absolute worst choices. If that's what you want to go with you'll definitely get more chatter than you can find at a chimpanzee's tea party and it will make just as much sense.

    Where are Ukrainians in this picture?  Anyone see any ordinary, average Ukrainians? Anyone? Anyone?

    Where do they live? What do their homes look like?

    Not everyone is wearing a swastika and a sneer.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:15:16 AM PDT

  •  pardon my vernacular... (4+ / 0-)

    but WTF is this?

    •  okay, I think I know what it is... (0+ / 0-)

      unlike some other diary on the subject that, in Wolfgang Pauli's words, "wasn't even wrong," this diary manages to be only half-right, which in some senses is worse than if it were all wrong.

  •  HR'd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence
    Like most in the Daily Kos community, I want Barack Obama to start a nuclear war with Russia as soon as possible.
    We are Daily Kos. We crave war.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:02:40 PM PDT

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