The new Russian foreign policy is “slog’ngrab.” The revolving door government of Vladimir Putin slogs through global diplomacy while staging land grabs by referenda wherever there are high concentrations of ethnic Russians. The world can see it coming, but are they prepared to halt it?
The answer is no so long as EU nations remain dependent upon Russia for natural resources such as fossil fuels. The stumbling block for global freedom and emancipation is the petrol paradigm. Economies must shake that for good reasons:
- Petrol is not sustainable
- Compromising human rights is not acceptable
- Enemies of freedom are expendable
Consider each of these as explained in the list post with pictures.
A story by the BBC this morning wonders aloud about the strength of free world resolve against actions by Russia to grab land from pockets where ethnic Russians hold the majority. If Europeans lose their resolve, it will have implications for others following the Russian slog’ngrab model.
“Ukraine crisis: The weakness of Europe
In both Washington and Moscow I suspect officials are asking the same question of Europe: "How strong is its resolve when it comes to Ukraine?"
This week brought a reminder that Europe's economies are still struggling to emerge from recession, that unemployment remains stubbornly high and that there is growing discontent with the political establishment in many countries.
So on Sunday in France the far-right National Front made strong gains in the first round of local elections, even topping the polls in several towns and cities.
Last week in local elections in the Netherlands the anti-immigration party of Geert Wilders won in the city of Almere and came a close second in The Hague, with his supporters chanting they wanted "fewer" Moroccans in their city.
On Saturday there was violence in Madrid, as tens of thousands protested against unemployment, poverty and corruption.
Grit and spine
These are just the news fragments from an average week, but they serve as a reminder that politically many European countries are still worn down by years of economic crisis, with a mood angry and mistrustful of political elites.
It is against this background that Europe's leaders are being asked to show grit and spine in a crisis which just weeks ago they could scarcely have imagined.
Many of them will gather again on Monday in The Hague with their resolve once again under scrutiny.
The meeting was intended to focus on nuclear security, but it will be overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine."
1. Petrol is not sustainable
“America's addiction to oil is a threat to our national security, as well as our economy and our environment. This connection is important enough that the Sierra Club and the American Security Project have recognized the shared need to come together to talk about it:
TRANSPORTATION: The U.S. uses nearly 400 million gallons of oil every day moving people in automobiles, goods on freight truck, air travel, rail and transit. Of all the oil used in the United States, 70% is consumed by transportation. Cars and light trucks use nine million barrels of oil per day.
NATIONAL SECURITY: Of the imported petroleum Americans consume, 68 percent is supplied by countries at "high risk" or "very high risk" for instability. Oil dependence gives leverage and money to potential adversaries, and risking embroiling the U.S. state in endless conflicts abroad to secure access to oil.
ECONOMIC SECURITY: Americans send over $1 billion abroad every day to pay for oil, resulting in lost jobs and increasing dollars in the hands of foreigners who we increasingly rely upon to finance our deficits. The U.S. borrows money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis, causing greater national debt and dependence on the goodwill of others to allow its economy to function.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is an example of what could happen again if we increase off-shore drilling. In the United States, burning fossil fuels for electricity and transportation is the largest contributor to global warming pollution. Transportation is responsible for approximately one-third of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.”
2. Compromising human rights is not acceptable
“Human Rights Principles
Human rights are universal and inalienable; indivisible; interdependent and interrelated. They are universal because everyone is born with and possesses the same rights, regardless of where they live, their gender or race, or their religious, cultural or ethnic background. Inalienable because people’s rights can never be taken away. Indivisible and interdependent because all rights – political, civil, social, cultural and economic – are equal in importance and none can be fully enjoyed without the others. They apply to all equally, and all have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. They are upheld by the rule of law and strengthened through legitimate claims for duty-bearers to be accountable to international standards.”
3. Enemies of freedom are expendable
“PRO-CRIMEA/RUSSIA BUSINESSES BAN OBAMA, PUSSY RIOT, AND JOHN KERRY
by AWR HAWKINS 21 Mar 2014 57POST A COMMENT
In response to U.S. sanctions regarding the annexation of Crimea, some Russian business have banned Obama, Pussy Riot, and Secretary of State John Kerry, while others have set out candy that can only be eaten by those who support the annexation.
According to The Moscow Times, social media outlets are filling up with "a photo collection of" business-led "retaliatory 'sanctions'" launched in response to Western sanctions.
These include a photo of a bowl of candy with a sign in front of it "advising customers that only those recognizing Crimea's decision to join Russia may help themselves to candy." They also include a photo of a telecommunications business that has banned Obama from their premises and another shop that has banned Obama, the punk band Pussy Riot, and John Kerry.
A Russian cupcake maker now refers to chocolate cupcakes as "Obama" cupcakes and to chocolate and rum muffins as "Drunk Obama" muffins.”