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Monday, 17 March 2014

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However, what is urgently needed is for President 'Executive Order' Obama to give the go-ahead for the Canadian oil pipeline and for the terminals that would allow exports of fracked gas.

I say again David, we needs our'n - the EU can do it's own oil frackin - er, their "Environment Protection Department" will allow fracking wouldn't it? There's proven reserves stretching from Germany to Poland.

On the right side of this link scroll to all the EU countries in turn - click in each the tab "Energy."

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gm.html

& besides, as I recall the EU gave a lot of assistance "freedomizing" Libya - tell Brussels to ask them.

I will stipulate - after (but only after) the Keystone is up and running, then sure we'll be more'n happy to sell gas to the EU. Be kinda nice having the EU helping to offset the costs of building it. Heck - having the EU offsetting any sort of costs would be a nifty thing.

What we need to do is tell the French, Germans and Americans that we do not intend to do anything! I suppose we could wish them luck - they'll need it!

Raw historical grievances - some of them recent. Loyalists and Republicans, hatred on each side, a country divided against itself and now military intervention.

Sounds very familiar doesn't it? As Vlad once said, we may be "a little island that nobody takes any notice of" but his government would do very well indeed to study some of our history, particularly that relating to the troubles in Ireland. 1749 would be a very good place to start. They could catalogue the grievous mistakes made by English Governments and even draw up a list of lessons to be learned. Finally, they could decide which of those lessons could be applied to the situation in the Ukraine.

I'm not holding my breath though. The first lesson that they will learn is that sending troops into a country is all too easy. Getting them out again is much, much harder. The Ukrainian armed forces would be unable to face Russia for long in open warfare but all it would take is for a few armoury doors to be left unlocked and the poor Russian squaddies would have a bigger asymmetric warfare problem on their hands than they had ever dreamt possible .

If the Russians really wanted to go for broke, they could even follow our example and send in their own airborne forces on peace keeping duties... For the record, the Russian Airborne are a splendid bunch of blokes, but like a certain Maroon mob I could mention, finesse and subtlety are definitely not their fortes.

God help us all, particularly the Ukrainian people. Lets hope and pray that it doesn't all kick off.

Slip of the brain... make that 1649!!

Good job 'DM' didn't notice, Richard, or that would have been at least 100 lines!

I wouldn't have thought that the first target for China was Siberia. Where is there a large island full of Chinese people that used to be part of the Republic of China. I wonder if the people on this large island feel confident that Obama will stick up for them?

Indeed, BOE, and I suspect it will only be a matter of time before Taiwan does a 'Hong Kong'.

The Euro might just have saved Europe from domination by Putin's resurgent Russia.

By strengthening the German economy through falsely low exchange rates, Germany sustains the economic clout it needs to stand for Europe against Russia. By weakening the Euro-peripheral countries politically, Germany becomes a single strong voice for Europe. If you think the EU response is fractured now, imagine what it would have been like as a mere free trade area.

Time to let historical bygones be bygones.

If Germany can sort its energy problem with new supplies from America, she can face off Putin's mafia state with no trouble. Might even be time to warm up the Leopards. Unlike the Tigers, they'd be in Moscow in a flash with the rest of the West behind them.

Then the EU could add Russia back into its fold, and the European family could look outwards, and join America in finishing off the last two bad boys on the block - China and North Korea. With Brit finance, German engineering, Russian energy, and, errr, oh yes, French fashion, we could kick some arse that isn't our own at last - and look good while doing it.

SoD

But Germany is absolutely dead set *against* confronting Russia - see Max Hastings:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2583970/Putin-thinks-West-weak-jelly-And-tragedy-hes-right.html

"...dead set against confronting Russia".

Right now, that's true.

But Hastings acknowledges the economic power of Germany, even if Germany won't use it yet: "Now, we see Germany refusing even to use its vast economic muscle to deter Moscow."

The Jerries are worried about only two things: -

(1) The short term hit of losing Russian energy supplies.
(2) The whole WW1 and 2 German stigma thingy.

I would expect to see Merkel get to work on these two issues over the coming months and years. (1) She can deal with by sorting out America as a new supplier. (2) She can deal with easily because it will be the price demanded by America for (1), namely, get over the WW1 and 2 stigma thingy, and start building a few more Leopards instead of Beamers, and finish replacing the old Soviet gear the Poles and Ukrainians still use (as JK has mentioned in other comments, that'll keep the American public on board, knowing Europe is finally taking care of its own defence).

And then we - Blighty - and the Americans should light the energy supply touch paper and stand well back.

I actually think that seeing the price drop from $120 a barrel to $60 will sink Putin's Russia, and probably Iran and the Saudis, with a whimper and no trace. Fucking good riddance.

But if it does turn nasty in central and eastern Europe, we can wait until it's nearly all over and join in for the final battle and the victory parade, just like we did before.

Only this time it'll be in Moscow, not Berlin.

SoD

I worry about you sometimes, proper little war-monger you've grownup to be!

Germany would be even *more* reluctant to go to war than us! They have learned, the hard way, that power flows from wealth - using that word in the broadest economic and commercial sense. All that war does is ruin wealth.

As far as Russia is concerned I can see nothing inherently wrong in what they are doing in the Crimea but I can see everything wrong in the 20-year old NATO/EU 'creep' further and further eastwards and I am not surprised that Russia is pushing back. So long as Russia and Germany butt heads in Europe, that suits us. It's when one of them overcomes the other that we will need to take an interest.

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