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The Middle East War


Simon Tan
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On 6/17/2022 at 11:57 PM, Mighty_Zuk said:

The US is only expected to refuel Israeli aircraft. Last time I checked, those refueling aircraft have quite the range, and can take off even from Israel and loiter for hours above/near Oman or UAE.

Why don't they just start buying Russian oil again? 

If the US+Europe can decide on gradually halting Russian oil trade via sanctions that force Israel to stop buying Russian goods as well, leading to skyrocketing oil and certain goods' prices in Israel, without having Israel in the decision making, why can't Israel ensure its own security and risk the west's oil trade with Iran as well?

As was said here, Israel gets hurt just the same. But it's worth it.

Or am I missing here something? Is it okay to ban oil trade with a country led by a lunatic that invaded one country, but not okay to ban oil trade with a country led by a religious fruitcake that invaded an entire region?

You can't ban all oil producing countries. Well, you can but the price of oil will go through the roof. Gas prices are climbing like mad in the USA, a war that impacts the flow from the gulf will cause it to further skyrocket. 

The ban on Russian oil is not absolute, it mainly affects the US and Some European countries. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. I watched an interview with the Indian energy minister and it seems they are buying Russian oil at a massive discount. They might have to pay in Rubles. A gulf war would figuratively pour gas on a fire that is a bad situation. 

I too used to be afraid of a nuclear Iran. That problem seems to have receded somewhat in my mind with all the goings on. It should recede globally as a problem. There is no way to quickly and certainly wage a war with Iran in the short term.

The Russian oil ban was a passive-aggressive response to the Russian invasion to be seen as "doing something". The powers that be did not consider the consequences long or short term. As I wrote, they shot themselves in the foot. 

My thought the western sanctions would cripple the Russians economy. I was wrong, as were the powers that be. The Russian Ruble is at a four year high now, and the Russians are awash in oil and gold money. 

The middle east problem should be dealt with gingerly. 

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On 6/18/2022 at 8:32 AM, Josh said:

Yes, but only one of them is. I don’t think Biden is a particularly capable politician but I think his administration is functional at the mediocre level and is dealing with an economic condition largely driven by Covid and a foreign policy largely driven by Russia while restricted domestically by a senate that is effectively antagonistic even before the filibuster. He’s a gaffe machine but in terms of actual policy mistakes I fail to see how the malaise of the US is his responsibility; if anything I think the Federal Reserve had a much bigger part to play and I think his foreign policy is bleeding Russia white militarily for pennies on the dollar. The latter of course has raised the price of oil which contributes to inflation, but IMO money well spent and at a much lower cost than having to ever directly confront Russia.

 

I know you would prefer that Russia just be allowed consequence free stomping grounds in their sphere of influence, wherever they deem that sphere to be, so we’ll never agree on that point.

Massive spending with no discernable results and dollar creation resulting in climbing inflation. Appearance as a weak leader on the world stage inviting Russian aggression. Denying there is a problem, then when it can no longer be denied his response is "deal with it". Surrounded himself with poor leaders and ideologues 9see Afghanistan). His policy intention is to bleed Russia white, that seems to be back firing. 

He has no answers except to blame Putin. I don't think anyone realize that Putin controls the world. The number 2 in the White House would be a greater disaster. 

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BDS much?

Sure, he certainly isn't among the greatest US presidents ever, and yeah, the cognitive issues were apparent even during the campaign. But seeing Putin as a "world leader" when he's practically a pariah pretty much anywhere west of the Urals and east of Hawaii, and north of the Mediterranean is not even "a stretch". NATO and EU are more united than ever. The EU is irrevocably transitioning towards independence from Russian energy imports. By the end of 2023 that transition will be largely complete (decarbonization will take longer of course, if it is even attainable). At that point, Putin can start building new gas pipelines. And new oil pipelines. All the way to India. Russia is effectively cut off from microprocessors past the 1990s period, and as long as the sanctions remain and the West is 80% of Chinese electronics markets, I'm not seeing these processors coming to Russia in more than marginal doses.

The US has shown the strongest support for Ukraine, and as such has once again demonstrated its role as a leader. May well be that Biden is suffering from Alzheimer's (but so was Reagan in his second half of his presidency). But it hasn't stopped him from responding adequately to the war in Ukraine.

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7 hours ago, ex2cav said:

Massive spending with no discernable results and dollar creation resulting in climbing inflation. Appearance as a weak leader on the world stage inviting Russian aggression. Denying there is a problem, then when it can no longer be denied his response is "deal with it". Surrounded himself with poor leaders and ideologues 9see Afghanistan). His policy intention is to bleed Russia white, that seems to be back firing. 

He has no answers except to blame Putin. I don't think anyone realize that Putin controls the world. The number 2 in the White House would be a greater disaster. 

Oh Puhleez.

Putin doesnt control even his own bowels at the moment. He is in the middle of an intractable war, with no obvious way out. He can keep appealing to the cheap seats in the west to portray himself as a some kind of master strategist, but Hitler was doing the same thing until his last days in Berlin. I dont think a master strategist would be taking 200 soldiers killed every day.

I guess it comes down to what reality you choose to believe. Yes, Ive always thought Putin was a threat. But the gross overpainting him and his capablities of recent discoverers of this fact is hard to understand. He is just a man, and his every action demonstrate how little of the world he understands outside Moscow. He wasnt exactly the most clued up chekist when he was in Dresden.

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Russia is an energy power. That won't change. They may have thought that would give them leverage in the international realm while conducting full level war on Ukraine. That part of the cost to EU/UK/US for taking a hardline on Russia would be economic cost via increase energy cost. But really it sounds like big leverage because high income EU/UK/US would be quick to squeal and loudly about economic hardship with domestic political parties eager to give them a mic so as to try winning their vote. Reality is that economic and life standards under hardship via increase energy costs in these high GDP countries is still going to be much higher than typical ASEAN countries or Russia.

So IOW, taking economic energy costs as a response was the correct thing to do because not doing so means Russia would be correct to think that they could use energy as leverage. Well.. France (despite being mostly nuclear?) and then Germany, some others as well maybe like Hungary perhaps might be arriving at giving in into Russia energy leverage. 

So the thinking that it was a mistake to do sanctions because of Russia's energy leverage is the wrong go of thinking. 

Although there is still the other point about microprocessor and other tech hold outs and the long term effect of that as punishment to Russia for the war, a war that over 90% of people including here thought Russia was not going to do just prior the launch of invasion in February BTW, is yet to be seen but could be severe as far as military/tech power status goes.

It's been reported that China's inport of Russian oil/gas went up by 55% in May. Well despite that, I think Kishida was correct in responding quickly n'sync with EU/US/UK with the sanctions. Prior that, relations were not particularly good with Russia but things were cordial and good always be an alternative option. Being an alternative option was even more noticiable for ROK, Vietnam, and India. It'll be harder for those countries to use Russia as an alternative now as well.  

Had Russia just limited its ambitions to just the Donbas, people may have turned a blind eye. Their attempt at Kyiv can't be ignored. 

Edited by futon
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Before the Ukrainian thing, the West was already on the way to a recession. Those feel-good sanctions will only deepen that recession in the West and leave Russia, and China, stronger.

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11 hours ago, Ssnake said:

The US has shown the strongest support for Ukraine, and as such has once again demonstrated its role as a leader. May well be that Biden is suffering from Alzheimer's (but so was Reagan in his second half of his presidency). But it hasn't stopped him from responding adequately to the war in Ukraine.

I would also argue that Trump is also suffering cognitive decline. He can't stage a rally without literally talking about toilets flushing. That is such and old white man thing it sounds like it was made up on SNL, but that is literally a thing he's nagged on a dozen times. Neither one of those two should be president in 2024; lets shoot for someone at least under 70.

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2 hours ago, sunday said:

Before the Ukrainian thing, the West was already on the way to a recession. Those feel-good sanctions will only deepen that recession in the West and leave Russia, and China, stronger.

China has its own economic problems; it isn't clear any of this is in its interests. A global recession most definitely bites China in the ass, and when it comes (and I think it was inevitable even before the war) it will certainly have to do with China's unemployment among youth and its zero covid policy.

And anyone who thinks Russia is coming out of this stronger isn't reading the same numbers I'm reading. Their GDP and army has been literally decimated in the classical sense of the word, and their inventory of active MBTs has been reduced by a third. Their already anemic production levels of new equipment are hardly going to rapidly increase in the face of a technology export ban, even after the sanctions inevitably break down.

Edited by Josh
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14 hours ago, ex2cav said:

Iran should get a pass right now. As you point out, another war is nit what the world needs right now.

So China should just invade Taiwan and get this over with. Or maybe if it invades, we protect Taiwan and neglect Ukraine. 

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2 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

So China should just invade Taiwan and get this over with. Or maybe if it invades, we protect Taiwan and neglect Ukraine. 

I don't know what kind of argument that is. My point is the world is at a tipping point. The war in Ukraine threatens to spread. Beginning another war in the ME with no clear out is foolhardy. Further threatening global shipments of oil will not aid anyone. 

The goal now should be to contain the war in Ukraine and provide stability across the rest of the globe. I am not saying that is what will happen. Like on this board, there are many who are wishing for this to blow up.

I am sort of expecting the Israelis to bomb or missile something in Iran, and to increase targeting in Syria. 

The Taiwan talk is a red herring. Bejing does not have the sea lift capacity to do that sort of thing, right now. The Chinese will play the long game. They do not think like westerners.

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14 hours ago, Ssnake said:

BDS much?

Sure, he certainly isn't among the greatest US presidents ever, and yeah, the cognitive issues were apparent even during the campaign. But seeing Putin as a "world leader" when he's practically a pariah pretty much anywhere west of the Urals and east of Hawaii, and north of the Mediterranean is not even "a stretch". NATO and EU are more united than ever. The EU is irrevocably transitioning towards independence from Russian energy imports. By the end of 2023 that transition will be largely complete (decarbonization will take longer of course, if it is even attainable). At that point, Putin can start building new gas pipelines. And new oil pipelines. All the way to India. Russia is effectively cut off from microprocessors past the 1990s period, and as long as the sanctions remain and the West is 80% of Chinese electronics markets, I'm not seeing these processors coming to Russia in more than marginal doses.

The US has shown the strongest support for Ukraine, and as such has once again demonstrated its role as a leader. May well be that Biden is suffering from Alzheimer's (but so was Reagan in his second half of his presidency). But it hasn't stopped him from responding adequately to the war in Ukraine.

I don't have BDS. Watch him and cringe. I have simply pointed what he and his administration have said and look at the results. 

I don't know what this "Putin world leader" thing is. It is The Biden admin that elevated him by blaming the economy and gas prices on him. 

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1 hour ago, ex2cav said:

...The Taiwan talk is a red herring. Bejing does not have the sea lift capacity to do that sort of thing, right now. The Chinese will play the long game. They do not think like westerners....

 

One of the benefits of a Communist party rule is that they can play the long game. Democracy's are to short sighted.

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17 hours ago, Ssnake said:

BDS much?

Sure, he certainly isn't among the greatest US presidents ever, and yeah, the cognitive issues were apparent even during the campaign.

At this time it cannot be ruled out that Biden will be seen as one of, if not the, worst presidents in US history.

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But seeing Putin as a "world leader" when he's practically a pariah pretty much anywhere west of the Urals and east of Hawaii, and north of the Mediterranean is not even "a stretch

Russian policy is a disaster if and only if the severance of relations extends to China and India.  If the damage is contained to NATO, then eventually things will move back towards normal a bit, (long after Putin is gone though).

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The EU is irrevocably transitioning towards independence from Russian energy imports. By the end of 2023 that transition will be largely complete (decarbonization will take longer of course, if it is even attainable).

No, they should have the coal plants fired up sooner than 2023.  In terms of EU unity, good luck with going back to coal and keeping the environmentalists happy at the same time.

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At that point, Putin can start building new gas pipelines. And new oil pipelines. All the way to India. Russia is effectively cut off from microprocessors past the 1990s period, and as long as the sanctions remain and the West is 80% of Chinese electronics markets, I'm not seeing these processors coming to Russia in more than marginal doses.

I don't know anything about what will happen on this front.

Edited by glenn239
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8 hours ago, sunday said:

Before the Ukrainian thing, the West was already on the way to a recession. Those feel-good sanctions will only deepen that recession in the West and leave Russia, and China, stronger.

We went from Russia collapsing to talk of the West entering into  a recession in 3 months.  If gas supplies from the Middle East come through smoothly, all well and good - gas might stabilize around the current prices, (which are tolerable).   If they are interrupted, in conjunction with Russian termination, it could get bad.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Josh said:

I would also argue that Trump is also suffering cognitive decline. He can't stage a rally without literally talking about toilets flushing. That is such and old white man thing it sounds like it was made up on SNL, but that is literally a thing he's nagged on a dozen times. Neither one of those two should be president in 2024; lets shoot for someone at least under 70.

Agreed.  Both parties need to bury the fossils and move on.

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6 hours ago, Josh said:

China has its own economic problems; it isn't clear any of this is in its interests. A global recession most definitely bites China in the ass, and when it comes (and I think it was inevitable even before the war) it will certainly have to do with China's unemployment among youth and its zero covid policy.

China's economic problems are self-inflicted to a large extent, (overreaction to Covid).  

 

Quote

And anyone who thinks Russia is coming out of this stronger isn't reading the same numbers I'm reading. Their GDP and army has been literally decimated in the classical sense of the word, and their inventory of active MBTs has been reduced by a third.

The Russian GDP has shrunk, but that was inevitable when the decision was made to cut the cord with the West.  The question of whether Russian GDP can grown in 2023 as a result of deepening trade with other countries, that is the issue.    

The impact on the Russian army, again, you are applying wishful thinking.  By all measurements I can see, Russian tactics, doctrine, and operational methods are radically improved from the start of the war.  Losses are probably in the tens of thousands killed or wounded, which is not much for a country of 145 million, and losing main battle tanks from the 1970's and 1980's means little. These will be replaced by superior models.

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Their already anemic production levels of new equipment are hardly going to rapidly increase in the face of a technology export ban, even after the sanctions inevitably break down.

Yes, all sorts of predictions along these lines.  We'll see what happens.  Fact is, we've been promised habitually since 2014 that Russia's economic demise is nigh, but none of them have yet to come true.

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5 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

So China should just invade Taiwan and get this over with. Or maybe if it invades, we protect Taiwan and neglect Ukraine. 

Why, is Taiwan going somewhere?   What's China's rush?  The military balance each year is more in its favor than the year before.

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52 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

The impact on the Russian army, again, you are applying wishful thinking.  By all measurements I can see, Russian tactics, doctrine, and operational methods are radically improved from the start of the war.  Losses are probably in the tens of thousands killed or wounded, which is not much for a country of 145 million, and losing main battle tanks from the 1970's and 1980's means little. These will be replaced by superior models.

I'm not applying wishful thinking; losing a thousand tanks (and well over a thousand other armored vehicles) is a fairly dramatic reduction of capability. Russian new tank production isn't capable of making up that number for a long time. If they want to get back to 3000+ active MBTs, they are going to have to refurb older tanks or wait for the 2030s.

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1 hour ago, glenn239 said:

We went from Russia collapsing to talk of the West entering into  a recession in 3 months.  If gas supplies from the Middle East come through smoothly, all well and good - gas might stabilize around the current prices, (which are tolerable).   If they are interrupted, in conjunction with Russian termination, it could get bad.

 

 

The West is headed for a major recession, war on Ukraine or not, mostly because of the inadequate measures against covid.

Famine in some areas is to be expected.

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It should be noted that the Russian military revival in the 2010's focused almost exclusively on the Navy and Air Force. The ground component not so much. 

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On 6/20/2022 at 9:51 PM, Ssnake said:

But seeing Putin as a "world leader" when he's practically a pariah pretty much anywhere west of the Urals and east of Hawaii, and north of the Mediterranean is not even "a stretch".

https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/22/asia/brics-summit-china-russia-beijing-2022-intl-hnk-mic/index.html

When Russian President Vladimir Putin dials into the virtual BRICS summit hosted by Beijing on Thursday, it will be his first time attending a forum with the heads of major economies since launching an invasion of Ukraine earlier this year

 

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On 6/21/2022 at 2:58 PM, glenn239 said:

At this time it cannot be ruled out that Biden will be seen as one of, if not the, worst presidents in US history.

It can’t be ruled out, but since his predecessor was impeached twice and attempted a coupe, the competition is pretty fierce. Biden is merely inept, not trying to overturn US democracy because he values himself over the country.

 

Even in terms of political success, Trump lost the House, was one of three single term presidents, and then almost directly because of his whining managed to lose the Senate before his second impeachment and departure. I think they firmly puts him below Carter territory in terms of winning.

ETA: Biden’s midterms are pending, but while I think the Dems get slaughtered in the House, Trump seems to almost be actively working to crush their chance in the senate. Walker, Greiten, Oz, and Ron John are not strong candidates.

Edited by Josh
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 You live in some alternate universe where inventing a smear and using it to impeach Trump means he was a poor president. If there was a threat to democracy, trying to overturn an election based on a lie was it, not the riot at the Capitol. 
  The economy was immensely better under Trump, minority unemployment was at record lows, and when the pandemic struck three vaccines were developed faster than anyone thought possible. Once Trump left little progress has been made with new vaccines. For the elderly, this is devastating since they still need to quarantine. 
  Biden isn’t solely responsible for the inflation ravaging the US economy, that’s mostly due to the Federal Reserve’s handling of the money supply. Biden is like someone who comes home and sees his house is on fire and goes to the garage and empties his gasoline can on the fire. 
  The worst thing Biden did was to follow through on his promise to destroy the US oil industry. Besides the obvious fuels, the oil industry provides the base materials for fertilizer, tar for roads, polymers used in clothing, tires, and most plastics, and industrial solvents. It’s not possible to create shortages in so many industries without damaging an economy. 
  At the same time, doubling the price of oil is a godsend for the Russian, Saudi Arabian, and Iranian economies. It’s making Putin’s war much more affordable and cancels what little help the Ukraine gets from the west. Biden is literally an international disaster. 
  Europeans are burning more coal than ever. They aren’t getting close to weaning themselves off fossil fuels. Neither is the US since much of the US nuclear power industry was built 50 years ago and the plants have 75 year design lives. (France may have similar issues.)

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You’re living in an alternate universe, or at least one with alternative electors. There’s no evidence of election fraud; there’s overwhelming evidence of false elector college slates…they have literally  personally testified, though clearly if you only watch Faux news you didn’t see that.

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